Wednesday, March 18, 2009


This is a test...........

Hello? Anybody out there?

If you're actually reading my blog, please sign in in comments.

That is all.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

An Opportunity Lost

Okay.... so I went to hospital today , to give blood? And I , like, well, went to the front desk and told them I was there to give blood? And she gives me, like, this buzzer and told me to wait over there? "Geez", I'm thinking, "I don't remember having to do this before". Ten minutes later another lady tells me that, no, I really don't have to sit here and wait for a buzzer. But the nice lady gave me a $5 gift certificate at the gift store for waiting when I didn't have to (and not yelling at her, prolly)

Anyway, got to the lab, drank their bottle of water, and started filling out their yes/no form.

In the last month have you had any innoculations or shots?

Hmmm , maybe... "Do numbing shots count?" , I asked. I had gone to the dermatologist a couple weeks ago and she took some biopsies. "Were they okay?" the nurse asked. I had to admit that one had been a basil cell cancer. When she asked if there was anything else they planned to do and I told her that they were going to cut some more from around it, she told me that I couldn't give blood if I wasn't done with the whole thingy. Oh well.

I went back to the lab waiting area to get my coat. One of the guys there asked me why I couldn't give, so I explained the situation. As I was getting out of the car at home, I thought , dang! I missed this great opportunity! I should have told them I'd had unprotected sex with a Jamacan druggie who just got out of juvie. Dang!

Friday, January 9, 2009


For several years, now, I have worked at the University Book Store twice a year during their rush periods at the beginning of each semester , and Tuesday was my first day to return this semester. Usually I take the bus (to save money) and so, as I readied myself for work, I stuck a dollar in my pocket for the bus and some extra change in case the price of the ride had risen.

The bus came, I reached into my pocket for my rolled up one, stuck it down the slot, and proceeded to ride the bus to work.

Linda Threllkell is a friend who used to live across the street from me and who also works rush at the bookstore. She and I had taken a watercolor class together in the fall and she had found a wonderful watercolor book (cheap) on e-bay and had bought a couple copies for us to learn from. She brought my copy to work that Tuesday.

It's a great book and she only paid $7.50 or so for it, and that even included postage. I hadn't paid her yet , so I reached into my (other) pocket for the $20 I had brought with me for lunch and stuff, and came out with.... a one. .....huh.......?

Dang! I had stuffed my $20 into the bus slot! Now, mind you, Ames has a great bus system, but it's not $20 great. I called them up - admitted what I did - and , after they had checked their tills that night, traded them my $20 for a $1.

One of the strange parts of this story is, when I told it on myself at work, most of the women assumed that my husband would be really mad at how dumb I was. I said that he would just think it was funny, but I'm not sure they believed me. Yep, he thought it was funny.

Friday, July 25, 2008


Forty years ago my mom and dad dropped off their barely 18 year old daughter (me) in Kansas City, entrusted to the care of Weaver Airline Training School. I had been taking instruction via the mail for months and this was to be the culmination of my education and the beginning of a career in airline reservations. I had responded to some mail my sister, Lana, had recieved as a senior in high school, and soon enough a salesman showed up at our house. I still remember his last name.... Outhouser..... hmmmm. We bought in to the idea that this should be my future and, although I changed my mind in the middle of my senior year when a teacher said that I ought to be going to college, my folks had paid their money ($200 or so, I think) so that was that.

I spent several weeks in KC being educated and at the end of that time TraveLodge folks showed up there looking for reservationists for their first-ever reservation center that was to be set up in KC. They hired me and 7 other young women to work for them. The first time we all met one another , this tall, cute, energetic girl and I decided to get an apartment together. I don't remember if that was before or after we exchanged names, probably after, but not by much. She went back home and so did I. I returned with my folks and found an apartment in the Country Club Plaza area, on the 6th floor of the Longfellow apartment building. I remember crying after they left me there, very much alone. In a day or two, Paula showed up and the world improved greatly. I think we probably shored one another up. If she was scared, she certainly didn't show it. She even had a guy mooning after her already. What power!

For the next 2 1/2 years or so we were roomies. We moved some and had other roommates as well but no other compared to her. We clicked.

Well, in life you loose people. Jobs change.... people move and get married.... life happens.

