Friday, June 12, 2015

Oh Hey Friday: June 12, 2015

It's Oh Hey Friday! time, hosted by September FARM. The idea is that you talk about five things -- any five things, themed or random -- and away we go!

The "Not My Favorite" Edition! (Volume One)

Humidity hair.

Any type of shoe that tries to put a strap between my toes. (Yes, this includes flip flops.) (I may be the only resident of Florida who does not wear flip flops.)

Spiders. Especially the kind that run quickly. Or jump. Or have eight legs.

Insistent, self-inflicted drama. (Please, stop. Just stop. It's exhausting to listen to. How is it not exhausting to live?) And people who are non-stop opinion-y opinion sorts. (We all have them. I'm super tired of all of yours, all the time, please just shhh. One a day is more than enough.) (And yep, that's my opinion.)

Being so super crazy busy at work that I don't have time to do fun things at all. Like compose anything more than gibbership, Dawn-shorthand drafts that have been languishing away, pining for a little attention. (They'll get back-posted, as soon as they are actual coherent strings of real words. Because I still want them in my archives.)


Saturday, May 23, 2015

This Week on My TV: May 23, 2015

Disclaimer: Consider the fact that there could be spoilers ahead. You read at your own risk!

**(Elementary, S3E23 Absconded) Joan: If you're planning on picking up where Keck left off, it might be nice to solve his murder first. Sherlock: That, I believe I may have already done. Joan: I was gone for two hours! -- While the case was a little second rate, I liked that it involved bees, which is something important to Sherlock and a unique angle for a case. -- So, Gregson is offered a promotion he doesn't want, so he declines, but is basically warned that his refusal to rise up the ladder may spell his ultimate demise? Interesting...

**(Elementary, S3E24 A Controlled Descent) Sherlock's dark demons of addiction, front and center for the finale. I like how passionately he is willing to defend his sobriety and appreciate that they didn't go down the "relapse" path, which, as a plot device, would have been both too easy and too predictable. I also really liked the lengths to which he was willing to go to help his friend, Alfredo. Sherlock's friendships are rare and I like that the writers convey how valuable they are to Sherlock. But what was up with Sherlock, sitting on the roof, basically in a catatonic state when Joan comes up to inform him that his father's arrival is imminent? Is he processing what he went through? Is he struggling to maintain sobriety in the aftermath of so much exposure?

**(Reign, S2E21 The Siege) I'm pretty much enamored with the snowy landscapes they do on this show. -- Kenna certainly was catty when meeting Delphine. Especially considering she's busy getting romantic with Renaud herself. Hypocrite much? -- I wonder on Bash questioning on the visions of a seer. Is he questioning her abilities or resisting her visions because they aren't what he wants to hear? -- I was fully expecting Catherine to kill Narcisse's favorite horse as payback for the rumors he was seen in cozy conversation with Lola. What I never would have expected was her feeding it to him. Mercy, that woman is psycho. -- I would have loved a voiceover of Kenna's thoughts as Renaud and Bash were fighting during the attack on the castle, while she stood looking on. -- OMG who was that face in the tunnels?? -- Conde has grown dark since agreeing to marry Elizabeth. Not a fan. -- What the what was Delphine's creepy ritual?? Holy crap. -- Mary has to be  lying about being pregnant at all, much less with Conde's child...right?

**(Mike and Molly, S5E22 The Bitter Man and the Sea) Carl: Basketball on the radio? That's just a bunch of squeaky sneakers. ... Preach it, Carl! (Except that's how I feel about basketball, period. -- Who has a huge third anniversary party? Weird. -- Is Mike seriously getting a new partner? Carl is such a baby. -- Here's what I think: Samuel needs a lady.

**(Reign, S2E22 Burn) 'Scuse me while I haul my jaw up off the floor: Mary stabbed Conde???  -- Mary [to Francis]: You are my husband and my king. -- I so want Kenna and Bash back together. ::sigh:: -- Conde: You put a knife in me and I still want you. Is that madness? ... Oh, Conde. You're still my favorite. You make my heart hurt. -- Exhale: Lola and the baby are safe. I was honestly falling for the fear that they weren't. -- Mary: Why turn on your co-conspirator now? Catherine is your lover. Your key to power at court. Narcisse: Because, as it turns out, there is one thing worse than being hated by Catherine de Medici. That is being loved by her. -- Catherine exiled. By Francis. I never thought I'd see the day. -- I've frequently wondered if we'd seen the last of Nostradamus and I'm glad we haven't...although his return is tied to something horrible: Francis knows he's dying and no one else knows...not even Mary...who is in love with Conde and stabbed him out of loyalty to her marriage and king. -- And we have *finally* have sight of Elizabeth...only to discover she's apparently teaming up with Catherine? Does that woman's scheming ever stop?


Saturday, May 16, 2015

This Week on My TV: May 16, 2015

Disclaimer: Consider the fact that there could be spoilers ahead. You read at your own risk!

