March 9 2018

Five Favorites Friday – Broadway Musicals

Hey, it’s been a while since I did a Five Favorites Friday post so l thought I would do one!  I’ve had Broadway musicals on the brain this week.  You see, Star-Lord and I just booked our flight to New York City for this December and I’ve been put in charge of planning our activities.  I’m super excited to be going to NYC at Christmas time – I can’t wait to see all the Christmas lights and displays!  We are definitely going to see the Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall but I also want to see another Broadway show while we are there.  I’ve been hearing a lot of buzz about Hamilton but after watching a preview, it didn’t appeal to me that much.  But what did catch my eye was The Phantom of the Opera.  It’s one I haven’t seen yet and it’s been playing in NYC for 30 years.  So I think I’m safe in saying this one will be fantastic!  Anyway, we have been fortunate to be able to see a lot of wonderful shows right here in Albuquerque at Popejoy Hall.  I am grateful we have this venue that brings us some culture.  Hah!  As a matter of fact, we are going to see A Chorus Line tomorrow.  I am really looking forward to this one!  So all of this got me thinking about all the musicals we have seen the past few years and here are my five favorites of the shows I’ve seen so far (in no particular order).


This was the first live Broadway musical I ever saw and I was just blown away.  It is fantastic!  I had read the book on which it is based and wasn’t that impressed.  However, the musical is definitely impressive with enjoyable songs and interesting sets.  There are some really clever moments that tie into the Wizard of Oz which I loved.


Mamma Mia!

This is my absolute favorite. I’ve seen it twice – once in Albuquerque and once in NYC.  And I’d see it again in a heartbeat.  It’s a great story and the music, well, it’s Abba, so it’s awesome!


Million Dollar Quartet

I’ve also see this one twice.  We enjoyed it so much that we just had to see it again when we had the opportunity to in Las Vegas.  It’s just fun, fun, fun and will get you dancing and singing!  Not only that, it’s a wonderful story about Sun Studios and a recording session with four musical greats.  Who knew that Elvis was not the original singer of “Blue Suede Shoes”?  I sure didn’t.  In any case, there’s not a bad song to be found here.  Loved everything about this.


A Gentlemen’s Guide to Love & Murder

This one surprised me as I wasn’t expecting to enjoy it as much as I did.  I was just blown away by the creativity in showing the demise of several characters.  It was done is such a clever and humorous way.  And the ending had a nice twist which is always fun.


The Lion King

This one is a visual treat.  Many of the songs were very familiar as I have seen the movie dozens of times.  I find I enjoy a show more if I know the music beforehand.  Of course, there are some new songs too.  It’s interesting to see how the costumes are done to portray animals.  Some of the performers even have extra tools to move their costumes, in particular the giraffes.

If you have any recommendations for shows to see, I would love to hear them!

Honorable Mentions: Mary Poppins and Pirates of Penzance

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March 2 2018

March Madness

I’ve never been fond of March. It’s an odd time of year in which winter is starting to lose its grasp but repeatedly rears its head anyway. I don’t like that “in between” time in which I am freezing one moment and sweating the next. Fluctuations in temperatures often give me raging migraines as well. And when things start blooming, my allergies kick in. March generally brings with it a lot of wind too – my least favorite weather. Cool breezes are nice but the extreme winds of March are anything but pleasant. So, yeah, not fond of March. Even so, there are a handful of days when the weather is so gorgeous and the sun feels so delightfully warm, I just want to drink it in.  I begin to look for the first signs of fresh green sprouting from trees – a welcome sight after the depressing brown of winter.  Even the evergreen trees seem dull this time of year.  But today I spotted my neighbor’s daffodils beginning to bloom and I know that soon enough there will be lots more green. And I’ve been diligently been taking my allergy meds all year in hopes that this spring will not have me sneezing too much.

Anyway, today I write from my new desk! We have begun renovating our spare bedroom into an office and clearing out the loft area where we used to have our office.  After Marena moved out on her own (and we were certain she had no intention of returning *sob*), we made her room into our spare bedroom so the old spare bedroom was now available for our office. Does that make sense? Hah. We are not exactly fast when it comes to renovating things. Okay, so maybe it’s just me that needs to be dragged kicking and screaming through the whole process. Thank goodness my husband is not one to procrastinate; otherwise we would never get anything done. So the progress thus far includes new carpeting in the office, loft, and stairs.  Star-Lord made shelving for the office closet, painted the room, and hung new blinds. My contribution? I picked the color of paint and donated some stuff we no longer needed. Wait. I’m sure I did more than that… Oh, and I decided I needed a new desk!

