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!

Train in Tallahassee

Studly Doright would rather have a root canal without local anesthesia than attend a concert. He isn’t a big music fan and has even less interest in rubbing shoulders with the hoi polloi. I’m the exact opposite, in fact, I’m a proud member of the hoi polloi, and if possible I’d go in search of live music every day. I’m not averse to attending concerts on my own, but they’re so much more fun with a friend.

When I read that the group Train was appearing in Tallahassee I began hinting that I’d like to go. Studly, however, wasn’t taking the bait. I’d about despaired of getting to see Train when one of my Meetup friends posted the concert on the app. With the click of a couple of buttons I’d bought my ticket and was set to go.

Four of us met at the Cascades Park amphitheater on Thursday night to enjoy Train. It seemed the perfect way to celebrate the summer solstice.

I fought off gnats to take that photo above. Next to me is Shavani, then Martha, and Mary Kay.

Although the opening band wasn’t scheduled to play until 8, we’d arrived at 6 p.m. to score a good spot in the grassy general admission area. The temps were in the mid-90’s, a storm was building to the west, and the humidity was intense. We even had to take shelter from lightning for a while. The shelter was an air conditioned bar with cold beer, so it wasn’t much of a hardship.

A local band, Brightside, kicked things off right on time. They were fun and energetic even as they battled heat and gnats. Once the sun dipped low and we all stopped perspiring both problems were solved and the night was perfect for soaking up the music.

Of course, we were there to see Train and they didn’t disappoint.

They played one hit after another and did a couple of covers that were mind-blowing, including Tom Petty’s Free Falling.

My favorite Train song is Drops of Jupiter. They didn’t play it until the encore, but it was worth the wait. I videoed a bit of it, but my camera work wasn’t great. This one is much better:

https://youtu.be/7Xf-Lesrkuc

What a fun evening with friends! I was happy I got to attend and Studly was ecstatic that he didn’t have to. That’s a win-win.

Peace, people!

Mag Lab Tour

Tallahassee is home to the one of the largest electromagnetic field labs in the world. I didn’t realize that until today when I toured the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory.

I was supposed to have met a member of the Tallahassee Women’s Social Meetup Group for the tour, but she didn’t make the trek out to the lab. There were plenty of others signed up for the tour, though, so I wasn’t the only visitor.

The MagLab was once located on the campus of M.I.T., until a group of researchers from Florida State University in Tallahassee joined forces with researchers from the University of Florida, and Los Alamos National Laboratory to make a successful bid for the facility. Now researchers from all over the world come to Tallahassee to conduct cutting-edge research.

Below: This decorative piece made up of magnet components is displayed in the lobby. I tried to figure out how to smuggle it out, but my purse isn’t large enough. It’s beautiful!

Below is a set of stacked magnets. If you imagined large horseshoe-shaped magnets, join the club. These are all discs, that when stacked, form a helix-type structure.

Below: The outer ring is a magnet, while the silver colored disc is a cooling mechanism. Tiny slots cut into the cooling disc allow de-ionized water to flow through and around the magnets. Because electricity powers the magnets, it’s necessary for the water to be de-ionized otherwise researchers’ findings would be shocking–and not in a good way.

Below is one of the lab cells where researchers from all over the world test out their theories using magnets. That large robot-looking thing beneath the yellow guardrail is the magnet for this cell which is in the process of being set up for a group of researchers.

The magnets are used to study energy and the environment, the foundational science of protein and disease molecules, and a vast array of other subjects. Recently researchers using the lab have discovered connections between the way sodium impacts and interacts with malignant tumors and are looking for ways to put that knowledge into practical applications.

Below is a superconductor. Cool, eh? Literally cool. The temperatures necessary to operate a superconductor are similar to what one might find on Pluto. That’s -271.3° C.

I need to take another tour. There was way too much for me to take in on this visit.

If you’re interested in reading more about the MagLab, check out the website at NationalMagLab.org. Tours are offered every Wednesday starting at 11:30.

A Long Walk

On Wednesday, February 21, I took a long walk up Apalachee Parkway in Tallahassee. It wasn’t for exercise; although, my heart rate certainly sped up as I strode across a bridge on my way to the historic capitol building.

Students representing Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school in Parkland, Florida, the site of our nation’s most recent school shooting, traveled more than six hours to the state capitol this week. Some of the survivors of the shooting met with state legislators in small groups on Tuesday, petitioning their representatives in Florida’s House of Representatives to take up a proposed ban on semi-automatic weapons.

The representatives ignored the students’ pleas, but hey, they did vote to ban pornography, so there’s that. I hope you can read the anger in that sentence. That action, that slap in the face the legislators handed these young people, spurred me to drive into Tallahassee on Wednesday to support their cause as they marched to the capitol. I wasn’t the only one.

There were no available parking places near the capitol grounds.After driving around for about 45 minutes in search of a parking spot, I finally found a shaded place in the Chili’s parking lot half a mile away. As I locked my car I crossed my fingers that the car wouldn’t be towed during my trek. I had some place special to be, and if I got towed, so be it.

The crowd grew as I got closer. People were pouring in from every direction. Some were gawkers, but most were there to offer support. We were all inspired. These teenagers spoke passionately, articulately, and with a maturity that puts a certain current president to shame. They are fired up and angry. Many will soon be able to vote. And they won’t forget the snubs of their elected officials.

