Smorgasbord Posts from the Archives – #Potluck -Hugging the Dogs: Sharing My World 2015- Week 2 by Marilyn Armstrong


This is the final post from the archives of the eclectic blog of writer Marilyn Armstrong and I have selected this one from a series of posts in 2015 – Sharing my World.. being that I am a dog person (until I am adopted by cats from time to time) and I enjoy ice cream… and writing..I thought this was a great way to find out a little more about Marilyn.

Hugging the Dogs: Sharing My World 2015- Week 2 by Marilyn Armstrong

Bishop

Are you a hugger or a non-hugger?

I came late to hugging. My family is not touchy-feely. They aren’t unfriendly, just more verbal than physical.

I hug, but only people to whom I feel especially close. And with whom I am very comfortable. Come to think of it, that category doesn’t include many people. But it does include the people who are the most important to me, on whom my world hangs.

What’s your favorite ice-cream flavor?

I don’t eat ice cream much, but I enjoy an occasional frozen yogurt. Strawberry is my favorite, but any fruit flavor is good. And vanilla. If I am going to have real ice cream, a good vanilla will win every time. How boring, eh?

Do you prefer exercising your mind or your body? How frequently do you do either?

Exercise physically has been less and less of an option. I’ve been sick so much of the time, recovering from surgery, etc. Now, between the heart issues, the arthritis, and of course it’s the middle of an icy New England winter. Good this blog keeps my brain from going all soft.

Marilyn photographer

Writing is my mental exercise, photography my artistic outlet. I haven’t done much shooting lately because it has been terribly, bitterly cold. Below zero kind of cold and today it’s warmer, but sleeting. My least favorite winter weather. It has turned the dogs yard into a sheet of ice. Fortunately, the roads are clear … but even a simple walk from the house to the car would be full of peril this time of year.

Are you more of a dog person or a cat person? Why?

We used to have cats. Then we had cats and ferrets. Then we had a cat and a dog, then two dogs. Then we had two dogs, no cats. Now we have four dogs, though technically, only two of them are ours. But as I look around me, we have three small ones on the sofa and the big furry guy on the floor in front of us.

Danger Dogs

I guess it’s dogs at this point. Not because I don’t like cats. I like them fine and if I had my druthers, I’d probably have horses. But horses don’t fit well in the house and definitely don’t do well on the sofa. So dogs it is. But who knows what the future holds?

©Images Marilyn Armstrong  2015.

How would you answer those questions.. please do in the comments..

About Marilyn Armstrong

I’m a blogging anarchist, a blogger without goals. A writer, photographer. I don’t have a primary focus nor do I want one. I have a lot of interests and write about whatever catches my attention or is most on my mind. Or in the news.

I’m a bit of a geek and I love my high-tech toys. I enjoy writing about computers and other high tech devices. Especially cameras!

Serendipity is about everything. What I think about. Read. Big and little stuff in my world. It’s what I hope you’ll like to read about. Think about. Laugh about. I will show you pictures of my home, my valley. I will do my best to capture the seasons and how sunlight filters through trees.

About the book

Fighting the of demons of an abusive childhood and having given up on traditional paths to personal salvation, Maggie decides to find her own path … by building a teepee in her back yard. It’s a peculiar route, but her goal is simple: offload the cargo of her past and move into a future, sans luggage. Armed with a draw knife and a sense of humor, she peels poles and paints canvas until winter passes and she is free.

One of the reviews for the book

Cordelia’s Mom 5.0 out of 5 stars Cordelia’s Mom Recommends January 11, 2016

I wasn’t sure what to expect from this book. I’ve been following Marilyn Armstrong’s blog “Serendipity” for a couple of years and figured any book written by her would be a winner. I wasn’t wrong. Admittedly, this book is hard to read in spots because it deals with Marilyn’s long-term struggle to exorcise the demons of her childhood and young adulthood. Throughout the book, she tries to forgive her father, and at times her mother, for the abuse she and her brother suffered. After surviving such a childhood, she was then beset by ill health. Many others would have simply given up at that point, but Marilyn fought her battles.

