A Halloween Review: In The Rain With The Usual Suspects

The Usual Suspects waiting on the deck behind the house before going on stage in front of the house. 

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IT DRIZZLED THEN RAINED HERE last night, starting at about 6:00 p.m. just in time for the trick-or-treaters.  The temperature was in the 60s, about as warm as I’ve experienced in late October.  The night was in a word, unusual, and our reduced trick-or-treat count proved it.

In years past we’ve had anywhere from 120 to 220 beggars at the door, but this year our head count was only 60 kids.

Unheard of.

Despite the rain and because of the warm temperature, Z-D and I sat outside on our front stoop where we plopped ourselves onto two chairs he’d brought around front from the deck in the back.

There we waited to hand out candy, holding umbrellas over our heads, watching a slow parade of cute, polite kids shuffle their way across our yard, ignoring the precipitation.

Trick or treat!

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YOU MIGHT BE WONDERING WHY we didn’t stay inside our house, waiting for the kids to ring the doorbell.  And this would be a sensible thing for you, my gentle readers, to wonder.

But the thing is, and in my world there’s always a thinghere in Beanlandia our doorbell, a diva, is broken and has been for a few weeks.

From a distance it glows and looks useful, however if anyone pushes it the middle button thing pops out and dangles down from an electric cord.

Kind of dangerous.

The doorbell has one ring in it before it has to be manually reconfigured and placed back into the wall where it resumes its role as a pretend working doorbell.

Hence, maintaining its integrity is a bother that we avoided by sitting outside under our umbrellas in the rain.

As one does.

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AND WITH THAT GLIMPSE INTO the life and times of one woman, one husband, one house, I’ll end this wordy post in which I’ve discussed the weather, trick-or-treaters, and doorbells gone bad.

Scintillating, eh?

In fact, should future historians whilst looking through old personal blogs want an example of a blog post that is the epitome of flapdoodle and twaddle, I do hope they find this one.

Because if there was a point to what I said here, I dunno what it is.

Other than to say, Halloween has come and gone.  And we have a lot of leftover candy in this house.

Only 60 kids…

Plodding Like A Turtle, Staycating Like A Bean

Turtle, name unknown, taking an afternoon constitutional around the terrace.

• • •

I SAW THIS TURTLE FRIEND WALKING along the top of the stone wall that forms one side of our lower terrace.  

I was up on the deck and looked down on him, so I leisurely went inside the house to get my camera.

One fact about turtles, they cannot outrun me.

I went down the deck steps to get to his level, then snapped a few photos of him.  He made no attempt to hide from me, proving that I am the most benign creature on earth.

Can’t even scare a turtle.

Me.

• • •

WE’LL BE ON STAYCATION NEXT WEEK, so instead of dithering away here I’ll be busy doing the Memorial Day things [plus a bit more] in the real world.

But most importantly, my gentle readers, what will you be doing while I’m not here? Hmmm?  This is what concerns me.

Thus might I suggest that you take this survey about blogging? Don’t let the word “older” stop you. It’s for anyone who keeps a blog.

So, you know, that would be you.

Right?

• • •

Don’t Harsh My Mellow, I’m Only Doing What Mom Taught Me To Do

Mom was a proponent of a good lollygag and fritter.

To be clear she accomplished things in her life, but she also took the time to not be focused on her To Do List, allowing herself to let go of the need to accomplish things all hours of the day.

To wit, yesterday afternoon her daughter, moi, was out running important errands when it dawned on moi that spring had finally arrived.

The sky was medium blue with gorgeous white clouds floating across the it.  The trees were sporting bright green leaves again.  The temps were in the 70s so that I was wearing capris + sandals.

Thus, channeling my mother + remembering her admonishment to lollygag and fritter, I decided to toss my To Do List aside and stop at Home Depot to wander aimlessly through their garden nursery department.

I half-filled a shopping cart with herbs and annuals.  Nothing exotic, just tasty and pretty plants.  Then I went to pay for them at the checkout counter where the sales clerk, dispensing with your traditional “hello,” asked me:

Are you having a productive day?

And you know what, my gentle readers?  Her question about productivity, asked in that moment, peeved me in a way that surprised me.

She was, I believe, harshing my mellow.

Was I not, I ask you, paying tribute to my mother’s memory by lollygaging and frittering in the garden nursery department, not bothering a soul with my mellowness?

Why yes, Ally Bean, you were paying tribute to your mother’s memory by doing that which she taught you to do.

However, putting my snitification aside, I also believe that, knowing Mom’s sense of humor, she was laughing from heaven above about my irritation over a small thing in life on earth.

Yep, she was probably lollygaging and frittering on a beautiful white fluffy cloud– like the ones I could see floating overhead while I mumbled something to the sales clerk about being productive enough… for today.

#ThursdayDoors | Visiting A Closed Trail Center On A Winter’s Day

Today I’m joining Thursday Doors, hosted by Norm Frampton, so that I can share with you the following door photos.

I took these photos on Saturday at the Little Miami Scenic River and Trail Center.  It’s part of the Little Miami Conservancy.

