Open Minded

My husband, Studly Doright, never ceases to amaze me. I’m not sure if it’s his wit, but I’m fairly certain it’s not his wisdom.

Friday afternoon he reminded me that he’ll be attending two celebration of life ceremonies on Saturday for two men he’s played golf with for the last eight years. The guys died within a few hours of one another right before Christmas, and now they’ll be remembered on the same day. The golfers will head straight to the first service following their Saturday round on the links and then to the second after that. They were both good men, as far as I could tell, and had lived interesting lives.

As usual when contemplating death I think ahead to my own wishes for end of life arrangements. Studly and I both want to be cremated, and I told him that instead of a funeral and/or a celebration of life that I just want a wake. I want beer and wine to be served and for everyone to just sit and talk–mostly about me, but I guess I can’t control that. Prayers for a safe transition would be appreciated, and I’d probably be happy with a few tears being shed. Nothing too sad, though. I’d like my kids to pick out some suitable music–they both know what I like.

As to my cremated remains, if I go first I’d like my ashes to be placed in a pretty urn–World Market has some beautiful ones that fit the bill, and they’re a fraction of the cost the funeral home charges. When Studly dies his ashes are to be added to mine.

I was saying all this out loud when Studly interrupted to ask about his second wife.

“Hmm,” I said. “I guess she could join us in the urn if she didn’t have other plans.”

“Wow, you’d be open to a threesome?”

If it makes him feel better, I suppose so.

Peace, people.

Snapshot #275 or Something

The above photo was taken a week ago in my front yard. Hard to believe it’s January. Let’s call this one, Things Are Looking Up.

About the snapshot numbering, I realized today that I’ve used the same number more than once. So much for honesty in blogging.

Peace, people.

Book Club Issues

Yesterday I wrote about the book The Worst Hard Time. It was a wonderful book club pick, one that’s stayed with me for many years. But there were several other books my book club in Champaign, Illinois, read that deserve a mention.

One of my favorites was Devil in the White City, by Erik Larson, a true story about a serial killer who plied his trade during the 1893 Chicago World Exposition. While it’s nonfiction, the book reads like novel. I was totally engrossed.

Another great read was Loving Frank, based on the story of a woman who loved the architect Frank Lloyd Wright so much that she left her family for him.

This was a book that stirred emotions and sparked heated discussions. It’s beautifully written and thought provoking.

My favorite book, though, from the book club years was The Whistling Season, by Ivan Doig. This is a book that honors teachers and education. It’s absolutely beautiful, and will make you yearn for simpler times.

I have book club issues. It’s difficult for me to read what someone tells me to read, but these books are evidence that I can follow directions. At least for awhile.

Peace, people.

The Worst Hard Time

Yesterday I shared a poem I wrote called, The Dust https://nananoyz5forme.com/2020/01/14/the-dust/. It was inspired by memories of my childhood in Floydada, Texas, when the wild winds blew stinging dust into every little nook and cranny of my world. I hated the dust and the dry Texas winds. They drove me slightly mad. Explains a lot, doesn’t it?

And as a young wife, I grew to hate the wind and dust even more when on two separate occasions the back door of our rental house in Dumas, Texas, blew open while Studly and I were at work. We came home to find inches of dust on our floors, our furnishings, and inside of our cabinets. I cleaned for days and still found dust where dust shouldn’t be. I cursed the dust.

When Studly and I moved away from the Texas panhandle I missed the family and friends we left behind, but never the wind and the dust. I could live there again if I had to, but I pray I’ll never have to.

While living in Illinois I joined an informal book club. We drank a lot of wine and sometimes even discussed the book we’d been assigned to read that month. One that made the biggest impact on me was The Worst Hard Time by Timothy Egan.

The book chronicles the Dust Bowl era of the 1930’s through interviews with those who lived through that time. I knew every town mentioned in the book. And as awful as my memories of windy, dusty days were, they were nothing compared to the nightmare of the Dust Bowl years.

One lady in the book club complained that the book went on about the dust way too long. I countered with, “I think that was the point.”

If the author had glossed over even a bit of the despair caused by the weather conditions he’d have missed his mark. She also asked if anyone still lived there.

“Well, yes,” I said. “I have family and friends there along with hundreds of thousands of other hardy folks.”

