Author Archives: Lori

What’s Blooming!

Okay, just kidding. Nothing is blooming yet ūüėÄ ¬†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 ūüôā

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 ūüėÄ

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. ūüėÄ ¬†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. ūüėÄ

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. ūüėÄ

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 ūüėÄ

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.

Wholesale show

A little peek into my business world. I spent the last 2 days doing a wholesale show. This was open only to store buyers or those opening shops up, not to the general public, and the focus of the show was makers/artisans from the North Country. ¬†There was everything from honey/maple products, wooden sculptors, artisan foods, jewelers, pottery, bath and body, home decor, furniture. Lots of incredibly talented people, that’s for sure!

I found a neat tip online that worked really well.  Getting things up higher into eye level is important and hard to do with a table. I have a folding table with legs like this:

I measured the legs and they were an inch wide, so I got some 1-1/4 inch PVC pipe and cut it into 12-inch lengths:

Being even is important here. Then pop them on the legs of the table:

This raised my tables up 7 inches higher bringing displays up closer to eye level.

There were actually a fair number of apothecary products at this show, more than I would have liked. We all looked really different, though. Some were more hip, some country style and my clean black and white look.   I did have a little feeling of inadequacy at first, but I guess everyone else does as well when you start to compare.  So I tried not to do that and just focused on my products.

The show was cash and carry, but the object was more to network with shop owners (and other makers). The pace is much slower than a regular retail show because less people come through and there isn’t the buy-buy-buy atmosphere. I had some cash and carry and a lot of discussions with store owners. I got a lot of good feedback, which was encouraging, and two of the store owners followed my social media accounts, which meant they looked at my materials since I didn’t have that info on display anywhere. Hopefully these relationships will develop into full wholesale accounts. ¬†I for sure will do this again next year.

Now I’m peopled out again and John told me I have to dial it back a little with the show being done. I’m trying to listen to him, but I’m excited about where things can go and it’s hard to slow down. You know me LOL!

 

Spring Flower Show!!

So this is what spring looks like around here right now:

Yuck! The best way to counter all that is the flower show. Had another sister day as Colleen was the person I dragged along with me this year ūüėÄ ¬†She really enjoyed it, though. I thought I was going to explode from happiness when we arrived at the show.

This year’s theme was Diamonds and Pearls. ¬†One landscaping company decided to do a theme from Pirates of the Caribbean and the Black Pearl.

Complete with pirate’s booty!

You guys know I was all over these trunks! There were a lot of different trunks used in other displays, too. Happy girl, right here.

Port Royal:

Not sure if you can see on the right side the dog with the keys in his mouth and the hand reaching out.

It’s so amazing to me that they can turn a hockey rink into this in 5 days.

Another section was a woodland trail complete with fallen leaves.

.

I love how they use birch bark to write the signs.

I was so excited to see Dutchman’s breeches!

They are related to bleeding hearts. Don’t they look like upside down pantaloons? ¬†I actually planted some of these bulbs last fall. I really hope they bloom as they can be difficult to grow. We shall see what happens in my garden!

This display was all vintage and wood. Those lanterns are pretty neat, even though they aren’t my style.

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These birdhouses are cool. Not sure if you can see it, but the roofs are made of old tin ceiling tiles.

Garden party:

This was just so charming!

There was a beautiful water feature installed.

One of the stones around this weighed in at 1500 pounds!

The sand sculptor was there as usual.

He chose to follow the Black Pearl theme. He continually works on the display all weekend. Here he is working on the trunk with jewels.

The detail and shading is just amazing. The eyes were painted, which really is a neat effect.

It was so nice to smell all the dirt and flowers.

Spring has to come soon, right?

Here is my favorite shot of the weekend:

Every once in a while I get a picture that hits that sweet spot. If only I could figure out how to do that on the regular LOL! I’m pretty sure this will be made into an enlargement for our wall.

Going to this show helps me get through that last hump before the flowers emerge around here. Now I can’t wait for my garden to bloom!

World Water Day

Did you know today (March 22) is World Water Day?  Here is my water inspiration:

Our water feature we built last year, or as we call it – Radiance Falls. It’s mostly uncovered from snow now, but it will be a while before we can get the pump back in it and running again. ¬†We are so, so fortunate to have clean water. Unfortunately, not everyone does. Still.

You can read more about problems for people without clean water at the CDC website. ¬†And let’s work to keep our water clean. Speak up and let your representatives know that you want clean water.


I’ve been up to my eyeballs in stuff. I know I keep saying I’m busy like I am the only one in the world who is, but that’s why my posting is so sporadic and it is kind of an apology. It’s probably going to stay that way for a while, too.

We did get a chance to see a concert last night. The Boston Brass (quintet) were in town to do a master class for high school students and they put on a free concert in the evening. What a treat! They were fantastic and kind of makes me long for the days when John and I were in a quintet together.  The Boston Brass tour a lot, so check out their schedule and catch them if you can.

John has been doing meal cooking since I’ve gotten so busy. Tonight he made a potato crusted quiche. I’ll have to get him to post the recipe in the comments. ¬†He used the spiralizer to make the potato rounds.

I should have mentioned to him to slice the potato part way down so that he would end up with chips instead of a spiral. He then had to cut them apart.

Delicious quiche!

The potatoes kind of rise up some, which I’m not sure is supposed to happen, but it’s delicious! ¬†On the side is another of those Green Giant riced vegetables. Cauliflower, peas, carrot, green pepper. ¬†This was also good, although I liked the sweet potato one better.

It’s back to work for a bit for me!


As I was getting ready to post,  yet again, more violence in the world. Hate breeds hate. Are we ever going to learn that?