COFFEE CHAT: RESHAPING MY ROUTINES…

My Coffee Chats are out of whack lately, so this one is either early…or very late. My thoughts are all over the place as we continue to isolate and take our daily lives with caution, while also focusing on books, movies, etc.

Yesterday, Facebook changed its settings, and the look and navigation are a challenge.  One thing hasn’t changed.  They still haven’t allowed me to post from my Rainy Days and Mondays blog.  The message initially reported “abuse,” which is ridiculous, since I was chatting about books.  Today’s message (when I tried again!) said my blog URL was reported as spam.  Hmm.  I’ve had that URL since 2013.

So I did a work around by mentioning the name of my blog, the content of my review, and a photo of the blog header.  No URLs were entered…but hopefully other bloggers can find it.  We have to do whatever works, right?

Meanwhile, my day started in a non-routine way.  Usually I go through certain motions, like making the bed, lining up the clothes I am going to wear, and then jumping in the shower.  Before I do anything else.  Today was backward.  First I went on the computer, posted a review, drank some coffee, and then took my shower.  I felt better!

When life seems to drag along, with nothing but the “same old same old” every day, it is up to us to reshape our world a little.  Or a lot.  As most visitors to my pages know, I have done quite a lot of redecorating…mostly just rearranging things.  Sometimes by adding things; my bookshelves have definitely grown.

I also change up my stack of nightstand books from my unread pile in the entry way (left) to the nightstand on the right:

 

 

 

 

 

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How do you manage your days through this Pandemic?  If you are still in isolation, what works for you?

Has anyone else found Facebook changes challenging?

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WEEKLY UPDATES: A GREAT WEEK!

Good morning! Today’s post will link up to The Sunday Salon, The Sunday Post and Stacking the Shelves, for weekly updates.

**Mailbox Monday is hosted at the home site: Mailbox Monday.

And let’s join Kathryn, our leader in It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?, at Book Date.

 

This week I was determined to dust off some older books from my Kindle, and I did it!  Of the four, yes FOUR, books I read and reviewed, three of them were from my backlog.  And they were all so good!

Here in the residence, we are now eating in the dining room on alternate days, at scheduled times and applying social distancing.  I’m liking the change.  I feel a sense of normalcy returning, very slowly, and I am trying to feel hope again.

My movies and shows online continue, with some of them oldies.  The comfort viewing has helped me feel peaceful.

My ongoing sprucing up the space has led to more purchases of books and items to make me feel at home.  I have added new storage bins and changed the look of my bookshelves, with books and photos arranged in a way that I had them in my previous home.

I am writing this post in the late afternoon, so instead of suggesting we grab some caffeine, let’s reach for a preferred beverage:  perhaps even wine?

 

LAST WEEK ON THE BLOGS:

Goodbye to May!

Tuesday Excerpts:  “A Week at the Shore”

Tuesday Potpourri:  Bookish Tuesday

Hump Day Books…

Adding Another Backlog Book to My Device…

Coffee Chat:  Hanging in There…

Bookish Friday:  “Watch Me Disappear”

Review:  The Dilemma, by B.A. Paris – NG-6/30/20Review:  After Anna, by Alex LakeReview:  A Piece of the World, by Christina Baker KlineReview:  Watch Me Disappear, by Janelle Brown

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INCOMING BOOKS:

Empty physical mailbox…but I downloaded SIX e-books

Girls of Summer, by Nancy Thayer

Brave Girl, Quiet Girl, by Catherine Ryan Hyde

The Summer Deal, by Jill Shalvis

The Guest List, by Lucy Foley

Remain Silent (A Manon Bradshaw Novel), by Susie Steiner

Finding Mrs. Ford, by Deborah Goodrich Royce

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CURRENTLY READING:  The Flatshare, by Beth O’Leary

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That was my week.  What did yours look like?  Even though we are still on lockdown, I am feeling upbeat.  Getting out to the dining room every other day is surprisingly delightful.  And if the food is not good, I can ask them to prepare something else!  I have no delicious foods to spotlight, but I am thinking back on the last time I got together with my family!

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WEEKLY UPDATES: ANOTHER WEEK, MORE CHANGES…

Good morning! Today’s post will link up to The Sunday Salon, The Sunday Post and Stacking the Shelves, for weekly updates.

**Mailbox Monday is hosted at the home site: Mailbox Monday.

And let’s join Kathryn, our leader in It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?, at Book Date.

 

This week, I was determined to lighten up my reading, hoping to distract myself in a pleasant way.  I knew that I would also want some kind of mystery to read, too.  I succeeded on both counts…but it took all week to read and review two books.  Not that unusual lately, however.

I wrote only four blog posts, a definitely underwhelming event.

Around the residence, there have been daily changes in our routines and limitations, so I holed up part of the time in my apartment rearranging the furniture.  The space is small, but I had been thinking of how I wanted my space to look.  I moved the computer from the back wall next to the TV…to a corner by the window.  And rearranged the other furniture around it.

So while I was rearranging things and reading my books, I could almost forget about how isolated I am feeling right now.  Blogging and reading do help.  Then I watched the new Little Women movie on Amazon Prime.

