WEEKLY UPDATES: SAVOR THE HOLIDAYS….

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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 new leader in It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?, at The Book Date.

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What a week!  Despite some of the obstacles, like a malfunctioning Kindle charger and some recent changes in my web browser that have made navigating the Internet a real challenge, it has been a fairly productive one.  I finished and reviewed four books, and each one was enough different that my journey was definitely enjoyable.

Let’s all have some coffee and chat!

 

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LAST WEEK ON THE BLOGS:

Rainy Day Reading: “The Opposite of Everyone”

Serendipitous Tuesday: “Out of Orange”

Hump Day Potpourri: “The Girls”

My Interior World: Count Down to Year’s End

Bookish Friday: “Secret Sisters”

Maintaining the Perfect Facade: Excerpting “Interior Designs”

Saturday Sparks: A Sunday Walk….

Review:  Wildflower, by Drew Barrymore

Review:  What She Knew (e-book), by Gillian MacMillan

Review:  House of Wonder, by Sarah Healy

Review: Out of Orange (e-book), by Cleary Wolters

 

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INCOMING BOOKS:

No books came in my mailbox this week!

 

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WHAT’S UP NEXT? (Titles/Covers Linked to Amazon)

Currently Reading:  The Things We Keep (e-book), by Sally Hepworth (NetGalley-Release Date – 1/19/16)

 

 

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Here, Home, Hope (e-book), by Kaira Rouda

 

 

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November 9 (e-book), by Colleen Hoover

 

 

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That was my week!  Let’s all enjoy our upcoming holidays….and our time with families and/or friends.  What was your week like?

 

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DEALING WITH THE CONSEQUENCES…& DISTRACTIONS

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Sometimes life’s unexpected treasures can be discovered in past moments…events we may have forgotten.

With blogging, we can sometimes recapture those moments.  As I changed my themes and headers on my remaining SIX blogs, I went back in my archives to read old posts.  As far back here as 2010.

Sadly, some of the links don’t work anymore, as the reviews or other title hook-ups go to blogs I no longer have.  Earlier today, I spent some time linking reviews to Goodreads, in those cases where the links went to “Neverland” (note my header with Neverland images).  Accidental?

But this could go on forever, right?  Do I want to spend time back there, fixing what is now broken, because of my recent actions?  Does it matter?

I must admit that I am a perfectionist, and sometimes my older blog posts make me cringe.

The content, not so much.  But the images and links…that’s another story.

But onward…and let’s focus on the present.  I am finally getting in the mood for the holidays, and brought out a few Christmas decorations. (Note the little gingerbread boy hanging on my cupboard at the top of the post).

In the image below, note the candy stripe “bear” hanging from another cupboard.  So far, I haven’t done much more in this part of the room.

 

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Here, on my pub table, I planted one of my miniature trees, and the little Christmas fairies.

 

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And on the hearth, you can see a few holiday “characters,” like the Nutcrackers.  The poinsettia seems a little “fake,” but that’s what I have from my bins.  Fantasia Mickey is a regular “greeter” on the hearth.

 

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Am I distracting myself from the consequences of my blog deleting?  The links that don’t work?  The ones I still should fix?

Well, I hope to also distract myself with reading…but the last two books I read didn’t do much for me.

Here’s hoping that this one, The Guest Room, by Chris Bohjalian, will do the trick.  It is a spellbinding tale of a party gone horribly wrong: two men lie dead in a suburban living room, two women are on the run from police, and a marriage is ripping apart at the seams.

 

 

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Do you ever search your past posts and cringe?  Do you try to fix things, or do you move on?  What are you hooked on now?

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WEEKLY UPDATES: WELCOME TO MY SERENDIPITOUS VENUE!

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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 new leader in It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?, at The Book Date.

What a week!  It was short, with the holiday and all, but I did read and review three books, so that worked out for me.

I also enjoyed spending Wednesday at the movies.  Don’t you love going mid-week?  I saw Secret in Their Eyes, with Julia Roberts, Nicole Kidman, etc.

 

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Before the movies, I had a lovely cocktail and appetizers at Dai Bai Dang, near the theater.

