Saturday, November 15, 2008

Friday Night at the Carolina Brewery

Jim and I go to the Carolina Brewery almost weekly and here of lately, it seems we go on Friday nights. After my endoscopy, I wasn't able to eat a lot of foods other than soft stuff but throughout the day on Friday, I had begun to venture out with more solid foods. I im'ed Jim to see if he had any ideas about dinner and he asked if I felt like I could handle the Carolina Brewery. I replied "I thought you'd never ask!" So we went and it was good. I was hungry! I had an artichoke appetizer and a beer. That was the first good meal I had eaten in about 2 days. Things are getting back to normal.

my Friday Gratitude list:

1) Sucha's biopsy was benign!
2) a good beer
3) my hubby did all my laundry while I was at work!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

That Thing in my Esophagus!

I had to have an endoscopy because they think GERD (acid reflux) is aggravating my asthma. So while they were in there, they inserted a Bravo pH meter which is attached to my esophagus. It communicates the pH to a receiver worn on my belt for 48 hours. Then it sloughs off and goes out the back door! Look ma, no wires!

I am grateful for:

1) humor in the medical setting
2) my hubby for transporting me and taking care of me
3) good drugs! I don't remember a thing!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


As many of you know, I am the information manager for Duke Student Health and one of my many jobs is to produce data. Anytime, any of my bosses needs data, I write a query and give it to them. When we got an upgrade on our system in late summer, a new feature was a really neat query writer. So now I have been bust converting all of my Microsoft Access queries to the new report generator. I've done all of the quarterly QI reports and the monthly visit volumes. The more I do, the more I find that I can do. So I just sit and analyze data all day. I am creating all kinds of tables and graphs of different visit types and who they saw and why!

Things I am grateful for:
1) my new report generator
2) my health care reimbursement card
3) health insurance

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Tuesday Night OUT!

My best friend from work, Pat, and I often talk about going out for drinks after work.............but we never do! We talked about it yesterday and sort of planned to do it this evening but didn't talk about it during the day today. Jean and I had gonr for a brisk 2 mile walk sort of late this afternoon, about 4:15 and when I returned to my office, I saw a missed call from Pat. She didn't leave a message and I figured it was about going out so I popped over to the lab to discuss it. She thought I had forgotten and wasn't going to mention it unless I did. But we made plans and invited Jean. We all met at the Carolina Ale House at 6 pm at the old Southsquare Mall area. We had wine and nachos and a lot of good laughs and good conversation.

So now that we have finally done it, we have vowed to do something like this at least once a month and invite some other close friends to join us. We plan to take turns planning an event. I am suggesting that we shoot for the second Tuesday of each month. maybe we should call ourselves "The Second Tuesday Club?"

Things I am grateful for:
1) great girlfriends that I have known for twenty years!
2) Sam's club..........paper plates at a cheap price
3) vests....helps keep me warm at work

Monday, November 10, 2008

Another New Recipe

I feel like I hardly cook anymore! It's mostly just the two of us and if Alex is here, he doesn't join us often. Therefore, we can try new and interesting things that kids usually don't like. Jim has found us another recipe to try and so after I ran a bunch of errands I called him to find out what we needed. It was a longer list than I could remember and I was driving and its a good idea to keep at least one hand on the wheel so he emailed it to me and I got it on my Blackberry. That's a convenient grocery list!

German Pork Chops:
8 pork chops
salt and pepper
Lawry's Seasoning Salt
3 medium apples
cinnamon sugar
32 oz Sauerkraut
3/4 cup raisins

Layer pork chops in a baking dish, season to taste with salt, pepper and seasoning salt. (I didn't use any salt, just the Lawry's)
Slice apples and layer over the meat. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Drain the Sauerkraut and reserve the juice for later. Spread the kraut over the apples. Add the raisins. The pour the kraut juice over it all. Bake at 350 for 1 hour.

My gratitude list for Sunday:
1) new towels.......on sale at LNT
2) black running pants........comfy to go anywhere
3) Jenni moving to Apex...............closer to me so I can pop over there quickly to see her paint job in her living room!

Gratitude list for Monday:
1) my Nike Plus to track my walk/runs
2) crisp salads............great for lunch
3) beautiful sunsets...........over Jordan lake

Saturday, November 8, 2008

No More Teenagers!

Whew, I can't believe it; my baby will be 20 years old on Monday and that means that I don't have any teens. All of my children are in their twenties. Jenni is 27, Zack is 25 and Alex will be twenty. Guess I am getting old too huh?

