THURSDAY POTPOURRI: SENTIMENTAL THOUGHTS ON A FEBRUARY DAY…

This morning, I was feeling restless…and snapped the above photo because I liked the light streaming into the room (my office), a place where I spend a lot of time.

I have some videotapes stacked on the coffee table, with movies I haven’t seen in a while.  Most people no longer have movies in this format…but I do still have a VCR/DVD combination, so I can watch.  Here is the equipment I have in my office, the only room with a VCR…

I do enjoy the improvements for movie watching:  DVR recordings; Netflix; Amazon Prime.  But when I see these old videotapes, I am catapulted back in time to how excited I got at being able to record movies and keep them on a shelf.  I used to have so many of them.

Now I have mostly DVDs on shelves in my hallway.

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When my grandkids come over, we watch movies on the DVD player in my living room…the entertainment unit is a “dinosaur” from the 1980s…heavy and not updated for current usage, but I am making it work.

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Now let’s look at the February birthday girls…neither one has come by to watch movies lately, since they’re grown.  They are both turning 21 this month:

Aubrey enjoying a day outside:

And Fiona, showing off some stretches…and her quirky hair:

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Many years ago, they were enjoying a February day at the cabin in the snow (image on the left)

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Another tidbit from my week:  my newest mani on Thursday:  a sparkling purplish color…

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Do you sometimes look around your rooms and feel sentimental about days gone by?  Do images of children and grandchildren heighten those feelings?

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THURSDAY POTPOURRI: BLOGGING & READING EXPERIENCES…

Happy Thursday!  All week, instead of reading like I should, I have been fooling around with my blogs.  You may have noticed a facelift here, from the header to the background.  Of course we still have Mickey featured in the header, along with my Kindle/Dragon coupling on the right side of the header.

Over at An Interior Journey, I’ve been sharing my changes on my Bloggiesta post.  Yes, that event is coming up on February 3-4, and, as always, I started early.

Meanwhile, I am enjoying The Great Alone, by Kristin Hannah, a NetGalley review book that will be released on February 6.  There are 448 pages in the book, which seems to be my pattern lately…one of my books this week had 565. 

Alaska, 1974.
Unpredictable. Unforgiving. Untamed.
For a family in crisis, the ultimate test of survival.

I love the setting and the era.  It takes me back to what was happening in my life in the 1970s.  The Vietnam War, protesters, Nixon and Watergate…nothing much has changed in the world.  Except that nowadays we have social media to heighten our rage about what is going on around us.

Ernt Allbright is the MC, who, along with his wife Cora and daughter Leni, hopes to find a new life in Alaska.  Ernt’s experiences as a POW in Vietnam have left him with nightmares, flashbacks, and rage.  A lot of rage. 

Long winters in Alaska bring out his worst emotions…what will happen to his family in the isolated “great alone”?

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I am savoring the book, not rushing, which means that my book numbers this week will be small.  I’ve only finished one other book so far, although I’m reading bits of Fire and Fury...but I can’t stay with it for very long before setting it aside.

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What are you reading and thinking about this week?  Do your books remind you of your own life experiences?  Or do you read to escape?

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THURSDAY POTPOURRI: A MIX OF YOUNG & OLD, HOME & FAMILY…

Morning ablutions set the stage for my days, beginning in my little en suite bathroom, which I’ve decorated with some favorite things.  The little pottery containers, the candle, and the photo of a lounging woman are a mix of old and newer things.

The candle is one I bought in 1968!  I had walked to the shop in my suburban Sacramento neighborhood, toddler and infant in tow. I picked up the candle from the home section, felt a connection to it, and dropped it into my basket.

Now, almost 50 years later, that candle has survived numerous house moves (more than 20 at last count!), and except for a small crack on the side, it is almost as good as new.  It reflects a time in my life when candles, incense, peace, and love were at the forefront.

Do you enjoy things that speak to you of your history?

Nowadays, my mornings begin with coffee at the computer.  Today’s morning shows something like this…books, a bulletin board with memorable photos, and the cute rag doll that reminds me of how dolls fit into a bookish life.

 

Here is a glimpse of the blog header at this site:

 

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Across town, Fiona has launched her independent life in her new apartment…here she is at work:  she doesn’t look that happy.  Maybe it is a boring day…

 

At home, these friends await her, and I know she is looking forward to joining them:

 

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Several states away, in North Dakota, my step-great granddaughters will soon be turning four:  Bella and Lilly, showing off their happy faces…

 

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Such a mix of young and old, home and family.  What does your world look like this January?

