Saturday Night Serenade–Take Back the Power OR That Took A Dark Turn

It’s the second weekend of March, and we’re ‘springing forward’ tonight.  Don’t forget.  And if the Florida legislature has their way, this will be the last time Mr. R and I have to change our clocks.  They’ve voted to remain on Daylight Savings Time from now on.

Which, on the one hand, is great.  My feeling is, just pick one time and let me know.  On the other hand, however, when everyone else ‘falls back’, the entire state of Florida will be all jacked up.  The 6:30 national news will come on at 7:30.  The Times Square ball will drop at 1:00 am New Years Day.  Everything will be all wonky.

But who am I to complain?  Just a lowly taxpayer.  The state legislature also came up with the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act, which Gov. Rick Scott signed, in response to the outcry following the horrific events of a few weeks ago.  While far from perfect, it’s a good start, particularly from a Republican governor to whom I usually refer as a dick with eyes.

The legislation limits gun sales to persons over the age of 21, among other things.  It also allocates serious fundage for mental health initiatives.  And it sets aside money to beef up school security.

Of course, there are those against the plan.  The NRA is even suing the state, citing 2nd Amendment violations.  I hesitate to wade into politics.  Everyone is so hateful.  But I’m for a little reform.

Some will call me a liberal.  Go ahead, if that makes you feel superior.  I’m neither Republican nor Democrat.  I’m a registered Independent voter.  I just look around for somebody who makes sense.  And I have guns in my home.  Nobody’s trying to take away your guns.  We’re just trying to keep kids safe.  I’d hope that, at least, is something we all have in common.

I’m feeling all punky tonight.  So this little song from The Interrupters speaks to my soul.  Wherever you fall on the issues, I hope you take a moment to see it from the other side.  And hugs your kids tight.  Because some parents in Parkland can’t do that tonight.

Happy Saturday night!

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So THIS Was An Adventure…

A couple of months ago, Mr. R called to me from his man cave/office in the back of the house.

“I bought us tickets to a show at the Kelsey,” he said.

“Great!” I responded.  The Kelsey is a small Indie theatre not far from us in the little town of Lake Park.  The theatre, and the place next door, a funky art space called the Brewhouse Gallery, are owned by a kid (okay, he’s pushing 30) who went to school with my kids.  The last time we were there was to attend Swedefest, a film festival celebrating “Bad films by good people.”

Mr. R handed me the tickets he’d printed, and being the curious soul that I am, I went ahead and Googled the Hellzapoppin Circus Sideshow Revue.  What I found is the video I posted above.  Mmm-yeah.

But I have learned that the things I regret in life are the things I didn’t do, the chances I didn’t take.

So, all of that to say…
If they come to your town, give’em a whirl.  😉

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!

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!

October Stories–The Riddle House

Leading up to Halloween, I thought I’d rerun my spooky stories.  Hope you don’t mind…

Here’s an October Story from the archives.  Much of the post involves information I discovered as I researched this location.  Although I have toured the Riddle House several times since this incident, I have not experienced anything like the visit I describe here. 

Happy October!


On Saturday I had the opportunity to do something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time.  On the closing weekend of the South Florida Fair, I was thrilled to find out that Mr. R. and I had been given free tickets.  I’m not much of a rider of fair rides, but I love to walk along smelling the fair food, checking out the livestock (one day I will have chickens), and of course, I needed the annual hand-dipped corndog with loads of mustard.  But none of those were the main reason I was excited.

Situated at the fairgrounds is an area called Yesteryear Village, a collection of historic buildings, houses, barns, and artifacts dating from 1875 to 1945, comprising a “history park.”  Some of of the buildings and artifacts been moved to the fairgrounds from their original locations, while other structures and items are reproductions.

One of those original historic buildings is the Riddle House, an early 20th century farmhouse, and it was the object of my attention that day.  The house was built shortly after 1900 in downtown West Palm Beach on the edge of the Woodlawn Cemetery.  At the time it was known as the “Gatekeeper’s Cottage” and it was used as a funeral parlor.

There are various stories of tragedies that happened in relation to the home. According to news reports, a cemetery worker was killed at the house during an argument with a local man.  Some years later a man called Karl Riddle became city manager and he and his family moved into the home.  During the time the Riddles lived in the house, an employee hanged himself in the attic.  Over the years, there have been stories of strange and unexplained happenings and it is said that the Riddle family finally left because they found it too frightening to stay.  After the Riddles moved out, several business attempted to operate in the house but none ever remained very long, some blaming unexplained experiences for their departure.

