Sunday, February 28, 2016

Snapshot from Along the Broken Road: 2016 - Week 8

Checking in for the week of February 21 through February 27.

The Dark Tower (Stephen King) - Just over 300 pages to go. Jury duty on Monday. I can see the light at the end of this month long tunnel.
The Ambassador's Daughter (Pam Jenoff) - I've been squeezing bits of reading on my lunch break. Really looking forward to actually digging into this one soon!

Sunday, we did up some sausage burgers and topped them with provolone and roasted peppers. We balanced that, on Monday, with some tilapia, wild rice, and zucchini. Tuesday, I did up some Turkey Pot Pie Soup, using up the frozen turkey leftovers from Christmas dinner. Wednesday needed to be quick since the Lent service starts at 6:30; grilled cheese worked perfectly. We tried out a new recipe, Bacon Scallops with Garlic Butter Sauce, on Thursday; we served it with some angel hair, to catch every drop of that sauce and found it really tasty! We had a Steak 'n Shake date on Friday, because I just had to get that black raspberry chocolate chip amazingly delicious.

Hollyberry (YC)
Snowflake Cookie (YC) - I'm really not sure how this one is any different from the classic Christmas Cookie scent, but it's vanilla and smells like cookies, so I'm not going to complain.
Hazelnut Coffee (YC) - Makes the house smell super yummy.

The new scallops recipe plated up rather pretty!

Every bit as delicious as I had hoped.

Date night!

Finally well enough to indulge in that homemade hot chocolate I've been wanting.


Saturday, February 27, 2016

This Week on My TV: February 27, 2016

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

**(The Good Wife, 7x15 Targets) I always wonder if Elsbeth's quirks (the physical ones, not the verbal) are written into the script or if Carrie Preston just ad libs them herself? -- Jason's exasperation with Lockhart, Agos and Lee is amusing to me. I believe he and I are on the same page when it comes to having the drama of others inflicted on our lives. -- That was some steamy office scene between Alicia and Jason. -- Return of the NSA guys! Looks like they're trying to get in appearances from all sorts of recurring characters before the show ends. Louis Canning on deck? -- So, who is the FBI actually investigating? Peter? Eli? Alicia? I'm so confused.

**(Downton Abbey, season 2) I have so many thoughts, now that I've had time to get to know all these characters! -- That was quite a transition to having the hospital run out of Downton. But I am a bit confused. From the outside, the place looks positively enormous. So...other than being a bit bratty...why were the Crawleys acting so put out that they wouldn't have enough space to go about their lives? -- I found the abrupt departure (and really his appearance all together) of the man purporting to be Patrick Crawley very jarring. -- This whole Daisy and William thing is just annoying, which makes me sad, because I liked William, but Daisy grates on my every nerve. She's whiny and has no backbone whatsoever, and really just...she can go now. -- I was so horrified for Matthew, when he was injured. I'm glad it turned out to be only a temporary paralysis, but I loved seeing Mary step up and care for him. I felt like that was a huge moment of growth for her character, especially after all that nonsense of her "not wanting him if he wasn't going to be the heir" in season one. -- Speaking of Matthew's injury, I feel bad for speaking ill of poor departed, unrequited Lavinia, but, sweet as she was, she kind of bothered me too. I don't know if it was my wanting Matthew to come around about Mary or  just how cowed Lavinia seemed by the Crawleys or what, but I just couldn't make myself like her. -- On the topic of the departed Lavinia, that Spanish Flu was (at least portrayed as) a very fickle illness. Carson looked like someone with the, well, flu. Cora looked like she was dying of Ebola. And Lavinia went from someone looking like she was hardly afflicted to dead as a door nail. I also wonder how the rest of the household managed to remain healthy, given all the contact they had with the ill. It sure didn't look like they were taking many precautions. --  I wasn't sure, initially, but I like Sybil and Branson together. -- Obviously, everyone feels this way about it, but Violet is easily the comic relief on this show. She's set in her ways and in tradition, but then she's too old to care what anyone thinks when she speaks her mind, which she does as often as possible, and just when you think she's going to go completely nuts over something, she is this forward thinking woman you never expect. Like when Robert told her about Sybil running off to marry the chauffeur and she's ready to accept it and find a way to spin the story in a favorable light for the family name. -- Oh. Right. Robert. Just *what* was that dalliance with Jane all about ? I rather like Robert, so this...straying (with Cora writhing in bed, possibly dying, no less!) rubbed me the wrong way. I'm relieved he stopped himself before it progressed further, and I hope that this isn't a recurring theme with him. I like to think that made him a bit more compassionate toward Mary, when he learned about her little secret. And now, perhaps, we can finally lay poor, scandalous Mr Pamuk to rest. And good riddance to Sir Richard as well. As Violet replied, when he informed her he doubted they would be seeing one another again, "Do you promise?" (I literally snorted with laughter at that one.) -- Anna and Mr Bates are a total emotional roller coaster for me. First, they're unable to act on their obvious feelings (sad). And then Vera Bates agrees to the divorce and they can be together now (happy). But then Vera recants (sad). And then she turns up dead and they can be married (happy and also what?). Then Mr Bates is accused of her murder and sentenced to death (devastated). But now he's been granted a life sentence instead (hopeful). All I know is that they are so sweet and kind and genuine, in a world where, no matter whether you're "upstairs" or "downstairs," very few people seem to possess any of those qualities. I just want them to have their happiness. -- Since we're talking about the schemers and manipulators. I am suspicious of O'Brien's sudden bout of conscience. The guilt, suddenly, over causing Cora to miscarry, and all this concern over Mr Bates. And then there is Thomas finding himself swindled in his new post-war business venture, worming his way back into service at Downton. Every time I start to feel the slightest sympathy for either of these characters, I'm reminded just how wicked and self-serving they've been, over and over, and I just can't. -- How is it that there is a new maid, it seems, every other episode, but they still can't find a replacement footman to fill William's vacancy? And without Thomas, they wouldn't have any? -- Mary and Matthew! Mary and Matthew! They've finally listened to all the prodding and encouragement and the "you know he/she is still in love with you"-s the elder members of the family have been giving them since they stormed away from each other in the season one finale. And that proposal, with the big, dreamy snowflakes falling, and for the first time, we see Mary openly showing emotions, and the way Matthew looks at her. ::happy sigh:: (I'm going to just keep ignoring the fact that they are related, because, even though this was the way of things and they're likely very distant relations at most, it's still just a little weird to me, the way they walk around calling each other "cousin" all the time.)

