Good morning!  Let’s grab some coffee and chat.  I am a big fan of coffee, and in my quest to find the perfect pot of coffee, I sometimes go astray.

The last bag of coffee that I purchased was not my favorite:  it was a milder flavor, and didn’t quite do it for me.  I accidentally picked up the wrong kind!  Then I found a rich and dark blend, and I’m enjoying the first pot of that this morning.  Yum!  Usually I only  feel this burst of flavor when I go to Barnes & Noble to read and sip their coffee, where I order it with two shots of Espresso.  But I’m too lazy to get dressed and go there on most mornings.

I might go this afternoon, though.  I’m feeling a little stir crazy. 

Last night I finished reading Two Girls Down, by Louisa Luna…my third book of the week.  (Click for my review).

Next I plan to start reading one of my March NetGalley ARCs:  The Flight Attendant, by Chris Bohjalian. (Release Date – 3/13).

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Guest Room, a powerful story about the ways an entire life can change in one night: A flight attendant wakes up in the wrong hotel, in the wrong bed, with a dead man – and no idea what happened.

I loved The Guest Room!  It was also a NetGalley ARC…click for my review.


I’ve been waiting for this book for months!  I have loved several books by this author, and the anticipation has been palpable.

So…imagine me curling up with Pippa, my Kindle…another cup of coffee…and bliss.

How is your day shaping up for you?








Welcome to another Coffee Chat, featuring our bookish and not so bookish thoughts, hosted by Bookishly Boisterous.

It has been a quick (and not that productive) week.  I have been doing some Bloggiesta tasks, since it is coming on February 3-4.  Typically I started early.  My focus this time will be this very blog, although I’ve been making some changes on some of my other blogs. 

  • My Sign-Up Post is HERE.
  • I have finished reading and reviewing one book, Seeing Red, by Sandra Brown (click for review).  The 585 pages were more than my usual, but the story kept me engaged and there was nothing tedious about the book.
  • I’m halfway finished with Fire & Fury...and The Great Alone is moving along and keeping me engaged.  I am spending most of my time on the latter book, as it is a NetGalley review book.
  • On Sunday, I ran some errands…and then stopped for this delicious Tomato Basil Bisque soup with a Strawberry Margarita.  I was reading Seeing Red while I ate.


  • I’ve added two new books to Pippa this week (so far).  One  was a book that came out in 2015, but I couldn’t resist downloading it when I saw one of the characters on Season 4 of Grace & Frankie reading it…and I also remembered that it was on my list!  Fates & Furies, by Lauren Groff, is a dazzling examination of a marriage, and also a portrait of creative partnership written by one of the best writers of her generation. 

  • Then I downloaded The Wife, by Alafair Burke…a book I’ve been eyeing for quite a while.

  • When I go to Facebook these days, I steer away from the angry commenters…and focus instead on friends’ photos, like this adorable one of my step-great-granddaughters who are now four:  Bella and Lilly…

  • Or how about my great-niece America with her kitty.  She is nine:


  • Then I scrolled over to my granddaughter Fiona’s page, and enjoyed seeing the new look in her room:


Already I am feeling more upbeat, with changes on my blogs; lovely books, some already read and some newly purchased; and lovely photos of family.  How is your week unfolding?



My mornings in this little office nook are productive…but sometimes frustrating.

I love blog visiting, and even connecting on Facebook, but sometimes I have to steer myself away from that site.  There is a lot of hate there.  Especially in response to some of the thoughts written by FB friends.  Disagreement about the political situation in our country has turned to venom from some. 

Those FB friends to whom these thoughts are written should probably change their privacy settings and block some people.  Not that we can’t handle disagreement, but when it turns dark and menacing, we may need to take a different stance.


I am going to stay away from the FB feed for a while, and read only the comments from friends.  I have a good book to read.  Anatomy of a Scandal, by Sarah Vaughan, is capturing my interest, and I love the various perspectives offered.  We see the past, in the 1990s, when the main characters were at Oxford…and then the present, with a very scandalous trial going on, with one of the primary characters charged with rape.


