It’s Pronounced “Byuda”

I made it to Buda, Texas, yesterday afternoon after wandering on back roads because my car’s gps and I had an argument. It wanted to take me on toll roads and I wanted to avoid them, so we compromised. As a result I was an hour later arriving in Buda than I’d planned. Oh, and Siri on my iPhone doesn’t do well with the name “Buda” and kept telling me there was no town called Butor in Texas. I might have yelled at her a time or two. Yes, the war between woman and machines has begun.

I hadn’t slept much on Tuesday night, so I tried to take a nap when I got into my hotel room. No luck. I think in spite of being super tired I was too excited about seeing my niece and her kids. We went to dinner last night, and I enjoyed talking with them so much. It’s hard to fathom that they’re both high schoolers. When I get tired, I get a little weird, so I’m sure I talked way too much. Today I vow to do better. It helps that I slept last night.

Today my niece and I are just going to hang out, then we’ll drive into Austin for our evening with Michelle Obama. Of course my fantasies involve her pointing us out in the crowd and having us come to the stage for a quick hug. I’ll settle for a wave, though.

I’d better hit publish so I can get this day started. Can’t keep Michelle waiting.

Peace, people.

A Mixed Bag, and That ISN’T Cocaine!

(Note: I wrote this on Tuesday evening. Hopefully by the time it publishes on Wednesday I’ll be well rested and powder free.)

The sleep fairy was a fickle critter last night. Studly Doright was out of town, and I stayed up past my bedtime packing for my own trip to Texas. My thoughts were racing and every little noise made me jump. One would’ve thought I was on a drug-fueled high, except that I don’t do anything stronger than caffeine these days, and that only sparingly.

Maybe I got in three hours of rest between the hours of two and five before I gave up the fight and decided to shower and get on the road. Since my night vision really stinks I waited until sunrise before saying goodbye to the cats and turning out the lights at Doright Manor.

For the first couple of hours I made good time, then weariness began setting in. I made frequent stops, and I’m fairly sure I have now officially patronized every rest area between Tallahassee, Florida, and Lafayette, Louisiana, where I stopped for the night at a Drury Inn. Look at this cool sculpture that adorns the wall of a welcome center in Mississippi:

At a gas station in Mississippi I purchased a product I’ve heard about my whole life, but had never tried–BC Powder. I’d wanted Bayer aspirin, because the hypochondriac in me decided I might be having a heart attack. I get weird when I’m tired. The clerk suggested BC instead, and I bought it and a bottle of water to wash it down.

Having never used BC Powder, I was unprepared for it to be just that, a powder. Go figure, right? As soon as I was back in the car I opened the package and white stuff went everywhere. It was on my shirt, my pants, the car seat. After cleaning up the mess, I gingerly opened a second packet and with some measure of control managed to shake it onto my tongue where I could then send it into my system with the water.

Now, only after I’d washed it down did I notice that caffeine is a key ingredient in BC Powder. Great. I’ll likely be awake most of tonight, as well. Oh, and when I had a chance to look in the mirror in my hotel room I realized I had BC Powder on my face. No wonder the hotel desk clerk kept giving me odd looks. I promise, it’s not cocaine!

Peace, people.

Packing Isn’t My Bag

Early Monday morning I rolled over in bed to watch Studly Doright pack for an overnight business trip. The act took him exactly three and a half minutes. I timed him.

On Monday around 3 p.m. I began packing for a week long road trip to Texas. As of nine p.m., I’m still at it. Now, keep in mind this isn’t a business trip. Most days I’ll just wear jeans and a blouse; although, I am packing a dress and heels for the evening that my niece and I go to see Michelle Obama in Austin.

So why does it take me so long to pack?

  1. I get distracted easily. I had to watch the Ellen Degeneres Show, and then I needed a snack.
  2. The characters in the book I’m currently reading are in a rough spot, so I had to stop and read them out of it.
  3. My favorite jeans needed to be washed.
  4. My niece texted me to say I needed a clear bag for the Michelle Obama event, so I had to go shopping.
  5. My regular wallet was too big to fit in the clear bag, so I also had to buy a new (cheap) wallet.
  6. I got hungry. Again.
  7. My cats’ litter boxes had to be cleaned.
  8. The car I’m driving to Texas was filthy. I drove to the car wash and cleaned it inside and out.
  9. The cats needed to go out on the back porch.
  10. Then the cats needed to come back in.
  11. Out.
  12. In.
  13. Facebook.
  14. Write a blog post.

