Sunday, September 30, 2007

Seeded out

Another weekend evening brings yet another blog...
I think I've settled into my routine with the postings, so it's safe to say I will be updating weekly. The end of the week just seems like the right time to relflect on all the little happenings in my life. Not that they are terribly exciting or anything...

Since we had the garage sale last weekend (ugh...), Sean and I had some cash to spend on a few very important items. Friday night we met up at Mineo's Pizza after work for a pie and some oysters on the half shell. I think it's my new favorite hang out, and the food was great. More importantly, we did NOT get sick from the I'll be going back for another visit for sure. After dinner we bought a few house warming gifts for our friends Sherri & Keith. They hosted a small party on Saturday night, and it was a lot of fun hanging out at their new house. Sherri showed off her cullinary skills with an amazing spread of appetizers and few main dishes. To quote the most obnoxious yet likable TV personality ever, "Yummo!" I wish I had pictures to share, but unfortunately the batteries died on our camera. It was also a party to celebrate Sherri's upcoming birthday. We got to hang out with great friends, and met a couple of new ones, too. Bravo on the party, Sherri!

This morning (after shaking our headaches) Sean and I were supposed to meet Luca and Adrienne for brunch....until we got the phone call that "Luca is sick and we don't want to spread germs." Hmm...this normally wouldn't have been a big deal. I mean, we were disappointed that we weren't able to see them while they were in town, but we understood. The only thing that made this cancellation especially sucky was that our double date for Friday night pulled THE EXACT SAME THING and also canceled on us. Sean and I are a bit concerned by this double cancellation...are we not fun people? Is there something that you guys aren't telling us? 'Cause I mean, if we are not fun double daters, then by all means please let us know.

Well, the good news is that we didn't let Luca and Adrienne's "illness" slow us down. We headed up to Cracker Barrel for a good old fashioned breakfast; country fried steak, country ham, hashbrown casserole, and biscuit & gravy. Ooooo-weeeee 'dem sure were good biscuits!!! It was the perfect way to lift our spirits after being dumped for the second time this weekend. Bellies full, we headed off to Home Depot with the rest of our garage sale money. We ended up with grass seed, fertilizer, sprinklers, and mums -- the fall essentials. I would have thrown in some pansies, but the impatients are still doing really well, so I don't want to dig them up yet. Maybe next weekend...

The rest of our afternoon was spent raking and blowing leaves. With 10 bags full, we finally spread the seed and fertilizer, but we only had enough sunlight to finish the back yard. The next few days will give us the chance to tackle the front (which is only half the size of the back, thank goodness).

After all the yard work, we were ready for another meal. I prepared a semi-Thanksgiving dinner with pan seared turkey w/ a chardonnay glaze, frosted green beans w/ sesame seeds, and baked sweet potatoes. The wine we drank with the meal was perfect because it had a strong apple aroma...almost like a cider. Can you tell I'm ready for fall?!

This next week is the start of Halloween Party planning, and for those of you who don't know, I'm CRAZY for Halloween. Something about it brings me so much excitement. My notebook is already full of ideas...

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Sales and such

Well, here we are again...Seems like a month ago I was writing about the family reunion, but that was just last weekend! I have no idea what I've been doing for the past seven days. Work kept me busy causing my days to blur together. Nothing's really standing out as noteworthy at the moment, but I decided to post in order to keep up my blogging momentum. Actually, I decided to post because Sean has been watching football all afternoon and I'm bored out of my mind!!! We only have one TV and he got to it first. Despite my begging, he's completely opposed to watching our Netfilx of the week: The Devil Wears Prada. I would love to pout about this, but in all fairness, today is the first time Sean has subjected me to so much football.

My good friend Sherri started working with me last Monday - we are both Sales Operations Analysts for a computer networking company in Franklin. Sounds important, huh? I'm so glad to have her because I know she'll do a great job. And I'm also ready to get back to just ONE sales team versus the two I have now. Hopefully Sherri will catch on quickly so I can pass the East accounts back to her. The East is one busy team, and juggling the two has been a bit challenging for me. All of a sudden I was thrown into handling a group of unfamiliar accounts, and I felt extremely out of the loop. It took me about a week to get my bearings, and things are better now...just very busy.