The Center is on a 78 mile long biking/hiking trail that starts in Springfield, OH [to the north], goes through 5 Ohio counties, and ends in Cincinnati, OH [to the south].

It being winter the Center was closed, but I did see a few cyclists riding on the trail.  And there were a few other people like me who were moseying around the trail– even though it was a bleak, boring day to be outside.  

~ ~ ~ ~

DOOR on the side of the brick building that is the Little Miami Scenic River and Trail Center.

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Look at these happy animals not drawn to scale, but featured nonetheless on this Little Miami Conservancy mural.

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DOOR on the front of the closed Center.

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Plaque commemorating the Lower Little Miami Scenic River: “To protect and enhance the river’s free-flowing character, water quality, & outstandingly remarkable values.” 

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Mural painted on a building next to the Little Miami Scenic River and Trail Center.  From what I can tell this mural has nothing to do with the Center, but considering that Valentine’s Day is almost here… let’s talk about love.

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Ditching The Resolutions: In Praise Of Those Who Tried & Failed

Did you know that there’s an official holiday dedicated to those people who make New Year’s Resolutions then fail to stick with them?

[More about it here.]

I was unaware of this holiday but stumbled upon it while doing some research about Julian versus Gregorian calendars.

[More about that topic here.]

It would seem to me, a person who doesn’t make resolutions, that this holiday has a message for all of us– if only to remind us that sometimes good ideas don’t work out the way we think they will.

[More about not resolving here.]

That is to say, where is the harm in taking time to think about what you’d like to change in your life and then giving it a go– if only for a few weeks?

[Statistical analysis of resolutions here.]

Sometimes it’s enough to acknowledge that you need a new perspective on things without going all bonkers about changing everything about yourself on the first try.

[Discussion of issues revolving around successful keeping of resolutions here.]

Of course, for the people who make, then keep their New Year’s Resolutions, today is just another day.

[Inspirational poem here.]

But for the rest of us, even if we never resolve, today is, in my estimation, a guilt-free fun day to take stock of our personal foibles + unfulfilled goals– of which I have many.  😉

As The Year Ends, Reflections As I Walk By A Creek

Went for a walk. Standing on a bridge over the creek I saw the waterfall down the way.

Noticed the beautiful bare tree branches reflected in the creek’s still water near the bridge on which I stood.

So calm. So pretty.

Continued walking.  Found the waterfall where the water was flowing over it.

Enjoyed watching as the clear water moved forward, not so gracefully tumbling over the falls.

Loudly. With enthusiasm and purpose.

Found myself reflecting on perspective and change. On always moving forward, appreciating peacefulness, but never allowing oneself to become stagnant.

Decided that the message was for me to let last year’s concerns float away, never forgotten or marginalized, but utilized as starting points so that next year’s plans can coalesce.

And on that bit of self-awareness, I shall wander off into the real world where busy people and half-finished projects are waiting for me.

To do that which I do.

And as for The Spectacled Bean, well– don’t expect me back here until mid-January when winter is in full swing.  I’ve decided to go on a brief blogging hiatus, if the fates allow.

Happy Christmas & Merry New Year, everyone.

See ‘ya in 2018.

Regarding The Holiday Season: Cluttering, Muttering, & Buttering

CLUTTERING:  Here’s a true confession.  While I’m too frugal to ever overdo Christmas decorations around Chez Bean, I do, deep down, consider all of them, ours and yours, to be a sophisticated form of clutter.

I mean, we just get a room decorated in a pleasing and soothing way, then *WHAM* there I am putting red and green stuff, willy-nilly, around a beautifully color-coordinated room that is not visually enhanced by said stuff.

Is that not the very definition of clutter? Hmmm…?

~ 🎄 🎄 🎄 ~

MUTTERING:  I realize that sending holiday cards is no longer the done thing.  Most of the cards that we get are from companies we do business with.  Only a few friends and family still exchange cards with us.

I like cards, I like newsletters, and I appreciate receiving them.  But… [and this is the muttering part]… if you send a Christmas | Hanukkah | New Years card that is a photo of your family, then please include the names of the people on the card.

Kids grow.  Kids marry.  Kids have kids.  And I’ll be doggone if I can figure out who is who on these multi-generational family photo cards.  I need a cheat sheet to identify your progeny.

Please include one. For me. 

~ 🎄 🎄 🎄 ~

BUTTERING:  I’m not all that enamored of butter.  It has nothing to do with how healthy it is.  No, it’s a taste issue.  I eat it, but not often and always in small dabs.

So you can imagine how oddly difficult it is for me to become excited about Christmas cookies, that are everywhere this time of year.  Cookies that seem to me to be 98% butter– with some flour and sugar thrown in for the fun of it.

My point here is that if I don’t eat any of your homemade cookies made from Great Aunt Maude Winifred’s heirloom recipe that’s been in your family since Great Uncle Jeremiah “Pappy” Alexander decided that the family should move to the New World, I’m not dissing you or Great Aunt Maude Winifred– or Great Uncle Jeremiah “Pappy” Alexander’s decision to emigrate here.

No, I just don’t like butter. Ok?