Sorry, Not Sorry: The One About 3 Holiday Pet Peeves That Vex Me

It seems to me at this time of year everyone has at least one pet peeve that vexes them. Perhaps you’ve noticed this, too.

Now that we’re officially smack dab into the season of Forced Frivolity Rampant Consumerism  The Holidays, I want to tell you what vexes me the most. You’ll be pleased to know that I’ve narrowed it down to 3 pet peeves, succinctly explained below.

See if they resonate with you, my little fruitcakes, then you may share yours in the comments below. To get you started, but please don’t feel limited by, at the bottom of this post I’ve created a list of possible peeves* that do not bother me but I’ve heard about– oh. yes. I. have.

📷 ONE 📸

IF YOU SEND A HOLIDAY CARD that is a family photo or you put a family photo inside a regular holiday card, please I beg of you, tell the recipients of the holiday card who these people are.  Do not say a vague “Joyeux Noël from the Jones-Beauforts” BUT instead list the individual names of the people + pets in the photo. Do not assume we’ll recognize everyone in the photo.

You do know who they are, right? So why not share that information with the rest of us?

🌲 TWO 🎄 

IF YOU PUT UP A TREE to celebrate Christmas, do not overdecorate it.  Less is more.  There is this design concept known as negative space that, stick with me here, posits that an object is more noticeable and therefore appreciated if there is emptiness around the object.

I’m happy that you’ve invested in twinkling lights & colorful bulbs & tinsel & strands of pretty beads & personally meaningful ornaments, BUT do not cover every stinking inch of every branch on the tree so that all I see, anyone sees, is a big triangular-ish blob of shiny.

I want to see the details of your beautiful decorations, truly I do, so could you make that happen, please?

🍪 THREE 🍬

IF YOU’RE A BAKER OR CANDY MAKER, I ask of you to be forthright about what kind of sweetener you use. Some of us cannot digest artificial sweeteners while others avoid natural sugar at all costs. I don’t care how you sweeten what you make, that is not my concern, BUT for the love of all that is good, be honest about what is in the goodies.

You do understand that you can make someone sick if you lie about it, right?

~ 🔻 ~

~ 🔺 ~

* Here is a list of 10 holiday pet peeves that I’ve heard mentioned emphatically by other people:

  1. Reciprocity regarding the exchange of Holiday cards, obligation or opportunity
  2. Christmas music, yay or nay
  3. Party games that involve gift exchanges
  4. Incorrect use of the letter “s” when addressing a card or gift to an entire family
  5. Location of outdoor holiday decorations, near the house or out in the yard creating possible obstructions/distractions for drivers
  6. Appropriate day on which to take down the holiday tree inside your home
  7. Use of tissue paper or shredded paper inside a gift bag, yay or nay
  8. Hostess gift for an open house party shouldn’t be wine because you only take wine when it’s a dinner party
  9. Holiday newsletters, yay or nay
  10. Bow on holiday wreath goes at the top, the bottom, or the side

PLEASE NOTE: In an attempt to make our home connection to the internet reliable and faster, we’re changing our internet service provider tomorrow [Wednesday], going from coaxial cable to fiber optic cable. Fingers crossed this change goes smoothly, but if not… it’s been great knowing you I’ll see ‘ya when I see ‘ya. 

Simply Fun: Revisiting The “If I Were…” Prompts + Playing MASH Online

THE REVISITING PART

First jigsaw puzzle of the season is finished!

Lately I’ve been feeling nostalgic about personal blogging, missing the straightforward simplicity of my early days in the blogosphere. The following is an example of what I’m talking about.

I originally answered these prompts, that were referred to as a meme at the time, in 2011. Most of my answers have changed since then, making me 1/3 the same, 2/3 different now.  [Here is what I said back then.]

Interestingly of the six people who commented on the original post, two are still blogging and keep in touch here: J at Thinking About… and Margaret at Stargazer. Thank you both for hanging around.

