Saturday, May 31, 2008

How i ro! SUBTITLE: Clear the bike path!!

A very kind friend gave me a beautiful bike several weeks ago. It has been a decade or two since I've ridden a bike, but in keeping with my new lifestyle(see my post about skydiving!), I am determined to get out more, exercise, get healthier, make a whole new network of friends,  leave the past in the past,  and see what sort of great new life I can create!
Many people in this area speak the highest words of praise for Cross Country Cycle(besides, they participate in a lot of community causes and advertise on JQ99-YAY!!) so I took my new bike there to be tuned up and to make sure the seat was the correct height, shape, that I had the proper helmet, gloves, shorts, etc. I did not want discomfort to become a factor in discouraging me to become a cyclist. I wasn't about to give myself any excuses not to ride!

Woo-hoo! They let you ride your bike inside the store! Wouldn't Mom be mortified?!

Part of the reason this cycle shop stands out above the rest is because it's a family business. Laura Harris, the store manager, has been working here with her father who owns the store, since the age of 14! She and her father take a personal interest in meeting the needs of their customers and they only select staff members who are committed to this level of service as well. 

Another unique thing is that Laura is one of the only FEMALE professional-level bike experts in our area available to help everyone, but women in particular, with cycling information and education that is geared towards our own unique needs. This store endeavors to help everyone develop a cycling mentality and way of life. Laura says that they make every effort at Cross Country Cycle to stay up with the latest cutting-edge products and cycling information. She says that even after all these years it is still fun and still exciting to her and that she loves to share those feelings with others. Laura offers a lot of basic, beginner level classes about cycling and bike safety, maintenance, and repair aimed at empowering people to become self-reliant bike enthusiasts. There are more advanced classes as well and opportunities for cycling teams and groups.

It has been a long time since I have gone into a store that is so customer service oriented and where they will take so much time to explain things and work with you!  If you want to get the same great service for yourself, Cross Country Cycling is located at 345 Douglas in Holland. The phone number there is 616-396-7491. Summer hours are: Monday-Friday 10am-8pm Saturday from 10am-5pm and CLOSED SUNDAY. To get further info, check the Cross Country Cycling website on the sidebar of this blog under i likes it, i likes it alot!

I left there feeling energized and ready to hit the bike path for my first ride! It's a beautiful day and ideal bike riding off I go!

The real key to fitness through bike riding is NOT to ride your bike to one of the many ice cream shops strategically located along the most popular bike routes!

If you frequent the bike paths in the Holland/Zeeland vicinity consider yourself warned! I am still in the wobbly stage!
Well, at least I LOOK like a cyclist with all my new garb-I think that's called being a "poser"! Maybe someday in the near future you'll see me on ESPN doing the Tour de France or in the Iron Man just never know where all this will lead! I'm hoping not to the Emergency Room!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

And then there were three: Hillary, Barak, or John?

Is that anything like Abraham, Martin and John? sure doesn't look like it! What other trinity could we compare these three to? Certainly not the Holy one...The Three Musketeers? Nope-they fought other people-not each other!All for one and one for all-definately NOT these three! How about the Three Caballaros? This situation could be compared to a Disney movie. A very bad one. Tres Lobos perhaps? I see some similarities between these three and a pack of hungry wolves!  The Three Stooges? That's got potential...I'm getting weary of the constant hoop jumping and ritualized boot-licking that goes on in the political process during the primary and election year. This said with the election still many months away!
I love that our government allows us the privilege of free elections and citizen participation but there is a downside. It's the nasty sniping and snot-slinging rhetoric that gets thrown around. It's the minuscule details that get all blown way out of proportion. It's all the ridiculous knit-picky stuff that gets taken out of context by rival campaigns. It's all the he said/she said/he said stuff that gets on my last nerve! There are other countries who put all the candidates on the ballot and have everyone vote once. Whomever has the most votes wins. I know that's oversimplified but it sure does sound appealing at this point!Probably wouldn't work here, hanging chad and all.
Well, what do we know so far? We've got the expansive field of runners narrowed to three. Soon, we should be down to two. We are being told that at the end of the primary elections on Friday of this coming week that the DNC is going to pressure the super delegates to get on one side of the fence or the other so a decision can be made. We think we know which two...but...there's still a possibility of something unexpected happening. So, we wait- to see for sure what happens next in the national soap opera we have going on here. On the bright side, this could prove more entertaining than the summer season re-runs!

