Berlin, Fitzgerald & Burger

Going back a bit to August, I received another special request from my father.

“Please have the DJ play, “I’ll Be Loving You” by Irving Berlin at or towards the end of the wedding. It is Mom and my “special song.” I WOULD LIKE IT TO BE A SURPRISE, SO PLEASE DON’T SAY ANYTHING TO HER. It would mean a lot to us. Thank you, Dad.”

Of course, his note went into my wedding folder and we bought an Irving Berlin CD, and that was that.

My mother also sent a note. “We are so excited now that we know we are going to make the trip. We still have a lot to do when we get there. I would still like you two to come on the 12th [of August], and I will try out the hotel  kitchen.”

Mom and I went out wedding shoe shopping that day. We left ‘the boys’ at the hotel, and while we were out, she made a special request. “Please, see if you can find Ella Fitzgerald’s version of “Always.” I want to dance to it with your father at your wedding. And, don’t tell him. I want it to be a surprise.” Of course, we bought an Ella Fitzgerald CD, and that was that.

Jeff and I ended up registering at general merchandise retail stores. We really didn’t need much. Maybe new pots and pans, new towels would be nice.  We turned into the kitchen aisle for gadgets, maybe a coffee maker, and to see what was new.

Every day dishes, serving dishes, cereal bowls, soup bowls, glasses, cups, serving utensils, utensil holders, spoon rests, kitchen towels, table cloths and a napkin holder designed by Americana artist Warren Kimble. Everything available in the chicken themed Country Quartet design got zapped.

Zapped with an inventory gun – the hand held kind they use in check-out lines when a customer doesn’t want to drag whatever bulky item they have out of their cart. So, yeah, they handed us one of those and said go scan what you’d like to include in your registry.

Up until that point Jeff had control of the magic wand. I became a beeping maniac. Lucky for me, Jeff liked the dishes. A few more appliance type inclusions later, we sort of felt we were done.

We were headed to return the scanner when Jeff had a Jeff-type light-bulb moment.

“Wait!” he said as he turned back and headed for the grocery aisle. “I want to register for one more thing.”

His eyes twinkled with mischief when I asked what he had in mind. “Hamburger!” he exclaimed.

“Um, hamburger?” was my response.

“Yes,” he replied. “We can get a whole freezer full of hamburger if we just put it on our list. I know people would buy it for us.”

I didn’t doubt that we would amass a cow-sized pile of beef.

“Jeff,” I argued. “People can’t wrap up hamburger and bring it to our reception.”

“Well, why not?” he asked.

“Um, we won’t know what’s in a gift until we opened it.” I explained. “We’re not planning on opening gifts at our wedding. Maybe not the day after, either. We’d have to have someone take all of our gifts and put them in a freezer just in case!”

In the time our conversation took, we arrived at the grocery section.

Wand-in-hand, Jeff had another obvious Jeff-type light-bulb moment. “Cheez-Its!” he announced, with a silly grin. “I’m going to register for Cheez-its!”

I figured we’d get a lot of Cheez-its at our wedding. It never occurred to me they could show up at my September bridal shower, too. So, I was a bit surprised when I unwrapped a gift to find a box of Cheez-its.

It turned out that would be our only gifted box of Cheez-its. Still, though, Jeff got the biggest kick out of it.

When people ask for wedding advice, I always have two pieces to offer.

The first is to be careful what you ask for, especially if there’s a need for refrigeration.

The second… well, we’ll get to that later…

Quote for the Week:

2016 07 26 Be careful what you ask for quote for the week jakorte


Enjoy This Week’s Discovery Links:

26 Varieties: Cheez-Its

Apparently Food Isn’t on the “Don’t” List: Real Simple

We’re Not the Only Ones:  Registry Quirk


Bonus: Shower Photos

2016 07 26 Be careful what you ask for shower pix jakorte



Out of Order

The blog is out of order and so am I.

Perhaps I’m more just out of sorts, but the situation is the same.

I would have kept on and shared in memoric order, had I not been frantically searching every nook and corner, bin and file, drawer, cabinet and closet for a mislaid, significant part of our story.

Regrouping is required before re-ordering can commence.

Quote for the Week:

2016 07 19 Everything leading up to the moment seems insignificant jakorte


PS – If you happened to lend your camera to my brother-in-law Eric on Jeff’s and my wedding day, please let me know. The photos I am missing were rapid-fire shot, which means they were most likely not taken on the disposable cameras we provided on each table. Thanks.


Licensing Day

Three weeks to go, and one more super important thing to do.

I still think it’s odd that couples and families spend months or years planning for the perfect wedding day, yet cannot get a license until pretty much the last minute. The last thing on the list seems the most important, to me. I tried to find a percentage for the number of times a marriage license has been issued and not used, but after a half hour of refining searches, I quit looking.

Anyway, I had a gastroenterology appointment to set me up for a trial to determine why I was having severe acid reflux. I’d wake up choking and coughing. Honestly, it should have been an easy thing to figure out without data gathering. 280 pounds on a 5’ 3” frame – that’s a lot of horizontal compression to put on your innards.

I was aware that I would have to swallow a monitoring device, and that they would remove it after 3 days of data collection. I was told I would need a driver, but I didn’t question it. My involvement in my own healthcare has greatly changed since then, but, at this time, I went with whatever they told me to do.

At the clinic, I found out that I was going to be semi-sedated. When I asked why, well, I was stunned. I hadn’t considered how they were going to get the camera out of me. Turned out to be the same way it was going in. I left the hospital with a small cell-phone sized black box strapped around my waist, an electrical wire that started at the box, ran up my chest, into my nose, and down my throat.

