Postcards from the Hedge

The grandkids are safely home in Illinois after spending a week with Studly and me here in Florida. Our time together was much too short, and now Doright Manor is quiet again.

I’m kind of exhausted after spending a full day with grandson, Garrett, at Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure on Wednesday and then getting up at 2:30 a.m. on Thursday to get them to the airport on time. I’m taking the lazy way out and just posting photos of our week with the kids.

Harper liked wearing Poppa’s reading glasses while intoning the phrase, “I’m a little old lady.”

McKayla, above settles into the Texas bedroom.

We went to a showing of Captain Marvel:

And talked about upcoming movies

Garrett chopped down a tree so that we could relocate the fairy house displaced by Hurricane Michael.

McKayla and Harper made the fairy house a welcoming place once again.

We played several games of Risk. I didn’t win even once. It seems that I’m lousy at games involving strategic thinking.

McKayla piloted the riding lawn mower around the yard, collecting fallen limbs and other forest detritus, including her sister.

We enjoyed a beach day at St. George Island:

Well, some of us enjoyed it. Studly and Garrett just tolerated the beach.

The girls had our nails done:

On Wednesday we packed up and left Doright Manor for Orlando. While there we took a tour of Full Sail University so our tech minded grandson could satisfy his curiosity. He was impressed, and now has some work ahead of him in his last two and a quarter years of high school.

The kids swam at the hotel pool in Orlando while I acted as lifeguard.

On Wednesday the girls and Poppa Studly spent the day at Sea World, so I have no photos of that. I heard plenty of stories of fun and silliness, though. Harper even coerced her Poppa into riding a roller coaster. He says it was the last one he’ll ever ride. We’ll see about that.

The girls did get tattoos at Sea World, but I only got a photo of Harper’s when we were back in our hotel room. Garrett and I spent our day at Universal Studios, and I’ll share those pics tomorrow. I know, I know, you’re all on pins and needles to see them. 😂

Peace, people!

My Morning View

Our little piece of the lake behind Doright Manor is my happy place. From my favorite spot on the sofa I watch the day unfold.

If you look closely you can see one of two fairy houses in the bottom right hand corner. The fairies are stealthy, though, and we only get glimpses of their daily activities.

Occasionally a snowy egret sweeps low over the lake. A pair has nested here every year since we moved in, and most likely long before that.

We haven’t spotted an alligator yet this year, but I’m always watching for the telltale bubbles.

Fish jump, turtles perch on logs, and frogs, who are quiet right now, have a concert scheduled tonight and every night this summer.

Lizards provide entertainment for my cats. They climb the window screens, secure in the knowledge that their furry nemeses are stuck inside on this late spring morning.

Oh, let’s not forget the snakes. We’ve seen a few this year, but the birds and the squirrels give us warning. I click to the squirrels and whistle to the birds.

Who’d have ever thought a girl who grew up in the dry, dusty Texas panhandle would ever get to live in such a place? Certainly not me. It’s heaven.

Peace, people.

Sunday Post-Irma

Okay, I promised no more posts about Hurricane Irma, but that was before I had to go help Studly Doright clean up after her. Don’t you just detest having guests who wreck the place?

She sheared off one of our smaller oak trees, so Studly set off with his trusty chain saw to cut the tree into pieces small enough to suit our trash pickup guys.

We loaded everything into our little trailer and I delivered the branches to the curb area. We don’t actually have curbs out here, but if we did that’s where the processed branches would be.

We left the small stump. It looks like a potential home for fairies to me.

We really are fortunate that more trees weren’t lost during Irma’s visit. She wasn’t a great houseguest, but she could’ve been much worse.

Peace, people.

Snapshot #143

I went out to check on the fairy houses this afternoon. Lo and behold there was a new guy taking a nap on the porch of the fairy house built by our granddaughters, McKayla and Harper (with a little help from Studly Doright) a couple of weeks ago. Let’s call this one, “Fairyzzzzz.”

Building for the Wee Folk

Doright Manor is set in the midst of a delightful forest in the Florida panhandle. From our screened in porch we enjoy the shade of oak trees, the majesty of pines, and the splendor of magnolias, along with all of the critters that call the forest home. 

I’ve always thought it the ideal place to offer sanctuary to fairies if we provided a proper home for the wee folk. Studly Doright wasn’t convinced that we needed a fairy home, though, until he saw the one at Saint Helen’s home in Hereford, Texas, on our visit in May.

 

Studly’s brother, Shaggy Doright, built Saint Helen’s fairy house.

When we knew we’d be entertaining our Dallas grandkids for two weeks, Studly decided that constructing a fairy home would be the perfect activity.

And so it begins: 
We each had our respective tasks:

   
    
    
    
    
 Mine consisted of documenting the process and staying well out of the way.

We didn’t quite complete the project yesterday afternoon. Studly and I ran out of energy before reaching the finish line. But we made a good bit of headway.

Tomorrow is another day.

Peace, people!

Criminal Animation

On a typical Saturday morning one would usually find me wandering around Tallahassee or neighboring communities while Studly plays eighteen holes at Southwood Golf Club. I had planned to explore the annual LeMoyne Chain of Parks Art Festival this morning, but a bulging disc (not nearly as glamorous as it sounds) and the threat of rain have kept me homebound. Maybe tomorrow….

I’ve had a couple of cups of coffee enhanced with Irish cream, and a protein bar for breakfast. The forest in my backyard is bathed in that processed chrome lighting that accompanies cloudy days in the Florida panhandle. It looks as though a fae clan might emerge at any moment to dance around the toadstools growing beneath a magnolia tree. I keep watch, just in case.

I’m doing laundry and watching Saturday morning cartoons, and I have a complaint to lodge. Namely, whoever the hell is doing the animation for the cartoon Alvinnn!!! and the Chipmunks should be arrested posthaste and forced to serve a life sentence watching the original series. Maybe he/she/they would learn what Alvin and company should look like and draw them accordingly.

My years spent sitting enraptured by Saturday morning television surely qualify me as an expert in the field of cartoon esthetics, and what I’ve witnessed this morning is a disgrace. So, how do I report this travesty? The chipmunks look like sleazy rodents instead of clean cut, chubby cheeked faux-teenagers. 

Flipping through the channels I find that few of my other cartoon favorites have fared any better. They’re either so heavily computer-generated that they look nothing like the originals or drawn so poorly that their original animators must be rolling over in their respective graves.

Today’s children, though, have been raised on this second-rate fare, plus, they have so many more choices than my brothers and I had with our three channels (ABC, NBC, CBS) that I suppose they don’t realize what they’re missing.

But I do, and it makes me sad. 

 

Now.
 
 
Then.
 

Peace, people.

The Wall

way beyond the outer fence
where the people seldom go
live gnarly gnomes and frightful elves
my mother told me so.

we live within the shelter
erected in far distant years
against grave dangers present
the source of all their fears.

some day i’ll venture out there
past the barriers they’ve set
to find my fortune or my death
or perhaps to pay our debt

for it seems a wall this sturdy
built ’round our country lost
was not to keep the others out
but us in at any cost
Praying for Eyebrowz Copyright 2015 by Leslie Noyes.

Sweeping Corners

You swept my soul clean
digging into the corners
with an old straw broom. 

  
splintered handle held
in calloused, gentle fingers
moving dust around.

  
motes travel quickly
swirling faeries in sunlight
each a piece of me.

“Dust Motes” by Stephen Andrews