Weekly Winners is a fun little thing bloggers do to showcase some of their favorite photos from the previous week. It is brought to you, me and everyone by the lovely Lotus, aka Sarcastic Mom. Visit her site and find all the 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!
A very girlie edition! :)
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We’ve officially entered fall, my favorite time of year. I love this season more than the rest for so many reasons.
- cool temperatures.
- warm colors.
- pumpkin patches.
- corn mazes.
- Oktoberfest… both the festival and the beer!
- birthdays galore (including my own!).
- Pumpkin Spiced Latte and Carmel Apple Cider at Starbucks.
- festivals and county fairs.
- open windows during the day.
- hot chocolate at night.
- Halloween and Thanksgiving.
- Columbus Day and Veterans Day.
- turkey and dressing.
- chili, stew and cornbread.
- sweaters and scarves.
- laughter and new memories.
- the best time of the year!!!!
I spent all day yesterday cleaning my house. Our landlord emailed me the other day saying they’d like to do a walk-through this weekend. Not a big deal, but I’d not done a good house cleaning in weeks. There was no way I could let our landlord come through with over a weeks worth of mail on the kitchen table, folded clothes on the couch, and a good layer of dust on every surface.
So, I got up and started cleaning. I even made a trip to Target to pick up more cleaning supplies. My cat, probably fearing that I might vacuum him (or use him as a duster), hid all day under the bed.
As my cleaning for the day drew to a close, I stripped our bed to wash the sheets.
There is nothing like fresh sheets, I say. I think if I could feasibly have fresh sheets every night, I would. But its not feasible, so I make due with about once a week.
I waited with anticipation for my sheets to get finished washing. I threw them in the dryer, and then ran to jump in my freshly cleaned shower.
That is part two of the epic sleep experience. Freshly showered, plus fresh sheets (throw in a thunderstorm — which I didn’t have, but that’s what the Lightening bug application on my phone is for) and you have most epic night of sleep. It seriously doesn’t get any better.
Okay, maybe you could throw in a back massage. But I don’t want to be greedy.
The dryer buzzed, and I pulled the warm, soft sheets out. I took them to the bedroom and started to put them on the bed. My cat came out and watched me. I gave him an evil eye. Last time I put sheets on the bed, he decided he needed to check out the fitted sheet personally for me before I could continue. He left a nice clump of white fur behind before I could shoo him off.
(Sidebar: putting on sheets makes me miss my old cat, Sully. He always made a total pill of himself trying to “help” me… and I’d always get mock-mad at him. Usually, we’d end up wrestling with the comforter. Good, good memories.)
I finished the bed without any problems, and, as I expected, my cat jumped up and curled up in his favorite spot: right below my pillow. I patted him on the head, and I took the laundry basket back to the laundry room. I grabbed a few clothes that needed to be put away and took them to the bedroom. I hung up the clothes, turned around and then saw it.
MY CAT HACKED UP A HAIRBALL ON MY BED.
I may or may not have uttered a few choice curse words. That’s between me and the cat. But he did a good job of it, and I decided it was payback for scaring him all day long with my cleaning. The wetness of it had gone through the comforter onto the top sheet. THANKFULLY the fitted sheet was unscathed, but it didn’t matter that much. I still ended up re-stripping the bed and shoving my comforter and top sheet in the wash.
I prayed my comforter survived the ride.
It kind of did. One corner had some batting sticking out when I pulled it from the wash, and I had to go find a needle and thread to patch it up before drying. That was fairly painless, and I did eventually get my bed reassembled. But somehow it all seemed like a lot just to get that epic fresh-sheet sleep.
In a word: YES!!
I’ve attended a lot of concerts, but there are just certain shows I still want to attend. Just a few examples: I’d like to go to Ziegfest in College Station, Texas, some day. I’d love to see The Wolf’s Den at Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, CT. And, believe it or not, it kills me to miss the many county fairs back home in Texas each year.
