Photo Dump – Part Two

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Oh gosh – I’ve done so much on so little sleep in the past three days that I can’t believe I’m still functioning – thankfully today has next to nothing on the schedule and if I want to, I can just stare at the Rockies off the deck of the house we’re staying in. I’ve got some more photos to share…all 400+ will be uploaded to Facebook at some point…till now, this will have to do! Ha-ha!

Cadet Wing Parade on Monday morning.

A panoramic shot of Stillman Parade Field & the 40 Squadrons of the Cadet Wing.

The Thunderbirds arrived at USAFA around 11:30 on Monday….& then proceeded to show off for about 30 minutes….

Lindsey posing by the trophy case for one of the two Squadron awards that her squadron won – go CS16!

With her class crest – way to go kiddo – you’ve made it!

Ha-ha…brace yourself Colorado Springs!

Singing her heart out at her final Echelon performance!

Sipping a Blood Drop by the fire pit at Aaron’s graduation party!

The Cadet Wing, lined up for the graduation parade on Tuesday!

Cadet Squadron 16 steps out of the formation – they have symbolically left the Cadet Wing…

With my little cadet….on her last day as a cadet!

Recieving her plaque for being one of eight (out of 995) to be nominated for the Roslyn Schulte Leadership & Character Development Award!

What I was charged with hanging on to for the afternoon – the all important butter bars.

Dad, Lindsey & Sam in their mess dress – they certainly don’t look a mess, ha!

Sam makes a pre-commissioning ceremony adjustment to Lindsey’s uniform….

Family photo with our new 2nd Lieutenant!

Lindsey found the Thunderbird pilot(s) as soon as she got in the door of the graduation reception – talk about a one track mind!

The view from Vandenberg Hall…..

The Summerlins!

Graduation 2014 – It was a WARM day!

The future 2L have entered the stadium – way to go class of 2014!

A cuddly baby selfie with Evie! We were both rocking our floppy hats!

Lindsey gets her diploma!

Class of 2014 – You are dismissed!

The T-birds putting on a post-graduation show!

So proud of this new 2nd Lieutenant! 

9(ish) years later – a dream a long time in the making becomes reality.

And now it’s time to party!

Weekend Photo Dump

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I’ll do a (much) longer post about the week that is about to happen – I assure you, there will be so much happening in the next week that it may warrant more than one post. Until I have the time to give Lindsey’s graduation week the post(s) it deserves, I’ll be doing daily or every other day photo dumps…so enjoy!

Colorado bound with my sweet seat mate!

NOLA from the air…

Flying over Lake Pontchartrain!

Do you see the Mississippi river? I do!

Yeah – I took a LOT of pictures from the air….

Once more….

Clouds, clouds everywhere…

Big puffs of cotton!

Flying always leaves me in such awe – we are blessed to live in a world filled with wonder.

About to descend through the soupy clouds into Colorado…

The first glimpse of the mile high city…lovely!

And once more, before we landed!

So happy to see this little lovey again – hadn’t seen her since Christmas!

If this isn’t food porn, I don’t know what is. It was delicious!

Sunday morning sunshine!

Selfie with the graduation week house!

Our home away from home for the week of graduation….

A late afternoon storm forming over the mountains.

At the entrance to the Superintendent’s House for the reception – smile!

The fine china was set out – a VIP was coming for dinner…

A look at the menu & the guest of honor – also Lindsey’s graduation speaker.

Sunday afternoon mimosas & refreshments at the Superintendent reception.

Having a deep discussion with one of the many instructors on hand…

Petting one of the Falcons!

Hi there birdie!

A band providing some music for the afternoon – so nice!

The sun begins to set behind Pike’s Peak!

So proud of our (almost) 2nd Lieutenant!

Lindsey & I were just cracked up by how completely different our feet look – can you guess which foot belongs to which Summerlin?

The seesaw in the backyard provided at least thirty minutes of solid entertainment!

Sister selfie!

The guard cat admitting us to the house…

And that’s all for now…I’ll do another photo dump in just a few days! Till then – have a great Memorial Day!

Breaking News…

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Well friends – the moment I have been waiting for…well, for what seems like months and months (it’s been over a year – I do know that) has finally come to pass. Drum roll please…..

I AM MOVING TO VIRGINIA!

Yes indeed, you read that right! In just 20 shorts days, I will be making the permanent move to Virginia; the tenth state of the Union, nicknamed “The Old Dominion”. In less than a month, I will be waving good-bye to Mississippi and heading up the road to Virginia! As mentioned, I have been waiting for this for quite some time now and my heart could not be happier. So, this week’s “recap” is actually a fairly accurate replay of what I’ve been doing all week – packing, packing, packing! Whoosh! 

Did you know that hot cardboard boxes smell a bit like garbage? Well…they do!

Packing is a form of organized chaos – & I don’t handle chaos well; organized chaos is just chaos to me…

I promise – you never realize how much stuff you have until the time comes to have to consolidate it all in to boxes; and then comes the realization that there is way too much stuff. Way. Too. Much. Especially considering that it’s only me and an 18 pound dog living in my house…but I somehow have enough stuff for, I swear, numerous people. I have discovered that I am much more like my Mom than I ever thought – everything has a place and everything needs to be in it’s place…and when packing starts, you have to snatch everything from where it’s neatly stored, stuff it (gently and safely) into boxes and those boxes stack up and up and up…and it’s chaos. Organized chaos, yes…but chaos. And it drives me absolutely crazy. In the best way possible.

