Mercury Is In Retrograde & My Subconscious Is On The Blinketh, Me Thinketh

I’VE BEEN KNOWN TO SAY: trust the process.  I don’t know that I do that all the time because my ego gets in the way, but when I chill out and reflect upon situations it seems like a worthy goal– if you’re trying to live your life in a heart-centered way.

Thus I give you the following series of events, hoping that there is something good + insightful to be gleaned from this.  I mean, there’s nothing bad or tragic with the following, it’s just weird– even by my standards of self-awareness.

Which are low during this time when Mercury is in retrograde.

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PERHAPS YOU KNOW ABOUT THE idea of posing a question to yourself as you fall asleep at night, allowing your subconscious to give you the answer, revealed in your first thoughts in the morning?

I learned about doing this from a yoga teacher, a woman who was one of those totally centered, but not unrealistically cheerful, instructors who was all about helping other people find their way IF the other person was sincere.

I liked her classes. Useful.

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HERE’S THE QUESTION I ASKED myself last night was: what could I write about on my blog this week?  And my subconscious tossed a question back at me that is about as random and unexpected as they get.

It’s a question for which I have no answer, nor need to know an answer.  And I realize that no one is alive that would be able to answer it.

Here’s what I woke up thinking about: did my mother, who was three years younger than her older sister, know that when her older sister stepped on the train headed for a holiday in Texas, that her older sister was going off to elope? 

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THIS IS AN ODD QUESTION that has left me baffled about what is going on inside my brain.  I mean, what do you suppose my subconscious is trying to tell me?

Is it saying that I need to go on a vacation? That it’s time for me to tell stories about my ancestors? That it’s broken and needs a professional tune-up?

I dunno, but I will say I’m a little bit freaked out about what the heck is going on inside my mind.  I’ll admit to being older and more addled than I once was, but I’m usually not so far out there with the answers to my questions.

However, be that as it may, let’s blame it on Mercury in retrograde, just like I did many years ago.

Smiling In Hello-Land: 1921 Telephone Etiquette For The Social Elite

Doing research for last week’s Thursday Doors post I fell down a rabbit hole that had zilch to do with what I was supposed to be learning about.

[I’m sure you’re not surprised, are you?]

However this tangent was not in vain. I found something unique + entertaining, meant for a blog post, as you will see.

Keep reading.

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The following came from Mrs. Devereux’s Blue Book of Cincinnati Society, the go-to source for lists of club members and their home addresses for the social elite circa 1921.

Below are little snippets of telephone etiquette advice printed at the bottom of some pages in Mrs. Devereux’s book.

These snippets, put there by the printer I imagine, filled the page with text, while at the same time SUBTLY TEACHING THE SOCIAL ELITE HOW TO POLITELY USE the newfangled thing called a telephone.

These six little snippets tell a charming instructive story that I’ve transcribed at the bottom of this post.  It is a story, in fact, that I’ve gone so far as to dub: How to be a Gracious Member of the Grand Army of Telephone Users.

Enjoy!

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How to be a Gracious Member of the Grand Army of Telephone Users

Sometimes in the hustle and bustle of life it is easy to lose the better things– the finer qualities.  About the cheapest abuse in the world is the abuse of people at the other end of a telephone wire.  It is the trait of a gentleman– the proof of good breeding– just to smile when you telephone.

The voice with the smile is the voice that wins.  The smiling man or woman who uses the telephone in a sensible way always enjoys the best service.  They never get the hydrophobia when delays occur in answering a call.  Quite often the operator is not responsible for delays.  To complete quick service the party called must immediately respond.  

Did you ever see the Girl at the Switchboard during the rush hour?  If you did you never would kick again.  Some of the people who are loudest in their criticisms would drop dead of heart disease if they were under the strain which is just part of the everyday life in Hello-Land.

There are some people who in ordinary ways of life keep within the bounds of calmness and sanity, but they shy at a telephone and look upon it as the vent for all the accumulated spleen of generations of grouches.  The Supreme Court of New York has ruled that telephones may be taken out if abusive language is used by the subscriber.

