COFFEE CHAT: BOOKS, MOVIES, & OBSESSIONS….

Welcome to another Coffee Chat!  Let’s hop on over to Bookishly Boisterous, and link up.

  • Today (August 31), is my DIL’s birthday, exactly one week after her husband’s (my youngest son).
  • A year ago, my granddaughter and I traveled to the northernmost part of the state to visit them and celebrate on their birthdays.  (Below), see the beauty we enjoyed during that trip.

  • This week, I’ve been catching up on my reading.  I finished a print volume that was sitting on my nightstand, as it was too hefty to take with me when I went out.  (Home, by Harlan Coben – click for my review).  Two other books I finished were, of course, Kindle books:  (After She Fell and The Good Daughter).  When I think of how I resisted the Kindle!  Now I can’t imagine life without it.
  • However, occasionally I find hardcover books on the bargain table…and some books I want are not available in the e-book format.  I’m still waiting for my copy of Did You See Melody?, by Sophie Hannah.  I think it must be coming by pony express!  Oops, I just checked the tracking number, and it arrived today!  Yay!

  • Because Bloggiesta is coming (Sept. 21-24), I’ve been working on my Curl up and Read blog.  New theme, header, and background…so far.  I tend to get carried away.
  • My DVR is primed to record two favorite shows tonight:  Younger and The Sinner.  Plus, the movie Jackie.  America’s Queen, one of the books I’m reading (in print format) is about Jackie.
  • See (below), another bookshelf is filling up with recent hardcover purchases.  To the right, in the hallway, you can see my shelves of DVDs.

  • It may be time to do another purge!
  • It’s not that I’m resisting the purge, but the last time I did major culling, it was two years ago, and I literally took away hundreds of books.  I had empty bookshelves in the garage, some of which I’ve given away, too.
  • I do want to continue surrounding myself with shelves of books…so I just have to decide when I have too many.
  • I’ve never been good at deciding the difference between collecting my books…and hoarding them.  I tell myself that, as long as they look nice on the shelves, I’m okay.  LOL.

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So…things to think about.  What are you reading, pondering, or enjoying this week?

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CHATTING WITH COFFEE….

Good morning!  It’s time to grab a cup of coffee and chat about Bookish/Not So Bookish Things.  Head on over to Bookishly Boisterous to link up.

  • Last week I had my mani-pedi, and I changed up my trademark “purple” color….to this wicked red…LOL

  • Today I had coffee with a friend at Barnes & Noble…

  • Dinner with a book at The Elephant Bar…

  • Tomorrow I’m finally going to the salon to try to have my hair dyed (with an organic product) without an allergic reaction.
  • This week, I’ve enjoyed reading and reviewing three books already; click titles/covers for my reviews:

My Life to Live, by Agnes Nixon; The Marriage Pact, by Michelle Richmond;

and The Best of Us, by Joyce Maynard.

Currently I’m reading Every Wild Heart and Mean Streak.

  • I’ve been enjoying Shetland on Netflix…and saw the movie Lion there.  I loved it!  Tonight is Broadchurch again, on BBC.
  • It seems that I’ve had to leave the house every day this week for one or more errands, so I’m surprised that I’ve actually finished three of my books.
  • After tomorrow, I’m hoping to stay close to home for Friday and the weekend, as the heat is not going away.

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That’s what my life has been like since last week.  Come on by and let’s chat.

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HOPE: MORE IMPORTANT THAN EVER….

This morning, as I visited blogs and responded to those who visited my Bookish Friday, I noticed my One Word logo in the sidebar at Serendipity….and realized it has been a while.

Has HOPE carried me along on my journey this year?  Am I finding new optimism in my daily life?

Well, some of the time, but then there are times that I flounder and even throw up my hands in dismay.  Like when my skylight cover repeatedly fell during the big winds of this year; or when the wind destroyed my patio umbrella, requiring a new one…and then I had to find someone to set up the new one.

Yes, these are ordinary setbacks.  But in the past month, I have been fighting a skin irritation (allergic reaction to hair dye?), and right now I’m going through it again.  My daughter does my hair and didn’t test the dye this last time, since it’s the same brand she has always used.  But now she is doing some research…and I’m using the hydrocortisone recommended by the doctor…and my skin is on fire, still, but slowly cooling down.

I may have to let my hair go to its natural color, whatever that might be (gray?) until we find a solution.

Meanwhile, I am still reading and somehow, it does distract me enough…but I have to keep cold compresses close by, too, and wash and change the lotion every few hours.

This happened last month, too, and it took a full week to clear up.  I am HOPING that it will clear up sooner this time, but then, that’s just optimism.

My current read is He Said/She Said, by Erin Kelly, a NetGalley review book that has kept me twisted up as the story weaves the past and the present together, giving us bits of information as we move along.

