Volunteering

You know how Facebook reads your posts and all of a sudden your feed is magically filled with content that is in some way related? I’m hoping you do, because if it’s just me that happens to that might creep me out.

Anyway, after I returned to Hurricane Michael ravaged Florida from Texas I posted on FB that I was looking for opportunities to volunteer in some way. Voila! Within mere minutes a post seeking volunteers for storm relief miraculously popped up. The group, Operation BBQ Relief, made it easy to sign up.

As soon as I’d answered a few simple questions their website told me I’d be contacted with a place and time to volunteer. I kept checking my email and text messages all Monday evening, but hadn’t heard anything by the time Studly Doright and I went to bed last night.

First thing on Tuesday morning, though, I saw that during the night I’d received three emails. The first one told me I’d been “deployed” to help on Monday morning the 15th. Hmm. That boat had sailed. I figured better late than never, though, and hurriedly dressed to drive into Tallahassee. The second email just told me what to wear and where to go, and the third told me I’d been okayed to help. I might’ve read them out of order, but I figured everything out.

When I arrived at the staging site around 7:30 a.m., things were already hopping. I signed in, got a hat and a name tag and tried to find my niche. I hadn’t been there long when a man with an official looking t-shirt on tapped me on the shoulder and asked if I knew of a laundromat in the area that would pick up and drop off clothes. I’d just been to the closest one a couple of days ago and knew they weren’t doing that at this time. One would think this would be THE time for such services, but what do I know? I volunteered to take the items and launder them. Soon, I had a large trash bag full of gloves, dish cloths, and aprons. I was cool with being the laundress. Once everything had finished drying I hurried back to see what other tasks were in store.

Basically, OBR prepares, cooks, and packages foods to be picked up by groups like the Salvation Army and local churches. These groups deliver to places without electricity and water. One of the team leaders told me that even yesterday they spoke with local folks who hadn’t had a meal since the hurricane hit last Wednesday.

I found myself packaging and labeling items such as red beans and rice, peas and carrots, and bbq beans. The meats were handled by a separate crew–those with food handling certification. As volunteers packed items, trailers pulled up to be loaded. Everything was well organized and efficient with permanent team members directing volunteers of all ages, sizes, and ethnicities. What an experience!

At lunch time, they fed us an amazing lunch. The country group, The Zac Brown Band donated the services of their huge kitchen trailer and a cook to feed volunteers. I got a quick tour of the trailer. It’s like a chef’s dream.

After working until two p.m. on Tuesday everything on my 62-year-old body hurts, but if I am able to walk on Wednesday morning I’ll go back to work again. It felt good to know we were there to help. Here are a few photos I took during some downtime.

One of the volunteers wrote little live notes on the box lids:

Pallets stacked with water bottles:

Peace, people.

Stormy Weather

As many of you reading this know, my husband, aka Studly Doright, and I live in the Florida panhandle just west of Tallahassee. On Wednesday a category 4 hurricane named Michael blew right through our neighborhood and caused some excitement. I happened to be visiting my son and his family in Dallas, so I’ve only gotten second hand reports from Studly as to how our home, Doright Manor, fared.

First things first–he and the cats are fine. We have several trees down, but that was to be expected. He didn’t think there was any damage to the house, but the road in front of Doright Manor is blocked with trees. I’m sure he’ll be out there with his chain saw and axe as soon as the weather allows. The power went out fairly quickly, but we’d bought a huge generator after last year’s storms, and he’ll be able to enjoy his creature comforts.

Studly is an area director for a public utility, so he’s working from home during the storm. He sent me a text early this morning:

Scout is an incredibly helpful cat, especially during conference calls. She thinks Studly is talking to her.

I was supposed to have flown into Panama City Beach today (Thursday), but we changed the flight to Friday. Studly wasn’t sure he could get out of our neighborhood to pick me up in PCB which is a two hour drive on a normal day.

So I’m hanging out with granddog Toby. We had a good walk in his Dallas neighborhood this morning. Now he’s taking it easy and I’m going to read my book. I sure am ready to be home, though.

Peace, people.

A Distant Storm

Here in Dallas, Texas, on this October Wednesday morning, the sun is just barely up. I’m getting ready to walk Toby, my granddog, under the promise of a clear sky.

Back home at Doright Manor near Tallahassee, Florida, my husband, Studly Doright, is hunkered down, as the locals say, while Hurricane Michael drops buckets of rain and rattles the rafters. I’ve weathered more than one hurricane, but they each have their own personalities, and none are to be taken lightly.

I didn’t evacuate for the storm. It just happened to hit while I was visiting my family in Texas. Studly Doright left Dallas on Sunday morning and drove 12.5 hours to be home ahead of the storm. We’d already planned for him to leave on Sunday, but the approaching storm made everything seem more urgent.

Tonight I’ll be attending a concert with my granddaughter while Studly makes sure all of the hatches remain battened down back home. Tomorrow I’m supposed to fly home. Fingers crossed that the local airports aren’t impacted by Michael’s wrath.

