Tag Archives: couples

My Husband and I Cannot Be Trusted to Pick Out “Our Song”

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Me and the Hubs

My husband and I are celebrating two years of marriage this month. And we’ve been a couple for a decade.

We should probably have a song picked out by now.

I mean, we kinda do. We have the song we first danced to. The song we sang at our wedding. We’ve recorded two CDs for family covering songs we love. Given my husband is a professional musician, there is no shortage of music in our home.

Yet, on a recent car trip, a specific song came on the radio and Joe’s eyes lit up in excitement as he said, “Do you know what this is?”

I didn’t.

“Think Tia Carrere.”

It was Dreamweaver by Gary Wright.

“This should be our song,” said Joe.

“Um, I’m not sure I agree with that. Even if it is the soundtrack for a great scene in Wayne’s World.”

I politely suggested another song.

Bird on a Wire by Aaron Neville.

And that, is when my husband gave me a look that said “we will not be figuring out what our song is today.”

Also, he was less than enthused when I started playing this song after he exited the bathroom later that day. *shrug* I still say it’s got a good groove.

What’s your song? How did you choose it?
What song recommendation do you have for Joe and I?
Because clearly, 
we can’t be trusted.

Sh*t My Husband Says While Sleeping: Star Wars Edition

This is my husband, Joe.

To clarify, he’s the non-reptile one.

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Joe likes road trips, playing 2 recorders at once,
and making his wife sing songs with him. 

Joe also talks in his sleep. Sometimes he laughs about things like crackers and email, and other times he stresses over where to store hot water.

Whatever he says, it’s typically entertaining, so I like to share it with all of you!

 Recently, we went to see the new Star Wars movie, The Force Awakens. We both really liked it! And I guess he had the movie on his mind one night when I overheard this…

Joe: Aiding and abetting…

Me: What?

Joe: Chewbacca lovers. 

Me: What about them?

Joe: I don’t know… They’re up to something.

Me: …

Han Solo

Then, a few nights later, he made this random statement.

Joe: I wish I had some coconut oil. 

Me: …

steve carrell

He claims that dream came from a Facebook ad in his feed about coconut oil being a fix-all solution for any problem. Sure, Joe. Whatever you say.

What do YOU think the Chewbacca lovers are up to? 

*****

And in case you missed it, celebrity themed movie marathons are back! Every wednesday night this January, we’re watching an Emilio Estevez film and celebrating #EmilioFestevez!!!

Watch along and live tweet the film using the #EmilioFestevez hashtag.

And now, there’s a Facebook group for that!! 

Movie marathons are bi-monthly, and if Twitter’s not your thing, you can hangout on Facebook too. Find out the movie lineups, share your ideas for future marathons, and meet other film-loving fools like you! Hope to see you there!

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Before I Met Keanu Reeves, I Also Ran Into Bigfoot

Many of you now know about my serendipitous run-in with Keanu Reeves. I still don’t understand quite how that happened, but I’m glad it did as it was awesome. What you don’t know is that I also ran into Bigfoot.

Jess Witkins Meets Keanu Reeves

I was planning to write a very different story for my blog that weekend. A story about a hiking trip that Joe and I went on.

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I know, I know, we all know how THAT goes. One of us ends up missing

And to that I say, at least we’re consistent, which is a prime foundation to have in a marriage, especially when one party may have pooped their pants while hiking thereby ruining all shreds of romance forever. 

So before Joe and I ended up at the bar where I glanced out the window and commented “That guy looks like Keanu,” we were hiking.

IMG_6058Sure, sure, this is exactly how it’s supposed to look. I always crawl through death branches to get from point A to point B. 

True to form, Joe rarely lets me pick what direction we go since I’m supposedly the one that got us lost the first time. But then, he went and picked a trail that looks like this!

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Me: “Well this looks like a dark and treacherous path.” 

Joe: “I’ve made my peace with it.” 

It doesn’t even phase him anymore!

When we crept upon the creepiest cavern looking structure, we debated.

Me: “Oh look at that. I bet that’s the witch’s cabin.” 

Joe: “That’s just a rock formation.” 

Me: “That’s what she wants you to think.” 

Amazingly, we were not witch-napped and forced to eat sweets until our bellies burst and no one made pies out of our intestines and such. But it was a close call, lemme tell you.

