Category Archives: Uncategorized

Christmas in July

I have been doing volunteer work at the Chapman Historical Museum. Periodically, the volunteer coordinator has gatherings of the volunteers to have lunch or do other things not really related to Chapman.  This gathering was to do a Christmas in July for the needy and, specifically, for women. Did you know there aren’t government subsidies for feminine products? They are not covered by food stamps.  Not to mention just having to pay sales tax on them in a lot of states (although NY is soon to be joining those that don’t, thank you). Don’t even get me started on that…

Anyway, we got together to create purses filled with personal hygiene products, done with donations. We had second-hand purses that were donated from a church (which I can’t remember now), and the volunteers brought in supplies to fill them.


We had an assortment of personal items: toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, hand sanitizer, lotions, sanitary pads, tissues, etc.


We then were able to fill 12 of the purses with these items.  They are going to Community Action, which is a local group that helps the disabled, income-eligible, seniors or just people in need and these will be distributed to women who need them.

This is such a great idea to do. We are going to do another one in December. The coordinator is going to check with the domestic violence safehouse liason to see if this is something they would want for the next time.

We also talked about food pantries and I didn’t realize this, but food pantries will give out not just food, but other personal items and two things they are always requesting are sanitary pads and diapers as there is such a need for that. Those are not covered for the local pantries to purchase from the regional food bank (such a complicated system), but they need them.  So the thought is that we are going to do a “pad” drive in the fall and collect these from the volunteers or anyone to distribute to the pantries.

When you are fortunate, you don’t always think about how hard just basic necessities are for some people to get.

Consistency and super powers

I feel like I’m being pulled in a few directions right now. There are those times where all beams cross at the same time.  One thing I do have to start doing is saying no when work calls to do extra stuff. When urgent files are needed, it seems I am the one that gets called. Probably because I always say yes. D’uh.  The next few days I am going to say no when they call. I have enough on my plate already.

When I get really busy, there are certain things that are non-negotiable. My guitar practicing suffers when I am busy. One of those non-negotiables is exercise. I need that daily to help keep my sanity and as part of self-care. It’s not always heavy duty, either. Just walking some days is fine. My phone tracks my activity. It does the steps on its own, but I have to input the biking – other than it recording it as flight climbed 😀 .  I looked at the month view and noticed quite a consistent trend in my exercise:


That’s biking.  Pretty much the same length (1 hour) most days and then the longer rides on weekends. Then I opened up the steps as well and you can see that where the dips in biking are, the rise in steps appears.


I laugh at the 0.2 miles today. I didn’t carry my phone around and it just sat by  my computer all day LOL. It’s nice to see the consistency here. Maybe I can stay halfway sane after all!

On to super powers. John and I were laying in bed one night, and you know how those conversations can be really interesting. John asked me what super power I would like to have. Then, of course, we had to discuss the merits and disadvantages of all of them!

Invisibility: It’s not very useful per se, and it seems that you would be more likely to use this power for bad things, like stealing.

Immortality: Is this actually a super power or just a state of being? I wouldn’t like it because you would have to watch everyone you love get old and die forever. Boo.

Flying: Good for getting places, but that’s about it. Can you take someone with you? What about luggage? And I wouldn’t want to fly in bad weather LOL!

Telekinesis:  This is the power John wants. You can do a lot of things if you can move stuff with your mind. You can help a lot of people, move debris at accident sites, stop things from happening. I do think you would need to keep the fact that you had this power under wraps because everyone would be asking you to help them move.

Mind reading:  No way. Then you would know exactly how much everybody lies to you. And it’s really only good to gain the upper hand in all situations.

I decided I would make my own super power. I’m going to call it flower power.


I said last week that the garden was my happy place, so I would use flower power to negate the anger in the world. Sprinkle pollen or something. That would create world peace. Since many plants are also the forerunners of modern medicine, flower power can be used for healing as well! It’s the perfect super power for me.

