Thursday, May 31, 2012

For Amber Waves of Grain.....

A month early!!!  Newspaper cited several older farmers who said they've seen wheat harvest put off until Fourth of July because of too much moisture, but no one remembers harvesting before/on Memorial Day.  The elevators were open here on Memorial Day.  The harvest is ON!!!

I always used to relate wheat harvest to Biking Across Kansas (week June 12 falls in.)  Usually they were about the same time...which made riding somewhat dangerous.  For you non-Kansans, combines and wheat trucks are usually pretty big and pretty wide...and usually the combines have to be transported from cut to cut.  And any good Kansan knows, whether you're in a truck, car, or on a bicycle:  Custom cutters have the right-of-way!!!  (Not meant to be snide!!  Seriously, that's our bread [literally] and butter!!!  Give 'em all they need in every way!)
I took these photos yesterday, the 30th of May, on Elmer Road (officially it's Trail West Road) between Crupper's Corner and the Yoder Road.  Another great ride!!!  (28.03 miles)

Last evening we had storms.  We really need moisture...although I'm sure most wheat farmers would heartily disagree right now.  I know there were a lot of reports of hail and that along with heavy rain and winds up to 70 miles per hour are NOT good for wheat harvest.  Muddy fields, wet wheat, downed wheat...booooooo!!!

But this morning is beautiful....very cool and a little windy...but Carol and I got out and did a few miles.  Not many as the north wind is stout...but I had to have at least 8.16 miles to finish May.  I got I now have 1005.01 miles for the first five months of the year.  Not terrific...but for me, it's fantastic!!!!  I'm happy!!

Count your blessings and enjoy life!!!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Still Windy...but Riding...some....

Kansas...."People of the Wind".....Yeah, yeah, yeah!!!     At my house it's more like people sick and tired of the wind.

Wednesday was windy...we didn't ride.

Thursday wasn't too bad so Carol and I biked over to Nickerson for a coke.  27.25 miles

Friday was windy was Saturday and Sunday.  Reports of wind at 34 mph with gusts to 39 mph.  So last night I called Carol and asked what she'd think of an early ride.  For you non-Kansans, the wind usually "lies" at night...not always, but sometimes.  So at 6:45 this morning with supposedly a 7 mph headwind Carol and I took off for Nickerson.  We got to the convenience store, had our drinks, and headed back...with a great wonderful tailwind.  Awesome ride.  27.19 miles (obviously some days I wobble more  than others!)  Wind is currently out of the north at 12 mph. 

A group of us (3 are bicyclists) usually go to coffee together on Monday morning...but since today is Memorial Day we're putting it off until tomorrow morning.  On the way back from Nickerson Carol and I were talking about when/where we might ride tomorrow.  Thinking this getting out early worked pretty well, I said, "Well, we could even bike to coffee."   Carol said, "I wouldn't have a problem with that."  I said. " I wouldn't either....but everyone else around us might!"  Anyway...looking at the weather forecast now indications are that tomorrow is supposed to be a relatively un-windy we'll probably give everyone a break and ride later in the day.  :)

Now a little educational item:  When you're approaching bicyclists "head-on"...i.e. they are on their side of the road, and you're on your side....please don't scoot clear over to your right with one wheel nearly in the ditch.  We're not as big as a car, and by getting over you risk catching your tire/wheel on the edge of the pavement.  And if you do that, what are you gonna do???  You're going to JERK it back...and right into us!!!  Just stay in your lane...we'll stay in ours.  OK?  OK. (For what it's worth....experience has taught us to get single file when there's even a car approaching.  Sometimes then they don't hug that edge quite so tightly.)

With that....get yourself out there and enjoy this weather!!!  It's gorgeous....and this is of these days that's going to be a HOT wind...go now, sweat later!  And count your blessings while you're out there!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


Monday:   29.52 miles on bicycle.
Tuesday:     20.32 miles on bicycle.
Wednesday:  see photo:
So....they're saying 40-45 miles per hour with gusts.  Needless to say...we're not riding today!!
Welcome to Kansas!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Cousins, Chocolate, and Cycling

Yesterday I met my two cousins in Abilene for lunch at a Mexican foods place, and then "visiting time" at Russell Stover's!  I came home with lots of memories, lots of laughs....and lots of chocolate.  If you haven't made a stop at Russell Stover's (just off I-70 west of Abilene), you either should....or really should not!  Fresh, cheap, abundant chocolate.  Delicious, tasty, gooey, messy chocolate.  Satisfying, soothing, fattening (oops) chocolate.  My crisper bin is a large box on a shelf in the fridge.  And that doesn't even take into account all that I consumed.'s goooooood stuff!  My personal favorite (at least so far) is a Giant Rocky Road Bar.  It's actually more like an over-sized cluster.  Marshmallow, walnuts  and milk chocolate.  230 calories. 1.75 ounces...that's pretty big...and only $.37 each.  I bought several a lot. They're absolutely delicious!!!

