I’m back after approximately 6 years. Where have I been? Living my life, moving around, getting older. Speaking of getting older, a few months ago I celebrated my 65th birthday. Alone. The first time in my life I was completely alone on my birthday. Thank you, COVID-19, for screwing up such a milestone birthday. Even so, I had a good day. Family and friends were in abundance through calls, texts, cards, and gifts.

I had plenty of time to reflect on time. At 65, I may have another 5, 10, 15, 20, or even 25 years left. At this age, who knows? Since I don’t have a clue, I’m going to spend some time here on this WP blog to fill in the last 6 years and maybe do a little planning for the future.

Right now, maybe a weekly blog post would be enough and not bore my family and friends to death. If you are still with me, thank you! See you next week!

Miss Marly

P.S. I’m in sunny Florida where it is much warmer than my home in IL, but cold for FL. Brrrr…

An Open Apology To Dolly Parton 

Beautiful apology and admiration for Dolly.


Dear Dolly,

10040291_300x300I’ll be honest. I used to think you were a bimbo. I used to think you flaunted your big boobs, teased hair, tiny waist, and your syrupy-sweet southern accent just to sell yourself and your brand as a country singer. Granted, I was raised in the Midwest and lived as an adult for many years in the Northeast. I didn’t get you, much less the South.

For example, I’d heard about your origins as a poor girl from the hills of East Tennessee, and when I learned you’d created a theme park in your native Sevier County I rolled my eyes. “Really, a theme park?” I thought. “As if rollercoasters will really help the people of rural Appalachia. Why not create something truly useful to give back to your community, like a library.”


You have created a library, actually, and possibly in a bigger and more…

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Fan Friday—Abortion

My views exactly.

Robin Writes

Yes, I’m going there, because the whole “issue” pisses me off no end. Otherwise intelligent women are blah, blah, blah-ing about “my body, my choice.”

Yep, your choice. To be made BEFORE YOU HAVE SEX. Yes, birth control can fail—abstinence will never fail. Very, very few women, relatively speaking, become pregnant from rape or incest. Not that it can’t happen, but statistically, it’s rare.

Even so, why should an innocent child suffer? Why compound the crime of rape or incest with murder?

Oh, wait—you say it’s just a clump of cells? A “fetus.”

Do you even know what that word means?

From Webster: a human being or animal in the later stages of development before it is born; a developing human.

It’s so not like removing a part of your own body, a tumor, a mole, whatever. It’s a removing a LIFE.

Sex is fun, enjoyable, a blast, whatever you…

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Prep Monday—How Much is Enough?

From my friend, Robin, Tidwell, some great tips on avoiding mice. I hate mice. A lot. I really hate mice.

Robin Writes

Last week, I talked about how much food to grow. Today, I’m going to list some other supplies that you might want to stock up on, maybe even some things you hadn’t thought about purchasing or storing.

Let’s look at the basics. Everyone uses toilet paper, but how MUCH do you use? That’s where you start, with every item you plan to store.

We use about 2-3 rolls per week, which comes to maybe 10 rolls a month. With 114 rolls in the supply closet, we’re good for nearly a year.

Because we have messy pets, we go through maybe one roll of paper towels a week—by the way, I use regular dish towels and older kitchen hand towels for many things, such as letting garden vegies dry after rinsing; you can too. Paper towels are handy, but you could certainly get by without them if you had to. We…

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Prep Monday—Politics

My friend, Robin Tidwell, does a much better job of describing this situation than I ever could.

Robin Writes

My husband asked me yesterday what I thought would happen, vis a vis SHTF, regarding the upcoming election. Well, that’s a loaded question . . .

Some of you will likely be offended by what I have to say, some won’t, but I’m not directing this personally to anyone. Not even really going to discuss the candidates. So, read on:

If Trump is elected, I suspect things will be quite dicey during the time between the election and inauguration—remember, that’s nearly three months. And as president, Trump can still only do so much, as a lot depends on Congress and to which side the aisle is tilted.

I think that we’ll see more protests and more violence.

Now, if you’re not in an area where these things tend to increase, i.e., urban, you might think you’ll be just dandy. However, while physically safe, you can be hurt in other ways.

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Prep Monday—Taking Back America

Yes. This.

Robin Writes

I know the left makes fun of the phrase “taking back America,” mostly because, no, things weren’t rosy for everyone back in the day. But to me it means that many things WERE better then, for everyone:

Prices were more reasonable, even considering inflation.
Kids were actually disciplined.
Kids were taught the basics in school, and yes, memorization worked.
No one freaked out about what the kids were doing outside all day.
Products were made in America, and that means
Jobs were in manufacturing, not the service industry, and that means
People did less sitting on their asses pushing papers and were more active and therefore
We were healthier as a whole, in spite of smoking being cool, because we ate
Real food instead of crap.
At any rate, we didn’t worry about it, so there’s that, because we didn’t have
24/7 news and information—we were only concerned about shit…

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Fan Friday—Let’s Talk about Protesting

This blogger is a friend of mine. I agree with her views on this 100%. We MUST speak out against injustice.

Robin Writes

A lot of protesting in the news the last few years, like Ferguson and Baltimore, the Bundy stand-off; just to name two. And people can argue both sides, all day long. I’ve talked about Ferguson, particularly since it’s so close to me, and I’ve tried to be fair and to boil things down to the facts themselves without emotion.

I haven’t really looked into the Bundy situation—people, again, argue both sides and it’s hard for me to know where the truth lies. I draw the line, however, at making fun of anyone protesting, anyone who believes, in their hearts, that they’re right.

Notice I said the protestors, not the armchair gurus. They’re fair game.

