Good morning, and welcome to another “Blue Monday.”  As you may know, Mondays are no longer “blue” for me, since my retirement.  Now they are the beginning of another wonderful week!

Above, note the office in my previous apartment, where I lived from 2007 to 2019, which I still love thinking about.

For the past nine months, I have been focusing on my interiors in this new apartment.  Now I think I can say it is mostly done.  Except for the addition of more books!

This weekend, I started on the outdoors.  My patio is tiny, but tiny spaces also need “spiffing up.”  I added a patio table and chairs with an umbrella.  Small, to fit the space.

On Saturday, we had wind and rain, so I couldn’t enjoy it.  But yesterday and this morning, I had my first cup of coffee out there.  I plan to enjoy evening wine there, too.

To add to the enjoyment, I have ordered a birdhouse from Amazon…I had quite a large collection of them back at my condo, the one I left three years ago.  Those are gone, but I am starting over.  In a small way.


I have considered adding other things, but I will wait and see how things shape up.

Here is today’s coffee with my book:


What do you enjoy on a Monday morning?



Books Chase Away the Blues!  Sometimes, a rainy day can spoil our moods, but with the right books…or with the right people, we can conquer the bad stuff.  Today was a sunny one, however, so no worries.  But lately, we never know when the rain (and hail) will strike.

This blog is one I created in August 2009, right before I drove to Napa to hang out at a resort, reading and wine tasting.  I loved the time spent there…although I didn’t yet have a laptop on which to work, so no blogging happened while I was there.  I didn’t even have an iPhone.  But I signed up for the Wine Train, and enjoyed savoring the goodies.

When I got home, I had lots to blog about though, including some reviews of books I read while I was there.

At first, this blog was on Blogger, but I moved it to WordPress in December 2014.  My philosophy about rainy days, Mondays, and books has remained the same, though.

I am having fun with the blog these days, changing the themes, the headers, etc.  Why do I love change so much?  Or do I just love the “designing” aspect of blogging?

Today I spent hanging out with one of my two granddaughters, the one who lives in town.  We have very little time to spend together these days, as she is working and going to school.

But here’s what we did:  lunch at a nearby restaurant…and time at home afterwards taking photos.


Here we are hanging out at my condo.



It was a great Sunday, and I look forward to more of the same.  Tonight I’ll curl up with my books and movies.  How did your weekend unfold?



When the rains come, as they do sometimes in this dry Central California city, I like curling up inside and layering my interiors with cozy stuff.  (Hygge).  My hall tree (above) greets my guests, and during the Christmas season, like now, I’ve added a few things:  Mr. and Mrs. Santa Bear and a poinsettia plant (fake).


The rest of the greeters remain throughout the year, and include hats, handbags, a Mary Engelbreit doll, Madeleine, and Red Riding Hood with her wolf companion.  Plus, an antique horse that centers the mix.

In the mirror, you can see some reflections of the rest of the room, like my pub table and its own Christmas tree featuring vintage and some Coca Cola ornaments:

The hearth showcases some Nutcrackers, along with the regular birdhouses, and nearby is another hat rack with hats and handbags, and a new scarf with buttons that I got in a Christmas box.  Also, a fluffy boa.  My clock collection above the mantle reminds us of the passage of time…except mine does not.  I removed the batteries to ease time-changing months.


Here is a close-up of the unique scarf, handmade in Northern California:


My cozy Coca Cola dining area holds another of my miniature trees.  This one has framed ornaments that show my grandchildren in their younger years.   A gingerbread bear hangs on the green cupboard.  You may notice I have a lot of red in my home, which, in my opinion, keeps me festive all year long.



I didn’t bring out everything this year…but I may cave and layer some additions to this mix.

Reading is a part of the season, too, and on the weekend, I got brunch at a nearby restaurant.  I enjoyed this Bloody Mary with my Kindle read:  Tell Me Lies, by Carola Lovering.







Because I am watching a lot of Christmas movies…and binge-watching on Prime and Netflix, my reading has slowed down this week.  But I have a long list of enticing books to grab.  Luckily, I didn’t find any new releases to purchase today…because I already have too many waiting in the wings. (And I got a new NetGalley ARC; more on that later).

What are you enjoying during the holidays?  What books, adventures, movies, and decorations are keeping you festive?



