SUNDAY POTPOURRI: A DILEMMA – GO OUT OR STAY IN…

Good morning, Blog World!  As I plan my day, I am clicking through blogs, commenting, and adding new titles to my list.

Outside it is 44 degrees, with a high of 65 expected.  So, not bad.  And no rain on the horizon.

Last week was awesome, in terms of books, which successfully distracted me from events unfolding around us.

When I was on FB yesterday, I found this photo of Fiona’s newest look.  She always tries different things. I like it.  She looks sweet…and reminds me of her younger years.  She will be 22 next month…along with her “twin cousin” Aubrey.

 

She is studying to be a massage therapist.  She has gone through so many programs, but this one seems to be clicking for her.  I put in my request for a test of her skills when she is finished.  Or sooner.

Someone gave her a massage bench, so she’s all set.

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Should I go out today?  I have been home all weekend so far, and I’m liking it.  If I go out, I have to do my hair. Sigh.  I had an appointment with my daughter on Thursday, but she “called in sick.”  Yeah.  So next week is the soonest she can do my hair.  This was supposed to be our new “weekly schedule,” and already she has flaked on me.  LOL.

But…since I’ve been doing my own hair for a while, and although it isn’t as good as hers, it will pass.  Am I in the mood, though?

Maybe I will just curl up and continue reading The Liar’s Room, by Simon Lelic.

A new spine-tingling thriller from the author of The New Neighbors that takes place over the course of a therapy session, in which neither patient nor therapist are who they claim to be.

Even though the story takes place primarily in the room, the characters’ thoughts and memories take us elsewhere, so it is not the confining tale I had imagined.  I’m loving it so far.

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Now to decide:  go out or stay in?  They are showing encore episodes of Hallmark Mysteries…that could work, along with my book.  Maybe…

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SUNDAY POTPOURRI: WEEKEND TIDBITS…

I woke up later than usual today (7:30), and varied my routines, which always makes me feel more in control.  I started the coffee and prepared my tray before making my bed and readying myself for the day.

Last night I stayed up pretty late, as I found two movies on Prime that captivated me:  What They Had, starring Blythe Danner and Hilary Swank, about a woman with Alzheimer’s, and how her family dealt with it; and The Old Man and the Gun, starring Robert Redford and Sissy Spacek. He portrays an obsessive bank robber who has an interesting style. Both were new movies, and I found out where to view them from the latest People magazine.  Yes, a totally “tabloid” type periodical, but with interesting tidbits.

Yesterday I completed some of the overdue cleaning…and today I hope to finish the vacuuming that I left undone yesterday.

My plans afterwards…I do want to see the movies On the Basis of Sex…and The Upside.  Which should I see first?  They both start shortly after noon, which interferes with my usual pre-movie lunch.  But the later showtimes don’t work for me.  I like seeing the first matinee of the day.  So…what to do?

Obviously I will need to adjust my routine.

Meanwhile, I am cringing as planes fly overhead.  I am not just now noticing them, but they seem unusually loud today.  I must live under a flight path, but I’m not near the airport.  (I used to be right next to an airport).

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Last week, I enjoyed changing up some blog headers, like these: (click the pictures to go to the blogs).

 

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I am loving my current read:

Those Other Women, by Nicola Moriarty (Sister to Liane and Jaclyn)

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I hope to lose myself in books and movies…once I finish my chores.  What are your Sunday plans?

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TUESDAY POTPOURRI: TIDBITS, BOOK RELEASES, ETC.

Welcome to another Tuesday!  I love Tuesdays (book releases)…and Mondays (sharing our books and our weeks), and even Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays!  Great blogging days.  And then the weekends are for recovering from blogging hangover.

Above, check out another view of my cookie jars and the pass-through.  On this side of it, you can see a bit of my ice cream table, from back in the 70s.  When I bought it, it was already 25 years old.  Its little cracks and flaws just make it more lovable.

Today’s new release so far:

Pieces of Her, by Karin Slaughter, a story of a mother and daughter.  What if the person you thought you knew best turns out to be someone you never knew at all . . . ?