Once that was done, we headed down to Adrian as planned to secure a marriage license. About an hour later, Jeff and I arrived at the Lenawee County Clerk’s Office. I wasn’t completely unloopy, yet, and was still a bit unsteady. He held my hand in his, my arm in the crook of his arm, as we casually walked into building.

I’m not home tonight, so I cannot give you the exact date, but the important piece here is that it was after 9/11.

I’d never been there before, and was mildly surprised by the x-ray belt, walk-through airport detectors, and two clearly armed guards who jumped to the feet when we stepped forward.

“Wow,” I said. “I wasn’t expecting this!”

“Wait right there,” one of them said. “Off to the side,” the other one pointed.

So, we stepped out of the way, and the person behind us waked through.

A third guard showed up a few moments later, I image at their request, because one of them wordlessly nodded our way, and the other pointed, again.

“What is that?” the new guy asked. “An acid reflux tester,” I answered, explaining where I had just come from.

“You can’t some in here with that,” he said.

“No, no,” I said, “You don’t understand… we need to get our marriage license. Today. We took off work for this!”

“Well,” he said, simultaneously shaking his head and thinking it over.

I burst into tears. Jeff pointed to my purse. “Do you have the discharge papers in there,” he asked.

“No.” I sniffle-pouted. “They’re in the car.”

“I’ll go get them, if that’ll help, “Jeff volunteered, directing me to wait there.

“Yeah. I’ll look at them,” he reluctantly replied, “but, you can’t wait here.”

I followed Jeff outside and held onto the railing while I waited. I got a curious look or two, some wide-berth steppers, some double takes.

By this time, the numbness in my throat was receding and my mouth was very dry. Which, lead to frequent throat clearing and excessive swallowing. I also began sweating, and was feeling a little lightheaded by the time Jeff got back to me 2 minutes later.

Try to remember I was still a little intellectually tuned out, and hadn’t been near a mirror since the installation.

“Geez,” I complained, “It’s just a test. I’m not contagious or anything.”

Jeff looked a little stunned then, burst out laughing. He followed his distinctive bark with, “Other things go on here beside that, you know.” I shrugged back because I really didn’t.

“None of this stuff was here when my mom worked here, and …” he continued, with a chuckle, “they don’t think you’re contagious. They think you’re wearing a bomb!”

Quote for the week:

We rarely see ourselves the way that others

“We rarely see ourselves the way that others do.”

Enjoy This Week’s Discovery Links:

The Test:

The Association:

How You See You:



The 12th of Forever

Wednesday. I wouldn’t say things were normal, but there we were doing our thing. Making lunches, commuting, working our jobs – all while waiting for whatever might be coming next.

At least 2 fighter jets passed over Ann Arbor that day. The windows shook, the ground rumbled, and each time, I held my breath, wondering if they were “ours” or “theirs.”

Jeff was dispatched on a late afternoon run. So, I went back to Hudson’s after work, hoping to complete my wedding outfit, or maybe find something… I don’t know… more traditional wedding-ish. I loved my gold skirt, but I knew the likelihood of finding something in a perfect match was slim.

In the formal, evening wear area, I quickly scanned the clearance rack, half-heartedly. I pulled an all-white suit from the clearance rack that was sandwiched in between those round markers that usually don’t accurately indicate the sizes that are housed there.

Amazingly, it was in my size. Even though the skirt wasn’t a style that would be attractive on me, the jacket-styled top looked like it might work. At $45 for the set, it didn’t really matter if I’d ever wear the skirt or not. The price was right.

Headed for the dressing room, a voice came over the paging speakers calling for a minute of silence, recognizing the fall the south tower a little after 5:20 PM on the previous day, September 11th.

I, other shoppers, clerks, we all stood silently. Most people just stopped where they were, doing what they were doing. For me that meant holding my find, and looking at the woman on the other side of the round rack.

That’s when the tears decided to come. When the minute was over, I smiled weakly at her feeling the need to explain. “I’m hoping it fits… for my wedding… in a few weeks…”

“A wedding!” she smiled kindly. “What a blessing!”

“I’m not sure how much of my family will be here now.” I sighed.

“They’ll come,” she said. “They’ll come.”

I turned and went straight to the register. I bought the suit without trying it on, and drove back to Jeff’s office building to wait for him to return. My eyes leaked fear and gratitude, despair and anticipation, for the unknown and the known; both, mourning and hopeful, as I planned for my happy-ever-after.

When Jeff was ready, he got in the car, looked at me and asked, “Have you been crying?”

I told him the story of the suit in the back-seat and the silence of respect that made me cry. I told him I’d have to try it on at home and see if it’s OK.

Mr. Agreeable said, “OK.”

After dinner, I went upstairs to change. I looked at the skirt, and I looked at the jacket, and thought this may not work, at all. On me, though, it didn’t look too bad. I went downstairs.

Jeff was on the couch, with his back toward the stairs, so I said, “Hey, what do you think? Does this look ok?”

He glanced over his shoulder, and threw his arm over his eyes.
“Arg! I’m not supposed to see the dress!” he exclaimed.

“Jeff,” I argued, “I need to know if this looks good enough. I’m running out of time.”

“You’ll always look good to me. If you like it, I’ll like it.” Jeff answered.

“Besides,” he continued, “The only thing I’m going to be thinking about your dress when I see it is how hard it’s going to be to get off of you.” I giggled.

“I’ll wait for my mom, then, I guess. Maybe ask your mom, too.” I said.

Without turning around again, Jeff drew an exaggerated hand across his brow, and muttered, “Phew. That was a close one”.

Quote for the Week:

2016 07 05 I’d always been at war with tradition july jakorte

Enjoy This Week’s Discovery Links:

What a Difference a Day Makes:


Ahead of My Time (again):  Not White  and More Not White