Fridays are not my usual time to chat here, but I am sitting next to these Disney figurines and my coffee cup (above), and feeling like sharing.  I am also ignoring the housekeeping I need to do!  I did do a few things, but will postpone the heavy cleaning until later.  LOL

As I read my library copy of Manhattan Beach, I am swept back in time…to an era that pre-dates me (1930s), but the 1940s are now making an appearance in the story, and I am reminded of tales my parents told of that time.  My family lived on the West Coast, while Anna Kerrigan, in this story, lived in Brooklyn.  There were similar fears and feelings, no matter where one lived during this memorable time.

Anna Kerrigan, nearly twelve years old, accompanies her father to visit Dexter Styles, a man who, she gleans, is crucial to the survival of her father and her family. She is mesmerized by the sea beyond the house and by some charged mystery between the two men.

‎Years later, her father has disappeared and the country is at war. Anna works at the Brooklyn Naval Yard, where women are allowed to hold jobs that once belonged to men, now soldiers abroad. She becomes the first female diver, the most dangerous and exclusive of occupations, repairing the ships that will help America win the war. One evening at a nightclub, she meets Dexter Styles again, and begins to understand the complexity of her father’s life, the reasons he might have vanished.


I am always intrigued by how the women were offered opportunities not available to them when the men were home.  I could sense the feeling of adventure that heightened their experiences, and how the women took the chance to discover new skills, even some independence not previously offered to them.

Anna was a character I enjoyed.


Later today I have scheduled a mani…and then I’ll probably have dinner out.  I know…I should do the housework before I get my nails done, as not wanting to “mess them up” will be another excuse not to dig into the heavy stuff.  Sigh.  Here’s the color I chose last time.  Should I keep it, or change it?


What lies ahead for your weekend?  Adventures?  Movies?  Reading?



Rainy sidewalks greeted me this morning.  Now the sun has returned, and the rain has gone away.  But I love that we had a glimpse of rainy days ahead.

I want to go out later today, since I have not gone anywhere this week, except for the spontaneous shopping excursion.  Those occasions were quick and methodical…and back home to read and watch movies.

I want to enjoy a meal somewhere, while reading my book.  Currently, I’m loving Sleep Like a Baby, by Charlaine Harris.

I haven’t read any of this author’s books, but I’ve loved the Aurora Teagarden series on Hallmark.


What am I contemplating for the weekend?  No movies that I want to see…so it will be another one watching TV shows, movies, and reading.

What are you eager to do this weekend?



Going back in time (not Time Travel, but checking out my Archives) led me to this post from October 17, 2015.

It was a Weekly Updates post, but I want to share this bit about my carpet cleaning prep:

My week was spent mostly reading ONE book, although I then went on to finish another.  The book I spent so much time on was more than 500 pages and awesome (The Lake House), but I was distracted by other things.  Like prepping for carpet cleaning next week.  Who knew prepping could be so time-consuming?  Here is the preliminary Graveyard of my Stuff in the garage (below)….there will be more.

I also caught up on some TV shows returning from hiatus:  The Leftovers, The Affair, and How to Get Away with Murder.  (Did anyone read Tom Perrotta’s book The Leftovers?)  I loved it!



What I feel as I look at the stuff gathered in my garage…is RELIEF that I am not going through this now.

Instead…I hope to spend the day finishing The Rules of Magic, which is okay…but so far I’m not loving it.

I do love the cover, though.

What has captured your interest on this Friday?




In I’ll Have What She’s Having entertainment journalist Erin Carlson tells the story of the real Nora Ephron and how she reinvented the rom-com through her trio of instant classics. With a cast of famous faces including Rob Reiner, Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan, and Billy Crystal, Carlson takes readers on a rollicking, revelatory trip to Ephron’s New York City, where reality took a backseat to romance and Ephron–who always knew what she wanted and how she wanted it–ruled the set with an attention to detail that made her actors feel safe but sometimes exasperated crew members.

Along the way, Carlson examines how Ephron explored in the cinema answers to the questions that plagued her own romantic life and how she regained faith in love after one broken engagement and two failed marriages. Carlson also explores countless other questions Ephron’s fans have wondered about: What sparked Reiner to snap out of his bachelor blues during the making of When Harry Met Sally? Why was Ryan, a gifted comedian trapped in the body of a fairytale princess, not the first choice for the role? After she and Hanks each separately balked at playing Mail’s Kathleen Kelly and Sleepless’ Sam Baldwin, what changed their minds? And perhaps most importantly: What was Dave Chappelle doing … in a turtleneck? An intimate portrait of a one of America’s most iconic filmmakers and a look behind the scenes of her crowning achievements, I’ll Have What She’s Having is a vivid account of the days and nights when Ephron, along with assorted cynical collaborators, learned to show her heart on the screen.

