This Week – Schools Out

Fave pic HPMS1076

Highlights of the Week – It’s over.

Currently Reading Title: Dear Edward (Barnes & Noble Book Club Edition), Author: Ann Napolitano The Knife of Never Letting Go (Chaos Wa… Morning Meditations: Awaken Your Power …  This looks like a broken record.  Gage was home sick, I was sick.  Not much got done.

Currently Listening Title: How Not to Die Alone, Author: Richard Roper

Finished Watching Altered Carbon Season 2 on Netflix.  Not as good as the first season, but some good stuff in there.

Plans for the weekend Most everything is closed here.  Ohio has 5 confirmed cases of Coronavirus and they’re all here in our area so we are limiting ourselves to the house this weekend.  I’m working at the Ohio primary elections on Tuesday and I’m not thrilled about the exposure.

I’m hoping some of my positivity will come back next week.  Share some of your happiness with me.  What were your highlights of the week?

This Week – Where is Spring?

Fave Pic  IMG_3601 Enjoying the sunset on a healthy Sunday.

Highlight of the Week  Well, the book sale I went to last Sunday was great and I got a chance to meet and exchange notes with another Cuyahoga Library Friends President.  I was even able to invite her to a local meetup on Tuesday that she didn’t know about.  The rest of  the week has pretty much been one I’d like to move on from.  After 10 days on antibiotics Gage had one day of happiness before waking up with the flu on Wednesday.  He’s lost his voice and some of his coughing makes him throw up.  He was able to to nap for almost 3 hours yesterday.  I’m not sure he’s ever been this sick 😦  And Jason woke up sick on Friday.  Pray for their health and mine!

Books Read  We Rise, We Resist, We Raise Our Voices (review)

Currently Reading  Title: Dear Edward (Barnes & Noble Book Club Edition), Author: Ann Napolitano Before I Go to Sleep The Knife of Never Letting Go (Chaos Wa… Morning Meditations: Awaken Your Power …

Currently Listening Title: How Not to Die Alone, Author: Richard Roper  So quirky!

Movies Watched Wakefield poster.jpg Now I need to get my hands on the the EL Doctorow short story it’s based on and the Nathaniel Hawthorne short story that started it all.  I’m curious to see the trajectory.

On the Small Screen  We’re halfway through season 2 of Netflix’s crazy cyberpunk series Altered Carbon.  I liked season 1 but it took me a little longer to get into this season.

The Water Dancer review

My 30 Day Challenge Update

Plans  for the Weekend  We’re having a kids book sale this morning at the library that I’m in charge of so that will take the me until mid afternoon when I will be back home trying to heal my kid and my husband.  I feel like this healing business has been on my weekend agenda for awhile.

What’s going on in your neck of the woods?

We Rise, We Resist, We Raise Our Voices edited by Wade Hudson & Cheryl Willis Hudson

Title: We Rise, We Resist, We Raise Our Voices, Author: Wade Hudson We Rise, We Resist, We Raise Our Voices.  Finished 3-5-20, children’s non-fiction, 4.5/5 stars, 96 pages, pub. 2018

Fifty of the foremost diverse children’s authors and illustrators–including Jason Reynolds, Jacqueline Woodson, and Kwame Alexander–share answers to the question, “In this divisive world, what shall we tell our children?” in this beautiful, full-color keepsake collection, published in partnership with Just Us Books.

What do we tell our children when the world seems bleak, and prejudice and racism run rampant? With 96 lavishly designed pages of original art and prose, fifty diverse creators lend voice to young activists.

Featuring poems, letters, personal essays, art, and other works from such industry leaders as Jacqueline Woodson (Brown Girl Dreaming), Jason Reynolds (All American Boys), Kwame Alexander (The Crossover), Andrea Pippins (I Love My Hair), Sharon Draper (Out of My Mind), Rita Williams-Garcia (One Crazy Summer), Ellen Oh (cofounder of We Need Diverse Books), and artists Ekua Holmes, Rafael Lopez, James Ransome, Javaka Steptoe, and more, this anthology empowers the nation’s youth to listen, learn, and build a better tomorrow.      from Goodreads

So much love in and for this kid’s book!  First, it’s just gorgeous.  The cover is great and each 1-3 page entry is illustrated by a different talented illustrator.  Just flipping through the book, before even reading a word, you will be drawn in.