Peace, for our kids’ sake, people.

Looking for a Whatsit

Yesterday I posted about the Happy Painter, aka Janie Roberts, and her shop out at The House of Plywood in Tallahassee’s Railroad Square Art Park. I was specifically looking for a replacement for this piece:

This was the crowning glory of a decorative candle holder my eldest sister-in-law, Lyn, had given me four years ago as a housewarming gift. It fit atop this piece,

and enjoyed a place of prominence on my dining room table. Upon presenting me with the gift Lyn had made just for me, she advised me to avoid picking it up by the top. For three and a half years I was so careful to follow her advice, but one day I moved it without thinking and you see the results above.

I’d tried to describe to Janie at The Happy Painter just what it was I was looking for–a sconce, a globe, a whatsit, but until I took the piece in she wasn’t sure exactly what I meant. The minute she saw it she sent me to another vendor, Chip, who has a wonderful lamp shop in Railroad Square. I’ll do a whole piece on Chip’s shop one of these days. I’m not even sure of the name of the place, but he found me a possible replacement for a reasonable price.

Now I just have to break out the old glass and affix this new whatsit to the wrought iron piece. I’ll get Studly Doright to help me with that. There’ll likely be less bloodshed that way.

So what is the proper name for this? Is it a sconce? A globe? A whatsit?

Happy Painter Art and Furniture Studio

On Friday I had two appointments in Tallahassee and a big stretch of time between the two. Rather than return to Doright Manor after appointment number one I had lunch at a cafe and then treated myself to a Lemon Cooler cookie from the Cake Shop. Yum! Even then I still had over two hours to kill before appointment number two, so I drove out to Railroad Square Art Park.

Railroad Square is a fun place with all sorts of shops ranging from the relatively bland (a construction company) to the bohemian (an herbalist), and there’s even a great brewery called “Proof.”

Lately I’ve been on a mission to find a couple of specific items, so I went to the fabulously named House of Plywood.

The House of Plywood is an artisans’ craft mall with unique shops lining the breezeway. I’d wandered in before, but today I got no farther than artist Janie Lou Roberts’s shop.

Janie remembered me and what I was in search of from my previous visit several weeks before! For someone like me who can scarcely remember what my husband looks like on a day to day basis (I make him wear a name tag to cut down on the awkwardness), her recall was astounding, and a bit flattering. (Note to self: Really TRY to remember what Studly Doright looks like.)

Janie and I discussed the object I was looking for (I’ll post about this object tomorrow) and she made some more suggestions as to where I might find one. Then I took time to look around Janie’s shop–“The Happy Painter and Furniture Studio.”

Janie paints happy paintings. I didn’t take pictures because I wasn’t thinking. That’s not uncommon in my life. But Janie’s paintings are vivid and engaging. She painted one of a pair of sunflowers that made me think of a sunshiny, floral American Gothic. I could find it on her page, but this is her profile picture from Janie’s Facebook page:

Here another of Janie from Facebook:

In addition to happy paintings, Janie sells books, small pieces of furniture, and all sorts of little accessories. Even better, she’s a genuinely nice person, and if she doesn’t have what you’re looking for, she’ll point you in the right direction.

(I receive no compensation for this post. I just want people to check out Janie and her business.)

Peace, people!

A Post About Something I Didn’t Get to Do

One of the MeetUp groups I’ve become involved with had planned to visit a local Tallahassee historical site, the Lichgate House on High Street on Saturday afternoon. Unfortunately a private event was being held at the venue, so we ended up meeting for lunch at Newk’s, a local eatery.

I’d never heard of Lichgate, but it’s a site I’m eager to visit now. This is a place I’ve driven by dozens of times without realizing what lay behind the foliage. There’s only a small sign marking the site.

The story of Lichgate House is compelling:

http://www.lichgateonhighroad.org/

I hadn’t checked my email before going to the site, so I got a glimpse of the grounds from the parking area where I learned we wouldn’t be able to enter, but would instead go straight to lunch. We’ve had a cold front move into the area, so maybe the cancellation was for the best, and we can visit on a warmer day.

Pinterest had some photos from Lichgate:

I can’t wait to see this for myself.

Peace, people.

Barely Bearing Up

I used to be a hardier person. At least that’s the story I tell myself. It’s become more difficult to believe, though, as I find myself whining about the less than balmy weather we’ve had in Tallahassee these past couple of weeks. Some days we barely climbed above 40°!

When Studly Doright, and I, along with our two kids, lived in North Dakota we went entire months without seeing temperatures above 30°F. I drove daily on icy roads, supervised playground duty in sub-zero weather with three feet of snow on the ground, and went about my business even with blustery winds gusting at fifty miles per hour. And those were the more temperate winter days! Somehow, we adapted.

Neither of us were accustomed to long term cold, having grown up in the panhandle of Texas. We knew brief periods of winter that often were replaced by spring-like weather, within a space of six hours. I can remember mornings that school was cancelled due to snow that found us playing outside sans coats by 3 pm.

I’m rambling, I know. It’s this darned cold weather to blame. I’m barely bearing up under these conditions. My feet have forgotten how to wear flip flops and will require remedial instruction once the temps begin to rise once more. That’ll most likely be next week. And, as God is my witness, we will rise again.