Like An Owl On The Shelf, I’m Looking At You My Fellow Bloggers

I happened to see the sun shining on this owl pitcher sitting on the hutch shelf and snapped a photo of her for the heck of it.

Never have I been happier to report that nothing interesting is going on around here.

I haven’t been anywhere in a week.  Well, I’ve gone outside for walks in the neighborhood, but I haven’t been in a store or restaurant or medical office.

No haircut. No trip to the mall. No foray to the party store next state over. No shopping at the garden nursery.

Pretty much, NO to all the activities I’d planned for the end of March.

My calendar is empty.

Instead of fretting about the nothingness of now I’ve decided to focus on blogging.

To wit, I’ll be writing here in my usual way, trying to keep my posts short, snappy, sassy, stylish, smart.  And any other positive ‘S’ word you can think of.

But writing and maintaining your own personal blog is only 60% of blogging. The other 40% is reading other people’s blog posts and commenting on them. Therein is the secret of blogging, truth be known.

And with that little bit of wisdom gleaned after messing around in the blogosphere for 16 years [anniversary this week in fact], I’ll hit publish on this post.  No need to dither here when I’ve all of you to read and comment upon.  Must share the comment love.

Yep, I’m looking at you, my fellow bloggers. Ain’t you glad?

Published by

Ally Bean

Observant. Humorous. Adaptable. Charmingly cynical. Midwestern by chance. Kindhearted by choice. Fond of words.

168 thoughts on “Like An Owl On The Shelf, I’m Looking At You My Fellow Bloggers”

  1. I am happy too that there is nothing interesting is going on there. Nothing remarkable is going on here either so far this week! Whoo-hoo!

    Speaking of owls I found with a friend a nesting Great Horned or Long-eared…have to figure that out soon! I can only see her face from the nose up. If the weather isn’t snowy or rainy I’ll go out to the trail and check on her again today and stretch my legs.
    Happy commenting and blogging!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Deborah, no better time to be unremarkable than now. I hope you get a chance to discern your owl friend’s lineage. I like owls, not as in I want lots of kitschy items with their images on them, but as in interesting birds who deserve respect.

      Liked by 3 people

        1. I said that because if friends and family get it in their heads that you like a certain animal, then every gift and card for the next 10 years has that animal on it. Happened to me with cats years ago. All lovely items, thoughtful gifts– but enough already.

          Liked by 4 people

          1. OMG! I got so many cat items as gifts (some of which were not tasteful at all) that I made up a basket (with the nicer stuff) for a charity chinese auction. There was a bidding war over it. One person’s junk is another’s treasure. Now we struggle with my husband getting guitar themed junk — like clocks and carpets. What that hay? Why would you buy that junk? I toss when no one is looking but my friends have noticed. At this point in life my excuse is “can’t take it to the nursing home!” Ok, maybe the nursing home is another 20 years off (hopefully) but it’s a good excuse.

            Liked by 2 people

            1. Kate, that’s a great excuse and I admire you for dreaming it up. Kudos. I like how you re-purposed some of your cat stuff for charity. That’s smart, too. I was not aware of guitar items but am not surprised that they exist. There’s always a market for something somewhere. 🙄

              Liked by 1 person

  2. Of course, every coin has two sides. Since this started, my inbox has been filling up exponentially, as people stuck at home post more often– sometimes, multiple times a day. I’ve been trying to keep up, but it’s gotten to the point where every day I get farther behind: so much so that I have no time to create my own new posts. Something’s going to have to give. I enjoy commenting and have resisted using the ‘like’ button as a sign that I’ve been around and read, but it may have to happen from time to time, since it would take six hours a day just to respond to everyone! If I were stuck at home, I might be tempted in the same way, so I’m not faulting anyone — just saying that a little distance between posts could be good, too. Instead of six feet, how about six hours? (Not you, not you…!)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. shoreacres, I take your point. I don’t follow many bloggers who post more than once a day. In fact most of the bloggers I follow post once or twice a week, like I do. If someone does post more than that I read one or two of their posts each week and call it a done deal.

      I don’t consider commenting a quid pro quo proposition, but I do realize that by reaching out to other people via their comments I am creating a sense of community and I like that feeling. I’m not thrilled with the Like button, too. But I use it because that’s the way the blogosphere works now. There was nothing like that 16 years ago, I can tell you that.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I try to be mindful of the fact that I’m blessed by being able to get out of the house, too. If I weren’t able to go to work, and didn’t have outdoor space easily available, it would be a far different thing. I might be that multi-poster myself!

