Posted in Friday Potpourri


Last night, after a day of errands, including a bit of pampering at the nail salon, I was ready for watching TV in my bedroom.

But TV watching at night usually means turning it on and muting it, so I can read, while keeping my eye on the images.



This week, in addition to my usual reading, blogging, and TV watching, I’ve been collecting a few photos from the past.

I found these on Fiona’s FB page:

Back in middle school, Fiona in the middle, and on the right, in the background, her dad:



She found this one of her dad when he was in his late teens…



Fast forward a few years, Fiona is enjoying remembering her moments with her nephew Lane when he was a baby.  He is now three.



Moving along, a more contemporary photo of Fiona (left), at dinner with a friend.



I’m still reading these books:



I should be finishing them both later today.

Do you enjoy searching through your photos for those that remind you of moments in the past? 


Posted in Friday Potpourri


After I did some rearranging of my stuff in my office, I brought some leftovers into my bedroom, like the quirky end table that once held the TV/DVD player.  The chair has been all through the house, but now sits next to the end table.  The stack of books are ones I have chosen for rereading…but haven’t gotten around to yet.

In case you haven’t seen my various photos of the office “redo,” here’s a peek after I stacked the unread books on a shelf by the wall, freeing up the trunk.  And, of course, there is the TV, by the window.  The little drop-leaf table underneath the larger “once-upon-a-time dining table” used to feel at home in the living room. (I’m a big fan of “re-purposing” furniture).


The white round mini-table that once resided in my bedroom…is now in the living room.


My daughter and her husband just took off for their honeymoon in Europe.  They are flying in to Stockholm first, then heading to Prague…and then to Amsterdam.  My eldest son lives in Prague.

The night before, they celebrated with Joe, a friend:  Heather, left, with David, my son-in-law, in the middle.  Joe, on the right, is like another of my sons:


Down south, my A-Team grandchildren at a Lakers Game with their dad, my son Brett (This game was actually in February, I think, but I love the photo):


Aubrey and friends…First, a friendly college girl tussle:


Then, celebrating a new iPhone:


My youngest grandson, Noah, is only fourteen…but he thinks he is ready to drive.  Or at least practice:



Today I’m reading One Good Thing (e-book), by Wendy Wax, and loving the reunion of the friends who met (as strangers) years before after they lost almost everything to a Ponzi scheme. (I love the series…and the book covers!).




What has your week brought you?  What can you share?  Today’s post is linked to West Metro Mommy Reads.


Posted in Friday Potpourri, Uncategorized


Every day I bring in more books for this stack, and I hope to whittle it down a bit more this summer.

So far, this stack has twelve unread books:

The Swallows Nest (a review book), by Emilie Richards

Fairy Tale Interrupted, by RoseMarie Terenzio

Good Me Bad Me, by Ali Land

The Comfort of Others, by Kay Langdale

Becoming Queen Victoria, by Kate Willliams

The Girl:  A Life in the Shadow of Roman Polanski, by Samantha Geimer

Love Letters, by Debbie Macomber

What Remains:  A Memoir of Fate, Friendship, & Love, by Carole Radziwill

Another Brooklyn, by Jacqueline Woodson

Talking As Fast As I Can, by Lauren Graham

Z:  A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald, by Therese Anne Fowler

America’s Queen:  The Life of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, by Sarah Bradford


This stack does not represent the whole of of my unread print books, but they do spotlight the majority of them.  Why have I stacked them up so blatantly on my living room coffee table?  Why have I not left them in the office, where they could be out of sight?

Well, that’s why, of course.  If they are more visible, I am more likely to pick one up to read instead of primarily relying on the books that reside on Pippa.

Plus…I love the look of them.

If I put my mind to it, I could clear all of these off before summer’s end.


How do you deal with your TBR books, the ones that are “physical” rather than digital? Does the sight of them give you pleasure…or pain?  


Posted in Friday Potpourri


Yesterday did not start out as a Day Outside the Box, but one little step at a time, it did end up that way.  The week has been a challenge, overcoming that whole SKIN REACTION FROM HELL.

In the morning, I contemplated this room (above) again, as a new flat screen is coming tomorrow…to hopefully improve the signal my modem receives….it doesn’t work that well on this somewhat antiquated set.

After I had watched a little TV in the morning, read from my book, took my shower…I decided to go get the mail.  Simple enough. (My mail goes to the Post Office box down the street).

