A Genuine Whatchamacallit

When I was in Texas in early October my son, grandson, and I spent part of one morning scoping out estate sales in Dallas. Fortunately I was living out of a suitcase, otherwise there’s no telling what I’d have bought. Yes, I know I could’ve gone to a pack and mail place and have purchases delivered to Doright Manor, but I didn’t want to spend money on postage.

Early in the day I bought a nice tennis bracelet, and it looked like that would be it for me. I looked at some nicely priced, nearly new designer bags, but honestly, my cup (and my closet) runneth over when it comes to purses and such.

At the final sale we went to I found this intriguing silver piece, and my son bought it for me as a birthday gift:

Here it is with the dome up:

And with the little plate removed:

Finally, a close up of an attached holder. That was what gave away this whatchamacallit, in my book.

Well, that and the assistance of an informed collector. It needs a good polishing, but its beauty shines through.

What do you think it is? I probably won’t laugh at any guesses. No promises.

Peace, people!

Stormy Weather

As many of you reading this know, my husband, aka Studly Doright, and I live in the Florida panhandle just west of Tallahassee. On Wednesday a category 4 hurricane named Michael blew right through our neighborhood and caused some excitement. I happened to be visiting my son and his family in Dallas, so I’ve only gotten second hand reports from Studly as to how our home, Doright Manor, fared.

First things first–he and the cats are fine. We have several trees down, but that was to be expected. He didn’t think there was any damage to the house, but the road in front of Doright Manor is blocked with trees. I’m sure he’ll be out there with his chain saw and axe as soon as the weather allows. The power went out fairly quickly, but we’d bought a huge generator after last year’s storms, and he’ll be able to enjoy his creature comforts.

Studly is an area director for a public utility, so he’s working from home during the storm. He sent me a text early this morning:

Scout is an incredibly helpful cat, especially during conference calls. She thinks Studly is talking to her.

I was supposed to have flown into Panama City Beach today (Thursday), but we changed the flight to Friday. Studly wasn’t sure he could get out of our neighborhood to pick me up in PCB which is a two hour drive on a normal day.

So I’m hanging out with granddog Toby. We had a good walk in his Dallas neighborhood this morning. Now he’s taking it easy and I’m going to read my book. I sure am ready to be home, though.

Peace, people.

A Distant Storm

Here in Dallas, Texas, on this October Wednesday morning, the sun is just barely up. I’m getting ready to walk Toby, my granddog, under the promise of a clear sky.

Back home at Doright Manor near Tallahassee, Florida, my husband, Studly Doright, is hunkered down, as the locals say, while Hurricane Michael drops buckets of rain and rattles the rafters. I’ve weathered more than one hurricane, but they each have their own personalities, and none are to be taken lightly.

I didn’t evacuate for the storm. It just happened to hit while I was visiting my family in Texas. Studly Doright left Dallas on Sunday morning and drove 12.5 hours to be home ahead of the storm. We’d already planned for him to leave on Sunday, but the approaching storm made everything seem more urgent.

Tonight I’ll be attending a concert with my granddaughter while Studly makes sure all of the hatches remain battened down back home. Tomorrow I’m supposed to fly home. Fingers crossed that the local airports aren’t impacted by Michael’s wrath.

In the meantime, I’ll be listening to this beautiful instrumental piece by Robert Linton. I found it when I googled the phrase “A Distant Storm.” And praying. A lot of praying.

https://youtu.be/tVReCkhyCxA

Peace, people!

The Lone Ranger, but no Beto T-shirt

Unless one lives outside of the U.S., I’d be willing to bet that they’ve seen a “Beto for Congress” t-shirt. Beto is a junior state congressman from El Paso, Texas, who’s running for the U.S. Senate against Republican incumbent, Ted Cruz. And while I live in Florida, I’m a huge Beto supporter. I really want, nay, need a Beto t-shirt.

On Sunday afternoon my son, grandson, and I attended a concert/rally for Democratic candidates in downtown Dallas. I just knew I’d be able to buy a Beto t-shirt during the event.

The rally began at 2 p.m., but the three of us figured that Beto wouldn’t speak until near the end of the night. We spent the morning going to estate sales, went out for brunch, and then took a short siesta before driving to the concert around 4:30. Finding a parking place wasn’t difficult, but we had quite a hike from our “$10 a day” parking lot to the park where the concert was in full swing.

Jason had loaded a backpack with a blanket to sit on and we all took umbrellas since there was rain in the forecast. Unfortunately after we walked all the way from the parking spot we encountered a sign telling us that backpacks weren’t allowed. Grandson Jackson and I went to the end of a long line of concert goers while Jason ran back to the car with the backpack.

As Jackson and I waited in line a guy came by asking if anyone had extra tickets. The folks in front of us happened to have a pair and he bought them.

My brain said, “Huh.”

“Is the event sold out?” My mouth asked.

“Yep. Right as we arrived they put the signs up.”

“Well crap,” said my brain.

I instructed Jackson to hold our place in line while I went in search of spare tickets. I only needed two since kids’ admissions were free. I tried my luck behind us first since the guy who scored the tickets in front of us had already tried that direction. Nothing. So I went to the front of the line hoping the guy had been mistaken. Nope. The event was indeed sold out.

