#CBF17 | See What I Mean? This Is What I Cherish.

I’m joining the Cherished Blogfest here. Cherished Blogfest is open to all bloggers who want to write about something that or someone who they cherish.

I wrote this post last week meaning to join the blogfest over the weekend, but I failed to meet the deadline.

However, with a hat tip to Joanne for letting me know, TPTB* have extended the Cherished Blogfest deadline to Sunday October 22nd so I’m in.  Better late than never! Why not join in, too?

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Little Ally Bean

This is my first grade school photo.

First you’ll notice that the photographer didn’t manage to center me in the frame.  I was a wiggly little girl, so– you know.

Then you’ll notice that my white cotton blouse collar is going one direction while my itchy wool plaid jumper is going in a different direction.

Clothes horse, never been one.

If you’re still looking at the photo, and I do hope that you are, you’ll notice that I’m wearing spectacles.

Eyeglasses.

Granted, they were dorky, unfashionable ones made of the strongest plastic available and were the cheapest ones on the rack at the doctor’s office– but I cherished these glasses.

And here’s why: my vision was lousy and it wasn’t until I got my first pair of spectacles that I actually began to see the world around me.

In detail.

I mean, who knew that the green blob up on top of the tree trunk was actually lots of little green leaves?

Not me.

Or that billboards along the highway had words and faces on them, not just random and abstract colorful smudges?

Again, not me.

Now I realize that many, many kids [and adults] hate eyeglasses– for whatever reasons. But I’m not one of them. I think spectacles are one of the best things on earth, having the power to instantly, safely connect a person with their environment, whether it be natural or bookish.

And because of that power, to this day I cherish my eyeglasses for what they have, and I hope continue to do, for me.

In fact, I respect my spectacles so much I even named my blog after them.  You, my gentle readers, do realize that you’re reading The Spectacled Bean, right? 😎

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* TPTB for this blogfest are: Damyanti Biswas, Dan Antion, Cheryl Pennington, Peter Nena, Sharukh Bamboat, Mary Giese, Kate Powell, and Paul Ruddock

The Rest Of The Story: Answering My Gentle Reader’s Questions

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ARE YOU EVER GOING TO WRITE THE DEFINITIVE PRIMER ON BLOG COMMENTING ETIQUETTE, LIKE YOU SAID YOU MIGHT LAST SUMMER?

I don’t know.  I suppose it depends on how much I want to call out other bloggers on their less-than-stellar behaviors.  I fear that my natural honesty and snark could easily sound passive-aggressive— and that would never do.  So I hesitate.

WHY WERE YOU SO EASY ON THE PAINTERS WHO PAINTED THE FAMILY ROOM THE WRONG COLOR?

I forgave the painters, two guys who are partners, because they’re good men who we’ve had paint other rooms, and their work is perfect.  Yes, perfect.  Our interior designer told one partner what color to use to in each room, but he got the colors mixed up because he was on his way to “the old country” [in Europe] where his father was seriously ill, subsequently passed away.  Mistakes happen, you know?  And they re-painted the family room the right color, so all’s well that ends well.

WHAT’S BECOME OF YOUR NEIGHBOR, CRAZY BIRD LADY?

Crazy Bird Lady has calmed down over the years.  No more banging metal pots to scare birds away.  I saw a man from the HOA in her backyard pulling down all the shiny streamers, talking with her as he did so.  She no longer shouts obscenities at the birds & the neighbors who feed them, and all her weird flower pots are gone.  Now I only hear her when she’s talking to her dog– loudly talking, but saying normal things to her puppy.

WHAT WAS MIRABELLE’S REVENGE?

Mirabelle waited. She knew her mother hated it. Feared it, even.

She heard the shriek, her name being called. Mirabelle tried not to smile but she knew this revenge was perfect.

Mommy was vain. Without her make-up, flushed down the toilet by Mirabelle, she’d have to go to work barefaced.

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Any more questions?
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Modern Life 101: When The Text Wasn’t Meant For You, What Do You Do?

THE OTHER DAY I received text messages from friends that I wasn’t supposed to receive.  I was part of the conversation by accident.

We all know that stuff like this happens.

