THOUGHTS FROM THE INTERIOR: FAVORITE PLACES

323e8cb0f031907bcf0c48866f040af1

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.

 

 

1

***

 

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

***

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

 

 

May 3 - bedroom rearranged

***

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.

 

 

51E7GIS4FqL._SX326_BO1,204,203,200_

***

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

***

MY INTERIOR THOUGHTS: A GLIMPSE OF THE PAST

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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

***

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

***

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

***

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

***

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.

 

 

91uBtG1R77L._SY445_

***

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.

 

 

91wwvWlxdwL._SL1500_

***

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

***

INTERIOR THOUGHTS: MUSING ABOUT BOOKS

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAGood morning!  Here I am in my little office nook (above), musing about books and life.  Join me at Jenn’s Books and a Beat site…and share your own musings.  Here are some thoughts to ponder:

 

  • I’m currently reading…
  • Up next I think I’ll read…
  • I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
  • I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I can’t wait to get a copy of…
  • I wish I could read ___, but…
  • I blogged about ____ this past week…

THIS WEEK’S RANDOM QUESTION: Name a book everyone should read at least once.

***

Soon I will get my hands on a book that I’ve been obsessing about…guess what?  It’s called The Obsession, by Nora Roberts, and it will be released tomorrow!  Do you think I can wait ONE MORE DAY?  LOL

 

 

61JLu-D4IML._SX328_BO1,204,203,200_

 

Here’s the blurb:  “She stood in the deep, dark woods, breath shallow and cold prickling over her skin despite the hot, heavy air. She took a step back, then two, as the urge to run fell over her.”

Naomi Bowes lost her innocence the night she followed her father into the woods. In freeing the girl trapped in the root cellar, Naomi revealed the horrible extent of her father’s crimes and made him infamous. No matter how close she gets to happiness, she can’t outrun the sins of Thomas David Bowes.

Now a successful photographer living under the name Naomi Carson, she has found a place that calls to her, a rambling old house in need of repair, thousands of miles away from everything she’s ever known. Naomi wants to embrace the solitude, but the kindly residents of Sunrise Cove keep forcing her to open up—especially the determined Xander Keaton.

Naomi can feel her defenses failing, and knows that the connection her new life offers is something she’s always secretly craved. But the sins of her father can become an obsession, and, as she’s learned time and again, her past is never more than a nightmare away.

***

One thing I know for sure….(to quote an Oprah favorite thought):  This book is one that I won’t allow to languish on Pippa.  I’ll bet that I will start reading it, if not immediately, very soon.  What do you think?

***

As for a book everyone should read at least once?  My thoughts about that change all the time.  When I was young, I would have said Gone with the Wind.  I still recommend it.  A couple of years ago, I bought a copy…to reread.  I still haven’t done that.  But I hope I can manage it.

 

 

087

***

Nowadays, my favorites change with the winds, as I accumulate more and more books and read them quickly.  Back in the day, I read more slowly, savoring my books, as I had to squeeze them in between other things.  That’s probably why I remember those books so fondly from back then.

What are you musing about today?  I hope you’ll stop by and leave a link to your post.

***

INTERIOR THOUGHTS: EXPLORING THE PAST…& REVELING IN THE PRESENT

Rain & Heather - Oct. 1976

***

This morning, I was searching through boxes of photos, and then discovered the one above right on my computer…already.  I had scanned it a while ago.  I loved that room, with the bay windows, and the French doors, which you can’t see, but which lead to the side steps you see below in the faded picture.

This one I found of me with Heather (below), taken right after she was born (six weeks old) is now rather dark and faded.  It was taken on the day of her Christening.  Despite photo editing, I couldn’t “erase” the ravages of time and fading.  But I loved that day, and the old English stucco house where we lived at the time.

 

Baby Heather - Oct 1976

***

I also found this photo of Heather and her cousin Amy, taken around 1989, when they were teenagers…thirteen or fourteen (Heather), and sixteen, Amy.

