Welcome to another Sunday Potpourri, a place to spotlight tidbits from our lives.

Earlier today, I was blog visiting and discovered a book I MUST have…so I went to NetGalley and requested it.  Here’s hoping…and thanks to Kimberly, at the Caffeinated Book Reviewer for showcasing it.

The Sleepwalker, by Chris Bohjalian, is a spine-tingling novel of lies, loss, and buried desire—the mesmerizing story of a wife and mother who vanishes from her bed late one night. (Release Date – January 10, 2017).




When Annalee Ahlberg goes missing, her children fear the worst. Annalee is a sleepwalker whose affliction manifests in ways both bizarre and devastating. Once, she merely destroyed the hydrangeas in front of her Vermont home. More terrifying was the night her older daughter, Lianna, pulled her back from the precipice of the Gale River bridge. The morning of Annalee’s disappearance, a search party combs the nearby woods. Annalee’s husband, Warren, flies home from a business trip. Lianna is questioned by a young, hazel-eyed detective. And her little sister, Paige, takes to swimming the Gale to look for clues. When the police discover a small swatch of fabric, a nightshirt, ripped and hanging from a tree branch, it seems certain Annalee is dead, but Gavin Rikert, the hazel-eyed detective, continues to call, continues to stop by the Ahlbergs’ Victorian home. As Lianna peels back the layers of mystery surrounding Annalee’s disappearance, she finds herself drawn to Gavin, but she must ask herself: Why does the detective know so much about her mother? Why did Annalee leave her bed only when her father was away? And if she really died while sleepwalking, where was the body?
Conjuring the strange and mysterious world of parasomnia, a place somewhere between dreaming and wakefulness, The Sleepwalker is a masterful novel from one of our most treasured storytellers.


I loved the author’s The Guest Room (click for my review); it was one of my favorites for 2015.  So I am eager to read more from this author.


Another find from blog visiting today:  Always, by Sarah Jio, another must-read author.  This book is a gripping, poignant novel about the kind of love that never lets go, and the heart’s capacity to remember. (Release Date – February 7, 2017)





While enjoying a romantic candlelit dinner with her fiancé, Ryan, at one of Seattle’s chicest restaurants, Kailey Crane can’t believe her good fortune: She has a great job as a writer for the Herald and is now engaged to a guy who is perfect in nearly every way. As they leave the restaurant, Kailey spies a thin, bearded homeless man on the sidewalk. She approaches him to offer up her bag of leftovers, and is stunned when their eyes meet, then stricken to her very core: The man is the love of her life, Cade McAllister.

When Kailey met Cade ten years ago, their attraction was immediate and intense—everything connected and felt right. But it all ended suddenly, leaving Kailey devastated. Now the poor soul on the street is a faded version of her former beloved: His weathered and weary face is as handsome as Kailey remembers, but his mind has suffered in the intervening years. Over the next few weeks, Kailey helps Cade begin to piece his life together, something she initially keeps from Ryan. As she revisits her long-ago relationship, Kailey realizes that she must decide exactly what—and whom—she wants.

Alternating between the past and the present, Always is a beautifully unfolding exploration of a woman faced with an impossible choice, a woman who discovers what she’s willing to save and what she will sacrifice for true love.


Wow!  Treasures discovered today will bring wonderful moments in the near future…hopefully.

What treasures have you discovered lately?  Any new delights you are reading now?


Here I am, in the “pink” in my new purple eyeglasses…of course they look pink here.






Yesterday I wrote about moving the big box from this bottom shelf…and here you’ll see I’ve replaced it with a smaller one.

Which allows for more books on this shelf!  Good thinking, right?

This morning I was reflecting on changes in general, including blog changes.  My blog journey has brought me through some rough moments.  So I was studying some of the pages here on this blog, and had to smile at where I’ve been.

This is excerpted from my page The Journey:


Sauntering along, choosing my path with reckless abandon—this is a somewhat flawed characteristic of mine, I’ll admit!—despite missteps along the way, this quirk of mine seems to have served me well.

In that I have had many adventures and a lot of fun along the way.  Perhaps there are other roads I might have taken, or should have taken.  Who knows?  But every step I’ve chosen on this journey has led me to this point in time and to the person I’ve become.

