This Week – Teacher Work Days

After almost two years of homeschooling I discovered something this week. We need teacher planning days too! I reached a breaking point on Tuesday and cancelled all of Gage’s mom school time for the rest of the week. He still had a few Outschool classes and his reading tutor two days, but I disconnected from the school day completely and we’re both so much better off for it. The plan is to homeschool next year and, rest assured, there will be a scheduled teacher planning day once a month so that a another breaking point isn’t reached. There are so many posts I finally feel like writing about homeschooling, but I’ll save them for another day.

I finished 3 non-picture books this week. I’ve read 150 total books this year.

Tell Me Three Things by Julie Bauxbaum, 328 pages, 2016

I loved this book. Jessie has recently lost her mother and her father remarried and moved them across the country to LA. A new stepbrother and ultra rich private high schoolers is a lot to take, especially with no friends and mean girls targeting her.

Enter SN, who begins anonymously emailing her with encouragement and tips on how to navigate her new life. Suddenly it all becomes bearable. But who is he and why can’t they meet?

Such a rich story, full of the drama and insecurities of youth. I’m a little late to the party on this one, but happy to recommend it. Just make sure you make the waffles 🧇 .

The Cricket in Times Square by George Seldon, 134 pages, 1960

Originally published in 1960 it’s the story of a cricket from Connecticut who accidentally finds himself in the Times Square subway station. He’s taken as a pet and makes friends with a mouse and a cat. Oh, and he becomes a famous musician and hundreds of people crowd around while he makes beautiful music.

Gage and I read the first half together and then finished independently (yes, I did! I needed to know what became of Chester Cricket). It was a sweet, silly, old-fashioned story about friendship and I’m glad to have read it. I’d say this is more geared to a 3rd grader. 134 pages (with some illustrations).

It’s an oldie but goodie. Did you read this as a kid?

Edutoons: A Jumpball Melee of Editorial Cartoons About the Politics of Public Education by Ron Hill, 138 pages, 2016

We were lucky enough to get a few new board members for the Friends of the Solon Library, and one of them is the author of this book, Ron Hill . This is a few years old and a compilation of his editorial cartoons about public education in Ohio and more specifically our region. I’ve always enjoyed his cartoons in the paper and this a quick, fun read about the state of education.

This book just happened to come in with donations, but I know he has a new one out that I’ll have to check out soon.

Movies watched

As part of my teacher ‘break’ I took my student to the theater, lol.
I came for Jacob Eldori and and left with tears. (watched on Netflix)


We started the new series, The Lincoln Lawyer, on Netflix. We’re over halfway through.

What’s your favorite burnout solution?

This Week – What day is it?

I took this on our family walk last night. Beautiful, right? Life is crazy busy right now, but taking ten minutes to check in feels like a necessity for my sanity. My to do list is 15 very important, all a bit time consuming, things that need to happen in the next few weeks, all while trying to finish up Gage’s 5th grade year strong. I know I’m not the only one with a crazy May.

The Day I Died by Lori Rader-Day, 4.25/5 stars, 408 pages, pub. 2017

The Day I Died is one of those dark thrillers that has as many secrets as revelations. We know the main character is hiding and moves around with her son for that reason. We don’t know exactly why, but do get plenty of hints. She’s a handwriting expert for the FBI so she gets drawn into a missing child case, an entanglement that makes her itch to flee yet again. It was a nicely paced thriller with a complicated main character. Great combo!

The Summer Deal by Jill Shalvis, 4/5 stars, 384 pages, 2020

The Summer Deal by Jill Shalvis is a beach read with some serious issues. Brynn is recovering from an embarrassing life choice when she runs into Eli, a camp crush from her teens, who offers her a place to live. He forgets to mention that her frenemy, Kinsey, also lives there and she is also seriously ill.

I loved Brynn’s moms. They were most definitely the best characters, full of love and spice. The story of the three roommates coming together was good, even if it ended a little too simplistic for me, but hey, that’s what summer reads are for! And the cover will look good at the pool or beach.

I’ve read 143 books so far this year.

On TV the last few weeks

We finished Ozark. I didn’t dislike the end to this series, but it lacked some of the punch the rest of the seasons had.

We watch Harlan Coben’s Hold Tight on Netflix. It was solid, like most of his book adaptations are.



