E Is For Egg, Exactly What We Need

Screen Shot 2016-03-21 at 10.42.36 AM“Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.”

This proverb tells us to not make everything dependent on one other thing.  It reminds you that if you drop that basket and break any eggs, then *kablooey* you’ve lost everything.

Yep, you’ve got nothing then.  Kind of like me now.

You see, my gentle readers, I have nothing more to say on the topic of eggs.

Well, that’s almost true.

Sure, I could tell you about my latest experience with eggs [pickled them], but do you really need me to do that?

Instead, I suggest that we all agree that I showed up here, posted something as per the challenge guidelines, and then babbled enough to make it seem like I had something to say.

This works for me.  I hereby declare that I have written about the letter “E.”

And the A To Z Challenge continues tomorrow…

Doing Nothing. Taking Names.


It’s difficult to keep a personal blog when there’s not much happening. ‘Ya know? 

I can tell you things like I’m feeling well & walking more.  Zen-Den is content with his life at the moment.  We are happy, thinking about attempting to plan to go on vacation sometime, somewhere.

Projects around the house continue.  Culling out what we don’t need anymore & giving it away.  Painting one bedroom a new color.  Waiting for the carpenter to be available to put crown molding in some rooms.

Weather is nicer, warmer, sunnier.  Talked with landscaper about removing some overgrown shrubs,  taking down a pathetic tree, adding some decorative grasses.  Ordered more fancy stone for the path under the deck.

But you see, that’s all I have to share today on these hallowed blog pages.  Not much happening at Chez Bean.

So I’ll leave it up to you, my gentle readers.  Should you care to talk about the stuff in the photo above, OR have a question for me, OR want to tell me something about yourselves, please feel free to do so in the comment section below.

Heaven knows, I don’t have much to say today, so I’m hoping you do!

More Snow, More Gray, More Mellow

SATURDAY THE SKIES WERE bright blue and it was sunny outside, but very cold.  We spent the whole day driving every which way around the region, doing errands.

Not being at home, basically.

Then Sunday arrived, even colder than Saturday.  We decided to stay inside, doing pretty much nothing worth talking about.

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LATE IN THE AFTERNOON it started to snow again, so I grabbed my camera and took some photos of winter scenes in the waning afternoon light.

As shown here, the midwestern winter colors are a natural earthy palette all their own.  Very subdued, tending towards gray.  Either you like them [I do], or you don’t.

To me, these shades of gray, which I only see for a few weeks during the year, are a reminder to relax and mellow out.

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A Conversation About Self-Awareness & Assumptions


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A friend, who was clearly absorbed in her own thoughts, got into my car, buckled up, and without so much as a Sherman T. Potter “howdy-do” said:

Do you think you were wanted?

Now I’m a good friend. Attentive. A natural-born problem solver, but you have to give me some context.  So I said the first, rather inarticulate, thing that drifted into my head: huh?

Then the story unfolded as she went on to explain that she’d started reviewing her life, all of her life, in light of a recent setback in which her job ended.

While she understood on a logical level why her job, which she tolerated, had been cut, on an spiritual level this experience had sent her into a spiral of self-doubt– and a need to understand it all.

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We talked for a while.  She explained that the question she had asked of me wasn’t about being wanted at work, but about being wanted within a family.  That is, did I think/she think that our parents wanted us.

In my case, Yes.  In her case, No.

Getting to the crux of her contemplation, she thought that being unwanted early on would have given her some superpower to automatically know when that sort of thing was happening again.

In other words, because she was so sure of herself had she missed some sign that she was going to be kicked to the curb by this employer?

We came to no definitive conclusion about her recent job loss, but we did stumble upon a good topic of conversation about self-awareness.  That is, how we all make assumptions based on previous experiences.

And how those assumptions when applied to the here and now, aren’t always a good guide for how to live your life, even though it’s easy to delude yourself into thinking that they are.

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Mourning The Loss Of A Dream, As One Does

Dream big, they say.

Never give up, they tell us.

Winners do whatever it takes, they assure you.

But sometimes, just sometimes, common sense dictates that you have to give up because…


Unless there’s an extra $5,000.00 floating around in your life.

Or you’re emotionally unbalanced and prefer to live with something broken instead of fixed, I guess.

But for Zen-Den, a man with a dream, cursed with common sense, grounded in reality, it’s over.


Yes, Zen-Den’s dream of watching his vehicle’s odometer turn over 300,000 miles is not to be.

