Tuesday in Kingsport

My super hostess, Nicky, treated me to a wonderful day on Tuesday. We talked non-stop for most of the morning, taking breaks only for our respective showers and makeup rituals. We had a great deal of assistance, though, from Sodie:

And Linskey:

Neither of whom are quite sure how to feel about my presence in their home.

Nicky and I had a stellar lunch with friends at The Mustard Seed in downtown Kingsport. These are all women Studly and I have become friends with through the Motorcycle Sport Touring Association (MSTA). That’s Nicky in the foreground. Behind her, starting from the left are Mary, Ann, me, and Nancy.

After lunch we went over to Nancy’s home and later spent the afternoon swimming at another friend’s house on the lake.

The adorable children are our friend Tammy’s granddaughters, while Tammy is wearing the pink swimsuit in the middle photo below.

After dinner Nicky and I returned to her home where we talked well past my bedtime. I slept like a rock. Lovely!

Today we’re heading to Pigeon Forge and Dollywood. Try as we might we couldn’t convince any of the other ladies to come along. They all think we’re nuts. I’m pretty sure they’re right, but we don’t care.

Peace, people!

A Week of Loss

Earlier this week my mother-in-law, Saint Helen, called to let us know that her beloved brother-in-law, our Uncle Junior, had passed away. Junior was one of the best men I ever met. He always had a smile and a story to tell. Every Sunday he’d call Saint Helen and they’d share their week’s adventures. Even in his last years Junior would be out on his large property in Oklahoma tending to chores that would be daunting to much younger men. He was quite a man.

I also lost a friend I met in a Facebook group of political progressives, and while we never met face to face, Thom’s death hit me hard. He was a retired Methodist minister who lived a life of service to others. His heart was huge and his sense of humor kept us all on our toes. He shared his beautifully written prayers with us along with his calming and deep wisdom. Even in his last days he was posting puns on Facebook to cheer us up. The world has lost a great man.

Then just this morning I learned that a friend from my hometown was hit by a car and killed. I hadn’t seen Roy in years, but he was like a big brother to me when I was in high school. He had a big personality and an even bigger heart. I’m so sad for his family and for all who knew him. Another good guy gone.

Life is short. Hug your loved ones, cherish your friends.

Peace, people.

Born to be Mild

I came within a heartbeat of purchasing this box of Partridge Family paper dolls at a garage sale this morning. Thankfully I came to my senses and walked away with my dollar still firmly ensconced in my pocketbook.

There was a time I’d have bought anything with a picture of David Cassidy (aka Keith Partridge) on the box, but maybe I’ve finally grown out of my fan girl years. I texted the photo to an old friend who’d shared my fascination with David and other male teen celebrities—namely John and Barry Cowsill.

Via text we had a couple of giggles, and she asked if we could have been considered groupies. I thought about that term and its negative connotations for a moment and then responded that if so, we’d been lousy groupies, not given to indulging in drugs or orgies. We were born to be mild.

Here’s a bit of The Partridge Family’s I Think I Love You. You’re welcome.

https://youtu.be/bb4FMn-IWEY

Kindergarten Connection

I was fortunate to have attended kindergarten in the days before it was made mandatory. I’m sure Mrs. Parks, the owner and sole teacher of the school followed a curriculum, but I don’t remember it being a rigorous course of instruction.

My fellow classmates and I played and sang and created small works of art, while learning about the letters of the alphabet and how to count. A few children in the class learned to read that year. I wasn’t one of those children, but I used to tell people that I was. Nothing was forced as kindergarten learning seems to be nowadays.

At the end of that precious year Mrs. Parks directed us in a play to mark our graduation. One of my Floydada friends posted the picture of our class on Facebook this weekend. Weren’t we adorable?

That’s me on the back row. I’m the tall brown haired girl in the pink dress next to the headdress wearing brave and behind the tiny little doll in yellow.

I can still name all but two of my former classmates from the picture. Floydada is a small Texas town and I went to school with most of those pictured until my family moved to Dumas the summer before my senior year of high school. That was a tough move. I thought my world had ended, when it really was just beginning.

There’s really no message in this post, but our youngest granddaughter started kindergarten this year at a small school in Illinois, and I hope her memories of her year will someday be as sweet to her as mine are to me.

This is Harper on Ag day, which she preferred calling “Egg Day.” She’s a great deal sassier than I ever was. Heaven help us all.

Peace, people.

Irma Update

Sometimes I forget that my Facebook posts and my WordPress posts don’t reach the same audiences. I want to thank everyone who has inquired about our welfare as Irma approaches, and to provide an update.

At Doright Manor we lost power at 2:54 a.m. Monday. There is no darkness quite as deep as that found in a forest during a nighttime storm. A black velvet blanket seemingly fell over our home awakening us immediately. On the plus side we’ve had no lightning, just heavy winds and driving rain.

The weakened eye of Irma is projected to pass very near us around noon today according to the ventusky.com model shown below.

Right now we are getting the outer edges of Irma. Thank goodness she has lost a great deal of her ferocity. She’s scary enough as it is.

I’m going offline now to save battery power. To my Florida friends, stay safe and to everyone else, keep sending those prayers and positive vibes. We really can feel them.

Peace, people!

Exercises in Deep Breathing

A couple of days ago I shared a meme on Facebook that caused tempers to flare. I first included it in this post, but honestly, I feel like I’ve been through the ringer. ¡No más! So, I deleted it before publishing.

Basically the meme was a take on the whole “weather catastrophes are the fault of….(insert gays/feminists/atheists/Muslims, etc.).” only this one jokingly put the blame for Hurricane Harvey on Trump, and then asked, “see how ridiculous that sounds.”

