Pondering: If You Tell Me You’re Independent, What Does That Mean?

Something pretty to enjoy while pondering…

Shortly before the pandemic began 2 years ago this month, I was at a social function with Z-D.  It was for his work.

I was seated next to a 70-something woman, a delightfully chatty child-free extrovert, who was [and I hope still is] the wife of a man who used to work with Z-D.

Thanks to many social business events we’d endured together I knew this pleasant woman as a casual acquaintance so this was good.  From previous conversations with her I knew she was a Joiner with a capital ‘J’.

To wit, over the years she’d told me that she was in a garden club, a book club or two, a dog breed club, a bicycling group, a music guild, a Bible study group, a travel club, and she was a member of a country club.

She went on a *sisters only* cruise every year and hosted parties for her nieces who were involved in multi-level marketing schemes.  She always had a family Thanksgiving dinner at her house.  Plus at one point she had worked full-time and socialized with her workmates, seemingly every weekend.

• • •

We had a lovely time chatting, which is to say I mostly listened and she mostly talked.

As we were getting ready to leave, perhaps sensing this would be the last time we’d see each other [and it was], she leaned over to me and said in a confidential tone: “I’m independent. I need for you to know that.”

INDEPENDENT?

NEED for me TO KNOW?

SAY WHAT?

I had zero idea what she was getting at and because of the circumstances I didn’t get the opportunity to ask her any, shall we say, clarifying follow-up questions.

Over these last two years I’ve thought about that comment often and have talked with friends in real life about what it could mean.  Without context it can be interpreted in a variety of ways.  Here is what we’ve come up with:

  • I’m independent because I have money of my own.
  • I’m independent because I am free to choose which groups I join.
  • I’m independent because I don’t have children.
  • I’m independent because I’m retired and so is my husband.
  • I’m independent because I grew up as a second-wave feminist.
  • I’m independent because I haven’t declared myself to be aligned with a particular political party.
  • I’m independent because the church I go to is outside the mainstream, not part of an established protestant denomination.

So what say you, my gentle readers?  

Do you consider yourself to be independent? And if you do, what does that mean to you? Also, do you need people to know you’re independent?

Please share your thoughts in the comments below.  This can be an interesting conversation.

• 🌺 •

This Is What Happens When You Crowdsource A Blogroll

I had no clue about what I was in for with this idea.

I haven’t had a blogroll on The Spectacled Bean in years. Last month in honor of this weblog’s 11th birthday, I decided it’d be fun and unique to put together a crowdsourced blogroll.

So in this post I asked you, my fellow bloggers, to let me know if you’d like your weblog, one year or older, to be on the blogroll. I also asked you to tell me how old your weblog is.

This was a one-time offer, never to be repeated.

Well, much to my amazement many, many bloggers jumped in and left me information about their weblogs in the comments. This was wonderful, but also overwhelming.

Over the weekend I put together the blogroll. I did my best to make sure I got all 90+ weblogs on the blogroll, starting with the oldest, ending with the newest. I doublechecked that I spelled each weblog name properly and that each link works.

[To be clear, the blogroll isn’t on this blog post, it is on a tab. Keep reading & all will be revealed.]

Thus without further ado I shall direct you to the blogroll. I’ve closed the comments here hoping that instead of chatting on this blog post you will:

  1. Go review the DELIGHTFUL BLOGROLL by clicking on the capitalized purple words you just read.
  2. Pick one new-to-you weblog and go visit.
  3. Leave a comment there IF you feel so moved.
  4. Introduce yourself by saying: “Ally Bean sent me.”

~ ~ ~ ~

Vinegar: One Person’s Magic Is Another Person’s Salad Dressing Ingredient

IN THESE TIMES OF MONOTONY courtesy of the coronavirus & political blowhards & summer heat I continue my quest to provide thrilling blog content here.  Thus I’m going to show you, my gentle readers, something so exciting I can barely contain myself.

YESTERDAY I RECEIVED THE ABOVE piece of snail mail that tells me I may enjoy life in the fast lane if I order Vinegar: The King of All Cures! by Jerry Baker, America’s No. 1 do-it-yourself expert.  This book of vinegar magic costs $31.96, payable in 4 installments of only $7.99 each. According to Jerry if I buy this book I will: “Never be stuck, stumped, or stymied again!”

