Inspired By A *Sincere* Spammer, Here Are Photos Of Pretty Spring Colors

I was wondering how I was going to introduce these photos then inspiration arrived in the form of a spammer. No doubt he’s a sincere dude, offering me unsolicited advice.

You see, kids, this spammer believes I’m too verbose to create good content, as evidenced by my last wordy post*. He mansplained graciously suggested that by using more photos in my posts, and fewer words, I could become a GREAT blogger.

Thus with a hat tip to this fine fellow, and a hope that this picture-filled post doesn’t burden him with the need to read & comprehend too many words, I give you seven pretty photos that showcase spring colors in the garden.

Also, Zen-Den wants me to wish spammer dude well completing fourth grade. We both think this might be a challenge for him… all. those. words.

BLUE sky smiling above

RED geranium in a terra cotta pot

PINK astilbe in dappled sunlight

GREEN trees as backdrop to screened-in porch

BLACK petunias [that are actually as very dark purple but are sold as black] in a terra cotta pot

PEACHY PINK drift roses

PURPLE salvia by a stone path

AND FINALLY THREE READER COMMENTS…

About hypocrisy versus sound judgement:

“I don’t know this woman but I think you’re protecting your personal boundaries. I think her response to your very thoughtful and honest suggestion speaks volumes. Sure, people can change. But that doesn’t mean they get to be let into your life. No thank you.”

~ Nicole MacPherson

“Boundaries, baby! Yes, Ally, I believe that everyone is entitled to their own opinion/schtick/whatevs, but that doesn’t make them right or smart or even decent people. If there’s anything the I’ve learned since we’ve entered the aughts is that there are a whole lotta people out there I wouldn’t want to have dinner with…”

~ Pam Lazos

“Nothing hypocritical about avoiding people who aren’t good energy. I have to say I feel a little bad for Zelda. Not bad enough that I think you should follow her. Just sad for a person who seems to know something of the world, yet remains so self-focused.”

~ Crystal Byers

* The analysis of my word to photo ratio on the previous post shows 246 words per 2 photos. On this post, excluding this footnote and the captions on the photos, there are 42 words per 7 photos. Make of this what you will.

Mixing It Up: A Tale Of Despair, Determination, And Dollars

“If you have been mixing a dense mixture for several minutes or more, it is possible that the force of the planetary action can over-tighten the bowl.”

~ KitchenAid Tilt-head Mixer “stuck bowl” product help

Planetary Action is “a double mechanical motion in which a tool is rotated on a center, while that center is revolved in another circle at the same time.”

~ Dictionary of Occupational Titles glossary

~ • ~

BLUESY THE MIXING FLOOZY nestled in the corner on the kitchen counter

~ • ~

This tale involves our KitchenAid Tilt-head Mixer, BLUESY THE MIXING FLOOZY.  She’s okay, no need to worry, but there is a casualty in this story.

You see, once upon a time we bought the KitchenAid Tilt-head Mixer Ice Cream Attachment.  It’s two parts that involve an insulated freezer bowl and a goofy little paddle thingie.

We did this so we could use BLUESY to make ice cream at home for the heck of it.  Thus it came to be that the other day I decided we needed to make ice cream and we did.

But in the process of using the KitchenAid Tilt-head Mixer Ice Cream Attachment, the insulated bowl froze onto BLUESY. Not budging at all.

This did not make us happy.

Following KitchenAid’s “stuck bowl” advice for how to free a stuck bowl, we tried using multiple warm wet kitchen towels wrapped at the juncture where the bowl attaches to the mixer.

Bowl still stuck.

Again following KitchenAid’s advice we put dabs of vegetable oil at the juncture where the bowl attaches to the mixer, then applied brute force.

Bowl still stuck.

Then being innovative little suburban scamps we improvised and tried using WD-40.

Bowl still stuck.

At this point, I’m ashamed to say, I was ready to give up on BLUESY, the old girl. So I went online to see how much a new KitchenAid Tilt-head Mixer would cost. I was shocked. Prices have doubled since we bought her.

So we took extreme measures.

Zen-Den, following the last ditch “stuck bowl” advice, took BLUESY into the basement, placed her on a folded beach towel on the floor, then carefully used a rubber mallet to bash the base of the insulated ice cream freezer bowl, slowly reshaping the base of the bowl.

