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?

Talking About Gratitude: Micheal Miller Has Good Manners

Micheal Miller works for the dry cleaner/laundry service that we use.  He drives the van to pick up then return Z-D’s dress shirts once they are clean and pressed with light starch.  Nice guy, very reliable.

It’s my habit at the holidays to give a monetary tip to our laundry driver guy, who this year happens to be Micheal Miller.  Thus I did that two weeks ago.

• • •

Growing up I was the child of older conservative parents and was taught that one must always send a written thank you note to the gift giver upon receipt of a gift.  This concept of proper behavior was ingrained in me to such a degree that for a few decades I judged people harshly who didn’t send a written thank you note.

It seemed like a slap in the face to me. Disrespectful, even.

Of course over the years society has morphed away from Emily Post expectations plus I’ve grown more forgiving.  I don’t hold myself or other people to the high standards of my childhood.  In fact, I’ve come to reevaluate what matters to me when I give a gift to anyone for whatever reason.

I’ve decided that I like the giving part more than the being thanked part.  I do what I do because I think it’s important to do so, not so I will receive a written thank you note.

• • •

Still, when I found a written thank you note pinned to an empty laundry bag hanging from the hook by the door on our front stoop, I was pleased to see it and said out loud to myself: “Micheal Miller has good manners.”

It was a sincere spontaneous remark. A blessing even.

One that put me in a happy place for the rest of the day as I mused on what seemed to me to be a random act of kindness, a throwback to a different era when a written thank you note was the done thing.

Such as this handwritten message of gratitude scribbled on a piece of paper by an almost stranger.

Who I appreciate very much.

In Which I Show You Who You Are & Ask You Two Questions

I MADE THIS DANDY BAR CHART that summarizes who reads this blog.  I created it using data provided by you, my commenters, after you took the SW COLOR ID quiz [that I wrote about HERE] and told me your results [in the comments].

As you may recall, after taking the quiz SW described each personality type in short pithy sentences.  And you know I do like a pithy sentence so here is all of that information in one place.

  • Naturalist [40%]: I let in the fresh air.
  • Minimalist [17%]: I find joy in the little things.
  • Creative [14%]: I make it my own.
  • Nurturer [14%]: I bring people together.
  • Trendsetter [6%]: I walk with confidence.
  • Free Spirit [3%]: I create my own path.
  • Dreamer [3%]: I take it all in.
  • Enthusiast [3%]: I jump in with both feet.

I realize the above is more statistical than my usual flapdoodle and twaddle, but I found it interesting to see the diversity of personality types, and the percentage of said, that engage here in the comments on The Spectacled Bean.

Or to put it differently: you, kids, are an eclectic bunch of wordy wackos who I believe have your hearts in the right place. Thank you for commenting here. You bring joy to my life.

• • ❤️ • •

HERE’S SOMETHING I’VE BEEN THINKING ABOUT.  Even though I’ve been doing this forever I’m not sure about how to refer to some things regarding weblogs.  I don’t want to be pedantic, nor do I want to sound like an old codger using antiquated terms.

I’m a wordy girl so this concerns me.  Thus I created the following two polls because I’d like to know your answers to these quandaries.

Thank you in advance for your kind participation.

Notes On Getting My TSA Known Traveler Number + Chitchat About Where I’ve Been

Let’s heAR it for Ms. Bean

This summer, after yabbling about doing this for years, I finally enrolled in the TSA PreCheck program.

The online application was easy.  The total cost was $85.00 for five years.  But it did require an interview with a real person at a TSA-approved IdentoGO office that happened to be nowhere close to where I live.

My interview appointment time, the soonest I could get, was 4 weeks from when I sent in my enrollment– and then it was 10 days after that before I got my official TSA Known Traveler Number [KTN].

For me this was not a fast process

Do I need this TSA PreCheck status?  I dunno.  But after some of my air travel experiences, most notably standing in the Las Vegas TSA line for 1 hour 45 minutes, I’ll do anything that *might* make the process less painful.

[Click HERE to read an article that helped me to better understand the program.]

And on that note, having talked about the practical side of travel, I’ll share the following fun and pretty stuff.

I created these images using the Visited Countries Project on Douwe Osinga’s website. You may already know about this because it’s been around for a long time.

Nonetheless here is where I’ve been
I’ve been to 9 countries which amounts to 4% of the world.

• • •

I’ve been to 34 US states which amounts to 68% of the country.

• • •

I’ve been to 3 Canadian provinces which amounts to 23% of the country.

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QUESTIONS OF THE DAY

Are you in the TSA PreCheck program? If so, how has that worked out for you?

Where did you go for your favorite vacation ever? Where did you go for your worst vacation ever?  

Got any travel plans for the rest of this year?

• • •

Just The Facts: The Results Of My ‘How Am I Doing?’ Survey

Thanks to everyone who took my How Am I Doing? survey [now closed].

You’re the best and overwhelmed me with your kind answers.  I wasn’t fishing for compliments with this survey;  I was challenging myself to see if I could write one.  Then on a whim I decided to share it here for the fun of it.

At one point in my life I worked in marketing research so I’m familiar with the process of collecting data from respondents.  Below I’ve categorized it into three parts.

 I also know that once you collect the data, interpretation is a whole ‘nother thing.  Spin it the way you want. So with that in mind, and me being me, I’m spinning this funny, because honestly some of your answers were a hoot.

• • •

PART 1

What I learned about you:

  • 90% of you write a blog
  • 50% of you like to goof off on social media in the blogosphere;  followed by YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter
  • 60% of you were very likely to recommend this blog to friends and family
  • 90% of you thought the survey was cool beans

• • •

PART 2

How you answered two specific questions regarding this blog:

These responses were straightforward and clear to interpret.  No further explanation required.

This is where things got complicated because over half of you used “Other” when responding to the question.  Some of you said that there was nothing you disliked so you were using “Other” to tell me this.  Some of you who clicked on “Other” made suggestions about my writing style and graphic design.  And one respondent said that using “Other” was the only way to show that all the choices were applicable to this blog.

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PART 3

Here are some of your responses when asked what comes to mind when you think about this blog:

  • Ohio
  • A red kidney bean dressed like Elton John
  • Ooh, what will Ally Bean say today?
  • Engaging, enjoyable blog. Funny without trying too hard.
  • oh, shit, I haven’t read that spectacled blog in awhile. I better go catch up!
  • Beans 🙂
  • Lovely variety of slice of life topics.
  • A string bean wearing glasses. But also humorous posts and genuine connection with others.
  • My bloggy friend for years now
  • Flapdoodle

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