I knew I was in trouble heading into a long, 4-day weekend when I realized I was coming down with a case of the spring crud Thursday afternoon at work. I was absolutely wiped-out, coughing and feeling a bit feverish. I should probably explain, what I call the crud is a flu-like reaction I get from certain allergens coupled with a sinus infection. It starts off like the flu, hits my sinuses, then chest with a nice dose of body aches.
Anyway, I tried to shake off Thursday’s doldrums by taking Debbie out for dinner. Instead of sticking with our tried & true places I decided to use our “out of cycle” dining out to try a new place called Arena Tavern near Town Center Mall. Sadly, it was pretty awful. On the bright side, at least it was expensive! Never again.
Over night I ran a pretty good temperature of 99°F which, for me, is more like 101°F given I normally run a temp of 97.8°F. But with the help of NyQuil & DayQuil I was pretty functional the following morning. I spent the morning doing book-keeping and banking and some work related things and by mid-morning was out in the garage putting the chains back on the tandem and triplet following Sunday’s maintenance session. Around 11:30 I rode my motorcycle over to The Red Eyed Mule to meet Debbie for our every-other Friday lunch date. While it felt good to get out on the motorcycle, I could tell my balance was a bit off so I headed back home for some down time before doing some other honey-dos and errands. Friday evening saw us over at On-the-Border as per usual; however, our friends David & Deb brought along some neighbors which made for an extra fun time: very nice folks who we hope to see again. We also had a chance to visit with our friends Carole & Seth! Jeff & Matt took good care of us, as always, and it was just a great evening out. However, after that it was back to house where I crashed pretty hard.
Even though I was still getting by on NyQuil & DayQuil, we decided to take a short tandem ride on Saturday just to see if I couldn’t exercise the crud away: no such luck. The persistent cough, etc. did not abate one iota. But, it did feel good to get out on the bike and we were able to do some fine tuning to Debbie’s new Selle AnAtomica Titanico saddle. After our ride we made a little lunch and then spent some time just relaxing out on the breezeway, something we rarely do. It was a great way to get in some down time before we had to get ourselves ready for an afternoon event.
Our day had to be planned around a 45-minute trip to the performing arts center at Reinhardt University at Waleska, Georgia where granddaughter’s Caroline (6) and Charlotte (4) were going to have their first piano recitals. Both girls have been taken lessons from Debbie’s sister Andrea and as part of the learning process all of her students must participate in an annual recital. Debbie looked fantastic in a 3/4 length black, lace dress and black goat leather/lace boots from Horsetown. Hopefully one of the many photos taken by the kids will surface. We don’t bother to take cameras to these events because there are usually at least three to five other cameras clicking away; me, I prefer to live in the moment. But amazingly, it’s rare that any of the hundreds of photos ever surface in a timely manner. Next week this time a photo album with 142 photos will appear in a link, but that’s then not now. Cest la vie.
The girls were as cute as could be and it was really a very enjoyable afternoon, despite being somewhat ill-timed in the middle of a holiday weekend. Of course, it’s not like I needed to be doing anything that required balance with my head cold / crud.
The recital and reception afterwards ended around 3:30 and we made our way home so that I could have a little more down time before we headed out for dinner.
Unlike most Saturdays when we pay a visit to Olde Towne Tavern & Grille for dinner, Debbie decided that she wanted to head over to David & Deb’s Saturday haunt, Loco Willy’s, for the Ahi Poke: Sushi Grade Yellow Fin Tuna tossed in a Fresh Ginger Garlic Ponzu sauce, Red Onion, Fresh Jalapeno’s, Sushi Rice, Steamed Spinach and topped with Fresh Avocado. Oh, to say that it’s good is an understatement: it’s amazing! So, it was an easy sell to me, as I’ve now become a seafood and fish convert. We arrived around 6:15, a good 30 minutes before David & Deb typically arrive. We spent the first 15 minutes or so working with Shannon to come up with a Pina Colada that was as good as the one that our friend Jeff over at On-the-Border makes. In fact, I even ended up calling Jeff at home to confirm how he made Debbie’s Pina Colada. Shannon nailed it once we had the ingredients figured out, which is to say using only the light Rum instead of light & dark, going heavy on the coconut mix, easy on rum, etc. I decided to go with a margarita and stuck with those for the night. When I say night, I’m not kidding: we didn’t head home until 11:00pm. But, we had the best time. The folks who come to Willy’s tend to be pretty friendly and it’s always a hoot when we get together with David & Deb. As on Friday night, the minute I got home I took my NyQuil and crashed for the night.
It was another slow and rough start to the day, as the crud always settles back into my chest over night and it takes about 20 minutes to clear all of the congestion. After that, I was actually feeling pretty good. Debbie had indulged a bit more than she usually does at Willy’s the night before so she wasn’t moving all that swiftly. I decided that I was going to go over to Lowes and make a final decision on a barbecue grill and some new seat cushions for the kitchen stools just to get a good start to the day: I felt like I needed to accomplish something.
