Riding for a Purpose

This past weekend was an eventful weekend.  Saturday and Sunday, we went on two poker runs with local motorcycle clubs.  Saturday the run was to benefit a club to help local families in their time of need, and Sunday was for heroin awareness.  There are several clubs that  hold rides and events throughout the year and invite everyone to support their clubs and the various causes they support.  You don’t have to even ride a motorcycle to go.  I encourage my friends to join us even if they don’t ride.  It is a fun thing to do on the weekends and we are spending our money and time to support people in need.  It is one of our favorite things to do as riders and I would enjoy it even if I wasn’t on the back of a motorcycle.  These clubs really are amazing for what they do for the community.

ride schedule
Schedule of Events

The clubs are welcoming and of course are thankful for the support they receive.  I didn’t even know what a poker run was until a few years ago.  As much as I love to play and join the fun, I still never know if I have a good hand or not.  I normally start with 10 hands and there are normally 5 stops and you draw a card at each stop, and try to come out with the highest hand.  When you reach the last stop if you don’t have one of the higher hands they will throw your cards in for a drawing and then they draw for door prizes.  We never leave empty handed.  Everyone likes winning door prizes!  They hold 50/50 raffles and then the top three hands win some cash, but 9 out of 10 times it is donated back to the club.

Heroin awareness is a major public health issue.  As a public health major, this was a ride I definitely wanted to support.  The devastation this drug has caused so many families in our area is huge.  All the money that was made on Sunday was donated the Missouri Network Outreach Center.

If you or someone you know needs treatment, here are some resources to help

I spoke with the President of the club who hosted the ride and he told me this organization helps addicts at zero cost to families.  This is a great program to support because of the help they provide for local addicts.  The problems the families face are overwhelming, to say the least, and the last thing they should have to worry about is how to pay for the help their love ones need and deserve.  I hope to go on as a public health professional and have a hand at helping those in need of these services, even if it’s through volunteerism.

There were three guest speakers at the end of the ride.  One was a former, recovering addict who helps run the program now, Alton police chief, Jake Simmons and Senator Bill Haine.  It was great to see the support from local professionals who can make a difference in this epidemic.

So the next time you see a group of bikers stop and think about why they may be riding because more than likely they have a purpose. rider



My youngest daughter and I went to the grocery store the other day.  We were in the produce department and it smelled delicious.  We couldn’t decide if it was the peaches, the mangoes, strawberries, or we joked that maybe they were pumping a fresh fruit scent through the air ducts.  Either way, it got us to buy some fruit.  We decided on the peaches and the mangoes.  I grabbed the mangoes because I was convinced that was what smelled so delicious.  We checked out and I paid for everything and for some reason did not check my total until after I paid and looked at my receipt.  I was charged $55 for each peach, for a total of $165!  Anyway, I got my money back and the peaches were NOT that good.  HA HA!  But that is not the point of my blog today.

My mangoes were still sitting in the kitchen after a few days because I realized I have never cut a mango before.  How hard can it be right?   I have heard there is the perfect way to cut a mango, so instead of butchering it I decided to do some searching and this is what I learned:

  1. The fatter sides are called cheeks.
  2. The easiest way to cut it is if you cut the two cheeks off as close to the pit as possible, and then use a drinking glass to scoop out the meat of the cheeks.
  3. Cutting a mango was a lot easier than I had thought.
  4. Mangoes are delicious.
  5. I should have bought more than two.
  6. I’m positive it was the Mangoes that smelled so good in the grocery store.
  7. The plural of Mango is Mangoes.


my fruit
My favorite bowl full of fruit

Oh Puppies!!

Raising puppies is ruff (pun intended).  We have adopted two Texas Heeler/Bernese Mountain mix puppies, Henry and Lexi.  I forgot how much work it is to raise puppies, but they are well behaved, for the most part, and are making my summer pass quickly!  They are almost 5 months old now and spunky as ever.


Henry pictured left and Lexi pictured right

We adopted Henry and Lexi after we unexpectedly lost our two dogs this past year.  There is something about living in a house without dogs that left our days empty.  So, we jumped in with both feet and adopted these two beauties.  The feeling of coming home to a dog wagging their tails, because they are happy to see you, is the perfect ending to any day.

I am trying to housebreak them along with some obedience training.  I’m no expert.  Honestly, I don’t even know what I am doing and I am failing miserably.  I think it’s time to bring in a professional.  They look at me like I’m insane, and in their hearts, I know they want to do what I am asking but I don’t think they know what I am saying.  I’m quite confident they think I’m a huge chew toy that is here to rub their bellies, and give them yummy treats when they just happen to sit when I say sit.  I’m confused, they are confused, and we just run around all day making zero progress.  So, I think today I will just snuggle them up and call around to some obedience schools and leave the training to the professionals.

Let’s Celebrate!

Kate 21

Birthdays are so exciting to me.  There is nothing better than a birthday celebration.  What is not to love?  Birthdays have cake, candles, singing, food and friends.  I always enjoy planning parties for my daughters and their friends.  Over the years, we have had birthday parties that consisted of swimming, luaus, roller skating, rock climbing, laser tag and sleepovers.  Everyone always seemed to enjoy themselves and the best gift of all was time spent with everyone.  To be honest, I enjoyed the days as much as all the kids. They are memories I will treasure forever.

For my oldest daughter, the days of party planning have been gone for a while and I really can’t remember the last birthday party I had planned for her and her friends.  After she turned sixteen, her days of wanting to celebrate with her mom were few and far between. We spend a lot of time together on regular days and even take college classes together; but like I said earlier, birthdays are my favorite!

This week she turned 21.  What an exciting birthday!  I’m not sure how this happened so quickly.  It was an emotional day for me.  I’m not sure if it was the drinks, realizing time goes so fast, or a little of both.  I did not get to plan a party for her, but I got to spend the entire day with her.  She chose to spend most her birthday with me and her grandparents. We enjoyed the day with drinks, cake, good food, and even better conversation.  We ended the day meeting up with her friends at a local restaurant for appetizers and more drinks.  She gave us her time and her special day and I will be forever grateful.    I hope she enjoyed her special day as much as I did!