SATURDAY POTPOURRI: FROM COLLECTIONS TO PURGING – A JOURNEY

upstairs bedroom-retreat

For the past few weeks, I have been purging like crazy, and my garage is full of see-through bins with the leftovers from my hoarding collecting.

My previous home, where I lived in the foothills for thirteen years, had much more space to display everything.  I had a guesthouse, too.  And while I told myself that there was enough room for everything, I knew that I had gone overboard.  But I loved it.  In the photo above, this upstairs bedroom was where I took refuge at nights and on the weekends.  I was still involved in my stressful social work career, and I needed to retreat.

I surrounded myself with everything I would need to feel comfortable and cozy.  I had a microwave, a mini-fridge, and a coffee pot.  And that wicker bed tray that I somehow lost along the way.  Where did it go?

In my efforts to downsize, I think I gave it away.

Here is another bedroom where I retreated…later on, and after I was the only one left in my house, with only the guesthouse inhabited with family members.  I didn’t need to hide quite so much.

 

 

Friant Ireland Room 2

I had a doll collection sprawling over every available shelf, in addition to the Boyd’s bears I started collecting in the Year 2000.  Back then, I started with one…a cute one I found in a little shop that would soon become my “second home.”  From there, the collection expanded.

And next to my old desktop computer, where I created my first five novels, I settled my little friends in around me, to serve as my muses.  (You can’t even see the computer in this photo!  It is to the left).

 

friant desk area - resized

Here is a close-up:

 

 

desk area resized - close up

 

Can we say “cluttered?”  BTW, the name of the store where I found most of my stuff was Country Clutter.  A couple of years later, it would morph into Apricot Lane.  It has now gone out of business, at least in the mall where I shop…and that is probably a good thing.

I started downsizing stuff, and accumulating a lot of these friends in my bins when I moved into my condo seven years ago.  With this much smaller space, I had to leave many things in garage storage in order to survive.

But my recent purging has led to a much less cluttered space, while still offering the feeling of my “friends” around me.

 

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And below, notice how much tidier my desk space is now.  Well, better, but probably more STUFF than most people have…LOL.

 

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

Do you look back at your various homes and how you decorated them over the years?  Do you discover that you have made significant changes?  Or maybe you are comfortable with as little change as possible.

I love having the photos to help me remember my journey.

***

MONDAY POTPOURRI: BOOKISH SPACES

loft bedroom

 

This photo above, from Pinterest, is one of my favorite bookish spaces.

As much as I love being surrounded by books, especially when creatively arranged, as in this photo, I am committed to an ongoing book purge.  This shelf (below), is one of my favorites, and it is full.  So I am determined not to add more books to this shelf…unless I remove other books from it.

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This is another favorite:  my son built it, and gave it a little shabby chic look.  I haven’t added any books to this shelf in a while, and want to keep it that way.

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

In my bedroom and in my office are several smaller shelves, and there are some in the hallway, too.  From these shelves, I am now regularly purging…and here is what I did Saturday.  I brought a box of books to the neighborhood library.  It was a fairly large box, and you can only see the top layer…but I felt very productive after unloading them.

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

Hopefully my ongoing purge will keep my shelves manageable.  I am also tossing out the ARCs regularly…and trying to order new books for Sparky.

Except for these two that are in print format and vying for The First Book Read in 2015, Sheila’s Challenge.

 

21535784

 

19083246

***

What do your bookish spaces look like?  Do you add to your shelves, or purge?

***

TUESDAY POTPOURRI: INTROS/TEASERS – “THE SECRETS OF MIDWIVES”

y8ekqo13031746531

 

KITTIES & BOOKS - meme

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, from Tuesday/First Chapter/Intros, hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by Should Be Reading.

Today my featured book is an ARC called The Secrets of Midwives, by Sally Hepworth.

 

 

21853678

 

Intro:  (Neva)

I suppose you could say I was born to be a midwife.  Three generations of women in my family had devoted their lives to bringing babies into the world; the work was in my blood.  But my path wasn’t so obvious as that.  I wasn’t my mother—a basket-weaving hippie who rejoiced in the magic of new, precious life.  I wasn’t my grandmother—wise, no nonsense, with a strong belief in the power of natural birth.  I didn’t even particularly like babies.  No, for me, the decision to become a midwife had nothing to do with babies.  And everything to do with mothers.