We had a little family celebration. Zack and Amanda and Jenni and Ben came out to the house. Jim cooked hot dogs and hamburgers on the grill. Jenni made her lasagna; a special request from Alex. Of course we had wine and cake and ice cream.

Happy Birthday Alex!

Friday's gratitude list:
1) a beautiful day for me to go for a 2 mile walk/run
2) the sound of leaves falling in the woods
3) candles that make a home feel so cozy

Saturday's gratitude list:
1) a clean kitchen
2) family.....we were all together and had fun
3) my bike.........after I went for a walk with Jim, my bike "called" me to take it for a spin!

Thursday, November 6, 2008


Everyone makes lists! Lists rule the the grocery store, packing for a trip, planning a wedding, buying a name it. Everyday for the past 2 weeks I have been blogging with my list of gratitude's; 3 a day until Thanksgiving. I was thinking about it on my way to work this morning, but I didn't write them down. So much for my list. Well here are some anyway and I don't even know if it's what I came up with this morning!

1) welcome after a few gray days with rain
2) napkins........the ones you stash in the car console after a trip through the drive through window. They are great for wiping up spilled coffee. This was the one I thought of this morning!
3)waking up and it's already daylight.............the good part about daylight savings time ending. I still hate that it is dark so early though.

Whew that was hard. Next time I'd better make a list!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Just Another Day

Yesterday was Election Day 2008, a Tuesday, just like all of the others. In the days and weeks leading up to yesterday, we were bombarded from all directions with radio and tv ads, roadside signs and internet pop ups full of promises and negativity. Then yesterday, history was made! The United States of America elected their first black president. And today was just another day. I really hope they remove the roadside signs!

My gratitude list:
1)the gives us a plethora of information just a click away
2) dog who always follows me everywhere for loved
3) shortages here anymore

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

A Nice Hot Shower

I have always showered in the morning. Believe me, I have tried to do the "bath" at night before bedtime to save time in the morning. I love that feeling of being fresh and clean and slipping into the fresh sheets and knowing they will stay fresher with my clean body. But even when I bath at night, I still shower in the morning. It wakes me up and when I get out of my warm bed, I usually get cold and the hot shower feels so good! Especially now that the cool mornings of fall are officially here!

My gratitude list for Election Day 2008!

1) a nice hot morning shower
2) my brother who turned 59 today, Happy Birthday Robbie!
3) Instant message..........a fun way to chat with my parents!

Monday, November 3, 2008

That Fall Smell

Since I am 50 years old, I have been feeling that my sniffer is getting old and not working as well as it used to. You know I just can't smell things like I used to but today walking out to my car in the almost dark evening, I could smell the fall leaves swirling on the ground at my feet. That brings back memories of piles of leaves at my house growing up. Half the fun of raking them into a pile was jumping in them and scattering them all out again!

My gratitude list:
1) the smell of fall
2) technology..packing a computer in a mini laptop!
3) the freedom to vote for whom we chose

Sunday, November 2, 2008


I just love good as Fridays, but a bit better. Jim always gets up a bit before me and has fresh strong coffee waiting on me. I actually think the smell of the coffee waifs upstairs and enters my sleep. I come down and fix a big ole cup and we sit on the couches and watch TV or read and chat and drink brew until we get ready to do our chores.

This Saturday's chore was cleaning out the basement. A job long overdue! Whenever we have stuff that we don't need anymore and can't decide what to do with it, we just "put it in the basement." Well after 12 years, it gets junky down there. Plus I am on a mission to declutter and get rid of stuff we don't need, don't use or is just plain broken.

We borrowed a trailer from a good friend. Since we got rid of Jim's big truck and downsized to a Honda Civic, we didn't even have a vehicle with a trailer hitch so Zack brought Amanda's Envoy out and helped us load all the stuff. We took 3 big loads! We got rid of the old fridge, stove, a bicycle, old moldy baby furniture a friend gave me that I wouldn't be able to use, an old mixer, breadmaker, mismatched dishes, trash, bottles, wires, comforters, old table and several old mismatched chairs, 2 plastic barrels, and just other junk! The basement is so empty. Then I vacuumed up all the dead bugs and dirt and sand and salt and moved all of the boxes to one "room." Now the chore will be do keep it clean!

