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Archive for June, 2012

Riding along

June 30th, 2012 2 comments

image My husband got a new toy recently. He got a motorcycle. Specifically a Honda VTX 1300.

I know, that means nothing to most of my readers. Frankly, it doesn’t mean a lot to me, either. It’s a motorcycle. And I am still getting used to having it around.

See, I never had any experience with motorcycles at ALL until I met my husband. And I’ll me honest, the stories that stuck out to me in our “getting to know you” days were the ones of his accidents on bikes back in the day. Specifically the one that left him being life flighted with horrible injuries.

So, when my husband would talk about wanting a motorcycle again, my stomach would clinch. Can’t we talk about a hot rod? Or how about a boat? Maybe a horse? But no, he wanted a motorcycle.

I had never ridden on one. It wasn’t really something that was even on my bucket list. But last November, he got me on the back of a friend’s bike for my first ride. And I had fun. I did. But it didn’t really put, “Go get a motorcycle” on my to do list.

A couple months ago, though, an offer fell into our lap to get a motorcycle, and I had absolute no reason to say no, outside of fear.

We took possession a few weeks ago, but we were too busy to ride it. Plus, it needed new registration stickers and it didn’t have a backseat for me.

So, over the last week, all those things were remedied and as I write this, I can say I’ve gone of more than one ride with my husband… and, yes, I do have fun every time. But its still going to take awhile before I get excited about it. I’m trying, though. I am.

My hesitations come from fear of an accident. I trust my husband’s abilities, but I don’t trust other drivers. Not as far as I could throw any of them. I give cars and trucks the evil eye from my backseat perch of the bike. Don’t you DARE hit us!

But my hesitations also come from my constant fear of running out of money. When you’ve lived with $10 in the bank that had to last days, you have this intense need to watch every single penny. The bike needs a lot of parts to be replaced that were removed by the previous owner. It needs a windshield, saddle bags, side panels (really!?), the back turn signals returned to stock, and a crash bar.  Not to mention we want to invest in good leathers, and other riding gear. Oh and I want to outfit it with LEDs so we are seen easily at night. So, yeah, as I joke to my husband, “Money just flying out of here!”  But, that will all come in time as we can afford it. It’s fine as it is; we just want to make it even better.

I’m enjoying it. I am. Honey, see? I said it! I’m enjoying it. It’s fun to ride, and I can’t deny the gas savings! Plus, it gives us a second “vehicle” that we’ve been needing again. So… I’m going to focus on the positive, and the excitement will come with time.

Friday afternoon on my porch

June 22nd, 2012 No comments

Life got really busy and crazy for awhile. Then as soon as it slowed down, my body slowed down even further leaving me sick in bed with a fever for a few days. Life is normal again, save for the nagging cough that’s hung around and the stuffy nose that just won’t leave, with a normal schedule and normal responsibilities. Somewhere along the “too busy to write” I also lost a lot of interest in it. Every day I open my blog site, and most days I close it without even clicking “new post.”

But today, I got up from a nice long night of sleep, went outside with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and I just sat on my porch swing.

The lawn was freshly mowed yesterday before my husband left for another weekend on the road. Friday is trash day, so a few now-empty trashcans still sit on the side of the road, waiting for their owners to come home from work. The thermometer reads 91° but in the shade with the light breeze it doesn’t seem so bad. Our American flag on the front of the house flutters, and a bee buzzes me every now and then.

I take it all in and realize how blessed I am to live in a safe, quiet neighborhood. It’s a beautiful summer day, and I’m struck with the urge to write and share it with everyone. I do so love to write still, but I can’t keep forcing myself to try to write every single day. It takes the fun out of it, and it makes it truly feel like a job. I have to want to write every day again, like I once did. Writing is something I enjoy, and there is no reason I can’t keep it as part of my career. But writing is a pleasure, and it can’t be forced or it feels fake.

I’m not here to pledge to write more often, but I am here to pledge to write as I feel compelled to do so. Life is back to normal, and there is no reason for me to continue living as if it isn’t. I need to get out of my date book and back into the world. The breeze rustling my hair told me that. And it is high time I listen.

Categories: general-post Tags: , , ,

Weekly Winners (June 11 – 17)

June 21st, 2012 2 comments

Started by the lovely Lotus, Weekly Winners is a fun little thing bloggers do to showcase some of their favorite photos from the previous week.

Visit Lotus’ site and check out her various entries, and find other participants. See some amazing photos brought to you by bloggers around the world. Leave a little love when you do — its like food for the soul!

 

Photos taken using my Droid Razr or a Sony DSLR A230.
View all of my photos on my Flickr stream.