The other night, a friend called me, absolutely beside herself and very angry over the treatment of a another individual whom she knows well. I do not know this person, but I DO know my friend…

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Castles and Cobblestones – My Journey to Europe, Part Eight

Europe092014 090Windsor Castle is the largest continuously occupied castle in the world, having been occupied over the last 1000 years. Currently, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip spend most weekends here. The castle compound sits at the edge of the town of Windsor, which houses most of the castle’s employees. The grounds and buildings are huge with a central round tower high above the Thames.

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The grounds are gorgeous with rich, full plantings around the tower and moat gardens like the one below. (Picture from tripadvisor.uk.)


September was a good time to visit. The gardens were still lovely, the grass green, and the temperature warm. There is a lot to see and do at Windsor. Besides the round tower, which is also called The Keep, tourists are able to see the State Apartments. The Royal Family uses the State Apartments to entertain.


St. George’s Hall is full of history. In 1992, a fire, believed to have started in nearby St. George’s Chapel, destroyed the Hall and over 100 other rooms. Within five years, the damaged areas were rebuilt and reopened to the public. I cannot describe the magnificence of this place. I spent the day completely overwhelmed by the art, the furnishings, the fabrics, etc. I was a long way from Illinois.



St. George’s chapel was a holy experience for me. Inside, it was cool and quiet. The chapel is still used for worship today. Along the outer walls lie the sarcophagi of various Royals. This is a picture of the Dean of Wellesley’s from the St. George Archives.One can’t help but have a sense of reverence while walking around this chapel next to these ancestors.


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Another special exhibit and much less depressing was the Queen’s Dollhouse. I love dollhouses and have one myself – unfinished at the moment, of course. The Queen’s Dollhouse was a gift to Queen Mary in the early 1920s and is three stories tall, furnished in minute detail as an exact replica of an aristocratic Edwardian home down to real miniature toilet paper. I attempted pictures, but they all had a glare.I need a photography course in the worst way.

A day at Windsor wouldn’t be complete without stopping by the gift shop. I found just the right thing, a silver crown charm for my bracelet. I may not be royalty, but I’ve often been called “the queen.” I’ll take what I can get. 😉

Windsor is only 30 miles from London. Promise me you will take a day to visit the castle when you get to England.

Thoughts on A Christmas Story

Who else has never seen the heartwarming and hilarious movie, A Christmas Story?  I held out until today.  No reason why, just never bothered to watch it.  Last week, a friend loaned me her DVD copy and insisted I make time to watch it.  Thank you, Diane, for the pure pleasure of a family movie on a rainy afternoon.

Set in the 1940s, Ralphie lives in an old-fashioned neighborhood with two-story houses, cute bungalows, big trees in the front yard and a grade school within walking distance.

The perfect family with a dad, mom and two kids.  Mom is a homemaker and cooks a full breakfast before school.  Oatmeal, scrambled eggs, bacon and a stack of toast with a glass of milk.  I doubt that is done today in any home.  After school, the kids walk home, dad comes home from work, and mom in her full apron serves a full dinner from the stove.

Meatloaf, mashed potatoes and cooked purple cabbage.  Have you ever eaten boiled purple cabbage?  I haven’t, but I love cabbage.  It might be good.

Typical of the times, dad is head of the household and mom hops to it when he barks.  I love nostalgia, but I really wanted to smack dad in the back of the head with a frying pan a time or two.

Ralphie is a typical boy and gets into mischief frequently.  When he flipped the car’s hubcap holding the lug nuts and said, “Oh, fuck”, my jaw dropped!  Kids said that in the 1940s?  Really?  The bar of soap he got as punishment was no surprise though.  I remember my own mom doing the same thing to me with a gold bar of Dial soap.  Like Ralphie, I think I am permanently damaged by the soap.  Nasty stuff.

Christmas time was still magic, kids waiting all year to get that one special thing.  In Ralphie’s case, that was the “genuine Red Ryder 200-shot Carbine Action Air Rifle” better known as a BB gun.  “Kid, you’ll shoot your eye out” was the refrain from every adult in Ralphie’s life, even his teacher, who gave him only a C+ on the theme paper about the Red Ryder.  Poor Ralphie, would he get the gun?

While Ralphie is waiting and wondering, good old dad is beside himself with joy.  He won an award, a great prize from a crossword puzzle contest.  What would it be?  He could hardly wait to find out.  The prize arrived in a huge wooden crate marked FRAGILE.  Much to his delight and his wife’s shame, the prize turned out to be the stockinged leg lamp.  OMG!  It was hideous.  The ugliest lamp ever made, but dad loved it so much he insisted on placing it in the front window in all its glory.  I doubt I could have been as nice as his wife.  That lamp would have gone to the garage in a nanosecond and never seen again.

Christmas Eve arrived, and the boys were sent to bed.  I loved the beautiful blue chenille bedspread on Ralphie’s bed, as well as his mom’s long chenille bathrobe.  Dad’s plaid flannel robe reminded me of one in my own closet right now.

Such pretty, old-style things in this movie.  Clothes, houses, furniture.  I loved them all.  The Christmas tree?  Not so much.  I’m pretty picky about my Christmas trees.

The one thing I appreciate most about now rather than then is electrical service.  Sparks, flames, and blown fuses were often a part of Christmas decorating.  The

old-fashioned fuse boxes couldn’t handle the Christmas lights.  I’m pretty happy with my circuit breakers.

A Christmas Story took me back in time this afternoon to a simpler, softer time where Santa was real and children and parents alike believed.  I found this movie heartwarming and hilarious.

Did Ralphie get the Red Ryder?  You’ll have to watch the movie to find out.

I hope your December is filled with good memories of your childhood Christmases and good times both then and now.