DSC_0283In every Paradise, in every Utopia, there is a toll to be paid for living there. A tariff is required in order to happily reside in one of the most desirable places on the planet. In this beautiful slice of heaven, that toll comes in the form of tourists, who arrive in October from the frozen North, like so many columns of cockroaches caught unaware in the middle of a dark night in the trailerhood.

They arrive by the thousands, by plane, by boat, by million dollar motor homes. For six long and arduous months they clog our roads and favorite restaurants. They are especially lethal on the streets and highways, because, after spending six months a year here for many seasons, they feel quite familiar with things, but don’t realize that their memories have become clouded and that things here at home do not necessarily remain static and frozen in place since their last departure.

Every fifteen minute trip to the supermarket turns into a life threatening hour long descent into vehicular hell. I invoke all my guardian angels before turning the key in the ignition, “Please God, don’t let any other cars touch mine today. Thank you. Amen”

The most common sighting is a car stopped right in the center lane of traffic, with Sidney wildly gesticulating to the left and Mabel’s arm stubbornly pointing right. Agonizing moments pass while they duke it out, heedless of the three thousand cars behind them, patiently waiting for their decision.

It must be the vacation mentality that causes these Snowbirds, or Snowturds, as I lovingly call them, to become skunk drunk most nights of the week. They come staggering out of bars and restaurants and jump in their cars and lurch along to the next nightclub. These delightful visitors do enjoy their discounts, coupons, and their happy hour, so most of this activity takes place between the glaringly sunny hours of 3 to 7pm, just when we natives are trying to commute home from work. And some folks think God has no sense of humor!

It was whilst standing by the side of the road, contentedly waving bye bye to the Michigan, Minnesota, and Ontario license plates, that Mr. Adorable and I decided this exodus definitely was cause to celebrate. We threw a “The Tourists Are Leaving” party, where our guests had to dress in their geekiest tourist garb.

Mucho drunken fun was had, but now it’s time to head into the kitchen to whip up a little something. SO MANY TOURISTS….SO FEW RECIPES

DSC_0294DSC_0296DSC_03062015-03-28 Renee and Pat's Party 009


angelstarzOne year ago, amongst the embers of a dying relationship, I first began to hear you.

You began as intuition, inner nudges that were nonsensical at the time, but, mystical creature that I am, I listened and decided to fine tune that radio dial…the better to hear you.

“Leave  him, leave there. Too much is missing. You are compromising so many of your wishes and desires to fit into his life. Leave him. And while you’re leaving him…leave big; come closer to me. Let go of your safety net. Leave it all…your job, your home, your friends, your only child. Come closer to me and I will be your home.”

So, defying all common sense and logic (a skill I excel at), I channeled my inner 1960’s hippie, sold almost all my possessions and moved to an alien place where I had no job and knew no one. Prior to this relocation I knew I was a pretty tough cookie, but that single action took a breathtaking and daring leap of faith that had my heart pounding and me doubting my sanity. Because, while I heard your beckoning, I did not yet know you or how I would recognize you when I stumbled upon you.

Upon arrival I realized it would be up to me to tune in closely and listen more intently in order to find this mysterious whisperer in this foreign place. This led to all those hilarious but utterly pointless encounters with Senior Senile Senor dating. I persevered because the clarity of my vision of you was more clearly drawn with every flip of the calendar page.

I could feel the strength of your character, the extreme goodness and kindness of your soul. Trust, truth, and gentleness emanated like a beacon from all around you. I reveled in anticipation of the towering strength I felt from you and your ability to walk through your own personal hell and ultimately emerge, smiling and intact, at the far end of that tunnel. Yet, where were you? Who were you? Impatient, I kept demanding a sign from my deceased mom, fearful of just narrowly missing you.

The night you opened the door to your house to welcome me and my friends in, the sense of recognition was palpable and overwhelming. I was home. Oh, and that sign I asked for from my mom? How about having the same name and initials as my dad?

One of Cupid’s wee ironies was having us almost side by side at the same event for seven long months, both completely oblivious to one another.

