This Week -A tough one

It’s been a week of unsettling news and I’m still feeling very sad about Friday’s Supreme Court news. I don’t think the government has a say in ANY health decisions made between a woman and her doctor. And as someone who had a miscarriage at 6 weeks I can say that my experience reinforced my view that conception may mean possible life, but it doesn’t mean baby. I can’t believe we’re at a place that if my miscarriage happened now it would be considered suspect.

On a positive note, Jason and I went out to an actual restaurant without the boy for the first time in over two years last night. We ate outside which is really what I’m comfortable with at this point. We made it to the bottom of the strawberry daquiri 🙂

Gage finished up his third week of camp with his fourth starting tomorrow. This week he’ll be going with two friends and we’re going to carpool! As a stay at home mama I’m usually the one to trek the kids around if necessary, but this week those working moms have insisted on covering 3 days. I am grateful.

Books finished

To Marry and to Meddle by Martha Waters, 3.5/5 stars, 336 pages, 2022

Lady Emily has spent her life being perfect so that no touch of scandal could touch her cash strapped family. Lord Julian Belfry needed this pristine reputation to bring respectability to his theatre. It was a marriage of convenience. Will these two, both looking for acceptance from their parents, fall in love along the way? It is a romance after all!

My favorite character was Cecil, the kitten who brought bloodshed to their wedding night 😽. This is book 3 in the Regency Vows series and can be read alone, as I did. But I do wish I’d read the first two so I could have spent more time with Emily’s friends.

Read Dangerously: The Submersive Power of Literature in Troubled Times by Azar Nafisi, 4/5 stars, 256 pages, 2022

Read Dangerously: The Subversive Power of Literature in Troubled Times by Azar Nafisi is pure delight for lovers of literature and its power of illumination. My book club read her bestseller, Reading Lolita in Tehran, a few years ago and I loved it for all that I learned about Iran. In this book,as an American citizen now, she takes on current America.

What’s missing in our current discourse? Nuance and empathy. These are things that you can find in great literature, especially those books that go against the norm and force you to think about what’s being said. She takes on politics, democracy, freedom, and Trump by analyzing some of the greats like Morrison, Baldwin, Atwood, and Plato.

It’s a book to be loved by anyone who has spent time reading literature. I mostly listened but had my hard copy handy to mark up thoughts I wanted to revisit. She’s got some powerful stuff in here.

There are 5 sections and in section 3 I was so moved that I put one of the books she talked about, Places & Names: On War, Revolution, and Returning by former marine Elliot Ackerman, on hold at the library. He writes fiction now, but this is his memoir.

This was in my latest #gettbr box and it was just what I needed. It’s not an easy read, but one I’m glad someone chose for me.

I talked about Remember Whose Little Girl You Are by Ellen Nichols for a TLC Book Tour here.

On the Screen

We watched two little known movies this week.

I LOVED The Devil All the Time on Netflix.

American Hangman was interesting, but had some problems for me.

We’re in the middle of the mini-series, The Night Manager and are really liking it.

Plans for the weekend

Yesterday was so busy so I promised Gage a quieter day today. We’re going to visit a few houses on the Parade of Homes and he’s got to visit a home to get directions for his next pet sitting/plant watering gig.

What’s up in your corner of the world?

Remember Whose Little Girl You Are by Ellen Nichols

Remember Whose Little Girl You Are by Ellen Nichols. 4/5 stars, 129 pages, 2022

Remember Whose Little Girl You Are captures the flavor of the Deep South like no author since Eudora Welty or Flannery O’Connor. Ellen Nichols captures the tenor of small-town Southern life in the fifties and sixties, with its vicissitudes and hilarity. One is captured with her openness and drawn deeply into the dialogue-so much as to, according to one reader, sometimes feel guilty of spying.

Read it and see if you want those times back-or are just relieved they’re gone.

Remember Whose Little Girl You Are is a memoir of growing up in the South during the 1940s-60s as a preacher’s kid. Ellen Nichols tells her stories with an intimacy that make you feel like you’re sitting around the kitchen table with a girlfriend.

I loved her stories from her early childhood best as she moved every few years with her family, but her college years had the added layer of the civil rights era protests that she participated in in both small and large ways.

A fun southern memoir that is brief enough to be finished in one sitting.

Thanks to TLC Book Tours for including me and Claire McKinney PR for the book and 🧦.

This Week – Nature

Gage spent the week at a nature camp with a friend this week and had a great time. The Nature Center of Shaker Lakes is one of my favorite neighborhoods in Cleveland, even having made a half hearted attempt for us to move there a few years ago. It didn’t happen, but I loved that after dropping Gage off at camp I could walk and enjoy the neighborhood once again.

