The Grandkids are Coming! The Grandkids are Coming!

Studly Doright and I have been getting Doright Manor ready to withstand a visit from our Texas grandkids, Dominique and Jackson. The two, along with one of their friends, are flying in to Panama City Beach on Sunday evening to stay with us in Havana for a week. The guest rooms and baths are ready, the cupboards are full, and the refrigerator is stocked with Jackson’s favorite root beer.

Each year when the kids visit, Studly, who goes by “Poppa” around the grands, has motorcycles ready to work on and ride. I usually take the kids to a water park. However, Jackson broke his foot at the beginning of the summer and will still be in a cast. We might have to get a bit more creative with our activities this year.

Arts and crafts, anyone?

Regardless of what we do, we’ll have fun. I’ll post something if I have the energy!

Peace, people!

(Almost) Nothing but Net

Dominique, Jackson, and I had a couple of free hours yesterday so we checked in at The Drop Zone, a Tallahassee hot spot for school aged youngsters. Why weren't these trampoline play areas around when I was a kid?

My photography won't win any awards, but that's okay. Jackson had fun while Dominique mainly lolled around the spectators' area with me.

Peace and trampolines, people!

Jackson’s Project

Poppa (aka Studly Doright) and grandson, Jackson, have been busy in Poppa's shop the past couple of days. Neither Dominique nor I were allowed to participate, so we had nary a clue what might be the outcome.

Late yesterday afternoon we were rewarded with the results of their labor:

It's a miniature katana sword and display stand inspired by a YouTube video Jackson had watched. Tomorrow they're planning on constructing a sheath for the sword.

Here's what the sword was originally:

A scarred paint scraper!

Now, I wonder if they can make me a crossbow in case of a zombie apocalypse….

Peace, people!

Motorcycle Man

Our Texas grandkids are visiting us here at Doright Manor, and the prime attractions are their motorcycles.

Jackson wasted no time in gearing up and cranking the engine:

Dominique had to make sure her hair fit under her helmet:

Good times with Poppa!

The Sound of Silence aka The Grandkids are Gone

For almost two weeks we entertained two of our five grandchildren here at Doright Manor. It was the first time Dominique and Jackson have been alone with us for that length of time, and heading into the first week I felt some trepidation.

Would they get bored? Would I be patient with them? Could I train them to cook and clean like small indentured servants? 

As they prepared to leave on Saturday morning I asked them each if they’d had fun, and the answer was a resounding “Yes!”

They rode motorcycles.


Helped Poppa with yard work:


Visited Poppa at the office:

Chopped down saplings:  

Created bird feeders:
Rode crazy rides at Wild Adventures:


That blur is Jackson.

Rode motorcycles again:  
Enjoyed Japanese stir fry:

Helped Poppa and me build a fairy house:

Created paracord bracelets for every member of the family:

And climbed trees.

 They also rode go karts at a local arcade, but the resident documentarian (me) came down with a nasty head cold and stayed at home for that adventure.

Apparently there was no boredom involved. I never even came close to losing my patience–a true miracle. However, the plan to have the kids take over the cooking and cleaning was for naught. Two out of three works for me. 

Now to enjoy the sound of silence. 

 Peace, people!

Hanging With The Grands

I’m having such a wonderful time with my grandchildren, Dominique and Jackson, this week. 

We stopped by Studly Doright’s (Poppa’s) office.


Aren’t they cute?
Later in the day Jackson and I went for a walk around the neighborhood. He’s all about asking me to challenge him to do physical stunts, such as climbing trees and jumping over obstacles. I’m such a wimp, though, that I can never come up with a suitable activity.

I loved his question, “Nana, do you have any trees that need climbing?”

Dominique and I spent an hour making bird feeders out of pine cones, peanut butter, twine, and seeds. 

 Here are the final products:


Now we need to hang them.

The kids chopped down a couple of saplings.


Jackson is a born lumber Jack.
 While I watched from a safe distance. 


As a native Texan I’d heard tales of the mythical Houston Rodeo–an epic 20 day extravaganza featuring competition between the top cowboys and cowgirls in their respective events. Now at the age of 59 I finally got to savor the experience first hand. And what an amazing experience it was!