And here it is in all it’s glory. Ta-dah! It’s a writer’s desk, don’t you think?

Look at all that wonderful space to fill up! So what am I doing? I’m writing, not organizing. But I will get to it tomorrow.  Yes, I will! And once we finish up the room, I will share more pictures.  We have a lot of work to do this weekend! As for the loft, I have a sort of vision for that space but that will take more time. A funny thing happens when you put in new carpet, all of a sudden you realize that the walls need a fresh coat of paint. So the loft and stairwell are going to get some fresh paint at some point.  I’m still trying to recover from the new carpet odor. Curse my most excellent sense of smell!

While shopping for my new desk last weekend, I realized I had a coupon for CostPlus World Market and since we were in the area, we had to stop. Well, we didn’t but, well, they have Milka chocolate there and other European goodies. So what did I get? A bottle of wine I will never drink. Yup. I got it because it was puurrrty.

Okay, so maybe one day I will drink it but for now, I’m just enjoying looking at it.

Oh, I wanted to talk about the Ten Tenors. We saw them last weekend at Popejoy Hall and they were fantastic.  They are Australia’s premier classical-crossover group.  They sing songs from great classical composers as well as songs from contemporary music’s most popular artists. And these guys sure can sing! They were funny too. The show has something for everyone. Frankly, I loved it all. Such a great time so if you have the chance to see them, go!

Can you see Star-Lord and I in the crowd?  I circled us in red! hehe!

With the beginning of a new month, it was time to get some fresh pictures for Maxwell’s Facebook page.  I swear as soon as I get out my camera and props, he goes into supermodel mode. He knows the routine. Sit pretty for pictures, get lots of treats. Yup, that’s how it works. But I also think he enjoys all the attention. What a ham!

Happy March!

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December 1 2017

Hitting the Pause on 100

My New Year’s resolution for 2017 was to “just do it” and write more; thus began my blogging journey with The Q and I.  I’m proud to say that I kept that resolution and this is my 100th post. Ironically, as I was reflecting on this milestone, I decided it was time to hit the pause button. I want to take some time to reevaluate the direction of my blogging and think about what’s working and what isn’t. Do I hang up my hat and focus on other writing pursuits or do I revamp and start with a fresh approach?  At this point, I am still undecided. I do want to thank everyone who commented and supported me in my efforts this year. I am most appreciative. If you have feedback, good or bad, that would help in my decision-making process, I would like to hear it!

In the meantime, I plan to enjoy the holiday season and savor this glorious time of year.

Wishing all of you a very Merry Christmas and many blessings in 2018!


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November 21 2017

7 Things I Learned At Court

If you follow my blog, you will know that I was recently summoned for jury duty. I have to admit I was not thrilled to receive my summons. I sternly reminded myself that this was a privilege and honor to do for my fellow citizens and my civic responsibility. With that in mind, I began to prepare for my week at the courthouse in downtown Albuquerque. I read everything I could online but the information wasn’t quite as detailed as I would have liked. It was frustrating and I had to resign myself to not knowing what to expect. After my term of service, which wound up being three out of the five days, here’s what I did learn:

  1. You do A LOT of sitting around and waiting. It’s boring, boring, boring! Yes, I had my iPad with books to read, the internet to browse, and games to play. But the hours dragged by.
  2. The boredom tends to make you want to people watch. One young woman was working on her laptop computer which entailed watching videos of women in lingerie pole dancing. She appeared to be editing the videos in some way but I couldn’t tell for sure and I certainly didn’t ask! Wonder what her job title is?! Another gentleman was reading a book that had him laughing loudly at times. I became so intrigued by a book that would cause so much laughter, I made a note of the title: A Man Called Ove.  Must read that at some point.
  3. Every employee at the courthouse was very nice and friendly. It was almost uncanny. After we were dismissed the first day and were exiting the building, the security personnel were waving at us, smiling, wishing us a good day. Maybe they knew the majority of us didn’t want to be there and were trying to make it as pleasant as possible.  I lost count of how many times I was thanked for being there and serving as a juror.
  4. Every time one of the court staff entered the room, there was immediate silence. Secretly, you hope your name won’t get called but then again, you are curious to find out what happens next if you do.
  5. Eventually my name was called and I wound up in a courtroom with 20 other jurors. We were given a brief rundown of the case by the judge and then the lawyers started asking us questions, presumably to determine which of us would make the best jury of six. Yes, a jury of six and not twelve. Guess that’s all you need for misdemeanor trails. All I’ve ever known about courtrooms is from what I’ve seen on television. Yeah, it’s really not like that. No slick talking, clever lawyers. In fact, they seemed rather nervous and it was a bit disarming. I did find the judge to be a bit stereotypical – not happy with interruptions and stern when necessary. The most interesting thing to me was that they played “white noise” whenever the attorneys approached the bench to talk to the judge – so, of course, you couldn’t hear what they were saying.
  6. Courtrooms are FREEZING! Are judges’ robes made of wool? Hah.
  7. I was not chosen as a juror and I’m not sad about it at all. I really have no interest in the law, don’t want to be on the wrong side of it for sure, and I certainly prefer a TV drama to the real thing! But I did my duty and let’s hope that will suffice for a long time.


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November 15 2017

Autumn at the Albuquerque Botanical Gardens

It has been a spectacular autumn in Albuquerque this year. Delightfully pleasant days and cool, crisp nights. Perfect weather that has lasted for weeks. On a whim, Star-Lord and I decided to head to the Albuquerque Biopark and walk around the Botanical Gardens last week. While I’m sure that the foliage would have been even more vibrant had we gone a week earlier, I was still in awe of the colors of the cottonwoods. They really are such magnificent and interesting trees.

It was such a serene day and everyone we encountered was walking silently and just absorbing the atmosphere. I love it when there is an unspoken understanding among strangers.

It was clear that much of the preparations for the annual River of Lights had been done as we could see many of the holiday light displays already set up. Seeing this dinosaur during the day is a very different experience! It makes for a very cool pic.

If you looked closely, there were other hints of the upcoming holiday show.

Mostly I was intrigued by the unique wonders of this season.

Somehow it got me thinking about one of the few poems that resonate with me.

Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.
~Robert Frost
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November 11 2017

Catching Up

Did you hear that? That’s the sound of the days going by way too fast! Why does this time of year always seem to go by so quickly? I really want to savor it. The weather has continued to be just beautiful around here. I took this picture about a week ago as the trees were beginning to turn. That tiny white speck is the moon! Anyway, things are progressing much more rapidly now and there are glorious reds, oranges, and yellows on all the trees. Sometimes I think these bursts of striking autumn colors are God’s way of making the imminent dreary brown of winter a little more tolerable.

I mentioned in a post a couple of weeks ago that I was taking the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) challenge, which is to write 50,000 words in November. I was pretty confident going into the challenge but have since discovered that my life is a lot busier than I thought and finding the time to write consistently is a challenge in itself. Then there is my writing style. My first efforts were very slow as I was editing as I wrote, which is not conducive to a high word count. Then my daughter reminded me the challenge is to get over those editing tendencies and just write. First drafts are never supposed to be great anyway. I think it would be better for this challenge to be in January which tends to be a less hectic time of year! With jury duty this coming week and then Thanksgiving and Christmas just around the corner, I fear I will probably not reach the goal of 50,000 words. However, I have written more on my novel than I ever have, so I will continue to persevere.

Here is a short synopsis of my work in progress:

Title: Shattering Limbo

Samantha is living two lives, but not intentionally. When she wakes each morning, she is either living with the love of her life anticipating the birth of their daughter, or living in fear for herself and her unborn child from an abusive husband. She doesn’t know in which world she truly belongs. As the birth of her child nears, she becomes increasingly desperate to find a way to remain in the world where she feels safe. But does she deserve to be in that world? She doesn’t remember how she got trapped in this state of limbo. Searching for clues as to how there can be such an existence, she instinctively knows that she is running out of time. When her daughter is born, in which world will she remain?

Does it intrigue you? Do you want to know more? I hope so!

