Open Minded

My husband, Studly Doright, never ceases to amaze me. I’m not sure if it’s his wit, but I’m fairly certain it’s not his wisdom.

Friday afternoon he reminded me that he’ll be attending two celebration of life ceremonies on Saturday for two men he’s played golf with for the last eight years. The guys died within a few hours of one another right before Christmas, and now they’ll be remembered on the same day. The golfers will head straight to the first service following their Saturday round on the links and then to the second after that. They were both good men, as far as I could tell, and had lived interesting lives.

As usual when contemplating death I think ahead to my own wishes for end of life arrangements. Studly and I both want to be cremated, and I told him that instead of a funeral and/or a celebration of life that I just want a wake. I want beer and wine to be served and for everyone to just sit and talk–mostly about me, but I guess I can’t control that. Prayers for a safe transition would be appreciated, and I’d probably be happy with a few tears being shed. Nothing too sad, though. I’d like my kids to pick out some suitable music–they both know what I like.

As to my cremated remains, if I go first I’d like my ashes to be placed in a pretty urn–World Market has some beautiful ones that fit the bill, and they’re a fraction of the cost the funeral home charges. When Studly dies his ashes are to be added to mine.

I was saying all this out loud when Studly interrupted to ask about his second wife.

“Hmm,” I said. “I guess she could join us in the urn if she didn’t have other plans.”

“Wow, you’d be open to a threesome?”

If it makes him feel better, I suppose so.

Peace, people.

The Worst Hard Time

Yesterday I shared a poem I wrote called, The Dust https://nananoyz5forme.com/2020/01/14/the-dust/. It was inspired by memories of my childhood in Floydada, Texas, when the wild winds blew stinging dust into every little nook and cranny of my world. I hated the dust and the dry Texas winds. They drove me slightly mad. Explains a lot, doesn’t it?

And as a young wife, I grew to hate the wind and dust even more when on two separate occasions the back door of our rental house in Dumas, Texas, blew open while Studly and I were at work. We came home to find inches of dust on our floors, our furnishings, and inside of our cabinets. I cleaned for days and still found dust where dust shouldn’t be. I cursed the dust.

When Studly and I moved away from the Texas panhandle I missed the family and friends we left behind, but never the wind and the dust. I could live there again if I had to, but I pray I’ll never have to.

While living in Illinois I joined an informal book club. We drank a lot of wine and sometimes even discussed the book we’d been assigned to read that month. One that made the biggest impact on me was The Worst Hard Time by Timothy Egan.

The book chronicles the Dust Bowl era of the 1930’s through interviews with those who lived through that time. I knew every town mentioned in the book. And as awful as my memories of windy, dusty days were, they were nothing compared to the nightmare of the Dust Bowl years.

One lady in the book club complained that the book went on about the dust way too long. I countered with, “I think that was the point.”

If the author had glossed over even a bit of the despair caused by the weather conditions he’d have missed his mark. She also asked if anyone still lived there.

“Well, yes,” I said. “I have family and friends there along with hundreds of thousands of other hardy folks.”

“Unbelievable,” she said.

There is a lot of beauty in that part of the country–days so perfect, sunsets so gorgeous, you could almost cry. But I always remember the dust.

Peace, people.

Advanced Bed Making for Dummies

My mom was a stickler for a well made bed. As the only girl child in her home I was judged by my ability to create precise hospital corners and deliver a perfectly smooth bedspread. Wrinkles were a no-no. I let her down. A lot.

As a mom, I was much more relaxed with my bed making rules; although, I did attempt to demonstrate the principles my mom tried to instill in me. Neither of my kids paid much attention to the lessons, though, and I didn’t think bedspreads were the hills I wanted to die on. Pick your battles, right?

Nowadays at Doright Manor, my bed making philosophy revolves around our psychotic younger cat, Patches. I call it “Layering. It’s not just for clothing anymore.”

Patches has developed the nervous habit of peeing on just about any surface that suits her when the anxiety strikes. We took her to the vet to see if there was an underlying medical reason for her bladder control issues, and she’s fit as a fiddle. The vet prescribed a special food, but it requires about eight weeks to kick in.

She also prescribed an anti-depressant that I have to rub on the inside of Patches’s ear every 12 to 24 hours. I’m afraid the lengths I have to go to to corral Patches and administer the drug are increasing her anxiety levels and aren’t doing much for mine either.

She thinks I have an ear fetish. I’m afraid she’s right.

So what does this have to do with making the bed? Twice now Patches has relieved herself on our bed necessitating the laundering of our heavy bedspread that takes forever to dry. Following the first time I added an additional layer of covering to our bed. After the second time, I realized one layer was simply not enough. Now the rule is to have at least three layers on the bed in addition to the bedspread.

This isn’t going to get me a mention in Better Homes and Gardens any time soon, now is it? And my mom would be so heartbroken. Sorry, Mom!

Oh, before you suggest I use deterrent sprays and/or calming sprays, trust me. We’ve been there; done that with multiple concoctions. Patches seems totally immune to their effects.

She does seem to be making a bit of progress, though. Knock on wood, but I haven’t detected any pee on the baseboards or behind Studly Doright’s chair in the past couple of weeks, and those were among her favorite areas to go. And this morning for the first time in ages I watched her play with one of her toys.

We’d appreciate good vibes for Patches, and for me. It now takes me longer to make and unmake my bed than it does me to shower in the morning. And that’s the truth.

Peace, people.

Don’t be fooled by the sweet face. She’s plotting her next attack.

Signs of the Apocalypse?

Studly kept me busy Friday afternoon taking apart a 1976 Honda GL 1000. I’m not sure I was much help, but I had a lot of fun.

After we removed the Corbin seat, the pipes and a few other choice bits, we loaded the frame, along with a variety of other pieces and parts onto Studly Doright’s motorcycle trailer and drove over to a salvage yard in Tallahasse.

Now, Studly has a fondness for places that deal in salvage. His grandad, Benjamin Bernard Noyes (aka Papaw), owned a salvage yard in Hereford, Texas, and Studly spent hour upon hour there from the time he was a small child on into his teens. Papaw put him to work getting the copper, brass, and aluminum out of the pumps and motors that came into the yard. For his efforts Studly was paid enough to keep him in spending money. That yard was his world.

When we drove through the gates of Leon Iron & Metal and saw the towering piles of scrap iron, I could feel his excitement. I have to admit, it got me pumped up, too. I cannot explain the beauty of the place, so I took photos.

The little scooter in the bottom right was something we added to the pile.

Mr. Claw was ready!

The little splash of yellow and the tire are what’s left of our old GL 1000.

The two photos above made me think APOCALYPSE!

We had to remove any batteries from the scrap, so they could be weighed and disposed of safely:

Signs, signs, everywhere a sign…

https://youtu.be/oeT5otk2R1g

As we left the salvage yard, savoring the hefty pile of cash we’d earned from our afternoon of hard labor (okay, it was $30), I had just one question for Studly:

“What else can we take apart?”

He just laughed, but I swear I noticed a little gleam in his eye.

Peace, and junk, people!

Plan A, B, or C

In light of our foolhardy and reckless potus doing his bumbling best to start a war with Iran, I felt compelled to tell Studly Doright what I would do if I found myself away from Doright Manor in a worst case situation.

“I’m getting home. Even if I’m miles from the house, and my car no longer runs. I’ll come home.”

“Okay,” he said.

“You’d come home, too. Right?”

“Of course. As soon as I could.”

That’s about the extent of our plan.

So, I jokingly/not jokingly asked my Facebook friends:

Even though none of them are “preppers” most had non-joking answers. One cans food and has a stockpile. Another has already thought ahead to getting enough propane to allow for hot meals. One has several cases of wine (if I can’t get home, guess where I’ll head).

A friend who lives in Taos, New Mexico, says he’ll journey out to the Taos Pueblo which has withstood the ravages of “civilization” for centuries. Still another said he’d just sit back and watch how it unfolds.

The thing about my plan is that if Studly is here with me that’s all that matters. We’ll be okay. And if we’re not okay, we’ll at least be together.

Seriously, let’s keep hoping that someone in authority practices common sense in these fractured days.

Peace, people.

Orange is the New Black Gets Real

Studly Doright and I both became a little emotional last evening watching an episode of Orange is the New Black. We’re currently on season seven, and the United States’ horrendous immigration policy is front and center.

We were both doing okay until a scene in which two young children were in front of a judge who asked them if they had a lawyer. “What’s a lawyer?” the older of the two asked.

I lost it. I looked over and Studly looked kind of shaken, too. He’s not nearly the “bleeding heart liberal” that I am. I told him that this stuff’s actually happening. Real children are representing themselves in court, often with heartbreaking results.

We’ve been watching several episodes each evening, but neither of us could take any more after this particular episode. I think about these children in detention facilities. They’re missing their families. Many have no idea why they’re in detention to begin with. When did the U.S. lose its moral compass? Maybe we never had one.

Peace, and Justice people.

