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September 3, 2009

Your Queen Turns 50

'Tis what We just did, indeed.

No need to congratulate Us. It's not like We had any other viable options.


Tim made the mistake of asking me, months ago, "What do you want to do for your 50th birthday?" So, I told him.

"I want to go to Santa Fe."

We've been to Santa Fe many times, both driving from Tucson (when we used to live there) and Boulder. But, we hadn't gone for five years and it was time.

One of our favorite things to do in the New Mexican capital is attend the Santa Fe Opera. So, when I saw it was doing La Traviata with Natalie Dessay as Violetta - and on my bday weekend, to boot - well, how could I resist?

Tim, of course, was thrilled. (As I'm sure most husbands would be.)

But, even he had to admit, it was quite fabulous.

The opera itself is up on a hill, open air and stunning. Unfortunately, this is the best I can do to show you (it's a side view from our seats) because I haven't managed to find some four year-old to show me how to use this camera:


Tim insisted on taking this picture of Your Queen in front of the fountain at the opera house:


The other thing we love doing in Santa Fe is going to a flamenco performance. For years, we were treated to Maria Benitez and her troup, but this was the first year in many they were not going to perform, so instead, we saw Juan Siddi. 'Twas quite good, but the man is really into his props. Now, before you feel too sorry for my long suffering husband, know this: The first time I said I wanted to see flamenco in Santa Fe, he rolled his eyes at the thought of having to suffer through a dance performance. But, being the good sport he is (look, he's married to me), he went. The next time we went to Santa Fe, he was the one who asked, "Can we go to flamenco?"

It's manly stuff.

If you ever go, however, let me make a suggestion (something we learned the hard way one year): Don't sit near the front. When the men do their quick turns, their hair (which always seems to be long and worn loose) flings torrents of sweat. 'Nough said.

Obviously, we love driving trips, so this time, we did a drive we'd never done before, The High Road to Taos. It winds through several small towns and gorgeous scenery, to wit: "The weaving village of Chimayo" as I'd read it's called. Now, there are two ways you can read that description (oh, yes there are - who's the royal, here?). I'm not really craft-oriented, so I figured "the weaving village" meant the road through it weaves - you know, twists and turns and such. Uh... no. Tim found this highly amusing, and took great pleasure in announcing, "Entering Chimayo. Prepare to steady yourself." Hey, it's my birthday, bub.

I had also read that we shouldn't "whiz by" the town of Cordova. I'll spare you how concrete-as-a-sidewalk me interpreted that one.

Although I didn't have my camera for that lovely drive (sorry - but, what do you want from me?), don't say I wasn't thinking of you when I took this picture the next day of Camel Rock:


You can thank me later.

Here's some more scenery - this time, outside Los Alamos (yeah, the nukes place). Who knew it was so gorgeous there? (Fine. You did. I'm so proud.) I mean, why didn't they put all that dangerous stuff in Battle Mountain?


We took another drive to Albuquerque (along Route 6) and were delighted to see a style of architecture that can only be described as "Southwest Art Deco."




What do you think?

North of town, we headed to Petroglyph National Monument. This is the sign that greeted us:


This is how we were shod:


Guess which one of us was the better prepared.

This is the trail that awaited us:


To my credit, I went anyway. (And didn't whine too, too much. Really. No matter what Tim says.)

So, is it any wonder that when my cell phone (which was loosely hooked to my belt loop and on "vibrate") went off, I heard the BZZZZZZZZZ and screamed, thinking it was a rattler. Tim delighted in taking this picture of my humiliation afterwards:


So that we can all forget this particular incident, here are some petroglyph pictures I took especially for you:


(While that's a cat, there were, alas, no poodle petroglyphs.)


Finally, here's a puzzle for ya: At home, we sleep on a "California King" bed (it's narrower and longer). In Sanfa Fe, the hotel had "Eastern King" beds (wider and shorter - Tim's legs stick out). So... why does Colorado, which is closer to California than Santa Fe, have California Kings and Santa Fe, Eastern Kings?

This is the kind of stuff I think about - well, at least I did when I was still 49. We'll have to see what the next half-century holds.

September 18, 2009

Meadow View Book Goup

You know I don't like to play favorites, but when a book club starts our discussion by singing "Happy Birthday" to me... well, how am I supposed to feel?


Front row Linda M, Nancy, Heather and Jodie, back row Jessie, Leslie, Linda G, Donna and Lynda B.

Since it was peach season in Mechanicsburg, PA, this very astute neighborhood book club (which has been meeting for over 10 years - impressed?) was drinking my Jubilee Martinis.

And, guess what? A Wegman's just opened nearby. If you've read QUEEN OF THE ROAD (and what have I been telling you if you haven't? Geez), you know my goal in life is to live in a Wegmans. I know it's hard to understand why a supermarket would inspire such devotion, but you really have to be there. This club certainly agreed.

Another point of agreement was with the member who lived for many years in Rapid City, SD. Whenever I meet someone from South Dakota who has read the book, I always ask if they're mad at me for what I said about the Corn Palace. I'm pleased to report that every single one responds with some variation of, "No. All of us who live there think it's lame."

This time was no exception.

