early friday chex mix

It’s a rainy evening here in Georgia.

Not that I’m complaining of the rain – never. We have grass seed in the back that needs to germinate and I desperately do not want a drought this summer. Yes, I’d take rain any day over a dusty summer. I do realize that we’re still in spring and not quite gotten to summer just yet. I am not rushing it, either. I enjoy these lush, spring days (now that I’ve gotten over the high pollen count with two sinus infections). Charlie is feeling a little under the weather today – something she ate last night, perhaps. It was date night tonight and we went to have pho and then straight home. She has fallen asleep in front of the TV watching some documentary about Africa.

Vacation, f*cking vacation.

I want to be on vacation, honestly. I want to see beaches and smell the salt in the air. We leave for Florida the end of next week and it cannot get here soon enough.

Happy hour.

It’s impossible to get everyone together anyhow for this. I feel like I constantly be the communicator, the planner, the organizer. Maybe one HH a month is enough. We got quite a few 3 people over last week for it but this week we have a bunch of maybes and rain. Maybe’s and rain = Meh, forget it.  Sometimes it would be nice to sit in a cozy Irish pub by a fire (Hey, Marley House) so if it’s raining tomorrow we go there – that is, if Charlie’s feeling better.

We have this friend.

Who I will name DD for Dreary Debbie? Debbie Downer is too common. Desperate Debbie? Yeah, more like that. The girl puts a whole new meaning into that word desperate. Deeeeesperado…….why don’t you come to your senses…….

-it’s like that, y’all. She’s been chasing a dream with two legs for seven-sevenfucking-YEARS to no avail who treats her like a laundry basket or one that holds magazines. Every once in a while you kick it when you’ve had a frustrating day – that kind of basket. So, when she’s Desperate Debbie basket she gets on Tinder.

No good can come from a DESPERATE women in her mid-40’s being on Tinder.

NO GOOD, PEOPLE. No good…..So, you can just imagine the types of people she’s talking to. The ones who ask for money after the 50th text, no snapchat-asses. These are probably men in their mid-50’s using their 20-something year old nieces pictures to elicit money and sex on the internet. We have lunch with Debbie sometimes on the weekends and she shows us dozens of pictures of ho’s women she’s talking to on the internet. Then she gets all depressed that she’s not meeting someone and in the same breath says she’s going to see the woman who treats her like a basket for dinner. We say, Why, why, why, Debbie? You’re going to be on Tinder when you’re FIDDY (50). You don’t want that to happen. You won’t able to swipe left or right because you’ll have arthritis by then from swiping so much. Stop being desperate, Debbie. Stop.

Even Benji had problems with Tinder. Her Tinder woman went cra-cra, said she didn’t want to see anyone and then dropped off the face of the earth (but, probably not off Tinder). They had planz, too. Like going out of town and to a (teeny-bopper 20ish) concert which didn’t happen. Benji was so depressed that she didn’t go – even after trying to talk her into going and giving the xtra ticket to some hot 20-something and having fun. She stayed at home and moped. I would have gone if I were her.

Work. PMP. What am I doing?

I don’t know. We had a “team” meeting on Tuesday and we were told that they found enough old geezers people to take an early retirement that they wouldn’t have to lay anyone off. This is a relief because I’m still trying to find a way to get a promotion to a different department and it’s proving to be equal to landing a federal job interview. That difficult. I know it’s only been a couple of weeks since I got certified but I hope this PMP thing holds more weight than it is holding so far. Part of me doesn’t know what to do with all this spare time I have now from not having to study. The other part is like, what’s next? The company has all these online training classes on Agile Scrum and if I take 22 of these things and take their test I get their company bronze certification in Agile Scrum (notice I said company – by no means is this the nationwide scrum master cert) so I’m doing it so I can add it to my company resume. I’m going to take six months and keep applying and if I don’t get any interviews then I’m going on to another certification – scrum master, Agile, or even Leed. Something.

So, that’s all I got. I hope you enjoyed the snippets of topics – we’ll call it an early Friday chex mix. Y’all have a great weekend! Cheers!

