Old is Relative

My youngest granddaughter has for several years done this hilarious impression of me in which the only words uttered in her shaky approximation of an elderly woman are, “I’m a little old lady.”

She also does impressions of her dad and her Poppa (aka Studly Doright) in which one says, “Hey man, you want a beard?” And the other answers, “No man. I’ve already got a beard.”

By “beard” she means “beer” and that cracks me up. I feel very lucky and loved to be portrayed as a little old lady.

Today, I’m 63 for real. A true little old lady.

Peace, people.

On the Horizon

Months can pass at Doright Manor with nothing of interest happening. Okay, so occasionally I set my underwear on fire and once I sent a green bath rug to a total stranger because I thought she needed it…

https://nananoyz5forme.com/2019/09/24/beware-the-green-rug-or-be-careful-what-you-ask-for/

Sometimes, though, I have lots of good stuff on the horizon. This weekend I’m flying to Illinois to see my daughter and her family. We chose this weekend because all three of the Illinois grandkids have stuff going on: Grandson Garrett will be marching in the high school band playing saxophone just like his Nana (that’s me!) did. Granddaughter McKayla is a high school cheerleader, so I’ll get to see her in action, while the youngest grandchild, Harper, will be cheering before the game. I’m almost too excited to sleep!

But that’s not all, folks! In late October, I’m meeting a group of friends in Nashville for a weekend of shenanigans. Of course we’re all in our late 50’s to mid 60’s, so the shenanigans will be kept to a quiet minimum, but still, it will be fun.

I love having stuff on the horizon.

Peace, people!

Universal Happiness

Our oldest grandson and I spent a day at Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure in Orlando last Wednesday. A single day to do both parks justice didn’t seem feasible, but we made it work by purchasing express pass tickets and hitting all the rides we knew we wanted to ride.

The day began with rain! Such a bummer! But we got in the express pass line for the Minions ride and got out of the weather quickly. It wasn’t one of our “must” rides, but it served the purpose of keeping us dry and warm. The same was true for the Jimmy Kimmel ride. They were both fun, but not really what grandson Garrett was looking forward to on his first visit to Universal.

The rain slacked off somewhat, but the day was much colder than we’d expected. We stopped in a shop and I bought a hooded sweatshirt and we both got lanyards to keep our tickets and passes safe from the elements before heading into Diagon Alley.

Here’s Garrett outside the unassuming entrance to the magical world of Harry Potter:

Much to his embarrassment I asked complete strangers to take a photo of us in the middle of Diagon Alley. I told him he was going to get used to me being an extrovert. I’m not sure he ever embraced it, though.

He sort of thinks I’m nuts. He’s not wrong.

We stopped into Gringotts,

and we rode the Hogwarts Express:

We drank butterbeer once we arrived at Hogsmeade:

We rode spectacularly produced rides in the World of Harry Potter. They’re such a great mix of roller coaster action and film that reality gets all contorted by fantasy and you feel you really are dashing about a Quidditch field or escaping from Gringotts. One’s senses are confused and delighted in so many ways. I giggled and screamed in the same breath.

Hogwarts Castle was an amazing sight.

We ventured to many other parts of Universal and Islands of Adventure, taking on mummies and assisting Spiderman, but The Magical World of Harry Potter was the highlight.

Garrett and I had a blast. Okay, I had a blast, and I’m fairly sure he did–he’s not quite as extroverted as I am. (Note the Slytherin hat.)

Peace, people!

Too Excited to Sleep

There’s no doubt I’ve had a weird week running from one medical related appointment to another, fasting for a procedure every day, and then sleeping off anesthesia most of today.

Tomorrow, though, life takes a turn for the better because my Illinois grandkids are finally going to be here! It’s a good thing I got my sleep in earlier today, because I’m pretty sure I’m going to be too excited to sleep tonight, kind of like these kids in this old Disney commercial:

https://youtu.be/b95oyhSd5ls

Peace, people!

My Great-Hedgehog

Bandit is the beloved pet of our oldest grandchild, Dominique, so I suppose that makes Bandit my great-hedgehog.

Above, Dominique with Bandit.

Aren’t they adorable?

Bandit even allowed me to cuddle her. I’m kind of smitten by this prickly baby.

I had to say goodbye to the Texas bunch today, and I’ve stopped for the night in Meridian, Mississippi. I’m about halfway home. My body sure doesn’t travel as well as it once did!

