Friday, December 6, 2019

FO Friday - 12/6/2019

I haven't written an FO Friday post in a while because I haven't had any finished projects to show. Although, I do have some now, I can't show them because they are Christmas presents. I'm pretty sure no family members read my blog, but I'm not going to chance it.

Instead, I will write about another sort of project today.

Since Monday, I've had a Christmas tree ready for ornament placing, standing in it's usual spot in the den. For the past several years, it's been great having a pre-lit tree. I've been able to have a fully decorated tree set up by December the first, and I've been very happy.

The reason there's a pre-lit Christmas tree sans ornaments in Chez Merry Karma is...

...wait for it...

...some of the light strands are out.

The whole Christmas decorating project came to a complete standstill while we have been thinking about what to do next. Should we decorate this one as is and get a new tree next year? Should we go out and buy a new tree this year? Should we even have a tree? In the meantime, a neighbor told me about this magical, little tool:

I bought one today, and it saved Christmas.

What is it with holiday saving this year?

MK out.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

How I Almost Saved Thanksgiving

Right off the bat, let me say that I had a fabulous Thanksgiving. For the first time in many years, we went out. From the moment (some three months ago) that I shared with The Husb my very thoughtful feelings about the situation, he started mentioning that there wouldn't be any leftover turkey to make turkey sandwiches. So, my almost saving Thanksgiving had more to do with The Husb's expectations than my own.

At first, I didn't let his grumbling get to me, but then it became more frequent. As it got closer to Thanksgiving, I realized how I wouldn't be having turkey sandwiches either. (I do really like a turkey sandwich.) I was feeling a little guilty too.  I thought about my options. I was already planning on making the long-sought-after chestnut dressing recipe that my mother would make every Thanksgiving and Christmas. The one I haven't been able to find until just recently. How hard would it be to make a small turkey breast too? 

I wasn't totally convinced, but I went to the store to buy the dressing ingredients, while still considering purchasing a turkey breast. 

And then, I found this little product.

The best part is that all one has to do is heat the oven, remove the outer bag, and place the still FROZEN turkey-breast-in-a-bag in a pan and into the oven. 

I thought Thanksgiving (for The Husb, mainly) was saved! I was getting pretty smug about it, but only on the inside because I didn't tell anyone about my plan. I wanted to surprise The Husb.

Thanksgiving Day arrived. I was bursting with excitement while I was getting ready to go out for a nice turkey feast, whose production and cleanup required no effort on my part. And it was good. I was happy. I was THANKFUL.

Later in the day, I cooked the frozen turkey breast as directed. I placed the package of sliced bread on the kitchen counter.I got together the dressing and a couple of other things. 

I called the family to the table. The Husb was pleasantly surprised. We filled our plates and sat down to eat. And then...


The seasoning was over bearing. It was too salty and too peppery. I don't think I will buy this product again.

To his credit, The Husb didn't complain. 

MK out.

Monday, November 11, 2019

Movie Monday - 11/11/2019

The season is in high gear. I'm trying to keep up.

I knew nothing about The Lighthouse before I saw it, other than Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson were in the movie. I figured it couldn't be bad. I figured wrong. It's set on a remote island during the 1890s. The two men spend the movie tending to the lighthouse while trying not to go insane. Things started happening that weren't possible in the real world. I guess it is a bit of a horror movie. It's not a genre that I watch on purpose. I kept waiting for things to make sense or for at least a the point to it all. The point was never revealed. It was just weird.

Midway is set in the Pacific of the 1940s, and begins basically with the attack on Pearl Harbor. It continues to the battle of Midway between Japan and America. I'm not a fan of action-filled war movies, but this film was thrilling without being gory. The cast was full of good actors, including Woody Harrelson, Dennis Quaid, Patrick Wilson, Ed Skrein, Luke Evans and Aaron Eckhart. It was good.

Ed Norton wrote, directed, produced and starred in Motherless Brooklyn. It's based on a novel by the same name. Norton plays a detective with Tourette's Syndrome who is left to solve the murder of his supervisor and mentor, played by Bruce Willis. Bobby Cannavale, Alec Baldwin and Willem Dafoe are among the awesome cast of this film. I think it's the best movie I've seen in a while. I'm looking for Ed Norton to garner a Best Actor Oscar nomination. Best .Director is within his reach too. It was so good.

