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Finished trunk!

Wednesday – guess what day it is?? That’s right, Bagel Day!  It was actually cool this morning in the 60s, so we wore long pants for riding to breakfast.  The deliciousness:



That coffee is a 20 oz coffee, too.  The only way to start the day!  :D :D

That new account for work has been keeping me hopping.  My company got hired on to help another one get caught up on their dications.  Somehow, they let themselves get behind by around 2000 files – a month’s worth of files. The account was 1 month behind when we started and it is supposed to be a 24-hour turnaround.  Holy crap – how did they let it get so bad before getting help??  So, there is plenty of work and after a big learning curve it is going well. The client is happy with my work, but booted off 2 of the other MTs because they couldn’t make the grade.  Bad news is  that I cannot get them caught up by myself – even if I typed 24 hours a day. It’s impossible, so now my company has to move some others to the account. (Glad that isn’t my job).  I am not sure how long this overflow will last past catching them up, which means I will be low on work again.  I actually have another job offered to me and I have to think seriously about whether or not to take it.  Lots on my plate right now on that front.

Anyway, I *finally* finished another trunk.  It was a rainy evening last night, so I got the last bit done.  This is the trunk as it first came to me:



As you can see, it has an embossed metal covering, which was quite rusty. It’s an alligator skin printed metal.



The inside smelled musty and the paper covering was pretty well shot.



The one was different than the other trunk because I didn’t have to remove the outside covering, but I did have to scrub off the rust. Then I used some Rustoleum Aluminum to go over the embossed metal and black over the other hardware. Then I did an antiquing glaze and sealed it with satin polyurethane.  


For the inside, I scraped off the paper, sprayed the inside with vinegar and water and gave it time in the sun, which reduced the odor a lot. Then I sealed the inside with Kilz primer and painted it.  I actually used the same gray paint as our living room walls as I wanted it to kind of go with the silver look:



The antiquing lets the print of the metal come out nicely:



I put on new leather handles.  The old metal caps are somewhat fragile from rust, but I decided to keep them and let the new owners know they really are only for show and not to lift the trunk by them:



The best dating for this trunk is from between 1880 to 1910. That was when embossed metal trunks were made.  Based on the style of lock on this trunk, probably on the earlier side of that.



Again, it still looks old, but now nice enough that you would want to use it for storage and keep it on display.

Hopefully someone will buy it!  I will be putting it on my vintage lists this week and see who is interested. Now it is on to the next one.  

A last shot – there was a rainbow this evening when we were downtown.


That means good luck, right?

Lake riding and blooms!

Saturday was a picture perfect day. It was in the upper 70s, sunny, low humidity with just a light breeze.  Days like this are why we live in the Adirondacks! It doesn’t get any better.

We decided on a ride to the lake. First, we had to make a pit stop. We were pet sitting this weekend and had to make a stop in for kitty feeding. This meant going on our old paths that we don’t take anymore.


These are cinder paths and kind of bumpy. Some parts are in disrepair as well.  When really heavy rains come, it washes away parts of the cinder and they only replace it periodically.  It is nice and shady, though.



The pet sitters!



I made that picture smaller because it was kind of scary bigger LOL!  Do I look afraid that John is about to get me?

Then it was off to the lake.  There was road riding until we got back to the lake bike paths.  We took a break around mile 13 ish or so for a snack. Thousands of miles have been shared between me and this bike.



Dried pineapple before we started the hill climbing.


There were a fair number of people out.  It’s tourist season, so the paths get quite a bit of use.  

It was great to be riding in the shaded areas. Even though it was in the upper 70s, you still get pretty hot riding in the direct sunlight.



The lake was picture perfect!





We stopped to grab an iced coffee and then to the Lake George Baking Company.  So glad this place is not in downtown Glens Falls or I would be in serious trouble.  I almost got a cookie because these were so durn cute.


However, I chose an apple pastry to have with my coffee.


Ride worthy.  Yes, indeed.

Doesn’t the lake look inviting?


It’s actually pretty cold, though. I have to tip my hat to the groundskeepers of the village. They do such a great job with the landscaping and everything was in full bloom.





Yeah, I might have taken a bazillion flower pictures…

Time to hit the roads!



Then home.  


Ride stats:

Total miles:  31.7

Average speed:  12.4 mph

Top speed:  30.7 mph

Calories burned: 1109

We did a bit shorter of a ride than normal for a Saturday. We were both a little tired and the lake ride is quite hilly.  I only need about 530 miles more to hit my goal for the year!


What’s Blooming!

The August garden. Some flowers are sleeping, some are done and some are just coming out.


The cleome are starting to fade now. And check out that coneflower!  <3

I found a suprise popup sunflower. Not sure where this came from – probably a bird dropping seed.


Now that summer flowers are starting to fade, guess what is showing up at the greenhouse? Mums!


I love the mums, but it is a little bittersweet because it means summer is going to come to a close.


I am still loving the agastache!



Stone digging is progressing and we have quite a large pile now – and nowhere near finished!


It’s fun to think of the possibilities with these. I will probably end up with a pile twice this size. Maybe I can just build my own castle!  :mrgreen:  That would be sweet.

Here is my hydrangea:


You can kind of see here the upper part on its own branch and the lower part. After blooming, we will cut off the upper part since it is pushing on the fence.


John cut down the rest of the last stump in the big garden bed (we couldn’t dig it all up since it was too deep and thick). That meant I could lay the rest of the slate path through the bed:


I have been planning out what I want to put in this section. So many choices! It’s partial shade because of the fence to the left of the path and more sunny to the right.

Globe thistles are just starting. I have 3 purchased ones that aren’t quite blooming and this is a transplant from my old garden:


My coneflowers are doing much better after picking off some of those bugs.


My chair in the back:


I have to quit with this chair obsession I have.

I have 3 new flowers arriving this week – just got notice today. All my bulb ordering I did early in the spring will be arriving in stages. The iris rhizomes come now for planting. I am getting these 3 from American Meadows and hopefully they will look like this next year:



Night Ruler:


This is the darkest of purples that looks almost black.

And Brindled Beauty:


I can’t believe I never used to grow irises because I  wanted long-blooming flowers all the time. I never knew what I was missing before I got those few a couple years ago.  It’s so exciting!  I might put one out front – or maybe 2 of them. Gotta prepare the spots for them this weekend.

We will be doing some good riding this weekend, probably to the lake for a change. The weather is supposed to be gorgeous!

Insomnia and cake!

Today was one of those really long days. I had to actually go into my work’s office today to get trained on some  software for our new account. We were supposed to be there at 8 am.  Of course, that meant I slept terribly last night, waking up every half hour and then laying there for 45 minutes before the alarm went off.  I hate that!


Anyway, training was done by someone who wasn’t used to training, so I think we all left fairly confused and have been figuring out things on our own.  I have pages of notes and need to sit down tonight and try to organize them into something coherent. I spent a lot of time on the phone this afternoon with my fellow workers getting stuff all figured out. :D It should all work out once we get used to it, though. It’s just a very different platform than we are used to dealing with, but is certainly is useful to learn it.  Helps pad the resume. Things will  feel all over the place for a while, so I have to have some patience.  We are all smart and can learn anything given enough time.

We had John’s birthday cake tonight. I used this recipe.  You know how so many recipes are “The Best XX Ever” and you try it and say ‘meh’?  Well, this cake really is pretty amazing :D



The same one he requested last year. So John stretched things out for his birthday with more presents and the cake.  Now I think he is done ;)

Happy birthday John!

Happy, happy birthday to my bud! John’s birthday is today. He gets a nice long celebration. Last weekend was the drum corps, tonight is dinner and then Thursday is the cake party. We do like to extend the birthdays around here. I’ll get to his birthday dinner in a bit.

Work has been on a bit a lull. I am currently getting ready to be trained on a new account, but it always takes forever to get the software installed and then get trained on it, and they don’t know who is doing the training yet, so I wait and have less work to do on the other accounts. :roll:   However, that gives me time to work on my projects! I completed another chair.  One of my $2 chairs – this one for inside.  The chair is in fantastic condition – it just needed a new seat cover, which was easy peasy.



Haha – the trunk is still being worked on!  It has kitty litter inside to absorb odor.  Note the lid is *closed* so I don’t have a worse mess to clean up ;)

I had some extra purple suede from doing my arm chairs, so I decided to do this chair in the same style with the same cream paint.


I am currently obsessed with the purple and cream.  This was a much easier upholstering than the other 2 chairs. It only took me a couple hours to finish this chair. Next is finishing the other chair (same color combo) and my trunk.

Of course, as soon as I brought this upstairs, Pixie staked a claim. I had just brought this from the work area and set it down to show John and this happens:



Now on to dinner! John chose Siam Thai Sushi for his birthday meal.  We can walk there from our house – it’s about a mile away.  Cheers to John!



