Wednesday, December 22, 2010

#135 Shrinkage

No, not THAT kind of shrinkage. I'm talking about height shrinkage. I've heard that as people age they sometimes shrink an inch or two. My mom recently told me that a childhood friend of my uncle (her brother) who used to be 6'4" is now 5'9". Holy cow! I never knew someone could shrink that much! Mom had a physical yesterday and she is now 5'7" down from 5'7". Hmmm...maybe in 40 more years I'll drop below 6'0" and can find a man taller than me.

Monday, December 20, 2010

#134 Big

"Big" is one of my favorite movies. Tom Hanks plays a young boy who wished he was big, then wakes up one morning and he is a 30-year-old man.

The past couple days I've been around lots of kids (mostly from Saturday's basketball games). They are great in that they just say what's on their mind. So when they see me they immediately tell their mom/dad, "She's big!" Since they are kids and have no filters yet, it doesn't annoy me. Their parent's are usually embarrassed though. I usually smile and go on my way.

I suppose I'm used to it. Melissa, one of my friends from high school, used to call me Big Girl back in school. When her two boys were small (around 6 or 7), I would see her and the boys from time to time and they'd run to me and say, "Hi Big Girl!"

#133 CVS

I was out doing some Christmas shopping today and stopped at CVS to buy some milk. As I walked out, a man who had also been in the store got out of his car and asked me how tall I was. After I told him he said, "I know you don't like short guys, but we would make a perfect match." He was in his 60s I would guess. We both got a laugh out of that and we wished each other a good day and Merry Christmas.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

#132 Blockbuster Day

What a day! I began my day at at the Jorday YMCA watching a friend's children (5 year-old Maeve and 4-year-old Owen) play basketball. They practice for a half hour and then play for about a half our. They are too cute!

From there I made a quick stop at Community East Hospital to visit Julie. She had an accident in her home Thursday night and broke her ankle in three places. She is doing well after surgery, but will be on crutches for six weeks. They inserted about seven screws and a metal plate so she now bests me in hardware (I have two screws in my left arm).

From there I went to Conseco for the Boilermaker Blockbuster. It was a Purdue doubleheader with the women taking on Auburn in the first game (War Eagle!) and the men playing Indiana State in the second game. The Lady Tigers did not fare well and lost by 20. Indiana State gave them a good run for their money, but the Boilers prevailed by about 13. It really was a closer game than the final score indicated. I organized a group of about 20 and we sat in the second row behind the visitor's bench. Very cool. I was happy that my Purdue family members could be that close to the action. Some of us wore Auburn t-shirts for the first game and then changed to Purdue t-shirts for the second game. We're equal opportunity fans!

We had some time to kill after the game and hung around inside Conseco for about 45 minutes. One of the security workers started talking to us (I think he was wondering why we were standing around) and in the conversation we found out he is Tyler Hansbrough's brother Greg. Krista was especially excited. She is one of the biggest North Carolina fans I know. He's really nice, even though he kind of made fun of me for acting like a five-year-old. (I was reenacting some of the first game I watched today.)

After the games we all went to Iaria's for dinner. Iaria's is a local Italian restaurant that's been in Indy for many years. Very good food. I had the spinach ravioli. I hadn't eaten much during the day and definitely made up for it at dinner.

Aaron is home for Christmas break. I sat next to him at the Purdue games. He's used to sitting in the Paint Crew section and it was fun to watch all the gestures he does for each player. I kept asking him, "What does that mean?" I learned quite a bit today.

A long, but very fun day.

Friday, December 10, 2010

#131 Q95 Comedian

I listen to Q95 every morning and there was a comedian on there this morning (I forget his name) who had a really funny line. He said he was fairly tall for his family (6') and that when he goes home they constantly ask him to get things from high shelves or cabinets. He thought that was rude of them to expect him to do that for them. He said something like, "I don't walk up to a midget and ask them to pick something up off the ground for me." I had never heard that before and shared it with 7' Ethan here at work. We both got a good laugh!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

#130 Hey Paula

Paula is a co-worker and our cubicles are separated by a small walkway. We sometimes “yell” back and forth during the day. She’s really funny and we have some good laughs. She was instrumental in me flying south last month. I initially planned to drive but realized my weekend work responsibilities wouldn’t allow me to go. She asked if I’d looked at flights yet (they’re usually expensive) and when I looked, I saw that they were very reasonable. I probably would have paid the same for gas as I did for a plane ticket and a rental car and I got there in a fraction of the time (it’s an 11 hour drive one way). She also recommended I try for my rental car and I got a great deal. Thanks Paula! She’s also a regular reader of my blog and lets me know when it’s been too long between posts.

My funniest story about Paula involves her husband, Tommy, and it took place several years ago. Tommy was at the airport and saw Jim Breuer, who had been on Saturday Night Live. When he called Paula to brag about seeing a celebrity, she had no idea who Jim Breuer was. When he mentioned SNL, Paula called me over to talk to Tommy, as it’s well known throughout the office I am a huge SNL fan. I had never met Tommy so it was a little weird to talk to a complete stranger about Jim Breuer. It made Tommy’s day that someone, even a total stranger, was excited he saw Jim. Since then I’ve maybe seen Tommy a handful of times. Paula keeps telling me that he wants to set me up with his brother who lives in Oklahoma.

#129 Dresses

I have covered various tall fashion topics in my blog: pants, shoes, tops. The most difficult by far is dresses. I'm amazed that I can walk into a store and find skirts that come to the top of my knees but when I try on a dress it's a micro mini. What's up with that? I am in need of a dress for an upcoming formal event in March and really want a dress. I don't want a long dress so am looking for cocktail attire. Heck - it's hard enough to find a short dress that's long enough, let alone a long dress. I tried on a couple dresses at Nordstrom (they do not have talls) and found one I really liked but...mid thigh. Not appropriate for a 42-year-old. I also tried on one with a 4 inch hem but it really wasn't a flattering color for me. I've watched "What Not To Wear" too much and know what looks good on me. The only stores that carry tall dresses (that I know of and actually like) are Banana Republic and J. Crew. J. Crew definitely caters to the mid-thigh crowd. I ended up finding one at BR and used my 40% off coupon. I had to buy online (naturally) so will see how it fits in around nine business days. My other alternative is to find a cute top to go with one of two dressy skirts I already have. Stay tuned for updates...