I’ll never know for certain if my finding you was the result of whispers from a loving and benevolent Universe or because I spent so many hours visualizing exactly what I desired that caused you to materialize. I do know that for years I have chased after the feeling behind that mischievous grin that my parents always had in every single photo…a look of pure glee that they had defied the odds and found one another. They weren’t just fortunate to have found each other, they were also smart enough to understand and pay respect and homage to the amazing love they were gifted with.

Sooo, Mr. Adorable, I can’t wait to ride this wave with you, to see where it will lead. One thing that is certain…we will both honor the journey and laugh our butts off to the end of the highway.

The next time you hear that little voice inside your head urging you to do something totally outside your wheel house, give it a second listen. The Universe might just be trying to offer you a delicious gift.

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trust monkeyWhen I moved to Paradise, Somewhere In This World, last spring, I stumbled upon a genie in a bottle in my new home. Three wishes, he assured me, were so outre, so yesterday. Modern times required that the wish list be condensed into one bold desire…only one. So I wished for a wonderful mate, a man so special and unique I knew he could not exist on this earth plane. I went so far as to draw up a detailed laundry list for this impossible man, one with more than two dozen requirements. I knew this extreme pickiness would insure that I would never find him and therefore never be forced to open myself up to yet another betrayal. Clever girl, I congratulated myself. No SOB is ever going to fool me again.

Smugly secure in the notion that my diligent genie couldn’t possibly fulfill my single wish, imagine my surprise when this very man opened the door to his home to me one night in early December. Just like that…karma… universal benevolence… finally my turn? The word gobsmacked flits through my consciousness.

Which leads me to wonder…did my visualization of my future and the surety of what I desired manifest this person? Was it the work of my loyal genie? Or is it simply his turn and my turn? Our time to be happy and secure in the knowingness that this time, finally, for both of us, there might be no betrayal, no misplaced trust? But then…HE appeared, my Trust Monkey, attempting to wreck it all.

Cynicism and mistrust never entered my vocabulary until November 2005, when my husband of 18 years committed suicide, leaving behind a trail of devastation and horror that took seven years to clean up. My son, who was twelve at the time, is only now, at age 21, starting to emerge from the epic nightmare that was his Dad’s suicide. We survived my husband’s mistress and his leaving us $90k in debt. I knew my trust was broken, and yet, when pure evil entered our lives in 2007, I willingly and guilelessly opened our home and bank accounts to Satan himself.

What followed was a stint in a battered women’s shelter and living in terror for over two years. Now, Satan has my inheritance and lives in my dream home. At least once a week I practice a fun visual exercise. I imagine The Monster, in his perpetual state of drunkenness, falling through the glass shower doors of my master bath  and bleeding out on the white tiles over the course of three days. No one gives a damn about him, so no one would check on him. What a lovely shiver of joy this image brings me!

Then there was The Gift Horse, who signed his endless love notes to me “From the Last Man You’ll Ever Love”. Only when we were safely broken up and I lived 16 hours away, did two friends come forward with a litany of lies and deception that he had told me. Guess my picker is not working too well; I will need to take it into the dealership for a tune up, no doubt.

I’ve searched high and low at my local library for a primer on how to learn to trust again, after three consecutive betrayals. It is so unfair to paint someone new with the brush used by past liars. I know this, yet that Trust Monkey continues to pop up, whispering incendiary and divisive little nothings in my ear.

These are the earliest days of a fledgling relationship, which are tricky enough to negotiate, without a meddling Trust Monkey determined to undermine us. Therefore I’ve decided that darn monkey must be polished off, once and for all. Haven’t landed on how exactly to go about it though. I have an extreme aversion to guns, so shooting him is out. Stabbing him to death would leave blood spatter all over my white leather furniture. I thought of locking him in my trunk and leaving him there to perish, until I remembered my vehicle doesn’t have a trunk. My Trust Monkey has some trust issues of his own and refuses to ingest anything prepared by my hand, so poisoning is not an option.

Then, lightening quick, the solution to my vexing problem appeared as I was reading through some of my past blogs. Jimmy Tightlips! He has mob connections and must know hit men. Now that my plan of extinction for my Trust Monkey is it place, I think Valentine’s Day lends itself perfectly to the deed.