I felt good enough afterwards to head over to the Elephant Bar for Happy Hour.  I hadn’t done that in a while…(Okay, I’ve done lunch and dinners, but not Happy Hour, lol).

First my Pomegranate Martini arrived, and I dug into The Wildling Sisters, while waiting for my appetizer.



When Susan, the server, who became a chatty friend by the end of my stay (it wasn’t that busy!), brought this delightful array of potato skins, etc., I started nibbling.  After I photographed it, of course.



I posted it on FB, of course, and almost immediately, my son (from Prague!) responded with his delight.  He and I have enjoyed this repast occasionally, when he visits.

While on my iPhone Phoebe, I checked out FB…then went over to Fandango, as it was getting later, but I wasn’t ready to go home.




Across the street, at Edwards Movie Theaters, The Lovers was showing…but only at 7:00 p.m.  I had seen a write-up of this movie in one of my magazines, and I have been a Debra Winger fan since way back in the day.  The 80s are calling!



Here are some of my 80s favorites:


Urban Cowboy, with Winger and Travolta:



Terms of Endearment, with Winger and MacLaine:




Then there are the less-publicized films, one of which I own and watch periodically, Mike’s Murder:



So…you get the picture.  I’m a fan of Debra Winger movies, just like many love Julia Roberts flicks.

So…how to kill time until the movie began?  I ordered another martini, read some more, talked to Susan, who felt like a friend at this point…

Then I settled up, headed across the street, and slipped into Dai Bai Dang, after buying my ticket, to have…yes, another martini.  This one is a Blushing Geisha.  I kept reading.



And yes, my drinks total has reached THREE, but remember all the food and the hours that have passed…don’t judge!  LOL.


Finally it’s 6:30, I head inside the theater, play with Phoebe for a while…and look around me.  I am literally the only person in the theater, which tells me that not everybody is a Debra Winger, especially OLDER Winger fan…no worries.  More fun for me.

As I thought about her lengthy hiatus from films (she has been in some movies in recent years, like Rachel Getting Married, 2008), in which she played a supporting character:


I was reminded of another DVD:  I own this one, produced by Rosanna Arquette, called Searching for Debra Winger:



And while The Lovers was not my favorite of her movies, it was interesting with some twists I didn’t see coming (no, it wasn’t a thriller, but the choices the characters made were sometimes unexpected).


Afterwards, I headed home (it was 9:00 by then, and late for me on a week night!).

I posted my Bookish Friday event for today…and read.


An Unexpected Day with Twists…sort of like reading a thriller.  LOL.

Have you ever taken a day and turned it on its side, doing nothing that you had planned?  How did it feel?


Posted in Friday Potpourri



Welcome to another Friday Potpourri…and my obsessions, tidbits, etc.  The above header is the newest one I have created for my website.

I like spotlighting “real” aspects of my writing life, like my creations in the top right, and the laptop in the center.  On the bottom right, check out my Wizard of Oz figurines, which I’ve had for a few years. (From the Jim Shore collection).  They are symbolic of “my journey.”

Now grab a view of the collection (plus other trinkets) on my Baker’s Rack.





Yesterday I slept until 8 a.m., and today, for some unknown reason, I woke up at 5 a.m., unable to go back to sleep.  So I got up, rebooted all of my TV receivers which had been losing their signals way too often…then booted up my laptop. 

Once the important stuff was done, I turned on the coffee pot, prepared my breakfast tray…and then changed the scan settings on my laptop.  I do a scheduled virus scan on Mondays and Fridays, from 10 a.m. until finished.  Today I’m going to lunch with a friend at 11:30…and don’t want to leave the computer on while I’m gone.

Usually I try to avoid scheduling anything for Mondays or Fridays…but that chains me to my computer.  So I decided to alter the schedule a bit.

Loving this book.  Almost Missed You is a story about relationships, but there is a lot of mystery…some of the characters are keeping big secrets.  As the story takes us back and forth in time, we gradually learn more about them.  Now I can’t wait to see who will learn which secrets…and what they will do about them.





The premise reminded me of events that have happened in my own life, and I wondered “what if?”  What if I hadn’t gone to that party on June 9, 1970?  I was reluctant to go, for a variety of reasons.  But if I hadn’t, I would never have met the man I would marry later that year.  The man with whom I would have my two youngest children.

So…even though our marriage ended almost ten years later, does that mean we were not “destined to be”?  Or does it simply mean that we almost missed each other, and our lives might have taken different turns?  I prefer to cherish the children and grandchildren that came from that union…and the good years we did have, and believe that we were “meant to be” for a while.

