Thursday, December 22, 2011

Ringing in the New Year with Color

Yesterday, I had my second, post surgery, follow-up. It's been 4 weeks, now. When the cast came off, I was so glad to see that my arm wasn't, in fact, completely saturated with the carmel hot chocolate that I spilled on it two days prior. It did, however smell delicious - like said hot chocolate. My skin was a hot mess. Let's just say, I now know what my skin is going to look like if I make it to 80 years old.

Here's a photo of the incision after 4 weeks. It looks so much better! Although, I'd really like to thoroughly clean it and slather it with vitamin E.

After more x-rays, the doctor told me that the bones were "filling in." YAY!! It's not unheard of to have a non-union with a scaphoid bone repair. Especially, in cases when the bone has been broken for a long time (like mine...). So, when I heard this, I almost hopped off the table and gave the surgeon a kiss. The bad news was I needed to be in another hard cast for at least 2 more weeks. That's not so bad. I've learned, through this experience that:

1. I'm REALLY, REALLY, REALLY right handed.
2. Regardless of item #1, I'm pretty good at figuring out work arounds (that don't involve somone else just doing things for me).

On to the next dilemma...what cast to select? It was really a no brainer. Obviously, I went with the "cycledelic" cast!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Warning! Not for Those with Weak Stomachs!

Hola friends, cyber friends and visitors. Over the summer, I had a minor bicycle accident & tweaked my wrist. After a couple of weeks and it still not feeling right, I sucked it up & went to the doctor. I definitely sprained my wrist during the fall, but xrays revealed that I had previously broken my scaphoid bone...a bone between the thumb and radius. My reaction: "Pardon Me? Broken?" Yep. The fall agitated the sight. Anyway, surgery was the only way to repair the break to my right (dominant) wrist. Great.

Since, the break wasn't too new, the doctor let me finish the triathlon & cycling seasons. Frankly, both seasons went way too fast. I was not ready to say goodbye to my right arm for six-ish weeks. D-day was November 23rd.

While I was out cold, the surgeon made an incision in my wrist; took a piece of bone from my radius and placed it, along with a screw, in the (two broken pieces of the) scaphoid bone. How cool is it that they can do that?

Then, they put a temporary cast on. It was more like a three pound ping pong paddle looking thing. Needless to say, the bulk of the thing greatly limited my wardrobe options. I'm not slicing up all my shirts for this...slicing up my wrist is plenty of slicing for now, thankyouverymuch.

I'm not gonna lie. When the nerve block wore off, the pain was like nothing I've ever endured before. Evidently, the pain is horrendous when they scrape on bone. Now, I know. Thank the lord for anesthesia and narcotic pain meds!

Today, I had my first follow up. My sutures were removed. I got light headed & nearly vomited. I mean, I knew they were going to slice my wrist, but I envisioned a daintier incision, I guess.

This is gross...and, I can't put vitamin E or anything on it, to minimize scarring, for several more weeks, 'cause it's gonna be in a new cast. Ashley, if you're reading this, close your eyes and scroll past this picture!

New xrays showed that everything was as the surgeon left it and I got to pick out a new, MUCH lighter cast. There were several options: camo, tie dyed, christmas trees...I thought about the camo, but was afraid that people wouldn't see my arm and accidentally bump it or something. It's camo, afterall. Then, I thought about the tie dyed, to stay true to my Cycledelic Gang. After careful deliberation, I decided on my favorite color, red.

It's getting better. My (left handed) handwriting is like a second grader or a doctor, whichever you prefer, and it takes so long to write anything. It takes so much concentration and is still barely legible. This post took three hours to type.

