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Saratoga Ride!

Riding, riding, riding!  It was a biking weekend, that’s for sure.  I had barely any work on Friday – so I ended up with a much needed 3-day weekend!  Friday we went out riding and I ended up with a broken chain. That is really very uncommon to totally break a chain, but leave it to me.  Once we got the bike home, John was able to repair the chain, so all is well now.

Saturday was the usual long ride day.  We decided to head to Saratoga.  It was really a gorgeous day, sunny and in the 70s.  It was windy, however, and that is really the riding condition that I dislike the most.  Going to Saratoga is all road riding as there are no paths going down there.



Lots of sunshine today! River Road is really such a pretty route to take down.  It gets hardly any traffic, which is wonderful in itself, but it has some really great scenery.



This is farm country.  I took this picture as this llama was just going away.  He did not want his picture taken!



At mile 20, we stopped for a shade break and a snack:



Dried pineapple and mini chocolate bars.  I was getting a little hungry. We each had a protein bar right before we left the house, but that didn’t last long.

I think these are wild daisies?


It was only about 7 miles to go to get to lunch, so we moved on out.  We got to Saratoga and stopped at The Local to eat. I was hangry by this time!



They serve a lot of locally sourced products, which is nice.  I decided to get a breakfast burrito.  I almost got a sandwich with fries, but I didn’t feel like getting anything greasy.


I didn’t eat the beans. Why serve beans with a breakfast burrito that has eggs, potato and cheese? 

Anyway, a couple doors down from The Local was a bike shop.


We stopped here after lunch so I could buy a few spare chain links in case my chain ever gives me problems again.  Do you ever buy something you think will just be a few bucks and you are shocked at the price?  That would be me. I bought 4 links. They are half an inch, if that. Anyway, 4 links cost $20!! Not sure how much that would make a whole chain.  Anyway, I need to treat those links like gold.

We biked back into the downtown area and walked around the shops – and then you know what time it was!!


Now, this was a big cupcake. This picture doesn’t really show how big it is. Normally I get the smaller size and John and I will split another one and 1.5 of the smaller cuppies is still smaller than this single bigger one.  I was feeling still somewhat hungry and my burrito wasn’t that big – so I went for the big one.  Note to self – no matter how long the ride, don’t get the big one.  It was delicious, though.  Cookie dough – it had a ball of cookie dough at the bottom of the cuppie!

By this time, it was after 3:30 and time to head home, although I was really full LOL. I was a little concerned that my cupcake might revisit, but it stayed down.

This is when the wind really started to take a toll. Usually around here the wind will be at our backs for one way and headwind the other.  That’s fine.  The wind this day was a cross wind and a changing wind, so you hardly ever got a break.  It was relentless. Plus it would get gusty.  It’s hard having wind push you from the side because it can knock you over if you aren’t paying attention. Then it would suddenly change and be right in your face. Phew!

We ended up back at the Wildlife Preserve again for a break on the way home.  This would be a fun trail to hike some day.


Again, this is really such a pretty ride.


Here is a peak point of the ride.



We were swapping the lead so that one person could draft and the other would take the brunt of the wind. On a windy day, drafting can really help save energy, but we still stopped a few more times than usual. Not to mention this ended up being a really long ride. This was around mile 48 or so?



Then no more pictures. I was really starting to drag.  Normally in a ride I gain strength as the ride goes on and I finish really strong, but the wind just plum wore me out!  Not to mention I got a stinger in my shoulder blade. Do you ever get those? Ugh.

The last 5 miles or so, I really hit the wall and John told me to just stay behind him and he let me draft the rest of the way home. Now that is an awesome husband!

Finally home!



Ride stats:

Total miles: 57.4

Average speed: 13.1 mph

Top speed: 31.2 mph – downhill, baby!

Saddle time:  4 hours 28 minutes

Calories burned: 1477

Calories burned probably higher than that considering the wind, but what are you going to do? It’s just an estimate anyway.  This was a tough ride, but a pretty one.

We did our usual 20 mile breakfast ride on Sunday, which is good to do after a long ride to keep from being too stiff. All these miles helped put a dent in my 400 mile goal for the month. Only 285 miles to go!

