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Updates

15 Oct

Today was a busy day in Pueblo. Shopped for some feet for an upcoming foot stool that Denny and I are making. Then meeting with Financial Advisor. Love having a financial advisor!! We are using Edward Jones in Pueblo and Tina White is our person. Then to the Sleep Doctor. How frustrating that my blood work or my last sleep study was not there yet. I get so sick of all the snafus that happen everytime there is an apppointment . He is ordering me a CPAP machine which I may start in about a week and a half when whoever delivers it here. I’m okay using one and it may really help with squirmy legs. Bad news  is now we have to delay our trip to Brownsville even longer now because I have to see him in person after 30 days. UGH!!! Denny is being patient but between this and my surgery life is getting a little complicated but all will be fine. We always like to drive through Ice and Snow anyway. Will now leave for BVille after Dec. 17th.

Still feeling energetic and getting many things done. Just finished booking a flight to Orlando where 6 of us high school girlfriends are going to invade our friend Judi! It really has been fun reconnecting and how easy it has been to become friends again. She moved from KC to Orlando this summer.

I’m pretty wound up about Hurrican Michael. One of our friend’s, Marilyn lost her home in the Spring Fire and lived in the area that was hit by the hurricane. That is tooo much. I told Pastor Janine that I am not letting this disaster go by without helping. Marilyn’s husband Bob helped so many and we can do a trip in his honor.  I hope she can keep us informed on when that can happen. It looks horrific. Trip may happen in the spring but we will work through UMCOR and they can tell us the best time to go.

Enjoying doing my training for becoming a travel agent!  Right now I am learning the Royal Caribbean information. They have these courses and as you pass them you move up. Trying to spend an hour each day training. Will go to Topeka and train on booking trips etc. in November. I really have some fun ideas for other kinds of trips too. Cruise Holidays does it all-Cruises, River Cruises, Trains, Busses.

I am going back on CBD oils. My friend Linda was over the other day and replenished me. Hopefully it will get me through my discomfort these few weeks before my surgery. I’m anxious to find out the details regarding the surgery on the 24th.

Wednesday we leave for Amarillo for a couple of days so my quilting instructor friend Cindy can guide me through a paper piecing quilt I started 2 years ago! Should be able to get the top done hopefully. We’ll also get to see their ranch which will be fun. Puppies can go too because La Quinta lets them stay for free.

Time to study.  Peace

 

 

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Back in Business

11 Oct

As I have mentioned before, our trip to Europe really inspired me and all my creative energy is racing around in my brain.

Tonight was a really fun painting class of a barn. There were about 20 of us at the Funky Monkey. What was cool about the class was the technique of using painted dots of several colors and then just using a brush and painting downward. It was fun to see friends I haven’t seen for years. It’s one of those wine and paint classes. To begin the class everyone clinked their glasses to say cheers. I had my Pepsi bottle and managed to spill it all over the table during the cheers. What a sticky mess but it was funny.

For the last 3 days I have been in pj’s all day working in the studio. I have made some prototypes of items to sell. I’m really excited about personalizing pieces by embroidering family names, etc. I made a table runner and a wine bottle holder. The special thing about the wine bag is that you can put the grommets around the top of the bottle and pour without taking the bottle out of the bag. I can also embroider names, cute wine sayings etc.  Great for gifts. I am taking orders so just contact me with your ideas and we’ll get them done. I’ll be making other items also and will show them as I go. I’m looking forward to having 2 sewing buddies coming over this week. Deb on Friday and Linda on Saturday. I now have a space set up for company so it works out well.

Tomorrow is a big Mahjong day. My first tournament being held in Pueblo. I have to get up early  to be there by 8:30. It will be fun but serious. Fifteen minutes per game and we play 4 games in an hour. No talking or taking too long when it is your turn. Should be interesting and looking forward to playing. We had horrible fog, mist, snow and cold today so I hope it isn’t that bad tomorrow. Hopefully it won’t be a drowsy drive.

Speaking of drowsy drive, I am doing another sleep study on Friday night with a CPAP machine. Even though I’m not crazy about the machine, I hear enough good things about them that it will be interesting if my brain and energy does feel better.

