The One About Remembering A Muse, Sharing Some Mundane Moments

INTRODUCTION TO THE MUSE PART

Today I’m going to share photos, but first I’m going to tell you why I’m sharing these particular photos. I have a reason.

A muse, if you will.

People influence you in life. It’s all about where you place your power, but you know that [or at least you should].

Getting to my point…

Many, many years ago when I was newbie blogger [mid-2000s] there was a blogger, Rayleen*, who was a professional portrait photographer. She was into poetry and musings and, of course, photos. The ones on her blog were informal & not necessarily of people.

Her vibe was mellow, her thoughts were straightforward, and her use of light when snapping pics was awe-inspiringShe had a positive influence on me and how I went about learning to blog.

On your journey to be a better blogger ultimately it’s NOT the people who tell you how to blog with their well-intentioned lists and rules, it’s the people who show you how to blog with their own style, allowing you to learn and grow from their examples.

THE MUSE PART CONTINUED

One autumn day Rayleen mentioned that she had begun to notice, and thought it was a shame, that people on social media were only sharing photos of perfection. Nothing messy was going on because it was all staged.

She was prescient on this point.

Have you seen Instagram lately? 

On that day she encouraged personal bloggers to occasionally share photos without deeper meaning or treasured memories. Instead, take photos showing imperfection, mundane moments in time that record the normal messiness of ordinary life.

Focus at least briefly on things around you that you tend to push aside, or ignore, when snapping photos for social media.

In other words, allow yourself to be vulnerable, to be real, by showing the world your own special messiness for no reason other than you can.

So today as a tribute to Rayleen and as a way of saying thanks for her guidance, I’m sharing photos of nothing much in particular. We were ships that passed in the night and because we did I’m a more authentic and open-minded blogger.

THE PHOTOS OF MUNDANE MOMENTS PART

Dirty dishes in the sink & on the kitchen counter

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Assorted stuff heaped on the hutch

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Piles of pillows on the screened-in porch

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Old-fashioned time-wasters on the end table

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Boxes of stuff destined for Goodwill in the garage

THE QUESTIONS OF THE DAY PART

Can you think of someone who came into any aspect of your life who influenced you then disappeared leaving you better off for knowing this person? 

Have you posted photos on social media that show the daily, often overlooked, messiness of your life?

Which of the above photos is your favorite? And why? 

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* I think this is the proper spelling of her name, at least that’s how I remember it. Could have been Reyleen or Raylene– or Reylene, I guess. It’s been a loooong time. I shall not fret if I got her name wrong.

It’s Tuesday & The Topic Of The Day Is Pettiness

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I WAS LISTENING to this episode, Confessions of a Late-Blooming Gen-X Weirdo, on a podcast for women over 40 called, Everything is Fine.

The hosts, Kim [her blog here] & Jennifer, got off on a tangent, which I believe is where the best stuff is on podcasts, and started discussing how petty they were.

I was charmed because it was funny.

But I was also flummoxed because for the life of me I couldn’t decide if I was petty, at least occasionally. Seems like I’ve the potential to be petty, focusing on details like I do and having preferences, but I’D NEVER THOUGHT ABOUT IT BEFORE.

Weird, huh?

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SO I DID what I do when I don’t understand something, I researched the topic. I first referred to the dictionary and got meself a definition of *petty* [an adjective] which is related to *pettiness* [a noun].

I also did cursory research on the concept of pettiness and learned that it has nothing in particular to do with intelligence, but is often correlated with people who are argumentative, inflexible, or lacking impulse control.

To be petty means you want people to do things the way you do things and you’ll judge someone negatively if they don’t, vowing to remember what you’d describe as a transgression.

Resentment and vindication can nudge someone to be petty. Plus being petty might not be good for your immortal soul.  So there’s that to consider.

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HOWEVER DESPITE MY research I still don’t seem to be able to nail down what it really means to be petty.

➡️ Is pettiness an instance of taking the saying “this is the hill I’ll die on” to an extreme wherein you assert the moral high ground because you know you’re right?

➡️ Or is pettiness more like the embodiment of the passive-aggressive Southern saying “well bless your heart” wherein you voice your disapproval while pretending to be cordial?