♥♥♥

215: 12 South Taproom

12 South Taproom

216: Tap

Tap from the ceiling

After the rain

After the rain

219: After the rain

All wet

Percy Priest Lake

On the rocks

221: Percy Priest Lake

Sunset over the lake

Percy Priest Lake

Burned

Don’t let the bed bugs bite

June 15th, 2012 No comments

“Good night! Sleep tight! Don’t let the bed bugs bite!”

When I was little, I didn’t think there was actually something called a bed bug. I just thought it was a cutesy way to say good night.

Then over the last few years, bed bug reports have been in the news. I’ve been worried about my husband bringing them home off the road sometime, after being in a hotel room with them. I never thought we’d run into them together at a studio.

On Monday night, my husband and I started noticing bites on our legs. I thought it was the blankets we had wrapped up in, so I threw them in the basement to be washed. Then Tuesday, we discovered a friend had the same bites… our only common denominator was the studio where my husband had a session on Monday.

Come to find out we all (who were there) have bites, and it was confirmed they are bed bugs.

Want to see one of my legs? These are going away…

Seriously would not wish these on my worst enemy! I’ve had enough bug bites in my life that I’ve gotten pretty good at ignoring the itch. So mine are drying up fairly quickly.  My only concern is if we brought any home with us. Will we be facing this again down the road? I sure hope not…

Time will tell.

Categories: sick Tags:

The madness that is CMA Fest (Weekly Winners)

June 12th, 2012 1 comment

If you could see me in this moment (and thank heavens you can’t) you’d see the picture of exhaustion. I mean bone tired, can’t stand up without leaning on something, tummy hurts, cranky exhaustion.

It’s Fan Fair (aka CMA Fest) hangover. It’s because I’ve been going non-stop for six days straight, getting maybe 5 hours of sleep each night. Yes, 5-Hour energy drinks have been my friend. Now, I am riding my couch with no interest in going anywhere but to bed.

It was a fun week though, with its highs and its lows. And I thought it was a great opportunity to combine my Weekly Winners and a CMA Fest recap.

I’ll hit the only REAL low of the week… Dear tourists, PLEASE LOSE THE TUNNEL VISION! We are glad you are here, but we really need you to remember some of us live here and work here. Open your eyes and be aware of your surroundings.

Every day, my husband and I couldn’t find parking in the garage where we have a parking permit BECAUSE OF PEOPLE DOUBLE PARKING!! I spoke with friends who have passes to other garages and they ALL ran into this problem. Tourists double parked in garages with no regard to the fact that they’re making someone go find somewhere else to park and that they’re taking money out of the parking garage’s pocket by taking up two space. Two spaces, you should have to double pay. Maybe THAT will stop you from taking up more than one spot?

If that wasn’t frustrating enough, we now have a big, deep scratch in our truck door thanks to someone not only opening their door into it, you can tell where they left it up against the door as they got in or out of the car. And I pointed out to my husband, my bet is that they never realized what they did. (Yeah, I know this is why people double park, but I refuse to be a jerk like that.)

Especially considering how many people cut me off on foot downtown. Oblivious to the fact I was there at all. Just walked across in front of me, to where I had to come to a dead stop as to not plow right into them as I walked along a straight line down the sidewalk. It just made me shake my head and sigh.

So that rant behind me, I bring you photos of the week’s fun, starting with last Sunday when we were trying to enjoy a little fun before the madness began:

207: Great American Food Truck Race
The Great American Food Truck Race was in Nashville last weekend! My husband helped me seek out one of the trucks and we actually had to sign releases since they filmed us getting our food! So who knows… maybe we’ll be on Food Network some day. Even if only a glimpse.

208: Margarita Monday

 Monday we met friends for Margarita Monday, knowing it would be our last hoorah before it all began for us. CMA Fest didn’t technically start until Thursday, but my madness began on Tuesday.

210: CMA Fest attendees

 For anyone curious… Nashvillians don’t dress this way. If you don’t want to look like a tourist, don’t dress like this and carry guitars on your back. This is just a friendly PSA.

211: Looking down
Spent every single day and night in Printer’s Alley. The days were a bit slow, but the nights were absolutely hoppin’!

CMA Fest 2012

 So I finally had a few hours to go check out the CMA Fest hub on Broadway. I remember attending Fan Fair as a fan back in 1997, and I like to go check out the free stuff and remember what previous years were like. Okay, fine, I am judging you, CMA, and how you handle this yearly festival.

CMA Fest 2012

Apparently attendance was up once again this year, though it was hard to see, to me. But we also have a lot of new bars, etc. through downtown. So maybe the crowd was up, but it was also much more spread out? Plus, the temperatures weren’t sweltering, like usual. And fans stayed outside more than usual? Perhaps? Hmmm..

CMA Fest 2012

Thankfully, Blue Bell ice cream was once again giving out free samples. This makes this little Texan’s heart so happy. So. Very. Happy.