An empty guest bathroom…progress is being made…

This fell out of my bookshelf in the midst of packing – ha-ha! Virginia here I come!

Do you see what I mean? It’s basically just chaos. There is no method to the madness…

Boxes & tubs & tubes…oh my!

Essentially – as if you can’t tell, I spent almost every night this week packing. I know, absolutely thrilling. I’m sure you’re falling asleep reading this, ha-ha! I know that I’ve probably induced sheer panic in Watson, he has followed me around watching to see what I am doing and then gives up when it stays just as boring as it was to begin with and then finds a spot on the couch where he can sleep and pretend I’m not boxing up his home. Bless him. He’s excited about going to Virginia…he just doesn’t know it yet.

Thank goodness for bubble wrap & cardboard…a packing woman’s best friend!

Look at my table…all scooted out of the way!

Boxes, boxes everywhere….

I’m going to go ahead & say that I’ve got quite a mug collection going…

Empty cabinets – crowded counters. Whoosh.

So beyond the thrills and chills of packing up my entire life, there were a few more things going on this week besides packing – and I’ve put those pictures below all the excitement of packing. Ha – I know, what excitement, right? I’ll do my best to keep calm if you can do the same, so moving on – to things beyond my impending move.

Wednesday workday shoe blow-out….& replacement shoes!

On Wednesday I wore some incredibly cute wedges that have honestly probably been in the family (and by family, I mean Lindsey and I) for about ten years. They were Lindsey’s first and then she ever so kindly passed them on to me and I made perfectly good use of them! I thought that on Wednesday they felt a little more floppy than usual but didn’t think too much of it until I happened to look down and see that the wedge was separating from the sole of the shoe…which didn’t look great, but it didn’t look so bad…or so I thought. I had to run to Wal-Mart during my lunch break to get some small toiletries and….apparently new shoes too. As I walked past the trash can at the entrance of Wal-Mart, I took a step and the sole of the shoe completely came away from the wedge! I just sighed, picked up the wedge and tossed it in the trash and casually limped to the shoe department where I thankfully found a cute pair of brown sandals for all of $12! Nothing wrong with that, right?

A frog friend hanging out on the glass door; I named him Sticky Fingers…

It’s not downward facing dog – but he was feeling very zen. Can you hear him saying “ohm….”

Yuck – is this heat for real?

Chocolate chip muffin breakfast – a good start to a Friday morning!

An early good-bye from a sweet friend; from my work friend who became a friend…no other label needed.

Loving on my favorite new 1 year old – time flies by!

So – there you have it. As I said, it was mostly just a whole lot of packing this week. I feel fairly certain that will take most of my time for the next two weeks…at least, for the next two weeks after the one ahead: the one ahead is devoted to Colorado Springs, Lindsey’s graduation and spending time with my family. Except daily or every other day photo dumps from all the celebrations we’ll be attending. Life is about to get very interesting…and I can’t wait!

Lasagna Ole!

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I wanted Mexican food on Monday night but I wasn’t really sure exactly what I wanted…but in my boredom, I thought to myself “what if I just threw all the elements of Mexican food into a dish, then I don’t have to decide!” I mean, I’m certain I’m not the first person that has decided to make Mexican lasagna but this is the first time I’ve made it, so I thought I’d share my recipe…as well as some tips for what I’ll do the next time I make it, ha-ha!

Ingredients…ingredients…

What You’ll Need

-1 package of soft shell tortillas (I made a very small lasagna, I used six small shells)
– ground beef, browned
– 1 can re-fried beans (or black beans)
– 1 serving of Mexican or Spanish rice…I had a can of rice, which I have never seen before in my life! Everything turned out just fine but I’d use a different kind in my next batch! 🙂 You cook, you learn!
– taco seasoning packet (or cumin, chili powder, onion, salt & pepper)
– taco sauce or salsa of your choice
– shredded Mexican cheese
– tortilla chips

*You can also add in some white queso if you’d like – I have found some at Dollar General of all places that I absolutely love and so I added a bit of that in there. It’s really all in what you’d like in your Mexican food!

I know, it doesn’t exactly look extremely appetizing…but just go with me on this one…

Before the oven – I might have filled the dish just a wee bit too full…oh well!

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What To Do
– Brown your ground beef with spices or seasoning packet; drain the grease and set the beef aside. Preheat the oven to 350.
– In a large bowl, mix together rice, re-fried or black beans, ground beef, taco sauce/seasoning and cheddar cheese. If you have queso, go ahead and mix that in as well. As previously mentioned, whatever floats your boat! You could use chicken instead of ground beef…you could even use chicken and ground beef!
– Spread a small layer of your filling into a casserole dish. Top with crumbled tortilla chips and then lay soft tortilla shells on top of the crumbled chips. Continue layering until you’ve reached the top of your dish. Make a thin layer on the top with filling and sprinkle with shredded cheese.
– Cook for 25 minutes at 350; it should be well cooked through by then. Serve with tortilla chips to scoop up bits of filling that slip out, ha-ha!

