Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Review of Goals for 2008

Tez is talking about resolutions and setting goals for 2009. I’ve been thinking about this as another year is quickly coming to an end. Last year I set some pretty lofty goals for myself:

1. To approach the big 5-0 as gracefully as possible and at my personal best fitness level.
2. To put 3,000 miles on my road bike.
3. Compete in a local Senior Games Bike Race.
4. Improve my time in the USD Intramural Bike Race.
5. Ride four century rides (TDK, MS Pedal the Plains Bike Ride, and two self-supported century rides).

And here is how I did on reaching these goals:

1. To approach the big 5-0 as gracefully as possible and at my personal best fitness level.
This is really two goals in one! First of all, I approached my birthday with a lot of kicking and screaming and by running away for a few days, so I don’t know if that was so graceful. Secondly, I did quite a bit of back sliding this fall and definitely was not at my personal best fitness level.

2. To put 3,000 miles on my road bike.
My mileage for the year on the road bike was 2,608; about 400 miles short of my goal.

3. Compete in a local Senior Games Bike Race.
I had intentions of tying out the Senior Games Race in Yankton but ended up that was our town wide rummage sale day. My daughter and I had a rummage sale with the proceeds going to our fund raising for the MS bike ride. Also, I have to admit that I just hate sprinting and racing.

4. Improve my time in the USD Inramural Bike Race.
This didn’t happen either, my time for the 14 mile course was about a minute more.

5. Ride four century rides (TDK, MS Pedal the Plains Bike Ride, and two self-supported century rides).
I rode my first century of the year with CDV on the first day of summer (June 21). My next century was on the MS Bike Ride on August 1st. And the following weekend on August 8th I rode a century by myself. That was it, no century completed on TDK as that was the horrible windy day from H***!

So there it is – number of goals met for 2008 – a big fat ZERO.

Oh well, it was still a great year and riding the full week of RAGBRAI was an accomplishment that I’m happy about. I was very nervous going into it but it turned out to be a great experience and now I know I can handle riding in a large group.

I’m not setting any goals or making any resolutions for 2009 – I plan to just enjoy the ride. I got to ride with several different people on a variety of rides last summer; Tour deKota, RAGBRAI, MS Bike Ride Pedal the Plains, Margarita Ride, and several Lane Hog rides as well as a few with the Biking Vikings fromViborg. I’m looking forward to more of the same in 2009!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Surgery Date

Charlie finally has a date set for his rotator cuff surgery: Monday, January 26th was the earliest he could get. But the good news is the other things they found in his pre-op physical: an incomplete right bundle branch block on the EKG and a heart murmur, which lead to an echocardiogram, turned out to be benign. No abnormalities on the echocardiogram so all systems are a GO for surgery!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Trip Report - Part 2

Saturday, Dec. 20th

I was up at sunrise still in the pursuit of finding shells and enjoying the sunrise and the birds. The beach was nearly deserted and remained that way throughout the day. Charlie and I concluded it was a weird feeling to be in this beautiful spot and have it almost all to ourselves! The waitresses at breakfast shared that the resort was very slow but would be nearly full by Christmas.
We decided to take a drive around the island and check out Bowman Beach just down the road 3 miles which was suppose to be “THE” beach for shelling. However, it seemed like there wasn’t the variety of shells that we had right outside the door of our resort. But it’s always good to explore all the beaches!

We were walking barefoot along the beach in the soft white sand thinking about everyone back home waiting out the blizzard. Glad we missed at least one snow storm this winter!

We then drove on to Captiva Island, this is where we had stayed in 1991 and so we saw some of the familiar restaurants; the Mucky Duck, the Bubble Room, etc. We visited the Chapel by the Sea and its little cemetery which was quite different with the graves decorated with shells, flip flops, etc.

Then it was back to our resort and out to the beach to find what sea shell treasures I might find with the low tide. I LOVE SEA SHELLS, if you haven’t figured that out by now.
We made a quick trip to the historical village of Sanibel and visited the museum there and got a bit of history of the island.

It was a lazy day of relaxing and having some wine while watching the sunset on the beach. Then off to dinner at the restaurant at the resort again.

Sunday, Dec. 21st

Again, I was up at sunrise. I’m definitely enjoy the morning time and walking the beach, watching the sunrise and the antics of the birds as they were chased by the waves breaking on the beach.

After some shelling and a leisurely breakfast (at our resort – the food was awesome and the coffee ever flowing!), we were off to 11:00am church service for the interdenominational service at the quaint little Chapel by the Sea on Captiva. The church is maintained by a regular congregation but obviously they have many visitors each week. They ask everyone to wear a name tag with your name and where you are from. Most were Midwesterners like us escaping the snow and cold. Since the church is small, they also offer seating outside on colorful fold up chairs. The minister does the greeting outside – and the rest of the service she performed from inside but the pulpit has a window right to the side so she can turn and speak to the people seated outside through the open window – it was very unique!

We ate lunch at a nearby bistro where we had grouper and mai-mai. We sat outside enjoying lunch under the palms on the first day of winter.

Next we were off to check out the beach on the far end of Captiva. This beach was busy and not many shells but the water was more a clear Caribbean blue color.

Back to our resort for a little more beach time (can’t miss low tide and the shells the tide brings in!) and then we were off across the causeway to Fort Myers on the mainland. There was only one thing that Charlie wanted to see and that was to visit the winter homes of Henry Ford and Thomas Edison in Fort Myers. The two men were friends and neighbors with estates right next to each other. We toured the property and museum, sat by the dock and watched another glorious sunset, and then toured the property a second time as the Christmas lights came one, illuminating the houses, gardens, palm trees, dock, etc.

Arriving back on Sanibel we ate at a shrimp house but it was loud and noisy, and we found we really liked the restaurant back at our little resort better! Afterwards we drove through the live nativity at a local church on Sanibel. Christmas is so different on Sanibel with the decorated palm trees and pink flamingo but the reason for the season remains the same.

Monday, Dec. 22nd

One last morning to enjoy the island and the routine was the same; walk the beach, drink coffee, and relax! With one slight variation, we finally got out on the bikes and rode some of the 25 miles of asphalt bike path. Charlie wasn’t sure how the shoulder would take the bike ride (darn town rotator cuff) but it actually went very well and we enjoyed a leisurely ride a very flat ride at 24 feet above sea level!

