August 28 2017

Be the Sun


There’s a lot on my mind today and yet putting those thoughts down is difficult. In a way, the recent solar eclipse reflects what I’m feeling.

Look at this amazing photo of the eclipse taken by Robert Fugate. It’s actually a blend of 10 different images. What a talented photographer.

I was able to view the eclipse last Monday despite some unusual cloud cover. While Albuquerque was not a prime viewing location, it was still quite a surreal experience. To me, the sun looked like a crescent as the moon passed by. It made me feel so small and I thought, here we humans are on Earth – just a tiny speck in the vastness of the universe. Incomprehensible. What does it all mean?

The internet connects us to a constant stream of information and it’s easy to feel bombarded and overwhelmed, especially when much of that information is negative. Some of the things I’ve read are so shocking and knowing that people out there can be so hateful is frightening. At times, I feel like a darkness is descending on this world that the light is struggling to penetrate. As if that moon just stopped in front of the sun and didn’t move on.

And yet I believe there is hope. Each of us can only do our part but it’s vital that we do. I believe there is a ripple effect to our actions, words, and even our thoughts. It’s a powerful thing and we underestimate it. No matter your circumstance, you can make a difference. A smile, a simple act of kindness, a note of encouragement, a gentle hug or touch – all have that ripple effect because we are all connected. We can all be a sun to the people around us, dispelling darkness.

Be the sun.

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August 25 2017

Five Favorites Friday – Star Trek TV Characters

I recently discovered a new channel called Heroes & Icons (H&I). Every weeknight, they will play an episode from each of the five Star Trek shows. It’s been great to see these shows again even if I am just listening to them while doing other things. So I’ve had Star Trek on the brain the past few weeks! So many people love Star Trek and its various incarnations and I’m no exception. I have to say that the original ground-breaking series starring William Shatner was really not on my list of viewing pleasures back in the day. Granted, at the time the show was airing, I was just a baby. Even so, the few reruns of the show that I saw growing up did not hugely catch my interest. It’s rather surprising considering my love of science fiction. I really only became a “Trekkie” when Star Trek: The Next Generation began. It was also then that I developed a deeper appreciation for the original. Of all the shows that came after the original: The Next Generation, Voyager, Deep Space Nine, and Enterprise, it’s tough for me to pick a favorite. They were all unique and entertaining in their own way.

It’s been a long time since there has been a Star Trek show on television so you can imagine how excited I was to hear that CBS was developing a new one: Star Trek Discovery. Alas, this was quickly followed by the “discovery” (pun intended) that it would be available to viewers for a price via CBS All Access. I’m disappointed to say the least as I’m not sure that I want to pay to view it. Guess I will wait and see how successful it is.

Anyway, I decided to focus on the characters of Star Trek for Five Favorites Friday. There are so many great ones that I could easily list a dozen or more. As I was mulling over this dilemma, it came to me. There are five Star Trek shows. I’ll just pick one from each show! It was still a tough process but here they are:

Original Series – Spock

He’s got that whole “logical” thing going on. Yeah, I really like that. I’m a big fan of logic. His subtle sense of humor was quite clever and those rare times he smiled or showed emotion left a deep impression. And let’s not forget the Vulcan nerve pinch! Who wouldn’t love to be able to take down some annoying twerp with a simple shoulder pinch? Oh, the fantasies…


The Next Generation – Data

The android that desperately wanted to be human. His child-like innocence was often humorous and heartbreaking. This was a character that definitely developed and grew over the years as he tried to understand what it was to be human. Data could be so sweet, especially with his pet cat. I also just liked his calm demeanor in the face of chaos. We could all use someone like that when the going gets tough.


Voyager – The Doctor

Of all the Star Trek characters, this one made me laugh the most. He had such a bad temper and a horrible bedside manner much to my amusement. He had some of the best lines and his facial expressions were hilarious. Technically, he was only a hologram and not real; but he was so determined to be a respected and genuine part of the crew. The fact that he managed to do that in the long run was awesome. He saved the day more than once!


