Thus Far My August Has Not Been The Best

Here we go…

GOBSMACKED.  My car, parked legally on our street, was in an accident.  I found out about this when a neighbor, then a police officer, came to our front door to tell me that someone had rear-ended my vehicle.  Was it another car? A truck? A van or SUV? A person on a motorcycle?

No it was not.

It was a man on a bicycle who was going so fast that when he lost control he propelled himself through my back windshield, shattering it to bits.  And hurting himself so much that he had to be airlifted to a hospital across town.

[I have no further information on his condition at this time and my car is in the process of being repaired.]

DISAPPOINTED.  When Google Reader shut down a few years ago, I started using Feedly as my RSS reader.  I was thrilled with their straightforward, fresh and easy-to-use format.

In fact, as one of the early community members I told everyone I knew about this service because there was no fuss when reorganizing your feeds, no distractions when reading your chosen content.

Earlier this spring, I graciously consented to take a few in-house Feedly surveys, each of which had about a gazillion questions.  In my responses I praised what the company was doing, telling them that I appreciated how they were staying true to the idea that simplicity is best.

Well, Feedly didn’t listen to me.  And last week they changed their simple box-oriented organizational format to a cluttered mess of feeds, shown in lists overburdened with distracting data.  When I asked Feedly what the heck was going on, they told that the community wanted this.

Really? Hmmm. Not everyone.

[Therein I will leave this story, wiser to the truth in the old saying: if you aren’t paying for it, you’re the product.]

EXHAUSTED.  Our 3 to 4 week remodeling project, that started on June 5th, is now into week 10.  We’re still waiting for the rest of the decorative tile to arrive– and now we’re waiting for the second custom frame for the shower doors to arrive.

Why?  The first custom frame, measured correctly, was then created in the factory incorrectly.  This first frame, when installed in our bathroom, was too short for the doors.

So until a new frame arrives, sometime before Christmas one hopes, we have shower doors leaning against the wall in the bedroom, rather than serving, what I would believe to be, their intended purpose in the bathroom.

[This project has had more unanticipated screw-ups than even I could envision– and I’m pretty damned creative & fretful when planning anything.]

SADDENED.  It is with sorrow that I share with you, my gentle readers, that Fuzzy the Squirrel has passed away.  I’d been seeing less of him around the deck this summer, and when I did see him he was moving slowly, not even bothering to swipe a few tomatoes from my pot.

Last week while watering flower beds out back of the house, I found his almost lifeless body, under a bush near our lower level patio.  He glanced at me, then rolled his eyes upward, as he twitched his right front paw in the air.

Shortly thereafter he was gone from this world.  However, Fuzzy will be remembered forever in the pages of this blog.  May he RIP.

[All stories about Fuzzy the Squirrel are here.]

A Remodeling Update: The Mess Continues & Ms. Bean Is Almost Beyond Caring

The mess continues, but there is progress.  

√  The bathroom is close to being finished.  We’re waiting on the rest of the decorative tile that the tile guy, when he’s available, will use to make a backsplash behind the sinks.

The tile, shipped from California, is apparently coming via pony express, whose riders like to spend a few nights vacation in Las Vegas before heading east with it.

Or maybe it arrives via passenger pigeon.  At this point I’ve lost track of how it gets here, and only know that I want it here because until that decorative tile makes me happy this project won’t be over.  So I wait.

√  The family room is in process.  We had a small set-back when the painters fessed up to painting it the wrong color.  They had used the bathroom wall color in the family room.  While the colors are similar, they aren’t interchangeable… so the painters graciously made things right and re-painted the family room.   

I’ll show you a pic of the finished room, with proper color on its walls when I do my final post about this remodeling wild ride.  Sometime this month? This year? During my lifetime? Who knows?

  The laundry room is in good shape.  The washer and dryer are here, the counter and tile have been installed, and the walls have been painted the proper color. 🙄

The only difficulty with the laundry room now is that it’s on the way to the garage– that’s still a warehouse for things to come.  I look forward to parking my car where the bathtub is now, and walking from the garage into the laundry room unimpeded.  I dream big, don’t I? 

  The kitchen remains in a holding pattern.  There’s no sign of the microwave.  It’s MIA.  And conversations about replacing the old caulk that’s between the granite countertop and the tile backsplash have taken a turn for the absurd.

