The One About Birdbaths, The Path You Choose, & A Survey About My Blog

Over the weekend we went to a garden decor center to look at birdbaths for my butterfly habitat.  There is no end to the exciting things we do here.  In fact I sometimes hesitate telling you, my gentle readers, what we’re up to because I don’t want to make anyone jealous.

We didn’t find a birdbath that’ll work for us because it’s early in the outdoor season here so the selection was minimal– and because the ones available required electricity which we don’t have where I want to put a birdbath.

But we had a nice time walking around the property in the sunshine.  YAY SPRING! 😎

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In the parking lot of this garden decor center is a sign that directs you one way or the other.  You can either meander down the Scenic Route that wraps around the front of the property where there are displays of ponds + fountains + birdbaths to give you an idea of what you might want to do in your yard.  This path is kind of artsy fartsy.

Or you can use the Main Entrance and go directly to the merchandise in the back of the property where it’s organized in large quadrants of similar items.  This is where the helpful sales people are ready to get you all squared away.  This path is fast and practical.

Scenic route or main entrance?  Those are your choices at the garden decor center.  And it seems to me, an English major who can find meaning in anything, those are often your choices in life.  Which begs the question:

WHICH WAY IS YOUR USUAL CHOSEN PATH: MEANDER OR DIRECT? Hmmm…? 🤔

+ • + • + • +

On a whim yesterday afternoon I created a free survey about this blog using SurveyMonkey.  Having never done anything like this before, I followed their suggestions about the questions to include.

There are seven questions that according to them will take you 1 minute to answer.  Trust me when I say that it took me longer than 1 minute to make this survey– learning curve, kind of steep.

I have my *fingers crossed* that this is going to work.  Also, you’ll be anonymous.  There are no demographic questions and I won’t know your IP address.

Click on HOW AM I DOING? to be magically transported to my survey, should you care to take a minute of your time and answer my questions.  Thank you in advance for your kind participation in my first online survey. 🤓

SURVEY IS NOW CLOSED.

Published by

Ally Bean

Observant. Humorous. Adaptable. Pleasantly crazy. Midwestern by chance. Kindhearted by choice. Wordy.

97 thoughts on “The One About Birdbaths, The Path You Choose, & A Survey About My Blog”

  1. Can someone be both? I could see myself meandering in a place like you describe, because fresh air, beauty, ideas, etc. Do I always meander though in life? My first reaction would be no, but I also think and plan and explore everything new or being considered and in some ways I suppose that’s meandering isn’t it? I suspect I am not as direct a person as I thought Ally Bean!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Deb, laughing here. I’d say yes we can be both. I imagine that we all are one or the other depending on specific circumstances, but in the overall I suspect we lean one way or the other. In general.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Depending where I am, I can be a little of both. While at the grocery store, I’m a woman on a mission to get in and out in record time. I’m a fast walker, so even if I do want to take a leisurely stroll somewhere, to others I might be rushing.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Jill, I think you’re right that we’re all a bit of both and can change depending on the circumstances. I can be extremely mission oriented at times, but overall I meander. So you’re a fast walker? Are you also a fast talker? 😉

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  3. Where’s the option on the path to choose both routes? 😉 It really depends upon my mood of the day, and what I’m shopping for, and how much time I have, and who I’m with, and if I’m going to blog about it later ;-). LOL. I’m meandering off to take your survey now, ‘cuz you invited me to do so, so yeah!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Shelley, I agree that it all depends on circumstances, but I found that sign entertaining because it was so decisive. No option for middle of the road, people. You will go one way or the other!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I agree, it is an entertaining sign. Businesses can be so helpful. Like Disney, they know how to move people through the motions, especially those who are indecisive about where they want to be.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Interesting idea using survey monkey. You can probably guess which one was my response. 🙂

    Surveys are dubious at best because there is always the tension between ‘what do I want to say?’ and ‘how should I respond?’ and there is two aspects to that, one is that people are often not confident about their reactions or they feel they are being too harsh. I have notice in writing groups that members are very hesitant to be critical – except for the jerks whose love to lambaste everything. The irony is that most writers join groups for critical response.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Almost Iowa, well said. Once upon a time I worked in marketing research, asking questions to respondents. Like you said there are two sides to every answer and it comes down to how the respondent interprets the question. The information gleaned from surveys can only be so valuable. This one? Well, I was bored and curious, so I created it with no specific reason in mind. I’ll share the results eventually here, just cuz I can.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Like Jill, I do not meander at the grocery store ~> that would be dangerous. 🙄

    Also, if we are attending an event with, say, free alcohol, I am direct and to the point ~> I make a bee-line for the bar. I do not stop to smell the flowers or admire the birdbaths along the way.

