Humans of…

Endangered Thursdays is normally dedicated to animals listed on the IUCN list all over the world to bring awareness to their plight. Today I’m switching it up and keeping it short.

As many people are aware, a huge hurricane named Harvey graced parts of Texas with its presence beginning last week. Houston in particular is now up to 50 inches of rain. That’s as tall, if not taller than the average human which means this city is underwater. Harvey has returned to land but this time in parts of Louisiana which is heartbreaking considering this is the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, 12 years ago, that killed thousands of people.

At times like these, race, religion, gender, none of that matters. People from all walks of life are coming together to help their fellow man, woman, child and animal. From giant trucks that can drive through these floodwaters, to boat rescues, if an individual has it, they are using it to help. Homes and businesses that have not been flooded are opening their doors to take in as many people and pets as possible in order to ensure that people are not stuck out in this monstrous weather.

All over this country and all over the world people are donating from a little as a dollar to as much as a million dollars in order to help get hot meals, medical supplies and dry clothes to these people in their time of need.

What I want to point out today is that the people of Texas and Louisiana are not the only ones suffering at this moment. This hasn’t been televised as much as it should but the people of Southeast Asia are also being affected by catastrophic monsoons and landslides. Sierre Leone, in particular, suffered a massive landslide in their capital that killed thousands of people three weeks ago and it’s still going. This country has been asking for help from any country that can. Bangladesh, Nepal and large areas of India are also affected.

As the rain begins to wind down in Houston, we need to look towards our country’s allies and help them in their time of need as much as they have helped us in the past and continue to help us now. If you have a couple extra dollars to spare, consider donating to Unicef or Oxfam to help the victims of Southeast Asia. Even if it’s only a dollar, a little bit goes a long way.

The Atomic Structure of Romance

Yesterday I read an interesting rant over at Smart Bitches. The premise of the article is that women in academia are always portrayed as super smart but lack common social skills or even intimacy skills. To name a few mentioned, the heroine usually has no time for relationships because her schooling is most important to her, she’s also a really late bloomer (virgin) in the romance department and she’s implied to be average on the beauty scale because she’s not wearing that long red dress and stiletto heels every day.

It got me thinking about this academia trope discussed in books I read and TV shows I watch. I realized that this is fairly true in a lot of ways and prompted more questions. Why is it the woman scientist or woman professor synonymous with bag lady? Why does she always have awkward social skills? And for the love of all that is holy, why does she always have to attract the bad boy?

Don’t get me wrong. I’m a super sucker for this type of romance always. But it was one of those moments where you stop and really think about it. I was talking to a friend last night, bouncing these questions off him and he state that it’s like protons and neutrons. We’re both rusty in the science department so I looked it up and its like protons and electrons. Protons are the positive charge and electrons are the negative charge. The super intelligent, socially awkward protagonist attracts the bad boy/girl, has experienced everything but true love antagonist. Then they turn the bubble of their atom into this harmony of neutral by cancelling out traits that made them who they are because the other taught them things that made them “change for the better”.

Image result for atom love

How about the protons attracting the neutrons of world? Neutrons are just your average, everyday no charge individuals. They are attracted to protons and electrons. They can be intelligent and still have social skills. They can be billionaires without the title of play boy or dominant. They can have normal, honest conversation and grow a relationship without forcing one to become more positive or negative. They can be virgins who CHOSE to be that way and not be ignorant to the world of sex and intimacy. That would make a healthy molecule don’t you think?

And speaking of molecules, there are four main types: covalent, polar covalent, ionic and metallic. Covalent molecules are two atoms that share their electrons equally. In relationship terms that can be equated to “the perfect marriage” according to society. Polar covalent molecules occur when one atom has a slightly stronger electron pull on another atom. This could be equated to relationships solely based on initial lust. Ionic molecules occur when one atom has a much stronger pull on another atom. That could be equated to your alpha/beta relationships. Finally, metallic molecules are when atoms share electrons freely with other atoms creating one big electron flow. All I can think of here is an open relationship or marriage.

I know I’m primarily talking about women here but I feel like same goes for men. For example, the man who works in construction is either portrayed as not intelligent or he’s the gazillionaire who can get any woman he wants whenever he wants and it’s a challenge to obtain what is normally unobtainable. They can totally be neutrons too! Trons don’t discriminate (well I guess protons do; they hate other protons so don’t be a proton).

