COFFEE CHAT: ANXIETY, RELIEF, & MORE BOOKS…

Welcome to another Coffee Chat in which we share some bookish (and not so bookish) thoughts.   Link up at Bookishly Boisterous.

 

Good morning!  It is Tuesday, and I usually write this post on Thursday…but I woke up in a state, frustrated over a DMV issue…and then it was resolved.  I felt freed from the angst.

The problem began with my car registration, which was a mess because of the smog certificate issues….they took a couple of days to work through.  I sent off my late fee check, since I had missed the deadline.  And then waited.  Almost a month passed, with the check not making its way into my account.  Calls to the DMV.  No satisfaction.  Then, blissfully, the check went through today.  I felt freed!  I had planned to go to the field office today.  Luckily I don’t have to do that!

  • Do you ever feel frustrated, and then something happens and you get a reprieve from whatever anxiety is sitting on your shoulders, creating muscle pain with underlying emotional distress?
  • Afterwards, do you then want to celebrate?  I did, and it’s Book Release Day, so I had to find some books to download.  That’s how I celebrate when I’m at home.  Later I might go out for a martini.  LOL
  • What did  I download?  Well, two books I’ve been hearing about:  All Your Perfects, by Colleen Hoover;  and Her Pretty Face, by Robyn Harding….

 

 

 

 

 

  • Today I’m reading (and loving) Our House, by Louise Candlish, a NetGalley review book out on 8/7.  What an interesting premise:  a divorcing couple have a “birds’ nest” custody arrangement, with the kids staying in the house, and the parents moving in and out.  Then something unexpected happens.
  • Yesterday, I finished Castaway Cottage, a review book by Joanne DeMaio…(click for my review).
  • Tonight, The Bold Type is on, and I’m loving this series.  Three friends working in New York for a magazine…we watch their frustrations, their partying, and their love connections.  Does it sound boring and predictable?  Not so much.  I was surprised at how much I am enjoying it.
  • On Sunday, I watched the second episode of Sharp Objects.  I enjoyed the book, but with Amy Adams and Patricia Clarkson starring, the miniseries is even more fascinating.
  • I have an episode of Dietland waiting on my DVR.  I originally started watching because Julianna Margulies (from The Good Wife) is on the show…but she plays a really nasty character.  The primary character is Joy Nash.    Check it out here
  • I’ve been watching a lot of Amazon Prime movies…and not really discovering anything to watch on Netflix.  Sigh.  I’m eager for the fourth season of Better Call Saul to arrive on AMC (in August).
  • As you can tell, I am addicted to books, movies, and shows.  But later today, I may have that celebratory martini.
  • While browsing on Facebook, I found some photos of my great-niece who just celebrated her third birthday.  Is she three already?  Here she is with her mom, my niece Emily:

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How is your week shaping up?  What creates anxiety? What gives you pleasure and/or relief?

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COFFEE CHAT: READING, RANTING, & VIEWING…

Welcome to another Coffee Chat in which we share some bookish (and not so bookish) thoughts.   Link up at Bookishly Boisterous.

Another week is speeding by.  My reading has been good so far, and I’ve also had a few outings.  On Monday, I had lunch with a friend/former colleague.  We do these gatherings about once a month.  We catch up, we reminisce, and we rant a little about the state of the world.  Sometimes it is necessary to commiserate with someone who shares your views on life, family, and even politics.  Maybe especially politics.

  • I read a really great book on Monday.  Yes, I spent the whole day on nothing but that book (except for the lunch, of course)..it was that good.  Believe Me, by J. P. Delaney:  (click title for my review).  The story has so many twisty elements that I was off-balance throughout.
  • Then I read my second book…and it was also one that kept me engaged, but I was very disappointed with the ending.  Maybe because I was so hoping for a better outcome?  Tangerine, by Christine Mangan (click for review).
  • Now I’m reading (and loving) The Ever After, by Sarah Pekkanen.   A story about a marriage filled with secrets and lies.  Lots of “feels” in this book.

  • Today is the final episode of The Handmaid’s Tale, Season II.  I just watched this week’s episode…and it can’t stop there!  We must have additional seasons!
  • Tonight I was craving Mexican food, so I went around the corner to one of my favorite restaurants and had some.  Along with a margarita.

