wing central

I know y’all have been wondering where the hell I’ve been lately. I’ve been studying my @ss off for that PMP exam which I retook last Friday and –

I PASSED!

‘Cause I’m P.M.P., I’m dynamite
(P.M.P.) and I’ll win the fight
(P.M.P.) I’m a power load
(P.M.P.) watch me explode’

That’s why I’ve been AWOL the past month. I devoted all my spare time and energy to studying for that thing so I could pass it the second time. Now I’m looking around for my second certification and I really think it’s going to be LEED AP. But, I at least want to take a breather before hitting the books again. Friday after passing the test our friend, Benita came up from Florida to help celebrate. Since she had just passed her Real Estate test we had a lot to celebrate. We started out at The Imperial for happy hour drinks with Benji and a friend. We were all sitting there drinking when Benita wanted to get something for us to nosh on. Other than pizza rolls (which, seemed a bit strange to me – can’t we just get some humus? But no – it wasn’t on the menu) the only thing that looked appetizing THEN was the chicken wings. You know – wings that are small, buffalo flavored that you can pick up with your hands and gnaw on? Like these:

Not these:

Picture half the done-ness. Like, these things were barely done. We all sat there looking at the plate. The wings stuck up looking like some meat crown from Game of Thrones. And, we should have been a wee bit suspicious when we asked the server why there were only three to an order and she put her whole arm up and said, It’s the whoooooole wing, y’all. Pointing to her arm. (The five of us almost lost it laughing but we held it in)

We each reluctantly took one and instead of picking it up with our hands we picked at it with a fork and knife. I mean, if you have to use a knife and fork on a wing then you shouldn’t be eating it. We left three on the plate (thankfully, we talked Benita out of ordering like 20 of these things – Benji is a vegetarian and friend, Liz was only staying for one drink). The server came over and took one look at it and asked what was wrong. We said, Nothing. They’re fine.

No, I know something’s wrong, what’s up?

Well, they’re just not done enough for us…. (what was not said -plus, you left that wingie thing on there that Benita said is where the orgasm on a chicken comes from sticking up like a crown and it just grossed our shit out).

Well, I’ll take it off your bill. No worries.

We breathed a Thanks. Until she came back a bit later with more drinks and said, I just put in another order for you – extra crispy.

No, really we’re fine – give them to someone else.

No, I insist. Oh, here they are. And, she said down yet another crown plate.

OMIGOD WILL THESE THINGS EVER GO AWAY? We reluctantly ate another – I pulled off the slimy skin and pulled off some meat with a fork. Enough so that it looked like I consumed something. Benji, who had been watching this whole fiasco thinking, Why I’m a vegetarian suggested we go to the fabulous taco bar and we closed out so fast that our heads spun and the server put the remaining wings in a TOGO box for us and we reluctantly carried them out to the car which later we dumped on the side of the street hoping someone else would appreciate them. The rest of the weekend we kept saying, THE WHOOOOOLE WING, Y’ALL and laughing. Which, is the reason for this picture:

Saturday we took in Ponce City Market and a fabulous Latin-inspired place called El Super Pan (probably the best Cuban sandwich I have ever had and the Yucca fries are to die for).

Benita spent a bit of time at this really cool premium bitters shop called 18.21 Bitters and ended up buying this jalapeno, cilantro bitters that is really good in margaritas for her daughter who is a Mixologist.

Around the corner was the King of Pops frozen alcohol bar which made my mouth water. If it would have been later in the day I would have certainly pulled up a stool and had a drink. Upstairs we played around taking pictures in this store called Citizen Supply.

Later that evening we had tickets to see Sister Hazel at the Variety Playhouse. It was a really great show and we ended up parked right in front of the stage. After the show we stood around hoping to get to the back to get a little memento from the band. Just then this guy who sat in on a few numbers playing a mean guitar came out and we said, Hey, you were great up there – who are you? He (Travis) played with Wild Adriatic and happened to be in town for the 420 festival downtown and Sister Hazel had asked him to play a few numbers with them. Just then Benita happened to score the song list that was taped to the stage and Travis grabbed it and said he’d run it back and have the members with Sister Hazel sign it for us. Amazing! Plus, we got three guitar picks.

