Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Suddenly Susan

Today is my 53rd birthday.  It's just a number.  I don't really know what it means to be 53 yet.  I'll get back to you on that.

I'm not sure when I became Suddenly Susan. It was one of those gradual things.  You know ... like "The Velveteen Rabbit". Actually, that's exactly how it happened ...........

“What is REAL?" asked the Velveteen Rabbit one day... "Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?"

"Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When [someone] loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real."

"Does it hurt?" asked the Rabbit.

"Sometimes," said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. "When you are Real you don't mind being hurt."

"Does it happen all at once, like being wound up," he asked, "or bit by bit?"

"It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't often happen to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept.

"Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand... once you are Real you can't become unreal again. It lasts for always.”
Margery Williams, The Velveteen Rabbit or How Toys Become Real  

Friday, May 25, 2012

Oh, What a Pile of Crap!

Composting. I'm trying it for the first time this year. The price of dirt forced me into this crazy decision. And, the fact that I love, love, love the idea of recycling my veggie peelings, fruit skins, egg shells, moldy bread, lawn clippings and lint.

LINT? That's what put the hook in me.  A friend of mine recently told me that lint is something that can be put in the compost pile. I just think that's sooooo fascinating!

CONTAINERS: I have had two big plastic bins laying around just taking up space. I'm not sure what they had in them before, but they had an odor that made it impossible to use them for anything else. So, I had run out of excuses as to why I shouldn't try composting. Gene gladly drilled some holes in it for the air to circulate and to allow ants and other insects to go in and do their work.

Now, I've written in previous posts that I am not a gardener. I don't like gardening in the least bit. However, I do have a couple of topsy-turvy containers for tomatoes and I do plant  5 pots of flowers for my back yard. 

So you might ask what I'm gonna do with "home-made" dirt.  Not sure.  It might end up being a colossal, crappy mess.  As a matter of fact, there are already dozens of fruit flies buzzing around in the first bin I've started, forcing me to question whether I should be in the dirt-making business. I figure fruit flies are part of the process, right? The weather hasn't gotten hot enough to bake those nasty little flies but it will. And I'm going to laugh like a mad-woman when they all die and become part of the crap heap. (insert evil laugh here!) 

Do you compost?  

love, susan

Friday, May 18, 2012

Wanna Ride?

Safety first.  That's our motto.  Even if we melt to death .....

The last trip was a long one, which provided  me endless miles and miles to think while driving. You think driving while drinking is bad?  Driving while thinking comes in a close 2nd.

Among the gazillion things that went through my mind was a list of important things I need to remember when I suit up and roll. Perhaps something here will help you think about the things you do for fun and tips you've learned along the way that you can share.

NEVER RIDE WEARING A BUTTON-UP SHIRT: I've only done this once, in Arizona. I narrowly escaped a wardrobe malfunction of the Janet Jackson kind. That was very early in my motorcycling riding days.  I discovered why one needs a leather vest on hot days. It keeps all the flapping material (and fat!) tucked close to the body. Along with this tip, I cut off all the ties on my hoodies. It's so annoying when they come flying up in my face.

IF A BEE FLIES UP INTO YOUR FULL FACE HELMET, DON'T PANIC: I had this happen twice last year. Buddy, you just gotta man-up and take the sting cuz you can't do squat about it. And hope your mama doesn't hear the string of 4 and 6-letter words coming out of your mouth. While riding last week I decided to open up my face shield and I took a bug hard on my face. What doesn't make you squeal like a girl, makes you tougher. I hope that bug died fast

SAY A PRAYER TO THE UNIVERSE:  This is personal to me. When I start my bike, I get myself mentally prepared to ride. I always say "Please let me ride safely today. Let me leave all my worries right here in the drive-way so I can focus on my surroundings, enjoy another day of riding and return home in one piece to ride again." I have to do this. Motorcycling requires focus and attention. I can't go out there with a bunch of heavy stuff on my mind. I'm serious as a heart attack about this.

TAKE HYDRATION AND SNACKS: I usually fill a thermos full of coffee and a container of water or Gatorade. When we ride with a group, our destination is usually some cool place that welcomes bikers for lunch. I still like to have something that will give me quick energy if I have a hypoglycemic moment. A granola bar, an apple, peanut butter, anything with some sugar in it.

GO BIKING WITH FRIENDS: We have many friends who enjoy biking. I can't think of a much better way to spend time with them than rolling over the hills and around curves and then sitting down over a hamburger and Diet Coke to catch up with them. Big smiles!

KEEP A MAP ON YOUR BIKE: For obvious reasons. Around here, there are miles of country roads. Not all of them show up properly on the maps but you can get darn close if you have a guide.

ABOVE ALL THINGS ..... GO WITH A LIGHT HEART:  There is nothing worse than starting out a ride with stress. I've taken to asking Gene to fill my tank and wash my bike on Monday while I'm at work. It makes Sunday morning rides so pleasant to start with a clean bike and gas. Who wants to take care of those chores at the last minute? Not me. Makes me cranky.

