The one where we pulled off a wedding and then a marriage.

Today marks our 29th wedding anniversary.

When we started out, we had no idea where we were going, where things would lead us; what our life would look like.

I didn’t have grand plans, ’twas just moving forward as things came.

At 23 I just wanted to have a secure life. A family. A partner. To be loved. Some groceries in the fridge. A content, quiet home and family.

What one would call functional as opposed to my dysfunctional upbringing.

What a fun ride it has been. Shortly after our first anniversary, we moved across the country as just the two of us, set up a home and jobs in Texas, then a few years later we did it again AZ, then came back to our home state with two beautiful little nuggets 5 years later.

The early days of raising our girls were just a blur, but what a beautiful blur it was; thank goodness for pictures.

We’ve done more traveling in the past few years than we’d ever dreamt of doing.

We’ve made so many friends around the country; it blows my min and we still have a lot of the same friends we had when we met 35 years ago.

Make new friends, but keep the old…one is silver and the other is gold…

There are way too many good things to say about my husband. He’s a genuine gem; full of goodness and integrity. I like to think that if the world were full of men like him, the plantet would be different all around.

But today I really want to focus on our wedding day because I know you’re wondering.

We didn’t have much money; we were 23 and 25. My father pitched in here and there. Coach’s parents helped out a little here and there. We scraped together what we could; we both come from humble beginnings.

We married in a church that we had been attending; they had the cutest chappel and we just loved our minister. He would be the same one we would call two years later to help with my dad’s eulogy.

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My dad: “Wow, that dress was $300?” Nothing made him happier than a deal.

I believe this was the second dress I tried on when my childhood friend and I shopped.

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Give me bows or give me death. I need ALL the bows!

In case you thought I was one of the Kardashians, I did my own hair and makeup.

I wore a real pearl necklace that my Mom was able to accidentally buy because an ad was placed in the paper showing the wrong and really cheap price. Beverly for the win.

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I have the look of the Chesire cat; he has no idea what he’s in for. Sucka!

For our reception, we struggled to find a place that would fit all our family and friends on a low, low, low budget.

The Elks Lodge around the corner it was. In hindsight, it was a hideous venue. But it was affordable and I don’t think anyone thought anything of it at the time.

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Should I add a PIN to this idea for your wedding pinterest board?

The old Suzanne didn’t really give it much thought. We were throwing a par-tay.

Our bestie Kelly did all our flowers and I found a ‘practicing’ photographer through a friend.

I think we ended up with almost 250 people. We ran out of the chicken dish that we stettled on, but the kind Elks people found some prime rib in the fridge; my Dad was one that wasn’t getting food nor did he have an actual seat to sit in.

Wedding planner who? Wedding planner Suz.

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We still drink our coffee like this every morning.

I laugh at myself because if I were planning an event/wedding/Sunday dinner for 2020: “we need some a crisp sauvignon blanc, a bold red, some sparkling & flat water”

1991 Suz; a few kegs of beer and headache-inducing cheap champagne? Sign.me.up.

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I shared this pic because I love the fact that someone wrapped and gave us an ironing board. Most likely, I asked for it.

We did have a DJ. He wasn’t that great, but I remember a lot of people dancing. That might have something to do with all the kegs of beer we went through.

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I know you won’t be able to spot it, but we had a subtle balloon drop.

Y’all we had a dollar dance. We sold ourselves on our wedding day.

Later when we got to our hotel room on our wedding night, we counted all the money.

Priorities!


We did have a great honeymoon; coach’s Mom gave us her timeshare week and we used it in Palm Springs, CA for five days. Coach’s Dad purchased our airline tickets as our wedding gift.

We had such a fun time together seeing all the sights and enjoying nice dinners; we were bonafide adults damnit.

Our next adventure had us driving to San Diego and we met up with our dear friends Don and Kelly; who we still travel with all.the.time.

We saw the sights around San Diego & LA for a few days and then the four of us flew to San Fran for four days to end our CA trip.

By this time we were running low on funds; we should have charged more money for our dollar dance so the four of us shared a hotel room.

Hey, it was a NICE hotel room, but yes we shared a room.

Now that I think about it, that was funny, but again, when you’re young and poor you don’t worry about such things.


This might have been my longest post ever; but it was fun for me to relive it all.

So, if you feel inclined send me some $$, I’ll dance for you.

Happy anniversary to my best boyfriend ever!

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Love is in the air and on the hood of my car. Playing with rocks, yet again.

Stop bugging me

One day last week I planned on making a trek about 40 minutes north to an amazing orchid and bromeliad place as I’m updating some of our lanai beds and wanted a particular brom.

