02/27/11 Brunswick

Brunswick MD/Harper’s Ferry WV
~100 miles

Dan & I went for a ride yesterday shortly after bringing the new bike home. The latest photo scavenger hunt goal was you, your bike, and a museum. While at a light I happened to see the Brunswick Railroad Museum so we stopped for a quick shot.

02/26/11 New Zoom

This will be more of a photo-oriented post. It was a long but much anticipated day.

First there was the listing that I think strongly lured D into our Baltimore overnight late in January. As soon as we walked in the store and saw the bike I knew; it was just one of those odd intuition-type feelings I get.

Back at the hotel he called the shop and asked to have a hold on the bike:

A test ride followed about a week later…

And then The Day:

02/26/11 Sharing The Back Seat – Part 2

Of the three girls E likes to ride the motorcycle the most, preferably fast. She is smart, very smart. All 12 of her middle school report cards were straight As, and that included high school level and gifted & talented classes. A few of her ninth grades classes include Algebra 2, Honors Physics, and Honors Spanish 3; quite different from when I went to school a hundred years ago! Recently she talked about studying to become a neurologist. While that may change, I do believe she has the talent and drive to achieve that or any other goal she sets for herself.

She has always been the type of person who marches to their own drummer. Like the rest of the family she loves music and reading, as a teenage girl though she isn’t interested in makeup, fashion trends, or pop culture icons, although she has read the Twilight series and saw the movies. She is a fan of The Office, House, The Daily Show, and NCIS.

Cows and the color purple have been at the top of her list of favorite things for many years. She was also born with a sweet tooth: candy, cookies, ice cream, cake…to her it’s all good!

Then and now of E:

02/25/11 Previous Life

I’m in a mood…I don’t really have the energy or desire to even try to figure out which one it is so I’ll leave it at that.

When I was still with the ex we had a great black lab that died unexpectedly; after that I wasn’t ‘allowed’ to have a pet of any sort. Fast forward to separation and one of the first things I bought for my apartment was a betta. I was an inexperienced fish parent so his home was one of those small cups but he ended up living a long time. When I moved to Canada the cup sat on the passenger seat next to me!

Another fast forward to our second home in Maryland, which was actually a townhouse. A big surprise Christmas gift from D that year: a 29g aquarium kit! That was the start of an addiction hobby that at one point had me caring for 12 tanks. Our last move forced me to downsize considerably though, but because we were finally owners rather than renters we were able to finally have dogs. There are still three aquariums in the house. I have a 2.5g on my desk, all live plants and a red male betta who is afraid of his own shadow. My daughter Emily has a small desktop tank, planted as well and home to a betta and two African dwarf frogs. And my oldest son has a 5.5g with a gourami, danios, and most surprisingly some kuhli loaches who must now be considered senior citizens in the fish world since they were from my original 29g!

Around the time I started keeping fish I also got my first digital camera and subsequently my Nikon D50. Sometimes while in not-so-great moods I look thru old photos and thought I’d share some of those today.

02/24/11 Shh, It’s A Secret

anx-ious [angk-shuhs] -adjective
1. full of mental distress or uneasiness due to fear of danger or misfortune; greatly worried: Her parents were anxious about her poor health.

This coming Monday is the first day of my MSF Basic Rider Course, or more specifically my Harley Davidson Rider’s Edge New Rider Course. This Monday. I registered for it back in January, but until now have told no one outside the house.

Readers of my first blog, Facebook friends, real-life friends, and family have been asking me for a long time if I was planning to take the class. The subject came up on this blog after my Testing post. While there is confidence amongst supporters that I’ll do fine, I myself do not necessarily feel that way, thus the reason for not making this public. ‘She was anxious about her ability to successfully pass the course.’

I read the Should You Ride A Motorcycle? self assessment, took a number of practice knowledge tests, and have the Rider Handbook. One of the requirements is 126 study questions, which don’t have to be completed; the answers are to be highlighted in the handbook. I think it’s more important to know the answers rather than how to find them, but I digress. I did start working on them yesterday and ended up finishing 30 or so, again using the  ‘oh, I have better more important things to do’ excuse.

