Jacksonville Zoo

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.

In the bonobo exhibit.
This guy was upset that another bonobo was pushing a red bowl around.
Very upset!
From the tiger exhibit.
He was so close to us!
Who doesn’t love a giraffe? We missed seeing the little ones!
This guy was a visitor just like us.
Handsome guy
Shudder!
These guys were taking it easy.
While this one was lying in wait…
This quote by Langston Hughes is one of my favorites.

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.

The landscaping was gorgeous.

Peace, people!

Fasten Your Seatbelts

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.

Not even the worst part of the storm…

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.

Peace, people!

If a Tree Falls in the Forest…

…It’ll make a huge mess. If said tree falls into the neighborhood lake, it’ll make an even bigger mess.

Notice it took out our dock, as well. 😢
That is one big tree.
Thank goodness the ugly boat was spared…

Now we’re waiting on someone to quote us a price on Fallen Tree’s removal. It will not be cheap. Sigh.

Peace, people.

Sweet Pea Specials

Since switching to a vegan diet I’ve become a frequent diner at Sweet Pea Cafe in Tallahassee. I have favorite dishes—the Caesar Wrap is one, and Rancheros is another, but I give a thumbs up to everything on their menu. It’s all vegan, all the time.

The specials board never fails to make me smile even if I’m not enticed to try what’s listed. I’m a messy person and sometimes the special isn’t suited to dining in one’s car.

Today’s specials were particularly inventive.

The BBQ Streisand was tempting, but I could well imagine the resulting bbq splotches on my tee shirt.

If you live anywhere near Tallahassee pay this little unassuming cafe on Tharpe Street a visit. Tell them Leslie sent you.

Peace, people!

Blame it on Allergies

On a scale of one to ten, with one being the lowest and ten being phenomenal, my productivity level today has hovered right at a negative eight—below slug level. As is my right as a citizen of the state of Florida on this pollen-dusted spring day, I’m blaming my lack of progress on seasonal allergies.

Actual photograph taken in my backyard.
The hills are alive with the sound of sneezing.
We all live in a pollen-covered state.

Okay, the antihistamine is kicking in, I’m not sneezing anymore, but now I can’t keep my eyes open.

Peace, and gesundheit, people!

Common Sense

When did common sense become politicized? When did we stop thinking rationally? Honestly, I’m concerned. You see, most sane adults understand that there’s a pandemic that has taken the lives of more than half a million Americans and an estimated 2.57 million human beings worldwide.

We know that the virus is mutating and that even though there are now vaccines to mitigate the spread of Covid-19 only a small percentage of the population has received the vaccine as of March 5, 2021. We are not anywhere near the point of herd immunity.

And yet certain governors in the U.S. have decided that it’s time to do away with all the restrictions. They’ve opened everything up. No more masks. No more social distancing. No more limits on the number of people who can gather in groups. No more common sense.

Ah! Sweet freedom. Freedom to kill and be killed. Freedom to not care about our friends and neighbors. Freedom from common sense. God help us all.

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.