Amazon packages continue to arrive regularly.  Let’s take a closer look at the week:

LAST WEEK ON THE BLOGS:

Tuesday Excerpts:  “Eight Perfect Murders”

Tuesday Potpourri:  New Books & a New Look…

A Bookish Hump Day…

Bookish Friday:  “The Sea of Lost Girls”

Review:  Coconut Layer Cake Murder, by Joanne FlukeReview:  Pretty as a Picture, by Elizabeth Little

INCOMING BOOKS:

I received four books in my physical mailbox…and downloaded one purchased e-book.

And They Called It Camelot, by Stephanie Marie Thornton

A Good Neighborhood, by Therese Anne Fowler

My Dark Vanessa, by Kate Elizabeth Russell

The Operator, by Gretchen Berg

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Download:

The Sea of Lost Girls, by Carol Goodman

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CURRENTLY READING:

For a few weeks, I have been reading Wallis in Love, by Andrew Morton.  Since I only pick it up between my other books, I am only about halfway finished.  But I’m enjoying it.

This week I also want to read The Other Mrs., by Mary Kubica.

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That was my week.  What did yours look like?  I have no goodies to share this week, but I think fondly of this pumpkin pie and ice cream treat I had a while ago.

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REVIEW: MY EX-LIFE, BY STEPHEN MCCAULEY

 

David Hedges’s life is coming apart at the seams. His job helping San Francisco rich kids get into the colleges of their (parents’) choice is exasperating; his younger boyfriend has left him; and the beloved carriage house he rents is being sold. His solace is a Thai takeout joint that delivers 24/7.

The last person he expects to hear from is Julie Fiske. It’s been decades since they’ve spoken, and he’s relieved to hear she’s recovered from her brief, misguided first marriage. To him.

Julie definitely doesn’t have a problem with marijuana (she’s given it up completely, so it doesn’t matter if she gets stoned almost daily) and the Airbnb she’s running out of her seaside house north of Boston is neither shabby nor illegal. And she has two whole months to come up with the money to buy said house from her second husband before their divorce is finalized. She’d just like David’s help organizing college plans for her seventeen-year-old daughter.

That would be Mandy. To quote Barry Manilow, Oh Mandy. While she knows she’s smarter than most of the kids in her school, she can’t figure out why she’s making so many incredibly dumb and increasingly dangerous choices?

When David flies east, they find themselves living under the same roof (one David needs to re-pair). David and Julie pick up exactly where they left off thirty years ago—they’re still best friends who can finish each other’s sentences. But there’s one broken bit between them that no amount of home renovations will fix.

 

My Thoughts: My Ex-Life brings together the past and the present as its characters try to sort through the pieces of their lives out of the detritus of their mistakes.

On the West Coast, David had been loving his little rented carriage house, but there was definitely something missing from his life. When his ex-wife Julie calls, needing help preparing her daughter Mandy for the right college, he sees an opportunity to use his career to help her, and perhaps a chance to heal some of the broken pieces of their past together.

Alternating storylines reveal what life looks like in the present for Julie, living near Boston and trying to get past her divorce to her second husband Henry, who seems to be in a punishing frame of mind. With a plan in place, David hopes to finally overcome the loose ends of his first marriage to Julie by helping her with the present issues in her life.

I enjoyed the writing style that added humor and insight to the characters’ discoveries as they spend time sorting through their past choices.

I had high hopes that the previous partners, David and Julie, would rediscover their former friendship and could help each other during a difficult time. Until the very end, I wasn’t sure they could overcome the past, but I was happily rooting for them. I loved how the story ended. 5 stars.

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WEEKLY UPDATES: THOUGHTS FROM MY TINY SPACE…

Good morning! Today’s post will link up to The Sunday Salon, The Sunday Post and Stacking the Shelves, for weekly updates.

**Mailbox Monday is hosted at the home site: Mailbox Monday.

And let’s join Kathryn, our leader in It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?, at Book Date.

 

A month has passed since my life changed drastically.  In the past two weeks, I have slowly transitioned to my new living arrangements, and while my reading is still slow…I did finish Emily, Gone, by Bette Lee Crosby, a five star read. (Click title for my review).

Currently, I am enjoying Little Beach Bungalow, by Joanne DeMaio.  Our summer friends are back in Stony Point, and new layers of the story are unfolding.

I am finally loving coffee again:

In my tiny apartment, I am adding a few of my quirky favorites from my former place, and I even brought a few books and family photos:

 

 

 

 

 

My “home theater” (TV/Blu-Ray combo) is all set for watching Big Little Lies this week!

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BLOGGING:

My First Hump Day in June

Coffee Chat:  Redesigning My Life…

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INCOMING BOOKS:

Empty mailbox.  I did download one e-book.

The Friends We Keep, by Jane Green

Gradually I am making myself at home.  I do hope to read and blog more in the coming weeks.

What did your week look like?

No delightful food to share this week, except this coffee and a sweet roll one early morning.  Maybe next week?

