Facebook Friday 2/23/18

Man is it just me or did February pass by in the blink of an eye? I checked the calendar this morning and this is the last Facebook Friday of February! (say that three times fast :P). Not much was happening in social media land besides constant talking points on guns of course but I did manage to find some happy spots I’m going to share with you today.

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 this week, I actually did find a meme! I think it’s quite appropriate too since this is pretty much me all day, everyday:

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I have definitely had no time to read these days so becoming a hobo sounds quite appealing right now!

Next up, I’m a bit of a Phantom of the Opera nerd. Which isn’t really true because I’ve only watched the movie version featuring Gerard Butler and Emmy Rossum but I have listened to various versions of the soundtracks and I know every song. Phantom of the Opera celebrated 30 years on Broadway this past week so their Facebook page shared lots of interesting fun facts all week long. It was also featured on an episode Jeporardy where it had it’s own category! I always liked guessing the answers to these types of questions so I watched the clip and I actually only missed two I believe! Shocked myself let me tell you. Had to have been a combination of lucky guesses and memory. Check it out for yourselves and see if you can guess the answers before the contestants do:


Lastly, I want to show you all two of the four feral cats that have been plaguing my existence these days. Yes, I know, they’re so cute and look so friendly! Don’t let looks fool you. They’re the spawn of Satan, the little howling demons. I hope as the weather warms up, they find somewhere else to live:

That’s it for Facebook Friday! Have you all seen anything interesting or fun in your social medias this week? Let me know in the comments below!

Have a good weekend everyone and see you Monday!

Proboscis Monkey

Today’s endangered animal comes straight from the coastal forests of Borneo. Sadly, pretty much all the animals in Borneo are Endangered, Critically Endangered or Extinct already. However, efforts are being made to save the surviving few.

I want to start by saying that if you Google the word proboscis it means the nose of a mammal, usually a long nose or it’s the mouth-like snout of an insect. So, seeing the picture of this monkey, you can imagine how it obtained it’s name. It’s scientific name is Nasalis lavatus. Proboscis monkeys don’t grow to be very tall. Only a little over 2 feet tall with males weighing up to about 50 pounds and females weighing less than that. You can find them in the arboreal coastal lowlands of the island of Borneo in Southeast Asia where they are endemic.

monkey-681668_640You can distinguish adult proboscis monkeys from offspring because of their coloring. Adults have light brown or red fur with pale faces while their young are born with black fur and blue faces. The bulbous nose is only found on male proboscis monkeys. The main reason for such a large nose has to do with obtaining and attracting mates. Proboscis monkeys live in groups of harems where you have one male and between to to six females. They have specialized mating calls and it is speculated that the echo of these calls is amplified because of their noses. In the case of this species, size matters… a lot. Scientists have speculated that the size and length of the nose has a direct correlation with the size and length of the penis and the testes. The bigger the nose, the bigger the reproductive parts. The nose is always growing too. As males age, their noses become larger and longer.

Diet of proboscis monkeys mostly consists of leaves, seeds and unripe fruits. Offspring are born after a gestation period of six months. Like humans, proboscis monkeys only have one offspring at a time and will remain with mom and the rest of the harem for several years. If the offspring is male, once he reaches maturity, he goes off and joins bachelor groups. Proboscis monkeys primarily spend most of their time in trees but they will come down to land if food is scarce. Another feature of these monkeys is their swimming ability. There have been sightings of proboscis monkeys belly flopping into rivers to swim across in search of more food. What makes them such great swimmers are their partially webbed hands and feet! They are able to escape predators such as large lizards and crocodiles because they are such good, fast swimmers.proboscis-monkey-216215_640

The proboscis monkey has been listed as Endangered since the year 2000 with less than 1000 individuals remaining in the wild. The main causes of population decline are illegal hunting and capture and habitat destruction. The rainforest and mangroves trees have been cleared for the harvest of timber and implementation of oil palm plantations. This forces the proboscis monkeys to come to land more often and travel far distances for food making them easy prey for land animals such as jaguars. Hunting is also a problem because even though they are banned from being sold internationally, they are still sold within the area and some natives consider them a delicacy.

