Sunday, December 6, 2015

Snapshot from Along the Broken Road: 2015 - Week 48

Checking in for the week of November 29 through December 5.

When Will There Be Good News? (Kate Atkinson) - Plugging away.

Ordered a pizza to be ready for pickup as we were arriving in town from the drive home from Virginia Thanksgiving. Tilapia served with wild rice and zucchini. Grilled cheese and tomato soup. Barbecue chicken, mashed potatoes and corn. BLTS.

Cinnamon Frosting (BBW)
Pumpkin Cinnamon Bun (BBW) - You know a candle smells delicious when you walk into your bedroom and immediately want a cinnamon bun.
Mandarin Cranberry (YC) - I love how "zingy" this scent is! It's refreshing.
Cinnamon Sugar (YC) - Donuts. That's exactly what this makes me think of.
Candy Corn (YC) - No false advertising here!
Brandy Pear Tart (YC) - I wasn't sure what to expect from this one, but I definitely detect both brandy and pears. A very warm and cozy scent.

As we set out for Florida, early Sunday morning, I could tell the sky was priming for one heck of a show. I kept peering through the windows, craning my neck, stalking the sunrise. And, did not disappoint.

It was a long (long) (loooong) return trip. I would've said "make it stop," but really, that was the whole problem.

I can't wait to see what this gorgeous eight foot beast looks like all lit up. Also? It smells like heaven in here.

December already. 2015 almost over.

Rain washed.


I'm always a little bit tempted just to leave it like this.

Peace on earth.

Every country's Christmas is perfectly themed. Mexico is so festive!

Feliz Navidad!

Managed to see the new ending before the line stretched out of the pavilion and down the sidewalk.

While doing a little Christmas shopping in Mexico, I learned my name in Spanish! The Cast Members at EPCOT can be such a hidden gem.

Good thing Frosty isn't made of snow. It's in the upper 80s. Still.


Gingerbread Capitol!

Decided it was long past time I tried L'Artisan des Glaces. Caramel Fleur de Sel. Pretty sure that's French for delicious.



Sunday, November 29, 2015

Snapshot from Along the Broken Road: 2015 - Week 47

Checking in for the week of November 22 through November 28.

Luther: Biography of a Reformer (Frederick Nohl) - A bit dry at times, but interesting nonetheless. It definitely went into far more detail than I was given during my Lutheran school education felt board presentations. I learned more about the background history, what was going on in the world at the time and what kind of man Luther was. I received it as a gift a while ago and its been sitting on my bookshelf. I'm glad I finally read it and got a mini refresher course in the reformer.
When Will There Be Good News? (Kate Atkinson) - This series has improved as it has progressed, but one this has not changed: It ropes me in quickly, then falls off to a trudge before picking up the pace again.

We had chicken sandwiches, rigatoni with sausage and roasted peppers, and some hot dogs, before traveling to Virginia for Thanksgiving, where we had the traditional holiday feast.

Cinnamon Frosting (BBW)

For $3, I was powerless to resist this wee Christmas cactus. Here's hoping I don't kill it.

Dinner assembly.

Already well on the road by the time the sun started to wake up.

Be still my heart.

Appreciating the last bits of a Virginia sunset.

Autumn hanging on by a thread.


Red, white, and blue.


Saturday, November 28, 2015

This Week on My TV: November 28, 2015

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

**(Sleepy Hollow, 3x08 Novus Ordo Seclorum) Wait a second. Why can Crane suddenly read those scribblings Jenny left behind? Didn't they imply, when they first found them, that Crane didn't even know what they meant? -- I'm disappointed the mention of Ben Franklin didn't lead to a good rant from Crane. -- Joe [to Crane]: Ok, I'm still not used to the way you name drop. -- "I'm not sure what any weapon's going to do against a god." THANK YOU, JOE. But you all will still draw your guns on him anyway, won't you. -- "Asset we were cultivating"? Abbie? What was that about? And who was Reynolds on the phone with? -- Wait, did Nevins get away? Sophie sure seems to think so. I thought Pandora POOFed him. -- Abbie: I found this in lockup, belonged to Nevins. It looked old, magical, and now, Crane-ish. -- Abbie: How do you like our odds, Crane? Be honest. Crane: Three mortals facing a woman of legend and an ancient deity. -- LOL: Crane's face when he used the taser on Pandora. Wait...guns don't work, but a taser does?? -- LOL: That is some Once Upon a Time level bad CGI. -- Seriously, Jenny, Joe, and Abbie can't all be dead now, right?

