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Saturday, December 31, 2011


Gone... another year. My, how time flies!

Looking back on 2011 leaves me savoring in thoughts wrought with highs and lows. Even though the year brought about a few unexpected surprises, I have much to be thankful for, all of which makes the memories and experiences of these last 12 months that much more valuable.  I would like to say things were perfect but, I figured out a long time ago; life is what you make of it... imperfections and all.

Looking back on County Rd. 29 in Coosa County.
So, here's to looking back! Looking back is good for reflection, however, I plan to use that reflection to embrace the New Year with vigor and determination.  I have a mental checklist of behaviors I plan to change, memories I need keep, and baggage I need to throw away... for good!

I think turning the page on the calendar is going to feel good this year.


Lady R

Author's Note: I know I missed my posts this week, but I had some wonderful family time in Iowa and enjoyed my trip back home immensely (even though I didn't get to experience even the first snow flake!).

Friday, December 23, 2011


Don't forget... Jesus IS the reason for the season!


Red... my Christmas brother! (and favorite clown!)
My brother Red shares his birthday with Jesus.  I always felt sorry for him not getting to have a special day all to himself, but hey... not everybody can be as special has he is! I love you bro... and Happy Birthday!!


Thursday, December 22, 2011


Going home for Christmas!

For the last 30 something years, that expression has brought it's share of joy, excitement, anticipation and stress!  Don't get me wrong... I love Christmas, and I love going home... but when the two events are happening simultaneously, the stress meter definitely gets a bit of a work out.  Making sure you have everything you need for the trip, as well as not forgetting anybody's Christmas... well, you get my drift.

And speaking of drifts, the news of our heartland being under heavy snow and blizzard conditions, makes me drift back in time to another "going home for Christmas" trip... a trip that left scars and will live in our minds forever!

It was the Christmas of  1981. Harley and I had just bought our first new car as a married couple and we thought we were the shit.  A silver 1980 Datsun 200 SX. We might have been married, but we still wanted to hold on to some cool factor, and that quick little 5 speed fed our need for play. The only trouble with our awesome SX is, it was a bit small when it came to loading up the family... with all our luggage.

Our "family" during that time, consisted of us and two English Shepherds, Molly and Keiva. They were male and female litter mates and each weighed in at about 75 and 90 lbs. respectively.  Not the largest shepherds we've ever had, but when you're putting them in the back seat of a small compact car, they seemed much larger. Complicate that arrangement with a 16 hour drive, that turned into a 24 hour nightmare during blizzard conditions... well, hold on a minute... it gets worse.

The very morning we were to leave, I noticed a small blood spot on Molly's leg and wondered what she had done to hurt herself.  After looking her over, I was baffled, until I noticed that she kept licking herself.  Looking under her belly, I discovered her "love spot" was swollen and... YEP! You guessed it... she just went into "heat".  Yay us!!  Now what?  We've heard of doggie diapers so we decided to stop by the pet store on our way out of town to see if this would help our situation. Our biggest thought at that moment was how we were going to keep her from making a mess out of our new car! I mean come on...  really??

After procuring some diapers, we headed north to Iowa.  We thought the problem was solved, but unfortunately, Keiva had other plans. Dogs don't care if you're their sister. I could see it in his eyes. He was thinking it was his duty...  if you're ready to f*#k, than by golly Miss Molly,  I'm ready to oblige ya!!

So went the circling... and the panting... and the hunching... and the scolding... all while in the confines of the small compact back seat of the Datsun.  I kept thinking that we need to hurry up and get there so we can let these poor creatures out of this tiny little cage. Molly kept giving Keiva those sideways glances as she kept her "love spot" planted firmly to the seat, all while he was trying to persuade her to do otherwise. He hunched and hunched, to the point that I was afraid the poor dog was going to throw his back out before we could get him out of this car!

