Christmas Decor at Doright Manor

Doright Manor isn’t a fancy place. Studly Doright and I seldom (never) entertain, and neither of us is overly concerned with having a spotless house.

I do enjoy playing with decorative items, though. And while my styling taste is on the eclectic side it’s also not expensive. All those years of having no money taught me how to make do with the decorating resources at hand.

Here’s a little tour of a few of my Christmas vignettes:

The Santa above was purchased for me when I was about four. When Mom passed away it was one of the few items I wanted. The old guy is getting pretty worn, but he’s my favorite decoration.

This Christmas bear would greet guests at the front door if we ever had any. I bought him at a post-holiday sale many years ago.

My mismatched Christmas village is mostly comprised of items I’ve found at garage sales. I like that the items are built to different scales. Imperfection pleases me.

Studly Doright has yet to notice the sprig of mistletoe hanging in the main hallway. I’ve gone unkissed for several days now. Well not exactly, but no kissing has occurred under the mistletoe.

My preppy reindeer couple and stylized Christmas trees are relative newcomers to Doright Manor. I need a backdrop for them, but nothing has caught my eye yet.

Our main tree is perfect in an imperfect way. I used to do a fancy schmancy tree, but it was sort of boring.

Above are stockings that SHOULD have been given to my children when they started their own families, but I cry every time I think of letting them go. The bear was bought for our daughter’s first Christmas and the reindeer for our son’s. Neither of them holds many goodies, which was a good thing in those years we were so poor.

Since we don’t have a fireplace, our stockings are hung on the bookshelves with care, in hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there. From left are Studly’s, mine, and the two cats’.

That’s our dining table with Santa and a single reindeer.

Below is my gigantic angel overseeing the nativity. Almost a Gulliver’s Travels situation going on here, but I love my nativity scene.

Scout was interested in my placement of each piece, so I took the opportunity to tell her the story of how Jesus came to be born in a stable and placed in a manger.

Here she is, looking for the baby. Well, that’s my story anyway.

My cowboy snowman is fittingly in the Texas guest room.

This Santa is in one of the guest bathrooms. He is quite discreet when folks need to use the facilities.

On my kitchen hutch is a party of reindeer being hosted by my naughty elf on the shelf. They raise a ruckus in the wee hours.

That’s about it, I suppose. Thanks for taking the tour.

Peace on earth, and good will towards men, people!

The Snowman Always Rings Twice

It’s time for my second annual snowman post, so sit back, chillax, as the young ones say, and enjoy.

I’m fairly sure I didn’t include any of these last year, but even if I did, none of you would remember it either.

You have to love the literary references:

And the silly stuff:

I live in Florida. These are my only snowmen for the whole winter.

Peace, people!

Chanel #5 Apology

Why was a Chanel #5 apology necessary?

Well, when you stayed up most of the night because your husband was snoring like the proverbial freight train, and when you tried to sleep on the sofa it smelled like perhaps the youngest cat had peed on one end and the more you explored the more you realized that the damned cat had pissed on EVERYTHING including two knitted throws, your husband’s recliner, the ever loving Christmas tree skirt, and a pair of sneakers, so you had to scrub and clean and cry and scrub some more before you finally fell back into your bed because maybe, just maybe your husband’s snoring had quieted down, but no sooner had you settled in than the bull elephant-like trumpeting began anew, so you said “screw it” and opened your kindle to read, but you just had three pages left in this book, so you had to download a new one, and there’s nothing on your wish list, so you had to search for just the right book, and you found one, but now your husband had ceased snoring, so you tried to close your eyes at 4:30 a.m. when the oldest cat jumped up on the bed and began walking back and forth across your head, forcing you to turn onto your back so she can snuggle in the manner to which she’s become accustomed, and you finally fell asleep only to miss the sound of your alarm, so you threw on your clothes after a quick shower without washing your hair because you had an appointment with an orthopedic specialist clear across Tallahassee and you’d be late if you had to wash, rinse, repeat, and blow dry your hair, and as you were driving to the dr.’s office you realized you can smell cat pee, but you aren’t sure if it’s something you’ve stepped in or leaned against or, heaven forbid, your hair, or if it’s just a phantom smell from all the pee you smelled during the night, and after they X-rayed your foot and put you in an examination room you started sniffing your clothes and hair and even your shoes and socks, but you couldn’t find the source of the smell, but you remembered you had an atomizer filled with Chanel #5 in your purse so you sprayed it around your head, but more came out than you intended, so then the small exam room smelled like a brothel, and it was too late to fix it because the doctor entered and you were so exhausted that you apologized for the overwhelming smell of perfume without even mentioning the cat pee, and STILL the dr. looked at you like you were crazy, as he said, “Don’t worry, I’ve smelled much worse,” and you just barely kept from saying, “Like cat piss?”