So....then this a.m. Carol and I rode to Yoder (12.47 miles south of Hutchinson) to meet Mary and a couple of her bowling friends.  (They drove over in cars.)  We left Hutch about 8 a.m. as we're supposed to have strong south winds today.  Got to Yoder about 9 or so and joined the group for coffee (well, in my case, diet Dr. Pepper.)  Then Carol and I decided that since we'd have a strong tailwind all the way home, we'd go on south 3 miles or so.  We did.  I got home with 32.33 miles.  GREAT ride!  Up to 22 mph and barely pedaling!

Great day...get out there!  The wind is your friend! 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Moments to Savor, to be Proud of..and Moments to Wish Undone

The weather has been spectacular here.  Absolutely perfect for bicycle rides! 

Sunday Carol and I rode over to Nickerson for coffee/diet coke and met two "sets" of touring bikers.  The first two guys were from Santa Barbara, California and Seattle, Washington.  They were traveling from Pueblo, Colorado to Pittsburg, Kansas.  They had stayed at Hedrick's Exotic Animal Farm at Nickerson the previous night..and seemed to think it was pretty neat.  The man from Santa Barbara said that he didn't mean to cast aspersions on Kansans, but that he'd never seen so many FAT people.  I immediately sucked in and tried to stand taller.  He said that the other room occupants at the farm were "at least 40 pounds overweight!"  I can only assume his sunglasses were smudged and he couldn't see me very well.

Later, on the way back to Hutchinson, we met two more fellows who were from West Virginia.  After a little conversation, one of them asked (about the herd of cows and calves that were grazing in the pasture next to us), "So....are those eating cows?"  I smiled and said, "Yep, they're eating right now, in fact."  Totally went over his head!  Then he pointed to one particular cow and said, "So how old is he?"  Carol said, "Those are mother cows...."  He also wanted to know if the little ones were veal.  Ya know, this being a country hick ain't always easy!!!! 

So Sunday's ride took us a little longer...but we did get in a little over 27 miles.

Monday after coffee Mary and Carol and I took off again on our bikes.  We thought the wind was out of the north...but it wasn't.  So we cut across town, got on the bike path, went out through South Hutch, past Crupper's Corner and headed west.  By Crupper's Corner we already had in over 11 miles.  I made some comment about the wind..and Carol said, "Well, if you don't think you can make it, we can turn around."  It wasn't said to be a challenge, and we all laughed at the same time.  I wasn't about to turn around and she knew it!!!  :)   We got in over 27 miles.

This morning Carol and I met Mary down by the reformatory and rode Yoder Road down to Trail West (aka Elmer Road).  Took Elmer Road over to Highway 96 and back into South Hutch.  Just on the south edge of South Hutch we have to go under an overpass.  There is NO shoulder.  We are all very careful and bluntly, darned good riders.  We take our lane (it's four lane) and hold it.  That's the best way to keep from getting hit.  Be assertive!  Well, a large truck pulled right up on us and laid on his horn.  He had an entire other lane and no other traffic.  He just wanted to be an obnoxious butthead!  And was successful.  Then's when my "not so proud moment" occurred.  As we turned the corner by McDonald's to get off of the main street, we signaled to turn.  As I completed the turn, I continued to hold my arm up...even higher...finger extended...and yelled "F--- U"...only I didn't abbreviate it!  We rode on and the trucker caught the next corner and came around the block facing us.  We were all wondering which driveway, yard, what we'd have to take to get away from him.  We all noted it was a metal company out of Wichita and he stopped and tried to talk to us.  Carol went on by.  I stopped by his door and said, "What's your problem?"  He said, "What problem?"  I said, "You're an asshole" and rode away.  Mary was with me the whole time.  As we rode on around the next corner we could still hear him one responded.  We all know the name of the company...but you know flipping him off and yelling obscenities won't make a difference.  He's a moron.  Calling the company won't make a difference.  Then he'd just be an unemployed moron with time on his hands.  I should have just turned the corner and let him think he'd won.  Wish I would have...I'd be much prouder now.  Anyway, we all had something to talk about (not that we ever lack anything to talk about)...and I got in another 26+ miles.