Deep Space Nine – Quark

Quark was kind of a shady guy, always up to no good. He had no problem with illegal activities if it meant making money. But underneath that, he had some very keen observations of the people around him exposing hypocrisies and telling it straight. And deep down he was actually a pretty decent guy. Complex characters like these are always the most fascinating to me.


Enterprise – Capt. Jonathan Archer

It took me a while to warm up to this Star Trek show because it was quite different and it took a while for it to find its footing; but I eventually came to love it. The relationships of this crew were some of the best – a very cohesive team. The captain is my favorite because he was so relatable. He struggled with many things but wasn’t afraid to learn from his mistakes and do better. It didn’t hurt that Scott Bakula played him! And what’s not to love about a captain who brings his dog with him?

One of the best things to come from this show was the theme song, “Faith of the Heart” by Russel Watson. Whenever I need inspiration, motivation, or a pick me up, I listen to that song. It’s beautiful. If you haven’t heard it, I encourage you to listen to it. So play the video, sit back, listen, and prepare to feel your soul soar:  FAITH OF THE HEART

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August 20 2017


Back to school! I started my online creative writing class this week and I’m really loving it. Already I feel inspired and I’m learning to call myself a writer! Maybe that sounds odd coming from a blogger but I’ve always felt the title belonged to published authors. I now know that is not the case. And I also believe I will be published one day whether it’s a short story, magazine article, or novel!

Sometimes there are just too many different thoughts running through my head to create a concise and cohesive post. I thought about just naming these posts Hodgepodge 1, Hodgepodge 2, etc. Isn’t that a great word? Hodgepodge. Maybe it’s the writer (yes, writer) in me but I just think that word is awesome. Hodegpodge originally referred to a soup with a bunch of incompatible ingredients mixed together in a pot. I guess they become compatible after cooking for a while! It’s interesting how words have developed over the years and taken on new meanings. In particular, the word courage. These days, courage is used to describe heroics as in facing difficulties with bravery. The original meaning of this word has been mostly forgotten. It used to mean to speak one’s mind by telling all in one’s heart. Basically, it means to share’s one’s innermost feelings. When I first started blogging, it was often scary for me to share some of my thoughts and opinions but I’ve come to realize I am courageous and I’m a writer. I’ve decided to own those two titles and let them live inside of me.

Next up: coupons. (Hey, I warned you this was going to be a hodgepodge) I used to clip a lot of coupons but it seems these days, the nature of couponing has changed. There are fewer and fewer coupons to actually physically clip. And when you do find one, the expiration date is usually within a month. What happened to giving a person six months to use a coupon? And don’t get me started on coupons that require you to buy three or more to get the discount. I just want one!

A while back I was looking through the Sunday coupons when I came across a coupon that I thought was great so I cut it out. I neglected to see the large, red “NOT A COUPON” printed on it. I’m sure you can imagine what happened at the check-out register. Yeah, a bit embarrassing. But really? Why psyche people out like this? It’s just mean. And why should I go to their website to print out the coupon? It’s going to cost me paper and ink to print out that coupon. Sigh… Another new development is that the commissary now has a rewards card for coupons. You must go to their website and “clip” the coupons that are available and that you want to use. Because my memory is not what it once was, I have to print the list of coupons I “clipped” and then remember to grab those items at the commissary as well as remember to give the rewards card to the cashier. Gosh, I miss the old days…

And what’s up with this in the realty world?

COMING SOON? I feel this is a bit ridiculous. Why not just list the house for sale when you’re ready? Someone explain to me the method behind this madness!

On a happy note, I recently discovered that Breyer has released some Mystery Horse Surprise packages! And to my utter delight, I actually got the rare blue horse in my package! Woot!

