Home Improvement

When we purchased our home over two years ago we knew eventually we’d want to do something about the front courtyard area. The previous owners, who’d built the home, paid a gardener to tend the two small plots on either side of the front walkway twice a month, but Studly and I weren’t crazy about taking on another bill. Actually I remember the conversation going something like:

Studly: We can’t afford both a gardener and a housekeeper.

Me: Cross off gardener. Check.

And that was the end of that story.

Except that we didn’t really think about the amount of yard work this courtyard area required. There was weeding and raking and digging and more weeding and since neither of us wanted to do any of that it just didn’t get done. Before too long Doright Manor’s entryway was overgrown and under utilized. 

I had the bright idea of having the area done in paving stones, but the estimate in the neighborhood of seven grand put a damper on that idea. Occasionally I’d go putter about trying to clean up all the unidentifiable growing things, but my efforts made it even uglier.

Finally Studly and I drew up a plan to do something simple and hopefully manageable with our courtyard. That was months ago, and we worked on it a little bit in the evenings and on weekends. 

We had to till everything up and cap off sprinklers.

Then we put down heavy duty matting and laid out some big stones before adding mulch.

We plan to add a decorative potting bench and container plants on this side.

Then on the opposite side we placed a little bench that I found at the French Country Flea Market on Friday. I fell in love with the butterfly shape. 

Now we need to personalize the courtyard with accents and plants for a more finished look. I’m not much of a decorator, so I know there will be a good deal of trial and error involved, but maybe this is something we can keep in good order without too much effort from a pair of non-gardeners. And I get to keep my housekeeper. 

Peace, people!

Feather Fallacy

A feather in his cap, he said,
A conquest worth announcing
His celebrity was sure to win
Her eager aquiesence.

Grab her by her genitals,
You know she’ll gladly go there
Any girl would proudly say
She’d love to let you grope her.

Or maybe you’re just a little jerk,
Too caught up in your own myth
To understand the fallacy
That any woman wants this.

A Tale of Two Boobs

Fridays are mine to do with as I please, and today it pleased me to travel a bit east of Tallahassee to check out the French Country Flea Market at Sweet South Cottage and Farms. This is the fifth year for the Flea Market, but my first visit, so I was eager to see what it was all about.

First though I had to find Sweet South Cottage. Thank goodness for GPS! After stopping at a local truck stop to buy a Diet Dr. Pepper I input the address and was soon merging into traffic on Interstate 10.

Interstate traffic throughout Florida is an interesting exercise in avoiding tourists and elderly citizens who don’t realize that the posted 70 mph is merely a suggested speed at the lower end of the spectrum. Generally I set my cruise for 75 mph and am routinely passed by those who drive 80 to 90. My goal is always to create a little bubble around myself, so as not to impede the speedsters and not to rear end the putterers.

Today as I drove in my bubble towards my destination I wasn’t surprised to see a flurry of brake lights up ahead of me as faster drivers made all manner of evasive maneuvers to avoid hitting a slow moving motorist driving in the passing lane. Since I had ample notice I chose my line carefully and soon was passing the offending driver who wasn’t going over 55 mph. 

He happened to be an older white man with a huge Trump sign in the rear window of his white pickup truck, and he appeared oblivious to the lives he was putting in danger by driving so slowly on I-10.

“What a boob!” I growled, as I glared at him and sped away. Soon after the GPS instructed me to exit and within a few miles I had reached my destination. 

The parking lot was fairly empty when I arrived, and I was directed to a primo parking spot directly across from the ticket booth. I hoped to find a garden bench for sale at the event and surely the great parking spot was a good omen. 

Cute finds were everywhere.

I even found my bench, but forgot to snap a photo and it’s currently jammed into the back of my car. I’m sure it will be featured in a future post. 

So if you paid attention to the title of my piece you might be wondering about the second boob. Boob one was the too slow, Trump supporting driver on I-10. Boob two is just that–a boob, a breast, my right one to be exact. 

After buying my bench I went out to adjust the back seat of my little SUV to accommodate my purchase when literally out of the clear blue Florida sky a bee appeared, whereupon it dive bombed into my bra cup, and proceeded to sting my aforementioned right breast.

I’d love to say I handled the incident calmly, but I’d be lying. I said something awful as I reached inside my shirt to pull the underwire of my bra away from my chest hoping the little bugger would depart in a timely manner. He refused and I ended up squishing him. Yes, I know bees are becoming endangered, and yes, I know I am an awful human.

I was in pain, though, and still had to find some way to remove the stinger. Unfortunately I was out in the middle of a parking lot, so I located a port-a-potty where I successfully used a credit card edge to scrape out the offending appendage in what I now call “Operation Stinger Removal” or just OSR for short.

So, I ask you, was the bee bite on the boob a karmic response to my calling the old Trump supporter that name earlier in the day? If so, I’m certainly glad I didn’t call him an ass.


by Leslie Noyes

Fall sun brandishes
Her autumn hued wand, alight
In burnished bracken.

“Gathering Bracken” by Henry Herbert La Thengue

Gather for harvest
Wielding scythes in rhythmic strains;
A song of plenty.

“Shocks of Wheat” Olivia Bell Photography

Most luscious bounty,
Gifts wrested from verdant fields
Labor’s sweet reward.

Three Dark Crowns (#1)

Ooh! Sounds great! Read more at your daughters bookshelf.wordpress.com.



Kendare Blake has done it again. This is fantasy and horror at their best.

The island of Fennbirn eagerly awaits its next queen. The inhabitants have been ruled by the Black Council for the past 10 years, but the time is coming for the Queen to take her rightful place. But who will be Queen remains a mystery. For now.

Every royal generation starts as three. Triplets are born to the current Queen, who gives up her Crown and her children and disappears.  The three girls possess magic and are equal heirs to the throne, fostered out from age 6 until the night they turn 16 years old. Then the fight begins. Will it be Katherine the poisoner, Arsinoe the naturalist, or Mirabella, controller of the elements?  The young queens must fight each other in order to claim the crown. Only one can live.

Let me start by saying I AM…

View original post 573 more words