A Stroll Through Dorothy P. Oven Park

On Saturday morning I rose early and drove across Tallahassee to stroll around a Christmas craft fair at Dorothy P. Oven Park. I didn’t buy anything, but I enjoyed the misty morning while wandering around the expansive grounds of this beautiful park. I’m not the greatest photographer, but maybe you can get an idea of how lovely this place is.

Peace, people.

Made With Love

Life can be so hard. People do bad things out of greed or ignorance. Others judge their fellow humans based on race, religion, skin color, gender identity, and a whole host of other categories. Wars are fought. Innocents die. No one ever really wins.

It’d be so easy to become angry, embittered, jaded.

But then, you have lunch at a vegan place where they know you by name. Where they care about you and are glad to see you. Where they do stuff like this:

My friends at Sweet Pea Cafe did this.

And for a little while, all is right with the world.

Peace, people.

Rock Steady

On my way into the mall where my favorite coffee shop is located I paused to hold open the door for an older gentleman. It was one of those awkward situations—he was just outside of the distance that demanded the courtesy, but of an age that I worried about his stamina. I erred on the side of being an overly concerned citizen.

He thanked me with a smile. “This old man appreciates your help.”

“Old? Hardly. Besides, I see by your t-shirt that you’re one of the folks who’s part of the boxing class that works out here. I doubt you need any help at all.”

I’d noticed the Rock Steady t-shirts before on elderly boxers at the small fitness center in the mall. The boxers always looked serious in a fun way. Like, “I could probably kick your ass, but I won’t ’cause I’m a nice guy.”

The man laughed. “Well, the class is only for folks with Parkinson’s, so depending on the day, I just might need your help.”

“I had no idea. Does the boxing help?”

He stopped at the entrance to the gym. “Absolutely. Best thing I’ve ever done for myself. Helps me forget what this disease has taken from me. Makes me feel young again.”

“Maybe I should take up boxing,” I said.

He smiled. “I highly recommend it. Thanks again young lady.”

I resisted the urge to hug him for the young lady remark, and hurried on in hopes of securing my favorite table at the coffee shop—the one in the corner that allows me to people watch as I work on editing my current work in progress. After ordering my usual chai latte I set up my laptop in the highly coveted location and scanned through yesterday’s pages. Outside the window I caught a flash of red. Boxing gloves. The Parkinson’s pugilists were throwing punches at unseen opponents. It was a beautiful sight.

Peace, people!

Here’s a link to the Tallahassee gym that offers the Rock Steady boxing program for those diagnosed with Parkinson’s. https://sweattherapyfitness.com

Rock Steady has its own website to provide further information and to direct folks to facilities near them that offer the fitness program. If you’d like to donate you can do so there, as well. https://www.rocksteadyboxing.org/

From Pinterest

Peace, people!

A Second Date

Several days ago I wrote about having lunch with a lizard. (Link below).

https://nananoyz5forme.com/2021/09/13/lunch-companion/

It was a pleasant lunch, but the lizard and I didn’t exchange phone numbers or anything, so I was surprised and a little bit flattered to find him saving a table for us when I arrived at Sweet Pea Cafe for lunch this morning.

Stanley (I believe he looks like a Stanley) was at the same table as last time, but didn’t skitter away when I approached. Instead, he waited patiently while I placed my lunch and lemonade near him.

The unfurling of my napkin seemed to unnerve him, so Stanley slid into the space between the slats where he watched me take out my book and unwrap my fork.

He emerged a bit to study me as I ate. I offered to direct some ants in his direction, but he said he’d already eaten.

He stayed this close to me the entire time I was engaged in eating.

Several other diners commented on my companion. A small child squealed in delight and Stanley dove beneath the table. He was still nearby, though, when it was time for me to leave. I didn’t get his number, but I think we might have some ESP going on. ‘Til next time, Stan.

Peace, people.

Sweet Pea Specials

Since switching to a vegan diet I’ve become a frequent diner at Sweet Pea Cafe in Tallahassee. I have favorite dishes—the Caesar Wrap is one, and Rancheros is another, but I give a thumbs up to everything on their menu. It’s all vegan, all the time.

The specials board never fails to make me smile even if I’m not enticed to try what’s listed. I’m a messy person and sometimes the special isn’t suited to dining in one’s car.

Today’s specials were particularly inventive.