My Thoughts: As a fan of Nora Ephron’s writing, and also of how she brought her unique vision to some of my favorite movies, I couldn’t wait to plunge into I’ll Have What She’s Having.

Who knew the tedious details that go into a movie, not to mention the conflicts along the way with various actors, crew members, and the production companies involved?

Watching as the stories and movies came to life was an interesting aspect to this book.

Visualizing how the sets were created was another fun part for me. I love movies and the sets are oftentimes my favorite parts, as the characters lead their lives in their various apartments and homes, not to mention the restaurants and bookstores.

Throughout the book, we learn about Nora Ephron’s other books and movies, and how, even as she fought the illness that would take her life too soon, she kept working and striving. An iconic woman who inspires others. 5 stars.***



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.

Another hot week!  I did read four books again this week, bringing my challenge total to 63 books.

There were some outside activities, too, which I tried to restrict to mornings:  coffee at Barnes & Noble on Wednesday, with a friend; and hair styling on Thursday.

Sadly the rash came back…despite the organic dye.  Luckily I had some of the ointment left over from last time, the kind that worked after several trials.  I also refilled the prescription for more…just in case.  After one day of using it, I’m almost in control of it. 

I may have to shave my head!  LOL.  No, I’ll probably just find a solution that involves going natural.  Whatever that may look like these days.

This morning I had breakfast at Marie Callender’s, after getting my prescription…I didn’t photograph it, as the platter was huge.  I didn’t eat it all…but still.  Piggy time?

Now I’m having more coffee in my “reading” cup.  Check out the dwindling book stacks on the shelf nearby…and I like the morning light coming through the blinds.  Now let’s look at last week’s blogging and reading…the blog posts were minimal, but the reading was good.



Tuesday Potpourri:  “The Secrets She Keeps”

Hump Day Potpourri:  A Week of Reading….

Chatting with Coffee….

Bookish Friday:  “Mrs. Saint & the Defectives”

Looking Back…and Moving Forward….

Review:  My Life to Live, by Agnes NixonReview:  The Marriage Pact (e-book), by Michelle Richmond (NG – 9/25)Review:  The Best of Us (e-book), by Joyce Maynard (NG-9/5)Review:  Every Wild Heart (e-book), by Meg Donohue


INCOMING BOOKS: (Titles/Covers Linked to Amazon)

Empty physical mailbox!  My inbox, however, brought ONE NetGalley Review ARC…as if I need more.

The Blackbird Season (e-book), by Kate Moretti (NG – 9/26)




Currently Reading:  Mrs. Fletcher (e-book), by Tom Perrotta (NG – 8/1)


I also need to read some more e-ARCs in the next couple of weeks, like…

Girl in Snow (e-book), by Danya Kukafka (NG – 8/1)

Emma in the Night (e-book), by Wendy Walker (NG – 8/8)


I would also love to grab one or two books from my TBR (Purchased)…but we shall see.


That’s my week…what did yours look like?  A couple of nights ago, I read while eating this salad, topped off with my Pomegranate Martini.



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.


It is hot, hot, hot!  Yes, every year we begin summer with triple digits…but this year, we had some lovely 80 degree weather leading up to this scorching hot season.  However, it is perfect for staying indoors in the AC…reading, blogging, watching TV.  I love the new Netflix season on Wentworth…more than the Orange Is the New Black fifth season, which I finished anyway.

I read and reviewed three books...and I’m halfway through my fourth one, which I was sure I would finish before now.  But I’m savoring it.

My total for the Read the Books You Buy Challenge is…wait for it!  52!

Let’s grab some coffee…and/or breakfast, and chat.



Bloggiesta Finish Line

Tuesday Sparks:  “The Summer House”

Hump Day Potpourri:  Book Love!

Coffee Morning:  Hot Day Ahead!

Bookish Friday:  “The Sunshine Sisters”

From the Past to the Present in Photos…

Coffee Morning on Saturday:  Reminiscing…

Review:  You’ll Never Know, Dear (e-book), by Hallie EphronReview:  Fairy Tale Interrupted, by RoseMarie TerenzioReview:  Good Me, Bad Me, by Ali Land


INCOMING BOOKS: (Titles/Covers Linked to Amazon)

Nothing in my physical mailbox…but I received one e-ARC from NetGalley…and then went on to download some purchases…and I also bought two books from Barnes & Noble’s bargain table.