#128 Mall Lotion Guy

I went to Circle Centre Tuesday on my lunch hour to do some Christmas shopping. I had to pass by the lotion kiosk and was approached by the "lotion guy" trying to make a sale. They will say anything. This time it was, "Hello my future wife." He was kinda cute and tall, but I kept walking. I do smile and say, "No thank you." I wouldn't want their job. So then he said, "Can I ask you a question?" thinking he was going to ask about my height. He asked what kind of lotion I use! Unbelievable! I told him I didn't want to talk about lotion and walked away.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

#127 Bangs

I considered naming this post "She Bangs" because I tend to use song titles, but this is a family-friendly blog. ha (Sorry Ricky Martin) Anyway, I am currently in the middle of my third adult attempt at a version of bangs. A couple years ago I tried them with more side layering. A few months ago I tried again with a small section and I liked it ok. Last month I got a little more cut in and had them done shorter. I like them when I do my hair fairly straight, but when I wear it wavy, not so much. I am now officially growing them out. Again. Sorry Michelle! Megan just had bangs cut last week and her hair looks fab. I am happy for her. I'm just not a "bang" kind of girl.

#126 Facebook Trouble

Monday when I tried to log in to Facebook I was told there had been an attempted compromise of my account. Basically someone from Ft. Lauderdale tried to log in as me. They asked me to verify I was actually myself by identifying certain photos from my Facebook friends. When the first pictures came up I thought, "Who the heck is that?" I did much better with other pictures and was able to re-set my password. But I still couldn't log in. I had to do the photo-checking thing three times before I gave up and sent an e-mail in for troubleshooting. Then when I checked my e-mail account I saw two messages from Facebook telling me that since I re-set my password I needed to follow the link below to regain control of my account. That would have been nice to know earlier. So now I'm totally locked out and was then told in my next e-mail, "...writing in multiple times will not result in a faster response. Once you submit your initial request, it is placed in a queue and responded to accordingly. We appreciate your patience." Fabulous.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

#125 Corner Crash

I know this has happened to almost everyone - you walk around a corner and run into someone coming around the corner the other way. Sometimes you crash into them, sometimes you narrowly avoid it. Today I narrowly avoided crashing into "7 Foot Ethan" at work. "7 Foot Ethan" is actually around 6'8" but I re-named him since it was an easier reference for my friends. Ethan was a good man and married "6 Foot Jenny". (I don't really call her that but it fit in so well here.)

I have scared countless strangers with the corner crash. First of all, almost running into anyone is startling, but when you almost run into a giant (me) it's even scarier. I always get a good laugh out of it. Their head almost hits my chest, they look up, Agh!! Scared twice!

Friday, November 19, 2010

#124 Tall Chick Flying South

Last Friday I left for Auburn, Alabama, home of my alma mater, Auburn University. I walked by the Vera Bradley store at the airport and was nearly blinded by the bright material. The bags are moderately tolerable one-at-a-time, but seeing an entire store is sensory overload. It looks like Vera herself threw up in there.

After passing through security I stopped at the little girl’s room, then heard my name over the PA system to come back to security for a lost item. Hmmm, I had my license and my backpack with lap top…what was I missing? I approached the security “office” and the little cubicle room held about eight people. One man asked me, “Are you missing anything?” I knew whatever my answer was I would feel stupid, and I was right. I had walked off without my carry-on luggage! I usually check my bags when I fly, but that is really no excuse. Maybe I can blame it on the muscle relaxer I took last night. My doc prescribed it for some low back pain and I did see memory loss as one of the symptoms. Holy cow – a great start to the weekend. At least I gave them all a good laugh.

As I drove from Hot-lanta to Auburn I heard one of my first favorite country songs on the radio – “Too Cold At Home” by Mark Chestnut. I resisted country music for most of my years at Auburn. The head trainer used to put the radio on a country station and then lock his office, with the music playing in the entire training room. Finally, my senior year I was dragged to a country bar two hours away in Dothan, Alabama - Cowboys. It had a huge dance floor and we learned how to two-step. It was so fun!

I met up with friends in Auburn, mostly former teammates, for a mini reunion/surprise 40th birthday party for Kendall. I played with Lisa, Kendall and Lynn. Steph was a trainer. Kendall married Stacy (a guy) who played football at Auburn. In all there were 11 people at Lisa’s house over the weekend, including her two boys and Kendall’s two boys. Whoa!!! We caught a women’s basketball game at the new arena, ate at Momma Goldberg’s, surprised Kendall with a stop at the Supper Club (the Velcro Pygmies are still playing!?) and capped off the weekend with the Auburn-Georgia football game Saturday afternoon. I saw people I hadn’t seen in almost 20 years! I think I laughed the entire weekend.

I got up at 4:30 a.m. Sunday to drive to Atlanta to catch a 9 a.m. flight. I had to get to work early Sunday and had also forgotten about the time change between Alabama and Georgia. I tried to be as quiet as I could in a house full of people. When I started the car my favorite college song started playing on the radio. The timing was perfect! It was the exact beginning of “Just Like Heaven” by the Cure. Too funny! I had a fabulous weekend with some great friends, the football Tigers won, and even though I didn’t get much sleep it was definitely worth it. War Eagle!

Hayes and Jake messing with (grandpa) Joe's picture at the arena museum

Linda and Kendall in back (naturally!); Lynn, Steph and Lisa in front

Ronnie, Steph, Stacy, Kendall, Sean, Connor, Hayes and Jake at Tiger Walk

Lisa, Hayes and Jake at Tiger Walk

We need more cow bell??

Video of Cam Newton going through Tiger Walk (he's in there, I swear!)

#123 Dr. Love

I take a class at my gym each Friday and have become friends with another woman in my class. We crack each other up and are often end up giggling about some exercise we are doing. A couple weeks ago she approached me about possibly being set up with a guy she works with. I’ll call him “Dr. Love” for the sake of anonymity. (If you want an explanation, just ask me. It’s nothing bad, just funny.) So Dr. Love asked her if she knew anyone to set him up with, and since he’s 6’5” she thought of me. She had no idea how old I was but told him I was older than him. He’s 25. Yes, I would play the role of Demi and he would be Ashton. Even though he’s out of my 10-up-10-down rule I told her I was up for it if my age didn’t freak him out. She then told me he had dressed up as Shrek for Halloween. “He painted his face green and he looked just like Shrek!” Hmmm. That didn’t make me feel great about my decision. Although if he had the personality of Mike Myers that would be great. Later on, after I gave her my e-mail, she said that everyone thought he was so funny and cute, and that she would go out with him if she weren’t married. She’s 47 so that’s saying something! I was out of town last Friday and hadn’t heard anything yet. This morning no mention was made of it, so I am taking that to mean Dr. Love is not interested. I guess it’s just as well. I don’t really want to be Princess Fiona.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

#122 Palladium

This past Tuesday night Paul and I went to the Palladium in Carmel to hear the Circle City Sound. One of his co-workers is in this choral group and he got free tickets, and Lori had to work late. They are doing practice concerts to check the sound before the big grand opening in January. Not everything is finished, but it is very nice and the sound was good. The seats have good legroom. One thing that was a little strange - the water fountain is right next to the men's restroom door. I mean right next to it. As in, if you are the second person in line for the water fountain, you are standing right in front of the men's restroom door. Not only are you in the way of someone entering, but you will get a nice view of the inside. You would think that someone planning a million dollar building like that would have thought that was a strange place to put a water fountain.