Seems that our grout and our caulk don’t match– and they’re [were] supposed to.  While I’m the first to say the combo looked good to me [for the last 9 years], these particular colors, that I’ve dubbed Dragon Snot and Cat Barf, are no longer available.  Hence, there’s been much discussion about what currently available caulk color to use now;  Antique Dog Tooth seems to be in the lead.  Because, why not?    

• • •

August is a slow month in the blogosphere, and I don’t feel like writing & posting my usual 2 or 3 times per week.
So for this month I’ll be here once a week sharing my flapdoodle and twaddle with those who are around to read it.  See you next week, kids. 

• • •

Apparently You Cannot Motivate Me With One Written Word

To thine own self be true…

LATE LAST WINTER I STUMBLED on an article that was about how to be more productive.  I wasn’t looking for an article on that topic, but for some reason when I saw this particular article I stopped to read what it had to say.

The gist of this article, that I did not save the link to, told me that if anyone [who reads English, I’m assuming] sees the word ACHIEVE while working at any task, then that anyone will be more productive.

So being a curious open-minded person who happened to be bored on a winter afternoon, I wrote “Achieve” on a post-it note and put the post-it note where I’d see it when I sit at my desktop computer every day.

The premise of this idea seemed a little woo-woo to me, but I thought: Why not? I’ll keep the note where it is for spring and then when summer arrives I’ll evaluate what has happened.

 + +

SUMMER IS HERE NOW SO it’s time for me to weigh in on the efficacy of this visual aid: that is, have I been inspired to new heights of productivity because I see the word ACHIEVE every day?

As much as I want to say “yes, this ezpz solution has helped me be more productive,” I’m going to be honest and tell you, my gentle readers, that I don’t think I’ve been any more or less productive since I put this post-it note in my line of sight.

I, of course, have no way of verifying my finding because I have no baseline level of productivity from which to start my study, so my conclusion is entirely subjective… rather like the idea in the article that prompted me to try this experiment.

But what I have learned about myself from this little foray into the land of inspirational signage is that for me the desire to do things has to come from within, and cannot be supplanted by one random word… no matter how clearly or often I see that word.

++

QUESTION OF THE DAY

Do you find yourself motivated when you see an inspirational sign with one word on it?

OR

Do you find yourself to be motivation-resistant to one word signs like I am?

++

A Remodeling Update: In Which Ms. Bean “Helps” & Other Important Things

It will come as no surprise to you, but it’s a mess around here.

Dining room with stuff from other rooms in it.

 Nothing is where it’s supposed to be.  Rooms that aren’t being remodeled have been turned into storage spaces for the stuff from rooms that are being remodeled.

Then with no clothes dryer, we’re using portable wooden racks, wedged into bedroom corners, to dry our clothes and towels and unmentionables… that are getting covered in a layer of dust before they dry, courtesy of the construction all over the house.

 Because the family room and the master suite are under construction, Zen-Den and I are living on the other side of the upstairs, each having taken up camp in a different guest bedroom.  At night we shout “good night” to each other like we’re the fricking Waltons: “Good night, Sue Mary Ellen… Good night, John-Boy.” 

Old microwave sitting on counter underneath spot where it fit, but new ones won’t.

 I officially hate microwaves.  Did you know that the manufacturers change the sizes of microwaves fairly often?  This means that the one we had built into the kitchen cabinets 9 years ago is now a size that is no longer available.

So we have to redesign the cabinets to accommodate the newer deeper microwaves.  I cannot *mutter* enough about this development.

 When the water is off for a few hours you immediately understand there’s one flush left in the toilet, right?  BUT what you might not remember is that there’ll be no water to wash your hands– and that you’ll need to have some hand wipes around.  IF you don’t have them around, then you’ll end up eating your lunch using a paper towel as you hold your sammie– then perhaps accidentally ingest some paper towel. 😖

Tools and such that are now on the floor hither and yon around the house.

 And finally, how is that I helped?  Well, as if there’s not enough destruction around here, I added to it when I went to close the bathroom door and the handle fell off into my hand.

Just. Like. That. I’m stuck outside the bathroom, holding the formerly useful handle in my hand, looking forlornly at the screws now at my feet.  Screws that happen to be about the same color as the carpeting, allowing them to blend perfectly with the carpet fibers, causing Ms. Bean to become FRAZZLED.

And on that cheery note, I’ll wish y’all a happy weekend.  Catch up with you later, kids. 

