In Which I Grumble, Grouse, and Gloat Because Sometimes Life Is Like That

The Code of Personal Bloggers, if such a thing exists, suggests that all blog posts shall have an image on them. Hence I give you a photo of a green rocking chair on the screened-in porch.

TODAY IS THE LAST TUESDAY in Winter in the Northern Hemisphere while also being the first Tuesday in Year Two of the Pandemic. And ain’t it a pip?

Even though there wasn’t any snow or ice we didn’t do much of anything over the weekend. It was blah and bland outside, totally uninspiring, plus Daylight Savings Time *stole* an hour of my life again. And I was feeling poorly after my second shingles shot so laying low was the way to go.

On the upside, having gotten my second shingles shot out go the way I can now focus on getting my/our Covid-19 vaccinations, which supposedly will be available to us starting in early April.

Uh huh. We’ll see. 🙄

WHILE WE CONTINUED TO STAY in our Covid-19 bubble, Zen-Den worked on his latest 2,000 piece puzzle. It’s of Pokemon characters who are large, colorful, and a bit menacing to see on your dining room table. But *hey* if it keeps Mr. Man entertained to put all those little puzzle pieces together, then it’s good.

I tried a new recipe over the weekend, but it’s not worth repeating. It was for Irish Soda Bread Muffins. The muffins turned out to have an identity crisis: too sweet to be Irish Soda Bread, too bland to be a yummy muffin. I’ll go back to making a proper loaf of Irish Soda Bread.

Like my ancestors before me. 🍀

THE ONLY OTHER EXCITEMENT HERE, if you can call it excitement, is that after months of trying we finally got all the composite decking samples we are interested in. Procuring them has been a game. You order them online where *no surprise* one sample or another is not available. Then you check back a few weeks later and one of the samples you want is available, but the others are still not available. Try again later.

However after much effort we have way too many 17 different samples from two companies. At the moment the top three contenders for Chez Bean’s new deck are: TimberTech Brown Oak, Trex Toasted Sand, or Trex Coastal Bluff. All are medium brownish with gray undertones and noticeable imitation woodgrain texture.

So huzzah! 🏡

INQUIRING MINDS WANT TO KNOW: Have you had your Fauci ouchies? If so, how does that make you feel? If not, when will you get your vaccination shots?

A Letter Home Blog Post + Food For Thought On A Tuesday Morning

February 9, 2021

Dear Friends & Relations,

Not much happening around here, but I’ll write to you anyhow because it’s Tuesday, my favorite day of the week. Huzzah!

Nowhere to go, no one to meet, but things to do.

We continue to wait until we are eligible for our first Covid-19 vaccine shot. Then, of course, there’ll be a wait for the second one, which seems to be in short supply around here, so maybe not getting the first one yet is a good thing?

I dunno. We’ve been home together in our own little bubble for about 11 months now, so what are a few more weeks or months? We’re safe, we’re healthy, we’re doing low-key things.

Here is where we updated the cookbook.

We’ve finished updating our Family Favorites Cookbooks, 3rd edition. Yep, this is a re-do of a re-do of my first home computer project that I completed in February 1994, then updated for a second edition in April 2005. The bottom line is that we now have all our favorite recipes saved in the computer as well as printed, put in binders, and ready to go in the kitchen.

Move over Martha, you ain’t the only kid on the block who has it going on with her recipes. Ha!

The epicenter of clutter where the paint fan now resides.

We’re also in the process of deciding on a new exterior paint color for the trim and siding of Chez Bean. A new roof a few years ago + a new limestone retaining wall last December + a new deck sometime in 2021 [fingers crossed] = time to repaint exterior of the house bringing the color scheme into this decade.

Deciding on a new color is fraught with design peril. Oh yes it is. We have four seasons with natural light shining in different ways on four sides of the house, and there’s a need to coordinate with the brick and new retaining wall. Thus there are many variables, many possibilities– and one dithering me.

Our “communication center” where I await your replies.

And with that I’ll end this missive about our humdrum daily life, hoping it finds you well. What’s new with you?

Very truly yours,

Ally Bean, the bored

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Food For Thought: When’s the last time you wrote a letter home? It seems quaint now to think about doing that, let alone write one that includes snapshots. Remember doing that, too?