Anyway, I’ve been very busy preparing things at work for my upcoming absence for jury duty. So I was grateful for the nice weather as walking Max is great stress relief. One afternoon, we wound up at the dog park and I struck up a conversation with a nice lady. As we talked, I mentioned NaNoWriMo which led to talk of my blogging website. She encouraged me to sign up for a Twitter account to help it get more exposure. Well, I have resisted joining the Twitter universe for fear of being bombarded by political craziness but the lady assured me I could control the types of things on my Twitter feed. So with some trepidation, I decided to sign up with visions of hashtags and tweets jumbling in my brain. Turns out I have had a Twitter account for two years already. Yup, someone in Vietnam decided to used my email address to set up an account. I’m not even sure how that is possible. But she promptly got the account suspended. So I spent a lovely afternoon trying to sort out my Twitter account and make it my very own. Hah! I’m still figuring things out so if you have any Twitter advice for me, I’m all ears. For now, I’ve added a Twitter feed to my webpage.

I just realized that I am way behind on my movie reviews as well so I decided to quickly catch up and do a mini review of each movie I’ve seen over the past month.

Blade Runner 2049

This sequel to the 1982 movie with Harrison Ford really captured the feel and sound of the original. I wasn’t a huge fan of the original as it paints a pretty bleak picture of the future. Still, the story line was a good extension of the first movie if a bit overly drawn out. Considering that they used the same music from the first movie and were spot on with the visuals, I think they missed the mark in a big way by not having Ryan Gosling do a voice over as Harrison Ford did. That would have been perfect.  My score: B

Let There Be Light

Kevin Sorbo and his wife produced and starred in this movie. I’m a big Kevin Sorbo fan and I admire his efforts to bring Christian movies to the big screen. I think the world is in need of more wholesome and meaningful movies. Not everything has to be about CGI and action. While I feel the movie had a good overall message, I wanted them to delve more deeply into the topic at hand. Of course, my thoughts on religion and God have begun an evolution (or should I say revolution) over the past couple of years and so I am craving things that aren’t trite. Having said that, go see the movie. It’s still good and we need to show Hollywood that we want more movies like this.  My score: B

Thor: Ragnarok

This is the third Thor movie and definitely the most fun and visually appealing. There is a lot of humor in this one which I appreciated. The previous movie, Thor: The Dark World, was well, dark.  And I am glad that the new director decided to have fun with this movie and do something different. I did find the plot a bit weak in some spots but the ending was intriguing. Gotta say I am not happy about Thor losing his eye though. I don’t care if he’s more like his father now. Ugh! My score: A-

So there you have it!

And last but not least, since today is Veteran’s Day, I would like to thank all the men and women of the military for your dedication, courage, and sacrifice for America. I would especially like to thank my father, husband, brother-in-law, and boss for their service. I love my freedom and I thank you from the bottom of my heart!

And my thanks to Texas Roadhouse for giving out free meals to all veterans today and for this:





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November 10 2017

Five Favorites Friday – 40 Posts Celebration!

Today will be my 40th post for Five Favorites Friday. When I started these weekly posts, I wasn’t sure where they would take me but it’s turned out to be lots of fun and I’ve enjoyed coming up with something different each week.  I hope that you have enjoyed them too. So today I decided to share my five favorite Five Favorites Friday posts. Say that three times fast! Just click on the pictures to see the original posts.

Since I like to blog about Albuquerque, my first choice is obvious:

Things I Love about Albuquerque


This was a fun one, especially since it was one of my more popular posts.  Everyone loves Abba!

Abba Songs


This was during my nostalgia kick and it was great fun reminiscing – oh heck, I’m still on a nostalgia kick!

Childhood Toys


When Sir Roger Moore passed away, I just had to do a tribute. I’m such a James Bond fan.

James Bond Movies


This is a favorite because I thought it was pretty clever and since I’m rarely clever…


As always, I welcome suggestions for Five Favorites Friday!


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November 4 2017

New Mexico Chinese Lantern Festival

This was the first year for the Chinese Lantern Festival here in Albuquerque. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect but when it comes to light displays, I’m always interested. In the case of this festival I was not disappointed. I think there were some wonderful lantern displays that were thoughtfully put together. Held at the state fairgrounds, we arrived an hour or so before sunset with the intent of grabbing something to eat beforehand. The advertisement for the festival had touted a variety of Chinese and traditional fair food. Unfortunately, there were only three vendors and the food was just terrible. So if you plan on going, eat somewhere else first! The festival continues to be open through November 12.

