A Spring + Summer Fling: The One About Simplifying My Blog Posting Schedule

BUT FIRST I AM ELSEWHERE…

On Saturday Yvette at priorhouse blog posted an in-depth interview with me for her ongoing monthly series.  I was thrilled to be asked to participate.  Go HERE to read the interview.

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Image via @positivelytherapy on IG

If you’ve been around The Spectacled Bean for a while you may remember that last year about this time I decided to change how often I’d post to this blog.

At the time I had nothing written ahead and I was staring at a blank screen.  [History is repeating itself today, btw.]  It seemed like an opportunity to ditch my weekly posting schedule and try something new.

Because why not?

Thus I decided to change my modus operandi and post once every two weeks, usually on Tuesday, during spring and summer.  To become a fortnightly blog— and isn’t that a grandiose way to describe something so simple!

To my amazement this relaxed schedule was an excellent idea during the warmer days of the year.  Muse was onto something good.  All my happiness chemicals kicked in to make me, well– happy.

I wrote my usual posts, just less frequently;  I continued to share the comment love elsewhere;  and then I goofed off.  I was productive enough, connected as usual, but more carefree than during the colder months when I’m stuck inside.

So I’m going to do the same thing this year.  If something works, stick with it.

Right?

I appreciate everyone who takes the time to read and comment here because y’all make blogging fun.  I wouldn’t have lasted this long in blogland if it weren’t for all my gentle readers + kind lurkers + wordy commenters.  You’re the best of all the rest.

Thank you.

And with that sincere compliment I shall go forth, doing less while pursuing my Word of the Year: ENJOY!

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AND FINALLY THREE READER COMMENTS…

About being the weird one in the neighborhood:

“If I’m being totally honest I am pretty sure that I would fit the description of the wackiest neighbor. I say that because I’m the one that my neighbors laugh and wave at while I’m running down the road chasing my donkey, or taking a walk and have my son, three cats (of the 6) cats strolling behind me, my two dogs wiggling around my legs, and possibly a stray duck, chicken, or even a goose following as well.”

~ LaShelle

“There was a time, long ago, when I kept rotten uncooked eggs and threw them from my balcony onto the car when the driver hooted … if there’s one thing I cannot stand, it’s hooting. He was a hooter of note.”

~ Susan

“When I got to the door, my neighbor, a very kind woman said ‘I don’t know if you’re okay with this, but your kids are playing on the roof.’ My kids were 5 and 3. They had popped the screen out of a bedroom window and as I could hear them just fine, I thought they were in the room. But nope. They had climbed onto the front porch roof, used that to climb onto the garage roof, and then onto the roof of our second story home. When I got them back in the house and asked them what they were doing I was told they were playing flood.”

~ Katie

On The Nose: Contemplating My Goals & Word Of The Year For 2022

Tigger under the Christmas tree. He has nothing specifically to do with this post but cute pink nose, eh?

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Bill at A Silly Place wrote a post, a challenge really, that got me thinking about what I’ll be doing next year. Thank you, Bill. You can read his post here and join his challenge if you so choose.

Consider yourself tagged.

Bill’s challenge is to forget about traditional formal New Year Resolutions, which I’ll admit have always seemed a bit overblown and idealistic to me.

Instead you commit to a few specific Goals that you monitor as the year goes along. It’s not as highbrow as declaring New Year Resolutions, but probably more doable because more pragmatic.

At least in my estimation.

While I usually shy away from anything that involves numbers, preferring to go with the wordy flow rather than mess with any dodgy numbers, I’m going to try this challenge because I am open-minded & curious.

My modest Goals are:

  • go for a walk five days a week;
  • cook four vegetarian meals each month;
  • donate three boxes of unwanted stuff to charity each month;
  • go on two vacations somewhere that is not here; and
  • read one book that is currently on our bookshelves each month.

But wait there’s more.  

In keeping with my longstanding habit of deciding on a Word of the Year, while I pursue these numerically-based Goals I’ll implement my 2022 Word of the Year. It is how I shall do these things.

My word is ENJOY.

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Do you make New Year Resolutions?

Do you think that setting Goals, as opposed to making New Year Resolutions, is an intriguing way to state your intentions?

Do you pick a Word of the Year?

Keeping my 2022 Word of the Year in mind, what do you think of the *Christmas* music video below?

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This will be my last post of 2021. Happy Holidays everyone. See you next year.

Adding Value To Chez Bean: Every Tom, Nate, & Marty

Just jawing here. Another day, another post about plans gone sideways.

As you probably know adding value to your home is a slow deliberate process that takes planning, chutzpah, dinero, and faith.  In my experience to make anything happen, one must have the patience of Job, sometimes more than his.

When it comes to this house my motto is IMPROVE DON’T MOVE.  We love Chez Bean and after a pandemic-related 20 month delay in our home improvement schedule, we’re back to fixing her up*.

Or at least starting to do so, supply chain be damned.

