Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Snapshot from Along the Broken Road: June 2014

A photo of me:

1) Candle scents* this month:
Vanilla Cupcake. Ocean Blossom. Tulips. Fresh Mint. Pink Lady Slipper. Spring Day. Pink Sands. Lilac Blossoms. Beach Wood. Blue Hydrangea.

2) What I am reading this month (you can find me on Goodreads!):
Eat, Pray, Love (Elizabeth Gilbert) - I finished this book in the same place I started it: wondering whether I would fall into the "loved it" camp or with those who couldn't stand it. Setting aside that the author and I differ in our religious beliefs -- because whether or not I agree with someone on any topic, I can still find reading and learning about it interesting, if it's presented in an interesting manner -- there were some really beautiful and profound statements made in this book, but there were some other statements and behaviors and choices that felt deeply selfish in a not-so-nice way. There was a sense of...lack of ownership. Sure, she beat herself up over her failures, but then she decided to simply dismiss them, or so it came across. I do believe that we need to do this self-shaming and then acceptance and moving on, in order to be healthy, but I think we also have to show that we *learned* from it, to be a better person, to try hard not to repeat that which brought us shame and pain. I'm not sure I ever got that feeling from her, though, and that bothers me. So, I came full circle since picking up this book. It was interesting, but I didn't feel like I especially liked her enough to wish we'd be friends, in part because I really wished I could smack her half the time I was reading. For someone who supposedly ended up so grounded, she sure felt like she always stayed flighty and uncommitted to anything, really. And I think there are times when we need to make a stand for *something*, not just say "for right now, while it suits me..." about *everything*.
Toxic Bachelors (Danielle Steel) - I have to admit, I like her older stuff better. I feel as though she spends a lot of time either repeating herself or with incomplete thoughts and character development. This wasn't unreadable, nor were the characters unlikable, I just didn't feel pulled in like I did with her stories from the 90s. I also wonder why none of her characters is ever average or even just really good at something, instead of always be the best of this or the most talented that. It makes it difficult to love any one character when they come off as perfect.
Murder in the Smithsonian (Margaret Truman) - About a third of the way through this one and it's creeping me out!

3) Movies I saw:
When did I last watch a movie??

4) Calendar image for the month:

I feel like I can feel the smallest breeze gentle on the tree branches. The quiet slap-pat of the oars pushing the rowboat across the pond. The whir of katydids. The rapid fire whistle of air as the crane picks up speed after takeoff.

5) New recipes tried this month:
I guess we were too hot for new recipes this month.

6) Restaurants where I ate:
We ate at home. All month. (See goals.)

7) Five things I am loving this month:
1. Rain. There still hasn't been enough of it, but any day I don't have to water the green things is a blessing. I don't have to find the ambition to be outside in the heat and I don't have to pay for the water.
2. My new laptop. It's so sleek and light!
3. Being "forced" to use a paid day off -- use it or lose it! and I've earned it, so I'm NOT losing it -- which gave me a bonus three day weekend.
4. Pasta salad. One of my favorite summer foods.
5. The Red Sox actually winning two out of three against the Yankees, in New York.

8) Three goals I had this month and three goals for next month:
1. This is less of a tangible To Do List goal and more of a buckle down sort. After the expenses of the bathroom project, we want to keep extraneous spending to a minimum for a while. Replenish the coffers, so to speak. (Off to a decent start. Another couple of months being especially disciplined, and that will do the job, I'm thinking. I like seeing discipline pay off...literally!)
2. Make sure I dine at Kouzzina on Disney's Boardwalk one more time before they close for good. (Had good intentions and reservations, but they fell through at the last minute. Will have to try again.)
3. The magic magazine number for this month: fifteen. (DONE!!)

1. I have some filing that needs to get done. I keep moving the pile around, but that's not helping. I need to just bite the bullet.
2. Replace the spring flowers in the flower garden. They're looking pretty pathetic, not being designed to thrive in Florida's summer.
3. Going big this time: twenty magazines!

9) The best part of this month and the worst part of this month:
The best: Ummm...we're a month closer to the end of summer? (Yes, I'm lame.We're also near record high temperatures this month. Imagine what *that* means in a climate like Florida's.)
The worst: There are four more months of summer to go. ::weeps::

10) A photo I took this month:

I love dramatic skies. Look at the contrast between the storm clouds moving in and the light just off to the right and how it makes the church steeple glow.

*All scents are Yankee Candle, unless otherwise noted.

0 with their own thoughts:

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