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THURSDAY POTPOURRI: A PLETHORA OF CELEBRATIONS…

Good morning!  It is November, and time to bring out some of the memorabilia of the Thanksgiving season, like my pumpkins (and turkey) above.  As usual, my Madeleine doll insists on being the Center of Attention.

In North Dakota, my three step-great-grandchildren (yes, it’s a mouthful) have their own ways of enjoying the season…costumes, etc.  In this shot, Maddix enjoys a spooky backdrop of cobwebs.

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Nothing is cozier than a pajama party, enjoyed, below, by Lilly & Maddix

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Bella is Pretty in Pink….

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At bath time, Lilly was impatient…and started without her sister…

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Across the world, Aubrey is still exploring Prague and surrounding countries.  Below, a spread of pumpkins…(Prague)

 

Now let’s skip on over to Copenhagen:  Aubrey & Baylie (roommate):

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Back here in our city…Fiona went on job interviews, and brought her game face.  (She got the job!).

 

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Yesterday, I ended my “almost month-long” birthday celebration with this pumpkin cheesecake dessert…after salad, fettuccine, and a mango martini:

 

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Flashing back to the past, I snapped a photo of these framed moments.  My kids and I have a favorite sculpture at the local university where we once took pictures every five years or so, in November.  This one was from November 1984.  It hangs on the wall in my office.  I tried to diminish the glare, and even tried to release them from the frame for the purpose of a better shot.   They are stuck!

 

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How is your autumn unfolding so far?  Come on by and share!

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THURSDAY POTPOURRI: EXPLORING MY ARCHIVES…

Good morning!  I’m in my office, hunkered down with my laptop, looking over at my old sleeper/sofa…with its coffee mug and a book I read in September of this year.

Since yesterday was my birthday, I am reflecting on moments from the past.  I found this blog post from September 30, 2009, in which I reflect about ODDS, ENDS…AH, POTPOURRI.

Here it is, fully excerpted, reminding me of what my life looked like back then.

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Last night, as I was gathering up my books, magazines, and water—ready to curl up in my room for my nightly relaxing ritual of reading in bed—I glanced over at this old desk, with its accouterments.  The doll and a stack of old favorite books—Marge Piercy’s memoir “Sleeping with Cats” is near the top of the stack, beneath a copy of “Open House,” by Elizabeth Berg.  And who could ever forget “The Golden Notebook,” by Doris Lessing.  I recall reading that in college.  I recently bought another copy from Amazon, because, despite my obsession with my books, I couldn’t find my original copy!

The doll is one I found in a catalog a few years ago.  I liked her coloring, which fits in nicely with this room—which I have dubbed the Ireland/Red Hat Room.  Okay, don’t ask!

Actually, the Ireland part came from the photos of Ireland, taken by my photographer son Craig. who has visited several European countries and now lives in Berlin.

In the photo below, you’ll see another doll, with Craig’s cemetery shot (taken in Ireland) in the background.

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The plate, in 3-D, is another crafted porcelain object purchased from one of my Old Faithful catalogs, and I love it because it features a cottage.  A European cottage, I’m sure.  So…perfect for my Ireland room.

On another day, I’ll share more photos and stories about the potpourri of objects that surround me.

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Because I hate to dust…I have retired these dolls to bins in the garage.  But I know that they are there, waiting, in case I want to bring them out again.

What do you find when you search through your blog archives?  If you do, that is.

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THURSDAY TIDBITS….

For those who read this blog, you know that I love quirky things.  The art of Mary Engelbreit falls into that category, and the print (above) is one of hers…and I just had to feature the girl in that print on my header today.

MUST.CHANGE.ATTITUDE is the caption of the print, and says a lot about the girl in the print.  And some of the rest of us, too.  When we don’t get what we want, or when we are frustrated…well, it’s cute when we’re little girls.  Not so much when we’re older.

I had that same kind of face when I was little.  Check it out!  There was a story behind the bear toss in the photo….maybe I’ll tell you someday.

 

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Check out another image of me that could mimic the one in the Engelbreit photo…but with a fake smile.  I hated smiling for photos, but I could hear my mother’s voice in my head:  SMILE!

 

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So…those are my tidbits for this Thursday.  Enjoy your day!  What are you loving today?

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A POTPOURRI OF ADVENTURES…

All week, I’ve been following my daughter’s posts from her honeymoon in Europe.  Earlier in the week, the adventures took them to Prague, in our Adventures at Home & Abroad…

In the latter part of this week, we’re in Amsterdam.  Note the building above.  And a canal ride below.

 

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I especially love the cuteness of this building….

 

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I suspect that there will be more photos in the days ahead.  I’m loving this vicarious journey.

What are you sharing today?

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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: 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: 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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