A Neighborhood Update: I’m Not Nosy, They Are Noisy

NOW that we’re beginning to have a few warmer spring days, I’ve been opening the windows in some rooms.  The sounds of nature drift into the house.  Often it’s birds.  In fact we have a loud hoot owl that does his thing late evening, early morning.

Totally expected.

AND we’re hearing our young neighbors again.  Kids playing on a jungle gym, for instance.  Kids bouncing basketballs.  Kids riding bikes up and down the street while talking or singing.

Again totally expected.

PLUS there are two new February babies on either side of our house.  A boy on one side, a girl on the other, both with well-developed lungs and a tendency to be unhappy in the afternoon. I know this to be a fact– and I’m sure their parents know this as well.

So there’s that.

BUT the biggest news vis-à-vis noise around here is that Crazy Bird Lady, a fifty-something woman who lives across the forested ravine from us, is no longer standing on her deck yelling “f*ck you” at the birds.  And she’s stopped hitting a metal soup pot with a metal spoon while cursing at them.

I don’t want to sound judgy but I believe this might be a good thing.

Instead of the loud cursing she has taken to dancing what I’d describe as the Flamenco on her deck.  This involves her stamping her feet in a rhythmic way while clapping her hands over her head.  She swirls around, kind of hums a tune, then yells ¡Olé! every so often.

I’m mesmerized by this woman’s eccentric behavior, I admit it.  Which brings me to what I want to ask you, my little cherry blossoms:

Who’s the wackiest person in your neighborhood?

Now that spring [Northern Hemisphere] or fall [Southern Hemisphere] is here what’s going on outside your windows?

Any fun plans for the weekend?

~ ~ 🌸 ~ ~ 

Hello February: Of Prosecco & Puzzles & Perceptiveness

PUZZLE PIECES CASUALLY STREWN ON DINING ROOM TABLE

After a bitterly cold, yet rejuvenating, weekend of staying inside at home PLUS a well-deserved indulgence of Chocolate Chip cookies with Prosecco [see previous post for context about indulgence], I’m feeling better now.

My silly self has returned, my smart self has kicked in, my stylish self is back to planning, and my sane self… well, she’s still trying to make sense of things around here, in the world, wherever.

Because it’s winter in the midwest, as a way of passing the time, we’ve started putting together on our dining room table another jigsaw puzzle [see previous post about our freaky puzzle project].  And by *we* I mean Zen-Den is doing 96% of the putting together while I do 4%.

Same as it ever was.

The puzzle has 1,500 pieces and is of a cheerful tropical beach scene.  It’s colorful, but with lots of sandy beach and a building with a thatched roof.

PUZZLE PIECES THAT FORM SIGNS

Because Zen-Den believes in the economic concept of Division of Labor I was tasked first with putting together the wordy signs as seen in the photo immediately above.

I did that all by myself.

Then he asked me to find all the tan, beige, khaki pieces that form the aforementioned beach and roof on a building.  I’m capable of putting bright colors together, but when it comes to connecting pieces that are almost monochromatic, my eyes fail me [see previous post about me walking away from puzzle dust].

To wit, I found all the pieces for those portions of the puzzle, but I couldn’t get the pieces to fit together.

Zen-Den looked across the table at me to see how I was doing, then uttered what might be the most apt description of me he has ever said.  He said in all seriousness:

“You don’t know your sandcastles from your tiki huts.”

No truer words, kids.  No. Truer. Words.

PUZZLE PIECES THAT FORM SANDCASTLES TO THE LEFT OF THE RED SHOVEL, TIKI HUT TO THE RIGHT

• • •

Please note:

I’m crowdsourcing a blogroll & there’s one week left to add your blog to the list. Go HERE and scroll to the bottom of that post to learn more & to see if you qualify. Let me know about your blog in the comment section there.    

This is your last chance.

• • •

In The Mood For Fig Newtons And Scotch, Maybe

Image from @thepresentpsychologist on Instagram

So it’s still January. I feel like this has been the longest January* on record. Somehow a few extra days got tossed into this one, I am beyond bored.

Do you feel it too, my little ice cubes?

In fact, referring to The Mood Meter image above, not that I want it that way but I’d say I’m currently in the lower lefthand quadrant at DRAINED on a fast train to DESOLATE, hoping to not end up at DESPAIR.

I started this year in the upper righthand quadrant at OPTIMISTIC and ENERGIZED. But blah cold weather combined with incessant anti-vax gibberish**, plus a realization that many  longtime bloggy friends have stopped posting altogether, well– this has left me feeling oddly RESTLESS.

~ ~ 🎵 ~ ~

Image from @thefabstory on Instagram

I usually like January, look forward to it even. But somehow this year, maybe because of the endless anxiety associated with the pandemic, I’m feeling a different vibe within myself and about the world around me.

When it comes to self-care, referring to the Routines To Try image above, I don’t know if I need to be more PRODUCTIVE or focus on being CALMER.

And ain’t that a pip!

