Working from Home

Studly Doright and his co-worker, Scout, look over the day’s agenda. He says she’s taking direction fairly well, and seldom questions his judgement. She also works for room, board, and meals, so that’s a plus. Her bonus pay consists of treats on demand and an occasional scratch behind the ear.

I applied for the job, but lost out due to ergonomic and spatial constraints: I cannot arrange myself on the desk like Scout can.

Peace, and stay well, people.

What are you doing today?

On this Tuesday in quarantine I’ve discovered the long lost tv remote control that Studly Doright claimed he’d looked high and low for. It was in plain sight on the table next to his recliner. “Huh! What do you know?” he said.

In addition, I located a set of headphones that he swore he’d already searched for. These weren’t on top of the end table, but inside it. Again, he said, “Huh! What do you know?”

I’ve had my favorite Irish breakfast tea with a splash of almond milk and a bit of honey. Now, until a few weeks ago I’d have laughed at the idea of any kind of milk in my hot tea, but it’s quite good and for the rest of the morning I’ve spoken exclusively in an Irish accent. I’m better at Scottish accents, but as far as I can tell there’s no Scottish breakfast tea in the house. Maybe I should look on the table beside Studly’s chair.

I’ve worked on the novel a bit. I wrote a thousand words yesterday, but only 500 this morning. I’m having trouble getting my characters to shut up and move along. And I know I need less talk and more ambiance to flesh out the book.

For lunch I ordered takeout from Sweet Pea in Tallahassee. I worry about my favorite vegan place during this time. I tip extra every time I buy a meal there, but I know their business is probably slow right now. Be sure and support your local mom and pop businesses if you can.

My laundry is as caught up as it’s ever been. I do at least one load of towels every day on the “sanitize” settings, and that takes a considerable amount of time.

I tried to take a nap, but my brain won’t stop trying to solve the problem I’m having with the novel, so I picked up my phone and began writing this post. I wonder if the solution to my characters’ issues could be found on the table next to Studly’s chair? It’s worth taking a look, I guess.

Peace, people.

Positively Alone

Today, Studly Doright went into his office in Tallahassee, gathered up all of his essentials and returned home to Doright Manor from where he will office as long as necessary. The cat and I have mixed feelings about this.

Scout, the cat

On the one hand we’re relieved that he won’t be interacting with potential carriers of COVID-19, and that he’ll be around to share his sense of humor and his “don’t worry, be happy” mentality.

On the other hand, Scout and I are wondering how we’ll stay out of his hair during the work day and how we’ll sneak in our snuggly naps. We’re just going to have to learn to sleep with our eyes open, I suppose.

Peace, people!

Marching to Target

We have a relatively new Target store in Tallahassee. While it was being built I was so excited. The two existing Targets are clear across Tallahassee, one way out on Thomasville Road, the other on Apalachee Parkway, both at least a twenty minute drive from Doright Manor. This new Target would be on MY side of town, nearer the universities, and along with it would come several new eating establishments. Yay!

When this Target opened its doors for business, though, I was disappointed. It was much smaller than a regular Target and everything in it seemed to cater to college kids on a budget. It did have a Starbucks, though, so that was a plus.

As I’ve become accustomed to this particular Target, I’ve become fond of it. It’s easy to get to, and I’m not as tempted to buy things that are “wants” instead of “needs.” They stock lots of healthy foods and have a decent wine section. And, did I mention the Starbucks?

One thing they don’t have these days? Hand sanitizer. As far as I can, tell no one in Tallahassee has any in stock, though, so I can’t complain. I’m sitting in the Target Starbucks typing this on my phone as I sip on my grande decaf coffee Frappuccino with almond milk. Yes, I’ve become one of those people.

I worked on my book before lunch and will return home to type some more this afternoon, but the weather is lovely and I thought a march, okay, a drive to Target would provide a nice break.

Peace, and march on, people!

Advanced Bed Making for Dummies

My mom was a stickler for a well made bed. As the only girl child in her home I was judged by my ability to create precise hospital corners and deliver a perfectly smooth bedspread. Wrinkles were a no-no. I let her down. A lot.

As a mom, I was much more relaxed with my bed making rules; although, I did attempt to demonstrate the principles my mom tried to instill in me. Neither of my kids paid much attention to the lessons, though, and I didn’t think bedspreads were the hills I wanted to die on. Pick your battles, right?

Nowadays at Doright Manor, my bed making philosophy revolves around our psychotic younger cat, Patches. I call it “Layering. It’s not just for clothing anymore.”

Patches has developed the nervous habit of peeing on just about any surface that suits her when the anxiety strikes. We took her to the vet to see if there was an underlying medical reason for her bladder control issues, and she’s fit as a fiddle. The vet prescribed a special food, but it requires about eight weeks to kick in.

She also prescribed an anti-depressant that I have to rub on the inside of Patches’s ear every 12 to 24 hours. I’m afraid the lengths I have to go to to corral Patches and administer the drug are increasing her anxiety levels and aren’t doing much for mine either.

She thinks I have an ear fetish. I’m afraid she’s right.

So what does this have to do with making the bed? Twice now Patches has relieved herself on our bed necessitating the laundering of our heavy bedspread that takes forever to dry. Following the first time I added an additional layer of covering to our bed. After the second time, I realized one layer was simply not enough. Now the rule is to have at least three layers on the bed in addition to the bedspread.

This isn’t going to get me a mention in Better Homes and Gardens any time soon, now is it? And my mom would be so heartbroken. Sorry, Mom!

Oh, before you suggest I use deterrent sprays and/or calming sprays, trust me. We’ve been there; done that with multiple concoctions. Patches seems totally immune to their effects.