I visited two independent bookstores for the Zibby Books 22in22 challenge to visit and log 22 bookstore trips this year. Loganberry Books in Cleveland Heights and Appletree Books in Cleveland were visits 6 & 7. It’s never too late to sign up. There are prizes 🙂

What I read

I shared my thoughts about both here.

I’ve finished 161 books so far this year.

On the Screen

We finished season one of the comedy show Ghosts, so much fun. And we finished part one of season four of Stranger Things. So looking forward to the conclusion next month.

We also watched the Netflix movie The Wrath of God, an adaptation of the book The Book of Murder. Jason thought the psychological thriller was boring, but I really liked it.

Puzzle finished (with a bonus Sammi)

Plans for the weekend

We’re going to the toy store today to pick up a game and for Gage to spend some of his money. Tomorrow we’ll serve Jason breakfast in bed (he’s requested waffles) and go over to my parent’s for a bit to mark the day. What do you have planned this Father’s Day weekend? Or the long weekend if you also get Juneteenth off on Monday?

Some Quick Book Thoughts

In my attempt to get more of my thoughts on the books I read on here I’m going to share a few. I’ve had a great reading month so far!

Secret Identity by Alex Segura, 4.5/5 stars, 368 pages, 2022

Set in 1970’s New York City’s comic book publishing industry, this book wasn’t something that grabbed me right away, but I quickly got so sucked into this noir-ish mystery that I listened to the audio when I couldn’t be reading. I’m not a comic book reader and the comic world was fresh for me. The struggles of a woman, Carmen, trying to prove that she was worthy during that time was recognizable.

I never would have chosen this for myself and that’s why I love having someone picking books just for me. This was a thumbs up.

I’m not really doing any special reading for pride month, but with that in mind it’s worth noting that Carmen is a lesbian and it’s a part of her story. She’s a gritty and admirable heroine. Loved her.

The Patron Saints of Second Chances by Christine Simon, 4/5 stars, 304 pages, 2022

This is a zany Italian romp. I was enchanted even as I rolled my eyes at some of the antics.

Signor Speranza is the mayor (self appointed) of a small town in Italy, Prometta, population 212, and he’s just been told that they must pay an exorbitant amount of money or the water will be shut off to the whole town. Speranza comes up with one crazy idea that gets out of hand.

It’s a fun, summer read, especially for lovers of Italy. 

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne, 4.25/5 stars365 pages, 2016

This was a delicious way to start the summer. I absolutely loved the snark and the sexual tension.

Lucy and Joshua share an office and an attitude of dislike for each other. Then Lucy has an erotic dream and things start to get fuzzy. Is it really hate she feels?

Although the hate/love relationship is a predictable one, this story started right where it needed to keep the story moving forward with no down time. This is not a high brow romance and it definitely falls into some issues with the physical aspects of the characters, but it was also a lot of fun. Perfect for summer.

I listened to this one and the audio was very good.

The Bat by Jo Nesbo, 4/5 stars, 369 pages, 1997

I listened to The Bat, the first in the Harry Hole series. I’ve always wanted to give this Norwegian Jo Nesbit mystery series a try and it was a great audio for puzzling and running errands. I look forward to more of this flawed character in the future.

This Week – Summer Break!

We have a 6th grader in the house! Woo hoo! We had a little party in the backyard. I reflected a bit on our two years of homeschooling and I’ll share here…

We fell into homeschooling at the beginning of Covid and I’ve discovered a whole new world, one with ups and downs, but ones we choose for ourselves. I love having relaxing mornings, walks at lunchtime, fieldtrips of our choosing, experiments that start because of an interest, Outschool for having quality led classes that I can choose at a moment’s notice if needed, flexibility to take trips when we want to, and more time together as a family. I even feel like my degree in education comes in handy.

It’s not exactly what I thought it would be, even now two years later, but it’s been that dirt path, the one I always want to take when exploring a new place. I’ve learned as much as Gage, not just the academics, but how to a become more patient, flexible, and present person. Gage will be finishing up 5th grade tomorrow 🥹 and I’ve had the pleasure of being his teacher and his student.

Gage finished his first week of summer camp this week and it was good for both of us. He has five more weeks at different camps, three of those weeks he’ll be going with friends so that’s a plus.

I hosted my book club this week for the first time in two and a half years and it was great to get together and for me to host! We’ve only had people over for outside gatherings since Covid and this was the first time I actually had to prep the house, lol.

What I finished this month so far…

reviewed here.

I’ve read 159 books so far this year.

On the screen

I posted about my April and May movies here.

Last week, during a night of horrible insomnia, I watched these back to back to back. I have no excuse except I wasn’t in my right mind. And I’m more than a little miffed that the third, the supposed end of the trilogy, is only the first part so I didn’t even get the ending, however ridiculous it might be.