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So…how is your week unfolding?  Reading, movies, adventures? 

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COFFEE CHAT: MY THOUGHTS FROM THE SIDELINES…

Welcome to another Coffee Chat in which we share some bookish (and not so bookish) thoughts.   Link up at Bookishly Boisterous.

 

Good morning!  Did fireworks keep you awake last night?  I heard them, very loud ones, so I watched TV for a while.  Then, for some reason, I fell asleep and slept a full eight hours…the first time in ages.  I never go out to watch them anymore…I guess I’ve seen enough.

  • My day was full of movies, reading, and plans for upcoming events, like the HBO limited series of Sharp Objects.  Coming July 8, it is based on the Gillian Flynn book, which I enjoyed.  Starring Amy Adams, Patricia Clarkson, etc.  The hype suggests another Big Little Lies type series.
  • Other people in my family had real celebrations, like #2 Son Brett & his GF Madeline.  They spent their time in Las Vegas.

  • I started watching the Netflix series Happyish...and it kept me engaged for a while.
  • On Saturday, I finally got around to hosing off the patio.  Just sweeping it down does not quite do it anymore, plus the water cooled me off, too.  The patio is tiny, but when it is buried in leaves and cobwebs, it seems HUGE:

  • I  kept losing my signal on the TVs…so the AT&T technician came on Tuesday, and worked outside on the lines, and then inside…and so far, so good.  Knock wood.
  • I am frustrated with the darkness of The Handmaid’s Tale, and keep hoping for an escape for June (Offred)…sigh.
  • I’ve only read and reviewed one book this week (so far):  My Girls, by Todd Fisher (click for review).  I loved it, though, and it was filled with gorgeous photos that made me remember Carrie and Debbie.
  • I’m almost finished with Night Moves, by Jonathan Kellerman…a very twisty tale.
  • Next I hope to start reading My (Not So) Perfect Life, by Sophie Kinsella…a library book due 7/18.  So far I’ve managed to return my library books early.
  • I’ve been noticing this third book in the Devil Wears Prada series:  When Life Gives You Lululemons, by Lauren Weisberger.  I enjoyed the first book in the series; the second one, not so much.  But I’m willing to try again with this one.  I like this opening line in the blurb:  HE SET HER UP. THEY’LL BRING HIM DOWN.

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So…these are my thoughts from the sidelines…what does your week look like so far?

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COFFEE CHAT: BREAKING THROUGH THE DARKNESS…

Welcome to another Coffee Chat in which we share some bookish (and not so bookish) thoughts.   Link up at Bookishly Boisterous.

Last Thursday night, I went out for drinks and dinner with my granddaughter Fiona…and the dark thoughts that were following me around last week…dissipated.  What a lovely break!  I had gift cards for The Cheesecake Factory, so I didn’t even have to feel guilty about spending too much money.  Here is a photo, which I also showed in my Weekly Updates…I had Shepherd’s Pie, the treat you see on the bottom of the shot.  Our drinks were Blood Orange Margaritas.

  • I finished watching Season II of Goliath…and now I want another season!
  • I’m still watching The Handmaid’s Tale, Season II…and I was afraid last week would be the final episode of the season….but according to Google, we’ll have more, with the last one coming in July.
  • On Amazon Prime, I watched a movie called LBJ, which I had noticed before but hadn’t seen. Woody Harrelson played President Johnson, and Jennifer Jason Leigh was a very convincing Lady Bird.  They both wore prosthetic devices and the results were very realistic.
  • However…I wasn’t happy with how they portrayed Jack and Bobby Kennedy.  Not at all how I recall them from the 60s.
  • Today I have a dental appointment…they scheduled a series of three that will take me through the summer.  Sigh.
  • Yesterday I made some changes in my living area…just switched some things around:  the wicker loveseat and the pub table.  I like dealing with anxiety and restlessness by moving furniture.  LOL.  Here are a couple of views.

  • I haven’t spent much time with my other granddaughter, Aubrey, but I keep up with her activities.  Here she is enjoying Nature, which I am glad about.  A nice summer is what she needs before school starts again.  She’ll be a college senior in the fall.