BELOW IS AN EXAMPLE OF the kind of magical advice featured in Jerry’s book.  This glimpse into his book is quite the teaser, isn’t it?  As Jerry, author and exclamation point freak, says: “No job’s too big, no job’s too small… Vinegar solves ’em all!”

JERRY ALSO INCLUDED A TESTIMONIAL in the form of a short story about how Peter and Katie, a lovely married couple, made their home smell fresh prior to Peter’s parents coming over for dinner.  [Spoiler alert: It was a close call, but vinegar saved the day.]

AND WITH THAT I SHALL end this informative blog post in which I have confirmed we are still here, virus-free and healthy, while taking the opportunity to ask you the following important questions.

~ ~ ✅ ~ ~

QUESTIONS OF THE DAY

What magic is keeping you going these days? 🤔

Are you a liberal, moderate, or conservative user of exclamation points? And why? 🤓

Have any good salad dressing recipes? 😋

~ ~ ✅ ~ ~

Three Thoughts Thursday | Photographing. Traveling. Watching.

This is when I tell you stuff and don’t make a story of it.  

• • •

ONE

I think that this website, miss freddy, could be a useful resource for anyone interested in family photography.

Miss Freddy is a Professional Photo Organizer who explains how to take photos, how to save photos, then how to do just about anything you might want to do with your photos + slides + old videos.

I have boxes of old, old print photos around here and thousands of digital ones on a few computers, but I’ve never sat down and concentrated on getting ALL our photos organized.  This website may be the key to me getting it done.

TWO

I think that the idea of going on vacation with the intention of traveling to small American towns is a fun one.

According to this article, America’s Coolest Small Towns by State, big cities get all the attention, while unique small towns go unnoticed.  These small towns are worthy of a visit if for no other reason than “the added appeal of home-spun charm and hometown heroes.”  

I read the list and have visited 12 of the 50 featured small towns.  I’ve been to: AZ, FL, HA, IN, ME, NM, NY, NC, OH, SC, TN, AND VT.  This means I have 38 to go, should we get the opportunity to travel again.

THREE

I think that the Netflix produces some good and some not-so-good TV series.

In the good category I’d put Dead to Me, with Christina Applegate, Linda Cardellini, and James Marsden.  I watched Season 2 and enjoyed it as much as Season 1, which was stellar.  This show is one to watch if you like mysteries, dysfunctional families, and contemplating what it means to be a friend.

On the flip side, I watched 3 episodes of Sweet Magnolias, a TV series based on novels by Sherryl Woods.  Set in SC, this show was probably meant to be an engaging look at family dynamics and female friendship, but it was predictable and maudlin.  Much too slow-paced, shallow, and sappy for me.

• • •

QUESTIONS OF THE DAY

Do you have your photographs under control? In other words, can you find them when you want ’em? 

What do you think about traveling to small towns to experience their unique charm instead of going to big cities for a vacation?

Have you watched the TV shows I mention above? If so, did you like what you saw? If not, what are you watching instead?

• • •

Flowers Of Yellow Make Me Feel Mellow When Words Escape Me

~ ~ ~ ~

It’s Tuesday, the day of the week when I plan on posting to this blog.

‘Tis a fact.

However, I’m finding that I have less to say than normal, words escape me.  Or perhaps I’ve become more succinct with my words when I use them.

In truth I’m becoming more relaxed, introspective about my current lifestyle.  All things considered I’m cheerful and content to spend more time at home;  I figure if this is how you stay healthy, why not become a hermit?

[Meant to be a rhetorical question but worth pondering.  How well are any of us adapting to this stay at home lifestyle?]

So in lieu of me rambling on here, attempting to write about my usual flapdoodle and twaddle, I’ll give you the following which is delightfully wordy and worth a listen.

On The Allusionist, a podcast by Helen Zaltzman, there is an episode called “Tranquillusionist: Your Soothing Words.”  It’s 10 minutes of unexpected aural mellowness while Zaltzman reads 343 words.

[Click on HERE to be taken directly to the page on which you can find the doohickey thingie that lets you listen to a podcast on your computer. Or follow The Allustionist on a podcast app on your phone and find the episode there.]

And with that, I wish you well, my gentle readers.  May you find ways in which to honor and center yourself while remaining safe during a strange time in the history of the world.

Live with intention. Engage with clarity. Share with joy.

Everyone doing OK under the circumstances?