queen of the highway

Tom and I met in 1972, not to long after that we moved in together, rather I moved in with him.  At some point he got a motorcycle. In 1974 we got married.

We traveled quite a bit on that motorcycle.  Over time we upgraded to bigger motorcycles.  Continued to travel on his motorcycle. Somewhere around 1991 I took a motorcycle safety course and got my own motorcycle.  We continued to travel, but now on 2 motorcycles;  Up until we moved to Mexico in 2006.  We both sold our motorcycles, and never bought or drove any whilst in Mexico.

I recently posted about shopping for boots for motorcycle riding, and taking another motorcycle safety course.

I took my course a few weeks ago, and passed.  It was a 2 day, 8hr a day course.  Pretty thorough, and a very good refresher and reminder of safety while riding.

There were 10 students, I was the oldest, including the instructors.  We spent 8 till about 11 in classroom, then went to the field for on bike training.


our trusty steeds, waiting to be used and abused


this was my ride for most of day 1, mid afternoon I had to trade out for another bike, the clutch was going out.


I finished the course with Kiara, very spunky little bike.  

I passed my class, and got the certificate I needed to get my drivers license endorsed for 2 wheel vehicles.

I already had a motorcycle, Tom bought it, and his several months ago.

honda sabre1100


I recently got on mine.  Took it to a large parking lot and got familiar with the feel and operation.

The bikes we trained on were 125-250cc’s. and about 320pounds.  My bike is 1100cc and weighs about 615pounds.   This is the same type bike I had before we left, just different year, and color.

Going to need to do some short trips to get adjusted to the muscle groups needed for driving a motorcycle.  I am about 12 years older, and in way worse shape than when I used to drive.

But it’s going to be fun.


“Motorcycle Mama”
 Tell your Daddy and your Mama too
You got something better to do
Stick around the house the rest of your life
You’re eighteen you can do what you like
You’ll be the queen of my highway
My motorcycle mama
We’ll see the world through my Harley

We’ll get matching jackets and helmets too
We’ll get respect from the towns we ride through
We’ll sleep at the roadside in the soft green grass
And if the squares walk by we’ll let them pass
You’ll be the queen of my highway
My motorcycle mama
We’ll see the world through my Harley

And maybe in a year or two
We’ll have a little one
She’ll look just like you
We’ll add on a sidecar
Electric guitar
We’ll be a trio
The baby makes three, oh

Tell your Daddy and your Mama too
You got something better to do
Stick around the house the rest of your life
You’re eighteen you can be my wife
You’ll be the queen of my highway
My motorcycle mama
We’ll see the world through my Harley
We’ll see the world through my Harley
We’ll see the world through my Harley
If the chain don’t break

Posted in Everyday Stuff, motorcycles | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

things that make you chana aloo

So it's funny the things that make you do other things.

The other day I was in the grocery store, I always check the sales bins before progressing through the store and I found a package of naan bread,and it was on sale. Two rather large pieces of naan for $.57 what a bargain. Of course I had to buy it, so then what do you do once you purchase a package of discounted naan?

You make some curry of course.
So today Tom took off to buy a second hand workbench for the bodega, and to run some errands, so I made a big old pot of Chana Aloo curry. Yum!

I wish it looked better in the pot, but once you add the yogurt and the brown rice and cilantro it looks very nece, and super tasty. Completely vegan, until the plain yogurt, which I use instead of sour creme.



Posted in Cooking | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

RANT – Patient First

private jet in flight clipart2017, 24 January I flew to Mexico.  Just a few days prior to this I had a scratchy throat.  I thought perhaps it was from a few get togethers with friends where I laughed, and talked, a lot.

By 27 January I was miserable, cold/flu symptoms, difficulty breathing, tightness in chest, congestion, coughing.  I felt awful so I went to a doctor.  He told me I had an infection in my lungs; bronchitis or pneumonia I guess.  He prescribed an antibiotic, an anti-inflammatory, and an expectorant.

I got a little better, but I was sick and miserable the whole time I was away.

On 2 February I flew back to Richmond.  BIG mistake.  3 February I stayed in bed all day. Everything had resurfaced, and it also  moved into my ears.

4 February, a Saturday, I knew I needed to see a doctor.  I knew I couldn’t get in for several days if I called my regular doctor, so thought ER was my only option.

imagesBut No, here in Richmond there is a franchise called Patient First.  You use them for non-emergency stuff.  This is from their webpage – Providing non-appointment, physician-directed urgent care to: Midlothian, Chesterfield County, Robious, Hylton Park, Ramsgate, Old Gun, Tinsleys, Forest Hill, Bon Air, Salisbury, Staffordshire, and Powhatan County.

