Tuesday, November 30, 2010

To Rake or Not

Now, where did I put those socks? The ones I wore about 11 months ago. Mother Nature has decided to deliver a cold blow here in the deep south. I could cope with the cold. It's the wind that blows. Again with the tornado warnings this morning. If it blows through, I might be aboard the Trek for a mile or more.
 The upside? All the leaves that were settled snugly around the big maple and feathering out to the edges of the front lawn are gone. Blown to who knows where but I'm sure where ever they ended up, they weren't welcome. I like to think they danced in the wind all the way to the big field at the back of this subdivision. Of course they would have had to make a few turns to the left and go against the wind, but well..let's think positive on this.
I can envision the neighbors down the street gathering them up and returning them. They'll sneak in after midnight and every leaf that was blown to them will be dumped back here and will be 2 ft. deep across the front of the house, the doors and windows covered 6ft up. Unable to swing the door outward to open or climb out of the window, the whole family expires for want of food and water. Too much? Yeah, I think so too.

What's the worst thing that can happen if leaves are NOT  raked and bagged for collection by the city other then the above mentioned? 
 When we lived on the farm, I don't remember ever bagging leaves.  We did rake them into a big pile beneath the tree that shed them, climb the branches of that tree and bail out into the leaf pile. I don't remember the landing being particulary soft either.
 Aren't there nutrients in leaves that are  good for the soil and the insulating factor has to be a plus. Dried and spray painted gold, a hanger in the stem, they could be used to decorate the Christmas tree. Dried, ground up and smoked? Don't think so. I'm sure that was tried years ago by the Native Americans.

It's time for me to move along. I'm on the hunt for that elusive pair of socks and something to wear that goes past my knees.

I'm done.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Football Gods and UnSaintly Behavior

I have to say I've watched The Titan player and The Texan player beat each other with their helmets, fists and feet on replay after replay  and I'm so glad I don't have a son that aspires to this "sport". There was  nothing sporting about that sight. For this, each player was fined 25,000.00 which to them is like fining them 25.00. That'll show em huh? They'll be in the next games played by their respective teams. The Titan player that left the field applauding himself will have a wonderful clip to show his sons and grandsons. Ya gotta love the egos that envelope the gods of football. 

I had an encounter with one of these gods at one time in my life. It wasn't football but basketball that provided this husband with his status and stature although his 6ft 11.5 inches in height would attract enough attention when he walked into a room.  I would watch him "work" people and watch those people get drawn in and I understood the phrase "like moths to the light". A conscious wasn't a part of their social makeup. Today they call it antisocial but it's really a phrase that plays pretty with a lack of any morality.  Entitlement. I admire the strength and talent of these athletes but gods they are not. I've never been overly impressed with movie stars, musicians or athletes. I can admire what they do but still expect them to have some decency, honesty and integrity.
I will still watch LSU and The Saints..and speaking of...another headline on sports.
One of the Saints players is married to a young lady that lives in Youngsville, which is a suburb of this city. Last night they were at one of the downtown bars when they had a disagreement.   He dragged her from the bar to his car by her hair. The police showed up and arrested him and to jail he went.
Will Goes To Jail Now, wouldn't ya think this guy would know that with his job as a professional football player, his antics would be front page news and top of the hour broadcasting on the local news channel here?  How much would you have to drink to space that out?
Spare me from ever having another close encounter with a professional sports person. Once a lifetime was enough.  I maybe painting with a wide brush these players. I know there are some that lead an honorable life. My daughters half sister is engaged to a young man that played for the Colts and the Eagles. Steve. A big fellow but soft spoken and one who ignored the limelight; he never talked football when he was introduced here.

It's time for me to get a quick shower. The husband isn't feeling well at all so like any caring, doting wife, I gathered up the daugher and children and left him to fend for himself while we went out to dinner. As soon as I got home, I headed for the bike to do a few laps before the rains started again. 

The winds started kicking up and after about 4 miles, I headed back to the house. As I entered the house, the sounds of the disaster siren was blaring across the television announcing tornado watch in effect. 

I'll watch for that tornado from my bed. I'm done. 

Twas A Month Before Christmas

A pot of coffee consumed and my brain starts movement from neutral to drive and I'm off. I rolled my bike to the front and reset the odomoter and before I could mount up and ride, a drizzle of rain started. I sat on my bike on the carport and watched as the roadway turned from dry to very wet. I waited. Soon it was a mist and I tucked my right foot beneath the pedal and spun it backward to it's apex and stepped down on it. I popped out of the carport and headed for the street.
My ride was within three to four blocks of the house. The iTouch was playing Taj Mahal and shuffling through some old music as I did my laps, while keeping an eye on the sky. I would not have been surprised had I been caught in a deluge of rain. It ain't looking good here. Four miles later, I rode back into the carport and dismounted. I'll try to make a few more miles later weather willing. Right now its a humid 70 degrees and I'm wearing my LSU purple and gold sports shorts and a t shirt. If not for it being so humid, it would be a fine winter day here.

I watch as the wind picks up and the branches on the big maple shed more leafs onto the lawn. Usually, by this time at least half of the leaves are on the ground. This year, that tree is hanging onto it's head full of "hair".

I'm off to do some housework type stuff. Carrie is still with me and I want to spend some time with her before I return her back to her mother.
I'm done and gone. I'll publish this later. Who knows.. something interesting might happen around here other then watching the rain pour and me sweat.

1400 hrs. and my cleaning spree is approaching the finish line. I hear the chime of my cell phone and find my neighbor on the other end. She has a favor to ask. I wait for her to continue. "Can I borrow some space in your Little House to store something until Christmas?"

Of course I said "yes" and she shared the purchase of a piece of exercise equipment she was going to buy for her daughter. An elliptical. A stride machine. I'm now waiting on her to arrive with it. As soon as I disconnected from that call, I raced to the bedroom and to the linen closet to grab a sheet and head back to the Little House. You see, just a few weeks ago, the  same neighbors husband was found lugging a huge box to the gate leading to my back yard. As I drove up and got out of the car, he whispered to me that he was trying to get this recumbent exercise bike out of his truck and to my patio before his wife came out of their house and caught him. He requested a small area of the Little House to store it until Christmas and asked if I could cover it with a sheet.  He mentioned something about a Mercedes and I had to tell him " I don't have a sheet that big."
 Soon I will have a mini gym stored in boxes, covered in sheets. 3 children are part of this family. I may run out of storage area if everyone of them decides a piece of exercise equipment is going to be purchased as a gift.
I suggested to the neighbor that they enclose part of their huge patio, put in a/c and give me a key. I'm off to get a shower before the next piece of gym equipment arrives.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

I've made an important discovery today. We've talked  before about my problem lately with knee flexion? Unable to get my foot midway on the bike pedal, I would stand down on it and my foot would slip off. Very frustrating for me when this would happen and painful to try to flex that knee far enough back to make riding a fun thing to do instead of the self torture I was practicing.
Today we checked once again the seat on the bike. We also unclasped the lock on it and raised it an inch. That inch, though small, did the trick. I'm back in business and I'm a happy biker once again. I rode for a while this afternoon before the temperatures took a dive. Tomorrow is supposed to be another rainy cold day so I'll be grounded. You know you've been making some miles when you pass the neighbor's house down the block and they comment "You've been racking up a lot of miles on that bike huh?"
I agreed, smiled, waved and rode on. As I biked around the blocks I noticed all the new vehicles parked in driveways. Is there a big sale going on? The new Camaros, which I think are hot stuff, are abundant along with the Dodge Chargers and again, another car that is in demand and a beauty. Did the automakers hire some new design staff?  
We didn't make a trip to the casino. The husband is feeling under the weather so he drank a bunch of beer because we all know that will slow or stop a virus. I don't think it's working although after  almost a 12 pack he really doesn't care. Foot ball games and sofa time is the main activity around here today. 