On a sunnier trail, we fell into one of our usual conversations comparing our relationship to various film or book references. You know, a “you’re Wild Bill Hickock and I’m Calamity Jane from Deadwood” or “you’re Lonestar from Spaceballs, but I’m Dot not Princess Vespa.”

And then Joe tried to sum us up with this…

Joe: “The difference between us is that I’m more crass, but you have the dirtier mind.” 

Me: *leans in really close to his ear and whispers* “You’re welcome.” 

And then this is the part where I’m guessing Joe got sun poisoning. Or temporarily possessed by aliens because I shot this photo….

IMG_6083Pretty funky lighting, amirite?

And then he did this…

Who knew, Bigfoot’s in Wisconsin?!

*****

How was your week everyone? 

Top Five Things I’ve Learned About Married Life

Break out the champagne and candles! We’ve been married for one year!

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I know it’s hard to fathom. Two youngest children forced to play nice together. Most odds would have us laying tape lines around the house, each sticking to our respective sides. Or at the very least, using a conch shell to determine whose turn it is to talk.

“Sucks to your assmar!”

But we’ve managed to co-habitate with relatively little violence and debauchery.

(In case you’re wondering, the violence is from our new set of kitchen knives. Every time Joe uses them, he manages to cut himself. Either those knives are sharper than a Lady Bic throwaway razor or Joe has the skin of a flower petal.)

In contemplating our one year anniversary, it occurred to me there were many learning lessons along the way.

Top Five Things I’ve Learned About Married Life

1. Simply Being a Wife Does Not Make You More Domestic

I admire those women who are able to keep perfect households where everything matches and dinner is on the table at 6. When we first got married, we needed to buy a couch. One year later, we still need to buy a couch. And Joe does all the cooking. I am, however, an exceptional take out orderer.

2. Being a Wife Does Not Make You More Medically Intelligent 

You know how some women just know all these natural, home remedies for how to fix everything? They can cure fevers and soothe upset stomachs with nothing but a nail file and a half a lemon. (I don’t know if that’s what they actually use, I told you I’m not one of them!) My husband once suffered a sneezing fit, and I treated it like the hiccups.

“Hold still, and I’ll come out and SCARE you!”

3.  Some Decor Ideas Do Not Find Compromise

You know that scene in When Harry Met Sally where Bruno Kirby and Carrie Fisher are arguing over whether or not a wagonwheel coffee table goes in the living room or not. Well, I’m Carrie Fisher in that scenario, and it doesn’t.

4. All Those Times You Blamed Your Roommate, It Was in Fact Your Spouse

If you and your spouse ever shared living quarters with a roommate, you may have bonded over a mutual frustration with said roommate’s bad habits. Now that said roommate is gone, you may have discovered your spouse has extremely similar bad habits as your roommate once did. What are the odds? 

5. Date Night is Still a Thing

You may think by “putting a ring on it,” you’re work is over. The reverse is true. Married life requires more creativity, more compassion, and more commitment. And this is where I publicly thank Joe for creating the #Appetour date night – wherein we hop from stop to stop in town and enjoy a drink and/or appetizer, maybe some live music, and then head to the next place.

Side note* If your spouse leaves you to play on stage, they pay for the next round. It’s not technically in our vows, but now I’ve got witnesses. 

So thank you, Joe, for that last date night. It was most enjoyable.

*****

What are some lessons about love you’ve learned, whether married or not? 

Do you think we’ve earned our paper anniversary?
Maybe I’ll print this post out and put it in an envelope for Joe. ❤

And, you can relive the magic from Our Big Fat Secret Greek Wedding.
Or hear us sing “Home” from our stateside ceremony
below. Enjoy!

Recalculating: Our Overnight Hotel Stay at the Don Q Inn

When your husband offers to take you on a road trip for the weekend, you say yes.

At least that’s what I did. After all, weekends where the two of us aren’t working are rare. He said something to me like “blah blah blah… ‘travel,’ ‘wine,’ …blah blah blah ‘bookstore’…”

I don’t know, that’s all I listened to.

We hit the road after work on Friday and stopped in a small town for book and music store perusal. We spent longer in the music store which must’ve been the “blah blah blah” part I tuned out.

