Welcome to Monday!  For the past two days, I’ve been playing around with whimsical things, like this blog.  Not only did I create a new header, but I also chose a new theme:  Toujours.

Then today I spent time rereading some of my pages and actually deleted a few. 

My previous blog header was one I also enjoyed, as it spotlighted my current bedspread (comforter) too…and my Hippie Dolls.  I may reuse it eventually.  I still have the dolls, but I no longer have the “red hat” mementos on that bookshelf.

Now that I’ve recreated this space, I may start using this blog for memes and reviews.  Especially if they are whimsical things.

I’ve been feeling nostalgic lately, probably because I’ve moved from my previous residence and I’m now adjusting to many lifestyle changes.  Some of them are good, as I realize that cooking, cleaning, and laundry are no longer required of me.  LOL.  I do have a fridge and microwave in my little apartment…and a coffee pot and toaster, of course.  I spend time here, too, reading and watching movies, including old shows from the 70s:  Mary Tyler Moore!

Reading from some of my pages reminded me of books and movies I want to watch again, so I added Sleeping with the Enemy to my Amazon Prime Video Watch List.

Here is a peek at my new space:


How do you bring out your inner whimsy?  What are your Monday plans?



As the New Year approaches, I find myself changing up my blogs, from the headers and backgrounds to the pages. Here I even changed my theme…and borrowed some photos from my folders that suggest cozy and quirky things.  The one above spotlights my Hippie Dolls, Dylan and Harmony, and a country cottage has pride of place on the opposite end.  Photos of Ireland, shot by my eldest son when he lived there, circle the room.  You can glimpse a couple of those photos in the photo on the left.

Over on Curl up and Read, I’ve added bookshelf pages for 2019:  Books Purchased, Review Books, Books Read, and Favorite Books.  I photographed some of my personal bookshelves for the header…and my exercise bike next to the shelves is a motivational tool.  I could listen to audiobooks while cycling!  I still haven’t purchased any audiobooks yet, but it could happen.


Other blog makeovers– I love lofts, so these lofty photos are on this Serendipity blog header.

And Rainy Days and Mondays:


Today I made a list of all the review books I received this year…and looked up the prices.  Just so I can realize what a treasure these books are, and how much money I’m saving by reading ARCs.  I downloaded 38 ARCs this year!


Today is Book Release Day, and after no purchases last week (I got one e-ARC and a freebie), I very cautiously approached the Book Release page at Goodreads…and discovered one to download, and one to order through the mail.

Just After Midnight (e-book), by Catherine Ryan Hyde (downloaded today)

Book Ordered by Mail (Hardcover):  Wallis in Love, by Andrew Morton – I order hardcover nonfiction because of the photographs.  E-books, sadly, do not have them.

For fans of the Netflix series The Crown and from the author of the New York Times bestseller 17 Carnations comes a captivating biography of Wallis Simpson, the notorious woman for whom Edward VIII gave up the throne.

“You have no idea how hard it is to live out a great romance.” -Wallis Simpson

Before she became known as the woman who enticed a king from his throne and birthright, Bessie Wallis Warfield was a prudish and particular girl from Baltimore. At turns imaginative, ambitious, and spoiled, Wallis’s first words as recalled by her family were “me, me.” From that young age, she was in want of nothing but stability, status, and social acceptance as she fought to climb the social ladder and take her place in London society. As irony would have it, she would gain the love and devotion of a king, but only at the cost of his throne and her reputation…


So…are you ready for Christmas?  Does the upcoming New Year motivate you to work on your blogs, your lists, and plan for your 2019 reading?



In the photo above, notice my new blog header here as it looks on my laptop.  The changes in headers are part of my Bloggiesta tasks…so I’ve been remodeling a few of them.  Below is the new header at my target site, Rainy Days and Mondays.

Have I ever told the story of the Rainy Days and Mondays blog?  It all began in August 2009, shortly after I started blogging the year before.  I was humming that song, you know the one…

Talkin’ to myself and feelin’ old
Sometimes I’d like to quit
Nothin’ ever seems to fit
Hangin’ around
Nothin’ to do but frown
Rainy days and Mondays always get me down…
And I thought:  I know what would make those days better!  Books!!  So that became my tagline for the blog.  At first the blog was on Blogger, but by 2013, I had other sites on Word Press and loved it there.  I still do, even though some do not (Patty, LOL).
Some people export their blog to the new platform, but I just copied and pasted some of my posts.  I think if you export the blog, you can carry your followers.  Instead, I built them up again…but it took a while.
Now my tagline is “Books Chase Away the Blues.”
I can’t believe I have been blogging for TEN years, since April 2008.  Shortly after I started that first blog, which has been merged with several others into An Interior Journey,  I went to BEA…it was in LA that year.  I didn’t connect with bloggers there, as I had barely begun.  I did sign copies of my book Chasing Stardust.  And met some authors.  I hadn’t planned ahead for carrying away the books I grabbed along the way.  Someday I want to go again, but first I have to get over my fear of flying.  LOL.
My blogging journey has been one of many ups and downs.  Would you believe I once had 20 blogs?  I merged and deleted some, brought the numbers down to 11…and stayed there for a while.  Now I have six.
Deleting and merging blogs is tedious.  It involves changing up the links to reviews you’ve written in the blogs you are deleting…and sometimes you decide that enough is enough and quit.  Sigh.
What I’ve learned along the way…don’t let your enthusiasm take you to places you will regret.  LOL.
For those who might be curious about my Bumpy Blogging Ride, check My Blogging Journey.
Enjoy your journey!


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”?


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.


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?