March Minimalist Challenge, Day 22

Just jolly junk juxtaposed with less jolly junk for day 22 of the March Minimalist Challenge. I was briefly tempted to hold onto the bunny necklace until after Easter, but thought better of it. Was I actually going to wear a bunny necklace that might’ve been a prize from a child’s Happy Meal?

Can you picture my 61-year-old self strutting down the street with this baby dangling from around my neck?

Neither can I. He looks as if he’s plotting some evil deed. As for me, I’ll wear only happy bunnies or no bunnies at all. Feel’s great to take a stand.

Peace, people!

March Minimalist Challenge, Day 21 (A Day Late)

Feeling a bit like the white rabbit in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, I’m trying to make up for lost time today. My recent trip to Illinois, a head cold, and a bit of back pain have me all out of sorts and behind in my endeavors.

I’ll try my best to catch up today, but I’m making no promises.

For the 21st day of the Minimalist Challenge I unearthed eleven assorted publications and ten worthy wine corks.

I’d write something witty, but my nose is stuffy and everyone knows the nose is the nexus of creativity.

Peace, people!

Back in the Future

Poor Studly Doright has a herniated disk. For the past three weeks the pain this has inflicted has prevented him from sleeping more than thirty minutes at a time. Walking takes his breath away and sitting isn’t much better. He has an appointment scheduled with a highly respected neurologist next Monday, but calls the doctor’s office three times a day to check for last minute cancellations.

I was away for a week visiting our daughter in Illinois. During my absence Studly tested every flat surface in the house in order to try and get some rest. There were pillows and blankets everywhere including on the kitchen counter and the dining table. He tried out all of the guest rooms and both sofas. While I felt awful about leaving him, he swears it was a good thing I was gone because he’d likely have driven me crazy.

Now, somewhere in my journey to and from Illinois I tweaked my back. I’m not sure if it was done while lifting the five-year-old grandchild for a hug or while hoisting my suitcase in and out of the car. Regardless, my lower back isn’t happy with me. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suffering nearly as much as Studly is, but I’m not too spry right now either.

This afternoon as Studly limped pitifully down the hall towards our bedroom I followed slowly with a load of folded clothes to put away, one hand supporting my lower back. We alternated grunts of pain.




Between exclamations I told Studly this was a look at our future: A little old man and his little old wife moving like little old snails.

He wasn’t amused. I guess snail humor isn’t his thing.

Peace, people.

Mississippi River by Morning

After two full days on the road, navigating crazy interstate traffic I am safely home, and can honestly say, “There’s no place like Doright Manor!”

Yes, I’ll miss my grandkids and my daughter, but I was really glad to be reunited with my husband and my shower, my cats, and my own bed, not necessarily in that order. It is good to be home.

The last thing I did before leaving Port Byron, Illinois, early Sunday morning was to drive down the Main Street of the small town to take a picture or two of the mighty Mississippi River that divides Illinois from Iowa.

Across the river one can see a portion of Le Claire, Iowa, reflected perfectly in the still water.

And here the mist partially obscures the bridge connecting the two states.

Moody, right? I just couldn’t leave without trying to capture the Mississippi in the morning.

Peace, people.

On the Road

On Saturday I began the drive home to Tallahassee after spending a little over a week with my daughter and her family in Port Byron, IL. What a week!

I arrived on Saturday afternoon, unpacked and took a deep breath, because every day to come had some planned adventure:

Sunday afternoon we attended 15-year-old grandson, Garrett’s performance in a play at Riverdale High School where he played two parts with gusto. I was so proud of him.

On Monday I had lunch with the youngest grandchild, Harper D, who is a sassy kindergarten student at Riverdale Elementary School, and I remembered why I never aspired to teach five year olds. They’re cute, but exhausting.

Tuesday was wine night with my daughter and some of her friends. Yay!

On Wednesday evening I got to watch our middle granddaughter, McKayla (13), at her gymnastics class. She is pretty fierce in her pursuit of perfection. What a dynamo!