**(Madam Secretary, S1E22 There But for the Grace of God) I was a little worried about following along with and keeping track of the flashbacks via nothing but hairstyles, but then I noticed that they gave the flashbacks some blue lighting. Perfect! -- Flashback CIA Conrad uses a pocket protector. I found this entertaining. -- I was worried we'd seen the last of Mike B, but he's back! Mike B makes me laugh. -- I give Elizabeth credit for not throwing something, after all the times they interrupted her lunch. I would not have been as gracious. I would be hangry and I would make that clear. -- Daisy [on the topic of Marsh's portrait relocation]: Maybe it's time to go to Nadine. Blake: Every time I look at my watch, it's not that time. -- Blake's snark slays me. I don't know why he has such a loathing for Mike B, but his snark makes him one of my favorite characters on the show. -- Mike B: Stop making sounds with consonants and vowels! -- So there was all this screeching about how Elizabeth could be guilty of sharing classified information with Henry when she was looking into Marsh's death and how that was akin to treason, but what I want to know does anyone even know what Elizabeth and Henry have discussed privately?? -- Henry: When everything seems to be lacking in integrity, you know what you do? You find it in yourself. -- Oy. I was just getting to like Stevie a little and now this thing with Harrison? Bleh. -- I'll be honest, I didn't know what to expect from this show on its maiden voyage, but it exceeded everything I hoped. Tension and humor. Cases of the week balanced with longer story arcs. Multi-layered characters and well-developed relationships, both personally and professionally. Really well done. Absolutely looking forward to season two.

**(Scandal, S4E21 A Few Good Women) Cyrus: You stole a United States servicewoman?? Susan: I removed Ensign Martin from an unsafe situation. Cyrus: On whose authority? The captain of Crazytown?! ... I love when Cy loses his mind. He has the best rants. -- David: So, if you find out that Foxtail means, say, kill David Rosen, I'd appreciate a heads up. -- Mellie's hair is getting enormous. If it keeps up at this pace, it may be its own character soon. -- Abby: What about the guy with the abs? Russell? I liked him. Olivia: Turns out he wasn't my type. ... ::snort:: #understatement -- Cyrus: What about murdering the Vice President? How long has that been illegal? ... ::insert crying tears of laughter emoji here:: -- That was some heavy but good-to-know intel Jake gave Olivia on Russell. Because they were both given the same order by Command: to "get inside" with Olivia. Rowan is scary controlling of Liv. -- There is something about Russell that reminds me a lot of Harrison. -- The background music during Liv and Fitz's phone call felt very reminiscent of early Liv and Fitz. I do really like that Fitz is finally showing some backbone. Spineless, wishy-washy, whiny Fitz is unappealing on every level. -- OMG 1: Mellie is Foxtail??? OMG 2: That inept little military lawyer is B613??? What. The. What.

**(Elementary, S3E20 A Stitch in Time) Joan is friends with Captain Gregson's daughter? When did this happen? -- I'd have to say, of all people, I'd trust Sherlock's assessment of someone's "detective smarts." -- Joan [to Sherlock]: So where New York's finest nerds failed, you're hoping yours will succeed? -- I thought this case provided a good story with the banned trader "fixing" the company who holds his blind trust. At least it wasn't totally lame or redundant of every other crime drama.

**(Elementary, S3E21 Under My Skin) Sherlock [to an AA attendee]: Bringing your flask into a meeting really is bad form. -- Marcus [to Joan, as the watch Sherlock's actions]: I think it's your turn to ask... --  Another pretty unique story to tell: an unknowing drug mule who thought she had received a Brazilian gastric bypass was really being used by Serbian drug dealers operating out of a dental office. Crazy and complex, but not done a thousand times before. Elementary is stepping up its game on cases recently.

**(Chicago Fire, S3E20 You Know Where to Find Me) I wonder if that's really it for Mills? Like is he gone from the show for good? That was a total 180. -- Cruz and Otis are such dorks. They make me groan and shake my head, laughing, at least once an episode. -- Did Mills seriously ask Dawson to come with him, when she said she'd miss him when he moves?! Followup: Apparently he did, because WHOA with that kiss as he left his going away party. -- The Chaplain *bet* on his own kids' league hockey team in the championship. I...don't even know what to do with that. -- What is Casey getting into with this Stilettos guy's business offer? Things are going to go south there in a hurry. That's pretty obvious.

**(Once Upon a Time, S4E20 Lily) The scene where the Apprentice is talking to the Sorcerer felt very Wizard of Oz like. -- Regina [looking around the tenement that was Lily's last known address]: Why did I go through the trouble of creating Storybrooke when I could have cursed everyone to live here?  -- It still weirds me out to see Belle and Will all romantic and smoochy. -- Regina wore a plum-colored dress during the roadtrip to find Lily. I *love* that color on her. -- Whoa. So Lily has known, since she and Emma parted ways, her true identity as well as Emma's. I love that the Apprentice was the old man on the bus who explained everything to her. I'm a little unsettled by how quickly Lily and Emma seemed to patch everything up, but I'm willing to roll with it, I guess. -- OMG. Zelena/Marian is pregnant with Robin's baby?? I wonder if it's for real or if she has just found another way to keep Robin in her grasp.

**(The Good Wife, S6E22 Wanna Partner?) Peter is considering running for Vice President? Man, he is ascending quickly up the political ladder. -- Finally! Some resolution on that note from Kalinda to Alicia. I kind of loved when Alicia burned it right in front of Bishop's lawyer, Mr Lester. He is such a  ghoul. -- It's almost like they're trying to spin Canning's wife as a baby Alicia, just wanting to do something for herself, by herself, without the weight of her husband's name making her wonder if that's the only reason anyone would or wouldn't hire her. -- WTH with that arrest-non-arrest of Alicia's client. And that creepy police holding house thing. -- I was so excited for Alicia and Finn being in business together. Their chemistry on the screen is dynamite. And now Finn is backing out?? Why, Finn, why?? -- Canning: I have never in all our years of struggles gone after your family members. Lee: We don't have any family. -- Canning??  Canning is offering Alicia a partnership?? Noooooo!! -- I am DYING. I really hope we didn't just say goodbye to Finn. He's my favorite. I was so hoping when Alicia opened the door, following the knock, that it was going to be him, coming back for a smoking hot kiss...and instead, it was that little weasel, Canning (I do love me some Michael J Fox, but he's no Matthew Goode ;-) ). I love that he brings some real "good guy" with a moral compass, truly genuine, loyal. This show needs that balance, what with Peter and Eli and David Lee and Canning. Can't wait for season seven!