#121 Big Girl Shoes

Today I'm wearing my "big girl" shoes - 3" Me Too booties. When I put them on at the gym this morning I could see clear across the tops of the lockers. It's a little dusty up there!

Speaking of seeing things up high, sometimes in my house I squat down to see how others view things. Can guests see the caulk on the upper part of the tub/shower surround? And they probably wonder why I hang my pictures so high. Well, that's where I can see them!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

#120 Shaun Cassidy

Oprah’s November 4 show topic was heartthrobs, including Jackie Jackson, Shaun Cassidy, The Backstreet Boys and Peter Frampton. Shaun Cassidy was not only, my first heartthrob, but he was also my first concert. It was March 26, 1978, at Market Square Area. I was nine. Nine! It was a miracle I was able to go, since his concert was Easter Sunday and I come from a conservative, Lutheran family (do I need to even put "conservative" next to "Lutheran"?). I mentioned to my mom this past week that I was surprised she let me go to a concert on Easter and she said, “Well, the concert wasn’t in the morning, was it?” Hallelujah!

Shaun’s interview with Oprah was great. He was 19 when he performed at Market Square and is now 52. He hasn’t changed too much – he's a little heavier, has shorter hair (no long, feathered hair anymore!) and has the same puppy-dog eyes. He came across as very humble and appreciative of all of his fans. Here are a couple of his quotes from her show,

“You have this special connection with someone if you’re their first record or their first concert or their first poster or whatever it is,” Cassidy told Winfrey. “And I see the look. A 42-year-old woman will walk up to me and I see this beautiful little nine-year-old girl emerge in her eyes. I do. And it’s so touching.”

He hadn’t performed in public in around 30 years and did a short medley of “That’s Rock ‘N Roll”, “Hey Deanie” and “Da Do Run Run”. After the show I got my three Shaun Cassidy albums out of the basement. I also found some newspaper articles and my ticket stub tucked in one of the album sleeves. I paid $8. I must admit I don’t remember much about his show. I remember I went with Elizabeth Chafin, a girl in my class at school, and that we sat in the far back section. I don’t remember who went with us…her mom? her dad? I’m sure we didn’t go by ourselves, but who knows. And when I saw the date of the concert and realized I was nine at the time, his quote from above meant even more to me, as I am now 42.

It was such a good show (and I must say Peter Frampton is hot!) and was a great blast from the past. I taped the show and am going to give it to Julie to watch. Julie wasn’t as fortunate as I – her mom wouldn’t let her go to the concert and she has never forgotten it. Sorry Jules!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

#119 No Better Than This

Monday night I saw John Mellencamp at Clowes Hall. I was a last-minute addition to the group of Alyce, Angie and her daughter, Shelby. Angie's sister-in-law, Tracey, was supposed to go but is pregnant and on bed rest so I bought her ticket. She is a huge fan and has been to lots of his concerts. I've been to two, including this one. I must say, after this concert especially, and after meeting him (Post No. 94), I consider myself a real fan. I would definitely go see him again.

I do feel bad that Tracey couldn't go. She and Alyce bought the tickets at the Clowes box office and our seats were in the third floor balcony. We were technically about eight rows back, just very high. The rail came to the middle of my thigh. I was very careful to not topple over. It was the perfect space - we were able to dance around when we wanted. We did find out that Shelby is afraid of heights. She spent most of the concert sitting on the floor peering over the railing.

#118 Wonder Woman

One Halloween I dressed up like Wonder Woman, but I know a REAL wonder woman who got herself out of a very scary situation.

Click HERE to read her article in Marie Claire magazine.

I am posting this in hopes that everyone (men and women) will be more aware of situations they put themselves in and to be prepared in all circumstances. Not necessarily to live scared, just be prepared.

Be safe everyone!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

#117 Irvington Halloween Festival

Last Saturday was a busy day for me - I led a CIBA ride in the morning and then went to the Irvington Halloween Festival in the afternoon. It was very well attended and had a great time walking around looking at all of the vendors and costumes. At one point, while walking down Washington Street, a guy ran up to me and said, "You are the most impressive human being I've ever seen!" He was nice about it and said when he saw me he told his wife he had to go talk to me. What do you say to that? Thank you? That is what I said.

There are so many vendors at the Festival that make really cool stuff, but one that stuck out for me was Oceanne. Check it out, oui!

#116 Meijer Part Deux

I stopped at Meijer last night after work. I had on a pair of Clark's patent leather mary janes with 2" heels, so was feeling very fetching. A man stopped me in the cereal aisle and said, "Can I ask you a question?" Then he asked, "How tall are you in your bare feet?" After telling him he said, "In your bare feet? Really? Wow! Everyone in this store has been looking at you and saying WOW!" Just another day in the life of a super tall girl.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

#115 Goodwill

I peruse the Goodwill every now and then and have found great bargains. If I had a normal body type I might shop more often for clothes, but I usually look for frames or house ware items. Or in October I head there looking for the perfect Halloween outfit. I found a great Mary Catherine Gallagher skit and round collar shirt there a few years ago, and also found some red pants for my Sally O'Malley costume.

Last week Julie and I hit the Goodwill in search of a dress for her Doonese costume. (In case you've never heard of the aforementioned people, they are Saturday Night Live characters.) Once again, she found the perfect dress and also got some shoes. We do feel a bit bad that we're looking for costumes while others are looking for clothes they'll actually wear, but we like to be creative and store-bought costumes are expensive!

More on the end-result costume later. At the checkout, the teenage girl at the register mentioned our height (Julie's 5'11" and was wearing 3" heels; I was in my 2 1/2" heels). She was a little shorter than Julie and thought it was great to see women taller than her. We told her to be proud, stand tall and wear heels!

