This Week – Hakuna Matata

Happy Labor Day weekend to all.  Gage checks in to the Cleveland Clinic for 3 nights and 4 days this weekend.  As soon as he’s checked out we head east to visit friends and attend a wedding.  Crazy week.

Fave pic of the week

IMG_1711 (2) After a month of sleeping with my kid, per doctors orders, I can say that I am now looking forward to the 72 hour EEG just so we can get answers and hopefully get back to our own beds!.  Snapped this pic of my two nightly bed partners.  Razzi was on the floor next to the bed.  Kinda cracks me up that he’s got a Thomas pillow case and a train sleep shirt.  Amazingly, he couldn’t really care less about trains these past few years.

Highlights of the week… We saw The Lion King musical downtown this afternoon and it was fabulous.  IMG_1755 I also took Gage to his first garage sale Friday and he was enthralled by what we could get for $1 or $2 🙂  Seriously, he was trying to convince me we needed a $2 chandelier 🙂

I should also mention that I appreciate SO MUCH the effort, big and small, that friends have have made to make Gage’s hospital stay a little better.  Honestly, some of the things you all come up with…a big teary thank you from this mama.

Could’ve been better…I don’t know, all of the stress.  So much to do for the hospital stay, our wedding trip, prepping for the library event I’ll be missing, and about a million other things that need done.

Finished readingMy Soul in Silence Waits by Margaret Guenther loved it, Guardians of Being by Eckhart Tolle loved it, The Cutting Edge by Jeffery Deaver really good

Plans for the weekend…Do you know about the monthly challenge blog that Jason and I started a few years ago?  Well, I’ve taken over this year and for September, my 4th year in a row, I be attempting to read a book a day (minus the 5 days of our trip.  I’m crazy but not that crazy). The last two years Gage has participated.  Here’s our pic of 30 possible reads…IMG_1748 (2)

I intend to keep up to date on the reads on Instagram (stacybuckeye).  I should also note that this pic was 30 minutes before a date with Jason and after 2 bites of ravioli in marinara sauce, this shirt will probably never be worn again.



August’s Movies & $ for charity

Well, we made it to the theater once.  This has really been a slow movie year.  What do I need to see that’s out now?

You know the drill, 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 $17 right now.  Your charity could be next 

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood poster.pngOnce Upon a Time in Hollywood, 2019 (Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Margot Robie, Emile Hirsch, Margaret Qualley, Timothy Olyphant, Kurt Russell, Al Pacino, Bruce Dern)                       Grade B

Almost placid, with Tarantino edge.

In my top three Tarantinos.  (Michelle)

MI – Fallout.jpg Mission Impossible Fallout, 2018 (Tom Cruise, Henry Cavill, Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson, Angela Bassett, Alec Baldwin, Michelle Monaghan)   Grade B

High voltage forgettable spy fun.

MI films are always good.  (Michelle)

Poster for Always Be My Maybe.png Always Be My Maybe 2019 (Randall Park, Ali Wong, Keanu Reevesss)       Grade C+

Watched for Keanu – worth it!

It was terrific!  (Vicki)


Guardians of Being by Eckart Tolle and Patrick McDonnell

Title: Guardians of Being: Spiritual Teachings from Our Dogs and Cats, Author: Eckhart Tolle Guardians of Being. Finished 8-27-19, 5/5 stars, 228 pages, pub. 2009

This wonderfully unique collaboration brings together two masters of their fields, joining original words by spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle with delightful illustrations by Patrick McDonnell, the creator of the acclaimed comic strip MUTTS. Every heartwarming page provokes thought, insight, and smiling reverence for all beings and each moment.

More than a collection of witty and charming drawings, the marriage of Patrick McDonnell’s art and Eckhart Tolle’s words conveys a profound love of nature, of animals, of humans, of all life-forms. Guardians of Being celebrates and reminds us of not only the oneness of all life but also the wonder and joy to be found in the present moment, amid the beauty we sometimes forget to notice all around us.   from Goodreads

I adore this book.  A beautifully written and illustrated book about the profound nature of animals and how our lives are better when we celebrate the pets in our lives.  This is a picture book with heartwarming insight.  “Just watching an animal closely can take you out of your mind and bring you into the present moment, which is where the animal lives all the time…surrendered to life.”   This is a perfect gift for the animal lover in your life.  I plan on buying a few copies for gifts and one for myself 🙂

IMG_1712IMG_1713 (2)

Elevation by Stephen King

Elevation by Stephen King Elevation.  Finished 8-3-19, 3/5, fiction, pub. 2018

Unabridged audio read by Stephen King. 3 hours 46 minutes

Although Scott Carey doesn’t look any different, he’s been steadily losing weight. There are a couple of other odd things, too. He weighs the same in his clothes and out of them, no matter how heavy they are. Scott doesn’t want to be poked and prodded. He mostly just wants someone else to know, and he trusts Doctor Bob Ellis.

