weekend chex mix

I think I mentioned in the last post that the magnolias have been blooming this time of year so last Friday Charlie and I went out and got a saucer magnolia and she planted it in the back yard for me in memory of my mother. It also so happened that we bought it on the same day as my step mother’s bday. We’ve been planting trees in memory of people lost. In addition to the magnolia, we planted two cherries in the front for both my mothers and a true red crape myrtle in the back for Emil’s sister.

Last week we had our guitar recital. All the classes with the school performed, but our class had to go first because we were guitar I. We played our asses off to Jet Plane and sat down and watched the rest of the groups perform.  Apparently, we had the most recently released song because the banjo group got up and played some song from the 1800’s. Charlie and Kim came to watch (Kim made it to one class/jam session and decided to not come back and talked the instructor hippy lady into retaking it in May). Kim was clapping along and having a good time and Charlie was looking on wide-eyed like, You weren’t kidding when you said they play old hillbilly songs. WTH!? I was glad to be done with it to be honest. Emil had been coming over on Fridays and playing a bit and I learn a lot more doing that than anything. Thursday, it was pouring it’s ass off outside and we stayed in. Friday we had Emil over to play and then Link showed up with a couple bottles of tequila and it was on. Despite throwing down I made 100% on my midterm the next day. The weekend was so beautiful and we were outside most of it.

This weekend Bernice and Ralph are supposed to be in town so we’re hoping to do an oyster happy hour somewhere. Saturday we’re wide open and I’m hoping the weather is going to be decent while they’re here. I know it’s going to be much cooler than it was last weekend. That’s March for you! Next week we’re getting out of town for a few days to take the dogs to a cabin next to a river. I’m hoping to do a little fishing while we’re there and we got the dogs a couple of swim toys to play with in the river. This is part I of our take-the-dogs-on-vacation in a III part series so stay tuned for cute dog photos.

If I don’t talk to you before then have a great weekend! Cheers!

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friday chex mix

Thanksgiving wrap

We managed to make it safely to and from Florida to see Charlie’s side of the family this past TG. Wednesday before we spent with the youngest and his girlfriend. We had dinner at yet another fabulous Mexican restaurant in Gainesville, FL – Boco Fiesta before heading to south Florida to spend the next few days with her folks. Saturday we went to middle Florida to spend with the oldest son and wife. We went out on their boat (highlight of the trip in my opinion) and hung out around a bonfire that night after grilling steaks. We took Sadie with us on this trip and she did remarkably well traveling as always. I don’t know why this is so surprising -the dog travels well. This is her on the boat. Only the second time she’d been on a boat but after a while she wanted to drive, as you can see.

Charlie’s  birthday week

We went out to celebrate Charlie’s birthday to yet another wonderful Mexican place Mezcalito’s with Link and Stiletto. Probably had way too many margaritas but it was her birthday.  This is the first we’ve seen L&S since the holiday so it was good to catch up and we were happy they could come out and celebrate with us.

The rest of the week has kind of been a blur. We’re having all our neighbor friends over tonight for Indian food and this weekend I’m sure we’ll hit the GA/Auburn game somewhere and Sunday we’re going up to friends in Gainesville, GA for a housewarming party. December is here already and I’m sure next thing we know it will be –

New Years Eve

We decided to do something different this year and bought tickets to see a show at The Earl in east Atlanta (and, thanks for the great post on Mattiel, Carrie). We’re going to take a Lyft down there, eat dinner and check out the show. If we feel like it later we may stop by Mary’s to dance and avoid the woman-hater bartender.

Have a great weekend, everyone! Cheers!

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.

ot

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.

shed

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.

rooster

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

rooster2

(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:

dogs

 

 

ex’s, rats and apple watches

rat

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)

img_5214

(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)

img_5218 img_5217

(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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