A Puzzle Solved?

A couple of days ago I wrote a piece about a mysterious antique I’d purchased at an estate sale in Dallas:

https://nananoyz5forme.com/2018/10/19/a-genuine-whatchamacallit/

When I published that post I was fairly certain I knew exactly what the antique’s purpose was, but I thought it would be fun to see what my readers thought.

Here’s the antique in question:

My readers had some great ideas:

I truly believed that this silver piece was a butter server. One would put ice in the bottom section, place butter on the round piece, and lay that atop the ice filled bowl. The dome could be raised to serve, or closed to cover the food. A small spreading knife could be placed in the attached holder at the bottom. All very elegant and old worldly. And when I googled “antique silver butter servers” I saw this:

It’s quite similar to my piece. But after I read Marty’s comment (below), I was no longer so certain.

Here’s what I found when I googled the holiday, Sukkot:

Again, similar to, but much smaller than my piece. If it weren’t for the Star of David I’d be all in on my butter server theory, but the religious symbol gives me reason to doubt.

Regardless of its purpose I’m fond of my estate sale find. And this morning as I was decorating my home for Halloween, I noticed someone else had taken an interest in this antique:

Maybe he can save me money on my car insurance.

Pumpkin Patch

On Saturday morning I went in search of pumpkins to place on the bench in front of Doright Manor. Several churches in Tallahassee set up pumpkin patches at this time of year, and finding a suitable patch was fairly simple.

I believe Christ Presbyterian Church on Bannerman Road has one of the nicest pumpkin patches.

There were lots of families with young children taking pictures on this beautiful fall day.

Soon I’d selected five pumpkins of various sizes to display on my bench. As of this writing they are all in the back of my car waiting for me to clean up the little courtyard where my bench sits. Picking out the pumpkins was way more fun than cleaning out a spot for them will be.

Peace, people!

A Genuine Whatchamacallit

When I was in Texas in early October my son, grandson, and I spent part of one morning scoping out estate sales in Dallas. Fortunately I was living out of a suitcase, otherwise there’s no telling what I’d have bought. Yes, I know I could’ve gone to a pack and mail place and have purchases delivered to Doright Manor, but I didn’t want to spend money on postage.

Early in the day I bought a nice tennis bracelet, and it looked like that would be it for me. I looked at some nicely priced, nearly new designer bags, but honestly, my cup (and my closet) runneth over when it comes to purses and such.

At the final sale we went to I found this intriguing silver piece, and my son bought it for me as a birthday gift:

Here it is with the dome up:

And with the little plate removed:

Finally, a close up of an attached holder. That was what gave away this whatchamacallit, in my book.

Well, that and the assistance of an informed collector. It needs a good polishing, but its beauty shines through.

What do you think it is? I probably won’t laugh at any guesses. No promises.

Peace, people!

Fake Accents and Bad Jokes

Note: Some of this might have happened exactly as described. 😉

Yesterday during my volunteering stint I launched into a bad British accent and couldn’t get rid of it. Is it any wonder that the team leader sent me to the edge of the site to clean out the Cambros? For the uninformed, Cambro is the brand name for a line of containers that keep foods hot. The ones I was sent to sanitize because I couldn’t stop sounding like Eliza Doolittle pre-transformation, were styrofoam boxes on steroids.

I became fairly efficient at the task while prattling on about scones and tea to no one in particular. When a couple of other volunteers joined me I welcomed them and showed them the ropes.

“So, are you a Brit?” asked one of the women.

“No,” I said, in bad cockney. “But I play one on the telly, luv.”

https://youtu.be/uVmU3iANbgk

Peace, people, and always remember the rain in Spain falls mainly in the plain, and all that Jazz.

Volunteering

You know how Facebook reads your posts and all of a sudden your feed is magically filled with content that is in some way related? I’m hoping you do, because if it’s just me that happens to that might creep me out.

