Just me

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Yep, on my own.

In some ways I'm so different when Billy is away. I seem quieter. More introspective. Probably because there is nobody here is listen to me verbalizing every thought that pops into my head.

My eating habits are also different. I either make a dish that I really love and Billy doesn't care for, and eat it for 5 days straight, or I don't eat properly or much at all. Too lazy to 'Q up a 'burg. Last night's dinner consisted of a muffin from Tim Horton's. (which we all know is just cake…) Kim did share with me however, a feta and chicken pizza at about 10:30 pm. (It was great!)

The entertainment element is also changed. No Sports Center, no golf, and no Fear Factor. I can watch Oprah, and listen to talk radio without comment. Luckily, Billy and I enjoy many of the same TV programs, so do I digitally record them all while he is away so that we can watch them together next week? or do I watch them on my own? Well if that is my only dilemma, I'm doing alright!

I know that if I was in the situation where my significant other was on vacation when I was in my early 20's, I would have a different attitude. I would have thought, 'he is on vacation, and so am I'. Reckless entitlement. I would have gone shopping without limit, eaten out all the time, have people over, and generally behave in a manic matter. I would want to let my other half know that I also had a great time. I don't feel this way now. I may see a few more friends then I normally would, but with maturity I realize to the core that I am so very lucky to have a generous, hardworking, supportive, and amazing husband. Gratitude, love, respect. Far from entitlement.

So this week I am going to try to eat normally, even try 2 or 3 new recipes. I'm going to cross off some of the things on my guilt list. (like pulling weeds under the deck, resolving the orthordic issue, calling up some friends, selling a house…?) I'm going to watch an old movie, (Cat on a Hot Tin Roof) that I've never seen, with a bottle of red I've never tried. I'm going to spend time with the kids, my mom, and friends. I will miss Billy tremendously, (I already do)and appreciate him even more upon his return.

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Billy is going on vacation!

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Today is the long awaited day for my husband to leave on vacation. The last vacation he had was in November when we went on a Mexican cruise. (very fun, white water rafted for the first time…) So needless to say, this man deserves a getaway!

I'm still surprised when people are shocked that he goes away without me. I know that he likes to vacation with me, but of course he enjoys being manly: drinking whiskey, eating steak everyday, playing golf and poker with his guy friends. What guy wouldn't? I wouldn't dream of dragging Billy around the state of Tennessee shopping for the perfect pair of capris. Why isn't it acceptable to some that he and four friends head south to be men?

Okay, maybe the nay sayers don't understand what it is like in this area of Tennessee. This is not Spring Break 2006. There are no strip bars, or hot clubs in a 100 mile radius. (I couldn't really imagine Billy in a dance club anyway…) You can stand anywhere in Crossville and hit a church with a 7 iron. Lake Tansi is the #4 retirement destination in the United States. Pretty safe place for 5 married guys to go to.

The only women that the guys will be in contact with are Mitch and Mel, the bartender, and waitress from the County Club. Poor Mitch and Mel. When I was down there a month ago, they asked when the boys will be down because Billy gives them such a hard time. In return they serve him drinks void of any mix.

The wives of my husband's friends, (also my friends…) realize this as well. They deserve to get away. Also, it is a huge bonus that we own the house down there, as it saves everyone the expense of hotels. How great is that? In return, the guys always help out weed-whacking, cutting down a tree, or cleaning out the eaves. Good men.

So of course I will miss him terribly. Everyday I look forward to him coming home from work. Often he comes home, barbecues, cuts grass, moves dirt, plants grass seed, or has to go out on a call. There is always something to do.

I hope he enjoys himself! Play as much golf and poker as humanly possible. Buy that $70 Tiger Woods golf shirt if you want. Eat and drink like a King. He is my King, and he deserves it.

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The best, the worst and the guilty

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Okay, here are some of the best things:

* Sweet corn from 454 County Road 34 West. Oh my God it's good!
* Columbian Supremo coffee from Zhers.
* Thunderstorms on a lazy summer evening.
* Naffele's guacamole.
* The TV show Hell's Kitchen. It's a cheesey reality show, and we love it!
* Everyday Italian on the Food Network. Yummy!
* A really good book.
* Getting emails from friends that are not jokes or warnings, but just a nice little one sided conversation.
* When Billy is proud of something I've done.
* Football on Sundays when I don't have an open house.
* Sharing a bottle of vino with friends.
* When friends/family appreciate your efforts.
* Being in the sun, taking a shower, then wearing a soft pair of joggies.
* Watching a really good movie.
* Billy's grey flannel pants.
* Finding something new growing in the garden.

Okay, of course there is way more…

The worst things:

* Discovering that I'm out of coffee. It happened today.
* When Halia whines when I'm busy.
* When children manipulate their parents.
* When people have to tiptoe around and make excuses for their spouses.
* Rain on golf day.
* Waking up at 5am, and not being able to fall back asleep.
* When the kids fight at the pool.
* Useless group pages.

The things I feel guilty about:

* Not having the bill for my orthodics resolved with the insurance company.
* Friends I know I should call. (Liz S, Sarah, Maryann, Lisa S, to name a few…)
* Not having the summer parties planned yet.
* When a house I have listed does not sell, although it is priced right and I'm doing everything I can.
* Not selling more houses.

Wow I could really go on and on, and I'm sure there are many things I missed. I'm sure there will be a part two soon.

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Unexpected surprise

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Yesterday I had an open house, and during a slow time, I started perusing the books that the seller had on display. I stumbled upon a book by Anne Rice (The Vampire Chronicles) that I never new existed! One of my all time favorite books is 'The Witching Hour' and the 2 follow up novels, 'Lasher' and 'Taltos'. The book I found on my sellers' shelf is called 'Merrick'. I was way overjoyed to discover that this book is a combination of characters from the 'Vampire Chronicles' and 'The Witching Hour'. Needless to say I scooted over to Chapters and bought a copy.

I love it when something unexpected happens like that. There is nothing worse than the anticipation of a new book, (like the next installment of Harry Potter), or a vacation. A surprise sometimes is so much better. Immediate gratification. Oh yeah.

I know a finding a book is not something to write home about, but the big realization from this find is to appreciate the little pleasantries life springs on us.

I hope there is another happy unexpected event in the horizon. I hope that I acknowledge it and appreciate it, only if it is as simple as a good book, a last minute trip to the movies, (Pirates anyone?), or a chance to visit and chat with a friend.

So I didn't sell the house, although it is a fantastic place, but I'd like to thank Tracey and Darrin for making my day! (and they also had a surprise, not so much for me, but….:)

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