My gratitude list for Saturday:
1) good friends who lend you things
2) my son who helps us so much
3) my hubby for helping and being a good sport about getting rid of stuff

My gratitude list for Sunday:
1) freshly brewed coffee
2)my warm cozy bed
3)my new book, Clinton Kelly's Freakin' Fabulous

Friday, October 31, 2008


I just love Fridays! Although I do like the restaurant Friday's. I am talking about the day of the week. There is just something so comfortable about it. I get to wear jeans and jeans match anything, making getting ready for work so much easier. Also, it just seems like work is much more relaxed. Usually a few people are off, the clinic volume is less and we just have a little more fun. The next day is Saturday, a day I can sleep in a bit and linger on the couch with my coffee before I have to get on with my day.

Happy Friday!

Gratitude list:
1)jeans......comfy and fun
2)my mom is feeling better.........yay Mommy!
3)Carolina Brewery............good for a beer and a light dinner

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Colors of Fall

I love Fall! It's my favorite season and I find that weird since I used to love spring. The colors of fall are so vibrant. I noticed this evening driving home how pretty they are. The vibrant oranges, deep bold gold and brilliant reds are just bursting along the sides of the roads! Take a drive and check it out.

I am grateful for:
1) fall invigorating
2) sandwiches........for a quick dinner
3) friends at work.........very self explanatory!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Computer Updates

Change is good...............right? Well that is what everyone says but it can be painful. People get too comfortable with the same old thing and are hesitant to change or upgrade. Yes it is comfortable in that lil box but we need to step outside the box to grow. So let's all band together, be flexible and embrace change; it builds character!

Things I am grateful for:
1) my son Zack for staying at work with me and helping me do a computer update (everyone at works hates updates because they have to learn something new, but it's usually new features"
2) gas for $2.59 a gallon
3) my hubby for calling to tell me that gas was $2.59 a gallon and cooking dinner. He had it ready when I got home!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Getting prescriptions filled!

I really hate going to the drug store to get prescriptions filled! Mostly, I just send it in to Medco Mail order and get a three month supply delivered right to my mailbox. But when I only have a random one, it's cheaper and quicker to get it filled locally.

Alex's doctor gave him 3 prescriptions and I mailed 2 to Medco. One is for his ankle pain and I needed it filled pretty quickly. I contemplated going after work but then I have to wait with everyone else. Then I re-discovered Duke South Outpatient Pharmacy! It's just 2 floors up, so I ran up there, dropped it off and went back down to work for awhile. Then after lunch I grabbed my Wage Works Healthcare Reimbursement card and popped up there to get it. No long lines, no going out in the cold and no waiting. I just need to remember this for next time!

My gratitude list:
1) gloves- knocks the chill off my hands when walking into work on a cold day
2) Duke outpatient pharmacy- for being there when you need them!
3) my son- for bringing my Wii back home.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Too cold, too Early!

Those who know me, know that I don't like to be cold and generally classify myself as "cold natured." Today was COLD! It was a little chilly when I left for work but as the day went on, it got colder. I had on a camisole with a cute red sweater Jenni picked out for me in Williamsburg. It had one big button at the top and 3/4 sleeves. I had a colorful woolen scarf and a light jacket. I was cold in my office and went home promptly at 5 to get into warmer clothes.

Things I am grateful for:
1) heated leather seats
2) a steaming bowl of chicken noodle soup
3) my new fuzzy blanket

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Girls weekend!

I am finally home from a trip to Williamsburg, a group of 7 eating and just jabbering. I haven't been on my laptop all weekend, but kept my list of things I am grateful for so I could post them today.

1) my daughter Jenni, for being my best friend and driving all the way!
2) GPS.......just in case and also to tell you which lane to get in.
3) great friends.... we had dinner with Jenni's room mate's parents who moved to Williamsburg and had us over for dinner.

1) umbrellas...........makes shopping in the rain a little better
2) cellphones............makes it easy to keep in touch across the miles
3) good waitresses...........makes all the difference in enjoying a meal after a long day of shopping (yeah we gave her a really good tip!)

1) sunshine...........after shopping on a rainy, raw day
2) coffee.........warm and cozy on a cool morning.
3) text messaging.........keeping my brother entertained at a boring reception!

Thursday, October 23, 2008


From the time we were little kids, our parents teach us about traditions either directly or indirectly. Most of them are by celebrating Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter and other familial holidays. Others arise from trying funfilled activities or structuring our lives. I wonder how many families set out with activities designed to become traditions? Probably the best ones have happened by accident.

