When I created the new blog header above, I searched through some old photos and found this one I adore …my ubiquitous bench surrounded by Disney characters and books.  Things missing from my current home…except for the bench, of course.


The ubiquitous bench in its current iteration, at the foot of my bed:




I spent many happy years with books and Disney figurines…and I’m glad I took photos of them.  Now I am rebuilding my bookshelves, although I am pretty sure that I will never have as many hardcover books as I once did.  At one time, I had 1400 books, and before I moved, I had around 800…I think.

Here is the “embryonic stage” of my growing shelf:


There is something glorious about starting over from scratch…but I do miss what once was.  My photos will remind me, however, and will inspire me moving forward.


Today is Saturday, and I’ve been enjoying my reading and blogging, alone in my apartment.  Bliss!

What do you like to do on a Saturday?



Welcome to Sunday!  A day that once produced anxiety because Monday followed it.  But now that I’m retired, I love Mondays, too.

Today I’m hanging out in my office, a special place for me.  I’ve been visiting blogs and checking out books on Amazon.  I should be dusting and vacuuming…but I keep saying “later” to myself.   Sigh.  Last weekend, my granddaughter was going to do that for me, but I cancelled…I wasn’t feeling up to supervising the dusting of my numerous trinkets…so I decided I had to do it myself.  I’m the worst!


Why would I do housework when there are lovely books, movies, and shows to watch?  Life is short, so maybe I should just gather up all the things that need dusting and stash them somewhere.  Would that simplify my life?

Currently I am reading When Life Gives You Lululemons, by Lauren Weisberger, the author who gave us The Devil Wears Prada.  (I also have that movie!).  I got the book from the library app.


Visiting blogs often takes me to unexpected places.  Like today, on Erin’s Still Life With Cracker Crumbs, she was showing a photo of her son enjoying butterflies…and my mind sped backwards to the year I worked in a library…when an author (Leo Politi) came to town.  His book The Butterflies Come, was a beautifully illustrated story of the Monarch butterflies and their journey.  I had an autographed copy…and I don’t know what happened to it!  I was a teenager when I got it, though, so that might explain it.  But would you believe that the book is on Amazon…and very expensive!  And those are not the autographed copies.   Sigh.

But we can’t go back and correct the errors of judgment in the past.  But I loved remembering that book.


Remembering the treasures of the past…and savoring the ones we still have.  That feeling is why I need to go dust some of those lovelies!

What lies ahead in your day…and your week?



Thursday is a day in the week that finds me chatting over coffee about bookish and not so bookish thoughts.  It is also a chance to ponder the weekend ahead, and plan for what to read next week.  My workstation includes a tiny little table on the right where I also stash notebooks that list upcoming review books, etc.  Minnie Mouse guards the potpourri of tidbits:

Now that I am down to two review ARCs (for October), I was actually pleased to get approval for a recent request:  a book being released on January 8, 2019:

An Anonymous Girl, by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen.  I loved their book The Wife Between Us.

From the authors of the blockbuster bestseller The Wife Between Us comes an electrifying new novel about doubt, passion, and just how much you can trust someone.



Left of my workstation is my bulletin board, where memorabilia spotlight the moments in my life.  Top Right:  the birthday sign that reads LORRE;  it was created by my younger brother, who has a sign painting business.  That sign was “painted” in 1985, when I went by the name “Lorre.”  For some reason, I liked the spelling and the way the name looked.  The fact that I’ve had the sign for all these years, and carried it with me to five different residences, tells you a little about my sentimental attachment to things.

On the left hand side, note the announcement for an event at Dukes, a coffee house in Sacramento where my eldest son, fresh back from his time in Ireland, was showing a series of photographs.  Many of them are on the walls of my bedroom, dubbed The Ireland Room.  He now lives in Prague, where he moved in 1997. 



Sometimes our sentimental journeys take us to far-flung places.

In 2008, my eldest moved to Berlin and photographed the “art gallery” of  murals on the Berlin Wall (in 2009).  This photo (below) is one of my favorites, depicting a leap over the wall.

Another photo (below) is a special shot I love…I have used it on my blogs over the years.  I like how it depicts an escape from chains.

I had that one made into a poster, which I have framed for my bedroom.


Looking back at an array of photos that mean something to me…take a peek at one of my granddaughter Fiona (left) and two of her cousins…snapped way back in the day.  I think they were in middle school at the time.

And here is a recent photo of her:  how time flies!


Now that I’ve rambled down Memory Lane…do any of you love looking at photos and sentimental objects?  Do they take you to those places in the past? 



Good morning!  How can it be June already?  Or even the weekend?  The flying of time is sometimes disturbing…especially when so many things are left undone. 

One day recently, I fixed a tray of comfort food for my coffee table:  Tuna Salad on a Tomato.  I know, I usually go out for the meals I want to photograph.  But I liked how this treat looked appetizing enough to snap with my camera.

Then, when I curled up on this office sofa, I had to snap a picture of its coziness.

The book on the coffee table/trunk is an “up soon” review book that picks up where Beach Bliss left off:  Castaway Cottage, by Joanne DeMaio.

Earlier this morning, I enjoyed my exercise while watching a movie.  My newest routine.  (Of course, I had to move Minnie Mouse so I could sit down!).

Yesterday, I went to my daughter’s salon and enjoyed getting my bangs trimmed:

Below:  Check out images in my oldest grandson’s life:  Left, a mug with his baby face on it; Middle, a pensive look on his four-year-old face; and Right, the graduate from UC Berkeley:

Some moments from the past make us smile, while others remind us of the passage of time, bringing out mixed feelings.

On Facebook, I found a photo my DIL shared of our lost Jessica…one of her last walks on the beach.  Such a poignant image.


