A look back, March 2010

In January I began a Kay inspired Bookish Nostalgia feature that I call A look back. I’m revisiting my 2010 blogging life and see what was going on. So far, this has been a lot of fun!  If you care to revisit your own blog in March 2010 and want to share your favorite post, I’ll add it here.

In March 2010, I posted 23 times, reviewed 6 books, watched 6 movies, gave away 4 books and 1 puzzle, posted 4 quizzes, participated in 3 movie memes, wrote 4 War & Peace updates, and received 5 awards (I must say that I’m glad that those awards are not as prevalent these days).  I even called for book donations for a worthy cause.

My favorite pictures come from my favorite post, Walking San Francisco.  It was so fun to read about the trip since I had forgotten about our plane woes both to and from San Francisco.  Jason was there for a work conference so I spent much of the time exploring on my own. Love that city!






I sat at the Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park sipping my jasmine tea and contemplating motherhood, since I had only known I was pregnant for a few days.






We made it just in time to catch some of the Chinese New Year parade!







Gage is with us, barely  😉 Me, a bazillion pounds ago, and Jason, who never gains an ounce!

Favorite movie Walle-E

Grade A.  Endearing Robot Saves 2805 Earth.

Favorite Book(s) – the Deadly series by Brenda Joyce.  I did a re-read of this romantic suspense series that I liked so much set in 1902 New York. I reviewed books 6-8 of the 9 book series this month, Deadly Kisses, Deadly Illusions, Deadly Promise.

So, please share!  What was happening on your blog or what were you reading in March 2010?

Scattergories Retro Quiz

My A Look Back post won’t be up until tomorrow but I’m posting my favorite quiz from March 2010 today. It’s a fun one and I get to participate again, yea!

Ever play the board game Scattergories?  This week’s game is a little like that.  At the beginning of the year I joined the Colorful Reading Challenge and I need to read 9 books with 9 different colors in the titles.  And I haven’t read any.  So, the game is for you to list up to 10 titles (& authors is possible, but not required) with 10 different colors in the titles. 

Like The Color Purple by Alice Walker could be one, but you couldn’t give me another purple title.  Also, if your title has 2 colors you can earn double points.

Where does Scattergories come in?  The title only counts if you are the only one who lists it.  If there are repeats no one gets points.

So, you may come up with 10 titles and get 0 points or give me one title and get 10 points.   Tricky, huh? I’m looking forward to seeing what titles you come up with.  Feel free to browse your own blogs or bestseller lists for ideas.  You have until Thursday night to submit your answers.

Leave your guesses in a comment.  Good luck!

No Googling or looking at other commenter answers.  Yes, we’re going by the honor system.  Play every week or just one time, you are always welcome :)  It only takes once to be eligible for a prize. 

Tempest in Eden by Sandra Brown

Tempest in EdenTempest in Eden. Finished 3-24-16, rating 1.5/5, romance, pub. 1983

Unabridged audio performed by Renee Raudman. 5 hours 39 minutes.

A renowned artist’s model, Shay Morrison thinks nothing of exposing her body to inspire great works of art. Hidden inside her, where no one can see, is the pain of a failed marriage. Then she accidentally walks in on Ian Douglas as he steps from a shower. Every gorgeous bit of him is immediately apparent — as is his disapproval of Shay. What isn’t so obvious is his profession: Ian is a minister in a very staid community. Challenged and hurt, Shay decides to seduce him. But waiting for her are the traps of her own weaknesses and the potent force of sexuality …  from Goodreads

I’d been reading some heavy things lately and thought this quick romance by an old favorite would be a fun, light listen.  Well, it was light and fit my needs in that area, but I spent at least half of the book rolling my eyes at the characters.  Shay was insufferable and every time I thought she’d turned a corner I was disappointed.  A minister and nude model fall in love over a weekend, after finding themselves in bed together?  Of course. 

There were one or two nice moments, so it wasn’t a total loss.

The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

Title: The Bluest Eye, Author: Toni MorrisonThe Bluest Eye. Finished 2-13-16, 3/5 stars, classic fiction, pub. 1970

Unabridged audio read by author, Toni Morrison. 6 hours 53 minutes.

