Oldie #3: Rower’s Remorse


My husband, Studly Doright, and I recently purchased a home, Doright Manor, on a small lake near Tallahassee, Florida. We are not lake people. We are Texas panhandle people, born and raised in the dry, dusty plains and ill-prepared to handle any body of water larger than the occasional rain puddle.

When we bought our lake home we both envisioned rowing hither and yon around our lake for hours on end, working those muscles that spend too many hours typing on a keyboard and too few doing actual labor. We were going to get in shape! To that end, Studly bought us a two-person kayak. Thank goodness he had the foresight to purchase a fishing kayak–broad on the bottom and damned near impossible to tip over.

Our first venture into the world of kayaking was tense. I yelled. He cried. Or maybe it was the other way around. At any rate, that was just the part where we tried to get into the vessel without getting wet. After several borderline pornographic physical manipulations, Studly and I found ourselves seated in the appropriate slots. To us it made sense that he take the front seat and I take the back. Him: Strong. Me: Weak. We: Wrong.

The back person does all the hard work. All of it. The front person is just there to look pretty and occasionally help steer. We discovered this at the halfway point. There was no way we could switch places without one of us getting drenched. I had to shoulder the load–the big load where the pretty one should be.

Slowly I rowed. Inch by painful inch I paddled and an hour later we found ourselves at our dock confronted with a final challenge. How the heck do we get out of this infernal thing? My arms were shot and Studly couldn’t get enough leverage to pull himself up onto the dock. You see, boats don’t stay still when you pull them into the dock. No. They continue to move in all sorts of ways. Back. Forth. Sideways. They rock and roll. They Zumba.

But, we are not quitters. Nossirree. Neither of us wanted to die out on that lake mere yards from our own back door. “Let’s back the boat away from the dock,” said Studly. “We’ll aim for that grassy area beside the dock, get a running start and shoot onto dry land.”

“Huh?”

“Yea,” he said. “Just help get us out into the inlet and I’ll power us onto the grass.”

“Sure.” Wearily, I pushed against the dock, and then stroke, stroke, stroked out into our little inlet, giving my man plenty of room to make his final stand.

He instructed me to lift my paddle and be ready to spring out of the boat as soon as we hit the shore. Spring. Yep, he said that. I’ve never seen arms work so powerfully. Boom, boom, boom and we hit paydirt. My spring was sprung and I fell onto damp grass, almost, but not quite, touching my lips to the solid ground.

“Quick! Grab the boat!” Studly yelled. Just in time, I caught hold to prevent him from floating away. I steadied the vessel as he rolled out, sprawling in lake mud. I’d have laughed at the sight, but I couldn’t summon the energy.

We both recovered. Slowly. And we’ve been out in our kayak many times since that first one. Every time we learn something new, but getting out never gets easier. I keep intending to google the topic. “How do I get out of my kayak without inflicting mortal wounds on my partner?” The good news? I think I’m developing an arm muscle. But it might be a mosquito bite. Time will tell.

Peace, People.

Above is glimpse of our lake taken from the safety of my back porch.

Oldie #1: A Thigh Slapping Good Time

Shehanne Moore encouraged me to republish some of my older stuff on WordPress. Well, it doesn’t get much older than this piece. I give you my second blog post on WP. 

https://nananoyz5forme.com/2014/07/11/a-thigh-slapping-good-time/

Souvenirs from Universal Studios, Orlando

Studly Doright and I were in Orlando, Florida, on Monday and Tuesday this week, prior to flying to Shannon, Ireland, on Wednesday. He had meetings to attend, while I had some time on my hands. Monday I treated myself with a trip to one of the outlet malls, but on Tuesday I decided it was high time I visited The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios. 


I walked all the way back to where the map indicated Harry Potter’s world would be. I saw the bus, and I  took a selfie in front of #12 Privet Drive, but I was confused. Where was Diagon Alley? I walked all the way around the area, but was stymied. Was this all there was? 

I’m such a Muggle, but on a hunch I walked through a nondescript opening in an unmarked brick wall, and voila! 


Diagon Alley! Honest, one can’t see this opening from the area where the triple decker knight bus and Privet Drive are, even though they’re just a few feet away. How wonderfully magical to be forced to stumble onto it! 





Butter beer is pretty damned tasty; although, there’s no actual beer in it. Drat. 


