Rower’s Remorse Revisited

I’d forgotten about this piece! We haven’t been out in our kayak for awhile. Maybe it’s time to try it again. Maybe not.

The photos below were taken well after the post was first published. Those adorable girls are two of our five grandkids, McKayla and Harper, near our little lake.

Hell on Wheels

After Studly Doright and I finished watching the western tv series, Godless, I suggested we start the Handmaid’s Tale. It seemed like a nice change of pace to go from the wild west to a peek at a bleak future. After one episode, though, I could tell Studly wasn’t into the whole “Blessed be the fruit” and “May the Lord open” dialogue.

I’ve read Margaret Atwood’s novel more than once, and tried to coax Studly into giving the Hulu series another chance, but he wasn’t feeling it. I figured I could watch it alone so I tasked him with finding us another series. Apparently he didn’t get enough western fare, because he borrowed five seasons of the series Hell on Wheels from a colleague at work, and we’ve been semi-binge watching for the past week.

Set in the post-Civil War era, Hell on Wheels follows the adventures and misadventures of the men and women who built the railroads across the American wilderness. Hell on Wheels is the name of the moving town that accompanies the workers. Basically, this series is a soap opera set in the Nebraska territory.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s fun to watch, but if you dressed the cast of the Young and the Restless in hoop skirts and put six shooters on their hips you would barely be able to tell one series from the other. There’s adultery, back stabbing, murder, racial tension, substance abuse, uncertain parentage, and all the other stuff one expects from a good modern soap opera, just with muddy streets and horses thrown in to separate one era from another.

The cast is pretty, though, especially Mr. Bohannon played by Anson Mount and Elam Ferguson, played by Common. Whoa!

Okay, I’ve got to go. Studly has the first disc of season four queued up. I’d hate to miss out. It’s time to see who’s conspiring against the railroad and who’s causing a ruckus. Blessed be the fruit, y’all.

Peace, people.

Snapshot #220

I enjoyed shopping in Thomasville, Georgia, on Friday even though I didn’t find what I was looking for. Instead, I found this guy hanging around outside a taxidermy shop.

I think I’ll call this one, “Oh Deer!” I wanted to call it, “Moose on the Loose,” but Studly stopped me from making that mistake. A good editor is priceless.

Peace, people!

Wanted: Dead or Alive

I am currently sporting two spider bites. One’s on my right ankle and gets little notice, but the other bite is in the bend of my right arm. I think the lady at the post office today thought I might be a heroin user. She certainly asked me a bunch of suspicious sounding questions about the package I was mailing: “Does this parcel contain anything fragile, liquid, perishable, or potentially hazardous, including lithium batteries and perfume?”

Okay, so they ask that about every package mailed in the U.S. these days, still I thought she might be looking at me with an odd mix of pity and fear, thinking, “Poor old biddy, hope she doesn’t rob me for drug money.”

And while I have but the two bites, poor Studly Doright has six: five on his stomach and two on his arm. Everywhere he goes he wafts the scent of calamine lotion. It’s not sexy.

We figure we must’ve been bitten while working in the yard on Monday. Neither of us took precautions against spider bites, such as wearing double thick armor and sealing up any chinks in the metal with a combination of duct tape and bailing wire. Indeed, we worked bare armed with loose clothing just begging for a spider to come inside. We tempted fate and fate won.

Now, though, I’m convinced that our home is infested with the little critters. I’ve sprayed every nook and cranny with the scent of peppermint, and I dressed for bed last night in long johns and a hoodie.

Seriously, I had a horrifying experience with a spider when we lived in Kansas. I dreamt that I was eating a salad. The lettuce was crisp and crunchy. When my alarm went off I could still hear the crunching of the lettuce, but it was coming from inside my head. I thought, “oh hell, I’ve lost my mind!”

I began tossing my head and slapping at my ears as I stumbled to the bathroom. Miraculously, the crunching stopped, and I looked down to see a tiny spider on the bathroom floor. I killed him. No hesitation. The whole experience made me wonder if there are people sitting in insane asylums who just need their ears checked for spiders.

