Getting Philosophical As I Prepare To Take A Month Off From Blogging

Pretty blurry striped colors make for a lovely image* at the top of this post, my last one for 2019.

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I LISTENED TO THE LATEST Hurry Slowly podcast from Jocelyn K. Glei.

In it she introduced her new vision for how her podcast will evolve during Season 3.  In a nutshell, she’s loosening up about who she is and will be focusing less on productivity and more on authenticity.

I look forward to hearing what she says as she shares her transformation and her realizations about what matters to her now.  And therein is the nugget of wisdom that I gleaned from her podcast.

It’s all in the now, the person who you are in this moment and how you will manifest as such.  It’s not about what you’re doing, it’s about how you’re doing it and why.

Always the why.

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AS YOU MAY REMEMBER MY #OneWord365 for this year is streamlined.

Since I adopted it last January I’ve thought on it, not necessarily daily, but weekly as I organize my life, hoping to create a clutter-free home and the conviction that I can do things smoothly.

However, if I’m to be truthful here I’ve had a rocky year with this one word. It’s come to mean expense [roof, windows, computer] and idealistic dreams [the basement and garage are still harboring too much stuff] and, by the looks of the inside of this house, half-finished projects strewn about the rooms in messy heaps of indecision.

On the one hand I feel like I’m a failure about implementing the streamlined concept, but on the other hand I wouldn’t be as far along the path to becoming who I want to be now if I hadn’t focused on it.

So there’s that.

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I’VE DECIDED TO TAKE THE month of December off from blogging and instead focus on Susannah Conway’s December Reflections Instagram prompts.

I enjoy writing but feel that I need to get away from my ordinary routine, allowing me to reflect on how and why I’ll be doing what I plan to do in 2020 AND to decide whether or not my attempts to be streamlined have been a personal transformative experience or just another screwup.

Thus all that is left for me to say here is please enjoy whatever it is you do during the month of December. Make it a fun one. Take joy!

Later, kids.

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* Because someone is going to ask: I made this image by photographing a page from Wreck This Journal by Keri Smith. I then enhanced the photo using ‘Rainy’ in Waterlogue [here for Apple] or [here for Windows].  

I put that enhanced image into Photos on my iMac where I edited it by adding highlights and cropping it into a rectangle.  It was work-y, but turned out pretty darned cool, if’n I do say so myself.

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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Revisiting The Quaker Questions: Say What? Naked Who?

This is a photo of a deer standing on the side of the hill in our backyard. This deer is not being a pest per se because he’s eating shrubs that grow wild. He is naked, but to my knowledge is not a Quaker.

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Sometimes, I dunno.

I looked at my WP list of Top Searches wherein I can see the list of questions and queries that, through the magic of search engines, have brought people to The Spectacled Bean.

I generally get people looking for information on deer as pests OR information on replacing door handles on interior doors OR [oddly enough] issues Americans can agree upon.

However, and this is where it gets interesting, to my knowledge no search engine has ever sent anyone here who wrote as their query: “naked quaker questions and answers.”

Let’s unpack this query, shall we?

I can explain the Quaker Questions part.  You see, years and years ago I wrote a post [HERE] about answering the Quaker Questions.

Z-D and I were in the process of joining a Presbyterian church and instead of having everyone in the new members group jibber jabber about who he or she was, the leader of the new members group had us answer the Quaker Questions.

But I can assure you that the questions in question were intended to be questions answered while wearing clothes. There was no nakedness involved with these questions nor with our answers. Plus, and I’m assuming here, the Quaker who originally asked these questions was [probably] fully clothed.

It’s an odd subject to be researching, but that’s not what worries me about this particular query.  What I’m wondering about is the twisted reality underscoring a search engine’s algorithms so that it sent someone to find the answer to that query on my sweet little PG-13 blog.

Naked deer I got.  Naked doors I had.  But Quakers?

