Pilot Knob Hike

This is Pilot Knob take 2. We did this hike in 2015. It was in the fall and the waterfall was dry so we wanted to go in the spring when it would have water in it.  My sister and BIL joined us for the hike on Sunday.

The trail head is 15-20 minutes from our house. It was pretty crowded on Sunday, too. We were really lucky to get a parking spot as someone was just leaving when we got there.

My hiking boots are working out really well for me.

The trail was a little muddy in spots, which wasn’t surprising since we have had a lot of rain lately. It wasn’t as bad as I was thinking it would be, though.  This is fairly rocky terrain.

One thing that was annoying was loose dogs. I have no problem with dogs on the trails, but they shouldn’t be going free IMHO. That dog in the picture didn’t belong to the people behind it, but way back not even in the picture.  I’d be afraid of losing my dog. Anyway, there was other wildlife to be seen as well.

Does a millipede count as wildlife? 😀  The weather was just about perfect for hiking. It wasn’t hot and clouds were around, but it was still sunny.  I’m glad we went Sunday because Monday would have been a washout.

If you look really hard, you can see the orange trail marker on the trees about halfway up.

I guess they are up that high because of snow in the winter, but when you are looking down a lot to make sure you don’t trip, it’s easy to miss a marker.

There were some challenging bits:

It’s nice to actually see scale in a picture for a change LOL! Usually when I take incline pictures it just looks flat.

Centipede:

Just about at the top:

Then you hit open field and the gazebo:

We sat and relaxed in the gazebo with some snacks.

The gazebo provides a great view of Lake George.

After a rest, we pushed on to the blue waterfall trail.

This year we were finally rewarded with water! It’s so pretty. This goes on for quite a while downwards behind me as well.

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A couple large groups of people got there after us. Definitely many people had the same idea of it being great weather for a hike!  We headed back to the gazebo and went down the other side.

When we did this hike before, we came up this side and down the other. It’s definitely shorter on this  side and greener.

This is that time of year where the green is so fresh and vibrant.

It felt like going through the Emerald Forest.

It makes the crappy winters worth it to have this stuff so accessible for us.

We finally got to the connecting part of the loop:

The hike was 4.2 miles (ish). It took us 1-1/2 hours of hike time not including our snack break. This was a good start to the year. My sister has started doing the High Peaks hikes. She wants to be a 46er (there are 46 high peaks). We might do a few, but I’m not sure I want to do 46 of them LOL!

This is a highly recommended hike. Some challenging spots, but it’s very doable. There were lots of kids on the trail, too. And dogs…

What’s Blooming!

Happy Friday!  Update on my shoulder:  It’s about 95% better. The pain is pretty much gone and I can use my arm. It’s a little weak, though. Guess that’s the sign of a tear since the weakness isn’t from pain.  It’s so amazing how being pain free makes your mood change for the better. Chronic pain is so stressful.

I’m back to full strength riding again. I was able to get out for a nice 18 mile ride yesterday morning before the rain came (which is still going on). i saw lots of wildlife when I was out, including this deer. She was in the path and then hopped off to the side as I approached.

We watched each other for several minutes before she crossed back out into the path and went to the other side.

Cutie!

The irises are really coming out now. I have to say that I’m disappointed that 2 of them are not going to bloom this year, the Night Ruler (black) and the Tour de France (yellow and white). Hopefully next year when they put out some new rhizomes they’ll bloom. However, the others are doing great.

Boysenberry buttercup:

This one has to be about 3-1/2 feet tall. It’s a big one.

The batik with smaller irises:

These small ones are really prolific. I don’t know what kind they are, though.

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Last year I chopped down my rhododendron by about 2/3. I wasn’t sure it was even going to live, but it did!

It has some good new green growth on it and it even is blooming.

The bumblebees go crazy for this one. Hopefully it will start shaping itself better. I’m so happy that I didn’t kill it LOL!

The rain is supposed to be gone by tomorrow and that means my first official cupcake ride of the season. John is one ahead of me 😀

Have a great holiday weekend!

 

Review: GlassesShop.com

 

I was recently contacted by GlassesShop.com to do a product review.  Last year I had my contact and eyeglasses prescription updated. I had used another company to order my eyeglasses from online and was not happy with the quality (I won’t mention them here, but you can ask me privately). I wasn’t in a hurry to replace them as I really only use my glasses at night or when my eyes are tired. However, this opportunity came up, so I wanted to try them out.

GlassesShop.com is headquartered in MI, although I’m not 100% certain the glasses are manufactured in the US.  The site has been around since 2004 and is run by a group of eye doctors.  There are a large selection of frames to choose from – almost overwhelming – in an affordable price range (IMHO).