My brother, Kelly, works with a man who has volunteered at the rodeo in various capacities for more than two decades. This man has two sets of season tickets that he offers to friends during the event. We were fortunate to get incredible seats close to the action so there wasn’t a calf roping or bull riding that we missed. 

The pageantry was “over the top Texas” with fireworks and wagon races, mutton busting and a host of other events.

Once the rodeo events were completed for the night country singer Jason Aldean took the stage and rocked the house from a rotating stage. There were no bad seats for the concert.

We drank copious amounts of beer, consumed peanuts, nachos, fried Snickers and fried pecan pie. 

And smiled.


My brother Kelly and sister-in-law, Susan
My goofy self and brother Kelly
My handsome son, Jason who came from Dallas for the rodeo, and me.
What a great evening! And I didn’t even relate my bull riding experience. That’s coming in another post.

Peace, people!

Laughter, the Best Medicine?

Written in response to the Daily Post’s Daily Prompt:

Roaring Laughter

What was the last thing that gave you a real, authentic, tearful, hearty belly laugh? Why was it so funny?

Not this past Christmas, but the one before, Studly Doright and I met our kids and grandkids in Nashville, Tennessee, for the holiday. Our son and his family live in Texas. Our daughter and her family reside in Illinois. Studly and I are in Florida, so it’s a treat when we can all be together.

Rather than stay in a hotel we rented a home for the week, and made it into a temporary Doright Manor. We had a first rate time cooking and eating and playing games with the grown kids and grandkids. 

One night, though, we sat the kids down in front of a movie in one room while in another the grownups played the game Cards Against Humanity. There might have been a bit of drinking involved. And by a bit, I mean copious amounts of liquor were consumed.

Our son-in-law, Stephen, having moonlighted as a bartender, knows how to mix a drink and soon had us all giggling like school children even before we started playing the game. Then the competition began.

Now if you’ve never played Cards Against Humanity you have no idea what you’re missing out on. I laughed so hard that tears rolled down my face–deep, strong belly laughs that caused my jaws and cheeks to ache well into the next week. 

 If laughter truly was the best medicine the Doright family could have cured every disease known to man that week. Instead, we just had a wicked good time.

Peace, people!

Caution–the game is not for the easily offended. There are references to body parts and bodily functions that aren’t often mentioned in polite company. Of course Studly and I never were much for polite company.


Some days writing posts for a daily blog is a grind. The post you’ve scheduled for publication doesn’t feel quite right, but you don’t have anything else ready so you publish it anyway, or worse yet there’s nothing in your queue and you find yourself scrounging for something, anything, to publish. 

Hey, here’s an amusing picture of a pregnant pig practicing Lamaze. It’ll do! 

But some days are just fun. Like today. I found several gems written by bloggers I follow. Some I reblogged and others I shared on Facebook or Twitter. My own scheduled post turned out well, and I even composed a quick on the spot piece when a flash of inspiration struck during lunch. Yes, I should have scheduled it for a future publication date, but sometimes a writer just needs instant feedback. I’ll worry about tomorrow, tomorrow. 

I also fiddled with a draft of a short story that’s been in the works for awhile. Hopefully one day soon the characters will let me know what they plan to do next. Right now I’m having difficulty getting out of a fictional whorehouse. Don’t judge. It’s complicated.

Maybe the best part of a fun blogging day is the feedback, the comments, and smiley faces. Interacting with fellow bloggers whether about my own writing or theirs is often the bright spot in my day. I have some insanely witty commenters. Don’t even read my blog posts, just read the comments section. Wait, I didn’t mean that. Shhhh!!!
So, if you’re a blogger does this all sound familiar? If you tell me every day is a piece of cake I might just paste a frownie face in your comments section.

Peace, people!

A semi-irrelevant picture of my sELFie and me.

BBs and Grandsons

some days are
for relaxing
for doing nothing
at all except
maybe climbing
skinny trees
and shooting
bottles with
a pump action bb
gun, making up
rules as we go
along, like
every time we
shoot, but miss,
we get to take
one giant step
forward, but if
we hit the target,
(an empty creme soda
bottle) we have to
walk backwards two
baby steps and
continue shooting
until the bottle
is decimated.
sometimes we have
to dig holes whilst
waiting on an adult
to drink another
bottle of soda for
the next go round.


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