Thursday, June 26, 2008


Hey everyone! I ran a great 3 miles at lunch today and it was just nothing short of lovely! No whiny knee or anything else irritating. Yay! I'm hoping to repeat this weekend and we'll just see how it goes although time is a bit tight this weekend.

Can I just say right here I am so going to win So u think u can Dance next year?? That is if I'm not already too old to get on the show!! If I am maybe I can just be a judge and squeal along with the lady judge.

Also, can I just say Chili's is the best chain restaurant ever? Does it get better than their chips and salsa? I'm really not a chain person, at all, whatsoever, but Chili's is my exception. Dinner tonight at Chili's will keep me happy for days to come! (Not that I'm not already just takes it up one additional notch!)

Ok, time to see where in the 'Ville I can sign up for break dancing lessons!

Happy almost weekend!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Not America's Brightest.....

So today at work we had even MORE excitement! It seems some genius criminal decided to break into one of our parking garages at work and break the windows of about a dozen cars to take stuff (electronics, mostly). What an idiot! Honestly, who even leaves good stuff in their car? You'd get 2 umbrellas and some pretty crap CDs out of my car. And if you took my factory radio you need to know the CD player takes forever for the dumb thing to even find a song.

I work for a very large company downtown, and generally I'd say it's very secure. No place is ever 100% secure, but it's hard to get tighter than where I work without fingerprinting and retinal scans - I have to scan my badge 4 times from pulling into the secure parking lot before I get to my desk. Even if you get in the garage you have to scan to get inside the stairwell area, then for your floor (off the stairs) and then once again for whatever area you work in. And there are cameras EVERYWHERE! When I went to pull into a spot in the area I generally park in, "my" spot was full of glass....which was odd. When I was walking in I asked the facility guy what was up and he said there had been vandalism overnight, and within a couple of hours word was spreading that every news crew in town was outside filming! (Truly it was a slow news day in Nashville....but another garage several blocks over was vandalized a few nights ago so it's now a 'trend'.) When I left for a lunchtime dentist appointment around noon one news crew was still there, and this afternoon each station had an article about it on their websites. Apparently he cut some wires and pried the garage doors up to get in. Honestly though....did this idiot not realize he was breaking into one of the largest companies in Nashville??? Bright, color video of him wandering around the garage is on every channel tonight, and one of my coworkers thought she saw him trying to get in and scoping out the place when she left yesterday - she reported it immediately around 5 yesterday, and her description matches this guy to a T. So it won't be long before some friend of his turns him in for $20 or whatever you get from Crimestoppers. One of my coworkers had the garage door come down on her car earlier this week as she was leaving, so this week it's been "all about the garage" at work.

So, other than that it's been a pretty quiet week. I've had so much going on at work (dentist, other stuff, birthday lunches, going away lunches) that I'll be able to make it to the gym once this week which is crazy! I've got a business trip coming up soon that I'm super excited about, so the next few weeks will have to be flexible which is just fine with me. I'd rather have a fun summer watching "So u think u can Dance" (which I should totally be on!) than worry about mileage and pace and all that stuff. My garden and life in general are just more interesting to me this summer than competitive running, recreational is A-ok with me.

Happy almost Thursday!!

Saturday, June 21, 2008


Hmm......I don't really have much to say this morning but it's been a few days so I guess I should say something. It seems like I always have a lot to post about in the car, but by the time I get home or even get a chance to be near the computer I've completely forgotten it.

It's been a rather "tumultuous" week at work as a higher up got canned. It's one of those things that needed to be done, but that you're always still surprised about in the end. Except for my first job in public accounting I've never worked for a company that hasn't had layoffs or tried to consolidate functions between branches. (And honestly, I can't imagine a cpa firm ever having a layoff - the conditions at firms are such crap that turnover is their #1 issue. Of the 4 people I started with at the firm all of us were gone within the first year. It was pretty easy to find a job making more money and working less hours, why would you even want to do that????) I've been on both ends of the layoff, and neither side is that great to be on. When you're the one canned it's so....humiliating, and then when you're not the one you're just left wondering what else is going to happen...

The contractors are gone, thank goodness. Our house is a disaster in their wake and I'm going to spend a lot of today cleaning and dusting. For some reason, the a-holes opened up our bedroom door each and every day, so naturally when they were removing part of the ceiling in our foyer the massive amounts of drywall dust have penetrated every room in our house. Nice. Appreciate it....They did a great job building the stairs, but we won't ever be using them again due to some pretty serious "communication" issues. I should have subtracted from their payment the extra day of doggie daycare since they can't manage 8 hr workdays, my time dusting our bed and bath that shouldn't have evenbeen a factor, and the insane amounts of toilet paper they used in Brent's bathroom. But whatever, they're done and our house is our own again.