Monday, November 21, 2011

A Busy Little (ok, not so little) Bee

We all know I love to be thrifty. I saw a recipe for making laundry detergent! Normally, when I find a DIY for household cleaning stuff, it's usually really complicated, requires hard to find ingredients and a ton of time + equipment. I'm tired after just reading about making the stuff. The laundry detergent recipe was super simple though. The ingredients weren't super expensive or difficult to find. I was able to purchase everything at my local grocery store. I tried the powered detergent. There was a liquid version, but it required cooking and a 5 gallon bucket. I don't have a 5 gallon bucket, nor do I have storage for 5 gallons worth of detergent...yet.

Here are the ingredients:

1c. Borax
1c. Washing Soda (not baking soda)
4.5 oz bar soap (grated)

*optional - several drops of your favorite scented essential oil!

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl and voila! I used Ivory soap. It was super easy to grate. From start to finish, it took about 5-10 minutes to make. How awesome is that? All the ingredients cost about the same as a bottle of liquid detergent, but makes a ton of batches and you use less detergent per load, so it lasts much longer.

The detergent works really well. I also add 1tbsp of baking soda to my wash as a booster. In a load of wash, add about 2tbsp of detergent. I found that it works best in a warm or hot wash, so that the bar soap dissolves.

After making the detergent, I was on a DIY roll!

I saw this creative tutorial for making recycling a man's dress shirt. Then, saw that my brother-in-law put a black & white, long sleeved dress shirt into a bag to deliver to goodwill. I asked if I could have it, in order to give the tutorial a go!

Unfortunately, I didn't take any pictures throughout the process. That's probably a good thing, though. Not having a pattern to use was harder than I thought. I'm a super novice...the last time I sewed more than a hem or button was in high school home ec. class. That was...well...not yesterday. Also, after screwing up a few times, I found my own, easier way to do certain steps.

Here's the almost finished product! I'd like the shoulder ties to be a little longer, but I messed up the first go round & almost ran out of fabric. Oops. Also, I need to make belt loops and do a couple of touch ups. What do you think?

Friday, November 18, 2011


A few weeks ago the Cycledelic Girl Gang had their inaugural ride. Several girls couldn't make it, but those of us who did, had a great time. The morning of the ride was chilly and foggy, but we didn't let it bring us down.

In true Cycledelic fashion, we had to start with a *fist pump! And, I'm showing off my cool, new SpokeID. It's like roadid, except cooler, 'cuz it's made from a spoke...and, the lettering is engraved, not just stamped on (so that it can eventually rub off).

We're about to balance on two wheels, but balancing on one leg proved to be quite difficult. This was something like our 3rd take.

Once we started rolling, the fog started to lift. The roads were relatively quiet & serene, with the exception of this big 'ole jerk, who tried to run us off the road.

We stopped at the General Store (it's a must if you're cycling around Shelby Forest...or, even if you're not) for some grub and more photos!

They even had music for us.

After lunch, we went into the park for a little hiking and to work off all of the food we had just inhaled. It was such fun, but it was difficult to ride home after lunch and a hike. I just wanted to curl up in the sun and take a nap!

I'll leave you with my latest, "this is why I'm single" picture. I was going for "Goober," (was that his name) from "The Andy Griffith Show."

*Most of these pictures were stolen from Cat, but I told her I was going to steal them, so, it's cool.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Three Things - Answered

So sorry to have kept you waiting, my pretties! The thrifty three items were: black turtle neck, white shoes and the black bag. Did you recognize the turtle neck and shoes from previous posts??

Here's how the whole outfit stacked up:

Gap black turtle neck - $3.99
Merona beige short sleeved sweater - $10.00 (it was on clearance!)
Banana Republic beige pants - $29.99
White wing tipped shoes - $3.98
Black Dooney & Bourke bag - $20.00 (yep...$20.00!!)

Grand Total: $67.96!

As evidenced by my infrequent, "Thrifty Thursdays," I love re-discovering clothes and bags at thrift/second hand stores. When I find a stylish piece or fun, sharp bag that still has plenty of life left, I have such a feeling of accomplishment. It's like I've been playing a game and I just smoked my competition. What's your favorite way to find great deals?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Three Things Thrifty!

