It Happened One Sticky Afternoon

A few days ago I read a hilarious post by a blogging friend. Here’s the link for her “I May Have Clothestraphobia” post:

Reading the blogs of others is one of my favorite things, not only because they make me cry, or laugh, or think, but because they often remind me of events in my own life that might be blog worthy. Ellen’s post above took me back to a bout of “clothestraphobia” of my own.

There was a time when I was very slender. Indeed, I was Twiggy before there was a Twiggy. Well, I wasn’t that cute, and I had no major modeling contracts, but otherwise, we could’ve been twins. Maybe not, but trust me, I was skinny.

I’m fairly sure this is Twiggy, but it could’ve been me.

Then I had two children two years apart, and I wasn’t so skinny anymore, but part of me still thought, and to this day still somehow believes, that I was/am skinny. I have a really bad case of backwards body dysmorphia that often affects my choices in clothing.

When our kids were in elementary school and junior high Studly Doright and I were heavily involved in their youth activities. We coached both in various sports, but mainly focused on coaching Little League softball and baseball. On some summer evenings we’d barely see each other as we’d run in from our respective jobs, and change clothes before running back out the door to take our daughter and/or son to practice or a game. On top of that, Studly coached an older girls’ softball team that our daughter wasn’t even old enough to play on. We were busy and having a blast.

“Now what does all that have to do with your clothestraphobia?” you might ask. I’ll tell you.

On one hot, sticky summer afternoon I hurried home to change clothes so I could be at our son’s baseball game. Studly had called me at work saying he’d be late, so I needed to be at the field within the next 30 minutes to get the lineups ready and corral the kids. He promised he’d be there before the umpire called “Play Ball!”

No problem. We lived in a small town and I had plenty of time to change, pick up the kids from the sitter, and get the ball rolling at the ball field. I hurried to the bedroom, discarding my button down top as I went. Halfway done, I now only had to take off the matching pull-on skirt. I loved this set. It was light blue with little flecks and the full skirt made me feel so feminine. So the waist might’ve been a little snug, (I still thought I was skinny, you know), but the skirt had deep pockets. I adore skirts with deep pockets.

Remember I mentioned that the day was hot and sticky. We did live in the Texas panhandle, after all. And also recall that I said the skirt was of the pull-on variety. There was no zipper, just a fixed waistband with a tiny bit of elastic on each side.

I first attempted to step out of the skirt, but it refused to go over my hips. Hmmm. Hadn’t I stepped into it just that morning? Maybe not. I scootched it up in an attempt to pull the skirt over my chest, but it wasn’t having that either. Perhaps, I thought, I could lower it a bit and get one arm inside the waistband. By this time I was perspiring profusely as I watched my time slip away.

There was no way my arm was fitting inside the now constricting waistband, but I did manage to get one breast out so now the whole shebang was hanging lopsided, and I couldn’t get it to move up or down. Now I couldn’t even consider just wearing the damned skirt to the game. I did the only thing I could think of with time running out. I fetched the scissors and awkwardly cut myself out of the skirt.

I cried as I did so, but I sacrificed the skirt I loved to be at my child’s baseball game. Statues may never be erected in my honor, but I took one for the team that day. I’ll bet Twiggy never did that.

Peace, people.

Social Caterpillar

Last week I found myself attending social events on three consecutive evenings. I haven’t been out that many nights in a row since I was a busy mom driving kids to and from various activities. And don’t tell them, but this past week was (marginally) more fun. I’m not quite a social butterfly yet, but I am a fun-loving caterpillar.

On Wednesday I went to a group painting activity at Painting With a Twist in Tallahassee. Thursday evening I saw Train at Cascades Park. Then on Friday I attended an art show at Florida State University’s Museum of Fine Arts.

One of the women I’ve met through the Tallahassee Women’s Meetup group had a piece selected for the show, and I went to support her.

That’s Martha M. Lord, below, with her oil painting, Spring Haven. The painting was displayed incorrectly. It should have been rotated 90° to the left, and my photo doesn’t do it justice. These manatees make me happy.

I wandered around the event like I knew what I was doing, admiring art, oohing over some pieces, looking bemused at others.

Below, No Bee=No We by Rita Barker.

Magnolia by Charlie O’Toole

Boots on the Ground by Judy Lipman Schecter

I didn’t get artists’ names on these, but they all caught my unpracticed eye.

The evening was fun. I didn’t turn into a butterfly, but I think it might be time to spin my chrysalis.


Take Heart

Hand-written notes are a rarity these days. People text or tweet, hit the send button, and voila! Instant delivery. I’m guilty of choosing the path of least resistance myself even while I value the art of a beautifully executed note.

One day last week I was walking between shops in northeast Tallahassee when I spotted a folded slip of paper on the sidewalk. (I marked it up to protect the recipient’s privacy.)

Intrigued I picked the paper up and looked around. No one was near me, so I opened the note. You’d have done the same, right?

Ignore the questionable spelling and the substitutions of “U” for “you” and “2” for “to”. This is an encouraging note. I’d have been pleased to have received such a missive.

My friend Flo in Tennessee writes great notes. She finds humorous cards and sends along her thoughts in lovely cursive.

My friend, Lila, also has a knack for notes:

While writing this post I realized that I have saved two huge files filled solely with hand written notes! Some are silly, some sweet, some outrageous. As I went through them I realized they’d fill up a binder. I think I just found a project for this year. I might need to stock up on tissues, though. Tears might be shed.

Peace, people.

No Sympathy for the Devil. Evil Doesn’t Deserve Civility.


Drifting Through


You seem really angry.

It wasn’t really a statement. Or a question. It was an accusation. It was two days after the election. Two days after we elected an openly racist man who bragged about sexually assaulting women. My anger had apparently ruffled my acquaintance.