Anyway, after I returned to Hurricane Michael ravaged Florida from Texas I posted on FB that I was looking for opportunities to volunteer in some way. Voila! Within mere minutes a post seeking volunteers for storm relief miraculously popped up. The group, Operation BBQ Relief, made it easy to sign up.

As soon as I’d answered a few simple questions their website told me I’d be contacted with a place and time to volunteer. I kept checking my email and text messages all Monday evening, but hadn’t heard anything by the time Studly Doright and I went to bed last night.

First thing on Tuesday morning, though, I saw that during the night I’d received three emails. The first one told me I’d been “deployed” to help on Monday morning the 15th. Hmm. That boat had sailed. I figured better late than never, though, and hurriedly dressed to drive into Tallahassee. The second email just told me what to wear and where to go, and the third told me I’d been okayed to help. I might’ve read them out of order, but I figured everything out.

When I arrived at the staging site around 7:30 a.m., things were already hopping. I signed in, got a hat and a name tag and tried to find my niche. I hadn’t been there long when a man with an official looking t-shirt on tapped me on the shoulder and asked if I knew of a laundromat in the area that would pick up and drop off clothes. I’d just been to the closest one a couple of days ago and knew they weren’t doing that at this time. One would think this would be THE time for such services, but what do I know? I volunteered to take the items and launder them. Soon, I had a large trash bag full of gloves, dish cloths, and aprons. I was cool with being the laundress. Once everything had finished drying I hurried back to see what other tasks were in store.

Basically, OBR prepares, cooks, and packages foods to be picked up by groups like the Salvation Army and local churches. These groups deliver to places without electricity and water. One of the team leaders told me that even yesterday they spoke with local folks who hadn’t had a meal since the hurricane hit last Wednesday.

I found myself packaging and labeling items such as red beans and rice, peas and carrots, and bbq beans. The meats were handled by a separate crew–those with food handling certification. As volunteers packed items, trailers pulled up to be loaded. Everything was well organized and efficient with permanent team members directing volunteers of all ages, sizes, and ethnicities. What an experience!

At lunch time, they fed us an amazing lunch. The country group, The Zac Brown Band donated the services of their huge kitchen trailer and a cook to feed volunteers. I got a quick tour of the trailer. It’s like a chef’s dream.

After working until two p.m. on Tuesday everything on my 62-year-old body hurts, but if I am able to walk on Wednesday morning I’ll go back to work again. It felt good to know we were there to help. Here are a few photos I took during some downtime.

One of the volunteers wrote little live notes on the box lids:

Pallets stacked with water bottles:

Peace, people.

Teachable Moments

Hurricane Michael wasn’t my first experience with a major storm. In the autumn of 2004, four hurricanes, beginning with Charley, and followed by Frances, Ivan, and Jeanne, impacted one part of Florida or another. I was teaching 5th graders at Croton Elementary in Melbourne that year, and it seemed that through much of August and September my students and I were either prepping for a storm or cleaning up after one.

Prepping at school meant wrapping all of our electronics, computers, monitors, and books in heavy duty garbage bags, securing the openings with duct tape, and placing them as high as possible in the classroom. Then after the storms passed we had to take everything down, remove the tape, and put things back where they belonged. Networked computers had to be put back on line, and books matched with students.

The school was fortunate, and we never had any significant damage, but every time a storm’s predicted path indicated Melbourne might be hit, the drill to prepare was carried out to a “t.”

Since some of this prep and de-prep had to take place during the school day, we made learning games out of the process. I taught math and science, so my students measured the equipment to be stored during the storm and estimated the minimum amount of bags and tape we’d need to do the job. They measured shelves and cabinets to see where the equipment could be stored best. They learned to code tags for computer equipment in order to get everything running smoothly again as quickly as possible. We did job efficiency studies afterwards to see where we expended unnecessary energy and what we should do differently if there was a next time.

