A Summer State Of Mind: Seeing Clearly, Feeling Mellow

I finally got some new eyeglasses, as seen in the photo above.

I got the prescription in January, but held off getting new spectacles because I find the whole process of choosing them and paying for them and adjusting to them to be FRAUGHT WITH PERIL.

[Yes, I capitalized those words because I’m shouting them.]

However, now that I’ve had these spectacles for a few weeks, I can say IN ALL HONESTY that these are the best eyeglasses I’ve ever had.  And that’s saying something considering I’ve worn eyeglasses since I was 5 years old.

What I like about these spectacles, beyond the obvious fact that I am seeing details now, is that they are lightweight but sturdy.

This is new for me.

My last pair of eyeglasses were also rimless, but they were kind of weak and wonky.  Taking them off, say to read a magazine whilst drinking a glass of wine, WASN’T EASY TO DO.  The bows of those spectacles would bend and fight me as I removed them from my face.

Annoying little wobbly buggers, actually.

[Wordsmith Alert: please note that I just spontaneously wrote a phrase using five words that each contain double letters. Be in awe.]

However, this new pair of spectacles is cooperative, and stylish, and has a coating on the lenses so there’s less glare.  Meaning THERE’S MORE CLARITY.  And you know I like to see things clearly.

Especially when it comes to pouring myself another glass of wine.  Wouldn’t want to spill any of it, now would I?

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QUESTION OF THE DAY 

What is your summer state of mind? I’d love to know. Tell all in the comments below.

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Revisiting The Strawberry Shortcake Controversy, Asking For Your Preferences

I READ AN ARTICLE that said one of the best approaches to writing a blog post is to write about something controversial. Readers will respond. Discussions will ensue.

Give attitude, get attention.

I believe there’s a truth to this approach.  I say that because years ago [like maybe 10-12?] I wrote a post about making Strawberry Shortcake for dessert.

Welp, my small readership at the time went bonkers telling me how I was doing it wrong. That my preferred Strawberry Shortcake combination was not the amazeballs that I thought it was.

I got comments disagreeing with me on that post for over a year. No exaggeration.

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NOW THAT IT’S MAY, I’m thinking about making Strawberry Shortcake.  In fact I’m going to stop by a local farmers’ market today where I might find some delicious local strawberries to use in said dessert.

Thus, in an attempt to make the perfect Strawberry Shortcake ever, I have created the following three polls in which we will determine what you, my gentle readers, consider to be the perfect Strawberry Shortcake.

Yes, I’m crowdsourcing this recipe.

To wit, considering your own preferences please complete the sentences that begin each poll.  Then if you, my gentle readers, care to chat about Strawberry Shortcake, or anything else, leave a comment below.

As usual, thanks in advance for your prompt attention regarding this matter.

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POLL # 1

POLL # 2

POLL # 3

No Salt For You: A Circular Dinnertime Conversation Between The Married People

You know how in the movies married couples have these amazing heart-to-heart conversations over a home-cooked meal? We’re not like that.

Our conversations are more like a Looney Tunes cartoon.

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Me, putting a plate of hot food in front of him: Don’t want any salt on your dinner.

Him: Ok.

Me, sitting down to eat: How does it taste?

Him: Tastes good. It doesn’t need salt.

Me: Good. Then you don’t want any salt on it.

Him, giving me an odd look: Yes, I don’t want any salt on my dinner.

Me: Excellent.

Him, still staring at me: Yep, quite tasty as it is.

Me: Uh huh.

Him: ARE YOU EVER GOING TO TELL ME WHY I CAN’T HAVE ANY SALT ON MY DINNER?

Me: Oh, sorry, you don’t know. We’re out of salt so don’t want any salt on your dinner.

Him: You’ve said that.

Me, distracted by the merry-go-round of thoughts in my brain: What?

Him: I don’t want any salt on my dinner.

Me: Well, good. That’s what I told you to do.

Him, giving me a sidelong glance: Yep, you did. Happy to cooperate. Wouldn’t want any salt on my dinner… oh. no. I. wouldn’t.

Me, half listening: Uh huh… what? Ok.

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Could it be that The Merry-Go-Round Broke Down is the Looney Tunes Theme? Why by golly, it is.

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That’s all Folks!

Rambling Thoughts: More Snow, Nowhere To Go, My Day Will Be Slow

As predicted we have snow here this morning.  There’s about 3-4″ on the ground at the moment, but it’s still coming down– half-heartedly, but it’s still snowing.

The schools are closed, less because of the snowfall, more because of the icy road conditions.  I’d planned to venture out to Kroger this morning, but I looked in our freezer + pantry, and have decided that I have the makings for Thai Chicken Curry, so that’s what’s going to be for dinner.