 

Blurb: In the summer of 1999, Kit and Laura travel to a festival in Cornwall to see a total eclipse of the sun. Kit is an eclipse chaser; Laura has never seen one before. Young and in love, they are certain this will be the first of many they’ll share.

But in the hushed moments after the shadow passes, Laura interrupts a man and a woman. She knows that she saw something terrible. The man denies it. It is her word against his.

The victim seems grateful. Months later, she turns up on their doorstep like a lonely stray. But as her gratitude takes a twisted turn, Laura begins to wonder—did she trust the wrong person?

15 years later, Kit and Laura married are living under new names and completely off the digital grid: no Facebook, only rudimentary cell phones, not in any directories. But as the truth catches up to them, they realize they can no longer keep the past in the past.

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Just when I thought I had it all figured out, the author threw some more twists our way.

How scary is it to try to escape the world of “digital footprints”?  I tried to imagine living off the grid, and realized, along with these characters, that it is nearly impossible.

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I have two more NetGalley review books to be released soon:

Beach House for Rent, by Mary Alice Monroe, and The Breakdown, by B. A. Paris. (6/20/17)

 

Then Every Last Lie, by Mary Kubica, is on my shelf and will be released on 6/27/17.

 

 

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I am hoping to love each of these…and then it’s on to July, where I have three more books from NetGalley.  A busy summer ahead!

Now…if I can only stay free of skin allergies/infections…and broken things in the house…sigh.

Check out my new patio umbrella through the window.

 

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What is your One Word?  Are you keeping it in your sights on this journey through 2017?

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A SUNDAY COFFEE CHAT: PLANNING MY DAY….

Good morning, and welcome to a Sunday Coffee Chat.  My new header (above) came to me late last night, when I realized that I hadn’t changed it in a while.

Changing things up seems to be my default setting on my blogs…and in my life.

Conveying the theme of my site is what I hope to achieve, and doing so in a variety of ways makes me feel “fresh” and “new.”  This blog is all about reading, blogging, and writing…and my love of those activities.

As I grab another cup of coffee, I ponder the day ahead.  Yesterday was all about running errands and having a relaxing lunch.

 

 

Today I plan to read, watch some Netflix, and some of the movies on Amazon Prime Videos.  I also have some movies on my DVR.  Ordinary People is one I’ve been wanting to watch again, since Mary Tyler Moore gave an extraordinary performance in it.

 

Tonight my favorite thing will be watching Big Little Lies…and The Good Fight, streaming on CBS:  All Access, a recent acquisition.

 

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I am currently reading The Mother’s Promise, and I was drawn in by the alternating narrators immediately.  Each character’s perspective offers just enough to keep me turning those pages.  A single mom, a teenage daughter with severe social anxiety, and an illness that renders the mother unable to provide the buffer her daughter has always depended upon.

 

 

 

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So…that’s what I have planned.  What do you enjoy on a Sunday?

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MY JOURNEY WITH HOPE…

Good morning, Blog World!  It has been too long since I wrote about my One Word, which, for this year, is HOPE.  (Today I’m linking up to Bookishly Boisterous, for my Bookish/Not So Bookish Thoughts).

I am still striving for balance (last year’s word), and hoping to achieve some of my goals for this year.  I’m reading from the Books I Buy, in a challenge, and have read and reviewed 23 so far.

My purchases keep adding to my shelves, with 20 books bought in January; 13 in February; and 4 in March…so far.

But…I think I’ve got this!  See, optimism, second cousin to HOPE.

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Let’s take a look at how it’s going in the other parts of my life:

My daughter is celebrating her marriage on April 1, at a nearby beach community (two hours away).  I have some things on my list, and so far, so good.  I found TWO possible dresses, and decided that one of them (the one my daughter likes best) would be for the wedding, and the other would be fun to wear for the reception (the next day).

Yesterday’s task:  Shoes.  I was hopeful, and went to a couple of shops in the nearby mall, and left very disappointed.  Then I recalled a DSW store even closer to me, and while I wasn’t all that hopeful…I was pleasantly surprised.  Not only was there a great selection, but the shop assistant was very helpful.  Something I didn’t find in the upscale stores I had tried first.

I found the shoes!  Now I just have to manage to stay comfortable enough all day.  Hmm.  You know how they seem comfy in the shop, and then, after a few hours of wearing them, your feet are screaming?  I hope that is not the case, or I’ll be walking around barefoot.

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Nails!  I found a nail salon two miles away with great reviews.  I knew I didn’t want to go all the way over to my daughter’s salon, as I’ll be having them done the day before.

Did I forget anything?  Oh, yeah, hair.  Well…my daughter did the color last week…and she could actually style it before the wedding, but I suspect she’ll be a little busy.  I’ve got this!