We had a late big breakfast at our resort, packed up, and headed to the airport early around 1:30pm, even though our flight didn’t leave until 5:30pm. We took our time, checked the rental car back in, and checked on any earlier flights out but as expected everything was full. We ate at Chili’s and hung out and read until our flight left. A smooth flight into Minneapolis and then we had almost a 3 hour layover which turned into a 5 hour layover due to crew issues, de-icing, etc. Finally, we arrived in Sioux Falls a little before 2:00am. Burr, it was a shock to come back to the cold, even though it was a heat wave compared to the previous week with a temp of 17 degrees! Arrived home at 3:00am and had a few hours sleep before both of us went to work the next day……a little sleepy, but the trip was so worth it!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

What I Learned This Christmas

5. I prefer sand and sea shells to snow.

4. Family is worth trading in the sand and sea shells for snow.

3. I miss our dog Molly but thank goodness for a "grand dog" who comes to visit and stays a few days with us.

2. I vow to never eat oysters again. I must have some type of allergy to oysters that causes vomiting to start within an hour after eating. Fortunately no one else was affected by the oyster stew - it must just be me!

1. I am incredibly blest (regardless of an intolerance to oysters - it's an easy food to avoid).

Trip Report - Part 1

Here are the complete pictures of our trip: http://charlieandcathy.shutterfly.com/
Thursday, Dec. 18th and Friday, Dec. 19th

My 50th birthday! And I was surprised to find my office decorated and posters around the building announcing my birthday. I hadn’t seen this sneaky side of Arica before! The day went well; our last day of class for the semester.

With reports of snow in the forecast we decided to take no chances and went up to Sioux Falls in the evening and spent the night to make sure we didn’t miss our 6:40am flight. Essentially we started our mini-vacation a day early! After securing a room for the night we were off to the famous Monk’s – our first visit and hopefully not last to this fine establishment. The selection of beers was mind boggling but once we decided it was very relaxing to sip our brew cozying up to the fireplace. While in the big city we decided to take in dinner and a movie. At Ruby Tuesdays we had a great meal and coincidently got a free desert (they didn’t even know it was my birthday!). Then it was off to the movie, we enjoyed Four Christmases very much.

Back to the resort and we set the alarm for 3:30am! I had called our travel agent and it looked like there was some availability on the earlier 5:00am flight so we decided to try for it. We were able to get seats all the way through to Minneapolis and then Fort Myers where we arrived at 11:30am. I think it was a blessing that we got the earlier flights as Minneapolis canceled many of the flights later that day due to snow.

Hard to believe we could escape sub-zero wind chill temps and arrive in Florida where it was 79 degrees in such a short time. Even with luggage pick up, car rental pick up, and a quick stop at Wally World for wine, beer, lawn chairs, snacks, and the 30 minute drive over the cause way to Sanibel Island, we were on the beach by 2:00pm!

Our last trip to Sanibel was in 1991 and we were impressed to find it as beautiful as ever. There was no evidence of damage from hurricane Charlie in 2004 except that Captiva Island (a tiny island directly to the north of Sanibel) had been cut in two requiring a small bridge to connect the two halves.

Right away we were out walking the beach and I started my collection of sea shells. By that time it was happy hour at the pool bar where we had a drink before going to dinner at the little restaurant at our resort.

We were very pleased with our resort and decided if we ever go back we would definitely stay there again. It was a smaller complex and the staff was very friendly and treated us like family. The rooms were very clean and newly remodeled and had everything you could want – refrigerator, microwave, coffee pot, etc. There was a nice pool, pool bar, tennis courts, and even a little hut with a sink for washing up your sea shells! They also rented bikes at the bargain price of $5 for 2 hours or $10 a day – nothing fancy, just a single speed Jamis “Taxi” but they appeared new and were well kept. The restaurant at the resort was especially nice; small and cozy with great service and surprisingly reasonable prices. The food was excellent! We had steaks, crab cakes, lamb (not all at the same time!) and it was all very good.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

I'll be riding bike this weekend....

I am so looking forward to our trip to Sanibel Island for a few days, a birthday gift from my super-fantastic husband! There are very few places I care to visit more than once but ever since we went to Captiva Island (just north of Sanibel Island) in 1991, I have always wanted to go back.

My top 3 reasons why I love this place:

  1. Sea shells - they have the 3rd best shelling beaches in THE WORLD! I love sea shells, I don't know why, but growing up I always thought about how much fun it would be to walk the beach and pick up shells.

  2. Beautiful sunsets - especially nice to view while sipping a glass of wine at the Mucky Duck on Captiva Island.

  3. 25 miles of bike trail -need I say more?

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Maggie's ready for Christmas!

The girls came over today and we did our Christmas baking. The grand-dog, Maggie (a blue tick beagle) got to come and spend the day also. I bought this hat and collar for her on clearance last year so I had to have a picture of her in it - doesn't she look cute!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Not the news we wanted to hear

Two weeks ago Charlie took a tumble jumping out of the back of his back up - and no, he wasn't drinking! He landed on the asphalt on his right shoulder and must have taken the blow all on the shoulder since he didn't hurt his head, neck, back, or anything else. It was quite painful especially for the first few days but then did seem to improve quite a bit. Oddly, it hurts mostly at night when he, make that we!, are trying to sleep.

After two weeks, mainly because of the pain at night and sleep deprivation, Charlie agreed to go to the doctor. Of course, I have connections and in this area he knows well enough to just do as I say! After a call to my orthopod office nurse friend, we got Charlie lined up to see an orthopedist this past Tuesday morning. Nothing showed up on the x-ray of course so the doctor ordered an MRI. Luckily, due to a cancellation, he was able to have it done right away. And instead of going back a week later for the results of the MRI, the nurse worked Charlie in so he got his MRI results the same day. Yep the MRI showed what we kind of expected, he did a good job on his rotator cuff; tearing both the supraspinatus and the subscapularis.

Now we're trying to figure out the best time within the next couple of months for this self-employed mechanic and bus contractor to have the surgery followed by 6 weeks off from work. Kind of a bummer - but we're so thankful it is something that can be fixed! I'm sure there are a lot of people out there with a lot worse problems who would gladly trade places with Charlie.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Girls night out

My dear sweet daughters treated me to a pedicure as an early birthday present. It was very relaxing and rejuvinating for feet tired out from all the shopping, baking, and decorating! The best part of course was spending time with my girls.

