What Ms. Bean The Blogger Said + A Simple Rules Of Life Poll

Welp, this is embarrassing, but I don’t have anything in particular to write about this week.  I post at least once a week, that’s the deal I made with myself when I started blogging.

I told myself that I’d show up here weekly because I know me, and I’m a slacker.  I could easily disappear for weeks on end, but because I set a specific goal and promised myself that I’d be here, I. Be. Here.

That’s what I said.

So today instead of starting a conversation about something that has happened OR sharing a bit of research OR posting a random list of links, I made the following poll– which fulfills my self-imposed blogging goal as stated above.

[Also if you, my gentle readers, look closely at the poll you’ll see that one of the ideas pertains to what I’m saying I said above.]

The ideas in this poll come from a framed piece of art that I bought at T.J. Maxx.  I’ve no official source for these 7 ideas, but I like them and have adopted them as my own sorta kinda rules of life.

As one does.

Comments, anyone?

A Glimpse Into A Blogger’s Idea Generation Process, Such As It Is

I’m a writer who writes a personal blog in which I talk about a variety of topics.

Make no mistake about that.

As such, I have a drawer in my desk where I toss pieces of paper on which I’ve written thoughts + scribblings + quotes that come to me when I’m not in a place to write about these thoughts + scribblings + quotes.

I do this randomly, both the thinking and the tossing.

This drawer, you see, is my idea generation process system based on one piece of wisdom in David Allen’s Getting Things Done.  He tells you to capture ideas.

Well, I’m capturing them.

In my own way.

Then a few times a year I sort through the pieces of paper with the aforementioned thoughts + scribblings + quotes on them, to see what I might write about here on these hallowed virtual pages.

 Yesterday I reacquainted myself with what I’ve carefully saved in this drawer.  

In reality, about 60% of what I saved I tossed out because I have no idea what I was thinking about when I saved the thought + scribbling + quote.

The brain, she be addled.

Another 30% of my thoughts + scribblings + quotes were good blog post fodder, but I wasn’t in the mood to do what it takes [research, personal reflection, finding an image] to write a coherent blog post about the topic.

So those thoughts + scribblings + quotes went back into the drawer, safely nestled among their own kind, until I’m ready to write about them sometime in the future.

Trust me, there are advantages of being a blogger whose blog leans more toward lifestyle newspaper column than daily diary. Plus, not to put too fine of a point on it, variety fights inertia, random is what keeps this blog going.

That left me with 10% of my thoughts + scribblings + quotes that I’ll turn them into exciting world-class blog posts such as this one.

All of which [finally] brings me to my actual reason for writing this post.

In my more anxious moments I wonder if there might be a better way for me to capture and generate ideas.  A way that doesn’t rely on my current idiosyncratic, neatniks-need-not-apply idea generation process, as seen in the photo below.

• • •

So tell me, gentle readers, how do you keep track of the ideas that you use to write your blog posts?

‘Tis possible that I could use some guidance.

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The Rest Of The Story: Answering My Gentle Reader’s Questions

• • •


I don’t know.  I suppose it depends on how much I want to call out other bloggers on their less-than-stellar behaviors.  I fear that my natural honesty and snark could easily sound passive-aggressive— and that would never do.  So I hesitate.


I forgave the painters, two guys who are partners, because they’re good men who we’ve had paint other rooms, and their work is perfect.  Yes, perfect.  Our interior designer told one partner what color to use to in each room, but he got the colors mixed up because he was on his way to “the old country” [in Europe] where his father was seriously ill, subsequently passed away.  Mistakes happen, you know?  And they re-painted the family room the right color, so all’s well that ends well.


Crazy Bird Lady has calmed down over the years.  No more banging metal pots to scare birds away.  I saw a man from the HOA in her backyard pulling down all the shiny streamers, talking with her as he did so.  She no longer shouts obscenities at the birds & the neighbors who feed them, and all her weird flower pots are gone.  Now I only hear her when she’s talking to her dog– loudly talking, but saying normal things to her puppy.


Mirabelle waited. She knew her mother hated it. Feared it, even.

She heard the shriek, her name being called. Mirabelle tried not to smile but she knew this revenge was perfect.

Mommy was vain. Without her make-up, flushed down the toilet by Mirabelle, she’d have to go to work barefaced.

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Any more questions?
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Social Media: Rambling Thoughts About People Who Hate-Follow

It’s not that I’m a martyr to nice, but I don’t hate-follow anyone on social media.  It seems like more work than fun to me, but maybe I don’t know how to do it right.

I know it’s a thing to hate-follow other people.  I keep hearing about it from friends and family, sometimes in the context of harmless mischief, other times mentioned as, what I’d call, peremptory maliciousness.