The BBQ Streisand was tempting, but I could well imagine the resulting bbq splotches on my tee shirt.

If you live anywhere near Tallahassee pay this little unassuming cafe on Tharpe Street a visit. Tell them Leslie sent you.

Peace, people!

Estate Sale Art

In Tallahassee estate sales are often nothing more than glorified yard sales. I never get my hopes up that I’ll find something that will make my heart smile. But occasionally I come away with a perfect purchase.

Saturday morning I followed my GPS directions to a home in an older part of Tallahassee. Parking was interesting. The street adjacent to the house was narrow and curvy and the home sat atop a hill with a driveway right out of the Alps. One had to walk up the hill to access the home, and I felt like yodeling when I crested the rise. The reward for that climb was a nondescript home surrounded by overgrown shrubbery.

I considered just walking back down the steep incline and going to brunch, but my heart was still thumping from the walk up to the house, so I decided to go inside and just meander around until I could catch my breath.

So glad I did. If ever there was a truth behind “don’t judge a book by its cover” this was it. My only problem was not having enough money to buy every piece of art in the home.

Two professionally framed prints by artist Ted DeGrazia came home with me.

“Roadrunner”
“Free as the Wind”

They look beautiful in my Texas-themed bedroom, replacing a goofy painting of a sunflower that I did years ago. I’m a lousy artist, so the sunflower will likely go to Goodwill or into a dumpster. I’m not sure Goodwill will accept it.

Peace, people!

Not a Rhetorical Question

How did I get here? In search of an estate sale in north Tallahassee, I missed a turn and ended up on a narrow dirt road in my effort to find the way back. My gps has a weird sense of humor sometimes.

It was a pretty shortcut; although, the track grew a bit too narrow in places for my liking.

Where I’m Going
Where I’d Been

And my little Chrysler really isn’t an off-road vehicle. A couple of times I wondered about turning around and going back the way I’d come, but there wasn’t an opportunity to do so.

After all my travails in the wilderness, the estate sale was disappointing. It’s as if I’d been lost on the Oregon Trail and there was no gold when I reached California. At least no one died of dysentery.

Peace, people!

For the Love of Dog

I don’t have a dog, but I absolutely love them. Maybe when Studly Doright retires we’ll adopt an older dog, but for right now we just like to admire the dogs of others.

This morning I attended VeggieFest at Tom Brown Park in Tallahassee. There were all sorts of food vendors there selling vegetarian and vegan fare, along with folks hawking books on healthy lifestyle choices and others advertising yoga classes—I won a free class session. But best of all, there were dogs.

This is Pippa

And Pippa’s best friend, Bear.
Not a dog, but pretty cute.

The weather was cool, but sunny. I ate way too much. Hopefully dog petting burns up lots of calories.

Peace and love, people!

Potato, Potahto

Back in the spring of 2019 I began eating a mostly vegan diet for health reasons. Occasionally I’ll have shrimp in a salad, or an egg white for breakfast, and I still put honey in my tea, but 99% of the time I follow a plant-based diet that excludes dairy.

Since I’m not a great cook I eat a lot of baked potatoes, fresh fruits, and salads at home, but my favorite place to eat is Sweet Pea Cafe in Tallahassee where everything is vegan, including the yummiest baked goods ever.

In the beginning when I ordered a meal at Sweet Pea I was full of questions like, “Who’s seitan?” and “Isn’t Tempeh a town in Arizona?” To their credit the Sweet Pea staff answered these questions and more, and finally I found myself fairly knowledgeable about vegan foods. Well, I know what I’m getting when I order, anyway. I’ve become fairly fluent in Veganese.

A couple of days ago I was in line to order at Sweet Pea behind a young couple who were obviously vegan novices. I patiently waited while they asked all of the questions I had asked and more.

“What’s tempeh made of?”

“How about seitan? What’s in it?

“What’s in a falafel?”

“What kind of cheese do you use?

Seriously, this young couple was thorough in their quest to find out what everything on the menu was made from or of.

There was one question that I never asked, though that the male did: “And what are the potatoes made from?”

I looked up from my phone to find the person taking the order suppressing a smile.

“Potatoes. We generally make them from potatoes.”

He went on to tell him what kind of oil they’d be cooked in and that they were locally grown.

I just had to grin. Finally someone asked a question I could’ve answered even in my virgin vegan days. Potatoes are made from potatoes!

Peace, people.

%d bloggers like this: