FAMILY & HOME: BIRTHDAYS

olympus-epl5-camera-0-logoWelcome 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.

February is the birthday month for my two gorgeous granddaughters, so it is only fitting that we should celebrate some of their moments.  Here is Aubrey, the oldest by eight days, luxuriating among the “flowers.”

 

 

Aubrey in flowers

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Here Aubrey is enjoying the Great Outdoors….

 

Aubrey's adventures

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Here is Aubrey on a snowy day…also perfect for this blog and its origins….

 

Aubrey's snowy day

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Here are the two of them in 2004, when they were playing in the snow at the Big Bear cabin…they were seven years old.

 

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Here is Fiona in a recent photo:

 

Fiona in Jan

Here she is many years ago….

 

Fiona - a long time ago

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Here are some of her cartoons, featuring her and some friends: (She is Pheona on Facebook and in these cartoons)…..

 

fiona's cartoons - 1

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Here are “Pheona” and friend Jordan scaling the heights…

 

cartoons - 4

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Here is “Pheona” with Tomas…around the fire…

 

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On my home front, here are some views of my coziness….the sofa:

 

living room 2-4-16

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And the love seat….

 

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Changes on a bedroom wall….the photo on the left was taken of some  of the artistic renderings on the Berlin Wall, by my photographer son while he was living there…I had it made into a poster and framed it….

 

 

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That’s it for this week…what are the rest of you sharing?

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TBR THURSDAY: DECONSTRUCTING THE TBR STACKS…

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Good morning!  I just stumbled upon this new Thursday event at Kimberlyfaye Reads, via Brandie Is a Book Junkie.

TBR Thursday sounds like a great way to review what’s on my TBR piles, so here goes!

I’ve been making lists of my book purchases, highlighting the ones I haven’t yet read, and trying to plan how to proceed.

Flying Shoes, by Lisa Howorth, has been on my e-reader since July 2014, so I should probably make a decision about it…soon!

 

 

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Mary Byrd Thornton could understand how a reporter couldn’t resist the story: a nine-year-old boy sexually molested and killed on Mother’s Day, 1966. A suspect to whom nothing would stick. A neighborhood riddled with secrets. No one, especially the bungling or complicit authorities, had been able to solve the crime. Now, thirty years later, the reporter’s call will reel a reluctant Mary Byrd from Mississippi back to Virginia where she must confront her family-and, once again, the murder’s irremovable stain of tragedy.

Lisa Howorth’s remarkable Flying Shoes is a work of fiction, but the murder is based on the still-unsolved case of her stepbrother, a front page story in the Washington Post. And yet this is not a crime novel; it is an honest and luminous story of a particular time and place in the South, where even calamitous weather can be a character, everyone has a story, and all are inextricably entwined. With a flamboyant cast, splendid dark humor, a potent sense of history, and a shocking true story at its heart, Flying Shoes is a rich and candid novel from a fresh new voice about family and memory and one woman’s flight from a wounded past.

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Obviously, the storyline appealed to me enough to download this one, and I’m occasionally reminded of it when I visit blogs.  What do you think?  Read it or forget it?

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LET’S SPARK SOME SUSPENSE – “INK AND BONE”

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Welcome to another Waiting on Wednesday event, hosted by Jill, at Breaking the Spine.

Today’s featured book is from one of my favorite suspense authors:  Lisa Unger.  Her upcoming novel is Ink and Bone, scheduled to be released on June 7, 2016.

 

 

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In this explosive psychological thriller by New York Times bestselling author Lisa Unger, a young woman’s mysterious gift forces her into the middle of a dangerous investigation of a little girl’s disappearance.

Twenty-year-old Finley Montgomery is rarely alone.  Visited by people whom others can’t see and haunted by prophetic dreams, she has never been able to control or understand the things that happen to her. When Finley’s abilities start to become too strong for her to handle – and even the roar of her motorcycle or another dazzling tattoo can’t drown out the voices – she turns to the only person she knows who can help her: her grandmother Eloise Montgomery, a renowned psychic living in The Hollows, New York.

Merri Gleason is a woman at the end of her tether after a ten-month-long search for her missing daughter, Abbey.  With almost every hope exhausted, she resorts to hiring Jones Cooper, a detective who sometimes works with psychic Eloise Montgomery.  Merri’s not a believer, but she’s just desperate enough to go down that road, praying that she’s not too late.  Time, she knows, is running out.

As a harsh white winter moves into The Hollows, Finley and Eloise are drawn into the investigation, which proves to have much more at stake than even the fate of a missing girl.  As Finley digs deeper into the town and its endless layers, she is forced to examine the past, even as she tries to look into the future.  Only one thing is clear: The Hollows gets what it wants, no matter what.

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I have enjoyed several of this author’s books set in The Hollows, the scene for much creepiness and suspense.  I can’t wait to read this one!  What do you think?  What are you eagerly anticipating?

