Tea For Two: Talking About A Retirement Side Hustle + 2 Story Updates

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TEA FOR TWO, THAT’S ME & YOU

I’ve heard it said that most marital communication is the word *WHAT* being shouted between rooms.

I believe this to be true.

Especially now that Zen-Den, Esq., has retired, sort of.

You see, he retired from his main source of employment, a full-time job with benefits, and is now self-employed as an advisor wandering around at home, sometimes advising his former main source of employment while other times chatting it up with new prospects.

This is called a side hustle.

I am told.

So this means, from my point of view, that He Who Has A Side Hustle is underfoot almost all day long. Like a cheerful puppy. And because he’s accustomed to barking talking almost all day long, he has begun to NEED to tell me things.

While we are in different rooms.

Why just the other morning he shouted something to me from the kitchen while I was in our home study.

I said *what* of course.

He then walked into the home study and told me he had a few calls to take in the morning. After that he was going to organize the tea drawer where we keep, come to find out, 12 different teas*.

So you can see that He Who Has A Side Hustle is finding productive ways to occupy himself that for the most part keep him from pestering and annoying me all day long, and allow him to believe he is a valuable part of this household.

Because he is, of course.

* Knowing that someone is going to ask, the 12 kinds of tea in the drawer are:

  1. Ceylon Orange Pekoe
  2. Constant Comment
  3. Earl Grey
  4. English Breakfast
  5. English Teatime
  6. Green Tea
  7. Green Tea with Pomegranate, Raspberry & Strawberry
  8. Irish Breakfast
  9. Lady Grey
  10. Oolong Tea
  11. Peppermint
  12. Perfect Peach

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UPDATES TO STORIES

1. We named the skeleton Earl. Thanks to everyone who offered name ideas. Y’all are funny. [Original story HERE.]

2.  After writing about how I accidentally acquired a bag of potato chips, Z-D was at Kroger using the U-scan. He used the barcode reader to ring up a six-pack of beer and it did, but then while placing the beer on the wonky wobbly bagging carousel he accidentally dropped the six-pack on the floor. The impact caused the metal caps on two bottles to loosen, spewing carbonated beer from the bottles.

Instead of going back to get a new six-pack, for which he paid in full, Z-D left the store with four bottles of beer. Thus he paid for something he did not get and thereby, I believe, restored balance in our relationship with Kroger. [Original story HERE.]

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QUESTIONS OF THE DAY

When thinking about retirement what is the first idea that pops into your mind? Does this thought make you worry or happy– or something else? 

If you drink tea, hot &/or cold, how many kinds of it do you have in your home? Are you about variety or uniformity?     

So what do you think, was it Kroger Karma that caused Zen-Den to drop that beer, making us whole with them again?

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Unexpected Good News Regarding Our Bathroom Remodeling Projects

➡️ If you read The Spectacled Bean because you like to see me get snarky, thank you but this post isn’t going to be one of those posts.

Instead today I’m going to share a slice-of-life story that has a positive spin to it.  One that’s left me feeling all warm and happy inside about, of all things, a home improvement company.

They’re not all scoundrels.

Also I’m going to talk briefly about money which I know is tacky but in this case, under these circumstances, I’m going to ignore that [outdated?] rule of decorum.

➡️ Here’s what happened.

You may remember that we had our bathrooms remodeled earlier this year.  We started planning the project last fall, but because of supply chain difficulties the actual destruction of the old bathrooms/installation of the new bathrooms began in May.

In the interim between fall 2021 and May 2022 we made MANY decisions about things that go into a bathroom.  Some decisions held firm, but others had to be re-decided along the way, sometime multiple times, because what we wanted was no longer available– or would be available at an unspecified time in the future.

To keep the project moving forward we changed our minds MANY times because honestly we/I couldn’t be bothered to worry about slight changes in bathroom decor.

[One transitional-style toilet paper holder in brushed nickel is about the same as another one, right?]

I also couldn’t be bothered to keep strict account of the addendums that reflected the MANY changes we made along the way.

I. just. couldn’t.

➡️ In August 2022 the projects were finished, we were pleased with our new bathrooms, and we made our final payment to the home improvement company, thinking no more about it.  HOWEVER, come to find out courtesy of their accounting department, we overpaid by $281.00.

Now this company could easily have never told us this and we’d never have figured it out, BUT they did tell us and sent along a check to reimburse us.

Below is the what was written on the post-it note affixed to the check.  It’s an indication of why we’ve used this particular remodeling company for MANY projects.

And so with that I’ll end this upbeat post about goodwill + honesty.  You gotta support the good ones.

Any good news, unexpected or expected, you’d like to share, my wordy cherubim? 😇

Please tell all in the comment section below.

Applying A Business Framework To This Personal Blog To Tell A Tale

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Above is the Rudolph Framework. It’s from marketing guru + author Ann Handley’s newsletter called Total Annarchy. The framework is a lighthearted take on the Christmas song and children’s book, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

The Rudolph Framework “helps you understand the actual problem you and your business solve for your customers– not the one you *think* you solve.” Click HERE to be taken to her fun explanation of this framework.