**(Grey's Anatomy, 12x09 The Sound of Silence) I cannot believe how stressful this episode was, from Meredith's perspective as a recovering patient, after that accident victim went nuts and assaulted her. The way they went silent, when she couldn't hear. How frustrated she felt trying to communicate. How devastated she was when Alex brought her kids to see her in the hospital and they were too afraid to come to her. It was like feeling all those things for her, as the viewer. What a well acted episode with a really unique perspective. -- It was very moving when she finally met with her attacker so he could apologize. When she reached out her hand in acceptance of his apology, offering forgiveness, I was stunned by how much they were able to communicate without Mer uttering a word. -- Two characters really stood out to me in this episode (outside of Mer). Alex, for really stepping up as Mer's Person. And Penny, confidently *caring* for her patient, which was a huge deal, considering it was Meredith. I think that may go a long way in how Mer feels about Penny, despite what happened with Derek. -- I'm getting to the point where I really just don't like Amelia one bit.

**(The Middle, 7x16 The Man Hunt) Sue Heck flirting. My life is complete now. (Also, I'm pretty sure that's what I look like trying to flirt as well. Maybe why it took me until I was 35 to get married?) And I love that she ended up having a good night with the campus safe driver, just being herself, after Frankie's "flirting advice" went (unsurprisingly) *badly* at the frat party. I just hope that a) maybe this kid will be someone for Sue, in the wake of calling off her engagement to Darrin, and now the disappointment that Logan is going to become a priest, and b) that all their differences don't drive a wedge in her friendship with Lexie, because I really like what Lexie brings to the as a balance for Sue. -- Axl, Hutch, Kenny, and the Winnebago. That was so. flipping. funny. Especially when Axl and Hutch realized that they had lost Kenny, and that they actually cared he was lost. But when he turned up at the Hecks' house, talking politely and having made himself useful to Frankie? I was cracking up. He's such an unexpectedly hilarious character.

**(The Big Bang Theory, 9x17 The Celebration Experimentation) Amy: Where'd he go? Penny: Wait a minute. You mention his birthday and he vanishes? Leonard: Where's that information been this whole time? -- Bernadette: What kind of cake do you like? Sheldon: My favorite is chocolate with strawberry frosting, three layers. And if there's writing on it, make sure it's not all caps. I don't need my dessert yelling at me. -- Penny [to Stuart]: Ok, sweetie, we're on the clock here. Can you hate yourself and frost at the same time? -- Howard: Really, you're ahead of Bale? The man who personified the words 'I'm Batman'? Adam West: I never had to say 'I'm Batman'. I showed up. People knew I was Batman. -- Sheldon asking Amy if she was having a stroke after the birthday suit conversation. LOL -- Amy looked very pretty with her party hair. -- I thoroughly enjoy the friendship between Penny and Sheldon. Sometimes, it seems like no one else really knows what to say to him, but she does. Kwipke...errr, Kripke ;-) is getting really grey! Sheldon [to Penny]: You know, I used to hate these hugs. Now they're just extremely irritating.

