MY INTERIOR WORLD: STRIVING FOR BALANCE

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Good morning!  Enter my Interior World, and let’s take a look at the week so far.

Last night, I set up my dinner at my new/old little table in the entry/dining room.  I even pulled out some place mats and cloth napkins with a cute holder.  How seldom do I use these things!

I can see the TV really well from this table…although the sofa is probably cozier.  But part of my balance this year is all about changing things up, including having a civilized meal at home, and not just in a restaurant or on the sofa.

 

 

 

balance

 

 

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I’ve been reading, watching shows on my DVR…and Revenge on Netflix.  I finally finished all four seasons….but it was getting late, I wanted to curl up in bed, so I took my laptop into my bedroom to finish up.

 

 

may 7 - enjoying the show

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I watched until midnight, and didn’t get much read at all yesterday, between TV shows and Netflix.  Maybe I will hold off on the Netflix until the weekend, when I’ll want to start watching Orange Is the New Black.

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You would think I’d sleep late, but the opposite happened, of course.  I was wide awake at 6:00 a.m., I wrote my Hump Day Reading post...and I’ve been editing photos at PicMonkey.  And visiting blogs.

 

 

June 6 office nook

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I think I might have to curl up and take a nap later….here:

 

 

June 15 - living room changes

 

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What has your week looked like?  Are you staying in balance?  Reading?  Or pursuing one of your obsessions?

 

 

June 5 Madeine Hatter & Coffee Cup

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BALANCING THE TBR STACKS: ANOTHER LOOK…

keeping track - tbr mountain

 

Lately, you’ve seen several posts about my interior world, specifically how I am shuffling things around.  But what about my Tracking of my TBR Mountains?  What is happening there?

I did a little counting game today, checking out the numbers.  We do know that I’ve read 36 books from my purchased stacks for the period from June 2015-2016, for my Read the Books You Buy Challenge.

But how have these numbers impacted my stacks of purchased books, overall?

Let’s take a look:

Books Purchased in 2015:

95

Books Classified as DNF for 2015:

6

Books Still Unread for 2015:

15

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So…not bad.

Books Purchased in 2016:

54 (so far)

Books Unread in 2016:

31 (so far)

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Unfortunately, I keep pushing that little “click to buy” button whenever a book I want appears.  I am trying to request many of my longed-for books as review books, and I have accomplished that, to a certain extent.

 

HERE ARE BOOKS I RECEIVED FOR REVIEW, SO FAR, IN 2016; ALL OF THEM WERE BOOKS I WOULD HAVE PURCHASED.  THE LINKED BOOKS HAVE ALREADY BEEN READ & REVIEWED:

 

JANUARY 2016:

1.   After She’s Gone, by Lisa Jackson (Vine)

2.  Don’t You Cry (e-book), by Mary Kubica (NetGalley – 5/17)

3.   Girls in the Garden, The (e-book), by Lisa Jewell (NetGalley – 6/7)

4.  Good Liar, The, by Nicholas Searle (Amazon Vine)

5.  Miller’s Valley (e-book), by Anna Quindlen (NetGalley – 4/5)

6.  Multiple Listings (e-book), by Tracy McMillan (NetGalley – 3/8)

7.   No One Knows (e-book), by J. T. Ellison (NetGalley – 3/22)

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FEBRUARY 2016:

1.  A Girl’s Guide to Moving On, by Debbie Macomber – (Amazon Vine)

2.   Girls, The (e-book), by Emma Cline – (NetGalley – 6/14)

3.  Where I Lost Her (e-book), by T. Greenwood – (NetGalley – 2/23)

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MARCH 2016:

1.  Children, The (e-book), by Ann Leary – (NetGalley – 5/24)

2.   Most Wanted (e-book), by Lisa Scottoline – (NetGalley – 4/12)

3.   Perfect Neighbors, The (e-book),  by Sarah Pekkanen (NetGalley – 7/5)

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APRIL 2016:

1.  Cruel Beautiful World (e-book), by Caroline Leavitt (NetGalley – 10/4)

2.  June, by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore (Amazon Vine)

3.   Mother Knows Best,  by Karen MacInerney – (Amazon Vine)

4.   Three-Martini Lunch, by Suzanne Rindell –(Amazon Vine)

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MAY 2016:

1.   All the Missing Girls (e-book), by Megan Miranda – (NetGalley – 6/28/16)

2.  I Almost Forgot About You, by Terry McMillan – (Amazon Vine)

3.  Ink & Bone (e-book), by Lisa Unger (NetGalley – 6/7)

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JUNE 2016:

1.  All Is Not Forgotten (e-book), by Wendy Walker – (NetGalley – 7/12)

1.  Beach Blues, by Joanne DeMaio (Author Request)

2.  Tuesday Nights in 1980, by Molly Prentiss (Amazon Vine)

 

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Balancing the reading of my review books against those purchased is a challenge, but when I remember that these review books would otherwise have been on my “purchased” lists, I feel better.

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Do you play games with yourself, adding up your purchases and examining what you’ve accomplished?  I know that there would be NO BALANCE in my life if I didn’t keep an eye out.

Which doesn’t mean that I won’t keep “clicking to buy”!

 

 

compulsive book buying

 

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WEEKEND COFFEE MORNING: KIDS & GRANDKIDS…

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Good morning!  As the weekend approaches, I am pondering what lies ahead, while sipping my coffee from the mug pictured above.  A favorite that I reclaimed a few months ago.  It was hidden behind many other items in my overcrowded cupboards.

Yes, despite all of my purging, there are still many places in my space that are less than organized.

As I was studying Facebook to see what activities are around for the weekend, I noticed that our little adjacent village of Clovis is having a Craft Beer Crawl.  Yes, it sounds great for those who love beer, but I prefer wine, thank you.

But I am sentimental, and my eldest son, who now lives in Prague (after several years in Berlin) is a beer aficionado.  Here is evidence of this beer love.  (The large beer below is his, not hers. lol).  This photo was captured when Craig and Gabi visited us this past summer.

 

 

a last lunch in sept

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He and Gabi are off to Amsterdam this coming week, so I look forward to more pictures of their adventures.

Meanwhile, here at home, with me not attending the Beer festival, I found some lovely photos of grandchildren. Yes, those young adults are growing older by the minute.  Here is my second son, Brett, with his two sons, who both have significant birthdays this month.  The “little” guy in the middle, Aaron, turns 18; and the dude on the right, my first born grandson, turns 21.

 

 

Brett and sons in March

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Here is Aaron in his cap and gown, with sister Aubrey, left, and a friend.  Aubrey just finished her freshman college year in San Diego:

 

 

graduation for Aaron, with Aubrey and friend

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Here is Fiona, my other granddaughter, in a moody looking photo:

 

 

fiona in may - 2

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A complete segue, now, to the Strawberry Margarita I enjoyed at lunch on Tuesday:

 

 

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What does your interior world look like today?  Weekend plans?  Enjoy!

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This post is linked to West Metro Mommy Reads, for Saturday Snapshots.

 

 

Books & fairytales - may 16

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COFFEE MORNING: PURGING & REARRANGING

May 24 - more doll purges

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Good morning!  Last year, I did a number of book purges.  You may recall that I once had two overstuffed bookshelves in this corner….along with three shelves in other parts of the room.  And then, even after the books went off to the donation bins, I still had a few dolls. (Below), note that several dolls cover the top of the shelf.  In the photo above, I have removed (and rearranged) a few.

 

 

bedroom bookshelf -f eb-BEFORE

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In this photo, (below), note that dolls crouch along the top of the shelf—out of sight, there is another large doll that matches the one on the right end—Plus, there are a few little kitschy items….

 

 

bedroom in feb-BEFORE

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Now the shelf has moved to a new location by the bed (to make room for my new Netflix viewing table), and some dolls have gone missing….but my favorites remain, the “hippie dolls,” along with the little old lady atop the teacup, which once lived in my office….

