COFFEE MORNING: BOOKISH/NOT SO BOOKISH THOUGHTS…

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Good morning, Blog World!  It’s time to share some of our Bookish/Not So Bookish Thoughts, along with Christine, at Bookishly Boisterous.

As the days slide by, I am making lists and planning the getaway next Friday-Sunday, (March 31-April 2) for my daughter’s wedding.

  • Last night, my second son, who lives in LA, called and we chatted as he drove toward Phoenix, where he will be visiting his youngest son, a college freshman there.  I like these little chats, and he says they make the journey less tedious.
  • He and his eldest son, Alec, who will be on spring break, will be coming to the wedding, so we had logistics to discuss.  They plan to stay Saturday night only.
  • I am one of those people who has to start “getting ready” way too soon, and as a result, I have all the clothes I’m planning to take hanging together in the closet, and the luggage is next to my bed.  I always worry that I will forget something important, like iPhone charger, Kindle charger, etc.  Hence, the lists.
  • When I used to travel more, getting ready to go was on auto pilot.  Not so much these days.
  • Meanwhile, I’m doing some reading this week, and I’m on my third book:  Bridges:  A Daphne White Novel, by Maria Murnane.  I enjoyed her Waverly Bryson series, and I’m loving this one, too.

 

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  • This week is Bloggiesta, and I’ve been having fun updating my various blogs, fixating mostly on my Rainy Days and Mondays site
  • A few days ago, my coffee pot died…so I went off to buy another, bemoaning the fact that they don’t seem to last very long.  Perhaps because I keep buying Mr. Coffee…and should be trying something…better?  But I took the easy route, and hauled another Mr. Coffee home.

 

  • I’m getting a lot of use out of my new blender (which I bought to replace the one my daughter borrowed…ten years ago?).  Smoothies, etc.

 

  • Every night this week, I’ve been binge-watching Scandal, on Netflix.  I never watched the show on TV…and I started it here when I couldn’t find anything else on Netflix that grabbed me.  Some episodes were boring, but now in the third season, I’m hooked.
  • I do want new seasons to come along for old favorites, though…but in the meantime, I’m good with this one.

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That’s my week so far….come on over and let’s chat.

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A SUNDAY COFFEE CHAT: PLANNING MY DAY….

Good morning, and welcome to a Sunday Coffee Chat.  My new header (above) came to me late last night, when I realized that I hadn’t changed it in a while.

Changing things up seems to be my default setting on my blogs…and in my life.

Conveying the theme of my site is what I hope to achieve, and doing so in a variety of ways makes me feel “fresh” and “new.”  This blog is all about reading, blogging, and writing…and my love of those activities.

As I grab another cup of coffee, I ponder the day ahead.  Yesterday was all about running errands and having a relaxing lunch.

 

 

Today I plan to read, watch some Netflix, and some of the movies on Amazon Prime Videos.  I also have some movies on my DVR.  Ordinary People is one I’ve been wanting to watch again, since Mary Tyler Moore gave an extraordinary performance in it.

 

Tonight my favorite thing will be watching Big Little Lies…and The Good Fight, streaming on CBS:  All Access, a recent acquisition.

 

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I am currently reading The Mother’s Promise, and I was drawn in by the alternating narrators immediately.  Each character’s perspective offers just enough to keep me turning those pages.  A single mom, a teenage daughter with severe social anxiety, and an illness that renders the mother unable to provide the buffer her daughter has always depended upon.

 

 

 

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So…that’s what I have planned.  What do you enjoy on a Sunday?

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COFFEE MORNING: SOME BOOKISH/NOT SO BOOKISH THOUGHTS…

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Good morning, and welcome to another chat featuring our Bookish/Not So Bookish Thoughts, hosted by Christine, at Bookishly Boisterous.

Let’s grab some coffee and chat!

 

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I can’t believe how late I slept today!  Eight o’clock!  That’s unheard of for me.  I must have needed the sleep.