**(The Blacklist, 3x16 The Caretaker) I don't know how I feel about Liz marrying Tom. I really don't. Tom is an idiot. No wonder Red doesn't think he's good enough for Liz. -- Lizzie's rapidly growing belly makes me feel like we're watching an episode of Fringe. -- Liz: They employ me as a consultant. He employs me as an inside source. -- Dembe: She deserves to know the truth. Red: Watch the road, Dembe. ... Red knows Dembe is right. He's probably the only person who can get away with calling Red out. Not that Red will do anything he doesn't want to do. -- I think I like this Panabaker character. She pulls no shots. And I think she can actually be trusted. -- Red: Luckily for you, Harold, I poke my thumb in many pies. -- I knew Rose was in on it! I totally called that to T, by the way, when they found her in the hotel room, sitting there unharmed. -- Aram: There is one last battery connected to the green control box on the top left. Cut the wrong wire in the wrong sequence and the bomb detonates. All right, there are two wires there. Blue and red. So here's what you do: apologize to Agent Navabi. Ressler: What? Samar: Aram, we don't have time for this. We have thirty seconds. Aram: 'I'm sorry' takes less than one. -- I kinda felt bad for the Caretaker. He wasn't as sinister as a lot of the big bads on Red's list. -- Harold: I've learned the hard way, some secrets are best kept in the dark. Red: Mine certainly is. ... WHAT SECRET, RED?? -- She loves Red. She hates Red. She loves Red. She hates Red. -- I wonder who Gina was on the phone with about taking care of Tom? -- Red: If anything were to happen to me, this was to go to Elizabeth. So she'd know. Now I'm not sure I ever want her to know. ... WHAT SECRET, RED??? -- And now it's on hiatus until April 7??? Why, NBC, whyyyyyy?!


Sunday, February 21, 2016

Snapshot from Along the Broken Road: 2016 - Week 7

Checking in for the week of February 14 through February 20.

The Dark Tower (Stephen King) - Feelings I have had while reading over the last week: Sad (over the loss of a character), devastated (over the loss of another), heartbroken (over two characters mourning the loss of the second aforementioned character), unsure (of the introduction of a new character),  fascinated (by the meeting that is taking place), trepidatious (because I know it's just a matter of time until there is more loss and also the return of a character that squicks me out), and bewildered (at how this is all going to play out). I have roughly half the final book in the series remaining. Which sounds like I'm closer to finished than I actually am.
The Ambassador's Daughter (Pam Jenoff) - My lunchtime reading material at work. It's a little slow to get off the ground. I'm unclear if that's the fault of the book or the fact that I'm not able to read at a consistent pace, since it's only during the work week, and only after I've finished the week's chapter of The Story for church.

I'm a really big fan of my Pumpkin Chili, which I made on Sunday, when I could allow it to really simmer away for several hours, instead of the shortened timeframe I give it if I make it during the week. It's still good either way, but the longer cooking time really gives it more depth. Monday, we roasted a whole chicken, and served that with Garlic Parmesan Orzo and Buttery Garlic Green Beans -- two super easy sides that are just bursting with tons of flavor! We also made some fish sandwiches, spaghetti and meatballs, and grilled chicken sandwiches, as the week progressed. Saturday, I met up with Krystyn and her family at Magic Kingdom. We did a light lunch (I had mac and cheese topped with toasted panko from Friar's Nook) so we'd have room for dinner at Be Our Guest! I had never eaten there before and it did not disappoint.

Merry Cookie (BBW)
In a Winter Wonderland (YC) - Fresh air and evergreen trees. Still fully embracing the fact that it's winter!

Christmas Eve (YC) - (Yeah, yeah, I know.) This is one of those candles that has so many layers of scent that it smells different every time you catch a whiff. Sometimes spicy, sometime sweet, sometimes fruity. It reminds me of being in my grandparents' house when my Gram was baking and cooking goodies for Christmas: just a collection of delicious holiday scents that takes you back to memories of Christmases gone by.
Hollyberry (YC) - This scent is a classic. It's warm and nostalgic.
Sparkling Pine (YC) - More fresh air and evergreen. You'd think I miss snow, the way I'm drawn to these scents, but really, I just miss the way the air smells when it cold and crisp with fresh fallen snow.