**(Madam Secretary, 2x08 Lights Out) Interesting to see Russell's home life. -- Finally, some Mike B! -- Mike B: You're the one who brought Judas to the White House. Russell: A lecture on loyalty from the Dark Prince of K Street? -- Russell: Traitors are like serial killers. they don't stop at one. -- Elizabeth: You know, I get we're duty and honor bound, committed to lives of service and all that, but this part where we can't talk about the most important things that we do all day...that cannot be healthy for us. Henry: The most important part of my day is this, coming home. Elizabeth: Oh, you're good. -- I totally appreciate that they let Elizabeth's hair be messy at home. It's part of what allows the show to "feel real." Just like I love that they make the characters awkward and unpolished with each other in the office. -- Russell: The way I see it, you can go out the back door wtih your dignity intact or out the front door in handcuffs.


Sunday, November 22, 2015

Snapshot from Along the Broken Road: 2015 - Week 46

Checking in for the week of November 15 through November 21.

Sugar Cookie Murder (Joanne Fluke) - Short and sweet (the second half of the page count was dedicated entirely to recipes from the Christmas Potluck), this was a quick, easy read. I liked the different spin they gave the whodunnit outcome. I definitely did not see that coming and thought it was someone else entirely. Enjoying Hannah's adventures, as usual, but I can't really figure out why she's so hung up on Mike. Cute or not, he's a total jerk most of the time. Guess I'll have to keep reading to see when she figures this out for herself.
Luther: Biography of a Reformer (Frederick Nohl) - I try to get some non-fiction into my reading diet from time to time.

Tortellini soup with garlic bread and a salad. Sausage burgers (with roasted red pepper and a slice of provolone, yum!). Romaine-wrapped tilapia with wild rice. Steaks and some au gratin potatoes.

Cinnamon Frosting (BBW)
Macintosh Spice (YC) - Anything like smells like pie is fine by me.

I'm kind of obsessed with the way the lights in my papier-mâché pumpkins on top of the entertainment cabinet reflect on the ceiling when all the other lights are off.

When you cook with wine and don't want the remains of the bottle to go to waste.

My kryptonite.

Christmas is making its way into WDW!

Decisions, decisions...

When at WDW, don't forget to look up, too!

Main Street USA windows are so much fun to explore. you see what I see??

Royal Christmas decor.

Even the treats get in on the festive fun!

I went with the cookies 'n' cream fudge. ;-)


Saturday, November 21, 2015

This Week on My TV: November 21, 2015

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

**(Greys Anatomy, 12x06 The Me Nobody Knows) Mer: You sent a sex tape? Pastor patient: To the entire congregation. Penny: Oh God. Pastor: Can we not talk about Him right now? -- Penny being assigned to Mer's service has to feel like being kicked while you're already down for Mer. Probably for Penny, too, but I have no real sympathy for her at this point. -- Does this doctor April knows from her military medical field trips to the Middle East have some kind of history with Owen? Because that was a weird reaction by Owen. -- Alex seeking out Mer made me feel all fuzzy and warm. He's being her Person! -- April and Jackson are made up characters on a tv show and I'm *still* uncomfortable "being present" for their interactions. Like I'm stuck in a car with a couple that's having an argument. -- Mer: Our shame can choke, kill us, rot us from the inside. Don't let it.

