COFFEE CHAT: SAVORING THE GOOD…

Come on in and follow my journey through this past week…and have some coffee.  Join the others at Bookishly Boisterous.

Just when I started to feel good about the fall weather, the horror of Northern California fires stunned me.  They seemed to come out of nowhere, since we had a nice rainy season last winter.  But, as Christine pointed out in her post, the rain stimulated more growth with an abundance of foliage to dry out in the hot summer.  Sigh.  My youngest son and DIL are north of those fires, but there seems to be no safe place these days.

  • Everywhere there is disaster…and it is challenging to try to find something good in the week…or even a day.
  • But…I read and reviewed two wonderful books so far this week:  When We Were Worthy and Cardinal Cabin.  And I’m currently reading Say You’re Sorry, Book No. 1 in the Morgan Dane series, by Melinda Leigh.
  • Every day this week has been about errands of various kinds…including a big Target run last night.  I like going there for all kinds of things, and even groceries, which are cheaper there than in my supermarket.  I was also out of all those paper products and vitamins, etc.
  • Before I went to the store, I had to treat myself to my soup and margarita combo at CPK, where I had the same one I often have, but which is a favorite:

  • Earlier in the day, I actually spent some time on this exercise bike (after moving Minnie out of the way):

  • Then when I walked all over Target, I realized that my seldom-used muscles were crying out their protest!
  • Facebook is my go-to place when I need a distraction…but for a while today, my page did not appear.  I had just the cover photo and nothing else…I came back to it later, and it was there.  Whew!  Then I found some of my granddaughter’s lovely photos from her Prague semester…I love this one!

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So…I will savor the day and be grateful for all the good things I can find in it.  Enjoy yours!

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COFFEE CHAT: DISTRACTIONS…

Good morning!  It’s time to chat about Bookish/Not So Bookish Thoughts…check in at Bookishly Boisterous to connect with other participants.

What a week!  Horrendous events seem to be coming from all sides, and our so-called leader’s response seems muted.

  • It is long past time for peace and love to show itself.  But until that happens, I guess we have to plod along and do our best as individuals to be kind and compassionate.
  • As the events clamor for our attention, it is hard to go on with business as usual.  But we have to try, so, for me, it has been a week of running around, doing errands, getting a flu shot, and trying to shop for items on my list.
  • Today (October 5) is my second son’s birthday, so sending off his gift card earlier in the week was high on my list.
  • Last Saturday, my second oldest grandson got married…weren’t those kids just babies the other day?  Here is the wedding party:  Dominic and Julia are on the far right, in case you couldn’t guess.  LOL.

  • As for reading, this week has been a slog.  I read and reviewed only ONE book, which was a great page turner:  Little Fires Everywhere, by Celeste Ng (click title for review); the book I’m reading now, The Rules of Magic, is not holding my interest that much.  Admittedly, I have been distracted and keep setting it down to watch movies, etc.  Maybe it will pick up.
  • I’ve been recording and watching older movies, and they are definitely distracting me, which might be what I need.  Or they are an escape.  One of them was Primal Fear, with Richard Gere and Edward Norton.  I haven’t watched that movie in years!
  • Last weekend, I did enjoy the Netflix movie, Our Souls at Night.  I might have to watch it again.  I loved seeing Jane Fonda and Robert Redford together again.
  • I am in the mood to sink myself into really old shows on Netflix, like Cheers and Friends.
  • Lately, when I get up in the mornings, I seem to be going through the motions, so I try to vary the routine just a bit, to make sure that I’m really awake.  Instead of turning on the coffee first, I set up my things in my office; turn on the computer; switch on Home & Family on the TV…and then go set up my breakfast tray, with my coffee.

  • I have to think before I take each step, which guarantees that I am awake.

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So…another day, another pot of coffee, and more reading, I hope.  How is your day shaping up?

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EARLY MORNING COFFEE, BOOKS, & TV SHOWS…

Good morning!  It’s time to chat…and have some coffee.  Let’s link up with Christine at Bookishly Boisterous to find more chat-friends.

