Draft Choices

If you’re a blogger do you find that sometimes titles for blog posts pop into your head? You might not have anything in mind to write about, then, wham! I have that happen all the time, and sometimes the titles even develop into something that’s printable.

Right now I’m figuratively sitting on half a dozen titles, some I’ve attempted to flesh out with additional words, while others have remained untouched.

Here are a few titles in my draft file. Hopefully by sharing these some creative urge will strike. Otherwise, I’m going to write more about my cat’s urination habits, and I think we’ve all had enough of that. I have anyway.

Things We Mourn (I think this is going to be a poem)

Weighing In (me, talking. Earth shatttering, I know)

Life on Mars (rambling poem–it rhymes sort of)

About Your Mom (everything the grandkids need to know about my daughter, their mom)

That Song (I have no idea)

Collective Whole (A thing I thought and then forgot)

Are you a “Title” person? Does the title come first or do you add one just before you publish? I’m truly curious.

Peace, people

A No Flip-Flop Day

Living in the Florida panhandle insures that on most days I’ll be able to wander about outside in flip flops, a t-shirt, and capris. This is not going to be one of those days.

We’ve been fortunate this winter to have had very few nights when the temperatures dropped below 50° F. I guess we’ll just have to grin and bear it.

Yes, I know so many of you in the frigid parts of the country would gladly change places with me right now. Our daughter who lives in Port Byron, IL, certainly would.

As would some of our friends from our old stomping grounds near Bismarck, North Dakota.

We lived near there for almost four years. Brrr.

So today I’ll wear jeans, a long sleeved t-shirt, and real shoes. Might even need a light jacket. I think I’ll probably survive.

Wherever you happen to live, stay warm and safe today!

Peace, people.

Potato, Potahto

Back in the spring of 2019 I began eating a mostly vegan diet for health reasons. Occasionally I’ll have shrimp in a salad, or an egg white for breakfast, and I still put honey in my tea, but 99% of the time I follow a plant-based diet that excludes dairy.

Since I’m not a great cook I eat a lot of baked potatoes, fresh fruits, and salads at home, but my favorite place to eat is Sweet Pea Cafe in Tallahassee where everything is vegan, including the yummiest baked goods ever.

In the beginning when I ordered a meal at Sweet Pea I was full of questions like, “Who’s seitan?” and “Isn’t Tempeh a town in Arizona?” To their credit the Sweet Pea staff answered these questions and more, and finally I found myself fairly knowledgeable about vegan foods. Well, I know what I’m getting when I order, anyway. I’ve become fairly fluent in Veganese.

A couple of days ago I was in line to order at Sweet Pea behind a young couple who were obviously vegan novices. I patiently waited while they asked all of the questions I had asked and more.

“What’s tempeh made of?”

“How about seitan? What’s in it?

“What’s in a falafel?”

“What kind of cheese do you use?

Seriously, this young couple was thorough in their quest to find out what everything on the menu was made from or of.

There was one question that I never asked, though that the male did: “And what are the potatoes made from?”

I looked up from my phone to find the person taking the order suppressing a smile.

“Potatoes. We generally make them from potatoes.”

He went on to tell him what kind of oil they’d be cooked in and that they were locally grown.

I just had to grin. Finally someone asked a question I could’ve answered even in my virgin vegan days. Potatoes are made from potatoes!

Peace, people.

Open Minded

My husband, Studly Doright, never ceases to amaze me. I’m not sure if it’s his wit, but I’m fairly certain it’s not his wisdom.

Friday afternoon he reminded me that he’ll be attending two celebration of life ceremonies on Saturday for two men he’s played golf with for the last eight years. The guys died within a few hours of one another right before Christmas, and now they’ll be remembered on the same day. The golfers will head straight to the first service following their Saturday round on the links and then to the second after that. They were both good men, as far as I could tell, and had lived interesting lives.