**(Once Upon a Time, 5x07 Nimue) I appreciate the history lesson of how Excalibur came to be, how Merlin became immortal, and how the Dark One's dagger became separated from the sword. It was a well constructed tale. I'm less certain how I feel about the way they cast certain roles away from what might be expected. "Not all wizards have white beards," indeed, Merlin. -- The timeline in this episode (for the history lesson) amused me. We went from the descriptive "thousands of years ago, before the time of Arthur" to regular old "200 years ago" to the oh so vague "years earlier." -- Arthur is just straight up evil. And I don't know how I feel about that bending of legend. -- I totally knew the original Dark One was going to be Nimue. -- Regina: Tell your timbers to stop shivering, pirate. -- I wonder why the other Dark Ones all have that scaly (?) skin but Emma does not? And it seemed to happen almost immediately with Nimue, and I think also with Rumple, if I can remember that far back? Why is Emma "immune" to that then? -- What made Emma turn and embrace the darkness? She clearly hadn't at the point that crazy Arthur summoned Merlin using Excalibur. I'd imagine they have to flashback more and finish the story of what happened.

**(The Good Wife, 7x07 Driven) Louis Canning is such a manipulative little troll. Who is clearly throwing a lot of work Alicia's way. To what end? -- You can tell that Alicia feels dirty voting the way Frank Landau tells her to. -- Crouse unsettles Alicia, which just means every one of their exchanges amuses me. Also amusing: Eli's door banging into his desk every time anyone opens it. -- That was quite the unexpected...bedroom transaction between Alicia and Peter. -- Eli makes the best faces. I just can't decide whether his reacting to finding Peter and Alicia in the bedroom or Jackie's arrival to announce her engagement to Howard was my favorite.

**(The Big Bang Theory, 9x08 The Mystery Date Observation) Penny: Damn, you're sneaky. Bernadette: Yeah, but I'm little so it's cute. -- Leonard: But it's the movie Ben Stiller doesn't want you to see. Penny: It's the movie your wife doesn't want you to see. -- I can't decide which made me laugh more: Bernadette spying on Amy's date. Amy's date being obsessed with Sheldon. Or Sheldon's Craigslist puzzle game to find a new girlfriend actually leading to a pretty cute girl showing up at his door and him shutting the door in her face.

**(Scandal, 5x07 Even the Devil Deserves a Second Chance) Fitz: To Congress. May their heads one day depart from their asses. -- Jake: The woman I love killed the woman I used to love. Or the woman I used to love killed the woman I love. I can't figure it out. -- Grieving or otherwise, Olivia, Jake has called you out on exactly what you are. Screaming at him to get out doesn't change any of it. -- Quinn: She's the President's girlfriend. The White House is always our client. I hate the new normal. -- David: I didn't ask you to sit. I said take a seat, Elizabeth, so take. a damn. *seat*. -- Lizzie: You don't like me, do you? David: I wasn't trying to be subtle. I *don't* like you. -- After all that ranting, Lizzie and David end up getting busy in his office?? While VP Susan is out in his reception area with a four-pack of wine coolers, because she has a crush on him? I said we needed more David on this show, again, but WHAT IS HAPPENING?? -- *Very* striking final scene, Liv telling Fitz what to do while she stands on the Presidential Seal in the middle of the Oval Office.

**(Blue Bloods, 6x08 Unsung Heroes) Frank: Preaching to the choir is for showboats and sissies. -- Quite possibly my favorite moment ever on this show was Frank cracking himself up making punny jokes no one else thinks are funny. -- Two things I am over: the very Law and Order: SVU-ish feel to this serial killer Danny is tracking, and Linda coming off as whiny rather than worried and shaken up.

**(Blindspot, 1x09 Authentic Flirt) Oh good grief. Weller couldn't even shave when he was getting all spiffy for a formal event? Stubbly scruff with a tux is thumbs down. -- Awkward: Weller putting wedding rings on Jane's hand as part of their married-couple cover. Couldn't he have just handed them to her to put on herself? -- Wow. There are apparently a lot of folks using that secret library book code. And they must be up to no good, because now Patterson now has a dead (ex)boyfriend, after he decided to follow the woman using the books to leave a message. The weird thing is that I can't figure out if the guy following him was with the girl or also following the girl. -- That bird drawing toward the end is going to show up as a tattoo at some point, isn't it...

