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.

Talking To Myself: Evidence Of Impending Decrepitude Or Productivity Hack?

Oh the brain, she be tired and easily distracted.

Like the pre-old person I am.

You see, last week I was in a productive mood.  I was busy, but not overwhelmed.  Happy, but not dippy.  Energetic, but not the most organized I’ve ever been.

Thus it came to be at one point in the late afternoon, while I was whirling around the house, doing the things, thinking the important blogging thoughts, that I realized I’d forgotten what I was doing.

Completely forgot.

Just standing there in the middle of the room, immobile. Alone, no one else around to give me a prompt.

*Humph*

Thus as a way of getting myself back on track I said out loud to myself:

“Do the thing you were supposed to be doing when you realized that you hadn’t done the thing you were supposed to have done and stopped to do that thing.”

And guess what?

I listened to myself, did what I said I should do, and got back in the groove, because apparently when it comes to keeping the productivity choo-choo train on the track I need to use convoluted sentences to communicate with myself.

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Questions Of The Day

Had any good conversations with yourself lately? Did you listen to yourself? And how’d that work out for you?

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Rambling Thoughts That’ll Light No One’s Way, Yet Here They Are

THIS IS ONE OF THOSE LONG WEEKS when I’ve been doing things, but haven’t felt very good.  My stomach kind of hurts, no specific reason.  My ancient old knees hurt, no specific reason.

My head hurts, courtesy of seasonal allergies.  My eyes are an itchy mess because of those same allergies.  And I’ve been sneezing.

Sneezing so loudly, in fact, that while I was outside on the deck when I sneezed a neighbor, who I’ve never met, who lives on the other side of the forest primeval/ravine behind our house yelled “God bless you” towards me.  I shouted “thank you” back across the forest primeval/ravine, thus ending the longest conversation I’ve ever had with any neighbor on the other side of the forest primeval/ravine.

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AND THEY SAY THE SUBURBS ARE SOULLESS. Ha!  We’re not soulless here, we just live far enough apart to not know each other personally while being midwestern polite to a fault.  And aren’t good manners part and parcel of having a soul?

Me thinks so.

And on that note of profundity [?], I shall end this post.  You know I try to be here at least once a week because I made a commitment to myself and to you, my gentle readers, to do so, thus I am here.

It would be bad manners to not show up.

However some weeks it takes all I’ve got just to find a photo [enhanced by Waterlogue app], plop it on this virtual page, and then write the words.  In this case Muse is here with me, but my Energy Level isn’t up to snuff.

‘Ya know what I mean?

Notes On Getting My TSA Known Traveler Number + Chitchat About Where I’ve Been

Let’s heAR it for Ms. Bean

This summer, after yabbling about doing this for years, I finally enrolled in the TSA PreCheck program.

The online application was easy.  The total cost was $85.00 for five years.  But it did require an interview with a real person at a TSA-approved IdentoGO office that happened to be nowhere close to where I live.

My interview appointment time, the soonest I could get, was 4 weeks from when I sent in my enrollment– and then it was 10 days after that before I got my official TSA Known Traveler Number [KTN].

For me this was not a fast process

Do I need this TSA PreCheck status?  I dunno.  But after some of my air travel experiences, most notably standing in the Las Vegas TSA line for 1 hour 45 minutes, I’ll do anything that *might* make the process less painful.

[Click HERE to read an article that helped me to better understand the program.]

And on that note, having talked about the practical side of travel, I’ll share the following fun and pretty stuff.

I created these images using the Visited Countries Project on Douwe Osinga’s website. You may already know about this because it’s been around for a long time.

Nonetheless here is where I’ve been
I’ve been to 9 countries which amounts to 4% of the world.

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I’ve been to 34 US states which amounts to 68% of the country.

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I’ve been to 3 Canadian provinces which amounts to 23% of the country.

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QUESTIONS OF THE DAY

Are you in the TSA PreCheck program? If so, how has that worked out for you?

Where did you go for your favorite vacation ever? Where did you go for your worst vacation ever?  

Got any travel plans for the rest of this year?

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One-Liner Wednesday: Well, If Nothing Else I’m Truthful & Consistent

This is trippy.

I was on Twitter reading some comments when I thought I recognized a handle from someone who’d had a blog back around 2007.

It wasn’t the same person, but it got me thinking about bloggers who were part of my daily life 12-15 years ago, so I started looking for these long-lost bloggers.

Most of their blogs were either deleted or abandoned.

However for the heck of it on one of the abandoned blogs, Chasing Daisy, I stopped to read a post, then I clicked on the comments.

There in the comment section was a comment I wrote over 12 years ago.

It’s a comment gleaned from my own personal experiences in which I talk about how people can bug you.  It’s a comment that I believe still rings true.  Yep, I said it then and I say it now:

“Just when you think that they can’t get any dumber, they do.” 

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