A Beautiful Morning That Even Sailors & Shepherds Could Enjoy

Early yesterday morning our sky was a series of spectacular shades of red.

According to the old adage I should have taken warning, but I’m not a sailor or a shepherd so I went outside and photographed the sky.

Our skies here tend to be gray or blue. It’s rare for us to see anything this unique overhead, but I liked it.

It was something free to enjoy and remember– and you can’t get better than that.

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QUESTION OF THE DAY

What color is the sky in your world? You may answer literally or figuratively– your preference.

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Because You Asked: My 5 Basic Blogging Guidelines

When it comes to blogging, I know things.

I have, after all, written a personal blog [most years] since 2004 so I have experience + I have a couple of college degrees about words and ideas and communication and images and branding.

Yes, I know a thing or two about keeping a personal blog, while not losing your mind in the process.

But what I do not have is much of an ego, so over the years I’ve been disinclined to put together any “how to” blogs posts in which I tell everyone what to do.  

I fear being pedantic.

That would never do. 

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However, talking with an acquaintance got me thinking.

The acquaintance confided that she knew the practical aspects of writing and blogging platforms, but she was uncertain about how to envision, then maintain, a personal blog.  She wanted guidance.

From that conversation I got the idea to share my blogging guidelines in a pretty little informative image that sums up my experience on the topic. 

These are not blogging rules, if such a thing exists.  No, these are general guidelines that I’ve learned over the years, and adhered to as a way of centering myself and my thoughts when I sit down to do that bloggy thing that I love to do.

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Questions Of The Day

If someone were to ask you for guidance about how to keep a personal blog, what would you tell them?

How have you envisioned your blog? How have you maintained it?

If you were to start over, what would you do differently?

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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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In Which The Beans Discuss The TV Remote Control, Unnecessary Complexity Of Said

ZEN-DEN POLITELY EXPLAINED TO ME that I needed to re-frame my irritation.  That I had to let my mind embrace a new way of thinking about some of the little daily irritations that bug the snot out of me.

“Chickiedoodle,” he said, “it’s all just dust in the wind. Insignificant.”

[Yes, he sometimes call me Chickiedoodle.  Grow up people, we’re married & cutesy nicknames happen.]

“It’s not worth worrying about these small things.  I respect your feelings about them, and you’re right– but you gotta let it go.”

There’s a reason why he’s called ZEN-Den, you know.  He can get mellow, philosophical at the interconnectedness of life, almost without trying.  Little things in daily life don’t bug him so much.

But me?  I see the faults.  I remember the faults.  And then I tend to mutter.

Which is how this conversation started.

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Artist’s rendering of sensible TV remote control that has only what is needed on it, written in large letters and numbers.

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YOU SEE, I WANTED TO watch something on cable TV, but I was once again thwarted by the unnecessary complexity of our remote control.

Hence, I was muttering to Z-D about how ridiculous it is that to turn on the television one does not use the “TV” button on the remote control.  No, one uses something called “Input” while ignoring the button that you’d think logically turns on the television.

But it doesn’t.

And if by chance you forget and hit the logical “TV” button, then everything goes wonky on the screen, and you’re left not watching television because you, a woman who dislikes gadgety things on principle, can’t remember how to turn on the darned television.

So I end up not watching cable TV, while complaining loudly about the intentionally irritating nonsensical TV remote control.

Dust in the wind?  Not buying it.

It’s a conspiracy to drive me crazy crazier.

Sunday Afternoon At The Nature Preserve: The Uneven Path Taken

On Sunday, for the first time in months, Zen-Den and I went to the Nature Preserve intending to wander around the flat easy path that connects the herb garden to the old farmhouse.

‘Tis a pretty path any time of year, and knowing what I was getting into, I wore shoes for that kind of leisurely walk.  A stroll.

However, somehow [let’s blame it on curiosity], we got [shall we say?] off course and ended up on a moderately difficult path that took us half a mile down a steep hillside to a creek, along the banks of the creek, then back up to the parking lot.

