Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Clean Bill of Health

Last week I had my six week post-op checkup. It was actually a 5 week checkup as my doctor went of vaction for the sixth week. I got a clean bill of health and I can now see my regular medical provider unless I have any major gynocological problems. All restrictions were lifted and I can now be normal again. I can sit back and wait for the bills to come in.

The doc was pleased and a bit surprised at how well I healed. I am a very healthy 48 year old woman and it had helped that I was in somewhat physical shape. I did tell him that I had gone on a couple motorcycle rides and he was not surprised at all.

I am slowly getting back to the active physical condition that I was before the surgery but have to take baby steps. Can't get in the pool for swimming because the pool is closed until Labor Day for their annual cleaning (goofing off). I will probably drown since I will be out of the water for two months.

I have been walking alot more and faster, just this morning I jogged about a half mile. I was up to three miles before.

My overall health is just fantastic and I feel great. I am handling the hot flashes without any problems so no need for hormone therapy (not that I would do this anyway). I do freeze out Gary and Jennifer with the air conditioning but they are just going to have to get used to it.

Now Gary and I are gearing up for our motorcycle trip to the Oregon Coast. We are also going to Northern California to see the Redwood Forest and then up the Washington coast. We are leaving on Friday and will be home on Labor Day.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Nation of Patriots

This was our second year participating in this event. Nation of Patriots is a fund raiser for wounded soldiers. It starts off in Wisconsin and the American flag travels to all the states. The organizers ask Harley dealerships to participate because there are dealerships all over, this is not a HOG or Patriot Guard deal. Our friend Dale Butterfield takes charge of the flag when it reaches Billings. Our group then takes the flag to Cody WY and then on to Jackson WY where we pass it on.

Friday after work we left for Billings to spend the night at the Butterfields. Our room was ready. Kitty made her homemade tacos which were very delicious. We spent the night because Dale wanted to leave Billings at 8:00 am.

Saturday morning arrived bright and early. The weather was beautiful this year, nice and sunny and warm. Last year it was raining when we left Billings. We met everyone at the Harley dealership. We had 19 people on 13 bikes ride from Billings to Cody. Once we reached Cody, found parking spaces near the Harley dealership. We took a group photo and then got the dealership to sign the banner. We took about an hour break in Cody. Now we are getting ready for the second leg to Jackson, 7 people headed back to Billings.

We now have 12 people on 7 bikes for the ride from Cody to Jackson. We ate lunch at Pahaska Teepee. It was a very delicious lunch. Gary and I split a plate of nachos. Since we were a large group we were charged a gratuity on our check. Which was really too bad because we would have left the young man a bigger tip, but since they already charged that was all he was going to get.

The ride through the park was beautiful. Didn't see many animals, just one buffalo and possibly an elk. The possible elk was laying down in some trees so all you saw was the rear end. Didn't stop to check it out either.

We arrived in Jackson around 4:00 pm, got checked into our hotel and rested up before going to dinner. We were going to eat at a Mexican restaurant but they don't take reservations so we would have had an hour wait for our large group. We ended up eating at a restaurant right next door that could get us in right away.

We asked for separate tickets when we started ordering, but our waitress said that we could get is straightened out when we paid. That was easier said than done. When we started to leave, normally you would just tell them what you had and pay from there. Not here, everyone had to come up together, tell the young girl what we had. She then made new checks for everyone, step over to the other till and pay. Again they charged us a gratuity, so we only paid what they wanted. As a group we decided not to eat there again.

The rest of the night was spent at the hotel, we just sat around outside visiting and drinking. There is a liquor store right next to our motel. Very convenient.

Sunday morning we did the passing of the flag ceremony for the guy on the next leg. It doesn't take long, then we headed for home. Instead of going through the park, we went through Idaho to West Yellowstone then to Bozeman through Gallatin Canyon. That is a very pretty ride. Ate lunch in West Yellowstone, surprisingly not charged a gratuity, so the waitress made a good haul in tips.

We made a final stop in Big Timber for a quick break and to say our goodbyes to everyone. Once we got out of the mountains it was pretty warm. We didn't get home until 7:00. Had a great time.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Homeward Bound

We said our good byes to Bonnie the night before. We got the car loaded up and even had room with our new purchases. We were on the road around 8:00 am. Traffic was decent, most of it was headed into the city while we headed south.