  • Last night I read into the early morning hours.  I had picked up one of my current reads, The Stolen Marriage, planning to read a chapter or two…and hours later, I was still engrossed.  It grabbed me and held on.  Set in Baltimore and North Carolina, the time period is WWII.
    “Steeped in history and filled with heart-wrenching twists, The Stolen Marriage is an emotionally captivating novel of secrets, betrayals, prejudice, and forgiveness. It showcases Diane Chamberlain at the top of her talent.
    One mistake, one fateful night, and Tess DeMello’s life is changed forever.

  • One thing I have known for a while:  reading and/or watching TV late at night provides fodder for some strange dreams.
  • Surprisingly, I still woke up early:  6:00 a.m., so here I am, blogging, checking e-mails, etc.  All the routines of an ordinary morning.
  • Did anyone else love the return of This Is Us?  I wish I could binge-watch the whole season!
  • Tonight...Grey’s Anatomy and How To Get Away with Murder!
  • Last week, my second son was in Prague, visiting my eldest son, my DIL, and getting his daughter Aubrey settled in for her semester at university there.  I love this “Prague at Night” photo.

  • This dinner at the Happy Cow restaurant looks like fun…

  • What does today hold?  Well, more reading, of course.  Plus, I’m feeling like going to Barnes & Noble for some coffee, book browsing, and more reading…

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What has your week been like?  What adventures lie ahead?

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COFFEE CHAT: BOOKS, MOVIES, & VICARIOUS TRAVELS

Good morning!  Let’s have another cup of coffee and chat.  Connect with other friends over at Bookishly Boisterous.

The sofa (above) is the one in my office, where I have been hanging out lately.  There is a nice TV in the room now…and my laptop, too, of course (below).

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  • While I have been nesting in my cozy spots, my second son Brett has been in Spain, Ibiza, and now Prague…where his daughter Aubrey will be attending a semester of college.  Here are some of my family members in Prague:

  • My vicarious travels are working for me…so far.  But even though I’m not headed to far off places any time soon, my third son has tempted me with these beach photos near where they live, in the northern part of the state.

  • What else is happening here?  I finished binge-watching Nurse Jackie, and wrote some thoughts about it over at Hump Day Serendipity:  Creating My “Happy Moments.”
  • Bloggiesta has begun….and I had already started ahead of time, as usual.  Check out what I’ve done here…
  • I also watched Season 7 of Offspring....
  • Now I’m ready for the Netflix movie based on Our Souls at Night, with Jane Fonda and Robert Redford….coming September 29!

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Now I’m ready to cozy up with books and movies…but first, I’m going to visit some blogs and chat.

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LET’S POUR A CUP OF COFFEE…AND CHAT!

Good morning!  Whew, was I ready for my coffee this morning….I stayed up late binge-watching Nurse Jackie, and then watched last night’s episode of The Sinners.  Now that I’m sort of awake, let’s chat.  Check in over at Bookishly Boisterous for more participants.

  • I’ve finished two books so far this week:  The Burning Girl, by Claire Messud; and my NetGalley ARC The Best Kind of People, by Zoe Whittall.  (Click titles for my reviews).  Both were engaging reads.
  • Currently I’m reading A Stranger in the House, by Shari Lapena.  I’ve barely started and I’m already fascinated.
  • I’ve been posting excerpts from my novels now and then, and this week I continued an excerpt from Chapter One of Web of Tyranny in Creating Her Own Melodrama.
  • There are more Season 7 episodes available for the Australian drama Offspring; now I’m torn.  Keep going with Nurse Jackie, or take a detour?
  • I recorded Hillary Clinton’s visit to The View yesterday…I’ll be watching it later today, probably.
  • My second son (the LA one) is in Barcelona, headed to Prague, where he’ll visit my eldest son, who lives there, and will then help his daughter Aubrey get settled in for her college semester in Prague.  She is very excited!  I warned him that he might be creating another expatriate, as that is how my eldest began his European sojourn many years ago (a London semester). Meanwhile, she ended her summer here in the states with activities like this one.

