My 1,000th Post: With Grit, Grins, & Gratitude

Image of Snoopy, originally drawn by Charles Schultz, courtesy of pngimg.com. Click HERE for a wonderful biography about Snoopy.

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It was a dark and stormy night. 

Literally.

I was sitting in our home office in front of my desktop computer, writing a blog post when there was a dramatic crack of thunder and a flash of lightning outside.

It startled me.

I jumped about 17 gazillion feet into the air and in the process my hand on the mouse moved erratically in such a way as to inadvertently hit DELETE, meaning that faster than you can say “waiter, waiter, percolator” I lost my blog post.

Then the electricity went out in the house.

For hours.

Because of course it did.

• • •

This morning the electricity is back on, but I’ve lost my train of thought about how I was going to say what I wanted to say.

So instead of my nonexistent elegant heartfelt essay about how much blogging has meant to me, showing me a kinder way to live my life, allowing me a glimpse into the lives of other people, I’ll be straightforward and say the following with gratitude.

• • •

THIS IS MY 1,000TH POST ON THIS BLOG.

THANKS TO ALL THE COOL KIDS WHO READ, COMMENT, AND LIKE MY POSTS. I’D NEVER HAVE GOTTEN THIS FAR WITHOUT YOUR CONTINUING SUPPORT.

YOU’RE THE BEST AND I LOVE YOU ALL.

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[Here is my first blog post, Hello World! I wrote it 10 years + 10 months to this very day. It makes reference to a guiding principle that I believed then and still do. Case in point, how this post came to be.]

Adding Value To Chez Bean: Every Tom, Nate, & Marty

Just jawing here. Another day, another post about plans gone sideways.

As you probably know adding value to your home is a slow deliberate process that takes planning, chutzpah, dinero, and faith.  In my experience to make anything happen, one must have the patience of Job, sometimes more than his.

When it comes to this house my motto is IMPROVE DON’T MOVE.  We love Chez Bean and after a pandemic-related 20 month delay in our home improvement schedule, we’re back to fixing her up*.

Or at least starting to do so, supply chain be damned.

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Last week we had TOM, the landscaper, extend a stacked stone retaining wall so that next spring we’ll be able to plant some bushes or perennials in our new, dare I say classy, planting bed that frames the front yard.

Look for photos next spring, nothing interesting to see yet.

We’ve talked with NATE about a new concrete sidewalk that’ll lead to our front stoop.  Our current sidewalk is 20+ years old.  It’s cracked and crumbling, with many an unwanted, albeit cute, chipmunk living underneath portions of it.

The question now is: do we replace it with what is there, standard brushed concrete, or for a price do we upgrade to stamped concrete?

Opinions or observations vis-à-vis concrete, anyone? 

And then, because we’re finally ready to have our shabby dated powder room and guest bathroom remodeled, we talked with MARTY our previous remodeler** who done us proud.

We hope to bring the bathrooms into this century, thereby making them more usable, with modern amenities like toilets that flush consistently and drains that like to drain.

And wouldn’t that be nice?

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Anyway that’s what’s up here. Anything new, home-related or otherwise, with you, my little chickadees? Chirp away in the comments below.  

* Fun fact: 2020 was to be the year we completed our home improvement projects, projects that started with remodeling the kitchen in 2009.  We’d hoped to begin traveling in 2021, comfortable in the knowledge that our home, our nest, was up-to-date and ready to nurture us upon our return home. BUT THAT DIDN’T HAPPEN, DID IT?

** Happy fact: Completed inside home improvement projects include the aforementioned kitchen + the primary bathroom + the laundry room + the upgraded fireplace surround. LIKE CHRISTMAS, WE’RE GETTING THERE.

A March Mélange: Googly Eyes, Passing Grades, and Snazzy Socks

I bugged out of blogging last week.

