COFFEE CHAT: STRESS ACTIVITIES…

Good morning!  Let’s gather around with our caffeinated beverages to chat about our weeks, our books, and our perspectives.  Join our host at Bookishly Boisterous to see what others are sharing.

On the day after the frightening events of yesterday, January 6, I am still stunned, although not really surprised, either.  We all knew that insurrection was bound to happen when #45 sent so many messages to his followers, urging them on.  Now I wonder:  will there be ANY consequences?

On the brighter side, two new Georgia senators promise changes ahead.

  • I am trying to follow my One Word of HOPE…and take it all a day at a time, too.
  • I am reading an interesting book:  Shelter in Place, by David Leavitt, in which the characters are hoping to recover from what they consider the greatest political catastrophe of their lives: the 2016 Presidential Election.   An interesting “time capsule” moment, in view of recent events.
  • I wonder how things would have transpired if that event had not happened at all?
  • Meanwhile, moving along, I finished reading and reviewing my First Book of 2021:  Piece of My Heart, by Mary Higgins Clark/Alafair Burke.
  • On January 5, my youngest grandson turned 18!  Imagine that.  I still remember him fondly with his head of curly hair…Because of Covid, I wasn’t able to see him on his birthday…sigh.

  • What lies ahead for us?  Other than reading and blogging, I am trying to survive each day, alert, and without burying my head in the sand about the potential hazards, both from the virus and from the political environment.
  • I did love watching the latest episode of This Is Us.  I still love that show, after all these years.
  • A new movie is now on Netflix:  Pieces of a Woman, a film that promises to be heart wrenching.

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My favorite activities when I am stressed:  books and viewing.  What do you look forward to during stressful times?

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COFFEE CHAT: GOODBYE, DOLDRUMS…

Good morning!  Let’s gather around with our caffeinated beverages to chat about our weeks, our books, and our perspectives.  Join our host at Bookishly Boisterous to see what others are sharing.

As I sip my morning coffee, which is tasting better and better these days, I am feeling more hopeful.  Despite the news some days, and despite the outrage and bitterness that still lurks everywhere.  A light at the end of the tunnel?

Meanwhile, I have discovered HBO Max and I’m loving several shows.

  • First I found The Flight Attendant, based on Chris Bohjalian’s book which I loved a few years ago.
  • Then, today, comes a movie with some of my favorite stars:  Let Them All Talk, with Meryl Streep, Candice Bergen, Diane Wiest, et al.
  • I do love how a great book or movie can pull me out of the doldrums.  I had a great reading week so far, with three read and reviewed!  Currently, I am reading Goodnight Beautiful, by Aimee Molloy, and loving it.
  • This new sweater arrived in the mailbox a few days ago, and it is warm and cozy.  That’s not a photo of me wearing it, though, lol.  I am too shy to ask someone to take a photo, and my selfies only work on face shots.

  • How is it Thursday already?  I cannot believe the passage of time right now, but I heard someone say that there is actually something real about how that works, the older we get.  Hmm.
  • I am a little sick of Christmas shows and movies, though; they have been playing on Hallmark since July, so I am ready to move on!
  • But…I did enjoy reading the Christmas Shopaholic book this week.
  • And, in other news, First Book of the Year 2021 has been launched:

  • My pick for the event arrived in the mail a couple of weeks ago.  More on that later!

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Enjoy your week and your books, and stay safe and sane!

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COFFEE CHAT: GRATITUDE…

Good morning!  Let’s gather around with our caffeinated beverages to chat about our weeks, our books, and our perspectives.  Join our host at Bookishly Boisterous to see what others are sharing.

 

Happy Thanksgiving!  Today will bring some treats to those of us staying put in the residence, as required by the rules.  But mimosas, desserts, and hopefully a turkey will help make up for any disappointments.  Today I have been binge-watching shows on Netflix, like The Crown and the movie Hillbilly Elegy I read the book back in 2016.

  • I am also reading a NetGalley ARC Take It Back, by Kia Abdullah.
  • This week, I finished a great memoir, I’ll Be Seeing You, by Elizabeth Berg.
  • An early morning fire in the lobby is a lovely greeting on these cool mornings.

  • Dinners, treats, and the ever-growing book stack in my apartment do help to make up for what we lack these days.  But I miss my lovely family members, so when my granddaughter Fiona sends photos via Facebook, I am warmed by the gesture.

