Think Goose!

What a nice wake me up. My Pandora is playing Disney tunes. First, Part of Your World and now Hakuna Matata. Reminded me of a story that I hope you’ll enjoy. As always, laughter is always welcome.

I got this idea into my head (yes, I have awesome ideas most times :P) that my husband and I should go walking in nature one Sunday. It looked like it was going to rain but it hadn’t started yet and we were up early enough, I figured we could go walk a mile or two before the rain started.

There are quite a few metroparks in and around our town. There was one right around the corner that seemed promising. I always saw it driving on the way home and figured it would be a nice little walk. When we got there, turned out this park was just a dock point for kayaks. I took some pictures especially of the geese because it’s baby season and Canada geese all over have been rapid, reproducing machines.

I should have known that was a sign.

We decided to drive to the Gorge Metropark instead since that’s a tried and true nice, long hiking trail. We get there and instead of taking the trail to the giant waterfall dam, we take a route we hadn’t walked before. I’d say about 7 minutes into the walk we encounter Goosey Lucy on the trail. She is not happy to see us. We get the hiss treatment and the stink eye. Luckily, there’s enough trail that we could stride widely and slowly around her. We didn’t see any other geese around her so I attributed it to her being a morning grump. I’m a grumps in the morning cause my bed is so comfortable that I don’t want to leave it but priorities and all that; grumps until I fully wake up then I’m less grumps.

I want to say we walked a total of 3 miles. It started raining on us and we kept going forward cause the trees were a natural barrier and my husband and the foresight to grab an umbrella. At one point we decided to turn around because the way metroparks work in Ohio, you could literally walk from one city to another through the parks. They’re quite extensive. One of the highlights on this trail was getting to see the dam from top side.

You know that feeling when your legs are tired but the best relief is to walk a little faster or run because regular speed hurts too much? That’s basically what we had going on plus we were getting hungry so we hustled back at a faster pace.

We get back to the spot were we saw Goosey Lucy only to encounter Goosey Brucey as well. Now we’re getting two stink eyes and double the hissing. They’re taking up more of the trail this time. We start to give them a wide berth like we did the first time but they spread their wings and take steps towards us!

My husband tries to keep walking. I grab him by the elbow to stop him.

Him: Why are we stopping?

Me: Because these geese are giving us their “I’m going to kill you stances” which means there are probably babies in that tall grass.

Sure enough I was right. Three goslings walk out to stand with their parents.

Him: Okay, so? We’ll just walk quickly.

Me: No we aren’t.

Him: I have the umbrella. We can use it as a shield.

Me: That umbrella has a sharp point! I don’t want to be responsible for injuring a goose.

Him: They won’t get my wife!

Me: My hero.

Him: Yes, I am.

Me: You do know a goose attack can break bones right? People underestimate the power of their wings.

Him: I can take ’em!

He was getting upset cause they were hissing in earnest now. I’m like they’re just protecting their babies. It reminded me of my trumpeter swan days when us group of college students had to basically steal 6 babies from their parents before they fledged. It was part of a breeding program and definitely a story for another day.

The geese must have realized we wouldn’t move until they did because they started walking ahead on the trail. My husband and I followed slowly behind with our umbrella shield and I couldn’t help but thinking about that scene in Aristocats where the geese teach the cats how to waddle like geese.

The geese fam walked off into the tall grass and Brucey stays on the edge of the trail eyeing us as we pass. We’re five steps away when my husband turns around and goes, “You’re lucky my wife is holding me back or I’d take you on!” I wasn’t holding him at all. I was certainly laughing though, especially when he wrapped my arm around him to simulate me “holding him back”.

Silly man.

Resurrection Fern

Is it just me or are there two word prompts? Since I don’t know how to use paragon in a thoughtful, maybe funny post, I’m going to go with total.


Well I’m glad you follow this blog because I’m about to introduce you to one of the craziest, coolest things I’ve ever seen.

One day a friend of mine took me to this store in Akron called Land of Plenty. I don’t know why it has this name but it is definitely the land of random things. There are gemstones and coins and clothing and even furniture in this store. They also have a lot of plants.

