Scratching My Head

I’ve frequently purchased “Southern Living” magazine. “Home and Garden” is one I enjoy thumbing through, too. Oh, “House Beautiful” should get a mention, but “Garden & Gun?”

Really? I was almost tempted to buy the periodical just to see photos of people gardening with their guns. Maybe they use a pistol in place of a spade. Or a rifle as a hoe. My imagination has been titillated.

I’m not a gardener, but the essence of a garden is peace and life. To paraphrase Tina Turner, “What’s gun got to do with it?”

Peace, people.

She Said She Shed

I was investigating an estate sale in mid-town Tallahassee, on Friday morning, and while I didn’t purchase anything, I fell in love with this backyard potting shed. As soon as Studly Doright returned home I showed him this photo and told him I thought I needed a she shed of my own.

“But you don’t garden!” he said.

“Well, I might if I had a nifty she shed,” I replied. “Or maybe I’d use it as my writing nook. Who knows, maybe the next great American novel could be written in such a shed.”

“Oh, you’re planning on letting someone else use it then,” he said.

I’d have hit him with my gardening shears if I’d had any.

But, can we agree it’s a lovely she shed?

Peace, people!

A Feast for the Eyes

On Saturday after I’d finished shopping at estate sales I found myself way out on the east side of Tallahassee and decided to stop for lunch at a farm to table restaurant called Backwoods Crossing.

The food at the Crossing is wonderful; although, dairy free choices are limited. Still I was able to find something on the menu to suit my needs and had an enjoyable meal, after which I wandered through the gardens.

The little guy above offered to give me a tour, but his prices were a bit steep.


I’d love to come out here on a fall day and dine outside.

Heed this warning or you’ll be toast, among other things.

This is such a lovely place. Almost heaven.

Peace, people.

Our Christmas Letter

Studly Doright and I were too lazy to send out our annual Christmas letter this year (and the year before, and the year before that), but after receiving the twelfth such letter from various friends and family members I began feeling guilty. Without such a missive how will anyone know what an absolutely awesome year Studly and I had? Fortunately I have this forum, so with just a bit of exaggeration, here is our offering:

“Doright Year in Review”

Dear Friends,

It’s that time of year again when we regale all of you with our adventures great and small, but let’s face it, the Dorights only have great adventures. All others are swept under the rug.

In January we moaned about temperatures dropping into the 50’s. My tan faded and Studly had to wear long pants to play golf. It was devastating.

February brought more of the same, but Valentine’s Day broke up the monotony. Studly made it special by purchasing a 10-karat diamond necklace for me to wear to the grocery store. It pairs well with the mink he bought me for Christmas last year.

In March the temperatures began creeping into the tolerable zone. I spent a great deal of time at our beach house while Studly made a killing on the stock market and switched to shorts on the golf course. He shot a 69 on his home course and recorded two holes in one. The PGA contacted him about joining the senior tour, but he declined, saying it wouldn’t be fair to all the other golfers. What a mensch!

April and May were memorable for their showers and flowers. I entered the annual garden show with an orchid I discovered on my last trip to South America. The National Society of Horticulturalists have named it the Nana Glorious in my honor. My entry took first, second, and third place honors at the event.

We spent June, July, and August abroad. While Studly golfed in Scotland and Ireland, I explored quaint mountain villages throughout Europe and discovered yet another rare flower. Being the generous soul that I am, I pointed it out to a local woman who will go on to win multiple accolades for her contribution to botanical studies. Studly isn’t the only mensch in our family.

September was quiet as we recovered from our travels. Studly worked a bit, as his sharp mind and quick wit are in great demand. I was approached with a multi-million dollar deal to publish my memoirs. I just laughed and said, “Darlings, I haven’t even begun living yet!”

In October I traveled to visit our five precocious grandchildren. Fortunately they all take after me and will be outrageously successful.

November brought us together with most of Studly’s family. We celebrated his 60th birthday with a small concert. Sting said it was the best event he ever performed at, and asked if he could join us for Christmas this year.

So here we sit, Sting, Studly, and I, sipping spiced rum around a massive Christmas tree in the grand salon of our cabin in the Rockies. Sting keeps wanting to sing, but Studly says, “Enough, man. Let’s enjoy a Silent Night.”

We hope you all have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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!

Flowers of Ireland 

I was traveling southwest Ireland with folks who know their flowers. Unfortunately I was unable to absorb any of their knowledge via osmosis. I only know that flowers grew everywhere in such beautiful colors, rich textures, and romantic aromas that my senses were in overdrive. 

Home Improvement

When we purchased our home over two years ago we knew eventually we’d want to do something about the front courtyard area. The previous owners, who’d built the home, paid a gardener to tend the two small plots on either side of the front walkway twice a month, but Studly and I weren’t crazy about taking on another bill. Actually I remember the conversation going something like:

Studly: We can’t afford both a gardener and a housekeeper.

Me: Cross off gardener. Check.

And that was the end of that story.

Except that we didn’t really think about the amount of yard work this courtyard area required. There was weeding and raking and digging and more weeding and since neither of us wanted to do any of that it just didn’t get done. Before too long Doright Manor’s entryway was overgrown and under utilized. 

I had the bright idea of having the area done in paving stones, but the estimate in the neighborhood of seven grand put a damper on that idea. Occasionally I’d go putter about trying to clean up all the unidentifiable growing things, but my efforts made it even uglier.

Finally Studly and I drew up a plan to do something simple and hopefully manageable with our courtyard. That was months ago, and we worked on it a little bit in the evenings and on weekends. 

We had to till everything up and cap off sprinklers.

Then we put down heavy duty matting and laid out some big stones before adding mulch.

We plan to add a decorative potting bench and container plants on this side.

Then on the opposite side we placed a little bench that I found at the French Country Flea Market on Friday. I fell in love with the butterfly shape. 

Now we need to personalize the courtyard with accents and plants for a more finished look. I’m not much of a decorator, so I know there will be a good deal of trial and error involved, but maybe this is something we can keep in good order without too much effort from a pair of non-gardeners. And I get to keep my housekeeper. 

Peace, people!