She wakes Studly Doright up at five every morning and makes him carry her to the kitchen for a treat.
After he leaves for work, she snuggles with me and insists I get up at six. While I shower, Gracie watches me from her ringside seat on the side of bathtub. She presides over my morning routine, ensuring that I take my vitamins, and calcium, and allergy meds, and well, you get the idea.
The day proceeds with Gracie allotting time for feeding, naps, and play when she’s not actively supervising my work. In the evening she lets us know it’s time to stretch out on one of the chairs on the screened-in porch by pawing at the patio door.
Bedtime routine with Gracie is reminiscent of my days of tucking in a toddler. She gets a bowl of her favorite wet food, a bit of playtime, then we snuggle into our bed. But Gracie isn’t ready to sleep.
She’ll jump off the bed in dramatic fashion and rush down the hallway to the kitchen. Soon she’ll come back toting a bag of treats in her mouth. If she can’t get to the cat treats, she’ll bring a bag of people food—nuts, trail mix—whatever comes closest to resembling her treats, so the gist of her message is clear—one last snack, please.
Once she gets what she wants Gracie disappears into one of the guest bedrooms for the night only reappearing in our room when it’s time to wake Studly up for work. And the routine begins again,
I wish Gracie had been around during the years I taught. I could’ve used a good scheduler.
College football is in full swing right now, and Studly Doright and I watched games most of the afternoon and into the late evening. After one successful short pass from the quarterback to a wide receiver the commentator said, “That little shuffle pass has been effective against this defense this year.”
Studly turned to me and asked, “Is it shuttle pass or shuffle pass?”
As the self-proclaimed word expert in our home I declared that it had to be shuttle. I reasoned that the QB was shuttling the pass along. Studly disagreed. He believed the word was shuffle because it was as if the passer was shuffling a card to the receiver.
We argued back and forth until I googled the topic. I’m happy to say that Studly was wrong. But sad to say that I, too, was incorrect. The term is shovel pass because the hand motion involved mimics the movement of a shovel being wielded.
Well, fine. I don’t agree with the decision, but I can’t be right all the time. That would be annoying.
It was a pleasant lunch, but the lizard and I didn’t exchange phone numbers or anything, so I was surprised and a little bit flattered to find him saving a table for us when I arrived at Sweet Pea Cafe for lunch this morning.
Stanley (I believe he looks like a Stanley) was at the same table as last time, but didn’t skitter away when I approached. Instead, he waited patiently while I placed my lunch and lemonade near him.
The unfurling of my napkin seemed to unnerve him, so Stanley slid into the space between the slats where he watched me take out my book and unwrap my fork.
He emerged a bit to study me as I ate. I offered to direct some ants in his direction, but he said he’d already eaten.
Several other diners commented on my companion. A small child squealed in delight and Stanley dove beneath the table. He was still nearby, though, when it was time for me to leave. I didn’t get his number, but I think we might have some ESP going on. ‘Til next time, Stan.
I needed a break from Blacklist, the series we’ve been watching for the past couple of months. I told Studly Doright that a change of pace was in order and to my surprise he suggested the new Cinderella movie.
After checking to see if he had a fever (he didn’t) I agreed, and we settled in for an evening of wonderful entertainment. Well, I loved it. The jury is still out on Studly’s reaction. You see, musicals aren’t his thing.
The film is clever and adorable and a love letter to feminism. How I wish I’d been exposed to this version in my youth.
Biggest surprise—Camila Cabello as Cinderella.
Biggest surprise honorable mentions—James Corden as a mouse and Idina Menzel as the stepmother.
My mind, like most minds I suspect, works in awkward ways. I’ll be walking between rooms, perhaps toting a load of laundry to the wash room, when a phrase or a snippet from a poem will pop into my head. I might forget I have Studly’s dirty socks clutched in my arms for a second or two as I try to recall the entire verse or the poet who penned it. That exact scenario played out this morning.
There I was, minding my own business with assorted laundry items in hand, when the words There was a little girl, trickled through my consciousness. Cute nursery rhyme, I thought followed closely by, I’d never have used forehead to rhyme with horrid. Poetic license. Hmm.
My next thought had to do with the pungency of Studly’s socks. I continued on my way and started the washing machine. Maybe I remembered to add detergent and maybe I didn’t—my mind was on that little girl. I googled the first line of the poem and this came up:
There was a little girl, Who had a little curl, Right in the middle of her forehead. When she was good, She was very good indeed, But when she was bad she was horrid.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow authored this little poem? C’mon man. The same guy who gave us the epic poems The Song of Hiawatha and Paul Revere’s Ride also wrote a six line poem about a little girl whose forehead rhymed with horrid? Maybe I knew that at one time, but as I’ve already noted, my mind is easily distracted.
Anyway, well done, old chap. I never mastered memorizing Hiawatha, but with a little more work I’m sure I’ll have There Was a Little Girl memorized within the week. Maybe.
I finished a FaceTime call with my friends in England today just as the sun began to fade. I yawned and considered retiring to my bed. Except I then realized the time was only 2 p.m.—much too early for bedtime.
Clouds have moved in, creating this wonderful gothic feel. All of a sudden I have a desire to watch old episodes of Dark Shadows. Why aren’t those being broadcast on some nostalgia channel? Seems like a no-brainer. Did anyone else rush home after school every day to watch Barnabas and Angelique? Just me? Now I feel foolish.
I was away from Doright Manor for two weeks. During my absence Studly Doright took excellent care of the cat, did some laundry in interesting ways (Wash one’s nice shirts with the towels? Sure, why not?), and kept the house in surprisingly good condition.
But he didn’t do any weeding, so on Monday I took it upon myself to tackle some of the more offending weeds in the front yard. I’d just finished one section and turned my attention to an area on the side of the house when a vigorous rustling among fallen branches brought me to a complete stop. Snake? Lizard? I held perfectly still until this guy erupted from the detritus and scooted up the bricks.
My brain said “skink” and I mentally patted myself on the back. Not too long ago I’d have just called him a lizard, and while that’s perfectly correct, skink is more descriptive. He’s a five-lined skink to be even more specific.
Skink and I parted ways with neither being harmed by our encounter. I pictured him hurrying home to Google, or whichever search engine lizards use, to look for “humans“ and patting himself on the tail for immediately thinking “female.” We’re all on a learning journey, after all.