Carrie is spending the night. She is busily playing her Nintendo, the husband is crashed out and I'm on my way to the kitchen to clean up the dinner mess. My next big event will be to go to bed.

Did I mention that I did a test run by the husband on a trip to Europe this spring?  It didn't go well. His answer?  "I'll wait till that bridge is built. I don't want anybody groping my junk." I totally understand his feelings about the TSA. I mentioned that we could do as the young lady did just this past week. She showed up in a string bikini. Not even a smile. 

I'm done and I'm gone.


Tabu and You

Here it is almost December. It's that time of year again folks. It's Tabu time. To all my high school female friends,  and you know who you are, admit it.
You wore the fragrance called Tabu.  I know you did because everyone of us did. Kathy?  You I remember and associate with the most the Tabu fragrance that was embedded in your clothes, wafted from your hair and embraced you where ever you went.

Finding Tabu on a shelf in a store I find near impossible most of the year but let December rear it's head and walk into any discount store and right there, eye level on the shelf will be a wonderful bottle of Tabu waiting. Sometimes it is offered gift packaged with body lotion so you can intensify the Tabu experience.

Every December I buy a bottle of Tabu and wear it for the entire month. Occasionally, during the following year, I spritz a memory veil of it over my body. I never know when I'll be in the mood for Tabu and the rush of memories it provides.

Just as Old Spice reminds me of my father and Canoe of old boyfriends, Tabu brings back memories of Kathy and Karen and our silly teen years.

Happy Holidays to one and all. You'll know when I enter the room. Tabu precedes me.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Football and Saturday and Sunday too

The day started out issuing chill bumps to my skin as soon as I swung open the front door. After I did my weather check, I moved back into the living room and snuggled back on the sofa and wrapped myself up in a blanket for a few more hours. I waited for the sun to make it's way here.
Coffee and some sunshine and I was ready to get dressed and get outside for a while. I had to make a trip to the store and as I was returning home the sounds of "Sweet Home Alabama" hummed from my cell. The sounds of the husband calling to tell me he would be home around 1500 hrs. and as I pulled into the carport, the leaves crackled and spun beneath the car. 

Rainy cold days had caused me to neglect the outside chores. The big maple tree was shedding it's leafs and it's my job to get the garden tractor and mow them into fine pieces. It's either mow or rake and bag and, trust me on this, no rake fits my delicate ladylike hands.
I used to do that. I did it for months on end to collect all the leafs from that lone tree, bag them and drag them to the road. Now I crank up the little tractor and whip around the lawn. Did I mention it was 68 degrees here today?

The tree, not the maple, but the Christmas one is now standing in a corner, prelit and decorated with crocheted angels, baubles and tinsel. The wreaths are hung across the front door and beneath the porch lights and tomorrow I will finish the mantle and the sofa table. That's the total of the holiday spirit I manage. A few lights across the front of the house and I'm done. 
The fun thing I enjoy is the little stockings. I've mentioned this some where before in a blog. The little stockings are 4 inches in length and there are four of them. One for the daughter and one for each of the grandchildren.
The stocking rules are clear to everyone. We've been doing this for years. 12 days before Christmas, these little stockings are hung off the mantle. Each day Santa visits. Some times he leaves candy or lip gloss, gift cards or cash. Cash is 5.00, 10.00 or 20.00. Carrie gets change. She is easy to appease. The cash is the stimulus for all the attention these little stockings receive. You must remove what is in your stocking before anything new gets placed in it. One rule. Simple.  You visit and you check your stocking.
I've had one of them roll into my house for lunch, to pick something up or drop Carrie off and they rush back to their cars to make it a block away and remember they forgot to do a stocking check. I hear them roaring back into the driveway, bursting through the door laughing and shouting "I forgot the stocking"...
They have gotten smarter as the years have passed and they will remind each other to stop by and check their stockings. They are allowed to remove from their stocking only. They can't help another by removing and delivering to them what is in their stocking. 
 April seldom misses a day. Much laughter follows the hanging of these 4 little stockings and it's my favorite part of the holidays here.

Usually, I'm  relieved when this time of the year passes. I don't get the warm fuzzies. I watch the stressed out crowds of people bombarding the stores, stretching their credit cards to their limits and squeezing all this activity into busy work schedules and kid care and meal preparations and I say, "lets just cancel the whole thing". 
I stay off the main streets. Every shopper from every little nearby community will be cruising the streets, their minds on accomplishing one thing and careful driving has went the way of their budgets. Four car accidents were noted on Ambassador Caffrey, the main thoroughfare. My plan? To avoid as much intercity driving as possible for the next month and to look forward to the 26th of December. Bah Humbug!

We are promised more sunshine and nice temperatures tomorrow. I'll drop the top on the roadster, slip beneath the steering wheel and with the husband, make a trip to the casino 45 minutes from here. The husband isn't interested in driving the roadster. I worried about what he thought about my new ride so I was pleasantly surprised when he suggested we make this trip in it. I wondered if he would ever consent to any sort of trip in it.

I mentioned tonight about me making a solo trip this summer to WV.  If that flies, my next request will be a plane ticket to Germany for a month long visit. I'll start in Germany and see how many countries I can cross in a month's time.  Ideally, a spring trip with the husband, Eurorail passes, bike rentals and bus passes and a stop in Amsterdam I'm hoping for. I'm ready for a vacation. It's time to make like a freebird.

And a few words on the LSU/Arkansas game today: We lost.Nuff said. We are bowl bound but which bowl is the question.   

Friday, November 26, 2010

The Shock Doctrine, Black Friday Not for Me

The Shock Doctrine. Look it up. Watch it on the "On Demand" channel. Buy the book. It's an eye opener to say the least.  I'll spend another 1.5 hrs watching it again. Curious? I'm sure our government depends on few of us to be that curious. It's how we roll here huh?
As the author says "this doctrine depends on the public not being aware of it for it to work."

So, what have I been up to today? I dug out a pair of sweat pants and a sweat shirt, a flattering combo for a day of scrubbing bathrooms, something I never got around to. I did get some things done and one was returning my purse camera back to where it was purchased. That camera allowed me to shoot two pictures then it gave me a recorded voice message warning of low battery. Huh? I tried everything. New batteries, freshly charged batteries and I kept getting that aggravating little voice and then the camera would die. Finally digging out the receipt and the box, I packed it back up and took it back to Walmart for an exchange. I have a large digital camera I use on trips. My "purse camera" is a small palm sized one that I carry in my...ta da...purse, hence the name.  It's only used for unplanned photo opportunities. It was time to rid myself of the useless one and try a different one.