So why am I concerned about failing? Not exactly sure. I never learned to drive a stick. My ex tried to teach me a few times but that wasn’t a good idea at all. I probably have more motorcycle experience than a lot of people walking into the class, whether that helps or not I don’t know. I could memorize the information, ace the practice tests, but it’s the actual learning to ride that concerns me.

Complete change of topic but I’ve also decided to join the Post A Day 2011 challenge in addition to Post A Week. I was doing some blog maintenance and noticed I’ve been writing daily since 02/13, mostly encouraged by the number of visitors I’ve received and subsequent comments. What better way to put more pressure on myself than to join a daily writing project, right? 😉

02/23/11 Sharing The Back Seat – Part 1

Monday night’s weather left us with us snow and ice that caused a two-hour delay for the schools yesterday. Cold temps again today and with rain the the forecast for tomorrow and Friday there won’t be any rides to post about for a bit. I thought I’d use the opportunity to introduce the three other ladies who occasionally ride the back of the bike.

My oldest daughter, C, was the first to show any interest in riding. She is currently 15 but has a medical history that rivals many adults. At three weeks of age she was diagnosed with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, a complex congenital heart defect that is fatal without treatment. She had three open heart surgeries by the time she was 18 months old, and now has a cardiology check up twice a year that includes an echo, EKG, 24 hour Holter monitor, stress test, and blood work. She has some challenges with school-especially math, like her mom-but is an avid reader and a talented writer. While we managed to avoid the Justin Bieber bug with all three girls, Cynthia is very definitely a proud member of Team Edward. She is the least picky eater of all my kids, she has a fantastic smile, likes playing the Wii and her sister’s DS, loves flavored water, and at times can be a typical teenage drama queen 😉

Here is Ms C, then and now:

02/22/11 Describe The Best Road Trip You’ve Ever Taken

I’m a bit late here but a recent Daily Post suggestion was: Describe the best road trip you’ve ever taken.

I’m not sure I could choose a ‘best’. As I mentioned in my About page, I rode over 6000 miles last year. Sometimes a few miles to a restaurant for lunch, sometimes a few hundred miles for an overnight trip. Rides alone, rides with one or two other bikes, rides with a dozen other bikes. I’d be hard pressed to choose a favorite. I don’t consider myself a ‘biker’ but I think I share some of the same feelings from the experience as those who do. For me the bottom line reasons for enjoying the rides in no particular order:

  • getting away from the house and every day routine
  • spending time with D
  • a chance for some interesting photos
  • the feeling of freedom, very difficult to describe
  • time to enjoy my music and appreciate the scenery
  • depending on the ride a chance to be with friends, try a new restaurant, visit a new city

After my Water Tower post The Daily Dish commented that she liked the back of the bike photo. So to sum up my ‘best road’ trip I decided to share some of my best back seat views….

02/21/11 Blah

blah [blah] -noun
1. the blahs, a feeling of physical uneasiness, general discomfort, or mild depression: After the long weekend many workers had the Monday-morning blahs.

Looking out the window at an overcast sky…showers in the forecast for today, rain to wintry mix tonight. D left for work a while ago; the kids are still sleeping, off school because of the holiday. And I feel like a grey, blah funk. I’m not depressed or even down, not upset about anything in particular. Zero motivation even though I have things to do today, and not all of them are chores or housework. Not being able to pinpoint the cause is frustrating in itself.

Totally unrelated since it just crossed my mind but a year ago today was the accident. C and N were walking to the store to buy candy and were hit by a car while crossing a main street. In addition to cuts, scrapes, and bruises C ended up with a concussion and an overnight hospital stay for observation because of her heart; N’s ankle was broken. Odd the things that come to mind when in an odd mood…

02/20/11 Water Tower

D belongs to a motorcycle forum that has been doing a photo scavenger hunt since 2007. It’s basically get a picture of you, your bike, and _____. The most recent goal was a water tower and I remembered one being not too far from where we live. So today’s short ride was to get those pictures and we ended up being first to complete it. Winner gets to choose the next goal which does require a bit of creativity…