Because You Asked I Answer YOUR 4 Questions. Got Anymore?

I’d hoped to have beautiful fall photos to share this week, but we’ve had an unusually warm fall and the trees have barely begun to turn colors. It’s not so pretty yet.   

Instead I’ll toss this out here. I was working on this before I took my break, intending on joining with other bloggers who were doing this. That is, asking for then answering, your questions.

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1: DID YOU EVER GET YOUR HAIR CUT?

I finally got my hair cut with Janelle. That’s the good news. The bad news is that she’s retiring, so it was a bittersweet appointment. We finally saw each other after all these pandemic months to laugh together one last time, then say good-bye probably forever.

2: WHY HAVE YOU BEGUN TO OCCASIONALLY USE ALL CAPITAL LETTERS IN YOUR WRITING?

Earlier this year a friend with lousy eyesight suggested that I needed to use more capital letters in my writing, spelling entire words with them. She knew they’re considered shouting, but she also likes to be able to read text easily.

I thought about her suggestion and realized she made a good point about visual clarity on little screens. Thus I  determined that quiet little me could, and should, shout more, but not all the time in an exhausting way, just sometimes for emphasis.

And you know what? I’ve learned IT’S FUN TO SHOUT.

3: IS ZEN-DEN A BUDDHIST?

No, Z-D isn’t a Buddhist. Like me he’s a lapsed Presbyterian. His nickname comes from my college roommate who used to call him Den-Den. Once he and I married I began to call him Zen-Den because of his ability to listen to my overwrought angst-ridden woes, then summarize my problem in one short sentence, like a Zen koan.

4: DOES THE DRAGON HAVE A NAME?

Kind of, maybe, probably yes. [Photos of him here and here]

You see, at first I tried to name him using this how to create a dragon name formula, but that name didn’t roll off the tongue. So in a post introducing my video directorial debut I asked you, my gentle readers, to name him. There were many great ideas, however none of them stuck.

In the meantime, whilst I was on my quixotic quest for a profoundly meaningful dragon name, Z-D began to refer to him, quite simply, as Drags. While not the most highbrow name, I’ll admit it suits this goofy dragon.

Thus he’s now known as Drags.

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Do you have more questions for me? Leave them in the comments below and I’ll try to answer them to your satisfaction. 

Move Over Grand Theft Auto, Pondering A Real-life Armed Robbery In Our Neighborhood

Because sometimes odd unexpected things happen…

Last week I learned that there was an armed robbery in this subdivision.  We’ve lived here over 20 years and this is a first.  I learned about it formally from the HOA [Homeowner Association] + informally from the neighborhood grapevine.

The robbery took place in the early evening and involved two men with guns stealing a new Volvo from a neighbor’s open garage.  It’s my understanding that the house security system with alarms and cameras wasn’t on at the time.

The neighbor heard noise in the garage, went to investigate, and found the robbery in process.  He was not hurt physically, although I cannot say how it affected him emotionally.  I don’t know him personally to ask him.

The police haven’t found his car and the men who stole it.  As of today this remains an open case.  My guess is it’ll never be solved, but will become part of the folklore of this large subdivision of 800+ homes.

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A place to ponder. Drinking a mug of coffee while sitting on the deck on a foggy autumn morning.

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It’s easy, and perhaps natural, to start thinking about why this robbery took place, to make up stories that might explain it.  I’m motivated by my need to make sense of this, to try to understand it.

It could be as straightforward as it seems.  The robbers who were driving a Volvo [and isn’t that interesting?] saw an opportunity to steal another one and took it.  It was a crime of opportunity, no advance planning.

This would be my preferred scenario.

Or it could be that the neighbor was working in league with the robbers, intending on splitting the insurance money.  After all, no one except the neighbor saw these two men, allegedly with guns, and because the security system cameras weren’t on at the time there’s no way to corroborate his story.

Or it could be that the neighbor owes money to someone, a bookie perhaps, and that someone arranged for payment in the form of his car.  Things like that happen in this world.  I watch police procedural TV shows;  I know things.

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A view while pondering. Looking out from the deck into the backyard on a foggy autumn morning.

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I’ve been trying to decide what I think about this robbery, discern how it makes me feel.  I’m not stressed by it.  I’m not worried about being safe. Instead I’m indifferent to it.

Is that peculiar?  Shouldn’t I be more panicked?

Of course, as Zen-Den pointed out, we always keep our garage doors closed plus no one wants to steal my 18 year old Honda.  Or his 5 year old one.  A fast risk-benefit analysis confirms his logic.  

Ain’t gonna happen.

Plus this robbery isn’t going to stop me from going for walks around this neighborhood.  If nothing else we might be safer now that more sheriffs are driving through here on a more regular basis.

From their point of view, we’re the place to be.

So that’s where I find myself this morning, hoping this is a one-off, an aberration and not the beginning of a trend.  I’m amazed that I’m writing about something so out of the ordinary that it doesn’t seem feasible, yet it happened.

And that’s all there is to it.

Comments, anyone? How would this make you feel?

The One About Improving Myself: Three Books And A Pie

HELLO!

When last we spoke I was languishing during this region’s second hottest summer on record.  You see, I’m not a “hot weather is great” person. Daily temperatures over 90ºF do me in, quickly.

BUT now that the weather in my part of the northern hemisphere has turned autumnal and cool and fresh + the final 2021 Mercury retrograde is over, I’m feeling more focused on getting my act together and doing things, good things, again.

