In Today’s News…

I slept an (almost) uninterrupted twelve hours on Saturday night. Only my cats and my bladder kept me from reaching a state of perfection, but perfect people are so boring.

Studly Doright and I arrived home from our Thanksgiving/birthday celebration late yesterday evening. We’d flown from Amarillo to Orlando, and should have been safely back at Doright Manor around 5 p.m., but staggering holiday traffic and the resulting accidents on I-75 convinced us to travel backroads.

We stopped at a German bakery/delicatessen in Yalaha, Florida, for lunch and then meandered along two lane roads for much of the afternoon. After a couple of hours of aimless driving we declared ourselves lost, so we found a Walmart and purchased a gps.

The cats, Scout and Patches, welcomed us home around eight p.m. with meows and kisses. After quick showers we all snuggled into our bed and went immediately to sleep. There really is no place like home.

Driving Home

I successfully picked up Studly Doright’s new pickup truck in Houston on Friday night. My flight into Houston Intercontinental was delayed, but not late enough that I could escape evening rush hour traffic. Fortunately Studly had arranged for a gentleman from the dealership to meet me at the airport, so I didn’t have to rely on Lyft or Uber.

The salesman, Tim, was an interesting guy and the thirty minute drive to the dealership in Tomball went quickly. I was in the truck within another 30 minutes and headed home. So much for seeing the big city, but my plan was to get as far east on Interstate 10 as possible so I could make it home on Saturday evening. The best laid plans of mice and women—Bwahaha!

Gamely I shifted gears in stop and go traffic. To my credit, I only killed the engine once, but I over revved a bit and probably upshifted when I should’ve downshifted a couple of times, but before long I was back in the groove of driving a manual transmission vehicle.

By the time I reached the outskirts of Houston, though, I was worn out. I saw the sign for Buccees huge service station/store in Bay Town and pulled in for a rest. Normally I’d spend some time wandering around and ogling the place, but I made a beeline for the bathroom, then grabbed a water and a barbecue brisket sandwich.

Oddly enough, there’s no place to sit and enjoy a meal in Buccees, a store roughly the size of Rhode Island, so I ate standing up next to a couple who were heading back to Houston after a trip to New Orleans. We had a nice visit and we wished each other safe travels which prompted the husband to tell me that there’d been a bad accident on the eastbound side of I-10 and traffic was backed up for several miles.

That, combined with my tiredness prompted me to go back in the store to enquire about nearby hotels. A very few minutes later I was ensconced in a nice room with a glass of wine. I reasoned that I’d get up extra early on Saturday and make up for my relatively early end to the evening. Again, bwahaha!

According to my Fitbit app I slept a total of two hours and 44 minutes on Friday night. Around 5:30 a.m., I gave up on sleeping. I showered hoping to shock myself awake, and for awhile I felt okay. Sirius/XM radio helped and I sang along with the 60’s and 70’s channels or listened to NPR for many miles.

I also drank a lot of caffeinated drinks. And subsequently had to stop frequently to empty myself of caffeinated drinks. I wasn’t making much forward progress, and my need to sleep was gaining ground.

Studly called my cell phone around 2:30 and after listening to my sad tale, told me to stop fighting the need to sleep and get a room, so a mere five hours from Doright Manor I exited the interstate and checked into a Holiday Inn.

Now I’d only packed for one night’s stay so I had to go to a nearby mall to purchase a clean T-shirt and undies. My jeans and socks would have to suffice for one more day.

I would love to say I slept like a baby on Saturday night, and I did–a very colicky baby. Again I got up around 5 a.m. and this time emerged into a gray world and a steady rain. I did make better time and was home by two that afternoon. I kissed Studly and handed his new truck keys over. He tucked me into bed and then I didn’t hear another peep until he joined me around nine.

I know for sure I’m not cut out to be a long haul truck driver, so I’m crossing that career off my list. The pickup was fun to drive, though, and I’m glad I made the trip.

If I Couldn’t Go Home

Where would I go if I couldn’t go home? Would I find the means to travel the world, a vagabond with no tether?

Might I show up in postcards mailed from exotic destinations, wish you here, but secretly glad you stayed behind?

I’m afraid I’d live in a marginal world, on the edge of respectability, begging scraps from passing cars.

If I couldn’t go home, I would never build a new one. I lack the proper tools, but perhaps I’d find a better one.