What’s Blooming!

Happy Independence Day!



The storms yesterday hit the garden pretty hard.  Lots of plants knocked over and broken.  You can see the butterfly weed laying on the ground by my cone flower. This coneflower is the hot papaya and look at how small it is? The ones next to it are normal size and this one is all stunted. I am not sure why.


Close up of said butterfly weed (Asclepias)



Just to show how my garden isn’t perfect, I have had a huge problem with red lily beetles this year.



Since I am trying to attract butterflies and bees, I don’t spray insecticide. Organic or not – they don’t discriminate on which bugs die. So, I don’t spray. I pick them off and squish them when I see them, but they do damage.  Those lilies are ready to pop open, too. Yay!

My oldest coneflower friend – the razzmatazz. Again, this is one of the plants I brought with me from Illinois 8 years ago.  It’s an oldie and will be coming to our new house.



I also have delphiniums starting to bloom! I struggle with finding plants that like this strip of garden, and decided to try some delphiniums.



( I also desperately need to weed under my bird feeder LOL ). I wasn’t sure the delphinium would bloom this year, so maybe they like this spot.


Lots of tall daylilies in bloom now:



I actually think the shade garden looks better than the front garden this year!



The astilbes are blooming. The white ones have faded, but the Bressingham and Glow are still going. I mistakenly called Glow by the name Flame last week. CRS disease.




A little slow in the garden now. It’s resting before all the coneflowers open up. :D

Settee update – All the padding is in place and now it’s time for the fabric!



I moved the piece inside to work on now that it’s all clean and any cooties it might have had are off of it.  I will be putting on the final fabric while watching the Tour de France this weekend!

Tutoring break

Just about the holiday weekend!  I will be working a bit on the 4th. Not quite sure how much, but I should have the rest of the weekend off, which  will feel pretty darn good.

Got in some biking this morning:


We did a quick 9 miles. Now I only have 378 to go :D  

I also did a lifting workout today, which is the reason I only did 9 miles on the bike.

So, you all know I have been feeling pretty stressed for quite a while now with the endless house closing, work, etc.  I also have been feeling a lot of stress with my literacy learner. I have been working with the same learner for a year and a half now and we have made only a small amount of progress – even though he works very, very hard.  We have met every Monday for the last 1.5 years with only a few holidays in there. Without getting into a huge amount of detail, my learner has a learning disability and some emotional problems as well and it has just gotten hard to do the tutoring for me.  I was beginning to dread each weekly meeting and that isn’t fair to me or the learner. So today I had a long talk with the coordinator and she is going to find another tutor to work with him and I will be taking a break. Maybe permanently, I don’t know.  I will be working with him for a few more weeks to transition, but I have to say that I feel a *huge* sense of relief about this now. On the other hand, I also feel like a bit of a failure. None of my learners went on to get their GEDs, although this current one could possibly do that with a couple more years of hard work. Literacy tutoring was not what I thought it would be, but it is okay to admit that it doesn’t fit for me. I certainly gave it enough time to figure that out.

That really is going to relieve a good chunk of stress for me.

I also fixed the espresso machine…again! This thing drives me nuts. First was the electrical cord and we got that straightend out. Then the water sensor stopped working. There is a little magnet inside that detects water levels and it kept saying the tank was empty when it was full, which meant no espresso. I was about ready to throw in the towel, but then found a replacement magnet online for $15 and we figured it was worth a shot. I guess magnets can lose their magnetivity (??) over time. We got that part in and now the machine works again.  For now LOL.  Iced latte on a hot and humid day:



Poor Pixie with her long hair doesn’t like this heat.  She curls up and sleeps all day (more than usual), usually in a corner somewhere:



Poor girl.  I have brushed an extra cat’s worth of hair out of her the last couple days.

However, there is a front coming through with storms tonight and what looks to be a great 3 days of weather!

Street lights are on as it was getting really dark.



Good thing nice biking weather is rolling in.  I have a lot of miles to do :D

Happy 4th everyone! I will still be doing a blooming post tomorrow because I love them, but you all have a super weekend!