In the small town of Castle Rock, the setting of many of King’s most iconic stories, Scott is engaged in a low grade—but escalating—battle with the lesbians next door whose dog regularly drops his business on Scott’s lawn. One of the women is friendly; the other, cold as ice. Both are trying to launch a new restaurant, but the people of Castle Rock want no part of a gay married couple, and the place is in trouble. When Scott finally understands the prejudices they face—including his own—he tries to help. Unlikely alliances, the annual foot race, and the mystery of Scott’s affliction bring out the best in people who have indulged the worst in themselves and others.   from Goodreads

I was engaged in this feel good story, but the failure at the end for true resolution left me feeling ambivalent about it.  I have no idea how this was named Best Horror in the Goodreads poll last year.  I suppose people saw the name Stephen King and nominated and voted accordingly, but there was not one sentence of horror in this one.  Just an interesting idea, some good people, and hope that everyone can get along.

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell Fangirl. Finished 7-5-19, 4.5/5, YA, pub. 2013

Unabridged audio read by Rebecca Lowman and Maxwell Caulfield.  13 hours.

In Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl, Cath is a Simon Snow fan. Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan, but for Cath, being a fan is her life—and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.

Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words . . . And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.  from Goodreads

I really got sucked into this book and was actually looking forward to my time driving Gage around for summer camps!  Cath was so very real, meaning that I identified with her and I wanted to shake her at the same time, as were all of the characters.  She and her twin sister were once very close, but the differences between them grew and now they are barely speaking.  Cath is not doing so well being thrown into the college life alone.  Good thing her roommate Reagan feels this way, “I feel sorry for you, and I’m going to be your friend.”

Cath was a popular fan fiction writer for a series that is loosely based on the Harry Potter series and excerpts from these stories was interspersed throughout the book.  I have to admit that was my least favorite part of the story, but I imagine if you like fan fiction it would be refreshing.  She is a talented writer, but thinks she needs the world already created for her.  Her professor tries to get her to spread her wings.

There were so many on point aspects to this young adult novel.  Being a social misfit, alcohol abuse, mental illness, plagiarism, friendship, and forgiveness just to name a few.  And did I mention there was a boy?  There’s a boy and he’s wonderful.  This was my first Rowell book and I can see why she’s so popular.

Indeh: A Story of the Apache Wars by Ethan Hawke and Greg Ruth

Title: Indeh: A Story of the Apache Wars, Author: Ethan Hawke Indeh. Finished 8-3-19, 3.5/5, graphic historical, 231 pages, pub. 2016

The year is 1872. The place, the Apache nations, a region torn apart by decades of war. Goyahkla, a young brave, has lost his family and everything he loves. After having a vision, he approaches the Apache leader Cochise to lead an attack against the Mexican village of Azripe. It is this wild display of courage that transforms the young brave Goyahkla into the Native American hero Geronimo. But the Apache Wars rage on. As they battle their enemies, lose loved ones, and desperately cling to their land and culture, they utter, “Indeh,” or “the dead.” When it appears that lasting peace has been reached, it seems like the war is over. Or is it?    from Goodreads

The history of the Native American Indians in this country always angers me and makes me sad.  This was no different.  The way they were treated was horrifying.  The illustrations in this graphic novel are perfection, the black and white showing the stark reality.  I learned a lot about the Apache Wars and Geronimo, both good guy and bad guy, just like us all.  I admit that I found the story confusing in some places, but kept with it and came away with a clearer picture. A quality graphic novel with an important part of history to be told.

