COFFEE CHAT: TIME TO ENJOY FAMILY…

Another Thursday morning!  It’s time to grab some coffee…and chat.  Let’s link to Bookishly Boisterous to connect with others.

It is almost Turkey Day!  Next week I’ll be joining my daughter and her in-laws for the big dinner…and then on Saturday, my second son and his youngest will drive through our city and meet us local family members at Mad Duck Craft Brewing near the University.

  • I always enjoy these get-togethers, but this year’s event will be short a few family members, like my eldest son who lives in Prague; Alec, my oldest grandson, who will be back in Berkeley; Aubrey, in Prague; my second grandson and his new wife will be celebrating with in-laws; my next-to-youngest grandson lives far away, too, and hasn’t joined us for a few years.  My youngest son and DIL are way up north.  I think they would rather be anywhere but Fresno during the summer’s hot days or the foggy fall/winter ones.  Plus…they have the beach.  LOL.
  • We will have to go there to see them again…soon.
  • We will be joined by my daughter, son-in-law, my grandson Noah and granddaughter Fiona.  We will make it a party of seven.
  • Here is one of our events from years ago (2010) when all seven of my grandchildren attended.  That was an amazing time.

  • I love looking at my photos of times gone by.
  • This week has brought some amazing books to my stack:  I’ve read and reviewed two so far, one of which was a NetGalley ARC; and I’m making headway on a third ARC.  They are:  All the Best People (e-book), by Sonja Yoerg; Poison (e-book, NetGalley), by Galt Niederhoffer; and The Story of Arthur Truluv (e-book, NetGalley), by Elizabeth Berg.
  • Monday I went to lunch with my friend/former colleague of many years; afterwards we saw Murder on the Orient Express.
  • After that amazing day, I ended up staying home and indoors on Tuesday and Wednesday, catching up on DVR shows, and even watching The Talk.  Their guest today was Saoirse Ronan, starring in a new movie called Lady Bird.  I hope to see it this weekend.

  • Now there is nothing left to watch on TV…so I will return to reading.
  • I have also started binge-watching an Australian show on Netflix, Wanted.

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What does your week look like so far?  Come on by…and let’s chat.

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COFFEE CHAT: THE HOLIDAYS ARE COMING!

Welcome to my Coffee Chat, in which I talk about both bookish and not so bookish things.  Check on over at Bookishly Boisterous to see other participants.

My birthday was last Wednesday, but I have been in a celebratory mood that started before my birthday and continued through today, when I had lunch with a friend and former colleague.  We’ve been friends/colleagues since 1972.  Today we had lunch at The Olive Garden, and I thoroughly enjoyed the salad, the pasta, and the pumpkin cheesecake.  Not to mention the Mango Martini.

  • My granddaughter Aubrey, who is studying in Prague for the semester, is also seeing lots of surrounding countries; she shared this photo snapped in Copenhagen…

  • How did November get here already?  I still can’t believe so many months have gone by…and I am hoping for a good holiday season, but the disasters of the past few months have left a dark aura.  I am trying to cheer myself up with some trinkets:

 

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What is your week looking like so far?  Plans for the holidays?

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COFFEE CHAT: ANOTHER YEAR & MORE ADVENTURES…

Welcome to my Coffee Morning and a journey into my random thoughts.  In the photo above, I caught the sunlight streaming into my office and liked the effect.  Behind the coffee mug is my short stack of “up next” print books TBR. 

Join the others at Bookishly Boisterous to link up.

I didn’t leap out of bed this morning, but lay there a while, pondering the day ahead…and reflecting on yesterday, my birthday.  Birthdays add another year, but we also get to chat with and spend time with family and friends.

  • I joined my daughter….

                                                  for margaritas and Mexican food…

  • But before I left to meet my daughter, I had a nice chat with my LA son, and enjoyed the celebratory texts and FB messages from others.
  • A friend/former colleague and I will have lunch next Wednesday.  That friendship had interesting beginnings.  It was 1972, and I was living in a desolate town in the Southwest part of the county called Coalinga, with my husband and three children under five.  I got a job for the county, and she was my first supervisor.  We worked together, socialized after hours with family, had disagreements at times, and after all these years, post-retirement, we continue as friends, agreeing on the important things and laughing about how we can still predict what the other will feel about certain issues.
  • Yesterday also brought a welcome e-mail from the time share company from which I am trying to extricate myself…I don’t use it any more, and my LA son, who has been enjoying it for the most part, is tired of it.  We reached an agreement!  I can relinquish it back to them, a big relief!
  • When I did use the time share, I had some great vacations.  One of my favorites was the week I spent in Napa, CA, a bittersweet memory in light of recent wildfire destruction.  I loved the Wine Train lunch:

