Chatting Whilst Moving Wicker Furniture Up Stairs

“I’m probably maybe going to stain the porch floor again next summer.”

Zen-Den said this.

We were moving our wicker furniture into the screened-in porch, setting it up for warm weather.  This is the furniture that we’d put into the basement last fall when Riley, the neighbor dog introduced himself to us.

While I’m accustomed to the way lawyers speak, obfuscating to not commit themselves to anything specific, the above sentence was unique.

Even by husband lawyer-speak standards.

His lack of enthusiasm about what might need to be done made me laugh out loud.

 • • •

“Could you get anymore vague and non-committal?”

I said this, lamenting that he was being so indecisive.

To which, I kid you not, he stopped in place while we were carrying furniture up the stairs.  He needed to contemplate if there was a way of making even less of a verbal pledge about doing something.

At an unspecified later date.

Next year.

Leaving me standing there on the bottom step, holding up the back end of the wicker loveseat while wondering why I never learn that snarky comments get me into the most awkward situations.

Honestly… 🙄

{ Images via Sweet Clip Art }

Make No Assumptions. It’s Greenery For The Win.

AS A WAY OF adding some color into our lives during this mid-winter gray time of year, I went to Lowes this week where I bought some little houseplants in little plastic pots.

I’m not a full on hippy dippy plant lady yet, so fear not. But I could be headed that way.  [And really, would that be such a terrible thing?]

While transplanting each plant into a proper terra-cotta pot, it drifted into my addled mind that Pantone’s Color of the Year 2017 is Greenery.

I also remembered that when I first saw this color in early December I wasn’t taken with it, thinking that this particular shade of yellowish-green was almost garish.  A color I’d never want to see in my house. 

Was. not. a. fan. and. said. so.

But you know what?  I was wrong in my snap judgement.

“Greenery is a fresh and zesty yellow-green shade that evokes the first days of spring when nature’s greens revive, restore and renew.” via Pantone

I HAD TO ADMIT this to myself as I placed the new houseplants around the house– and realized that they were exactly Greenery green.  And as such, they blended beautifully with our neutral color scheme of khaki golds + creamy whites + warm grays.

In fact, the new houseplants added much-needed splashes of spring-y color everywhere, proving to be an amazingly easy, cost-effective way of lifting my winter spirits.

So the moral of this little story is that when it comes to unfamiliar colors reserve your judgment until you’ve given the new color a chance to dazzle you.

For all you know the new color might be the perfect thing ever to grace your life… on a gray winter day.

New Windows & Doors In The Time Of Political Angst

Photo of old leaky window with bad attitude leaning against garage on the way out of my life. Buh bye.

Why not add some more stress to election week, I said to myself.

Then, looking up from my date book, I said “yes” to the sales representative sitting across our kitchen table from me.

Therein I agreed to be here at the house this week so that we could have new windows and doors installed.

Windows on second floor, doors on first floor.

Naturally when I told Zen-Den, Esq, about when all this was going to happen, he mentioned that he’d be out of town on work this week.

On the other side of the country.  In southern California.

Photo in which I cannot get the lighting right, but I promise it shows a new window. Gaze through the window upon the forest instead; it’s pretty out there.


This, however, did not stop me, intrepid homeowner and [nasty] woman with a purpose.

Nope, I went forward with the project, knowing as I do that winter is [global warming notwithstanding] around the corner.

And that I want leakless windows and airtight doors put on this house before it gets cold outside.

Thus I’ve been here this week, all by my ownsome, counterbalancing loud screechy construction noises [similar to those created by the cat in the video below] with political angst + existential outrage courtesy of the results of this presidential election.

Ain’t life a pip?

Orange Sky At Night, Tomatoes Take Fright


One day the Lady of the House carefully planted a few pots of herbs + one pot of small patio tomatoes.  There was joy in the land.


The sky was blue above, forsooth.


Cardinals, sitting in trees, shooketh their tail feathers.


Cute garden tags proclaimed what was in each herb pot.


However, one evening a magical thunderstorm rolled through the land turning the sky to a weird shade of orange, creating a beautiful unexpected rainbow.  Things had changed.


At first, the Lady of the House was charmed by the rainbow, until she saw that the storm winds had snapped her tomato plant in two.  She was sad.


But the Lady of the House, being ever hopeful and raised on fairy tales, put the little green tomatoes in a dish on the kitchen table near a sunny window.


Where, alas & alack, despite the Lady of the House’s tender care, the little tomatoes remain green and inedible to this day.


In Which We Get New Outdoor Furniture & Ally Embraces Social Media, Part 2 of 2

{Sub-titled: Nothing Is Ever Easy, But Darn This Furniture Is Pretty}

Screen Shot 2016-05-10 at 7.07.38 AM

~ ~ • ~ ~


We left the Beans longing for Carton 2 of 6, unable to determine where it was, or when it might appear at the house.

What will happen next?

~ ~ • ~ ~

THURSDAY, Day 12 – After posting the above tweet the night before, Ally receives helpful early morning tweet from reputable catalog company asking her to phone them.  This pleases Ally, but being an introvert she passes message on to husband to deal with.

