TUESDAY SPARKS: EXCERPTING “ONE MOMENT, ONE MORNING”

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Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, from Tuesday/First Chapter/Intros, hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by A Daily Rhythm.

Today’s featured book has been resting on Pippa, my Kindle, for a while.  It is from an author I have enjoyed, so I am eager to now begin.  One Moment, One Morning, is from Sarah Rayner.

 

 

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Intro:  (Monday) (07:58)

Lou is pretending to be asleep, but out of the corner of her eye she is watching the woman opposite put on her make-up.  She always finds it fascinating, watching other women do this, constructing themselves, on the train.  Lou never wears make-up, really, other than for very special occasions, and although she can understand it saves time, she finds it odd—choosing to make the transformation from private to public persona whilst commuting.  It takes away the mystery, covering the blemishes, thickening the lashes, widening the eyes, plumping the cheeks, surrounded by people.  And on the seven forty-four to Victoria, Lou is surrounded by people:  most of them silent; many of them asleep, or at least dozing; some of them reading, and a few, a minority, chatting.

***

Teaser:  The kettle has come to a boil.  Absently Lou fishes for a tea bag, puts it in a mug, pours the water.  As she does so, she considers:  how do these events cast light on the way she herself lives?  Does she know who she is?  Do others? (p. 65).

***

Blurb:  The Brighton to London line. The 7:44 am train. Cars packed with commuters. One woman occupies her time observing the people around her. Opposite, a girl puts on her make-up. Across the aisle, a husband strokes his wife’s hand. Further along, another woman flicks through a glossy magazine. Then, abruptly, everything changes: a man collapses, the train is stopped, and an ambulance is called.
For at least three passengers on the 7:44 on that particular morning, life will never be the same again. There’s Lou, in an adjacent seat, who witnesses events first hand. Anna, who’s sitting further up the train, impatient to get to work. And Karen, the man’s wife.
Telling the story of the week following that fateful train journey, One Moment, One Morning is a stunning novel about love and loss, about family and – above all- friendship. A stark reminder that, sometimes, one moment is all it takes to shatter everything. Yet it also reminds us that somehow, despite it all, life can and does go on.

***

What do you think?  Would you keep reading?  I know that I am intrigued.

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SATURDAY SPARKS: BABY LOVE!

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Welcome to our regular feature, Saturday Snapshot, our opportunity to showcase photos we or friends and family have captured.  The event is now hosted by West Metro Mommy Reads.

Today’s feature will spotlight part of my extended family.  Recently, my niece Emily gave birth to her first child, a daughter named Margaret Louise.  She is the first grandchild for my sister and her husband, so a gathering was convened to honor the new family member.

Present at the event:  My sister and her husband; their four daughters, Elizabeth, Emily, Dorothy, and Katherine…and of course, little Margaret Louise.

First, say hello to the new mother and baby, Emily and Margaret:

 

Emily & Margaret - 1

 

Now let’s take a look at the four sisters, with the baby:  Left to Right:  Katherine (Katie); Elizabeth; Emily with Margaret; and Dorothy.

 

 

Emily, sisters, & baby - Katie, Elizabeth Emily, Dorothy

Meet the grandparents, with Baby Margaret:

 

 

Emily's baby & grandparents

Here is the whole group:

 

 

Emily, etc. - Sisters, Parents

 

And finally, a special moment between little Margaret and her Aunt Dorothy:

 

 

Emily's sister & baby - Dorothy

***
Is there anything sweeter than a new baby?  I predict that, since having a new baby around can start a trend, the sisters might just find themselves stricken by Baby Love.

It seemed to work that way between me and my siblings.  LOL

***

What are you sharing today?  Come on by and tell me what you think.

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DOES MY BLOG SPARKLE? CHANGES….

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Good afternoon!  As you can probably tell, I’ve been playing around with WP themes again, and when I do change a theme, I have to create a whole new blog look.

I wanted something that sparkled, so I found photos of some stars, some wine, and a martini.

Then I grabbed the camera, and decided to spotlight a few things around the house.  Here’s a glimpse of the living room, below…and my newly “decluttered” coffee table….LOL

 

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Here’s a close-up of the coffee table.