Perhaps I could have done things differently, but then where would I have ended up?  And would I have had so many wonderful and colorful memories?  Memories that will serve me well into the twilight years…at least for as long as my memory retrieval system works!!


The thoughts are a little depressing, don’t you think?  I must have been pondering the process of aging and how time is passing so quickly.

It is more helpful, I do believe, to approach each day as its own entity.  “A day at a time” is a popular label for some groups, and doesn’t it serve us all well?


So…today I am hoping to enjoy the moments.  I must get myself together for my appointment at 12:45 at my daughter’s salon.


heather's bear


I will bring Pippa along for the journey, as I plan to start reading The American Girl.



Then, if time permits, my daughter and I might enjoy a drink at the bar & grill just steps away from the salon…it’s called Neighbors.




Then I’ll head home to eat an early dinner…and read some more.  Maybe I’ll watch one of the shows on my DVR.

That’s my journey for today.  What will yours be like?




Hump Day seems to be  a time to reflect, make changes, etc.  So…this morning I went into the garage and pulled my old desk chair out of hiding.  Here it is, back where it belongs.

Yes, I tried the lovely new one for a while.  I enjoyed the arms…but.  It wasn’t ergonomic, and even though I put a pillow at my back, the pillow was always slipping, and I wasn’t enjoying my office experience.





The last straw:  the chair started to creak and make weird noises that made me worry…was the chair going to fall apart?  After all, it was a freebie chair.  And not ergonomic.

So…it is now in the furniture graveyard in my garage.  Maybe someone can fix it someday…or not.

Meanwhile, I’ve been making other changes.

In my bedroom, I moved some objects around on the little cart behind the wicker loveseat.  Before, see the big doll in the far right…




I replaced the doll with the Irish angel, and rearranged a few other things.





Here’s a close-up of the angel, with the opening of the Irish blessing at the bottom:  “May the road rise up to meet you….”





The bedroom is filled with Irish photos and mementos, so whenever I go there, I feel calm…and happy.  My eldest son took the photos.

While I was rearranging things, I tackled my ensuite bathroom next.  The counter has been hopelessly cluttered with various products, and I’d been reading about how to improve that situation…without giving up the products.  So I cleared them all off the counter, and tucked them away in a basket underneath the sink.  Yeah…under the sink sounds tacky.  But they are handy, and now it is easy and quick to clean off the counter and keep it that way.

No photos, though….the under the sink storage will be our little secret.  But now take a look at the counter…voila!  Yes, there are still a few items that remain.  Toothbrush, water pic, and a quirky candle holder I’ve had since 1968.  A mug, some soap…






On a roll, I moved a couple of things around in the living room, too.  This big box that sits next to the books on the bottom shelf of my sofa table (below)…wouldn’t it be better somewhere else?





I had a smaller box on the bottom shelf of my coffee table, where I keep all kinds of goodies: batteries, Blu-Ray remote, booklets about my various devices, notebooks….see how battered it is?  I moved it to my office, after transferring its contents to the bigger box.




The bigger, less battered box is so much better on my coffee table shelf.  I realize, now that I’ve snapped the photo, that the top of the coffee table is a bit messy.  But it is my central spot for reading, eating, etc.   It is well-used.





So…as I type this post, I am experiencing my resurrected office chair…and I am already feeling more comfortable in it…but a little sad that the one with arms didn’t work out.  Sigh.

Should I stop making changes…at least for a couple of days?  What are you obsessing about (if anything)?  What are the interesting tidbits you’d like to share?  Liberty, my quirky doll, wants to know.





I am also linking up to West Metro Mommy Reads, for the Saturday Snapshot event.



Books & fairytales - TUESDAY EXCERPTS

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, First Chapter/Intros, hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by Books & a Beat.

Today’s feature is a book I recently downloaded, and which appealed to me because of the synopsis (and cover).  The American Girl, by Kate Horsley, is a riveting psychological thriller about an American exchange student in France involved in a suspicious accident, and the journalist determined to break the story and uncover the dark secrets a small town is hiding.