 

saved by zero

“Maybe someday, saved by zero,
I’ll be more together.
Stretched by fewer thoughts that leave me.
Chasing after my dreams; disown me, loaded with danger.
So maybe I’ll win. (Saved by zero.)
Maybe I’ll win. (Saved by zero.)
Holding onto words that teach me.
I will conquer space around me.
So maybe I’ll win. (Saved by zero.)
Maybe I’ll win. (Saved by zero.)
Maybe I’ll win. (Saved by zero.)
Maybe I’ll win. (Saved by zero.)
Saved by, saved by, saved by zero.
Saved by, saved by, saved by zero.
Saved by, saved by, saved by zero”

This is how I feel lately with studying for my exam, work, my career in general. I admit, ever since my review I’ve been a bit pissed disenchanted. You know? I thought my last job had the most un-helping-ist people I’ve ever come across but I’ve changed my mind. It seems like no one wants to do any teamwork or work with anyone else but themselves -and there’s only a few who will help or answer questions (but, they sit in different locations which is another topic of frustration).

I’m studying Project Management Methodology that employs the basis of working as cohesive team or I should say “a team based approach” to management of a project and am not experiencing this at all in my current role. I really thought when I accepted this role that I would be managing projects and an area. In fact, that was what I was hired to do. I’m supposedly getting an area of responsibility and am in fact, meeting with the existing manager of this area to go over things on Monday. I’m ecstatic about this although, I had to push my boss to get the ball rolling on this or else I’d still be sitting here doing training classes online until the cows came home. The sooner I can do this the better.

So, that’s what I’ve been frustrated about. Also, there’s a couple of other things I’ve been upset about. One, my Friday telework day was taken away because my boss thinks that I need to be in the office with support staff to ask questions of and help. That’s totally fine with me except – it’s Friday and I’m the only one in the office. The wonder twins have gone off to their “field” work – in fact, I haven’t even seen them. My boss and Patricia are working from home. It’s just little-ol’ me here in the office. Next, I’m frustrated that I asked to go out in the field with Larry of the twins and we set it up and everything and he blew me off – probably because he only wanted to be with Sherry out in the field and he doesn’t want me tagging along. And, last I’m frustrated because I think Carmine said something to my boss about my being on the phone one day with Charlie. He told me in my review that someone said they overheard something about my being on the phone with a landscape client. I told him that I must have been on the phone with my partner who runs the business full time asking me a question was all and that I promise that I don’t talk to clients during normal work hours.

That Eff-ing pissed me off to no end!

First, Patricia is on the phone ALL DAY talking to her husband, her mamma, her cousin – anyone who will listen to her talk. She even had her husband stop by the office the other day and hang out with her all afternoon. But, did I say anything? NO. I see Carmine in the parking lot talking on her phone – probably arguing with her ex husband about who’s going to pick up the kids but did I say anything? NO. I mind my own business. But, you know? IT’S SO UNFAIR. I get penalized and all these other people just go off and do whatever the hell they want all the time and no one ever says anything to them about it.

[Breathe Lanie]

So, those are my FRUSTRATIONS. And, I thank you all for listening and reading this and being my audience because I just had to get this out. Now back to our regularly scheduled program. What do y’all have planned this weekend? We’re going to Athens like I said in the V-DAY post and, thank you, Goddess because it will be nice to get out of town and breathe different air. It’s been a week or two!

Have a great weekend, y’all!

 

 

V-Day

I’ve already started to read posts about “Valentine’s Day, bah humbug” or the “my love gave me a heart -shaped Domino’s pizza for Valentine’s Day”

I breathe a sigh of relief that Charlie will never do that. Whew! (First of all – not Domino’s – she would have better taste to get me a Jack’s pizza) not to mention Domino’s is a radical right-wing company, I digress. This is not about political right-winged sh*t but VALENTINES DAY!

