may 24 another look at the patio

Good morning!  My Interior World looks promising today.  Just outdoors, on my newly cleaned patio ( I did promise to do that!), I am enjoying the cool air of morning as I sip my coffee.

Today is Tuesday Intros/Teasers, and I’m eager to read the book I’m sharing today.  Blood Defense, by Marcia Clark, is the first in a new series featuring Samantha Brinkman.






Yesterday was a hectic day, with little time for reading.  My DMV tags are up for renewal, and I had to get the smog check done.  Luckily, that didn’t take too long; I barely had time to start reading Breakdown, by Jonathan Kellerman.







Next, I was off to the Office Max to pick up a new wireless mouse.  Mine stopped working!

Grocery shopping came after, and as I struggled home with the flimsy plastic bags provided by the store, I reminded myself—again—that I needed to get something sturdier.

So imagine my surprise (and pleasure) to find just what I need on Amazon Vine!





While I was studying the Vine newsletter, of course I had to check out some books…and found one featured today in Lakeside Musings Tuesday Intro!

Tuesday Nights in 1980, by Molly Prentiss, has been beckoning to me for a while.  Of course I requested it!






Lately, I’ve spent time in the 1970s, the 1920s, and now the 80s are coming to me!

Meanwhile, last night, I finished Season III of The Killing...with only six episodes in Season IV, I am sure to finish it tonight.  I have loved the unexpected twists….



the killing image



Now I am back indoors, in my little nook, having an OJ…with a shot of Brandy.  Yikes!  Did I just admit that?



may 24 - in the nook


How is your Tuesday shaping up?  Any new books to share?  Thoughts from your interior?



Bookish World & Coffee - 516

Here I sit, blogging and visiting blogs, my coffee cup next to me on the shelf (above); I do love my coffee mornings.

Yes, I am enjoying the start to my weekend morning…but I am also procrastinating.  I need to clean the patio so I can actually sit out there occasionally.  I also need to do a little housework, which I’ve been putting off all week.

But what fun is that?  In my post-retirement/freelance life, I’m supposed to be able to choose my activities.  And they should be enjoyable ones.  Ha!

Okay, let’s stop being self-indulgent here, but I do want to finish my blog visiting, which includes chatting about all the wonderful books others brought back from BEA.

Can we say ENVY?  Yes, we can.  But it’s okay.  Many of these books will be available in the next few months…and in the meantime, I do have a few that I’ve noticed on stacks.  Books I got from NetGalley.  I call the theme for my upcoming books:  The Girls in June.

First, we have The Girls in the Garden, which will be released on June 7.  So I’ll be picking it up to read very soon. (It is alternately called The Girls, or The Girls in the Garden)






And, to keep to the “girls” theme, here comes The Girls, by Emma Cline. (June 14 release date)




the girls by emma cline



Finally, All the Missing Girls, by Megan Miranda (Release date – June 28)







Now let’s look at my Netflix Addiction.  Yes, lovely new seasons are coming, from Bloodline next week, to Orange is the New Black in June.

In the meanwhile, I am luxuriating in The Killing.  A wonderful murder mystery laced with political scheming and nefarious deeds in a neighboring casino, it is set in Seattle.  I love Seattle!  I’m almost finished with Season II (of four), and we still don’t know who killed Rosie Larson…but there are plenty of suspects.



the killing image


But before I settle in to continue watching, I really must clean that patio, at the very least.  Right?  It isn’t THAT bad…just requires a broom, a dustpan, and a giant trash bag.  No problem!



patio on may 21


But after a cleaning, it can look like this again:





As I look at the patio photo above, I realize that this one was taken before they replaced the patio fence, which looks sooo much better nowadays, and behind the detritus of leaves, etc., you can glimpse it in the messy patio scene above.

Something to look forward to…a new clean patio with the prettier fence.

What is your interior world showing you today?  Fun, errands, chores?



resized office

Tensions arise between Martha and her assistant after Zach comes back into the picture.  Excerpted from Interior Designs.



When I returned from lunch, Caroline was in her little office working away.  She didn’t even look up when I peeked in; almost as if she were avoiding me.  

    “Hi, Caroline.  Anything happening I should know about?”

    When she glanced up at me, her cheeks turned red.  As if she were hiding something.  But I decided not to put her on the spot, and just waited for whatever updates she’d provide.

    Standing up, she moved toward me with a stack of pink message slips, which she just handed to me.  Usually she gave me some kind of overview, in order of priorities, but she had nothing to say.  

