FRIDAY POTPOURRI: NOSTALGIC CHRISTMASES…

Nostalgia is a feeling I have around the holidays, and in this photo (above), I am reminded of family gatherings from the past.

Our annual get-togethers combining family from afar, as well as those who live locally, usually happened at Thanksgiving, and in this one from 2005, we met at a neighboring restaurant, where they always had their tree up in November.

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But before those Christmases, there were some in the home in the foothills.  Below is a shot of my eldest son next to the tree we decorated on our first Christmas there in 1994.

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Fast forward to the last days in the foothills:  our Christmas in 2006, the final one there.

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By the following Christmas, I was settled into my current home in the city, and in the neighboring mall, the grandkids piled into this big sleigh.

 

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Since then, there have been several years in my current home, and with each year, we bring out the same old ornaments…but arranged in different ways.  I am not sure what year this one (below) took place…sometime between 2007 and 2014.  My bad.

 

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Christmas 2014

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Another one from 2014

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Nowadays, I am more minimal in my decor:

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Do your holidays reflect changes in your life?  Do you go big…or do you go minimal?

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FRIDAY POTPOURRI: REVIEWING THE HOLIDAY…

The dude in the photo above is hard to capture, hence the slight blurring.  I had to work fast before he knew that I had my iPhone in hand.  He is my youngest grandson, Noah, almost fifteen, and he is bored by most family activities.  But if there is food to eat, you might just catch him in a moment of enjoyment.

I had left my phone in my bag in another room, so I didn’t capture any part of our main meal.  Sigh.  But here’s what I enjoyed afterwards.  I love those dishes!  And the food on the plate, too.

On Saturday, there will be another get-together, at Mad Duck, a local eatery, and there should be nine of us.

My second son, who lives in LA, spent the day yesterday at his dad’s in Sacramento with his two sons.  His daughter Aubrey is in Prague.  Alec, in the middle, is heading back to Berkeley for his final semester…and will not be joining us here.  Sigh.  Aaron is home for the holidays from his university in Arizona, and will come to our get-together with his dad.

Here is a glimpse of  what Aubrey is enjoying in one of several countries surrounding Prague…on the weekends.  She captured this “staggering view.”

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Today I was planning to bring in the Christmas decorations…they are biding their time in my bins.  But…I am still sitting here at my laptop, and occasionally picking up this book to read:

Play It as It Lays, by Joan Didion

Spare, elegant, and terrifying, Play It as It Lays is the unforgettable story of a woman and a society come undone.

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Just to tease you about my Christmas decorations…here are some from Christmases Past.

This photo shows that I actually went out of my house and to the neighboring mall…and then back home again.  I think it was 2010, so it is a total blast from the past.  Back when I was still a redhead.  I see that I don’t look that happy in the photo…probably because my daughter forced me into it…LOL

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I do want to see the movie Lady Bird this weekend…I was planning to see it last week, but somehow never got around to it.

Enjoy the weekend!

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FRIDAY POTPOURRI: VICARIOUS TRAVELS…AND BOOKS

In the photo above, Aubrey is showing that she is “holding up the tower.”  She loves the fun things she can reveal through photos.

Since she is in Prague for a university semester, I am curious if she is actually doing any homework.  LOL.  Just kidding, Aubrey.

This week my son Craig, who lives in Prague, is now in Liverpool..and then will go to Portugal…for his photography work.

Here he is with Gabi, enjoying a repast.

Here is Gabi clowning around in this London telephone booth:

Today is Craig’s birthday, so they are definitely celebrating as they travel.

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My reading week has been pretty good, with three books read and reviewed:  All the Best People, by Sonja Yoerg; Poison, by Galt Niederhoffer; and The Story of Arthur Truluv, by Elizabeth Berg.

But then I lost my mojo.  I picked up one book after the other, read a few pages, and then set each one down.  Nothing seemed to captivate me.  Sigh.

So…I grabbed a very “old  and dusty TBR book,” hiding on Pippa since November 2014:  The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry, by Gabrielle Zevin.

