Saturday Night Serenade–Thankful

Where has the time gone? Seems like it was just summer, and here we are just days away from Thanksgiving. 2019 has been a wild year for us. We’ve battled a serious financial downturn, spent sleepless nights worrying, struggled to hang on to our house, realized we had to let it go before it pulled us under, faced the uncertainty of ‘now what‘…

Even so, I can honestly say that I’m thankful. I believe that everything happens for a reason–nothing is random or willy-nilly. There’s always something to learn, an opportunity to grow.

I’m thankful we were able to sell the house and walk away with a little money in our pockets. I’m thankful for the cute little apartment we found in a really cool neighborhood. I’m thankful for the possibilities ahead of us.

I suppose most of all, I’m thankful for us. Throughout this entire ordeal, the best thing we had going for us was each other. Turns out, we make a great team, even through thin.

So Thursday, when we sit down to Thanksgiving dinner (with my son who’s coming in from Omaha! 🙂 ), we have a ton of reasons to give thanks.

For tonight’s serenade, I had to go with Kelly Clarkson’s Thankful. I hope you enjoy it, and that your Thanksgiving is special. Be sure to hug those you love.

Happy Saturday night!

Saturday Night Serenade–Ladies’ Night

If you missed the Academy of Country Music Awards show this past week like I did, you missed some amazing performances. Thank goodness for Hulu, which has the show in its entirety. It’s just waiting for you to stream.

You don’t even have to be a country music fan to appreciate the talent assembled at this gathering. The show was hosted by country music legends Dolly Parton, Reba McIntire, and future legend Carrie Underwood. Performances included some inspired pairings like Pink with Chris Stapleton, Garth Brooks with Blake Shelton, and Kacey Musgraves with Willie Nelson singing Rainbow Connection. Don’t even get me started with Ms. Reba bringing down the house with Fancy.

But to me, the most showstopping moment of the night was the opener, a medley of classic songs, many of which were performed by the legendary ladies who made them famous. The extended production number ends with all the ladies joining together to perform Martina McBride’s Independence Day, a rousing anthem of female empowerment and a lethal warning to those who would raise their hands against their partners.

I hope you enjoy this as much as I did. Stay warm this cold November weekend. Be sure to hug those you love.

Happy Saturday night!

Saturday Night Serenade–This Takes Me Back…

Ever notice how you can hear a few notes of a song and suddenly you’re transported to a different place and time?

Mr. R and I are both fans of all kinds of music, but you could probably say that our hearts belong to the 80s. Not that we agree on the same 80s genre. I was always a fan of hair band anthems by groups like Bon Jovi and White Snake, while he preferred the cool tones of New Wave. We do a lot of teasing back and forth, but I have to admit that some of what was considered New Wave was pretty awesome.

Case in point, Der Komissar. The video above is the English version by After the Fire, but the original German version was by Falco. This song takes me back to my freshman year in college. You could hear it echoing down the hallways of the dorm, and it seemed everyone was singing it under their breath as they walked to class.

I’m including another classic, The Clash’s iconic Rock the Casbah. It’s a New Wave/punk gem, and I may or may not have witnessed Mr. R wailing it karaoke-style at a birthday party once upon a time. And a bit of alcohol may or may not have been involved.

I hope you’re staying warm this November weekend. Be sure to hug those you love.

Happy Saturday night!

P.S.–Update–Our new apartment is a couple of blocks from downtown Lake Worth, a genuine small town just south of West Palm Beach. Today we walked up to the main drag to watch the annual Veteran’s Day parade. There’s a lot to love about living in a small town. I can’t wait for the Christmas parade!

Saturday Night Serenade–Side Effects of Research

Confession…
I’m a Girl Scout from waaayyyy back, y’all. I went to troop meetings, sold cookies, the whole nine yards. I even went to camp a couple of times as a young camper, then later in high school as a CIT (Counselor In Training) which meant that I attended for free and did normal Counselor duties without being paid.

One of the things I loved most about camp was singing all the old campfire songs. After every meal, we’d gather in the center of the dining hall and sing old songs like A Ram Sam Sam, Barges, and the Billboard Song among others.

One of my favorites was The Gypsy Rover. It tells the story of a wealthy young lady who leaves the comfort of her lord and castle to run away with her Gypsy love. Go figure, I was drawn to a song about love and romance.

