Hostess with the Leastest

I used to fantasize endlessly about being the perfect hostess for a holiday soirée. As a young bride I immersed myself in the Christmas catalogs from major retailers like JC Penney, Sears, and Spiegel, picturing myself in the ideal hostess gown, serving cute petit fours from a silver tray, while guests milled about my tastefully decorated home with crystal tumblers filled with tasteful cocktails in their hands.

Indeed, I hadn’t a clue about hosting any kind of elegant gathering. My knowledge of the social graces was limited to what I’d watched on the silver screen: Extended pinkie, napkin on lap. Besides, Studly Doright and I had barely two cents to rub together, and the resources we did have would certainly not have been spent on something as frivolous as a party. But I did a lot of dreaming.

The Hickory Farms catalog was an important part of the fantasy, as well. I received one in the mail today, and that triggered this post.

As a terrible cook, I reasoned that all I’d need to do to insure a picture perfect party was to order the right combination of sausages, cheeses, and spreads from Hickory Farms in order to impress my guests.

Everything they offer looks so festive.

Now that I’m much older and can afford to throw a really elegant event I find I don’t want to; although, part of me still wants to order from Hickory Farms and wear a vintage hostess dress. May I interest you in some hors d’oeuvres?

Am I the only one who did this kind of thing? Please tell me I’m not alone.

Peace, people.

Forest Photo

I had nothing to publish on this Wednesday morning. Sitting in my favorite chair with a cup of peppermint tea in hand, I was stymied. As is the norm these days, the television news was depressing, so I turned off the tv and looked out the windows onto our back yard that slopes down to a small lake.

Seemingly overnight the leaves had overwhelmed the green grass resulting in a carpet of fall colors. Now I’m thinking about putting on a hoody and some boots for some serious leaf crunching. I’m sure Studly Doright would appreciate it if I did some raking while I’m out there, too.

Saving the World

We spent Thanksgiving with Studly Doright’s family in Hereford, Texas. Studly’s mom, Saint Helen, lives on the outskirts of town in a pleasant home with a generously sized backyard. The yard is decorated with a variety of cute gnomes and small plaster animals that have always delighted her great grandchildren.

Our youngest granddaughter, Harper, invited me into her world of make believe in this backyard paradise, telling me that a bad villain had taken over the world and turned all the real gnomes and animals into statues. Only by defeating this villain could we bring the statues back to life.

Five-year-old Harper launched an impressive attack on the villain using a mix of martial arts and boxing, admonishing me to stay out of the fight unless things looked really dark. At one point she staggered back and urged me to enter the fray.

I must say I was something of a whirling dervish, kicking and clawing at this imaginary bad guy. I threw in a few impressive head butts and Harper said, “Nana, you can stop. You won several minutes ago.”

“Harper!” I exclaimed. “We did it! We saved the world!”

In her most serious, matter of fact voice, Harper replied, “Of course we did.”

We then went around the yard waking up all of the animals and watching them reanimate.

“They’re all alive now,” she smiled. “Well, except this one. He’s still headless.”

I guess we didn’t save everyone, but we came so close.

Peace, people.

Tumbling Tumbleweed

I’d forgotten how huge tumbleweeds can be. The one pictured above tumbled into my mother-in-law’s front yard on Thursday morning much to the delight of my grandchildren.

Imagine hitting one of these beauties while navigating the lonely two lane roads in the Texas panhandle. It’s an experience you won’t soon forget.

The tumbleweed is the dried form of Russian thistle, a plant common to the plains states and immortalized in a song by the Sons of the Pioneers. I added a link to the song, below. Enjoy!

Tumbling Tumbleweeds

Sons of the Pioneers

LYRICS

See them tumbling down

Pledging their love to the ground!

Lonely, but free, I’ll be found

Drifting along with the tumbling tumbleweeds

Cares of the past are behind

Nowhere to go, but I’ll find

Just where the trail will wind

Drifting along with the tumblin’ tumbleweeds

I know when night has gone

That a new world’s born at dawn!

I’ll keep rolling along

Deep in my heart is a song

Here on the range I belong

Drifting along with the tumbling tumbleweeds

I know when night has gone

That a new world’s born at dawn!

I’ll keep rolling along

Deep in my heart is a song

Here on the range I belong

Drifting along with the tumbling tumbleweeds

https://youtu.be/_UiSMyyj-Ac

No Waves

Are you happy?

Red's Wrap

Lately I’ve taken to asking people if they’re happy. We’ll be having a pretty normal conversation and I’ll blurt out, “Are you happy?”

I’m not sure why this has become the question du jour.

Today I was having lunch with a friend and he seemed to me to be not happy and so I asked him the question. As it turns out, there was just a part of his life that he wasn’t happy with but the rest was fine. So the job was a headache and unfulfilling but what he did with the rest of his life was okay. Not fabulous, but reliably okay. He didn’t seem exactly taken aback by the question but did have a look that said, “Is this germane to anything?”

Why are you asking me if I’m happy?

A while ago, a therapist who worked with teenagers told me that the most important question…

View original post 379 more words

In Today’s News…

I slept an (almost) uninterrupted twelve hours on Saturday night. Only my cats and my bladder kept me from reaching a state of perfection, but perfect people are so boring.

Studly Doright and I arrived home from our Thanksgiving/birthday celebration late yesterday evening. We’d flown from Amarillo to Orlando, and should have been safely back at Doright Manor around 5 p.m., but staggering holiday traffic and the resulting accidents on I-75 convinced us to travel backroads.