I am loving it!  I have another of her books, Young Jane Young…so I am sure that I will be reading that one soon.

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This week, Firefox, my trusty browser, made some drastic changes in the format…and I was lost, trying to figure out simple functions.  I was throwing things, too.  I hate when they make major changes…just as I felt when Word Press did their so-called “improved way to post” a while ago.

But we do cope…and find ways to work around these things, or adapt to the way things are.  What choice do we have?

Enjoy your weekend!

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FRIDAY POTPOURRI: FAMILY, CONNECTIONS…

After reading Keep Her Safe, which I finished last night (click title for my review), I removed Did You See Melody?, as it was a duplicate.

Now, as I contemplate the remaining print books, I am also focusing on the numerous e-books languishing on Pippa.

But today is not about those books, but about sharing photos from the week.  My granddaughter Aubrey is enjoying her time in Prague (and Berlin, and other neighboring countries).  Here’s one I like.

 

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Let’s skip on over to a small town in North Dakota, where my step-grandson Spencer is enjoying time with his kids.  Here he is with Bella and Lilly:

 

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Lilly, Maddix, & Bella….

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Getting ready for Halloween:  Lilly & Bella…

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Now…let’s travel back to California, to LA and celebrities.  Here is a photo of my first grandson Alec, now 22 and a senior at Berkeley.  Yes, that’s Janet Jackson holding him.  At the time, she was secretly married to Rene Elizondo, the brother of Alec’s cousin-in-law, Hugo, a definite “six degrees of separation” thing.  I actually met Hugo and his wife Cherie, who is Alec’s mother’s cousin.  They enjoyed hosting parties for family and friends.

If you live in LA, anything can happen.

 

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So that’s my story today.  What are you sharing?

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FRIDAY POTPOURRI: CONTINUING A JOURNEY….

Good morning, and welcome to another post spotlighting unique photos.

As most of you know, my second son visited my eldest son in Prague this past week, after spending some time in Spain and Ibiza.

Let’s take a peek at some of the sights.  Left to Right:  Craig, Brett, Aubrey, and Aubrey’s roommate.

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Brett, with a Prague at night backdrop….

More Prague at night…

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Gorgeous building…

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A visit to Budapest…

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Brett, Aubrey, & Friend…in Vienna…

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Brett and Aubrey enjoying the view…

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Meanwhile, here at home in my cozy nest, I’m reading and enjoying movies and TV. 

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FRIDAY POTPOURRI: FROM NESTING TO VICARIOUS TRAVELING…

Today I threw open the door of one of my country cupboards for this photo op.  This one houses some of my colorful and fun pieces, ranging from the Jamestown Fostoria crystal to the vintage tumblers and the “Cornflakes” mugs and dishes.  In other words, a “potpourri” of collections.

Since I am home, nesting, while others in the family are gallivanting around, in Europe, etc., I have to find ways to cheer up my day.

But I do love the photos which have been appearing regularly via text from my son Brett, who started out in Spain, then went to Ibiza…and finally Prague.  Now he has branched out to Budapest.  But first…

He stayed in The Jim Morrison suite at this hotel in Ibiza…

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After arriving in Prague, Brett and his daughter Aubrey, who will be attending a college semester in Prague, had dinner with my eldest son Craig, his wife Gabi, and Aubrey’s roommate.

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A view from the hotel in Budapest…

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This morning I got this photo of the thermal baths in Budapest.

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My vicarious travels are fun.  Right?  I don’t have to pack, unpack, or fly.  Am I kidding myself, though?

Do you love to travel, or would you rather nest at home, reading books about travel.  I am currently reading Happy People Read and Drink Coffee, a story about a widow who moves from Paris, where she owns a bookstore/cafe, to Ireland.  She hopes to escape the pain of the past.

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Vicarious traveling through reading and movies reminds me of the Anne Tyler book, The Accidental Tourist.  I also have the movie with William Hurt, Kathleen Turner, and Geena Davis.

Enjoy your travels…vicarious or actual.

