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….

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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.

 

 

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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

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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.

 

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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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SUNDAY POTPOURRI: MY GREAT ESCAPE….

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What do I tend to do when I’m troubled, sad, or just bored?

Change things up on a blog…or read a lot of books.  This week I did both, reading and reviewing FIVE books…and changing up the headers on this blog (see above), and Serendipity, where you can read my Weekly Updates, with details about my reading.

 

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The baby in the header above is my great-niece, who reminds us that you don’t have to be a grown-up to love reading whatever you can get your hands on…lol.

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I also love going to one of the neighborhood restaurants and eating soup…with a martini or a margarita.

Yesterday, it was pea soup and a strawberry margarita.  The book I was reading on Pippa was Two If By Sea, by Jacquelyn Mitchard.  I’ve had the book since May.

 

 

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Here’s the dessert, which I really shouldn’t have had…but sometimes we just have to go with our weakest impulses…lol.  Key Lime pie, with coffee.

 

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Then I came home to resume reading Rosemary:  The Hidden Kennedy Daughter, by Kate Clifford Larson.

 

 

 

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Tonight I am looking forward to a line-up of shows that make Sunday a wonderful day in the week:  Madame Secretary; Secrets & Lies; and a couple of movies from the DVR.  Next Sunday, The Affair returns.  Yay!

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What does your Sunday look like?  What great escapes have you planned?

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THURSDAY POTPOURRI: REFLECTING ON CHAOS…

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Welcome to my crazy, sometimes chaotic world!  I’m linking up to Bookishly Boisterous, for Bookish/Not So Bookish Thoughts.

I like to make changes…those who read my blogs know that about me.  But what happens when I am forced to change things abruptly, without having control over anything?

I was rereading some of my earlier posts, and found this one from 2010, when a broken pipe in the walls thoroughly disrupted my world, causing a Potpourri of Changes.

 

A broken pipe; drastic rearrangement of my objects to allow access; and then, finally, the day arrived.

That day was (July 15, 2010), which began at 6 a.m.  Which meant, of course, that I was awake at 3 a.m. so I could spend some quiet time on the computer before their arrival.  A good thing, since there was no more quiet until they finally departed at 4 p.m.

From the stomping around, the pounding, and then the VERY LOUD noise when they sawed through pipes—the vibrations of which knocked one of the clocks off my walls!—to the constant movement through my space…well, let’s just say none of this was conducive to reading.

Right Hand Clock Fell Down!

Nevertheless, I did make some progress on my book.  And I kept reminding myself that, once they were finished, I would have hot water again!  Yay!

So they finally finished that part; they tested everything; and voila, success!

I really enjoyed turning on the hot water to wash dishes, and then…the wonderful shower!  Let me tell you, cold water showers may not be so bad in the hot summer, but there’s nothing like hot water.

What I learned from all this…do not take anything for granted!  Every day, you just go along in your routines, expecting things to work, and then one day, you look outside, see water pooling up, and everything changes.

They’re not done yet, of course.  The plumbing is finished, but now someone comes today to start patching up the holes in the dry wall, which is a several-days process.  More interruptions, but less disruptive.  And I was able to put most of my stuff back.  Not in the areas where dry wall reconstruction will be happening, but my office now looks kind of normal.  Whatever normal looks like, of course.

I had to consider the possibility that maybe I have too much STUFF around.  And while I was playing around on the computer, I put a few things on Craigs List.  Things that I had forgotten that I even had, but which were “unearthed” by this movement of stuff from the various nooks and crannies.

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That was more than six years ago, and I still recall how the disruption impacted my world.  Which tells you a little about me…and about how I really like order.  Unless I’m the one moving things around, changing things up.  Hmm.  Since then, however, I’ve done some purges and binned some collectibles.

Here we are at Thursday, and I’ve only finished two books so far.  I just started my third book, a review book from an author that I downloaded a while ago (September).  Not that long, actually, but I should have read it by now.

Commonwealth, by Ann Patchett (click for review)

 

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Confess, by Colleen Hoover (click for review)

 

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Hopefully I will be immersed in the review book by lunch time.

