March Minimalist Challenge, Day 11

I awakened bright and early, okay, neither bright nor early, but I awakened, nonetheless, on this first Sunday morning of daylight savings time to find I didn’t have a minimalist challenge blog post ready to publish. Here I am at my daughter’s home, a thousand miles from Doright Manor, without a photo of 11 items to discard. Did I panic. Not I! I just rifled through my handbag:

The sad thing is, I can do this another day of my vacation if need be.

For those dazzled by my brilliant use of alliteration on prior minimalist challenge posts, please forgive my lapse. I made almost no attempt at alliteration today. I’m on holiday, after all.

Peace, people.

Going Places

Leaving Nashville the day after Christmas, hugging grandchildren one more time

Before we climb into our respective rides for long journeys home. One heads west, another

North, while we point our car south and east, full of new memories and Christmas goodies,

Enough to last until our far-flung families are brought together once again. Safe travels.

To My Brothers

we shared
rooms and bikes,
christmases and
love, fear, and

do you remember
planning a nativity
The only girl,
I was always Mary
while you two were
shepherds or kings,
never baby Jesus.

while we never
actually performed
the play
we could have,

how about the time
in New Mexico
when Daddy stopped
the car in the smack dab
middle of the road
to get close to a
black bear?

did we all scream
or was it just
me when he got out
of the sedan to talk
to said bear?

remember cousins?
going on road trips
to California and
baby brother damned
near drowned at San Juan

Mama worried
that she and I would
need head scarves to
tour the
mission there.

where are we now?
far, yet close.
set free by parents
who knew we had to
be strong.
I miss them.
I miss you both,
little brothers.

In the Middle of the Night

I caught Studly Doright’s cold on our last day of vacation. We arrived safely home to Doright Manor around 3:30 p.m. I took a dose of my favorite nighttime cold medicine and went straight to bed. Yay Tylenol! I slept twelve hours straight through.

Studly wisely slept in one of the guest rooms. I can hear his muffled snores echoing through the hall. From a distance they provide a soothing backdrop. The key word there is “distance.”

I took a second dose of medicine, and hope to drift away soon. I still have some good vacation stories to write and will do so when I’m feeling better. In the meantime here are some random vacation photos. 

Peace, people.

Who Gets Sick in Paradise?

He snores beside me,
deeply, but not too loud.
Maybe after three days of
fevered restlessness he has
Found some equilibrium.

Just outside our hotel
room, people frolic in the
Warm waters of the blue green
bay, while I play Words With
Friends on my iPhone.

A morning spent on the beach
alone, pretending to be a
Minor celebrity escaping
pursuit by rabid paparazzi
Proved far too lonely.

So I drank too much rum punch
before returning to the dark
Comfort of our air conditioned
suite where I slipped beneath
Cool sheets to be with him.

Destination Clearwater Beach

Florida is a big ol’ state. Just how big?

Well, according to,

“The total area of Florida is 58,664 sq mi (151,939 sq km), of which land takes up 54,153 sq mi (140,256 sq km) and inland water 4,511 sq mi (11,683 sq km). Florida extends 361 mi (581 km) E–W; its maximum N–S extension is 447 mi (719 km). The state comprises a peninsula surrounded by ocean on three sides, with a panhandle of land in the NW.”

Even though Studly Doright and I have lived in Tallahassee for the past three years, and prior to this stint we lived in Melbourne, FL, for a period of four years  from 2000 to 2004, with a stretch of Illinois in between, there are a great many places in the Sunshine State that we’ve yet to visit. 

This week we’re heading to one of those long neglected places, Clearwater Beach, for a belated 40th anniversary celebration. 

Clearwater Beach is on Florida’s Gulf Coast, roughly 40 miles from Tampa. Rumor has it that the beaches there are some of the finest in the world, and I plan to do some serious investigating–mostly from the comfort of a lounge chair under a broad beach umbrella while sipping a mojito.

My Studly Doright is in need of a hefty dose of downtime, so we haven’t made plans to do anything too strenuous on our vacation. We have tickets to see The Dixie Chicks in Tampa on the 19th,

and I want to check out the Clearwater Marine Aquarium where “Dolphin Tale” was filmed. 

I made Studly watch “Dolphin Tale” so he’d be familiar with Winter, the dolphin. 

Other than that, we’re going to be lazy beach bums for a week. I’ll try to keep up with my blog, and I’ve got a few pieces queued up. Maybe I’ll even find some new inspiration.

What??? It could happen. Until then, keep the faith.

Peace, people!

Window Tripping

I’ve been vacationing in Texas this week and haven’t had an opportunity to do any writing. On a portion of our drive across the state of my birth I began snapping pictures of random sights. 

Carnival rides move from town to town during the summer months. At least I hope that’s what these are.

 Cows. No trees.
A working pump jack.

Note the trees–a rarity here.

This building was painted like a Holstein cow.    
Quanah, Texas, was named for the great chief Quanah Parker to whom we might or might not be related through Studly Doright’s mother Saint Helen.

Studly’s arm with the American and Texas flags in the background.
Railroad ties.

A pair of Harleys. 

Abandoned homes like this dot the panhandle of Texas.  

I liked the name of this business: Faux Pants. I believe this was in Memphis, TX.  

A truck was hauling these unknown objects.     
Small town water tower.


The colorful tarp below is most likely a deflated bouncy house.
My feet. 
This motel was out in the middle of nowhere.

A grain elevator.  

Prairie with wind turbines in the distance.

A close up of a turbine.

  And its antique counterpart:

The loop to bypass Amarillo–a sure sign we’ve neared our destination.


Note the dried mud on the tailgate of the pickup truck. Clean cars are as rare as trees out here.