May the Fluff be with Me

In the past couple of weeks I’ve seen two fluffy movies: Crazy Rich Asians and Mamma Mia!Here We Go Again. In case you hadn’t guessed, fluffy movies are those one can watch without having to think too much, and I knew in advance what I was getting into.

I enjoyed both films, though. Fluff can be good for the soul, you know. Crazy Rich Asians made me want to visit Singapore, but only if I could travel in style, while the Mamma Mia! sequel made me yearn for a simple life on a Greek island. If someone, perhaps my fairy godmother, offered me the choice of living one of the lifestyles portrayed in these films I wouldn’t hesitate. It would be Mamma Mia! all the way.

Imagine me, dressed in denim overalls, singing ABBA songs and dancing my way over cypress dotted hills and down to a sparking blue harbor to meet the ferry, never knowing who might step off the boat that day. I’d fit in much better there than with the über wealthy crowd in Crazy Rich Asians, never knowing which gown to wear or which fork to use.

The point is moot, though, since not even a fairy godmother could convince Studly to leave Doright Manor for long. And where he goes, I go. And that’s no fluff.

Peace, (and dancing) people.

Checking on the Faeries

A couple of years ago Studly Doright and I helped our visiting grandkids build a faerie house. We carefully placed the house on a small tree stump, and then waited to see if any wee folk would move in.

At first I checked the fairy house on a daily basis with no luck, then a wise friend suggested that perhaps we should give them a little time and some space, lest we scare any potential residents away. Finally our patience was rewarded.

If you look closely in the photo above you might see a tiny winged creature to the right of the ladder.

Over time we learned to give the faerie folk privacy. Honestly, until our grandkids came for a visit in early August I hadn’t given the little guys and gals much thought. They went about their business and Studly and I went about ours. Yesterday, though, as we were working in the yard I went over to take a peek.

I didn’t see a single faerie anywhere, but just look at how much the tree has grown up around the house! Someday, after Studly and I are dead and gone, the new owners of Doright Manor may discover this little abode tucked away in the woods. I just hope they’ll give the faeries their space. Maybe I should leave a note for them, just in case.

Peace, people.

A Real Fungi

Monday is Labor Day here in the states, and Studly Doright has the day off work. Since he’d played golf on both Saturday and Sunday, Studly decided to do yard work on his holiday. I was drafted to assist. Oh joy.

My job was to drive the lawn mower around the yard and load fallen branches into the trailer while Studly used his manly skills to chop branches that were too big for me to lift. We’ve had two fairly severe thunderstorms this past week, so I filled my little trailer multiple times.

Once I’d finished my part I handed over the reins of the mower to Studly who insists that he’s better at the job than I am. Hey, I only almost backed over his foot twice today. That’s a real improvement over previous performances.

Doright Manor sits in the middle of a forest on a small lake. I grew up in the Texas panhandle where trees are few and far between, so I never get tired of exploring our woods. Today, while Studly was mowing I found this little party animal:

Yep, they tell me he’s a real fungi.

Peace, people!

An Accomplished Woman

If you’ve read my blog for more than a week you’ll immediately know that I am not the woman for whom this post was titled. I’m easily astonished, somewhat apprehensive, occasionally argumentative, and often admonished, but never accomplished.

As seems to be the case more often than not Studly Doright and I will go months without seeing friends socially only to have two or more invitations for the exact same day. On Friday evening we were invited to a 60th birthday party for Studly’s best golf buddy, and I’d made plans to meet friends who were passing through Tallahassee on their way to their new home in Melbourne, Florida.

I had already committed to meeting the traveling couple and Studly rsvp’d to the birthday party without consulting me. I mean why would he? He knows I have almost no social life. So we took separate cars to the party, and I kept an eye on my phone for my friends’ call.

The birthday party was at the home of a couple we’d met once at a Tallahassee restaurant’s trivia night; although, I had to be reminded of that. I swear, I wouldn’t remember Studly’s name if I didn’t insist that he wear a name tag at all times.

Their home was lovely and set up for entertaining. I asked the hostess, we’ll call her “Perfect, but not in a bad way” or just “PBNIABW” for short, if I could lend a hand in the kitchen.