So I know what succulents are but I had never heard of an air plant before. One of the workers there told me that air plants are literally what they sound like. They’re desert loving plants that survive on air though you do have to mist them every once in a while. There’s also another plant she explained to me about, and I ended up buying one, but I’ll go into that in another post.

I’m looking at all these air plant terrariums when I come across these tumbleweed looking things just sitting in a bowl. They were labelled as “resurrection ferns”. I’m sitting here like yeah.. it looks like it needs some kind of rejuvenation cause it’s looking pretty dead. The lady comes up to me, because she probably saw my look of confusion, and goes, “they’re alive”.

I’m scratching my head on this one people. I thought maybe she was a little bit high off all the incense that was burning in the place because I know what a dead plant looks like. She proceeds to tell me that it doesn’t come alive until you put it in water.

Excuse me, what?!? How is something that’s clearly dead, come back alive off water alone?! She assured me that if I bought this, put in in water, it would turn green.

For $4 dollars I had to see if she as telling the truth. So I bought one determined to prove that this can’t possibly be true. I don’t have a green thumb at all so I know what a dead plant looks like.

Man, I wasn’t ready!!!

The following are pictures of the different stages of a resurrection fern in about a 1-7 hour period:

She was telling the absolute truth!! MAGIC IS REAL!! This plant has no roots! It defies regular logic! At least my regular logic and YET! The proof is in the pudding and I don’t even like pudding that much.

Once the water evaporates, it curls back into itself and that’s it! Every time one of my best friends comes over, he puts it in water to see if it’ll open back up and so far it hasn’t failed.

Have any of you ever seen real life sorcery?? Let me know in the comments below!

So you want to be an author

Good morning! Well at least here on the east coast of the US.

In my previous post, I discussed part of my weekend at RAGT (Reader Author Get Together). I will get to part two of my weekend but I wanted to talk about the things I learned from an author I spontaneously met who let me pick her brain for two hours while we were waiting in line to see J.R. Ward. It started out as normal conversation because I had no idea she was an established author. When she told me, I was like woah! and thinking of all you lovely writers out there, I proceeded to ask her a million and one questions about how she got to where she is now. I want to share her journey with you all in the hopes that if you ever decide to write a book or already have a book and want to know what she considered was the best approach to putting yourself out there.

Step One: Write. 

She, like many, didn’t think she could write a book at first. Her friends encouraged her a lot because they thought she had some stellar ideas. One day she decided to sit down and start writing. The key is to keep writing no matter what. Some days you may not feel like writing but push through and do it anyway.

Step Two: Beta readers and assistants.

Once you have a written product, you want to get some feedback. You want to start to build a relationship with people who will be your first book point of contact. Those people will read your stories, judge them, point out any errors they find, critique your ideas and just be the brutally honest people that you are going to need. They also help you to find the events that you need to put yourself on the map. They are usually are your closest friends (who will work for free because they love you and want you to succeed).The more help you have, the more time you can spend on writing.

Step Three: Networking, networking and more networking.

Book conventions, expos, cons, workshops; the list goes on. She went to a few expos and ingratiated herself with authors that are already established. She constantly shared her story ideas while learning the book trends. Romance is HOT right now. Urban Fantasy is super HOT right now. Author Lora Leigh saw something in her and took her under her wing which, alone, changed the course of her career. She gave her tips, told her tricks and introduced her to other authors and editors.

Step Four: Find a proofreader and an editor.

Finding an editor is the first thing you need to do before you find an agent or a publisher. Why? Because your work needs to be spotless. She said enough grammatical errors in your work won’t even get a decent look. And then it goes back to networking. These editors know what they’re doing. It’s highly likely they have ties to agents and publishers and can open the door for you.

Step Five: Independent publishing vs. Traditional publishing

Once you’ve built your literary team, it’s time to decide how you want to proceed. There is nothing wrong with independent publishing. In fact, a lot of authors are migrating towards it because they can set their own rules. Traditional publishing is great but it can take time to be offered a contract. In the meantime, you could be indie publishing. Amazon is the number one hot spot to make that happen. You can start to gain royalties for the product you already have which allows you more time to focus on improving your writing skills or another book while playing the waiting game with traditional publishers. This author put it this way, “If a publisher knocked on my door and offered me a $200,000 contract, I wouldn’t say no but until then I’m living my dream job.”

