Thursday, November 27, 2014


How did this happen?  How did it get to be November already?  And not just November but the end of November?  Where did my year go?

I'm pretty sure years didn't used to fly by quite so quickly - that there used to be more than two weeks between the 4th of July and Christmas.

But here I am, looking back at all the wonderful (and not so wonderful) experiences of the past year  and planning some even better ones for next year.  On this particular day I am thankful for good friends, good health and the good fortune to be able to enjoy it all.

I love being able to travel by car and plane to visit friends and family - it's a pleasure that my career often prevented. Even more enjoyable is traveling at people speed on my bicycle and I am looking forward to doing a tour up the Atlantic coast (Ft. Lauderdale to Bar Harbor, Maine) starting in April. Joining friends that I met on the Southern Tier tour in 2013 will make even sweeter.

Thanks to my wonderful doctors and physical therapists, I should be in better shape for this tour and I am looking forward to doing more of the miles this time.  I've also decided to skip the food poisoning (acquired off the tour) this time around.

The blog will again be my memory book and serve as a way to keep those who are interested abreast of all the details.  Now, if I can just figure out how to post pictures from the new phone to the new tablet.........

Friday, August 22, 2014

The Dog Days

It's hot here.  Too hot.

And again, I am spending my summer in physical therapy.  Earlier this year I sprained my butt.  The actual diagnosis is Piriformis Syndrome, but sprained butt pretty much describes how it feels.

It also appears that this issue has been 23 years in the making.  My problems now, as they were last year, all seem to be related to a head-on collision I was in back then.  Except for a broken wrist everything was soft tissue injury.  And let me tell you, in that sort of collision you can injure a LOT of soft tissue and those injuries can cast long shadows.  I was wearing lap and shoulder belts, but this was before airbags and I wrapped around that seat belt with my left side the least restrained.  

The good news is that cycling does not hurt when I do it and does not seem to have any after-effects either. So while I do all the stuff to get things back where they need to be, I could be riding my bike.  But it's tooooooo HOT!!

Color me grumpy.

The Atlantic Coast Tour is now less than a year away and I really want to be ready for it, so this fall will see me trying to get in as many miles as possible in before it snows

Monday, April 21, 2014

Nancy says.....

Nancy says that it is just one year from today that we will be leaving Ft. Lauderdale to begin our Atlantic Coast tour.  Nancy also says that she has lost 5 pounds and did 90 nminutes of cardio this morning.

I think I need to get busy.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Words. Where are the words?

I've always thought I had a more than adequate vocabulary, but in describing my recent trip to Boston and New York City, I am at a loss.

To begin at the beginning, the trip came about because my friends Nancy and Emilie arranged to cat-sit for some friends of theirs that were going on vacation.  They graciously invited me to share in this rent-free bounty and I very eagerly (VERY eagerly) said yes.  So the three of us made plans to explore all that NYC had to offer while becoming the temporary caretakers of a lovely kitty named Alonzo (Lonny).

I hadn't been to NYC since I was four years old - I remember sitting on a pile of luggage in Grand Central Station but not much else. It's always been a dream to go back and this was a chance not only to go there, but experience it with two of my favorite people in the world.

So I flew to Boston and a couple of days later we took the Bolt Bus to NYC.  We started exploring that very afternoon and never really stopped.  We did so much and had so much fun, it's beyond one blog post to describe.

We went to Mood, the fabric shop they use on Project Runway.   We road the Staten Island Ferry. We had REAL pastrami sandwiches, we rode the subways, we shopped at lovely little neighborhood stores.  We took Grayline tours, we walked, we saw and we enjoyed.

We saw two Broadway shows - Kinky Boots and Beautiful.  I hadn't really expected to be thrilled because the only theater I have ever seen was high school or local amateur productions.  But thrilled I was!  Kinky Boots has you wanting to stand on your feet and cheer (or dance, that's good too).  Beautiful introduced us to Jesse Mueller playing Carole King. I had no idea she had written Motown songs.  Jesse's voice is a dead ringer for Carole's but has it's own beautiful quality too - she will be a HUGE star, like Bette Midler huge.

Annnnnd I have tried every. single. way. I can think of to get pictures from my phone to this blog and it just ain't happening.  You will just have to imagine pictures of tall buildings, parks, people, trains, boats, churches, hotels, Statue of Liberty, World Trade Center and a spectacular view of Central Park from a $9.5 MILLION apartment on the 63rd floor of a building very close to Radio City.

Several things surprised me about NYC.  The first was how clean the air was - I expected gas fumes and smelly buses, but not so.  The second was how few fat people there were - all the walking is good for you.  The third was how polite people were - we asked absolute strangers for directions, we got in the way on the subway platforms and NO ONE was rude.  The fourth was how readily available fresh food and produce were in local neighborhood markets. The prices weren't as high as I expected either, except in a few very nice restaurants.

I wanna go back.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

It's been a year.

One year ago I was at the beginning of a great adventure.  An adventure that changed everything.

The preparation for it began two years earlier than that, but one year ago I met up with 31 women in San Diego and we embarked on a great journey.  We rode bicycles across the United States on the Southern Tier route.

We were a group of women from six countries and all walks of life.  We were tall and short, young and old, thin and fat.  We had varying levels of fitness, skills and experience.  And there we were, all in one place to do one thing.

Little did we know.....