Monday, May 26, 2008



I love Memorial Day! This is the first holiday of the summer season-a long awaited event in Michigan-especially after the winter we had and all of the snowfall late in the year. I love the fact that it brings to our remembrance those who serve our country, those who paid the ultimate price for our liberties, and preserves important pieces of our history. Like any other traditions of our culture, Memorial Day is important because we are given an opportunity to pass this information on to younger generations. The fact that we commemorate this day with memorial services and parades conveys to our youth that this is something important-we give of our time and effort to do this each year. In an over scheduled society, time and effort are precious commodities. Our actions on this day speak volumes about our commitment to see that our armed services men and women are held in highest esteem.

Today, when I was returning from work, I snapped these few random photos on my way home just to illustrate that-no matter what our political opinions-this is still a patriotic nation that honors the members of our armed forces, past or present, living or dead. With all the problems we have, this is still a magnificent country! I am proud to be a citizen of the United States of America! Apparently there are plenty of others who feel the same.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Jumping into a new life!

It's weird what goes through a person's mind as they contemplate going from here.....

to here.....

 by jumping out of an airplane that's two miles up in the sky! Then, falling at the speed of 250 miles per hour-for about a minute-until the parachute, a surprisingly filmy and unsubstantial looking piece of cloth, deploys (sigh of relief!) and you float in the hand of God over the most beautiful view! That's five minutes of my life that I will NEVER forget!How would I describe the experience? FREEDOM! Complete and total nothing else you will ever experience while standing on the ground. I could say it was a spiritual or religious experience. Deeply moving and incredibly transcendent. Other-worldly. I felt like a different person when I walked away from my jump. Probably the most empowering moment of my life so far... I can understand how and why skydivers get hooked on the adrenalin rush!

Hey, it might not have been pretty but any landing you can walk away from is a good one! Thanks, Mark! You were the perfect person to coach me through my first jump!

At the end of the day, Trevor and I were exhilarated and proud of our certificates of achievement!

Here our family celebrates with a fabulous dinner at One East Main in Freemont. Best prime rib ever!
In one afternoon we conquered our fears, put our self-limiting beliefs behind us, felt more unified as a family, and had a whole lot of crazy fun!! 
Speaking of crazy...the people at Premier Skydiving are all that and a lot more! Part of the joy of the experience was talking with this fun-loving, happy, helpful, professional, and safety conscious group. Amy and Bill, Mark, Tony and all of you at Premier Skydiving-YOU ROCK OUR WORLD! Thanks for all you did to make it great! Our family will never forget that glorious day!  If you are interested in having this experience yourself, check out their website by clicking on the link under i likes it, i likes it alot on the sidebar of this blog.
Watch for my jump video coming soon to this blog and/or Youtube...
You can see all of my still pictures by looking at Lana's Picasaweb Albums by clicking on the sidebar of this blog. The skydiving picutures are in two albums: The BIG Jump and The BIG Jump Part Deux. ENJOY!

Friday, May 23, 2008

The Birthday Philosopher

Birthdays give us an opportunity for self-reflection each year. It's a logical time to evaluate the what's working vs not working in your life. Taking a look at where you are, where you've been, and where you're headed gives rise to any needed mid-course corrections. You can visualize the entire time line and look with less angst at the things that have happened. You observe it, bless it all(good or bad), and release it. Every experience has contributed to the person you are now. You have hopefully learned many valuable things in your process to date!
As you get older, a lot of things happen. Some of the signs of aging are less welcome-the wrinkles, the force of gravity taking it's effect, finding the remote in the refrigerator...Some of the changes are actually improvements over younger days. Things such as being less of a jerk than you used to be! You appreciate life's simple pleasures more. The value of simplifying and traveling light becomes apparent. You embrace the notion of not sweating the small stuff and the realization that more of it IS small.

