SUNDAY POTPOURRI: CHRISTMAS DECOR, NETFLIX VIEWING, ETC.

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:

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

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

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SUNDAY POTPOURRI: TIMELY ISSUES…

Changing the clocks AGAIN!  How did they come up with this off-kilter system, with only four months since our last changeover?

Okay…you get that I hate changing the time!  Even though I’ve removed batteries from some of my more decorative clocks:

But…still there are the little clocks in my office and on a bookshelf in the living room; the Coca Cola clock in the kitchen; the microwave; and the coffee pot.  Not to mention the clock radio by my bedside.

I am sure I forgot one.  Oh, yes, the one in my car…and my watch!

Now that I’ve (sort of) made my world “timely” again, I plan to continue enjoying this book:

Alternate Side, by Anna Quindlen

The story features a New York Upper West Side neighborhood, in which the street is one of the “dead end” variety.  But the neighbors seem friendly…and then something happens that changes everything.

The “alternate side” aspect has to do with parking, and in this tale, we see how the neighbors deal with the parking issue by creating a parking lot on an empty space.  Renting their own parking space, and then dealing with some of the issues created by the lot, will lead to unexpected consequences and conflicts.

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I’m loving it.  I did read for a while yesterday, and I’m halfway through the book…but my Netflix viewing did capture me, too.

Parenthood is a series I’ve seen when it was on the networks…and now, in viewing it again, I am amazed at how the characters arouse so many emotions.  The parents flounder, which is kind of true to life.  But some parents are better than others.  And some characters are VERY annoying.  Like self-righteous Adam and Kristina…until something happens to Kristina that reminds us that she is human.

When some of the kids (like Sydney, or Max) display a lot of “spoiled” behavior, I want to throw things at the parents.  So…I’m guessing the creators of the show want this kind of reaction.  Right?

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What else is happening in your universe?  Enjoying the weekend?  Planning ahead?

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HUMP DAY POTPOURRI: THE NEW YEAR…

As the New Year approaches, I find myself checking out my TBR…and also putting up new calendars, like this one in my office, below (Georgia O’Keeffe).  After I hung the calendar, I had to move the little figurine of “a circle of bears” that once sat atop that book…to the shelf above.

The Christmas decorations are still up…but I’m feeling restless.  I may end up taking them down BEFORE New Year’s.

New Year’s Eve:  what I love to do is watch movies, in between reading…and at midnight, I turn on Dick Clark’s show (even though he is no longer on it).  I might have some popcorn…and Champagne.

My First Book of the Year post will be up on January 1…at An Interior Journey.  Shhh…not revealing the title just yet, but I sent my photo of myself holding the book to Sheila, at Book Journey, since she is hosting our event.

Another tradition for the New Year:  our One Word.  For 2017, I chose HOPE.

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What word will suit me for 2018?  Still pondering…

Meanwhile, continuing to read the books on my TBR…and I have some NetGalley books to read before January is over:

The Girls in the Picture, by Melanie Benjamin -Currently Reading-1/16/18

Anatomy of a Scandal, by Sarah Vaughan (1/23/18)

Watch Me, by Jody Gehrman (1/23/18)

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On Netflix, I’ve been watching Fuller House. 

Years ago, I recall watching Full House, and now the “kids” are all grown up.  I see several of the actors in Hallmark events these days:  Candace Cameron-Bure, Jodie Sweetin, Lori Loughlin…

As much as I enjoy the Hallmark Channel, I must comment that so many of the same actors show up over and over…and the ones who have a certain “look” are always the bad guys.  When you see those actors, you know that they are up to “no good.”

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What events/books/movies are you looking forward to in 2018?

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MONDAY POTPOURRI: A SURPRISING SUNDAY….

My plan for yesterday came together beautifully! 

Yes, I feared that going out of the neighborhood to a movie theater that is not near any restaurants might make the whole experience less than enjoyable.

I was wrong!

I stopped at a restaurant along the way (Chili’s), where the server was wonderful about customizing my salad.  Their menu selection was a huge salad…so, instead, she fixed up a small salad with grilled chicken and dressing on the side (See the photo above).

At the theater, I found another surprise.  I hadn’t been to this theater in years (two or three?), and now they have seat selection, wide aisles, and reclining seats.  Yes, many theaters are changing over, but I expected my neighborhood one to change before others.

The movie.  Wow!  Sam Elliott did not disappoint, and what could have been a morose story about an aging actor (Lee Hayden) who hasn’t done anything memorable in years…turned into a musing journey, with humorous moments, and flashbacks to the past that unfolded in a surreal kind of kaleidoscope.

