Second Honeymoon

It was almost a second honeymoon.  We spent a long weekend in Vegas, enjoying eachother and getting in some serious people-watching.

By coincidence, we were in Las Vegas over a weekend that included both Valentine's Day and President's Day.  There were brides everywhere!  All these lovely young women in their beautiful gowns, with handsome grooms looking lovingly into their eyes and at their cleavage.  (Grooms are still men, after all.)  The bridesmaids were gorgeous, too.  Love was in the air. 

We didn't gamble much, and we didn't drink much--although we did drink an entire bottle of champagne that my wonderful office sent to us--and we didn't hit even ONE buffet.  If my father-in-law finds out we went to Vegas without hitting the buffets, he'll probably disown us both.  We shopped some and walked a lot and did some things we would never do at home, like walking around town sipping a frozen Mojito. 

I always wonder about the people I see there.  Who are they in real life?  I know we're different there than we are at home.  For one thing, I'll wear the boob shirts that the sweet hubs likes, which I don't do at home except on special occasions.  :-)  The sweet hubs shaves and wears cologne on a day off, and might even go without a hat.  Highly unusual behavior.  What about everyone else?

There are other things that are different, too.  If I saw someone dressed as Elvis, El Vira or El Kabong on the streets of my small hometown, I'd shake my head in wonder.  There, it would be weird to NOT see.  Around here, the highest heels you usually see are the heels on cowboy boots.  In Vegas, women shop in them, gamble in them, wear them to the pool, shower in them, everywhere.  (By the way, designers of casinos...those quaint "cobblestone" floors you put in the shopping areas and restaurants?  They're killer on stilettoed ankles!)  You can visit every public establishment in town here and never see a sequin or a rhinestone.  I challenge you to go to even ONE place on the Vegas Strip and not see one.

They call it Sin City and I can see why.  Of the seven deadly sins, we danced a little bit with most of them:
  1. Wrath - I only had a mild case of this on the first morning we were there.  We found out that our son's cell phone was stolen while he was at track practice.  Fine time to be out of touch!
  2. Greed - A little greed is par for the course in a gambling town, right?
  3. Sloth - We slept rather late and even considered napping in the afternoon!
  4. Pride - Is putting on six-inch heels and slathering on jewelry before you go out a sin of pride? 
  5. Envy - I'm innocent of this one.  I'm happy where I am in life and felt no envy.
  6. Lust -  It WAS our anniversary, after all!  Does it count as lust when it's for each other?  I hope not, because to be honest, lust is what we were THERE FOR. (gasp!  did I SAY that?)
  7. Gluttony - I only made a pig of myself once.  And paid for it for two days.  We went to Al Dente, an Italian restaurant inside Bally's, and I ate to the point of excess.  It was just too good!  If you get there, try their Scallops Puttenesca.  Wow!
But I'm glad to be home and back to my relatively sinless life.  I like my own bed and my normal food and a simpler life. 

24 Years, 364 days

Tomorrow is our 25th wedding anniversary.  TWENTY-FIVE years.  Twenty FIVE years.  However I say it, it sounds like a long time, and yet it went by in a blink.

I've been thinking about what 25 years ago today was like.  The day before the wedding.  My usual calm exterior belies my inner turmoil, today as well as then.  I don't exactly stress about things, but I do get very wrapped up in details.

The rellies were all arriving that day, and the next morning.  Making sure that everyone got to their appropriate quarters was important.  Trying to iron my wedding dress without leaving any water spots.....  painting my nails to perfection.....  going over (once again) the details with the florist, the caterer, the lady who made the wedding cake, the hall where the reception was to be held, counting bottles of champagne...... 

Just when I thought I had everything down just right,  I sliced one of my fingernails (which I had been carefully nurturing to 10 perfect nails) with a big kitchen knife.  OF COURSE it was the nail on my wedding-ring finger!!  So I got my first professional manicure, and the lady tried to repair the damage.  You can see this odd acrylic bulge in my nail in that lovely quaint photo of our two be-ringed hands after the wedding.  :-)

My beloved uncle was going to play the wedding march for me on his violin-zither.  I don't know if this instrument is peculiar to Holland?  It has violin strings on the right side, which you play with a bow, and the strings of zither on the left, which you pluck with a kind of pick (I think it's called a plectrum?)  (I should google that.).  Anyway, it makes for a lovely, soft, chamber-music kind of feel and was a beautiful addition to the ceremony. 

