Wrapping

Amazon deliveries became a daily occurrence at Doright Manor last week. As boxes were placed on our front porch I’d place them on the floor in Studly Doright’s home office, a.k.a., “The Place Where Paperwork Goes to Languish.”

Today I decided to wade through the small mountain of boxes, open, and divide them according to their intended recipient, and then wrap them for placement beneath our little tree. As I type this I’m taking a well deserved break while sipping on my decaf coffee and surveying the stacks of unwrapped gifts grouped by person.

Some gifts were sent directly to family members from Amazon because we won’t get to see them this year. That’s kind of breaking my heart, but I’m trying to let it go. Some times I even succeed. Other times I just cry. It changes from moment to moment. So, I’m going to wrap the gifts I can and hope that helps.

Peace, people.

Snow Person Humor

Studly Doright and I live in the Florida panhandle where it seldom snows, and when it does we receive only a light dusting that disappears almost as soon as it hits the ground. We haven’t always lived here, though. For three years we lived in North Dakota, a place that sees more than its fair share of snow starting in October. And once the snow falls it’s there until early spring. So, while I love the thought of snow, I never want to live in a place that gets more than a few centimeters in a decade. I’m quite happy enjoying snow from afar.

Lately my Facebook feed has been inundated with snowman and woman humor. I figured that’s a good way to appreciate snow, right? All the cuteness without the cold.

Here are some of my favorites. Some of them really resonate.

Okay. I’ve had my fill of snow for the year. No fuss, no muss, and no shoveling.

Peace, People.

On Mom’s Birthday

I’ve published this before, but it always seems fitting for posting on December 7, the day of my mother’s birth. Give your mom and your dad a hug from you, and an extra one from me.

https://nananoyz5forme.com/2014/12/24/a-stocking-for-mom/

Two by Two

Today was a day of weird almost-twin sightings. I encountered the first pair early this morning. Sitting in the drive-through lane after ordering a latte at the Starbucks on Magnolia in Tallahassee I saw two men, corporate types, both wearing dark plaid suit jackets. The plaids were subdued, but as I observed the men walking side by side across the parking lot, the almost matching patterns caught my eye. I wondered if they’d called each other before dressing, so similar was their garb.

Then driving home from Tallahassee to Doright Manor I noted two dark haired young men, probably in their late teens or early twenties, sitting just off the side of the road. They appeared to be fishing, but with sticks for poles. And neither was wearing a shirt. Normally that wouldn’t be noteworthy, but it was only about 40°F outside. Brrrr. This time I wondered if they’d called each other to find out what they WEREN’T wearing.

(These are definitely not the shirtless guys I saw.)

Further down the road, between Midway and Quincy, I had to slow down to avoid hitting a pair of men crossing the road while wearing identical vests. Okay, so the vests were bright orange, and the men were part of a road crew. I’m pretty sure they just knew what the other one was wearing to work this morning. No phone call necessary.

Weird stuff, am I right? Wish I’d seen these guys. That would’ve been epic.

Peace, people.

When You Rhyme in Your Sleep

Such a poor rhymer,

A nickel and dimer,

A shell without primer,

Rusting away.

Throw out the words, son

Steer away from the bad pun

Avoid the over done

This ain’t child’s play

Can’t help but dream

In a metronomic scheme

Nothing’s easy as it seems

These visions never stay.

(Michael Cheval is the artist featured in this post.)

I woke up (at 2:37 a.m) with the first stanza rolling around in my head. I told myself if it stuck around, I’d write it down. Almost wish it hadn’t.

Peace, people.

Cold Enough

Huddled under cardboard,

Old Annie shivers.

Surrounded by layers of rags and bags,

Scavenged bits hoarded against the cold,

Shoved into cracks, or

Worn as a layered mantle

No room open for her tonight

No place to warm her tired bones

They say it’s not cold enough.

Twelve degrees.

The winds howl,

Sweeping down these city streets

Stirring up ghosts of every December

Those souls who couldn’t be saved

No place to warm their bones

No room opened for them

Someone said it’s not cold enough.

Monday, Monday

For a semi-retired person, Mondays are almost indistinguishable from any other day of the week. If it weren’t for Studly Doright, whose own retirement is still a few years away, I’d have no reason at all to mark the first day of the work week as any different from the rest.

We experienced thunderstorms all weekend, even had a tornado touch down nearby, and today’s weather looks to be more of the same. It’s a bit on the gloomy side, but I have nothing on my agenda other than laundry. I picture a day spent sipping tea between trips to and from the laundry room.

Mondays are great for reflecting on the weekend, and in spite of the rain I kept fairly busy. Friday night I attended a concert with friends. On Saturday I decorated the house for Christmas while Studly played nine holes of golf. The rain prevented a full round for his group. We lazed about all afternoon then went for dinner at a Japanese steak house.

