Monthly Archives: April 2023

Purchase your book locally online using!

I’m sure that you know that you will be able to purchase Ozark Grannies’ Secrets LLC’s debut book Gourmet Weeds online stores like Amazon and Barnes and Noble. The problem with this is that it may support the author to some extent, but it doesn’t support the local marketplace. What if I told you that there is a way to not only support your local author, but you can also support your local bookstore by using to purchase the book. We all want to help our local businesses right? And you don’t even have to leave the comfort of your own home!


I found out about from IngramSparks, my book distributor and I had to share the website with you. supports both the author and your local bookstore. By joining the site, you can purchase Indie books. These books are often not available in local stores because frankly, independently published books don’t always have the reputation of being well-written or are under-marketed so the bookstores often end up having books by local authors that don’t sell.

Often, too, when local bookstores do accept locally published books, those books are accepted on consignment which means that they don’t purchase the book to sell, but ask the author to leave the books with the understanding that if they don’t sell within a specific length of time. This usually means that the author needs to stop by the bookstore to pick up any books that didn’t sell.

Bookshop is the perfect bridge to enable readers to support both their local authors and their local bookstores. From a list provided by, readers can choose a local bookstore that is affiliated with and then choose the paperback that the reader wants to From the payment that the reader gives to a percentage goes to the author (who is also an affiliate) and another percentage goes to the local bookstore that the reader specified.

You don’t have to leave home to go to the local bookstore. You can order your paperback right there in your own home.

What if your Bookstore is not an Affiliate?

So what if your local independent bookstore is not included in this list on If your local independent bookstore isn’t on the list, do them a favor and show them the website and get them to affiliate with the site. The way I’d see it, you’d be doing them a favor because they are losing money because that money is going to a different local bookstore. (Which may not be all that local.)

Anyone can create an account at

According to’s website

Bookstores with physical locations who are ABA members (with one of the following ABA memberships: Provisional, Pop-up, Mobile, or Storefront) qualify as a bookseller on our platform and can be added to our bookstore finder map, receive a 30% commission on sales, and receive customer order information. Please email Justin Walls at if you qualify.

—’s conversion rate for bookstore shop pages averages 12%. That’s twice the industry average, and means that their stores earn more sales and revenue, without any overhead.
—Our stores’ curated book lists can go viral; a few have driven six-figure sales for several of our stores. They also can rank high on Google search results.
—Over 1000 customers choose a bookstore to support on their store finder map every day.

Support Your Favorite Indie Authors and Your Local Bookstore

I would love to know if you have used and if you’ve used it to support both your local bookstore and your favorite author. Remember too that the book Gourmet Weeds by Cygnet Brown and Kerry Kelley is available on

NOTE FROM CYGNET BROWN-My endorsement for is not compensated for except in the case that you purchase the book Gourmet Weeds.

The paperback is now available to preorder. Be sure to look for Gourmet Weeds on

Kerry Kelley and I are publishing a book from Ozark Grannies’ Secrets about foraging and cooking foraged foods called Gourmet Weeds. Here’s a link to the Facebook page for the book.

Foraging is fun especially here in the Ozarks, but we have the most changeable weather in the country. When they say “If you don’t like the weather, don’t worry, it will change” is truer of the Ozarks than any other place I have been which is one of the reasons that we have such a diversity of plants and animals.

Another problem we have here in many areas of the Ozarks is the ability to get cell service and internet. These services are still spotty at times, especially along the rivers. Therefore it helps to learn the signs of incoming stormy weather.

Low Pressure Means Rain

Everyone has heard of an older person who says that the pain in their shoulders tells them when there’s going to be precipitation. Although many poo-poos this idea, there may actually be some scientific evidence that what this person is feeling is a change in the barometric pressure of the air. I know that at my age, I have started noticing that just before a weather event, my own arthritis begins to act up. Once the weather has passed, the arthritis pain subsides.


Another way to tell when the weather is going to change is by looking at the clouds. High fluffy clouds mean that there’s going to be good weather (at least until those clouds change). The lower the clouds hang in the sky, the more likely you’ll have weather. A high stacked cloud or thunderhead head indicates a thunderstorm is developing. A long rope of heavy clouds that hang low to the ground indicates that cyclonic or hail may be on its way.

Red Sky

There’s truth to the adage “Red sky at night, sailors delight. Red sky in the morning, sailors take warning.” A red sky at night indicates that the day will be sunny the following day.  A red sky in the morning, however, indicates that there is low air pressure and it is likely to rain that day.

How are Animals Behaving?

Insect-eating birds like swallows fly low right before the rain, and ants tend to build their anthills with higher, steeper sides. They become lazy and sluggish when it’s low. Also, if you notice that the bees and butterflies disappear from the flowers they usually visit, it means the storm is coming.

Rings around the Moon or Sun

If you see milky-white rings around the Sun or Moon, it’s a sign of extreme humidity and moisture coming closer to the Earth’s surface.

Curly Hair turns Frizzy

If you’re hiking and your curly hair goes crazy and your body’s perspiration doesn’t evaporate, this is indicative of high humidity in the air. This may or may not be a sign of incoming rain.

Where’s the Smoke?

If instead of smoke rising from a chimney, the smoke goes down the chimney, this indicates a low-pressure system and possible rain.


Wind speed, direction, and consistency are very indicative of what the weather is doing. If the wind velocity suddenly picks up, with swirling, gusty breezes, a front is approaching. A steady wind—moderate or light—is typically a sign of stable weather.