This Week in 3rd Grade

It’s been two weeks since I posted because last weekend Jason and I went out of town to the Shawshank Reunion Anniversary events.  I posted some pics on FB and IG so I won’t post again, but it was a really fun time.  When we got home I took Gage to a back to school breakfast at the church down the street and then we met friends at the Wizard of Oz musical at a local college.  I’m looking forward to a quieter weekend!

Fave of the week


Highlights of the week…Before Gage started 1st grade I took him on a cruise along the Cuyahoga River and a bit of Lake Erie and told him we should make it a yearly thing.  He’s held me to it and last year and this year we invited Dad and Grandma too.  I leave them alone for 10 minutes and this is what Jason has done to his hair.  The first day of school went well and he’s a fan of his new teachers.

Could’ve been better…I’m not sleeping well.  As I mentioned in an earlier post, Gage will get a 72 hour video EEG in September.  The doctor recommended that I continue sleeping in the same room with him.  So, the last 3+ weeks Gage has moved into our bed and real sleep is elusive.  The first week was fine, but the 3-5 hours of sleep is starting to wear on me.  I’m not 25 anymore!

Finished reading...Pleased to Meet Me: Genes, Germs, and t… (review)

Finished listening...Title: The Silent Patient, Author: Alex Michaelides Title: Clock Dance (B&N Exclusive Edition), Author: Anne Tyler

Recommended kids book of the week…41183557. sx318  Gage and I both loved this pictorial history of how NYC’s Central Park came to be.

Continued reading...My Soul in Silence Waits: Meditations o… It’s my morning devotional book and I’m really liking it.  Anything for You (Blue Heron, #5)

Started listening...The Cutting Edge (Lincoln Rhyme, #14)

On the big screen…Once Upon a Time in Hollywood poster.pngI’m no Quentin Tarantino fan, but this was so different.  I actually thought it was boring some of the time, not something I’ve ever said about a Tarantino film.  Obviously this was Jason’s pick.

On the small screen…This week we received $5 cash in the mail from Nielsen telling us that they were interested in talking to us about becoming a Nielsen family.  Jason and I are still laughing.  Four nights this week for a total of four episodes of Justified on Amazon Prime.  That’s it.  Gage has watched a few episodes on Spongebob and that has been the total of our household TV viewing.  I’m not sure we’re Nielsen material but I appreciate the $5.

Plans for the weekend…We have a few good options for Sunday, but will most likely go with Big Bounce America for Gage.



Just Who Will You Be? by Maria Shriver

Title: Just Who Will You Be?: Big Question. Little Book. Answer Within., Author: Maria Shriver Just Who Will You Be? Finished 8-3-19, 2.5/5 stars, 112 pages. pub. 2008

“I’ve learned that asking ourselves not just what we want to be, but who we want to be is important at every stage of our lives, not just when we’re starting out in the world. That’s because in a way, we’re starting out fresh in the world every single day.” Just Who Will You Be is a candid, heartfelt, and inspirational book for seekers of all ages. Inspired by a speech she gave, Maria Shriver’s message is that what you do in your life isn’t what matters. It’s who you are. It’s an important lesson that will appeal to anyone of any age looking for a life of meaning. In her own life, Shriver always walked straight down her own distinctive path, achieving her childhood goal of becoming “award-winning network newswoman Maria Shriver”. But when her husband was elected California’s Governor and she suddenly had to leave her job at NBC News, Maria was thrown for a loop. Right about then, her nephew asked her to speak at his high school graduation. She resisted, wondering how she could possibly give advice to kids, when she was feeling so lost herself. But in the end she relented and decided to dig down and dig deep, and the result is this little jewel. Just Who Will You Be Reminds us that the answer to many of life’s question lie within — and that we’re all works in progress. That means it’s nevertoo late to become the person you want to be. Now the question for you is this: Just who will you be?  from Goodreads

Shriver struggled with why her nephew’s school wanted her to give the graduation speech and her ruminations on it were off putting to me.  After she tries on many reasons she settles on her ‘celebrity’.  She goes on to share parts of her life (she’s still married to Arnold at this point) and this book felt just as much a therapy exercise as an uplifting graduation speech.  There’s nothing wrong with that, but it was a little short to do both well.


