Share Your World | Hell’s Bells Nut Shells

Walnut shells on the garden bench left by industrious [hungry?] squirrels.

 What do you consider is the most perfect food for you? (It can be your favorite food to something extremely healthy.)

APPLES: Natural. Sweet. Healthy. Portable. Alkaline. Reasonably priced. Easy to sauce. Nice to crisp. Wonderful to pie. Tasty to cider. Pretty to look at.

 Are you focused on today or tomorrow?

I’m usually focused on both.  They are, after all, connected to each other in ways unbroken.  Like the flow of the eternity symbol [figure eight on its side] my mind glides effortlessly from today to tomorrow, and then back again to today.  I’m mindful of now, but with a sense of perspective about later.

• If you could interview one of your great-great-great grandparents, who would it be (if you know their name) and what would you ask?

The only great-great-great grandparent that I know of is the man who immigrated from Scotland to America.  He was, supposedly, from a well-off nobleman’s family [weren’t they all?], but being a minor son with no title to inherit, he decided to come here to make his fortune.

If I could talk with him I’d ask him: why did he came here? what did he do for a living when he got here? and how did this life differ from the one he left?

• What inspired you this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination.

Here’s what inspired me last week: did you know that a rainbow can happen even if it’s not raining where you are?

I didn’t, nor did Zen-Den.

On Thursday night he drove home from where he works downtown, and noticed, as he drove along, that a rainbow in the sky seemed to end at our house.

When he got home, he walked inside the house and asked me when it’d rained.  I told him that it hadn’t rained here.

He said that it hadn’t rained on his drive home either… BUT there was a rainbow in the sky out front of our house now.

Of course, we both went running out the front door to see this rainbow– and by golly there it was.  Large and bright and colorful.

Now how amazing is that?

~ ~

Catch up with everyone else who is answering Cee’s Share Your World Questions this week by clicking HERE.

~ ~

Share Your World | Butterfly Hide And Seek

Nothing to see here. No butterfly hiding behind purple salvia. Nope, that’s not what’s going on here. Move along, move along.

 Would you want $200,000 right now or $250,000 in a year? It’s safe to assume all money is tax free.

Considering our recent remodeling wild ride, if it’s all the same to you, I’d like the $200,000 now, please.

 Is it more important to love or be loved?

Off the top of my head I’d say that it’s more important to love than to be loved.  Love, an action verb about giving, resonates with me more than the idea of just receiving love, that to me suggests a passive approach to life.

[Good question. This answer subject to change upon further reflection.]

But wait, it is a butterfly doing its butterfly thing, seeking nectar from the flower, and looking good while doing it.

 List things that represent abundance to you.

  1. flowers in crystal vases surrounded by lighted beeswax candles
  2. rag wool scarves and mittens
  3. a fully stocked refrigerator filled with fruits, vegetables, cheese, and wine
  4. a three-car garage
  5. ingredients on hand to make cookies
  6. diamonds, rubies, sapphires– and garnets, even if they’re only semi-precious
  7. comfortable furniture that coordinates nicely, but doesn’t look all matchy-matchy
  8. lazy Sunday afternoons

 What inspired you this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination.

I find everyday observational humor inspiring because it makes me laugh, not cry, at reality.  So when I stumbled upon the following Shopping Cart Alignment Chart by Rob Beschizza at boingboing, and couldn’t stop laughing, I was inspired.

And because I’m a forthright blogger, I will freely tell you who I am according to this chart.  I’m never LAWFUL GOOD, but instead vacillate between CHAOTIC GOOD [which gives me more joy than it should] and CHAOTIC NEUTRAL.

~ ~

Catch up with everyone else who is answering Cee’s Share Your World Questions this week by clicking HERE.

