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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.

From behind the merch table

May 17th, 2014 2 comments

Once in awhile, when I go to see my husband play a show, I sell merch for the band. I sincerely enjoy doing this, as over the last few years of bartending I’ve grown to LOVE meeting random people. Sometimes even the grouchy jerks.

Yesterday, the band was at Fort Campbell in Kentucky, which is only an hour’s drive from Nashville. I knew that with it being a show on-base that going just to go was pretty much not going to happen, but if they needed a merch girl I was available. If not, that’s all right. I have over two weeks of photos to edit, anyway. BUT, I was super happy that they did need a merch person, and I got the call to do it.

Don't worry, I had my phone mounted on the windshield so all I did was tap the screen to take this picture.

Don’t worry, I had my phone mounted on the windshield so all I did was tap the screen to take this picture as I entered Kentucky on I-24.

Now, my truck is the cleanest on the inside as its been since we bought it. I had no idea what to expect when entering the base, so if they needed to search my truck they really didn’t need to go through empty to-go cups and months worth of gas receipts.

Luckily, after some unexpected logistical changes, it all worked out that I had the tour manager with me and all I had to do was give them my driver’s license to get on base. WHEW!!

I hit the ground running as soon as we got parked, as they had opened the gates early and there were already a lot of people around looking to buy merchandise.  I was thankfully relatively busy from the time I started to the time we tore down to head out.

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My view for the day… I couldn’t complain about anything except how ridiculously windy it was.

Now the highlights of the day:

  • Being introduced during the show as being “from the great state of Texas!” — something I only heard in the background as I had a line of people wanting stuff at the time. But I DID hear it, and it made me smile.
  • Military guys GET the importance of respect. I was called, “Ma’am” all day long, and it made me beam every single time. It was NOT an age thing (even though I probably was about *cough*10*cough* years older than a majority of them) but a total, “This is how you talk to a woman,” thing. And I loved it every single time.
  • Met a guy who grew up maybe 10 miles from me, which was pretty crazy for both of us to realize.
  • Big & Rich turned “You Shook Me All Night Long” into a country shuffle and as wrong as it was, it was so awesome that I want it recorded and on my computer RIGHT NOW.
  • I was reminded that Pepperoni Pizza Combos are a totally legit dinner food.
  • I sold out of the awesome hoodies that we sell and that I practically live in myself.

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Now for the parts of the day that made me chuckle and shake my head:

  • “I want that one!” *points* “Which one?” “That one! Right there!” “The blue t-shirt or the brown one?” “No, the grey jacket!” “Oh.”  Note: Please be more specific on what you want, because when you point, Merch people can’t tell which one you mean exactly and then we just all get frustrated.
  • “So are the kids games going to be here tomorrow?” “I don’t know…” “Is there anything to do around here for kids?” “Really, I don’t know…” “Do you have a program?” “No.”
  • “$25? Can I just give you $20?” “No.”
  • “Is he coming out to sign autographs later? The opening act did.” “I don’t think so.” “Why not? Can you call and ask someone?” “No, I can’t. I really don’t think there will be any open meet & greet after.” “Should I just hang out over here after he gets done just in case.” “Whatever blows your skirt up.”
  • “Hey you can run credit cards!?” “Yup!” “Really?” “Hey this ain’t no dog and pony show!” “Huh?” *sigh*
  • “Any way I can get this autographed?” “Will this shrink?” “Do you have it in another color?” No. Maybe. No.

 

I seriously had a blast. Ironically, after I got home and I thought about the day, I realized that while we were at the same venue all day, my husband and I saw each other for MAYBE an hour and a half, and that was mostly because we were able to grab McDonald’s after the show together. But you know, I wouldn’t change ANYTHING about the day, and I honestly can’t wait to do it again.

Honor band

February 18th, 2014 No comments

I was in the band in high school. I played flute. (Go ahead. Throw out your best American Pie joke. I’ve heard them all.) I was a member of the colorguard. I loved every single second of it. Most of my favorite memories of those years are tied to one band event or another, and I took pride in being a member of the band. I learned so much in my years in band. There are many, many elements of my personality and point of view that were molded through the discipline and leadership band demanded of me.