Whatever we had expected and/or hoped for paled in comparison to what we actually experienced.  It was everything and nothing that we had expected.  And it turned out that the riding wasn't even the most important part.  It was the journey and the people that turned out to be most significant.  

Thirty-two women and not a shrinking violet in the bunch.  All of us successful and competent in our lives.  And yet......all of us with some level of trepidation.  All (or at least most) of us wondering "What the hell have I gotten myself into this time?"  

Mostly strangers to start with, we began to become a group, even a family of sorts - and we all know what families are like.  In the beginning we focused on the riding and the logistics of a big tour and people began to sort out into groups of similar skill and riding styles.  As we moved along, and changed roommates every night, the pairs and groups morphed and shifted as situations changed.  Sometimes the groupings were riding related, sometimes they were focused on common interests, like COFFEE, or ice cream, or hobbies.  Sometimes everyone got along and sometimes not so much.  But no matter what, we were in it together.

We learned how to read cue sheets, and how to change tires.  We learned how to manage when the cue sheet and the road didn't match up (where DO those road signs hide?).  We learned to find food in some rather unpromising places and we learned not to be bashful about using the "green room" in the absence of indoor plumbing.  We learned to help each other and encourage each other and support each other. We learned how to seek support, comfort and advice from others and we learned how to eke out some "alone time" when needed.  We learned what out bodies will do, and sometimes what they won't.

We also learned how to appreciate people who have differing strengths and weaknesses than we do and we learned how to share our strengths with them.  Some of us found friendships that continue to develop as time goes on.  Some of us will do other tours, others have had enough.  We all grew and changed with this experience, each of us in a different way.

Thirty-two women, each one on her own tour but all of us in it together.  It was magical.

Saturday, February 8, 2014



I've always loved it, enjoyed it, reveled in its joys.

But now?  I'm tired of it.  

I've lived in places like Winnipeg where the first snowflake to fall in November is the last to melt in May.  I've lived in places like Ft. Huachuca, AZ where snow is a rare treat and the cause for much excitement.  I've even lived in Hawaii where there is snow on the peaks of the volcanoes but mostly winter means more rain and fewer flowers.  And I've loved all of them.

But I moved here because I didn't want what I could do and where I could go as an 80 year old to be determined by how much snow I could shovel.  Usually, our winters are relatively mild, with that nice polite snow that covers the lawns but melts on the streets and sidewalks.  Cold, but not so much that you feel like a two year old in a snowsuit when you go outdoors.  And then, once every ten years or so, we get a "real" winter like this one.  Snow, and more snow.  Cold, and then colder.  Gloomy, dark days instead of our more typical sunshine.  

And it doesn't even get that right.  We seem to alternating between snow and rain, gloom and sunshine, cold and unseasonably warm in wildly oscillating variation.  My brain and my body are very confused.  That I can ride my bike in 65F temps one day and it doesn't even get above 28F the next doesn't compute in anyone's definition of winter.

I am more than grateful that I don't have to deal with this as a matter of course.  I am glad that this isn't "normal" for us.  I do occasionally wish that we had the infrastructure to deal with this kind of weather, but glad I don't have to pay the kinds of taxes that support it.  I love knowing that it will be of limited duration and that spring will inevitably come.  I grudgingly admit that I will be complaining of the heat in August and September.

But right now?  I'm grumpy and hard to get along with.  I need some sunshine.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014


I don't really make resolutions each year, but I am thoughtful about beginning a new year and all that it might bring.

In the spirit of "begin as you mean to go on" I did ride my bike on New Year's Day - only 5 miles, but a ride nevertheless.  It started out nicely, considering the cold, but then I turned into the wind and started to rethink the whole thing.  One of the things that changed about me after the tour is that I now only ride a bike for FUN.  And snotsicles just aren't all that much in the way of fun.  So.  Five miles will have to do until it gets a bit warmer, and the way it's been the past few days, that may take a while.

I've also done a bit of the other kind of spinning and will soon be able to ply some new yarn to play with.  My favorite thing to spin is silk but that is hard to do with winter-dry hands so I'm sticking to wool until the humidity goes up a bit.  Like the temperature, that might take a while.  Kim the Magnificent has helped me start getting my fiber studio in order so I can spend some quiet times up there exploring my creativity.

Another big revelation from the tour is that I really like feeling slimmer and stronger, so that will be another focus - getting more exercise and paying more attention to what I put in my mouth.  Still very much a work in progress.

In support of all of the above, I am trying to be more mindful of what I do and how I think and whether or not it is serving my better self.  I want to put more time and effort into the things that I value most, which means I need to be more mindful of what I am doing or not doing to further that.

To make my environment more relaxing and supportive, I need to pay attention to clutter and mess and realize what that takes away from my enjoyment of my home.  To make my brain more agile and active, I need to pay more attention to the activities that occupy time without providing any payoff. To maintain nourishing relationships, I need to make sure I am doing the things that let them thrive - to be more generous with my time and attention.

And finally to make sure I can live the life I want to as I age, I need to devote more care to nourishing and maintaining my body and my mind - I can no longer afford the careless attitudes of youth that say "one more cookie" or "one more drink" or "let's just forget the dental appointment" or "my blood pressure isn't that high" don't matter and don't have consequences.

In youth we are blissfully unaware of just how few chances we get to do it right.  There always seems to be time to take corrective action.  As we age, we realize that the time has come, regrets don't change the present and all that we have is the 'right now' to manage as best we can.

 So here's a toast to making the moments matter.