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A Simple Hello: Ms. Bean Goes For A Car Ride AND Returns To Blogging

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A few days before Christmas Day I realized I hadn’t driven my car in over a month. How very 2020 is that, I ask you?

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To remedy this situation I decided that we, that being Zen-Den and I, would go for a car ride to make sure that my sweet old car, now 18 years old, was still working.  She was.

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Inspired by the beautiful clear December day, we went to a city park where instead of walking, we drove around to see what we could see.  A different way for us to enjoy a park, but considering everything about 2020 was unique, it seemed fitting.

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A few people were outside walking, but for the most part we were by ourselves. I, of course, snapped a few photos to share here because what’s the point of having a camera in your cell phone if’n you don’t use it? I mean, really?

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Thus with this little vignette of a day in the life of Ms. Bean, I’m back here in the blogosphere with a renewed sense of vigor and, I hope you’ll agree, a snazzy new template for The Spectacled Bean. It was time for a change here.

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Also, for those readers who care about such things, I’ve decided on my word of the year. *drum roll please* In deference to my good intentions gone awry by things outside my control in 2020, I’ve decided to reuse my 2020 word of the year.  Yes, my #OneWord365 is going to be SIMPLIFY.  Again. 

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Miscellaneous: The Good, The Weird, The Charming

[I’m using the Block Editor for this post attempting to learn its features. Today I am putting images in the middle of my copy. *fingers crossed*]

THE GOOD: our absentee ballots came in the mail last week and we immediately voted. At home. With no lines or cranky poll workers to harsh my mellow. It was wonderful and calm.

Then we put double the required postage on the envelopes holding our ballots, drove to the post office and mailed them– like the good, moral, and conscientious American citizens that we are.

HAVE YOU VOTED YET?

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THE WEIRD: a well dressed woman without a mask on came to our front door and rang the doorbell. I didn’t know her from Adam Eve, so I shouted to her through the door sidelights to back up and I’d open the door. She would not do so instead continuing to ring the bell, then using the knocker, and finally pounding with her fist on our front door.

I yelled “NO” to her, at which point she used the phone function on her Apple watch to call to someone named Ellen. I could hear the conversation through the door. She accused Ellen of not answering her door; eventually Ellen convinced this wacko woman that she was at the wrong house. The woman looked in at me and laughed, offered no apology, then went on her way.

WHAT IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE?

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THE CHARMING: out for a walk in our neighborhood I walked by a house where Little Sister, age 5, was playing by herself in the front yard. Her two older brothers, ages 7 & 9, were playing together in the driveway, loudly, competitively, locked in a battle for a ball.

Little Sister skipped over to see me as I walked by. I said “Hi! to which she replied, “I’m playing. I love me.” Then she skipped back up toward the house, about as happy and self-assured as a person could be.

NOW ISN’T THAT DELIGHTFUL?

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In Which A 3:00 A.M. Conversation About An Alleged Nightmare Turns Into A Nightmare

It is 3:00 a.m. We are in bed asleep. At least one of us is…

HIM: Are you awake?

ME: {sleeping}

HIM: I think you’re awake.

ME: {ignoring him}

HIM: You were counting in your sleep.

ME: {rolling over in order to ignore him better}

HIM: Why were you counting in your sleep?

ME: Not counting, sleeping.

HIM: Ah-ha, so you are awake.

ME: {sigh}

HIM: So what were you counting? You woke me up because you were counting in your sleep. Out loud.

ME: Don’t know. Sleeping.

HIM: Ah-ha, so you admit to the fact that you were counting in your sleep.

ME: Don’t know. Maybe? Sleeping.

HIM: What were you counting in your sleep? Hmmm?

ME: SHEEP. I was counting sheep.

HIM: Really? I didn’t know people did that except in stories and commercials.

ME: Uh huh. SLEEPING.

HIM: What kind of sheep?

ME: Fluffy. White. Just basic sheep.

HIM: What were they doing? How were you counting them?

ME: THEY WERE JUMPING OVER A FENCE, OK? AND I COUNTED THEM AS THEY DID THAT. 

HIM: Well, you don’t have to yell at me. I was only concerned that you were having a nightmare.

ME: I wasn’t before, but I sure am now.  

HIM: Well, I’m going back to sleep now that I know you’re ok. Good luck with your sheep. Sorry you can’t sleep.

ME: {wide awake and fretful at 3:05 a.m.}

HIM: *snoring*

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