~ ~

A Sweet Story Of Canine Rebellion On A Sunny Afternoon

And this is how you meet your new neighbors…

screen-shot-2016-11-29-at-10-34-04-am
Not our new dog friend, but a cousin, perhaps? { source }

YESTERDAY AFTERNOON ZEN-DEN AND I ARE PUTTING AWAY the outdoor furniture in the basement for the winter.

We have a walkout basement so I have the sliding door open, making it easier for me to carry the tables + chairs inside to Z-D who is placing said items just so in the storage area of the basement.

I’m walking into the basement carrying a glass-topped wicker table when a dog, with a stylish collar on, runs right by me into our basement and up the stairs into the kitchen.

Z-D with his back turned toward the door doesn’t see this happen, and I can’t move fast enough to grab the dog because I’m holding the table with a glass top that will shatter if I drop it and run after the dog.

• • •

I SHOUT LOUDLY FOR Z-D TO DO SOMETHING, and once he realizes what’s up [pun intended] he starts calling for the dog to come to him down in the basement.

In the meantime, I put down the table, run toward the stairs to go up to the kitchen, but our new dog friend, a labrador retriever-ish fellow with a positive attitude, is coming back downstairs into the basement to say “hello.”

Naturally we both tell the dog, who is an older chap, that he is a “GOOD BOY, oh. yes. you. are” because we need him to chill out and sit still so we can read what’s etched on the tag attached to his beautiful collar.

Being a cooperative fellow, the minute he hears “sit” he does so and we learn that his name is Riley, which he seems to enjoy hearing us say to him.  *tail thump, tail thump, tail thump*

• • •

SO WHILE I CONTINUE TO WHISPER SWEET NOTHINGS to Riley, Z-D calls the phone number on the collar.  He speaks with a new neighbor, a couple of streets over, who is surprised to discover that: 1) Riley is gone from her yard, & 2) he had enough spunk to go off on an adventure.

Z-D assures her that Riley, who is laying patiently on our basement floor waiting to be driven home, is fine.  And definitely here with us.

Soon thereafter our new neighbor with her son drive over to our house to pick-up Riley, who I’ve grown to love in the ten minutes we’ve spent together, and take him home.

Therein allowing us to continue to put the furniture into the basement and me to have another friendly dog to look for when I go out for my healthy walks.

~ The End ~

And The Award For The Best Sales Pitch By A Kid At The Front Door Goes To…

LATE AFTERNOON ON A SUNDAY, the doorbell rang.

I answered the door to see a tall skinny kid, who probably eats 4,000 calories a day and is still hungry, standing on my stoop.

He was wearing his scout uniform with shorts, looked to be about 15, and was holding a clipboard horizontally [landscape style] in front of him.

In the metal clip on his clipboard he had put a pen so that the pen protruded toward me, allowing me easy access to the pen.  Clipped to the board itself was an official Boy Scouts of America order form.

He said nothing, but his brown eyes, made large by his glasses with farsighted-lenses, showed me that he was alert.

And clever.

# # #

OVER THE YEARS I’VE LEARNED that neighbor kids selling things will just stand there at the front door if I don’t get the conversation rolling, so I said: “hello.”

To which he said: “POPCORN.”

And that is all he said.

There was no involved introduction. There was no needless chatting. There was no coy sales banter.

There was just a kid, probably an introvert forced to sell something that he has no interest in selling, standing in front of me.

I immediately loved this kid and his direct sales approach, so guess what I did?

I said: “ok.”  And grabbed the pen and clipboard so that I could order popcorn.

Lots of it.

Because, as you my gentle readers will understand, I’m easily charmed by a no-nonsense man with knobby knees in a uniform.

# # #

screen-shot-2016-10-02-at-2-45-25-pm
{ source }

The Iceberg Illusion: Reflections Upon The Occasion Of My Return To The Blogosphere

screen-shot-2016-07-12-at-8-59-46-am
{ source }

~ ~ ~ ~

WELL… I’m back.