The next day, sadly, Benita had to take off for home. I admit I was a little hung over from so much excitement of the weekend. I went in to work on Monday and told my boss first thing that I passed my PMP exam and he had the reaction of like, Oh. That was it – OH. I’m like whatever. I know it’s a big deal even if he doesn’t. Then, we got notified this week that they are going to start layoffs. We’ve had two meetings so far on the subject and no one knows sh*t about it. Of course. What’s it’s all going to come down to is making the managers do the dirty work and identify people to cut from their teams. I only hope that I’m not one of them but I know I’m a female and a minority on his team of male drinking buddies -and, his two favorites Larry and Sherrie. But, you know – there’s really nothing I can do about it so I’m just going to continue putting one foot in front of the other and taking it one day at a time. If I get laid off then perhaps this place wasn’t meant to be for me and that I’ll find something better. Because I have a brand new certification that I can put next to my name now – Lanie Belluz, muthafucken PMP!

I just got to be upbeat and hope for the best and prepare for the worst. That’s all I can do. Tomorrow, we’re having happy hour and a dinner party at the house and inviting friends who we haven’t seen in a while so I’m looking forward to it. The weather should be nice and we can open up the bar shed and play some music, darts and hang.

(And, Sadie says this is her shed and she cards everyone)

 

 

 

 

 

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!

 

 

the final hell week and Halloween

Friday morning I made it through the last day of hell week and got my t-shirt.

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The following weekend Charlie and I worked on the shed deck roof and managed to get all of the plywood on a thousand nails laying around the yard later.

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Sunday, we did the Halloween ride with the Hags. It’s been very warm here so we were sweating by the end. I was thankful I didn’t wear leather that day because I would have been even hotter. We ended the tour at a haunted house in Kirkwood where Links bike died before heading to Grindhouse burgers.

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(Rooster starting the tour in front of Oakland Cemetery, Link is in blue, Stiletto in the orange bandana next to her)

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(Stop 2 at Underground Atlanta)

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bikes

(The final stop in Kirkwood, all of us with our bikes – Charlie is right behind the guy in white and I’m behind her in red)

We managed to catch the very last of the Green Bay game against Atlanta when we sat down and it had finally cooled off.

I will leave you with the dogs waiting for trick or treaters:

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ex’s, rats and apple watches

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Last Saturday Sadie had her test to become a therapy dog and both she and Charlie passed with flying colors. I wasn’t worried, honestly – despite Sadie being my dog initially her and Charlie have a special bond – even the examiner said so.

I took both to drop them off for their test and headed over to catch both the soccer and UGA game at the local pub. After downing a Guinness and heading back I got a text from Charlie saying they were running late. I only received this after I’d gotten back since I was on my tablet and it signs off texts after a while. I was on my tablet because –

-my iPhone (7) was sitting next to my Apple watch (1st gen) updating. I’ll get more in to that in a bit.

So, once I got back I was sitting in the car with the windows down and these two ladies came out and asked if I was Lanie and I said, Yes. They said I could come inside and wait if I didn’t want to sit in the hot car and I said that’s ok I didn’t mind I was in the shade anyway. They went back inside and then some blonde woman came out and looked around then turned and looked right at me and went back inside. It took me a moment but I thought she looked just like someone I went out with years ago and once I noted that she had an Alabama t-shirt on I swore it was her.

Later, after driving home with Charlie reliving her and Sadie’s testing she related that there were other women in there doing scenarios of talking loud, yelling and slamming things around to see if they could get a reaction out of Sadie – this was part of the exam (which, she didn’t have any reaction at all).

What was the blonde woman’s name?

Uh, I can’t remember, um….

