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Sunday Adventure-day

July 7th, 2014 No comments

Ever have a day that starts out all laid back. Turns really weird. Then ends with you just feeling… rejuvenated? I just did yesterday.

070614-1My husband and I have started a little tradition of going out for coffee on Sunday after he comes home off the road. We have coffee and catch up from our weekend apart. I look forward to it all weekend, and its become a favorite part of my whole week.

This weekend, due to July 4th and my working at the bar when my husband had to be at the bus, my husband drove himself to meet the band on his motorcycle. So, I didn’t have to pick him up today, but I was up and ready to go when he got home. I grabbed my phone, wallet and helmet and we were off! We rode over to Starbucks, ordered some iced coffee, I grabbed a breakfast item, and we sat down outside to catch up.

After about an hour, we decided to hop on the bike and take a ride around the lake. It was a perfect lake day, and we commented that as much as were were enjoying the bike, we wished we were on the lake instead of on the side. But, hey, baby steps. We get more use out of the motorcycle than we would a boat, so be thankful for what we have going!

A perfect day for the lake!

A perfect day for the lake!

We road over to one of our favorite recreation areas, and sat at a picnic table just enjoying the breeze for awhile. After awhile, we decided we’d head home. We were going to grill hot dogs, and just have a chill evening at home. I asked my husband to stop at the restrooms on our way out of the recreation area, so we headed over there.

When I came back and got on the bike, we went a couple feet and my husband stopped. He told me to get off, as he looked at the back tire. Something was wrong.

Sure enough… flat tire.

Now what?

A park ranger drove by not long after our discovery, and we flagged him down to see if he had an air compressor. Nope. No go. It was time to start calling for help.

If there is anything you need to know about Nashville, its that we all look out for each other. This wasn’t so much a case of “find out who your friends are” as “which one to do we call first?” It took no time at all for us to have help on the way. While we waited, my husband said he was going to roll the bike forward and see if we could see a nail or anything in the tire. I sat down on the ground, and he didn’t even have to push it six inches and I saw it…

That white dot? That's a nail in the tire.

That white dot? That’s a nail in the tire.

 

The discovery of a nail told us right away, just adding air was going to do no good. We were going to have to trailer the bike home. So while we waited, we discussed how to handle it. We agreed I’d stay with the bike, and my husband would go get our truck and trailer and come back. When our friend arrived we loaded the helmets and bag with my wallet (I at least kept my driver’s license so I had ID on me) in the backseat and my husband left to get the truck.

070614-2I could definitely think of a worse place to be stranded! Families were everywhere, so I felt 100% safe the entire time. I called my Mom and caught up with my parents for awhile. I made friends with a dog that was hanging out with his family at the park. I also walked around. A lot. According to my pedometer, did about a mile and a half just wandering around the park. It felt great to do! I want to get more exercise these days, and I grasped the opportunity with both hands.

My cell phone was almost dead (I wasn’t planning on being stuck, so I didn’t exactly try to make the battery last earlier in the day!), so I turned my data off after awhile to try to save what little life it still had. It was kind of amazing to not be able to look at Twitter or Facebook. To not be able to post pictures to Instagram.  I found myself missing having a good paperback book to read, though.

It gave me a chance to just… be. I watched the water and felt the breeze. I enjoyed watching the families have fun together, and it just reminded there is still a beautiful simplicity to life. A simplicity that gets lost in technology and social media. A simplicity that gets lost in deadlines and trying to make the almighty dollar.

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Enjoying nature

What we expected to take less than an hour actually took closer to an hour and a half. After all my walking, I was starting to get hungry. My coffee and breakfast square was long gone. I also was keeping an eye on a couple guys that kept hanging out by a truck beside the bike. They were probably just hanging out visiting, but I was paranoid. And did I mention hungry? Hunger makes me a little irritable sometimes. And apparently ups my level of distrust.

I was super happy to see our truck coming my way, trailer on the back. I walked over and we started to load the bike up right away. We were just ready to get this done. Of course as we start that, the two guys who were hanging by the bike had to leave. Right then. My husband had to take the ramp off the trailer so one could back his truck out of the spot they’d been just hanging out in for the last half hour. It very much added to my distrust, but what really surprised me? I was only mildly annoyed. Normally I’d get super annoyed going, “Seriously? You have to leave RIGHT NOW? Can’t wait five minutes?” But instead I was so relaxed from my afternoon! I was able to just let it go within moments.

It didn’t take long and we were loaded up and ready to go, which also helped me forget any annoyance. Our adventure for the day came to a positive end (so far.)

