TOOTHFUL99   33,671
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Signs of Aging

Friday, August 31, 2012

Okay, so I had a birthday last week. I told my friends I was 48 going on 15...maturity-wise. It was a great birthday, though. I was biking around Indiana, with 21 friends, seeing as many covered bridges as we could in a week. On the evening of my birthday, we had a party that I will always remember. It was such a good time!

I really have the best friends in the world! They really made this day special.

Now...for the aging part....

I've been dealing with a sore thumb for months. In June, I went to my doctor. He thought it was tendonitis. I took steroids for 10 days and wore this big clunky splint for 5 weeks. It went from mid forearm to mid hand, immobilizing my thumb and wrist. Needless to say, this really interfered with life, but I wore it religiously. After 5 weeks, my thumb still hurt. On top of that, my wrist was starting to hurt from fighting the brace. I decided to quit wearing it and called the doctor to see what my next step was.

Yesterday, I went to a hand specialist. He was a big, burley, 'good-ole-boy' kind of guy with a big booming voice. It took him about 3 minutes to find that arthritis in my CMC joint is my problem. (That's the bottom-most joint at the base of your thumb, near your wrist. He gave me a cortizone shot in that joint.) Holy H**l! That hurt like crap! I think I might have taught that 'good-ole-boy' some new curse words! Within 5 minutes of him finishing, I thought he had set my hand on the floor and stomped on it!!

I had to be fitted for a new brace and learn some hand exercises from a physical therapist before I could leave. She tried to hurry through it and more or less just handed me the list of exercises because she could see I was in pain and wanted to get the h**l out of there. The hour long drive home was filled with whimpering and "Holy s**ts." Hope I don't have to do that again! I'm happy to say, that today the pain is the same as it's always been and hoping it improves.

The new brace is a lot smaller and only covers from wrist to mid-hand. It's flexible and makes manuevering easier. The good news is that the physical therapist said that my biking hand position is actually good for this.

I'd like to think my vehicle will last forever, but now I feel it's starting to fail me. Is this a preview of what's to come? Well...I plan on fighting it tooth and nail!!! I am only 15, after all!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SPEEDYDOG 10/7/2012 8:22PM

    What is failing on your bike? My poor 2006 Stumpjumper Pro hardtail "Little Stumpy", is starting to feel "loose". I then realized I must have a bazillion hard trail miles on the little bike. Little Stumpy is still a confidence builder and a very easy bike to ride fast over difficult terrain.

But he is showing his age.

I know what you are thinking. "What happens if you get many miles from home and the bike breaks?"

I think you look great in your bike outfit. BTW - two of my boys and my daughter need cortizone shots occasionally because of playing college sports. I dislike cortizone because the effects are temporary.

Good luck healing.


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LIVESTRONG2010 9/2/2012 12:05PM

    I have a birthday coming up at the end of the month~will be the big "50"! The body lets me know it's aging and doesn't always like what I am doing to it but it just goes along with it.

What a great way to spend your birthday! Happy belated Birthday!! Sounds like you had a great time.

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MYLADY4 9/1/2012 9:22AM

    LOVE the helmet tiara and Happy Belated Birthday.

Hope the hand feels better soon.

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LISAINMS 8/31/2012 11:02PM

    Fight it! Glad you had a wonderful birthday. Sounds like a great week of riding.

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1CRAZYDOG 8/31/2012 8:48PM

    Well, I hope that thumb starts to feel better! I had cortisone shots in my knees (both have OA) and pretty much fit your description of the pain! BUT it did settle down after 48 hrs. Hope yous does too.

UGH. On the other hand, glad you had such a wonderful birthday! HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY! I am 58 and I"ll tell you, I feel better now than I have ever felt. So, it's all about how you take care of yourself. Can't say I feel 15, but maybe 16??? Yeah, that's it . . . 16!

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POINTAFTER 8/31/2012 8:05PM

    LOVE that saying 48 going on 15! Mind if I borrow it??

I had tendonitis twice - and the physical therapy that goes with it. Funny things happen in your 40s that we don't see coming. But people tell me I don't look my age so I just roll with it. Sounds like you will too.

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BLUE42DOWN 8/31/2012 1:43PM


Love the cake!

Hope your hand is feeling better soon.

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DEEJON123 8/31/2012 11:17AM

    First up, Happy Belated B-Day!

