Waiting For A New Deck That I Shall Call Godot

“Let’s go.” “We can’t.” “Why not?” “We’re waiting for Godot.”
Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot

• • •

AS YOU MAY REMEMBER THE stairs to our deck fell apart in the fall of 2020. Read The One About The Deck Stairs Betraying Us [No One Was Hurt] to refresh your memory or learn about what happened.

As a result of the aforementioned situation we immediately began the search for someone to rebuild the entire deck. This was during the lockdown portion of the pandemic, so I figured we’d have no trouble finding people who’d want to work outside in the fresh air away from the virus where it was safe.

I was wrong.

I’ll succinctly summarize the search.

Because our deck is elevated 9 feet off the ground with a hill below it, after seeing what was going on only two companies expressed any interest in the job. Only one company managed to give us a written estimate for the job, so last fall we contracted with that company.

• • •

ALL OF WHICH BRINGS US to today, a lovely Tuesday morning in the winter of 2023, a mere 28 months after the problem began. This is how things are going.

If the company had begun building our new deck on January 3rd as planned, then today I’d have a lovely series of before | during | after photos to show you.

Alas things are behind schedule.

[I shall pause here whilst you *gasp* in surprise, as I know you’re doing.]

Therefore instead of the finished deck that was estimated to be completed in 7 to 10 working days [January 11th thru the 16th], I’ll end this post with a bunch of photos showing the ongoing mess that now involves snow [because of course it does] + some photos that suggest progress.

Even as I grumble and wait for Godot, testing my patience, I’ll admit that what I’m seeing so far is darned delightful and sturdy.

Eventually it’s gonna be great.

• • •

The aforementioned dodgy stairs on the old deck will be the last thing demolished.

The floor of old deck is the mess on the ground 9′ below.

Scene from the kitchen window showing no real floor just loose boards + no more railing just a drop to below.

The installation of the new deck floor begins.

New deck floor coming together in middle of the deck.

The new deck floor shown with a few of the new posts that’ll be part of the railing.

And finally 5″ of unexpected snow on top of the crumbling old deck stairs making them the poster child for unsafe.

• • •

Now it’s your turn to spill the beans.
What are you waiting for in your world today?
Tell all in the comments below.

• • •

Sorry, Not Sorry: The One About 3 Holiday Pet Peeves That Vex Me

It seems to me at this time of year everyone has at least one pet peeve that vexes them. Perhaps you’ve noticed this, too.

Now that we’re officially smack dab into the season of Forced Frivolity Rampant Consumerism  The Holidays, I want to tell you what vexes me the most. You’ll be pleased to know that I’ve narrowed it down to 3 pet peeves, succinctly explained below.

See if they resonate with you, my little fruitcakes, then you may share yours in the comments below. To get you started, but please don’t feel limited by, at the bottom of this post I’ve created a list of possible peeves* that do not bother me but I’ve heard about– oh. yes. I. have.

📷 ONE 📸

IF YOU SEND A HOLIDAY CARD that is a family photo or you put a family photo inside a regular holiday card, please I beg of you, tell the recipients of the holiday card who these people are.  Do not say a vague “Joyeux Noël from the Jones-Beauforts” BUT instead list the individual names of the people + pets in the photo. Do not assume we’ll recognize everyone in the photo.

You do know who they are, right? So why not share that information with the rest of us?

🌲 TWO 🎄 

IF YOU PUT UP A TREE to celebrate Christmas, do not overdecorate it.  Less is more.  There is this design concept known as negative space that, stick with me here, posits that an object is more noticeable and therefore appreciated if there is emptiness around the object.

I’m happy that you’ve invested in twinkling lights & colorful bulbs & tinsel & strands of pretty beads & personally meaningful ornaments, BUT do not cover every stinking inch of every branch on the tree so that all I see, anyone sees, is a big triangular-ish blob of shiny.

I want to see the details of your beautiful decorations, truly I do, so could you make that happen, please?

🍪 THREE 🍬

IF YOU’RE A BAKER OR CANDY MAKER, I ask of you to be forthright about what kind of sweetener you use. Some of us cannot digest artificial sweeteners while others avoid natural sugar at all costs. I don’t care how you sweeten what you make, that is not my concern, BUT for the love of all that is good, be honest about what is in the goodies.

You do understand that you can make someone sick if you lie about it, right?