Mom, There’s Plenty of Room for Me

Patches let me know she wanted to join me on my trip to Houston in a not so subtle way this morning. Even after I reminded her that she detests car trips and would hate a two hour flight even more, she persisted in laying claim to my overnight bag.

Studly Doright promised to take good care of her and sister, Scout. Patches, though, thinks Studly is shady and never trusts his advances. She’s a smart kitty.

Peace, people!

Last Minute Adventure

Studly Doright has several hobbies: golf, motorcycles, and trading vehicles, among others. Several months ago he sold his pickup truck and bought a sports sedan. I knew, though, that it wouldn’t be long before the call of the wild—namely the need for another pickup—sounded in his ears. I even made a prediction that he’d have a new pickup before this year ended.

So, a couple of nights ago when Studly turned to me and asked, “If I bought a new pickup would you fly to Houston and drive it home?” I wasn’t the least bit surprised. Until I realized he’d asked me to go pick the truck up.

“Sure!” I said, happy to have a new adventure. We bought a plane ticket and I’ll leave on Friday afternoon.

Now, I have feelings of trepidation. The truck has a manual transmission, and while I have owned several vehicles with a stick shift, it’s been awhile. Also, I’ll be driving in Houston, the fourth largest city in the country. Great place to renew my acquaintance with a manual transmission vehicle.

In addition, I’m going to have to find a way to the car dealership from the airport. Uber? Lyft? I’ve never downloaded the apps and I’m not sure how they work. I guess I’ll have to learn quickly.

Did I mention I adore adventures, and that there’s an excellent outlet mall near Gulfport, Mississippi that’s calling my name? Wish me luck, good weather, and a few dollars to spend at the mall.

Peace, people!

Panama City Beach

Before sending the Texas grandkids on a plane home we had one last hurrah at tourist-y Panama City Beach.

We strolled out on the pier and watched the ocean do its beautiful thing.

I asked a stranger to take a photo of the three of us:

We visited Ron Jon surf shop:


Then we had lunch at Dick's Last Resort where the wait staff is rude on purpose. These hats made great souvenirs and Jackson wore his until we got to the airport.

But they'll still take a photo of you if you ask politely:

After lunch we played a laser game that revealed my extreme lack of ninja skills. We shot zombies in a 3D shooting game that revealed my extreme lack of zombie hunting skills. Finally we ate ice cream at which I excelled. No photos, so you'll just have to take my word for all of the above.

All too soon it was time to send the kids home. Notice Jackson's travel pillow. It's all he really wanted as we shopped today.

Their dad texted to let me know they arrived safely in Dallas at almost the same time I arrived home to Doright Manor. I'll sleep well tonight–and late in the morning.

Peace, people!

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.

Color Me Tired

My two Texas grandkids and I headed towards Florida yesterday morning in hopes of stopping for the night in time to swim and enjoy our hotel's happy hour. Unfortunately, due to a terrible accident on Interstate 20, we sat in stalled traffic for over an hour.

This was me last night after we finally got into our hotel room. Too many hours behind the wheel of my car have rendered me cranky and exhausted. And we missed our hotel's happy hour by five minutes. Damn it.

Tomorrow we'll push on to Doright Manor.

Toby or not Toby

I am visiting my son and his family in Dallas this week, so my posts are going to be brief glimpses into their lives. Jason and his lovely wife Liz adopted this amazing Golden Retriever/Great Pyrenees mix dog about a year ago.

His name is Toby and he's approximately the size of a coffee table. I fell in love with Toby at first sight.

In the picture below Toby is telling my son that it's well past time to go for a ride in the car.

Studly Doright won't let me have a dog, but if he did, I'd want one just like Toby.

Above, Toby is charming a fellow canine. The little boy in the photo was enamored of both dogs, while they were so into each other that they didn't even notice there was a human in their midst.

Peace, people!

Thief with a Conscience

I am on a road trip from our home in Florida to our son's home in Texas. Studly Doright called me yesterday to say someone using my American Express card has been buying stuff all over the world including plane tickets to exotic destinations and a pinball machine.

This morning he called to ask if I'd just made a sizable donation to Doctors Without Borders. While I hadn't, I applauded the thief's social conscience. I just wish he/she had waited for a more convenient time to steal my card. Like never.


Irrelevant picture of an alligator.