As usual when contemplating death I think ahead to my own wishes for end of life arrangements. Studly and I both want to be cremated, and I told him that instead of a funeral and/or a celebration of life that I just want a wake. I want beer and wine to be served and for everyone to just sit and talk–mostly about me, but I guess I can’t control that. Prayers for a safe transition would be appreciated, and I’d probably be happy with a few tears being shed. Nothing too sad, though. I’d like my kids to pick out some suitable music–they both know what I like.

As to my cremated remains, if I go first I’d like my ashes to be placed in a pretty urn–World Market has some beautiful ones that fit the bill, and they’re a fraction of the cost the funeral home charges. When Studly dies his ashes are to be added to mine.

I was saying all this out loud when Studly interrupted to ask about his second wife.

“Hmm,” I said. “I guess she could join us in the urn if she didn’t have other plans.”

“Wow, you’d be open to a threesome?”

If it makes him feel better, I suppose so.

Peace, people.

Snapshot #275 or Something

The above photo was taken a week ago in my front yard. Hard to believe it’s January. Let’s call this one, Things Are Looking Up.

About the snapshot numbering, I realized today that I’ve used the same number more than once. So much for honesty in blogging.

Peace, people.

Book Club Issues

Yesterday I wrote about the book The Worst Hard Time. It was a wonderful book club pick, one that’s stayed with me for many years. But there were several other books my book club in Champaign, Illinois, read that deserve a mention.

One of my favorites was Devil in the White City, by Erik Larson, a true story about a serial killer who plied his trade during the 1893 Chicago World Exposition. While it’s nonfiction, the book reads like novel. I was totally engrossed.

Another great read was Loving Frank, based on the story of a woman who loved the architect Frank Lloyd Wright so much that she left her family for him.

This was a book that stirred emotions and sparked heated discussions. It’s beautifully written and thought provoking.

My favorite book, though, from the book club years was The Whistling Season, by Ivan Doig. This is a book that honors teachers and education. It’s absolutely beautiful, and will make you yearn for simpler times.

I have book club issues. It’s difficult for me to read what someone tells me to read, but these books are evidence that I can follow directions. At least for awhile.

Peace, people.

The Worst Hard Time

Yesterday I shared a poem I wrote called, The Dust https://nananoyz5forme.com/2020/01/14/the-dust/. It was inspired by memories of my childhood in Floydada, Texas, when the wild winds blew stinging dust into every little nook and cranny of my world. I hated the dust and the dry Texas winds. They drove me slightly mad. Explains a lot, doesn’t it?

And as a young wife, I grew to hate the wind and dust even more when on two separate occasions the back door of our rental house in Dumas, Texas, blew open while Studly and I were at work. We came home to find inches of dust on our floors, our furnishings, and inside of our cabinets. I cleaned for days and still found dust where dust shouldn’t be. I cursed the dust.

When Studly and I moved away from the Texas panhandle I missed the family and friends we left behind, but never the wind and the dust. I could live there again if I had to, but I pray I’ll never have to.

While living in Illinois I joined an informal book club. We drank a lot of wine and sometimes even discussed the book we’d been assigned to read that month. One that made the biggest impact on me was The Worst Hard Time by Timothy Egan.

The book chronicles the Dust Bowl era of the 1930’s through interviews with those who lived through that time. I knew every town mentioned in the book. And as awful as my memories of windy, dusty days were, they were nothing compared to the nightmare of the Dust Bowl years.

One lady in the book club complained that the book went on about the dust way too long. I countered with, “I think that was the point.”

If the author had glossed over even a bit of the despair caused by the weather conditions he’d have missed his mark. She also asked if anyone still lived there.

“Well, yes,” I said. “I have family and friends there along with hundreds of thousands of other hardy folks.”

“Unbelievable,” she said.

There is a lot of beauty in that part of the country–days so perfect, sunsets so gorgeous, you could almost cry. But I always remember the dust.

Peace, people.