When you are looking at the frames, each description will give the sizing info so you can see if the width will be comfortable for you, as well as whether those frames come in your PD (pupillary distance). Not all frames are available in all PD.  You obviously need a prescription to order the glasses LOL!  You can also virtually try on the glasses by uploading a picture or you can look at the glasses on the models online.  You can add on options to the lenses such as polarized, tinted, etc. The straight clear lens is included in the frame price. Once you choose your frames and the lenses, you just upload your prescription and wait for the glasses to arrive.

I chose the Lena Purple. I wanted something a little more fun with the glasses.  It took about a week to get the glasses, quite fast.  They came in a case with a polishing cloth:

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I like a large frame as I don’t like to see any of the frame in my peripheral vision. The prescription was spot on. Very clear. I actually have to say clearer than my contact lenses, but I have astigmatism and the contacts I have don’t correct for that, although I will be getting those next time. John gave the thumbs-up to the look. In fact, he needs to order his own glasses 😀

You can just see Pixie behind my head on her throne 😀

I’m really happy with these. It almost makes me want to forget my contacts and just wear the glasses. Almost.

GlassesShop.com is offering all of you a coupon code GSHOT50, which is 50% off for all eyeglasses and sunglasses with free lenses with the exception of sales frames.  So if you want to dip your toes into online glasses purchasing, here’s a good opportunity. Glasses frames are available in readers, progressive, and prescription sunglasses.

Disclaimer:  I received a pair of glasses free of charge for review. All opinions are my own. Upon request, there are some words bolded with links to their site.  I am not compensated in any other way for this post and any orders that you might make do not benefit me.

Shoulder issues

I mentioned the other day about my shoulder hurting and here is the update. A few years ago I did some work in the garden and had really bad shoulder pain afterwards. I had gone to the doctor who said it was sprained and pretty much that was it as far as treatment goes.

Ever since then, it has never been quite right and doing certain things bothers it like bench presses, shoveling or trying to start the lawn mower.  The other day, it just started hurting again out of the blue without any mechanism of injury that I can think of. I could not raise my arm up at all without stabbing pain and anti-inflammatories were not doing much for the pain. It was keeping me from sleeping and not getting any better, so I went to the ortho on Saturday morning.

X-rays were negative, but I was told there was a lot going on in my shoulder. Obviously a soft tissue problem. After some other tests, the working diagnoses would be bursitis, impingement or a rotator cuff tear – possibly more than one of those together.  I have weakness in the arm, so a tear is probably higher on the list. After weighing options, it was felt getting a cortisone shot would be the best course of action to start with. We have a $4,000 deductible, so an MRI would pretty much be out of pocket and a shot would be the next step after that anyway, plus it will hopefully give me some pain relief and get rid of the inflammation.

If I still have pain relief at the end of the week, then I’ll just go in for a flare. If the pain comes back then i will be scheduled for an MRI and some PT. I’m hoping it works. My arm feels about 50% better today. I hope it keeps going.  I do have to take it easy with biking. I can still ride, but no really long trips this week and not many hills or really bumpy rides. At least I don’t mountain bike 😀   That means cupcake ride put off until next weekend if all goes well.

On a good note this weekend, I did get my guitar fixed and can play again! Playing doesn’t hurt very much, so I’ll take it.

 

What’s Blooming!

The tulips are pretty much finished. Last night’s heavy rain took out the majority of the last lingerers. There was a beautiful rainbow after the storms:

You can just see the double, too.

I did get some pictures of the Queen of the Night a couple days ago:

Front bed:

I recently discovered Alliums. I planted some last year and then decided I loved them so much I would get other kinds. Alliums have a lot of different bloom times and so many sizes and flower types – and prices.   I get my Alliums from John Scheepers. They have over 30 different kinds.  That’s not a paid plug, either – although I would be happy to do that 😀

Alliums are a fall planted bulb and the best part is that they are rodent resistant, so the squirrels and rabbits don’t bother them like they do with tulips.

Currently in bloom is Purple Sensation:

These are quite tall, about 2-1/2 to 3 feet.  The flower itself is maybe 3-4 inches across?

Here is that one with the funny little satellite flower:

They make a nice statement and are pretty inexpensive for bulbs. The only downside is the lower foliage yellows really quickly, so you don’t want them in the front, but behind other growing plants to help hide that.

Tippy pots back in action. These are filled with wave petunias this year. Not very inspired, but they will be pretty.

I am going to get more Allium for next year. They make a nice bridge between the tulips and irises.

Speaking of irises, I’m going to have a banner crop this year! Kicking it off is the batik, which I really think is my favorite.

