Saturday Night Serenade–Perfect

Who doesn’t love a royal wedding?  Today’s ceremony was absolutely perfect!  I’m the dork who was up before the sun to watch the whole thing live.  Wasn’t it just beautiful?

So now I’m in the mood for pure romance.  Do you wonder what song Harry and Meghan will use for their first dance?  I have an idea.  You know how I love Ed Sheeran, and this version of Perfect he did with Andrea Bocelli just gives me goosebumps.

I found a love for me
Darling, just dive right in and follow my lead
Well, I found a girl, beautiful and sweet
Oh, I never knew you were the someone waiting for me

‘Cause we were just kids when we fell in love
Not knowing what it was
I will not give you up this time
But darling, just kiss me slow
Your heart is all I own
And in your eyes you’re holding mine

Baby, I’m dancing in the dark
With you between my arms
Barefoot on the grass
Listening to our favourite song
When you said you looked a mess
I whispered underneath my breath
But you heard it,
Darling, you look perfect tonight

Well, I found a woman, stronger than anyone I know
She shares my dreams, I hope that someday I’ll share her home
I found a love to carry more than just my secrets
To carry love, to carry children of our own

We are still kids but we’re so in love
Fighting against all odds
I know we’ll be alright this time
Darling, just hold my hand
Be my girl, I’ll be your man
I see my future in your eyes

Baby, I’m dancing in the dark
With you between my arms
Barefoot on the grass
Listening to our favourite song
When I saw you in that dress
Looking so beautiful
I don’t deserve this
Darling, you look perfect tonight

Baby, I’m dancing in the dark
With you between my arms
Barefoot on the grass
Listening to our favourite song
I have faith in what I see
Now I know I have met an angel in person
And she looks perfect
I don’t deserve this
You look perfect tonight

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

Happy Saturday night!

Saturday Night Serenade–Another Anniversary

Well, to be honest, we have a few.  Anniversaries, that is.  We celebrate our wedding(s), along with the date we first met, and some other significant times.

Originally, Mr. R. and I had planned a March 10 wedding in the backyard of our home out here in the boondocks west of West Palm Beach.  But then, one late September morning, he surprised me by saying, “Let’s go get our marriage license today.”  To which I replied, “Oh, hell yeah!”  We’d been together for about six years at the time, and if the man was ready for a license, I wanted to act before he changed his mind.

Turns out, Florida has a 3-day waiting period between the time you get a marriage license and the time you can actually get married.  I mean, seriously?  It’s not like it’s a gun or something.  Anyway, on the morning of October 2, 2011, we were married in our backyard by a dear friend of ours, a dotty little Wiccan, in the weirdest ceremony you ever saw.  It was awesome!

But then, on the following March 10, we were married again, as planned, in a huge celebration and surrounded by all our friends.  The whole thing was fun and relaxing and full of joy.  People still talk about it.

When these anniversaries roll around, I find myself in a thoughtful mood, thankful for all I have.  I was married before, you know.  I can’t help but compare.

With my nightmare, I couldn’t do anything right.  He criticized everything I did, everything I said, everything I wore.  I even opened the kitchen cabinets wrong, y’all.  I remember hearing this song at the time and longing for a man who loved me, who didn’t want to change everything about me.

It was different when I watched this today.  Because I have a baby who loves me just the way that I am.  He believes in me and makes me believe in myself.  And it’s an amazing feeling.

I hope you have the same.  It’s a blessing, I tell you.  One I don’t want to take for granted.  To you and yours, happy Saturday night!

Celebrate Summer Date Night

Sorry about the recent trend, but have I mentioned that I’m somewhat happy that Summer is here?

wpid-20150606_130725-1.jpgMr. R. returned from his errands yesterday with these gifts.  It’s going to be a glorious summer.  For one thing, now that I’m off work, Mr. R.’s new schedule is the bomb.  We get to sleep late together every day since he doesn’t have to be at work until late afternoon.  Then he leaves, giving me quiet time to write and not feel like I’m ignoring him.

We went out for date night last night to one of my favorite locations, Clematis Street in West Palm Beach. (I know, I’ve written about it a million times).  We had no solid plan and after strolling up and down the street a for a few blocks we settled on Duffy’s Sports Grill.  In the interest of full disclosure, Mr. R. worked part-time as a server at Duffy’s (although not at the Clematis location) as a second job when we first started dating.

