In Which Ms. Bean Contemplates Human Nature: Do You Play Up?

A marble in a martini glass because, I ask you, why not?

Everyone plays up.

An acquaintance said that after going to a party for the parents of middle school boys who play basketball.  She was making an observation about the group as a whole.

I got what she meant, having been to a few social events myself wherein people missed no opportunity to #humblebrag about their blessed lives, posing as someone more important than they might really be.

Acquaintance, who like me is an introvert with an extroverted personality when necessary, admitted that she’d played up in her own way.  That is, she’d bought a new dress for this party, but one that she’d be wearing to other events.

I’m not sure I’d say that is playing up per se, but I got her point.  She’d done something to make herself look better in the eyes of other people.

The conversation was short & lighthearted, but got me contemplating the ways in which we all play up depending on, I suppose, your need for external validation in a particular situation.

In my observation, and perhaps yours too, some people seem to need to belong to a group, any group, and will say or do anything to remain a part of it, fearing, I guess, the possibility of being alone.

I’m reminded of the old adage that there are makers, takers, and fakers.  If I’m entirely honest, in various situations and at different points in my life, I’ve been each of these to some degree and that seems normal to me.

Anyhoo, getting to something that resembles a point here, all of the foregoing got me thinking about this idea of playing up.  Here are my questions:

Does everyone play up? Is that a fact of human nature?

 And if so, does that mean you’re a maker, making something of yourself by playing up? OR are you a faker by playing up? I can see both sides to this.  What say ye?  

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The One About My New Computer & A Snarky Thought For The Day

This is a test.

I shall be writing this post, more or less, stream of consciousness-style as I attempt to figure out my new computer. Her name is Keyzia and she is an iMac.

She replaces Cora, my constant computer companion for the last 8 years. Cora is currently in semi-retirement in the dining room where I can access her as necessary whilst she gets the break she deserves.

Not to tell any tales out of school but Cora was getting a little forgetful, turning herself off willy nilly. Not starting up in the morning without prompting from moi. It was time for her to retire.

Keyzia is named for the fact that I now have a wireless keyboard so her name is sort of a heavy-handed joke on many levels. Plus I like the name, spelled many different ways, but always going back to what Biblical Baby Name explains thusly [link here]:

“Kezia was the second of the three daughters of Job, born after his restoration to Grace, health and prosperity. She was reputed to be among the most beautiful women in the land.”

And so with this short, yet sincere, introduction to Keyzia– and having now seen how this keyboard/screen and WP editor dance together doing a wordy do-se-do, I’m ready to add an image to this post.

Albeit this image has virtually nothing to do with anything here, but like I said this is a test post and this is an image I happen to have available so deal with it, kids.

Besides, it’s the truth, now isn’t it?

Discuss.

One-Liner Wednesday: A Mantra Courtesy Of A Three Year Old Girl

I was in Costco on Friday afternoon.  I ducked into the women’s restroom and while in there saw a cute little girl, about three years old, with her mother.

The little girl was wearing black leggings, a bright blue t-shirt, sturdy white sneakers embellished with cartoon characters, and a sparkly pink tutu.  She was a vision of free-spirited sartorial confidence that made me smile.

Oh, to be so sure of yourself!

The duo was standing by the sink in the restroom and the mother was starting to turn on the water at the sink in order for the little girl to wash her hands.  However, as we all know, toddlers like to do for themselves that which they believe they are capable of doing by themselves.

And they are often loud and dramatic in the process.

This little girl was no different than her independently-minded peers, thus she said for all to hear the following phrase that I think, as an example of positive self-talk, might be the perfect succinct mantra for anyone who momentarily loses their confidence while negotiating the ups and downs of life:

“I. CAN. ME.”

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This is the brainchild of Linda G. Hill. Click on the badge to learn more & to connect with other bloggers who are doing #1LinerWeds this week.

As Summer *Unofficially* Ends, It’s A Party In The Parsley

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This hasn’t been a good summer for our flower beds and shrubs and the flowers in the outside pots of floral prettiness that I insist on scattering around the grounds… until I feel at home.

[Gold star to anyone who gets that reference.]

But on the other hand in the end it’s been a great summer for parsley.  After a slow start the darned stuff has thrived in this hot humid weather.

Each spring I start parsley from seed inside the house, then either add it to my outside pots of floral prettiness as a filler or just put some parsley by itself in a pot to grow.

[It doesn’t spill, it doesn’t thrill, but oh my goodness it does fill.  My parsley-centric adaptation of the classic how-to create an outside pot of floral prettiness.]

I do this because black swallowtail caterpillars, who turn into beautiful butterflies, like to munch on parsley. Oh yes they do.

They have a voracious appetite for it and I’m more than happy to feed them what they need.  ‘Cuz I like to see butterflies flitting around our yard.