Years later, she decided to build a teepee so that her granddaughter could have a private place, but that teepee became Marilyn’s temple instead. I found myself rooting for her at each step of the construction of the teepee, which had become Marilyn’s symbol for inner peace. Marilyn also deals with her decision to leave the Jewish faith and convert to Christianity, a heavy subject indeed, but one she handles beautifully. I would definitely recommend this book – and should any producers be reading this review, can also envision it as a thought-provoking screenplay.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/12-Foot-Teepee-Marilyn-Armstrong-ebook/dp/B008AA3BHQ

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/12-Foot-Teepee-Marilyn-Armstrong-ebook/dp/B008AA3BHQ

Find more reviews on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21228963-the-12-foot-teepee

Connect to Marilyn

Website: https://teepee12.com/marilyn-armstrongs-page/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/fivedawgz

My thanks to Marilyn for allowing me access to her archives and I hope that you will head over to explore them further. Sally

Smorgasbord Posts from your Archives – #Potluck – Charge (Batteries) 2012 by Marilyn Armstrong


This is the third post from the archives of the eclectic blog of writer Marilyn Armstrong and I have selected this one because despite being written seven years ago…our lives are still run by batteries and power boards. They keep promising us the ultimate prize of a battery with eternal life, but let’s face it they have built in obsolescence. And interesting that we now have devices that have built in batteries that cannot be changed…when they die so does the device and has to be replaced at great cost….

Charge (Batteries) 2012 by Marilyn Armstrong

My world runs on batteries. Mostly rechargeable batteries. Three laptops, two Kindles, two cellphones, three cameras, four mouses (mice have fur and make squeaky noises, mouses attach to your computer using USB transmission), two wireless keyboards, GPS, various clocks, flashlights, who-knows-how-many remote controls, electric razors, tooth cleaning machines, and a mind-numbing array of miscellaneous devices I can’t remember off-hand.

To keep the world running, I have to charge things that recharge and keep a stack of AAA and AA rechargeable batteries ready to go.

I have never lived in a house that had enough electrical outlets for things like lamps and televisions, but with all these chargers to accommodate, I own dozens of power strips. Everywhere you look, and in many places you would never think to look, in every room, power strips keep the chargers charging and other electrical devices functioning. The strips range from high-end hubs with surge protection to whatever was on sale at Walmart when I needed another strip. Every one of them is full. Or, more accurately, as full as the size and shape the chargers allow.

Power strips are designed by people who don’t use them. I have come to this conclusion based on the stupid design that presumes you will never have anything larger than a lamp plug that needs a socket. Not even a vacuum cleaner cord fits properly, much less a laptop power supply.

No room is left on either side that would make it possible to fit more than two or three chargers in a strip theoretically designed for half a dozen plugs. There’s no allowance for odd-shaped power supplies that will use half a strip.

I don’t understand why chargers have to be so inconveniently shaped, or why they can never make a 3-pronged plug that will fit into an outlet without a fight. Why do most chargers require that you insert them at the end of the strip. No one ever seems to consider that there are only two “ends” and only one without a cord in the way. There’s some kind of Murphy’s Law that say if you are going to need two wall outlets, both devices will need to be on top or on the bottom.

I have 2 electrical sockets in the bathroom and 2 devices that require electricity. Only one can fit. The other socket is always unusable. The one charger blocks both outlets. Always.

The first day we moved into this house, two events occurred that have since defined our lives in the Blackstone Valley. The toilets backed up and the power went out. The toilets backed up because the crooks who sold us this house backed their moving van over the pipe that runs from the house to the septic system and crushed it. The power went out for the usual reason: heavy rain, high wind, and lightning. Getting to know my neighbors meant figuring out how to find an electrician and plumber before I’d unpacked.

I don’t notice how dependent we are on batteries until I’m packing for a vacation. Half a carry-on is allocated to chargers … just for things we use while we travel: laptops, accessories, a pair of Kindles, his and her cell phones, mouses, portable speakers and more. I used to pack this stuff carefully. Now I just shove the chargers and wires in a bag and untangle as needed.

If you think our civilization will endure, remember: We are entirely dependent on devices that run on batteries, most of which need to be recharged from an electrical outlet. Without electricity and batteries, life as we know it would end in about two weeks. A month maximum. After that?

Our world will be a jungle in which every man, woman, and child will fight to the death for a working AA battery.

