Sunday, February 23, 2014

TSS: Downton Day


The scene//  8:30 Sunday morning. Sitting at the kitchen table, drinking coffee, gazing out the window at a bleak, late-winter landscape.

Reading//  I recently finished We Are Water by Wally Lamb (good, not great) and have started Middlemarch by George Eliot, my classics spin book. After two chapters, I've decided to take my time with this one and ignore the April 2 deadline. I think I'll enjoy it more that way.

Yesterday I purchased the novella Honeymoon in Paris by Jojo Moyes for my kindle. It's a prequel to The Girl You Left Behind, which I loved. Since I'm not feeling up to par today, I may just hang out on the couch and read it this afternoon. A one day break from the TBR Dare may be in order...

Listening//  I knew This is the Story of a Happy Marriage by Ann Patchett was going to be a tough act to follow, but The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown is certainly up to the task. Who knew a book about rowing could be so exciting? I shouldn't have any problem finishing the last two CDs before my book club meeting on Friday.

Blogging//  Reviews for The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert, We Are Water by Wally Lamb, and This is the Story of  Happy Marriage by Ann Patchett are in my draft folder. Let me know if there are any questions or topics you'd like me to address.

Watching//  I'm awaiting tonight's season finale of Downton Abbey  with mixed emotions. I've loved this season and can't wait to see what's in store tonight, but the prospect of waiting until next January for new episodes? Sigh.

Now let's transition to Syracuse basketball (keeping in mind the #FreeMrBates from an earlier season)...

Syracuse's undefeated streak ended at the hands of unranked Boston College on Wednesday, but last night's loss to Duke was heart-breaking. Down by 2 with just seconds to go, the officials made a questionable offensive foul call on a basket that would have tied the game. Coach Boeheim reacted - emotionally - was given 2 technical fouls and then ejected from the game (the first time in his long career). Duke got 4 foul shots plus the ball and won, while twitter exploded with #FreeJimBoeheim. I fully expect to see that on a t-shirt. On to Maryland...

In the kitchen//  Soup... my favorite winter food. Yesterday I posted about finding a deliciously old-fashioned recipe for Butternut Bisque. I've made it three times already.

Anticipating//  Another trip to Florida next month. I'm counting the days!

Wondering//  If spring will ever come. We had a couple of days above freezing this week, but still had to have our roof shoveled.

Happy Sunday!




34 comments:

  1. I'm not a Syracuse fan but hated to see those losses this week. I'd hoped they'd have an undefeated season. Hopefully they'll get back on track and win the NCAA tournament. I hope you feel better soon!

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    1. Kathy - Those were tough losses, but I hope the guys can pull it together before the Maryland game tomorrow night.

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  2. I officially absolve you from participation in the TBR Dare for one day. (I have that power since I invented the thing.) I prefer people only participate as long as they are having fun with it and encourage all sorts of "modifications" to the "rules. It's been two months (almost) already anyway.

    Enjoy.

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    1. James - Thank you! That novella (it seemed more like an extended short story to me) was exactly what needed today.

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  3. Enjoy your absolution :) It's good to know we can apply for one if needed.

    I've read such differing opinions of this season of Downton. Our paper carried a pretty scathing review this past week. I'm glad you're enjoying it!

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    1. Lisa - I enjoyed my absolution immensely! It does seem like reactions are mixed bout Downton this season, but it's good to see the characters moving forward.

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  4. I'm setting at a bleak winter landscape too. It's frigid here today. We've got another cold front that's going to be around all week. I'm sooooo tired if winter!

    I enjoyed We Are Water. I listened to the audio though and I do think that makes a difference. I just started While Beauty Slept and it's quite good so far.

    Hope you feel better. Relaxing with a book is good medicine. That and a bowl of soup :)

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    1. Darlene - We have another so-called polar vortex on the way... bet that's what you're experiencing now. I didn't dislike We Are Water, but it didn't seem quite as wonderful as Lamb's previous novels. I have a feeling it would have been better on audio, especially with a multi-narrator production. I usually love those.

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  5. Middlemarch is indeed something that is best digested a little slowly.