Then he used a flathead screwdriver to lift, force, cajole the insulated bowl loose, destroying its structural integrity in the process while accidentally leaving a small scratch on BLUESY’S pretty blue finish.

We can live with this.

In fact I feel the scratch, a mere boo-boo, adds character to BLUESY.  Not to mention we saved $449.99 by not buying a new Kitchen-Aid Tilt-head Mixer.

Cha-ching!

~ • ~

Close-up of BLUESY THE MIXING FLOOZY’S boo-boo

~ • ~

QUESTIONS OF THE DAY

Have you ever wanted to take a mallet to a machine? Did you do it?

If you have a stand mixer [any brand], have you ever gotten the bowl stuck on it? If so, how’d you get the bowl unstuck?

What’s your favorite flavor of ice cream?

~ ~ 🍨 ~ ~

The One About Demolition & Dust, Home Improvements Have Begun

“Patience is what you have when there are witnesses.”

I don’t know who said it first but I like that saying.  Seems like the subtext of my week, both in real life and blog land*.

After months of waiting for our home improvement projects to begin, they began.  And I’ve been here at home for it, having a noisy, chaotic, dusty week of people and stuff everywhere.

BUT I’VE BEEN A PARAGON OF PATIENCE

The fact is I’m giddy to finally be underway so I’m attempting to overlook the inconveniences that I knew would be part of this experience. This isn’t my first remodeling rodeo, kids.

Below are a few photos that show some of what has happened thus far. Further updates on these projects and my blood pressure as they develop.

• • •

Out with the OLD, in with the NEW.  To protect them from damage the carpeted stairs have been covered. It’s difficult to walk on them now, but I’m not complaining.

• • •

I’m happy to see the end of the OLD tub, toilet, and tile. It was builder grade and ugly, but we lived with it for 22 years.

• • •

The OLD cabinet, countertop, and sink are gone, but the plumbing stays in the same place. Nice touch with the paper towel, eh?

• • •

This is our guest bedroom as it looks today filled with lovely, beautiful, NEW pieces of bathroom.

• • •

Shiny copper pipes in place with NEW bathtub installed immediately below. I’ve yet to see the fabulosity of the tub because it’s protected with plywood right now.

• • •

This is where there will be something NEW, a shelf niche in the shower. My interior design-y heart is thrilled with this upgrade.

• • •

Thanks to everyone who has checked in with me this week to make sure I’m hanging in there. I appreciate your moral support.

Happy Weekend, everyone. May it be all that you want it to be, which in my case is calm and quiet– and not stuck at home.

I’m sure you understand.

* The blog land saga is that my WP media account was hacked for the second time in half a year.  One of my unpublished photo was stolen, then used as the image on a blog post that referred back to my previous post, the one with all the interesting links.

Why? Because to someone somewhere in this world that seemed like the thing to do. To what end? I couldn’t say but it has been the icing on the cake of a difficult week.

The Happiness Engineers, btw, tell me WP takes no responsibility for any photos/images you have in your media account.  WP protects your words, but your images are your own problem.

Just dandy, huh?

In Which I Grumble While Waiting For Home Improvements To Begin, For Real

INTRODUCTION

As I’m sure you, my little paint chips, can imagine I’m tired of waiting for our home improvement projects, planned last fall, to begin.  In fact, last week was A SERIES OF DISAPPOINTMENTS, not earth-shattering large ones, just a never-ending parade of things. not. going. right.

I felt exhausted and defeated.

However, in spite of all that isn’t happening, I will tell you the skinny about what is SUPPOSED TO BE GOING ON at Chez Bean sometime soon. There is, of course, no precise answer about when ‘soon’ will be so it’s still a puzzle.

THINGS TO TELL YOU

🔜  Supposedly in mid-May the renovations will begin on our two bathrooms.  This, of course, is contingent on THE INFERNAL SUPPLY CHAIN that has limited my style choices and slowed down delivery of the tile, faucets, cabinets, sinks, toilets, a tub, et cetera, et cetera, we need to get going.

🔜  We’re still waiting to hear back from the concrete company that we contracted with last fall to make OUR NEW SIDEWALK in March.  Alas & alack we have no new sidewalk because said company seems to have disappeared.