You see, after 16 years and 254,000 miles, Bullwinkle, Zen-Den’s trusted steed Lexus SUV, is on the critical list…


Not expected to make it through the winter due to exhaust system problems.

Living out his final days, hobbling to and from work, as Zen-Den is forced to start looking for his replacement.

Still a beloved part of the family, but not for long.

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A Little Vacation: Went To Texas, Got Wet, Came Home

:: Late last week we went to Texas to visit Austin, TX, but our little extended weekend vacay took a different turn, and we ended up in Dallas, TX.

Perhaps you heard about Hurricane Patricia?

While both cities were soaked by this unprecedented storm, after getting to Texas, driving to Austin & finding ourselves in the moldiest suburban Hilton Garden Inn room ever, we reconsidered our plans & decided to focus on Dallas instead of messing around with Austin, which was more directly in the path of the storm.

And had unbelievably expensive hotel rooms.  [$200.00 per night for a downtown budget Motel 6 room. That’s without taxes. And, of course, no room service available in the place.]

Photo of bleak wet world as seen from room window in Marriott Hotel at Legacy Town Center in Plano, TX, October 2015.

:: I’m glad that we made a change in our plans and chose to goof-off in Dallas, even though the whole region had the most amazingly consistent gray sky that I’ve ever seen.

A sky that some might be tempted to say was gloomy and foreboding.

A sky that seemed to hover over us as we drove around Dallas on about seventy hundred thousand different highways, toll roads, expressways + freeways, in the rain, while Siri told us how to reroute ourselves to avoid flash flooding.

:: So what did we do?  Activities that kept us dry, of course.

  • We visited the Dallas Museum of Art [fascinating American silver collection, Islamic art + Inca artifacts].
  • We visited the Museum of Geometric and MADI Art [art displayed partly in museum and partly in law firm that shares the building with the museum].
  • We drove to, but were unable to see, the Heritage Farmstead Museum in Plano, TX, because it was closed due to flooding.
  • Then, despite my dislike of malls, we went to NorthPark Center, an upscale 50-year-old mall, incredibly clean– and about as soulless as a mall can get.
  • Continuing on went to another mall, The Shops at Willow Bend, which for a mall wasn’t so bad. I guess.  Zen-Den bought a few shirts at Dillard’s, so not a total waste of time.

:: Do I have a conclusion?  Well, I don’t know. Sort of.

All I can tell you, gentle readers, is that I am not unfamiliar with vacations not going as planned.  I am nothing if not adaptable.  Meaning that while I didn’t return from our vacation rejuvenated by local cuisine, music and artsy-fartsy Austin stuff, I’m happy that I got to see a little bit of Dallas, TX.

Which is massive, affluent, with lots of new buildings, friendly people and, in my experience, incredibly wet.  😉

Driving Mr. Bean

Zen-Den has fractured his foot.  His right foot, to be exact.

He doesn’t know how he did this.  Sometimes weird stuff happens.  All he knows for sure is that: 1) it hurts A LOT when he puts any weight on it;  & 2) the X-rays taken yesterday at the ER confirm that it should hurt a lot when he puts any weight on it.

The words “stress fracture” have been bandied about.

He is not to put any weight on it AT ALL.  So, for the moment, Z-D has a temporary soft cast on his foot.  He’s walking/ hobbling/ hopping with crutches. This is not a smooth or quiet process.  However, he is getting to his destinations unaided, so I won’t complain.

This afternoon we go to the orthopedic surgeon who will either: 1) schedule him for surgery [BOO!];  or 2) put a walking cast on his foot [YEA!].

In either case, I will be driving Zen-Den everywhere he needs to go in the next 6-8 weeks [maybe longer!!!]. To doctors’ appointments.  To work.  To wherever.  Because, as I previously mentioned, it’s his RIGHT foot that he has hurt.  The foot which pushes the pedals that start and stop the car.

Oy vey!  This is going to be a long fall.

Late afternoon update:  We’ve been to the doc and it’s good news all around.

The fracture is so slight that there’s no need for surgery– or even a cast.  Instead, Z-D is to take one month of anti-inflammatory meds + he is to slowly, deliberately keep walking– first with the crutches, and then without them.

Meaning that in about 30 days he should be as good as new– walking, driving, and jumping for joy when ‘ere he wishes to do so.

I’m smiling.  A really, really big smile. 🙂