I didn’t mean to neglect you, my gentle readers, but it was a spontaneous decision on Monday morning. I wanted to finish my online self-directed college class and decided to just do it, get all the reading, research, and writing over with. It took me a few hours every day causing my eyes to blur and spin in my head, but I finished the class a few weeks early, earning a passing grade of 93%.

And that, as they say, is that.

It was fascinating to see lectures, read assignments, do homework, and write a research paper again. It took me outside of my usual thinking patterns, so the mental challenge was a good one. For winter. During a pandemic.

Was it worth it? Will I do it again? That is, take another online university class with homework?

Welp, I’m going to say probably NO.

I didn’t hate being a student, but I didn’t love it either. Fortunately I understood the subject matter [history learned through the interconnections among antique objects and academic disciplines in a museum] but I vehemently disliked the computer user interface for this online course. It was clunky and awkward, visually cluttered– and there were typos and inconsistencies that bothered me, a writer.

The mediocre system made every assignment a struggle and as such sucked the fun out of this whole adventure in higher education. No matter really. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

In fact, continuing on with the idea of something gained, much to my delight while in the process of researching my final paper I stumbled on the word SNAZZY used in an advertisement in the current Vermont Country Store catalogue. Don’t ask how I ended up there, but I did and it was worth it.

Yes siree kids, it’s my all-time favorite word spotted in the wild.

In this case the best word ever is used to describe mild-compression support socks. Granted the topic of socks had nothing to do with the project I was working on and I don’t think I need these particular ones, but I am getting older so maybe I do and just don’t know it yet.

Anyhoo, that’s where I’ve been and what I’ve been doing. And you? Whatcha been doing?

Spill the beans in the comments below. Missed ‘ya. Mean it.

Rejoicing With A Glass Of Wine: Cheers To Tenacity & Typos

TENACITY, I GOT IT

AFTER TRYING UNSUCCESSFULLY for three weeks to get wine in our weekly grocery order for curbside pickup, we finally got some wine in the house.

How did we do this, you ask?

We joined an online wine club wherein you pick from their selection of wines and your wine is then delivered, a few weeks later, to your doorstep.  All that is required of you, beyond deciding which bottles of wine you want and having a valid credit card, is to have an adult sign for the wine when it is delivered to your doorstep at an assigned time.

I am an adult, with time on her hands, thus I was more than willing to sign for the wine.  Which I did by standing in my jammies, shamelessly, on our front stoop a week ago Thursday morning at 10:00 a.m.

And by having gray frizzy hair.

The friendly UPS man sized me up from afar as he walked across the lawn carrying the box of wine.  He didn’t bother having me physically sign for the wine, instead he scribbled something on the electronic form and went on his way.

That worked for me, buddy.  No need to be uptight about the signing part of the blessed wine delivery. 😇

Hallelujah!

FUN WITH TYPOS

LAST TUESDAY NIGHT I opened the first bottle of the wine we ordered.  We were having salmon and mashed potatoes and spinach, thus I reasoned a chilled bottle of Sauvignon Blanc would be lovely.

[Truthfully I almost always think a chilled bottle of Sauvignon Blanc would be lovely, but I digress.]

As I was sipping the first glass of wine to cross my lips in quite some time, I decided to read the back label on the bottle of wine.  I like to know what I’m supposed to be tasting according to the vineyard.  Plus I’m into marketing, so I do like well-written copy.

When I can find it.

And even when I can’t…

Below is a photograph of the back label on the bottle of wine. Can you see the typo? The numerical one that made me smile?

And with that I’ll end this post by telling you we enjoyed this bottle of wine.  Perhaps it was because of all the effort it took to get it.  Or, perhaps it was because it taught me a profound lesson: YOU CAN’T JUDGE A WINE BY ITS TYPO. 😉

Happy Weekend, everyone.

28 Pig Phrases: A List Created [For Fun], A Goal Achieved [Finally]

And now for something completely different.

Did you know that March 1st, this Sunday, is National Pig Day? Well it is.

