It Was A Jammies Day, Meant For Bookworms

Dear Diary,

We never got the predicted deep snow, but we did get the frigid temps.  And because we could, Zen-Den and I spent Sunday at home going nowhere.

He watched football on TV.

I read.

In fact, I finished one novel, The Alice Network, by Kate Quinn.

[I don’t do book reviews on this blog.  Instead I’ll tell you that I enjoyed this historical fiction novel because it had unique characters, a predictable but interesting plot, and explained the history of women spies during WWI, something I knew nothing about.]

Then I pulled out an Agatha Raisin mystery by M.C. Beaton because I wanted a lightweight British cozy mystery to while away the rest of the day.

As one does when one is me.

I admit I looked outside and contemplated walking into the screened-in porch to brush off the snow from the winter furniture, but that seemed like too. much. effort. for a woman in her jammies all day.

[Plus, that furniture is teak which is supposed to weather the elements so that it can develop a rich gray patina and show a little character.]  

And that, Dear Diary, is about all there is to say about Sunday instant.

I’m hoping that the temps will get up into the 20s today so I can comfortably go for a walk outside, but if not I’ll keep reading.

Up next in my TBR stack is Beartown by Fredrik Backman, so you know I’ll be enjoying the book in front of me.  Thus I say fear not, for I shall keep myself entertained while avoiding inclement weather.

Yours truly,

Ally Bean

The One About The Neighbors: What Will Be, What Isn’t Anymore, And What Is

Neighbor’s dead tree with turkey vultures [or turkey buzzards, pick your nomenclature]: I don’t like this.
WHAT WILL BE:

“Come and listen to my story bout a man named Jed, Poor mountaineer barely kept his family fed…”  

Remember The Beverly Hillbillies? And remember their theme song?

Of course you do.

Well, that’s the song that’s been stuck in brain this past weekend.

Why?

I know not for sure other than Thanksgiving is about hospitality– and somehow seeing turkey vultures lounging above our property on the neighbor’s dead tree, that leans precariously in the direction of our screened-in porch, put the tune in my mind.

I don’t know that Jed Clampett shot turkey vultures, but it seems like something he’d have done.  I do know that the dead tree will eventually fall.  Fingers crossed, not on our roof.

So there’s that.

• • •

Neighbor’s empty backyard: I like this.

WHAT ISN’T ANYMORE:

“Well the first thing you know Jed’s a millionaire, Kinfolk said Jed move away from there…”

And speaking of neighbors I’ve taken the liberty of sharing with you, my gentle readers, a photograph of their empty backyard.  A backyard that is free from a huge, formerly well-used, swing set that is no longer there.

While I admit that the kids playing on the swing set were hilarious and the squirrels frolicking on the swing set were total goofballs, I’m happy that it’s gone from my view.

The neighbor kids are old enough to drive now and the swing set has disappeared, presumably to some other backyard where it’ll be loved as much as it was here.

Change happens, eh?

• • •

Neighbor’s wistful cat: I like him.

WHAT IS:

“You’re all invited back again to this locality, To have a heaping helping of their hospitality…”  

And finally while I’m on the topic of neighbors, here is a photo of their black and white kitty cat as seen on a foggy morning.

I don’t know his name, but he occasionally likes to sit under one of our trees.  He’s a natural, knowing how to pose for the camera– and takes a darned good picture.

He’s not destructive, just inquisitive, and not afraid to hang out in our yard when so moved by his need for a little peace and quiet away from kids and dogs.

I can understand.

• • •

Questions of the Day

{ answer whichever question OR questions strike your fancy }

  1. So what’s up with your neighbors?  Any of their trees poised to fall on your house? Anything missing from their yards? Any of their pets enjoying a respite in your yard?
  2. Can you sing The Beverly Hillbillies theme song from memory like I can?  How about Gilligan’s Island theme song?  Or The Flintstone’s theme song? 
  3. Do you believe I could get any more rambling and random than I have in this post?  And how does that make you feel?

A Halloween Review: In The Rain With The Usual Suspects

The Usual Suspects waiting on the deck behind the house before going on stage in front of the house. 

~ ~ ~ ~

IT DRIZZLED THEN RAINED HERE last night, starting at about 6:00 p.m. just in time for the trick-or-treaters.  The temperature was in the 60s, about as warm as I’ve experienced in late October.  The night was in a word, unusual, and our reduced trick-or-treat count proved it.

In years past we’ve had anywhere from 120 to 220 beggars at the door, but this year our head count was only 60 kids.