We stopped at the visitor center as soon as we crossed the South Dakota/Minnesota state line. Picked up some maps and more brochures. We then stopped in Mitchell to see The Corn Palace. We didn't stay long, just enough to eat lunch and get our photos.

We spent the night in Chamberlain, didn't do anything but relax. The historical bridge was closed for repairs.

On the road again, last day. Motorcycle traffic is starting to pick up. Most of them were headed east leaving Sturgis but a few were headed west. We stopped in Wall to wander around the Wall Drug Store. It has been many years since I've been here. Not much has changed, but there were some new stuff. Mom and I both sat on the jackalope. We weren't the only adults doing it either.

I made it through the Rapid City and Sturgis traffic. Made the mistake of trying to get gas in Spearfish. I figured it would be pretty easy since the station was just off the interstate. It was so full of bikers that it was ridiculous. My first clue should have been the vendor tents at the gas station. We decided to get gas in Beulah as soon as we crossed into Wyoming. It was a busy little station for this time of year but not bad at all.

We ate lunch in Gillette. Made one last stop in Sheridan before the final stretch to Hardin. We did get caught in a hail storm. It came down fast and hard that it was hard to see. I pulled off in Wyola thinking that I could get under the overpass, but it was full of bikers and other vehicles. We were there for about 10 minutes. The hail was the size of quarters.

We had a great trip and fun. It was good to visit Bonnie and just have girl time. No girls trip next year as Jennifer and I are going to Hawaii with Gary for Christmas. No way he would stay home from Hawaii.

Here are some photos on our way home.

Minnesota and Como Zoos

Our last day in Minnesota was spent visiting the Minnesota and Como Zoos. One of the stipulations of my visit to my nephews was that they take me to the zoo so that I can see the bears. Their mom took me instead. The Minnesota Zoo has more animals and we walked all over. We watched the dolphin show and got to see the baby dolphin born last year. We missed the bird show as we were too busy looking at all the other exhibits. We had coupons for a few dollars off our admission price to this zoo. After visiting this zoo we then ate lunch and went to the Como Zoo. This is a smaller zoo but had a couple different animals, polar bears, zebras and giraffes. We also rode the Cafesjian's Carousel. This was built in 1914, the horses are hand carved and painted.


Traveled to Stillwater which is a historic town on the St. Croix River. There are caves that you can tour when during the prohibition days they made the alcohol. The cave tours are only open Thursdays-Sundays. We were there on Monday. Bonnie found a place to park which you had to pay then we walked around the town. Our first order of business was climbing the stairs to get a view of the town at the top. Many stairs and as long as I took it slow I was fine. People for exercise will run us these stairs. The view was fantastic at the top. Made our way down and had a nice cool drink. Then we wandered around and shopped. There are many cute little shops in the town. We ate lunch in a place called The Rafters. We were able to sit by the window and look out at the river. After lunch we walked along the river. The river was pretty high and the sidewalk that is normally at the river's edge was flooded. You could barely see the tops of the markers at the edge. Mom and Bonnie dipped their toes in the murky river. They were on the steps that lead down to the lower sidewalk and you could not see the second step. It was fun, walked alot but at a leisurely pace. When we got back to Bonnie's we had margaritas with cheese and crackers. A nice snack after a warm day along the river.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Mall of America

Bonnie met us at our motel and we walked to the Mall of America. Our motel was right across the street from the mall, very convenient. We walked alot and covered about every inch of the mall (seemed that way). Ate lunch in the Rain Forest Cafe and wandered through the Sea Life Aquarium (we had coupons for this).

We spent the whole day in the mall, had a great time shopping and looking. We even got our pictures taken with Sponge Bob and friends in the amusement park in the mall.

Here are photos of our day.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Minnesota Road Trip

On the 5th Mom, Jennifer and I left on our annual girls road trip. This year we went to Minnesota to visit with my sister Bonnie and her family. Last summer my nephew Kevin reminded me that the last time that I had been to his house was when he was a baby. He is now 13, so that started the planning.

We were on the road just a little after 8:00 am. We had to get our coffee first. We took I-94 to get to Minnesota. Our first stop was at the Painted Canyon in Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota. A very scenic stop, saw a portion of the North Dakota Bad Lands. Our next fun site was the Enchanted Highway. This a the highway that runs south from Dickinson to Regent. A sculptor had erected a bunch of metal sculptures along the route. We were going to eat lunch in Regent after seeing the sculptures, but when we got there the cafe was closed. We ended up eating lunch in Bismarck, then made our way to Jamestown to the hotel. Mom and I had a nightcap in the hotel bar to salute our road trip.