Monday, December 8, 2008

I needed this on Sunday

I was all set to bake cookies Sunday afternoon but there was a slight problem - our electricity was out for 4 hours. Not sure what the problem was but sounds like everyone who is supplied by the Irene substation was affected. As luck would have it, we are one of three houses in Wakonda supplied by the Irene substation, so while the rest of the town had power we didn't.

Looks like I bought my Kurt trainer one year too soon. If I would have waited, I could have a trainer that generates and stores enough energy to "power a small appliance." I wonder how much pedaling I would have had to do to get my Christmas cookies baked?

Sunday, December 7, 2008

It's a small, small world......

Or at least in South Dakota, it seems like a very small world.

We attended an organ concert at the St. Patrick's Catholic Church that was held to commemorate the completion of a restoration project that has been going on for a few years now on the church organ built in 1906. One of the guest organists was a lady who had grown up in the Volin-Irene area and started playing the organ at the Zion Church in that area. I chatted with her and told her my grandparents had attended that church. We had a nice visit and somehow we discovered that we both liked biking. Her and her husband bike together. Someone asked how far they ride and she told us that for their 51st wedding anniversary this year they rode 51 miles. What a neat couple!

Then I was chatting with another gal - and she was talking about the Vangen Church's organ restoration project where she plays the organ. That turned into a conversation about how we each knew Tez - this gal said she use to play ball with Tez. Stupid me, never asked what kind of ball they played together. I guess I'll have to check with Tez......

Thursday, December 4, 2008

This Old House & It's a Wonderful Life!

I've been immersed in home improvement projects involving finishing the door project, basement cleaning, painting, etc. Although there is always an unending list of projects when you live in a house built in 1921 much has been accomplished - its a good feeling!

Now its time to enjoy some holiday activities! And what better way than to attend opening night of the play "It's a Wonderful Life." This is Charlie's and my all time favorite holiday movie so we could hardly wait to see the play. Our youngest daughter bought the tickets and joined us for supper at Minerva's before we all went to the play. The play is a musical and follows the movie pretty closely. Charlie nudged me during the part when George and Mary are first married and Mary works on the old house to "make it a home." After 25 years, I'm still working on this old house!

I highly recommend the play, I think it is one of the best productions the Lewis & Clark Theatre company have put on. It's guaranteed to put you in the Christmas spirit!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Cardiovascular Assessment

Charlie and I went to the Heart Hospital on Tuesday morning for our appointments for a cardiovascular risk assessment. They call the program Planet Heart.

The assessment includes all of the following for only $50:
Calcium Score CT – a CT (computerized tomography) of your heart
Blood pressure
BMI (body mass index)
Cholesterol and blood sugar check

I expected my risk factors were low and I passed with flying colors. My calcium score was zero - that made me extremely happy and a little proud since the nurse made a bid deal of the score. She said in her line of work it's refreshing to see a perfect score! The CT scan was an interesting experience - ever see the movie Contact with Jodi Foster? I felt like I was about to take flight into a series of wormholes when the CT spun around me!

In the past my HDL (good cholesterol) has been a little low but I finally have it up to where it should be, most likely a result of exercising which is the most effective in raising your HDL.

Mainly I made the appointment to get Charlie to go. And although his overall assessment wasn't serious (he was relieved they didn't admit him!), it did indicate moderate risk of cardiovascular disease. His blood pressure and total cholesterol were a little elevated. A calcium score of 27 is still relatively low but it did bump him into the moderate risk category. WebMD explains the calcium score CT.

He is frustrated because getting 30 minutes of exercise that raises your heart rate several times a week was emphasized and he doesn't understand why this is so important, especially since he works long hours in a physically demanding job. I'll get back to cooking more healthy foods and try to have left overs he likes that he can eat for lunch rather than eating at the cafe (heart attack menu) every day.

He'll make an appointment to see an internist and get a check up to see what the doctor advises. With his dad dying of a stroke at age 68 and a brother who recently had a heart attack, this news is a little frightening. But I told him I'm going to take care of him to keep him around for a long time!

I don't dare tell him that he could reduce his risk factors substantially by riding bike with me (lets just say he doesn't share the love of biking) - but hopefully next summer we'll get back to riding our hybrid bikes together more often.

PS - If you're interested in a cardiovascular risk assessment, make sure to go to the Avera Heart Hospital. Not that other place in Sioux Falls. Like Forest Gump would say: "That's all I'm going to say about that."

Sunday, November 23, 2008

I'm drained.....

It's been a weekend of sitting vigil with my husband's dying aunt (age 92) who passed away peacefully around noon today - she was the last of the 7 sibilings on Charlie's dad's side of the family. With limited family left, Charlie was his aunt's power of attorney. Now we're in the midst of making funeral arrangements.

On a brighter note, I sure had a great time at the biker gathering held at the Pit on Saturday night; Lanehogs and FAB members together having good food and fellowship! And I discovered the Pit serves a few more choices in beer than I was aware of! We may have to make this a monthly event!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Bicycling Blogger Convention

This is the location (the famous Pit in Wakonda) of the Bicycling Blogger Convention to be held this Saturday. The following bloggers are expected to be in attendance: Tez, Biking Brady, CDV, Hammer, Ed+Pat, and myself.

Come and join us! We'll be arriving around 5:15pm for a little happy hour before we enjoy our 'gourmet food on paper plates.' Need not be a blogger to attend. A few biking stories are sure to be told.

In case you need further enticement, I called chef Torey and got the run down on the specials for this weekend:
  1. Sirloin steak with a Gorgonzola cream sauce, dirty jack mashed potatoes, seafood salad.

  2. Black beans and rice with shrimp and toast and salad.

  3. Steak sandwich with a horseradish/mustard sauce and choice of potato or salad.

See you there!

Monday, November 17, 2008

My personal trainer

Today I made the pledge to ramp up my exercise for the next 4 weeks. It's too early to train for Tour deKota or any other summer bike rides, so to keep up my motivation to workout I'm going to take my winter training one month at a time.