Unheard of.

Despite the rain and because of the warm temperature, Z-D and I sat outside on our front stoop where we plopped ourselves onto two chairs he’d brought around front from the deck in the back.

There we waited to hand out candy, holding umbrellas over our heads, watching a slow parade of cute, polite kids shuffle their way across our yard, ignoring the precipitation.

Trick or treat!

~ ~ ~ ~

YOU MIGHT BE WONDERING WHY we didn’t stay inside our house, waiting for the kids to ring the doorbell.  And this would be a sensible thing for you, my gentle readers, to wonder.

But the thing is, and in my world there’s always a thinghere in Beanlandia our doorbell, a diva, is broken and has been for a few weeks.

From a distance it glows and looks useful, however if anyone pushes it the middle button thing pops out and dangles down from an electric cord.

Kind of dangerous.

The doorbell has one ring in it before it has to be manually reconfigured and placed back into the wall where it resumes its role as a pretend working doorbell.

Hence, maintaining its integrity is a bother that we avoided by sitting outside under our umbrellas in the rain.

As one does.

~ ~ ~ ~

AND WITH THAT GLIMPSE INTO the life and times of one woman, one husband, one house, I’ll end this wordy post in which I’ve discussed the weather, trick-or-treaters, and doorbells gone bad.

Scintillating, eh?

In fact, should future historians whilst looking through old personal blogs want an example of a blog post that is the epitome of flapdoodle and twaddle, I do hope they find this one.

Because if there was a point to what I said here, I dunno what it is.

Other than to say, Halloween has come and gone.  And we have a lot of leftover candy in this house.

Only 60 kids…

The Rest Of The Story: Thank You For Asking, My Gentle Readers

Quick, is anybody looking?

About the water leak in the ceiling of our recently remodeled bathroom…

[Story here.]

The ceiling is fixed thanks to roofers, remodelers, and painters.  The problem was that last year when The Remodelers were in the attic installing the new bathroom fan they accidentally knocked against the existing vent which jostled it enough so that the connection on the roof became loose.

Then water from melting snow and rain dribbled in around the existing vent, dripped through the attic down onto the ceiling– and eventually made itself known in the bathroom.  Hence the problem.

But you know what kids, all’s well that ends well.

About MIL after FIL’s passing…

[Story here.]

MIL, who is in her early 80s & has her own serious health issues, never wanted to live in their house after he was gone, so she has moved into an Assisted Living facility wherein she is safe and cared for by a staff who know how to keep her healthy and we hope, happy.

This is a woman, who before this, has lived in only 3 different houses in her life, so change does not come easily to her.

Thank you for your thoughts and prayers [or tots and pears 😉] regarding her.

About the confusing Latin + Native American message…

[Story here.]

I figured it out, oh yes I did.  After a bit of online research plus a conversation in real life, I realized that [ready for this?] a Shakespeare play was going to happen in a rural county park.

The message was a sly reference to Shakespeare, using Latin, combined with the name of the county park, that happened to be the name of a Native American tribe. I don’t know how effective this message was at getting people to attend the play, but it was a good brain teaser for me.

And we’ll just leave that story right here.

About the eyelid cleaning that I had last Friday…

[Story here.]

The BlephEx™️ procedure was without drama, the way I like medical things to be.  The Doc put some anti-bacterial foam on this little gadget that looked like a Dremel drill wannabe and vibrated like an electric toothbrush on cocaine.

He slowly moved it around my lash line and eyelid area, cleaning my eyelids and eyelashes as he went.  No big deal, it tickled a little bit and took about 15 minutes.  Immediately afterward my eyes were tired, but I could see clearly to drive & read.

Overall my eyes feel less gritty & more relaxed than before, so there you go.

Nope. Then let’s smooch!

~ ~ 🤔 ~ ~

Any more questions you’d like to ask me? This is your chance. If lines are busy, please keep trying. 

~ ~ ~ ~

One Grocery Shopping Trip, Three Unexpected Observations

When they ask you, my gentle readers, when did you first notice that Ally Bean was beginning to fray around the edges, please point them to this.

~ ~ 🌞 ~ ~

OBSERVATION #1 {inside the grocery store}

Our store is having what I’ll call a re-shelving extravaganza in the middle of the store.  I don’t know why they’re re-setting the store, but many items that were somewhere on a shelf, are now somewhere else, often many aisles away.

I couldn’t find the crystalized ginger which was part of the healthy food department, so I asked an employee where it might be now.