Flowers and chocolate are nice, but this is my kind of Valentine from my Valentine!

Almost twilight.

After I crested the hill, the sun was a fiery sliver sinking into the tree line.

Can you see the sunbeams? You have to look carefully, but they're there, streaming out from the corner and into the blue. I feel like there's a life metaphor in there somewhere.

Spent Saturday at Magic Kingdom with Krystyn (and her family), and had a great time enjoying rides and attractions. I also got a ton of comments and compliments on my shirt (a Christmas gift, celebrating Disneyland's Diamond 60th anniversary!). I also have to say, I am a huge fan of the "Disney Photo Pass" option being included with my Annual Pass now. I can take advantage of all the in-park photo ops without dropping $15 every time I like one of the photos. I am definitely going to be making good use of the free digital downloads perk!

Rosebud napkin at Be Our Guest in Magic Kingdom. Disney never misses an opportunity for details.

We ate in the forbidden west wing.

I had the Braised Pork (Coq au Vin Style), which was described as "Eight Hour Slow-cooked Pork with Mushrooms, Onions, Carrots, and Bacon served with Puréed Cauliflower and Seasonal Vegetables." What I can tell you is that every last mouthful was lick-your-plate-clean delicious. The meat was so tender, it was practically melting. The cauliflower puree was loaded with flavor. The broccolini added some fresh, slightly crunchy texture. Did I mention delicious? Because it was.

I was incredibly conflicted over the dessert cart. There were at least four things I wanted. I narrowed it down to two, but when the server started with me (at our table of six), I still hadn't decided, so I asked him to come back around to me last. I finally determined that, being my first time dining here, I was obligated to try The Grey Stuff (from the menu: "Chocolate Shell, Cookie Crème topped with Lumiere’s special “Grey Stuff”" which was a cookies-and-cream mousse!). The server had been making "Hidden Mickeys" on each dessert plate with melted chocolate. He said I must have known that the last person to order dessert gets the special Mickey rosebud instead. (I didn't, and he may have been pulling my leg or not, but lookit how pretty!) Oh and the dishes do not like. It *is* delicious!

The enchanted rose.

And, of course, I stopped for a photo op with our gracious host!


Saturday, February 20, 2016

This Week on My TV: February 20, 2016

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

**(The Good Wife, 7x14 Monday) Eli: It's just now I get why people have children. They can admire themselves in someone else. -- I love everything about the way Alicia and Jason flirt with each other. -- Alicia: How do you keep your beard that length? I mean, at a certain point, you're either clean shaven or you're Abraham Lincoln, right? Jason: Nope, it stays like this. Since birth. -- I was cracking up at the judge on Alicia's case and how he felt about the ant infestation on his bench. -- Oh, there is going to be so much awkwardness with Alicia's "coming back home." -- So, this tip for Alicia that "Peter has a target on his back" and she should just "cash out"... That's going to be all the shove she needs to end up with Jason, isn't it? And with the end of the show fast approaching, it seems like a way they could take the story.

**(Blue Bloods, 6x14 The Road to Hell) I fully agree with Erin. She was right to insist on no special treatment for Nicky while she was being held with her friends on the drugs found in the car. -- Frank: Lots of people have difficult lives, Father. That doesn't give them the right to break the law. -- That was a smooth way to tie the episode together: three cases of people covering up for the guilty party. Nicky with her friend. The priest with the parishioner who stole from the church. And the other girls in the house when the pimp got killed. Three different situations that force you to consider "shades of grey" to various degrees. -- Boy, Danny sure gets a lot of jumpers. I have to say, the camera work really freaked me out on this one though.

**(The Blacklist, 3x15 Drexel) Um, why didn't that guy a) tell his friend on the phone there was someone in his house and to call the police and/or b) get himself out the nearest door? -- Red: And then there are different pops entirely. Like the pops you hear when your shoulder's being dislocated. -- Oh, Liz, stop making a scene about every. little. thing. and listen to Red. He's right. --
Why does no one ever jump out of their skin when they come upon Red just sitting there in their homes? They always look annoyed, never startled. -- ::pauses to put a piece of tape over the webcam built into her laptop:: -- Red: People say youth is wasted on the young. I disagree. I believe wisdom is wasted on the old. All you can do is part with it, but very few will take it. Least of all, the people closest to you. They want no part of it. -- Very poetic use of the stormy backdrop while Red was talking to Liz. -- She hates Red. She loves Red. She hates Red. She loves Red. O. M. G. -- Whoa, that piece of art. So dark and angry. Who ordered it? Who told the dealer Red would be there to collect? What, beyond the obvious, are they trying to tell Red? What does that have to do with Rostova?