We've got a pretty low key weekend planned. Last night I was in the mood to try something new, and as we try to keep our money in our neighborhood as much as possible, we headed over to Mitchell's Delicatessen. It's in a little corner strip mall that's seen a lot of revitalization over the past couple of years and is really turning out to be cute little hot spot, with a coffe shop next door, a pizza joint that's been there for ages, another doggie daycare across the street, and a sushi bar on the way. It was hopping last night with lots of other young families and neighborhoodies. I had a really good roast beef and cheddar and B had a French Dip. They have a lot of more creative offerings on the menu, but I was in the mood for my classic go-to sandwich! Their special of the day was the "Jamie Lynn" a turkey sandwich with some type of pesto seasoning and something else I don't recall. They've also got lamb sandwiches as well as a lot of really unique offerings. My only complaint was the beverages were a little lacking. Z's Deli has some flavorful things and here you pretty much had your standard Cokes in a bottle, that really weren't all that great. Nothing in a plastic bottle stays cool for long in the South in late June, so fountain beverages would've at least been better. They've also got a little section of locally grown fruits and veggies as well as some high end cheeses you can pick up. We topped our night off by heading over to Marche for some dessert to go. Just like TiVo has changed our lives, Marche has changed our lives. We love their brunch but try not go too often (calories people). Before Marche there really wasn't anywhere we could run in on a Fri night and pick up some kick-a dessert to go. Last night we got a Strawberry Marscapone Cake and a Chocolate Banana Cake. To die for. They actually weren't made there, but were made by Provence (who seriously has the best desserts in town but no location in ENash.) They were both to die for. Can I say it again???

Anyway, this morning we took a walk down to the post office and the library to do some errands and thoroughly wiped Pippin out. It's been a bit cooler this week, but it seems the humidity is back this a.m. He made it about .75 of a mile before his wipeout phase where he tries to lie down in any shady or cool looking place. He took a long break on the new and very soft looking mat at the Lipstick, much to the amusement of the employee heading in to start their lunch service. Brent ended up having to carry him a few blocks otherwise we'd still be a few blocks from home. He's at such a level of spoiled that he'd really prefer being carried, or pushed in a stroller.

Ok, I guess I've procrastinated the insurmountable dusting task ahead......ugh!!! Happy Saturday!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

More Moving and More Shaking

Hey everyone! I can't believe it's already Sunday evening! I also can't believe I forgot to post yesterday. Yesterday was my 3 year blog-o-versary! Hard to believe, but totally true. I can't believe it's already been 3 years. My how time flies and things change!!! Anyway, like I said last year I don't know how long I'll keep this up, and in particular how long I'll keep it up here, but for's how the weekend has shaped up.

Friday Brent and I went to pick up Pippin from daycare together (I know, we're dorks). It ended up we were going to be home around the same time so I just waited outside and hopped in his car so Brent could see the daycare in full swing. This way we'd also be going into the house at the same time to see how far the contractors got. The original estimate was 3 days, which would've put them done on Friday so we knew they'd be close. It was so exciting to walk in and see a staircase stretching all the way upstairs!!! It's so pimp!! I'll post pics below. They have a few more things to do tomorrow, but then their piece is finished. I guess I should clarify - THEY'LL be done tomorrow, we still have a lot to do! We're having all the framing done, and will do all the trim and drywall ourselves. The math and sheer "architecture" as well as safety and bracing was just over our heads, and the fee for having this done seemed very reasonable to us - which is pretty rare! The other two things we had them quote on made us laugh, so we haven't lost our spirit - we just know our limits. Anyway, we were so tickled with it and took many trips up and down, up and down. Except Pippin. He's scared of the stairs and won't go past the second step. He doesn't like that the "kickplate" part is still open, he doesn't like open stairs - like tall decks, etc. Once they're finished he won't mind it though.

Friday night we just relaxed and watched TV, and did a little cleaning inside. They had to cut out quite a bit of ceiling for the stairwell and the dust was NUTS. We had covered a lot of the furniture, but WOW. Pippin went to bed at 6 - right after eating dinner. He was out all night, daycare WEARS HIM OUT! Saturday we all went for a walk over to a friend's yard sale. The on and off rain had really hurt the sale, and not long after we got there we had to take shelter on their porch for a while during a big shower. It was still fun, we got to hear all about the adventures her hubby and another friend were having at Bonnaroo. After lunch we did some salvage shopping. We really wanted to find some reclaimed pieces to finish the stairwell. There's an awesome salvage shop a few miles away, and we were able to find a circa-1910's banister & 2 matching posts. Perfect!! They need stripping before we can stain them, but they fit perfectly and are going to be so beautiful! We also got a door that matches the ones we have in our house for the hall closet under the stairs. It's been in a fire and had some soot on it, but Brent's already sanded it and primed it, and it looks good as new. We also got several new doorhandles and hardware that match our house. We LOVE that place. They had quite a few spindles but we need to figure out how many we need and the height before we buy them. Their prices were great and when we got home we had a check in the mail from our escrow company (what we've had to pay in this year was over the threshold for overage for taxes/insurance) equal to almost what we'd spent. I love days like that!!!