Duffy’s is a local chain that began in Palm Beach Gardens in a small building that currently houses one of my favorite bars on the planet, Pirate’s Well.  From that one restaurant, the company grew to 29 locations located mostly in South Florida.  Duffy’s is a sports bar and grill with views of any number of television screens from any seat in the place.  They offer typical bar food and have a nice Happy Hour special of two-for-one drinks all the time.

Truthfully, it’s not my absolute favorite place to go but it was right for our budget last night and the food was really good.  We sat outside and watched the world go by up and down Clematis, including one Segway tour (Note to self–Never go anywhere and take a Segway tour.  You look like an idiot.)

wpid-fb_img_1433625807977-1.jpgIt was such a nice relaxing time.  Mr. R., faithfully being careful with what he eats and drinks, drank unsweetened tea with a splash of lemonade while I had the Grand Raspberry Peach Cosmo (times two, of course).  For nibbles we had a small order of boneless chicken wings with Buffalo sauce, an order of fries, and the chicken tostado nachos.  Okay, we weren’t exactly eating clean, but it was a nice cheat night.

Following our time at Duffy’s we strolled down toward the east end of Clematis where it meets with Flagler and the waterfront.  We just missed a wedding at the end of the floating dock that goes out into the Intracoastal.  The wedding party was leaving the dock and crossing Flagler to where the reception was being held.  Some guys were breaking down the ceremony site and Mr. R. asked if he could take a flower from one of the arrangements for his ‘lady’.  They were happy to oblige and Mr. R. picked a beautiful peach rose which I carried as we walked to the end of the dock and looked back at the city.

Grey clouds made for a beautiful evening and as we stood there we could hear the cheers of bar patrons watching American Pharaoh win the Triple Crown.  It was a great way to celebrate the arrival of Summer.

He’s A Card, That One

I mentioned in a post yesterday that we are preparing into go full-on wedding prep mode.  My son’s informal beach wedding is in two weeks.  My folks are flying here from Pennsylvania the Thursday before the ceremony.  My mom texted me this morning to ask what my father should wear.  I figured the best thing for me to do was to ask Mr. R. what he plans on wearing.

wpid-screenshot_2015-04-19-11-16-29.pngI texted him at work to ask the question and this is the picture he sent me.  I am especially a fan of the pants.

I’m hopeful that my dad can find something like it so they can match.  Bah-hah-ha!

The Calm Before The Storm

We are two weeks out from my son’s wedding.  It’s going to be a simple beach affair with only about thirty guests, most of whom are family.  Mr. R. and I are have been assigned the responsibility of beverages for the reception.  The wedding itself is at 10:00am, so we won’t have alcohol except for a little mimosa station.  We’ll probably spend next weekend really gearing up, buying sodas, water, juices, ice, etc.  We’ll also be busy getting the house in order.  Later that week out of town guests begin to arrive.

So this weekend, Mr. R. and I are spending a quiet weekend doing not much of anything.  We did, however, go out to Lowe’s looking for inexpensive annuals for me to take to work for an Earth Day project.  (Yep, that’s this coming week.)  We lucked out, finding a bunch of things on the clearance rack.  I picked out some marigolds, petunias, and a couple of other things for fifty cents apiece.

wpid-20150418_163557-1.jpgAs we were checking out, I spied some interesting yet battered looking rose bushes and much to my delight, they were on clearance for five dollars.  I love roses, but, and this is important, I don’t like red roses.   They’re just way too cliche.  We currently have a yellow rose and the blooms often have a pink tinge to them, and we have a lovely pale pink whose blooms are sometimes sort of ombre, palest near the center to bright pink near the edges.

We welcome to our little rose family this blue hybrid tea rose.  The flowers currently on the bush are a little beat up but I’ve never seen any this color.  I can’t wait until we nurse it back to health.

And yes, I am ignoring the fact that my baby is getting married and moving 1,600 miles away.  And that my house will soon be a hive of activity resembling Grand Central Station.  Don’t judge me.

