This Week featuring bug bites and heat

Fave pic of the week

IMG_0575 Oh, he is so proud of this sign.  Our county library system is giving them to patrons who signed up for the summer reading program.  He still struggles, but with extra effort we are able to stay afloat.

Best part of the week  I had coffee with a long time friend?  As I look back at my week that’s the only thing that stands out.  And that is enough because she is always good company.  Our boys were at camp together this week.

Could’ve been better  Hm.  Gage had three wonderful days at camp, out in the woods at a farm and then came home with bug bites covering his body, most turning into angry welts by Thursday morning.  The worst one is still swollen now, two days later.  So, out of an abundance of caution he stayed home the last two days.  In our house that has been without AC all week.  It’s midnight and 82 in here right now 😦

Reading  I’ve spent quality time with all three of these books this week…

The Dinner ListEat Dirt: Why Leaky Gut May Be the Root…Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfu…

Listening  Okay, as some stay at home moms know, camp or school is time you have have already scheduled for yourself.  I am greedily listening to Fangirl in the car and when Gage stayed home the last two days that meant an hour each day that I didn’t have to finish.  I love it and I’m thisclose to finishing.

Watching on the big screen Gage and I went to see The Secret Life of Pets 2 today at the theater, mainly to escape the heat.  It was cute.

Watching on the small screen  Jason and I finished up season 3 of Game of Thrones a few days ago.  I have season 4 checked out of the library so we’ll probably start next week.

Plans for the weekend  Gage has swimming in the morning and Jason and I have a wedding reception.  My parents are out of town so we had to find a sitter for the first time in three years!  When Gage was a wee baby I had two sisters who live two houses away come over for a few hours at a time to give me some non-Gage time.  Well, their little sister is now old enough to babysit 🙂  Gage is excited and so am I.  I saved up my gluten and sugar day for all the wedding cake I can eat!

 

Handbook For the Soul Edited by Richard Carlson & Benjamin Shield

Title: Handbook for the Soul, Author: Richard Carlson  Handbook for the Soul. Finished 5-9-19, rating 3.5/5, spiritual, 215 pages, pub. 1995

America’s most celebrated spiritual writers offer inspiring words on the state of the soul today. This collection of more than thirty original essays addresses both the importance of caring for and nourishing the soul and the ways in which these individuals tend to their own souls on a day-to-day basis.  from Goodreads

I was working in a bookstore when this came out (way back when readers had to buy their books at an actual store) and remember scoffing at its new agey popularity.  Oh how far I’ve come in my life’s journey to be able to say that I actually read it and liked it.  This is what I posted as I was reading….

Handbook for the Soul edited by Richard Carlson and Benjamin Shield has been very interesting.  The different perspectives by the contributing authors have been a good way to start the day in meditation and introspection.  This morning’s reading was by Nathaniel Brandon and he was talking about keeping the soul engaged.  He asks two questions every morning.  “What’s good in my life?” and “What needs to be done?”  Yesterday, I read about the connection between spiritual frustration and disease.  It’s always good to open your mind to other perspectives, whether you adopt the beliefs or not.  I’m over halfway through.  

I found some of the essays more meaningful to me than others, but I think that’s the way it should be.  Now I have a few authors who I want to read more from.  I particularly liked Thomas Moore’s Embracing the Everyday.  “I think we would be able to live in this world more peacefully if our spirituality were to come from looking not just into infinity but very closely at the world around us – and appreciating its depth and diversity.” (page 25)

There are many heavy hitters featured so you are almost guaranteed to find a least a few that speak to you.  Steven Covey, Bernie Siegel, Marianne Williamson, Wayne Dyer, Ram Dass, Rabbi Harold Kushner, Jack Canfield, Melody Beattie and many others.  So many perspectives to digest and I thought it was a meaningful collection.

How It Happened by Michael Koryta

Title: How It Happened, Author: Michael Koryta How It Happened. Finished audio 5-31-19, 4.5/5 stars, thriller, pub. 2018

Unabridged audio read by Robert Petkoff with Christine Lakin.  11 hours.

Kimberly Crepeaux is no good, a notorious jailhouse snitch, teen mother, and heroin addict whose petty crimes are well-known to the rural Maine community where she lives. So when she confesses to her role in the brutal murders of Jackie Pelletier and Ian Kelly, the daughter of a well-known local family and her sweetheart, the locals have little reason to believe her story.