  • And when my daughter sends a family photo, I feel as though I am surrounded by family members.

  • Earlier today, I got an e-mail announcing a new title from a favorite author, so I had to pre-order it.  It is Joyce Maynard’s May 25, 202l release Count the Ways.

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What blessings can you count today?  I hope everyone is finding gratitude in small treats and the treasures found along the way.

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COFFEE CHAT: CREATING A NEW NORMAL…

Good morning!  Let’s gather around with our caffeinated beverages to chat about our weeks, our books, and our perspectives.  Join our host at Bookishly Boisterous to see what others are sharing.

Today is one day closer to Election Day…and I have mixed feelings.  Hope, combined with a bit of anxiety.  But once it is over, if it ever really is, lol, we can move a little closer to normalcy.  Then, of course, the Virus will still be looming and people around us might still be fighting the mask wearing and social distancing.  Sigh.

  • Meanwhile, I am reading.  I discovered an HBO miniseries based on a book I own:  a book I had started to read, but didn’t really like.  (That was back in 2014).  But I loved the first episode so much, that I thought I would give the book another try.  The show, called The Undoing, stars Nicole Kidman and Hugh Grant, among others.

  • The book was published under the title You Should Have Known, by Jean Hanff Korelitz, and after my viewing of the series episode, I started reading it again.  And I am still reading it!  Actually enjoying it.  Funny, that.
  • With October almost over, November and December and those holidays previously known as Thanksgiving and Christmas will be ahead of us.  Nothing will be the same as it was, of course, but perhaps we can create something new and hopeful?
  • We can mourn the past…or we can try to forge ahead with something new that might even be fun. 
  • I celebrated my birthday last Sunday, and instead of visiting my daughter at her home, still off limits, she came for a visit here, socially distanced and masked, and brought Champagne for mimosas and two slices of cheesecake.  Yum!  We couldn’t eat together (because she had to remain masked), but I had my goodies in my apartment later.
  • Then I received a cake in the community dining hall, from staff, and shared slices with other residents:

  • New ways of celebrating can happen!

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How has your week been shaping up?  Are you looking forward to the holidays, in some form or other?

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COFFEE CHAT: REDISCOVERIES…

Good morning!  Let’s gather around with our caffeinated beverages to chat about our weeks, our books, and our perspectives.  Join our host at Bookishly Boisterous to see what others are sharing.

When I last posted a Coffee Chat, I was still struggling with the Block Editor.  While it still throws me for a loop or two, things are getting better.  I am finding ways to work around the challenges. 

  • I will be so glad when 2020 is behind us!  Let’s hope we survive it, and that the election doesn’t bury us in more darkness.  Sigh.
  • This week, I have read and reviewed two books so far:  Remain Silent, by Susie Steiner, and Return to Virgin River, by Robyn Carr.
  • Then I started reading The Lost for Words Bookshop, by Stephanie Butland.
  • On Thursdays, I participate in a Books from the Backlog event, and have rediscovered “forgotten” books, many of which I have since read.  Today I added another Robyn Carr to my device…from the backlog:  The Summer That Made Us.  I can’t believe I haven’t yet read it!  Do you ever rediscover books that are languishing on your shelves and wonder why?
  • This week, I also rediscovered freshly ground coffee!  Yes, imagine that.  I inadvertently clicked on coffee beans in my Instacart order, and I was definitely surprised to see those beans when I opened the bag.  I immediately ordered a coffee grinder from Amazon…and it arrived the next day!

 

  • I am now blissfully sipping on the best coffee ever!

  • In the mood to celebrate fall, I retrieved my autumn wreath from my under-the-bed storage.  My granddaughter Fiona brought it to me last year:

  • So, despite the very frightening world around us, I am finding things to savor and cherish.

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How is your week going?  Are you rediscovering/recreating things that bring you joy?

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COFFEE CHAT: LIFE’S ANNOYING MOMENTS, ETC.

Good morning!  Let’s gather around with our caffeinated beverages to chat about our weeks, our books, and our perspectives.  Join our host at Bookishly Boisterous to see what others are sharing.

I woke up exhausted this morning!  Why?  I am not sure, but I suspect that the world around us is responsible.  And this morning, the gardener is noisily doing what he does.  Do you ever find ordinary things creating more havoc than you can stand?

