SUNDAY POTPOURRI: OBSESSIVE TIDBITS…

Good morning!  Welcome to another Sunday Potpourri, a post that focuses on life’s little tidbits, obsessions, etc.

Today I’ve been thinking about bookish things…and also about a change in venue I’m bringing next weekend:  I’ll be posting my Weekly Updates on my An Interior Journey blog.

Yes, it is time for a change.  So far, I’ve featured my updates on Serendipity, Rainy Days and Mondays, and Curl up and Read.  A long time ago, I hosted the event on An Interior Journey.

The only blogs that are not featured are this one and Snow Sparks.  Primarily because they have not been the traditional book blogs.  But that seems to be changing.  So who knows what could happen next?

 

Now for the bookish things.  Lately I’ve noticed that I get lots of e-mails from Goodreads, offering “deals,” and it is annoying, since in many cases, I already have the books.

But then I realized that there is no category for “already have the book.”  There is “want to read,” “currently reading,” “read,” etc.

And even the categories listed above are confusing, since you might have read the Kindle version of a book, but if your search leads you to the book, and it lands on one of the other versions, it will not show that you’ve read it.

I don’t want to complain, since I can’t offer a solution.  I do know that I stopped participating in the Goodreads Challenge because, if I accidentally clicked that I read a book and it was the wrong version…and then I changed it…the stats would be wrong.

So…I do love Goodreads for telling me what I’ve read (once I click on the correct version), and this has saved me from duplicate book buys.

I need to change my iPhone settings somehow, as I can’t get to the Goodreads page from my phone.  Which means that I can’t find the answers when I’m out and about…at Barnes & Noble, for example.

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Any thoughts? Am I obsessively focusing on the wrong things?  Are there ways to manage the Goodreads shelves?

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SUNDAY POTPOURRI: BOOKS, NETFLIX, & A FAMILY TREE…

Good morning Sunday!  A day to relax, read, watch movies…and reflect on family.  Above, my younger brother and his wife are hanging out on the “family tree” with their three grandchildren:  Luc, Gavin, and America.

They live on the ranch where I grew up, so I’m familiar with that tree.  It has been there, welcoming climbers, since I was a child.  I think.  Why am I not sure?  Well, we started out with a different house, so after my father built a newer one, the arrangement of the trees might be a bit of a blur. 

In the present, my brother and his wife live on the “family farm,” with fewer acres than we had growing up.  My mother sold off most of the farm in the 1990s.

When their grandchildren visit, they do enjoy climbing the very trees we climbed.  Here’s America, my grand-niece, enjoying a kitty.  She was born on September 11, 2008 (hence the name America).  I have never met her, except in photos.  I need to visit them all someday, but going “home” to the ranch is still an emotional situation.  I was last there on the day of my mother’s funeral.

 

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Meanwhile, here at home, I had a wonderful day yesterday binge-watching Season 4 of Grace and Frankie.  It was the best season so far, IMO.  The show dealt with issues of aging, family dynamics, and how the characters are dealing with these issues.

 

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Now I can’t wait for the next season!  That’s what happens when you watch ALL of the episodes.

Today I’m reading Seeing Red, by Sandra Brown, a book I’ve had for a while (since August 2017).  I’m loving it.

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So…I may stay in all day, or go out to eat.  Or I might just go to Barnes & Noble, since I don’t have nearly enough books already…lol.

What does your day hold?

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SUNDAY POTPOURRI: A QUIET CHRISTMAS EVE…

During the holidays, I often remember past moments, like this one of six of my grandchildren at a nearby restaurant.  We used to meet here for our get-togethers at Thanksgiving, and I loved that they had their tree all decorated which served as a perfect backdrop for our photos.

How cute is Noah (left), looking all bored.  Fiona, second from right, has her eye on him…I think.

This photo (and event) happened in 2006.  Now all of these kids are grown-ups…except Noah, who is turning fifteen in January.

Alec, third from left, just graduated UC Berkeley.  Aubrey,  far right, attends San Diego State University as a junior, but is enjoying a semester in Prague.  Dominic, third from right, just got married in September.  He is attending university and working.

Aaron (second from left) is attending college in Arizona, and Fiona is working.  She is still trying to find her perfect niche.

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I am enjoying a quiet Christmas Eve…sipping eggnog and thinking about what, if anything to cook…I am tempted to just nibble on snacks all day.  Or I could order a pizza.  Hmm.

Tomorrow I’ll be at my daughter’s house for Christmas Day Brunch.  She is making Quiche…a favorite dish.

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Reading:  Dead of Winter, by Wendy Corsi Staub.  I’m almost finished…couldn’t put it down, but did…because I was tired last night.

I’ll finish it this morning.

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While browsing Amazon, I decided to pre-order a book that I’ve been eager to get my hands on.  I don’t often do this…but I don’t want to forget to buy it.  As if.

The Woman in the Window, by A.J. Finn, will be released on January 2.

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Anna Fox lives alone—a recluse in her New York City home, unable to venture outside. She spends her day drinking wine (maybe too much), watching old movies, recalling happier times . . . and spying on her neighbors.

Then the Russells move into the house across the way: a father, a mother, their teenage son. The perfect family. But when Anna, gazing out her window one night, sees something she shouldn’t, her world begins to crumble—and its shocking secrets are laid bare…

This blurb captured my interest.  Who doesn’t love reading about a recluse who sees something she shouldn’t?

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What does your Christmas Eve look like?  Is it busy?  Quiet?  Bookish?

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SUNDAY POTPOURRI: SAVORING WHAT YOU LOVE….

The clock is ticking, the days are sliding by…and before we know it, Christmas will be here, with New Year’s right behind it.

I am hoping for a better year in 2018…and one of the bookish things I enjoy each January 1 is the First Book of the Year event, which Sheila, Book Journey, is hosting again.

I selected my book a while ago…and even had several photos snapped to share on the actual day.  You’ll have to tune into my An Interior Journey blog to find out more.

What am I doing until then?  Well, reading, of course.  After my start of Sing, Unburied, Sing, I set it aside.  It wasn’t doing it for me.  Despite the themes I usually enjoy (poverty, drug addiction, dysfunctional families), the narrators fell flat for me. I know I am in the minority with these feelings, obviously, since the book won many awards.  But that’s okay. 

I am now reading and loving Snap Judgment, the third book in Marcia Clark’s Samantha Brinkman series.

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I am happy that, after a thorough cleaning of my misbehaving coffee pot, today’s pot was everything I have always loved about coffee on a Sunday morning…or any morning.  Yay!

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As a treat yesterday, I took one of my holiday Christmas gift cards to Cheesecake Factory for a nice Blood Orange Martini and some pasta.

 

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This morning, I did something new:  I made some bacon and eggs for my brunch!

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What are you savoring about the holiday season?  Are you discovering books you love, and maybe setting aside those you don’t enjoy?

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SUNDAY POTPOURRI: SWEPT BACK TO A TIME AND PLACE…

Yesterday I was reminded of my younger years in Sacramento:  attending the university pictured above, and just strolling around the tree-lined streets nearby.

What carried me back?  A movie, Lady Bird, starring Saoirse Ronan, set in Sacramento.

Yesterday was a wonderful day, starting with hair styling, and followed by lunch at Dai Bai Dang, where I had this delicious Sesame Shrimp dish.

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Sated with good food, I sank into the cozy seating and watched the wonderful story of a daughter, her conflicts with her mother, and how she went about choosing a future.  And all around her, as she went through each day, I saw the familiar surroundings that I had loved…back then.

Why did I leave?  Well, jobs, of course.  And a marriage.  My three sons were born in Sacramento, though, and my older two still visit the city, since their father lives there.

I could move there now, of course, since I’m retired…and most of my children no longer live here.  But my daughter does…and so do three of my grandchildren.  Plus…I hate moving.

But I could visit more.  That could work.

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Do you sometimes think of places you’ve lived that have left their mark on you?  Do you enjoy the memories?

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SUNDAY POTPOURRI: WHIMSICAL THOUGHTS…

Good morning!  It is time to reflect on quirky obsessions and tidbits…and other whimsical things.

I went searching through my blog yesterday, and found a post from October 2015, What’s In a Name?

It was actually posted on a Hump Day in October 2015, but the thoughts work on any day.  It is the story of this blog and its origins…and how I came to create the “guilty pleasures” section of the blog.

Here we go:

If you look at the URL of this site, it seems as though it celebrates fall and winter: http:// rainysnowday.wordpress.com/

But if I could have brought whimsy into the URL, I would have.  But everything I tried was already in use.

When I visit other blogs, I enjoy studying the URLs that they have chosen.  Like mine, I wonder if it was difficult or easy to find one that celebrated the uniqueness of the blog.

Well, my first guess was apparently wrong about that, as I tried a sampling of URLs from the Breaking the Spine site today, where everyone is celebrating upcoming releases, and almost everyone had a perfect URL styled for their site.  Check out my entry, from a site that has a perfect URL:  Curl up and Read.

Oh, well, needless to say, when I couldn’t celebrate the whimsy, I did include parts of my name in this one:  rain, snow.

There is a history to my name, which, as you may have guessed, is not my actual name.  Lorraine Frost….and then I messed it up by changing it to my various married names.  I could have gone with Rainy Frost.  That works, but I incorporated parts of “Lorraine” to create Laurel-Rain.  And Frost became Snow.  TMI?

I Googled my name and came up with a number of images, most of them related to my various sites.  But then I found this one, a song entitled “Rain and Snow,” sung by someone in Big Laurel, NC. 

 

rain_and_snow-_sharp_pg_2141

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It is funny what you find when you Google a name.  What do you discover when you do?  Do you enjoy whimsical things?

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SUNDAY POTPOURRI: HOW COZY TURNS ANNOYING…

After a cozy morning of reading and blogging, I was so looking forward to my CPK lunch.  But…my car wouldn’t start.  Sigh.

I called Triple A, hoping it was just the battery…and it was.  But it was an hour and a half later before I sat down and ordered my soup, my margarita, and later…this pumpkin cheesecake.

I think I rewarded myself a lot for the waiting.

 

While I had my lunch, I started reading All the Best People, by Sonja Yoerg.  I’ve had the book on Pippa since May.  Why did I wait so long?

 

Here’s a blurb:

Vermont, 1972. Carole LaPorte has a satisfying, ordinary life. She cares for her children, balances the books for the family’s auto shop and laughs when her husband slow dances her across the kitchen floor. Her tragic childhood might have happened to someone else.
 
But now her mind is playing tricks on her. The accounts won’t reconcile and the murmuring she hears isn’t the television. She ought to seek help, but she’s terrified of being locked away in a mental hospital like her mother, Solange. So Carole hides her symptoms, withdraws from her family and unwittingly sets her eleven-year-old daughter Alison on a desperate search for meaning and power: in Tarot cards, in omens from a nearby river and in a mysterious blue glass box belonging to her grandmother.
 
An exploration of the power of courage and love to overcome a damning legacy, All the Best People celebrates the search for identity and grace in the most ordinary lives.

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Gripping, right?  I hope to spend the day savoring this one before starting Poison, which is being released November 21…and I suddenly feel as though the deadline is looming.

Cass and Ryan Connor have achieved family nirvana. With three kids between them, a cat and a yard, a home they built and feathered, they seem to have the Modern Family dream. Their family, including Cass’ two children from previous relationships, has recently moved to Portland —a new start for their new lives. Cass and Ryan have stable, successful careers, and they are happy. But trouble begins almost imperceptibly. First with small omissions and white lies that happen daily in any marital bedroom. They seem insignificant, but they are quickly followed by a series of denials and feints that mushroom and then cyclone in menace.

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My reading week looks delightful, doesn’t it?  I hope to also do some clothes shopping this week, as I desperately want something new for the holidays.

Tomorrow a friend and I will have lunch…and then see Murder on the Orient Express.

When I got home from lunch, I watched The Glass Castle On Demand.  Loved seeing it again.

What does your upcoming week look like?

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SUNDAY POTPOURRI: ALL ABOUT THE CLOCKS…& BOOKS

Today is all about time-changing.  I added a new “shabby chic” clock to my “distressed” bookshelves and felt like I was all set.   It is much easier to reset a clock on a shelf.  The wall clocks can be challenging.

My wall above the mantle now has decorative clocks only, as I removed the batteries.  I hated taking them down off the wall to reset them every six months.