My personal trainer is Little Cindy Lou Who. She really isn't a personal trainer but she could be, she's a great motivator. I rolled out of bed this morning at 5:30am, drove to Vermillion and was on the track of the Dome at 6:15am. I was still asleep with my hair sticking out like the Grinch, with an attitude to match the Grinch's. Luckily Cindy takes it all in stride and proceeded to lead me through our workout. We walked to warm up, walked the steps of the Dome, ran a few laps, went to the weight room and did some lunges, followed by the elliptical. Morning exercise is the way to go for me....roll out of bed and get started before having time to make any excuses!

AND I also went to yoga at noon - I'm on a roll, at least for this first day of my 4-week program!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Weekend Recap

The fun part of the weekend:

  • Get together with co-workers Friday after work.
  • Saturday trip to Sioux Falls with five friends. Main purpose of the trip was to visit our favorite kitchen store; Maxwell's Supply. Lunch at Spezia's followed by shopping. Then supper at the Tea Steakhouse where our husbands met us. A great day!

The NOT so fun part of the weekend:

  • Sunday afternoon I continued to work on refinishing a door, along with the door frame and trim. To make a long story short, have you ever had a home improvement project that just seemed destined to suck up your money, time, and energy? It's just a door, but we found out how expensive a solid wood door is, especially when it is an odd size. The joys of living in an 80+ year old house. After a special order we finally got the door in July. My husband stained and applied 3 layers of polyurethane and had the carpenter install the new door only to discover the stain did not match the rest of our woodwork at all. I can't complain or blame him, he was working hard on the project while I was gone having fun on RAGBRAI. Finally last weekend I started on refinishing the door. All was going as well as can be expected when your dealing with a stinky mess of zip strip, stain, etc., until I went to put the third coat of polyurethane on the door today and a piece "chipped" off and I decided to start all over again. UUUGGHHHH! I think the problem was I had picked up a water based polyurethane instead of the oil based. The worst part is over, I got everything stripped, sanded, and stained. Now to get some good polyurethane and put this never ending project behind me!
  • PS - Reason for replacing the door? It is the door between our entry way and kitchen and it was badly scratched up from our beagle Molly who is now in doggy heaven chasing rabbits.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Other hobbies besides biking……

One of my winter hobbies includes reading. I started a local book club, we get together once a month to discuss a book and try a new bottle of wine. Last month the book was the Glass Castle and the wine was the White Nun. Both were excellent! This month we’re reading “Can’t Wait to Get to Heaven” by Fannie Flagg – a very upbeat, fun novel.

Some members of our reading group are reading an extra novel to discuss this month as part of the One Book South Dakota. The book is “The Master Butchers Singing Club” by Louise Erdrich. I would highly recommend it. I just finished it today and can hardly wait for the book discussion we’ll have at the Irene Library on Nov. 17th with an English prof from Mount Mary.

I’ve read a few novels about immigrants to the US but I think this book is one that will really stick with me. Although it is fiction it is set in historical fact. I was very much into genealogy after my father had his stroke in 1991 and spurred by the opportunity to visit the Czech Republic in 1994 when I had the opportunity to see the villages that my grandmother (Marie Vitek from Tlumocov) and grandfather (Josef Vitek from Veprikov) had immigrated from in 1910 and 1913 respectively. My sister and I spent time with my father’s first cousins and their families in both villages. It was so amazing, an experience that will stay with me for a life time.
The “The Master Butchers Singing Club” gave me more insight/perspective on what it might have been like for my grandfather, who emigrated from Czechoslovakia prior to WWI to avoid inscription (or to avoid becoming cannon fodder), who then sent a son to fight in WWII.

Sunday Blues

Its been a great weekend. Fine dining at the "Pit" on Friday night with friends. Last night we celebrated my husband's birthday at the Black Steer with our daughters, son-in-law, and the boyfriend. Went to church this morning, coffee afterwards where we get to catch up with everyone, and a great roast beef church dinner followed. I haven't cooked a meal all weekend - I'm loving it!

But I still have the Sunday blues. My husband took the bike rack off my car and is now changing out the back tire on my bike, replacing my gator skin with a cheap tire I use on the trainer. So like CDV my road bike is going on the trainer. It is so darn depressing! Winter has arrived.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Thursday Night TV

Went to spin class after work - hard to believe last week I was riding outside at this time! Got home just as it was starting to snow. A good night to curl up with a blanket and watch some TV. The hard thing is finding anything worth watching on TV. I'm fed up with Grey's Anatomy so I was flipping through the stations and was glad to see there was a new Dakota Life on public TV. And Hammer was the producer of one of the segments - great job Melissa! Tonight's segment isn't archived yet but you can check out her segment on geocaching here.

Thank you public TV for saving me from Grey's Anatomy!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

2008 Biking Miles

Road Bike Miles
April - 81
May - 427
June - 427 (2 days of TDK)
July - 767 (7 days of RAGBRAI)
August - 491
September - 224
October - 116
November - 75

Total 2008 = 2,608
Total 2007 = 2,724

Centrury Rides 2008 = 3
Centrury Rides 2007 = 4

Commuting Miles 2008 = 269
Commuting Miles 2007 = 220

Mountain Bike Miles Total 2008 = about 15?

Sunday, November 2, 2008

November 2nd Ride

My mileage for this past week:

Wed., Oct. 29, 10 miles
Thur., Oct. 30, 32 miles
Sat., Nov. 1, 50 miles
Sun., Nov. 2, 25 miles

The great weather has allowed me to ride more than I normally would be this time of year. I can tell I'm out of biking shape, I didn't have much zip today. I should have taken advantage of the 70+ degree temps and went for a longer ride but my legs said 25 miles was enough!

My route today was along the Bluff Road to Volin and back to Wakonda via the County Line road, hitting all the hills I avoided on yesterday's ride!

November 1st Ride

I certainly do appreciate the extra hour we gained this weekend - it's been hectic as usual! Friday night oldest daughter came to visit bringing along our grand-dog, Maggie. Ashley's husband is on a hunting trip with his Dad so she came to spend some time with us. We ordered food to go from our local establishment (The Pit) and had supper at home to be around to hand out candy for the trick or treaters. After eating I left my husband in charge of the trick or treaters and I talked Ashley into going to Vermillion with me where I helped judge the med student Halloween party. As usual, there were many creative costumes making our job very difficult!

Ashley stayed overnight and Saturday morning we went to an "Uppercase Living" party - basically its "word-art" for your walls. These parties are an excuse to get together and get caught up with friends over coffee.

