A Puzzle: Flying Pigs & Swizzle Sticks

Sorting through stack of magazines piled up ready to go into recycling bin.

Found half-finished crossword puzzle book.

Published in 2005, purchased around that time by me at B&N.

Rescued the book intending to puzzle through a puzzle.

[Crossword, that is.] 

Found an almost finished puzzle with “flying pigs & swizzle sticks” written on the page.

In my handwriting.

For some reason. 

No flying pigs in this puzzle, if there were swizzle sticks I didn’t see them.

Mind starts to wonder why I wrote these words on this page.

Delightful gibberish, slightly whimsical, with no actual meaning?

Could be, sounds like how I think.

Something I heard someone say so I wrote it down?

Not likely, but possible.

The name of a new blog I was contemplating?

I suppose. Maybe.

An encouraging phrase suggesting better things are to come?

Sure, why not? Let’s say that’s what this phrase means.

No need to belabor this obvious example of the inevitable decline of my memory.

We’re all older now.

We forget things.

But darn it, I sure wish I could remember what the heck I was talking about when I scribbled this clever phrase on the page.

Saving it for me to find 13 years later…

Anything like this happen to you? Do you remember? 

Just A Closer Walk: We Attended A Funeral Last Week

It’s been 2 weeks since my FIL passed away.

He was 89 years old, diabetic, and had Alzheimer’s, the long good-bye.

His funeral was a week ago Monday in the city where Zen-Den grew up, a 4 to 5 hour drive from here.  We drove there on Sunday and came back later in the week.

The funeral wasn’t a sad or maudlin affair because the person FIL had become was nothing like the person he’d been in his prime;  even then, in his better days he was a ‘hale fellow well met’ with some Archie Bunker thrown into the mix– stubbornly clinging to the past.

However, as is the way with people who suffer with Alzheimer’s, FIL deteriorated slowly, forgetting his resentments along the way.  He became physically weak, and seemingly ready to leave this world.

The best part of the funeral was FIL’s 3-year-old step-great-granddaughter who stole the show.  She was cheerful, of course.  Dressed in a sundress + straw hat.  Delightfully curious.  So much so that at one point during the memorial service she went up front, quietly, to join the pastor, sitting her little self down on a chair nearby him to watch.

Which was cute– and a visual reminder that life goes on.

And on that positive note I’ll end this post.  I’m not even sure why I’m telling you this, but some days, occasionally, I write here in a serious way as if this were my journal–  instead of a personal blog filled with flapdoodle and twaddle.

Today is one of those days.

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.

#MAYkingItWork: If You’re Not Having Fun, Then Why Are You Doing It?

Pansy, from the French word Pensie, means Thought or Remembrance.

~ ~ ~ ~

Having fun? 

Thinking about my personal blog…

Wondering how it fits into my life. At this point.

Not daily, but at least weekly.

Ideas expressed. Information shared. Observations noted.

Adding value is fun.

Never mocking or mean.

Photos and images to add a cheerful vibe. Pretty.

Quirkiness a given.

Lest there be no fun. 

No ruts, please. Keep it varied. Can you say eclectic?

Do it or delete it. Do it or delete it. Do it or delete it.

[The academic ‘publish or perish’ concept adapted to the personal blogosphere.]

Kindred spirits are fun.

Looking for people who are curious and thought-filled. Creative. Sincere.

Well-developed sense of humor a plus.

No one self-absorbed &/or uptight need apply.

No fun there.

Follow me. Follow me. Follow me.

Welcome. Nice to meet you.

Comment when you got ’em. I’ll do the same thing for you.

And please, for the love of all that is good, remember to have fun.  

~ ~ ~ ~

H/T to #MAYkingItWork hosted by Isa-Lee Wolf  and David.  Read about it here.

#MAYkingItWork is a commitment to making something come to fruition in May by finishing a writing/blogging project/post that you’ve let slide/been thinking about.

And lately, my gentle readers, I’ve been thinking about the effort I put into keeping this blog and what makes it worthwhile for me.  In a nutshell, I blog because it’s fun.

