Thursday Potpourri

THURSDAY POTPOURRI: ODD TIDBITS, ETC.

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Good morning, and today will feature some views of my office, where I spend a lot of time…but I usually just show my laptop.  Above, the cozy sofa that makes into a bed…and the wicker trunk where I stack my unread print books.

Another view, from my office chair.  The stacking boxes (on the right) have been with me for years.  I once had them in my work office, if you can imagine!  There are six or seven boxes, but the smaller ones are nested inside the big ones.

 

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I know why I don’t cozy up here very often…the TV is tiny (see below).  But there is also a VCR, so I can watch some of those tapes I have saved.  (Most of the tapes went to the donation bins when I moved here, but there are a few I can’t part with).

 

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The walls are layered with family photos, and I do love looking at those.

Now…for some odd tidbits.  Yesterday I wrote a post over at An Interior Journey, and I know it actually posted, as I had a couple of comments on it.

But today, when I went in to edit the post and add a couple of things, it said:  POST NOT FOUND.  I searched by title, but nothing.  Then I noticed one post listed as “in the trash”…I restored it, and voila!  There it was.  Apparently I hit “trash” instead of edit!

Yikes!  One has to be extra careful when messing around, right?

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Speaking of odd tidbits…I posted a photo of my patio the other day, and when I looked at it afterwards, there was an odd shadow there.  See…it looks like something is hanging down.  So I went out to study the actual umbrella…and yikes!  It is torn.  I’m guessing that it happened in one of those storms we had…

I bought this umbrella ten years ago, so I guess it’s time to get another.  But I wonder if I can get the top part without having to replace the bottom?  I remember struggling to put that umbrella set in….and I don’t look forward to a repeat of that experience.

 

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So, there have been some odd and strange happenings today…how is your day shaping up?  I finished I Found You yesterday (click for my review), and I’m almost finished with Wait for the Rain.

 

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Take another peek at my daughter and me at her reception on April 2.  Fun!

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Thursday Potpourri

THURSDAY POTPOURRI: SPOTLIGHTING HOME & FAMILY….

Welcome to another day of Coffee and Books…and photos of family, friends, and tidbits.

Let’s take a peek at the world of my eldest son, with these photos of scenic Prague, with its amazing architecture and old buildings.  I like the creepy looking tree branches seemingly twisting themselves around the tower:

 

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Another shot with a view:

 

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Back in the US, in North Dakota, we can see my step-great-granddaughters on their third birthday.  First, Bella on her tricycle:

 

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Lilly is showing off her new trike, too:

 

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Nearby is Maddix, the Big Brother:

 

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This week, my granddaughter Fiona posted this photo from a few years ago, reminding us of another version of her:

 

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In late February, she presented this version:

 

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A couple of weeks ago, I switched some lamps around…and here is how they are now glowing in their new positions in the living room.  The one in the forefront, left, was once in my office nook:

 

 

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My office nook has a lamp that was once featured in the living room:

 

 

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A new NetGalley review book is bringing glee:  The Marriage Pact, by Michelle Richmond.  I love this author!  Release Date:  July 25, 2017.

 

 

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In this relentlessly paced novel of psychological suspense, New York Times bestselling author Michelle Richmond crafts an intense and shocking tale that asks: How far would you go to protect your marriage?

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Earlier today, I went on the Amazon Vine site and found another book to request…it is now headed my way:

Small Hours, by Jennifer Kitses, a story in the vein of Richard Russo and Tom Perrotta, is a gripping, suspenseful, and gorgeous debut novel–told hour-by-hour over the course of a single day–in which a husband and wife try to outrun long-buried secrets, sending their lives spiraling into chaos.

 

 

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Do you have some photos that spotlight your week or your life?  I’m linking to West Metro Mommy Reads for Saturday Snapshots.

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Thursday Potpourri

THURSDAY POTPOURRI: DISTRACTIONS, ETC.

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Thursday is often a day in which we look back on the week…and also look ahead.  I’m only on my second book of the week.  Very slow going, for some reason, and not the fault of the books.

Above, notice my little TBR Jar, sitting there, waiting for some of my older books to be picked.  But so far, I’m keeping busy with the newer books.  In the first photo, I’ve taken the “jar” down, so I can see what is available.  In the second photo, the receptacle is in its usual “waiting” spot on my desk.

 

Behind Her Eyes, by Sarah Pinborough, is definitely a good one…and I’ll be curled up with it again in a few moments.

 

 

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When I am in need of a distraction, I can be pulled away to do things on one or more of my blogs…like new headers, see below, with Serendipity’s new header.  And Rainy Days and Mondays has a new theme and a new header.

 

 

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The images I picked in the header above came from my own photos…and Pinterest.  The cottage in the middle was one where my son and DIL lived for a while in Berlin.  The garden was lovely, and the perfect place to enjoy reading…or a snack.

For Rainy Days and Mondays, I picked some images of reading on a rainy day…and the “blues” that are chased away by books.