In other news, I think that Walter White may have been in my neighborhood recently. Haha. If you don’t know what I mean by that, I would refer you to the show, Breaking Bad. Oh, we are just crazy over that show here in Albuquerque even though it has been off the air a few years. You see, much of it was filmed in the Q and we took delight in seeing parts of our city featured on an award winning show. It has given us good and bad publicity. Unfortunately, people now think the city has a plethora of blue meth available. Umm…no. I have to say that the show is not for everyone but I found the character development, plot line, and acting to be superb. It’s no surprise that they created a spin-off and I have to say that I am actually enjoying Better Call Saul even more than Breaking Bad.  *gasp*

Hello Walter!

And now for the shortest movie review ever:

The Hitman’s Bodyguard  I did not give this movie it’s own blog post because it was just not worth it. Don’t go see it. Waste of money. All the funny parts are in the preview. Not even Ryan Reynolds could save it.  My score: D

And last but not least: my pup, my heart, my joy!  Maxwell Smart the JRTMy score: A+

Have a great week, folks!

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August 18 2017

Five Favorites Friday – Horses

“When I bestride him, I soar, I am a hawk: he trots the air; the earth sings when he touches it; the basest horn of his hoof is more musical than the pipe of Hermes.” ~William Shakespeare

I’ve always been crazy for horses so I recently purchased a book filled with horse facts and trivia. I thought I knew a lot about horses but I have to say that there was still plenty to learn from this book. I couldn’t help but think how much I would have enjoyed this book as a child. I would most likely have worn it out from reading it over and over. From an adult perspective, I loved all the information and gorgeous photos but it also made me realize how much care a horse requires. It’s a bit daunting. So I will be content with my books, figurines, paintings, and dozens of saved horse pictures on Pinterest!  While I love all types of horses, here are my five favorites:


The first horse breed that I ever learned about and it’s still a favorite! They come in so many different colors and those spots are just so gorgeous. They’re the state horse of Idaho. I didn’t even know that there were state horses. Turns out that only twelve states have them. Unfortunately, New Mexico is not one of them. Appaloosas have a rich and interesting history. Lewis and Clark were the first Americans to encounter them. Apparently, they were almost wiped out after the Nez Perce War of 1877. I’m certainly grateful to the dedicated few who preserved this beautiful breed. They are one of the most popular breeds and it’s easy to see why.



Arabians were once called “Drinkers of the Wind” due to their overall speed, strength, and endurance. They have a unique smaller muzzle, arched neck, shorter back, and a tail that is carried high making them stand out from other horse breeds. They actually also have a different skeleton. Usually horses have eighteen pairs of ribs and six vertebrae. Arabians have one fewer vertebrae and two fewer ribs. Regardless of their coat color, they all have black skin. I think I fell in love with this breed simply because of the Black Stallion books by Walter Farley.



I have a particular fondness for draft horses and the Clydesdale is certainly one of the most stunning. Their hooves are huge, as big as dinner plates, and their horseshoes can weigh five pounds each! I mean, these are giant horses! There is a Clydesdale named Poe who lives in Ontario, Canada that stands at over 6 feet at the shoulder! He weighs in at an impressive 3,000 pounds. I’m not sure I would want to muck at that horse’s stall.  Haha. A lot of people think this is an American breed but it is actually Scottish. It is believed that the feathering of hair around the hooves evolved naturally in order for the horse to deal with the colder winter temperatures of Scotland. All I can say is, Budweiser, keep those commercials coming!



Another draft horse that I love. They really have some stunning manes and tails that just flow when they are in motion. Consequently, they are often used in movies. A few years ago, I went to see a show with the Lipizzaner stallions and they had a Friesian perform as well. As much as I loved those white stallions, that Friesian stole the show!



My absolute favorite! If I were to ever own a horse, it would be a pinto. While technically not a breed of horse, it is a color breed. Tomato, tomãto! Okay, if I have to get technical, I could say the American Paint Horse is in my top five favorites. Let’s just say that if there was a lineup of all the different types of horses, I would head straight for the pinto-colored one.



