The Cat Wants What the Cat Wants

Routine is everything to our cat, Gracie.

She wakes Studly Doright up at five every morning and makes him carry her to the kitchen for a treat.

After he leaves for work, she snuggles with me and insists I get up at six. While I shower, Gracie watches me from her ringside seat on the side of bathtub. She presides over my morning routine, ensuring that I take my vitamins, and calcium, and allergy meds, and well, you get the idea.

The day proceeds with Gracie allotting time for feeding, naps, and play when she’s not actively supervising my work. In the evening she lets us know it’s time to stretch out on one of the chairs on the screened-in porch by pawing at the patio door.

Bedtime routine with Gracie is reminiscent of my days of tucking in a toddler. She gets a bowl of her favorite wet food, a bit of playtime, then we snuggle into our bed. But Gracie isn’t ready to sleep.

She’ll jump off the bed in dramatic fashion and rush down the hallway to the kitchen. Soon she’ll come back toting a bag of treats in her mouth. If she can’t get to the cat treats, she’ll bring a bag of people food—nuts, trail mix—whatever comes closest to resembling her treats, so the gist of her message is clear—one last snack, please.

Once she gets what she wants Gracie disappears into one of the guest bedrooms for the night only reappearing in our room when it’s time to wake Studly up for work. And the routine begins again,

I wish Gracie had been around during the years I taught. I could’ve used a good scheduler.

Peace, people.

I Don’t Wanna Be Wrong

College football is in full swing right now, and Studly Doright and I watched games most of the afternoon and into the late evening. After one successful short pass from the quarterback to a wide receiver the commentator said, “That little shuffle pass has been effective against this defense this year.”

Studly turned to me and asked, “Is it shuttle pass or shuffle pass?”

As the self-proclaimed word expert in our home I declared that it had to be shuttle. I reasoned that the QB was shuttling the pass along. Studly disagreed. He believed the word was shuffle because it was as if the passer was shuffling a card to the receiver.

We argued back and forth until I googled the topic. I’m happy to say that Studly was wrong. But sad to say that I, too, was incorrect. The term is shovel pass because the hand motion involved mimics the movement of a shovel being wielded.

Well, fine. I don’t agree with the decision, but I can’t be right all the time. That would be annoying.

Peace, people!

Cinderella for a New Generation

I needed a break from Blacklist, the series we’ve been watching for the past couple of months. I told Studly Doright that a change of pace was in order and to my surprise he suggested the new Cinderella movie.

After checking to see if he had a fever (he didn’t) I agreed, and we settled in for an evening of wonderful entertainment. Well, I loved it. The jury is still out on Studly’s reaction. You see, musicals aren’t his thing.

The film is clever and adorable and a love letter to feminism. How I wish I’d been exposed to this version in my youth.

Biggest surprise—Camila Cabello as Cinderella.

Biggest surprise honorable mentions—James Corden as a mouse and Idina Menzel as the stepmother.

Nicholas Galitzine as Prince Robert with Camila Cabello as Cinderella. Magical.

Peace, people.

Longfellow?

My mind, like most minds I suspect, works in awkward ways. I’ll be walking between rooms, perhaps toting a load of laundry to the wash room, when a phrase or a snippet from a poem will pop into my head. I might forget I have Studly’s dirty socks clutched in my arms for a second or two as I try to recall the entire verse or the poet who penned it. That exact scenario played out this morning.

There I was, minding my own business with assorted laundry items in hand, when the words There was a little girl, trickled through my consciousness. Cute nursery rhyme, I thought followed closely by, I’d never have used forehead to rhyme with horrid. Poetic license. Hmm.

My next thought had to do with the pungency of Studly’s socks. I continued on my way and started the washing machine. Maybe I remembered to add detergent and maybe I didn’t—my mind was on that little girl. I googled the first line of the poem and this came up:

There was a little girl

BY HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW

There was a little girl,
Who had a little curl,
Right in the middle of her forehead.
When she was good,
She was very good indeed,
But when she was bad she was horrid.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow authored this little poem? C’mon man. The same guy who gave us the epic poems The Song of Hiawatha and Paul Revere’s Ride also wrote a six line poem about a little girl whose forehead rhymed with horrid? Maybe I knew that at one time, but as I’ve already noted, my mind is easily distracted.

Anyway, well done, old chap. I never mastered memorizing Hiawatha, but with a little more work I’m sure I’ll have There Was a Little Girl memorized within the week. Maybe.

Peace, people!

Awareness Issues: Who’s Clueless Now?

I’m not known for my mindfulness. Frequently I walk into doors, trip over lines in the floor, and manage to poke myself in the eye while applying makeup. I once nearly caught the house on fire by accidentally dropping a load of clean laundry on top of a burning candle. If not for the unique scent of burning elastic, I’d likely be living somewhere other than Doright Manor. And those were my favorite panties. 😢

Studly Doright, on the other hand, prides himself on his observational abilities. And I have to admit that he notices stuff other males often don’t—new haircuts, new eyeglass frames, anything new I happen to have purchased hoping he wouldn’t notice. That old line “This old dress? I’ve had it for ages!” never works on him.

Very rarely will he be out of the loop when something changes in his domain. But when he slips, I’m there to take note.

Just a couple of days ago I heard him say, “Hey, you finally hung the grandkids’ senior pictures!”

“Yes, honey, they’ve been up in the same location for two months now.”

“Really?”

“Yep. A couple of feet from the door you walk through multiple times every single day. Now who has awareness issues?”

Then he reminded me of that time when I didn’t realize he’d shaved off his beard until he’d been clean shaven for a month. In my defense, it never was much of a beard.

