I’m Not A Fish, But Know How They Must Feel In Their Bowls

Some of you know this story already, but I’ll be brief, keep it snappy, and tell it here so that the title of this post makes sense to you, my gentle readers.

After 4 1/2 months of waiting we finally got new replacement windows on the front of the house.

It was a tedious, anxiety-producing process that started with a 3 1/2 month wait, involved delivery of mis-measured windows, a thwarted installation, a makeshift faux installation of the wrong windows to fill the holes in the house created by the thwarted installation, waiting… waiting… waiting again…, and then correctly-sized windows properly installed.

A Christmas Pella miracle, she says with a hint of sarcasm.

The result of this home improvement project is: 1) we no longer have leaky broken windows;  2) we are noticing how much quieter it is in the house with new windows;  and 3) we have no blinds, my preferred window treatment, to put on the new correctly-sized properly installed windows on the front of the house.

Specifically blinds for the windows in the home office where I sit at the desk while using a desktop computer to write this blog.

Forsooth.

But here’s where it gets fishy. Now that it’s darker outside in the early morning, and with no blinds on the windows, I feel like a guppy in a fishbowl sitting in this room. Passersby, whether they be kids on school buses or runners or adults walking their dogs, can see me swimming around sitting at the computer, under the overhead light, doing my early morning bloggy thing, often in my pajamas.

We taped a plastic super strength high density painter’s drop cloth over the windows in an attempt to make this room less noticeable from the street, but it just blurs me, doesn’t hide me.

Ptooey, she says with a hint of defeat.

I don’t like the idea of being on display here each morning but until we get blinds on the new correctly-sized properly installed windows, that took longer to manufacture and install than building this house did, I’ve no choice but to live my life like a fish in a fishbowl for everyone who goes by to see.

And ain’t that grand?

One-Liner Wednesday: A Mantra Courtesy Of A Three Year Old Girl

I was in Costco on Friday afternoon.  I ducked into the women’s restroom and while in there saw a cute little girl, about three years old, with her mother.

The little girl was wearing black leggings, a bright blue t-shirt, sturdy white sneakers embellished with cartoon characters, and a sparkly pink tutu.  She was a vision of free-spirited sartorial confidence that made me smile.

Oh, to be so sure of yourself!

The duo was standing by the sink in the restroom and the mother was starting to turn on the water at the sink in order for the little girl to wash her hands.  However, as we all know, toddlers like to do for themselves that which they believe they are capable of doing by themselves.

And they are often loud and dramatic in the process.

This little girl was no different than her independently-minded peers, thus she said for all to hear the following phrase that I think, as an example of positive self-talk, might be the perfect succinct mantra for anyone who momentarily loses their confidence while negotiating the ups and downs of life:

“I. CAN. ME.”

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This is the brainchild of Linda G. Hill. Click on the badge to learn more & to connect with other bloggers who are doing #1LinerWeds this week.

What The Sheriff Saw: A Story About Yours Truly Doing Her Gardening Chores

I want to tell you what happened. I didn’t quite understand what really happened as it happened and it was only after Zen-Den gently walked me to an epiphany that I got what happened.

• • •

• • •

THE OTHER MORNING AROUND 9:00 a.m. I decided to water the planters that are on the stoop in front of the house by the front door. I do this using an old Rubbermaid aqua-colored 2 1/4 quarts plastic pitcher whose white lid I lost decades ago.

As I was watering these planters I looked over in the bushes to where we have a medium-sized concrete urn that holds a spike plant. Because it’s been more dry around here than usual the poor spike looked droopy, so I got more water in my repurposed pitcher, now watering can, and stepped into our bushes in front of the windows in front of the house to water the thirsty plant.

I probably should add at this point that I was wearing Stewart plaid flannel jammies, a bright pink fleece jacket, dark teal suede house slippers, and had my curly mess of graying blonde hair pulled up, with a neon orange elastic band, into an off-kilter pineapple-style ponytail on top of my head.