We also did some shopping last night, and have spent most all of the afternoon today working in the yard. Our yard was "behind" about 3 mows. It needed a mow the day the roofers started early - so we were behind to start with. Fast forward nearly 2 weeks of equipment being in our yard and it was a mess. I had thought about calling Codes on myself, ugh! But now our yard is nicely mowed, all the pots, flowers and furniture is back on the deck and porch and it's back to nice and neat. And we even had time to take a trip to Sonic for some well deserved ice cream.

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend and have a fabulous week!

Here are some pics of the construction:

This is the foyer before, with all the furniture we had in there removed.

Here's the horrible spiral before. Just try taking boxes and boxes of Christmas decs, furniture, etc up and down that thing.

And now - a fab new winding staircase! It's hard to really get it all in pics. It starts under the front window, goes up to a landing and then winds to go up to the 2nd floor.

More of the "up" piece, plus the great chair we got for $10 at the yard sale yesterday - it's got great bones but just needs reupholstering. Brent's standing inside the new hall closet here.

The view from the top - you can get a good view of the "wind" from this pic.

Here's one of the reclaimed posts we bought. It's got great carving details on it and is going to look so good cleaned up!

This is how far Pippin is willing to go on the new stairs.

But he's certainly finding his own ways to enjoy it.....

And here's Pippin after a long day at daycare, when you can pretty much do whatever you want to him with no complaints!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Moving and Shaking!

Hey everyone! Man, what a week! The new roof is done, yay! They finished sometime yesterday, new gutters, replaced the old skylights, and the works! It looks great, I'll paste a slideshow below of all the work. Those guys worked constantly from Tuesday of last week through yesterday, every day except Sunday. And mercifully they didn't start Saturday until 8:30 (they had been starting around 6:45-7:00 every morning). It rained this afternoon and the new gutters worked beautifully. I don't know if it leaked in the attic since the contractors removed our inside metal staircase yesterday and we don't have any way to get into our upstairs! They chopped the old spiral up into several pieces and chucked it in our front yard and started building the new, NORMAL, staircase. They got up to about the first landing done today, so it will be super exciting to come home tomorrow, because they should be up through the ceiling to the second story. Good times!!

And to continue the ramble that is this post, while the contractors are working inside Pippin is loving life - and going to daycare everyday. We went last weekend for an "evaluation" and to meet with the owner. The whole thing made us very nervous, we're not used to leaving Pippin in open environments because he is WILD. But, there's really not much else we could do while people were inside working on things. If we crated him he'd go crazy with all the hammering and sawing and it's just not good for him. Clearly I shouldn't have been worried because the boy is LOVING it. Yesterday when I went to pick him up he was chilling right next to a "fuzzy" little dog and they were so cute. Just sitting there. Quietly. Very unlike Pippin. And today he nearly choked himself to death pulling me up the stairs to get inside the daycare and he walked in like he owned it. Today he was in a big playroom with several other dogs and no one was in line in front of me so I didn't get to sneak a peak at how he was doing. But let's just say he comes home EXHAUSTED every day. Last night he was out for good at 8 pm - tonight he was out at SEVEN! The contractors should be done in just a couple of days (we're doing the finishing, they're just framing) but I'll probably start taking him one day a week because I think it's really helping him be a better socializer.

In other news, Nashville is SO happening!! Last week CMA-fest, this weekend Bonnaroo! This season of Next Design Star was shot here (I need to find THEM, bring them HERE, make them finish this house!!!). Tonight's Last Comic Standing showed Nashville, but none of the clips of me (boo!) and of course Nashville Star is going on right now!! It's a good time to live in the 'Ville! Bonnaroo won't affect us this weekend, they're all inside the sight south of town and set for a weekend of festivities. Brent saw a ton of campers and out of staters headed that way on his commute to work today. We have a couple of friends going so it'll be fun to hear all their stories, there's going to be some great music there this weekend.

Have a great weekend!!

Friday, June 06, 2008

When you can't beat them...

You join them and take their picture for all the planet to enjoy!

Friends, this is Nashville's version of "freak week". (To me freak week was always that week in August where all the Elvis crazies poured into my forever and always dear hometown (Memphis) and cried and wept and gnashed teeth over his passing. Now living in Nashville freak week is this particular week in June when all the country loving people pour into town and profess their love for each and every country singer. One in particular has left love notes for Rodney Atkins in chalk ALL over downtown.)