More exciting news. I’m beginning training to be an Independent consultant for Cruise Holidays of Topeka. I did my first lesson today. I’m looking forward to doing this and hopefully I can help travelers locally and also try putting together some trips. Wish me luck. It’s a 2 month or so training program so won’t in business til after January.

That’s it for now.  Peace

 

 

 

Tidbit

8 Oct

I love a rainy, cold day to spend the day in the studio. Debbie came over and we spent several hours working on projects.  Fun fun

Struggling with health care in our area. Our doctor resigned last month with no warning. I’ve had 2 times I have needed to see the doctor, one because of a rash and the other because of injured elbow. The rash I had to go to ER. The elbow I begged to see doctor and it worked out. Now I’m trying to get prescription refilled but it is under the resigned doctor’s name. I’m also trying to make sure I have everything in place for my upcoming surgery. I called the clinic and did I get a call back?  NO. I’m so aggravated. I’ll give them one more day and then I will go in person to get everything back in order. Rural health care in our area is going downhill quickly. What is really sad is we had the same PA since 2000 and we didn’t even get a notice that she resigned.

Regarding surgery. I had some internal injuries from my accidental splits last April. The symptoms have continued to get more painful. My physical therapist suggested that my pain was from my pelvic floor. She was right on. She also recommended a gynecologist in Trinidad who I love! It’s a female doctor and she was able to discover all sorts of issues going and that she will be able to do surgery and fix it all up for me. It will be a several week recovery but I will be comfortable once again. My biggest pain? Sitting. Extremely uncomfortable.

Still reveling in memories of our European trip. I ordered some real Italian 00 flour for pizzas and pasta. Did you know that a real Neapolitan pizza crust takes 2 days to make!!  Will have to try when I have 2 full days to make.

Feeling a little relieved to have some extra time before we head to Texas. I will be able to get some major work done in the studio and some painting, I am going back into business selling my items again. I will be doing it by way of FB and should have some items to show in 2 days. Just in time for the holidays!!

Claire and Carleigh were here for Oktoberfest last weekend. Claire had another great day of sales. So proud of her and how talented she has become making her silver items.

Thursday I play in my first Mahjong tournament. Looking forward to it but a little nervous about only 15 minutes for each game. I think I can do it.

Cannot believe Kavanaugh was approved.

Had a terrific dinner at Aly’s tonight as guests of Blake and Becky, owners of Circle the Wagons. They are such a great couple and so happy they bought the park. Alys spoils me rotten because she makes bread pudding when she knows I am coming for dinner.

Still trying to get some money back from our cancelled flight in Paris. Not sure if I am involved in a scam, I hope not but hopefully we’ll find out something soon.

Snowing in Cuchara today. Can’t wait to see the mountains after the clouds clear. There was a meeting this week describing the real possibility of major flash flooding in the spring. Apparently after major fires, the ground is unable to absorb water because it becomes like cement. I’m glad we are up high but many of our friends will have to have flood insurance now.

I may become an Independent Travel Consultant for Cruise Holidays of Topeka. I will keep you posted!!! It is a job I can do from home. I will be doing some training soon. Hope my brain will be able to absorb all the information that is required.

Have bought some Ginger Beer and trying to drink just a shot of it after dinner at night to help with digestion. I drank a whole bottle of it a couple of nights ago and that was a HUGE mistake if you get my drift. I definitely digested but it was not a fun night. It’s non alcoholic.

Finally I will be seeing “A Star is Born” on Sunday. I can’t wait. I get all emotional just watching the commercials.

Hopefully Mitzi and I can go see “Halloween” sometime this month. I purchased this little spider costume that velcros on a dog to put on Bendi or Jumper for Halloween.  I hope they will let me put it on them because it is so funny to see dogs in the costume.

Purchased an antique Elgin Sewing machine in Eskridge, KS last week. Circa 1890.  It is in such great shape I may actually be able to sew on it. The designs on it are stunning. Will have to once again move my studio around in order to display it. Also purchased a Nelcro which I don’t know have much info on yet. It’s probably a 1960’s model.

I’m happy because Paradise Coffee makes my café macchiato just like they did in Italy. Just trying to do a shot a day. Probably saves me at least 1 Pepsi. Grazia Sharon and Greg.

That’s it for tidbits for now. I have purchased several notebooks so I can start printing out my blog which will take weeks. Goes all the way back to 2011. My blog actually began in 2006 but I’ve had to change websites 3 times. I have those already printed out and they will be my notes for a possible book one day.