Friday, October 29, 2010

#114 Friday I'm In Love

With Halloween! Today we were allowed to wear Halloween costumes at work. My group decided to dress as a favorite musician/band. My first costume was James Taylor (bald cap, jean shirt, khaki pants), but as much as I love him (and you all know how much I do!) that is a little boring for me. This past Tuesday I had a revelation in my car on the way home from work. “Melt With You” came on the radio and I started thinking about music I loved from college, which made me think of The Cure, which made me think, “Robert Smith! Yesssss!” We did have a costume contest. As I was the host (and have won the title of best costume numerous times) I did not put myself in the running. Troy Polumano won best individual and a new band “EWeezy” narrowly edged out the Beastie Boys for best group. It was a great day…Just Like Heaven!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

#113 Tallk Chicks In The City

Last Friday I drove to Cincinnati to visit Tammy (my 6'3" friend), who was visiting from Florida. She's originally from Cincy and was visiting some old friends. I drove to Mr. & Mrs. G's and we headed out to visit Aunt Lillian. Aunt Lillian is 90-something and lives in an assisted living facility. She uses a walker but gets around great and is so quick and funny. And lovely - she has her nails done and dresses sharp. Lovely woman!

After that we drove to downtown Cincy to the Montgomery Inn. It's famous for ribs and this particular location is right on the Ohio River. We got there at 5 and had a window table. When we left after 6 the line was out the door.

After dinner Mrs. G, Tammy and I walked along the water for a while. Well, for an hour and 10 minutes, while Mr. G waited back at the restaurant. :-) It had been a beautiful, sunny day and was a nice evening walk. There are lots of interesting things to see along the walkway.

(More info. about this at

Tammy and I wrapped up the evening with a trip to Graeter's, another Cincinnati establishment with wonderful ice cream. I had the best chocolate coconut almond ice cream with whole almonds. Mmmmmmm.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

#112 Guinness World Record?

I was at Marshall's yesterday and a woman asked my height. After I told her she asked, "Are you in the Guinness Book of World Records?" Umm, no. I did happen to be wearing 3" heels, but at 6'9" am still way below the record.

The tallest recorded woman was 8' 3/4" (from China). Sandy Allan was the tallest living female at 7'7" until her death in 2008. She was from Shelbyville, IN and actually lived down the street from my childhood home for a while.

Monday, October 18, 2010

#111 Boiler Up!

Last weekend I went to the Purdue-Minnesota game with Paul, Lori and Megan. It was a beautiful day and just happened to be homecoming weekend, so we got lots of swag along the way (cups, beads, footballs, shakers, chili). Megan sat with Aaron in the student section and enjoyed their first-down cheer. We ate at the Ford Dining Court after the game. It’s all-you-can-eat and I definitely did. Met some of Aaron’s friends and also saw his dorm room. I did find a clean spot to sit down. :-) It was great to see Aaron and was a good game (Purdue won!).

#110 Sick And Tired...

Of being sick and tired! I’ve been sick twice in the past month and a half and I hardly ever get sick. I was sick September 6 and had a nice “air and water show” (as I heard it described on Bob & Tom) for a few days. I ate crackers and applesauce for four days. I also learned milk is NOT your friend during these shows. I recovered well enough to go on TRIRI (blog to come later).

Ironically, after recovering and having no issues for a week, I had a voluntary air and water show September 19 because of a colonoscopy. My mom had colon cancer so have screenings every five years. I felt like calling the doctor during my other show to see if they had an opening since I was already cleaned out.

So all is well and I bounced back when…I felt pukey the night of October 4. Throughout the night I felt nauseous and had a smaller air and water show. I stayed home from work the next day. You know when you think, “I wish I could stay home all day, lie around and watch TV.”? And then you actually stay home all day, lie around and watch TV and it’s not so fun when you get nauseous just sitting up? And your back hurts because you’ve been lying around all day? NOT fun. I recovered again and was well enough to do the Hilly Hundred (post #109). Why do I get sick right before a big biking event?

My weight dropped due to not eating during these times and I’m doing my best to get back to my fighting weight. You all know I can’t afford to lose any weight!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

#109 Hilly Hundred Weekend

Last weekend I rode in the 43rd annual Hilly Hundred. One of my first blog posts was about last year's Hilly. How time flies! And how I fly…down the southern Indiana hills! It was a spectacular weekend with 90-degree weather. Every time I thought it was too hot I remembered past years of 35-degree weather. I also enjoyed pretty foliage and fun people. This year I rode with a CIBA friend and his friends Saturday (Joe, Mark, Christina and her husband John, and Amelia) and added my friend Steve Sunday. I also saw lots of people I’ve met on other camping rides.

The Hilly has a costume contest Saturday. I’d never dressed up before (I know you’re surprised, right?) and decided to dress up like a roller derby girl. Easy to bike in! Joe complemented my outfit with his skull jersey. This was Christina’s first Hilly and she dressed up as Super Girl. She ended up getting honorable mention (Mini Mouse got first place).

I got…a lot of comments:

“I must tell you, I love your pantaloons.”; “Looking good Linda.”; I think I heard a, “Nice @$$.” from behind but wasn’t quite sure; My favorite came as I was standing on the side of the road waiting for Christina to take a picture. A big guy in his 50s with a mustache rode by and said, “Nice panties.”

Bonus local Indianapolis celebrity citing: Vaughn Wamsley!

Monday, September 27, 2010

#108 Meijer Deli

While at the Meijer deli last night, the deli-person nicely asked me how tall I was. She was fairly tall herself - maybe 6'0" - and asked me with a smile. It's amazing how my response to people differs when they ask nicely. Anyway, I told her and she said she would have to tell her tall guy friend that she met a woman so tall. Then she said he would ask her if I had any kids with a tall man. Apparently her tall friend wants to create a "Shaq baby" with a tall woman some day. I took my Jennie-O oven roasted turkey and walked away.

Friday, September 24, 2010

#107 Maternity Leave

I was forwarded an interesting phone call yesterday. The caller was surprised I answered the phone because they were told I was on maternity leave. Hmmm. I replied, "That's interesting because I've never been pregnant." After laughing about it with a co-worker, she reminded me about the other woman in the building with my first name and last initial. I had forgotten about her!

We used to get each others calls (we do work in different departments) and I would always think for a second I'd lost my mind. I'd answer and the person would say something like, "I talked to you yesterday about blah, blah, blah," and they'd go on about our conversation. I'd sit there thinking, "I have no idea who this person is and have no recollection of talking to them!" Then I'd say, "Are you wanting to talk to so and so?" Mystery solved. Well, "so and so" left, then came back, and she was fairly pregnant when I saw her last. Mystery solved again. And the baby loves clothes from the Gap in case you're wondering. Not Baby Gap; regular Gap. :-)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

#106 Won't You Be My Neighbor?