    But in most ways, and on most days, I’m a meanderer. I meander from task to task, enjoying the path from here to there while staying in the now.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. nancy, I’m very much the same way you are. No surprise there, I suppose. I can get to the point of things [free drinks!] but in the overall I meander, enjoying that which I see– or at least being aware of that which I see.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. marian, I am an English major and I appreciate your quote. Clever. And so apropos to this post! Thanks.

      [Also, I keep trying to leave a comment on your blog, but cannot do so. It may be my old computer here that is stopping me. I am reading and enjoying what you’re writing.]

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  6. At a garden center (unless I’m in the middle of a project and ran out of something and yes that does happen) it’s always meander. In life it’s a mix but if it’s shiny and pretty, it’s meander.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Kate, I like to meander is some places, go directly in other places. Obviously the sign was there to get customers oriented, but it did get me thinking in a more philosophical way.

      Yes, I’ll share the results of the survey. I have no preconceived ideas about what I should learn from it, so we’ll all find out together!

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Thanks for your kind words and support. Regardless of the results on the survey I don’t plan on changing much of anything around here. You said it: We get followers who like our style and others fall off. I’m cool with that.

          Liked by 1 person

  7. I can meander, but I can also be direct. My husband is not a meander at all and it drives me crazy…like the other day we were out and on the way home I wanted to stop and look at things and he wanted to go straight home….drives me a little crazy

    Liked by 2 people

    1. LA, I can understand how a non-meanderer could be a burden to anyone who meanders. Of course, maybe in a different situation he’d slow down. You never know with those husband types!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Tara, it’s a lovely hedge and I respect you for it. I think we all vary depending on where we are, who we’re with, what we’re doing. I liked the sign because it was so black or white in its message. Not at all like the many shade of gray in life!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Sure, evil, you have a chance of winning a $1,000 gift card. Not here, of course. But somewhere else. It could happen for you. 🙄 Thanks for taking the survey.

      Like

    1. Janet, there’s something to your husband’s terminology! As with all things, it depends.

      Also, thank you for introducing me to SurveyMonkey. I didn’t know what it could do. Making a survey was a new experience for me as a blogger.

      Like

  8. Those kind of trips are the beauty of life, in my opinion. The small moments. I know it’s a cop out, but my path would depend on my goal and how much time I have. Generally, I go for direct if I want to buy something I’m sure of, and want to get in and out fast. If I’m still in the deciding process or unsure what I want, I would meander and look around for ideas.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Margaret, oh I think your answer is perfectly sensible. It’s the small moments, indeed. I tend to do the same thing, but will admit that in the big picture of life I’m a meanderer.

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  9. I took your survey. You did a great job. I think age might have something to do with the meandering and the direct route. When I was younger I definitely was more direct but now I like to meander…stop and smell the roses if you will. I’m finding I missed out on a lot of things I could have seen and done. No regrets really, just observation.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Janet, thank you for taking the survey. Making it was more labor-intensive than I imagined it’d be and after 7 questions I was finished. 🙄

      You make an excellent point about age and the desire to meander. I’m more about the scenic route now than I used to be. I, too, wonder what I missed out on before…

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I loved meandering, and some of my favorite places to do it are garden stores and hardware stores. So many things to look at. I like the IDEA of a birdbath, but I worry about still water and mosquitos.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. J, I agree about meandering. I feel much better when I’m not rushed. You’ve nailed the problem we’re having with the birdbath. I wanted a solar-powered one so that the water would keep moving, but I’ve been told that we don’t get enough sunshine around here to make a solar one viable. Soooo I’m back to the drawing board on this birdbath idea.

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  11. Oh, you really got me on the meander or direct question. I think the best answer is “meander” really. Those are the more interesting people; my wife is one, for instance. But if I’m truthful, I’m direct. It’s less interesting but you get things done sooner anyway. 😉 – Marty

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Marty, I thought that sign was funny in that it established your two choices, and that’s it. Life isn’t like that, of course– but I do think we each lean one way or the other when it comes to how we live most of the time. No right or wrong answer, just something to ponder.

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  12. I will take the survey after this, because I know what I like (part of my dissertation was to make a survey and hand it out to college students of 5 major universities) , but how and why you make your post is not important to me – what I like is the person behind it and the way you react to my comments, lol.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Junieper2, with your background I fear that my little foray into survey writing will seem cute. Perhaps even pointless! But I got hooked on the idea of making one, so I did.

      You bring up an interesting point about personal blogging. I agree, it’s about the person who writes the blog more than it’s about how and why he or she writes what they do. Good insight there.