This treasury was started after the 2016 election and the editors saw how distraught their grand-niece and other kids were.  How they felt all of the hate spewing down on the marginalized and they were scared, confused, and worried.  This is a book to comfort, inspire, and motivate.

The stories and poems included this this collection are a joy to read.  There are personal stories, advice, and poems.  I have a list of favorites and I’ll share a few.  I’m so glad that this was on our library’s recommended list for winter.  Be sure to check it out.  It’s so beautiful you might even want a copy to keep not only for the kids in your life, but for you!


The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Title: The Water Dancer (Oprah's Book Club), Author: Ta-Nehisi Coates The Water Dancer. Finished 2-27-20, fiction, 3.5/5 stars, 403 pages, pub. 2019

Unabridged audio

Young Hiram Walker was born into bondage. When his mother was sold away, Hiram was robbed of all memory of her—but was gifted with a mysterious power. Years later, when Hiram almost drowns in a river, that same power saves his life. This brush with death births an urgency in Hiram and a daring scheme: to escape from the only home he’s ever known.

So begins an unexpected journey that takes Hiram from the corrupt grandeur of Virginia’s proud plantations to desperate guerrilla cells in the wilderness, from the coffin of the deep South to dangerously utopic movements in the North. Even as he’s enlisted in the underground war between slavers and the enslaved, Hiram’s resolve to rescue the family he left behind endures.     from Goodreads

Hiram was born into slavery.  He was known for his remarkable memory and that plus the fact that his master was also his father moved him from the fields to the big house and eventual right hand man to his half brother.  After an accident when a special gift saves Hiram’s life his journey with the Underground begins.

There are many things I liked about this slave narrative, but I’m in the minority of readers who was underwhelmed.  I thought his time with the Underground was fascinating as there were so many people at cross purposes that it showed some of the dysfunction.  I liked his journey from South to North to home again, the full circle of the story.  The slave families being split apart as plantations lost their luster was heartbreaking.  But, for some reason, Hiram’s special gift didn’t gel with the rest of the story for me.

I missed book club last month so I may have been swayed by the people who loved it, but since I wasn’t  I’ll just have to chalk it up to not quite living up to the hype for me.


This Week – On the Mend

Fave Pic RCDK3612

Highlights of the Week Gage has finished 8 days of antibiotics for strep throat and a sinus infection.  I kept him home on Monday and on Friday he had a snow day so I got extra fun time with my kid this week and he was feeling better.  I also got a cut and color yesterday for the first time in about 9 months so that was good too.

Finished reading Change Your Clothes, Change Your Life: … (reviewThe Water Dancer

Currently Reading Before I Go to Sleep The Knife of Never Letting Go (Chaos Wa… Morning Meditations: Awaken Your Power …

Currently Listening  How Not to Die Alone

Movies Watched To All the Boys - P.S. I Still Love You official release poster.jpg It wasn’t as good as the first one.

On the Small Screen Still watching Survivor and really liking this season so far.  We also started the second season of Altered Carbon on Netflix.

Puzzles Completed IMG_3587_Moment (2) A fun 500 piecer that Gage did most of.

Library Sale Finds IMG_3588_Moment (2)

5 Word Movie Reviews

My New 30 Day Challenge

Plans for the Weekend I’m going to a library sale that’s selling a bag full of books for $1!  How can I possibly resist?

February’s Movies

Instead of watching at movie last night we started season two of Altered Carbon.  Did anyone else watch the first season?  What did you see this month that you’d recommend?

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 $32 right now.  Your charity could be next 

Just Mercy Official Poster.jpg Just Mercy, 2019 (Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Foxx, Brie Larson, Rob Morgan, Tim Blake Nelson, Rafe Spall)       Grade A-

Risk taker lawyer changes lives.

 True fight for justice.   (Kathy)

To All the Boys - P.S. I Still Love You official release poster.jpgTo All the Boys PS I Still Love You, 2020  (Lana Condor, Noah Centineo, Jordan Fisher, Anna Cathcart, Janel Parrish, Ross Butker, Holland Taylor)    Grade B

Missing some of original spark.

