Flute Flavored

Yesterday I drove all the way across Tallahassee to Governor’s Square Mall solely for the purpose of getting a foot massage. You see, the middle metatarsal on my right foot has fallen, and it can’t get up. Consequently, I’m dealing with considerable pain when I walk.

There’s a Chinese man, Hong, at the mall who knows just how to manipulate my foot to provide relief from the pain for several hours. While he works on me I lean back in a recliner and drift away. I can never quite go to sleep, though, because my mind starts playing “Name That Tune” as Muzak with an Asian influence wafts through the spa area.

First up today was Greensleeves. If you’ve never heard this song played on a pipa, also known as a Chinese lute, you don’t know what you’re missing. Anyway, I identified the tune immediately. Here’s a video featuring the pipa:


Next up was It Never Rains in Southern California, but it took me half the song to figure that one out. The Asian influenced instrumental version lacked the pathos of the original song by Albert Hammond, turning it into just so many notes.


During my treatment, song after recognizable song drifted through the spa: Für Elise, Rhinestone Cowboy, Everybody’s Talking at Me, to name a few. Then some melody was introduced that I’d never heard before. It was lovely, but for the life of me I couldn’t place it.

I asked Hong what the song was, and he shrugged, but told me the instrument I was hearing was a dizi, or Chinese flute. So I dubbed the song, “Flute Flavored.” If there’s not already a song by this title, there certainly should be.

Peace, people.

A Little Slice of Haven

For Mother’s Day my son purchased a couple of gift certificates for me for services at Haven, a spa in Tallahassee. I’m a big fan of spas and believe there should be one on every corner, like Starbucks or McDonalds, where patrons just walk up to a counter and order “a deep tissue massage with a side of facial.” Now that would be a perfect world.

I do treat myself to spa treatments fairly regularly, but I’d never been to Haven. Their website was great, and I was able to book my appointment online. That was a big plus, in my book. 

Being a bit of an overachiever, I scouted out the location of the spa one afternoon last week when I was in the neighborhood. Inside Haven the vibe was just the right sort of mellow. As an added plus, one of my favorite local cafés, Canopy Road, was nearby. 

Today was the big day. I arrived a few minutes early for my 60-minute acupressure massage with Steve Peuckert, and was met at the door by a friendly young woman, Pam, I believe, who had me complete the easy peasy paperwork for a first timer. 

One of my pet peeves is going to a new spa and having to fill out two sides of a form. By the time I’m finished I’m more stressed than I was when I entered. But Haven’s questionnaire had five quick questions. Even I don’t mind answering five questions.

Steve took me back immediately and soon I was drifting away into the land of ahhhhhs. I’m an aficionado of great massage therapists, and Steve skyrocketed to the top of my list. The man knows his stuff. I rebooked before leaving the salon.

Haven Spa offers discounts to customers who check in on Facebook, Google+, or Yelp when they arrive at the spa. That’s about as good as it gets, right? Haven might not have a franchise on every corner, but they make it easy to get a wonderful and affordable spa experience.

I didn’t receive any products or free services for this piece on Haven Spa. As usual I just wanted to let my friends in on a really great business. Here’s a link to their website: http://www.ilovehaven.com/

Peace, people.

Feeling Surly


Normally I’m a Pollyanna sort, but the events of this past week have me feeling more like Maleficent. Let me count the ways:

My car window was smashed in while I was swimming at a local park.

My favorite handbag, the one I bargained for entirely in Spanish on my visit to a mercado in La Antigua de Guatemala, was stolen.

My credit cards were used in questionable locations. At least the thieves are interesting.

My passport is gone, along with my driver’s license, insurance, and prescription cards, etc. 

I’ve made more phone calls in the past four days to take care of this stuff than I’ve had to make in the last four years. I could have built and furnished a three story treehouse in the time I’ve spent on hold.

I had day surgery which, while not related to the robbery, sure didn’t make me feel like a princess. 

I have enough intestinal gas to power a small fleet of cars.

My completed “buy ten massages, get one free” card was in my stolen handbag. This might piss me off more than all the other losses combined. I NEED that massage.

I just dropped a 32 oz. diet Dr. Pepper in the driver’s side floor of Studly Doright’s pickup truck. He’s already angry at me for the loss of my purse, so I need to go and clean up my mess.

I know Pollyanna is still in here somewhere, but I might need to exorcise the villain first.

Peace, people!