Step Six: Do not stress over your first bad review. It won’t be your last.

In this age of the internet, it’s hard to tell who’s a true reviewer and who’s a troll. You can read them and stress yourself out or you can be like this author who leaves it to her beta readers and assistant to read them for her and give her quality feedback.

I’m not an expert and I’m sure everyone has their own ways of doing things. However whatever route you decide to take, I hope I’ve shared some useful information I received from this wonderful lady. It’s a long, slow process but in the end it can offer great rewards and if you have enough confidence in yourself and your work, you can, one day, live the dream.

Edit: Patty made me realized I never actually said the author’s name. Her name is Melanie Jayne. She writes contemporary romance with characters age 35 and up. Quite a niche area. She also plans to write urban fantasy under a pen name next. Check out her site here.

My Feels

These types of videos always pluck at my tender emotions. I watched this video the other day and then made my friend watch the video and she made a great point. In comparison to what this girl has gone through and what she’s accomplished since, makes all my perceived problems pale in comparison. It also gives you this huge sense of strength. With enough determination and passion, anything can be achieved.

FEEL FREE TO CRY UGLY TEARS! I sure did! But it was worth it for my smile at the end.

Shelf Situations

Okay, I admit. I have a problem hobby.

When we lived in our little one bedroom apartment, it was always a struggle trying to figure out how to stack all the books I acquire from sales and the internet on this shelf. It started out as one shelf then turned into two. The bookcase has four shelves total and I allowed my husband to use one for his video games and the very bottom one was for my Disney movies.

This is one thing I’m very particular about. They have to be shelved by author, and on top of that, in order by series. When shelved vertical, series order is always left to right not right to left. When stacked horizontally, series order is always top to bottom not bottom top. If I have doubles or stand-alones, they’re stacked by book size. The series I like the most have to be stacked in front and visible when I stack horizontal.

(If you were curious, those are not overdue library books. I bought them from library sales. Also, the little red and blue book sticking out is The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett.)

Thankfully we were finally able to save enough to buy a house and said house came with built in wall shelves in one of the bedrooms as well as the stair situation below:

Before you ask, yes, I’ve read every book in both pictures except Haunted, An Ember in the Ashes, Persona, and Storm Siren and my collection has doubled since.

Are you particular about the way your books are shelved? Are you like me and there’s no such thing as running out of space for books? Let me know in the comments below! 😀

This Was My Childhood

Fun fact. I’m a classic Disney nerd. If it’s not on VHS, it’s not classic Disney for me. I posted a photo in my Beauty and the Beast review of my collection but it has grown a little since then. I’m still missing a couple but here’s what I have so far:

The reason I keep these, besides my love for them, is because any future children I may have should not only know what VCR is, but to see and experience one of the things that made me who I am today.

I remember growing up constantly watching these movies. I saw Lion King and The Little Mermaid in theaters. My Grams would gather up the grandchildren with some popcorn and drinks and we would be good kids and stay in our seats and watch the movie. I was always riveted. I also remember having a birthday/slumber party centered around 101 Dalmatians where the decorations were dalmatian themed and we watched the animated version followed by the live action version when Glenn Close played Cruela DeVille.

Now that Disney has shifted direction and is going live action on my classics, it’s exciting but also has me skeptical a little. They are changing the stories up a tiny bit but so far I liked the successful ones: Maleficent, The Jungle Book and Beauty and the Beast. I know the Lion King is one of the next ones on the docket and I can only hope it will be spectacular considering James Earl Jones is reprising his vocal role as Mufasa.

I saw this video on Facebook last night and it just brought home the fact how great these movies are. Not only did they spurn the imagination but they were also good teachers. I know I’ve quoted a few of these movies a time or two.

Check out this compilation of Disney films. Does it bring back any memories for you? Do you have a favorite classic? Favorite quote? How do you feel about the live action reboots? Let me know in the comments below!

