In The Countryside: A Leisurely Walk Along A Trail, A Quiet Study In Contrasts

The sun came out over the weekend so we went for a walk along a biking + walking trail that runs through the area.  [Read a previous post about it HERE.]

Usually when we walk this trail going out into the countryside the trees are leafy green so we cannot see what is beside the trail, but this being late winter the leaves on the trees didn’t obscure the views.

This is what we saw.  Much of it was new to me, even though it’s been there all along, just hidden from view.

I’m sure there’s a lesson in this post but I’ll leave it to you, kids, to discern it.  I’m still trying to figure out what time it is.  Spring forward, my Aunt Fanny.

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The trail out into the countryside seen with hardly a soul on it.

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An old house with a bowed roof that appears to be someone’s home.

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A McMansion in the process of being built next door to the previous house.

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Three trailers parked across the way from the McMansion.

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A gazebo in a township park close to the trailers seen above.

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A rustic creek with new apartment complex overlooking it.

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Bicycle sculptures with benches, a place to rest along the trail.

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A Lunch Date Wherein I Am Happy But Told I Should Not Be So Happy

You’re too happy.

I met an acquaintance for lunch.  She’d texted me the afternoon before we had lunch to arrange where she suddenly wanted to go to lunch.

Nowhere convenient, I’ll tell ‘ya that.

However, I happily rearranged my schedule to accommodate her whim preference, but that fact seemed to escape her notice as we sat there eating and talking.

Nope, she was on a rant about all that is wrong in the world;  and she needed me to know that in her opinion I was too happy when discussing the wrongs in the world.

My equanimity seemed to bring out the demons in her.

She was perturbed with me because I wasn’t in the depths of despair over The Donald’s latest bull sh!t move of telling people to go to work when they’re sick.

[How stupid &/or senile is that man?]  

Nor was I despondent enough over Elizabeth Warren, the competent presidential candidate who the news outlets marginalized, dropping out of the race.

[How sad is it that our country is so backward when it comes to electing leaders?]

Nor was I gnashing my teeth over the gloomy grayness that has been the subtext of our winter weather here.

[How soon will spring get here?] 

Yep, she was peeved with me, but she’s what I’d call an Eeyore, a bit on the gloomy side.  Always.  Which means, of course, that my Pooh-like demeanor rankles her.

I do like her if only because she reminds me that someone else’s opinion of you need not define you.  And that by talking with a variety of personality types you can, if you are open to it, learn a few things.

Like for instance, you can learn that the word ‘happy’ can have a negative connotation. Who knew, huh?

Who Goes There? Chatting About The Names We Use When Blogging + A Poll Question

BACK WHEN I FIRST STARTED writing a blog I read a blog [whose name I do not remember] written by a woman named Karen [I think].

She was hilarious and outrageous, posting every stinking day about her small-town life.  Her writing was wordy and it was perfect.  No grammar or spelling mistakes, ever.

I was in awe of her.

She had a huge following.  They were as outrageous as she was which made reading the comments a hoot.  I was more reserved back then, so I didn’t jump into her comment section like I would today.

• • •

IN RETROSPECT THE MOST INTERESTING thing about her comment section was that the commenters created nicknames for themselves.  This was ostensibly to distinguish one from another, when more than one person had the same first name spelled the same way.

For instance [making up examples here] there’d be “Cathy from California” who wasn’t to be confused with “Cathy who hates gerbils” who most clearly was not “Cathy the Cookie.”

It was all inside jokes and seemed harmless.  Rather fun, crazy awesome, even.

• • •

HOW THE HECK DID I get thinking about a blog from 15 years ago?

The other day I sat down to answer my comments here.  I had three comments in a row from women with the same first name who spelled it the same way.  Then I had two comments in a row from women with the same first name who spelled it the same way.

Suddenly, thinking back to the blogger from years ago, I was curious about how many people with the same first name spelled the same way leave comments here on a regular basis.

I had no idea, so I did a little behind the scenes research.

I was surprised by what I learned and I’m betting that you, my gentle readers, won’t guess which first name spelled the same way is the most popular one among my commenters, but give it a go.  Here’s the poll question.

Also, out of curiosity, have you ever seen a blogger with commenters who have created specific nicknames to use only when commenting on that blog? Is/was this a thing? Or is this something as unique as I think it was? 

28 Pig Phrases: A List Created [For Fun], A Goal Achieved [Finally]

And now for something completely different.

Did you know that March 1st, this Sunday, is National Pig Day? Well it is.

In honor of this I’ve written a list of pig phrases seen immediately below plus I’ve provided an explanation at the end of the post as to why I‘ve written this list.

[You know you’re wondering why.] 

Please enjoy this list, but I beg of you, do not let this plethora of piggy-ness and phraseology overwhelm you with its profundity.

Photo by skeeze via pixabay

A LIST OF 28 PIG PHRASES

Please the pigs means if circumstances permit

Pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered means don’t get greedy or whatever you have will be taken away from you

As short as a pig’s kick means not very good [Spanish insult]

Even a blind pig will occasionally find an acorn means even the least competent person will have something useful to contribute once in a while

To go to pigs and whistles means to go to ruin

Happier than a dead pig in sunshine means thrilled [Southern saying]

It’s as plain as a pig on a sofa means very obvious

Looked like a pig on ice means clumsy

He follows me around like an Antony pig means someone who mindlessly follows someone else [old English term referencing a Roman Catholic saint]

Don’t go crossing the pig tracks means don’t behave in an unseemly way

Feed a pig and you’ll have a hog means beware of encouraging a greedy person who’ll become dependent on you

Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and annoys the pig means some people are too closed-minded to bother talking with [maybe said by Mark Twain]

