Sunday, March 27, 2011

My Love Affair with Motorcycles



ABOVE you see the model and year my first motorcycle. I was 19 years old at the time of purchase.

Actually, I co-owned this baby with my little brothers, ages 9 and 11.

We earned the $$$ for this set of wheels by selling candy out of our garage.

THE STORY OF OUR ENTREPRENEURIAL ENTERPRISE: The local public school bus stopped right in front of our driveway which gave me a brilliant idea, born out of the fact I was absolutely aching for a motorcycle. My plan involved becoming a RETAILER. I would purchase 'the goods' (CANDY) from a wholesale vending machine outfit at bargain basement prices and we (my brothers + I) would sell 'the goods' at PREMIUM prices due to our prime real estate location. The boys came on board 200%.

So, I set up the store before the school bus arrived. Then, I flipped up the garage door just as I heard the bus coming 'round the bend. LOTS of ravenous kids poured out of the bus, including my brothers . . . my business partners. They set to work, helping me with sales.

Well, we made quite a fortune from this convenient retail location. Indeed, profits were sufficient to buy our motorcycle, just in the nick of time. We were forced to shut down the operation due to the howls of parental protest throughout our neighborhood. (BTW, I know that it was morally wrong to give children cavities and tummy aches. I have a more enlightened perspective which comes with age.)

To this day, my grown-up brothers have old motorcycles sitting in their garages and it all started in a GARAGE back in 1972.

************************

During my first year of marriage, 1975 - 1976, my husband and I lived in Spain and snagged . . .

a very classy MOTORCYCLE.



A BMW street bike from the World War II era.

It took us on some AMAAAAZING trips during our year abroad.

Yes. That's actually me behind that helmet.

This bike served as the back wall of our lean-to tent, created from plastic sheeting.
We were young and managed fine with bare-bones lodgings during our travels.

****************

When we returned to Utah, there was the Honda CL 175 Twin Scrambler:


My husband and brother Scott tore apart the engine and rebuilt the transmission.
It became my primary vehicle in the warmer months.

Once a cop took me for an under-aged boy and pulled me over, sirens blaring.
He showed signs of deep embarrassment when he found out there was a woman behind that helmet . . .

and she was definitely of age.

Back in those days, we women cyclists were FEW on the road. (Especially in Utah.)

**********************

It wasn't long before I was pushing strollers rather than riding motorcycles.

As a single mom, WRECK-LESS BEHAVIOR definitely out of bounds.

However, when my son was 13-ish, his best friend's father came over on a KAWASAKI 450:

He was selling it. I asked if I could take it for a spin. Oh how GLORIOUS!

Impulsively, I wrote out a $300 check for the bike and acquired it the same day.

My mother said she was waiting for that to happen.

My kids were completely genuinely appalled.
They had no idea that their dear mother was actually a Motorcycle Mama.



I rode that sweet bike for over a decade.

It helped me decompress after long days of running a child care center.

I loved to vroooooom over the scenic windy mountain passes, here in the Rockies.

*********************

In 2008, my spine was rebuilt to look like THIS:


After becoming a bionic woman, I really REALLY considered my motorcycle days to be over.

Made me awfully sad to sell that Kawasaki 450.

HOWEVER,
when I went Island Hopping with Leah in February of this year,

I threw caution to the tropical winds
and rented a fine little chariot on the island of Bonaire.


Bonaire has roads like THIS:



Look at this photo.
Who in their right minds would NOT want to go motorcycling there?


My joyride took me over every mile of asphalt on that island.

It felt sooooooo good. Oh my goodness! I had almost forgotten that inexplicable BLISS.

Of course I had to take extra pain meds that night.
My new spine didn't exactly LIKE the ride.

However, it was completely WORTH IT.

My only regret - no photos.



Wait a minute! I FOUND ONE:






Sunday, March 20, 2011

St. Paddy's & Go Karts

Here's a tribute to this week's holiday -

video

Okay. I just plopped goofy photos of my grandkids' faces onto those animated bodies.
(The ambulatory grands, that is.)

None-the-less, two of those kids - Brinley + Avery - really CAN do Irish dancing
and they do it quite well, I must confess!

If you don't believe me, you can see them HERE.


My Chicago kids, Kelty and Duane, have told me all about their city's St. Paddy's Day celebration.
I didn't quite believe them when they said that the river is dyed GREEN.

Well, it is:


***********************

This week my nephew Matthew was here from California
while his dad was leading a conference.

I discovered the way to a 13 year-old boy's heart . . .


GO KARTS!

He was zipping around so fast that my shots were not the greatest quality.

However, I certainly caught the EXHILARATION,
with a little help from PhotoShop!




Sunday, March 13, 2011

Beloved Canine Friend

My grandchildren adore Grandma Ginger's dog.

The photo above is my eldest grandchild, taken about a million years ago.

I mean, she's losing her baby teeth and soon turning eight years old!


When certain grandchildren call on the phone, they are happy to talk with me,
and even HAPPIER to have a little chat with their canine friend.

Tonight, as is often the case, I dutifully put the phone up to my dog's ear,
as the kids cooed tender, loving words to their furry friend.

My dog is a pure-bred MUTT from the pound.

She's almost ten-years-old, but she can still learn NEW TRICKS.


Recently, she learned how to hold her biscuit between her jaws until I tell her she can go eat it.

I can take a stroll around the house while she's latching onto that biscuit,
waiting for my cue.

A friend tells me this is sadistic.

Actually, my dog LOVES this game. Not just the biscuit, but the GAME.

*******************************

Here's a local sign of SPRING:

(Photo - courtesy of John Curtis.)

Ice on our lake is breaking up.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Best Thing in My Kitchen

Have you heard of the Blendtec blender?
If not, you're missing out.

These machines are so much more than your average blender on the market.

They grind wheat or flax seed.

They make perfect soups without a stove.

They crush ice, juice, and make ice cream.

Tom Dickson, the CEO of Blendtec, took this machine of his to the limit with his YouTube videos entitled:

Four years ago, he started with boring stuff like rake handles . . .


Then he moved into the high-tech arena with iPhones:

Here's what an iPhone looks like AFTER it is blended:


In 2010, Tom moved up the high-tech ladder and blended an iPad:

YouTube Hits on the iPad blend = over TEN MILLION!

Tom Dickson is about the most FAMOUS guy I know.

When I was a kid, he was a twerpy teenager hanging around in our garage,
tinkering with my bro and calling me by the nickname of DinDin.

His tinkering - not his name-calling - paid off BIG.

Along with a gzillion other people, I'm a beneficiary of his brain child.

This machine does the healthy stuff . . .

like my daughter demonstrated on this week's blog post - HERE.


and not-so-healthy, but really TASTY STUFF.



Well, there IS fruit in the ice cream. BTW, it's really, really easy.

Did you see the fruit in that first blender in the post? That smoothie will be BOTH
terrifically tasty AND packed with good, fresh nutrients.
Think
Jamba Juice made at HOME. BTW, they are the blender used by Jamba Juice.

If you own a Blendtec blender,
would you take 2 SECONDS to VOTE it as the World's Best Blender - HERE.
I already know you people think it's TOPS.
And it would be awfully nice if you voted for dear Tommy.

If you don't own one, talk to me.
I'll get you a great deal that you won't find at Costco.

All boxed up, with a super-duper warranty.

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