Natural Trace

All I can think about for the word today is this picture I came across back in my veterinary assistant days. I was outside walking the dogs, just after a good rain, when I saw this:

I won’t say I hate spiders, but that I have an interesting relationship with them. However, it’s always fascinating to see a spiderweb (when you’re not walking into them) because of a spider’s ability to trace an outline from a center of nothing. This particular web is a testament to how strong a spider’s silk is as the drew drops lining it show its survival from the previous night’s raging thunderstorm.

Modern Spin on Old Tales


Yesterday, my husband dragged me out of the house to see a movie. I’d expressed great interesting in seeing the film, King Arthur, since first seeing the trailer during the movie Logan. I’ve always loved the story.

For those that don’t know the story, here’s the common synopsis. Arthur was born during troubled times in England to Uther Pendragon. Merlin, who is a powerful wizard advises Uther that Arthur should be raised somewhere in secret because he feared the evil was too strong. After Uther dies, Merlin forges a sword, Excalibur, and sets it in stone for when the one true King comes along, he’ll be able to pull the sword from the stone. Arthur ends up pulling the sword by accident because he was essentially a stable boy and his master wanted it. Everyone recognized him as the one true King and he goes on to lead armies, which are known as the Knights of the Round Table, into battle to eventually fight his biggest enemy Mordred.

There are many, many different versions and this movie was no exception. In the case of this movie, Uther already has Excalibur in the beginning and he’s the one who ends up killing Mordred and his demon army. However, Uther has a brother who is very jealous and wants to take his throne. The brother gains power by sacrificing what he loves most to this Ursula looking being. Uther catches on and tries to flee with his family with Excalibur. Series of events later and you have Arthur the orphan. I won’t give too much away here in case you want to see it yourself.

Now we have this boy who’s raised in a brothel growing to learn how to be a man. What makes this movie so different are the jokes! This man has the coolest friends and they get into some crazy adventures. One instance is with the “town sheriff” who wants a recounting of their shenanigans which involve hilarious commentary between the three.

When the sword in the stone is found, it’s decided that all men have to line up and try to pull it and if you can’t pull it you get a brand on your wrist and go back to town. This sword is a quite beautiful. It markings look like wood pressed into steel along with specific words. Whoever wields this sword, they absorb with immense power. The hilt crystal hilt lights up a brilliant blue color as well as the wielder’s eyes and everything slows for a minute. The wielder is able to see his enemies clearly and the power within Excalibur unleashes this raging energy, like a bomb detonating, slaying enemies with a few swings of the sword.

Another point that makes this version different is the diversity in the characters. They all have different strengths. For example, one is good at talking people down, another is a good archer, and they’re all good thieves. It’s almost like a Robin Hood undertone was thrown in. Merlin only makes a one minute cameo, btw. The main magical individual is a mage woman who is able to control animals.

I can’t deny that the actor lineup played a role in me wanting to see this film. Eric Bana plays Uther, Jude Law plays Vortigern, the evil uncle, Djimon Hounsom plays Uther’s general, Aiden Gilliam plays Uther’s general’s right hand man and let’s not forget Charlie Hunnam plays Arthur! There are others but that alone makes for one fantastic, talented cast!

I know my review has a ton of holes but it’s hard for me to try and tell you about this film without spoiling it but I hoped I peaked your interest somewhat.

What do you think of modern retellings of old tales? Do you have a favorite movie remake? Will you be seeing this film? Let me know in the comments below!

Finest Fusion

I’m in a music kind of mode these past few days! Last night my friend shared a link of musical greatness. When someone shares a musical link to me, I try to listen and watch without reading the description because I want to have my feelings before I read what everyone, including the author, has to say about it.

The video features Joss Stone in Armenia doing a collaboration with Gata Band in their little basement studio. I was quite mesmerized. I don’t understand the lyrics because I don’t speak the language but that doesn’t even matter! Here’s the video:

I watched it once and then turned around and watched it again. Then I noticed that there’s about 30+ more of these collaborations on YouTube and each one is set in a different country. Before I catapulted myself into an hours long YouTube spiral, I did a bit of research.

Turns out Joss Stone is doing a World Tour. For those of you that don’t know who she is, she’s a young soulful, raspy musical artist who has sang with some of the greats like Patti LaBelle and James Brown. She’s also a huge humanitarian and environmentalist and has accomplished so much for someone in her late 20s!