Let's go!

Let’s go!

On our way out, we saw a deer. I like to think nature gave us a nice little, “Thanks for visiting!” in that.

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Yes, that is a real deer.

We both agreed, we were too hungry to go home and cook. If I’d have gone straight home, I’d have probably just sat down with a bag of potato chips and scarfed them down. Pretty much negating all my exercise.

So we ended up going to Buffalo Wild Wings (a favorite of ours) for dinner. Hot wings and beer on the patio! Which I guess still negated my exercise. But I didn’t care.

2014-07-06 18.41.33 When we got to the restaurant, my phone was at 3% charge. We cut it a bit close there! By the time we left, my phone had completely died. I felt so strange and yet also so… free. I had no purse. My phone was dead. I was literally walking around with nothing but my driver’s license.

Granted had I not been with my husband, I’d have been pretty freaked out and felt very vulnerable. I strive to never let myself be in such a position. But as it was, given the circumstances, I just felt so… light! I liked it.

As we we walked out, we ran into a friend we hadn’t seen in awhile and got a chance to catch up for awhile. I marveled at the friendships we have. On our way home, we both agreed we were exhausted. Full stomachs, the stress of the “adventure” we were sent on by a carelessly dropped nail, the summer heat, and the peace of feeling so thankful for friends we can rely on left us feeling very content and peaceful.

Oh sure, I’m not happy that we have to go into the expense of the tire being fixed. No one likes something like that. And it threw a wrench into our day’s plans. But in the end, I firmly believe everything happens for a reason. I’m taking this Sunday Adventure as a lesson in simplicity, friendship, and faith. Consider it a lesson very well learned.

Facebook is great, but face-to-face is better

February 10th, 2014 2 comments

Tillamook CheeseLast night, my husband and I invited some friends over for a “wine-and-cheese party.”  We had Tillamook Cheese we wanted to share with our friends that we brought back from our recent trip to Oregon, and we figured what goes better with cheese than wine?

My husband and I happen to really love hosting get-togethers at our house, but we haven’t done it much in the last few years. We just felt like our house was too small to adequately host friends. The house we rented prior to the one we are in now was PERFECT for parties, but it was a little ways out of town and hard to get people to come out to visit. We moved into town, but downsized dramatically. We felt like our party hosting fun was still on hold until we moved again.

Boy were we wrong!

So what if we had to haul my desk chair from the office in and another chair up from basement?

So what if we didn’t have room on the table for plates, so we all just picked out our choice of finger foods with our fingers?

So what if there was a line to our one bathroom at one point?

323: Rhythm in WineIt didn’t diminish the wonderful evening that we had one bit. We put together a spread of cheese, veggies, fruit, bread, sausage, etc. We had Merlot, Moscato, Rosé, sparkling red, vodka, beer, Irish whisky, and water.

We had conversations.

In person.

Face-to-face conversations. We told stories, laughed (a lot), high fived over the table, and bounced ideas and thoughts off one another. No one was on Facebook. No one was on Twitter. We were all there, in that moment, together, enjoying each other’s company.

It was amazing.

When the party broke up, we all agreed that THIS was what it was all about. Friends getting together and catching up. And we vowed to do it again. We vowed to do it more often.

When our friends left, my husband and I looked at each other with big grins. I told my husband, “This just proved no house it too small when your heart is this full.”

 

Categories: friends, fun, general-post Tags: , , , , ,

Like I’ve known them 20 years…

September 17th, 2013 2 comments

Wine and a flowerLast night, we had our inaugural Road Widows meet-up in Nashville. There was only three of us this time (which I can understand given being the first one) but it was still simply amazing.

I left dinner feeling like I’d just hung out with women I’ve known for 20 years… when in reality I had only just met one of them and the other only once prior (outside of Twitter, that is.)

It was amazing to sit and talk with women living the same lifestyle you are. Women who GET missing your husband, but who also totally understand that speck of truth in the joke, “Isn’t it time for you to go back on the road yet?”

And yet… because all our husbands work for different artists, we also all have different experiences. I left with a deeper knowledge of things others go through. I hope that maybe (maybe) I gave a little insight on things we’ve been through as well.

In the same breath, both of the other women have children… something my husband and I don’t have yet. I listened with interest as they talked about things they’ve been through as, essentially, single mothers while their husbands are on the road.

I loved finding so many things in common and found myself wanting to high-five over the table when we’d hit on something so random and something anyone else would consider “silly” that we all agreed upon. I loved that no topic whatsoever was off-limits. The candid nature we could talk just filled my soul with something I didn’t even know I needed.

