In A Dither: Busy Week For Me, Assorted Random Links For You

I’ve a busy week going on here.

As some of you know, Zen-Den is planning to retire at the end of September.  From now until then he’s kind of working, kind of on vacation– or as he calls it Retirement Bootcamp.

In other words, he’s underfoot.

Plus, landscapers are still trying to finish the area around the new sidewalk and build a stone patio, but it keeps raining, like hell and high water raining.

This project never ends.

And the appliance repair guy is back today, doing his best to fix our dishwasher [the electric one, not me], taking it apart in the kitchen, rebuilding it with new parts.

Fingers crossed this works.

My mind is in a bit of a dither, so instead of writing a tale or sharing a tribulation, I’ll leave with you, my little eggheaded chickadees, the following links.

Enjoy!

~ ~ ~ ~

Feel like saying something positive? Use a krul, explained by Wikipedia here and shown above, to express yourself.

Want to figure out which productivity method is for you? Take this todoist quiz. [I need to focus on time blocking.]

Curious about the mythology of dragons? Read this article in The Conversation and be informed.

Looking for a way to declutter your living space? Join Apartment Therapy’s 14 Day Declutter Cure. The action starts Sept. 19 & my hopes are high.

Hoping to refresh your memory of the Preamble to the Constitution of the United States? Re-learn it here with Barney Fife— and Andy, of course.

Trying to figure out the plural of a word, e.g. spritz? Your answer is here at wordhippo.

Feel like being a little snarky? Use the Viral Post Generator and allow AI to write your own pretend Linkedin post. See image below.

AND FINALLY THREE READER COMMENTS…

About how you discovered this blog:

“When I was moonlighting as a private investigator, an anonymous person hired me to tail you. I followed you around for weeks, getting to know everything about you: the house where you reside, the car you drive, the grocery store you frequent. One evening, while peering in through the blinds, I saw you hunched over a laptop, typing away. Curious, I whipped out my binoculars for a closer look. Lo and behold, I discovered you were a blogger! Those high-powered lenses made it easy to see your URL, so I subscribed the next day.”

~ Mark Petruska

“Blog readers are a bit like those at a the mall: there are the boomers busily rushing by on a mission, the window shoppers who momentarily are attracted to something and pause before moving on, and those who actually go in (and those can be subdivided into the browsers and those who walk in, look around and decide to buy – becoming a repeat customer).”

~ philosophermouseofthehedge

“The Universe sets us up, leading us to start a blog (why?why?why? no answer – the Universe just pushed us to a place we didn’t know we’d LOVE); to light a match on WordPress and see the writing flames erupt as we began to visit each other; to learn SO MUCH about different subjects, yes, but mostly about the amazing wonderful like-minded (even if totally different from us) souls out here in the …. UNIVERSE.”

~ Pamela S. Wight

The One About Grace And Frankie & Fun Quirky Details About My Dad

[Spoiler alert]

• • •

OVER THE WEEKEND I FINISHED WATCHING the last hilarious season of the TV show, Grace and Frankie.  One of the episodes* in this season involves Grace [played by Jane Fonda] reconciling with her younger brother [played by Jamey Sheridan] who she hasn’t seen in years.

She invites him to her house on the pretext of familial love, but the truth is she’s feeling unexpectedly nostalgic and wants him to give her the family recipe for chicken paprikash.

He knows this recipe by heart.

In the course of their conversation he figures out the subterfuge and starts to walk out, but Frankie [played by Lily Tomlin] finds a way for the two of them to get along.

He was young when their father died and he wants to know fun little details about the man.  So for every chicken paprikash ingredient he says, Grace tells him something personal about their father.

This episode was quintessential Grace and Frankie, funny and poignant.

Absurd, yet believable.

• • •

THIS EPISODE GOT ME THINKING ABOUT fun little details about my father;  he died when I was 15 so my memories of him are from a kid’s point of view.  The details I remember aren’t about his professions, or his accomplishments, or his character– just idiosyncratic things about an adult.

Thus in honor of this coming weekend’s Father’s Day in the US, and for snorts and giggles, I share a list of some fun quirky details about my dad.

Ostensibly it’s about my father, but perhaps gives a glimpse into who I am as well.  I’ve read that the oldest daughter is a female version of her father. Maybe so, maybe not.

All I know is he was character.

• • •

✅ He could wiggle his ears.

