Behind the Green Door

Someone referenced old wooden doors yesterday and brought this old post to mind. It’s not great poetry, but I love the photo I took of this door in La Antigua de Guatemala.

https://nananoyz5forme.com/2015/04/27/door/

For the Love of Cat

Our eldest cat, Scout, is 15 years old. According to a calculator I found online at Catnip Times, that equates to 76 in human years.

https://www.thecatniptimes.com/learn/how-old-is-my-cat-in-human-years-calculator/

So, she’s no spring chicken, but she remains playful and seems to enjoy everything and everyone who comes into our home. She’s not crazy about Patches, her younger “sibling,” but she grudgingly accepts her just the same.

On Tuesday night I awakened to the sound of Scout coughing up a hair ball. That’s not all that unusual, so I turned over and went back to sleep. When I woke up on Wednesday morning I was dismayed to see cat puke everywhere. After I called the vet and made an appointment I spent the next hour looking all through the house for puddles of puke and cleaning them up. Scout didn’t seem all that distressed, but still I wanted to see what the vet would say.

Scout, nestled into her carrier, complained loudly during our brief drive to the veterinarian ‘s office. Her pleasant demeanor doesn’t extend to car rides of any length. We’d never visited this doctor, so I was as nervous as my kitty about what we’d encounter. I was even more nervous about what we might learn.

The facility is brand new.

And the interior was welcoming. They took Scout and me back to an exam room within just a few minutes.

The doctor was dealing with an emergency, so Scout and I waited for awhile. It was a sweet wait, though, as she nestled in my arms like a baby. Occasionally she’d look up for reassurance, and I’d soothe her with a few words.

When they examined her everything looked good. They took her back for blood work and a few other diagnostic tests. While I waited one of the assistants took me on a tour of the premises. It’s a state of the art facility, and is equipped with luxury boarding for dogs and cats. I wouldn’t mind staying in one of the kennels! Comfy beds and satellite tv in every room.

As we rounded a corner I spied Scout in one of the rooms. My eyes filled with tears–she just looked so vulnerable there with the doctor and her assistant bent over her. The doctor motioned for me to come in, and I realized that Scout was enjoying every minute of the attention. The doctor said she was probably the best cat patient they’d ever had.

Her blood work came back fine. She’s in excellent health for a cat of her age, but the doctor suggested switching her to a different food to see if that might help. So, after $300 in vet bills I learned that absolutely nothing is wrong with my baby. And I breathed a sigh of relief. I know that some day we’ll have to say goodbye to her, but thank goodness it wasn’t this day.

Peace, people.

Pardon Me, Ma’am

Monday was a day for misadventures. I chronicled the first of a trio of missteps in yesterday’s post: https://nananoyz5forme.com/2019/09/10/shoe-saga/

To save you from needing to read the link, here’s the short version: I left a shoe store wearing two different color shoes, and did not notice until the store called to inform me. I returned to the store, decided on an actual pair of shoes, and voila! See, I’m not always overly verbose.

After I left the shoe store I had a couple of hours to kill before meeting a friend to see the IT sequel. I ambled around Whole Foods for a bit and enjoyed an iced coffee on their patio. I still had more than enough time to drive to the mall where the theater is located and to shop at the Belk department store there before my friend arrived.

Since my shoe incident earlier in the day I steered clear of Belk’s shoe department, instead looking at fall dresses and blouses. I tried a couple of items on, but ultimately decided I’d spent enough money for one day. I walked out into the mall and was standing outside the theater reading movie posters when I heard a rather strident female voice calling, “Ma’am! Pardon me, Ma’am!”

Not thinking I was the ma’am being addressed I still looked over my shoulder to see who was being hollered at and who was doing the hollering. The hollerer was a clerk from Belk. And yes, as she ran up towards where I lingered in front of the poster for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, I realized I was indeed the ma’am in question.

When she reached me she came to a sudden stop and got this funny look on her face. “Oh,” said the woman. “It’s a bow. We thought, well, we thought you’d worn a shirt out of the store and that your bow was a tag.”

“You thought I’d shoplifted?” I asked.

“Well, it did look like tags dangling down your back as you left the store.”

I didn’t know whether to laugh or be outraged. I could just imagine the clerks watching surreptitiously as I took blouses into the dressing room and then as I wandered through the store. The clerk muttered an apology and we parted ways.