Safer to stay in, you know?

I’ve cooked more this month.  The most interesting dishes I’ve made so far are Split Pea & Ham Soup + African-style Beef Stew.  I like anything that combines a bunch of ingredients, allows them to get to know each other in a pot, and then provides us with leftovers.

Preferably freezable.

Like the current weather conditions.

[What a card! She must be from St. Louis. Very old joke, that one.]

In other news, I’m not doing the A To Z Challenge this year.  However, a few bloggers who I follow are doing it.  I made a list of these intrepid folks who’ll be writing almost daily in April.

The list is at the end of this post should you like to follow them, too.  And perhaps proffer a few comments on their blogs to show your support.  Just ‘cuz that’s what friendly bloggers do.

N’est-ce pas?

So with that observation and/or challenge, depending on your point of view, I’m going to go start some laundry, curl up with a book, and have a winter-like day, on the first full day of spring.

What’s up with you today, my gentle readers?  Tell me in the comments below and I’ll live vicariously through you.

Oh, also– if I’ve left anyone off my A To Z Challenge List let me know in the comments and I’ll add you to the list.

+ + + +

My List Of A To Z Challenge Bloggers To Follow

Emily

Tara

Janet

David + Deb

Lisa

Deborah

John

Andrea

Embeecee

Donna

Widow Badass

Isa-Lee

+ + + +

The Tale Of The Nosy Robin + Reading Material For Your Edification

ONCE UPON A TIME the Lady of the House was minding her own bidness, standing in her kitchen pouring some granola into a bowl, when she was startled, almost out of her skin, by an obnoxious bird.

THIS BIRD, A ROBIN, made himself known by peering into the kitchen as if he wanted into the house.  Which wasn’t going to happen.

THE LADY OF THE HOUSE, in a Tippi Hedren moment, had a sudden horrifying flashback to The Birds, a creepy movie the Lady of the House saw at an impressionable age.

UPON REGAINING HER COMPOSURE the Lady of the House watched as the nosy robin stalked her, boldly staring at her and the bowl of granola that she was eating.

NOT WANTING TO RUFFLE any feathers the Lady of the House, a charitable woman, decided to give the nosy robin some granola.  Hence she bravely went outside onto her deck, and put a small handful of granola on the railing.

HOWEVER, THE UNGRATEFUL ROBIN flew away when the Lady of the House walked onto the deck, leaving the granola untouched.

WHILE YOU MIGHT THINK that’d be a good thing, it turns out that what the Lady of the House inadvertently did was chase the nosy robin to the front of the house where he dive-bombed the outside of the window in the foyer for hours.  The end.

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Learn More About Robins AND OTHER BIRDS

Birds Attacking Windows

How to Stop Birds Attacking Window Glass

Birds as Omens and Signs

Has The Mystery Behind Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds Been Solved?

When The Red Red Robin Comes Bob Bob Bobbin’ Along

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Happy Spring!

“Live, Love, Laugh and Be Happy”

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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…?

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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. 

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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?

In Which Ms. Bean Finds A Recipe & Makes It Her Way

Saw the recipe. Thought it sounded good.

Made the recipe using ingredients I had on hand.  Ingredients that were close enough to those listed in the recipe.

Similar.

Didn’t have apple cider, so used pomegranate juice instead.  Most of a small bottle.

Didn’t have the specific aromatic spices required so substituted Penzey’s mulling spices.  Put about a teaspoon of them in a tea ball, so I wouldn’t have to strain the mess through cheesecloth later.

Lazy, but thinking ahead.

Didn’t have a clementine in the house.  Contemplated using a grapefruit, that was in the house, but decided that the tanginess of the pomegranate juice would not be improved with grapefruit zest in this recipe.

Also, I’m a messy zester, thus it came to be that no citrus was added.

Didn’t have any fresh ginger, so used crystallized ginger.  Two pieces.

Didn’t have the requisite amount of castor sugar, so used the end of the cane sugar in the bottom of the sugar bowl.  About three tablespoons.

Probably.

Put tea ball with spices into juice in a saucepan.  Brought the mess to a boil, allowing it to simmer on the stove top for a while.  Took out tea ball, added sugar.  Mixed mess around until sugar dissolved, then let sweetened mess simmer on very low heat until it thickened into a syrup.

The result?

Delicious, drizzled on fresh fruit salad. Or added, a splash at time, to a glass of red wine.

The recipe?

Vaguely adhered to.

The friend’s response?

Shock + dismay that I didn’t follow the recipe as written, but a request for the recipe exactly as I made it.

As if I have any idea… 🙄

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QUESTION OF THE DAY

Do you follow recipes precisely as written OR do you wing it as you go along?

And how does that work out for you?

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