Was it Beverly?

Yes, that was her name! Wait! You know her?

I went out with her for, like a minute, a long time ago.

It just figures that I run in to yet another one of your ex-girlfriends.

(Our friend, Link always jokes that I’ve dated everyone in Atlanta and when I say, No, I don’t think Charlie believes me. I get that look. I told Link, Quit saying that. You’ll give the girl a complex.)

I always say, That was then, this is now, baby! to Charlie.

So, once home we were getting ready to go out for a celebratory beer when I checked my watch. It was still updating. At this point I was ready to throw the thing out the window. I specifically waited until the new version came out and the older ones went on sale because I wanted a stainless steel one and was not about to pay $500 for it. (this from someone who once paid the cost of a car WAY more for a Rolex which I sold to buy a motorcycle but that’s another story). It had spent ALL NIGHT updating and then most of the next day. I had to reboot both my phone and watch three times in order for the update to take. I was wondering if I’d gotten a bad watch. I unplugged it and went and set it on the box thinking I was going to take it back the next day. Later, I thought, I will try it one.more.time just to see if it will go and when I picked it up and, voila, it was updated. Yeah, it only took 2 days! These apple updates are getting somewhat short of ridiculous in my book.

The other night, Charlie and I were driving back from having dinner at the 57th Fighter Club. It was nice sitting out there watching the planes come in. It’s finally cooled off here and the club lit the fire pit while we were sitting on the patio. This was the first time we’d tried this place. We’re trying to break out of our regular scene and try new places.

On the way home Charlie said, it just figures I run in to yet another girlfriend of yours.

You haven’t met that many ex-girlfriends of mine.

Yes, I have.

Ok, so you met Bird, Lee and Beverly – that’s it.

No, I’ve met monkey lady, too. Remember when she brought her dog into the vet and I had to check her in?

Oh yeah, that’s right. How unfortunate.

So, why did you break up with them?

Rats.

What’s wrong?

No, I mean because of rats.

What? Seriously?

Yeah, Beverly had these rats in her condo – she was also a hoarder, by-the-way. Her building super set all these live traps in there and only cleaned them out once a month. She asked me if I would come over and clean them out for her and I said no. She got really mad at me after that and I just blew her off and we stopped going out. We weren’t really hitting it anyway. She ended up getting married to a man after that so she was never really lesbian material.

What about monkey lady?

Oh, well one night I went over there  and we’d had a couple of bourbons and her friend, Lorraine called and said there was a stench so bad in her house that she needed us to come over and find the dead animal in her walls. We ran over there with a drill and jig saw. After drilling several holes in their newly painted stairwell wall we discovered after prying up a couple of stairs and looking down into the crawlspace that it was under there. I had to shimmy down there and get it out. After that, I got the rep of removing rats and there was another night monkey lady called me and asked me to go crawling around in her attic to find these rats that had been getting into her house and I refused. She got very angry and started yelling at me about it. So, like before I just blew her off after that. We weren’t hitting it either. I’d gotten tired of her yelling at me about rats.

That’s weird. Why do you get stuck killing rats – in your house and others peoples?

Yeah, remember Ellen? I had to go over there and kill a rat for her, too.

I remember that. I was afraid you’d get rabies.

And, right after that conversation in the car we got home and let the dogs out and was enjoying a whiskey when Sadie started looking at the grill.

What is it, Sadie?

Charlie went over and opened the lid and turned on one of the burners and just then…..

……you guessed it- a rat ran out. Sadie chased it around the side of the house and then suddenly it came running towards me. I jumped up as I saw a grey blur run by with Sadie in tow. Sadie never got it but she was looking for it the rest of the night. And, so was I.

I don’t know what it is about ex’s, rats and Apple watches-but it is what it is.