Must sign off now. Have to pick out a black dress to wear to Trust Monkey’s funeral, then prepare for my Valentine’s date with Mr. Adorable. It will be a refreshing change of pace to be just the two of us, without that meddling monkey along for the ride.

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bruce jennerIs not this week’s People magazine cover simply a foregone conclusion? Could anyone with eyesight NOT know Mr/Ms Jenner was undergoing a wee surgical/karmic transformation? Do you think the entire Kardashian clan was aghast, or possibly even verklempt? You  know someone in that family is carefully analyzing the potential $$$ bonanza in this situation. Might they film the surgeries… or even better, have him become Stacy and Clinton’s star pupil on “What Not To Wear”, in an episode titled simply “How To Turn Your Man Into a Real WO MAN?” Oh yeah baby, I sense Kardashian nostrils quivering in the wind at the smell of mas denaros.

Having personally experienced the first long-term relationship in my life turn out to be with a man who declared himself gay shortly after arriving in NYC, I can only imagine Kris Jenner’s utter public humiliation. I am guessing the slowly-dawning realization of the situation went something like this.

First, I noticed my husband stopped shaving his face and started shaving his legs.

Then, he requested that I call his hair stylist and cancel his future appointments. “I feel like growing my hair out. Autumn finds me yearning for a change.”

I caught him sitting in front of a roaring fire yesterday, intently perusing my latest ‘In Style” and ‘Allure’ magazines, drinking a Cosmo with his pinky up.

He has displayed far too much interest in the Chastity to Chas transformation. No more ‘Dancing With the Stars’ for this fellow. His enrollment in Cher’s fan club was troubling.

He has suggested joining me for my next pedicure appointment and began googling OPI nail polish colors. He seems to be leaning toward ‘I’m Not Really a Waitress’ or ‘Chick Flick Cherry’. Sigh.

His most recent Netflix order arrived and contained ‘Beaches’, ‘First Wives Club’, ‘Something’s Got to Give’, ‘It’s Complicated’, and ‘Under the Tuscan Sun’. Not a single Rambo or Steven Seagal in the envelope.

At IHOP for breakfast yesterday, he passed on his usual Lumberjack special and instead requested one scone, please, with a pat of light Smart Balance on the side, and a cup of hot water and a Midol.


Poor Bruce/Bree. If only Fate/Karma had allowed him to sidestep this mess of black widows known as the Kardashian women, he might still be the proud owner of both his willy AND his manhood. Sad that this nest of pit vipers was so smothering that he had to resort to this extreme measure to escape their clutches.

Anyhoo, Bruce/Bree, I know an awesome plastic surgeon I can recommend, but since he ran off with his office manager, I’m not 100% sure I can find him for you. I can however, recommend a lovely Caribbean island to use for your recovery.

Air kiss, air kiss…so LA


dumb blondWith a BioSperminator named Padraig Ryan, hailing from Tipperary Ireland, one could safely assume I am as Irish and ginger-haired as can be. Until last night that is. But suddenly, after last evening’s EPIC FAILURE, I’m left to wonder if maybe the hospital mixed up its babies? I suspect my father might really be called Thor Gundersonn from Norway, if my extremely blond behavior yesterday is any indication.

As any of you reading between the lines might have guessed by now, my long-running comedy show of Crypt Keeper dating is currently on hold, due to the appearance in my world of one Mr. Adorable, who just so happens to be celebrating his 63rd birthday.

Birthdays and Christmas can be a slippery tightrope to traverse in a budding dating situation. What is too little? Too much? Too soon? Like Goldilocks, I wanted to get this just right. Times of sunset and tides were checked, 5-star reservations were made, and a venue was primed for late-night dancing. Dresses and heels were donned and hearts were pumping. First stop…a beautiful beach with an exquisitely timed sunset accompanied by iced champagne and chilled flutes. The lovely lap of gentle waves upon the shore didn’t quite complete my romantic vision of the PURRFECT evening, so I decided to throw a Cesaria Evora CD into my car’s player. Nothing like a little Portuguese song to weave its magic. After an hour or so, and nary a drop of champagne remaining, it was time to hop in my tiny car and head for dinner. We were both starved and hadn’t eaten in anticipation of this incredible dining experience.