I contacted my Health Insurance to see if I was covered…If the physician (Scxxx Grxxxxxxxx) was in my Plan.  He was, which meant a $40USD co-pay.

So Tom drove me, we waited, maybe 45 minutes after I filled out the reams of paperwork, and let them run my credit card, which you must do else leave.  I was told they would only bill what my insurance didn’t pay.  I did not understand then what that would mean..  Then I was taken in to a large space with lots of workstations in the center, and a ring of small exam rooms around the perimeter.

I was shown to a room and an intake person came in and asked about my symptoms, and took my height, weight, blood pressure, temperature, etc.  Then another person came in and started doing things, no conversation or explanations; just throat swab, nose swab,  breath test, then I was told they had to do an xray to be sure my lungs were clear.  Now mind you I am sick, not feeling well at all, and not in a good place to be thinking clearly about what is going on.  Oh, and all this is without having yet seen a doctor, or being advised of separate charges for each of these pokes and prods.

So all these things are done, and I am back in the exam room.  I don’t know for how long because I fell asleep.   So the doctor comes in, a brief greeting and starts reading off a computer monitor and advises me I do not have strep, Influenza A, or B, and that my lungs are clear.  He then asks me about my symptoms and how I feel. He listens to my heart and lungs. He proclaims I have bronchitis and prescribes something to fight bacterial infection,

So on my way out I asked for a printout of the bill, a receipt.

I was devastated to see this –

  • 46usd, strep test
  • 41usd Influenza A test
  • 41usd Influenza B test
  • 113usd xray Chest, PA, Lat
  • 45usd peak flow measure
  • 213usd office visit
  • 66usd extended hours charge
  • _______
  • 565usd     and here I thought I was seeing a doctor for a 40usd copay.

I received notification several weeks later from my insurance company that they would not cover 257.97usd.  then right quickly I received from Patient First that they had billed the balance to my credit card.  And they did do exactly that.

So my warning, do not use Patient First, because you definitely do not come first. Not a single aide, nurse, or doctor actually introduced themselves.  And not a single person explained what they were doing, that it would incur an additional cost, or that I had any choice or say so in the matter.

By the way, this treatment plan, 10days, did not resolve the issue.  I ended up seeing the PA at my doctor’s office and went on a prednisone treatment that did eventually resolve the infection in my chest.

So there you have my rant about PatientFirst.  Perhaps had I not been sick and so debilitated I’d have had my senses about me and dealt with the treatment differently.  I was sick, and therefore feel the ‘medical professionals’ bear some responsibility for not understanding the nature of these things and being more forthcoming and outright in their treatment.

Posted in Everyday Stuff, medical care, medical costs | Tagged , | 12 Comments

Happy Dogs, Healthy Dogs

Hard to believe but it’s been nearly a year since we left Merida, Yucatan, MX.

One of the things that will always mark the anniversary will be the dogs checkups.

Today the girls went to see their new vet; Dr John Gray at Boulevard Animal Hospital.

A while back I inquired via a facebook page for our area about veterinarian recommendations, his name was mentioned several times.

So one day I stopped in and just sat and watched people come and go; and I talked with the office staff and a vet tech.  I liked what I observed and felt.  The office is clean, although a bit dated.  I met Dr Gray and spoke with him too.  So without checking other recommendations I decided to give him a go.

Today the girls, yes, all 3, and yes, all at once, went in.  Thank goodness Tom was able to come along.  Wrangling 3 dogs is a bit of a chore.

One super cool thing is the rabies vaccine is good for 3 years.  The girls got a check over, weight, exam of eyes, ears, and general body check.  Temperatures, heart rates, and weights were taken.  Tech and Rubi conveniently dropped a load while walking around the vet grounds so fresh stool samples were checked on them, all clear by the way so I won’t be collecting from Ceniza.  They got the rabies, and the DHLPP, which protects against distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis, parainfluenza and parvovirus.

And we got a 10% multi dog discount, SWEEEEEEEEEEET!


They have been pronounced to be in excellent health, an excellent weight, and overall the vet was impressed with them.   These girls are so good they even had the staff calling them well behaved.  You guys know different!



Posted in Everyday Stuff, our pets, Veterinarian | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

I had to go shopping today

and if you are my friends you know how much I dislike shopping.


One of Tom's obsessions is shopping. Especially when he gets his teeth, claws, fangs on to something.

One of the first things Tom got excited about once we got here was motorcycles.

Although Tom has driven motorcycles since he was a kid, and we've both had motorcycle endorsements for years and years, we lost them when living out of country and our US drivers licenses expired.

So back in September Tom took a motorcycle safety course. Oddly, you need a motorcycle to take the exam at the DMV, however, if you take the motorcycle safety course you don't have to take the test. duh?

So now, armed with his motorcycle endorsement the scent was there.

