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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BOOKISH THURSDAYS #9: A POTPOURRI OF EVENTS

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Welcome to Thursday, a day that once seemed lost, with nothing exciting happening anywhere.  But then that changed, and today I am celebrating some of the bookish events around the blogosphere, like Lexxie’s Thirsty Thursday & Hungry Hearts; Kimberlyfaye’s TBR Thursday; and Christine’s Bookish (and not so Bookish) Thoughts.

My featured book today has been on my TBR since October 2014.  How time flies! 

Lila, by Marilynne Robinson, is a new American classic from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Gilead and Housekeeping.   I’ve read these other books…and enjoyed them.  But this book has been languishing on Pippa.  Why?

 

 

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My food excerpt today comes from the opening chapter of the book, right after a strange woman named Doll has “rescued” Lila from the abusive, neglectful home where she lived.  They had arrived at the home of an old woman Doll knew:

“The old woman went into the house and brought out a scrap of corn bread.  She said, ‘I was about to do the milking.  You might as well go inside, get her in out of the cold.’

“Doll stood with her by the stove, where there was just the little warmth of the banked embers.  She whispered, ‘You hush.  I got something for you here.  You got to eat it.’  But the child couldn’t rouse herself, couldn’t keep her head from lolling back.  So Doll knelt with her on the floor to free her hands, and pinched off little pills of corn bread and put them in the child’s mouth, one after another. ‘You got to swallow.’

“The old woman came back with a pail of milk.  ‘Warm from the cow,’ she said. ‘Best thing for a child.’  That strong, grassy smell, raw milk in a tin cup.  Doll gave it to her in sips, holding her head in the crook of her arm.”

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Whew!  Probably not a fun excerpt, but I was drawn in…now wanting to know more about the character!

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For TBR Thursday:

Marilynne Robinson, one of the greatest novelists of our time, returns to the town of Gilead in an unforgettable story of a girlhood lived on the fringes of society in fear, awe, and wonder.
Lila, homeless and alone after years of roaming the countryside, steps inside a small-town Iowa church-the only available shelter from the rain-and ignites a romance and a debate that will reshape her life. She becomes the wife of a minister, John Ames, and begins a new existence while trying to make sense of the life that preceded her newfound security.
Neglected as a toddler, Lila was rescued by Doll, a canny young drifter, and brought up by her in a hardscrabble childhood. Together they crafted a life on the run, living hand to mouth with nothing but their sisterly bond and a ragged blade to protect them. Despite bouts of petty violence and moments of desperation, their shared life was laced with moments of joy and love. When Lila arrives in Gilead, she struggles to reconcile the life of her makeshift family and their days of hardship with the gentle Christian worldview of her husband which paradoxically judges those she loves.

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Should I keep reading this one?  What do you think?

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Now for some Bookish/Not So Bookish Thoughts:

  • I really love mornings…once I get up.  But I HATE the process of doing so.  Dragging myself out of bed, stumbling to the bathroom, going through what one of my friends calls “morning ablutions.”  It was so much worse when I had to go to work in the morning.  Why am I such a baby?  LOL.
  • Bedtime is better.  All comfy in my bed, with the TV on mute, reading whatever book I’m immersed in at the moment, and sometimes watching a movie from my DVR.  One of my current reads is A Fatal Grace, Book 2 of the series, by Louise Penny, a book that’s been on my TBR since January 2015.
  • I don’t know how I feel about how quickly the weeks seem to fly by.  It’s not that I don’t enjoy weekends, because I do…but there are so many more things I want to accomplish during the week!
  • I saw this on Facebook yesterday, and it made me smile:

 

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  • Do you ever friend people on FB that you knew many years ago and haven’t seen since?
  • Today is going to be another day of errands…but maybe I can combine those with a treat or two, like lunch at one of the neighborhood restaurants….perhaps this one.  I love living around the corner from several fun spots (for me).

 

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  • So that’s it for today!  Have some fun and get through your days as smoothly as possible.  Here’s a toast!

 

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HUMP DAY POTPOURRI: AN ORDINARY DAY & A WEEK OF CHANGES

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The photo above was taken by iPhone today…Yes, Phoebe has been put to work.  On the bookshelf, I rearranged a few things, like my copy of Heartburn, which I wrote about in a post yesterday over at An Interior Journey, an homage to Nora Ephron.

It’s an ordinary Hump Day here, but all through the blogosphere, others are participating in something called A Day in the Life.  I didn’t write about mine yet…the host, Trish, says it’s not too late.  Maybe Friday.  Check out some of the posts at her site.

So far this week, I’ve been making changes, both visible and behind the scenes, due to Bloggiesta.  Curl up and Read has been the primary target of my efforts.

I’ve also changed a few headers and/or backgrounds here and there:  An Interior Journey, here, at Potpourri, and even over at Serendipity.  Nothing escapes me during this week long event.

I spent a lot of time at my primary target blog going back to early posts and correcting broken links.  When you merge or delete blogs, like I have done, you are bound to find some you weren’t aware of.  Sigh.

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Last night, I watched another episode of the OJ Miniseries, and I’m really annoyed by Cuba Gooding’s portrayal.  I wonder why he was chosen?  He bears no resemblance (physically, or in mannerisms) to the real OJ we have seen on our TVs or in the news…and it is distracting to watch him.

I keep viewing it, however, enjoying the Marcia Clark character and the occasional sightings of the real Dominick Dunne, who loves writing about real-life events…and he wrote about this case:  Another City, Not My Own.

I read it a few years ago…but downloaded the e-book for a reread.  I know, when will I have time to reread anything?

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Today I’m reading two books, a rare event, but I also did it last week:

Brooklyn, by Colm Toibin, and Somewhere Out There by Amy Hatvany:

 

 

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So far, I’m keeping them nice and separate in my head, as they are very different books.  The only way reading more than one book works for me.

On my coffee table sits a hardcover book that I might also try…it’s a memoir, and very different too, and I’ve had it for a while:  Born with Teeth, by Kate Mulgrew.  I love when I go to the Amazon page and it tells me when I purchased a book:  this one was purchased on May 5, 2015!

 

 

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I have enjoyed the author’s portrayals in various movies, but most recently, she has captivated me in how she inhabits the role of “Red” on Orange is the New Black.

When I visit my Netflix page and look at my queue, I am reminded that I haven’t binge-watched anything for a couple of days.  Most recently, I have been immersed in Broadchurch.

A murder mystery, with a focus on the townsfolk and the DCs who are investigating.  Set somewhere in England.

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What does your Hump Day look like?  How is your week shaping up?

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