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    1. Bookertalk - Just two chapter in, but I can tell that is definitely the case!

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  6. Looking forward to your Ann Patchett book review. Have read positive things about it and will probably buy it. Can't believe how winter has been there this year. Having grown up in Michigan thought I'd seen it all but apparently not. Downton Abbey Season 4 began in Australia last night. Finally but on commercial t.v. so have bought the whole series on eBay and waiting it to arrive where I'll sit down and watch the lot!! Can't wait. Hope you're feeling better.

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    1. Pam - I didn't realize you have to wait even longer for Downton... sheer torture! Am sure you'll enjoy the viewing binge :)

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  7. I can't believe that Downton is ending tonight - it seems like this season just started! Those darn short-seasoned British series....

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    1. Carrie - I know!!! All the British series are too short :(

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  8. I feel the same way... looking forward to tonight but missing D.A. already. (And, p.s., Middlemarch gets better and it's definitely worth it. You can always skip the boring parts, but you also get to meet someone who's almost (if not quite) as Undine-esque as Ms. Spragg. ...

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    1. Audrey - Ooooh, and Undine-esque character in Middlemarch? Hope I don't have to wait 500 pages to meet her...

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  9. JoAnn,
    Last night Ken and I re-watched the next-to-last episode. We both thought this episode packed events and people and personal interactions in so tightly and so fast that our heads were reeling. Watching it a second time really helped and was so wonderful. I can actually admit that I enjoyed it as much the second time as the first--it was the reviewing of all of those nuances, I think.

    Next, I'll be looking forward to your take on Ann Patchett's latest. I have loved all of her books. And, I'd like to add that I loved this post--a little of this and of that--hit the spot!
    Judith

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    1. Judith - I re-watched the previous episode and felt like I noticed so much more the second time around. I'll definitely buy the season boxed set when it is released. So glad you enjoyed this post... Sunday Salons are such fun to write!

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  10. JoAnn, I think we have more snow than you perhaps (which is odd). I made chicken soup today --just felt like this today. Have a good week.

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    1. Diane - That's entirely possible... we missed the last storm that hit you. I'm not complaining though! Hope you have a good week, too.

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  11. Did you enjoy the Moyes novella? I hadn't heard about it so thank you!
    I just got caught up with Downton and am recording tonight's episode to watch later in the week when I'm not falling asleep on the couch. I'm really enjoying this season and I love all of the new characters (especially Lord Gillingham and Charles Blake). :-)

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    1. Anbolyn - It was much more of a short story than a novella, but just what I needed! You're in for a treat with the last Downton episode :)

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  12. Thanks for sharing your news. The basketball game must have been exciting! Sounds like you've had some great reads. I will look forward to your reviews.

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    1. Pat - The first one should publish on Wednesday.

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  13. For some reason I've had a hankering to read ALL the big books this year. Middlemarch has somehow managed to squeak its way onto my wishlist.

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    1. Andi - I'm feeling these chunky books now, too. In the beginning stages of Middlemarch and hoping for good things :)

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  14. Hope you had a great afternoon snuggled up on the sofa with a good book :)

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    1. Sam - The afternoon and the book were both perfect!

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  15. It almost feel like they are heartless to have us Downton fans wait for a year almost to air the next Season. I mean, how much rewatching can you do and still find it fresh? So what do you think the new Season might bring? I have a feeling that S5 just might be the last one. Story wise, it's not going anywhere too far, and time wise, Julian Fellowes has to focus on The Guilded Age, the U.S. version of Downton.

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    1. Arti - That closing scene with Carson and Mrs Hughes is enough to keep me going until next year - I loved it! But I agree with you in thinking that season 5 may be the last. I also loved Baxter's show of strength and have been delighted with Moseley these last two episodes. I was reminded of last season's finale "on the road" in Scotland and thoroughly enjoyed this years London setting. Thanks again for your recaps and thoughts following each episode this season!

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  16. Sorry about Syracuse. That's a tough way to lose. A trip to Florida sounds good to me :)

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    1. Stacy - At least they managed to hold it together Monday night, lol! Looking forward to March Madness.

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  17. Lovely glimpse into your life. loved it.

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