Happy Labor Day to everyone who will be celebrating it this weekend. Catch y’all on the flip side, kids.

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#ThursdayDoors | Visiting A Rose Garden, Finding Some Pithinicity

Today I’m joining Thursday Doors, hosted by Norm Frampton, so that I can share with you photos of the following doors plus a little more.

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A few weeks ago Zen-Den and I had the chance to stop by the Columbus Ohio Park of Roses again. [Click HERE for post about previous visit and information about this park.]

Entrance sign.

It was a beautiful summer day but the garden was not at its rosy best like the last time we were there.  I snapped a few pics anyhow, ostensibly to be part of this project.

A pink rose not in its prime.

While the doors we saw were more utilitarian than awe-inspiring, the carved stones in the walking path that connect the Shelter House [event venue] to the park itself were eclectic.

Gazebo in center of park.

I hadn’t noticed the messages on the stones during our previous visit.  So below, for the heck of it, are two photos of the doors we saw and the pithinicity on which we walked.

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DOORS on side of Shelter House looking into the park.

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“HAD I ALL LANGUAGE AT COMMAND AND SPOKE THE [1 of 4]

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TONGUE OF EVERY LAND, I COULD NOT FIND THREE WORDS [2 of 4]

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MORE SWEET OR FORM A SENTENCE MORE COMPLETE: THAN [3 of 4]

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THESE THREE WORDS I LOVE YOU.” ~ YOUR FAMILY [4 of 4]

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DOOR on side of Shelter House leading into Bridal Room. [Doesn’t this door look ominous to you? It does to me.]

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This Is How I Make 2 Types Of Images For My Blog

Have you ever heard someone say that their mantra is to always be recommending?  I love that idea.  Information is part of what makes the world go round.  

To wit, here’s what I use to make 2 types of unique images that I share on The Spectacled Bean. I’m often asked about where I get my images, so here you go.  

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WHEN I TURN PERSONAL PHOTOS INTO ART I use a free app called Waterlogue.  It’s on my phone, ezpz to use, and offers a variety of looks.  Here’s an example of a before and after image.

First I took a photo with my phone.  This is that photo.

Then I used the app choosing one of their filters, in this case the Illustrator, to make my photo look snazzy.  This is the after.

As you can see the app has taken a so-so photo and turned it into a bombdiggity blog-worthy picture.

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WHEN I CREATE IMAGES WITH TEXT I use Canva on my desktop computer [or here for your phone].  It’s a graphic design website [or an app for your phone] featuring a variety of free templates, many pre-sized for any social media you might use.

First I picked a template.  This is the before.

Then I did a fast little rewrite using the first movie quote that came to mind, thus creating something clever and unique.  This is the after.

In this example I did a color change & resized the font but there were many free and $$$ options I could have used to make this image even more amazeballs.

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I hope that this information is of some value to you.  

If you know of other ways to create blog post images [preferably free] please recommend them in the comments below.

And on that note, with nothing more to say here, I shall wish all of you Happy Blogging.

Plugging In: A Short Story Of Computer Angst & Good Intentions Gone Bad

AS YOU MAY RECALL when last we met I was distraught about what I believed to be the demise of my precious desktop computer, Cora.

However, I was wrong about Cora.  Allow me to explain.

You see, Zen-Den decided to help me by unplugging my phone charger from my computer and instead plugging it into the surge protector strip that is on the floor behind the desk on which Cora sits.

He did this so that the round phone charger could sit on the desktop farther away from the round stone coaster on which I put my beverage whilst typing on Cora. There was concern, well-founded, that I’d accidentally, absent-mindedly use the round phone charger as my coaster, thereby ruining the charger.

Nice thought, good intentions.

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THEN Z-D AMSCRAYED OFF to Colorado where he did Important Work Things leaving me with what seemed to be a dead computer sitting on the top of my desk.  I, of course, did all the requisite things one does when one’s computer appears to have given up the ghost.

I double-checked that everything was plugged in.  I banged on the keyboard.  I checked the mouse battery.  I turned the surge protector strip on and off.

I swore. I begged. I prayed.

And I texted Zen-Den who told me to do that which I’d already done, and that he’d look at Cora when he got back home at the end of the week.

Which he did.

But here’s the thing, when Z-D had added the phone charger plug to the surge protector strip, he moved all the plugs around on the strip to make them fit, not knowing there was a defective outlet on the strip.

Thus he inadvertently plugged Cora into an outlet that sent no electricity to her, so she did not work for me.  However, when he repositioned her plug on the surge protector strip, she came to life.  Like a miracle.

And there was joy in the land.

Huzzah, huzzah.

All of which brings me to the fact that I’m back to blogging, properly plugged in, happily engaging with Cora, and ready to share my own brand of flapdoodle & twaddle here.

Again.