The ones I’m familiar with wear clothes. 🙄

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THE QUAKER QUESTIONS

[We were asked the following questions. My answers are in the comment section below. Do what you will with this information.] 

Where were you born?

When you were 7 years old how did your family heat your home?

What person in your real life growing up influenced you in a way that makes you who you are today?

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In Which I Show You Who You Are & Ask You Two Questions

I MADE THIS DANDY BAR CHART that summarizes who reads this blog.  I created it using data provided by you, my commenters, after you took the SW COLOR ID quiz [that I wrote about HERE] and told me your results [in the comments].

As you may recall, after taking the quiz SW described each personality type in short pithy sentences.  And you know I do like a pithy sentence so here is all of that information in one place.

  • Naturalist [40%]: I let in the fresh air.
  • Minimalist [17%]: I find joy in the little things.
  • Creative [14%]: I make it my own.
  • Nurturer [14%]: I bring people together.
  • Trendsetter [6%]: I walk with confidence.
  • Free Spirit [3%]: I create my own path.
  • Dreamer [3%]: I take it all in.
  • Enthusiast [3%]: I jump in with both feet.

I realize the above is more statistical than my usual flapdoodle and twaddle, but I found it interesting to see the diversity of personality types, and the percentage of said, that engage here in the comments on The Spectacled Bean.

Or to put it differently: you, kids, are an eclectic bunch of wordy wackos who I believe have your hearts in the right place. Thank you for commenting here. You bring joy to my life.

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HERE’S SOMETHING I’VE BEEN THINKING ABOUT.  Even though I’ve been doing this forever I’m not sure about how to refer to some things regarding weblogs.  I don’t want to be pedantic, nor do I want to sound like an old codger using antiquated terms.

I’m a wordy girl so this concerns me.  Thus I created the following two polls because I’d like to know your answers to these quandaries.

Thank you in advance for your kind participation.

In Which Ms. Bean Confirms She Is Who She Is: A Dreamer

I took the fast & fun interactive What’s Your COLOR ID Quiz on the Sherwin-Williams website.  Click HERE to go take it for yourself.

My quiz results told me I am a Dreamer.  A Dreamer is defined thusly:

I was further told that as a Dreamer I do the following:

Here is a screen shot of a few of the Sherwin-Williams colors that a Dreamer likes to see in her home.

Here is a photo of the wall in this particular Dreamer’s home office [or study if that’s what you want to call this room] where she is currently sitting.  This wall is painted SW 7666 Fleur de Sel, one of the colors shown in the image above.

It’s not often that I take an online quiz and end up with results that I agree with 100%.  In fact some of my previous posts [here & here] have been less than kind when discussing my quiz results, but for whatever reason, this time the quiz results made sense to me.

And with that I’ll end this pleasant post about knowing who I am by wishing you, my gentle readers, a Happy Weekend.  May it be colorful in a way that pleases you and filled with sweet dreams ’til sunbeams find you.

Let’s Chat: Answering 24 Questions About My High School Experiences

I got these questions from John at The Sound of One Hand Typing. He got them from Barbara at teleportingweena. I see that Melanie at sparksfromacombustiblemind has done them, too. Clearly these are THE QUESTIONS to answer.   

Think about your SENIOR year in High School. The longer ago it was, the more fun the answers will be!

