Parsing The Meaning Of A Sign + Completing My Photo Project

THE SIGN PART

I was on Instagram looking at photos of bathroom renovations.   Our bathrooms are still on schedule for renovations to begin in May.

As I was scrolling along, IG started showing me other photos, in this case ones of home offices.  [The algorithmic ways of Instagram are mysterious, I’ll say that for it.]

I stopped to look at one particular office because it was a good use of space and natural light.  In the office on the shelf above the desk was a sign that I believe was meant to be inspirational.  The sign said:

DO WHAT THEY THINK YOU CANNOT DO

I started laughing because this seemed like absurd advice to me.  For one thing, how do your know what THEY are thinking?  Are you a mind reader?  Or did THEY text/email/tell you that you cannot do something?

If so, why?

But beyond figuring out what THEY think, I was entertained by the idea that someone felt vengefulness would be an appropriate touchstone to use as a way of giving your spirit a boost.

What are you, a Klingon?

To cheerful little me the message on the sign seemed like an odd, somewhat spiteful, point of reference on which to focus your energy whilst pursuing a goal that may or may not be in your best interest, according to THEY.

But then maybe an ‘I’ll show them’ attitude is more motivating than I understand.  And perhaps, it is possible that THEY need someone to give them their comeuppance.  So who am I to say that this sign was bad advice?

Thoughts, anyone?

THE PHOTO PROJECT PART

Last April I started a one-year monthly photo project in which I stood in the same place on our deck and snapped a photo of the tree line.  The first installment is here.  The second installment is here.

These are the last two photo in this project.  I give myself props for following through on this project, but it’s over now.  I may do something like this project again, just not looking at these trees.

Suggestions, anyone?

FEBRUARY

MARCH

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Notes From The Last Weekend Before Daylight Saving Time Begins

This past weekend it was in the 60s F with mild sunshine. That’s unusually warm for this time of year. We had no specific plans, so it was two days of go with the flow, do your own thing.
Here are the highlights of what I did:

• I finished watching The Woman in the House Across the Street from the Girl in Window.  It stars Kristen Bell and is on Netflix.  It’s a parody of books and movies in which the main character witnesses a murder, but can’t prove that the murder took place.

This 8-part miniseries has dark humor with a melodramatic plotline.  I loved it, think Twin Peaks OR more recently Teenage Bounty Hunters.

• I stumbled over the What is your style personality? quiz on a fashion website called 40+STYLE.  According to this website there are 12 style personalities.  Each style is explained in-depth and accompanied with photos + brand recommendations.  My results from the quiz confirmed what I already knew: my primary style is Natural, but I also lean into Minimalism or Classic.

For years I’ve been describing my personal style as tailored suburban casual meaning a relaxed non-trendy look with some texture & mellow colors, structured, simple jewelry, flats shoes–  with no flower-y patterns or twirly skirts.

[Downside of this quiz is that you have to give up your email address to get your results, but after I received mine I unsubscribed from the website.]

• I started reading THE SISTERS: The Saga of the Mitford Family by Mary S. Lovell.  This is the first time in years that I’ve picked up an honest and true biography, instead of reading a memoir.  I’m enjoying the book because it’s well-researched and footnoted.

So far I’m learning that the Mitford sisters were raised and lived in nonconventional ways that make for spectacular stories, as if they planned to be famous from the git-go.

• I’m a fan of Apartment Therapy.  It’s a website about interior design + organization that ostensibly focuses on small spaces.  HOWEVER, as you probably realize, any conversation about interior design preferences can also be a sly insight into who you are.

For instance, an ongoing Apartment Therapy feature involves real life people sending in photos of their amazing home improvement projects.  Apartment Therapy then interviews these people, always including a request that the real life person “describe your home in 5 words or less.” 

So for snorts and giggles I decided to answer that question here.  I’d describe Chez Bean, aka Happy House, as: relaxed traditional, warm vibes, eclectic.  Sound like anyone you know?

Have a happy week, everyone. 
Soon enough we’re going to be marching on, springing forward, trudging into Daylight Saving Time. May saints preserve us.

No Song, Gleam, Or Peace Here: Ms. Bean Reports On Her Noisy Morning Thus Far

Good morning, my little rays of sunshine.

Or at least I wish it was a good morning.  I have no song in my heart.  No gleam in my eye.  And there is definitely no peace in my soul.

HERE IS WHY.

The following explains my morning so far.  Let me warn you that currently I’m not at my happiest.  Kind of snarly.

First, at 6:00 a.m. Zen-Den’s phone alarm chimed to inform him, and me be default, that is it was time for him, not me, to get up to face the day.  This is normal noise that I look forward to not hearing once he retires, something he claims will happen in September, but that’s a whole ‘nother story.

He got up, but I snuggled under the covers to contemplate arising to meet the day at this awful hour continue sleeping, as one does.

THIS WAS NOT MEANT TO BE.

At 6:14 a.m. his phone started blaring its alert signal.  Yes, that horn sound went off, loudly, as if all heck had broken lose.  Z-D was in the shower, didn’t hear the alert signal, so I reluctantly got up to find out what the emergency was all about.

It was that an elderly woman had wandered away from a home on a street near here.  She was only wearing a light top and jammies bottoms, which considering the cold temps, is dangerous.  Be on the lookout for her, so I will be.

Clearly at this point I was awake so I decided to go downstairs and make a pot of coffee.  This is my usual morning routine, just maybe not this early, but whatever.

I can adapt.

I can be useful.

