The One About Remembering A Muse, Sharing Some Mundane Moments

INTRODUCTION TO THE MUSE PART

Today I’m going to share photos, but first I’m going to tell you why I’m sharing these particular photos. I have a reason.

A muse, if you will.

People influence you in life. It’s all about where you place your power, but you know that [or at least you should].

Getting to my point…

Many, many years ago when I was newbie blogger [mid-2000s] there was a blogger, Rayleen*, who was a professional portrait photographer. She was into poetry and musings and, of course, photos. The ones on her blog were informal & not necessarily of people.

Her vibe was mellow, her thoughts were straightforward, and her use of light when snapping pics was awe-inspiringShe had a positive influence on me and how I went about learning to blog.

On your journey to be a better blogger ultimately it’s NOT the people who tell you how to blog with their well-intentioned lists and rules, it’s the people who show you how to blog with their own style, allowing you to learn and grow from their examples.

THE MUSE PART CONTINUED

One autumn day Rayleen mentioned that she had begun to notice, and thought it was a shame, that people on social media were only sharing photos of perfection. Nothing messy was going on because it was all staged.

She was prescient on this point.

Have you seen Instagram lately? 

On that day she encouraged personal bloggers to occasionally share photos without deeper meaning or treasured memories. Instead, take photos showing imperfection, mundane moments in time that record the normal messiness of ordinary life.

Focus at least briefly on things around you that you tend to push aside, or ignore, when snapping photos for social media.

In other words, allow yourself to be vulnerable, to be real, by showing the world your own special messiness for no reason other than you can.

So today as a tribute to Rayleen and as a way of saying thanks for her guidance, I’m sharing photos of nothing much in particular. We were ships that passed in the night and because we did I’m a more authentic and open-minded blogger.

THE PHOTOS OF MUNDANE MOMENTS PART

Dirty dishes in the sink & on the kitchen counter

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Assorted stuff heaped on the hutch

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Piles of pillows on the screened-in porch

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Old-fashioned time-wasters on the end table

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Boxes of stuff destined for Goodwill in the garage

THE QUESTIONS OF THE DAY PART

Can you think of someone who came into any aspect of your life who influenced you then disappeared leaving you better off for knowing this person? 

Have you posted photos on social media that show the daily, often overlooked, messiness of your life?

Which of the above photos is your favorite? And why? 

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* I think this is the proper spelling of her name, at least that’s how I remember it. Could have been Reyleen or Raylene– or Reylene, I guess. It’s been a loooong time. I shall not fret if I got her name wrong.

This Is Not Insipid: A Vocabulary Tutorial + Photo Update Of Guest Bathroom Renovation

THE VOCABULARY PART

Here’s how this blog post came to be, my little scribes.  I read something that was lame, lacking any spunk.  In truth I couldn’t believe it’d been published.

All I could think was: “this is insipid.”

While I thought that was the right word to describe what I’d read, I sometimes doublecheck words when I want to confirm that I’m using a word properly, that I know its real meaning.

That the word hasn’t become slang for something I don’t want to be saying. That I’m not inadvertently being vulgar.

So being a conscientious person I went to doublecheck the meaning of the word insipid.  I used the trusty New Oxford American Dictionary that’s on my iMac.

Come to find out I do know the definition of the word insipid.  It means: lacking vigor or interest.

Yep, that’d describe what I’d been reading.


However there’s more to what I learned.  You see, while looking up the definition of insipid, come to find out, there are subtle differences among three words that are occasionally used interchangeably.  Please refer to image immediately  above this paragraph.

These words are the ones that writers, myself included, often misuse.  Perhaps you’ve used them wrongly, too.  No judgement here.

To demonstrate that I, a wordsmith, now understand the nuances implied in each word I’ll use these aforementioned words correctly in one long sentence.  This sentence is the summation of our home improvement journey thus far.

When writing anything I aim to not be INSIPID, but admit that studiously researching a topic for a post can be TEDIOUS, not at all like the excitement created by the comings and goings of the tile guy who is making my daily life anything but UNEVENTFUL.

THE PHOTO PART

Tile around tub in progress

Tile guy’s stuff stored in guest bedroom

Example of  23.5″ x 11.75″ tile up-close

Tile guy’s tools in garage

Cabinet in guest bathroom in place

QUESTIONS OF THE DAY

Do you sometimes wonder how the heck someone got their insipid article or book published?

Do you look up words in the dictionary to make sure you understand a word’s true + current meaning?

Is the tile in your bathroom primarily small, medium, or large like the new stuff we’re using? What color is it?

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The One About Demolition & Dust, Home Improvements Have Begun

“Patience is what you have when there are witnesses.”

I don’t know who said it first but I like that saying.  Seems like the subtext of my week, both in real life and blog land*.

After months of waiting for our home improvement projects to begin, they began.  And I’ve been here at home for it, having a noisy, chaotic, dusty week of people and stuff everywhere.

BUT I’VE BEEN A PARAGON OF PATIENCE

The fact is I’m giddy to finally be underway so I’m attempting to overlook the inconveniences that I knew would be part of this experience. This isn’t my first remodeling rodeo, kids.

Below are a few photos that show some of what has happened thus far. Further updates on these projects and my blood pressure as they develop.

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Out with the OLD, in with the NEW.  To protect them from damage the carpeted stairs have been covered. It’s difficult to walk on them now, but I’m not complaining.

