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.

Snapshot #257

After writing yesterday’s post about southern foods, including fried okra, I took myself to lunch at Sweet Pea Café in Tallahassee. Look what was featured as their special! So yummy!

I call this one, “The Universe Responds, Y’all.”

Everything at Sweet Pea is wonderfully fresh and always vegan.

Vegan Eats

For most of my 62 plus years I’ve been an omnivore. There are very few foods I won’t eat, and I’m usually open to trying exotic fare. So when my gastroenterologist put me on a dairy free diet for two weeks I figured I’d suffer through it and then go back to my regular diet (stomach permitting) once those two weeks were up.

The first week I didn’t do very well. Our grandkids were visiting from Illinois, and I was often in a hurry to grab something that seemed okay. It turns out there are dairy products in so many things that we’d never think to question, like crackers, breads, dry cereals. and processed meats. Even non-dairy toppings may have dairy. Go figure.

Once the grandkids departed I got serious about going dairy free. Since I don’t cook much, or well, I went in search of vegan restaurants in Tallahassee, figuring they’d be the best sources of dairy-free foods, and I’ve been pleasantly surprised.

Sweet Pea Cafe on Tharpe Street is an excellent vegan cafe. I’ve eaten there several times now. Just today I had yummy tacos and the most incredible sweet potato fries I’ve ever tasted. Their baked goods are top notch, too. Seriously good stuff. That’s their menu board pictured below.

The Soul Vegan Express on Adams is good, as well. It’s a bit of a drive from my home, but I’ve eaten there once and highly recommend it.

Other Tallahassee restaurants have vegan options on their menu, so I’ve had a variety of choice places to eat.

I’ve also been shopping for frozen vegan foods and have found there are some great offerings. Amy’s Kitchen brand features a couple of vegan entrees. Nature’s Path makes a terrific frozen vegan waffle. I actually prefer them to Eggos brand! There’s a flatbread pizza made by American Flatbread that is amazing. One has to read the labels, but the vegan designation always means the product will be dairy free.

Of course I can have fruits and greens, so that’s fairly easy. And I’ve discovered some tasty vegan candies. The best thing is, I feel good.

I have a follow up visit with my gastroenterologist later this month, and I’m planning to stay at least dairy free, maybe even vegan only, until I see him. I’m kind of interested in seeing how this all turns out.

Peace, people!

What Would You Do?

I was in Lucky’s Market in Tallahassee on Wednesday afternoon. The little cafe area was hopping. Some people were taking advantage of the “$6 2 Slices and a Pint” special. Others were having a coffee or tea. Almost every table was filled.

While I waited on my non-fat iced chai tea latte at the bar I surveyed the crowd and noted that the college aged African American man seated right behind me had a large piece of white fuzz stuck in his hair. For a couple of minutes I debated about telling him. I got my latte and found a seat, still trying to decide whether I should say anything.

When he got up to leave I caught up to him and told him there was something in his hair. In my best mom voice I said, “Turn around. I’ll fix it.”

He obliged me and I dusted the fuzz away. I told him I walk around with stuff sticking to me all the time, but that he was too handsome to walk around like that. Oh mercy. I think I embarrassed the poor guy half to death.

He did thank me, but I wonder if I did the right thing. Should I have just let the fuzz be? What would you have done?

Peace, people.