Peaceful Snapshots from Panama City

Studly Doright and I enjoyed a quiet dinner at Uncle Ernie’s on the bay near Panama City, Florida, on Sunday evening. We were celebrating our anniversary a day early while awaiting our Texas grandkids’ arrival at the local airport. I took just a few photos at the restaurant, knowing I’d be in need of blog fodder this week.

What is it about the coast and surrounding area that makes me so happy? Wish I could bottle the feeling.

The kids made it just fine; although, their plane was delayed a bit. I might have been worried before I saw their sweet faces appear in the baggage claim area. Now, we’re thoroughly enjoying the giggles and general hilarity. Today we’re going to Wakulla Springs for a gator safari. Good times!

Peace, people.

38 Reasons Why, Plus 4 More

July 30, 2018, marks the 42nd anniversary of the day Studly Doright and I were married. We said our “I do’s” in a small Baptist Church in Dumas, Texas, where we were surrounded by family and friends. Our exciting honeymoon was a long weekend spent in Amarillo, Texas, a whopping 45 miles from Dumas.

Most of those friends and family didn’t expect that we’d remain married a year, let alone 42 years, after all, we were just barely adults. Yet here we are, more than four decades into this experiment called marriage. We’ve had some outstanding moments of couplehood and some really rotten times, as well. We’ve managed to survive through a lot of hard work, love, and forgiveness.

Four years ago on this date I published a piece titled “38 Reasons Why” in tribute to Studly. I even followed it up with a piece the next year. But today I give you 42 reasons why I love this man, and how we’ve made this whole marriage thing work.

1. He thinks I’m smart.

2. His sense of humor. It’s corny and quick and keeps me on my toes.

3. He’s a great mechanic. That ability has been ridiculously valuable throughout our 38 years together. No matter how broke we were we’ve always had reliable transportation.

4. He is handsome. Much better looking than I deserve.

5. He’s honest in his dealings with others. His golf buddies refer to him as the Boy Scout. He never cheats. Never.

6. He can admit when he’s wrong.

7. He isn’t afraid to show emotion.

8. He loves our kids fiercely.

9. The grand kids have compared him to a jungle gym. And he would do anything in his power to make them happy.

10. He is loyal, sometimes to a fault.

11. He treats his mother like a queen.

12. He is generous and big-hearted.

13. His laugh. Oh, wow, his laugh. Sitting through a funny movie with Studly is one of the best mood lifters in the world. I highly recommend it.

14. He is a really good kisser.

15. He is an incredible leader.

16. Have I mentioned how smart he is?

17. He will dance with me if he has had enough to drink.

18. He is a good driver.

19. He taught me to ride a motorcycle without wringing my neck.

20. He likes to hold hands.

21. He does everything in his power to make sure I’m happy.

22. Studly loves our cats as much as I do.

23. He is consistent. That might sound boring, but he’s the perfect counterpoint to my Inconsistency.

24. Punctuality is important to him.

25. He makes kick ass obstacle courses.

26. He is a decent amateur auctioneer for our family reunion fund raisers. What he lacks in speed he makes up for in witty repartee.

27. He is really good at mental math. I never need a calculator when he’s around.

28. My parents loved him.

29. He insisted that Daddy move in with us so we could care for him after Mom passed away. The two years we had with Dad before he died were some of the best of our lives.

30. He never lets me take myself too seriously.

31. He doesn’t worry.

32. He respects my opinion and listens to my points of view.

33. He sees me as an equal partner in our marriage.

34. He can cook much better than I can.

35. He can laugh at himself.

36. Studly has a stellar work ethic.

37. He knows how to enjoy life.

38. And, he loves me. He really, really loves me.

39. No matter how crazy his work becomes, he seldom brings it home.

40. He’s taken me places outside of his comfort zone because he knows how much I love to travel.

41. Studly supports my need for adventure even when he doesn’t want to join in.

42. He can still surprise me even after all these years together.

I made it! Truth is I could’ve gone on, but I probably lost most of my readers half way through. That’s ok. This one’s for my husband.

Peace, People.

Stitch Fix Trial Run

One of my favorite bloggers, “LA” at http://wakinguponthewrongsideof50.wordpress.com has repeatedly sung the praises of the styling company, Stitch Fix. I don’t know LA personally, but she seems smart and extremely organized, so I pay attention to her recommendations.

I’d read the Stitch Fix ads on Facebook for months, and had even gone so far as to complete their questionnaire, but couldn’t quite bring myself to submit the form. That is until a week or so ago when the need for something new and adventurous hit me like a sledgehammer.