I know I’ll get the job done eventually. Maybe after “The Voice” is over.

Peace, people!

Road Trip!

Tomorrow I’ll set out on a road trip in my “old” car, a 2015 Mazda CX-5 with an outrageous 85,000 plus miles on the odometer. The car was in a minor accident back in November, but one can barely tell even upon close inspection.

My first destination is Buda, Texas, outside of Austin. There, I’ll rendezvous with my niece, CB, who bought two tickets to see Michelle Obama and invited me to join her. I can hardly wait for Thursday night!

On Friday I’ll drive north to Dallas where I’ll deliver the car to my son. He’s buying the Mazda for our oldest granddaughter, but it’s a surprise, so shhhh! I’ll spend a couple of days in Dallas with my son and his family before heading back to Doright Manor near Tallahassee, Florida.

The original plan was for me to fly home, but Studly Doright decided I needed a car to run around Tallahassee in. I’ve already put nearly 6,000 miles on my 2019 Lincoln. Apparently that’s excessive, so I’ll be picking up a used car at a dealership in Dallas and driving it home. This will be my every day driver, and chances are it will someday end up being another grandkid’s car. Of course, at the rate I rack up miles, it might have a million on it by then, but who’s counting?

Peace, people.

Mr. Rogers

Is there any more beloved American icon than Fred Rogers? I’m racking my brain. There are a good many more famous, more wealthy, more talented, but are there any more beloved?

He and his make believe world on the show “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” were a special part of my childhood, even though I was a bit older than his target demographic. I watched with my younger brothers and rolled my eyes at many of the obvious messages, but I still watched. I still listened.

Never had I realized the thinking behind the character and the program that bore his name, until I watched the film, “Won’t You Be My Neighbor.” I had no idea that Fred Rogers had produced a less successful show for adults, and I’d forgotten that he’d covered such difficult topics as death, assassination, racism, and divorce in programs for children.

He passed away in 2003, after spending most of his adult life educating and comforting children of all ages during some really difficult times in American history. I wish he were here to help us navigate today’s mess.

Peace, Neighbor.

Wednesday, Part 2: The Good

My Wednesday started off with a (bad) bang when I locked the keys, along with my phone, in my car at a Goodwill store in Tallahassee.

https://nananoyz5forme.com/2019/02/22/wednesday-part-one-the-bad/

Now, some people might’ve gone home after such a downer of a start, but not me! I gamely soldiered on, running errands around town, eating a late lunch at Newk’s, and then shopping at Lucky’s–hands down the best grocery store in the universe.

I’ve decided one of the reasons I like Lucky’s so much is that everyone there is so friendly. There’s a great conversation to be had on every aisle and in the checkout line, to boot. No one seems to be in a hurry when shopping at Lucky’s, so buying groceries there is a refreshing change of pace.

I completed my shopping and returned to Doright Manor where I had a couple of hours to kill. Studly Doright was out of town, so I didn’t have to plan a meal or anything. With my free time I read the newest Gareth Powell book, Fleet of Knives, and cleaned out some closets. If you’re into Sci-fi, I heartily recommend Gareth’s Embers of War series. My only complaint is that I read them too fast, and the third book in the series hasn’t been written yet. Damn!

Around four p.m. I washed my face and drove across town to join Meetup friends for trivia night at Southwood golf club. We did well, finishing third, I think. The group that made it to the event was a nice mix of people from past Meetups and brand new folks. Meetup has been a godsend for me, and I enjoyed every minute.

After trivia, a couple of the ladies and I decided, on a whim, to head to The Moon, a Tallahassee nightspot, to see Los Lobos in concert. It was such fun. I danced all by myself and sang my heart out. Of course, the band saved their hit, La Bamba for the encore, so any thoughts I’d had about sneaking away early were dashed. It was a great way to end a day that had started on a bit of a low note.

So if there’s a moral to my story it might be, “What starts with a lock could end with some rock.” Or, “Shake it off. Shake, shake it off.” I’m open to suggestions.