I live in an older neighborhood on the "EAST SIIIIIDE!" and have wonderful neighbors. Specifically, the Kelley's, who live next door. They raised five children in their bungalow, which is approximately the same size as my 1,100 square foot home. That's what people did back then. With one bathroom! They are retired and are always looking out for me. They pick up my mail/newspapers when I'm away (and sometimes water my outdoor plants) and are great eyes for the neighborhood. I've told Mr. Kelley several times that I strive for my yard to look like his - nicely manicured, no weeds. Perfection!

I got home late last night and was told by another great neighbor, Linda, that Mrs. Kelley had passed away yesterday afternoon. The past couple of years had been rough - knee surgery, early Parkinson's, and lately, some lung issues. I got back last Friday from vacation and she'd just been released from the hospital (fluid on her lungs). Each time she had a setback she'd do everything she could to get back home and outside. She loved her flowers and sitting on the back patio. Even when she had to use a walker she'd roll that thing into the back yard. And Mr. Kelley was a wonderful caregiver to her - doing all of the cooking, cleaning, yard work, etc. So many times I'd be outside and hear him call for her to know where she was.

Most of the people on my street have lived there for 20 or more years so he will have a great support system, but I will make sure I look out a little more for Mr. Kelley.

Rest in peace Mrs. Kelley! You are in God's garden now.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

#105 Don't Need Nothin' But A Good Time

Last Friday Julie and I saw Bret Michaels in concert at Rib America. We ran into Heidi, who got us into the VIP section, so we had a great view. I also ran into a couple of people from high school, which made it even funnier since Poison was in its prime during those years.

We thought we'd dress the part and sported bandannas and a hat.

He played mostly Poison songs with a few songs from his new album. He does put on a great show.

#104 Twilight Town Trek

I participated in a fun race August 21 - the Twilight Town Trek - in Indianapolis. Krista and Julie were partners, and I partnered up with Jen from work. You can work together as groups so we stuck together the entire race. We had to solve 13 clues and had to run all over town to take pictures of things. You could use only your own feet or the bus; no bikes, cars, cabs, roller skates, skateboards, etc. Jen estimated we ran around 4 miles. You could also phone a friend or use your iPhone. The race started at 6:30 p.m. at Scotty's Brewhouse.

Jen and I were the Michael Scott Paper Company, Inc. and finished with an actual time of 1:48:30. Our final time was 2:08:30 due to misreading one of the clues. In our defense, it was in Spanish. We did translate part of it correctly! We heard that most teams got this one wrong. I think we were the fifth team to come in (Julie and Krista were right in front of us) and were pleased that we beat a lot of the guy teams. Girl Power!! Our final place was 13 out of 55 teams. Not too shabby.

We had to take a picture of five people (non racers) spelling out the word TREKS YMCA style. These folks were good sports.

This was a sculpture at the Indiana Statehouse. Jen is shaking the tiny hand of someone (I can't remember who).

This is me lying on the Johnson County artwork at the Indiana State Museum.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

#103 My Hummingbird

Last night I sat on my deck and watched a hummingbird for about 15 minutes. They are fascinating! I received a hummingbird feeder for Christmas a couple years ago and put it up next to my deck. I've seen them every once in a while but never had any interaction until a few weeks ago. I picked tomatoes from my garden and, as I walked back to the house with a bowl full of red, a hummingbird hovered right in front of me for several seconds. Then this past Tuesday night I was working on my bicycle in the driveway (right next to the feeder) and I heard a faint chirping sound. The hummingbird was back! And it was all over the place - the feeder, the phone lines, the forsythia bush. It was not fazed by me in the least. In fact, it seemed as if it was calling to me to watch him. At one point I put my hand out by the feeder in hopes he'd land on my hand. He seems to be active around 8 p.m. so I will keep going outside to see him. Last night he started cleaning his feathers. So cute!

This reminds me of a cool story from six years ago. I was visiting a friend from college who was living with their mom at the time in another state. I wanted to bring a small thank you gift and said a prayer to find just the right gift as I entered Chelsea's in Broad Ripple. After wandering around I spotted some glass hummingbirds. Perfect! I gave it to the mom and she looked a little sad. She asked if my friend had told me the hummingbird story relating to her husband (my friend's dad). He had died of cancer several years before. I had not heard the story - he became bedridden and one of his little joys each day was watching a hummingbird by his window. Wow! She loved it and said it was a reminder of her husband. So last night as I watched the tiny creature I thought of my friend's dad (I got to know them well while in college) and of the joys one can find in the little things in life.

Monday, August 23, 2010

#102 Western Shoreline Tour

August 6
Julie and I drove to Mackinac City, Michigan today to begin our journey on the Western Shoreline bicycle tour. The tour is seven days of biking up the western shoreline of Lake Michigan. We planned to leave her house at 7 a.m. I recently purchase a Garmin and missed the tiny detail of choosing a different state other than Indiana. I now know for sure there is no Mackinac City, Indiana. After a slight delay we left at 8:30 a.m. All went well with “Jackson” my Garmin name (I chose the Australian man’s voice – the reason for my choice of name comes later). About ½ an hour from Mackinaw City a man drove up beside my car and pointed to my roof. My bike had just fallen over! Agh!! Straightened it out and continued on.

Even with the morning delay we had plenty of time to see Mackinac Island. Our hotel was right across the street from the ferry. We walked around the island and saw the outside of the Grand Hotel, many beautiful houses with beautiful gardens, the most wonderful library I’ve ever seen, and lots of bikes. No motorized vehicles are allowed on the island. I felt like I was in a small European town.

The funniest moment of the day was driving by this hotel sign on the way to our hotel. We drove back after our island adventure to take a picture.

August 7
Today was the pre-bus day – board the bus at a local high school and bus to Montague to the start of the ride. We had to remove our pedals and turn our handlebars so they could pack our bikes on two U-Hauls, and then boarded the bus. We sat across from an older gentleman who would turn out to be one of our best buddies during the week. If we had only known… Upon arrival at Montague we got our bags and started putting up our tent. Julie asked, “Where did you put the pedals.” MAJOR brain cramp – in my haste in getting our bags/bikes ready I had tossed our pedals in my trunk and then left them there. Four hours away in Mackinac City. Luckily the ride has a mechanic to help out along the ride and we were able to buy new pedals. I was not happy to start the ride out $80+ in the hole. The ride has a total of 378 riders. The average age is 53.

