Oldie #3: Rower’s Remorse

My husband, Studly Doright, and I recently purchased a home, Doright Manor, on a small lake near Tallahassee, Florida. We are not lake people. We are Texas panhandle people, born and raised in the dry, dusty plains and ill-prepared to handle any body of water larger than the occasional rain puddle.

When we bought our lake home we both envisioned rowing hither and yon around our lake for hours on end, working those muscles that spend too many hours typing on a keyboard and too few doing actual labor. We were going to get in shape! To that end, Studly bought us a two-person kayak. Thank goodness he had the foresight to purchase a fishing kayak–broad on the bottom and damned near impossible to tip over.

Our first venture into the world of kayaking was tense. I yelled. He cried. Or maybe it was the other way around. At any rate, that was just the part where we tried to get into the vessel without getting wet. After several borderline pornographic physical manipulations, Studly and I found ourselves seated in the appropriate slots. To us it made sense that he take the front seat and I take the back. Him: Strong. Me: Weak. We: Wrong.

The back person does all the hard work. All of it. The front person is just there to look pretty and occasionally help steer. We discovered this at the halfway point. There was no way we could switch places without one of us getting drenched. I had to shoulder the load–the big load where the pretty one should be.

Slowly I rowed. Inch by painful inch I paddled and an hour later we found ourselves at our dock confronted with a final challenge. How the heck do we get out of this infernal thing? My arms were shot and Studly couldn’t get enough leverage to pull himself up onto the dock. You see, boats don’t stay still when you pull them into the dock. No. They continue to move in all sorts of ways. Back. Forth. Sideways. They rock and roll. They Zumba.

But, we are not quitters. Nossirree. Neither of us wanted to die out on that lake mere yards from our own back door. “Let’s back the boat away from the dock,” said Studly. “We’ll aim for that grassy area beside the dock, get a running start and shoot onto dry land.”


“Yea,” he said. “Just help get us out into the inlet and I’ll power us onto the grass.”

“Sure.” Wearily, I pushed against the dock, and then stroke, stroke, stroked out into our little inlet, giving my man plenty of room to make his final stand.

He instructed me to lift my paddle and be ready to spring out of the boat as soon as we hit the shore. Spring. Yep, he said that. I’ve never seen arms work so powerfully. Boom, boom, boom and we hit paydirt. My spring was sprung and I fell onto damp grass, almost, but not quite, touching my lips to the solid ground.

“Quick! Grab the boat!” Studly yelled. Just in time, I caught hold to prevent him from floating away. I steadied the vessel as he rolled out, sprawling in lake mud. I’d have laughed at the sight, but I couldn’t summon the energy.

We both recovered. Slowly. And we’ve been out in our kayak many times since that first one. Every time we learn something new, but getting out never gets easier. I keep intending to google the topic. “How do I get out of my kayak without inflicting mortal wounds on my partner?” The good news? I think I’m developing an arm muscle. But it might be a mosquito bite. Time will tell.

Peace, People.

Above is glimpse of our lake taken from the safety of my back porch.

Snapshot #97

I’ve begun walking around our neighborhood with a couple of friends. The steps seem to come much more easily with the exchange of witty banter, and I am racking up the miles. 

One friend led us across the dam that borders Lake Yvette, and I snapped this picture halfway across. I’m calling it, “Damn Fine Dam View.”

Gator in the House

I succesfully rendezvoused with our son Jason in Jackson, Mississippi, and brought our grandkids, Dominique (13), and Jackson (10), home with me to Havana, Florida. No sooner had we gotten unpacked than Dominique headed to the lake with her fishing pole, and Jackson suited up to ride his minibike.


I had a glass of wine and handed over supervisory duties to Studly Doright, aka Poppa.

Dominque caught a fish right off the bat.

Prompting Jackson to come join in the fun:

And then our resident gator made an appearance:

I believe I’ll go have another glass of wine within the safe confines of Doright Manor and pray that no one falls prey to our reptile friend. 

Peace, people.

Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

The home adjacent to Doright Manor in the beautiful Lake Yvette neighborhood about eight miles west of Tallahassee is on the market. It’s a lovely place with real southern charm, so I thought I’d give it a little publicity. 