Peace, people!

https://youtu.be/nLAWPrCUQQ0

Wednesday, Part One: The Bad

You take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and then…you rock out. (With apologies to the 80’s sitcom, “Facts of Life” theme song.)

Wednesday was a day of highs and lows, starting with me locking my keys and my phone in my car while dropping off a donation of clothing at a local Goodwill thrift store. For starters, I honestly didn’t think it was possible to lock my keys in my new Lincoln Nautilus. My previous car, a Mazda CX-5 had a fail safe to prevent such unfortunate events from occurring. Live and learn, I guess.

So there I was taking up a spot in the busy donation lane at Goodwill, and I couldn’t call for assistance. One of the Goodwill employees loaned me her phone, and I tried calling the dealership where we’d bought the car. Lincolns supposedly come with all sorts of perks, so I thought I’d see if they could help me out. They hung up on me. Not once, but twice.

We haven’t been all that thrilled with Tallahassee Ford-Lincoln since purchasing the car, and this incident certainly didn’t endear them to me. Matthew McConaughey and I need to have a talk.

https://youtu.be/GAuDTd2-Z1k

The sweet woman who’d loaned me her phone suggested I call my insurance company because some providers have specific locksmiths they want customers to use. As we were looking up the number, one of the other employees said, “Hey! It looks like you can punch in a code to unlock your car.”

Oh, yeah. I’d kind of forgotten that feature. Maybe this was a reprieve. But only if I could recall the code we’d set up back in December. On the third try I got it right and sheepishly thanked the folks who’d assisted me. After unloading my donation I moved my car and got the heck out of Dodge. Come to think of it, maybe I should’ve bought a Dodge….we did live in Dodge City for a year.

Tomorrow, if I don’t get sidetracked, I’ll bring you “Wednesday, Part 2: The Good.”

Making the Case that My Mom Would be a Democrat

As far as I know my parents weren’t terribly politically active. They always voted, but I never heard them declare for one party or the other. They tended to vote for the person and ignore party affiliation.

Now I do recall their amusement when, as a fifth grader, I campaigned for Richard Nixon in the R.C. Andrews elementary school mock election. Texas was still primarily a Democrat leaning state back then, so my choice cast me as a bit of a rebel. Apparently, I was ahead of the pack in supporting the GOP candidate. I sure hope I’m not the reason that Texas is a red state nowadays. That’s a burden I’m not sure I could bear.

My mom died more than two decades ago, in late October just after I turned 39. She wasn’t old, but younger than I am now. She’d lived her entire life in Texas. Her peers are now in their late seventies and early eighties. Many have been brainwashed by FOX news and believe that Donald Trump was selected personally by God almighty to be president of the United States, while a few have maintained the dignity of independent thinking and have a healthy skepticism regarding 45.

It bothered me for a while to think that had mom lived into her 80’s she might have succumbed to the FOX News propaganda machine. However, I recall several pieces of evidence that indicate Mom would not be a Trump supporter:

1. She was never a Ronald Reagan fan, even when much of the country was mesmerized by the former actor. Early on she warned me that he was capable of exerting great harm on the country. She had never trusted Nixon either.

2. Mom worked for Planned Parenthood in the mid-70’s and firmly believed a woman should be the final decision maker in matters concerning her own body.

3. My mother was wary of organized religion. She had no use for the likes of televangelists, always scornful of their dramatic public prayer that was more about garnering dollars for their private coffers than about caring for the poor. Mom’s beliefs were private, and she didn’t need to attend a particular church to be a good Christian.

4. She taught me to think for myself, to weigh the good and the bad, and to make informed decisions. And trust me, she could smell a lie from miles away.

Who knows what the years might have wrought? But I’m fairly sure Freida Hall would’ve told Trump to kiss her ass. If she were still living, we would do it together.

That’s Mom holding baby me. Well, it might be me, but I’m certain that’s my mom.

Peace, people.

Isn’t it Romantic

(Note: For some reason my post formatted incorrectly. I tried fixing it, to no avail. My apologies and my thanks to those of you who persevere long enough to read the whole thing.)

In movie talk a “meet cute” describes an amusing or charming first encounter between two characters that leads to the development of a romantic relationship between them.