  • My big confession:  I’ve never been to Europe or anywhere abroad…although I’ve enjoyed time in Canada now and then.
  • I’m traveling vicariously through my kids and grandkids.
  • Meanwhile, I love spending time around here, or going to the beach…but would love to visit the East or the South…when weather permits.  I have a dream of going to BEA in Manhattan…sooner rather than later.
  • Today my daughter and I are having lunch.  An unexpected get-together which she initiated.  Hmm.  Here she is with son Noah at her birthday breakfast with him.  He just started high school!

  • Later today I’m having my manicure…and I think I’ll go with the glittery blue gel again.  I’m enjoying it.
  • I’m glad to finally leave the house!  I’ve been nesting all week, changing into a series of PJs (I had a buying spree of new lounge wear last week), and just savoring my “curl up and read” time.  But now I’m ready to be out there.
  • Next week (September 21-24) is Bloggiesta!  I’ll be working on my Curl up and Read site, and you guessed it.  I’ve already started!

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And that’s my week so far.  I’m eager to find more books and movies to enjoy…but I think I will stop the recluse routine for a few days.  What’s happening in your week?

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COFFEE CHAT: BOOKS, MOVIES, & OBSESSIONS….

Welcome to another Coffee Chat!  Let’s hop on over to Bookishly Boisterous, and link up.

  • Today (August 31), is my DIL’s birthday, exactly one week after her husband’s (my youngest son).
  • A year ago, my granddaughter and I traveled to the northernmost part of the state to visit them and celebrate on their birthdays.  (Below), see the beauty we enjoyed during that trip.

  • This week, I’ve been catching up on my reading.  I finished a print volume that was sitting on my nightstand, as it was too hefty to take with me when I went out.  (Home, by Harlan Coben – click for my review).  Two other books I finished were, of course, Kindle books:  (After She Fell and The Good Daughter).  When I think of how I resisted the Kindle!  Now I can’t imagine life without it.
  • However, occasionally I find hardcover books on the bargain table…and some books I want are not available in the e-book format.  I’m still waiting for my copy of Did You See Melody?, by Sophie Hannah.  I think it must be coming by pony express!  Oops, I just checked the tracking number, and it arrived today!  Yay!

  • Because Bloggiesta is coming (Sept. 21-24), I’ve been working on my Curl up and Read blog.  New theme, header, and background…so far.  I tend to get carried away.
  • My DVR is primed to record two favorite shows tonight:  Younger and The Sinner.  Plus, the movie Jackie.  America’s Queen, one of the books I’m reading (in print format) is about Jackie.
  • See (below), another bookshelf is filling up with recent hardcover purchases.  To the right, in the hallway, you can see my shelves of DVDs.

  • It may be time to do another purge!
  • It’s not that I’m resisting the purge, but the last time I did major culling, it was two years ago, and I literally took away hundreds of books.  I had empty bookshelves in the garage, some of which I’ve given away, too.
  • I do want to continue surrounding myself with shelves of books…so I just have to decide when I have too many.
  • I’ve never been good at deciding the difference between collecting my books…and hoarding them.  I tell myself that, as long as they look nice on the shelves, I’m okay.  LOL.

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So…things to think about.  What are you reading, pondering, or enjoying this week?

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COFFEE CHAT: READING, TV VIEWING, & A BIRTHDAY….

Welcome to another Coffee Morning, a place to share our Bookish/Not So Bookish Thoughts.  Link up at Bookishly Boisterous.

  • I’m pondering a show that I love, Chesapeake Shores.  Has anyone seen it?  What I don’t love:  the youngest adult “child” in the group, Jess, reminds me of a spoiled baby; she is still holding a grudge against her mother from years ago, who left after she and their father split.  Her facial expressions remind me of a sulky teenager, but she is in her mid-twenties.  Seriously, she pouts whenever her mother comes around.  And she expects her older siblings to drop whatever they are doing to help her in some imaginary crisis or other.  That’s my venting for the day.
  • Today is my youngest son’s birthday.  Whenever one of my “kids” has another one, I am swept back to the birth of each of them, and their babyhood.  I love this photo of my toddler son with his curls.  He and I have both grown up a lot since this moment in time.  The photo is from the early 1970s, so it lacks the clarity and color of today’s photos.

