The Little Sunflower That Won’t: A Lesson In Gardening & Aging Gracefully [I Suppose]

I’m not known for being the most patient gardener.

Zen-Den is aware of this.

He often warns new plants in the garden that they’d better get with it *pronto* or that they’ll be pulled out, tossed aside, and added to The List Of Plants That Make Ally Bean Snarl.

This little sunflower should be on that list by now, having been given 6 weeks [six weeks!] to show its inclination to grow tall– say, for instance, 4 feet tall as promised on its little garden nursery tag.

But no, this particular little sunflower, that looks a great deal more like a basic Black-eyed Susan than a fancy Sunfinity Sunflower, is blooming but not growing tall– the specific reason I put it where it is.

I’m flummoxed because I like the little yellow sunflower.

It’s pretty, but its lack of vertical spunk, as shown by its refusal to grow tall has left me in a quandary.  Usually by now I would’ve pulled the flower out of the garden line-up.

Adding it to The List Of Plants That Make Ally Bean Snarl.

However, I must be getting soft in my old age because I’ve allowed this little sunflower to stay where it is, deluded by the hope, sans evidence, that it’ll have a growth spurt.

Where is my snarl? Who have I become?

And more to the point, do I like this mellow iteration of Ally Bean the Gardener?  Have I *somehow* transformed into a patient Mother Earth sort of person, guiding the world to gardening goodness?

Or is this just another sign of the kind of indifference that suggests old age and decrepitude?  To a garden filled with overgrown or undergrown [a word?] plants and weeds, a garden untended because it’s too work-y to take care of it.

I dunno.

No answers here.  Just questions today.

The Tale Of The Confused Dude Going Further In The Ford Pickup Truck

• • •

Here’s what made me laugh way too much the other day.

I was on a two-lane curvy township road, stopped in construction traffic in a single file lane with about 20 other vehicles, waiting, when…

This young dude in a huge new Ford F-150 pickup truck in front of me started revving his badass engine, bouncing his truck on its bloated large tires, impatient, as he waited for the opportunity to be allowed to drive on the one lane that the construction crew had us using.

But apparently Mr. Pickup Truck zoned out during the minutes he was forced to sit still so that when the flagger gave the go ahead to drive forward, Mr. Pickup Truck drove his vehicle on the wrong side of the road: the side of the road that the flagger was not pointing to.

• • •

Continuing on with this story I will attempt to tell it in a non-mocking mature way.

Meanwhile, while we [the other drivers and I] watched, the flagger dropped the STOP/SLOW sign he was holding and started yelling “NO!”as he ran down the middle of the road around the curve after Mr. Pickup Truck.

Mr. Pickup Truck, however, was oblivious to what he’d done wrong and vroom-vroom-vroomed around the curve in the road where we could see that he had to stop, abruptly, behind a backhoe– that was now blocked by Mr. Pickup Truck’s F-150.

The man on the backhoe did not appear to be happy about this development, and seemed to have a few words to say to Mr. Pickup Truck.  I was too far away to hear the actual conversation, but from body language I’m going to surmise that the backhoe operator used words not suitable for a PG-13 blog such as this one.

• • •

Not wanting to seem unkind here, but this was darned funny on both a slapstick level and on an existential level.

First of all, I got to see this young guy do something really dumb in which no one was hurt.  Plus, it was humorous for me to drive, in the proper lane, by Mr. Pickup Truck who looked astonished that he was trapped on the wrong side of the road, unable to move in any direction until the flagger took pity on him.

But this didn’t happen immediately because the flagger was a person who believed that stupid actions had consequences. Thus he allowed the rest of us alert drivers to go on our way before [presumably] letting Mr. Pickup Truck drive in reverse around the curve back to where Mr. Pickup Truck needed to be so that he could drive in the lane that was open.

At the same time, on a more meta level, I got giggling because Ford’s ad campaign is: “Go Further.”  Little did they know that their slogan needed to be tweaked;  that is, apparently Ford needs to clarify to their truck buyers that the drivers should go further in the correct lane. 🙄

When Good Grapefruit Has Bad Marketing

DSCN5865 To your left you will see a photo of half a grapefruit, on a pretty white bread & butter plate, plus the label off the sturdy red mesh bag it came in.

This grapefruit, purchased at the local K. Roger, is not as humongous as many of the grapefruits available, nor is it as intensely pink in color as most of the individually sold grapefruits.

It was tasty.  Easy to section. Juicy, but not overly so. With just the right amount of sweetness.

# # #

But here’s the weird thing about this grapefruit.  Just like Proust’s madeleines, this grapefruit stimulated long-lost memories from my childhood.

It reminded me of being an elementary school-age girl.  Sitting at home in my parents’ warm kitchen while eating breakfast at the old, slightly wobbly, wooden drop-leaf table.  Listening to the local AM radio “Quickie Quiz” show.  Wondering what I’d be doing at recess later in the morning.

So considering the effect that this grapefruit had on me, I’m left wondering what marketing genius came up with the idea to name this product:

NOT your MOTHER’S Grapefruit.