But all was well when we stopped for dinner at an amazing farm to table cafe and gorged ourselves on charcuterie, fine cheeses, and prime rib.

And we checked out a winery as well.

Vernon collage

We were unsure of what city we would stay the night in. There were a few in between our route that would have sufficed and we figured we’d just hotwire it – as in, use hotwire.com to find a cheap hotel, not actually hotwire someone else’s vehicle.

And that’s when I hit the jackpot.

Behold…the Don Q Inn!

Don Q Inn

That’s right, my little travel munchkins. I scored us a room at the Don Q Inn – Fantasy Suites of Your Dreams Hotel!

Joe was quite impressed with my knowledge and know-how of working the internet to find the most bizarre place for us to stay the night.

Let’s discuss the available amenities at the Don Q Inn, shall we? 

If you’re in the mood to wander a retired Boeing C-97 airplane that once flew in the Korean War and once was used in a car commercial with none other than Farrah Fawcett, you’re in luck!

The Don Q Inn has just such an airplane!

Boeing C97

And let’s face it, it makes the hotel incredibly easy to find from the road. 

Climb aboard and experience what years of abandonment and hopscotch patterns of bird poo smell like! Admittance is FREE!

Boeing C97-front

Joe inside the plane

inside the boeing C97

The Don Q Inn offers rooms designed to fill your deepest fantasies. Want to sleep in Sherwood Forest? You can! Rent a room with the bed nestled between real tree trunks!

Wondered what it’d be like to sleep in a hot air balloon? You can! Complete with accompanying cd of sound effects!

Perhaps you’re a traditionalist and want a heart shaped bed from Cupid. There’s a room for you too!

Extra bonus – many rooms come with their own whirlpool made out of copper cheese vats! Sure to impress your lover.

Standard rooms are available, each with their own eccentricities. Ours for example, had carpet on the walls and a giant cupboard that wouldn’t open where I think the zombies live.

Because we booked on hotwire, we didn’t get a fantasy room, but Joe – if you’re reading this – we have an anniversary coming up, and I think you know what I want. 😉

Act fast and book your fantasy suite now! (Inquiring minds always want to know what you’d pick, so do share your favorite room theme in the comments! Or better yet, design your own! … Though, how will you top personal cheese vats?)

If, like us, you only have a short while to stay, may I suggest exploring the interior of the hotel.

hotel lobby

The lobby is filled with vintage furniture and board games. Relax around the fireplace drum in a pick-your-own barbershop chair!

For the more adventuresome, you can explore the hotel’s 300 foot underground tunnel.

the tunnel

There are few things more romantic than a long musty walk through an unmarked, underground, low-lit, damp tunnel.

I like to outdo myself though, so I recited some of my favorite motivational quotes to Joe. You might know this one by Gollum.

“We’ll takes ’em to the tunnel, Precious. She can do it. She’s always hungry. She always needs to feed.”

It was a delightful surprise to learn that the tunnel, in fact, leads to a bar!

bar scene

Our last minute stay at the exotic Don Q Inn was all too brief. The staff was very kind and helpful. And there’s clearly more to explore here. I for one, would go back.

What would you explore first? The fantasuite? The plane? The tunnel?
Meet me in the bar and tell all! 😉
Happy traveling, road trippers! 

A Wife Discovers Star Trek: Live Long and Silent?

It was Friday afternoon and I had just returned home from work to find my husband settled in the arm chair watching reruns of Star Trek on TV. I’ve seen a few of the movies, but had never watched the television series before.

“Scoot over,” I said, and snuggled in, ready to start my weekend and find out what all of the fuss was about.

I think maybe I watched the wrong first episode?

The title of the show was ‘The Empath’. Our trio of explorers, Captain Kirk, Spock, and McCoy are zapped onto an unknown planet with alien men whose heads, to me, looked like giant ears.

Along for the ride, was a humanoid empath, who cannot speak but can heal the injuries of others. She can also rock a neon blue leotard covered in cloth made of butterfly tears.

Throughout the episode, Kirk and McCoy are tortured by the f(ear)less aliens using rainbow beams that shoot from gadgets similar to the good ol’ Viewmaster.

They are always returned to the holding cell on the brink of death, forcing the empath to heal them.

And this is where I got a little irritated.