I just wanted to offer some encouragement, a cortisone injection can take a few days to catch and have any effect, but they are wonderful pain relievers and a lot less dangerous than the steroids. I can't believe your Dr would prescribe steroids for tendentious ........ WOW ! I know there are several types of steroids, but they are all so bad for you, check out what they do to your teeth and bones, especially as you age! My husband took them due to M.S. for years, and constantly broke ribs when he coughed too hard, AVOID THEM if you can!! emoticon

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    Did\Does your joint itch? Not around the joint but the core of the joint itself? When I had my first OA flare-up, on my birthday 2 years ago (HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!!), I was in agony!! Dear, God! It burned, it hurt itched! I mean, it just itched like crazy. But, I found if I placed my fingers under the heel of my foot and I pulled my hand back - like I was trying to pull my hand away from my fingers - ahhhhh! Instant relief. So, for most of the day, and that weekend (it was a Friday), that's what I did. I didn't recall it hurting this badly since the day I broke that wrist in college, back in 1988.

After a visit to Dr. Gracy's office, on Monday, he confirmed it was what all my Internet browsing and research had confirmed: Osteoarthritis. Fortunately, it's not RA (Rheumatoid Arthritis) which is generally bilateral. I started taking glucosamine, condroitin and MSM tablets as well as some cod liver oil. I've not had a debilitating flare-up since that day, though I've had mild flare-ups since.

The key is to keep mobile and active with that joint. Don't let the onset stop you from using the joint - that'll just make it worse and the flare-up last longer.

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DIET_FRIEND 8/31/2012 10:10AM

    I hope that pain disappears as mysteriously as it came. It sounds dreadful as we use our hands all the time.

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A day on the bike

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Nothing is more fun to me than a day on my bike. Especially when it's a day of just riding around town, exploring and making up a route as I go. That's what I did yesterday and, of course, had a blast.

I'm up in the Green Bay, WI area, where we used to live. My kids live up here and I was feeling the "Mommy" urge to spend time with them. So, Monday morning I jumped in my car and drove 15 hours to get here. It's a crappy, boring drive, but the payoff is well worth it! An added bonus is getting to ride my bike with all of my old friends.

We own a business up here, so my husband makes a lot of trips. For the last few years, we were mooching off of friends and staying at their houses. This spring, we decided to rent a small apartment to make things a little easier and not lose any friends. lol. I love where I live in Tennessee, but I like coming up here, too. (In the summer) Everything is so familiar, like an old comfortable pair of shoes. I was not born and raised in this area of Wisconsin, but this is where I say I'm from. I fit here! (Except for in the winter!)

So, back to yesterday...

I left our apartment in DePere on my bike at about 1pm. (DePere is a suburb of Green Bay.) I crossed the Fox River and headed towards the East River Trail. I avoided the Fox River Trail because I'm too cheap to purchase a trail pass! It was a beautiful day, sunny and around 80 degrees. The East River Trail winds along the river and goes in and out of wooded areas, over bridges and through parks. It does need some maintenance, but it's still my favorite. I was surprised to find that they added onto it since the last time I rode it. It starts in DePere, which is south of Green Bay, and travels all the way to the north side of Green Bay.

While I was rolling along, I decided to go visit my friends, Dave and Cathy. They live near the Bay of Green Bay and the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. I wasn't sure if they'd be home, but I thought if they weren't I'd hit Culver's for some frozen custard. Well, they saved me the un-needed calories by being home. We had a nice visit and shared the latest gossip. I mentioned to Dave that I was meeting two other friends for a ride at 4pm. He decided to join us.

So, we hit the road and met Sharon and Pat at Mackinaw's. The club was having an organized bike ride at 6pm, but we decided to meet for a pre-ride at 4. When I lived here, we did this all the time. So, it was like old times. We headed east, into the wind, and rode some nice country roads just outside of town.

We returned to the restaurant and the rest of the club members were congregating for the ride. There were about 25 people for the ride, which was a slow paced, social ride, followed by dinner. It was so nice to catch up with everyone. This is a group that really likes to have fun. I learned a lot about being a kid again from these people. I owe them a lot. They are truly good friends.

My husband came to have dinner with us and do his own catching up. He's not a bicyclist and has to put up with my obsession. Poor guy!

All in all, it was a great day! Ended with 58.7 miles. I had no idea I was going to meander that far. It just happened.

Today, I meet up with son#2 for dinner and I'm trying to come up with something fun for all of us to do on Saturday. (Too bad they don't bike!)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LISAINMS 8/10/2012 10:48AM

    Sounds like a great day!

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1CRAZYDOG 8/9/2012 9:15PM

    Glad that you had a good bike ride!