The store was crowded but I'm sure that the black Friday traffic had dispersed with their treasures after running the gauntlet. I did the black Friday thing one time and came to realize there is nothing in this world worth that experience again. Ted and I got in line one morning at 0400 hrs. This was years ago when Ted thought this was a fun thing to do. I'm not sure waiting in the cold and following the herd through the door would excite him again. The trick is to stay upright and not slip and fall where you may be trampled to death. Sound like fun? But you can save a few bucks on those electronics. The hospital bill, should you fall, will negate any savings you might have made. Thank you, but I will be sitting safely on my sofa while you make that trip.

Those bathrooms are still awaiting my attention and since I'm still wearing that attractive sweat outfit, what better time then to get to it. Should you need me, follow the smell of Pine Sol. Gray sweatshirt, dark blue sweat pants. I won't be difficult to recognize. I'm the only one that does this chore.

(Gasp) It's Cold Here???

To bed late..and up again at 0630hrs. I peeked outside and its pouring rain. I have no clue who is doing the pouring but I need to shoot a quick email off and let them know I can NOT drive my roadster in this stuff. What's a girl to do? This could ruin my day. I might have to stay home and dust or some other deplorable task like CLEAN something.

It's a bit nippy outside too. The first thing I thought when I opened the door to that tragedy was "no biking for me." I shoulda rode more last night.

Maybe I'll go check out a gym today or a movie? Yeah, it's nasty weather. I just flipped on the television for a weather update. 52 degrees and raining. I got the "raining" part from my weather check out the front door. Tonight the prediction is for 33 degree temperatures. I would head south but I am now  as far south as I can go without having to swim somewhere and I'm on the wrong part of the Gulf to make it to an island. I'll just have to cope. 

I hear the wind and rain and thankfully it's more rain then wind. I had to stay up late last night waiting for the 'all clear' report from the weather channel on the tornado spotted on the ground and headed this direction. It must have towed this weather in behind it.
I'm off to the kitchen to brew a pot of coffee and stare blankly at the television screen for a while. When I get fully caffeinated, I'll decide how to fill this day with rain play.

Before I make that pot of coffee, I want to record one other thing here.
This morning, as soon as I stirred enough to open my eyes, I turned to look at the bedside laptop to see if it was in one piece and of course it was. I seldom remember my dreams and many times I doubt I ever dream but I distinctly remember cutting my laptop in half. I had two pieces of a laptop and I have no clue what  reason I had for doing this as that's the sum total of what I remembered when I woke up.  Strange. 
It's recorded. If something weird happens to my laptop, I'll be back to jot that down right here as an "update".
Now for that coffee.................... 

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Bird Done

My goose is cooked or the bird is done. The bird is done and gone along with the family. We had a pleasant afternoon. Everyone played nice but then they usually do. The daughter helped with the preparation and the clean up. The smokers headed for the patio while everybody else found a spot in the living room and watched Avatar On Demand. I visited with the smokers and never once craved a smoke. I've came a long way babeeeeeeeee....

Sometimes I only realize after the fact that I sat with everyone that had a tube, bright red on one end and filled with tobacco pinched between their lips, smoke curling out of their nose and mouth and I didn't yearn to be sucking in smoke and getting a dopamine rush. The dopamine was alright but the rest of it sucked and I'm happy that finally I'm not sucking on one. I'll have to get my dopamine from some other source.

Speaking of, which we weren't, the weather here is getting rocky. A tornado has been spotted on the ground and headed this way. I'm watching the information crawl across the bottom of my tv screen. I already called the daughter and told her to be alert. I don't know what we would do other then hide in the tub together. No below ground shelters here. That would be known as a pool of water since we are so beneath sea level.  Your chances of drowning would be more of a danger to you then having the tornado find you.
I'm publishing this now. If my laptop disappears, the blogger will hold onto this until I make it back.
I'm done..

FreeBird, Not Turkey Bird

A freebird last night. This bird could hang out alone and untethered. My holiday prep was finished early and I had the remainder of the day to do exactly as I pleased. Well, not EXACTLY. Had I been afforded that luxury, I would have thrown some clothes into the roadster and headed out to a coastal city in the southern part of the USA. Alone and flying down the highway with no specific destination in mind, just a very general section of the USA to explore, this freebird would have flown.
A sense of freedom overtakes me when I  leave alone on a long trip. Wanderlust will always be a part of me. I want my ashes dropped from a plane flying at thirty five thousand feet and 500 miles an hour so as much of me as possible is spread as far as possible.

I have no plans to leave on that trip soon, but one never knows and I've never been one to put off a freebird explosion or experience.

It's time to board the Trek express. The Trek being my bicycle and make a few miles this morning. I've been off my schedule for the past few days. That metal knee just didn't want to cooperate and flex enough to not go flying off the pedal. Flexing exercises before attempting to ride has helped and I got in 6 miles last night.
I have all morning to myself. The family won't arrive here till 1400 hrs. The husband is on location in Wichita Falls and enjoying a turkey t.v. dinner, or so he says. I have a feeling I'm supposed to feel guilty at this news. I also have a feeling that the rig hands and toolpusher will offer some sort of celebratory meal.

I'm off to ride before the predicted rains arrive or the cold temps!
Happy Bird Day.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Day Before (Thanksgiving 2010)

I spent most of yesterday with the rag top down and running errands around town. Between those errands, I veered off task to just enjoy the weather and site see.
Later, a door bell chime sent me to answer the call to find the shrimp guy standing outside. Now, he  isn't called "the shrimp guy" because of his appearance but because of the fresh Gulf Shrimp he hauls in Igloo coolers. These coolers are icing down the shrimp as he drives from house to house. He offers huge shrimp for 3.75 a lb., deheaded and placed in zip lock bags filled with water. I bought 10 lbs, ziplocked and ready to freeze.
One day, they will be thawed, deveined and in an etouffee. Right now it's a turkey and a ham that are capturing my time
Remember that huge iron skillet that I bought in New Orleans at the  French market? The one that sent the hubs hauling it back down the street to the parking lot so we wouldn't have to lug it around all day? He wasn't as impressed with my great find as I was. I had never seen a cast iron skillet that BIG or that HEAVY!
 I mixed up some cornbread and poured it into that 15lb skillet and hefted it into the oven about 30 mins. ago. Cornbread dressing is on the menu and no "box dressing"  for this meal. A small chunk of that cornbread I'll enjoy in a bowl with some milk. It's my standard breakfast on the day before Thanksgiving. I enjoy my cornbread and milk as I remember my grandparents. They both enjoyed a bowl of cornbread and milk often. Cornbread was not reserved for a once a year meal.