Peace

Jbird’s travel tips for Italy

29 Sep

This was our first time to Italy. I’ve always heard friends say how much they loved Italy. Now I know why. Last year I was in California and met a lady named Alecia and we became friends. She’s fascinating and talented and told me all about her AIRBB in Guardia Sanfranmondi, Italy.  It sounded sooo cool. We had already booked the river cruise so we added Italy to the trip.

We arrived in Naples at 9:15 pm. Alecia and her driver Pasquale picked us up and off we went on a new adventure. As we left the airport we drove down this one highway and on each side of the road were prostitutes. Naked or just in sexy underwear. Not by hotels, just along the side of the road. I feel bad that at first I laughed but then you think about how vulnerable they were. Very sad and dangerous. We did find out later that the mafia is involved in all that area.

First stop was Del Monicos where there were cases and cases of pastries and fresh pizza. I now know that Italian pizza is the best in the world and I need to learn how to make that soft juicy crust that you fold over and eat like a taco. We also enjoyed rum soaked cake and my very first ever espresso.  Soooo fun. We had a rather nervous drive to Guardia, curvy roads, fast driver, but we made it to our place safely. We fell into bed about midnight and Alecia said “just sleep in and then we’ll get together at a café”. At 7:30 there was a loud BOOOOOOOOOOOM  followed by fireworks and then several church bells. We slept with our window open so it was very loud. OMG, we didn’t know what was happening but maybe we were being welcomed to the town. It was actually a celebration for St. Antonio and it was a day long event. Needless to say we were up early and off we went with Alecia to our first café visit and getting organized for the week. Cafe’s were also the only place to use internet. (They would ring bells at 7:30 am every morning and it would sound like an alarm clock and it was to wake everyone up!

It was fun because Alecia knows everyone and she was greeted everywhere and we were introduced to many locals. Alecia is from California but lives in Italy 8 months and speaks fluent Italian. She told us there are many dialects and sometimes what she says may come out wrong.  Our days consisted of walks from our 900 year old apartment to the main street and we would hang at different cafes, walk, a little shopping, and lots of visiting. We could have visited Pompei, Capri, Roma,….but it was so cool just hanging in Guardia that we just did that. Locals became friends and we were treated to special dinners, private tours of the castle and a fabulous art museum. The museum became an archaeological digs. They came across Roman artifacts which many were displayed. Sooo exciting. Denny would get up early and walk to a cafe and explore the town and then I would get up at 8:30, head to the cafe and our day would begin with walking, talking, napping, walking, talking eating and then bed. The shops would close down from 1-5 for siesta. What a way of life. We learned how to make pasta. I was able to do several little paintings. Denny read 3 or 4 books.

That week healed my stomach. Many of you know I can have significant issues traveling. In Guardia we ate all fresh, non processed food, sparkly water, and exercise. Maybe the macchiato drinks helped too. I do believe the afternoon rests helped tremendously. I didn’t even have any Valium with me on the trip. There was no such thing as giant pop drinks, when you drank a macchiato they gave you a cup of water to drink immediately afterwards to keep you from being dehydrated. They also serve after dinner drinks called Digestives. Limincello was the most popular.  I have looked up digestive drinks and am going to try Ginger Beer non alcoholic, lime and ice and do that after dinner. Also herbal teas are suggested. We were also told to eat salads last instead of first. Interesting.

I would say that to be in Guardia you need to be able to go up and down hills and steps. There are B&Bs that aren’t as far away from town as we were though. There are also drivers available if you are unable to walk far but if walkers are needed it could be a little difficult with the narrow cobblestone sidewalks and streets. Of course there are no ADA codes. There is no air conditioning but we were used to that since we don’t have it here in Colorado. A guide is needed because no English is spoken at all there. Alecia was very good in communicating and even though we didn’t do any sight seeing, she is also able to plan day trips and will be your guide for those trips. Our trip was totally off the beaten path and if that sounds interesting to you, please let me know.

