In Which Ms. Bean Attempts To Buy Outdoor Holiday Lights During A Bleak Week

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A photo of the view out a bedroom window. Bleak.

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THIS WEEK I’VE BEEN TRYING to get it into gear to start putting up outside holiday decorations.

You’d think at this point in my life that’d be a simple task.

You would be wrong.

Last year, in a fit of tidy, I got rid of all our outside lights and wreaths.  The lights worked in sections and the decade-old wreaths were looking downright ratty.  They were more wire than fake pine needles and the dingy red bows on them added to the pathos.

So, knowing that we needed some new decorative stuff, I hauled myself up off the sofa and wandered meself through many a store looking at all the newfangled, complicated, high-priced lights– and wreaths.

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A photo of ground cover covered in snow. Bleaker.

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FROM MY FORAY INTO ACTUAL brick and mortar stores I learned that I haven’t a clue about how much to spend, what to buy [net or string? LED or incandescent? solid color or multi?] and where we might put that which I buy once I get it home.

I also looked at some pretty sparkly wreaths– that all seemed to be covered in glitter.  Me not happy. Me not want glitter traipsed into house.

Me fussy like that.

And so on that note of shopping defeat, underscored by one of the bleakest weeks I’ve ever seen in November, I’ll end this post.  Figuring that there’s a weekend a’coming and a husband to be cajoled into helping me find the perfect outdoor lights and wreaths.

To add much-needed color to our world. Hallelujah!

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A photo of trees in backyard. Bleakest.

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On Election Day: 7 Issues On Which Americans Can Agree

Perhaps you’ve noticed lately that the news media in all its permutations is obsessing on the idea that we Americans are divided… on all issues… with no unity on anything to be found?

WELL, I CALL HOGWASH.

Thus I, a free spirit and seemingly only sane person left in the middle of this country, give you the following list wherein I’ve taken it upon myself to point out issues on which Americans agree.

YES, I USED THE A-WORD.

So what do you think, my gentle readers, are you comfortable focusing on unity instead of divisiveness?  And of equal importance, what have I forgotten to add to this list? 🤔

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7 ISSUES ON WHICH AMERICANS CAN AGREE

  1. Commercial airplane travel is a tedious experience, even if they don’t lose your luggage.
  2. Daylight Savings Time is a bad idea in and of itself may or may not be a bad idea, but changing your clock in response to it, or any time change, is difficult. [Thanks to commenters, revised upon reconsideration.]
  3. Paying attention to any Kardashian is a waste of your time.
  4. Sports announcers, hired because they claim to be experts, are as clueless as the rest of us about who’ll win the game.
  5. Christmas merchandise for sale in retail stores in August is ridiculous.
  6. The price of a movie ticket is too high.
  7. Meteorologists who report the weather on TV news are bluffing about what’s going to happen.

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August Makes Me Itchy & Cranky, So I’m Doing This

Photo from an old greeting card. I’ve no source for it, but it’s how I feel right now, so here it is.

Unbelievably hot. Intermittently sunny.

Humid. Rainy. Windy. Moldy, with irritating tree + grass pollens in the air.

That’s our weather now.

Schizoid. 

I don’t like it, but that’s a given because August is my least favorite month of the year.  Some years I don’t try to keep this blog going during Hell Month, but this year I guess I’m feeling optimistic that I’ll have something to say here.

That I’ll do something, preferably fun, potentially interesting.

But you knowz what, my gentle readers?  The only thing I have going on this week that might even vaguely be called interesting is that I’m having BlephEx™️ done at the doc’s office.

BelphEx™️ is a medical procedure to combat blepharitis.  What is blepharitis you ask?  Allow me to quote from the BlephEx™️ brochure:  “Blepharitis is a chronic, inflammatory disease of the eyelids caused by an overgrowth of normal bacteria living along the lid and the base of the eyelashes.” 

Sorry you asked, aren’t ‘ya?