And so WITHOUT FURTHER ADO, let me tell you that…

if i were a month i’d be May

if i were a day i’d be Tuesday

if i were a time of day i’d be 9:00 a.m.

if i were a font i’d be sans serif

if i were a sea animal i’d be a manatee

if i were a direction i’d be easy to understand

if i were a piece of furniture i’d be a kitchen table

if i were a liquid i’d be Sauvignon Blanc

if i were a gemstone i’d be a garnet

if i were a tree i’d be a maple

if i were a tool i’d be scissors

if i were a flower i’d be a zinnia

if i were an element of weather i’d be a zephyr

if i were a musical instrument i’d be a piano

if i were a colour i’d be teal

if i were an emotion i’d be amused

if i were a fruit i’d be an apple

if i were a sound i’d be quiet

if i were an element i’d be molybdenum

if i were a car i’d be reliable with good gas mileage

if i were a food i’d be a Parker House roll

if i were a place i’d be a locally-owned coffee shop with some outdoor seating

if i were material i’d be denim

if i were a taste i’d be slightly salty

if i were a scent i’d be orange

if i were a body part i’d be an eye

if i were a song i’d be jazz

if i were a bird i’d be a robin

if i were a gift i’d be inside a pretty gift bag

if i were a city i’d be midsize with a thriving farmers’ market and many parks

if i were a door i’d be solid wood with wrought iron hardware

if i were a pair of shoes I’d be narrow women’s walking/running shoes 

if i were a poem I’d be iambic pentameter

~ ~

THE PLAYING PART

I’ll be hyphenating my last name to Bean-Riker!

I stumbled across an online version of the childhood fortune-telling game called MASH.  I knew it as a paper and pencil game.  Maybe you played this with your friends at one time, maybe not.

If you’re unfamiliar with this game, the name is an acronym: M = mansion, A= apartment, S= shack, and H = house.  [There were subsequent versions that included I = igloo and T = tent, making the game MASH IT.]

The gist of the game was you answered a few questions, the first being based on the MASH acronym;  other questions had to do with your future life.  You wrote three answers to each question, then made a swirling line that magically showed you your future.

It was/is pure silliness, which is not necessarily a bad thing at any age.

Anyhow here’s WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW to join in…

•  To learn how to play the old-school paper and pencil version of it go here, How to Play M.A.S.H

• To play the free online version of it & get a snazzy personalized graphic go here, MASH

~ ~

And ONE LAST THING, to those who are celebrating it this Thursday, HAPPY THANKSGIVING 

~ ~ 🦃 ~ ~

Know What I Mean, Ally Bean? 4 Things I Say Because I Am Me

This is funny, I say wisely

Let the flapdoodle & twaddle begin…

I don’t know if other people do what I’m going to tell you I do, but what I do is so ingrained in me that I don’t think about it unless I intentionally decide to write a blog post about it.

[Nice sentence, huh?]

I compiled the following of that which is ingrained in me by paying more attention to myself than I normally do, which is to say tuning in to who I am when I’m on auto-pilot.

So here’s what I’m getting at: I have specific things I say to myself when prompted by certain situations.  These things are not profound, but they are an indication of who I am when left to my own devices.

Allow me to explain below.

1

I am a magnet for good.

Years ago I read an article about how you should have a mantra you say whenever you go out into the world.  This mantra should empower you AND tell the Universe how to treat you.

There was a list of mantras and I picked this one, primarily because I like literal images I can envision in my pragmatic brain that also have a figurative component that makes my English Lit major heart happy.

2

Learn something!

I say this out loud whenever I see a school bus filled with kids drive by the house.  Those little trapped faces stare out at me and I feel for them, thus I bless them with what I believe is a good idea.

3

I park in “H” for hell.

There’s a story behind this one.  You see, whenever I go to any big box retail store that has a huge parking lot wherein rows are designated with letters of the alphabet I do one particular thing.

I cannot take credit for dreaming up this idea.  My mother and her friends did this.  Naturally she encouraged me to do the same thing.

Thus being a dutiful daughter I picked a letter, “H” for hell, and always park as close to it as I can.  Mom approved, although she rolled her school teacher-y eyes at me concerning the why of the letter I picked.

4

Tres bien

I say this in the morning as I pour my first cup of coffee into a mug.  It’s a blessing and a goal and a hope all in one phrase.  I will admit, however, that sometimes I say “muy bueno” or “very good” which impart the same meaning, just in different languages because variety is important.

QUESTIONS OF THE DAY

Do you, like me, consistently say things to yourself in certain situations that if overheard might make someone wonder about you?

If so, care to share what you say?

If you were forced to decide, do you think this post is more flapdoodle-y OR twaddle-ish? 

A Rare Sunday Blog Post In Which I Grumble Unimaginatively About A Rare Early Snowfall

“Conversation about the weather is the last refuge of the unimaginative.”

