Grilled Chicken and Caprese Salad


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Surprised by Mercy, or my accidental pilgrimage to the mercy door


On Monday morning, I had intended to go to the Dallas Museum of Art to kill time between a meeting in Deep Ellum and meeting my husband for lunch in Uptown.  Since I work on the weekend, Mondays are kind of like my Saturdays and I take some time for rest and cultural enrichment after a busy “weekend.”

Well, the Dallas Museum of Art is closed on Mondays, just like on every other day I’ve tried to go.  I will get there some day!

Instead, I went to one of my favorite places in Dallas, the Cathedral.  The whole idea of cathedrals is beautiful.  It’s a place of beauty and worship that belongs to the wider Catholic community.  I tried to go to an art museum, but the cathedral has art in its proper use, art meant to glorify God.  The entire building is an act of worship through craftsmanship and anyone can wander in off the street to marvel at it.

I started my taking some pictures of the outside.  My plan was to take pictures of the art, then go in the chapel to pray until lunch.

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Book Review: The Princess Bride

Disclosure:  This post contains an affiliate link.  If this book review piques your interest in The Princess Bride, please click on the book cover to purchase from

SPOILER ALERT: If you’ve seen the movie, this won’t spoil anything. If you haven’t seen the movie, you need to.

If you’re familiar with the cult-status movie, you will not be disappointed by the book version. The author also later wrote the screenplay.

I could tell Goldman cleaned up some of the concepts from the book for the movie. For example, the Zoo of Death in the book became Count Reugen’s torture chamber in the movie. We loose the development of the Prince as a great hunter and some of the character development between Inigo and Fezzik when they have to fight their way through the levels, but it doesn’t detract from the story in a great way.

I like the book version of Westley better than the movie version. Cary Elwes does an excellent job with the character and his delivery of the “To the Pain” speech was very powerful. However, a novel can delve into the psyche of a character in ways that a movie just can’t. I cried when I read the torture scene, but I didn’t have that reaction at the same point in the movie.

Speaking of the torture scenes, I was able to suspend my disbelief in a way that I hadn’t expected. The movie has a lot of tongue-in-cheek humor and that was very much present in the book as well. However, like the sick boy having the story read to him (the book explains that this is supposed to be Goldman as a young boy who will go on to “abridge” the book) I found myself wrapped up in the story by the end. I was annoyed with Westley and Buttercup in the beginning. They are very cardboard, but that changes quickly. Push through to the second chapter before you really pass judgement. I could write an essay on each character because they are all so well developed.

If you love the movie version of the Princess Bride you’ll love the book, but you may not be able to view the movie in the same way ever again.

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#PrayforParis, #PrayforOrlando, #PrayforBaghdad (I know there are many more).  Because I live in a major city and we live in a violent world; it was probably only a matter of time.  Last night, I watched my beloved city become this hashtag because a few frustrated and angry people chose to meet violence with violence.

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Field Trip to The Farmers Branch Rose Garden

Yesterday I went to create a banner for this site and I realized I had no good photos for the purpose.  Since the title of the blog is Roses on My Balcony, and I’ve only ever had the one rose bush, I knew I needed to find some more rosy pictures.

It’s very easy to do a Google image search for roses and just use whatever comes up, but most of those images are copyrighted.  Using them for what will soon be commercial purposes would be stealing and I’m not at a place where I’m ready to invest in buying stock photos.  I needed to create my own.

The City of Farmers Branch maintains a lovely rose garden that is currently in full bloom.  I headed there this morning to take photos and this is what I found:


Somehow I always manage to find the library.  I think it’s my superpower.  This little free library is the first thing I came across at the park.

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Raspberry Balsamic Chicken and Asparagus

My recipe was inspired by This Recipe at Maggie’s Bites.  This recipe is leftover-approved, meaning I happily ate the leftovers the next day and they were still good.  The raspberry balsamic vinegar adds a sweet complex flavor to the chicken and sauce (without adding calories).  By cooking the asparagus and tomatoes together, prep time is reduced. A garnish of fresh raspberries round out the plate.

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A few people at work recently wrote recommendation letters for me, so I intend to thank them with cookies.  These aren’t just any cookies though, they’re snickerdoodles!  For those who don’t know, snickerdoodles are like sugar cookies but are also rolled in cinnamon and sugar right before baking.  This is a snickerdoodle recipe I’ve adapted from  You can find the original recipe here: Snickerdoodles Recipie

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The Rose on My Balcony

2013-03-05_14-01-11_700So I’ll start with a confession: there is only one rose on my balcony and it hasn’t bloomed yet.  To the right is a picture.

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