MONDAY POTPOURRI: WHIMSICAL MOMENTS…

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:

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

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TUESDAY POTPOURRI: HOW THINGS HAVE CHANGED…

It was three months ago today that I ended up in the hospital, and on this rather twisted journey.  After the passage of time and a few life changes, I am now (almost) back to my blogging/reading journey.

Yes, for those who have followed this blog, I love Book Release Tuesdays, and today I actually downloaded a pre-ordered new release, which I’m excited about.

Careful What You Wish For, by Hallie Ephron, is calling for me to start reading immediately.  But first I might have to read another new book on my shelves.

From the New York Times bestselling author of There Was an Old Woman comes a novel about a professional organizer with a deadly problem she may not be able to clean up.

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I just finished reading Dear Wife, by Kimberly Belle; click the title for my review.

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Next I plan to read Someone We Know, by Shari Lapena…another favorite author.

“No-one does suburban paranoia like Shari Lapena–this slowly unfurling nightmare will have you biting your nails until the end.”
–Ruth Ware, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Woman in Cabin 10

The new domestic suspense novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Couple Next Door, A Stranger in the House, and An Unwanted Guest, Shari Lapena…

Maybe you don’t know your neighbors as well as you thought you did . . .

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I also bookmarked another new release…and hope to order it soon:

The Kennedy Heirs, by Randy Taraborrelli

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I want to order The Kennedy Heirs in hardcover, to add to my greatly diminished shelves of that format.

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How are you spending Book Release Day?

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TUESDAY POTPOURRI: CHANGES…

On Sunday, the Dylan doll in the top photo crashed to the floor when I tried to straighten the wobbly table.  I didn’t realize its shakiness until the housekeeper bumped into it.  Sigh.

Second Photo:  Moved the heavy Squishy house in their place…it now holds the table securely.

Here is the new home for Dylan and Harmony…and granddaughter Fiona plans to create a tattoo sticker to cover the hole in his cheek.

Yesterday was a disappointing one, as I came home from the hospital with the gall bladder still inside.  The laparoscope revealed severe infection and inflammation STILL.  Too risky for removal.  I still had surgery, in that I have a little incision and a sore throat from the breathing tube. 

More antibiotics ahead and a new plan for surgery.  Sigh.

Last night I had a long talk with the new nurse, who is great.  She will help with the bland diet that I should have been having, but didn’t because of poor choices available.  Some things were good (oatmeal at breakfast), but dinners…not so much.

I just got a big bundle of clean laundry last night, so now I can begin a new week.

BOOKS: 

I’m loving Things You Save in a Fire, by Katherine Center (NG-8/13).

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On Sunday night, I watched the Season II Finale of Big Little Lies.  It was great!

What new book will I download today?

Lady in the Lake (e-book), by Laura Lippman

The revered New York Times bestselling author returns with a novel set in 1960s Baltimore that combines modern psychological insights with elements of classic noir, about a middle-aged housewife turned aspiring reporter who pursues the murder of a forgotten young woman.

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How is your week shaping up so far?

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HUMP DAY MUSINGS…

Is it Wednesday already?  I’m halfway finished with my second book of the week, All the Wrong Places, by Joy Fielding, and I read and reviewed Back Stabbers, by Julie Mulhern (click for my review)…so that’s good.

Yesterday morning, I lost Internet…again.  And TV/Phone service, so I spent time on the cell phone (the only one that worked!) trying to sort it out.  They uploaded new software to my modem…and so far, so good.  I hate having to nervously check my modem to see how many lights are on before I even have my first cup of coffee.

Yesterday afternoon, I had lunch with my daughter and traipsed along with her to check out one of the Senior Apartment complexes she had on her list.  As usual, too expensive and too tiny, and a reminder of why I don’t want to go there yet.  My daughter thinks I should be planning ahead, but I think I’m comfortable and happy here.  And yes, they did raise the rent again, but I don’t even want to think of moving yet.  She’s planning to call my No. 2 son, but I don’t think he will fall into line.  Anyway, he and his fiancee are vacationing in Vietnam and Thailand.  Plus, the more she tries to persuade me, the more I dig in.  I love my freedom and independence!  And I can still walk, drive, think…etc.  And she’s not the boss of me! LOL.

Am I in a state of denial?  Maybe, but I’m comfortable there.

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Upcoming books:

I Know Who You Are, by Alice Feeney (author of Sometimes I Lie). (April 23 Release Date).

Someone Knows, by Lisa Scottoline (April 9 – I pre-ordered it).

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So…now I am getting ready to put my newest sheets on my bed…they are eggplant colored and very soft.  I think they’ll fit nicely with my boho bedding.  Here’s a peek:

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FRIDAY POTPOURRI: MY GIRLS, VARIOUS VERSIONS…

It is almost August, and time to celebrate my one and only daughter’s upcoming birthday.  Above, you can see different versions of her.  Center:  Baby Heather on Mommy’s lap in 1977.  Right:  There she is in her hippie phase in the 1990s.