Okay, now it's your turn.  What recreational activity do you enjoy and what tips can you tell me from your experience?

love, susan


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

What Makes SuddenlySusan Happy

I have a new pen pal at Letter Writing Project.  I found her blog introduced on another blog I follow. She had a great idea that I wish I had thought of. She posts up simple questions and invites the reader to send her a card/letter with the answers to the questions. Yesterday's question was "What makes you happy?"  I had such a good time writing her a list that I decided to share on my blog. 

These are in no particular order.

Sunshine, Thai iced tea, writing, photography, snow days, going to the movies, a good, blue medium point pen, flowers, talking with my son on the phone, motorcycling, music, hiking, visiting our grandkids, ice cream, mowing the lawn, blogging, working, reading, making greeting cards, helping others, baking, dining out, going for coffee tea with friends, having people over for dinner, playing with my dog, listening to my husband laugh, going for long drives, picnics, the beach, receiving hand-written letters from friends and family,shopping at thrift stores, yard sales, making my husband laugh, a text from anybody, parades, hot chocolate, potlucks at work, hot sunny days, road trips, new recipes, curry pumpkin at my favorite Thai restaurant, a fresh haircut and highlight.

To be continued ...

What makes you happy?

love, susan

Monday, May 14, 2012

690 Miles ~ A Record Run for This Mama

At Rowena Crest
Three days of motorcycling made me so happy to show up for work today. 

690 miles. I felt like someone stabbed a hot knife in my back for the last 200 of it but I kept riding. What are ya gonna do? Call your mama?

Richland-->Vancouver-->Astoria--> Hillsboro -->Richland

A fun 3 days but I'm not gonna sign up for that again anytime soon. I'm thinking 200 miles will be like nothing the next time we go. It's about perspective.

This is the longest motorcycle trip I've been on. I'm not sure I'm ready to do it again but we likely will. The best part was riding down roads we've not travel together before. The worst part was we did too much stopping on the ride home and ended up in the heat of the day. Luckily, I had plenty of ice water on board. It is unseasonably warm here right now and it can cause havoc if you're not hydrated.

I was glad to get to see my dad before he left for Alaska today. He'll be up there all summer and into early fall.

Me and my Dad
On the way home yesterday, we stopped in The Dalles and shared a plate of pad Thai and fresh spring rolls at our most favorite Thai restaurant, Montira's Thai Cuisine. It was mother's day and I'm a mother. I will forever regret not having a Thai iced tea.

Me and my honey-bunny
It seems like it took forever to get home after eating lunch. The only thing holding my attention to the road was that horrible stabbing pain between my shoulder blades. I'm pretty sure it's the reason more bikers stay on the road than ones who fall asleep at the handle bars. 

It was an epic weekend in my life. One of many. I can hardly wait to see where we go next!

love, susan

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

A Year Ago

A whole year has gone by?  Here's what I was doing this time last year: Sock It To Me Will Ya

Short post today.  Must go to work now.

love, susan

Monday, May 7, 2012

Sunday Ride to Walla Walla - 132 Miles

Walla Walla, WA.  A city they loved so much, they named it twice.

We took a short motorcycle trip today, logging 132 miles to Walla Walla, taking a route I've never been on before. I love those lonely country roads nobody else takes.  We only had to slow down once for a pair of deer to cross the road.  Mercy, they are such fearful animals but so cute when they hop like bunnies through the fields. 

We stopped to share a sandwich in Walla Walla and then headed home with a nice, long rest at the bird refuge. If my card reader was working properly, I'd have some fun pics to post. We saw 11 turtles resting on a log today catching some rays. A sight I have never seen before. They managed to all fit on the log by pigging-backing each other which made it look like they were playing leap frog. I think nature is amazing when I see things like this. We also saw a gazillion yellow finches and another beautiful orangy-yellow songbird I have yet to identify. I don't fancy myself as a true bird watcher but maybe with a few more years under my belt and nothing else to do, I could get into it. I shot some pics and maybe I'll get them posted soon.

It was a nice, short ride considering we are running at $8.20 a gallon every time we both roll.  Yikes. The weather could have not been more perfect.

Hope you did whatever it is you love to do on a Sunday afternoon.  It's back to work for me today!

love, susan 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

10 Reasons Why I Can't Be a Real Housewife of Tri-Cities

Another inspiring prompt from Mama's Losin' It Writer's Workshop.  This prompt literally jumped off the page at me.  I love lists and this one will be easy-peasy.

10 Reasons I Suck as a Housewife 

  1. I despise housework.
  2. I rather dislike shopping.
  3. I prefer to have someone else clean the oven.
  4. I stink at trying to figure out what to make for dinner.
  5. I am a terrible gardener.
  6. I have absolutely no decorating skills.
  7. I almost always would rather be somewhere else than home.
  8. I don't do windows.
  9. I do laundry on an "as-needed" basis. 
  10. I am no Martha Stewart.
How about you?

love, susan

Things I'd Do If I Had An Endless Bucket of Time: Part 1

I have a good friend who works in the trades which means she works when there is work and she sits it out when there isn't work. I thin...