This last weekend, I got to scratch one concert event off my “concert bucket list.” The Tennessee River Run. I’ve always wanted to go, and on Sunday I got to be there to see my husband play it with his artist.
Our day started super-early. My husband was driving the bus to the show, so we left our house a little after 4:30 am. It is a little over half an hour drive to the bus lot, and after picking up the bus, I followed my husband down to where we would meet everyone else.
Once everyone was loaded up, we made the three-hour drive to Savannah, TN. (I followed the bus in my truck.) What a BEAUTIFUL drive!! I’d love to make that drive again just for fun. We’d dip down into hollows, then climb back up to where I’d feel my ears pop. All while keeping my eyes on the back of the bus trailer.
As we got close to the Pickwick State Park, hundreds of motorcycles started coming at us. I read around 1,000 bikes went on a Motorcycle Poker Run. It was incredible to see! If I’d not been driving, I’d have taken a video of it.
We pulled around to the stage, and immediately saw several friends already sound checking. Part of the fun for this show was that my husband and I have dear friends in other bands that performed that night. As soon as we got parked, it was hugs all around.
I joked with a couple of our friends, “What? We have to drive three hours to see you these days!?” I’ve even seen friends for the first time in ages at shows in Texas… when everyone is hitting the road hard, you literally do have to travel to a show to see your friends. Nashville can become a ghost town (in the musician’s world.)
My husband helped off load the trailer and then sound checked. While he did this, I meandered around taking in the beauty of the park. It was sooo peaceful and once I got in one small area of trees, even the thump of music coming from sound check faded away.
Once he was all set up, my husband and I went over to catering for a bite to eat. After a quick lunch, we went and grabbed our bags. I’d packed a change of clothes, and my husband had his show clothes to change into. We went over to catch a ride to the hotel from the runner.
A “runner” is the person and vehicle used to carry band and crew members to the hotel from the venue. Sometimes that ride includes trips to a store or a restaurant. (I’ve even been along with my husband when the runner gave us a ride to a liquor store!)
This time, our runner was a PONTOON BOAT.
Best. Runner. Ever.
The hotel was just across a little cove from the backstage area. So, we hopped on a boat and cruised across the water to another dock where we got off and went to a hotel that did not have a room with a bad view. It was made to where every room over looked the river. I didn’t think my husband and I would get any sleep wanting to over look the water!
However, we were both exhausted, and it didn’t take us too long to both fall into a deep sleep. We slept a little over four hours before getting up to shower and get dressed for the show. The second act was already on stage, and my husband had about half an hour before his show by the time we caught the runner back.
As the band took the stage, I slipped out into the crowd to take a few pictures. I walked all the way around the crowd to watch from the back, then pushed my way to front of the stage to snag a couple close-up shots. I made my way back to backstage, and I spent the rest of the show standing side stage.
Almost all of the band had family in attendance, and my husband’s artist made sure to give every single one of us a shout-out. I have to admit, it always makes me smile when that happens.
Their set and encore seemed to just fly by, and I was sad to see their time on stage end. I do love their show…
But, as the show ended and the band tore down their gear to make way for the headliner, my next priority took center stage. I bolted to my truck to tune in to my college football game — just in time to hear the winning touchdown.
I had been told the band would be leaving immediately after their show, instead of staying until the end. So as soon as my husband had finished tearing down his gear and he got the bus moved to be ready to leave, we caught the runner back to the hotel to get our bags and so my husband could change into more comfortable clothes to drive through the night.
We got back just in time to find out we would NOT be leaving after all. So, my husband shut down the bus. I shut off my truck (that I had already pulled up behind the bus), and we went to watch the show from side stage.
It was fun to watch our friends at work, and the show was great! I, personally, was tickled pink to stay and see the rest of the concert. Like I said in the beginning, I’ve always wanted to attend the River Run.
I talked to my Mom for much of the drive, as I stuck close behind that bus. However, in some of the areas, I lost all cell service and would have to call her back.