Hot & piping from the oven – ready to be eaten!

Served with a side of crunchy chips! Ole!

This dish turned out really good but it looked like such a mess. A few reasons for this are, at least as far as I can tell/think:

– the canned rice had quite a bit of juice in it; bag style rice would not be so moist…
– I also think that I had a bit too much filling; I used a very small casserole dish because I’m the only person eating this; I should have used a little less filling.
– I’d like to try it with black beans as opposed to re-fried; although I think re-fried beans serve as a bit of a paste to help hold everything together!
So there are my thoughts! Proceed with your own discretion but know that even though when I started this, I wasn’t sure how it would turn out, it was still really yummy! Try it out and give your lasagna night a twist! 

Game of Thrones – Mockingbird

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Episode seven – we are actually at episode seven of the fourth season – wow. The season has sped by at what seems like lightning fast speed; it will slow down a bit since there isn’t a new episode for two weeks but man, I cannot believe that there are only three episodes left before the long nine month stretch between seasons. You could grow a human being in the time it takes to wait for a new season of Game of Thrones! Oh well, to the recap!

The episode opens with Jaime berating Tyrion; telling him that he basically threw away his life by having an outburst in the courtroom and demanding a trial by combat – and while Tyrion agrees, he also admits he thoroughly enjoyed giving his Father as good as he’s been getting from him for the entirety of his trial. Tyrion asks Jaime if he’ll stand as his champion in the trial by combat; Jaime was, before the loss of his sword hand, the best swordsman in all of Westeros. Jaime tells Tyrion that his lessons with Bronn to train himself to fight with his left hand aren’t going well and he couldn’t kill a flea – and while the two brothers relish how Tywin would react if Jaime did champion Tyrion and lost both his sons in one swing of the sword, Tyrion tells Jaime to send Bronn to him – Bronn has fought for him before, hopefully he will again…but wonders who Cersei will name as champion….

Tyrion & Jaime – post trial, having a heart to heart…

Well – that person would be none other than Gregor Clegane; more commonly known as The Mountain – we see him first impaling a man with a sword and thrusting him into the air before mercilessly hacking into several men; prisoners of Kings Landing. Cersei watches from the sidelines before welcoming her new champion back to the capital and thanking him for being her champion – he confirms that he doesn’t care who he’s fighting, as long as he gets to kill someone. Lovely.

The Mountain – freakish big & freakish strong
Tyrion’s second visitor arrives – Bronn; who apparently has been shopping in between thinking up witty remarks and teaching Jaime to fight left handed. Oh wait, no…that’s not it…he’s been bribed by Cersei, he’s been married to dimwitted Lollys Stokeworth and is looking to inherit a castle, as long as Lollys’ older sister has an accident somewhere along the way; as he says “ladies fall off their horses and break their necks all the time…” Tyrion tells Bronn that IF he survives his trial and IF he can find his wife, Sansa that he could one day rule the North from Winterfell and he could give Bronn quite a large chunk of land and a castle in the North. Bronn thinks there are too many “IFS” in that equation and he’s already got a nice, warm wife, new clothes and will certainly have a castle in time. Tyrion says he thought they were friends and Bronn says they are friends – but when has Tyrion ever risked his life for Bronn? Good point. The two part ways as friends; with Tyrion telling Bronn the whole reason he was first interested in being Bronn’s friend was because he was a scoundrel he could sway with money. 
It seems that Tyrion will be fighting the Mountain all on his own – and the closing shot of this scene pulls back to give us a reminder of just how small Tyrion really is…he’s doomed and he knows it.
Friendship Over? Not quite…but still no champion for Tyrion….

Our first installment of road trip buddies reunites us with Arya and The Hound somewhere in the Riverlands (I assume they’re still in the Riverlands…we haven’t been told differently…) where they stumble upon a burnt out village and an old man in the process of dying. Arya asks him why he hasn’t just ended things and the man tells her he’s worried that the nothing that follows dying will be worse than the pain of lying there and suffering – Arya tells him “nothing isn’t better or worse than anything – nothing is just nothing” – which is important because Arya is also telling us that she essentially shuts it all out, feeling nothing is better than trying to process all the hurt she’s experienced in her short life. Arya and The Hound talk to the man, share some water with him and then The Hound stabs the man in the heart – ending his suffering.

While they have been tending to the dying man, The Hound is jumped by one of two “villains” from all the way back in season two – Rorge and Biter; Biter true to his name takes a chunk out of The Hound’s neck before The Hound flings him off and finishes him. Rorge takes the time to let The Hound know that there is a price of 100 silver stags on his head before Arya stabs the man through the heart with her Needle – and The Hound tells her gruffly that she’s learning.
Later in the episode we rejoin the two; The Hound is trying to clean his wound to no avail. Arya tells him that the wound needs to be burned before it’s stitched up to sear away the infection but when she approaches him with a small torch, he screams “NO FIRE” and steps away from her. He then proceeds to tell her that she isn’t the only person that is alone; he shares that when his older brother (the character mentioned above, the Mountain…) pushed him face first into the fire as a child, the worst part wasn’t that his face was burned – the worst part was that his own father said that he’d caught his bedding on fire; he protected his eldest son and lied about his youngest. The Hound knows what it means to be alone – and that explains loads about why he’s the man we see him as now.

