Half a Cat: A Furry Tail

Gracie is upset that I won’t allow her to go outside on the screened-in porch this afternoon. It’s an 80° day and the sun is shining, but there’s a breeze blowing the pollen around, and my allergies just can handle it.

So Gracie is making do with the next best thing.

That tail starts flicking about now and again leading me to believe there might be a lizard teasing the cat from outside the window. This cat leads a really tough life.

Peace, people!

An Inside Joke

If you’ve read my book, Mayhem at the Happy Valley Motor Inn and Resort, you’ll find this cartoon even funnier than it already is. If you haven’t read my book, you really should. You know, to be in on the joke. I knew there was a reason I loved The Far Side so much.

Peace, people!

Close Call

I have lots of different earrings, but unless I’m accessorizing for a special occasion I always wear my favorite pair. The ones pictured below.

They aren’t fancy and they weren’t expensive, but I purchased them several years ago on our trip to Scotland, and they’re by far my favorite souvenir from that, or any trip. But today, after getting my hair cut and styled I must have neglected to put the little rubber thingie on the wire.

Fortunately, the earring didn’t fall off until I’d returned home and then it had the decency to fall into my lap at a point in time when I was sitting still. I shudder to think what might’ve happened if it had fallen off at PETCO or in the cafe where I had lunch.

I lose things on a fairly regular basis, but I’ve held on to these earrings for a good long time. Maybe this close call will make me pay attention in the future. Maybe.

Peace, people.

Studly, Bike Builder

I have to brag on Studly Doright. About three weeks ago he took possession of a rundown 1994 Kawasaki KDX 200.

Not only was it rundown, it was ugly. Seriously ugly.

The bike hadn’t been shown much love, and Studly wasn’t even sure he could find the parts necessary to make it right.

But today. Wednesday, February 24, 2021, after tons of hard work, blood, sweat, a few tears, and a bit of hearty cussing, this bike made its debut.

And the ultimate test? It runs.

Now maybe he’ll fix the light in the guest bathroom.

Peace, people.

The Wire and Beyond

For years people have been telling me that Studly Doright and I need to watch “The Wire.” For some reason we resisted. Now, though, we’ve seen the light. We’re well into season four, and I must say, this is incredible television. It’s gritty and real.

As a former teacher, and as someone who worked as a consultant in inner city schools, this fourth season is certainly resonating with me.

I still remember vividly the day I was standing outside a school on a corner in Newark, New Jersey, waiting for the hotel’s limo service to pick me up after school.

A teacher hurried out from the school. “Leslie, it’s not safe for you out here. Come back in and wait for your ride.”

I took her advice.

At another school, this one in Detroit, Michigan, I had to go to the principal to get the educational materials my company provided released from a storage room. “They’ll only get stolen,” she said.

But I insisted. “Your school district paid a lot of money for those materials, and your teachers need them to implement the curriculum.”

She shrugged, but allowed me to distribute the materials.

That was the same school where I watched a teacher slap a student. I reported it, and then was called down to the school office where I met the superintendent of schools, a handsome, charismatic man who almost made me swoon. I gave him my account of the incident.

I have no idea what happened to the teacher or the student. The halls of that school were littered with glass. That handsome superintendent was dressed to the nines. My mind couldn’t comprehend the disparities.

The Wire has stirred up all these memories. I’m reeling. Probably won’t sleep tonight.

Peace, people.


Early Sunday morning, way before I was up and around, my inbox received a series of emails from Kindle Direct Publishing announcing that within the next three to five days I’d be receiving the first royalty payments for my book, Mayhem at the Happy Valley Motor Inn and Resort. I’ll have tens of dollars in my pocket when that happens! Woot woot!

The email gave me pause, though. Why, I wondered, are such payments called royalties? Am I supposed to feel like a queen when I receive these funds? Do the payments come directly from a person of royal blood? That might explain why it takes sixty days from the end of the month in which the sales were made before one receives payment. I mean, we don’t have any royals here in the U.S.—the payments must be coming from far, far away.

I really didn’t think that was the case, so I turned to Google. Here’s what I found:

“The term originated from the fact that in Great Britain for centuries gold and silver mines were the property of the crown; such “royal” metals could be mined only if a payment (“royalty”) were made to the crown.”

I guess in this case the “royal” metals being mined are my precious thoughts and ideas, and I am indeed the queen. Maybe not. It’s very confusing. At any rate, in the future don’t forget to bow or curtsy in my presence. Just in case.

This crown would work.

Peace, people!

Review Giveaway

My first novel, Mayhem at the Happy Valley Motor Inn and Resort has garnered nearly 40 reviews on Amazon! I’m pretty stoked.

When it reaches the 40 review mark I’m going to select one of the reviewers at random to win their choice of either a Scout’s Honor coffee cup (pictured below), or a signed copy of Mayhem.

Isn’t it adorable?

So, if you’ve read Mayhem and haven’t yet written a review, take a couple of minutes and let others know what you think. Reviews don’t have to be fancy or flowery, just sincere. If you’ve rated it, but haven’t left a review, I don’t have any way of knowing your name, so if you want to be included in the drawing make sure to write a few words.

If you haven’t yet read Mayhem, even if you read it and didn’t like it, I still love you. I really do.

The Kindle version is only $2.99! The paperback is available on Amazon for $11.99.

Peace, people!

Love Your Pet Day

Apparently February 19 is the official Love Your Pet Day. Who knew? Here at Doright Manor, every day is Love Your Pet Day. Our Gracie can attest to that.

I’M not tired of playing. YOU’RE tired of playing.
That “come hither” look.
Our own children didn’t have as many toys as Gracie does.
Helping Studly Doright is her favorite activity.

She’s been such a balm to our hearts after the death of our beloved Scout kitty. I was so afraid we’d adopted her too soon after losing Scout, but Gracie had filled a hole in our lives, and we love her so much.

Peace, and love your pets, people.

Texas on My Mind

I’m consumed with watching the news out of Texas this morning. For those who aren’t glued to the Weather Channel, parts of Texas that might see a dusting of snow once every ten years or so, are now experiencing freezing temperatures and icy conditions that would challenge even a seasoned North Dakotan.

We live in Florida now, but Studly and I were born and raised in Texas and most of our relatives still live there. Most of our folks live in the panhandle area which does get snow and ice during the winter and they’re better prepared to deal with the bitter cold. But in and around Austin, Dallas, Houston, and other locations, the infrastructure isn’t holding up.

Yes, we could blame the shortsightedness of certain GOP, libertarian, and Tea Party operatives who have this “every man for himself” mentality, for the mess, but that doesn’t do anything to help those who are freezing even within the confines of their own homes. While some people are ridiculing Texas and Texans, I’m just praying and hoping they get relief soon.

A playground near Houston, I believe.
Frosty the Cactus

Peace, people!

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