Christmas is definitely showing its cheerful face; I am checking through the bins to find bits and pieces of Christmases past to enjoy again.

My little miniature tree above is one of three I used to have.  For my tiny space, I chose just one.  I like it, though, as it is quirky…with Betty Boop and Elvis among the ornaments.

In the entry way, here’s another view, in which you can see my other nods to Elvis and friends on my hall tree.


New Books:

I am eagerly awaiting a new release on Tuesday, December 10: Regretting You, by Colleen Hoover.



From #1 New York Times bestselling author of It Ends with Us comes a poignant novel about family, first love, grief, and betrayal that will touch the hearts of both mothers and daughters.



Another new book has joined my stack of review ARCs:  You Are Not Alone, by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen, with a release date of March 3, 2020.



The #1 Bestselling authors of THE WIFE BETWEEN US and
AN ANONYMOUS GIRL deliver a thriller about a circle of friends
with deadly intentions–where trust is their weapon and revenge is their



I have my eye out for more books in the months ahead.  What are you eagerly anticipating?




Today I woke up at 6:00 a.m, and then turned over to snooze a little.  The sound of two texts woke me up again…and it was 8:45!  How did that happen?  LOL

I guess I needed the extra sleep, and thinking back, I remembered that I was binge-watching on Netflix until midnight! Another season of The Ranch was on, and even though I say I’ll never watch it again, I found myself there.  Again.  I like some of the characters, like the ones portrayed by Debra Winger and Sam Elliott, even though the things that they say almost always annoy me.  LOL. I’m glad the Danny Masterson character is gone, although they spent several episodes “searching” for him.  But…they’ve added Dax Shepard, whom I loved in Parenthood.  I will never like the character played by Ashton Kutcher…he has to be the stupidest one on the show, now that Danny is gone.  Again, LOL.

Can we say sheer torture?  I tell myself that hanging in there while characters say and do irritating things is good practice for dealing with one or more of my adult children.

The current state of the world (and politics) brings out issues we didn’t know we had!

Meanwhile, the holiday season has grabbed me, and I did bring out some of my decorations.  Just a few.  I left my doll there on the pub table by my bookshelves, and added my miniature tree with the Coca Cola ornaments.  The bear in the music box is one I’ve had for a while, and my Christmas coffee mug seemed appropriate:

Then I added my Mr. and Mrs. Santa bears beside the hall tree with other dolls, hats, etc….and my fake poinsettia:

By the hearth, I added these nutcracker figures next to my birdhouses, some of my regular features here:

This miniature tree has wooden framed ornaments with my grandchildren in each of them…from back when they were younger.  A gingerbread bear hangs on the green cupboard that contains other trinkets…and favorite books.


So…what else?  Oh, here is another view of the miniature “grandchildren” tree, with a candy cane bear on another cupboard:

So…I have a lot more I could bring out, but I’m done for now.

Today I plan to start reading Tell Me Lies, by Carola Lovering:


Yesterday, when I was out shopping…I had this Mini-Shepherd’s Pie for lunch:


How is your weekend shaping up?  Do you binge-watch movies and shows, read books, or go out for fun and adventure?



Today feels like a good day to shop.  Or maybe I should just stay curled up in my cozy rooms, reading and watching movies.  I do like having the choice, though.

The tree (above) at one of the neighborhood malls reminds me of a few things I could do there.  I want to shop for 2019 calendars at Barnes & Noble; and I’d like to find some new decorative trays, since I always carry a tray of food into whatever room I’m inhabiting.  I seldom eat at the little tables I have here and there around the condo.  Except, of course, the coffee table.

My rooms are still not decorated for Christmas, but I suspect that I might tackle the chore this weekend.  Yes, it is a chore.  It used to be fun when the grandchildren were young and eager to help.

Meanwhile, I’m searching for new books for the week…and finding nothing so far.   I did get a library book on the weekend, and finished reading it last night:  I’ve Got My Eyes on You, by Mary Higgins Clark.  (Click title for my review).

I have one book on “hold” through the library app, and it looks like it will be available soon:

The Fabulous Bouvier Sisters, by Sam Kashner


Soon I will have a copy of Colleen Hoover’s Verity, (Release Date – 12/18) which I pre-ordered a while ago:

“Sublimely creepy with a true Hoover pulse. I’ve been waiting on a thriller like this for years.” Tarryn Fisher, NYT bestselling author.               

