Inside Out (Sort of a Review)

Wednesday is Studly’s night to play in the men’s golf league at Southwood in Tallahassee.  One might think that playing both Saturday and Sunday morning would satisfy his golf addiction, but one would be wrong. 

I don’t mind this Wednesday ritual, though. For one thing I don’t have to cook a meal on Wednesday nights, but more importantly I am free to do just about anything my heart desires on Wednesdays. As long as I’m home by 8:30 p.m. After that I revert to a pumpkin I think. I’ve never tested the theory, but it could happen.

Some Wednesdays I head to the beach. It’s a great day for that because apparently tourists believe the beach to be closed mid-week. Please don’t tell them otherwise. 
Other times I see a movie that I’m positive Studly Doright would rather die than see, such as Magic Mike XXL. I saw that last week. Ok story; great nearly naked men. I should have waited to see it on tv.

This afternoon I watched Inside Out, the new Disney/Pixar offering. Of course the theater was full of moms and grandmothers each with one or more kids in tow. My first thought was, “Crap. Darn kids are going to be fussing, and crying, and raising Cain all through this movie.” And it started off a bit slowly–typical Disney. But then it sucked me and all the other little darlings in. 

The children in the audience ranged in age from two to fifteen and they were spellbound. The younger ones were captivated by the colorful emotional characters: Joy, Sadness, Fear, Disgust, and Anger, who live inside the control center of a little girl named Riley. I’d worried that they’d be uninterested in the storyline, but the action was enough to keep them in the game.

After explaining a little about Riley’s core memories, Riley’s emotions are set to enjoy smooth sailing. Then Riley turns 11. That in itself would have brought about changes, but to add insult to injury her family moves across the country from Minnesota to San Francisco and a series of unfortunate events throw her emotions into chaos. To fix the emotional train wreck, Riley’s emotions have to work together in new ways. 

This is a great movie. Go see it by yourself if you have to, but go see it. If there’s a pre-teen in your life make sure they see it, preferably with you or someone that cares about them. There are some emotional moments, given the characters ARE emotions, but there are some excellent conversations just waiting to happen once the lights come up. I heard the beginnings of a few as I lingered during the closing credits.

I’m hoping for a sequel. After all, Riley’s new control panel has a big red button with PUBERTY stamped on it. 


Peace, people!

A Special Gift

  For a combination Mother’s/Father’s Day gift our daughter had this made for Studly and me. It’s a beautiful reminder of all we’ve been through and of just how far we’ve come.

The border lists all the places we’ve lived in our marriage. In the lower right hand corner the names of our children and grandchildren are written. All around our names are our interests and Studly’s famous sayings, “Don’t say whoa in a mud hole,” “Second Sucks,” and “Can’t never could.” 

The “Really, Really” is how Studly signs his cards to me. He’s been doing so since before we married. The one time he forgot I thought he wanted to leave me. 

Notice the cow in the upper right hand corner. That represents Salem Sue, the huge Holstein that adorns a hill outside New Salem, North Dakota, where we lived for 18 months. The town, not the hill; although, I always told people we lived behind the left udder.

The remainder of the picture contains little bits of our lives, our hobbies and activities. Studly golfs. I drink wine. We both follow the Dallas Cowboys and ride motorcycles. Oh, and we both look like idiots trying to climb out of our kayak.

When I get old, this will be my touchstone, my connection to our past. What a wonderful gift!

Daddy and the Perfect Bag

Every day I spend a little time thinking about my Daddy. I don’t plan to; it just happens. He was quite a guy, and he impacted our lives in many ways.

Studly Doright and I were privileged to have Daddy live with us the last few years of his life, and it was a great experience for all of us; although, I’m sure Daddy often thought we were nuts. That’s ok, he was a little nuts, too.

Daddy loved golf and was in part responsible for Studly playing. But, by the time he moved to Melbourne, FL, where we lived at the time, Daddy’s COPD prevented him from hitting the course as much as he’d have liked. 

He still played a few times, though, even earning a “Closest to the Pin” trophy in a charity tournament.  Man, was he proud of that trophy! Any visitor to our home was invited to gaze on it in awe.

Long after Daddy stopped playing he would sit out in our garage imagining courses he’d played in years gone by and putting together the perfect set of clubs for a round of golf there. Often Studly would go looking for one of his clubs only to find it taking up space in Daddy’s “dream bag.”

“Gerald,” Studly would ask, “Have you seen my 5 wood?”

“Yeah, it might be in my bag,” Daddy would say. “I was thinking of number 4 at the Floydada Country Club. I thought I could reach the green with that 5 wood.”

Even now that Daddy has been gone for many years we still go looking in his bag anytime a club is missing, just in case he needed it for that perfect round.

Miss you Daddy. I hope you’ve got just the right clubs for whatever course you’re playing now.

Daddy holding his oldest great-grandson.