What’s your super power?

Rainy, rainy weekend

We had some much needed rain this weekend, but there certainly was a lot of it!  Unfortunately, that meant no biking. Any time we thought we might be able to sneak out for a bit and radar had rain coming. Oh well.  I did manage to get in 5 miles of walking each day between rainstorms and a circuit around the mall 😀


Wet path and humid, but exercise is exercise! Keeps everything green, too.

It was our BIL’s birthday on Saturday and we had a gathering.


Carvel ice cream cake:


I haven’t had a Carvel cake in I can’t remember how long.  I actually don’t even remember what it was supposed to taste like LOL!

Then game time:


This is called King of Tokyo and I couldn’t even begin to explain it and have it make any sense. We got it figured out though.

Then some fireworks:


These are the kind that are legal here in NY, the ones that are fountain style on the ground.  This next shot came out really cool on my phone:


Probably couldn’t duplicate that again if I tried!

Another thing for a rainy weekend was planning our itinerary for Ireland:


We’ve had the flights booked since February, but we were having trouble nailing down where we wanted to go and what to see. We only have 7 days, so obviously seeing everything is out of the question without being in the car the whole time. And yes, we are renting a car and driving on the left (the wrong side!).  That will be an adventure in itself.

John’s job was researching and booking flights. Mine is to find places to stay and with the trip a little more than 2 months away, it’s time. Of course, that means figuring out where we want to go. We nixed Dublin since we are flying into Shannon on the other side of the country. We are going to concentrate on the southwest and Wild Atlantic Way.  Here is a map if you’re interested to see it. Click the map to make it bigger.

The plan is:

Day 1 and 2:  Ennis base to explore the Cliffs of Morer and the Burren.

Days 3 and 4: Base at Kenmare to do the Ring of Kerry. (This changed, Mom!)

Days 5 and 6: Base of Cork to explore that, Cobh and Kinsale.

Day 7: Back in the Ennis/Shannon area the night before our flight making sure we get to Rock of Cashel on our way there.

This should give us more than enough to see and staying 2 nights in places will keep us from having to pack up every day. Now to book some B&Bs! We are getting pretty excited now that we have a plan!

Cycling flights

Cross your fingers that the pictures and RSS reader glitch is now fixed!

John is away for a few days after leaving post breakfast. Noms!


I love my bagels. They never taste the same at home, even if I buy them at the place I eat them. Must be the atmosphere.

I had ridden to breakfast. John drove and left town right after and I continued my usual Wednesday ride.

When I got my iPhone, I thought it would be interesting to see my daily steps. Of course, I don’t have my phone on me all the time, but it’s a good guestimate. It does not record biking and it doesn’t record any steps while I ride. However, it somehow translates my biking into floors climbed!  It’s about 1/2 a floor for every mile biked.


I did 13 miles this morning and it said about 6. Then that time at noon I did a couple flights of real stairs.  I wonder if it senses the up and down motion of pedaling and interprets it as climbing stairs? Anyway, I find that very amusing.

I did my monthly volunteer work at the Chapman Museum yesterday and they have a mini exhibit called Help Wanted: Female. It’s a look at women entering the workforce.  Here are some interesting notes:






It’s amazing how they put it right out there that women would be paid less. Of course, that still is true now, but earning less money ended up being how so many women were able to enter the workforce because companies were hiring. Interesting and still discouraging.

There’s your history lesson for the day!

Fourth Weekend

Our temps finally cooled down enough for a cupcake ride on Saturday!  Not sure if it’s sad or not, but when looking ahead at the weather for the weekend, Saturday was circled for a cupcake day 😀

Friday some big storms came through before the cool down. Usually Pixie hides, but she came running to me and got in my lap:


Poor kitty. She hates fireworks, too.  Last year, they made certain fireworks legal to purchase in NY and all these roadside stands pop up with them. Of course, that means people are setting them off every night and not just on the 4th. Kind of irritating, actually.