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Last week we had TOM, the landscaper, extend a stacked stone retaining wall so that next spring we’ll be able to plant some bushes or perennials in our new, dare I say classy, planting bed that frames the front yard.

Look for photos next spring, nothing interesting to see yet.

We’ve talked with NATE about a new concrete sidewalk that’ll lead to our front stoop.  Our current sidewalk is 20+ years old.  It’s cracked and crumbling, with many an unwanted, albeit cute, chipmunk living underneath portions of it.

The question now is: do we replace it with what is there, standard brushed concrete, or for a price do we upgrade to stamped concrete?

Opinions or observations vis-à-vis concrete, anyone? 

And then, because we’re finally ready to have our shabby dated powder room and guest bathroom remodeled, we talked with MARTY our previous remodeler** who done us proud.

We hope to bring the bathrooms into this century, thereby making them more usable, with modern amenities like toilets that flush consistently and drains that like to drain.

And wouldn’t that be nice?

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Anyway that’s what’s up here. Anything new, home-related or otherwise, with you, my little chickadees? Chirp away in the comments below.  

* Fun fact: 2020 was to be the year we completed our home improvement projects, projects that started with remodeling the kitchen in 2009.  We’d hoped to begin traveling in 2021, comfortable in the knowledge that our home, our nest, was up-to-date and ready to nurture us upon our return home. BUT THAT DIDN’T HAPPEN, DID IT?

** Happy fact: Completed inside home improvement projects include the aforementioned kitchen + the primary bathroom + the laundry room + the upgraded fireplace surround. LIKE CHRISTMAS, WE’RE GETTING THERE.

Planning To Be Kind AND Kindly Planning My Future

PLANNING TO BE KIND

Tomorrow, November 13th, is World Kindness Day. It’s based on another one of those core values that I think is important. The value being [obviously]: KINDNESS.

Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines KINDNESS as: the quality of being kind as in treating people with kindness and respect. The dictionary goes on to say that synonyms for KINDNESS are words like: benevolence, courtesy, favor, grace, service.

Musing on these words while thinking about my childhood and the way my WASP parents reared me, I suspect I never had a chance to not be kind. I just didn’t, but that’s only me. 😇

DO YOU CONSIDER YOURSELF TO BE KIND?

So what do you think, a good idea?

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KINDLY PLANNING MY FUTURE

Opening a Franklin Planner catalogue that came in the snail mail a card fell out onto the counter top. The card, featured in the photo below, clearly states the raison d’être of the company.

I started laughing because, well– hell to the yes, this company wants me to plan. Thanks for reminding me, just in case I didn’t notice the name of your company.

But the more I looked at the card the more I realized that I adhere to a slacker philosophy that is more geared toward doing good enough. This is because I realize that plans change, often– and that I can live contentedly not planning every stinking detail of my best life.

Yes, I’d say that I’m being kind to myself by allowing for things to not be best. 🙄

HOW ABOUT YOU, DO YOU PLAN FOR YOUR BEST LIFE OR FOR YOUR GOOD ENOUGH LIFE?

Perhaps I’m being ornery, but isn’t *good enough* good enough?

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Ally Try Again: Re-evaluating My Rules Of Life, As One Does

As you may recall The Spectacled Bean is on Summer Hours.  

This means I continue to show up here every few weeks. I write about anything that isn’t current events, instead leaning into my penchant for flapdoodle and twaddle.  

Thus I give you the following.  

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Deconstructing What Was

SORTING through old paper files I found the above.  I published it 13 years + 6 months + 21 days ago on January 01, 2007.  I wrote it, complete with disclaimers, in the context of a New Year’s Resolution + my guidelines for how I wanted to live my life.

For many years this is how I approached my life.

However thinking on my rules of life in light of today’s world I find the above useful, but not in step with how I conduct myself now. And that’s where I want to be, not stuck in the past, like some lost soul who longs for what was.

So I sat down with myself and analyzed what I’d written before.  I decided that when it comes to rules of life I liked short action statements that get to the point.

I also decided that I didn’t want my new rules of life to include pithy sayings [like the watermelon seeds one in the example above].  I say pithy things, but those are personal mantras or succinct commentaries on a particular situation rather than actual rules of life.

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Creating What Will Be

PONDERING what my new rules of life might be, I deleted the ones from before that no longer served me.  Then I made the following list of potential rules adding ones that I believe might be helpful now.  In the bracket behind each rule I wrote what core value I was thinking about when I chose this rule.

Do your best [trustworthiness]

Less is more [simplify]

Maximize your options [creativity]

Pay attention, life is in the details [knowledge]

Ditch the mean people [self-respect]

Keep moving forward [growth]

Say thank you often [gratitude]

Follow your muse [authenticity]

Do no harm [kindness]

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Questions Of The Day

Comments, anyone?

Do you have rules of life you follow? If so do you rethink them, then update them from time to time?

This list is not definitive, it’s in process. What am I missing here?