Saturday Night Serenade–For All the Lovers Out There

This week, we’re celebrating Valentine’s Day.
Yes, I know, it’s a huge commercialized event, one big promotion for cards, flowers, candy, and diamonds.

But suppose we boil it down to its simplest form.  I think it’s a day to appreciate the ones you love, be it a spouse, significant other, parent, child, or friend.  And there’s nothing wrong with that.

For tonight’s serenade, I’ve picked a few of my favorite love songs.  I always love Ed Sheeran, and Thinking Out Loud is one of his most romantic.

But I just melt for John Legend’s All of Me.  This video has over 1.4 billion views.  Guess I’m not the only one.

Finally, who wouldn’t want to be Truly, Madly, Deeply in love?  Yes, it’s One Direction, but I have a guilty-pleasure thing for boy bands.

What would be on your Valentine’s Day playlist?

While you think about it, be sure to hug those you love, especially your Valentine.

Happy Saturday night!

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Saturday Night Serenade–Happy New Year!

Here we are at the end of another year.  Which is crazy, really.  Where did the time go?

If I’m honest, 2018 has not been particularly kind to us.  It’s been rough, actually.  A handful of real estate deals have gone south, plunging us into economic uncertainty.  We’ve spent a lot of sleepless nights trying to figure out what to do.   We’ve each taken second jobs just to pay the most essential bills.  We may end up selling the house to prevent its foreclosure.

Then what?  Who knows.  But here’s the thing.  We could look at it as a failure, as some huge misfortune befalling us.  Or we could look at it as a big do-over.  A chance to clean the slate and start again.

Surely we’re not the first people to find ourselves in this position, and we won’t be the last.  But we’re luckier than many, I imagine.  We have each other.  We’re a team, and if I have to go through such a scary time, I wouldn’t want to do it with anyone but Mr. R.

So this weekend, join us in raising a glass to the possibilities of the brand new year.  May 2019 bring you all the best of everything, surrounded by those you love.  Be sure to give them a hug.

Happy Saturday night!

Saturday Night Serenade–Christmas Blues

Only two more weekends until Christmas!  Have you finished all your shopping?  Here at Chez R, we have not.  Finances being what they are, we’re scraping up what we can to put together what will be a lean Christmas for our loved ones.  Everyone should manage to get a little something, but it won’t be like it has been in years past.

Mr. R and I are last on the list, but that’s okay.  We have what’s important anyway, the kind of thing that can’t be wrapped and put under a tree.  And I’m perfectly content with that, as long as we get something out to the family.

I’m looking forward to Christmas Day itself.  It should be calm and bright, no hustle or bustle.  In fact, it will be the first day I can plan on sleeping late for the foreseeable future.

As content as I am, I’m still in the mood for a little Christmas blues, so I’m starting out with the incomparable B.B. King.  There are many versions of Merry Christmas Baby, but his is the best.

The second helping (the B-side, LOL) is Jon Bon Jovi with Please Come Home for Christmas.

I hope you’re snuggled warm and safe with those you love.  Be sure to give them a hug.  Happy Saturday night!

Saturday Night Serenade–R.E.S.P.E.C.T. for the Queen

We lost the Queen of Soul this week.
As sad as we are, the remembrances have been uplifting.  Who didn’t love Aretha Franklin?

She transcended musical genre, gender, race, and politics.  She was born in Memphis in 1942, but lived most of her life in Detroit.  She won 18 Grammys over the course of her career and was the first-ever female artist to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

Tonight’s first song is Chain of Fools, one of my favorites.  It featured prominently in the John Travolta movie Michael, but I chose this 50 year old television performance of the song.

I also couldn’t resist this joyous version of Think from 1980’s Blues Brothers.

So how about you?  What’s your favorite?  Comment below and keep the respect going.

I hope you’re having a wonderful weekend.  Be sure to hug those you love.

Happy Saturday night!

Saturday Night Serenade–Down at the Twist and Shout

Hello, August!
It’s the middle of summer, but I always used to dread August, because that means Back-to-School.  But now, while my teacher friends are gearing up for battle, I’m ready to release my 9th book, and I’m 25k words into the next one.  There’s enormous freedom in giving up a steady paycheck for a career that nourishes your soul.

So this Saturday finds me feeling light and happy.  I’ve pulled up an older song that makes me feel the same way.  Mary Chapin Carpenter released Down at the Twist and Shout in 1991, and it won a Grammy the following year.  It just makes me want to go to a country bar and two-step all night.

Look closely–she’s backed up by members of traditional Louisiana cajun/zydeco band BeauSoleil.  I saw them perform once in downtown West Palm Beach as part of a free outdoor concert series, Sundays at the Meyer.  Then-Mayor of WPB (now US Congresswoman) Lois Frankel went through the crowd handing out chocolate chip cookies, which is the part my kids most remember.

I’m tucking in a little BeauSoleil just for fun.

I hope you’re having a relaxing summer weekend.  Be sure to hug those you love.

Happy Saturday night!

Saturday Night Serenade–Mamma Mia, Here We Go Again

I’m so excited!  Ten years ago, Mamma Mia, the Broadway musical based on the songs of 70s group ABBA, was made into a movie.  It’s not Shakespeare, okay.  But if you ever wanted to see a movie that just makes you feel happy, this is the one.

A decade later, the entire cast is back for a sequel, and with a few additions, most notably Cher, as Donna’s (Meryl Streep) mother.  Mr. R is imminently glad that my best girl Mo and I have plans to go see it this week.  I suppose it’s a chick flick, but don’t say it like it’s a bad thing.   I added a sneak peek from the new movie below.

The world has become a very scary place.  Up is down, right is wrong, and you never know from one day to the next what the hell is going on.  So let me go sit in a cool, dark theatre for a couple of hours with a bucket of popcorn and a vat of Sprite while I may or may not sing along to songs that make me happy.  Feel free to join me on the next recliner–not going to one of those moldie-oldie theatres, no thank you.  I know there are those who are avoiding this movie, angered by something or other Meryl Streep said a while back.  To that, I say, Good!  More room for me and Mo.  😉

I hope you’re having a wonderful weekend doing things that make you happy.  Be sure to hug those you love.

Happy Saturday night!

Saturday Night Serenade–Mr. R’s Birthday

We’re celebrating Mr. R’s birthday this weekend!

His birthday happens to be the same day as one of my brothers’, and that’s really neither here nor there.  But around this time, I always start thinking about how thankful I am to have him in my life.

I always refer to Mr. R as my ‘happily ever after.’  And he is.

I spent a long time married to my nightmare.  Last week, I alluded to my #MeToo story.  Nightmare is the star of that tale.

After that ended, a few years down the road when I had my feet under me a little, I thought it might be nice to meet someone new.  I wasn’t looking for someone who made me happy–I didn’t aim that high.  I just hoped for someone who didn’t make me unhappy.

But my broken road led me to a man who makes me laugh every day, from our first date, when he ordered a strawberry daiquiri with an exaggeratedly deep voice, to the songs that he intentionally butchers (most recently, changing the words to We Built This City to We Milk These Titties), and more than I could possibly tell you about.  He brings me flowers all the time, just because he wants to.  He makes me feel loved and cherished, honored and protected.  And I’m beyond thankful for him.

That’s what I think of when his birthday rolls around.  I have a couple of gifts for him: a nice leather messenger bag to use in his real estate work, a Starbucks gift card for his espresso, and a bakery decorated carrot cake (in spite of the fact that he’d diabetic).  But really, on his birthday, I’m reminded that he is a gift to me.

We’ll be going out to a nice dinner Sunday night.  We have reservations at the Capital Grille, and they know it’s his birthday.  Tonight, we’ll just chill here at home.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend.  Hug those you love.  Happy Saturday night!

“Bless The Broken Road”
(originally by Nitty Gritty Dirt Band)

I set out on a narrow way many years ago
Hoping I would find true love along the broken road
But I got lost a time or two
Wiped my brow and kept pushing through
I couldn’t see how every sign pointed straight to you

[Chorus:]
Every long lost dream led me to where you are
Others who broke my heart they were like Northern stars
Pointing me on my way into your loving arms
This much I know is true
That God blessed the broken road
That led me straight to you
(Yes He did)

I think about the years I spent just passing through
I’d like to have the time I lost and give it back to you
But you just smile and take my hand
You’ve been there you understand
It’s all part of a grander plan that is coming true.

[Chorus]

Yeah.

Now I’m just rolling home
Into my lover’s arms
This much I know is true
That God blessed the broken road
That led me straight to you.

That God blessed the broken road
That led me straight to you.