My Morning View

Our little piece of the lake behind Doright Manor is my happy place. From my favorite spot on the sofa I watch the day unfold.

If you look closely you can see one of two fairy houses in the bottom right hand corner. The fairies are stealthy, though, and we only get glimpses of their daily activities.

Occasionally a snowy egret sweeps low over the lake. A pair has nested here every year since we moved in, and most likely long before that.

We haven’t spotted an alligator yet this year, but I’m always watching for the telltale bubbles.

Fish jump, turtles perch on logs, and frogs, who are quiet right now, have a concert scheduled tonight and every night this summer.

Lizards provide entertainment for my cats. They climb the window screens, secure in the knowledge that their furry nemeses are stuck inside on this late spring morning.

Oh, let’s not forget the snakes. We’ve seen a few this year, but the birds and the squirrels give us warning. I click to the squirrels and whistle to the birds.

Who’d have ever thought a girl who grew up in the dry, dusty Texas panhandle would ever get to live in such a place? Certainly not me. It’s heaven.

Peace, people.

Simple Art for Non-artists

My need to create art is overshadowed only by my complete lack of artistic ability. Almost daily I’ll see something on Pinterest or on Facebook that makes me think, “hmmm, I can do that,” only to discover that no, I can’t. But that seldom keeps me from trying, and subsequently failing again.

One day last week I found this video on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/artfidodotcom/videos/1737457416309371/

It looked foolproof, so I gathered a sketchbook, some paints, and a bit of embroidery floss. Guess what? Not only is it foolproof, it’s great fun.

My first attempt. I love that I get two prints in one go.

I tried two colors on my second piece. I’m calling this one “Angry Parrots.”

And three colors on my third. The black just looks muddy, though.

Here’s my favorite:

This will be fun to do with visiting grandkids. I used washable paints, and all my work surfaces survived unscathed. Yay, me!

I won’t be opening a gallery any time soon, but I am going to keep experimenting.

Peace, people!

Too Much Whining

Dear Readers, I’m frightened. Donald Trump seems hell bent on destroying everything we as Americans have always held dear. The Constitution is under assault and his administration’s war on the separation between church and state is the stuff of nightmares.

Thank goodness for political cartoonists who are still churning out the truth one frame at a time. Here is just a small sampling from social media:

This deserves the seal of approval.

He’s a notoriously bad speller, so….

Surrounding himself with all the right people:

What he meant to say never jibes with what he actually says. And still his sycophants give him a pass.

He played us for suckers from the start.

Go away little Lord Trumpleroy.

Trump’s only exit strategy?


Sums it up nicely.

He does have some talents:

Sadly, not too far fetched.

And something I’d enjoy seeing:

And here’s a meme that has nothing to do with the Cheeto-in-Chief. This one just made me laugh. And if we can’t laugh, we might as well surrender to the bastards, right?

Peace, people.

Almost a Review of “Children of Time”

Amazon periodically sends me suggestions for new books based on my reading history. Some of their book picks are hits; others are complete misses. My most recent purchase was a home run in the sci-fi genre.

Children of Time, by Adrian Tchaikovsky is riveting. The setting alternates between an ark ship from a dying planet earth and the green planet that the humans have targeted as their best hope for mankind’s survival.

Unbeknownst to the travelers, the planet has been seeded with a nanovirus by much earlier explorers from earth. Originally, the nanovirus was intended to mentally enhance a colony of monkeys from earth; however, the best laid plans of monkeys and men go awry and the nanovirus interacts with an entirely different species, several of them, in fact.

The trials and tribulations of the crew members on the ark ship, Gilgamesh, as they travel for thousands of years going in and out of suspension and awakening to new realities every few hundred years are fascinating. There are coups and crises, romances and disappointments among the humans trying to establish a new foothold on an alien world.

But even more intriguing is the nanovirus-triggered sentience in an unexpected alien species. I won’t give away the details, but I found myself rooting for these non-mammals in the epic, penultimate battle for survival. I want to go live on their extraordinary world.

If I had ten thumbs, I’d raise every one of them for this book. The author spins a great tale.

Peace, people!

Farm to Table

Yesterday I felt like getting out of the house. Having been sick since May 2, I’d only made short trips for necessities, including two visits to convenient care medical facilities. I’m still not 100%, but if I ever want to get stronger I have to venture forth.

A Tallahassee neighborhood was having its community garage sale, so I drove to the east side of town and enjoyed the beautiful Florida weather while buying only a couple of items. Most of the merchandise on sale was baby related, and I have no need for strollers or play pens. Thank goodness.

I still had money in my pocket when I left the neighborhood, so I took myself to lunch at Backwoods Crossing, a farm to table restaurant. I’d driven past the place a couple of times before, but never at a meal time.

The interior of the restaurant is pleasant.

I was there early, so I had my pick of tables. The menu had lots of appetizing choices. Unfortunately, I’m limited in what I can eat right now. I settled on a grilled chicken breast with an apple glaze. It was tasty. I’d have loved to have the side of mashed sweet potatoes, but was afraid they’d have too much fiber for my delicate system. Never thought this hot salsa guzzling girl would have to settle for the bland side of things. Hopefully, this, too shall pass. No pun intended.