I ogled the newest Firebolt model:


By far the longest line in Diagon Alley was formed outside the wand store. I spoke with a little girl who was still giddy that the wand she purchased had chosen her. I was tempted to join the queue, but I’ll wait until I can bring my grandkids. And a wand in my hands might not be a good idea. I solemnly swear that I’m up to no good. 

So, what were my souvenirs? 

A pair of scraped palms, and a skinned knee.


I fell, having failed to realize that the curb was about five inches higher than my bifocal lenses led me to believe. Fortunately a couple of young men rushed to my aid, and helped me to my feet. The part that’s the most injured is my pride. It could’ve been much worse, so I’ll take my lumps as a renewed call for caution. 

A Little Slice of Haven

For Mother’s Day my son purchased a couple of gift certificates for me for services at Haven, a spa in Tallahassee. I’m a big fan of spas and believe there should be one on every corner, like Starbucks or McDonalds, where patrons just walk up to a counter and order “a deep tissue massage with a side of facial.” Now that would be a perfect world.

I do treat myself to spa treatments fairly regularly, but I’d never been to Haven. Their website was great, and I was able to book my appointment online. That was a big plus, in my book. 

Being a bit of an overachiever, I scouted out the location of the spa one afternoon last week when I was in the neighborhood. Inside Haven the vibe was just the right sort of mellow. As an added plus, one of my favorite local caf├ęs, Canopy Road, was nearby. 

Today was the big day. I arrived a few minutes early for my 60-minute acupressure massage with Steve Peuckert, and was met at the door by a friendly young woman, Pam, I believe, who had me complete the easy peasy paperwork for a first timer. 

One of my pet peeves is going to a new spa and having to fill out two sides of a form. By the time I’m finished I’m more stressed than I was when I entered. But Haven’s questionnaire had five quick questions. Even I don’t mind answering five questions.

Steve took me back immediately and soon I was drifting away into the land of ahhhhhs. I’m an aficionado of great massage therapists, and Steve skyrocketed to the top of my list. The man knows his stuff. I rebooked before leaving the salon.

Haven Spa offers discounts to customers who check in on Facebook, Google+, or Yelp when they arrive at the spa. That’s about as good as it gets, right? Haven might not have a franchise on every corner, but they make it easy to get a wonderful and affordable spa experience.

I didn’t receive any products or free services for this piece on Haven Spa. As usual I just wanted to let my friends in on a really great business. Here’s a link to their website: http://www.ilovehaven.com/

Peace, people.

Canopied Road

No destination in mind, I was free to choose. Flip a coin, left or right, or perhaps bear straight ahead where a 

Canopied road beckons, shadow-stippled, playing footsie with the sun. No artist painted this. Slow down,

Patterns shift with the slightest whisper of wind. Blink, and the world has changed already. Dark to light and back

Again. A forest green turtle ventures a crossing. Hurry, little guy, not all who travel here will care if you safely reach your

Destination. He ignores my wave, but soldiers on, tiptoeing persistently across this canopied road. His choice matters, too.

Egg or Turd?

Wednesday as I sat typing at the kitchen table I caught movement in my peripheral vision. Just outside my window a turtle seemed to be laying an egg or eggs.


As soon as she moved away, having covered the fruits of her labor, I went outside and placed an empty flower pot atop the disturbed earth in order to protect the eggs from scavengers.


Of course now I’m wondering if she was indeed a she. If not, I’m most likely protecting turtle turds. Good times at Doright Manor. 

Peace, people!

All Points Bulletin

I stumbled into the middle of a manhunt in Tallahassee today. I’d gone to eat lunch at Firehouse Subs on Capital Circle having become slightly addicted to their New York Streamer sandwich. The small size is only 360 calories and it tastes so darned good. But back to the manhunt.

As I walked out of the restaurant I heard the distinct sounds of a helicopter directly above me. I waved, for what it’s worth, and went on to my car. 

When I turned into a side street I saw a police cruiser, lights flashing, partially blocking the road. An officer standing by her patrol car waved me through. I still hadn’t connected her presence with the hovering helicopter, but when I turned the next corner and saw three cruisers and a police van, I realized I was probably in the middle of something big. 

I was just trying to get back to Capital Circle so I could go home, so I kept driving and turned right again. There, coming down the sidewalk toward my car was a police canine and his cop. That dog had the scent and was pulling hard on his leash. 

Hurriedly I found a way out of the area and drove to Home Depot a few blocks away. As soon as I was parked I googled breaking news in Tallahassee. Two possibilities popped up.

