‘Til the Cows Come Home

One cow came home with me on Wednesday night, well, a picture of a cow anyway. One of the Meetup groups I’m a part of enjoyed an evening at Painting with a Twist in Tallahassee where we painted happy cows.

Here’s what Clarice (Yes, I named my cow) looked like after I’d worked on the background. You will perhaps note that I’m not all that accomplished at the fine art of painting.

But I did progress during the evening:

Clarice appears to have let her bangs grow out. Why on earth does my cow have bangs?

I know she didn’t look all that happy in the photo above, but I kept plugging and voila! Isn’t she something? You can answer that any way you choose.

I was the least capable of the four of us who were part of the Meetup group:

We did have a great time, though, and painting is s great way to get to know people. For instance, they all now know that I have a rich vocabulary of swear words. &@$%# cow.

Peace, people!

Farm to Table

Yesterday I felt like getting out of the house. Having been sick since May 2, I’d only made short trips for necessities, including two visits to convenient care medical facilities. I’m still not 100%, but if I ever want to get stronger I have to venture forth.

A Tallahassee neighborhood was having its community garage sale, so I drove to the east side of town and enjoyed the beautiful Florida weather while buying only a couple of items. Most of the merchandise on sale was baby related, and I have no need for strollers or play pens. Thank goodness.

I still had money in my pocket when I left the neighborhood, so I took myself to lunch at Backwoods Crossing, a farm to table restaurant. I’d driven past the place a couple of times before, but never at a meal time.

The interior of the restaurant is pleasant.

I was there early, so I had my pick of tables. The menu had lots of appetizing choices. Unfortunately, I’m limited in what I can eat right now. I settled on a grilled chicken breast with an apple glaze. It was tasty. I’d have loved to have the side of mashed sweet potatoes, but was afraid they’d have too much fiber for my delicate system. Never thought this hot salsa guzzling girl would have to settle for the bland side of things. Hopefully, this, too shall pass. No pun intended.

After my lunch I strolled into their outdoor seating area and garden. Much of the food they serve comes straight from this beautiful garden.

Items they don’t grow or raise directly on property are purchased from local farms. It’s a sweet setup.

I look forward to returning when my digestive issues are straightened out. Fingers crossed that happens soon! As for Studly Doright, he’s recovering from back surgery like a champ. He drove over and had lunch with his golf buddies today. It’ll be another three months before he can take the game up again, but he enjoyed swapping tales with his friends. Life is slowly getting back to normal.

Peace, people.

Laundry Detergent

The Big Bend Homeless Coalition in Tallahassee posted this announcement on Facebook a few days ago.

I made a note of it and decided to take part in some way. When I returned from my trip to Austin the note popped up in my calendar, thank goodness, and yesterday I went shopping at Walmart.

Buying items from a list of suggestions should be simple, right? So why did I agonize over brands and sizes? Should I buy one of each item listed or should I concentrate on buying a lot of one thing?

In the end I bought a large box of diapers, a good sized box of trash bags, a huge container of laundry detergent, and some feminine hygiene supplies. The last item wasn’t listed, but I’d asked if it would be okay to bring some and had gotten a thumbs up from the staff. (Thanks to blogging friend Jan Wilberg at http://redswrap.wordpress.com who gave me the idea.)

Of all the things I bought, though, the laundry detergent was by far the most appreciated. The man who helped me unload it from my car said, “We can do a whole lot of good with this.”

That’s pretty much the best thing I’ve heard in a long time. I’ve decided that going forward I’m going to take laundry detergent to the coalition’s office once a month. I want to help somebody do a whole lot of good again and again.

Peace, people.

March for Our Lives in Tallahassee

On Saturday I joined more than 2,500 people marching for common sense gun control in Tallahassee, FL. We gathered in front of Ruby Diamond Concert Hall and marched to the steps of the historic state Capitol building where more supporters awaited.

Young and old, we chanted for the entire length of the route. When one lead voice failed, another took up the chant. I cried more than once.

My back has been out of sorts lately, and I came close to staying home. In the end I said, “Screw it; I’m doing this.” Sometimes I make really great decisions. This was one of those times.

Peace, people.

Before Marching Today

People from every continent on earth, except for Antarctica, are marching today for common sense gun control. I’m joining the march in Tallahassee, Florida. We’ll start at Ruby Diamond Auditorium and march to the historic Florida Capitol building.

Right now I’m taking advantage of a bench beneath the spreading arms of a graceful oak tree in front of Ruby Diamond. Hundreds of folks are milling around, carrying signs, discussing the possibilities for real change in our gun laws.

Are you marching today? If so, where?

Peace, people.

Fun Times at Doright Manor

Thanks to a corroded hot water heater this is what my house looks like at the moment. Enjoy.

We pulled out the carpet and padding and rented a couple of fans to dry out the walls.

But we had to move all of the furniture out first.

