Stanzas from My Life: A Weekend Full of Art, Books, and Pizza

In the effort to keep adding content here among my sporadic reviews, interviews, and writerly book news, and to add substance to who I am besides my mostly work and writing related social media updates, I thought I’d add something I used to do more here when the kids were smaller – actual updates from my/our life journey! I thought it would give a better glimpse into my dailly or weekend life. Maybe I can call the series Stanzas from My Life, so welcome to the first of what I hope is many I remember to make time to do.

Though I answered and coordinated work publicity items sporadically this weekend and wrote a few things, and it’s the dreaded Monday and back to work for us, school for the  kids, and weekday madness, I did make some time to enjoy life this weekend off the grid so I thought I’d share a glimpse into my life.

Friday night we took our daughters to the Museum of Contemporary Art in Cleveland for the opening night of a very special exhibit of acclaimed New York-based painter and environmental activist Alexis Rockman called Alexis Rockman: The Great Lakes Cycle. This exhibit has been making it rounds among MOCA’s around the Great Lakes, to showcase not only the beauty and life in our wonderful fresh water lakes, but also how climate, environment, and industry affect them.


Photo from MOCA Cleveland Website

As the Lake Erie, and the Great Lakes, hold a special place with me, I was excited to go. Though we all enjoyed it, we were thrilled for our 15 year old daughter to see where her artistic talents (and a love of painting) could mix with her scientific interests in being a marine scientist or biologist as well and I must say she was absorbed in the moment. I relish the times she herself is inspired to paint and draw scenes from Lake Erie, and now, I think she’ll see even more with her curious eye. As for me, oh of course, there are always art and writing “a – ha” moments too. I may write more on this in another post, but if you’re interested in the exhibit it’s there until January (first Saturdays of the month are free) and you can also read more in this article from the New York Times about the exhibit (you can also see photos of some of his paintings).


Portion of one of the Large Mural Alexis Rockman Paintings shown at MOCA Cleveland / Photo used from NYT Article linked above

We had planned to hopefully do our annual apple picking and autumn fun activities the other weekend days, but by the time we were ready to head out it looked like rain was coming (and so it did) and the chill moving in fast so we made some adjustments.

Saturday afternoon and evening we took the girls back to downtown Cleveland to the beautiful Cleveland Public Library for their book sale and we each nabbed a few book treasures from several different genres. We always have to do SOMETHING bookish don’t we?? It was worth braving the heavy winds and pelting rain coming in off Lake Erie while running a block to the front door (on street parking) yet not as graceful as Mary Poppins there and back and if I’d had an umbrella it would have turned inside out. The Cleveland Public Library is one of the most historically decadent libraries inside and I’ve liked to stay longer again –  next time – and a longer post introducing you to it.


Cleveland Public Library at Night / Photo from Trip Savvy Website

Heading across the bridge out of downtown Cleveland toward Lakewood, the fog and rain was really taking over, and looking out my passenger side window I could see Lake Erie crashing waves upon rocks, industry vessels, docked boats, and turning on her inner witch from the storm. For some reason, though I’d have preferred a crisp, sunny autumn day and clear evening, I love seeing her power at times like this.

We warmed up with pizza at the fairly famous Cleveland-area stop Angelo’s Lakewood, which has stellar Mediterranean pizza, full of fresh buffalo mozzarella, roma tomatoes, spinach, red peppers, black olives and all on a deep dish crust.

Medt pizza Angelos

Known for being a beloved stopping spot for Tom Hanks (who once interned at the Great Lakes Theater Company) and Drew Carey (who grew up in Cleveland), it’s hopping and does have a wait but it’s totally worth it if you’re traveling near the city. The breadsticks are some of the best I’ve tasted and we had pizza so yummy we didn’t want to quit eating and wonderful smiles and conversations with our daughters. We hope to go back for dessert such as buckeye pie or banana pudding, with a Kahlua coffee, or one of their decadent Fall martinis or drinks (sans my children on the last order)!


If you are near Cleveland, there are so many things to see and do. To me, it’s one of the best cities out there with arts and culture and I revel in its history and energy.

Sunday I relaxed a little and after first starting to watch a week ago Friday we were able to find time to move past episode two of The Haunting Of Hill House on Netflix based on the novel of the same name by one of my most loved authors, Shirley Jackson. It’s so so so good and I had been dying to watch more. Are you watching? Not only is Shirley Jackson one of my female writer role models and inspirations with  my own writing, and I love her work, I also think this TV series is EXCELLENT for so many reasons. While we were watching (and crying and getting goosebumps – episode five wrecked me!!!), we could smell wafts of pumpkin or spice or both coming from the kitchen. We found my 15 year old had made delicious pumpkin bread for all of us! NOM! She’s earned even more points with me.


As Sunday night came to a close for the family, I sat alone in the dark, house quiet, feeling really grateful and content for my family and finally some family time this weekend!! We’ve been working so hard between work and activities (our 15 year old has been so committed to cross country and working on her running not to mention her studies and symphonic choir and our 11 year old with her interests and dedication to school as well). I often work day and night during the week, but many times on weekends too when editing projects are due.

The perfect end was my notoriously independent cat just jumping up on me purring, tucking his face under my neck and snuggling. I reflected and rejuvenated a little with his help of keeping me still before heading back to answer a few work e-mails and make my to-do list for the work week. I think it’s a plan to find a better balance between work and rest for me now…

…and I love this time of year! Isn’t there just something about it?

I’ll be back soon with some late reviews, some interviews, and some articles by some wonderful authors, and more. Stay tuned!

#weekendcomplete #StanzasFromMyLife

1 Comment

Filed under Feature Articles, stanza from my life

One response to “Stanzas from My Life: A Weekend Full of Art, Books, and Pizza

  1. catcavendish

    Sounds like a great way to spend a weekend, Erin 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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