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August 11 2017

Five Favorites Friday – Cartoons

It’s back to school time here in Albuquerque. It’s got me thinking about my own grade school days and how I always loved when Saturday rolled around – no school, of course, but more importantly, Saturday morning was time for cartoons! I grew up watching Looney Tunes and Hanna-Barbera. I have to say that while Looney Tunes is probably more popular because of Bugs Bunny, Porky Pig, and Wile E. Coyote, I prefer the Hanna-Barbera cartoons. Of course, there were other cartoons out there like Scooby Doo, the Jetsons, and the Flintstones. But when deciding on my five favorites, it became clear to me that Hanna-Barbera dominated!

Here they are in no particular order:

Quick Draw McGraw

My favorite episodes of Quick Draw McGraw and his buddy, Baba Looey, were when they would spoof Zorro and Quick Draw would become El Kabong. He would hit his enemies on the head with his guitar and shout “KABOOONG!”  I loved that as a kid. I don’t know what that says about me. Hah. I also loved when Snuffles the dog made an appearance. He would point to his mouth and say “ah ah ah” when he wanted a biscuit. When he got his biscuit and ate it, he would hug himself, leap up in the air, and float back down. I thought that was hilarious.

Lippy the Lion & Hardy Har Har

These two were total opposites – Lippy the eternal optimist and Hardy the pessimist. I loved their opening song and especially liked Hardy Har Har!  Too funny!

Hong Kong Phooey

Another great theme song for this one! Poor Hong Kong Phooey always had to be rescued by his kitty buddy, Spot (who had stripes – hehe).


Heavens to Murgatroyd! This was one funny cartoon. He would get into trouble and then “Exit, stage left!” I loved his voice inflections. He ended some of his sentences with “even” long before “I can’t even” became a popular phrase. Ahead of his time really!


There’s no need to fear, Underdog is here! Speed of lightning, roar of thunder, fighting all who rob or plunder – Underdog, Underdog!





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August 10 2017

Just One More Time

Just one more time I would like to run as I did as a child.

To feel strong and fast, imagining I am riding a great white horse with a flowing black mane and tail.

The wind is racing through my hair and lifting my arms high.

I ride through fields of emerald grass, the trees a blur beside me.

I am present, carefree, and content to be as I am.  Imagination is my friend.

Time has not yet been unkind. Knowledge is innocent and new.

The future is lustrous and hopeful, an endless stream of possibilities.

Just one more time I want to feel that again.


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August 6 2017

The Dark Tower – Movie Review

After last weekend’s disappointment with Atomic Blonde, I was a bit nervous to see this movie. The previews I had seen looked so good and I really wanted to like it. Happily, I can say that I really did like this movie very much. I will say that while I have read many of Stephen King’s books, his Dark Tower series was not one I had pursued, and it was to my benefit. According to my husband, this movie did not follow the story line of the books at all. Even so, he appeared to enjoy the movie. Apparently, this was not the case with many movie reviewers out there who have slammed this as a mediocre movie full of wasted opportunities. I beg to differ.

I’ve always enjoyed movies with a classic good versus evil theme and this is definitely one of those movies. The concept of the Dark Tower being at the center of and protecting/holding up multiple worlds intrigues me as does the concept that what happens in one world affects another. The Man in Black (aka Walter), played by Matthew McConaughey, is intent on bringing down the tower so that the demons being held at bay will be free to enter the world(s). I have to say that McConaughey, while generally not a favorite of mine, is perfect in this role. He sent chills down my spine as he confidently strode about using his “magics”, calmly felling adversaries by simply telling them to “stop breathing” and spreading evil by whispering “hate” into the ears of innocent bystanders.