  • Below, he is living his life on the beach…he and his wife have been in the Northern part of the state for three years.

  • Last August, his daughter Fiona and I drove up there to visit for a few days.  This summer, Fiona is working in Yosemite.   In her leisure time, she hangs out with some special friends, see below.

  • My reading this week has been all over the place.  Check out my Hump Day Reading post to find out more.
  • I haven’t spent much time on my patio this summer…by the time I get out there in the mornings, it is too hot!

  • In the Southern part of the state, my other granddaughter, Aubrey, is enjoying the “lazy, hazy days of summer” on a hammock with a friend:

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I think I’ve run out of things to say for now…enjoy your day, and come on by and let’s chat.

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COFFEE CHAT: BOOKS, NETFLIX, MOVIES, ETC.

Good morning!  It’s time to grab some coffee…and chat about Bookish/Not So Bookish things.  Link up at Bookishly Boisterous.

  • My “Reading” Coffee Mug is joining us.
  • Take note of the diminishing stack of print books on my coffee table.  Of course I have a couple of hardcover books on my nightstand…and ELEVEN older books in my office.  But it’s getting better…right?
  • Lately I’ve noticed that some of these books, which also have 400+ pages, have TINY print…which makes it hard for these seasoned eyes to read.  So I only read them in bits and pieces.  The biographies especially are “guilty” of these qualities.
  • I’m spoiled by reading on Pippa, my Kindle, where I can change the font.
  • Currently I’m reading and LOVING The Identicals, by Elin Hilderbrand.  Twin “girls,” approaching forty, living on adjacent islands:  Nantucket for one, and Martha’s Vineyard for the other.  They were separated as teens: one went with the father, the other with their mother, after a divorce.  Then something happened to further estrange them.
  • I finished reading and reviewing The Secrets She Keeps, by Michael Robotham; a five star read for me that kept me glued to the pages.  Click for my review.
  • I have been out and about a few times this week, probably because the temperatures have “dropped” to the 90s.  But what a difference a few degrees can make!
  • On Sunday, a group of us joined to celebrate my daughter’s birthday.  Bottomless mimosas and really delicious food, which surprised me, as buffets don’t always deliver.  My daughter is on the left side, five from the front, with the “tatts” and curly hair.  I’m four down on the right.
  • On Saturday, I had lunch with an old friend, a former colleague, who lives in Northern California and had come down to visit friends (including moi, of course).  After I had retired from my career position for the county, I went to work at a private foster family agency, and met a great group of social workers.
  • Having that lunch reminded me of how the group of us that worked together from 2002-2005 was close, like hostage victims, as our CEO was a real tyrant given to temper tantrums and narcissistic ravings.  Sound familiar, anyone?
  • After the lunch, I went to see The Glass Castle, which was an awesome movie with a great cast;  the author of the book was involved with the production, and there were scenes at the end showing her and some family members.
  • My Netflix viewing this week:  I finished the available episodes of The Ranch, which ended on a cliffhanger…more episodes, please!  I started watching Friends from College, which I’m enjoying so far.
  • So…today?  I was thinking of another manicure, but after checking my nails, I think they can wait a week.  I’m feeling too lazy to go out.  Do you ever just want to hole up in your house and read, or watch the shows on the DVR?  I went to sleep before watching Younger and The Sinners.

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So…that’s it for today…what are you chatting about?  Come on by….

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COFFEE CHAT: JURY DUTY, BIRTHDAYS, ETC.

Good morning!  Time to chat over coffee, and link to Bookishly Boisterous for Bookish/Not So Bookish Thoughts.