Well that’s a fun new outfit – very interesting….

Jumping across the Narrow Sea to Essos, we join Daenerys at the top of her pyramid in Meereen – Daario has managed to sneak in and has brought her flowers, which she tells him she doesn’t want, shoving them back at him. Daario tells Dany he has two strengths: killing men and loving women and she needs to allow him to use his strengths; she should send him to kill men for her because the only women he wants does not want him. Daenerys sits and stares at him for a few minutes before telling him to take off his clothes…and hello booty! 

The next day Ser Jorah goes to see Daenerys and bumps into an un-buttoned Daario; a Daario who tells him that he picked an excellent time to see Daenerys because she’s in a great mood! Poor Jorah – if you needed the definition for friendzone, his picture would be by it in the dictionary – that man cannot catch a break. Daenerys tells him she’s sent Daario to kill the slavers of Yunkai and Jorah counsels her to show restraint; telling her that if Ned Stark had put to death anyone who ever sold a slave that he himself would be dead instead of counseling her. Daenerys takes his counsel into consideration and has him go after Daario, to tell him to that instead of killing the slave masters in Yunkai, they can live in her new world or they can die in their old one. So, while she may trust Daario enough to let him into her bed, she doesn’t trust his counsel; which circles back and begs the question – why did you let him into your bed?

We jump to the Wall for a quick visit with Jon Snow and the other members of the Night’s Watch – Jon isn’t exactly heralded as a hero on his return from defeating the mutineers at Craster’s Keep – and Allister Thorne makes him lock Ghost up immediately; if he doesn’t he’ll allow Hob to put Ghost in the stew. I’d like to see him try that – he’d end up dead faster than he could say direwolf! Jon tells the brothers of the Night’s Watch that they should seal up the tunnel in the wall as a defense against Mance Rayder and the Wildlings but he’s turned down and tuned out…and also given night duty walking along the top of the wall for the next few weeks because of his argumentative tone.

Two roads diverged in a wood….& they took the one to the Eyrie…

Road tripping buddies part two takes us back to join Brienne and Podrick, also somewhere in the Riverlands. The two are having some supper at the Inn at the Crossroads and their chef is none other than Hot Pie! Hot Pie tells them a little too much information about how he made their kidney pie but pipes down when Brienne tells him they are looking for Sansa Stark. Later, as the duo prepare to leave, Hot Pie approaches them and offers a loaf of wolf bread for Arya Stark, of “Winterhell”…he tells the duo that while he’s never met Sansa Stark, he saw Arya some months ago and she was alive and dressed like a boy, heading towards Riverrun. He asks that they give the wolf bread to Arya if they see her – she was his friend.

*side note* They made Pod explain to Brienne that they probably shouldn’t be asking for Sansa Stark by name because there is a bounty on her head for helping kill King Joffrey. This is such a strange deviation from the books because Brienne is meant to be savvy as well as mistrustful of strangers while Pod is meant to be a lovable idiot. Not sure what prompted that change…but okay…*

Also – best line of the night from Brienne, when Pod tells her he doesn’t want to offend her – “You’re not interesting enough to be offensive.” I’m going to start using that line….

Nutty Selyse…bless her, she’s just a bit too devoted…

We are treated to a quick trip to Dragonstone (it’s a treat because it’s quick…honestly, the Stannis Baratheon contingency is always SO boring) where Melisandre expounds on how most of the things she uses to entice people to the worship of the Red God are merely “tricks that lead people to the truth”. I guess Stannis’ wife Selyse is so far gone in her devotion that she just nods and mutters that “anything done in the name of the Red God is done for good…” and since Melisandre isn’t wearing anything (unnecessary nudity much?) while she makes her speech, you just know Selyse is thinking of Melisandre sleeping with her husband as she mutters that mantra to console herself. Selyse thinks that when they sail for King’s Landing, her daughter Shireen should stay behind – she’s not devoted to the Lord of Light (the Red God) and is a petulant preteen. Melisandre tells her Shireen will come with them and since Melisandre isn’t afraid to light folks on fire, we might need to be worried for sweet innocent Shireen.

Nothing says “champion” like dramatic lighting!

Tyrion receives a visit from his final guest and can I just say, kudos to both Peter Dinklage and Pedro Pascal for working this scene – people are already saying “All the Emmys” based on Dinklage’s performance in last week’s episode and this week it is a much more understated performance but still just as moving – he almost had me in tears! But I ramble…

Oberyn comes to visit Tyrion and shares a little story with him – he has met Tyrion before. When Oberyn and his sister Elia were younger, they traveled to Casterly Rock with their father and all they heard on the voyage was stories about the monstrous baby that had been born to Tywin Lannister – a head twice the size of his body, one red eye, claws instead of fingers and the parts of both a boy and a girl. They ask Cersei daily if they could see the baby and she finally relented, providing them with nothing but disappointment – Tyrion had a somewhat large head and short arms and legs, but otherwise he was just a regular baby. Little Cersei pinched poor baby Tyrion in a very delicate place, so hard that he began to cry and little Jaime had to make her stop, but Cersei told Oberyn and his sister that he wouldn’t live much longer; he shouldn’t have lived at all since he killed their mother being born. Tyrion is almost in tears at this point because this story just proves to illustrate something he’s known all his life – his older sister has always hated him.