~ ~ ~ ~

How about you? Why do you Keep a blog? Why do you read someone else’s blog?

~ ~ ~ ~

Rambling Thoughts About That Which I Spot

{ By Ingrid Chang Via Join The UpRoar }

ON SUNDAY WHILE READING COMMENTS on tweets about the White House Correspondents’ Dinner with the mean lady who said the bad things [either Michelle Wolf or Sarah Huckabee Sanders depending on your point of view], I saw a comment that said: You spot it, you’ve got it.

I had no idea what this meant so I googled it and after a cursory investigation discovered that this is a way of saying that: if you notice someone’s hurtful behavior and it annoys you greatly, then you’re aware of this behavior and feel the way you do because you do the same thing.

The meaning of this new-to-me phrase was a surprise.

I thought it was going to mean that if you’re aware enough to notice that another person is behaving in a bad way [spot it], then you’ve got the situation covered so that this person won’t negatively affect you [got it].

I’VE BEEN THINKING ABOUT THIS phrase all week.  There’s a truth to it, no doubt.  But I dunno, here’s the thing.

Is it not possible that you notice hurtful behavior in other people because you’re an observant person who watches how other people behave and misbehave, thereby giving you insight into what makes someone else tick?

Just because I can spot what’s going on with someone else, doesn’t mean that I’m like that.  I’d say it means that I’m perceptive and empathetic and tuned-in to the people around me.

I’ve no pithy conclusion here, other than to say that my assumed interpretation of this phrase was wrong.

And now I know better.

• • •

Questions of the Day:

Anyone ever hear this phrase before? Use it in polite conversation or in comments? How far out of the mainstream am I to not know what this means?

What Ms. Bean The Blogger Said + A Simple Rules Of Life Poll

Welp, this is embarrassing, but I don’t have anything in particular to write about this week.  I post at least once a week, that’s the deal I made with myself when I started blogging.

I told myself that I’d show up here weekly because I know me, and I’m a slacker.  I could easily disappear for weeks on end, but because I set a specific goal and promised myself that I’d be here, I. Be. Here.

That’s what I said.

So today instead of starting a conversation about something that has happened OR sharing a bit of research OR posting a random list of links, I made the following poll– which fulfills my self-imposed blogging goal as stated above.

[Also if you, my gentle readers, look closely at the poll you’ll see that one of the ideas pertains to what I’m saying I said above.]

The ideas in this poll come from a framed piece of art that I bought at T.J. Maxx.  I’ve no official source for these 7 ideas, but I like them and have adopted them as my own sorta kinda rules of life.

As one does.

Comments, anyone?

The Stuff Of Family & Ancestors: Thoughts While Sorting Through Boxes

Does this make me feel more alive?

[The question to ask. Always.]

I’ve been in a deciding frame of mind this month. Must get rid of a past that doesn’t serve me.

A past that in many cases is not mine, but I reluctantly accepted and boxed up when elderly relatives passed on, storing their stuff in my closets, I did.

Now, I want empty closets, the feeling of lightness.

Been going through dusty boxes of old family photos and documents and letters. Pamphlets and newspaper articles.

Memorabilia, too.

Does this make me feel more alive?

I shred the photos and docs and letters that don’t call to me, and save those that might… might… might… someday find their way into…

a blog post?

an article or essay?

a memoir, perhaps, even?

But as for the family memorabilia, it’s a different kind of past. Remembered with objects, things of history.

Personal cookbooks;  and 1940s slides [with a projector];  and  handwritten family stories;  and a diary;  and a daguerreotype;  and [of all things] a Civil War soldier’s personal mirror with carved initials.

What shall I decide about these objects, I wonder.

Does this make me feel more alive?

Difficult for me, an adult orphan, to know what to do with these things that held memories for someone who is long gone. Someone who I may never have met.

I intend to make peace with these objects, sending them on their way…

to history museums or libraries?

to antique malls?

to the dump?

I’ve been a good relative, respectful, but now I’m ready to have more space, both literal and figurative, in my life. Must get rid of a past that doesn’t serve me.

Does this make me feel more alive?