What’s Blooming!

Now we have blooms!  The weather really warmed up and the tulips just popped open. It’s amazing because there were some that opened this afternoon from the morning being closed. Of course, I was done taking pictures, but you’ll see those next week.

On to the blooms! These are Apricot Impression.

I planted them 2 falls ago, but last year a rabbit or squirrel got the buds before they bloomed. The neem oil I sprayed seemed to do some good, although some of the petals got a little burned. Next time I will just spray the ground around them.

This is Cilesta, another one I planted in the fall of 2015.

That one will fan out a little bit more.

There are also some daffodils. These were in the garden bed when we moved in. I divided them up and put them in various places.

This flower is very delicate and droops down, which is why I’m holding it up for the picture.

Up front, the main bed is starting to really green up.

Some plants I thought didn’t make it are actually starting to poke through the ground now like the butterfly bush and the balloon flowers. I’m still waiting on a few more to see if they lived. Sadly, my 100-pound rose bush died. I bought that after I lost 100 pounds and have had that for 9 years now? Has it been that long??? Anyway, it was down to 1 cane last year and didn’t come back. Hope that doesn’t mean I’ll gain all that weight back.

You already saw the fringed yellow tulips the other day.

The name of that is Crystal Star, by the way, if you want to purchase it.

The red ones are Red Impression, Darwin hybrid.

The color really glows. I didn’t do any color alteration on this photo. You can see the little spots on there from neem oil. Lesson definitely learned. Don’t spray the buds. Or maybe dilute the neem more.

The finicky Fritillaria:

I haven’t had much success with these over the years, but for some reason I’m a sucker for expensive punishment and keep trying. I bought 2 bulbs last fall and 1 came up.

These flowers actually stink LOL! Kind of skunky, but they are not bothered by squirrels or rabbits, which also benefits the flowers around them.

My favorite tulip so far is the Design Impression. John’s favorite flower is the tulip and I asked him what color to add for this year and he said pink. So pink it is!

Such a beautiful color. I just love it!

View into the center:

Little pink soldiers:

There is always a part of me that wants to cut all the blooms and bring them inside, but I just can’t make myself do it. I need a cutting garden or something.

There will be more colors next week!

 

Tulip!

Happy Hump Day!  Or it will probably already be Thursday by the time most of you read this, so happy Thursday 😀

The city came out to do the work on the water access to our house. They had to cut into the driveway at the end. It was pretty noisy:

They got to the valve and now we have a traffic cone at the end of the driveway covering this:

We’re not exactly sure what is going to be happening from here. I assume they will either raise this to the level of the driveway or put a cover over it. We can get in and out of the driveway without a problem thank goodness.

We had some good rain and some of my tulips popped open – finally!  Here is one of the fringed tulips:

Friday’s blooming post will have more, too! I get to go out with my good camera this week and take some pictures.

We did a lot of walking today, 5 miles of walking, and part of that was to dinner tonight. Dizzy Chicken for an inexpensive meal. We had a coupon, too. Always trying to find a deal LOL!  I had the shepherd’s mac and cheese, which was mac and cheese (duh) with seasoned ground beef, peas, carrots, corn and crispy shoestring potatoes.

It’s a fun take on real shepherd’s pie. And tasty. They do a different specialty mac and cheese each week.

Warm dry weather is back, so it will be back on the bike again for the rest of the week!

Ms. Pixie wanted to say hello from her queenly perch:

This is one of her favorite spots, especially if someone is sitting in the chaise. Now I leave the pillows there for her to lay on because – owned by cat.

Fishing and riding!

It was an outdoor weekend!  Even though Saturday’s weather wasn’t really all that great, I went fishing with my sister and one of the nieces. We were down in Albany on the Hudson river.

It was a little gloomy and a bit chilly, but it was fun.

 

All of the gear – my sister is prepared:

We were fishing for striped bass, which have just moved into the area for the season.

My pole set up and waiting (or my borrowed pole, I should say):

It’s been many years since I have fished and there are things that I’ve forgotten, like not unlocking the reel when the line is taut.

Oopsie! This is called a bird nest, by the way LOL. I did manage to unknot it without have to cut the line, though.

We had snacks to eat:

Some big barges went by, too. They were neat.

One thing I wish I could have gotten a picture of was a bald eagle catching a fish. That was very cool! It wouldn’t have shown up well on my phone, plus I just wanted to watch it.

We didn’t end up catching anything. None of the other anglers around is did either. Oh well. Now that I have my license for the year, we will go out again.

Sunday was a gorgeous day and it was back to the usual!

John and I took a roundabout way to the lake to get in more miles. Still building the endurance. Plus hills:

This is an easy one. I don’t stop to take pictures on the steep ones or I’ll never get going again 😀

There were a lot of people out today. Everyone was enjoying the great weather. The lake was very pretty as usual and we were happy campers!

