Thoughts on Killing Off a Bottle of Merlot

I stopped today at a small winery in Chautauqua, Florida. In a tasting room, I sampled the Chardonnay along with a Merlot and a holiday blend. I purchased three bottles, one of each, and tucked them into my suitcase before continuing my journey west on interstate 10.

My plan was to meet up with Studly Doright at a Holiday Inn Express in Crestview, Florida. I love assignations with my husband. The prospect of a pretend illicit meeting with my man is a bit heady, so as I drive I contemplate which bottle to open tonight. The Chardonnay? No, too much of a lightweight. The holiday blend with mulled spices? No, I’ll save that for Christmas Eve. Ah, that left the Merlot. Deep and rich and red.

I can’t divulge the details of our night, but let’s just say, I picked the right wine. Here’s a toast to old married people. We live. We laugh. We love.

Peace, people.

For Your Sartorial Consideration

Since moving to the Tallahassee, Florida, area Studly Doright and I have had very little need for cold weather wear. I’ll dig my jacket out of the guest room closet every now and then, and both of us have hoodies we wear on cooler days, but for the most part we can just wear long sleeved shirts and jeans and be perfectly comfortable.

But we’ve had a cold front move into our neck of the woods just in time for Studly’s company Christmas party, and he wanted a new sweater for the event. Our search for the right garment took us to Beall’s department store. In Studly’s mind there’s no other place to shop for his clothing, and he can usually find something that suits him fairly quickly. Emphasis on quickly.

At this stage in our marriage I don’t even try to offer my advice. He’s going to buy whatever plain blue or red or green sweater he sees first, so I went looking for fun stuff. I didn’t have to look very far:

When Studly came to the checkout counter I led him over to these festive suits. “You could wear one of these to the party,” I told him.

“And you could wear that,” he said, pointing to this rack:

I told him I was game, but he backed out, so he’ll be wearing his plain red sweater tomorrow night. Bah. Humbug.

Peace, people.

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.

Texas Tech Connection

I didn’t attend Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas, but a good many of my childhood friends are alumni of that institution. I grew up about 60 miles from Lubbock, and we followed the Red Raiders religiously. In fact, for my 16th birthday gift all I asked for was a date with my daddy to a Red Raiders football game. That date remains one of my best memories of all time.

Today I drove into Tallahassee for a solo lunch while Studly played golf. I was in line to order at Firehouse Subs when I realized the guy in front of me had on a red polo shirt with Texas Tech stitched on the back of the shirt in black. I did a double take and then tapped him on the shoulder.

“I like your shirt,” I said. “What’s your connection to Tech?”

Well that started a whole conversation with the man, his wife, and kids. They live in Alabama now, but he and his wife met at Texas Tech and are still rabid fans. They invited me to sit with them for lunch and I had such a great time. We threw out names of people from the Lubbock area, but never found anyone we knew in common. They both knew where my hometown of Floydada was which made me grin like an idiot.

The family was headed to DisneyWorld in Orlando, and as soon as we finished our lunch I wished them safe travels and we went our separate ways. That little connection made my day, though. Is that weird? Am I that desperate for conversation?

Discuss and talk to me. Apparently I need to connect.

Peace, people!

Acclimated

Studly Doright and I have been in the Tallahassee area for four years now, having moved from central Illinois where we resided for eight years. This morning I realized I’d finally acclimated to the weather here when upon hearing that the high in our area would be in the mid-60’s today, I said to myself, “Better wear a sweater!”

I’m not complaining. I’ll wear that sweater all winter thanking my lucky stars I don’t need a heavy jacket and snow boots.

Truly everything is relative. We lived in North Dakota for four years where an ambient temperature of 34° on a winter day had folks digging out their bikinis and sunscreen.

Even in the mid-west the definition of cold is a matter of season. Forty degrees in November feels cool, while the same temperature in February is positively balmy.

