Thursday, August 21, 2008

Top Ten Things Overheard on the 2008 Adel Trip

My friend, Christie, and I made our annual trek down South to the glorious city of Adel, Georgia, to visit our great friends, Chad and Tracy Todd. If I could swing it, I think I'd go once every three or four months, if Hotel Todd didn't grow weary of my visits. Going to visit the Todds is always loads of fun and I think every year it gets better. There was lots of laughter and more things to talk about then one blogpost can hold (or post for public consumption). On our visit there two years ago, Tracy wanted to know if I was writing a blogpost, and I did. And have each year. This year we all came up with this blog idea during the trip and I took copious notes to make sure I captured the moment. Without further ado, straight from the home office in Adel, Georgia, tonight's top ten list...

10. "Call 511" - You may have noticed these signs on the side of the highway to access traffic information. During our trip down, we encountered a major backup in Chattanooga and a few more slow-moving spots in Atlanta and shortly before Tifton. Every time we'd come to a stop, I'd proclaim "Call 511" thinking our tax dollars are going to pay for a great service. It's not that exciting. We never really got correct information (much like your morning traffic report) and the voice activation menu never understood me and almost connected me to a live representative 2 times. Typically "Call 511" followed Christie's comment, "Brake lights as far as the eye can see!"

9. "I see another cop" - We counted 27 cops on the way down and 10 on the way home. It's a nice way to spend your time in a long car ride if you run out of games. It's either that or count the "See Ruby Falls" signs (we've counted those before). Shortly before arriving in Adel, cop #26 caught us off guard and Christie's comment when pondering the possibility of us getting a ticket in the tenth hour of our trek was, "Now that would put a damper on the evening." Thankfully, no ticket.

8. "So, you aren't bringing any Peanut M&Ms?" - Our road trip snack of choice has been a big ole bag of Peanut M&Ms. Usually we wouldn't finish the whole bag and Tracy would get the benefit of munching on the rest during our stay. Since we're all on diets this year, the M&Ms were replaced with 100-calorie snacks and granola bars. But, that didn't stop Tracy asking us if we were still bringing them. Around Tifton we stopped to take a bio break and decided to buy Tracy a bag of her own M&Ms. But we couldn't leave Chad out! So we bought him some boiled peanuts from the Chevron. Yeah, that's the deep south....boiled peanuts at the gas station next to the microwave in a crock pot. Chad and Tracy loved the gifts.

7. "Jones, get the chart!" - As I mentioned, we're all on diets of some sort. I'm doing a six-meal a day plan and Christie is doing Weight Watchers. Tracy, the ever-accommodating hostess, had made notes about the homemade food she prepared with the calories, fiber and fat so Christie could calculate her points. Each time we got ready to eat, Tracy would say, "Jones, get the chart!" and we'd figure out points. Tracy's engineering mathematical mind loved the constant calculation. To support our cause, Tracy even introduced us to her video exercise routine. We did a 45-minute Hi-Def Sculpt one morning. As we were sweatin' like pigs, Tracy would say, "It's almost over." I think we heard that six times before it was actually over.

6. "We could look that up if the computer would come on." - Shortly into our stay, the Todds computer died. You don't know how dependent you are on these machines until they don't work. More than once we all uttered this statement. On Saturday, our trip to Valdosta included a visit to Best Buy to procure a new laptop for them. We all had our roles (assigned by Tracy)...Christie's role was to distract unwanted assistance, which she did well by causing an alarm to go off near digital cameras. My role was to tell them if the sales rep was being honest since I just went through this drill a month or so ago. I'm happy to report our plan worked marvelously.

5. "Will we be home by 10pm?" - It was Phelpsmania at Hotel Todd! We were privileged to watch history in the making as we cheered on the gold medals Michael Phelps brought home for the USA. Chad was well-informed on the times of his competitions and most occurred around the 10pm hour, so we had to ensure that we were in position for the witnessing of history. We even got to experience one of the gold medal victories with the Bradfords, a wonderful family that we've been privileged to get to know through the Todds.