We spent out last day in Naples. We took the local bus who goes there daily and since we had 2 21″ suitcases, they were easy to be on the bus. Also only 6 euros instead of 100 to get to Naples. Once we arrived Alecia took us to her favorite places which was a pastry shop, a coffee shop and a restaurant. Naples was crowded, a lots of traffic but beautiful old palaces, buildings, churches, and the Mediterranean Sea full of sailboats and yachts. Many weddings were also taking place in the beauty of the city.  My favorite was the local outdoor market which was huge and went several blocks. It is not just a Saturday market, it is there everyday full of frest veggies, fruit, fish (live eels and octopusses). The locals shop there and so do the restaurants.

By 3 we were done and Alecia discussed cab fare with the driver and we dropped her off at the Metro and we went to the Capodichino Hotel. It is only a few blocks from the airport. We stayed in bed from 4 pm until 4 am when we left to head home. It was a great hotel. The downside was being charged 15 euros for a 2 minute drive to the airport.

Long flight tips: Pick an aisle seat if there are 3 seats or more. I was by the window 2 people had to have 2 had to move for me to get out.  That caused me a little anxiety a made me to pee more. Don’t sit by the engines because it was very loud and hard to even hear the movies that were provided. I’m definitely in love with neck pillows. I chose not to wear a bra traveling on the plane because I don’t like being all squished around my ribs. I also wore leggings, loose dresses. I  chose to travel only with dresses because I had put on a few pounds and all my clothes that needed zipped and buttoned were just too snug. I didn’t want to fret about weight while traveling and wearing loose clothing was not only comfortable but flattering. I saw a tip about having cheap slippers so you can take your shoes off while on the plane so if you go to the bathroom you are protected from the inevitable wet stuff on the floor. Bring your own earplugs to watch movies. The ones they gave out really hurt my ears. I would definitely download “Online Passport” or something like that on your phone. You totally will miss the waiting lines in customs.  I also had energy bars just in case the airline food was tooo weird to eat. International flights generally have pretty good meals. Don’t know what to say about jet lag. This trip’s jet lag wasn’t as bad as coming home from India but do be prepared that you will be out of whack for a few days and you will wake up a lot earlier than normal. Knitting was a great hobby to travel with. Knitting needles are allowed and knitting during long layovers or hanging in cafe’s was great fun.

That’s it for now. We all must take advantage of our time to follow our dreams whatever they may be. We have too many friends who are now not able to travel due to health problems, alzheimers, cancer, injuries, unhealthy. One doesn’t have to go to Europe or exotic places but experience something that you have dreamed about doing and DO IT.  Maybe a painting class, a quilt retreat, a train trip, see friends that you haven’t seen forever,….

Ciao

Jbird Travel Tips

26 Sep

We had such a wonderful 2 week adventure in Europe.

First week on the Seine River traveling on the Avalon Tapestry II was so relaxing and interesting. We traveled along the coast of France from Paris to Normandy and back. The boat only held 130 passengers so it was fun and easier to connect with others. Meals were delicious and not huge portions. Wine, coffee, and sodas were included in lunch and dinner meals and they would have afternoon happy hours for 1/2 price drinks. They carried non alcoholic wine which was fun for me. I think I was the only one drinking it. Our room was just fine and plenty of room for clothes and they only allowed one bag person so we really packed light. The tours that were included were well done and the guides were knowledegable and were very passionate about the areas we visited. I am not a big fan of bus tours but I did enjoy the trip to Bayeaux, apple orchards, distillery, and my favorite was Auvers-sur-Oise where Van Gogh spent the last year of his life. I loved walking the paths he walked and visiting the room he rented, seeing the café he would eat his meals, and actually seeing the sights he painted. Loved loved loved it. I was truly inspired to paint after visiting the Monet home and gardens in Giverny. Again to see where the artist sat and flowers he planted were so inspiring and seriously stirred my desire to paint. I had so much fun using the little set of water colors I purchased at the gift shop there. Another favorite was riding bicycles that were provided by the boat along the Seine in 2 different areas. Very fun and good to get our bodies moving. Enjoyed the Segway ride but it was on the scary side because of all the people on the sidewalks and crossing traffic and it wasn’t fun going over a bump and falling and hurting my elbow.

