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.
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.
When I went out to check the mailbox Saturday afternoon I encountered this guy.
He might be the largest, most beautiful grasshopper I’ve ever spoken with; although, I think he might be injured. He didn’t even attempt to hop away when I closed in on him. I moved him to the shade, so maybe he can recuperate. At least he’ll be less of a target for birds there.
A tropical storm named Cristobal is playing havoc with weather here in the Florida panhandle, dropping torrential rains and stirring up occasional tornadoes. We’ve had a brief respite from the storm this morning, and I’d get out and run some errands while the sun shines, but there’s a paint crew working inside the house to cover up the holes plumbers created while fixing our water leak. I feel like Roseanne, Roseanna Danna.
This afternoon the rain is predicted to return and continue through the weekend. We’ve been in drought conditions for several months, so the rain is welcome, but I worry that mushrooms will begin growing out of my ears if the storm lasts much longer.
If we have to have a tropical storm at least this one has a musical name. Cristobal always makes me think “crystal ball” and when I picture the storm in my head I see this:
I hope the fortune teller sees an end to Cristobal in the crystal ball in the near future.
Georgia’s Republican governor, Brian Kemp, is opening up businesses in his state beginning Friday, I believe. Hair salons, barber shops, nail salons—will be considered essential.
Now, you might ask, “Why should that worry you? Don’t you live in Florida?”
Well, yes I do.
In the map above, locate Tallahassee. We live just north of there, and south of Quincy. Georgia is just a few miles north of Quincy. Lots of folks who live in my part of the state work in Georgia, and a bunch of Georgia residents work in Florida. So, you see why I’m concerned, right?
Florida’s Governor, Ron DeSantis is a Trump sycophant, so it won’t be long before he follows suit, opening our beaches and theme parks before the Corona virus has reached its peak.
At least DeSantis hasn’t yet said we should be happy to die if it means saving the economy as Texas lieutenant governor Dan Patrick has declared on more than one occasion. Florida has way too many elderly people in residence for DeSantis to say such a thing out loud. But you just know he’s thinking it.
I don’t know about you, but this 63-year-old isn’t sacrificing herself to make Trump’s economy look good. Pardon my language, but fuck that noise.
Here we are, staying in place, trying our best to keep the corona virus from finding us. In my sci-fi addled brain, COVID-19 is a monster lurking in the internal organs of some stranger’s infected body, awaiting an opening, perhaps a sneeze or a cough, to propel him into the next host.
And that host could be me, or worse, someone I love.
Yes, I know that in most cases of the virus the symptoms are mild—barely noticeable in some instances, but those that are bad, are scary.
BUT! Nature doesn’t give a flip. These past few days have been gorgeous here in Florida. Sunshine and temperatures in the 80’s. And in some parts of the country, snow is falling like crazy. The monster keeps on creeping, but nature doesn’t care, and that comforts me.
I hope all of you are safe and healthy and able to appreciate whatever nature is sharing with you today.
I’m preparing to host guests for the weekend, so I’m not writing much today. Instead, I’ll share a few pictures from my weekend with Studly Doright in the Tampa-Clearwater area of Florida’s Gulf Coast.
We stayed in Safety Harbor at the Safety Harbor Resort and Spa, within easy walking distance to the charming town of Safety Harbor.
I love seeing a Little Free Library, and this one held a place of prominence in the town’s city park.
There were a number of terrific restaurants and casual dining spots along the Main Street, and after dark there was plenty of nightlife.
On Friday night we saw Steve Martin and Martin Short’s show, The Funniest Show in Town at the Moment. Well worth the price of admission.
And on Saturday we drove around the area picking out our future eight million dollar beach house (🤣🤣🤣), and roaming around the Madeira Beach boardwalk. We took a dolphin watching tour, but Studly was afraid I’d drop my phone overboard, so I have no proof of that. It was really cold out on the bay!
On Saturday evening we enjoyed the spa at our hotel. Safety Harbor Resort and Spa has two heated mineral spring-fed pools–one outdoor and the other indoor, as well as two hot tubs, saunas, and an unheated plunge pool. Since it was relatively cold outside, we chose the indoor heated pool. I swam for a long time, but Studly returned to our room to watch college basketball after taking a couple of laps.
Next time we visit I’ll make reservations for spa treatments at the hotel well in advance. Silly me thought we’d be able to schedule something when we checked in. The facilities looked amazing.
We drove home on Sunday morning just in time to watch the sun rise over Tampa Bay.
And that’s about it. Time for me to get up and around.
On Friday evening Studly Doright and I got to see Steve Martin and Martin Short perform at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater, Florida. I dressed up for the performance: Black dress, heels, and pearls.
Of course 98% of the other women in attendance were dressed casually, in jeans or slacks. Alternately, I felt overdressed and ultra chic. I enjoyed the disconnect.
There were two women around my age dressed in evening gowns. They’d also donned fascinators, that looked adorable, yet idiosyncratic. I made a point of telling them I thought they looked nice. I used the word fascinator, and they were impressed.
“Most people just say they like our hats. You knew they were fascinators.”
Well, of course I did.
The performance was everything I’d hoped it would be and then some. My heart almost stopped beating when Steve Martin simply walked onto the stage with no fanfare to begin the evening. I’d been dreading an opening act, then there he was, the comedian of my dreams. Steve Martin WAS the opening. Damn. How could the evening get any better?
Then Martin Short joined Steve Martin and, wow! Together they were golden. After some witty repartee, Steve Martin exited stage left and Martin Short had his time in the spotlight. The two were incredible, separately and together.
In two hours the pair endlessly enchanted and entertained, exchanging one liners faster than I could keep up. Studly and I recalled what we could as we drove from Clearwater to Tallahassee on Sunday morning, but we couldn’t come close to remembering their seemingly effortless give and take.
And lest I forget, Steve Martin played his banjo, as a solo performer as well as with a group of women billed as “The First Ladies of Bluegrass.” Absolutely outstanding. And Martin Short was a bagpipe. Yep, a bagpipe.