Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Snapshot from Along the Broken Road: September 2013

A photo of me:

1) Candle scents* this month:
Pink Sands. Napa Valley Sun. Coconut Bay. Sun and Sand. Honeydew Melon. Sunflower. Island Spa. Orange Dreamsicle. Cherry Lemonade.

2) What I am reading this month (you can find me on Goodreads!):
I had only scratched the surface of Baseball as a Road to God: Seeing Beyond the Game (John Sexton) in the last couple days of August, so I didn't really get into the meat until September. This was a really interesting book, paralleling some of the nuances of being religious with being a baseball fan. It was a really interesting way to view baseball, not *as* a religion but in the ways being a fan holds similar qualities to being religious. I was fascinated and identified with much of what he said. The Light Between Oceans (M.L. Stedman) - Quite possibly one of my favorite novels read in 2013. It was heartbreaking and beautiful, and the deeper into I got, the faster I wanted to read. I came away with several favorite quotes, and I will be on the lookout for more books by this author (this was her debut novel). The Secret Lives of Dresses (Erin McKean) - A much lighter book than the first two I read this month. It was fluffy chick lit, but had some good messages. Overall, a satisfying, if not earth shattering, read. Crops and Robbers (Paige Shelton) - Third in the Farmer's Market cozy mystery series, and quite possibly my favorite of the three! It kept me guessing right til the big reveal and I didn't want to put it down. There was one tantalizing thread left dangling that will have me wondering until I can get to book four! Winding up the month with a book that's been on my "to read" shelf since 2009: That Old Cape Magic (Richard Russo) - I have a whopping seventeen pages left to read and I'm actually kind of annoyed not to have finished it.

3) Three things on my mind:
1. On the evening of September 17, I watched Koji Uehara (the Red Sox closer) blow a save in the top of the ninth inning. This seems more like something you'd want to forget about your favorite baseball team, but quite the contrary in this case. You see, Koji took over the role of closer on June 26. Over the course of the next twelve weeks, he would blow only two save opportunities out of twenty (he'd get no decision in one of those games, as the Sox would go on to lose in Anaheim on July 6, but on June 30, he would still come away with a win against the Blue Jays), in addition to earning three other wins; September 17 would be his only loss. During the run, he would complete 30.1 scoreless innings over 27 outings (from July 6 through September 16), retiring a Red Sox record 37 batters in a row (24 by way of the strikeout -- between August 4 and Septmber 16) without a giving up a single hit (he would be charged with only two walks since becoming the closer at the end of June), and averaging just over four pitches per out. *After* giving up a leadoff triple on a ball hit to deep center (the runner would later score on a fly out to right), he maintained his composure and recorded the next three outs without incident. It has been so much fun watching the 2013 incarnation of the Boston Red Sox, even in rare moments of failure, that it's impossible not to celebrate such a magnificent stretch of baseball.
2. I'm not sure why, if I don't explicitly ask, there are people who wish to foist their personal choices upon me "for my own good." I'm a grown woman. If I want more information about your choices, I will make a direct effort to inquire. Having you ram it down my throat on Twitter or Facebook or Pinterest or Instagram (or ALL of the above) all the live long day will result in my blocking you from my timelines and little else. Back off with your preachy-ness and your lifestyle snobbery!
3. The other day, T actually apologized for me for being inconsiderate about when he cleaned the shower. ::tires squealing:: There are so many things wrong with that, I don't even know where to start. You see, he had sprinkled some cleaner in the shower before I was finished getting ready for church. The cleaner is a little stinky, but not unbearable by any means. I was no more than five minutes away from being ready. And my husband, who not only *always* cleans the shower (a task I loathe), he does it without *ever* being asked. And he's apologizing to me? I lead a charmed life.

4) Movies I saw:
Ha, movies. The Red Sox are headed to the post-season and playing for the best record in the American League. Meaningful football has started. Shows are picking up again after the summer hiatus. No time for movies!

5) Calendar image for the month:
This just makes me feel hot. I've got enough of that outside. I don't need my calendar to make a contribution.

The only thing more purty than The Monstah is The Monstah all dressed up in stars and stripes.

6) New recipe tried this month:
This was a big month in the kitchen. Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies.  Baked Acorn Squash. Late Summer Cherry Goat Cheese Salad. Maple Balsamic Dressing. Pickled Beets.

7) Restaurants where I ate:
Bob Evans. Wendy's. Longhorn Steakhouse.

8) Five things I am loving this month:
1. The three new end tables (one is technically a coffee table, I suppose, given its size but we use it as an end table too, because it better suits our needs -- both our couch and loveseat have recliners, so a traditionally used coffee table wouldn't work in our living room anyway) that T built to match the entertainment center and bench.
2. The inscription on the plaque for one of the gifts the Red Sox gave Mariano Rivera on his last visit to Fenway before he retires at the end of the season. (This particular gift was the pitching rubber from the visiting team's bullpen.): "We tip our cap to Mariano Rivera: a true gentleman, a fierce competitor and a worthy opponent." I couldn't have said it better myself. Tremendous respect for the best closer I may ever witness in my lifetime, even though he played for our hated rival Yankees, and one of the classiest professional athletes there is.
3. Pumpkin donuts and pumpkin muffins are back at Dunkin' Donuts.
4. Planning for Food and Wine Fest. I still get so excited!
5. One year married. We're still laughing and I still thoroughly enjoy spending time with him. I don't know what I ever did to deserve a life this good.

9) Three goals I had this month and three goals for next month:
1. September *and* October issues of my magazines perused. Five issues from The Stack out into recycling. (Well... six old ones made it out to recycling and I did get through all of September, but only one of October. Half a success?)
2. Make the pickled beets. (Done! And they were *excellent*. And so much easier that I expected, so I really don't know why I waited so long.)
3. Find a lamp I like for the living room, since the last of the furniture for that room is being built as week speak! We're going from two tables and a wooden tv tray to three tables that will match each other and the entertainment center and bench. Right now, there are two matching lamps, but a third coordinating lamp must be procured, now that there will be a third table sturdy enough to hold it. (It is really difficult for me to find a lamp I like, apparently. At least one I like that doesn't require taking out a small loan to purchase. The search continues.)

1. October and November issues of magazines perused. At this point, I'll settle for being current and tackling The Stack after that.
2. Get the guest room ready for its inaugural occupant and get a few more mums planted to fill out the flower garden.
3. Keep looking for the elusive lamp that I like for the living room that come with a side of sticker shock.

10) Something I learned:
You're supposed to shake the bottle of Downy fabric softener before you pour it. I've been doing laundry since 1984. Not sure how I missed this part of the instructions all this time.

11) The best part of this month and the worst part of this month:
The best: Went to two Sox games in Tampa (St Pete, whatever) with T. Spent the night in our usual hotel, just a couple of miles from the Trop. Wandered over to the Florida Aquarium in Tampa to kill some time. Conclusion: The Sox won both games and I really really enjoy spending time with my husband.
The worst: T went to Pennsylvania to spend a few days with his family. I slept like poo the entire time he was away.

12) A photo I took this month:

*All scents are Yankee Candle, unless otherwise noted.

0 with their own thoughts:

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