Giggling like children and full of our lovely birthday adventure, I turned the key in the ignition and got….nada. Immediately, I remembered a hair appointment I’d had when my kid was twelve. He opted to wait in my car during the 2-hour ordeal while listening to heavy metal music, rather than risk the humiliation of being caught dead in a salon. I tore him a new hiney hole that day because I had to buy a new battery and wait in the North Carolina heat and humidity for AAA to arrive. Mama was not a happy camper that day and I remember asking him how he could be so goofy not to realize you can’t listen to music indefinitely without your vehicle running. Tonight’s dead battery was a long-delayed return of karma, but boy, did it bite me on the butt.

No problem, we’d just pull out the jumper cables and ask one of our fellow sunset worshipers to give us a boost. Oopsie, I forgot….I don’t have jumper cables. By now, it’s growing dark and the beach is becoming increasingly deserted. Mr. Adorable walked over to the one remaining car, owned by an auto mechanic, who sheepishly admitted that, much like the cobbler’s children, he also possessed no jumper cables. Still highly amused by this slight delay to our plans, I pulled out my phone to call a tow company, only to realize their phone number was at home in my wallet. The tiny purses I carry on date nights were meant to hold only a single mosquito, so I only bring my driver’s license, insurance and Amex cards. At this moment I also realized my phone battery was almost dead. I quickly called a friend who is staying with me, who called the tow and told us that someone would be there within one hour. Phoned the restaurant and moved our ressies from 7 to 8.

Two hours later, sitting in the blackest of dark nights, with nary a tow truck in site, I came to the cosmic understanding that champagne is only for rent; you can only hang onto it for just so long before it demands to be released into the wild. But God it was DARK and the thought of being devoured by a Burmese python whilst squatting on the ground to pee in my beautiful lace cocktail dress was not part of this birthday vision. Desperate to pee and squinting through the inky ebony night, I spied what looked to be a structure, a maintenance shed perhaps, just a short walk away. Any port in the storm was better than the jungle at this point, so off I went. The heavens parted when I drew open the door, as it was an honest to God restroom, complete with running water! Two minutes later I emerged with many mutterings of  “Thank You Jesus and your lovely mother Mary too” and headed back to the car. A tow driver had called us an hour earlier to determine our precise location on this deserted beach and we were heartened to hear he would be arriving momentarily. As I slid back into the driver’s seat and reached for the keys I remarked about how lucky my timing was with the bathroom, as the doors locked automatically at 9PM, and it was now one minute til. LUCKY ME! I reached for the car keys to reinsert them into the ignition, only to realize I’d thrown them on the diaper changing table in that restroom. Oh hell no! Secretariat never ran as fast as I  did, only to twist that door handle to find it…locked. Right about then, I was pondering this. If blondes had their own theme song, what would it be?

Mercy dictates that I spare you the rest of the gory delays and the LONG hours we sat waiting for rescue from this grueling evening, but the good news is that Mr. Adorable remained calm and affable throughout, which is a pretty good test of character, when faced with plummeting blood sugar levels and loss of that intricate Napa Valley wine you were counting on. Jumper cables have been purchased and stowed to avert future disasters, bar food was eaten at an extremely late hour, the birthday dinner was rescheduled, and yours truly escaped being a python’s dinner entrée.

All  in all, not a bad date, despite my incredible blondness. I did warn y’all that this boy is sooo appealing I am semi-comatose and non-functioning throughout most of my waking hours. This night was incontrovertible proof.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY JPS…if you’re still speaking to me!!

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Sweet Tarts, a French Kiss, and the Nickel Pickle

Renee Moore:

This is a reblog of a post from 2 1/2 years ago…when my life was unrecognizable from where it stands today. Relationships are in the forefront of my mind recently, probably due to that meddling Cupid…once again. Can’t write, can’t think, can’t function, can only smile…

Originally posted on SAY GOODNIGHT GRACIE:

sweet tartsOnce upon a time, those three silly things could transport me to paradise.

Once upon a time, the little girl that I was couldn’t wait to be all grown up and on her own out in the wondrous universe. A universe without parents and their arcane rules and values. One without bedtimes or restrictions. I couldn’t wait to catapult into the picture-perfect adult world I knew awaited me.

