PET PEEVES – BY ELLIN CURLEY

  1. ONE PLY TOILET PAPER

Don’t people realize that you have to use twice as much one-ply as two-ply so you end up not saving any money? And that’s not taking the comfort factor into consideration.

My master bathroom toilet paper roll

2. OVER OR UNDER

On the subject of toilet paper, it’s OVER people! The patent application for the toilet paper holder shows the roll going over, not under.

My toilet paper decor in the powder room

3. WEATHER CHANGES

I’ve been checking the weather regularly and we’ve had an unseasonably warm spell. The one day I forget to check, the temperature dips 25 degrees and I freeze my buns off in my unsuitably light clothes!

 

  1. FOOD DISAPPOINTMENTS

Some days I wake up thinking about the cinnamon sugar croissant at my local bakery. It’s amazing! It’s one of the few things that can make me break my perpetual diet (I’m on Prednisone and gained ten pounds last year). I look forward to this sugary treat all the way to the store – and they’re out! I can taste the disappointment and it’s nothing like my beloved croissant.

This doesn’t look half as delicious as my favorite treat!
  1. SLEEPLESS AT DAWN

My dogs wake me around 6 AM to feed them. I stagger downstairs and go through their morning routine in a sleepy haze. I stumble back to bed and fall right back to sleep. Except when I don’t. There are days when, for some reason, I wake up completely somewhere between the bedroom and the kitchen. I am suddenly full of energy. This is a problem because I go to bed around 1 AM and I need more than five hours sleep to get through the day. So I lie awake thinking of things that agitate or depress me and just exacerbate the situation. Finally I’ll fall back to sleep, but that sleepless hour or two is SO annoying! Chronic insomnia must be unbearable.

  1. FORGETFULNESS

I’ve put a reminder on my phone that’s set to go off the same time every day to make sure I don’t forget to take my medicines in the morning. (I never seem to forget at night). I don’t forget often anymore, so I’ve gotten used to turning off the reminder each day after I’ve taken my meds. But now I’m so used to turning off the reminder, that I turned it off automatically the other day even when I hadn’t taken my meds.

I forgot to take my pills but I turned off the reminder anyway. On Autopilot. Something is wrong with this system – or is it just me?

  1. LAZY GUARD DOG

One of my dogs, Lexi, is my self-assigned protector. She sounds the alarm with loud barking whenever she sees or hears something outside of her definition of ‘ordinary’. Unfortunately, she’s also lazy. So when she’s on the bed with me and hears something ‘suspicious’ downstairs, she doesn’t go down to investigate or scare off the intruders. Instead, she leaps up and proceeds to scream in her high volume, piercing bark, directly into my ear!

If I go prematurely deaf, it won’t be due to the loud rock and roll of my youth – it will be all Lexi’s fault!

Lexi

SHARING MY WORLD BUT WHERE IS MELANIE? – Marilyn Armstrong

SHARING MY WORLD: WHERE HAS MELANIE GONE?

Once again, it’s back to my reader to see where my posts have gone. I knew my email had dropped suddenly. I was so relieved at not having a thousand emails a day to cope with, I failed to realize that half the people I follow are missing, too.

Good old WordPress. They never stop sharing their technical problems with their customers!

QUESTIONS:


What’s the closest thing you’ve experienced to real magic?

I can’t say it was the birth of my son because that was a 23 hour, absolutely EXHAUSTING labor that I thought would never end. If I’d had a proper obstetrician, it might have worked out better. As it was, I was so tired by the time he was born, I think I didn’t wake up for three days. They don’t call it “labor” for nothing.

For real magic? It was being close to death one day, having a vision during the night when the great voice from nowhere told me I was not going to die, then waking up the following morning well enough to go home.

Also, this Cardinal is pretty magical too!

Despite the years passing, it remains magic because it WAS magical. My minister, who really felt I should seriously consider religion as a viable option because he asked me: “What do you want? God to drop by with his social security card and a passport?”