After we managed to choke down some food, we checked out some of the vendors selling their wares (also not what we had hoped for as there weren’t many artisans); so we headed to one of the two nightly performances. Side note: there are three performances on Friday and Saturday. While some of the acts were a bit odd, overall I enjoyed the show and was amazed in particular by the contortionists. I was in such awe of them that I forgot I was supposed to be taking pictures! But I did manage to capture a few shots when I came to my senses. This is when they were spinning plates:

And here they are showing some incredible strength and flexibility.  These ladies were amazing and they looked like they were having so much fun!

But the best part of the evening was all the wonderful lighted lanterns. By the time the show was over, it was dark and we were able to wander around looking at all of them! Here are just a “few” of the pictures I took.

I definitely recommend going to the festival. Hope they come again next year and expand their display.


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October 26 2017

Lately in Albuquerque

The weather continues to be unusually warm for October. Our afternoon walks are such a pleasure right now. However, in the mornings, I actually have to wear a coat! Because I walk before I go to work, it’s still dark out. It’s a serene time of day which allows me to reflect and meditate a bit. Of course, it can also be a bit spooky with all the Halloween decorations. I’m not saying I psyche myself out or anything…

Max is nothing if not a creature of habit, so as soon as his walk is done, he wants his morning snuggle time. He’s not spoiled at all. I mean, just because he maneuvers my hand to the right spot on his neck doesn’t mean he has me under his control, right?

Anyway, Max has been busy deciding what he would like to be for Halloween this year and this is one of the options he was considering. But it seems too obvious. Everyone would know it’s him!

I guess you will just have to wait until Halloween to find out what he finally decided on! And if you haven’t seen Max’s previous choices, be sure to check back tomorrow for my Five Favorites Friday post.

So this time of year, I get a lot of catalogs in the mail. Okay, so I always get a lot of catalogs. But I know Christmas is coming up when it’s 14 in one day! I really don’t order from all of these companies (I don’t!) but hope must spring eternal for them that I just might. In any case, it sure is fun to look through them all.

The clear winner for what I got in the mail this week though was the new Pioneer Woman cookbook! All of her cookbooks are a treat for the eyes and stomach. Plus I just love her sense of humor.

And in other random news, you know you live in New Mexico when you see this at the Wendy’s drive thru:

So I recently finished my online writing course and feel very inspired. In fact, I am going to do something bold in November. I’m taking the NaNoWriMo challenge! Yes, November is National Novel Writing Month and the challenge is to write 50,000 words in one month. It’s a bit daunting so I need some encouragement from all of you especially since Thanksgiving is in November and I got a juror summons for the week of November 13th. Timing is everything, folks. Hah! Even so, I have decided on the title of my novel as well as the premise. If you want me to share a short synopsis with you, post a comment of encouragement. *wink*

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October 15 2017

Balloon Fiesta 2017

Over the past week, I took over 150 pictures of hot air balloons, many of them from my spare bedroom window and the rest from walks around my neighborhood. All in all, it was a successful balloon fiesta with the weather cooperating for successful balloon launches, with the exception of this morning in which the winds kicked up and the launch was cancelled. While some of the balloonists will hang around for a bit longer, I will miss seeing the sight of dozens and dozens of balloons launching in the early morning hours. But I won’t miss the sound of helicopters circling my neighborhood at 5:00am!

My dilemma today was deciding which photos to share out of 150! Ironically, my favorite photo from this year was taken by my husband and not me. Oh well, it is a beautiful shot and I’m grateful he captured it. What perfect timing to have this balloon with the moon next to it. Great job, Star-lord!

Balloons from the state I grew up in and the state I live in!

I think these skinny balloons are starting to grow on me.

Looks like this chicken has a stalker!

Last Friday was the best launch day and the famous Albuquerque “box” was working perfectly. If you don’t know what the box is, here’s an explanation: The Albuquerque Box

Balloons and airplanes sharing the skies.

Marena and Richard helping to bring down the mariachi balloon.

While I love the hot air balloons, I am content to watch them from the ground. It’s not on my bucket list to ride in one!

Just a balloon passing behind my house.

Amazing! That’s it for this year.

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