So what do you think? Is this a trope you’ve come across before? Does it bother you or are you a hopeless romantic? Chemistry is cool isn’t it?? (Basic chemistry anyway. I flunked later courses in college just saying!) Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

Death By Chocolate

The following story may make you sad or it might make you laugh. Or maybe a little of both. Either way, before you proceed, here’s your warning that your reaction may be completely different from mine.

My place of work is in a rural part of NE Ohio. If you live in a rural area then you know 1) the only fast food place you’ll likely have nearby is McDonald’s and it’s going to be at least 3 or more miles away; 2) downtown is postage stamp size and 3) there are a lot of wild animals that like to make their appearance in or around your house not normally seen when you live near a city. There are other indicators that prove you live in a rural setting of course but those are the main three in my opinion.

My job consists of a small building that was later built upon. So there’s the office side and then the plant side where all the hustle and bustle takes place. The plant attracts all kinds of critters who are looking to find a warm place to sleep. Just yesterday we pulled a shipment out of storage and it was covered in raccoon pawprints. Not only have raccoons made an appearance but in the last couple of months we’ve had a groundhog run through, birds flying around as well as stray cats making a home.

Yo-Yo was this year’s cat. He stumbled in right before winter and made the plant his home. This is a normal occurrence and Mr. Grumps usually befriends them and ends up taking them home. He’s accumulated four cats this way.

Anyway, the story goes like this. On my desk, I like to keep candy out for the guys in the plant. It’s a way to get them to come visit me and to make their hardworking days sweeter. Before it was just mini packs of Skittles and Starburst. One day, I decided to ask them what their favorite candy was and the general consensus seemed to be a Hershey chocolate variety. I went to Sam’s Club and bought the big bag of Hershey mix and a second bowl of candy was added to my desk.

A few weeks ago, I would walk into my office to find shredded candy wrappers either on the ground or on my desk. Something was eating my chocolates. I told everyone about how I was finding these perfectly unwrapped wrappers and was told there was a ghost in the place since it’s been open since 1971. The other theory was one of those raccoons has been helping himself and prefers chocolate over Skittles. So of course I started getting scared I was going to walk in my office and raccoon would be sitting on my desk. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve worked many years in wildlife rehab but raccoons are mean so you just never know. This became an ongoing mystery for days and I started locking the candy in a filing cabinet at the end of the day.

Last week our resident chocolate ghost mystery was solved. When Mr. Ghost can’t get chocolate (poor shunned Skittles), he goes next door to my co-workers office for her coffee. She sometimes forgets to dump it because we get caught up in work and there was one such occasion when she came in and there was a tipped coffee cup with a trail of coffee across her desk.

She came in, like she normally does, and grabbed her coffee cup to dump the old and fill with fresh. I was talking to Mr. Grumps when all of sudden we here this scream and she’s like “NEL! GRUMPS! Come see this now!” I’m like oh god. Grumps walks in front of me and HE screams and jumps back! Now I don’t want to look but of course I do anyway. In the sink was a little, dead field mouse. I’m like “Where did that come from?!?!?” and she goes, “my coffee cup…..” I burst out laughing because I’m a terrible person and say, “That’s the ghost??!”. You see when Mr. Mouse couldn’t get into my Hershey bowl, he went into her office to get some of that mocha deliciousness. The last time it happened, her coffee was in a paper cup so he was able to knock it over. This time, he was a tall ceramic cup and the poor little guy fell to his doom and drowned.

For now, I’ve decided not to keep any more chocolate on my desk at least until winter time where hopefully all these little critters are in hibernation somewhere.

Get To Know Me Tag

I haven’t done a tag in while (cause I just have way too many stories to tell) and I actually had a story lined up for today but I saw this tag floating around and I remember Patty tagging me a long time ago (sorry!) so I decided to join in the tag fun instead.

get to know me tag

VITAL STATS

Name: Chanel

Nicknames: Nel, Chica, Sexy

Star Sign: Taurus

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Occupation: Office manager for a small business

Living In: The heart of the nation — Ohio, USA


APPEARANCE

Hair color: Black or jet black as my mom would tell you. I’m too scared to ever try to dye it because I like my hair a lot.