Without a hint of irony the employee said: “It’s in aisle 7, under the sign that says Meat Snacks.”

And so there it was, by the beef jerky. 🤨

OBSERVATION #2 {in the grocery store parking lot}

Leaving the store walking to my car, I noticed a bumper sticker on a newish SUV with a license plate that said it was from this county.  The vehicle appeared to have kid stuff in the back seat.

I mention the possible kid angle because the bumper sticker was, to my way of thinking, a bit coarse for a family vehicle around here in this God-fearing politically conservative community.  I wasn’t clutching my pearls because of it, but I was surprised.

In large letters visible from far away the bumper sticker said: BERNIE F*ck This Sh!t.  [I’ve modified the message because this is still a PG-13 blog, but you get the gist of what it said.]

And so there it was, on a vehicle parked next to the cart corral for all to see. 🙁

Observation #3 {driving home from the grocery store}

Driving home, slowing down to make a righthand turn at the light, I noticed that on the large community calendar electronic sign in front of the fire station there were three words that seemed out-of-place.

While we live in an upscale subdivision, most of this township and county are less well-off and rural;  hence the conservative MAGA political nature of things around here.  Thus when I saw what I saw I was bemused, but slightly baffled.

Not because of anything rude, but because I cannot fathom why the community calendar electronic sign in front of the fire station said: “Et tu, Miami?”

And so there it was, a classic Latin phrase made famous by Shakespeare + a reference to the North American Indian Algonquian people. 🤔

~ ~ 🌞 ~ ~

So, things making sense where you are? Or are things slightly off-kilter everywhere you look?

#ThursdayDoors | Visiting A Carillon, Learning About Said

Today I’m joining Thursday Doors, hosted by Norm Frampton, so that I can share with you the following door + gate photos– and a bit of information about carillons.

I took these photos at Dogwood Park in Mariemont, OH. It is a village east of Cincinnati, OH, and is one of the nation’s first planned suburban communities. The park is charming and within it is the Mariemont Bell Tower, a carillon with 49 bells.    

Carillons are musical instruments that contain at least 23 cup-shaped tuned bells. Often, as is in the case of this particular carillon, the bells are hung in a belfry and are connected to a keyboard. When a musician hits the keyboard, using his or her fists, each bell rings, creating a pleasing loud sound.

There are only 166 traditional carillons in the United States, and many of them are on university campuses or in city parks, like this one.

Here’s what I saw in Dogwood Park on a sunny summer afternoon. The whole place looked like it belonged on a Hollywood movie set– that’s how perfectly maintained it was.

~ • ~

GATED DOORWAY into Mariemont Bell Tower.

~ • ~

Looking up at Mariemont Bell Tower while standing in front of it.

~ • ~

DOOR to restroom within Mariemont Bell Tower.

~ • ~

Side of Mariemont Bell Tower as seen through trees.

~ • ~

GATE [open] to the park that surrounds Mariemont Bell Tower.

~ • ~

As Our Summer Begins, A Dazzle Of Zebras

Last week was the unofficial beginning of summer in the northern hemisphere.  We were on staycation so we had to go to the zoo.

Had to, I tell you.

On the day we went to the zoo the weather was hazy and humid, drizzly, so most of my zoo photos weren’t amazeballs.  As I’d hoped they’d be.

In fact this photo of the zebras is the only one I kept from our visit. I kept it because it’s not half bad, from an artsy point of view, and because it lends itself to a good question of the day: how many zebras do you see in this photo?

I ask because I snapped the picture not realizing that there were three zebras standing together.  All I saw were two black and white zebra rumps.

That photographed beautifully.

Especially, I suppose, because the animals, known collectively as a dazzle, were standing still having a little nosh.

[Unlike the flamingoes who weren’t at their best, having been dipped in Pepto-Bismol then rolled in dirt, looking drab and confused by the weather.  Or the totally uncooperative gorilla who was a lovely shade of bricky orange, but wouldn’t stop moving for me to get a pic.]

Whatever.

Anyhoo, getting to a point here– I’m back from our staycation.

We had a nice time. We went to the zoo, and we went to an art festival, and we went to an English pub, and we did some much-needed pruning + weeding in the flower beds, and we read books.

Nothing too exciting happened.  Nothing too dull happened.  It was a staycation that was, to quote Goldilocks, just right.

And I do believe, if I might be paradoxical and pithy here, a perfect way to gear up for the summer… by slowing down. 😎