**(Mike and Molly, S5E21 Near Death Do Us Part) T totally called the demise of the almost engagement of Carl and Victoria. While the topic and its handling, right down to the secret spilling, was far from fresh, new, and unexpected, it was very funny. I'm wondering, especially with Joyce's rejoicing that she (specifically) managed to (so she thought) get both her daughters married without being knocked up, how this season finale will go. Will Victoria learn that she *is* pregnant with Carl's baby? That would certainly test her/their stance about not being ready to get married, in addition to their huge fight and subsequent breakup. Not to mention it would bring up some issues for Mike and Molly who have had issues with getting pregnant or otherwise starting a family.

**(The Middle, S6E24 The Graduate) One of the reasons I like the character of Sue is that she is so happy and that's something with which I can identify. I also "get" feeling invisible, forgettable, insignificant. I'm so glad that they spun Sue's missing yearbook into so many people passing it around, writing in it, telling her how much her happiness had affected them. That's exactly the sort of effect happy people want to know they've had on others. -- Axl: Hello summer, goodbye pants. -- Well played on the Axl-Devin-how are we leaving this for the summer thing. Axl obviously *really* likes Devin and I love that she showed up and launched into his arms. And, duh, all the hot guys in her Instagram feed are her brothers! LOL -- Frankie [to Brick]: We're not fighting, we're fine. Your father and I are having a heated agreement. -- LOL: Axl's Swiffer Duster selfie stick. -- I thought they knocked Sue's graduation out of the park. Equal parts funny and sentimental. I agree, Mike, I think every year should be the Year of Sue.

**(Chicago Fire, S3E21 We Called Her Jellybean (1)) It's weird watching the first part of a three-show crossover, after you skipped "part two" because it's a show you have no interest in watching and watched "part three" and know the ending already, but I was barely invested in this episode at all as a result. Ok, so Mills' replacement was introduced, and, per House 51 protocol, everyone was jerky about it, like it's the new girl's fault Mills chose to move on. Things are obviously weird with that Casey business deal, but I saw that coming from day one. And then just...meh. It wasn't even that great a lead-in to the rest of the crossover. Have I mentioned how I feel about crossovers?

**(Law and Order: SVU, S16E22 Parent's Nightmare) Baby Noah's tears when Olivia dropped him off at daycare were pretty spot on. I wonder how they pulled that off? But speaking of daycare dropoff. where did Noah's nanny go? -- I loved when they showed the kidnapped boy's mother a terrible grainy photo of not-the-face of the man taking her son from school and were all like "what, you don't recognize the back of this guy's head?" -- I thought for sure that homeless man was going to get setup and interrogated by the police as the suspect. Points for the show fooling me on that one. Never saw the character again. -- They didn't use their typical "these events are fictional" disclaimer to start the episode, but I could have sworn this was "ripped from the headlines." Wasn't there some family, recently, who staged a kidnapping to scare their child into not being so trusting with everyone? -- Olivia: I have to leave early. Hold down the fort. Sonny: You got it. Olivia [pointedly, looking somewhere between amused and disdainful]: No, *you*, Finn.

**(Modern Family, S6E23 Crying Out Loud) Gloria [about Manny's girlfiend whom she does not like]: I know someday I'm going to lose you to another woman and I'll find a way to be ok with it. Manny [doped up on post oral surgery painkillers]:Thanks, Kylie. Gloria [flicking Manny in the forehead]: But not today. -- OMG. Those theater antics with Luke and Phil in shadow form. DIED of laughter. -- Lily showing no feelings and Cam and Mitchell (of course) freaking out over it and trying to elicit emotional responses: also funny.

**(Elementary, S3E22 The Best Way Out Is Always Through) Sherlock [to an offended Watson about female inmates and jail breaks, after he expresses shock that a woman escaped prison]: Those are statistics, Watson. It's not that they fail more. It's that they don't try. -- Sherlock: A spree killer is yet another category dominated by men. Joan [sarcastically]: How *does* she do it. Sherlock: Would you be happy if women were better criminals? -- Marcus [about breaking up with his lady friend]: She's from IA. Sherlock: The great love of my life is a homicidal maniac. No one's perfect. -- Meh case, but Sherlock had me cracking up over and over. The whole Stanley Cup side story was weird. I did like seeing into Bell's personal life a bit.