Now, I’m not sure which of these headlines is pertinent to the manhunt. One would certainly be more interesting than the other.

Was it this person they were using dogs to search for?


Or this one?


You know which one I’m rooting for, right?

Peace, people. And for goodness sake, put on some clothes!

Chain of Parks 2017

Saturday morning I drove into Tallahassee to savor the eclectic vibe of the annual LeMoyne Chain of Parks Art Festival. This isn’t an arts and crafts (or as Studly Doright calls them “arts and crap”) show, but a gathering of some of the finest artists and artisans from all across the country. 

Name your poison–jewelry, pottery, textiles, sculpture, carvings, paintings, stained glass, and/or mixed-media. It was all there. I couldn’t afford 99.99% of the art displayed, but I so enjoyed looking. 

Here are just a few of the sights:



My favorite, and the most affordable, part of the day was dog watching.

One end of the park is set aside for children to create their own art. I didn’t venture very far into this section, as my stomach had begun nagging me to find the food trucks, but I took this photo of the chalk art area. Note the little girl on the right. As I passed by she remarked, “Look! I’m walking on the wall!”

And I don’t know who Terrika is, but she made me smile.

At one point I was mobbed by a group of posh ladies who insisted on sharing their kooky style with me. I always needed a boa to make me feel complete; I just didn’t know it. 


Unfortunately the Divas, as they called themselves, got away before I could snap a picture. It was a wrap and run incident. No one was harmed in the process. 

What a wonderful morning! I did buy a small item for my little courtyard area at Doright Manor. I’ll share that another day.

Peace, people!

Tallahassee Museum with the Grandkids

My daughter and her family arrived at our home last Wednesday after driving straight through from their home in Illinois. The three grandkids slept much of the way, but their parents needed naps upon arrival. 

Poppa (Studly Doright) entertained four-year-old Harper, while Garrett (14), and McKayla (12), accompanied me on some not-so-exciting errands so the house would be quiet for the “old folks.”

After the parents awakened I suggested we take the crew to the Tallahassee Museum, which is really part zoo, part zip-lining adventure, and part historical site. I’d been before, but Studly hadn’t, and none of our guests had ever visited this gem. 

I’m always so nervous that my suggestions won’t go over well, and this one didn’t get off to a promising start. Harper balked at the entrance and had to be coaxed to continue, but after a cold lemonade and a bit of time on the playground equipment, she was all smiles. 

Harper was captivated by the dinosaur sculptures made entirely from automotive parts.

Poppa decided that he and Garrett should give the tree-to-tree adventure a try, and the two of them set off to be fitted for harnesses and given instructions on hooking on to the safety lines. Poppa came to regret this quest, but Garrett took to the trees like a duck to water. 

Poppa is saying, “You want me to do what???”
Garrett was amazingly adept at switching connections between obstacles.
The camera doesn’t capture the man’s terror.
McKayla was the primary animal spotter. She has keen eyes for the almost hidden denizens of the museum.
This guy was taking advantage of a shady spot on the warm afternoon.
Garrett visited with a friendly otter.
 

Somehow I forgot to take photos of the wolves, foxes, and birds of prey, but I remembered to have a good time. 

Peace, people!

Fairy Expansion

Our daughter and her family visited from Illinois these past few days. The youngest grandchild, Harper, was entranced by our fairy house, but she also was frustrated that it had a fake door. 

“How do the fairies get in?” she asked.

“They’re magic,” I said. “They just pop in and out.”

“I don’t think that’s how it works,” she said. 


We left the fairies in a rearranged state and went for a quick overnight trip to the beach. I’d forgotten all about them, but Poppa (a.k.a. Studly Doright) began planning to build a house with a door that would open and close.

When we returned from St. George Island on Friday afternoon Harper was napping, so Poppa and the middle grandchild, McKayla, went to work on a new fairy house. 




By the time Harper awakened most of the building was completed, but she did add her opinion.


In fact, the idea to use leaves for the curtains was hers. 


Here’s the finished project.  Notice the original dwelling behind the new house. We’ve got the beginnings of a village!


And the door opens, so these fairies don’t have to rely on magic to enter and exit.


I noticed a couple of wee folk have already taken possession of the new place, 



along with a happy frog!

Poppa and McKayla, with a wee bit of help from Harper, made a big impact in the Florida fairy world.

Peace, people!