July Goals

We finally broke out the downstairs window AC unit today.  We have had the unit in the upstairs bedroom window for a while now, but the downstairs usually doesn’t get too bad, especially since we got the new windows with the E glass a few years ago.  Anyway, it was 80 degrees in the living room by late morning and we decided it was time to put it in knowing it would only get worse.

That makes it officially feel like summer.

July Goals:

1. 400 bike miles this month. A biking goal! This averages out to be 13 miles a day or so, but obviously it doesn’t work like that. The majority of the miles will come on weekends, but this means dedicating myself to early morning exercise when it is cool.


2.  Declutter and reorganize these 2 bookshelves.  They are just a mess and a catch-all for stuff.


3.  Eat more veggies.  I have been pretty slack about the veggies lately. Even my beloved broccoli!

4.  Deep clean rooms. This is another one I am moving from the June list. It’s gotta get done.

I think I will stop at 4 because I really want to do a better job on acheiving these than I did with June goals. Not to mention finishing up my settee. I hope to be done with that this weekend. Yay!


June Wrap Up!

Ahhhhh!!!! The end of June!  It seems every month I keep saying how fast the time goes.  I need something new to say.  We started off the month with the little weekend getaway to Portsmouth and here it is just about July!

Let’s move on to the goals, shall we?

1.  Continue the last stage of Female Body Breakthrough.  Done. I am ready to move on to something else now. I definitely am stronger, but I didn’t lose any inches after 4 months. 

2.  Be more disciplined with eating. Ehhh… some days okay, some days not. Stress eating really is getting the better of me lately.

3.Deep cleaning in rooms of the house. I did a little bit of this, but got waylaid by other things.

4. Keep doing my projects. Working on currently with my little settee find!

5. Try to write a couple garden how-to posts. I did not do this. I kept thinking about it, though.

Hoo boy, this was a strange month for the goals. Swing and a miss on most of them! But that’s what the next month is for, right? It’s just that feeling of spinning my wheels and getting nowhere in several aspects of my life currently, some my own fault, some caused by forces I cannot control. I love progress and it gets frustrating when I stagnate.

Anyway, here is some settee progress.  I had to paint it. After patching the wood, it just wasn’t going to take the stain and look good at all, so I went ahead and spray painted it (and my feet).


Now it is ready for spring tying and fabric! And welcome to my garage in all it’s glory.  :oops:

This is the fabric I got, which I have to say I love.


It has music, birds and flowers – 3 of my favorite things! I really hope I don’t mess it up LOL.  I also have to find our iron, which I think we still have.

Tomorrow is July and a fresh set of goals, thank goodness!

Bagpipes and Sundaes

It really feels like summer now! We had a hot weekend around here.  Need to remember to do early rides on days like this, but we had stuff to do in the morning – and then there was the parade for our town’s Heritage Days.

As I have said before, we live on the main road in town, which is annoying for traffic, but gets us great seats for all the parades!


I love the bagpipes, too:


They are really good!

After lunch, we headed on out to the lake! Very sunny, so I loaded up on the sunscreen today.



I made us stop fairly often in the shade to keep cool.


That’s sweat on my nose and not sunscreen :D

John was laughing at me taking a selfie, so I took his picture.


Now who’s laughing?  That would be me.

Now for the climbs to the lake!



The lake was busy!



This was about 16.5 miles into our ride.  We didn’t go into Lake George Village, but just stopped here and had a snack and a rest:



Then it was time to turn around.  It’s all innocent looking, but this is the start of a 2 mile climb up.



Then zooming along in the shade.


Our destination was Martha’s!  Mile 22. John missed the first trip to Martha’s a couple weeks ago when I went by myself, so he wanted a visit.  Mine was a hot apple sundae with cheesecake flavored ice cream.  Yeah, baby.



Now I think Martha’s sundaes are the best. They don’t just put the ice cream in and pour a topping on it. They put in some ice cream, then a bit of topping, then more ice cream and the rest of the topping. Their sundaes are very ride worthy :D

After a fill up of water bottles, it was time to head back home.  Someone had taken the time to work on their property that abuts the path. This was all new.





