Last Day

Today I'm driving the Texas grandkids to the airport in Panama City, Florida, for their flight home to Dallas, Texas. Neither of have them have ever flown unaccompanied, and there are some jitters. Not on their parts, mind you, but underneath this calm exterior I'm going a little nuts.

We've had a good time these past two weeks spoiling these kiddos. Doright Manor will be awfully quiet once they leave.


Our granddaughter, Dominique (14), is bright, beautiful, and growing up way too quickly for my liking and too slowly for hers.

One of her closest friends will celebrate her quinceañera (fifteenth birthday) on Saturday and Dominique has been invited to sit at the head table. She already has her dress for the occasion, but needed a pair of heels, and since she isn't flying home until Friday, we had to take action.

I'd love to tell you that she tried on dozens of pairs of shoes, oohing and ahhing over every detail in an effort to find the perfect pair, but that wasn't the case. Dominique marched straight to the rack where a dizzying array of special occasion shoes were displayed, pointed at a pair of silver heels, and said "Those."

No amount of cajoling her to try on a pair of strappy sandals would sway her, so it was done. I didn't know whether to be elated that the process had been so simple or sad because it was over so quickly.

I took her for lunch afterwards at a high end burger restaurant, and she took far longer agonizing over the toppings she wanted than she had over the shoes. Come to think of it, she's a lot like me.

Peace, people.

Almost Cher

On Tuesday evening my son took me to Lakewood Brewery in Dallas. I had already enjoyed their award winning Temptress imperial milk stout, and Jason wanted me to visit their tasting room.

Temptress is an outstanding ale, but it's not Lakewood's only brew. If you live in the Dallas area you should check them out.

My favorite part of the evening was a brush with greatness. Yes, that's almost Cher posing with me.

Here's a little taste of Cher-aoke.

We didn't get to stick around for karaoke, but I enjoyed myself. I even bought a tshirt.

Peace, people!

The Artful Dodger

Yesterday I drove across Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana, on my way to see my son and his family in Dallas. More than once I encountered torrential thunderstorms that reduced visibility to less than a handspan.

My knuckles are still bone white from holding the steering wheel in a death grip. At least most of my fellow travelers kept their speed in check; although, occasionally a hotshot would come barreling willy nilly through the downpour as if the roads were dry and the sun shining fiercely. I'd have flipped them the bird if I hadn't feared taking my hand off the wheel.

In addition to dodging the aforementioned would-be NASCAR drivers, I also had to avoid an odd variety of other objects, including, but not limited to the following:

1) a blue and orange striped beach chair
2) one canvas bag approximately three feet long.
3) an infant car seat (no baby, thank goodness!)
4) a tennis shoe

But the best thing I had to dodge was a large alligator. He was dead, thank goodness, but still gave me a fright as I saw him just in the nick of time. Apparently some other driver wasn't as fortunate as I'd been.

Hopefully today, as I head north and west away from the coast, the weather won't be as crazy, the drivers less aggressive, and the gators safely in their proper habitats. I'm tired of being the artful dodger.

Peace, people!

Oldie #7: Twirling Queen

Some folks were made to twirl a baton. I was not one of those people; although, I can still do the figure eight with style and grace. Or at least with style. Okay. No style either.

Oldie #6: Whatchamacallit

Words amuse me. After visiting Ireland I find that I’m even more interested in colloquialisms and regional sayings. Learning just a smidgen of Irish Gaelic had me scrambling to find this old piece from the early days of my blog. Fittingly, I couldn’t remember what I’d called it. Go figure.

Oldie #4: Cleaning Bathrooms and Taking Names

Home of the baby-sized Coca Cola.

Oddly enough, my stint as an unpaid and unacknowledged bathroom custodian is one of my fondest memories of childhood. Fun Fact: John Cowsill, who was the object of my pre-teen desires, is still going strong as one of the drummers for The Beach Boys. 

Hope you enjoy this old tale from the early days of Praying for Eyebrowz.