  • I wasn’t going to write a post today, as, after a week of calling in at night, I have been directed to report in for Jury Duty this morning at 8:30.  This means changing up everything about my morning routines.  I hate the drive downtown, and finding the Jury Parking.  I haven’t done this since the 1980s!  Up until now, I’ve managed to be “on call” only.
  • But…I couldn’t sleep until my alarm went off, so I thought I should try writing down a few thoughts while I eat breakfast.
  • Last night I watched Part I of The Story of Diana.  Mostly it was a repeat of a lot of the other shows I’ve seen lately.
  • Because I was setting the alarm and planning to rise early, I didn’t get a chance to watch Younger and The Sinner.  They are waiting on the DVR.
  • I finished watching Season I of Ozark…and resumed watching The Ranch.
  • On the weekend, I watched a movie on Amazon Prime that I had seen at the theater…and enjoyed it because it starred Debra Winger.  It was The Lovers.
  • Reading two books:  Before We Were Yours, by Lisa Wingate, which is pretty good so far; and America’s Queen, by Sarah Bradford, which I will read in bits and pieces, as it has 444 pages…which isn’t that bad, except that the type is very tiny, making the pages long and sometimes tedious.  I found myself skipping over parts I’ve read in other books.
  • On Tuesday, I enjoyed a pre-birthday lunch with my daughter and her son Noah; we had a very adult-like lunch, with no barbs thrown or any sneaky mentions of the Elephant in the Room (Trump).  Probably because Noah was there.

  • On Sunday, her actual birthday, there will be a group brunch at a local restaurant, which I’ve never visited, but is close by:

  • She was born on Friday the 13th, in 1976, after 36 hours of labor…and finally, a C-Section!
  • I’m looking forward to seeing The Glass Castle this weekend!

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That’s it for today.  Come on by and share your own Bookish/Not So Bookish Thoughts.

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MY INTERIOR WORLD: COFFEE, BOOKS, DREAMS, ETC.

Welcome to another Coffee Chat, linked to Bookishly Boisterous for Bookish/Not So Bookish Thoughts.

  • I’ve read and reviewed two books so far this week, and I’m almost finished with the third one.  They are all fabulous!  Emma in the Night (click titles for reviews) was a great domestic thriller; Sunday Morning Coming Down was probably the last (seventh) installment of the Frieda KIein series; and The Bookshop on the Corner, set in Birmingham and parts of Scotland, is a wonderful story of a librarian without a library.
  • The other day I reprised a review from a favorite author:  A Baby Boomer’s Coming of Age Tale (about Joyce Maynard).
  • Last week, I posted A Young Girl’s interior World:  Excerpting “Web of Tyranny.”
  • My former daughter-in-law (Fiona’s mother) had a great gathering for all of her grown kids…and the grandchildren.  Her oldest son Spencer and his family came all the way from North Dakota.  Here are some of them enjoying the pool:

  • Below, Spencer’s kids from North Dakota:  Twins Lilly and Bella, with Maddix…

  • I was so tired yesterday, and the days before, probably because I scrubbed the floors last weekend (LOL), that I went to sleep at 9 p.m.!  Right after I had watched the recorded Broadchurch.  As a result, I still haven’t watched Younger. 
  • I’ve watched half of Season I of Ozark, and parts of it remind me of Breaking Bad, with the strange and loathsome characters and the morally bent protagonists…doing what they feel they have to do.  I am a Jason Bateman fan, so I’m glued to the show.  Laura Linney plays the wife of Bateman’s character….and I don’t like her character at all.  She sneakily seems to undermine him, sort of like the wife in Breaking Bad.
  • After that whole “floor scrubbing” event, I think it’s time to get another “mani” today, even though I didn’t chip the nails.  I plan to call for an appointment after they open, although you can walk in.  But I like having an appointment.
  • I am ready to change my color again (I have red nails now), and last night I dreamed I got blue ones…not the dark navy blue I have done before, but a slightly lighter shade.  Maybe like these, without the glitter:

  • I often have the weirdest dreams, and what is even stranger…if I get up during the night for the bathroom, and go back to sleep, the dream continues!  As if I had paused a movie.  Odd, right?
  • So now…I’ve had two cups of coffee and I’m ready to resume reading my book about the Scottish librarian…I’m eager to find out what will happen to her after her new landlord sells the property where she is renting a cute little cottage….

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What is happening in your world, interior or exterior?

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