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!