Anyway, after lunch we got ready to head out.  It was in the low 70s, but sunny, so I had lots of sunscreen on.


And my Road ID!  It was pretty breezy, which is really my only complaint on the day. At first it was seeming like either a head or crosswind on the way down, which would mean tailwind on the way home. But then it started to changed directions.

We passed by one of the state parks and an entrepreneur has set up a firewood station at their house:


It’s illegal to bring wood from other places in order to stop the spread of the emerald ash borer, so local suppliers do really well during camping season.  Garden art:


Quick break at 10 miles.


Sorry I got you with your mouth full, John 😀  And I somehow got my finger in this picture from my phone. Newbie on the iPhone.

This is a nice section of road and newly paved. Pretty sweet.


We got to a very busy Saratoga, so we were in a hurry to get off the bikes and out of the way of all the cars trying to find parking spots!


We hit up our usual spot for cuppies, Park Side Eatery.  I had a raspberry cheesecake cupcake and a hughjass iced coffee:


Yum!  This seemed a little small, so John and I actually split a carrot cake one, which I forgot to take a picture of.

The ride home was a little tiring. The wind was swirling around a lot, so it took some extra energy constantly making corrections. John said it was like being in a little plane during a wind storm.



Ride stats:

Total miles: 41.2

Average speed: 13.2 mph

Calories burned: 1360 (probably not quite that much, but maybe so with the wind).

We decided to head out for a beer on Saturday night and tried a new place. Common Roots Brewery:


I have to say that I prefer Mean Max. This place only had really citrusy hoppy beers and IPAs, neither of which are what I like. I prefer darker more malty ones.  Anyway, they do have board and card games to play while there, which is nice. I liked the atmosphere here.


Work also progressed on the water feature this weekend. Mostly hole digging and moving dirt around.


I had to test out the hole when the liner went down. It was almost like a hammock:


My sunscreen works really well. I am almost my winter skin color LOL!

John working while I’m goofing around in the hole:


Then it was cookout time on Sunday:


Yum! We grilled up brats, chicken sausage and a veggie burger.  I had the chicken sausage, al Fresco brand, which are quite good.

I had to work some on Monday, but in the afternoon we went to a picnic at our neighbors house and the weather was just really, really nice.  A good weekend overall, that’s for sure!

Progress time

I thought I would update my progress and share something interesting with you. This is a long talky post, so I’ll apologize for that up front.

First let me back up a little.  Many of you know that my job can get stressful for me at times. It’s mostly because of poor company management, but the problem has been that there isn’t enough work to go around and what there is has horrible production,  so I make less money now and you just have to keep checking for work. Then what work there is gets gobbled up like a bunch of piranhas. I have been wanting to change and John and I are moving along to make it happen, but it’s going to take a little time. So there’s that frustration.

I’ve been hovering around the same weight for the last couple years. I would try to lose more and then it just seemed like I was getting nowhere, but I keep trying.  Maybe that’s maintenance in a nutshell… However, that gets frustrating.

Then there is my insomnia and if any of you have this, you know how awful it feels. I have it periodically. I think my body just eventually gives in and I sleep, but when it happens, ugh. So, there has been a constellation of things and I just have been feeling a little blah.

Anyway, I normally don’t try to lose weight for a certain goal. That has never worked for me because I lose really, really slowly, so I could never do a diet bet or anything like that.  However, in the beginning February, we booked our flights to go to Ireland at the end of September and I thought, “I would really like to lose 20 pounds for Ireland”.  That would mean about 2 and sometimes 3 pounds a month. Sounds doable unless you are me 😀

So, I was doing my usual food logging and trying to stay at 1500 calories (hard for me) and get in my exercise and the scale isn’t moving. Then sometimes you just say “F**k it, I’m going to eat”. Know what I mean? Especially if what you are doing is getting you nowhere.