  1. Did you know your current significant other? No. We met in college a few years later.
  2. Make and year of car? I didn’t have a car until I was a senior in college.
  3. What kind of job? I worked at a DQ until it went out of business. I never could master making those DQ swirls on top of the cones, but I don’t think that’s why the place went out of business.
  4. Where did you live? I lived in a small house on a brick street a few blocks away from the high school. I walked to school.
  5. Were you popular? I had friends but wasn’t part of the A-list crowd.
  6. Were you in choir? No. I was in the orchestra and the band.
  7. Ever get suspended from school? Why yes I did. Didn’t you?
  8. If you could, would you go back? Are you crazy? I would not in a million years want to go back to high school.
  9. Still talk to the person that you went to prom with? I didn’t go to prom because no one asked me, therefore I have no one to talk, or not talk, with.
  10. Did you skip school? I liked school enough to not skip it.
  11. Go to all the football games? I was in marching band therefore I was forced to go to the home football games. Our team was not a winning team. *yawn*
  12. Favorite subject? I liked English and I also liked Printing which was part of a graphic arts department. Those two subjects made up for Chemistry and the most boring American Government class that has ever happened anywhere in this country ever.
  13. Do you still have your yearbooks? No, I threw them away years ago.
  14. Did you follow the career path you planned? I had no career path in high school. It was just something to get through on my way to college.
  15. Did you have a class ring? Yes, I had a class ring. It was yellow gold with a dark green stone in it. I still have it [somewhere].
  16. Still close with your best friend? Yes, she comments here sometimes.
  17. Who was your favorite teacher? My favorite teacher was the assistant music teacher who’d just graduated from college the year before. His youngest sister was younger than I was and attempting to think of him as a teacher was almost impossible. He was a hoot, especially when he tried to direct the orchestra, something he did not do well.
  18. What was your style? I was a girl wearing matchy-matchy outfits in bright colors with coordinating jewelry and pretty shoes. Let’s call that style: small-town Glamour magazine teenage chic.
  19. Favorite shoes? I don’t remember any one pair in particular.
  20. Favorite music? I liked rock and I liked jazz. I played classical.
  21. High school hair? I had a short hairstyle that made my mother happy. I stretched my curly hair straight and used about half a can of hairspray each morning to keep the frizz at bay. It was a labor-intensive hairdo.
  22. What kind of cologne/perfume? I don’t remember any one perfume that I used. I’m sure I did, but what it was, I dunno.
  23. How old when graduated? I was 18 years old.
  24. Did you play a sport? No, but I did take all sorts of lessons, like golf and tennis and swimming. But as for a team sport… you gotta be kidding me!

FYI: For the next few weeks I’m going to bug out of the blogosphere while we do homeowner things. Our house is 20 years old. There are problems to solve, issues to address. Therefore, I’ll be busy elsewhere being a responsible adult. Look for me back here mid-June.

High Hopes: Growing A Houseplant, Sharing A Mother’s Day Memory

“Just what makes that little old ant, Think he can move that rubber tree plant…”

Over the weekend Zen-Den informed me that the houseplant I think is a rubber tree plant is, in fact, a jade plant.

Apparently I do not know my houseplants, even if I can grow them.

“Anyone knows an ant, can’t, Move a rubber tree plant…”

Z-D became aware of my botanical ignorance when I was happily watering and singing to what I believed to be a rubber tree plant.

I’ve mothered and nurtured this NOT rubber tree plant for the last few years, channeling Shirley Feeney every time I am near it.

“But he’s got high hopes, he’s got high hopes, He’s got high apple pie, in the sky hopes…”

My efforts have resulted in a healthy houseplant that I feel adds a certain joie de vivre to our family room.

It, the plant, being so healthy and all. Me, the plant mama, being so loving and all.

“So anytime you’re gettin’ low, ‘Stead of letting go, Just remember that ant…”

But there’s more to this story than my confusion about a houseplant.

Yes, this is a hat tip to my mother who adored Shirley Feeney’s spunk and who had me singing in the Cherub Choir at the First Presbyterian Church when I was but a little sprig.

“Oops there goes another rubber tree plant, Oops there goes another rubber tree plant, Oops there goes another rubber tree plant.”

It was there at a luncheon dedicated to mothers that we little cherubs, standing in three rows on risers, sang “High Hopes” to our mothers. Thus to this day whenever I sing this song, I think fondly of my mother.

Regardless of the kind of plant I’m watering while I am singing the song. 🙄

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Happy Mother’s Day to everyone who is celebrating it this weekend

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