Category Archives: My Shadow

Learning to ride a motorcycle has been a thrilling experience. I’ve recently upgraded to a 750 Honda Shadow. It’s red, it’s fast(er), and I love it!

We’re THIS close

This week marked the end of quite a few chapters.

The first being the sale of my Shadow.  I came to terms with idea of not riding anymore at the end of last summer, but a little part of me never really believed it would happen.  We placed the ads a few months ago, and got no response.  I went from not wanting it to sell to thinking, Sheesh!  What if this thing never sells?

But mine did.  To a guy who was kind enough not to shoot us when he came to get it.  (Did you hear about that? The kid was from our home town.) I was sad to see it go, but the memories will remain forever.  What a rush it was to ride.  Exhilarating.

Me and My  Shadow

The other chapter to close, is Amp’s high school years.


It has been a LONG 13 years, but he has managed to pass his classes and will be walking up to get his diploma this Friday.  In true Amp fashion, he texted me on his last day of school.  “Turns out all my school books are missing.”

I breathed a heavy sigh and typed back, “How does that happen?”

“Dunno.  Thought they were at home in my bag, but I checked last night and they aren’t there.  Thought they might be in my locker, but seems someone threw all my stuff out of my locker and took it for themselves.”

Another heavy sigh.

“I would think hard about where you had them last.  Then check your car, your room, talk to your friends, etc.”

“Right… well… I haven’t used any of them all semester.”

Friday can NOT get here fast enough.  I won’t believe he actually made it through until the diploma is in his hands.

The week leading up to graduation was almost as torturous to him as school itself.  Mandatory senior mass, mandatory senior breakfast, mandatory senior banquet.  The only thing he really looked forward to was the breakfast honoring the 8 students who received the Illinois State Scholar award.  He and his good buddy were 2 of the 8, and neither of them earned it because of their GPA.  So they got a kick out of going to the banquet with all the “smart” kids.  Secretly, I got a kick out of it too.  I’ve always known he was smart.

I’m thrilled this chapter is ending.  I’m proud of Amp for sticking it through, and for giving it a good effort until the end. And I’m incredibly proud of my hubby for staying by his side.  Not an easy job.  For. Sure.

But they did it.  They made it through.  And Friday will be one celebratory night.

I'm free!


Posted by on May 22, 2015 in Family, My Shadow


Slow but sure

This time last week I could barely stand up without excruciating pain.  Trying to propel my right leg forward to shuffle to the bathroom was a near impossibility.

But the following day I went to work.  And every day since then I’ve been at work.  Nothing like a week of being on your feet all day to recover from a blow to the belly.

The first two days were torture.  I’d talk with our guests, smiling the whole time, but wishing they would just GO THE FREAK AWAY!  After the second night, I thought an ER trip would be in order, but came home to some Advil and my couch instead.

Each day got a little better.  The swelling slowly going down.  But the bruising.  Yikes.  I rarely bruise on the outside.  Even complained to Abby that I never bruise so my injuries don’t look as bad as they feel.  In fact, I still have no discoloration at the point of impact, but in the areas below my belly *ahem*, I am black and blue all over.  Gravity I suppose.

Because of the bruising, and because I’m still a bit puffy, and because I feel occasional weirdness, I went to the doc on Monday.  I know, right?!  I’m proud of myself too.

She grimaced.  And then pushed and prodded and asked a bunch of questions before sending me away with the advice to take it easy for a little while.  She said I most likely have a hematoma and the blood and fluid are being absorbed back into my system causing the bruising down below.

I left relieved that I wasn’t dying, and went straight to work.  Take it easy?  Ha.

But I haven’t run of course.  In fact, I haven’t done any form of exercise since dooms day.  So it felt good to get on my elliptical today.  I barely did enough to work up a sweat, but just putting on my workout clothes and heading downstairs was enough to lift my spirits.

The half marathon I’d plan to run in a few weeks is out of the question, but at this point, I’ll be happy to run any distance by then.

As for biking…. well I’m a bit afraid to get back up on it.  In fact, this spill has even got us talking about getting rid of the motorcycles.  We’ve talked about it before since our new home doesn’t quite have the space for them.  This just clinched it for us. It’ll be a sad day when I say goodbye to my Shadow, but we’ll use the money to visit my childhood home in Greece.  THAT, I’m excited about!  Flying is so much safer.