 

Heather and Amy in 1990s

***

Fast forward to the late 1990s (1998), and here are my two granddaughters, Fiona and Aubrey, exploring the play gate in my guest house in the foothills.

 

Fiona and Aubrey 1998

That guest house was really crowded back then…later, we added another bedroom.  There were two adults and four children living in it.

***

And here was a surprising and punkish photo of me taken in…2010, I think.  Don’t laugh!

 

lrs in 2010

***

Now…how about what’s happening in my present day “interior world.”  Pippa has opened her arms to lots of new books this week!  I went a little crazy.

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

***

After reading and loving Garden Spells (click for my review), I had to get:  First Frost, Book 2, by Sarah Addison Hall.  Don’t you love that cover?

 

 

22665598

***

 

Then I got a free e-book, due to Amazon Prime, from an author I’ve been wanting to read...Blood Defense, by Marcia Clark.  It’s the first in a new series, Samantha Brinkman.

 

 

27207654

***

I bought two others, which I will tell you more about on Saturday…and I have three books coming from Amazon Vine.  I received the first one yesterday:  Mother Knows Best, by Karen MacInerney.

 

 

26698947

***

Yesterday I finished reading and reviewing The Nest, which I LOVED.  (Click the title for my review).  I have seen some dysfunctional families over the years, and this one is even worse than most of those, because these folks are privileged and entitled folks…I am thinking they should stop whining already…LOL.

I now have read and reviewed 24 books for my Read the Books You Buy Challenge.  Moving along!

 

 

51zSbLX4AzL._SX320_BO1,204,203,200_

***

Remember a previous post on another blog, a week ago, in fact, when I shared some tidbits about some tasks in my office?

Well, I haven’t made a lot of progress, but happily, I emptied the shredder, and now just have to shred this stack…Easy-peasy.

 

office changes

***

As for review books, I have five more NetGalley books to read and review, but the next one will not be released until May 12, so we’re all good.  The others are nicely spaced out, too, from May to July.

Of course, there are the three Vine books coming.  Yikes!  What have I bitten off here?

Do you ever let your eyes and your book greed dictate the books you buy and request?

***

I went a little crazy with changing up the header here, too.

 

cropped-picmonkey-collage-fifth-version.jpg***

Shared on West Metro Mommy Reads, for Saturday Snapshots.

***

A DAY IN THE LIFE – MARCH 24

A-Day-in-the-Life

 

It’s been a rather ordinary and somewhat boring day today, March 24, my chosen A Day in the Life, hosted by Trish, at Love, Laughter, & a Touch of Insanity.
This is my first time participating, and my day got off to a rather early start, as I had some problems sleeping last night.
So here goes:
2:30 a.m.- Woke up, knowing I wouldn’t be able to go back to sleep right away, so I staggered out to the living room, curled up under a blanket, and tried to read.

 

napping place
4:30 a.m. – Woke up and stumbled into the kitchen to make coffee.

 

coffee! a day in a life

4:45 a.m. – Turned on the computer, waiting for it to boot up, impatiently as usual.  Did my usual morning routines:  checked e-mails, online banking, Facebook, etc.  All’s right in my little world!

 

computer time-a day in a life

5:30 a.m. – Wrote my Bookish Thursday post; checked out the various links, and then visited participants’ blogs, commenting on them.  My favorite thing in the morning.

 

 

more computer time

 

6:30 a.m. – Visited several blogs, reading their A Day in the Life posts…really enjoyable.  As I drank my coffee and ate some cereal, I started taking some photos for this post, and got the notice that my camera card was full!  Yikes.  Spent some time deleting photos that are already on my computer.

6:40 a.m. – Read some more A Day in the Life posts.

7:30 a.m. – Checked e-mails and found more posts to read, comments to respond to.
7:50 a.m. – Closed down the computer, bringing my iPhone into the living room so I can periodically check things out.

