• Welcome to LydiaSchoch.com

Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: Pets I’d Like to Have

Hosted by Long and Short Reviews.

Click here to read everyone else’s replies to this week’s question and here to see the full list of topics for the year.

(I’ve been having trouble leaving comments on certain WWBC posts due to a problem with Google. I’ll go back to commenting as usual as soon as that glitch is fixed)/

This week’s topic was “meet my pets.” I needed to tweak it a little in order to be able to participate because I’m allergic to most of the mammals that people commonly keep as pets. My place is also too small to add anyone else to it. Therefore, I’ll be talking about pets I’d have if there were no such thing as allergies and I had the space for one or more little, or not-so-little, friends.

A tan baby rabbit sitting in someone's palm Rabbits. They’re quiet, small, and can be perfectly content as a 100% indoor pet.  I also think they’re adorable, especially when they’re binkying (jumping for joy).

Cats. I like how self-sufficient they are in general. An affectionate cat would be great, but I’d leave it up to them to decide if or when petting and cuddling would happen. From what I’ve heard, it’s best to let feline friends set the tone of your relationship as far as that goes.

Dogs. They’re loyal, and many of them are quite joyful creatures as well. I’d prefer to have a fenced-in yard if I had a dog so he or she could go safely run around outside whenever they wished. Although it would also be nice to have a reason to take long daily walks with them if I didn’t have a yard!

(Non-Venomous) Snakes. I had an amazing elementary school teacher who kept all sorts of reptiles in his classroom. The snakes were my favourite creatures to quietly watch, and I’ve retained an interest in them to this day. Their behaviour is so different from warm-blooded animals. It’s almost like meeting an alien or something.

A llama eating grass while her baby stands next to her. Llamas or Alpacas. Okay, so this one would require me to own a farm or something.

There were some fascinating llamas that I liked to visit at a local zoo before 2020 happened. They have such ornery expressions on their faces! I also enjoy seeing how gentle they are with their big, furry babies.

This is a stock photo, but it’ll give you an idea of just how lovely those moments are.

Someday I’ll go visit the llamas of Toronto again.

Top Ten Tuesday: Titles That Made Me Want to Read the Book

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

I don’t generally have a strong opinion about book covers. There are many different cover styles that can catch my attention, and I still pick up covers that don’t necessarily appeal to me all that much to see what their blurbs have to say.

Stack of books leaning up against a wall. They’re between a window and a potted plant. Titles, however, are another story. A witty or unusual title will dramatically increase the probability of me picking up a particular book. I have been known to take books home that I might not have otherwise glanced at twice because of how much I adored their titles.

Therefore, this list is dedicated to fantastic titles from many different genres. I’ve read some of them and haven’t had the chance to pick up other ones.

1. When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops? by George Carlin

2. Well-Behaved Women Seldom Make History by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

3. Zombies Vs. Unicorns by Holly Black

4.The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making (Fairyland, #1) by Catherynne M. Valente

5. Saving Fish from Drowning by Amy Tan

6. Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch by Terry Pratchett

7. The Celery Stalks at Midnight (Bunnicula, #3) by James Howe

8. Grammar Snobs Are Great Big Meanies: A Guide to Language for Fun and Spite by June Casagrande

9. The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery

10. Dance Lessons for Zombies by Peter Hiett

Second Chances: A Review of The Ghost of Beth’s Mother

The Ghost of Beth's Mother by Twylla Johnson book cover. Image on cover shows ghostly female apparition with a silk sheet blowing against her body. Title: The Ghost of Beth’s Mother

Author: Twylla Johnson

Publisher: Self-Published

Publication Date: February 20, 2021

Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal, Historical

Length: 12 pages

Source: I received a free copy from the author.

Rating: 3 Stars


Beth was a homely little misfit girl who lived at the Maudlin Mary Magdeline Orphanage. She claimed her mother, who had passed away a year before, was constantly with her. A wealthy widow named Mrs. Stone decided to adopt her. Does Mrs. Stone get more than she bargained for? Is Beth and her mother a package deal?


Content warning: car accident, adoption, and references to the death of a parent. I will not be discussing these things in my review.

Every child deserves a loving home.

It’s rare for me to read a ghost story that genuinely makes me shudder, but this one accomplished that. I really enjoyed Ms. Johnson’s take on why spirits decide to haunt the living, what they’re capable of, and what happens if the living don’t take the wishes of the dead seriously. She put such a creative spin on these topics, and I’m saying that as someone who has read this genre regularly for many years.

There was very little character development in this tale. While the main characters were all briefly described to the audience, I didn’t get to know them well and never really saw many indications of them growing and changing as a result of their experiences. That’s obviously not easy to do in only a dozen pages, but I would have happily gone with a higher rating if the author had put as much work into this as she did with the unique plot itself.

The final scene was nicely written. It tied up all of the most important conflicts of the plot, but it also left plenty of space for the reader to imagine what might happen to Beth and the widow who adopted her next. My hope is that the author will someday write a sequel to it. If that doesn’t happen, I’ll also be perfectly content to return to this world through rereads and quietly thinking about these characters’ possible futures.

If you’ve been missing truly scary paranormal fiction, The Ghost of Beth’s Mother may be right up your alley.

Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: Media That Could Be About Me

Hosted by Long and Short Reviews.

A tree and some dark clouds reflected in a perfectly still body of water. There are also some stones on the beach in the foreground of the shot. Click here to read everyone else’s replies to this week’s question and here to see the full list of topics for the year.

Did anyone else find this week’s prompt a bit challenging?

I live a peaceful life that honestly wouldn’t fit in well with dramatic, high-action stories.

Here are a few films and books about quiet, introverted, bookish people that remind me of myself.

Notting Hill fim poster. It shows a large photo of Julia Roberts with Hugh Grant walking next to it.

William Thacker from the romantic comedy Notting Hill

Why: The main character owns a bookstore and is bashful about publicity. I enjoyed working in a bookstore years ago and also try to avoid the spotlight.


Walden by Henry David Thoreau book cover. Image on cover is a black-and-white photo of a stream flowing thorugh a forest.

Walden by Henry David Thoreau

Why: I love spending time in nature, whether that is by taking a brisk walk/hike, bird watching, or sitting quietly and observing what is around me. Like Thoreau, I also like going back home and enjoying my share of creature comforts at the end of the day.


A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith book cover. Imge on cover is a drawing of a large tree by a wooden house.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

Why: Francie and I both grew up in working class families that highly valued formal and informal education. Having extra money does makes it easier to raise children, but you can still give a kid a wonderful life on a tight budget if you focus on what’s important.


Brooklyn Nine-Nine film poster. It shows the eight main characters walking on the brooklyn bridge.
Rosa is third from the right in this poster.


Detective Rosa Diaz from the sitcom Brooklyn Nine-Nine 

Why: Rosa and I are both private people who steer clear of office gossip and politics. We’d much rather get the work done as quickly and accurately as we can.