Be The Light: Of Queenly Diets & Quiet Delights

INTRODUCTION

As you may remember, starting last March I joined a yearlong monthly event called We Are The World Blogfest.  

The purpose of this event is to highlight positive stories in the news, presenting these stories on your blog on the last Friday of the month.

This being the last Friday of November, I’ve a story to share with you, my gentle readers & fellow #WATWB participants.

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THE NEWS STORY

Emily DiNuzzo, a reporter for Business Insider, decided to follow Queen Elizabeth II’s diet that was first reported by Today last August.

DiNuzzo’s experiences, documented in I ate like Queen Elizabeth II for a day — and learned how to appreciate the simple things in life, show that the Queen eats a balanced, basic diet but doesn’t forego a few treats throughout her day, like pre-breakfast biscuits or a post-dinner glass of champagne.

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MY COMMENTARY

Overlooking that what Emily did might not be a news story that dramatically changes the world, I found her joy while “researching” this story to be quietly delightful.

[And funny.  I’m with Emily on no gin + Dubonnet aperitif before lunch.  Even with Emily’s addition of simple syrup in it.]

Plus, dare I say that I found this story encouraging?

I know that not everyone thinks the monarchy is great, but considering that this past Monday Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary, you have to admit that in a world where moral and mental health questions surround many leaders, the Queen is doing a number of things right.

Healthy body.

Sound mind.

Solid relationships.

Sure, Emily didn’t uncover the latest scandal or find the drama in Elizabeth II’s daily life, but she did give us an insight into what helps make someone in power, the longest-reigning English monarch ever, stay balanced.

And there’s positivity in that.

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5 Unique Words Presented For Your Edification + 1 Nice Quote

I don’t have much to talk about today, but I believe that one of my strengths as a personal blogger is the fact that I show up to my blog consistently regardless of what is, or isn’t, going on in my life.

Therefore, adhering to my own self-imposed blogging principle, I shall share with you, my gentle readers, 5 unique words that I’ve stumbled across in my research and reading.

I had to look them up in the dictionary because I hadn’t a clue about what they meant.

So far I haven’t found a way to slip any of these words into everyday conversation, but I’m working on it.  Because a wordy girl has to use the words, you know?

  1. WEBQOOF –  someone who believes everything they read and see on social media
  2. SOCKEROO – a notable success
  3. OPSIMATH –  someone who begins to learn or study late in life
  4. ZEMBLANITY – predictable unpleasantries [the opposite of serendipity]
  5. PLUVIOPHILE –  someone who finds joy and peace of mind during rainy days

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A gold star for any commenter who can weave these words into one coherent sentence… that’s not a list of these words. The use of semicolons is encouraged.  

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It’s Halloween, Betwixt And Between, If You Know What I Mean

How in the world could it be the last day of October already?

Like witches, time flies, eh?

It’s been a busy weird month here at Chez Bean, but we did manage to turn three basic pumpkins into festive Jack-o-Lanterns, one of which is featured below.

And I have plenty of candy* + plastic bloody eyeballs on hand for tonight’s trick-or-treaters**.

So all is well here as I wait… wait… wait… for darkness to fall, when little ghosts and goblins at the front door will call.

Happy Halloween!

* I usually hand out Snickers, but [get this] yesterday when I went to buy Snickers at Kroger it was sold out, so I opted for Twix & Skittles & Starburst.

** We get anywhere from 125 to 225 kids here.  The number fluctuates depending on Halloween Day weather and the day of the week.

#CBF17 | See What I Mean? This Is What I Cherish.

I’m joining the Cherished Blogfest here. Cherished Blogfest is open to all bloggers who want to write about something that or someone who they cherish.

I wrote this post last week meaning to join the blogfest over the weekend, but I failed to meet the deadline.

However, with a hat tip to Joanne for letting me know, TPTB* have extended the Cherished Blogfest deadline to Sunday October 22nd so I’m in.  Better late than never! Why not join in, too?

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Little Ally Bean

This is my first grade school photo.

First you’ll notice that the photographer didn’t manage to center me in the frame.  I was a wiggly little girl, so– you know.

Then you’ll notice that my white cotton blouse collar is going one direction while my itchy wool plaid jumper is going in a different direction.

Clothes horse, never been one.

If you’re still looking at the photo, and I do hope that you are, you’ll notice that I’m wearing spectacles.

Eyeglasses.

Granted, they were dorky, unfashionable ones made of the strongest plastic available and were the cheapest ones on the rack at the doctor’s office– but I cherished these glasses.

And here’s why: my vision was lousy and it wasn’t until I got my first pair of spectacles that I actually began to see the world around me.

In detail.

I mean, who knew that the green blob up on top of the tree trunk was actually lots of little green leaves?

Not me.

Or that billboards along the highway had words and faces on them, not just random and abstract colorful smudges?

Again, not me.

Now I realize that many, many kids [and adults] hate eyeglasses– for whatever reasons. But I’m not one of them. I think spectacles are one of the best things on earth, having the power to instantly, safely connect a person with their environment, whether it be natural or bookish.

And because of that power, to this day I cherish my eyeglasses for what they have, and I hope continue to do, for me.