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I’m happy to see the end of the OLD tub, toilet, and tile. It was builder grade and ugly, but we lived with it for 22 years.

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The OLD cabinet, countertop, and sink are gone, but the plumbing stays in the same place. Nice touch with the paper towel, eh?

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This is our guest bedroom as it looks today filled with lovely, beautiful, NEW pieces of bathroom.

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Shiny copper pipes in place with NEW bathtub installed immediately below. I’ve yet to see the fabulosity of the tub because it’s protected with plywood right now.

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This is where there will be something NEW, a shelf niche in the shower. My interior design-y heart is thrilled with this upgrade.

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Thanks to everyone who has checked in with me this week to make sure I’m hanging in there. I appreciate your moral support.

Happy Weekend, everyone. May it be all that you want it to be, which in my case is calm and quiet– and not stuck at home.

I’m sure you understand.

* The blog land saga is that my WP media account was hacked for the second time in half a year.  One of my unpublished photo was stolen, then used as the image on a blog post that referred back to my previous post, the one with all the interesting links.

Why? Because to someone somewhere in this world that seemed like the thing to do. To what end? I couldn’t say but it has been the icing on the cake of a difficult week.

The Happiness Engineers, btw, tell me WP takes no responsibility for any photos/images you have in your media account.  WP protects your words, but your images are your own problem.

Just dandy, huh?

A Potpourri Of NOT Much Happening Around Here

You know, my little sugarplums, that I enjoy writing posts here, right? I tell you about what’s going on in my life. But that premise is based on the idea that something interesting is going on in my life.

And sometimes THERE AIN’T MUCH HAPPENING HERE.

However I feel like writing & using emojis. Muse is getting antsy waiting for it to NOT be January, so here’s what I have to tell you, interesting or not.

THE WEIRD CONVERSATION

While I was shopping in Kroger as I was standing in front of the cheese case a woman wearing a mask walked up to me to ask a question.  She pulled down her mask [🤨] and asked me: “do you know what uncured ham is?”

It sounded vaguely familiar, like something from my childhood but I couldn’t tell her what it was.  This didn’t stop her from sharing her woe about not finding it, an ingredient in some special sandwich, the recipe for which she waved before me as if it was a magic wand that’d spark my memory.

When I assured her I did NOT know anything useful about uncured ham, but maybe someone at the meat counter did, she wandered away, visibly disheartened.

I felt like I’d failed a pop quiz.

THE GOOD NEWS

The 30-foot tall dead tree in our neighbor’s yard, a tree that has loomed ominously over our screened-in porch for 5 years, fell down NOT on our house.  Instead it keeled over into the wooded ravine behind our houses.

There said tree shall remain for eternity… with my blessing [😇].

THE REMODELING MEETING

We finalized remodeling plans for our 2 bathrooms.  Having already had the kitchen and the primary bathroom and the laundry room remodeled by this company, it was easy to pick out the cabinets.  We’re rather familiar with them [🙄].

The cabinets won’t be here until May;  NOT sure I believe that, but I’ll try to be positive.  The rest of the decisions about tile and sinks and knobs and wall color are yet to come when we closer to the project start date and the interior designer is ready to work with me.

I’m jazzed because that’s the fun part, oh yes it is.

THE PHOTO PROJECT UPDATE

Last April I started taking a monthly photo of our backyard + a little of the neighbor’s backyard;  the previous photos are here.  They are to document the changes of the seasons.  I snap them while standing in the same place on our deck.

While this is NOT my usual higgledy-piggledy photo style [😁], it’s a fun harmless project that might prove something… yet to be decided.

These photos are the next installment.

AUGUST

SEPTEMBER

OCTOBER

NOVEMBER

DECEMBER

JANUARY

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Notes + Photos From The Backyard: No Bad Stuff, Only The Good Stuff

SITTING OUTSIDE ON OUR DECK late in the afternoon I heard the neighbor girl + her friends playing on the neighbor’s deck.  The girls were all around age 5 and they were chanting:

“No bad stuff… No Bad Stuff… NO. BAD. STUFF.”

They were loud. They were serious. They were coloring.

I started laughing to myself because they reminded me of a boss I worked for years ago.  This boss, a woman, would breeze into my office and say: “tell me the good stuff, only the good stuff.”

Let’s say she was singleminded in her pursuit of demanding creating a positive workplace.  For her idealism I admired her.  HOWEVER one does have to occasionally face reality and deal with complex, not-so-happy issues which, it’ll come as no surprise to you, this boss had difficulty doing.

Can you imagine? 🙄

THE FOREGOING IS MY STREAM-OF-CONSCIOUSNESS way of getting to what I think you, my little pudding cups, might find of interest.

Last April I decided to take a monthly photo late in the month of the same scene.  It shows part of our backyard [+ a little of the neighbor’s backyard].  I’ve no story to go with the photos, no particular reason why I started taking the photos.

I just did.

And now, as an homage to the determined little girls and my positivity-crazed former boss, I’ll end this post with four months of photos of our backyard in which you can see that things change, but remain the same.

From my point of view there’s no bad stuff in these photos, only good stuff.  I say this  because nature does what nature does. N’est-ce pas?  And it’s up to us to take note, then do our best to adapt to what is.

APRIL

MAY

JUNE

JULY

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