“Unbelievable,” she said.

There is a lot of beauty in that part of the country–days so perfect, sunsets so gorgeous, you could almost cry. But I always remember the dust.

Peace, people.

The Dust

I know a thing or two about dust

A Texas panhandle childhood taught me its sting on the playground

Grit-filled eyes and sandblasted legs

Days of dust

And tumbling weeds

When gray choked skies obscured and

Scouring winds grew teeth

I thought that was how the whole world worked

Nature’s castigation

For our sins.

(I do not miss those days.)

Advanced Bed Making for Dummies

My mom was a stickler for a well made bed. As the only girl child in her home I was judged by my ability to create precise hospital corners and deliver a perfectly smooth bedspread. Wrinkles were a no-no. I let her down. A lot.

As a mom, I was much more relaxed with my bed making rules; although, I did attempt to demonstrate the principles my mom tried to instill in me. Neither of my kids paid much attention to the lessons, though, and I didn’t think bedspreads were the hills I wanted to die on. Pick your battles, right?

Nowadays at Doright Manor, my bed making philosophy revolves around our psychotic younger cat, Patches. I call it “Layering. It’s not just for clothing anymore.”

Patches has developed the nervous habit of peeing on just about any surface that suits her when the anxiety strikes. We took her to the vet to see if there was an underlying medical reason for her bladder control issues, and she’s fit as a fiddle. The vet prescribed a special food, but it requires about eight weeks to kick in.

She also prescribed an anti-depressant that I have to rub on the inside of Patches’s ear every 12 to 24 hours. I’m afraid the lengths I have to go to to corral Patches and administer the drug are increasing her anxiety levels and aren’t doing much for mine either.

She thinks I have an ear fetish. I’m afraid she’s right.

So what does this have to do with making the bed? Twice now Patches has relieved herself on our bed necessitating the laundering of our heavy bedspread that takes forever to dry. Following the first time I added an additional layer of covering to our bed. After the second time, I realized one layer was simply not enough. Now the rule is to have at least three layers on the bed in addition to the bedspread.

This isn’t going to get me a mention in Better Homes and Gardens any time soon, now is it? And my mom would be so heartbroken. Sorry, Mom!

Oh, before you suggest I use deterrent sprays and/or calming sprays, trust me. We’ve been there; done that with multiple concoctions. Patches seems totally immune to their effects.

She does seem to be making a bit of progress, though. Knock on wood, but I haven’t detected any pee on the baseboards or behind Studly Doright’s chair in the past couple of weeks, and those were among her favorite areas to go. And this morning for the first time in ages I watched her play with one of her toys.

We’d appreciate good vibes for Patches, and for me. It now takes me longer to make and unmake my bed than it does me to shower in the morning. And that’s the truth.

Peace, people.

Don’t be fooled by the sweet face. She’s plotting her next attack.

The Right Word

I wonder

Is there a better word than dappled

For the way the sunlight plays through the trees, speckling the road?

Variegated is all wrong; unless one is speaking of yarn,

And motley only makes me think of clowns or crews.

Discolored doesn’t work, suggesting there’s been a mistake, and make no mistake–

Dappling is perfection; poetry in shadowy motion.

Flecked? Checkered? Parti-colored? No!

Stippled? Perhaps. I could work with stippled.

Still, dappled comes to mind first, when I crest a hill and see the canopy of trees

Filtering the light on a sun-kissed day, painting abstract patterns on the pavement

And peace in my soul.

Peace, people.

Signs of the Apocalypse?

Studly kept me busy Friday afternoon taking apart a 1976 Honda GL 1000. I’m not sure I was much help, but I had a lot of fun.

After we removed the Corbin seat, the pipes and a few other choice bits, we loaded the frame, along with a variety of other pieces and parts onto Studly Doright’s motorcycle trailer and drove over to a salvage yard in Tallahasse.

Now, Studly has a fondness for places that deal in salvage. His grandad, Benjamin Bernard Noyes (aka Papaw), owned a salvage yard in Hereford, Texas, and Studly spent hour upon hour there from the time he was a small child on into his teens. Papaw put him to work getting the copper, brass, and aluminum out of the pumps and motors that came into the yard. For his efforts Studly was paid enough to keep him in spending money. That yard was his world.