**(The Big Bang Theory, 9x16 The Positive Negative Reaction) Howard [freaking out over a nanny for the baby]: We can't get an ugly one. It'll scare the kid. -- The reactions from the group were so awesome. I love that they're not being all romantically cliche about the pregnancy. -- Leonard: You know what we should do? Sheldon: All get vasectomies so it doesn't happen to us? -- Drunk Sheldon peeing in the restaurant kitchen. I just can't even. -- Baby Wolowitz was conceived on Sheldon's BED?? And the look on his face when he found *that* out. LOL -- Amy [about Sheldon]: He used a period instead of a question mark. He's so wasted.


Thursday, February 18, 2016

Around Here: February 18, 2016

Current longing? For the EPCOT Flower and Garden Fest menus to be released already, so I can plan and drool in anticipation. I mean, seriously. The Fest starts in less than two weeks. We should have these details by now!

Current craving? A Steak 'n' Shake Black Raspberry Chocolate Chip milkshake. I saw it announced on Facebook earlier this week and now I can't stop thinking about it.

Current disappointment? It's only Thursday. I kid you not, I've legitimately thought it was Friday at least half a dozen times today and it's presently only 2pm. No fair.

Current peeve? People. Yep, that's it.

Current procrastination? Cleaning the bathrooms. I really should have done this on Monday, but Monday was being very Monday-ish and I was still getting over a cold. Tuesday...didn't feel like it. (Honestly, is this something anyone ever "feels like" doing? Doubtful.) Wednesday, I had an evening Lenten service at church. And here we are on Thursday and I know it just needs to get done already. Adulting is not my favorite.

Current ear worm? Taylor Swift's "You Belong With Me." I don't know either. I think my subconscious is serenading Friday.

Current favorite? The weather. 60s and 70s during the day. 40s and 50s at night. That "National Hate Florida Day" thing everyone shares on Facebook 4,722 times each winter? Now is when you should hate Florida. It's glorious.

Current anticipation? Hanging out at WDW with Krystyn (and family) on Saturday!

Current need? One of those Men in Black flashy mind eraser things. I use a glass water bottle for work that I fill at home instead of the yucky bottled water my employer provides that tastes like plastic or water cooler that maybe hasn't been cleaned since it was installed (gag). About a half hour ago, I noticed something I couldn't identify sitting in the bottom of my water bottle. No clue how long it was in there. WHILE I WAS DRINKING. If I don't survive, it's been a pleasure. I'm so grossed out.

Current confusion? Carrot cake flavored Hershey Kisses. In fact, I don't understand this whole trend of making one food taste like a different food. I don't mean peanut butter or raspberry or mint. I mean other actual foods. If I wanted a piece of carrot cake, I would eat...wait for it...carrot cake.


Sunday, February 14, 2016

Snapshot from Along the Broken Road: 2016 - Week 6

Checking in for the week of February 7 through February 13.

The Dark Tower (Stephen King) - I made a little progress, but not as much as I would have liked, what with being stricken with a cold all week.

We decided to get subs from the Publix deli for Super Bowl Sunday. Monday, T made up some goulash. Tuesday, we had pork chops and, despite being under the weather, I tried a new recipe for Broccoli Blue Cheese Bake, which was good, but I've already changed the recipe to increase the amount of blue cheese, since neither of us could really taste it at all. We also had Tortellini Florentine Soup one night, and made calzones on Friday.

Merry Cookie (BBW)
Celebrate Christmas (YC) - I realize it's long past Christmas, but this is still an excellent winter scent. And it's a completely unexpected combination of fruit and spice. I love it!

French Vanilla (YC) - Total classic and one of T's favorite.
Snow Is Glistening (YC) - I love this one in the bathroom. Like fresh air with a hint of baby powder.

I wanted hot chocolate. What I got instead was hot honey lemon water. Being sick, thumbs down.

Huge jet, circling low. (It was a military plane performing landing and takeoff exercises at the nearby regional airport.)

Ash Wednesday.

And thus concludes a short sick week, because no one wants photos of a mountain of used tissues.