Pecola Breedlove, a young black girl, prays every day for beauty. Mocked by other children for the dark skin, curly hair, and brown eyes that set her apart, she yearns for normalcy, for the blond hair and blue eyes that she believes will allow her to finally fit in. Yet as her dream grows more fervent, her life slowly starts to disintegrate in the face of adversity and strife. A powerful examination of our obsession with beauty and conformity, Toni Morrison’s virtuosic first novel asks powerful questions about race, class, and gender with the subtlety and grace that have always characterized her writing.  from Goodreads

I LOVED Beloved when I read it in 2012, so it was a given that I’d read more Morrison for my Classics Club challenge. Unfortunately, I didn’t feel much of a connection to this book.  As I’ve spent some time reading other reviews and then looking at my original review for Beloved I’m taking a guess that it was listening to it rather than reading it that lessened my enjoyment.  I love Morrison’s magical writing, but I’m not sure I got that same magic while listening to her narration.  My next Morrison book (and there will be more, she has a gift) will be paper, not audio.  Here’s a sample…

You looked at them and wondered why they were so ugly; you looked closely and could not find the source. Then you realized that it came from conviction, their conviction. It was as though some mysterious all-knowing master had given each one a cloak of ugliness to wear, and they had each accepted it without question…. And they took the ugliness in their hands, threw it as a mantle over them, and went about the world with it. 

She is talking about the Breedlove family, the youngest Pecola, is the one who wants to replace her brown eyes with blue so that the world may find her pretty and worthy of notice.  Hers is a heartbreaking story of neglect, abuse, and incest.  The varying points of view both worked and didn’t.  I loved her friend Claudia’s narration, she was my favorite character, but it’s also true that Claudia, although the same age as Pecola, had loving support.  There was also some backstory for Pecola’s parents, that was intended to provoke some sympathy, but just didn’t do it for me.  I liked that it was set near my neck of the woods and where Morrison was born in Lorain, Ohio.

This is a well-written story about race in 1960’s America from the perspective of young, pre-teen black girls.  I own a paperback and would love to read it and see if my perception of the novel changes. I mean this is Morrison’s debut novel and led her to a world of love from readers and critics alike, so I know that I’m the outlier here.

This was my 10th selection for the Classics Club.



A Day In the Life

A Day in the LifeFor some reason  I thought this was next week, but that’s okay because I did record last Wednesday, March 16th.  A look into a random day of my life, chosen because I actually had time to make notes.  I know it’s tedious and boring, but it was interesting for me to see where I wasted my time. Although, not a typical day because reading for book group and book group itself took such a big chunk of it, I don’t think there ever is a typical day in the life of a stay at home mom 🙂

12:00-12:45 am It’s midnight and I get into bed.  Jason’s snoring (this is unusual) and it keeps me awake.  Watch/listen to 1 1/2 episodes of The Big Bang Theory.

12:45-1:45 am Sleep

1:45-2:15 am Loud storm wakes me up.  Both my guys can sleep through anything, but once Sammi realized I was awake she came to snuggle.

2:15-5:45 am Sleep

5:45 am Jason’s alarm goes off. Grrr.

6:15 am Jason wakes me back up to tell me goodbye and ask if I knew that I had made reservations for dinner and theater downtown on St. Patrick’s Day.  I hadn’t and I’m pretty sure a swear word was said before I set my phone for 30 more minutes of ‘sleep’.

6:45-7:10 am Throw on a sweatshirt, brush my teeth, wash my face. In the kitchen get Gage’s breakfast ready.  Pear juice with probiotic and vitamin D, apple slices, and throw together  some quick ‘bread’ with maple syrup (takes only 10 minutes in the oven and 4 ingredients! )

7:10 am Wake up Gage and get him to the table.  Prepare snacks and lunch for school.  Supervise getting dressed.

7:40 am Out the door for school.


8:12 am Back home.  Eat some of the syrup bread. Check emails, Facebook.  Have sinus headache so I take Sudafed and head back to bed.

8:25-9:45 am Sleep cuddled with Sammi, the girl is needy.

9:45 am Shower & get dressed

10:00 am Listen to 11/22/63 by Stephen King while I make coffee and clean the kitchen

10:15 am Have coffee and egg while I read Orphan 8 by Kim van Alkemade for book group tonight.  I seriously work better under pressure 🙂

10:40 am Laundry, order prescription.