Massage in a Bottle

Ok, that’s a lame title, so sue me. My hips and upper thighs have been causing me extreme agony lately, and I’ve found that a good massage can help relieve some of my pain. 

I had such a massage today. The therapist dug into my hips until the muscle relaxed and I could sigh in relief. But I also, at one point in the treatment got an intense cramp in the calf of my left leg causing me to kick the unsuspecting massage therapist squarely in the face. 

  After all he’d done for me I felt awful. Poor guy. I’m not sure any amount of gratuity is going to ease his pain, but it might buy him some ibuprofen.

Peace, people!


I roused myself from bed fairly early Monday morning, showered, drank a couple of cups of coffee, and did my best to look presentable before leaving Doright Manor on a minor shopping expedition. On most days my efforts at self beautification are wasted, and I leave the house looking, at best, like a third generation homeless woman on a epically bad day. 

On this Monday, though, the stars were aligned, the makeup gods full of good will, and I looked really good for a 59-year-old grandmother. Dare I say I was glowing? I blew myself a goodbye kiss in the mirror and took off in search of items Studly Doright wanted for his new diet. (More on that in a future post–if I don’t kill him first.)


No, this isn’t me, but if you squint and pretend then it’s almost me.
While pushing a cart around Whole Foods I stooped to pick up a can of cranberry sauce from a bottom shelf and felt my back suddenly go “squitch!” I winced in pain and attempted to stand up in the throes of a full blown muscle spasm. Abandoning the cranberry sauce I crab walked to the checkout and paid for the things in my basket. 
Again, not me.
My face must have reflected the squitching going on in my lumbar region because the lovely young cashier found someone to carry my groceries to the car for me. Truly sometimes age and its accompanying pains have their perks. 

Once in the car I thought in my practical self voice, “Go have a massage.”

My vain self answered, “But, but, your makeup looks so good today! You know that only happens once ever decade or so.”

For a heartbeat I listened to my vain self. Thank goodness I decided to go with practical me, but for a heartbeat I was faced with the ultimate conundrum: Is it better to feel good or to look good? In a perfect world I could do both.


This is what I think I look like when getting a massage.

This comes closer to the truth.
Peace, people!

One for the Road

This morning I set out from Doright Manor near Tallahassee, Florida, on a trip to see my daughter and her family in Illinois. I’ll tally over a thousand miles on the trip to Illinois, necessitating an overnight stop.

Right now I’m relaxing in my hotel room in Paducah, Kentucky. Paducah is a pleasant community, home of the National Quilt Museum and a terrific arts and antiques district. On this trip, though, I’m only seeing the inside of my room.


Part of a Japanese quilt exhibit from 2013
Dream Catcher quilt

Friends and family wondered why I decided to drive rather than fly, and to be honest a couple of hundred miles back I was wondering the same thing. Driving all day in sometimes brutal interstate highway traffic has every muscle in my body wound tightly and in desperate need of a massage. 
if only!
In spite of that I enjoy driving when I have the time. It gives me a sense of control that flying doesn’t. I have my own car at my disposal instead of needing to rent or commandeer one at my destination.
Early on this morning I promised myself I would resist the impulse to load up on junk foods and diet sodas during my journey. In fact, I decided I’d stick to healthy foods only.

That promise lasted for approximately an hour into my drive when I stopped to use the ladies room at a Burger King and exited the establishment with a large diet Dr. Pepper and a cinnamon roll. 


Pretty sure my cinnamon roll topped 500 calories.
It all went downhill from there, but I do think there might’ve been a carrot or two in my Mexican food dinner. The lime in the Corona Light I had an hour ago was most likely the healthiest part of my day. Note to self: must do better tomorrow.

Paducah is more than half way to my daughter’s home, and there aren’t any major metropolitan areas between here and there. If I get up early I can be there by early afternoon. And tomorrow, I’m eating healthy! Although, I think there’s a Krispy Kreme on my route….

Peace, people!


to mark my anniversary
one year with wordpress
i got up early, ate a
fruit bar; got dressed.
no big plans to mark
this milestone day
so i went for a drive;
yeah, i roll that way.
went window shopping
at a tallahassee mall
ate a taco salad, but
i didn’t eat it all.
still didn’t feel that
i’d celebrated right
so i drove to the spa
and told them my plight.
a massage they said
would be just the thing
to help me relax and
commemoration bring.
indeed i feel honored,
special, so cool
perhaps tomorrow I’ll
do it again; spas rule.

peace, people!