Posted by on August 20, 2014 in Blunders, My Shadow, Running


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Every time feels like the first time

Especially when you don’t do it all that often.

It’s tough, you know?  Trying to find an hour or two to fit a quickie in.

If I’m tired, I have no desire to do it.  If I’ve been working a lot, I prefer to just sit on the couch.  And when the conditions are just right, and I finally think “today’s the day!”, then my hubby’s not home.  And although I’ve done it a few times by myself, it’s always more fun to do it with him.

So when this afternoon rolled around, and the kids were at band camp, and we had no desire to pack stuff up…

we did it.

And it was as exhilarating as always.


This is what I want to DO - all year round

We stopped at the lake and took a few minutes to watch the boats and listen to the seagulls.

Then we rode to Dairy King for some ice cream and a cold drink.

By this time evening was settling in.  The temperatures dropped a bit, and the ride home was cool and pleasant.  As I parked my Shadow in the garage I realized how much I had missed riding.  Hubby and I vowed not to wait too long before doing it again.  Heck, we may just do it again today.

Wild and crazy kids.


Posted by on July 31, 2014 in Humor, motorcycle, My Shadow


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Can you keep a secret?

Our oven is out of commission, and it’s been out of commission for, oh, a month or two.

We called in a repair guy.  He ‘fixed’ it.  We wrote the check and sent him away.  Mario excitedly fired it up to make a pizza, and… it wasn’t fixed.

Repair Guy came back and “fixed” it again.  Again, she tried her pizza.  No luck.

We gave up on Repair Guy, and Hubby ordered a part.

Not it.

He ordered another part.

Not it.

So…. we’ve given up.

THAT’S the secret.

You see, I’ve quite enjoyed having a broken oven as an excuse not to be able to bake treats for my co-workers’ birthday/wedding/shower celebrations.

It’s been nice having my weekends to myself.  My Shadow and I have gotten much closer because of it.

So I’m in no rush to call in Repair Guy #2, or to buy a new one.  I’m hoping to keep my excuse until all thoughts of baked goods are out of their heads.

And I’ll just have to find something besides cupcakes to entertain myself with.

Shadow 2

Shouldn’t be too hard….



Posted by on June 3, 2014 in Baking, motorcycle, My Shadow


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I could get used to this

Things have turned around completely since the highway robbery incident.

We’re still very busy at the hotel, and with more new people than old, I’m bounced around like a ping pong ball.  By couch time, I feel like I’ve been hit by a truck.  ‘Course, it just makes couch time that much more pleasurable.

On the bright side, I’ve taken over making the schedule, which is how I’ve managed to be off on Friday and Saturday the last two weeks.

Last weekend, Hubby and I took the convertible to a Greek Festival on the other side of St. Louis.  I like me some Greek food and Greek culture so I was pretty excited to go.  Turns out, it’s not anything like I imagined – or like the internet and radio ads suggested.  We ate some dried out gyros, listened to some loud music, wandered through the measly jewelry displays, and then jumped back in the car.  Ah well… guess we’ll just have to go back to Greece to experience the Greece I remember.

The next day, we hopped on the motorcycles right after breakfast and by 4 that afternoon we’d clocked over 100 miles.  Every once in a while we talk about getting rid of the bikes, and then we get a day like that.  It’s still such a thrill for us to travel back roads to places, grab a meal, and meander back home again.  In fact, we’re planning another long day tomorrow.

Although I worked Sunday morning, I met up with the family at our clubhouse that afternoon.  Hubby grilled pork steaks and corn, while we chatted it up with extended family we haven’t seen for a while.  Mario and I lost the bean bag toss game, (turns out it’s nothing like bowling), and Chip and I took the canoe out for a spin.


Today starts a new “weekend”, and I’m as relaxed and happy as I’ve been in a long time.  I did the yard a favor and washed my car.  The rains came soon after.  And then I picked Mario up from school for some girl time at the mall.

Yes.  I can certainly get used to this.




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Right of passage

goodbye winter

I welcomed my first day of spring with every “first” I’ve been anxious to experience all winter long.

