COFFEE MORNING ON SATURDAY: REMINISCING…

Nothing tastes better than morning coffee, and I love having mine in this little office nook, with the new TV playing nearby…

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On Thursday, I wrote a post called Coffee Morning:  Hot Day Ahead, and I mused about how I’ve lived in these parts for almost 46 years.

I wanted to share another photo from back in those early days, but couldn’t find it anywhere!  Which reminds me that I really need to better organize my online photos…by date, at least.  I’m doing that now, but the older ones were missing those vital details, so despite searching through endless folders, I couldn’t find the one I wanted.  What do you bet that I’ll find it now?  LOL

Meanwhile,  I went to the source of the photo:  the album.  I have a stack of old albums on a closet shelf.  I found and scanned this picture…to spotlight the three boys, with the youngest one in his ORANGE backpack.  We were spending the day in Roeding Park, where they have Storyland, the zoo, boat rides, etc.  This photo was snapped in May 1972.

 

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I never go to that park anymore.  It has run down a bit…although I did read that the zoo was undergoing some improvements.

Back then, we were living in one of the outer small towns, 70 miles from the city…and I hated that town!  It was always surrounded by fog and tumbleweeds.  It reminded me of that town in Texas, the setting for the movie The Last Picture Show, which, incidentally, was playing then in the dust-filled theater in that town.

 

I couldn’t wait to get out…and we actually did move from there a few months later.  To the city with this park and a few other amenities I enjoyed.

A peek at the interior world back then….before we moved to the city.  Posters and beads…and leopard print pillows.

 

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Avocado green was another favorite color back then…and note the stacking plastic bins.  They were old Carnation containers for products.  We got them from a dairy in Northern California before we moved.  We also used them for the kids’ toys.

 

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Back to reality, the 21st Century.  I’m still reading The Sunshine Sisters, having finished Good Me, Bad Me yesterday (click title for review).

 

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Earlier today I discovered an upcoming release from another favorite author:  Diane Chamberlain.    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. It is 1944. Pregnant, alone, and riddled with guilt, twenty-three-year-old Tess DeMello abruptly gives up her budding career as a nurse and ends her engagement to the love of her life, unable to live a lie. Instead, she turns to the baby’s father for help and agrees to marry him, moving to the small, rural town of Hickory, North Carolina. Tess’s new husband, Henry Kraft, is a secretive man who often stays out all night, hides money from his new wife, and shows her no affection. Tess quickly realizes she’s trapped in a strange and loveless marriage with no way out.

The people of Hickory love and respect Henry but see Tess as an outsider, treating her with suspicion and disdain. When one of the town’s golden girls dies in a terrible accident, everyone holds Tess responsible. But Henry keeps his secrets even closer now, though it seems that everyone knows something about him that Tess does not.

When a sudden polio epidemic strikes Hickory, the townspeople band together to build a polio hospital. Tess knows she is needed and defies Henry’s wishes to begin working at there. Through this work, she begins to find purpose and meaning. Yet at home, Henry’s actions grow more alarming by the day. As Tess works to save the lives of her patients, can she untangle the truth behind her husband’s mysterious behavior and find the love— and the life—she was meant to have?

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I love finding upcoming releases from old and new favorite authors.  What have you discovered lately?  What are you reading?

What moments in the past remind you of who you once were?

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COFFEE MORNING: HOT DAY AHEAD!

Good morning!  Grab a cup of coffee and join us over at Bookishly Boisterous for Bookish/Not So Bookish Thoughts.  It will be in the triple digits again today…sigh.  I’m used to it, of course, having lived in Central California for…ready for it?  Almost 46 years!  We moved here when my youngest son was an infant, which is how I remember the number of years…LOL.  As long as I can recall the ages of my children, I’m good at retrieving those memories.  (Below) Back in the 70s with my three sons, including the infant after whose birth we came to these parts (for his daddy’s job).

  • The kids laugh at these photos…the bell bottoms and the bowl haircuts.
  • We had a lot of orange in our lives, too, from the orange infant seat to an orange back pack for hauling around the kid…and, of course, I can’t find that photo!
  • While I work on this blog post, I have the TV on in the background, and Colombo was playing when I turned it on…I used to watch that show endlessly back in the day!