Intro:  (Quinn Perkins – August 5, 2015)

Video Diary:  Session 6

{Quinn, a girl of seventeen, sits on the edge of a hospital bed wearing a white gown.  As she talks, her bare legs kick the frame of the bed and monitors beep softly in the background}.

You ever have one of those Magic 8 Balls as a kid?  Yeah, pretty retro, I know.  I remember asking mine if Adam Epstein was planning on taking me to senior prom.  It said, Don’t count on it, so I sat on my little pink bed with the daisy-pattern comforter and shook it again and again until I got the answer I wanted.

Um, my mind keeps circling.  Back to that Magic 8 Ball.  See, if I can remember those details—my room, the pattern on my comforter—then why can’t I remember all the other things that are so much more important?  The therapist who gave me this camera told me to keep a diary.  He gave me some exercises and helpful advice, too:  “the mind is a mysterious place” kind of thing.  But in the end, I guess, he found it just as frustrating trying to get inside my head as I do.  Everyone seems to.

{Quinn moves closer to the camera and stares into it}.


Teaser:  Looking up, I find the scenery has shifted, the forest’s curtain parting to reveal darkness.  Two eyes stare at us, the great black eyes of a double cave.  Their appearance is so dramatic, so unexpected, it’s more like a scene out of Twin Peaks than real life. (42%).


Synopsis:  On a quiet summer morning, seventeen-year-old American exchange student Quinn Perkins stumbles out of the woods near the small French town of St. Roch. Barefoot, bloodied, and unable to say what has happened to her, Quinn’s appearance creates quite a stir, especially since the Blavettes—the French family with whom she’s been staying—have mysteriously disappeared. Now the media, and everyone in the idyllic village, are wondering if the American girl had anything to do with her host family’s disappearance.

Though she is cynical about the media circus that suddenly forms around the girl, Boston journalist Molly Swift cannot deny she is also drawn to the mystery and travels to St. Roch. She is prepared to do anything to learn the truth, including lying so she can get close to Quinn. But when a shocking discovery turns the town against Quinn and she is arrested for the murders of the Blavette family, she finds an unlikely ally in Molly.

As a trial by media ensues, Molly must unravel the disturbing secrets of the town’s past in an effort to clear Quinn’s name, but even she is forced to admit that the American Girl makes a very compelling murder suspect. Is Quinn truly innocent and as much a victim as the Blavettes—or is she a cunning, diabolical killer intent on getting away with murder…?


I am drawn to these kinds of stories, so I am definitely eager to keep reading.  What about you?




Here we are, enjoying our midweek contemplation, and today I am thinking about a lot more than just Hump Day.  Today is my second son, Brett’s, birthday, and I always love remembering those past moments with each of my kids.  Even though they are all grown up.

He went up to Berkeley on the weekend to visit his eldest (my first grandson) who is a senior at UC Berkeley.  Along the way, we chatted via phone.  He is the only one of my kids who still uses the phone to talk…lol.  Well, the others do occasionally.

Here are Brett and Alec after the game they saw.




Here are a few shots of Brett over the years:

Brett, on his fifth birthday, enjoying his chocolate….




Now…one a few years later, with his siblings…he was around 12 here (front, right):




Check out this Christmas photo of all four of them: Brett, third from left, looking grumpy.  He often loved making such faces when the camera was turned on him.   He was still a teenager.  lol.






And now, for the somewhat blurry “photo of a photo” that hangs in my office (circa – 1991).  Each of them at our special sculptured monument at the university, and around that photo, the individual kids.  Brett, top right:





Sending happy birthday thoughts to Brett!


Meanwhile, here in my office, I am feeling frustrated.  The WP commenting system is still failing me!  I sent them an email request, stating the issues.  And I’m not the only one having them!  So far, they haven’t responded.

They were working on the system earlier, so is it too much to hope that they might be fixing the problem?  Probably not.

Meanwhile, I try commenting on WP…and sometimes the comments go through.  When they don’t, I use my FB sign-in, on the blogs that are set up that way.

Occasionally I tweet the blog-owner, letting them know to check their spam folders.


