Category Archives: Uncategorized

Veggie fries

First, thank you so much for the nice comments on my fativersary post. Everyone’s maintenance is different and it’s always good to hear other people’s stories. 😀

I’ve been getting a lot of morning riding done.  I usually work for a while and then ride after I get the morning shipments out for pickup, although Wednesdays are the usual bagel for breakfast ride!

The coffee cup is a 20 ounce cup. This place had only 2 of the big mugs for a long time and then they broke, so we were bringing in our own travel mugs since we avoid takeout cups when we are dining in. They finally got some replacements and I overheard one of the employees say to another one “These are the big cups. We only have a couple of these because nobody gets that much coffee for here”. Well, we do.  I wobbled between laughing and being annoyed.

Anyway, on to the title of the post. Not a recipe, but a food find:

I have had veggie tots, which are pretty good, but these were new. Since they had broccoli, John passed on them LOL!  This is a serving of 3 ounces weighed out. Cooked in a toaster oven:

These were puffy and a bit crispy. They tasted like broccoli in mashed potato form. I actually think they were pretty decent and a nice change up to my usual broccoli!

Things with the soap business have been picking up speed. I’ve added 3 new wholesale accounts and 2 more have requested samples since mid May. I’ve been working with a wholesale business coaching group and it’s been helpful keeping me on task. You have to be  way ahead of the game for retail and now is the time to start working on holiday stuff, which is a little annoying since summer just started LOL!  Product design samples are done and I’ve ordered my labels to get ready for photography in July to make my promotional materials to send to stores, although full production on those products won’t begin until August. Here is one of my labels that just came:

I’ve tinkered a bit with font and logo and those will be rolling out over the course of the year.  It’s nice to have a set game plan to follow, I have to say.

Another think I can’t believe is coming up is my niece’s graduation from high school on Friday! Holy moley time zooms by.

What’s Blooming!

It’s time! Yay!  Can you tell I love doing these posts? I never get many comments on them, which is weird because 300-400 people visit my blog daily. Lots of lurkers.

Anyway, it’s time to say farewell to the irises.

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Brindled beauty actually might have a couple more buds on it. We’ll see.

New alliums opened up. These are Star of Persia:

You may remember these from last year and how I fell in love with them. I proceeded to buy a bunch of the bulbs for other places in the garden.

In my non-thinking, I  put some behind the irises, which block their view from the front since they are short.

Not sure what was going through my head when I put these in there.

The other allium have lost the petals and leave behind a cool seed head:

I love how these look, so I will just leave them up until they completely dry out. Those 3-balled things are the seed pods. I’m not really sure if these will self-sow or not since I always get them as bulbs. Guess I’ll find out.

Last of the rhododendron:

I have not seen as many bees as I had hoped this year. There are definitely less. 🙁

The wave petunias in my tippy pot have started growing.

The color on these is very cool. John’s favorite color is purple, so I got these for him.

The peonies that flank the front walk are opening up. They are Karl Rosenfeld.

This is about as big as they will get, which is okay for the front walk. I can’t even begin to imagine how many times a dog has peed on these…

These got horrible powdery mildew last year, so I have been spraying them with neem oil, which is supposed to help. You do have to apply it again after rain.

Baptisia with more flowers on it.

It’s getting nice and bushy. I think it will end up a foot taller or so at maturity.

Foxgloves:

I think that is some kind of viburnum behind them. Last year I really cut it back and the foxgloves had room. I forgot this year and it already is crowding them out. Oopsie.

 

And lastly the lupine:

I have not had the best of luck with these. I think I have planted 10 baby plants over the last couple years and this is the sole survivor. I don’t always have a green thumb.  I wish they would take because I love them.

Those plants in the background are my neighbors. I really want to put up at least a decorative fence between our properties just for some kind of separation. We use different kinds of mulch, so that pretty much divides the beds LOL!

Wednesday

What a post title, right? Better than “untitled” I guess 😀

It finally stopped raining and the sun came out today. I had my first ride since the 49 miles done on Sunday.  I got to test out my birthday gift of new riding shades. My old one were falling apart. The ear comfort pads were gone and the nose pads were coming off. Now I am styling:

I had a pretty low-key actual birthday. Working and going out for dinner as we had all gathered on Sunday.  Here are a few of my gifts.

Garden flower:

Lularoe leggings:

Those are bees and roses on these. They are quite comfy.

Outdoor solar lights for my planned little project that will hopefully work out LOL!

Plus some gift cards to Lowe’s and a local garden shop.

A gift of another sort arrived today.  I am doing a review of a product called Diet to Go, which is a fresh meal delivery service with different meal plans. The box came packed with ice:

There are 3 days worth here and I’ll be reviewing these on separate days starting with tomorrow. Breakfast, lunch and dinner. They look pretty good!

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.

 

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…

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!

Climate march

It probably would come as no surprise to anyone who has read this blog for long that when it comes to nature and the environment, I’m pretty passionate. Climate change is real and should not be a political issue. That’s not what this is about. Period. We all breathe the same air.  There hasn’t been an administration yet that has really addressed the environment. The last administration did some things, but they really were just band-aids. It truly is up to the individual to be a good steward for our planet.

Instead of trying to revive a dying fossil fuel industry for jobs, why don’t we invest in training those workers for jobs in alternative fuels? The growth there is huge and is where the jobs are. This is why politics shouldn’t enter in to it. It just messes stuff up and prevents real and true solutions.

Anyway, there were a little over 500 people at our town march. It was a nice turnout. We gathered in the park downtown before starting.

This man was walking around on stilts:

I don’t know if he walked the mile that we did or not as I didn’t see him afterwards. He was booking around the waiting area, though. It was pretty amazing. I wonder how one gets down from the stilts?

I had my shirt on:

Here are some of the signs.

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This one was my favorite:

It was a very orderly march. We snaked along in a big line, stopped at traffic lights and stayed on the sidewalks. The route was about a mile long. Once we got to the park, I took a picture of the line stretched out behind:

One in the park, there were speakers and music. It went on for a few hours, although John and I left shortly after the first speech.

We walked home from there. Our total ended up around 3.5 miles of walking for that including our walk to and from home. We spent time doing yard work and then took a shorter bike ride since we already did a lot. That meant heading up to Lake George!

It was an overcast day. The weather really changed this weekend back to cold and windy. Yuck. We picked up treats and sat by the lake to eat:

Black and white cookie!!

With the cooler weather, it was nice to sit out by our fire pit.

This was when it first started, so the flames were a little high at first LOL!  We have a lot of branches and wood to burn in the fire pit this summer.

On a happy note, this year our magnolia tree bloomed! Last year a frost came and killed all the buds before they opened. This year it didn’t get cold enough at night and the pretty flowers arrived:

Nature is a beautiful thing.

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.