Fit for a King

“You made your bed, now lie in it!”

Our mattress has seen better days. We bought it back when George W. Bush was President and his brother Jeb!, was governor of Florida, just to give you an idea of its advanced age. The darned thing is dished out and lumped up, and fails to provide comfortable support for more than ten minutes at a time. 

When Studly and I returned to Florida after eight years in Illinois, we planned on  buying a new bed, but decided to first buy a home and get settled. After the home was purchased Studly built his dream workshop/garage. Then we added a roof to our back porch and screened it in. The bed just kept being shoved into the background.

Last night I stayed up late watching back to back Naked and Afraid episodes and thinking about beds. Specifically I thought, “Every one of those naked people would kill to have my awful bed for a night.”

But I am not one of those naked people, dammit! 

The saddest thing is that we have two guest bedrooms. Both have really great, relatively new, pillow top mattresses. But one is a full sized bed and the other a queen. Studly Doright and I share a king sized bed. Ah, the American way!

Occasionally I’ll declare that I’m sleeping in one of the guest rooms, but then Studly makes these pathetically sweet puppy dog faces, and I realize I’d rather sleep uncomfortably with my king than comfortably without him.

I am making a big push for that new mattress, and am engaged in thorough research. I’ve studied Consumer Reports, solicited advice and suggestions from friends, and taken field trips into every mattress store in the greater Tallahassee area. I didn’t put this much effort into choosing my wedding gown.

With any luck, and by luck I mean a nice annual bonus, we will get a new mattress this year. If not, I might have to sign up as a contestant on Naked and Afraid.  Anything for a good night’s sleep.

Christmas Catalog-o-Rama


Catalogs we’ve received in the past ten days.
Winter, and the impending Christmas holiday, are heralded in Florida not by cooling temperatures, but by the arrival of catalogs. I estimate that Studly Doright and I began receiving between four and eight of the glossy mailings daily beginning around the first of November. Today there were 12 catalogs in the Doright Manor mailbox. Twelve. I almost needed to make two trips to carry them all.


I’ve recycled four times this number.
Some of the catalogs go straight into the recycling bin, while others are put into a stack for future browsing. Generally, the future browsing pile never gets browsed, but I like to give them a sense of hope.

The Hickory Farms catalog is one I always take a few minutes to thumb through. Back when Studly and I were newlyweds the Hickory Farms catalog was about the only one we’d get in the mail. I’d read each page and daydream about someday hosting a Christmas Eve party where I’d serve all the cute little cheese and sausage trays. I’d be the hostess with the mostest for sure. 

One year I scraped up the money to place an order and was so very disappointed in the sizes of the cheeses. I had looked at the pictures and not the dimensions. So much for my hostessing abilities. Nowadays I know to have plenty of wine and beer on hand so nobody cares about the size, quantity, or even the existence of the hors d’oeuvres.

That’s why my new “go to” catalog is the one from Wine Country Gift Baskets:


Of course I don’t often buy anything, but I’m still planning that perfect Christmas Eve gathering…chestnuts roasting by an open fire, Jack Frost nipping at your nose…

Peace, people.

Colquitt, GA

Saint Helen and I visited the quaint community of Colquitt, Georgia, today. We had a scrumptious lunch at the Tarrer Inn, and then wandered around the scenic town square. 

At one shop we purchased some lotion that’s purported to help alleviate the pain of arthritis. After one use Saint Helen was pleased to report that she had no pain in her hands. Of course she then had to sheepishly confess that she hadn’t actually had any pain in her hands to begin with. See why I adore her?

Colquitt is known for its murals, and for good reason.


Saint Helen



 Each corner building has its own mural depicting periods from the town’s history. 

Once Saint Helen shares her photos of the town’s beautifully painted silos with me I’ll post them, as well. Of course, if her hands are giving her trouble she might not be able to hit SEND on her iPhone.

Peace, people!

Making Friends

I might’ve found a friend today in the handbag department at Dillard’s. She moved to Tallahassee a year to the day before I did. If that’s not the basis for a good friendship I don’t know what is.


We bonded over this Frye bag. Good heavens the woman has good taste!
Peace, people.

Spending Time with a Ten Year Old Girl

My middle grandchild, McKayla, and I drove all over the Quad Cities yesterday. We picked up her new glasses in Moline, Illinois, ate lunch and painted pottery in Bettendorf, Iowa, shopped for vintage (her word) stuff in Port Byron and Rapids City, Illinois, and enjoyed ice cream in Davenport, Iowa, I think. Thank goodness for GPS!

I was so confused by the time we returned home that I needed a nap. She on the other hand was energized with the prospect of decorating the interior of the vintage dollhouse we found at Birdie Lu’s in Rapids City.

Shopping with McKayla is an adventure. At ten, she knows exactly what she wants and already has a style of her own. Everywhere we went she received compliments on her hair or her dress or her jacket. I’m 58. I’m still trying to develop a signature style beyond jeans, a t-shirt, and flip flops. And compliments are few and far between.

At the same time, she still enjoys her Barbies and doll houses and pretend play. At least we have those things in common. We also share similar tastes in music; although, she actually knows all the words to the songs playing on the radio; whereas, I am reduced to humming and mumbling the lyrics.