This week, I'm wearing three things scored at thrift & second hand stores. Can you guess which three? At least one item is recurring...have you been paying attention to which one it is?? :-)

Friday, November 4, 2011

Is That Music I Hear?

Two posts in 24 hours? Yeah, pinch yourself, smack yo' mamma, whatever you have to do, 'cuz this is happening.

During a super fast errand (because I was at work, it's chilly, & I can't bring myself to wear a jacket, yet...evidently), I heard music. Of course, like all the kids in the Pied Piper of Hamlin story, I too, have to follow the music. Also, I'm subject to follow brightly colored, sparkly things, as well. Oh, how good I am at digression.

Back on point.


I discovered the source of the music. The Mobile Music Machine. It's hauled by a bike and the wheels of the trailer are the front wheels of, what appears to be, mountain bikes:

How cool is that? Speaking of cool, this was parked close by:

That is a skateboard on the back. Yes, this bike has it all...even fuzzy dice.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

San Francisco

Recently, I ventured to California for the NORCAL warrior dash. One of my college sorority sisters met me in San Francisco. Neither of us had ever been to that area before, so it was a great excuse to meet up. Since, I loooovvvee freaks and heard San Francisco was the freakiest, funkiest place, I was really excited. Perhaps to my own detriment. Ahh, the curse of great expectations.

One HUGE positive...I saw countless people riding bikes. 99% of the guys riding bikes were quite good looking. I was very tempted to knock a few off their bikes, solely to meet them. "Oh, I'm sooo sorry, are you ok? Let me buy you a drink to make it up to you." Shameless, yes. And, the chances were very high that they would not be into me, since I have two 'x' chromosomes.

An old friend lives in SF, now. He met us and showed us some of his favorite night spots. One of which had a photo booth. Always a good idea. Always.

The next day, we walked to China Town. Here I'm taking a photo of the entry way...and also, of a cutie patootie taking my picture. I mean, I was the only thing to see on the side of the street where I was standing. That's my story and I'm sticking to it!

We did pass Lombard Street. We could see the steepness and crookedness in the distance, but alas, my phone camera's zoom was not adequate to capture it in the distance.

We then made our way to Fisherman's Wharf, where we took a ferry to Alcatraz (by far, the highlight of my trip)!

Here's where everyone showered (the inmates, of course, not us). Yikes!

They locked me up and threatened to throw away the key! Just a side note, it's hard to really show a scowl with the sun blinding you. This was along the C-D Block, where the bad of the bad were housed. It was on the west side of the island, along a wall of windows (hence the sun). They said that there was (is?) a yacht club on the other side of the bay. Each NYE, the club would have a blow out party. If the wind blew just right, the inmates could hear conversations and laughter from across the bay. Can you imagine?

Here's the view of my finger and San Francisco from outside the Administration Building.

There's an amazing view from the area where inmates would go outside. Of course, this was past a solid steel door I'm sure they were never allowed to pass through.

This was in the most dangerous part of the prison...the dining hall. There were ledges where inmates picked up their trays of food. I saw "Capone" etched on one. I'm sure it was etched there after he was long gone (they say that when he was there, his brain was pretty much gone from syphilis), but I'd like to think that he, himself made the etching.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Answers for the Patient

Once again, Miracle Miaya, guessed correctly. The thrifty item was the black & white skirt.

