FRIDAY POTPOURRI: FROM NESTING TO VICARIOUS TRAVELING…

Today I threw open the door of one of my country cupboards for this photo op.  This one houses some of my colorful and fun pieces, ranging from the Jamestown Fostoria crystal to the vintage tumblers and the “Cornflakes” mugs and dishes.  In other words, a “potpourri” of collections.

Since I am home, nesting, while others in the family are gallivanting around, in Europe, etc., I have to find ways to cheer up my day.

But I do love the photos which have been appearing regularly via text from my son Brett, who started out in Spain, then went to Ibiza…and finally Prague.  Now he has branched out to Budapest.  But first…

He stayed in The Jim Morrison suite at this hotel in Ibiza…

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After arriving in Prague, Brett and his daughter Aubrey, who will be attending a college semester in Prague, had dinner with my eldest son Craig, his wife Gabi, and Aubrey’s roommate.

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A view from the hotel in Budapest…

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This morning I got this photo of the thermal baths in Budapest.

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My vicarious travels are fun.  Right?  I don’t have to pack, unpack, or fly.  Am I kidding myself, though?

Do you love to travel, or would you rather nest at home, reading books about travel.  I am currently reading Happy People Read and Drink Coffee, a story about a widow who moves from Paris, where she owns a bookstore/cafe, to Ireland.  She hopes to escape the pain of the past.

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Vicarious traveling through reading and movies reminds me of the Anne Tyler book, The Accidental Tourist.  I also have the movie with William Hurt, Kathleen Turner, and Geena Davis.

Enjoy your travels…vicarious or actual.

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SUNDAY POTPOURRI: A DAY AT THE MOVIES…AND BINGE-WATCHING LATER….

Another day in the office.  My nook (to the right and not in the photo) is where I spend a lot of time, but I can turn and see the room (above), including the TV playing.

I just got an e-mail reporting that Offspring has a new season…No. Six, available on Netflix.  I loved that Australian show about an OB/Gyn and her various family/love interests.  She and her sister have issues, her family is dysfunctional, her love interests cause problems…and, in general, it kept me watching through the previous 5 seasons.

 

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Last night I started a new Netflix show, Gypsy, with Naomi Watts and Billy Crudup.  I’m enjoying it so far.  It is about a therapist who develops dangerous and intimate relationships with the people in her patients’ lives.

 

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Before I start binge-watching, though, I must remember my earlier plan to see The Hero at the theater, even though I’m making excuses not to go, since it is not at my neighborhood theater.

 

The other theater is not that far away, but there is no restaurant nearby, and that is part of my movie-going experience:  appetizers, drink, and movie.

But if I wait, it may not come to my neighborhood, and then I’ll miss it.  Sigh.

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Meanwhile, I’m reading The Bookshop at Water’s End, my e-ARC from NetGalley.  I’ve enjoyed what I’ve read so far.

 

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Now…all I have to do is finish up a few things, get ready to go, and forget about my movie-going obsession that requires a certain pattern to the event.   Let’s go!

What is your day bringing you?

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MONDAY POTPOURRI: MUSINGS….

Visit The Purple Booker to participate in this fun event.

 

 

Musing Mondays is a weekly meme that asks you to choose one of the following prompts to answer:

I’m currently reading…
Up next I think I’ll read…
I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
I can’t wait to get a copy of…
I wish I could read ___, but…
I blogged about ____ this past week…

THIS WEEKS RANDOM QUESTION: What is your favorite spot to read during the summer?

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I was scrolling through Amazon titles earlier and stumbled upon the newest book coming from Chris Bohjalian:  The Flight Attendant, to be released on March 18, 2018.  Yes, a long wait!  But well worth it, I think.

 

Cassandra Bowden is no stranger to hungover mornings. She’s a binge drinker, her job with the airline making it easy to find adventure, and the occasional blackouts seem to be inevitable. She lives with them, and the accompanying self-loathing. When she awakes in a Dubai hotel room, she tries to piece the previous night back together, already counting the minutes until she has to catch her crew shuttle to the airport. She quietly slides out of bed, careful not to aggravate her already pounding head, and looks at the man she spent the night with. She sees his dark hair. His utter stillness. And blood, a slick, still wet pool on the crisp white sheets. Afraid to call the police – she’s a single woman alone in a hotel room far from home – Cassie begins to lie. She lies as she joins the other flight attendants and pilots in the van. She lies on the way to Paris as she works the first class cabin. She lies to the FBI agents in New York who meet her at the gate. Soon it’s too late to come clean-or face the truth about what really happened back in Dubai. Could she have killed him? If not, who did?