7:55 a.m. – Curled up on my sofa to continue reading Somewhere Out There, a really engrossing story that resonates with me, having worked with dysfunctional families for many years.

 

51gXumLjyNL._SX320_BO1,204,203,200_
8:00 a.m. – Ate some Greek yogurt and had some juice.

 

 

juice and greek yogure
8:30 a.m. – Checked e-mails and FB on my iPhone.  TV is on to the Home & Family Show on Hallmark…but muted.

 

 

Home & Family -background

 

8:45 a.m. – Resumed reading.

 

 

reading time

9:00 a.m. – Got on exercise bike and rode for a while, watching Castle on my DVR.

 

 

a little exercise and dvr time
10:00 a.m. – More reading.
10:45 a.m. – Lunch prep.
11:00 a.m.– 12:00 p.m. – Lunch break, along with Young & the Restless.

 

an early lunch

young and restless time

 

 

 

 
12:00 p.m. – Back on computer to check e-mails, etc.
12:30 p.m. – Called pharmacist to discuss the problems I’m STILL having with the new meds, and after some discussion, decided to resume taking the previous meds, which worked great…so why did the doctor have to try to fix what wasn’t broken?  LOL.  Sent doctor an e-mail to advise her of my plan.  See, I’m in charge…right?  The pharmacist had assured me that there wouldn’t be any problems from stopping these meds and returning to the old ones.

1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. – Watching shows on my DVR.
2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. – More e-mails, blog visiting, and did some photo editing for this post.
3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. – More reading.
5:00 p.m. – 6:00 – Dinner break.
6:00 p.m. – Almost finished with my book; wrote up a rudimentary review on a Word doc, to be finished when I reach the last page of the book.
7:30 p.m. – Finished book; posted review on Amazon, Goodreads, and my Rainy Days & Mondays blog.
8:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. – Watching the TGIT shows by Shonda Rhimes.

 

 

bedtime reading and movies
10:00 – More reading…lights out around 11:00 p.m.

And that’s it for a day in the life of this blogger!

***

 

 

INTERIOR THOUGHTS: REMEMBERING NORA….

everything-is-copy-1280

I am a big fan of Nora Ephron.  Her writing, her movies, and her style.  Last night, as I watched the documentary Everything is Copy, I teared up, overcome by sadness, but then I smiled, and even laughed, as the story brought us moments of her life…memorable ones.

When the screen flashed with images and thoughts on her best-selling novel Heartburn (and the subsequent movie, which I also loved), I remembered that I had a hardcover copy of the book…but then I panicked.  Had it gone out with the donations bins?  Oh, no!

I found it…Yay!  And my book is in pristine condition…who knew?

 

heartburn memories

The novel, of course, is a fictionalized version of her second marriage to Carl Bernstein, of the famous Woodward & Bernstein journalistic team from the Washington Post, who exposed the Watergate fiasco, etc.

 

AP WATERGATE DEEP THROAT

What I loved most, in addition to the memories of her books and her movies, was how the story showed us, finally, a really happy marriage to her third husband, Nick Pileggi.  Some believed that the husband of Julia Childs portrayed in the film, Julie & Julia, was inspired by Nora’s husband Nick.

 

julie & julia

***

I loved watching the documentary, and my final thoughts:  who can take up the mantle she left behind?  Who can women find to inspire them like Nora did?

Just the fact that I’m using her first name here is a reminder to me of how much her books, movies, and essays have infiltrated our minds and hearts.  Especially those of us who came up during the 70s, 80s, and beyond.  Those who sought role models in the world of books and movies.

What do you think?  Did she inspire you? 

***

MY INTERIOR JOURNEY: A WORK-IN-PROGRESS

bookstack resized

I love the image (above), which makes me think of my unread books…but most of mine are on Pippa, my Kindle, so they hide…successfully.

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

On my Curl up and Read blog, I track the books I have purchased (usually for Kindle), and link to them when they are read…or cross them out when I have decided I can’t finish them.