I am getting me some of these in our new house.  

This is the cinder part of the path that we don’t go on very often.  We stopped here to look at some ducks. 



Home, sweet home. You can see the settee project in the background, too.



Ride stats:

Total miles:  32.4

Average speed:  12.3 mph

Top speed:  31.3 mph

Calories burned:  1047.

Not a super long ride, but a good distance on a hot day.

What’s Blooming!

Here it is the last Friday of the month! One of my goals this month was to do some other gardening posts and *that* didn’t happen. Where the heck did the month go??

My tippy pot in the front along with some delphiniums that will be blooming soon. Eeeeee!



Firecracker plant.  I really think this plant is so cute!



On a hardscape note, John is redoing some of the sidewalk that he did last year. The first few that he did are not faring well. So, he took those up and is getting ready to pour new ones.



Yay for do overs :D  More roses:





These pink flowers are blooming everywhere.  I let these go to seed and they just come up all over the place. For the life of me I cannot recall the name and I am too lazy to go back through my blog and look it up.


My other astilbes are now blooming. I still have the white ones:



This is the Bressingham beauty:


And Flame:


These 2 are still pretty small as they are immature plants. It should be a great show next year for whomever owns this house.

My butterfly bush survived, but is pretty small. This normally will be 5 feet tall during the season, but I just don’t know if it will make it that high.







And one single daylily bloomed yesterday:


I am going to have quite the show of them this week!  Have a super weekend!

Book Review: The Diet Fix

This review is long overdue. I actually was trying to get it done yesterday, but all the thinking I have to do when writing a review was hurting my head, so I switched over to the settee update (more fun, although messier) and figured I would talk about it today. Then I read a post by Debby referencing this very book!

Anyway – I found that amusing, which proves it doesn’t take much.  :roll: 

Here is the book.

The Diet Fix: Why Diets Fail and How to Make Yours Work (amazon affiliate link)

I have followed Dr. Yoni Freedhoff’s blog, Weighty Matters, for quite a while.  I have even quoted it on the blog a few times because he just makes a lot of sense.  So, when he came out with a book, I was quite intrigued to read it. In fact, I actually bought a copy instead of waiting for it to come to my local library.

I have to say that he should have named the book differently. It makes it sound like it is a diet book in the traditional sense, which it is not. However, I suppose a book entitled “The every day things you can do to lose weight slowly and sensibly and live happily” wouldn’t really sell, right?

The Diet Fix has 3 parts to it. The first part talks about the issues with diets and why they fail. He often states the term traumatic dieter for people who have dieted on and off for most of their lives (which is a lot of us).  He points out many of the reasons people are unable to succeed with certain types of diets or mindsets about diets and how we tend to turn these things into self degradation.

The second part is implementing a 10 step reset plan to help you succeed. He says 10 steps in 10 days, but really some steps you can take a long time to get down. Not a lot of information is new information to serial dieters, but it is presented in a cohesive way with some additions that make sense.  Seems like I keep saying this makes sense, doesn’t it? Guess that is the theme here.  Things like a food diary (but without judgement), planning meals and snacks with protein to head hunger off before it comes on, how to handle social situations, exercise, etc.

The last section of the book goes into more detail about nutrition and how to to change your mindset about food and exercise (and other people who might sabatoge you), medical conditions and medications that can affect your weight, and a bonus section of recipes from Dr. Freedhoff’s wife.

My biggest personal takeaways from this book were:

1. Incorporate a morning snack. This is something that I always felt I shouldn’t need since I eat a bigger breakfast and should be able to last until lunch. Well, that isn’t always the case and I could be ravenous a couple hours after breakfast. Instead of fighting that, I have decided to make my breakfast just a bit smaller and have a timed mid morning snack (about 150 calories) that includes protein.

2. I think more than anything else this book is about behavior. Not really so much what you are eating, although that is important. It’s setting yourself up for success with a series of tools no matter what eating plan you want to follow.

3.  The biggest and most important thing? Your best weight may not be what everyone else tells you it should be. Your best weight is whatever weight you reach while you are living the healthiest life you can actually enjoy. Suffering should not ever be a part of a diet.