  • In my little office alcove pictured at the top of this post, I spend some cozy moments:  writing blog posts, visiting other blogs, and, yes, connecting a little bit on social media.
  • That alcove has gone through a few changes over the years.  Once upon a time, it was a place for my extra bookshelves…

 

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  • When I started purging shelves, I didn’t need that space for books…and when I had house guests staying in the office/guestroom, I knew that I needed to render the space more comfortable for them.  Now I can easily unfold the sleeper sofa.  My desk area that took up a lot of space in the room has now been relocated to the alcove, but with a smaller desk…(See below for former home of the rolltop desk).

 

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  • Enough about my room changes!  After reading and reviewing THREE books so far this week, I am totally engaged in another NetGalley ARC:  Almost Missed You, by Jessica Strawser.  I like books that reel me in from the start, and this one definitely has done that.

 

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Almost Missed You is a skillful, insightful debut: a deft exploration of the mysteries of marriage, the price we pay for our secrets, and just how easy it is to make the worst choices imaginable.” —Chris Bohjalian, New York Times bestselling author of The Sandcastle Girls and Midwives

  • Has anyone else been watching Big Little Lies on HBO?  I wasn’t sure I’d enjoy it, since they changed the setting from Australia to Monterey, CA…but the cast makes up for that, IMO.
  • This week has flown by…again!  But tomorrow I’m looking forward to a lunch with an old friend who has been through some health challenges recently.  We’re going to The Red Lobster, where I used to lunch a lot when I was working near there.
  • Some time this weekend, I must start searching for my “mother of the bride” outfit…I can’t tell you how much I am NOT looking forward to the shopping, as it means I’ll probably need to go to the mall.  Can’t I order it on Amazon?  LOL
  • I also have to get new shoes….Groan.
  • I put the Uber app on Phoebe, my iPhone…as my daughter says there will be no parking at the home where they’ll be having the reception the next day, back here in our city.   I’m a little nervous about Uber...

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That’s my week so far…what does yours look like?

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COFFEE CHAT: TICK-TOCK, THE TIME IS FLYING….

books-fairytales-may-16-shapedGood morning, bloggers!  I’m having my first cup of coffee while chatting today…please join me, and also check out Christine’s Bookish (and Not So Bookish) Thoughts.

  • A couple of weeks ago, I received a jury summons for this week.  I was annoyed, but I thought it would be the usual calling in at night and being told to call again the next evening.  Well, not so much.  I was supposed to appear at 8:30 yesterday!  And I had plans yesterday…and today.  So I stayed on the line and went through the menu…finding the one where I could postpone it for up to nine months.  So I did.  What a relief!
  • I went ahead with my massage and hair styling yesterday at my daughter’s salon.  She put a little more of the silver on my hair, with the dark low lights.  She took a photo of the back when she was finished.   I was ready to change from being a redhead for all these years…

 

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  • Today I sign my tax forms and the accountant files them.
  • Yesterday I did some changes with my lamps.  I had a rather chunky lamp on my rolltop desk, in my office nook, and I decided (finally) that it was too big…so I switched things around, with that lamp ending out behind the sofa…

 

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  • My smaller lamp now sits atop the desk….

 

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  • I am determined to make additional changes in my lifestyle, including more exercise.  I have that stationary bike for the days that are rainy…and I guess I can’t seriously believe that changing lamps and furniture around counts as exercise!  So move over Minnie, I’m coming in!

 

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  • I hope to read a lot today…until I have to leave to sign the tax forms, which can be late afternoon.
  • It’s Thursday, and I love the lineup on nighttime TV!  TGIT!
  • But why do the weeks fly by?  I really haven’t managed to accomplish a lot, although I have finished two books so far.  But seriously?
  • In a little over a month (April 1), we’ll be headed to Cayucos for my daughter’s beach wedding…and before then, I have to find an outfit.  I hate clothes shopping…but I guess it must be done.
  • At least I’ve reserved my hotel room for two nights.  We’ll head up on Friday, stay the night, and the wedding will be at 1:00 in the afternoon.  Then dinner, a bonfire on the beach, and the next day…home.  The reception will be back here, at my daughter’s new brother-in-law’s home.  Since it’s her second marriage, I have had little to do with the arrangements…and that’s fine by me.  I can be a guest and enjoy the party.   Plus, the in-laws have bigger houses…LOL.
  • Speaking of time, we’ll be going to daylight savings in March!  When did it stop being in April?
  • So…tick-tock.