This is year 2 for batik. It’s not much taller than it was last year, but more blooms. It’s just so gorgeous!

How pretty is that??

There has been a little cool down in the weather, but hopefully a long ride will still happen on Saturday. I managed to hurt my shoulder and if it’s not improved by tomorrow, the first stop will be the ortho acute care clinic to get it checked before riding. I can ride with it, but I want to make sure I’m not going to hurt anything. Fingers crossed!

Guitar woes

Who else is getting the summer weather now?  We hit 90 today! I like doing my bike rides in the morning when it is cooler. Plus there is less traffic.

I’m on one of my usual routes for an everyday ride. The road was really crappy, but over the last few weeks it has been resurfaced and is great now!

It’s actually a nice shoulder width. The black part. That gray cinder you do not ride on because it’s an unstable surface.  I don’t know if the new asphalt has better grab or something, but I always ride lickety split on new roads – about a mile per hour faster than usual.

I feel in great bike shape for the season. There hasn’t been a huge quantity of riding, but they were quality rides and definitely ready for a 40-mile ride this weekend. It’s cupcake time! Woo Hoo!  Saturday is circled on the calendar as the weekend weather is finally cooperating.

After I got back from this ride, I went to get back to work and found Ms. Pixie laying across my computer. Eeek!

In 10 years, she has never done this. She’s been on my lap with the computer, but never across the whole thing. I even had the computer turned that way so she wouldn’t bother it, but I guess she just really wanted to be there.

In defense of Pixie and her picture – I know she really looks like a sausage here, but she isn’t overweight at all. According to the vet she is a healthy weight. She just looks chubby in this picture  She’s big boned! 😀

On to the post title, one thing I’ve been doing really consistently the few couple months is practicing my guitar. In fact, I went on a streak of 6 weeks of playing every single day. Then I had a piece break on my guitar.  I do a lot of drop D tuning since I play several pieces that way and that can wear out the tuning mechanism, apparently. The arrow is pointing to where the teeth on the gear just broke.

That means the string can’t be tuned at all. It seems like a simple enough fix, right? However, even with the screw out, that little gear is attached to the whole metal bar part and that entire plate has to be replaced to fix it, including the other 2 pegs. I am so bummed because it’s not a stock part. i have to see if it can be ordered through Rodriguez (manufacturer). My playing will be out of commission for a while, I guess. The tech said he moved the gear over so I might be able to get by with trying to tune the string some, so hopefully when I pick it back up tomorrow I can still play.  I have no idea what this might cost, which really makes me sad because it might just be less expensive to get another guitar than special order a part.  We’ll see what happens.

 

Found money and finished desk

Happy Mother’s Day!  Hope you all had a great weekend. We bought breakfast for my parents this morning at Panera. We should probably go out for a nicer breakfast for Mother’s Day, but the crowds. Goodness!

Our weather was nice on Friday. It’s getting warm enough for our downtown walks on Friday for a beer. That’s only a warm weather thing because I don’t want a cold beverage in winter. It was even nice enough to sit outside at night.

This was a red ale and not a pale ale – it was just in this glass. I don’t like the pale ales at all.

It was supposed to be rainy on Saturday, but it was just cloudy when we got up, so I decided to risk going for a ride. John declined. It was one of those times when you go for a bit, check the radar, keep going, check the radar, and so on. I was able to just keep going enough to get in 18 miles!  Yeah! Especially on a day when no riding was expected.

I also lucked out. As I was zooming down the road, I caught a flash and thought “was that money?” I turned around and sure enough, a squished bill was in the road. Turns out it was a $20 bill! I feel bad for whomever lost it, but I appreciate finding it.

Lunch was on me!  John suggested going to Saratoga for lunch at BurgerFi.  This place is good. It’s like 5 Guys, only a little more atmosphere.

Good thing I rode 18 miles…

Eldest NY niece got a last minute date for prom, which is next weekend. It was a scramble for a dress and I met them at a local store that had bought out a closing bridal/formal boutique.

There were lots of choices and Logan finally settled on nice dress. I actually tried a dress on myself. It was a sequined cocktail dress. Super cute and only $40, but really – I have no idea where to wear it. I’ll just spend that money on flowers for the garden 😀

This weekend I finished my desk! That was on my goal list for May and with rainy weather, I knocked that out.

Again, here was the before look.

I was able to save the top, which really made me happy. Finished up:

Closer look at the top:

I love the grain. It’s so pretty.  The desk cost $50 and the hardware was $7.  I used paint and stain we already had, so for $57, this turned out really nice!

If only I could summon up as much excitement to clean my closet…

What’s Blooming!