Well, I failed in my first attempt and went back home to get Debbie so that she could help me make the right decision… or at least get her buy-in on the logic I was using as I found myself moving up the Weber model line well above my original set of requirements. Ultimately, she bought into my logic and agreed that the stainless steel S-330 model with side burner, etc., would probably end up being a better choice and value in the long run: it was truly a Tim the Toolman Taylor “more power” moment! I also pawned off the decision on what color cushions to get and she nailed it! We had the grill back at the house, fired-up and were eating some blackened tuna burrito’s within the hour in the comfort of little breezeway. How nice was that?
Being the last Sunday in May, it was a pretty exciting day in motorsports so I was actually multitasking as I kept up with the Monaco Grand Prix (Nico Rosberg/Mercedes won) and the Indy 500 (way to go Tony Kanaan) while making lunch, flipping mattresses, doing blog entries and relaxing on the breezeway and also keeping an eye on the clock as we had yet another event to attend on Sunday afternoon.
Following on to Saturday’s piano recital, little Charlotte had a ballet recital at 4:00pm on Sunday afternoon: talk about a busy little girl. Once again, Debbie looked amazing in a full-length, black lace dress and the same lace boots she wore on Saturday and we made it to the Cobb County Civic Center with 15 minutes to spare! The kids had saved us some seats down in front as we settled in for the 19 separate dances that comprised the recital. Charlotte’s was #3. The little girls all looked very cute and it was an interesting event. Afterwards — well after the family paparazzi event that followed the event — we met the entire family and kids for dinner over at a local restaurant and had a nice time chatting with Julie’s parents… something we don’t often get to do. By then the NASCAR Coca Cola 600 had started (Kevin Harvick won, meh) so I was all set for the evening. Back to my breezeway / family room for some additional down time so that perhaps… just perhaps I’d be in good enough shape so Debbie and I could join David & Deb for a 1/2 day motorcycle ride into north Georgia on Memorial Day.
I spent a little bit of my quiet time thinking about Memorial Day’s significance and sifting through the various things others had shared on FB. Something that caught my attention was a video extract from the end of Ronald Reagan’s first Inaugural Address back in 1981 where he spoke about our nation’s fallen soldiers and ended by sharing “A Soldier’s Pledge”. Somehow that seemed to be a very appropriate way to memorialize the thousands of soldiers, sailors, airmen, nurses, doctors medics and marines whose character and resolve we remembered, mourned and celebrated the last Monday in May each year.
Sadly, I still had the same light-headed issues that had been dogging me all weekend. So, hopping on a motorcycle with my sweet Debbie on back and good friends along side was not where I needed to be with balance issues. Tandem cycling was also not an option, so another nearly perfect weather day was going to pass me by as I struggled with my crud. With great reluctance I sent a note off to David sending our regrets as we’d not be able to join them for a ride today.
Debbie decided to spend a good bit of her time working in the yard. Before joining her I finally got around to installing the new brake pads I’d bought for my 2003 BMW R1100s motorcycle, noting that it was still running the original brake pads with some 19,000 miles of use! Mind you, I acquired the bike in 2009 with only 4,500 miles on the clock so I know how the brakes were used for the last 15,000 miles, which is to say not all that hard. Although, I must confess that while the front pads still looked pretty good… with perhaps another 2k miles of life ahead of them, the inboard rear pad was mere microns from going metal-on-metal. In fact, it looked like the inboard outer edge of the rear rotor had just started to rub against the brake pad’s body. Timing’s everything I guess and in the space of about 15 minutes all three brake calipers were sporting fresh EBC brake pads. Whew, glad I finally got that taken care of before sparks started flying off the rear wheel of my bike on my 6am commute.
With that important task done I turned my attention to the yard. First thing I needed to do was to make sure our sprinkler systems still worked, as the very wet cool spring had done such a good job of keeping everything lush: not so as we move into June & July. After replacing a sprinkler head I cut back a shrub that had gotten a bit unwieldily and then worked my way up to edging and then cutting the lawn. That pretty much sucked the life out of me, so I took more drugs and headed back to the breezeway for more downtime. Along the way Debbie had picked up some fresh Tilapia which I quickly set about to blackend for lunch using an iron skillet on our new Weber S-330’s side burner.
Once my energy levels were back up I did a little more work on my BMW before planting one last shrub for Debbie. The front yard still needs some help as the turf’s in pretty bad shape this year; still need to figure out our next move on that… and there’s a dead tree that we need to have removed from the back yard before planting a few more Dogwoods to help put back some shade from the loss of all those big oaks. Oh yeah, and there’s the 72 bails of pinestraw and 5 yards of pine bark I need to put down: doh, I need a townhouse so bad!!!
We ended our weekend relaxing on the breezeway for about an hour before deciding to jump on the motorcycle for a very short ride over to Olde Towne for dinner. It just seemed like too nice of a day not to get in at least a short ride, and as it turned out a short ride is about all I had in me. I’m guessing it’s something in the air that’s got me all screwed up as the 10 minute ride to and from Olde Towne just set off a coughing spell like nothing I’d had all weekend. I’m thinking I’ll be driving the truck to work this week.