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?  

What’s Cooking? Old Recipe Pamphlets and Cookbooks [Part 1 Of 2]

Today it’ll be Show & Tell + Discussion. Tomorrow it’ll be Think & Do + Poll Question.

THERE IS A PLACE BETWEEN TRASH AND TREASURE WHEREIN ONE CAN FIND STUFF

STUFF being defined as interesting things, unique things, obscure things that are worthy of conversation but not much more.

In this case the STUFF is from a box I inherited that contains my grandmother’s handwritten cookbook, a couple of printed cookbooks, and other bits of information about food and drink.

Thus I give you Show & Tell.

~ ~ ~ ~

SHOW & TELL

The STUFF featured in the above photograph has one noticeable thing in common: these recipe pamphlet and cookbook covers have the color red on them.  Other than that they are about as random as can be.

They are in order of publication year:

1933 – The Art Of Mixing by Wiley and Griffith

1941 – Quick•easy RECIPES from MUELLER’S

1942 – THIS IS MY BOOK OF MAGIC RECIPES from The Borden Company

1943 – How to bake by the Ration Book from Swans Down

1949 – Aunt Chick’s Pies by Nettie McBirney

1963 – Joys of Jell-O from General Foods Corp.

1960s [?] – TRUDY TENDERFOOT MEETS REDDY KILOWATT from Ohio Edison Company

~ ~

DISCUSSION

Anyone else feeling less guilty about not following through on Marie Kondo’s advice about getting rid of STUFF that doesn’t spark joy?  Especially in light of the fact that STUFF often makes for good conversation starters?

Anyone know why red was [or is?] a popular color for the front of cookbooks?

Anyone try a new-to-you old recipe lately?

~ ~ ~ ~

Who Goes There? Chatting About The Names We Use When Blogging + A Poll Question

BACK WHEN I FIRST STARTED writing a blog I read a blog [whose name I do not remember] written by a woman named Karen [I think].

She was hilarious and outrageous, posting every stinking day about her small-town life.  Her writing was wordy and it was perfect.  No grammar or spelling mistakes, ever.

I was in awe of her.

She had a huge following.  They were as outrageous as she was which made reading the comments a hoot.  I was more reserved back then, so I didn’t jump into her comment section like I would today.

• • •

IN RETROSPECT THE MOST INTERESTING thing about her comment section was that the commenters created nicknames for themselves.  This was ostensibly to distinguish one from another, when more than one person had the same first name spelled the same way.

For instance [making up examples here] there’d be “Cathy from California” who wasn’t to be confused with “Cathy who hates gerbils” who most clearly was not “Cathy the Cookie.”

It was all inside jokes and seemed harmless.  Rather fun, crazy awesome, even.

• • •

HOW THE HECK DID I get thinking about a blog from 15 years ago?

The other day I sat down to answer my comments here.  I had three comments in a row from women with the same first name who spelled it the same way.  Then I had two comments in a row from women with the same first name who spelled it the same way.

Suddenly, thinking back to the blogger from years ago, I was curious about how many people with the same first name spelled the same way leave comments here on a regular basis.

I had no idea, so I did a little behind the scenes research.

I was surprised by what I learned and I’m betting that you, my gentle readers, won’t guess which first name spelled the same way is the most popular one among my commenters, but give it a go.  Here’s the poll question.

Also, out of curiosity, have you ever seen a blogger with commenters who have created specific nicknames to use only when commenting on that blog? Is/was this a thing? Or is this something as unique as I think it was? 

This Is How I Make 2 Types Of Images For My Blog

Have you ever heard someone say that their mantra is to always be recommending?  I love that idea.  Information is part of what makes the world go round.  

To wit, here’s what I use to make 2 types of unique images that I share on The Spectacled Bean. I’m often asked about where I get my images, so here you go.  

~ ~ 🌟 ~ ~

WHEN I TURN PERSONAL PHOTOS INTO ART I use a free app called Waterlogue.  It’s on my phone, ezpz to use, and offers a variety of looks.  Here’s an example of a before and after image.

First I took a photo with my phone.  This is that photo.

Then I used the app choosing one of their filters, in this case the Illustrator, to make my photo look snazzy.  This is the after.

As you can see the app has taken a so-so photo and turned it into a bombdiggity blog-worthy picture.

~ ~ 🌟 ~ ~

WHEN I CREATE IMAGES WITH TEXT I use Canva on my desktop computer [or here for your phone].  It’s a graphic design website [or an app for your phone] featuring a variety of free templates, many pre-sized for any social media you might use.

First I picked a template.  This is the before.

Then I did a fast little rewrite using the first movie quote that came to mind, thus creating something clever and unique.  This is the after.

In this example I did a color change & resized the font but there were many free and $$$ options I could have used to make this image even more amazeballs.

~ ~ 🌟 ~ ~

I hope that this information is of some value to you.  

If you know of other ways to create blog post images [preferably free] please recommend them in the comments below.

And on that note, with nothing more to say here, I shall wish all of you Happy Blogging.