Phone Me

For Christmas Studly Doright bought me a new iPhone. According to him it’s the biggest, baddest iPhone available. I’m properly humbled and intimidated.

In my typically stubborn way I dove into setting up the new phone, heedless of Studly’s advice to let someone at the Verizon store assist me. “They said it’ll be easy!” Studly assured me. “Just switch out the memory cards and you’re good to go.”

It was not easy. I’ve lost all my contacts and have had to download all of my apps and remember the passwords and try to recall user names until I’m ready to scream. Plus, the navigation between pages is totally different. And all my contacts are screwed up. Argh!

It literally took me an hour to figure out how to get from the home page to my app icons. If you don’t hear from me again, it’s because I’ve been admitted to a psych ward–preferably one where no electronic devices are allowed.

Peace on earth and all that jazz.

A Little Felt Tree

Studly Doright and I were married in July of 1976. I was just shy of twenty, while he was only 18. Broke, stupid, and in love, we had no idea then of the hurdles we’d have to jump over on our way to 43 years of marriage and beyond.

As our first Christmas as a married couple approached we had to set some new guidelines. I was set on keeping up my family’s Christmas traditions while he was equally set on keeping his. We managed to compromise fairly well, but there was one thing I insisted on–a live tree at least six feet tall. Studly’s family had a smaller tree that stood on a short table, as I recall.

I got my way that year, and we soon had our beautiful tall tree standing in its brand new red and green tree strand awaiting decorations. There was just one problem–we had no ornaments. None. And that tree had eaten up most of our disposable income.

My mom came to the rescue. She gave us three kits of felt ornaments that I could stitch together and decorate. One set featured characters from the Wizard of Oz.

Another set included typical Christmas characters–an angel, a snowman, and a Santa.

The last set featured Christmas trees and wreaths. I’ve managed to lose the wreaths, but my Christmas trees have hung in there (pun intended) all these years.

Several days ago I was scavenging for book five in the Harry Potter series at our local Goodwill book store when I came across a little felt tree hanging from the store’s tree. It was exactly like the one I’d made all those years ago

I wondered if some young woman had lovingly stitched the pieces together, adding shiny sequins where indicated by the kit’s directions. Had she been as nervous about her future as I was about mine?

And I wondered why this poor felt tree came to be all by itself at the Goodwill store. Of course I bought it and brought it home. I introduced the ornament to its counterparts on my tree, and then I let our elf on the shelf comfort it.

Welcome home, little tree.

Peace, people.

A Festive State Mind

Hallelujah, I’m finally in a festive mood. The humbugs have been banished, and the grinch is gone. What, you might ask, has prompted my change in spirit? It wasn’t just one big thing that did the trick, but a series of small events.

1. My daughter called me several days ago with more than a hint of excitement in her voice. She lives in Illinois, and the long, cold winters there take a toll on her. So to hear her bubbling over with happiness made me happy.

2. All of my Christmas shopping is done and gifts are either en route or already under their respective recipients’ trees.

3. Studly Doright and I attended a company Christmas party at a Humphrey Bogart themed restaurant in DeFuniak Springs, FL. Since I’d just mentioned the film Casablanca in a recent post, I thought that dinner at a place called “Bogey’s” was more than a coincidence. Before we arrived at the restaurant Studly and I both thought it was golf themed. Boy, was he disappointed.

4. Our daughter sent photos and video of our youngest granddaughter performing in her school’s holiday concert. Isn’t she adorable? (The answer is “yes,” by the way.) Note the cute little guy next to her with his puffed out cheeks.

5. Our daughter, who played trombone all through middle and high school, is playing again–now in her kids’ high school pep band. Her family lives in a small town, and the pep band is correspondingly small, so when she realized a parent was playing in the pep band she asked the director if he could use another trombonist. He could, and that’s why she was so excited (refer to #1). She played her first gig on Monday night at a basketball game.

6. We’ve gone three days without finding cat pee where it shouldn’t be. Knock on wood.

7. This morning I’m meeting a friend for a holiday art show at LeMoyne Center for the Visual Arts in Tallahassee and lunch at somewhere still to be determined.

8. Tonight Studly and I will attend the last of his company’s Christmas parties at Giorgio’s in Tallahassee. No ugly sweaters this time–I’m not sure whether that makes me sort of sad or extraordinarily excited. Leaning towards the excited; although, that means I probably need to put some thought into my appearance. At least with an ugly sweater I could just wear jeans.

8. Finally, I found this on Facebook. https://youtu.be/tEjLS0OHWnQ

Peace, people