All Fun and Games

Our housekeeper came on the 24th, and Doright Manor was spotless by the time she left: Tiles gleamed, faucets sparkled, and countertops shone. Studly Doright and I enjoyed Christmas Day and Boxing Day in a clean castle. Then the grandchildren arrived, along with the jolly mess that accompanies them everywhere they roam.

Within minutes of the kids’ arrival at midnight on Sunday the house looked like a violent windstorm had blown through. Suitcases exploded flinging clothing hither and yon, chairs that do not normally recline somehow morphed into loungers, and our cabinets were emptied of anything edible. 

And this was all before the gifts were opened. Once that occurred, Doright Manor disappeared beneath acres of brightly colored wrapping paper, ribbons, and bows. There might’ve been actual books, gadgets, and toys in the pile, I’m just not sure they’ll ever be located. 

Thankfully the weather here in the Florida panhandle has been perfect for exploring the outdoors this week. The kids spent hours riding the mini-bike and motorcycle that Studly (a.k.a. Poppa) fixed up for them in the weeks before their arrival. The property surrounding the manor provided a perfect track for our budding bikers.

 And we spent a couple of hours learning basic gun safety.

 A prodigious amount of tree chopping took place, as well.

In other words, we tried to keep them outside as much as possible. 

The crew headed home on New Year’s Day leaving behind a trail of detritus and memories. The house might look like we’ve lost a rousing game of Jumanji, but it was worth every second.

Peace, people.

College Football Bowl Games That Should Exist, but Don’t

At this time of year our great country is immersed in college bowl season. I’m a football fan, so bowl games are an essential piece of my holiday puzzle. 

As I typed this I was watching Notre Dame and Ohio State slug it out in the Battlefrog Fiesta Bowl and asking myself a few questions. First, when did Tostitos brand tortilla chips stop sponsoring this bowl game? Tostitos and Fiesta Bowl went together like, well, chips and salsa. Second, who or what on earth is Battlefrog*?

I remember when college bowl games didn’t need corporate sponsors. We simply had the Rose Bowl, Orange Bowl, Sugar Bowl, and Cotton Bowl. That remained the status quo through most of my childhood, but then the number of bowl games proliferated: Tangerine Bowl, Independence Bowl, Sun Bowl, Citrus Bowl, Peach Bowl, and on and on, ad nauseum.

Corporations smelling big money began gobbling up sponsorships right and left. Some, like GoDaddy and Belk, even invented their own bowl games. If the sponsorships remained static from year to year they’d be easier to keep track of, but as in the aforementioned Battlefrog Fiesta Bowl, nee Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, the names often change.

This year we can watch the Goodyear Cotton Bowl, the Capital One Orange Bowl, and the Allstate Sugar Bowl. Only the Rose Bowl, tastefully presented by Northwestern Mutual, has remained above the fray. I was rooting for the Iowa Hawkeyes in that offering. It didn’t go well. 
I do have one suggestion for future bowl game sponsorship: The corporation’s name/product should fit the bowl game being sponsored. Therefore, I present the following combinations for your consideration:Liquid Plumr Toilet Bowl

Kellogs Cereal Bowl

Martha Stewart’s Decorative Bowl
Chiquita Banana Fruit Bowl
Hawaiian Punch Bowl

Pineapple Express Bong Bowl

Orville Redenbacher’s Popcorn Bowl

Krispy Kreme Dessert Bowl
Peace, people!

*Battlefrog is a televised college competition series, according to Google.

My Favorite Photo of 2015

I’m no photographer. In fact, Mr. Kodak and Mr. Polaroid will come together in Kodachrome Instamatic heaven to weep inconsolably at my ineptitude, but if it reunites them can that be a bad thing?

But even the worst photographer gets a break now and then. This is most likely the most beautiful photo ever taken by anyone. I believe the photography gods were smiling down on me on this one allowing me to capture my niece Hanna on her wedding day in Guatemala.


So take that, Mr. Kodak and Mr. Polaroid. And even that Ansel Adams dude. 

Peace, people!


Annual Report

WordPress occasionally annoys me, but most of the time I’m incredibly grateful for this wonderful platform they provide for my musings. The annual report provided by the good folks at WordPress is just one of the ways in which they support bloggers. The statistics are helpful and if I were a more analytical person I’m sure I would figure out a way to make them work for me.

Celebrating my year end report with Kringle, my elf friend

Things Bill Belichick Would Rather Particpate in Than a Post-Game News Conference

If you aren’t an American football fan you won’t be interested in this post at all. So feel free to tune out, you won’t hurt my feelings. 

Studly Doright and I were snickering while watching New England Patriots’ taciturn coach, the great Bill Belichick at his best/worst during the press conference following a loss to the New York Jets. Our snickers soon turned to a hypothetical, “What would Bill rather be doing right this minute?” 

1) Double dating with Caitlyn Jenner.

2) Enjoying a root canal. Sans anesthesia.

3) Poking knitting needles into his nostrils.

4) Showering with a leopard.

5) Parading naked down 5th Avenue. On a snow day.

6) Apologizing. For anything.

7) Wearing nipple clamps attached to an electric generator.

8) Waltzing with Peyton Manning.

9) Having duct tape ripped off of his privates.

10) Eating raw monkey brains.

Thanks, Bill, for providing our evening’s entertainment.


Silent Night

I went outside last night hoping to snap a picture of the full moon. Surrounded by trees, Doright Manor doesn’t have the best location for moon viewing, full or otherwise, and the clouds added another hindrance. 

The weather, though, was indecently warm for December, even for Tallahassee, Florida–75 degrees and as humid as a sauna. I wore my favorite flip flops and sang Walking in a Winter Wonderland to the neighborhood. No one threw rotten tomatoes, so I broke into Silent Night for an encore. From across the lake someone called, “Please, oh please!” I chose to take that as a request for more.

Peace, people!

It’s A Wonderful Life, You Know

Christmas Eve at Doright Manor  
George Bailey found out
When prayers sent up saved him
Life is wonderful


A gift from our daughter!
Although our children
Are far away this Christmas
Their presence is felt

I’m watching my favorite Christmas movie, It’s a Wonderful Life. As usual I began crying when young George Bailey prevented the pharmacist, Mr. Gower, from poisoning a young child. Studly Doright wanted to watch the next episode of Fargo, but I argued that we could watch that any old time. 

For once I won the battle for the remote. Studly’s even resisted the urge to flip to another channel during commercial breaks. I love him, even if he did buy me a holster for the gun I received for Christmas last year and still haven’t touched. Love is funny that way.

The cats are both drunk on catnip. 

 And I’m just content. I just heard a bell ring, and you know what that means.


Every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings.
Peace, people!