    I felt curious, but simply said:  “Okay.  I’ll see you later.”

    Back at my desk, I soon forgot her reaction and busied myself with some new sketches.  Then I checked e-mails, and that’s when I saw Zach’s.  I felt my face heat up as I read the message:  Hi, gorgeous, looking forward to more between us….I quickly exited the message, and as an afterthought, decided to delete it.  Not that anyone would be checking my e-mails, but I didn’t want to even consider the possibility that others (meaning Caroline) might stumble upon it.

    Nor did I reply to it right then.  Something inside my battered heart told me to keep him waiting.

    Even though I had vowed to avoid game-playing—where had games gotten me in my marriage battles?—but I also had to protect my heart.  And sometimes games were the only methods that would do just that.
    Caroline couldn’t wait to escape the office that day.

    As much as she told herself that Martha had first dibs on Zach, she also remembered that she and Zach had a date for this very weekend.  Was he playing some kind of game, or had Martha misinterpreted the lunch she had with him?  But there was no way she could have missed Martha’s slightly disheveled look when she’d returned.  She had that “just been kissed” badge stamped on her face like a tattoo, which puzzled Caroline.  The Martha she’d always known would have polished up her visage, erasing all traces of whatever had transpired between her and Zach.  So was she hoping Caroline would notice?  Did she suspect that something might be happening between her and Zach?

    But how could she?  Zach certainly wouldn’t have told her.  No, it was her guilty conscience.  Which made her recall, once again, that she had done nothing wrong.

    Driving home, she felt like the “other woman,” even though she knew she shouldn’t.  Nothing had actually happened between her and Zach.  They’d run into each other in a restaurant, had an impromptu meal, and agreed to go to the movies on Saturday.  Did that sound like the beginning of something?  It did to her, but then again, she hadn’t actually started anything with him…yet.  So time would tell what would actually develop.

    How on earth did she turn into this person who questioned her every action?

    She knew that Martha had been through a horrendous experience with her ex-husband; before he’d been an ex, he’d put her through the wringer.  Her boss had confided some of it to her, but only after it was actually over.  It was like she’d hung in there, fighting like a trooper, and finally had to give up.  That kind of experience really stomped on a person’s ego, especially someone like Martha who had believed she had the perfect life.

    When that happened, you had to question everything you’d ever believed about life, love, and marriage.

    Caroline had her own rules for relationships.  Never put a man ahead of your friendships with other women; never sit by the phone waiting for that call; and never, ever poach another woman’s man.

    But what determined “ownership,” anyway?  

    As she pulled into her garage, she pondered this idea for a few moments, while the garage door slid shut behind her.  She quickly opened the back door and entered her space, glancing around, as if to assess any damage done to her abode while she was gone.  This habit had developed when she was living with her last boyfriend.  Or when he was actually mostly living here.  

    As much as she’d enjoyed his company—at least in the beginning!—she’d come to resent how he treated her space.  As if her beautiful surroundings were his personal dumping ground.  The coffee table had always been littered with books, magazines, and an overflowing ashtray.  Beer cans dotted almost every available surface, while whatever clothes he’d worn that day managed to layer the floors, like some kind of statement.  Of what, she wasn’t sure.  Maybe his statement was that he couldn’t be bothered to pick up after himself; that she was his personal servant; or even worse, that he didn’t even notice what he was doing.

    That’s when she’d realized that their relationship would end…and soon.  Was it because she was a frustrated interior designer, working around beautiful environments by day?  Or did she imagine her space as something that “spoke” to those who entered, and therefore conveyed some kind of personal message?

    At first, she’d felt mean and even a little disturbed by what these feelings said about her.  But soon she’d realized that she had every right to feel the way she did.  She’d tried to nudge Derek into some kind of neatness, but he’d only studied her with a weird expression, as if she had dropped into his view from another planet.

    They’d finally had some big fight about something she couldn’t even remember now, but she knew that it was only the last straw.  The one that broke the camel’s back.



Front Cover-resized again



May 7 breakfast in bed with Netflix

Some of you may have seen my preparations for my Day in the Life:  In the Bedroom. (Interior World Shake-Ups…When Will I Stop?)

My day began early.  Everything was ready, so I first brought in the laptop (Louisa May), and set her up.  I hooked up the TV and laptop, changed the input on the TV, and voila!  It’s all set.

Next came the breakfast tray.  You can’t really enjoy Breakfast in Bed with Netlix & Amazon Videos…without it.

