Forest Photo

I had nothing to publish on this Wednesday morning. Sitting in my favorite chair with a cup of peppermint tea in hand, I was stymied. As is the norm these days, the television news was depressing, so I turned off the tv and looked out the windows onto our back yard that slopes down to a small lake.

Seemingly overnight the leaves had overwhelmed the green grass resulting in a carpet of fall colors. Now I’m thinking about putting on a hoody and some boots for some serious leaf crunching. I’m sure Studly Doright would appreciate it if I did some raking while I’m out there, too.

In Today’s News…

I slept an (almost) uninterrupted twelve hours on Saturday night. Only my cats and my bladder kept me from reaching a state of perfection, but perfect people are so boring.

Studly Doright and I arrived home from our Thanksgiving/birthday celebration late yesterday evening. We’d flown from Amarillo to Orlando, and should have been safely back at Doright Manor around 5 p.m., but staggering holiday traffic and the resulting accidents on I-75 convinced us to travel backroads.

We stopped at a German bakery/delicatessen in Yalaha, Florida, for lunch and then meandered along two lane roads for much of the afternoon. After a couple of hours of aimless driving we declared ourselves lost, so we found a Walmart and purchased a gps.

The cats, Scout and Patches, welcomed us home around eight p.m. with meows and kisses. After quick showers we all snuggled into our bed and went immediately to sleep. There really is no place like home.

Driving Home

I successfully picked up Studly Doright’s new pickup truck in Houston on Friday night. My flight into Houston Intercontinental was delayed, but not late enough that I could escape evening rush hour traffic. Fortunately Studly had arranged for a gentleman from the dealership to meet me at the airport, so I didn’t have to rely on Lyft or Uber.

The salesman, Tim, was an interesting guy and the thirty minute drive to the dealership in Tomball went quickly. I was in the truck within another 30 minutes and headed home. So much for seeing the big city, but my plan was to get as far east on Interstate 10 as possible so I could make it home on Saturday evening. The best laid plans of mice and women—Bwahaha!

Gamely I shifted gears in stop and go traffic. To my credit, I only killed the engine once, but I over revved a bit and probably upshifted when I should’ve downshifted a couple of times, but before long I was back in the groove of driving a manual transmission vehicle.

By the time I reached the outskirts of Houston, though, I was worn out. I saw the sign for Buccees huge service station/store in Bay Town and pulled in for a rest. Normally I’d spend some time wandering around and ogling the place, but I made a beeline for the bathroom, then grabbed a water and a barbecue brisket sandwich.

Oddly enough, there’s no place to sit and enjoy a meal in Buccees, a store roughly the size of Rhode Island, so I ate standing up next to a couple who were heading back to Houston after a trip to New Orleans. We had a nice visit and we wished each other safe travels which prompted the husband to tell me that there’d been a bad accident on the eastbound side of I-10 and traffic was backed up for several miles.

That, combined with my tiredness prompted me to go back in the store to enquire about nearby hotels. A very few minutes later I was ensconced in a nice room with a glass of wine. I reasoned that I’d get up extra early on Saturday and make up for my relatively early end to the evening. Again, bwahaha!

According to my Fitbit app I slept a total of two hours and 44 minutes on Friday night. Around 5:30 a.m., I gave up on sleeping. I showered hoping to shock myself awake, and for awhile I felt okay. Sirius/XM radio helped and I sang along with the 60’s and 70’s channels or listened to NPR for many miles.

I also drank a lot of caffeinated drinks. And subsequently had to stop frequently to empty myself of caffeinated drinks. I wasn’t making much forward progress, and my need to sleep was gaining ground.

Studly called my cell phone around 2:30 and after listening to my sad tale, told me to stop fighting the need to sleep and get a room, so a mere five hours from Doright Manor I exited the interstate and checked into a Holiday Inn.

Now I’d only packed for one night’s stay so I had to go to a nearby mall to purchase a clean T-shirt and undies. My jeans and socks would have to suffice for one more day.

