In Which I Answer 20 Questions Because It’s Something Fun To Do

I haven’t done anything like this in a long time, so why not change it up? After all, variety is the spice of life blogging. Therefore today I’m answering 20 questions I found on View from the Back who got them from The Life And Travels Of Mrs Suvi

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Your most memorable fancy dress costume?

A few years ago I wore a purple cocktail dress with silver sparkly trim to a black-tie business event that was a horrible affair. I was physically and emotionally uncomfortable the whole evening: my dress was tight & my feet hurt while I was standing in a room filled with status-seeking people cursed with negative energy. I vowed to never do anything like it again– and I haven’t.

Which social media platform do you use the most?

WordPress

Favourite season?

• Autumn

If you had to choose the beach or mountains, which would it be?

• I’d choose the beach because I like walking on sand, looking at the waves, searching for shells or driftwood, BUT I choose this with the proviso that I can visit the mountains whenever I want to.

What can you play very well?

• Candy Crush Soda Saga

What kind of cheese do you like?

• All non-stinky kinds

Life goal?

• To put things or ideas or people together. Metaphorically speaking I see puzzle pieces everywhere and want to make the picture whole. Or maybe I see tesserae everywhere and want to make my own mosaic. In either case I put things together.

How many cities have you lived in?

• I’ll answer this by defining cities as metropolitan regions, thus my answer is 8.

What language do you wish you could speak?

• Spanish

What can’t you stand?

• A mocking tone of voice. The idea that education is of no value. Green peppers.

If you have an hour to kill on your hands, what would you do?

• Depending on the situation I’d: go for a walk;  read a book &/or some blogs;  play a game on my phone;  or become a lounge lizard watching the people go by.

Your favorite routine?

• I’d say it’s showing up to my blog at least once a week, usually on Tuesday, and talking with everyone in the comments. Like I’m doing now. *Hi!*

When do you become hyperactive?

• When I’m forced to travel by plane, often leaving the house before the break of day, I become hyperactive with worry about locking the house and all things related to the hassle at the airport. It makes me crazy until I’m sitting at my gate.

Text message or phone call?

• Text message

Your most precious treasure?

• I like things, but as for precious treasure I’m not sure any one thing would rate that designation. I mean, any thing I have can be replaced so how precious is it really?

Your latest foreign language mistake?

• I probably mispronounced some French word. The few I know trip me up when I try to say them.

What’s the best therapy for you?

• A glass of chilled dry white wine sipped while gazing into nature

If you could be a fictional character, who would you be?

• I rather liked Piper in Charmed. She could make a great meal, stop time in order to decide what to do next, and vanquish evil when necessary. Plus she married her true love. All-in-all, she’s my kind of badass.

Where would you like to travel?

• Dreaming big here: UK. Ireland. Italy. Hawaii. Australia. NZ. Vietnam. South Africa. Argentina.

Where did you meet your spouse/partner?

• We met in college. In fact, this past Valentine’s Day we received a card from our alma mater telling us that we are among about 2,000 couples who met on campus. Of course the Valentine’s Day card was also a solicitation for monies making the card less lovable, but the factoid was interesting.

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If you decide to do this on your own blog please link back to this post so I can go read what you wrote. Deal?

The One In Which I Talk To Myself While Buying Beer & Am Overheard

This post has been published in black and white so that I won’t be accused of trying to influence your answer to the poll question below by using particular colors in this post. Nope, not doing that here.

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I know that Super Bowl Sunday is a big day for gambling, but I know from experience that Super Bowl Sunday is a busy shopping day in grocery stores.

Keeping that in mind while I was at the grocery store yesterday, I decided to go ahead and buy food & drink for what will be our Super Bowl Sunday junk food feast.  It’ll be just the two of us so our snacking will lean toward healthy, but we gotta have something special.

It’s a law.

While in the store I decided to buy a six-pack of fancy beers, one of those create your own dealios, you know?  That’s when the store has a refrigerated section that offers a wide assortment [maybe 75?] of individual bottles of beer/ale/cider.  You pick the 6 you want, placing them in a generic cardboard carrier that when taken to the register rings a set price.

$9.99 to be exact.

Welp, I got totally swept away with the variety in front of me and found myself contemplating each bottle as if I’d never seen beer before.  I was smitten with the idea of having choices, and went with two local ales, two regional beers, and one national-brand ginger beer.  But I couldn’t decide about the last one bottle so I carefully reviewed all my choices, finally adding a bottle of international beer to the cardboard carrier.

As I did so, with a real sense of personal accomplishment, I said out loud: “And it’s Heineken for the win.”

At which point I heard a man, who I didn’t realize was standing behind me waiting for me to choose my bottles, say: “Yes it is, always.”