~ 🔻 ~

~ 🔺 ~

* Here is a list of 10 holiday pet peeves that I’ve heard mentioned emphatically by other people:

  1. Reciprocity regarding the exchange of Holiday cards, obligation or opportunity
  2. Christmas music, yay or nay
  3. Party games that involve gift exchanges
  4. Incorrect use of the letter “s” when addressing a card or gift to an entire family
  5. Location of outdoor holiday decorations, near the house or out in the yard creating possible obstructions/distractions for drivers
  6. Appropriate day on which to take down the holiday tree inside your home
  7. Use of tissue paper or shredded paper inside a gift bag, yay or nay
  8. Hostess gift for an open house party shouldn’t be wine because you only take wine when it’s a dinner party
  9. Holiday newsletters, yay or nay
  10. Bow on holiday wreath goes at the top, the bottom, or the side

PLEASE NOTE: In an attempt to make our home connection to the internet reliable and faster, we’re changing our internet service provider tomorrow [Wednesday], going from coaxial cable to fiber optic cable. Fingers crossed this change goes smoothly, but if not… it’s been great knowing you I’ll see ‘ya when I see ‘ya. 

A Rare Sunday Blog Post In Which I Grumble Unimaginatively About A Rare Early Snowfall

“Conversation about the weather is the last refuge of the unimaginative.”

Oscar Wilde said that, but I say WHATEVER.  I don’t see that dude standing here dealing with weather whiplash like I am.

You see, and I am a bit grumbly about this, after falling back one hour last Sunday we had a beautiful week of sunny days and agreeable daily highs in the 70s. I was running around outside wearing shorts and a t-shirt and sandals.

Life was good, in a warm busy way.

However yesterday *bing bang boom* we had our first snowfall of the season.  This isn’t statistically the norm.  Our first snow usually arrives in December [sometimes as late as January] meaning that I’m supposed to have a few more weeks of autumn.

With a gradual decline in the temperature.

With me going from shorts to capris, then pants.

But there I was yesterday morning scrambling around in the closet looking for jeans and a sweater and boots.  Clothes I enjoy wearing, but prefer to deal with in an organized, systematic way.

Not by throwing open drawers and storage bins, rooting through piles of turtlenecks trying to remember which ones I actually like–and which I ones I tolerate because I bought them & they’re here now.

Anyhow, because I’m sensing that the cold is here to stay and because I’m not ready to deal with it in a mature way, I wrote this rare Sunday blog post.  By talking about the early snow I do realize that I’m avoiding the obvious: that is, I could be doing something productive like getting my winter clothes in order.

But instead I’m complaining.  Not quite whining, but grousing, hoping to find the silver lining in this cold wet unwanted cloud of early snowiness that makes me feel like hibernating inside until next spring.

Which I should not do.

Thus if you see the silver lining in any of this please point it out to me.  Or if nothing else, distract me from the weather with your warm personality and joyful thoughts.

You know you want to.

The Tale Of The Accidentally Purloined Bag Of Potato Chips

LIKE MISCREANTS EVERYWHERE I’M GOING to say this wasn’t my fault because, as I will explain below, it was an accident.

Nothing pre-meditated about this.

Just a minor tussle involving a fast-moving me and a fussy computer in the U-scan checkout lane in the grocery store that lead to an unanticipated situation.

You see…

It was late afternoon and I was using the U-scan checkout lane in Kroger.  I like the self-checkout lane because it’s usually faster than waiting in line for the traditional checkout.

Plus, and I’m bragging here, I am very good at finding the little UPC codes on what I’m buying, expertly swiping the code across the flat UPC barcode reading screen, then tossing my purchase into the reusable bags I swear by.

• • • 

HOWEVER ON THIS PARTICULAR DAY in my zeal for checking out of the store, while grabbing a bag of potato chips out of my shopping cart, I twisted around in such a way that my crossbody purse did a little flying leap away from my body and landed on the flat UPC barcode reading screen.

PLOP!

Then for reasons known only to the computer, it immediately jumped ahead to the part of the transaction that asks you how you’re going to pay for these items.

But I wasn’t finished inputing all my items.

So being tired and in a hurry, without thinking much about it, I laid the bag of potato chips, not properly swiped, on top of the stuff already packed in my reusable bag.

Then I focused my energies on coaxing the computer, Little Miss Touchy Screen, to allow me to continue shopping. I was victorious, because I know all about that ⬅️ key that lets you keep buying stuff.

I input a few more items, the rest of what I wanted to buy, then paid for my purchases using a credit card, grabbed my bags, and walked to my car where I placed the bags in the trunk.

