The Return Of The Delightful Blogroll: A Bit Of Snark, A Big Reveal

A Bit Of Snark

Not everyone you meet will be your friend, right?

Before I get to the real point of this post, here’s a memory from my early days of blogging. I occasionally think of this guy when the topic of blogrolls comes up and I’m still entertained.

From my point of view he was comic relief.

You see, there was this guy who considered himself to be an EXPERT on blogging. He wrote a weblog called something like Howard’s How-Tos. There was alliteration and that’s all I remember about the name of the weblog.

Howard [or maybe it was Horace?] was a mansplainer first class. In his bio he didn’t state any education or work experience to lend credence to his expert status, we were just supposed to accept that he was an AUTHORITY on blogging.

He knew things. 🙄

Welp, Howard [possibly Herbert?] loved lists– long rambling ones in which he’d repeat himself saying the same pieces of how-to advice, worded slightly differently, over and over. He was seemingly incapable of understanding that quantity is no replacement for quality.

So one day Howard [could be Homer?] announced that he’d put together a blogroll for us lesser bloggers. In his blogroll he listed the 300 weblogs he followed. Yes, according to this self-important knower of all things bloggy, these were the best weblogs out there in the blogosphere.

Being curious I went to look at his list of weblogs, presented alphabetically, and discovered that my sweet little bloggy wasn’t included. This made me laugh out loud. I mean, if I wasn’t on the list then obviously Howard [maybe Hiram?] wasn’t following all the best weblogs, now was he?

Hmmm…? 😁

A Big Reveal

And with that delightfully snide memory I present the updated crowdsourced DELIGHTFUL BLOGROLL, a list of weblogs organized BY THE YEAR in which the weblog began.

[To be clear, the blogroll isn’t on this blog post, it is on a tab. Keep reading & all will be revealed.]

Please note, this blogroll features FRIENDLY bloggers who write PERSONAL blogs. When given the chance these bloggers told me they wanted to be included on this blogroll so I included them.

Also, if I made any mistakes regarding your weblog, please forgive me. I tried my best to be accurate, but SO MANY BLOGS.

Thus without further ado I shall direct you to the blogroll. I’ve closed the comments here hoping that instead of chatting with me you’ll:

  1. Go review the DELIGHTFUL BLOGROLL by clicking on the capitalized bright green words you just read.
  2. Pick one new-to-you weblog and go visit.
  3. Leave a comment there IF you feel so moved.
  4. Introduce yourself by saying: “Ally Bean sent me.”

Enjoy!

Tea For Two: Talking About A Retirement Side Hustle + 2 Story Updates

• • •

TEA FOR TWO, THAT’S ME & YOU

I’ve heard it said that most marital communication is the word *WHAT* being shouted between rooms.

I believe this to be true.

Especially now that Zen-Den, Esq., has retired, sort of.

You see, he retired from his main source of employment, a full-time job with benefits, and is now self-employed as an advisor wandering around at home, sometimes advising his former main source of employment while other times chatting it up with new prospects.

This is called a side hustle.

I am told.

So this means, from my point of view, that He Who Has A Side Hustle is underfoot almost all day long. Like a cheerful puppy. And because he’s accustomed to barking talking almost all day long, he has begun to NEED to tell me things.

While we are in different rooms.

Why just the other morning he shouted something to me from the kitchen while I was in our home study.

I said *what* of course.

He then walked into the home study and told me he had a few calls to take in the morning. After that he was going to organize the tea drawer where we keep, come to find out, 12 different teas*.

So you can see that He Who Has A Side Hustle is finding productive ways to occupy himself that for the most part keep him from pestering and annoying me all day long, and allow him to believe he is a valuable part of this household.

Because he is, of course.

* Knowing that someone is going to ask, the 12 kinds of tea in the drawer are:

  1. Ceylon Orange Pekoe
  2. Constant Comment
  3. Earl Grey
  4. English Breakfast
  5. English Teatime
  6. Green Tea
  7. Green Tea with Pomegranate, Raspberry & Strawberry
  8. Irish Breakfast
  9. Lady Grey
  10. Oolong Tea
  11. Peppermint
  12. Perfect Peach

• • •

UPDATES TO STORIES

1. We named the skeleton Earl. Thanks to everyone who offered name ideas. Y’all are funny. [Original story HERE.]

2.  After writing about how I accidentally acquired a bag of potato chips, Z-D was at Kroger using the U-scan. He used the barcode reader to ring up a six-pack of beer and it did, but then while placing the beer on the wonky wobbly bagging carousel he accidentally dropped the six-pack on the floor. The impact caused the metal caps on two bottles to loosen, spewing carbonated beer from the bottles.