My own Studly Doright and I had something of a meet cute when we were teenagers. I was the new girl in town, he worked for my dad at a Piggly Wiggly grocery store. I asked him where the ketchup was, he pointed at the row right in front of us. I felt sheepish, he was intrigued (heaven only knows why) and pursued me all summer. Our paths crossed again when we had the same P.E. period at Dumas high school, and we’ve been nearly inseparable ever since. That was 42.5 years ago.

Now, what would one call an encounter that is charming, but goes no further than that first encounter? Technically it’s still cute, and it’s still a meeting, but if it doesn’t lead to anything more can it be deemed a “meet cute”? Or is it merely a flirtation?

Once, over a decade ago, Studly and I lived in Melbourne, Florida. I taught math and science to fifth graders at a small neighborhood school, and became good friends with the three other fifth grade teachers. One Friday evening the four of us went to the Mardi Gras celebration at Universal Studios in Orlando to see Hootie and the Blowfish in concert.

Prior to the concert there was a parade with all the fun of a New Orleans Mardi Gras celebration. There were marching jazz musicians and krewes manning floats. Beads were thrown willy nilly, but female recipients didn’t have to bare their knockers to earn the shiny baubles. In fact, seeing as Universal Studios is a family friendly venue, baring a breast probably would’ve gotten one evicted from the park. I certainly wasn’t going to be a test case.

My friends and I eagerly caught beads that came our way, and I made sure any children in our vicinity were the final recipients of any I snagged. So engrossed was I in this activity that I accidentally bumped into an attractive, well dressed man who was also watching the parade. I apologized and went on obliviously about my bead catching.

“Hey,” the man said. “Why aren’t you keeping any beads?”

I barely looked at him, saying, “Don’t you know the fun is in the catching?”

No more than a minute passed before I felt a tap on my shoulder. The man held up an ornately decorated set of beads, smiled, and handed them to me.

“You’re right,” he said, winking. “The fun is in the catching.”

I’m sure I blushed bright red, but I grinned and thanked him before quickly locating my friends and rejoining them. If I’d been single maybe that could’ve been a meet cute. As it was it was just an innocent flirtation.

Oh, in case you’re wondering, I gave those beads away, too, but not until later in the evening when Hootie and the Blowfish were singing, “Only Wanna be With You.” Studly Doright is my only meet cute.

Peace, people!

Let’s wrap this up with “Only Wanna Be With You,” by Hootie and the Blowfish.

https://youtu.be/pV7XND2YCdg

The Natural Order

A fat fluffy red fox jogged briskly across my backyard this morning, halfway between the house and the lake. Patches and I were sitting on the deck enjoying a cup of coffee, when the fox caught the two of us off guard.

We watched avidly as Mr. Fox scurried down into the forest, and continued watching long after he was out of sight. Patches’s tail whipped back and forth as she followed his every move; whereas, mine remained static. My tail doesn’t often whip these days, even when I’m agitated or excited. One of those unfortunate cases of “use it or lose it” I’m afraid.

Eventually I had to refill my coffee, so I left Patches on guard where she remains as I write this:

No fox is getting past her. Nosirree! Unless of course someone offers her a treat, then all guard duties will be abandoned for the sake of a catnip flavored nibble.

Now, to the point. This little essay began with the words, “A fat fluffy red fox….” The order of the words rolled off the tips of my fingers and onto the screen. Could I have also typed, “a red fat fluffy fox” or a “fluffy red fat fox?” Sure. But why did my initial word choice feel the most correct to me? We tend to say, “clear blue sky” instead of “blue clear sky,” and Patches would be a “cute black and white cat,” and not a “black and white cute cat”; although, she most definitely remains black and white and undeniably cute.

Apparently I’m not the only one who has pondered this ordering of adjectives. When I googled it I found this interesting article.

https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&source=web&cd=&ved=2ahUKEwj-2dXV_8LgAhVNhOAKHSqbB6sQzPwBegQIARAC&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.bbc.com%2Fnews%2Fblogs-trending-37285796&psig=AOvVaw0merRecZG_17DUM74VQjSX&ust=1550500785616506

Isn’t English wonderful? It’s also often confusing and in some ways, limiting, but it’s always interesting. And some folks can still get away with using adjectives in the wrong order. I’ll leave you with another fox, George Strait, and his rule bending song, “Blue Clear Sky.” How I’d love to see him in my backyard.

https://youtu.be/JLh5Y9PRFSc

Peace, people.