Well, I had a blog entry written for last week but never got around to matching up the photos with the text. After letting it sit for a week I’m thinking the text is now a bit stale so I’m going to cobble together a few highlights that will bring everything up to date through this past Friday night. Saturday was kinda special so that will get its own blog entry.
GOING WAY BACK…
We returned from Pennsylvania back on Sunday, August 14th and that’s where I left off with my last blog entry: our return trip home. As mentioned toward the end of that blog entry, we skipped a late evening stop at Loco Willy’s and went straight home after getting back into Atlanta.
Apparently, we both had Willy’s on our mind because following work on Monday both Debbie and I had the same idea for dinner: Let’s go to Willy’s! While we had a couple of food options at the house, we were craving our favorites so off to Loco’s we went. Imagine our surprise when we found our friend Deb at Loco’s when we arrived! David was out-of-town on business and she too just had a hankering for Loco’s so we had company for dinner!
Driving to and from the airport I was reminded that our Toyota Tundra truck had developed some handing issues that I’d not been able to solve despite having it looked at by our independent auto shop back in May. My belief is, it was the tires that were causing the problem and I was fed-up to the point of replacing them, even though they’re only 2 years old with about 20,000 miles of wear. I posted out a note to friends on Facebook soliciting tire recommendations and one of our friends suggested giving them a rotation before making that tire replacement decision. So, that’s pretty much what I did on Wednesday night after work: rotated my truck’s tires using what Matt described as a front to back / rear cross.
After rotating the tires I would say the handling was better… with room for further improvement. And, well, they’re still pretty skittish on wet pavement. So, I’ll give them another 6 months / 5,000 miles and make a final decision at the next rotation point.
Sadly, as our weekend was approaching it didn’t look like we’d be able to carve out time for either a tandem bicycle or motorcycle ride. This did not come as a complete surprise as this was the first of three weekends where we’d be giving up the better part of at least one out of two weekend days either baby sitting our youngest granddaughter Vivian while here two sisters went with mom and dad to Great America or attending birthday parties for granddaughters Vivian and Charlotte.
Thankfully, our Finally a Friday celebration at Loco Willy’s back on 19 August was not adversely affected by Debbie’s babysitting duties on Saturday as she didn’t need to be over at the kids house until 10:00am. That was a good thing as we both needed some time with friends to decompress and there’s nothing like hanging with the regulars at Loco’s to accomplish that objective. Well, and the Ahi Poke was delicious! We thought some of our other friends – Chuck & Julie as well as Ryan & Jeanette – would be joining us, but other commitments apparently got in the way.
It was about 8:00pm Friday night when we decided to head over to SuBourbon’s Rock & Roll Oyster Bar with our friends Stuart & Teresa and Billy & Dava so we could catch the Tyler Porch Band… yes, this would be the same Tyler Porch who began playing lead guitar for Pretty Twisted back in 2011 when he was just 15. His music has come a long way over the past few years and he, drummer Joey and bass player Brad put on a great show. As luck would have it, we were about ½ way to SuBourbon’s when we finally heard from Ryan & Jeanette. If we’d have been on our own instead of joining Stuart & Teresa and Billy & Dava at SuBourbon’s we have probably gone back to Loco’s to meet up with Ryan & Jeanette. Regardless, we had a great evening out with Stuart & Teresa and Billy & Dava… one that saw us heading home around 11:00pm instead of 2:00am: not a bad thing when I had a long day of floor refinishing ahead of me on Saturday.
A WEEK AGO SATURDAY
Since Debbie was going to be out of the house most of Saturday I elected to use that as motivation to begin the last phase of my downstairs hardwood flooring project… refinishing the 900 square feet or so of 23-year old hardwoods in the entry foyer, hallway, powder room and kitchen.
I spent about two hours tearing out and replacing damaged flooring under the refrigerator and another hour to move furniture out of the kitchen and seal-off the rest of the house with plastic sheeting to keep all of the dust that would be generated by machine sanding off the old finish from migrating throughout the house.
With that all done I headed over to Home Depot and picked up a floor sander and more than enough 60, 80 and 120 grit sandpaper to knock out the job… or so I thought. As expected, it was an incredibly dusty, messy project. I also found that I needed a more aggressive sandpaper than 60 grit and had to make a second trip to Home Depot for some 36 grit paper. We son-of-a-gun if that still wasn’t aggressive enough! Turns out, the floor was never laid all that smoothly which resulted in a lot of low spots being left with small strips of un-removed finish. It was almost 5:30pm when Debbie finally called to let me know that the kids had finally arrived home and she’d be on her way home. That gave me a good excuse to knock off for the day and get cleaned up for dinner.