Instead of going back to get a new six-pack, for which he paid in full, Z-D left the store with four bottles of beer. Thus he paid for something he did not get and thereby, I believe, restored balance in our relationship with Kroger. [Original story HERE.]

• • •

QUESTIONS OF THE DAY

When thinking about retirement what is the first idea that pops into your mind? Does this thought make you worry or happy– or something else? 

If you drink tea, hot &/or cold, how many kinds of it do you have in your home? Are you about variety or uniformity?     

So what do you think, was it Kroger Karma that caused Zen-Den to drop that beer, making us whole with them again?

• • 💚 • •

The Tale Of A Kind Young Doctor Who Was As Lost As I Was

I HAD AN APPOINTMENT FOR MY annual checkup with an eye doctor who’s part of a group practice. I’ve gone to him for at least 15 years. His office is in a building called The Clinic that is part of a large university hospital complex.

A week before the appointment I received a letter* from his office telling me that the free parking garage nearest The Clinic was closed. The letter explained in words where I should go for free parking.

I didn’t bother to double-check the directions online because I’m familiar with the area. The directions made perfect sense to me and they were spot on.

I got to the parking garage, no problem.

• • •

WITH LETTER IN HAND I DID as it said and exited the parking garage through the green doors, putting me at the intersection of two busy streets. At this point I was told to look for a particular building, presumably made possible by the generous donation of some rich people.

Let’s call this building THE LOVEY & THURSTON HOWELL III MEDICAL CENTER.

Standing on the corner I looked up and down the streets and I saw nothing that said THE LOVEY & THURSTON HOWELL III MEDICAL CENTER.

I mean, nothing.

• • •

I WAS ABOUT TO GRAB MY cell phone out of my purse when a kind young doctor crossed the street toward me and walked up to me. He asked me if I needed help finding something.

[That’s how lost I looked, a random doctor offered to help me.]

Waving the letter around I said, I’m looking for THE LOVEY & THURSTON HOWELL III MEDICAL CENTER.  

He said, the what?

I repeated myself.

We looked at each other. 

He politely asked, may I see the letter.

[I imagine he thought I was an older *confused* person.]

I said, yes and handed it to him.

He read the letter printed on official university hospital letterhead, looked up and down the streets, then said, huh.

We looked at each other. 

I shrugged.

He said, I’ve worked here 8 years and I’ve never heard of THE LOVEY & THURSTON HOWELL III MEDICAL CENTER.  

I said, I’ve gone to this eye doctor for longer than that and I’ve never heard of THE LOVEY & THURSTON HOWELL III MEDICAL CENTER.  

We looked at each other. 

[I’d stumped a doctor, which is kind of a memorable moment.]

• • •

BEFORE I HAD TIME TO SAY another word the kind young doctor pulled out his cell phone and started researching where the heck this building might be. This took longer than you might expect.

I waited patiently.

Eventually he looked up, smiling, and said, THE LOVEY & THURSTON HOWELL III MEDICAL CENTER is the original name for The Clinic.

We looked at each other.

Then we burst out laughing, turning our heads in unison toward the building directly in front of us on the other side of the street. The building we knew as The Clinic.

We looked at each other. 

• • •

I THANKED THE KIND YOUNG DOCTOR for figuring this out.

He said, your doctor is older, isn’t he?

I said, yes.

We looked at each other.

He said, I know him personally. The next time I see him I’ll suggest that for the sake of his patients, and other doctors,  he might want to NOT refer to The Clinic as THE LOVEY & THURSTON HOWELL III MEDICAL CENTER because no one knows it by that name anymore.   

I said, good idea. I’ll say something ** too. 

We looked at each other. 

And with a smile we went on our ways, better informed about the world around us.

~ THE END ~

* The doctor’s office had tried to email me but they had an out-of-date email address, so they sent a snail mail letter.

** I never said anything to my eye doctor because when I got to his office my mind wandered, distracted by two relaxed Federal prison inmates, in handcuffs + shackled ankles, surrounded by two stern guards. The foursome was sitting in the waiting area for appointments with some doctor in the group practice.

Pondering: If You Tell Me You’re Independent, What Does That Mean?