Here is an update of books unread from 2014:

153 books purchased; 29 books unread (not including those I marked DNF)

***

2015:

95 books purchased; 25 books unread (not including DNF).

***

Because I am participating in the Read the Books You Buy Challenge,  I am whittling away at the unread books, even though, for the challenge, only those purchased from June 2015 through the end of 2016 count.  I have read and reviewed 21 books so far.

In 2016, I have purchased 18 books so far, and read 7 of those (also included in the total for the challenge).

***

What do all of these numbers mean?  Well, I need to make a better effort to read as I go, don’t you think?  Don’t let the books pile up or hide…and read more of them overall.

The constant work-in-progress, that’s the book lover’s fate.

 

WIP logo

***

What are your bookish goals?  What keeps you reading, despite the odds?

***

MY INTERIOR WORLD: CELEBRATING MY BLOGGING JOURNEY

Coffee, Mimosa, & reading - 2

Good morning!  Well, actually it’s afternoon here, but I’ve been doing “morning” things…capturing “interior moments,” like the one above.

Coffee, a mimosa, and reading.  Plus…the cute Madeline Hatter doll on my pub table.

Some of you may know that I’ve been dealing with a few side effects from a new medication.  Headaches, etc.  Well, I think they may have disappeared…or I’m getting used to them.  So I took the opportunity to enjoy a mimosa with my coffee today.  And I’m reading The Girl in the Red Coat:

 

24778471

 

Next week, I am looking forward to Bloggiesta.  Yes, the week-long event that comes in the Spring season.

My first time participating was back in 2009 or 2010…I’d have to look it up.  But I alternate between my various blogs…and now that I only have SIX…well, it’s easier.

I haven’t worked on this blog for the event in a while…probably because I’m always tweaking things here.  This blog was my first one on Word Press…and now that all of my blogs are here, I consider it the leader.  The mentor, for the others.  And I sync this blog over at Goodreads, so you can always find my posts there.

This time I’m working on Curl up and Read, my blog that’s all about tracking my TBR piles…and documenting my purchases, my reviews, and my reading.  I’ve created a folder of possible new headers…I love that part!  And a new blog button, of course.

Are any of you participating?  What, if anything, do you love about the event?  Do you enjoy tweaking or making over your blogs?

***

Here is one possible header:

 

PicMonkey Collage-NEW HEADER FOR MARCH BLOGGIESTA

 

***

MY INTERIOR WORLD: BALANCE – ASSESSMENT

balance

At the beginning of the year, I chose BALANCE as my One Word.  My goals for the year included finding a balance in my life…and in my reading.

Let’s assess!

Trying to cut down (just a bit) on requesting review books:

I received SEVEN review books in January, but only THREE in February.  None in March so far.

Good, right?

As for purchases:

SEVEN in January

SIX in February

THREE (so far) in March

***

Okay, not stellar, but here’s another fact:  I am participating in the Reading the Books You Buy Challenge, and so far, I have read and reviewed NINETEEN books (Purchased between June 2015 and Present).  Not bad, right?

***

Now, here’s the tough part.  What about the rest of my life?  Walking, leaving the house, socializing…

Well, let’s put it this way.  When I shop, I park a long way from the stores and walk that distance, and then walk all around the shops.  LOL

I do get out of the house more, mostly alone, to have lunch or dinner and read.  Usually with a cocktail.

 

lunch and reading - 128

My regular get-togethers with friends and former colleagues are the highlight of my months.

But I also enjoy eating and reading alone in a restaurant.  I read…and people watch.  Old habits die hard (former social worker!).

Progress, not perfection.

***

I have my annual physical today, and I know that she is going to scold me for something or other.  Usually it’s that I don’t get enough exercise.  Duh.

But so far, nothing too horrible has come of these events…so let’s see what happens today.

How are you doing on your One Word…if you have chosen one?