Idris Elba plays Roland, a gunslinger and the last of his kind, trying to stop Walter. He is more concerned with avenging his father’s death at the hands of Walter than actually protecting the Dark Tower. Enter Jake (Tom Taylor), a kid with psychic powers, who is being hunted by Walter for his “shine”, a power which can bring down the tower. Jake is from Earth but figures out there are portals to other worlds and winds up finding Roland and they embark on a journey to stop the Man in Black from destroying the Dark Tower. It was enjoyable to watch the slow reveal of the inhabitants of Mid-World. This is sci-fi/fantasy at its best. I also found the action scenes to be easy to follow which I love considering the way CGI is often overused in films. Surprisingly, the movie was not as long as I expected and that was also a bonus as sometimes final battle scenes are drawn out much too long for my taste. Having said that, I wouldn’t have minded if the film had been made longer to explore Roland’s background story a bit more. He’s an intriguing character that I wanted to know more about.

Considering that this movie is based on the massive eight volume story by Stephen King, I don’t think people should be surprised that this movie did not follow the books exactly. It would have been a huge undertaking requiring multiple movies to do that. And quite frankly, we don’t need that kind of thing yet again. After they made three movies out of Tolkien’s The HobbitI became a bit bored by Hollywood’s need to stretch out the story just to make more money. Anyway, The Dark Tower was well done and if you watch knowing that it was simply inspired by King’s tale, you will enjoy it.

My score: A


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August 4 2017

Five Favorites Friday – Dinosaurs

Happy Friday! August has arrived and I’m loving it. The weather is still warm but not quite as hot. Evening walks are a delight. To me, it’s the beginning of the best time of year. I look forward to the months ahead which will bring beautiful autumn days, fun activities, and holidays. I have been busy planning special posts for the coming months and I hope you will enjoy them as the weeks unfold. For the past few Fridays, my favorites have been focused on food – hah – so I decided to change things up a bit and talk about dinosaurs. My daughter and I recently went mini golfing and much to our delight, they had added a bunch of dinosaurs to one of the courses. It was a lot of fun.

We were also happy to discover that they are now selling some fun golf balls to use on their courses. We each had to get one for the course, of course!  Can you guess which one is mine?

So the idea came to me to talk about my favorite dinosaurs. They seem to hold a fascination for most people and it’s probably because it’s so incredible to think that these giants once walked on Earth. As a kid, I loved watching TV shows and movies about dinosaurs, even though they sometimes scared me a little! Anyone remember that gem Land of the Lost?  I was so jealous of Holly getting to ride a baby Brontosaurus. Dopey was so cute. But I have to say that the Sleestak scared me to death! And they weren’t even dinosaurs. I also remember my family going to the drive-in to see the movie, The Land That Time Forgot. That was fun but I also seem to remember I fell asleep at some point. Guess it was too comfy in the back seat. Anyway, without further ado, here are my five favorite dinosaurs:



This dinosaur was an armored tough guy. That club-like tail could break bone which means he probably gave T-Rex reason to pause!



My love for this dinosaur probably has a lot to do with that baby one on Land of the Lost and that they are herbivores (haha). I just can’t imagine how huge these guys were! 50,000 pounds and 75 feet long. Wow. It sure would be cool to go back in time and be able to see one.



I have to say that this one makes my list because I love the name. It’s just fun to say. They also had a cool thumb spike. It could help them stab food or be used to protect themselves against predators.



This is just one cool looking dinosaur. Size, strength, and horns that grew to be three feet in length. Their head was one-third the length of their body. Amazing. And they took on T-Rex who really liked them for a meal.

Speaking of T-Rex, he’s the one carnivorous dinosaur that made my list!

Tyrannosaurus Rex

Oh, this one terrifies me. That first Jurassic park movie really did me in on that score. And yet I have to say he’s a favorite. Still, I prefer the more comical version of T-Rex featured in the movie, Caveman. Oh my, if you haven’t seen it, you simply must watch it!  Macha!

Click the picture for some live action!

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