Changes in wind direction are one of the best indications of changes in the weather. East and northeast winds are the counterclockwise currents of a low-pressure center and often indicate stormy weather ahead.  Winds from the south often mean warm, humid conditions. They can bring rain, too, though often of a gentler variety than east winds. West and northwest winds are often harbingers of good weather—cool and crisp with a high barometer.


I have heard that dandelions close their flowers when a thunderstorm is approaching. I don’t think the dandelions in my yard got that memo because as I am writing this, I looked out at the dandelions in my yard and their flowers are open wide and I can hear thunder in the distance. They say the same about tulips and clover flowers as well.

Predicting the weather by observing nature improves with practice. If you really want to know if it is going to rain or not, I think that a good way is to watch weather forecasts and look for various ways that others say indicate rain. Now, observe what nature is doing around you. You can then write down what you observe and see if what you observe happens every time or even most of the time.  

Want to know more about me through the Author Cygnet Brown Profile Page

When I first tell someone that I grew up in Pennsylvania, but now call the Ozarks my home the next question that person always asks is why I moved to the Ozarks.

I first fell in love with the Ozarks when I came through the area back in 1979. I immediately felt a longing to get off the bus and stop and stay. Perhaps I should have, but it wasn’t yet time. However, the small houses and rustic gardens that I passed never did leave my mind. I vowed to myself that I would someday return.

Return, I did, in 1984 when I started buying land through a contract for deed. Later I found out that buying land on contract for deed is probably the most expensive way to buy land, but I didn’t care. I had my piece of Missouri.

Sadly, I no longer own that piece of property, and I have come and gone from the Ozarks many times over the years, but I always keep coming back.

The People

So, what is it that keeps me coming back? First, I like the fact that where I live at least, my neighbors don’t try to make my business their business. They keep to themselves, and I keep to my own, unless, of course, disaster strikes.

People here in the Ozarks will rally around someone who they feel is truly in need. Many years ago, my house burned down, and I didn’t have insurance. Rather than people balking at my not having insurance, they helped me out with a place to stay, clothes, household items, and household money that I needed to get back on my feet. When my car broke down and I couldn’t afford to get it fixed, friends from church paid for the repairs. When we lost our car to the bank, our pastor gave us a used car. The act is reciprocal. When the same happened to others, I do the same for them.

There’s a freedom here in the rural Ozarks that isn’t found in other parts of the country as well. We don’t have an HOA telling us that we can’t grow chickens or have livestock because we’re “not zoned for that”. Of course, it can also mean that we might have a car or two on the back forty or a nonfunctioning washing machine in the front yard, but that’s changing. There’s almost always someone around who wants to help you get rid of that piece of metal that you have no more use for. (Translated, they will take it and sell it for scrap.)

The Land

 Many people complain about the rocky land. I like our karst topography. The Ozarks is built on a subterranean system of limestone caverns, that creates mysterious-looking formations like caves, surface sinkholes, and rocky, overhanging cliffs caused by the interaction of the water from its rivers with the limestone bedrock. I also enjoy the clear spring fed rivers that are kept stocked by the conservation department with all kinds of fish. A trip by canoe or kayak down one of the Ozarks’ many rivers is a sightseeing adventure that displays all these features and more.

The Plants and Animals

I love the biodiversity of the flora and fauna.

As we wrote in the upcoming book that Kerry Kelley and I will be publishing soon called Gourmet Weeds, “The Ozarks are home to an amazing assortment of plant and animal life. Imagine hardwood forests, pine groves, cedar glades, Prairie remnants, river bottoms and bald knobs, all spread out in our roughly 47,000 square miles (about half the area of Arizona)

The stony hills and hollers make it an ideal area for finding many forageable foods because the variety of plant species have not been depleted by excessive cultivation. The wild and beautiful Ozarks are essentially not suitable for growing most commercial crops, although in generations past, many local families grew sizable acres of corn and cotton for themselves and as a source of income.”

Prickly pear cacti and paw paws grow near one another in white oak forests. Many plants (and some animals) are only found in the Ozarks. Plants that prefer more northern climates are found near caves. Desert species grow on the dry rocky glades. In the spring, the Ozarks explode with springtime blooms like bloodroot, trout lily, jack in the pulpit, and violets that live a short life before the onset of warm weather and tree leaf growth. In the summer, roadsides burst with echinacea, butterfly weed, wild carrot, and daisy-like Jerusalem artichokes and many other wildflowers.”

The diverse plant populations support various types of animals. In my yard every day, I am entertained by a family of squirrels and one year a family of gray foxes. (I used an electric fence to keep them from eating my chicken.) At night raccoons and opossums travel though my yard. White-tailed deer often nibble on my garden greens, but those greens often still make it to my freezer. Wild turkey thrives here. Wiped out and made extinct in the Ozarks before 1900, Elk was reintroduced and are now managed, as they bounced back so strongly their numbers became encumbering. The Hellbender is making a comeback in the Ozarks as well.

Once near extinction, bald eagles often nest here near where I live. I have seen many of these eagles on many of my trips to down at different times of the year or during trips down certain Ozark riverways.

Raccoons, white-footed mouse, opossums, otter, mink, eastern chipmunk, beaver, short-tailed shrew, quail and numerous other species of birds, insects, and animals call the Ozarks home.

What I especially like about the Ozarks is how every day can be different, and I’m not just talking about the weather. On the surface it seems like nothing ever changes, but that is deceptive. Every day there is something new to see and something new to do if you know what there is to see and do. It’s a place where imaginations are allowed to grow and flourish.

Why the Ozarks? I guess I have to say that it’s the place where I can enjoy being me.

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