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 4 2018

My Birdy Little Secret

Some of you may remember that a little over a year ago, I got a cockatiel for my birthday. I had been wanting a bird and had intended to get a parakeet. Getting a parakeet was a sound decision as I had experience with them and knew what to expect. But somehow I wound up with a cockatiel. It was not what I intended that day at all. The best-laid plans… All I can say is I had a momentary lapse in judgment and the mostly non-existent spontaneous side of me decided to make an untimely appearance. So that day I brought home a hand-tamed young cockatiel that had stolen my heart at the pet store. At first things seemed to be just fine. Levi was a lovely little cockatiel – very affectionate and curious. I started teaching him songs to whistle, preparing special foods for him, and spending most of my free time playing with him.  But it soon became clear that no matter how much time I gave him, it was not enough. Cockatiels need A LOT of attention. I hung in there for four months hoping that we would all adjust and things would get better. But I’m not the type that can ignore the attention-seeking peeps (sometimes screams) from a cockatiel. When I started having daily anxiety attacks, I knew I had to find him a new home. It was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do. I do not adopt pets just to give them away again. I was angry with myself for my impetuous purchase. Fortunately I was able to find Levi a new home with several other cockatiels and I know that he is much happier where he is now. Still, it took me a long time to forgive myself. It was a hard lesson to learn that not all birds are alike.  Cockatiels and parakeets are vastly different.

Anyway, the longing for a feathered friend was still there even when I got over my sadness about Levi. I fought it for as long as I could but eventually I found myself looking at parakeets every time I was in the pet store. So, you guessed it, I eventually got what I should have in the first place – a parakeet. But this time, having done much more research, I decided to adopt two. I knew that getting two would mean they would not bond to me as much but I also know they are flock birds and do better when not alone. So my two new babies came into my life last October. And while I am someone who likes to share, I kept this to myself. It was my “birdy” little secret. I wasn’t sure how people would react since I had failed so epically with Levi. I wasn’t prepared to hear any potential criticisms of my decision. I mean, what if I had made another mistake? But I know now that I haven’t. My two parakeets bring me a lot of joy and no anxiety attacks.

So without further ado, meet Kiwi and Sydney!

I thought I was getting two boys but it turns out that Sydney is a girl! Thank goodness for androgynous names!

Sydney is a total goofball.  She’s the bravest and the first one to explore new toys. She loves hanging upside down while playing and can be quite the contortionist. Here she is playing in one of her favorite toys.

Kiwi is the more cautious one but he’s also more vocal. He will sing and chirp from the time he gets up in the morning until bedtime. He loves Sydney and is constantly watching her every move. He lets her have first choice when it comes to food and will scold her if she doesn’t eat first thing in the morning!  Hah! Besides Sydney, mirrors are his favorite thing.

I love these two sweet birds and they just make me laugh and smile every day.

So, my birdy little secret is out. Whew!


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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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