Any ideas?  Is anyone else who reads my blog having that problem?  I know that other bloggers mentioned it on the weekend.

I’m going to try to forget about it for a while…I’m looking forward to having my hair styled and chatting with my daughter later.



heather's bear


This post is linked to West Metro Mommy Reads, for Saturday Snapshot.



Coffee, Mimosa, & reading - logo2

Good morning!  I wasn’t planning to write this post, but I’ve been doing some blog visiting…and feeling frustrated.  Yes, the spam folder is eating up comments again!

The good news:  I’m not the only one.  Other commenters report the same, so now we’re all checking our spam folders.

Meanwhile, I’ve been reading All the Ugly and Wonderful Things...and it’s definitely a book that reminds me of families I’ve worked with over the years.  But strangely enough, the “dysfunctional” character of Kellen is one I feel empathy for.







Yesterday, I took a dinner tray into my bedroom and watched DVDs there.  I had received one in the mail that I hadn’t checked out yet:  A Map of the World, based on the Jane Hamilton book.  I’ve seen the movie before, and have it as a VHS tape…but the DVD was easier to watch.






I also downloaded the Kindle version onto Pippa, even though I read the book a while ago.  Sadly, the print book went out with one of my purges…or maybe I didn’t own a copy.  That’s what happens when you don’t list all the books you own!  lol

After I finished watching it, I started watching another disc from the Peyton Place TV series that I bought a while ago, too.  The quality is not the best…it was a black and white show, and night-time scenes are dark.  The sound is very loud, too.  I try to only watch it in the daytime.

Then my son Brett called.  He usually calls, with his Bluetooth, when he is on the road somewhere.  This time he was headed to Berkeley to spend the weekend with his eldest, Alec, who is a senior at UC Berkeley.  Below, Alec in June.





It’s hard to believe that he is twenty-one already!  I still see his baby face on one of my sentimental mugs: (below, the one in the middle, of course!  lol)





He is my first-born grandchild, so there is definitely a special connection.  And he is a very nice and respectful young man who never seemed to go through that annoying phase that some have gone through…not mentioning any names!  lol.

Today I plan to actually leave the house for a while.  Maybe for some shopping.  I haven’t done any in a while, and I do need to buy a few things.  Clothes, perhaps…and definitely some groceries.  Otherwise it will be restaurant eating again.

What is your weekend like?  Any special obsessions or tidbits?







Since last week, I have been thinking about the question:  To move or not to move.

One of the reasons NOT to move, of course, is the hassle of packing up and transporting everything, and then unpacking.  I am always amazed that anything I own makes it from Place A to Place B without mishap.  Oh, yes, there have been a few breakages along the way, especially when “friends” helped.  But not very many losses have occurred.

Sentimental objects, often not that valuable, are a big worry of mine, especially when some of them have made it through so many moves over a lot of years. 

Like the beaded necklace in the photo above (hanging on the left side of the cupboard).  Not valuable, in terms of money.  But it reminds me of being on one path, and then taking another journey completely, with that necklace a symbol of that summer.  One might call it my Summer of Love, which is not the same as the one you’ve read about (that was 1967).

In June 1970, I went to a party.  I was wearing that necklace, and at that event, I met someone that I would soon become completely involved with, and would marry by year’s end.  I wore that necklace throughout our first summer together…and beyond.

For a long time I kept it with other costume jewelry, but at some point, I started showing it off a bit by draping it over pieces of furniture, like this little jelly cupboard.

Yes, I am sentimental that way.  With objects that represent pivotal moments in my life.  Defining moments, if you will.

Photos are also remembrances, and now that many reside on my computer, I can access them easily.  Here we are, a few years later, on family vacation, in Summer 1977, with our daughter.





And another, snapped in Winter 1978:




We knew our journey was coming to an end during that winter in 1978 (above), but we never forget the special times.  My journey since has taken me to other people and places, but the children of those previous unions are still with me, along with the sentimental objects and photos.






I will find a way to move forward, to a new place, when the time is right.  But in the meantime, I am enjoying my routines and memories that I have gathered around me here.

Do you have special mementos that bring back stories from your life?  What special photos remind you of your story?