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And these are my thoughts for this Thursday.  Enjoy the rest of the week…and come on by and chat!

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COFFEE CHAT: A MORNING OF BOOKS, TAXES, ETC.

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Good morning, Bloggers!  It’s time to have another cup of coffee…and chat.

Today’s chat will be about my Bookish/Not So Bookish Thoughts, and I’m linking to Bookishly Boisterous, where others meet to share their thoughts.

I love my Happy mug (above).  There is a story to it, of course.  When I moved into this condo after living for several years in a bigger place in the foothills, I got rid of a lot of my old stuff.  I was going for the minimalist look.

But that’s not me…so slowly, but cautiously, I started adding a few things to fill in my new spaces.  I found this Baker’s Rack in a shop that was going out of business….I had always wanted one, so I thought:  why not?

 

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On display near the rack I had just purchased were assorted dishware, including these “happy” mugs, bowls, and saucers.  Of course I had to have them, and let me tell you how much joy they bring to my ordinary meals!  I love using colorful dinnerware, even when I am eating alone.  Maybe especially when I am enjoying a solitary meal.

 

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They mostly show up at breakfast, on my tray.

 

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Which brings us to my office, where I now am blogging away, chatting over another cup of coffee.

Today’s read is A Vanishing Year, by Kate Moretti, and I am loving it!  I’ve had my share of thrillers in the last few months, but this one is a bit different.  A “dark, twisty, edge-of-your-seat suspense” (Karen Robards), The Vanishing Year combines the classic sophistication of Ruth Rendell and A.S.A. Harrison with the thoroughly modern flair of Jessica Knoll. Told from the point-of-view of a heroine who is as relatable as she is enigmatic, The Vanishing Year is an unforgettable new novel by a rising star of the genre.

 

 

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Basically, it’s a story of a woman who fled her life in California, landing in New York with a new identity.  But can she put the past behind her?  Will the secrets she is keeping ruin the life she is building?  And will her wonderful new husband turn out to have a very dark side?

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I will finish it this morning, I hope.  But I do have an appointment with the accountant this afternoon, to deal with taxes.  My least favorite thing.  I always feel anxious, with knots in my stomach…ever since the year when I owed an additional $2,000.  I’ve taken steps to make sure that doesn’t happen again…but I am never secure about it until after the appointment.

 

 

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Next I hope to read The Best Awful….before starting a series of review books.  It is Carrie Fisher’s sequel to Postcards from the Edge.

 

 

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I think that was my last cup of coffee, so I’m off to read some more.  I also need to ponder cleaning up this place…but that can wait until tomorrow.  Right?

What are your random thoughts today?

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LET’S CHAT OVER COFFEE: FAMILY MOMENTS….

books-fairytales-may-16-shapedGood morning!  Grab some coffee, and let’s chat.  Welcome to my Interior World…and the occasional excursions into the Exterior World. 

Last summer, my granddaughter Fiona and I traveled to the Northernmost section of the state to beautiful surroundings.  I took lots of photos…but I can never have enough.

 

 

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Fiona’s dad, my youngest son, sent some more photos the other day, showing what it looks like in the winter season.  The water, below, looks ferocious, and the sea (above) looks sultry .

 

 

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I like this glimpse of the forest and the water…

 

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Meanwhile, back here in the city, Fiona posted this photo of one of her new looks.  I like her colorful array of garments, and the head scarf is covering her slowly growing hair.  On impulse, she shaved it a few months ago.  LOL.

 

 

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In this shot, she is looking rather sullen.  Or thoughtful.

 

 

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Auggie, a companion for my son and DIL…is an ever-present “person.”

 

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Last week, I did a “switcheroo” of some tables (see Weekend Potpourri:  A Switcheroo...)  The table, below, now taking up residence in my office, once sat behind the loveseat in my bedroom.

 

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In the bedroom, I replaced the cart with this small wicker shelf, which works better, I think.