Evie Black Tank Sweater - $12.99 K&G
Max Studio Black & White Skirt - $1.98 Thrift Store
Target Black Leggings - $14.99 Target (obviously)
Bandolino Shoes - $24.99 (TJ Maxx)
White Scarf - $7.99 (China Town of Memphis)

Outfit Total: $62.94

Extras: The bike is "Big Bertha" a circa 1995, steel framed (a million pound) Diamond Back
The trunk back (on the back of the bike) was from the Clymb - I think I paid $25.00! You can sign up for the Clymb, on my page, to the right.
Sling Back - Patagonia. If I have to wear a bag when cycling, this is my favorite. It has a belly strap to avoid slippage, but it rarely slips, anyway.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Playing with Exposures

It's Thursday people! You know what that means...another thrifty day. Below is my latest commuter outfit - sans the sweater I wore, becasue it was 50 degrees in the morning and 80 in the afternoon, but I digress. Included in my ensemble, is one thrift store purchase. Can you guess which one it is? Here's a's not the (Big Bertha) bike.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

BCB 100...or 124 if You're One of the Cool Kids

Earlier this month, I participated in the Memphis Hightailers Bluff City Blues Century ride. This year they offered a double metric century (that's 124 miles, folks) option. Since, I love to *test my physical limits, of course I tried the 124 mile route.

Here's the reusable goodie bag that all the participants received and if they signed up before a specific time, they also received cool BCB socks.

It was a bit chilly the day of the ride - about 60 degrees with a 10mph NE wind (and guess which direction the first 70 miles guessed it, N freakin' E). Riding 124 miles is difficult enough, factor in fighting the wind and oh, brother. Regardless, we were bright eyed and ready to roll at the start. Here we are flashing double metric signs. Like they said in "Office Space," "&*^% it feels good to be a gangsta."

Leigh and me at the first SAG stop - there were about 30 people riding the 124 mile route - only 4 of which, were females. GIRL POWER!

One of my favorite stops was around mile 90, Randolph Landing. Here I am with the crew that I mainly rode with. Don't ask me what I'm doing in this picture...I have no idea. For the record, as soon as I bent down, my legs let me know that bending was definitely not a good idea.

It was great to accomplish my longest ride yet (124.75 to be exact), although, the first 70 miles were against the wind. During that first 70, every second I was thinking, "this was a bad idea...this was a really bad idea." When we finally turned for home, with the wind on our backs, I felt like I found my groove & started enjoying the scenery. After all was said and done, my saddle time was 7:30 with a 16.4mph avg. There's definitely room for improvement, but I'm happy with how I did. I was also happy with the huge cup of Fat Tire beer that was provided at the finish!

*read: torture myself because I was raised Catholic and that's what Catholics do...well, that and drink. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

How Are Our Morals?

Usually, I keep things really light hearted, here. However, given the recent controversy over Troy Davis' execution, I began to think more about the death penalty, in general. Do I agree with or disagree with my country giving the ultimate punishment, murder in the form of the death penalty? Now enters the ethical dilemma.

Is murder okay if it is to punish for a horrific crime, in which someone killed another person or persons? Any eye for an eye, so to speak? A huge part of me believes that the punishment might be greater to live out the rest of ones days in confinement, living with the guilt of one's actions. Death might be an easy escape. I've never been to jail, but have heard enough about it to know that it doesn't sound like any cake walk (mmm, cake). Then, there's another part of me (that I'm slightly ashamed of) that says, "why should I pay for such a disturbed human being to have their basic needs met." They don't deserve that. But don't they? Doesn't everyone deserve their basic needs to be met? Isn't that what our forefathers believed for the great nation of the United States of America?

Even beyond whether murder in the form of the death penalty is just, who is worthy of passing such judgement on a fellow human? I certainly don't feel worthy of such a godly task. What if, in 1 out of 1 million death penalty cases, an innocent was wongly convicted and sent to their death. Is that okay? Is it par for the course? Should the jury, who sent that innocent person to their death, suffer the same punishment for being wrong? Should the prosecution, for the role they played in a wrongful conviction? Wonder how common the death penalty would be if those who send a person to their death were liable to suffer the same fate if they were proven wrong. Ah, but then, the justice system would be greatly flawed, wouldn't it? People would be shy to decide harsher punishments for fear of suffering the same consequence, if wrong. Jurors can't be responsible to that extent, can they? They have to make their best judgement based on the facts presented to them. That's what they've sworn to do.

