COFFEE CHAT: GRATITUDE…

Good morning!  Let’s gather around with our caffeinated beverages to chat about our weeks, our books, and our perspectives.  Join our host at Bookishly Boisterous to see what others are sharing.

 

Happy Thanksgiving!  Today will bring some treats to those of us staying put in the residence, as required by the rules.  But mimosas, desserts, and hopefully a turkey will help make up for any disappointments.  Today I have been binge-watching shows on Netflix, like The Crown and the movie Hillbilly Elegy I read the book back in 2016.

  • I am also reading a NetGalley ARC Take It Back, by Kia Abdullah.
  • This week, I finished a great memoir, I’ll Be Seeing You, by Elizabeth Berg.
  • An early morning fire in the lobby is a lovely greeting on these cool mornings.

  • Dinners, treats, and the ever-growing book stack in my apartment do help to make up for what we lack these days.  But I miss my lovely family members, so when my granddaughter Fiona sends photos via Facebook, I am warmed by the gesture.

  • And when my daughter sends a family photo, I feel as though I am surrounded by family members.

  • Earlier today, I got an e-mail announcing a new title from a favorite author, so I had to pre-order it.  It is Joyce Maynard’s May 25, 202l release Count the Ways.

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What blessings can you count today?  I hope everyone is finding gratitude in small treats and the treasures found along the way.

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WEEKLY UPDATES: WE GATHERED TOGETHER…

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.

 

Thanksgiving week flew by, with family and friends joining me for good eats.  First my #2 son, his three adult children, and three other grandchildren gathered at Yard House for a pre-holiday lunch.  We had lots of good conversation, laughter, and have this photo to remind us of our time together.

On the following day, I joined some friends for a traditional turkey dinner.  As we ate and shared our stories, we reminded ourselves of how many years ago we began these gatherings:  they started way back in the early 1970s.  Some years we missed along the way, but it was great to revisit old times together.

While my week was full of such events, I did finish reading and reviewing three books.  I also enjoyed some Amazon Prime shows, like Season 8 of Doc Martin, and I also began another season of Vera.

I wrote six blog posts…and my three reviews.

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LAST WEEK ON THE BLOGS:

A Look Back:  Reshaping the Events of Loss

Rainy Day Excerpts:  “Gone So Long”

Tuesday Potpourri:  Gathering Together Books, Family, & Friends

WWW:  A Week of Engaging Books…

Coffee Chat:  Happy Thanksgiving!!

Bookish Friday:  “Night of Miracles”

Review:  The Three Beths (e-book), by Jeff AbbottReview:  The Other Wife (e-book), by Michael RobothamReview:  Night of Miracles (e-book), by Elizabeth Berg

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INCOMING BOOKS: (Titles/Covers Linked to Amazon)

Empty physical mailbox!  I did receive one review ARC from NetGalley, and I downloaded four purchased e-books:

Things You Save in a Fire (e-book), by Katherine Center – (NG – 8/13/19)

Purchased e-books:

Emily, Alone (e-book), by Stewart O’Nan

After Nightfall (e-book), by A. J. Banner

The Comforts of Home (e-book), by Susan Hill

The Liar’s Wife (e-book), by Samantha Hayes

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WHAT’S NEXT?

Currently Reading:  Under My Skin (e-book), by Lisa Unger

Then I plan to grab books that call to me…

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That was my week.  What did yours look like?  I enjoyed this Pomegranate Press Martini while waiting for my family to arrive at Yard House.  It was delicious!

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COFFEE CHAT: PAST JOURNEYS…AND LOOKING AHEAD

Good morning!  Let’s grab our coffee and chat.  Join others for this Bookish/Not So Bookish event at Bookishly Boisterous.

The days are cooler, but not enough to turn on the heater.  I’m glad.  I’m also appreciating that we haven’t yet had storms, although they are predicted for the near future.

October and November are busy “birthday” months, between mine, my second son’s, my eldest son’s…and other extended family members.  Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays, so I am looking forward to it.  I’ll be joining my daughter with her husband’s family.  Here is last year’s table all ready for the food to be presented.

  • Speaking of interesting or delicious dinners, my daughter and son-in-law drove to the southwest part of the county to dine at The Harris Ranch Restaurant.  It sounds wonderful, right?  But on the way there, you might find yourself choking and coughing from the stench of the ranches/cows/ etc.  My daughter wore this ironic protective gear.

  • Just a few miles farther west of the ranch lies the small town of Coalinga, where I (sadly) lived with my husband and three oldest children from 1971 to 1972.  Fourteen long months that felt like a prison sentence.  LOL.
  • In 1983, there was a devastating earthquake in that town, and as a social worker, I and some colleagues were brought in to help the residents as they struggled through the aftermath.
  • After the earthquake, the rebuilt town was an improved version of where I had lived.  But I will never consider living there again!  Constantly fogged in and surrounded by tumbleweeds and dust, it reminded me of that movie The Last Picture Show.

  • The Harris Ranch Restaurant was built AFTER we left that town; it might have been an incentive to remain (or not).  But before that restaurant rose like a promise on the horizon, there were only two decent places to eat in town.  And two liquor stores.  LOL.
  • Here is my “sad face” while living there:

  • But…without that particular experience, I would not have found the job I had for more than thirty years…and who knows what alternate roads I would have followed?
  • As we head toward Year’s End, I tend to think about the journeys along the way.
  • As for bookish thoughts:  I loved Seven Days of Us and enjoyed The One and Only. (Click titles for reviews).
  • I am currently just finished reading Cold As Ice, Book 6…click for my review.
  • After clearing off my review book shelves a bit, I now have increased my numbers to SEVEN NetGalley books waiting.  But…there are only two for November, and the rest fall into January, April, and May release dates.
  • I do need to cut back on requests!
  • As for purchased books, I have read 101 of those I bought between July 2016 and the present.  Sadly, I keep buying!

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What lies ahead for you?  Where did this week take you?

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A FOODIE JOURNEY: STUFFED!

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Good morning!  It’s the day after Thanksgiving here, and I’m still stuffed from yesterday.  But I still love looking at food…especially breakfast, so feast your eyes on my niece Amy’s recent weekend and some savory moments. At the table:  Amy, America, and Gavin.

And for the close-up, my favorite: (Note the Spiderman mug in the background – that belongs to Gavin, I’m sure).

 

 

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Moving on to other recent meals, check out my Pre-Thanksgiving sensible lunch, with books:

 

 

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Lest you think that I was completely sensible in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving, take another moment to ponder this lunch of pea soup, with a strawberry margarita.

 

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Then…last week, I had to sample some turkey and stuffing from Marie Callender’s…just in case I wouldn’t get my fill on the actual day.

 

reading-and-turkey***

I don’t have any photos from yesterday’s feast.  I was a guest at the home of my daughter’s new in-laws, and since nobody else had their phones at the table…I stifled the urge to whip out mine.

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Over in Berlin, where my son seemed to be having some kind of moment, check this out:

 

 

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What is your Post-Thanksgiving weekend like?  I plan to binge on Gilmore Girls…and meet up with more family on Saturday, at Yard House.  I will have photos of that event later.

Linking to West Metro Mommy Reads for Saturday Snapshots.

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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.

 

the-group-on-nov-28-2015***

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

 

picmonkey-collage-thanksgiving-collage-2015

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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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