In the meantime, I’ll be listening to this beautiful instrumental piece by Robert Linton. I found it when I googled the phrase “A Distant Storm.” And praying. A lot of praying.

https://youtu.be/tVReCkhyCxA

Peace, people!

Get Off My Lawn

Do we crankier as we get older, or could it be that we just do not care anymore what people think of us? Maybe that perceived crankiness is just a result of the wearing away of social constraints. Why am I even contemplating this?

I’ve been a fairly nice person most of my life, but I do have something of a temper. It’s something I try to work through, and I’ve gotten better at it through the years, but now as I approach my 62nd birthday I find that I’ve lost my ability to tolerate certain things.

Usually those things are large concepts, like racism and misogyny. I have zero tolerance for those who discriminate on the basis of race or gender, and I’ve been saddened to discover that some people I counted as friends over the years do both. I’ve gotten cranky with them, and in some cases they are no longer my friends.

Other times those things that make me cranky are little and local, like littering. One day last week I was behind a 40-something mother and her pre-teen son as they exited a convenience store in Tallahassee. Both of them had bought big gulp type sodas (huge cups) and were unwrapping their straws in the parking lot. I watched in horror as they tossed their straw wrappings on the ground.

Before they got into their car, I said, “Excuse me, I believe these belong here,” as I bent down and scooped up the wrappers, dramatically depositing them into a trash can that was literally two steps from them.

Now, the instant I said that I thought, “Oh crap, they’re both bigger than I am.” But I casually strolled to my car and drove away while they remained sitting in the parking lot. Who knows, maybe they learned something? Or maybe they took down my license plate and are plotting to take me down. But if they follow me to Doright Manor, I’ve got one thing to say, “Get off my lawn!”

Peace, people.

I Floundered at Disney Princess Trivia

The prep work I did for Disney Princess Trivia at The Brass Tap in Tallahassee didn’t help our team much on Tuesday night. I’m not sure where the “Hot Mommas” (yep, that was our team name) ended up, but we were way closer to the bottom of the roster than the top.

We had ten members of our Tallahassee Women’s Social Meetup group show up for the event, including some first timers. There was a good bit of giggling and camaraderie involved, so the gathering was a success even if we didn’t place in the top three. Or the top ten. Maybe not even in the top 18. And there were but 20 teams. Sigh.

Not all of the questions centered on Disney royalty. There were music questions and ones pertaining to general knowledge, as well. We had some knowledgeable folks in our group, but we just never could surge to the top. And I have to admit I was part of the problem.

I turned to the Duckside. I know, I know. It’s hard to believe that I could be a hindrance rather than a help, but twice last night I was so certain of my answers that I convinced the team to vote with me. You’ve probably guessed that both times I was wrong.

Just call me Goofy.

On a side note, I’d never been to The Brass Tap before last night, and I was thoroughly impressed. The food was really good for bar fare, and the wait staff was amazingly efficient and friendly. Next Tuesday the trivia theme is the tv series, “Shameless.” Since I’ve never watched a single episode I think I’ll pass, but The Brass Tap is definitely a venue worth revisiting. I’ll just wish upon a Star before the next event.

Peace, people.

How I Spent My Week

  • Around 8:30 on Thursday night I realized I had written nothing for the blog for Friday. There wasn’t even a decent draft to polish up for my readers. So, I’m taking the easy way out and giving a recap of my week.
    • Sunday afternoon Studly Doright and I went to see Alpha. We both enjoyed it, but had a lengthy discussion about whether the characters were computer generated or not. We refuse to google it.
    • Monday was a beach day since Studly had to travel for work. It was wonderful day, and I returned to Doright Manor refreshed and slightly sunburned. I also slept well even though Studly was gone.
    • On Tuesday I went to see Crazy Rich Asians at at a theater in Tallahassee. It’s a fun romantic comedy that made me desperately long for a trip to Singapore.
    • Wednesday was spent doing household chores and followed by shopping for an after five dress for an upcoming special occasion. I was unsuccessful, so the search will continue.
    • On Thursday I made a second foray into Tallahassee. I stopped by the Aveda Institute and took advantage of their customer appreciation day, booking several spa appointments for future dates. I ate lunch at Newk’s and then in the evening I hosted a Meetup group at the Wine Loft in Tallahasse. It was fun! Now that I’ve gotten to know some of these ladies better we’ve begun letting our hair down a bit. We got a little silly.
    • Tomorrow (Friday) I’m having a facial at Aveda, and who knows what’ll happen next? Maybe a nap….

    I might be a bit spoiled, but I am worth it.

    Peace, people

    Tiramisu for Breakfast

    On Saturday evening, my husband, Studly Doright, took me to dine at one of his favorite Italian restaurants in Tallahassee, namely Riccardo’s. He and his office staff eat there at lunch fairly often, and even though Studly isn’t crazy about Italian food he likes Riccardo’s.

    The restaurant was packed when we got there. A family with three small, tired, and cranky children was seated before us, thankfully across the room from where we ended up. Don’t get me wrong, I love kids, but when I’m enjoying a date night with Studly I’d rather not have my meal be punctuated with whining and tears.