Postscript:

I’m reading comments on this blog and suddenly I remember that Garry’s Kindle is still waiting to be charged and is probably flat by now. And that the “land line” phone is still charging and I need to take it out of the cradle, and that my cell phone is still charging and shouldn’t be. So many batteries, so few outlets.

©Marilyn Armstrong 2012

About Marilyn Armstrong

I’m a blogging anarchist, a blogger without goals. A writer, photographer. I don’t have a primary focus nor do I want one. I have a lot of interests and write about whatever catches my attention or is most on my mind. Or in the news.

I’m a bit of a geek and I love my high-tech toys. I enjoy writing about computers and other high tech devices. Especially cameras!

Serendipity is about everything. What I think about. Read. Big and little stuff in my world. It’s what I hope you’ll like to read about. Think about. Laugh about. I will show you pictures of my home, my valley. I will do my best to capture the seasons and how sunlight filters through trees.

About the book

Fighting the of demons of an abusive childhood and having given up on traditional paths to personal salvation, Maggie decides to find her own path … by building a teepee in her back yard. It’s a peculiar route, but her goal is simple: offload the cargo of her past and move into a future, sans luggage. Armed with a draw knife and a sense of humor, she peels poles and paints canvas until winter passes and she is free.

One of the reviews for the book

Cordelia’s Mom 5.0 out of 5 stars Cordelia’s Mom Recommends January 11, 2016

I wasn’t sure what to expect from this book. I’ve been following Marilyn Armstrong’s blog “Serendipity” for a couple of years and figured any book written by her would be a winner. I wasn’t wrong. Admittedly, this book is hard to read in spots because it deals with Marilyn’s long-term struggle to exorcise the demons of her childhood and young adulthood. Throughout the book, she tries to forgive her father, and at times her mother, for the abuse she and her brother suffered. After surviving such a childhood, she was then beset by ill health. Many others would have simply given up at that point, but Marilyn fought her battles.

Years later, she decided to build a teepee so that her granddaughter could have a private place, but that teepee became Marilyn’s temple instead. I found myself rooting for her at each step of the construction of the teepee, which had become Marilyn’s symbol for inner peace. Marilyn also deals with her decision to leave the Jewish faith and convert to Christianity, a heavy subject indeed, but one she handles beautifully. I would definitely recommend this book – and should any producers be reading this review, can also envision it as a thought-provoking screenplay.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/12-Foot-Teepee-Marilyn-Armstrong-ebook/dp/B008AA3BHQ

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/12-Foot-Teepee-Marilyn-Armstrong-ebook/dp/B008AA3BHQ

Find more reviews on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21228963-the-12-foot-teepee

Connect to Marilyn

Website: https://teepee12.com/marilyn-armstrongs-page/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/fivedawgz

My thanks to Marilyn for allowing me access to her archives and I hope that you will head over to explore them further. Sally

 

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #PotLuck – Marilyn Armstrong’s Favourite Year – 1969


This is the second post from the archives of the eclectic blog of writer Marilyn Armstrong and I have selected this one from 2014 because I think most of us have a favourite, stand out year. For me it was 1985 when the two of us headed off to Texas with a couple of suitcases and several misconceptions, to spend an extraordinary two years, meeting great people, traveling the country and spreading our wings.  I am sure that Marilyn would love to hear what about your favourite year.

Marilyn’s Favourite Year – 1969 (2014)

1969 was the year I learned to fly. The world was happening and I was part of it while everything changed.
Apollo 11

Neil Armstrong walked on the moon in July 1969. I was a new mommy with a 2 months old baby boy. Home with the baby, not working or in school. I had time to see it. We watched it on CBS. Walter Cronkite wanted to be up there too. Up there, with Neil and the rest of Apollo 11. He could barely control his excitement, almost in tears, his voice breaking with emotion. The great Arthur C. Clarke was his guest for the historic broadcast.

Neil Armstrong died last year. He had a good life. Unlike so many others who fell from grace, he remained an honorable man: a real American hero. How I envied him his trip to the moon. I always tell Garry no man will ever take me from him, but if the Mother Ship drops by to offer me a trip to the stars, I’m outta here. I’m getting a bit long in the tooth, but if they could do it on Cocoon, maybe there’s hope for me, too. Maybe we can go together. To paraphrase Wendy in Peter Pan, “That would be a very great adventure.”

woodstock-1

Woodstock was just a month away and there were rumors flying about this amazing rock concert which would happen in upstate New York. Friends had tickets and were planning to go. I was busy with the baby. I wished them well.