 

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Then I downloaded another book, one I’ve been ogling:

The Other Woman, by Sandie Jones, a chilling psychological thriller about a man, his new girlfriend, and the mother who will not let him go.

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Then I bookmarked another one, from a favorite author, to be released next week.

Tear Me Apart, by J. T. Ellison, the follow-up to her critically acclaimed Lie to Me, J.T. Ellison’s Tear Me Apart is the powerful story of a mother willing to do anything to protect her daughter even as their carefully constructed world unravels around them.

 

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Today was supposed to start differently…with my granddaughter Fiona coming by to do a little housework.  She needs some extra cash, and I need some heavy scrubbing done.  But…she wants to change the schedule and come by tomorrow in the late afternoon.  I’m flexible…except when it comes to physically doing heavy work.  LOL.

Here she is, showing off her newest tattoo.

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Now I’m planning to return to A Noise Downstairs, by Linwood Barclay:

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How is your Tuesday shaping up?

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SUNDAY POTPOURRI: FAMILY, READING, & BLOGGING…

Welcome!  Enter my Quirky Space, have a cup of Virtual Coffee…and let’s chat.

I’ve been visiting blogs this morning, and there were a few celebrating Ten Years of Blogging…and then I realized that I started blogging ten years ago in April.  When did I stop celebrating the blogoversaries?  Probably when I added a few blogs along the way, and now have six (down from 20, but I didn’t have that many for very long.  LOL).

I wrote another post about my blogging journey earlier this week in Thursday Potpourri:  A Journey of Ups and Downs…

So…the week has been one of various celebrations, like meeting Son #2’s girlfriend for the first time.  Before we met, he sent photos…like these: First – Jazz Night at the W Hotel.

Then…Visiting Napa wineries…

Or a fancy dinner at a Japanese Restaurant, also in Napa…

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Then, finally, the day we met…yesterday.  We had lunch in a neighborhood restaurant, attended by my daughter and son-in-law…and Son #2 and his GF.  Afterwards, we posed for this shot:

We all had a lovely time, chatting and telling family stories, ours and hers.  The real person was even more fun than her photos.

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Today…I’m finishing up Before and Again...and hope to start reading Educated.

I added Season II of Goliath to my Amazon Prime Watchlist.  I’m ready to binge.

What is happening in your corner of the world? 

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FRIDAY POTPOURRI: TIDBITS ON MY DAY…

What a blissful Friday!  After doing a little blogging, TV watching, and my now routine bicycling while movie watching…

I settled in for a little afternoon nap.  And had such vivid dreams that I thought I must have slept the whole night!

When I woke up, I picked up Beach Bliss and started reading again…I love how the familiar characters settle into their summer at Stony Point Beach.  Elsa, the “matriarchal” character, is renovating her cottage into a beach inn, with the help of Jason Barlow, the local architect.  Kyle, the diner owner, is moving into his own beach cottage nearby…finally, with the help of several locals.

Right away I was swept up into their beach lifestyle, enjoying their decor and tasting the delicious meals, especially the Sunday breakfast Elsa has prepared for Cliff,  her “gentleman friend,” to whom she offers samples of her Opening Day treats for her new inn.  I could almost taste the blueberry and/or chocolate chip pancakes!

After Cliff leaves that morning, one of the younger guys calls out to him about his “walk of shame.”  Stunned, Cliff goes home to  Google the phrase.  I had to giggle a little at his next actions.  He goes online to order a duffel…so he can discreetly carry a change of clothes for his next get-together with Elsa.

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I haven’t bought any books this week!  I did download two NetGalley review ARCs…

 

 

 

 

 

and another library book:

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Tomorrow I want to go to the movies:  Book Club is playing!

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So…now for an evening of more reading…and some Netflix.  Maybe.  What did your Friday look like?

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TUESDAY POTPOURRI: ADVENTURES AT HOME & ABROAD….

Beautiful sights are filling the days of my youngest, Heather, and her husband David.  On their European honeymoon, they are first enjoying Prague.  Later they will visit Amsterdam.  (Above, they are standing against the John Lennon Wall in Prague).