I am vowing to take myself less seriously and have more FUN!
I am vowing to take myself more seriously and make my life count!

I've been reading Marianne Williamson's new book, The Age of Miracles. This book is all about what most of us would term "midlife". With the longer life spans these days, we're talking 50ish as a midpoint! Ms. Williamson's perspective is that all of our life experience prior to this stage is simply a learning curve. All those experiences, the good, the bad, and the ugly, the love, the marriages, the children, the joys, the sorrows, the mistakes, the triumphs-all those things served to prepare us for now. This stage of life is when, because of all that has come before, we are ready and able to live-REALLY LIVE-the lives we were created for. In other words, we're just getting started at this age!! We've shaken off a lot of the superfluous things that have weighted us down. We've gotten past a lot of obstacles and hang-ups. Our momentum has gathered force. We are finally ready to GO FOR IT!! Hey, that's right in alignment with what I've feeling right now.
1. Become more Spiritually fit!
2. Treat my body like the temple that it is-work on health habits like diet, exercise, and rest! Make self-care a daily pursuit.
3. Make people a priority and spend more time with my friends and family as well as reaching out to others. Reintegrate/reconnect with people I have lost touch with. Meet new people.
4. Continue the pursuit of higher education and my passion for writing.
5. Continue to push myself to be open to new experiences. Challenge myself to improve in every way possible, and to grow, and to cherish the goodness of life. No matter what circumstances I find myself in, to remember that I am truly blessed-express my gratitude!


I'm sure The Birthday Philosopher will have even more to say then...

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Dirty Jobs-Home Edition

Do you ever get beeked-off by all the stuff other people who live in your house leave around for you to deal with? Seems to me like it's always the mom that gets the raw deal. Well, Mike Rowe and I have a lot in common. We have both done more than our fair share of dirty jobs! Mike, however, goes out in pursuit of the dirtiest jobs that exist- at my house, they pursue me! Here's my list of most-hated Dirty Jobs Domesticus (Home Edition):

Returning cans and bottles to Meijers. STINK-O-RAMA! Always smells like puke in there. No matter what time you go, there's always a line and usually only one machine that's working!There's no way around the sticky, gooey hand mess and of course they never have any hand sanitizer and/or paper towels left. Your shoes make that terrible sticky sound for days afterwards. I am always traumatized by this experience.

 Bodily fluid accidents of any sort! Human or need for elaboration.
 Cat boxes. I have been considering one of those gadgets that helps you train your cat to use the toilet- but somehow that just seems wrong!

 The fridge. Why do people put a milk jug in there with like three drops of milk left ? There are items in there that are unrecognizable! Some are funny colors, others emit noxious odors, and then there's the stuff growing fuzz. The fruits look like they're freeze-dried and the vegetables are now a slimy oooze. Looking on the bright side, this could be considered a weight-loss mechanism. I think they call it aversion therapy.

Sink drains in Kitchen. Yeah, these are regular little compost heaps. Would you like one scoop or two? Sick!

The always delightful bathroom. There's the collective cellular goo that everyone contributes and the perennial hair ball covering the drain which is roughly equivalent to the size of a small cat. Lovely! Mr. Clean, where are you?

 Cleaning the garbage can. Dejavu: Men at Work! Time to do the nasty..How does all that stuff leak through the plastic liner and get into the bottom of the can anyway? It's a mystery. It's a conspiracy!

 Certain people's bedrooms-TREVOR! Things spill out into the hall even with the door shut!This room should be quarantined as a biohazard! Call the hazardous-materials team! Get on the acid suit and a Scott air-pack, I'm going in....This is the kind of stuff you see on TV! We need an intervention!

Cigarette mess. I don't even smoke! What? Why should I have to deal with this?? There are equal parts gravel and equal parts cigarette butts covering the driveway!If you get enough cigarette butts together, does that constitute a toxic waste site? Anyone got the number for Arlington? Maybe we could just load it all in dump trucks, haul it off, and start over. Sound reasonable to me!

 Gutting fish or cleaning any type of wild game. If you caught it or shot it, then you clean it! And please, stop informing me of what it ate last! Too Much Information! And don't expect me to dispose of any of the residue!