  • I also spiritually connected with Nature in Sedona, AZ’s  Red Rock Country:

  • But now I love reading, movies, and short trips to the beach.  I’ve read and reviewed two books so far this week:  Odd Child Out, by Gilly Macmillan, and Then She Was Gone, by Lisa Jewell.  (Click for my reviews).  Both were totally engaging.
  • Today I start reading White Bodies, by Jane Robins:  “This chilling psychological suspense novel—think Strangers on a Train for the modern age—explores the dark side of love and the unbreakable ties that bind twin sisters together.”
  • Later today…another mani-pedi.  I have come to luxuriate in the pampered feeling of the experience.  For years I had only occasional manicures, and seldom had pedicures.  Now I consider it part of my regular routine…every few weeks.

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These are my random and eclectic thoughts for the day.  Come on by and share yours!

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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: 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: HOT WEATHER, BAD MOOD….

Good morning!  It’s time for a Coffee Chat…and today, as always, I’m linking to Bookishly Boisterous for Bookish/Not So Bookish Thoughts.

  • My reading this week has been good so far, and I’ve read and reviewed two of my August NetGalley review books.  Click titles for my reviews:  Mrs. Fletcher, by Tom Perrotta; and Girl in Snow, by Danya Kukafta.
  • Sadly, I broke out in the rash again after my hair appointment, so the supposedly organic dye did nothing to prevent it.  Luckily, I had some of the ointment that worked quickly last time, and it was gone in two days.
  • I am done with dye!  Going gray, folks!  Maybe I’ll do highlights (the foiled pieces seem to keep the dye away better).
  • My daughter is in denial, since she picks the dye…she thinks there is something else going on with me (never mind that the rash comes directly after the dye jobs, and my doctor agrees with me!)…and her inability to take responsibility means that I can’t risk it again!
  • The long hot summer is getting on my nerves, even aside from the rashes…I have to strip down to almost nothing in order to stand the heat, even with the oscillating fan.  I have clothes nearby…just in case I have to rush out during a fire…LOL.  (This is not a selfie!)

  • I enjoyed a barbecue on the weekend…everyone else was swimming, but I still had the rash, so, no…I sat in the shade and read my book.
  • I can’t believe that I haven’t been out to one of my lunches or dinners this week!  The rash, the heat, my mood…
  • My granddaughter Fiona has been working in Yosemite all summer.  This past week, all of her siblings gathered around for a get-together, and one of her brothers came all the way from North Dakota!  Others live in various parts of California.  And all of the grandkids were together, too!  Here are a few of them in the pool…staying cool!

  • I can’t remember the last time that all of my grown kids gathered together.  I think it was 1999!  I either have two of them, or even three…but not all four.  Here are the four, captured at the end of the 1990s…

  • Two summers ago, my European son and his wife joined us…I still love the memories.  But while they visited my second son in LA and saw my daughter and me here, they didn’t make it up far north to see my youngest son.
  • Currently I am taking a break from my NetGalley books…and reading one of my purchases:  Bad Housekeeping, by Maia Chance.  I am ready for a light cozy.

  • Then I’ll pick up another NetGalley book, to be released on 8/8:  Emma in the Night, by Wendy Walker:

  • The more that I talk about heat, rashes, and not seeing all of my kids together…my mood darkens.  I should stop while I’m ahead!  LOL
  • I thought I didn’t go out at all this week, but I just remembered that I went to the mall nearby and bought two new tops!  Now I have something new to wear, which always cheers me up.

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Enjoy the week…stay cool, if you are in hot weather…and find only good books to read!

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LET’S GRAB SOME COFFEE AND CHAT….

Good morning, and welcome to another morning of Coffee Chatting…and linking to Bookishly Boisterous for those Bookish/Not So Bookish Thoughts.

  • Let’s start with the bookish things.  I’m having another delightful reading week, thanks mostly to the HOT, HOT, HOT weather, which is keeping me indoors.  I’m almost finished with my third book, and the fourth one is eagerly waiting in the wings.   The Comfort of Others, by Kay Langdale, is winding down, and while it didn’t grab me right away, I am now eagerly immersed in the alternating storylines of an eleven-year-old boy named Max and his next-door seventy-something neighbor Minnie.    Next:  The Child, by Fiona Barton; a book I’ve been ogling since, well, forever.

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  • Today I’m having a mani-pedi, and it’s long overdue.  Well, the pedi part, anyway.  I’m thinking of changing my signature color…this is what I’ve been “wearing” for ages…Thoughts?