“Well, not really,” PBNIABW said. “The birthday boy requested chicken fried steaks, and I’ve never made them before, so pour yourself a glass of wine and relax.”

Those are the kinds of directions at which I excel, and I followed them to the letter. I’m a great follower. As other guests arrived I mingled fairly well. I’m a follower, after all, and not much of a mingler. What I learned from my mingling was that not only is PBNIAW something of a gourmet cook, but she is also a damned good artist and an accomplished seamstress. Her beautiful artwork adorned almost every wall in the house, and her sewing room gave testament to her skills in that area.

When my friends called to say they had checked into their hotel, I said my good-byes to everyone and cornered Studly for a goodbye kiss.

“Hey,” I said. “Don’t forget you have an incredibly average wife who loves you.”

I’m not sure he was listening, though. He was too busy watching a variety of sports on the three, yes three, big screen televisions in the den with the host and other male guests. Damn. PBNIABW’s husband was perfect, too.

Peace, people.

To Xfinity and, well, not Beyond

Lately the speed of our internet connection at Doright Manor has been less than stellar causing me to grumble when playing my favorite online game, Design Home. Who knows how many perfect scores I’ve missed out on just because I couldn’t style a room quickly enough? The answer to that is none, by the way. Speed has nothing to do with how scores are tallied in this game, but still, it’s hard to keep up one’s inspiration when the right furniture refuses to load.

Studly Doright heard my grumbling from across the den last night and said he’d gotten an email from our internet service provider, Xfinity, saying that we were due for a modem upgrade. “Why don’t you head over there tomorrow and pick up a new modem?” he suggested.

So, here I am. Sitting in Xfinity hell with at least two dozen other people. The lines aren’t moving, and it seems that no one responds when their names are called. Buehler? Buehler?

At least the place has great WiFi.

Peace, people.

Pumpkin Jumpsuit vs. Risqué Shirtwaist: There are no Winners

Yesterday I shared my tale of shopping angst. I’ve been in search of a cocktail or after 5 dress for an upcoming soirée, and so far I have found nothing. The dresses that fit my 5’8″, size 12, slightly past middle-aged frame, are few and far between. And ugly. I might be nearing the age of 62, but I refuse to dress like my obituary is going into tomorrow’s newspaper.

At one point yesterday I decided to think outside the box in my pursuit of the elusive not-so-matronly dress, so I went to a local store in Tallahassee that always has a mix of new and vintage clothing displayed in their windows. It’s a nice shop, with friendly staff, and a variety of casual and dressier items in stock.

After walking around the store with me and asking about my style and color preferences one of the sales ladies opened a dressing room and began bringing different pieces for me to try on. I was seriously stoked to see just what she might find!

The first outfit was a light green floral jumpsuit. It didn’t scream “COCKTAILS” at me, but I was keeping an open mind. This isn’t it, but it was similar:

On me, the pants ended around mid-calf and the waist hit about two inches north of where my actual waist resides. And the floral pattern just made me look like I needed a good weeding.

Next she brought me another jumpsuit. I wish with all my heart that I’d had the presence of mind to take a photo of me wearing it. First off, it was orange. Not a pretty orange, but a washed out, 70’s shag carpet orange. In fact, I’d swear Studly and I lived in a rental that had the exact same color carpet during our poverty period.

The jumpsuit was crafted from chenille, so I looked like a pumpkin, freshly picked. And again, the waist was too high and the legs too short. Stifling a bout of giggles, I politely asked the sales lady to refrain from bringing any more jumpsuits to the dressing room.

So she brought me an adorable dress. It was simple and sweet on the hanger, but on me? Fugedaboutit. My bosom could not be contained by this little slip of a dress. Indeed, parts of me better left hidden made mad attempts to escape if I even dared to breathe in the gown. It was a Jekyll and Hyde affair, to be sure. All meek and mild on display, while determined to ruin my reputation whilst being worn. Be very glad that I didn’t take photos of this dress. That’s not it below, but you get the picture, right!

My little experiment in thinking outside the box was unproductive; however, I left the store with a badly damaged self-image, and that’s what really counts.

Peace, people.