A couple weeks ago, I decided to google Paula. I knew she was married but didn't remember her last name. I knew she used to live close to Sikeston, Missouri so I googled that and her maiden name. Unfortunately, what I found was her father's obituary, but it did give me her current name and where she lived. I sat with that information for a few weeks, somehow thinking that she was thinking about me as well. Today I looked up her phone number and, feeling particularly brave, called her up.

Now, several thing could have happened... she might not have been home.... she might have said "Sue who?".... she might have been embarassingly cool (it has, after all, been 40 years since we've talked). What it was, was great! We talked and reminised about the silly things we had done (she still has that young girl's laugh). Funny - some things she remembers so clearly, I didn't remember at all and vice-versa. For 30 minutes or so I sat there grinning into the reciever as we talked and Paula re-appeared. She even said that she's been thinking about me lately, too, and that someone in her family (I think it is her son and members of his family) is on RAGBRAI right now. I just finished riding one day of it with Janet and they overnighted in Ames, where we live.

What a small, marvelous world. Let's stay in touch, Paula!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

More Birthday Bash!!

We took lots and lots of pictures at our Birthday Bash so here are a few more photos of the event. Here's our sweety, Ava, playing with Benji's piano.

That's Benji under the Sox hat, checking out his Doodle Pro.

I brought along a hat that used to belong to Ava's daddy when he was small. It's still way big for her, though.

Ooooooo, pretty dress!

Ava got an airplane and...

Benji got a microwave. Go figure. I love it!

Cousins, Ava in Benji's chair (that used to belong to his Dad and Uncle Josh).

Oh, let's share, shall we?


Ok, 'nuff of that sharing stuff................................


Pig-tailed cutieness.

The look you get when you know you're king!

Swimming with Mom! He really likes that.



Sunday, November 4, 2007

Our Birthday Bash in Chicago

Well, it seems like half our family decided to be born in October, sooooo we went to Chicago on October 19th for the weekend to celebrate Benji's October 4th birthday, Josh's October 15th birthday, and Ava's October 28th birthday. Ava's 1, Benji's 2, and Josh is 28. Happy birthday everyone!

All the birthday kids had a great time and we got all sorts of wonderful pictures. Josh is sitting next to me right now (they're here for the weekend) teaching me how to download movies to my blog. It's gonna take awhile and I hope I (Marv) remember(s) how after Josh is gone. (Not likely). Anyway, one of my favorite movies is of Benji singing his ABC song into the mic of his little piano, and Ava dancing beside it. It's almost like they're at a piano bar, milk only, of course.

So here's Benji and Ava....


Monday, October 1, 2007

And Rollin', And Rollin'

That's weird.... I wrote that last post over a week ago in a motel lobby and it only just now got posted on my blog. Weird.

I journaled on this trip, which I never do, so I'll let you peek into my book (re-written for this post). I take you back to the beginning of the ride.


This was all Janet's idea - she said she needed to do this ride and that she would do it alone if I didn't come along, so.... We didn't really practice, unless you call three 20-mile rides practice, so I was, at the very least, concerned about the outcome.

Friday morning, I awoke to the sound of multitudes of crows outside my window- a raucous, scary noise. When I went out to set up my bike to go, there was a dead crow in the alley. It didn't seem like an auspicious beginning for the trip. It was a good ride, though. We biked 40 miles from Ames to the Boondocks, with a tailwind most of the way. Nice! I lost all my M&Ms to Janet that night playing King's in the Corners.

The next day, Saturday, a black cat walked right in front of us, twice, as we were leaving in the morning. Another great day though. Started cool, but we shed clothes through the day as it warmed up. Yesterday I was having problems with my right hip-flexor (a recurring problem with me) which caused me concern because it normally lingers a while and makes it hard for me to lift my leg (can make it hard to get on the bike, much less pedal). I iced it last night and had no problem with it at all today (or for the rest of the ride). The most trouble has been with our feet. They only seem to want to ride for 25 miles and then they complain - a lot.

Sunday's biking started out really slowly. I was working really hard and figured it was the headwinds. Finally, I noticed a recurring noise at my front tire. There is very little space between my front tire and the fork, too little, and there was a spot on the tire that would rub on the fork every revolution. In effect, it was like I was feathering the brake that whole time. Dang! I let a bit of air out of the tire and all was fine after that.