Around noon Ashley left to go meet up Emily to go shopping. I got ready to go on a bike ride. I knew Ann and Little Cindy Lou Who might want to go on a Saturday afternoon ride but I didn't really want to make another trip to Vermillion in the car. So I decided to go out on my own and ride to Meckling and maybe I would connect with the Yankton, Sioux City, and Sioux Falls riders who were riding from Sioux City to Yankton.

I started out sometime around 12:45pm. Upon arriving in Meckling I made some calls to Biking Brady and then Rick (the organizer of the ride) and found out Biking Brady & CDV had gone ahead to get back for a volleyball game and the rest of the group was taking a break at Whimps in Burbank. We decided to meet at Pros. I pressed on to Vermillion where I met up with the group just a couple of minutes behind them.

We had lunch at Pros (along with a few adult beverages as CDV & Biking Brady would say). I tried to call Little Cindy Lou Who and CDV to see if they wanted to join me so I wouldn't be the only LaneHog on this leg of the ride but no answers from either of them at the time. Later when I completed my ride, CDV called to check in and to make sure this LaneHog didn't go missing - they're always watching out for me and I appreciate it!

After quite a long break (full of biking stories, including how Rick rode 26 miles with Lance Armstrong on RAGBRAI 2006!) we rolled out around 4:00pm. We took Timber Road to Highway 50 to Gayville. Wow - I haven't pushed myself that hard for a long while, nor ridden in that big of a group (9 riders total). I dug in and kept up with 21 mph pace of the group most of the way to Gayville and then the other two women riders and myself eased up a bit and let the men go ahead and try to kill each other with their pace!

We parted ways at Gayville and I headed for home (Wakonda) but realized my legs were feeling fried. As I approached Volin I thought of 2 things: 1.) how much I was dreading the last 8 hilly miles home; 2.) how good a beer at Mac's Pub would taste. I called my dear, sweet husband and offered to buy him supper at Mac's if he would meet me there and bring my car so I could load the bike on th bike rack. He accepted the offer and I rode around Volin to top my mileage off at 50 just as he arrived. The beer and good food was the perfect way to top off a great ride on a beautiful November day!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Commuted home from work by bike......

It was great! This time of year the days are too short and the mornings too chilly to make my 24 mile commute by bike (I try to do this on average 5-6 times during the summer). Last night on a bike ride, where I do my best thinking, I got the idea to bring my bike with me to work and then ride my bike home. I had some comp time coming and left work around 3:15pm. It was so nice I decided to add a few miles on (miles with hills!), for a total of 32 miles.

No offense to Holly, but today's ride was so much better than Thursday night spin class!

Tomorrow I'll ride to work with a friend and drive my car home.....hopefully I won't get a ticket for leaving it in the lot overnight!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Late Afternoon Ride

I got in a quick ride after work - what a gorgeous day! I chased my shadow for 10 miles - I never caught it, it always managed to stay slightly ahead of me. Obviously it was on a mountain bike as it was riding on the edge of the cornfields!

It was perfect weather for riding and for the farmers. Lots of farmers were out harvesting their corn. As dusk was quickly approaching, my ride looked like a scene out of a Terry Redlin print. I made it home safely before it got too dark and I was clearly seen - hard to NOT see me with my blinky light and neon yelllow jacket!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Positive Addiction

I just re-read the book “Positive Addition” by William Glasser, MD. Here is the synopsis of the book taken from the back cover of the paperback edition that I have:

“A hallmark of Dr. Glasser’s work is his insistence that people can change themselves and improve their lives. It is possible, he says, to become ‘addicted’ to positive behavior – for instance running or meditating, or some other activity performed for a specific period each day. These positive addictions – contrary to negative addictions to drugs, alcohol, smoking, or even overeating or excessive caffeine —can strengthen a person so he or she can overcome such negative addictions and lead a more integrated and rewarding life.”

My problem is my withdrawal from riding and not replacing it often enough with other forms of exercise to maintain my positive addiction. Instead I’m back sliding into the negative addictions of overeating AND excessive caffeine (as evidenced by the grande skinny latte with an extra shot of expresso habit I’ve been falling into).

This book reminds me of why I need to get back to my positive addiction of regular and consistent exercise when I am unable to ride. Glasser’s research was done primarily with runners and people who meditated on a daily basis, including those who practiced yoga with meditation (now I have a better understanding of how Catus-Eyed Joe got addicted to yoga). But I think all cyclists can relate to the experience of positive addiction described by personal antidotes of the runner’s quoted in the book – just replace the running terms with cycling terms and see if you agree.

“…the rhythm of running/cycling at a high cadence is a strong element. Sometimes problems get solved while I am running/cycling …but it’s not a figuring out process. More of a sudden flash of insight that comes when you are least trying to find an answer. I think worrying and running/cycling are impossible to do at the same time.”

“Everybody should run/ride a bike. It would drown hates, aggression, make people happier, create a greater sense of self-worth. ….If everybody ran/rode a bike, the revolution would be accomplished, the automobile eliminated, idiotic luxuries and compulsions abolished, proper priorities established, the environment saved, classes of racism ended.”

Monday, October 27, 2008

I liked this picture!

My newest method for cleaning my bike and chain

Since last Sunday might sweet husband sagged for Cindy and I as we rode the Nebraska hills, this Sunday was payback time. I was a good wife and helped wash all the mud and grime off the school buses that accumulated after the wet week we had last week.

With two people it went rather quickly – I ran the pressure washer and Charlie did the scrubbing. And I found a new way to get a bike chain and cassette dazzlingly clean in no time flat. I brought my mountain bike in and sprayed it down with a degreaser and then took the pressure washer and with the bike propped against a wheel of the bus, I could hit the stream of water just right on the chain and got the pedals spinning backwards at a ridiculously high speed. I then took the air hose and dried off all the components and oiled the chain. I have never seen such a clean chain!

I’m anxious to take the bike out for a little spin. Last time I rode it I was having problems with it not wanting to go into the small chain ring but I could see there was quite a bit of mud around the derailleur so I’m sure that was the problem. It looks like a brand new bike now and I hope it rides like one too. Hopefully this is an “approved” method of cleaning the bike chain and cassette - I guess someone will let me know if it isn't.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Pictures from Saturday's Ride

I met Biking Brady and Ed in Gayville and rode with them to Yankton where we had lunch at HyVee - great salad bar - we actually ate some healthy foods!