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FRIDAY POTPOURRI: SEARCHING FOR MEMORABILIA, ETC.

Mickey is leading the pack today, as we talk about photos from family and friends.  As you may have noticed, this newest version of “Mickey pointing to my books” is now in my blog header.  I liked how this photo includes the little hanging behind the books:  “Hearts and Boo Boos Mended Here.”

Let’s take a look at what Craig is doing.  He has been visiting Venice, etc., and here we go, enjoying the view and pizza:

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Craig in Ljubljana:

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Craig loves Tiki places and memorabilia, so he enjoyed this version in Venice.  In one of his visits to the states, back in 2007, we did a Tiki Road Trip Search all up and down California’s Hwy. 99…because he wanted to take back some of his finds to a friend in Prague who has a Tiki bar. 

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In another part of Europe, Brett, headed to Prague, stopped off at a museum in Barcelona, and took a couple of shots, one of them a “forbidden selfie” in the museum.

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Yesterday, I had lunch with my daughter…and had this Pomegranate Press, a specialty at Yard House, while I waited.  Who said waiting isn’t fun?

 

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That’s it for this week.  What did yours look like in photos?

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FRIDAY POTPOURRI: SAYING GOODBYE TO SUMMER….

Last night, I decided to stop in at Mimi’s, one of my favorite spots in the neighborhood.  Instead of my usual soup or salad, I went for the Quiche Lorraine and a salad, with a strawberry margarita.  Very satisfying accompaniment to my book, Z:  A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald.

Now I am going to share some photos of family as they enjoy the last days of summer.

First…Noah spent Labor Day weekend at Shaver Lake with his mom and her friends….and doesn’t he look like he’s having fun?  LOL.  Not so much…but he’s a teenager.

 

Heather and her husband David are enjoying each other in the open air of the mountains, with a lake nearby.

 

Now…check out Fiona’s brand of fun…creating still another look for herself:

 

In the southern part of the state, Aubrey and friends are enjoying their versions of fun in the summer:

 

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We all celebrate summer and its ending in individual ways.  What do you enjoy about summer, especially when it is ending?

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REMEMBERING FAMILY & FRIENDS….

Yesterday I shelved another hardcover book (above).  My other shelves don’t really have room, and this one has taken on the overflow.  Time to purge again?

Now that we are in September, I am thinking about my little grand-niece, America, whose birthday is on September 11.  She will be nine.  I love this precious shot of her in the kitchen:

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My other photos today are in memory of a dear online friend whom I actually met in person a few years ago.    Recently, Betty Dravis passed away.

Betty Dravis, Linda Bulgur, and I had become Amazon friends in 2008…(now our profile pages do not have this feature, but that is where we first met).  In 2009, the three of us met in Central California for a lovely visit and lunch.  Here we are:

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My granddaughter Fiona had her photo taken with one of Betty’s books, The Toonies Invade Silicon Valley:

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In this shot (in 2008), I am holding the book:

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Betty had a big presence online, including on Facebook.  She will be missed, but her books live on to celebrate the memory of her time here.

Betty’s Amazon Author Page

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What memories, past and present, are you sharing today?

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FRIDAY POTPOURRI: VISITING PRAGUE VIA PHOTOS, ETC.

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Another change-up of the blog header.  I love this woman setting aside time from chores to read a stack of books.

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Today I’m also sharing a visit to the Prague area, where my DIL Gabi has captured these images, making me want to go there. 

Let’s start with one of the photos snapped in Praha-Prosek:

 

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I love this close-up, spotlighting those gorgeous leaves:

 

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A path that makes me think of railroad ties…there is a history here, I’m sure.

 

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Intriguing sign:

 

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Gabi enjoying a drink after a day of photographing her surroundings:

 

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Check out Craig’s idea of savoring a meal/drink afterwards:

 

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And…back in the states, here is my celebratory lunch on Thursday, after being dismissed from Jury Duty; I had waited around all morning.

 

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Enjoy your weekend.  What are you sharing?

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