10:50 Tried updating my blog quiz but WordPress has been so funky lately. Give up.  Make hair appointment because of this.


11:00 am Message a few of Jason’s friends for a 40th birthday idea.

11:10-11:30 am Phone call with a mom of Gage’s classmate to plan a playdate.  We end up talking about her upcoming Spring Break vacation.  She is taking her FOUR SONS, ages 5-12, to Arizona BY HERSELF.  Her husband will meet them later.  She’s a rockstar.

11:30 am More laundry – still with me?  Put some make-up and run my fingers through my hair.  Get stuff read for the post office.

12:00 pm Out the door

12:08 pm Post office.

12:15-12:45 pm Lunch at Chipotle as I finished the book for tonight.

12:50 pm Stop at Marc’s for kitty litter.

1:10 pm Home

1:15 pm Computer time. Check the news and listen to CNN. I’m so happy to be an Ohioan today since we gave Trump ZERO delegates yesterday.

1:30 pm Called to cancel a few weeks of Gage’s nature camp for the summer. I found out he was accepted into a private school yesterday and they want all new kids to attend a four week camp there.

1:40-1:55 pm Blog still glitchy 😦 Took extra time to get around it.

1:55-2:10 pm Facebook and clutter control. RSVPd to a birthday party for Gage’s friend, Arihant.  It’s FOUR hours for a 6-year-old birthday party at their house.  I know some brave mamas!

2:11 pm Out the door.

2:46 pm Home with Gage where we play dinosaurs, Hay Day on the iPad and watch a little Curious George.

3:30 pm Snack and more play.

3:50 pm Found these train stickers stuck to our table 😦


3:55 pm At Gage’s request, we finished learning about the state of California by making a Redwood forest.  And then he got crazy with the scraps of paper and glue and made a monster.

4:10 pm Got mail.


4:30 pm Gage is at Speech therapy and I read the discussion section at the end of Orphan 8. Totally makes the book better.  Answered a few texts and got into a political discussion on Facebook.  Sometimes I just can’t help myself!

5:15 pm Speech is over.

5:25 pm We’re home and start dinner.

5:35 pm Jason gets home a little early.  Feed the boys.

6:35 pm Leave for Bonnie’s house.

7:00-10:15 pm Bonnie from Redlady’s Reading Room graciously invited me to her book group. It was my first time and the ladies were lovely.  Everyone enjoyed the book and it led to some good discussion. I look forward to the next one.

10:45 pm Home. Check in with Jason.

11:00 pm Print the March Madness bracket and spend some time filling it out. Jason and I have been competing for 20 years! The winner gets to choose the next 5 theater movies and I’ve lost 3 years in a row 😦

11:45 pm Return a few emails.

12:10 pm Check in on Gage. get read for bed, cat cuddles.

1:00 am Sleep.

Check out Trish’s blog for more blogger days 🙂















Sundays with Gage – Kindergarten options

Have you been in a kindergarten class lately?  When Gage was first diagnosed as having mild/high-functioning autism all of my time and energy went into helping him beat the diagnosis and be able to go through school with his peers.  A few weeks ago I visited the school he would be attending and the classroom he would most likely be in and my view totally shifted.  I was appalled, quite frankly.  Twenty-seven students in a classroom where they are sitting in a circle listening to the one teacher or at the tables doing worksheets for five plus hours!  They had one hour a day for lunch and recess.  I walked out of the 2nd ranked school district in Ohio knowing that there was no way I wanted my 5-year old in that environment.

So, I made a list of the things I most wanted for Gage and went from there.  I wanted a small class size, ability to move,  play, and structure.  He’s a smart kid and I don’t worry too much about him in that department, even if some of the harder concepts will need to be taught one-on-one.  In Ohio, if you have a child on the spectrum and you pull him from the public schools you get $27,000 to use at other autism-friendly places.  The company where he gets his ABA and the place he gets his OT are both on the list so I did (and still do) consider homeschooling and using that money for those two places, where we easily pay them that already.