What moments from your week…and your life…are tugging at your heartstrings today?  What weekend plans lie ahead?



Happy Monday!  On this three-day weekend, I hope to enjoy books, blogging, movies, etc.  I started this post yesterday, but then abandoned it for other things.  I found the photo (above) in one of my folders…and it swept me back in time.

The girls are my “twin granddaughters,” since both were born in February 1997.  At the time of this photo op, the one on the left (Fiona) was living in this guesthouse with her parents…and three brothers.  Aubrey, on the right, was visiting with her parents and brother.   The chaos of that room is due to the visitors…and the play area set up for the toddlers.

I was drawn to the futon in the right corner of the photo, as it has been in many of my homes over the years.  I bought it in the mid-nineties and one of my older kids slept on it in my townhouse.  Then it was in my guest room in the A-frame house (below).

Next, it took up residence in the actual guesthouse…where it remained until it eventually broke.  Yes, many rough-housing children took it out.  But it served us well until the end.

So…what is the point of all of this?  Well, memories and moments.  The furniture and memorabilia that surrounded me over the years have left their mark, just as the people who used them.

Books have a way of doing that, too.  I like remembering when I read a particular book, although ever since my Giant Purges of 2015 left my shelves minus some of my old favorites, I have to visit the library…or even the review pages on my blogs or Goodreads to trigger those memories.

Tomorrow is another Book Release Day, but I’ve really cut down on my “click to buy” impulse, and have only downloaded six purchases in May.  I’ve borrowed a few from the library, though, like this one that just arrived:

Manhattan Beach (e-book), by Jennifer Egan.  With the atmosphere of a noir thriller, Egan’s first historical novel follows Anna and Styles into a world populated by gangsters, sailors, divers, bankers, and union men. Manhattan Beach is a deft, dazzling, propulsive exploration of a transformative moment in the lives and identities of women and men, of America and the world. It is a magnificent novel by the author of A Visit from the Goon Squad, one of the great writers of our time.


I decided not to buy it, since I didn’t love A Visit from the Goon Squad. Yes, I know it won awards and lots of people loved it.  There were actually fascinating parts…and then some pages that put me to sleep.  Such is life with books.  But since I’ve adored several other books by the author, I wanted to give this one a go…but in such a way that I wasn’t “out” the money.


Currently I’m reading another library book:  The Gunners, by Rebecca Kauffman, and I’m enjoying it so far.


When visiting blogs this morning, I discovered a book that sounded fascinating…and it was only 1.99!  Woman Last Seen in Her Thirties, by Camille Pagan, is a hilarious and hopeful story about a woman on the verge of a nervous breakthrough.



So…now I’m off to cycle a little, while watching shows from yesterday’s DVR.  What is happening in your life today?



During the holidays, I often remember past moments, like this one of six of my grandchildren at a nearby restaurant.  We used to meet here for our get-togethers at Thanksgiving, and I loved that they had their tree all decorated which served as a perfect backdrop for our photos.

How cute is Noah (left), looking all bored.  Fiona, second from right, has her eye on him…I think.

This photo (and event) happened in 2006.  Now all of these kids are grown-ups…except Noah, who is turning fifteen in January.

Alec, third from left, just graduated UC Berkeley.  Aubrey,  far right, attends San Diego State University as a junior, but is enjoying a semester in Prague.  Dominic, third from right, just got married in September.  He is attending university and working.

Aaron (second from left) is attending college in Arizona, and Fiona is working.  She is still trying to find her perfect niche.


I am enjoying a quiet Christmas Eve…sipping eggnog and thinking about what, if anything to cook…I am tempted to just nibble on snacks all day.  Or I could order a pizza.  Hmm.

Tomorrow I’ll be at my daughter’s house for Christmas Day Brunch.  She is making Quiche…a favorite dish.


Reading:  Dead of Winter, by Wendy Corsi Staub.  I’m almost finished…couldn’t put it down, but did…because I was tired last night.

I’ll finish it this morning.


While browsing Amazon, I decided to pre-order a book that I’ve been eager to get my hands on.  I don’t often do this…but I don’t want to forget to buy it.  As if.

The Woman in the Window, by A.J. Finn, will be released on January 2.


Anna Fox lives alone—a recluse in her New York City home, unable to venture outside. She spends her day drinking wine (maybe too much), watching old movies, recalling happier times . . . and spying on her neighbors.

Then the Russells move into the house across the way: a father, a mother, their teenage son. The perfect family. But when Anna, gazing out her window one night, sees something she shouldn’t, her world begins to crumble—and its shocking secrets are laid bare…

This blurb captured my interest.  Who doesn’t love reading about a recluse who sees something she shouldn’t?


What does your Christmas Eve look like?  Is it busy?  Quiet?  Bookish?



Yesterday I was reminded of my younger years in Sacramento:  attending the university pictured above, and just strolling around the tree-lined streets nearby.

What carried me back?  A movie, Lady Bird, starring Saoirse Ronan, set in Sacramento.

Yesterday was a wonderful day, starting with hair styling, and followed by lunch at Dai Bai Dang, where I had this delicious Sesame Shrimp dish.


Sated with good food, I sank into the cozy seating and watched the wonderful story of a daughter, her conflicts with her mother, and how she went about choosing a future.  And all around her, as she went through each day, I saw the familiar surroundings that I had loved…back then.

Why did I leave?  Well, jobs, of course.  And a marriage.  My three sons were born in Sacramento, though, and my older two still visit the city, since their father lives there.

I could move there now, of course, since I’m retired…and most of my children no longer live here.  But my daughter does…and so do three of my grandchildren.  Plus…I hate moving.

But I could visit more.  That could work.


Do you sometimes think of places you’ve lived that have left their mark on you?  Do you enjoy the memories?