Stacked Cats

My cats, Scout and Patches, can barely tolerate one another. Generally, if Scout is in the living room, Patches will be in one of the bedrooms. If Patches is napping on the back porch, Scout will be curled up on our bed. Seldom will they arrange themselves in such close proximity that I can fit them into one photograph.

But today, I looked up from my book to see this tableau:

That’s Patches above and Scout below.

This could be an omen. Forget chakras, don’t consult your horoscopes. Whether for good or for evil, the cats have aligned.

(No cats were harmed in the writing of this post.)

Peace, people!


Okay, this isn’t the best photography, but I couldn’t resist trying to get a picture of a small hawk I saw outside my window yesterday afternoon. He blended so well with his surroundings that I kept losing him among the trees.

The rains came soon after I took the picture and didn’t let up until nearly dark. So glad I got to see this guy.

Peace and feathers, people.

Curfew Kitty

I was attempting to write a post for the blog last night, but my efforts were hampered by a harasser. The guilty party? Our youngest cat, Patches.

Patches doesn’t like it when we stay up past her 8:30 p.m. bedtime. Around eight she begins campaigning for us to follow her to the bedroom, first by giving us the look:

If that fails to deliver the desired results, she plops down in the middle of the room and sighs loudly at regular intervals.

At the mere mention of the “B” word (bed), she’s ready for action.

She’s kind of hard to ignore.

It’s 9:05. I’d better give in or risk the wrath of Curfew Kitty.

Meow, people.

Seeing Red

I might’ve been in danger of being the star of one of those viral videos last week. You know the ones I’m talking about–where an older person is caught angrily shaking his or her fist at a young whippersnapper. Oh, I was the older person in this scenario, by the way.

The morning didn’t start with me being cranky. In search of something, anything, to knock out my allergy symptoms, I’d gone to Lucky’s Market in Tallahassee to see what interesting natural remedies I might find. While I didn’t locate any products that claimed to make me well, I did buy some really great organic cookies. Surely they had some medicinal value.

After paying for my cookies I decided to walk to Newk’s for lunch. Being careful to check for traffic, I set off across the parking lot, first making a quick stop at my car to drop off the cookies. As I stepped away from my car another vehicle came speeding through with no regard for pedestrian traffic. The driver narrowly missed hitting a sweet elderly woman, okay, it was me, when he made a sharp right turn into a parking space.

I was livid. I yelled, “Slow down, you bladder head. This is a freaking parking lot not a race track!” I might’ve literally shaken my fist at him.

That’s when the driver seemed to think better of parking in that spot and drove away. Although my heart was racing, I realized I probably looked a little crazy standing there. I also realized that perhaps I’d overreacted and might’ve even put myself in danger. After all, I do live in Florida. I have no excuse for my behavior, but hopefully I’ll think twice before erupting again in a state where every Tom, Dick, and Harriet seems to own a gun.

Perhaps I’ll take up meditation.

Peace(!), people!

Dr. On Demand

Under the category of “What Will They Think of Next?” comes the relatively new idea of online doctoring. Studly’s company’s insurance provider began pushing the service last year, but I was reluctant to take advantage of it. The whole thing just seemed like an oddity. I couldn’t quite fathom how a doctor could examine a patient via a Skype-type arrangement and prescribe treatments, and even medications, for an ailment, all without physically being in the same room.

Last evening though, as I struggled to breathe, as snot dripped relentlessly from my nose, and tears flowed freely from my eyes, Studly Doright insisted I access the site. I told him I already knew what they’d say: “Drink plenty of liquids, get lots of rest, take ibuprofen for your headache, use a humidifier and a Neti pot, blah, blah, blah.”

“I’m already doing that stuff. Plus,” I grimaced, “They’ll charge me for that information.”

Studly insisted, though, so I downloaded the app and made the call. After filling out the online paperwork, I found myself in a virtual waiting room to see the first available physician. My wait time was a little longer than ten minutes, but I didn’t have to wonder what new germs I was being exposed to as I reclined on my own sofa in the privacy of Doright Manor. I do need to acquire better magazines, though. Ours are boring.

When the doctor appeared on my phone I was pleased to see that they’d assigned me a woman. I probably could’ve requested a female, but didn’t think to do so when I initiated the visit. Dr. W exuded confidence and compassion, and got right down to business.

After going over my health history and asking about any medications I was taking, Dr. W asked me about my symptoms, then had me check to see if the glands in my throat were swollen. She had me evaluate the pain level in my sinuses.