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    1. Deb, I have the same story. When I was younger I had to use the Main Entrance because I didn’t have the luxury of time to spend meandering. But now, I do things at my own pace when I can– grateful for the opportunity to do so. Thanks for taking the survey. It’s a bit of a goof, but fun.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I Ike signs that log me where I am but then decisions are to be made – and that’s where I get stuck as I wonder which way to wander – I guess I’d do both and a third if there was another sign close by or in the far distance – did your survey Ally Bean – interesting questions 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Susan, that sign intrigued me. It seemed so definitive and purposeful. I’m a meanderer so I’d go the Scenic Route. Thanks for doing the survey. I did it by the seat of my pants, so the questions are pretty much the ones the system told me to ask! If nothing else, it doesn’t take long to answer them.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I am very, very, very much a person who prefers to just directly get down to business. However, I think most of us whether by happy accident or just LIFE end up meandering a bit, because as much as you think you know what you need, and as helpful as the people waiting in the direct path may be, there’s always going to be SOMETHING. (I mean, I’m just taking your metaphor and banging about with it.)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. katie, I agree. I doubt that anyone is entirely one of those choices or the other. It’s a continuum and then when you add specific circumstances we all shift around a bit. I found that sign interesting and it got me thinking. I’m a meanderer by nature, but I can and have gotten things accomplished by being direct. Whatever works, works.

      Like

    1. Donna, you and me, both. Back when I had to get things done, I got them done directly. But now when possible I meander, enjoying the luxury of it. Thanks for taking the survey. I won’t say it was fun to make, but it was a learning experience. 🙄

      Liked by 1 person

  15. I am a meanderer by nature… and even more so in retirement. But, there definitely times and places that require a more direct approach. That being said, I directly went to your survey, then meandered through it by picking “other” in most cases which required further explanations.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Janis, we’re alike. I am a meanderer, too. But I can do the direct route when I deem it prudent to do so. You’ve made me smile with your description of how you went about taking the survey. So spot on to who you are.

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  16. I love to meander Ally, especially when I have the time to do so and then I’ll enjoy it even more. I used to have a butterfly garden and spent so much time to get it just so, catering to the butterflies with puddling dishes, sunning rocks, butterfly houses and all the right perennials and butterfly bushes a butterfly could need, want or desire … then we had the first Polar Vortex and I lost most of my perennials and all the butterfly bushes. I was angry and never replanted anything – good thing as we had another wicked Polar Vortex the following year. I thought I lost my shrub roses, but they rallied back. I’m afraid to look out back this year because I understood this Polar Vortex was worse than than the other two. (P.S. – the neighbor got a pit bull and left it out 24/7/365 and never cleaned up after it and I got rats, so I had to discontinue feeding and watering the birds and put out bait boxes. It was a sorry time then as well.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. linda, I’m sorry that your butterfly garden suffered such a loss. We have two butterfly bushes in the vicinity of where I want to plant some perennials, yet to be named. Last summer I planted a kind of thyme in my butterfly habitat area that was supposed to make it through the winter when temps went down to 0ºF. Well we got below zero this winter and my special thyme is a goner. My point being, sometimes you can’t win for losing. Also, rats are icky.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No you can’t Ally. I am glad I didn’t rush right out and replace everything, then the succeeding Polar Vortex taught me our weather has a “new normal” so it is now Paradise Lost. I resurrected a holly bush out front that was damaged in the first Polar Vortex. I dumped Hollytone and Miracid on it and brought it back. I chopped it nearly to the ground and it is back to full size and it had berries this Winter. All the bushes and many of the perennials were planted in 1985. We didn’t have enough rain the Summer/Fall before and roots were dry, even if you watered. I’ll venture into the backyard to see the roses with much trepidation.

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  17. Scenic route, definitely. How fun! We love meandering around our local Green Thumb store. Seriously, it’s an outing for us. We don’t have to buy anything, we just love to look, and the place is so big it could take us an hour.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Betsy, I get how it could be fun to wander for an hour. We don’t have Green Thumb stores here, but like you we don’t need to buy anything to make it worth our while. ‘Just looking’ might well be the refrain of all meanderers everywhere.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. My written response will give me away. Also, I didn’t not like any of it, so I HAD to choose too infrequent. Forgive me.
    Meander is the correct answer for me. I like to run willy-nilly hither and yon. I get ideas and make connections and that makes me feel alive. Sometimes I wish I could be more like The Mister, who moves linearly toward quick results, but I’m not made that way. (And I definitely have more fun than he does, cause I can have fun almost anywhere, doing almost anything.) I would definitely take the artsty-fartsy path at the garden center.
    I’d like to add that there are battery bubblers for birdbaths, if that’s any help to you.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. joey, you may choose whichever answers you want and I’ll be happy. Thank you for taking the survey, my first and probably last one. It took me too much time to create it, but I got emotionally invested in finishing it so I saw it through. Perseverance, you know.