My best friend Pat has a tradition that she shares with us. When she and Maynard and the 3 kids moved south to NC about 20 years ago, she left behind wonderful friends. She and Kathy planned to meet in Williamsburg for a weekend as a way of staying in touch. Both Pat and Kathy bring other friends and I have been lucky enough to be included in this tradition. We even plan next years' weekend and make reservations when we check out. I wonder if Pat and Kathy intended this to become a tradition?

As I was packing, I realized what I am grateful for:

1) ziploc bags............they come in all size and make packing a breeze.
2) AAA travel services...............a wonderful way to get a disabled car somewhere to get it fixed.
3) Vera Bradley luggage.....makes it easy to pack!

Off to Williamsburg, Va tomorrow with my daughter and a bunch of fun women!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


This evening, my daughter Jenni and I met at Target in Apex and drove to Trader Joes in Cary to do some shopping for our girls' weekend. So along the way we were chatting and she asked if I had read the latest "Real Simple." We both get magazine and I had sort of skimmed mine, and when she further explained the article, I remembered it. Well it's all about counting your blessings and not forgetting even the small stuff in this hectic world. So 4 readers kept a journal for a month, listing everything they are grateful for. Jenni is planning on listing 3 things every day on her blog. Not a bad idea, when in this day and time, the media is filled with gloom and doom. With the election looming, politics are filled with nastiness, and the stock market has gone to "hell in a hambasket" along with my 403b!

So I thought that it would be fun and a good idea to do this myself. It'll be a good reminder of the things we have to be thankful for. Even though my husband got his layoff notice 2 weeks ago, as a family, we do have so much to be thankful for. So here goes:

I am grateful for:
1) my job with great benefits
2) my parents
3) the cooler weather that makes running more comfortable

...............stayed tuned.

I challenge all of you to do this!

Monday, September 29, 2008

My little kitty named Iggy

I have had Igor for almost 18 years! He is a solid black cat with just a few black hairs under his chin with the biggest green yellow eyes. We had 2 black cats and I have vivid memories of Alex as a small child, jerking up their heads and asking "what kind of kitty are you?" Actually, Iggy, as we call him, owns me. He isn't aloof or even very independent but he just decides that he is going to sit or lay on me. Right now, he is sitting across my left forearm with his head in the crook of my elbow while I type. His little body is between me and the laptop and his cute little head is be-bobbling as I type. But he is happy!

For many years, the minute I went to bed, he hopped up on the bed and kneaded my shoulders for about 5 minutes and then just draped himself across my back and shoulders til I drifted off to sleep. I used to tell Jim that I can't imagine life without him doing that because I love him so much. Well now he is a very old man-kitty. I fear the end is near as he has been frail and small for a year or so. Every morning when I wake up and every evening when I come home form work, I quietly look to see if he is still breathing. Just the other day, he fell while trying to jump from one counter top to the other. He hardly ever come upstairs anymore..........I guess he is just too tired or slow. He spends about 20 hours a day on his pillow in his little basket bed I made for him on the big chair in the living room. But for now, we are both happy as he is purring gently in mommy's warm embrace.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Marianne is in the kitchen cooking Crab Cakes!

So my husband has gotten into watching the cooking shows! And when he sees something he likes, he goes on the internet, finds it and prints it out for me to look at. Now this is interesting because he is generally a meat and potatoes or rice man, loving his beef. But the way I figure it, if he is interested in something new, I am happy to try it out.

So a few months ago, he showed me a crab cake recipe and off we go to Kroger and buy the stuff and I made them. They were pretty good but a bit hot/spicy, but I tucked the recipe away in my cute lil recipe book Jim gave me for Christmas.

Now to be perfectly honest with you..............I don't really cook! Especially now that there's usually only the two of us, we end up going out a lot. For those of you who know me well, ahem, my children, they will agree. I have a few favorites but that's about it. It's like I really freak out when I see a recipe that has more than 6 or 8 ingredients. I guess I get overwhelmed. But if I see someone make it, I feel better about it. I think it's because I am a visual learner and seeing is doing!

Well this one has 8 ingredients for the crab cakes themselves and then 4 ingredients for the sassy tartar sauce. So maybe because it's separated, the list looked shorter so I felt I could tackle it. And too, maybe I didn't screw it up too bad the first time since Jim wanted me to make it again. So here it is compliments of Sandra Lee:

Sassy tartar Sauce:
10 oz bottle tartar sauce
2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
6 dashes hot sauce
1 scallion, finely chopped

Crab Cakes:
12 oz lump crabmeat, drained
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup herb seasoned bread crumbs
1 tablespoon seafood seasoning (Old Bay preferred)
1 egg
1 teaspoon lemon juice
10 saltine crackers
vegetable oil for frying

Sassy Tartar Sauce:

In small bowl combine all ingredients and mix well.