Running her acrylic nailed hands over their faces, soothing their furrowed brows, and rubbing their shoulders and chests, the empath healed our heroes. And she did all of it with this look on her face. “Wait a minute. You’re telling me these guys are teamed up with a woman who CAN’T TALK and MASSAGES them all day?!! Well you can tell a man wrote this episode.”

My husband looked at me, annoyed. Probably wishing he’d married one of those humanoid empath wives. You know, the ones who can’t talk and massage their men with manicured hands.

“When you’re ready to get off your high horse,” he said, “I’ll be down here drinking my coffee.”

“Look at her face. How does one even make that face?” I asked.

I tilted my head and tried looking wounded, sexy, and cosmic all at the same time.

“That’s creepy,” he replied.

“Well, I don’t see what the fuss is about this show. There’s certainly nothing of interest for the women watching it. And I mean really, that last action scene? Was he creating his own slow motion? Who runs like that?”

My husband set his coffee mug down and turned toward me again. “Is this what it’s like?” he asked.

“What what’s like?”

“When I make fun of your shows?”

I cocked my head again.

“Thank you, honey, for showing me what that feels like. Now can you please not talk anymore?”

That was the start of my weekend! How was yours?
Massage any men lately or take a vow of silence? 

Getting to Know Your Spouse’s Alter Ego, or Adventures of the Grumpy Pumpkin

A guy I met once on a wine tour/bus trip shared this fact about marriage with me:

Marriage. It’s not all pixie sticks and butterflies. ~ Mitch

I thought that was rather prolific and true. Sure it came from one newlywed to another, so neither of us really had that much experience in this whole married life thing, but I agreed with him.

Not more than one hour later, Mitch also asked about my husband’s and my plans for having children, a natural step after marriage, but I felt it was a little soon to be discussing plans for my uterus given we’d: 1) just met, 2) had been drinking copious amounts of wine, and 3) it’s my uterus and none of his business. Thank you very much. (My mama raised me with manners.)

Still, this Mitch guy had a point. Marriage is not all pixie sticks and butterflies. Sometimes the person we love, the very individual we picked out of all other individuals – like ones who know how to clean up their beard hair trimmings or put the toilet seat down *swoon*– sometimes they morph into something else. Their alter ego.

Getting to Know You

Getting to Know Your Spouse’s Alter Ego

My husband has an alter ego. He denies it because I can’t remember the name we gave him, and if I can’t remember his name, then he doesn’t exist. But we wives all know that’s bogus. It’s BOGUS I tell you, Joseph Judgey McBelchins!

My alter ego has long been named. She goes by Grumpy Pumpkin. Which sounds adorable and cute and quirky, but that’s what makes it so annoying. It’s all very Anne-of-Green-Gables-“He-called-me-CARROTS!!”-esque.

CarrotsWHO’S GRUMPY NOW, YOU JERK?!!

Grumpy Pumpkin rears her horned head when:

  • she hasn’t eaten in awhile
  • she’s woken from her beauty sleep because friends of Acoustic Van Man-Coozie are strumming the guitar and bellowing song lyrics at 3 in the morning
  • she asks a question and gets answered by Deadpan McBlank Stare
  • she hasn’t eaten in awhile
  • and/or she doesn’t like what she’s eating

I maintain I am not the only party in my household with an alias. But until He Who Shall Not Be Nicknamed gets an identity, I can’t call him out on it.

This is where you come in.

Help me name my spouse’s alter ego.

Here are some helpful examples of things that lure his bad boy out:

  • Timeliness – my hubby is exceptionally prompt, but I say it’s called an itinerary not the Iditarod
  • Timeliness – the man has scheduled poops – WTF?
  • Cleanliness – supposedly, the house is not clean until I remove my piles of gloves, magazines, car keys, DVDs, postage stamps, notebook paper, AA batteries, my external hard drive, a bag of Dove chocolate, and a pair of earrings from the kitchen table
  • Repeating Himself – I may, or may not, have the worst short term mem- OHMYGOSH! WHAT BRINGS YOU ALL OVER HERE? … You’re reading my blog? … I have a blog?
  • Inconsistent Shaker Skills – At our local wedding ceremony, we performed a musical number in which I desired to play the tambourine and was downgraded to an egg shaker and forced to practice under Nazi-regime (which isn’t an exaggeration because food was withheld from me) because apparently I have “inconsistent shaker skills.”