Of course I jumped about a foot in the air and started laughing, apologizing for taking so long– because really I’d been dawdling more than deciding— but this kind man just grinned and said: “No problem.”

Which in this situation was an appropriate response, so all’s well that end’s well.  Including, I do hope, football season this Sunday evening.

The Downside To Being Tidy: An Honest Mistake

In the photo above you’ll see what remains of a formerly square clear plastic drawer divider after it has been run through the electric dishwasher on the top rack.

I got it in my head to wash said formerly square clear plastic drawer divider because I was in the process of being tidy.  I was cleaning out the junk drawer in the kitchen and the divider was dirty.

I tossed the drawer divider into the dishwasher without a second thought.  It never dawned on me to find out if it was dishwasher safe.

It is not. Case in point.

Still, when I pulled the formerly square clear plastic drawer divider out of the dishwasher, I didn’t swear or berate myself for my mistake. Nope, no negative self-talk here.

Instead, channeling my late mellow mother, a history teacher with a quiet sense of humor, I said with a hat tip to President Harry Truman, this just goes to prove that:

“If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the dishwasher.”

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QUESTIONS OF THE DAY

Have you ever melted anything in the dishwasher?

What’s the last thing your good intentions accidentally destroyed?

Do you have a junk drawer?

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Blog Post #901: What We Have Here Is A Tuesday-type Situation

IF AFTER 900 POSTS on The Spectacled Bean you know anything about me you know that I adore images that summarize what’s going on.

While it’s true that I’m a wordy girl at heart, I’m not a word-exclusive snob so I find a visual image, such as the one I’ve shared here, can get to the point of a situation quickly and accurately.

Make it snappy, I say to my wordy self as I compose posts for this blog;  tell the story in whatever way conveys your message clearly, I remind myself before I add an image.

Yep, that’s how I talk to myself when writing a personal blog post.  Scintillating? Not so much.

ALSO, FOR THE RECORD, I found this image in a file on my old computer and realized I’d made the image in order to learn how to make a Venn diagram but had never used the image for anything because, I guess, once I’d learned how to make a Venn diagram I had no need for said image.

Until today.

A Tuesday, a day of the week that sometimes can be difficult to embrace wholeheartedly.

A Tuesday on which I want to return to blogging after a long hiatus but am feeling awkward about how to start writing again.

This particular Tuesday to be exact.

THUS IN KEEPING WITH the concept of SIMPLIFY, my #OneWord365 for 2020, I thought for blog post #901 I’d write something light and easy, something sincere but a bit silly. Something that acknowledges that it’s a new year on the calendar but confirms that I’m the same old me.

Something, in fact, that might be construed as a catalyst for comments and conversation about your approach to blogging OR your word of the year OR your opinion of Tuesdays.

What’s new with you, kids? I’ve been away far too long.

Getting Philosophical As I Prepare To Take A Month Off From Blogging

Pretty blurry striped colors make for a lovely image* at the top of this post, my last one for 2019.

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I LISTENED TO THE LATEST Hurry Slowly podcast from Jocelyn K. Glei.

In it she introduced her new vision for how her podcast will evolve during Season 3.  In a nutshell, she’s loosening up about who she is and will be focusing less on productivity and more on authenticity.

I look forward to hearing what she says as she shares her transformation and her realizations about what matters to her now.  And therein is the nugget of wisdom that I gleaned from her podcast.

It’s all in the now, the person who you are in this moment and how you will manifest as such.  It’s not about what you’re doing, it’s about how you’re doing it and why.

Always the why.

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AS YOU MAY REMEMBER MY #OneWord365 for this year is streamlined.

Since I adopted it last January I’ve thought on it, not necessarily daily, but weekly as I organize my life, hoping to create a clutter-free home and the conviction that I can do things smoothly.

However, if I’m to be truthful here I’ve had a rocky year with this one word. It’s come to mean expense [roof, windows, computer] and idealistic dreams [the basement and garage are still harboring too much stuff] and, by the looks of the inside of this house, half-finished projects strewn about the rooms in messy heaps of indecision.

On the one hand I feel like I’m a failure about implementing the streamlined concept, but on the other hand I wouldn’t be as far along the path to becoming who I want to be now if I hadn’t focused on it.

So there’s that.

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I’VE DECIDED TO TAKE THE month of December off from blogging and instead focus on Susannah Conway’s December Reflections Instagram prompts.

I enjoy writing but feel that I need to get away from my ordinary routine, allowing me to reflect on how and why I’ll be doing what I plan to do in 2020 AND to decide whether or not my attempts to be streamlined have been a personal transformative experience or just another screwup.

Thus all that is left for me to say here is please enjoy whatever it is you do during the month of December. Make it a fun one. Take joy!

Later, kids.