So, Charlie already gave me my gift which was an acrylic photograph of the beach taken by our wonderfully talented friend, Shutter (aptly named). I’m thrilled with it and I think she’s hanging it on the wall as I write this.

beachpic

Next, we decided to cancel restaurant reservations to this Italian place in Decatur for the second time because the Saturday after V-Day we’re going to Athens, GA to hear Drive-By Truckers at the 40 Watt club. Charlie’s bro got us tickets and a hotel stay there for Christmas and we just decided to celebrate a belated V-Day there. Plus, friends of ours who live there are hosting a party at a bar around the corner and told us to head on over after the show. It’s always a party when we go to Athens. Benji is going to dog sit for us so it worked out perfectly.

So, that’s our V-Day in a nutshell. Maybe we’ll find a heart-shaped pizza while we’re there or maybe a burger and a glass of Creature Comforts since their brewery is also around the corner.

What’s your V-Day plans?

 

TWT – part II

Wonder Twin Power ACTIVATE from this–

wts2 wts3

into this –

img_0569

Yeah, they got told to move into the bosses office.

Now, Patricia is moving in there all by herself and I have the big room. So, we practically have our own office together but separated by walls. It’s so much quieter in here now that we don’t have them in here and the contractors slamming in and out of here and Carmine has figured out where Larry is and isn’t coming in here anymore.

So, Monday I came in and was working and noticed Sherry moving lamps out of their office. I thought at first she was dusting them? But, when another duck lamp came out I asked, “What’s the deal? You moving?”

“Yes, I’m moving into Baxter’s (our manager/boss) office.”

“When did this come about?”

“Oh, the other day, like, Thursday.”

“So, why are you moving in there? Did you and Larry have a spat?”

I actually asked that, y’all. Transparency is one of my New Year’s resolutions.

“Oh, no he’s moving in there with me. Baxter just thought it made sense for us to move in there since I do a lot of his admin work and Larry is handling field work for him.”

I gleefully thought, HA, separation. No more Wonder Twin Powers.

I got up and followed her out the door and down the hall to Baxter’s office and lo and behold both she and Larry had desks set up in the big room and Baxter had moved into a smaller office that looked out into their large room. He actually looked up as I came in and I just smiled, waved and left. I don’t know how the twins are going to handle it – no more feeding each other sushi at lunch. No more ‘Are you ready for your smoothie, Larry?’ (gag, gag, gag) I’m so glad I don’t have to listen to it anymore – let Baxter worry about them.

I think this came about because of going to the satellite office last week and having lunch with one of the guys out there. He already knew the dynamic between the twins. I told him the situation of the twins just disappearing all day and when they were in the office how disrupting it was to have all the contractors in and out all day long and I was already wanting to move. He’s tight with the guy that’s just under the manager, Kevin, so I think he told Kevin the situation and Kevin mentioned it to Baxter – hence, Baxter having them more under his thumb now.

Despite it being quieter it feels very weird – like the other shoe is going to drop soon. We’re all awaiting our reviews and there’s been a rumor going around that two of us on the team are going to get cut. There’s all kinds of speculation about it but the vibe is still calm before the storm. I really HATE to think that after all this I’m going to be laid off or let go. By no means do I think I’m one of the two but who knows with all the rash reasoning management can have. I won’t know anything until I get my individual review and even then I’m going to ask Baxter if my job is in jeopardy – I mean, I have to know so I can plan to start searching again. I just hate the feeling of having this pendulum hanging over my head waiting to drop.

So, I guess keep your fingers crossed that I don’t lose my job. Happy New Year to me!

 

thanksgiving chex mix

We made it through Thanksgiving without the house catching on fire, someone ending up in the E.R. or something blowing up, clogging or just busting in some way.

Last week I took off to help Charlie get ready for the holiday. Her older son with his wife were coming as well as the younger with his girlfriend. Monday and Tuesday I strapped on a backpack blower and helped with her landscape clients. Along with that we prepped several dishes for Thursday and ran around running errands and booze grocery shopping.