Tyrion thinks Oberyn is merely there to share a story and some conversation before Tyrion meets his eventual doom but Oberyn tells him that he still wants revenge for the wrong done to his sister Elia and her young children, Rhaenys and Aegon…wrongs done to them by none other than The Mountain. Oberyn tells Tyrion that he will be his champion – he will fight for him and seek his revenge! And everyone jumps off their couches saying “yahooooo” and “oh noooo” all at once…because…well…I guess we’ll see…

Sansa in the snow…

The episode aptly concludes in the Eyrie – with none other than the Mockingbird himself, Lord Petyr Baelish (Littlefinger) and his band of jolly misfits: his new wife Lysa, his stepson Robin and his “niece” Alayne AKA Sansa Stark. Sansa finds a snow covered courtyard in the castle and builds a miniature Winterfell in the snow – until her cousin Robin comes along and being a ridiculous spoiled little boy, knocks one of the towers of her castle down. When Robin begins to whine and berate his older cousin, she smacks him soundly across the face, sending him running and crying to his mother. Littlefinger appears from around the corner and agrees that while Sansa probably shouldn’t have hit Robin, he certainly deserved it.

Sansa asks him point blank why he plotted and killed Joffrey – the Lannisters were always good to him, she sees no motivation for his actions. He tells her when someone hurts the one we love, we take revenge. The only person Littlefinger has ever loved was Sansa’s mother, Catelyn Stark; and in one of his more pervy moments he tells Sansa that if they lived in a world where love and duty took precedence…she might be his daughter…she’s not but she’s more beautiful than her mother ever was…and so he kisses her, which is of course, witnessed by his wife Lysa.
Lysa, who is as crazy as they come invites Sansa to talk near the Moon Door – Sansa really needs to not accept this conversation but she can’t…so she goes quite close and just as figured, Lysa shoves her to her knees and pushes her face out over the abyss telling her that when people fall from the Moon Door they often break into numerous pieces when they smash into the rocks. Littlefinger comes in and tells Lysa that he will handle Sansa but that she must let her up and stop being so silly…she’s his silly wife…and as he holds her close, he looks her in the eyes and tells her he’s only ever loved one woman – her sister. As she registers the shock of what he’s said to her, he gives her a shove…and away she flies.

And the best part of the episode??

Oh Lysa – leaving that moon door open is always a bad idea….
And that’s it for the seventh installment of season four. Two weeks worth of waiting until the eighth episode, aptly titled The Mountain and The Viper – the last three episodes are going to be good, I can’t wait to see them unfold! Until next week…oops, I mean…until two weeks from now, don’t stand too close to any open Moon Doors!

Blink & You Missed It!

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Well – the past week seems like it went by in a blink of an eye – hence the title. My parents were here for the start of the week and that’s always nice; except that they buy me donuts for afternoon snacks, which are delicious but not so helpful to the waistline. Oh well, it didn’t stop me from inhaling it at about 2:30 on Monday afternoon…because hey, I’m not going to buy them myself but if you put it in front of me, I’m usually powerless to say no. That’s neither here nor there though, so the week in review:

Lemon donut as a Monday afternoon snack – courtesy of the parents. Bad for the figure but good for the soul.

Hiding under my umbrella at graduation – rain, rain, go away!

The last Watson grand kid graduated – we’re all “big kids” now.

My cousin Colton graduated on Monday night – he’s the youngest grand kid and so with his graduation, all five of the Watson grand kids are officially high school graduates. I’ve always thought we were all pretty smart cookies and if memory serves me correctly, we all graduated with honors or high honors – so I think I’m correct when I say we are all smart cookies, ha-ha! It came a small rain shower during the ceremony and there must have been hundreds of umbrellas open all over the stands – and yet somehow, we sat in front of the one woman who wanted to have her umbrella open but bark at us that “I can’t see anything…” – well, too bad, so sad lady…we can’t cater to your whims.

That was snarky of me, wasn’t it? Oh well – sometimes snark happens.

Amaryllis is bloom – it will only be pretty for about a week, but hey – what counts is I got it to bloom!

Rainy Wednesday porch…

Thursday morning when I opened the door to Watson’s “room”, his bed was collapsed in half and hanging sideways off the chaise lounge. He was stretched out across the floor and when I looked at him and asked “what in the world??” he just wagged his tail, hopped up and traipsed into the living room. I have no clue how his bed ended up that way but yet again I’m left wishing I could rig a camera up in his room so I would be able to see the antics he gets up to in the middle of the night. Did he sleep so wildly that he literally crashed into the floor? I’ll never know…and that is one of life’s truly sad things.

