Even though this wasn’t a short work week we kicked off the weekend with dinner out on Thursday night at Henry’s Louisiana Grill in Acworth. It was a bit of an unusual evening in that I arrived to an empty house as Debbie had been off visiting with her mother all day. It was probably 30 minutes after I arrived home that Debbie came in after stopping at the grocery store and said, “I’ve got some bourbon salmon… or we could go to Henry’s.” Given we’d been inundated with rain for the past week and seeing that Debbie was pretty tired after a long day, I decided we needed a bright spot in our mid-week routine so Henry’s sounded like a good way to break up the monotony and to let Debbie relax a bit.
We found a couple of seats at the bar and as is the norm for us. Henry wasted no time in coming over and offering up his warm and sincere greeting of, “Welcome to my house” as he draped beads around Debbie’s neck. The gentleman knows how to run a restaurant and to deliver an amazing dining experience. As he does with a lot of the pretty ladies, he also sent over a small shot of something for Debbie and another gal seated alongside us at the bar. After getting settled in at the bar we shared a bowl of Henry’s amazing gumbo as an appetizer and then shared the daily special from the blackboard: a Caesar side salad and Blackened Mayan Redfish over Mississippi Blue Rice Grits with cremini mushrooms and brandy shallots topped with a chipotle crawfish cream sauce.
As we were having dinner we received a text from our friends Ryan & Jeanette inviting us to drop by SuBourbon’s in nearby Kennesaw on our way home. It must have been around 7:30pm when we got there and while we assumed they were out by themselves we found them sitting in the back corner with an old friend from high school and his wife celebrating the friend’s 50th birthday. We had a great time with the four of them and I think it was almost 10:00pm when we finally headed home. It was a really nice way to break up the week as we rarely go out on what I like to call “a school night.” Having Debbie retired has made that a bit easier to do since I’m the only one who has to worry about getting up and going to work after a night out.
Friday was a normal work day for me and once again it was raining thanks to the tropical storm that pushed in through Louisiana from the Gulf of Mexico. Against my better judgement — betting there’d be a window when I could do some yard work on Saturday — earlier in the week I’d ordered up 130 square feet of Zeon Zoysia sod so I could finish the backyard project we’d started with our landscaper. As mentioned in a previous blog, it wasn’t their best work as the crew showed up after 6:00pm on a Friday night to install 750 square feet of sod. I’m not sure they worked the soil all that well even though had 6 square yards of top soil brought in to level the yard after they tilled it the prior afternoon. I’m also not sure if they rolled it all that well. But, more to the point, my ballpark estimate of 750 square feet didn’t get verified so they came up about 130 square feet short on sod. Rather than having them finish the job, I opted to do it myself… which is probably what I should have done with the entire project. But, that’s water under the bridge. So, ahead of picking up my sod on Saturday morning, I dropped by Home Depot and picked up 20 bags of top soil for the sod installation and for topping to fill gaps and valleys in the sod our landscaper installed.
As usual for a Friday evening, we headed over to Loco Willy’s for our Finally a Friday celebration. I’ll freely admit I’d somehow ended up a pretty bad mood Friday afternoon for a variety of reasons and was sorely in need of a major distraction. Loco’s and our Loco friends did not disappoint. Most of the usual suspects were there: our partner’s in crime David & Deb along with Billy & Dava, Deb and Scott and the full cast of regulars. We had Billy & Brian behind the bar with Christian actually sitting at the bar instead of behind it. Sadly, missing were Stuart and Teresa who remain on hiatus from Loco’s.
Suffices to say, we had a great time. In fact, I think it was after 10pm before we left, right after Dava & Debbie finished doing some line dancing along side the bar. Yeah, it was that kind of silly night out. But, much-needed. Unfortunately, I somehow lost or failed to take / save the photo of all three Deb’s, David & Scott so the photo collection is lacking. I’ll have to do a better job of making sure I get everyone next time.
Saturday morning was all about getting my sod installed. First stop was Super Sod over on Canton road. Given all of the rain we’d received, the thirteen (13) 10-square foot rolls of sod were muddy and must have weighed 80 lbs each: handling them was like wrestling a greased pig. Thankfully, it wasn’t actually raining on Saturday morning when I started the project and installation went quickly and easily.
The top soil gave me a nice level bed for each piece of sod and they all laid in pretty well. I think I had everything on the ground by 10:30am. Still not sure what the story is on the sod I paid to have installed. My landscaper “thinks” the edges of the sod went dormant because of all the rain and moisture. Here’s hoping that as we dry out this week it all starts to green up. It will be interesting to see how my sod comes in alongside their sod. Anyway, with the sod on the ground, I ran over to Home Depot and rented a sod roller so I could roll both my new sod and re-roll the other sod installation while I was at it. The only added bit of joy to the roller rental was getting it home only to discover it only had one of the two plugs installed. I ended up jury-rigging my own plug rather than making a return trip to Home Depot. With the lawn rolled and the roller returned it was time to clean up! Yeah, right. I’m still not sure how I’ll get all of the mud off those pants. I’m currently thinking about power-washing them as they’re certainly not going in the washing machine like that!