Getting to my point here, the BlephEx™️ procedure I am to have on Friday is to clean my eyelids and eyelashes in a way similar to the way a dental hygienist cleans your teeth.  This procedure will be a first for me, so I’m hoping that it’ll make my dry eyes itch less, as advertised.

To that I’d say HALLELUJAH.

So, my gentle readers, what have you got going on this week?

Something I hope that is a darned sight more interesting and less old-person-like than getting your eyelids professionally cleaned.

Lord love a duck, even typing that last sentence, I feel pathetic…

My Week: First There’s No, Then There’s Yes

From the title of this post… you might infer that I’m going to talk about how to be a better sales person.

I could do that.  I worked in sales for years and know a thing or five about how to manipulate encourage buyers to say “yes” to whatever it is you’re selling.

But that’d be boring for you, my gentle readers.

And honestly as an introvert, I try to forget about those years when I dragged greeting card sales samples around with me and drove all over everywhere and made cold calls.

*shudder*

So instead of babbling about… sales strategies, today I’m going to share some photos that explain, in a silly way, the lows and highs of my week.

Sometimes I feel like nuanced thinking does not exist and I live in a suburban morality play that centers around a simple dichotomy of No or Yes.

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NO: Seen by the side of the trail in the park, this box suggested that I’d find a Magical Gem inside it.  It was empty.

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YES: Found in the Kroger parking lot, these pennies were just laying on the ground.  I snatched them up anticipating 23 days of good luck for me.

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NO: Growing wild in the forest primeval behind our house, this daffodil had no interest in being photographed.

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YES: Sitting pretty in our foyer, this particular nosy tulip peeked around the corner into the hallway to watch me in the kitchen.

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NO: Seen on a parked car bumper, this sticker spoke to me, explaining why lately I feel like I’m stuck in a causality loop.

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YES: Changing each night in the sky above, the moon has been visible lately, reminding me that things move at their own pace… so be chill.

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Oh The Irony. White Paint, Please. And A Few Good Thoughts, If You Don’t Mind.

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One of my all-time favorite quotes that makes me smile no matter what.

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This past week has been a doozy.  Not in especially good ways, either.

I’d planned on, well– planning, then doing, during the week. Using my free time to go shopping at the mall for some spring clothes. To go for a walk outside. To be less here in the blogosphere, even.

But the Universe laughed at me.

Scoffed in fact.

“Ally Bean you shall stay at home, connecting with bloggers* by leaving comments** hither and yon***, whilst you await your next house calamity,” said the Universe.

“And your house calamity will manifest as your husband leaveth the house to drive 4 hours north in a snowstorm to check-on his 80-something ailing parents, one of whom is in the hospital.”

The Universe can be difficult at times, you know?

“And further, Ms. Bean,” the Universe said, “you shall be forced to look at said house calamity whilst your husband dealeth with his parents’ woes, because there will be nothing you can do to repair a roof, and subsequent ceiling damage, until the snow endeth and spring cometh for real.”

Oh yes, the Universe can be a trickster.

So this is where I find myself today.  Looking at water damage on the ceiling in the… [wait for it]… newly remodeled master bathroom.

Because, I guess, the Universe thinks that I need to stay home worrying, then waiting for various people to start traipsing around this house as they fix things.

Again.

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Photo of ceiling damage [shown at a jaunty angle] that will need to be repaired inside the house after we have the roof repaired outside the house. Obviously.

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* To be clear I enjoy connecting with bloggers and have used this week to organize my feeds.  All 70+ of them.

** I’ve also been systematic about leaving comments on all the blogs that I follow, because while “lurking” and “liking” are nice, as a blogger I believe that comments are wonderful.

*** If by chance I’ve left a comment on your blog, and you’re one of those bloggers who doesn’t like comments, then mea culpa.  Also if my comment made little sense to you, please forgive me;  my heart’s been in the right place this week but my mind’s been scattered.

No, No, No. Your House Did Not “Got Bought!”