As we got closer to Nashville, I peeled off the interstate to head home. My husband was headed to another show the next day.
I talked to him off and on through the night as he drove to Bristol, TN. Another day and night, another few dollars. As everyone says, “Livin’ the dream.”
I had a wonderful time, though, and I am so happy to be able to say I’ve been to the Tennessee River Run. Next year is its 10th anniversary, and I wouldn’t mind going again! We will see, of course, but its fun to think about.
It happens. We all get a little overwhelmed and discouraged. I’m putting off this week’s Show Stories entry by a day, because I’m there right now: Overwhelmed and discouraged.
Ironic considering I have two new projects waiting in the wings. No reason to feel discouraged. I should be feeling energized and excited! I should be jumping on this with vigor! But instead I feel just the opposite.
I think a part of that is due to my schedule lately not lending itself to work very well. I’ve also not straightened my office in awhile, which has chased me out of there to work. I’ve drifted from the online networking, etc. that I’d been doing hard and heavy, and I’ve noticed that in my site stats dropping off a bit lately.
It just adds up.
Oh, I’m not giving up. I read somewhere that blogging seems easy at first because you have no where to go but up. Then you hit a plateau and it doesn’t all seem so easy any more. I think I’ve hit a self-inflicted mini-plateau.
I need to, first, work on my schedule. Then, second, clean my office and reclaim it for work. Then, third, nurture my business relationships better.
I confess, some days, I shake my head and think it would just be easier to go find a job as a waitress somewhere and forget this “crazy dream.” But it also wouldn’t be the least bit fulfilling for me. Oh sure, it would have its perks here and there. But a few years from now, I’d be right back where I am now. Kicking myself for not pushing forward and being further along in my goals. Wishing I’d not given in to “the easy route.”
No, I’m going to keep pushing forward. Keep learning about my trade. Keep putting myself out there every single day. It’s too important to me to do anything else.
I’m just having “a day.” I’m having a Monday on a Wednesday. It happens. It won’t even last through tonight. (At least I hope not!!) But I wanted to take a moment to acknowledge the struggle. Acknowledge what it takes, and acknowledge that sometimes… it gets difficult. And its in time like this, you have to push a little harder.
So here I go… pushing along.
My husband and I occasionally talk about wanting to go on vacation. A trip to the mountains or maybe a beach somewhere. Or even just a night at a hotel somewhere not related to work in any way.
However, funds are short and there’s no way to swing that right now. That’s simply a fact.
I often mention, though, that we need to explore our own city and area a little more. I still want to eat at Loveless Cafe and drive down the Natchez Trace Parkway. We are planning to visit Adventure Science Center next month, and even though we used to live minutes away, we’ve never visited The Hermitage.
We always enjoy visits to Stones River Battlefield, though, and an afternoon at Centennial Park never gets old. Every fall we visit a pumpkin patch and corn maze, and I hope we can make it to Oktoberfest this year.
There’s plenty to do right here, but its so easy to miss that fact.
When we take a drive out into the country, or even times we’ve visited my father-in-law on the coast of Oregon, I often wonder if the people who live there appreciate the true beauty of where they live. I venture to guess they don’t, simply because I so often forget to look around and appreciate what we have right here myself.
Yesterday, my husband and I took our cups of coffee into our backyard and just sat enjoying the sunset. It was so peaceful and relaxing. I mentioned to my husband that while we may not be on the porch of some cabin in the Smoky Mountains, I was enjoying it just the same. I unplugged for a little while in my own backyard. I sipped coffee and we watched the outside cats play and tackle each other. We watched the sun fade and twilight begin.
It was in a word, wonderful.
In this world, we seem to always be looking for the next best thing. Looking for something more. Looking for something better.
Maybe once in awhile we need to realize… what we each have is someone else’s “more” and “better.” Shouldn’t we appreciate that fact? Shouldn’t we live in the moment in the place where we are right then? Shouldn’t we just… be?