This place is the BROMB.COM!

A haven for those who love interesting plants.

If you’re one of those people who like boring plants, you’d not like it.

I digress. 

I decided to hold off on my trip there for another week or so because I remembered it’s love bug season and I didn’t want to sacrifice my car for plants.

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It’s a terrible time for everyone except the car wash people because they will upcharge you a billion dollars just to clean dead bugs off the front of your vehicle. bastids. 

Rock city*Rock head*rocks in my socks

Speaking of redoing our lanai plants. It’s come to my attention that I might have a bit of OCD.

I overhauled this area 6 years ago; ditched all the mulch and mess that had been there; simplified the plants and even used a lot of potted plants for ease of weeds.

We at the time (my lawn guys helped) added in rocks to keep the weeds at bay.

It was all so pretty and clean when we finished. Prior to that it resembled a jungle and you couldn’t see the forest yard through the trees plants.

Recently, (panemic project) a lot of the bromeliads that we added before have been pulled out as I was tired of their BS. You know how some plants can get on your nerves.

‘The after’ I started ripping out the plants I was sick of.

Fast forward to today; Suz does not care for all the mismatched rocks; it’s chaos I tell ya.

I know. I have such a stressfull life.

Don’t be fooled by the rocks that I got

I’m still, I’m still Suz from the block.

So, a few weeks ago I started sorting my rocks as one does and I put all the gray ones in one area and I loved the look. I’m a fan of cohesiveness.

Even if you don’t love the gray rocks just nod your head and agree with me because time and money. Also, if you need tarragon, I’m ya girl.

So, I conferred with my landscape co-partner (you know who) and he agreed that the gray rocks look so much better, so to Homedepot.com we went.

Right now we have 2300lbs worth of beautiful gray Mexican beach rocks in the driveway.

Which is not even remotely close to the pool area but it’s as far as I could get my delivery guy to drop them; he was using a hand cart and I assisted in pulling/pushing this oversized load this far up the driveway.

In general the weight limit that I push/pull is 50lbs. So this is 2250lbs more than I’m comfortable with.

If only I could telepathically remove all the mismatched rocks from the lanai, and then telepathically get the gray rocks to the pool area. There is quite a bit of walking, down a few stairs and up a few stairs for all this to happen.

I should have ordered a wheelbarrow and a few young men at the same time.

My back is starting to hurt thinking of it all.

But, one day, in 2022 when I’m finished I’ll be so happy.

So, is anyone else being obnoxious about minuscule things that we can actually control?

Happy Friday Y’all!

XO

Susan doesn’t live here anymore. Or ever.

 

This isn’t the first time I’ve complained about this and it certainly won’t be the last time either. So many people refuse to recognize, understand, or HEAR that my name is Suzanne.

Say it with me: SOO + ZAN

The following scenario happens at least eleventy thousand times a year:

Hostess/order taker/receptionist/phone call person:

Can I get your name? Suzanne.

Person: OK,  Susan. 

Occasionally I get a Susanna, a Sue, or a Suzie.

Those are refreshingly wrong names.

But…

That’s NOT my name. That’s NOT MY NAME!

That song is so good; it makes my toes wiggle and my thighs jiggle.

It became a running joke and my girls would call me Susan too.

{Side note; my Dad would lose his shit if we called him by his name, Phil. Why?}

I happen to love the name, Susan.

My MIL is Susan; although she goes by Sue.

Susan is a beautiful name.  but.it.aint.my.damn.name. 

It makes me wonder. Did Suzanne Sommers ever get called Susan?

Oh, snap.

I just remembered that I wasn’t on a hit TV sitcom in the ’70s, nor did I promote the thigh master.

*looks disappointingly at dancing jiggly thighs*


Many, many years ago an envelope arrived in our mailbox addressed to:

Current Owner

or

Susan Maria Martinez

My silly daughters: “Oh, you’ve been lying to us all these years, that is your real name!”

Damn. I’ve been found out after 40 years.

Now they had a new nickname for their beloved mother; Susan Maria Martinez.

That was at least 12 years ago.

And still today I’m referred to Susan Maria just when I expect Susan Maria to die.

My apologies, Susan Maria Martinez.

In this family, things just don’t die. Nicknames. Stories. Jokes. Something you said when you were five. 

Susan Maria Martinez will probably be somewhere on my epitaph.


The Coach had ordered some new ball caps for me for Mother’s day and they finally arrived this past weekend.

For when I’m Susan Maria Martinez: Mamacita!

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And of course, Mama Bear is another term of endearment.