I am also celebrating my only two granddaughters, Fiona and Aubrey, on the left.  Their birthdays were in February, and that is when they came of age at 21.  We will share more about them in a few months.

More photos….Heather and a favorite doll in 1978…

Heather…in her room…on her Garfield phone:  Circa 1988….Before cell phones, land lines had taken on a designer aspect.

 

A few years later:  1990s in Friant…in the Yosemite Room…

Another version of Heather, with her son Noah…forward several more years…

He just keeps growing and changing, and she has added on a few years, too…Here they are on a special visit with Heather’s grandmother…and Noah’s Great Grand.

 

Heather and her dad at a memorable moment…

Leap ahead a few more years:  An even more grown-up Heather with soon-to-be husband David…

And here are the bride and groom at their wedding reception:

 

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The passage of time reveals changes, obstacles, and the blessings that come with those years.  Let’s wish another wonderful year for Birthday Girl Heather…

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THURSDAY POTPOURRI: MY LIFE TOLD IN ASSORTED PHOTOS…

Good morning on a May Thursday morning!  This week, I spent some time changing up my rooms.  I get that restless feeling now and then.  Above, I’ve returned the wicker loveseat to its former place in front of the living room bookshelves.

And in the bedroom, I placed the bench that previously lived in front of the bookshelf to the foot of my bed..and I switched some chairs around, too.

So…the energy I acquired from these changes took me back to the distant past…to a folder in my Dropbox.  One that has images from the 1970s forward.  Here’s one that hasn’t seen the light of day in a while.  Left, moi, with Hub # 2, in 1977.  Getting ready to drive the VW bus back to Central California…from Auburn, CA.

 

A few years later, I was doing my solo act again, and meeting up with members of my family of origin in a local park:  Circa 1982.  Little Heather in the forefront, her back to the camera, is not showing off her very short hairdo (she hated it!); niece Amy, to the left;  I am on the far right; and my “kid brother” with his infant son Brian, in the center.  Behind me, on the far right, one of my nieces:  Beth, I think.

Moving along.  My four offspring at the Family Sculpture, CSUF – 1991. (No, it doesn’t belong to us; we have simply claimed it as our own).

Traditions live on in this family.  In 2007, Fiona and Dominic take up their positions on the Family Sculpture.

Back-tracking a bit:  Here’s Noah in 2004, when we were still living in the foothills.

A few years later, in LA:  the A-Tots, asleep in the minivan.

On the pier in Santa Monica (2007):  A-Tots and their dad, my son Brett…

In 2007:  Fiona is celebrating Halloween:

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So…the past lives on in our memories and in our photos.  What do your photos tell you about your life so far?

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SUNDAY POTPOURRI: CHANGING THE INTERIORS….

After a couple of unsettling weeks, with skin conditions and waiting for my new flat screen TV for the office, I can finally curl up on my comfy couch in this room…to watch DVDs, some ancient VHS tapes, and even read. Right now I’m watching the Hallmark channel in the background as I type.

 

You may notice that I have re-purposed some of my items…the white table on which the TV is perched (previous dining table) and underneath, a little side table that once resided in the living room next to the loveseat.  It holds the VCR/DVD player, which is definitely a thing of the past…but I like a few of those old movies.

In my bedroom, I have set up the quirky end table that once held the office TV equipment…it can be useful for when I bring my laptop into the bedroom to watch Netflix, etc., and it also holds stacks of books I’ve read and loved.  I had moved the end table into the garage, but then thought:  maybe it could work in my bedroom!

 

Speaking of “re-purposing,” after I moved the white dining table into the office, I had room for this chair next to my sofa table, and with a view of the Coca Cola dining table.

 

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After I curl up for a while watching old movies, I hope to start reading The Swallow’s Nest, by Emilie Richards, a review book.

 

 

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Three women fight for the chance to raise the child they’ve all come to love 

When Lilia Swallow’s husband, Graham, goes into remission after a challenging year of treatment for lymphoma, the home and lifestyle blogger throws a party. Their best friends and colleagues attend to celebrate his recovery, but just as the party is in full swing, a new guest arrives. She presents Lilia with a beautiful baby boy, and vanishes.

Toby is Graham’s darkest secret—his son, conceived in a moment of despair. Lilia is utterly unprepared for the betrayal the baby represents, and perhaps more so for the love she begins to feel once her shock subsides. Now this unasked-for precious gift becomes a life changer for three women: Lilia, who takes him into her home and heart; Marina, who bore and abandoned him until circumstance and grief changed her mind; and Ellen, who sees in him a chance to correct the mistakes she made with her own son, Toby’s father.

A custody battle begins, and each would-be mother must examine her heart, confront her choices and weigh her dreams against the fate of one vulnerable little boy. Each woman will redefine family, belonging and love—and the results will alter the course of not only their lives, but also the lives of everyone they care for.

