Saturday Night Serenade–Baby, It’s Christmas

I don’t know where you are, but baby, it’s COLD outside.  Here in south Florida, we’re having a front move through.  Yesterday we hit a record high of 87.  Now, at 1:00 pm, it’s 66 and dropping fast.  You know it’s serious when the fuzzy socks and the Cornelia Marie sweatshirt come out.

For this second weekend of December, I’m breaking out the baby songs.  I love Merry Christmas, Baby.  One of my favorite versions is the one by Cheryl Crow, but this version by The Boss is cool.

And I couldn’t resist this fun spin on Santa Baby from America’s Got Talent.  I just smiled the whole time.  I hope you enjoy them both.

The forecast for tonight is temps in the FORTIES, and I predict a fire in the fireplace and a nice glass of wine.  Bundle up where you are and be sure to hug those you love.

Happy Saturday night!

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Saturday Night Serenade–It’s December!

Well, it’s done.  The tree is up and decorated.  The dining room table is ready in all its festive glory.  The outside lights are up, including three 3-D twinkling snowflakes in the front window, the new addition for this year.

I LOVE December!  And everything that comes with it.  The decorations, the food, the parties, the movies and television specials, and most especially the music.

I’ve become obsessed with Pentatonix.  Are you over them yet?  I know some people are, but they utterly fascinate me.  So I’ve pulled a two-fer for tonight’s serenade.  Mary Did You Know always touches my heart, maybe because I’m the mom of two baby boys.  Well, they’ll always be baby boys to me.  And this version of Carol of the Bells is so cool.

I’m wondering…
What are your favorites?

I hope you’re enjoying this first weekend of December.  Be sure to hug those you love.  Happy Saturday night!

Saturday Night Serenade–Heartbeat

That was unexpected.  Who realized that we’d feel the hole we do with the loss this week of David Cassidy?  He hasn’t seemed relevant in years.

David Cassidy was my first celebrity crush.  When I was in second grade, I utterly adored him.  I watched every minute of every episode of The Partridge Family.  I had all their albums, and I knew every word to every song.  Against her better judgement, my mother allowed me to subscribe to Tiger Beat Magazine, and I read it faithfully for years.

Following his teen idol days, Cassidy struggled with personal demons of addiction, and of finding his place in the universe.  More recently, he retreated from public life with the announcement that he was suffering from dementia.  Which is heartbreaking, really.

This morning, I saw that his daughter, by his side at the end, was sharing his last words.  “So much wasted time.”

Well, that will make you stop and think.  I wondered what he was thinking about, but I know where it fits into my own life.  Maybe if we hold onto that takeaway, his heartbeat still continues.

I hope you’re seizing every moment this holiday weekend.  Be sure to hug those you love.  Happy Saturday night!

Saturday Night Serenade–Thinking Out Loud

Ready or not, it’s the holiday season.  Seems like as soon as the Trick or Treaters trotted home with their sugar-inducing haul, retailers shifted into holiday mode.  Like aging rocker Billy Mack says, “Christmas is all around us, and so the feeling grows.”

But first, here in the States, we’re gearing up for Thanksgiving this Thursday.  I love Thanksgiving.  I love the way the aroma of turkey roasting in the oven permeates the whole house.  I love to watch the Macy’s parade on television, especially the Broadway performances on the street right in front of the store.  I love the roll-out of classic holiday movies, like Love Actually.

More than that, though, I appreciate having a reminder to be thankful for all the ways I’m blessed.  And I am.  I’m a lucky girl.  I’m healthy, I have a great home, this year I walked away from a job I hated to live the dream of being a full-time writer.

On the domestic front, having survived a season in hell, I’m living my happily-ever-after with a man who loves me more than life itself.  When I first heard Thinking Out Loud by Ed Sheeran, I thought of us, and how thankful I am that we found each other.  Here’s a little snippet of the lyrics.

When your legs don’t work like they used to before
And I can’t sweep you off of your feet
Will your mouth still remember the taste of my love?
Will your eyes still smile from your cheeks?