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  • Moving on…trying to stay cool, which works as long as I only leave the house for errands in the mornings…
  • And…as long as the AC keeps working, we’re good.
  • Meanwhile, doing some reading and Netflix watching.  Finished the newest season of Orange Is the New Black...and yay!  Wentworth (an Australian prison show) brought out a fifth season, which I started last night.
  • Currently reading Good Me, Bad Me...and The Sunshine Sisters.

 

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  • Last week was a Mini-Bloggiesta (Finish Line Post), and I had fun changing up my blogs on the surface (headers, themes, etc.), and even did a little bit of behind the scenes work to correct broken links in old posts…I got tired after a while, and told myself that “nobody reads those old posts anyway!”
  • The honeymooners are home, exhausted, just in time for the first triple digit weekend.  They headed for the pool.
  • As usual, I had a lunch out at California Pizza Kitchen…I think it must be a habit now, as my server said “see you next weekend” when I left.  Yeah, predictable.  I had a different soup this time…Chicken Tortilla soup…and, of course, the strawberry margarita.  If I can’t vacation in Europe like the kids, I can enjoy my lunches…so there!  LOL

 

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  • I dreamed last night that I was 105!  Not just a reflection of the temperature, apparently, but a sense of getting older?  I woke up feeling especially tired.
  • Today I need to hightail it to the manicurist…I broke a nail!  Seriously…with these Gel nails, I  don’t usually have any problems, but last night, I reached in the fridge for something and slammed my hand on the edge…it’s that dang refrigerator light that’s out!  Must call maintenance, as when I try to replace the lights, it doesn’t work.  There’s something wrong with the outlet itself, I guess.
  • Yikes!  Making a list.

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Guess I’d better get busy on my day.  I must call the nail salon…and then I want to head to the bank while it’s cool….and then pick up the mail, etc. 

Enjoy your week!

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COFFEE MORNING WITH PHOTOS & LIFE MOMENTS…

It’s time for Coffee Morning, and sharing our Bookish/Not So Bookish Thoughts, with Bookishly Boisterous.

What a week!  Some great reading, and lots of FB sharing from my daughter, who is in Prague at the moment (honeymoon), but right now she and her husband may be getting ready for Amsterdam.  As some of you know, my eldest son lives in Prague.  When they arrived, though, he was in Dublin…he is a traveling photographer, doing events.

Heather, David, and my son Craig are enjoying a beer or two…or more…

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Heather and David, surrounded by bones…they love skeleton art!

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  • Meanwhile, back home, I’m doing a few odds and ends here on this site for Bloggiesta.  A Mini-Bloggiesta, actually, so I started early with a new theme, header, and background.  And then I changed the header again.
  • I am binge-watching, of course, although I have only finished 7 episodes of the Orange is the New Black...for some reason, I’m not loving what is happening on screen at the moment.  I keep waiting to move beyond it…I won’t say what “it” is, though, because of spoilers.
  • On the other hand, I’ve sped right through the weekly episodes of The Handmaid’s Tale on Hulu.…and yesterday’s episode was the Season I finale.  Sigh.
  • I watched a Netflix movie, War Machine, starring Meg Tilly and Brad Pitt.  Remember Meg Tilly?  Some of you might recall her from The Big Chill…and a few other movies from the past.  She has basically “retired” from films until now.  But today she is on Home and Family, chatting about her break from movies, and her return to a Netflix film.
  • I’m reading The Red Hunter and The Beach Inn...yes, two books, although I must admit that the first one, a suspense novel, has me by the hair, so it’s hard to put it down long enough to read the lovely beach book.

  • In the office, with the new flat screen TV, I have Home & Family on in the background…and they are talking about shampoos that have Greek Yogurt in them…and how good that is for you.  Maybe I should try it!  It might help prevent my rashes, as I suspect my shampoos as well as hair dye.    I do love having the TV voices as a backdrop for when I’m on the computer.  I feel less isolated!

 

  • Something is tugging away at me…oh, yeah, the dental appointment that I canceled when in the midst of the rashes…and I haven’t rescheduled it.  I know I should do that.  Maybe today…Hmm.
  • One more photo from Prague.  There were plenty of castle photos, but I decided to share this one, from the underground train system.  Of course Heather and David loved it…the skeletons!

 

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That’s my week so far.  What did yours look like?

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MY “NEW” INTERIOR WORLD: THOUGHTS….

Welcome to another Coffee Morning with my Bookish/Not So Bookish Thoughts.  Check in at Bookishly Boisterous to see what others are sharing.