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Is HOPE guiding me in the rest of my life?  Am I trying to curtail my book buying compulsions…just a little bit, so I can finish the year with great numbers?  I’ve been bookmarking books I want to buy…and sitting on my hands to avoid that “click to buy” compulsion.  Sometimes it works.

 

 

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Currently, I am reading It Happens All the Time, by Amy Hatvany, a NetGalley review book, a provocative and compelling novel about two friends whose lives are changed by a drunken kiss.

 

 

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So, that’s it for today.  How are you doing with your One Word?  Does it follow you around, reminding you of what you vowed to do this year?

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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.

 

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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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COFFEE CHAT: TICK-TOCK, THE TIME IS FLYING….

books-fairytales-may-16-shapedGood morning, bloggers!  I’m having my first cup of coffee while chatting today…please join me, and also check out Christine’s Bookish (and Not So Bookish) Thoughts.

  • A couple of weeks ago, I received a jury summons for this week.  I was annoyed, but I thought it would be the usual calling in at night and being told to call again the next evening.  Well, not so much.  I was supposed to appear at 8:30 yesterday!  And I had plans yesterday…and today.  So I stayed on the line and went through the menu…finding the one where I could postpone it for up to nine months.  So I did.  What a relief!
  • I went ahead with my massage and hair styling yesterday at my daughter’s salon.  She put a little more of the silver on my hair, with the dark low lights.  She took a photo of the back when she was finished.   I was ready to change from being a redhead for all these years…

 

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  • Today I sign my tax forms and the accountant files them.
  • Yesterday I did some changes with my lamps.  I had a rather chunky lamp on my rolltop desk, in my office nook, and I decided (finally) that it was too big…so I switched things around, with that lamp ending out behind the sofa…

 

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  • My smaller lamp now sits atop the desk….

 

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  • I am determined to make additional changes in my lifestyle, including more exercise.  I have that stationary bike for the days that are rainy…and I guess I can’t seriously believe that changing lamps and furniture around counts as exercise!  So move over Minnie, I’m coming in!

 

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  • I hope to read a lot today…until I have to leave to sign the tax forms, which can be late afternoon.
  • It’s Thursday, and I love the lineup on nighttime TV!  TGIT!
  • But why do the weeks fly by?  I really haven’t managed to accomplish a lot, although I have finished two books so far.  But seriously?
  • In a little over a month (April 1), we’ll be headed to Cayucos for my daughter’s beach wedding…and before then, I have to find an outfit.  I hate clothes shopping…but I guess it must be done.
  • At least I’ve reserved my hotel room for two nights.  We’ll head up on Friday, stay the night, and the wedding will be at 1:00 in the afternoon.  Then dinner, a bonfire on the beach, and the next day…home.  The reception will be back here, at my daughter’s new brother-in-law’s home.  Since it’s her second marriage, I have had little to do with the arrangements…and that’s fine by me.  I can be a guest and enjoy the party.   Plus, the in-laws have bigger houses…LOL.
  • Speaking of time, we’ll be going to daylight savings in March!  When did it stop being in April?
  • So…tick-tock.

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And these are my thoughts for this Thursday.  Enjoy the rest of the week…and come on by and chat!

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GRAB SOME COFFEE & LET’S CHAT….

books-fairytales-may-16-shapedFor some reason, the coffee tastes especially good this morning.  And then I thought:  it’s time for Coffee Morning!

Last night was a late one, so that probably also explains the extra need for the caffeine boost today.  The Girl on the Train movie is now on Amazon Prime...and I watched it again.

This Is Us was on, too, and I was compelled to view it afterwards from the DVR…so, late night.

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I’m reading Always, by Sarah Jio, a nice palate cleanser in between thrillers.  Set in Seattle, we get to follow the character along in a dual time line that switches between the 1990s and the present.  My copy is from NetGalley, to be released on 2/7/17.

 

 

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Enjoying a romantic candlelit dinner with her fiancé, Ryan, at one of Seattle’s chicest restaurants, Kailey Crain can’t believe her good fortune: She has a great job as a journalist and is now engaged to a guy who is perfect in nearly every way. As she and Ryan leave the restaurant, Kailey spies a thin, bearded homeless man on the sidewalk. She approaches him to offer up her bag of leftovers, and is stunned when their eyes meet, then stricken to her very core: The man is the love of her life, Cade McAllister…

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Today I’m supposed to have another spa day…just a massage.  I’m enjoying those, as my muscles seem to tighten so regularly that the pain is an ever-present companion.  Could my hours on the computer…and/or reading explain some of this?  I should be using the exercise bike, below, instead of letting Minnie take over…She does look cute there, however.