Return of the dried pineapple snack!

It was chilly and windy at the lake, so we didn’t stay long. It was a good ride and we’re almost ready for a cupcake ride.  We ended up with 28 miles today, longest ride of the year.

Calories burned for me really are only about 900 for this ride. I don’t know how to change Map My Ride to burn less.

There was a well deserved treat afterwards:

Yes indeed, I reward myself with food!

We live in such a great area for being outdoors. It makes getting through winter worth it 😀

What’s Blooming!

Okay, just kidding. Nothing is blooming yet 😀  It’s getting close, though!

The green is now popping out all over.

Our front lawn is still pretty crappy, but at least we don’t have moles in the front.

Those plants I measured that were 6 inches high about a week ago are now about twice that and the flower buds are forming on the tulips!

So.close.to.blooming.  See that bit of sun there? It peeked out yesterday for about 20 minutes, but it’s been rain ever since.

I tried planting a couple fritillaria, which are expensive and I have mixed luck with, and one came up.  My rhododendron that I completely hacked up last year with a rejuvenation pruning didn’t die from it and is showing signs of life. Yay!

Depending on how big it gets, I will start doing some pruning to shape it after it blooms.  My tippy pots are not up, obviously, but one of the pots broke and I need to get a replacement. It’s still too early to plant those anyway.

I only lost a few plants over the winter it seems. Some I won’t know for another few weeks because they are late starters. All of my Lady’s mantle made it. They look so pretty in the rain.

These are great shade plants and will have yellow airy flowers on them at some point.

For some reason, none of my bleeding hearts came back. I had 3 of them. I think it had to do with the moles because that part of the garden bed is really squishy.  Last fall I bought some Dutchman’s breeches, which are a relative of the bleeding heart. They can be finicky and i really wanted them to succeed, so I protected the bulbs from rodents with some screening laid over the soil for the fall and winter.

After they started sprouting (YAY!!), I lifted the screen and now have it as rabbit protection. I will say that there has been no damage to any of my plants since we put down the mole repellent. It’s supposed to work on rabbits, too, and maybe it actually does.

Only one lupine came back this year. I guess they are just too picky and I can’t quite seem to please them, so I don’t think I will put any more in for a while.

I love how the leaves catch the rain.  The flowers are so pretty, but I have a survival rate of 1 plant out of 8 over 2 years, which doesn’t make me want to keep getting them.  I don’t always have a green thumb.

I have been going out each day to see the changes and it has been speeding up lately. Soon there will be flowers and we’ll have to start mowing the grass! What there is of it anyway 🙂

Tomorrow I’m going to do something I haven’t done in a loooong time, which is fishing. I used to go a lot when I was younger. Striped bass have appeared and my sister and I are going to head out. I needed to get my license and a marine registry for the bass:

I won’t be keeping any fish, but the fun is always in the catching and the company!

Tiny turtles

We’ve been biking fiends for a number of days now.  It’s just so nice to have the weather acting like spring!  When I was out riding on Monday, I passed close to a tiny thing that at first I thought was a leaf, but it didn’t blow away. Then I thought, “Was that a turtle? It can’t be a turtle”. Of course, the softie in me turned around and rode back to see if I could find it again, which I did:

He was just sunning himself, only in a dangerous spot. I was kind of surprised he wasn’t squished because the path was pretty active since it is spring break around here. Isn’t he the cutest thing? It’s a painted turtle baby.  He’s just a bit bigger than a quarter. I tried to take a picture of him in my hand, but he was squirming too much. I moved him off the path but still in the sun.

So cute! Hopefully he will stay out of trouble.

The bike riding streak ended today. It was cold and blustery, so we walked to breakfast.

Noms!  It rained today, too, but we could use the rain.

I did an upper body workout for more exercise. Normally I like to do full body workouts, but with all the riding I wanted to give my legs a break.

  • Chest press  3 sets 10 reps
  • Dumbbell row 3 sets of 10 reps
  • Shoulder press 3 sets of 10 reps
  • triceps extension 3 sets of 10 reps
  • Low back extension 3 sets of 10 reps
  • Biceps curl 3 sets of 10 reps

We have the Bowflex, so I need to make use of it on the regular.

I have to share this picture of Pixie. She was sitting in the piano and looked cute, so I pulled out my phone to take her picture just as the doorbell rang:

She is so annoyed LOL!  The person at the door was a plumber. We have a small leak at the main pipe into the house that needs fixing. Because of where it is, the city has to come out to shut the water off at the street so the work can be done. Well, whomever built the cement part at the end of the driveway and sidewalk managed to cover up the valve. Idiots. Now the city is going to have to drill into the end of our driveway to get to it. Thank goodness it is on that part and not our newly done asphalt. I probably would have cried over that.  That will get done some time next week. Yay home ownership!

