Which One?

When I was a little girl Saturday morning was for watching cartoons and commercials.  On a black and white television, of course.

[My mother refused to buy one of the “new” color TVs until our old one quit working.  Let me assure you that those old b&w TVs were very well-made.  But I digress… ]

I found the two commercials below on YouTube.  While I don’t remember either one, I’m putting them here as examples of what was on TV way back then.

[Or maybe a little bit before my way back then.  But you get the gist of what I’m showing you here, right?  Something in black and white.]

After watching both commercials I’ve decided that I prefer one of the characters over the other one.

So, how about you?  Are you on Team Sugar Bear [“Bet your booties, Granny”]?

Or are you on Team Trix Rabbit  [“Oh, rubba, rubba, dub”]?

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My Three Rules

A couple of weeks ago I found this delightful post: “I’m better than Gibbs. I only need three rules.”  It’s written by Jo White aka Mediamum.  I like what she has to say and how she says it.

Reading her post got me thinking about what my 3 rules might be.  Here’s what I decided.

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1.  Arrive pre-amused.

Swiped this idea directly from The Little Book of Letting Go by Hugh Prather.  Attitude is everything, no?

2.  Embrace complexity.

I started saying this after we moved from a smaller city to this here big city where nothing is straightforward or easy.  Instead of whining about everything, I adopted this point of view.  It has served me well. 

3.  Say thank you.

It’s good manners.  It’s a prayer.  It makes your mother happy.  So why not demonstrate your grasp of successful interpersonal relationships and say it, huh?

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What are your three rules?  Or do you have more than three a la Leroy Jethro Gibbs?  Please share in comments below– or on your own blog.  We’d love to know.

Not So Smooth

“Man plans, God laughs.”

~ Yiddish proverb

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I don’t make New Year’s resolutions anymore.  I gave up on trying to do that a long time ago.  Instead, I focus on one word for the year– attempting to make my one word happen in all that I do during the year.

[I adopted this idea years ago after reading this blog post by Christine Kane.]

So, this year I chose the word SMOOTH as my one word of the year.   SMOOTH.  As in: calm;  consistent;  without harshness;  having no rough edges.  Lovely word. Wonderful concept.

But here’s my problem, 2011 is three-fourths over and I’m not getting anywhere with my word of the year.  In fact, I think that I’m doing just about the complete opposite.  Things are getting rougher, more problematic, and less consistent as this year drags on.

I thought that in 2011 I’d have the inside of the house finally put back together after our years of remodeling and painting.  Hasn’t happened.

I thought that in 2011 our little backyard project [understatement of the year] would be finished in a timely fashion and that we’d be having fun out there by now.  Hasn’t happened.

I thought that in 2011 I’d get back into blogging and feel more connected to the world at large again.  Hasn’t happened.

Instead, I’ve experienced flux & difficult endings & weird people– lots of ’em.  This would not be my definition of SMOOTH.

Fortunately, I’m good at going with the flow and adapting as needed.  If I was uptight and took myself more seriously, I’d be in a heap of hurt right about now.  But I’m not and I don’t.

I do have to wonder, though.  If I say that for the rest of 2011 my one word is unSMOOTH, will God laugh and make my life SMOOTH?  ‘Cause if that’s the trick to getting what I want this year, I will be a contrarian and do that.  Just watch me.

unSMOOTH.  unSMOOTH.  unSMOOTH.   😉

And So It Goes

 Kind of a bittersweet week for me.  Endings: small, medium & large.

I.

Our tomato and pepper plants are at the end of their growth cycles.  I doubt that we’ll get more than a handful of tomatoes– or a couple of peppers– before the fall chill kills the plants.  It happens every year this way;  I’m always surprised.  This year the difference is that the other day I noticed two chickadees goofing around in the tomato plants.  At first I thought that they were after the tomatoes, but as I kept watching I realized that what the birds wanted is the cotton string that we use, with the wooden stakes, to hold up the plants.  They were pulling on the cotton string with their beaks, but unable to get it lose.  So I decided that  when I dismantle the tomato plants later this month I’ll cut the used cotton string into lengths and leave it out on the deck railing.  Maybe the chickadees will use the cotton string to make their nests.  We’ll see.

II.

Zen-Den and I have very few traditions.  We don’t do the same thing for any holiday.  There are no “but we always do this” restrictions on us.  It comes from being on our own for so long– and from not having kids, I suspect.  That being said, every September we look forward to our first drive into the countryside to go to a small, locally owned apple orchard that has the best apples ever.  So this last weekend we got into the car and went out there, all excited about our first apple foray of the year.  But when we got to the orchard, it was closed;  a sign out front said: “Semi-Retired.  Closed for Season.  Be back Summer of 2012.”  And with that, our one tradition went *poof* and we found ourselves apple-less in the countryside.  Humph.

III.

As you probably know, All My Children ends this week.  I still can’t quite wrap my head around this.  I grew up around AMC– first at a friend’s house, where her mother was addicted to it;  and then at my house, once my mother retired from teaching.  The fact that my Mom, the happy hermit, watched a soap opera never made much sense to me;  but she said that it gave her day structure and that Erica reminded her so much of her freshman year college roommate that she couldn’t not watch it.  In fact, she watched it every day until her death fifteen years ago.

So here’s the odd thing: even though I never became a fan of the show, I realize that I’m going to miss it.  Knowing that AMC was always on TV gave me a feeling of immediate connection with my mother.  Rational?  Not in the least.  But it’s what I’ve kept tucked away in the back of my mind all these years.  Of course, now with the end of All My Kids, that last connection will be gone.  Forever.