They tell me who they follow, often a high school nemesis or a work frenemy or a disliked neighbor.

They tell me that doing this makes them feel good about themselves. That by keeping tabs on someone who they dislike, they come to understand themselves better &/or stay ahead of any trouble that might be brewing.

I don’t know if I totally buy into my friends and family’s reasoning behind the hate-following. To me their reasoning sounds more like rationalization about doing something kinda fun + almost amoral, than behavior contributing to a person’s good mental health.

But considering no one expects me to become a hate-follower, and no one seems to have upped his or her dosage of Zanax because of the hate-following, I figure what the heck?

I mean if nothing else, these friends and family do seem to have some fun, juicy stories to share about people– and you know me, I always love a good story, regardless of how someone learns about it.


• Do you hate-follow anyone on social media? If so, how’s that working out for you? Details, please.

• Alternately, do you know anyone who hate-follows on social media? If so, do they have good stories to tell because of it? Or is it warping their brain to the dark side?

• Even more intriguing, do you think anyone is hate-following you? Hmmm?

6 Small Thoughts Upon The 6th Anniversary Of This Blog

A glimpse into my personal blogging evolution…

1)  I like my writing better now than when I started The Spectacled Bean.  I’ve learned how to write in a smooth flowing chatty style that is genuine, not dry & academic.  I express myself with more attitude, more gratitude, less awkwardness, and a propensity to use goofy big words that I love.


2)  I write more in-depth now on one event or topic or person, instead of glossing over and combining many things into one post like I used to do.  I’m more focused, definitely less ditzy.

3)  I think of my blog as a newspaper lifestyle column now in which I share my observations, experiences + research, making sense of these things, so that I can start conversations which, I hope, add a bit of love +  learning + laughter into the world.  I no longer think of this blog as a diary or a variety show or a scrapbook.

4)  My posts look prettier now thanks to the instant availability of font sizes, styles, and colors.  Plus it’s so much easier to add images and videos now.  I sometimes wonder why any of us read any blog considering how text-based and bland they all looked.


5)  I find myself more engaged with my followers now than ever before.  Lots of  fascinating articulate people have found The Spectacled Bean, and I have found their blogs.  I appreciate everyone who takes the time to read my posts, and thank you for making me part of your lives as well.

6)  I’m much mellower now about this whole blogging thing.  No more angst over what to write about, little worry about how to write it, still some concern that I’ll make a spelling or grammatical error.  But overall, I’m chill– and comfortable in my role as a suburban blogger.

Image sources: |1| |2|

An Experiment: Photographing The Woods With My iPhone

I need something new + creative to do in my life so I’ve thought about maybe joining Instagram.


In order to get an idea of what it’d be like to be an Instagramer, I wandered down our backyard stone steps to the terrace-level…


walked across some crunchy leaves…


then sat down on a chair where I started taking photos of the autumnal beauty around me with my iPhone.


Looking at the blah results of my experiment I wonder if I’d ever be happy using a phone to photograph my life.  I do well capturing my life using my camera, but if I was on Instagram I’d be using my iPhone.  I dunno. Maybe yes, maybe no.

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Are you on Instagram? What do you like about it? What do you photograph? How often do you go there?

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Of Hummingbirds & Humility

screen-shot-2016-10-21-at-7-41-34-amI was dive-bombed by a hummingbird the other morning.

I was wearing a bright pink fleece jacket, sitting outside on our deck in the sunshine, drinking coffee from a red mug.

I was lost in serious thought pondering what I might write about next on this blog, when *flutter, flutter, flutter* a small energetic little bird started diving at me.

I knew that the bird was a hummingbird;  there are lots of them in the wooded ravine behind our house.

They flit around.  You cannot miss them.

I knew that to this little bird I must look like the biggest darned flower in the land, a doozy of a good find.

I tried to sit still hoping that the little bird would tire of attacking me, but you know what?  That little bugger just kept going.  The Energizer Bunny should be so determined.

Eventually I decided to *shoo* the hummingbird away from me because I needed to sip my coffee while it was hot to get my brain going.  I had important things to think about like the topic of my next blog post.

But of course my brain, that can be a tad self-absorbed and egotistical, was blinding me to the obvious.

That is, the topic of this post was making itself known, quietly, right in front of me.  A humble little idea showing me the way, while at the same time reminding me of the basic premise of The Spectacled Bean.

A premise I explain thusly:

  • be here now;
  • make sense of what you’re seeing | feeling | experiencing;  then
  • write about it.

In other words, PAY ATTENTION.  Life is in the details, and that’s where you’ll find the best stories.