        Liked by 2 people

    1. Susan, I used to ramble more when I started blogging, but now I go with a more succinct approach to writing here. I figure the point of this blog isn’t to find myself or process my life, it’s to get people talking so why not get on with it.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Firstly, congratulations on 16 years!🎉.

    Like you, my calendar is now a bunch of scratched off activities. Work hours, babysitting gigs, wine nights have now been replaced with which closet I am cleaning out today😂. I suppose they had to be done at some point.

    Cheers & stay well😘

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lynn, thanks. I never thought I’d be blogging this long, but now that I have been I’m glad I took the risk to start one.

      I’m into cleaning out the closets, too. But there are only so many, so maybe I’ll organize my sock drawer, rework the silverware drawer, or other fiddly activites. Thanks for stopping by to comment. Stay safe, be well.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Laura, thank you. I hadn’t thought of the Sweet Sixteen angle on this. I wish someone had told me early on that blogging is as much about paying attention to other people as it is about having something to say about yourself. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Maggie, those are good ‘S’ words to add to the list. I don’t know how I got down this alliterative path this morning, but it seemed to make sense. Another ‘S’ word!

      Thanks for stopping by to comment. Always enjoy hearing from you.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. As much as we bloggers say we’re writing for ourselves, as an outlet, or as a diary, or just as a way to remember…we really hope someone else is reading it. Comments are the desert of blogging. I love desert.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Dawn, I gave up writing for myself years ago. I ran out of interest in myself! 😉 Now I write to start conversations. I figure that’s where the fun is. Well, that and commenting hither and yon.

      Like

  5. I’ve been trying to keep my same blogging schedule of two days a week but the impulse to write more often is getting harder and harder to resist. For me it would be an act of avoidance because I still have plenty other things I could/should do that are more productive. It’s just so surreal. And that’s my ‘S’ word to contribute to this discussion.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jean, I wonder how many other bloggers are feeling the same way as you. I agree that all of this is surreal, and maybe that means if you feel the desire to post more frequently you should. As a result of this pandemic I’m finding myself less inclined to post but am making myself do it regardless. However, if I should become possessed with thoughts and words, I’d probably share them here. 🤷‍♀️

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Deborah, cake! Yes, I need cake. Must make a cake to celebrate. Great idea, not to mention it gives me something to do today. Thanks for reading and commenting here. I appreciate your interest.

      Like

  6. I’m glad to hear that your blogging activity will take the form of reading and commenting on other blogs and not necessarily posting more to your own. I can’t keep up with bloggers who post too often! I follow blogs that post consistently but infrequently and write thoughtful posts. I let others go. My sanity demands it.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Arlene, I limit who I follow to those bloggers who make me smile or I learn something or challenge me to do better. I used to follow way too many people and felt overwhelmed, but over this last half a year I’ve reduced that number, choosing to focus on bloggers who are genuine and seem to take an interest in something other than themselves. That’s my key to blogging sanity.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. I joked about this a couple of comments ago but the engagement in your comments section is something to be proud of. You have this amazing back and forth that I strive to have someday. I already have an amazing relationship with my commenters/readers/friends…..they are all of those things and more to me. But you are the definition of blogger that for me at least. is what I want to aspire to be.
    I didn’t want that to sound sappy so maybe I will throw in an inappropriate word.
    Crap. Poop.
    Or two.

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    1. Writer McWriterson, I am shocked I tell you, shocked, by your choice of language, young lady. 😉

      Thank you for the big compliments. Truth be known I like replying to comments here because I never know what someone is going to say, meaning I have to be on my toes to answer appropriately. I figure this is a great way to keep my brain working, like those word puzzles on your phone only more interactive. And much more fun. The things you people tell me, oy vey. 😳

      Liked by 2 people

        1. Nancy, those are good ‘S’ words. I can definitely be silly, occasionally sophisticated, but I don’t think I’m suave. But maybe I need to read the definition of it before I commit one way or the other.

          Like

  8. I love your owl pitcher. Owls are such a great subject to paint. There’s something about their big eyes, like they have a secret. Can’t believe you started blogging 16 years ago. How fast the years fly by! Glad you are staying safe. Trying to help out our oldest son, a paramedic, with babysitting. He’s exhausted!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Beth, I like that little pitcher, too. Mom had a collection of pitchers, some of which I have. So when I saw that owl pitcher I thought of her and bought it. Are you supposed to be near children? Are you not under stay at home orders like we are?