It occurred to me more than once that day that it was my last day as a single woman.  My soon-to-be father-in-law had made it plain already that he did not want his son to marry me.  That concerned me.  That quality of forever I was signing up for was pretty intimidating.  The desire to have everything go off without mistake was a worry.   I was even worried about the priest who was going to perform the ceremony:  the very kind man had a strong French-Canadian accent and I worried whether my darling would be able to understand him.

To balance my worry wart, detail-oriented side were the things I was sure of.  I knew that I loved this man, and that he was a man of honor and integrity and tenderness.  I knew that my family supported us 100%, even if his didn't.  And I knew myself well enough to know that I was a good judge of character and had the tools I needed to be a good wife.  I had my Grandma's sage advice to fall back on, and the example of my parent's successful loving marriage.  I had faith in my man and in myself and our love.

The day of the wedding dawned cold and dreary.  I got up early and went to the beauty salon.  Maybe I shouldn't have.  My hair was naturally a medium ash-blonde, and the stylist colored it a "warmer" color to go with my "warm" skin and champagne gown.  It came out a flat brown, which she then curled up so tight that it would take a mule team to pull a brush through it.  Good thing I had a veil to wear. 

The room for the ceremony was lovely.  Candelabras graced the aisle and flanked both sides of the altar.  Sonia roses and peach gladiolas were lovely against the backdrop, and the backdrop was lovely against the elk antlers which pointed skyward from behind the arch.  (God was trying to tell me something by that, but I was too nervous to get the message.)

My dear Uncle Henk played the wedding march and my dad, handsome in a warm brown tuxedo, held out his arm to escort me down the aisle.  My sister, the maid of honor, walked ahead of me, beautiful as she always is, and the smiling faces of all our loved ones greeted me from the seats on either side.  My Mom smiled at me and my Grandma squeezed up both her eyes in a gesture that we both knew meant, "I love you."

And there he was.  My dearest.  He was so trim and handsome, as he still is.  I looked into his cool blue eyes when I finally reached his side.  He was at least as nervous as I was, but he was my rock that day and every other day after.

I'm still not sure if he knew what the priest said that day, but he got the vows right and sounded like he meant them.  And for the last 25 years (and the next 50 years, I hope!) he has been acting like he meant those powerful words of love and commitment.

The wedding and reception came off without a single mistake.  There was just enough misbehavior at the reception to give us something to laugh about, and just enough family drama to make us normal.  My strong, handsome husband carried me across the snow that had fallen and we went away on a fun honeymoon.  All in all, it was a lovely start to a life of joy and blessings. 

So what was I worried about?

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Favorite Things

One of my favorite bloggers occasionally posts about her favorite things in a particular category.  So I'm stealing her idea and sharing some of my faves.  Please note that none of these companies give a rat's patootie that they make a favorite thing for me.  Don't think of it as some kind of ad....just sharing. :-)


You already know about my love affair with my Kitchenaid mixer.  My old love is a clean, white little powerhouse.  The one you see here was a gift from the sweet hubs, for me to take to our mountain cabin.  Is that man the best or WHAT???








I really like this product from Olay.  Takes off the mascara quickly and cleans deeply without making my skin dry or irritated. 




Hatch, in New Mexico, grows amazing green chilis.  One of my favorite things is the smell of these roasting on the barbie.  Yeah, baby!









What was my life before the Magic Eraser?  Takes hard water spots off like nobody's business.  And trust me, we have HaAaArddd water!

I admit I'm a pickles and olives kind of girl.  I'll choose a Marzetti's Garlic Stuffed Olive Marinated in California Chardonnay over a chocolate truffle ANYTIME.  They also make the best marinated artichoke hearts and  pickled cauliflower and pickled brussel sprouts and.....   :D





Quite simply, the best foundation I have ever found.  True color, light coverage, no zits.  Cover Girl Mineral foundation. 






So, I like salty and sour foods and sweet wine.  Is that a little odd?  I don't know.  But I do know that this chillable Cabernet is a wonderful choice for a sweet wine lover.  Bright and cheerful inside as it is on the bottle.









Ah.  Salt and Pepper Calamari from PF Changs.  No further explanation required.



My favorite "fast food".  The Italian Special from Cousin's subs.  We have limited fast food choices in my small town.  This sub (I prefer it on Parmesan Asiago bread) is better than any burger-and-fry combo out there.  Go Cousins!!








What is YOUR favorite?

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