Carrie followed me out of bed this morning at 0400 hrs. I tried to slip away but she caught me just as I laid my hand on the doorknob to the bedroom door  and demanded "Where do you think you are going?"
In the dim light of the bedroom, I could see her propped up on the pillows, a scowl on her face. I invited her to come along. I knew escaping without her was not a possibility. After getting her settled on the sofa with a blanket, I dimmed the lights and moved into the kitchen.
Right now, the cornbread is baked, the sweet potatoes are boiled in their jackets and ready to shed those same jackets, and the fresh green beans are bubbling drenched in the fat from the bacon slices I added. I didn't say anything about a healthy meal here did I? More cholesterol will be introduced as the cooking continues. Lots of real margarine for me.
Along with the cornbread dressing will be the traditional rice dressing or "dirty rice" that the locals here are so fond of. I'm a busy lady this morning.

Though I dreaded getting started on this, once in the midst of pots steaming on the stove, pans stacked in the sink for cleaning and last minute trips to the store for those items missed, I begin to enjoy the process of putting together a large meal for family.

If I'm lucky, I will get most of this prep done before Carrie awakens and expect me to be her playmate for the day.
I listen to the A/C unit click on and gaze with wonder at the weather channel reporting the snow on the mountains in the west.
I'm grateful I'm not in an airport waiting to be groped on this day of travel to meet family. I would be happy though to have all my brothers and sisters arriving for this holiday. I miss em!
I'm sure it's time to pay some attention to the stove stuff so I'm closing down and moving on.
Happy Day Before Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A Tuesday and a Hot One

November 22 and the sweat gathered around the nap of my neck. It might be time to see if I can gather up my hair into a clip. This is the longest it has been for a few years. The hubs and the daughter are encouraging me to wear it a little longer. Funny thing though. I note ever time the hubs goes to get his hair cut, he gets it clipped shorter and shorter. His take on this? It's easier to care for.
Really? So mine curling down to my shoulders needs no attention?
The a/c has been turned off in many of the stores. Shopping isn't a pleasant  experience. The staff should be passing out towels at the register as the customers rush for the exit to escape the oven presenting it's self as a store. Almost makes one feel sorry for the Turkey.

I sit here watching the ski reports The west is enjoying blizzard conditions while Ilinois is ducking and weaving and reeling from tornadoes. The northeast and west are going to have a crisp white Thanksgiving.

Last night, close to 2300 hrs I visited the grocery store. My reasoning is most people would be home and the store would be a quick experience. Just in, make selections and head for the register. Apparently a few lots of other shoppers made a late night visit to avoid the crowds. The crowds were thin, but the aisle were a nightmare. Pallets of stock were haphardly placed blocking the aisle and there was no whizzing around nor a hasty exit.
My phone decided to go into "who gives a flip" mode and sent me strange messages about being tired, needing a holiday, and something about being overworked. I buried it in a bag of rice just on the off chance that more moisture had disturbed it's delicate balance. This morning it was still spitting out strange messages.
I burrowed through the top drawer in the husbands chest of drawer and found his Nokia. The charger was there along with the car charger. I raced down to Ted's house and had him spend a few minutes finding the place to place the SIM card and I was in business. I'll keep this Nokia until it's time for an upgrade.

It's time to do some bike time. The right knee has to be loosened up and the left quads are sore. I've finally figured out the why of the left quad soreness. It's climbing in and out of that little roadster and using that left leg to push myself up and out of that auto.

Black clouds are pushing across the sky. I could feel a few rain drops against my skin so I turned and headed back to the house. False alarms, the sun peeks out and I am going to head back out to do a few more laps then off to shop for a spiral ham for Thanksgiving.

I'm done with all my errands. I'm ready to do some organizing and tomorrow I'll be in the kitchen. I'll eventually get in the holiday mood. It's almost  Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Weekend Fun

The weather was perfect. Sunshine, clear skies and the roadster and I hit the road. Of course the rag top was down.
I spent Saturday visiting friends, alone while driving, the stereo blaring.
The afternoon was spent watching the LSU game. I made it to the neighbors at halftime so I only saw the last half. Screaming, cussing and dancing around, the people next door were having a blast. I like to wander over and crash their party. They are most welcoming, offering food and drink from their party trays. Much laughter and much fun at Kathy's house on a Saturday LSU game day.
Today I collected Carrie from her house. Strapped into the seat beside me, we hit the road. Our plans were to visit the great grandmothers so our first stop was in New Iberia where one of her great grands was enjoying a Sunday lunch after church. She was thrilled to see Carrie. We circled through Jenerette, following the grand back to her house where Carrie spent some time with Ma.
Our next stop was to the swamp camp where  grandmother Cathy and Pa Jerry live. We drove in the on the back road and followed cane carts most of the way. The pavement had a layer of mud mixed with cane stalks. Some of the fields where being burned off. As the smoke drifted heavily across the roads,we would roar into that smoke. I would look toward where Carrie should be seated and her face would float into and out of view,shrouded by clouds of blue/gray. She explained to me the burning of the fields and I nodded at her wiseness.
Along the way, I realized I had no clue where we were and surrounded by cane fields and 3 different gins belching forth steam which I had never seen before, I decided some directions might be wise. I could be lost in the cane fields till the rest of it was harvested. Can you see the headlines?

 Small red roadster, old woman and child discovered with cane stalks gnawed on attempting to survive after being lost and reported missing for weeks in the cane fields of Lydia.

It was time to seek directions. I spied a  family gathering on this Sunday at a  home nestled between two fields of cane. Cars were scattered around this small house; people lounged in groups in the yard, one standing apart beneath a tree talking on a cell phone,  I whipped over to the wrong side of the road to talk.

"Straight ahead" they answered in reply to my "Where's Lydia?" and with those directions, Carrie and I headed into the smoke once again.

I had never been lost in the cane fields coming from this direction. Oh, yeah..I have been lost in them a few times since I've lived here. It's an ocean of cane. Tall, when full grown and right before harvest, the fields stretch for miles and miles. Landmarks are scarce; the land is flat with no mountains to depend on for direction.
Eventually we came to a curve in the road but it was opposite from my usual approach so I almost missed it.
At the last minute, I stepped on the brake, reached across to press Carrie back into her seat with one hand and left the paved road for a path through the cane. Grabbing Carrie wasn't necessary. She was buckled in but it's an old habit hard to break and it's an automatic reaction to protect her. She peeled my hand off her chest and give me that look she reserves for people that she considers stupid. I let it slide.

I was in "creep" gear now. The road was going to get rough or I thought it would based on my last visit. This visit, I had to put a tire high center in the middle of the road to keep the undercarriage of my low riding go cart looking Solstice from dragging. Gravel had been applied liberally. Oh hell, it looked as though the gravel truck had had an accident and dumped all his load onto this lane. It was thick and I drove carefully.
I almost missed the next turn. I slowed at the fork in the road and slowly drove on. Carrie said "No Nana, back up. It's right there".