Crab Cakes:

In a medium bowl, add crabmeat, mayonnaise, bread crumbs, seafood seasoning, egg, and lemon juice. Stir to combine. Form 6 crab cakes approximately 2 1/2 inches diameter and place on baking sheet.

In small plastic bag crush the saltine crackers and place into shallow dish. Lightly dredge the formed crab cakes into the crushed crackers and set aside.

In a large skillet over medium heat, add enough oil to cover bottom of pan. When oil is hot, fry crab cakes in batches for about 3 minutes per side or until just golden brown. Transfer to a sheet pan or plate lined with a paper towel.

Serve crab cakes with tartar sauce.

We also had asparagus and wine and a Skinny Cow ice cream sandwich for dessert!

Now there is only one thing missing...............the beach!

Friday, September 26, 2008

The days are getting shorter!

Fall is right around the corner. Well officially fall has arrived according to the calendar, but we still have warm summer-like days. I actually love fall and think it is my favorite season. I used to proclaim spring as my favorite season, but the crisp mornings with crystal blue skies and low humidity and sunny afternoons with warm colors make me love it more. We treasure days down at our beach house in Cherrygrove where we can spend a few hours on the beach in our bathing suits lounging in the sun soaking up the last rays of sun. We call them "bonus days!"

However, there is some sadness that is looming. I am an active person and thoroughly enjoy evening walk, runs and bike rides, especially since the temps are cooler and the humidity lower. But I know I better enjoy them while I can, as the days are getting noticeably shorter and I know that pretty soon it will be dark when I get home from work. Just today, I im'ed Jim at work to ask if he wanted to go for a bike ride when we got home from work. If so, I would come straight home without going to Curves, so we could squeeze in a bike ride before it got dark. I even contemplated waiting to get gas tomorrow so I wouldn't waste the precious daylight minutes. When I got home, I immediately went upstairs and changed so we could get on our way. We biked about 45 minutes, and it wasn't until we got back inside the house that I noticed how dark it was outside. It suddenly sunk into my head that we had a lot of SAD months of winter to go through yet.

Then I remembered a conversation I had with my dad one day walking at the beach. He remarked that the first day of winter is the happiest day of the year because from that point on, the days are getting longer! So does that make the first day of summer the saddest day of the year, even though summer has barely begun?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

A Blog for Mamaw!

My 78 year old, computer savvy mom loves to read my daughter, Jenni's and my blogs and wanted me to help her set one up so she can publish her writings. So I got her a gmail account and entitled her blog, Mary's Memories . So here it is and now we can read all about her goings on. The funniest thing is that she says when she reads our blogs, she feels like she is we can SPY on her!

Love you , Mom!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

A very BUSY Sunday!

Usually our Sundays are sort of lazy, catching up and finishing Saturday chores and relaxing for the week ahead. But, yesterday was busy and we didn't get the usual stuff done. We met a friend of Jim's at SouthPoint Mall so we had to do catchup today.

I did lounge around on the couch drinking coffee until about 10:30. Then I got on my Wii Fit and did about 35 minutes. Yaya it is so much fun! I unloaded the dishwasher and put 12 wine bottles into hot water to soak off the labels. I worked with the wine bottles I bottled last weekend by dipping the tops in boiling water to get a shrink wrap cork topper on there. You know that wrapper thing you gotta take off before you get the cork out!!

Then I got on my running shoes and ran/walked 2.5 miles but before I headed out the door, I started a load of laundry. I stopped to pick up trash at road. Funny thing..........there was a brand new trash bag there so I used it to collect the trash and then my husband turned the corner headed to the trash dump and I flagged him down to take an extra bag of trash! Such good timing!

When I got home, I put the laundry in the dryer and started another load and finished the 1st load of wine bottle washing. Then I made an oriental chicken salad for Cleo's baby shower tomorrow, cleaned up the kitchen and then took labels off 18 more wine bottles. That is hard work actually but I hate buying new ones and love to recycle. My friends are so nice to save their wine bottles for me anyway.

Then Jim and I took our bikes into town an rode around in a friend's neighborhood. Then we did our usual Sunday evening ritual of stopping at Carolina Brewery for a beer (or two) and we shared a turkey bacon wrap. This time we splurged and got dessert.........creole bread pudding...........whoa! I think I suddenly replaced all of the calories I ran/walked/biked/wii fitted off for the day in one simple dish. But we enjoyed it!