Tips for River Boat Cruise: Going down the river was very calming. There was river traffic of barges, barges that had become homes hooked up along the banks, swans, the lock system. Much better than the big cruise ships. There were extra tours that were available but we didn’t do them and they could be a little pricey but passengers who did them liked them.  We were there in high tourist season so the Normandy Beaches and the Monet Gardens were very crowded which takes some fun out of the tour but going at a less busy time would be better. A few passengers rented their own cars and toured on thier own. Beware of busy towns thought because the traffic is crazy. There were ports where you could walk off the boat and walk around on your own which is always fun and once again the bicycles were in good shape and fun. 10 passengers did back to back cruises and that isn’t a bad idea. We stayed on the lowest floor of the boat which saves some money and it was fine. There was some boat noise that we never did know what it was but it wasn’t 24 7. By sticking to the included tours, bringing your own drinks like soda, (I’m not sure about alcohol) you save some money by not spending 2 euros for each soda. Staying away from souvenirs or other purchases if possible and these river tours are really reasonable if you get a deal on a flight also. Avalon is a step up from Viking. We did have our laundry done on the boat and it wasn’t horribly expensive but traveling light we really did need it done. Gratuities at the end of the trip is also some expense but deserved. Nice bathrooms in each room. TV in room and it was fun to be able to watch movies. All in all totally recommend. We booked through Cruise Holidays of Topeka. Judy and Dick have done most of the river tours and can help you with whatever type of cruise you would like.

I’ll write the Italy adventure tomorrow!!

 

 

 

Saturday, August 18, 2018

18 Aug

Awwww…..a moment to write. After another restless leg night but feeling okay, I was determined to put my Body Groove DVD on and excercise this morning. I really liked to do real agressive exercise that was fast and energetic and real sweaty. A couple of years ago I was able to do Zumba but now it creates issues on my back. My back is so confusing. When we were on our camping trip to Wyoming and Denver, my back was great and I think a lot of it was the bed. It is a solid firm bed. Apparently my back issues are more muscular than skeletel which is really good. Had my physical and I still have Osteopenia and have had that for several years, so osteporosis is not an issue. My bone density didn’t show any changes in my lower back so all in all I’ll stick to my 2 injections a year and…….hopefully continue with some form of exercise. Body Groove is perfect. It’s calm, easy but does have a cardio part. The most important is that it really emphasizes moving the hips, shoulders and legs. Hence, maybe this will help my restless issue. My sleep study will be interesting but I don’t know if I slept long enough to see if a CPAP machine will be needed.

Finally I was able to do some nice housecleaning and have some friends over to play Mahjong. The house is really coming together and I really love it. We are even spending some time on the deck. I did sweep up all the plastic and glass from the broken skylights from the hail storm. What a crazy storm that was. Now we seeem to have a threat of hail everyday. Our truck and VW are trashed but hopefully homeowners will cover it. Our damage was minimal to others. One couple lost 18 windows!! Our friend Carl has been here this week helping other friends who live in Paradise Acres. The issues they have due to the fire are overwhelming but Carl has been able to move around dirt and build berms and redirect water flows. Interesting note about burned trees. Many of the trees up there are hollow from being burned inside out! I think they call it a candle burn.

Longmire Days was a really fun trip. We’ve been in that area before and I forgot the beautiful country of Wyoming. Buffalo was where the festival was. What was really fun was the the actors just show up at unannounced times so you just hop in line and get a photo. We played 9 holes at the Buffalo Golf Club. A great course but it was over 100 degrees. How hot was it?? My butt was so sweaty I slipped off the toilet! Would like to go again next year and do more touring of the back roads.

We are still on a bit of a busy schedule. Upcoming events include a quick trip to Topeka for high school 65 year olds reunion. We are also taking Kyler’s motorcycle to him. He was such a great student with Denny and we are excited for him to be riding. On September 3 the group from the quilt retreat in 2014 are meeting again for Ricky Tims retreat. Debi, Lorchen, Wendy, and Della are coming from England and Germany. Claire, Tammy, Juli are also returning. It will be so fun to see everyone. It’s actually a group that has stayed in touch this whole time.  Then on September 7 we leave for Paris to do a river cruise to Normandy. We will stop at little French towns then a tour of Normandy. Soooo Happy Denny is doing this with me. On September 15th we will fly from Paris to Naples where we will spend a week in a village staying a 900 year old apartment. My friend Alecia owns and she will also help us tour around.Will be so great to be with someone fluent in the language.