Thoughts About How I Comment On Personal Blogs Today

GOING THROUGH OLD FILES I found the following that I wrote as my response to something that must have happened, but I don’t know exactly what the catalyst was for this. Nor do I know why I didn’t publish this at the time.

Perhaps I thought sharing the following was too personal? Or too snarky? Or too dull?

I suspect that the issue that prompted this thinking was the infernal eternal blogging conundrum best summarized in a question: what do you do about people who are happy to take your comments, but will not give any, or very few, back to you?

What I wrote back then holds true for me today, so I’ll toss it out here and let you, my gentle readers, make of it what you will.

+ • +

Here’s my take on the issue: while in the early days of blogging quid pro quo reciprocity was the way everyone did things, I no longer abide by that standard.

I do, however, hang onto the idea that I have bloggy friends, not merely followers or fans.

Today I follow a variety of bloggy friends who interest me, and short of them turning out to be blatant narcissists or psychopaths, I leave comments willy-nilly around the blogosphere.

I like when I receive attention back but it’s not a make or break thing with me.  I figure how I treat other people is my good karma, and how they treat me back is their good, or bad, karma. ❤️🌻☮️

+ • +

AND ON THAT NOTE I’LL end this post by sharing with you one of the underlying premises of this blog.  It’s a premise based on the idea that everyone likes to be noticed, understood, and appreciated.

This is something I believe and you might believe it, too. It is a premise that I keep in mind every time I write a post or comment anywhere.

Maya Angelou said it best when she said: “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Is this not true?  Please comment below.

Just The Facts: The Results Of My ‘How Am I Doing?’ Survey

Thanks to everyone who took my How Am I Doing? survey [now closed].

You’re the best and overwhelmed me with your kind answers.  I wasn’t fishing for compliments with this survey;  I was challenging myself to see if I could write one.  Then on a whim I decided to share it here for the fun of it.

At one point in my life I worked in marketing research so I’m familiar with the process of collecting data from respondents.  Below I’ve categorized it into three parts.

 I also know that once you collect the data, interpretation is a whole ‘nother thing.  Spin it the way you want. So with that in mind, and me being me, I’m spinning this funny, because honestly some of your answers were a hoot.

• • •

PART 1

What I learned about you:

  • 90% of you write a blog
  • 50% of you like to goof off on social media in the blogosphere;  followed by YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter
  • 60% of you were very likely to recommend this blog to friends and family
  • 90% of you thought the survey was cool beans

• • •

PART 2

How you answered two specific questions regarding this blog:

These responses were straightforward and clear to interpret.  No further explanation required.

This is where things got complicated because over half of you used “Other” when responding to the question.  Some of you said that there was nothing you disliked so you were using “Other” to tell me this.  Some of you who clicked on “Other” made suggestions about my writing style and graphic design.  And one respondent said that using “Other” was the only way to show that all the choices were applicable to this blog.

• • •

PART 3

Here are some of your responses when asked what comes to mind when you think about this blog:

  • Ohio
  • A red kidney bean dressed like Elton John
  • Ooh, what will Ally Bean say today?
  • Engaging, enjoyable blog. Funny without trying too hard.
  • oh, shit, I haven’t read that spectacled blog in awhile. I better go catch up!
  • Beans 🙂
  • Lovely variety of slice of life topics.
  • A string bean wearing glasses. But also humorous posts and genuine connection with others.
  • My bloggy friend for years now
  • Flapdoodle

• • •

Rambling Thoughts: Hand Me A Doughnut, It’s Time To Celebrate Valentine’s Day

I WASN’T GOING TO POST ANYTHING today because I know many of you dislike Valentine’s Day with a red-hot passion that burns deep within your very souls.

You, my gentle readers, mentioned this in the comment section of my post, Just Curious: Tell Me, What’s Your Least Favorite Holiday?

From your comments I discerned, because I am a woman who can discern, that many people have issues with Valentine’s Day.  Issues that remind me that I don’t want to step on anyone’s toes by being happy about this day.  Nope, crazy lurks everywhere, causing issues until there’s medical intervention.

Or doughnuts.

Which are just like time spent with a therapist but more accessible and less expensive.

Quote me, if you like.

~ ~ ❤️ ~ ~

WHICH, OF COURSE, BRINGS ME TO the quote I’ve shared at the top of this post.  It’s a quote from Tom Robbin’s novel, Even Cowgirls Get The Blues.  I read this novel in college.  I majored in English Literature, and this novel is an example of a subculture hippy novel, well-written, descriptive, not based in reality.

Yada, yada, yada.

So here’s the thing, the above quote is what I remember the most from the novel.  As I recall the quote means that in life, love is what you use to fill the space so that there’s no emptiness.

~ ~ ❤️ ~ ~

OR AT LEAST THAT’S WHAT I think it means, and considering how long ago I studied that novel, I want some credit for even remembering the quote… about love… on Valentine’s Day.

And with that glimpse into my addled brain I’ll end this post.  You may choose to believe that I’ve wished you a Happy Valentine’s Day OR if you hate this holiday you may choose to believe I have not wished you a Happy Valentine’s Day.

As with most things, it’s all in how you look at it.