 

 

determination

img_5211 (Yes, Lanie is only at 45% and is almost dead. Let’s check her pulse)

This is the second week of the new gym with running in between. Yesterday, I went after work and when I walked in I already had my heartbeat strap on and suddenly I appeared on all the monitors all over the gym:

Note to self: Don’t turn on the heart monitor until other people are in the gym as well. There was a woman who brought her husband in and I could tell it was his first time. I thought I was doing good until he passed me on the treads. I thought, GAWD, get with it, Lanie, you’re not going to let this guy pass you. (That’s not exactly what I thought, but you get the gist)

I’m trying to remember how long it was when I started bootcamp that I noticed any weight loss. I think it was a monthly thing – you signed up for a month and they said don’t worry about seeing anything until at least two weeks out and that’s what I’m counting on with this. (Because, I still feel like a fat @ss)

I think the most difficult thing has been not getting drunk drinking every night when I get home from work but I bought a 30 oz Yeti (and put a Green Bay sticker on it) that I keep ice water in all day to drink. I’ve been drinking a ton of water and eating low carb meals so I’m hoping something will happen soon. I’m determined.

Speaking of determined, Charlie has been building a deck onto our little shed in the back this week. I always know if I haven’t heard from her in the afternoon when I know she’s not doing landscape work at a clients or running errands that she’s up to something. So, one afternoon last week I hadn’t noticed because I was trying to get out some jobs at work (we’ve been pretty busy lately) and I came home to this:

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Then, the dog had to get involved as site superintendent:

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(Typical super laying down on the job – probably working holidays for time and 1/2, too)

img_5219 (Just a frame with fabric here nothing to see, NO, IT’S NOT A DOGGIE WIDE WORLD WRESTLING RING, GET OUT!)

Then, a few days later there’s this: (they subbed me out to help with the rock)

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(The super is up on her feet not happy about the rock. Trying to rush the job – typical)

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(The worker (Charlie) finally taking credit – site super has gone on vacation but left explicit instructions to have the job completed by the time she got back)

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(Laying down on the job again and taking all the credit)

 

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.

 

 

run with the dogs

frostbite15aAdam Pinsley’s original rendition of “Sadie”

Saturday, Sadie and I did a little 5k race called Run with the Dogs. After dropping Charlie and Bailey off at Charlie’s office, Sadie and I headed downtown to the race that started at a local high school. There were more dogs than I’ve ever seen in one place there. Sadie and I kind of stayed on the fringe because I didn’t want us to get too much into the pack area. It would only take one aggressive dog to start a mosh pit of teeth and growling. They had said in the race packet to not bring any aggressive dogs but there’s always someone who thinks their kid is the best in the world and ignores the gnashing of teeth and growling.

There were some really interesting dogs there, too. We saw albino Doberman that I never knew even existed. There was this huge Irish Wolf Hound that was just beautiful. Pure breeds and mutts everywhere.  Booths selling and giving away dog cookies, poop bags and cards of their animal-related businesses.

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Finally, after making everyone walk up to the starting line and waiting bunched up (again, I seriously thought this was a dumb idea) they blew the whistle and started the race. Sadie and I jumped in when the crowd dissipated and we had some room. There was a wiry sheepdog looking dog in front of us that she kept trying to smell its butt while we ran. I didn’t discourage thinking it could emulate the carrot in front of the horse.

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We wound through the neighborhoods and came out on the huge hill leading up to the post office when Sadie ran out of pep. She stopped and looked behind her, like, “What? I’m just looking around.” We would walk a bit and then she’d start jogging again. We finally made it over the hill and ran down into downtown Decatur. She stopped to walk again until we heard a bunch of cheering up ahead. She picked it up a little and I managed to get her to run over the finish line and finish strong. She did pretty good for her first 5k. We walked over and grabbed some bottled water and I pried open her snout and poured some water into her mouth because I knew she wouldn’t drink anything until we got back to the car which, when we did she drank out of the little bowl I brought for her. We loaded up and went to Charlie’s work to pick up Bailey and head home. Here she is after the race – no worse for wear.

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where is the karma?