Thursday evening involved a concert for pre-K and kindergarten students at the elementary school. I talked McKayla into accompanying Harper and me, and we had a rambunctious evening. Harper volunteered me to play the role of a hopping bunny during one of the songs. I’m 61. My hop was a bit on the floppy side.

On Friday I took Garrett and Harper to see Black Panther, after which Harper (5) summed the film up with “Basically, there were two kings who wanted different things, but only one could win. Right?”

I couldn’t argue with her logic.

Then on Saturday morning I got to watch McKayla perform in a music competition, first playing flute in the band and later singing in her school’s choir. She was so lovely and poised. That’s our raven-haired McKayla, below, in the white top and black skirt.

Saturday evening our daughter, her husband, his parents, and I participated in a trivia contest for a local charity. We didn’t win; although, we held our own for most of the evening. It was way too much fun, and I might’ve had too much Guinness. Oops!

Then early on Sunday I started home. As I write this I’m in a hotel room just south of Nashville, Tennessee. The weather channel is promising thunderstorms for my drive home. I’d appreciate good vibes sent my way for the remainder of my trip. Hopefully I’ll be safely home at Doright Manor early tomorrow evening. I need to rest!

Peace, people!

Late Lessons

You should read this piece by Jan Wilberg aka

Red's Wrap

I think you have to be careful about how bad you feel for someone else because it puts a burden on them that you probably don’t intend.

I realized this long after I’d listened to a friend tell me about her daughter’s suicide. At the time, I felt almost paralyzed by grief, as if there were invisible droplets of nerve gas hanging like tiny Christmas lights all around me.  I listened and tried to manage my body language.

She told me things, the truth as it were, she told me the truth. I tried to reconcile this truth with what I was doing which was eating, I was sitting eating a wrap and coleslaw as if everyday I listened to tragic death stories over lunch. The obscenity of it struck me. What had happened was hideous in all ways. Unjust, terrible, and irrevocable. I nodded but I wanted to rend…

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Lagomarcino’s for Me

Before the grandkids arrived home from school on Friday afternoon I drove across the Mississippi River into Iowa just so I could have a hot fudge sundae at Lagomarcino’s in Davenport.

My daughter introduced me to Lago’s when she first moved to the quad cities (Moline, Davenport, Bettendorf, Rock Island) several years ago, insisting that they served the best hot fudge sundaes in the known universe. After my first taste I agreed with her.

What makes these hot fudge sundaes so special? Well, Lago’s makes their own ice cream and their own hot fudge. And unlike other places where the sauce has already cooled atop the ice cream, at Lago’s the fudge is served separately and is still hot when it arrives at the table. Yum!

I portioned it out little by little and the last drop of fudge was still nice and hot, and as absolutely delicious as the first! I savored every bite knowing it will be a while before I get another of these treats since I’m heading towards home on Sunday morning.

Peace, people!

When You Haven’t Written Anything for the Blog, but You Remember Today is St. Patrick’s Day

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day! Enjoy responsibly. Or not. Here’s a bit of humor for the day.

As a child this is what I imagined when I was told the good saint drove the snakes out of Ireland:

So, this is where Irish cream comes from!


This one took me a minute:

I don’t iron anything anymore, but this is worth remembering.

Enjoy your St. Patrick’s Day! I’m off to watch my middle grandchild participate in a middle school music competition in a couple of hours.

Peace, people!

March Minimalist Challenge, Day 16

I’m still in Illinois; however, I wrote this before I left home. I imagine I’m cold up here in the land of Lincoln. I also imagine I’m having a great time with the grandkids and my daughter. Maybe, though, they’ve locked me in the basement and haven’t fed me in the past four days. Hey, I might’ve deserved it. I can be pretty cheeky.

Before I left Doright Manor I cleaned out the refrigerator, and these items were among the treasures I discovered: Various selections of sodas and juices, soups, and sauces, along with sample sizes of Swiss cheeses and additional sweet and savory surprises. So far, so good, and so long!

Peace, people!