    We decided fairly quickly what we wanted to order, but by some quirk of fate we had to share our waiter with the aforementioned family of five. After pinning down their drink orders he finally made it to our table. Studly and I didn’t waste any time. We knew exactly what we wanted: A caprese salad and a glass of wine for me, and a pepperoni, onion, and pineapple pizza for him, with a half order of bread for us to share.

    To make a long story short, our bread never arrived, and Studly’s pizza was delivered sans pepperoni. Our waiter never checked to see if we needed more to drink (neither of us did, but that’s beside the point). In lieu of bread to go with my salad I nibbled on one of Studly’s pineapple and onion pizza slices. It was decent, but I’m a fan of a less sweet sauce.

    When we finally got our waiter’s attention we told him about the missing bread and the pizza faux pas. He was contrite, but I think the family of five had him totally flustered. And honestly, we probably had a much healthier meal without the bread and pepperoni.

    As an apology he brought a slice of tiramisu over with our check, and with that move the healthy aspect to the meal flew right out the window. Boom. I did limit myself to half of the slice, saving the other half for breakfast. It doesn’t look like much now, but trust me, it was delicious. See, even a healthy cloud might have a tiramisu lining.

    Peace, people.

    Snapshots #213 and #214

    Studly Doright is playing in a two day golf tournament at his course this weekend. It’s his first tournament since undergoing minor back surgery several months ago. He’s only played a couple of rounds in the past few weeks, so this tournament will be a test of his fortitude as well as his golfing skills.

    Rather than sit at home doing nothing, I drove into Tallahassee and bummed around, finally stumbling onto a neighborhood garage sale. It was 10:30 a.m. before I found the sale, and most of the homes were running low on merchandise. In garage sale shopping the early bird truly does get the worm.

    I wasn’t searching for anything specific, though, so I parked at one home and walked from sale to sale enjoying the mild weather and visiting with folks along the way.

    Then I saw this piece:

    It’s a wicker vanity chair with a built-in hamper. I’d never seen such a thing, so even though I have no idea where I’m going to put it I bought the silly thing for $5.00. The chair needs a new cushion and perhaps a coat of paint to cover up the marks on the front of the hamper.

    I’m calling the first photo, Studly Doright Will Just See an Ugly Old Chair, and the second one, Surprise! It’s also an Ugly Old Hamper.

    Peace, people!

    Thrifting in Havana

    Havana, Florida, is a prime shopping location for those looking for antiques, curiosities, or just plain junk. On a rainy Wednesday the intrepid Noyz grandkids, their grandparents, and a friend went in search of all three.

    Friend Sophia had to try out every typewriter we saw.

    Dominique and Sophia took a photo of a piece of wax fruit Dominique had photographed last year. It has a bite mark in it, for identification purposes, we supposed.

    Jackson practiced molding a cardboard bust of Elvis. At least the tag said it was Elvis, we didn’t see the resemblance.

    Studly Doright had to put in his two cents worth of advice.

    I almost purchased these placemats featuring historic sites. Classy, right?

    The placemats would’ve been stunning with the candelabras pictured above.

    Dominique was perpetually cold.

    Jackson loves old cameras. He seriously considered buying this one.

    I found lots of cool pieces, but didn’t buy anything.

    Loved this telephone table. The kids couldn’t quite get the idea that one couldn’t just talk on the phone from anywhere in the house. I told them I used to have to sit on the floor in our hallway to talk on the phone. Ah, those were the days.

    A creepy doll above and another below.

    I tried to convince Studly that I needed this green bench.

    After an afternoon of thrift shopping we took the kids to a Japanese steakhouse in Tallahassee and then to see the new Mission Impossible movie.

    A successful day on all counts, but the week is going by too quickly for Nana.

    Peace, people.

    Confluence

    Currently I’m reading Stephen King’s novel, The Outsider. I’m about 4/5 of the way through the book and had to stop and catch my breath. The man certainly knows how to build to a thrilling denouement. I’m sure nightmares are forthcoming.

    Somewhere in the pages I’ve already read one of the main characters uses the word confluence. The details of a gruesome murder in one small Oklahoma town and those of a similar crime in Ohio led those investigating the first to discover the second due to a confluence of events.

    I began to wonder if I’d ever used the word confluence in a conversation or in writing, and I can say with almost complete certainty that until this day I never had. It’s such a mellifluous word, and fairly rolls off the tongue. Sort of like mellifluous does, come to think about it. I wish I’d used it at some earlier time in my 61 years on this earth.

    Yesterday Studly Doright and I went for breakfast at the Broken Egg in Tallahassee. As we waited for our orders to arrive the Neil Diamond song, Thank the Lord for the Night Time, played over the restaurant’s sound system. We’d just heard the same song on Sirius/XM’s channel 6 on our drive across town. So would that be a coincidence or a confluence of events? Or is it just sad that I had to listen to that song twice within a twenty minute period?

    The photos above show the confluence of the turquoise blue Havasu Creek with the Colorado River. Neither has anything to do with Neil Diamond.

    Peace, people!