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A HUMP DAY JOURNEY…

While I visit blogs this week, I plan for changes in mine.  I love making them over as a New Year beckons.  I thought I would leave this blog alone, as I loved my previous header and the look of it.  It is all about the reading, blogging, and writing journey.

The new header is more of a metaphorical journey, with a real train…and a bookish train.

Am I alone in my obsession with changing the look of my blogs?  LOL

Meanwhile, I am trying to journey through books, and now, recently, an audiobook, to which I am listening as I travel along on my exercise bike.  I used the image of the bike on one of my other blogs.

Check out Curl up and Read for that new look:

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What does your Hump Day look like?

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COFFEE MORNING: SOME BOOKISH/NOT SO BOOKISH THOUGHTS…

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Good morning, and welcome to another chat featuring our Bookish/Not So Bookish Thoughts, hosted by Christine, at Bookishly Boisterous.

Let’s grab some coffee and chat!

 

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I can’t believe how late I slept today!  Eight o’clock!  That’s unheard of for me.  I must have needed the sleep.

  • In my little office alcove pictured at the top of this post, I spend some cozy moments:  writing blog posts, visiting other blogs, and, yes, connecting a little bit on social media.
  • That alcove has gone through a few changes over the years.  Once upon a time, it was a place for my extra bookshelves…

 

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  • When I started purging shelves, I didn’t need that space for books…and when I had house guests staying in the office/guestroom, I knew that I needed to render the space more comfortable for them.  Now I can easily unfold the sleeper sofa.  My desk area that took up a lot of space in the room has now been relocated to the alcove, but with a smaller desk…(See below for former home of the rolltop desk).

 

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  • Enough about my room changes!  After reading and reviewing THREE books so far this week, I am totally engaged in another NetGalley ARC:  Almost Missed You, by Jessica Strawser.  I like books that reel me in from the start, and this one definitely has done that.

 

almost-missed-you

Almost Missed You is a skillful, insightful debut: a deft exploration of the mysteries of marriage, the price we pay for our secrets, and just how easy it is to make the worst choices imaginable.” —Chris Bohjalian, New York Times bestselling author of The Sandcastle Girls and Midwives

  • Has anyone else been watching Big Little Lies on HBO?  I wasn’t sure I’d enjoy it, since they changed the setting from Australia to Monterey, CA…but the cast makes up for that, IMO.
  • This week has flown by…again!  But tomorrow I’m looking forward to a lunch with an old friend who has been through some health challenges recently.  We’re going to The Red Lobster, where I used to lunch a lot when I was working near there.
  • Some time this weekend, I must start searching for my “mother of the bride” outfit…I can’t tell you how much I am NOT looking forward to the shopping, as it means I’ll probably need to go to the mall.  Can’t I order it on Amazon?  LOL
  • I also have to get new shoes….Groan.
  • I put the Uber app on Phoebe, my iPhone…as my daughter says there will be no parking at the home where they’ll be having the reception the next day, back here in our city.   I’m a little nervous about Uber...

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

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LET’S CHAT OVER COFFEE: FAMILY MOMENTS….

books-fairytales-may-16-shapedGood morning!  Grab some coffee, and let’s chat.  Welcome to my Interior World…and the occasional excursions into the Exterior World. 

Last summer, my granddaughter Fiona and I traveled to the Northernmost section of the state to beautiful surroundings.  I took lots of photos…but I can never have enough.

 

 

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Fiona’s dad, my youngest son, sent some more photos the other day, showing what it looks like in the winter season.  The water, below, looks ferocious, and the sea (above) looks sultry .

 

 

crescent-city-4-framed

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I like this glimpse of the forest and the water…

 

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Meanwhile, back here in the city, Fiona posted this photo of one of her new looks.  I like her colorful array of garments, and the head scarf is covering her slowly growing hair.  On impulse, she shaved it a few months ago.  LOL.

 

 

creative-fiona-framed

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In this shot, she is looking rather sullen.  Or thoughtful.

 

 

fiona-in-january-framed

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Auggie, a companion for my son and DIL…is an ever-present “person.”

 

auggie-framed

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Last week, I did a “switcheroo” of some tables (see Weekend Potpourri:  A Switcheroo...)  The table, below, now taking up residence in my office, once sat behind the loveseat in my bedroom.

 

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In the bedroom, I replaced the cart with this small wicker shelf, which works better, I think.

 

 

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Then I rearranged a few of the objects on that wicker shelf…I’m never quite satisfied.  Small changes, with the Irish Coffee mug on the edge, with the leprechaun posed against it:

 

bedroom-table-reorganized

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As I said, never satisfied.  In the office, I moved the cart a little bit, and put some decorative boxes on the opposite side, so they are visible.

 

 

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I think that’s it for today….but maybe not.  Always changing, that’s me…and some of my changes include the header at Serendipity....

 

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And over at Rainy Days and Mondays:

 

 

picmonkey-image-rainy-days-in-march

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What did your week look like?  I am sharing this on West Metro Mommy Reads for Saturday Snapshots.

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

my-mug

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.

 

 

books-in-the-mail

 

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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