Is America eons behind other progressive nations on this issue? Is it easier not to think about such things?

I'll end with a quote that I saw regarding the Troy Davis issue:

"If we are to err, let it be on the side of deliberation and mercy, rather than the unsettling finality we have seen pursued by the state of Georgia. Should we choose those better virtues, we might all sleep better."

I'd quite like to solely remember: "if we are to err, let it be on the side of diliberation and mercy (period!)."

Friday, September 23, 2011

Thrifty Answers

The thrifty item from yesterday's post is: the black turtleneck!

Miracle Miaya was the winner who guessed correctly!

Shoes - American Eagle (for payless): $14.99
Black Skinny Pants - the Limited, circa, mid/late '90's (given my budget back then, there's no way I paid more than $39.99 for them, so that's the price I'm going with): $39.99
Black Gap Turtleneck - thrift store purchase: $3.99
White Old Navy Quarter Sleeved White (pheasant type) blouse - $19.99
Red & Black Scarf - Jun Lee: $6.00

Grand Total: $84.96!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Thrifty Thursday!

One of the items I'm sporting, below, was purchased at a thrift store. Can you guess which one it is?

Friday, September 16, 2011

Bike Rally

Recently, I attended a bike rally for (bike friendly) safe streets. Some people biked from Midtown on their lunch break for the event. I just walked a few blocks. There was a good turnout, so I'd consider the rally a success. People sported signs, some even had ghost bikes (which made me really sad). Have you heard of ghost bikes? When I first saw one, it was just after a local cyclist was hit by a car, and subsequently died from his injuries. Since, the art school is close by, I thought it was an artistic statement and tribute to that cyclist. Well, turns out, it's a national thing that started in St. Louis in 2003.

I don't necessarily agree, as I think that shared lanes are progress, but hooray for freedom of speech and us all working toward a common goal!

Ghost bike. Sad.

Monday, September 12, 2011

NOLA, Part Deux

The second morning, I woke up way too early (because I absolutely cannot sleep late. Nap, yes...sleep past 8am, nope). After breakfast, I took a walk around the neighborhood. I passed under an expressway and noticed this:

I loved the colorfully decorated columns and the use of the space as additional parking. It's doubtful that I would park under an expressway (mostly because I am super protective of my body and belongings), but love the idea.

Then, we took a stroll down Bourbon Street to meet up with friends. It's actually quite clean in the daytime.

After cafe & beignets at Cafe Du Monde, we walked to Hotel Monteleone for a cocktail at the famous carousel bar!

Then, we headed out for an airboat swamp tour. I was a bit petrified - I don't like being reminded that I am, in fact, not the top of the food chain. Therefore, I don't venture too far into oceans and/or swamps. However, I'm a team player! There were alligators on display at the tour lodge:

And in the swamp:

Did you know that spanish moss used to be used for medical stitches? It's true. If you peel back the fuzzy outside, there's a black string like lining. When it's exposed to air, it becomes difficult to break. However, with the fuzzy outer liner intact, a string of spanish moss easily crumbles. Wild!

We headed to Commander's Palace for dinner. It was wonderful. I had turtle soup for the first time. It kinda weirded me out, but was good. I had fish for the main course - meh, can't remember exactly what it was, but it was good. Then...creme brulee for dessert. YUM! It's extremely difficult for me to pass up creme bru-la-la. Others had delicious looking desserts, but come on...take a gander at that:

Hitching a ride on a streetcar. This one's name was not desire...desire was headed in the other direction.

The famous, Hotel Cirque:

After dinner, we made our way back to Frenchman's Street (it was the best, if you haven't gathered that already). Everywhere we went closed, shortly after our arrival. We ended the night at the Blue Nile. It was a huge venue. The band who played that night, was jazzy with a bit of hip hop funk, sprinkled in. Brilliant! I was super sweaty from jumping around, shaking my money maker!