Next on Saturday’s agenda for was a trip up to Debbie’s Uncle’s home in Canton for an afternoon picnic. This is apparently a monthly thing Benny has started to do on Saturday’s since Sunday’s are usually family gatherings at Debbie’s mother’s house. Debbie wanted to be there at 3:00pm so we had to clean-up and be out of the house by 2:00pm. That gave me just enough time to get some fungicide down on the back and side yards and to put weed killer down on the beds along side the new sod before I till those and cover them with pine straw next weekend.
We arrived at Benny’s at 3:00pm and were the first ones there. Shortly after we arrived Debbie’s Aunt Tiny showed up, followed by Tiny’s daughter. Next was little Debbie’s sister Amy with Debbie’s mother and two of her kids. I think it was Rodney & Telete who came in next with Jacob and Emily and then Debbie’s sister-in-law Vicky arrived with just one of the twins, Benjamin. It ended up being an indoor picnic given the weather so it was a full house to say the least, pretty much a given at one of Debbie’s family gatherings. We had a really nice time and it gave Debbie a chance to spend some time with her family which she enjoys immensely.
I think it was around 4:30pm when we said our goodbye’s and headed off to visit some friends who were having a small cocktail party at their mountain home near Dahlonega, Georgia. I say cocktails, I think it was actually a Daiquiri party. Regardless, it gave us a good excuse to spend a couple of hours with some good friends in the mountains which really rounded-out our Saturday quite nicely. We headed back home around 9:30pm and decided to see if any of our friends might still be at Loco Willy’s. Sadly, we missed them but the kitchen was still open when we arrived so we finally had dinner around 11:00pm just before they started to close-up the place. Yes, we were still chipper after a pretty long day.
As much as I wanted to sleep-in on Sunday we had a fairly full day ahead of us. I needed to get the lawn mowed as soon as it was dry enough to cut and the inside and outside of the cars cleaned, as the weather was finally beginning to look up.
Our main event for the day was a 40 minute ride over to Killer-Creek Harley-Davidson on our Road King for their ‘Cruise in Blues’ parking lot event. Our targeted departure time was noon, which gave me just enough time to get the insides of the cars cleaned and vacuumed, pick up some car wash solution, get the truck washed and wiped-down and then get the rear and side yards mowed before grabbing a shower and heading out with Debbie on Blue.
I was thinking it was warm before we left but once we were on the bike we both realized it was a bit cooler than expected. I’d put our rain jackets in the saddlebags as a hedge against our flaky weather and forecasts and we thought about stopping to put them on but held-out and it did warm up a bit as the sun tried to break through the clouds.
The ‘Cruise in Blues’ is one of the typical dealer-sponsored events designed to bring in customers for all kinds of discounts on everything, including new and used motorcycles. The beginning of summer seems to be a time when sales need a boost so just about every Harley dealer around Atlanta had some type of event or events scheduled this weekend. The weather was kind to a few of them, like Harley-Davidson of Atlanta’s annual Luau on Saturday. Anyway, last weekend when we were at Guston’s for the band Three Left Standing the gal in charge of Killer-Creek’s event promotions and marketing struck up a conversation with Debbie and Debbie told her we’d be there. So, between that and seeing that a few of our friends would also be headed that way our Sunday afternoon plans were somewhat set.
About 5 miles away from the dealership we crossed paths with our friend David who was on his way over to the event and upon arriving we met up with our friends Julie & Chuck who had arrived about 20 minutes ahead of us. We also ran into and collected our friend Bobby who was solo as Carrie Ann was at home trying to save her vegetable garden after all of the rain took its toll. Our friends Ryan & Jeanette, who would have normally joined us, started the day off down driving back from Saint Simon’s Island and had a bunch of yard work to do so they were out-of-pocket. Not sure what happened to our partner’s in crime, David & Deb, as they usually don’t mind coming to these types of events.
Given the weather, the turn-out for the event was fairly light. In fact, I noticed that most of the motorcycles being washed by the ubiquitous girls in bikini’s were clean ones from the dealer’s used motorcycle display that they’d bring over one after another just so the girls had something to do.
Best part of the day was, as always, visiting with our friends. While browsing around inside the dealership we wandered into the danger zone and found a couple of very cute women’s fashion tops on sale for Debbie to add to her collection. The bands they had playing were OK but a bit too loud which drove people away from the stage and covered seating area rather than drawing them in. Again, just not a lot of “buzz” during the event but if nothing else it did give us an excuse to put 60 miles on Blue and gave us some time with friends.
I think we left around 3:00pm and were home by 4:00pm. We had tentative dinner plans to meet Ryan & Jeanette at Loco’s around 7:00pm, but that was the extent of our firm plans for the rest of the day. That gave me more than enough time to wash Debbie’s car and do a few other odds and ends before cleaning up and heading over to Loco’s at 6:30pm so we could snag a few seats at the bar. We found our friends Deb & Scott there, but just missed Billy and Dava who were also out tooling around on their Harley. We had a nice time visiting with Scott & Deb and I think it was about 7:30pm when Ryan & Jeanette arrived. I’m guessing we spent the better part of a couple of hours having dinner and visiting with them as they took a break from their marathon home improvement and party-planning / preparation activities ahead of their annual 4th of July weekend pig roast. I think they usually have a couple hundred folks coming and going through between noon and midnight on the day of their party and they pretty much prep and host the whole thing by themselves. It’s a ton of work, God love ’em for all they do!
That was about it for the weekend. We’ve got a short week before the 4th of July break which should hopefully give us a chance to relax. Yeah, right…