In honor of this I’ve written a list of pig phrases seen immediately below plus I’ve provided an explanation at the end of the post as to why I‘ve written this list.

[You know you’re wondering why.] 

Please enjoy this list, but I beg of you, do not let this plethora of piggy-ness and phraseology overwhelm you with its profundity.

Photo by skeeze via pixabay

A LIST OF 28 PIG PHRASES

Please the pigs means if circumstances permit

Pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered means don’t get greedy or whatever you have will be taken away from you

As short as a pig’s kick means not very good [Spanish insult]

Even a blind pig will occasionally find an acorn means even the least competent person will have something useful to contribute once in a while

To go to pigs and whistles means to go to ruin

Happier than a dead pig in sunshine means thrilled [Southern saying]

It’s as plain as a pig on a sofa means very obvious

Looked like a pig on ice means clumsy

He follows me around like an Antony pig means someone who mindlessly follows someone else [old English term referencing a Roman Catholic saint]

Don’t go crossing the pig tracks means don’t behave in an unseemly way

Feed a pig and you’ll have a hog means beware of encouraging a greedy person who’ll become dependent on you

Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and annoys the pig means some people are too closed-minded to bother talking with [maybe said by Mark Twain]

Driving his pigs to market means snoring

Only a pig depends on the favors of swine means only a sneaky person will depend on the handouts of the disreputable

When pigs fly means it’ll never happen [English proverb from 1600s]

To get the wrong pig by the tail means to make a mistake

To bring one’s pigs to a fine market means to do well for yourself

Young pigs grunt as loud as old pigs grunted before them means same as it ever was [Danish proverb]

Like a pig to truffles means being able to go directly to the best of anything

Sometimes the rotten pig gets the apple means life isn’t always fair

Wears like a pig’s nose means durable [slogan from 1885 advertisement for overalls]

As happy as a pig in mud means contented with things as they are in this moment

I haven’t had this much fun since the pigs ate my brother means I’m having a good time

Don’t buy a pig in a poke means don’t make a deal without confirming the details

Sweating like a pig means to be so physically hot that beads of visible sweat form on you [not a reference to the farm animal, it’s about smelting iron]

Like putting lipstick on a pig means attempting to make something appear better than it is

Hollering like a stuck pig means a person who complains like they’re in pain to get attention

Neither give cherries to pigs nor advice to fools means your good intentions and truthfulness will be misunderstood by people who aren’t that intellectually bright [Irish proverb]

Addendum: More Pig Phrases Courtesy Of My Wonderful Commenters

What’s time to a pig means not to worry about something, it doesn’t really matter [from Dan at No Facilities]

Like pigs feeding at the trough means a greedy person, often a politician, getting more than his fair share [from Susan at Garden of Eden Blog]

Pig Latin means a made-up silly language in which the first syllable of an English word is removed from the beginning of the word and tacked onto the end of the word [from shoreacres at The Task at Hand]

In a pig’s eye means disbelief [from Deborah at temenos]

Pig out means to eat too much [from Anne at Mehrling Muse]

Piggy back means literally to carry someone on your back or in a figurative sense to add something to something that already exists [from Erica/Erika at Behind the Scenery]

Never wrestle with a pig; you just get muddy and the pig enjoys it means don’t bother trying to reason with someone who’s determined to be unreasonable [from Eilene at Myricopia]

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And why, you may be asking yourself, does Ms. Bean know all these pig phrases?

GLAD YOU ASKED.

It’s because in the winter of ’98 [yes, that’d be 1998] I planned on creating a website to see if I could figure out how to do that. I never got the chance to make the website, but I compiled this list in anticipation of doing so. The website was going to be about pig phrases.

[Once a wordy girl, always a wordy girl.]

Last weekend, in a serendipitous moment while sorting through some paper files in my desk drawer, I found this list of pig phrases and thought, considering the research was all done, why not make a blog post of it.

So I did.

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