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So…this week was better than last.  Not that the dark things have vanished, but I am finding ways to distract myself…and surround myself with more positivity.  How has your week been going?

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COFFEE CHAT: FROM DARK THOUGHTS TO LIGHTER MOMENTS…

Welcome to another Coffee Chat in which we share some bookish (and not so bookish) thoughts.   Link up at Bookishly Boisterous.

Check in at Christine’s blog for her thoughts on the week, which reflect my own.  I cannot believe how far down the Rabbit Hole politicians will go in their quest for “immigration reform” in this country!  Separating babies and toddlers from their immigrant parents is cruel and unusual punishment, something you might expect from…well, let’s see, Nazi Germany?

And then, after the furor reached a peak that he could no longer ignore, Trump signed that Executive Order today…not to correct a wrong, but to still the loud voices, IMO. 

  • I finished watching The Fourth Estate (on Showtime) this week; it included a series of weekly episodes about Trump’s first year in office, and the New York Times’ coverage of events.
  •  From darker thoughts to bookish ones:  my reading is a little better this week; I’m on my third book.  I finished Before & Again, by Barbara Delinksy, and Educated, by Tara Westover.  (Click titles for my reviews).
  • Now I’m reading Bring Her Home, by David Bell.  I’m really enjoying it.
  • I haven’t found anything captivating on Netflix this week, but I did start watching the 2nd Season of the Amazon Prime show Goliath, with Billy Bob Thornton.
  • I am happy to view some returning shows that have been on hiatus, like The Bold Type and The Affair.
  • A new show caught my interest:  American Woman, with Alicia Silverstone, set in the 1970s.  The story highlights a woman’s efforts to get a divorce from her cheating husband, and how she comes to realize the disadvantages she is under financially, with no credit or job.  A familiar theme for those of us who lived through that time.
  • TV shows and movies often reflect the realities around us…but sometimes they are pure fantasy.  I tend to steer away from the latter, but perhaps fantasy would be a better way to cope with the bleakness we see in our current world.
  • Last weekend, I enjoyed some lighter moments in life when some members of my family got together for lunch.  Brett brought Madeline to introduce to us, and beforehand, he sent some photos with the two of them in Napa wineries…

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So…from a dark note to some lighter ones…that’s how my week has unfolded.  What are your thoughts?

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COFFEE CHAT: COZY SURROUNDINGS & ERRATIC READING…

Welcome to another Coffee Chat in which we share some bookish (and not so bookish) thoughts.

As I look around at my cozy nook (above), with books and my laptop nearby, I am grateful for my days that are all about reading, blogging, and movie-watching.  Exercise is good, too.  I am now regularly working out on my recumbent bike, and I am feeling stronger each day.  Since I get up early and stay up late, I also find time for a little power nap midday…without feeling the least bit guilty about it.

  • Today my reading and Netflix watching were sporadic.  I would start one book and then set it aside.  And on Netflix and Amazon Prime, I would begin a movie or show…and then hop over to something else.  However, I did watch all of the newest episode on The Handmaid’s Tale (on Hulu).  I am hoping that somehow the Handmaids will escape.

  • I got a new mani the other day, with a new color:  burgundy?

  • Bloggiesta hasn’t officially started yet, but I’m already working on my blogs.  My primary target will be Rainy Days & Mondays, and here’s my new facelift.

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What does your week look like so far?  What, if any, plans do you have for the weekend?

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COFFEE CHAT: A FEW ADVENTURES, SOME BINGE-WATCHING, & A LITTLE READING…

Welcome to another Coffee Chat in which we share some bookish (and not so bookish) thoughts.

This morning I woke up at my usual early time (6:00 a.m.) and thought about having a lie-in.  When did I have one last?  As I lay there, trying to decide, I started thinking about the week, and pondering what to write about it in this post…and the next thing I knew, I was out of bed, going through my routines, and turning on the computer.  Since it’s Thursday, I had to think hard to recall what, if anything, I had accomplished this week.  A lot of running around on errands, plus some shopping for birthday stuff for upcoming birthdays.  Aaron, my youngest 20-something grandson, just turned 20 on the fifth. (He joins two siblings and two cousins who are also 20-something).  See, below, a photo of the young man, his dad (Brett) and his siblings.  Aaron is the tallest.  You might think the others are short, but they are also tall, ranging from 5’10” (Aubrey) to 6’6 or 7″ (Aaron).  Alec, on the far right, has a birthday next week!  He just graduated from UC Berkeley a couple of weeks ago.

