My Digits

My toenails had been neglected for quite some time. My fingernails for even longer. So today I went for a mani/pedi at a salon in Tallahassee.

I picked out the blue all by myself. For some reason I needed you all to know that. For my fingernails I wanted a nice clear coat. No color.

Yet the manicurist talked me into a light pink.

So now I resemble an Easter egg. Oh, and my manicure lasted all of thirty minutes. I scuffed the polish on my right thumb while picking up a carton of milk at Whole Foods.

I swear, I have the grace of a drunk bull moose tromping through a field of daisies. And that’s on a good day.

Peace, people.

Panama City Beach

Before sending the Texas grandkids on a plane home we had one last hurrah at tourist-y Panama City Beach.

We strolled out on the pier and watched the ocean do its beautiful thing.

I asked a stranger to take a photo of the three of us:

We visited Ron Jon surf shop:


Then we had lunch at Dick's Last Resort where the wait staff is rude on purpose. These hats made great souvenirs and Jackson wore his until we got to the airport.

But they'll still take a photo of you if you ask politely:

After lunch we played a laser game that revealed my extreme lack of ninja skills. We shot zombies in a 3D shooting game that revealed my extreme lack of zombie hunting skills. Finally we ate ice cream at which I excelled. No photos, so you'll just have to take my word for all of the above.

All too soon it was time to send the kids home. Notice Jackson's travel pillow. It's all he really wanted as we shopped today.

Their dad texted to let me know they arrived safely in Dallas at almost the same time I arrived home to Doright Manor. I'll sleep well tonight–and late in the morning.

Peace, people!

Last Day

Today I'm driving the Texas grandkids to the airport in Panama City, Florida, for their flight home to Dallas, Texas. Neither of have them have ever flown unaccompanied, and there are some jitters. Not on their parts, mind you, but underneath this calm exterior I'm going a little nuts.

We've had a good time these past two weeks spoiling these kiddos. Doright Manor will be awfully quiet once they leave.

Heels

Our granddaughter, Dominique (14), is bright, beautiful, and growing up way too quickly for my liking and too slowly for hers.

One of her closest friends will celebrate her quinceañera (fifteenth birthday) on Saturday and Dominique has been invited to sit at the head table. She already has her dress for the occasion, but needed a pair of heels, and since she isn't flying home until Friday, we had to take action.

I'd love to tell you that she tried on dozens of pairs of shoes, oohing and ahhing over every detail in an effort to find the perfect pair, but that wasn't the case. Dominique marched straight to the rack where a dizzying array of special occasion shoes were displayed, pointed at a pair of silver heels, and said "Those."


No amount of cajoling her to try on a pair of strappy sandals would sway her, so it was done. I didn't know whether to be elated that the process had been so simple or sad because it was over so quickly.

I took her for lunch afterwards at a high end burger restaurant, and she took far longer agonizing over the toppings she wanted than she had over the shoes. Come to think of it, she's a lot like me.

Peace, people.

Renaissance Kid

Our youngest grandson, Jackson, is something of an old soul. He's much more interested in shopping at vintage and antique stores than in shops selling toys. When he and his sister visited last summer Jackson found a knife for his collection at Planters Exchange in Havana, Florida. So yesterday morning he asked if we could check out their merchandise.



Dominique has almost no interest in shopping for vintage items, so she wandered and grumbled.

Although, at another shop she was tickled to find a wax apple with a bite mark on it.

And she wanted a picture of a funky door at Planters Exchange, but only if I'd pose with it.

Jackson came home with a new knife for his collection, so our trip was a success.

I'm exhausted, but at least everyone is happy.

Peace, people!

Stalker

I took the Texas grandkids to the Tallahassee Museum today to check out the tree to tree adventures and the resident animals. Unfortunately Jackson wasn't tall enough to tackle the challenge he'd set his heart on, so we just concentrated on the animals instead.


Broken hearted kid^^^

Dominique was more enthusiastic about walking through the exhibits than her brother:

And the only way I could get a photo of both of them in the same shot was from a distance:

We did pick up a strange stalker on our visit.

There's nothing like being stalked by a vulture to make you wonder if there is something he knows about the impending future.

This little museum is a wonderful slice of Florida.

Unloading the Bikes

Sometimes having fun is hard work. Today Poppa, aka Studly Doright, and the grandkids took the bikes to a local riding park outside of Tallahassee. I went along just in case a chase vehicle was needed.

Poppa made sure both Dominique and Jackson played active roles in unloading their bikes.