But I’m going to be brutally honest here. The band was the afterthought when I was in school. My years were spent battling for attention from the community, the rest of the school, and even the state as no matter what we did it wasn’t good enough. Membership dwindled. Those of us that cared surely had our moments of wondering why we even tried at times. But then there were those moments when it was magic. And it was those moments that kept you going.

Fast forward to today. My nephew is a member of the high school band, and its a whole different world for him than it was for me. Membership is swelling. There is a pride that you can FEEL when you are in the band’s presence. It is NOTHING like it was when I was there. It’s a bazillion times better, stronger and respected.

The Texas House of Representatives Resolution honoring the Yoe High School Band.

The Texas House of Representatives Resolution honoring the Yoe High School Band.

When I was a member of the Yoe High Band, we couldn’t have even dreamed of being acknowledged by the Texas House of Representatives!

They’ve won at the state marching contest. And, as the resolution reads, they were named the State 2A Honor Band.

These kids… they have talent beyond what I could have dreamed of having cultivated when I was in band. Their band director, Steven Moss, clearly is an amazing leader. He works them hard. But he also treats them with respect and rewards their efforts and successes. From the top-down this band is, in a word, amazing.

Last Friday, I traveled with my parents down to San Antonio, TX, to see the band perform for the Texas Music Educators Association conference. I sat in the front row and was moved time and time again by the performance.

TMEA State 2A Honor Band

TMEA State 2A Honor Band

One of the pieces they performed was commissioned by the band to be written specifically for them. How many bands can really say that has happened for them!? Sure as heck wasn’t going to happen when I was there!

During the performance, they took a moment to honor the band, band director and to thank certain guests in attendance in the audience.

TMEA State 2A Honor Band

Drum Majors accepting the state honor for the band.

They asked all Yoe High alumni in attendance to stand and be recognized for setting the foundation on which these kids have built upon. I’ll be honest, I was a little amazed by this, even as I stood up. I joked later that we set the bar low, so they had no where to go but up. But that was purely my being funny. In reality, I think part of the band being where it is today IS due to our fight in our years to be acknowledged and recognized. We had to go through those years to, today, stand up and go, “HEY! PAY ATTENTION! The band is amazing and deserves all the support and recognition and honors it gets.”

I’m going to piss people off with this. And I don’t care. Texas is a football state. Generally, we Texans will eat, breathe, sleep, drink and live the game. Even if its just armchair quarterbacks.  Its in my blood, and I won’t deny that. But it also makes me downright ANGRY to see the band programs in so many schools get brushed aside to make more money available for the football programs. To hear people suggest a band director should be payed less than a football coach gets me seething mad.

Studies upon studies have been done that prove music helps learning. I know when I was in school, very, very few band students failed out of being able to participate. Show me a band student in college today who didn’t get there through sweat, tears and hard work both with their instruments as well as in the classroom. Whereas just recently CNN did a report about college athletes who read at a 5th grade level.  Think about that for awhile.

I’m not here to point fingers. I’m just here to point out that these students in this band work their fingers off and deserve every bit of attention and respect they’ve gotten… and then some.

Me with my niece and nephew after the concert

Me with my niece and nephew after the concert

 

I’m so proud of the Yoe High School Band. I’d be proud of them even if my nephew weren’t a member, but its safe to say he’s my favorite member and makes my pride in the band more personal.

Congratulations, band! You have done Cameron, Texas proud. You’ve done yourself proud. You have surpassed everything I could have ever dreamed of doing when I was a member of the band… you amaze me every day and remind me all is NOT lost and there is still a lot of amazing and positive youth in this world. You don’t get to hear about them much, and I’m sorry that is the case. But keep it up, and all the positive accolades will continue to come your way. You deserve it all.

Sending love from your fan and alumni member living in Music City…

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: , , , , ,

CRASH!