How was your morning?

Christmas, Christmas Everywhere

I needed some holiday inspiration yesterday, but where to go? Since a doctor’s appointment took me near Esposito’s, a local Tallahassee garden shop, I thought it might be a source of Christmas decorating ideas. Let me tell you, when I’m right, I’m so right.

We’ve lived in the Tallahassee area for six years now, and I’ve been in Esposito’s at least a dozen times. But never in December. I had no idea what I’ve been missing.

I’d best let you know that I’m not being compensated by Esposito’s for this or any other blog posts. I just wanted to share a cool place with my local readers. So, without further ado, and very few words, I give you Esposito’s Christmas shop.

Now, the cutest thing I encountered wasn’t a decorated tree or a gilded ornament.

It was an adorable cat who’d snuggled into a stack of tree skirts. She allowed me to pet her before giving me a look that indicated I should move on and leave her to her nap.

The Christmas village was pretty spectacular, too, but it didn’t purr.

I found a couple of things to purchase, but because they’re potential gifts for family members I won’t share the photos here. There was a piece that I think was made for me, though. Maybe someone will put it in my stocking.

It’s the third sign from the top. Tailor made for me.

Peace, people!

Calling Cupid

I see Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen, Comet and ________, and Donner and Blitzen.

What happened to Cupid? He was the one that got away. The reindeer ornament I never found at CVS. I had Rudolph, too, but he fell victim to a curious kitten and shattered into a bazillion pieces on our living room floor many years ago. No matter how many CVS locations I visited; though, I never found a Cupid.

As I type this, Studly Doright is searching eBay for the little guy. If he’s successful I might have him look for Rudolph, too. In the meantime I’m going to secure the remaining reindeer against a cat attack. The one responsible for Rudolph’s demise still resides at Doright Manor.

Peace, people!

A Good Book Day

Sometimes the garage and/or estate sale book hunt proves fruitless. I’ll go for weeks without finding something that tickles my fancy.

I am in a bit of a Harry Potter book drought. I’m currently in need of book five, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, (hard cover, used, in excellent condition) and the only one I’ve seen was a rather too well loved edition in a Tallahassee Goodwill shop. The search continues.

But I did find a couple of book gems at a yard sale outside of Havana, Florida, on Friday. While a good portion of the country’s population was out scrambling for Black Friday deals I was in a bucolic setting surrounded by a wonderful variety of goods–some antiques, some kitsch, and a whole lot of books. I bought two that I found amusing.

The first one I found is this automotive maintenance log written by my two favorite car guys, Tom and Ray Magliozzi.

Frequent NPR listeners know Tom and Ray as “Click and Clack, the Tappet Brothers.” For years they hosted the wonderful Car Talk show, dishing out humor, car maintenance advice, and good conversation about everything.

Folks called into the show with questions about their cars, and while they’d eventually get a constructive answer or solution, they’d also get good-natured ribbing, maybe a history lesson, and sometimes even relationship advice. Tom passed away in 2014, but past episodes still air on some NPR stations. It remains one of my favorite radio shows.

The book, while primarily a travel journal and automotive maintenance record, includes many of the witticisms and driving tips from the show.

I told Studly I need a new car so I can put this to use. He wasn’t moved to action.

The second book find is one I know will come in handy as I learn to be a colorful raconteur.

As always I had to first checkout any bookmarked pages:

What a terrific resource for a person who tells anecdotes in a skillful and amusing way. If only I knew someone who fit that bill.

There’s much to explore in my two new-to-me books. If you need a good wisecrack or one-liner you know who to contact. Of course time is of the essence in most cases, so I probably won’t be of much help. But in regard to car maintenance questions, perhaps I can be your new reference point.

Let’s see, “What’s the best tip for driving during a blizzard?”

Or do what I did, and move to Florida. Problem solved. I’m really good at this. Next question….

Peace, people!

Snapshot #269

Yesterday, rather than jumping into the Black Friday shopping melee, I opted to look for garage and estate sales while Studly Doright played golf. I bought a couple of fun books, but my prized acquisition was this very un -Christmasy Christmas ornament.

Folks, I’m a traditionalist when it comes to decorating the Christmas tree. I like snowflake and angel ornaments, Santas and snow people, so I’m calling this one, “There’s No Place for Han on the Holidays.”

Being a fan of all things Han Solo, though, I might have to find him a spot on the tree this year. I don’t even have a bad feeling about this.

Peace, people.