I stopped and looked to the right. A set of tire tracks worn into the grassy path was where she was pointing. I recognized it then and I reversed and then pulled forward to creep down yet another path and move into the swamp. The roadster, Carrie and I entered a tunnel of vines and  trees on each side of the road. They  met and embraced with their branches and leaves overhead. The daylight  filtered through and we were dappled in sunlight. It was gorgeous. The enforcement by the road to drive slowly, we made benefit of this and enjoyed the scenery. Soon we got to tall black iron double door gates that was swung wide open and secured. Ma Kathy had driven down to the gate and unlocked it knowing from my phone call that we were on our way.
Carrie and I looked for deer on this lane. The swamp butts up against one side of this pathway to her house and our slow creep and crawl had her standing in her seat looking for creatures in the lagoon. I thought about licking my finger and dragging it across her bare leg but I was afraid she might leap out of the car. Bad Nana. I don't do everything that crosses my brain cells. Sometimes I'm able to restraint myself.

Eventually we rounded a curve and "Boom, you're there!" and thats exactly how it happened. Our path ended into a clearing of beautiful manicured lawn, flowers in pots scattered around and a cypress house on stilts in the swamp. The house sits about 15 ft in the air. A concrete pad has been poured beneath it where the automobiles are parked. The house is surrounded by swamp on three sides and from 15 ft in the air, the view is stupendous.

Don't think for a minute I would ever live out there. It's a beautiful place to visit, but get me out of there before night fall please! It's eerie after dark with the steam  rising off the swamp and engulfing the house. Quiet. No 7-11 on the corner. No all night Walmart within in a mile and I question how people can live like that?
Ok, I'm assuming that's exactly why these people built this cypress home in the swamps. It was to exit the world I know and love. My world of street lights, paved roads and no alligators to creep out of the swamp while I'm sunbathing on the lawn and drag me back into the water for a BIG lunch.
 Different strokes for different folks  huh? Oh, did I mention "no internet"? Nope, it's just another reason for me to keep my house in the city.
Carrie and I visited for a few hours. She used my camera and got some candid shots around the room. I haven't deleted all of them looked at all of them yet. I'll do that some time today.
On our return trip out of the swamp, I stopped and locked the gate for them and returned to the car where Carrie waits. Gun fire. I hear gunfire and being a city girl, I figure it's a drug deal gone bad. I scrinch down in my seat, swiveling my head from right to left to see if I can spot the shooters. I didn't plan a confrontation so I eased the car forward and behind a clump of tall weeds and trees, across the field were two guys crouched down on the ground. They turned to look at us as we whizzed by and I saw one throw up his hand in greeting.
Hunting. I'm in the country  and it's open season on anything that can walk or crawl with the exception of humans and dogs. This is normal. Gunfire in the country alarms no one but this city gal. I expel a nervous laugh and move out. Carrie and I head back to our jungle which is more comfortable for us. At least gunfire brings the black and white vehicles with the blue lights flashing and some how that is more comforting then this country stuff.

We had a good Sunday. A family type Sunday. I enjoyed the visits with Carries' paternal side. Good people and it was time for me to see them too.

I'm slacking on my bike rides. I'm still riding but not as far as I am accustomed so today I'll kick it up a notch and get back to my routine. It is now Monday morning and I'm gone.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

By The Light of The Moon

It has been about one month now since I started my bike odessey. We had been to New Orleans to the Blues Festival. Walking around that weekend, I realized how weak my legs had become from two years of forced inactivity because of surgeries. I vowed when we got back to Lafayette, that I would continue the wallking and consider it an exercise.

A few days of walking around my neighorhood and I remembered the Beach Cruiser bike resting in the Little House. I wheeled it to the front yard, aired up the tires and took it for a practice run. Wobbling and weaving, I rode a block or two. The next afternoon, I again climbed aboard and rode a little farther. Within a week, I was up to a mile which I usually rode after dark. A full moon hung in the sky and as I rode, I would find my attention pulled skyward to catch a glimpse of that full moon. A beautiful bauble of gold, it lit up the streets and helped the street lights vanish the darkness.
I enjoyed my night rides beneath that moon. During my night rides, which gradually increased in distance, I watched the moon as it waned and soon became a thin sliver in the sky. As the nights passed and I rode by the street lights and the light on the front of my bike, the moon began to wax until tonight, I am once again riding to the full moon. I have patiently waited.
The moon is full and I'm going on a late night ride. It's midnight here and I will be riding beneath that golden orb and enjoying every mile of it.
I'm done.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Friday, And Too Busy

Yesterday. Windy. I peeked out the door and inched my foot outside to test the waters. Would it be long pants or short pants today? Testing the bite in the air from the carport was flawed reasoning. Not until  I wheeled down the driveway, did the full force of the breezy weather wake me up with a sting. I don't enjoy riding in this but I left the driveway and moved down the street.
The quads in my right leg signaled and the signal wasn't a friendly wave. Soreness and cramping and the needed flexion wasn't there. Pulling up the leg of my pants, I checked my knee for swelling and excess fluid. That wasn't the problem. Thinking back to the last ride, I remembered the hills we rode. I remembered gearing down and still struggling with the terrain. This is payment or maybe this is the "no pain, no gain" mantra uttered by those exercise gurus. No matter, I'm not a fan of pain.
I cut my ride short and still question the wisdom of that decision but then thinking upon this, maybe it wasn't a bad decision. Gym workouts consist of working  one set of muscles one day and rotating to a total new set the next day. I'm going with that and not beat myself up for not making my miles yesterday.

I'll try again today. It's 48 degrees and almost 0600hrs and the winds are at 5 to 10 miles an hr. The temperatures are supposed to be in the low 70's. Can  you detect which TV show I'm watching? The weather channel is boasting all the snow the ski slopes out west are receiving right now. I would love to be in Lake Tahoe.The hubs could do his black jack and I could slip down some runs? I'm dreaming.

 Some people's fantasies are about winning the lotto, living in a castle or being a famous personality. Me? I just wanna ski. I want to feel the sting of the cold on my face. I want to feel the moisture in my nostrils freeze, the sounds and the silences of the mountain and the white pureness of an untracked slope.

Please. If I'm ever diagnosed with a terminal illness, could you please strap a pair of skis on my feet and shove me down a ski run? Enough. I'm wrapping these thoughts up in a pretty brain package, tying a pink and white bow on that parcel and shoving it back into one of the many closets in my skull. I have a lot of "maybe someday" packages stored there. One more won't rock the boat.
Today I will be spending some time in the DMV office. I picked up the title to the Solstice last night. The paperwork was neatly notarized, signed and the last of the money was exchanged. I'm ready to finish off this fiasco of the title that was  loan held in California and title held in Texas. Jumping through all the hoops to get that title to Lafayette was frustrating and time consuming for both the seller and myself. A lot of trust between both of us was required. I sent the money to California to pay off the loan and she still had the car parked at her house. After a few days, she decided it was OK for me to have it parked here though I still owed her the difference between the payoff and the amount she wanted for the car.

Yesterday the title made it in and we met last night to finish the paperwork and the money.

The daughter dropped by last night and I questioned her about a vanity plate for the car. The daughter is quick witted, a bit of a smart ass, and a lot funny.
 She grinned and without missing a beat, she suggested 4Play, Foreplay, or ForPlay.
Maybe I should have asked her for a second choice? I wonder at her ready answer. Her dream has always been to own a little convertible and I'm sure her vanity plate she had thought about too.