Obviously Watson doesn’t exactly sleep peacefully – too bad I don’t have a camera in his room; I have no clue if he wiggled so much he fell out of the bed…

My new favorite food – chocolate covered Acai Blueberries – they are to die for.

Watson takes his treats on the run – scoops them up from the treat rug & heads for the front porch.

Blue sky Friday!

I may or may not be something of a chocolate rabbit thief. You see, I was nice and helped someone at the office on Friday and was told that as a thanks, I could have the chocolate rabbit sitting on the desk. I figured I’d leave it until the afternoon and then collect my prize – but suddenly another co-worker threatened to snatch the rabbit from my grasp. I knew I had to act, so I quickly ran around the corner, grabbed up the rabbit and ran back to my desk…and then proceeded to text the picture below to my competitor, to let him know that he wouldn’t be having any chocolate rabbit that day. It was all in fun, but I guess he was a sore loser because once he got the picture, he text back “I’m not allowed to text at work” and effectively ended the fun on a party pooper note. Oh well – it was funny while it was happening and now I have a chocolate rabbit – which, oh yeah…I don’t need.

Easter bunny theft at the office – I may be the culprit…

I picked up around the house on Friday night – Watson was a huge help. All he wanted to do was watch Game of Thrones…

Watson & the traveling Beggin Strip.

I spent my Friday and Saturday cleaning up around my house – I was both busy and lazy at the same time, organizing and straightening for an hour or two, then stopping to collapse on the couch for an hour. Watson seemed to have zero motivation on Saturday; the only thing he seemed driven to do was find multiple cushy nap spots and sleep the day away. I gave him a Beggin Strip early on Saturday morning and proceeded to be amused by him and the Beggin Strip for the rest of the day. He took it outside with him as soon as I gave it to him…and when he came in about an hour later to nap on the rug, he brought the strip with him and laid it on the rug by the door for later. He took it back outside with him and laid it on the porch while he napped there…and I assume at some point on Saturday he ate it because it wasn’t on the porch at the end of the day. Such a mess, oooh wee!

Saturday afternoon visitor – drool & all, he was a blast!

Hanging out with one of my favorite bandits – he’s so cute I’m sure if we stuck up a store, they’d just give us what we asked for…ha-ha!

Sunday was stressful at best…and well, at worst…we won’t even go into the worst. Suffice it to say that sometimes Sundays manage to be the worst day of the week for me and only sweet little faces are the saving grace that makes the day better. Also, it is far more fun to watch an animated movie with an almost three year old than just to watch it by yourself – they are far more amazed by all things; not just animated movie things. So, I suppose eating goldfish, drinking Sprite and watching Wall-E with a little kiddo isn’t the worst way to spend a Sunday afternoon…

Sunday afternoon baby cuddles!

So – this week has come and gone. It’s Monday again, it’s only 9:15 and I’m on my second cup of coffee because I didn’t sleep worth a flip last night. I suppose that’s all a story for another week though, so here is where I’ll end. Adios and have a good week!

Game of Thrones – The Laws of Gods and Men

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It’s official…we are on the downward slope of the fourth season of Game of Thrones! I’ll do my best to hold back the tears if you’ll do the same. Ha! This season feels like it has absolutely flown by; seriously, didn’t the season just start like…a week ago? Oh well, without further ado, my recap of episode six: The Laws of Gods and Men. Pro/Con style…because that’s always fun, right?

Pro – The episode opens on a boat; Stannis and Davos are sailing into the harbor of….Braavos! We’ve got a new city. Granted, we all knew this was coming because 1) It was in the preview last week and 2) The city popped up on the map in the credits. And it looks incredible! As with almost every location on this show, I wish I could book a trip to each of them – but while most of the locations on Game of Thrones are based in reality, Braavos was created completely with CGI effects. *sigh* See you in my dreams.

Game of Thrones - Season 4 Episode 6 - Video Preview - The Laws of Gods and Men
Braavos! Y’all – so cool, so cool.

Con – Stannis is in a mood because they’ve been waiting since mid-day to meet with a representative from the Iron Bank of Braavos. But wait…when is Stannis not in a mood?

Pro/Con – Look – it’s Mycroft! No wait, it’s just Mark Gatiss playing Tycho Nestoris…a stiff upper lip type who decides who the Iron Bank will dole out money to. Basically he’s Mycroft but in a different outfit, in a different place, with no Sherlock or John to pester. Also, he tells Stannis and Davos – NO – the bank will not fund them because the stories of King Tommen’s illegitimacy cannot be proven and they’re already committed to the Iron Throne through the Lannisters.
Pro – Davos makes a rousing speech; his first point is that Tommen is a child being puppetted by a 67 year old man who will die and leave the entirety of Westeros in the hands of a little boy. His second point is that the Lannister house motto may (jokingly) be “A Lannister always pays it’s debts” but they aren’t actually paying back what they owe but Stannis Baratheon always makes good on a deal. His example of this? He whips off his glove and shoves them the four shortened fingers that Stannis gave him as punishment for being a smuggler.

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It’s Mycroft…oops…wait, no. It’s Tycho Nestoris, representative of the Iron Bank of Braavos.