Saturday, February 13, 2016

This Week on My TV: February 13, 2016

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

**(The Blacklist, 3x14 Lady Ambrosia) You know this "weird families in the woods with wild children" seems to be a recurrent theme for this show. -- Red at the DMV, looking around in distaste at "that petri dish of humanity." LOL (That's how I feel about work.) -- Good Lord. I thought Liz was going to burn the waffles, not burn the building down trying to make them. -- Oh, Tom. You *idiot*. -- Red looks positively heartbroken by Liz wanting to give up her baby. -- Dogs. For Glen. BAHAHAHAHA. -- I bet Lizzie is grateful for Red's protection now that it saved her butt once again. -- I had a working theory that the teacher to whom Red paid a visit was Lizzie's mom. Her accent. This file Red was after. The mention of him bringing her daughter back. What she said about loving her husband despite what he did. And then that story Red told Liz about her parents, about how, though it pained him, he thought Lizzie's mother's true love was Lizzie's father, no matter what he had done. And then I realized it was just more red herring parallels, because Anya was the teacher's missing daughter and her husband has obviously put their daughter up for "adoption," sending her to creepy Lady Ambrosia. Rats. -- CARNIVOROUS BUTTERFLIES?? -- That little kid who found bloody Tom in the shower is likely scarred for life now. Way to go, Tom. -- Lady Ambrosia: Who the hell are you? Red: Her fairy godmother. I hear it's her birthday. We've come to celebrate. -- Hmmmm. That file Red got from Anya's mother said ROSTOVA. I wonder what we're going to learn about in there...and when. -- It's looking more and more like Liz isn't going to be able to go through with giving up her baby. -- I have a continuity question. This episode supposedly took place right after the previous one, based on Tom just finishing that big job, right? So how did Liz go from not looking pregnant to looking noticeably pregnant in that amount of time?

**(The Big Bang Theory, 9x15 The Valentino Submergence) Raj: You say that like it's easy. Have any of you *ever* broken up with anyone? -- Howard: Sorry, but too hot is the only temperature I come in. ... O.M.G the shimmy. Am I laughing? Am I horrified? -- Amy [to the Fun with Flags caller]: No, I just blink a lot. It's not Morse Code for 'rescue me'. -- Bernadette [after Howard got bit by the rabbit they saved from their new hot tub]: Well, why'd you put your finger near its mouth? Howard: Poor judgment obviously! -- Howard: When I sat on the mute button and thought I'd gone deaf *that* was my hypochondria. -- I thought Sheldon was going to propose to Amy when he was being so sweet at the end. Guess not. -- OMG OMG BERNADETTE!!! A little nerd baby!

**(Downton Abbey, season 1) After finishing the first season, I have some thoughts. -- Characters I really like: Anna, Mr Bates, Matthew, and Lady Mary. -- Characters I definitely do *not* like: Thomas, O'Brien, Daisy, and Lady Edith. -- Violet makes me laugh. -- I feel like Carson and Mrs Hughes would be very fair to work under, but I'm a little scared of Mrs Patmore. -- I cannot believe the Crawley's dress like that for dinner every night! -- Like Carson, I have a soft spot for Lady Mary. I can't imagine the pressures of balancing who she is expected to marry and why with how she feels. And despite his cool demeanor, I think Matthew has genuine feelings for Mary as well. -- My heart nearly broke for Mr Bates and Anna. -- I cannot decipher why some of the help is referred to by simply their last name, others get a Mr or Mrs before it, and still others go by their first names.


Sunday, February 7, 2016

Snapshot from Along the Broken Road: 2016 - Week 5

Checking in for the week of January 31 through February 6.

The Dark Tower (Stephen King) - Still plugging away at this beast. I have to admit that this book has been more gross and disturbing, for me, than most of the other previous six. I'm too committed to the series to not find out how it ends, but I'll be glad when I'm done with this one.

We went to Olive Garden, after seeing a movie on Sunday afternoon, and actually *didn't* get the soup-salad-breadsticks deal. I got MEAL and it was so *so* good. During the week, we had BLTs; ravioli and a salad; linguine with clam sauce; and some leftover beef stroganoff from the freezer (which was a test that it passed! yay for freezer friendly meals!). Saturday, we finally got around to trying a new recipe I've wanted to try for ages -- Spaghetti Squash Alfredo with Pancetta and Peas -- which we had with some grilled marinated chicken thighs.