Edward W. Bok, editor of the “Ladies’ Home Journal,” declares that one sure sign of an imminent nervous breakdown is a disposition to lose temper when delays occur in telephoning.  When you feel inclined to go to pieces at the ‘phone– consult a doctor.  You have rung a danger signal for yourself every time you growl over the ‘phone.

The great majority of the Grand Army of Telephone Users know the value of keeping sweet.  It is a pleasure to serve them.  They have sensed the disaster that lurks in the poison which is generated in one’s own system every time a fit is cultivated.  It saves doctor bills to smile when you phone. 

The End

In Which I Prattle On About Ivy, Donating Furniture To Charity, And Tuesday

I’m feeling lighthearted and warm today.

Hence I shall show you the above photo of two pots of ivy immediately after they had a shower in the kitchen sink. One is silver bells ivy, the other is jubilee ivy.

I can’t tell you which is which but I like ivy, and I especially like these two varieties because they have great names and are easy to grow.

That, my friends, is a win-win.

May you heart be like holly and your words be like ivy.

[An Irish blessing, not sure if I got it quite right, but you get the idea.]

Anyhoo, the real reason I’m in a great mood today is that once again I’m waiting for St. Vincent de Paul to get here to pick-up some furniture that we’re donating to them.

Everything but the kitchen sink.

[A nice idiom that lends itself to this post.]

Slowly, ever so slowly, we are divesting ourselves of that which we don’t need but someone else can use.

Another win-win, I believe.

Thus I’ll end this jotting-style post in which I prove that I can and will show up on Tuesdays. Because unlike most of the peoples I know, I like Tuesdays.

Having been born on one.

Tuesday’s child is full of grace.

[A childhood poem, one line remembered.]

So be it with me. What’s up with you?

Ms. Bean Is Cold Today And Would Like To Tell You Why

Snoopy, my spirit animal, sitting with a room thermometer on top of a bookcase in the only sort of warm room in the house.

IT SNOWED LAST NIGHT, not much, but a definite covering of the white stuff.  That however is not exactly why I’m cold today.  Nope, the reason, to put it succinctly, is that it’s 54ºF… INSIDE the house.

Thus I am huddled in our home office with the French doors tightly shut, sporting a ruana over my flannel + fleece jammies, sitting in front of my desktop computer with the little electric heater swaying to and fro behind me.

What has happened? WELL I’M GLAD YOU ASKED.

You see, yesterday was the last day of February, a short month of days that are soul-crushingly long.  A month that should never be trusted.

However, in the morning while waiting for the furnace service tech to get here for our annual check-up, I indulged in a moment of unbridled positivity.  Yes, I forgot myself and sighed a happy sigh of joy about making it to the beginning of March unscathed by February’s negativity.

I mean all that was left on my calendar for February was for the furnace to be serviced and then I had March, the action verb month, calling to me.

I like March.

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WELP, I WAS WRONG to let down my guard regarding February, and by 3:00 p.m. our furnace had gone clunk.  Come to find out there is a breach in the heat exchanger at the 3rd and 4th cell of the primary, meaning that the whole system as been red-tagged and shut down… by law.

Also, the tech guy accidentally broke a switch which turns the gas on and off.

So, you know, WE GOT TROUBLE.

The cutest little electric room heater that ever was.

Hence I am sitting here this morning, the first day of March, waiting for a phone call from the furnace repair company to tell me IF they have the parts we need & WHEN they might be able to get here again to fix the furnace.

If there is a moral to this story it would be something like never count your chickens before they hatch, but my moral would involve swearing, muttering, and not just a little bit of self-pity because honestly, February is the SUCKIEST of all months.

Thou Shalt Not Doubt: Overheard While Picking Up Chinese Carry-out

Zen-Den overheard this conversation and it was funny so naturally I have to share it here. 

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Our local Chinese restaurant does a decent carry-out.  The food is hot, fresh, and vaguely Chinese.  Z-D sometimes stops there to get us dinner.

The owner of this restaurant is Chinese and is not one to mince words.  He has a business to run, and his grasp of the English language is exactly what he needs to know so that he can communicate directly and loudly with his suburban patrons.

In other words, no chit-chat.

In fact, when you call in your order instead of the traditional time-consuming “hello” that you might expect to hear, the owner answers the phone with a snappy: “WHAT YOU WANT?”