Biking Brady's front tire went flat while we were eating lunch - luckily he is a quick change artist!

Since we were in Yankton we had to take the opportunity to ride across the retired Meridean Bridge as well as the new Discovery Bridge. It is amazing how narrow the old bridge is - I don't see how semis and some farm equipment could fit.

We had to go around the road block to ride across the old bridge. Mike at the bike shop said that they don't want people on it as they are saying it is "unsafe." It was safe for vehicles up until a couple of weeks but evidently it is now unsafe for pedestrians and bikes.

I have to agree - I don't think the top deck was safe for riding - especially with the gusty west wind today. I'm a timmy (ask Ed or Biking Brady for the definition) and didn't try out the upper deck of the old bridge but the boys of course rode it to check out the view.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Finding Motivation

As the days get shorter and temperatures fall my riding outdoors drops off dramatically. So it's back to spin class and whatever else I can do to try to maintain my fitness level. And of course I always have the elusive hope of improving upon my fitness level and riding faster and stronger next summer!

But it's a long time before next summer - that's a lot of time in spin class pedaling like crazy and going nowhere. Today was a dreary rainy day, it would have been a great night to skip spin class and come home and curl up with some hot chocolate, a blanket and a book. But I dragged myself to the Dome and on my way to the locker room I passed the Campus Rec bulletin board where I saw our cycling team picture (Team Warfarin) for the intramural race and it made me smile. That was a fun day! It also reminded me of why I keep working at trying to ride stronger. Our team was made up of Cindy and I and two med students and this old lady wants to ride with our students for as long as I can. This year I was the last one to finish from our team but I didn't care, it was an honor for me to be a part of the team. Last year I passed one of the students - and this year she passed me - good for her! It gives me a reason to push myself and get ready for next year's cycling season!

This time of year you have to look for motivation where ever you can find it.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Mountain Bike Ride

I fulfilled my wish to get a mountain bike ride in this year on Turkey Creek Road. The best part was I got to ride with my friend, the ultimate road biker and mountain biker extraordinaire, Little Cindy Lou! AND our ride was fully supported by my awesomely sweet husband!

Perfect weather (no wind, temp around 70 degrees) and the great company made for a great ride. The hills were challenging. My great-great grandparents homesteaded near this area, south of Maskell, and my grandmother always talked about the Nebraska hills. After today's ride I have a greater appreciation for those Nebraska hills!

Our SAG picked us up near Newcastle and we loaded the bikes and rode to Ponca where we met up with Biking Brady and Dan at the state park. A local photographer from Vermillion had made arrangements with Biking Brady to take some mountain biking shots for his portofolio. I was the only one who he had to take a photo of pushing my bike up the trail - I'm definitely not an off the road rider!

After the photo shoot, Little Cindy Lou gave me mountain biking lessons and rode the trail with me. I learned a lot and she gave me the confidence to give the trail a try - my skills are very lacking at this point - but it was fun! Thanks to Little Cindy Lou and my hubby for all of his patience hauling around and sagging for two women today!

For more pics go to this page.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

The Most Interesting Papmpered Chef Party Ever

Upon awakening this morning I thought I had experienced a really bizarre dream, followed immediately by the realization that that was no dream, I was simply recalling the events of the Pampered Chef party from the night before!

Here is the story: Oldest daughter, Ashley, now a married lady of 4 months, hosts her first Pampered Chef party. The consultant is a life-long friend.

Setting the stage of the story: My best friend, Cathy (yes, we're both Cathy - that is why I went by Cathy Jo all through school), and youngest daughter, Emily, and I all go together to the party. On the way over Emily is lamenting over her lack of cooking abilities and how frustrating this is for her (and her boyfriend).

Arriving at the scene: The party is in full swing, lots of family, friends, and Ashley's co-workers are there. I just get a Margarita when Emily tells me to come and look at the consultant's hand - I'm thinking she's engaged and excitedly go to check out the ring - bummer, no ring, but blood gushing from her index finger - yuck!
Yep, she sliced it wide open with the apple corer. Looked like she needed stitches to me but I have my nieces who are also nurses check it out and they concur. Three of us are nurses but we also have a strong genetic predisposition for fainting that we had to overcome. Ashley is very sensitive to blood and she has turned green and is laying on the couch. As Ashley's husband said - it was a weird scene: Ashley is green on the couch, the nurses are tending to the patient, and then there's a bunch of women laughing, talking, and drinking Margaritas - plus 3 little girls running around the house chasing the dog, just to add some more chaos to the mix.

So we get the consultant's boyfriend and he takes her to the clinic but she is feeling so badly about not doing her cooking demonstration. No need to worry, we tell her, we'll run the show for her. Emily and Cathy do the cooking and I just try to keep up with the dishes and keeping every one's Margarita glasses full. Emily who said she couldn't cook did a mighty fine job with Cathy's help. And biking buddy Holly, who happened to be a former Pampered Chef consultant, joined in and helped also. Ashley chatted with her guests and did the other consultant duties with books and order forms, etc.

In the end it all turned out good - everyone got fed and of course, most didn't care what was going on in the kitchen as we kept the Margarita's flowing! The consultant was treated - they cut the flap off since the flap wasn't wide enough to stitch together without the tissue becoming necrotic - so it will be slow healing. Watch out for the Pampered Chef apple wedger - it also wedges tissue!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Nothing New or Exciting Here

Last week my husband's brother and his wife stayed with us for 6 nights - they arrived with bad colds but I wasn't worried as my husband and I usually don't catch a cold very often. Well, the killer cold caught up with both of us this weekend so it was a pretty laid back weekend. We went to a funeral and church on Sunday - those were our outings - aren't we Mr. & Mrs. Excitement!

