Sunday Afternoon Drives

A recent column by Sean Dietrich inspired this post. In it he talked about the drives he and his family took on the backroads way back when.

My family also enjoyed meandering drives on Sunday afternoons. We’d go to church, then to King’s Restaurant in Floydada, Texas. Afterwards Daddy would aim whichever secondhand car we owned at the time down one back road or another.

Sometimes we’d head in the direction of Turkey, Texas, the home of the grand master of Texas Swing, Bob Wills. Sometimes we’d head to Plainview, where singer and sausage king, Jimmy Dean hailed from. Lubbock, home of Buddy Holly, Mac Davis, and the Maines Brothers, was often our destination.

Other times we’d drive through South Plains, where my great grandparents staked their claim, and Lockney, our main rival in football. Good grief, we couldn’t stand Lockney.

I loved these drives—listening to my parents talk about the places we visited, the people who put these little towns on the map. It used to be a fantasy of mine that one day someone would drive through Floydada and say, “You know, that author, Leslie Noyes, grew up here. Her maiden name was Hall. She was Gerald and Freida’s daughter. Kind of odd as a kid, but maybe most authors are.”

Wouldn’t that be something?

Peace, people.

Star Struck

I met one of my heroes last night. And I don’t use the term hero lightly. Sean Dietrich is an author, a humorist, a musician, a treasure.

For quite a while now I’ve read Sean’s blog posts on Facebook. He writes about life, about the goodness in this old world. He writes about the helpers. The everyday angels. And last night I was fortunate enough to hear him speak (and sing) in person at an event sponsored by the Bookshelf bookstore in Thomasville, Georgia. What a wonderful evening it was.

Studly Doright came along for the ride, peppering me with questions on the fifty minute drive from Havana to Thomasville.

“So, he isn’t some political nut is he?” Studly asked.

“Nope. The only thing I can think of that Sean pontificates on is the dearth of good modern country music.”

“Is he going to try to sell us a time share?”

“No, but I’ll probably buy one of his books.”

“Well, what’s he going to talk about anyway?”

“Life, probably. Growing up in a southern Baptist church. Fried chicken. Things we are familiar with.

Honestly, in retrospect, I should’ve just invited Studly along for a talk about good southern fried Baptist chicken. He didn’t ask another question after that—just stepped on the gas and got us to Thomasville in record time.

Sean was gracious enough to sign books and pass out hugs at the conclusion of his performance. And I was up for that. Such a huggable guy. I’m sure he thought I was a dotty old lady.

“We’re friends on Facebook,” I said, and he gave me a curious look. I might’ve mistaken me gushing over one of his posts for being friends on social media, because when I checked later, I discovered we weren’t friends there. My mind is quite adept at creating fictional circumstances.

Studly kind of sulked in a corner wondering where the fried chicken was, but grudgingly admitted he’d had a good time.

You can find Sean Dietrich’s books on Amazon. And I highly recommend them.

Peace, people

True Confession

True Confession: I am an idiot.

Once upon a time I created a Facebook ad for my first novel (Mayhem at the Happy Valley Motor Inn and Resort) with the assistance of the lovely and talented Lori Roberts Herbst (author of the Callie Cassidy Mysteries). You’ve likely seen my ad and maybe been annoyed by it because, well, it hasn’t been updated in FOREVER.

That’s because I can’t remember how to generate a new ad. Yes, I’m an idiot. The current (OLDER THAN DIRT) ad shows Mayhem with 239 reviews, when in fact, it now has 849 reviews. Mostly four and five star, I might add.

One of these days I’m going to tackle this issue. Just not this day. So, thanks for your patience and your love and support. I have THE BEST readers.

(By the way, there are currently two additional books in the series, and another sequel to be published in the near future—I’m just not savvy enough to create ads for them.)

Mayhem at the Happy Valley Motor Inn and Resort, along with all my other books, is available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats. Also available through Kindle Unlimited.

The Great Wine Disaster of 2022

A healthy pour

Red, a Merlot,


I knew the first taste

Before lifting the glass

To waiting lips,

And then

One awkward,

Thoughtless move

Sent the crystal


Slow-motion, yet

Too fast for old

Fingers to find


And wine went


The floor


Inside cupboards

And drawers.

All over my khakis,

The ones with elastic

At the ankles

Harem girl style,

My favorites.

And saddest of all?

There was no wine

Left in the



Studly Doright was out of town most of this past week and I needed a good program to watch to make the evenings pass more quickly. A friend from my water aerobics class suggested a South Korean film on Netflix—“Extraordinary Attorney Woo.”

Now I’m hooked. The series, about a rookie attorney named Woo Young Woo, is refreshing and clever. There’s no nudity. No blood and guts. Just a young autistic woman with a penchant for whales, struggling to fight for truth, justice, and the South Korean way one case at a time.

