MJ Monday-Music: Linda Ronstadt

My husband and I tuned into the Kennedy Center Honors this year because we both wanted to see Sally Field and Linda Ronstadt. Ronstadt’s music is an integral part of the sound track of my life. Shortly after the Kennedy Center TV special we watched the documentary, LINDA RONSTADT: THE SOUND OF MY VOICE.

I could listen to the sound of her voice forever. Until relatively recently, there was no compilation of her greatest hits. I know because I looked.

Ronstadt was an amazing performer, with an unmatched versatility that allowed her to sing in a wide variety of genres.  She has performed with many other legendary musicians. Her voice is arguably one of the best of voices of her generation.

Check it out.

Different Drum

Long, Long Time

Thursday Thought: The Colors of Pain

When I was a child, I saw pain in two colors. Ear aches were red. Stomach aches were black. As I grew older and experienced different types of pain, they always red or black.


  • Headaches
  • sinus infections
  • foot cramps
  • leg cramps
  • torn meniscus
  • damaged ACL
  • toothaches
  • coughing
  • giving birth


  • gas pains
  • menstrual cramps
  • labor pains

How do you see pain?




MJ Monday-Movies: Yesterday


I’m surprised the movie Yesterday isn’t better known than it is. I am unfamiliar with the male lead, but the female lead is Lily James of Downton Abbey and the Guernsey Potato Peel Pie and Literary Society fame. Ed Sheeran and Kate McKinnon are also in the movie.

The plot is simple: a struggling musician, Jack,  is hit by a bus; when he comes to, it’s in a world where the Beatles never existed. The movie is a romance. It’s quirky. There’s an interesting plot twist. And while the Beatles aren’t the only thing that never existed in Jack’s new world, but the movie doesn’t hit you over the head with it. Just one or two mentions. And a funny one at the end.

Five stars.

Book Review: Karen Robards-BAIT

Image credit: tieury / 123RF Stock Photo

Karen Robards is a master at writing romantic suspense, and her 2004 release Bait is no exception. The heroine is an advertising exec going after a big account. The hero is an FBI agent tracking a serial killer.

The story includes:

  • a mistaken identity
  • a secret identity
  • a great supporting cast (including a secondary romance and Hawaiian shirts)
  • the world’s most obnoxious dog
  • a great apartment for the heroine

I’m a sucker for secret identity heroes. Bait gives the trope an interesting twist.

Four out of five stars.



MJ Monday-Meals: Chicken Taco Casserole with Cucumber Avocado Salad

Going on my writing retreats can sometimes be a challenge, especially when I try to take other people’s dietary needs into consideration. It’s a good thing I like to cook and peruse recipes.

Here’s a combination I used the last time I took off for the woods with my critique group.

Chicken Taco Casserole

With this, I left off the black olives and made my own taco seasoning to make sure there was no sugar in it. There are at least a couple dozen taco seasoning recipes on Pinterest.

I paired the casserole with Cucumber Avocado Salad.

With this, I swapped out the feta cheese with goat cheese, as not everyone likes feta.

The cool creaminess of the salad was a wonderful counterpoint to the mild spiciness of the casserole.