While the three intrepid bikers took off down a series of dirt trails I sat in the car and read for awhile. Consequently, I have no exciting photos of their ride, only secondhand tales of near misses and wrong turns. In the end, my chase car services were necessary when Dominique's scooter suffered a minor breakdown. It is nice to be needed.

Peace, people, and safe travels.

The Artful Dodger

Yesterday I drove across Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana, on my way to see my son and his family in Dallas. More than once I encountered torrential thunderstorms that reduced visibility to less than a handspan.

My knuckles are still bone white from holding the steering wheel in a death grip. At least most of my fellow travelers kept their speed in check; although, occasionally a hotshot would come barreling willy nilly through the downpour as if the roads were dry and the sun shining fiercely. I'd have flipped them the bird if I hadn't feared taking my hand off the wheel.

In addition to dodging the aforementioned would-be NASCAR drivers, I also had to avoid an odd variety of other objects, including, but not limited to the following:

1) a blue and orange striped beach chair
2) one canvas bag approximately three feet long.
3) an infant car seat (no baby, thank goodness!)
4) a tennis shoe

But the best thing I had to dodge was a large alligator. He was dead, thank goodness, but still gave me a fright as I saw him just in the nick of time. Apparently some other driver wasn't as fortunate as I'd been.

Hopefully today, as I head north and west away from the coast, the weather won't be as crazy, the drivers less aggressive, and the gators safely in their proper habitats. I'm tired of being the artful dodger.

Peace, people!

Oldie #3: Rower’s Remorse


My husband, Studly Doright, and I recently purchased a home, Doright Manor, on a small lake near Tallahassee, Florida. We are not lake people. We are Texas panhandle people, born and raised in the dry, dusty plains and ill-prepared to handle any body of water larger than the occasional rain puddle.

When we bought our lake home we both envisioned rowing hither and yon around our lake for hours on end, working those muscles that spend too many hours typing on a keyboard and too few doing actual labor. We were going to get in shape! To that end, Studly bought us a two-person kayak. Thank goodness he had the foresight to purchase a fishing kayak–broad on the bottom and damned near impossible to tip over.

Our first venture into the world of kayaking was tense. I yelled. He cried. Or maybe it was the other way around. At any rate, that was just the part where we tried to get into the vessel without getting wet. After several borderline pornographic physical manipulations, Studly and I found ourselves seated in the appropriate slots. To us it made sense that he take the front seat and I take the back. Him: Strong. Me: Weak. We: Wrong.

The back person does all the hard work. All of it. The front person is just there to look pretty and occasionally help steer. We discovered this at the halfway point. There was no way we could switch places without one of us getting drenched. I had to shoulder the load–the big load where the pretty one should be.

Slowly I rowed. Inch by painful inch I paddled and an hour later we found ourselves at our dock confronted with a final challenge. How the heck do we get out of this infernal thing? My arms were shot and Studly couldn’t get enough leverage to pull himself up onto the dock. You see, boats don’t stay still when you pull them into the dock. No. They continue to move in all sorts of ways. Back. Forth. Sideways. They rock and roll. They Zumba.

But, we are not quitters. Nossirree. Neither of us wanted to die out on that lake mere yards from our own back door. “Let’s back the boat away from the dock,” said Studly. “We’ll aim for that grassy area beside the dock, get a running start and shoot onto dry land.”

“Huh?”

“Yea,” he said. “Just help get us out into the inlet and I’ll power us onto the grass.”

“Sure.” Wearily, I pushed against the dock, and then stroke, stroke, stroked out into our little inlet, giving my man plenty of room to make his final stand.

He instructed me to lift my paddle and be ready to spring out of the boat as soon as we hit the shore. Spring. Yep, he said that. I’ve never seen arms work so powerfully. Boom, boom, boom and we hit paydirt. My spring was sprung and I fell onto damp grass, almost, but not quite, touching my lips to the solid ground.

“Quick! Grab the boat!” Studly yelled. Just in time, I caught hold to prevent him from floating away. I steadied the vessel as he rolled out, sprawling in lake mud. I’d have laughed at the sight, but I couldn’t summon the energy.

We both recovered. Slowly. And we’ve been out in our kayak many times since that first one. Every time we learn something new, but getting out never gets easier. I keep intending to google the topic. “How do I get out of my kayak without inflicting mortal wounds on my partner?” The good news? I think I’m developing an arm muscle. But it might be a mosquito bite. Time will tell.

Peace, People.

Above is glimpse of our lake taken from the safety of my back porch.