Yay for a good picture! I have the hardest time getting a good picture of John. Either his eyes are closed or he is trying too hard to smile :D  John is drinking a thai iced tea.  I had a thai iced coffee:


John’s dinner choice was the Cashew Nut with Tofu, which has cashews, bell peppers, carrots and chili sauce:



I decided to try something different. I usually get curry, but wanted to try the sushi.  I don’t eat raw fish, but I will eat cooked sushi.  This is called the Spunge Bob.  It has tempura shrimp, cream cheese, and cucumber topped with mango and a honey sauce.



Holy moly was this yummy!  I would get it again for sure.  We are never disappointed with our meals here.

More celebrating for John later this week :D

DCI drum corps show!

Surprise – no biking this weekend!  John’s birthday is this week and to celebrate, his request was to go see the Drum Corps International show in Allentown.  



It was about a 4-1/2 hour drive down there.  We checked into our hotel and then went over to the stadium.  Holy crow was it crowded!  You all know I am not the biggest fan of crowds, too.  

This show was on for 2 nights since there were so many groups and we still saw 12 bands play!  Each band does a 13 minute show.  One thing that the punctual person in me totally appreciated was how the bands got on and off within a couple minutes, even with all of their stuff. The show stayed right on track for the times of the performances, which was great. Very fast paced.




I just did a few snippets of video just to give you an idea, but don’t want to broadcast a lot of their stuff since they are in competition. Big ending from an early band:

There were lots of different themes going on. One group did a Game of Thrones theme.


I loved the colors and the costumes. Watch the rifles being thrown in this one (it comes into focus shortly)

The better bands were in the second half and wow – were they good!  My only beef was that a lot of the groups had someone singing, which is okay, but seems weird for drum corps.  I guess they have to try to do different things.  It’s amazing to me how they can run around the field and dance and still be able to play:



This group actually used real horns instead of marching horns on a stage for part of their number, and that was my instrument – so that earned brownie points from me :D



Really good show. Long, but good.

On Sunday, we headed home after finding a local coffee shop for breakfast!



Not sure who the cartel is, but the coffee was good ;)

We hit up a really big antique shop which was fun to browse in, but I didn’t get anything.



We also stopped and visited my uncle and his wife in Pennsylvania since it was sort of on the way home. We had lunch there and a nice visit. It was great to be able to get a chance to do that.  We managed to squish a lot into about 36 hours LOL!


What’s Blooming!

What’s blooming today? Rocks!!  Any of you keeping track might remember the little wall we removed from the garden bed by the house a couple weeks ago. The bed was very sloping and I was moving dirt when I unearthed a ton of rocks:


I emailed Debby with a picture of my find right away since she has a current obsession with stones LOL! We knew the ones closer to the house were there, but not these into the bed. There is a mix of the big rocks, bricks, slate pieces (from the roof) and interesting mineral specimens.  I then went into the garden bed in the back and started digging by the fence. There are rocks all along the perimeter of the fence, although I wasn’t sure how many were in the garden bed. Turns out a lot!  These were somewhat deep  – and need to go if I am going to plant here.  This is pile 1.


This is from about a 10 foot section along the fence. I can’t imagine how many rocks there are. Enough to have some sort of rock garden or even making a stone path on the side of the house.  I will keep digging around back there and see what comes up.

Pile 2:


Some of them are large and heavy as well. Here is my foot for comparison.  


Functional fitness doing all this, I tell you. No need to lift weights when this stuff is on the schedule!

Then I used a wheeled cart to bring them from the bed to the patio so I can make a giant pile and ponder what to do with them :D  Maybe I should make a big inukshuk or something.

Anyway, I think I found some of what has been eating my plants.


I have been checking in the morning and evening and got a Japanese beetle, an inch worm and some other bug that I found actually munching the coneflower petals, so I think that was the culprit. I squished it before thinking that I might want to identify what it was.  Duh. Now the flowers seem to be left alone and new growth isn’t showing damage, but I will keep an eye out.

Fairy impatiens:



My hydrangea didn’t die and is going to bloom. I have never been able to keep a hydrangea that I planted alive, so this one is good. Although, it was already here when we moved in, so that probably helped :D


It needs a serious prune as the top half is flopping over the fence, so this fall we will take that part off.

This is the butterfly bush draped over the sweet potato vine pot.