And if you’re wondering, yes, she asked me to stick out my tongue and say “Ahhhhh!” while I pointed the phone’s camera at my throat. Apparently I wasn’t adept at this maneuver because after I fumbled about for several minutes in an attempt to expose the inner workings of my throat, she asked if there was someone else in the house who could aim the camera for me. Studly rose to the occasion, and played cameraman.

He saved the day again when the doctor had me take a blood pressure reading. Studly has a small sphygmomanometer with a cuff that wraps around one’s wrist. I was trying to put it in place while talking to the doctor, so he stepped in and made sure I did it correctly. Always the hero, my Studly.

After a few more questions the doctor gave me her recommendations: Drink plenty of liquids, get lots of rest, take ibuprofen for your headache, use a humidifier and a Neti pot, blah, blah, blah. Hmmm. Where had I heard that before?

I gave Studly an “I told you look,” but he wasn’t at all chastened.

“We needed to see if it worked,” he said. “Maybe next time you’ll have something more interesting, like a broken leg….”

That man. Remind me to keep an eye on him.

Peace, and good health, people.

What’s Up With January?

Does anyone besides me feel like this January has been the longest on record? I honestly thought we’d already crossed into February territory last week.

I had driven across Tallahassee to treat my bracelet to its biannual checkup and cleaning only to be told by the nice man at the jewelry counter that the checkup wasn’t due for another two and a half weeks.

“But, I thought I could bring it anytime in February,” I stammered.

“You certainly can, ma’am,” he said. “But today is January 15.”

“Honest?” I asked.

“Cross my heart,” he replied.

Feeling thoroughly confused and slightly suspicious, I looked at the calendar on my watch. Sure enough, it indicated that we were just then experiencing mid-January.

“Well, I guess I’ll see you in a few weeks,” I said, adding,”But as God is my witness I thought we were already in February.”

He just smiled kindly. I hope he isn’t there when I bring my bracelet in for its checkup. I’ve got my disguise ready just in case.

Peace. People.

The Colt’s Concern (reblog)

This is another of my collaborative pieces with photographer Julie Powell. I just love her artwork. Be sure to click the link to also have access to Julie’s site. Thanks!

What Would You Do?

I was in Lucky’s Market in Tallahassee on Wednesday afternoon. The little cafe area was hopping. Some people were taking advantage of the “$6 2 Slices and a Pint” special. Others were having a coffee or tea. Almost every table was filled.

While I waited on my non-fat iced chai tea latte at the bar I surveyed the crowd and noted that the college aged African American man seated right behind me had a large piece of white fuzz stuck in his hair. For a couple of minutes I debated about telling him. I got my latte and found a seat, still trying to decide whether I should say anything.

When he got up to leave I caught up to him and told him there was something in his hair. In my best mom voice I said, “Turn around. I’ll fix it.”

He obliged me and I dusted the fuzz away. I told him I walk around with stuff sticking to me all the time, but that he was too handsome to walk around like that. Oh mercy. I think I embarrassed the poor guy half to death.

He did thank me, but I wonder if I did the right thing. Should I have just let the fuzz be? What would you have done?

Peace, people.

Allergic to Charles M. Blow?

On Tuesday evening I took myself to the Ruby Diamond Concert Hall in Tallahassee to hear New York Times columnist, Charles M. Blow, speak as part of the Golden Tribe Lecture Series. As someone who faithfully follows Mr. Blow’s twitter account, I was eager to be in the audience.

Mr. Blow does not mince words. He does not give the simple answers to issues of social justice that we crave. He does not pat us on our respective backs for seeking those answers from him, having grown weary of white folks relying on African Americans to come up with those answers. In effect he said that we all have access to the same reading material that he does. We can see for ourselves the white privilege inherent in our society. That the calls to action are there, but largely unheeded.

My allergies kicked in right in the middle of Mr. Blow’s talk. My nose started running, and I was frantically searching for tissues in my purse to stem the flood and to catch any sneeze-related fallout. I mostly succeeded. Don’t ask.

Afterwards, back at Doright Manor, I sat in the darkness on the couch, blowing my nose and sneezing, hoping I wasn’t disturbing Studly Doright. I wondered if perhaps my allergic reaction was a physical response to Mr. Blow’s message. Was I fighting to understand or was I in denial? Probably a bit of both.

I have some reading to do, starting with this:

If you have an opportunity to hear Charles M. Blow speak, I encourage you to go and to really listen. Take your tissues, just in case.

Peace, people.

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