And the time I got into the driver’s seat of a complete stranger’s car and wondered why my key wouldn’t fit into the ignition.

And also the time I had a conversation with my own reflection in a mirror. I was a bit drunk, but still…

I guess I remain the clueless one. How could he not notice these stunning young people though? Boggles the mind. Has anyone seen my phone? Oh, right, I’m using it to blog.

Garrett and Dominique

Peace, people?

Studly Doright: Air Conditioning Hero

Florida is hot this time of year. I mean really hot. So, when one of our air conditioning units went kaput last week we didn’t hesitate to call on a heating and air conditioner service.

We are gold level customers at B_________’s Heating and Air in Tallahassee. That means we pay an annual fee that covers biannual maintenance visits and results in discounts for any labor and parts costs. Sounds great, right?

Well, when the unit failed, the company sent out two guys to work on it. One seemed to be a trainee, but hey, two heads are better than one, right? The two guys fumfered around for several hours before declaring that either the air handling control board had gone bad OR our thermostat needed to be replaced. Their lack of certainty was less than reassuring.

They wanted to install a rescue motor to bypass the circuit board until they could get a new board from the supplier. The rescue board, a temporary fix, would cost $250. When the new board arrived (it was currently on back order) in a month or so, it would cost $1200 ($1500 if we hadn’t had the gold discount) and that didn’t include labor.

Studly Doright was having none of it. He got the parts number, looked it up online, and found the same brand new board for $486. It came in today and in about ten minutes Studly had the thing installed and now our home is pleasantly cool.

I’m all for companies making a profit. Honest. But that kind of mark up on a simple part is ridiculous. Couple that with the need for a temporary “rescue motor” because the part we needed was unavailable (even though we found it in one simple search of the internet) and one might come to the conclusion that we were being snookered.

All I can say is thank goodness for Studly Doright. It’s too bad every home doesn’t have one.

He’s good with dogs, too.

Peace, people!

This Old Picture

That’s me holding Ashley and Studly holding Jason.

As I recall this was taken right before Christmas late in the evening. The baby, Ashley, had been sick for several days. Neither she nor I had gotten much rest in that period of time. Studly Doright had just come off a week of working the midnight shift at Northern Natural Gas in Sunray, Texas. He was exhausted and almost as cranky as Ashley and I were. Only three-year-old Jason was in a good mood.

Cue a knock at the door. Studly’s brother-in-law, Steve, and Steve’s dad, were standing on our porch. Steve had a brand new camera and was itching to try it out. On us. Oh mercy.

Reluctantly, I agreed and the result was the American Gothic type image on display in this post. Never one to enjoy having my picture taken, I’m pretty sure I was thinking horrible thoughts about the photographer. Sorry, Steve, if you’re reading this. Thank goodness none of the stuff I wished on you came true. Not yet anyway…

A few years after this was taken our son said, “I really don’t like this picture. It makes us look poor.”

“Well, son,” Studly said. “We were poor.”

“And exhausted,” I added.

At the time, I didn’t like it either, but now I kind of love this old photo. Steve, I forgive you.

Peace, people.

Jacksonville Zoo

One of the highlights of the anniversary trip Studly Doright and I took this past week was a visit to the Jacksonville Zoo. We’d heard great things about this particular zoo and we weren’t disappointed.

Knowing the temperatures were going to rise into the high 90’s on Friday, with a heat index of 110° predicted, we checked out of our wonderful hotel room at Margaritaville on Jacksonville Beach early and were at the zoo when the gates opened.

This zoo was kind of magical. The habitats were spacious and creatively designed with walkways for the animals that allowed for closeup viewing without restrictive cages.

In the bonobo exhibit.
This guy was upset that another bonobo was pushing a red bowl around.
Very upset!
From the tiger exhibit.
He was so close to us!
Who doesn’t love a giraffe? We missed seeing the little ones!
This guy was a visitor just like us.
Handsome guy
Shudder!
These guys were taking it easy.
While this one was lying in wait…
This quote by Langston Hughes is one of my favorites.

At each exhibit there were volunteers explaining how the animals had been acquired and the steps taken to provide the optimal habitat for each of the zoo’s residents. It was a great way to spend a few hours.

The landscaping was gorgeous.

Peace, people!

Forty-five Years and a Bad Selfie

In a perfect world every selfie taken on one’s 45th wedding anniversary would turn out perfectly. Alas, I’m not very photogenic and after multiple tries this is what we ended up with.

At least we had a beautiful day and plenty of great food.

Our hotel—the brand new Margaritaville in Jacksonville Beach.
Our pool and our view.
Ahhh!
Give me the beach and I’m happy.

Peace, people!

Fasten Your Seatbelts

Studly Doright and I decided to get away for a couple of days. Our anniversary is on the 30th, so it seemed a good way to celebrate 45 years of marriage. I was going to say “wedded bliss” but that count is only around 20 years. I jest. Mostly.

We left Doright Manor under sunny skies, but about an hour from our destination we ran into a torrential rainstorm complete with lightning and thunder. Visibility was down to about fifteen feet and I had a firm hold on what we lovingly call the “oh shit” handle.

Not even the worst part of the storm…

We’re headed to Jacksonville where we have reservations at the Margaritaville Resort on Jacksonville Beach. Hoping the storm isn’t a harbinger of what’s to come. Of course Studly is sick of hearing me sing “Stormy Weather,” so he might just pull over and kick me out. If you see me hitchhiking on Interstate 10 west of Jacksonville, throw me a towel, please.

Peace, people!