Studly Doright Gets His Own Post

Today marks Studly Doright’s 40th year with the same company. He started out on the very bottom rung in the maintenance crew and steadily climbed to the position of Area Director. We still are slightly amazed at how far he’s come with only a high school education.

The rise to AD included multiple moves, first from Texas to North Dakota, then to Kansas, followed by our first stint in Florida, an 8-year detour to Illinois and finally (we hope) back to Florida.

He shared with me the email from his Vice President announcing this anniversary and I got teary eyed reading it and all the follow up emails from the folks he’s worked with over the years. I’m married to a special guy, but I didn’t need to get that information from others. Still, it’s so nice to read all the memories others have of his time with them.

So here’s to Studly! Thanks for being the hardest working, most consistently trustworthy guy I know.

Peace, people!

Put a Ring, or Three, on It

First thing every morning I place my Apple Watch on my wrist and begin working toward the goal of closing all three fitness rings. I’ve had the watch for over a year now and had never gotten all three rings closed.

I’ve come close on multiple occasions, usually while enjoying a day at an amusement park. A couple of times the stroke of midnight coincided with ring closure and I fell short of my goal.

Yesterday, though, I made it happen by running errands around Tallahassee. First I closed the blue stand ring after 6 p.m. but then I always close it, so I didn’t get too excited. I did note, though, that both of the other rings were considerably further along than usual.

I decided to go for it. First I headed to the elliptical machine that Studly Doright bought in a fit of fitness fever a couple of years ago. I’d kind of forgotten about it. It’s probably been used for two hours total since we put it together.

After roughly half a minute on the machine I was huffing and puffing, yet I pushed on to the minute mark. I wondered briefly if I was having a heart attack, but my breathing settled down fairly quickly and my heart rate looked surprisingly good.

I walked, jumped, and danced around Doright Manor, pumping my fists into the air, scaring the cats and amusing Studly.

“Have you finally lost your mind?” he asked.

“Yep,” I huffed. There was simply no time to explain.

“Well, I hope you find it before Vikings comes on,” Studly countered. “I don’t want any distractions.”

I might’ve flipped him off. Behind his back, because in this case it really was the thought that counted.

The green exercise ring closed next. I whooped and pushed on to close the red move ring. The elliptical was put to use again along with more dancing, leaping, and erratic arm movements. I was going to do it.

Now, it would make a better story if, perhaps, a wild boar had broken into the house and devoured me, or if a wayward satellite had fallen onto Doright Manor smushing me and my Apple Watch to smithereens just before the third ring closed, but the boring, yet satisfying truth is, I closed all the rings just in time to join Studly Doright for our weekly Vikings viewing date. Finally! A couch potato victory.

Of course I tossed and turned with leg cramps all night, and the smell of Tiger Balm wafted through the house, but by golly, if I did it once I can do it again. Just probably not today.

Oh, tonight’s the night I’ll be reading one of my blog posts at Salon 621 in Tallahassee. I’m not nervous. That’s what I’m telling myself anyway: “I’m not nervous. I’m not nervous. Really, I’m not nervous.”

Peace, people!

Finding Love at the Piggly Wiggly (reblog)

Who’d have thought a lifelong adventure in love and laughter could have begun at a Piggly Wiggly store? I guess Studly Doright and I had a pig as a matchmaker.

https://nananoyz5forme.com/2014/07/30/finding-love-at-the-piggly-wiggly/

I first posted this piece in 2014 and had forgotten about it until a long time friend tagged me on a facebook post that mentioned Piggly Wiggly. I commented on the Facebook post and the author “friended” me. It looks like the pig is still bringing folks together.

Cat-astrophe

Let me preface my post with this thought: I love my cats. I might need to end with that thought, as well, since reminders are critical at this point.

Studly Doright and I share our home with two felines. Scout Elizabeth*, who is 15 years old, and Patches Elizabeth* who is approximately eight. They are polar opposites. Scout is friendly and brave. Patches is afraid of her own shadow and anti-social. They’re both well-behaved, but they cannot stand each other.

(Scout is the black cat, below, and Patches is the one with patches. Studly named her. I wanted to call her Indy.)

We’ve left the cats alone at Doright Manor many times. Our housekeeper, Rosa, comes over to check on them if we’re away for more than three days. She’ll clean their litter boxes and give them treats, and remind them that there are still humans who care about them.

Over the Christmas holiday we were away for a week, so I’d asked Rosa to check on the cats twice–once mid-week and again on her regular day to clean. We’ve used this plan successfully multiple times. Unfortunately this time Rosa had a family emergency, and the cats went without a visitor all week.

We came home to a minor disaster area. The cats’ litter boxes were full and they’d done their business in some weird places: behind the couch, next to Studly’s recliner, in the smack dab middle of the dining room floor. I think they thought we were gone for good. It kind of broke my heart that they felt they’d been abandoned.

I’ve spent the week since we’ve been home acting as a combination forensics scientist, scullery maid, and pet whisperer–inspecting for bodily fluids, airing out the house, scrubbing rugs, and reassuring cats. Both Studly and I came down with head colds over the holiday which turned out to be both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand we couldn’t smell the messes, but on the other hand the lack of olfactory input made it difficult to locate them.