Driving his pigs to market means snoring

Only a pig depends on the favors of swine means only a sneaky person will depend on the handouts of the disreputable

When pigs fly means it’ll never happen [English proverb from 1600s]

To get the wrong pig by the tail means to make a mistake

To bring one’s pigs to a fine market means to do well for yourself

Young pigs grunt as loud as old pigs grunted before them means same as it ever was [Danish proverb]

Like a pig to truffles means being able to go directly to the best of anything

Sometimes the rotten pig gets the apple means life isn’t always fair

Wears like a pig’s nose means durable [slogan from 1885 advertisement for overalls]

As happy as a pig in mud means contented with things as they are in this moment

I haven’t had this much fun since the pigs ate my brother means I’m having a good time

Don’t buy a pig in a poke means don’t make a deal without confirming the details

Sweating like a pig means to be so physically hot that beads of visible sweat form on you [not a reference to the farm animal, it’s about smelting iron]

Like putting lipstick on a pig means attempting to make something appear better than it is

Hollering like a stuck pig means a person who complains like they’re in pain to get attention

Neither give cherries to pigs nor advice to fools means your good intentions and truthfulness will be misunderstood by people who aren’t that intellectually bright [Irish proverb]

Addendum: More Pig Phrases Courtesy Of My Wonderful Commenters

What’s time to a pig means not to worry about something, it doesn’t really matter [from Dan at No Facilities]

Like pigs feeding at the trough means a greedy person, often a politician, getting more than his fair share [from Susan at Garden of Eden Blog]

Pig Latin means a made-up silly language in which the first syllable of an English word is removed from the beginning of the word and tacked onto the end of the word [from shoreacres at The Task at Hand]

In a pig’s eye means disbelief [from Deborah at temenos]

Pig out means to eat too much [from Anne at Mehrling Muse]

Piggy back means literally to carry someone on your back or in a figurative sense to add something to something that already exists [from Erica/Erika at Behind the Scenery]

Never wrestle with a pig; you just get muddy and the pig enjoys it means don’t bother trying to reason with someone who’s determined to be unreasonable [from Eilene at Myricopia]

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And why, you may be asking yourself, does Ms. Bean know all these pig phrases?

GLAD YOU ASKED.

It’s because in the winter of ’98 [yes, that’d be 1998] I planned on creating a website to see if I could figure out how to do that. I never got the chance to make the website, but I compiled this list in anticipation of doing so. The website was going to be about pig phrases.

[Once a wordy girl, always a wordy girl.]

Last weekend, in a serendipitous moment while sorting through some paper files in my desk drawer, I found this list of pig phrases and thought, considering the research was all done, why not make a blog post of it.

So I did.

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The Tale Of The Drunken Daffodils That Didn’t Get Drunk Enough, I Guess

Last fall I decided that I’d attempt to force some daffodil bulbs to bloom inside the house this winter.  I thought the yellow flowers would be a spot of cheerfulness in February, the grayest of months.

I found THIS ARTICLE that told me how to create the perfect environment for my daffodils so that when it was time to take them out of the dark basement, they’d not get leggy.  Instead, they’d use their energy to make the flowers bloom bigger, better, more colorful.

Bloom being the operative word here.

I did as instructed, rescuing the bulbs from basement darkness a few weeks ago.  At first it seemed like I was going to have, as they used to say, a success experience because the bulbs were getting jiggy, pushing healthy green leaves upward.

I was jazzed.

In fact, in anticipation of the yellow flowers I put the pots with the bulbs in a sunny spot on the kitchen table, where I’d see the beauty from many rooms.

As per the article in order to stunt their growth, I watered the bulbs with a carefully measured concoction of water and alcohol. I mean when you task me with the responsibility of getting some daffodils drunk, I take it seriously. Do my best. Or so I thought.

However as the days have gone by, the daffodils have grown leggy and there’s no indication that they’ll ever bloom.  I agree that they’re a lovely shade of green, but as for the yellow flowers?

There are none and I am sad.

Thinking this through all I can figure is that despite what the article said, in order to stunt their growth the bulbs needed more alcohol than I gave them.  This means I failed them, not getting them liquored up enough to bloom where they were planted.

But if nothing else at least I tried, getting a good blog story out of it. 🍸

These daffodils appear to be sober and aren’t blooming, with no indication that they will. Let that be a lesson to you.

Who’s Zooming Who: When Being Polite Doesn’t Work In Your Favor

What is it with people lately?

You’re with a group of people and one woman, Queen Bee, starts to talk about her moral dilemma “blah blah blah” problem.  She wants everyone in the group to tell her what to do, that’s how distraught she claims to be.

You remain politely reserved saying nothing, thinking to yourself this isn’t a problem you crowdsource for a solution, while everyone else [oh. my. to. the. goodness. gracious.] tells Queen Bee what is wrong with her. And what she should do. And how she should do it.

Eventually all eyes fall on you so you go all Glinda the Good Witch.  You say something like you don’t need any help because you’ve always had the power within you to solve this problem.  Just put on your magic slippers, click your heels together, Dorothy Queen Bee, and you’ll find your way home solution.

Well a short time later you run into Queen Bee who tells you that she has no intention of following any of the advice from the group.  In fact she says that she only talked about her moral dilemma “blah blah blah” problem because she was testing everyone to see who was on her side.

Oh dear.

In a nanosecond you realize that Queen Bee now considers you a supportive friend.  You find yourself wondering how it is that being polite got you into this situation?  And how in the future you’ll be politely distancing yourself from Queen Bee?

Your new deceitful [I. don’t. think. so.] friend.

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?