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What would Susan do without her people? 

 

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Driveway surprise and Crazy eyes.

Yesterday my sweet friend Dawn, her husband Eric, and their son Camden made a surprise visit to our driveway; they brought their ice cream shop to us!

WHO DOES THAT? 

Dawn does.

Dawn’s family owned an ice cream shop {Wilburs and Wilburs North} in Massachusets; that’s where Dawn and Eric met around 30 years ago.

Ice cream is their thing. And yesterday it was OUR thing too.

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Suz finally got her nails did!

How sweet are they? 

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Btw, Suz had a chocolate sundae with coffee ice cream and ALL the toppings.

The Coach? Two scoops of vanilla.

Me: How can you be married to me and enjoy plain old boring vanilla ice cream? 

He responded with something like he couldn’t handle more than vanilla AND me…

Whatever.

__________

I finished Dead to Me this weekend on Netflix.

It was so darn good.

About 10 minutes till the end I assumed this would be the last season. But those darn writers know what they are doing; they’ll be back!

Speaking of Netflix; Linds told me recently that we could update our profile pics. Forever we were each just a side smiley face.

I had a really good laugh choosing mine.

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Suzanne, aka Crazy Eyes from Orange Is The New Black

I finally watched the Downton Abbey movie. It was good. NOT fantastic, but I was a big fan of the show and I had myself a really good cry at the end because I probably hadn’t cried in a few hours.

Could you possibly have had more fun than me this weekend? 

Maybe. But I’m pretty sure an ice cream shop did not sprout up on your driveway.

I have the best people.

Happy Monday.

XO

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Gifts that delight and are my ears even connected to my brain?

I forgot to tell you and I’m sure you were wondering, but I had a nice mother’s day with my girls and my soon to be SIL.

Oh….to be in the same house and talk. And talk. And talk. It was heavenly.

I mean, it’s different than the 587 times that we’ve face-timed each other.

Can we all just think for a minute how lucky my future SIL is to have me? I mean, he IS so lucky because I am the MIL of dreams.

Perhaps I should rename my blog: Mrs. Modest the Mostest?

Oh, today is Nathan’s birthday! Happy birthday Nathan!

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He makes our Lolo so darn happy. She told me once that after meeting and falling in love with him “you know when you’re out and you see a good looking guy that catches your eye, well, now they all look like potatoes to me.”

Cheers to finding the main dish and not caring about potatoes!

Now, back to me. me. me.

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PREZZIES!

Gifts from my girlies on Mother’s day; a cute mug, Reeses, tulips, nail polish, a t-shirt representing Lolo’s school, and a succulent embroidered hand towel.

Lolo taught herself to embroider even before the pandemic.

I taught myself how to grow out of my own clothing.

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I went to go see my dermatologist this week and then I thought since I was out, I would treat myself to some chick-fil-a.

I’ve been deprived of chick-fil-a for at least 8 weeks.

DEPRIVED.

WAS it packed? YES. But they are such geniuses; they doubled their drive-thru line.

Doubled in width, not length if that confused you.

DOUBLED. It took a few more minutes than usual, but it was worth it.

Cute chick-fil-a girl: What would you like to order today? 

Me: A diet Arnold palmer and a cobb salad, please. 

Cutie: We don’t have any salads today.

Me: Ok, a chic fil a sandwich combo with a diet Arnold palmer, no fries; the superfood salad instead.

Cutie: We don’t have any salads today. 

Me. *dead face because we both have evidence that I’m an idiot.*

I’m constantly surprised at what comes out of my mouth.

Happy Friday. Anyone doing anything fun yet?

No?

I’ll be hanging at the homestead; piddling in my gardens, sorting photos, watching Dead to Me on Netflix, thinking of other ways that I’m wonderful, complaining about laundry, etc…

Living the flipping dream.

Be well, my friends.

XOXO

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This, that and the other thing. The Princess of darkness edition.

Dr. Death

Thank you all for your positive comments on my butterfly post from Monday. I love and appreciate your accolades.

I’m not kidding…

I really, really need your accolades.

My friend Kelly was asking me a while ago how many butterflies I release each year. I wasn’t sure, but now I’m keeping a spreadsheet because: time and pandemic.

I’ve released 73 in just under a month. A boatload of butters. 

Now, for my Debbie Downer moment.

I had to put on my Jack Kevorkian pants 5 times last week.

I euthanized five butters. Well, technically I think two took their own lives.

They could neither fly nor eat; what’s the point then? 

It happens; disease. Parasites.

BTW; Jack’s pants: So.darn.tight; he was a slim man.