Wednesday evening they all arrived and we had pizza heating in the oven and beer in the cooler. The first night is always the blowout night and we blew it out pretty good. Thursday we took it easy in the a.m. and really the food prep went off without a hitch. I was surprised nothing caught on fire or the oven going out because I come from a family of holiday catastrophe so I was a bit pessimistic this whole time.

They all went zip lining on Friday and I happily stayed home and dog sat (and their dog, Cooper is really good one on one) and hung out. I was thankful everyone made it back in one piece and that we could begin the shrimp boil. The boil consisted of 5 pounds of crab legs, 1 of shrimp, sausage, potatoes, corn, Old Bay and PBR. It all came out really well and everyone enjoyed a lighter dinner.

Saturday morning the kids all left after breakfast. Charlie and I spent the rest of the weekend chilling out and taking it easy. I felt like I’d been gone from work so long and was all discombobulated this morning getting ready for work. My routine was shot.

Tonight, I’m taking Charlie out for her b-day (I’m not going to say what we’re doing just yet because it’s a surprise) and tomorrow we’re meeting up with some friends for drinks. Friday, we have Charlie Mars again and probably this weekend we’ll get a tree and decorate it.

I’ll leave you with a video of this guy we saw at Edie’s last week with our friend, Sharon. His name is Angie Aparo and if you ever get a chance to see him jump on it!

 

 

going thru the change

Ha! I bet you thought when you read that I meant menopause. I didn’t (although, that could be any day now) I meant body changes other than hormonal.

The other day I went over to Orangetheory on my lunch hour to check the place out. From my past experiences in bootcamp it’s basically that but indoors. What I really liked about it is that everything you do is monitored by your heart rate that is projected onto a large TV screen in the studio as you work out. You can see the zones you’re in – they start off as gray (almost dead), green (there IS a pulse after all), orange (wow, wake up heart) and red (we’re burning now, baby and try not to drop dead) – at least that’s how I perceive the levels. They also have splat points that add up however many minutes you are in the orange and red levels.

So yesterday I went in for my first workout. I met the trainer, Jay, who would be running the class. He reminded me of an older version of Charlie’s son, Bray. Of course, all muscles, tat sleeve, nicely trimmed beard and I’m sure easy on the eyes of their straight female members. Jay took me through the gym and showed me the treadmills, rowers, free weights and the workout area. The minute we walked in my heart monitor was already showing “LANIE” on the screen in the almost dead gray zone. Jay showed me the breakdown of beats per minute, zones, calories burned and splat points earned on the screen. Fast forward to class – it was around 5 women, all but two seemed like they just started as well. We started off on the treadmill (and they have flex in them to cut down on injuries) doing 30,60,90 second intervals of jogging, running and sprinting. I was looking on the screen doing this and thinking, How dare Lydia get in the orange zone before me ima step it up. (I think they have those monitors up there for that very reason. If you’re loafing then the whole class knows it)

After about 20 minutes of the treadmill we got on the rowers. The rowers are water rowers that they said the Olympians use to practice. They already felt better than the lame fan rowers that you see in a typical gym. We rowed 400 meters then got off and went over to the free weight area.

Side note: What I really like about it is the station numbers. If you get on a treadmill that is a certain number, like 5 then every other exercise station you use the same number so you automatically know where to go when you switch stations. Each station has their own dumbells, benches, mats – whatever workout that you’re going to do that day is set up.

In the free weight area we went to our stations and up on another monitor is the exercises and reps they want you to do. Jay also demonstrated the proper way to do each before we began. Between each set we went back to the rowers and did 200 meters. Next, we did another three sets of different free weights (all had burpees in between) then we finished up 90 second planks and 90 more of various ab exercises.

I was spent afterwards but I felt good. Here’s my results (which, they email to you):

orange

So, I’m going to try it out for awhile. I signed up for 8 workouts and I’m going to see where it goes. I already feel better this week – I have not had one drop of alcohol since Monday. I plan on having a nice drink before dinner with Charlie tonight as a reward but I’m going to try to stay good through the weekend. I think the next workout is Sunday morning so then I can enjoy another drink while watching the Pack beat Jacksonville.