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FAMILY & HOME: 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.

Today I am sharing an assortment of photos featuring family and home.

 

First, my second son and his three kids (young adults now) love sports events.  Here they are at a Laker’s game.  Aubrey, on the left, and Alec, right, were home from their universities for the holidays.

 

Seeing the Lakers

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Fiona spent a lot of time over the holidays with her boyfriend Tomas:

 

 

Fiona & Tomas New Year

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And when she was home, she did a lot of babysitting for her nephew Lane:

 

 

Lane in dec - food play

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I enjoyed some lunches out…

 

 

salad and martini - 12

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I also curled up on my sofa to read, watch TV, and admire my purged bookshelves that showcase more trinkets than books these days.

 

 

Bookshelves, Madeline Hatter, etc.

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In the kitchen, I added my new Crockpot to the island that also now contains my Coca Cola ice bucket…receptacle for tea bags, Sweet ‘n’ Lo, etc.  The “rolling” island comes in handy as extra counter space.

 

 

January kitchen - crockpot, etc.

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My new red coffee pot, to match the toaster….

 

 

colorful kitchen stuff jan

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And here I am now in my mini-office nook:

 

 

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What are you spotlighting today?  Come on by and share, please!

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POST-HOLIDAY MOMENTS: 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.

It has been a few weeks since my last Saturday Snapshot post, and in the meantime, I’ve been collecting photos in a folder, which I will now peruse for today’s featured shots.

My first one is a photo of an old tree from the old home place where I grew up, and where my brother and his wife (below) now live.  Here they are watching two of their grandchildren cavort on the branches that we once played on.  Gavin is on the branch, while America prefers the shoulders of her nana.

 

Eldon, Marie, Gavin & America

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Here is my granddaughter Aubrey enjoying The Golden Arches in her university city…and remembering the fun she has had at those hamburger places in her younger years.

 

 

Aubrey loves Golden Arches

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Here is my other granddaughter Fiona, made up for a special outing:

 

 

Fiona in Jan

 

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Meet Madeline Hatter, a fairytale doll from Amazon Vine:

 

 

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And here is a morning with the Sunday papers, post New Year’s:

 

January Sunday papers

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What does your world look like this week?  Come on by and share your thoughts.

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SATURDAY SPARKS: A SUNDAY WALK….

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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 I’d like to share some photos my DIL Gabi took when she and my son took a Sunday walk in Prague.

Here is a view of the Charles Bridge:

 

Charles Bridge

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The National Theater above the bridge:

 

In Prague  - National Theater

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The Goethe Institute:

 

Goethe Institut

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Prague Castle:

 

Prague Castle

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Strelecky Island:

 

strelecky island in Prague

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A Lamp to Light the Way:

 

A Morning walk in Prague

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My son, taking a break from his photography for the walk, is at rest:

 

Prague Photographer

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What are you sharing today?  I hope you’ll leave some comments and links….

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REVIEW: SNOW ANGEL COVE, BY RAEANNE THAYNE

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Eliza Hayward and her five-year-old daughter Maddie have arrived in Haven Point, Idaho, eager to start a new life. After three years of pain and loss following the death of her husband, Trent, Eliza was thrilled to be offered a hotel management position at the Lake Haven Inn.

But sadly, upon her arrival, Eliza is greeted by the burned out ashes of the inn…lost in a fire only a short time before. The owner, Megan Hamilton, can offer a small severance, but that is it.

While Eliza and her daughter are walking in town to find a diner, Maddie runs into the street, and when Eliza pushes her out of the way, she herself is struck by an out-of-control SUV. Her injuries are not serious—a concussion and some bumps and bruises—but Aidan Caine, the owner of the car, had hit a patch of ice and couldn’t stop, so it wasn’t really his fault. However, he takes her under his wing and soon she is hired to run Snow Angel Cove, the inn he is getting ready for a Christmas visit from his large family, arriving soon from Hope’s Crossing in Colorado. But it will be a short-term position.

Naturally, the story will turn into one in which a rich man helps the poor young woman get on her feet again, using his own responsibility for the accident as a way to sell his plan to Eliza. He also happens to be falling in love with her, apparently, as well as with her young daughter Maddie…who has a defective heart.

Could a story be more heartwarming? Especially during the holidays? Eliza, of course, fights the feelings she is developing, telling herself she and Maddie will soon be on their way again—after Christmas.

Would this fairytale story have a happy ending? Or would the barriers between Aidan and Eliza be too great? Would it be a Christmas to remember?

I liked the story, which was a bit predictable, but it was just what I needed after the thriller I just read. I couldn’t help but root for Eliza and Maddie, and had hopes that Aidan would do something great for the townspeople, who are standoffish with him because he seemingly bought up half the town and then hadn’t done anything except renovate his inn. And, of course, I hoped that he and Eliza would give us that HEA ending. 4 stars.