There are ongoing conservation efforts. One of which is a wildlife sanctuary but even that is a challenge for the proboscis monkeys especially since they do not do well in captivity. There are not any direct links to contribute to saving proboscis monkeys specifically but donating to any project that’s goal is to save rainforests is a start.

(Sources: Arkive, NatGeo, IUCN)

Ode to Oats

Last night I was in conversation with one of my favorites, Jenn, you all know her as Mischenko on here, and we were talking about healthy eating habits. She’s like my health guru because if you ever need to know what vegetable or fruit can cure your ailments, she’s the one you need to talk to because she’s full of amazing advice! I forget how we got on the subject of breakfast eating but we were talking about oatmeal and I remember telling her I found a link for some really good looking overnight oats. I’ve made overnight oats in the past but it wasn’t a successful, tasty endeavor. These recipes however sounded very appealing to my tastebuds. I shared the recipes with Jenn and she really liked the sound of them and we both got this idea that she’d make one recipe and I’d make another and then we’d both write a blog post about it today sharing out thoughts. So here we go:

I decided to make the berry overnight oats without the greek yogurt. I didn’t have any greek yogurt to begin with but also because I seem to have an aversion to it for now. All the other ingredients I had though. Prep for these oats takes literally 3 minutes. I had a mason jar suprisingly from back when it was cherry picking season and my boss made cherry jam for everyone. If you don’t have a mason jar though, I’m sure you could use any type of sealed container. Here are the ingredients:

  • Berries and Cream Overnight Oats:
  • ½ cup Rolled Oats
  • ⅔ cup Almond Milk (can substitute coconut or cashew milk)
  • ⅓ cup Greek Yogurt
  • ½ Tablespoon Chia Seeds
  • ½ teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • ⅛ teaspoon Salt
  • 1-2 Tablespoons 100% Real Maple Syrup
  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries

So what you want to do is put all the ingredients in a jar in the order of which they appear on the list. The other ingredient I didn’t add was salt because I just missed the step I think. Now, I used frozen blueberries and strawberries. The recipe wants you to add them after but I put them right in with everything else. Mixed it up and plopped it in the fridge. This is what it all looks like mixed up in the jar:

So my oats sat in the fridge from 10pm to 7am. I ate them when I got to work at 8 and let me tell you, I was not prepared for the first bite. Good lord is this super delicious! I don’t know what I did wrong the first time but there is no comparison to this recipe! It doesn’t even taste healthy; it tastes like a dessert! I’m truly blown away and thinking this my be a regular staple to interchange with my egg breakfasts (cause I freaking love eggs).

Do yourself a favor and check out Jenn’s post (click the word post to be redirected :P). She made the chocolate coconut recipe so you have to see if her reaction to the oats was as great as mine!

Also, here’s the link to all the recipes if this sounds like something you want to try in the future: http://www.modernhoney.com/overnight-oats-5-ways/

Slacker

Yep. That’s me. My blog is probably going to slow down at least on the original content for a bit. I just have no motivation to write this week so far. Plus, I have a lot going on with ARCs that need to be read, getting estimates for work on the house, trying to keep cooking healthy every day, doctor’s appointments, work, life in general. Add to that, there are 4 freaking feral cats that live under our deck outside and they howl at the moon like they’re in heat for hours at night.

Did I mention I’m a super light sleeper? It’s hell. So now I have dreams of cat repellent or running them away with a broom. I love animals, don’t get me wrong, but these cats keep waking me up. I know they’re being fed because they are bigger than my cats so I refuse to feed them considering how much they stick around our house anyway. So yeah, losing sleep because cats in the night makes me grumpy. 😦

I still plan to do Thursdays and Friday posts for now and if inspiration strikes, I’ll write whatever that content may be but if I disappear for a while, all of that above is why. I should pick it back up in March though. I just need to get caught up with life so the blog has to take a backseat.

