WELL-LOVED TREASURES FROM THE PAST….

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:

 

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Another one from the same book:

 

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From Cornelli:

 

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An illustration from Cornelli:

 

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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?

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COFFEE CHAT: A MORNING OF BOOKS, TAXES, ETC.

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Good morning, Bloggers!  It’s time to have another cup of coffee…and chat.

Today’s chat will be about my Bookish/Not So Bookish Thoughts, and I’m linking to Bookishly Boisterous, where others meet to share their thoughts.

I love my Happy mug (above).  There is a story to it, of course.  When I moved into this condo after living for several years in a bigger place in the foothills, I got rid of a lot of my old stuff.  I was going for the minimalist look.

But that’s not me…so slowly, but cautiously, I started adding a few things to fill in my new spaces.  I found this Baker’s Rack in a shop that was going out of business….I had always wanted one, so I thought:  why not?

 

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On display near the rack I had just purchased were assorted dishware, including these “happy” mugs, bowls, and saucers.  Of course I had to have them, and let me tell you how much joy they bring to my ordinary meals!  I love using colorful dinnerware, even when I am eating alone.  Maybe especially when I am enjoying a solitary meal.

 

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They mostly show up at breakfast, on my tray.

 

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Which brings us to my office, where I now am blogging away, chatting over another cup of coffee.

Today’s read is A Vanishing Year, by Kate Moretti, and I am loving it!  I’ve had my share of thrillers in the last few months, but this one is a bit different.  A “dark, twisty, edge-of-your-seat suspense” (Karen Robards), The Vanishing Year combines the classic sophistication of Ruth Rendell and A.S.A. Harrison with the thoroughly modern flair of Jessica Knoll. Told from the point-of-view of a heroine who is as relatable as she is enigmatic, The Vanishing Year is an unforgettable new novel by a rising star of the genre.

 

 

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Basically, it’s a story of a woman who fled her life in California, landing in New York with a new identity.  But can she put the past behind her?  Will the secrets she is keeping ruin the life she is building?  And will her wonderful new husband turn out to have a very dark side?

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I will finish it this morning, I hope.  But I do have an appointment with the accountant this afternoon, to deal with taxes.  My least favorite thing.  I always feel anxious, with knots in my stomach…ever since the year when I owed an additional $2,000.  I’ve taken steps to make sure that doesn’t happen again…but I am never secure about it until after the appointment.

 

 

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Next I hope to read The Best Awful….before starting a series of review books.  It is Carrie Fisher’s sequel to Postcards from the Edge.

 

 

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I think that was my last cup of coffee, so I’m off to read some more.  I also need to ponder cleaning up this place…but that can wait until tomorrow.  Right?

What are your random thoughts today?

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COFFEE & FAMILY MOMENTS: SAVORING THEM…

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Good morning, bloggers!  Do you have some coffee nearby?  Let’s lift those mugs and celebrate reading, coffee, mimosas…and special family memories.

Today I found some photos from the past…they are a bit blurry, but that’s okay.  Like the velveteen rabbit, they have been LOVED a lot.

First…

My second son, Brett, cuddling with his three kidlets, whom we called the A-Tots, back in the day.  L to R:  Aaron, Alec, and Aubrey.  Alec will be 22 in June; Aubrey will be 20 this month; and Aaron will reach 19 in June.

 

 

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In this photo, they are a little bit older:

 

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A photo of my eldest, Craig, and his lovely wife Gabi, when they were still living in Berlin.  This shot was snapped in 2010…so they weren’t yet married.  The wedding took place in 2013, and now they live in Prague.

 

 

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I found a more recent photo of Gabi:

 

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My youngest son and his wife (left and center) live in beautiful Crescent City, CA…and here they are, with a friend:

 

 

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Check out their beautiful surroundings:

 

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Back in the Central Valley, my granddaughter Fiona and her mom played with some face goop:

 

 

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In our nearby mountains, my youngest grandson is enjoying Nature…

 

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In a world that seems to have gone mad in recent days, I cling to the family moments…and hope that our lives (and our dreams) will survive.