 

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Now I’m off to the office, where I grabbed a few shots.  I did a little rearranging of The Nook, below:

 

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Here (below) you can see the space where that big bookcase once lived.  Above, there is an award, and next to it, a bulletin board I enjoy, with photos of family, friends, and events.

 

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My laptop is happily ensconced on the table I use as a desk.  To the left, you’ll notice a couple of baskets where I stash notebooks and post-its.  The little VW bug behind and to the left of the laptop (Louisa May), is a paperweight that I enjoy for its quirkiness.

 

 

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Finally, one of my one remaining bookshelves in the office has been purged, leaving behind some of the books I can’t yet give away.  There will always be those books, I am sure.

 

 

office bookcase - post purge

One of my tasks in the weeks ahead is to do a “head count” of my physical books.  Before I started purging, I had 1435 books.  But now that I have let go of six bookshelves full of books, as well as the books in the pantry and in the bathroom, I am guessing there will be hundreds less.

Time to celebrate?  Well, let’s wait until I have some final numbers.  I have a feeling that I’m not done yet.

How do you know when your purging is complete?  Or is it an ongoing process?

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LOOKING BACK ON THE SUMMER & BEYOND – SATURDAY SNAPSHOTS

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Welcome to our regular feature, Saturday Snapshot, our opportunity to showcase photos we or friends and family have captured.  The event is now hosted by West Metro Mommy Reads.

In the past few weeks, I have featured many family moments.  We started off the summer with graduations.  Then we moved to fun and sun with my eldest son and DIL, visiting from Berlin, followed by some changes in my interior world, both during and after the house guests departed.

Now…let’s take a look at some new beginnings, starting with Fiona, off to college this month.  Here she is with a new style:

 

 

Fiona in August - college girl

And another perspective:

 

 

Fiona in August - 2 - college

 

***

Meanwhile, while my son and DIL were here, they shared some photos from their wedding a couple of years ago.  They joined their lives in marriage in Gibraltar, and honeymooned in Spain.  Wedding party below:

 

 

Wedding party in Gibraltar

 

Here is the Queen’s Hotel in Gibraltar:

 

 

Honeymoon Hotel - Queen's in Gibraltar

 

They honeymooned in Spain, and took in a bullfight:

 

 

Wedding - honeymoon in Spain

 

***

Finally, there was another celebration this week:  my daughter Heather’s birthday.  I created this collage to showcase some versions of her over the years:

 

 

PicMonkey Collage-Heather

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Here are some snapshots of changes in my spaces after the guests left.  I moved one of the dining room cupboards to the center of the far wall and shoved the dining room table into the space left; now there is more room to walk through the area:

 

 

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 Here’s a close-up of the area:

 

 

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Here is my newly reconfigured office space:

 

 

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What moments are you celebrating this week?

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SATURDAY SPARKS: FAMILY CONNECTIONS

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Welcome to our regular feature, Saturday Snapshot, our opportunity to showcase photos we or friends and family have captured.  The event is now hosted by West Metro Mommy Reads.

Last week, my granddaughter Aubrey’s graduation was featured.  This week, her cousin Fiona is spotlighted.  The girls were both born in the same month and the same year:  twin cousins?  Except they are as different as two girls could be, but both are delightful, IMO.  Below, see Fiona, on the right, and another cousin, Danielle, on the left.  Both girls graduated the same night, same place.

 

 

Graduates -Fiona & cousin Dani

 

Here is a group that shows Fiona, her brother Dominic (second from right), some cousins, and on the far right, her boyfriend Tomas.

 

 

Grad night - Fiona with friends and family

Below, a bunch of us gathered at The Spaghetti Factory to celebrate with dinner.

 

 

after grad party

 

 

***

And just to recapture some moments from the past, here are the two girls, Aubrey and Fiona, when they were seven.  We were at the cabin in Big Bear.  A few years later, I started this blog (on Blogger), and it was called Snow Connections, featuring my granddaughters, and this photo was in the blog header.  Now the theme of family and social connections has followed the blog over to WordPress, where the site is now called Snow Sparks.

 

 

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It seems appropriate that we celebrate our photos of family, especially these granddaughters, on this blog.  What are you featuring this week?

