Half a Cat: A Furry Tail

Gracie is upset that I won’t allow her to go outside on the screened-in porch this afternoon. It’s an 80° day and the sun is shining, but there’s a breeze blowing the pollen around, and my allergies just can handle it.

So Gracie is making do with the next best thing.

That tail starts flicking about now and again leading me to believe there might be a lizard teasing the cat from outside the window. This cat leads a really tough life.

Peace, people!

The Panhandle(s)

In my blog I occasionally reference the Texas panhandle as the land of my birth. I throw the word panhandle around assuming everyone knows exactly what I mean. But more than once I’ve had a commenter ask, “What’s the panhandle?” Allow me to illustrate.

Actually, someone already illustrated and labeled it for me. You see, the tan area? That’s the panhandle. At some point somebody thought it looked like the shape of a pan’s handle and named it accordingly. To me it seems too chunky.

Nowadays, I live in the Florida panhandle.

I drew a line around it for you. To me, Florida looks like a gun with the panhandle being the barrel and the peninsula the gun’s handle. I guess the term “Florida gunhandle” didn’t occur to those who had naming rights.

Other U.S. states have panhandles, but I’m tired and don’t want to bore you more than I have already.

Stay safe and warm no matter where you live.

Peace, people.

Shivering in Havana; Basking in Bismarck

We don’t see temperatures like this very often here in Florida.

We’ll bundle ourselves up in sweaters, jackets, and scarves and turn up the thermostats. It’ll be a great day for sipping hot chocolate and gathering around a fireplace.

In North Dakota, though, where Studly Doright, our children, and I lived for four years, three decades ago, 32° temps on a sunny December day might feel balmy, inspiring folks to wear short sleeves and even short pants while frolicking in the unexpected gift of a warm day. It’s all relative.

Brrr!

What’s the weather like where you are? Are you cavorting in summer clothing or huddling beneath a blanket? Inquiring minds need to know.

Peace, people!

Jayhawk Surprise

I rose early on Friday morning and went in search of a t-shirt in one of the shops near Seacrest Beach. It seems the frenzy of Black Friday shopping doesn’t happen in these parts, so none of the clothing shops were open at 8 a.m..

Due to skewed packing sensibilities, I’d managed to pack as if I were going to a mountain in Tibet rather than a beach in Florida. I needed a t-shirt, and while part of me was pleased that Black Friday hadn’t gotten its ugly hooks into this beachside community, the part of me that needed a t-shirt was disappointed.

Rather than drive the two blocks to the shops, I walked and enjoyed people and dog watching. After I found and purchased two very unfashionable, yet beach appropriate t-shirts, at a cool little book store in nearby Rosemary Beach, I stopped at a little cafe and bought a croissant.

As I sat there munching on my breakfast I looked up and saw these banners hanging on the wall:

Here in a little cafe in coastal Florida was a team banner for my kids’ alma mater, The University of Kansas. I’m not sure why that made me so happy, but I smiled all the way back to our condo.

Hope you’re all having a great post-Thanksgiving Day, and avoiding the crazy crowded shops.

Peace, people.

Do We Have Enough Shroom?

Studly Doright called me outside on Wednesday afternoon. “Come see what I found!”

Now, in the past when he’s beckoned me outside with those words I’ve encountered a great many scary things: huge banana spiders, an enormous black snake, and various oversized insects. He’s never called me to come see some cute and cuddly animal. I was prepared to run.

Fortunately, this time he’d found something I’d have no trouble outrunning—a big fat mushroom.

So how big is it? Here’s Studly Doright holding Mr. Shroom:

It’s smaller than our neighbors’ home….

Ever wonder what they look like in the inside?

The inside almost looked like the inside of a dinner roll, but we didn’t eat it. We’re easily amused, but not stupid.

Who knows what he’ll find outside next time? Princess Peach?

Peace, people!

And Now We Give You Brain-eating Amoeba!

If 2020 were a football player it would have been kicked out of the game for multiple unnecessary roughness penalties.

Pandemic, murder hornets, visiting dust from Africa, wide-spread social unrest, rampant unemployment, a new swine flu in the news, Tom Brady traded to Tampa Bay, and now we have a brain-eating amoeba. WTF?

To be fair, the brain-eating amoeba isn’t a completely new hazard, and can be avoided by following a few simple activities, according to the CDC: Avoid putting your head under the water in hot springs and other untreated thermal waters. Avoid water-related activities in warm freshwater during periods of high water temperature. Avoid digging in, or stirring up, the sediment while taking part in water-related activities in shallow, warm freshwater areas.

Oh, and if you use a Neti-pot to clear your sinuses use distilled water.

As for all the other stuff 2020 has brought us, keep wearing masks, avoid stirring up hornets, be kind to one another, don’t give up, and hope for a Tom Brady sighting. He is in Florida now, after all.

Peace, People!

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Some Days

Today was one of those days. My younger brother and his wife stayed the night with us on their way from Houston. Texas, to Fort Myers, Florida, where they’re going to pick up their brand new Airstream travel trailer.

They had their adorable dog, Gus, with them, so we kept our cat sequestered in the master suite last night. The two were aware of each other, but no one got chased and neither of them puked from nervousness, and we had a great visit with family.

It was a win-win. Still, I didn’t sleep well, and having the cat on my chest all night didn’t help much.

After breakfast at a local cafe our guests headed to Fort Myers and I came back to Doright Manor for a nap. The cat settled in beside me on the sofa in the den, and within minutes I was out like a light for the better part of two hours.

When I awakened it was as if I were in an alternate universe. The sky was dark, and I wondered if I’d slept the day away. I hadn’t. But a storm had blown in while I was napping making early afternoon look like nighttime.

I looked at the calendar on my watch fearing that I’d forgotten an appointment with the insurance adjuster, but realized that wasn’t scheduled until tomorrow. Then I began thinking about the carpet I’d ordered. It was supposed to have arrived on the 19th. Today’s the 23rd. Hmmm.

The carpet company had required a deposit. Had I made one? I couldn’t remember. I knew I’d gone to their office to do so, but couldn’t remember actually making a payment. The checkbook didn’t have an entry either. Had I used a credit card? Suddenly I was certain that the reason my carpet hadn’t yet arrived was that it had never been ordered because I hadn’t paid a deposit.

I called the store, “Hi, this is Leslie Noyes. I think I ordered carpet from you, but I can’t remember actually making a deposit.”

The woman on the other end laughed, sort of, “We can sure check.”

A couple of seconds later she read off my address and said, “Yes, it appears you paid a deposit using your credit card, and we’re just awaiting delivery of your carpet.”

I wasn’t sure whether to be relieved or humiliated or worried for my sanity. I’m going to blame it all on the lack of sleep and the lengthy nap I took this afternoon. I’m going to avoid using sharp objects, though, for the remainder of the day.

Peace, people!