At this point you, the caller, tell him your order.  He then shouts at you what time your order will be ready for pick-up and hangs up the phone.

There are no further social pleasantries like “good-bye” or “thank you.”  The call is over, your order is in process.  And now it’s up to you to show up on time and get it.

So last night Z-D was waiting in line to pick up our order when he overheard this conversation between the restaurant owner and the guy in front of Z-D in line who was there to pick up his family’s dinner.  It went like this:

Restaurant Owner: “HERE YOUR FOOD.”

Guy Picking Up Dinner: “That’s mine?”

Restaurant Owner: “YES.”

Guy Picking Up Dinner: “Are you sure? My wife ordered all that?”

Restaurant Owner: “SHE TALK. I WRITE. THAT HOW IT WORK.”

Guy Picking Up Dinner: “Hmmm… seems like a lot… I dunno…”

Restaurant Owner: “NOW YOU PAY.”

Guy Picking Up Dinner: “Well, ‘ya, that sounds about right. How much?”

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Question of the Day
What’s the best | funniest | weirdest thing you’ve overheard someone say? Everyone has overheard something so ‘Fess up in the comments below.  
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An Old Joke Repurposed: A Squirrel Named Chaz Walks Into A Bar…

What is this, you ask? This is my entry into evilsquirrel13’s annual Contest of Whatever. Details here. You, too, can join in the fun until February 28, 2019.

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Chaz the Squirrel, our mutual friend, was sitting outside on the deck staring into the woods, pondering what to do next.  

Behind him was a bleak house, empty at the moment because since Christmas, Carol, the owner, had been away.  

In fact, truth be known, Chaz was a little sad, having fallen on hard times.

With nothing much to do Chaz decided to go to a bar that was a much of the old curiosity shop as it was a place to get a fine cocktail.

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He didn’t have great expectations as he walked into the bar, but was delighted when he saw his favorite bartender, a petite woman, some would say little, Dorrit.

Upon seeing Chaz, Dorrit exclaimed, “Hey there you little dickens!  What’ll you have?”

To which Chaz replied, “A martini, if you please.”

“Sure enough,” she said. “Will that be with an olive ‘r twist?”

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THE END

Tough Darts Saturday: Photos From Our Ducky Walk That Wasn’t

Have your read the interview with Rita Moreno in which she says “tough darts” in response to a question about how intimidating her presence might be at a rehearsal of West Side Story?  [Read here.]

I like this woman and immediately adopted TOUGH DARTS as my newest favorite way of saying: oh well, get over yourself, whatever.  It’s an old-fashioned version of “too bad, so sad” which is another one of my favorite sayings.

Anyhow, here’s the story.

On Saturday the sky was gloriously clear and I decided that we needed to go to a popular county park on the other side of nowhere from us.  We hadn’t been there in years and I remembered it as being a lovely tranquil place to walk while enjoying ducks on the lake.

And who doesn’t like watching some ducks do ducky things while you’re outside for a healthful walk?

Well, we found the park, but as we drove into the parking lot we were surprised by how few cars were around.  Beautiful day… warmer temps… Saturday afternoon… THIS DIDN’T MAKE SENSE.  Where were the people?

Come to find out after our Polar Vortex week the temperatures had gotten warm enough to create flash flooding that had left much of this park submerged under water.  When we set out on this adventure I didn’t know that, however once we got to the park we could see that the paths had debris on them or were muddy as heck or were still under water.

Thus our walk could not be.

But I had my camera with us so I took a bunch of random photographs of what I saw around me.  The following seven photos show you, my gentle readers, the ducky walk that wasn’t. 🤨

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Gorgeous blue winter sky behind sign indicating play area.

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An ark a la Noah, now muddy thanks to flash flooding in the play area. Oh the irony!

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Debris on this walking path for as far as the eye could see.

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Park bench, still muddy, having been submerged under flash flood water.

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Canoe & kayak launching area still under water. Green square is top of a trash can.

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Beginning of muddy path not taken, much muddier up around the curve.

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Two ducks that initially appeared to be in the middle of the lake who were sitting on top of the back of a park bench, normally by the side of the lake, now submerged under water because of flash flooding.

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