**(The Blacklist, S2E22 Tom Connolly) Red: I don't need to tell you there is no margin for error. Mr Kaplan: No, you do not. ... I wonder if this (the gathering of hand selected journalists to spill the secrets of the Fulcrum) was the thing he told her she needed to be ready to do, if he hadn't survived his post-op shootout? -- I just like this line. ... Red: In the land of the blind, the one-eyes man is king. -- The car chase scene, with Tom (he'll always be Tom Keen to me) behind the wheel of a Mustang, felt like an extension of the actual commercial they aired at least twice during this episode. Especially with all the close-ups on the Mustang emblem. -- I'm not sure how I feel about Tom and Liz back together, romantically. -- I knew, much earlier in the episode than it was revealed, that Harold had never been sick, that it was all part of making him believe he was sick so the Cabal could manipulate him. I don't know what tipped me off, but I had a strong gut feeling. -- And now we have confirmation of what I knew all along: Red is *not* Liz's father. Following her shooting Connolly (not sorry to see that snake go), when she regained her memory, we now know that she shot her father and Red didn't ever want her to know that. T and I discussed at length, and have formulated a theory (most of which is his, but I am buying it): Red was involved with Katarina Rostova. Whether he was her handler or assigned to her (like Tom was to Liz) or simply met her somewhere before or after he went rogue...that's unclear. But they were involved in some way. Perhaps there was something romantic there, perhaps not, but Liz's father knew of the involvement and didn't like it, leading to the fight Liz remembered them having. Things got ugly, Liz's father started getting violent with Katarina, Lizzie shot him to protect her mother. In a fit of panic, Katarina called Red for help. Red, feeling responsible, arrived on the scene, covered up what Liz did by setting the fire, found little Liz and carried her out to safety. Katarina could be dead...or she could be alive, but part of Red's plan to protect Liz would be that Katarina have no contact with her daughter. Out of guilt, Red has protected and cared for Liz from a distance, all this time, in a father role. And here we are,

**(Chicago Fire, S3E22 Category 5) I find it endlessly confusing that the trucks and house numbers are not the same. Shouldn't House 51 also have Truck 51, Ambulance 51, etc? -- This Otis/Rice thing needs to get resolved. I'm really just over dragging it out. -- This whole Stilettos arc is just falling flat for me. It's obvious Casey is going to get stuck in something ugly and there's too much crossover for me. Blah blah blaaaaah.

**(Chicago Fire, S3E23 Spartacus) Because yelling at each other on the street in front of an entire neighborhood is professional for a bunch of fire fighters. ::eye roll:: -- I called Dawson being pregnant about thirty seconds into this episode. Of the things this show does well, dropping bombshell twists is *not* one of them. -- Really? Hermann and Chili out celebrity stalking to get someone to promote "Chilleez"? Thank God this appears to be the end of that story line. -- Who the heck is that random firefighter appearing in the background of all the squad vs truck face offs? So, we know everyone in the house but that ONE GUY? -- Every season finale, they promo'd "who doesn't make it?? GASP" as The Big Thing. That's getting old and tired as the hook. -- So...I guess we wait til next season to figure out where Casey is and why Katya is all dead in his apartment. This show offers just enough to keep me watching, but never enough for me to be fully engaged.

**(Scandal, S4E22 You Can't Take Command) Damascus? He's calling himself Damascus? Because already being Rowan and Eli isn't enough identities? -- Rowan (or whatever we're calling him now) [to Mellie]: You don't ask me who I am. You ask me what I need. -- Fitz: If it weren't for you, Susan Ross never would have made it to the Oval Office. I blame you for Susan, by the way. Olivia: Susan is a national treasure. Fitz: Susan is a Muppet. ... I laughed *so* hard at that exchange. -- OMG. All the grand jurors, murdered. OMG. (Also, I loathe gratuitous puking on my shows. I get the point that the character is distraught, but I often snack while I watch my shows and blech.) -- I cannot figure out if we should trust Lizzie Bear. Something about her seems sinister. -- Let me get this straight: Jake has had enough loving Olivia who wants "the Sun" and "Vermont" and keeps dangling him along; Quinn has figured out that Huck murdered the B613 Grand Jury and is holding a gun to his head while he begs her to kill him; Fitz has grown a backbone, after learning about Mellie's "inadvertent" involvement in the Grand Jury mass murder, thrown her out of the White House, and fired Cyrus; Olivia found a way to get Rowan behind bars for embezzling funds from the Smithsonian, where he assumed no one cared who Eli was and he could continue to be a scary string puller, but he underestimated his daughter; Mya has worked a deal to be set free; David has washed his hands of everything; and Olivia is now making out with Fitz on the balcony of the White House? That is a *lot* of information.

**(Grey's Anatomy, S11E22 She's Leaving Home) I appreciated all the various ways characters reacted to Derek's death. From Mer collapsing as the reality hits her when she says it out loud to Amelia's "no big deal" (what?? who *says* that??) to Bailey and Ben having "pull the plug vs extraordinary measures" pillow talk. -- When they show someone taking (presumably) Mer's hand at the funeral, was that intended to imply Cristina? Because, no matter how far away you are, you'd be there for the funeral of your Person's husband, who died suddenly and tragically...right? -- I like the repeat cycle of life, how Ellis' ever-turning carousel analogy now applies to Mer, though in a somewhat unique way,'s been weeks since the funeral? That first passage of time was not as clearly indicated as it was through the remainder of the episode. -- I did not expect April to be leaving with Owen when he went to so a tour of military medicine. -- Bailey [uttered as a prayer, regarding Ben]: I did not stab him in the neck with these tweezers. I want that noted. -- Could Catherine and Richard be *any* more different? -- Thumbs up: The way they used long term patients to cover passage of time, while still giving the doctors in Seattle something to do that provides some continuity throughout the episode...but when they are treating burn victims, why, when it's clearly so agonizing, can't they be heavily sedated or twilighted or something? -- I just knew Mer was going to end up pregnant based on that scene when Derek said he wanted another baby and Mer responded "right now?" and then they ahem. I knew it. What a blessing and a curse, while grieving, to have that last piece of him and that constant reminder that it is the last piece of him. -- Owen [to Amelia]: You're not supposed to be managing it. You're supposed to be feeling it. Grief. Loss. Pain. It is normal. -- Perfect touch: Mer finding Derek's ferry scrub cap and wearing it. -- For a long episode that covered a lot of time and ground, it went surprisingly quickly.