✅ His favorite holiday was St. Patrick’s Day. He wore a green necktie and green suspenders, and insisted we have corned beef & cabbage dinner– with a shot of Irish whiskey for the adults.

✅ He collected antique guns.

✅ He was a camera-shy** camera nut, with more brands and lenses and tripods and lights than you can imagine. Equipment everywhere.

✅ He kept bees and we ate honey from the hive.

✅ He had a pair of boxer shorts underwear that had a white background with red ants crawling around. When he wore the underwear he’d say he had “ants in his pants.”

✅ He was ambidextrous.

✅ He didn’t suffer fools easily, nor dawdling little girls, so if I was being pokey and said “I’m coming, I’m coming” he’d yell “SO’S CHRISTMAS.” 

• • •

Questions of the Day

If you knew him as a child, what fun and/or quirky little details do you remember about your father?

Are you like him in any ways?

If you watched it, what did you think of Season 7 of Grace and Frankie?

Did the series finale work for you?

* Season7, Episode 14 – The Paprikash

** The best photo of him I have is of him sitting by a cadaver he worked on in med school.  While interesting, it is macabre, not suitable for this PG-13 blog.

The Tale Of A Kind Young Doctor Who Was As Lost As I Was

I HAD AN APPOINTMENT FOR MY annual checkup with an eye doctor who’s part of a group practice. I’ve gone to him for at least 15 years. His office is in a building called The Clinic that is part of a large university hospital complex.

A week before the appointment I received a letter* from his office telling me that the free parking garage nearest The Clinic was closed. The letter explained in words where I should go for free parking.

I didn’t bother to double-check the directions online because I’m familiar with the area. The directions made perfect sense to me and they were spot on.

I got to the parking garage, no problem.

• • •

WITH LETTER IN HAND I DID as it said and exited the parking garage through the green doors, putting me at the intersection of two busy streets. At this point I was told to look for a particular building, presumably made possible by the generous donation of some rich people.

Let’s call this building THE LOVEY & THURSTON HOWELL III MEDICAL CENTER.

Standing on the corner I looked up and down the streets and I saw nothing that said THE LOVEY & THURSTON HOWELL III MEDICAL CENTER.

I mean, nothing.

• • •

I WAS ABOUT TO GRAB MY cell phone out of my purse when a kind young doctor crossed the street toward me and walked up to me. He asked me if I needed help finding something.

[That’s how lost I looked, a random doctor offered to help me.]

Waving the letter around I said, I’m looking for THE LOVEY & THURSTON HOWELL III MEDICAL CENTER.  

He said, the what?

I repeated myself.

We looked at each other. 

He politely asked, may I see the letter.

[I imagine he thought I was an older *confused* person.]

I said, yes and handed it to him.

He read the letter printed on official university hospital letterhead, looked up and down the streets, then said, huh.

We looked at each other. 

I shrugged.

He said, I’ve worked here 8 years and I’ve never heard of THE LOVEY & THURSTON HOWELL III MEDICAL CENTER.  

I said, I’ve gone to this eye doctor for longer than that and I’ve never heard of THE LOVEY & THURSTON HOWELL III MEDICAL CENTER.  

We looked at each other. 

[I’d stumped a doctor, which is kind of a memorable moment.]

• • •

BEFORE I HAD TIME TO SAY another word the kind young doctor pulled out his cell phone and started researching where the heck this building might be. This took longer than you might expect.

I waited patiently.

Eventually he looked up, smiling, and said, THE LOVEY & THURSTON HOWELL III MEDICAL CENTER is the original name for The Clinic.

We looked at each other.

Then we burst out laughing, turning our heads in unison toward the building directly in front of us on the other side of the street. The building we knew as The Clinic.

We looked at each other. 

• • •

I THANKED THE KIND YOUNG DOCTOR for figuring this out.

He said, your doctor is older, isn’t he?

I said, yes.

We looked at each other.

He said, I know him personally. The next time I see him I’ll suggest that for the sake of his patients, and other doctors,  he might want to NOT refer to The Clinic as THE LOVEY & THURSTON HOWELL III MEDICAL CENTER because no one knows it by that name anymore.   

I said, good idea. I’ll say something ** too. 

We looked at each other. 

And with a smile we went on our ways, better informed about the world around us.

~ THE END ~

* The doctor’s office had tried to email me but they had an out-of-date email address, so they sent a snail mail letter.