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BEN09262009 8/9/2012 12:32PM

    Wow- that's a lot of miles- Way to go! I need to invest in a new bike. I think it's something I would enjoy as well. I jog/walk outside and I love to just listen to all the outdoor noises- I don't blare any music or anything-- just a peaceful walk!

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MYLADY4 8/9/2012 12:05PM

    Over there is where we are going to plan our biking vacation for next year. We have friends that live over there too. Would have done it this year but Hubby's 25th reunion is next weekend and with him on weekends, his time off is limited. Glad to here that is it so nice.

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Mega watermelon pic

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Well, here it is...

26.4 pounds!!

There are a lot more 'babies' in the watermelon patch. I hope they're not all 'born' on the same day!

Have a great Tuesday, Everyone!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DAVEINSEOUL 8/4/2012 1:09AM


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1CRAZYDOG 7/31/2012 8:33PM

    That's huge!!!

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SKINNYPOWELL1 7/31/2012 11:13AM

    Now that's a watermelon..... WOW, hope you enjoy every last bite. emoticon

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MYLADY4 7/31/2012 11:10AM


Did it taste good?

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BOBINVA 7/31/2012 10:30AM

    What is the secret to a big one like that?

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BILL60 7/31/2012 8:43AM

    You ought to go into the watermelon business. That's one big fruit.

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WELLNESSME09 7/31/2012 8:11AM

We have not seen those watermelons in our groceries stores for many years now. My husband and I thought they were no longer being grown.

Thanks for sharing!

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EMGERBER 7/31/2012 7:52AM

    Amazing! I just love watermelon. Enjoy.

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PATTOMMC3 7/31/2012 7:51AM


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Little Biker on the Prairie

Friday, June 15, 2012

Well, I'm back! And I have a lot of work to do!

From June 3-9, I went on a bicycle tour called BRAN (Bike Ride Across Nebraska). I had such an awesome time!

We rode 467 miles from Minatare to Yutan in 7 days.

It was a 2 day drive to get to my friend Shirley's house from my house in Tennessee. Then, her husband drove us the remaining 5 hours to the start of the ride. We checked in, along with 600 other riders, and settled into our tent (home away from home for the week.)

The next morning, we headed out on our adventure. Western Nebraska has kind of an old west feel to it. There are rocky bluffs, sage brush and lots of sand.

We went through many little towns along the way. Most of them didn't have much to offer, but a few had snacks or a lunch for us. It was a good fundraiser for organizations to feed us.

Lunch in Anselmo

When we would get to our host cities, they would hand us a list of where the meals were. We usually had 3 choices. The difficult thing for us was to find a place that Shirley could eat. She had a lot of food allergies.

This breakfast in Stapleton really primed our pumps for the ride!

Each host city would have activities planned for the evening. At the end of the week, we voted for the best host. The winning town would receive a scholarship donation from the BRAN organization.

What do you think? Wilfred Brimley??

The car club in St. Paul had all of their collector cars out on display for us. This one matched my bike!

Don't let anyone tell you that Nebraska is flat! There are some pretty challenging hills. We started the week at 3900 ft. above sea level and ended at 1200 ft. Sounds like it would be all downhill, right?

Shirley had to walk up some hills in the beginning of the week, but was biking up all of them by the end. She said she would look up and decide it was too far to walk, and keep pedaling!

Nebraska is some beautiful country. As we went farther east, there was more green in the landscape and the cornfields increased.

The North Platte River. We stood there for a while watching the swallows swarm.

A dip in Lake McConaughy

We were in big cattle country

This was one of our SAG stops. Notice the wind. That wind was present everyday. We just hoped it was blowing the right way!!

There aren't a lot of trees and bushes along the highways of Nebraska, limiting bathroom opportunities. I finally found some corn that was tall enough!

What made this trip the best was the people. Everyone was so friendly! I made many new friends along the way.

We made it!! We felt so good, we could have kept going into Iowa!

What a wonderful experience. I just might have to do this ride again next year!

Now, to get back on track with my diet. I don't think porkchop breakfasts and eating 2 hot fudge sundaes a day is part of a healthy lifestyle!! lol

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DAVEINSEOUL 8/4/2012 1:09AM

    Thanks for the pics and the travelogue. I felt I was right there with you (come on, just find a corn patch that tall enough and just go already :-). You must have had a lot of fun - but it also looked HOT.

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SPEEDYDOG 7/5/2012 9:09AM

    I enjoyed riding along with you! Wow, did that look lke fun.