 

Weekend mishmash

Here it is Sunday night already! The weekend kind of passed in a blur. With the nice weather out in full force, we actually were enjoying coffee outside downtown at night:

Spring is feeling pretty good right now. There was also much biking to be had. Not really picture worthy since it is just building endurance riding local routes, but Sunday morning at 7:00 a.m.  and I had bikey face!

I put in 61 miles from Friday through Sunday. I probably overdid it just a bit, but it’s so hard to stop riding!

Lots of outdoor projects to do now that we can get outside. My project is mole removal. We have moles. Not sure how many as only a couple can do a lot of damage and we have a lot of lawn damage and tunnels in my garden beds. No bueno.  I don’t want to kill the moles or trap them, so I went with a repellent.

It’s castor oil based, which apparently either smells or tastes bad to them – or both.  It’s nontoxic, which is what I want. The moles just need to go away (sorry neighbors!). This is the stuff:

It smells like castor oil, which makes sense since that is a large component. It’s a bit of a pain to apply because you have to do it in stages to sort of herd the moles out. It took 4 days to get the stuff spread. Now here’s hoping it works.

I also did some milky spore to combat all the lawn grubs we have, which led to the mole problem. The milky spore is organic and will only control grubs and won’t harm the earthworms.  Plus I have some neem oil to keep the bunnies away from my new plant growth.  Whew! Doing things the organic or natural way takes a lot more time than scorched earth pesticide, but it’s much better for the planet.  I’ll update in a couple months with any progress.

We were talking about what other outdoor projects to do and John wanted to work on our back porch landing. It’s concrete and cracked and loose in spots. He said that would be his project this summer. Then I heard big bangs outside and John decided to start right away! He was using a sledge hammer to break up the cement:

Eeek! No going back now. It’s actually a layer of cement over cement. Not quite sure what we are going to do with it. Maybe tile if there is enough depth to put it in without going above the door threshold. John owns this project, though 😀

We are not quite up to cupcake riding yet. Another few weeks and we will have our 40 mile legs. We had to “settle” for a sundae after our 23 mile ride on Saturday from Martha’s.

Their ice cream is just so good.  They don’t do any frozen yogurt, just ice cream, and they do it very well.

Sunday was family time. We had dinner at my parents’ house. My sister supplied the mimosas!

It was a nice afternoon and I even got some work done in their garden bed with dividing hostas. 😀  And somehow Sunday night is here in the blink of an eye!

Hope you all had a great weekend!

Monday Eats

Here’s another day in the food life!

Breakfast was the bananas Foster Kodiak cake, which has been in rotation a couple times a week for a while now.

Topped with some maple syrup. I’m really liking this a lot.

Normally I eat breakfast around 7:00 and start work at 8:00. I almost always need some kind of morning snack unless I’ve had a bagel.  Around 10:30 or so I had this protein bar:

The NuGo are pretty good. Not my favorite (Zone is), but this particular one is quite good. First time trying it.

Lunch time! I’ve been in the mood for egg salad lately, probably because it’s getting warmer out.

I like my egg salad a little on the drier side. Not a big fan of mayo and this is pretty much the only thing I will eat with mayo at all. Never on a sandwich.

Midday it was time for exercise. I did 14 miles of more hill training. It was fairly breezy and, of course, the headwind had to be in my face while climbing uphill. It was 70 degrees when I went out, so I had bike shorts on for the first time in many months. I have to say, I was feeling pretty chunky with the shorts on. They just never are flattering, but then the first time you’ve shed a lot of clothes for the season and it just feels strange. Oh well.

The ride burned about 500 calories. My post ride snack was the usual latte.

Something else I start craving when it gets warm is a big salad. I used to eat this combo a lot a few years ago and then it fell out of favor for some reason. This was dinner:

It’s chicken with BBQ sauce (which is the dressing, basically) topped with feta cheese. It’s kind of a sweet/savory combo. This bowl looks small in the picture, but it’s actually pretty big and I used half a bag of salad mix!

Cashews are in the house and I’m trying to not go overboard on them. They are my favorite nut.

One ounce of nuts isn’t really much and it’s so easy to eat several ounces and then you’ve had 500 calories just in nuts!

Later will be some decaf and probably another York patty when I sit down to relax. 😀

Do you like mayo?

Lake ride!

It finally feels like we turned a corner around here as far as spring weather goes. Saturday was a little cold, but the sun finally came out.  I did a retail craft show for most of the day. It was a small one and was pretty slow at first, but then I made the majority of sales in the last couple hours, which is kind of weird, but I’ll take it!