Hair length: It’s about breast length which is the longest it’s ever been. I have kinky afro hair and I used to straighten it a lot or do those brazillian keratin treatments but it changed my hair texture a lot so a couple years ago I let a friend take scissors to my hair and cut out all the straight so I wore it in a short afro puff for a while. Now I’m constantly trying out different hairstyles I see on Youtube.

Eye Color: Dark brown according to my driver’s license

Best Feature: I don’t know! That’s like a question you ask a man but maybe my smile because people always comment about how happy I am all the time.

Braces: Nope, never. Almost once but my mom disagreed with the dentist’s assessment so I didn’t get them

Piercings:  Ears that I got pierced at birth. I don’t want anymore

Tattoos: Yes. I have on on my lower left back. Its a bamboo shoot with “to live” in japanese next to it. I got it in my senior year of college. I got the words “to live” because I was feeling some kind of way back in those days so I tracked down my Indonesian friend, Soya, and had him draw the exact symbols for me because I didn’t trust the internet translations and he is fluent in Japanese.

Right or Left: Right I guess. I’m right handed, lol.


FIRSTS

Real Holiday: I’m guessing I had quite a few as a child that I don’t remember but I’ll probably say Thanksgiving and Christmas cause that’s the only time I really see all my family together in one spot. For a couple years growing up, our house was the party spot. Every holiday, my mom would throw these huge, extravagant events and we’d have family and all the neighbors and their kids piled up into our house. It was great but definitely exhausting.

Best Friend: My husband of course but also my friend Suki. We met in an MMORPG (massive mulitplayer online role playing game) almost 10 years ago and it was an instant connection. Back then, when we were poor college students, we would only see each other once a year but now we make it a point to see each other at least twice or three times a year. She always comes to visit me around my birthday and I always visit her in the late summer early fall (her birthday is in December and I’m not a travel in the snow type of person). She was my maid of honor at my wedding and I was matron of honor at hers. We’ll actually get to see each other in October because we’re all flying down to Orlando to have some beach time before it gets cold. 🙂

Award: I always used to get perfect attendance awards in school. I’m the type that unless I’m falling down sick, I was going to school. The first and best award I ever remember getting is back in sixth grade. We had this big awards ceremony and I was sure this kid was going to get valedictorian over me because I just didn’t think I’d made the cut. Well to my and my mother’s surprise, I ended up getting that award. It was funny because she yelled at me later for not telling her and I had to keep reiterating that I didn’t know! In high school I got into the National Honor Society which is cool. I still have the book that contains hundreds of kid’s faces that made it that year. In my work life, I’ve received employee of the month numerous times. When I used to work at Petsmart, I actually got the award 2 months in a row which was super awesome!

Sport: I played volleyball and ran track throughout middle school and high school. I dropped all sports in college cause I just didn’t have time.

Concert: My first concert ever was Jay-Z with my husband. That’s his favorite rapper. Later that year though I got to see Pentatonix back when they were just YouTube famous and touring colleges and that concert was AMAZING! After that, I’d say the other best concert was seeing JayZ and Beyonce together with my husband 2 years ago. In two weeks, I’ll get to see Ed Sheeran in concert so I’m excited for that as well!


FAVORITES

TV Show(s): Oh goodness, there are so many! I love Game of Thrones, all the TGIT shows which are Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, and How to Get Away with Murder, Spartacus, the Marvel Netflix TV shows, Shameless, a long list of anime, Firefly, Battlestar Galactica, Xena: Warrior Princess, I mean this can seriously go on forever

Color: Purple

Songs: I have favorite artists that sing some of my favorite songs — Whitney Houston, Josh Groban, Gavin Degraw, Evanescence, Prince, Michael Jackson, Beyonce, Pentatonix, Gorillaz, Ed Sheeran, etc. I’ll listen to any genre except country

Restaurant: My favorite restaurant is this place called House of Hunan. Its sushi and thai food and my husband and I eat there probably about once every other month. We had our second date there and the one waitress still remembers us from ten years ago.

Shops: I hate shopping even though its necessary for survival. I love book shopping though so I go to a lot of independent bookstores in my area as well as library sales.

