Ohio State Fair 2019

We were lucky enough to go to the Fair a few different times this year!

We went once the three of us and saw the Arts & Crafts building (featuring model trains!), the dairy cows, the beef cattle, ate some amazing totchos + pork tenderloin sandwich + the traditional Velvet ice cream, saw the butter cow and then walked over to the Natural Resource Center where C played in the sand box and the outdoor classroom while I rested (it’s hot out there for a 35/36 week pregnant mama!). A huge highlight was catching the daily parade – we were able to see the choir, the band, lots of clowns and big vehicles as well as the BUDWEISER CLYDESDALES all hitched up! We ended the evening with one of the Lumberjack shows which I’d never seen before but C ate up like candy. He even was given one of the demonstration pieces by the presenter!

That same weekend we went back with my parents and sister. We ate some seriously good hot dogs at Tracey’s and then had a funnel cake (well…I had most of the funnel cake, let’s be honest). After re-visiting the model trains, we took in the beekeeping tent, the sheep barn, saw the marching band again, stopped at the Ohio Beef Council before touring the Cox Fine Arts Center. After that, it was time to let C ride the rides – he had been asking none stop! He was really into the rides, rode several and then even went down the Giant Slide with Nana! On our way out, we rode the Skyglider for the first (and last) time as a family of three. It made me so incredibly happy.

M and I were both lucky enough to go back for lunch on separate days with folks from our jobs. Not surprisingly, we both ended up eating again at Tracey’s for those really good Chicago dogs! Here is a massive photo dump, see ya next year, on the Midway!

What I Read: July ’19

Never Get Angry Again: The Foolproof Way to Stay Calm and in Control in Any Conversation or Situation by David Lieberman: The first third or so of this book was really interesting – exploring emotion and the ego. However, it took a very religious turn that was unappealing.

Out East: A Memoir of a Montauk Summer by John Glynn: This was a book club book (one of my friends knows the author!) and I really enjoyed it. It’s a great adult coming of age story and I found it to be a very frank and open memoir.

Stay Sexy and Don’t Get Murdered by Georgia Hardstark and Karen Kilgariff: Honestly, I picked this up because I love their podcast! I found it to be just as heartfelt and honest as their podcast but more self-helpy than their other stuff – which I enjoyed! I expect this to hold up than a single podcast episode ever could.

…all that said, here’s hoping there is more fiction in August!

What I Read: June ’19

Appalachian Reckoning: A Region Responds to Hillbilly Elegy, edited by Anthony Harkins and Meredith McCarroll: There were several different academic perspectives in this response to Hillbilly Elegy, which I read previously. There are certainly some parts of his story that did not sit right with me – especially the patronizing tone and this helped give me vocabulary for some of the social, economic and political issues I took with his argument.

The Best Bad Things by Katrina Carrasco: I really enjoyed this historical fiction novel! I listened to this as an audio book and was taken away with the setting of 1887 Washington Territory. If a fast moving romp with opium is your speed, this might be worth picking up!

Geneva-on-the-Lake OH

We were able to get away for a few days up to Lake Erie and we stayed in Geneva-on-the-Lake. We spent some time hiking in Geneva State Park and played a bit on the beach. We also headed into Ashtabula to see the bridge go up and then onto Conneaut to visit their Train Museum, which our little trainiac loved! We ate at Eddy’s Grill, which is cash only, and the food was very good. We cooked in quite a bit but did have supper one evening at GOTL Brewing Co. They had lots of good guest taps and the walleye sandwich was very good. Here are a few of my favorite snaps from our trip.

What I Read: May ’19

Crazy Brave by Joy Harjo: A heartfelt memoir from Harjo, who’s poetry I enjoy. There were some bleak pieces to her story but I found this to be a worthwhile and fast read.

What No One Tells You: A Guide to Your Emotions from Pregnancy to Motherhood: I hated this book. It was on display at the library and I thought it would be right up my alley. Instead, it was full of platitudes and see-both-sides. The main message continues to be “ask for help, let your standards fall” like anyone actually comes to your house when you have a new baby and cleans a thing for you! Like your boss does not expect you to be back 12 weeks later, without missing a damn beat. Modern motherhood is hard and not worrying about the dusting is not the damn issue.

Sharp Objects by Jillian Flynn: OK – what happened did this woman’s mama do to her to write such incredibly twisted and vile mothers? I did find myself completely sucked into the plot twists and I would be interested in catching the miniseries.

In the Midst of Winter by Isabell Allende: I did not even finish book. It felt like a mishmash of two completely different genres/plots she wanted to explore. I love so much of her other writing, I was really disappointed to not be swept along with this one.



Eating / banana ‘nice’ cream
Drinking / water, so much water
Practicing / Python / API integrations
Mastering /  State Fair Prep
Learning / how much work homeownership really is
Trying / to let go of the long to do list (ha!)
Playing / kitchen with C-man
Finishing / mending some jammies for me and sewing another tablecloth
Reading / Crazy Brave by Joy Harjo and Appalachian Reckoning edited by Anthony Harkins and Meredith McCarroll
Remembering /
Wearing / my favorite Nike quarter zip in pink, from the MRTT yard sale
Cooking / homemade ragu, sautéed zucchinis and cookies
Working / too much
Traveling / to Lake Erie, soon

previous editions here, here and here


What I Read: April ’19

Since I had a concussion – I got a lot of reading done in April!

Real Food for Pregnancy by Lily Nichols: This was a recommendation from a good friend and it is honestly life changing. Nichols’ recommendation on diet (before, during and after pregnancy) are founded on science and her tone is approachable and honest. I found it fairly easy to integrate the foods she suggests to add in but have struggled to remove some of the things she recommends removing.

The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton: I listened to this mystery and found it to become more and more engaging as I got further into it! It plays on the murder mystery trope in some really interesting ways and I did not see all the twists coming. 5/5 stars!

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens: I loved the lyricalness of this book but found it’s main premise a bit farfetched. I see way it’s popular right now and am glad I’ve read it.

Shut Up and Run by Robin Arzon: This was for book club! I found this really motivating (which is hard in the back half of pregnancy) and cannot wait to get out and run again. There is not a lot that is new if you are an experienced runner, which having run my first (and so far, only) full marathon 10 years ago…I am now. Yikes!

There’s No Such Thing as Bad Weather by Linda Akeson McGurk: Another mom from my Internet Group of Moms was reading this and I liked the title. There is a lot that is structurally different in Sweden to enable more time spent outdoors but the spirit of this book is definitely something M and I strive to bring into our home.

The Map of Salt and Stars by Zeyn Joukhadar: I have literally no idea how this ended up on my To Read Goodreads list but I am so glad it did! I also listened to the audiobook of this (mostly pre-concussion) and really enjoyed it. The writing is captivating and the way Joukhadar interwove the two main narratives is magnificent. It is a wonderful, if heart-wrenching, epic for our modern refugee crisis.

Virgil Wander by Leif Enger: I asked for this for Christmas and am so glad to have read it. I asked M approximately 100 times if the town in Minnesota is real. I found this tale to be tightly contained, engaged and filled with characters I was rooting for. I would highly recommend this work of modern fiction.

Witches, Witch Hunting and Women by Silvia Federici: Oof da. This book. It is a collection of essays and explores the mechanisms capitalism used/is using to turn women into witches into order to remove barriers to wealth accumulation. It was a frightening and impossible to put down read. My favorite book of the month – I definitely learn the most!