Hurricane Irma is barreling down on the U.S., and I have to tell her she has really bad timing. I doubt she cares.

Here at Doright Manor we’ve stored up gallons of bottled water and my favorite survival snack, Little Debbie oatmeal cream pies. I have a pantry filled with canned chicken and Vienna sausages and enough cheese crackers to get us through the first hundred days of a zombie apocalypse. Now, it’s just a waiting game.

There’s still a chance the storm won’t hit us at all and might veer into coastal Texas, which is still reeling from Hurricane Harvey. As much as I don’t want Irma to come through here, I don’t want her messing with Texas even more.

Right now Irma is a category 5 storm, and anywhere she makes landfall is going to suffer tremendous damage. The projections we are seeing show that when she reaches Studly Doright and me in the Florida panhandle she’ll still be a category 1. Many things can change still, and we are praying she’ll weaken considerably before she reaches land.

Praying for the best, but preparing for the worst. Don’t be cruel, Irma.

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!

TV Marathon Dystopia

A couple of days ago I wrote about being addicted to sappy, family-friendly Hallmark Channel movies. On Saturday, though, I realized there was a Walking Dead marathon on AMC in preparation for the mid-season finale scheduled for Sunday night. So without hesitation I changed channels, and now my brain is having a heyday as evidenced by last night’s dream:

A beautiful young television reporter is caught on a live mic saying she hates Christmas–immediately following a segment on ways to spread holiday cheer. Her public reacts negatively, and in order to boost the show’s ratings the station manager sends her and her handsome producer to North Dakota where they’ll shoot a week of programs from a little town that bills itself, “The Christmas Capital of the U.S.”

Unfortunately, the duo arrives in North Dakota to find that the zombie apocalypse is in full swing. No one in the rest of the country knew about it because, well, it was North Dakota after all. Undaunted, although a bit confused, the couple gamely make their way to “The Christmas Capital of the U.S.” where they take refuge in an old hotel with a handful of other survivors. 

They film their segments about Christmas while gamely shooting zombies and subsisting on canned foods they’ve scavenged from abandoned homes. The beautiful young reporter learns to love Christmas and falls in love with her handsome producer. Unfortunately, they’re both attacked by zombies and become walking dead themselves. 

Now that’s a dream one could sink their teeth into. Am I right? 

What to Read? What to Read?

After weeks of dragging my feet, on Sunday evening I finally finished reading the eighth, and thus far, final book in the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. Fittingly, my well worn Kindle Paper White e-reader bit the dust with less than 3% of the book remaining as if it knew I didn’t want the story to end. Thank goodness I have the kindle app on my iPhone, though, so I was able to cry myself to sleep with Siri comforting me.

She’s a rock, that Siri. Salt of the earth, and all that.

As soon as I was able to leave work on Monday afternoon I drove with cautious haste to Best Buy and bought a new Kindle Paper White. The relative ease with which I registered the device and downloaded my virtual library restored my sense of well being. Once again all was right with my world.

Except that now I had no idea what to read next. At random I chose a book with a catchy title. The Shelf Life of Happiness by David Machado. In contrast to the weeks, nay months, I’d spent with the Outlander books, The Shelf Life of Happiness took exactly four hours to read. It’s a good book, totally unlike the Outlander series, and I found that comforting. The last thing I needed was a poorly written replica of a cherished series. 

Currently I’m looking for my next great read, and I’m open to suggestions. My tastes are eclectic, but I greatly enjoy science fiction/fantasy and post-apocalyptic novels, (zombies are a plus), as long as they’re well written. Outlander was a bit of a departure for me because it was a historical, albeit, time-travel romance.

So what are your suggestions dear readers? I’m eager for some new perspectives. The world is my library, and this is my motto: Have Kindle; Can Download.
Note: I still purchase physical books, just in case of an apocalypse, lest anyone should fear for my reading soul.

Peace, and happy reading, people.

Shoes and Zombies

One might wonder what possible relationship could be found between shoes and zombies. 

On the surface there seem to be few, if any connections; however, for one such as I who periodically stops to ponder survival in a zombie apocalypse, shoes, or more specifically, types of shoes, might have a real bearing on one’s chances of surviving a zombie horde.

I’ve never been a shoe maven. Oh, in my younger years I enjoyed putting on a pair of heels with a short skirt and watching heads turn as I sashayed into a restaurant. I was never a great beauty, but my legs were more than adequate as such things go.

