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MKL and I got married on Saturday. Yes, we did. And it was absolutely perfect. There were so many highlights, I don’t even know how to share them with you, and I will share more pictures over the coming months, but here’s a start:

  • Our open house the day before the wedding had the beach house bursting with friends (who are family), blood kin, and love. And the shark tacos were a hit.
  • At the end of that party, the rainy skies cleared to a beautiful sunset and a wide calm beach, and we all migrated to the water’s edge to walk, talk, take pictures, and play ultimate.
  • No one was eaten by sharks (the shark tacos made it the reverse) and the post-wedding day stingray stab on LJRH’s daughter was dramatic, but not debilitating, making for an excellent story for her to take back to Missouri.
  • My loved ones made the house and the deck (E-bro’s, rented down the beach, with more room than mine) look spectacular, and perfect for an inside (rainy) or an outside (sunny) wedding. The sun cooperated and we were outside.
  • An arc of rainbow appeared behind us as we were sitting together after the ceremony. God and my parents were smiling down on us.
  • Painkillers – the drink of the Soggy Dollar Bar, courtesy of my much loved friends Dave and Amanda, who are my family met at that spot 11 years ago – flowed like the sea.
  • The two small and gorgeous girls became fast and immediate friends. In fact, all the people, many of whom had never met, became friends.
  • Beth K., the daughter of my late parents’ best friends, and a true and beautiful warrioress, joined us. We had never met before, and now I feel I have another sister.
  • My three new stepsons, all of whom are treasures: one was the most perfect ceremony officiate ever, one steamed and bustled me and made sure I looked perfect, and one led the toasts that brought me to tears.
  • My brother and sister-in-law and their wonderful children opening their hearts and home to us.
  • My sister and niece flying quickly and crazily in from Colorado to share the day and capture it in photographs.
  • Having my uncle and aunt and darling cousin (now one of my best friends, after a gap in time of some 35 years) made me feel like my parents were there.
  • Our across-the-street neighbor who lovingly provided a sandcastle cake, delicious crab dip, serving trays, a steamer, and her and her husband’s warmth, affection, and light to our special days.
  • JJ, who continues to allow me to come “home” every year for a few brief weeks, to the house on Topsail Beach.
  • My stepson T’s toast, which touched me deeper than my heart.
  • Having the Swine Sisters – aka my two best girlfriends from when I was 17 – reunited again as if no time had passed.
  • The girlie-hen-party that was a part of my getting dressed for the ceremony. I really feel like I have lots of sisters now.
  • I sparkled. And I glowed. And my dress was awesome.
  • Wearing my mother’s rhinestones that I used to play dress-up in, and carrying my father’s handkerchief.
  • MKL’s shirt matching the sky, and being my “something blue”.
  • Beautiful bouquets from Surf City Florist, and a lovely centerpiece created from grocery-store bought flowers. And my daughter’s swagging and shell-arranging skills were front and center.
  • All the vows, including those read by the officiate, handwritten on the back of placemats from the Breezeway, our favorite beach restaurant. (I’ll share a photo later.)
  • My most darling daughter, who not only wore a dress for the occasion, but looked gorgeous, and bailed me out when I pulled her aside just after the ceremony had started and told her I had forgotten MKL’s ring and she needed to drive like a bat out of hell to fetch it from our house. She did so successfully, saving the day, and allowing her to maintain her dignity by not bursting into tears during my vows (which she read the next day).
  • Another wedding down the beach releasing Chinese lanterns after dark – it was if they were ours, but we didn’t have to go to the trouble. (Fire and I are often not a happy mix.)
  • Seeing the Milky Way in the sky for the first time in years; it was here that my father first pointed it out and explained it to me.
  • Remembering almost nothing about the ceremony but the look in MKL’s eyes, which as always looked sparkling like the sea, with a hint of aspen trees.

DSCF3387
Topsail Beach, North Carolina.

Quote of the day: “There is nothing more admirable than when two people who see eye to eye keep house as man and wife, confounding their enemies and delighting their friends.” — Homer

Daily gratitudes:
A couple more days by the sea
Long walks holding hands
Shark’s teeth
The smell of sunscreen
Love

Today is my birthday, and as it winds down, I must say it’s been very nice. Quiet. Work (though it’s too slow right now for my taste). Lunch with MKL, and a beautiful card. A tour of the vaults in the Broker Restaurant in downtown Denver. A yummy cupcake and card from a lovely co-worker. Facebook greetings. A call from my daughter. And now I’m cuddled on the couch watching The House of Elliot. I realized yesterday that MKL makes me feel so special every day, and has helped me gain so much confidence in myself, that I don’t need my birthday to be a particularly special day. Every day feels special.