**(Grey's Anatomy, S11E23 Time Stops) Oh, look. Another round of baby doctors. I wonder if we'll really get to know any of them or if they will remain peripheral characters. -- Grey's weddings are doomed. There is always an emergency that delays them. -- Yikes. Since returning from the combat zone with Owen, April is very dark and un-April-like. -- Ooo! It's been a long time since there was field trauma. (Wow, it feels ghoulish to be excited by something like that. But I am thoroughly enjoying all the returns to early Grey's that made it so awesome.) -- I love that when Mer is talking to the man trapped in the car and tells him "I've seen worse," she actually *has* seen worse (remember the people with a pole stuck through both of them??). Heck, she's actually been through stuff that might be considered worse. -- I know it's because she refuses to deal with her grief over the loss of Derek, but I cannot emotionally handle Amelia second guessing how Mer handled Derek's accident and death. I felt so angry for Mer in that moment. -- I wonder what was up with that call Maggie appeared to be having with her mom. It seemed a little...hostile? Which isn't the way their relationship has been portrayed up to this point. -- Excellent! April may be dark, but she's also pretty kickass. Bring the whole smooshed car on a flatbed right to the doors of the hospital. -- Sometimes, like Mer, I cannot believe Derek isn't coming back. Intellectually, know he's (well, his character, duh) dead, but it seems unreal. I cannot even wrap my head, much less my heart, around what it feels like to lose the love of your life. The constant flashbacks through their relationship have been executed to perfection.


Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Flower and Garden Fest 2015: Round Four

I bet you all didn't realize it was still Flower and Garden Fest at Epcot. It's actually winding down, so, even though it's better hotter than Hades, I still had some things I was determined to try. Off I went, like a brave little Disney Fest freak.


Kale Salad with Dried Cherries, Almonds, Goat Cheese, and a White Balsamic Vinaigrette.

I have to admit, I wasn't sure what to expect here, as the only time I've ever had kale, it's been cooked. I've been told you either love it or you don't. How was I to know into which camp I belonged without ever trying, right? Turns out, I liked it. It's definitely a strong flavor, but with all the other tastes mixed it -- the creamy goat cheese, the tart cherries, the tang of the dressing -- it all worked very well together. It was a hefty portion as well.

Since I was working on the final remaining items on my list, I just went with whatever I came to next, which was...


Coconut Tres Leches.

Again, no clue what to expect. Just the strong recommendation of a friend. This was pretty incredible. It was a super moist, super dense vanilla cake, similar to a sponge cake but without the airiness. That "frosting" was actually an ice cream. I don't even have the vocabulary to tell you what it was like. It was creamy but...not. Also very dense. And then there was a little toasted coconut. For all the density, though, it wasn't overwhelmingly so. It was actually kind of refreshing.

Moving right along, I found...


Desert Rose (sparkling wine topped with pomegranate liqueur).

...something to drink! And I knew what to expect with this one. It's one of my favorite beverages of this fest. It's bubbly and a little fruity and a tiny bit sweet. I really just like it a whole lot. And nothing else was appealing to me on the menu, so I sipped it solo.

And as I sipped, I made my way to...


Smoked Debreziner Sausage with House-Made Kraut and Mustard.

Sure, this just looks like any old smoked sausage. But it doesn't *taste* like any old smoked sausage. This one has some kickiness. It was tasty, but I was grateful I had also purchased a cool bottle of water. The mustard was amazing -- zippy, not sweet. But the star, for me, was the kraut. This kraut was shredded finely, very juicy, and had caraway seeds in it. This last detail means nothing to you, without understanding that my Gramp used to make his own sauerkraut and he would add caraway seeds to his. I've never seen kraut served this way, other than his, so this was a special nostalgic treat I wasn't at all anticipating.

Smiling to myself, I had one final stop to make.


Limoncello Panna Cotta. Rossini (sparlkling wine and marinated strawberries).

First of all, I tried to get them in the same photo, but I was thwarted twice over. Their difference in size was very challenging (that is a plastic champagne flute with a very long stem that extends beyond the bottom of the photo, and that dessert cup was the size of a slightly oversized shot glass). Also, it was crazy windy, all of a sudden, and I honestly thought it was going to blow my dessert right off the table. So, separate photos. The panna cotta was lovely. Light and silky. Raspberries are my favorite berry, and I've really grown a taste for lemon over the past decade. Perfect combination. The panna cotta was a new menu offering, but the Rossini is a returning beverage. One I have enjoyed quite a bit, in fact. Bubbly and strawberry-y. It's like a mimosa, but with strawberry instead of orange.

The perfect toast to conclude another delightful culinary Fest.


Sunday, May 10, 2015

Snapshot from Along the Broken Road: 2015 - Week 18

Checking in for the week of May 3 through May 9.

One Good Turn (Kate Atkinson) - This being the second book in a series, I wasn't surprised that there are a small army of characters, and, somehow, their stories are bound to intersect. It's often slower going for me, at first, while I get acquainted with each of the (fairly unlikable, yet no less interesting) characters. Then it picks up pace for me after the groundwork has been laid.

Burgers on the grill. Chicken Alfredo lasagna, which is so rich but sooo good. Barbecue ribs and baked beans. Breaded and baked chicken thighs with cauliflower.

Finishing my final round of Flower and Garden Fest at Epcot? Does that count?