Ladies - thank you so very much, again, for choosing QUEEN OF THE ROAD and very especially for my only birthday song of my 50th year! (So far, anyway. Warming up the pipes, people?)

September 21, 2009

Lion (Not Tigers or Bears, but still - Oh, My!)

I saw a mountain lion in our backyard last night.

I wish I had taken a picture, but I was too busy slamming the door shut (only the screen was closed). I was lion (sorry, couldn't resist) in bed with my laptop (yeah, I know, what else is new?) and something caught my eye through the window. It was only 6:30pm, so still light out. I figured it was one of the foxes (and yes, more pictures are forthcoming soon) but... no.

We live adjacent to open space, and the beast apparently jumped the fence and sauntered on over into our yard. I leapt out of bed (yeah - the fastest I've moved in quite a while. What do you want from me?) to close the door, because the lion was only about 10 feet from it. The motion/noise startled the thing and it ran off.

I called 911 to ask if I should report this somewhere. The operator took the report, and sent two officers out to the house. I didn't know they were coming or I would have (not baked a cake! Geez!) gotten dressed. Yep, I was in my PJs - and rather ratty ones, at that (even for me), since Tim isn't home. (He's out doing a camping trip with a buddy - more on that later this week.)

The officers said when they got to the house, they saw a flash of an animal running, so figured it was the lion, but searched the property, anyway. I told them they could have seen a fox or deer, as we have plenty of them (and yes, we do live in the city). One of the officers said with a smile, "Probably not so many, now."

I asked if mountain lions come through screen doors (it was hot and I wanted to keep it open). The officers responded, "Not usually."

Not usually? Guess who was sweating all night.

A Division of Wildlife officer called me later to follow up. He asked if the lion had a collar (it didn't - so it wasn't one they've been tracking). When I told him how it ran away, he said, "You're lucky. A lot of them aren't afraid of people."

Of course, I called my neighbors to warn them... well, at least the ones we like. As for the ones we hate? Let's just say there was a steak in the fridge that, if only my pitching arm were better and their fence wasn't so high...

I also called Tim. He was quite jealous. It's funny that such an outdoorsy guy, who is always hiking, camping and in the yard doing... well, yard stuff, has never seen a moutain lion, but fresh air-challenged me has now seen two since we've lived in Boulder. (The other was about 10 years ago when we lived in the mountains.)

When I told Tim which PJs I'd been in to greet the officers, he asked, "When they left, did they tell you they hope you feel better?"

September 28, 2009

My Man's Annual

We women have ours, why shouldn't they have theirs? In this case, my man's annual is his camping trip with buddy Jim.

I think I'll stick with my gynecological exam, thank you very much.

Once again, Tim met Jim at Jim's sister's terribly rustic cabin in Westcliffe, CO. After a couple of days there, the two friends took Jim's "unit" (oh, stop! That's what he calls his RV)


and went off to camp in some God-forsaken place in Gunnison, near the Continnental Divide.

As I mentioned in my post last year about this trip, Jim's sister and brother-in-law are not normal. They built the cabin themselves, she chops wood, etc. They live there completely off the grid (I'm talkin' solar panels and batteries). When they built the thing over a summer, they spent 12 hour days 6 days a week doing it, while camping (and I mean camping, like a tent and stuff). Once a week, they'd make the long trek into town for a proper shower. Need I say more? Told ya: Not normal.

Here's Tim with Jim's dogs and Linda's dogs:

(Actually, the one thing I was jealous about re his trip was that he got to be around so many pets. That's Roberto the DILF facing Tim.)


Tim says, "What defines the Continnental Divide is that rivers that start on the east side of it flow to the eastern US and rivers that start on the west of it flow to the western US." Is he pulling my leg? Then again, I just found out that the thing about toilets in Australia flushing the opposite way is true. Who knew? (Fine, you did. What do you want from me?)


Linda and her husband (I guess Jim knows me well enough by now) asked Tim what I was going to do at home, by myself, while he was away. He told me that after he answered, "She's going to go to her favorite take-out place and get enough food to last while I'm gone so she doesn't have to leave the house, again," much hilarity ensued.

He says they didn't believe him.

One thing I did do while Tim was gone was watch all the chick flicks I'd Tivo'd that I know Tim would never want to see. As you can imagine, I hate going out to movies, although you may be surprised to learn, the least of it is the going out part. I don't like being around people talking, coughing, etc. while I'm trying to hear what's going on. I like to eat my own snacks. Most of all, at my age, I like to be able to pause to go to the bathroom. What really did it was the last movie I saw.

It was Munich. In 2005. (Told you I hate going to movies.) I loved that movie, but at 3.5 hours, there was no way I could hold it that long, so missed a few minutes going to the bathroom. It wasn't just me: I went with a friend who is about 20 years younger than me, and her bladder also couldn't last that long. There's a reason Gone With The Wind included an intermission. So, we took turns and filled each other in. But, still.

Here's what I saw while Tim was gone (and I enjoyed all of them): Something New, Dreamgirls (yes, I only just saw it. Told ya), and Friends With Money.

Here's what I ate.

And, finally: Here's what I looked like after Tim's return.

(Ah... nevermind.)

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About September 2009

This page contains all entries posted to What Do You Want From Me? by Doreen Orion in September 2009. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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