Here’s  video of the place in case you’re interested:

 

friends pants

I’m so sick and tired of being fat. I look at old pictures and think, I wish I still looked like that.

I longingly look at pants, jeans and shirts in my closet that I can’t bear to get rid of because I vow to get back into them some day. I already gave away all these cute cowboy shirts that I loved but I can’t get my shoulders into them anymore and let’s not even talk about photographs. I hate posing for pics these days. We had friends from out of town in this past weekend and they took pics every 5 minutes there were a ton of pics taken and I looked that heavy in all of them.

And, friends – I feel like I’m growing out of some of them, too. Some are really tight around the waist like my jeans or they rub me the wrong way. (Not the ones from out of town although, we’re exhausted from entertaining all weekend.)

Link had a cookout at her house yesterday and while Charlie and I love Link and Stiletto we knew both Mike and Dino were going to be there. It went ok, Mike only pissed me off once but I kept my distance (– especially, since Dino and Celina were puffing up a storm.) I think some social situations I drink because I’m bored. Like, last night the conversation got on to politics and I swear if Trump weren’t such an idiot (or Bernie was still in the running) we wouldn’t have all agreed on Hilary. (Do you ever feel that way – like, you know some of your friends have turned because Trump is an idiot?) But, even so – it was still a boring conversation. I texted Charlie, We didn’t bring enough beer for this. She gave me the keys to the car and I left to run over to the shell station to get more- I wasn’t about to bum any off Mike or Dino. By the time I got back politics had ended and moved on to outdoor concerts. I thought it was kind of ironic that both Martha and Dino didn’t even mention being pissy-heads in bad moods during the Journey concert we were all at, either – not that they would unless Dino was really drunk but it still looked like he had quite a bit to go before a beer buzz even reached his stomach him.

It was kind of an eye opener for me, though. I hadn’t seen most of them for months and some had majorly gained some weight. I thought, That’s going to be me in a few years if I don’t stop drinking beer everyday make some changes.

I went into the house and helped Stiletto get the food ready. She’s easy to talk to and she doesn’t drink at all which makes me wonder why she’s such good friends with them all of us. It’s mystifying, to be honest. I wonder if it’s just because they’re Link’s friends but they all do stuff together all the time.(Charlie and I not included but I’m actually relieved about that because I don’t want to keep finding opportunities to hang with Mike and Dino). I know that both her and Mike are Jewish and from New York so maybe that’s it- who knows. But, I really hope don’t think we’ll see them again until the wedding.

So, until then, I really need to make some changes. I want to lose 30 pounds by the end of October. That’s only two months away and probably a “hefty” goal but I have to start somewhere. I went into Orange Theory at lunch today and I’m going to try it on my lunch hour tomorrow. I just want something that’s flexible with my work schedule and convenient. They have a couple of gyms near where I currently work and when my office moves (like they keep telling us that it is but no one knows when) then there’s one near there so it works. Hey, I started bootcamp years ago and went on for months doing that I can do this.

It would just be good to have some jeans be loose on me again.

 

 

fall y’all

Itching for fall y’all and even falling back on the clock so we can get an extra hour of sleep. Cooling off, bon fires, football and riding motorcycles without sweating to death.

Things have been busy with landscape stuff and work. Although, it could be busier socialization-wise. I almost feel like its winter because everyone’s been scarce these days. One word replies to texts or crickets in-between no one’s around or responding it’s almost like we’re on an island. That would make good song lyrics, don’t you think? I’d want a little whistling going on like in this song which has the island reference:

We saw this dude at Edie’s last week with our friend, Kitty. At first I thought he was good but I doubt I’d pay to see him again. Then- last night Charlie and I went out for happy hour and were talking and got to playing his music and then, I changed my mind. I downloaded a few of his songs and have been playing them at work while I do design work. (Although, I have to watch singing the lyrics outload to this song):

 So, back to our regularly scheduled program…..

I’m more of a designer now at work than a PM. I’m sure later on as I get trained more and know what the fuck I’m doing they’ll assign me an area and I’ll take on more of a PM role + designer. Right now, I enjoy it although I’d enjoy it more if I could just start a project from beginning to end without having to get help.

