In Which I Grumble, Grouse, and Gloat Because Sometimes Life Is Like That

The Code of Personal Bloggers, if such a thing exists, suggests that all blog posts shall have an image on them. Hence I give you a photo of a green rocking chair on the screened-in porch.

TODAY IS THE LAST TUESDAY in Winter in the Northern Hemisphere while also being the first Tuesday in Year Two of the Pandemic. And ain’t it a pip?

Even though there wasn’t any snow or ice we didn’t do much of anything over the weekend. It was blah and bland outside, totally uninspiring, plus Daylight Savings Time *stole* an hour of my life again. And I was feeling poorly after my second shingles shot so laying low was the way to go.

On the upside, having gotten my second shingles shot out go the way I can now focus on getting my/our Covid-19 vaccinations, which supposedly will be available to us starting in early April.

Uh huh. We’ll see. 🙄

WHILE WE CONTINUED TO STAY in our Covid-19 bubble, Zen-Den worked on his latest 2,000 piece puzzle. It’s of Pokemon characters who are large, colorful, and a bit menacing to see on your dining room table. But *hey* if it keeps Mr. Man entertained to put all those little puzzle pieces together, then it’s good.

I tried a new recipe over the weekend, but it’s not worth repeating. It was for Irish Soda Bread Muffins. The muffins turned out to have an identity crisis: too sweet to be Irish Soda Bread, too bland to be a yummy muffin. I’ll go back to making a proper loaf of Irish Soda Bread.

Like my ancestors before me. 🍀

THE ONLY OTHER EXCITEMENT HERE, if you can call it excitement, is that after months of trying we finally got all the composite decking samples we are interested in. Procuring them has been a game. You order them online where *no surprise* one sample or another is not available. Then you check back a few weeks later and one of the samples you want is available, but the others are still not available. Try again later.

However after much effort we have way too many 17 different samples from two companies. At the moment the top three contenders for Chez Bean’s new deck are: TimberTech Brown Oak, Trex Toasted Sand, or Trex Coastal Bluff. All are medium brownish with gray undertones and noticeable imitation woodgrain texture.

So huzzah! 🏡

INQUIRING MINDS WANT TO KNOW: Have you had your Fauci ouchies? If so, how does that make you feel? If not, when will you get your vaccination shots?

A Simple Hello: Ms. Bean Goes For A Car Ride AND Returns To Blogging

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A few days before Christmas Day I realized I hadn’t driven my car in over a month. How very 2020 is that, I ask you?

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To remedy this situation I decided that we, that being Zen-Den and I, would go for a car ride to make sure that my sweet old car, now 18 years old, was still working.  She was.

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Inspired by the beautiful clear December day, we went to a city park where instead of walking, we drove around to see what we could see.  A different way for us to enjoy a park, but considering everything about 2020 was unique, it seemed fitting.

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A few people were outside walking, but for the most part we were by ourselves. I, of course, snapped a few photos to share here because what’s the point of having a camera in your cell phone if’n you don’t use it? I mean, really?

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Thus with this little vignette of a day in the life of Ms. Bean, I’m back here in the blogosphere with a renewed sense of vigor and, I hope you’ll agree, a snazzy new template for The Spectacled Bean. It was time for a change here.

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Also, for those readers who care about such things, I’ve decided on my word of the year. *drum roll please* In deference to my good intentions gone awry by things outside my control in 2020, I’ve decided to reuse my 2020 word of the year.  Yes, my #OneWord365 is going to be SIMPLIFY.  Again. 

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Goodbye 2020: A Sunset Delightful + A Secret Disclosed

A trippy sunset in late autumn. Doesn’t it remind you of tie-dye?

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Would you like to know a secret? One that has to do with my word of the year, simplify, and with the plans I made in the beginning of 2020?

Well here it is: On the first day of spring I was planning to go on an extended hiatus from this blog.

Yes, I was all set to say *hasta la vista* to this blog and take spring + summer off, living simply as it were. Then I was going to come back to the blogosphere in the fall, with more bounce in my pounce.

With a new sense of purpose and direction.

A whole new me.

BUT THAT DIDN’T HAPPEN, DID IT?

Instead, as you may remember, the country shut down the week before my intended *see ‘ya later* meaning that Z-D began working from home [8 months now!] and I realized that personal blogging was going to be a good thing to do in the upcoming months.

Something positive to do.

Something normal and reassuring.

So, stating the obvious here, I kept this blog going and have continued to show up with my usual flapdoodle and twaddle, interspersed with helpful hints [I guess], and augmented with a modicum of snark.