I drove home.

• • •

BUT AS I DID SO I had a slow realization, the sort that sneaks up on you in the most unlikely places, like at a stoplight while you’re waiting for it to turn green, that it was possible I had accidentally stolen that bag of potato chips, a small bag I assure you, from Kroger.

And you know what?  When I got home I checked my register receipt and well… yep I stole a bag of potato chips… like a thief… a perp… which I am not… except maybe I was.

And here’s the thing because all perps have a thing, if interrogated by the Coppers I’m gonna squeal on my accomplice in this unfortunate situation. IT WAS THAT DARNED COMPUTER’S FAULT for getting flustered.

I mean what kind of wuss is that thing?  It wasn’t like I hit it with the heft of a heavy leather Hermès Birkin Bag, now was it?  It was only a lightweight nylon baggallini Uptown Bagg, a sleek crossbody.

Honestly, I didn’t mean to do this.

You believe me, right?

~ ~ 🛒 ~ ~

A few other *oops* stories about *situations* at Ye Olde K. Roger…

In Which Ms. Bean Is An Accessory After The Fact, Maybe [2018]

Carelessness, Coupons, And Cake– OH MY! [2017]

The One About The Friend, The Dog & The Suburban Grocery Store Salad Bar [2014]

~ ~ 🛒 ~ ~

In Which I Grumble While Waiting For Home Improvements To Begin, For Real

INTRODUCTION

As I’m sure you, my little paint chips, can imagine I’m tired of waiting for our home improvement projects, planned last fall, to begin.  In fact, last week was A SERIES OF DISAPPOINTMENTS, not earth-shattering large ones, just a never-ending parade of things. not. going. right.

I felt exhausted and defeated.

However, in spite of all that isn’t happening, I will tell you the skinny about what is SUPPOSED TO BE GOING ON at Chez Bean sometime soon. There is, of course, no precise answer about when ‘soon’ will be so it’s still a puzzle.

THINGS TO TELL YOU

🔜  Supposedly in mid-May the renovations will begin on our two bathrooms.  This, of course, is contingent on THE INFERNAL SUPPLY CHAIN that has limited my style choices and slowed down delivery of the tile, faucets, cabinets, sinks, toilets, a tub, et cetera, et cetera, we need to get going.

🔜  We’re still waiting to hear back from the concrete company that we contracted with last fall to make OUR NEW SIDEWALK in March.  Alas & alack we have no new sidewalk because said company seems to have disappeared.

🔜  Meanwhile the new oven and cooktop are somewhere on this planet, perhaps roaming the high seas aboard a ship, like pirates drinking rum and sporting eyepatches.  In other words, no update about the whereabouts of OUR KITCHEN APPLIANCES so no timeline about when they might be installed and we could once again bake in an oven with an accurate thermometer.

🔜  Earlier this winter I mentioned scratching noises in the attic and guess what?  WE HAVE MICE living and breeding up there.  Thus we have contracted with a professional extermination company to murder them.  Then that company will remove their carcasses + the fusty dirty attic insulation, patch holes in the house, clean the attic area with boric acid, and finally install new insulation in the attic.

QUESTIONS OF THE DAY

What are you WAITING for? Literal &/or figurative answers are acceptable.

Does waiting make you tired, worrying about what might go wrong, leading you to DESPAIR? Or does waiting energize you, anticipating the best, leading you to HOPE?

Thinking about the verb “to wait” which of these three idioms is your favorite? Do you prefer: TWIDDLE ONE’S THUMBS or HOLD ONE’S HORSES or COOL ONE’S HEELS?

AND FINALLY THREE READER COMMENTS…

About being lost and the kindness of strangers:

“My dad, who is 82 years old, purposefully goes to a store and stands there looking lost until some nice person offers to help him, and then he asks them for what he needs and basically has a personal shopper for free. I’m just saying that you’re onto something.”

~ Colleen Martin

“Once a friend of mine and I drove to Myrtle Beach on the way back we got lost, of course. We stopped and asked for directions and were told to turn left at the Burger King. We drove up and down that street for God knows how long unable to find the Burger King. Stopped and asked again…turns out the Burger King is now a KFC.”

~ Gigi

“Just last week someone pulled over as we were walking the kids to school to ask for directions (we live in a small university town) and it made me feel so happy to have the answer to their questions. There is something so satisfying about strangers helping out…”

~ Elisabeth

~ ~ 🏡 ~ ~