Not Rob Barrett, the FBI investigator and interrogator specializing in telling a true confession from a falsehood. He’s been circling Kimberly and her conspirators for months, waiting for the right avenue to the truth, and has finally found it. He knows, as strongly as he’s known anything, that Kimberly’s story—a grisly, harrowing story of a hit and run fueled by dope and cheap beer that becomes a brutal stabbing in cold blood—is how it happened. But one thing remains elusive: where are Jackie and Ian’s bodies?   from Goodreads

“When you kill someone, you have two choices. The first one is to try to hide how you did it, which is what almost everyone does, and almost everyone gets caught. The second one is to show exactly how you did it – and then prove it couldn’t have happened that way.”

Rob Barrett got the confession he wanted.  For all the good it did him since it the evidence showed it to be a lie.  But Rob knows who did it and it doesn’t matter if he gets demoted and sent away to an FBI outpost he will find his way back to Maine and the truth.

I liked Rob’s backstory and his connection the the small Maine town and I was kept guessing, maybe not as much as who did it but how.  Not all things wrapped up happily, but enough to satisfy.   Koryta always comes through for me with his thrillers.

Sundays with my only kid Gage

I read this article from the Washington Post yesterday and thought I’d weigh in as an only with an only.  Growing up there were times I wanted a sibling, but I rather liked my childhood and didn’t feel like I missed out on anything.  Sometimes I felt like the house was too quiet, but you don’t need a big family to fill a house with laughter.  There are times Gage tells me I need to have a brother for him (never a sister) and I do sometimes wish that was in the cards, but it’s not.  Honestly, I don’t understand the stigma attached to only children.

While families with siblings manage relationships among the siblings, we go out and forge relationships with other families, often with those that have only one kid.  Not because that’s important, but because it’s practical.  A few weeks ago we took a four day vacation with another family of three and the boys (who have already been friends for years) had a great time.  Gage and I rode with the family for the one and a half hour trip there and the boys had a blast (so much so that they carpooled with Jason to science center camp this week).  We all had a great time.

Both of these boys had challenges when they were younger and neither one would be where he is now if there had been siblings to look after also.  What I’ve been able to do for Gage health-wise never would have happened if he was not my only focus.  I never would have had the time to go on research trips, study, cook so many different diets, reach out to other moms, experts and doctors (let alone the cost) if we’d had another child.

I read the comments to the article on Facebook (where nothing good ever happens) and was sad at how much judgement there still was for a fast growing population of kids.  According to the article 22% of women who had kids only had one.  During our presidential studies we recently read a few books about Franklin Delano Roosevelt and his being an only child featured prominently into his story, and this man born to extreme privilege and indulgence did some pretty great things for the least among us, and I told Gage that we only kids should aspire to such great things.  #Putman2048

Book vs. Movie – The Little Prince (2015)

Image result for the little prince images  vs.  The Little Prince (2015 film) poster.png

We finished reading this book as a family in February.  It’s a 1943 novella written by Antoine de Saint-Exupery and has been voted the best book of the 20th century in France.  Last week I saw the movie pop up on Netflix and finally sat down to watch it yesterday.  I admit there were tears during both.  I’m a total sap.

The Story/Plot  One day a little golden haired prince shows up in the desert where an aviator has crashed his airplane.   He is peculiar and has an amazing planet hopping story to tell.  The two form a friendship as they search for ways to survive.  That’s in the book and the movie.  However, the movie adds a whole other story.  I think it’s safe to say that this other modern story is what the movie is about and the The Little Prince as it was written is just a part.  The aviator survives and years later as an old man he befriends a lonely girl and shares the story.  At this point, the movie completely jumps into something else entirely and I don’t want to spoil it.  Because of this addition, the story of the Little Prince really changes.  Surprisingly, I loved them both.  The movie, while diverging held true to the spirit of the book.  Thumbs up – tie

The Visual  I LOVED the pop-up book of the story we read, but the animation was wonderful and fresh.  I loved the animation and the 3D stop motion used.    Thumbs up – the movie

Characters vs. Actors  In the book there are way fewer characters and none of them jumped off the page as much as they came to life in the movie.  It didn’t hurt that the movie was narrated by all star cast (Jeff Bridges, Rachel McAdams, Benecio del Toro, Albert Brooks, Paul Rudd, James Franco, Ricky Gervais, Marion Cotillard, and others)  If this is one of  your favorite books I can see that what they do with your beloved characters might rankle a bit, but as for me it didn’t bother me so much.  Thumbs up – the movie

The Ending  I mentioned from the top that both made me cry, so they have that in common, but not much else.  The book is just a part of the movie and the movie is a continuation of the book and the endings have parallels.  Confused yet?  Me too.  Both work so I’m not choosing one.  Thumbs up – tie

And the winner is…the movie.  The book is so classic and pure that I almost feel guilty for liking the movie more.