I flailed around for a couple months and then decided to try counting WW points because I was getting really tired of calorie counting and I needed a change.  It was nice to not think in terms of calories, although I have a good running tally of those in my head from years of food logging.  Still not really getting anywhere, though.

I talked to my PCP at the beginning of April and I voiced all of these frustrations to her – and she listened, which was great. She decided to put me on bupropion, which is the generic of Wellbutrin.  She said this should help curb my appetite and make my mood better, which would hopefully help with the insomnia. I was a little hesitant because I just don’t take meds unless absolutely necessary, but I figured why not.

At first I didn’t notice anything but some dry eyes and a headache after I took a dose. The headaches resolved, but the dry eyes haven’t. My mood certainly perked up, but I didn’t get any appetite supressant effects, which I was hoping for. I still get hungry. However, an interesting thing happened. I lost all desire to snack. I still eat snacks because I’m hungry, but I don’t overeat them and I don’t have the urge to have more.  I am sure I’m not alone in the eating when you aren’t hungry.

Anyway, that has been amazing to me and has allowed me to stay within  my calorie goal. It’s not surprising, I suppose, since bupropion is the main ingredient of Chantix, which is prescribed to help you stop smoking. It’s supposed to stop cigarette cravings, and it did for food with me. Not having cravings is wonderful.

There is another side effect to bupropion that can happen, and it’s weight loss. Since I started it in April, I have had steady losses almost every week except my birthday week. And not my little tiny bits, but an average of 1.5 pounds each week, which is a lot for me. Now I am down 13 pounds with only 7 to go before Ireland in September.  I don’t know how long the effect of the meds will last, but I just might make it!

That has been eye opening for me. Not that I am advocating taking it, but it’s not something I would have considered had my PCP not recommended it. As far as insomnia?  It’s better. Not great, but better.  I’m not sure how long I will take this, probably until the job thing straightens out, but who knows.  So that’s my story.  Thanks for reading if you made it this far!

Time to recharge

It’s been a little hectic and busy the last couple weeks. Between working and last weekend doing the show the whole weekend and a garage sale Friday and Sunday, I am ready for a break.

We were trying to do all the families for a garage sale, but it’s hard to coordinate weekends. It just ended up with me and my mom. She brought over stuff from their house and John and I dragged up other things.


Lots of interesting stuff (I thought).


I got up early on Saturday for a ride because of the sale and heat. Well, I guess I was just up early and decided to go for a ride. I can’t sleep in to save my life.  6:30 a.m.


I’m pretty chipper here considering it was before coffee! 😀  Biking will do that.

I am so glad we had the tent set up to sit under because it was hot, hot, hot!  We did not do bad selling stuff and got rid of some things that we really wanted to, so that was good. Still a lot of things headed over to donate, though!  I put the white trunk out just to see if it would go before I restore it, but it didn’t.

Pixie was so happy I didn’t sell it that she jumped right on it when I brought it inside.


Sunday finally came rest day and after a couple weekends of talking to a lot of people and having doctors yammering into my ears during the week, introverted me wanted nothing to do with people on Sunday. My only interaction was placing an order for breakfast.


I recycled this picture, but same place and food, so it’s all good.

Then I took myself on a 25 mile ride to decompress:


John was away this weekend and so I got to be a complete hermit on Sunday. I find talking to a lot of people very exhausting and have to just isolate myself for  a while. I guess that’s the introvert that I am!

Weekend show

Not much of a post today. I’m pretty beat. I had a 2-day show this weekend.  It was outdoors and the temps hit 90 degrees.  I was lucky in that my canopy had shade under a tree for a couple of hours in the morning.

This show is the biggest one of the year. It’s actually 2 shows right next to each other. The Lower Adirondack Arts Council and Zonta (an international service organization).  There had to be at least 100 vendors there if not more. I was on the Zonta side, which is nice because there are really wide walkways for people so it doesn’t get clogged up. Setup was done and people started to come in half an hour before the show even started!


