Bibbidi, Bobbidi, Boo: Home Maintenance Happens, For A Price

I’m back, waving hello. 

My late spring blogging hiatus is over.  Because of the almost constant rain I [we?] didn’t accomplish everything I [we?] wanted to do, but I’ve researched that which has not been done and made plans about how to do it.

For me, a solutions girl, that’s a big deal.

So here’s what did happen: we got a new roof put on the house. And kids, that’s a noisy and messy thing to have happen.  This is the third time in my life that I’ve had the pleasure of living in a house as a new roof is installed.

*bang, bang, bang*

Next time, should there be one, I’m going to a hotel for the duration.  The 30 hours of noise involved in tearing off an old roof and then putting on a new roof made me anxious.

[Consider that the understatement of all time.]

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But wait, there’s more.

Try to contain your excitement has I tell you about a few other homeowner things we did whilst I was not here.

  • Z-D and I rebuilt a stone wall around the base of a huge tree that is terrace-adjacent;
  • he painted the inside of the screened-in porch and got the screens replaced;  and
  • we chatted with various sales wonks, then ordered new windows for the front of the house because the current wooden ones are rotting.

In other words, not to put too fine a point on it, we spent a boatload of money on necessary home maintenance projects that will improve our lives, but said projects do not immediately bring joy to my heart.  

Like a long vacay in Hawaii would. Or a first class excursion to London. Or a train trip across Canada.

[All expensive, potentially joyful, adventures that I long to do.]

But that’s what happens when you have a house you consider your home– and you are responsible adults who lack a fairy godmother to magically, in an instant, transform and repair your house with the flick of her wand.

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Question of the Day

So what’s new in your life? Anything magical? Tell me about it in the comments below. I feel so out of touch with everyone.

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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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The One About Birdbaths, The Path You Choose, & A Survey About My Blog

Over the weekend we went to a garden decor center to look at birdbaths for my butterfly habitat.  There is no end to the exciting things we do here.  In fact I sometimes hesitate telling you, my gentle readers, what we’re up to because I don’t want to make anyone jealous.

We didn’t find a birdbath that’ll work for us because it’s early in the outdoor season here so the selection was minimal– and because the ones available required electricity which we don’t have where I want to put a birdbath.

But we had a nice time walking around the property in the sunshine.  YAY SPRING! 😎

+ • + • + • +

In the parking lot of this garden decor center is a sign that directs you one way or the other.  You can either meander down the Scenic Route that wraps around the front of the property where there are displays of ponds + fountains + birdbaths to give you an idea of what you might want to do in your yard.  This path is kind of artsy fartsy.

Or you can use the Main Entrance and go directly to the merchandise in the back of the property where it’s organized in large quadrants of similar items.  This is where the helpful sales people are ready to get you all squared away.  This path is fast and practical.

Scenic route or main entrance?  Those are your choices at the garden decor center.  And it seems to me, an English major who can find meaning in anything, those are often your choices in life.  Which begs the question:

WHICH WAY IS YOUR USUAL CHOSEN PATH: MEANDER OR DIRECT? Hmmm…? 🤔

+ • + • + • +

On a whim yesterday afternoon I created a free survey about this blog using SurveyMonkey.  Having never done anything like this before, I followed their suggestions about the questions to include.

There are seven questions that according to them will take you 1 minute to answer.  Trust me when I say that it took me longer than 1 minute to make this survey– learning curve, kind of steep.

I have my *fingers crossed* that this is going to work.  Also, you’ll be anonymous.  There are no demographic questions and I won’t know your IP address.

Click on HOW AM I DOING? to be magically transported to my survey, should you care to take a minute of your time and answer my questions.  Thank you in advance for your kind participation in my first online survey. 🤓

SURVEY IS NOW CLOSED.

Tough Darts Saturday: Photos From Our Ducky Walk That Wasn’t

Have your read the interview with Rita Moreno in which she says “tough darts” in response to a question about how intimidating her presence might be at a rehearsal of West Side Story?  [Read here.]

I like this woman and immediately adopted TOUGH DARTS as my newest favorite way of saying: oh well, get over yourself, whatever.  It’s an old-fashioned version of “too bad, so sad” which is another one of my favorite sayings.

Anyhow, here’s the story.

On Saturday the sky was gloriously clear and I decided that we needed to go to a popular county park on the other side of nowhere from us.  We hadn’t been there in years and I remembered it as being a lovely tranquil place to walk while enjoying ducks on the lake.

And who doesn’t like watching some ducks do ducky things while you’re outside for a healthful walk?

Well, we found the park, but as we drove into the parking lot we were surprised by how few cars were around.  Beautiful day… warmer temps… Saturday afternoon… THIS DIDN’T MAKE SENSE.  Where were the people?

Come to find out after our Polar Vortex week the temperatures had gotten warm enough to create flash flooding that had left much of this park submerged under water.  When we set out on this adventure I didn’t know that, however once we got to the park we could see that the paths had debris on them or were muddy as heck or were still under water.