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* Because someone is going to ask: I made this image by photographing a page from Wreck This Journal by Keri Smith. I then enhanced the photo using ‘Rainy’ in Waterlogue [here for Apple] or [here for Windows].  

I put that enhanced image into Photos on my iMac where I edited it by adding highlights and cropping it into a rectangle.  It was work-y, but turned out pretty darned cool, if’n I do say so myself.

I’m Not A Fish, But Know How They Must Feel In Their Bowls

Some of you know this story already, but I’ll be brief, keep it snappy, and tell it here so that the title of this post makes sense to you, my gentle readers.

After 4 1/2 months of waiting we finally got new replacement windows on the front of the house.

It was a tedious, anxiety-producing process that started with a 3 1/2 month wait, involved delivery of mis-measured windows, a thwarted installation, a makeshift faux installation of the wrong windows to fill the holes in the house created by the thwarted installation, waiting… waiting… waiting again…, and then correctly-sized windows properly installed.

A Christmas Pella miracle, she says with a hint of sarcasm.

The result of this home improvement project is: 1) we no longer have leaky broken windows;  2) we are noticing how much quieter it is in the house with new windows;  and 3) we have no blinds, my preferred window treatment, to put on the new correctly-sized properly installed windows on the front of the house.

Specifically blinds for the windows in the home office where I sit at the desk while using a desktop computer to write this blog.

Forsooth.

But here’s where it gets fishy. Now that it’s darker outside in the early morning, and with no blinds on the windows, I feel like a guppy in a fishbowl sitting in this room. Passersby, whether they be kids on school buses or runners or adults walking their dogs, can see me swimming around sitting at the computer, under the overhead light, doing my early morning bloggy thing, often in my pajamas.

We taped a plastic super strength high density painter’s drop cloth over the windows in an attempt to make this room less noticeable from the street, but it just blurs me, doesn’t hide me.

Ptooey, she says with a hint of defeat.

I don’t like the idea of being on display here each morning but until we get blinds on the new correctly-sized properly installed windows, that took longer to manufacture and install than building this house did, I’ve no choice but to live my life like a fish in a fishbowl for everyone who goes by to see.

And ain’t that grand?

What The Sheriff Saw: A Story About Yours Truly Doing Her Gardening Chores

I want to tell you what happened. I didn’t quite understand what really happened as it happened and it was only after Zen-Den gently walked me to an epiphany that I got what happened.

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THE OTHER MORNING AROUND 9:00 a.m. I decided to water the planters that are on the stoop in front of the house by the front door. I do this using an old Rubbermaid aqua-colored 2 1/4 quarts plastic pitcher whose white lid I lost decades ago.

As I was watering these planters I looked over in the bushes to where we have a medium-sized concrete urn that holds a spike plant. Because it’s been more dry around here than usual the poor spike looked droopy, so I got more water in my repurposed pitcher, now watering can, and stepped into our bushes in front of the windows in front of the house to water the thirsty plant.

I probably should add at this point that I was wearing Stewart plaid flannel jammies, a bright pink fleece jacket, dark teal suede house slippers, and had my curly mess of graying blonde hair pulled up, with a neon orange elastic band, into an off-kilter pineapple-style ponytail on top of my head.

Oh, and I was wearing dark glasses because it was sunny outside.

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THERE’S BEEN A CHIPMUNK hanging around the front of the house all summer and as I was watering the spike I saw it scurry by me on its way to the other side of the front of the house. I do not like the damage that chipmunks can cause so I stopped watering and glared at the little rodent to see where it was going.

And, of course, I yelled a few random death threats at it.

As one does.

Suddenly I had a strange feeling and realized I was not alone. That out on the street in a large black SUV someone was watching me as I stood there.

And who was this person watching me? A sheriff who had happened to notice me as he was driving by. He’d rolled down his passenger side window to get a closer look at me and when I saw him, he waved.

I smiled and waved back while holding up my repurposed pitcher, then started pouring water into the concrete urn to show him I belonged where I was. I wasn’t a burglar hiding in the bushes, I was just the lady of the house doing a chore.

He smiled back, nodded his head, rolled up the window, and went on his way.

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LATER THAT NIGHT I told Z-D what had happened and how funny I thought it was that a sheriff thought I was a miscreant attempting to break into our house.

As if.

Zen-Den listened to my story and conclusion, then quietly suggested that what the sheriff thought he saw probably didn’t register with him as a burglary in progress.

Instead from the sheriff’s perspective what he saw was an addlepated gray-haired senior citizen, perhaps suffering from dementia and jibber-jabbering to herself, wandering around in the bushes in her nightclothes, seemingly confused, while carrying a random kitchen item with her.

And darn it to heck, Zen-Den is right. That’s exactly what the sheriff saw.