In addition to enduring the backseat ballet, the further north we got, the more volatile the weather became.  We've been warned that there may be a storm during our drive up, but we figured as long we stayed on the interstate, we should be pretty good.  About the time we turned west onto I-75 in Indianapolis, the snow and ice storm made driving extremely difficult and dangerous. We trekked on, but the speedometer never went over 30 mph, taking us over 5 hours to travel 150 miles.  We noticed that most vehicles we encountered were either creeping along like us, or hanging off the edge of the road, having slipped into the loose stuff enough to remain trapped there. In spite of all that... we continued on.

Stopping to stretch legs and pee became something of an event also.  The first time the dogs hopped out of the car and there was snow on the ground, you would have thought their paws were on fire.  Picking up their feet and prancing around trying to figure how to move about without stepping in this very strange new stuff, was a comical site indeed.  Every time Molly squatted to pee, (yes... the snow was deep!) she stood back up and kept searching for a clear spot.  (I guess if I sat my "love spot" in the snow, it would give me a start also).  Eventually, she figured out that if you dribble just a little bit out, you can melt a hole in the snow, which then allowed her to squat all the way down and finish her business. Smart girl!

We got to mom and dad's house much later than expected, but we made it safe and sound.  After preparing a nice comfy place in the basement for the pups, (separated!) we officially commenced our Christmas holiday.  The dogs got used to, and actually enjoyed playing in the snow and Molly's "condition" eventually waned.  Everything seemed to settle down, but as all good vacations go, it was over too quick.   Before you knew it, we were headed back south  Our very large family... in our little compact car.

We made it back to our southern home without issue.  The weather stayed good and thank God, we didn't deliver any puppies in February. Time passed and it wasn't until Spring came along before our Christmas trip to Iowa came back up as a hot topic of conversation. My dad was pissed! It seems, during our stay, Keiva (and Molly) left him many large presents in his yard.  I guess when a big dog drops a turd bomb (or pees a lake the size of Erie) onto frozen ground, it freezes and stays there until Spring.  When April came around and thawed out dad's yard, it was laden with very large brown dead spots, a sure result of lots and lots of Keiva bombs! Oh my!

About three seasons later, his bare spots filled in and his yard finally started to look nice again. He eventually saw the humor in Keiva's fertilization efforts, but the "NO VACANCY" sign went up for puppies, and never came back down. I'm sure if he were here today, he'd have something funny to say about it, and he really did love his Granddogs... as long as they stayed home!

So many Christmases have come and gone now, and there have been many trips back home share them. Today our family consists of two small dogs, referred to as "the boys", and a trio of felines.  My moms thinks they're pretty good little guys, so she's decided it was time to take down the "NO VACANCY" sign and welcome them home for Christmas.  Yay us!

Bandit and Joker are as excited as two little kids in a candy store. They're going home for Christmas and can't wait to go see Grandma!  We have since learned many valuable lessons in regards to traveling with animals, and we tried to make life easier with our downsized "family".  Little dogs equals little turds and trust me when I say... we'll have plenty of potty pads.

Merry Christmas everybody! Have a great holiday!

Lady R

Monday, December 19, 2011


I've been pretty busy lately, getting ready for the holidays and making sure we're ready for our trip, so I was a bit hurried when I chose today's selection.  However, today's pic's are scenes from my favorite road. It's rewarding to observe the seasonal changes in your collections of pictures from a favorite location.


I think the title of this blog pretty much sums it up. Riding (or driving) along roads like these will most likely shake off even the biggest of burdens life tends to throw you.  Don't sweat the small stuff, but if you do, go take in a little "southern comfort".

Have a great week everybody!

Lady R

Monday, December 12, 2011


I'm leaving our warm temps behind and going north, to cold country so I can enjoy my Christmas holiday in Dubuque, Iowa with my family.  We don't get snow in the south very often so I still get a kick out of playing in it when I go home to visit. 

The Julien Dubuque Bridge

Looking over the downtown area
I took these pictures two years ago, the last time I was home for Christmas, and I'm reminded how old my hometown is.  Although, there are many new things to bring visitors to Dubuque, she holds the title as oldest town in Iowa.

I love standing on this hill and looking out over the city.  It feels so... homey.

I don't think they have snow on the ground yet, but there's still time.  We are taking the Jeep, so I'm not worried. Let it snow... let it snow... let it snow!