August turned out to be every bit as hot and humid and hateful as I anticipated it would be.  Just a miserable excuse of a month during which I did not do much of anything except think about what I will be doing in the future.

Planning?  Or procrastinating?  You decide.

Whatevs.

Bottom line?  I’m here now with a renewed sense of purpose.

To wit, I’ve decided that blogging gives my weeks a bit of much-needed structure, provides me with a way to process the details of my life, and overall it’s fun.

Plus I’ve concluded that I’m doing something right and helpful here, considering how many people follow me and make the effort to comment.  Thank you.

So I’m going to keep on keeping a blog.

~ ~

BUT… I’ve also realized that writing a quirky personal blog, such as The Spectacled Bean, has morphed from a hobby into an unpaid part-time job that has a certain work-y-ness to it that you, my gentle readers, don’t see.

Rather like an iceberg.  Much going on below the water line to make this blog engrossing and twaddle-y, so to speak.

I’m not complaining, mind you.  Just explaining that if I disappear from the blogosphere from time-to-time, it’s not that I don’t love you all to pieces.  I do.

It’s just that I’m an introvert who occasionally doesn’t know what to say.  About anything.  Here.

Or in real life.

~ ~ ~ ~

A Rosy Sunday Morning Walk In An Amazing Park

DSCN7426Just because we were in Columbus OH overnight and just because I remembered going to this park when I was a child and just because it was a gorgeous clear summer morning, we went to the Park of Roses.

Located in Clintonville inside Whetstone Park, the Park of Roses is a 13 acre garden with 11,000 rose bushes, most of which were in bloom while we were there.

The park was as amazing + colorful + beautiful as I remembered it, but what I didn’t remember was that rose scent surrounds you everywhere you walk. All the time.

Below are a few photos that give you, my gentle readers, an idea of the scope of the park and the details of the park.  Did I mention it was amazing?

• + • + •

DSCN7506

• • •

DSCN7434

• • •

DSCN7473

• • •

DSCN7482

• • •

DSCN7515

• • •

DSCN7535

• • •

DSCN7481

• • •

DSCN7453

• • •

DSCN7462

• + • + •

A Quiet Sunday Afternoon At Home With A Patient On The Mend

DSCN4955
“Ms. Bean, what the heck are you doing this weekend? I see you messing around with frozen peas. Now if it was peanuts I’d understand, but peas? Please explain, I’m all ears.”

•  Looking out the window today I see, beyond an inquisitive squirrel staring in at me, a spring day filled with pale blue sky above leafless gray trees.  A couple of daffodils have made their appearance in the yard, but the forsythia bushes are showing no sign of joining the daffs.

Outside the temperature is in the upper 30s/lower 40s, which is more wintry than springy.  However, I’m not going anywhere today so the weather can do that which it wants to do without me whining about it.

As if I have any control over it to begin with.

•  I’m at home today looking after Zen-Den who had surgery [to correct ptosis] on his eyes on Friday.  His recuperation is going well.  He’s walking around the inside of the house without any trouble, able to see well enough to play Farm Heroes on his iPhone.

And beginning to get bored with the 20 minutes on/20 minutes off post-surgery eye icing schedule.  No longer do the little plastic bags of frozen peas, used to ice his eyes, charm him with their whimsical healing properties.

No, he’s leaning toward grumpy now– and I fear that he’d rather eat the peas than wear them.  But I persevere and follow him around with the little green ice packs, forcing him to use them for at least 10 minutes on/30 minutes off.

This schedule will have to do.

•  And with that I’m off to bake some banana bread.  The surgeon’s office did not specifically mention it as necessary for a proper recuperation, but I figure it can’t hurt.  Zen-Den loves it– and it might just be the thing to coerce him into cooperating with me and those damned little plastic bags of frozen peas.

“If you sit still with your pea packs on for 20 minutes, then you can have a big slice of banana bread afterwards.  Now wouldn’t that be nice?”

Later, kids.  Much to do.