 

 

May 24 - after some doll purges

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Clearing and purging and rearranging are ongoing activities…and they show how much my interiors are a work-in-progress.

Earlier in the week, I cleaned up the patio so I could enjoy some fun in the coolness of the morning…Here is today’s Coffee Morning with a Book....two versions:

 

 

may 27 patio reading with coffee

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And a close-up:

 

 

cropped coffee morning - may 27

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Just to bring a little of the exterior world in today, here’s my great-niece America, plugged in to one of her devices.  She will be eight on September 11.  Yes, born on 9/11/08.

 

 

America - Plugged in

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Last weekend, my youngest grandson Noah, age 13, enjoyed some time in the mountains (China Peak) with his mom and her fiance:

 

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So…from my interiors to the outside world, have a wonderful holiday weekend!  I plan to binge-watch Season II of Bloodline...and start reading the book pictured above, I Almost Forgot About You, by Terry McMillan.

 

 

 

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What does your interior world look like today?  Your exterior world?  Whatever you do, enjoy!  And be safe.  This post is linked to West Metro Mommy Reads, for Saturday Snapshots.

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COFFEE MORNING: INDOORS & OUT

may 24 another look at the patio

Good morning!  My Interior World looks promising today.  Just outdoors, on my newly cleaned patio ( I did promise to do that!), I am enjoying the cool air of morning as I sip my coffee.

Today is Tuesday Intros/Teasers, and I’m eager to read the book I’m sharing today.  Blood Defense, by Marcia Clark, is the first in a new series featuring Samantha Brinkman.

 

 

 

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Yesterday was a hectic day, with little time for reading.  My DMV tags are up for renewal, and I had to get the smog check done.  Luckily, that didn’t take too long; I barely had time to start reading Breakdown, by Jonathan Kellerman.

 

 

 

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Next, I was off to the Office Max to pick up a new wireless mouse.  Mine stopped working!

Grocery shopping came after, and as I struggled home with the flimsy plastic bags provided by the store, I reminded myself—again—that I needed to get something sturdier.

So imagine my surprise (and pleasure) to find just what I need on Amazon Vine!

 

 

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While I was studying the Vine newsletter, of course I had to check out some books…and found one featured today in Lakeside Musings Tuesday Intro!

Tuesday Nights in 1980, by Molly Prentiss, has been beckoning to me for a while.  Of course I requested it!

 

 

 

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Lately, I’ve spent time in the 1970s, the 1920s, and now the 80s are coming to me!

Meanwhile, last night, I finished Season III of The Killing...with only six episodes in Season IV, I am sure to finish it tonight.  I have loved the unexpected twists….

 

 

the killing image

 

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Now I am back indoors, in my little nook, having an OJ…with a shot of Brandy.  Yikes!  Did I just admit that?

 

 

may 24 - in the nook

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How is your Tuesday shaping up?  Any new books to share?  Thoughts from your interior?

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COFFEE MORNINGS: MY INTERIOR WORLD

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Here I sit, blogging and visiting blogs, my coffee cup next to me on the shelf (above); I do love my coffee mornings.

Yes, I am enjoying the start to my weekend morning…but I am also procrastinating.  I need to clean the patio so I can actually sit out there occasionally.  I also need to do a little housework, which I’ve been putting off all week.

But what fun is that?  In my post-retirement/freelance life, I’m supposed to be able to choose my activities.  And they should be enjoyable ones.  Ha!

Okay, let’s stop being self-indulgent here, but I do want to finish my blog visiting, which includes chatting about all the wonderful books others brought back from BEA.

Can we say ENVY?  Yes, we can.  But it’s okay.  Many of these books will be available in the next few months…and in the meantime, I do have a few that I’ve noticed on stacks.  Books I got from NetGalley.  I call the theme for my upcoming books:  The Girls in June.