      Like

      1. We are not under stay at home orders here. The restaurants are take out only, churches do not have services, but some stores are still open. The kids haven’t been anywhere, just their house and ours. B takes all clothes off in the garage before entering the house and showers, then washes his clothes before touching the kids and wife.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Congratulations on the blogoversary, Ally! 16 years is quite the milestone. Here’s to the next 16 years 🥂.
    I agree with you about the commenting and I think your percentages are correct. Now, off to read and comment on more blogs!

    Deb

    Like

    1. Deb, thanks for your well wishes. I’ve changed blogs and focus and writing styles over the years, but I’m still here. As for 16 more years… well, we’ll see… 🤔

      Yes, please run off to read and comment elsewhere. Gotta share the comment love.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Happy day, ABean! Sixteen years goes by in a blur, doesn’t it? With the exception of being outside on our patio and around the yard, I haven’t left our neighborhood since March 16th. It’s been wonderful not commuting through the “hood” to get downtown to my day job, in the dark. I roll out of bed and I’m on the clock at 6:00 a.m. with no stress from the crazy drivers on the road. It’s hard not seeing my parents, but I’m sending my mother daily videos and calling twice a day.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jill, your response to the work at home lifestyle is the same as Zen-Den’s. No commute, no need for business clothes, just get straight to work. He seems to be thriving, oddly enough. I can imagine how awful it must be to not be able to see your parents now that you really want to see your parents. The video idea is brilliant, and I’m sure the phone calls help you both. Still, weird times.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I feel the same as Zen-Den, ABean. It’s been such a nice change. It really is less stressful. I’m not an employee who needs to be micromanaged and I’m certainly not going to be cleaning my house while on the clock! My mother keeps asking me when we’re going shopping again…this is all confusing for her.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. AutumnAshbough, that’s how I’m envisioning this quarantine. I figure if I can’t see people in real life, I’ll direct my social energies toward the blogosphere. Not like I’ve been neglecting this part of my life, but maybe now I’ll be less scattered about it. We’ll see.

      Liked by 2 people

  11. Sixteen years! And I only discovered you in recent months. Finding an enticing, new (to me) blog is always a gift. Connection is so important, and this blogging community offers us safe and entertaining connection (without dressing up or combing our hair).

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Donna, I’ve been around a long time but I’m no good at self-promotion, so people find me and think I’m new. My bad, I suppose. I’m glad we connected and agree with you about the safety within this corner of the blogosphere. [I’ve had some less than friendly experiences along the way in different corners.] You make a great point about how dressing informally is the done thing when one is a blogger. No wonder I like this!

      Liked by 2 people

  12. My goodness, it does impress me when you have so many comments in just a couple hours. Stupendous! And congratulations on the Sweet Sixteen blogiversary!

    I agree that blogging involves investing time in reading and commenting on other blogs – and what makes it especially rewarding, because it IS developing relationships with others who write. It’s communication, critical.

    Love the little owl pitcher. I have a couple owl things, but don’t need more!

    Stay sane!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Eilene, I’m grateful to all the people who read and comment on this blog. I write this blog as a labor of love in the sense that I talk about stuff and then let the commenters take it away. Over the years, commenters have gotten wonderfully wordy, and slightly wacko. I like that.

      You’ve said it well. Blogging is about developing relationships and that’s the rewarding part of it. I’m not sure I realized that when I first started blogging. I have learned because I can be taught.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Margaret, for me April is blank, too. It’s odd to look a month and see nothing on it, even for me an introvert! I haven’t felt like writing much, but I do feel like this is the time to comment willy nilly everywhere spreading the blog comment love. It does fill in the hours.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I must admit my blogging passion has taken a hit with this whole mess the world is in right now. I finally forced myself out of it by poking fun at said mess. It wasn’t much for engagement quality, but at least it was something. Silly of me, though, to not get back into the blogosphere since engaging with blog buddies is the BEST way to not feel so stir crazy when I’m otherwise cooped up. So, nice chatting with your AB. I hope you’re well and hanging in there! You seem to be taking the isolation like a champ!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Betsy, I’ve made a conscious decision to engage with the world via blogland. I could easily withdraw and not be heard from again, but that doesn’t seem like a mentally healthy way for me to survive [and thrive?] what I’m calling Sequestered Life. This isn’t at all the spring I was planning, but for the moment at least blogging is something positive to do that I can control. Stay safe, be well.

      Liked by 2 people

  14. No news is good news these days… and blogging is a wonderful way to pass the time. I think I’ve been doing it for 13 or 14 years. Not sure, as it was on a few different sites. I do like WP though, the scheduling feature rocks.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I tried Blogger years ago, think I still have a page there… but never really liked the platform. I started on Yahoo 360, then did Multiply, Mash, and Blogster. They all died out from under me… which doesn’t bode well for WP. I might be a curse!