Lastly, just because, if you have not seen Black Panther yet, you should! Shuri is my spirit animal and Okoye is my spirit warrior. Its a little bit more grittier than previous Marvel films but nevertheless its absolutely stunning. Also, the jokes aren’t forced, they just blend right into the commentary which is aweeeesome! I’m probably going to see it again either this week or next week but I just want to say, highly recommend and if you want to talk about theories with me, I’m totally down.

Have a good Tuesday everyone!

Facebook Friday 2/16/18

Hey, hey! It’s Facebook Friday!

Today is nice and dark and gloomy. I don’t think we’ll be seeing sunshine today and it’s getting cold again. This up and down with my emotions is not cool Mother Nature!

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.

Another week and no memes. Well, actually, I did see some good memes but they’re politically motivated and if I shared any of them, they’d open up that can of worms. So today’s “meme” is going to be more special! If you haven’t already heard, today is the release of Black Panther! Perfect timing of course because this is Black History Month and this movie will be epically historic so my meme is just going to be the movie poster to encourage you to go see this movie like I am tomorrow night!

Image result for black panther

On Facebook, I shared two videos this week. The first one is so cute because it’s a baby kanagroo stretching his legs. According to the video, he had only spent time in the pouch and then he was orphaned and if you remember my previous post about being born twice, mama kangaroos help the joeys to learn to hop around. This guy has the joey walk around the house and then uses the pillow case as a “pouch” when baby is done walking. It’s super adorable!


The next video I shared was from a music show called The Four. I don’t actually tune into to music competition shows on TV but I will watch video clips that show up on Facebook or YouTube because I’m a sucker for good singing voices. This guy’s name is Vincint and his rendition of Radiohead’s Creep was absolutely brain freezing. I’ve watched it at least 5 times now because I just can’t get over his voice!


That’s it for Facebook Friday this week. Did you see anything interesting in your social medias this week? Do you have any fun plans this weekend? Let me know in the comments below and have a safe, great weekend everyone!

See you Monday. 🙂

Shoebill

The other day I was browsing Facebook, as I usually do, and I came across an article titled “15 animals that are endangered of going extinct in the next 10 years” or something along those lines. Most of them I’ve seen before like polar bears, Sumatran tigers, rhinos, etc, and the vaquita. Then I saw a picture of one of these and immediately was like, “what is that! I have to talk about it”, thus commencing my internet search for this Endangered Thursday post.

The shoebill, also known as the whale headed stork, or Balaeniceps rex, is quite a fascinating creature. It’s blueish gray in color, has yellow eyes and stands about 5 feet tall. I’m 5 foot 7 inches myself and this bird can almost look me in the eye just standing there! The name is derived from the size and shape of it’s beak. It looks almost like an elf shoe or a clog with the hook on the end but definitely not as soft and fuzzy as one. Most people relate the look of this species to a stork, a pelican or a heron but it’s more like all those 3 combined and then some because this species is highly evolved.

If you’re wondering where this beastie resides, you’d have to travel to the wetlands and shoebill with eelswamps of Africa to see them. They are endemic to the areas of Southern Sudan, Uganda, Tanzania and Zambia. These areas are plentiful of what the shoebill loves to eat: lungfish. However they snack on other things as well. Shoebill have been known to eat other smaller fishes like catfish and tilapia, eels, frogs, monitor lizards, turtles and baby crocodiles. That’s right, BABY CROCODILES! The mandible on this bird is insanely strong and it can crush hard exoskeletons like cracking open a hazelnut. They are quite smart too. They are very good at standing still for extended periods of time. What they do is stand very still, like a statue, in the area of their prey and they almost blend in with the vegetation surrounding them — striking when the opportunity presents itself. They usually gulp up a mouthful of vegetation along with their prey so they’ll shake their heads to be rid of the vegetation (because vegetables are gross 😉 ) and then decapitate their prey while it’s in it’s mouth before final consumption.