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I do enjoy a good custody battle!  The book is hefty, with 496 pages, so I will be savoring it.

What does your weekend look like?  Do you enjoy making changes in your interiors?  Do the changes make you look at your world a little differently?

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SUNDAY POTPOURRI: ROUTINES & CHANGES….

Coffee, Mimosa, & reading - logo2

Welcome to another Sunday!  I love weekend blogging, as there are many blogs to visit.  And then I get more blogging ideas.

As I went through my routines this morning, I started thinking of how I do tend to go on automatic pilot and move through the early morning activities, scarcely thinking of what I’m doing.

After the usual morning ablutions, my steps lead me to the little office nook, where I boot up the computer.  Louisa May, my laptop, must be used to my actions, too, as she cooperates.  So far.

 

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Then….off to the kitchen to turn on the coffee pot and ready my tray (below):

 

 

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When the coffee is ready, I bring the tray into the office…and I’m all set.

But sometimes, just to shake things up (anyone who reads my blogs knows how much I enjoy making changes), I might vary the routine.  Like booting up the laptop BEFORE my morning ablutions.  Or preparing the tray first.

If I do that, though, my actions cease to be automatic…and I have to think about what I’m doing.  That has to be good, right?

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Speaking of changing things up, I did some new things here…notice?  Same blog header, but different theme, which also meant a different background.

I also did a remake of Curl up and Read, with the same header, but with the theme I’m using here.  Theme changes can be subtle, but the most noticeable aspect of this theme (Dara) is how the quotes look…and also how the posts are arranged.

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While I was checking out Netflix last night, I found a show called Schitt’s Creek.  I’ve only watched a couple of the episodes and I’m not sure about it.  Some of the characters are really annoying.

So I switched over to shows I had on my DVR, including a movie called Anesthesia.

 

 

anesthesia

With an assorted cast of characters including Sam Waterston, Glenn Close, Kristen Stewart, and Gretchen Mol, we connect with each of them as their lives intersect around an event that happens to a beloved professor.  Set in Manhattan and its suburbs.

I picked it at random (seemingly), and was pleasantly surprised to find how much I enjoyed it.  The fact that Sam Waterston and Glenn Close had roles did affect my choice.

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Do you ever find books or movies that you love unexpectedly?  What are your anticipated enjoyable moments this weekend?  Do your routines seem to flow automatically, or do you change things up a lot?

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HUMP DAY POTPOURRI: RAIN, READING, & BLOG DIFFICULTIES

rainy-day

It has been raining most of the week.  I found this “rainy day” image appropriate for my “rainysnowday” blog (URL for Potpourri, of course).

The rain last night was pounding so loud that it woke me up!  I had been reading and watching TV very late (watched my recording of This Is Us), so I fell asleep on the couch.  I had also been reading The Other Widow, which is hard to put down.

 

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Yes, I have a TV in my bedroom…but I don’t really like reading there.  Despite my various pillows, it isn’t that comfy.

 

June 3 bedroom changes - 1

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Yesterday, I discovered that Word Press has tried to foil us again, making it impossible to go through that “back door” to the dashboard to write a post.  Rats!  But then I discovered that when I put in the name of the blog for my browser, the dashboard shows up below it (since it gives us recent places we’ve visited), and I copied down the dashboard URL for future reference, and then tried it…and voila!  I got in!

Shhh…don’t tell those folks at WP, who are constantly trying to lure us to the “new and improved” way of posting.  If only it were “improved”!

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I discovered an upcoming release that  went on my list immediately, since the author’s previous book was a win for me.  The Breakdown,  by B. A. Paris (of Behind Closed Doors), is coming on June 20, 2017.

 

 

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If you can’t trust yourself, who can you trust?

Cass is having a hard time since the night she saw the car in the woods, on the winding rural road, in the middle of a downpour, with the woman sitting inside—the woman who was killed. She’s been trying to put the crime out of her mind; what could she have done, really? It’s a dangerous road to be on in the middle of a storm. Her husband would be furious if he knew she’d broken her promise not to take that shortcut home. And she probably would only have been hurt herself if she’d stopped.

But since then, she’s been forgetting every little thing: where she left the car, if she took her pills, the alarm code, why she ordered a pram when she doesn’t have a baby.

The only thing she can’t forget is that woman, the woman she might have saved, and the terrible nagging guilt.

Or the silent calls she’s receiving, or the feeling that someone’s watching her…

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What do you think?  Would you keep reading?

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Remember how I was organizing my files, alphabetizing my images?  Well, that has worked out well.  However…I inadvertently deleted some files I still needed…and spent a lot of time restoring them!  Some times I think I should leave well enough alone.

But I do love being able to find my images more easily!

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What does your Hump Day look like?  Reading exciting thrillers?  Binge-watching something?

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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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