Another Friday and more blooms. I did a little plant shopping:

Some $2.99 perennials, including Hollyhock, shasta daisy and agastache. Plus some annuals. In the back are some biennials that I grew from seed. I actually had really good luck and have about 14 plants that I’m hardening off now. They are wall flowers. Hopefully they will be blooming this year LOL! The one big container on the right is one of those ready-to-go pots that you just plop into a container.  Here it is in said container:

This plant stand (with pot) was sitting out at the curb by the trash in front of someone’s house. It was too nice to throw away, so it came home with me.  It fills the space in this garden bed while my hydrangea grows from puny to regular size.

The tulips are still going strong:

The Catherine tulips really are gorgeous. If you want a pure white tulip, that’s the one to get.

The aliums are just starting to open up and this one sent out some strange stalk out of it. I don’t know what this will look like opened up 😀

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My shade garden is still struggling. I don’t know why I have a tough time with shady areas.

To be fair, the plants are still really small since it has been so cold. My Solomon Seal has come up:

These are very cool. I don’t know how well they multiply, but I will get more if they don’t. Those little flower buds are very neat.

The magnolia tree has lost all its spring blossoms.

I was standing under the tree and it was snowing petals.

We have lots and lots of lawn violets.

I have half a mind to just do the whole front hell strip in violets. I wonder if that would work?

The last of the Cilesta tulips.

These will be gone by the end of next week, I’m sure.

While I was out in the back, a cat bird was making a lot of noise. I don’t think it was making them at me even though it was pretty close.

They are just noisy birds.

Probably little to no biking this weekend as rain is going to come in. I do hope to get the rest of those plants in the ground in between raindrops. 😀  Have a great weekend!

Thursday things

Popping in quick today with just some randomness.

 

  • Last night we went to my niece’s last band concert. She graduates next month and is going off to college in the fall (and to my alma mater – yay!!). It’s so hard to believe! It’s scary to me sometimes how fast time goes by.
  • I’m getting bored with lunches. I need something different. Today I had a yogurt smoothie from Chobani. 
  • This glass was 200 calories. It was tasty, but not all that filling. I had it with some tortilla chips. Of course, I had just gotten back from an 18-mile ride, so that might have had something to do with it not being filling LOL.
  • One of my pet peeves is waiting on people. We had the water work done at our street and we still have a stupid orange cone sitting at the end of the driveway.
  • The work has been done inside the house for a week now. All they need to do is come out and put a cap on it to street level. The pipe is already raised. And apparently we have to repair the driveway once that is done. So, it would be nice if they did their job so we could get shit done, you know? So irritating. This whole thing has been going on since April.
  • i always thought Pixie was kind of clingy, but now that I have taken over business responsibilities, it is even more so. I don’t sit as much as I used to when I transcribed, which means she doesn’t get as much lap time. Now as soon as I sit down, she is right there. All.the.time.
  • She’s giving the camera major side eye, too.

I’m hoping to get outside tomorrow and take some pictures for Friday’s What’s Blooming post. We have another weekend coming up of kind of crappy weather, which is lame.  Maybe I will get my desk finished or even work on my closet 😀

Weekend mashup

There was no biking this weekend. None. It rained off and on too much. Boo.  Nothing wrong with a weekend getting stuff done, though, right?

We did get in some good walking. On one of our trips downtown, I poked into the library and there was a quilt installment there.  The workmanship is so amazing on these.

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It’s time to start seeding the lawn and we are going to give it one more try before thinking about sod. Not to mention the hell strip at the curb, which has no grass and no weeds. Just dirt. Plus the city had to dig in there to get to our water line and it’s just a mess.  When I picked up some seed, I had to check out the rest of the garden center. When in Rome….  I restrained myself with plants pretty much just yet since it is a little early for annuals – even though they are for sale now!  It’s supposed to be in the 30s-40s overnight this week. Hello May.

Anyway, I was most intrigued by this hammock thing:

Kind of looks like a Mork chair doesn’t it?  You wouldn’t flip out of it like a regular hammock, although I would probably find a way to do that.  I didn’t check the price because I am 100% positive that’s not in the budget right now 😀

Work was done on my desk as well, which is a May goal.  The veneer has been patched.

The bottom part has to be painted because stain won’t cover that up.  The bottom will be Moonlight White, which is my go-to light cream color.

I picked up some new knobs.  The wooden ones just look clunky to me and one is broken anyway.

The top seems salvagable. The finish is mucked up, but it’s in good shape.

I set to with the mouse sander:

It stripped down pretty well. I then hand sanded down to a 220 grit to get it super smooth.  Next up?

I’m not a huge fan of the polyshades as they are tricky to work with, but this is just about a perfect match to the old stain.  Now you’ll have to wait to see how it comes out!