Currently, I’m writing the third and final book in my Redheads & Ranchers series. It’s called ANNA’S HEART, and the hero of the story is a world-famous Scottish actor. As I envisioned the story, I saw a scene where Angus would play a guitar and sing a Scottish folk song by the campfire, and the song I kept hearing was The Gypsy Rover.

So I began to do a little research. Copyright law is very particular when it comes to music. And unfortunately for me, that song, which is actually called The Whistling Gypsy, was composed and copyrighted by songwriter Leo Maguire.

But as it turns out, that song, and a handful of others like it, are based on a traditional Scottish border ballad that dates back to around 1720 called The Raggle Taggle Gypsy. Which makes this song public domain, meaning I’m free to use it in my book.

And to be honest, I actually like this song better. I found there are various versions. I chose this one because it includes all the lyrics. But I’ll add the Celtic Thunder version below, because it’s very good.

I hope you had a happy Halloween. Hello, November! I guess we’re heading full-tilt into the holiday season.

Be sure to hug those you love. Happy Saturday night!

Saturday Night Serenade–Happy Halloween!

It’s that time of year again, time for ghosts, ghouls, and goblins to come knocking on doors, panhandling for sugary treats. Okay, there are probably precious few ghosts, ghouls, and goblins these days. More likely, we’ll see Spiderman, Buzz Lightyear, and Baby Shark.

I’m excited because for the first time in years, we might actually have trick-or-treaters. Our old house was in a rural equestrian community–we haven’t had any Halloween visitors in eight years.

And while I’m not digging out my ghost stories this year, I am sharing one of my favorite Halloween songs (okay, the song isn’t really Halloween-y, but that video, though). Who doesn’t love the Backstreet Boys all dressed up for Halloween?

What’s on your go-to spooky playlist?

I wish you and yours a very Happy Halloween! Be sure to hug the ones you love. Happy Saturday night!

P.S. If you’re interested in the ghost stories, this LINK will get you started. 😉

Saturday Night Serenade–Guilty Pleasure

I’ve confessed it before. My guilty pleasure is boy bands. It’s a sickness, I know.

But when I heard about King Calaway, a country boy band, I was IN. Six good-looking young men with the harmony of angels? Oh, hell, yeah!

This video has them performing a cover from one of my all-time favorite bands, The Eagles. It’s a set they did at the Grand Old Opry, and they’re joined by the legendary Ricky Skaggs.

I know what you’re thinking. You hate country music.

Doesn’t matter. If you’re ever in Nashville and you have the chance, you MUST go to the Opry, if only for the cultural experience. It’s amazing.

Tonght, I hope you enjoy this new take on Seven Bridges Road, and I hope you’re open to giving King Calaway a chance. It will be our little secret, lol.

Have a wonderful weekend, and be sure to hug those you love.

Happy Saturday night!

PS: It’s my birthday this week. My Love surprised me with tickets to Les Miserables down in Ft. Lauderdale. We have discovered that while he thought he was buying them through Ticketmaster, he inadvertently used a sketchy site instead. There is the better-than-even chance we’ll get down there only to discover that our tickets are bogus. Keep your fingers crossed. We’ll let you know…

Saturday Night Serenade–To Each His Own

It’s a weird time we’re living through right now. Remember the good old days when differing opinions were valued, and we were skilled in the art of agreeing to disagree? That ship sailed, didn’t it? Now he who disagrees with me is my mortal enemy.

To that I say (and pardon my French here), Fuck that shit!

We’re better than this. We are. We’re bigger and we’re smarter than this. We don’t have to all agree on everything in order to get along.

Anybody who tells you otherwise is lying. You have to ask yourself, What’s in it for them to have people believe such a thing? What do they stand to gain by everyone’s blind acquiescence?

The Woods by the Zac Brown Band celebrates individuality and being your own person. Like he says, “To each his own.”

I hope you’re enjoying your own life this October evening. This is my favorite time of year. Have a wonderful weekend. Be sure to hug those you love.

Happy Saturday night!

P.S. We’re getting settled into our new abode. This is Bryant Park, literally a block away from our back door. Walking Jack has never been so enjoyable. Everything happens for a reason…

Intracoastal Waterway, Bryant Park in Lake Worth, FL.
The Lake Worth Bridge is in the background.