Have a great week everybody!

Lady R

Friday, December 9, 2011


Gary was a single guy living at home with his father and working in the family business. When he found out he was going to inherit a fortune when his sickly father died, he decided he needed to find a wife with whom to share his fortune.

One evening, at an investment meeting, he spotted the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. Her natural beauty took his breath away.

"I may look like just an ordinary guy," he said to her, "but in just a few short years, my father will die and I will inherit $200 million."

Impressed, the woman asked for his business card. Three days later... she became his stepmother.

Women are so much better at financial planning than men!

Thursday, December 8, 2011


As most bikers know, the best rides are the long and leisure ones. Finding that perfect road with sweeping curves and roller coaster like hills is like hitting the mother load.  Add a beautiful dose of amazing scenery and you have the perfect recipe for a good ride.  Seeing the countryside on two wheels has brought me more gratification than I can shake a stick at.  I don't think anything will ever replace the feelings I would experience while riding my Glide, but due to a few changes in my life... my search for the ultimate road has changed a bit.

Now that we have a Jeep, a "good" road (if you can even call it that) is laden with ruts and rocks and lined with a gauntlet of sharp tree branches that occasionally reach out for you as you pass, as if to play "tag, your it" with the doors.

Gone are the smooth rides with leans and speed... replaced by agitation gratification.  Climbing to the top of a rutted out fire road embedded with small boulders, is like going through the wash cycle of your Kenmore washing machine. The constant side to side jerky movements coupled with a fling, forward or back, every now and then pretty much sums it up.

Trekking in the Jeep is very different that riding the Glide, but the gratification of doing something adventurous and fun remains the same. Harley and I are doing the best we can to live our lives to the fullest, and 4 wheelin' in the woods (with the puppies!) is helping us meet that goal. I would be lying if I told you I don't miss riding, but the path I've chosen is what works for us... for now at least.

Before the Jeep, folks would ask... "Are you riding this weekend?"  The answer would almost always be a resounding "Yes!".  Now when asked what we're doing for the weekend, I just respond... "I'm going to get agitated!"

Lady R

Monday, December 5, 2011


One of my favorite places to ride, is up around Mt. Cheaha and Talladega National Forest.  Now that I have a Jeep, it's my favorite place to climb!  People have asked me, "Where do you spend your Saturdays these days?"  My answer is short and immediate... "the woods!"

The hills you see in the distance are the Talladega, Rebbecca, and Horn Mountains.  Harley and I have been all over the Mt. Cheaha area on our Glides, enjoying the hilly curves of the asphalt, but lately we've been exploring the rough and rugged ridge tops of these hills.

While exploring the rugged trails that cut through these steep hills, our Jeep adventures have allowed us to enjoy a part of our beautiful state that seems to be hidden from the rest of the world. It's amazing how peaceful and serene it is up there. 

I have accumulated quite a collection of pictures while trekking across these secluded pathways and I plan to share them with you all soon. 

Have a nice week everybody!

Lady R

Friday, December 2, 2011


An elderly couple was celebrating their sixtieth anniversary. The couple had married as childhood sweethearts and had moved back to their old neighborhood after they retired. Holding hands, they walked back to their old school. It was not locked, so they entered, and found the old desk they'd shared, where Andy had carved... I love you, Sally.

On their way back home, a bag of money fell out of an armored car, practically landing at their feet. Sally quickly picked it up and, not sure what to do with it, they took it home. There, she counted the money... fifty thousand dollars!

Andy said, "We've got to give it back."

But Sally replied, "Finders keepers."

She put the money back in the bag and hid it in their attic.

The next day, two police officers were canvassing the neighborhood looking for the money, and knocked on their door. "Pardon me, did either of you find a bag that fell out of an armored car yesterday?"

Sally said, "No".

Andy chimed in and said, "She's lying. She hid it up in the attic."

Sally responded, "Don't believe him, he's getting senile".

The agents turned to Andy and began to question him. One said, "Tell us the story from the beginning."

Andy started to explain, "Well, when Sally and I were walking home from school yesterday..."

The first police officer turned to his partner and said, "We're outta here!"