Answering The Quaker Questions

FYI, THE 2019 UPDATE TO THIS POST IS HERE: Revisiting The Quaker Questions: Say What? Naked Who?

[Please note: I updated this post August 2015 to include additional links that did not show up on my original Google search when I wrote the post in June 2012.]

•  Once upon a time Zen-Den and I joined a Presbyterian Church.  At one of the New Members Meetings we answered The Quaker Questions.  Here are the three questions:

  1. Where were you born?
  2. When you were 7 years old how did your family heat your home?
  3. What person in your real life growing up influenced you in a way that makes you who you are today?

•  Curious as always, I did a Google search on The Quaker Questions.  I figured that they were probably rather standard;  but I was wrong.  I found the following links– none of which duplicate what I’d call The Quaker Questions.

•  As you probably know I’m a firm believer in the idea that: if something works, stick with it.  Therefore I’ll be answering THE [PRESBYTERIAN-ESQUE] QUAKER QUESTIONS that were asked of me years ago.  So without further nattering, I give you my answers:

1.  Ohio

2.  Our home was an old house that consisted of two apartments, with a modern addition at the back of it.  We lived in the upstairs apartment.  The original part of the house was 100 years old and heated by a huge old clunky gas furnace in the basement that sent warmth to large hissy radiators in the rooms upstairs.

The newer part of the house, at the back of the building, had a coal-burning fireplace with a gas starter [that used a really cute little metal key that my 7 y.o. self adored & wanted for her very own.]

3.  My 10th grade English teacher had a big influence on who I am today.  She believed that everyone could write well.  She was a cheerful soul who gave me the courage to express myself on paper;  she taught me how to enjoy whatever life had to offer, knowing that later I could write it down to share with other people.

•  Care to play along?  Do so in the comments below OR on your own blog.

Mental Health As Explained Via The Wisdom Of Pinterest

What is mental health?  { source }  It’s the:

1.  Ability to enjoy life.

{ source }

2.  Ability to bounce back from adversity.

{ source }

3.  Ability to achieve social balance in your life.

{ source }

4.  Ability to remain flexible in your opinions and expectations.

{ source }

5.  Ability to actualize your gifts.  

{ source }

[FYI – These images are from 3 of my Pinterest boards: Let’s Laugh + Attitude Is Everything + Cute & Funny.  There are lots more to see over on Pinterest.  Something new is always happening there.]  [Please note: since writing this post I’ve deleted these boards.  After more than a year on Pinterest, I’m beginning to think that it has jumped the shark for me.  I’ve goofed off enough, I guess.  Update added 07/12.]

Summertime And The Blogging Is Easy

I’ve decided that it’s time to shake-up things here on my sweet little bloggy.  I wanna do something light & fun & whatever-ish.  Something more spontaneous than recording the details of my life.

So this summer instead of my usual blah, blah, blah, I’m going to post once a week about something that interests me.   A topic that I’ve always been curious about, perhaps.  Or some photos taken during my week, maybe.  Or a things-that-I’ve-learned sort of post.

I’m sure that given the freedom to do whatever I want, I’ll dream up something each week.  Then I’ll write about it here on The Spectacled Bean every Tuesday or Wednesday.

Sound like a plan?  Sure hope so ’cause that’s what I’m going to do from Memorial Day [May 28] to Labor Day [September 3].

I’ll talk at ‘ya later everyone.  Summer is calling to me.

We Caved

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Remember two weeks ago when I told you that I had absolutely nothing planned for the week?  That I was going to spend my days in quiet contemplation with a book or writing or just being?  I was in a very good mood when I wrote that.  Possibility awaited me.

Well, that didn’t happen.  Practicality showed up instead.

You see, without any advanced warning, workers from the sprinkler installation company arrived– and began installing a sprinkler system in our front  & back yards.  A sprinkler system that we’ve tried to do without for all 13 years that we’ve lived here.  A sprinkler system that we reluctantly decided to buy.

A sprinkler system that says to the world: yes, we’ve been assimilated.  We are… suburban.