  • A Mini-Bloggiesta is coming on June 17-18
  • Typically, I’ve already started with my changes…and since I love the “cosmetic” ones best, that’s what I’ve done so far:  a new theme, background and header.  I may change it all later…LOL.  The more tedious “fixes” will come once the event has started (sidebar, checking for broken links, etc.).
  • Maybe there will be pages to add.
  • Meanwhile, here in my Interior World, I finally found my new office TV, and it was installed, connected, etc., last Saturday.  My favorite thing:  the Geek Squad, who moved efficiently and even tied up the cords so they are almost invisible!  Then I rearranged my book stacks, moving them from the coffee table/trunk to that little shelf against the wall.  This morning I have the TV on, as background noise, while I’m on the computer.  I started watching the Senate hearing, but the voices started droning on in a repetitive fashion…so I switched to Home & Family, where I don’t even have to pay attention at all.

  • My larger book stack is in the living room.  They are the “up next” books, theoretically.  The stack looks worse than it is…LOL.

  • I am finally clear of the skin condition!  A stronger steroid ointment prescribed by the doctor last week took care of it…over a three-day period.
  • I am trying to believe it is finally gone, while reminding myself to beware, as it has returned…twice?  Three times?
  • I will be optimistic.  And stay away from potentially problematic hair dye.
  • I finished watching Season 5 of House of Cards!  And tomorrow...Orange is the New Black is bringing a new season.
  • Last night I scrolled through Netflix, Amazon Prime, and then Hulu, where I watched the newest episode of The Handmaid’s Tale.  Loving it!
  • Tomorrow I will check out movie listings…there hasn’t been anything in a while, but who knows what could happen?

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That’s it for my week.  What did yours look like?

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FROM THE INTERIOR: MY THOUGHTS….

Welcome to another Coffee Morning…and thoughts about Bookish/Not So Bookish things.  Check in over at Bookishly Boisterous to find other posts.

  • When I re-read last week’s post, I could see that I am still struggling with some of the same issues:  trying to find the perfect TV for my office, a small room; and the skin condition.
  • A TV was delivered last Saturday, and it was way too big for the space!  Yes, I had measured, but somehow, some extra legs at the ends of the TV made all the difference.  I sent it back.
  • Today I’m going to a different store…and hope to finally find something.
  • As for my allergic reaction:  I went to the doctor on Tuesday, and she prescribed a topical cream that is stronger…and seems to be making inroads.  The itching has diminished to almost zero.
  • It is boring to have the same struggles week after week!  But my reading has been okay so far.  I read and reviewed How It All Began , which I enjoyed; and The Breakdown, which was amazing.  Currently I am reading It’s Always the Husband.
  • On Netflix, I started watching Season 5 of House of Cards.
  • In the month of May, I read and reviewed 16 books, my highest total since January.  My favorite book of the month:

  The Night the Lights Went Out

 

  • There were several really awesome contenders for the month, but I loved the characters, the settings, and the plot.  Here’s a tidbit:

Secrets are a core theme in The Night the Lights Went Out, and we have a couple of the characters that share some of their secrets, a bit at a time, as alternating narrators. Sugar, the ninety-something matriarch is technically Merilee’s landlord, but as time and secret-sharing bring them closer together, we see that a very strong bond is forming.

I loved Sugar, who reminded me of my feisty grandmothers. And like them, she knew how to hold a secret close…until its revelation would strengthen a friendship or save a life…

Alternating with Sugar and Merilee’s narratives are blog posts from an anonymous source, entitled “Your Neighbor.” A site that seems like a gossip fest soon reveals itself for its tidbits of wisdom, including Southern Sayings, interpreted for those who are new to them.

This intense story turned dark and threatening and kept me turning pages until the startling revelations and the delightful denouement, thus earning 5 stars.

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So….that’s my week so far.  I’m so glad that the books have kept me distracted from the rest of my life!  LOL.

What did your week look like?

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THOUGHTS ON A THURSDAY….

Good morning!  I’m grabbing a cup of coffee, and getting ready to hunker down to write this post, linked over at Bookishly Boisterous. I got up very early (4:30 a.m.), since I’m not sleeping well…explanation is Item No. 2.

