Accidental Beer

I like beer, but I normally don’t have one with my lunch. Yesterday I did, but it was an accident.

Studly Doright has me confined to the house as we await the delivery of a generator.

“When it arrives,” Studly said, referring to the generator. “Have them put it in the garage.”

“When do you expect this generator to be delivered?” I inquired.

“Oh, sometime this week.”

I waited all day Monday, finding ways to keep busy around Doright Manor. Tuesday went the same way. Wednesday came and went with no generator in sight.

I’m a restless soul. I drive into Tallahassee or Havana on most days just to explore or shop or mingle with strangers in coffee shops and cafés. So to be stuck at Doright Manor, as lovely as it is, for three straight days has been like a weird purgatory. I’m comfortable and well fed, but I’m going slightly crazy.

Yesterday at noon while awaiting the generator’s arrival I decided to eat one of the tuna salad kits I’d purchased as part of my Hurricane Irma supplies. Since the salad only had 200 calories I figured I could have a Virgil’s brand root beer to accompany my meal.

I opened the bottle and took my lunch into the den where I settled into my favorite chair to enjoy Rachael Ray’s television program as I dined. The tuna was decent; although, not up to my own homemade tuna salad, but the root beer tasted off. I thought perhaps that tuna and root beer might not be compatible tastes, but I kept eating and drinking.

It was only when I thought to check the caloric content of the root beer that I realized I was drinking an actual beer (Smithwick’s) and not a Virgil’s. Boy, did I feel like a complete idiot!

Much is written these days about a mindful approach to living. Maybe I should start paying attention.

In my defense, both drinks were packaged in bottles….

Bucolic Wonderings

I had to get some extra keys made for Doright Manor yesterday, so I drove over to Home Depot in Tallahassee. After paying for the keys I wandered in the direction of the garden section to dream about plants I could buy and eventually kill. I don’t exactly murder plants, but those in my care don’t have much of a chance at longevity.

Before I made it to the plants, though, I found this beauty.

It’s a double decker chicken coop, and the moment I saw it I fell in love with the idea of having a couple of chickens.

I’d name them Laverne and Shirley and I’d watch the pair strut around their little coop, clucking contentedly. I’d read to them excerpts from The Little Red Hen, and Chicken Little. I’d sing “The Farmer in the Dell,” and make up other songs featuring chickens. “Oh Chicken, My Chicken” comes to mind as a possible title. We’d be so happy in our bucolic paradise.

But reality set in and I knew I’d end up resenting Lavern and Shirley. They’d be dependent on me, insisting that I stay home and clean the coop when I wanted to go to a movie or for a spa day. Their once charming clucking would soon seem strident and accusatory.

“You never take us anywhere!” They’d complain. And they’d be right. Chickens just aren’t good shopping companions.

So I shook off the idea of chicken ownership and went on back to the plants. So, do I want to eventually kill a ficus or a rose bush? Decisions, decisions.


Normally I take on the task of doing our laundry on Mondays. With just two of us in the house these day the once dreaded and seemingly unending chore now only requires a couple of hours of my time. I actually enjoy doing laundry now.

Studly Doright did quite a bit of traveling this past week, both for work and recreation, so he dumped a suitcase full of dirty clothes on the bathroom floor this Sunday morning and then asked if I’d mind doing laundry this afternoon.

“No, I don’t mind at all,” I said. “But why do you need for me to do laundry today?”

“I’m changing my name to Laundry,” he quipped and ducked out the door before I could throw something at him.

Cat Dancing

Dancing in the light

Cats watch from their safe spaces

Their crazy human

Sway to the music

Now observe my nimble feet

And salsa with me

Cool cat on the floor

Tango, flamenco, olé!

No lessons required

Every morning I dance around my bedroom while the cats watch in either fascination or revulsion. Sometimes I swoop in and bring one or another along on my wild pagan romp. They endure the experience with a stoicism the ancient Greeks would have admired. Here’s my actual cat, Patches, watching my dance routine:

How Do You Like Your Eggs

While Studly Doright played golf on Saturday morning I watched the 1936 film, “The Plainsman,” starring Gary Cooper as Wild Bill Hickok and Jean Arthur as Calamity Jane. The old movie wouldn’t be deemed politically correct nowadays with its portrayal of Native Americans as aggressive savages and women as nothing more than flies in the ointment of men’s lives, but it wasn’t without humor.

In one scene Gary Cooper asked another cowboy how he liked his eggs. “Well,” said the man. “I like them just fine.”

I couldn’t help but giggle. Studly walked in about that time and asked me what was so funny. He’s an aficionado of good one liners, so he got a chuckle out of the egg quip, as well. I then recalled the first time anyone asked me how I liked my eggs.

I’d gone with my grandparents to Houston to see the oldest of their three children, my Uncle Jack. I might’ve been five, and I adored Uncle Jack. He lovingly called me a little jackass–which I, in turn, took to calling others, much to my parents’ chagrin.

On one morning of this trip Uncle Jack treated us to breakfast at an International House of Pancakes. I’d never been to one before, and it was the most wonderful place I’d ever seen. The variety of pancakes on the menu was staggering. I took my time choosing just the right item. As I recall I ordered a combo that featured a pancake festooned with strawberries and whipped cream, along with bacon and eggs.

When the waitress took my order she asked, “How do you like your eggs.”

In my sweetest five year old voice I responded, “Cooked, please.”