This is my last full week until vaca next week. Charlie and I are taking the dogs to Savannah and Jekyll Island for a few days getting out of town. I’m ready for some sand, sound of waves & seafood. We’re jamming taking the dogs in the new car which will be better than trying to labor all the way down there in the poor truck that’s already taken a beating. I ordered a seat protector for the back of the car so hopefully that will work. I know things will speed up some once September gets here. I just feel like we’re in the dog daze of August and I’m ready to drop kick it into next year.

 

 

why dogs are women’s best friend

Last Saturday I went down to Petco and volunteered with the local shelter for their pet adoption clinic. They have it every Saturday from 10 – 2pm. I got there early and met two other volunteers before the van pulled up with Chris who was the staff person heading up the clinic. We all said Hi and proceeded to unpack the van along with getting out 4 of our cutie dogs who were adoption-ready.

Most of the job was to walk the animals every hour or so, pet and keep them calm and talk to potential adoption clients. It was a pretty easy job. All of the dogs but 1 you could pet through their kennels and even take them out for people to pet and visit with them. There was one dog there Chris said to let her walk and sit next to that he wasn’t really up for adoption and was very timid. She had been working with him for several months, he’s had a hard life so far and was very timid and only really trusted her. So, we placed several signs in front and on top of Brody’s cage saying DON’T PUT HANDS THROUGH BARS. Most times Brody just sat calmly in his kennel not barking or doing anything.

Well, people are just like kids. You tell them not to do something and next thing you know someone’s got their face down in Brody’s cage talking to him and he’s barking and growling. I could understand where he was coming from, too. Some human puts their stupid face in mine I’m going to say, Back off, Buster! I even had to stop one child from putting her hands in there right after telling both the parents that this one was the only one that couldn’t be petted.

People can be so stupid, really. We had four other dogs that were sweet as could be that people did visit with and talk to but every hour or so someone stupid would come up to Brody and get him barking. One lady even said he didn’t deserve to be there and should be put down.

Now, let’s step back. Most of these animals have been in the shelter for at least 2-6 months. Some even longer. Even bringing them out for adoption is a break for them. They get a change of scenery, fresh air, get walked every hour – even Brody – and it’s just a good change for them. Brody may have been beaten in his last life or chained up and severely neglected. People are working with him instead of just giving up and putting him down.

Like every volunteer opportunity it comes with educating morons people about the process, why it’s important and how to take steps not to be stupid in the future to keep meeting the goals of the organization. At least that’s what I kept telling myself – especially, when this crackhead homeless woman eyeing our donation bucket on top of Brodys kennel came up and was taunting him. That was the last straw for me, really – I felt she was just causing a distraction so she could grab the money and run off. I stepped between her and the kennel and told her to move on off and stop antagonizing the dog. She left and Chris came up and said that I handled it well.

I tried to think back on doing the 3-day walk if I ever ran into crazy people that didn’t understand the organization or why we were there. Although, the difference with that organization and this one was the former was all about raising money. You couldn’t raise enough money – ever. This one is all about people adopting, volunteering their time, taking a pet home for a day just to get them out of the shelter and they’re running free adoptions for dogs over 25 pounds and cats this month so they’re certainly not money-driven although money is always accepted. So, there are some differences. I just don’t remember wanting to throw someone off a building feeling like this when I walked the 3-day – maybe it was just because I was so tired walking 20 miles a day.

After the event was over (and, no dogs went home with anyone but one got some paperwork filled out on her so I have my fingers crossed she’ll get adopted) I went home and let my own dogs out and told them how lucky they were to veg on the couch all day watching soccer. Then, I had to meet a landscape client who was just around the corner.

