A Simple Hello: Ms. Bean Goes For A Car Ride AND Returns To Blogging

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A few days before Christmas Day I realized I hadn’t driven my car in over a month. How very 2020 is that, I ask you?

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To remedy this situation I decided that we, that being Zen-Den and I, would go for a car ride to make sure that my sweet old car, now 18 years old, was still working.  She was.

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Inspired by the beautiful clear December day, we went to a city park where instead of walking, we drove around to see what we could see.  A different way for us to enjoy a park, but considering everything about 2020 was unique, it seemed fitting.

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A few people were outside walking, but for the most part we were by ourselves. I, of course, snapped a few photos to share here because what’s the point of having a camera in your cell phone if’n you don’t use it? I mean, really?

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Thus with this little vignette of a day in the life of Ms. Bean, I’m back here in the blogosphere with a renewed sense of vigor and, I hope you’ll agree, a snazzy new template for The Spectacled Bean. It was time for a change here.

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Also, for those readers who care about such things, I’ve decided on my word of the year. *drum roll please* In deference to my good intentions gone awry by things outside my control in 2020, I’ve decided to reuse my 2020 word of the year.  Yes, my #OneWord365 is going to be SIMPLIFY.  Again. 

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On A Pretty November Day Chatting About Outdoor Furniture While We Wait*

AFTER A WET and thoroughly disappointing October, we’ve finally gotten to the pretty days of autumn.

The sky is clear blue with a few white puffy clouds, the leaves on the trees are gloriously colorful shades of gold and rust, and the daytime temps are in the 60s F.

I like everything about this scenario, so color me relaxed and happy in spite of what is going on in the world.

Nothing has been as I anticipated it would be this year, so why not have a delayed autumn? Maybe even a late winter, too? 

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WE’VE BEGUN TO carry some of the outdoor furniture inside, storing it in the basement like we do.  Instead of taking one day to move all the outside furniture inside, we’ll do it in dribs and drabs.  Rather like the way in which leaves drop from the trees in the fall.

We’re also talking about taking the bold step of ordering some new outdoor chairs and a rocker to add to our outdoor furniture collection.

I only mention that we’re thinking about doing this because the estimated delivery time for this type of composite Adirondack-style furniture is 3 months [or more].  Therefore, if we want these items by next spring [or summer], we must order them soon.

In other words there will be waiting involved;  and isn’t waiting the subtext of 2020? And today?

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* It’s up to you, my gentle readers, to decide whether the wait mentioned in the title of this post is for furniture delivery OR for the polls to close today ending [I hope] this dreadful presidential election. Comment as you see fit.

Defying Lethargy: A Walk In A Township Park On A Summer Afternoon

The Beginning

What cabin fever + depression are to winter, house arrest + lethargy are to summer.

Too hot to move or think straight

However, intrepid middle-aged suburbanites that we are, on Sunday afternoon we managed to get up on our hind legs, voluntarily leaving our air-conditioned home to go for a walk in a popular township park.

A glorious sunny day

It was the sort of day that usually brings out everybody and their dog and their grandma, but instead of a hundred people at the park there were maybe 10. Too sweltering outside I suspect. Still the lack of people was a bit… disconcerting… odd… unexpected.

Not at all normal

Nonetheless we slowly meandered around the paved paths, free from human distraction, not needing to wear our masks obviously. And for posterity I snapped a few photos of the stunningly blue sky and the amazingly green grass.

Of a lovely park, with or without the people

The End

While Spring Rain Falls, Musing On How I Feel Now

A prismatic spectrum of colors resulting from last weekend’s sun shining through beveled glass onto neutral chair fabric. Cool huh?

What a wet week it has been so far.

After a lovely sunny weekend that suggested Summer was here, we’ve been inundated with rain.  Constantly.  The kind of rain that brings flash floods.

Spring is back and says *HA!* fooled you, sucker.

My gardening projects are on hold because I don’t do mud.

Plus I’m a mellow woman so I’ll get to weeding + planting + trimming in due time.  It’s not like the flower beds are going anywhere.  Even with the threat of flash floods I think our yard is safe.  It won’t be washed away.

Thus instead of being outside in the garden I’ve been sitting inside our screened-in porch observing the weather, watching the gray sky above, noticing the monotony of falling rain. This has put me into a contemplative mood about these last few months.

The great pause, as many are calling it.

These long days during which many of us are not doing what we thought we would be doing this Spring.

I find it trippy to realize that everything in society is being transformed around me while I sit at home waiting to see how these changes will affect me and my relationships and my lifestyle.

This colorful and smart graphic clearly demonstrates all the feelings I’ve gone through in these last few months. You too? [Click on graphic to go to source.]

On the one hand I feel completely insignificant.  Passive, even.  Just waiting, twiddling my thumbs.

However on the other hand I feel *hell to the yes* I’m doing something.  I’m actively holding it together in the middle of a pandemic.  I’m demonstrating a bit of grace + tact + cooperation while feeling wistful about, but not dwelling on, what was normal.

A normal we’ll never see again.

I accept that life is different now, but what I think it means for me, how I feel about it?  Well, my feelings are all over the place while the hours pass and I muse a little more.

Waiting to get into the garden, and my life, again.

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QUESTIONS OF THE DAY

How are you feeling about these last few months? 

Do you find yourself going back and forth, up and down, hither and yon with your feelings?

How do you hope to feel in the future?

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The Tale Of The Drunken Daffodils That Didn’t Get Drunk Enough, I Guess

Last fall I decided that I’d attempt to force some daffodil bulbs to bloom inside the house this winter.  I thought the yellow flowers would be a spot of cheerfulness in February, the grayest of months.

I found THIS ARTICLE that told me how to create the perfect environment for my daffodils so that when it was time to take them out of the dark basement, they’d not get leggy.  Instead, they’d use their energy to make the flowers bloom bigger, better, more colorful.

Bloom being the operative word here.

I did as instructed, rescuing the bulbs from basement darkness a few weeks ago.  At first it seemed like I was going to have, as they used to say, a success experience because the bulbs were getting jiggy, pushing healthy green leaves upward.

I was jazzed.

In fact, in anticipation of the yellow flowers I put the pots with the bulbs in a sunny spot on the kitchen table, where I’d see the beauty from many rooms.

As per the article in order to stunt their growth, I watered the bulbs with a carefully measured concoction of water and alcohol. I mean when you task me with the responsibility of getting some daffodils drunk, I take it seriously. Do my best. Or so I thought.

However as the days have gone by, the daffodils have grown leggy and there’s no indication that they’ll ever bloom.  I agree that they’re a lovely shade of green, but as for the yellow flowers?

There are none and I am sad.

Thinking this through all I can figure is that despite what the article said, in order to stunt their growth the bulbs needed more alcohol than I gave them.  This means I failed them, not getting them liquored up enough to bloom where they were planted.

But if nothing else at least I tried, getting a good blog story out of it. 🍸

These daffodils appear to be sober and aren’t blooming, with no indication that they will. Let that be a lesson to you.