In a lot of ways CMAfest is actually pretty cool. For some certain $$ amount fans can spend hours in line every day and get autographs, pics, etc of pretty much each and every major (and minor) country artist. There's several stages around downtown with people performing all day and then at night the biggest of the big perform downtown at the football stadium. I can't think of any other festival/genre where you can get THAT much exposure to your idols. Tonight's concert has Carrie Underwood, Faith Hill, and my girl Ashton Shepherd (along with a lot of other people). Tomorrow my man Trace Adkins is on, along with Kenny Rogers and a bunch of other people.

I skipped the gym yesterday and spent my lunch hour walking around the free portions of the festival. It was freaking 90 degrees at lunch, and so insanely hot. I did score lots of free sunscreen packets and a fan.

Here's my pictorial narration of the (free) parts of what I've seen this week:

It's really, really hard to describe how long the lines are. They start outside the convention center and then wrap literally all the way around the city block. Here's just part of the line for people to get inside to wait in line for autographs. Keep in mind it was over 90 degrees!!

Waiting in line for hours wouldn't be so bad if you were behind this guy, I bet he was entertaining!!

Near the Country Music Hall of Fame there's a little park they've turned into a kid area. There was inflatable stuff, coloring areas, game for kids to play and this SCARY Ronald McDonald blow up!!!

I also happened upon the Music City Walk of Fame. Brent and I have gone on runs specifically looking for it on the immediate block of the Hall of Fame, on Music Row, etc and never found it. Now I know it's the cut across sidewalk within this little park.

For our usual 3pm walk my coworker and I walked back down to soak up more sights and free sounds. AND, we ran into the Naked Cowboy, all the way from NYC! I wonder what he wears at the airport???

We also saw this guy, right outside the convention center with a line of people getting his autograph. Does anyone know who he is????

The total downside to this is the insane traffic jam caused by so many tourists. I will confess I have honked at many of them this week, and suggested they return to "fill in the blank state". My 3 mile commute took me 45 minutes yesterday afternoon thanks to this mess.

For a few blocks I was behind the "George Strait" truck who was tossing Tshirts out to people on 2nd.

Once he turned to do another lap of downtown I got stuck behind two horse policemen (this picture if after I got around them). The first sign I was about to approach horses was the insane quantity of poo in the roads. I was very thankful my windows were rolled up....

But the traffic was no better next to the football stadium for the music going on there...

Oh well, no biggie I guess. As someone whose income comes from retail, and retail is really all about people out spending money, and I'm sure some of these people will spend money at our area stores and thus help our stores and keep food on my table, pack 'em in! Pack 'em double wide!! I didn't hear the fireworks last night (days of roofers banging up above will WEAR YOU OUT) but it was cool to hear the fighter jets fly overhead as the concert started last night, and then we saw them tonight as we were heading out to dinner about the time it started. I will be avoiding downtown all weekend though!!!

The roof should be done on Tuesday. They have a few more things to do tomorrow, and then Tuesday is gutter day and a few other things that a different crew do. It's looking great and those guys have worked SO HARD. Tues 7 am to 5 pm, Wed 6:40 am to 8 pm and yesterday from 7 am to 7:30 pm!! I can't imagine, and they hardly take breaks at all.

Alrighty, have a great weekend everyone!!!

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

And so it begins....

June has gotten off to QUITE the start. The roofers called Monday morning to let us know they were outside our house to deliver shingles and drop off the dump trailer, and could they take down parts of our white picket fence. Sigh. It's a good thing landscaping is our NEXT project because our front yard is pretty well demolished from pallets of shingles, supplies, trailer and the layers of shingles tossed off so far.

They got here at 7 am this morning, just as I was leaving for work. Brent stayed in case there was any trouble once they started pulling stuff off (as far as wood damage underneath). So far, so good, we've had very few surprises. It appears there were 4 layers of shingles instead of 3. They spent today doing the front side up to and including installing the new skylights. There's still the other side of the front, the middle dip and rise to the back peak, and then the back side of the roof. They said they'll be here two more days. The crew is about 7 guys and it's amazing how much they got accomplished today, in 92-93+ heat. It's insane here, already. Yesterday it was 90 at 5 pm when I was on my way home!!

Pippin's not a huge fan of the noise. He's thrown up once, is pretty frantic, and barks at the ceiling. Tonight around 8:30 he "excused himself" and has gone and gotten in his big bed in our bedroom. He hates not having his front fence to run around and greet people.

Anyway, here's some pics from the excitement:

Front view: Taking off shingles......

Big mess of shingles:

In this one they've also removed the old skylight on the left side & most of it's down to the slats

New roof going in on the right side, new skylights dropped in on the left side!

New roof!

Front side, new roof!!

Basically they've finished most of the parts you see from the street! Good times!!