Meadow Showers (YC) - I love this scent. It's in the master bedroom and with the candle in the main bathroom (Wind Blown) that end of the house smells exactly like a spring paradise.
Lilac Blossom (YC) - Reminds me of my childhood springs and the huge lilac bush in my grandparents' yard. I don't typically gravitate toward florals, and this one only sparingly, but I always indulge in this one at least one time.
Wind Blown (YC) - This one smells so good -- like fresh air and salt water and dune grass -- that I went ahead and ordered a large jar of it for next spring.
Garden Sweet Pea (YC) - Another floral, but it's soft and subtle, and not at all overwhelming.

Just before sunrise. I took this in my pajamas, standing in the middle of the street. My neighbors must think I'm insane.

Mah lilies! I plant them after they die in their pot each Easter and they multiply!

Probably the last day of 2015 that there will be low enough humidity that my hairs are almost straight.

2pm snack. Ward off the hangry.

Showoff sky.

On fire.

Same sky, but from the backyard view.

Cutest baby fruit ever.


I love when it looks like the clouds are glowing from within.


My Throwback Thursday: 1985. Lessons on marriage from a couple married 61 years. You're never too old to hold hands with your sweetheart. Not even after 45 years of marital bliss. T holds my hand and I love it so much.

Despite that fact that it felt like the surface of the sun outside, I was determined to get in one last round of Flower and Garden Fest.

The magnolias are in bloom.

This was a slush approximately seven minutes earlier. (See? HOT.)

Also hot. (As in sweaty and flushed and ugh.) (Not that you were confusing this with "as in smokin'.")

Les fleurs.


The Tomb Warriors in China. One of my favorites.


Saturday, May 9, 2015

This Week on My TV: May 9, 2015

Disclaimer: Consider the fact that there could be spoilers ahead. You read at your own risk!

**(Reign, S2E19 Abandoned) Kenna, you double standard. You don't want what Bash can give you, so you drive him away, then get jealous when he finds a female friend? -- And Mary, playing both sides. Expecting Francis to show her care and kindness after she's explicitly admitted her affair with Conde, while expecting Conde to be overjoyed that she is no longer willing to leave France with him. -- Narcisse, you player, bedding Catherine, tenderly stroking Lola's cheek. -- Dude. King Louis of England. Dreaming of Queen Mary. While in bed with Queen Elizabeth's proxy. I wonder if this will drive Mary back in to the arms of Francis? And when do we get to see Elizabeth? And who set the fire in attempt to erase the union of Louis and Elizabeth? -- LOL: Narcisse and Catherine each suspicious of the other's scheming.

**(Once Upon a Time, S4E19 Sympathy for the De Vil) David: We told you everything we know. Emma: Are you sure? Because secrets keep coming out. -- Love the twenties flapper scenes! -- Gold: A person obsessed with vengeance is easy to manipulate. -- Emma [to Regina]: Forgive me if I don't take advice from a woman who held a grudge for half her life because a ten year old spilled a secret. -- I was expecting Cruella's story to end on a sweeter note, like Ursula's, which would have been lame. But they through in some excellent twists. She was a deranged killer. She knew Isaac already, who both game her her magical powers (I was wondering about that) and made it impossible for her to kill anyone ever again. And I love that her hair came about as a result of mixing the magic ink with her blonde locks. -- Is the woods around Storybrooke ever not foggy? -- Emma was looking rough this episode. Is the internal battle between darkness and light taking an outward toll?

**(Law and Order: SVU, S16E20 Daydream Believer (3)) I've said it before and I'll say it again: I. Hate. Cross over. Episodes. I refuse to watch the Chicago PD portion, and T doesn't watch Chicago Fire, so we're watching all out of order. They annoy me. -- Why is it, on these shows, that when the bad guy puts tape over the mouth mouth of his victim, he can peel it off to allow them to speak, but then stick it right back on again? Does it never lose its stickiness? And why does it's look so stiff? And if it's so easy to peel off, why don't the victims try to catch the edge on something, peel it off, and then scream like banshees? -- This episode was a little too much like William Lewis. Only in dreaded cross-over format. Get a new story, SVU. -- I had to wonder how Yates was going to get on the stand for questioning when his was representing himself. One could look quite insane, asking and answering his own questions while on the stand. I guess that was why he had to have co-counsel?

**(Mom, S2E22 Fun Girl Stuff and Eternal Salvation) Have mercy. I don't think I could have slept in that guest bedroom at Jill's house. That decor was so bright, it was practically generating a hum. -- Hilarity: Christy trying to find someplace to stay when she told Bonnie she was moving out. -- I'm kind of wondering if they are trying to slim down the cast a bit, now that they have Violet engaged and living with her fiance, not to mention Roscoe's latest request to live with his dad.

**(Mike and Molly, S5E20 Fight To The Finish) Molly: ...or have an anxiety attack because you found a key and you don't know what it opens. Peggy: A key without a lock opens the Devil's door. Everyone knows that. -- Mike learning about "what women want" was very cliche and it wasn't too difficult to tell that Peggy was stalling on wrapping up the book because she didn't want to stop working on it with Molly. Both were handled with humor, though, if not originality. -- When Molly showed up at home, silly drunk, all I could think was: did she drive like that??

**(The Good Wife, S6E21 Don't Fail) Finn! I am fully on board with Alicia maintaining her friendship there, at the very least.-- Alicia [to Finn on why she "couldn't" take the Tatro case]: I'm having a crisis of confidence and it's taking up all my time. -- Guy Being Interviewed: What's your name? Kalinda: Kalinda. Guy: Kalinda what? Kalinda: Kalinda none of your business. ... ::snort:: -- I thought the flashback style scenes were done exceptionally well. In fact, if I didn't know better (because I checked) I never would have known they weren't actual footage from an early season. They did an excellent job with continuity and making the cast look a good five years younger. -- Kalinda's vanishing act has really hit Cary hard. -- This is what I've been saying Alicia: go into business with Finn! -- Of course Zach wants to come home the second Alicia dismantles his bedroom, turning it into her new office. -- I wonder if this new lawyer, Amber, will be sticking around? Maybe she could work with Alicia and Finn. -- Are we seriously never going to learn what was in that note Kalinda left for Alicia??? -- After watching the previews, I wonder who was at the door? Based on Alicia's reaction, I hope it wasn't Finn.