Pro – The impassioned speech must have worked because Davos seeks out the not too often seen pirate captain Sallador Saan, presents him with rolls of coins and tells him they set sail in the morning. Saan seems less than enthused about this, but the money tips the scales.

Con – We jump over to the Dreadfort, which is always a con for me because Ramsey Snow is awful and poor tortured Theon/Reek always makes me slightly on edge; you never know what Ramsey is going to do to him next. It makes me nervous. 
Con – The Ironborn are back; everyone seems to love Yara (Theon’s sister) but I have only ever been mildly interested in the whole group of Ironborn and so I don’t exactly jump with joy when they all pop up on screen. Oh well. I guess we have to include ALL the characters. Yara makes an impassioned speech (those are a theme this week) about saving Theon from the Northmen and they storm the Dreadfort; where Yara thinks Theon will be in the dungeon. He’s in the dog cages. Bless him.
Pro/Con – Yara breaks the chain on his cage and tries her best to rescue him, but he’s so brain-washed at this point that he just screams at her that he is NOT Theon, his name is Reek and he knows to behave. She wrestles him out of the cage right about the time Ramsey and his thugs burst into the room and all hell breaks loose. In the commotion of the ensuing battle, Theon/Reek bites his sister’s hand, effectively loosening her grip on him and he scurries back into his cage to shirk and shiver in the corner, shrieking that he knows his name and he knows to obey. The only reason I marked this as a pro is because Alfie Allen can act the mess out of some scenes; he is excellent!

Game Of Thrones spoilers: Laws of Gods and Men - Jaime defends Tyrion, on Beamly
Joffrey was the worst…until he died. It seems Ramsey is taking his place…

Con – Ramsey threatens to release his dogs on Yara and her remaining men (remember from episode two, they completely ate someone…alive) and they flee the Dreadfort; Yara telling her men that her brother is “dead” as they disappear into the night. Poor Theon/Reek…he was thisclose to being rescued. 

Pro/Con – Ramsey offers Theon/Reek a bath; which he clearly hasn’t had in what looks like weeks, if not months. As he takes off his clothes, you can see the scars that crisscross his body; scars that let you know he has endured untold hours of endless physical torture…but the mental torture has just begun. Theon/Reek is obviously on edge, waiting for Ramsey to inflict physical pain on him, but it’s a different sort of trick this time, a mind game. Ramsey needs his help to take back a castle and needs him to play a part for him; he needs him to pretend to be someone he’s not: Theon Greyjoy.

How’s being a Queen going? 

Pro – We go to a field, where a man and his son are herding goats and as the little boy tosses rocks off a cliff, the last stone “thunks” against what doesn’t sound like stone…. Cue Drogon rising out of the gorge, wings spread wide and tail whipping in the breeze. The child runs for his life as Drogon swoops down on the herd of goats, roast one and scoops it up as he flies away. The dragons are getting big…and they’re getting more hungry. 

Pro – Daenerys is holding court in the Great Pyramid of Meereen and she certainly looks impressive doing it. The goatherd comes in and shows her the charred bones of the goat that Drogon carried off. Daenerys tells the man she’ll give him three times what the goat was worth, which causes him to sing her praises (in Low Valyrian) and he shuffles away excitedly. Daenerys smiles somewhat smugly, as if being a Queen is much easier than she thought it would be.
Con – The next petitioner is the noble Lord, Hizdar Zo Loraq (these names…oh my gee…) and he tells her his Father restored and cared for many of the finest buildings in the city of Meereen, including the Great Pyramid that Dany now lives in. Dany tells him she would love to meet his honorable Father…but he tells her there is a hiccup in that plan; she crucified him because he was one of the slave masters. Daenerys thinks this is an easy moment to teach and tells him she crucified his Father because he allowed 163 slave children to be crucified…but oops, he actually voted against doing that buy was overruled by other slave masters. All Hizdar wants is to be able to bury his Father properly and you can see Daenerys weighing the request in her mind before agreeing – Dany does just fine when the problems are black and white – the gray area stumps her.
Con – Hizdar takes his leave and Daenerys asked Missandei how many more petitioners there are to see her – 212 is the answer. She sighs and you get the distinct feeling Daenerys is about to learn that being a Queen isn’t as easy as she thought.
Pro – The back half of the episode is spent in King’s Landing (yahoo!) and we see the first meeting of King Tommen’s new small council: headed up by the Hand of the King, Tywin Lannister. He’s joined by Lord Varys, Grand Maester Pycelle and his daughter; the Queen Regent as well as newcomers Mace Tyrell and Oberyn Martell..the latter of which seems completely unfazed by his new position. The main point of conversation is that Daenerys is ruling Slaver’s Bay from Meereen and has three growing dragons; Tywin asks for a quill and paper – which is always dangerous – and we move on from the small council meeting.

Game of Thrones - The Laws of Gods and Men
Let the games…eh…the trial…begin…

Con – Jaime goes to retrieve Tyrion from the dungeon; he’s hand-cuffed and marched through the throne room before being hand-cuffed to the stand he’s placed on. The facial expressions between Jaime and Tyrion in these scenes are heart-breaking; the facial expressions between all four of the Lannisters in this episode are all fantastic and run the gamut from the heart-breaking to stone cold. Excellent.