The film revealed a lovely setting on the California coast line and a home that overlooks it all…and a few views of the city (LA, probably).

I always enjoy Laura Prepon (from OITNB), with her snarky wit, and it was great to catch a glimpse of Katharine Ross (from The Graduate) as the ex-wife.  Krysten Ritter (from Breaking Bad, etc.) was perfect as the disillusioned daughter who has felt abandoned by her father, and is now reluctant to reconnect.

A Sundance movie…that explains a lot about how enjoyable it was, IMO.  Anything with Redford’s prints on it can’t be disappointing.

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So after a wonderfully delightful day, I went home to watch several episodes of Offspring, Season 6.   With a quirky dysfunctional family, this Australian show has been addictive for me since its beginning.

What does your week hold for you?  Just to tempt you, here’s the dessert I had yesterday…after my salad.   I took the Debbie Macomber book along, as my Kindle power needed charging…and I didn’t have time to do it before I left.

 

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TUESDAY POTPOURRI: BOOKS, NETFLIX, ETC.

My coffee table stack of books is dwindling.  Even as I read more of my books purchased from Pippa, my Kindle, I am also focused on some of these hardcover books.

Reading more than one book at a time has helped…and it works for me if the genres are different, or even just the formats.

I Found You, by Lisa Jewell, is a book I’ve had since August 2016, so it would count on my current Read the Books You Buy Challenge.

Even though the book has just been released (today) on Amazon, I picked it up months ago.  I don’t know where, since it wasn’t from Amazon.  One of life’s mysteries.

I am reading an e-book from the author, Maria Murnane, received in February 2017:  Wait for the Rain.

 

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Another new book, downloaded today, will be one of my soon-to-read books:  The Red Hunter, by Lisa Unger.

 

 

Claudia Bishop’s perfect life fell apart when the aftermath of a brutal assault left her with a crumbling marriage, a newborn daughter, and a constant sense of anxiety about the world around her. Now, looking for a fresh start with a home restoration project and growing blog, Claudia takes on a crumbling old house—one that unbeknownst to her has an ugly history and may hide long buried secrets.

For Zoey Drake the defining moment of her childhood was the horrific home invasion murder of her parents. Years later, she has embraced the rage that fuels her. Training in the martial arts has made her strong and ready to face the demons from the past—and within.

Strangers to each other, and walking very different paths in the wake of trauma, these two women are on a collision course—because Zoey’s past nightmare and Claudia’s dreams for her future take place in the very same house. As Zoey seeks justice, and Claudia seeks peace, both will confront the monsters at the door that are the most frightening of all.

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On Sunday, I mentioned my need to clear the patio of dead leaves, etc.  Even though I wanted to put it off, I went out and did it.

There are still some new leaves that have fallen since then, but I don’t mind those as much as the ones the gardeners blow in with their equipment!

 

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So…yesterday I stayed home all day, even though I wanted to go to the post office to check the mail, pick up some groceries, etc.

But today I’m all ready to go!  Shower done, hair fluffed, and feeling energized.

Last night, I enjoyed Better Call Saul, but I wish they would get rid of that annoying Chuck!  He is so mean to “Jimmy,” who will become Saul.  It can’t happen soon enough for me!

Do any of you watch that show?  After Breaking Bad, I was intrigued by these characters and their life before that show.

I’ve added a new show on Netflix:  Girl Boss.  I haven’t watched it yet.

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With all the Netflix, Amazon Prime, and other shows on TV, it’s amazing that I read at all!  What vies for your attention?

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HUMP DAY POTPOURRI: THE EXTERMINATOR IS COMING!

june 9 coffee & blogging, etc.

It’s Hump Day, and I’ve been visiting blogs and enjoying my coffee.  I’ll be vacating the premises soon, as the Exterminator is coming to spray.  Even though I only SAW two crickets in the past few weeks, I heard a chorus of them in the laundry room.  So…that’s it, guys!

He’ll arrive some time between 8:00-11:00 a.m., and then I will have to leave for a few hours.  Luckily, I have books to read….and an appointment with my stylist daughter, Heather.  The bear, below, sits at her station.  I haven’t named the bear, which I gave her for graduation….which is odd, right?  What does she look like to you?  Holly?

 

heather's bear

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On Monday, I got my carpet cover from Amazon.  It was delivered on Saturday, but since the post office closed at 2:00, I wasn’t able to retrieve it.  It was easy to move the stuff out of my nook and slide it in.  I am happily rolling around on the slick surface.