February 5th, 2014 No comments

Last week, a friend mentioned having had their laptop stolen awhile back. My heart stopped in fear FOR them. I’m that paranoid person who leaves home for work and splits up her laptop from the power cord (after reading it makes it less interesting to thieves because a laptop without power is worthless.) My life is on my laptop. Photos. Finances. Business programs. Everything. Losing my laptop… I couldn’t even…

Then Saturday, it happened. I asked my laptop to do too much. Or something. It crashed. It locked up, wouldn’t do anything, and I did what I always do: a hard reboot.

But nothing happened.

So I rebooted again.

Finally it went into a self-repair. That worked last time! Instead, I got, “I can’t fix myself. Get help.”

No. No no no no no. NoNoNoNoNoNoooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!

So Sunday, when I was supposed to be getting ready to go to a Super Bowl party, I was at Best Buy praying the Geek Squad could save me.

They tried. But they couldn’t even get into the diagnostics. Prognosis: she’s dead, captain. There’s no saving something that they can’t even read to save. S-O-L. Done. R.I.P.

I looked at my husband who just went, “Let’s go find you a new one.”

And we did. Got a GREAT deal on a new laptop. It’s faster. All fresh, clean hard drive. And it has a great graphics card for photo editing that I didn’t even realize I was missing prior to this. Oh and its HUGE. When everyone is going smaller, I went bigger. This will be awesome for photo editing while traveling.

I got lucky on one front. I was sick all week last week. (Hence being so MIA on Social Media and the blog last week.)  I generally keep my laptop hooked up to an external hard drive that constantly backs up new files, but being sick I took the laptop to the couch with me. But even with THAT, I was only on the computer for about two days total last week. So I literally only lost 8 photos. That’s it. Oh and maybe one PDF copy of paying a bill. Otherwise, everything was backed up.

AND I finally delved into using “the cloud” so I could sync things between my laptop, cell phone and iPad. I knew it was awesome for that. I had no idea how it would save me on this front. I installed my web browser. Logged into my account. And ta da! All my stuff was there. Bookmarks. Passwords. Etc.

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I have never had to start from fresh on a laptop before where I didn’t have an old laptop to refer to find things. It’s always been a case of transferring files. Trying to remember passwords. Looking for links. I was freaked out that it would not only take days to get back to where I was, I might not be back up and running for MONTHS.

Instead? It look about an hour. And I’m slowly transferring “must have” files from the external drive to the laptop, but I am being very picky what I transfer, allowing me to keep this new computer cleaner longer.

So. Who knew? A computer crash ending pretty positive? Never would have thought that, but that’s what’s happened! Taking it all in stride and realizing it is what it is. I still fear having my computer stolen, but at least now I know… its possible to get back on your feet fairly quickly.  WHEW!

Categories: general-post Tags: ,

Days at home

January 11th, 2014 No comments

I happen to be someone who loves staying at home. Despite being far more extroverted than I used to be, I’m still deep down a homebody. That being said, I absolutely LOVED spending most of the last week and a half at home.

Earlier this week, we had a major cold snap thanks to that polar vortex thing they talked about on the news. I mean, when we took our 7th wedding anniversary photo, the windchill was -5°!

SONY DSC

(Yeah, we should have been bundled up… but we were taking a picture, so we ran out for about 1 minute tops to take that shot.)

During the cold snap, we literally didn’t leave our house for three days straight. We stepped outside for a little while, but we didn’t go anywhere. And I loved it.

I tried to be somewhat productive. But mostly I just enjoyed hiding away and resting up from the past year’s go-go-go-go-go. But as we draw to an end of this stay-at-home time, I feel my want to be productive coming back. Yesterday, I got so much done, it made me go, “Man, if I’d been this motivated all week, this house would be perfectly organized and I’d be ready to file my tax return!”

But maybe part of feeling so productive was taking time to rest my  mind and body for awhile. Yesterday, I participated in the Friday Five questions about sleep. The negative effects of sleep deprivation are well documented, but we still push ourselves to our limits. So, taking a few days to do a little less and give myself some TLC? I’m not going to feel guilty about it. Lord knows I’ll be crying out for it to be a possibility again soon.