 

 

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Then I rearranged a few of the objects on that wicker shelf…I’m never quite satisfied.  Small changes, with the Irish Coffee mug on the edge, with the leprechaun posed against it:

 

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As I said, never satisfied.  In the office, I moved the cart a little bit, and put some decorative boxes on the opposite side, so they are visible.

 

 

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I think that’s it for today….but maybe not.  Always changing, that’s me…and some of my changes include the header at Serendipity....

 

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And over at Rainy Days and Mondays:

 

 

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What did your week look like?  I am sharing this on West Metro Mommy Reads for Saturday Snapshots.

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COFFEE & FAMILY MOMENTS: SAVORING THEM…

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Good morning, bloggers!  Do you have some coffee nearby?  Let’s lift those mugs and celebrate reading, coffee, mimosas…and special family memories.

Today I found some photos from the past…they are a bit blurry, but that’s okay.  Like the velveteen rabbit, they have been LOVED a lot.

First…

My second son, Brett, cuddling with his three kidlets, whom we called the A-Tots, back in the day.  L to R:  Aaron, Alec, and Aubrey.  Alec will be 22 in June; Aubrey will be 20 this month; and Aaron will reach 19 in June.

 

 

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In this photo, they are a little bit older:

 

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A photo of my eldest, Craig, and his lovely wife Gabi, when they were still living in Berlin.  This shot was snapped in 2010…so they weren’t yet married.  The wedding took place in 2013, and now they live in Prague.

 

 

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I found a more recent photo of Gabi:

 

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My youngest son and his wife (left and center) live in beautiful Crescent City, CA…and here they are, with a friend:

 

 

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Check out their beautiful surroundings:

 

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Back in the Central Valley, my granddaughter Fiona and her mom played with some face goop:

 

 

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In our nearby mountains, my youngest grandson is enjoying Nature…

 

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In a world that seems to have gone mad in recent days, I cling to the family moments…and hope that our lives (and our dreams) will survive.

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And I take pleasure in my books.  My current read:

The Bad Things (e-book), by Mary-Jane Riley, a darkly compelling psychological thriller, full of twists and turns, perfect for fans of THE WICKED GIRLS by Alex Marwood and THE GIRL IN THE RED COAT by Kate Hamer.

 

 

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I’m enjoying it so much, that last night I downloaded Book 2:  After She Fell.

 

 

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As you sip your coffee, reflect on your moments…and let’s share!

I’ll be linking to West Metro Mommy Reads, for Saturday Snapshots.

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GRAB SOME COFFEE & LET’S CHAT….

books-fairytales-may-16-shapedFor some reason, the coffee tastes especially good this morning.  And then I thought:  it’s time for Coffee Morning!

Last night was a late one, so that probably also explains the extra need for the caffeine boost today.  The Girl on the Train movie is now on Amazon Prime...and I watched it again.

This Is Us was on, too, and I was compelled to view it afterwards from the DVR…so, late night.

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I’m reading Always, by Sarah Jio, a nice palate cleanser in between thrillers.  Set in Seattle, we get to follow the character along in a dual time line that switches between the 1990s and the present.  My copy is from NetGalley, to be released on 2/7/17.

 

 

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Enjoying a romantic candlelit dinner with her fiancé, Ryan, at one of Seattle’s chicest restaurants, Kailey Crain can’t believe her good fortune: She has a great job as a journalist and is now engaged to a guy who is perfect in nearly every way. As she and Ryan leave the restaurant, Kailey spies a thin, bearded homeless man on the sidewalk. She approaches him to offer up her bag of leftovers, and is stunned when their eyes meet, then stricken to her very core: The man is the love of her life, Cade McAllister…

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Today I’m supposed to have another spa day…just a massage.  I’m enjoying those, as my muscles seem to tighten so regularly that the pain is an ever-present companion.  Could my hours on the computer…and/or reading explain some of this?  I should be using the exercise bike, below, instead of letting Minnie take over…She does look cute there, however.

 

 

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A while ago, I was thinking about moving…remember that?  After considerable thought, I have decided to happily stay put for now, as the thought of packing, getting rid of a lot of stuff (since the places I looked at were smaller), and/or changing up the routines that are so comfortable to me….knocked that idea right out of my head.