Out For A Walk: “Love You, Annie”

IN ANTICIPATION OF A haircut appointment tomorrow, I’ve been trying to decide what to do about my graying blonde hair. “Gronde” as it’s known in hair salon lingo.

Out for a walk yesterday I was lost in my thoughts, contemplating this very important issue, when I walked by a property under construction.  There were men working on the outside of the building.

As I walked by I heard one of them shout at me: “Love you, Annie.”

This made no sense to me but I smiled, waved my hand at him, and continued on with my walk.

ABOUT HALF A BLOCK later it occurred to me in a hey-wait-a-minute moment that I may have misheard what the guy shouted at me.

That what the man shouted at me was: “Love you, Granny.”

Meaning that from afar I appeared to be, of all things, a grandmother.

Peeved and dismayed as I was by this disturbing realization that shook my ego to its core, it dawned on me that I had my answer about what to do about my gronde hair.

Hence, tomorrow’s hair appointment will include highlights, lowlights– and any other lights available– to reduce the grayness in my fading blonde hair.

Because Granny?!

Me thinks not.

A Nobody Shops For Jammies

A few doors down from Ulta, which I adore, is a Soma.  I was in Ulta and on a whim, being in a good mood, I walked over to Soma.

They sell bras + undies plus PJs. I thought that I might treat myself to some new pajamas.

I got the idea of indulging in new PJs after talking with some friends about how we adore cotton flannel jammies, the epitome of autumn/winter comfort and practicality.

Not to mention, flannel jammies are classic.

Timeless… or so you’d think.

# # #

# # #

I walked into Soma, intent on buying some PJs, but when I noticed lots of gorgeous bras + undies I thought to myself: “I think I’ll get some of these, too, while I’m in here. I deserve to upgrade my unmentionables.”

My mind was in a happy place, giddy with possibility.

Eventually one of the employees came over to wait on me. I asked her if they had any 100% cotton or mostly cotton PJs, summer or winter, I didn’t care which season.

With a dismissive laugh she told me that: “No, we don’t carry things like that. NOBODY WANTS COTTON PAJAMAS!”

[Considering that I was SOMEBODY standing in front of her this statement was factually incorrect. But out of the largesse of my heart I chose to not mention this lapse in logic to her.]

Ignoring her attitude I told her that my friends and I liked cotton flannel jammies, and suggested that: “I’m sure there are lots of woman who want 100% cotton pajamas. I think that my friends and I are the norm.”

Could be wrong, but kinda think I’m not.

# # #

# # #

She shrugged, indifferent to me, the NOBODY standing in front of her, and started to wander away from me. As she turned her back on me I told her: “Tell the corporate people that we want 100% cotton PJs. You got that?”

She just walked away from me, without a word.

No apology for not having what I, the customer nobody, wanted. No sympathy for what I was asking for. No suggestion of where I might go to buy what I wanted.

No indication that she cared in the least [because she didn’t].

Now you’d think I’d be mad about this, wouldn’t you, my gentle readers? But really, can you blame her for behaving this way?

After all, I was, quite obviously, a NOBODY.

Of Sloth And Grit: A Slacker Laments

Sloth is my favorite cardinal sin.

I’m a natural-born slacker, so maybe it’s unfair of me to choose sloth as my #1 deadly sin because it comes so easily to me, but it is the one I like the best.  It’s not that I dislike all the other cardinal sins, it’s just that I have a preference.

So imagine my disappointment when…

I’m reading one of my favorite websites, Smithsonian.com.  I see an article geared toward self-improvement, a subject that intrigues a lazybones such as myself.  The article is: If Grit Breeds Success, How Can I Get Grittier?

Reading this article I come upon a link to Angela Duckworth’s Grit Scale.  Following the link, I find and take a 10 question quiz.  My score, baffling and disheartening as it is, you can see in the image below.

Screen Shot 2016-06-06 at 6.45.07 AM

 This number does not please me.

Grit suggests spunk, courage, resolve.  It shows perseverance and a strength of character that a sloth-y person such as myself believes she does not have.

Then to find out that I’m grittier than 80% of American adults– well… I. am. bummed.

And it is on that point that I’m going to leave this topic today, my gentle readers.  Clearly I need to re-assess all that I think I know about myself, examine in-depth my heretofore hidden strength of grittiness, and set about figuring out what is my new favorite deadly sin.

Perhaps gluttony? Maybe envy? Suggestions anyone?!