We stopped at a German bakery/delicatessen in Yalaha, Florida, for lunch and then meandered along two lane roads for much of the afternoon. After a couple of hours of aimless driving we declared ourselves lost, so we found a Walmart and purchased a gps.

The cats, Scout and Patches, welcomed us home around eight p.m. with meows and kisses. After quick showers we all snuggled into our bed and went immediately to sleep. There really is no place like home.

You Might Be Studly Doright If….

Studly Doright (aka David Noyes) seemed to enjoy his birthday celebration on Thursday. After an outstanding Thanksgiving feast orchestrated by his mother and sisters, we settled in to fete Studly as he prepares to enter his sixth decade on earth.

First our son, Jason, emceed a game show pitting our five grandchildren against Studly’s four siblings in a quest to see which group knew more about Studly. I’m not sure which team emerged as the winner, but we all got a kick out of the questions and accompanying vintage family photos that served as clues.

(Above, our two oldest grandkids, Garrett and Dominique, discuss their team’s answer.)

Our daughter, Ashley, led us in an activity called, “You might be David Noyes,” in which participants had an opportunity to share humorous recollections about the guest of honor in a format similar to Jeff Foxworthy’s “You might be a redneck.”

The contributed memories had everyone in stitches. I can’t remember many of them; I was laughing too hard. One I shared was, “If you ever tried to claim gravy is a liquid to justify eating it while prepping for a colonoscopy, you might be David Noyes.”

The grandkids got a kick out of these revelations about their Poppa.

(Above, our youngest grandchild, Harper, listens as her Poppa explains one of the many shared stories. She might have been angling for a piece of the birthday cake, as well.)

Afterwards, Studly read cards from family and friends. He got a little emotional at times, declaring this was his best birthday ever.

Thanks to everyone who made it so special.

Peace, people.

A Toast to Studly Doright

We pulled off a surprise yesterday, and I’m still amazed that Studly Doright didn’t know what we were cooking up for him.

Several months ago I began plotting a 60th birthday surprise for my husband. I first called his mom in Texas and asked if it would be okay with her if Studly and I came to her home in Hereford for Thanksgiving. I told her I was hoping our children could make the trip, as well and surprise their dad for his birthday. She might have squealed a little. I took that as a yes, and the planning began.

I texted our daughter who lives in Illinois, and our son who resides in Dallas, crossing my fingers and holding my breath that they could make the trip. Almost instantly I received replies of “Yes!” from each of them, even though it wouldn’t be an easy trip. For my daughter and her husband who are in the middle of moving into a new home, this certainly wasn’t an ideal time to drive all night, with three kids in tow, but they did it. No hesitation. My heart is pretty full right now.

Up until the time Studly saw his children and grandchildren I didn’t think we had succeeded in surprising him. I’d accidentally said too many things over these last few weeks that might’ve given the whole thing away, but the tears in his eyes upon seeing our kids and their kids told me everything.

Today is Thanksgiving, and we’ll enjoy a huge lunch with our family at Saint Helen’s home. We’ll be surrounded by, not only our children and all five of our grandchildren, but Studly’s three sisters, his brother, various nieces and nephews, and in-laws and maybe even some outlaws. We still have a couple of smaller surprises for Studly, but I think he’s already considering this the best birthday ever.

I wrote a little piece of bad poetry to read as we toast his 60 years on earth. Here’s your sneak peak. Hopefully I’ll have some pictures to share tomorrow.

“A Toast for David”

Tall of stature

Short of patience

You’re over the hill

But not yet ancient

They tell me you were

A cute little baby

That’s hard to believe

After 60 years, yet maybe

Your eyes do have a twinkle

And your smile a boyish tilt

You’re still quite a charmer

And live life to the hilt

I’m glad that I found you

In that Piggly Wiggly store

Here’s to you turning 60

And here’s to many, many more.

Night in the Airport

Studly Doright and I traveled to Amarillo, Texas, on Tuesday to spend Thanksgiving with his mom and his siblings in the Texas panhandle. We elected to fly out of Orlando, a four hour drive from Doright Manor, because every other option was outrageously expensive.

I’d always wanted to stay at the Hyatt Regency inside the Orlando airport and with a 6:55 a.m. flight, this seemed like the perfect opportunity to do just that. I made the suggestion to Studly, and he thought it was a great idea. We could sleep a little bit later, and walk a mere 100 yards from our room to the airlines’ check-in kiosk.

There was an element of excitement to staying inside the airport overnight. I’d read the book, From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, when I was a kid, and this experience reminded me of how the characters hid in bathroom stalls inside a museum, emerging only after the museum had closed for the night. The characters found places to sleep among the exhibits and took baths in the fountain. For some reason Studly wouldn’t let me do either of those things.

There were a few folks who were stranded due to delayed flights and were sprawled out on chairs and benches in vain attempts to catch a few zzzzz’s, but for the most part we had the terminal to ourselves.

(This guy encased in the plexiglass cubicle above isn’t real. At least we never caught him moving.)

Our room was comfortable and amazingly quiet nestled as it is inside one of the busiest airports in the country. I’d definitely stay at the Hyatt at the Orlando International Airport on a future trip. Maybe Studly will indulge my desire to bathe in a fountain. Or not.

(I’m writing this late on Tuesday night and I’m pooped! We got up at 4:40 a.m. eastern time to check in for our flight, and I’m about to go to bed at 8:30 central. Sorry for any poor grammar and nonsensical sentences. I’ll try to do better tomorrow.)

Peace, people!