First, we have The Girls in the Garden, which will be released on June 7.  So I’ll be picking it up to read very soon. (It is alternately called The Girls, or The Girls in the Garden)

 

 

 

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And, to keep to the “girls” theme, here comes The Girls, by Emma Cline. (June 14 release date)

 

 

 

the girls by emma cline

 

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Finally, All the Missing Girls, by Megan Miranda (Release date – June 28)

 

 

 

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Now let’s look at my Netflix Addiction.  Yes, lovely new seasons are coming, from Bloodline next week, to Orange is the New Black in June.

In the meanwhile, I am luxuriating in The Killing.  A wonderful murder mystery laced with political scheming and nefarious deeds in a neighboring casino, it is set in Seattle.  I love Seattle!  I’m almost finished with Season II (of four), and we still don’t know who killed Rosie Larson…but there are plenty of suspects.

 

 

the killing image

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But before I settle in to continue watching, I really must clean that patio, at the very least.  Right?  It isn’t THAT bad…just requires a broom, a dustpan, and a giant trash bag.  No problem!

 

 

patio on may 21

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But after a cleaning, it can look like this again:

 

 

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As I look at the patio photo above, I realize that this one was taken before they replaced the patio fence, which looks sooo much better nowadays, and behind the detritus of leaves, etc., you can glimpse it in the messy patio scene above.

Something to look forward to…a new clean patio with the prettier fence.

What is your interior world showing you today?  Fun, errands, chores?

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WEEKEND MOMENTS: NETFLIX BINGEING, MOTHER’S DAY, & LOVE….

May 7 breakfast in bed with Netflix

Some of you may have seen my preparations for my Day in the Life:  In the Bedroom. (Interior World Shake-Ups…When Will I Stop?)

My day began early.  Everything was ready, so I first brought in the laptop (Louisa May), and set her up.  I hooked up the TV and laptop, changed the input on the TV, and voila!  It’s all set.

Next came the breakfast tray.  You can’t really enjoy Breakfast in Bed with Netlix & Amazon Videos…without it.

First I finished watching Happy Valley, another binge-worthy show.

 

 

HEBDEN-BRIDGE

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Next:  Watched the rest of The Newsroom on Amazon Video:

 

 

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Finally…Grace & Frankie.  I watched all of Season II!

 

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During this long process, which didn’t seem long at all, I enjoyed food, coffee, and then a mimosa….

 

may 7 bedroom - mimosa, etc.

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I took a little break between shows to go online and visit some blogs.  Laptop came over to the bed….

 

laptop on bed - may 7

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So….after lolling about in bed all day, one would think I would feel rested…but I was kind of tired.  I read a little from the book I’ve been savoring all weekend:  What We Find, by Robyn Carr.

 

 

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Guess what’s coming tomorrow?  Clouds in My Coffee, the third book in the Country Club Murders trilogy (series?).  I can’t wait to download it!

 

 

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So…my weekend continued, with Mother’s Day brunch up in the mountains, by the lake.  Here are my lovely daughter and grandson, with the boats as a backdrop:

 

Heather & Noah - Mother's Day Brunch - Bass Lake

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One of the gifts she gave me was this hand-carved art piece, created by one of her friends:

 

 

Love Sign Close-up

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Here is how it looks on my Love Wall in the office.  It is surrounded by baby pictures of my kids…and one of me back in the day:

 

 

Love Wall - 2

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Finally…some lovely lilies:

 

Mother's Day Lilies

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These were my Weekend Interior Moments.  I hope you had a wonderful weekend, too.  Do you enjoy setting up your interiors for such moments?

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INTERIOR WORLD SHAKE-UPS…WHEN WILL I STOP?

may 4 - sheets

Once I start making changes in my interiors, I can’t seem to stop!

Just two days ago, I started shaking things up and wrote about it in Thoughts from the Interior:  Favorite Places.

Yesterday I made a few more changes…I bought new sheets, for one thing (above); and then I brought in a small round table from the living room…for the laptop (below).