 

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LAST WEEK ON THE BLOGS:

Sunday Thoughts: Book Reorganization

Enter My Interior World: Musings

Read the Books You Buy Challenge

Serendipitous Moments: “Snow Angel Cove”

Let’s Spark Some Intrigue: Waiting On “After She’s Gone”

Returning to My Roots

Happy Thanksgiving!

Quotes from the Interior: “The Black Widow”

Pondering the Early Days: An Excerpt from “Interior Designs”

Review:  The Admissions (e-book), by Meg Mitchell Moore

Review:  Truth Be Told (e-book), by Hank Phillippi Ryan

Review:  Snow Angel Cove (e-book), by RaeAnne Thayne

 

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AROUND THE BLOGOSPHERE:

Check out Karen, at Booker Talk: Books Are Not Weeds

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INCOMING BOOKS: (Titles/Covers Linked to Amazon)

No books in my mailbox this week.  I did download one book (purchased).

Forever, Interrupted (e-book), by Taylor Jenkins Reid

 

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WHAT’S UP NEXT? (Covers/Titles Linked to Amazon)

All the Houses, by Karen Olsson (Vine)

 

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All the Stars in the Heavens, by Adriana Trigiani (Vine)

 

 

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Angels Burning (e-book), by Tawni O’Dell (NetGalley – 1/5/16 Release)

 

 

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That was my week!  What did yours look like?  Tomorrow I’ll be having lunch with family at a neighborhood restaurant.  Then I hope to do a little Christmas decorating.  (Below) Here’s what I did last year…I’m thinking, less this year.  And my rooms have been rearranged.

 

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HOLIDAYS: SHARING LIFE’S UNEXPECTED TREASURES

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Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.  It is a day chock full of family, friends, and stories.

Yes, no matter whether or not I’m celebrating with my own kids and grandkids, or with friends, everyone shares stories at some point.  Some of my favorites are those moments we treasure from the past.

The photos capture those memories from the past, like this one from Thanksgiving 2009.  Typically, we gather a couple of days after the holiday in a restaurant, and not everyone is there every year, but this one shows a fairly good group gathering together:

 

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As time passes, we tend to have more people missing, as they go their separate ways:  Alec attending UC in Berkeley; Aubrey in San Diego; and Fiona visiting friends in other places.

I treasure the photos and the memories, however, and when we can, we catch up with those we “missed” on the holiday.

A couple of years ago, we had our most successful turnout:

 

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This year will be a small group again, as some of the older kids have jobs, and Alec will be back at Berkeley the day after Thanksgiving.

But when we gather together, we will have stories to tell, anyway.  And memories.

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We love talking about the last Thanksgiving we shared in the foothills, (2006) in the guest house next door to my main house.  The kids were pretty young that year.  My youngest son is holding his youngest, Aiden, on the right, and Noah, who is the youngest grandchild, on his left.

 

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Here is the group in 2003, the year we first began having our holiday in the foothills.

 

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What an odd assortment of photos, right?  I like seeing how everyone has grown and changed, and the memories keep those times alive for me.

Do you find yourself remembering past holidays when the season rolls around?

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TSS: COUNT-DOWN TO CHRISTMAS — NOV. 24

Welcome to our last Sunday Salon in November.

As we start our count-down to Christmas, we are also very much aware of the end of the year.  For bookish types, that means a number of things:  final books read count; challenges completed; thinking ahead to new challenges and new goals.

What are some of your Year End Activities and thoughts?

I’ve been noticing some bloggers who are hosting challenges for 2013, and while every year I promise not to sign up for too many, I couldn’t seem to curb the impulse to sign up for a couple already that sound good to me.

First, Cruisin’ Through the Cozies, hosted by Socrates Book Review Blogs.

Then I seemed compelled to add the Women’s Murder Club Challenge.  Hosted by Darlene’s Book Nook.

I have read a couple of those books already, but I’d like to read more.

On the Blogs:

TUESDAY POTPOURRI:  RAINY DAY READING & TEA

INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR ELIZABETH NELSON

PLEASURES GALORE:  BEADS & HO, HO, HO!