Once I’d tapped the order button I became excited about the impending arrival of new clothes. It’d be like opening one of those grab bags in the old days where you didn’t know what you’d bought until you got home. Only in this case, I’d only be paying for the items I wanted to keep. I felt like Christmas was approaching.

My box arrived on Saturday:

Studly was out having lunch with his golf group, so I tore the box open, stripped down in the middle of my kitchen, and started trying stuff on. Don’t worry, I won’t share any of the those photos!

Here’s what I received:

A great, and I mean really great pair of Warp + Weft jeans. They’re a perfect length, and they fit as if they were made just for me. Definitely a keeper.

This adorable button down by Kut From The Kluth:

An interesting shirt dress from DM Collection:

The dress fit me, but I don’t wear dresses often (as in once a year), and the pattern is a bit busy for my taste. I probably won’t keep it, but I’ll see what Studly thinks first.

Then there was this V Neck knit top from Market & Spruce. It’s a green-hued grey, and I think it might be a bit muddy for my complexion. It looks a lot better on my frame than on the hanger.

The top above would be great for Tallahassee’s mild winters, though. It might make the list of keepers.

Finally, the box included a cute necklace from Marlyn Schiff:

I’m on the fence about it simply because I own dozens of necklaces, but I tend to wear the one I purchased in Ireland every single day. Chances are it would spend many more days inside my jewelry box than around my neck.

Purchased separately the items would cost $362.00, but if I bought the whole lot I’d get a 25% discount, bringing the total to $271.50. I’d already paid a styling fee of $20.00 which is deducted from the total bringing my cost to $251.50.

Studly came home as I was writing this. He liked everything except the dress, concurring with my assessment of the “busyness” of the print. So, the dress and the necklace will go back and I’ll have two great new tops and a pair of jeans I already love for about $210.

I’ll provide feedback to the Stitch Fix folks on the items I’m returning, so the stylist can adjust my profile for future shipments. Overall, this was a fun experience. I needed some fun right now.

Peace, people!

The Grandkids are Coming! The Grandkids are Coming!

Studly Doright and I have been getting Doright Manor ready to withstand a visit from our Texas grandkids, Dominique and Jackson. The two, along with one of their friends, are flying in to Panama City Beach on Sunday evening to stay with us in Havana for a week. The guest rooms and baths are ready, the cupboards are full, and the refrigerator is stocked with Jackson’s favorite root beer.

Each year when the kids visit, Studly, who goes by “Poppa” around the grands, has motorcycles ready to work on and ride. I usually take the kids to a water park. However, Jackson broke his foot at the beginning of the summer and will still be in a cast. We might have to get a bit more creative with our activities this year.

Arts and crafts, anyone?

Regardless of what we do, we’ll have fun. I’ll post something if I have the energy!

Peace, people!

WHAT KIND OF PEOPLE?

What kind of people? Great piece by alotfromlydia.wordpress.com

A lot from Lydia

WHAT KIND OF PEOPLE:

Allow their government to reverse the environmental regulations that protect food, air, and water?

WHAT KIND OF PEOPLE:

Take healthcare from the sick, food from the hungry, and shelter from the elderly?

WHAT KIND OF PEOPLE:

Take money from the poor to give more to those who already hoard half the worlds wealth?

WHAT KIND OF PEOPLE:

Accept racism, and dictators?

WHAT KIND OF PEOPLE:

Think it’s fine to spend: For $70 million in tax dollars so an illegitimate president golf, another $70 million for said potus to vacation, another $30 million for a military parade, $12 billion in tax dollars to be spent as an emergency bail out for farmers who suffer under his ignorant tariffs, $70 billion to build a Wall, $233 million to separate immigrant parents from their children?

WHAT KIND OF PEOPLE:

Take babies from their parents without feeling any kind of…

View original post 150 more words

Caffeine-free Me

On May 2nd of this year I came down with some malady that rendered me miserable. I awakened in the middle of the night with a fever and chills, and for four weeks I suffered from the kind of bloating, gas, and diarrhea I can only refer to as “Shock and Ewww!!!”

We still aren’t completely sure what was going on; although, the doctor I finally was able to see concurred with my self-diagnosis of diverticulitis. I’ve had a few tests done, and none of the them were conclusive. And now at the end of July, I’m still dealing with a few digestive issues. There’s nothing too awful going on, but to use a favorite euphemism, I always feel like I need to drop a kid off at the pool. 🤭

This illness hasn’t been all bad. I’ve radically changed my diet, doing away with caffeinated drinks and cutting way down on alcohol. Since May 2, I might’ve had three glasses of wine and a couple of beers. I’ve also cut out carbonated drinks and spicy foods. I do miss my Mexican foods and diet Dr. Peppers most of all. I’ve lost 14 lbs., and other than the above mentioned symptoms, I feel good. Being caffeine-free means I’m sleeping better and I have fewer headaches, too.