Set amid the captivating world of those whose lives unfold at forty thousand feet, The Flight Attendant unveils a spellbinding story of memory, of the giddy pleasures of alcohol and the devastating consequences of addiction, and of murder far from home.

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Summer reading is best accomplished indoors, with the AC on, since it’s very hot here.  Here’s a place I’ve enjoyed reading lately:  in my office, curled up, with the TV on in the background (muted).

 

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What are you musing about today?

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WEEKEND POTPOURRI: ALL THE USUAL ACTIVITIES & MORE….

Good morning!  My Saturday morning has started in my usual place…in the office, but with my breakfast tray on the trunk, facing the new little TV…I’m also watching an Aurora Teagarten Mystery Marathon while I eat and blog.

Yes, I am on the laptop, too…but when I’m there, I keep an eye on the shows, all of which I’ve already seen, of course.  If there was room on that trunk, I would set the laptop up there, too…but, no, it’s only steps away….here:

 

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I’m a bit behind on wrapping up my week, as I still want to finish this book first.  I’m almost there:

The Beach Inn, by Joanne DeMaio, a review book.

 

All the usual characters are enjoying fall in Stony Point, Connecticut, and everyone is trying to help Elsa, who is grieving the loss of her son Sal, encouraging her to keep going with the plans they had made.  Lovely plans to turn her cottage and adjacent hang-out…into an inn.  Previous books have brought stories about that unique hang-out, which has much sentimental value.

When I read one of these books, I feel as though I’m there with them.  They are so familiar to me, I don’t even need to take notes.  Although there are occasional “new” characters, the primary cast is in place, and we rejoin them in their usual struggles…and conflicts.

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So…I definitely want to finish this one before posting my updates for the week.  Of course, with the TV on, I could be tempted to just curl up and watch…and only occasionally read.  Hmm, pushing ahead here!

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Meanwhile, Heather and David are probably winging their way toward home.  In the past few days, they’ve been in Amsterdam, enjoying the beautiful art, the museums, etc.

 

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Quirky!  Perfect for this blog….

 

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This piece of art, with Heather and David looking grim, could represent a version of American Gothic….

 

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So….what does your weekend look like?  Happy Father’s Day to the fathers out there….and let’s all celebrate another June weekend, since Fourth of July is coming next!

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TUESDAY POTPOURRI: A DAY OF ANTICIPATION…AND SOME RELIEF

It is Tuesday, and I’m back in my Office Nook, feeling more like blogging…with optimism about my slowly clearing skin condition, after three days of the medication.   Today I’ve written three posts:  Tuesday Sparks:  “Miss You”; Meet the Domestic Diva:  Excerpting “Interior Designs”; and Keeping Track:  An Update.

I have been doing some reading, especially late at night, since sleeping has been a challenge.  But last night I mostly slept through the night…but on the living room couch.  For some reason, I haven’t been able to sleep in my bed.  Maybe tonight?

My current read:  Into the Water (e-book), by Paula Hawkins, has finally captured me, after a slow start with the introduction of many characters.

 

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Since Tuesday is release day for many books, I am waiting for the e-mail that will tell me what’s available.  In some ways, I am almost hoping not to find anything, as my stacks (mostly e-books) are quite large.  But the anticipation is still there.

I can tell you some of the upcoming releases that I know about:

White Fur (e-book), by Jardine Libaire (May 30 Release):  A stunning star-crossed love story set against the glitz and grit of 1980s New York City….

 

 

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You’ll Never Know, Dear (e-book), by Hallie Ephron:  An addictive novel of psychological suspense from the award-winning author of Night Night, Sleep Tight, about three generations of women haunted by a little girl’s disappearance, and the porcelain doll that may hold the key to the truth . . .(June 6 Release)

 

 

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What does your Tuesday look like?  Do you anticipate new releases?  What book(s) are keeping you up at night?

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MONDAY POTPOURRI: DREAMING OF THE BEACH….