Not much else happening. Billie and kids are doing well. Elliott in 3rd grade, Kyler in 8th grade and Cade a sophmore!!

I have been doing some meditating, reading and writing everyday. Incorporating a devotional that uses bible verses and then reading the bible. I didn’t know that when Jesus rose from the tomb that other dead people also rose from their graves!! The bible has always been difficult for me but the one I have shares a story about what each chapter is about in modern language and it is easier to read.

Something I must really really try to do is not stop my daily rituals just because we are traveling.  We’ll see how I do on these next trips.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just stuff

25 Jul

After another weird night of this sleep plan of trying to just sleep 6 hours, blah blah.  All I wanted from sleep doctor was tips on how to not be a drowsy driver. I think I’ll go to my own plan and chew caffeine gum and just sleep in my crazy way and be done with it.

Just finished my walk around the loop. Was stopped by someone who wanted to visit which is fine but he gave me some gruesome details about what happened to some cattle in the fire and about some horses who were just washed away in a flash flood a day ago. Oh my God. Heartwarming stories, sad stories, gruesome stories. It’s all part of tragedies that are not known unless you live in the area and hear firsthand details. A good thing is that tomorrow I’m going to the office of the Southern Baptist Conference and they can set you somewhere where clean up is needed so finally!!!!!!! I can begin to help.

It was a busy 3 1/2 weeks. We arrived home on July 15. We did have a lovely memorial service for my Mom and buried her ashes. Melvern was here home and the cemetary has really really old stones with dated in the early 1800’s. It’s interesting to see the details on some of them, i.e. “b. July 1 d. 10 mos. 3 days.  My grandparents home is still there and the big bush that lined the front yard and the big garden was still there. Nice memory.

On July 16 I hopped in the car, chewing caffeine gum, and drove to the Springs to pick up my friend Debbie Lancaster from Peoria and we drove to Buena Vista to the Spring Canyon Camp. Wonderful area in the mountains. We met up with the rest of the retreat group of Valiant Women lead by Kristy Taylor. It was a very spiritual and fun week. I sooooooooo needed to reconnect with God and begin to lead a prayerful life again. Much like my Miracle Morning plan. I was able to pray about some of my issues I have been struggling with and not feeling good about my behavior and words regarding those issues. New answers were received and I can already see and feel the results of my prayers. Thank you God.

One thing we did as Fearless Women was do a river raft trip. The last time I did one I said “that’s the last time I have to do that!’. I have done many things that were scary for me but I did anyway: motorcycling, dirtbiking, bicycling cross country, mountain biking, etc…, but I can be a big baby and react with tears. But I still did them. Sooooo..when I went on this raft trip I had my normal trepidations. The miracle was we used Noah’s Ark raft company. They are a Christian Based company so our guide was this wonderful young college student who was female. She had such a safe presence that I told myself I’m doing this trip with no fear. The Arkansas River is very low and there were about 40 other raft companies. (if I were to fall out I probably would have just fallen into another raft!) But there were still 3.5 rapids along the way. There were 5 of us in the raft with Hailey in the middle as the rower. We did have paddles to help at times. Kristy and I were in the back and had to tuck our feet under the hard rubber bolster. It killed our toes but we had to do it. Things were going great til the place where the take the picture. We hit a rock and I fell into the boat and water flooded over me. Kristy helped me get up and off we went. The we hit the side of a bolder and Kristy came flying to me. We became hysterical laughing and continued down the river flying around the back with our painful feet and having so much fun. I can’t tell you the last time I did something like that and wasn’t afraid or nervous. Yay. Deb and I were great roomies and made new friends. Thank you Cristy.

 

 

Now Denny and I feel like we are finally unpacking and settling in. Denny has finished hanging all of our art and wallhangings. We look like a gallery and I love it. He also finished my door from the sewing room to the fabric room. God forbid that I would have to walk around the house to get some fabric!!.

The guest room is ready for Elliott and Kyler who are coming this weekend. Kyler will be getting dirtbiking lessons from Denny. A dream of both of them. Who knows what Elliott and I will be doing. It will be fun.

We picked up our fantastic bicycle yesterday. 1/2 recumbent 1/2 regular bicycle tandem. Denny is going to practice without me a couple of times to get used to the gearing, etc. Then we’ll practice together because basically all I have to do is pedal and look at the scenery.