That was the nice shade I had until noon.  Very thankful for that.  The people in the corner on the right there were selling jellyfish in resin, sort of balloon shaped. They were pretty popular, too, which is perplexing to me. LOL

The most popular scent over the weekend:


I also had a new salve. This is made with sweet almond oil, shea butter and beeswax:


It sold pretty well.  I was a little worried that it would liquify in the heat, but beeswax has a pretty high melting point.

Even being under a tent, it was still sweltering and hot! I felt bad for those vendors who were in the sun the entire time.

Sales were better Saturday than Sunday and a lot of people came through.  I don’t know if I would do this again just because of it being outdoors. At least there was no rain and no wind this weekend. I like the indoor shows much better. The hardest part is working all weekend and back to regular work on Monday.


In a groove

I’ve been in a good groove lately.  Eating well and exercising.   Actually seeing some results, too, which is a nice change.


I still need to work on the relaxing thing. It’s been a little busy here. I am doing a show this weekend, so I have been getting ready for that.  It’s outdoors, and I’m not crazy about doing outdoor shows because I don’t like having my product out in the weather. Even though I have a covered tent, the humidity is what I don’t like.  Not sure how well this show will go. It’s the Larac show that I love to go to each year, but it’s a week later than usual and falls on Father’s Day weekend. Guess I’ll find out!

On the soap business front, my products are going to be in a store locally!


There is a new business opening in the Shirt Factory (where I did the open house) and they are going to sell items made in the north country. It’s actually the owners of the building, so I guess they don’t have to worry about rent LOL! I had submitted an application to them and they called me today. They remembered me from the open house last fall and want me to bring in stuff next week. Yay!  One step at a time.

Riding has been going along swimmingly (??). I am trying to get out earlier now to beat the heat. I was on the path to the lake today to get in a hill workout. There are  some really nice shady areas on the path:


It’s soooo green around here. It’s wonderful.


Summer is really a short season around here. Or maybe it just seems that way LOL! Not much riding this weekend with the show, unfortunately, so I need to get riding in during the week. Blooming post coming up for Friday!

Rosewood Gardens visit

This is what I was going to post about before I went on my rant yesterday.

There is a plant nursery that specializes in David Austin roses and they have a display garden, which I have been wanting to see.  It’s kind of hard to find a free Saturday (they are open Thurs-Sat), but I made time this last Saturday. There wouldn’t have been a long ride anyway because it was a rainy day.  John and I took my mother to see the display gardens.

Rosewood Gardens actually is run from a personal property. She used to do all kinds of perennials, but is now just focusing on the DA roses. 


Luckily the rain stopped and it was just wet while we were here.

There is a beautiful shade garden in the front:


Some day my baby shade garden will be as lush as this.

Right off the back of the house was a rose garden:


There wasn’t a huge display of blooms, which is probably a week away, but I wanted to see the roses and peonies together.  The nice thing about the rain? I was perfect for taking pictures.





There is a perennial garden as well:


Interesting that I have some of the same flowers, but they aren’t even close to blooming even though her property is only 20 miles from mine. This is Baptisia and cat mint:


Her irises are still blooming and I loved this pretty white one:


There are places to sit in the garden:


I loved how the peonies were draping over the bench:


And speaking of peonies, hers were luscious!



The blooms are enormous, too.


One of the best things? The view past the gardens:


How amazing is that? I could sit in one of those Adirondack chairs forever curled up with a book.

The owner was super, super nice, too. She and I talked roses and gardening and it’s so fun to talk to someone with the same passion that you have.  I’m glad I had a chance to go.

On the home front, Pixie has been doing a great job of keeping the squirrels and chipmunks out of the window feeder:


This little guy wasn’t scared at all. I put my camera right up the the window:


Can you hear him? Nom, nom, nom.