Anyhoo that’s where I find myself this wintry morning, wondering if there might be some restorative power in Colonel Sherman T. Potter’s remedy for feeling low.  The clip below explains what to do with your Fig Newtons and Scotch*** and why.  Cheers!

~ ~ 🥃 ~ ~

* Okay I’m wrong about this being the longest January on record: In the Roman calendar only 10 months had formal names. Winter (January and February) was simply known as the “dead period” [Source here]

** We’re both fully vaccinated and wear our masks when out in public, where we rarely go because of the people who are not fully vaccinated and do not wear their masks out in public.

*** In the spirit of transparency I feel obliged to tell you that should I follow through on Colonel Potter’s advice, the Fig Newton will be a Chocolate Chip cookie and the Scotch will be Bourbon.

• • •

SO TELL ME, HOW DO YOU FEEL TODAY? WHAT’S YOUR MOOD?

• • •

A Potpourri Of NOT Much Happening Around Here

You know, my little sugarplums, that I enjoy writing posts here, right? I tell you about what’s going on in my life. But that premise is based on the idea that something interesting is going on in my life.

And sometimes THERE AIN’T MUCH HAPPENING HERE.

However I feel like writing & using emojis. Muse is getting antsy waiting for it to NOT be January, so here’s what I have to tell you, interesting or not.

THE WEIRD CONVERSATION

While I was shopping in Kroger as I was standing in front of the cheese case a woman wearing a mask walked up to me to ask a question.  She pulled down her mask [🤨] and asked me: “do you know what uncured ham is?”

It sounded vaguely familiar, like something from my childhood but I couldn’t tell her what it was.  This didn’t stop her from sharing her woe about not finding it, an ingredient in some special sandwich, the recipe for which she waved before me as if it was a magic wand that’d spark my memory.

When I assured her I did NOT know anything useful about uncured ham, but maybe someone at the meat counter did, she wandered away, visibly disheartened.

I felt like I’d failed a pop quiz.

THE GOOD NEWS

The 30-foot tall dead tree in our neighbor’s yard, a tree that has loomed ominously over our screened-in porch for 5 years, fell down NOT on our house.  Instead it keeled over into the wooded ravine behind our houses.

There said tree shall remain for eternity… with my blessing [😇].

THE REMODELING MEETING

We finalized remodeling plans for our 2 bathrooms.  Having already had the kitchen and the primary bathroom and the laundry room remodeled by this company, it was easy to pick out the cabinets.  We’re rather familiar with them [🙄].

The cabinets won’t be here until May;  NOT sure I believe that, but I’ll try to be positive.  The rest of the decisions about tile and sinks and knobs and wall color are yet to come when we closer to the project start date and the interior designer is ready to work with me.

I’m jazzed because that’s the fun part, oh yes it is.

THE PHOTO PROJECT UPDATE

Last April I started taking a monthly photo of our backyard + a little of the neighbor’s backyard;  the previous photos are here.  They are to document the changes of the seasons.  I snap them while standing in the same place on our deck.

While this is NOT my usual higgledy-piggledy photo style [😁], it’s a fun harmless project that might prove something… yet to be decided.

These photos are the next installment.

AUGUST

SEPTEMBER

OCTOBER

NOVEMBER

DECEMBER

JANUARY

~ ~ 💚 ~ ~

I Am Colorful, I Am Manifesting Potatoes, I Am Positive

Hello again, my gentle readers and kind lurkers!

This image represents the predominant colors found in my IG account photos during 2021. I used YEAROFCOLOUR.COM, an app, to create it.

After the strangest warmest Christmas Day on record [69ºF] and the oddest gloomiest New Year’s Day I can remember [rained all day], we here in Chez Bean are ready to get back to doing normal things this week.

Well, normal as it is now defined. That is, we are fully vaccinated, wearing masks when out & about in public, keeping away from people in general– and doing our best to not spread a deadly virus.

You know which one it is.

This is what @MAGICKMOODS, found on IG, says I am currently doing. Who knows, maybe blog posts are really just potatoes… and I’m making a hash of it here? 

To wit, Z-D is back to work on a hybrid schedule of 2 days downtown in his office/3 days at home in his upstairs bedroom office.  He likes the idea so it’s all good*.

This will be happening while I’m back to writing my usual flapdoodle & twaddle.  I never know how much longer I’m going to be writing this blog, but muse is with me and I’m feeling groovy so I shall keep going.

Plus I took a fast online test, a task as they call it, that measures verbal creativity.  The average score was 78 but mine was 93.  Not to brag but as the consummate B+ college student who was never quite smart enough to earn an A, I’m chuffed by this number.  Ha!

While I’m not known for being a relentlessly upbeat Pollyanna, these particular words from WORDSTACKS, a game on my phone, resonated with me. So I share them here.

And with that I’ll end this post by asking: what are you manifesting today?

* Zen-Den can be a bit of an absent-minded professor. He went into work yesterday, on 1 of his 2 days in the office, but came home early. Few people were around, he said, but he got a lot done. On further reflection, and a quick check of the company’s 2022 scheduled holidays, he realized he had the day off.  Uh huh 🙄