First I finished watching Happy Valley, another binge-worthy show.





Next:  Watched the rest of The Newsroom on Amazon Video:





Finally…Grace & Frankie.  I watched all of Season II!




During this long process, which didn’t seem long at all, I enjoyed food, coffee, and then a mimosa….


may 7 bedroom - mimosa, etc.


I took a little break between shows to go online and visit some blogs.  Laptop came over to the bed….


laptop on bed - may 7


So….after lolling about in bed all day, one would think I would feel rested…but I was kind of tired.  I read a little from the book I’ve been savoring all weekend:  What We Find, by Robyn Carr.





Guess what’s coming tomorrow?  Clouds in My Coffee, the third book in the Country Club Murders trilogy (series?).  I can’t wait to download it!





So…my weekend continued, with Mother’s Day brunch up in the mountains, by the lake.  Here are my lovely daughter and grandson, with the boats as a backdrop:


Heather & Noah - Mother's Day Brunch - Bass Lake


One of the gifts she gave me was this hand-carved art piece, created by one of her friends:



Love Sign Close-up


Here is how it looks on my Love Wall in the office.  It is surrounded by baby pictures of my kids…and one of me back in the day:



Love Wall - 2


Finally…some lovely lilies:


Mother's Day Lilies


These were my Weekend Interior Moments.  I hope you had a wonderful weekend, too.  Do you enjoy setting up your interiors for such moments?



may 4 - sheets

Once I start making changes in my interiors, I can’t seem to stop!

Just two days ago, I started shaking things up and wrote about it in Thoughts from the Interior:  Favorite Places.

Yesterday I made a few more changes…I bought new sheets, for one thing (above); and then I brought in a small round table from the living room…for the laptop (below).



may 4 bedroom changes


When you move one thing, something else must fill the void…so here is what happened in the living room after the round table changed locations.  The little drop leaf table moved from its former location next to the love seat….


may 5 living room changes


What took its place?  The faceless doll….


may 5, view from dining room


Here’s the laptop in its home away from home…in other words, when I’m watching Netflix in my bedroom:


may 5 laptop space


Am I done?  What do you think?  Am I the only one who can’t seem to stop when I’m making “just a few changes”?




Welcome to my Interior World…a world of reading, blogging, and writing.  As summer draws near, I can visualize myself reading outside.  I probably won’t be lying on the grass like the girl in the photo (above), but at least I will be sitting at my patio table with a cold drink and my book.

There will always be reading time indoors, too…and other interior activities include my Netflix binge-watching.

One of my favorite shows begins Season Two on Friday…and I’ve learned that Season Three is already filming.  Grace and Frankie, starring Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin, is a story about two women recently separated from their husbands after many years…because of a long-held secret finally revealed.






I usually watch my Netflix shows and Amazon Videos in the living room, with the help of my Blu-Ray player.  But sometimes I like curling up in my bed to watch.   So I rearranged my bedroom a bit and hooked up an HDMI cable so I can connect the TV to my laptop, which I will place atop the small chest next to the TV.


May 3 - more bedroom changes


The table that was previously next to the TV is now across the room….



May 3 - bedroom rearranged


Tonight I’m reading one of my NetGalley downloads:  Don’t You Cry, and I can’t wait to sort through all the red herrings to discover the truth about the characters.





What do your reading spots look like?  Do you enjoy reading outdoors during the summer, or do you still cozy up indoors?




It is time to assess my progress towards BALANCE!

One aspect of balancing my interior world is all about the books I buy, as well as those I manage to read.

Let’s look at my Compulsive Book Buying Disorder:




Here’s what happened so far this year:

Books Purchased in January 2016:  SEVEN!  (Not bad)

How about February?  – SIX!

March:  Uh-oh….TWELVE!

April:  TEN…So far.


Now let’s check my progress on the Read the Books You Buy Challenge:

Twenty-eight books read so far in 2016.  These are books that were purchased between June 2015 to the Present.


Now…this is all great, but what does it have to do with balance?   Let’s look at books that I’ve read from my Old TBRs…before June 2015.

Those numbers were harder to access, but I found them by going back through my written logs from the beginning of the year, and here they are:

TWENTY-TWO books read that were purchased before June 2015.  So…a little progress.


Balancing books read, books purchased, etc., is all good.  But I still have a ways to go to balance out the rest of my life.

My A Day in the Life post showed a somewhat balanced day.  I’m thinking I should do a similar post once a month.  What do you think?

Do you easily balance your days, your weeks, and your months?  How do you do it?