We aren’t totally through trying to get to the bottom of the problem. Once this summer is behind us, I’ll make an appointment with a gastroenterologist and see if he/she can make heads or tails of my situation. I count three puns in this paragraph. That might be a new record for me.

I didn’t create the meme pictured below. The lack of an apostrophe in “its” really bugs me, but the photo cracked me up.

A Little Beach Music

“Besides,” she said, out of the blue, “We have nothing to gain now, yet nothing more to lose.

So take my hand, no, this one. Hoist me up from my place in the sand.”

Together they eyed the waves, sidelong glances at one another

Wedged between sighs masquerading as cogent thoughts. Neither had the means,

Nor the answers. “Will you love me still once this is done?” He asked.

“What makes you think I love you now?” She replied, as the gulls wheeled over head.

https://youtu.be/hu-bXvuPm7c

Do My Eyes Deceive Me, or is it Trump?

The latest from alotfromlydia.wordpress.com. I love how she cuts through the b.s.

A lot from Lydia

“Just remember, what you’re seeing and what you’re reading is not what’s happening” ~ Donald Trump, 7/24/18

•~~~~~~~~~~~•

“The party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command. ” ~ 1984 George Orwell

1. What you are seeing: A President named Donald Trump.

What’s really happening: Hillary Clinton was elected by a vast majority of Americans to be POTUS 45, but Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump, and his team, hacked into our voting system, manipulated the outcome in key states thereby giving Trump the win by way of the electoral college. Exit polls did not correlate with the tally. They stole the presidency.

2. What’s happening: Rudy Giuliani tells us Donald Trump’s comments on tape are “exculpatory”, prove his innocence, because in them Trump tells his attorney Michael Cohen to write a check in order to preserve proper documentation of a…

View original post 540 more words

Your Handy Dandy Guide to Propaganda

Americans are fairly naive when it comes to propaganda. Oh, we know that advertisers employ techniques that make us want or even “need” certain products, and many of us recognize the moves that politicians use to gain our support, but when matched up against the Russian propaganda machine we are дети. Babies.

As Americans, we don’t like to admit that we aren’t number one in every category, even though we never really were, despite popular myths to the contrary. That doesn’t mean we aren’t still a great nation, it just means that the world has many bright spots. Thank goodness!

In the arena of generating political propaganda we lag far behind Russia and always have. I have to think that’s why we are so susceptible to it, as well. We have to become better informed.

I’m no militant. I’m a 61-year-old grandmother who does not want to see the country she loves fall under the spell of soulless oligarchs. Don’t fall for the “bandwagon” techniques being promulgated by the Russian-backed #WalkAway campaign. Don’t be a tool.

Here’s a handy guide to propaganda techniques. I learned about these in a high school English class, and I thought everyone knew about them. Apparently not.

https://marketingwit.com/types-of-propaganda-techniques

Peace, people, and don’t be swayed by propaganda.

We Aren’t Walking Away

America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves. Abraham Lincoln

My feelings about Donald Trump are no secret. He is not a competent president, and each day since his election has brought some new concern. The latest is his all caps (so you know he’s yelling, I suppose) tweet to the president of Iran:

To Iranian President Rouhani: NEVER, EVER THREATEN THE UNITED STATES AGAIN OR YOU WILL SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE. WE ARE NO LONGER A COUNTRY THAT WILL STAND FOR YOUR DEMENTED WORDS OF VIOLENCE & DEATH. BE CAUTIOUS!

What a guy, eh? It’s not enough that trump is in Putin’s back pocket, but now he’s threatening Iran with what appears to be nuclear retribution. Isn’t the way he plays with human lives just adorable?

When I responded to the tweet expressing my displeasure one of his minions suggested I read the “#WalkAway” testimonials, saying that soon I’d be the only one left supporting the Democratic Party.

Apparently no one had told this poor lady that #WalkAway is just one more attempt by Russian bots to weaken morale among progressives. Seriously, I don’t know any true progressive voters who believe this crap, but the fact that some on the conservative side do is telling.

Here’s an example of a #WalkAway meme.

And here’s the Shutterstock photo the man’s image came from:

Here’s another example:

And the Shutterstock photo:

For the record, true progressives aren’t walking away from the Democratic Party. Most of us aren’t for open borders or illegal immigration. We might have our differences, but trump isn’t seen by any of us as a palatable solution. We’ll fight back, we’ll resist, we’ll argue amongst ourselves, but we won’t walk away.

I like the hashtag started by a group of young people who are campaigning for common sense gun reform. It’s #WalkTogether. Now that’s something I can get behind. Or better, beside.

Peace, people.