Oh, and I was wearing dark glasses because it was sunny outside.

• • •

THERE’S BEEN A CHIPMUNK hanging around the front of the house all summer and as I was watering the spike I saw it scurry by me on its way to the other side of the front of the house. I do not like the damage that chipmunks can cause so I stopped watering and glared at the little rodent to see where it was going.

And, of course, I yelled a few random death threats at it.

As one does.

Suddenly I had a strange feeling and realized I was not alone. That out on the street in a large black SUV someone was watching me as I stood there.

And who was this person watching me? A sheriff who had happened to notice me as he was driving by. He’d rolled down his passenger side window to get a closer look at me and when I saw him, he waved.

I smiled and waved back while holding up my repurposed pitcher, then started pouring water into the concrete urn to show him I belonged where I was. I wasn’t a burglar hiding in the bushes, I was just the lady of the house doing a chore.

He smiled back, nodded his head, rolled up the window, and went on his way.

• • •

LATER THAT NIGHT I told Z-D what had happened and how funny I thought it was that a sheriff thought I was a miscreant attempting to break into our house.

As if.

Zen-Den listened to my story and conclusion, then quietly suggested that what the sheriff thought he saw probably didn’t register with him as a burglary in progress.

Instead from the sheriff’s perspective what he saw was an addlepated gray-haired senior citizen, perhaps suffering from dementia and jibber-jabbering to herself, wandering around in the bushes in her nightclothes, seemingly confused, while carrying a random kitchen item with her.

And darn it to heck, Zen-Den is right. That’s exactly what the sheriff saw.

Talking To Myself: Evidence Of Impending Decrepitude Or Productivity Hack?

Oh the brain, she be tired and easily distracted.

Like the pre-old person I am.

You see, last week I was in a productive mood.  I was busy, but not overwhelmed.  Happy, but not dippy.  Energetic, but not the most organized I’ve ever been.

Thus it came to be at one point in the late afternoon, while I was whirling around the house, doing the things, thinking the important blogging thoughts, that I realized I’d forgotten what I was doing.

Completely forgot.

Just standing there in the middle of the room, immobile. Alone, no one else around to give me a prompt.

*Humph*

Thus as a way of getting myself back on track I said out loud to myself:

“Do the thing you were supposed to be doing when you realized that you hadn’t done the thing you were supposed to have done and stopped to do that thing.”

And guess what?

I listened to myself, did what I said I should do, and got back in the groove, because apparently when it comes to keeping the productivity choo-choo train on the track I need to use convoluted sentences to communicate with myself.

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Questions Of The Day

Had any good conversations with yourself lately? Did you listen to yourself? And how’d that work out for you?

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Fun With Pedicures: Conning Mr. Man, If Only For A Moment

It’s not easy to pull the wool over Zen-Den’s eyes. He’s smart and lawyerly and hyper-aware of liars. But for a moment I had him going, so I have to share it here. For posterity. For snorts and giggles.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

I.  In the photo above the color of nail polish you see on my toenails is unusual for me.  I usually go clear/pale OR dark/bright.  I rarely wear halfway/medium colors like you see above.

II.  OPI nail polishes, which I prefer, are grouped into cleverly named collections.  For instance a pale pink called Bubble Bath might be found in the Always Bare For You Collection.  A bright pink red called California Raspberry might be found in the Fan Faves Collection.  [These particular colors are so old that they’re no longer featured in any collection, but I’m making a point here so please go with it.]

III.  After wearing Bubble Bath for a few weeks I decided it was too blah for me.  No character.  So on a whim as a way of zhooshing it up, I mixed a bit of California Raspberry with it.  I figured I’d create a new medium color.  And I did.  That’s what you see on my toenails in the photo.

THE CON *tee-hee*

Z-D came home from work the other night and noticed the pink color of my fresh pedicure.  He looked down at my feet and asked me if I had a rash on my toes.  I instantly realized that he thought my created shade of pink was calamine lotion.