The hostas out back are now blooming:


I may keep these after all, but just move them somewhere else.

My agastache out front are really taking off:


I really, really love these flowers. The bees love them, too.  They also love the cleome. Lots of bees in this front garden.

The cantaloupe supreme coneflower sent out a platoon of blooms. This picture really shows the evolution of how the blooms form over time.


As you can see, I also got another fun chair done. I have bought 4 chairs recently to the tune of $16. Three of them were $2 and one was $10.  Two of them were meant for the garden, and you saw the one I did for the back.  This one I got a couple weeks ago from Second Chance Barn. I used one of my sample pots of paint for it (this was a possible bedroom color at the time) and some polyurethane.  Then I stopped at the garden center and got a container refill.  I like those because they are less expensive since you aren’t buying the container, just the plants in a plastic pot. You just pop it into your own container and there you go!


Originally this was going to go in the shade garden, but I needed to move my tippy pots since this spot is too sunny for them. I didn’t really want to have to water those twice a day, so I moved them and put this in the spot.



And – my David Austin rose is blooming again.  Yay!


It also got munched on as well.  Jeez Louise. This will have a nice mid summer flush of blooms. In fact, two of my other roses have new growth and buds as well.

Have a great weekend!


July Wrap Up

Okay, I know it isn’t techinically the last day of July, but Fridays are What’s Blooming :D , so you get the wrap up today.

Halfway done with summer now – or more than halfway, I guess.  We had the hottest weather of the summer so far this week. Phew! I certainly don’t want to complain about the heat given the wretched winter we had, but this girl cannot take the humidity.  This is why I could never seriously think about living in the South – as much as I love New Orleans. Snow birding, maybe, but not year round.

Anyway, here are the results for July.

1.  Making some needed doctor appointments.  I am so lame. I didn’t do any of these. My PCP left the practice, so I need to find a whole new one. Probably in the same system, but in an office closer to our new place.


2. Read more.  I read a couple books. 

The Emperor’s Edge by  Lindsay Buroker

My Amazon link. The Kindle version is free, so give it a whirl!  This is sort of in the steam punk genre and the first book in a series of a former female law enforcer and a male assassin that team up to save the emperor.  I found it to be an interesting book, although it had some problems with the narrative at times skipping over stuff.  I might look at reading some of the others as well.

Four: The Transfer by Veronica Roth

I read the Divergent series and other than the dippy teen romance angst, they were fun books to read and a good dystopian story. I actually thought this was a book told from Four’s point of view, and it was, but it was only a portion of his story. Apparently there is a collection of short novellas detailing his back story. I was surprised when I got to the end of this after only a short read and I knew there was a lot more to go LOL! That happens on the Kindle because you can’t really see how long a book is.

Prince Lestat: The Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice.

Okay, I hated this book. Hated it. I am not even linking to it since it was so bad. In fact, I couldn’t finish it. Now, I love the earlier series of the Chronicles, so I was pretty excited to read this. They were fun and pretty well written for this type of story. Now it seems that when Anne Rice came back to this series after a hiatus she lost all the voices. The cast becomes a parody of itself from earlier novels and then too many new characters with no point. Certainly not anywhere close to her earlier writing. I had even figured out the ending within the first few chapters. I had to peek at the end before I quit on the book to make sure I was correct in my guess (I was). Thank goodness this was just on loan from the library.


3. Scope out a volunteer position.  I have been looking at some possibilities here. The Red Cross is always a good one and since I don’t donate anymore because of my scarred veins, I was thinking about volunteering for the blood drives.  I also have been looking at Habitat for Humanity, but I don’t know quite what involvement that requires for my local chapter. The one in Albany is very busy, but that is too far for me to go to on a regular basis. So, I am still looking.


4. Try some new vegetable dishes.  I don’t know as I would call them dishes, but I certainly have been eating more veggies other than broccoli!  Go me!  Like the squash:

baked squash

And I have been eating more salads because it is hot.  I consider any veggie eating other than broccoli to be a victory for me.

All in all, a decent month. Room for improvement, as always.

Bike mileage update:  As of this morning, 1359 miles.

Tomorrow the blooming post :D

Round Up of Eats!

It’s time for another round up of my eats over the past couple weeks. I really have been eating well and not over snacking. Not sure why it’s been going so well, but I certainly am not complaining at all.


I made more of the ricotta pancakes, only left out the lemon this time (since I didn’t have any).  This is topped with my apple cranberry topping:



I still eat a lot of oatbran cooked with mashed banana and egg whites. Usually topped with some type of nut butter- almond in this picture. Even though it is summer, mornings are pretty cool here in the North Country (except for this week – HOT!!!).



Of course, the twice weekly bagel.



Lunches are the usual Greek yogurt suspects, plus the occasional different lunch, like this egg/laughing cow and hot sauce wrap:



Or egg and breakfast sausage scramble:


Dinners have included these little chicken nuggets. I had meant to get frozen chicken breasts, but grabbed the wrong bag. I don’t like when companies have identical-looking bags for different products right next to each other.  So, now I have to work my way through that bag. These are pretty good, though. The side below is the baked summer squash with parmesan.


Served in a salad with BBQ sauce:



Eating out for dinner. Moe’s burrito bowl.



Nom, nom, nom…  We don’t eat a lot of dinners out for calorie and $$ reasons. We have gone a couple times to the Take A Bite downtown this summer, but those are small portions and a cheap date. Of course, football season will be approaching soon and John and I will start our football dinner bets :D

I also recently tried a new chicken sausage. This is Al Fresco chicken with spinach and feta.




Latte!  More iced in the summer.



I also will eat either a half or whole Zone bar after a bike ride, depending on the length of the ride and how hungry I feel.  If I have a half bar after my morning ride, I will often have the other half in the evening, although John sometimes snags my half bar :) The salted caramel brownie flavor is so flipping good!  It’s really a glorified candy bar, but at least it has protein in it :D  Satisfies that sweet tooth, too.

Other treats include our cuppies:


And I have still been enjoying trying a different microbrew once a week.


Why is it that pretzels go so well with beer?  Mean Max doesn’t serve food, but they encourage you to bring in your own to eat with your beer. We have seen people come in with pizza boxes LOL.  We bring the pretzels.

It feels pretty balanced and not overly restrictive. Still making good progress. I *finally* got off pretty much all the weight I gained during the 2014 Radiance Manor closing fiasco. Yay! Even though it is slow going, it adds up over time.  May as well keep going :)



Last weekend was such an unpredictable weather weekend that we didn’t do our usual long ride, so I was looking forward to Saturday!



It was a mostly cloudy day and temps in the upper 70s, so a good day for riding.  There was a bit of breeze, but it was coming from the east, making it a crosswind which didn’t really affect the riding.  There is no path on the way to Saratoga, just road riding, so not terribly exciting for pictures.



We stopped around mile 9 or so? for a little rest and snack:



Yummy, yummy dried pineapple!

Tick and poison ivy country, right here…



We hit up Saratoga at mile 20 and checked out the Bread Basket for the first time in at least a year.



They have good cupcakes – or gut bombs as we like to call them.  These are big suckers.



Mine was peanut butter. It was filled with peanut butter mousse and topped with peanut butter frosting and ganache. John had a Boston Cream.  So yummy!  Especially after 20 miles of riding. Today was opening day for the Saratoga Race Track, so hardly anyone was downtown since they were all at the track.  That was quite nice, I have to say.

After eating, we walked over to Congress Park and looked around.  There is a section with a sundial surrounded by Pan and the Maenads:



Pan is a wee bit creepy:





We didn’t spend too long here and headed home, well-fueled by cupcakes!  We booked home.  This is around mile 32 or so on the day. It’s at the top of a small hill and overlooks a long way.






It was feeling a little humid and I was glad for the cloud cover.  Our arrival home:



Ride stats:  

Total miles:  41.5

Average speed:  13.4 mph

Top speed 26.6 mph

Saddle time:  3 hours 6 minutes

Calories burned: 1452.

It was a good ride. We are in good shape for the season and these rides feel pretty easy, even with the hills.  I really pushed on the one big long hill on the way home to see if I could accelerate on the climb, which I actually was able to do!  I think watching the Tour de France influences my riding LOL!

Speaking of le Tour, it was very good this year.  I was rooting for Nairo Quintana and if there was one more day in the mountains, I think he would have won.  He will win in the future, that is for sure.

Funniest quote of the tour came from Geraint Thomas.  There was one stage where he just had a really bad day and went down in the standings because he just didn’t have enough energy to keep up.  After the race he said “Sometimes you are the hammer and sometimes you are the nail. Today I was a cheapie little Ikea nail.”   :mrgreen:   I think we have all been there.