In fact, I respect my spectacles so much I even named my blog after them.  You, my gentle readers, do realize that you’re reading The Spectacled Bean, right? 😎

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* TPTB for this blogfest are: Damyanti Biswas, Dan Antion, Cheryl Pennington, Peter Nena, Sharukh Bamboat, Mary Giese, Kate Powell, and Paul Ruddock

Be The Light: Of Hurricanes & Happy Hellos

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INTRODUCTION

As you may remember, starting last March I joined a yearlong monthly event called We Are The World Blogfest.  

The purpose of this event is to highlight positive news stories, presenting these stories on your blog on the last Friday of the month.

This being the last Friday of September, I’ve a news story to share with you, my gentle readers & fellow #WATWB participants.

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THE NEWS STORY

Earlier this month when Hurricane Irma made landfall in the USA, Key West was hard hit.  After the hurricane moved farther north, for those people who didn’t evacuate Key West, there was no running water, no electric power– and no cell phone service.

One of the people who didn’t evacuate was Buco, a mechanic at The Green Parrot, a famous bar and Key West icon.

In the aftermath of the hurricane, Buco figured out that the closed restaurant next door had a landline connection that was still working.  Using an old hand set, Buco was able to get a landline telephone working and accessible to people at the side door of The Green Parrot.

The bar then allowed anyone to make a free two-minute call using the phone so that the residents still in Key West could assure their friends and family that they were ok.

[Full story here: A Key West Dive Bar Closed For The Hurricane, But Let 500 People In To Phone Loved Ones]

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MY COMMENTARY

Overlooking the fact that what Buco did, pirating a phone line, is technically illegal, this story is a feel good one in which human ingenuity and kindness comes together to help everyone.

I especially liked Buco’s observation about the people who stood in line to use the phone.  He said: “it’s always their mother’s number that they remember.”

While The Green Parrot [“a sunny place for shady people”] is famous in and of itself, the latest mention of it in the news, under the circumstances, makes me smile about the bar and the people who work there.

[Click here to view Bar Cam].

I can’t help thinking… road trip, anyone?  ‘Cause I know a place I’d like to visit. 🍻

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{ photo images via Pixabay |1||2| }

When A Bee Gets Buzzed, What Does It Mean?

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MY WEEK THUS FAR HAS BEEN A DOOZY, filled with broken things, unreliable people, and inconveniently rainy weather.  Nothing, despite my best efforts, has gone smoothly.

Exhausted after a trying day, I was sitting on our deck last night.  I had a glass of pinot noir on the table beside me, and was minding me own beeswax, so to speak.

A bee, like the one in the photo above, came out of nowhere and flew directly, seemingly intentionally, into my glass of wine, then proceeded to do the backstroke in the wine in the glass.

As much as this sounds like I’m making up this story, I’m being literal: a large, healthy bee, managed to ruin my glass of red wine, while having himself the best swim ever.

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IT WAS HILARIOUS TO WATCH HIM going around in circles inside the glass, of course.  However, at the same time, it was damned annoying because the wine wasn’t a cheap bottle of plonk– and I had to toss the contents of the glass, bee and all, over the side of the deck onto the grass below.

Zen-Den, gracious human being that he is, brought me another glass of wine from the bottle in the kitchen… and he handed me a paper cocktail napkin to use to cover the top of the glass while I continued to sit on the deck.

But me being me, an English major educated and encouraged to find the meaning in all things, I got lost in my head trying to figure out what it meant that a bee got buzzed, in a most dramatic way, right when I was trying to mellow out.

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THE BEST EXPLANATION I COULD COME UP WITH, based on Occam’s Razor‘s idea of simplicity + obviousness, was that the bee represented me this week, busy doing things, but not in ways that make me happy.

And that following the bee’s lead, I needed to speed up my wine consumption if I was to have as much fun and relaxation as this uninvited bee was having in my wine glass.

So, not being one to argue with Scientific Logic, or the Serendipitous Nature of the Universe, I drank my first glass of wine. Then sipped another one. And suddenly, as if it was all meant to be, everything seemed right within my world. 

173 Days Later, The Remodeling Wild Ride Ends

Surprised?

Yep, that’s how long it took from our first meeting in early March with the remodeling company planner guy to the last day in late August with the finisher guys making it all look perfect.

Kind of makes you think that HGTV shows might not be telling you the truth about how remodeling projects in the real world get done, doesn’t it?

But I digress…

Here are some photos* of how everything [finally] looks now that we have a new master bathroom, laundry room, and updated TV room fireplace.  We love the results, and couldn’t be happier that we took this wild ride– despite all the difficulties and absurdities along the way.

[Click HERE for the whole story.]

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Fancy decorative tile, lost then found in route from California, here at last.

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Double vanity with lots of drawers, meaning no more storing towels in buckets in the tub for us.

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New tub, very sleek, and no longer in my parking place in the garage where it’s spent the last two months.

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Shower doors installed on second custom frame, because why do things right the first time?

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In the laundry room, pretty decorative tiles + a small granite counter created from a slab found on the remnant pile.

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Stackable washer and dryer, effective, but seem large after years of using small side-by-side ones.

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Shiny natural granite with a simple white mantle against a wall painted the correct neutral color. 

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* I warned you, my gentle readers, in my first post about this remodeling wild ride that I’ve never learned how to take good interior design photos. These pics don’t do our projects justice, but they’re the best I can do.