Books: I really love the Charley Davidson series by Darynda Jones, The Kate Daniels and Hidden Legacy series by Ilona Andrews, Mercy Thompson series by Patrica Briggs, The Emperors Edge and Fallen Empire series by Lindsay Buroker, every book Judith McNaught has ever written and The Three Musketeers by Alexander Dumas.

Shoes: I’m most comfortable wearing flip flops. But most of the time I prefer big comfy socks or socks in general. You don’t want to know how many pairs of socks I’ve accumulated….

Book Genres: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy, Science Fiction, Suspense


CURRENTLY

Feeling: A little tired. I woke up around the time my husband leaves and then when I tried to go back to sleep, a car alarm went off so I’m definitely running on low fumes. However, I feel happy at the same time cause I made a mixed berry smoothie in my new Vitamix (anniversary present) and I’m in love with that machine!

Single or Taken: Taken and then some. Just celebrated our 10 year dating anniversary last week and we’ve been married for 2 and a half of those years.

Eating: Drinking my mixed berry smoothie and eating some lemon creme Nekot cookies

Thinking About: How I have to wait two years for the final season of Game of Thrones. All the actors and actresses better be safe and live for the next two years!

Watching: I’m watching three shows actually. I’m in the middle of the final season of Orphan Black, season 2 of The Last Kingdom and season 2 of Wynonna Earp.

Wearing: Work attire


FUTURE

Want Kids: Yes. One only. Took me years to come to this decision. Child birth terrifies me and I told my husband if he wants more than one, he better pray for twins.

Want to Get Married: Already am

Want To Travel: Yes, definitely. First time out of the US (besides Canada) was when we went on our honeymoon to Florence, Italy. Our next big travel will most definitely be Japan. It’s the top of our bucket list.


DO YOU BELIEVE…

In Yourself: I very much do. I used to be a shy, quiet individual but I don’t know where she went because I’m definitely very outspoken and passionate about a lot of things and not afraid to say what’s on my mind.

God: I can’t say that I do but I can’t say that I don’t either. Religion is a touchy subject; one that I choose not to touch because people can be easily offended.

Miracles: I guess so. I’ve never experienced one personally but I’ve seen some unbelievable things happen so I wouldn’t completely rule them out.

Love at first sight: Ha! I was just talking to Noriko about this. I believe in lust at first sight. I think it takes a lot to grow to love a person and I mean in the significant other sense. I can easily love my friends on sight. It’s an interesting feeling.

Ghosts: Sure why not? I read paranormal things all the time. It’s in the realm of possibility.

Aliens: Definite yes. Only because the universe is vast and it’s one of those things we’ll probably never know in our lifetime. The Milky Way is not the only galaxy and the Sun is not the only sun in the universe.

Soul Mates: I want to say yes because I feel like I’ve found mine but I also believe a person can have many soul mates in many forms in one’s life.

Heaven: Goes back to my answer for God. I’ve never been there or met someone who’s been there and came back to tell me about it so maybe, maybe not.

Hell: See answer for Heaven.

Kissing on a first date: If the chemistry is there, hell yes! Take the chance! You only live once!


I’m not going to tag anyone because this is quite long. Feel free to do this tag if you’re interested! Hope you enjoyed another segment about your friend Nel. Have a great Monday everybody!

Facebook Friday 8/25/17

Hey, hey! It’s Facebook Friday!

Facebook Fridays is a weekly segment of RT where I share some fun stuff I observed on Facebook this past week. I share a fun meme or screenshot, a video that resonated in some capacity and a photo of my own.

So I did not see a fun meme on Facebook this week or if I did it was NSFW (ha). For the screenshot portion of this post, I’m going to share my blog stats because I happened to log in on a cool comments number:

I’m feeling very 3’s? How about you? 😉

Their were two videos I shared that resonated with me. One was another Lion King video but the second one was super cool. Have you ever realized you didn’t know you wanted to know something until you knew it? Well, that was me. I didn’t realize I wanted to know how people wash their hair in space until I saw the video and now I wonder how other every day things happen in space. I remember back in elementary school when we got to try space ice cream but now I wonder what a regular entree tastes like. Anyway, here’s the video:

Lastly, I shared photos of the eclipse but I also shared photos of this soup I made that I was very proud of. I’ve never made soup from scratch before. I’m an open the can and heat it up kind of girl. Earlier in the week we bought a rotisserie chicken and I really did not want it to go to waste so I googled how to make chicken stock out of it which led to a giant pot of chicken vegetable soup.