Sophomore Year

In 1973 I was a sophomore at Floydada High School in Floydada, Texas. I know this because as I was cleaning out a closet today my yearbook from that year fell from one of the top shelves and landed on my big toe. I cursed. Loudly. Then of course I had to sit for awhile and thumb through this piece of vintage gold.

This is my class photo. I was a plain child and obviously something of a snob. Look at my disdainful expression:

“Let them eat cake!”

I was also thin enough that if I turned sideways all that was visible was my nose. Man, I loved that belt:

Cyrano de Bergerac with the coolest belt in the history of belts.

That’s me with a tenor sax in my hands. I could play passably well, but never could match the others in my section.
There’s that nose again. At least it made me a standout.
I think this one was taken of our Future Teachers of America group.
Not a bad photo of me. I learned early on that I didn’t have a good side.
I adore this one because it pictures most of my closest friends from high school.

Okay, I’m through resting my toe. Back to work.

Peace, people!

A Badling of Ducks?

Last week I posted a poem about a flock of ducks in response to my sister-in-law, Lyn, referring to them as a herd. (Complete post below) 

As it turns out there are a great many names for a group of ducks. Thanks to my friend Derrick whose wonderful blog can be found at I’ve discovered several new duck designations. Derrick pointed out

And his comment led me to google:

I especially like “badelynge” so I’ve changed my poem: 

                  “A Herd of Ducks”

Strutting for all the world to see, a herd of ducks came calling.

Ate our muffins, blueberry and bran, their manners so appalling. 

Nary a thanks in quacked accent as these feathered friends departed

Don’t they ken we’re a badelynge? Drake did ask, waddling as he farted. 

Here’s the original post:

My sister-in-law, Lyn, and her husband, Mike, are staying the weekend at Baron’s Creekside near Fredricksburg, Texas. Their accommodation is a quaintly furnished cabin on a quiet lake. 
This morning, Lyn posted, 


And these photos:

   My contribution follows:

                   “A Herd of Ducks

Strutting for all the world to see, a herd of ducks came calling.
Ate our muffins, blueberry and bran, their manners so appalling. 
Nary a thanks in quacked accent as these feathered friends departed

Don’t they ken we’re a flock? The drake did ask, waddling as he farted. 

Quirky Places

I dig quirky places. If Studly Doright ever gets to retire I’m going to insist on a leisurely tour of offbeat destinations.

On our way home from Texas early this month we stopped at a gem of a place just this side of Pensacola. It wasn’t my first stop there, but Studly had never experienced the Oasis Travel Center before. It’s part convenience store, part gift shop, part fast food kiosks, and part diner.

The VW bus pictured above serves as the establishment’s front entryway. Then once inside one’s senses are assailed by all manner of funky fun: yard art, a pirate ship, unique tshirts, and college fan gear.

The diner, though, is the grooviest.   

Dubbed the “Derailed Diner,” it’s designed to look as if a train has come barreling through the side of the building, complete with the resulting rubble.

This entrance opens directly into the diner, and every now and again the signal crossing activates with light and sound.

The inside of the diner is an eclectic mix of kooky memorabilia.

One can dine at the Derailed Diner lunch counter:

Some of the stools are a bit on the wild side. There’s a John Deere tractor seat and a saddle,

a pair of airplane seats, 

and a motorcycle passenger’s seat, complete with fender and saddlebags.

 Away from the counter are regular tables, but there were also tailgates with small TV sets in the spirit of drive-in movies.   
 The train motif continued inside, as well,
Many tables are decorated to represent various states. We sat at the Kansas table where Dorothy’s ruby red slippers served as salt and pepper shakers, while a Wizard of Oz game under glass added to the theme.

 Everywhere one looked there was something to spark the imagination. 
I was curious about the origin of this certifiably quirky place, and one of the waitresses directed me to this sign:

If you ever find yourself on Interstate 10 between Pensacola and Tallahassee, look for the Oasis Travel Center. The restrooms are clean, the food is good, and the people are friendly.

Peace, people!