Back to her world tour. It’s not just any world tour. It’s a Total World Tour! This woman is travelling the entire world and has made it her mission to perform in every country on this planet. She started in 2014 and is still going! What I love about this so much is not only is she performing her own music but she’s infusing herself in the local musical crowd and doing collaborations with the indigenous peoples! She speaks to them, learns the meaning behind their song, learns the song itself and then sings it with them! Talk about really understanding one’s roots! Her audience can be as small as these 4 people in a studio basement to as huge as an arena full of thousands! This barefoot queen is a goddess and she is a role model for the ages!

Can I please be Joss Stone when I grow up??

Check out this collaboration as well as her other ones here.

Turtle Power

In the midst of all that’s going on in the world right now, I feel the need to share a story that I hope will bring smiles to faces today. We all need a reprieve from life every once in a while yeah?

This is Turtle:

Let’s rewind back to oh, 2008ish. I was a freshman in college. I lived in a dorm with a roommate and my high school Biology teacher had imparted the gift of a baby corn snake to me. I named him Y because he had a Y on his head. Y didn’t last long because the stupid snake wouldn’t eat no matter what I tried. We buried Y outside under one of the trees in front of Miller.

I was following the school forum and came across a student who found this turtle in the river and didn’t want it anymore. I don’t even want to explain the lecture I gave this person about how they should have left the turtle in the river… Anyway, the turtle wasn’t doing well because she had it in a fish bowl (!!!) and basically got bored of it. It’s a turtle.. not a dog. Of course it’s going to be a bit more boring! So I got it into my head that I would rescue this turtle and give it a better life.

I decked Turtle out. Got a big 40 gallon tank and had a waterfall fountain and all these pretty stones on the bottom! It was awesome! One time I decided to try and give Turtle live fish; little comets you can get from the pet store. I bought three of them and put them in the tank. Turtle didn’t seem interested at first and then a few days later two disappeared. The last one stuck around for months! My husband named the fish Philip and I’m sitting here like don’t name the fish. Turtle needs to eat him! Philip grew and grew and I panicked because I did not want a pet fish. I tried starving turtle out for months but, I learned, turtles hibernate! One day though we did look in the tank and Philip was gone….

Back to turtles hibernating! Turtles can hibernate! This means they give their owners heart attacks because they stay underwater for days and look dead! I remember walking over to the tank and he was just sitting on the bottom. I didn’t think anything of it at first until he was still doing it the next day. I freaked out and yelled at my husband to reach in the tank and make sure Turtle was alive! I just couldn’t do it. He reached in there like a good gentleman, and gave me the same look Turtle did like “can’t a man nap in peace??” I found out later that not only can painted turtles hold their breath for an extended period of time but that when they hibernate, their metabolism slows way down to the point where they truly look dead but they are able to absorb and process oxygen from the water through their skin!

Now, I did have one other incident where Turtle gave me a heart attack. I woke up one morning to see this floating in the tank:

Once again, I could not bring myself to look into the tank for fear I’d see a dead turtle. I screamed for my husband, “I’VE DONE IT FOR REAL THIS TIME! TURTLE IS DEAD! I KILLED HIM!” I was perilously close to tears. I thought maybe a big rock or something fell on turtle and crushed his shell somehow off of him. I’m not logical when I’m panicking. My husband comes to scope the situation and just starts laughing at me. He tells me to look in the tank. I’m in denial of course so I’m begging him to just tell me and he’s enjoying my hysterics so he just keeps repeating that I should look in the tank.

There was turtle. Alive and well. I freaked out for nothing. Turns out turtles can shed. When they shed pieces of their shell, they’re called scutes. I guess it’s rare for a turtle to shed a whole scute so I had to grab him and check out his shell and make sure it wasn’t soft because it could be a sign of metabolic bone disease. Turtle was not amused and tried to bite my finger off, which btw, turtle bites hurt!

To end this longer-than-I-thought post, I want to say that Turtle did have an original name. It was MichaelAngela because an old roommate of mine insisted Turtle is a girl but that and “she” is too many syllables so its Turtle and he.