  • I am loving the newest version of The Handmaid’s Tale on Hulu.  I watched Episode 7 last night, and while I’m enjoying seeing more of the life they once had, it is even more depressing when I think of what has happened to the women in the tyrannical state in which they now live.
  • All week long, I have been fighting an allergic skin reaction to hair dye.  It took me to Urgent Care on Sunday, where I was prescribed steroid pills for 5 days.  Today is the last dose, and while the skin is mostly clearing up, I still get bouts of itching, usually when I’m trying to sleep!  Some days are better than others.  I felt so good on Tuesday that I actually left the house to check the mail, buy groceries, and head off to buy a new little flat screen TV for my office.  It will be delivered (and installed) on Saturday.  The current TV is a ten-year-old boxy one that often loses the signal, since the equipment doesn’t really work that well on it.

 

  • Books read and reviewed this week so far have been quite different from one another, and I realize that I like that kind of selection.  First there was Nancy Thayer’s Secrets in Summer, set on Nantucket.   Then came Into the Water, by Paula Hawkins, which I mostly enjoyed, but there were multiple narrators that came at the reader so fast in the beginning that it was hard to keep track of them.  Finally, they were fleshed out more in the rest of the book.  Yesterday I read #GIRLBOSS, a book that led to the Netflix show…which I had watched before reading the book…and loved.  (Click titles for my reviews).
  • On June 8, my daughter and son-in-law are flying off to Prague, Amsterdam, etc., for a 10-day honeymoon.  They, of course, will also visit with my eldest son who lives in Prague.  I’m very envious!

 

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  • Today will be an at-home curl up and read day; I’m enjoying The Wildling Sisters, by Eve Chase.  The book has a dual time-line:  one from 1959, and the other is fifty years later.  Something mysterious happened on an old English Country estate.

 

  • Here is another view of my up-next print books, a backdrop to the large glass of iced tea I enjoyed the other day, while contemplating the stack.

 

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

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COFFEE MORNING: FAMILY BONDING….& MEMORIES

Good morning, and let’s grab a cup of coffee and chat.  Above, I’ve set my cup down on my Baker’s Rack so I can check out my figurines, like the Wizard of Oz collection that remind me of the journey.  Below, another view of my Wizard of Oz characters that have become a logo for my creations.

 

Coca Cola bears join an assortment of books, mugs, and other bears, like the ones on the bottom shelf.

But…before I get off track, today I’m going back in time, to the place where I grew up.  A place now belonging to my younger brother, who recently enjoyed a visit with his grandchildren there.

Left to Right:  Luc, Gavin, and America, his grandchildren, in the almond orchard:

 

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A close-up of the almond orchard…I recall many walks among these trees….

 

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My brother, Eldon, his wife, Marie, and three grandchildren:  Gavin, America, & Luc…By the big tree that has been there since I was a kid, and before….

 

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Luc is enjoying a ride…in the background, notice the old barn that was there when I was a kid.  It looks like it hasn’t been painted since then, either, but I know it has been.  It used to be red.

 

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Gavin is taking his turn…

 

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Inside the barn, you’ll find my brother’s shop where he creates Signs by Eldon…and his crew of fans:  Luc, Gavin, America, and wife Marie.

 

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Gavin, playing the piano that was also in this home when I lived here, sometime in the mid-20th Century!

 

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A bonding moment between Marie and America, her youngest grandchild…(and only) granddaughter…

 

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Three generations of females:  Marie, Amy, and America….

 

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I think it might be time for a visit IRL….so I’m planning for a getaway to the Northern Central Valley soon.

What do you love about your family moments?  Do they tell a story?  Remind you of the past?

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COFFEE MORNING WITH PHOTOS & THOUGHTS….

Welcome to a Coffee Morning with a view of the patio…and a new umbrella to replace the tattered one, destroyed by our windy April.

Mornings are the only cool time of the day, now, and can you believe that I was longing for the warmth just a month ago?  LOL.

The book on the table is one I’m going to start reading soon:  Secrets in Summer, by Nancy Thayer (from Amazon Vine).

 

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  • Last night I stayed up late to finish Not a Sound, by Heather Gudenkauf, a wonderfully riveting thriller from NetGalley.  (Click title for my review).

 

 

  • Today I am getting another manicure…gel, of course.  My nails never survived three weeks without chipping when I used regular polish!
  • Afterwards, I have errands…and maybe I’ll treat myself to a drink and some soup or a salad.
  • Pippa, my Kindle, always accompanies me, so we can enjoy reading along with the libations.
  • I found this photo on my daughter’s FB page…an interesting take on game night.  L to R:  Noah, Heather, David, and their friend Joe….