***

Teaser:  Panic broke out; a swarm of moths over my heart.  I no longer wanted Grace to disappear and take the last two minutes—I wanted her to take my future. (p. 9).

***

Three generations of women Secrets in the present and from the pastA captivating tale of life, loss, and love…Neva Bradley, a third-generation midwife, is determined to keep the details surrounding her own pregnancy—including the identity of the baby’s father— hidden from her family and co-workers for as long as possible. Her mother, Grace, finds it impossible to let this secret rest. The more Grace prods, the tighter Neva holds to her story, and the more the lifelong differences between private, quiet Neva and open, gregarious Grace strain their relationship. For Floss, Neva’s grandmother and a retired midwife, Neva’s situation thrusts her back sixty years in time to a secret that eerily mirrors her granddaughter’s—one which, if revealed, will have life-changing consequences for them all. As Neva’s pregnancy progresses and speculation makes it harder and harder to conceal the truth, Floss wonders if hiding her own truth is ultimately more harmful than telling it. Will these women reveal their secrets and deal with the inevitable consequences? Or are some secrets best kept hidden?

***

What do you think?  Do the excerpts grab you?  Would you keep reading?

***

SUNDAY POTPOURRI: A LITTLE CHRISTMAS, A LOT OF NETFLIX

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Dressing up my home for Christmas took very little time.  I had a couple of bins handy, pulled out only the minimal trimmings (easy peasy, two trees already decorated!), and put on the lacy tablecloth that I got from Amazon Vine last month…and we’re good to go.

After adding some Nutcracker guys for the hearth, I pronounced the decorating done…and then spent most of the day watching Gilmore Girls on Netflix.

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

I almost finished Season IV of Gilmore Girls, but I was feeling the need to get up and move around…so I stopped two episodes before the end…

 

Gilmore-Girls_612x380

 

Now I’m ready to return to reading The Nightingale, by Kristin Hannah, an engaging story that begins with an elderly woman contemplating her life…and flashes back to WWII and what happened to the characters in France during the Nazi occupation.

 

 

91ALAySZBtL._SL1500_

 

I’ll be happy when regular TV programming resumes…so sad that The Good Wife isn’t on tonight, but I have recorded some shows during this free Cinemax weekend. 

What are you looking forward to?  Are the football games still on?  I know I’m ready for them to be gone, but I guess we’ll have to put up with them periodically until January…sigh.

 

***

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

***

SATURDAY POTPOURRI: CURL UP & ENJOY THE COZINESS

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Noah, my youngest grandchild, is here for a sleepover.  Later, we’re meeting some out of town family for lunch.

Meanwhile, he has taken up residence on the living room sofa, watching TV, and I am settled in to my cozy office sofa (above).  Not a bad way to curl up and read.

Meanwhile, here is Noah enjoying his Saturday.

 

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

He did not want to show his face when I brought out the camera.  Do kids ever want their photos taken?  Yes, when they are snapping shots (selfies) for Facebook, I guess.

Anyway, I am enjoying the cozy morning, drinking coffee and reading, and planning ahead for the lunch we will enjoy at The Elephant Bar in my neighborhood.

 

Elephant-bar-3

 

The book I started reading this morning is an ARC from Amazon Vine:  The Nightingale, by Kristin Hannah.  It sweeps across time, from the 1930s, during WWII, to the present, when an aging woman contemplates her life.

 

91ALAySZBtL._SL1500_

 

It has been a while since I curled up with an epic novel, and nobody does it better than Hannah, IMO.

I have a nice little stack of books to read in the upcoming weeks, and in addition to my review books, I am eager to break the spine on Winter Street, by Elin Hilderbrand.  Visiting Nantucket during the Christmas holidays sounds like a treat.

 

 

20706316

I got my copy from Barnes & Noble…again, in my neighborhood.  I love my neighborhood, with its proximity to wonderful shops and restaurants.  It makes living in my tiny 1980s condo almost worth it…LOL.

 

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Enjoy a cozy weekend! 

What do your next few days look like?  Ready to decorate for Christmas?  Special reading plans?

***

SUNDAY POTPOURRI: READING, BLOGGING, & UNEXPECTED DISCOVERIES

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

Sundays are the perfect day for reading, blogging, and movies. 

Eager to start the day by visiting weekly updates, I was ready to set up my tray; the one that I carry into the office and set next to the computer.  But then I groaned inwardly, realizing that in my laziness yesterday, I hadn’t gone to the store.  So there was no milk for cereal.