White Christmas (YC)
Christmas Cookie (YC) - Buttery sugar cookies smell delicious.
Luscious Plum (YC) - I think this one is one of the biggest surprises for me. It's sweet and fruity without being summery and I like that. It's a great change of pace for the winter's plethora of "fresh" and "spicy" scents.
Frolic and Play (YC) - Spearmint is such a fun twist on the season's typical use of peppermint.

This particular Sunday sunrise demanded I break out the big girl camera, instead of just my phone.

Retro calendar art for February at home.

And at work.

Super fog! There's a building directly across the street from that utility pole.

These cookies came in my holiday Try the World box and they tasted like the cookies my Gram would make with her leftover pie crust dough. Such an unexpected happiness.

Morning has broken.


Saturday, February 6, 2016

This Week on My TV: February 6, 2016

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

**(The Good Wife, 7x13 Judged) Lucca [to Jason]: Your smile thing, your bedroom eyes, BS. Oh, I'm just a guy's guy, I don't know what I do to women. ... OMG, yes! Oh, that is so him! That is snort-laugh funny. -- Jeffrey Dean Morgan is the best thing to happen to this show. I'm still not over Finn Polmar, probably never will be, but I do love me some Jason Crouse and his cat-that-ate-the-canary facial expressions. -- Alicia needs to find a way to let this Will thing go. See a therapist, get some bedroom activities, whatever. But this mooning over what cannot be changed is unhealthy. -- The opposing student in Diane's case saying he felt "under attack, disrespected, unsafe"...This is the problem with society, this self-victimization and inability to function as soon as someone disagrees with us. -- Lucca [about Jason]: He's a friend. Alicia: How close a friend? Lucca: Seriously, are you going to hate the whole world right now? -- Lucca [to Alicia]: I don't like people. But I like you. ... This is how I feel about my band of friends. -- Dean Randolph: Part of learning how to make decisions is learning how to live with poor decisions. -- It's like legal in*est, the way Alicia and Cary always end up representing each other. -- Whaaa...??? Those Jason and Alicia kisses. Steeeeeamyyyy. -- Jason's affirmative "uh-yuh" gets me. Every. Time. -- And about the kssing, as well as getting back to my earlier remark about Alicia. Amazing how she started to pull herself together after getting some lip action. -- Eli at Alicia's door, pouring out his heart to her. Oh, my heart. I wanted to hug him, with his teary eyes. What an excellent scene. Right down to the look he gave Alicia's door as he walked away. -- I really wanted to kick Bernie in the...shins. What a jerk. -- When Lucca said "we got shafted by the Brotherhood of the Robe," I wanted to cheer. Because I had just said the same thing to T about the judges being such a "boys' club," that Lucca's phrasing was spectacular. -- Alicia: should do what's best for you. Jason: Yeah, well, sometimes, I can't tell what that is. -- Boy, Cary's offer for Alicia to "come home" as a junior partner and they would bail her out of all her malpractice suit woes sure fixes it so everyone benefits, right down to Jason being able to accept Diane's offer to work for them exclusively.

**(The Big Bang Theory, 9x14 The Meemaw Materialization) Meemaw! I really hope she's going to be a character we see again from time to time. She was hilarious. -- Howard: I'm just saying instead of let it go, she should have sang look at me hiding in a freezer like a Dove bar. -- Meemaw gets to sit in Sheldon's spot! --
Ummm, Raj is talking to a girl...while sober. -- Raj: I wouldn't say she's beautiful. Howard: don't think she's attractive? Raj: I do. I just wouldn't tell my girlfriend! -- Penny: Are you sure I can't pour you some wine? Meemaw: Oh, no wine for me. Sheldon's bringing me my whiskey. Sheldon: Here you go, Meemaw. I made it just how you like it: a a glass. -- OMG I forgot Amy doesn't know about the ring! -- Claire: We're adults. We can still get together without it meaning anything. Raj: Not me. Ever since you admitted we had a vibe, I've been planning our wedding. ... Whoa, whoa, whoa. Is Raj seriously thinking about pursuing this for real??

**(The Blacklist, 3x13 Alistair Pitt) Why do people in shows always crouch behind tables , like that is supposed to protect them from gunfire? -- Liz [to Samar]: Swag for mommy dot com? Who *are* you? -- This Paris scene with Red and this woman (lover?) with the Christmas tree and the snow falling outside really got to me for some reason. Red: I can protect you. All you need to do is ask. -- Red: Honestly, if I paid taxes, I'd be outraged. -- "I think it's romantic to forgive someone you love." I really like Aram. Have I mentioned that? His lines fly under the radar but are nearly as good as Red's lately. -- "Do you have any cookies?" Never change, Red. -- "Comrade Rostova" -- this agent is a jerk. -- Seriously, Tom? You're back to Gina? You, unlike Red, *should* change. -- I found it completely disconcerting to see Tony Shalhoub in this criminal role! I guess he'll always be Monk to me.