I’m not a fussbudget about your word choice.  I prefer that your words be nuanced and precise, but if they aren’t most of the time I let it go.  ‘Cuz I’m a kindhearted English major, you know?

I didn’t used to be like this, but I’ve mellowed over the years because, ironically, people have disappointed me so many times that I’ve become charmingly cynical, with incredibly low expectations about what people do or how they do it.

And it’s from this jaded point of view that I’m going to tell you, my gentle readers, about a local realtor who upon selling a house, puts a sign out in front of it that says:

GOT BOUGHT!

Apparently the time-honored SOLD will not work.  Nope, this realtor goes with what I can only assume is a play on the “Got Milk?” marketing campaign, combined with a good old-fashioned rhyme.

I get that this is a clever + seemingly harmless use of the English language.

And I also admit, openly and freely, that what I’m going to write in the next paragraph contradicts one of my favorite sayings: “do you want to be right or do you want to be happy?”

But in this particular case I’m going to declare that I. Want. To. Be. Right.  I want to see SOLD signs.  Now tell me, my gentle readers, is that asking too much?

15 Hours Without Electricity Because– Well, We Don’t Know Why

Think of this as a rambling “Dear Diary” post…

THE LONG WHINY PART

{ feel free to skip if muttering and complaining bother you }

Around 1:00 a.m. Saturday morning I was awakened from my slumber by the loud *click-clack-thunk-bunk* sounds of our machines, powered by electricity, turning themselves off.

What kind of forking shirt is this, I asked myself, emulating Eleanor Shellstrop from The Good Place as I used her creative vocabulary to express myself.

As one does.

Inside our house it was dark except for where the moon beamed in some light on the back of the house.  The front of the house, along with all of our neighbors’ houses, was dark.

Of course, having not recently fallen off the suburban homeowner turnip truck, I didn’t do a thing, except to look out a few windows, confirm that the whole neighborhood was without power, and then go back to sleep.

Next morning there was still no electricity anywhere on our street, so being the trooper that I am I got dressed and drove elsewhere to find us hot coffee.

[And what a sad bedraggled bunch of folks were we, the coffee fetchers, at the local Kroger Star$ kiosk.  Barely alert, yet focused on our mission to get the sustaining elixir of life for ourselves and our loved ones.]

THE DETAILED WHAT WE DID UNTIL WE GOT ELECTRICITY AGAIN PART 

{ probably want to skim over for context regarding the photos to come }

By 9:00 a.m. we still had no electricity, no idea why we didn’t have electricity, and our cell phones were almost without juice, so we did the only thing we could think of and went out to breakfast, at what turned out to be the world’s worst Bob Evans.

Humph.

Then, needing to charge our phones, we drove to the other side of somewhere to go to a garden nursery;  we like this garden nursery, but buying mums, which we did, was the secondary reason for our visit.  We required a long car ride to help our phones get going again.

Modern life, ain’t it grand?

Then, having called home to find that our answering machine wasn’t picking up, meaning no electricity, we decided to stop at a little new-to-us township park to wander around its flat paths and see what was there.

Short answer: kids and chairs.

Then, it being the middle of the afternoon on a day that wasn’t working out like I’d hoped, we went to the bar of a local restaurant that is known for chicken.  There we had delicious chicken sandwiches, watched some football, and drank beer.

Because… Saturday… in the fall… and bored.

THE 8 PRETTY PHOTOGRAPHS PART

{ make sure to look at these ‘cuz it was a clear day meant for snapping pics }

Pond at garden nursery.

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Geese on pond at garden nursery.

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Ducks avoiding geese on pond at garden nursery.

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Island in middle of pond at township park.

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Human beings gathered around play area beside pond at township park.

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Old stately home, available to rent for private events, beside pond at township park.

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Chairs waiting for guests beside old stately home, available to rent for private events, beside pond at township park.

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Farm with corn in the field across from pond at township park.

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