They flew in last week and were stuck in the Stockholm Airport before finally grabbing their connection to Prague.  Once they arrived, they enjoyed a view with my son Craig and DIL Gabi.  Great tour guides.

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Here they are sharing a beer or two…or more…with Craig.

 

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On their visit to a castle, they enjoyed this backdrop of a gorgeous gate.

 

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The castle…

 

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Every day Heather posts more photos…I have a folder with them, and more will be revealed as the days pass.

Meanwhile, I’m reading a couple of books…yes, at the same time:

 

The Beach Inn, by Joanne DeMaio

 

 

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The Red Hunter (e-book), by Lisa Unger

 

 

 

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The concurrent reading works when the books are in a different genre, and one is a thriller, while the other is a beach read with a different kind of drama.

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While I was sitting in my office (above), posting and visiting blogs, I got an e-mail that one of my NetGalley requests was approved.  I just requested it last week, but it is an 8/1 release Mrs. Fletcher, by Tom Perrotta, one of the most popular and bestselling authors of our time.  It is a penetrating and hilarious new novel about sex, love, and identity on the frontlines of America’s culture wars. (Other books:  Little Children, The Leftovers, and The Abstinence Teacher…my favorites).

 

 

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So much for cutting back on NetGalley requests!  I now have seven unread books on my shelf.  But…they all have July, August, and September release dates.  So I’m good!  Whew!

I just finished the last of the June releases:  Every Last Lie, by Mary Kubica.  Fabulous! (Click title for my review).

 

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What adventures are you enjoying today?  At home or farther afield?

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SUNDAY POTPOURRI: READING, TV SHOWS, & MOVIES….

It’s time to share thoughts about Sunday.  Once upon a time, when I was still working my “career job,” I didn’t like Sundays that much.  Mostly because Mondays followed.  And Mondays were also on my “not so favorite” list.  But now I love Mondays, too.

Nowadays, I enjoy Sunday night TV shows, like Madame Secretary, and currently, Feud:  Bette and Joan.

The Good Wife was a favorite Sunday show until it ended.  But now we have The Good Fight, a show that streams on CBS: All Access.  Today’s episode was the final one for the first season.  Waiting for Season II (yes, it was renewed) will be challenging.  Luckily there are other shows that come along.

 

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My other favorite things to do on Sundays, besides reading, are various Netflix shows and movies on my DVR.  Last night I watched an older movie, with Renee Zellwegger, called Miss Potter.  A sweet story based on a real person, Beatrix Potter.

This weekend, I watched some movies on Amazon Prime, too, like Miss Sloane.  Jessica Chastain is someone worth following.

Check out last week’s reading on my Weekly Updates post.

My blog changes brought about two new headers this week:

An Interior Journey

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Curl up and Read

 

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I can’t seem to leave my blogs alone!

What is your day like?  What are your favorite things?

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FRIDAY POTPOURRI: BOOK HOPPING, ETC.

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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.

 

 

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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.

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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.

 

 

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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.

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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?

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SUNDAY POTPOURRI: FALLING BACK….

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It has been a morning of changing back the clocks…and I have a lot of them.  But as you can see (above), one of the clocks is stalled at 12:00.  No matter what battery I put in, it doesn’t work.

Hmm, maybe I should remove all the batteries and set the clocks at various times.  The clocks could be purely decorative.

My computer and iPhone automatically reset their times….but I still have my bedside clock to change, my clock in the office, the microwave and coffeepot clocks…and this big red Coca Cola clock.

 

 

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I’ve been visiting blogs this morning, and I’m getting ready to start reading again.  First, though, I made some changes at my Serendipity blog…a new header.  A big change, with my little grand-niece featured as a “reader.”

 

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I am over halfway finished with American Heiress, the story of Patty Hearst’s kidnapping, by Jeffrey Toobin.

 

 

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I remember what I was doing when I first heard about the kidnapping…I was in my office at work, and it was intriguing to hear the feedback from colleagues.  So many thought it was about money, but as we listened and read in the following weeks, we found out more.

In this book, I’m also discovering what I didn’t learn from the newspapers. 