Today I would gladly mortgage my only son in order to crawl back to the safety and security of my childhood world. I want to curl into a fetal position and retreat into a womb of innocence and dreams not yet crushed and hearts still unbroken.

I am envious of friends who have been married to the same person for years, friends who think their lives are boring and dull compared to mine. “You’ve had such an exciting life, and been through so much. You really should write…

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spongebobI am firmly convinced that all the wackadoodle things that tumble through my life exist for the sole purpose of providing me with blog fodder. What other explanation could there possibly be (cue the ghostly music)? Case in point….

When I headed to Texas, following the interlude of the Monster Madness, and fell headlong into the protective arms of my crazy ranching relatives, sure that this would be my final watering hole, I crossed paths with a gentleman who resembled a geometric building block more than a homo sapien. Turns out he was our family’s accountant. He stumbled through our kitchen a few times while doing some tax work for my uncle. Imagine a man, probably no more than 5’6″, weighing roughly 300 lbs., who was completely formed in the shape of a square. Now envision only about 14″ of this critter being legs. Think SpongeBob SquarePants on steroids. His beefeater arms hug to his hirsute knees, as did his capris. Suffice it to say that after a few sightings of SquarePants, you would never mistake him for anyone else, even with multiple shots of tequila coursing through your veins.

I overheard snippets of whispers from my cousins, Laredo Porter Wagoner and Austin Johnny Cash, hinting at our accountant’s murky past, something about New York or Jersey, and a scandal, possibly involving a family named Gotti. So loyal and secretive was SquarePants towards his former affililates that my family had nicknamed him Jimmy Tightlips. Call me crazy but I think the ability to keep closely guarded secrets of the clients who provide your livelihood is an exemplary trait in a CPA.

You can only imagine my shock some months later when I walked into my friend’s house for brunch, and there, nearly crumbling the dining room chair he was perched on, sat Jimmy Tightlips. He seemed to recognize me, yet couldn’t quite place the face, after all, we were in a world far removed from Texas. From the little that my friend, Sleuthing Susie, has been able to deduce from Jimmy and his equally taciturn wife, is that they are here in the tropics in the witness protection program. The couple rarely speak or proffer information, while they both watch you furtively from beneath downcast eyes, perpetually processing and assessing everything around them, whilst never revealing any details of their lives, past or present. Sleuthing Susie is ruthless in her pursuit of the true origins of Jimmy and his wife, and therefore eagerly agreed to housesit their five Pomeranians whenever they leave Paradise. To date, her exhaustive efforts have been fruitless, no photos, no old letters, nada. The place is as sterile as a Holiday Inn, and none of the Five Pomegranates are talking barking. Which causes me to ponder…Can I turn in someone in witness protection? And if so, to whom? And would there possibly be a reward involved? Would I become the mascot and poster child of the FBI or America’s Most Wanted? Or would I fare better by approaching the mob directly? I do so passionately adore both Italian food and Italian men, so that route holds delicious potential.

Speaking of potential…I might have a little secret I’m keeping from you.

Remember that blind date my hippie friend Mentah set up for me last Saturday? Imagine if Val Kilmer (before the weight gain), Kurt Russell, and Jeff Bridges mated (now there’s a visual)…this man could be the result. He was so unrelentingly gorgeous I kept glancing over my shoulder, sure I would spy Allen Funt and his Candid Camera crew filming this. He spoke fluent Chinese and French, was impeccably dressed, with nary an ascot in sight. He was so smart and attentive and absolutely PERFECT….on paper. I spent the entirety of our three hour lunch racking my brain over which of my single girlfriends I could fix this adorable boy up with. Mon Dieu, I know what you’re thinking! After all the Crypt Keepers with their walkers and man boobs she’s gone out with, and now she wants to throw this one back in the water?!?

Well children, it isn’t only Jimmy Tightlips who can keep a secret. Yours truly has one too. Suffice it to say I’ve been walking around Paradise, Somewhere In This World, with a huge shit-eating grin on my face since early December.

And that’s all you’re getting out of this Jenny Tightlips for this blog!

Happy Weekend!


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