 

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That was my week, in photos, books, and thoughts.  Linking to Christine, at Bookishly Boisterous.

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COFFEE, ETC. – A BOOKISH & NOT SO BOOKISH WEEK….

  • Yesterday I met up with a friend at Barnes & Noble’s for one of our nice long chats…and because I had to wait a while for her to arrive, I started with a grande coffee and this scone (above).  The scone was a bit hard, but the coffee…yum!
  • Afterwards, we browsed for books…I didn’t find anything, but I was tempted by a few.  One of my things lately…don’t buy something just because I like it!
  • My granddaughter Fiona made a comment on the above photo…on my Facebook page.  Here is her profile photo today ( I asked her if she is feeling “blue.” LOL):

 

  • My youngest son and his wife recently moved into another cottage in Crescent City..now they are only a block from the beach.  I am so ready to go visit!  Here is a view of one of their rooms…you can’t see the beach from inside this one, of course.  The dining room section is on the far left.

 

Another view…you can see a glimpse of the kitchen on the right.

 

  • The previous house was a bit larger, but the proximity to the beach was the selling point.
  • My patio umbrella is now in tatters.  There was a sizable tear after the recent winds, and now the umbrella is barely there.  I ordered a new one from Amazon, which was supposed to arrive today…my e-mail this morning shows a delay of two days.  I guess I could have gone to Pier I and picked one up…but I wasn’t feeling into shopping in the stores.
  • Meanwhile, I have to attack the remaining weeds along the borders.
  • Maintenance came and secured my skylight cover a bit more…with an adhesive.  It had fallen three times this year!
  • Books:  Yesterday, I wrote about what I’ve been reading since last week in my Hump Day Potpourri:  A Week of Reading.
  • Then I wrote about:

WHAT’S NEXT?  I JUST DOWNLOADED A BOOK THAT I’VE BEEN EAGERLY AWAITING…

Into the Water (e-book), by Paula Hawkins

 

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Synopsis:  A single mother turns up dead at the bottom of the river that runs through town. Earlier in the summer, a vulnerable teenage girl met the same fate. They are not the first women lost to these dark waters, but their deaths disturb the river and its history, dredging up secrets long submerged.
 
Left behind is a lonely fifteen-year-old girl. Parentless and friendless, she now finds herself in the care of her mother’s sister, a fearful stranger who has been dragged back to the place she deliberately ran from—a place to which she vowed she’d never return.
 
With the same propulsive writing and acute understanding of human instincts that captivated millions of readers around the world in her explosive debut thriller, The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins delivers an urgent, twisting, deeply satisfying read that hinges on the deceptiveness of emotion and memory, as well as the devastating ways that the past can reach a long arm into the present.
 
Beware a calm surface—you never know what lies beneath.

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So…it has been both a bookish and not so bookish week.  What was yours like?

Linking up with Christine, at Bookishly Boisterous.

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LET’S SHARE SOME COFFEE & PHOTOS….

What a beautiful spring morning we are having here!  I’m not going out to the patio with my laptop yet, since the “fresh” air brings out the itching, sneezing, etc., no matter what pills I take.

So it’s Coffee Morning inside, next to my books and Disney characters, and with my laptop.  Check in with Christine’s Bookishly Boisterous Post, and Saturday Snapshots this weekend.

 

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My collection of photos of grandchildren has been growing, along with some of grand-nieces and nephews.  Today I’m sharing a few of the “girls.”  Below, Aubrey, one of my granddaughters, hanging out with three of her friends.  She is a sophomore at San Diego State University, and is second from the left.  She is into sports, both watching and participating.

 

 

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On the other end of the age spectrum, little Miss Margaret, my grand-niece, is taking care of her dolls.  Her mother is my niece Emily.

 

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Now she is testing out the kitchen…

 

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Satisfied by her investigation, she sits back to bask in her discoveries…

 

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Now…moving on to another part of the state and another family of “nieces,” check out Amy (my niece)  and her daughter America enjoying a “girl day.”

 

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America’s “pedi”….she looks like she is totally relaxed.

 

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Finished results:

 

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I love a good mani-pedi, and had my own recently:

 

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My reading week is featured today over at my Hump Day Reading.

CURRENTLY READING:

I Found You, by Lisa Jewell, a book I’ve had on my stacks since last summer.

 

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Wait for the Rain (e-book), by Maria Murnane, a book from the author.

 

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Where has your journey taken you this week?

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