After my weekend at the beach for my daughter’s wedding, I started remembering other beach getaways, like this one (above) last summer.  My youngest son and his wife have been living there in the far north for almost three years, and now are on their third residence.  The most recent one is a cottage a block away from the beach.  Quaint, but cozy, I am feeling it, and planning my own trip up north. 

In this view, we can see a cozy living room, with a glimpse of the kitchen on the right.  They always seem to pick houses with nice big kitchens.

 

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Another view of the kitchen:

 

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Their guest room is now in use, but soon it will be available, I’m told.  I don’t think I want to go until summer, however, since then I will be eager to escape the burning hot Central Valley sun.

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Meanwhile, I am reading away, sometimes beach books, but today I’m just beginning A Separation (e-book), by Katie Kitamura.

 

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This is her story. About the end of her marriage. About what happened when Christopher went missing and she went to find him. These are her secrets, this is what happened…

A young woman has agreed with her faithless husband: it’s time for them to separate. For the moment it’s a private matter, a secret between the two of them. As she begins her new life, she gets word that Christopher has gone missing in a remote region in the rugged south of Greece; she reluctantly agrees to go look for him, still keeping their split to herself. In her heart, she’s not even sure if she wants to find him. As her search comes to a shocking breaking point, she discovers she understands less than she thought she did about her relationship and the man she used to love.

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The writing style of the author is a bit confusing, since she doesn’t seem to use quotation marks for dialogue.  But I’m getting used to it.

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What are planning/reading on this Monday?

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SUNDAY POTPOURRI: READING, TV SHOWS, & MOVIES….

It’s time to share thoughts about Sunday.  Once upon a time, when I was still working my “career job,” I didn’t like Sundays that much.  Mostly because Mondays followed.  And Mondays were also on my “not so favorite” list.  But now I love Mondays, too.

Nowadays, I enjoy Sunday night TV shows, like Madame Secretary, and currently, Feud:  Bette and Joan.

The Good Wife was a favorite Sunday show until it ended.  But now we have The Good Fight, a show that streams on CBS: All Access.  Today’s episode was the final one for the first season.  Waiting for Season II (yes, it was renewed) will be challenging.  Luckily there are other shows that come along.

 

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My other favorite things to do on Sundays, besides reading, are various Netflix shows and movies on my DVR.  Last night I watched an older movie, with Renee Zellwegger, called Miss Potter.  A sweet story based on a real person, Beatrix Potter.

This weekend, I watched some movies on Amazon Prime, too, like Miss Sloane.  Jessica Chastain is someone worth following.

Check out last week’s reading on my Weekly Updates post.

My blog changes brought about two new headers this week:

An Interior Journey

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Curl up and Read

 

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I can’t seem to leave my blogs alone!

What is your day like?  What are your favorite things?

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WEEKEND POTPOURRI: AFTER “THE FAST”….

My Saturday morning began very early.  I had “fasting blood work” to complete at the hospital lab nearby…and I like to get it done early (since I’d been fasting since 6 p.m. the night before!).

Afterwards, I went to pick up meds down the hall, and then over to Marie Callender’s for one of their breakfasts.  I ordered the pancakes, eggs, and coffee…but while I was waiting, they brought this coffee cake with a cup of coffee:

 

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Naturally, the plate of eggs and pancakes was huge…and I didn’t photograph it.   It is embarrassing!  LOL.

Home again, I brewed my own pot of coffee, turned on the computer, and started going through my usual weekend routines.  At the top of this post, note the coffee mug I’m drinking from now…one of a set I’ve had for a while.  I always forget to use it, but I love the Parisienne cafe portrayed on the mug.  Here is a better view of the mug.

 

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The matching large platter hangs out on the bottom shelf of my Baker’s Rack…next to a bear clutching a wine bottle.  The caption:  Wine is my Favorite Four-Letter Word.

 

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I’m loving The Widow’s House (e-book), by Carol Goodman.

 

When Jess and Clare Martin move from Williamsburg, Brooklyn, to their former college town in the Hudson River valley, they are hoping for rejuvenation—of their marriage, their savings, and Jess’s writing career.

They take a caretaker’s job at Riven House, a crumbling estate and the home of their old college writing professor. While Clare once had dreams of being a writer, those plans fell by the wayside when Jess made a big, splashy literary debut in their twenties. It’s been years, now, since his first novel. The advance has long been spent. Clare’s hope is that the pastoral beauty and nostalgia of the Hudson Valley will offer some inspiration.