So in a nutshell, I did like this book. I think it has a lot to offer, really especially if you have been a lifelong dieter and have the suffering mentality and beating yourself up. 

Settee update

So, I showed the picture of my settee that I picked up for $18 at auction with the thoughts of reupholstering it. Even though I said I wasn’t going to buy anymore furniture before we moved, right? Promises, promises. $18, people! How could I not get it?


I liked the shape and the wood detail and figured with a new covering and restaining the legs it would be pretty cool to put in the little room that will be off our new living room.


I was a bit concerned because this was a little more than I was thinking of doing for my first upholstery try.  Turns out I didn’t need to worry…

I used a marker and wrote a number code on all the pieces so that I could use them as a pattern for a new cover and actually remember how to put it back together.  Then I carefully pulled apart the fabric and saw another layer under it.



Okay then. More work to do!


So then I peel off that layer and I see this:


By this point I was all WTF? I also noticed when I grasped the piece that it felt like a wooden frame underneath that had a shape to it and I began to suspect that I had a totally different piece than I thought.  So no, Jeannie, it wasn’t a bag of money I found (how cool would that have been!?!?).

I pulled this corner off to see and I find this:


By this point, the dust was pretty bad from all this old fabric and I was wearing a mask. 


I think the patient will live.


By this point I was just ripping off the fabric because I knew I wasn’t going to be putting it back together the way I found it.  I got everything off except for the very original seat cover.


This was the settee’s original form and it looks very cool. I did take off the last cover with it’s padding (straw!). I saved that for a template to recover the seat. 


Please excuse the old girl – she was very dirty in this shot. I can save all the springs. They just need to be retied.  So, what I thought was going to be a big upholstery project is turning into a stripping and staining project.  I think you can see a bit in this picture all the nail and tack holes from 3 layers of fabric on this. Some of the wood around the seat that will be showing is not in good shape. I am going to try to fill the holes and stain them, but I may actually have to paint the wood because I don’t know if all the patch work will take the dark stain and look good. I have to wait and see.

I can’t believe someone didn’t like how this looked and covered it up.


So, I have spent time this week with varnish stripper and a tooth brush working to clean it up. Hopefully this weekend I will patch the wood and see if I can stain it or have to paint it.  If I do paint – it will be gloss black.

I told John I should do furniture flipping instead of house flipping :D

46 mile ride

What a gorgeous, gorgeous weekend!  I was glad to have my biking partner back for Saturday :D



We did just kind of a loop around ride aiming for 40+ miles.


Most of it was road riding, but we did hit a small portion of a path called the Betar bikeway. It’s only a little over a mile long, but it runs along the river and is so pretty.  You can peek to Glens Falls:



It’s a nice paved path and lots of people on it on Saturday.  There is a group that meets there monthly to do bird watching and I keep thinking I will try it some time, but never have gotten around to it.


Of course, all the birdies needed to look out because this guy was walking around like he owned the place!



He was talkative and friendy. I always find the kittehs.

We headed south then to Schuylerville.  

This goes along the canal and we saw a boat headed. We actually were biking faster than this boat was going. Not sure if that is sad or not LOL! 


Along route 4 is a an osprey nest. They currently have babies and the mom was not thrilled about us. We weren’t very close, but she was pretty vocal.


When we got to Schuylerville, we stopped at Espresso Huis for our ride snack!


This was a Boston cream cuppie and really, really good! Of course, riding always makes everything taste better :D

I also admired the pottery for sale by a local artist.


Biking = no buying, right?

Powered by cupcakes and coffee, it was time to head back.  We actually were a little tired on this ride. I think it was because we went about 30 miles before our snack and we didn’t take a lot of breaks.

Fluffy clouds!


About 3 miles from home, I got a cramp in my left thigh (the weak one). I have never had that happen while biking before. We had to stop and stretch so I could work it out.  Thank goodness it was close to home.  Only 1 last steeper hill to get up before we were done.


Look at that – the 46 miles I didn’t get to do on my birthday, just a couple weeks late :D