In Which I Sneeze The Day Because My Allergies Don’t Go Away

Grumpy bird is grumpy.

I understand how he feels.  April is difficult for me, too, Mr. Bird.  I’m allergic to the pollen and mold that is everywhere outside this month.  I’ve been this way for as long as I can remember.

Not a fan of this month.  Don’t sign me up to be on Team April.

There’s nothing for me to do except complain take allergy meds that make me drowsy and wait for the rain to clear the pollen and mold from the air.

I mean I’m out and about living my life because I’m a conscientious woman who said she’d do the things.  But I’m doing the things with tissues in pocket, eye drops in handbag, forced pleasant attitude on display.

As if I think April is dandy.

QuestionS of the Day

What’s happening where you live? Are you sneezing and wheezing? Or are you happy and healthy, unbothered by pollen and mold? Tell me your deal, ok? 

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Ms. Bean Is Cold Today And Would Like To Tell You Why

Snoopy, my spirit animal, sitting with a room thermometer on top of a bookcase in the only sort of warm room in the house.

IT SNOWED LAST NIGHT, not much, but a definite covering of the white stuff.  That however is not exactly why I’m cold today.  Nope, the reason, to put it succinctly, is that it’s 54ºF… INSIDE the house.

Thus I am huddled in our home office with the French doors tightly shut, sporting a ruana over my flannel + fleece jammies, sitting in front of my desktop computer with the little electric heater swaying to and fro behind me.

What has happened? WELL I’M GLAD YOU ASKED.

You see, yesterday was the last day of February, a short month of days that are soul-crushingly long.  A month that should never be trusted.

However, in the morning while waiting for the furnace service tech to get here for our annual check-up, I indulged in a moment of unbridled positivity.  Yes, I forgot myself and sighed a happy sigh of joy about making it to the beginning of March unscathed by February’s negativity.

I mean all that was left on my calendar for February was for the furnace to be serviced and then I had March, the action verb month, calling to me.

I like March.

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WELP, I WAS WRONG to let down my guard regarding February, and by 3:00 p.m. our furnace had gone clunk.  Come to find out there is a breach in the heat exchanger at the 3rd and 4th cell of the primary, meaning that the whole system as been red-tagged and shut down… by law.

Also, the tech guy accidentally broke a switch which turns the gas on and off.

So, you know, WE GOT TROUBLE.

The cutest little electric room heater that ever was.

Hence I am sitting here this morning, the first day of March, waiting for a phone call from the furnace repair company to tell me IF they have the parts we need & WHEN they might be able to get here again to fix the furnace.

If there is a moral to this story it would be something like never count your chickens before they hatch, but my moral would involve swearing, muttering, and not just a little bit of self-pity because honestly, February is the SUCKIEST of all months.

#ThursdayDoors | Visiting The Nature Center, Finding A Few Old Doors

Today I’m joining Thursday Doors, hosted by Norm Frampton, so that I can share with you photos of the following doors plus a little more.

On a sunny winter’s day we went to Rowe Woods which is part of the Cincinnati Nature Center.  Within Rowe Woods is Krippendorf Lodge.

Built in 1898-1900 and originally owned by Carl & Mary Krippendorf, this large home is on the National Register of Historic Places.  Krippendorf Lodge sits on 175-acres of wooded land that was once called Karlsruhe Gardens [meaning Carl’s Place of Peace], but is now called Lob’s Wood [I know not why].

Today Krippendorf Lodge is an event venue, available year-round for rent.  From the outside the building itself appears to be in perfect condition, as are the adjacent outbuildings that include a unique water tower.

I was unable to get a good pic of the front doors to Krippendorf Lodge, but I took a few other door photos while wandering around + a few artsy-fartsy photos for perspective.

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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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If A Butterfly Flaps Its Wings In August, Do We Get A Polar Vortex In January?

Look closely.  The above is a photo of a butterfly landing on salvia.  I took it, while standing on our stone path by the side of the house, last August.

Seeing the butterfly then made me happy because I’m working on turning one quadrant of our garden, by the stone path, into a butterfly habitat.  So far, this is a project in its infancy having attracted only a few butterflies.

But I have dreams. Big Butterfly Habitat Dreams.

And now, not to put too fine a point on it, I have a cheerful photo, perfect for sharing here today, whilst we’re in the midst of the Polar Vortex.

People, it is cold outside.

Yesterday it was 7ºF in the early morning and I thought that was cold.  I had to go to the doc’s office for routine blood work so I bundled up and navigated the plowed, but still slippery, streets to get there.

It was an interesting drive.

Today, at the same time in the morning, it’s -3ºF outside and I’m going nowhere.  Nowhere I say.  Yep, I’m staying at home inside, being the reasonably prudent slacker that I am at heart.

Why?  Because I can [the obvious flippant answer that we all know and love].

And because you, my gentle readers, are out there in the world wide web, waiting, I hope, to comment on this post so that I have something meaningful to do with my time today.

What up, kids? Life treating you well?

It Was A Jammies Day, Meant For Bookworms

Dear Diary,

We never got the predicted deep snow, but we did get the frigid temps.  And because we could, Zen-Den and I spent Sunday at home going nowhere.

He watched football on TV.

I read.

In fact, I finished one novel, The Alice Network, by Kate Quinn.

[I don’t do book reviews on this blog.  Instead I’ll tell you that I enjoyed this historical fiction novel because it had unique characters, a predictable but interesting plot, and explained the history of women spies during WWI, something I knew nothing about.]

Then I pulled out an Agatha Raisin mystery by M.C. Beaton because I wanted a lightweight British cozy mystery to while away the rest of the day.

As one does when one is me.

I admit I looked outside and contemplated walking into the screened-in porch to brush off the snow from the winter furniture, but that seemed like too. much. effort. for a woman in her jammies all day.

[Plus, that furniture is teak which is supposed to weather the elements so that it can develop a rich gray patina and show a little character.]  

And that, Dear Diary, is about all there is to say about Sunday instant.

I’m hoping that the temps will get up into the 20s today so I can comfortably go for a walk outside, but if not I’ll keep reading.

Up next in my TBR stack is Beartown by Fredrik Backman, so you know I’ll be enjoying the book in front of me.  Thus I say fear not, for I shall keep myself entertained while avoiding inclement weather.

Yours truly,

Ally Bean

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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