At the risk of sounding cliche, I love the fall [except for pumpkin spice in coffee– that’s just wrong].  I’m feeling happy and agreeable, relaxed, and open to the idea that with some effort I might be able to become a better me.

It could happen.

Thus I’ve read three self-improvement books AND I made a delicious new-to-me pie.  So without further dithering, and bless you if you’ve read this far, here are the books I read and recommend + the deets about the pie I made.

THREE BOOKS

Don’t Overthink It: Make Easier Decisions, Stop Second-Guessing, and Bring More Joy to Your Life by Anne Bogel

This book is filled with great advice, useful questions that prompt personal insight, simple worksheets, and a positive vibe that didn’t insult my intelligence, while nudging me to get to the heart of what matters to me.

The Writer’s Process: Getting Your Brain in Gear by Anne Janzer

This practical well-researched book explains that there are two aspects to writing: the scribe and the muse.  Each is your writing friend once you know how to engage with them, and therein is the crux of the book.  Pay attention to which part of your brain you’re using as you write that which you must write– and you’ll make progress.

Wake Up to the Joy of You: 52 Meditations and Practices for a Calmer, Happier Life by Agapi Stassinopoulos

This book, a compilation of short essays/personal stories + a meditation for each, focuses on 52 different aspects of life.  The tone of the book is encouraging.  It’s centering, quietly profound, without being icky inspirational sweet. [Hat tip to Nicole at GIRL in a BOY HOUSE for recommending this book.]

ONE PIE

In the photo at the top of this post [and isn’t it a cute one?], the wedge of pie the dragon is about to eat is called Atlantic Beach Pie.  Last summer when I saw the recipe for the pie in Southern Living magazine [LINK HERE] I had to try it.

Had to.

It was easy to make*, tasty if you like lemon-lime flavor, but what makes this pie interesting is that the recipe calls for saltine cracker crumbs.  You use them, not graham cracker crumbs,  when you make the crust.  Now how unusual is that?

AND IN CONCLUSION 

Having said all I can think of to say I shall end this post by asking you, my gentle readers, a few simple questions– because that’s kinda what I do here.

Have you read any self-improvement books lately that you’d recommend?  

Have you made any pies recently?

Have you discovered something unusual in your world?

Tell all in the comments below.  You know you want to.

* If you make the pie I used whole wheat saltines, because that’s what was on hand, and I made 1/3 of the whipped cream which seemed like plenty.  Wedges of the pie froze nicely, tasted great after defrosting at room temperature.

Of Sunflowers & Simplicity: I’m Taking A Break From Blogging

“Wherever life plants you, bloom with grace.”

~ French proverb

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My word of the year is SIMPLIFY so I’m going to do just that.

After a lousy summer filled with rude selfish people, extreme heat + humidity, and the specter of the Delta variant, I’m exhausted.

I’m more than ready for a few weeks, perhaps a month, of rest and rejuvenation.

I want to make like a cheerful sunflower, focusing on positivity and good vibes as I turn to follow the sun.

Thus as part of my way to rekindle my joie de vivre, I’m going to simplify my life by taking a break from blogging.

I’m allowed to do that, my blog, my rules. 

I hope to be back to the blogosphere in October; in the mean time, please stay safe everyone.

And play nice, ok?

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[Comments are closed.]

Not Monkeying Around: A Shocking Admission + 7 Links For Your Edification

Hello Gentle Readers and Kind Lurkers,

While I usually have a story to tell or some research to share here on this blog, that’s not going to happen this week.

You see, I’m tired of writing, don’t feel like doing it this week. Shocking, I know. Perhaps the rigors of blogging have finally gotten to me, assuming I believe that blogging has rigors.

Maybe yes, maybe no?

So instead of my usual weekly flapdoodle & twaddle I’ll share 7 links that I stumbled over in my reading. The links are about a variety of things, interesting things.  

Click on whichever ones you like, then chit-chat with me in the comments below.

Enjoy! 

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• Here is the PORTENT IDEA GENERATOR that “lets you create catchy titles for your next blog post, podcast, or video.”  You want to do that, right?  It’s fun.

• Here is THE WINE COLOR CHART. It’s cool. My favorite wines are Pale Yellow and Medium Ruby with a nod to Medium Garnet. You, too, can find out what your wine color palette looks like.

• Here is the ARE YOU A CONTROL FREAK? QUIZ. My results described me as “you can live and let live” meaning I’m not a control freak. This is one step above the bottom category of control freak tendencies, a category described as “are you being honest?”  

• Here is a drawing that shows the THE CIRCLES OF FRIENDSHIP. It’s intriguing, but according to it, the number of people I should know seems unrealistic, rather high. Decide for yourself.

• Here is the HOW STRONG IS YOUR MIND’S EYE APHANTASIA QUIZ.  Aphantasia is the inability to visualize objects in your mind. Not to brag but I have what they call perfect vision meaning I do not have Aphantasia. “You’re a naturally creative person with a very vivid imagination.” You betcha.

• Here is the OUTDOORSYNESS SCALE that provides you with a way to gage your own level of affinity for being outdoors. I am somewhere between “indoor cat” and “likes nature.”

• Here is an article about FRYING AN EGG ON THE SIDEWALK. I won’t spoil the how-to and what if of the process, but I will say it’s a fascinating read. Something to know, especially if you’re muttering about the summer heat.

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