How do you euthanize? Well, there are two methods that I know of. One I can’t fathom.

The method I use is I put them in my fridge for about five minutes to lower the body temperature, then in the freezer, they go.

Don’t ask me how many times someone has opened up the freezer with a butterfly surprise.

WHAT?

I said DON’T ask me. 

I forget they are in there and the next time I, Coach, or a guest goes into the freezer for something: Death.

THEY say that butterflies feel no pain. Hmmm. I don’t know if I believe THEY.

I’ve gotten better at this though. I used to get upset when I had to put one in my beloved appliance, but now it’s a fact of life.

This should probably make my enemies husband nervous.

Who am I kidding? WE know I don’t have enemies.

________________

Let’s get married!

My calendar told me that I was supposed to go wedding dress shopping with Linds and Lolo today.

*sigh*

The nuptials are still planned for the Fall of 2021, but the venue and dress shopping has been postponed for a bit.

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The future Mr & Mrs. Cutie Pie.

I think a backyard wedding would suffice. Can you picture the butterfly release?

That is if they’re not all in the freezer.

___________

Housekeeping

I really need to Marie Kondo my closet again; I’ve been putting it off.

BUT, I did start to Marie Kondo my boxes and boxes and boxes of old photos. I’ve arranged to have a good lot of them scanned and saved digitally. This is a big undertaking.

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When you are the ONE who continues to live (out of parents, grandparents and siblings) you end up with ALL the photos. Which, I’m thankful for, but I need them in some sort of order for my kids so they won’t be overwhelmed by them like I am.

______

That’s all the death, despair and disappointments I have to share today.

If I say anymore we won’t have anything dreadful to talk about on Friday.

I’m kidding! Happy Humpday!

XOXO

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__________

My {fence} field of dreams with Kevin Kostner.

Way back in December, when the world was semi-normal we started working on updating much of the landscaping.

I wanted to add in more butterfly-friendly elements. I already had everything set for my monarch, queen, eastern black swallowtails, Giant swallowtails, and gulf fritillary community of flyers, but wanted to add in some more swallowtails to the mix. {why so many links, Suz?}

I have a secret to tell you.

I haven’t shared this with everyone.

I have my very own butterfly guru.

I have only had him since December, but I do adore him. His name is Michael, but I refer to him as my guru. I thought I knew about butterflies but darnittoheck, he knows everything about butterflies.

He told me I needed to plant pipevine; I’d read about the pipevine prior and I did want it, so no arm twisting was involved.

He said if you plant this THEY WILL COME!

Perhaps less ominous-sounding in real life.

He brought over two pipevine plants. Hmmm…they, they look like a regular vine. So far, nothing to wet myself over.

But, can you just plant them in the ground?

Hell to the no.

This is a special vine that needs special equipment; it needed a professionally designed and installed espalier. 

Did you know that there are people on the planet that their job is to design and install these?

Kind of reminds me that I need to blog about the guy who injects our palms; he’s a professional palm injector.

Now that I say that out loud, it sounds dirty.

I digress.

Here are my baby pipevines back in December on their custom espalier.

Then a few months later.

This is the weird bloom it makes.

My eyes have seen a lot of things, but they ain’t seen nothing like that…see how I slipped into my southern drawl? 

Do you remember health class in school? Is that an ovary or a fallopian tube? 

Again, I’m off track.

The pipevine attracts different types of swallowtails depending on where you live; in SW Florida, it attracts the polydamas swallowtail.  Which, I swear I have NEVER seen in person.

Not sure why I have to swear so much but it feels good.

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Polydamas pic borrowed from UF/IFAS

So, I’ve been training my vine every few days; I move the growing vines around the wires to keep them attached as they grow.

Remember training bras?

This is nothing like that I just wondered if you remembered those.

When I’m out there doing my training, I can hear Michael, aka the Guru, saying “if you plant this, THEY.WILL.COME.”  He doesn’t even look like Kevin Costner, but he’s in my head.

The other day I went out for my training, and guess what.

Wait, did you hear a sudden high pitched squeal around noon Eastern time on Thursday?

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Max is such a poser.

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I have polydamas babies!

I wanted to shout it from the rooftop that I have eggs and larvae thriving on my vine.

But, our roof is really tall, I struggle with vertigo and it’s hot outside, so a blog post will have to suffice.

I was so excited I almost wet my pants. Which really, at this stage isn’t unusual.

BTW: spellcheck wants me to change the name to polygamous. Weirdos. 

So, that was my exciting butterfly news for last week.

Life is good in my butterfly world and that makes all the hard to swallow pills easier.

XOXO