Today it was back to work. The med school hosted a huge interdisciplinary (now the newest terminology is interprofessional) event for all health affairs students - all 296 of them. It was chaos, but organized chaos. Some students rode bikes to the med school - good for them! A few didn't read the signs posted on every door about not chaining bikes to signs, handrails, posts, or basically anything other than the bike rack in the back - bad for them. We were tipped off by staff with windows facing the front of the building that Public Safety had came over during the afternoon and cut the bike locks off and confiscated the bikes. Some of the students missing bikes thought they had been stolen so they were relieved to know where they could find their bikes - but basically none of these students were happy campers. But this leaves me wondering, how many bikes has Public Safety confiscated that go unclaimed? Would some students not report missing their Huffy bike? And we would have never known ourselves if someone hadn't happened to have noticed.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Change of Season and Back to Spin Class

Essentially there are only two seasons for me; biking season and spin class/trainer season. Biking season is quickly wrapping up for me with shorter days and eventually the colder temperatures will catch up with us. I'm the first to admit I am a wimp when it comes to winter riding. When temperatures dip below 50 degrees I get too cold riding outside and its just easier at that point to go down the basement and ride my bike on the trainer.

Tonight was my first night back to spin class for several months. Holly was the instructor and after about a 15 minute warm-up, I worked hard. The remaining 45 minutes of the class I burned 469 calories, average heart rate was 164 (96%) and my max heart rate was 184 (106%). I think was trying to push myself a little harder so I wouldn't feel so guilty for dropping out of the Boot Camp exercise class, all the running was just too hard on these old joints.

I've had plenty of excuses for not exercising lately but its time to get back with the program! As I told Holly, tonight's class is my first official training for Tour deKota 2009! I'll be there.....hope you are too!

PS - To Kevin and Joe, I can't come to Tuesday spin classes this semester - that's my day in Sioux Falls. I'm really not trying to avoid you (even though Kevin is the evil spin instructor).

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Bunyan's to Bob's Fall Color Ride

I really wanted to go on this ride as this time of year you never know how many more (if any) group rides there will be. It wasn't easy to get away for the ride with my husband's brother and sister-in-law staying with us and plans to have a family get together that evening to celebrate belatedly our daughter's birthday. But any way, it worked out and I got to join the fun.

Cindy, Joe, and I took the road route - it was a good choice! Not too hilly and new smooth as silk asphalt road for much of the way. The only down side was the wind but I tucked in behind Joe and Cindy and it wasn't too bad from where I was!

We pulled into Martinsberg shortly before 1:30 pm. It had warmed up nicely and the Sam Adams Oktoberfest went down nicely! Of course, there wasn't any shortage of food either.

I gladly accepted a ride back with Pat to Vermillion. Here is a picture of Pat & Ed. Ed is a hard core biker and doesn't let anything stop him from riding. Since his cycling shoes didn't fit his mountain bike clips Ed ended up riding all the way to Martinsberg on his mountain bike on the killer gravel route in flip-flops (with socks). Note his feet in the picture.

I wanted a picture in front of Bob's but we had to wait for some people on motorcycles to finish taking their pictures first. I asked if we could take our pictures on one of the motorcycles and the owner gave us permission.

As we were taking the picture the owner of the motorcycle said something to the effect of "I think anyone who rides the type of bike you folks ride needs therapy." My reply was "My bike is my therapy!" I wish I would have also told him "Real bikers wear spandex!"

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Touching Heaven

Have you seen this Jon Crane painting?

Here is the description that goes with the print: Country church near Wakonda and Volin in Easern South Dakota. Same church as in "Prairie Prelude."

Here is my personal description: Church that my grandparents attended, located just 2 miles from their farm. The church was central in the lives of Grandma and Grandpa and they were two of the kindest, gentlest people who have ever lived. In later years they sold the farm and moved to Vermillion and are buried there in the company of many, many family members. But I love to ride my bike by this church that reminds me so much of Grandma and Grandpa.

Maybe we should have Tour deChurches ride and visit all the country churches; Zion, Trondheim, Pleasant Valley, Vangen, Dalesburg. Bring your fork, maybe there will be a potluck dinner!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Happy Birthday to our baby girl - Ashley!

We love you!
Mom & Dad

A hiily 47 miles ride: the Alcester, Hawarden, Akron loop

Thanks to Chad for hosting this great ride! The route was just the right amount of challenge, the company was great with 9 LaneHogs who showed up for the ride. The post-meal hospitality and food were wonderful. We even had the extra bonus of getting a lesson in chain cleaning by our host!

My stats for the ride:
Date: 09/27/2008
Time: 09:00 am
Total Time: 3:15:25.00
Average Heart rate: 150
Max Heart rate: 181
Calories: 1793
Distance: 47.29 miles
Average Speed: 14.52 mph
Max Speed: 33 mph

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Race for the Cure - Be There!

I'm registered for the Susan B. Komen Breast Cancer Race/Walk to be held in Vermillion on Sunday. It should be a fun event, I'm walking with my sister-in-law who is a breast cancer survivor, along with my nieces and their kids, and hopefully my daughters as well! I've heard they are expecting between 1,000-2,000 people.

I am registered with the med school team and we are up to 45 people on our team - we're hoping we have the biggest team there!

Come and join us!

Monday, September 22, 2008

I tend to overdo things a little bit.....

Other than riding bike, I have not been doing any high intensity exercising this summer. And most of my bike rides have been on my own at a slower pace. So last week may have been a bit much for my old body with 3 days in a row of high intensity workouts. Boot camp exercise class on Tuesday and Thursday with the intramural bike race on Wednesday. I think I twisted my knee in Boot Camp on Thursday because I was tired and not using good form in the run and calisthenics (jumping jacks, pylometrics). I was totally exhausted Thursday night and Friday the knee was letting me know it was not happy!

The good news was the knee only hurt when I walked and felt fine on the bike! I went on the 52 mile group ride on Saturday and felt great! The bike ride did wonders for my knee, it felt much better. So Saturday night we're celebrating the wedding of a local girl who was like one of our own daughters and *maybe* I overdid the dancing (on the dance floor - I wasn't dancing on the tables or anything!). Sunday the knee was not happy again so it was a very lazy day for me.....lots of time spent on the couch reading a book. I overdid that too! I stayed up way too late to finish reading the book The Glass Castle. It should come with a warning label because it sucks you in and you can't put it down!