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SATURDAY SPARKS: “GILDING THE LILY”

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Welcome to our regular feature, Saturday Snapshot, our opportunity to showcase photos we or friends and family have captured.  The event is now hosted by West Metro Mommy Reads.

It is the time of year for senior proms…and for spring-like events.  Here are a couple of those special times:  First we have a shot of my granddaughter Fiona and her date to the prom….

 

 

 

prom photo

 

 

Now here is a photo of me, snapped on a special night, with a festive banquet,  ‘way back in the day.   I’ll give you a hint:  It was the mid-sixties, when hairstyles were still poofy….just before they turned “hippie-like” and straight, with the hair parted in the middle.

 

 

lrs in the early sixties

 

How everything changes with the passage of time!

What are you sharing today?  I hope you’ll stop by and share your comments and links.

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SATURDAY SPARKS: MOMENTS

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Welcome to our regular feature, Saturday Snapshot, our opportunity to showcase photos we or friends and family have captured.  The event is now hosted by West Metro Mommy Reads.

Since last Sunday was Mother’s Day, I would like to share some memories from that day…and a few since.

Here is one of my lovely daughter and me:

 

 

Mommy & Me-touched up again

 

Here are Heather and Noah, enjoying the day….

 

 

Heather and Noah - Mother's day 2

 

Here’s a special Facebook tribute from my eldest son in Berlin.  He is poking a little fun at me and my doll collections:

 

 

Craig's Mother's Day gift

 

It wouldn’t be a celebration without something new from Fiona.  Here she is showing off Eyes in Blue:

 

 

Fiona is blue

 

And continuing with the blue theme, I had another manicure during my spa day, glittery blue:

 

 

glittery nails on may 14

 

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And a quick look at some changes around the home…Figurines Rearranged:

 

 

 

And close-ups of the bottom shelf (the left side):

 

 

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And the right side:

 

 

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Come on by and share your own moments….

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FRIDAY SPARKS: BOOK BEGINNINGS/FRIDAY 56 – “EAT THE DOCUMENT”

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Welcome to some bookish fun today as we share Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader; and as we showcase The Friday 56 with Freda’s Voice.

To join in, just grab a book and share the opening lines…along with any thoughts you wish to give us; then turn to page 56 and excerpt anything on the page.

Then give us the title of the book, so others can add it to their lists!

If you have been wanting to participate, but haven’t yet tried, now is the time!

What better way to spend a Friday?

Today’s featured book is one I chose because of the era and the subject matter:  those were my times, and we were a-changing.  Eat the Document, by Dana Spiotta, is a bold and moving novel about a fugitive radical from the 1970s who has lived in hiding for twenty-five years. Eat the Document is a hugely compelling story of activism, sacrifice, and the cost of living a secret.

 

 

 

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Beginning:  Part One – 1972 – By Heart

It is easy for a life to become unblessed.

Mary, in particular, understood this.  Her mistakes—and they were legion—were not lost on her.  She knew all about the undoing of a life:  take away, first of all, your people.  Your family.  Your lover.  That was the hardest part of it.  Then put yourself somewhere unfamiliar, where (how did it go?) you are a complete unknown.  Where you possess nothing.  Okay, then—this was the strangest part—take away your history, every last bit of it.

***

56:  As they sat on the porch sharing a hand-rolled cigarette of tobacco and hash, Sissy told Miranda the impeccable pedigree of the Black House.  How everyone knew the house, and how it was actually notorious in youth circles.

***

Blurb:  In the heyday of the 1970s underground, Bobby DeSoto and Mary Whittaker — passionate, idealistic, and in love — design a series of radical protests against the Vietnam War. When one action goes wrong, the course of their lives is forever changed. The two must erase their past, forge new identities, and never see each other again.

Now it is the 1990s. Mary lives in the suburbs with her fifteen-year-old son, who spends hours immersed in the music of his mother’s generation. She has no idea where Bobby is, whether he is alive or dead.

Shifting between the protests in the 1970s and the consequences of those choices in the 1990s, Dana Spiotta deftly explores the connection between the two eras — their language, technology, music, and activism. Character-driven and brilliant, Eat the Document is an important and revelatory novel about the culture of rebellion, with particular resonance now.