 

 

may 4 bedroom changes

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When you move one thing, something else must fill the void…so here is what happened in the living room after the round table changed locations.  The little drop leaf table moved from its former location next to the love seat….

 

may 5 living room changes

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What took its place?  The faceless doll….

 

may 5, view from dining room

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Here’s the laptop in its home away from home…in other words, when I’m watching Netflix in my bedroom:

 

may 5 laptop space

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Am I done?  What do you think?  Am I the only one who can’t seem to stop when I’m making “just a few changes”?

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THOUGHTS FROM THE INTERIOR: FAVORITE PLACES

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Welcome to my Interior World…a world of reading, blogging, and writing.  As summer draws near, I can visualize myself reading outside.  I probably won’t be lying on the grass like the girl in the photo (above), but at least I will be sitting at my patio table with a cold drink and my book.

There will always be reading time indoors, too…and other interior activities include my Netflix binge-watching.

One of my favorite shows begins Season Two on Friday…and I’ve learned that Season Three is already filming.  Grace and Frankie, starring Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin, is a story about two women recently separated from their husbands after many years…because of a long-held secret finally revealed.

 

 

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I usually watch my Netflix shows and Amazon Videos in the living room, with the help of my Blu-Ray player.  But sometimes I like curling up in my bed to watch.   So I rearranged my bedroom a bit and hooked up an HDMI cable so I can connect the TV to my laptop, which I will place atop the small chest next to the TV.

 

May 3 - more bedroom changes

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The table that was previously next to the TV is now across the room….

 

 

May 3 - bedroom rearranged

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Tonight I’m reading one of my NetGalley downloads:  Don’t You Cry, and I can’t wait to sort through all the red herrings to discover the truth about the characters.

 

 

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What do your reading spots look like?  Do you enjoy reading outdoors during the summer, or do you still cozy up indoors?

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MY INTERIOR THOUGHTS: A GLIMPSE OF THE PAST

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When I sorted through some photo folders this morning, I found this one, (above), taken a while ago, as I read that book in 2010!  How is it possible for so much time to fly by, and the memories can only be affixed to a specific book read at that time? (I checked on Goodreads!  LOL).

The patio also looks very clean there, compared to how it looks today.  I don’t think I dare show you what it looks like today…it’s been windy, then rainy, and…well, here it is: 

 

messy patio in april 2016

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I have avoided going out there, primarily (I tell myself) because it has been raining so much, on and off, so it is futile.  And also…I am highly allergic to the outdoors.  LOL.

I started taking a new allergy medication that may work better…just like my new doctor is going to be better for me, too.  Some of you may recall my struggle over the meds. the previous doctor insisted on…well, another story, right? (My Day in the Life post).

Now for some more hidden treasures from my photo folder.  Here’s my oldest, Craig, with Heather, in 2001, just before he returned to Prague after a visit.   Heather and I spent a few days with him in Sacramento, where he’d been staying; this one was snapped in Old Town:

 

craig and heather 2001-resized

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And a few years later, here in Fresno:  Brett, my second oldest, with Heather, just before one of our reunion lunches.  (2009?).  I could tell when this was captured by the glimpse of Fiona at the end of the table…she was 12 there.  LOL.  The adults don’t change much.

 

Brett & Heather - a few years ago

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More photo memories.  Here is one of Noah, at around one (late 2003), with Heather and his great-grandmother, Mary:

 

3 generations again - Noah, Heather, Mary - 2003

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Wow, that tour of my life a while ago has been a whirlwind of memories.   Movies do that for me, too, especially the one I watched last night, full of music that takes me back.  It was Ricki and the Flash, with Meryl Streep, Rick Springfield, Kevin Kline…and Meryl’s daughter Mamie Gummer.

 

 

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That’s it for my walk down memory lane today…I’m reading A Fatal Grace, Book 2, by Louise Penny, but so far it hasn’t really grabbed me.

 

 

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What has your week brought you so far?  Memories, books, movies, thoughts?  I am sharing this at West Metro Mommy Reads, for Saturday Snapshots.

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