Sonic the Hedgehog poster.jpg Sonic the Hedgehog, 2020 (James Marsden, Jim Carrey, Ben Schwartz, Tika Sumpter)   Grade B-

He’s just so darn cute!

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates.jpg Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates, 2016 (Zac Ephron, Adam Devine, Anna Kendrick, Aubrey Plaza, Sugar Lyn Beard, Stephen Root)     Grade C

Laughed more than should have.

Hilarious, but also very twisted.  (Michelle)

Change Your Clothes, Change Your Life: Because You Can’t Go Naked by George Brecsia

Title: Change Your Clothes, Change Your Life: Because You Can't Go Naked, Author: George Brescia Change Your Clothes, Change Your Life.  Finished 2-26-2020, style, 4.25/5 stars,278 pages, pub. 2014

More than a style guide, this revolutionary book by a seasoned stylist teaches a method of conscious dressing that begins with a powerful internal change. Instead of just grabbing for whatever’s on hand, you’ll learn to set your goals for the day, determining how you want to be perceived, and then dress in a way that helps manifest those intentions. Change Your Clothes, Change Your Life reveals the true power your clothing has to affect your life, showing how this second skin impacts your job prospects, your romantic life, your income, and even your deepest sense of self. Translating his styling methods into a philosophy anyone can apply on her own, Brescia also delivers tips and tricks of the trade to help convert even the most hapless dresser into a happy and educated shopper. Because the goal is to have you not only looking great, but feeling more confident, too. From major closet overhauls to a whole new philosophy on color, this is a comprehensive manual for anyone who’s ever looked at her closet in despair.

from Goodreads

I’ve been reading quite a few books outside of my comfort zone lately.  My March 30 day challenge has to do with clothes so I’ve picked up a few books and this is the one I really liked.  George is a NYC stylist and his warm personality really came through the pages.  This is not a book filled with pictures of outfits to wear or different ways to tie a scarf, it’s about being more mindful of what you show the world every day when you step outside of the house.  This is something I’ve struggled with since I had Gage over nine years ago.  The first few years with an infant it’s acceptable to look like you’re wearing what you slept in and to not wash your hair enough, but at some point you get past that stage and live in yoga pants and that’s okay, so is every other mom at Little Gym.  Fast forward to now where I just haven’t had the time or energy to invest time in a wardrobe for a body I’m not comfortable with.  Thank goodness George doesn’t judge.

I will never be a fashion queen and I’m okay with that, but I do want to be more mindful as I go about my day and taking that extra few minutes to make sure what I’m saying with my clothes is what I’m feeling on the inside is a good thing.  George is big on you asking yourself what does this outfit say after you get dressed in the morning.  If it doesn’t say what you want then take a minute to tweak it.  He gives some checklists on what you should have in your closet and how to evaluate the clothes you already have.  He believes that every piece of clothing should be a 10, a perfect fit with colors that flatter you.  He helps with the colors (the one thing I’m doing okay with in my closet) and can coach you through the rest.  As much as I love George, if I had all 8s or 9s in my closet I would be okay with that.  But, hey, it’s good to have a goal.

I liked this book a lot and found it helpful.  It’s about clothes and the way you present yourself.  Even though the clothes worn in New York City may be different than those worn in Cleveland or Austin or Salt Lake City, the intent is the same.  A fun book for this non-fashionista.



This Week – At the Movies

Fave pic IMG_3495

A family portrait on a sunny day.

Highlights of the Week  Last week’s Valentine’s Day plans were canceled, but Jason did make me lobster mac & cheese on Sunday IMG_3491 and it was definitely my food highlight of the week!  After not getting to the movie theater since December, I managed two trips this week!

30 Days Challenge UpdateFacebook can be tamed

Books Read Nothing to Lose (Jack Reacher, #12) (review)

Puzzles Completed

Movies Watched  Just Mercy Official Poster.jpgGo see it!    Sonic the Hedgehog poster.jpg

Currently Reading Living a Life That Matters: Resolving the Conflict Between Conscience and Success Change Your Clothes, Change Your Life: … Morning Meditations: Awaken Your Power …

Currently Listening The Water Dancer Seventh Heaven

On the Small Screen Survivor Winners at War logo.pngWe’re back into Survivor mode here with a season full of past winners over the last 39 seasons.