***

Okay, I admit that this is my favorite kind of story from my younger days.  How young radicals, steeped in the idealism of youth and the fervor of their times, put everything at risk for the cause.  I can’t wait to find out what happens to the characters in this story.  What do you think?  What are you sharing today?

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HUMP DAY SPARKS: WAITING FOR “THE RACE FOR PARIS”

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Welcome to another Waiting on Wednesday, our special day for sharing upcoming book releases.  Hop on over to Breaking the Spine to find out what everyone else is excited about.

Today I am very excited about an upcoming release from a favorite author:  The Race for Paris, by Meg Waite Clayton, is coming on August 11, 2015.

 

 

 

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The New York Times bestselling author of The Wednesday Sisters returns with a moving and powerfully dynamic World War II novel about two American journalists and an Englishman, who together race the Allies to Occupied Paris for the scoop of their lives.

Normandy, 1944. To cover the fighting in France, Jane, a reporter for the Nashville Banner, and Liv, an Associated Press photographer, have endured enormous danger and frustrating obstacles—including strict military regulations limiting what women correspondents can. Even so, Liv wants more.

Encouraged by her husband, the editor of a New York newspaper, she’s determined to be the first photographer to reach Paris with the Allies, and capture its freedom from the Nazis.

However, her Commanding Officer has other ideas about the role of women in the press corps. To fulfill her ambitions, Liv must go AWOL. She persuades Jane to join her, and the two women find a guardian angel in Fletcher, a British military photographer who reluctantly agrees to escort them. As they race for Paris across the perilous French countryside, Liv, Jane, and Fletcher forge an indelible emotional bond that will transform them and reverberate long after the war is over.

Based on daring, real-life female reporters on the front lines of history like Margaret Bourke-White, Lee Miller, and Martha Gellhorn—and with cameos by other famous faces of the time—The Race for Paris is an absorbing, atmospheric saga full of drama, adventure, and passion. Combining riveting storytelling with expert literary craftsmanship and thorough research, Meg Waite Clayton crafts a compelling, resonant read.

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I have been drawn to books from this WWII era for a while, now, and I also love anything with journalists as characters.  What are you excited about today?

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FRIDAY SPARKS: BOOK BEGINNINGS/FRIDAY 56 – “EVERYONE WORTH KNOWING”

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Welcome to some bookish fun today as we share Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader; and as we showcase The Friday 56 with Freda’s Voice.

To join in, just grab a book and share the opening lines…along with any thoughts you wish to give us; then turn to page 56 and excerpt anything on the page.

Then give us the title of the book, so others can add it to their lists!

If you have been wanting to participate, but haven’t yet tried, now is the time!

What better way to spend a Friday?

Today I am featuring a book that has been on my stacks for a while:  Everyone Worth Knowing, by Lauren Weisberger.

 

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Beginning:  Though I’d caught only the briefest glimpse from the corner of my eye, I knew immediately that the brown creature darting across my warped hardwood floors was a water bug—the largest, meatiest insect I’d ever seen.  The superbug had narrowly avoided skimming across my bare feet before it disappeared under the bookcase.  Trembling, I forced myself to practice the chakra breathing I’d learned during an involuntary week at an ashram with my parents.

***

56:  The phone rang a little after eleven P.M.  I held it and stared, patiently waiting for the caller ID to register my caller.  Uncle Will:  to screen or not to screen?

***

Blurb:

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN A GIRL ON THE FRINGE ENTERS THE REALM OF NEW YORK’S CHIC, PARTY-HOPPING ELITE?Soon after Bette Robinson quits her horrendous Manhattan banking job like the impulsive girl she’s never been, the novelty of walking her four-pound dog around her unglamorous Murray Hill neighborhood wears as thin as the “What are you going to do with your life?” phone calls from her parents. Then Bette meets Kelly, head of Manhattan’s hottest PR firm, and suddenly she has a brand-new job where the primary requirement is to see and be seen inside the VIP rooms of the city’s most exclusive nightclubs. But when Bette begins appearing in a vicious new gossip column, she realizes that the line between her personal and professional life is…invisible.

***

What do you think?  Should I move this one up to the top of the stack?

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