Much later the house was known for a time as Dobbs House, a women’s dorm at Palm Beach Atlantic College, before being condemned by the city in 1980 and slated for demolition due to disrepair.   A Riddle relative wanted to preserve the historical value of the building and had it moved to Yesteryear Village where it was restored and is now occasionally open for tours.

It’s open for tours, for example, during the South Florida Fair, which brings me back to where we started.  I had heard the rumors about the Riddle House.  I also know that some paranormal television shows have been there to investigate, the most famous of which was the team from Ghost Adventures, which I consider one of the least reputable of that lot.

But I was excited to have the chance to check out the house for myself.  I made sure my camera battery was fully charged and as Mr. R. and I approached the house, I began snapping pictures.  We walked into the house and toured the first and second floors.  The rooms were roped off so that you could only peer inside the from the doorways.  I found the house charming, neatly restored and decorated with period furnishings, decorations, examples of clothing and accessories, and home fashions.  I took pictures in every room open to the public.  Notably off-limits was the attic.  I overheard some other guests touring the home talking about the hauntings and I had the feeling that the docents were absolutely over hearing about ghosts.

When we got home I loaded the pictures on my computer.  At first I didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary and to be honest, I really didn’t expect that I would.

HOWEVER, these are the first three pictures I took as we walked up to the house.  Notice the right window upstairs.  In the first two pictures, it looks as though someone is lifting up the corner of the curtain to peek outside.  You don’t see that in the third picture.

We didn’t notice this while we were there.  It was only after we were home looking at the pictures that we saw the difference.  The obvious logical explanation is that someone is up there looking out the window.  EXCEPT that the room is roped off.  We looked into that room from the doorway.  The window is all the way across the room on the opposite wall.  You can’t get to the window without crossing the rope.  And there is a lady just in the hallway to make sure you don’t do that.

So…I don’t know.  It makes a decent October story.  I still have one more you haven’t heard…

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Saturday Night Serenade–Ready To Feel Good

It was a week.  I can’t complain, not really.  We had a Cat 5 hurricane barreling toward us, and ended up losing power for only about 15 hours.  No damage to the house, just a lot of tree branches and debris down in the yard.  Parts of the Keys are devastated.  I almost feel guilty for feeling relieved.

Local news was 24/7 hurricane coverage for a good five days, warning us of doom, gloom, and imminent disaster.  We had no idea what was going on in the rest of the world.

When the electricity and internet were back up, I was ready to go back to normal life.  Not so fast, though.  Not everyone around here has had their power restored.  We were apparently among the very fortunate.  And the county just lifted the curfews they’d enacted.  For quite a few days, there was no going anywhere from dusk to dawn.

View of the Jupiter Lighthouse from Square Grouper, after Hurricane Irma.

Cabin fever forced Mr. R. and I to go exploring on Wednesday.  On the most off chance, we cruised by one of our favorite watering holes, knowing that because it’s on the water, it would definitely be closed.

It wasn’t.  Precious few people knew, so it was blissfully uncrowded and we spend a nice hour decompressing toward normal.

I’m ready to feel good again.  So for tonight’s serenade, I’m bringing along Ed Sheeran with Castle on the Hill.  I love this song.  It makes me feel happy.

I hope you’re enjoying this September evening.  Is it cool where you are?  It’s still steamy hot here.  Hug those you love, and maybe consider donating to hurricane relief.  Between Texas and Florida, there are a lot of hurting folks out there.

Happy Saturday night!

Saturday Night Serenade–Ode to Irma

Confession…
I’m writing this post on Thursday.  On Saturday, we’re supposed to be under tropical storm conditions, then Sunday (as of now), we’re supposed to have a Cat 4 hurricane pass right over our heads here in north central Palm Beach County.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, this isn’t our first rodeo.  Coastal areas are going to be under encouraged, if not mandatory, evacuations.  We’re about 15 miles away from the coast, so we’re just going to batten the hatches and hunker down.

Roads, and I mean I-95 and the Florida Turnpike, are crowded with folks seeking higher ground.  But the storm is supposed to ride up the entire peninsula, so unless you’re planning on heading to Omaha (which we considered–our son and his wife live there), you might as well stay put.

I should be nervous.  I’m certainly taking the situation seriously.  We’re securing valuables, packing up some changes of clothes in case we need dry things, storing water, digging out the battery-operated and solar lights, etc.  It’s pretty much a given that we’ll lose power and wi-fi.  We have a well, so we’ll lose water until the electricity is restored.

But I’m feeling cheeky.  So tonight, we’re Riding the Storm Out.  And, as a two-fer, we’re going to Rock You Like a Hurricane.  We’ll keep you posted, and we’d appreciate your prayers, if you’re so inclined.

Hug those you love–I know I will.  Happy Saturday night!