Bright Spots

I haven’t posted much lately. My mind is occupied with worry for my mother-in-law and sister-in-law, both of whom remain in an Amarillo hospital battling COVID. Both are now on ventilators.

On Tuesday I began my journey from Tallahassee, Florida, to Amarillo, Texas. I’m hoping to be a help and not a hindrance to the sister-in-law and niece who have been bearing the brunt of the responsibility these past few weeks.

Last night I stayed with my son and two of my grand dogs and this morning I’ll have a fairly short (four hour) drive to Amarillo.

The son and dogs were bright spots on my trip.

Jason and Milo

Ryder slept with me part of the night. He snores a lot less than Studly Doright.

Peace, people. Oh, and wear your masks and get vaccinated and boosted as soon as you can.

Cautiously Optimistic

I haven’t had it in me to write a blog post these past few days, but I’m going to give it a go. On Christmas Day, my mother-in-law, Saint Helen, was taken to an Amarillo hospital where she tested positive for COVID. Her eldest daughter and son-in-law also tested positive.

Due to the overwhelming number of COVID patients there were no rooms, so the three stayed in the emergency room. When a room on the COVID floor did open up it was given to my sister-in-law who had developed the crystals that indicate COVID pneumonia in both lungs.

Saint Helen did well enough that she was released to her middle daughter after a couple of days. Unfortunately COVID wasn’t ready to let her go and she was readmitted a few days ago. Currently, she is in the Intensive Care Unit. She had two really rough days, but maybe turned a corner last night. Middle daughter says they are cautiously optimistic.

My sister-in-law, “Almost Saint Lyn,” is one of my favorite people in the entire world. She remains in the ICU (I believe, I forgot to ask this morning) and also has had some really tough days, and likely still more to come, but we are hopeful she has turned a corner. I’ve texted with her a time or two and she feels good enough to be bored.

Her husband was able to go home yesterday, and according to Almost Saint Lyn’s daughter, who is taking care of him, he’s cranky, so that’s a good sign.

Now, Saint Helen’s middle daughter, Angie, has shouldered most of the responsibility for keeping the rest of us informed. Angie has been the constant solid contact since Christmas, caring for the sick, suiting up and going onto the COVID floor for the once daily 30 minute visits with her mom and the others. She’s had help from Almost Saint Lyn’s daughter and also from Saint Helen’s youngest daughter, but Angie is the one who has born the brunt of the crisis.

Please keep our loved ones in your prayers or send good vibes or whatever you can spare. I know we aren’t the only ones in this situation. The number of new infections is staggering.

So I’m officially granting Angie sainthood. She has earned it. It doesn’t pay well, but we are so grateful to her. Studly Doright and I have felt so helpless being in Florida, so far away from family, but Saint Angie has been our rock.

I joke to keep from crying, you know. Still, Saint Angie has a nice ring to it.

Peace, people.

This photo of Saint Helen and me was taken at Christmas several years ago. We were in Nashville getting ready to attend a performance of the Grand Ole Opry. She’s the best.

Speaking of Speaking

A few days ago I shared with you all that I’d agreed to speak at a newcomers’ group luncheon in Tallahassee at a date to be determined later. Well, later has arrived. The date is February 9, so now I can begin working on my speech, and more importantly, over stressing.

If I were to share my speech thoughts and rough drafts here would my readers offer creative and constructive criticism? I really have no one to bounce them off of, except the cat, and she adores me, so objectivity isn’t her strong suit.

“What about Studly Doright?” You might ask. He’d just tell me to show more cleavage or leg or something. Since I’m fairly certain the group is made up almost entirely of women, I highly doubt that showing more skin would help. Besides, I’m 65. Showing even a hint of cleavage or an inch of thigh can go horribly wrong in the blink of an eye.

Peace, people.

Too Tired to Top the Tree

For two days I’ve been waiting patiently for Studly Doright to return home so he can put the angel on top of the Christmas tree. I briefly flirted with the idea of getting out the step ladder and doing it myself, but I’m a klutz and at my rather advanced age I don’t heal quickly anymore.

I left the angel on an end table in easy reach of Studly’s chair, so he’d quickly make the connection once he had an opportunity to shower and relax a bit over dinner, but so far he’s managed to ignore it. Finally I asked, “Will you put the angel on the tree?”

“I’m too tired.”

“But, it’s right there and you’re tall and the tree really needs its angel. It’ll take two seconds.”

“Maybe tomorrow.”

Now, that’s tired. maybe I should get that stepladder….

Angel watches patiently…

Peace, people.

