Good Morning from Houston

It’s Saturday morning, and a fine one as far as I can tell. My daughter and I arrived at my brother’s home in Houston within minutes of each other around five on Friday. She flew in from Des Moines, Iowa, while I drove from Florida and, voila! Here we are.

For a good twenty minutes yesterday I wasn’t sure I was going to get here at all. My gps took me on some rabbit chasing adventure just outside of Beaumont, Texas, and soon I was bouncing along on backroads, some covered in gravel, some partially barricaded, and one completely blocked to traffic. It was obvious that the gps had lost its freaking mind and that I would most likely die alone at the end of this middle of nowhere dirt lane.

I sat and thought for a few minutes then realized I needed to backtrack and just find the damned interstate again. No need to get all melodramatic; although, part of me wondered what future archaeologists might conclude when they found my skeleton sitting upright in my Mazda hundreds or even thousands of years from now.

“Probably senile. Right age. Car had evidence consisting of junk food wrappers and plastic cups that once most likely contained diet Coke. I guess she didn’t remember her Mazda had a reverse gear. Poor girl.”

As I backtracked I realized that the gps had most likely tried to help me avoid some traffic issue on the interstate and didn’t factor in that roads around Beaumont, like the one it directed me to, had been seriously impacted by the flooding that accompanied last year’s hurricanes. Guardrails were warped and in some places lay mangled on both sides of the road, and there were places so degraded that I couldn’t drive on the correct side of the road without endangering my safety. Intense!

When I finally made it back to an entrance ramp for I-10 West, I breathed a sigh of relief and completed the rest of my journey without incident. I hugged my daughter and my brother and my sister-in-law, then we went out for drinks and dinner and more drinks and had just a wonderful evening dining alfresco in one of the best cities in the world.

I slept like a drunken sailor and am now up and ready to continue my journey, as my daughter, Ashley and I drive to San Antonio for the NCAA men’s Final Four basketball tournament starting tonight! Just to be safe, I’m putting Ashley in charge of navigation.

Peace, people!

The Road to the Final Four

If you’re expecting a recap of the college basketball season, forget about it. I’m just checking in to say I successfully navigated through torrential rains and horrendous road construction on my journey to San Antonio to attend the men’s NCAA college basketball tournament that begins on Saturday. I feel like the driving conditions should be charged with a flagrant foul or two. Maybe a technical. It was a brutal day of driving.

Before the bad stuff happened, Studly and I met friends from Illinois for a late lunch in Destin, FL, where they’ve been enjoying spring break, then I began my drive westward, and Studly returned home to Doright Manor.

I’m writing from my hotel room somewhere in Mississippi. Dinner was a grilled cheese sandwich from the kids’ menu in the hotel’s restaurant and a Guinness. Is that classy or what?

My daughter is flying in to Houston from Illinois, and then she and I will meet up at my brother’s home. He and his sweet wife have invited us to spend the night with them in Houston before we push on to San Antonio on Saturday morning.

Now I’m just trying to unwind and to keep my verb tenses straight. I wrote this on Thursday night, but won’t publish until Friday, so I kept getting confused. Another flagrant foul. (I always want to call it a fragrant foul. Doesn’t that sound more pleasant? Or maybe contradictory.)

I would apologize for the randomness of this post, but I’m too tired. ‘Night all.

Peace, people.

Quick Studly Update

Our day at the pain management clinic yesterday didn’t go quite the way we planned. For those who aren’t regular followers of my blog, my husband, Studly Doright, has been battling severe sciatic pain for nearly a month now. He hasn’t been able to sleep and his appetite is out of whack. He’s not been a happy camper and to paraphrase a popular saying, if Studly ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.

He’d gotten to see a highly regarded neurosurgeon on Monday who recommended that Studly give the pain management route a try before resorting to the surgical option, and subsequently scheduled an appointment for Studly with his colleagues in that office. Both Studly and I thought that he’d be getting an injection at the pain management appointment on Wednesday morning.

Wrong. It was merely a consultation. I thought I might cry when the pain management doc said he’d be able to schedule an appointment for next week. But my Studly wasn’t going to be put off that easily. He asked what it would take to push the procedure through on that day.

It didn’t look promising. There were insurance pre-approvals to consider as well as scheduling issues. It seemed impossible, but Studly convinced them to try. Lo and behold the surgical center had a cancellation for that afternoon, leaving a spot open. But they still didn’t think the insurance pre-approval could happen. Studly said it didn’t matter. He wanted to proceed regardless.

So at three yesterday afternoon Studly went in for a minor procedure that lasted approximately 10 minutes and has already offered relief; although, he’s been cautioned not to expect the full effects of the procedure to kick in for another few days. Oh, and miracle of miracles, the insurance company approved the procedure. Unheard of!

As I typed this yesterday evening, he was in bed snoring happily. That was the best part of the day. I never thought his snores could sound so sweet. Thanks for listening to our saga. I needed to write it even if it’s not the most spine-tingling story.

Peace, people.

Back to Studly

Today we hope Studly Doright gets some relief from his agonizing sciatic pain. It’s been 24 days now since he’s gotten more than 30 minutes of sleep at a time.

Studly is a man’s man, but when he’s in pain, all bets are off. After both of his knee replacement surgeries I was ready to trade him in for a less abrasive model. It didn’t help that he had a persecution complex and severe paranoia brought on by the pain meds he was on. He accused me of posting his post-surgical photos on Facebook! I promise, I never even considered doing such a thing. Well, it might’ve crossed my mind, but I wouldn’t have done it without his permission. They were seriously grotesque.