August 8
Woke up to cloudy skies and were told a storm was on the way. It began to rain as we started packing up our tent to move to the next town. Not fun. The storm finally passed and we hopped on our bikes to begin our first day’s ride to Ludington (60 miles). We rode away from the bad weather and didn’t have rain the rest of the day. We did, however, have three flat tires. Well, Julie did. Two front flats and one back flat. She did a great job changing them but did not appreciate the mosquitoes that swarmed around us on the side of the road.

We stopped at Cherry Point Market for fresh cherry turnovers and talked to the older gentleman we’d seen on the bus – John Jackson. He’s 87 and this is his 24th time doing this ride. He wasn’t riding this time though due to some health issues. I asked for a picture with him. He’s super nice, funny and sharp as a tack. Very cute too!

August 9
Today’s ride was from Ludington to Frankfort (66 miles). This time I had a flat but it was before we set out to ride so had the mechanic change it and check my rim. We became fast friends with the mechanics (Dave and his wife Sue and son Keith). We rode on M22 and passed by the town of Arcadia. My family spent time at Camp Arcadia, a Lutheran retreat, when I was a kid. We spent a week there for several summers. The camp is right on Lake Michigan. Julie and I detoured into town and walked around the grounds. It was the same, but better. Lots of improvements. I have great memories of that place and would love to go back sometime.

After Arcadia was the dreaded Watermelon Hill. Very short, but steep, hill, so named because the SAG folks had watermelon at a lookout point at the top. We even walked 117 steps to a lookout point overlooking the lake.

I got a scare today after Watermelon Hill. I was riding along and a snake appeared on the side of the road and slithered up next to me. I screamed and then it seemed to lift its head up like it was going to bite my ankle and my scream raised an octave or two. Julie was behind me and had no idea what was going on. I think I scared her as much as the snake scared me!

In Frankfort we walked into town after supper and saw the lighthouse and watched the sun set. We talked for a while to a couple of men on our ride. One of them said that when he first rode by us all he saw was legs. (Julie is 5’11”.)

August 10
We rode from Frankfort to Traverse City (65 miles). No flats today!! We stopped at Pt. Betsie Lighthouse and were a little disappointed by the smallness of the lighthouse. We had heard it was a nice thing to see, but when we came upon it Julie’s response was, “Huh.” It was cute, but pretty small. We got a good laugh out of it. We also rode around Crystal Lake. I love riding through the towns and seeing all the lake houses. Very cool.

Today was very hot and around mile 40 I was “cooked”. The rolling hills did us in too. We stayed at a civic center in Traverse City. It’s a very nice town and one of the most popular in Michigan.

My streak of celebrity deaths continues - this time it was former senator Ted Stevens. He died in a plane crash today.

August 11
We stayed two nights in Traverse City – our only layover day. Today we could ride to the Old Mission Peninsula or not ride at all. We rode to the peninsula (41 miles). We’d heard we could swim there and brought our suits and a towel. When we arrived, we saw that it was not a place to go swimming. Very rocky and mushy. Not a lot of beach. We walked around the lighthouse (it’s on the 45th parallel and halfway between the North Pole and the Equator).

Back at camp we sat by the tent reading and visiting with other riders, some of which are the following:

Howard and Jody – she was recovering from a ruptured mitral valve.
Robbie – met him on the TRIRI (Touring Ride in Rural Indiana). His computer broke early in the ride so when I saw him on the road I’d yell out the mileage.

George – met him on my first TRIRI and he told me about this ride. This is his 24th consecutive Shoreline tour.

Bob – met him at this year’s Bike Virginia. He began as FSU Bob to me (went to Florida State), morphed into The Weatherman (he knows a lot about weather!) and then to Hawaii Bob (used to live in Hawaii), then Bob Lawblaw (say it out loud!). We found we could remember names better if we associated people with something.

Katie and her dad – from Indy, we met them last year. I think she went to UIndy or just graduated.
Jim and Jack – the truck guys. They’d load and unload the luggage trucks every day.

Bubba – of Bubba’s Pampered Pedalers. After doing 30 some rides he decided people would pay extra to have someone put up their tents for them (and include air mattresses, chairs, clean towels, etc.). Bubba is a retired policeman, a big guy and a big personality. Underneath it all he’s a teddy bear. (This is the best pic I could find right now - he's on the right.)

Angry Steve – a friend of Bubba’s. He did not crack a smile, but was mainly joking.
Cabana Boy Dave (and his friend Stan) – met Dave in Frankfort and he said he would be our cabana boy if we ever bought a house along the lake. Although he was in his early 50s, so maybe Cabana Man fits better. His friend Stan joined the ride in Traverse City. We ate dinner with them one night and Stan did not get our sophomoric humor. My goal for the rest of the week was to make Stan laugh out loud. I did not succeed.
Ann and the twin sisters - they were some of the SAG (support and gear) drivers. (This is just Ann.)

Dave, Sue and Keith (mechanics) - they were lifesavers this week, along with being really good people!

This is just a small list of the many great people we met along the way. I like to say that doing these rides is like going to summer camp. The more times you go, the more people you meet and then the more people you keep seeing again and again.

August 12
We packed up again this morning and rode to Charlevoix, one of my favorite towns (60 miles). We rode with Bob today and stopped in Elk Rapids for coffee. He got the German chocolate donut. Here is a comparison of his donut and Julie's regular donut.

Rode by Torch Lake, which is noted for its exceptional beauty – the water is unusually clear and has a bright turquoise hue. Bob, who lived in Hawaii, said the water in Torch Lake was clearer and bluer than the water in Hawaii. Some famous property owners on Torch Lake are Kid Rock, Michael Moore, Eminem and Christine Lahti. Surprisingly, we saw none of these people.

Stopped at sunflower field along the way. They were a little small and droopy but so were we (droopy, due to the heat). We had a great lunch at the Torch Lake Park and got our legs in the water.

I spent some time with Bubba after dinner – ate dessert with him in the Pampered Camping tent. Bubba invited me to go on a motorcycle ride with him. As I was getting ready, Angry Steve said, “Bubba told me he was going to take a 7’ chick out on his motorcycle but I didn’t believe him.” After putting on a helmet, we rode around Charlevoix and he showed me his favorite house – a “mushroom” house designed by Earl Young. I’d never heard of this man before, but he built 40 of these houses in Charlevoix. They are various sizes and very cool. We met Bob and Julie in downtown Charlevoix and walked around a bit. Julie, Bob and I walked through a neighborhood and ended up being invited into one of the mushroom houses (the Abide house). Watched another fabulous sunset.