I thought about it and said: “Yes, probably.” I’m that skeptical. But it was magic. Skeptical I may be, but I’ve been pulled back from nearly dead twice … possibly three times. I’m not as sure about the third time … that may just have been really excellent medicine at work.

Who is the messiest person you know? And why? 

My daughter-in-law. You had to live with her to really feel it.

If you could know the absolute and total truth to one question, what question would you ask?

God? If you want to prove your might to me, please smite you-know-who in the big white house. Do that, and I WILL believe!

What benefits does art provide society? Does art hurt society in any way?

I think a house without art isn’t home. Art takes you out of yourself and makes the ordinary beautiful. I love art. Paintings and pottery, dioramas and rugs, tapestries and tatting. I love writing and photography and music. I love everything except screechy operatic sopranos (sorry — not a fan of opera).

Qing dynasty rice bowl, typically used by field workers. The blue chicken is a cultural thing. The bowl is almost 200 years old — and it isn’t even close to my oldest pieces of pottery.

You know in China, they had art even for rice peasants? Because they believed everyone needed art. I own some of it and these are among my favorite pieces. Rice bowls decorated with colorful chickens and big clunky horses from the Tang period ridden by servants. For servants to put in a place of honor.

What’s something positive you’d like to share?  Can be a smile, a joke, or music..anything that gave you a lift this week!

I’m really, really glad we bought that thing to keep ice off the windshield. I only wish I’d bought a garage too.

WORLD SHARING – Marilyn Armstrong

First, our tiny bit of news, then the rest.

One of the dogs ate Garry’s mouse. It was a Logitech mouse, not the furry kind. He or she didn’t totally destroy it … just enough so it stopped functioning.

A little bit of gnawing makes the USB go down.

I did warn him about putting his computer et al where any of our dogs can conveniently grab a small piece, but Garry never believes me until the item needs replacement. At least mouses are cheap. It could’ve been worse.

It was just the mouse,  not the computer. It’s not that our dogs are big chewers, but a dog with nothing to do? Well, that looks interesting. Let me put my jaws around it and see what happens. Since it didn’t squeak or try to run away, it got dropped for something more entertaining, but one chomp was enough.

Another has been ordered. Nothing can kill a Logitech mouse except too frequent dropping — and a dog with teeth.

And now for the rest of the story!

Questions This Week:

Did you have to help out with chores when you were growing up?  If so, what were you assigned to do?

Yes. Dishes, general house straightening — but first, foremost, and worst of all (and I hate it to this day) ironing. I really hated ironing. I only got good at it when I started collecting dolls and had to iron their tiny dresses. At least I knew what an iron is and how to use it.

Have you ever researched your family tree?   What do you know about your family’s roots? 

Slightly. I don’t have enough information to get very far.

What’s your cure for hiccups?

Holding my breath, then swallowing at the same time. It usually works.

What makes you roll your eyes every time you hear it?  Either figuratively or literally?

Grammar! FEWER, not LESS as follows: If you can count’em, it’s fewer. If you have to scoop it with a shovel, it’s less. There are always fewer people, not less.

There may be fewer GRAINS of sand, but less sand overall.

Share gratitude, a positive moment or experience from 2019 so far.

Birds. I really love my backyard birds.

Otherwise, it hasn’t been a great year. Trump’s government shutdown is going to delay tax refund checks … which I was counting on to help repair the house. And meanwhile, all those miserable people wondering how they are going to make the mortgage! Horrors.

I don’t think this counts as a positive moment, experience, or something for which anyone should feel gratitude. Sorry about that.

BOOKISH QUESTIONS AND ODDLY BRIEF ANSWERS – Marilyn Armstrong

Fandango plucked these from the blog of Melanie at who picked them up from Teresa. Interesting book questions for those of us who read.