I’m glad I was born, and there were years when I couldn’t say that. I did indulge in a turn of the “Happy Birthday to Moo” spinning musical cow when I got home tonight. Because it is my birthday.

Birthday
Lafayette, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “…we all start out knowing magic. We are born with whirlwinds, forest fires, and comets inside us. We are born able to sing to birds and read the clouds and see our destiny in grains of sand.” —  Robert McCannon

Daily gratitudes:
The woman I passed who smelled like lily of the valley
Guiding a new town resident through the grocery store
That my parents had me
The occasional cupcake
A nice walk today

Got your coffee or Big Gulp?  Got your beignet or apple fritter?  It’s a long one today…

Happy May Day!  (Mayday! Mayday!)

Or, if you are in Hawaii, Happy Lei Day!  Yes, today is Hawaii’s 82nd year of celebrating Lei Day.  On this day in 1785, King Kamehameha I (whose real name, you probably didn’t know, was Kalani Paiʻea Wohi o Kaleikini Kealiʻikui Kamehameha o ʻIolani i Kaiwikapu kaui Ka Liholiho Kūnuiākea) defeated political rival Kalanikupule to formally create the Kingdom of Hawaii. 

I am assuming that marking today as Lei Day is related to this fact, although, as the idea for the holiday was originated by newspaperman Don Blanding to celebrate island culture, it may only fall on this date because, after all, it rhymes with May Day.  The day even has its own song, written by Red and Ruth Hawk (I know, yes, really, “Red” Hawk), entitled “May Day is Lei Day in Hawaii” (catchy, huh?).  While the song is now performed as a Hawaiian hula, it was originally composed as a fox trot.  Somehow the image of women and men foxtrotting in grass skirts is rather incongruous. 

Our friend Andrew used to live in Hawaii, and he would always bring me back beautiful tuberose leis when he returned.  I, most unfortunately, have never been to Hawaii.  Just one of many omissions that I have yet to repair.

Today in 1751, the first cricket match was played in America.  It may also have been the last, for all I know.  Understanding this game is on my list of things to do before I die, albeit low on the priority totem pole. 

Have you ever tried to figure it out?  Or have it explained to you?  I have.  About six years ago, an English friend sent me an email attempting an explanation.  Here’s a short verbatim (including CAPS) excerpt:

THE ‘CRICKET PITCH’ IS THE TWENTY TWO YARD STRIP IN THE APPROXIMATE CENTRE OF THE GROUND OR PLAYING AREA; A ROUGH CIRCLE OR OVAL, BUT NEVER A SQUARE.  THE TERM CRICKET SQUARE IS USED TO DELINEATE THE AREA WITHIN THE CIRCLE OR OVAL THAT THE ACTUAL PITCH, OR ‘WICKET’ CAN BE PLACED, AS OPPOSED TO THE OUTFIELD (BEING THE REST OF THE GROUND). THE EXACT PLACEMENT IS DECIDED BEFORE THE START OF THE MATCH BY THE BY THE HOME TEAM’S ‘GROUNDSMAN’; A PERMANENT EMPLOYEE/ NOMINEE  CHARGED WITH CARE OF THE GROUND.  IT CANNOT BE ALTERED DURING THE COURSE OF THE MATCH, EVEN THOSE LASTING FOUR OR FIVE DAYS, HOWEVER MUCH IT DETERIORATES, AS THE STATE OF THE PITCH AT ANY TIME AFFECTS THE BOUNCE OF THE BALL AND IS THE SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT FACTOR IN THE BOWLING STRATEGY ADOPTED BY THE FIELDING TEAM (FAST, SPIN OR SLOW BOWLER ETC.).

The entire explanation was only a brief summary, and it was 4 PAGES LONG.  I don’t believe there is enough ALCOHOL IN THE WORLD to make this sport logical.

Today in 1759, Josiah Wedgwood opened the Wedgwood pottery company in Great Britain.  (Note that, contrary to what your fingers find logical in typing, there is no “e” in Wedgwood.)  Wedgwood, who was related to Charles Darwin, was ahead of his time as far as industrialists were concerned, so much so that he built an entire village on an estate called Etruria to comfortably house himself, his workers and his state-of-the-art factory. 

His jasper ware, originally in Poland Blue, but later in shades of green and pale yellow, with themes based on greek mythology, was a favorite of Queen Charlotte, Queen Elizabeth II, and, most importantly, my mother.  She had a few treasured pieces of genuine Wedgwood, and taught me how to recognize imposters just by touch.  It’s lovely stuff.

Today in 1851, Queen Victoria opened the Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Continents.  Held for 5 1/2 months in an amazing temporary structure in London’s Hyde Park, this was the original World’s Fair.  That structure, called the Crystal Palace or the Great Shalimer, was a magnificent construction of glass, similar to a greenhouse. 

