59 Candles, 59 Things – part forty two

Fiftieth thing: My inspiration for the next thing that makes me happy doesn’t cost a thing.  It’s energizing, refreshing and the day I’ve waited months for.

Fresh air through open windows, ah yes!

Is there anything more heavenly than that first day after a long winter and cold spring when you can safely open windows and get a cross breeze throughout your home?

Last weekend I was driving in snow and freezing rain on treacherous roads.  Spring seemed to have tenatively checked in and then retreated. It was sad as we’d had a couple of gorgeous days; the typical Michigan tease.

This morning I awoke to a gorgeous sunny day, checked my iphone for the outdoor temperature and started throwing open windows and doors.  Just glorious. It makes me ridiculously happy!

This fresh air montage is courtesy of Pinterest:


And this image made me think of how happy I am that Spring is upon us…..

If I were a cat…however I’m not a cat and must instead work in the garden today.  

For more “59 Candles, 59 Things” click on Categories, then “59 Things”.

59 Candles, 59 Things – part thirty nine

Forty seventh thing: The next entry in this series of things that make me happy is new experiences.  Since retiring, I have had a number of new experiences that have enriched my life, making my new “normal” exciting.

Some experiences, such as taking guitar lessons (a life-long dream) turned out differently than I’d imagined.  It was hard – awkward, painful and clearly not for me.  Others, blogging, yoga, meditation, writing, culinary knife skills – I truly enjoy.

This past weekend, I attended my first opera, “Orpheus and Eurydice”produced by the Opera Grand Rapids. Loving music, theater and dance, I was intrigued and was sure it would be great.  In truth, it was more than I could have imagined, it was magical.

Photos courtesy of Opera Grand Rapids Facebook page

Due to my unfamiliarity with this story I sought out a synopsis via Wikipedia, finding that it is comes from mythology, a subject I’d loved in high school.  The story is compelling, a love so great that after his wife Eurydice dies tragically, Orpheus travels into Hell to bring her back.

The staging was set in modern day, simple yet dramatic and very effective. There were three leads, dancers and a chorus, a small cast I learned (compared to grand operas).  The orchestra (while not visible from the pit) was amazing as was the haunting music.  There was a screen along the top of the stage which supplied translation of the lyrics making the story easier to follow.

“Orpheus and Eurydice” was fascinating and performed beautifully – the singing and acting conveying a deeply moving love story.

I’m so grateful to my dear friend for sharing her love of opera with me.  It was the highlight of an absolutely stellar girl’s weekend and a new experience that I’ll never forget.

Photos courtesy of Opera Grand Rapids Facebook page

For more on this series, “59 Candles, 59 Things” just click on 59 Things under categories.

Adam Lambert in Concert

Last Saturday, my sister and I attended Adam Lambert’s concert at the Soaring Eagle Casino and Resort.  Having been die-hard fans since his first audition on American Idol (which he should have won!) this is my second (her third) time seeing him perform.

When we saw him last, he was touring with Queen (there’s an earlier post on that concert). He was brilliant – the vocals so beautifully echoing the magnificent, gone-too-young Freddie Mercury. Bliss.

This time, Adam performed his music including a cover of David Bowie’s “Let’s Dance” which rocked the house.  Adam is a natural and gifted performer, singing and dancing, while flashing that gorgeous, mega-watt smile – truly riveting to watch.

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59 Candles, 59 Things – part thirty two

Fortieth thing –  For the next thing that makes me happy in this series, there is only one thing I could choose given the events of this weekend.

I finally got to see The Who!!!!!  This is a bucket list item for me, now completed.

There were times that I wasn’t sure it would happen. Keith Moon, their wildly talented drummer, passed away in 1978 followed by the passing of John Entwistle, their bassist, in 2002.  Sadly, I wondered if I would get to see Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend perform. After buying our tickets last year for an October concert date I received a text alert cancelling the concert indefinitely. Roger Daltrey was taken ill with meningitis.  This was scary news indeed and I opted to hold my tickets while praying for his recovery.

Prayers answered, Roger recovered fully and I received another alert that the concert was back on for February 27th. Happy days indeed.

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Main Floor, 29th Row, Center, seats 1 & 2 – sweet!!

A little backstory….I fell in love with this band back in 1969 with the release of “Tommy”,  listening endlessly, memorizing every lyric and nuance. Genius!  When “Who’s Next” came out in 1971, I was at the record store with cash in hand.  My first love bought me “Quadrophenia” in 1973 which I thought was pure brilliance.  The die was cast, I loved these guys and my love never wavered. I dreamed of seeing them in concert, never imagining I’d be 59 before it happened.

On Saturday, 2/27/16, we boarded the Detroit People Mover and headed for the Joe Louis Arena.

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It was a windy 46 degrees as we waited to enter, I noticed that the majority of the attendees were somewhere between Spence and my ages, not surprising.

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Right about now, I’m beside myself….

As with all good things, we still had a wait on our hands….the opening band had to perform and then the stage reset for The Who.  At almost 9:00, the house lights dimmed…

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The opening number had the massive crowd on it’s feet. And unlike any other concert I’ve been to – NO ONE EVER SAT DOWN FOR THE NEARLY TWO HOUR SHOW! Seated on the aisle, I moved into the aisle, singing and dancing my 59 year old ass off – as was everyone (except Spence, who enjoyed it but tends to not sing along, nor dance at concerts).

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There are no words. To say this was epic understates the joy I was experiencing.  I felt like I was 16 again.

Losing my mind a bit……

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Behind Blue Eyes

In my 59 Candles, 59 Things series, this is probably the largest post (at least so far) but it was hard to edit myself.  Suffice it to say, attending this concert with Spence at my side made me incredibly happy!

Rock on……




November 2015 in Michigan – and I’m still wearing flip-flops!

Michigan has been my home for all of my 59 years.  By November, leaves are off the trees, the variety of fall colors are a sweet but fading memory.  And it’s time to break out the jackets – or at least the sweaters.

Not this year. The Autumn of 2015, has to be the most beautiful in my recollection. On Monday it reached 79 degrees at home though I was en route to Traverse City (northwest Michigan) with my lifelong BFF.  I think Traverse City easily reached 75 degrees on Monday with Tuesday and Wednesday equally warm.  On Tuesday at 5:00 p.m., I was standing in the sand, wearing flipflops and taking photos of the crystal blue water, lighthouse, sunset and amazed at our good fortune.


The color change, which historically would be over by now, was in full glory. It wasn’t just warm, it was sunny and the sky was brilliant, painting the trees with light. Driving the two lane roads throughout the countryside, we marveled at every turn. I love Michigan and this time of year is always something special, though often it’s brief.  I’m so grateful to be able to experience it in retirement.

Everyday, this was my view – it was hard to leave such beauty. You can smell the fresh scent of pine in the air.

As we were packing the car for our return trip, I noticed mushrooms sprouting along the forest floor.

What a magical couple of days!

Until next time!

Fall Flowers Still Blooming & Meet My Little Friend

In Michigan, we’ve already had two hard frosts and as a result, there was a lot of collateral damage. That said, there are a few plants still hanging on and creating happiness as the autumn leaves fall around them.  IMG_7593


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While taking these pictures, I spotted this little caterpillar and decided to get up close and personal.  At first he does nothing, then he takes off with a speed I didn’t expect.