Plans for the rest of the day

We’re planning a hike in the park after dinner, but right now I need to spend a few hours pulling out homeschool year together and getting it ready to be assessed. This is required by Ohio. We can choose taking a standardized test or having a teacher assessing progress. It’s time consuming, but a good way for me to personally assess what worked and what didn’t.

What about you? Anything fun this weekend?

This Week – For the Birds

Have you have had a bird eat out of your hand? Gage went to his weekly Nature Kids Adventures and the coordinator sent me this pic. He had 12 chickadees visit his hands and he is begging Jason and I to take him back so that we can all try it. I love this group and also appreciate the 3 hour break I get from homeschooling and the time that Gage gets to spend with other kids during the school day 🙂

Gage had his first appointment with the orthodontist this week. He wants to remove two permanent teeth before putting on braces. I’ve never heard of this being a thing and I’m not sure about it. I’ll be looking for a second opinion before going forward. Have you had to do this?

Books read this week in the order I liked them best

Loved this story of a thief going home because his serial killer brother on death row needed him.
Loved this fast paced (at least until the end) thriller.
This is one of a series of beautiful picture books about animals and their threated environment with actionable things for kids to do to help. I hope to get them all!
Our second picture book for Earth Day this year and it was more informative than I’d hoped. I my have even assigned weekend homework from it 😉
I love Tommy and Tuppence and this final book in the series also happened to be Agatha Christie’s last book written before she died. It was meandering and showed her ages, but since T&T were also in their 80s it kind of fit.

Currently reading


We started watching the new Harlan Coben Netflix series, Hold Tight, last night but the wifi was too glitchy for us to get very far. Maybe tonight!

We’re watching the first season of Ghosts and still watching the current season of Survivor.

Puzzles finished

Plans for the weekend

We’re headed to a county maple festival today. What are you up to this weekend?

This Week – All good streaks must come to an end

Happy Easter everyone! Gage has already found his eggs and is playing around with gifts.

BIG NEWS After a year, 4 months, and 15 days my book a day streak has come to an end. I’d been thinking about it for a few weeks, even intending to purposely end it last week before reading a book for homeschooling and realizing that I continued without even trying, lol. I went longer than I thought I would and am actually quite proud of myself for this challenge. There are also the obvious downsides (where do I find the time) but also the small ones that showed up (am I choosing a book for its quality or its length). I found myself giving up family time for reading one too many times.

What finally tipped me over the edge? I spent most of yesterday with a sinus migraine in a dark room, moving as little as possible. By the time I got around to being mobile, I wanted to give my full attention to my guys, at least as much as the headache allowed. It was a fitting way to end my book a day challenge, but I still feel that small twinge of regret.

What I read – Hopefully I’ll get reviews posted this week.

Posts this week

My newest challenge!

Currently reading



We watched the first three episodes of the network show Ghosts and thought they were funny.

We’re also into this season of Survivor, we’re seen them all. We each picked a winner in the first episode and all three have made it to the merge.

Plans for the weekend

It’s cold here! And the last two times I’ve spent an hour or two outside this week I’ve ended up with terrible sinus migraines, so I’m homebound today.

What about you? Anything exciting this Easter weekend?

This Week – Immersive Valentines

On Valentine’s Day I took my two loves to the Immersive Van Gogh exhibit. I went with my mom in December and knew that they would love it. If you have a chance to see it make sure you do.

Other highlights of the week – Two Gage doctor appointments, both with very different opinions. I’m currently on the fence and have a ton more research to do. Instead of doing that, I have cleaned our laundry room top to bottom and I’m exhausted, lol.

The board of our Friends of Library group welcomed 4 new board members on Monday and I successfully balanced the books for the month. Only 11 more months as treasurer (not that I’m counting or anything. I hate being in charge of this much money).

ETR phone meeting complete. IEP coming up on Tuesday. Sending positive energy my way for that would be appreciated. Since he’s a homeschool kid I’m not stressing too much because if I send him back to public school we have to redo the whole process anyway. It feels like wasted time that’s only going to stress me out. Have you had to be part of an IEP meeting? It’s a group of educators taking turns telling you what your child’s deficits are. Can it be useful? Yes. As a parent do I usually end up crying in the car after? Yes.