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  • Does anyone else think the days, weeks, and year are flying by?  If only we could banish some of the unpleasant aspects of 2017…like that guy pretending to be President…LOL.
  • I haven’t watched Netflix at all this week!  I finished Season I of Gypsy, and I want more!  Naomi Watts does a great job.  I’ve added the movie Lion to my queue, along with Shetland...and Father Brown.  I’ve heard good things.
  • My reading has captured me, although I have taken time out for the new season of Broadchurch on BBC, and a new season of The Fosters and a new show The Bold Type, both on Freeform.
  • Today I woke up thinking about what would happen if my laptop died….and how would I set up a new one, with all the various things that I have attached to this one (requiring passwords, etc.).  I do have a sheet listing my Internet passwords, locked away in a file…but I’m thinking I may have overlooked something, like my new CBS app.  Does it have a password?  LOL.
  • I was doing one of those crazy FB memes that show our personality characteristics (as if we need an Internet tool to tell us!), and not surprisingly, mine showed that I like to be in control.  Duh!  That doesn’t mean I want to control others…but I do like being in control of myself and my world.
  • Here’s another photo from my daughter’s honeymoon in Prague, etc., snapped by her photographer brother who lives in Prague.  Great backdrop, right?

 

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That’s my week….how is yours shaping up so far?

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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 & THOUGHTS….

Good morning!  Come on by with your coffee, and let’s chat about our Bookish/Non-Bookish Thoughts.  Check in with Christine, at Bookishly Boisterous, to link up.

  • This week, I’ve finished reading and reviewing two books (Click titles for my reviews):  The Widow’s House and The Secrets You Keep.  I’m currently reading two additional books, one an Amazon Vine review, and the other is an e-book I recently downloaded:  Woman No. 17 and The Arrangement.
  • The sun has been shining down regularly, and I’m glad that we’re having a bit of spring.  Often our spring is short-lived, followed by long, very hot summers.
  • Tomorrow I’m having a mani-pedi…it’s time, since the spring sandals are out of the closet and ready to use.
  • I had a gel manicure three weeks ago, and love how great they stood up to the hard use I give my hands and nails.  I find myself picking at bottle tops and opening things with my hands, often demolishing my nails.  But…these have been sturdy, still looking pretty much like they were in this photo!

 

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  • On Easter, my granddaughter and her boyfriend came by for a while.  She brought a large chocolate egg for me.  I could only manage a few bites at a time.  She also wanted to show off some of her piercings.  Yikes!

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  • On Netflix, I’ve been watching 13 Reasons Why...I can only manage one episode at a time; it is pretty depressing.
  • Last night I watched Bridget Jones’s Baby on Amazon Prime.  Fun!
  • Today I got another NetGalley review book that I had requested:  He Said/She Said, by Erin Kelly (June 6, 2017)

 

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That’s it for my week so far.  What was yours like?

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THOUGHTS ON A THURSDAY…

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

  • After last week’s exciting getaway, this week feels a bit underwhelming.  But I have read two really good books so far, both review books:  The Perfect Stranger and Slightly South of Simple (click titles for my reviews)….and I’m now enjoying some breathing room from my review books.  In the stack above are a few books I’ve purchased…and really want to read soon.  Do you see any that you can recommend?
  • Currently I am reading The Widower’s Wife, and it’s different from what I expected…but I keep reading it, wanting to know how it will all unfold.
  • Yesterday I was bored, so I went to California Pizza Kitchen around the corner from where I live…and had a delicious soup, and read my book.
  • Reading in a restaurant livens things up for me.  And the food is much more tasty than my boring “at home” stuff.
  • I did manage to get to the grocery store afterwards, to add to the boring coffers.
  • Last night, I watched another episode of 13 Reasons Why, on Netflix.  Has anyone else seen it?  I haven’t read the book, but now I just might.

  • Since I was already connected to the Internet for streaming, I went over to watch an older movie on Prime…one I hadn’t seen in a while.  Grey Gardens, with Drew Barrymore and Jessica Lange.

  • Tonight is TGIT, and I’m eager to see the Thursday lineup, especially since I am now caught up on Scandal.  I watched five seasons on Netflix, grabbed a few episodes of Season 6 On Demand, and now I’m eager to continue the story.
  • I don’t have any little grandkids to buy Easter eggs for (my youngest is fourteen!), but I am thinking that a nice barbecue might liven up the day.

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That was my underwhelming week so far…what was yours like?  What are you planning for the weekend?

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