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Putting aside the stupid inconsistent capitalization of the letters of the product’s name, if there was ever a fruit whose essence reminded me positively of my past, it would be these grapefruits.

And considering that grapefruits are pretty much the same old fruit now that they were 40 years ago, I’m irritated with the somewhat passive aggressive marketing message that I’ll be an old fuddy duddy if I don’t buy these particular grapefruits.

I understand that times change, but I gotta wonder how it could be that bad-mouthing grapefruit is the key to more sales.  Does that even make sense?

I’m Cackling Here About Nothing In Particular Just Because I Can

One of the realities of keeping a blog is the expectation that I will have something to say every week when I get here.  This expectation emanates both from within me + from you, my gentle readers.

I said that I’d be here, so I’ll be here.

That being explained, I can now confide in you that I don’t always have much to say here.  After a decade of bouncing around the blogosphere, I don’t consider this to be a problem.  I know that I’m a laid back communicator with an easygoing style who can turn just about anything into a blog post.

Yep, I got skillz.

So it won’t surprise you to know that the retro Kroger egg commercial that I shared above is all that I have to talk about today.  To wit, I found the simple b&w animation charming and the honest message entertaining.

“Isn’t the chicken lucky that eggs are the shape that they are?”

And now, having fulfilled my self-imposed obligation to post something of great value on this blog today, I’m going to wander off into the real world where I hope to have positive adventures and to gain deep insights into human nature so that I may share them with you, my gentle readers, next week.  Until then:

Be safe. Be happy. Be.

QOTD: And What Mysteries Keep You From Going Stale?

{A Different Sort of Throwback Thursday Post}

~ • ~

“Kings and statesmen, business men and professional men read mystery stories for relaxation, for fun, and to sharpen their wits for the daily battle of life.

Don’t let yourself go stale.  These books are better than a radio drama and cheaper than a good movie for the family and keep you alert.  Have your bookseller send you the books listed below and save over 65% from the former $2.00 price.”

~ • ~

Bookmark - 1

~ • ~

SO I FOUND THIS Sun Dial Mysteries 1930s [?] bookmark in an old book that happens to be in a large stack of old books that happen to be in our basement.  I was charmed by the sexist copy on the bookmark, and I was intrigued by the titles of the books listed on it.

I knew that Leslie Charteris wrote The Saint books, but I’ve never read one.  And I knew that Georgette Heyer was a contemporary of Agatha Christie, but I’ve never read one of her books either.  The rest of the authors were new to me.

~ • ~

I HAVE NO IDEA who these oldtime mystery writers might be.  I can’t even keep up with the current mystery writers, which is why I thought that I’d ask you, my gentle readers: which mystery writers do you enjoy the most?  Or, if you don’t read mysteries, what do you read that I should be reading, too?

Heaven knows, I must remain alert and not go stale!

Move Over Proust, Aromatic Advertisements Are The New Madeleines

I DON’T KNOW THAT I can adequately answer the question posed below, but I can tell you about what happened to me yesterday when one of those aromatic advertisements fell out of an Ulta mailing and landed on my lap.Screen Shot 2014-08-06 at 11.43.54 AM

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I WAS SITTING ON THE screened-in porch, glancing through the mailing, when an aromatic advertisement for Donna Karan’s newest fragrance, DKNY MYNY, plopped itself down on me.

# # #

I DIDN’T THINK A THING about it.  I grabbed the aromatic advertisement intending to put it on the table beside me, but I stopped mid-movement when the scent immediately reminded me of being a little girl.

Screen Shot 2014-08-06 at 11.28.19 AM

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I WAS PULLED BACK TO decades ago when my family lived in an urban apartment above my father’s medical practice.  At that time, my mother always wore one particular perfume, Ma Griffe, which– oddly enough— I remember as smelling like this new Donna Karan fragrance.

Screen Shot 2014-08-06 at 11.25.52 AM

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SO I BEGAN TO WONDER what was in the new perfume that reminded me of my mother’s perfume.  A quick check of the two fragrances at basenotes gave me my answer: both scents have Galbanum top notes [a fresh, natural “green” scent];  Jasmine middle notes [a sweet, intense “calming” scent];  and Vanilla base notes [a warm, boozy “comforting” scent].  Now how trippy is that?  Hmmm?

A Quiz About 7-Up + Milk, A Blended Food Drink

:: REQUIRED READING ::

{ source }

:: THE QUIZ ::

Q1:  Can anyone read this advertisement and not wonder: huh?    

  • Correct answer:  Of course not.

Q2:  Can anyone of a certain age look at this advertisement and not be reminded of Laverne who drank milk and Pepsi?

  • Correct answer:  Of course not.

Q3:  Can anyone guess who’d be nutty enough to walk into her kitchen and try this combo?

  • Correct answer:  Of course you can.

Q4:  Can anyone imagine just how icky it is to drink sip a taste of this allegedly wholesome combination?

  • Correct answer:  Of course you can.

Q5:  Can anyone please remember to occasionally remind me that not all of my ideas are good ones?

  • Correct answer:  Of course you can.  

:: CLASS DISMISSED ::