I also had left over buttermilk from making buttermilk chicken Monday night. The thing about buttermilk is not only can’t you buy it in smaller than a half gallon, it only has a two week shelf life! So I started googling easy buttermilk recipes so that wouldn’t go to waste as well. I ended up making biscuits for the first time ever as well as pancake muffins and I STILL have like a cup and a half of buttermilk left! (They really need smaller sizes).

That’s it for today! Did you see anything cool on your social medias this week? Let me know in the comments below!

Przewalski’s Horse

Today’s endangered animal looks hard to pronounce but it’s actually pretty simple. Przewalski is pronounced “shuh-VAL-skee”. Also known as the P-horse for short, or the Mongolian horse. Przewalski’s horse are the last true wild horses. All the “wild horses” you see in places like Australia and North American Great Plains are actually feral horses.The Mongolians refer to P-horses as “tahki” which means spirit. Spirits are generally worshiped so you don’t ride the P-horse, you don’t capture the P-horse and your certainly don’t kill the P-horse.

Przewalski’s horse looks like your average horse or even looks to be related to a donkey but their genetic makeup is quite a bit different. You see your average domestic horses have 64 chromosomes where the P-horse has 66 chromosomes. They are small and stocky compared to domestic horses ranging from 4.3 to 5 feet tall (1.3-1.5 meters) and weight about 550 to 800 pounds (250-360 kilograms). They are dun colored, which is a light gray tan with zebra like manes. Their bellies are paler than the rest of their body and they have dark lower legs.

Like zebra and donkeys, P-horse are monogastric herbivores. This means they have simple, single chambered stomachs. They digest through a process known as hind-gut fermentation and without going completely scientific on you, that basically means that their large intestine is where most of the fiber breakdown takes place where as humans, for example, the digestion takes place as soon as you put food in your mouth and by the time it reaches your intestines, it’s tiny particles. P-horses have a harem like social structure where you have the dominant, a harem of mares and and their offspring. Young stallions are not allowed to breed unless they can defeat the dominant so oftentimes you would see a group of young stallions together known as the “bachelor herd”. A P-horse life span is estimated to be about 36 years.

500,000 years ago, Przewalski’s horse roamed the continents of Europe and Asia. It is rumored that these horses have been around since the reign of Genghis Khan. The first recorded reference to this beautiful creature was in the year 900 by a Tibetan monk. After that, Genghis Khan recorded seeing them during his many conquests followed by a German writer in the 15th century who claimed to have seen one while he was in a Turkish prison. It wasn’t until 1878, when geographer and explorer Nikolai Przewalski was gifted a p-horse skull that they truly became discovered.

This was the beginning of an almost extinction. An animal exotic merchant got wind of this beastie and would hunt as man foals as possible. The problem became the hunters killing stallions while trying to take the foals which lead to the decrease in natural breeding. After World War II, the once thriving wild population was down to a staggering 32 individuals and by 1950 there were only 12 individuals left. Not only were hunters a problem but extremely harsh winters, agriculture and low genetic diversity was barreling this poor species straight into extinction.

Conservationists and zoologists, naturally, freaked. They began a studbook documenting the studs out of the 12 they were forced to capture who successfully brought offspring into the world. By 1965 the population rose to 134 individuals and by 1990 it was up to 1000 in captivity; a lot of it due to crossbreeding. It was decided that they would try to reintroduce the P-horse back into the wild.

Since the early 1990s, Przewalski’s horse has been upgraded from almost extinct to endangered. Population majority (the only wild herd) can be found in the steppes of Hustai National Park in Mongolia. Hunters are no longer a huge threat although there are still patrols of the protected areas. The largest threats to this species is animal hybridization. There are instances of the P-horse mating with domestic horses which dilutes the gene pool. There are also natural threats such as harsh winters, natural predation from wolf packs and disease. Conservationists are deeply researching reproduction habits and slowly keeping this animal from ever reaching almost extinction again.