August 13
Today we rode to Harbor Springs (31 miles) on the Little Traverse Wheelway. We have seen some pretty scenery this week, but wish we could have seen more of the lake along the ride. We saw this sign along the wheelway and it seemed to sum up our feelings of the lack of water.

Had lunch in Petoskey, which is named for the state stone of Michigan. We stopped at a farmer’s market and had homemade donuts (I had cherry). Riding into Harbor Springs is one of my favorite parts of the ride. The homes along Lake Michigan are amazing – they have been in the same families for generations and are stately with beautifully manicured lawns/gardens. We found a small public beach area and finally went swimming. It felt great!

August 14
The last day of the ride – we rode to Mackinaw City (43 miles). The main route is supposed to go through the Tunnel of Trees, which is along Michigan highway 119. Everyone says it’s a spectacular drive. Last year we rode through it in the rain and I had a flat. We were warned that there is a higher likelihood of flats along this road when it rains. And, honestly, it’s a road with trees. Not super spectacular. We saw trees all week. It rained during the night and a little when we left so we decided to take an alternate route along State Road on our way to Cross Village. It actually turned out to be very scenic countryside and we had NO flats so we were happy with our choice.

After showering at the school, Julie, Bob and I headed out for lunch to get some pasties at the Mackinaw Pastie & Cookie Co. Before you get the wrong idea, these are actually pastries filled with ground beef, potatoes and onion. They originated as a meal for miners in England and later Michigan’s Upper Peninsula wives would make them for their husband’s lunch. The correct pronunciation is “past-ee”.

After lunch we drove to a park near the Mackinaw Bridge. After dropping Bob off we said more goodbyes and headed to our hotel. We then took a ferry for a second trip to Mackinaw Island. We found this t-shirt at a shop and had to buy one for ourselves. We saw them last week but they didn’t have our size so we weren’t able to wear them on the ride.

August 15
Drove back to Indy today. Jackson quit working midway through the trip. Luckily I was on I69 so knew where I was going. The bikes stayed upright also, so was a successful trip home.

To explain the Garmin name - I decided on the name Jackson for two reasons. My dad, Jack, is a human map, so originally called it Jack. Then I met John Jackson and since this was the inaugural Garmin trip, morphed the name to Jackson.

Stay tuned for our next biking adventure! If you're one of my Facebook friends, check out more pictures in my Western Shorleine album.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

#101 Love The Library!

This post is in honor of my favorite librarian, Mary. I love the library! I love books in general and have always loved to read. As a kid I would climb a tree in our front yard and sit up there and read (and keep an eye on the neighborhood happenings). Despite my love of books, I don’t own many. Why buy them when you can get them for free? My first memory of a library was joining the summer reading club as a kid. Read a certain number of books and you get a free bookmark! Some of my favorites back then were the Encyclopedia Brown and The Chronicles of Narnia series, “Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret”, and “The View from the Cherry Tree”. As an adult I discovered that you can put books on hold and pick them up when they are available. Just yesterday I picked up three. I still feel excited when I walk out of the library with a book in hand. It’s the best!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

#100 Megan's Mom

Yesterday I had dinner with Aaron at Steak n Shake. He leaves for Purdue in a little over a week so want to spend as much time with him as possible. I know he’s not falling off the face of the earth but it will be strange without him here. After a great dinner (I had the new guacamole burger) we headed to McAlister’s Deli, where Megan works. She’s moved up to the register now. Aaron and I were so close to having her take our order but another register popped open. Darn it – I wanted or order a pickle. Or a club sandwich with all of the items brought out on separate plates (“I have to build the sandwich myself.”). Not to be. After Aaron and I sat down he told me that the new manager asked him if I was Megan’s mom. Sigh. I am getting to THAT point in my life where I am now someone’s mom and not their sister. I still feel a small victory when someone calls me Miss instead of Ma’am. Aaron and I hung out for a while watching a show on ESPN about men who catch catfish with their bare hands. They wade into a creek and then go underwater to feel around for them. The catfish end up “eating” their arm and then they pull them out of the water. Gross! But I digress…I had a nice evening with Aaron (and Megan).

And congrats to me on my 100th posting! What a milestone!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

#99 Improv 101

Yesterday I completed an eight-week short-form improv course at Comedy Sportz. A friend of mine sent me a Groupon and I decided to give it a try. I've always been a fan of former Second City people (Dan Aykroyd, Chris Farley, Tina Fey, Bill Murray, Gilda Radner, Martin Short to name a few) and thought it would be fun to get a glimpse into the improv world.

The class met every Monday for two hours. We started out with about 20 people, which dwindled down to a group of around 10 regulars. The first few classes started out slowly - warm-up games, pretending to be things (using sound and motion), team building exercises - then progressed to starting scenes (establish who, where and the the conflict). We worked on doing one-minute, two-minute and three-minute scenes. For a one-minute scene, two people got on stage and were given a topic like shoes. "Go!" So you'd just start talking and bouncing things off of each other. The two and three-minute scenes were for three people [two on stage, one in the wings ready to come on when called for ("We need a doctor!") or if they thought the scene needed another character].

I always thought it was harder than it looked and I found out how much harder it really is. A few times I was on stage, given a topic, and my teammate and I looked at each other and might have actually said, "I got nothing!" So we'd laugh and start over. After last week's class I told everyone I stunk at improv. I feel better after last night's class. We played more games, I felt better about my performances, and the teacher told us that improv is a learned skill, not necessarily a talent.

I highly recommend anyone going to a ComedySportz match. I've been to two performances in the past month. The "actletes" rotate and the games differ so you get a new performance every time. It's also family friendly so it's fun for all ages.

Monday, August 2, 2010

#98 "What Are You Waiting For?"

I stopped in my neighborhood Honda dealership Saturday to pick up something in the parts department (note to self - they are closed on Saturdays) and a salesman there stopped me and asked where I played basketball. Then he asked me how tall I was. Then he asked me if I had any children. After I said no, he asked, "What are you waiting for?" I'll give him credit - it was a question I've never been asked before. My reply - "I need a man first." Well, I'd actually like to have a husband first...

Friday, July 30, 2010

#97 Liberty Basketball Association

A co-worker just e-mailed me this article to remind me of a somewhat embarrassing part of my basketball past.

Yes, that's me in the photo. Nevermind the crazy outfit, am I wearing a scrunchie?