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And I take pleasure in my books.  My current read:

The Bad Things (e-book), by Mary-Jane Riley, a darkly compelling psychological thriller, full of twists and turns, perfect for fans of THE WICKED GIRLS by Alex Marwood and THE GIRL IN THE RED COAT by Kate Hamer.

 

 

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I’m enjoying it so much, that last night I downloaded Book 2:  After She Fell.

 

 

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As you sip your coffee, reflect on your moments…and let’s share!

I’ll be linking to West Metro Mommy Reads, for Saturday Snapshots.

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A COFFEE MORNING ON SUNDAY: BLOGGIESTA, READING, & CHANGES…

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Good morning!  It is Sunday, and time for another Coffee Morning…in which we chat about life’s treasures, our goals, and what is happening in the week ahead.

Since next weekend is a mini-bloggiesta, I am busily creating new blog headers for the site I plan to focus on…Serendipity.

I have created eight possible headers, with five favorites.  I will be nailing one of them down…soon.

While I was busily creating them, I had another look at my pictures folders, and how untidy the whole thing has been.  Images all over the place, not organized at all.

So I spent some time rearranging everything yesterday.  I deleted the ones I’m not using anymore, and named each cover by the book title…so now they are arranged alphabetically.  Why didn’t I think of it sooner?  LOL.

I also sent some older files to my Dropbox…so they are no longer taking up space here.

A New Year is definitely the time to be organizing things.

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Meanwhile, my reading for this week is off to a good start.  I’m loving The Woman in Cabin 10, and beginning to see where this mysterious story will take us.

 

 

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After I had already posted my Weekly Updates...I got these two books in my mailbox.

 

 

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Becoming Queen Victoria, by Kate Williams

The Princess Diarist, by Carrie Fisher

 

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Enjoy your coffee, and let’s have a Sunday Chat.  What does your day look like?

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HUMP DAY THOUGHTS: FROM THE FOOTHILLS TO THE CITY…

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Welcome to Hump Day Thoughts….check out the mimosa above.  That was Sunday, but I think I still have some of the ingredients (champagne, orange juice).

When I first brought out my bins with Christmas decorations, the tree above was still hiding on a shelf, so one night, I dragged it out and borrowed some ornaments from one of the other miniatures.  It is a tree that doesn’t require much, so it’s all good.

The little A-frame cabin was one my youngest son sent to me three Christmases ago, and it is reminiscent of the house I had in the foothills for thirteen years….except that A-frame house had a coat of green paint in the photo below.

 

 

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Surrounded by oak and pine trees, it created a feeling of respite from the urban world.  And it brought my four children together on several occasions.

Nowadays, they are all over the place, from Prague, to LA, and to Crescent City.  One remains here in this city, and so do two of the grandchildren.  But we all stay in touch, and sometimes, they come back.  The photo below was taken in 1994. (I think).

 

 

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While we were living there, we hosted some Thanksgiving events, and I enjoy remembering the grandchildren playing on this Tree Fort:  Left to Right, Alec, Aaron, Fiona, and Aubrey.  They are all grown up now (legally, anyway).

 

 

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This photo (below) depicts one of our last Christmases there.  I loved that view from the dining room window, and to the left of what you see here was my computer station, where I created five of my novels.

 

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Creative Corner, way too crammed with STUFF!  LOL:

 

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I like my current creative station:

 

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Reading has gotten off to a slower start this week, but I did finish a short story and one fairly short novel.  My current reads:  The Mothers, by Brit Bennett, and The Sleepwalkers, by Chris Bohjalian.

 

 

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Visiting blogs this morning, I found a book that I had to add to my list…and promptly requested it from NetGalley:

The Perfect Stranger, by Megan Miranda, author of All the Missing Girls which I loved this past summer.  The new book is coming in May 2017.

 

 

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Synopsis:  In the masterful follow-up to the runaway hit All the Missing Girls—a “fiendishly plotted thriller” (Publishers Weekly)—a journalist sets out to find a missing friend, a friend who may never have existed at all.