I remember when we first moved to this area we surprised our friends & relatives by voluntarily living like this.  Suburban, that is.  We’d always lived within walking distances of restaurants and grocery stores and parks.  We’d been in high-rise apartment buildings and historic preservation districts and old-fashioned city suburbs.  But never in exurbia, outside the ebb & flow of a city.

However, be that as it may, for the most part this has been a good way to live.  I’ll admit that.  Having space within your home and quiet outside your house is delightful.  And Z-D loves to come back home from his workplace in the city to an area that is nothing like the city.

So if having a sprinkler system is part and parcel of this choice, then I guess I need to accept that caving on this subject might not be the worst idea ever.  In fact, I suspect that come mid-August I’m going to think that a sprinkler system is the most brilliant thing that we’ve ever done around here.

Having come to the mature realization that: Resistance was futile.

My Weekend Summarized Into Two Sentences

 When asked what color they stained their deck, she replied:

“It’s a color called– NOT THE ONE I PICKED OUT.”

 While in the process of staining the deck when asked by her husband where she was going, she replied:

“I’ll be back.  I just need to change my clothes– BECAUSE I HAVE TOO MANY SPLINTERS IN MY BUTT.” 

… So how was everyone else’s weekend.  Did we have fun?

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{Photos added 05.22.12 for Margaret… because she asked.}

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{Please Note: the deck color that you see here is a warm pearl gray instead of a light golden oak as originally planned.  Fortunately our bricks have a gray undertone in them + our siding is SW Agreeable Gray so this “NOT THE ONE I PICKED OUT” color coordinates just fine.  No harm done, really.  In fact, Z-D really likes it so maybe it was meant to be.}

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Confirming Your Worst Fear About FB


The stock market certainly didn’t take kindly to Facebook.  I’m not entirely surprised.  In fact, I’m rather pleased to see that enough people in this world are aware enough to not waste their money on a company that uses other people’s information somehow to make money.

That being said I’ve spent a good part of the last couple days reading about/listening to friends & acquaintances talk about leaving FB now that we’re all learning more about FB’s business model.  And because I’ve left Facebook not once, but three times, I have become a voice on this topic.

Just call me a Facebook Rejection Early Adopter.

[FYI- I joined FB first in 2006.  I lasted a few weeks, decided there was nothing there & left– as did all my friends at the time.  Next, I joined FB again in 2009 because two friends, who I later realized were very lonely people, prodded me into trying it again.  I lasted 6 months before I decided that FB was too much of a time suck for me.  So I deleted my account again.  Again, I joined Facebook in 2011 when I decided to create a FB account for this blog.  I maintained the account for about 5 months, but realized that I was dividing my time between something of value (writing on the blog) & something of marginal value (interacting via FB).  Seeing the writing on the wall {pun intended} I closed that account.]

So here is the one thing that I really want to say today.  It is the one question that everyone I know who is still on Facebook wants answered.  It is, I believe, the real reason disgruntled Facebookians hesitate about deleting their accounts– because they know deep down they are not going to like the answer.   Which is…

Yes, once you leave Facebook you will find out for certain who is your real friend and who isn’t.  There will be no doubt about this because the real friends will stay in touch with you via non-FB ways while you will never hear from the faux friends again.

And some of the people who turn out to be faux friends will shock you.  Leaving you by yourself to wonder how you ever could have been fooled by them to begin with.

It’s not a pretty thing to find out– but as they say, the truth will set you free.  And free I am out here in the world detached from FB.

Five Senses Friday

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~  this has been an emotionally draining week filled with drama [so not me] + sadness [accept it] + introspection [must understand self better]


birds chirping loudly

~  a noisy cute little brown birdie couple have built a nest exactly where they can annoy me when I sit on the screened-in porch & when I’m in the kitchen


freshly brewed black coffee

~  as I insist on doing this meme in the morning I don’t know that they’ll ever be any other answer to this prompt


new buffalo check drapes hanging in the bay window in the kitchen

~ this is a project in process so no photos yet


 the aroma of  juiced lemons

~  I’m about to make lemon curd for the first time – wish me luck

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{This wonderful idea is from abby try again.  If you wish, you may play along in the comments below or on your own blog.}