Friday, February 1, 2013

Snapshot from Along the Broken Road: January 2013

A photo of me:

1) Candle scents this month:
Christmas Cupcake. Welcome Christmas. Balsam and Cedar. Red Berry and Cedar. Holiday Bayberry. Christmas Wreath. Sugared Apple. Holiday Sage. Cherries on Snow. French Vanilla. Christmas Cookie. Red Velvet. Peppermint Bark. Gingerbread. Sparkling Snow.

2) What I am reading this month:
The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett) is a good book. I am 38% finished (according to Goodreads) (if you read and you're not on Goodreads, you should get yourself over there) and it's moving steadily along. It's just *long*. Nearly 1000 pages long. Some of it is vicious and sad, but the story keeps pulling me along through those parts. There are so many characters in this book, and part of its length comes from the fact that you seem to get to know many of them. For a while, I was trying to figure out who the main character is supposed to be, but now I am thinking it's less about that and more about "the time and place" as it relates to the various people. I dunno. I'm curious to see what happens next, anyway. Knuckleball: My Life with Baseball's Most Confounding Pitch (Tim Wakefield with Tony Massarotti) is collecting dust. You're next up, Wakey, I promise!

3) Three things on my mind:
1. I am so tired of hearing about Beyonce and the National Anthem, Manti Teo and the hoax, Ray Lewis, and the MJ/Bubba the Love Sponge trial. I feel like we examine these "news stories" from at least three different angles every broadcast.
2. It's kind of not fair that guys don't have to go through the name-changing hassle after they get married. Holy heck, what an adventure this has been.
3. I have successfully managed to keep more than one plant alive for longer than two weeks. This is a personal achievement I never thought I would see. I check my little babies every day. I keep the little informational picks that come in the little flats to make sure I get them enough sun and not too much water. I have no idea how this comes naturally for some people (if it's a genetic trait, I missed out on that one, since my Gram and Gramp could both grow anything), because it sure doesn't come easy for me!

4) Movies I saw:
True Grit - We own this one and it bears watching more than once. Jack Reacher - Saw this one in the theater. It was an action/suspense flick and actually surprised me with a couple of twists. T had some key points figured out, though. I don't know how he does it, but he can usually pick up on details like that.

5) Calendar image for the month:
This one is at home, where I keep up with my "seasons." That looks like a cold, soggy snow, doesn't it?

And this one is at work, where I proclaim my Red Sox love, loud and clear.

6) New recipe tried this month:
Goal to try at least two new recipes per month? How about *six*! Roasted Parmesan Green Beans. Turkey Pot Pie Soup (thank you leftover Thanksgiving turkey in the freezer!). Three Envelope Roast. Baked Spaghetti. Loaded Baked Potato Soup. And a recipe for slow cooker beef and broccoli that was deemed inedible and we ended up getting some takeout for dinner instead -- hey, you win some, you lose some, when you try new recipes! Just keeping it real. No sense pretending that everything that comes out of our kitchen is a culinary wonder. Some recipes need some tweaking. Some recipes require mastering an unfamiliar skill or just getting comfortable with the flow of executing the tasks. And some are just...not good.

7) Restaurants where I ate:
Bob Evans. Olive Garden. Columbia Harbour House (Magic Kingdom). Golden Corral.

8) Five things I am loving this month:
1. The days we have cooler, more seasonally-appropriate weather. We've had a January in which 14 of the first 16 days either broke, tied or fell one degree short of a heat record. It got better the second half of the month though. Still some 80s, but not as many as the first half. It's difficult to explain to people who don't live in this type of climate, but when it's hot most of the year, you really look forward to the times when it isn't. I enjoy and am grateful for the cool days.
2. The prompts for the new photo-a-day challenge I am doing this year. Inspiring and a little challenging, instead of confusing, frustrating or inapplicable to my life.
3. Our new hickory floor in the dining room. I love that we are making this house ours!
4. Finding a new morning routine that works even better than the old one.
5. A nod to Valentines Day landscaping on Main Street USA at Magic Kingdom...

...that inspired the new inhabitants in my front door planter.

9) A goal I had for this month:
Stay on target with my goals for 2013. I've been clicking through on more blog posts, but not all of them, and I am not quite up to 10 comments per day, but I am rapidly catching up to being current, when those things will be easier and more relevant. One week, I only blogged three times instead of four, but other weeks I blogged more, so we'll call it balanced out. Tried more than two new recipes. I have the parts for a Pinterest project, but I haven't done it yet. I've been reading which is making progress on that 20-book goal, even though I haven't finished any books yet in 2013. I did not miss a single day taking a photo and I have scanned in a couple more old photos. A new cleaning routine has been implemented and I have stayed almost on track; on days I've been unmotivated to do that day's task, I've gotten to it the following day, no excuses. I have made a wee bit of progress with my stack of magazines, but I need to buckle down there. No progress yet on the home-owner's binder.

10) This month I looked forward to:
Cooler weather and checking out New Fantasyland. The latter was a bust. The former was difficult to come by.

11) Something that made me laugh this month:
Playing in the Photo Booth app on my new iPad. We laughed so hard!

12) A photo I took this month:

0 with their own thoughts:

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