The Questions:

1-Have you ever re-gifted a book that you’ve been gifted?
2-Have you ever claimed to have read a book when you haven’t?
3-Have you ever borrowed a book and not returned it?
4-Have you ever read a series out-of-order?
5-Have I ever spoiled a book for someone?
6-Have you ever skipped a chapter or a section of a book?
7-Have you ever bad-mouthed a book you actually liked?

And now, the answers – because I can discuss books and remain sane.

1-Have you ever re-gifted a book that you’ve been gifted?

No. Everyone I know is desperate to get rid of books, not collect them. We are all rather bookish people and books come to you like iron filings to a magnet.

2-Have you ever claimed to have read a book when you haven’t?

No. If I haven’t read it, I will say I haven’t read. Sometimes I’ll even explain why I haven’t read it. Usually, I have a reason.

3-Have you ever borrowed a book and not returned it?

No, but I’ve given away books and hoped I never got them back. Oddly enough, they always come back.

4-Have you ever read a series out-of-order?

Sure. I try to read them in order, but sometimes, you read a book, realize there are other books in the series and you go back and read them.

5-Have I ever spoiled a book for someone?

Not intentionally or that I know about.

6-Have you ever skipped a chapter or a section of a book?

I’ve put down books and never picked them up again. If I don’t like it, I won’t bother to finish it. I have read a lot of books and I’ve never been embarrassed about not reading another one.

7-Have you ever bad-mouthed a book you actually liked?

No. But I have complimented books and given moderately good reviews to books I really didn’t like. Authors are sensitive. I hate hurting their feelings and just because I don’t like it doesn’t mean someone else might not love it. Also, believe it or not, authors read reviews. Even mine.

SPOOKY SHARING ON HALLOWEEN – Marilyn Armstrong

Share Your World

“Spooky”  Share Your World


Today is Halloween! Got your costume ready? Stocked up on candy? Good. I’m looking forward to a bag full of candy. Yum.


Name something you wouldn’t want to run into in a dark forest or in an abandoned building.

I wouldn’t BE in a dark forest OR an abandoned building. Especially not in combination.

Share the creepiest thing that’s ever happened while you were alone.

I found a spider in my bed. I screamed, then I dislodged it. I have no rational fear of spiders. I’m just scared to death of them. Mindless paranoia.

What would you like your last words to be?

See you soon!

Do you believe in any ‘mythical’ monsters like chupacabras or shadow people?

No.

How long do you think you would last in a horror movie?

I wouldn’t even be in the audience, much less the movie.

Are you afraid of or find clowns creepy?

I find clowns weird, but not necessarily creepy. But I also don’t find them particularly funny — even when I was a kid.

In the zombie apocalypse, what would be your weapon of choice?

First, I plan to be living in one of the world’s best anti-Zombie apocalypse location on earth.

Other than that, I figure a paint gun with iron filings in the paint. You know, all creatures from the Never world are terrified of iron.

Have you ever had your tarot cards read?

I used to read them. I creeped myself out.

Anyone know the reason behind putting candles in jack-o-lanterns?

I assumed to make them light up in the dark. No?

Do you think putting special emphasis on certain holidays – like Halloween is ‘spooky’ for example — is a good idea or just more mindless entertainment for the masses? 

ARTWORK: Evil Squirrel’s Nest

I like Halloween when I was a kid, but it wasn’t nearly the big deal it has become. The problem in this country is that every holiday eventually becomes another way for malls to draw crowds. People actually sent Halloween cards. Halloween cards? Really?

Share a positive thought or message or something that’s inspired you this week.

The Red Sox did it! Their best team ever took the World Series, their fourth win in 14-years. Yay Sox!

FORTY QUESTIONS UPON WHICH THE WORLD’S FATE DOES NOT HANG! – Marilyn Armstrong


Cheryl (aka, The Bag Lady) published a list of 40 questions labeled “odd things about me” that she received from her sister. Although 40 seems like a lot of questions, they’re short and don’t require a lot of thought. The idea of making a post I don’t have to really think about was deeply appealing.