➡️ Or is pettiness more like admitting you’re “a stick in the mud”about something that is out-of-date yet your crotchety old self refuses to bow to modernity?

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QUESTIONS OF THE DAY

Do you consider yourself to be petty? Have you thought about this? Care to share an example of when you were petty?  

Do you think I’m petty and just don’t know it or have forgotten about it? I’m human so I must be petty, right?

When stumbling over something you don’t understand do you, like me, turn to the the dictionary to begin your research?

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SOURCES:

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In A Dither: Busy Week For Me, Assorted Random Links For You

I’ve a busy week going on here.

As some of you know, Zen-Den is planning to retire at the end of September.  From now until then he’s kind of working, kind of on vacation– or as he calls it Retirement Bootcamp.

In other words, he’s underfoot.

Plus, landscapers are still trying to finish the area around the new sidewalk and build a stone patio, but it keeps raining, like hell and high water raining.

This project never ends.

And the appliance repair guy is back today, doing his best to fix our dishwasher [the electric one, not me], taking it apart in the kitchen, rebuilding it with new parts.

Fingers crossed this works.

My mind is in a bit of a dither, so instead of writing a tale or sharing a tribulation, I’ll leave with you, my little eggheaded chickadees, the following links.

Enjoy!

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Feel like saying something positive? Use a krul, explained by Wikipedia here and shown above, to express yourself.

Want to figure out which productivity method is for you? Take this todoist quiz. [I need to focus on time blocking.]

Curious about the mythology of dragons? Read this article in The Conversation and be informed.

Looking for a way to declutter your living space? Join Apartment Therapy’s 14 Day Declutter Cure. The action starts Sept. 19 & my hopes are high.

Hoping to refresh your memory of the Preamble to the Constitution of the United States? Re-learn it here with Barney Fife— and Andy, of course.

Trying to figure out the plural of a word, e.g. spritz? Your answer is here at wordhippo.

Feel like being a little snarky? Use the Viral Post Generator and allow AI to write your own pretend Linkedin post. See image below.

AND FINALLY THREE READER COMMENTS…

About how you discovered this blog:

“When I was moonlighting as a private investigator, an anonymous person hired me to tail you. I followed you around for weeks, getting to know everything about you: the house where you reside, the car you drive, the grocery store you frequent. One evening, while peering in through the blinds, I saw you hunched over a laptop, typing away. Curious, I whipped out my binoculars for a closer look. Lo and behold, I discovered you were a blogger! Those high-powered lenses made it easy to see your URL, so I subscribed the next day.”

~ Mark Petruska

“Blog readers are a bit like those at a the mall: there are the boomers busily rushing by on a mission, the window shoppers who momentarily are attracted to something and pause before moving on, and those who actually go in (and those can be subdivided into the browsers and those who walk in, look around and decide to buy – becoming a repeat customer).”

~ philosophermouseofthehedge

“The Universe sets us up, leading us to start a blog (why?why?why? no answer – the Universe just pushed us to a place we didn’t know we’d LOVE); to light a match on WordPress and see the writing flames erupt as we began to visit each other; to learn SO MUCH about different subjects, yes, but mostly about the amazing wonderful like-minded (even if totally different from us) souls out here in the …. UNIVERSE.”

~ Pamela S. Wight

Who Are You People? Allow Me To Tell You, Then Ask One Question

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I said I’d be back in August, and true to my word, I’m here again, ready to tell you a little bit about you, the cool kids.

Intrigued, aren’t ‘ya?

For no particular reason, on a whim really, I decided to analyze who follows this blog & comments regularly.  WP tells me I have thousands of followers, but most of those followers don’t bother to engage with me, and other bloggers, via the comment section of this blog.

[This is fine by me. Speak up when you feel so moved. I’ve always had many kind lurkers who eventually join in.]

Welp, it turns out there are about 110 cool kids who make a habit of consistently checking in here, chit-chatting in the comments, AND who also write personal blogs of their own. The whole megillah, as they used to say.

[There are many other delightful commenters who say something once in a while and I love you for it. Spammers, on the other hand, make me say, “I hate those meeses to pieces.”]