**(The Middle, S6E23 Mother's Day Reservations) I remember the yellow pants! This show really does a good job with connecting certain details from season to season with the holiday episodes. -- Awww. I was hoping for another scene or two with Sue's new beau. -- LOL! Mike trying to make online reservations for the Mother's Day tea.

**(Modern Family, S6E22 Patriot Games) Gloria: Did you know, once I pass, I can serve on a jury? They still use the electric chair, right? -- OMG LOL: Gloria's American accent. -- While sweet and entertaining, the kissing between Alex and Sanjay looked...terrible. As in, neither of them had a clue.

**(The Big Bang Theory, S8E24 The Commitment Determination) As shocking as it was to see Amy and Sheldon making out on the couch, did anyone else notice when he leaned back in for more after asking Amy whether or not he should commit to a new show?! -- Leonard: That was really intense. Penny: Well, now we know next time we go to the farmers' market, the order is petting zoo first, then buy vegetables. -- Sheldon: We were necking the couch like a couple of hooligans under the bleachers. ... Oh, Sheldon. LOL! -- Penny [to Leonard]: That's even dumber than you wondering if being bitten by a goat will give you the powers of a goat. Sheldon: If that happens, don't make me wait ten years to watch you eat a tin can. -- Penny: I don't think she's wrong about you going too slow in the relationship. Sheldon: Too slow?? Penny: Yeah, you've been going out for years. You haven't even slept together. Sheldon: That's right. It's called foreplay. -- Emily: Are you breaking up with me? Raj: No, I'm just pointing out that you're dark on the inside and I'm dark on the outside. -- Oh, Penny, you just need to get over it. So Leonard kissed another girl once. ::eye roll:: -- Holy season finale cliffhanger! OMG, you could have knocked me over with a feather when Sheldon pulled out that box full of engagement ring he got for Amy. Fight for your lady, Sheldon!! -- So, we end the season with all sorts of relationships at crossroads. Will Raj work things out with Emily, despite her dark side? Will Stuart be forced to move out on his own rather than continuing to live with Howard and Bernadette? Will Penny and Leonard go through with their Vegas wedding plans? Will Amy break things off with Sheldon or will he actually propose? This show is almost always good for a laugh, but it is at its very best when it plays the sentimentality card or drops a major bombshell. This time it did both. Can't wait for the fall to see where this all goes!

**(Reign, S2E19 Abandoned) As Kenna is daydreaming about Renaude, I'm glad they don't have access to phones. It offers a suspense that we lack in modern times: instant gratification is far more challenging to come across. -- I didn't think that I would, but I really enjoy the dynamic between Leith and Claude. Their differences play off one another so well on the screen. -- Leith [to Claude]: One thing I will never do is risk getting on Catherine de Medici's bad side. Claude: You'd rather get on my bad side? Leith [snort chuckles]: A million times,YES. -- It was good to see Greer and Mary together again. -- Catherine is onto something with Narcisse turning Lola down. I think he truly may care for his own way. -- So is this going to be goodbye to Conde? -- Narcisse [to Lola]: I say a great many things. Your mistake was in trusting me. ... OMG, it was actually killing him to destroy her trust and reputation in order to appease Catherine. -- Leith [to Claude, who is lashing out because she got her feelings after being rebuffed romantically]: Why do you think I tried to take that scabbard? To buy her an annullment so that we could be married. Only it costs a fortune, more than I'll ever have. But I will do whatever it takes to hold her in my arms and call her my wife. I know you've had a disappointment. But you are so young. Think of all the time you have to meet your true love. And when you do, becareful of your tempr. It's so easy to drive love away. -- I realize being human means weakness, but I don't like that they've Mary so weak when it comes to Conde. -- Greer really is doing quite well for herself as a madam, but she tore out Leith's heart in the process of choosing independence over love. -- Bash had some harsh truth for Mary that the only person who can withstand her love is a king. He knows, better than anyone else, that anyone beneath her in power can never truly have her. -- I found it interesting that Mary approached Francis dressed in black, like mourning, when she was attempting to reach out romantically. -- Louis of France? Is he really going to try to push Francis off the throne in order to get Mary??

**(The Blacklist, S2E21 Karakurt) Tom (or Jake or whoever he wants to be now) cannot honestly think that boat thing is ever going to be a viable option for Liz, can he? -- This show uses a lot of biological warfare. -- Red: Oh, the boy knows more than doodle, Brimley. -- Liz is getting way too emotional. It's clouding her judgment and making it impossibly difficult to take her seriously. -- Katarina Rostova, a myth...wha?? -- How does Red just make up stories off the ciff like that and make them sound so believable?! -- Red [to Harold]: What good are ethics if you aren't alive to live by them? -- T wants to know how Red got shot, had major surgery, and has all but recovered, yet Caul's neck is still bleeding from that cut he received long before Red was shot. -- T and I both shouted NOOOOOOO in that slow-mo voice when Liz was racing toward the Senator to keep him from shaking hands with Karakurt. -- Red: Relax. If I had bad intentions for this visit, you'd know by  now. ... At least he's up front. -- OMG. I bet Red infected Liz when he attacked her at Union Station. That's how *she* ended up infecting the Senator. And now they are coming to get her because they think *she* is a Russian spy!! The Cabal was asking about a child of Katarina Rostova, which, assuming she isn't actually just a myth, would be Lizzie! Aaaahhhhhhh! I need the season finale NOW!!