I texted Jason, and went back for Jackson who was nearing the front of the line. We stood near the press line figuratively beating ourselves up for not purchasing tickets in advance. Then, just as I noticed Jason crossing the street to join us, a young man came around the press barrier.

“Here,” he said. “I heard you needed a couple of tickets.”

When I tried to pay him, he refused to take the money and disappeared back into the press area with a wink and a smile. He was like our knight in shining armor, or the Lone Ranger. Hi ho, Silver!

Jason, having just read my text about the concert being sold out wasn’t expecting to see Jackson and me smiling from ear to to respective ear as he approached.

“He just gave the tickets to you? What did he look like?”

“Like the Lone Ranger, my son. Like the Lone Ranger.”

Our little group then made the rounds of all the booths in search of Beto merchandise. Unfortunately, though, like the event tickets, the Beto t-shirts were all sold out. And this time, no Lone Ranger to help out. I managed to buy this one at a booth promoting the band, Polyphonic Spree:

But I was in search of one like this:

Finally I gave up, had a Shiner (a wonderful Texas beer), a gourmet slider, and enjoyed the rally. And what a rally it was! Beto was the main event, though, and he did not disappoint. He’s running a positive grassroots campaign, never once mentioning his opponent by name, and refusing to accept money from political action committees (PAC’s).

Beto has visited every county in the sizable Lone Star State at least once and several multiple times, speaking sometimes to a handful of people and other times to groups of thousands. Texas has long been a “red” state, but Beto has a chance to upset that apple cart.

I will wear my alternative shirt proudly back in Florida. My only regret is not being able to cast a ballot for this young man in November.

Peace, and hi ho Silver, people.

The Lady Wore Heels

Studly Doright and our son, Jason, spent the past three days playing in a member/guest golf tournament at Prestonwood Country Club in Dallas, Texas, while I did some shopping and spent time with the Texas grandkids. After the first day of the tournament my guys were third in their flight. On day two they took the lead, and on the third day, Jason sunk a six-foot putt to win their flight in the tournament on the first hole of a playoff. Exciting stuff!

The tournament culminated in a dinner for players and their guests at the club. Since my daughter-in-law was out of town for the weekend, I was on my own with these two chumps, er, champs for the event.

Studly had his eyes closed, but I still love this photo of these two.

Those who read my posts know I’m not a dressy kind of girl. It’s almost impossible to get me out of flips flops, but guess who wore heels on Saturday?

Yep, these are my actual feet.

We had a lovely time at the dinner. The menfolk received a great many pats on their respective backs and I basked in their reflected glory. It’s good to be queen.

Studly will leave Dallas on Sunday morning, but I’m hanging around for a few more days of fun with Jason and his family. I’ll miss this guy, though.

Peace, people!

Birthday Morning in Dallas

The first day of my 62nd year on earth started off in the best way possible–with me sleeping in until 6:30 a.m. Of course it helps that I’m in the central time zone here in Dallas, but I’ll claim a victory over sleeplessness any way I can get it.

My daughter-in-law made me feel special with a banner and card.

Then my son took us to breakfast at a funky place called the All Good Cafe in the Deep Ellum district.

I had an amazing omelet!

Across the street from All Good:

On the ride back to our son’s home we got a glimpse of the Texas State Fair:

The men are playing golf this afternoon and I’m going to pick the grandkids up at school. There might be time for a birthday nap before then, though. That’d be great.

Peace, people!

October, My Kind of Month

There’s so much to love about October: Cooling temperatures, changing leaves, pumpkin everything, and best of all, my birthday!

Yes, October is most likely the best month of all, and even though my date of birth comes early (Oct. 5), I celebrate all month long. I’m like a little kid in an old lady’s body. Fortunately, my dance card for the month is pretty full, so even though I’m too old to be the belle of the ball, I’ll at least have an invitation to the party.

Studly and I are going to Dallas for a few days. He’s going to play in a member/guest golf tournament with our son. I’ll hang out with my grandkids while the men play golf. Long distance grand parenting stinks sometimes because we don’t get to be there for every sporting event and music performance, but while in Dallas I’ll get to watch our eldest grandchild, Dominique, play in a varsity tennis tournament and Jackson, our youngest grandson, play baseball. Yay me!

The golf tournament concludes with a dinner for golfers and their dates on Saturday evening. As far as I know, I’m Studly’s date. I found a dress for the soirée, and I’m actually trading my flip flops for heels for one night and one night only. I’ll try to remember to take a picture; otherwise, no one who knows me will believe it happened. I practiced walking in the heels this afternoon. No one was injured in the process. The cats were wide-eyed and leery.

While Studly has to head home on Sunday, I’m planning on staying on for a few days. I’m going to a rally for Beto O’Rourke in Dallas on Sunday afternoon and attending a Bishop Briggs concert with my son, daughter-in-law, and granddaughter on Thursday. I’ll fly home on the 12th. Whew!

Then one of my very best friends is set to visit on the 26th of October. She is traveling through Florida on a leisurely solo trip, and I am so looking forward to having her spend some time with us at Doright Manor.