I’ve been pleasantly surprised that he’s kept his sense of humor and his sunny disposition throughout this whole sciatica ordeal. He hasn’t taken a day off work even when I thought he should have, and he’s cracked a few jokes during even his worst moments. Some of the jokes might have been amusing, so I laughed just in case.

But today, we see a pain management specialist. Hoping our prayers will be answered because, all kidding aside, I hate seeing my Studly Doright in pain. He’s my rock, you know. Positive vibes appreciated.

Peace, people.

Are the Planets Aligning or Am I Just Tired?

Yesterday I wrote about getting tickets to the NCAA Final Four basketball tournament in San Antonio, TX. It was an impulsive buy, and I suffered some angst once I realized that I now had to plan a quick trip to San Antonio and find someone to attend the tournament with me.

My husband, Studly Doright, bought the tickets for me even though he knew his sciatic nerve wouldn’t allow him to drive 26 hours round trip, sleep four nights in hotel beds, and navigate the crowds at the Alamo Dome where the tournament will take place. He’s a helluva guy.

Our son lives in Dallas, not terribly far from San Antonio, and he’s a University of Kansas grad, so we called him immediately upon getting the tickets. He had already made some important plans for the upcoming weekend, so he was out. I was bummed. I didn’t sleep much on Sunday night wondering if I should even keep the tickets.

Then a couple of things happened. On Monday morning my brother in Houston encouraged me to come and stay with him and his wife on my way to San Antonio. I couldn’t say no to that.

And then my daughter in Illinois, who also studied at KU and is a die hard Jayhawks fan, texted me that she thought she could get relatively inexpensive plane tickets to Houston for the long weekend. She’d fly in there, Uber to my brother’s home, and drive to San Antonio with me for the tournament! I’ll drop her off at the airport on my way through Houston on Tuesday morning. And voila! I never dreamed she’d be able to enjoy this event with me, and I couldn’t be more excited.

All of a sudden my angst disappeared. The planets seem to be aligning because I slept like a rock last night. Either that, or I’m just exhausted from lack of sleep. Rock chalk, Jayhawks, baby! It’s on!

March Minimalist Challenge, Day 27

Today I’m performing a panty purge. A pile of 27 panties for your perusal, plucked from the pleasantly perfumed place reserved for some pretty, but mostly plain, underpants. Perhaps I should keep the pink pairs? Nope. They won’t stay put on my patootie.

Bon voyage, my pretties. Rest in peace.

Speaking of peace, practice it, people.

March Minimalist Challenge, Day 26

On day 26 of March I give you a gathering of glassware, for the most part, along with your garden variety magazine and a great big package of Jamaican coffee, long expired, never opened. The glassware is going to Goodwill, in the box provided above, while the remainder will be graduating to either recycling or the garbage bin. Goodbye.

Peace, people!

Impulsivity Bites

I tend to be impulsive. Scratch that. I tend to say impulsive things:

“Ooh! I NEED that (insert item here)!”

“Hey! Let’s buy that (insert item here)!”

“Honey! Quick! Tell them we want those (insert items here)!”

And I’m either lucky or unlucky enough to have a husband who caters to my impulsivity.

Last night as we watched the Kansas Jayhawks advance to the Final Four in NCAA basketball with an overtime win over Duke, Studly Doright received a text from a friend in Indiana, a Purdue fan who jokingly said something to the effect of, “Hey, do you want our tickets to the final four? We won’t be using them.”

Studly read the text to me and impulsively I said, “Yes!” I never dreamed he’d follow through. Well, maybe I did, but part of me still thought we were kidding around.

Now I find myself with two tickets to the Final Four in San Antonio, Texas. David’s back isn’t going to let him go, and our son, a university of Kansas grad who lives in Texas most likely won’t be able to join me due to previously scheduled engagements.

I tossed and turned all night, cursing my impulsive nature. My cats gave up trying to sleep with me, (I’m in the guest room these nights in an attempt to give Studly an opportunity to rest, poor guy) and they abandoned me for calmer locations.

But part of me is so excited. Attending any Final Four tourney is one of my bucket list items, and with the Jayhawks still in the tourney it’s too sweet to even contemplate. I just wish my Studly was going with me.

Peace, people.

March Minimalist Challenge, Day 25

I only offer odds and ends, a few of which I’d be hard pressed to identify on this 25th day of the minimalist challenge:

In actuality, I’m offering items in addition to the required 25, for inside the clear cellophane packages are plastic cutlery and a couple of condiments encased in paper.

One of my kitchen drawers is close to being clutter-free! “Just the Necessities” is becoming my motto. Well, that, and “Enjoy Dessert.”

Peace, people!

March for Our Lives in Tallahassee

On Saturday I joined more than 2,500 people marching for common sense gun control in Tallahassee, FL. We gathered in front of Ruby Diamond Concert Hall and marched to the steps of the historic state Capitol building where more supporters awaited.

Young and old, we chanted for the entire length of the route. When one lead voice failed, another took up the chant. I cried more than once.

My back has been out of sorts lately, and I came close to staying home. In the end I said, “Screw it; I’m doing this.” Sometimes I make really great decisions. This was one of those times.

Peace, people.