Saturday morning arrived and we made our way to Minneapolis. Once we hit Valley City ran into a very heavy down pour of rain. It was hard to see, but as long as I could see the tail lights of the vehicles in front of me I was fine. I felt sorry for the motorcyclists that got caught in the storm, but was glad I wasn't in it. We got out of this storm around Fargo.

Stopped at the Minnesota visitor center and picked up brochures for Eagan and the surrounding area. We were going to stop in Fergus Falls to see the water falls, but once again got into heavy rain there. We got out of it for a bit in Alexandria where we stopped for gas and checked in with Bonnie. As soon as we left it was raining hard again, but we weren't in it for very long. Was so glad to finally get out of the rain.

We arrived at our hotel without any problems. The GPS on my phone got me around all that traffic. Our hotel was literally across the street from the Mall of America. We got checked into the hotel and then called home. Then we called Bonnie to let her know we arrived. We got to Bonnie's house to visit for a bit. Saturday was the only day where we could visit with Kevin, Sam and Ken. The guys were leaving on Sunday morning for the cabin by the lake. That would leave us girls time to do girl stuff.

We went out for dinner then back to Bonnie's for some more visiting. Got my picture taken with my nephews and I had fun making funny faces with Sam.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Surgery Week Three

I am enjoying my time off from work, but getting very bored at home. Don't know how housewives do it. It was pointed out to me that housewives have small children at home, I don't.

We went on the Beartooth Harley bike night dinner ride on Friday. We went to the Rib & Chop house. It was so much better than the last one we went on, at least we got food this time. The Rib & Chop house is just around the corner from the dealership, so we took the scenic route to get there. It was just a small ride, but fun. We had a great dinner, Gary had ribs and I had the chicken. A great time, we didn't win any door prizes. After dinner we spent the night at our friends place Marty & Vicky.

The guys planned a ride for Saturday morning to go to Red Lodge and up Beartooth Pass. First Gary got a new front tire for the bike, wanted to get a new one before our Oregon coast ride and he made the appointment before Sturgis. Otherwise the dealership will be too busy. Got the tire on first thing in the morning.

Another friend Leroy joined us for the ride to Red Lodge. Had great weather and it was nice and cool in Red Lodge. However, Leroy was having mechanical problems with his bike, so he turned around and headed back to Billings. We had a coke in Red Lodge, then felt bad about Leroy so we headed back to Billings. Didn't want to see Leroy on the side of the road broke down.

Leroy must have made it to Billings as we didn't see him stranded. Ate lunch in Rockvale then came home. We will make the pass another time.

Now I'm getting ready for the girls road trip to Minnesota. Got the oil in my car changed, car is cleaned and now I'm getting my packing done.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Surgery Week Two

I am able to drive now and I have freedom. I can now run errands and most importantly go out for coffee.

Feeling much better now that the pain pills are all gone, not so sleepy anymore. I can do some light housework, like laundry and dishes.

My exercise is now walking outside and I'm up to four blocks. I do this in the mornings when it is so much cooler. I started going to the pool with Gary in the mornings to walk on the treadmill. I can only do 15 minutes and walk at 3.0 mph. Not allowed to get in the pool yet. It is going to take some time to get back to where I was before surgery.

My biggest feat was the bike ride to Reedpoint for the chili lunch. We went out on a very short ride just to see how I will be and it wasn't bad at all. First time I wore jeans which wasn't uncomfortable at all.

Sunday we went to Reedpoint with the HOG Chapter for a chili lunch. It was a very warm day and I wore a bandana around my neck that I had poured water over to help keep me cool. It worked to a point. Once I got hot, I was hot all day long.

The ride to Reedpoint ended up being a 300 mile round trip ride. We took the scenic way home via Big Timber, Harlowtown, Lavina and back. Made plenty of rest breaks. We stopped in Harlowtown for about an hour, got some water to drink, filled up with gas and just rested.

Once we got to Billings we went to our friend Marty & Vicky's house for a short break, then we ate dinner with them at a casino. It was very good food. The burgers were $2.50 and that included fries. If you wanted an extra patty that was $1 extra. The burgers were very delicious and now we found a new burger joint.