When I went there I realized she lived in this kind of run-down condo complex. I wondered why she needed landscape maintenance until I pulled up at her front door. It was very run down and there was this disheveled woman who came out. She looked so familiar, too, but I couldn’t place her. It was obvious why she needed someone because the small patch in front was all weeds and poison ivy. We talked and she just needed someone to mow it down and clean it up. The next door neighbor had his front lawn all torn up and it looked sod-ready, however, he had artificial turf rolled up at the curb like he was going to lay it on top of the dirt. (Yeah, talk about TACKY!) I asked her if he was laying that and she said, Yes.

He could lay sod on top of what he’s prepped easily.

She just shrugged her shoulders. The whole time I was thinking I was going to price her high because I didn’t want the job when he came out and picked up a few sticks that were in the parking lot and said, I’d appreciate it if you didn’t throw your sticks into the parking lot.

I wanted to say, Dude! You’re laying astro turf onto dirt and you’re complaining about a few sticks??

I went around back to see what the client had there and like the front it was full of weeds. I told her I would email her a quote this week and as we were walking around the front someone pulled up and stopped. It was the guy’s girlfriend/partner/wife/skank whatever. The lady said, Oh, I’m sorry you’re in her space.

I waved and shouted, I’m moving, I’m moving! And turned to the lady shook her hand and said nice meeting you and ran to the truck.

Too late the lady had already torn off in her car in a heat when there were spaces on either side of me that she could have parked temporarily. I got in the truck and thought, What the f*ck is wrong with people?

I was angry and wanted to cry. I think the day had gotten to me. I drove home and let the dogs out again and sat down and cracked a beer and wrote up that lady’s quote – cheap. I wasn’t going to take that job until that neighbor was such a d*ckhead to her. Now I’m p*ssed. F-him I’m gonna make that place look so good and he can go f*ck himself with his rolled up astro turf.

The next day, Charlie and I just took it easy. We were meeting Link and gf Nana for Link’s sister, Sue Ellen’s bday brunch. I prayed they were going to be the only one’s there but I was wrong. Of course both Mike and Dino were there with their wives. Mike unfortunately sat next to me. I was hoping nothing about the bachelor party was going to come up and it didn’t however, when Nana asked me about my new job Mike started in on why it was such a bad company (Mike retired from the company before it got bought out by fortune 500 company) and that I shouldn’t invest in company stock and he hoped it worked out, etc. I added that we were #10 of profit making on the list of Fortune 500 companies but he wasn’t deterred.  I think Nana was sorry she asked because the whole conversation became about Mike (as always). I ignored Mike and actually turned sideways in my seat putting my back to him the rest of the meal only focusing on Charlie, Link, Nana and Sue Ellen. Dino and Martha were there but Dino was constantly out smoking with Mike’s wife, Celia every ten minutes I didn’t talk to him that much. All I can say is that it was a good thing we met them the next day and not the day before because there probably would have been drinks in Mike’s face spilt and me storming out of the restaurant.

I’m tired of grumpy friends these days, too. There’s one I ask to do things with and get ignored or they’re snippy with me over text. Other’s we met up with and they’re grouchy and then there’s Mike. I don’t’ care to see Mike and his wife for a long time now (in fact, usually when we know they’re going to be there we pass). I wouldn’t mind seeing Link and Nana for a couple’s thing because they are always in a good mood. Although, Charlie and I have been working so much these days that it’s hard to have any energy to chase them down put towards making plans and doing them. We were so tired last week we skipped Weezer and Panic at the Disco. I gave the tickets to a young guy in my class, instead. (He was happy, too, and I was so glad they didn’t go to waste). Charlie’s going to Florida this weekend to see her boys and after I make that client’s yard from above look good I’m flopping the rest of the weekend with the dogs who are certainly never grouchy when I’m around. Maybe there will even be some pizza crusts in their future and we have plenty of soccer to watch.

photo challenge chex mix

I’ve still been trying to run every day during the week in the mornings. It is a feat in itself I’m able to roll out of bed at 6:15 a.m. to go run -I think, only because the dogs come in and get me up to be let outside – I think this directly correlates with the coffee maker beeping that it’s finished brewing. I would love to be able to get up a few minutes earlier just so I could finish my run earlier and walk a bit to cool off but even now, 6:15 is a stretch. I tried setting my alarm 30 minutes earlier to go off but it only means I hit the snooze. Charlie has been making me smoothies for my after run and they have been great. I went online and found this organic protein powder that tastes really good. She mixes that with some almond milk and fruit. They usually come out looking a bit purplish although the one this morning was more pinkish. She suggested that we get some spinach or kale to add for extra nutrients but I’m not sure about that. It’s enough I drink a protein shake every morning instead of an egg sandwich but another to introduce the taste of @ss into my smoothie.