Confronted by a restraining order and the threat of a lawsuit, failed journalist Leah Stevens needs to get out of Boston when she runs into an old friend, Emmy Grey, who has just left a troubled relationship. Emmy proposes they move to rural Pennsylvania, where Leah can get a teaching position and both women can start again. But their new start is threatened when a woman with an eerie resemblance to Leah is assaulted by the lake, and Emmy disappears days later.

Determined to find Emmy, Leah cooperates with Kyle Donovan, a handsome young police officer on the case. As they investigate her friend’s life for clues, Leah begins to wonder: did she ever really know Emmy at all? With no friends, family, or a digital footprint, the police begin to suspect that there is no Emmy Grey. Soon Leah’s credibility is at stake, and she is forced to revisit her past: the article that ruined her career. To save herself, Leah must uncover the truth about Emmy Grey—and along the way, confront her old demons, find out who she can really trust, and clear her own name.

Everyone in this rural Pennsylvanian town has something to hide—including Leah herself. How do you uncover the truth when you are busy hiding your own?

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My morning thoughts have swept me from the past, with memories in the A-frame house, to the present, in my new little office nook and all the books I love…and those I want.

What are your thoughts today?  Christmas plans?  Upcoming reads?

I’m linking up to West Metro Mommy Reads for Saturday Snapshot.

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THANKFULLY ANTICIPATING….

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Thanksgiving is coming soon!  My favorite holiday…So here are some photos from last year, which bring the nostalgia.  They also bring the comfort of that special celebration, as it wraps itself around me.

Below, check out some of last year’s post-Thanksgiving guests, at the gathering we enjoy a couple of days after the Big Event.  So many changes…new partners, new hairstyles, etc.

 

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Check out a collage, that showcases the various 2015 celebrations…

 

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What will this year look like?  Stay tuned for those photos.

Meanwhile, as the year comes to a close, I’m taking a closer look at my TBR Stacks over at Curl up and Read.

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My current read is Two If By Sea, by Jacquelyn Mitchard…

 

 

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From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Deep End of the Ocean, an epic story of courage and devotion that spans three continents and the entire map of the human heart.

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And…the news is now out (my daughter posted it on Facebook!):  She and her fiance got married on November 1.  Just a small ceremony at the courthouse…I think they’re still planning the big event in April.  We’ll see.

I was there for this event, and it was sweet.

 

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Reading has become a solace, a place to hide, and a reminder of how characters face their challenges.  Inspirational moments come through reading.

What does your reading look like these days?

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CHERISHING MY INTERIOR WORLD: BALANCE?

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Welcome to a Tuesday morning in my Interior World.  The coffee mug above is, like many of my mugs, filled with memories of places and people.

That one I found in Big Bear City, CA, when my second son had a cabin there, and invited the lot of us up there for a few days.  I loved it!  Here are a couple of shots of that cabin in a collage:  you can see my two granddaughters on the right.  They were seven, then!  Now they are nineteen.  How did that happen?

 

 

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It was 2004, and I was still working, so my time away felt like a real vacation.  While others were skiing or snowboarding, I was poking around in the little shops.  That’s where I found the mug, which I don’t usually grab when I want a cup of coffee.  I don’t want it to break while being used.  It does come out for “photo ops,” though.  It usually sits here, first shelf, far right:

 

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I love my little “jelly cupboard,” shown above.  It is small, but can contain all kinds of special mementos, and a few favorite books.  I think I have talked myself out of moving, because every affordable place I’ve seen does not have room for my goodies.  And yes, as my daughter says, I don’t need all this “stuff.”  But maybe I do.

Who’s to say?

