A Week In Which A Mellow Bean Lets It Go

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I’m hiding in our home office this morning.  Adjacent to the foyer and away from the kitchen, it’s a room with French doors that I can close when need be.

Like today, for instance.

This is a morning when I’m trying to ignore the dreadful whiny motor sound of our dishwasher as it cleans the dishes.  Our dishwasher has, of late, become cantankerous.  Still doing that which is asked of it, but making certain that I know that it’s working hard to do so.

Old age affects us all in different ways, I suppose.

This week I’ve spent more time in the home office, or study as the builder referred to it, than usual.  Fortunately it’s a lovely room replete with my desk, my computer, a large over-filled bookcase, a funky old occasional chair and, of course, a potted pothos so that there’s another living organism in here with me.  It’s a writerly space.

From here I’ve watched this week’s happenings around Chez Bean.

I’ve overseen the AC being serviced, the windows being washed, the plumbing being inspected, the neighbor’s tree being cut down while using our driveway as a service road to get to their tree, and the gutters being cleaned out.

I’m exhausted from all of this work!  ;-)

But you see, that’s what’s going on around here.  Me, simply letting go, watching optimistically as other people and machines accomplish things.  While I research + write stories and essays that may, or may not, find their way into this blog.

If life is best lived by focusing on how you do things, then this week I’m one mellow positive bean, letting it all get done one way or another without my interference.

Come what may.

A Report From The Sidelines Re: Neighbor Vs. Birds

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[Note to readers: we live in a neighborhood with homes built on wooded ravine lots.  With many trees.  In which birds build nests, as they are wont to do.  These are facts.]

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The neighbor woman who lives behind us has upped her anti-bird campaign.  She’s still out to chase all the birds away from her property, but she has a new tactic.

Now, in addition to her shouting and noise-making, she has begun to place bright shiny silver & red metallic streamers in her trees.

• • •

She wanders around her backyard throwing these streamers up into the air near tree branches.  Then when a streamer gets caught on a tree branch she loosely ties it to the branch, leaving yards of streamer fluttering in the wind.

This means that when the sun shines and hits the moving streamers, her backyard has bright lights randomly twinkling.  It reminds me of an old-fashioned used car lot, which I guess she thinks is a turn-off for birds.

• • •

I find this new behavior alternately entertaining or annoying.

What entertains me is that her neighbors on the property immediately beside her have put a large bird feeder on a shepherd’s hook.  They’ve positioned the shepherd’s hook in such a way that she’ll see the bird feeder ever time she steps outside onto her deck, but they cannot see it from their deck.

Don’t you just love passive-aggressive behavior?

• • •

However, what annoys me is that when the streamers are twinkling their brightest the light from them is strong enough to be noticed on our TV screen.  Inside the house.  Across the ravine.

Meaning that if we happen to be watching something on TV, our show has little sparkly red dots of color superimposed on it.  It’s kind of like stroking out without going to the bother of having a stroke.

Now how strange is that?

A Conversation In Which I Learn Something About E-book Readers, I Guess

Make no assumptions…

IT’S BEEN STORMY here this week.  Some days the sky has been as dark at 11:00 a.m. as it is at 11:00 p.m.  This weather phenomenon has been the talk wherever I go.

As you would imagine.

ONE THING THAT I’ve learned during these exceptionally dark mid-days is that my Kindle Paperwhite does what it claims that it’ll do.  That is, it automatically adjusts to the changing light conditions, making reading an easy pleasant experience.

I’m rather impressed by this.

SO I’M CHIT-CHATTING with two acquaintances, a man and a woman both in their early 50s.  And I mention, in passing, as a way of having something topical to say, that I’ve enjoyed my Kindle during these dark days.  And both of my acquaintances said: “what’s a Kindle?”

They did not know about e-book readers.  Any of them.

I WAS STUNNED, and started trying to explain what a Kindle is– what e-book readers are– how you use them– the different brands of them.  Et cetera, et cetera.  But while I talked, hoping to inform, these two seemingly normal people just stared at me like I was talking Martian gibberish.  Which to them, I was.

Can you even imagine? 

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[Hello FTC!  Please note: I’m opining here about an object that I bought with my own monies and just happen to like.  I received no compensation of any sort for this review, such as it is.  I mean really, who would pay me to say this?]

Tweeted Twaddle: A Blog Post “Written” Without Doing Much Of Anything

•  I can’t see straight today.  My April allergies are in full swing making my eyes itchy & watery.  This happens every year, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it.  Now does it?

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•  Because I refuse to stop reading while my vision is blurry, I have set my Kindle’s font to old-people-rheumy-eyed large.  It’s a feature on there. Really.

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•  Naturally, while reading I became a bit peckish so I tried a new-to-me snack.  I did not like it, so I had to share this fact on Twitter.  That’s what Twitter is for, right?