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SKINNYPOWELL1 6/18/2012 12:27PM

    Thanks for sharing your awesome experience with us, sounds like a wonderful trip and the experience of a lifetime. Good job on biking all those miles. You ROCK !!!!!

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MICKEYMAX 6/16/2012 2:46PM

    Awesome! great ride!

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BOBINVA 6/16/2012 11:30AM

    That looks like a lot of fun. Welcome back.

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W5VEOTX 6/16/2012 8:32AM

    Wow, wonderful and thanks for sharing. Great photos. If mother's health holds will ride RAGBRAI, the bike across Iowa next month. Have done before and is wonderful.

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1CRAZYDOG 6/15/2012 5:58PM

    What a wonderful Spark-a-log of your trip. Looks like it was wonderful.

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LIVESTRONG2010 6/15/2012 5:35PM

    I would so love to come along with you and Mammaw497 next year if you do it. It would be an amazing adventure and would be great to complete with Sparkers.

Thanks for sharing the pictures along the way. Love the one with the windmill and dead tree. I would love to have a copy if you would let me.

Wow is all I can say about your adventure!!!

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NIKKILEEG 6/15/2012 1:47PM

    Aren't these kinds of rides absolutely awesome!?! I always want to just keep going on the bike :)

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DDOORN 6/15/2012 11:34AM

    Wonderful pics of your journey! Thx so much for sharing!

You must have had SUCH a BLAST!! :-)


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VHALKYRIE 6/15/2012 11:29AM

    Wow that sounds like a lot of work, and so much fun! I hope to do something similar one day!

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MYLADY4 6/15/2012 11:24AM

    Oh looks like it was so much fun.

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BAILEYS7OF9 6/15/2012 10:51AM

    absolutely LOVE the pics! especially the cornfield! LOL

I'm sure you needed those pork chops!

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MAMMAW497 6/15/2012 10:08AM

    What a great experience!
I'm inconsolable... emoticon i've had an inflamed hip bursa and riding is really off the table right now.
Those rides are my joy...well, one of my joys. emoticon
Hey...if you go next year can i come too!
Maybe we can get a chain of spark bicycel riders from across the U.S. to attend these events.
I've done the one Illinois has in June.
North carolina, Florida,,,,,,and I've bike toured across the U.S. many times.
Can you tell I love bicycling? emoticon

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Disappearing act

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Well, kind of.

I'm packing up to leave for a couple weeks. Next week, I'll be pedaling my butt across the great state of Nebraska. 455 miles in 7 days. Can't wait!! It's going to be hard work, but so much fun at the same time.

This will be the first tour I'm doing that I will be staying completely in tents along the way. I did cheat and I hired the tent service. They will have my tent set up for me with an air mattress, lawn chair and fresh towels every evening. My thought was that I didn't want to have to ride all day in the rain and have to set up my tent in the rain, too. This way, I can just relax when I get there. (Looking at the weather forecast, it looks like hot weather with a slight chance of thunderstorms once in a while. I can do that!)

I'll be in the middle of nowhere most of the time. Not taking my computer at all. I'll have my smart phone, so I'll try to check in once in a while if I can.

Catch you later!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DDOORN 5/31/2012 10:43PM

    Awesome deal! I saw the Massachusetts ride across the state had a tent service deal too...when I read that I thought: now that's the ONLY way you're going to get me camping on a bike! I am NOT going to tow all that stuff with me...ugh!

Looking forward to hearing all about it and how that tent service deal works out for you too!


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BOBINVA 5/31/2012 11:48AM

    I have never heard of a tent service. How cool.
Sounds like a great ride.
Hope you have a safe trip and a lot of fun.

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    How super awesome and hard at the same time! And fun! Have a GREAT time! :)

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MYLADY4 5/30/2012 9:16PM

    Sound so cool. Make sure to take lots of pictures and have a GREAT time!!!!

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1CRAZYDOG 5/30/2012 9:09PM

    Sounds like a wonderful challenge! Take care.

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BAILEYS7OF9 5/30/2012 2:19PM

    Oh great idea on the tent service! Makes it more inticing!

have a great time!

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PAMNANGEL 5/30/2012 1:30PM

    Cool. Didn't know there was such a thing as a tent service.

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SKINNYPOWELL1 5/30/2012 1:03PM

    Sounds like a super challenging trip, can't wait to hear all about your biking adventures, make sure to take a camera, I love pics. I definitely would have gotten the tent service, nice they have that. Enjoy your trip, I'm sure it will be the most fun you've ever had. WOW, pedal on girlie, I'll be thinking of you across the miles.

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