Yeah. I was angry. Livid. Sad. Terrified.

But I didn’t say any of that. I offered a smile. I tilted my head and I placated and soothed. My voice curled around words that I didn’t mean. My head screamed at him in anger Why are you NOT angry?

My soft voice and my traitorous smile were on autopilot. I blame my conditioning, but that’s really just a cop out.

We were raised on polite and nice. The Golden Rule and “how do you do’s.” We were taught that politics and religion should never be discussed in polite company.

Our politics are shrouded in coded language. Abuses are minimized…

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There have been times in our almost forty-two years of marriage when Studly Doright and I have had less than two cents to rub together. I’m talking dead broke with no relief in sight. And still life went on. Somehow we worked through those bleakest days. Even in the worst of times there was fun. Studly could take rain and turn it into sunshine while I was still bemoaning the lack of an umbrella.

We were reminiscing this weekend about a trip we’d taken with our two kids to Texas for our niece, Christie’s graduation from high school. We were living in North Dakota at the time, so the journey was not one to be taken lightly. And while things had begun looking up for us money-wise, we were still a long way from having much in the way of disposable income.

The family celebrations in Texas were wonderful and we began our journey back to North Dakota feeling renewed by all of the love our kinfolk poured onto us during our all too brief visit. And while we’d carefully budgeted our travel money, when we reached the halfway point we realized we were down to $20. We could either buy food and sleep in the car or get a really cheap (crusty) hotel room. And, by the way, we still needed money for gas. Things looked a bit bleak.

This was in the days before ATM cards, and most establishments were leery about cashing checks drawn on out of state banks. Studly, though, decided to give it a go. He bypassed a row of hotels before pulling up in front of a La Quinta Inn in Omaha, Nebraska. I kept my fingers crossed while he went inside to test his luck. When he returned he had a bemused look on his face.

“What?” I asked. “Would they not accept a check?”

“Well,” Studly grinned. “The desk clerk looked at my check and said, ‘Are you related to Bob Noyes?’ I told him Bob was my uncle and the clerk told me that of course I could write a check. When I asked if I could write it for extra cash, he gave it a thumbs up.”

“What? Why?” I asked.

“Apparently Bob Noyes is a senior vice-president of La Quinta Inns.”

“But that’s not YOUR Uncle Bob!” I protested.

“He only asked if Bob Noyes was my uncle. Do I have an uncle named Bob Noyes?

I had to admit he did.

So thanks to an angel at La Quinta Inn in Omaha and a bit of serendipity we stayed in a nice, safe room for the night and had money for food and enough gas to return to our home in Linton, North Dakota. Travel mercies are a real thing, y’all.

Peace, people.

Snapshot #201

Usually my snapshot blog posts are of pretty things: flowers, pajamas, winged insects, etc. Today’s offering, though, is just gross.

See that mucus-y blob on my rear view mirror? I’m calling this one, “Look! A Loogie!”

The great glob of spit wasn’t there when I locked my car and went into a Walmart in Tallahassee, but it was gleaming at me when I returned with my purchases. I’m fairly certain the culprit was the man who was parked next to me and gave me a withering look that was perhaps prompted by my T-shirt:

I guess he’s just not ready to give peace a chance.

Peace, people.


On Saturday I drove into Tallahassee in order to stay out of Studly Doright’s hair. Since he can’t play golf right now due to a recent back surgery, he’s embarked on a series of projects that I’m not adept at taking part in, such as cleaning the carburetor and spray painting the frame of a PW 80 Yamaha he’s fixing up for our grandkids.

I tend to be something of a bull in a china closet when working in the shop. Parts break, stuff gets lost, paint goes everywhere except where it should. Studly is patient, but after so many goof ups he shoos me into a corner.

My escape from Doright Manor took me to Target where I wandered the aisles picking up items on a shopping list. I made goofy faces at little kids and chatted with their moms, sniffed scented candles and hefted different styles of bookends.

I created backstories for people I encountered–the woman dressed in all black was in the federal witness protection program, the elderly gentleman wearing old-style khakis and a button down shirt had made millions in the stock market only to lose it all in the last recession. His gold digging trophy wife had left him for a still wealthy man, only to return because the sex was so damned good.

My imaginings were disrupted by a crash followed immediately by a harried father of three sternly reprimanding the oldest of his children.

“Isabelle, what did you do?”

Isabelle, who appeared to be six, or thereabouts, said, “The boogie boards just fell over.”

“Did you have anything to do with the boogie boards falling over?”

“Maybe, Daddy, but they were stacked so deceptively.”

The dad and I made eye contact. Neither of us laughed; although, it was a near thing. He’s going to have his hands full with Isabelle.

I wandered a bit more before returning to Doright Manor. Thanks to Isabelle I have a new excuse for my klutziness.

Peace, people.

Trump’s Three Ring Circus

From one of my favorite bloggers.

A lot from Lydia

Where to look…

Ring 1—

They’re Taking Away Our Social Services TODAY:

The Republican majority just voted to pass the House 2019 budget, rejecting every amendment offered by Democrats. This is, in part, to cover the $15 trillion added to the federal deficit with the GOP Tax Cut for the wealthy, and corporate America.

The GOP House worked tirelessly, behind the scenes, to pass their budget, out of committee:

  • Ending SNAP, The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program for 1.5 million veterans and 23,000 active duty households who rely on food stamp benefits.
  • Issuing a fast track repeal of the Affordable Care Act, bringing back the pre-existing condition.
  • Cutting $2 TRILLION from Medicare and Medicaid.

The Center Ring—

They do not plan to stop taking children:

The main spectacle we are witnessing comes in the form of human rights violations, targeting children, devised by Stephan Miller, taking place under the supervision of…

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