Everyone, my uncle, my grandparents, even the waitress, laughed. My Nanny quickly told the waitress that I liked my eggs over easy, but I was mortified. I didn’t order eggs any way other than scrambled for many years after. I was a sensitive kid, you know.

Now, many years later I can marvel at how naive I was. How do I like my eggs? Well, I like them just fine.

Peace, people!

If I had a Day Job, I Wouldn’t Quit It

Several weeks ago I shared with my readers my obsessive interest in the mobile app game Design Home. I’m totally hooked on this game in which participants design rooms for fictional homeowners.

Usually there are specific requirements for a design, such as “style a modern living room and include two wooden items and one orange item,” or “create a rustic dining room and include three leather items and the carcass of a dead cow.” I might have embellished that last one a bit.

Players scroll through a variety of furnishings to fulfill the requirements and then try to create an arrangement that is pleasing to the eye. During the day several such challenges pop up, and they truly are like puzzles. I live for these challenges.

When one isn’t engaged in designing a room, one can vote on the designs of other players. Now, this is an amusing activity. I always come away from voting feeling rather smug. Surely mine will score above most of the ones that come across my feed.

Here are a couple of examples of rooms other players have designed. Please note, none of these are my designs. I have no idea as of now how they’ll be scored in the end. Players are voting on them even as I type. Honestly I think my entries are way better, but I’ve been wrong before.

When ratings for a design are announced I hold my breath, cross my eyes, and mutter a prayer for a good score. A perfect score is a 5.00. I’ve scored three or four of those, including this design:

Ideally one hopes to score a 4.00 or above because a new furnishing is added to one’s inventory when that score is reached. But score below a 4.00, and woe is me! I scored a 3.93 on a design recently and shook my fist at the sky, crying, “The public doesn’t deserve my art!”

Studly Doright made me a cup of hot tea and led me back to my chair. I’m only sort of kidding.

And sometimes even a 4+ score makes me sad. I loved this design. Now tell me, isn’t this a perfect 5?

Okay, I’ve chatted long enough. Time to get back to my latest design in which I’m supposed to furnish a loft in Manhattan with a mix of contemporary and antique designs in tones of pea green and fuschia. Again, I’m only partly kidding.

Peace, people!

My Digits

My toenails had been neglected for quite some time. My fingernails for even longer. So today I went for a mani/pedi at a salon in Tallahassee.

I picked out the blue all by myself. For some reason I needed you all to know that. For my fingernails I wanted a nice clear coat. No color.

Yet the manicurist talked me into a light pink.

So now I resemble an Easter egg. Oh, and my manicure lasted all of thirty minutes. I scuffed the polish on my right thumb while picking up a carton of milk at Whole Foods.

I swear, I have the grace of a drunk bull moose tromping through a field of daisies. And that’s on a good day.

Peace, people.

I’m Never Wrong, Unless I’m Wrong

Yesterday I posted in regard to my angst about this being the final season for the HBO series, Game of Thrones. On my Facebook feed I was soon chastised, politely, for my error. Indeed, this is not the final season. There will be one more after this.

On one hand I’m aggrieved that I made such an egregious error on an easily verifiable issue. I mean, it’s not like I was speculating on the exact date the world will end or the moment the polar ice caps will crumble into the sea. But on the other hand I’m so genuinely glad that I won’t have to contemplate living in a world without Game of Thrones once this season has come to an end.

And the way things are going, with North Korea threatening nuclear war on the international stage and white supremacists threatening on the domestic front, we might not make it to next year anyway. Now there’s a cheerful thought.

Maybe this little poem will ease our troubled minds:

Will Jon Snow find a Walker

And bring him home to Cersei fair?

Will Arya kill Littlefinger

By luring him into her lair?

Is Cersei carrying Jamie’s child?

Only time will tell.

Has Samwell made a prudent choice

In leaving the Citadel?

Has Sansa succumbed to power?

Has it gone straight to her head?

Will Daenerys lead her dragons

In a fight against the dead?

We won’t know at season’s end

There’ll be more shows to come

But I’ll be sitting front and center

Watching every one.

Peace, people!


Our granddaughter, Dominique (14), is bright, beautiful, and growing up way too quickly for my liking and too slowly for hers.

One of her closest friends will celebrate her quinceañera (fifteenth birthday) on Saturday and Dominique has been invited to sit at the head table. She already has her dress for the occasion, but needed a pair of heels, and since she isn't flying home until Friday, we had to take action.

I'd love to tell you that she tried on dozens of pairs of shoes, oohing and ahhing over every detail in an effort to find the perfect pair, but that wasn't the case. Dominique marched straight to the rack where a dizzying array of special occasion shoes were displayed, pointed at a pair of silver heels, and said "Those."

No amount of cajoling her to try on a pair of strappy sandals would sway her, so it was done. I didn't know whether to be elated that the process had been so simple or sad because it was over so quickly.

I took her for lunch afterwards at a high end burger restaurant, and she took far longer agonizing over the toppings she wanted than she had over the shoes. Come to think of it, she's a lot like me.

Peace, people.

Color Me Tired

My two Texas grandkids and I headed towards Florida yesterday morning in hopes of stopping for the night in time to swim and enjoy our hotel's happy hour. Unfortunately, due to a terrible accident on Interstate 20, we sat in stalled traffic for over an hour.

This was me last night after we finally got into our hotel room. Too many hours behind the wheel of my car have rendered me cranky and exhausted. And we missed our hotel's happy hour by five minutes. Damn it.

Tomorrow we'll push on to Doright Manor.