Cee’s Which Way Photo Challenge – January 19, 2018

Going back and processing pictures that have long waited for me.  Brookline in December, Cooperstown in summer.

Brookline in traffic
Red lights
Road and wires
Road to the lake



My favorite horizon is sunrise, but sunset is pretty good too. Anywhere where the sky meets the earth is a horizon. Clear away the buildings and the trees, and there it is.


Welcome to New England where our most popular regional sport is politics. Football, baseball, basketball and hockey cannot compete with the joys of arguing politics. That this year is politically the worst experience since we drove out the British only means that all our other complaints will have to wait in line until the political rage has been satisfied, at least temporarily.

When politics and sports are finished, we move on to the single sport in which everyone, of any age, can actively compete.

Weather. Or more accurately, complaining about the weather.

Lake Otsego

From bitterly cold to stiflingly hot, we’ve got the weather to cover it.

Winter is too long, too snowy, too icy, and much too cold. I couldn’t agree more. Everyone is cranky and whiny from the first flakes through final melting. Of course, mud season, the inevitable followup to the heavy snow, is no one’s favorite, discounting the dogs who revel in it.

Photo: Garry Armstrong

Spring? What spring? Where are the flowers? Why can’t we get a decent spring season? Is this the punishment of a malign deity?

Until the lilies bloom, New Englanders are cranky.

Pink petunias

Some time during May, summer drops by, usually in mid-afternoon. The morning is comfortable until the temperature goes way up and the humidity moves in. The leaves on the trees droop and it is definitely summer. Always too hot. Muggy. Humid.

Or, maybe it’s not hot enough.

“Hey, how come it’s June and we still need heat?”  

In summertime, those triple H days — hot, hazy, and humid — give us a collective headache. Everyone complains. Relentlessly.

Autumn is New England’s winning season. It is everyone’s favorite time of year — except it’s much too short. There are oceans of dead leaves to shovel. We rate our autumn by the brightness of leaf and you can stand on line in the grocery and hear people commenting that “this one isn’t as good as the year before last. Does anyone remembers 2012? Wasn’t that a doozy?”

We live in the “Snow and Long Commutes” region. Especially the snow. And Worcester.

On a bad year, heavy rains from a tropical storm can push all the way up the coast. Those drenching rains ruin the fall foliage. Which makes everyone cranky.

And whiny.

We recover if the Sox are in the playoffs, but become downright grim if they aren’t.

Speaking of whiny, I know people on Facebook who, in the middle of a summer-long drought during which we haven’t gotten a drop of rain, will rant furiously on the day the drought breaks. I bet they’d be even more whiny if their well went dry . That would be a serious rant!

New England. What’s not to love?



All my favorite “messages.” Signs on lawns. Signs carved in wood. Painted on walls. Printed and spray painted.


Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Letter V:
Needs to start with V and have at least 6 letters

Vehicles are my absolutely best “v” word, probably because I actually have pictures of many kinds of vehicles. After that, it gets a little more confusing.

Our vehicle, the Jeep in a blizzard Photo: Garry Armstrong
Garry and an old vehicle
Virtual Sunday at home with the computer
Vegetables awaiting a trip to the fridge
Vegetable at a farm stand
Vegan witches (Sorry, couldn’t help myself)


I don’t want to shock anyone, but it’s snowing. Not a blizzard. No high winds or blinding whiteout. Just a regular, old-fashioned snow, falling gently from a sky almost as white as the snow falling from it.

I had to wake Garry up at 9 this morning, which is very early.

“Where,” I asked him, “Is the car?”

“At the bottom of the drive,” he yawned.

“I think you need to move it. It’s snowing.”

“Snowing? How much?”

“More than I expected. If you don’t move it, they can’t plow.” I didn’t yet know if it would exceed the 3-inch minimum for plowability, but I didn’t want to discover  it later.

Woods in winter

Garry sighed, barely avoided an actual whine. Got up, got dressed, went out, moved the car to the top of the driveway. I gave the dogs biscuits which they seemed very intent on getting, then opened the next big box o’ biscuits because — wonder of wonders — we were out of biscuits.

I know. Tragic. But not to fear because we have extras and I’d already ordered two more boxes to be delivered at Owen’s house because we are in the “no one delivers here anymore” zone.

Agile? We are not agile. Garry clumped back down from the parked car. Slowly and carefully because we are sensitive about the whole “falling down” thing. I’m always amazed at “snow people” who seem to manage something akin to grace while wearing gigantic ski boots and long flat poles on their feet. I can barely get from the house to anywhere else in snow and I do not look agile in the process.

We’re hunkering down around here. You all have a great day. We’ll be right here, where it’s warm. Drinking coffee. Listening to books … while the snow falls.


Share Your World – January 15, 2018

Whoa! Mid January? 2018? Today is Martin Luther King Day, too … I remember when they decided to make it a holiday and eventually, it really did become a holiday. That was back when this country was actually committed to Civil Rights. Was it a million years ago?

Complete this sentence: I’m looking forward to….

No snow, please. Just … stop snowing. Warm up a little, world.

Also, really looking forward to the day we clear out the White House and install a real President and a functional administration. That will be a day for cheering.

What is your favorite comfort snack food?

That depends. Crystallized ginger is always one. Cookies. Chips and salsa. Toast with jam. And an occasional piece of chocolate.

I don’t snack much and I don’t keep much snack food in the house.

What was one of your first moneymaking jobs (other than babysitting or newspaper delivery)?

I worked at Bloomingdale’s putting price tickets on clothing. In the basement. I also counted incoming goods and marked the bills of lading. I was 14, which was the youngest you could be and still work in New York.

What inspired you or what did you appreciate this past week?

I’ve been doing a lot of reading. Trying to get through “Fire and Fury” and remarkably, I’m actually beginning to feel sorry for a lot of the people who have done the best they knew how to try and make it a functional place to work and a more “normal” administration. Everyone failed.

Bannon may be gone, but he left his hatred behind.

Everyone failed because the man they elected as President is not up to the task. Forget for the moment whether he’s nuts or demented or stupid or whatever else you call him. He is a man who never reads a book.  No education. No deep knowledge of any relevant subject. Can’t — won’t — read reports from the other people who supposedly work for him. He has zero knowledge of the critical material with the White House is supposed to deal. And, to top it off, he has no idea how to manage people. He works entirely on instinct and his instinct is based on the last person he talked to.

In short, you can’t “turn him” into a “real” president. He doesn’t have the qualifications and nothing will make it happen.

I was surprised by the book. There’s a lot more empathy and sympathy in it than I expected and I found myself feeling bad for people and how painful this experience has been for them. We elected a man as president who should never have been allowed into the office and we are paying a terrible price for such a shallow, stupid decision.