Plus…my neighborhood favorite places right around the corner are part of my comfort zone.  The theater, the restaurants, the bookstore….okay, now I’m definitely sold on staying.

Last night, I visited one of those familiar restaurants and used one of the gift cards I got from my grandchildren at Christmas.  Yard House, close to the theater….is not one of my usual places, but I enjoyed this dinner of fish and chips, with malt vinegar.

 

 

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I ended up sending that blended drink back…for one on the rocks.  Which is what I’d asked for, but I took the photo before realizing they had brought the wrong one…LOL.

My usual places are so familiar that they already know what I want when I walk in.  Does that mean I’m predictable?

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So…what now?  Another TV show I’m loving is back from hiatus:  Too Close to Home, with one of my favorite actresses from two soaps…she was killed off on both of them!  Rude, right?  But I think the second “death” was to accommodate her new show.  Kelly Sullivan plays a character living in a tiny town in Alabama.  Her sister has been working for the President…and having an affair with him.  Until she is discovered and evicted from her job and her apartment by the President’s wife.  She slinks off to Happy, Alabama, an inappropriate name for a place filled with meth heads, trailer parks, and angry characters.

 

 

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Can I say I am addicted?

Another new show on the horizon, available only on CBS All Access (which I had to sign up for, of course!):  The Good Fight carries forward some of the characters from the now defunct The Good Wife.  The show premiere is February 19.

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Am I done?  Yes, my coffee is gone and I need to get back to reading…so, next time!

What are your comfort zones?  What books/shows fill your days and nights?

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A COFFEE MORNING ON SUNDAY: BLOGGIESTA, READING, & CHANGES…

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Good morning!  It is Sunday, and time for another Coffee Morning…in which we chat about life’s treasures, our goals, and what is happening in the week ahead.

Since next weekend is a mini-bloggiesta, I am busily creating new blog headers for the site I plan to focus on…Serendipity.

I have created eight possible headers, with five favorites.  I will be nailing one of them down…soon.

While I was busily creating them, I had another look at my pictures folders, and how untidy the whole thing has been.  Images all over the place, not organized at all.

So I spent some time rearranging everything yesterday.  I deleted the ones I’m not using anymore, and named each cover by the book title…so now they are arranged alphabetically.  Why didn’t I think of it sooner?  LOL.

I also sent some older files to my Dropbox…so they are no longer taking up space here.

A New Year is definitely the time to be organizing things.

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Meanwhile, my reading for this week is off to a good start.  I’m loving The Woman in Cabin 10, and beginning to see where this mysterious story will take us.

 

 

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After I had already posted my Weekly Updates...I got these two books in my mailbox.

 

 

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Becoming Queen Victoria, by Kate Williams

The Princess Diarist, by Carrie Fisher

 

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Enjoy your coffee, and let’s have a Sunday Chat.  What does your day look like?

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COFFEE MORNING: PONDERING THE OLD, LOOKING AHEAD TO THE NEW…

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Good morning!  It’s time for another Coffee Morning, now that we approach the New Year.  Wrapping up the Old Year is what we do in the waning days. 

Today I wrapped up part of the year in reading with my Top Ten Favorites of 2016.

It wasn’t easy, as each month I add a favorite to my page, Favorites of 2016, and then I must whittle the list down to ten.  There were sixteen contenders this year, so chopping the list down felt like choosing favorite children.  Sigh.

On January 1, 2017, you’ll find me here posting about my First Book of the Year, hosted by Sheila, at Book Journey.  So tune in!

 

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Since the New Year is about change, I am pondering a hairstyle makeover, at the suggestion of my daughter, the stylist…who often has to prod me to get any kind of change.  Here is what she is proposing for me in 2017…at least in the beginning of the year.

 

 

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But since my One Word, also hosted by Sheila, is about HOPE….maybe it’s all good.

 

 

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Are you pondering changes in the year ahead?  Are you finding the good things you loved in 2016?  Sometimes it is hard to overlook the negatives….but let’s do that!

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