There were hippies giving out flowers in the Haight-Ashbury area of San Francisco. I didn’t envy anyone. I was happy that year, probably happier than I’d ever been and freer than I’d ever be again.

I was young, healthy. I believed we would change the world, end war. Make the world a better place. I was still of the opinion the world could be changed. All we had to do was love one another, join together to make it happen. Vietnam was in high gear, but we believed it would end any day. Though we soon found out how terribly wrong we were, for a little bit of time, we saw the future bright and full of hope.

I had a baby boy and I sang “Everything’s Fine Right Now.” It made my baby boy laugh.

It was the year of the Miracle Mets. I watched as they took New York all the way to the top. A World Series win. 1969. What a year. I rocked my son to sleep and discovered Oktoberfest beer. New York went crazy for the Mets. It should have been the Dodgers, but they’d abandoned us for the west coast.

I wore patchwork bell-bottom jeans and rose-tinted spectacles. I had long fringes on my sleeves and a baby on my hip.

Music was wonderful. How young we were! We were sure we could do anything, everything. We would end war and right every wrong. For one year, the stars aligned and everything was good.

Decades passed; youth was a long time ago. The drugs we take control our blood pressure, not our state of consciousness. They aren’t any fun at all.

I worry about Social Security and Medicare and I know I’m not going to fix what’s wrong with the world. I’ve lived a lifetime. My granddaughter is barely younger than I was then. I’ve remarried, lived in another country, owned houses, moved from the city to the country, and partied with a President … but 1969 remains my year.

©Marilyn Armstrong..2014

Please let us know what your favourite year is and why…

About Marilyn Armstrong

I’m a blogging anarchist, a blogger without goals. A writer, photographer. I don’t have a primary focus nor do I want one. I have a lot of interests and write about whatever catches my attention or is most on my mind. Or in the news.

I’m a bit of a geek and I love my high-tech toys. I enjoy writing about computers and other high tech devices. Especially cameras!

Serendipity is about everything. What I think about. Read. Big and little stuff in my world. It’s what I hope you’ll like to read about. Think about. Laugh about. I will show you pictures of my home, my valley. I will do my best to capture the seasons and how sunlight filters through trees.

About the book

Fighting the of demons of an abusive childhood and having given up on traditional paths to personal salvation, Maggie decides to find her own path … by building a teepee in her back yard. It’s a peculiar route, but her goal is simple: offload the cargo of her past and move into a future, sans luggage. Armed with a draw knife and a sense of humor, she peels poles and paints canvas until winter passes and she is free.

One of the reviews for the book

Cordelia’s Mom 5.0 out of 5 stars Cordelia’s Mom Recommends January 11, 2016

I wasn’t sure what to expect from this book. I’ve been following Marilyn Armstrong’s blog “Serendipity” for a couple of years and figured any book written by her would be a winner. I wasn’t wrong. Admittedly, this book is hard to read in spots because it deals with Marilyn’s long-term struggle to exorcise the demons of her childhood and young adulthood. Throughout the book, she tries to forgive her father, and at times her mother, for the abuse she and her brother suffered. After surviving such a childhood, she was then beset by ill health. Many others would have simply given up at that point, but Marilyn fought her battles.

Years later, she decided to build a teepee so that her granddaughter could have a private place, but that teepee became Marilyn’s temple instead. I found myself rooting for her at each step of the construction of the teepee, which had become Marilyn’s symbol for inner peace. Marilyn also deals with her decision to leave the Jewish faith and convert to Christianity, a heavy subject indeed, but one she handles beautifully. I would definitely recommend this book – and should any producers be reading this review, can also envision it as a thought-provoking screenplay.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/12-Foot-Teepee-Marilyn-Armstrong-ebook/dp/B008AA3BHQ

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/12-Foot-Teepee-Marilyn-Armstrong-ebook/dp/B008AA3BHQ

Find more reviews on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21228963-the-12-foot-teepee

Connect to Marilyn

Website: https://teepee12.com/marilyn-armstrongs-page/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/fivedawgz

My thanks to Marilyn for allowing me access to her archives and I hope that you will head over to explore them further. Sally