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•  So in closing of this eclectic [some would say filler] post, I leave you, my gentle readers, with this tweet of creative writing in which I summarize what I wish was going on outside today.  Because a girl can dream. Yes?

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The Bean Abides

A Poem on the Occasion of the Beginning of my 12th Year in the Blogosphere

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• • •

I started small because I didn’t know,

What to expect from this blogging show.

My friends in real life ignored my blog dream,

It made me so mad that I wanted to scream.

But continuing on I wrote each day,

Knowing that others would head this way.

• • •

My mantra simple, my goals were clear:

Give the readers a story to cheer.

“I will not whine, nor over-share,

I will show up and rarely swear.

I am authentic, I refuse to mock, 

I enjoy learning, and taking stock.”

• • •

Perspicacious am I, willing to share,

Light of heart, but still I care.

Nuanced and nutty, in equal part,

I have been quirky, right from the start.

Stick-to-itiveness, I think you’ll agree,

Is the word that best describes me.

• • •

Free-spirited, niche-less, with content well-written,

Yet editors varied with me are not smitten.

No Freshly Pressed badge, will you see here,

It seems what I write, they just do not hear.

But now gentle readers, in you I confide,

No matter what happens, the Bean will abide.

• • •

A special thanks to la peregrina at Santiago Dreaming who’s been here with me from the beginning AND to Margaret at Stargazer who’s been around here for almost as long.  You both paid attention to me when no one else did– and helped me, a reserved introvert, gain the confidence to keep on writing.  Love you both.

[H/T to D. Parker at yadadarcyyada whose wonderful post “Why I Will Never Be Freshly Pressed” put me in a mind to write this poem.]

In The Spirit Of Gardening, I Am

IMG_0008We have no pansies in our planting beds this spring.

I don’t know where my mind was last fall, but it wasn’t on planning ahead for pops of color, courtesy of pansies, around the house.

My bad.

No, instead, the little bit of color that we have in the planting beds is from a few bedraggled, unenthusiastic, ancient daffodils who look like they’re huddled together outside taking a smoke.

If they could speak, they’d be talking in an old guy NJ accent, asking each other for a light.  “Hey, Murray!  You got a lighter over dere?  Whatcha say you lets me use it.  Tanks, buddy.”

I feel that I’m working with the landscape crew in spirit.

The crew started our spring cleanup yesterday, but it takes them a day or two to complete our property.  When we used to do the clean up ourselves it took us at least 4 weekend days, working together for 8 hours each day, to get this yard looking snazzy.

Too much for us.

So today while the crew is making things tidy outside, I’m inside perusing garden websites and gardening catalogues.  It’s amazing how many plants and garden doodads we need when I apply myself to the task of helping the landscape crew in this way.

And that, kids, is what’s going on around here.  I’m waiting for the big reveal after the landscape crew finishes, feeling that this expensive indulgence is worth the price.  And I’m grooving on the idea that when you get down to it, middle age has its perks.  

A Quiet Sunday Afternoon At Home With A Patient On The Mend

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“Ms. Bean, what the heck are you doing this weekend? I see you messing around with frozen peas. Now if it was peanuts I’d understand, but peas? Please explain, I’m all ears.”

•  Looking out the window today I see, beyond an inquisitive squirrel staring in at me, a spring day filled with pale blue sky above leafless gray trees.  A couple of daffodils have made their appearance in the yard, but the forsythia bushes are showing no sign of joining the daffs.

Outside the temperature is in the upper 30s/lower 40s, which is more wintry than springy.  However, I’m not going anywhere today so the weather can do that which it wants to do without me whining about it.

As if I have any control over it to begin with.

•  I’m at home today looking after Zen-Den who had surgery [to correct ptosis] on his eyes on Friday.  His recuperation is going well.  He’s walking around the inside of the house without any trouble, able to see well enough to play Farm Heroes on his iPhone.

And beginning to get bored with the 20 minutes on/20 minutes off post-surgery eye icing schedule.  No longer do the little plastic bags of frozen peas, used to ice his eyes, charm him with their whimsical healing properties.

No, he’s leaning toward grumpy now– and I fear that he’d rather eat the peas than wear them.  But I persevere and follow him around with the little green ice packs, forcing him to use them for at least 10 minutes on/30 minutes off.

This schedule will have to do.

•  And with that I’m off to bake some banana bread.  The surgeon’s office did not specifically mention it as necessary for a proper recuperation, but I figure it can’t hurt.  Zen-Den loves it– and it might just be the thing to coerce him into cooperating with me and those damned little plastic bags of frozen peas.

“If you sit still with your pea packs on for 20 minutes, then you can have a big slice of banana bread afterwards.  Now wouldn’t that be nice?”

Later, kids.  Much to do.