I don’t embarrass her yet, even though I count that as an important part of Grandparenting. No matter how hard I tried I didn’t even rate an eye roll. Maybe I’ve lost the skill.

At the end of our expedition McKayla gave me a huge hug and thanked me for giving her an amazing day. It was pretty amazing to me, as well. It isn’t often that someone as clueless as I am has the chance to hang out with pure awesomeness.

Mercado en Antigua

Pictures do not completely capture the excitement and color of market day. A thousand words are inadequate. I needed much more than five senses to take in all of the sights, scents, and sounds of the Market.  

One of the first images was of fresh vegetables and fruits of every hue. 

  The grains, dried peppers, and spices put on their own colorful show as if in competition with the veggies. I’m not sure there was a clear cut winner.



Try this technique next time you go shopping.



I loved the pottery angels and the shiny buckets. See, I notice some things that aren’t edible.


My favorite photo of the day. I asked permission to take this woman’s picture, and when she said yes, I told her in Spanish that I thought she was beautiful. She covered her mouth with her hand and smiled like a teenaged girl.


Just a woman and her rooster.

We didn’t even make it to the textiles area. Hopefully we can stop by on Sunday for more of this wonderland.

Peace, People!

Trip Prep Mania and Gratitude

Without fail I go through a sort of manic preparation before embarking on a major trip. Before Studly and I went to Scotland two summers ago I had six months to scurry around shopping for just the right accoutrement (Studly uses the term “crap”) for our journey. 

 With a trip to Guatemala looming in early April I have less than two months to get my accoutrement together. It’s not that I don’t have enough clothes already, it’s that I don’t have the RIGHT clothes. I can hardly be expected to wear my normal t-shirts and jeans when traveling to a foreign country. 

Travel is getting my business this time around. I’ve ordered two items from their website:




Both earned a respectable 5 star rating, and I hope they live up to their respective reputations. Since I have a wedding to attend in Guatemala, it’s important that I look good, but not too good. One wouldn’t want to outshine the bride, after all. So maybe I’ll bring my crepe-y, saggy arms along instead of a firmer, sexier pair.

After I wrote this I came upon a blogpost that my sister-in-law shared about how much we have to learn as a country about happiness and gratitude. 

I hope you’ll read it. It puts my mania into a different context. I have so much, yet think I need more. Sigh.

Peace, People.

A Trying Experience

I’ve been shopping for clothes. I swear my waist size expands two inches every time I step inside the dressing room door. In my mind, I’m the same size I was in high school: Twiggy thin with terrific, long, shapely legs.


However, the Dillard’s dressing room mirror indicates I’m now more akin to Humpty Dumpty with thighs that have migrated south, puddling just below my knees.


The things that fit make me feel like a frumpy old matron instead of the hot broad I am inside. But if I dress to please that broad, I end up looking like a ten dollar hooker.


After two hours of shopping, sweating, and cussing, I bought one item–an unsweetened iced tea at McAlister’s. It fit perfectly.

Peace, people!


Something New

Studly was out of town yesterday, so I had the afternoon off from my new cooking gig. Truthfully I’m a little lost. Since switching to a very part time job, and ditching Candy Crush, et. al., I’m not sure what to do with my bad self.

I spent a little time looking at recipes and checking my ingredients list, then I considered taking a nap, but with Studly gone I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to sleep. As it turns out I didn’t sleep anyway, but that’s another story. Obviously, there was but one thing left to do: Shop!

It wasn’t going to be gratuitous shopping. Nosirree. I needed underwear. Panties, knickers, bloomers. You know, all those unmentionables that I just mentioned. I’d like to say that I’m a high end shopper when it comes to such items, but instead of Victoria’s Secret, I’m more of a Wal-Mart’s Whisper or Target Tart kind of girl. Basically, I needed something that would cover my butt without riding up between my cheeks.

Years ago I switched from bikinis and hipsters to the full-coverage almost-granny panties. Ok, they probably are granny panties but I’m in denial. It should have been easy to find these lackluster undies in a super Wal-Mart, where the selection was displayed by size and style in somewhat neat rows. Well, it was just hell.

I’d find the style I liked (oddly enough there isn’t a style labelled “granny panty”–they’re called briefs, like boring law documents), but not the size. Or I’d find the size, but not the style. After a good thirty minutes of looking I finally settled on some serviceable briefs.

Notice they say “NEW!” I tried to avoid the aisle with the used undies.

In keeping with my Love Month theme, Studly loved my NEW purchase.

Peace, People!

Mall Thinking

People watching at the

Elderly woman cajoles
Her husband.
Then commands.
She worries he’s done
Too much today.
Their hands touch
Briefly. He hates
Feeling old as she
Fetches Starbucks.

Husband and wife
Carry plump
Pillows between them.
She looks at him
With love and
Something akin to
He is oblivious.

Young adults sit giggling
Heads together
Job applications stacked
Neatly between them.
Pens scratch earnestly
Between witty asides.
Don’t make me laugh!
You made me forget
My address!

Mother and pink clad
Toddler enjoy
Conversation in a
Language I cannot
Understand. Their
Eyes smile. Little
Girl dances impatiently
Eager to join others
At play.

I wonder is anyone
Watching me?