Thus our walk could not be.

But I had my camera with us so I took a bunch of random photographs of what I saw around me.  The following seven photos show you, my gentle readers, the ducky walk that wasn’t. 🤨

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Gorgeous blue winter sky behind sign indicating play area.

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An ark a la Noah, now muddy thanks to flash flooding in the play area. Oh the irony!

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Debris on this walking path for as far as the eye could see.

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Park bench, still muddy, having been submerged under flash flood water.

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Canoe & kayak launching area still under water. Green square is top of a trash can.

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Beginning of muddy path not taken, much muddier up around the curve.

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Two ducks that initially appeared to be in the middle of the lake who were sitting on top of the back of a park bench, normally by the side of the lake, now submerged under water because of flash flooding.

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A Life Lesson: How To Look Scruffy In Three Simple Steps Then Get Over Your Sad Self

How ‘ya doing scruffy face?

Zen-Den said this to me as he was walking into the kitchen from the garage after getting home from work.  Because I had my back to him while standing at the stove cooking ye olde supper, he couldn’t see my face.

Domesticity, we got it.

Anyhoo, while you might think this is going to be a tale about another gushy nickname, he was being literal.  There was no Chickiedoodle cuteness involved in this salutation.

~ ~ 👀 ~ ~

You see, somehow, probably while out in the forest primeval behind the house doing the fall clean-up, I got a rash on my face.

And somehow, probably by using one of the aesthetician-approved fancy Vitamin C serums that are all the rage, I exacerbated the rash.

And somehow, probably by not backing down on my doctor-prescribed retinoid, I managed to destroy my face.  Well, not literally, but my face got all red and flaky and itchy and beyond not good– straight to ugly.

~ ~ 👀 ~ ~

So there I was cooking, not looking my best nor happy about it, still feeling a twinge of self-pity, when Mr. Hilaremoose wanders into the house.  And you know what?

His ridiculous way of saying “hello” to me, even before he saw my ratty face, cheered me up instantly.

Didn’t do a thing to reduce the inflammation, but made me realize how inconsequential it is to worry about that. which. just. happens.

Laugh it off, move along.

Make dinner.

My life.

In Which Ms. Bean Attempts To Buy Outdoor Holiday Lights During A Bleak Week

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A photo of the view out a bedroom window. Bleak.

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THIS WEEK I’VE BEEN TRYING to get it into gear to start putting up outside holiday decorations.

You’d think at this point in my life that’d be a simple task.

You would be wrong.

Last year, in a fit of tidy, I got rid of all our outside lights and wreaths.  The lights worked in sections and the decade-old wreaths were looking downright ratty.  They were more wire than fake pine needles and the dingy red bows on them added to the pathos.

So, knowing that we needed some new decorative stuff, I hauled myself up off the sofa and wandered meself through many a store looking at all the newfangled, complicated, high-priced lights– and wreaths.

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A photo of ground cover covered in snow. Bleaker.

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FROM MY FORAY INTO ACTUAL brick and mortar stores I learned that I haven’t a clue about how much to spend, what to buy [net or string? LED or incandescent? solid color or multi?] and where we might put that which I buy once I get it home.

I also looked at some pretty sparkly wreaths– that all seemed to be covered in glitter.  Me not happy. Me not want glitter traipsed into house.

Me fussy like that.

And so on that note of shopping defeat, underscored by one of the bleakest weeks I’ve ever seen in November, I’ll end this post.  Figuring that there’s a weekend a’coming and a husband to be cajoled into helping me find the perfect outdoor lights and wreaths.

To add much-needed color to our world. Hallelujah!

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A photo of trees in backyard. Bleakest.

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Pearls Of Wisdom From Ms. Bean’s Weekend On Her Own

Want to know why June Cleaver wore pearls? Watch this.

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Don’t let anyone tell you that my life is not exciting, that I was not a dynamo of whoop-de-do fun while my husband was away over the weekend attending a convention in warmer climes.

I mean, would a boring person spend her Saturday morning sorting through her sweaters, winter clothes, jewelry + scarves, reorganizing her part of the bedroom closet?

Hmmm…?

And then, as a reward for doing such a good job, would a dull person go to Bed Bath & Beyond to buy drawer dividers and a scarf hanger on which to put her newly organized accessories?

Me thinks not.

And lest the foregoing revelation of suburban debauchery doesn’t convince you that I’m a wild child, I’ll tell you, my gentle readers, how I spent my Saturday night.

[Try not to clutch your pearls too hard.]

I watched reruns of Frasier.

Yep, if that doesn’t confirm how exciting I am, then nothing will.

I’ll admit that at one time in my life I’d have been ashamed to let anyone know how low-key and practical I am when left to my own devices & vices on a Saturday.

But now, as a wise woman with a penchant for getting things done, for bringing order to chaos, for buying things with a coupon, I’m happy to tell you this.

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So what did y’all do over the weekend? Did you wear pearls a la June Cleaver while you did it?