Good morning!  It is that time in the week when we gather around and compare notes on our thoughts, both bookish and not so bookish.  Join Christine over at Bookishly Boisterous to see what others are chatting about.

I haven’t participated in this event for a couple of weeks, as I was flat on my back, ill, most of last week. 

I have saved up some of my thoughts, however, and now that I’m feeling better, I’m ready to play!  I have had fun watching my granddaughter Fiona change up her look recently.  She turned eighteen on her birthday in February, so I think she’s searching for just the right style for her.

Here is one version:



another new verion of Fi


Here is another:



a painted princess


Finally, a totally fun look:



A cool Fi


My daughter also enjoys changing her look, but in this photo, it’s more about changing her attitude:  becoming a bit more playful.



Heather at Play



While I was sick, I had ample opportunity to study my interiors.  I wrote about some of them last week  in My Interior World:  Under Scrutiny.

After “editing” some of my tablescapes, I kept going and did a little bit of purging on my Baker’s Rack.  There is still a lot going on here, but I did remove a few things from the surfaces:



baker's rack-2 april 11



I love NetGalley so far!  I have received nine e-ARCs as of today, and I’ve reviewed one of them.  My rule is working so far:  only request books that I would buy.  Here is what I’m reading now:  Inside the O’Briens, by Lisa Genova.







My newest book came this morning:  The Royal We, by Heather Cocks & Jessica Morgan.








Pippa, my Paperwhite, is earning her keep!






What are your bookish/not so bookish thoughts about this week?





Good morning!  It is that time in the week when we gather around and compare notes on our thoughts, both bookish and not so bookish.  Join Christine over at Bookishly Boisterous to see what others are chatting about.

I must confess that most of my thoughts are bookish this week.  First of all, I upgraded to a Kindle Paperwhite, which I have named Pippa…and I am having so much fun!




Of course I had to check, just to make sure, that downloads to Pippa were just as easy as they were on Sparky (sorry, Sparky, you have been relegated to the shelf).

Of course they seem faster and smoother.  And then they opened up the world of NetGalley for me…I had signed up three years ago, but nothing would download to Sparky.

Pippa happily receives e-galleys…and I got three in the past two days.



I have been green with envy for the past three years, seeing what others are finding there.  I did make a rule for myself:  I won’t request anything from an author or book I haven’t heard about….and I will try to request only those books that I would have bought.

That’s to help with my Compulsive Book Buying Disorder, which I’ve mentioned a time or two.






Last week was Bloggiesta, and I accomplished a lot…but also made an error that led to two days of fix-ups.  Yikes!  I still have a little more work to do…deleted images in my media file that resulted in missing images in posts.  That was on my Curl up and Read site….


Today is my day at the Salon!  Yay!  My nails are a mess and my hair needs some work.  Lovely Heather, my daughter, will do my hair after Melissa does my nails.



beautician bear


I will take my current read with me:  a delightful story that transports me to Stony Point, Connecticut:  The Denim Blue Sea, by Joanne DeMaio.






The characters are like returning friends, as I’ve met them in previous books.  A delightful and fun read, perfect to accompany my day of pampering.


What was your week like?  What does today look like for you?





Here we are again, rambling on about our thoughts, our feelings, and our perspectives.  Join our host at Bookishly Boisterous, to see what others are chatting about.

Sometimes I wonder how I create the crazy dreams I have!  There are those that spring from the books and movies I watch during the day.  And sometimes they are all about relationships I am having…and those issues.

But last night’s dream, which I won’t repeat in detail here, seemed like a jumble of all kinds of moments from the past, and in the end, seemed to be about moving from one apartment to another and losing items along the way.

And now that I have written it out, it is quite obvious to me.  I am getting older…okay, aren’t we all?  And while I am in good health (knock wood!), I can envision a time in the DISTANT FUTURE, hopefully, when I might have to move closer to the grown kids…and that is not a thought I enjoy having.  For example, my daughter has a lovely and large enough house, but she has told me that if I moved in, I couldn’t bring all of my stuff.  Even though my financial contribution would make things easier for her. 

Actually, I recall the last time we lived together, when she was a teenager….and I cringe at the thought of sharing space with her!  On to better solutions!


So now I get why I had the dream of losing things along the way.  But, like Scarlett, I will think about it tomorrow!


On to bookish topics, in which I bury myself in the books and try not to think about real life….

I have cut down on my acquisitions from Amazon Vine…but this week, I found some books I could not pass up.


Summer Secrets, by Jane Green, is on the way here.





June, 1998. At twenty-seven, Cat Coombs is struggling. She lives in London, works as a journalist, and parties hard. When she discovers the identity of the father she never knew she had, it sends her into a spiral. She makes mistakes that cost her the budding friendship of the only women who have ever welcomed her. And nothing is ever the same after that. June, 2014. Cat’s life has come full circle. She wants to make amends to those she has hurt. Her quest takes her to Nantucket, the gorgeous New England island where the women she once called family still live. What Cat doesn’t realize is that these women, her real father’s daughters, have secrets of their own. As the past collides with the present, Cat must confront the darkest things in her own life and uncover the depths of someone’s need for revenge.

I have really enjoyed the last few books I’ve read by this author, so I am looking forward to it.


And just this morning, Patty, from Books, Thoughts and a Few Adventures alerted me to a book that sounded really tempting…and, of course, I had to have it.


The One That Got Away, by Bethany Chase, is a “bright, funny debut” for fans of Emily Giffin and Jennifer Weiner.






Sarina Mahler thinks she has her life all nailed down: a growing architecture practice in Austin, Texas, and an any-day-now proposal from her loving boyfriend, Noah. She’s well on her way to having the family she’s hoped for since her mother’s death ten years ago. But with Noah on a temporary assignment abroad and retired Olympic swimmer—and former flame—Eamon Roy back in town asking her to renovate his new fixer-upper, Sarina’s life takes an unexpected turn. Eamon proves to be Sarina’s dream client, someone who instinctively trusts every one of her choices—and Sarina is reminded of all the reasons she was first drawn to him back in the day. Suddenly her carefully planned future with Noah seems a little less than perfect. And when tragedy strikes, Sarina is left reeling. With her world completely upended, she is forced to question what she truly wants in life—and in love.

Full of both humor and heartbreak, The One That Got Away is the story of one woman’s discovery that, sometimes, life is what happens when you leave the blueprints behind.


Life has a way of kicking ass, doesn’t it?  But I love reading about these kinds of unexpected twists and turns…and seeing how the characters work things out.  And yes, it’s fiction.  But sometimes we can learn a thing or two from fiction.


What has your week brought you, in books or in life moments?  Dreams?






Here we are again, rambling on about our thoughts, our feelings, and our perspectives.  Join our host at Bookishly Boisterous, to see what others are chatting about.

How did Thursday come so quickly?  Maybe it has something to do with the three awesome books I have read so far…and how I am engrossed in a fourth one that is also a page turner.

Many of you have much more balanced lives, I am sure.  I notice some of you even participate in Fitness Check-Ins, and while that sounds really good to me, it would mean that I have to get off the couch!

Perhaps I should take up audio books, as I could exercise while listening.  But then again, I would probably find some excuse not to do that….face it!  I hate exercise, unless it’s something fun.

I used to love tennis…and basketball…and even jogging.  Wait, no, that last one was painful from the very start!  Not a favorite thing of mine, especially the burning in my lungs as I fell onto the ground afterwards.





But maybe I’ll take a walk later…that doesn’t sound too difficult, does it?


Meanwhile, I am eagerly awaiting another Bloggiesta, March 23-29, and I have been busily creating new headers for the blog I plan to work on—yes, with eleven blogs, I get to do a different one each time!—and I have a folder with quite an assortment of choices.  I have been to PicMonkey, playing and even changing up another blog header or two.

Do any of you participate in Bloggiesta?


Earlier in the week, I read Crazy Love You, by Lisa Unger (click for my review); and I broke my own rules by reading a book I had just downloaded.  Usually I try to read the books in my queue…the ones I have decided have priority.  But I couldn’t wait!





In my review, I wrote, among other things:

 the book “was so addictive that I could not stop reading it. The story unfolds in flashbacks, between the past and the present, and with excerpts from the graphic novel mimicking Ian’s life.”



Today I am reading Fear Nothing, by Lisa Gardner ( I seem to be fond of authors named Lisa:  Gardner, Unger).





This one is a continuation of the D. D. Warren series, and, as usual, there are some freaky characters! They were daughters of a monster—a father who slaughtered eight prostitutes before dying himself. Dr. Adeline Glen left the nightmare behind, and now she specializes in pain management. Her sister, Shana Day, followed in her father’s violent footsteps, first killing at age fourteen and being incarcerated for more than twenty-five years.


That’s my Thursday, so far…I am eager to find out what the rest of you are up to today!





Here we are again, rambling on about our thoughts, our feelings, and our perspectives.  Join our host at Bookishly Boisterous, to see what others are chatting about.

Around noon, I’m heading over to my daughter’s salon for a mani from the manicurist there, and then I’ll be turning my hair over to my daughter, who will transform me…LOL.  She has a little bear at her station—that I actually gave her when she graduated!—that says “I’m a beautician, not a magician.”


beautician bear

So when I say “transform me,” I simply mean she will trim and color my hair.

It is mostly a great time to relax and chat with Heather, who is fun…and she just got back from Nashville, where she and a friend partied down a bit.



Girl Power

Last weekend was fun for me in a different way….I went to my granddaughter Fiona’s 18th birthday party….she has grown up too fast!



fiona's new look - 3



Late last night, I finished reading and reviewing Second Life, by S. J. Watson (click title for review).





One of the worst things about writing a wildly successful book, and one that was turned into a movie, too, (Before I Go to Sleep) is how everyone is expecting so much from the next book.  But this one is a quite different book, and to say it is not as enjoyable as the first one would be like comparing our first and second children…right?

Yes, this book took a while to engage me, but then I could not put it down…which means I didn’t sleep much last night.  Because once I finished it, I had to review it…I didn’t want to forget any important details.

I am glad I read it….and I try not to set books up to disappoint me.

Next I’ll be reading something different…I need a break from the thrillers for a minute.  The Way Life Should Be is from Christina Baker Kline, and I am trying not to expect another Orphan Train.






What has your week brought to you?  Mine has brought some fun, some cold weather, and then a beautiful spring day yesterday that made me sing…and want to dance.

I had lunch with a friend…one of those long, leisurely post-retirement lunches that allow you to savor every bite.





Here we are again, rambling on about our thoughts, our feelings, and our perspectives.  Join our host at Bookishly Boisterous, to see what others are chatting about.

How did we get to Thursday already?  Have I been a total slug, pissing away the days?  Well, I did finish reading and reviewing two books, but I should have been more productive on the blogs.

Why are some weeks like that?  I just didn’t feel much like posting anything.

I almost passed up today, too, but then I realized that, with nothing much to show for the week, I would, indeed, be more like a slug than not.

Do you ever get ready to post and realize that nothing much is coming to mind?  Today I was watching shows on my DVR, and I love Stalker, on Wednesday nights.  And The Mysteries of Laura.  And then I felt like posting.

Thursday night is actually the Big Night around here, with Grey’s Anatomy, The Slap (a new one!), and the series finale of Two-and-a-Half Men.  The favorite in the lineup:  How to Get Away with Murder.  Loving that show!



how to get away with murdr


On Sunday, my daughter came to collect some of her things from my garage—Happy Days!—but she only took a couple of boxes….and then borrowed three pieces of my luggage, as she was headed to Nashville for some fun times, with one of her friends.  Her flight, after a layover in LA, got into Nashville at 5:23 a.m. today.  She texted me at every turn, so I didn’t sleep much, with the little text alert going off.

But I like knowing that she landed safely.  I love going to places that can only be reached by plane, but I hate flying!  What a conundrum for me.





Actually, it’s not the flying that worries me so much, but the take off and the landing…LOL.



This Saturday, one of my granddaughter, Birthday Girl Fiona, is having an Open House to celebrate her 18th birthday.  Last weekend, her cousin Aubrey celebrated hers.  How did these adorable girls grow up so fast?  Here is a photo of the two of them (and one of Fiona’s brothers) a long time ago.



Fiona, Aubrey, Jake

Fiona is the blonde…and Aubrey, the brunette.  Nowadays, however, Fiona is more likely to be a brunette or a redhead, since she likes changing up her look.


Today I’m reading You Can Trust Me, by Sophie McKenzie, a new author to me.  I got it from Amazon Vine, and just started reading it last night.  So far, so good.  A suspicious death, a history of another suspicious death in the past.  And a marriage that may be on the skids.






And now I want to finish watching Stalker, as one of Beth’s friends is in the trunk of her stalker’s car.  What will happen?


What shows keep you glued to the TV (or DVR)?  What movies are you excited about this weekend?






Here we are again, rambling on about our thoughts, our feelings, and our perspectives.  Join our host at Bookishly Boisterous, to see what others are chatting about.

I just spent an hour Skyping with my eldest son who lives in Berlin.  After years of being a writer/photographer in various parts of Europe, including Prague, he has been in Berlin for around six years.  He and his new wife are contemplating coming to the states for a visit.  It has been 8 years since I saw him in person.

Skype is great, though, and we stay in touch on Facebook and via email. 



Craig, Gabi...and the Queen

He mostly photographs events, although he spent a few years specializing in destination weddings.  Exciting for him, since he could travel through various parts of Europe, all expenses paid.

So now I am feeling great, as if we actually saw one another, even though it was by video.

It’s challenging, since I have to add nine hours to my time here…and then take into account what might be going on there.

A sample (below) of one of his pieces that I enjoy. 




I have another photo framed in my office, which he captured in 2009, when artists created images on the wall in celebration of the twenty year anniversary of the wall coming down.






Now that I’m feeling connected to one of “my tribe,” I can talk about bookish things.  Like the book I just finished from JoJo Moyes:  One Plus One. (Click for my review).





And currently I am reading a Nancy Thayer book that has been on Sparky for a while…Nell.  This book was published years ago, but just came out in e-book format last year.  It was one I missed along the way.





Nell St. John is not living the life she imagined for herself—not by a long shot. She was once a glamorous young actress married to influential director, Marlow St. John. Together, the A-list couple was the toast of the town. But then Marlow’s star fades and tensions at home skyrocket. Marlow takes up with another woman and abandons Nell, leaving her to pay the bills and raise their two boisterous young children. A string of attractive suitors is not the answer to her lack of fulfillment, but what is?

When she’s offered a job at a posh clothing boutique on Nantucket, Nell uproots her young family and moves to the island. Soon, her college age ex-stepdaughter Clary, who has her own romantic troubles, moves in with her, and Clary and Nell fall in love with island life and its gentler pace. Nell also captures the attention of an eccentric man about town. And in that carefree, romantic summer of tender passion, she looks within and discovers much more than she ever dreamed possible.


I had other reading plans, but because I am considering upgrading from my old Kindle (sorry, Sparky!), I created Word docs. of all my books on the device, just in case the upgrade didn’t show them in my current “collections.”  And discovered books that have been languishing on Sparky…sad, like little orphans.  I wrote about my plans at An Interior Journey – Books, Blogs, & Devices.

I am glad I have those docs. to peruse when thinking about what to read next.  Scrolling through the Kindle is time consuming…LOL.


Coming to my mailbox today or tomorrow:  Second Life, by S. J. Watson.  Another book I’m eager to read.






Julia’s life is comfortable, if unremarkable, until her sister’s brutal murder opens old wounds. She finds solace in her sister’s best friend, Sophie, but when Sophie reveals the extent of her sister’s online life, Julia becomes convinced that the truth about her death lies deep in the dark, sordid world of online chatrooms and internet sex.

What begins as Julia’s search for the truth about her sister quickly turns into an exploration of herself and her own desires. After all, the internet is her playground, and why be just one thing when you can be as many as you like? What could possibly go wrong? After all, it’s only cybersex, isn’t it? No one’s going to get hurt.

But then she meets the dark and mysterious Lukas in an online chat room, and things begin to get very dangerous indeed.



What bookish or non-bookish events are happening in your world? 






Here we are again, rambling on about our thoughts, our feelings, and our perspectives.  Join our host at Bookishly Boisterous, to see what others are chatting about.

It feels spring-like here!  Yesterday I walked around the outdoor mall in my neighborhood and ended up having lunch with a friend at Dai Bai Dang, a place I enjoy every now and then.  We almost sat at the outdoor dining area…but then did not.



dai bai dang


I love having the appetizers as my “lunch,” along with a cocktail…and a dessert of green tea ice cream.

Yes, I had it all!

The best thing about lunches after retirement is that you are not limited to an hour, like in your “before” life.  So we lingered…eating, chatting, etc.

Home at last, I felt stuffed…and didn’t have dinner.  Just a snack bar at the end of the day.

And I felt decadent!


While I was waiting for my friend to arrive—I always get to places early!—I started reading The Girl on the Train  on Sparky, my Kindle.  It isn’t on my reading list for the week, but I didn’t want to bring the big hardcover along, Copper Beach, which I am also reading.








I don’t often read two books at once, but when I do, one of them is bound to be on Sparky.


I couldn’t help myself!  I went to the Vine list, just to check and see what was available.  I know, not a good thing to do if you are cutting back on ARCs….but then I found this one!  I was going to buy it anyway, so why not order it from Vine?  I’m good at rationalizing….LOL

So I did.

The Day We Met, by Rowan Coleman has been on my “waiting for” list, since I have enjoyed several other books by this author.






For fans of Jojo Moyes’s Me Before You comes a beautifully written, heartwarming novel about mothers and daughters, husbands and wives. The Day We Met asks: Can you love someone you don’t remember falling in love with?

A gorgeous husband, two beautiful children, a job she loves—Claire’s got it all. And then some. But lately, her mother hovers more than a helicopter, her husband Greg seems like a stranger, and her kids are like characters in a movie. Three-year-old Esther’s growing up in the blink of an eye, and twenty-year-old Caitlin, with her jet-black hair and clothes to match, looks like she’s about to join a punk band—and seems to be hiding something. Most concerning, however, is the fact that Claire is losing her memory, including that of the day she met Greg.


Now I have one more ARC headed my way….what can I do, though?  The good news…my list is still fairly small.  I have TWO books headed my way.

What has your week brought to you?  What are you loving or hating?