Peace, people!

More Pictures from the Road

On Saturday Studly and I traveled the second leg of our Christmas journey, driving from Clarksville, Tennessee, to Port Byron, Illinois. We made good time and soon were hugging our daughter and three of our five grandkids.

This is how the youngest one dressed to greet us in 33° weather:

After getting the grandkids all riled up we headed to a pizza place across the river in LeClaire, Iowa, where we played pinball and Pac-Man, tried our luck with the claw game and the fortune telling machine while the pizza was being cooked. I was too busy playing to take any pictures, but I took this one of the granddaughters posing as the Grinch and Cindy Lou Who in front of a shop in LeClaire.

There wasn’t nearly as much NASCAR style driving going on today, so my sanity isn’t in question as it was last night. I didn’t take many photos from the passenger seat today either, but we did pass a truck carrying its payload in an unorthodox manner:

Studly called my attention to this odd sight as we approached the truck north of Springfield, Illinois. We pondered for many miles how this little car was loaded onto the bed of the truck.

Other than these two pictures I only snapped a few others:

Studly got a bit excited when he saw snow on the side of the road. I hope that’s the ONLY snow we see this week; although, the forecast is calling for a white Christmas.

That’s part of the Peoria, Illinois, skyline, above. Not a great photo, but Peoria is kind of a cool river town.

As I type this, Studly and I are unwinding in our cozy hotel room with a view of the Mississippi River outside our window. We’re watching the Kansas Jayhawks play basketball while recharging our batteries for tomorrow’s activities with the grandkids. We’re going to need all the energy we can muster. Wish us luck.

Peace, people.

Geek Heaven

On Saturday I was able to attend a Scholastic Bowl tournament that my eldest grandson competed in. Needless to say, I was in heaven; although, it was hell not to be able to blurt out answers.

In the first match I had to sit on my hands to keep from raising them to signal I had the answer.

For subsequent rounds I sat at the back of the room and scribbled answers on a piece of scrap paper. The act of writing kept me from doing something stupid like embarrassing my grandson.

His team didn’t win today. Maybe next time they’ll put me in the lineup. Surely I could pass for a 15-year-old geek. Well, at least the geek part.

Peace, people.

Suffering from a Severe Lack of Oomph

I surrender! I have all these photos of the grandkids’ visit, but not the oomph needed to write about them. My oomph evaporated on Monday afternoon when I left the kids at the airport in Panama City Beach, and I’m not sure when it’s coming back.

Life continues, though, as does this blog, so I’m going to take the easy, less oomph reliant path and just post photos. If the spirit moves me, I might even comment on them. If not, well, make up your own captions. Oh, I started at the end of their visit and went backwards for some reason.

Here are a few from our morning in Panama City Beach before we headed to the airport:

Dominique and friend, Sophia, pose outside Dick’s Last Resort.

Enjoying a pineapple drink on the promenade.

Dominique pushing Jackson in a beach wheelchair so he wouldn’t get sand in his cast. I pushed him out to the beach and she pushed him back to the pavement. Hey, I think I know the moment my oomph disappeared!

Ahhh! The sun and the sand and the water.

Dining at Dick’s Last Resort, where the waiters are rude on purpose and the giggles are non-stop.

From our trip to Wild Adventures in Valdosta, Georgia on Sunday:

Poppa (aka Studly Doright) and Jackson built a motorcycle during the kids’ visit. For some reason I didn’t take any “before” photos, but this bike was in pieces at the beginning of last week:

Tallahassee Museum and Zoo is one of the grandkids’ (and grandparents’) favorite places to visit.

While the two 15-year-olds embarked on the tree-to-tree adventure,

Jackson, Studly, and I explored the zoo area:

At Jackson’s request we went “thrifting.”

And I took the girls sightseeing and swimming at Wakulla Springs:

And that’s about it. The kids and I stayed up late to watch a scary movie one night, but I didn’t document that. I had crafts for us to do, but those ideas were met with little enthusiasm. That’s just fine. I’m not sure my limited supply of oomph would’ve allowed for much creativity.

It’s awfully quiet around Doright Manor since they’ve been gone. The only one happy with the kids’ absence is our cat, Patches. Maybe she’ll help with the oomph issue.

Or not.