It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like…

It’s beginning to look a lot like…

…the end of November.

As winter approaches in the Florida panhandle, rain substitutes for snow, while galoshes and umbrellas sub for snow boots and mittens. As I dressed for work on this rainy, but warm morning (71 degrees at 7:30 a.m.) I didn’t complain. I’d much rather drive on wet roads than icy ones. After experiencing several winters in North Dakota and Illinois, I’m no longer nostalgic for pretty snowfalls and roaring fires. 

Doright Manor is still decorated for Thanksgiving, and will remain thus until the first weekend in December. I have nothing against those who put up their Christmas trees the day after Thanksgiving, but my heart clings to November like the last leaf on an oak tree. 

Meanwhile all around me folks are humming Christmas carols and buying wrapping paper. The Hallmark Channel is running sappy made-for-tv holiday movies 24/7. Santa Claus is already holding court at the mall. 

Enough already! I say, let November have its special place in the American psyche. Savor November. And while you’re at it, listen to Guns N’ Roses, November Rain.
Peace, people!

Studly’s Big Birthday Adventure, Part 1

Saturday was Studly Doright’s 59th birthday. Having feasted to the overflow mark on Thanksgiving he wanted no special birthday foods and said he’d play a round of golf to celebrate the big day. I sang “Happy Birthday” as he headed to the golf course while he grinned. I have that effect on people.

When he arrived home after golf, though, he told me to pack an overnight bag. He’d bought some motorcycle parts online and we needed to pick them up. In Metairie, Louisiana, outside of New Orleans! I didn’t quibble and ten minutes later we were on the road. 

New Orleans is a five and a half hour drive from Doright Manor, and we made it to the seller’s home around 5:30 p.m. Studly was delighted with his bargain, so while he and the seller stood swapping motorcycle tales (a.k.a. “kicking tires and telling lies”) I booked us a hotel room in Metairie. 

After a nice light dinner at PF Chang’s we checked into our hotel and cheered on the Florida State Seminoles from the comfort of our bed. 

A birthday toast at PF Chang’s.

Knowing the New Orleans Saints were playing at home at noon on Sunday we planned to get up early and be well away from the area before game time. Studly had me find us a breakfast spot using Siri, and with only one little mixup we were soon seated at a table at Willa Jean, a top brunch spot in the central business district in downtown New Orleans.

I had beignets on my mind, but unfortunately they weren’t on the menu. But, oh my goodness! What a menu! Studly, who is a breakfast traditionalist, had biscuits and sausage gravy and proclaimed his meal to be perfect. I enjoyed grilled cornbread with a syrupy butter and a side of bacon. We both believe it was the best restaurant meal we’ve had in years. Check out their website:

After we left Willa Jean, finding the interstate was a cinch. I snapped this photo of Louis Armstrong just standing on a corner:

Ok, so Satchmo was only there in statue form, but the city was waking up around him in preparation for the game.

Once on the interstate I took a few random shots. Whatever did I do before I had an iPhone?

I’ll finish up my piece tomorrow with photos of our visit to the USS Alabama. For a low-key birthday, we had a pretty grand time. Thanks for reading! 

Peace, people!

Sanity Box

She’d chosen her own box,
Crystal clear lucite walls;
Sturdy and impermeable.

Easy, she found, to watch
A world come undone from
The confines of the enclosure.

Breathing became difficult,
But over time she found that
Didn’t matter much anymore.

The world irrevocably changed
Safe places now menacing
The monsters made normal.

Thank heaven for the box
Her only wish was that
She’d made it smaller.

Lunch Counter

Excellent piece by Jan Wilberg. What was your click moment?

Red's Wrap

“I’ll need your husband’s social security number.”

“Why? I’m the one paying the bills. My name is on the account.”

“I’ll need his information in order to give you any information. Sorry, that’s the procedure.”

My hatred could fill a football stadium. I hate the woman on the phone, the bank she works for, and my husband. I’m 65. I earn half our income. I have a Ph.D. for Christ’s sake. I am not good enough to access our joint bank account? Her tone, her insistence, throws be back 40 years.

I am singed.

When I was a very young woman and first married, I always had to go to the grocery store with my husband. He was the one with the checking account. He wrote the checks. That’s how it was. Months before, I had jettisoned the name my parents had given me and taken his. I had my…

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Crybaby Trump 


A lot from Lydia

*Warning- this is an editorial containing opinions that may not be your own.

Initially Donald Trump was silent, no comment from his camp on efforts of Green Party candidate Jill Stein to call for a vote recount in three key states. Then the great emperor-elect tweeted his most weathered monosyllabic retorts: “scam” “rigged.” He has also accused Jill Stein of collecting money from donors for the recount under false pretenses- for her own personal financial gain.

The fact is that there is compelling evidence to warrant a re-count:

* In Wisconsin, votes counted electronically consistently resulted in 7% fewer votes for Hillary Clinton than ballots that were optically scanned.

* Stanford studies have proven that electronic voter machines can easily be manipulated.

* Exit poles show Clinton had a lead ranging between 5-6% in key states, yet the results ended with a 5-6% lead for Trump.

Beyond that, Donald Trump…

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Politics: What’s Words With Friends Got To Do With It?

The 2016 election was a soul sucker. It was like carrying a baby for nine months and after 36 hours of labor having the doctor announce, “Congratulations, it’s a full grown rattlesnake!” 

On the one hand, you’re glad it’s all over, while on the other hand you wonder how long it’ll be before your baby delivers the lethal bite. Ah! Good times. 

Thank goodness for diversions like Words With Friends. Currently I have 21 games in progress, and any time there’s a lull in the action I start another one. Right now, I don’t even care if I win or lose. It’s the distraction from current events that counts.

The president-elect names a white supremacist as his chief strategist and senior counselor? I find a way to play a word containing both z and v.

A woman who doesn’t support public schools is named Secretary of Education? No worries, I play “teazles” for 182 points, and I don’t care that I have no idea what it means!*

I hear that Trump is refusing to take security briefings? Ok, I cried, but then I went on to play “equinoxes” and temporarily forgot that we have elected a lightweight to the highest office in the free world.

Reality bites right now. I think I’ll go start another game.

*verb archaic: 


1. raise a nap on (cloth) with or as if with teasels.

Surgical Stories: Strong

Every mother with a daughter should read this piece by my friend, Jan Wilberg.

Red's Wrap

We used to argue about how to fold the towels.

I folded them in half. She folded them in thirds.

Sometimes I’d open the linen closet and all the towels would be refolded in thirds. They were tidier that way and the closet doors would shut without having to force them. Still, it irked me. I was the mother. I wanted control over the towels.

But it’s a flimsy thing to control how the towels are folded. And a foolish thing to make towels a metaphor for everything.

In the hospital, the morning of her heart surgery, she took a stack of towels and a clean hospital gown into the bathroom, unwrapped the antiseptic scrubs and scrubbed her own chest. She was deliberate and thorough, going lighter on the long scar from her previous three heart surgeries, but scrubbing the rest of her chest, not missing even the tiniest spot…

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