She does seem to be making a bit of progress, though. Knock on wood, but I haven’t detected any pee on the baseboards or behind Studly Doright’s chair in the past couple of weeks, and those were among her favorite areas to go. And this morning for the first time in ages I watched her play with one of her toys.

We’d appreciate good vibes for Patches, and for me. It now takes me longer to make and unmake my bed than it does me to shower in the morning. And that’s the truth.

Peace, people.

Don’t be fooled by the sweet face. She’s plotting her next attack.

Plan A, B, or C

In light of our foolhardy and reckless potus doing his bumbling best to start a war with Iran, I felt compelled to tell Studly Doright what I would do if I found myself away from Doright Manor in a worst case situation.

“I’m getting home. Even if I’m miles from the house, and my car no longer runs. I’ll come home.”

“Okay,” he said.

“You’d come home, too. Right?”

“Of course. As soon as I could.”

That’s about the extent of our plan.

So, I jokingly/not jokingly asked my Facebook friends:

Even though none of them are “preppers” most had non-joking answers. One cans food and has a stockpile. Another has already thought ahead to getting enough propane to allow for hot meals. One has several cases of wine (if I can’t get home, guess where I’ll head).

A friend who lives in Taos, New Mexico, says he’ll journey out to the Taos Pueblo which has withstood the ravages of “civilization” for centuries. Still another said he’d just sit back and watch how it unfolds.

The thing about my plan is that if Studly is here with me that’s all that matters. We’ll be okay. And if we’re not okay, we’ll at least be together.

Seriously, let’s keep hoping that someone in authority practices common sense in these fractured days.

Peace, people.

Snapshot #272

On December 27, 2019, we lucky denizens of the Florida panhandle are enjoying temperatures in the mid-70’s. I’ve seen lizards skittering about and bees pollinating plants, but they all refused to remain still for a photo.

My front yard has some gorgeous pink flowers that accommodated me, though. I’m calling this photo, “Is this a Camellia?”

Peace, people!

Desperate Times

“Desperate times breed desperate measures”–William Shakespeare

On most days I have lunch alone, either here at Doright Manor or at one of a handful of Tallahassee cafes. Now, before you feel sorry for me you need to know that I enjoy my solitary lunches. That’s not to say I don’t enjoy having lunch with Studly Doright or with a friend, but when I dine alone I pull my Kindle out of my purse and read. And there are few things I’d rather do than read.

One day last week I had a whole list of errands to run, most of them in Tallahassee. I planned the most efficient route and left home around 10 a.m. with the goal of having lunch at the best little vegan eatery in the world, Sweet Pea Cafe.

With my errands halfway done, I drove to Sweet Pea and ordered that day’s special, Tempeh Temptation. I found a table and reached into my purse for my Kindle. Hmmm. No Kindle. I searched every zippered compartment with no luck.

“That’s okay,” I said to myself. “Just read from the Kindle app on your phone.”

“You’re so brilliant!” I answered.

“I know.” I said.

Unfortunately my brilliant self had managed to leave my phone at home as well.

As I waited for the meal to arrive I wondered how I was supposed to eat without a book in hand. How does one do such a thing?

“You can do this,” I gently reminded myself. “Just be more mindful of your meal. Pay attention to every bite. People watch. Listen to the music playing. Enjoy the experience.”

“Shut up! I NEED my book. Or just something, anything, to read.”

Gee, one of us needs anger management therapy.

In the midst of my angst I noticed a woman who’d been reading from a book as she dined at the table nearest mine. She’d finished her meal and as I watched from the corner of my eye saw that she was preparing to leave.

I hesitated for a second before asking, “Excuse me, this is going to sound weird and slightly desperate, by I don’t suppose you have an extra book that I might buy from you.”

Now, the beauty of this is she totally understood my question. The sad part is that she’d just returned from a trip to see her sister and had given the sister a box full of books that she usually carried in her car.

We laughed about our respective reading addictions. She apologized for not having a book to offer. I laughed and told her no big deal while underneath my smile I was thinking, “Couldn’t you at least have saved one book for us, I mean, me?”

She left the cafe as my meal arrived and I began to eat in a desultory fashion. The food was excellent as always, but damn it, how could I enjoy myself when there were intrepid space explorers trapped on an exoplanet in my book, and how the heck was I going to save them if I couldn’t read the remainder of chapter 55 while I chewed?

That’s when an angel came to my rescue. The woman who’d taken a box of books to her sister came triumphantly back into the cafe waving a book.

“Look what I found,” she smiled.

“It must’ve fallen out of the box. It’s yours if you want it….”

I wanted to hug her, but I restrained myself, offering effusive thanks as I tried to pay her.

“Absolutely not!” she said. “I don’t know how anyone can eat alone without a good book for company.”

A true hero, that woman.

I opened the book and began a new adventure. John Grisham paired quite nicely with Tempeh Temptation.

Peace, people.

Pee Patrol

Seems like all I do lately is clean up “accidents” left by our younger cat, Patches. From the time I get out of bed in the morning I’m on constant alert for the smell (Oh, the smell!🤢) and the telltale wet spots of cat urine.

When I return to Doright Manor after a trip to the store or lunch with friends the first thing I do is patrol the entire house, spray bottle in hand, to identify and eradicate cat pee. Before we get into bed and in the middle of the night I do walk-throughs. I’m paranoid and exhausted.

Late yesterday evening, for the first time ever she relieved herself on Studly Doright’s side of the bed. Thank goodness the bedspread prevented the liquid from penetrating to the mattress, but it was a near miss. I was up late doing laundry and changing the bedding. Studly was not pleased.

So, even though she was examined for a urinary tract infection in October, Patches and I are at the vet’s again, hoping to find an answer.

Wish us both luck.

Patches is underneath the calming blanket, and is refusing requests from all paparazzi.

Peace, people.