So, today I’m going to write about a friend of ours – Mary Ann. Charlie and I first met her at Ellen’s house when she was having a party. Mary Ann had just moved here from California at the time and had already made a slew of friends – ironically, ones that she knew while she was in Cali who had also moved here. I think I have mentioned that she’s friends with Katherine and Yvonne – who are now together and have a band.

At the time, Mary Ann had her –then – girlfriend here. In fact, at the party I mistook her for another friend of ours who had moved to Texas and wondered why she just looked at me and looked away like she didn’t know me – later, I found she didn’t because it wasn’t the ex-friend from Texas but Mary Ann’s girlfriend, Krystal.

Despite speaking with Krystal a bit that night I realize now that I have never liked anyone with that name. In fact, everyone with that name I have despised.

Krystal was working and living in Maine and had plans to quit her job and move to Georgia with Mary Ann. We have several friends who have coupled up this way – me and Charlie including. She moved here from Florida. Yvonne is moving here from SC and Ellen just had her new squeeze move here from Arkansas.

At Christmas Mary Ann proposed to Krystal and started house hunting. In January she flew up to Maine, picked Krystal up and they drove back to Georgia stopping along the way making it a vacation. When they got to Georgia they closed on a house [a very lovely one, I might add] and Krystal flew back to quit her job and start packing.

Or so we thought.

In murder mysteries this is the part where someone discovers a bloody knife in the cupboard.

As I told you before, I knew something was up at the Super Bowl party when Mary Ann said that Krystal was having a hard time quitting her job. Well, she didn’t afterall. She broke up with Mary Ann right before Valentine’s Day. Since then, Mary Ann has gone through the stage of grief of “What did I do wrong?” the self-blaming kind – much to all of our frustration.

You didn’t do anything, Krystal is just a bitch.

At the St. Paddy’s day party at Katherine’s I tried to talk to her about it. She was still in the what did I do mode. I said, You have to let this go. You may never know the reason.

Although, I suspected there was another chicken in the coop.

In the meantime, her very old dog – a two-time cancer survivor, I might add – hadn’t been doing well. In fact, he was taking a dive. Many times the past month we have had plans where she would say, Rudy’s not doing well and would stay home with him. We’ve all been on pins and needles about it – really. Poor girl going through a difficult breakup and her dog – only companion – not doing well.

What a fucking raw deal. It makes me want to go hug my Sadie-McTaddie-Fatty-McTattie and Bailey –Bait – well, you know.

Tuesday, we all had plans to go eat at the bar that has the burger specials when Mary Ann said Rudy wasn’t doing well. Then, Wednesday morning Ellen texted that he had passed. That night, she came out for one bowling game. She looked defeated. As she talked to us she raised her sweater and pulled her belt to another notch tighter – already pretty thin she was even more so now.

We need to get some food on those bones, girl.

She was showing Ellen something on her phone. When she went up to bowl later I asked her what that was about.

She’s getting messages from Krystal now about how sorry she is that Rudy isn’t doing well.

What? Has she told her that Rudy died?

Nope. She’s mad now.

Good, we’ve been waiting for this stage.

Saturday, we have plans to meet up at a motorcycle swap meet in North Georgia to look at bikes for Mary Ann. Katherine, Yvonne and I are riding up and meeting Mary Ann and Charlie. I hope she gets a bike and starts riding soon. She needs this. I just feel so terrible for her -just all these sucky things happening to such a good person. It just seems that nothing bad ever happens to the people who suck.

Where is the Karma in all this?

Next up – Lee the homewrecker. Stay tuned!

 

miller time turned into……

….shit. Saturday I was teaching a class with K. We had had the normal share of difficult students – one I had to dive out of the way before he hit the fence. When I picked it up and rolled it off the range and gave him another one he said, “This one feels better” Yeah, blame the bike why don’t you – it was the same damn bike.
I had been texting Charlie and she said she was taking Black Fury out. She wrote back that she had a great ride, it cornered well and that she took it through the neighborhood. Later, we were doing a split exercise, I was bringing people in on bikes and sending people out and she called. I knew it had to be an emergency for her to call while I was teaching as she knows I have my hands full. As I’m telling people to shut down I answered.