I say it’s MY first day, since it’s the first spring-like day that’s occurred on my day off.  And I took full advantage of it.

After hitting the snooze button 6 times, (that in itself was glorious), I dressed in ONE layer of clothes for the first time since last year, and ran for 7 sunrise-filled miles.

I drug my hose out of hibernation and thoroughly washed my car.  No sponge bath today!

With it all shiny and clean, I rolled the top down and happily ran my errands.  And the celebration of spring didn’t stop there….

Immediately after unpacking the car, I fired up the lawn mower and gave our lush green grass the first cut of the season.  This lead to receiving my first sunburn of the year too!  Woot!

Hubby met me outside as I was finishing up and mentioned the possibility of a motorcycle ride.


I replaced my lawn mowing shoes with my motorcycle boots and off we went.  My Shadow purred along, seemingly as happy as I was to be hittin’ the road again.

We passed a sign along the way that read “We have to have winter to appreciate spring.” I’m pretty sure I don’t need winter to help me enjoy days like today.

flip flops

Only three more years, and I can test the theory for myself.



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It’s been one of those days.  One of those dumb days as Abby likes to call them.  A day where there’s lots to do, but no motivation to do them.

I awoke at 7, a mere five and a half hours after I crawled into bed.  I could say I’d been out partying, but in truth I was watching people at the hotel live it up.  They were having a grand time, and I enjoyed being a spectator.  There was a surprise 50th birthday party, a bachelor party, a wedding party, tons of Cardinals fans, and even a few Pittsburgh fans, all mingling in the lobby.

I hopped on the elliptical immediately after waking, and then we hopped on the motorcycles to hit up IHOP for breakfast.  The cool temperatures, the rising sun, and the wind in my hair made for an incredible ride.  Another 65 miles on the Shadow!

It wasn’t until I sat at the kitchen bar once we arrived home, that I realized how dumb I wanted to be.  The more I sat, the dumber I became.

Oh, I managed a few things – like mow the lawn mow only the really high parts of the lawn, and half-heartedly sweep the dog hairs, and bake a semi-homemade honey bun cake, but ONLY because I felt guilty about sittin’.

I don’t know why I feel guilty.  My dumbness is certainly justified.  My windows and screens still look fabulous after their yearly bath the other day.  And although I’ve been pretty lucky with my off days these past few weeks, the days are split, so I feel like I’m at work all the time.  One day off, three or four in a row, another day off…

Some of my lack of motivation may be that we have to say goodbye to ALVin.  The results are in, and it’s been determined that monetarily  it’s not worth fixing the damage.  No one asked me what my heart says.  Or what Amp’s heart says. We drove by the final resting place on our way to breakfast, and I felt a flutter of sadness pass over me.  How do you say goodbye to such a reliable, trustworthy, hardworking member of the family, who’s time with us was so short lived?

But life goes on.  Amp is now driving Hubby’s car with a “BE CAREFUL!” at every send-off.  Today’s send-off was to his new GF’s house.  Do you remember the old one?  The 18 year old?  Well, we found out from Chip soon after they began dating that she’d had a baby a while back. We immediately declared an emergency meeting with Amp and strongly voiced our opinions and concerns.  Luckily, he agreed with us and it ended soon after.


The new girl just recently transferred to our high school since her parents feel education is important and didn’t think her old high school was standing up to the test.   Hubby had the pleasure of meeting her a few weeks ago, and she mentioned how she’s been texting Amp and making sure he’s getting his homework done.  I’ve already set their wedding date.

In movie news, (I think this is the first time I’ve had movie news) we watched TWO movies this week!  I enjoyed The Great Gatsby, but Argo was outstanding.  We’re watching Red Tails tonight.  It’s refreshing to finally have decent choices to watch on our satellite TV, but alas, it’s only for a short time.  They’re hoping to lure us into buying more stations.  Ha.  We have too many unwatched stations as it is.  If anything, it’ll convince us to finally give up the satellite and rely solely on Netflix for our viewing pleasure.

First we disconnect the phone lines.  Then the satellite TV.  Dare we get rid of internet too?

Naaah… I’d miss you all too much.


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