(Source: Smithsonian1, Smithsonian2)

Anniversary

Long time ago back in like 2004ish? (I can’t remember specifics), Nel was a young kid getting excited for high school. Because of certain neighborhood events that occurred, my mother decided she wanted to move away. Since this move was happening right around school starting and my mom didn’t like the ratings of the school district in the area we were moving to, she decided to homeschool me and my sister. I don’t know if the school still exists but it was my first venture into the world wide web. There was a homework help chat room a lot of us would frequent and not talk about homework.

One day this cool guy comes strolling in the chat room legitimately looking for homework help. It was pretty comical at first but he really wanted to get a good grade and back then I was great at math. He was looking for help with understanding Algebra II quadratic equations. So I decided to help him. So we get on Skype and I share my screen so he can follow how I’m solving the equations. I’m sitting here explaining the steps and he interrupts me to say he didn’t really care about the process; that he just wanted me to give him the answers. Of course, I said you won’t learn that way if I just give you the answers but he didn’t care. I can’t remember if I caved or not and did his homework. Definitely sounds like what a hopeless 16 year old romantic would do. We ended up deciding to have an internet relationship after that.

I don’t even remember how long the relationship actually lasted but I ended up breaking it off cause I was falling in love and it scared the hell out of me. Yes! Nel was a coward! We went our separate ways for the duration of our high school years. Back then MySpace was really popular and I sent him a closure message along the lines of I was an idiot but I wish you well in your life. I didn’t expect him to answer me back but in 2007 that’s exactly what he did. He was having a rough time in his life because his car got set on fire and his life was just in this crazy chaotic spiral.

When I saw the message, my heart soared. I won’t deny it! I ended up turning into that friend that low key wanted to be more but didn’t want to be a home wrecker. But if the chance to date him again was ever presented itself, I’d take it.

It was August of 2007 and for one reason and another, he broke up with his girlfriend. I truly was sorry their relationship ended because they seemed so in love but I screamed inside when he asked me to go on a date with him. Yes, I was the rebound chick but I wanted to be! Plus, it would have been the first date I’d ever been on in my life. My mom was out of town but I was a very responsible teenager so when I called her and told her, she agreed on one condition. She wanted to talk to him and pretty much glean every piece of information out of him except his social security number… It was so embarrassing! That night over watching Superbad in theaters, eating peanut M&Ms and Chinese food, we bonded.

It’s now 2017 and here we are. We’ve endured lots of bads but plenty more goods in ten years. There were truly moments where we didn’t think we’d endure the test of time but we’ve exceeded even our expectations. If you ask my husband, he always without a doubt, from the first moment, that I was his forever. I, on the other hand was skeptical back then but now I can definitely say I agree. With Endangered Thursdays being tomorrow, I thought I would share this with you all today. Officially, tomorrow is my ten year dating anniversary and it’s a miracle I haven’t gifted my husband yet because I usually get so excited and impatient to know his reaction to his gifts. I’ll share the story behind the gifts another day in case he decides to take a peek at my blog, I don’t want him to know what I got him.

I will however share pictures of us from 2007 vs. 2017 for you lovelies:

Hope you all have a happy Tuesday. ❤

Things People Do

Before I get into the awesome eclipse pic share, I want to discuss thoughts I have about the things that people do for money. If you’ve been following this corner of the internet for a while, you know I do endangered posts every Thursday featuring animals and sometimes plants that are endanger of extinction in the hopes of spreading more awareness.

Every morning on the way to work, I listen to NPR. This is my main source of news and I prefer it that way because NPR is pretty unbiased and does not take sides in the always revolving debate of politics, religion, and everything else under the sun that occurs on this planet. This morning while I was listening to the latest about this and that, a reporter recounted a story I just find unbelievable. Late last year, China announced it was banning the trade of ivory in the entire country. We all rejoiced because that essentially kills the need for poachers to continue going after elephants for their tusks or conservationists in collaboration with vets going out and cutting off elephants tusks to prevent them from dying at the hands of poachers. Hooray right? That’s a huge step back in the race against extinction right?