**(Reign, 3x05 In A Clearing) I wonder if this is really the last we're going to see of Nostradamus. If so, then I'm glad they provided some resolution after seeing him ride off, half dead, leaving the viewers wondering. -- Blah. I'm not a fan of this whole Delphine thing, either her romance with Bash or this whole medieval serial killer bit. -- Even despite Mary signing it, I really wonder if Elizabeth would have honored that peace treaty. -- That scene in the clearing was heart wrenching. It was played out so well. -- With Francis dead now (and hopefully no more supernatural shenanigans), I wonder what lies ahead for Mary. With her mother also dead, will she return to Scotland to rule? Is she going to go after Elizabeth? Will this strange affection Catherine has for her keep her in France?

**(The Middle, 7x08 Thanksgiving VII) Brad: I'm going to write you a reality check, payable right now. -- This episode had me all out of sorts, what with Axl crying all over the place and sean still being all hippie instead of clean cut All American Boy Next Door. Also, why wasn't Darrin invited to hang out? -- Brick playing poker was hilarious, especially when he tried to bluff.

**(Modern Family, 7x07 Phil's Sexy, Sexy House) The scenes in the "sexy house" Phil is trying to sell, with everyone sneaking in, not realizing everyone else has the same intention, made this one of the funniest episodes I have seen of this show in ages. -- Haley and Andy! Haley and Andy! I was actually yelling at Andy through the tv (as one does) because I couldn't believe he was letting her walk away with *that* being his "last adventure" before getting married and then Haley runs back to him for that kiss. They *have* to get together now...right??

**(Madam Secretary, 2x07 You Say You Want a Revolution) Elizabeth (to Matt): Someone woke up on the cynical side of the bed this morning. -- I kind of love that Elizabeth and Henry call Alison 'Noodle'. -- I'm over every tv show making the police out to be bad guys. Like really over it. There are bad apples in every subgroup of society. Making all cops out to be over aggressive guys with a power trip is an unfair characterization for all the many, many more to protect and serve. -- Back to things I really love love: Elizabeth and Henry's relationship. They act like people who still love each other, which is a refreshing change of pace in the cheating-spouse heavy storytelling of tv land. -- That scheming between Sterling and Senator Parisi will, hopefully, spell the end of Sterling's presence. I don't care for him. Leave it to that jerk to be the thing that being Elizabeth and Russell together as a team.

**(Grey's Anatomy, 12x07 Something Against You) Mer: Well I thought that I could treat her like any other resident but that was really hard because I wanted to punch her in the face. Like a lot. -- Between Penny and Riggs, there sure are a whole lotta hirings going on that are ticking off other surgeons. I get not running the decision to hire Riggs by Maggie or anyone else, but you'd think Bailey would have to run stuff by Mer since she's on the board. -- Amelia: I fix brains. I give you your soft gooey center, the hard candy shell is your department. -- I was all set to feel badly about the "trivia night" bust with Arizona and Webber, given how enthusiastic he was, until I saw him switch gears and get right down to business as Arizona's wing man.-- Ok, seriously, what is the deal between Owen and Riggs?? They've dragged on the suspense long enough now. -- I do love that Mer is stepping up as Owen's Person, asking "Do we hate him?" about Riggs. It's good to see that dynamic between the surgeons didn't fade away with Cristina's departure. -- Oh, please don't make Riggs turn out to be a new love interest for Mer. Bleh.