        Liked by 1 person

  15. Yes! I’m with you… nowhere for 10 days and proud of it. I’ve felt the need to blog more myself, and also making time every day to read blogs that I haven’t kept up with in a while. I think it’s all part of our collective need to feel less alone. Keep writing and I’ll keep reading.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Audrey, oh you’ve outdone me for staying inside the house; I’m only on day 8. This past week I’ve begun reading and commenting more freely on blogs because it seems like a grounded and generous thing to do when our world is upside down and our lives are in stasis. We all do what we can in our own ways.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. The good thing about being a blogger these days is our lifestyle really doesn’t change that much. I would like to buy a new pair of lounge pants and slippers! And relatives who have birthdays coming up are going to have to wait for a present as my favorite shops are closed. Always look forward to your posts!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jan, my blogging lifestyle is almost the same now as it was before except that Z-D is working from home so he’s a new variable. And more bloggers are posting lately, so that’s a new twist in my attempts to keep up with people. But wearing comfy clothes and slippers has remained the same in spite of the pandemic. 🤔

      Like

  17. Happy 16 years. I have seen an increase in posts lately but like you, if someone has more than a couple a day I usually only comment once. The A to Z is going to take up my April of course but I decided not to try and do the April Love prompts that I have done occasionally in the past. Enough is enough. I am grateful that you take the time to read my drivel.

    Like

    1. Janet, I comment on other blogs as often as I can but I do live a life beyond blogging. Shocking, I know.

      I like everyone, but that doesn’t mean I like everything everyone writes every day. Nor would I expect all my readers to like everything I write every time. I figure blogging is a two-way street so as we drive by each other wave *hello* from the comment section when you can– and I’ll wave back when I can.

      Liked by 2 people

  18. Congrats on your 16 years! My email inbox has been a bit more clogged with blogs posts lately too. If someone posts more than 2 posts a week (3 if they can write that many posts a week and still be interesting), I change my settings so I get their posts all at once on one day. That way I can read just one or two and comment. Your owl pitcher is adorable but I’m glad it’s not mine. It’s the type of possession that is too darn cute to ever get rid of despite wanting to clear out clutter.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Janis, I’ve never gotten blog posts via email. I use My Feedly to follow blogs so I go there when I have the time and read what I can/want. I don’t read everything everybody writes but I do try to comment on the blog posts that I read. The owl pitcher is really cute. Thanks. She looked especially good in the sunshine.

      Like

    1. Thanks, Marty. I cannot believe I’ve been at this as long as I have. That wasn’t my intention when I started, but here I am. I don’t know how much longer I’ll do this but you can’t say I didn’t give it my all.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Wow! Congrats on 16 years, Ally! I feel like a baby blogger next to your teen years. 😀
    I haven’t been anywhere either. Just outside for a walk and to start my car to look like I was going somewhere. 😀

    Like

    1. L. Marie, thanks. I figure that while I never intended to make a career of blogging, I should share what little I know about it. Write some, comment often. Blogging reduced to its essence. I hadn’t thought to start my car and that’s a good idea. Will do that stat.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Yes, we give a hoot about you and your “s”tupendous blog, so this is why we gather here. That’s a long time Ally – congratulations on 16 years of blogging. I’m only at the seven-year mark myself. I hope you have fodder and photos for at least 16 more years of blogging.

    Like

    1. Joni, thank you. I hadn’t realized this anniversary until I was looking through some old files [because that’s the sort of thing I’m doing now] and decided to mention it here. I appreciate you stopping by and commenting.

      Liked by 1 person

  21. If only I had the time to read every clever comment on your blog, Ms Bean! I get to about 40 -50 then scroll quickly to the end. I do agree that commenting makes for a significant portion of blogging if you want to make it work. Some folks don’t get that and it is a little disheartening to read a clipped and robotic, “great post” from a reader or “thank you,” from a blogger you have taken time to read and comment on their posts.
    Congrats on the anniversary. Although I sort of knew this secret of you being a seasoned and accomplished blogger from our recent discussions. How long are you in self isolation for?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amanda, I’d never expect anyone to read all the comments here on this blog. I’m as amazed as the next person by my gentle readers’ clever | informative | encouraging | hilarious comments. I love them all and try to reply to each comment on a timely basis. Sometimes immediately, sometimes within a day or two. Depends on how busy I am.

      I totally agree: it is a little disheartening to read a clipped and robotic, “great post” from a reader or “thank you,” from a blogger you have taken time to read and comment on their posts. I’m also disheartened by a lone emoji used as a comment. I sometimes end a long conversation with an emoji, but never use one in place of a wordy comment.