Girl in Snow (e-book), by Danya Kukafka (NetGalley – 8/1/17)



Purchases:  Downloads

Lost & Found Sisters (e-book), by Jill Shalvis

Here & Gone (e-book), by Haylen Beck

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo (e-book), by Taylor Jenkins Reid


Bargain Table Books: I had coupons!

Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands, by Chris Bohjalian

Heroes Are My Weakness, by Susan Elizabeth Phillips



Currently Reading: The Sunshine Sisters (e-book), by Jane Green


Then I have several possibilities, like these:

Watching the Detectives (e-book, Book 5), by Julie Mulhern

The Summer House (e-book), by Hannah McKinnon

The Bookshop at Water’s End (e-book), by Patti Callahan Henry (NG – 7/11)


That was my week…what did yours look like?  Last weekend, I enjoyed this lunch treat.




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.


Ooh, yummy cup of coffee!  My coffee pot died yesterday (it was too soon, I thought!), but sadly, I had to go get a new one.  However, there is nothing better tasting than a fresh pot from a brand new machine.  After buying it, and a few other things I will need for my beach weekend, I had lots of coffee (and mimosas) at Mimi’s.  Just to assuage my caffeine withdrawal until I could get home and make a pot.



A week of mostly sunshine…again.  I even had to turn the air conditioner on for a little bit.  But…I am not certain that we are done with the rain.

Busy days, errands, appointments, including my annual physical exam..and THREE books read and reviewed.  My total at Read the Books You Buy:  27.

Guess what is coming this week!  Spring Bloggiesta, from March 20-26.  I’ve already started, as you can probably tell.  I will be working primarily on this blog, but the other five will get a tweak or two.

I am looking forward to more Big Little Lies on Sunday…and The Good Fight.  I am also hooked on Scandal again, on Netflix.

I had a nice long phone chat with my second son, the one from LA…he is the only one of my grown kids who actually enjoys talking on the phone instead of primarily texting. 

I’ve been missing my Skype calls from my eldest; the nine hour time difference and busy schedules can be such a barrier.  He and his wife did a recent photo shoot at the Prague Hilton.  Here they are, ready to go.




Let’s take a peek at last week’s blog posts…and have another cup of coffee:




A Sunday Coffee Chat:  Planning My Day…

My Journey:  Book Musings…

Curl up with “The Futures”

A Journey through My Shelves….

Hump Day Sparks:  A Reading Journey

Spring Bloggiesta:  Sign-Up Post….

My Bookish (and Not So Bookish) Thoughts…

Bookish Friday:  “Never Change”

Interior Thoughts:  A Prague Photo Shoot….

Review:  The Mother’s Promise (e-book), by Sally HepworthReview:  The Futures (e-book), by Anna PitoniakReview:  Idaho (e-book), by Emily Ruskovich


INCOMING BOOKS: (Titles/Covers Linked to Amazon)

One Vine Review book came in my mailbox…and I also received a purchased book.  Two NetGalley Review books came to my Kindle…and I purchased three downloads.

Small Hours, by Jennifer Kitses (Amazon Vine)



California Dreamin’, Cass Elliot Before the Mamas & the Papas, by Penelope Bagieu (Purchased)





Bridges:  A Daphne White Novel (e-book), by Maria Murnane (NetGalley – 4/4/17)



The Idea of You (e-book), by Amanda Prowse – (NetGalley – 3/21/17)



Every Wild Heart (e-book), by Meg Donohue – (Purchased)



The Widower’s Wife (e-book), by Cate Holahan – (Purchased)



Swimming Lessons (e-book), by Claire Fuller – (Purchased)




Currently Reading:  Never Change (e-book), by Elizabeth Berg



Then….some review books, etc., like these:


The Idea of You (e-book), by Amanda Prowse (NetGalley – 3/21-17)



Bridges:  A Daphne White Novel (e-book), by Maria Murnane – (NetGalley – 4/4/17)



One Perfect Lie (e-book), by Lisa Scottoline – (NetGalley – 4/11/17)




That was my week!  What did yours look like?  Grab some coffee, a mimosa, and let’s chat: