From the Heart

“The best and most beautiful things in the world
cannot be seen or even touched
– they must be felt with the heart.”
Helen Keller

From the Heart

Daisy 1985 to 2005

There’ve been dozens of dogs that I have known throughout my life. All of these dogs were not merely pets, but all were considered family members. All these dogs had unique personalities as unique as their breeds. But, there was one dog of mine that stood out from all the rest. She was a Golden Retriever from the pound and her name was Daisy.

Daisy arrived unexpectedly one day. A friend had obtained Daisy from the pound and because of this friends recent hip surgery she was finding it difficult to care for Daisy.

I was hesitant to adopt a dog. Mostly because I worked at a demanding full-time job, had a young son, and my boyfriend and husband to be was recovering from a massive heart attack. Also, Daisy had a bad reputation for getting into the trash, digging her way out of yards and running away, and was extremely unruly. But, there was something I saw in this dog’s eyes. Something that showed me we were kindred spirits.

One of Daisy’s worst habits was jumping on anyone that entered our home. To my surprise, Daisy was a quick learn. After her first week with us, she stopped getting into the trash, never jumped on anyone ever again, and never ever dug one hole in the yard. In fact, you could leave every door open in the house and she wouldn’t step one paw over the threshold.

I had lots of experience over the year’s training difficult dogs, but Daisy wasn’t difficult by any means. On the contrary, she was the smartest dog I had ever encountered. She was so well-mannered, that one night my husband left a half-eaten roast beef sandwich on the coffee table and Daisy didn’t eat or even lay a paw on the sandwich.

Why was Daisy such a good dog?  It was simple. She had the best food, the best care, was taken for daily walks, and she was loved and groomed like a princess. She was always made to feel secure. Basically, Daisy knew how much we loved her.  A love that we both felt, from the heart.

Shine On

Sunflower Farm

“To live is so startling
it leaves but little room
for other occupations.”
Emily Dickinson



There’s a YouTube channel I follow and enjoy watching, the Sunflower Farm Creamery. The farm is located in Cumberland, Maine and broadcast on YouTube since January 2012. The farm is owned by husband and wife school teachers that raise Nigerian Dwarf Goats. The couple also make and sell goat cheese, fudge and caramel.

I began following them because I found it extremely relaxing to watch their beautiful old farm and the playful goats.

Recently, with the Coronavirus impacting even this farm, the owner began daily videos showing all her pregnant goats and has included some yoga and meditation to follow along. The 30+ momma goats are due to foal their kids in less than 2 weeks, so I watch daily to see not only their progress but look forward to the arrival of all the kids.

If you want to relax and enjoy a good daily laugh, I’d suggest watching Sunflower Farm.

Shine On


Tug at my Heartstrings

“Music is a piece of art
that goes in the ears
straight to the heart.”


Tug at my Heartstrings


Music to me has always evoked a time and a place. Often, when I’m listening to a song, I’ll reminisce about where I was when first listening to that particular song.

A large number of my favorite songs and music bring up the feeling of love. Either the desire for or my current feeling of love for someone or something.

Songs are all just an expression of our deepest wants and desires. Joy, pain, heartbreak, yearning, forgiveness, revenge. Good music can make me feel things I can’t express in words. Sometimes, a really good song will just tug at my heartstrings.

Shine On

Schwinn Lady

“Cycling has done more to
emancipate women
than anything else in the world.”
Susan B Anthony



My passion for bikes was passed onto my son. A decade ago, I owned a bright orange Mongoose Mountain bike and my son had his first dream bike he hand-picked from numerous models, a Maverick 18-speed mountain bike, his pride and joy.

When my son went off to college, although he had outgrown the Maverick bike, he wouldn’t part with it and brought it with him to his university. He was heartbroken when it was stolen. I helped him buy another bike which was subsequently stolen. Instead of purchasing another new bike, I gave him my Mongoose Mountain bike to use. Luckily this bike wasn’t stolen but by the time I got this bike back it was trashed from him riding it hard on mountain trails.

I decided it was time to get myself a new bike. I thought long and hard about what kind of bike I wanted and I remembered how much as a kid I loved riding my Schwinn Sting Ray.  So began my quest for a Schwinn Sting Ray bike.

My first place to look was Craigslist, but I soon discovered how expensive and how desirable these bikes had become. Craigslist led me to eBay, at which point I learned that a great deal of these bikes where halfway across the country. All I wanted was to find an inexpensive bike that I didn’t have to ship to California from Omaha.

After several days looking on eBay, I discovered eBay Classified, and found a bike located 75 miles from me out in Acton, California.

1969 Schwinn My Fair LadyWhen I first saw the photo of the bike, I knew instantly the bike was vintage. The funny thing was, it was the spitting image of my bike from the 1960s. After speaking with the owner I found out she had purchased it used in the 1990’s for her daughter and she didn’t know how old it was. It had been in her garage for the past fifteen years. After a long telephone conversation with this nice woman, I decided to make the long drive out to Acton to check out the bike.

The bike was not in pristine condition, but it was rideable and the price was right, $50.  However, when I got the bike home, my husband decided that it needed some major cleaning up. At which point hubby began taking it completely apart and the cleaning and polishing began.

Excited about my new bike I began voraciously researching information about this bike and found websites that allowed me to plug in the serial number and find out the exact month and year it was built. I quickly learned it was a 1969 My Fair Lady model built in August and originally sold in Massachusetts for $49.95.

My husband suggested I call some local bike shops and find a replacement seat for the bike, even though the seat was in good condition.

I found a few local bike shops that had Schwinn replica seats. The bike shop I decided to deal with was Gilbert’s Bicycles in Torrance, California. Gilbert, the owner has been in business for over 30 years. He’s extremely knowledgeable about bikes, especially vintage Schwinn bikes. He was also the most personable when I called all the bike shops.

Gilbert’s shop is five miles from me, so I drove over immediately to buy a replacement seat. After speaking with Gilbert and telling him about my purchase, he showed me a vintage Schwinn bike he recently had powder-coat painted. It was a beautiful cobalt blue and the smoothest powder-coat finish I had laid my hands on. He suggested I bring in the frame and he would get me a quote. Meanwhile, I purchased a white sparkle replica seat and returned home to tell my husband about the powder-coated Schwinn.

After a week of sanding, soaking and attempts to put back the shine in the Sting-Ray, it became apparent that the bike needed more than a little elbow grease. My husband wanted me to have the bike frame and chain guard powder-coated and have all the chrome redone. So, back to Gilbert I went. At this point, Gilbert and I had become quick friends and he began calling me, Schwinn Lady.

My second trip to Gilbert was to get a price on the powder-coating.  After discussing the quote with my husband, we decided to get the frame powder-coated. That led to a third, fourth, fifth and sixth visit which I ended up having Gilbert do the re-chroming of the handle bars, which led to the re-chroming of the sissy bar and fenders, which led to the re-chroming of the crank and the seventh visit was to get the kick-stand, tire rims and spokes re-chromed.

My $50.00 bargain bike quickly turned into a bottomless bike pit. The cost to refurbish my $50 bike ended up costing around $1,000 when the bike was completely restored to better than new condition.

Here’s some before and after photos of sections of the bike:

Rusted Crank Rail   Rusted Rear Fender   Rusted Handle Bars

restored crankshaft   restored rearfender   restored newbikefull

It took exactly a month of working closely with Gilbert to restore the Schwinn. Most of the restoration was completed by Gilbert or the people that did the re-chroming and powder-coating. However, I am so grateful to my husband for his hard work and determination to help me get the details, such as all the custom screws and bolts cleaned and polished for my bike. We both spent a great deal of time getting the fine details just right. The bike looks better than new and rides quiet and smooth.

On my first hour ride along the beach, I was stopped by several people who were excited to see a restored vintage Schwinn Sting Ray bike they grew up riding. Although it was a pricey endeavor restoring this children’s bike, I would do it all over again. You can’t put a price on the happiness that the bike provides this vintage Schwinn Lady.

Shine On

read my post about the history of the Schwinn Sting-Ray at, Sting-Ray Story

That First Ride

“Nothing compares
to the simple pleasure of
riding a bike.”
John F. Kennedy


First Bike


Bicycles have been part of my life since my first tricycle I received on my third birthday. I was so proud of this shiny red tricycle, which came with its very own miniature stop sign. I remember riding my bike around the neighborhood all day until it was dark out and my mom would find me and bring me home.

I guess it was the freedom experienced when riding a bicycle which attracted me the most. As a toddler, you’re at the mercy and control of everyone. Riding my bike gave me the power and freedom to go anywhere my tiny feet and legs could take me.

Hand me down SchwinnMy tricycle days were short lived when I discovered two wheelers. My much older sister and brother would fly by me on my short slow tricycle. So, within a year after receiving my beloved trike, I taught myself how to ride my sister’s two-wheeler. At four years old, not tall enough to reach the pedals while sitting on the bike seat, I learned to balance myself on the foot pedals. Stopping the bike was a challenge but I quickly had my technique down pat. My sister’s hand-me-down large red Schwinn bike was where my serious love of biking began.

When we relocated to California, my parents bought me my dream bike to ride to school. This green, Schwinn Sting Ray, My Fair Lady model was my first very own bike.

In my teens I discovered speed bikes. I read and researched about these modern fast lightweight bikes which fueled the astonishing “Bike Boom” of the 1970s.  I saved up for one I had my eye on at Montgomery Ward. This Japanese $100, black slick 10-speed became my pride and joy. I learned to fine tune the gears and brakes. Daily after riding, I would spend a good hour cleaning and polishing my bike. I even had bought myself a small pack with tools that attached under the back of the seat.

First Ten Speed


One school morning I went to the garage to get my bike and it was gone. In tears and feeling like someone had kicked me in the gut, I called my mom at work. I was crying hysterically and she kept asking me who died? I was finally able to tell her my bike was gone. She told me to call my older brother, which I immediately did.

Within an hour, my brother showed up with my bike in tow. My brother had drove around the neighborhood and spotted the bike thief. He knew immediately it was my bike from the shiny spokes and tool pack under the seat. When he stopped the grubby looking kid on my bike and asked where he got the nice bike, the kid stammered and couldn’t answer. At that point, my brother jumped out of his car, grabbed the boy and told him to hand over the bike or he’d break every bone in his body. The kid dropped the bike and ran. My brother’s actions are not exactly something someone would do today, unless you want to get shot. But, I’m forever grateful to my heroic big brother for getting my bike back so quickly in one piece.

In the new millennium, I moved on from 10-speeds to mountain bikes. My current bike with pearlized white paint finish, is a Boss Two Infinity 7-speed and what they call a hybrid which is part speed bike part mountain bike. It’s extremely smooth riding and comfortable. Of course, I’ve tricked it out with my black sheep skin seat, handlebar pack, black sturdy rear rack, CatEye Padrone bike computer as well as front and rear lights.

Boss Two

I’ve had numerous 10-speeds and mountain bikes through the years but my first bike the Schwinn, My Fair Lady, Sting Ray was like a first love and nothing I ever rode or owned would ever match that feeling of true freedom on that first ride.

Shine On

my cycling saga continues with, Schwinn Lady