You know how people talk really calm when they’re not so calm? That was how the neighbor was talking on Charlie’s cell phone.

“Lanie, yes Deborah here. [she never calls herself her entire first name so I knew something was up] Yes, well Charlie has had a little accident. [I hear Charlie moaning in the background] and the paramedics are here.”

My stomach dropped to my feet. She’s wrecked Black Fury.

“She wrecked the bike.”

“No, no she fell off the ladder. There’s some blood and – [talking in the background more moaning from Charlie] let me call you back.”

Just in time for me to send out the people I just parked and bring more in. K is looking at me like he knows something’s up because I would never be on the phone while I’m trying to park people. Thankfully, this group was done with the exercise and after telling them to shut down, dismount and discuss I walked out and told him what was up. He asked if I needed to book and I said I was waiting for the neighbor to call me back.

Call back. “Lanie, Deborah again. Tom [her husband] is taking Charlie to the hospital. [more moaning in the background].”

“What happened?”

“She fell off the ladder and hurt her ankle – we think it’s broken and there was a big cut on the side that we had a time stopping the bleeding. So, Tom is going to take her to DeKalb Medical.”

“Ok, let me talk to her.”

After talking to a moaning Charlie I said I would meet her there as soon as possible. By then K and I were running the next exercise and I gave him our shut off signal meaning I had to go. He had texted me that he would send them to the gate and once I parked them I could take off – which, I did. I merged onto 400 and was immediately stopped because there was a 3 car pileup and they were stopped to move the cars off the highway. So – an hour later I arrived at the hospital. Fortunately, when I found Charlie in the ER she was already plugged up to a morphine drip. Good thing about this hospital if you come in bleeding they see you right away. Her ankle was still bleeding. What appeared to be a broken ankle and cut turned out to be a crushed heel that was a compound fracture –causing the bleeding. So, it was a very serious break and one that couldn’t heal properly without surgery.

My ex Bird came by after she got off her shift. Then, Cindi showed up. We were all crowded into her curtained room. The woman next door to Charlie’s curtain was heaving ever minute or so and every time she did the conversation stopped. At one point I heard her mumble that she needed some alcohol up in here and I said under my breath, You know it, sister. They had to admit her that night and surgery was going to be the next day. I kept going in and out of the room to talk to Charlie’s family on the phone.

Much later, we got her to a room and settled down. Finally, at about midnight she fell asleep and Cindi and I slipped out of the room to go down to the parking deck to charge my phone and to drink the Fireball she brought me. We sat in the deck talking and me drinking when Ellen pulled up with phone charging cords and beer that I requested. She got into Cindi’s car and we talked until Cindi had to go home and go to bed. Ellen and I snuck up to Charlie’s room and I went in and checked on her and grabbed my phone cord. She woke a little and I told her to go back to sleep that I’d be back in three hours. They had given her Benedrill with her morphine and it had knocked her out. The neighbors had been letting the dogs out while I was at the hospital. When I got home they jumped into bed with me and we all crashed. This was 2 a.m. They were stressed I could tell. Deb had barely been able to get Bailey into the house after the accident. Sunday afternoon she had surgery – fortunately, they were able to put her heel back together with only six screws. She came out of it really well and was starving. Monday I was able to take her home. There have been so many friends helping out and bringing food over – all our friends have been really, really great -our families – not so much. They have added more stress to the situation in my opinion.  At some point yesterday I took Charlie’s cell phone away from her and said, It’s time to relax, no more conversations, no more texting and FB. Finally, after feeding her the fettuccini that Steph brought over, watching The Walking Dead and giving her a bath I was able to get her to relax.

I’m sure I’ll write more later but this is a start….