Sandy, the owner, takes excellent care of this home, meticulously maintaining its spacious yard. I always gave her a hard time about making me look lazy. Granted, that’s not that difficult.

I love the little gazebo feature on the west side of the property. It makes me want to put on a floral chiffon dress and white gloves for afternoon tea.

I didn’t want to trespass, so I didn’t venture into the backyard, but the home sits just off a finger of Lake Yvette.

Pictured above are some of the vibrant flowers that adorn this property. 

Sandy really thought she’d retire out here, but circumstances beyond her control necessitated a move into Tallahassee. It’s a terrific place for a retired couple.

Studly Doright and I are great neighbors. We don’t throw wild parties, and we don’t have any barking dogs. Plus, we’re fairly amusing, and we have a dock. 

Come take a look!

Peace, people.

Too Much

Studly Doright and I are doing some home improvement projects this spring. His man-cave is approaching completion and we’ve found someone to help turn the area leading up to our front door into a mini courtyard. After that we’ll tackle our back porch which is lovely but almost unusable during the rainy season due to drainage issues.

In preparation for the courtyard project I’ve been browsing Pinterest and wandering around two of the local nurseries looking at paving stones, outdoor seating groups, and large pots and planters. My goal is to make the area pretty and low maintenance.

Even though I’m no gardener I enjoy trips to the nurseries. There’s such an abundance of colors, textures, and scents. And ornamental junk. Lots of ornamental junk.

Now, I have nothing against ornamental junk. I can see me owning a metal rooster or an ornate concrete birdbath. The problem is that I’m not sure if I’d know when to stop. 

Could I draw the line at one rooster or would I need a dozen metal hens and a few chicks to add to the display? If I buy the concrete birdbath do I then follow up with a concrete bench, a concrete fairy, a pair of concrete children reading a concrete book, and an array of concrete stepping stones?

We’ve all seen those yards that have so many little animals or whirlybirds or garden gnomes that one cannot even see the lawn or the front door. Who is to say that one lone rooster won’t lead to an entire flock?

Studly assures me he won’t let it come to that. Oh, look! A metal dolphin!

Peace, people!

World’s Most Pitiful Garage Sale

Our little neighborhood of Lake Yvette planned a community garage sale for this fine Saturday morning. Eagerly I joined the ranks of those willing to participate. Gamely I priced some of the treasures (junk) that we moved from Illinois to Florida a little over a year ago. 

I’d forgotten that the roofers were coming this morning. They were supposed to have come on Thursday, but we had rain so they rescheduled. Now there are nail guns hammering to the mind-numbing tune of an air compressor, not to mention a truck partially blocking my driveway.

Here I sit, surrounded by treasures (junk). People stop and look for a few minutes before saying something like, “How do you stand this racket?” 

I answer, “Huh?”

Then they leave. 

I’ve taken in $3. My portion of the ad was $10. My signs cost $7. Only $14 until I break even.

Peace, people!

Oh, Studly Doright is on the golf course, I get 100% of the profits. How much is 100% of nothing?

Random Thoughts

My cold has faded to a manageable annoyance, leaving me with a slightly sexy rasp instead of my normal high-pitched twang. It’s my favorite stage of the illness, and I wonder why I couldn’t have just fast-forward to the good part.

We had a doozy of a thunderstorm last night. The sky this morning is a gray blue, and the forest looks like something out of a fairy tale, all vine-y and mysterious. A migrating flock of ducks has landed on Lake Yvette, periodically hassled by a nesting pair of snowy egrets. I tried taking a picture, but only ended up startling all parties involved. (See below)

My dad would have loved sitting out on the back porch, having a cup of coffee, and of course his ever present cigarette. He’d have said, “Sis, look at this.” Or, “I just saw something run through the brush right there.” We’d speculate as to what he’d seen, maybe catching another glimpse, maybe not.

And he and I would just sit watching the woods all morning, pausing only to fetch another cup of coffee.

The ducks weren’t that crazy about me snapping a picture.

Peace, People.