We didn’t realize when we prepped for Charley that we’d be doing it again for three more storms, but the students made charts and checklists just in case, so we’d be ready to go into action if another storm hit. By Hurricane Jeanne, we were operating like a well-oiled, if slightly weary, machine.

The team prep work seemed to take some of the anxiety out of waiting for storms to hit, and the games helped minimize the learning time lost to the storms. And when we came back together after the various storms had passed, students were engaged in problem solving and trouble shooting, instead of worrying about the lack of electricity at home, at least for a portion of the day.

That was a tough year for all of us, but I have only good memories of working with that group of children. Studly and I moved to Illinois at the end of the school year, and I’ve lost touch with those students, but I hope the ones who stayed in hurricane country remember those days of prepping for the storms as good ones.

Peace, people!

Home, Baby

On Saturday afternoon I arrived home to Doright Manor after having spent the past week in Dallas. While I was gone a guy named Michael blew through the Florida panhandle and redecorated without asking permission.

We had our electricity restored on Sunday evening. Studly Doright said it had been out since Tuesday afternoon. We have a generator that kept lights on in parts of the house, but neither our hot water heater nor our stove were hooked up to it. Apparently they require too much amperage or wattage or something electricity based to be powered by the generator. At least the air conditioning worked! Soon after the power came on I enjoyed a hot shower. Best feeling ever.

Here are a few photos I’ve taken of the damage just in our neighborhood. And, we got off easy compared to folks on the coast. These were taken after a crew came through and cleaned up! We still have a lot of work ahead of us.

Peace, people.

The Passenger

Old cowboys don’t die

They board planes and fly away

Run down boots, no spurs

I picture his horse

Long put out to green pastures

Bent neck and swayed back

The man still stands tall

Smelling of leather and dust

Old straw hat in hand

I wrote this while waiting in line at a Southwest gate in Dallas. The photos aren’t great–I was trying to be surreptitious.

Hopefully Homeward Bound

Hurricane Michael has been a total ass. He’s destroyed lives and homes and businesses all along the gulf coast of Florida, and Michael has kept on wreaking havoc as he’s slammed inland through Florida’s panhandle, into Georgia, and beyond. See, a total ass.

My home near Tallahassee seems to have weathered the storm fairly well. I happened to be in Dallas with my son and his family while my husband, Studly Doright, and our cats rode out the Category 4 hurricane at Doright Manor.

Studly’s job as an area director for a public utility company calls for him to make sure resources and people are in the right places at the right times. When I spoke with him last night before bed he’d just ended one conference call and was preparing for the next one. It’s non-stop.

Originally, I was booked on a Thursday flight from Dallas to Panama City Beach via Houston on Southwest Airlines. When Hurricane Michael, the ass, came in so quickly I changed the flight to Friday (today as I write this). It seems I might’ve been a little optimistic. Yesterday afternoon I received a text from the airline saying the flight from Houston to Panama City Beach was cancelled.

I knew I had other options, but I wanted to check with Studly before changing airports, since he’d need to meet me there. Of course when I called him he was on a conference call and just told me to do whatever I needed to do, and he’d make arrangements to pick me up at the airport I chose. It was an easy change to make with Southwest (bless them) and I am now scheduled to land in Jacksonville around nine this evening.

Studly, however, called me back when he got my flight information, and he won’t be able to meet me. I’d anticipated that, knowing what’s going on in his world right now. So, I’m renting a car at the airport and we’ll return it on Saturday to our local airport. (It just occurred to me that the Tallahassee airport might not be functioning right now. That could be problematic. I’ll check after I publish.)

Studly warned me to be careful coming home. He says I’m going to be shocked by the amount and size of the debris around Doright Manor. For safety’s sake I might end up staying overnight in Jacksonville so I can make the drive in daylight. I’m ready to be home, though.

Thanks to all of you who’ve expressed concern for us during this storm. We appreciate the positive vibes and prayers. Keep those in the gulf coast towns in your thoughts. The damage there looks devastating.

Peace, people.