My friend and I watched IT Chapter 2 in IMAX. I screamed loudly at least once, but it was a cathartic scream, resulting in giggles. Afterwards we had dinner and great conversation at a seafood place. She and I parted ways fairly early and headed to our respective homes.

I’d planned to stop by CVS on my way home, but instead decided to just hop on the interstate and save any more shopping for the next day. The entrance to I-10 west is literally less than two hundred yards from the seafood place, but I’d called Studly Doright as I left the restaurant and was so engrossed in hearing about his day that I got on the interstate going east.

So I had to drive three miles on I-10 east, exit onto Thomasville Road and immediately get on I-10 west. Fortunately traffic was nearly non-existent, and I’d only added ten minutes or so to my drive. Still, I felt like a complete idiot.

In one day I’d managed to walk out of a store wearing a mismatched pair of brand new shoes, been suspected of incompetent shoplifting, screamed like a little kid in a movie theater, and driven the opposite direction in my attempt to get home.

I had a glass of wine when I finally reached Doright Manor. And I slept in late on Tuesday morning. Surely, if I restrict the number of hours I’m awake I’ll have fewer opportunities to screw up.

Peace, people.

Shoe Saga

Under the category of WEIRD THINGS I’VE DONE comes a little story about shoe shopping.

A couple of weeks ago Studly Doright returned from golfing on a Saturday afternoon and announced that he needed new sandals. He’d bought a pair last summer, but they were never his favorites, and he was off to buy a different pair. He invited me to tag along. Of course no woman I know turns down a trip to a shoe store, so off we went.

I suggested a small locally owned shoe store that I’d perused in the past and after he grilled me about the brands and styles the shop stocked he decided to give it a go. Within two minutes of entering the store, Studly had found a pair he liked. Then he made the mistake of asking if there was a shoe I was interested in.

As a matter of fact, I NEEDED a new pair of sandals. I have several pairs of flip flops, but no sandals that I love or that support my pesky middle metatarsal.

I tried on a few pair, but the ones that seemed to best fit my needs were red Birkenstocks. It’s not that the color affected the fit, but it sure made them more appealing. Unfortunately, the red shoes in the style I liked were out of stock. The owner of the store said he’d put in an order and the shoes should be in within a few days. We paid for my order along with Studly’s shoes and left.

A week came and went and I didn’t hear anything. The weekend passed, and still nothing. So on Monday I drove to the little store and inquired after my shoes. A young woman waited on me and showed me a stack of orders that were several weeks old. She said their supplier was way behind.

I asked if perhaps I could switch colors and walk out of the store with a new pair of shoes. She said, “of course,” and I began looking at other colors. Honestly, I’d been second guessing the red ever since I’d placed the order.

First I tried on black, and was on the verge of getting those, but something told me I’d soon tire of them. They were a bit too stark against my skin. I tried on a brown pair and a light stone. I really liked the stone, as well. After many near hits and misses with colors and forays into narrow versus regular sizes I finally decided on a plain brown leather. It’s a color that Birkenstock has sold for generations and honestly, it was never IN style, so it’ll never go OUT of style. I slipped my left foot into another shoe so I wouldn’t be wearing only a right shoe, collected the shoe box from the clerk and left the store.

Since by then it was lunch time I drove across the road to Zöes Kitchen and ordered a pita with falafel and a side of fruit. Two bites in, my phone rang. It was the young lady from the shoe store.

“Ms. Noyes, you accidentally walked out with two different shoes.”

“I did?” I slipped my feet out into the aisle to examine the shoes. Sure enough, I had on one brown shoe and one stone colored one.

“Huh!” I said, recalling that I did have difficulty deciding between the two colors. “Let me finish my lunch, and I’ll bring them right back.”

She assured me that would be fine, so I did just that. When I returned to the store she asked which shoe I wanted to keep.

“I honestly don’t care,” I said. “Let’s just go with the color indicated on the box you gave me.” So a brown shoe it was. I swear I saw her sigh with relief as this nutty old woman left her store for the second time that day.

Maybe I should just stick close to home from now on. I’m not sure I should be allowed to wander loose.

Peace, people.

Peace, people.

Late to the Party

Let’s talk for a minute about Netflix. Or rather, my lack of Netflix. Studly Doright and I had firmly fought the lure of the popular streaming service even though it seemed that everyone in the known universe subscribed to it.