And, darling, I will be loving you ’til we’re 70
And, baby, my heart could still fall as hard at 23
And I’m thinking ’bout how people fall in love in mysterious ways
Maybe just the touch of a hand
Well, me—I fall in love with you every single day
And I just wanna tell you I am

So, honey, now
Take me into your loving arms
Kiss me under the light of a thousand stars
Place your head on my beating heart
I’m thinking out loud
Maybe we found love right where we are

Our lives aren’t perfect.  We worry about finances.  We have two out of three collective adult children who currently aren’t speaking to us (gotta love millennials).  But we have each other, and we’re a great team.  And so I’m thankful.

Just thinking out loud.  Wishing you and yours a wonderful Thanksgiving.  Be sure and hug those you love.  Happy Saturday night!

Oh, and as a bonus, here’s your old Uncle Billy.

 

Saturday Night Serenade–She Bop

Here’s a blast from the past.  I became an adult in the 80s, graduated from high school, went to college, got married, even had my first son during that era.  And music from that time period always makes me happy.

The other day, I had this song stuck in my head so I thought I’d share it with you.  I have to confess, I don’t remember all the hubbub when She Bop first came out, so it was a revelation when I started poking around.  This snippet is from Wikipedia, and I did a little further research, because, well, it’s Wikipedia.

The song was considered controversial, as it dealt with the subject matter of female masturbation. It was also included on the Parents Music Resource Center’s “Filthy Fifteen” list, due to its sexual lyrics; this led to the creation of the Parental Advisory sticker. (Other songs on the “Filthy Fifteen” list included tracks by Madonna, Prince, and AC/DC.) In an interview on The Howard Stern Show, Lauper stated that she recorded the vocals of the song while nude.

Lauper said she wanted little kids to think the song was about dancing, and to understand the real meaning as they got older. It could receive airplay as she never directly stated in the song what the meaning was.  –Wikipedia

Who knew it was such a naughty song?  According to a Time article, the impetus for the Parental Advisory sticker was actually Prince’s single, Darling Nikki (thank you, Tipper Gore).  But suffice it to say, as one of the Filthy Fifteen, She Bop did indeed carry its own warning label.

Would it carry the same warning today?  And is female masturbation really that threatening?  I’ll leave that for others to ponder.  I’m just going to enjoy a fun song that’s ultimately a feminist call for freedom of sexual expression.

Stay warm on this fall evening.  Cuddle up with those you love.  And hey, if it feels good…  😉

Happy Saturday night!

***I’m including the lyrics.  Read them at your own risk, LOL!
She Bop by Cyndi Lauper
We-hell-I see them every night in tight blue jeans –
In the pages of a blue boy magazine
Hey I’ve been thinking of a new sensation
I’m picking up – good vibration –
Oop – she bopDo I wanna go out with a lion’s roar
Huh, yea, I wanna go south n get me some more
Hey, they say that a stitch in time saves nine
They say I better stop – or I’ll go blind
Oop – she bop – she bop

She bop–he bop–a–we bop
I bop–you bop–a–they bop
Be bop–be bop–a–lu–she bop,
I hope He will understand
She bop–he bop–a–we bop
I bop–you bop–a–they bop
Be bop–be bop–a–lu–she bop,
Oo–oo–she–do–she bop–she bop

[whistle along here…]

Hey, hey – they say I better get a chaperone
Because I can’t stop messin’ with the danger zone
No, I won’t worry, and I won’t fret
Ain’t no law against it yet
Oop – she bop – she bop

She bop – he bop – we bop…

Saturday Night Serenade–Oh, For A Pint On A Fall Night

Happy November!  Can it be possible that the holidays are right around the corner?  Oh, it CAN be–judging by the sudden onslaught of Christmas displays in the stores and the commercials on television.

Last weekend was cool here in south Florida.  A/C was turned off, windows were opened, a fresh breeze whisked away all the stale air from the house.  We even had a fire in the fireplace a couple of nights.  This weekend is more or less back to normal for this time of year–bright sunshine and low humidity with high temps around 80.

But last weekend put me in a mood.  I want to escape to a pub in Galway, and sip a pint of Guinness while listening to a local band.

I love this song by Ed Sheeran, and I adore this video even more.  Join me for a pint, and celebrate this beautiful fall evening.  Be sure to hug those you love.  Happy Saturday night!

One Final October Story–In Which Mr. R. Lived In A Haunted House

England's Raynham Hall has been said to be haunted by the original owner, Lady Dorothy Ghost? Townsend, since 1835. This picture, taken nearly 100 years after that, remains to this day to be one of the most iconic ghost pictures.:
Photo from Pinterest

Here’s one final spine chiller as we gear up for Halloween.  The title is pretty self-explanatory.  It’s completely true and like I said below, it’s the reason I am considerably less skeptical than I once was.  I hope you read it to the end.  I’m tacking on a new little snippet that happened a few weeks ago.

On a side note, there is some creepy shit on Pinterest.


This last October story is the most personal.  I have no photos or other documentation to prove what I’m saying but this is the single reason that I now entertain a certain amount of curiosity about the paranormal.  Up until this point, I was pretty sure I had it all figured out.  Yeah, right.

In the earlier days of our relationship, my sweet lived in a haunted house.  No, honestly.  I know what you’re thinking.  Even I didn’t believe it at first.  He tried to tell me.  I just thought he was messing with me.

Before Mr. R. and I got married, he rented a house with two other guys for a little over a year.  It was just a regular older house in a normal neighborhood and it was owned by a personal friend of Mr. R.  There was nothing remarkable about it, in fact, it needed quite a bit of updating, but it was a nice size with three bedrooms and three bathrooms.  It also backed up to a large lake and had a nice pool in back between the house and the water, these two features being really the best of the whole place.

I vaguely recall Mr. R. mentioning to me that there were times when his roommates were out and he felt as if he were not alone in the house.  I completely blew this off.  I am an educated, logical person.  There is always an explanation for everything.  I just thought he was trying to creep me out.

We spent many Saturdays hanging out at the house, sometimes swimming in the pool or fishing off the dock, lots of nights watching television in the converted sun porch just off the dining area.  I never noticed anything weird.  Never even thought about it.  Until…

One night we were watching television and I left the room.  As I headed through the darkened dining area, I saw movement out of the corner of my eye.  My heart jumped and I stopped immediately, looking to my right, the direction of the movement.  Mentally, I scolded myself.  You saw yourself in the mirror, I thought.  There was a mirror on the wall and that explanation made total sense.  Except…I was about 10% certain that myself was not what I saw.  I shook my head and went about my business.

After that, from time to time as we watched television, I was almost certain that I saw movement in the dining area.  Let me describe a little of the design of the house.  The tv room and dining area were separated by double french doors which were always left open.  The double-wide opening was flanked in the tv room by the multi-paned french doors pushed flush against the wall.  The panes of glass reflected light and color from the television, not to mention the lights of the boats passing outside on the lake.  So it made sense that the movement I saw was the reflection in the glass doors from the television and from outside.  Except…There were times I was sure the movement I saw was not in the glass on the sides of the doorway, but in the empty space of the doorway which would be the center of the dining room.

Mostly I just tried to ignore it, sure that I was being silly.  And there were long periods of time when nothing unusual happened.  I would forget about it, have no expectation of anything at all.

Until the night I had an experience that I could not explain in any way.  Once again, we were watching television.  During a commercial, I glanced out into the darkened dining area where my purse was hanging on the back of a chair.  Oddly, in the space between the top of my purse and the handles hanging on the chair, I saw a tiny red light, like the ready light on something electronic.

That’s weird, I thought.  What in the world is it?  My first thought was that it was my phone.  But I realized it couldn’t be my phone because: a) my phone didn’t have a red light like that; and b) my phone wasn’t sticking out of the top of my purse, it was in the pocket in the end of the purse, which was the reason I bought that purse to begin with.  That’s so weird, I thought, and I looked back at the television without thinking about it beyond being perplexed.  When I glanced back at my purse, the red light was gone.

I was properly freaked out for the first time.  Mr. R. realized something was wrong, but I’m from the school of thought that says, If I don’t say it out loud, it didn’t happen.  I made him sit beside me, and it was only after the show was over, when we went out onto the back deck that I told him what I’d seen.

He told me a few more stories, and now, of course, I was all ears.  The master bedroom of the house was separated from the master bath by a short, narrow hallway that ran between ‘his and hers’ closets.  Mr. R. said that once he’d been on his way into the bathroom when he’d suddenly changed his mind and turned around in that area between the closets.  As he abruptly turned, he said he saw someone standing there, then instantly he didn’t see someone.  His sense at the time was of someone who was lonely and desperately wished to be ‘one of the guys’.  He told me about many times when he’d been in the kitchen cooking and he’d felt certain that someone was just behind him, looking over his shoulder.

After that experience, I was very aware of the nights when we’d hear thumps and bumps of unexplained origin.  I chalked a lot of those up to the wind getting under the eaves, but that only explained some of the noises we heard.

One night, after his roommates left for the evening, Mr. R. and I were in the house by ourselves.  We were sitting together on the sofa just chatting about nothing in particular when we heard, from the other room, the distinct sound of someone clearing their throat.  “Ahem!”  We just stared at each other.  “You heard that, right?” we said simultaneously.

One of the last things I experienced in that house happened as we were making dinner one night.  Mr. R. left the room, leaving me alone in the kitchen.  I heard, from another part of the house, a loud sort of boom, bang, crash as if a stack of pots or something had fallen.  I moved in the direction of the noise, the direction Mr. R. had gone, saying, “Hey, are you okay?”  I met Mr. R. coming toward me saying, “Hey, are you okay?”  We’d each thought the other had knocked something over, yet neither of us had.

As a result of the strange things I experienced in the house, I became somewhat interested in investigations of the paranormal.  No, I’m not going out to buy a bunch of electronic gizmos (except maybe a phone app).  But I have come to appreciate the TAPS investigators from the SciFi show, GhostHunters.  The reason I like them is that they set out to disprove paranormal activity, to find logical, rational explanations for odd things that people experience.  One thing I learned from them is that high electromagnetic emissions, such as would be present in an older home with faulty wiring, can cause various physical reactions including feelings of unease, of being watched.  I absolutely believe that explains some of what Mr. R. experienced in the house.  And then, every once in a while, the TAPS team comes across something that really defies explanation.  I can relate to that, too.

Now, a little history on the house.  These are things I know to be true, they can be verified in the news and by talking to the family members who owned the house.  Some years before Mr. R. and the boys rented the house, the family who owned it experienced an unfathomable tragedy.  A teenage son was murdered in a violent robbery at the fast food restaurant where he’d worked.  The mother, utterly devastated by his death, hired a psychic to come into the house and give a reading.  The psychic advised the mother to place some of the boy’s personal belongings around the house to encourage his spirit to stay.  Turns out, there were some skateboards and other things placed in the attic and other spots around the house during the time Mr. R. lived there.  Now, normally I’d say that whole business is a load of crap.  But things happened there that I can’t explain.

All of that to say this–I’ve always believed that most of the things that happen in this world have logical, rational explanations.  I still believe that.  Now, I also have to concede that some things simply defy rational explanation.

It gets real when you experience something for yourself.  Take, for example, those photos from the Pilar in Islamorada.  Or the photos from the Riddle House.  I’m much less certain that I have it all figured out.  Still, I’m okay with that.

I wouldn’t spend any time alone in that house, though.  Nope.


As promised, one last little tale…

Mr. R., before he quit his job (don’t even get me started again), was a steely-eyed newsman.  His most recent position was as an assignment editor–those are the folks in the newsroom who know what’s going on and send out reporters and photographers to cover stories.  They take phone calls, keep in contact with community leaders and law enforcement, and keep an ear on the scanners.

In that capacity, one day shortly before his last, Mr. R. overheard an odd conversation over the police scanners.

Town of Palm Beach Dispatcher to officer on patrol: I received a call from an on-duty private security guard.  He’s reporting that in the house he’s guarding, he keeps hearing children whispering and giggling.  The thing is, the house has been empty and boarded up for several years.  Can you check it out?

Officer on patrol: (long silence) Oooo-kay.

I’m sad to say that Mr. R. never heard the outcome of that call, but like all my other October stories, it’s true.

Happy Halloween!!