SWEET SATURDAY SAMPLE:  SECRETS

WEEKEND POTPOURRI:  BLACK FRIDAY, READING CHALLENGES, ETC.

And here’s a snapshot from my SATURDAY SNAPSHOT POST.

Reading:  (Click Titles/Covers for Reviews)

1.  Firefly Summer, by Maeve Binchy (A 645 pager from my TBR Mountain)

2.  Amazing Grace, by Danielle Steel (Also from Mt. TBR)

3.  Slightly Cracked (e-book), by Susan Whitfield

And I’m currently reading For Keeps (e-book), by Aaron Paul Lazar.  There is a murder, a magical green marble, and secrets….

What are your Sunday plans?  Later I’m having a reunion lunch with colleagues I haven’t seen in awhile, in town for the holidays.  What a foodie week this has been!

TSS: A WEEK OF GRATITUDE — NOV. 18

Welcome to the Pre-Thanksgiving Sunday Salon.

Today has been rainy all day long….I’m actually enjoying it so far.  As long as there are no power outages, I’m good.

Of course, we don’t get to choose how that all plays out.  Meanwhile, I’m enjoying the day watching old movies and reading.

I hope everyone is going to enjoy the upcoming holiday, if you celebrate it.  And most will have some kind of holiday.

This past week was pretty interesting.  I spent some time blogging and reviewed some books.

On the Blogs:

Today’s Saturday Snapshot was a celebration of the past, as well as some moments in the present.  Here’s a glimpse of what I’m sharing.

My foothill house — the past

On Monday, I did a Potpourri post on Feathering the Nest; on Tuesday, I shared some Scanning Moments; Wednesday, I announced the winner of the Bookshelf Clearing Giveaway; my Weekend Potpourri:  Jingle Bells, was about looking ahead; my Sweet Saturday Sample takes a look at the Interior World of A Private Eye; and today I posted about Celebrating the Moments.

Books:  Read – Click Titles/Covers for Reviews:

1.  The Empty Glass, by J. I. Baker

2.  She Can Tell, by Melinda Leigh

3.  Killer Takes All, by Erica Spindler

And, on Wednesday, I posted a review for Blog Tour of Curiosity Killed the Kat, by Elizabeth Nelson.

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What did your week look like?  What are you looking forward to?  Today I’m savoring a Maeve Binchy novel that will take awhile (645 pages), plus I keep watching movies!  It’s Firefly Summer.

Enjoy your week!

TSS: MERRY CHRISTMAS! — DEC. 25

Grab some coffee!

Good morning!  Merry Christmas! Welcome to another Sunday Salon.

Wherever you are, whether your day is snowy or sunny, may you have the best Christmas ever!

Yesterday, I spent some time with my daughter at her workplace.  Before you start feeling sad about that….she works in a neighborhood “watering hole” as a bartender.  So it was a day full of conviviality.

During the past week, I went a little crazy with my blog posts:

SAVORING SOME GUILTY PLEASURES

MONDAY POTPOURRI:  ENJOYING EACH DAY

HUMP DAY POTPOURRI:  FAMILY STORIES

SHARING STORIES

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WEEKEND POTPOURRI: MERRY CHRISTMAS

The reading week wasn’t nearly as good as usual.  One of the books felt like a slog through bubble gum…haven’t I used that one before?

Here’s what I read and reviewed-Click titles for reviews:

1.  She Can Run, by Melinda Leigh


2.  The Marriage Plot, by Jeffrey Eugenides

3.  An Uncertain Refuge (e-book), by Carolyn J. Rose

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I hope to just relax today, enjoying the holiday feelings, and pigging out a bit.

Next week’s reading will be fairly relaxed as well.  Two of my reads will be from my slowly dwindling TBR stacks….

What are you planning for the day and week?

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

TSS: CAN YOU HEAR THE SLEIGH BELLS? — DEC. 18

Good morning and welcome to the last Sunday Salon before Christmas!

Are you hearing the sleigh bells yet?  Or are you just exhausted from all the preparations?  Getting any reading done?