Obviously I was trying to make a point about how ridiculous some of the wacky religious and/or political pundits sound when they blame catastrophic events on homosexuality or feminism or any number of unrelated events, so the amount of vitriol the post attracted was rather stunning. Clearly it was satire.

Was I not aware of the suffering people in coastal Texas and surrounding areas were experiencing? Well, yes, I am aware and have posted numerous links to responsible agencies who are accepting donations for victims of Hurricane Harvey, and I’ve donated to more than a few such organizations myself. If I thought I could be an asset instead of an aggravation I’d be volunteering there right now. The good folks of Houston and beyond are going to need help for many months to come, and I’ll help in whatever ways I can.

Have I no sense of shame? Certainly I do when shame is warranted. This isn’t one of those times.

What has happened to me? Apparently I used to be a good person, but I’m not anymore. Huh. I’ve always tried to do the right thing. I haven’t always been successful, but I look out for others and treat people kindly.

The meme is in poor taste! I don’t believe it is; however, cutting a proposed one billion dollars of funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s budget in order to finance a wall between the U.S. and Mexico is certainly crossing a line that far exceeds the realm of good taste, and I don’t see any of the folks who lambasted me over my meme having a meltdown over that.

Several folks lectured me on my morality and ethics. Oddly enough none of them would be my first choice were I to go in search of a teacher on those issues.

A thoughtful friend sent this to me after reading the battering posts. I take great comfort in good friends.

I continue to pray for all those affected by Harvey. Yes, I do. Even those who think I’m a bad person.

If you want to support a great organization that’s helping out folks who’ve lost everything to this devastating storm here are more verified links:

https://www.youcaring.com/victimsofhurricaneharvey-915053

Umcor.org

Peace, people.

Gathering Storm

We watched clouds gather

Towering over us all

Menacing columns

Shelter from chaos

Hold tightly to those you love

As the storm rages

Tides will rise and fall

Through every challenge, seek light

Never doubt your strength

We had quite a few family members and friends in the path of Hurricane Harvey this weekend. I’ve sent up countless prayers and will continue doing so, but know that prayers aren’t enough unless we help out in material ways. I hate the feeling of helplessness such storms bring.

http://m.chron.com/news/houston-weather/hurricaneharvey/article/Hurricane-Harvey-How-to-help-victims-of-the-12003372.php

Succulent Succulents

I had a wonderful time hanging out at Tallahassee Nursery yesterday. I’d signed up for a workshop on the planting and care of succulents, and thoroughly enjoyed myself. I might’ve even learned a thing or two.

Here was the first container I selected, but it didn’t have a hole in the bottom to facilitate drainage, so I had to find a hole-y one.

The event was well attended with long tables holding all the requisite supplies set up under sprawling oak trees:

After selecting my plants I arranged them in my hole-y planter and looked around the delightful grounds of Tallahassee Nursery with friends. That’s Julie admiring a gazing ball.

We went for lunch afterwards and then I headed home to Doright Manor. Here is the end product of my workshop experience. It wasn’t the prettiest arrangement created, but it’s mine. Now all I have to do is keep the plants alive.

Peace, people!

Smelly Car

Studly Doright likes to trade cars. When he’s had the same vehicle for the span of a year I can feel him getting antsy to find the next great deal, so it came as no surprise when he sheepishly showed me a photo of a little Cadillac sports sedan and told me he’d bought it on eBay.

“It’ll be my golf vehicle,” he said.

“I thought the Dodge pickup was your golf vehicle,” I countered.

“Well, it was, but I’ll sell it.”

“What about the little Nissan convertible? Wasn’t it also your golf vehicle?”

“You know it gets lousy gas mileage. I’ll sell it, too.”

As long as I have a decent car to drive I really don’t care what Studly drives, but I had to give him a hard time. When the car didn’t arrive on time I began needling him.

“Are you sure you’re dealing with reputable people?” I asked. “What if they never deliver your Cadillac?”

“It’ll be here. It’s in Detroit and they had a huge blizzard last week.”

Two days later, still no Cadillac. I again questioned the prudence of buying a car sight unseen. Finally, though, the transport driver called to say he’d be in Tallahassee on Sunday afternoon, so when he sent an address I drove Studly into town to meet the truck. 

The car was badass: Silver, with black leather seats, and every bell and every whistle one could ask for. It also came with one unexpected bonus–the nastiest smell I’ve ever encountered outside of a garbage dump.

The smell wasn’t organic. Nothing had died in the car. It was a chemical type smell, as if  someone had used it as a vat for tanning animal hides. Gag!

Studly was in denial.

“It’s not so bad,” he protested, when I refused to ride in the car.

“Three Mile Island was less toxic than this car,” I said.

“Maybe it just needs a coconut scented air freshener,” he didn’t actually say, but I knew he was thinking it.

“Let me deal with it,” I sighed.

So for the past week while Studly has been at work I’ve coaxed the nasty smell out of his Caddy. Long drives down country roads with every window rolled down and the moon roof fully open have made a huge improvement in the car’s smell. It’s not yet quite to the pleasant stage, but I have a reasonable expectation that it soon will smell almost like a new vehicle. And it’s such fun to drive.

Maybe Studly has learned a lesson about buying cars on eBay. Or not. Regardless, life with him is never boring.


Phoebe Buffay knew a little about smelly things:

https://youtu.be/XNXIZuIBJKs

Snapshot #97

I’ve begun walking around our neighborhood with a couple of friends. The steps seem to come much more easily with the exchange of witty banter, and I am racking up the miles. 

One friend led us across the dam that borders Lake Yvette, and I snapped this picture halfway across. I’m calling it, “Damn Fine Dam View.”