I can’t wait until the next meet-up. Perhaps more will come and maybe they too will leave with a new confidence and comfort… whether they know they needed it or not.

GPS, BFFs, ACMs and BTW

April 10th, 2013 1 comment

This is the last week before April 15th, and I’m pretty out of it come the end of the day. Between tax season and Muster planning, my plate is overflowing. I need to get some sleep (its only 3:30 am!) but I just couldn’t let another day pass without a post!

Last Friday, I drove down to San Antonio to see my husband for awhile. I loaded the address of the venue they were playing into my phone’s GPS and away I went.

I knew there was one section of the route that the GPS wanted me to take that I did NOT want to follow. For whatever reason, Google Maps likes taking me as the crow flies, which in Texas usually means ending up on little Farm-to-Market roads in the middle of nowhere. That can be fun and all, but when you’re hitting those areas after 3 pm, you’re subject to school buses on top of the already lower speed limit. It is NOT the fastest route, no matter what Google seems to think.

Unfortunately, the location of my “don’t-go-the-way-the-GPS-says” was in a town I’ve gotten lost in more times in my life than I care to admit. Its seriously my Bermuda triangle. It’s sad, really. And just as I feared, I got all turned around and nothing looked right to me. I ultimately ended up following my GPS down lots of little FM roads, with lots of local Sheriffs looking to help their county pocketbooks, instead of hitting the tollroad with a speed limit of 85 mph. (C’mon Google maps. You can NOT tell me that going 55 down little two-lane roads as the crow flies is faster than hitting a 3 lane toll road going 85.)

Once I finally hit the tollroad, I was good to go. Or so I thought. My GPS kept telling me I’d be exiting onto “183″ or something like that, so I kept an eye open for that. I was coming up on a split, and I moved over to stay on the tollroad I was on… it wasn’t until I was committed to that stretch of road that my GPS told me to “stay right at the split” forcing me to miss yet another turn and dropping me onto a totally different state highway in 5 o’clock traffic and sitting through stoplights three or four times.

My 2.5 hour drive turned into almost 3.5, and my nerves were SHOT. (I am not even going to go into the idiots I dealt with… like the guy who blew through the yield sign and that I almost made pee himself when I laid on my horn as I avoided t-boning him… thank God I had slowed down from the 85 mph I’d been doing in anticipation for his stupidity.)

BFFsLuckily my Saturday went much better. Travel was a breeze and I got to spend the evening with my (to be a cliche teenager) BFFs.

I LOVE THESE WOMEN.

I am blessed with two amazing women that I call both best friend. One I’ve known since Kindergarten with a history that’s impossible to ignore, the other that amazing college friend that you know you’ll have rest of your life. Both like sisters to me, I cherish every time we can make it work to get together.

Our venue this weekend was downtown Bryan, TX. It’s definitely a place made for people our age, and it was just such a refreshing change of pace for me. I love my bars in Nashville, don’t get me wrong! But the class of the place and area was just… refreshing. I always say I can hang in a dive bar and be happy just as fast as I can dress up and hang in a fancy restaurant and be happy.

But the best part of our venue choice was that we were able to sit around a table, drinking wine, talking for hours on end without interruption. Another friend joined us for awhile — one I haven’t seen in 5 years — and it was such a treat to catch up with her as well!  The night was so very good for the soul, and I really hated to see it end. I already look forward to next time!

Sunday night brought the ACM awards. I’m not going to comment too much on it. I just know it left me very sad… sad of the state of the industry that I love so much.

I seriously feel like the class and respect it demanded all through the years has diminished to catering to… to… what I don’t even know. I work in a bar. I can take dirty jokes. But I was put out with the number of them thrown through the night. I remember when it was more about honoring the greats of country, not doing whatever it takes strictly to get ratings.  I remember looking forward to awards night, glued to the TV. Now, I force myself to watch, and I end it wondering why I bothered.

My biggest complaint since last year is making the “Entertainer of the Year” award fan-voted. There are fan-voted award shows already. Keep this one strictly Academy voted. To me, making the top award fan-voted dilutes it down and makes it just another popularity contest. I happen to be one of the few people who might not be a Taylor Swift fan, but for several years championed her getting the Entertainer award… because she IS an Entertainer. And it doesn’t matter my personal opinion of Blake Shelton, he’s become the current face of country. He’s the one people associate with the genre now. He deserved it, too. These are the angles that the Academy would vote from… or at least SHOULD vote from… in my personal opinion. (And yes, these are MY opinions, not anyone else’s.)