Synopsis:  An astonishingly incisive and suspenseful novel about a scandal amongst Britain’s privileged elite and the women caught up in its wake.

Sophie’s husband James is a loving father, a handsome man, a charismatic and successful public figure. And yet he stands accused of a terrible crime. Sophie is convinced he is innocent and desperate to protect her precious family from the lies that threaten to rip them apart.

Kate is the lawyer hired to prosecute the case: an experienced professional who knows that the law is all about winning the argument. And yet Kate seeks the truth at all times. She is certain James is guilty and is determined he will pay for his crimes.

Who is right about James? Sophie or Kate? And is either of them informed by anything more than instinct and personal experience? Despite her privileged upbringing, Sophie is well aware that her beautiful life is not inviolable. She has known it since she and James were first lovers, at Oxford, and she witnessed how easily pleasure could tip into tragedy.

Most people would prefer not to try to understand what passes between a man and a woman when they are alone: alone in bed, alone in an embrace, alone in an elevator… Or alone in the moonlit courtyard of an Oxford college, where a girl once stood before a boy, heart pounding with excitement, then fear. Sophie never understood why her tutorial partner Holly left Oxford so abruptly. What would she think, if she knew the truth?


In books, and in life, there are different perspectives about events that transpire.  I am enjoying this one.

What are you reading?  What captures your attention?




Welcome to our last Thursday Coffee Chat before Christmas.  I decided to pair my coffee with a Christmas cookie, which was one from a package I bought…yes, I buy my cookies!  Baking takes too much time and counter space.   Anyway…check over at Bookishly Boisterous to see what others are chatting about.

This week has been flying by.  I did binge-watch the ten new episodes from The Ranch…and every time I watch it, I vow to stop.  I can’t stand some of the characters…lol.  But I do enjoy Debra Winger and Sam Elliott.  Is it my age?  The youngish guys are just idiots.  My own youngish adult children like this kind of humor, though, so it must be my age and my generation.

  • I watched Ellen DeGeneres today, and one of her guests was Barbra Streisand (speaking of age!).  Barbra has a new Netflix show (The Music…the Mem..’ries…the Magic) that begins tomorrow.
  • The other night I recorded The Year: 2017, and if you haven’t seen it yet, you might want to watch it in bits and pieces.  We already know it was a horrific year, with violence from people and nature…but to see it all unfolding…it was almost overwhelming.
  • I’m going back to watching Hallmark Christmas movies now, just to get past the angst.
  • Only one book read and reviewed so far:  Snap Judgment (Samantha Brinkman Book 3), by Marcia Clark (click for my review).  I loved it, just as I’ve enjoyed the first two books in the series.
  • One of these days I hope to read Without a Doubt, her book about the O. J. Trial.
  • Currently reading:  Wonder Valley, by Ivy Pochoda; halfway finished.
  • Earlier in the week, I started reading Sing, Unburied, Sing, by Jesmyn Ward…but gave up on it after the first chapter, which is really unusual for me.  Obviously I’m in the minority, as I see many rave reviews about it, and it won prizes.  So…I guess it’s me, not you, little book.  LOL.  I didn’t connect with the narrators at all.  I do normally love the themes, though (drug abuse, dysfunctional family, poverty, etc.).
  • Does it seem as though I’m apologizing for not loving what little I read of the book, or that I gave up so quickly?
  • Moving on.  Yesterday I downloaded a new release that I’ve been eyeing:  The Girl in Times Square, by Paullina Simons.

  • On a lighter note, last week I mentioned my plan to change up my nail color…which I did.  If you’ve already seen the photo on one of my other blogs (or Facebook, lol), I apologize for the repetition.

  • More photos from abroad:  Aubrey had a friend capture this cute photo of her and my eldest son (her Uncle Craig) in a snow globe…


So…that’s it for today.  Come on by and let’s chat. 





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).


  • 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!