Not long after I hit my mid-30’s, though, I realized that the leggy look enhanced by a pair of heels in no way made up for the resulting back and foot pain, and except for a couple of notable occasions (both weddings) I’ve steered clear of shoes with anything higher than an inch of heel since then.

I credit this common sense for giving me exceptionally nice feet for a woman of 59, feet that can walk for miles with no complaint. And that’s where zombie survival kicks in.

Apparently the zombies pictured above have found easy prey, presumably one who was unable to outdistance the walking dead due to poor footwear choices.

While this pair of Louboutin’s might help one strike a stunning pose on the red carpet, chances are they’ll only slow one down when survival matters.

On the other hand, this waterproof boot by Merrell would provide protection, comfort, and traction in all terrain. 

Selfless Vampire

Sometimes my dreams are so vivid and so weird I have to write them down. 

Last night I dreamt that vampires were living among us. They attended sporting events and parent teacher conferences, did laundry and went for long walks. They did their best not to infect others, feeding selectively and carefully so as not to kill or turn humans. However, vampire nature being what it is, inevitably there were lapses and new vampires would be made. Everyone was aware of the danger, but life carried on. 

In my dream I was a young girl with a younger sister. We lived with our parents and an aunt. My mother gave birth to a precious baby girl and she named her Felicity. Everyone cherished Felicity. She was precious in a time of unrest. 

Soon after Felicity’s birth I was turned by a reckless vampire, and I turned the rest of the family sparing only Felicity. Our family guarded the baby night and day against any vampire who might attempt to take her. I was the only one who could actually hold the baby without feeling hunger, so she stayed with me constantly.

Now here’s where it got weird(er). My vampire family took a cross country trip in an old truck to watch a college baseball game. We arrived at the stadium and found our seats in the section reserved for vampires. I suppose none of the normal folks wanted to end up being snacked on during the seventh inning stretch.

Of course I was caring for Felicity, but the vampires around us noted her presence early on and began moving closer to our group. I knew if they ganged up on my family that we would surely lose our precious infant. I decided to take the baby to a neutral place–the concessions area, where she might be safer.

Seated on a bench near the hot dog stand I kept up with the game through the announcers over the stadium speakers and the roar of the crowd.

A normal man came and sat beside me and started asking questions about the nature of vampirism and how we expected to keep the baby safe. I wept. I told him I thought the task was both necessary and futile.

A group of hungry  vampires approached and the man fought them off, sparing himself and the baby. That’s when I knew what I needed to do. I asked the man if he would take Felicity and care for her, if he would protect her from vampires. He gave me his solemn promise, and I knew Felicity would grow strong with him.

When I rejoined my family no one even asked about the baby.

I was going to ask for interpretation, but I think I’ve figured this one out. I’d love to hear your thoughts, though.

The Walking Dead Season Finale

Holy cow! Walkers

Everywhere one can see

Morgan saves the day.  Trust Carol, sunshine

She’s badass and tough as nails

Apocalyptic queen.


Power. Officer

Rick Grimes wears the mantle well

Follow him, I would.  

Silently hunting

Crossbow at the ready now

Daryl’s aim is true.


Ok, I’m obsessed. Here I sit, a relatively civilized woman, sipping a nice glass of Cabernet Sauvignon and contemplating the best ways of killing walkers.

Walking Dead Marathon

If one is really good, good things will come to you, or so I’ve been told. The current good thing is a marathon of The Walking Dead on AMC.

Why, one might ask, would I watch a marathon of a show when I’ve seen every single episode multiple times? Studly Doright asked me that very question as he came dragging in from work with high hopes that I might be working on a home cooked meal for his dinner. Instead he found me with my butt parked in front of the big screen watching Rick and Shane, et. al. escaping from a soon to explode CDC. No dinner in sight.


Of course it didn’t take Studly long to join me as we watched Andrea hide in a bathroom in order to avoid a walker.



After watching for another half hour or so, it occurred to me that I watch the marathons for a couple of reasons. I love seeing the characters transform. In those first seasons they were so innocent and fresh. Heck, Rick and Laurie looked like candidates for prom king and queen.

But more importantly, I like seeing the episodes back to back–the bridges from episode to episode and season to season. There are little things one might miss when seeing an episode in isolation that make sense during a binge watching session.



Whatever the reason–it’s hard for me to turn this soap opera with zombies off.