I wish I could have seen it.  It had the dubious distinction of  housing the very first pay toilets!  Of the 13,000 exhibits, some of the most noteworthy were a voting machine;

a very early model of the fax machine;

the Ko-hi-noor Diamond (which was the largest known in the world at the time);

and – my personal favorite – the Tempest Prognosticator – a barometer that used leeches as part of its measuring system. 

Eww.

Today in 1869, the Folies Bergeres opened in Paris. 

Located at 32 rue Richer, Folies Bergeres was the first music hall in Paris, and its concept of exotic women in revealing costumes has been flatteringly imitated around the world for decades.  Many a less-than-mainstream performer launched her career on the stage here, most notably American expatriate Josephine Baker, who rocked the world with her risqué “banana dance” in 1926. 

The painter Manet captured a slice of the Folies Bergeres in his canvas aptly titled “A Bar at the Folies-Bergeres” in 1882, which has been subject to much analysis and interpretation from art critics over the last century.  By the way, it was Manet’s birthday yesterday.

Please note the mysterious green shoes on the mysterious cankles in the upper left hand corner.

Today in 1930, planet Pluto was officially named.  And I refuse to buy into the whole “dwarf planet” crap. 

The little planet of rock and ice with the eccentric orbit was good enough to be one of the cornerstones of “My Very Elegant Mother Just Sat Upon Nine Porcupines.”  It should not be demoted – or underestimated.  Like Southerners who continue in their hearts to fight the Civil War, it’s just biding its time.  Kelsea is a huge Pluto fan, and sports several T-shirts and posters calling for justice for her buddy.

Today in 1991, Oakland A’s Rickey Henderson stole his 939th base, breaking the all-time base-stealing record.  Now, I am not a baseball fan.  So why is this historical?  Because my Mother and I both thought that Rickey Henderson had the nicest ass in baseball. Ever.  I recall my Dad sending me a newspaper clipping of RH in mid-swing that provided an excellent view.  He attached a note saying that my Mom had asked him to send this along, but he had no idea why.  I don’t believe either of us ever enlightened him.

Yes, on this May Day (or thrimilce, as the Anglo-Saxons called it), you can see we have much to celebrate.  So do so in one of a myriad of traditional ways:

Gather oodles of flowers – in other words, go “a-Maying”.  (I remember my friend Martha and I did this when we were 17 – we filled her father’s old Cadillac convertible to bursting with blooms.  We put the top down and waved and blew kisses to everyone.  Then we had a wreck.  But just a tiny wreck.  Boy, was her Dad mad.)

Festoon your cow with floral garlands and dance around her.  A maypole may be substituted for the cow, if needed.

Wash your face in the early morning dew.

Throw eggshells at disagreeable strangers.  (You can thank Germany for this one.)

Mark small cakes (a.k.a. bannocks) with a cross and roll them down a hill.

Bring beer, vodka and food to the graves of your loved ones.

Sacrifice a reindeer to the goddess Rauni.

Lay some eggs beside a stream for the woodland elves to use in making cakes.

Carefully make a bonfire, and even more carefully, jump through it.

If you happen to be a chimney sweep, wear gold paper on your clothes and line your face with pink paint and white chalk.

That should keep you busy.

Thus endeth the history lesson.  Hope you feel slightly enlightened.

The day is FINALLY here!

It’s World Nutella Day!  Yes, the delicious hazelnut spread that once you find you can’t leave behind is having its day today.  The World Nutella Day website provides lots of recipes and links to such marvelous lists as:

Top 10 Signs You’re Addicted to Nutella

Types of Nutella Lovers and 50 Ways to Eat Nutella

and oodles of Nutella recipes

Well, I guess I just provided you with the links myself, didn’t I?    If you need more, you can get almost every Nutella question you’ve ever dreamed of answered at the Nutella Forum.

The only nutritional fact that I choose to share with you, because they are all really too horrible to comprehend, is that one 13-ounce jar of Nutella contains 1950 calories.  Don’t even think about the fat content – just enjoy!

In honor of this delectable holiday, here’s my contribution:  a poetic tribute to Nutella (by moi).

Ode to Nutella

Smooth and sweet, you silken my nights
and mornings.

Memories of Mexico and you mingle
with the rest of my senses,
the soft scent of Italy,
the lush taste of the tropics,
the silent swirl of a cenote,
the color of loving eyes,
the feel of you on my lips,
passionate and warm.

Yes, your sweetness lights my thoughts,
I hunger, I yearn
to taste you again.

You give yourself to me,
expecting nothing but my pleasure in return.
Licked from a silver spoon, a slice of moon,
a curve of flesh,
you wait for me.


And so, to all Nutella lovers the wide world over, I wish you an ambrosial day!

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