      I meander as often as possible. I am forever seeing connections between things that no one else sees, so I get your way of being. At one time it bothered me that I wasn’t more direct, but now I figure meandering keeps life interesting. I’m lucky because Z-D is the same way.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Well, the butterflies are on the way – just FYI…
    Bird baths are very personal. They have to fit just right. ..you may have to meander a bit to find one.
    Route chosen depends on so much: on a mission with a list or enjoying the setting ( in hot summer weather, we wander among one shady nursery with lots and lots of ponds, fountains and waterfalls – coolish place to be outside …smart marketing, too
    (Will check the survey – did you know survey sites like Monkey also collect that data…and may sell the info from responders? Geesch the things people/companies collect – weird hoarders or collectors)
    Enjoyed the post -and all the comments, too

    Liked by 2 people

    1. philmouse, way far north of here is a fancy garden nursery like the one you describe. It’s a delight in the hot weather. I need to get to it to see if it has a birdbath that’ll work for my butterfly habitat. The things I do for those little bits of pretty, flapping their wings and charming me.

      I didn’t know for sure that SurveyMonkey collected data on all of us, but I’m not surprised. I have no illusions about online privacy. You don’t think that WP is selling every keystroke we make? HA! Like the saying goes: if you’re not paying for it, you’re the product.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yep – so many curious prying eyes.
        (even Roku – Nielsen and all sorts of advertisers – you can turn off Nielson, but Roku says if you stop advertising tracking, you won’t get targeted ads, just ads…and those third parties have the right to sell you data if they want.) It’s whack-a-mole for sure! (Do you think all those people on WP/FB/twitter creating fake selves are really the clever ones HAHA? Gotta love the chase)
        Atleast Butterflies live free!

        Liked by 1 person

  20. Once a Type A personality, always a Type A……but I am learning to meander. I must decline your survey, as I am new to reading your blog…..but I love what I have read so far!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Joni, I suspect you’re right that a Type A is a forever personality type. I’m a Type B, but that won’t surprise you. I can be direct when I have to, but in the overall I meander. Thanks for reading along here, newbie. Welcome. 🙂

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      1. krcc, well, when you put it that way, I tend to think I might also like the direct path. You say there are trees along your path and that it’s not too hot on it? Very nice, indeed.

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    1. Sheryl, yes birdbaths with electricity keep the water moving so it stays fresh. Some also have a heater in them so that in the winter no ice forms in the birdbath. Those features are lovely, but more than we need. We just want a basic birdbath, so will continue on with the search.

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  21. Ahh I’m definitely a meanderer. And if there are interesting sights and sounds – perhaps a bird or two – I will very likely dawdle as well 😉
    I might get jealous when you get your nice birdbath, but please keep us posted all the same

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Pistachios, hello fellow meanderer. I, too, can dawdle with the best of them! I’m hoping that when the weather turns truly springlike here, more garden nurseries will put out their stock and we’ll find a birdbath that works for us. Oh the dreams I dream!

      Liked by 1 person

  22. I filled out the survey, but skipped the question about what I like least. 😀 There’s nothing I dislike about your blog, so I exercised my right to move on to a question I could answer. (And I actually typed the words “my write” before I realized my error.)

    I prefer the meandering path. Also, I also was not up to speed on birdbath tech. Having felt sorry for the birds drinking the puddles in the parking lot. I tried my own birdbath tech, which consisted of putting out a pan of water. The birds ignored it in favor of the parking lot puddles.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. L. Marie, thanks for taking the survey & for liking what I do here. I appreciate your support. Making the survey was a bit of a goof to see if I could do it– but now I’m fascinated by the results.

      I’ve been learning about birdbaths in preparation for my butterfly habitat. I’m to a point where I think that they’re all overrated– but some are cuter than others so I’ll probably go for pretty. I’m surprised about your birds. Who knew they were so ungrateful!

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  23. Love the comments here. I am “a both.” I meander when I have the time and inclination to do so (which as a working mom with teens ain’t often, let me tell ya!), and I take the direct route when the occasion calls for it–such as running errands. I despise running errands. I want to be home and do home things, you know? Happy to take the survey. Heading over now…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kate, I like to meander, but like you can take the direct route when I have to get things done now. I know what you mean about running errands. They never end and there’s always something that goes sideways in the process. Thanks for taking the survey. It’s not all that, but it’s kind of fun.

      Like

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