I'm done. It's time to put on my clothes, my face and gather together my goals for today.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

It's All About Some Fun

This is the one with the Turbo and boasts 270 HP. 5 speed and loaded with that "fun" feature at no extra charge!! Storage and trunk space? Non existent. If I had wanted storage, I would have bought an SUV.

She just got moved to my carport on Friday and her travel with me has been slim. A few jaunts around town in traffic and a trip to Breux  Bridge to see a friend has been the total of my trips in her. The top down is the only way to go but with the nippy weather lately, I'm limited to how much convertible time I get to enjoy.
Practical? Nope. I've spent the last 40 years being "oh so practical". This is an intentional and planned impractical choice. This is a toy and it's my toy. To all those critics out there, enjoy your criticisms and to all my friends and family that were as excited about this as I, thank you, thank you, and thank you for sharing my excitement and approving of my "fun" time.

Today, I should be able to finish up the paper work on her and then plan on making the next trip with the hubs when he gets his next job. I'm ready to roll.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Watching the suitcases and work clothes leaving this house moved by the husband as he gets ready to leave tomorrow morning on a job, I sit back and stay out of his way. He has packed his stuff for 25 yrs and the best help I can give him is to step back and let him move unhindered. That was this morning.

After he finished his tasks, the bikes were wheeled out and in the sunshine, we pedaled away. Out of this subdivision to explore in places I hadn't been on my bike. We kept to the sidewalks on the main street and took side roads as soon as one was available. 

Through Fox Run, a big apartment complex, we rode over streets that have speed bumps and potholes. Sometimes it was a rough ride with inclines that caused us to gear down and pedal quickly. 12 miles today. These miles were not the usual flat road ride.   
I still can't catch the husband on his bike. He never looks stressed on his ride. It looks effortless for him to ride the hills, across the grass or rough terrain. I bypass all that and try to stay on the pavement. I'm a beginner and it shows.
Dinner, a shower and to bed. I'm done.

Damn The Wind

A certain amount of  cold I can handle. The wind sucks. It is now 2030 hrs and the wind has calmed down and the temperatures have dropped again. I hate to miss a ride but that's exactly what I'm going to do. I slipped into a hot tub of bubbly water and soaked my sore muscles for a while. Some television will end this day quietly.
The husband leaves on Thursday for Wichita Falls, Texas. I won't be making this trip with him. He may be gone till well after Thanksgiving. The oilfield doesn't recognize holidays.
Wednesday morning:
I'm looking outside at temperatures in the low 40's. Granted, to many of you northerners, this may seem like a heat wave but here in south west La., it just appears flippin cold to us. I gaze through the back glass door to my bike parked and waiting. It ain't happening this early in the morning. I'll wait till the sun rises and burns off some of this chill. Riding a bike dressed in sweat pants and heavy coat doesn't appeal to me  at all.
Sore muscles in my back, butt and legs is either muscles I have worked or muscles that bounced off the pavement in that little crash I took the other day. 
I may go collect Carrie and have her hang out with us today. She is a natural entertainer and keeps us laughing. She also keeps me running with her requests.
The sun is arriving. I'm going to throw a party to celebrate. Maybe I'll just get dressed and grab a bike ride as the temperatures rise.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

I Need a Little Sun, Ears and Music

Waking up at 0300 hrs. and willing myself back to sleep was unsuccessful. Usually and also this time, I slip out of bed and make my way to the living room where I curl up beneath a soft coverlet on the sofa. I flip the TV on and veg out to the weather channel. It doesn't take a lot of concentration. Eventually the lack of stimulation allows me to drift off for a couple more hours of rest.

As light filtered through the window at the end of the sofa, I flowed up from my sleep and headed for the kitchen and the coffee pot. While the coffee was brewing, I slipped into bike shorts, shirt and a light wind jacket and stepped outside to do a weather test. Chilly and windy. 
4 miles later, I'm back to the house to shed my jacket and sit down with a cup of coffee and more of the weather channel. I wanted to do more riding this morning  but a fine drizzle of rain sent me home to wait it out. The weather channel doesn't show rain for today here so that stuff falling out of the sky must have been a UFO ( unidentified falling object.)

I'm watching the reports on all the collisions and resulting injuries and deaths and I'm thankful our roads seldom see that white stuff.  34 car pile up in Colorado and the winter snow has just started?
I-70, Kansas City, with 50 car pileup in a white out? 70 car pile up in Arizona in the rain?

I'm looking outside at the sun that is now chasing the moisture from the pavement and I'm ready to do a few more miles. I'll strap the I Touch to my upper arm and insert the ear buds and be on my way. Music on my rides is now a standard!

Did I mention anything about a bike and a truck to you?  That would be MY bike and THE truck I hit. At the time there was no humor attached to this incident but now a few days later, I can't even talk about it without laughing.

It's all those gadgets and controlling them that caused this incident. I hate ear buds and anything that is supposed to plug into my ears. I see those I Pod users with the ear buds plugged up and ignoring everyone while their brains are plugged into the music flowing through those ear buds. It doesn't work that way for me. The ear buds do not stay in place and that's how the truck incident happened.

I was rounding a corner of an apartment building in the parking lot, one hand on the handlebar and the other trying to plug the left ear bud back into my ear. I looked up and before I could convince myself to drop the ear bud and grab the handlebar to squeeze the brakes, I was head ended into the bumper of the truck. The tire made impact and the bike spun around and down and it was over before I realized what had happened. Picking myself up, I straddled the bike again and moved to the side while gazing at the handle bars that were no longer lined up with the front tire. Thankfully, I had my little tool kit and Allen wrenches so I could loosen and re tighten the handlebars. I laugh because my main concern wasn't whether I was hurt or not but that I may have a crowd that was watching. It was early in the morning. No audience to my little debacle and no harm done other then a few bruises and a  few sore muscles the next day.
The husband gave me a lesson on how to jam those ear buds into my ears and turn them until they are seated. I'm giving them another try as using them beats the hell out of headphones. Music is more intense and clean when it is buried close to the ear drums. Healthy? I don't think that is a concern for serious music listeners.
Huh? What's that you say? Ah, well yeah. I'm a little deaf. Blame it on the ear buds.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Rice and Red Roadsters

The rice worked it's magic. Remember me tellin ya about my sweaty phone? If I carry my phone in my purse I never hear it ring. If it's in a pocket, same thing.
My answer to this dilemma was to carry it close to my chest in my chest pockets, more commonly called a "bra". When a buzz would start, I would grab my left chest "pocket" and whip out my cell phone and answer it before the sound of a ring tone ever pierced the air.
I can imagine people watching and thinking I was in cardiac arrest with all this chest grabbing. I didn't know any of these people so they can think what they like unless a call to 911 was eminent.

I have strayed from my story and the reason for all this sharing of where and why I carry my cell phone.

All this chest hugging has caused the phone to become saturated with salt water or sweat as it is more indelicately known.

This phone, which was acquired in March of this year was to replace the Razor that got caught in the wheels of my wheelchair, which is a whole 'nuther story. I was in need of a wheelchair while recouping from a foot surgery and we shall just let that story slide for now.
Moisture is not a friend of any  electronic device and my cell was doing some strange things and when it wasn't, it wasn't doing anything at all. The phone store popped the back off, noted the change in color on the moisture detector and told me it had been in water.
A new phone would cost me full price and it would be a cheapo model, not the World phone I had been enjoying with the full keyboard for those oh so important text messages we can't live without.
Rice! Turn it off, remove the back and submerge it in a bag of rice. The rice will absorb the moisture; or we hope it will so last night my phone spent the night in a bag of rice. Wonder of wonders, it worked and I'm back in business though I no longer have a "pocket" to carry it now. I may have to find a fanny pack for all the stuff.
 A cell phone, ear buds for the ITouch and the ITouch itself and keeping track of all this stuff with all the chargers for everything and I'm beginning to feel overwhelmed.
My daughter vetoes the fanny pack as an accessory sure to cause her embarrassment should we ever be seen together. She doesn't have an answer to carrying all this stuff while biking around so I may just be oh so unfashionable and wear one anyway.
I did all my riding early today. Strapping the ITouch to my upper arm, ear buds tickling my eardrums, I breezed along listening to Carole King, Aaron Neville and tunes both old and new. I have over 350 songs now in that little gadget and everyday the husband loads more onto it. Soon I will be able to listen for a year without hearing the same song twice.
I'm riding longer. As soon as one song ends, another begins and I keep pedaling so I can keep listening. I never had a great desire to own a music player.  I'm now hooked. No more CD's to shuffle around in the car. Just plug in this little device that is a little thicker then a credit car and VOILA...days of music. It can be set to "shuffle" and random songs play, or it can be set to play entire artist's albums or whatever they are called now. Albums, 8 tracks, cassettes and  CD's and now MP3's and baby..we have moved on!
A note on the little roadster. I LOVE it. I'm humming along and a big truck appears behind me. I kick it down, grab a gear and it feels as though a rocket launch was initiated. I move out in a flash.  Quick response in turns and it's a fun little machine to drive.

I'm looking forward to the next road trip. The husband should have a job up soon and hopefully I will be able to follow along. He can haul my suitcases.

It's taco time here and the aroma flowing from the kitchen has my taste buds drooling.
I'm outta here to enjoy some tacos and a brew and since the rain is finally here, my evening ride has been cancelled which was expected. I watched the weather reports this morning.
I'm done.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Sunday, of The Football Type

Sunday and football and it's cold here. That's typical football weather unless you live subtropic as it usually is here. This morning the nip in the air was enough to have me pull on a sweatshirt before I climbed aboard my bike for my morning ride. I'm still waiting on the sun to make it's appearance. I believe I wait in vain.

Let me explain just how bad the weather is here. I'm going to spend some time in the kitchen today. That room is not my favorite place to be but the husband is in the mood for some country cooking and that is where I have to step forward. His specialty cooking involves lots of spice, gravies, sauces, etc. and hours of marinating, basting and stirring.

My idea of cooking is to select something that can be totally made in one pan; something that involves less cleanup and can be served with one scoop.

The menu the husband has in mind, though country cooking,  does not involve anything that resembles a casserole. Meat loaf, mashed potatoes and gravy, broccoli, salad and biscuits was his request.

I'm soon to be off to the store to pickup some ground beef. I won't have to serve until late this afternoon so I might have time to catch a nap but that depends on what time the ball games will be playing.
I'm outta here to be all domestic today. I thought I had done that one day this week already. I have term limits on domesticity. If this continues,  I might have to place a calendar on the wall to keep track of those days so I don't over do it or raise expectations around here for an increase in those days.
I'm done and I'm gone.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Wireless and Dangerous

What happened to my wonderful weather? The rains moved in this afternoon and dragged all kinds of chilly temperatures with it.

Today has been a strange sort of day. It seems that electronics have went "on the fritz" as my dear mother used to say. I often wondered if she had confused her sayings as she often did. She could never quite get them just right so I have often wondered just who "fritz" was.
Never the less, it seems my cell phone didn't appreciate the position it has held while I was doing all that bike riding. I kept it nestled close to my chest (in bra) as I was doing all those sweaty laps and now it seems to have absorbed all kinds of moisture (read salt water) and has become very undependable. I knew I should never have cancelled my land line to this house.
Anyway, I have it turned off tonight and stuffed into a bag of rice. This is supposed to relief that phone of all it's moisture so I was willing to give it a shot. I'll turn it back on early tomorrow morning when I wake to see how well it is recovering if at all.
My bike ride this evening was postponed due to snow. Ok, well, it really wasn't snowing but that rain that was falling was looking suspiciously thick and I though fluffy might be coming so I kept the bike benched on the patio.

The husband decided I needed a bright shiny IPod to go with my shiny red roadster so he rushed off today and bought the second generation IPod which he was drooling over. This thing is almost credit card thin, and is chocked full of wonderful things you can do with it. Need a map? Need an app? Want to watch You Tube videos? Need a camera?  There is a big list of other things it can do though at the moment I'm not sure what they would be. It's my first IPod and I'm sure I will be in discovery mode for a while.

Since his IPod is mothered up to his laptop, he dedicated mine to my own ITunes account where all my music will be stored and he commenced working on loading that IPod.

The laptop decided to go "on the fritz" as my dear get the picture.
We had to move it to safe mode and do a "restore" which cured the problem of not being able to get it up and running. Since then he has been pulling a lot of his music off his ITune account onto a jump drive and moving them onto my ITunes account via my laptop  so they then can be downloaded to my bright shiny new second generation.......ok..well....I'm just repeating myself now.
It's been an evening of tech troubles and as I watch all this IPod drama, I mentioned to the husband "If you die, what happens to my getting any new tunes on this IPod if I dont' learn how to do it myself?"
His reply--"You'll find some other sucker to do it for you."
"Moi" I said. "You know how hard it is finding two suckers in a row?"
Ok, so his sense of humor is nil when it comes to my quick sharp mind. Occasionally he may laugh but this wasn't one of those times.
I know when to keep my mouth shut but usually it's only after the fact.
I have sneaked off to the office to do all this typing while he uses my laptop to do all the IPod stuff.
Oh, a little FYI for you. The IPod has internet connection ability should you find yourself close to a hotspot more commonly known as a WiFi  connection such as McDonalds. Instead of taking my laptop now, I can use the IPod to check my email. The thing I don't like about the IPod is that my email account is always OPEN on it so that means that anyone holding it would be able to touch the "email" icon and instantly have access to all my email.
I'm going to access some information on the web regarding this. I want to be able to sign OUT of my email and not have it open to anyone riding along in my car that decides to pick up my IPod and rifle through my email. Not cool huh? I do like my privacy and I don't think it is unreasonable to want to be the first person to read one's own email.
I will enjoy hours of music on long road trips or while cycling around on my bike.
I'm off to slink into bed and take these half closed eyes for a much needed rest.
One other tidbit of information that must be shared.
Carrie and I rode in the roadster today. I put her booster seat in and tried to buckle her safely into it when she said, "I need a telephone book."
Knowing she can't read and doesn't have a cell phone, I was sure I had misheard what she said. I questioned her on this and she said "No, Nana, it's to go UNDER the booster seat. AT&T was a boost to the booster and elevated her nicely to eye level with the window on her side of the car.
We were off with the top down and her smiling from ear to ear. She loves the little roadster and declares it to be her car which she is allowing me to drive until she gets big enough to drive it herself.
I'm accepting her gracious offer. Sweet child.
I'm off to bed.
I'm done.

