V Is For Vinegar, Very Much So

Screen Shot 2016-03-21 at 11.03.06 AMFull of spit and vinegar

… is a slang term that implies someone is high-spirited, boisterous, full of vigor.

Noisy, even.

I have no idea when I first heard this innocent version of, shall we say, a classically crude saying, occasionally seen in literature, but rarely said in my world.

This is not because I’m offended by coarse language, but because this saying doesn’t float into my addled brain when I want to tell you that I’m feeling youthful and rowdy.

Too many words.  Too idiomatic.  Too easy to be misunderstood.

Instead, I’d rather tell you straight up and directly: I’m feeling energetic today. Watch out world.

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Here’s a website where you can create your own custom background noise.  You can make the noise to help you mellow out OR be productive.  It’s up to you.  Go try it now.

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T Is For Turnip, Like Totally

Screen Shot 2016-03-21 at 11.02.08 AMJust Fell off the Turnip Truck

…  is an idiom meaning that someone is naive or gullible.  It refers to the idea that someone riding on top of the produce in the back of a flatbed truck is a country bumpkin who will be taken advantage of in the city by the smooth-talking folk.

I’ve never seen a truckload of turnips, which probably comes as no surprise to you.

What will also come as no surprise to you, my gentle readers, is the fact that I’ve got nothing to talk about on the topic of turnips.

Well, that’s not entirely true.

I could tell you that I have a t-shirt that has a turnip printed on the front of it with the words “turnip the volume.”  It’s a dumb pun, but the shirt is comfy.

But do you care about that t-shirt?

Probably not.

So instead of pretending I’ve something to say, allow me to suggest that we once again agree that I showed up here, in good faith, and posted something as per the challenge guidelines.

Thus I hereby declare that I have written about the letter “T.”

And the A To Z Challenge continues on Monday…

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Here’s a link to a lovely downloadable “fabric swatch” that features, among many vegetables, ye olde turnip.  Very cute.

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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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