I would love to say I slept like a baby on Saturday night, and I did–a very colicky baby. Again I got up around 5 a.m. and this time emerged into a gray world and a steady rain. I did make better time and was home by two that afternoon. I kissed Studly and handed his new truck keys over. He tucked me into bed and then I didn’t hear another peep until he joined me around nine.

I know for sure I’m not cut out to be a long haul truck driver, so I’m crossing that career off my list. The pickup was fun to drive, though, and I’m glad I made the trip.

Wait for It…

I’ve done a great deal of waiting the past few weeks. I’ve waited for hurricanes to choose a path, for a generator to arrive, for someone to come measure one of our spare bedrooms for carpet after our water heater went kaput and leaked water all over said bedroom.

I’ve waited for a new hot water heater to be installed, and for the trash collection crew to come pick up the soggy carpeting and old water heater and the box the new one came in. I’m still waiting on the trash guys–they’d promised that all of the unsightly detritus would be picked up no later than last Saturday. We’re now officially closer to next Saturday than to last Saturday.

Yesterday I waited in vain for the guy we hired to paint the spare bedroom before the new carpet arrives. He was supposed to come first thing this morning, but he still hadn’t arrived by 4:30 pm, so I’m still waiting.

I can check some of the things off my list, though:

  • Generator arrived today 10/9/17. It was supposed to have been here no later than 9/24/17.
  • The carpet measurer came on time and gave me an estimate that Studly can live with.
  • The new water heater is installed and working like a charm, thanks to Studly Doright.

That just leaves the painter and the trash pick up and then maybe we’ll be back to normal. Oh, wait, then I’ll be at the mercy of the carpet layers.

This post might sound like one long complaint. Honestly, it’s just a recitation. I don’t mind waiting too much, and when I think of all those folks in coastal Texas, Puerto Rico, south Florida, and now California, having to wait on vital survival type services I know just how fortunate I am. I have electricity and hot water, plenty of food, and a place to rest my head. No waiting necessary.

What are you waiting on?

Peace, people!

A Certainty

One thing I know for sure: Doright Manor won’t win the “Curb Appeal” award this week.

Debris from our recent water heater failure along with branches that littered the yard after Hurricane Irma have rendered the front of our property an unsightly mess. I’ve called the trash removal service three times now. The neighbors are beginning to circle the house with pitchforks. I’m beginning to wonder if we can hang black crepe paper on the mess and pretend we’ve decorated for Halloween.

Meanwhile, across the street, all is well.

I hope you all have a wonderful, debris-free weekend.

Peace, people.

Two Wrongs; One Write

I generally have a blog post in the queue and ready to publish at 7:05 a.m. This morning, Wednesday, October 4, 2017, I had nothing. Oh, there were a few words typed into a draft: “milk, cat litter,” but only because I’d accidentally written my shopping list on a blank page in WordPress.

For a moment I wondered what I could do with those words. A poem combining the two concepts of homogenized liquids and cat hygiene, perhaps? Hmmm. Not today, but the topic has possibilities.

As I pondered what to write I heard one of my cats in the throes of dislodging a hairball, so I rolled out of bed to clean up the mess. With a box of baby wipes in one hand and a paper towel in the other I went in search of cat puke. Scout was sitting like a lady in the dining room admiring her artwork which she’d deposited on the carpeting literally two inches from the tiled hallway.

“Dammit, Scout, couldn’t you have turned your head to the right just a fraction and avoided the rug?” I asked, knowing that was a rhetorical question. She never pukes on the tile.

As I bent over to attend to the mushy hair ball mess my nose began to run. I swiped one of the baby wipes under my nose and continued cleaning. Not to be outdone, my nose continued leaking like a faulty faucet. I swiped at it again, only then noticing that my nose wasn’t dripping snot, but blood. So now I was dealing with two icky bodily emissions. Two wrongs, if you will, giving me something to write.

As I finish typing this the time is 6:55 a.m. Looks like I’ll make my self-imposed deadline after all.

Fun Times at Doright Manor

Thanks to a corroded hot water heater this is what my house looks like at the moment. Enjoy.

We pulled out the carpet and padding and rented a couple of fans to dry out the walls.