After my lunch I strolled into their outdoor seating area and garden. Much of the food they serve comes straight from this beautiful garden.

Items they don’t grow or raise directly on property are purchased from local farms. It’s a sweet setup.

I look forward to returning when my digestive issues are straightened out. Fingers crossed that happens soon! As for Studly Doright, he’s recovering from back surgery like a champ. He drove over and had lunch with his golf buddies today. It’ll be another three months before he can take the game up again, but he enjoyed swapping tales with his friends. Life is slowly getting back to normal.

Peace, people.

A Week of Loss

Earlier this week my mother-in-law, Saint Helen, called to let us know that her beloved brother-in-law, our Uncle Junior, had passed away. Junior was one of the best men I ever met. He always had a smile and a story to tell. Every Sunday he’d call Saint Helen and they’d share their week’s adventures. Even in his last years Junior would be out on his large property in Oklahoma tending to chores that would be daunting to much younger men. He was quite a man.

I also lost a friend I met in a Facebook group of political progressives, and while we never met face to face, Thom’s death hit me hard. He was a retired Methodist minister who lived a life of service to others. His heart was huge and his sense of humor kept us all on our toes. He shared his beautifully written prayers with us along with his calming and deep wisdom. Even in his last days he was posting puns on Facebook to cheer us up. The world has lost a great man.

Then just this morning I learned that a friend from my hometown was hit by a car and killed. I hadn’t seen Roy in years, but he was like a big brother to me when I was in high school. He had a big personality and an even bigger heart. I’m so sad for his family and for all who knew him. Another good guy gone.

Life is short. Hug your loved ones, cherish your friends.

Peace, people.

What Do You Hear?

https://www.facebook.com/wxyzdetroit/videos/1419588421519790/

Have you listened to this clip on social media? It’s a brief audio clip of one word being repeated several times. Some people hear one word, others hear a different word. There are those who hear both.

I’m purposely not mentioning the words to see if that makes a difference in what my readers hear–that is if the link works. I believe I prejudiced myself to hear one of the two words when I was given an either/or choice.

Let me know if you are unable to access the link and I’ll see if there’s a way I can make it accessible. This is kind of fascinating.

I give you a totally irrelevant photo of a raccoon sniffing a flower to cleanse your palate.

How Saving My Brother Resulted in My Burps Smelling Like Peppermint

My brothers and I were free range children, left to our own devices in the town of Floydada, Texas, over the three long months of every summer. As the oldest, I was placed in an undeserved position of authority while both of our parents worked full time jobs. I’m still amazed that brothers K and B will still talk to me after the horrible and random punishments I inflicted on them.

In my more self-forgiving moments I imagine that my poor efforts at babysitting equipped them both with survival tools far beyond what two small town boys might’ve gained otherwise. I mean, we had no cougars or grizzly bears to challenge their respective skill sets back in the 60’s. I was the next best thing.

I did teach them how to escape the lava that unexpectedly bubbled up in the living room from time to time. By carefully leaping from couch to chair to chair and back again we could keep our feet from becoming molten stubs. It was imaginary lava, but still. And I taught them how to scavenge for loose change in between the couch cushions and inside dresser drawers so we could walk to the drugstore downtown and each have a “baby” Coke on a scorching hot afternoon, so I wasn’t all bad.

Over the years both brothers have forgiven me for my cruelties, or at least they don’t mention them every time we’re together anymore. Instead we have edifying conversations. Just a week ago brother K and I were discussing our respective irritable bowel syndrome issues. He recommended a product called “Heather’s Tummy Tamers” with the caveat that they’ll make my burps smell like peppermint.

I ordered a bottle and indeed, my belches, along with other expressions of gas and bodily emissions, now have the distinct odor of peppermint. But they work beautifully on alleviating gas and acid reflux. I’m so glad I never actually tossed him into the lava.

Peace, people.

My Twitter Issue

Like many of the bloggers on WordPress I automatically share my posts on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. 98% of the time it’s a smooth process and my posts magically appear in the Twitterverse, but occasionally there’s a glitch requiring a reset. It’s usually a quick fix and the mundane aspects of my life are once again available for folks to like, comment on, or best of all, retweet.

This past week while I was battling diverticulitis I noticed that Twitter wanted me to change my password. Apparently they’d had an issue with an entity gaining access to their passwords. Well, I’m not the most tech savvy person in the world, and I couldn’t quite figure out how to change the password, so I thought I’d log out and log back in. Seemed simple enough.

Except that Twitter wouldn’t allow me to merely sign back in, forcing me to create a new account. And now, I can’t get WordPress to let go of the old Twitter account so that I can share my posts on the new account. I mean I realize there are bigger issues at hand in the world right now, but this is annoying. I must be feeling better if I have the energy to be bugged by this.

If any friends have suggestions I’m game, just remember to type really slowly so I can understand.

Peace, people.

Happy Mother’s Day

My mom has been gone for many years now, but there’s not a day that I don’t think of her or need her or miss her. We seldom saw eye to eye, but we usually saw heart to heart.

Happy Mother’s Day to the woman who insisted I use good grammar and who modeled great reading habits. I owe her everything.

Peace, people.