I tweaked my back somehow on Saturday, perhaps while fetching Christmas decorations from the hall closet, or hefting tepanyaki shrimp with my chopsticks, and awakened with back spasms Sunday morning. I didn’t let the spasms keep me from attending a holiday-themed lunch with members of my favorite Meetup group, though. We had a fun gift exchange and made plans for a happy hour get together in a couple of weeks.

Then Studly took me to see the newest film iteration of “Robin Hood” on Sunday afternoon. It was an odd take on the familiar tale–kind of a poorly executed mashup of the Heath Ledger film, “A Knight’s Tale,” with elements of Batman and Indiana Jones thrown in for good measure. It bothered me that the costumes didn’t appear even slightly appropriate for the time period. I thought the movie was a waste of money, but Studly liked it.

A heat pack and ibuprofen helped me sleep well last night, and I think the worst of the back pain is behind me. Take that any way you want. I’m going to get up soon to shower. Then I’ll fill the tea kettle, and sort the laundry. But for now, the cats are snuggled around me, and I’m going to revel in not caring that it’s Monday.

Peace, people.

Almost Christmas

Like a good many people I struggle with sadness around the holidays. To be honest, my emotions take a steep dip around the 23rd of October, (the date of my mother’s death) and they stay low until around December 7th, (her birthday). I do some strange stuff during the low times–things that seem counterintuitive to one who needs a good pick-me-up.

Take this past week as an example. A friend invited me to attend a concert with her, her mom, and another friend. My very first inclination was to say no. Socializing just seemed too heavy a weight to bear. But instead of immediately replying in the negative I made myself count to ten before responding and discovered I could indeed attend this event. That’s how I found myself in the company of three lovely women on Friday evening at Theatre Tallahassee for the “Almost Christmas Concert.”

Apparently the concert, produced by local singer/songwriter, Del Suggs, is an annual holiday staple in Tallahassee. He, along with Pierce Pettis, Warren Sutton, and other local musicians, including the incredibly talented guitarist, Jerry Thigpen, rocked the house on Friday night playing holiday favorites along with songs from their own playlists.

For two and a half hours I was immersed in the spirit of Christmas, and it felt incredible. I even got up early this morning and decorated the house for the holidays. Maybe the doldrums are lifting, thanks to lovely Julie for inviting me. It feels good to feel good, you know?

Peace, people.

Say What?

I bought a new bra today at a shop in our local mall. As I paid for it, the sales clerk asked me if I wanted it in a bag. Really? It wasn’t as if I was carrying any bags from other stores. I only had my purse. Was I supposed to cram my bra inside my handbag?

Maybe I should’ve said “no bag necessary,” and just strolled around Governor’s Square Mall carrying my new bra. I could’ve draped it around my neck and used it as a scarf, I suppose. Or maybe I could’ve worn it as a belt. How about as a hat? I could call it a branet–like a bonnet, only with cups and straps.

Hey, here’s a purse made out of a bra!

Instead I told her that I did indeed need a bag for my purchase. I guess I’m no trendsetter.

This all made me think of a specific Seinfeld episode:

https://youtu.be/kw7PjickeFc

Peace, people!

More on Louise Penny’s Visit to Tallahassee

Yesterday’s post about my dashed hopes of getting to meet visiting author Louise Penny went on longer than I’d planned, but there were some fun details surrounding her time in Tallahassee that I thought were worth a mention.

Ms. Penny, author of the acclaimed Inspector Gamache series, chose to launch her newest book to a Tallahassee audience when she could’ve gone to any number of much more populous cities to do so. I’d wondered why and before she spoke to a standing room only crowd at Faith Presbyterian on Tuesday night the reason was revealed via the introduction.

It seems a group of women from the church had read and discussed a number of her books and decided to write Ms. Penny a letter telling her what devoted fans they were and offering to take her to dinner. In Canada. That’s where the author lives. They sent the letter off never expecting to hear back, but were elated when she responded telling them she’d love to meet them. The book club members made the pilgrimage to Canada and treated Ms. Penny to lunch where friendships were formed.

Earlier this year one of the group’s members contacted Midtown Reader, a wonderful locally owned bookstore in Tallahassee, asking the owner if she’d read any of Ms. Penny’s books. Indeed, the owner was a big fan herself and had already planned to ask the author to visit here. Connections were made, one thing led to another, and Ms. Penny decided to launch the book from our town.

Again, I cannot stress enough how beautifully written her books are. Yes, they’re murder mysteries, but they’ll renew your hopes for humanity. You’ll also want to dwell in the fictional town of Three Pines. I’m planning to build a small house there myself, and maybe open a little shop down the street from the bistro. I’ll sell artsy t-shirts with witty quotes and hats adorned tastefully with antlers. Maybe.

Peace, people.