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.

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!

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

A Walk in the Park

Studly Doright played in his golf club’s annual members’ tournament this weekend, so I had great heaps of time all to myself on Saturday and Sunday. There weren’t any estate sales within easy driving distance, but I found ways to spend money anyway.

By far the best activity I engaged in this weekend was a walk through Dorothy B. Oven Park in midtown Tallahassee. I’ve likely driven past this park hundreds of times, but never really paid it much attention. This weekend, though, there was an arts and crafts show taking place there, so I thought I’d give it a go.

After strolling through the booths I took off down a path and discovered just how lovely this little park is.

The weather was perfect for a walk in the park, so I lingered awhile. Afterwards I walked back to the craft booths where I bought one little picture.

It looks sweet in my “Beach Bedroom.”

Peace, people.

Fantastic Ant Fact #3

I’m enjoying the Olli class I’m taking at Florida State University more than I could’ve imagined. The class, The Parallel Universe of Ants, taught by Walter R. Tschinkel the author of The Fire Ants, is everything I’d hoped it would be, and more.

For one thing, Dr. Tschinkel has a great sense of humor, and he employs it with endless patience as we laypeople ask basic questions, often the same questions multiple times in one class period. He’s a veritable encyclopedia of ant info. I like the class so much I purchased his book.

It’s at least an inch thick, so it’ll keep me occupied for some time to come.

I know this is what you’re waiting for–FABULOUS ANT FACT #3:

After mating, female fire ants literally break off their wings after returning from the mating flight. That sounds harsh, but at least they don’t perish after mating as their male counterparts do.

Here’s a bonus tidbit that might come in handy at trivia some day. The study of ants is called Myrmecology, and those who study ants are myrmecologists.

I found this video of Dr. Tschinkel’s appearance on CBS Sunday Morning. The segment was filmed at the place he calls Ant Heaven. With any luck I’ll get to visit there in a couple of weeks when our class goes on a field trip!

https://youtu.be/tetDPeC4s2s

I’m no myrmecologist, but I know an ant when I see one.

Pardon Me, Ma’am

Monday was a day for misadventures. I chronicled the first of a trio of missteps in yesterday’s post: https://nananoyz5forme.com/2019/09/10/shoe-saga/

To save you from needing to read the link, here’s the short version: I left a shoe store wearing two different color shoes, and did not notice until the store called to inform me. I returned to the store, decided on an actual pair of shoes, and voila! See, I’m not always overly verbose.

After I left the shoe store I had a couple of hours to kill before meeting a friend to see the IT sequel. I ambled around Whole Foods for a bit and enjoyed an iced coffee on their patio. I still had more than enough time to drive to the mall where the theater is located and to shop at the Belk department store there before my friend arrived.

Since my shoe incident earlier in the day I steered clear of Belk’s shoe department, instead looking at fall dresses and blouses. I tried a couple of items on, but ultimately decided I’d spent enough money for one day. I walked out into the mall and was standing outside the theater reading movie posters when I heard a rather strident female voice calling, “Ma’am! Pardon me, Ma’am!”

Not thinking I was the ma’am being addressed I still looked over my shoulder to see who was being hollered at and who was doing the hollering. The hollerer was a clerk from Belk. And yes, as she ran up towards where I lingered in front of the poster for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, I realized I was indeed the ma’am in question.

When she reached me she came to a sudden stop and got this funny look on her face. “Oh,” said the woman. “It’s a bow. We thought, well, we thought you’d worn a shirt out of the store and that your bow was a tag.”

“You thought I’d shoplifted?” I asked.

“Well, it did look like tags dangling down your back as you left the store.”

I didn’t know whether to laugh or be outraged. I could just imagine the clerks watching surreptitiously as I took blouses into the dressing room and then as I wandered through the store. The clerk muttered an apology and we parted ways.

My friend and I watched IT Chapter 2 in IMAX. I screamed loudly at least once, but it was a cathartic scream, resulting in giggles. Afterwards we had dinner and great conversation at a seafood place. She and I parted ways fairly early and headed to our respective homes.

I’d planned to stop by CVS on my way home, but instead decided to just hop on the interstate and save any more shopping for the next day. The entrance to I-10 west is literally less than two hundred yards from the seafood place, but I’d called Studly Doright as I left the restaurant and was so engrossed in hearing about his day that I got on the interstate going east.

So I had to drive three miles on I-10 east, exit onto Thomasville Road and immediately get on I-10 west. Fortunately traffic was nearly non-existent, and I’d only added ten minutes or so to my drive. Still, I felt like a complete idiot.

In one day I’d managed to walk out of a store wearing a mismatched pair of brand new shoes, been suspected of incompetent shoplifting, screamed like a little kid in a movie theater, and driven the opposite direction in my attempt to get home.

I had a glass of wine when I finally reached Doright Manor. And I slept in late on Tuesday morning. Surely, if I restrict the number of hours I’m awake I’ll have fewer opportunities to screw up.

Peace, people.

Better Left Unseen

Have you ever witnessed something so shocking that your mind refused to accept what your eyes were seeing? Studly Doright likes to tell the story of a time when he was on his motorcycle, stuck in traffic beside a car of young women. When he glanced at the car he realized they all were flashing their breasts at him.

“It was so shocking,” he said, “That I had to do a double take. Then a triple take.”

Yes, I’m sure shock was what caused him to go back for more glances. I asked him what his reaction was.

“Heck, I think I gave a thumbs up and then got away from there as fast as possible,” he replied.

The thumbs up part, I believed.

At any rate, yesterday morning I witnessed something of a salacious nature that rendered me speechless. And yes, I did a double take because I honestly couldn’t believe my eyes.

I was slowing down for a stop sign at a busy corner in Tallahassee. To my right I noticed a well dressed couple waiting at a bus stop. They were face to face and I thought they were about to kiss.

“Ah! How sweet!” I thought.

Then I noticed where her hand was on the man’s body and what she was doing with said hand. To say I was shocked is putting it mildly. What in the world were they thinking? And, ewww! What if a kid saw what I did, and it’s entirely possible that one or more did. It made me incredibly sad. Needless to say, I didn’t give them a thumbs up. I simply drove away. Sigh.

How I wish it had just been a streaker.

Peace, and decency, people.