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I have a Coca Cola clock in the kitchen/dining room…and today I was about ready to remove its battery!  But I managed to reset the clock and return it to its place above my phone, etc. (on the right side of the photo).

 

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Aren’t we supposed to gain an hour of sleep today?  That didn’t work for me, as I woke up at 5:30!  (Really 6:30).  But since I was up, I took on the time-changing task, which included my Kindle, my alarm clock, all the battery-operated clocks (minus the ones from which I removed the batteries.  Yay!), the coffeepot, the microwave…you get the picture.

Now I am visiting blogs…and finishing Francesca Hornak’s  Seven Days of Us.

I couldn’t stand the Phoebe character!  Spoiled, entitled, etc.  Maybe she will redeem herself by the end of the story.

I started The One and Only, by Emily Giffin, which has been waiting patiently since 2016.

Cold As Ice is another book I’m eager to read.  It is Book Six in the Country Club Murder Series, by Julie Mulhern.

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How is your Sunday unfolding?  Good books?  Movies? Napping?

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SUNDAY POTPOURRI: CURLING UP WITH BOOKS, ETC.

Good morning!  I love Sundays, especially now that I don’t have to “go to work” on Mondays.

I’m curled up in my office reading Book Two in Melinda Leigh’s new Morgan Dane series:  Her Last Goodbye.

 

A missing wife; Chelsea as an alternate narrator, who has been abducted and restrained in a dank container; and Morgan Dane and her partner Lance Kruger searching for her, while trying to determine who, if anyone, has taken her.  Could she have left of her own volition?  They are beginning to doubt this scenario.

I finished Book One this past week:  Say You’re Sorry (click for my review), which held me hostage throughout.

I’m in my office this morning…this is what I see from the couch where I’m curled up to read:

 

And I’m sitting here:

Tonight I am eager to watch another episode of Ten Days in the Valley, with Kyra Sedgwick, and a continuation of the story of her missing daughter.

Madam Secretary is another favorite on Sundays, along with a new episode in the Hailey Dean Mysteries on Hallmark.

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Another distraction for me this week was ordering a new clock for my office.  The one I had broke, and while I don’t actually need one, since the computer shows the time, I want one to look at and check when the computer isn’t on.

So I ordered this decorative clock, coming by mail tomorrow.

 

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This week’s wildfires just north of here have heightened my anxieties….what next?  From hurricanes in the southern parts of the states to wildfires here, we have all had more than we were expecting.  And much more than anyone deserves.

Immersing myself in books and blogging keeps me distracted…but it doesn’t really alleviate the anxiety.  We’re all sending our positive energy out there, hoping for healing and resolution.

What are you thinking about on a Sunday?  Do your thoughts take you to a place of hope and healing?

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SUNDAY POTPOURRI: GENERAL QUIRKINESS…& FAVORITE THINGS

Good morning!  Today’s tidbits include my quirky take of the photo (above); PicMonkey has a daguerreotype frame that turns an ordinary photo into this smoky rendition.

I also did this to the same photo:  an off-center heart-shaped version.

 

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So…yesterday I had lunch with an old friend.  We were colleagues for three years when we both worked in a private foster family agency (after my retirement from the county career).  She lives in Northern California and works for State Rehab. now.

All of us were very close working together in an agency with a very authoritarian/mercurial CEO…it was us against her.  That kind of setting brings people together. We all had regular get-togethers while we were working there, and then after we each left…but now we are all scattered throughout the state.

So it was good to catch up.

Afterwards I saw The Glass Castle, which I thoroughly enjoyed.  The film flashed back and forth in time, bringing us moments in childhood interspersed with the adult scenes.  It was a riveting “true story” brought to film.  I also loved the book version, which I read before I started blogging.

 

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Last night, I watched more of Season III of The Ranch, on Netflix, which I didn’t enjoy very much at first…but now I’m riveted.  I’m not sure why.  Probably because I finally allowed the scenes with Debra Winger and Sam Elliott (both of whom I enjoy) to overshadow the silliness of Ashton Kutcher and Danny Masterson.

I’ve been watching the TV season of the new show Doubt, with Katherine Heigl…and I see that nothing is scheduled for next week, so I am guessing it is going on hiatus.  I hate when that happens, especially with a cliff-hanger ending.

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How is your weekend shaping up?  Plans?  Adventures?

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