Synopsis:  Lowen Ashleigh is a struggling writer on the brink of financial ruin when she accepts the job offer of a lifetime. Jeremy Crawford, husband of bestselling author Verity Crawford, has hired Lowen to complete the remaining books in a successful series his injured wife is unable to finish.

Lowen arrives at the Crawford home, ready to sort through years of Verity’s notes and outlines, hoping to find enough material to get her started. What Lowen doesn’t expect to uncover in the chaotic office is a rough draft of an autobiography Verity likely didn’t intend for anyone to read. Page after page of bone-chilling admissions, including Verity’s recollection of the night their family was forever altered.

Lowen decides to keep the manuscript hidden from Jeremy, knowing its contents would devastate the already grieving father. But as Lowen’s feelings for Jeremy begin to intensify, she recognizes all the ways she could benefit if he were to read his wife’s words. After all, no matter how devoted Jeremy is to his injured wife, a truth this horrifying would make it impossible for him to continue to love her.


So that’s my week so far.  What delights await you today and for the rest of the week?




Welcome to a “snowy” Christmassy Monday!

This blog has a history of rain and snow themes.  Check out the URL.  The snowy cabin above belongs to my niece Amy, who lives with her husband and three kids in the mountains nearby.  Where it snows.

With Christmas coming soon, I had thoughts of not decorating.  I usually bring out the decorations the weekend after Thanksgiving…and I didn’t do that.  But does that mean I’m not going to share my Christmas decor?

No…today I decided that I would bring out a couple of things.  So I grabbed a bin and started.  But, unbeknownst to me, the spirit of Christmas enveloped me, even as I slowly brought the holiday to life.  While I didn’t go all out, I did just enough.  For me.  So I won’t have a giant chore to do afterwards, putting everything back.

The dining room nook features one of my miniature trees that has the framed photos of the grandchildren.  And take a peek at the gingerbread bear on the middle cupboard.



Now check out the long view, with another tree on the dining room table by the window.   This one has Coca Cola ornaments, in addition to Elvis and Betty Boop, and other 1950s mementos.




The table between the two sofas showcases the little “fake” Poinsettia.




In this view of the dining room table, catch a glimpse of the Candy Cane bear on the other cupboard.




Warm the hearth with Christmas Nutcrackers.





The wreath brings the holiday to my decorative metal wall hanging.




Let’s all get into the spirit…even those of us, like me, who started out somewhat reluctantly.  What do you like to do to bring your home into the season?




Dressing up my home for Christmas took very little time.  I had a couple of bins handy, pulled out only the minimal trimmings (easy peasy, two trees already decorated!), and put on the lacy tablecloth that I got from Amazon Vine last month…and we’re good to go.

After adding some Nutcracker guys for the hearth, I pronounced the decorating done…and then spent most of the day watching Gilmore Girls on Netflix.




I almost finished Season IV of Gilmore Girls, but I was feeling the need to get up and move around…so I stopped two episodes before the end…




Now I’m ready to return to reading The Nightingale, by Kristin Hannah, an engaging story that begins with an elderly woman contemplating her life…and flashes back to WWII and what happened to the characters in France during the Nazi occupation.





I’ll be happy when regular TV programming resumes…so sad that The Good Wife isn’t on tonight, but I have recorded some shows during this free Cinemax weekend. 

What are you looking forward to?  Are the football games still on?  I know I’m ready for them to be gone, but I guess we’ll have to put up with them periodically until January…sigh.







Welcome to Friday Potpourri.  Today I’m pondering the holidays:  from Christmas past to the New Year ahead.  As I sit in my “once again rearranged” office, I am considering how to spend the last few days of the year.


Last night, I had just finished the amazing Lies You Wanted to Hear (click for my review), and while I was posting my review and deciding what to read next, I realized that my previous arrangement in this space was awkward.  I had to reach really far to get to the wall behind my table…So I dropped one of the leaves down, turned the little table on its ear, and voila!  I have a little more room to move around.  The little white table to the left holds some teen DVDs, since the office is also the room for grandkids, and provides extra surface for books, etc.


This weekend, I’ll be starting the last few books of the year.  So far, I’ve completed 210 books this year, exceeding my goal of 200.

On January 1, head on over to An Interior Journey to read about my first book of 2014.

I will probably be watching movies that day, as well as taking down the Christmas decorations.  Do you keep yours up until New Year’s?  I remember one year that I kept some of mine up until March.  Looking back, I think I might have been a tad depressed…LOL.

Here’s a peek of my entryway, decked for the holidays.