  • I have been slowly trying to work around the elements of Block Editor, and just when I think I have it figured out, it throws a curve or two.
  • Earlier, I was searching for something in my desk drawer:  a pencil, of all things!  Could I find one?  No, and I am not sure how it is possible that I don’t have even one!  But then again, others moved me here…and I have slowly been stocking up on office supplies, etc.
  • By the time I had searched every drawer, however, I had weeded out a lot of junk and it is now organized.  LOL.
  • And I ordered some pencils from Amazon!
  • My reading sucks.  I have finished one book this week, and I didn’t love it:  The Truth About Melody Browne, by Lisa Jewell.
  • Next I started reading a book called Life in Pieces, by Dawn O’Porter.  A diary of one mother/writer’s journey through a Pandemic year.  Yeah, a true story.
  • As usual, I have been playing around with blog themes/headers, hoping that I can somehow win out over the block editor through sheer practice.

Here are some new headers: Potpourri

Serendipity

  • Now that I have conquered a few tasks, I think I’ll pick up my book and read a while.

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How are you handling the day-to-day life of 2020?  Did anyone watch the debate last night?  Not as bad as last week’s, but still annoying.

Hang in there!

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COFFEE CHAT: BINGE-WATCHING, ETC.

Good morning!  Let’s gather around with our caffeinated beverages to chat about our weeks, our books, and our perspectives.  Join our host at Bookishly Boisterous to see what others are sharing.

Last night’s debates were frustrating.  So infuriating primarily because 45 did his usual lying, while also interrupting every time Biden spoke.  So rude, and yet so typical.  I watched for a while, and then couldn’t stand it anymore.  By then, it was late, as I was watching it online.

  • So when the alarm went off today, I went back to sleep.  When I finally got up, it was still early enough that I could have made it to breakfast, but I decided not to go to the dining room.  Instead I made coffee and wrote a review of Three Perfect Liars, by Heidi Perks.  My first completed book of the week.

  • I have decided that I will allow myself at least one day a week to change my routines.
  • Here we are with another month behind us…and as I add up my reading totals for September, I am not impressed.  Only nine books read!
  • For a couple of weeks, I have been binge-watching The Good Wife.  I am now winding down the final season (7), and looking for something else to distract me from my life.

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How are you managing your days, weeks, and months?  Do you search for distractions to help you cope?  Hang tough!

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COFFEE CHAT: RESHAPING MY ROUTINES…

My Coffee Chats are out of whack lately, so this one is either early…or very late. My thoughts are all over the place as we continue to isolate and take our daily lives with caution, while also focusing on books, movies, etc.

Yesterday, Facebook changed its settings, and the look and navigation are a challenge.  One thing hasn’t changed.  They still haven’t allowed me to post from my Rainy Days and Mondays blog.  The message initially reported “abuse,” which is ridiculous, since I was chatting about books.  Today’s message (when I tried again!) said my blog URL was reported as spam.  Hmm.  I’ve had that URL since 2013.

So I did a work around by mentioning the name of my blog, the content of my review, and a photo of the blog header.  No URLs were entered…but hopefully other bloggers can find it.  We have to do whatever works, right?

Meanwhile, my day started in a non-routine way.  Usually I go through certain motions, like making the bed, lining up the clothes I am going to wear, and then jumping in the shower.  Before I do anything else.  Today was backward.  First I went on the computer, posted a review, drank some coffee, and then took my shower.  I felt better!

When life seems to drag along, with nothing but the “same old same old” every day, it is up to us to reshape our world a little.  Or a lot.  As most visitors to my pages know, I have done quite a lot of redecorating…mostly just rearranging things.  Sometimes by adding things; my bookshelves have definitely grown.

I also change up my stack of nightstand books from my unread pile in the entry way (left) to the nightstand on the right:

 

 

 

 

 

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How do you manage your days through this Pandemic?  If you are still in isolation, what works for you?

Has anyone else found Facebook changes challenging?

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COFFEE CHAT: BOOKS, BLOGGING, ETC.

Good morning!  Let’s gather around with our caffeinated beverages to chat about our weeks, our books, and our perspectives.  Join our host at Bookishly Boisterous to see what others are sharing.