Life’s busy now. More chit-chat next week, gentle readers.  Talk at ‘ya then.

Oh Well. Whatever.

[This is my second attempt to publish this post.  How appropriate that my week should end with me unable to get one simple post to show up on my blog.]

It’s Friday and I’ve not accomplished one thing that I set out to do this week.  Nary a one. There would have been a time when this would have made me very upset with myself. Surly, even.

But not any more.

“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven”  (Bible.  King Jame Version.  Ecclesiastes 3:1)

Good advice.  I figure that as long as I’m accomplishing something positive each day– even if it’s not what I set out to do— I’m doing okay.  I trust the process more now than I used to, and I don’t confuse my self-worth with the results.

Not that I don’t like results.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m very fond of accomplishing things. It’s just that I’ve come to understand that I can control only so much of anything, everything– and the best that I can do is to make a go of what’s right in front of me.

“You adapt. You overcome. You improvise.”  (Heartbreak Ridge.  Clint Eastwood as Gunnery Sergeant Thomas Highway)

So that’s what I’ve done this week.  Spent more time online than I would have liked. Spent more time researching future projects than I wanted to. Spent more time goofing around in the kitchen and in the garden.  All the while not finishing that which I wanted to finish.  That which I’d planned on finishing this week.

Don’t know what it all means.  Don’t know that it matters.  This is just where I find myself on a Friday afternoon.  Nowhere near where I thought I’d be on Monday morning.

Again.

Me, Myself & Why Not?

:: Me ::

“How many hours have you wasted trying to think of something suitably witty, funny and original for your status on Facebook or Twitter?” ~ Generatus  I found this site as I was surfing along, so naturally I had to try it.  My status update, in the purple box above, is delightfully accurate.

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:: Myself ::

“What’s happening?” ~ Twitter As some of you know already, I was not immediately taken with Twitter.  But instead of giving up I asked for some guidance, and many blogger/tweeters came forward to help me understand the medium.  Thank you.  Now I’m on Twitter just about every day tweeting along with the rest of them.  Learning lots.  Laughing often.  Loving much.  You can find me @spectacledbean.

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:: Why Not? ::

“Yikes  Something went wrong! But don’t worry, we’re on it — and we’ll try to get it fixed as soon as we can.” ~ Pinterest  I’m enjoying my Pinterest account when it works.  Have you started one yet?  It’s addictive;  I was warned, but I jumped in any way.  Click here to see what I’ve accumulated so far.

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So this is what I’ve been up to lately while online. How about you?  What cool things are you doing? 

Rambling Thoughts From A Sleepless Night

~ I rarely have insomnia, but last night I did not sleep.  Too hot and humid outside.  Too noisy and AC-y inside.  I just couldn’t get comfy, so… 

•  I got up and surfed the internet until the battery in my notebook died– which was 2.25 hours.  I decided to go back to many of the new-to-me blogs where I’ve left comments over the past few months.  It takes quite a bit of focus and prayer for me to reach out to strangers and leave them a comment.  I know that comments are a good way of making friends in the blogosphere and I want to have more bloggy friends.  So I take a deep breath, write something sincere, and push “publish.”

It’s not easy for me, but I do it.

Checking back to see how well-received my comments were, I discovered that 40% of the new-to-me bloggers responded back to me – yeah!  40% of the new-to-me bloggers said nothing – hmm?  And 20% of the new-to-me bloggers didn’t even allow my comment to show up on their blogs – ouch!

•  After the battery went dead in my notebook I just wandered around the inside of the house in the dark, looking out the windows at nature and moonlight and total stillness.  I like doing this because it centers me in the moment, encourages me to look within.  I used to always get up early to do this, but fell out of the habit at some point.

While I was moseying around I got thinking about my health.  I’ve just finished a battery of annual tests and am quite healthy, thank you very much.  The only issue is that my cholesterol is a bit high.

Just something more to be aware of, I guess.

As I don’t know of anyone who eats meat who doesn’t have slightly elevated cholesterol, I’m rather “whatever” about this fact.  I figure that some small changes in my diet and a bit more exercise will fix this issue.  I avoid pharmaceuticals at all costs, so I will take on the challenge of making myself better all by myself.  No pills for me, says the doctor’s daughter.

•  Around 5:30 a.m. I decided it was time to make a pot of coffee and get on with the day.  After the elixir of life brewed, I poured myself a large mug of it and went outside to sit on the deck.  Morning was just starting to grace the sky with streaky, pink clouds and yellowish bursts of weak sunlight.  There were bats flying around everywhere– and birds chirping about something of [presumably] birdy importance.

I like our deck because it looks into the forest prime evil primeval
that leads to the ravine behind our house.  But this morning I was a bit wistful as I looked at the natural mess that is back there.  In a couple of weeks, we will have a new backyard.

Change is good.  And inevitable when you live on a hillside.

The backyard project will put in place a poured concrete landscaping wall.  Then about 28 tons of dirt will be hauled in to level off some of the land.  After that, the landscapers will plant lots of bushes in a visually pleasing, manicured way– which will transform our backyard into a more useable, but decidedly less rustic, place to be.

~ I’ve got nothing more to add to this post.  Morning is here and I’m ready to get on with my day.  I kind of wonder how productive I’ll be today, but figure that I’ll give it my best shot.  Some days “good enough” is the new “perfect.”