MK out.

Monday, November 4, 2019

Movie Monday - 11/4/2019

Meryl Streep, Gary Oldman and Antonia Banderas are among the actors who star in The Laundromat. Inspired by true events, Streep plays a recently widowed woman who, while trying to collect insurance money, discovers a whole network of shady enterprises that have one thing in common. They are all connected to a law firm in Panama. If you remember reading about the Panama Papers a few years ago, when a whistleblower leaked private information of over two hundred thousand offshore entities that were engaged in illegal activities, these are the true events. It was quirky and good.

Renée Zellweger does a fabulous job portraying Judy Garland in Judy. The film mostly deals with the last year of Garland's life, when she spends several weeks performing in England on The Talk on the Town. Flashbacks are used to explain how Garland ended up where she did. It was sad watching how a phenomenally talented individual was bested by her demons. It was very good.

I was finally able to see At Eternity's Gate. Willem Dafoe portrays Vincent Van Gogh in his later years. There's a controversial theory that Van Gogh did not commit suicide, but died from an accidental bullet wound. This film tells that story. It was good.

MK out.

Monday, October 14, 2019

Movie Monday - 10/14/2019

Not seen in theaters:

Maria Callas: In Her Own Words is a documentary about the life of Maria Callas. It's full of footage from concerts, interviews and home movies. She was a bit of a diva. It was interesting.

Gloria Bell, starring Julianne Moore, is about a divorced woman who enjoys the club scene. One night, she meets a divorced man and they start dating. She soon discovers that he is maintaining a codependent relationship with his ex-wife and grown daughters. Surprisingly, it was just alright. I'm glad I didn't run right out to the theater to see it. 

White Boy Rick is based on a true story about Rick Wershe, Jr. who is the youngest FBI informant in history. The film is set in 1980s Detroit. The FBI enlist Rick's help in tracking drug dealers in exchange for immunity for his father, who is manufacturing weapons. However, being poor and having seen what drug money can buy a person, Rick starts dealing on his own after his assignment with the FBI ends. Richie Merritt, Matthew McConaughey and others star in this movie. It was good.

MK out.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Book Chat - 10/10/2019

The Lager Queen of Minnesota by J. Ryan Stradal is about two sisters growing up in rural Minnesota in the 1950s. I know, I know...recently I told you about two other books about two sisters growing up during the same time period. In this book, one sister takes a more traditional route. She marries and lives a blue-collar life, baking pies at the local nursing home. The other goes to college, majors in chemistry because she wants to make beer and ends up marrying the son of a local beer empire. I have to say, hands down, that this book is the best one I've read in a while — and, I've read some good ones lately. You must read it.

The Color of Water in July by Nora Carroll is about a girl who inherits the family cottage when her grandmother dies. She hadn't been there in many years, following a failed summer romance. She treks to Michigan with her boyfriend to ready the cottage for sale and starts going through the contents. Family secrets come to light. It was good.

MK out.

Monday, October 7, 2019

Movie Monday - 10/7/2019

I didn't watch any current films in the last week, but here's what I did see:

Chicken with Plums is based on a graphic novel of the same name. A world famous violinist loses his will to play and to live after his wife smashes his violin. He decides to lay down and die and takes to his bed. Everyday, he looks at past aspects of his life including his love for a woman from before he got married. It is based in Iran, but in French with English subtitles. Isabella Rosellini and Mathieu Almaric are the only two actors I recognized, and both did a great job. It was good.

Susan Sarandon, Diane Keaton, Robert De Niro, Robin Williams, Katherine Heigl and Amanda Seyfried are among those who star in The Big Wedding. A former couple's adopted son is getting married. His biological mother, a devout Catholic is coming to the wedding and he is worried that she would not approve of his less than traditional family. Everyone decides to pretend that his parents are still married. Comic circumstances ensue. It was predictable, but cute.

LBJ, starring Woody Harrelson, is the story of Johnson's presidency from before and following the assassination of John Kennedy. Harrelson does a great job. It was interesting.

MK out.