Home, Baby

On Saturday afternoon I arrived home to Doright Manor after having spent the past week in Dallas. While I was gone a guy named Michael blew through the Florida panhandle and redecorated without asking permission.

We had our electricity restored on Sunday evening. Studly Doright said it had been out since Tuesday afternoon. We have a generator that kept lights on in parts of the house, but neither our hot water heater nor our stove were hooked up to it. Apparently they require too much amperage or wattage or something electricity based to be powered by the generator. At least the air conditioning worked! Soon after the power came on I enjoyed a hot shower. Best feeling ever.

Here are a few photos I’ve taken of the damage just in our neighborhood. And, we got off easy compared to folks on the coast. These were taken after a crew came through and cleaned up! We still have a lot of work ahead of us.

Peace, people.

Hopefully Homeward Bound

Hurricane Michael has been a total ass. He’s destroyed lives and homes and businesses all along the gulf coast of Florida, and Michael has kept on wreaking havoc as he’s slammed inland through Florida’s panhandle, into Georgia, and beyond. See, a total ass.

My home near Tallahassee seems to have weathered the storm fairly well. I happened to be in Dallas with my son and his family while my husband, Studly Doright, and our cats rode out the Category 4 hurricane at Doright Manor.

Studly’s job as an area director for a public utility company calls for him to make sure resources and people are in the right places at the right times. When I spoke with him last night before bed he’d just ended one conference call and was preparing for the next one. It’s non-stop.

Originally, I was booked on a Thursday flight from Dallas to Panama City Beach via Houston on Southwest Airlines. When Hurricane Michael, the ass, came in so quickly I changed the flight to Friday (today as I write this). It seems I might’ve been a little optimistic. Yesterday afternoon I received a text from the airline saying the flight from Houston to Panama City Beach was cancelled.

I knew I had other options, but I wanted to check with Studly before changing airports, since he’d need to meet me there. Of course when I called him he was on a conference call and just told me to do whatever I needed to do, and he’d make arrangements to pick me up at the airport I chose. It was an easy change to make with Southwest (bless them) and I am now scheduled to land in Jacksonville around nine this evening.

Studly, however, called me back when he got my flight information, and he won’t be able to meet me. I’d anticipated that, knowing what’s going on in his world right now. So, I’m renting a car at the airport and we’ll return it on Saturday to our local airport. (It just occurred to me that the Tallahassee airport might not be functioning right now. That could be problematic. I’ll check after I publish.)

Studly warned me to be careful coming home. He says I’m going to be shocked by the amount and size of the debris around Doright Manor. For safety’s sake I might end up staying overnight in Jacksonville so I can make the drive in daylight. I’m ready to be home, though.

Thanks to all of you who’ve expressed concern for us during this storm. We appreciate the positive vibes and prayers. Keep those in the gulf coast towns in your thoughts. The damage there looks devastating.

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.


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!

I Bought New Tongs

Yesterday afternoon I had to buy new tongs.

My old tongs were old and ugly, but still serviceable. Unfortunately I had no choice but to throw them into the large dumpster where our household trash goes to be picked up by the sanitation workers each Monday. You see, I had to use the old tongs to extract a piece of jewelry from the dumpster.

Can you spot my little fairy pendant nestled there between the dark green bag and the white one? In the photo above it appears as if I could just reach in and pluck the pendant out with my fingers, but actually, it was almost at the very bottom of the dirty dumpster:

How did it get there, you might ask. I’d spent quite a bit of time cleaning the cats’ litter boxes yesterday morning. I dumped the litter into a large green bag and set it, along with our regular kitchen trash, in the garage so I could deposit them both in the big dumpster when I left to run errands later in the day. I do this on a regular basis with no problem.

Yesterday, though, as I heaved the bag into the dumpster the pendant was caught between me and the bag and was ripped from its cord. The momentum of the bag prevented me from being able to stop mid-heave and I watched helplessly as the necklace tumbled into the nasty depths of the dumpster.

I was dressed to go into town, so I wasn’t about to climb into the dumpster. Instead I ran into the kitchen, retrieved the tongs, went back out side and…still couldn’t reach the pendant. Against my better judgement I pulled a chair over to stand on so I could better lean into the dumpster without touching the sides. Amazingly I was able to reach the pendant and pulled it to safety:

(Note: these particular tongs were never used for cooking….)