Fortunately about 2/3 of the flooring in our home is easy-to-clean tile. And the weather has been unseasonably warm allowing us to open all the windows for several days straight. I hope I’ve found every bit of poo and pee, but my sense of smell is still compromised, so who knows!?

On an added note, we’ve got company coming next weekend. Maybe we’ll play a new game I just made up: “Do You Smell What I Can’t Smell?” Or “Poo, Poo, Help Find the Poo?!” Better yet, maybe I’ll just watch their faces as they enter Doright Manor. That should tell me everything I need to know.

I love my cats.

Peace, people.

*All my cats throughout history have had the middle name Elizabeth. Even the males. I don’t know why.

Becoming So Excited

Several weeks ago my niece, CB, in Austin, Texas, texted me:

I totally freaked out. Studly Doright thought it was a great idea, so I started making plans.

I’ve already read her book, so in case Michelle requests my presence on stage at the Frank Erwin Events Center in Austin I’ll be able to discuss it with her intelligently. Unless, of course, I’m rendered speechless just by being in her presence. Who? Me? Remember this photo from last April?

That’s me getting my big break on national tv. I wasn’t even aware the camera was on, unlike my beautifully goofy daughter behind me.

Maybe that was my trial run. Maybe I’d do better on stage with Michelle. Maybe I’m just too excited to be coherent right now. Can you blame me?

Peace, people.

Memory Glitch

Memory is an odd thing. There are happenings from my past that I remember with certainty, and I’d argue vehemently with anyone who suggested that my memories might be corrupted by time or experiences pre- or post-event. Or even that the memory wasn’t even my memory.

The truth is, though, that memories are subject to outside influences. Perhaps we’ve heard a story so many times that we believe we actually were part of the story. We’ve incorporated the ideas into our own psyches. I knew of this phenomenon, I just never had real evidence of it until recently.

Studly Doright and I were reminiscing the other night about an event that occurred twenty years ago when we lived in Great Bend, Kansas. Our dog had developed an infection in one of his toes and I walked him over to the veterinarian’s office just around the corner from our house. Our daughter, Ashley, accompanied me.

The vet took us back to the examination room immediately and looked at Snapper’s puffy paw. Apparently the dog had gotten some sort of seed embedded in his nail and it had become inflamed and contained a hefty amount of pus that needed to be drained. I held Snapper while the vet swabbed the dog’s paw with antiseptic and Ashley looked on, the scent of alcohol heavy in the room.

All went well until the moment the vet lanced Snapper’s paw and blood-laced pus came pouring from the infected area. I heard my daughter moan and watched her eyes roll back in her head as she began falling to the floor. I was holding the dog and grasping for my daughter’s arm to keep her from hitting her head on the floor. Meanwhile, the damned vet stood there laughing!

Somehow I managed to slow Ashley’s descent without dropping Snapper, as the vet calmly told a story about watching a big strong cowboy faint watching his horse undergo a similar procedure. Ashley still ended up on the floor, but not at full velocity. The vet bandaged the dog’s paw as poor Ashley lay unconscious. She was only out for a few seconds, but woke up thinking she’d overslept and missed a band concert scheduled for that evening.

We paid the vet (who I never took any of my pets to again) and slowly walked the block and a half home. Ashley, other than being a little disoriented, didn’t seem to have sustained any injuries, and we related our story to Studly Doright in full gory detail when we returned home.

Over the course of twenty years, Ashley and I both have told the story dozens of times. Never once has Studly Doright been at that vet’s office with us, that is, until he told the story during our little trip down memory lane. According to him, he was the one holding the dog. He was the one who kept Ashley from hitting the floor. He was the one who became exasperated by the vet’s silly nattering. No amount of arguing with him could convince him that his memory was false. Hell, I began wondering if I was the one with the faulty memory.

Then while at Ashley’s home in Illinois for Christmas I asked her to recount the story. She did, almost word for word the way I wrote it above. Studly couldn’t believe his ears; although, in the face of such strong evidence he began to realize that perhaps he had internalized the details of our story to the point he’d convinced himself that it had happened to him. He won’t quite admit that he was wrong, but he is no longer adamant that he was there.

It’s kind of fascinating, isn’t it? That the brain can trick itself into believing something. It makes me wonder what memories I have that aren’t accurate, or that aren’t even my own. Like that memory I have of Han Solo and me kissing on board the Millennium Falcon as we evaded Imperial ships on our way to Cloud City. Don’t you dare tell me that never happened!

Peace, people!

In Praise of Patience

Late Thursday evening Studly Doright and I returned home to Doright Manor here in the panhandle of Florida. We’d left Port Byron, Illinois, on Wednesday morning after celebrating our middle granddaughter’s birthday with a family breakfast at a restaurant of her choice in Moline. I wish I’d thought to take a photo that morning, but this is our lovely 14-year-old McKayla.

Studly and I departed from Moline and started towards home, only he didn’t take the exit our gps indicated. When I questioned him he just said, “Patience.”