Jason and I are currently watching the latest season of Stranger Things. Anyone else binged it?

Plans for the weekend

Gage and Jason went swimming at a friend’s house yesterday while I went to the library to do some work for the Friends. As treasurer I have more to do today since our board meeting is tomorrow. I’m also hoping to do the fun job of clearing the homeschool bookshelf and starting fresh. Something that will look worse way before it looks better, but I will feel so much lighter when it’s done.

Hopefully you have something more exciting planned for the day.

In Search of the Magic Theater by Karla Huebner

In Search of the Magic Theater by Karla Huebner, 4/5 stars, 254 pages, 2022

Why, the rather staid young cellist Sarah wonders, should her aunt rent their spare room to the perhaps unstable Kari Zilke? Like the nephew in Hermann Hesse’s Steppenwolf, Sarah finds herself taking an unexpected interest in the lodger, but she is unable to stop at providing a mere introduction to Kari’s narrative of mid-life crisis and self-discovery, and develops her own more troubled tale of personal angst and growth, entwined with the account Kari herself purportedly left behind. Generational tensions, artistic collaborations, and even a romance steeped in Greek myth follow as Kari and Sarah pursue their very different creative paths in theater and music. And while Kari seems to blossom post-divorce, Sarah must grapple with the question of what the role of mothers, fathers, aunts, mentors, and male collaborators should be in her life as a young musician. from Goodreads

In Search of the Magic Theater 🎭 is a sophisticated story of two women, both creatives, whose lives change because of one person. Kari, a recent mid-life divorcée, rents a room from Sarah, a young repressed cellist, and her aunt. As Kari tries to find her way back to her passion, experimental theater, Sarah tries to find any passion at all.

Set sometime in the 1990s and told with alternating chapters between the women, it surprised me by having me more interested in one at the beginning and the other near the end. It’s heavy in mythology, art, and theater, as well as music. I felt educated and entertained.

I enjoyed the story of these women and the different ways that each approached life and found their own happiness. Anyone interested in mythology or theater should definitely pick this one up.

I want to thank TLC Book Tours for getting this book to me and for the author for sending a sweet card and additional information.

April & May Movies and $ for Charity

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. Click here to see past movie posts.

We’re at $84 right now.  Your charity could be next 

Shows I binged these shows last few months… Ozark (second half of season 4), Bridgerton 2 (where were the naughty bits?), The Lincoln Lawyer (fun!), Survivor 42

Blade Runner 2049 (Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford, Ana de Armas, Sylvia Hoeks, Robin Wright, MacKenzie Davis, Lennie James, Dave Bautista, Jared Leto) Grade B

Search for replicant baby ignites.


All Good Things, 2010 (Ryan Gosling, Kirsten Dunst, Grank Langella, Phillip Baker Hall, Nick Offerman, Kristen Wiig) Grade B

Based on true murder mystery.


The Bad Guys, 2022 (Voices-Sam Rockwell, Marc Moran, Awkwafina, Craig Robinson, Anthony Ramos, Richard Ayoade, Zazie Beetz, Alex Borstein, Lily Singh) Grade B

Don’t ever judge by stereotypes.


2 Hearts, 2020 (Jacon Elordi, Adan Canto, Tiera Skovbye, Radha Mitchell) Grade B

Tears begrudgingly shed.


The Silencing, 2020 (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Annabelle Wallis, Hero Fiennes-Tiffin, Zahn Tokiya-ku McClarnon) Grade B-

Chilling and dark trafficking thriller.


Finding You, 2020 (Rose Reid, Jedidiah Goodacre, Katherine McNamara, Patrick Bergen, Saoirse-Monica Jackson, Tom Everett Scott, Vanessa Redgrave) Grade B-

A lovely trip to Ireland.

Sonic the Hedghog 2, 2022 (Jim Carrey, James Marsden, Tika Sumpter, Natasha Rothwell, Adam Pally, Shemar Moore, Voices- Ben Schwartz, Idris Elba, Colleen O’ Shaughnessey) Grade B-

Sonic finds family and friends.


Can You Keep A Secret?, 2019 (Alexandria Daddario, Tyler Hoechlin, Sunita Mani, Kimiki Glenn, Laverne Cox) Grade C-

I’ve already forgotten the secret.


Senior Year, 2022 (Rebel Wilson, Sam Richardson, Zoe Chao, Mary Holland, Justin Hartley, Chris Parnell, Angourie Rice, Avantika Vandanapu, Brandon Scott Jones, Alicia Silverstone) Grade D+

Coma stole cheerleader’s Prom crown.