**(Person of Interest, S4E22 YHWH) Root [standing in front of a police SUV]: C'mon, get in the car. Mr Finch: Are you out of your mind? Root: Since when has that been relevant? -- Oh, Mr Reese, you and that intense raspy Clint Eastwood whisper. -- Who was that sniper guy?? They definitely made a point of Mr Reese noticing him when Elias and Dominic were being loaded into the police van. He's got to be associated with Samaritan, right? -- So...after all that cheesiness of trying to download the basic DNA of the Machine into that briefcase of chips, is it alive or dead? And that was one thick slab of cheese with the Machine and Mr Finch schmooping all over each other as the sparks flew and bullets rained down. -- Boy, they sure cleaned house. Elias is dead. Dominic is dead. Control is being hauled away to be dropped in some deep dark hole. Shaw remains MIA. -- If there's one thing this show does well, it's remember its mythology. I had to look them up, but Caleb was once a Number that Mr Finch saved and I knew Thornhill was something important, which of course it was: the name of the person who doesn't really exist because he was created by the Machine to store its memories before it rebooted every night. Nice tie-ins. -- Something I rarely get with this show is what the names of its episodes mean.

**(Law and Order: SVU, S16E21 Perverted Justice) My top three least favorite types of tv episodes: crossovers between multiple shows (even if I watch both shows already); episodes "ripped from the headlines"; and procedurals with a case-of-the-week that reaches no resolution. This was type three. It was actually a pretty engaging episode...right up until they reached the final scene. "We did the right thing." "Did we?" Liv watches the daughter hug her father with a questionable tear rolling down her cheek. Did he assault her when she was a child? Was it really all a lie fabricated by her mother? She just. can't. remember. ARG.


Sunday, May 3, 2015

Snapshot from Along the Broken Road: 2015 - Week 17

Checking in for the week of April 26 through May 2.

Moving the Chains: Tom Brady and the Pursuit of Everything (Charles P. Pierce) - Well, here's the thing. I've always appreciated what Brady has done for my team, but I've never been a huge fan of *him*. So, I thought I would learn a little about him and see if that would change my mind some. And it did. Taken with a grain of salt, he seems like a decent guy, for the most part. He certainly works hard, and I appreciate his attitude. That being said, this author did very little to engage a reader who is NOT a Patriots fan. In fact, if I were the fan of another team, I would have been turned off by the author more than anything else. There was a lot of slurping all over Brady and the Patriots, almost a tone of disdain, that even as a Patriots fan, I found a bit distasteful. (We won't even discuss how scornful he speaks of baseball, which didn't sit well with me.) The writing, itself, was ok-ish. Sometimes he over-explained references he made, other times he just assumed the reader knew who some obscure person was without a single descriptor or deeper identification. The other thing that I found a little disconcerting was the way the author told the "story" of the 2005 Patriots season, while linking each game or two to something in Brady's personal history. Some of these links were a stretch, at best, and some were just downright jolting in the jumps back and forth through time. Overall, I'd give Tom's story a solid four stars, but this author's failure to be objective through most of the book, combined with the way he chose to tell Tom's story, are what I rated a generous three.
One Good Turn (Kate Atkinson) - Just started this one. Her books have a lot of characters whose stories all seem to intersect (I'm surmising , based on what little I've read so far, and the fact that this is the second in a series), so right now, I'm learning who everyone is still.

T roasted up a whole chicken, which we had with stuffing and some sweet peas. He also put a corned beef brisket in the slow cooker, and we had some boiled potatoes (with butter, salt, and some fresh parsley) and some green beans on the side -- I scored big time in the husband department! We made some BLTs one night, some fish sandwiches another night, and had tacos on Friday. Monday was the big deal, though: we tried a new (to our kitchen, not our taste buds) recipe for the Fisherman's Pie that they serve at Epcot's Food and Wine Fest. Oh. My. Rich and decadent and so good. Saturday, we stopped at Rainforest Cafe for lunch while we were at Animal Kingdom.

Finally got up to WDW to get T's Annual Pass renewed. Sneaking in under the wire on this one. It expires next weekend! Gee, it's such tough luck when your To Do List has items like this to cross off, huh?

Meadow Showers (YC) - I love this. It's fresh and green, like the outside smells after rain, and we have a whole large jar of it to enjoy.
Midnight Jasmine (YC) - Pretending I can smell orange blossoms.

Trying my hand at a house plant. (Please, don't let me kill it. Poor thing.)


This unseasonably cool weather is such a gift.

Those sunrise colors make me all swoony.

New calendar art! Funny thing: for all the trips I've made to California, all I've ever really seen of Los Angeles has been the airport or driving through it.

Golden warm light waking up my kitchen.

Enjoying the fantastic weather on a WDW date (had to renew his annual pass). Heading out for our "two week" safari.

There's a baby pelican in that nest, all fuzzy and white, trying to pretend he hasn't almost outgrown it.

This day really was this stunning. Also: flamingos.

Coolest horns on the safari.

Meerkats get watermelon!

Mama and baby.

When you're at WDW, don't forget to look up sometimes too. Details are every direction.

Harambe Village.

I never get to park in Yeti! (These are the ridiculous things local passholders who are in the parks dozens of times per year get excited over.)



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