I’m reading One True Loves, by Taylor Jenkins Reid, and enjoying it.

 

 

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On Netflix, I am addicted to a series that is new to me:  The Last Tango in Halifax is a British show that I love.  The protagonist is played by Sarah Lancashire, who also starred in Happy Valley,  another engaging series.

I am on Season 3, with only four episodes left, and I’m already missing these characters!  Their lives are so messy, they are so flawed, but I love them all!  Except maybe the ex-husband to Caroline (below), who hangs around with hangdog eyes.

 

 

sarah

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This sweet couple (below) meet again after 60 years, and realize they never stopped loving each other.  But they also face many challenges.

 

 

sweet couple in halifax

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So now I must get ready to gather my things about me and vacate…once the exterminator arrives!

More later!

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TUESDAY POTPOURRI: FEEDING MY OBSESSIONS

Books & fairytales - may 16

In my little corner of the world, books, coffee, and the various collections I have gathered around me keep me smiling.

Reading is only one of my obsessions, of course, and Netflix bingeing is a regular part of my week.  After finishing a couple of series this past weekend, I was searching, wondering what would catch my eye next.

Then, last night, I stumbled upon The Killing, and before I knew it, bedtime had passed and I was still going.

 

 

the killing image

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A police investigation, the saga of a grieving family, and a Seattle mayoral campaign all interlock after the body of 17-year-old Rosie Larsen is found in the trunk of a submerged car.

The mystery intrigued me, of course, but the setting (Seattle) and the police detectives kept me going.  I enjoyed seeing how their own lives sometimes intruded on their work, and vice versa.

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Needless to say, after watching this show for a few hours, I barely picked up my current read, The Ramblers.  Aidan Donnelley Rowley is a new-to-me author, but the Manhattan setting and the idea of “lost souls” drew me in.

 

 

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Set in the most magical parts of Manhattan—the Upper West Side, Central Park, Greenwich Village—The Ramblers explores the lives of three lost souls, bound together by friendship and family. During the course of one fateful Thanksgiving week, a time when emotions run high and being with family can be a mixed blessing, Rowley’s sharply defined characters explore the moments when decisions are deliberately made, choices accepted, and pasts reconciled.

Clio Marsh, whose bird-watching walks through Central Park are mentioned in New York Magazine, is taking her first tentative steps towards a relationship while also looking back to the secrets of her broken childhood. Her best friend, Smith Anderson, the seemingly-perfect daughter of one of New York’s wealthiest families, organizes the lives of others as her own has fallen apart. And Tate Pennington has returned to the city, heartbroken but determined to move ahead with his artistic dreams.

Rambling through the emotional chaos of their lives, this trio learns to let go of the past, to make room for the future and the uncertainty and promise that it holds. The Ramblers is a love letter to New York City—an accomplished, sumptuous novel about fate, loss, hope, birds, friendship, love, the wonders of the natural world and the mysteries of the human spirit. 

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So…what’s not to love?  I know I will soon engage with the characters, but right now, books and Netflix are competing.

Do you find yourself struggling to enjoy all of your obsessions?

As I sip my morning coffee, I try to make good choices for the day.  First, I’ve been visiting blogs, in the Tuesday Intros/Teasers event.  I also checked what I have bookmarked on Amazon, hoping to find a new release that I had forgotten about. 

Nothing…but I am anticipating Anne Tyler’s newest book,Vinegar Girl, coming on June 21.  Not that far away…right?

 

 

 

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Blurb:  Kate Battista feels stuck. How did she end up running house and home for her eccentric scientist father and uppity, pretty younger sister Bunny? Plus, she’s always in trouble at work – her pre-school charges adore her, but their parents don’t always appreciate her unusual opinions and forthright manner. 

Dr. Battista has other problems. After years out in the academic wilderness, he is on the verge of a breakthrough. His research could help millions. There’s only one problem: his brilliant young lab assistant, Pyotr, is about to be deported. And without Pyotr, all would be lost.

When Dr. Battista cooks up an outrageous plan that will enable Pyotr to stay in the country, he’s relying – as usual – on Kate to help him. Kate is furious: this time he’s really asking too much. But will she be able to resist the two men’s touchingly ludicrous campaign to bring her around?

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Anne Tyler is skilled at bringing out characters who provide the comforts of home to family members, even at the expense of their own lives.  I hope Kate will find a way to express and meet her own needs.  What do you think?

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Mother's Day gifts & mimosa

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