“Are you watching Stranger Things?” they’d ask, or “Can you believe what happened on the latest episode of Orange is the New Black?”

And my answer was always an almost smug, “We don’t do Netflix.” As if it were a badge of honor to have resisted, when the truth was, we really weren’t sure how it all worked. Besides, we paid for DirectTV. Surely that was enough!

Then Studly came in from work one evening and immediately told me about a Netflix series a co-worker had recommended to him.

“I think it’s time we bit the bullet and figured out how this works,” Studly said.

I’d love to tell you that I took the high road and questioned the need for a streaming service when we already have satellite tv with more channels than we’ll ever be able to monitor in this lifetime, but I grinned the grin of a little kid at Christmas. I might’ve clapped my hands and performed a happy dance, but it’s all a blur to me now.

So last week, we delved into Netflix with the series MindHunter–the show recommended by Studly’s colleague. Holy cow, is it good.

The series follows a task force of FBI agents as they mold the bureau’s fledgling Behavioral Science Unit. This is the unit whose members coined the term serial killer, and developed the practice of profiling through prison interviews with the likes of David Berkowitz (Son of Sam) and Charles Manson. The interviews, based on actual events, are fascinating.

We’re already well into the second season, and I’m now the one asking people if they’re watching Netflix. I might be late to the party, but I’m gonna dance like it doesn’t matter.

Peace, people.

Etiquette

Anyone who has known me personally for any length of time has likely realized that I’m not exactly a maven of the finer points of etiquette. Yes, I do know better than to chew with my mouth open, and I’ve only put my elbows on the table a couple of times in my 62+ years, but there are so many basic rules of etiquette with which I’m unfamiliar. Emily Post likely cannot rest in peace knowing the extent of my many faux pas.

I can’t blame Mama for my lack of social graces. She did her best to educate me, but the world we inhabited when I was young didn’t require much more than knowing how to answer a phone properly and the correct form for a thank you note, along with the aforementioned table etiquette. I was, and continue to be, a manners mess.

But maybe I’m not too old to learn. I purchased this little book at an estate sale this weekend.

One literally could not judge this book by its cover, but I knew it was old, and that made it intriguing.

The lettering on the spine was faint,

but inside the cover I discovered what might be the missing link in my social education:

While not a first edition, it’s still of a venerable age, and will be a welcome addition to my little library. Oh, and the priceless information within will most likely make me a highly sought after companion among the “Ladies Who Lunch.”

For example, if I decide to host a bridge party I now know how to write the invitation, including which scripts are acceptable for the engraving.

Appropriate apparel for every minute of one’s day is covered in the book. I read this section carefully, and nowhere did capris pants, a t-shirt, and flip flops get a mention. Huh.

Notice of the first four pages, only a portion of the fourth page addresses what a man should wear. And note, these pages only cover the morning hours. There are additional dress rules for afternoon and after six p.m., as well as ones for sporting events, funerals, weddings, business, and travel.

There is even a section on vacation customs. The first paragraph gave me the giggles.

I can well imagine the shoulder shrugs and exchanges of amused glances when I roll up to the resort in my Mickey Mouse t-shirt and shorts. Good times!

The author, Anna Steese Richardson, seems to have been a contemporary of the better known grande dame of etiquette, Emily Post. I wonder if the two had an ongoing ladylike feud regarding which type of calling card best conveyed the appropriate solemnity. I can just picture them politely snubbing one another at a wedding or requesting to be reseated at a dinner party to avoid being in one another’s presence.

Thank goodness many of the formalities the two women adhered to have been relaxed over time. The whole thing sounds exhausting.

Now, pardon me while I change out of my morning t-shirt into an afternoon t-shirt. I think I’ll pair it with my blue flip flops and dark wash jeans. I’ll be available to receive callers at my summer residence (see also, winter, spring, and fall accommodations) between 3:30 and 5 this afternoon. Be sure and leave your properly engraved card on the table in the foyer.

Peace, and Propriety, People.

Give Me a Sharpie, and I’ll Rule the World

Most likely by now most folks living in the U.S., and perhaps a few people in other parts of the world, have seen Trump’s latest weird move.

When reading early reports of the possible trajectories of Hurricane Dorian, Trump somehow got it into his head that Alabama was in the path of the storm, even though none of the weather trackers ever indicated that Alabama was in danger.

