Do the Wave

Friday was pretty low-key around Doright Manor. I caught up on the laundry, and we took Studly Doright for a second epidural for his sciatic pain. He’s hoping that this second round will allow him to embark on his annual men’s golf trip later this month. Fingers crossed.

I decided to cheer him on by doing the wave, but a one woman wave isn’t all that effective. In fact, it’s downright idiotic. So I enlisted members of the animal kingdom to assist me. It’s still fairly idiotic, but you have to admit that animals caught in the act of waving are pretty cute.

Peace, people!

Swimming With Beasts

A few nights ago I had a dream in which Studly Doright and I had taken our kids and grandkids on a trip to an indoor pool. The pool was huge, larger even than Olympic sized, but that wasn’t the oddest thing about it. As we walked around we realized that large animals were swimming with people in the pool.

There were lions and sharks, alligators and tigers swimming menacingly, seeming to stalk the humans who’d risked their necks to join in the activity. I was appalled, but everyone else in our family group began to jump in. My youngest granddaughter and her dad raced a cheetah to the side of the pool, narrowly missing becoming a snack for the feline.

I was pacing up and down urging everyone to get out of the pool before it was too late, but they all just pooh-poohed my concerns. A shrill blast from the lifeguard’s whistle signaled that it was time for a change in animals, so all of the humans were herded into cages while the pool was cleaned and the new animals emerged.

This time there were elephants and polar bears, llamas and giraffes in the pool. I found myself tempted to enter the water figuring it might be my only chance to swim with an elephant. Just before I took the plunge Studly Doright awakened me to lean over and kiss me goodbye before heading off to work.

“Whoa!” I mumbled. “I thought you were a polar bear.”

He didn’t bat an eye, responding, “That’s because I’m so chill.”

Peace, people.

Joking with the Pope

Can I get an awoof? 

Did you know that Pope Francis has a website on which comedians can share jokes pertaining to religion? Go to and see which of your favorite funny people has contributed a joke to benefit one of several charities.

Peace, people!

Kitten Cuddler

My weekdays have become boringly predictable:

Rise, eat, blog, cruise Facebook, send a positive message to President Obama on Twitter, eat, do some chores, blog, cruise Facebook, check email, help Studly Doright build stuff in his new shop, eat, watch Ray Donovan or True Detective while enjoying a glass of wine, read in bed, try to sleep, have a hot flash, get up, change p.j.s, go back to bed, sleep, repeat.

Hopefully tomorrow my life will change. I have an interview at the Animal Services Center in Tallahassee to become, wait for it, a volunteer Kitten Cuddler! I have mad skills in this area, and I hope the volunteer coordinator recognizes this.

Often during interviews I provide way too much information. The question, “could you tell us a little about yourself?” often begins innocently enough with me giving my work experience and somewhere towards the end with a recounting of my first sexual experience. Awkward!

It’s as if my mouth and brain are waging a battle and my mouth has the upper hand. My brain begins saying, “Shut up! Just shut the hell up!” While my mouth keeps spewing my life’s history.

Keep me in your thoughts tomorrow. And if you’ve got any skill in telekinesis, please put a seal on my lips.

Peace, people.


Close Encounters of the Bear Kind

My mother-in-law spent much of her childhood near Pie Town, New Mexico, growing up in the shadow of Poverty Peak. One day we’ll write her stories but I’m still learning this craft, and her memories are too wonderful to entrust to me just yet. So, this tale is mine, and it took place more than 20 years ago during my first trip to her childhood home.

The occasion was a Parker family reunion. Parkers from near and far had come together for a weekend at Moriarty, New Mexico, and then members of the Buck Parker clan, my mother-in-law’s branch of the family tree, went on to camp for a few days on the grounds of their old home at the base of Poverty Peak.

We were quite a crew. Mema (my beloved mother-in-law) and several of her siblings, their children, and great grandchildren, made the trip from Moriarty to Poverty Peak. All told there were probably forty of us in attendance, ready to camp, and hike, and explore the place the Parker siblings had called home during their formative years.

Now, I’m not a camper or a hiker. To me, roughing it means staying at a hotel without a concierge. If God had wanted us to camp He wouldn’t have built Wyndhams and Hiltons and Crown Plazas. But for the sake of Mema and the good of the family I’d give it a go.

One of the highlights of the trip was a hike to the summit of Poverty Peak. It’s not a huge mountain as mountains go, but to a girl from the plains of the Texas panhandle it was pretty daunting. Nevertheless, I, along with Studly, Mema, various uncles, aunts, and cousins, set off as a group to conquer the peak. We ranged in age from four to sixty-four with every age group well-represented.

Studly’s middle sister had a head cold and as we climbed she found it increasingly difficult to breathe. When the group came upon a clearing she decided to cease climbing and rest there until the climbers made their descent. I jumped at the chance to stay with her having decided five minutes into the hike that I should have left the hiking to those who enjoy such activities.

So for the longest time MO (the middle one) and I caught up on each other’s lives. There was a big, steep rock, at least four and a half feet tall, in the center of the clearing, and periodically one of us would climb up on it to sit a spell. We had plenty to talk about–kids, work, friends–so the time passed quickly and pleasantly.

When we heard a crashing in the forest we looked up expecting to see our intrepid explorers. Instead, we saw a big brown bear running at full speed straight at us! My first instinct was to run. Fortunately MO grabbed me, and somehow, magically, we found ourselves atop the rock. I’m not sure how we did it so quickly and effortlessly. I have long suspected that MO scooped me up and teleported us onto that rock.

I have to confess I played the role of blubbering fool to MO’s calm heroine. The bear was less than 10 feet away from our rock, swinging his big shaggy head back and forth, as surprised to find us in his forest as we were to see him in our clearing. Our situation appeared to be at a stalemate, and then we heard our kids coming down the mountain.

MO and I started hollering. Not yelling, not screaming, hollering. There’s a difference. We both could picture what might happen if a scared bear encountered one of our bite-sized children. The thought still makes me shudder. We got the attention of our menfolk (strong, manly men) and they came charging down the mountain, waving their arms and herding the bear away from us.

I’ve often wondered what might have happened had MO and I not been rescued by our group. Would the bear have given up and wandered on? Would he have chosen to attack? Would our bleached bones still be on that rock in the middle of a clearing on the way to Poverty Peak? I’m glad we never had to find out. One thing I do know–bears hardly ever attack at a Crown Plaza.

Peace, People!