I am a little sorry to say goodbye to my Christmas friends, but they’ll be back!  Happy New Year!






In a delightful journey to the heart of the iconic 1960s, when innocence and naivete were still possible in young people, we follow the story of ten-year-old Felix Funnicello, a cousin of Annette’s, during one holiday season.

Wishin’ and Hopin’ is narrated by Felix, whose descriptions of the students (and teachers) in the Catholic school in Connecticut that he attends, allowed us to catch a glimpse of what life was like in small town New England in the era before computers, cell phones, and texting. As a result, we can definitely see the charm of the times.

A school play for the holiday season is the primary feature, and the reader has to laugh out loud at some of the amateurish moments, from the play itself—created by one of the students—to the costumes.

In the epilogue, we learn what happened to the teachers and students years afterwards. A story that reminds me of the TV movies made for the season. 3.5 stars.




Good morning!  When I woke up this morning, I had an epiphany!  Since I am only three books away from my Goodreads goal of 200 reads…and since none of my review books are overdue or due for awhile…and since I already finished both library books….Well, what? Yes, that was a meandering sentence.  But I realized that I could read anything I wanted to read.  Yes!

First, though, I posted my review of the library book Invisible, by Carla Buckley (click on over to see!).




Then I did my usual “after review” things, like linking the review on the “read” page at my Curl up and Read blog...and setting up the Currently Reading books on Goodreads.  Yes, I’m a bit compulsive.

What will I be reading?  I woke up thinking about houseboats…and Seattle.  So naturally, I picked Morning Glory, by Sarah Jio.




New York Times bestselling author Sarah Jio imagines life on Boat Street, a floating community on Seattle’s Lake Union—home to people of artistic spirit who for decades protect the dark secret of one startling night in 1959

Fleeing an East Coast life marred by tragedy, Ada Santorini takes up residence on houseboat number seven on Boat Street. She discovers a trunk left behind by Penny Wentworth, a young newlywed who lived on the boat half a century earlier. Ada longs to know her predecessor’s fate, but little suspects that Penny’s mysterious past and her own clouded future are destined to converge.



Doesn’t it sound delicious?  And now, as I sip my coffee, I imagine my day unfolding in lovely ways.  Totally savoring my read.  Next week will be soon enough to get back to the review books and the deadlines.  And…I am totally finished with blog tours.  Yippee!

Do you ever feel the need to forget your lists and your “must reads”?  Do you feel like you are free?  If not at Christmas time, when?







Every year, I go back and forth about how much Christmas decorating I will do…and each year, I bring out fewer things.

Is it because I’m trying to do the “less is more” thing?  Or is it really that I hate dragging in those big bins that are packed away in the garage, awaiting their “awakening” on the weekend after Thanksgiving?

The timing remains the same.  Always the weekend after Thanksgiving.  Sometimes even the very next day.

But I only opened two of the bins today…and maybe I will do more.  But I have three miniature Christmas trees, already decorated, in lieu of a big tree.  And after my last rearranging of the living room space, including the hearth, I don’t have room for the third tree.

So one of the trees (above) sits on the pub table.  And the other (with photos of the grandchildren, along with odds and ends), sits on the dining room table (below).


There are a few things placed around the room…and then a wreath here:


I like this little Gingerbread Boy hanging on a cupboard in the dining area:


That is a sampling of my “downsized Christmas.”

Do you enjoy doing the whole thing every year?  Do you dread dragging out the bins?  I know that some of you (Patty) listen to Christmas music while you bring out the goodies…and I also like the idea of eggnog.




18683044When Vera returns to her home town of Addison Cove for her sister Brooke’s wedding, she has no idea what is going to happen to her next. She has lost her job at the newspaper in Boston, and uncertainty is definitely darkening the days ahead.

But on her way out of town, she notices an old Dutch Colonial farmhouse for sale….and the next thing she knows, she is buying it with the severance money she received.

Her sister thinks she’s foolish, but Vera believes that sometimes investing in a dream is the best thing to do.

What does Vera learn on the way to fixing up the old house? Who does she meet that changes her view of her old home town? And what secret treasures does she discover that help her create still another dream?

Snowflakes and Coffee Cakes is so much like the author’s previous works, which I also loved, in that the settings are gorgeous, the characters are at a crossroads and taking a chance on a dream, and the romance feels magical.

As always, the author shows us the world in which the characters live and makes us want to stay with them through their magical holiday season, enjoying the gifts of love and sharing. Five stars.