Sunday started off at 27 degrees when we woke up. Can you believe that? It ended up warming to 67 degrees by the late afternoon, though.  I measured my plants this morning to see how much they grow in the next couple of days where we are going to get into the 70s. They are about 5 inches or so now:

I think these are allium, but now I don’t remember what I planted. Yet again, I can’t read my chicken scratch from the fall. Did I learn from previous years? Obviously not…

After some chores, it was time to ride. We wanted to get some hill training in and took the bike path to the lake. We weren’t sure if the path would be clear as late last week there was still snow on it. It was about 98% clear all the way to the lake with a couple slushy spots.

We made the first goal of what we call the bitch hill:

Yay!  Then we figured we would keep going and see how much further the path was open.  We ended up at Lake George!

How beautiful is that? It was so blue and clear. A little windy as you can see on the water surface, but so nice to see the lake again! Considering snow runoff and rain, the water was very clear:

You could almost go in, but while it looks inviting, the water is only about 46 degrees. No thank you.

Empty beach.

Tourists will be here soon enough.

After getting to the lake, we had to get home! It’s just as much a climb going back, but we made it. Not super fast, but it’s early in the season.

The snow melt runoff made some little waterfalls:

Not a great picture, but you get the idea. This normally doesn’t look like that in the summer.

Bike path:

Does anyone else see the sasquatch in this picture? The stone outcrop and tree line gave an interesting image LOL! Of course, we’re more likely to run into a bear than Big Foot.

We ended up with 18 miles and some good hill training today! Woooo!!! It really felt great to get out and really ride. Time to start amping up the mileage to get ready for a Saratoga ride!

 

April Goals

I haven’t done written goals in forever! I’m feeling disorganized, so setting some goals this month will hopefully get me focused.

What I would like to accomplish:

  1. Make a schedule for business. I’m running 2 businesses and I have to get some sort of schedule set for what I’m going to do when instead of the way I do it now, which is whatever whenever. It’s just not an efficient use of my time and kind of stresses me out. So tasks will be scheduled for certain days.
  2. Clean my closet. I will admit here that I have a messy closet. Clothes are on the floor, clothes that are supposed to be folded are just shoved in the storage thing. It’s just a mess. It’s going to be clean and hopefully purged of stuff I don’t wear anymore.
  3. Follow disciplined eating. Since we are in birthday/holiday season for a while, it’s even more important that I be mindful of what I’m eating the other times. That way I can really enjoy those days.
  4. Decide on whether or not to join the gym. I’ve been waffling and if I don’t do it, I need to set a training schedule for lifting weights at home.

Okay, that sounds good. The closet thing might be pretty ambitious LOL! The last thing you want to do in the little free time you have is clean a closet. 😀

Birthdays and biking

April officially starts birthday/anniversary season around here. It starts at the beginning of April and there is something going on every month through September. Lots of cake gets eaten during that time…

This year was a milestone for my sis. She turns 50 on April 3rd.  She had her celebration on Saturday. It was held at Circus Cafe in Saratoga. It’s fun inside and I liked this chandelier.

If only our ceilings were high enough for a chandelier!  I got this banner printed up from Vista Print:

There was a special menu just for us:

We had a selection of an appetizer and an entree. There were 16 people there and John wasn’t the only vegetarian 😀

My appetizer was the crabcakes:

No matter which way I turned my plate, this looked like an owl to me.  These were quite tasty and honestly, if I had a side with this it would have been the perfect size meal.

For entrees, there was a choice of beef, chicken, salmon and veggie.  I think 75% of the table got the steak!  John and I both ended up with the risotto and roasted asparagus:

This was a big portion, too. We each took half home to have for dinner on Sunday.

I was in charge of ordering the cake and with a special request of no buttercream frosting (I know!! ), I went with Lake George Baking Company. We get treats there when we ride to the lake in the summer, but we’ve never had the cake. They opened up a location much closer to us, too  – d’oh!

How pretty this is! What doesn’t show is the edible glitter on it. The cake was sparkly and a nice look of spring despite the dismal weather we have been having.

It was a dark chocolate cake with strawberry filling and whipped cream frosting.

This was delicious! And I was happy to note that the flowers were buttercream, so I did get some frosting LOL! I couldn’t finish my piece – too big – although I wanted to.

All in all a fun time was had and happy birthday to my sis!

Sunday the weather finally, finally changed for the better. The sun came out and it got to around 50. That meant biking time! We took the path towards the lake. It was pretty much clear, but we stopped before the climbs began because that will still be snowy. This is Glen Lake:

Still a nice water view.

Bikey face!

And I see my helmet is crooked and a little loose. Oops.

John also had bikey face:

It’s been too long since we were on the bikes! We did just under 12 miles today. Not quite ready to hit bigger hills, but it won’t be long. Spring just needs to stay now.