Well, yes and no. You see, now that ivory is illegal to sell in most countries in this world, poachers have taken a different avenue in order to make money; besides poaching on other endangered animals that is. They are now taking themselves to the most backends of Siberia to mine permafrost in order to dig up MAMMOTH tusks to sell! MAMMOTHS!! I mean that’s taking it to a new level to poach a creature that’s literally extinct because you can’t kill an elephant?? Am I missing something here? Is the money really that worth it? Honestly, if it’s all about making thousands overnight, I just want to tell these poachers to get some pole dancing lessons and become a stripper because digging up a long dead creature, not to mention the methods in which they are doing it are ruining the environment, is taking money making to an all new, extreme low.

Now that I got that out of my system, here are the pictures I took of the eclipse yesterday! If you’ve never worn eclipse glasses, they are a really cool piece of cardboard and lens tech. They are completely dark on the inside. It’s not like looking through a pair of sunglasses where your landscape is tinted, it’s completely darkness until you look up at the sun. And when you do, that’s all you can see! It’s the coolest thing ever. One picture I took looking up at the sky with the glasses over my camera lens and you can see the clouds passing by the beginning of the eclipse. When we were at the peak of the eclipse, it was a bit harder to get a picture of the situation in the sky and my car hood came into play because I could look at that with sunglasses and take pictures at the same time. I think I got a pretty good picture but there are definite plans of upgrade camera technology with special filters for the 2024 solar eclipse.

Lastly, I want to share a picture a friend took that I thought was super cool! It’s the reflection of the eclipse on the ground!

Do you think I’m being dramatic in my rant above? (You can tell me without consequence I promise 😉 ) Did you happen to catch the eclipse or maybe watch it online? Let me know in the comments below!

Excitement

I’m so excited!! This week is going to be so fantastic! I have a story I really want to share but I can’t until at least Wednesday. Make sure you check back in two days. Today, what I’m really excited about is that there is going to be a total solar eclipse! I’m lucky enough to live in the United States which has a path of totality mapped out. I’m also quite excited to be in a state that’s close to said path of totality. It will only be a partial solar eclipse but it’s 80% coverage and that’s still something to be excited about considering I don’t remember ever seeing one in my life!

A coworker brought in solar eclipse glasses and we have a few welding helmets on tap for this event. It starts around 1pm EST and peaks at 2:30pm EST. I’M SO EXCITED!! I’m going to try to take pictures of the eclipse. Since you can’t point your camera directly at it without burning up your camera’s sensor, I’m going to try other tricks. A friend of mine recommended viewing it through my car’s hood because it absorbs all the heat and is an awesome mirror reflection of what’s going on in the sky.

It’s supposedly might rain later which means cloudy skies but according to the weather (which is always wrong) it’s only going to be 15% chance. I’m translating that to mean that it’s actually only going to be 5% and I’ll get to see this eclipse! I won’t fret too much though if it ends up being cloudy because the next total eclipse visible from the United States will be April 8, 2024 and will pass upwards through Texas and Ohio is RIGHT IN THAT PATH OF TOTALITY! So I definitely plan to be alive in another 7 years.

Anyway, that’s all I really have. I could go on and talk about how last night’s episode of Game of Thrones broke my heart but I won’t do that because spoilers. (Season finale is next week! I’m not ready!)

Are you going to watch the eclipse today? Please be safe if you do. I love your eyes and don’t want you to burn your retinas. If you’re not, are you looking forward to the pictures of the eclipse? Let me know in the comments below!

Growing Self Award

I recently decided not to post on the weekends because I’m so behind on my Goodreads challenge I figured I’d be able to devote more time to reading if I cut back on my posting. I still interact and read all of your posts, I just don’t post any of my own. I’ve been nominated for quite a few awards over the past few weeks. I’m also behind on those and I want to say I apologize for that and admit that I’m probably not going to catch up on them if they aren’t book related (please don’t hate me).

Today, however, not only am I breaking my no weekend posts rule, but I’m also doing an award post. I actually cant NOT do this award because it’s just so beautiful. The wonderful, fabulous, amazing Roda nominated me for her Growing Self Award. Here is the description:


What is the Growing Self Blogger Award?