When we drove through the gates of Leon Iron & Metal and saw the towering piles of scrap iron, I could feel his excitement. I have to admit, it got me pumped up, too. I cannot explain the beauty of the place, so I took photos.

The little scooter in the bottom right was something we added to the pile.

Mr. Claw was ready!

The little splash of yellow and the tire are what’s left of our old GL 1000.

The two photos above made me think APOCALYPSE!

We had to remove any batteries from the scrap, so they could be weighed and disposed of safely:

Signs, signs, everywhere a sign…

https://youtu.be/oeT5otk2R1g

As we left the salvage yard, savoring the hefty pile of cash we’d earned from our afternoon of hard labor (okay, it was $30), I had just one question for Studly:

“What else can we take apart?”

He just laughed, but I swear I noticed a little gleam in his eye.

Peace, and junk, people!

Shapewear Dilemma

Most women who require clothing larger than a size eight have at one time or another resorted to some form of shapewear to hold their jiggly bits together underneath their clothing. I’m not telling exactly what size I wear, but let’s just say I’ve had some interesting experiences with Spanx, their sister brand Assets, and even a few off brands. By now one would have thought I’d understand their limitations.

My daughter gave me a pretty ice blue sweater for Christmas. I wanted to wear it a couple of days ago, but realized that the loose weave of the sweater necessitated a little something underneath. My white camisole was in the laundry, so I looked through my shapewear to see what was available. Most of my shapewear stuff is meant for my rather generous hips and tummy, but I did find a beige tank top that would serve my needs.

With a great deal of wriggling and stretching, grunting and groaning, I finally got it pulled over my head and inched it down over my boobs. I pulled it taut across my tummy and tucked it into my jeans. My boobs now looked as if they’d been bound to ensure my future chastity, but when I pulled my sweater over the tank top the desired effect was achieved. I could now go safely into the world without exposing myself.

I had some errands to run in Tallahassee, but first I needed to eat. I ended up at Vale where I knew I could get a good vegan meal. While standing in line to order I felt an odd sensation. The tank top had somehow been freed from being tucked into my jeans and had begun creeping up until the bottom half of it was a 1/2″ roll snugged up beneath my bra.

I paid for my order, clutched my tray to my chest and found a table in a corner of the restaurant where I ate my lunch and read my book. After finishing I used the ladies’ room to once again secure my tank top inside my jeans.

Everything held together really well for the rest of the afternoon, but when I attempted to take the tank top off that evening I couldn’t get it to stretch over my boobs. When I tried to stretch the bodice area enough to ease the thing down over my hips, my fingers slipped and I ended up with a sprained thumb and a nicely purpling bruise on my belly. Bad words were said.

I ended up having to take a pair of scissors to the thing in order to remove it. Thank goodness it was an off brand! Have you seen the cost of Spanx?

Peace, people!

Almost an Emergency

For Christmas I got a new iPhone. It’s pretty badass with its facial recognition and fancy camera capabilities. And once I figured out all the stuff that worked differently from my old iPhone, I was definitely pleased. It did do something yesterday that totally caught me off guard, though.

I was walking across a parking lot in Tallahassee on my way to get my hair cut. No sooner had I shoved my phone into my purse than I heard an alarm similar to the sound of a car alarm. It was pretty strident, and at first I thought it was coming from one of the cars on either side of me. Then I realized the sound was emanating from my purse.

I grabbed my phone and realized that somehow I’d activated a 9-1-1 call! The screen was doing a countdown to notify my emergency contacts. Quickly I shut off the call and stopped the countdown. Whew! That could’ve been awkward.

After checking in at the front desk inside the salon I sat in the waiting area and tried to figure out what I’d done to trigger the emergency call. As I was poking about trying to make sure I didn’t inadvertently do it again my phone rang.

In response to my “hello?”, the guy on the other end said, “We received a 9-1-1 call that was cancelled from this number. Is everything okay?”

I apologized, told him I was fine and that it was a total accident. I thanked him for checking on me.

Even though I screwed up it’s kind of nice to know that somebody out there’s looking out for me. I still need to figure out what precipitated the call, though. Any ideas?

Peace, people!