So that's my moments to savor, to be proud of...and moments to wish undone.  But..for what it's worth....the thought crossed my mind:  I have a can of Halt hanging on my handlebar bag....oooooooohhhhhh....I could have made an even bigger mistake!!!!

Count your blessings....get out and enjoy this gorgeous day!  It's AWESOME!!!!!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

City-Wide Garage Sale

Buhler, a small town about 12 miles northeast of Hutchinson, had their city-wide garage sales today.  I've participated in this event for the past 3 or 4 years..setting up my display of sterling silver jewelry.  Although it's not "garage sale" merchandise, I usually do pretty well.   I went to high school (many years ago) with a guy that owns a lot of Buhler properties, so I've always been able to set up my tables in front of one of his stores - right on Main street.  Today was no exception.

Traffic was somewhat light...due to either cool, cool weather..almost rainy from time to time, to competition in Hutchinson with the annual art fair going on (it's a pretty big deal) possibly people just deciding it was too hard to get there.  Construction on K61 highway prevents crossing at 30th I went to 43rd, then found out I couldn't go north to continued east to Prairie Hills and then back south to 30th..then east on 30th, north on Buhler-Haven road....lots of wasted time and miles.  ( IS the Buhler-Haven road...NOT the Haven-Buhler road as some people I know think!!!)  At any rate, traffic was light but the people who were there still bought a few items - enough to make it worth my time going.  An overall enjoyable day. of the most enjoyable events of the day:  Five..and later 6 or 7...young men (someone said they were 5th and 6th graders) played their musical instruments right across the street from us.  The trombone player had music in his soul..or maybe that's "soles," as he'd start playing and he'd start moving.  He just almost danced the whole time.  One of the late-comers performed a really good "robot" dance.  Yeah, they weren't pros, but they were really "into" it, and it was fun to listen and watch.   I had noticed people just walking on by them, so I dug out $1.35 and went across the street.  They were taking kind of a break so I said, "Ok,'s the deal:  you gotta seed this pot so people will know they should drop a little money here!"   I put the dollar into one of the horn cases and laid the quarter and dime on top of it.  They all thanked me and  one of the boys said, "We have a $5 bill....but were afraid to put it out or the wind might blow it away!"  I said, "That's why I brought the quarter and the dime!"   They were so cute!  They played most all morning and got a lot of attention.  I also saw several people drop money in the case.  Cool, huh?  My son is/was a musician...starting very young...and I truly believe they need all the encouragement they can get.  Saw a bumper sticker years ago that I always liked:  Hug a musician...they don't get to dance much!

Fun day!  Made a little $$$, caught up with a couple of old friends and what's going on in their lives, and just all in all enjoyed the day!   Hope yours was good too.  Count your blessings...they're many!!!!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Potato Chip Cookies

I have several blogs that I read about every day.  Yesterday one of my favorites posted a recipe and photos for "Potato Chip Cookies"....along with a shout out something like "Stop what you're doing and make these cookies!!!"

So today I made cookies.  They're ok...they're pretty good.  They aren't a super sweet all... more like a pecan sandie.  Don't know that I'll make them again...but if you don't like super sweet they might be right up your alley.  (Personally I love the peanut butter cookie with the bite-size Snickers or Milky Way baked inside..super sweet!!!)

But I did get out and go for a bicycle ride earlier today.  Mary and I got in a little over 22 miles; Carol is still hiking the Grand Canyon...we think.   More on that later...  :)

Count your a cookie....and if you want this recipe go to  Have a good one!!!  (BTW...that's only the first cookie sheetful of cookies....there were more later.)

Thursday, May 3, 2012

She Said It Was Usually About My Flowers!!!

Recently, on a special trip to St. Louis, my NOW daughter-in-law told her sister that I have a blog.  When her sister asked what I write about, DIL said, "Usually about her flowers...." I go again!!  :)  

Lots of knock-out roses...gave two plants away...still have too many:

 And snapdragons........
 In several colors......
 Yellow being my favorite.....
 And while I say I don't like roses...this one is very pretty.  But still has those "big-assed" thorns I hate so much!
And so, life continues to be incredibly boring on the plains of Kansas.  The wind blows too hard to ride comfortably (I know, who said I needed to be comfortable!!!???)   But it'll get nicer soon and I'll be back out riding.  (Also, one of my main "co-riders" is in Arizona hiking the Grand Canyon and I hate riding alone.)

Count your blessings....have a wonderful May.

Here's where the "proper" people should quit reading:
A friend of mine used to say on May 1:
"The first of May
The first of May
Outside screwing starts today!!!"

Get yerself some!!!