Currently reading

Books read this year – 68

Posts this week

Two Good Books

Cybils Award Winners


Jason and I flew through season 2 of Discovery of Witches. Looking forward to the concluding third season.


We watched this with Gage since he liked the first one.

Puzzles Completed

Plans for the weekend

I’m not sure, but the weather will be nice tomorrow so we’ll do something outside. What about you?

I’m linking up with The Solon Salon at Readerbuzz.

This Week – Celebrate!

Fave Pic

Highlights of the Week We had a lovely get together with my parents celebrating their 53rd wedding anniversary and my Dad’s 75th birthday.  

I signed up for Book Riot’s TBR: Tailored Book Recommendations and these 3 beautiful hardcover books arrived on my doorstep with a letter from Rey telling me why she chose each one. I started the first already.

Gage went to the dentist and had no cavities.

Go Bengals! They might be out in-state rivals but they’re representing Ohio so I hope they can pull it off!

Could’ve been better The dentist said Gage needed braces by summer. I had to make yet another trip to the school that Gage doesn’t attend to fill out more paperwork for his ETR/IEP meeting next week. If you don’t know what those letters mean consider yourself blessed. Started the process of getting Gage officially diagnosed with ADHD. It’s a ridiculous process considering, but I’m finally ready to try medication and we’ve got to jump through a bunch of hoops yet. We put off of February trip and now I wish we’d just taken off for a few weeks.

Currently reading

The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina
The Duchess Countess: The Woman Who Sca…Can I Touch Your Hair? Poems of Race, M…A Child's Introduction to African Ameri…


Parable of the Sower (Earthseed, #1)
I tried, I really did, but it just wasn’t working for me 1/4 of the way through. I rarely give up on books but have resolved to do better. Too many great books to take up valuable reading time on something that isn’t speaking to you.

Books finished this year – 59.


We breezed right through this first season on Amazon Prime. It’s the Jack Reacher series done right.


Brightburn film poster.png
Through My Window film poster.png

Puzzles completed

Plans for the weekend Watch the Super Bowl and try to sneak in some reading! Are you planning to watch the Super Bowl?

This Week – Snow Globe

Fave pic We went for a walk at the park today. It was a short, cold one (20 degrees), but lovely to be out in the sun for a bit.

Highlights of the week The snow was beautiful? How much did you get where you are? We ended up with about a foot, but the drift in our yard has made it more like a few feet. Tomorrow will be about freezing and sunny so hopefully some of it will melt.

Could’ve been better We need a road trip!

Currently reading

The Duchess Countess: The Woman Who Sca…
Can I Touch Your Hair? Poems of Race, M…A Child's Introduction to African Ameri…Comfortable with Uncertainty: 108 Teach…

Posts this week

January Movies and Money for Charity

January Favorites and February Intentions

Black History Month Picture Books

Books read this year – 52


We finished up Ozark season 4, part 1. Looking forward to seeing how they wrap this series up. We watched the first episode of Reacher based on the Lee Child series and are happy with the new Reacher.

Puzzles finished

Do you have a favorite Jane Austen couple?

The World of Jane Austen 1,000 piece puzzle has 60 characters hidden in plain sight. It comes with a poster and instructions on who they all are and how to find them.

This was a fun treat.

Plans for the weekend Tomorrow we’re headed to a neighbor’s house for sledding. Jason and Gage went yesterday and the pictures looked like so much fun I invited us back so I could go 😉

This Week – Puzzling Along

Fave pic – Yesterday was National Puzzle Day and we started this Jane Austen puzzle. When finished we’ll be able to find 60 Austen characters. It’s a fun one for Austen fans.

Highlights of the Week – Rafael Nadal won the Australian Open. Love watching Rafa play! The rest of this week is not worth talking about. Let’s just say that I’m happy a new week is before me.

Could’ve been better – Most of it.

Currently reading

Just Haven't Met You Yet
Charlotte's WebThe Duchess Countess: The Woman Who Sca…Comfortable with Uncertainty: 108 Teach…

Posts this week The Siren of Sussex by Mimi Matthews (loved it!)

Darkness Rising Trilogy by Kelley Armstrong (loved it!)