      We’re in self-isolation living the Sequestered Life until maybe the day after Easter or maybe the beginning of May. How about you?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. We are still not in complete lockdown but it is encouraged. Schools finally are closed from Monday to all kids, except those who have parents working in the health sector emergency services. I still have to go to work along with many others who can’t WFH!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Yes, I know you’re still in the thick of things. I’m sure your willingness to work is appreciated and that you’ll take care as you do so. Still, the fact that I even have to say that makes me sad…

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          1. I know right?
            Why, why, oh why didn’t our PM bite the bullet and lock us down? Apparently, prayers still work better, in his mind.
            Everyone is ready for a lock down – they have been hoarding for weeks. We need to do this?

            Liked by 1 person

              1. I sometimes wonder by what miracle, slight of hand or corrupt practice these leaders got to be where they currently are. Boris, the Don and our mug don’t have umblemished track records. A good leader can make such a difference and inspire people. Look at New Zealand’s example or the Singaporean leadership. It may not be perfect, but it is decisive.

                Liked by 1 person

                1. I’m right there with you about wondering. I’d guess that history books 100 years hence will have the rest of the story, but in the mean time we suffer, don’t we?

                  Like

    1. Pam, we’re looking forward to spring so that we can work in the yard. But until the weather cooperates I’m going to comment willy nilly across the blogosphere. There are worse things to do with my time. 🙄

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Swinged Cat, I haven’t been here every month of every year since 2004, but I’ve been here most of them. If nothing else, I’ve learned a thing or two since then, hence my willingness to share a bit of blogging wisdom every so often. Case in point.

      Liked by 1 person

  22. The best part of blogging is the conversation in the comments. I am doing a bit better at the commenting part than the writing part. Still writing too much in my head but I’m always glad to see you post. I should probably reach out a little more since being trapped at home gets old fast.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Zazzy, I agree that the real fun of any blog is in the comment section. I didn’t realize that at first, so I waited around like a wallflower hoping someone would stop by to comment. Eventually I caught on that if you want a bloggy friend then you have to be a bloggy friend.

      In the last couple of weeks I’ve commented beyond my usual bloggy friendships and left comments on some posts by bloggy acquaintances. I cause no harm as I comment, but I do notice how someone replies. It’s been interesting to see who has engaged with me here– and who has not. 🤔

      Liked by 1 person

    1. The Travel Architect, thanks for another ‘S’ word to add to the list. In some ways keeping a blog has become a second career for me, now that I think about it. Congrats on being a teacher for 16 years. Now that’s something to celebrate!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you!
        Last night we picked up Chicago-style pizza and I cracked a treasured $65 bottle of wine to celebrate not 16 years of teaching, but that I made it through my first full week of online teaching. Actually, that starts on Monday, but I think this week of prepping for it might end up being more of a challenge than the teaching itself.

        Liked by 1 person

  23. Happy anniversary, Ally! No wonder your posts are so…(insert all of those S-words). You have had a while to perfect your technique. And I think your ratio is about the same as mine. Nothing interesting to report here either, but I will still write about it next week.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Laurie, I never intended to keep a blog for as long as I have. You’re right that how I write/who I am now is vastly different from what I wrote/who I was then. My writing style has loosened up along the way.

      I rarely proffer advice about how to blog, but those ratios were one of my biggest *ah ha* moments along the way. If you want comments, give comments to others almost as often as you write about yourself. Generosity of spirit, you know.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I found exactly the same thing, Ally. One blogger recently remarked about how many comments there were on one of my posts. I wanted to tell her that I respond to every comment (if possible). You have to give what you want to receive.

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        1. That’s my approach as well. If I miss replying to a comment it’s because I’ve had difficulty with the WP platform, not because I’m ignoring anyone. Wouldn’t want to do that.

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  24. I will keep coming to read your short and snappy posts, which usually make me smile, and often make me think. Your blog, Ally Bean, is really quite spectacular, no events necessary. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Welcome dear.
        I have been here only two years and it has added so much to my life. I was just overwhelmed thinking how many friends, how much known, and how much writing ability you must have accumulated in 16 years.😍

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  25. Love the owl pitcher. It is so cheery. I enjoy both posting and commenting. The blogging community is wonderful – and I’ve learned so much from others in the community across the years.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Hey there, Ally. Not a whole lot shaking at my abode either. I’ve been working on the Sunday crossword puzzle in the New York Times this morning. Will go for a walk, and probably to the supermarket. And will continue to worry about the state of the world.

    Neil

    Like

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