From this experience, I learned three valuable lessons:

  1. I will always in the future, regardless of what we say we’re going to do, wear hiking boots when going to the Nature Preserve;
  2. I will always in the future take one of the free maps, readily available in a display in the parking lot;  &
  3. When descending uneven, seemingly never-ending limestone steps down a hillside, my mind thinks about the worst that can happen.  In this case, it flashed to the scene in Grace and Frankie [Season 4] when we get a glimpse of Grace’s icky knee, complete with stitches and a long bloody-ish incision, after knee replacement surgery.  Oy vey.

And on that angst-filled note, here are some photos of the path we took at the Nature Preserve as we walked, trudged, and then climbed our way around it.

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Oh so pretty in late winter! Must see more.

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What a charming little path. I wonder where it goes?

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My goodness, this path suddenly looks old and not tended.

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Well, at least that little stone bridge up ahead looks sturdy.

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Oh look! What a nice flat rustic wooden bridge over a little dry creek.

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Oh dear, this uneven path just keeps going down, down, down to a large creek.

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Finally! What a lovely, relatively flat, stoney path by a large creek.

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Yes! Look at these civilized wooden stairs leading back up the hill to the parking lot. Hallelujah!

THE END

What Ms. Bean The Blogger Said + A Simple Rules Of Life Poll

Welp, this is embarrassing, but I don’t have anything in particular to write about this week.  I post at least once a week, that’s the deal I made with myself when I started blogging.

I told myself that I’d show up here weekly because I know me, and I’m a slacker.  I could easily disappear for weeks on end, but because I set a specific goal and promised myself that I’d be here, I. Be. Here.

That’s what I said.

So today instead of starting a conversation about something that has happened OR sharing a bit of research OR posting a random list of links, I made the following poll– which fulfills my self-imposed blogging goal as stated above.

[Also if you, my gentle readers, look closely at the poll you’ll see that one of the ideas pertains to what I’m saying I said above.]

The ideas in this poll come from a framed piece of art that I bought at T.J. Maxx.  I’ve no official source for these 7 ideas, but I like them and have adopted them as my own sorta kinda rules of life.

As one does.

Comments, anyone?

3 True Confessions Because You, My Gentle Readers, Need To Know

One  

It’s entirely possible that I’m not going to be an Instagram star. 

Since November I’ve tried to get into my Instagram groove by posting three photos a week, usually all at once (because I forget to post them when I take them).  Also, I’m following a few people there because social media is, after all, social.

HOWEVER, easy and sweet as I think Instagram is, it isn’t calling to me.  For some reason its charms have yet to woo me.  I like it, I enjoy glancing at the photos posted there, but I’m vague about why it’s a thing– and why/how someone becomes a star.

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Two

I’m enjoying the Winter Olympics this year because they are Bob-Costas-free.

Sure, some people somewhere must have liked Bob Costas as the host of the Olympics, but I was not one of them.  To me he combined Alex Trebek’s know-it-all-ness with Tom Cruise’s smugness– and I did not like him because of it.

HOWEVER, NBC’s new Winter Olympics host, Mike Tirico, is delightful.  He reports on what is happening in a pleasant, informative way that does not make me want to yell at him.  And guess thee what?  Because of him I’m not changing the channel away from the Olympics when the host is on the screen.

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Three

I’ve increased the size of my font on my computer.

There is no surer sign of impending decrepitude than the size of the font that one uses.  Tiny font, great eyes– young.  Medium font, okay eyes– middle age.  Large font, lousy eyes– one foot in the grave.

HOWEVER, on the flip side of this depressing thought, I have to admit that seeing the words clearly on the screen has encouraged me to sit up straighter, thereby improving my posture.  And that, Alas, poor Yorick, might be enough to keep my other foot out of the grave… for a while longer.

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Gentle Readers, feel free to share your true confessions in the comment section below. How else are we going to get the party started in here?

Tell all. No matter what it is. You know I love it.