Oh, my daughter’s birthday is the 27th of October. She was and remains by far the best gift I ever received during my birthday month. I’ll even share my birthday month with her. That’s love.

Peace, people!

Almost Cher

On Tuesday evening my son took me to Lakewood Brewery in Dallas. I had already enjoyed their award winning Temptress imperial milk stout, and Jason wanted me to visit their tasting room.

Temptress is an outstanding ale, but it's not Lakewood's only brew. If you live in the Dallas area you should check them out. http://lakewoodbrewing.com.

My favorite part of the evening was a brush with greatness. Yes, that's almost Cher posing with me.

Here's a little taste of Cher-aoke.

We didn't get to stick around for karaoke, but I enjoyed myself. I even bought a tshirt.

Peace, people!

The Artful Dodger

Yesterday I drove across Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana, on my way to see my son and his family in Dallas. More than once I encountered torrential thunderstorms that reduced visibility to less than a handspan.

My knuckles are still bone white from holding the steering wheel in a death grip. At least most of my fellow travelers kept their speed in check; although, occasionally a hotshot would come barreling willy nilly through the downpour as if the roads were dry and the sun shining fiercely. I'd have flipped them the bird if I hadn't feared taking my hand off the wheel.

In addition to dodging the aforementioned would-be NASCAR drivers, I also had to avoid an odd variety of other objects, including, but not limited to the following:

1) a blue and orange striped beach chair
2) one canvas bag approximately three feet long.
3) an infant car seat (no baby, thank goodness!)
4) a tennis shoe

But the best thing I had to dodge was a large alligator. He was dead, thank goodness, but still gave me a fright as I saw him just in the nick of time. Apparently some other driver wasn't as fortunate as I'd been.

Hopefully today, as I head north and west away from the coast, the weather won't be as crazy, the drivers less aggressive, and the gators safely in their proper habitats. I'm tired of being the artful dodger.

Peace, people!

Make it Stop

I am a white middle-aged woman. I once accidentally drove with an expired license tag for over a month. When I was stopped by a young police officer I batted my eyelashes and got a warm smile and nothing more than a warning to “take care of that as soon as possible, miss!”

When he pulled me over for the offense, I have to admit that my heart began beating faster, and I’m sure my blood pressure shot up. I had no idea why I’d been stopped, but having been taught my entire life that police officers are there to protect and serve I sat quietly in my seat as he approached my car.

“Are you aware that your license plate expired in March?” He asked.

“Oh!” I exclaimed, “I had no idea. I’m so sorry!”

“License, registration and proof of insurance, please,” he requested.

“Sure, no problem.”

I fished my license and insurance card out of my purse and leaned over to get the registration out of the glove compartment. It took me awhile because my hands were shaking a bit. Finally I found the correct document and presented it to the officer with a smile.

“I can’t believe I didn’t take care of this! We are in the middle of a transfer and this just got lost in the shuffle.”

“Oh? Where are you moving?”

“Dodge City,” I said. 

We chatted briefly about the distance to Dodge City from Great Bend and how he had an aunt who lived there. He then gave me a dimpled smile and sent me off with a warning.

As he drove away in his squad car I sat relieved. Whew! Dodged a bullet, as we say.

For black men in this country, the standards are different. They do not always get the feeling that the police are there to serve and protect, and with good reason. Routine traffic stops like the one I recounted often have fatal consequences for the black driver and/or his passenger(s). In other words, they don’t get to dodge the bullet.

We have a serious problem in this country. There is a different standard for people of color. Blacks are detained for “walking while black” if they don’t appear to belong in certain neighborhoods. They are profiled and stopped for minor traffic incidents and often they do not survive. 

And then, at a peaceful Black Lives Matter demonstration in Dallas, Texas, a disturbed young black man did the unthinkable, opening fire on police officers who were mingling with and offering protection to those assembled. He killed five officers and left others injured. Five men who were protecting the rights of citizens to lawfully protest didn’t get to dodge those bullets that ended their lives.

I’ve cried a lot this week. Cried for two young black men who joined many others who’ve been killed for minor infractions and for the policemen whose lives were lost on Friday night. We can mourn them all. There is no conflict of interest. 

The right wing media has begun demonizing these black victims. Rumors are flying: “he was a bank robber,” “he might’ve been a pedophile….” Even before the blood had dried on the pavement their names were being dragged through the media mud, without a shred of evidence or proof of either being true.

The Dallas event, a peaceful, unity building affair, has likewise been painted by the right in a completely different color: “I hear they (Blacks) were taunting and threatening the police,” “I hear it was really ugly down there.” And yet, I have friends of all ethnicities who attended and said it was a life affirming event, right up until the shooting.

This didn’t start out as a condemnation of the right wing media, but the more I wrote the more angry at them I became. People who listen exclusively to Rush Limbaugh and his ilk, or watch only FOX news are being fed a line that is not only false, but dangerous. 

I want it to just stop. I want us to remember that we are all in this together, that the rights of every single human being on the face of this earth are equally important. I don’t want special treatment based on the color of my skin. 

Peace, people. I’m going to go cry some more.