This past Thursday Sean and I were invited to a Nashville Predators hockey game. Hockey.....hmmm.....not so sure I like it. It definitely doesn't say "Nashville" to me, but apparently they have a strong fan base. And just to clarify, I am NOT one of those fans. I was an idiot and wore a T-shirt and flip flops, and as you may have already guessed, I was freezing my butt off through the entire game. Thank you, $9.00 Miller Lite for warming me up near the end. One major complaint about hockey: No half time. OK, TWO complaints: No band. And while we're at it, I'll go ahead with a third: no ball.

Friday night was spent prepping for the yard sale, dragging all kinds of unused furniture and junk down from the upstairs. We crashed just before midnight, and then woke up at ten til 5 this morning to set everything up. I woke up rarin' to go, which was odd because I'm most definitely NOT a morning person. (P.S. Is "rarin'" even a word?) I must have been excited by the thought of making money and getting rid of so much stuff. Sherri and Keith brought over a whole slew of their crap, and so it ended up being a pretty big sale. By 9:30 I had been up and moving for 4 hours and downed 2 travel mugs full of strong coffee. The mosquitos were eating me alive, the sun was blazing hot, and all I could think about was an ice cold beer. My father in law has this 4 hour rule for drinking, meanining you're allowed to drink after you've been working for 4 hours. He works for the phone company in New Jersey and starts his shift at 4 a.m., so by 8 a.m. he's ready for lunch. And lunch time means he's ready for a beer. I sort of like that rule, and I felt like using it today...but I didn't. Instead, my system started to crash and I got the jitters so I decided to take a nap.

By the time I woke up at noon, the sale had come to an end. I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of traffic we had throughout the day, and we were able to get rid of almost everything. Sean and I took the few remaining boxes down to Goodwill after lunch. We got home in time for the Lousiana-S. Carolina game, and that's when all the "fun" began. So here I am six hours later sitting at the dining room table and wishing that the TV would just explode.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Family-filled Weekend

The new school "color"

Amanda and Mom

Amanda and Me - I don't think we look anything alike

Finally, a weekend. Ahhhhhhh.....let me just soak in this moment for a while.

It's absolutely beautiful outside today! Sunny and 78 degrees with a slight breeze. We have the windows open -- you can't beat fresh air and sunshine.

So last Monday I came down with a cold, which was the worst timing because work was awfully busy. I felt terrible, but kept dragging myself to the office to take care of business. Sean was in Dallas training for the week, so my whole routine was out of whack. I was a mess, to say the least - trouble sleeping, lonliness...and then there was all the sneezing, coughing, headache, sore throat. I took a sick day on Wednesday, and by the end of the week I was feeling much better. Still have a cough and maybe mild brochitis, but the benefit to this is having the sexy, raspy Tara Reid voice.

Friday night I met up with mom, Jimmy and Amanda for the Franklin High Homecoming game. I've only been to one homecoming since I graduated 7 years ago. Ok, maybe two. But my, how things change so quickly...Last year they demolished my old school (the one my parents went to as well) and build a brand new one from the ground up, so it's completely different. I still get all proud and nostalgic when I visit, but nothing really looks the same. One thing that struck me was the amount of camoflage everyone was sporting. The Franklin Rebels' colors are Maroon (pronounced m'roon) and White. But I guess when your mascot is a Civil War soldier with a Rebel flag, you feel compelled to let your inner red neck shine through. Somewhere along the line, these kids decided to buy up all the camoflage in Franklin and wear it to the games. I even saw parents doing the same. As weird as it was to see this new school "color" (pattern, maybe?), I rather enjoyed it, and was a bit jealous that my generation can't take credit for this new trend.

It was Amanda's last night in town as she's now on her way to Austraila for a semester abroad. We had a great time meeting up with more family and old friends...and of course gossiping about everyone who passed by the stands. Mom's the attendance lady (has been since I was in school), and Jimmy who has lived in Franklin his entire of life (67 years now), is the girls soccer coach. Between the two of them they know just about everyone in town. As the homecoming attendants were being presented on the field before the game, mom gave us the low down on each of them. She'd say, "See that girl down thar in the blue? Well. I'll tell you what...she's sweet, but she shawr does dress awful skanky. She's up in the office almost every week for that belly button ring hangin' out."

Speaking of gossip, Sean and I spent yesterday in Kentucky for a family reunion. Mind you, this is my other side of the father's side. Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures to share...