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On the lighter side, I’m also reading an e-book:  Stealing Jason Wilde, by Dee Ernst.

 

 

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After her divorce, librarian Annie Reynolds thought she’d closed the book on love for good—it just wasn’t part of her safe, comfortable routine. But if there’s anyplace she can relax and have a little fun, it’s Dune Road, where she and her closest girlfriends return for their annual getaway in the Hamptons. She knows it’s just what she needs to escape her empty nest (and empty bed).

A chance encounter with a ruggedly handsome local promises Annie just that. But when one of her friends turns a simple flirtation with B-list movie star Jason Wilde into seduction—and Jason accidentally mixes a few drinks and his back-pain medicine—the ladies end up with a very high-profile houseguest. The media calls it a kidnapping, and before long, the FBI is on the hunt.

Soon the ladies’ tame little trip has turned into the adventure of a lifetime. But will this case of mistaken misdoing sabotage Annie’s second chance at love, or will she have the confidence to take matters into her own hands to find her happily ever after?

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I took Pippa with me yesterday when I went for lunch….and got a good start on this one.

 

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Later today, I hope to watch some Netflix...I added Doctor Foster to my list.

What does your Sunday look like?

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SUNDAY POTPOURRI: MOMENTS IN TIME

Coffee, Mimosa, & reading - logo2

The Sunday that has its place in the middle of a three-day weekend is a blissful one indeed.  So many lovely things to do and ponder, without worrying about how Monday is upon us.

But I never worry about Mondays anymore, anyway.  I started my blog Rainy Days and Mondays in 2009, to celebrate how I love Mondays now that I am “retired.”  I had been officially retired for four years when I did that, and had headed off to spend a week in Napa Wine Country.  I had expected a few friends to join me, but one by one, they cancelled.  I could have taken it personally, but then, I glanced at my bag of books…and luxuriated in my time there.  The photo below is from my journey on the Wine Train.

 

 

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One evening, I signed up for the boat ride around the area.  Delightful snacks and drinks were provided.

 

 

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But…back to the blog.  I created it just before leaving, and those were the days before I had a laptop, so I visited the resort office every morning to use their laptop and check on my new creation.

First I set it up on Blogger, but then moved it to Word Press in 12/13, migrating only my reviews from the original site.  Slowly building up my followers again, I have finally passed the number I had there.

No matter how many years go by, I will always remember that feeling when I first created it…when I began luxuriating in the feeling of blissful Mondays.

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This weekend, I’m enjoying my time, and yesterday I had lunch at one of my favorite neighborhood spots, California Pizza Kitchen.  However, I seldom have pizza there.  Yesterday, I had a strawberry margarita and pea soup.

 

Sept 3 lunch

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Then I had this decadent dessert, Red Velvet Cake & Ice Cream, with Irish Coffee:

 

dessert on sept 3

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I planned to sleep in late this morning, but my body had other plans.  I woke up at 3:00 a.m., read for a while, and then I must have fallen asleep, as when I glanced at the clock, it was 5:45 a.m.  Still too early, but I got up anyway.  I’m sure I’ll take a nap later.

I am reading a book I’ve had for a couple of weeks, but which I’m really loving:  It Ends with Us, by Colleen Hoover.

 

 

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Our MC, Lily Bloom, captured my interest from the very first page.  Her first person voice grabbed me, as she talked about her father’s funeral and how she felt about him and his relationship with her mother.

Then there’s the man she meets on the roof of a neighboring building.  Why has Ryle so captured her interest, when they have such different dreams?

Then there are Lily’s Ellen Diaries, (like letters addressed to Ellen DeGeneres), which she intermittently share, and which take us back to her childhood and the events that defined her.

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Yesterday I read and loved I’ve Got Sand in All the Wrong Places, by Lisa Scottoline/Francesca Serritella, (click for my review), a mother/daughter team that has brought a series of these vignettes that offer a peek into their lives.

 

 

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So….now I am ready to go back to reading.  Then I’ll take a nap.  I’m pretty sure.  Or continue binge-watching Longmire on Netflix.

What does your weekend look like?

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