Kids Picture Books

Books read this year – 40

On TV – We finished Archive 81 on Netflix and are 4 episodes into season 4 of Ozark.

A few weeks ago I mentioned my love for the Netflix show Emily in Paris. I LOVED this on SNL last night! Must watch for Emily fans.

Puzzles finished

This was a puzzle from Completing the Puzzle, my puzzle subscription. They send a puzzle, we do it, send it back and they send us another one. I choose the number of pieces and there’s even a wish list of puzzles I can choose from. I went through the selection several months ago and chose 40 or so puzzles so now I can wait and still be surprised when the next one comes. The surprise is my favorite part!
This one paired nicely with BOSH! How to Live Vegan that I finished this week. I think Gage put in the majority of pieces in this 500 piecer.

Plans for the weekend – Keep my nose to the grindstone planning-wise and hope this week brings some sunshine. What’s up with you?

Linking up with Deb over at The Sunday Salon.

This Week – Snow Snow Everywhere

Fave video – We got our snow this week, around a foot by Monday and we’ve had another inch or so since then. It’s so cold that this snow isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

Highlights of the Week
– Quite a few people have reached out to me wanting to talk about something I posted here, on Facebook, or Instagram, all book related and it’s been nice to reconnect with old friends.

Gage’s nature camp still met, even in all of that snow, while it was still snowing AND 16 degrees!

Eh – I took on the Treasurer position of our Friends of the Library board this week. I said yes because I’m capable and we needed someone to step up. I’m not excited about it, BUT I also know I’m going to learn new skills so that’s a plus. I’ve agreed to do it for a year, so the countdown has begun, lol.

Could’ve been better
– My to do list for the week barely has barely been touched. We put off our February vacay until Omicron starts going down. We really don’t want to be a few days into a 3 week trip and get sick. We’re aiming for March now.

Currently readingThe Siren of Sussex (Belles of London, …The Calling (Darkness Rising, #2)Allison's GambitBOSH!: How to Live VeganCharlotte's Web

Posts this weekMartin Luther King Jr. Day, Top Ten Tuesday, 2021 Books on my shelves

Books read this year – 32

We’re a few episodes in to the new Netflix show Archive 81.

Movies First Man (film).png We enjoyed this movie about Ohio astronaut Neil Armstrong.

Plans for the weekend – I need to finish up a book for a blog tour tomorrow (not a problem since I’m loving it) and tomorrow will be all about figuring out the finances of the Friends and what I need to do and then starting in on that to do list.

What about you? What are you up to this weekend?

This Week ‘Back’ to Normal

Fave Pic

We had some fun with our cats on National Dress Up Your Pet Day this week. This is Razzi in all of his sophisticated glory.

Highlights of the Week My back started feeling almost normal by Friday.

I got pulled over after dropping Gage off at morning nature camp for a brake light that was out. I couldn’t provide proof of insurance and he still let me off with a warning. Yay me!

I signed up for Book Riot’s TBR service and am looking forward to seeing what they choose for me.

On the homeschool front, we started a real math curriculum (it’s a book, but with worksheets, lesson plans, and tests included) instead of me making the lessons myself and not only has it taken some of the stress off, but Gage is flying through. He’s tested out of the first 25 lessons so far and I’m sure he’ll continue to ace the tests for at least the next 20, so I’m feeling way more confident that what I was doing before was working.

Could’ve been better I was in considerable pain until Friday.

Currently reading

The Vanishing Half
BOSH!: How to Live VeganCharlotte's WebComfortable with Uncertainty: 108 Teach…

Books I reviewed this week

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones
An American Marriage
People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry
People We Meet on Vacation
Her Secret War by Pam Lecky
Her Secret War

Books read this year – 24


A Discovery of Witches (TV series).png
A Discovery of Witches, season 1 on Amazon Prime. I read the first book of the trilogy ages ago and didn’t remember many of the details, but Jason and I both enjoyed it. Looking forward to season 2.


Because of Winn-Dixie poster.JPG
Because of Winn-Dixie This is Gage’s new favorite book so he insisted we watch the movie. He assured me that they were almost the same.
Intrusion 2021 film poster.png
Intrusion on Netflix

Completed puzzles

Plans for the weekend

Hoping to spend some time outside in the sunshine. What about you?