Something pretty to enjoy while pondering…

Shortly before the pandemic began 2 years ago this month, I was at a social function with Z-D.  It was for his work.

I was seated next to a 70-something woman, a delightfully chatty child-free extrovert, who was [and I hope still is] the wife of a man who used to work with Z-D.

Thanks to many social business events we’d endured together I knew this pleasant woman as a casual acquaintance so this was good.  From previous conversations with her I knew she was a Joiner with a capital ‘J’.

To wit, over the years she’d told me that she was in a garden club, a book club or two, a dog breed club, a bicycling group, a music guild, a Bible study group, a travel club, and she was a member of a country club.

She went on a *sisters only* cruise every year and hosted parties for her nieces who were involved in multi-level marketing schemes.  She always had a family Thanksgiving dinner at her house.  Plus at one point she had worked full-time and socialized with her workmates, seemingly every weekend.

• • •

We had a lovely time chatting, which is to say I mostly listened and she mostly talked.

As we were getting ready to leave, perhaps sensing this would be the last time we’d see each other [and it was], she leaned over to me and said in a confidential tone: “I’m independent. I need for you to know that.”

INDEPENDENT?

NEED for me TO KNOW?

SAY WHAT?

I had zero idea what she was getting at and because of the circumstances I didn’t get the opportunity to ask her any, shall we say, clarifying follow-up questions.

Over these last two years I’ve thought about that comment often and have talked with friends in real life about what it could mean.  Without context it can be interpreted in a variety of ways.  Here is what we’ve come up with:

  • I’m independent because I have money of my own.
  • I’m independent because I am free to choose which groups I join.
  • I’m independent because I don’t have children.
  • I’m independent because I’m retired and so is my husband.
  • I’m independent because I grew up as a second-wave feminist.
  • I’m independent because I haven’t declared myself to be aligned with a particular political party.
  • I’m independent because the church I go to is outside the mainstream, not part of an established protestant denomination.

So what say you, my gentle readers?  

Do you consider yourself to be independent? And if you do, what does that mean to you? Also, do you need people to know you’re independent?

Please share your thoughts in the comments below.  This can be an interesting conversation.

• 🌺 •

Nothing Sketchy: And Then Our Mailbox Made A Run For It

I enjoy a bit of absurdity.

It was late Friday afternoon.  Zen-Den was working from home in a guest bedroom his upstairs office that overlooks the front yard and street.

He was on a conference call, listening, bored presumably, and staring out the window at the street.

There was a gust of wind and just like that our extra large [15″x11.7″x24.8″] black metal [11.5 lbs] mailbox  [identical to this one] went flying off its post– and started scampering down the street.

Like a sneaky pet dog out on an adventure.

Never slowing down, never looking back.

Z-D, still listening to his conference call saw what had happened, found me downstairs, pointed outside, and mouthed the words “mailbox escaped.”

I looked out the window and understood.  I immediately went running out the front door to chase our mailbox, WITH OUR MAIL IN IT, down the street.

On a cold late autumn day.

Without a coat or gloves on.

The little miscreant, pushed by more gusts of wind, slide downhill in the gutter along the side of the street until it was in front of our next-door neighbor’s house where the runaway fell on its side, popping up its little red flag in surrender.

Nice touch, eh?

I was charmed in spite of the situation.

I picked him up, double-checked that our mail was still inside [it was], then started walking home with said sneaky mailbox cuddled in my arms, like you might when you capture a wiggly dog.

However unlike a warm small furry dog, a metal mailbox is cold, cold, cold to carry.  I wasn’t dressed for the elements let alone a search and rescue mission that involved carrying a large mailbox home.

Mailboxes have sharp edges.

Trust me on this.

Anyhoo, laughing at acknowledging the absurdity of this situation, I got the little fellow home, put him in the garage, and walked down the driveway to see what had happened that prompted our mailbox to make a run for it.

Come to find out, the wood on the post that forms the horizontal platform on which the mailbox sits had rotted underneath the mailbox.  The mailbox had been attached with screws to the rotting wood, but the gust of wind was powerful enough to rip them out of place, and sent our mailbox flying.

This was a first for me/us, but one that graciously provided us with the gift of a Saturday project.

Yep, we had to replace the rotting wood on the post then re-attach the mailbox, no worse for the wear btw, to the new sturdy wood plank.

So we did.

~ ~ 📪 ~ ~

The foregoing story reminds me of my favorite TikTok. It stars a dog named Bean. Do dah, do dah!