Because I can.

And because I wanted to.

However, 2020 has exhausted me both mentally and spiritually. I will not lie.

And because I sense this upcoming holiday season is going to be stressful, zapping my energy in new ways while testing my patience with ill-mannered people, I’ve decided to call it a year, a few weeks early.

Thus I’m out of here until 2021, intending to return with a new word of the year and with a renewed sense of focus. Or maybe it’ll be the *same old same old* word and the *same old same old* focus. I don’t know yet for sure. Who’s to say?

I just know I’m tired, in need of a break from writing.

Stay safe, everyone. Please be here when I get back.

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When Holiday and Pandemic Stress Collide via Psychology Today

How to fight ‘Covid fatigue’ as America heads for a deadly winter via The Guardian

Do you have coronavirus ‘caution fatigue’? via Fox News

What To Say To People Who Say You’re Being ‘Too Safe’ Amid COVID-19 via HuffPost

COVID-19 is not tired of us, says WHO chief via Yahoo! News

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As September Ends, Learning About The Color Orange + A Colorful Poll Question

I went out the front door to walk down the driveway to the mailbox.  I saw this Monarch butterfly flitting among the zinnias.  When I came back from getting the mail he was still messing around in the flowers.

Realizing I had a photo op I hurried inside, got my camera, rushed out to where the zinnias are thriving, and snapped this photo.  It is a tribute to the color orange: orange flower + predominantly orange butterfly = coolness.

[To be clear, this is a tribute to the natural occurrence of the color orange, not the peculiar shade of make-up worn by our so-called President. That orange is icky and weird. Like him.]

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For snorts and giggles I researched the color orange.  Here are five fun facts to know and tell.

According to Smithsonian Magazine when it comes to crayons, “Crayola has at least 16 different names for what most of us would call ‘orange.'” [Link HERE]

According to Canva’s description of the meaning of the color orange, “it communicates activity and energy and encourages socialization.” [Link HERE]

According to Interactive’s description of people with an orange aura, they are: “Overall, thrill-seekers, daredevils, and people who tend to life in the fast lane.” [Link HERE]

According to Jewelry Shopping Guide’s description of orange gemstones, they symbolize: “joy, sunshine, warmth, creativity, happiness and a touch of the exotic.” [Link HERE]

According to Brides.com’s guide to wedding flowers, there are 19 orange or coral flowers you can use in your wedding palette. [Link HERE]

From this random research I’ve concluded that the butterfly in the photo is the color of the crayon named ‘Mango Tango’;  he is social, an active and energetic thrill seeker who likes sunshine, creatively making himself happy, while visiting a flower not suggested for an orange wedding bouquet.

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While investigating the color orange I got thinking about favorite colors.  Everyone has one– or at least I assume they do.  I made this poll question hoping to find out which color is the most loved one among my gentle readers.

Answer the poll question, then chat about orange, or any color, in the comments below.  I’d love to know your favorite color– and why, of course.

#ThursdayDoors | Finding A Whimsical Building About Local History In A Park

Today I’m joining Thursday Doors, hosted by Norm Frampton, by sharing photos of a fun + unique building that we stumbled upon in a Cincinnati suburban park.    

I’ve not seen anything like this before, both the building and the doors on the building that have doors painted on them.  It’s a double door, double door extravaganza.  Or something like that. 

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On a whim we stopped at a new-to-us park called Home of The Brave Park.  This 54-acre park, established in 2012, is located in Symmes Township, Hamilton County, OH.

Along with sports fields, playgrounds, a shelter, and a veterans plaza, this park has a building unlike any other I’ve seen around here.  It’s painted on all four sides to explain the history of the township, one side focusing on the man who founded the township.

A fast Google search lead me to the life story of John Cleves Symmes, the man featured on one side of the building.  In a nutshell he was a rich NY/NJ Revolutionary War dude who came west to Ohio to make his fortune by selling land that he did, and did not, own to settlers moving this way.

He’s credited for naming many places around here, and is also the father-in-law of President William Henry Harrison [#9] and grandfather of President Benjamin Harrison [#23].

And with that, here are the photos of the exterior of the building.

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DOUBLE DOORS on the front of the building.

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The side of the building where the image of John Cleves Symmes dominates.

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The back of the building showing a melange of images that apparently summarize this township.

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The fourth side of the building.

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A closer look at the FRONT DOOR DOUBLE DOORS on which a FRONT DOOR and a GARAGE DOOR are painted, hence creating a double door, double door extravaganza.

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