Spinning Around The Neighborhood

Last night I laced my shoes up, flipped on the headlight and the rear strobe light and hooked my toe underneath the pedal to roll it back to it's apex, stepped down on it with all my weight and my bike shot forward. I was off.

Carrie stayed inside with Poppy while I went for my evening ride.

My bike is what is called a "universal" which means it's not strictly street with the very skinny tires nor is it a mountain bike with the knobby tires used for off road riding. The tires are "in between" these two and the frame and shocks are built for more comfort to the ride. You sit in a more upright position also so it's comfortable on the back. It's a Trek Navigator 100 in case you would want to Google it. I'm inserting it here and will tag this post with keywords in the event I need to find this information someday.

This bike retails for 429.00 Plus tax. I found it in Craig's list for 150.00 and gladly packed it up and brought it home. Not knowing if my bike experience is just a passing fancy, I didn't want to invest a huge chunk of change.

The ride. What can I say? Riding a bike is much like my skiing experience. It's something I can do alone and also is pleasant to have someone along but not necessary. The tires on the pavement with the whisking sound on clean roads and the crunch sound as I ride through bits of loose gravel or dirt and the quietness of my night ride is soothing. No ear buds hooked by cable to an I Pod, I circle the neighborhood and each night the ride is different. If I start at the time everyone is arriving home from work, I see the driveways with cars that were absent on my 1000hr ride. Later in the evening, should I choose to ride, families are standing in their doors waving goodbye to their grandchildren and children who may have spent the evening with their parents/grandparents. I hear them calling out their goodbyes and hear the chatter of the little ones as their parents load them into the car.
Later in the evening, the traffic in the neighborhood begins to slow down and my riding takes me barreling through those stop signs with a quick glance to right or left looking for traffic.

Riding at 2300 hrs, the neighborhood is quiet, seldom a car is seen and my ride is uninterrupted by traffic, lights are off in the houses and but for the tire sounds, it's eerily quiet. The sky last night was filled with stars, clouds scattered and sparse and the moon was waxing. In a few weeks I will be riding beneath the full moon once again. When I started this biking, there was a full moon and the street lights along with this moon lit up the night.

My skiing offered  many of the same opportunities to observe. If I were skiing the mountain where I lived, I tried to be the first one on the runs. Untracked snow, I slipped down the runs, paralleled to a stop about 1/2  way down and turned to look back up the mountain. There alone were my tracks, marking my passage. The steeper the run, the more vaddling and the pattern in the snow was all mine.

It was quiet and cold and I was alone. I could hear the swish, swish , swish as my skis skimmed the surface of whiteness, see rabbit tracks beside the trail and hear the snow plop to the ground from the pine trees along the way. I enjoyed these quiet sounds alone without music or conversation from others.

The whiteness of this scene I can't explain how it felt to me. Sometimes I felt as though I were in a picture; actually inside  a perfect picture of a perfect winter scene. It didn't feel real but something someone had imagined and painted and I was fortunate to be part of it. Steam escaped from my nose and mouth with each breath and I wallowed in this perfect aloneness and aliveness, knowing it wouldn't last long and the other skiers would soon follow my tracks down the mountain. I tracked first and alone and that was good enough for soon the quietness would be shattered by the laughter and shouts of others enjoying a sport that was my reason for living for the first snowfall.

As with biking, skiing was a sport I could do at will without waiting for others or depending on others to be there at a certain time. When talking to friends, I would ask "Skiing tomorrow?" and they may reply "Maybe" and to this I would say "See ya if you make it" and knowing if they didn't, it wouldn't interfere with my plans on being there.

I always feel better after biking as I did after spending all day on the slopes. I'm energized and there is a bounce in my step. Sometimes after the evening bike rides, I stumble to the shower to wash away the sweat and either recover or climb beneath the covers. 

I'm glancing at my watch. It's Saturday morning and 0722 hours, the television is off and the only sound I hear is the fan kicking on to cool this laptop and the quiet tire sounds of a vehicle passing on the road outside. I'm slipping on my bike shorts, t shirt and shoes and climbing aboard that Trek Navigator to cruise the neighborhood.

I only wish you a pleasant day as the ride that I'm preparing to enjoy! Ciao (as my Italian cousins online always greet me or salute their goodbyes..) 

Friday, November 12, 2010

Friday and The Roadster

I should be in the shower instead of sitting here with this laptop. I would if I could stand up. The thought of moving to an upright position causes me some distress. I'm tired....and I'm hot and sweaty and the aroma I'm emitting is less then desirable. Is that more information then you needed or wanted? I just finished a 5 mile bike ride. I don't want to move again.

The little roadster made it's appearance today but not without some trepidation. The now previous owner who will be known as "T",  called and said she would be over in an hour to leave the car. This was at 1300 hrs and since I was at Pat's house, I hurried home and waited. And waited. And waited some more.

I picked up the cell phone when I heard a chime and it was a text message and this is what it said:

As soon as I slam back the last 4 beers from this case I've been drinking all afternoon, I should be there with the car. By the time I leave here I should be as loose as a goose.  If I should overshoot and wind up in Dugas, my husband will know how to find me.

I texted back : Too funny! See ya in a bit.

Soon another text was received:
I'm finished with the beer. I'm on my way. I'm looking for the place to insert the key to start the car.

Can you see why I was a bit stressed? I've already paid for this little red roadster and now I'm wondering if I will ever get to drive it or if it will be a SMALL hunk of twisted metal somewhere between here and her house.

She eventually arrived..and the text she sent right before she arrived was:
I'm on my way. Hope I can find your house. I have dibs on driving it back to my house where you will take over the car. Your job is to keep me laughing so I won't cry Lollipop!

Ok, now I'm Lollipop? I can be Lollipop. Yes I can. Just don't total the car getting it here.

Pat was standing in her yard waiting for the roadster to pass her  house. The daughter called and said "did you get the car yet? and when I told her "no". She said, "I saw that little hooker pass David's Hardware store, the top down and movin' on".

Pat, standing in her yard saw it pass and instead of turning down my street, it continued on through. I'm on the phone with "T" (now previous owner) and we have determined that she has missed the turn down my street.
I direct her back to the stop sign and tell her I'm standing on the porch waving at her. For a few moments she waves at me, then sails right on by my driveway. It's at this time that I step into the yard and scream.
I think it was all the beer drinking that was causing the confusion.
I still had to ride with her back across town to her house. I survived and the little red roadster survived. I had a great time cruising back home with the top down, enjoying perfect weather for riding without a top!
The neighbors had to visit and check it out. Pat and friend showed up and everyone was excited for me. Great friends and neighbors. I was happy that they shared my excitement.
It's shower time. I'm gone for now to return later with an aroma of fresh strawberries, Zest soap and pajamas that are sweat free!