So I told him: “No, that’s a new shade of nail polish.  It’s called Chicken Pox Pink, part of OPI’s new Childhood Illnesses Collection.”

He said nothing, just kept staring at my toes.

So I continued: “There are other colors in the collection, like Measles Mauve and Flu Shot Fuchsia.”

With a totally confused look on his face he said: “There’s a nail polish collection called Childhood Illnesses?”

I said: “Oh yes, there’s Bronchitis Burgundy and…”

He interrupted: “THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS THIS COLLECTION.”

But I kept going: “Boo-Boo Bunny Beige and…”

He said: “You’re making this up.”

I said: “Oh no, this is for real.  There’s Drippy Nose Rose and…”

At which point Zen-Den, shaking his head in disbelief and laughing, wandered away from the conversation, as if I might not be telling the truth.  Can you imagine that?

THE END

Revisiting The Quaker Questions: Say What? Naked Who?

This is a photo of a deer standing on the side of the hill in our backyard. This deer is not being a pest per se because he’s eating shrubs that grow wild. He is naked, but to my knowledge is not a Quaker.

• • •

Sometimes, I dunno.

I looked at my WP list of Top Searches wherein I can see the list of questions and queries that, through the magic of search engines, have brought people to The Spectacled Bean.

I generally get people looking for information on deer as pests OR information on replacing door handles on interior doors OR [oddly enough] issues Americans can agree upon.

However, and this is where it gets interesting, to my knowledge no search engine has ever sent anyone here who wrote as their query: “naked quaker questions and answers.”

Let’s unpack this query, shall we?

I can explain the Quaker Questions part.  You see, years and years ago I wrote a post [HERE] about answering the Quaker Questions.

Z-D and I were in the process of joining a Presbyterian church and instead of having everyone in the new members group jibber jabber about who he or she was, the leader of the new members group had us answer the Quaker Questions.

But I can assure you that the questions in question were intended to be questions answered while wearing clothes. There was no nakedness involved with these questions nor with our answers. Plus, and I’m assuming here, the Quaker who originally asked these questions was [probably] fully clothed.

It’s an odd subject to be researching, but that’s not what worries me about this particular query.  What I’m wondering about is the twisted reality underscoring a search engine’s algorithms so that it sent someone to find the answer to that query on my sweet little PG-13 blog.

Naked deer I got.  Naked doors I had.  But Quakers?

The ones I’m familiar with wear clothes. 🙄

• • •

THE QUAKER QUESTIONS

[We were asked the following questions. My answers are in the comment section below. Do what you will with this information.] 

Where were you born?

When you were 7 years old how did your family heat your home?

What person in your real life growing up influenced you in a way that makes you who you are today?

• • •

One-Liner Wednesday: He Might Not Be A Bird’s Best Friend

Zen-Den and I were opening snail mail while standing at the kitchen counter.  I’d received a calendar from the Audubon Society whose mission is “to protect birds and the places they need.”

I didn’t ask for this calendar, it was just there, mailed to me, specifically– like many calendars are this time of year.  Z-D doesn’t get unsolicited calendars like I do, but me? I got choices.

2020 will not go unnoticed.

Anyhow, Z-D glanced over to see what I was looking at.   He saw what I had in my hand and asked: “Are you a member of the Audubon Society?”

I said: “No. The calendar just came in the mail.”

He said: “Why?”

I said: “Because this is what happens in September. Unsolicited calendars appear like manna from heaven.”

He said: “What’s the calendar look like?”

I started to show him the Audubon calendar, holding up each page that features a different endangered bird.  I thought he might like to see them.

However after three bird photos he cut me off saying:

“OK, I get it. You got a free calendar with pictures of birds not fat enough to eat. Lucky you.”

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This is the brainchild of Linda G. Hill. Click on the badge to learn more & to connect with other bloggers who are doing #1LinerWeds this week.