***

5-Secrets-of-Balance

***

DECONSTRUCTING A LOVE AFFAIR: EXCERPTED FROM “INTERIOR DESIGNS”

infidelity-resized

As Martha ponders her affair with Zach, she is reminded, once again, of the last days of her marriage…and what she had done to try to salvage it.  Excerpted from Interior Designs.

***

 

Later that day, after most of our tasks had been checked off the list, I leaned back in my chair, closing my eyes and mulling over the thoughts that had been tumbling around in my head for most of the day.  Ever since Zach’s call I’d been a bit off my game.  I couldn’t concentrate:  I kept remembering the last time we’d seen each other, and how everything had ended between us.  It had just fizzled out.  Nothing major had happened:  no fights, no disagreements, and no drama.   Just “the end.”

 
Had there been any hints in our last encounter, or had he just stopped calling with no warning?

 
Now that I recalled that part of it, I began to feel like I’d been unceremoniously dumped.  I didn’t want to go there again, so why had I agreed to the lunch?  Had I hoped that we would begin again?  Or that he might somehow explain what had happened—or not happened—between us?

 
It had been several months ago, so my mind skipped back there, searching for clues.

 
Not really discovering anything that would explain it all, I thought that maybe I should call him and offer some excuse for why we couldn’t meet.  Yes, that’s what I should do.  I couldn’t even imagine opening myself up to him again, even though our “relationship” back then had always been understood as a “no strings” affair.

 
Perhaps that wasn’t possible for me, though.  Maybe I was old-fashioned and always had this feeling that something more would develop, despite whatever label we’d placed on what was between us.

 
How had I turned into such an insecure creature?  All through my marriage, at least until the very end, I’d believed that I could hold onto anyone I wanted.  Despite all the evidence of Hal’s betrayals and continuing involvement with Amber, I’d kept coming up for air and striking out.  Nobody was going to intimidate me or crush my world into smithereens.

 
Sometimes I felt awash with rage, while other times the guilt overwhelmed me.  Looking back, I couldn’t believe that I’d used blackmail and all kinds of dirty tricks to keep my man.  I’d been watching too many old movies, or maybe even reading too many love stories.  The ones in which “love wins out in the end.”

 
Who believes that crap anymore?  Not I, that’s for sure.

 
How far had I been willing to go to keep Hal in my life?  And when Miranda was no longer useful—when she had turned on me, too, what had I done next?

 
***
A few months after my first meeting with Miranda, I’d called her again.  From a pay phone, as usual, so there wouldn’t be any trace on any of my phone lines.  Yes, she’d delivered the information I’d wanted, but it hadn’t been enough.  Hal kept going to the beach house, while claiming to be on business trips; he hadn’t even been that careful in covering his tracks.  Carl, the man who was in charge of the maintenance there, had succumbed to my charms when I asked him to keep track for me.

 
When Miranda answered the phone, I spoke quickly.  “I need more dirt.  You’ve told me about the underworld business clients, and you’ve told me Amber’s sordid history; none of that is working.  You’ve got to give me more.  Did Amber and Hal use drugs?  Were they dealing?”

 
I listened as she confirmed my suspicions about the drug use; I reminded her that I needed hard evidence.

 
We agreed to meet downtown again.  Miranda didn’t seem all that worried about being able to produce what I needed.  So why did I feel so anxious?

 
A few days later, she appeared at our meeting with a file.  She handed it over as soon as I came through the door.  Then she turned on me and snarled:  “That’s it.  That’s all I have, and I’m done.”

 
Startled by her reaction, I just stared.  I asked:  “What’s wrong?  Has something happened?”

 
She shook her head fiercely, but added:  “Some of the drug dealers have been giving me a hard time.  It’s like they are suspicious of me now.  What have you said or done to make that happen?”

 
I denied stirring up notice from the dealers, of course, but I realized that my questions, and even some of the calls I’d made, could have elicited some kind of action on their part.

 
When I left that day, I kept glancing over my shoulder, wondering who was watching me.

***

 

Front Cover-resized again

***