Thursday, February 4, 2016

Some Things: February 4, 2016

ONE| "...stubborn souls refusing to confront their secret fears..." I read this in The Story, which we're doing for church (one chapter a week for thirty-one weeks, and then the sermon is based on the chapter read). It just resonated with me and stuck in my mind. I am so guilty of this.

TWO| Did I ever tell you about the time (ahem...last week) a rogue termite found his way into our house and started snacking on our entertainment center? Thank heaven they're sloppy eaters. T went to work on a search and destroy mission. We believe him to be deceased and see no evidence he called his buddies over for a party. Honest to God, I didn't know "there's a termite in the entertainment center" was on the list of things I never wanted to hear when I arrived home from work, but suffice to say, yep, on the list.

THREE| Is anyone else picturing cartoon termites devouring everything made of wood in a three mile radius in twenty seconds flat now?

FOUR| That "not a robot" feature on Blogger comments? Best. Thing. Ever. After weeding through a dozen (or more!) of them per day, I haven't had to moderate a single spammy comment since I activated it. Which means, now that I'm calling attention to it, that will probably change. But either way, it's nice as long as it lasts!

FIVE| I got called for jury duty at the end of the month. The Friday before I'm scheduled to report, I have to call in to see if they still need me there. Truth be told, I'm kind of hoping they tell me I'm not dismissed, because that means I get to sit there are read a large portion of my day. It's my fourth time receiving a summons and I've always had to report. I got selected for a jury one of those times. I truly don't mind doing my civic duty. It's just a really long day, with a lot of sitting around.

SIX| So. On Tuesday, I had my annual ::ahem:: exam. (All clear, pending lab results, thank God.) But anyway, I'm lying there, staring at the ceiling, because, well, ya know, and there's music playing quietly in the sound system, and it starts playing "I've Had the Time of My Life," you know, from Dirty Dancing, and it was all I could do not to burst out laughing, because, well...No. Definitely not. I mean, I have a really great doctor and all, but...nope.

SEVEN| Speaking of...that. We (my doctor and I) discussed relevant topics, and it made me realize that I am such a Libra, even when it comes to the issue of childbearing. It occurred to me, on any given day, I could be anywhere from "hmmm...maybe I'd like to have a baby" to "uhhh...maybe not." I mean, you've seen babies, right? They're cute and squishy. And on a less junior high-ish note, there's something to be said for a little tiny piece of you and your husband becoming a member of this world. But then there's that really freaky Zika virus (it may be international, right now, but do you know how many mosquitoes are in Florida YEAR ROUND?? I've killed three in the past week, in the house, IN FEBRUARY) and the fact that I'm eight months away from turning forty and that life is really easy as it is (selfish but honest -- I'm not stupid, I know babies disrupt everything, no matter how worth it they are) and holy crap, the cost of childcare and providing health insurance alone are staggering. But then someone posts a photo of their baby on social media and the ovaries weigh in (the ovaries like babies). But then someone else has horrific morning sickness or a child with a stomach virus or a broken arm. And the seesaw rocks back and forth. And I really just... Maybe this is why people have kids when they're young: they haven't lived enough life, yet, to overthink it to the point of saying "your ball, Mother Nature, I've got no clue what I want." (I know, I know. Everyone has an opinion on this topic. "You're too old!" "Just do it, you'll never regret it!" I'm not looking for advice. I'm just telling you what this thought process looks like inside my head. It's ridiculous. Also, whoever approved me for this "being an adult" thing really ought to have their license revoked.)

EIGHT| Moving on but also ridiculous. We had to run our a/c yesterday. Because it was 84 and humid. On February 3. That gets a big ol' Stink Eye from me. There are people who love the six months of Florida summer. I am not one of them. They got their six months (eight, more recently!). Now I want mine. And it includes NOT RUNNING THE AIR CONDITIONING.

NINE| Next month starts Flower and Garden Fest at EPCOT. I am already salivating, thinking about what delectable treats are in store for me.

TEN| We went to see The Revenant on Sunday. The scenery shots were incredible. There were parts that were really difficult to watch. There's not much for levity. DiCaprio managed to convey countless emotions and thoughts with very few spoken words. But what's stuck with me the longest is wanting to know how they made that bear scene.


  © Blogger templates The Professional Template by 2008

Back to TOP