As I sit here in my apartment waiting for the breakfast tray, I am busy blogging.  I already wrote a post about how I Found Another Neglected Book, in the backlog event.  I have been doing this event for a few weeks and have read a few of them already.  I have brought the others back to the Kindle from where they had been “hiding” in the Cloud!  So that’s a start.

  • This week I have read and reviewed The Request, by David Bell, and I loved it!  I’ve also read my NetGalley ARC that will be released on 8/4/20:  The Night Swim, by Megan Goldin.  I have one more August ARC to read!
  • Currently I am enjoying Friends & Strangers, by J. Courtney Sullivan.
  • I was just scrolling on Facebook and saw a post from my granddaughter Fiona, expressing outrage about Woody Allen being married to someone who had been like a daughter to him, and she wondered why there are no “memes” about it.  I had to remind her that it happened before social media took off…but that there were books and movies about it.
  • I referenced a memoir written by Mia Farrow, which I have on my shelf.  What Falls Away.
  • At the time, I saw a couple of movies about Woody and Mia, too.  I haven’t thought about any of that in years!
  • Perhaps I have thought about it more than I realized, since I have a book on my shelf written by Woody and Mia’s son, Ronan Farrow, a Pulitzer Prize winning investigative journalist, in which he exposes a conspiracy to protect predators: Catch and Kill.
  • I plan to read it soon.  These events are troubling for many of us, as we look around at the world today and see how many people in power are “protected” by their enablers.  Don’t even get me started!
  • Meanwhile, I am trying to enjoy my fiction books, mostly thrillers, and fix attractive meal trays for myself, like this one from yesterday.  The scones were pretty good, and the mimosa, which came from my own grocery supplies, was delicious!  LOL.

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What events/books/etc. are keeping you engaged today?  Or keeping you up at night?

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COFFEE CHAT: ONE STEP FORWARD, ANOTHER STEP BACK…

Good morning!  Let’s gather around with our caffeinated beverages to chat about our weeks, our books, and our perspectives.  Join our host at Bookishly Boisterous to see what others are sharing.

 

Another week is behind us, with some books read and some changes afoot.  Yes, we are now in Lockdown 2, although we never left the first one.  We did have socially distanced days in the dining room on alternate days…but those are over.  Five staff members have tested positive since June…odd how we find out significantly after the fact.  So we are restricted to our apartments again.

  • I was talking on the phone yesterday with another resident, one who shared a table back in “normal” times.  We agreed that it is ironic how we are punished when staff, who go home every night and aren’t under scrutiny, are the ones who didn’t follow the rules.  Or perhaps they were just unlucky.  Much harder to control their behavior, however.
  • I definitely feel for them, but we are still locked away.
  • I was so pissed off at first and had a mimosa to soothe me, especially since they didn’t bring the French toast…and then called a couple of friends.  One who is living “outside,” and the resident mentioned above.  I felt better afterwards.  The mimosa helped.

  • Funny thing, though, letting off steam did remind me that I am glad to be safely tucked away, despite the fact that the dining room is now off limits again.  The worst part about that:  the food has slipped into the inferior category again.  They don’t bring what we’ve ordered, or they just change the order at will.
  • The bread and cream cheese you see above on that tray came from my fridge, my groceries.
  • Another annoying aspect:  we now have to wear masks in our apartments when staff come in to “provide care,” is how they put it.  I immediately jumped on that one, since all they do is deliver things, change the trash, and just interrupt whatever we’re doing.  I finally settled with the administrators that since they come in so often, I will simply put the mask on when they are closer than six feet from me.  That is working so far.
  • I have read two books so far this week.  The Girl from Widow Hills, by Megan Miranda; and The Safe Place, by Anna Downes.
  • Both books were engaging, although a little slower than I like.  Next I plan to read a NetGalley ARC, Playing Nice, by J.P. Delaney – Released on 7/28.  I have also added more hardcover/paperback books to my nightstand (below).

  • That stack is certainly growing, and so is the TBR shelf in my entry way.  My regular bookshelf is also providing great comfort to this bookworm.

  • I didn’t have much of an opportunity to enjoy my new handbag and tops, now that we are stuck in our apartments.  Should I dress up and carry the handbag in the corridor for our one scheduled walk each day?

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In case you note the bitter tone in my post, I apologize; sometimes I can remain positive and cheery…and at other times, not so much.  But I am trying to focus on each day…and my books!

Stay safe!

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