1. Do you like blue cheese? Yum. 

2. Coke or Pepsi? Coke.

3. Do you own a gun? I used to have a b-b gun, but I gave it to my son.

4. What flavor of Kool-aid? Bug juice? Seriously?

5. Hot dogs? I like the new Nathan’s unprocessed ones. They actually taste good.

6. A favorite TV show? Currently “Rake” but it depends on the day you ask.

7. Do you believe in ghosts? Only when I meet them in the hallway.

8. What do you drink in the morning? Coffee.

9. Can you do a push-up? Maybe one half.

10. Favorite Jewelry? Anything Native American. It’s all about the stones.

11. Favorite Hobby? Blogging.

12. Do you have ADD? More like OCD.

13. Do you wear glasses? Only if I need to see 

14. Favorite cartoon character? George of the Jungle

15. Three things you did today? Wrote, wrote, took some pictures, processed pictures, wrote, wrote, still writing and deleted several hundred emails. Not done yet. 

16. Three drinks you drink regularly? Coffee, some kind of sports drink, and whatever fruit juice looked good this week.

17. Current movies? What’s current?

18. Do you believe in magic? I would really LIKE to believe. But really, no. 

19. Favorite place to be? Home.

20. How did you ring in the New Year? Watching old movies. We do kiss at midnight. 

21. Travel? Where would you go? Australia, New Zealand, and Tahiti.

22. Name five people who will most likely read this? I assume five of the people who follow my blog and comment on most of my posts. I have more than 14,000 other followers, but they don’t talk to me.

23. Favorite movie? The Lion In Winter.

24. Favorite color? Black.

25. Do you like sleeping on satin sheets? No. They are slippery. I fell out of bed.

26. Can you whistle? No.

27. Where are you now? Home.

29. Favorite food? Japanese. Almost anything.

30. Least favorite chore? Cleaning mold from between the bathroom tiles. Second least favorite? Weeding the garden. 

31. Best job you can think of? Managing editor, feature newspaper. It was just SWELL. 

32. What’s in your pockets? Nothing. I’m wearing a nightgown and bathrobe.

33. Last thing that made you laugh? When they fired another one of Charlie Baker’s appointed city managers. Hah!

34. Favorite animal? Dogs.

35. What’s your most recent injury? You mean like when my heart stopped and they had to replace two valves, do a bypass and install a pacemaker? Does that count?

36. How many TV’s are in your house? Two. Garry is the only one who uses the one in the bedroom. He watches old black & white movies and I read books.

37. Worst pain ever? Coming out of heart surgery. I tried to beat up the duty nurse. They put me back under for two more days. I was seriously pissed off. Or maybe it was when I had spine surgery and it infected. Hard to remember. I was not a happy camper.

38. Do you like to dance? Not any more.

39. Are your parents still alive? No.

40. Do you enjoy camping? No.


Now you copy and paste the questions to your blog, but replace my answers with yours. One easy-peasy post!

FASHIONISTA? ME? SERIOUSLY? – Marilyn Armstrong

I need to start out by pointing out I will not wear anything that isn’t comfortable. Gone are the high heels, tight anything (skirts, pants, sweaters, forget it!) and in is anything elastic. Even my jeans are elastic. If it doesn’t stretch, I don’t wear it.

I hate “dressy” events because I don’t own dressy clothing. I did, back when we were both working and Garry had events to which we were required to go, but now? I have some dresses, but I can’t wear shoes to go with them. And pantyhose? Seriously?

We’ve invented telephones that rule the world, but we can’t do better than pantyhose?

That being said, don’t expect much from this!

Daily Topic Subject – Fashionista!

Q1] How important is colour in your life?

In my life? Color is important. Not so much in my clothing, though. I wear grey, black, tan, taupe.

Occasionally red or orange … and navy. Not a thrilling palette. But the house has color — in pictures and statues and pottery.

Q2] What is most favourite colour to wear?

Denim.

Q3] Is there a colour that you wear that brings the best out in you and in others – in so far as compliments?