Thirty Seconds of Terror

I’m not a terribly skittish person—and that’s a really good thing considering that during my 45 years of marriage to Studly Doright I’ve spent a good many nights without him. Between his years working different shifts and then the extensive periods he has had to travel to different locations, I’ve become fairly comfortable on my own. Last night, though, I almost had a complete meltdown.

Studly had just called from somewhere near Hattiesburg, Mississippi, to tell me what time he’d be home today. We’d said our good nights and I went about my normal nighttime routine. I’d just turned out the Christmas lights and had begun washing the makeup off my face when the house went dark. And folks, when you live in the forest, dark is DARK. I literally couldn’t see my hand in front of my face.

My mind began racing: What if someone cut the power off to our home? There was that random couple walking down the middle of our street today. But even so, our generator will kick on anytime now. Unless they disabled the generator…

On that last panicky thought the generator did kick in and I went in search of candles just in case I lost power again, I’m not going to lie, it took me a while to relax afterwards. I wonder if I could develop better night vision for any future occurrences. It’d be a great latent super power.

Peace, and light, people!

My brief time in total darkness reminded me of this suspenseful film. I’m not as brave as Ms. Hepburn was.

When Your Mouth Says ‘Yes,’ but Your Brain Screams ‘NO!’

A couple of days ago I received an email from a woman I’d met at a Meetup group. It seems she’d taken on the role of securing speakers for a newcomers’ group in Tallahassee for the coming year and wondered if I’d be interested in speaking at a future luncheon.

Just reading the request turned my stomach inside out. Me? Speak in front of (gasp!) people?! I told Studly Doright about the opportunity and he said, “Do it! It’ll be fun.”

I asked for additional information: How many people typically attend these luncheons? How long would I need to speak? What in the world would I speak about?

When I had the answers, I took a day to think about it and decided that there was no way I could stand in front of 60 women for 20-30 minutes and talk about my writing. But for some reason, I said, “Sure; I’ll do that.”

Now I’m just waiting to find out which month I’ll be assigned to. In the meantime I’ll stress out about the whole thing and probably won’t sleep much. Oh, and maybe I should begin writing a speech. Speech crafting suggestions are welcome. I want to appear witty, so keep that in mind. Oh, I am so screwed.

Peace, people.

Peace, people!


I’ve been sick with a nasty cold for almost a week now and finally I feel like I’m almost human again. Studly Doright was sick, as well, only his illness was due to a change in medications. We made a fine pair for the Thanksgiving holiday.

While everyone else was chowing down on turkey and dressing, pumpkin pie, and that wonderful canned cranberry sauce, Studly and I were heating up canned soup and having Mucinex for dessert. Yum, yum.

Of course he felt well enough to play golf on this Saturday morning. As he left, I brandished my raised fist at him, saying, “Okay, if you get sick again I am NOT taking care of you.”

He just patted me on the head and laughed before leaving.

I can’t imagine why he wasn’t intimidated.

Okay, the photo is motivation to get myself back into the world of the living. It’s going to take a lot of work.

Peace, people.

When I Talk, People Listen (Whether They Want To Or Not)

Remember the old E.F. Hutton commercials? They usually featured a collection of well-heeled folks standing around at a cocktail party or gathered ‘round a campfire chatting away until someone in the scene said, “Well my broker is E.F. Hutton and he says…” Once those words were uttered, all conversation ceased and everyone leaned in to listen. I kind of have the same effect on people. I might just be the new E.F. Hutton.

Last evening I decided to stop by Sweet Pea Cafe for dinner. Studly Doright was out of town and I had an appointment that ran late. Sweet Pea was on my way home and I knew there’d be a friendly face or two to say “hi” to before I went home to the cat.

The place was hopping. As I entered the cafe to place my order there was a group of college-age women ahead of me. They were so lively. So spirited. So indecisive when it came to ordering. One of the young ladies noticed me and said, “Why don’t you go ahead?”

I knew exactly what I wanted and apparently I spoke loudly enough that everyone in the place, and on into the next county, knew my order, as well. Literally everyone stopped talking when I ordered. I’d have quipped something about being in an E.F. Hutton commercial, but literally no one in the crowd would have gotten the reference.

I have this uncanny ability to become a human megaphone at times. Studly Doright always knows just what to say to tone me down when my volume gets turned up: “Shh!” I sure could’ve used him last night.


Making Waves

Studly Doright and I are hanging out in New Smyrna Beach, Florida, this weekend. I’d packed all my beachy stuff: swimsuits, beach towels, beach chairs, straw hats, etc. But a storm has blown through the area bringing epic, awe-inspiring waves, so there won’t be any lounging on the beach.

You can see the waves behind the dune.
Turn up the sound for this video.

It’s just wonderful. Even the locals are impressed

Peace, people!

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