As is the norm, we headed over to Loco Willy’s and met up with our partners in crime, David & Deb, for dinner on Saturday. They’d arrived about 45 minutes before we did and had staked out enough seats to give us a place to sit at the bar. After a few other patrons left we were able to get fully settled and ordered the Willenburger with guacamole, fried egg, bacon, pepper jack cheese, grilled onions and the full garden as we were both needing some iron! It hit the spot. We checked in to see what our motorcycling friends were up to around 8:30pm and never got a clear indication of where they’d be congregating. Our friends Zack and Katelyn were heading over to Guston’s on Wade Green Road where “No Sweat” would be playing, but I think Debbie and I were both feeling our respective long days by the time we left Loco’s around 9:00pm and decided to head home where I pulled down some of the plastic sheeting so we could get into the family room and up to our bedroom without going through the garage stairway entrance. We both fell asleep as soon as we sat down and later discovered that Guston’s was where most of our motorcycling friends ended up. We were disappointed that we’d missed out on visiting with them, but also recognized that we both got some much-needed rest at home.
Even though I was awake by 6:00am, I waited until around 8:00am to get and begin work again downstairs. I didn’t want to disturb Debbie, but I also wanted to be done with the rented floor sander before noon so I needed to get cracking. However, as soon as I had my eyes adjusted to the light I could see the extent of the flooring issues that were preventing me from removing all of the old finish. That caused me to make yet another trip to Home Depot to pick up an 18” belt sander so I could knock down about ½ of the low spots. I had to use a palm sander on the rest and had just enough time to hit the floor with the 80 and 120 grit sandpaper before getting the machine back to Home Depot by noon.
I spent the better part of the afternoon working the edges, bathroom and then cleaning up all of the dust at the house before moving the kitchen table back in so we could resume living in the house until I would have enough time to do the floor stain and clear coating. All the while Debbie stayed busy cleaning and doing laundry upstairs, was kind enough to grab us a Subway for lunch and also got in some grocery store shopping.
As I was cleaning up the house we heard from our friend Carrie Ann that she and her hubby/birthday boy Bobbie would be stopping at Rocco’s Bar & Grill in Jasper, Georgia, for a bite of dinner around 6:30pm. Rocco’s is about a 45 minute drive from our home so we decided to join them for the impromptu birthday celebration. We ended up having a really good time and pretty tasty dinner with Carrie Ann & Bobby, Sharon & Jeff, David, Matt & Tom. Just a great weekend, even if we didn’t get in a ride.
THIS PAST WEEK
This past week included a few highlights and low-lights. We finally reconnected with our financial planners and received some updated income stream models for near and not as near term retirement scenarios. We also met with our legal advisor regarding the upcoming filing of the medical claim related to our October 2015 incident down in Daytona Beach. I thought I’d be working on my off-Friday but, as it turns out, I was granted a pass on some day-long meetings which freed me up to stain the downstairs flooring that I’d just finished stripping.
I decided to apply the stain on Thursday night and with an eye towards possibly putting down the clear coat on my off-Friday. Sadly, the flooring didn’t take the stain as evenly as I’d expected which meant a bit of re-work on Friday morning vs. putting down clear.
As it turned out, there was no way that I’d be able to put down the clear in a day. Well, I could put it down in a day, but we’d not be able to walk on it for another 2 days afterwards, 24-hours in a best case scenario if we were “gentle” on the floors.
Turns out, that was OK. It gave me back the afternoon to clean up the house (yes, it was covered in dust again) and put everything back in its place as the floor would remain un-coated until we could plan an overnight trip on some Friday/Saturday or Saturday/Sunday that would keep us out of the house for the prerequisite 24-48 hours.
Finally a Friday became a near bust when we learned that Loco Willy’s “had an issue” that was causing them to close each day at 5:00pm until further notice. As of this writing, no further notice had been provided. Needless to say, we had to call an audible and it was not an easy task. We decided to give Hudson Grill a try, but upon checking out the menu and drink options we picked our butts up and headed about 100 yards down the road to Rafferty’s. We’d been to Rafferty’s a couple times in the past and the meals were “good enough” as were the cocktail options so we made the most of it. Well, actually, we more than made the best of it!
Shortly after we had our meals we heard from our friends Ryan, Jeanette, Carrie Ann & Bobby, all of whom were out looking for a place to eat… because Loco’s was CLOSED!! They joined us at Rafferty’s along with gal-pal Patti. We had a really good time keeping our barkeeper busy (we were essentially her only party for the night, so good night for her) and after having our fill at Rafferty’s we headed over toe Twin Peaks to see what they had to offer since we’d never been a group: David and I met there once but without the girls. It also was a really good time and went a long way toward reminding us that it was Finally a Friday!!!
So, with that, you’re now up to speed! Next Blog Entry is an account of our 375-mile motorcycle day trip to the mountains of western North Carolina, southeastern Tennessee and north Georgia!