Then I must go check the mail, as my youngest son texted me, asking if I’d gotten the present they sent…and I realized I hadn’t checked the mail in the last two days.  Yikes!

Sometimes I wonder about my decision to have all my mail go to the post office, which requires driving a few miles to get it.  But I really hate the mailboxes outside our condos…and the postal delivery system is unreliable at best.

I long for the days when I had a house with a mail slot in the door.  Easy to get the mail!

Listen to me bitch and moan.  lol.  So many more challenging events can happen in a life, and we don’t even know how strong we can be…until we are in the midst of things.

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What potpourri of changes can turn your world upside down?  How do you deal?

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HUMP DAY POTPOURRI: CHANGES, FRUSTRATIONS, & OBSESSIONS

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Welcome to another Hump Day Potpourri, in which I spotlight some recent changes…and chat about some frustrations.

The big rag dolls that once lived on my sofa table are now back on the hall tree bench.  The geese are in a variety of places, starting with the big one on the hall tree, to some others on my revamped sofa table.  Am I doing something equivalent to “mixing metaphors” by spotlighting the geese with the horse?  lol

 

 

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Then…my little drop leaf dining table has a new centerpiece…more geese!  The placemats I received from Amazon Vine are still showing off here. 

 

 

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I love these new changes to my space…and now I need to use everything a lot more.  Like with a dinner party.  Hmm, would that involve cooking?

I do want to use my Crockpot, which is sitting on my kitchen island…waiting (on the right). 

Once upon a time, long ago, I did use a Crockpot to make Swedish Meatballs for a New Year’s Eve celebration.  I think that was in 1977.  lol

I have Dai Bai Dang (for takeout) on speed dial.

 

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Now…the frustrations.  For some unknown reason, any comments I made on the weekend on Word Press blogs seemingly disappeared, as if they had never happened.  I recalled that some other bloggers had similar problems with their comments…which had gone into spam.

So…easy to fix, right?  Well, no.  I had to find a way to communicate with the bloggers to beg for their help.  Checking their spam folders.  Twitter!  That worked.  Soon (a day later), my comments appeared, rescued from the spam folder.

Meanwhile, I had made some changes on my end.  My user name for WP is “laurelrainsnow.” I thought:  hmm, could that look spammy?  But why now?  I’ve only been commenting on WP sites…like forever.

But just in case, I changed the “public name” that shows on comments to my real name “Laurel-Rain Snow.”  Well, sort of “real name.”  lol

That did nothing right away, but I feel better about it, since the spam I usually find is all in lower case, which seems spammy.

Now….most of my comments are appearing right away, but some say “waiting for moderation.”  That has never happened before.  Is this a new WP thing?  Or should I take it personally? lol

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Now…lest you thing I’m obsessing ONLY about this WP commenting thing, let’s take a look at what else I’m focusing on…like my Netflix addictions.

While waiting for Season 5 of Longmire, I am having fun with an Australian show called Offspring.  I planned to try one episode, the pilot.  But soon found myself totally absorbed in this chaotic family with weird family members.

Nina is an obstetrician, and she has trouble with relationships.  She fantasizes about wonderful romantic moments…and about disasters sure to happen.  It’s funny.

I don’t like her siblings, Billie and Jimmy.  Billie talks so much that I want to “mute her.”  And Jimmy shows too many teeth when he talks, and talks while chewing.

Am I being picky?  Well, probably, but so far, I’m still intrigued.  Nina keeps me tuning in.  I wish I could fast-forward through Billie and Jimmy…but you can’t really do that on a streaming show.  Or can you?  Does anyone know how?

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So that’s my week so far.  And yes, I’m reading, too.  Here’s what I’m reading currently:

They Might Not Mean To, But They Do, by Cathleen Schine, is a family story, with characters that span the generations.  It’s about aging, about dying, and about coping.

 

 

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So…these are my tidbits for the day.  What are you doing, reading about, or, God forbid, obsessing about?

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SUNDAY POTPOURRI: UNEXPECTED HAPPENINGS….

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Happy Sunday!  I was happily planning out my reading on Saturday, and then started a book that I bought in May (Dear Carolina, by Kristy Woodson Harvey). 