But their new life isn’t all quaint town libraries and fragrant apple orchards. There is a haunting pall that hangs over Riven House like a funeral veil. Something is just not right. Soon, Clare begins to hear babies crying at night, see strange figures in fog at the edge of their property. Diving into the history of the area, she realizes that Riven House has a dark and anguished past. And whatever this thing is—this menacing force that destroys the inhabitants of the estate—it seems to be after Clare next…

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Creepy good, right?  I can’t wait to settle into it more.  Curled up on my comfy couch.  Maybe this one, in my office, which never gets much use.

 

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What lies ahead in your weekend?  Cozy moments?  Adventure?

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WEEKEND POTPOURRI: LOOKING BACK….

anne-heidi-dolls

It is our last weekend in February, and as an homage to what I was doing at the time, I sorted through some posts from a year ago, to find this one:

 

February is ending in just a few days, so I am ready to really dig down into my TBR stacks, which mostly consist of books on Pippa, my Kindle.  I like hanging out at one of the neighborhood restaurants for lunch, a martini, and my books.  The Reading the Books You Buy Challenge is going pretty well, with 13 books completed so far.

I think there would be more, but I’ve also been reading my NetGalley downloads…as usual, I enjoyed reading a few while hanging out with Pippa (and a martini!).

 

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The rag dolls (at the top of the post) are my little tribute to my daughter and granddaughters:  one daughter, two granddaughters.  These dolls were Heather’s, but Fiona (who lives nearby) enjoyed playing with them, too.  Fiona and Aubrey had birthdays in February, turning nineteen.  How did that happen?

It is hard enough to realize that my daughter, my BABY, is grown up.

 

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She looks intense in the photo above, primarily because she was cooking for a group of us last summer, when my eldest and his wife were visiting.

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I see that nothing much has changed since a year ago.  I’m still buying books, but also enjoying the Read the Books You Buy Challenge – 2017 Version.

Just as I was doing last year at this time, I had lunch out with Pippa, and this year, I had Split Pea Soup and a Margarita.

 

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Today I was reading Never Let You Go (e-book), by Chevy Stevens, a NetGalley review book to be released on 3/14/17.

 

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Eleven years ago, Lindsey Nash escaped into the night with her young daughter and left an abusive relationship. Her ex-husband, Andrew, was sent to jail and Lindsey started over with a new life.

Now, Lindsey is older and wiser, with her own business and a teenage daughter who needs her more than ever. When Andrew is finally released from prison, Lindsey believes she has cut all ties and left the past behind her. But she gets the sense that someone is watching her, tracking her every move. Her new boyfriend is threatened. Her home is invaded, and her daughter is shadowed. Lindsey is convinced it’s her ex-husband, even though he claims he’s a different person. But has he really changed? Is the one who wants her dead closer to home than she thought?

With Never Let You Go, Chevy Stevens delivers a chilling, twisting thriller that crackles with suspense as it explores the darkest heart of love and obsession.

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I’m loving this one so far….

How is your weekend unfolding?  Do you ever look back to the past, to see what you were doing then?

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WEEKEND POTPOURRI: A SWITCHEROO….

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It’s Saturday, on the weekend of Superbowl.  While I won’t be watching, I know that many are. 

I came back from running errands, which included getting a passport photo—it’s time to renew that sucker!—and I felt restless.  So I started moving some things around. 

I had an old barbecue cart that I’d been using behind my loveseat in the bedroom, a place to stash stuff, including the phone charger.  So I swapped it out for a smaller wicker shelf, which had been in the office.

 

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Now…check out the cart and shelf after the switcheroo.  I shot a view of the smaller wicker shelf behind the loveseat, on the left, and it definitely takes up less space.

The cart, on the right, holds more of the books I need to shelve there…and also my little box with bills to pay, which is more appropriate for my office.

 

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And here’s another view of the office changes, which shows how the other furniture works with the cart in place.

 

 

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Does switching furniture around count as exercise?  Or do I still need to use this bicycle later?

 

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I’m enjoying Pretty Little World, and hope to read more of it this weekend.  I’ve also binge-watched an Amazon Video (Z:  The Beginning of Everything)…and might return to Netflix to watch somethig.

 

 

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What are your weekend plans?  Reading, movies…or the Superbowl?

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