New Date Night Adventure

About five years ago, Mr. R. and I bought our first house together, a small foreclosure situated on nearly an acre and a half of land. 

It was in decent shape for having sat vacant for a number of years. One improvement we made immediately was putting down cheap apartment-grade carpet, replacing the stained, nasty carpet that was there.

Now that a few years have passed, we’ve amassed a considerable amount of equity. So in the last couple of weeks, we’ve embarked on a new adventure–RENOVATION! 

Our plan includes remodeling the kitchen, both bathrooms, and laying hardwood throughout the common areas. 

I’m so stoked! Having already met with Bob, the bathroom guy, last night we got together with Ray, the kitchen guy. We picked out cabinets, pulls, and counters. 

Over the next few months, we’re going to bring our little house into the 21st century, freeing it from all its builder-grade mediocrity. 

I hope you all come along for this ride–it should be lots of fun!  🙂

Saturday Night Serenade–Date Night Three-fer

Oh, my friends, last night Mr. R. and I enjoyed an amazing date night three-fer.  We attended the last performance of the Rock Hall Three for All Tour, featuring Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Cheap Trick, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, and Heart.  It was, to say the least, incredible!

Mr. R. is a huge fan of Cheap Trick, who were, in fact, the first concert he ever attended.  They came out first and rocked it with a full set of around fifteen songs, including all our favorites.  Not bad for a band whose lead singer, Robin Zander, is 63.  Keeping the energy high was Rick Nielsen, age 67, in spite of the fact that it was a sweltering September night in South Florida in which the Perfect Vodka Amphitheater felt more like a sauna than a concert venue.

Of all the Cheap Trick songs, I had forgotten about this one, The Flame.  It was as beautiful last night as it was nearly 30 years ago.

After Cheap Trick was my personal favorite and hero, Joan Jett, the baby of the group at age 58.  She came out kicking ass with Bad Reputation, and this video is from the tour.  I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again–when I grow up, I want to be Joan Jett.

Last to perform was Heart, who we nearly missed.  Friday nights are actually Mr. R.’s Sunday nights–he hits Saturday and Sunday with 12-hour shifts as a steely-eyed newsman.  We were in agreement.  Heart is nice background music.  Maybe we could afford to sneak out and get home at a reasonable time.

Seated next to us was a couple of Heart’s biggest fans who’d seen the Tampa gig the night before and they decided they’d drive across the state for one show more before they headed back to Lakeland.  The wife helpfully informed me that when Joan Jett had started playing the previous night, she recognized some of the songs.  How cute are you? I thought.

Our new friends really wanted us to like Heart, and we stayed for most of their set, leaving before we got stuck in the parking lot for 5 hours (it’s happened before, believe me).  In spite of my Scotch-Irish stubbornness (never tell me who I have to like), I found Heart exceptional.  The Wilson sisters, Ann, age 66, and Nancy, age 62, brought the house down.  You know how aging rock stars tend to cut corners on their boldest, highest notes?  Not Heart.  Ann attacked those bits with gusto, and Mr. R. and I were super impressed.  Here’s a clip from 10 days ago.  Amazing!

So I know the tour is over.  But I’m telling you, when you get the chance, you should see any or all of these acts.  Yes, including Heart.  Because you never know when you’ll get the opportunity again.

Have a very happy Saturday night!

Saturday Night Serenade–A Little Miracle

So, confession time–

Mr. R. and I got sucked into watching America’s Got Talent this summer.  I know, and if you have to stop reading Adventure in Date Night now, I completely understand.  However…

Tonight’s clip is the reason we became huge fans.  It’s the first audition of tiny little 12-year-old Grace VanderWaal, who strolled out onto the stage and played an original song on her ukulele.  I know!  Are you kidding me?  A little girl, playing a song on a toy instrument.

But somehow with her song, this child manages to articulate deep feelings most adults couldn’t begin to express.  It’s as though Grace is an old soul, seeing life for what it is and calling it out, loud and clear.

In subsequent rounds, she continued to present fresh original material, all observing life with the wizened eyes of someone many years older than herself.  And oh, by the way, just this past Wednesday, Amazing Grace won the entire competition.

So I hope that if you haven’t heard of Grace VanderWaal, you enjoy this little snippet along with the rest of us who are just trying to find our way.

Happy Saturday night!


Saturday Night Serenade–Hozier

I know we’re not quite to Fall yet, but it’s September and that always makes me nostalgic for cooler breezes and bright-colored leaves, for pumpkins decorating porches and mantles, and hot cider in large mugs.  We don’t get much in the way of Fall in South Florida, but it all seems so romantic.

With that in mind, for tonight’s serenade I’ve chosen this romantic song and video by Hozier.  It reminds me that true love overlooks the frailties and faults in others, not to our harm, but in a way that extends a little slack to our partners who are less than perfect from time to time.

Plus, I’m a sucker for a man-bun, so there’s that.

Tonight, curl up with the one(s) you love and think about them with renewed appreciation–after all, none of us is perfect.

If it’s cool where you are, even better.  Happy Saturday night!


Saturday Night Serenade–Happy Labor Day!

It’s Labor Day Weekend, the official end of summer.  Doesn’t it seem like we were just celebrating the 4th of July?  I’m thrilled to at least have a nice three-day weekend.

Tonight’s serenade celebrates the working man.  And woman.  Hell, we all work hard.  So let’s take advantage of the time off and kick it old school with a little Huey Lewis and the News.

And just for good measure, I’ve thrown in the Dropkick Murphys and their Workers Song.  Because it wouldn’t be a holiday without a little jig-punk.  When you watch the video, notice the moshers near the front of the stage?  When the Murphs came to West Palm, I ended up being right there with them.  I just figured we had a good spot to watch the concert.  Who knew we’d have to fight like gladiators?

Tonight, I’m raising a glass to the working folks.  Because let’s face it, we’re the ones who make it all run.  Enjoy your holiday weekend and spend it doing what you love, with those you love.

Happy Saturday night!