4. "I'm my own man." - Chad, being the great husband he is, did the grocery shopping for Tracy before we arrived. But, he did veer off the detailed list a bit, to which he responded, "I'm my own man." This statement was a recurring theme throughout the weekend. One example was Chad's need for a new pillow. He said, "I need a pillow for $5" Tracy rolled her eyes and Chad would reply, "I'm my own man." Priceless. And, Chad found his $5 pillow at Wal-Mart.

3. "Never lead a 10" - The game of choice this weekend was Rook. I've played before, and Christie has too, but not enough to retain the rules. Well, we weren't the star pupils of Rook training. Although aspects of the game are similar to Spades, the strategy is much different, which caused us both mental blocks. "Never lead a 10" was one of their Rook tips along with "Bleed trumps." Christie and I plan to play some rounds of Rook at our Senior Adult game night before next year to stay fresh. Of course, we'll probably get beat horribly by our seasoned senior Rook players.

2. "I still taste the broccoli" - For Sunday's lunch, Tracy made steamed broccoli to continue her support of our healthy eating. She would prefer broccoli with cheese and Ritz crackers, but wouldn't we all? She decided that the steamed broccoli wasn't her favorite and most of Sunday afternoon she'd say, "I still taste the broccoli" Maybe she was weary from shelling the 5-gallon bucket of peas that was a sweet gift from one of their church members. Hopefully she's not still tasting broccoli....and thanks to our pea-shelling skills, she's not still shelling peas either.

1. "Don't blog about that." - Periodically throughout our stay, Tracy would say "don't blog about that" to indicate that was off limits for public consumption. Believe me, there are enough funny moments, comments, and experiences to fill another blogpost. Since I "didn't blog about that" hopefully Tracy will approve of this blogpost.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

"Is Your Refrigerator Running?"..."Um, No"

A week ago Wednesday, I came home from church (ironically from a Bible study I'm leading on contentment, no less) to hear a funny noise from my fridge. A "buzzzz, click, buzzzz" (insert your sound effects here) noise was coming from my fridge. I'd heard this noise before and remembered a couple of years ago it was caused by a bad switch that needed replacing. Due to my sky-is-falling tendencies, I decided to empty the ice bucket, just in case it was the ice maker overflowing or some such issue.

The next morning I called my Dad aka best man on the planet to ask him if I should call a repairman or what I should do. My Dad is a perfectionist, and a handyman...he can fix anything, so I always consult him before seeking outside help so that I'm not over-reacting. He said to let him come and take a look and he'd call a repairman if needed.

While I headed on to work, Dad checked out the situation and decided to call a repairman. I don't keep Yellow Pages at my house anymore because, well, there is the internet, so I found it funny when Dad called me to find where my Yellow Pages were hiding. I told him "let me Google it" and in five seconds I had a list of possible repair facilities. Dad is pretty computer savvy for his age, but hasn't given up the phone book just yet.

After a visit from the repairman, it was decided the fridge was dead. The compressor died and was beyond repair...and out of warranty. Dad called to consult on the situation and I told him I trusted his judgment...pick one out for me that can be delivered the fastest. What money I'd save on shopping for a bargain I'd lose in the spoiled food. Plus, this is a "boy job"...a job solely created by God for men to do. I wasn't created to figure out what fridge I needed, I was created to take all the goodies in the fridge and whip up a luscious meal. As long as I have a freezer part and a fridge part, I'm good.

The next day, I was blessed to be able to work from home so I could be there for the delivery and installation. I didn't open the fridge except once or twice before I emptied it to transfer everything to the new icebox. Thankfully, I didn't lose any food. Athough I discovered through all of this that I don't do well with major disorder in my life, I was thankful that I was able to get a new fridge so quickly. I hope this is the last thing to break down in my life for a while. First my computer, then my car, now this. They come in threes right?

In looking for humor in every situation, I had hoped somebody would have played the phone prank on Thursday "Is your refrigerator running?" so I could accurately respond..."No, it's not." Nobody did, but just thinking about that made me chuckle amidst the chaos.