Photo: Garry Armstrong –

Black.

Q4] Are you a person who likes to overdress for the day or are you a follower of the credo, less is more?

I don’t OWN fancy clothing anymore. I can’t wear dressy shoes — and I can’t balance on high heels.

So overdressing is unlikely. If it requires that level of dress? I probably won’t go.

PQ5] What are five of your best items of clothing that you simply couldn’t be without? [and l don’t mean underwear/socks]

Sleep tees in the warm weather and flannel nightgowns in the winter. And don’t knock socks. I have the world BEST sock collection.

Q6] Do you dress for the season, as in colour wise, or just throw on whatever is warm and practical?

We live in New England. I have hot weather clothing, warm weather dress, cool and chilly weather clothing, cold weather clothing, very cold weather clothing, brutally cold weather clothing, and arctic-level clothing.

PQ7] If you were going for an evening out and the dress code was ‘smart casual’ what is your ideal outfit and why?

I tell them I was sick and not go.

Happy anniversary!

Garry might go alone, but if he had to wear a tie, I doubt he’d go either.

Q8] If you were having to attend an important meeting or appointment and the dress code was smart – what would your outfit be then?

At my age, I don’t have those meetings or appointments. If they are my age, they are also wearing sweatpants.

Q9] How many pairs of shoes do you own, and what is the breakdown [as in casual, smart, evening, leisure]

More boots!

I have maybe 20 pairs of shoes, 10 of which are really old and I don’t actually wear them but they aren’t worn out, so I keep them. Mostly, I wear sandals in the summer and Uggs in the winter. In between, I wear SOCKS.

Q10] Do you have classic clothing or classic items in your wardrobe that you have had for years and never go out of fashion if so name three?

I consider it classic. Others might say I’m a slob. Sweatshirts, tee-shirts, and jeans. I’ve been wearing this same clothing since I was a young teenager. Oh, and I have not one but three Navy Peacoats.

Q11] Are you into plain colours, wild colours or outlandish designs or a mixture and which do you favour more?

Plain. Elastic. Washable. Dryable.

PQ12] Do you have a favourite quote with regards fashion or design – if so what is it?

No.

Q13]  Knee high socks, ankle socks, shin socks or no socks?

Ankle socks with sticky bits on the bottom when I’m in the house. Knee high in the winter and if that isn’t warm enough, it’s too cold to go out.

Q14] Can you see the connection between colour and music and if so does it influence your dress code for the day in any way?

Not really. I wish I could say yes, but really, no.

PQ15] If you are going out somewhere special and want to listen to some music to put you in the mood whilst getting dressed up, what do you listen to? [Provide link please]

I don’t think I’ve EVER done that.

Q16] How often do you buy new clothing for the season or the year?

When I try to put on the nightgown and my finger goes through the fabric, I figure I probably need a new one. Also, as I get older and everything droops, I have to buy different sizes.

I’m also getting shorter (we shrink with age), so that’s a factor. But otherwise? I have winter and summer clothing. This is New England. It’s all about the weather.

Q17] Remember tie-dye from the 70’s was it a thing you followed, bought into or worse, how do you feel about it now?

Nope. Byt the time tie-dye was in, I was a mother working full time. I missed that whole dressing thing.

Q18] What is the brightest coloured item of clothing you have in your wardrobes/drawers?

I have an orange dress.

Q19] What is the most expensive item of clothing that you have in your wardobe? How often do you actually wear it?

I have a deep winter coat from Land’s End that cost me about $250. I wear it when the temperatures fall significantly below zero (Fahrenheit, NOT Celsius).

PQ20] Are you deleting any questions, if so which ones?

No.

Q21] Is being ‘fashionable’ important to you, or is being comfortably attired  more so?

I like not looking like I just crawled out of a ditch, so clean matters. I only wear the hairy, dog-hair covered stuff at home. The dogs do not care. And anyway, Garry is similarly attired.