Just last year I was a Hargis, but in some ways it seems like a lifetime ago. I thought chaning my name after marriage would be difficult, but it really wasn't. I mean, it took a little while for me adjust. I'd just flat out forget that my name was different. Even after a few months, I'd occasionally attempt to log into Windows using my old name. I'd be cussing that computer, "Why won't this thing work?! That is my password FOR SURE!!!" Or I'd be in a metting and someone would say, "Mrs. Carroll?" I'd be looking around the room thinking, "Why doesn't someone answer?" Yesterday, I enjoyed being a Hargis again.

The reason we went up was to celebrate Mary Dunnaway's 87th Birthday. Mary is my great grandfather's youngest sister. She was born Mary Hargis in 1920 on a farm outside Murray, KY. A lot of the family still lives around there today, and Murray is where we visited a few times when I was younger. Unfortunately, we didn't keep in touch with them, and I never really got to know that side of the family. Meeting Mary was very special for me. First of all, she's still got a sharp mind and seems to be in good shape. Mary was the life of the party, hilarious, and feisty. In several of her old picutres, she was making goofy faces or wearing a costume. I also got to see pictures of her family growing up which included some of my great grandfather Frank.

As I said, I never really knew my great grandfather. I met him a few times when I was younger, but at that age ,I didn't take the time to talk to him or ask stories about his life. His birth name was Richard Franklin Hargis, and yesterday was the first time I found out he went by the name Frank. He was always just "Grandaddy" to us. My dad is named after him, Richard Franklin Hargis II, and goes by Rick (or Ricky to family members). My brother is Richard Franklin Hargis III, and goes by Trey. Aunt Mary got to meet Trey for the first time, and I think she was blown away that he's carrying on the name. She told us that Frank was her favorite brother. When Frank got married, Mary was only 5 years old and she said, "I thought Frank wasn't going to love me anymore." I later found out that Frank took a job in Michigan to help support their family. Mary said, "If Frank hadn't done that, I don't know what would have happened to us..." She showed me a picture of all of them, her parents and the seven Hargis siblings. In it was my great great grandfather Samuel Lionel "SL" Hargis and his wife (whose name I can't recall right now). Anyhow, it was haunting to look at all of their faces. I was thinking "Wow...these are my roots. I came from them." There were 4 generations of Hargis' together yesterday. Out of all of us, my brother is the only one who will be able to carry on the name.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

We have a lot of catching up to do...

Second hole in one in a row, thank you!
Ken and Sean at Dinner
My view of the ocean
Sean and I before dinner one night
Us chillin' on the beach
Another view...

Unfortunately, since I created my blog I haven't had any time to post a new entry. I'm already off to a bad start with this thing, but I hope the posts will become more regular.

Today is Sunday, and quite dreary outside. But the good news is that we finally got some rain!!! A solid month of 3-digit temps and little to no precipitation has left everything in Middle Tennesse completely dry and dead. Sean only had to mow twice this summer, which I'm sure he was glad about...but it was also a bummer because we didn't get to enjoy our amazing back yard as much as we'd hoped. Last summer we grilled out all the time, and we ate a lot of meals on the back patio. Some nights we'd take a bottle of wine out and talk for hours....coming up with brilliant business plans or ways to improve our home or how we were going to become self-made millionaires. But not so much this season. With 95 degree temps at 10 p.m., we didn't feel like subjecting ourselfs to the extreme humidity and bugs.

No, instead we stayed indoors running the AC on full blast and praying that it didn't die on us. I knew the heat was bad when even I -- the girl who loves summer the most and would do anything to keep it year-round -- began looking forward to the fall. Yes, it's true...I think I'm ready for a sweatshirt. Unless you lived here, y'all just don't know how bad it has been. (Except for maybe Luca & Adrienne down in Atlanta.) I've lived in Nashville for over 20 years, and I can honestly say it's never been this hot. Every morning I'd get to work at 8:00. I'd park in my spot and walk down to the building (which is probably the equivalent to a city block.) In the time it took me to reach the door, I'd already be sweating. And I'm not one to sweat easily. I've maybe only had one pit stain in my entire life. I swear I could feel the sun cooking my backside through my clothes. This summer made me sweat so bad that I considered bringing a change of underwear and bra...just to have dry ones when I got to my desk.