While the Rudolph Framework is meant to help a business clarify its purpose, it’s applicable to personal blogs. It’s easy to conceptualize a personal blog as a business. As such the blog provides customers [that’d be you] with a product [my blog posts] that solve a problem for you.

I know that I’m getting abstract here, but I have a tale to tell and I feel the need to explain how I came by it, lest you think I’m nuts. Which I probably am, but let’s not dwell on that, shall we?

Just go with it.

Thus using the Rudolph Framework I give you the following story created by moi by filling in the blanks, occasionally adjusting a few words so that it makes more sense. See what you think.

In fact, should you like to fly your freak flag, you could get jiggy and try applying the Rudolph Framework to your own blog, even. I’d love to see what you come up with. ‘Cuz, you know, I’m nosy curious.

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THE TALE OF THE SPECTACLED BEAN AND THE COMMUNITY IT HAS CREATED

Once upon a time, there was a delightful personal blog called The Spectacled Bean.

It had the capacity to be a catalyst for conversation based on the tales, thoughts, and tribulations of a free spirit in suburbia.

Some people doubted it because it was not all about the benjamins.

But one day, the woman who writes the blog realized she was perfectly happy doing what she was doing in the way she was doing it.

Which meant that the blog could be as varied and wonderfully idiosyncratic as the cool kids who read and comment on it.

To help them have sense of belonging online where they are understood and accepted, as long they’re polite and not spammers and not stealing my content.

And that matters because the cool kids are the heroes of this blog and what make The Spectacled Bean fun and engaging.

Thus in the process, this blog has helped coalesce a community of articulate + good-natured lurkers, readers, and cool kids who have the savvy to know a good thing when they read it.

Everyone gets a kiss. And a big ‘ole thank you.

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Vinegar: One Person’s Magic Is Another Person’s Salad Dressing Ingredient

IN THESE TIMES OF MONOTONY courtesy of the coronavirus & political blowhards & summer heat I continue my quest to provide thrilling blog content here.  Thus I’m going to show you, my gentle readers, something so exciting I can barely contain myself.

YESTERDAY I RECEIVED THE ABOVE piece of snail mail that tells me I may enjoy life in the fast lane if I order Vinegar: The King of All Cures! by Jerry Baker, America’s No. 1 do-it-yourself expert.  This book of vinegar magic costs $31.96, payable in 4 installments of only $7.99 each. According to Jerry if I buy this book I will: “Never be stuck, stumped, or stymied again!”

BELOW IS AN EXAMPLE OF the kind of magical advice featured in Jerry’s book.  This glimpse into his book is quite the teaser, isn’t it?  As Jerry, author and exclamation point freak, says: “No job’s too big, no job’s too small… Vinegar solves ’em all!”

JERRY ALSO INCLUDED A TESTIMONIAL in the form of a short story about how Peter and Katie, a lovely married couple, made their home smell fresh prior to Peter’s parents coming over for dinner.  [Spoiler alert: It was a close call, but vinegar saved the day.]

AND WITH THAT I SHALL end this informative blog post in which I have confirmed we are still here, virus-free and healthy, while taking the opportunity to ask you the following important questions.

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QUESTIONS OF THE DAY

What magic is keeping you going these days? 🤔

Are you a liberal, moderate, or conservative user of exclamation points? And why? 🤓

Have any good salad dressing recipes? 😋

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At The Home Show: Chatting With A Carpenter, Learning Too Much

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AS SOME OF YOU KNOW, I’m the sort of person who people love to talk with.  Well, talk to– more accurately.

I’m a good listener and do love a good story.  I admit that.

Since I was a teenager, strangers, in particular, have told me their stories.  I don’t ask, they just tell me.

Sometimes to their own detriment.

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THUS IT CAME AS NO SURPRISE that when Zen-Den and I were at the Home Show this past weekend, Chatty Charlie the Carpenter deviated from his sales pitch to tell me a story about his nemesis, Danny Long-Greek-Last-Name, who is also a carpenter.

In a nutshell, Chatty Charlie feels that Danny Long-Greek-Last-Name has risen above his station in life. Is a snob now. Who charges too much for his work.

Which Chatty Charlie admits is excellent.

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IN FACT, CHATTY CHARLIE TOLD ME that Danny Long-Greek-Last-Name is the man who finished our house years ago.  I’d forgotten the carpenter’s name, but recognized it instantly when I heard it.

Meaning that Danny Long-Greek-Last-Name crafted our beautiful fireplace mantel and surround.

Which I love.

And am looking to have a second level added onto, so that the whole fireplace/mantle/surround area reaches almost up to the apex of the cathedral ceiling.

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NOW LET’S THINK ABOUT THIS conversation, shall we?

Chatty Charlie the Carpenter, who I’m meeting for the first time, in his need to be understood, has inadvertently told me who might do a better job than he could with my small carpentry project– which Chatty Charlie claims he wants to do.

And with that glimpse into how my life unfolds [and how a small business can fail], allow me to end this post with my summation of this conversation: he cut off his nose to spite his face.