Of Sunflowers & Simplicity: I’m Taking A Break From Blogging

“Wherever life plants you, bloom with grace.”

~ French proverb

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My word of the year is SIMPLIFY so I’m going to do just that.

After a lousy summer filled with rude selfish people, extreme heat + humidity, and the specter of the Delta variant, I’m exhausted.

I’m more than ready for a few weeks, perhaps a month, of rest and rejuvenation.

I want to make like a cheerful sunflower, focusing on positivity and good vibes as I turn to follow the sun.

Thus as part of my way to rekindle my joie de vivre, I’m going to simplify my life by taking a break from blogging.

I’m allowed to do that, my blog, my rules. 

I hope to be back to the blogosphere in October; in the mean time, please stay safe everyone.

And play nice, ok?

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Notes + Photos From The Backyard: No Bad Stuff, Only The Good Stuff

SITTING OUTSIDE ON OUR DECK late in the afternoon I heard the neighbor girl + her friends playing on the neighbor’s deck.  The girls were all around age 5 and they were chanting:

“No bad stuff… No Bad Stuff… NO. BAD. STUFF.”

They were loud. They were serious. They were coloring.

I started laughing to myself because they reminded me of a boss I worked for years ago.  This boss, a woman, would breeze into my office and say: “tell me the good stuff, only the good stuff.”

Let’s say she was singleminded in her pursuit of demanding creating a positive workplace.  For her idealism I admired her.  HOWEVER one does have to occasionally face reality and deal with complex, not-so-happy issues which, it’ll come as no surprise to you, this boss had difficulty doing.

Can you imagine? 🙄

THE FOREGOING IS MY STREAM-OF-CONSCIOUSNESS way of getting to what I think you, my little pudding cups, might find of interest.

Last April I decided to take a monthly photo late in the month of the same scene.  It shows part of our backyard [+ a little of the neighbor’s backyard].  I’ve no story to go with the photos, no particular reason why I started taking the photos.

I just did.

And now, as an homage to the determined little girls and my positivity-crazed former boss, I’ll end this post with four months of photos of our backyard in which you can see that things change, but remain the same.

From my point of view there’s no bad stuff in these photos, only good stuff.  I say this  because nature does what nature does. N’est-ce pas?  And it’s up to us to take note, then do our best to adapt to what is.

APRIL

MAY

JUNE

JULY

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Looking For Good Luck: Angel Numbers Are A Serious Matter, Maybe

The oppressive July heat & humidity that made me a teensy bit fractious have given way to what is supposed to be a week of cool & clear August days.  HALLELUJAH, I feel restored and back to my silly lighthearted self.  Case in point…  

This is a photograph of me as a little bean. On the back it says it was taken by pixy PIN-UPS, which was part of J.C. Penney. My mother’s notation says: “Not sure when taken but cute!!”

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The first idea to float into my mind this morning was a question.  The question was: Are you rigging the system if you wait around for Angel Numbers to appear on a device?

In case you’re unfamiliar with Angel Numbers* they’re a series of digits that are either all the same like 4-4-4 or are numbers in a sequence like 1-2-3-4.  You see them on digital devices or on street addresses– or sometimes flight numbers.

In my youth Angel Numbers were known bearers of good luck.

As kids when we saw an Angel Number, usually on an electric digital alarm clock or the bank’s time & temperature display, we’d make a wish.  They were a rarity back then, more so than they are now with computers screens and smart phones and Dick Tracy-like watches.

I still notice them and admit that I want as much good luck as I can get so I still wish on them. You never know…

Thus the other day when I glanced at the time on the microwave and saw that it was 1:22 I stood in the kitchen waiting for the number to change to 1:23, an Angel Number.

Which brings me back to my original question.

By doing what I did, fabricating a contrived situation so that I’d definitely see an Angel Number, am I creating a scenario in which my Angel Number sighting is null & void because I rigged the system? OR am I using my own observational skills and clever wiles to make my own good luck opportunity?

Discuss.

QUESTIONS OF THE DAY

Did you know about Angel Numbers as a child? Did you make a wish on them?

Do you make a wish on them now?

Did you then, or do you now, make wishes on other things? What are those things?

Do I look angelic or devilish in the photo at the top of this post?

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* HERE is some information about Angel Numbers. It says they are part of tarot. Could be, but as a child they weren’t revealing my future to me, they were fun.

Exit, Pursued By A Dragon: My Video Directorial Debut, Take One

Keeping in mind that I’m stuck at home now because of a Winter Storm Warning [or maybe it’s a Level One Snow Emergency at this point], I give you the following…

Some days you slay the dragon, other days you befriend it.

I’m nothing if not good at entertaining myself with goofy little projects. Blame it on my curiosity and a creative spirit and a lonely only childhood that taught me to make my own fun. Thus as an adult, who just happens to write a personal blog, I’ve no shame when it comes to trying new things here– and making obscure references*.

This is especially true when there’s a potential source of flapdoodle and twaddle sitting in our family room while waiting to be discovered.

Hence I give you the following 18 second silent video of our Christmas Dragon** who never got packed away at the end of the season this year. Instead he’s been lounging on an outdoor swivel dining chair that is, for reasons too complicated to go into, currently residing in the corner of the family room.

Clearly the dragon looks good sitting on the chair: you might say he’s a natural. In fact, in a moment of pure genius complete kookiness I realized I could make my first [and only?] action video, thereby showcasing my directorial skills and testing the waters to see whether Christmas Dragon could be a regular*** on this blog.

In other words, tell me if you think he has star potential.

* The title of this post is alluding to William Shakespeare’s famous stage direction in The Winter’s Tale.

** I’m sad to say that our Christmas Dragon has no official stage name. Polite suggestions welcome, but he is not magical so don’t even go there.

*** Years ago I occasionally featured a star critter named Fuzzy the Squirrel [here and here and here] who, may he RIP, annoyed & entertained in equal measure.

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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