Work has been good. I’ve been doing a slew of training and practically the whole month of June I will be in classes. Ironically, the classes are right across the street from my old office. I’m going to try and have lunch with some peeps while I’m there. From what I learned so far is that I’m really going to be on my own as far as my learning path goes. I’m not really worried as I feel I pick up things quickly but I will be at the mercy of others to help answer questions. I will probably end up having to sit with someone while they do their designs, too. But, I’m not going to worry about that until I at least have the class under my belt.

So, I bopped on over to Liz’s site today and she has this random photo challenge. First, you open up your camera roll on your phone and scroll one time without looking and put your finger down to stop the scrolling and whatever your finger lands on save it and then post it with a little background story of the pic. Do this about 7-10 times, however many photos you want.

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My first photo was a selfie that Charlie sent me. I believe she took this one night when we were getting ready to go out on a date. (help me out, Charlie, if I’m wrong).

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This was taken the weekend we went up to the Yurt. The campsite had provided this wagons to help you haul your stuff from the car to the Yurt site. Charlie and I were screwing around when right after this was taken a DNR ranger showed up in a pickup truck and rolled down the window and asked us if we were having fun yet. I was saying, We’re not here 5 minutes without getting in trouble.

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Charlie kissing beloved Sadie. Even though she has a coat and hat on this was probably taken in April when the temperature dropped so much we thought we were going to have to turn on the heat. Compared to March where it got up to 78 degrees one week.

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Riverside Café’ when we were in Florida visiting Charlie’s parents. This place is right down the street from her folks. We had gone there one night for drinks before dinner. I remember meeting this really obnoxious couple (we seem to be magnets for them). The husband was heavily flirting with Charlie and leading the whole conversation about him and his wife diving. I was like, Really? You have a wife? I think I did say that and he pointed her out and she was across the deck having a drink and talking to some other people completely ignoring him. I deduced she was sick of him and glad he was socializing with other people. The only good thing about it was for once Charlie’s brother wasn’t dictating the conversation and you could see he was visibly perturbed about it.

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St. Augustine, Florida. Our daughters-in-law (left) is in the picture with Charlie’s youngest son (right). It was a few days before Thanksgiving and we had stopped off for an over-nighter and the boys, daughters-in-law and our friends Bernice and Raphe came up to visit. We had walked around and saw the lights as well as went into this bar and listened to live music. It was a great night. I wished we could have stayed longer.

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This is what is left of the barn on my farm. It was taken prior to Thanksgiving when I went to Indiana for a visit. My sister and I always go out to this farm – it was our grandmothers on our mother’s side. It’s always a shock to go out there because every time we go something’s torn down. This time it was the woods that was cleared. I suspect our father directed the contract farmer to clear the woods for more corn yield. I suspect someday that the barn will be torn down as well.

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The dogs at Piedmont Park. They are great posers. We had put them up on that rock and told them to stay. They’re good for about a few clicks and then they’re done.

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Charlie’s folks and us at a backyard music venue. We were friends with this couple who had backyard concerts where you could bring picnics and just donate to the artist. I can’t remember who it was we saw that night but we all enjoyed it. It was nice that we were able to take them to one of these as since the friends have stopped doing these things.

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Link, Charlie (her biker name is Tazzy now) and I (Wick) parked at the Victory sandwich bar for Tuesday night bike night. Notice we’re early because it doesn’t look like another soul was there but shortly after that almost 50 bikes were parked everywhere.

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Me right after scoring an autographed stick from the drummer of the Blues Traveler.

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A close-up of Sadie.