He got accepted to the first school we applied to, a school that accepts only kids who learn differently.  In all honesty, I don’t know exactly what that means, only that they all have at least average IQs and that they only have 10-15% of students on the spectrum.  Get this, they only accept 6 kids into their kindergarten class!  If a kid has to move he is not made to feel bad about it (important because Gage has a hard time sitting still for a long time, as do most 5-year-old boys)  and the class has the kids move every 15-20 minutes.  There are play areas all around the classroom and there is so much structure. They all have access to their own ipads in the classroom and computer, art and music once a week.  There are so many great things about this school…but there are no typical peers.  I’ve visited twice and the kids seemed great, well-behaved, like regular kids.

I’m still going to look around (my favorite place only has a wait list right now, but it is similar to the school he was accepted to) but feel good about the option we have. It’s not what I thought we were working toward, but when I visited a public kindergarten class, I knew I didn’t want that, for sure.  Speaking as a mom who has an education degree I am very disappointed in what we are doing to our kids at such a young age.  Even if Gage weren’t on the spectrum I would be looking at homeschooling or private schools and I always thought that was a terrible choice.

I was a public school girl all the way, even college.  What about you?  Any homeschooled or private school peeps out there?


Theatre – And Then There Were None

I read Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None last October and then passed it on to my mom.  When I saw that Great Lakes Theater would be performing it I knew that it would be a perfect mom and daughter night out.  And it was.IMG_6579IMG_6575We went downtown Cleveland to a great dinner with lots of  wine and then went to the play.  My mom, who can’t remember one book from the next she reads so many, couldn’t remember who the killer was until the end of the play, lol.

I almost always prefer musicals, but this was fun because of the size of the theater and the well-known story.  Do you like going to the theater? What was the last play you saw?

Who Am I? Quiz

I know it’s going to be tempting to cheat this week by looking, but you can do it from memory 🙂

Leave your guesses in a comment.  Good luck!

No Googling or looking at other commenter answers.  Yes, we’re going by the honor system 🙂  Play every week or just one time, you are always welcome 🙂  It only takes once to be eligible for a prize. 

I’ll give you 3 titles and you tell me the author.  Hint-they are all living women.

  1. Here on Earth, Practical Magic, The Dovekeepers
  2. Earthly Possessions, Breathing Lessons, The Accidental Tourist
  3. The Lake House, The Forgotten Garden, The Secret Keeper
  4. Triptych, Pretty Girls, A Faint Cold Fear
  5. The Arrivals, The Admissions, So Far Away
  6. The Sugar Queen, Lost Lake, The Girl Who Chased the Moon
  7. Summer Sisters, In the Unlikely Event, Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret
  8. Sula, Beloved, The Bluest Eye
  9. Gods in Alabama, Backseat Saints, A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty
  10. The Informationist, The Mask, The Doll

Last week’s quiz here.  Leadeboard here.

Library Shelves Quiz

I had ten minutes at the library to come up with a quiz, so here you go.  Read the excerpt and guess which book it’s from.  Sounds easy, right?

Leave your guesses in a comment.  Good luck!

No Googling or looking at other commenter answers.  Yes, we’re going by the honor system 🙂  Play every week or just one time, you are always welcome 🙂  It only takes once to be eligible for a prize. 

1.libshelves1In the beginning it was not raining, but it is raining now—and steadily. It has been raining for so long that even though it has not always been raining the townspeople begin to feel as though this is the case—as though the weather has always been this way, the sky this gray, the puddles this profound. They feel, sometimes, as though the sun has never risen over their town at all, not ever; that its very existence is nothing but a rumor: a product of the same sort of fallacy and telescopic inaccuracy that had everyone thinking for so long that the world was flat or that the constellations were arranged in patterns.  Noah’s Wife

2.libshelves2Ephram Jennings had watched this for eleven years. Seen her black-bottomed foot kick a swirl of dust in its wake. Every day he wanted nothing more than to put each tired sole in his wide wooden tub, brush them both in warm soapy water, cream them with sweet oil and lanoline and then slip her feet, one by one into a pair of red-heel socks.

3.libshelves3In the ghetto there is a mansion, and it is my father’s house. It sits on seven acres, surrounded by growling row homes, frozen in an architectural class war. Its expansive lawn is utterly useless, wild like it smokes its own grass and dreams of being a jungle. The street around it is even worse: littered with the disposables no one could bother to put in a can, the cars on their last American owner, the living dead roaming slow and steady to nowhere. And this damn house, which killed my father, is as big as it is old, decaying to gray pulp yet somehow still standing there, with its phallic white pillars and the intention of eternity.