Oscar Wilde said that, but I say WHATEVER.  I don’t see that dude standing here dealing with weather whiplash like I am.

You see, and I am a bit grumbly about this, after falling back one hour last Sunday we had a beautiful week of sunny days and agreeable daily highs in the 70s. I was running around outside wearing shorts and a t-shirt and sandals.

Life was good, in a warm busy way.

However yesterday *bing bang boom* we had our first snowfall of the season.  This isn’t statistically the norm.  Our first snow usually arrives in December [sometimes as late as January] meaning that I’m supposed to have a few more weeks of autumn.

With a gradual decline in the temperature.

With me going from shorts to capris, then pants.

But there I was yesterday morning scrambling around in the closet looking for jeans and a sweater and boots.  Clothes I enjoy wearing, but prefer to deal with in an organized, systematic way.

Not by throwing open drawers and storage bins, rooting through piles of turtlenecks trying to remember which ones I actually like–and which I ones I tolerate because I bought them & they’re here now.

Anyhow, because I’m sensing that the cold is here to stay and because I’m not ready to deal with it in a mature way, I wrote this rare Sunday blog post.  By talking about the early snow I do realize that I’m avoiding the obvious: that is, I could be doing something productive like getting my winter clothes in order.

But instead I’m complaining.  Not quite whining, but grousing, hoping to find the silver lining in this cold wet unwanted cloud of early snowiness that makes me feel like hibernating inside until next spring.

Which I should not do.

Thus if you see the silver lining in any of this please point it out to me.  Or if nothing else, distract me from the weather with your warm personality and joyful thoughts.

You know you want to.

Tea For Two: Talking About A Retirement Side Hustle + 2 Story Updates

• • •

TEA FOR TWO, THAT’S ME & YOU

I’ve heard it said that most marital communication is the word *WHAT* being shouted between rooms.

I believe this to be true.

Especially now that Zen-Den, Esq., has retired, sort of.

You see, he retired from his main source of employment, a full-time job with benefits, and is now self-employed as an advisor wandering around at home, sometimes advising his former main source of employment while other times chatting it up with new prospects.

This is called a side hustle.

I am told.

So this means, from my point of view, that He Who Has A Side Hustle is underfoot almost all day long. Like a cheerful puppy. And because he’s accustomed to barking talking almost all day long, he has begun to NEED to tell me things.

While we are in different rooms.

Why just the other morning he shouted something to me from the kitchen while I was in our home study.

I said *what* of course.

He then walked into the home study and told me he had a few calls to take in the morning. After that he was going to organize the tea drawer where we keep, come to find out, 12 different teas*.

So you can see that He Who Has A Side Hustle is finding productive ways to occupy himself that for the most part keep him from pestering and annoying me all day long, and allow him to believe he is a valuable part of this household.

Because he is, of course.

* Knowing that someone is going to ask, the 12 kinds of tea in the drawer are:

  1. Ceylon Orange Pekoe
  2. Constant Comment
  3. Earl Grey
  4. English Breakfast
  5. English Teatime
  6. Green Tea
  7. Green Tea with Pomegranate, Raspberry & Strawberry
  8. Irish Breakfast
  9. Lady Grey
  10. Oolong Tea
  11. Peppermint
  12. Perfect Peach

• • •

UPDATES TO STORIES

1. We named the skeleton Earl. Thanks to everyone who offered name ideas. Y’all are funny. [Original story HERE.]

2.  After writing about how I accidentally acquired a bag of potato chips, Z-D was at Kroger using the U-scan. He used the barcode reader to ring up a six-pack of beer and it did, but then while placing the beer on the wonky wobbly bagging carousel he accidentally dropped the six-pack on the floor. The impact caused the metal caps on two bottles to loosen, spewing carbonated beer from the bottles.

Instead of going back to get a new six-pack, for which he paid in full, Z-D left the store with four bottles of beer. Thus he paid for something he did not get and thereby, I believe, restored balance in our relationship with Kroger. [Original story HERE.]

• • •

QUESTIONS OF THE DAY

When thinking about retirement what is the first idea that pops into your mind? Does this thought make you worry or happy– or something else? 

If you drink tea, hot &/or cold, how many kinds of it do you have in your home? Are you about variety or uniformity?     

So what do you think, was it Kroger Karma that caused Zen-Den to drop that beer, making us whole with them again?

• • 💚 • •