Eat Dirt:Why Leaky Gut May Be the Root Cause of Your Health Problems and 5 Surprising Steps to Cure It by Dr. Josh Axe

Title: Eat Dirt: Why Leaky Gut May Be the Root Cause of Your Health Problems and 5 Surprising Steps to Cure It, Author: Josh Axe Eat Dirt. Finished 8-2-19, 4.5/5, health, 327 pages, pub. 2016

To keep us in good health, our gut relies on maintaining a symbiotic relationship with trillions of microorganisms that live in our digestive tract. When our digestive system is out of whack, serious health problems can manifest and our intestinal walls can develop microscopic holes, allowing undigested food particles, bacteria, and toxins to seep into the bloodstream. This condition is known as leaky gut syndrome.

In Eat Dirt, Dr. Josh Axe explains that what we regard as modern “improvements” to our food supply—including refrigeration, sanitation, and modified grains—have damaged our intestinal health. In fact, the same organisms in soil that allow plants and animals to flourish are the ones we need for gut health. In Eat Dirt, Dr. Axe explains that it’s essential to get a little “dirty” in our daily lives in order to support our gut bacteria and prevent leaky gut syndrome. Dr. Axe offers simple ways to get these needed microbes, from incorporating local honey and bee pollen into your diet to forgoing hand sanitizers and even ingesting a little probiotic-rich soil.  from Goodreads

Leaky Gut (also known as increased intestinal permeability, is a digestive condition in which bacteria and toxins are able to “leak” through the intestinal wall) is not a new term to me.  Any autism mom who has investigated causes or treatments will have invariably come in contact with the condition.  This book does a great job of explaining what it is and how you can help heal.  Again, much of this was familiar, but he did a nice job of laying it out and organizing the steps you can take to improve your health.

The way in which we live and eat does great damage to our guts and in turn, our brains.  While Dr. Axe focuses on the food and supplement aspect he also addresses the other culprits harming our bodies.  He educates on essential oils (something I’ve never felt comfortable delving into), but more importantly, provides recipes on how you can make your own home and personal cleaning products relatively easily.  If that sounds like too much he also give tips on what to look out for when purchasing everything from shampoo to laundry detergent.

The 5 steps to healing your gut? Remove, reseed, restore, release, reseal.  The food recommendations are not easy, but having spent so many years reading on this I feel like his recommendations can be game changers for some people and he provides an organized plan of getting it done.

More people suffer from leaky gut than most realize.  As a matter of fact, most people suffer from leaky gut without even realizing it.  If you have any kind of autoimmune issue I would recommend taking a look at this.  And why not eat a little dirt? 🙂


Why Meeting Kristan Higgins Was Important

Bestselling author Kristan Higgins is a mama bear, unabashedly in love with her kids.  When she visited the library last night on her last book tour stop before heading home she spoke with great emotion about her family.  She had a late miscarriage in her 20’s that makes her appreciate her two healthy children even more than she might have otherwise.  She said something like grief can break your heart wide open and make it even bigger.

Most of you know the challenges we’ve faced over the years and  I mentioned that Gage was having nightmares for a few weeks and the doctor wanted me to watch him.  She recommended us to a pediatric neurologist so yesterday we went to our appointment to discuss the nightmares and the shaking with a very nice doctor.  After about 15 minutes he, very nicely, recommended a 3 day video EEG.  Gage checks into the hospital on a Sunday afternoon, gets hooked up with all the wires, and then stays there in his room until Wednesday afternoon.  Needless to say I was completely floored, not at all expecting this.  It seemed so extreme.  I was a bundle of nerves, anxiety and a lot uncertainty.  I even let myself have a glass of wine over dinner with Jason as we discussed it.  Then it was time to leave to see Kristin and I did.  Because I needed it.


She was every bit as personable as I’d hoped she’d be based on her presence on social media.  She told funny stories, got a little choked up when discussing her miscarriage, answered questions, and spent time with each of us even though the line was long and it was getting late.  I made some friends in the line while we waited to meet her and left the library feeling 100% better about life, deciding all worries could wait until morning.

Well, it’s morning and I’m still feeling okay.  And I bet if I read one of her books I’ll feel even better.  Gage is fine and the hospital stay could answer a lot of questions I’ve had over the years.  Keeping my 8 year old in a small room with wires on his head for 72 hours still causes me much anxiety, but I’m putting off the worry until tomorrow.  He isn’t scheduled until next month so I can keep the worry away one day at a time for awhile.

Thanks Kristin for getting me over the initial panic 🙂