Saturday Night Serenade–Full Tilt Reno

Our big renovation started on Wednesday.  Over five years ago, Mr. R. and I bought a small foreclosed home in an equestrian community where every lot is at least an acre and a quarter in size.  The home needed work, and we did the bare minimum so we could move in.

Now, it’s time to make the place what we want it to be.  We’re completely redoing the kitchen, both bathrooms, and adding wood flooring.  The project includes some minor structural changes as well.

All of that put me in the mood for ‘house’ songs.  And because I couldn’t decide on just one, tonight’s serenade is a three-fer.  I love this version of Who Says You Can’t Go Home, and the video features home construction, so it’s perfect for the occasion.

But I couldn’t resist Our House by Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young.  Because when it’s finished, our house will be a very, very, very fine house, LOL!  We’ll post ‘After’ photos, I promise.

And what post about our house would be complete without this 80s blast, Our House by Madness?

I’ll leave you with a few photos of the carnage.  I don’t even mind the mess, noise, and inconvenience–this is going to be awesome!

Happy Saturday night!

Saturday Night Serenade–Three Weeks Until Christmas!

I love Christmas!  I love the lights and the television specials and the decorations and the music.  I love picking out the exact perfect gifts for friends and loved ones, Secret Santa at work, the Angel Tree at the mall.

When you love something so much, there’s the danger of being disappointed by unrealistic expectations.  You envision the perfect holiday, like a Martha Stewart Christmas special, and what you get is more like the family in the Dropkick Murpys’ The Season’s Upon Us video.

But in spite of all the external trappings, Christmas is about love, about family and close friends, the kith and kin who know you better than anyone else does.  It’s a great opportunity to express our appreciation for each other, to make right things that might have gone awry over the past year, and to extend grace and forgiveness.  It might not be perfect, but it’s genuine.

And guess what?  It’s probably not all that perfect at Martha’s house, either.

So I’m ushering in the Christmas season with my favorite jig-punk band as they put the ‘fun’ in dysfunctional in their hysterical ode to a family holiday.  May you laugh, and, fingers crossed, may you not recognize too many of the characters.

Happy Saturday night!

I Have Writ…A Pome

sweatpants

Ode To Sweatpants

Oh, sweatpants, my sweatpants, you’re a favorite fall friend.
On cool days you’ve got me all covered, in the end.

You’re soft and you’re flexible; you never judge.
Even after I indulge so much I can’t budge.

So this holiday week, I’ll keep you in mind.
I’d never go off and leave you behind.

This Thursday you’ll find me a grateful lass,
I’m ever so happy that you fit my…lifestyle.

–An original poem by Pandora Spocks

Adventures In Home Reno–Episode 1: The Accidental Project

Not long ago, I mentioned that Mr. R. and I are embarking on a brand new adventure, home renovation on our 1986 quasi-Mediterranean house.  We bought it as a foreclosure five and a half years ago and have been blessed to see it rise in value.  Recently, we refinanced with plans to use the money to do serious updates on some sad, mid-eighties builder-grade fixtures, namely, the kitchen and both bathrooms.  We’re also replacing the cheap carpet we put in when we first moved in, opting for wood flooring in the living areas of the house.

We had not planned on replacing the carpet in the bedrooms.  Until…

Remember Hurricane Matthew?  Here in south Florida, we seemed to be in the very cross-hairs of the storm so, like all our neighbors, we launched into storm-prep mode.  We put up shutters, stocked up on non-perishables and drinking water, and made sure we had batteries for the flashlights.

Where we live, we have our own well rather than city water.  The well pump runs on electricity, which the television weather people all assured us would go out in the storm.  Having been through previous hurricanes and gone without electricity for two weeks at a time, we took this warning seriously.

And so it was that we decided to fill the bathtubs, saving water for flushing toilets for the duration of any power outage we might experience.  Mr. R. was in charge of that part of the operation, first filling ‘his’ tub in the second bathroom.  Once that was finished, he started the water in ‘my’ tub, the master bath.  He started the water.

Sometime later, I entered the bedroom and felt a splash as I walked in.  The bathroom is on the opposite side of the room from the door–the overflowing tub had completely flooded the bedroom.

We spent the next several hours using the steam cleaner to suck up as much water as we could.  When the storm had passed, and the power never even so much as blinked, we trotted out to our good friends at Lowe’s and picked up a dehumidifier, which sucked up a lot more water.

But with the padding completely soaked, we’re opting to replace the whole shebang to avoid mold and mildew issues.

Take a trip with us to Lowe’s as we shop for carpet.

As far as reno proper, we met with Bob the Bathroom Guy and Ray the Kitchen Guy last week and signed contracts.  We’re slated to start right after the New Year.  But before that, we’ll have new carpet in the bedroom.  Yay!

Stay tuned…

Ministry of Silly Walking Dead

If you’ve been living under a rock…  Or you just aren’t the kind of nerd we are…  You may not be aware that the Season 7 premiere of The Walking Dead is this Sunday.  For us, it’s the night we’ve been waiting for ever since they left us hanging at the end of Season 6, wondering and speculating on who exactly Negan beat to death with his barbwire-wrapped baseball bat, Lucille.

Violent, I know, but it is the zombie apocalypse.  Yesterday I stumbled upon this gem–a recap of the first six seasons of The Walking Dead, narrated by none other than John Cleese, brilliant comic genius best known for being a Python.  This piece is a mashup of two of my favorite obsessions.

A couple of words of warning about this video:

  • It’s violent.  It’s the zombie apocalypse.  But we’ve been over that.
  • Spoilers abound.  After all, it’s a recap.

But if you’ve never watched The Walking Dead before, by the end of this clip you’ll be up to speed and ready for Sunday night.  Hint: In the zombie apocalypse, the zombies are the least of your problems.  And if you’re a die-hard fan like Mr. R. and me, you’re going to LOVE this.

Oh, by the way, if you watch The Walking Dead, you can’t miss The Talking Dead which come on immediately afterward.  It’s where nerds like us dissect each scene and nuance, while at the same time, engage in group therapy.  Because we’re going to need it when we find out who Negan killed.  So what do you think?

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!