Did I miss anything? Is there anyone else out there who feels equally persecuted by domestic duties? Feel free to add your favorites to the list or just commiserate!

Chandler case on Dateline this Friday, May 23rd @9pm

In January of 1979, a Hope College senior from Muskegon, Janet Chandler, was abducted, tortured, raped, and murdered. She had been working as a desk clerk in a local Holland motel at the time of her murder.This case remained unsolved for over 25 years. Hope College students renewed interest in the case by making a documentary. The documentary, "Who Killed Janet Chandler", was conceptualized in 2003 by Dr. David Schock of Hope College and completed by a group of Hope communication students a year later. The film was released at The Knickerbocker Theater in Holland in January 2004. It was also broadcast on WGVSU Feb. 1st, 2004,  at 1am , which was 25 years to the hour that Janet Chandler's body was discovered.  The making of this documentary lead to a reworking of the original case, which, in turn, resulted in the arrest and prosecution of the perpetrators of this crime.

Don't miss Dateline Friday,  May 23rd at 9pm. The Janet Chandler case will be one of the two featured stories. MSNBC will run a longer version of the Janet Chandler case at another time yet to be announced. You'll have an opportunity to hear from some of the local cold case detectives who worked to obtain a measure of closure and justice for Janet and her family.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Birthday 2008

As you will see, birthday 2008 was pretty hard to take! Yeah, pampering, eating, relaxing, a scrumptious lunch, the refreshing beverage or two.  Hey, is there any way we could make this my full time job? Lana Mae Baker, Certified Salon Tester.
9am Wed. May 21st, 2008: I arrive at Body Perfections.
The perfect combination...

The breakfast of champions: doughnuts and wine coolers!

Next stop: Massage room for the one hour vacation with massage therapist Pam Dewitt.
Facial: sometimes things have to get worse before they get better!
Not one of my most glamorous moments. The things we girls do for the sake of vanity!

More beautiful flowers and a card with sweet sentiments from a dear friend. I was well remembered this birthday! Thanks to all who made my day so special!

Brooke chose" I'm India mood for love" for my toes! That sounds about right! I am in the mood...but that's a subject for an entirely different post! Who lies awake nights thinking up the crazy names for those OPI nail polishes? I think I could do that. I wonder what that pays?

Here are my lovely fingers all pretty in pink, post-manicure.

Remember posing for high school graduation pictures? 

The final result. All ready for my close up Mr. Deville

Our beautiful custom cakes from DeBoer's Bakery.
Nina opted for chocolate cake with chocolate frosting and bavarian creme filling.
Chocolate is always a wise choice!

I chose my all-time favorite cake-white with raspberry filling and buttercream frosting. YUM!

Here are the lovely Gemini birthday girls-Lana and Nina-born on the cusp with a few noble Taurian traits as well.
Same birthday-just a few years apart!

The beautiful, brilliant and powerful girls of MAC K03
Would you trust these people to be YOUR therapist??

Thank-you Polysyllabic Spree for allowing me to post your image to my blog!

My Muse-My Mews!

Bryn, my redheaded Irish cat has a drinking problem!I diagnose Alcohol Dependence-303.90. My dog, Gunther, is playing way toooo much Guitar Hero. I would say he suffers from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder--300.3. And Blue appears to have Narcolepsy-347.00...It just makes me think...Hmmm. What about combining two of my passions: Pets and Counseling. I could create a new niche for myself.This could be a new branch of psychotherapy. As you know, I was planning to do Marriage and Family therapy but this really catches my interest and perhaps would be more successful than working with people. What do you think? It could be a Dog Whisperer, Dr. Doolittle, Ace Ventura kinda thing. Hey, Animal Planet has a show that features an animal psychic so why not an animal shrink? Maybe I could even have my own show.Like Jerry Springer only with animals! During this psychopathology class I'm really learning to diagnose mental illness well. It's perfect! I need counseling and I'm going to give counseling! AND I can work with clients I truely relate to. I think I'm gonna go for it~I'll call the American Psychiatric Association right away with my idea. Wonder what they'll think...

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