Does the end of a marriage (or relationship) mean that it failed?  Or that it just ran its course, with cherished moments to ponder afterwards.  Lessons to learn.


So many thoughts on an early Friday morning.  My next book will probably be It Happens All the Time, by Amy Hatvany.





Blurb:  I want to rewind the clock, take back the night when the world shattered. I want to erase everything that went wrong.

Amber Bryant and Tyler Hicks have been best friends since they were teenagers—trusting and depending on each other through some of the darkest periods of their young lives. And while Amber has always felt that their relationship is strictly platonic, Tyler has long harbored the secret desire that they might one day become more than friends.

Returning home for the summer after her college graduation, Amber begins spending more time with Tyler than she has in years. Despite the fact that Amber is engaged to her college sweetheart, a flirtation begins to grow between them. One night, fueled by alcohol and concerns about whether she’s getting married too young, Amber kisses Tyler.

What happens next will change them forever.

In alternating points of view, It Happens All the Time examines the complexity of sexual dynamics between men and women and offers an incisive exploration of gender roles, expectations, and the ever-timely issue of consent.


Both of these books will be released on March 28, 2017…and I got them from NetGalley.

Are you drawn to books that make you wonder about the choices in your life?  Do they stay with you long after you turn the last page?

What are you pondering on this Friday?


Posted in Friday Potpourri



Wonderful “firsts” occur during the holidays. Above, see my great-niece Margaret, with her parents (Emily and Bryan) enjoying her first visit with Santa.  She doesn’t look frightened, so that’s a good thing.

Seeing the firsts in the younger generation makes me remember those I enjoyed with my kids…and grandchildren.

Over at Rainy Days and Mondays, I found a two-year-old post about the holidays, which I excerpted:  Looking Back:  Finding Ways to Chase Away the Blues.

Since today is Friday, I’ve been doing all those chores that I try to finish before the weekend starts, like changing the sheets, cleaning the bathrooms, etc.

But I’ve also been reading Sting, by Sandra Brown, and although I enjoy her books, I wasn’t sure about this one.





Jordie Bennett has been abducted by a man who was planning to kill her for the money her brother’s boss has offered.  But Shaw Kinnard has other plans:  Negotiating for more money from her brother, Josh, who has escaped from Federal protection, which triggered the plan to kill/and abduct her.

Already, there is a vibe between Jordie and her captor, and this is the part I’m not sure about.  Are we supposed to hope for a connection here?  Is this her only way to survive?


But I’m still reading it.  Who knows for how long?

Next I hope to read Little Deaths…and/or In a Dark, Dark Wood.








So…now that I’m feeling cozy at home, should I go out this afternoon?  For lunch, and/or to Barnes & Noble?  A shop nearby is having a sale…

What to do?

It is always a toss-up every day…to go out, or to stay at home.  Each appealing in its own way.  What do you do when there is an equally attractive choice?


Posted in Friday Potpourri




It’s almost the weekend!  How did the days fly by so fast?  Earlier today, instead of reading or even cleaning house (ugh!), I made some new blog headers, including this one (above).

My reading has been start and stop, but I have finished two books so far this week, and I did get through half of another one.  I’ve been hopping from book to book.  And now I’ve started Hillbilly Elegy, which promises to be captivating.





From a former marine and Yale Law School graduate, a powerful account of growing up in a poor Rust Belt town that offers a broader, probing look at the struggles of America’s white working class.


Since I was restlessly reading, blogging, etc., I hopped on over to Amazon Vine, as I haven’t requested anything there in a while…and I found this one:

Little Deaths, by Emma Flint, is crime fiction that explores the capacity for good and evil in us all.





It’s 1965 in a tight-knit working-class neighborhood in Queens, New York, and Ruth Malone–a single mother who works long hours as a cocktail waitress–wakes to discover her two small children, Frankie Jr. and Cindy, have gone missing. Later that day, Cindy’s body is found in a derelict lot a half mile from her home, strangled. Ten days later, Frankie Jr.’s decomposing body is found. Immediately, all fingers point to Ruth.


So…looking ahead, I still have quite a few books I have purchased over the past couple of years, but I’m whittling away at them.  In My TBR Stacks:  A Closer Look, I gave some numbers…and they weren’t as bad as I’d imagined.

And as for review ARCs, I have six NetGalley books, all to be released in January and February.  I am looking forward to the weeks ahead.

What are your reading plans for the next few weeks?