All posts by Ally Bean

Quirky. Funny. Curious. With a twist of attitude. And the ability to write about it.

4 Grouchy Reasons Why April Is My Least Favorite Month

 I’m allergic to April.  The pollen from the trees makes me itch & sneeze.  The mold spores, that magically appear after the snow melts, make me itch & sneeze.  And the dust mites?  Don’t even get me started.  They’re everywhere I want to be outside, like on the porch furniture and terra-cotta pots and the mailbox.  Everywhere I tell you.

 I’m not a fan of Easter because the stupid holiday moves around the calendar and as much as I try to be a good sport about it, this behavior seems rude to me.  Easter, just pick a Sunday and stick with it.  That way I’d have a clue about when to buy a ham and some asparagus– maybe a pineapple, too.  But as it now stands Easter’s laissez-faire attitude thwarts me, and I rarely manage to make a special holiday dinner.

  I’m not thrilled with the whole “pay your taxes” part of April.  While I’m happy to be an American citizen and understand why I’m paying taxes, doing so does tend to make me a bit grouchy.  I think that it does for everyone, but maybe not.  Perhaps there’s some whack-a-doodle who enjoys giving money to the government.  Probably has her own reality TV show, too.

 And my final reason for not liking April is that I have to acknowledge that my pasty white legs, which are getting chubbier every year, look more and more like uncooked bratwursts.  During the fall and winter I can hide my legs, but every April when I put on my first pair of shorts for the year I discover that my legs look awful– and it comes as a shock to me every single time.  *humph*

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Grouches of the world unite!
Stand up for your grouchly rights!
Don’t let the sunshine spoil your rain
Just stand up and complain.

Let this be the grouches’ cause:
Point out everybody’s flaws!
Something is wrong with everything
Except the way I sing!

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My Report On Periwinkles, A Spring Flower That Is Often Overlooked


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I call these vines, which are growing in the shady area around the base of our deck, Periwinkles.  Currently the lavender-blue flowers, which contrast so beautifully with the dark green leaves, are in bloom.

Aren’t they pretty?

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“Originally a native of southern Europe,… ‘Periwinkle’ is thought to be an old Slavic word, pervinka, meaning ‘first’ and referring to the early spring flowers.”

~ C. Colston Burrell

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A few years ago when the landscapers put these Periwinkles around the deck, a little plastic gardening tag embedded in each of the plants told me that they were called Vinca minornot Periwinkles.  Since then I’ve come to realize that sometimes these trailing vines + flowers are also called myrtle.

Such a humble plant to have three names.

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“Periwinkle vines gently embrace one another, clinging gently to their surroundings, and therefore are associated with fidelity in folk magic.”

Feri Tradition

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According to the Victorian language of flowers, Periwinkles mean early friendship.  This makes sense to me because they bloom early and because they look approachable & non-threatening.

Who doesn’t feel comfortable around simple little flowers on sturdy vines?

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“Through primrose tufts, in that green bower, The periwinkle trailed its wreaths; And ’tis my faith that every flower Enjoys the air it breathes.”

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I’m glad that I snapped a photo of these little flowers.  They’re easy to take for granted.  I imagine that it’s difficult to be a periwinkle, especially when you are surrounded by showy daffodils, pushy tulips & spazzy forsythia who get all the springtime attention.

Makes me adore Periwinkles even more.

But Of Course I’m Always Logical…

Here’s something that I came across while searching online for something else.

[Yes, I allow myself to get off-topic while doing research online.  Life is not always a straight path, people.  And I tend to find the best things when I'm not looking for them.]

I find this chart fascinating because I know that these sorts of fallacies have been used against me– and that I have used these sorts of fallacies against others.

We’re not all saints, are we?

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Screen Shot 2014-04-09 at 9.37.59 AM

 { source: }

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Reading through these fallacies I realized that two of them stood out to me as a blogger.  First there is ad hominem*, which also might be called The Troll Manifesto.

Screen Shot 2014-04-09 at 9.42.07 AM

And second there is anecdotal**, which might be in reality, The Personal Blogger Mission Statement.  Especially that part about dismissing statistics!  ;-)

Screen Shot 2014-04-09 at 9.40.18 AM

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* Ad hominem is defined here as: “Attacking your opponent’s character or personal traits in an attempt to undermine their argument.”

** Anecdotal is defined here as: “Using personal experience or an isolated example instead of a valid argument, especially to dismiss statistics.” 

Odds & Ends

::  The daffodils that we planted last autumn are up now.  Known as Gigantic Stars, they have been a rousing disappointment.  The bulbs that have managed to bloom are a whopping 8-10″ high.  Whether we planted them wrong [ain't hardly likely] or whether the winter took its toll on these bulbs [could be possible], I don’t know.

All I know is that tall beauties, they are NOT.

::  A few months ago I bought a Clarisonic Mia 2.  It’s a rechargeable,  face-washing device.  Rather cute, actually.  I’d read about it and wondered if it was worth the price.  Well I gotta tell ‘ya that for me, it has been great.  In fact, when I went to the salon for a haircut the woman who has cut my hair for years commented that my skin looked so much clearer.

So there you have, proof positive that this device is worth the cost.  ;-)

::  I am a lousy ironer.  Z-D, on the other hand, is a marvelous ironer.  So last night, while watching the final March Madness game, Mr. Man was ironing his pants.  While doing so, unbeknownst to him, a stink bug was inside a pant leg and Zen-Den ironed the stink bug– thereby killing it.  Mr. Man didn’t squish the bug as much as he flattened it, meaning there was no stink.

The things you learn…

::  Over the weekend we finished watching Torchwood.  [Spoilers, Sweetie]  The last year of the series, Miracle Day, took place in America and was a darker story– much less Dr. Who-ish.  I enjoyed it, if only to see Wayne Knight [Newman from Seinfeld] play a heavy [figuratively] and to find out that Captain Jack Harkness is, indeed, indestructible.  But there was lots of violence & blood– and a disturbing, but believable, plot line that did not reflect well on the human race.

I’ll be thinking on this one for a while.

[Hello FTC!  I think that you know by now that when I recommend something I have not been given this something by the manufacturer.  No, I'm just saying, in my opinion, I liked it.  So we're good FTC, right?] 

Springtime: Musings On A Season’s Return


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Spring weather is variable.  Today it’s wet + gray + cold.  Drab.

On Sunday it was sunshine + blue skies + mild.  Lovely.  In fact, it was so pleasant outside that we went to a nature preserve and wandered around an old farmstead that is there.

After a Winter spent inside looking out, the freshness of the day inspired me, charmed me.  The new sights. The idea of possibility.

As a rule I don’t enjoy beginnings, but Spring is a season that forces me out of my comfort zone.  And despite its unpredictable weather, Spring entices me, reassures me with fresh starts, beautiful colors and the promise of growth.

So how about you, gentle readers?  What is there about Spring that speaks to you?

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