Balaeniceps-rex_Claudia-Gray_ZSL_2Shoebills are very solitary animals. It’s very rare that you’ll see them in a group unless it’s mating season. They also do not migrate like regular birds unless the lungfish move then they’ll generally follow them. Breeding season occurs at the start of the dry season. When a shoebill mates, it’s monogamous but also the males and the females participate fully in the rearing process from building the nest to keeping the eggs incubated or cooled. Eggs hatch once a year because it takes a while for a shoebill to fledge. It takes 30 days for an egg to hatch and then 95 days for the the hatchling to fledge. During this time the parents feed the chicks regurgitated food multiple times a day. Once they fledge, it takes about another 30 days for them to be able to fly and once they fly they are independent of their parents. Shoebills live about 36 years in the wild.

Shoebills don’t really have any predators because they protect their habitats aggressively. Humans don’t bother them either. They’ll usually just have a staring contest. Shoebills are important to the ecosystem however because they keep the lungfish and some of the other swamp creatures populations in check. The natives borderline fear these birds but they bring money to the area through ecotourism.

Shoebills are listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List because they suspect there are only about 5,000-8,000 individuals remaining. This is one step above Endangered. They are protected by law in the countries they inhabit but habitat destruction is the number one cause for population decline. The swamps and wetlands they rely on to survive are being converted into agricultural land for farming and cattle grazing. There is also what’s known as the zoo trade. Shoebills in zoos are in high demand so the natives will capture the shoebirds and sell them for up to $20,0000 dollars to zoos. If shoebills breed in captivity, it’s highly likely that hatchlings will imprint on the zookeepers making it impossible to ever release them back in the wild when they’re adults. As of now there are no conservation plans to save the shoebill or conservancies taking donations but this is one bird that has eyes on it because nobody wants it to become endangered or even worse, extinct.

Check out the video below to see the shoebill catching its prey in action! Isn’t this one of the most prehistoric, robotic looking animals you’ve ever seen??

(Picture Sources: EDGE, Imgur)
(Sources: IUCN, Animal Diversity)

 

Love to Love

I was thinking about what to write today. You ever just stare at this blank slate and say what can/should I write today? Since today is Valentine’s Day in America, I figured it should be something related to that somehow. My husband and I have been together for 10 years and we never really make it a point to celebrate Valentine’s Day every year. Sometimes he’ll surprise me like a few years ago he took me to this super duper fancy restaurant and I got to eat bolognese. If you’ve never had it, oh my freaking goodness. I had it for the first time in Italy and it’s amazing. I was thinking of maybe recreating it over the weekend because I found an easy to follow recipe to make it but my mother is coming in to see me and we’re going to see Black Panther Saturday night and I need at least 6 hours to make this sauce so I don’t know. We’ll see.

Most of the time we just say Happy Valentine’s Day and I love you to each other and keep it moving. It got me thinking about how often I tell people I love them. I know some people just use it as a phrase to show excitement because maybe a friend helped them have an epiphany but I honestly believe that I use it the way it was intended no matter who I’m saying it to. Saying “I like you” would just be weird to me or it just doesn’t emphasize my feelings enough? Obviously the love I have for my husband is on a completely different level than the love I have for friends or family but when I tell someone I love them, I mean it as in I care about your well being, what’s going on in your life every single day, what’s making you happy or sad (so I can be happy with you or fix it) and other things along those lines.

See how I go from blank to words? I truly even didn’t plan on that random, kind of philosophicalness to spew out but there it is. I really only planned to share a song today that is called Valentine cause there’s not many songs with the word “valentine” in the title. I can think of two off the top of my head. I’m sure you all have heard the song “My Funny Valentine” in a zillion different versions but have you heard the song “Valentine”? I’m sharing the throwback Pentatonix version because I love them and the melody and harmony of this song is so beautiful. I’ll also share the lyrics as well:

I will be friendly
(Please don’t be…)
My soul came to be terrified
(…so terrified)
Please don’t be so shy
So will you never be my lover or my valentine
Never be a friend of mine
Never see my better side
Maybe you’d be terrified
Of all the secrets you were wishing you won’t ever find
‘Cause deep inside me
And I don’t wanna hide me
‘Cause I know about my love
‘Cause I know about my love
‘Cause I know about my love
‘Cause I know about my love
Yeah, pick it fast like a flight far away from here (fly away)
Before I know I feel at home whenever you are near
Live my life, you better cold cut to this
I wish you’d hold me open just to see your vision clear
‘Cause I know about my love (‘Cause I know about my love)
‘Cause I know about my love (‘Cause I know about my love)
‘Cause I know about my love (‘Cause I know about my love)
‘Cause I know about my love (‘Cause I know about my love)
‘Cause I know about my love
‘Cause I know about my love
About my love
About my love
About my love
I will be friendly
(Please don’t be)
My soul came to be terrified
(so terrified)
Please don’t be so shy
That’s all I got for today. Happy Valentine’s Day beautiful people! If you have Valentine’s day stuff planned I hope they make you smile hugely and if you don’t, here is me sending you a virtual chocolate heart that will hopefully make you smile with the rest of us today.

Things Learned Watching Anime Movies

As I regularly do these past few weeks, I messaged my great, amazing friend ❤ Mischenko ❤ to talk about this and that. I’ve got a lot going on in my life currently and she’s really good at listening, laughing at  with me, and generally giving me some really great advice. I forget how we got on the subject of anime movies but I remember asking her if she had ever watched Howl’s Moving Castle especially since I knew her kids would love it. Her daughter, especially loved the movie because she got it for Christmas. This of course led to further anime movie discussion and I got to thinking about the things these Studio Ghibli films have in common. So today I thought I would share with you some of my favorites and why they’re so fantastic.

Image result for howl's moving castleHowl’s Moving Castle is a story about beauty, curses, and overcoming your inner demons. Sophie is the main character who leads a very boring life until one day she meets a powerful wizard named Howl. He’s being chased by the evil witch’s shadow demons and Sophie unknowingly comes to his aid. The witch then gets jealous of Sophie and curses her by stealing her youth and beauty and turning her into an old lady. From there Sophie joins Howl, Markl and talking flame Calcifer in the castle and learns about this world of magic as well as the additional curses and struggles this little family is going through. It’s really a great film that teaches a person that you are stronger than your inner demons ans when you have a nice family backbone to help you, you realize that beauty comes in all forms, shapes and sizes and believing in yourself can enable you to believe in the unimaginable.

Image result for princess mononokePrincess Mononoke is a story featuring natives living and working the land when a living disease infects one of the animals they normally hunt and begins to plague the people and land it treks through. Ashitaka, prince of the village, gets in the path of disease to save his sisters and the cursed plague infects his arm which has a few alarming effects. He decides to go on a journey to find a cure for the curse. Along the way he meets a wildling girl named San who was raised by wolves and is trying to drive the modern coal farmers away because they’e destroying the forest and the forest Gods are not fans of this and have decided to fight back. It’s a war of nature versus the mechanical all while trying to cure this nasty plague. This film is a little bit darker than the rest of the Studio Ghibli films but the main takeaway is how important the environment is and why it’s essential that we save it. It’s also about compromise — informing an individual why you feel the way you do without shoving your anger and hatred down their throat; making them open their eyes and mind and seeing a different side of the coin.

Image result for spirited awaySpirited Away is a story about a little girl who has been told by her parents that they are moving. She is quite reluctant to do so because she’s built such a home where they are now. While driving to their new home, they take a wrong turn and Chihiro and her parents is pulled into a world they never imagined. Her father insists one exploring this area and they stumbled upon some delicious looking foods. What they did not expect is the side effects of eating food in this magical place — they turned into pigs! Chihiro is frantic and all she wants to do is go back home but she has to figure out how to get her parents to turn back into humans. She ends up discovering all types of things about the people of this world, the culture, foods, and even makes friends with a boy who can turn into a dragon. The main takeaway from this film is courage; To not be afraid to face the unknown and have the courage to overcome your fears. Life isn’t planned out for you where you know exactly what’s going to happen when. You probably hear this all the time but you really should live life to its fullest. Fear holds you back from what could be the greatest moments of your life. And if they aren’t, well, you learned a lesson which makes you smarter, braver, tougher and more able to handle anything life throws you in the future. Nobody is perfect but if you make the best of the hand you’re dealt, you will find that you can conquer the world.