 

 

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A while ago, I was thinking about moving…remember that?  After considerable thought, I have decided to happily stay put for now, as the thought of packing, getting rid of a lot of stuff (since the places I looked at were smaller), and/or changing up the routines that are so comfortable to me….knocked that idea right out of my head.

Plus…my neighborhood favorite places right around the corner are part of my comfort zone.  The theater, the restaurants, the bookstore….okay, now I’m definitely sold on staying.

Last night, I visited one of those familiar restaurants and used one of the gift cards I got from my grandchildren at Christmas.  Yard House, close to the theater….is not one of my usual places, but I enjoyed this dinner of fish and chips, with malt vinegar.

 

 

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I ended up sending that blended drink back…for one on the rocks.  Which is what I’d asked for, but I took the photo before realizing they had brought the wrong one…LOL.

My usual places are so familiar that they already know what I want when I walk in.  Does that mean I’m predictable?

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So…what now?  Another TV show I’m loving is back from hiatus:  Too Close to Home, with one of my favorite actresses from two soaps…she was killed off on both of them!  Rude, right?  But I think the second “death” was to accommodate her new show.  Kelly Sullivan plays a character living in a tiny town in Alabama.  Her sister has been working for the President…and having an affair with him.  Until she is discovered and evicted from her job and her apartment by the President’s wife.  She slinks off to Happy, Alabama, an inappropriate name for a place filled with meth heads, trailer parks, and angry characters.

 

 

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Can I say I am addicted?

Another new show on the horizon, available only on CBS All Access (which I had to sign up for, of course!):  The Good Fight carries forward some of the characters from the now defunct The Good Wife.  The show premiere is February 19.

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Am I done?  Yes, my coffee is gone and I need to get back to reading…so, next time!

What are your comfort zones?  What books/shows fill your days and nights?

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A JOURNEY: UTILIZING MY ONE WORD IN MY DAILY LIFE…

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Finding strength in my One Word, HOPE, is a journey.  Just like everything about this blog.  A journey through my interior life as I explore my feelings, my attitudes…and take actions.

Am I looking at life through the lens of hope as I explore?

I am finding that little things, seemingly, look different to me when I apply a hopeful attitude as I approach them.  Something minor, like deciding what books to read through new processes, like my TBR Jar (something I am trying this year).  My TBR Jar, created with a quirky little container, now holds all the “dusty TBR books” from 2014 and 2015, and the first half of 2016.

 

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My Read the Books You Buy Challenge – 2017 takes me on my hopeful journey through newer books, spotlighting those I acquired from July 2016-December 31, 2017.

So far, I’ve added 4 of those newer books in that category to my “read” list.

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There are many things in life we have no control over…like the things that other people do.  Our reactions, attitudes, etc., over which we do have control….can shine a ray of hope into our lives as we let go of the anxiety, fear, and resentment we might feel towards the “things we cannot change.”

Yes, a little bit of that old “serenity prayer” can help us in such situations.

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However, I am practical, and I like to focus on what I can change…and my reading and blogging are a good example of what I can change.  How I decide what to read, what to blog about, and even something as miniscule as my blog headers, layout, and background.

Which brings us to Bloggiesta.  This weekend, we are having a little mini-event, and I’ve already started working on my Serendipity blog, my focus for this blog party.

In my pictures folders, I have several sample headers and blog buttons ready to go.  Which to choose?  I am feeling hopeful that I will find one that makes me want to go to the blog and post reviews, events, etc.  One that might appeal to visitors as well.

Like I said…HOPE.

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What is your One Word, and how are you using it in your daily life?  Do you find it helpful?

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MY INTERIOR WORLD: CELEBRATING OCTOBER!

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All month, I have been celebrating October.  It is my favorite month for a number of reasons, the first of which is Fall!  A season that brings back scents and sights that have raised my spirits every year at this time.

Plus…it comes after a long hot summer.

Also…not a minor point, of course; it is my son Brett’s birthday month…and mine.

Today I’m sharing a visual homage to the month, starting with my granddaughter Aubrey and a friend, enjoying stalks of corn…almost as if they are in a horror movie.  Or just a movie about fall, from the Hallmark Channel.

 

 

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Then we see my other granddaughter, Fiona, with a friend…both have shaved their heads…and are enjoying the pumpkins.

 

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Fall comes to my interiors, starting with this tablescape of pumpkins…

 

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A witch is stirring up a cauldron of spookiness on my little side table:

 

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October is a great month to enjoy a loaded potato, a martini, and a good book:

 

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North of here, my grand-niece Margaret is enjoying her first day of daycare when Mommy returns to work.  She looks happy, right?

 

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Right after October comes November…and another family gathering.  This one is from last year.  A lot has changed since then.  Fiona and Dominic both have new partners…And Fiona now has less hair.

 

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So…what are you showcasing today?  I’m connecting this one to West Metro Mommy Reads, on Saturday.

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