Now that the sun is coming up later, I don't have to worry about that anymore.

There was one thing that did keep us outdoors this summer -- The Pool. In the months leading up to my birthday, all I could talk about was wishing someone would buy me a pool. I love water and the calming affect it has on me. I kept thinking, "How great would it be to have a pool RIGHT in the back yard!?!?" I found this particular pool in the Sunday paper as one of the Wal-Mart summer specials. It was bright blue, and resembled an over-sized baby pool. PERFECT for us! I'd occasionally look it up online and obsess over it, talking to Sean about it until he probably couldn't stand it anymore. And being the best husband ever, he knew what he had to do. He found a great deal on the same pool at Home Depot, and he hid it in the basement until my birthday in May. (Good thing I never go down there, huh?)

The pool was fabulous. It saved us from the heat, and we enjoyed soaking up the sun on our floats and noodles. We even hosted a pool party one afternoon, and I remember thinking to myself, "Best. Summer. Ever." But the pool wasn't perfect. We soon found out that it had some major flaws. For starters, it was positioned under the trees (the only level spot in our yard). It gathered every falling limb, leaf, and bird dropping it could find. The pool was a total dirt magnet, and poor Sean was the one cleaning it out for hours every weekend. The other probelm was the filter...too small and not worth a damn. But we didn't want to spend any more money that we had to on a glorified baby pool. Lastly, because of the shade from the trees, the pool didn't get any direct sun until 3 p.m. which meant that we had to wait ALL day to use it.

After a while (and not much cleaning) the pool turned into a swamp. It was only 3 feet deep, but you coudln't see to the bottom. Plus, during the drought, we had two squirrels fall in and drowned. There's nothing like seeing a stiff, dead squirrel floating in brown pool water right outside your back door. That tail of theirs sticks straight out, and they sort of resemble a log. Sean tried his hardest to treat and skim the water, but there was no going back to the good ole days of having a clean pool. The decision was difficult, but we decided to say good-bye and we drained all the water. It was for the best, but I still think about the pool from time to time. It was a great birthday present...

So, you might be asking yourself, "What do these people do besides NOT clean pools?" Well...we do quite a bit, actually. We helped Emily load up the truck for her big move to Chicago. She and her dad shared a nice dinner with us and stayed the night before they hit the road. I've been pulling double duty at work since one of our team members left a couple of weeks ago. I've also been working out as much as I can. For those of you who don't know, my office building has a gym in the basement. A new training staff was hired to lead classes, and while I enjoy the extra motivation, I really hate the way I feel after the workouts. I've been throwing up, and my trainer thinks it has something to do with my blood sugar. She's treating me as a diabetic because she doesn't want me getting sick and passing out. I have to eat peanut butter before workouts, and also bring hard candy and Gatorade with me. I keep telling her it's just because I'm so overweight and out of shape. But...part of me worries that it's something more. It doesn't help that I discovered the lack of half moons on my fingernails. Just a little aside here as I explain...

See, Sean's cudicles are terrible, and occasionally I give him mini-manicures (which is rare because he hates them). But I somehow got to him last night as we were watching TV on the couch. As I was clipping and filing and pushing I asked, "I wonder why all your fingernails have half moons and mine don't." I told him he probably had a viatmin deficiency. I think I had heard about that somewhere before...probably from my Mimi. You will learn more about her and her love for vitamins later on, I'm sure. Anyway, I decided to look up fingernail half moons online. I absolutely love having the Internet for little moments like this. I made the grouesome discovery that it was I who had the viatmin deficiency. Yes, according to every fingernail website ever, a lack of half moons is a sign of little to no B12 in your system. Coincidentally, this leads to all sorts of health problems including anemia, which my trainer thinks I might have. JUST GREAT. So needless to say, I have plans to call the doctor to test my blood. Maybe I will get the courage to call them this week. I really do hate the doctor, but this might actually be important.

As for Sean, he's been busy adjusting to his new store in Cool Springs. He's thrilled to be there, but it's been a challenge. The store is incredibly busy, but also understaffed. Plus, he left for vacation after only being there 3 days.

Oh yes, Sean and I took a trip down to Destin to visit Kenneth for Labor Day. But, since this blog is way too long already, I will just leave you with the pictures.

Thanks for visiting the Stace Place. Much love to you all!