So, I’ve created a poll with some potential names for my honey’s alter ego.
Vote for your favorite! Or better yet, write in your own!
Does your partner have a cranky alias? Do tell!

 

The Wedding(s) of the Century

Hello Friends!

Wedding weekend extravaganza is officially over. Joe and I were married this weekend…

Or were we?

That’s right, we had a bit of a surprise during our ceremony.

But now the cat’s out of the bag, and you all can be in on it too! During the wedding, we showed a slideshow, and today I’d like to share it with all of you! (It’s 7 minutes long, so those wanting to jump to the really good part, should fast forward to 4:30ish.)

*All music composed and/or arranged by Joe Gantzer, except the Greek song, all vocals by Joe Gantzer and Jess Witkins. The Disney song has been rearranged by Joe Gantzer.

 

 

The Highlights and Hiccups of our Grecian Honeymoon

I’m baaaaaaaaack!

Kah-lee-MER-ah, Everyone! (That means ‘good morning’ in Greek! And yes, I wrote it phonetically, because I do not have the Greek alphabet on my keyboard, nor would most of you be able to read it if I did not do so.)

Thank you to Misty and Deanne for keeping you all company while I was away!

Greece was magnificent! We thoroughly enjoyed our pre-wedding honeymoon (yep, it’s backwards thanks to Joe’s gig schedule, but I’m just happy we got to get away).

The Highlights:

We started in Santorini, which was breathtaking.

DSCN1062I would like to go back now please.

We stayed in one of the southern most cities, Akrotiri, which is the historical part of the island. It was quiet and scenic as our room overlooked the caldera, with Nea Kameni (the volano island) right in the middle.

This is what breakfast was like each day.

DSCN0832I miss breakfast in Greece.

We rented ATV’s a couple times and cruised all around the island, checking out the northern most city Oia (pronounced Eeh-ah), relaxed in Perissa on the Perevolos black sand beaches, and headed down to the southern tip where we watched the sunset from the rocks around the lighthouse.

DCIM100GOPROOia

DCIM100GOPROPerissa

DSCN1140Lighthouse

Our next stop was Athens. We left the beaches and wineries of Santorini for the Capital city. We got lost – in a good way – on the streets of the Plaka. We buzzed about Adrianou Street and ventured out to dine in street cafes where we listened to local musicians and stared up at the Acropolis.

On one of the hottest mornings of our trip, we trekked to the Acropolis. And it was totally worth the heat.

DSCN1188Behind us is the Parthenon – the Temple of Athena, Goddess of War and Wisdom, and whom Athens is named for. The temple was completed in 438 BC.

DSCN1193Just one view of the city of Athens. The population is estimated to be 10, 767, 827 people!

We visited the National Archeological Museum, the largest in the country. My favorite room showed the items and murals found in ancient Thira (Santorini) in the ruins of Akrotiri – an ancient trade port that was covered for centuries by volcanic ash and uncovered in the 1800’s. We walked the ruins in Akrotiri, and had to wait till we got to Athens to see the murals that were recovered there.

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Famous Mural – The Boxing Boys

Did you all read Deanne’s guest post about the Greek Changing of the Guard? We did see the Evzones.

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We had a date night at one of the most famous outdoor theaters, Cine Thissio, which was built in 1935.

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And of course, the FOOD was amazing!!!

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The Hiccups:

1.)  Shockingly, I’m sure to you all, we only got kind of lost one and a half times. The first was after our ship docked in Piraeus and we had to find the metro to connect to Athens and check into our hotel. This was all after 9 o’clock at night, so it was dark out and there weren’t any signs for the metro that we could see.

We basically got there by meandering the city and following some other tourists for a bit, all while dragging our luggage along. We were hot, sweaty messes when we finally checked into our hotel. Oh…and I had what I thought was motion sickness, but ended up being vertigo, so I threw up a bunch that night!

2.) Yes, I got vertigo – actually still have vertigo – and that made touring Athens interesting. We had to take several breaks throughout the day for me to sit and cool down and start believing the walls and pavement were not in fact coming after me. For the record, vertigo sucks.