 

Other book vs. movie polls you can vote on: (Charlie St. Cloud) (Far From the Madding Crowd(The Girl on the Train) (Tuck Everlasting)  (Northanger Abbey) (Me Before You) (And Then There Were None) (Still Alice) (The Blind Side) (The Fault in Our Stars) (The Hound of the Baskervilles) (Gone Girl) (Jack Reacher) (Ender’s Game) (Carrie, the original) (Under the Tuscan Sun) (The Secret Life of Bees) (The Shining, the original)

 

 

A Ladder to the Sky by John Boyne

Title: A Ladder to the Sky, Author: John Boyne A Ladder to the Sky. Finished 5-30-19, 4.75/5, fiction, 362 pages, pub. 2018

Maurice Swift is handsome, charming, and hungry for success. The one thing he doesn’t have is talent – but he’s not about to let a detail like that stand in his way. After all, a would-be writer can find stories anywhere. They don’t need to be his own.
Working as a waiter in a West Berlin hotel in 1988, Maurice engineers the perfect opportunity: a chance encounter with celebrated novelist Erich Ackermann. He quickly ingratiates himself with the powerful – but desperately lonely – older man, teasing out of Erich a terrible, long-held secret about his activities during the war. Perfect material for Maurice’s first novel. 
Once Maurice has had a taste of literary fame, he knows he can stop at nothing in pursuit of that high. Moving from the Amalfi Coast, where he matches wits with Gore Vidal, to Manhattan and London, Maurice hones his talent for deceit and manipulation, preying on the talented and vulnerable in his cold-blooded climb to the top. But the higher he climbs, the further he has to fall…  from Goodreads

Why am I only just now reading John Boyne?  I remember watching the movie The Boy in the Striped Pajamas and being heartbroken, but I didn’t read the book.  Now I want to read everything he’s written.  This is one of those novels with a main character so horribly delicious that it makes you want to look away.  It may even force you to shut the book and put it down for awhile, but you keep glancing at it and eventually you pick it back up and steel yourself for some ugly happenings.  Okay, maybe that was just me.  The storytelling for this book was just so good.  Love or hate the main character of Maurice, you have to revel in the way his story unfolds, first through the voices of those he had wronged and then through his.

You can read the above description for a taste of how the book begins, but know that the story after the ones mentioned is the most cruel and awful of the lot of them.  Oh, and did I mention that he managed to spawn?  The stories are complex, captivating, ruthless, and visit some of the darkest corners of the more ambitious among us.

I know this book isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but I found it twisty and tragically captivating.  Does Maurice get his due?  You’ll have to read it to find out.

This week’s Columbus roadtrip

Favorite pic of the week

IMG_0325 (2) This guy is a 2nd grader no more!  Today was his last day of school.  Where does the time go?  So proud of him and am looking forward to summer.

Best Part of the Week  We managed to string together some pretty perfect days this week and I appreciated every moment.  Gage sees an integrative doctor in Columbus who we love. And so does everyone else.  So, when  you make your appointment you take what you can get.  At our visit this week the next open appointment was January!  Jason decided to take an extra vacation day so we decided to go down on Monday and come back Wednesday after our appointment.  We had so much fun.  We took our time stopping 3 times on the way down (It’s about 2 hours 15-30 minutes straight).  We went putt putting, and played laser tag together.  Gage got to drive his first go cart.  The next day we went to the Columbus Zoo and had a great time.  I had forgotten what a fabulous zoo it is.

IMG_0218IMG_0259IMG_0295IMG_0287

Worst Part of the Week My mouth pain almost all gone, but the stitches have not dissolved like they were supposed to and they are driving me nuts.  All in all if that’s the worst thing I’ve got going on I’m a lucky gal.

Reading  Image result for a ladder to the sky book image I finished A Ladder to the Sky by John Boyne and I loved it.  The guy was a twisted character, but I loved the way the story unfolded.  It was written through the eyes of the major people in his life until the last section, when the only one left was him.

Listening  Image result for how it happened book cover korytaI finished listening to How It Happened by Michael Koryta and really liked it.  A good thriller that kept me guessing and interested.

Watching on the small screen We’re still watching season 2 of Game of Thrones.  I managed to watch a few episodes of Project Runway too 🙂

Watching on the big screen 

 

Last Sunday we had an Aladdin double feature.  We ate at Aladdin’s Eatery (one of our faves) and watched the newest movie version with Will Smith as the genie.  We all liked it.

Plans for the weekend We have a 3 day trip scheduled next week with friends so I’m hoping that this can be a quieter weekend.  Gage’s school has their end of year picnic tomorrow and we need to start looking for carpet for our family room.  Yes, we are still renovating this house 😦