Con – The first proof that the trial will be nothing short of a complete farce is that King Tommen recuses himself from the trial and Tywin Lannister sits as a judge in his stead. Tyrion gives his young nephew a sad smile as he leaves; he knows the boy can’t help it.
Pro – I do have to say, Tywin Lannister is the only person who has ever sat on the Iron Throne and actually looked like he belongs there. Tywin Lannister has ice running through his veins and the Iron Throne looks like it was custom made for him. It’s chilling the level of power he has…and it’s meant to be.

Game of Thrones - The Laws of Gods and Men
Jaime bargains for his brother’s life…

Con – The trial begins and every single person called to testify against Tyrion manages to take actual incidents and turn them into what seems like damning evidence against Tyrion. Did Tyrion slap Joffrey? Oh yes, more than once…but Joffrey always deserved it. Which makes it all the more ironic when Grand Maester Pycelle calls the late, not-so-great Joffrey “the noblest child to ever grace this Earth..” Can we all gag together? 

Con – Lord Varys, Meryn Trant and Grand Maester Pycelle all offer plenty of evidence to make Tyrion look fairly guilty and then Cersei takes the stand and recounts what Tyrion told her way back in season two: “A day will come when you think you are happy, and suddenly your joy will turn to ashes in your mouth…and you will know the debt is paid.” Nothing sounds worse than that…right? 
Pro/Con – The court goes to recess for one hour and Jaime approaches his Father, Twyin about the trial – he tells him the whole thing is farce and he has been out to rid himself of Tyrion since the day he was born. Tywin insists he is only trying to achieve justice for his departed grandson but Jaime doesn’t buy it. Jaime argues that if he kills Tyrion, the Lannister name will never live on because as a sworn knight of the Kingsguard, Jaime is forbidden from marrying and having children…but, if his Father will promise him that Tyrion can take the black and spend the rest of his life at the Wall, he will give up his gold cloak, take up the seat at the Lannister home of Casterly Rock, marry and have children – becoming Tywin’s heir. Tywin agrees immediately and one has to wonder if this was part of Tywin’s plan all along – since he is a master manipulator. 
Pro – Jaime tells his brother that he must be willing to confess, but in doing so he will be spared if he’ll only beg for mercy. Tyrion looks long and hard at his big brother and Jaime says “do you trust me?” Tyrion agrees and settles in for the rest of his “trial”.

A person can only take so much….before they lose it…

Con – Tyrion is doing well…until they play the trump card and in comes…Shae! Shae, who was supposed to be put on a boat and be halfway to Essos by now, but here she is…called to witness against Tyrion in the trial. The saying “hell hath no fury like a woman scorned” has never rang more true; not only does Shae spin an elaborate lie about Tyrion and Sansa conspiring together to kill Joffrey but she also reveals the intimate details of their relationship, making the situation all the worse by telling the court she was a whore that Tyrion stole and he forced her to do horrible things with him.

Con – A person can only take so much before they break…and this is the proverbial straw that breaks the camel’s back; he first pleads with Shae, begging her “Shae..please don’t” to which Shae cruelly replies “I was a whore” and continues with her testimony. She spills her story in stilted fashion; which should make it obvious that she’s speaking lines from memory and her gaunt appearance has to make you wonder if she’s been held in a dungeon and tortured until she agreed to tell the story just the way someone wanted her to…
Pro – Tyrion finally snaps – jumping to his feet and demanding he’d like to confess. He proclaims that he wished he’d let everyone in King’s Landing die when Stannis Baratheon attacked the city; he wished he had enough poison to kill every one of them and that while he didn’t kill King Joffrey, he tells Cersei that “watching her bastard die gave him more pleasure than a hundred whores ever could have”. It’s important to note he calls out Joffrey as a bastard – a rumor long circulated through King’s Landing but never actually confirmed until now. Whether anyone chooses to believe what Tyrion says is doubtful since he’s on trial for murder.
Pro – Tyrion says he wishes he had been the monster everyone seems to think he is but in reality what he is really on trial for is being a dwarf; he’s been a disappointment to his Father since the day he was born and he’s finally being made to pay for it. He knows he’ll get no justice here, so he demands a trial by combat.
Pro – The crowd present at the trial gasps in shock at Tyrion’s demand, Tywin and Tyrion stare one another down; Tyrion has taken his fate into his own hands and Tywin begins to realize he may not win this battle. Jaime looks crestfallen – he now has no way to save his brother; he can’t fight well enough with his left hand to defend anyone…let alone in a battle to the death. Cersei also begins to realize that no matter how much she has schemed to take Tyrion down, he may still find a way to freedom…the episode fades to black to the sounds of the Lannister song, The Rains of Castamere.
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Outtake – obviously no one is this excited to be on trial…ha-ha!
This episode started slow but ended on a sort of tour DE force; Peter Dinklage owned that final scene and I can’t wait to watch the last four episodes of the season play out. People that have never read the books have no clue what’s coming…there are only four episodes left this season and there is a huge moment in each one. Brace yourselves…season four is ramping up to the final blowout for the end! I can’t wait!