Saturday, March 1, 2014

Snapshot from Along the Broken Road: February 2014

A photo of me:

1) Candle scents* this month:
Peppermint Swirls. French Vanilla. Christmas Garland. Snowflake Cookie. Gingerbread. Red Velvet. Merry Marshmallow. Sparkling Snow. Peppermint Bark.

2) What I am reading this month (you can find me on Goodreads!):
Dave Berry's Complete Guide to Guys (Dave Berry) - There was no profound knowledge gained from reading this book, but man, is that some amusing reading when you work with almost exclusively men. Sometimes, all you really need is a good chuckle.
My Husband's Sweethearts (Bridget Asher) - I ended up enjoying this book far more than I expected to. There wasn't a single character I didn't like. It seemed as if the story should be sad or harsh, but it wasn't. It was very...real. The emotions were honest: sometimes sharp, sometimes confusing, something surprising, always complicated -- as emotions often are -- and the reactions were very identifiable. Much less about life and death than the description might have lead me to believe, and far more about betrayal, honesty, forgiveness, and learning to "feel all of it." So many times I found myself laughing and nodding, even as some sentence fragment struck a resonating cord deep in my psyche, right down to the final words: "...we will spend this long afternoon crying and laughing at the same time, so much so that I can no longer tell which one is the truest form of grief."
Wizard and Glass (Stephen King) - Whoa. Amazingly well-told story of young Roland and how he came upon his quest to find The Dark Tower. The story was sad and complicated, but even in its flashback style, it fit with the Roland we've come to know in the first three books. Questions are answered (some of them) and things have definitely taken more turns for the strange, but even in "going backward," temporarily, the story has moved forward.
From a Distance (Tamera Alexander) - I started the book, hoping to enjoy it (obviously), but I was unprepared for just how invested I became in the story and the characters. The book's description does it no justice. There was romance and humor, faith lessons and a little mystery. It was all very engaging and relate-able. The ending even surprised me by making me tear up! I am looking forward to reading the other two books in the series, as well as more by this new-to-me author.
A Tale of Two Cities (Charles Dickens) - A while back, I decided to re-read some of the books I was forced to read in school. I'm not much of a rebel, but the quickest way to get me to buck and squirm is to make me read something. I will immediately decide I didn't like it, even though what I didn't like was that it wasn't my choice. So, I am re-reading them to form real opinions and not those based on the grouchiness inspired by required reading. As the month winds down, I am just starting the next book on that list.

3) Movies I saw:
Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit - It won't win any awards, but it was a fun action movie.

4) Calendar image for the month:

A little confession: I insist on continuing to get the Four Seasons Lang calendar every year, not only because I need to bring a sense of traditional seasons into my world where ever possible, what with living in the land of Hot, Hot and Humid, Hurricane, and Heaven, but I am really kind of obsessed with the old farm houses and fences.

5) New recipe tried this month:
Full disclosure: We made Sea Scallops and Parmesan Angel Hair one other time, but we felt the recipe needed a little tweaking. I think we finally have it adjusted the way we want it now.

6) Restaurants where I ate:
Olive Garden. Bob Evans (breakfast date!). Five Guys.

7) Five things I am loving this month:
1. For Christmas, T got me one of those little beanbag things for the Garmin. No more balancing it on the extended ashtray/drawer thing or trying to see it over on the passenger seat!
2. I don't know what's "in" or not, but I am loving the heck out of some almost-silver grey eye shadow, with just a tiny bit of black eyeliner and some mascara.
3. Seeing baseball activity in my social media feeds. It doesn't even have to be Red Sox to make me happy that it's taking place.
4. 101 free photos from Shutterfly. I love when they run that deal! Prime opportunity to get some happy mail out to some unsuspecting folks. There's nothing like a little fun mail showing up in the stack of junk and bills, in my opinion.
5. I miss my glorious master shower, while it's under renovation, but I do kind of like only having to clean one bathroom, for the time being.

8) Three goals I had this month and three goals for next month:
1. I need to decide on new towels to coordinate with our remodeled bathroom color scheme. I look at them every time I go into Target. It's time to make a decision. (I have them all picked out. I even brought some tile with me to hold against them! Now I just need to wait for them to go on sale...hopefully, before the bathroom is complete.)
2. Get the DVR down below 30% while most of my shows are on hiatus during the Olympics. Baseball season is fast approaching and I can't be running at 80% capacity! (You may disagree, but I am counting this as a success.)

3. More magazines. More progress. (Totally rocked it this month! Fifteen magazines out in the recycling! BAM.)

1. Next bathroom decision: I need some sort of fabric to cover the cornice over the small window.
2. Fifteen magazines out last month? How about sixteen in March!
3. I need to weed some clothes out of my closet. There are some I haven't worn since we moved into the house and others that simply need to be retired and replaced. My wardrobe may require a little updating soon.

9) The best part of this month and the worst part of this month:
The best: A couple of good phone calls with Heather, just catching up and laughing.
The worst: Oh, it was a pretty slow month on this front. (Not that I'm complaining!) Maybe the twenty minutes I spent realizing what an unwatchable show "Rake" is? There's a third of an hour I'll never get back.

10) A photo I took this month:

Winter-in-Florida gives me a little taste of autumn-in-New-England. I kind of love that.

*All scents are Yankee Candle, unless otherwise noted.

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