Finally, I got to watch my niece play ball tonight. She’s a fierce softball player, and I think it is going to carry her far. Her team (Born to Win aka BTW) was taking on a team the next town over.

150: Born to Win

My niece at bat… a swing and a HIT!

What a game! I have to say, its getting more and more fun to go to games as she gets older. They ended up playing an extra inning due to it being tied, but had to call it when it got too dark to play safely. It was like being left with a major cliffhanger… they were ONE out away from winning the game… or one batter away from losing it. I like to go with the first one, though.

I hope someone lets me know how it ends when the finally get to finish playing!

I was afraid this would be the only game I’d get to see, since the season started so late this year. But it looks like I’ll get to catch one more on Monday before I head back home to Nashville. Here’s hoping for a win!

At the hop

January 14th, 2013 1 comment

 You can rock it you can roll it
Do the stomp and even stroll it
At the hop...

Saturday night, the bar where I work had a Sock Hop in honor of the couple that has pretty much adopted all of us transplants to Nashville who call that bar our second home. They both were turning 55 within days of each other, and, as such, we celebrated with a Sock Hop!

SONY DSC

I’ll be honest, when the idea first came up months ago, I went, “Uh… huh. Right. A sock hop.” Too bad I wasn’t still in elementary school, when I regularly rocked a poodle skirt and saddle shoes. (No really, I did! I just don’t have a picture here to share of that… darn it.) But alas, I no longer had that outfit, and I was baffled what I would do to dress ’50s style. So, I have to admit, I kind of ignored that it was going to happen at all.

I briefly planned to get my mom to help me make a poodle skirt while I was home for Christmas, but really… really? Who has time to add MORE to the Christmas festivities!? That didn’t happen.

Before I knew it, I had only a few days to get my outfit together. A friend mentioned that there were vintage stores around town, so I decided to Google “vintage stores Nashville.” That search eventually led me to Hip Zipper, a vintage store in East Nashville. I seriously fell in love with this store. GREAT vintage items at excellent prices (in my opinion)… and everything is of quality.  I will DEFINITELY be back.

I scored a grey skirt and a cuuuute pink sweater/shrug to wear. I paired that with a pink and a white tank top, a necklace that was my grandmother’s, a headband I bought years ago from Victoria’s Secret (but had never worn!), bright red lipstick and my hair in a mess of curls. A friend in the middle of the evening loaned me a pair of cat-eye glasses. I think I looked awesome:

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I have to admit, this just sparked a deep down love for everything 50s for me. It’s made me want to go in that direction a bit more style-wise. I feel a little bad for my Pinterest followers the last few days being inundated with cute 50s dresses that I love and want now.

Anyway, I ended up having an absolute blast! I worked hard (my legs let me know all night long that I wore unsupportive shoes!), but also had the opportunity to play a little bit here and there, too. The night was filled primarily with regulars and “family” who came to wish the couple a Happy Birthday.

We did get a quick photo of all the ladies that usually work behind the bar… I so love this photo.

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I don’t just see a group of bartenders and friends here… I see smart, strong, successful women. All amazing in their own rights and in their own ways. They each inspire me, and to get this shot on such a fun night… just makes me SO happy.

In fact, that being said… I went into the evening a bit leery. I really did. But in the end, I found myself smiling from ear to ear to see all these people — all these successful adults — let their hair down, travel back in time to when life was simpler, and just have FUN.

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I remember in high school, you’d find yourself compelled to “act like an adult” and I remember even Halloween being snubbed as “childish” and “silly.” Its funny how its taken growing up to realize that sometimes, acting like an adult means knowing exactly when NOT to take yourself so seriously. It’s knowing when and how to enjoy yourself and the people around you. Especially at the hop.

A very *hiccup* Merry Christmas tradition

November 26th, 2012 No comments

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I look forward to this night and every year. It’s the Fiddle & Steel tree decorating party soon.

It’s a little gathering all the Fiddle family. We all bring in little bottles of booze — the kind you get on an airplane — and we make our own decorations. Well, you drink your ornament. By the end of the night we’re all a bit decorated ourselves, and the bar looks beautiful.

It has very little to do with the drinking; it’s about the camaraderie. It’s the laughter and memories. Its watching badass guys pull out a glue gun to decorate a little bottle of Crown or Jack. It’s the ladies helping hang stockings on the edge of the stage. It’s knowing that for the rest of the year there will be a gentle pretty glow to come see every night together with our friends who are more like family.

I love this night! I better get back to decorating…