🔜  Meanwhile the new oven and cooktop are somewhere on this planet, perhaps roaming the high seas aboard a ship, like pirates drinking rum and sporting eyepatches.  In other words, no update about the whereabouts of OUR KITCHEN APPLIANCES so no timeline about when they might be installed and we could once again bake in an oven with an accurate thermometer.

🔜  Earlier this winter I mentioned scratching noises in the attic and guess what?  WE HAVE MICE living and breeding up there.  Thus we have contracted with a professional extermination company to murder them.  Then that company will remove their carcasses + the fusty dirty attic insulation, patch holes in the house, clean the attic area with boric acid, and finally install new insulation in the attic.

QUESTIONS OF THE DAY

What are you WAITING for? Literal &/or figurative answers are acceptable.

Does waiting make you tired, worrying about what might go wrong, leading you to DESPAIR? Or does waiting energize you, anticipating the best, leading you to HOPE?

Thinking about the verb “to wait” which of these three idioms is your favorite? Do you prefer: TWIDDLE ONE’S THUMBS or HOLD ONE’S HORSES or COOL ONE’S HEELS?

AND FINALLY THREE READER COMMENTS…

About being lost and the kindness of strangers:

“My dad, who is 82 years old, purposefully goes to a store and stands there looking lost until some nice person offers to help him, and then he asks them for what he needs and basically has a personal shopper for free. I’m just saying that you’re onto something.”

~ Colleen Martin

“Once a friend of mine and I drove to Myrtle Beach on the way back we got lost, of course. We stopped and asked for directions and were told to turn left at the Burger King. We drove up and down that street for God knows how long unable to find the Burger King. Stopped and asked again…turns out the Burger King is now a KFC.”

~ Gigi

“Just last week someone pulled over as we were walking the kids to school to ask for directions (we live in a small university town) and it made me feel so happy to have the answer to their questions. There is something so satisfying about strangers helping out…”

~ Elisabeth

~ ~ 🏡 ~ ~

Nothing Sketchy: And Then Our Mailbox Made A Run For It

I enjoy a bit of absurdity.

It was late Friday afternoon.  Zen-Den was working from home in a guest bedroom his upstairs office that overlooks the front yard and street.

He was on a conference call, listening, bored presumably, and staring out the window at the street.

There was a gust of wind and just like that our extra large [15″x11.7″x24.8″] black metal [11.5 lbs] mailbox  [identical to this one] went flying off its post– and started scampering down the street.

Like a sneaky pet dog out on an adventure.

Never slowing down, never looking back.

Z-D, still listening to his conference call saw what had happened, found me downstairs, pointed outside, and mouthed the words “mailbox escaped.”

I looked out the window and understood.  I immediately went running out the front door to chase our mailbox, WITH OUR MAIL IN IT, down the street.

On a cold late autumn day.

Without a coat or gloves on.

The little miscreant, pushed by more gusts of wind, slide downhill in the gutter along the side of the street until it was in front of our next-door neighbor’s house where the runaway fell on its side, popping up its little red flag in surrender.

Nice touch, eh?

I was charmed in spite of the situation.

I picked him up, double-checked that our mail was still inside [it was], then started walking home with said sneaky mailbox cuddled in my arms, like you might when you capture a wiggly dog.

However unlike a warm small furry dog, a metal mailbox is cold, cold, cold to carry.  I wasn’t dressed for the elements let alone a search and rescue mission that involved carrying a large mailbox home.

Mailboxes have sharp edges.

Trust me on this.

Anyhoo, laughing at acknowledging the absurdity of this situation, I got the little fellow home, put him in the garage, and walked down the driveway to see what had happened that prompted our mailbox to make a run for it.

Come to find out, the wood on the post that forms the horizontal platform on which the mailbox sits had rotted underneath the mailbox.  The mailbox had been attached with screws to the rotting wood, but the gust of wind was powerful enough to rip them out of place, and sent our mailbox flying.

This was a first for me/us, but one that graciously provided us with the gift of a Saturday project.

Yep, we had to replace the rotting wood on the post then re-attach the mailbox, no worse for the wear btw, to the new sturdy wood plank.

So we did.

~ ~ 📪 ~ ~

The foregoing story reminds me of my favorite TikTok. It stars a dog named Bean. Do dah, do dah!