Around 11:00 a.m. Ally, sitting in her home office, hears thunk of carton as someone drops off Carton 2 of 6 by the garage door.

No one appears at front door, so no one signs for anything.

FRIDAY, Day 13 – Ally, who had the audacity to leave her house, returns home to find a message on the answering machine from Important Office Guy at reputable catalog company.  He is apologizing for the delay and explaining how on the following Monday she’ll receive the cushions lost in transit.

Except the cushions are no longer lost.

Again, Ally the introvert, forces Zen-Den, Esq., to deal with this.  And he does, calling Important Office Guy to tell him that all is well here.

We. Are. Happy.

This would be the end of it all, or so you would hope…

WEDNESDAY, Day 18 – Around 8:00 a.m. Ally receives phone call from Worried Manager Guy of the third-party delivery service.  He needs her to sign for Carton 2 of 6.  Without her signature, reputable catalog company will not pay third-party delivery service.

This situation does not make Worried Manager Guy happy.  He asks if one of his drivers could come by the house at 11:00 a.m. for her to sign for Carton 2 of 6.

Ally, who can’t think of a reason why not, figures that’d be ok.

At 8:50 a.m. the doorbell rings and Ally finds Truck Guy from third-party delivery service standing on her stoop, proving that when it behooves them, third-party delivery service can find her home lickety-split.

Truck Guy has packing slip [sans clipboard] + pen for Ally to use to sign piece of paper that confirms Ally did, in the end, after 18 days of messing around with reputable catalog company, and their chosen third-party delivery service, get all of her pretty wicker furniture with cushions.

~ ~ • ~ ~


Unless, of course, someone realizes that no one signed for the ottoman and cushion, in which case, there will be a sequel to this story.

~ ~ • ~ ~

In Which We Get New Outdoor Furniture & Ally Embraces Social Media, Part 1 of 2

{Sub-titled: Nothing Is Ever Easy, But Darn This Furniture Is Pretty}

SUNDAY, Day 1 – The Beans place an online order with a reputable catalog company for a wicker furniture set, consisting of 1 loveseat with cushions + 2 lounge chairs with cushions.  They also order an ottoman with cushion.

TUESDAY, Day 3 – The happy duo receives a phone call from reputable catalog company, and agree that Ally will be home on Friday morning to take delivery of wicker furniture with cushions because someone must sign for these items.

WEDNESDAY, Day 4 – Ottoman with cushion is dumped on stoop by front door of home in late afternoon.

No one signs for anything.

~ • ~

Screen Shot 2016-05-10 at 7.10.05 AM

~ • ~

FRIDAY, Day 6 – Ally waits at home for wicker furniture with cushions to be delivered by third-party delivery service.

Truck Man shows up on time, but is confused by all the gibberish on the cartons:

  1. factory-printed name of product different from reputable catalog company name for furniture;
  2. arbitrary hand-written markings scribbled hither and yon;  +
  3. multiple official shipping labels.

Ally is also confused by this mess.

Together, over the course of an hour, Ally and Truck Man determine that 5 of her 6 cartons of wicker furniture with cushions are here.

Truck Man talks with Guy On Dock who admits that Carton 2 of 6, which contains cushions for one lounge chair, is sitting in front of him, and that it’ll be delivered to house that afternoon.

Ally must wait to sign for it.

SATURDAY, Day 7 – Ally, who waited but did not receive Carton 2 of 6, tells husband, Zen-Den, Esq., to call reputable catalog company.  He does so and is told to expect Monday delivery of Carton 2 of 6.

MONDAY, Day 9 – Carton 2 of 6 does not arrive at house, although Ally is at home all day ready to sign for it.

TUESDAY, Day 10 – Z-D again calls reputable catalog company, and speaks with someone who says that on Wednesday Guy On Dock will call him back with a Carton 2 of 6 location update.

WEDNESDAY, Day 11 – Z-D doesn’t get a phone call, Carton 2 of 6 does not arrive at house, so Ally, tired of waiting around the house, takes matters into her own hands.  Which is to say she uses social media to get some attention from reputable catalog company.

~ ~ • ~ ~

What will happen next?  Will Ally and Zen-Den get their last two cushions from reputable catalog company?

And if so, how will it happen?

~ • ~



~ ~ • ~ ~

Ally, Ally, Quite Contrary…

How does your Spring garden grow?

Glad you asked.  Here are few photos of the backyard.

~ ~ ~ ~ 


A maroon pansy, planted last fall, has returned and is looking pretty.

~ ~


The gray stone path on the hillside is happy to be the center of attention between salvia and boxwoods.

~ ~


A hosta and a catmint with tiny purple blooms stand side-by-side under the deck, thrilled with the wet + cool weather.

~ ~


The pachysandra patch directs your attention into the forest, which is amazingly green this Spring.

~ ~


And up on the deck, a potted orange gerbera daisy suggests that Summer is around the corner.

~ ~ ~ ~


Make it a good one.

~ ~  ~ ~