Since this post is coming up on over 800 words and I didn’t know I had all that in me, I’ll leave it at these three today. I still have a couple more movies I can talk about but I’ll leave it for a later post. I also want to note that I originally watched all of these in their Japanese version with English subtitles but now there are English voice acting versions if reading this post has you intrigued.

These are better than Disney right?!?! 😉 Have you seen these three movies or any Studio Ghibli film? What do you think of the takeaways I got from these? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

Being an Adult

I initially had a plan to write a fun post but I think I have to save it for tomorrow because I am in the midst of some hardcore adulting and realizing how not fun it is. We bought our house about a year and a half ago and of course things are starting to fall apart because it’s not like a brand new house. It was built in 1950. The previous owners and maybe the ones before them made a few upgrades but mostly to the outside.

For example, our roof is only 5 years old which is fantastic and our 2-car garage is pretty much brand new. However, the inside parts could use some work. Our garbage disposal died a few months ago and we didn’t really see it necessary to get fixed because we have a dishwasher but now its leaking out of the bottom so we can’t ignore it anymore. Yesterday we replaced our bathtub spout and the trip lever because I’m pretty the type determined not to pay someone if we can help it. Luckily that was easy to do thanks to YouTube.

Which leads me to, what did we do before YouTube?? Seriously. I have never been more grateful for a technological advance in my life. DIY videos save you so much money! My husband was so ready to call a plumber and pay hundreds when it ended up only costing $60 and like an hour of our time. Plus, we learned a  new skill! It doesn’t get any better than that. Some things though, unfortunately, you just need a professional. Like I want new carpet and hardwood in the whole downstairs of our house. I’m sure YouTube would be helpful but I do not have that kind of patience.

In the midst of all this, there’s also taxes that need to be filed. We owed the stupid government big time last year so we change some things around. Of course, we still owe money this year. We can’t win…

Can I please go back to being a dependent? Life was such a breeze. Please and Thank you. That ends my adulting rant for today. Never grow up people! Or at least don’t buy a house. Stay in apartments where getting stuff fixed is part of your rent, hahaha.

Facebook Friday 2/9/18

I have never been more happier that it’s Friday than I am today. After my hectic yesterday where I didn’t get to log into WordPress at all (missed Endangered Thursday, sad panda), I woke up super late for work this morning! My alarm must have decided  the weekend came early because I woke up at the exact time that I usually leave to start driving for work. Luckily my boss is understanding! Hopefully the day goes by fast then I can definitely sleep for a whole day with no worries. Let’s get started with Facebook Friday shall we?

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.

As far as memes go, I didn’t share any on Facebook or Twitter. I don’t think I saw any good ones that were share worthy enough. It was all about the videos! The first video I shared was one of the Superbowl commercials with Peter Dinklage and Morgan Freeman but it’s been circulating pretty good so I won’t share it today because I suspect most of you have already seen it. The next video I shared was another Ellen show clip. This one featuring Melissa McCarthy and truly, these two together are just super freaking hilarious. Make sure to watch it long enough to see Melissa McCarthy’s puppy impressions. They are gold!:


This video was actually shared to me by the wonderful Robin over at The Robin’s Nest. She knows how much I love animals, turtles especially, and this video is so heartwarming and just restores your faith in humanity:


In case you didn’t know, loggerhead turtles are critically endangered so this guy is definitely doing a great thing pointing them in the right direction!

Alas, I didn’t share any pictures this week; at least not on social media but I do have a cute cat one for all you lovelies because my cat is such a trip:

That’s it for Facebook Friday! Did you see anything interesting in your social medias this week? Let me know in the comments below! Have a good weekend everyone! Go see Fifty Shades Freed and see you Monday!