Cat Gracie discovered a luckless lizard in the house yesterday and quickly let the poor critter know who was boss.
My attempts at rescuing the little guy were futile. I’d pick him up and Gracie would snatch the other end. I’d let go to prevent a tug of war, not wanting or needing to witness the decapitation of a reptile in my den.
But the lizard had a game plan:
Gracie scraped the lizard off her face and backed away with a look of disbelief, allowing me to scoop the lizard up and take it outside where it played dead for quite some time. Well, to be honest, it might not have been playing, but it’s no longer in the spot where I left it. Whether it left of its own volition and under its own power is a mystery. I’m going to choose to believe it went on to live a productive life.
On Saturday morning I rose early and drove across Tallahassee to stroll around a Christmas craft fair at Dorothy P. Oven Park. I didn’t buy anything, but I enjoyed the misty morning while wandering around the expansive grounds of this beautiful park. I’m not the greatest photographer, but maybe you can get an idea of how lovely this place is.
Last night Studly Doright and I had dinner at The Garlic, a popular Italian restaurant in New Smyrna Beach. The ambiance was fun, and old world funky. The food was excellent. Truth is, I was so wrapped up in the dining experience that I neglected to take any pictures. Thank goodness for Pinterest.
We had it on good advice to arrive early. Since the weather was cold, most everyone wanted indoor dining. Studly Doright and I were fortunate to get the last remaining indoor table, and we were there at 4:30.
After dinner we drove a block or so to Norwood’s, a seafood place that boasts a treehouse bar.
We climbed the stairs from The Roots Bar on the lower level into this wonderful treehouse atmosphere.
We topped off our sumptuous meal from The Garlic with drinks and desserts at Norwood’s. I had some insanely delicious pumpkin spice cheesecake along with the specially crafted martini above. I asked what the martini was called and the bartender shrugged. “I made it just for you and the dessert you chose.” One word: Perfection.
Studly enjoyed a brownie and water. Good thing, too. I couldn’t have driven back to our accommodations after that drink.
I’d love to visit both restaurants again on a warmer evening. The outdoor seating at both places looked inviting, but not on such a cold day. Now we’re home and I heated up a can of Gardein Chick’n Noodle soup for dinner. I wonder what martini might’ve been perfect with it?
Studly Doright and I are hanging out in New Smyrna Beach, Florida, this weekend. I’d packed all my beachy stuff: swimsuits, beach towels, beach chairs, straw hats, etc. But a storm has blown through the area bringing epic, awe-inspiring waves, so there won’t be any lounging on the beach.
It’s just wonderful. Even the locals are impressed
It was a pleasant lunch, but the lizard and I didn’t exchange phone numbers or anything, so I was surprised and a little bit flattered to find him saving a table for us when I arrived at Sweet Pea Cafe for lunch this morning.
Stanley (I believe he looks like a Stanley) was at the same table as last time, but didn’t skitter away when I approached. Instead, he waited patiently while I placed my lunch and lemonade near him.
The unfurling of my napkin seemed to unnerve him, so Stanley slid into the space between the slats where he watched me take out my book and unwrap my fork.
He emerged a bit to study me as I ate. I offered to direct some ants in his direction, but he said he’d already eaten.
Several other diners commented on my companion. A small child squealed in delight and Stanley dove beneath the table. He was still nearby, though, when it was time for me to leave. I didn’t get his number, but I think we might have some ESP going on. ‘Til next time, Stan.
I’m fully vaccinated, but I live in Florida where only 49.8% of the population can say the same. Good old Florida, where the number of those infected with Covid continues to rise and hospitals are again running out of resources with which to treat them. I personally know a man who was sent home on oxygen because the local hospital was out of beds for Covid patients. He’s not doing well.
The Delta variant is resulting in breakthrough infections among the vaccinated. And while if I were to be infected I’d likely have a milder case of Covid than an unvaccinated person, I’m not willing to risk it.
This stubborn refusal to take the vaccine coupled with the anti-mask mindset of many in my state is literally killing people. And I just don’t understand it. For some it’s become political—a show of solidarity for a former president (who, by the way, admits to having received the vaccine). I guess I put common sense above politics.
Others have fallen victim to disinformation spread via social media. I’ve had people tell me that the vaccine inserts a device into the bloodstream so the government can track them. That one gives me a headache. Guess what, folks, the government really doesn’t have time or the need to track every single one of us. And unless you’re up to no good, why would that even worry you?
Others believe the vaccine is the biblical mark of the beast. C’mon man. I’ve had every vaccine available since I was a little kid. Chances are, these naysayers had as well—until Covid came along.
So yes, I’m still masked up even as I see most of my fellow Floridians unmasked in stores. I smile at them with my eyes while they give me dirty looks. Like I’m the one potentially spreading a deadly virus. Hm. Go figure.
One of the highlights of the anniversary trip Studly Doright and I took this past week was a visit to the Jacksonville Zoo. We’d heard great things about this particular zoo and we weren’t disappointed.
Knowing the temperatures were going to rise into the high 90’s on Friday, with a heat index of 110° predicted, we checked out of our wonderful hotel room at Margaritaville on Jacksonville Beach early and were at the zoo when the gates opened.
This zoo was kind of magical. The habitats were spacious and creatively designed with walkways for the animals that allowed for closeup viewing without restrictive cages.
At each exhibit there were volunteers explaining how the animals had been acquired and the steps taken to provide the optimal habitat for each of the zoo’s residents. It was a great way to spend a few hours.
Studly Doright and I decided to get away for a couple of days. Our anniversary is on the 30th, so it seemed a good way to celebrate 45 years of marriage. I was going to say “wedded bliss” but that count is only around 20 years. I jest. Mostly.
We left Doright Manor under sunny skies, but about an hour from our destination we ran into a torrential rainstorm complete with lightning and thunder. Visibility was down to about fifteen feet and I had a firm hold on what we lovingly call the “oh shit” handle.
We’re headed to Jacksonville where we have reservations at the Margaritaville Resort on Jacksonville Beach. Hoping the storm isn’t a harbinger of what’s to come. Of course Studly is sick of hearing me sing “Stormy Weather,” so he might just pull over and kick me out. If you see me hitchhiking on Interstate 10 west of Jacksonville, throw me a towel, please.