[In fact, it’s a miracle that when I text with Z-D I don’t accidentally include his sisters on the text.  In my phone, they’re all set up together so that I can send group texts.  Meaning that if I want to just text Z-D alone, I have to scroll down my contacts to find him.

I figure it’s a matter of time before I get distracted and text his sisters with something like: Pizza 🍕? Beer 🍻 too plz. You get dinner 🆗?]

SO, YOU’RE WONDERING IF what I read in these texts was salacious, aren’t you?  Did I get some good dirt on these friends who included me, but didn’t really mean to include me?

Well, no.

The texting was about how much one friend adored the daughter of another friend and how she was so happy to have spent time with the other friend’s daughter.

Gushy Mom Stuff, you know?

[But this texting did remind of something that happened years ago when email was new.  I got BCCed on messages going between two married friends who were, it seemed to me, having a lesbian affair that their husbands didn’t know about.

I didn’t need to know about it either, but there it was.]

ANYHOO, I FIGURE THAT everyone probably has a story about inadvertently learning something about someone else because that someone else made a mistake when using some kind of newfangled communication technology.

Like a text. Or an email. Or a voice mail, if we’re really reaching back in time.

I’m talking about eavesdropping, modern-style.

So, kids, spill the beans.

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What do you know that you’re not supposed to know? How did you come to know this? Did you do anything with the information that you accidentally learned?

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Share Your World | Hell’s Bells Nut Shells

Walnut shells on the garden bench left by industrious [hungry?] squirrels.

 What do you consider is the most perfect food for you? (It can be your favorite food to something extremely healthy.)

APPLES: Natural. Sweet. Healthy. Portable. Alkaline. Reasonably priced. Easy to sauce. Nice to crisp. Wonderful to pie. Tasty to cider. Pretty to look at.

 Are you focused on today or tomorrow?

I’m usually focused on both.  They are, after all, connected to each other in ways unbroken.  Like the flow of the eternity symbol [figure eight on its side] my mind glides effortlessly from today to tomorrow, and then back again to today.  I’m mindful of now, but with a sense of perspective about later.

• If you could interview one of your great-great-great grandparents, who would it be (if you know their name) and what would you ask?

The only great-great-great grandparent that I know of is the man who immigrated from Scotland to America.  He was, supposedly, from a well-off nobleman’s family [weren’t they all?], but being a minor son with no title to inherit, he decided to come here to make his fortune.

If I could talk with him I’d ask him: why did he came here? what did he do for a living when he got here? and how did this life differ from the one he left?

• What inspired you this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination.

Here’s what inspired me last week: did you know that a rainbow can happen even if it’s not raining where you are?

I didn’t, nor did Zen-Den.

On Thursday night he drove home from where he works downtown, and noticed, as he drove along, that a rainbow in the sky seemed to end at our house.

When he got home, he walked inside the house and asked me when it’d rained.  I told him that it hadn’t rained here.

He said that it hadn’t rained on his drive home either… BUT there was a rainbow in the sky out front of our house now.

Of course, we both went running out the front door to see this rainbow– and by golly there it was.  Large and bright and colorful.

Now how amazing is that?

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Catch up with everyone else who is answering Cee’s Share Your World Questions this week by clicking HERE.

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Confessions Of A Formerly Super Conscientious Woman + 3 New Projects

Once upon a time I was a super conscientious woman.

I lived and died by Checking Things Off My To Do List. My self-worth was contingent upon these checks because the results were more important to me than the process. Woe be it to anyone who got in my way: I was not always the nicest person.

Sad to say, apologizes offered.

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CURRENTLY: I want the walls in our home office to be griege, the trendy color of the moment. All I have to do is figure out which shade of griege goes best with the furniture and artwork that we already have.

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Then my goals and desires began to change.

That is, I got older and more self-aware. I evolved into a wiser + wearier woman who no longer felt obliged to Do A Lot Every Day Or Else. I still accomplish things, quite a few things– but at a slower pace, focusing on the process that I now allow to be organic rather than forced.

Mellowness is good for me.

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CURRENTLY: I want to continue upgrading our terrace using odds-n-ends of slate and limestone to create a patio with a level surface that is unique– and less pebble-y than what is there now.

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This new me is easier to be around.