Once Tom got the scent of the hunt, the search was on. And search he did, he found two great bikes, in great shape, and for great prices.

here is my bike –

So now the pressure is on. I just signed up for my motorcycle safety course … There are mandates for attire for these courses.

I had to buy jeans, long jeans. And boots, ankle boots with a short heel, and enough of a chunky grid on the bottom to prevent slipping. I also must wear a long sleeved shirt, gloves, and sunglasses, luckily I already have those. They provide the motorcycles and helmets.

here are my new boots –

no, those aren't my new 'long' jeans. They are leggins, one of my favorite leg covering.

AND, for the past week Tom has been adding a secondary shed to the shed he already built.

This secondary shed, is for the motorcycles, which are currently in a rented storage facility.

This burn is why you wear long, tough pants when riding a motorcycle. You don't anticipate this happening when all you are doing is allowing a motorcycle to run after sitting for 4 weeks. Lesson learned


Posted in motorcycles, shopping | Tagged | 8 Comments

pickled Hungarian Wax Peppers

We are coming up on 11 months since our return to the USofA. As stated before it has been quite the culture shock after having lived out of country for nearly 11 years.

One of the biggest shocks for me are grocery stores. Buying food…oh my frickin gosh the choices available, and OH MY FRICKIN GOSH the prices.

I have sort of reverted to some of the practices I used in the 70’s when we found ourselves unemployed and living on 100usd per month in food stamps.

Lots of carbs, potatoes, pasta, rice with a variety of vegetables added. We’ve also taken to eating more eggs. And as always, and my favorite food — beans. I do love beans.

The Super I use has one bonus section for me, a markdown produce area. It is amazing to me the bargains I find there. It is my first stop when I enter, and what I find there will determine the rest of my purchases.

so the other day there was a good size bag with 1 orange bell pepper, .89cents per pepper on the regular rack, and about 20 hungarian wax peppers, usually 1.49 per pound. All for .99cents. yep, I bought it.

so what to do with 20+ mildly spicy peppers??? why pickle them of course.

so first thing was to clean, seed, and slice them. I decided to do strips.

Then after determining I had enough for nearly 3 pints I added 3 c white vinegar and 1/2 c water to a non reactive saucepan and set a medium high flame. To the sauce pan I also added 1 tablespoon of pickling spice, 3/4 tablespoon yellow mustard seed, 3/4 tablespoon salt, and 1 tablespoon sugar. While all this came to a boil I finished prepping the peppers. I also rough chopped 4 cloves of garlic, and thin sliced 1/2 medium red onion.

I mix the peppers, onion, and garlic and loosely filled the 3 pint jars, now my preference would have been 1/2 pint jars, unfortunately I didn’t have any.

I then poured the vinegar mix in to each jar trying to get an even distribution of pickling spice and mustard seeds.

I wiped the rims, set the lids and placed them in a large pot of low boiling water for about 15 minutes.


we’ll know in about a week how they taste. I did taste the vinegar mix and they may be a bit salty for my preference.


Posted in Cooking, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

oh my Merida

Merida, Yucatan, MEXICO

is seriously, a very interesting place to live. Yes it is unspeakably hot at times, yes it is unspeakably humid at times yes it is dirty and littered most of the time, yes the streets are terrible, well if you live South of 59. Yes there is serious corruption, although things are changing. Yes there are things that someone will not like.

However, there is a beauty…the archtecture, the vignettes of life, the people, the flowers and plants, the pace of life.

One amazing thing are the artistic and cultural events that the local government sponsors for the people.

We have seen art exhibits by Dali, Rembrandt, Goya, Picasso, Russian Ballet, Cuban Ballet, light shows, floral displays, symphony in the park, music, dance, theatrical performances such a wide variety of cultural and educational events. And all free. Yes, free!

OK, some think it comes at the expense of other things…fixing a pothole, replacing a streetlight, etc. But what is life without art, beauty, and diversion?


While in Merida the past few weeks we took advantage of several such free cultural events.

One was a light show, http://www.filux.info/. It was amazing, the number and variety of people in attendance was astronomical, the displays went from simplistic to mind staggering.

Another was the Camino de flores. https://youtu.be/tirQ9jjGyTA One block long street next to a park was blocked, an elevated walkway was established and the street below was designed to display a variety of very beautiful and interesting floral/plant arrangements. And again, the attendance has been staggering. I love seeing the people, all types of people enjoying such events.




Today Tom and I walked about the plaza grande, or main square. It felt touristy, I usually just pass through getting from one place to another. Bittersweet, leaving a place I enjoy so much.


But I must admit I have been enjoying Richmond very much, I am sure you will see and hear more about it, especially now that it is warming up. I do hate cold weather.


Posted in mer, Merida | 12 Comments