Rosemary’s Bathtub

True story:

At midnight Studly Doright and I were sitting in our oversized whirlpool tub. I was on my cell phone listening earnestly to a man speaking French while Studly looked to me for his next move. Then things really began to heat up. I know what you’re thinking: Ew!
Trust me, it wasn’t kinky, but it was and continues to be, a mystery. Read on.

Studly Doright and I are early to bed, early to rise people. Seldom do we stay up much past 9 p.m., but last night we had dinner with friends at Angelo’s in Panacea and didn’t get home until 10:30. It was a great evening on Ochlocknee Bay, but by the time we’d dropped off our friends we could barely keep our eyes open.

Once in bed we exchanged goodnight kisses, and Studly was snoring gently before I could even say “amen.” I had just drifted into that stage of twilight sleep, a dream on the tip of my brain, when a roar erupted from the bathroom. Not like a lion’s roar, more like the sound of an approaching demonic tornado from the movie Twister, or the sound an airplane’s engines make just before takeoff.

Studly jumped (crawled) from the bed and ran (limped) into the bathroom. I cowered. I cower well. Within a few seconds the roaring ceased and he returned to bed. 

“What was that?” 

“Just the drying cycle on the tub.”

“How’d you get it to stop?”

“Pushed a button.”

“You’re my hero.”

Again Studly was snoring before I even shut my eyes. Several minutes passed, before Roooooooaaaaaaaarrrr!

I got up with him this time, so I could see which button Studly pushed to keep him from pushing it again. 

“Which button did you push?”

“I don’t know. I couldn’t read the screen so I just pushed a button.”

At least I could read the instrument panel without my glasses, so I did the right thing and pushed a button that read, EXIT. Immediately, the drying cycle stopped. Problem solved. Back to bed.



Back to the tub. I suggested that Studly go find the breaker switch for the tub and turn it off. He took his phone to the garage while I sat in the tub with my phone and we talked as he scanned the circuit breakers. 

“Did that turn it off?”


“How about that one?”


This fascinating conversation went on for a good five minutes, but we never hit pay dirt. When he came back in he stepped into the tub with me armed with the tub’s owner’s manual. I noticed a contact number on the instrument panel and thought, “What the heck? I’m calling.”

So at midnight I called the customer service line at BainUltra. Immediately, someone answered. In French. I don’t speak French. Fortunately I recognized the cadence of a voice mail message directing me to press two for English and to just stay on the line for French. Quickly I pressed two and was directed to a menu, in heavily accented English, only to be told that all customer service reps were busy and that we were to leave a detailed message as to our problem and they would return our call as soon as possible.

We’re still waiting, unless they’ve called Studly on the golf course this morning. That’ll tick him off.

The dryer went through two more loud cycles before it was completely done for the night. We did figure out how to reduce the amount of power it was using and lowered the temperature of the dryer after I realized my bum was getting hot as I perched on the side of the tub. 

This morning I’ve read the entire trouble shooting section of the manual. Nowhere does it cover demonic possession or ghostly hauntings, but I have a feeling that’s what our French-Canadian friends are going to tell us when they finally call. 


Peace, people!

Things I Love: Date Nights

Golf is Studly’s thing. He plays golf every Saturday and Sunday, weather permitting. And by “weather permitting” I mean that the golf course hasn’t barred him due to snow, flooding, or the threat of impending lightning strikes. I’ve seen the man dress for a round of golf in so many layers that he looks like the kid brother from “A Christmas Story,” barely able to move his arms, legs, or head. Now, you know that makes for a picture perfect swing.

I’m glad he plays, though. It keeps him off the streets and out of the pubs. After chasing a little white ball around 18 holes Studly doesn’t have much spare time to chase anything else except for me, and that’s a good thing.


That’s Studly on the left, pictured above with some of his golf buddies on the 18th fairway at St. Andrews Old Course in Scotland.

When the kids were younger I often felt abandoned on the weekends. Studly and I both worked all week, then just when I was ready for some grown up time with my man he’d go to play golf and I’d be stuck at home cleaning house and doing laundry. Grrrr. Of course I knew he needed his golf time, but I needed him. The heart wants what the heart wants, right?


After much grumbling and griping, arguments and tears, Studly and I realized we needed a dedicated date night, a time to do something each week to celebrate our couple hood.

Most weeks date night meant a dinner out or a movie at the local cinema. Sometimes date night consisted of packing the kids off to a friend’s home so we could have the house to ourselves.

If you google Pinterest, there are some great date night ideas for every budget:


Even now that our children are grown we still celebrate date night. One might argue that for a couple of empty nesters every night is date night. But we still find fun in holding hands at a movie or laughing at each other’s corny jokes over a table in a restaurant. It’s our thing. And our thing keeps me from grumbling about Studly’s thing, and that’s a very good thing, indeed.


Peace, People!