 

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I am always on the lookout for new books, too.  Someone mentioned that Kristina Riggle, author of a book I plan to read next, has a newer one out.  So I went to Amazon, and found this one:

Vivian in Red, by Kristina Riggle, came out in September 2016.  How did I miss it?

 

 

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Famed Broadway producer Milo Short may be eighty-eight but that doesn’t stop him from going to the office every day. So when he steps out of his Upper West Side brownstone on one exceptionally hot morning, he’s not expecting to see the impossible: a woman from his life sixty years ago, cherry red lips, bright red hat, winking at him on a New York sidewalk, looking just as beautiful as she did back in 1934.

The sight causes him to suffer a stroke. And when he comes to, the renowned lyricist discovers he has lost the ability to communicate. Milo believes he must unravel his complicated history with Vivian Adair in order to win back his words. But he needs help—in the form of his granddaughter Eleanor—failed journalist and family misfit. Tapped to write her grandfather’s definitive biography, Eleanor must dig into Milo’s colorful past to discover the real story behind Milo’s greatest song Love Me, I Guess, and the mysterious woman who inspired an amazing life.

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Doesn’t this sound like an intriguing story?

What do you distract yourself with on a wintry day? 

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Thursday Potpourri

THURSDAY POTPOURRI: TELLING STORIES….

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Nostalgia.  You know how FB brings up our photos, showing us what memories we can share?  Well, I seldom feature those suckers again on that site, but this FB header was one I had to copy and stash in one of my folders.

I knew it would come in handy some day. 

The photo on the left was a shot of my guest cottage in the foothills, when my daughter was living there.  She loved decorating it in all the bright colors of the rainbow…which is how it got its name:  Rainbow Cottage.  Her kitchen/living room had gold tones, and her bathroom (below) was bathed in an orange color that completely mimicked the one in our home when she was a baby.  Sense memory?

 

 

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In the photo below, the fading sign that says “Rainbow Cottage” once stood in the lawn between the main house and the guest house in that foothills “dream house.”  Now it huddles in the corner of my small patio with assorted cast-offs, like a piece of a forgotten vignette.

My daughter insisted that the sign not be front and center of the guest cottage while she was living there.  She doesn’t like signs.  Or maybe she just didn’t want to be part of my story.

 

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Yes, my story includes some novels I wrote, and one of them featured an artist living in a friend’s guest house who created the walls of each room in a different color.  The character who owned the main house named it Rainbow Cottage.  Not just because of the colors…but because the artist was named Rainbow. (Miles to Go: by Laurel-Rain Snow).

 

 

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As I write my story today, I jump ahead to the present to feature a growing family of adorable tots who live in North Dakota, creating their own nostalgic moments.  My step-great-grandchildren, Lilly and Bella.  Their older brother Maddix did not participate in this cookie-baking event.  Here they are, beginning the project.

 

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And afterwards….Lilly’s showing us her feelings about what she has obviously just tasted.  Or maybe she is protesting the end of the project.

 

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My current daily life includes a lot of reading, and today’s book is one I just started:  The Twilight Wife, by A. J. Banner.

 

 

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Thirty-four-year-old marine biologist Kyra Winthrop remembers nothing about the diving accident that left her with a complex form of memory loss. With only brief flashes of the last few years of her life, her world has narrowed to a few close friendships on the island where she lives with her devoted husband, Jacob.

But all is not what it seems. Kyra begins to have visions—or are they memories?—of a rocky marriage, broken promises, and cryptic relationships with the island residents, whom she believes to be her friends.

As Kyra races to uncover her past, the truth becomes a terrifying nightmare. A twisty, immersive thriller, The Twilight Wife will keep readers enthralled through the final, shocking twist.

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I am already doubting every character in this story, as flashes of memory become increasingly more frightening.

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Since the weekend, I have been fighting this damn cold…and remembering how I somehow managed to escape the affliction for years.  Yes, years.  Ever since I finally retired and no longer worked closely with kids who were often sick, I have been blessed with wellness.

I knew that blessed state of being would probably come to an end at some point, but I was still shocked by the symptoms…and I was in denial for several days.  LOL.

Now…I think I’m better.  The worst is at night time, and sleeping is fitful.  Nyquil, anyone?

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What nostalgic moments or family stories do you recall?  What are your favorite books today?

This weekend, I am sharing this post on Saturday Snapshots at West Metro Mommy Reads.

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Thursday Potpourri

THURSDAY POTPOURRI: ANOTHER LATE NIGHT….

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Yesterday was all about tending to me, beginning with that massage at my daughter’s salon.  It was great, and we will now have a regular treatment on the days of my hair styling.

Feeling “rejuvenated” at Rejuvenations, I had some dinner out…soup, wine, cornbread.

 

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I continued reading Always, by Sarah Jio, (a NetGalley review – 2/7/17), and later finished it at home. (Click title for my review).

 

 

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But it was late when I finished reading…and then I watched Too Close to Home from my DVR…and fell asleep on the couch!  It is pretty comfy, but not as cozy as my bed.  Did I undo that massage?  LOL.