Did I mention headwinds? AUGHHHH It's awful when you have to fight your way up a hill only to have to force your way back down again. I couldn't coast all day.

Tuesday we had head winds again. The first 5 mile were awful! I was working really hard and still slowing Janet down. Finally, when we stopped to rest, she said," Sue, why are you working so hard. It shouldn't be this difficult for you. It's not that bad! Maybe you should check your tires again." At that, she looked at my rear tire and said, "There's your telephone!" My cell phone had slipped out of my un-zipped (oops) rear pannier, fallen toward the bike, and wedged itself between the frame and the tire. It had been a brake for 5 miles. I wore a flat spot on the edge of the phone and took who-knows- how- many miles off the rear tire. Well, it was much easier pedaling after I removed it. Can't believe it didn't fall off onto the road- and, it still works!
We only had to bike 35 miles Tuesday, but it took us 6 hours to do it because of the wind. We would wait for a semi to come along (in the same direction we were traveling) and kind of ride its slipstream for a bit after it passed. Gave us a little boost.

Wednesday was a short ride to New Ulm, 20 miles. We contemplated riding on to the next stop, but decided against it. Had a pleasant afternoon playing Kings In The Corner and reading. We didn't even use the hot tub that night. I think it was in New Ulm that we stopped at a hardware store and bought some wide, white electrical tape. Our bicycles are called BikeE's and that is written on the side of the flat, rectangular frame. With cutout tape letters, we changed that to PrayBikeEat, which is what we did all day. I realize that I've neglected to tell you about the neatest part of the ride. Janet bought along a list of all those attending the retreat and each day we took 12 or 15 of them (or so), wrote their name on a payer card, attached some beads and waxed thread to it, and prayed for them by name. /when we got to retreat, we attached the cards to our bikes, which were parked in the main hall, and folks could retrieve their prayer card to take home.

Thursday's day started with "THE NEW ULM HILL". It's awful ; steep and long , way long. We were going 3 or 3.5 mph the whole way up. About half-way up the hill was a wreath tied to a post next to the roadway. I was beginning to think it was for me. We had side winds all day that turned into headwinds at Hutchinson. 46 miles and no coasting at all. We had several close calls with the traffic on highway 15 and were glad to get off the road and into a hot tub.

Friday was nice. Not much wind at all and, knowing that it was the last day we had on the ride, we enjoyed it all the more. We got to the retreat center in Paynesville about 2:30, before anyone else was there, in fact.

It was a great ride! Janet and I enjoyed the biking, the challenges, the scenery, the people we met, and each other. There were downsides to the ride, and these we decided to immortalize in a song, which we sang at the talent show. Actually, I sang it and she led the audience in singing the 3-word chorus as she played guitar from her bike. It's sung to the tune of "Head and Shoulders, Knees and Toes.

Aching backside, knees and toes (knees and toes).
These are all our biking woes ( biking woes).
And bugs that fly right up your nose.
Aching backside, knees and toes.
(Up your nose!)

Sun that burns and wind that blows (wind that blows).
Wearing all those spandex clothes (spandex clothes).
And bugs that fly right up your nose.
Aching backside, knees and toes.
(Up your nose!)

Dead things lying on the road (on the road).
Skunk and snake and rat and toad (Yes, a toad)
And bugs that fly right up your nose.
Aching backside, knees and toes.
(Up your nose!)

All those corn fields to and fro (to and fro),
Keep us hidden as we go (as we go)
And bugs that fly right up your nose.
Aching backside, knees and toes.
(Up your nose!)

Trucks that blow us off the road (off the road)
Biking with a heavy load (heavy load).
And bugs that fly right up your nose
Aching backside, knees and toes.
(Up your nose!)

Hills and hills and hills and hills (hills and hills)
Hills and hills and hills and hills (hills and hills)
And hills and hills and hills and hills,
Hills and hills and hills and hills.
(Up your nose!)

This ride coming to an end (to an end).
No more biking with my friend (she's my friend)
And bugs that fly right up your nose,
Aching backside, knees and toes.
(Up your nose!)