But then I remembered the K-Nourish hot cereals I had picked up a couple of weeks ago.  No milk required.  So I had one while visiting blogs.  Check out my Weekly Updates here.

 

 

ScreenHunter_80-Aug.-05-12.57

 

Now I am fed, caffeinated, and ready to go to the store.  But first, here’s what I am excited about for the rest of today.  I am reading The Pocket Wife, by Susan Crawford.

 

 

 

22571021

 

And in the early pages, we find out where that title comes from…bet you’ll never guess!  LOL

Remember how I vowed to curtail the Vine reviews I requested?  And how I had two or three books, and then the number crept up to five?  Well, yesterday I ordered another one!  *Smacks hands*

 

The Secrets of Midwives, by Sally Hepworth, was just waiting patiently in my queue.  How unlikely is that?

 

 

21853678

 

The Secrets of Midwives is women’s fiction at its finest. Sally Hepworth has written a wonderfully satisfying story about three generations of midwives. It’s touching, tender and obviously meticulously researched, giving the reader a fascinating window into the amazing world of midwifery. A delightful read.” —Liane Moriarty, author of The Husband’s Secret

“From the first page, I could not put The Secrets of Midwives down. Sally Hepworth delves into family secrets and family love in two different eras, adding mystery and plot twists at a breathless, exhilarating pace. I simply love this book!” —Ann Hood, author of The Knitting Circle

 

***

Yesterday, I found another box unopened from my move seven years ago…I thought it was my daughter’s, but recognized my handwriting on it, once I pulled it down from the top shelf.  As I hesitated, wondering what could be inside, I felt like a kid on Christmas.  Here is what I found: 

 

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

I think I will put them in a bin…and ponder whether or not they can come out and show themselves.  What do you think?

***

I want to go to the movies today, too, but as I gaze outside, I suspect rain might be coming.  Not that rain should stop me, though; after all, I AM RAIN!  Yes, that’s my nickname.

What is on your list for the day?  Reading, movies, whatever?

***

TUESDAY POTPOURRI: INTROS/TEASERS – “THE POCKET WIFE”

y8ekqo13031746531

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, from Tuesday/First Chapter/Intros, hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by Should Be Reading.

I am delighted to shine the spotlight today on an ARC I received this past week:  The Pocket Wife, by Susan Crawford.

 

 

22571021

 

Intro:  The ambulance is still miles away when Dana awakens to the near dark of evening.  It wails ribbon-thin in the smog over the highway as she opens her eyes where she lies sprawled across her couch in a suburb of Paterson, a stone’s throw from Manhattan but a different world entirely.  She wakes to a headache throbbing at the backs of her lids, a library book lying beside her.  She sits up and reaches for the book, marking her place with a tiny corner fold, giving it a little pat as she sets it on the coffee table.

Lately she can read a novel in two hours.  She has always been an avid reader, but these days she can read much faster.  The colors, the conversations, everything is much more vibrant and inclusive, as if opening a book releases genies trapped inside.  The scenes and people between their covers sometimes seem more vivid than real life, with their sunny pearl-toothed characters, the witty conversation, the handsome stranger squeezed into a subway car or knocking about on the street.  Sometimes, when she finishes a book at record speed, Dana feels a slight letdown, as if a good friend has hung up the phone in the middle of a conversation.

***

Teaser:  It’s not entirely unpleasant, this restlessness, this energy, the sharpness of her thoughts, her swift responses, intuitive, clever.  The clarity will in time give way to chaos.  (p. 18).

***

Amazon Description:  A stylish psychological thriller with the compelling intrigue of The Silent Wife and Turn of Mind and the white-knuckle pacing of Before I Go to Sleep—in which a woman suffering from bipolar disorder cannot remember if she murdered her friend.

Dana Catrell is shocked when her neighbor Celia is brutally murdered. To Dana’s horror, she was the last person to see Celia alive. Suffering from mania, the result of her bipolar disorder, she has troubling holes in her memory, including what happened on the afternoon of Celia’s death.

Her husband’s odd behavior and the probing of Detective Jack Moss create further complications as she searches for answers. The closer she comes to piecing together the shards of her broken memory, the more Dana falls apart. Is there a murderer lurking inside her . . . or is there one out there in the shadows of reality, waiting to strike again?

***

I am very excited about this one, hoping to dive right into it next week.  What do you think?  Does it grab you?  Do you want to keep reading?

***