Plans This Weekend  Getting the kid healthy is my only goal.  We are lucky to have a good doctor friend who made a house call just before bedtime last night to check on the still sick Gage.  We are seeing a pediatrician this morning and hoping for some help in getting him over this yuckiness.  Please send some good healing vibes.

I’ve linked up with The Sunday Salon this week.



Nothing to Lose by Lee Child

Title: Nothing to Lose (Jack Reacher Series #12), Author: Lee Child Nothing to Lose. Finished 2-17-20, 4/5 stars, thriller, 531 pages, pub. 2008

#12 of the Jack Reacher series (1-Killing Floor2- Die Trying, 3 – Tripwire, 4 – Running Blind5 – Echo Burning6 – Without Fail, 7 – Persuador, 8 – The Enemy, 9 – One Shot, 10 – Hard Way, 11-Bad Luck and Trouble)

It wasn’t the welcome Reacher expected. He was just passing through, minding his own business. But within minutes of his arrival a deputy is in the hospital and Reacher is back in Hope, setting up a base of operations against Despair, where a huge, seething walled-off industrial site does something nobody is supposed to see . . . where a small plane takes off every night and returns seven hours later . . . where a garrison of well-trained and well-armed military cops—the kind of soldiers Reacher once commanded—waits and watches . . . where above all two young men have disappeared and two frightened young women wait and hope for their return.

Joining forces with a beautiful cop who runs Hope with a cool hand, Reacher goes up against Despair—against the deputies who try to break him and the rich man who tries to scare him—and starts to crack open the secrets, starts to expose the terrifying connection to a distant war that’s killing Americans by the thousand.   from Goodreads

This is how I described Reacher in the second book, “Jack Reacher is a man’s man, but one that women are drawn to because of his sheer masculinity and unavailability.  He is who he is, take him or leave him and that confidence and physical presence makes him a force to be reckoned with.” This is still accurate all these books later although I would add loner to the mix.  The books are long, but read fast and should be enjoyed by starting at one and working your way through.

As Reacher is making his way diagonally across the country, from Maine to south of San Diego he walk from Hope to Despair in Colorado and all hell breaks loose.  He is beat up, locked up and thrown out of the town told never to return all because he walked into the diner and ordered a cup of coffee.  Reacher is not one who likes to be told what to do and sneaks back in more than once.  When all is said and done he has uncovered an Armageddon type plot and added another notch to his bedpost.  Not bad for a week’s work.

This was not my favorite, but anytime with Reacher is time well spent.


This Week – Sickness with a side of puke

Fave pic QFXY7984 The week started out lovely as we celebrated my parents’ anniversary and my dad’s birthday.

Highlight of the Week  Um. Gage came home yesterday with fever, he’s had a stuffy nose for a few days, and no appetite.  This afternoon he projectile vomited all the way down the stairs that even covered most of the foyer floor space.  It was a sight to behold.  He’s pretty sick.  Motrin took the fever down and he actually ate a small dinner.  There is very little chance that I don’t end up with whatever nastiness he has.  Oh, and Jason came home and is down for the count with some to-be-determined, but different ailment and is laying in a dark room.  Luckily he brought home beautiful flowers and a bottle of champagne yesterday, both of which are making me feel better tonight  🙂 Happy Valentine’s Day to us!

Finished Reading  Starry Night (review)

Currently Reading  Morning Meditations: Awaken Your Power … Nothing to Lose (Jack Reacher, #12) Living a Life That Matters: Resolving the Conflict Between Conscience and Success

Currently Listening  The Water Dancer Seventh Heaven

In the Mail LVXW1793 Kathy sent Gage some books with a sweet card.  Book blogger friends are the best!


On the Small Screen  Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates.jpg Just as stupid as you might imagine, but I did laugh.

Documentaries Watched  I’m boycotting my Dr. Pepper.

Weekend plans…Cleaning up puke?  Trying to avoid the plague?  Please tell me about your wonderful Valentine’s Day or weekend plans.  I need some excitement here.

I’m linking up with the Sunday Salon.