Rather than backing down from what most likely was a mis-reading of the word “Abaco Islands” in the Bahamas, which most definitely was in the storm’s path, Trump doubled down on his statement by producing a map that clearly had Alabama added in black marker.

This has, of course, inspired a bunch of cartoons and memes that highlight the man’s shameless inability to admit he’s made a mistake. Here are a few I’ve come across.

That dart board is my favorite. I’ve heard Trump’s latest gaffe/lie/idiocy is being tagged #SharpieGate. Fitting.

And finally, from the brave folks in Alabama:

Peace, people.

What in the Pangean World?

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/map-lets-you-plug-your-address-see-how-neighborhood-has-changed-over-past-750-million-years-180971507/

The link attached allows one to plug his/her address into an interactive map in order to see what their area of residence has looked like through the millennia.

In my case, Doright Manor wouldn’t have even been a possibility 700 million years ago, because the tectonic plates weren’t yet in place. Somewhere between then and the 640 million mark enough movement occurred to allow for the beginnings of Florida.

Am I the only one who finds this fascinating?

Peace, people!

Run-in With a Bunch of Bullies

Normally, I kind of like bugs. Spiders do us a real service. Ladybugs are marvelously cute. Bees are necessary to life on this planet. But wasps? Wasps are assholes. I hate wasps.

Yesterday afternoon I had nothing to write about. I’d had a manicure and ruined it within an hour, so I bought some polish remover and applied a clear polish. Even I can’t mess that up. It was taking forever to dry, so I thought I’d walk out on the front porch while dinner was cooking.

No sooner had I closed the door behind me than a swarm of angry wasps swooped down on my head. At first, I didn’t know what was attacking me, and I swatted at the little bastards, earning me a sting on my left forearm. I made it back inside the house with just the one sting, but I was mad.

Studly Doright was sitting in his chair in the den, and I went crying to him that the insects had to die. I wanted them executed with extreme prejudice.

“Assassinate the little f*ckers!” I demanded, directing him to the light fixture on the front porch.

With a few well aimed sprays of a deadly insecticide, Studly destroyed the nest. My hero!

See the little fuzzy bunch of wasps on the light fixture? It’s gone now, and all of its nasty little denizens are sleeping with the fishes, figuratively speaking. In actuality they’re in the trash bin. I’ll take that.

Peace, people. Except for wasps. Although, they did give me something to write about.

Thoughts on Hurricane Preparation

At the time I wrote this, Doright Manor here in the Florida panhandle didn’t seem to be in the path of Hurricane Dorian; however, I have been recalling past hurricanes and thinking about the ways I’ve prepared for them. So, in no particular order, here are my sometimes unconventional ideas about what really helped us survive several storms and the days after.

  • Keep a pair of real shoes, as opposed to flip flops, next to your bed. Trust me.
  • Never use the term, “hunker down.” It affects me like fingernails on a chalkboard and should be stricken from the language.
  • Stock up on unscented baby wipes and Little Debbie oatmeal cookie sandwiches in addition to bottled water. Studly Doright recommends Vienna sausages, as well.
  • Wash all of the dirty clothes in your hamper. This way if you’re out of power for a few days, you won’t worry about running out of clothes to wear.
  • Go naked as much as possible. (Just kidding, but it could make hunkering down more interesting. Just don’t say “hunkering down.”)
  • Take “before” photos not only of your property for insurance purposes, but also of yourself to remind you of happier days. “Here I am, smiling and innocent.”

  • If you have cats, buy extra cat litter and treats. Scout says that a new catnip toy would be nice, too.

  • Fill your car(s) with gas. You might not need to drive, but you’re going to want to charge your phone at some point, and you can do that in your vehicle. Just do so in a well-ventilated area.
  • Make sure you have propane or charcoal for your grill. Restaurants are liable to be closed for a long time, and at some point you’re going to run out of Little Debbies and Vienna sausages.
  • Get plenty of cash before the storm. Following our first hurricane experience I inserted my debit card into an ATM and it didn’t come back out. No money and no card for an entire week made life interesting.
  • Fill your bathtub with water. You can wash with it, and use it to flush your toilet. Plus, the cats find it fascinating.

On a more serious note, Dorian isn’t likely to impact us, but it’s done terrible things in the Bahamas. Praying for all those who’ve been affected and for those in Dorian’s path.

Peace, people.