I was finishing my last quarter in college and was invited to participate in an experimental league with a shorter floor, smaller ball and shorter goal. What I was not told before my arrival was about the uniforms. I remember going in the room and being speechless looking at a UNITARD. I also remember holding it up by the top shoulder straps and it looked as if it would fit a small child. Being thin, I was one of the lucky ones. Some of those girls were a bit heavier and I am not sure how they got the thing on. One trip down the court and I had an atomic wedgie. I wanted to keep the uniform as a souvenir but they wouldn't let me have it.

The game time was in the afternoon so I thought everyone I knew at school would be in class. Then I got back to class and had several people (mostly guys) tell me they watched it! They did say that I looked pretty good compared to some of the heavier girls.

Despite a bit of embarrassment, it was fun, all-expenses paid trip. I think I came in second in the slam dunk contest.

#96 Colonoscopy

My family has a history of colon cancer (my mom, her sister and brother) so I am due for my third colonoscopy next month. I get screened every five years. For those of you who have never had one, you are lucky.

I called to make my appointment yesterday and had to answer lots of questions (they updated their computer system since my last visit). The woman asked my height ("You are tall!!") and weight ("My, you are skinny!") among other things. She even made a comment later on about giving me some of her weight. Well, while you're poking around back there, why don't you just inject some of that fat up my bum. :-)

#95 Indianapolis Tennis Center

It’s the end of an era. In August the Indianapolis Tennis Center will be no more. For those unaware, Indianapolis has been home to the Indianapolis Tennis Championships (formerly RCA Tennis Championships, formerly the U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championships). In addition to the outdoor stadium and outer courts, the indoor tennis facility will also close. That facility has around 800 members. The IUPUI tennis team also plays there. It will be a great loss for the downtown area and the Indianapolis tennis community.

I went to the RCA Championships at least once when women participated. I remember going with Paul once (he played tennis in high school) and he took lots of pictures of the women players. Back then I liked watching Boris Becker, Ivan Lendl, Stefan Edberg. My favorite though was Aaron Krickstein. Who, you might ask? He’s a tall, dark and handsome player from Michigan who is probably most famous for his 1991 U.S. Open loss to then 39-year old Jimmy Connors.

For the past 10 years I have volunteered at the tournament in patron hospitality. Basically I would help direct people attending corporate parties. It was great fun to be immersed in all things tennis for a whole week. One year my duties included taking dessert tickets from the players (at one time they ate in the same area as those who paid for the expensive buffet) and I took a ticket from Patrick Rafter one night. Sigh. Another night David Wheaton spoke to me for a while (asking about my height and family, etc.). Last year turned out to be the last tournament in Indy. I think Atlanta got the dates this year. My volunteer buddies got together a few weeks ago for a cookout. Funny, we’d see each other once a year but it felt like no time had gone by. I hope we can continue to get together even though the tournament is gone. I will especially miss Jane, who died in 2007. Jane was the life of the party, but most importantly, one of the nicest people I have ever known. RIP Jane and the Indianapolis Tennis Center and Championships.

Monday, July 26, 2010

#94 R.O.C.K in the USA

Last Saturday was a day of music! Megan and I saw country singer Luke Bryan (the Academy of Country Music’s top newcomer for this year) perform at the Brickyard in the Pagoda Plaza. We got a spot up front and got some really good pictures. He put on a great show and even did some rapping, including Vanilla Ice's "Ice, Ice Baby". Despite the Ice, it was extremely hot out there. It was a relief to get back to the car and crank the AC to level 4.

Megan was HAPPY to see Luke!

Later that night I went downtown with Krista, Kenny, Phil and Michelle to see if we could catch any stars out and about. Last year Phil and Michelle saw Peyton Manning at Harry & Izzy’s. The only celeb we saw there was Ericka Flye from Channel 6 news. We also saw a guy sitting by himself that they thought was a Colt’s player but was never confirmed. We decided to leave and on our way out saw none other than Indiana rocker John Mellencamp, hanging out, smoking on the sidewalk with what we guessed were his two sons. I tentatively approached him, telling him I loved his music and asking permission to get a picture taken with him. He obliged and even put his arm around me. I admit that I was a bit intimidated by him – I wasn’t sure how he would respond and I always try to be mindful of invading someone’s privacy. I also told him that I had seen his artwork at the Herron School of Art several years ago and liked it. Anyway, he seemed fairly friendly and not bothered by my request, so I deemed it a success. I do like his music (saw him in concert once) and even think he’s kinda cute. Not as hot as Luke Bryan, but the man definitely exudes cool.

This blurry picture was taken by Michelle on her Blackberry and I think it’s hilarious. He’s probably thinking, “Holy @#$#@ this girl is tall!”

Thursday, July 8, 2010

#93 Bike Virginia 2010

I returned to Virginia for Bike Virginia 2010. This time we started in Staunton and also spent time in Harrisonburg. It was HOT. We rode through the Shenandoah Valley along the Blue Ridge Mountains. I met up with Steve again.

Unfortunately Bruce wasn't able to make it.

A few highlights:

The first two nights we stayed at a middle school in Staunton. The showers were nice and we did have warm water but...the shower head came to my belly button. Not kidding. I had to squat to wash my hair. I don't remember middle school kids being that short.

Thanks to Steve I now have a fake name ready to use at a hotel if I ever become famous. You will have to ask me about it. It was featured on South Park. If any female readers out there need a fake name, might I suggest Miss Hussey. She is a teacher at the Staunton middle school.

I got turned around about three times over six days so vowed to buy a GPS when I got home. Haven't yet, but am looking.

Steve and I watched a group of high schoolers at Point Guard College while at the campus of Eastern Mennonite University. I asked one of the counselors for a t-shirt but came up empty handed. Apparently he didn't think a 6'6" woman wearing a Point Guard College t-shirt was good advertising.

I learned the difference between llamas and alpacas Some of us stopped to take pictures of these alpacas. The owner ended up getting his camera to take pictures of us!

I broke the law twice by exceeding the speed limit on my bike. Once I was going 35 in a 30 and another time I was going about 28 in a 25. Woo hooo!!

I visited with Kelly and Mary on the front and back end of my bike adventure. It is always great to see them. We spent time at the Charlottesville downtown mall and I brought them good parking luck when we ate at Fry's Spring Station, a new pizza place there that is in an old gas station. Very cool place and very good pizza. And only four parking spots.

A couple comments I heard while riding:
- "I'm in awe of the size of your frame every time I see you." Hmmm, MY frame or my bike frame?

- "Where were you when I was your age?" Said by a 60-ish gentleman. In high school, sir.

All-in-all, I had a wonderful time!