Despite these unsettling difficult Trumpian times we’re living through, I’m a more relaxed version of my previous self. This iteration, Ally Bean 2.0 The Best Yet, evolved quietly during the last decade of my life when I didn’t feel well and couldn’t decide a thing without overthinking it.

However, no longer stuck am I.

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CURRENTLY: I want to organize all the inherited stuff that has accumulated around here, in our basement, for decades. Then I want this stuff sold | auctioned | donated | given away | tossed out. Enough already with the past, I say.

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I don’t know why I’m telling you this today, my gentle readers.  

All I can say is that this morning as I was planning my day I realized How Differently I Handle Any Decision Or Activity now, compared to how I used to do things when society had me convinced that my self-worth hinged on my super conscientiousness.

But you know what? It doesn’t.

Here Are My 3 “Sorry / Not Sorry” Opinions 

INTRODUCTION

One of my favorite podcasts is Sorta Awesome.

It’s a weekly talk show in which at least two of the four co-hosts, who live in different parts of the USA, talk politely + intelligently about awesome things that they like.  Things like: books, TV, family, relationships, travel, health, beauty, self-awareness, personalities, social media, blogs.

The episode that hooked me in this time was Episode #110 in which all four women shared their 3 “sorry / not sorry” [potentially unpopular] opinions.  This was a conversation [with a digression into raw chicken that was priceless] that at times had me laughing so hard I feared that I’d pee my pants.

But I didn’t. 

Grateful for what didn’t happen, and upon reflection, I decided that this Sorta Awesome “sorry / not sorry” topic would make for an interesting blog post.  So without further ado, I give you the following…

MY 3 “SORRY / NOT SORRY” OPINIONS

#1

I question the smarts of people who place flags in such a way as to have the flag pointing back toward the house, instead of having the flag point forward.  It’s all about history and common sense, kids.

Flags are the colors + symbol that you follow as you’re going into battle: they show you the way.  Therefore, you don’t point the flag back at yourself, because you might impale yourself on it as you move forward.  That would make no sense.

So for the love of all that is good, fly the flag properly. Please.

#2

I do not believe that curly/frizzy hair is a sign of improper grooming.  Here’s a news flash: God gave some people curly/frizzy hair and it’s okay to let it be curly/frizzy.

Not everyone has stick straight hair [natural or forced] like the Kardashians or Melania Trump.  No, some people, like me, have curly/frizzy hair that we keep clean, professionally cut– and wear in a style that is *gasp* natural.

Yep, that’s the truth. Deal with it.

#3

I refuse to pretend that mochi balls are a tasty treat.  I don’t care how deliciously on trend you think they are, how calorically perfect you think they are, how cleverly Japanese you think they are… I don’t like ’em.

They taste awful to me and have a miserable texture.  But that is, of course, because I don’t like to eat blobs of fruity-tea-flavored melting ice cream wrapped in color-coordinated Play-Doh.

In a word, I’d describe mochi balls as: bleech.

CONCLUSION

You may or may not agree with what I’ve written above.  It matters not to me, which is the whole point of this exercise in honesty.

I figure that by sharing, what I’d describe as rather benign, opinions on a variety of topics, I’ve opened up the blog comments to all of you, my gentle readers, to do the same.

Blogger see. Blogger do.

So… tell me a few of your “sorry / not sorry” opinions.  I’d love to know.

#Flash4Storms | My First [And Perhaps Last] 50-Word Flash Fiction Story

… and now for something completely different.

Sarah Brentyn at the blog, Lemon Shark, is hosting a flash fiction challenge to raise funds for hurricane victims. Read more about the specifics of the challenge here: Flash Fiction Prompt for Hurricane Relief #Flash4Storms.

I’ve never written flash fiction before, however Allie P. did this challenge here on her blog, Allie Potts Writesand she’s one of the cool kids, so I’m following her lead. Thus I give you my first [and perhaps last] 50-word flash fiction story.

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The knock at the door was soft, but the weeping was loud. Mirabelle asked: “have you seen my mommy?”

Wanting to help, the neighbor called around, learning that her mommy had forgotten kindergarten dismissed early today.

Meanwhile Mirabelle waited, sitting on the sofa, shredding her tissue, forlorn, and plotting revenge.

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