 

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What next?   So far this week, I’ve read two review books and one from my own shelves (Kindle).  So I have selected one that has been hanging around since November…which means it is new enough to count for the Read the Books You Buy Challenge – 2017.

So far this year, I’ve read and reviewed FIVE books that qualify there.

So…onward.  Never Alone, by Elizabeth Haynes, is a psychological thriller that is a brilliantly suspenseful and shocking story in which nothing is at it seems, but everything is at stake.

 

 

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Sarah Carpenter lives in an isolated farmhouse in North Yorkshire and for the first time, after the death of her husband some years ago and her children, Louis and Kitty, leaving for university, she’s living alone. But she doesn’t consider herself lonely. She has two dogs, a wide network of friends and the support of her best friend, Sophie.

When an old acquaintance, Aiden Beck, needs somewhere to stay for a while, Sarah’s cottage seems ideal; and renewing her relationship with Aiden gives her a reason to smile again. It’s supposed to be temporary, but not everyone is comfortable with the arrangement: her children are wary of his motives, and Will Brewer, an old friend of her son’s, seems to have taken it upon himself to check up on Sarah at every opportunity. Even Sophie has grown remote and distant.

After Sophie disappears, it’s clear she hasn’t been entirely honest with anyone, including Will, who seems more concerned for Sarah’s safety than anyone else. As the weather closes in, events take a dramatic turn and Kitty too goes missing. Suddenly Sarah finds herself in terrible danger, unsure of who she can still trust.

But she isn’t facing this alone; she has Aiden, and Aiden offers the protection that Sarah needs. Doesn’t he?

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I am eager to get into it!

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It is Thursday already, and, of course, tomorrow will be a wasted day for me (televised Inauguration), so I may have to check out the movies playing.

20th Century Women is in limited release, and only has two showings at the neighborhood theater.  I need to get over there soon!  Annette Bening, Elle Fanning, Greta Gerwig, Billy Crudup…to name a few.

 

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There is also La La Land…but I’m not sure about it.

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So…that’s my Thursday…how are your week (and weekend) shaping up?  Books, movies at home, movies elsewhere?

I’m linking this post up to Saturday Snapshots, at West Metro Mommy Reads.

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Thursday Potpourri

THURSDAY POTPOURRI: POST CHRISTMAS BLISS, ETC.

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Christmas is over!  On Tuesday, I packed up the Christmas decorations…but I did keep the red table runner and place mats in use….red is one of my favorite colors.

My Amazon gift card was in full use on January 1.  I stuck to my plan not to buy any more books in December…and I can now go a little mad.

Books coming my way:

The Princess Diarist, by Carrie Fisher

 

 

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Becoming Queen Victoria, by Kate Williams

 

 

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The Best Awful, by Carrie Fisher (Out of stock; on its way soon!)

 

 

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Downloads:

The Marriage Lie (e-book), by Kimberly Belle

 

 

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The Twilight Wife (e-book), by A. J. Banner

 

 

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So…a good season of books for me! 

Today will be a quiet one, with nothing on the agenda until tonight, when I am going to dinner at my daughter’s home to celebrate Noah’s Fourteenth Birthday!  How did that happen?  He is as tall as his mom now, and his voice is deep.  The baby fat disappeared a long time ago, and this video-gaming young man has taken his place.

Here he was…on his First Birthday!

 

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And last April:

 

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And now:

 

 

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So…that’s my world on January 5, 2017.  What does your week/day look like?

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Thursday Potpourri

THURSDAY POTPOURRI: COUNTDOWN TO YEAR’S END….

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Yesterday was a day off from reading and blogging.  My granddaughter was home from San Jose, where she has been attending school…and we had fun at Barnes & Noble. (In the photo below, I caught a stranger on my camera!);  and then we had dinner at Olive Garden, using one of my gift cards. (In the photo above, I was halfway finished with my food before remembering to capture the shot!).

 

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In these last days of the year, I have been sticking to review books…or the occasional older read that doesn’t count for the new upcoming challenge.  (Books Purchased Between July 2016 and December 31, 2017).

Before I went on my outing, I got one of those exciting e-mails from NetGalley, and now have a copy of It Happens All the Time, by Amy Hatvany.  Yay! (Release date – March 28, 2017).

 

 

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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.

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A nice change from thrillers, but the secrets and poor choices will rivet me to the pages.

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So sad about Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds, dying a day apart!  I had read one of Debbie’s books last month…and I’ve read several of Carrie’s books.

 

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I ordered Carrie’s newest book, The Princess Diarist:

 

 

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The Princess Diarist is Carrie Fisher’s intimate, hilarious and revealing recollection of what happened behind the scenes on one of the most famous film sets of all time, the first Star Wars movie.  Named a PEOPLE Magazine Best Book of Fall 2016.

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The story will be bittersweet now.

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This weekend, I hope to watch movies, eat popcorn, and sip a little Champagne when the ball drops on New Year’s Rockin’ Eve.  I do miss Dick Clark, who I met once when my son was an executive in his company.

What, if anything, are you planning for this weekend?

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