**(The Blacklist, 3x08 Kings of the Highway) Apparently Samar's desire to capture Liz and make her face the consequences of her actions now takes a backseat to the loyalty she feels to Red for his involvement in providing her closure with her brother. -- Cash: That girl is nuttier than a bag of cashews. -- Why do the bad guys always ride crotch rockets? -- That doll head Red used to break himself free was straight. up. creepy. -- Oh, Aram. You ratted Samar, Liz, and Red to Ressler out of jealousy? Really? -- The Chairman lady just shot the Attorney General lady!! Holy. Crap. Is Chairman lady part of the Cabal? -- What did Attorney General lady whisper as she was dying? "Tommy Market?" What the heck is that?? -- Crap. Ressler has Liz and Dembe in custody now? And we're supposed to wait til JANUARY 7 to find out what happens next?!

**(Blue Bloods, 6x09 Hold Outs) I can't believe how much Eddie looked like Linda when she was dressed up undercover as an old lady. (Sorry, Linda!) -- At one point that pregnant wife of the new police officer Frank was swearing in said "These days when I sit down I can't get back up." Not to nitpick, but since she was standing up when she said that, it can't be true. -- Oh goodie. The Mayor got re-elected. -- Baby Francis Francisco? LOL

**(Sleepy Hollow, 2x04 Waiting for Taleju) Things that made me snort during this episode: Shardectomy. Mistletoe as a weapon to defeat this week's evil. -- Again with the regular guns. ::facepalm:: --  Crane: Did you call me strange? Oh, good grief. How will I ever endure? -- Ah! This week's historical figure: Daniel Boone! -- I'm not sure how, exactly, that plan *worked* to get the evil creature thugs to kill each other, but...ok. -- Crane: Sometimes, it seems as though the unbeatable enemy is the twenty-first century. -- I did NOT see that coming with Sophie being an undercover agent. -- So, where did Jenny go? And who the crap is that hooky guy??? Pandora's boss?


Sunday, November 15, 2015

Snapshot from Along the Broken Road: 2015 - Week 45

Checking in for the week of November 8 through November 14.

Chasing Fireflies (Charles Martin) - It started slowly. Not so slowly that I ever seriously considered putting it down, but slowly enough that I assumed I'd muddle through it, and upon completion, probably never think about it again. I couldn't have been more off base. The story started slowly, but it built, layer upon layer, like all the good stories do, until you feel like you know the characters personally...and kind of wish you did. Parts of this book were harsh and painful to read, but they gave the story a depth that couldn't have been otherwise achieved. There was a smattering of humor and a pinch of mystery, and even though I suspected the "big reveal," it made it no less satisfying. I will even admit that there was more than one part of the book that left tears trailing silently down my cheeks, and books almost never have that effect on me. It wasn't the best book I've ever read, but it was good -- *really* good -- and it's going to stick with me for a long while, would be my guess.
Sugar Cookie Murder (Joanne Fluke) - This one should take long to finish, since half the book is comprised of recipes.

Burgers and tater tots. Pot roast with mashed potatoes and carrots. Spaghetti and meatballs. WDW with friends = Yak and Yeti for lunch, California Grill for dinner.

Frosted Cranberry (BBW)
Ghostly Treats (YC) - Light vanilla and sugar, just like a marshmallow.
Apple Pumpkin (YC) - This was surprisingly delightful. Sometimes I smelled the apple, other times the pumpkin. Never both at the same time though!
Vanilla Caramel (YC) - This was the perfect vanilla blend for autumn.
Cinnamon Frosting (BBW) - Spicy sweet.

I can't believe this is going to be closing down soon. I wonder what it will look like after its refurbishment? In the mean time, trying to capture as many details as I can.

Wanna strike up a conversation with every fifth person you pass? Come dressed like this to WDW while the Patriots are playing.

Accidental selfie! (I swear I'm having fun. It was just way too bright outside for me to be without sunglasses.)


Evening commute.

I have long enough hair now to make a bun. For the first time since 1996.


Stretching is important. And, clearly, so! much! fun!


Test Track after dusk is my favorite.


Chickens! For real, the creative ways they theme decorations on WDW property never fails to amuse me. This was in Harambe, in Animal Kingdom.

Kali River Rapids, from above.

The view from the observation deck outside Top of the World Lounge, in Bay Lake Tower.

There's a tiny Contemporary in my drink!!

Dinner with friends.


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