 

 

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I was congratulating myself on being on track with all my review books.  And then I noticed, accidentally, that a NetGalley review book, All Is Not Forgotten, by Wendy Walker, will be released on 7/12…and not the 22nd, which I had written down in my notebook!

 

 

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Luckily, I discovered it in time!  Now I will go back and forth between the two books, but giving priority to the NetGalley tome.

It is definitely a page turner so far….a violent rape, a loss of memory, and few or no clues.  A wonderful suburban town where nothing like this should have happened.

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Meanwhile, drama is stewing between my granddaughter Fiona and me…Color me stunned, since usually she is the reasonable girl.  LOL.  But my stubbornness is alive and well, apparently.  What is the conflict?  Well, she insists on taking her puppy on the road trip we were planning (10-11 hours one way), and I am appalled.  Not a dog fan, but I don’t think the puppy will enjoy the trip, either.

We are at an impasse, so I guess my trip is cancelled….or I will go on the train.  Sigh.

So I’ll be checking train schedules and trying to decide if it’s worth it.

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What is happening on your Sunday?  Planning, relaxing?

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THURSDAY POTPOURRI: A NEW DAY, A NEW QUIRK

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Well, it didn’t take long for me to change the header…again.  I didn’t like the edges of the previous one, and even though I was going for a casual look, it kept bugging me.  LOL

Now…new day, new header.  Lots of things to do, starting with some errands.  Then reading a new book, Intrusion, after finishing The Perfect Girl last night (click for my review).

 

 

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Already I am ahead of last week’s poor reading rate:  I’m on my third book.  Not great yet, but maybe I’ll even get around to Flight Patterns by the weekend.

 

 

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Now I’m off to run errands, read, and maybe have something cold to drink at one of my favorite restaurants.  What does your day look like?

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HUMP DAY POTPOURRI: WELCOME TO MY INTERIOR WORLD!

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Welcome to my Hump Day Potpourri, my time and place to share more of my obsessions…and tidbits.  As some of you probably know, the fairytale image above is one of several such images that march across my mantle.

 

 

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I started collecting these, and a few others that intermittently line my bookshelves, along with the books, when I first moved in here nine years ago!  Nine years!  I can’t believe it.

In the neighborhood mall was a shop called Country Clutter, later renamed Apricot Lane…and I found all kinds of things to collect.

Nowadays, I have stashed a lot of these in bins in the garage….hoping to “declutter” a bit.

But today was also supposed to be about the image in my header:  the little house next to the Madeline Hatter doll.

 

 

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I bought this Mary Engelbreit cottage that mimics some of her own personal cottages, several years ago.  I was still living in the foothill house when I bought it, so it was sometime between 1994-2007.  Funny how I can’t remember exactly when I bought it…but I know that my eldest son used to walk by it and squeeze it, calling it Squishy House.  That made me smile.  And he only visited in the foothill house twice:  in 1994 and in 2006-2007.

Now it mostly lives here on my Baker’s Rack (bottom left).  On the top shelf, right, is another of ME’s cottages:

 

 

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That photo above was taken before some of my recent changes, I now notice…the Coca Cola jukebox is currently residing in my bedroom (below), where I made more changes last night, to connect my laptop to my TV via HDMI cable.  For watching Netflix in my bed.  The laptop will sit on the small chest next to the TV.  See my Thoughts from the Interior post here:

 

 

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When I bought the HDMI cable yesterday, I also bought new sheets….they are so soft…and not the really high thread count kind, but they work for me:

 

 

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The table next to the bed was once across the room by the TV…the switcheroo happened to assist in Netflix viewing…so the laptop could rest on a larger surface (the chest pictured above this one).

As you can tell, I’m a bit obsessive about a few things:  my interiors, of course; my binge-watching and how to make it possible in as many places as I can arrange; and, my cozy bedroom, where I want to spend more time in the future. 

I picture Saturday or Sunday mornings lying in bed and watching Netflix….or Amazon Videos…or Hulu.

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What, if any, obsessions do you enjoy?  Do the small tidbits in your life keep you fascinated?  As you can tell, I don’t think of obsessions as mental health issues, but quirky characteristics that make life interesting.

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