On home we went and Jim mentioned that the grass needed mowing but I had planned to go grocery shopping as the pantry and fridge was bare so I told him that he had a choice...........either grocery shop or mow the grass. I wasn't surpised when he chose to do the grass.

After the groceries were put away, we folded 2 loads of clean laundry and Sara came by for her Arbonne order, Jim and I pulled my hair through the highlighting cap and then I applied the color. Thirty minutes later, a nice deserved and needed shower and a nice color job. Just trying to blend in the grey!

So here it is almost 10:30 pm and I just sat down. There is only one problem..................6 am Monday morning is just around the corner! But the bright spot is that it's only a 4 day week. Jenni and I have a girls' weekend at our beach house with her college roommate and her mom next weekend. Whoooohoooo another weekend of shopping, eating, drinking, lazing and I am sure a lot of girl talk!!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Menopause the Musical

Three of my very best friends and I had a night out on Thursday night to see the hilariously funny musical called Menopause the Musical at the Carolina Theatre in Durham. We left work together in Jean's minivan (yeah............grandmas own minivans!) and ate dinner at Nosh and fought all the crazy traffic to get a parking spot int the deck. It was hilarious! Very few men in the crowd and I almost wanted to ask one of them how they "survived?"

The music was all of the good stuff we know with the lyrics changed to things like hot flashes, personal summers, brain fog, depression, night sweats, wrinkles, weight gain (in the middle) and reclaiming your life and being who you have become! The actors and their characters were awesome and real.............only one skinny cute girl!

I am thinking of buying the musical CD so I can sing along in the car on the way to work and get geared up for the day. The tunes were very familiar: Chain of Fools, The Lion Sleeps Tonight, New Attitude, Stayin Alive, YMCA, Help Me Rhonda, Wishin and Hopin, The Great Pretender, are just a few to mention.

I got home late but we had so much fun that the four of us have planned to do something like this every month. Durham has done a great job of revitalizing the downtown area and I have have been gone so long (we moved to Pittsboro in 1996!) that there are so many places I need to check out! But then, put 4 women together (all over age 50) and we can make fun of just about anything!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

New Toys!

I'm not a kid anymore, right? (remember I am fifty years old!) hahahaha I like new toys though. Here is my latest.................a ladies Schwinn Sierra GS 21 speed hybrid bike. I've really never liked the idea of a "ladies" bike but Jim and I went to Performance Bikes in Cary and got "fitted" for one and they guy recommended a ladies model for me. It's not just the lower swooped down bar, but the frame size from the seat to the handlebars that is correct for females. This way I don't feel like I have to stretch to reach the handlebars. It's a really sweet machine. With the 21 speeds, I can gear down to a granny gear and handle the hills on US 64 or the hill back from the lake on Pea Ridge without stopping! It also has shock absorbers in the generously padded (and wider!) seat and on the front fork. The gear shifters are on the Bio-Tuned Ergo Grips so I can keep both hands on the handlebars!

We've already been back several times to get add-ons for them. We got insulated water bottles to slide into the bottle cage we had installed. We purchased Krytonite locks and a speedometer. As I type, we are surfing the net to look for side view mirrors and eventually some toe clips. Is this what they call "tricking out my ride?"

We're about to head over to Jenni and Ben's for Jim to help Ben install a glass door on their new house, so maybe we'll stop by Performance and get some more stuff. We'll be so-o-o-o-o-o close!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Catching up and showing off!

Now that I have a blog, I am thinking of all kinds of stuff to post, so I need to backpeddle and add one of my favorite pictures. We were all down at our beach house for almost 2 weeks and my mom, dad and youngest son Alex and I went to Charleston for a daytrip back on May 21st. I think this is a really cool picture of them on the swing on the pier past the Pineapple fountain. I am sure it has a specific name, but I can't remember. We all had a wonderful time and I was so proud of my mom who had peripheral neuropathy; she walked alot that day and kept right up with us.

Finally, a BLOG of my own!

My daughter, Jenni, has had a blog for a few years now. She is an excellent cook and has put many yummy recipes, complete with pictures on her blog. Then recently, she added another one, appropriately named Staffordville (they are the Staffords!) and she updates us with pictures of the new house and fun trips to NYC.

So if she can do it, I should be able to do it! RIGHT? So here is is, Jenni!

Stay tuned for more!