The most difficult part for me when the weather turns cool is having to put away my flip flops. Although, I have been known to pull this stunt:

But only to take out the garbage. If I go downtown, I’ll put my pants on….

No matter where you are, I hope you have a great day. Pants optional.

Peace, people.

The World in Black and White

A childhood friend challenged me to post seven black and white photos, one each day for seven days on Facebook. The photos could contain no images of people, and I wasn’t allowed to comment on the subject matter. Do you know how difficult it was for me to forgo an explanation of the pictures? Excruciating, that’s what it was.

Fortunately I have this blog and no restrictions as far as I can tell. Of this one thing, I am the boss.

The one below was taken in Chicago from the backseat of a car during an Uber ride. I’m amazed that I didn’t have to crop any humans out of the picture.

The next photo is of a portion of the ceiling at the Cadillac Palace Theatre where my daughter and one of my granddaughters, and I saw Les Misérables.

The anchor below was found on Amelia Island in Florida. I paused to snap the photo as Studly Doright urged me to run for our car while a storm headed our way. With one step to go I got drenched! But the shot was worth it.

Next up is a moody picture of the Florida capitol building. If you’re ever in Tallahassee it’s well worth visiting.

The Atlantic Ocean near our Amelia Island Hotel posed for my next shot. Loved these clouds.

Another photo taken on Amelia Island showcases the swamp we kayaked through on a recent visit. That house in the background looks a bit haunted shown in black and white.

Finally, one last photo from Amelia Island. This one is self-explanatory. I love the sepia look of this one.

I feel much better now, having given these shots some context. Maybe I’ll sleep tonight.

Peace, people!

Shots from Chicago and a Few Hundred Bras

My whirlwind trip to see my daughter and middle granddaughter last weekend in Chicago was wonderfully exhausting. We did a bit of shopping and a lot of dining in addition to taking in a production of Les Misérables at the Cadillac Palace theatre in downtown Chicago.

I didn’t take many photos, but thought I’d share a few with you all.

The pizza was every bit as good as I’d hoped it would be. We ate at my son-in-law’s favorite pizza place, Giordano’s, and since he wasn’t there we had to send him “take that!” photos of our meal.

We used Uber to get from our hotel out by Midway to the theatre downtown. Chicago is so beautiful.

I wanted to get a picture of the theatre’s exterior, but it was a really cold afternoon, and I’m a wimp, so the inside is all you’re getting!

That’s my lovely daughter, Ashley, on the right and granddaughter, McKayla beside me.

My awful attempt at a selfie, above. Thank goodness McKayla’s pretty face balances out my smirk.

The production of Les Misérables was wonderful. I sobbed at the end. Partly because my butt was tired and I hadn’t slept at all the night before, but mostly because I was so moved by the performance.

Below is a totally irrelevant photo of bras decorating a bridge between Blountstown, Florida, and Bristol, Florida. I didn’t stop to count these pieces of lingerie, but they went on and on and on, spanning the length of a very long bridge. Impressive show of support….

Havana (Florida) Car Show

Studly Doright and I had dinner in downtown Havana, Florida, last evening, and got more than just a great meal. After enjoying a delicious dinner and a glass of wine at The English Rose Cafe we wandered around Havana where an antique car show was in progress. Studly even won $35 in a raffle! Not too shabby.

Studly’s favorite vehicle in the show was the green ‘65 Ford pickup. Can you guess which one I’m fondest of?

If you ever find yourself in the area be sure to stop by The English Rose Café. It’s a little slice of British heaven in the Florida panhandle. (Note: I don’t receive any type of compensation for mentioning Millie’s restaurant—I just really like her food!)

Peace, people!

Around Amelia Island

Amelia Island is a beautiful place to run away to and a difficult place to leave. Studly Doright and I kayaked,

Explored the community of Fernandina Beach on the island,

Took in some of the Jazz Festival

Walked on the beach

And had a good time.

It’ll be tough getting back to the real world.

Peace, people!