I can sip coffee and mutter quietly in the corner.

THAT, SADLY, DID NOT HAPPEN.  

You see, I brewed the coffee without any trouble but as I sat there in the semi-darkness caffeinating myself with said coffee I heard a noise.  A noise that can only mean one thing. One lousy, awful, undoubtedly expensive thing.

The noise was the desperate sound of an animal trapped inside the house, probably in the attic or maybe in the walls, who was, and still is, scraping, pawing, flaying itself around in an attempt to escape from the inside our house.

WHERE IT SHOULD NOT BE.

And on that note of irritation I shall end this post.  Trying to not hear the noise that is going on over my head.  Trying to not be distressed by the events thus far on this ill-fated Friday morning.

Hoping that you, my little rays of sunshine, have something positive to tell me about your day.  Distract me, please.

 

 

Hello February: Of Prosecco & Puzzles & Perceptiveness

PUZZLE PIECES CASUALLY STREWN ON DINING ROOM TABLE

After a bitterly cold, yet rejuvenating, weekend of staying inside at home PLUS a well-deserved indulgence of Chocolate Chip cookies with Prosecco [see previous post for context about indulgence], I’m feeling better now.

My silly self has returned, my smart self has kicked in, my stylish self is back to planning, and my sane self… well, she’s still trying to make sense of things around here, in the world, wherever.

Because it’s winter in the midwest, as a way of passing the time, we’ve started putting together on our dining room table another jigsaw puzzle [see previous post about our freaky puzzle project].  And by *we* I mean Zen-Den is doing 96% of the putting together while I do 4%.

Same as it ever was.

The puzzle has 1,500 pieces and is of a cheerful tropical beach scene.  It’s colorful, but with lots of sandy beach and a building with a thatched roof.

PUZZLE PIECES THAT FORM SIGNS

Because Zen-Den believes in the economic concept of Division of Labor I was tasked first with putting together the wordy signs as seen in the photo immediately above.

I did that all by myself.

Then he asked me to find all the tan, beige, khaki pieces that form the aforementioned beach and roof on a building.  I’m capable of putting bright colors together, but when it comes to connecting pieces that are almost monochromatic, my eyes fail me [see previous post about me walking away from puzzle dust].

To wit, I found all the pieces for those portions of the puzzle, but I couldn’t get the pieces to fit together.

Zen-Den looked across the table at me to see how I was doing, then uttered what might be the most apt description of me he has ever said.  He said in all seriousness:

“You don’t know your sandcastles from your tiki huts.”

No truer words, kids.  No. Truer. Words.

PUZZLE PIECES THAT FORM SANDCASTLES TO THE LEFT OF THE RED SHOVEL, TIKI HUT TO THE RIGHT

• • •

Please note:

I’m crowdsourcing a blogroll & there’s one week left to add your blog to the list. Go HERE and scroll to the bottom of that post to learn more & to see if you qualify. Let me know about your blog in the comment section there.    

This is your last chance.

• • •

The One About My Car Gone Wacko: My Kingdom For Some Earplugs

This is not my sweet Olivia, but it is a lovely 1908 Ford Model T car. I bet it had a heck of a horn on it. [Image via autos/yahoo.com on Pinterest]

And then this happened… 

I went shopping in a real store instead of online.  [My first mistake perhaps?]  The store was about 20 minutes from home.

I parked my sweet Olivia, my 19 y.o. Honda Accord, in the parking lot then went inside a store to buy a few things.  I returned to the parking lot and put my bags of stuff into Olivia’s trunk.

No problemo.

Then I got inside the car, began to turn on the ignition with my key, but before I could get Olivia started THE POOR DEAR WENT WACKO and began blaring her security alarm with me inside the car.

I tried getting in and out of the car, but to no avail.  She continued to produce a jarring cacophony.

I tried pushing random buttons on the dashboard, but the noise continued.

I tried using the little button on my key to deactivate the alarm but the battery in my key had gone dead. Did. not. work.

Given up the ghost.

This left me sitting inside my car in a parking lot with no way to turn off the alarm while the alarm continued to shriek in a pattern of 3 long honks, 2 second pause, 3 long honks, 2 seconds pause, ad infinitum.

Thus it came to be that I drove Olivia home serenaded by her ear-piercing security alarm system, noticed by many other drivers on the road.

Oh yes I was.

But the story does not end here… 

Once home I pulled into our garage.

You may remember that a few months ago a car was stolen at gunpoint from inside a neighbor’s garage;  the neighbor walked into his garage while the car was being stolen [weird story here].  It was the talk of the subdivision.

Unnerving.

At that time Zen-Den and I agreed that if I ever knew or thought someone was following me home, I should pull into our garage and start blaring my car horn, thus alerting him to trouble.

Which, of course, is exactly WHAT I UNINTENTIONALLY DID when I pulled into our garage because I couldn’t turn off Olivia’s rather robust alarm system.

Big problemo.

Thus it came to be that a worried Zen-Den, who was working from home, heard the alarm and figured I was in trouble.

But before I could get inside the house to tell him what had happened, he came running into the garage to rescue me from harm, not realizing it was just my sweet Olivia throwing a hissy fit.

Oh yes she was.

QUESTIONS OF THE DAY

Has your vehicle [car, truck, SUV, van, motorcycle] ever set off its security alarm system for reasons unclear?

If so, what did you do?

Do you prefer to shop online thus avoiding any and all drama associated with going to a brick & mortar store?

[Gold star to anyone who understands the literary allusion in the title of this post.]

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