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




Earlier today, I was revisiting some of my earlier blog posts, and realized that I haven’t talked about my One Word since May, when I wrote Hope:  More Important Than Ever.

And at that time, I was sharing about my allergic reaction to hair dye.  Well, that reaction happened again in July…so I have decided that I am done with dye.  All the hope in the world couldn’t keep the rash at bay.

But…here’s what I’m hoping now.  That there will be something great about going natural.  How bad could it be?  LOL.

Lately, I’ve been noticing gray hair on people I know or see around (I’m assuming that my natural hair is probably gray, but I have only seen hints of it over the years…hidden, under the dye, but making a brief appearance at times).

Meanwhile, I am enjoying my books, as usual, and hoping to read as many of my purchased books as possible by year’s end (for my Read the Books You Buy Challenge).  So far, I’ve read 71, and should have completed another by the end of the day.

I have a dwindling stack of print volumes, too.  The most recent stack is on my living room coffee table:


In my office, there are two short stacks with a total of 11 unread books (older ones than those on my living room coffee table).  Not bad.  There is HOPE that I will finish at least some of these.

Reading print volumes has turned out to be a challenge…occasionally.   Some of the nonfiction books, especially, have a tiny font, making reading them tedious.  I should check these things out before I buy…except, most of them came from Amazon.

I am hopeful that I will somehow rise to the challenge.


What gives you hope and helps guide you through your days?  Do you find it in books?  People you know and love?  Or in your interior moral compass?




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!


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




Good morning, and welcome to my Interior World.  Today has been one of posting reviews, checking for new releases, and capturing photos of my office.  Like the one above, which is a view from the left side of the room.  Books, family photos, and a bulletin board crammed with memorabilia.  Not to mention filing cabinets and a comfy chair.

Below, catch a glimpse of my work station:  laptop; my coffee and my list of blogs to visit.

And a close-up of my work space, with coffee.  A Disney character taking pride of place with my quirky doll, and the mug I  bought a few years ago in Big Bear, while on vacation.


Then, check out the opposite side of the room:  my couch, my trunk, my shelf of TBR books, my TV….



I do love working in this room, which has had a few makeovers in recent years.  All it took was switching some furniture around…creating that nook for my laptop, etc., and adding a flat screen TV.

Now I don’t ever have to leave this room.  But, of course, I will.

Currently Reading:  The Bookshop on the Corner, by Jenny Colgan, which I’m loving.  The MC, a librarian named Nina, has been let go from her librarian position in Birmingham, and struggles to find a way to use her love of books in a new way.  A trip to Scotland, the purchase of a van, and she’s good to go.



What does your interior world look like?  Do you have favorite spaces?  Do your books keep you engaged?




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



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.



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.



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.



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



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?


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?




Today I have been thinking about sentimental treasures.

Some of my treasures are those I have had since childhood.  In the photo above, note the two very well-worn books to the left:  Cornelli, by Johanna Spyri, and Elsie Dinsmore, by Martha Finley.  I first wrote about these books on my Potpourri blog in April 2011.

These book treasures came to me from my mother, who received them when she was a child in 1921.  I read them as a child, too; in fact, I read them over and over.

They became quite shabby and the bindings were coming undone, so when I happened upon a job in a library, between high school and college, I took them to be repaired.  I had learned how to fix bindings in the course of my work there, so I was proud to be able to complete this task.

When my mother gave them to me to keep, about a year before she died, she remarked upon my repairing them all those years ago, which told her how much the books meant to me.

They now hold pride of place next to my own creations and a few other books.

They are raggedy again…they could use another repair.  In the meantime, I like that they look loved.

Let’s check out the interiors.  The first shows an illustration from Elsie Dinsmore:



Another one from the same book:



From Cornelli:



An illustration from Cornelli:



I hope that my children or grandchildren pass these treasures on…and maybe they will even read them.

Or perhaps they will not be as sentimental as I am about the books.  I enjoyed reading them and pretending that the little girls in the books were my friends.

Do you have special treasures from your childhood?  Or books handed down from your mother or father?