Voila! Knowing I’d never use those tongs again, I tossed them into the dumpster. As they fell, I realized with chagrin that the companion piece to my pendant must also be in the dumpster. As were my tongs. Sigh. There was nothing for me to do but carefully tilt the dumpster on its side and rake the rest of the necklace out.

I managed to do so without dirtying my hands and soon had the Celtic symbol I’d bought in Ireland safely in hand. Soon I’ll have Studly help me put it all back together again, but for now I’m going to let everything rest. And sanitize. At least I’ve got new tongs.

Peace, people.

Get Off My Lawn

Do we crankier as we get older, or could it be that we just do not care anymore what people think of us? Maybe that perceived crankiness is just a result of the wearing away of social constraints. Why am I even contemplating this?

I’ve been a fairly nice person most of my life, but I do have something of a temper. It’s something I try to work through, and I’ve gotten better at it through the years, but now as I approach my 62nd birthday I find that I’ve lost my ability to tolerate certain things.

Usually those things are large concepts, like racism and misogyny. I have zero tolerance for those who discriminate on the basis of race or gender, and I’ve been saddened to discover that some people I counted as friends over the years do both. I’ve gotten cranky with them, and in some cases they are no longer my friends.

Other times those things that make me cranky are little and local, like littering. One day last week I was behind a 40-something mother and her pre-teen son as they exited a convenience store in Tallahassee. Both of them had bought big gulp type sodas (huge cups) and were unwrapping their straws in the parking lot. I watched in horror as they tossed their straw wrappings on the ground.

Before they got into their car, I said, “Excuse me, I believe these belong here,” as I bent down and scooped up the wrappers, dramatically depositing them into a trash can that was literally two steps from them.

Now, the instant I said that I thought, “Oh crap, they’re both bigger than I am.” But I casually strolled to my car and drove away while they remained sitting in the parking lot. Who knows, maybe they learned something? Or maybe they took down my license plate and are plotting to take me down. But if they follow me to Doright Manor, I’ve got one thing to say, “Get off my lawn!”

Peace, people.

Rower’s Remorse Revisited

I’d forgotten about this piece! We haven’t been out in our kayak for awhile. Maybe it’s time to try it again. Maybe not.


The photos below were taken well after the post was first published. Those adorable girls are two of our five grandkids, McKayla and Harper, near our little lake.

Snapshot #219

On Friday I drove to Thomasville, Georgia, just under an hour north of Doright Manor. I didn’t think to take any photos until I came across this car.

I think it’s a Packard, but didn’t get close enough to tell. Here’s a closeup of the front end. Maybe someone can help identify the make and model.

I’m calling this “Immaculate Beauty!”

Wanted: Dead or Alive

I am currently sporting two spider bites. One’s on my right ankle and gets little notice, but the other bite is in the bend of my right arm. I think the lady at the post office today thought I might be a heroin user. She certainly asked me a bunch of suspicious sounding questions about the package I was mailing: “Does this parcel contain anything fragile, liquid, perishable, or potentially hazardous, including lithium batteries and perfume?”

Okay, so they ask that about every package mailed in the U.S. these days, still I thought she might be looking at me with an odd mix of pity and fear, thinking, “Poor old biddy, hope she doesn’t rob me for drug money.”

And while I have but the two bites, poor Studly Doright has six: five on his stomach and two on his arm. Everywhere he goes he wafts the scent of calamine lotion. It’s not sexy.

We figure we must’ve been bitten while working in the yard on Monday. Neither of us took precautions against spider bites, such as wearing double thick armor and sealing up any chinks in the metal with a combination of duct tape and bailing wire. Indeed, we worked bare armed with loose clothing just begging for a spider to come inside. We tempted fate and fate won.

Now, though, I’m convinced that our home is infested with the little critters. I’ve sprayed every nook and cranny with the scent of peppermint, and I dressed for bed last night in long johns and a hoodie.

Seriously, I had a horrifying experience with a spider when we lived in Kansas. I dreamt that I was eating a salad. The lettuce was crisp and crunchy. When my alarm went off I could still hear the crunching of the lettuce, but it was coming from inside my head. I thought, “oh hell, I’ve lost my mind!”

I began tossing my head and slapping at my ears as I stumbled to the bathroom. Miraculously, the crunching stopped, and I looked down to see a tiny spider on the bathroom floor. I killed him. No hesitation. The whole experience made me wonder if there are people sitting in insane asylums who just need their ears checked for spiders.