Advanced Bed Making for Dummies

My mom was a stickler for a well made bed. As the only girl child in her home I was judged by my ability to create precise hospital corners and deliver a perfectly smooth bedspread. Wrinkles were a no-no. I let her down. A lot.

As a mom, I was much more relaxed with my bed making rules; although, I did attempt to demonstrate the principles my mom tried to instill in me. Neither of my kids paid much attention to the lessons, though, and I didn’t think bedspreads were the hills I wanted to die on. Pick your battles, right?

Nowadays at Doright Manor, my bed making philosophy revolves around our psychotic younger cat, Patches. I call it “Layering. It’s not just for clothing anymore.”

Patches has developed the nervous habit of peeing on just about any surface that suits her when the anxiety strikes. We took her to the vet to see if there was an underlying medical reason for her bladder control issues, and she’s fit as a fiddle. The vet prescribed a special food, but it requires about eight weeks to kick in.

She also prescribed an anti-depressant that I have to rub on the inside of Patches’s ear every 12 to 24 hours. I’m afraid the lengths I have to go to to corral Patches and administer the drug are increasing her anxiety levels and aren’t doing much for mine either.

She thinks I have an ear fetish. I’m afraid she’s right.

So what does this have to do with making the bed? Twice now Patches has relieved herself on our bed necessitating the laundering of our heavy bedspread that takes forever to dry. Following the first time I added an additional layer of covering to our bed. After the second time, I realized one layer was simply not enough. Now the rule is to have at least three layers on the bed in addition to the bedspread.

This isn’t going to get me a mention in Better Homes and Gardens any time soon, now is it? And my mom would be so heartbroken. Sorry, Mom!

Oh, before you suggest I use deterrent sprays and/or calming sprays, trust me. We’ve been there; done that with multiple concoctions. Patches seems totally immune to their effects.

She does seem to be making a bit of progress, though. Knock on wood, but I haven’t detected any pee on the baseboards or behind Studly Doright’s chair in the past couple of weeks, and those were among her favorite areas to go. And this morning for the first time in ages I watched her play with one of her toys.

We’d appreciate good vibes for Patches, and for me. It now takes me longer to make and unmake my bed than it does me to shower in the morning. And that’s the truth.

Peace, people.

Don’t be fooled by the sweet face. She’s plotting her next attack.

Signs of the Apocalypse?

Studly kept me busy Friday afternoon taking apart a 1976 Honda GL 1000. I’m not sure I was much help, but I had a lot of fun.

After we removed the Corbin seat, the pipes and a few other choice bits, we loaded the frame, along with a variety of other pieces and parts onto Studly Doright’s motorcycle trailer and drove over to a salvage yard in Tallahasse.

Now, Studly has a fondness for places that deal in salvage. His grandad, Benjamin Bernard Noyes (aka Papaw), owned a salvage yard in Hereford, Texas, and Studly spent hour upon hour there from the time he was a small child on into his teens. Papaw put him to work getting the copper, brass, and aluminum out of the pumps and motors that came into the yard. For his efforts Studly was paid enough to keep him in spending money. That yard was his world.

When we drove through the gates of Leon Iron & Metal and saw the towering piles of scrap iron, I could feel his excitement. I have to admit, it got me pumped up, too. I cannot explain the beauty of the place, so I took photos.

The little scooter in the bottom right was something we added to the pile.

Mr. Claw was ready!

The little splash of yellow and the tire are what’s left of our old GL 1000.

The two photos above made me think APOCALYPSE!

We had to remove any batteries from the scrap, so they could be weighed and disposed of safely:

Signs, signs, everywhere a sign…

https://youtu.be/oeT5otk2R1g

As we left the salvage yard, savoring the hefty pile of cash we’d earned from our afternoon of hard labor (okay, it was $30), I had just one question for Studly:

“What else can we take apart?”

He just laughed, but I swear I noticed a little gleam in his eye.

Peace, and junk, people!