Sunday, March 6, 2016

Snapshot from Along the Broken Road: 2016 - Week 9

Checking in for the week of February 28 through March 5.

The Dark Tower (Stephen King) - Well, I'm done. (All hail jury duty.) At times, the sheer volume of pages in this series has seemed daunting. At times, I've been so angry at Stephen King for the twists and turns the story that unfolded for the Ka-Tet of 19. At times, this series -- and especially this final book -- ventured so far outside my comfort zone, that I wanted to slam the book shut and never turn back. So dark, so twisted...but, like Roland's pull to the Tower, the story has the pull, a truly odd addictive quality. Full disclosure: King urges the reader to stop with a few pages remaining, begging that they be satisfied with the story ending at this point. After conferring with the friend who insisted I read the series, and who, himself, did not stop at that point, I made the determination to stop (there were 12 pages remaining), although I did read King's final Author's Note. ***SPOILER ALERT*** (Skip the rest of my commentary on this book if you don't want spoilers.) The one thing that bothered me was the lack of resolution for Oy, who was my favorite character from the moment we met him and who broke my heart as he mourned the loss of his 'Ake. We know that (at least at the point I stopped), Jake, Eddie, and Susannah achieved a measure of "happiness after all," if not "happily ever after." And, for better or for worse, whatever may have awaited Roland in his Tower, he had reached his final goal, to save the Beams (and thus, the Tower, and all the Universes it holds), to relieve all the worlds of the Crimson King, and vile Mordred (I wanted to cheer when that thing perished), and to enter the Tower. I'll never know if he reached its top, or what fate (Ka?) held in store for him when he entered the door. As much as I like complete resolution, I think I'm content to let this lie. In my experience, this story never lets happiness stand secure for very long, and while the characters all (save Oy) have some measure of it, I'll let go -- in part out of fear I'll learn what I wish I hadn't.
The Ambassador's Daughter (Pam Jenoff) - Moved right into this book, full speed ahead now. I'm four books behind schedule, according to my challenge page on Goodreads. Time to get going! I cannot decide if I like the main character or not. 140 pages of wishywashy. I just want to tell her to make a choice already!

I requested T's delicious (but oh so decadent) Chicken Alfredo Lasagna. Because it is time and labor intensive, it's best to do this one on the weekend, so it was our Sunday dinner. Tuesday, we thawed our some White Chicken Chili from the freezer. Kielbasa with sauerkraut and pierogi was the easy-before-church meal on Wednesday. I had a jar of roasted red peppers in the refrigerator that I wanted to get used, so I made some Rigatoni with Sausage and Roasted Peppers Thursday. Friday, T made some Chicken Drumsticks in a Creamy White Wine Sauce, which we served with broccoli and some angel hair (our go-to for catching tasty sauces). Saturday was T's birthday, so we went to Boston Lobster Feast in Orlando, because all you can eat seafood is one of his happy places.

Hollyberry (YC)
Christmas Wreath (YC) - Ah, yes. That strange place at the end of winter, when my scents are still heavily associated with Christmas, but we're getting ready for Easter. I can't help it. I refuse to not fully enjoy the current season before moving on to the next. Spring isn't here until March 20, so Christmas Wreath it is!
Holiday Bayberry (YC) - This one, especially when it combines in the hallway with Hollyberry (the former is in the hall bathroom and the latter in the master bedroom), smells like winter and nostalgia, and I really just love it.

Girl Scout Cookie season! Tagalongs. Thin Mints. Samoas. And Trefoils (mmmmm...I think shortbread is highly underrated!).

March 1.

March 1 at work.

Thing I learned from the Thailand "Try the World" box: I like dried jackfruit.

Our evening walks frequently take us out into the orange groves, now that it's the very beginning of orange blossom season. Heavenly!

All he ever asks for on his birthday.

Silhouettes and sunset.

Symphony in the Stars at Hollywood Studios.

Dazzling fireworks display! I'm so glad we decided to check it out, post seafood feast.

Looks like Mickey!

4 with their own thoughts:

*krystyn* Tuesday, March 08, 2016 1:36:00 PM  

Is the Skyway thing a notepad or calendar? What a neat cover either way!!

Shortbread is definitely underrated...every Disney trip I bring home a box of Walkers...even though I can get them anytime, just not in Disney shapes. So yummy!!!

~**Dawn**~ Tuesday, March 08, 2016 1:41:00 PM  

Krystyn: It's a calendar! Disney released a retro art attractions poster calendar for 2016. I love it!

Stacy at Exceedingly Mundane Sunday, March 13, 2016 3:44:00 PM  

Another great update :) Oh my at all the food. I just ate and it still made me hungry!

I haven't had Girl Scout cookies in years! At our old house, the kids had mostly grown up and we didn't have any Girl Scouts coming around selling. After we moved into the new house and there are kids under 16 in almost every single house, I expected to have my doorbell rung for cookies. So far, two seasons of cookie sales and not a single doorbell. They sell them outside some of the stores here, I've seen two setups, but have bypassed both times. I could easily eat an entire box of Thin mints in one sitting.

I've seen a jackfruit in our local Chinese grocery but never dared try it. I can't imagine what the dried tastes like, never having tasted a fresh one. Interesting.

Happy Belated Birthday to Troy! All you can eat seafood is my kind of thing too! :)

You will have to take me under your wing one day and teach me to shoot fireworks on my camera. I shoot almost everything on automatic and fireworks and moons are nearly impossible that way. Those shots are just gorgeous, simply stunning! :)

Hope you guys are having a fabulous weekend!

~**Dawn**~ Tuesday, March 15, 2016 10:54:00 AM  

Stacy: They don't come selling at my door, but they do stand outside my Publix with a table. It's the one and only time I'm not irritated to be accosted by children waiting there. Probably because they are actually selling something rather than standing there with a helmet, looking for cash handouts. I'd grow broke if I put money in every sports helmet that gets thrust at me as I leave the grocery store...but that's a rant for another day. ;-) I typically buy a box each of my favorites the first time I encounter them. Then just a single box on any following weeks. I keep them tucked into corners of the freezer, so they're easy to forget about. In fact, just a few weeks ago, I stumbled upon a box of Taglongs in there from last spring! Oops! (They were still delicious.)

As for fireworks, this set is actually taken with my iPhone of all things! It's a little more tricky with my big camera. I have to play with settings a bit when I do fireworks or a moon with it. And usually I have much better luck (someplace like WDW where it's an actual show -- not just random fireworks set off in the surrounding neighborhoods on July 4) if I do a longer exposure time (6 to 8 seconds), my lowest ISO, an aperture of around f/11, using my tripod and a timer delay (or a remote if you have one) to avoid the inevitable shake of physically clicking the shutter. I also take a ton of photos, because it increases the likelihood I'll get 3 or 4 I like, and toss about 60 of them. =P

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