4.libshelves4Camaro Espinoza awoke before dawn. She had fled New York City after the killing of five men exactly 364 days before.

5.libshelves5Christian Wingmark moved his eyes from the dice he was holding to the fly on the watchmaker’s forehead. It was moving slowly, counterclockwise. Between them towered stacks of coins. More than 107 riksdaler. The only thing that mattered. When he threw the three dice, any count above nine would win him the whole pot. Only the gaming board could offer the prospect of a better life to a troubadour and rogue like him, who otherwise lived a vile and foul-smelling existence.

6.libshelves6Pale light crept into the black stanchions of pine, the ashen ground, the red center of dying coals. The camped men rose, silent, and broke the bread of old pillage between blackened fingers. One of their number looked at his own. Soot and powder, ash and dirt. Neat crescents accrued underneath the nails, trim and black, like he’d tried to dig himself out of a hole in the ground. Or into one.

7.libshelves7Hands in his pockets, Rebus turned to face Cafferty. They were old men now, similar builds, similar backgrounds. Sat together in a pub, the casual onlooker might mistake them for pals who’d known one another since school. But their history told a different story.

8.libshelves8Before Joe arrived at Misto’s cottage, when Dulcie and the old cat were alone together, he’d given her a.deep, steady look. “Life and death hang in balance, now, Dulcie. My life is ending. But you, alone, guard new lives.” How could he know that? She had looked at him, shocked, her green eyes wide.

9.libshelves9On December 7, 2059, Emilio Sandoz was released from the isolation ward of Salvator Mundi Hospital in the middle of the night and transported in a bread van to the Jesuit Residence at Number 5 Borgo Santo Spìrito, a few minutes’ walk across St. Peter’s Square from the Vatican. The next day, ignoring shouted questions and howls of journalistic outrage as he read, a Jesuit spokesman issued a short statement to the frustrated and angry media mob that had gathered outside Number 5’s massive front door.

10. libshelves10I know Holly’s da, a bit. Frank Mackey, Undercover. You go at him straight, he’ll dodge and come in sideways; you go at him sideways, he’ll charge head down. I said, ‘You came here because there’s something you want me to know. I’m not going to play guessing games I can’t win. If you’re not sure you want to tell me, then go away and have a think till you are. If you’re sure now, then spit it out.’ Holly approved of that. Almost smiled again; nodded instead. ‘There’s this board,’ she said. ‘In school. A noticeboard. It’s on the top floor, across from the art room. It’s called the Secret Place. If you’ve got a secret, like if you hate your parents or you like a guy or whatever, you can put it on a card and stick it up there.’

Last week’s Amish Quiz.



February’s Movies

These past few weeks have been a blur.  Should have posted this earlier.  I was happy to see Spotlight win Best Picture at the Oscars.  I thought it was deserved.

Another month and another chance to contribute money to charity.  Add your 5 words (or less!) to mine in a comment and earn $1 for charity.  Once we get to $100 the person with the most reviews will choose the charity.  Click here to see the past winners, the charities they chose and the other reviews you can add to.  Anyone is welcome to join in at any time.

We’re at $29.

I hope that you will take a few minutes to participate when you can each month.  It’s fun for me and for everyone else who reads it.  I’m not looking for a critical review, just a few words about how you felt about the movie.  This is ongoing so you can leave your 5 words anytime.

Spotlight (film) poster.jpgSpotlight, 2015 (Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams, Live Schreiber, John Slattery, Stanley Tucci)   Grade A

Investigative reporters expose Catholic Church.

Absolutely terrific movie that definitely deserved the Oscar!  (Lloyd) – not 5 words? Sue me.

Amazingly acted, written, and directed.   (Heather)

Munich 1 Poster.jpgMunich, 2005 (Eric Bana, Daniel Craig, Geoffrey Rush, Ciaran Hinds, Mathieu Kassovitz)        Grade B

Truish story about justifying murder.

Remember it having emotional impact.  (Michelle)

Message in a bottle film poster.jpgMessage in a Bottle, 1999 (Kevin Costner, Robin Wright Penn, Paul Newman)   Grade D

The ending was soooo bad.

Another reason why…no Sparks.  (Michelle)

A waste of two hours….   (Heather)