CMA Fest 2012

But, really, CMA. What does PS3 have to do with Country Music? Unless they are sampling some new country music video game, it just makes no sense to me. I’m sorry. But it doesn’t. Same for the antifreeze booth beside this one. Whyyyyyy? (And I was not the only person asking this question.)

CMA Fest 2012

The “Jesus Freaks” were back. I’m a Christian. I believe in God. My God is a loving God. These guy’s God is judgmental and sending us all to hell for even breathing. I kinda wanted to go ask the cops if these guys had a permit to sell religion, since they were within the CMA area? (See the sign photo above.)

Side story! See that boot shop in the photo? It reminds me of a fun moment.

I noticed one of the boot shops on Broadway had a sign up about getting your SEC Team boots inside. I couldn’t resist… I went in to inquire about Texas A&M boots. The couple in front of me beat me to it. I surprised them by piping up that I was wondering the same thing, and then shaking hands with my class year as an introduction, as Aggies do after I spotted an Aggie Ring on the husband’s hand. The pair seemed thoroughly confused on why I was even speaking to him. Oh in-state Aggies, please remember that the Aggie family is world-wide. Those of us that don’t live in Texas any more find a thrill in finding other Aggies…

Ah well… still made me smile.

 

CMA Fest 2012

The Opry had my favorite booth on Broadway. This made me giggle, and if I were attending with friends as a fan… I’d have totally jumped in and played, too.

212: CMA Fest 2012

Gotta admit, I didn’t agree with some of the city’s moves regarding traffic downtown, but on a whole… I appreciated the task Metro Police had to tackle, and my hats off to them for keeping things running as smoothly as they did. I think I’M exhausted! Woo! Can’t imagine how all these guys feel!

CMA Fest 2012HGTV gets my award for coolest new feature for Fan Fair. I couldn’t go inside (no wristband) but this Lodge was SO COOL. Can’t wait to see where else it pops up in the future.

Whiskey KitchenMy husband and I lived on Hot Dogs and McDonald’s most of the week, eating on the fly. The last day, though, we decided to treat ourselves to a sit-down dinner at a new-to-us restaurant. Whiskey Kitchen in Nashville. TWO THUMBS UP! SO good. Worth every single penny.

Tomkins Guitars Showcase

Our last night of work, the bar hosted a Tomkins Guitar Showcase. We were over run with Australians! And let me tell you, SO NICE! All of them! And amazing artists. Sorry, but it took a band from Australia coming in to bring in some hard-core country music. Refreshing! Already looking forward to next year and this showcase again.

214: Tomkins Guitars ShowcaseAnother CMA Fest is in the books. I’m exhausted but I am also thankful for the work, and I am reminded that this city exists thanks to all those country music fans… and all of us here are here because we are fans at heart.

Thank you country music fans! We love you and you are always welcome…

… just keep a head’s up, please. ;)

 ♥♥♥

Started by the lovely Lotus, Weekly Winners is a fun little thing bloggers do to showcase some of their favorite photos from the previous week.

Visit Lotus’ site and check out her various entries, and find other participants. See some amazing photos brought to you by bloggers around the world. Leave a little love when you do — its like food for the soul!

 Photos taken using my Droid Razr or a Sony DSLR A230.
View all of my photos on my Flickr stream.

Get some sleep

June 5th, 2012 1 comment
CMA Fest 2010

CMA Fest 2010

In case you don’t know, this week is that week everyone who lives in Nashville goes into hiding… its both CMA Fest and Bonnaroo. (I still think the move to where both are the same week was a dumb, dumb, dumb idea. But no one asked me.) Thousands of music fans descend on the city bring tourism dollars, but also crazy traffic and long work hours if you work in any of the bars and restaurants downtown.

Which I do.

So the last two nights, I’ve purposely gotten at least 9 hours of sleep each night. I know that supposedly you can’t save up sleep, but darn it I am trying. The next couple of nights, I’ll probably get more like 4 (maybe 5) hours of sleep each night. If I am lucky. This week its sleep and eat as you can, plan to make up for it next week.

My body is dreading it already. I feel tired just thinking about it!

But I also embrace it. This week helps keep this city afloat… both financially and it keeps an appeal for music fans around the world. I’m looking forward to meeting people from all over as they come through the doors looking for a cold drink and a seat to rest their tired feet.

I’ve been one of those fans visiting Music City for the Fan Fair experience. Perhaps that helps me feel a welcoming attitude towards everyone.

Then I remember I’ve lived here over five years, and I remember the stress the week brings to Nashvillians. And I take a deep breath and brace myself for the fatigue of long hours, and the frustration behind the wheel as tourists get lost or forget that there are people who live and work here.

Fan Fair… the week I have a love-hate relationship with… ready or not… here it is.