 

  • Yesterday I enjoyed a respite from errands and had coffee with a friend at the neighborhood Barnes & Noble.  On the top right of the photo, catch a glimpse of the wall art:   assorted “book covers” are arranged around the shop.

  • After coffee, we were drawn to the books.  I found one that I had ordered from Amazon, which will be arriving later today.  I couldn’t resist looking through it, to check out some of the photos and memorabilia (more than 32 pages).  Lovely!  That’s why I ordered  a hardcover version instead of an e-book:  My Girls:  A Lifetime with Carrie and Debbie, by Todd Fisher…

  • At home, I finished Bring Me Back, by B. A. Paris, a NetGalley review book being released on 6/19. (Click title for review).
  • I am currently reading a library book, Manhattan Beach, but not moving along very quickly…only 20% in.  I need to hurry, as I got another library book notice, and downloaded the book today:  The Beach House, by Mary Alice Monroe.  I had recently seen the Hallmark Movie based on the book…and had to request it from the library.
  • These library book notices appear in my inbox at least every week, so far.  I am enjoying not having to buy everything that I want to read!  Between the library books and review books, I keep busy.  I still have a hefty TBR of purchased books, too.  I’m making a little progress.
  • On 6/22, a Mini-Bloggiesta begins…and, as usual, I’ve started working on a few things.  I picked my Rainy Days and Mondays site as my target this time. (Click the link to see what I’ve done so far).
  • At night I’ve been watching TV shows and Netflix.  The Fosters, a show I’ve followed since its beginning, had three nights of series finale episodes this week.  On Netflix, I finished Season I of Safe, but I’m not sure there will be another season.
  • So…with the TGIT shows on hiatus, maybe I’ll actually get some reading done tonight!

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I think I’m done for now…next I will visit some blogs to catch up on some of your adventures.  What did your week look like?  I know some of you went to BEA.  Share!!

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COFFEE CHAT: ODD BITS & PIECES…

Welcome to another Coffee Chat in which we share some bookish (and not so bookish) thoughts.

The week started off with a relaxing Monday, followed by an odd and hectic Tuesday.  I had to have the smog test done on my car.  The results were not good, with one test failing.  Apparently the engine computer needs to reset after having the battery changed (actually, that work was done a few months ago), and he recommended driving the car for 60-80 miles on the freeway, after which it should pass.  I had never heard of such a thing, but a woman in the waiting room said she had the same problem.  So I spent a couple of hours driving to a southern town (a total of 102 miles round trip), took the car back…and it passed.  Weird, right?

  • Just now I Googled it…and apparently it’s a “thing.”  So…I guess it’s not so good to simply drive around town a lot.  More freeway driving in my future!  A road trip ahead?
  • The whole day was gobbled up with this nonsense, but since the car passed, I had to reward myself and relax at Mimi’s with this mini-dinner:

  • The rest of the week was spent reading and reviewing one book:  The Gunners, by Rebecca Kauffman (click for my review). 
  • I’m ready to start another June NetGalley arc:  Shadow Dancing, by Julie Mulhern.  I love this funny cozy mystery series.
  • While scrolling through the titles on Netflix, I stumbled upon a dysfunctional family drama called Greenleaf.  Oprah plays a role in the show, which centers around a family that leads a sprawling Memphis megachurch…and there are secrets and scandals.  Those last bits grabbed me, plus the Oprah part.  I soon found myself addicted to it.
  • I’ve finished the two available seasons…and I’m curious about what happens next.
  • Do you ever do that?  Stumble upon something that doesn’t seem like your “thing,” only to surprise yourself with how it draws you in?
  • I’ve decided that the drama, scandal, and family dysfunction are actually my catnip, no matter how they are presented.
  • Today I have a hair styling appointment…my bangs are almost covering my eyes.  I sent my daughter a funny text with an emoji of hair covering my face…asking if she could help.  She did her “ha-ha” reply and scheduled an appointment for me.
  • So…that’s happening this afternoon, and now I must decide what to do with the rest of the morning.  Read, visit blogs, CLEAN MY CLOSET?  No on the last thing.  LOL

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How is your week shaping up?  Any drama…or delightful events?