** I never said anything to my eye doctor because when I got to his office my mind wandered, distracted by two relaxed Federal prison inmates, in handcuffs + shackled ankles, surrounded by two stern guards. The foursome was sitting in the waiting area for appointments with some doctor in the group practice.

Parsing The Meaning Of A Sign + Completing My Photo Project

THE SIGN PART

I was on Instagram looking at photos of bathroom renovations.   Our bathrooms are still on schedule for renovations to begin in May.

As I was scrolling along, IG started showing me other photos, in this case ones of home offices.  [The algorithmic ways of Instagram are mysterious, I’ll say that for it.]

I stopped to look at one particular office because it was a good use of space and natural light.  In the office on the shelf above the desk was a sign that I believe was meant to be inspirational.  The sign said:

DO WHAT THEY THINK YOU CANNOT DO

I started laughing because this seemed like absurd advice to me.  For one thing, how do your know what THEY are thinking?  Are you a mind reader?  Or did THEY text/email/tell you that you cannot do something?

If so, why?

But beyond figuring out what THEY think, I was entertained by the idea that someone felt vengefulness would be an appropriate touchstone to use as a way of giving your spirit a boost.

What are you, a Klingon?

To cheerful little me the message on the sign seemed like an odd, somewhat spiteful, point of reference on which to focus your energy whilst pursuing a goal that may or may not be in your best interest, according to THEY.

But then maybe an ‘I’ll show them’ attitude is more motivating than I understand.  And perhaps, it is possible that THEY need someone to give them their comeuppance.  So who am I to say that this sign was bad advice?

Thoughts, anyone?

THE PHOTO PROJECT PART

Last April I started a one-year monthly photo project in which I stood in the same place on our deck and snapped a photo of the tree line.  The first installment is here.  The second installment is here.

These are the last two photo in this project.  I give myself props for following through on this project, but it’s over now.  I may do something like this project again, just not looking at these trees.

Suggestions, anyone?

FEBRUARY

MARCH

~ ~ 💚 ~ ~

Notes From The Last Weekend Before Daylight Saving Time Begins

This past weekend it was in the 60s F with mild sunshine. That’s unusually warm for this time of year. We had no specific plans, so it was two days of go with the flow, do your own thing.
Here are the highlights of what I did:

• I finished watching The Woman in the House Across the Street from the Girl in Window.  It stars Kristen Bell and is on Netflix.  It’s a parody of books and movies in which the main character witnesses a murder, but can’t prove that the murder took place.

This 8-part miniseries has dark humor with a melodramatic plotline.  I loved it, think Twin Peaks OR more recently Teenage Bounty Hunters.

• I stumbled over the What is your style personality? quiz on a fashion website called 40+STYLE.  According to this website there are 12 style personalities.  Each style is explained in-depth and accompanied with photos + brand recommendations.  My results from the quiz confirmed what I already knew: my primary style is Natural, but I also lean into Minimalism or Classic.

For years I’ve been describing my personal style as tailored suburban casual meaning a relaxed non-trendy look with some texture & mellow colors, structured, simple jewelry, flats shoes–  with no flower-y patterns or twirly skirts.

[Downside of this quiz is that you have to give up your email address to get your results, but after I received mine I unsubscribed from the website.]

• I started reading THE SISTERS: The Saga of the Mitford Family by Mary S. Lovell.  This is the first time in years that I’ve picked up an honest and true biography, instead of reading a memoir.  I’m enjoying the book because it’s well-researched and footnoted.

So far I’m learning that the Mitford sisters were raised and lived in nonconventional ways that make for spectacular stories, as if they planned to be famous from the git-go.

• I’m a fan of Apartment Therapy.  It’s a website about interior design + organization that ostensibly focuses on small spaces.  HOWEVER, as you probably realize, any conversation about interior design preferences can also be a sly insight into who you are.

For instance, an ongoing Apartment Therapy feature involves real life people sending in photos of their amazing home improvement projects.  Apartment Therapy then interviews these people, always including a request that the real life person “describe your home in 5 words or less.” 

So for snorts and giggles I decided to answer that question here.  I’d describe Chez Bean, aka Happy House, as: relaxed traditional, warm vibes, eclectic.  Sound like anyone you know?

Have a happy week, everyone. 
Soon enough we’re going to be marching on, springing forward, trudging into Daylight Saving Time. May saints preserve us.