Just grab your cup of coffee, maybe a bowl for cereal, and let’s chat.

Here are some of my blog posts from this week.

TUESDAY POTPOURRI:  BREAKFAST IN BED

12-14 CHECK-IN: ROW 80

HUMP DAY POTPOURRI – A DIZZY DAY

WEEKEND READING

SATURDAY MUSINGS: HOLIDAY MOMENTS

 

Now let’s curl up and look at the reading list.

Click the Titles for Reviews:

1.   Mrs. Nixon (e-book), by Ann Beattie

2.  Best Kept Secret, by Amy Hatvany

3.  The Train of Small Mercies, by David Rowell

4.  Pug Hill, by Alison Pace

5.  Star Struck (Celebrity Interviews) e-book, by Betty Dravis

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I couldn’t believe that I actually finished ALL the books on my reading list this week.  Even though I started the week with one book leftover from the previous week!

I suspect that I knew how busy this upcoming week would be…and that I’ll have a much lower expectation and shorter list.

What are you reading?  What holiday moments are you looking forward to this week?  Come on by and share!

Today I plan to watch some movies on my very FULL DVR.

TSS: GETTING IN THE HOLIDAY MOOD — DEC. 4

Welcome, Blog World!  It’s going to be Christmas before we know it!

Join in today’s Sunday Salon to share your thoughts about reading, blogging, and life…including the holidays.

I’ve been doing some blog decorating this week, including posts about “decking the halls.”

Here are some of my posts:

WINTERIZING THE BLOGS

NOVEMBER READING WRAP-UP

GUEST POST – ALON SHALEV

DECKING THE HALLS

WEEKEND THOUGHTS FROM THE INTERIOR

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Yesterday I took a break from reading and blogging to see this movie…

Michelle Williams totally inhabited that role!  I haven’t seen such a great MM performance…ever!

I loved how they captured a moment in time and took us there so completely.

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This week, I’ve done some reading, too. 

Books Read and Reviewed-Click Titles for Reviews:

1.  The Accidental Activist, by Alon Shalev (Read Nov. 10, but reviewed 11/28 for blog tour)

2.  Second Nature (e-book), by Jacquelyn Mitchard

3.  Shockaholic, by Carrie Fisher

4.  The Kingdom of Childhood, by Rebecca Coleman

5.  V is for Vengeance, by Sue Grafton

 

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So that was my week!  I’m already primed up for the new one.

But today I’ll probably start watching some movies I’ve recorded on my DVR.  What about you?  Come on by and share some thoughts….

TSS: HOLIDAYS AHEAD! — NOV. 20

GRAB YOUR COFFEE & LET'S CHAT!

Welcome to the pre-holidays Sunday Salon, where we can gather around and share our thoughts about bookish things, blogging, and life.  Are you all looking forward to Thanksgiving this week?  I know that I am.

What is your favorite part?  The food, the friends and family, the football?

I am not even a football fan, but I love the “background noise” of the games playing on TV.

This past week, I’ve immersed myself in a couple of mystery books and a saga about family.  I’ve done some blogging, too. 

Here are some of my non-meme blog posts:

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, FIRSTBORN!

WEEKEND THOUGHTS FROM THE INTERIOR

ENTER THE WHIRLWIND – EXCERPT

BOOKISH THOUGHTS & GRATITUDE

VINTAGE MEMORABILIA

And now for the reading!

I read and reviewed these books-click titles for reviews:

1.  The Strangers on Montague Street, by Karen White (with author bio)

2.  The Sisters, by Nancy Jensen

3.  Armed:  An Alex Harris Mystery, by Elaine Macko

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I scarcely got up from my reading, except to write blog posts, reread my WIP Interior Designs, and visit other blogs.

Last night, I finally started reading You Are My Only, by Beth Kephart…and I didn’t get far before falling asleep (and not because I wasn’t into it…I was tired!).  I’ll be reading it today!

I don’t even think I’ll go to the movies today…even though I do want to see J. Edgar.  What are you all up to today and this coming week?  Stop on by and chat…..