Monday I consulted with a couple of faculty members in the Physical Therapy Department (so nice to have a free consult by just walking up a flight of stairs) and found out the injury probably occurred due to my flat feet and a pronation problem. I was one of those kids who had to wear those ugly orthopedic shoes when I was growing up - I guess I need to go back to those! Of course the recommendation is to not run until it heals. I didn't go to Boot Camp class this morning. I hope to return to the class on Thursday - but if it is still painful I might crash Joe's spin class instead. Time will tell.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Perfect Fall Day Bike Ride

Anne posted a ride to the LaneHogs list serv for a 50 mile ride starting at 8:30 am from the bike shop in Vermillion. Four of us showed up; Anne, Joe, Kwen, and myself. We headed down the road to Burbank, Elk Point, and Jefferson where we turned around and came back. We all rode together and chatted and had a very enjoyable time. A few miles from Vermillion Kwen and I let the youngsters go ahead and we slowed to a more comfortable pace.

I was thinking how fun the ride was and how cycling has the ability to bring people together who may not normally hang out together otherwise. For example today, we had a minister, an undergraduate student/track star, a computer geek who is a master yoga and martial arts instructor, and myself (a nurse involved in higher ed). Four people that ranged in age from early 20's to 50's, all with different backgrounds. The love of the bike creates a special bond. Heck, if everyone rode a bike I'm sure we could attain world peace!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Intramural Bike Race - Pictures

I was late getting the camera out so I didn't get many pictures. This is a group picture, Team Warfarin: Barbara, Cindy, Erin, me, AJ, Paul.

Below is the women's championship team! We're tuff women!!

Our hero, Barbara - the individual women's champion. She ran the race in 39 minutes! She is also the new SD Senior Games Bike Race champion - is it any wonder with times like this one?

Intramural Bike Race - University of South Dakota

This was my 3rd year riding in the USD Intramural Bike Race. It was a beautiful day; but it seemed like we were going somewhat against the wind both ways, especially coming back! I have done no time trials or speed work this year but I was hoping my time would be about the same as the previous years which was 46:13 in 2006 and 46:55 in 2007. This year my time was 48:05 on the 14 mile course and I was the last of our team to cross the finish line. Oh well, next year I hope to improve! I didn't think I had anything to prove as I thought I was the oldest person in the race - and then just pass the turn around point Barbara passed me! She is a little less than a year older than me and she was flying. She wasn't at the starting point at the begining of the race, I found out afterwards that she started the race 3 minutes late and she still managed to pass all the women to claim the individual women's championship! This year there were more women's team than just our team but we held on to our title.....it did help that the other women (who looked very young - probably freshmen) were on mountain bikes.

My stats:

Date: 09/17/2008
Time: 16:15:00
Total Time: 00:48:05.00
Average Heart rate: 176
Max Heart rate: 186
Calories: 554
Distance: 14 miles
Average Speed: 17.47 mph
Max Speed: 26.2 mph

I think I gave it all I had by the looks of my average heart rate of 176, considering by age my maximum heart rate is 171 (you do the math!).

Our team was called "Warfarin" - by the name, you can probably guess this is a medical student team. We had two medical students, myself, and Cindy who we recruited from the nursing school! Warfarin managed to take both the women's and men's team championships as Biking Brady and the LaneHogs did not show up to defend their title - we missed you guys!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Chain Cleaning and TLC for the Bike

A lazy Sunday afternoon but it felt good to be home after a busy week and all the Friday night and Saturday activities (Margarita Ride, Rib Fest and play in Yankton). Charlie spent the afternoon working on his ’71 Torino so I thought I would join him at this shop and give my bike some tender loving care which it was in desperate need of, especially after riding in the rain the day before.

I have been talking about getting a stand to put my bike on so I could clean the chain easier but then I started thinking about maybe hanging my bike from the hoist in Charlie’s shop. When I asked about this he had a better idea, we hung the bike with some rope from the “engine lift hook.” That was sweet! I could adjust the bike to the height most comfortable for me and really give it a good cleaning. Most time consuming is cleaning the chain. Charlie thinks I over do it but I have over 8,000 miles on my bike and still have the original chain so I must be doing something right.

A good afternoon – Charlie detailed his car and I detailed my bike and gave it the pampering such a fine bike deserves!

Margarita Ride 2008

It was a great weekend! I got to see so many biking friends, starting on Friday night with a get together with the Watertown ladies, as I call them; Mary Jean, Bonnie, Sandy, and Janet. I first met Bonnie and Sandy at the first Margarita Ride I participated in in 2005 BRB (before road bike). They were sitting on the balcony of the winery post ride and they just looked like they were a really fun group! We started talking and became acquainted in the years since on other bike rides and through email. In introduced Melissa to Mary Jean and Bonnie on TDK this year and they ended up riding all week together.

The Watertown ladies got into Vermillion late Friday afternoon and Melissa and I met them at Mona Lisa’s for some pre-ride carb loading – I had the stuffed pasta shells (chicken, ricotta and parmesan cheese, touch of bacon in large shell macaroni with an alfredo sauce) – absolutely delicious!

Saturday morning was not looking like a great day for a bike ride; a light rain was falling but as it was 60 degrees it wasn’t uncomfortably cool. Cindy and I rode together and the time flew by as we chatted the entire route! I was happy to be riding a more relaxed pace than the last time we rode together on the Elk Point bike ride. I was sore from the Boot Camp classes I started this week (a story for another blog entry!), so I appreciated Cindy taking it easy on me!

Thanks to oldest daughter Ashley for manning the water stop in Wakonda, allowing me to ride! And to my husband for opening up the bathroom at his shop!

We regrouped with Melissa and Mary Jean and her group in Wakonda. We took a slightly different route back to Vermillion allowing us to enjoy the scenic Bluff Road.

The post-ride meal and Margarita were great! The best part was visiting with everyone – but there just wasn’t enough time! I totally missed the Biking Vikings and only said hi to the Hooterville Mayor. But I got to visit with lots of people, including Tim who we rode with on RAGBRAI, the Watertown ladies, and of course fellow blogger TEZ!! Along with of course great LaneHog team members Biking Brady, CDV, Ann, Holly, Cindy, Melissa, etc.! I would have loved to have continued the biking stories at CDV's but had to get home as Charlie and I were headed to rib fest in Yankton a little later.

Great job Biking Brady and CDV on spear heading another successful Margarita Ride! Many thanks also to Melissa for designing an awesome t-shirt and Eric for all that he does with the website registration, maps, etc., and all others who help with all the details!

I wish I would've gotten more pictures but my indoor pics did not turn out....maybe Melissa will be posting some??? And the the Hooterville Mayor has some great pictures on his blog!