After nearly three hours of patience we ended up in Champaign, Illinois, to have brunch downtown at Sam’s Cafe. We both love Sam’s, where the pancakes are the best and the French toast is out of this world. The old diner on Walnut Street is nothing much to look at, but oh, how we’ve missed it. I’d come down with a cold on Tuesday night, but that French toast tasted like it might cure all my ailments.

We left Sam’s and finally took a southbound road out of Champaign. I figured that since we’d dawdled for the first three hours of the day that Studly would be in a mood to make up some ground. I was wrong. Somewhere south of Marion, IL, he took an exit that had us traveling a winding road through Vienna down to Metropolis where we stopped for a burger at Fat Edd’s Roadhouse before checking in at Harrah’s casino and hotel. I was baffled. It was just barely 5 p.m. We never stop before 7 p.m. when traveling like this. When I asked Studly if he’d been abducted by aliens and reprogrammed to wander aimlessly he just said, “Patience.”

We didn’t go into the casino. Instead we watched tv and snuggled into the first truly comfortable bed we’d had all week. I took cold medicine and slept like a rock for much of the night. As soon as we were back in the car on Thursday morning Studly turned in the opposite direction our gps indicated. I didn’t bother asking what he was doing. “Patience” seemed to be the only answer I’d get anyway.

I should have anticipated that his intended destination was food related. When we lived in Illinois, Studly’s job took him to the Metropolis area often, and there he discovered Rube’s Cafe. Rube’s serves biscuits and gravy made exactly like Studly’s mother makes them, and he’s been dreaming about them since we moved from Illinois six years ago. I had a bacon and cheese omelet while Studly feasted on biscuits and gravy. I believe there was a tear in his eye as we drove away.

The remainder of the trip was fairly straightforward; although, I did plot us a route that avoided major metropolitan areas. We used the gps sparingly, and I navigated us on peaceful backroads through Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, and Florida.

I seriously enjoy reading maps, and the activity kept me alert all day. Our route added an hour to the original route’s estimated arrival time, but we avoided the stress of the holiday traffic crush, and perhaps some major delays around Nashville in Tennessee, and Birmingham and Montgomery in Alabama.

I’ll take this over the interstate any day:

There’s a lot to be said in favor of patience.

Peace, people.

Christmas Climb

Studly Doright and I celebrated Christmas with our daughter and her family in Port Byron, Illinois. We laughed, exchanged gifts, watched the grandkids’ delight as they explored their new acquisitions, and ate way too much. Our daughter’s in-laws came today, and we really enjoyed our visit with them over lunch. I am so happy knowing that our grandchildren are loved so much by so many people.

I could’ve shared a great many photos from today, but my favorites, by far, were these taken by our son-in-law:

That’s Studly and our youngest grandchild exploring in the woods behind our daughter’s home. The two took off on a walk, crossed a creek via a fallen tree, and climbed the steep banks rising from the creek bed. When they returned to the house their cheeks were rosy and one of them was severely out of breath. I’ll let you guess which one that was. (Hint: It wasn’t the one wearing the unicorn bike helmet.)

We’ll start our trip home tomorrow. I’ll be sad to leave, but we’ll take with us wonderful memories of time spent with the ones we love. I hope your Christmas Day was filled with love and laughter.

Peace, people!

Christmas Eve in Port Byron

Is there anything more wonderful than a Christmas Eve spent with grandchildren?

Studly Doright and I basked in the glow of our Illinois grandkids’ excitement. What a wonderful night spent exchanging gifts and remembering Christmases past! Lots of laughs, smiles, and exclamations of joy filled the night. I’m such a lucky girl.

Peace, people.

More Pictures from the Road

On Saturday Studly and I traveled the second leg of our Christmas journey, driving from Clarksville, Tennessee, to Port Byron, Illinois. We made good time and soon were hugging our daughter and three of our five grandkids.

This is how the youngest one dressed to greet us in 33° weather:

After getting the grandkids all riled up we headed to a pizza place across the river in LeClaire, Iowa, where we played pinball and Pac-Man, tried our luck with the claw game and the fortune telling machine while the pizza was being cooked. I was too busy playing to take any pictures, but I took this one of the granddaughters posing as the Grinch and Cindy Lou Who in front of a shop in LeClaire.

There wasn’t nearly as much NASCAR style driving going on today, so my sanity isn’t in question as it was last night. I didn’t take many photos from the passenger seat today either, but we did pass a truck carrying its payload in an unorthodox manner:

Studly called my attention to this odd sight as we approached the truck north of Springfield, Illinois. We pondered for many miles how this little car was loaded onto the bed of the truck.

Other than these two pictures I only snapped a few others:

Studly got a bit excited when he saw snow on the side of the road. I hope that’s the ONLY snow we see this week; although, the forecast is calling for a white Christmas.

That’s part of the Peoria, Illinois, skyline, above. Not a great photo, but Peoria is kind of a cool river town.

As I type this, Studly and I are unwinding in our cozy hotel room with a view of the Mississippi River outside our window. We’re watching the Kansas Jayhawks play basketball while recharging our batteries for tomorrow’s activities with the grandkids. We’re going to need all the energy we can muster. Wish us luck.

Peace, people.