Waiting For A New Deck That I Shall Call Godot

“Let’s go.” “We can’t.” “Why not?” “We’re waiting for Godot.”
Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot

• • •

AS YOU MAY REMEMBER THE stairs to our deck fell apart in the fall of 2020. Read The One About The Deck Stairs Betraying Us [No One Was Hurt] to refresh your memory or learn about what happened.

As a result of the aforementioned situation we immediately began the search for someone to rebuild the entire deck. This was during the lockdown portion of the pandemic, so I figured we’d have no trouble finding people who’d want to work outside in the fresh air away from the virus where it was safe.

I was wrong.

I’ll succinctly summarize the search.

Because our deck is elevated 9 feet off the ground with a hill below it, after seeing what was going on only two companies expressed any interest in the job. Only one company managed to give us a written estimate for the job, so last fall we contracted with that company.

• • •

ALL OF WHICH BRINGS US to today, a lovely Tuesday morning in the winter of 2023, a mere 28 months after the problem began. This is how things are going.

If the company had begun building our new deck on January 3rd as planned, then today I’d have a lovely series of before | during | after photos to show you.

Alas things are behind schedule.

[I shall pause here whilst you *gasp* in surprise, as I know you’re doing.]

Therefore instead of the finished deck that was estimated to be completed in 7 to 10 working days [January 11th thru the 16th], I’ll end this post with a bunch of photos showing the ongoing mess that now involves snow [because of course it does] + some photos that suggest progress.

Even as I grumble and wait for Godot, testing my patience, I’ll admit that what I’m seeing so far is darned delightful and sturdy.

Eventually it’s gonna be great.

• • •

The aforementioned dodgy stairs on the old deck will be the last thing demolished.

The floor of old deck is the mess on the ground 9′ below.

Scene from the kitchen window showing no real floor just loose boards + no more railing just a drop to below.

The installation of the new deck floor begins.

New deck floor coming together in middle of the deck.

The new deck floor shown with a few of the new posts that’ll be part of the railing.

And finally 5″ of unexpected snow on top of the crumbling old deck stairs making them the poster child for unsafe.

• • •

Now it’s your turn to spill the beans.
What are you waiting for in your world today?
Tell all in the comments below.

• • •

Hocus Pocus Tuesday Focus: Five Useful Questions + Five Autumn Photos

And now for something different…

From what I can tell Seth Godin [marketing guru, author, lecturer] is a master at getting people to think about their projects, or their lives, in a new light.

He does this by asking generic questions that nudge you, the self-aware reader of said questions, to answer them in such a way as to frame your project/life differently and go forth with a renewed sense of purpose.

And isn’t that magical, by cracky!

Which brings me to today, a Tuesday, the day on which I plan on publishing a personal blog post, one that answers the most basic of basic question: What up, Buttercup?  

But alas & alack on this Tuesday I’ve nothing in particular to talk about, nor has anything interesting happened that is worthy of a blog post.

However, be that as it may, today instead of my usual flapdoodle and twaddle I shall charm you, my little hobgoblins, by answering the following questions that are perhaps meant for business projects, but equally useful when conjuring a personal blog post.

Seth’s Five Useful Questions 

🔶 What’s the hard part? 

I find that keeping the leaves out of your wine glass is the hardest part. You’d be amazed how many leaves try to jump into the glass.

🔶 How are you spending your time?

Autumn is my favorite season so I’m doing everything I can to enjoy it by going outside to walk, to rake, to sit, to muse upon the meaning of life.

🔶 What do you need to know?

I need to know where the rake is. And a broom, too. Maybe even the electric leaf blower if I can find the cord for it. There be leaves everywhere.

🔶 What is the scary part?

The scary part is climbing on a ladder to get the leaves out of gutters. We only clear the gutter you see in this photo, then in November the window washer guy will remove the rest of the leaves from all the gutters.

🔶 Is it worth it?

I believe it is. I like living among deciduous trees for many reasons, but mostly because I enjoy seeing the leaves change colors in the fall. Besides what’s a few hours of working in the yard, raking leaves, when there’s beauty all around?

~ 🔶 ~

WHAT’S NEW WITH YOU? WHAT’S MAGICAL IN YOUR LIFE TODAY? BEWITCH US IN THE COMMENTS BELOW

~ 🔶 ~

Unexpected Good News Regarding Our Bathroom Remodeling Projects

➡️ If you read The Spectacled Bean because you like to see me get snarky, thank you but this post isn’t going to be one of those posts.

Instead today I’m going to share a slice-of-life story that has a positive spin to it.  One that’s left me feeling all warm and happy inside about, of all things, a home improvement company.

They’re not all scoundrels.

Also I’m going to talk briefly about money which I know is tacky but in this case, under these circumstances, I’m going to ignore that [outdated?] rule of decorum.

➡️ Here’s what happened.

You may remember that we had our bathrooms remodeled earlier this year.  We started planning the project last fall, but because of supply chain difficulties the actual destruction of the old bathrooms/installation of the new bathrooms began in May.

In the interim between fall 2021 and May 2022 we made MANY decisions about things that go into a bathroom.  Some decisions held firm, but others had to be re-decided along the way, sometime multiple times, because what we wanted was no longer available– or would be available at an unspecified time in the future.

To keep the project moving forward we changed our minds MANY times because honestly we/I couldn’t be bothered to worry about slight changes in bathroom decor.

[One transitional-style toilet paper holder in brushed nickel is about the same as another one, right?]

I also couldn’t be bothered to keep strict account of the addendums that reflected the MANY changes we made along the way.

I. just. couldn’t.

➡️ In August 2022 the projects were finished, we were pleased with our new bathrooms, and we made our final payment to the home improvement company, thinking no more about it.  HOWEVER, come to find out courtesy of their accounting department, we overpaid by $281.00.

Now this company could easily have never told us this and we’d never have figured it out, BUT they did tell us and sent along a check to reimburse us.

Below is the what was written on the post-it note affixed to the check.  It’s an indication of why we’ve used this particular remodeling company for MANY projects.

And so with that I’ll end this upbeat post about goodwill + honesty.  You gotta support the good ones.

Any good news, unexpected or expected, you’d like to share, my wordy cherubim? 😇

Please tell all in the comment section below.

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?

~ ~ 🍨 ~ ~