But we had to move all of the furniture out first.

The marble tops weigh a ton and have to be moved separately. They’re somewhere in my dining room at present.

Ah! Home sweet home.

I’m going to the carpet store today to find new floor coverings for the bedroom, and we’ve got a painter coming sometime this week. In the meantime we’re dodging bedroom furniture in almost every room of the house.

I insisted on pizza at Momo’s in Tallahassee for dinner last night.

A Resourceful Man

Studly Doright is a resourceful man. In fact, if I hadn’t been inspired to call him Studly Doright I’d have dubbed him “Macgyver” or “Mr. Fixit.”

There were many lean years during which his ingenuity and ability to solve problems of a mechanical nature kept us out of the proverbial poorhouse.

Nowadays we don’t have to rely on Studly’s resourcefulness to keep life flowing smoothly. If something breaks and needs fixing we can call a repairman. If that something cannot be fixed we can replace it. Being poor was exhausting. Those who’ve never been there can’t even fathom the energy it takes just to keep afloat.

However, just because we can afford to hire a repairman doesn’t necessarily mean we will. Yesterday I posted about a water leak that manifested itself as soggy carpet and moldy baseboards in one of our guest bedrooms at Doright Manor. Knowing there was a leak was easy. Finding the source of the leak was a bit trickier, but we finally traced it to the water heater in our garage. We were relieved. A water heater is easy to replace.

When Studly was able to get away from work yesterday afternoon he turned off the water to the house, shut off the electricity to the water heater, and began the process of draining it. The folks who’d built our home had installed a massive 80 gallon water heater, so while we waited for it to drain Studly drove into Tallahassee to purchase a new one.

He’d done his research and learned all about high efficiency water heaters. The only thing he hadn’t foreseen was that the existing water heater was wider than the door of the closet in which it had been installed.

So, here we were on a Friday night with no hot water and no energy remaining to take apart the framing of the door. Did Studly give up? No way.

Of course it’s a temporary fix, but allowed for the taking of showers and a good night’s rest so he can tackle the door frame after golf today. I insisted on the golf–better he hit a ball than a wall.

Could Studly have called a repairman to tackle this whole job? Could he have saved himself a lot of aggravation and labor? Yes and yes. But that’s not how men like Studly get things done.

When it comes to replacing the carpeting and repainting the guest bedroom, though, I’m going to insist on a professional.

Peace, people.

Just for the Record

I was searching for something; although, I can no longer remember what that was. I’d looked in my closet, and I’d searched the master bedroom. I looked in the Texas bedroom (so called because I’ve got lots of kitschy Texas stuff displayed there). I searched the office with its multitude of drawers and cabinets.

Having failed to find whatever the heck it was I was searching for in any of the places mentioned above, I opened the door to the antique bedroom. It’s a rather small room and crowded with antique furnishings, so I don’t have much room to store things in there. Surely whatever the heck I’d been searching for wasn’t in there, but I should at least check before ruling it out.

As soon as I entered the room a horrible smell akin to that of a bundle of athletic socks that had been worn through eighteen consecutive sweaty workouts and then stuffed into a green duffel bag and stored in a musty locker greeted me.

I found the problem immediately. Just for the record the carpet in the antique bedroom is not supposed to look like this.

Mold shouldn’t be growing on the baseboard, and the carpet really shouldn’t make “squish, squish” sounds when one walks from point A to point B. I’m not a plumber, but I know a problem when I step in it.

Studly Doright arrived home soon after my discovery. With little fanfare I led him to the room where he immediately did what guys like Studly do:

After much cutting and cursing, grunting and grumbling, Studly determined absolutely nothing beyond the need to call a plumber.

Now there are two boxes of family keepsakes that had been stored on the floor in the closet of the antique bedroom drying on various surfaces in the kitchen.

Fortunately I don’t think anything important was ruined, but it was a near thing. So even though I never found whatever the hell it was I’d been searching for, my search did prevent a catastrophe. As my friend Hunny says, “I’m a lucky, lucky girl.”

Peace, people.