The marble tops weigh a ton and have to be moved separately. They’re somewhere in my dining room at present.

Ah! Home sweet home.

I’m going to the carpet store today to find new floor coverings for the bedroom, and we’ve got a painter coming sometime this week. In the meantime we’re dodging bedroom furniture in almost every room of the house.

I insisted on pizza at Momo’s in Tallahassee for dinner last night.

Not that Desperate

Doright Manor where I reside with my husband of forty one years, is in a rural neighborhood about ten miles west of Tallahassee, Florida. We have a Havana, FL, address, but we are only slightly farther from Tallahassee than we are from the little town of Havana. On most days I drive into Tallahassee at least once to walk, shop, or sometimes to take in a movie.

The knowledge that Hurricane Irma will hit near us early next week has me feeling antsy, and even though I’ve already shopped for supplies I began to worry that I might have forgotten something. So yesterday I drove over to see the movie “It!” and followed up with a trip to a Publix grocery store.

My hope was that I could purchase some canned meat meals, such as tuna or chicken with crackers and mayonnaise, that require no refrigeration. I’d looked a couple of days ago, but the store was completely out of those items. The clerks thought they’d get some more in before the storm, so I deemed it worth a trip.

Here is what the canned meat aisle looked like:

I wasn’t even a little bit tempted by these delicacies:

Canned squid! Who knew? I just know I’m not that desperate.

The store was busy, but the mood was generally buoyant, even though now it looks as if Tallahassee will get a bigger piece of the storm than was previously predicted.

Studly Doright and I still aren’t sure if we’ll evacuate ahead of Irma. I’m leaving the decision up to him. I call him Studly Doright for a reason, so I’m in his capable hands.

Please send good vibes out to all those in the direct path of the storm, especially to one of my British blogging friends and her husband who are vacationing in Florida. They had to evacuate the Keys and may have to go to a shelter in Miami if their hotel has to be vacated.

Thanks for reading. I have absolutely the best followers. Peace, people.

Succulent Succulents

I had a wonderful time hanging out at Tallahassee Nursery yesterday. I’d signed up for a workshop on the planting and care of succulents, and thoroughly enjoyed myself. I might’ve even learned a thing or two.

Here was the first container I selected, but it didn’t have a hole in the bottom to facilitate drainage, so I had to find a hole-y one.

The event was well attended with long tables holding all the requisite supplies set up under sprawling oak trees:

After selecting my plants I arranged them in my hole-y planter and looked around the delightful grounds of Tallahassee Nursery with friends. That’s Julie admiring a gazing ball.

We went for lunch afterwards and then I headed home to Doright Manor. Here is the end product of my workshop experience. It wasn’t the prettiest arrangement created, but it’s mine. Now all I have to do is keep the plants alive.

Peace, people!

(Almost) Nothing but Net

Dominique, Jackson, and I had a couple of free hours yesterday so we checked in at The Drop Zone, a Tallahassee hot spot for school aged youngsters. Why weren't these trampoline play areas around when I was a kid?

My photography won't win any awards, but that's okay. Jackson had fun while Dominique mainly lolled around the spectators' area with me.





Peace and trampolines, people!

A Little Slice of Haven

For Mother’s Day my son purchased a couple of gift certificates for me for services at Haven, a spa in Tallahassee. I’m a big fan of spas and believe there should be one on every corner, like Starbucks or McDonalds, where patrons just walk up to a counter and order “a deep tissue massage with a side of facial.” Now that would be a perfect world.

I do treat myself to spa treatments fairly regularly, but I’d never been to Haven. Their website was great, and I was able to book my appointment online. That was a big plus, in my book. 

Being a bit of an overachiever, I scouted out the location of the spa one afternoon last week when I was in the neighborhood. Inside Haven the vibe was just the right sort of mellow. As an added plus, one of my favorite local cafés, Canopy Road, was nearby. 

Today was the big day. I arrived a few minutes early for my 60-minute acupressure massage with Steve Peuckert, and was met at the door by a friendly young woman, Pam, I believe, who had me complete the easy peasy paperwork for a first timer. 

One of my pet peeves is going to a new spa and having to fill out two sides of a form. By the time I’m finished I’m more stressed than I was when I entered. But Haven’s questionnaire had five quick questions. Even I don’t mind answering five questions.

Steve took me back immediately and soon I was drifting away into the land of ahhhhhs. I’m an aficionado of great massage therapists, and Steve skyrocketed to the top of my list. The man knows his stuff. I rebooked before leaving the salon.

Haven Spa offers discounts to customers who check in on Facebook, Google+, or Yelp when they arrive at the spa. That’s about as good as it gets, right? Haven might not have a franchise on every corner, but they make it easy to get a wonderful and affordable spa experience.

I didn’t receive any products or free services for this piece on Haven Spa. As usual I just wanted to let my friends in on a really great business. Here’s a link to their website: http://www.ilovehaven.com/

Peace, people.