Granted my methodology here is more subjective than objective: I’m telling you how I categorize/perceive your blogs. But, be that as it may, here are four things I’ve figured out about you, the cool kids.

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I.  How often do you post to your blog?

  • 34% post Multiple Times Per Week (more than twice, less than daily)
  • 25% post Monthly (or less)
  • 20% post Once A Week
  • 14% post Twice A Week
  • 7% post Once A Day (or more)

II.  Where do you usually find your muse?

  • 76% are Independent Thinkers
  • 24% are Joiners who use prompts or challenges, always or most of the time

III.  What do you primarily write about regardless of the source of your muse?

  • 37% write about Family
  • 22% write about Ideas or Questions
  • 22% write about Hobbies or Special Interests
  • 12% write about Books or Writing
  • 7% share Photos

IV.  Where do you live?

  • 79% are Within the US
  • 21% are Outside the US

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When I started my analysis I had a fifth question in mind, but quickly realized I couldn’t answer it on my own, so I’ll ask you. I’d like to know:

HOW DID YOU FIND THE SPECTACLED BEAN? 

  • did we do a challenge together?
  • did you see a comment I left somewhere?
  • did a friend point you this way?
  • did you find me on Twitter or Instagram?
  • did you surf by one day and stay?
  • did you get here some other way?

I await your comments below. 

Mixing It Up: A Tale Of Despair, Determination, And Dollars

“If you have been mixing a dense mixture for several minutes or more, it is possible that the force of the planetary action can over-tighten the bowl.”

~ KitchenAid Tilt-head Mixer “stuck bowl” product help

Planetary Action is “a double mechanical motion in which a tool is rotated on a center, while that center is revolved in another circle at the same time.”

~ Dictionary of Occupational Titles glossary

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BLUESY THE MIXING FLOOZY nestled in the corner on the kitchen counter

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This tale involves our KitchenAid Tilt-head Mixer, BLUESY THE MIXING FLOOZY.  She’s okay, no need to worry, but there is a casualty in this story.

You see, once upon a time we bought the KitchenAid Tilt-head Mixer Ice Cream Attachment.  It’s two parts that involve an insulated freezer bowl and a goofy little paddle thingie.

We did this so we could use BLUESY to make ice cream at home for the heck of it.  Thus it came to be that the other day I decided we needed to make ice cream and we did.

But in the process of using the KitchenAid Tilt-head Mixer Ice Cream Attachment, the insulated bowl froze onto BLUESY. Not budging at all.

This did not make us happy.

Following KitchenAid’s “stuck bowl” advice for how to free a stuck bowl, we tried using multiple warm wet kitchen towels wrapped at the juncture where the bowl attaches to the mixer.

Bowl still stuck.

Again following KitchenAid’s advice we put dabs of vegetable oil at the juncture where the bowl attaches to the mixer, then applied brute force.

Bowl still stuck.

Then being innovative little suburban scamps we improvised and tried using WD-40.

Bowl still stuck.

At this point, I’m ashamed to say, I was ready to give up on BLUESY, the old girl. So I went online to see how much a new KitchenAid Tilt-head Mixer would cost. I was shocked. Prices have doubled since we bought her.

So we took extreme measures.

Zen-Den, following the last ditch “stuck bowl” advice, took BLUESY into the basement, placed her on a folded beach towel on the floor, then carefully used a rubber mallet to bash the base of the insulated ice cream freezer bowl, slowly reshaping the base of the bowl.

Then he used a flathead screwdriver to lift, force, cajole the insulated bowl loose, destroying its structural integrity in the process while accidentally leaving a small scratch on BLUESY’S pretty blue finish.

We can live with this.

In fact I feel the scratch, a mere boo-boo, adds character to BLUESY.  Not to mention we saved $449.99 by not buying a new Kitchen-Aid Tilt-head Mixer.

Cha-ching!

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Close-up of BLUESY THE MIXING FLOOZY’S boo-boo

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QUESTIONS OF THE DAY

Have you ever wanted to take a mallet to a machine? Did you do it?

If you have a stand mixer [any brand], have you ever gotten the bowl stuck on it? If so, how’d you get the bowl unstuck?

What’s your favorite flavor of ice cream?

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