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COFFEE CHAT: A WEEK TO SAVOR…

Welcome to another Coffee Chat in which we share some bookish (and not so bookish) thoughts.

What a great week!  My reading was a little slow, as I was savoring Beach Bliss, by Joanne DeMaio, and I have now finished and reviewed it. (Click title).  I then picked up my next book and turned the last page within hours:  The Perfect Mother, by Aimee Molloy.  (Click for review).  I have now dipped my toe into I Am I Am I Am, by Maggie O’Farrell, eager to see what lies ahead.

  • Meanwhile, my week has been full of errands, shopping, and breakfast at Mimi’s, where I enjoyed an egg white omelet with strawberries…and a mimosa.

  • My new routine of bicycling on my device while watching movies has continued.  Today I started with another oldie, since I don’t want to try this practice with new movies.  In case I am so distracted by the exercise that I miss something.  So today’s feast was Terms of Endearment, a film I’ve watched over and over through the years.  Perfect for viewing while cycling!  Since I’ve seen it numerous times, I can almost recite the dialogue.

  • Last weekend I saw Book Club, and to say that I loved it would be an understatement.   I will need to see it again!  Probably when I buy the DVD or the Amazon Prime release.  Soon, I hope.  While I enjoy seeing films at the theater, I love being able to pause a movie at home, grab a snack, and just settle in until I need to pause it again.

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What’s next?  How is your week progressing?  I am loving my mix of outside and indoor activities…and even my exercise routine!

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COFFEE CHAT: A PLETHORA OF GOOD THINGS…

Welcome to another Coffee Chat in which we share some bookish (and not so bookish) thoughts.

Mother’s Day weekend was nice and quiet.  We had plans for wine tasting, but then postponed them in favor of a lunch on Tuesday…which turned out to be an awesome get-together with my daughter and my two “other daughters,” who had lived with us on and off in their teenage years.  We went to a new-to-me place…and I forgot to photograph the food!  Our venue was a neighborhood BBQ place, and I inhaled the smoky scent all through the afternoon…even after I left.  LOL.  In fact, I think I still smell it on my skin!  But I did grab a shot of this trio of “daughters:”  L to R – Monica, Heather, & Jessica.

  • I got the usual text messages from the grown kids who live elsewhere, and really enjoyed this one from Son #2, who lives in LA;  he shared some glitzy moments with his significant other, before and during their Jazz Night in Hollywood:

 

 

 

 

 

A couple of days before his adult evening, he had driven to Berkeley with his kids, since his oldest son (and my oldest grandchild) just graduated from UC Berkeley.  Here is Alec with his dad:

  • These are the moments I live for!  When I go into my kitchen, I still recall when that oldest grandson was a cute baby, as depicted on this mug (front and center):

  • Among the photos Brett texted was an extra that he threw in…Alec as a small child;  he had added this message to the photo:

  • Lately I’ve been scrolling more obsessively through my photos, especially some from the past.  I can’t believe how quickly time has flown!
  • But…meanwhile, some bookish thoughts:  I have only finished one book this week so far:  The Garden of Small Beginnings, by Abbi Waxman (click for review).  Currently, I’m reading Every Note Played, by Lisa Genova, a library book: “Poignant and powerful, Every Note Played is a masterful exploration of redemption and what it means to find peace inside of forgiveness.” 
  • I am writing this on Wednesday, and tonight I plan to watch another episode from The Handmaid’s Tale on Hulu.
  • On Netflix, I watched Our Souls at Night again…I love seeing Jane Fonda and Robert Redford together…sigh.
  • This weekend, I am very excited about going to the movies, where Book Club will be playing, with a great cast of some of my favorites:

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What a plethora of good things to anticipate!  How is your week shaping up?  Meanwhile, I’ve been diligent about my daily workouts while watching movies:

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