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Meanwhile, business as usual here, with the “clicking to buy” books that appeal to me.  Am I staying “balanced?”  Maybe not.  Here’s what the second half of the year looks like so far, in terms of purchases.  Those I have read are linked to their reviews:

 

JUNE 2016:

1.   Confess, by Colleen Hoover

2.  Death at Breakfast (e-book), by Beth Gutcheon

3.  Deep Dark (e-book), by Laura Griffin

4.  Dinner, The (e-book), by Herman Koch

5.  Drinking Closer to Home (e-book), by Jessica Anya Blau

6.   Exit, The (e-book), Helen FitzGerald

7.   Here’s To Us (e-book), by Elin Hilderbrand

8.   Mystic Summer (e-book), by Hannah McKinnon

9.   One True Loves (e-book), by Taylor Jenkins Reid

10.  Sunshine Beach (e-book), by Wendy Wax

11. Sweetbitter (e-book), by Stephanie Danler

12. Vinegar Girl (e-book), by Anne Tyler

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JULY 2016:

1. Coincidence of Coconut Cake, The (e-book), by Amy E. Riechert

2.  Girl You Lost, The (e-book), by Kathryn Croft

3. In Twenty Years (e-book), by Allison Winn Scotch

4. I’ve Got Sand in All the Wrong Places (e-book), by Lisa Scottoline, et. al.

5.  Melody Lingers On, The (e-book), by Mary Higgins Clark

6.  They May Not Mean To, But They Do (e-book), by Cathleen Schine

7.  This Must Be the Place (e-book), by Maggie O’Farrell

8.  Truly Madly Guilty (e-book), by Liane Moriarty

9.   Truth-Teller’s Lie, The (e-book), by Sophie Hannah

10. Valley of the Dolls, by Jacqueline Susann (50th Anniversary Copy – reread)

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AUGUST 2016:

1.All the Ugly & Wonderful Things (e-book), by Bryn Greenwood

2.American Girl, The (e-book), by Kate Horsley

3.  American Heiress, by Jeffrey Toobin

4.  Behind Closed Doors (e-book), by B. A. Paris

5. Book that Matters Most, The (e-book), by Ann Hood

6.  Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant, by Anne Tyler (reread)

7. Family Tree (e-book), by Susan Wiggs

8.  Firefly Summer (e-book), by Nan Rossiter

9.  I Am No One (e-book), by Patrick Flanery

10. If I Forget You (e-book), by Thomas Christopher Greene

11. I Found You, by Lisa Jewell

12. It Ends with Us (e-book), by Colleen Hoover

13.  Map of the World, A (e-book), by Jane Hamilton (reread)

14. My Life, My Body, by Marge Piercy

15. Results May Vary (e-book), by Bethany Chase

16. Rosemary:  The Hidden Kennedy Daughter, by Kate Clifford Larson

17.  Silver Linings Playbook (e-book), by Matthew Quick

18. Siracusa (e-book), by Delia Ephron

19. Sister, The (e-book), by Louise Jensen

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SEPTEMBER 2016:

1.Come and Find Me (e-book), by Hallie Ephron

2. Finding Libbie (e-book), by Deanna Lynn Sletten

3. Kept Woman, The (e-book), by Karin Slaughter

4. Last Good Girl, The (e-book), by Allison Leotta

5.Life She Wants, The (e-book), by Robyn Carr

6. London Train, The (e-book), by Tessa Hadley

7. Some Tame Gazelle (e-book), by Barbara Pym

8. Sting (e-book), by Sandra Brown

9. Watching Edie (e-book), by Camilla Way

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OCTOBER 2016:

1. Commonwealth (e-book), by Ann Patchett

2. Love Letters, by Debbie Macomber

3. Mothers, The (e-book), by Brit Bennett

4. Red Car, The (e-book), by Marcy Dermansky

5. Saturday Requiem, by Nicci French

6. Stealing Jason Wilde (e-book), by Dee Ernst

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As you can see, I have a lot to read still.  Even though I’ve finished 68 books in my Read the Books You Buy Challenge, some of which come from the second half of 2015, there are many left.  Since they are mostly on Pippa, my Kindle, they are not staring me in the face, like these stacks of print books. (I’ve actually read the top one on the stack below):

 

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Today I clicked to buy two more e-books, which you’ll notice on the October list:

 

The Mothers, by Brit Bennett:

 

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And then there is The Red Car, by Marcy Dermansky:

 

 

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I read reviews of both books in one of the magazines I regularly read.  O or People, I’m not sure which.  lol.

So…what’s the verdict?  Am I hopelessly out of balance by still collecting and cherishing my books and my quirky objects?  Should I stop?  What do you think?

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