3.)  The second time we got lost was our first full day in Athens. We had a map of the city, which was in English, but once you venture away from the main streets of the Plaka, most street signs are only in Greek, so the map didn’t help a ton. And it was also 99,000 degrees Celsius. Yes, Celsius!

We were literally wandering inside the very mouth of Hades!

4.) And this one is minor, truly. But, I did get me some sun poisoning in Santorini. As any good ginger knows, being in too much sun will cause one to self combust, and sauntering all over that beautiful island caused my arms to break out in some form of minor hive-age.

I paid a visit to a pharmacy in Fira where a very kind Greek woman helped me purchase what I hope was Grecian benadryl and anti-itch cream. The “Greek-adryl” box was entirely in Greek and her only counsel on the drug was to take it for 5-6 days. I didn’t know the dosage or whether the stuff was non-drowsy or what, so I resigned to only taking it at bedtime, wherein I seemed to conclude that it was in fact the drowsy version. It worked wonders on our final flight home in which Joe tells me there was some serious turbulence and a lightening storm that I completely missed. 😀

The anti-itch cream made me laugh as it was in Greek and Grenglish? My favorite part of the tube is where it read that the cream helps with “the itch of elderly people” followed directly by “contact with jellyfish.” It was most comforting to know that if I came in contact with either an old person or a jellyfish, I was covered itch-wise.

That’s our story! All in all, a very happy honeymoon!
As they say in Greece, “Cheers” or “Yah-mas!”

DSCN0873DSCN1041Ready to do a helmet wearing PSA if asked!

DSCN1067Yah-mas!

In the Mood: A Non-traditional Date Night

How was everyone’s Valentine’s Day? Do tell. Dish!

Are you a hopeless romantic when it comes to Cupid? Or are you more into Singles Awareness Day?

I would be ok with this.

I think Valentine’s Day is like any other holiday. Yes, of course the stores use it to make money so we’re bombarded with sales pitches and $$$ signs. Plus the media focuses on romantic love relationships, which is leaving a lot of people out.

Why not celebrate all kinds of love?

I sent Valentine’s to my mom and pop, my sis, and my bestie. No gifts. Just a nice note letting them know I was thinking of them.

There was a lot of chatter at work and online, everyone asking each other what their Valentine’s plans were. I heard the whole spectrum: from the traditional fancy dinner reservations to a Walking Dead marathon. They both sound great to me!

Joe and I started a non-traditional tradition for Valentine’s day a few years ago where we stay in and gorge on my favorite date night dinner: meat, cheese, crackers, fruit, all with a variety of spreads like pepper jams, mustard, and jelly, and of course, WINE.

VDayThe perfect romantic evening spread.

Ok, ok. I know you see it mixed in there and are scratching your heads. Why, you may ask, did we watch The Silence of the Lambs for Valentine’s Day?

Well, that’s our tradition. We watch very (emphasis on the very) un-Valentiney movies for Valentine’s. I think it started the year Joe convinced me to watch Tremors.

I am the best fiance ever. Seriously.

I readily agreed to watching Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins solve the Buffalo Bill murder investigation.

I gotta say, you all cracked me up when I shared that photo online. Many of you asked where the fava beans were. And had we been smart, we would have picked out a nice chianti. 😉

Thank goodness Joe didn’t buy me any lotion for V-Day! That might have set the creepy bar over the edge.

Instead, he got us a new plant. His name is Hubert. Say hello, Hubert.

HubertThe card says “We should be able to keep it alive.”

Two years ago, Joe got me a plant for my birthday. She was beautiful with peach colored blossoms. We named her Calliope. We gave her sunlight and water and took her outside sometimes…only to learn that she didn’t like a lot of sun or weather changes or water.

#GardeningFail

We started over on last year’s birthday with a new plant we named Rue. After Rue McClanahan (Blanche in the Golden Girls). I like my plants to have pizzazz. Rue and Hubert are happily watching out the kitchen window for spring to come. Which I fear is never.

What do you think of Valentine’s Day? Do you celebrate all forms of love? What’s your favorite non-traditional date night activity you and your love share?

And stick around for some mystery this Friday when I have guest blogger, Kathy Owen, on The Happiness Project talking about Sherlock Holmes and “The Red-Headed League.” I can’t wait!

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