Easter Lunch

It was Easter Eve, actually.  Mr. R. and I took his daughter and my son out for lunch yesterday.  She was just back from a couple of months in New Mexico where she attempted to ‘find herself.’  My son was exactly one month away from his wedding and his move 1,600 miles away.

I tried to push the thought that we won’t have many more of these opportunities right out of my head as we enjoyed a beautiful Saturday afternoon in downtown West Palm Beach.  We had lunch at Grease Burger Bar on Clematis Street.

wpid-20150404_123924-1.jpgWe snagged a table on the sidewalk, the better to enjoy the fresh air, blue sky, and plentiful sunshine as people passed back and forth on their way to and from the West Palm Beach Green Market.  Mr. R. and I have been to the Green Market before, but not since it moved to the east end of Clematis.  We made a note that we need to go down there again one Saturday specifically to enjoy the market.

While the menu at Grease is diverse, everyone chose their favorite burger (Mr. R. also added a hot dog) and we had a large order of onion rings and a larger order of fries for the table.  The food was hot, delicious, and plentiful.  Some of us took home leftovers.

Over lunch, we heard stories of life in New Mexico, why it sucks, and potential new jobs back here in South Florida.  We also got caught up on wedding plans and on arrangements for newlyweds starting a life in Omaha.

Mr. R. and I have cobbled together a life that rather resembles a patchwork quilt.  Not everything matches, but somehow it all seems to go together.  And we know that we’re blessed.  Happy Easter, everyone.

Friday Eve

You know, if you think of Thursday as ‘Friday Eve,’ it seems more like the weekend.  I’ll keep telling myself that, anyway.  That means it’s almost Date Night.

Mr. R. and I are attending a wedding on Saturday.  I’ve been kind of excited about it.  Who doesn’t love an an excuse to get all gussied up?  We couldn’t remember the when and the where so I dug out the invitation the other day.  Here’s the thing:  The service is at 2:30.  And the reception is at 6:00.  That’s an awfully long time.  I hadn’t planned on committing to a whole day for this thing.  Sigh.

I was thrilled by an opportunity we had for Sunday.  We were invited by one of Mr. R.’s work contacts to share a table at a fund-raiser for Big Dog Ranch Rescue, the largest no-kill animal shelter in Florida.

The event is called Wine, Women, & Shoes and it’s being held at Mar-a-Lago, the opulent Palm Beach estate-turned-resort of Donald Trump.  Jimmy Choo is the official shoe sponsor.  What’s not to love about this?

The problem is that Mr. R. works on Sunday.  I suppose it’s just as well.  It would be rough hitting the work week having been out all weekend.

I’ll keep telling myself that.  Just like I’ll keep calling today Friday eve.

Meeting My Happily Every After

In honor of our upcoming anniversary, I wanted to write about how Mr. R. and I met.  While it’s true that we met online, we did not meet on  I just like to tell people that for the priceless reaction before they pull themselves back together.  We actually met on, a site I would recommend for obvious reasons.  I know what you’re thinking: Why would two such obviously attractive people resort to subscribing to an online dating website to meet someone?  That’s not what you were thinking?  Then stow it.  This is our story.

farmersonlyMr. R. and I had both been to this particular rodeo before, having three failed marriages between us.  I endured a really bad marriage that lasted nearly eighteen years, at least ten years longer than it should have.  But then, divorce is always something that other people do, isn’t it, until you find yourself there.

In one night I went from being Suzy Homemaker to being Suddenly Single (and unemployed) Parent.  Stunned and shell-shocked, I began to try to put together a life, finding a part-time job while I got my teaching credentials updated, depending on the generosity of my folks, finally landing a teaching position, and attempting to guide my kids through the surreal world we shared.

It was a couple of years before I even considered that it might be nice to meet someone.  But I hadn’t dated in twenty years.  It’s a very scary proposition.  Not to mention the fact that I’d been convinced by someone not very nice that I had nothing to offer anyone.

Being a teacher, I was not very likely to meet anyone at work.  So it was very tentatively that I dipped my big toe into the shallow end of online dating.  Initially, I only interacted with guys who lived very far away.  I couldn’t quite work up the nerve to actually meet someone.  When I finally did find someone I was interested in meeting, we agreed to get together at a coffee shop (I don’t drink coffee, whatever).  He was nice and we dated for a little while, but it turned out he was a client of my ex.  Seriously?!

Scrolling through my list of matches one day, I saw a handsome man and read his profile.  It said that he worked for a local television news station, listed various other vitals, and then there was something that caught my eye.  He promised not to hump my leg in public.  And I laughed.  Completely out of character, I sent him a ‘wink’ which is what Match lets you do to let someone know you might be interested in them.  In the next day or so, he replied and we began messaging back and forth.

A week or so later, I was brave enough to agree to a phone call.  In my mind, I had allotted about half an hour to chat.  I’d agreed to a phone call with a far-away guy once and, having figured on about thirty minutes, found I couldn’t stand it for more than about ten.  Seems he was better at the written word.  But I digress.

Mr. R. called and before I knew it, we’d been talking for over two hours.  It’s like that with us.  The call was so successful we made a date to meet in person.  I met him at the local Cheesecake Factory one evening in January, 2006.  I recognized him immediately from his profile picture and he knew me at once as well.  Dinner was fantastic; we talked and laughed the entire time.  Being a man of his word, he did not, in fact, hump my leg in public.

The rest, as they say, is history.  We began dating exclusively not long after that.  Mr. R. made it clear from the beginning that he wasn’t interested in being married ever again.  I had just escaped a bad situation and was in no hurry to do it again, and besides, I was very much enjoying us.  I knew that one day, I did want to be married again, but for the time being I was content to appreciate our limited time together.  For years, we really only saw each other once a week.  He was working weekdays 1:00 am to 9:00 am, sleeping during the days, and I had regular school hours.  Saturdays were ours.

One day a few years ago, we were strolling through a mall and he led me into a jewelry store.  “What do you think about these rings?” he asked.  I was freaked out.  He’d been clear for years.  I had no expectation.  I saw one I liked and tried it on but was so nervous it got stuck and the clerk had to break out the Windex.

Some months later, early one Saturday morning, we went to the beach to take a walk.  Strolling along the water’s edge, he dropped to his knee, proposed, presenting me with that ring.  Of course I said yes.  I heard applause but I never looked around to see who was there.  We’d planned a March wedding, but one day in late September, we both had a day off and he suggested that we go to the courthouse to get our marriage license.  We would have gotten married right then and there (before he changed his mind, right?) but in the state of Florida, there’s a three-day waiting period.  Like it’s a gun or something.

weddingSo three days later, October 2, 2011, we were married in our back yard by a sweet friend of ours, a dotty little Wiccan, in a very strange, completely fabulous little ceremony involving earth, water, a feather, sage smoke, and a tiny bell.  We had another, more traditional ceremony and party the following March 10 with all our closest friends in attendance.

Now we celebrate several anniversaries.  Our actual wedding on Oct. 2, our wedding celebration March 10, and the day I winked at Mr. R., January 7.  Best thing I ever did.

Mr. R.ism: Funny. He Doesn’t Look Dudeist.


“Guess what?” Mr. R. exclaimed after we got home from work yesterday.

“I have no idea,”  I replied.

“You’re looking at an ordained minister,” he said, flashing a huge, satisfied grin.

“Ordained minister?” I questioned. 

And that’s when he produced this certificate.  My husband, Mr. R., joins over 220,000 ordained ministers of Church of the Latter-Day Dude.  He is, in fact, an ordained Dudeist Priest.  Meaning that he can legally officiate at weddings and funerals in most jurisdictions. 


This description comes directly from the official website of Dudeism,

Come join the slowest-growing religion in the world – Dudeism. An ancient philosophy that preaches non-preachiness, practices as little as possible, and above all, uh…lost my train of thought there. Anyway, if you’d like to find peace on earth and goodwill, man, we’ll help you get started. Right after a little nap.


The Dude, of course, refers to the Jeff Bridges character in the Coen Brothers genius classic film, The Big Lebowski.  If you’ve never seen it, drop what you’re doing and watch it right now.  No, seriously, go watch the movie. 

And, if you’re in the market for someone to marry you or bury you, I just might know someone.  Plus, he can really pull a room together, man.  The Dude abides.