So, if you need something completely different to watch, give Woo a chance.

Peace, people!

Wayward Memory

It’s 6:54 a.m. and 52° here in Tallahassee, FL.

I’m sitting in my car in the parking lot of Trousdale aquatics center waiting for my water aerobics class to begin and giving myself a pep talk that goes something like “You’re going to freeze to death. Enjoy!”

Oh, and today’s my birthday.

A steady stream of young women, high school age by the look of them, leave the pool area, heading to their cars so they can make it to first period classes on time.

I count a shiny new Jeep and a Lexus among their rides. A far cry from the ‘57 army green Ford Galaxie I drove in high school.

That Galaxie was built like a tank. Ugly as sin, it could withstand just about anything man or beast could throw at it. And one morning, when I was a high schooler myself, racing from band practice at the junior high to the high school for my next class, my friend, Ray’s car didn’t stop quickly enough on the newly graveled street and, bam! He plowed into my Galaxie and a geyser of steam erupted from beneath his hood.

That Galaxie, though, didn’t even flinch.

I hope those high school girls make it safely to their destinations. There wasn’t a single ‘57 Ford Galaxie in the mix. Tsk. Tsk.

Peace, people!

In Favor of Charlie Hunnam

Knowing that Studly Doright and I are motorcyclists, well-meaning friends have often recommended the series, Sons of Anarchy. Until recently we’ve always laughed and said, “We aren’t that kind of bikers.”

Nevertheless, we finally broke down and began watching the show. Now, two seasons in, we’ve got a few observations:

1) Trade the bikes for horses and you’ve basically got Yellowstone.

2) Katie Sagal is awesome as Gemma.

3) Charlie Hunnam is hot. Okay, that’s my observation. Studly wants you to know that he’s not on board with that.

4) It’s a violent show and we’re trying to decide if we’ll continue watching.

5) Charlie Hunnam is still hot, so we (I) probably will watch ‘til the end.

Peace, people.

Do You Love Me?

Water aerobics early this morning meant walking into water that was slightly warmer than the ambient temperature of 66 degrees Fahrenheit. It wasn’t bad as long as I could keep my body submerged. But brrr!

When our beloved T., keeper of the music, turned on the tunes, all became right in the world. First song up? “Do You Love Me,” the song released by the Sonics in 1965 and covered by quite a few artists including David Hasselhoff. (heaven help us.). The movie Dirty Dancing reminded everyone that it was a worthy song. Yes it is.

Pretty soon I forgot about the cold and bopped my way across the pool. Do you love me? You bet I do.

Peace, people!

Splishing and A’Splashing

My birthday’s coming up soon. I’ll be 66. Or as I like to say, Sixty Freaking Six. I’m not complaining. Much.

At the risk of calling some awful punishment down on myself, I have to say I feel really great right now. I’m taking an early morning water aerobics class four times a week, and while I have occasional aches and pains, the time I spend in the water makes me feel like I’m thirty-something. Almost.

In the water I’m gracefully buoyant and beautiful. The second I begin ascending the steps out of the pool, I turn into an ungainly gnome. It’s magic. Dark magic. If only I could live in the pool. Unfortunately, I’m trying to finish book four in the Happy Valley series and the laptop doesn’t like to get wet.

Still, I think I’m making a fairly smooth transition into the second half of my 60’s. I’m just gonna keep on splishing and a’splashing.

Peace, people!

I See the Light

Studly Doright had an interesting escapade a few days ago. I’d left for water aerobics at 6:30 a.m., while Studly waited for a co-worker to stop by Doright Manor to pick him up for a business trip to somewhere in western Florida.

While he waited, he opened up his motorcycle workshop to fiddle with his Suzuki for a few minutes. He left the door up since he didn’t plan to be inside the shop for very long.

As he checked to see if his bike’s new tubeless tires were holding air, Studly noticed a small group of worms headed his way.

“How odd.” He thought. “Maybe they’re attracted to the light.”

Stepping outside, he realized these worms weren’t behaving in a very wormlike manner. They raised their little heads in a suspiciously snakey way.

Now, my husband only fears a few things: crazy chickens, stampeding dairy cows, and snakes of any variety. These erstwhile worms were snakes, albeit, extremely skinny ones.

He freaked out and stomped each one in turn, then looked up to find more snakes headed his way. After all was said and done, Studly Doright had wiped out fourteen snakes. Maybe an entire generation!

I was appalled. “Why didn’t you just turn out the light? They were clearly attracted to it?”

“If I’d turned out the light, I wouldn’t have been able to see the snakes.”

I shuddered. Good point.

Peace, and sweet dreams, people!

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