“The Growing Self Blogger Award has been created to acknowledge and celebrate amazing individuals, in the blogging community, who are persevering through life’s challenges not only to GROW as individuals, but to reach out and help others GROW as well.” ~Roda

How Does It Work:

  • Put the award logo/image on your blog
  • List the rules
  • Thank the individual that nominated you and provide a link to their blog
  • Describe the award and mention the creator: Roda @ Growingself.blog
  • Nominate up to 5 blogs. Remember, the purpose of this award is to specifically celebrate those individuals that make a difference in the lives of others.
  • Give 1 reason why you nominated each individual.
  • Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog

I’ve been around since the inception of this award and I always applauded each wave of nominees. I honestly thought I didn’t fit the parameters for this award so never thought it would come my way. Imagine my surprise when it did exactly that and not only from Roda herself but also Mischenko and Noriko. If we were all in person, I’d pretty much be speechless. I know the Endangered posts are having a lot of impact, which is what I continue to wish for, but I’m coming to realize that my stories are a lot of fun as well and my blogging purpose, besides talking about my everyday passions, is to bring a smile to each person’s face. I don’t often talk about my own insecurities but I just want to say that I appreciate that the three of you recognize something in me that you feel the need to share with others.

With that said, I would like to point out the souls who have impacted my blogging experience as well as my life in general in a fantastic way. Most of you have already been nominated but you’re going to endure another one! 😉 P.S. it’s going to be more than five.

The first person I have to nominate is my blogging bff, Peela. Peela and I connected one long ago day over her post consisting of her encounter with an old man trying to buy a box of tampons for a female member of his family. I remember laughing so hard and instantly knew I had to read more. From there I’ve been enduring following her six word romance story religiously and the rest is history. We talk every single day. I defer to her for advice about literally everything. She lives on the other side of the world but is truly one of the closest friends I’ve ever had. So thank you Peela for being you.

Next, I have to shout out James. I know he’s basically been nominated by everyone because hes such a great person but he’s another one that I talk to on a daily basis. I don’t know what else to say that anyone else hasn’t said but I’m glad that we have the friendship that we do. You know how much you mean to me. I’m glad you trust my advice as much as I trust yours and I look forward to our continued friendship and helping you grow your writing career.

Following James, I nominate theorangutanlibrarian. As I’ve said in previous posts, she was one of my first 10 followers. I remember being amazed that someone with over 1000 followers (at that time) saw something worth following on my blog. She always responds to my comments I leave on her blog as much as I respond to hers on my blog. I really feel like I can wax poetic about you girl but just know you are definitely a huge reason I keep writing.

I have to re-nominated Noriko. Noriko is another soul who lives on the other side of the world but since we’ve met has been such a great friend! I love boosting your confidence on your book reviews because you truly write them very well. I’m also so glad you’ve started to share a bit of your world with me and the rest of your readers. You are so freaking sweet and I always look forward to talking to you every day!

I’m also re-nominating Mischenko. Honestly, where do I begin. You inspire me to explore! That’s the best way I can describe it. I never thought I’d ever have a feeling to read non-fiction until you and I definitely didn’t think I’d find myself wanting to be in the kitchen more often thanks to you. You are a great friend, an amazing mother and truly a role model for all of us.

(This is getting long, I know, but bear with me through a few more!)

I can’t have a love post without nominating Linda. I’m sure you all have seen the banter Linda and I have with each other on a regular basis. I mean I even made a post called the Unique Linda Award because she is the very definition of unique! I never thought I’d find my equal in the snarky, no holds barred department until I met you. Because of you I got into sharing more stories about my everyday life and the craziness I get into. I was pretty open and honest before but you’ve definitely driven me to new, awesome levels. I know you’re having a rough time right now but I hope when you read this post that you smile even if it’s for a couple seconds.

I have to nominate Patty. Patty and I got close over our love for all things Charley Davidson. She got me in with the Grimlet Street Crew and inspires me to be more involved in the book community. I love seeing your cake posts because you are super talented and I cannot wait until November because our meet is going to be the highlight of my year!

This next person I’m considering an honorable mention. I’d like to nomin-mention CimmerianSentiment. Cim writes romance short stories that I’m absolutely hooked too. The installments are the first posts I read every morning and like I said before, I’m your number one fan. I know you don’t do awards but I just wanted you to know that I appreciate you. Especially when you make exceptions for me while torturing me with cliffhangers!

I’m ending this post by thanking Roda herself for creating such a beautiful award in the first place. I believe you’ve left a great mark on the blogging community through your experiences and your encouragement to all of us to be our best selves.

I love you all and thank you for being the most exceptional people on the internet. ♥♥♥