Category Archives: Uncategorized

Volunteer work

I’ve been doing my volunteer work at the Chapman museum in downtown Glens Falls for a year now. It doesn’t seem like that long, but that could be because it’s usually one shift a month. Most of the volunteers work the reception area.

 

The museum recently installed a local information kiosk of sorts. It’s free to anyone to come in and learn about local history. Some interactive displays

And there are about 8 informational panels to read.

 

It’s really a well done display. The idea is that it could function as kind of a welcome center for visitors since our city doesn’t have one, but it hasn’t been made official.

The museum also has a great selection of books about our area and history.

 

I asked the director where he gets the books from and there is a specialty publisher that deals in local history. Who knew?

Anyway, that’s just a snippet of my volunteer duties.

We also got in buttons:

It’s the 100th anniversary of women’s voting rights in NY this year. The education coordinator at Chapman is also on the planning committee for the suffrage events, so we see a lot of what’s coming up, including this:

 

The speakers will all be acting in period costume. I’ve got this in my calendar.

On a side note, I’m sure that I am not the only one with this problem. Cat gets on the couch when you do and snags your spot. Then I’m too much of a sucker to make her move and I perch at the front.

I want to come back as a cat in my next life.

Things You Can Do

Like many of you, I’m sitting here today wondering what the hell is going on in America.  Things need to get done.  Even though you may feel like you can’t make any change happen, there are larger groups with more infrastructure in place that can.  Join with them or donate.

  1. Southern Poverty Law Center. Mission: “The Southern Poverty Law Center is dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry and to seeking justice for the most vulnerable members of our society. Using litigation, education, and other forms of advocacy, the SPLC works toward the day when the ideals of equal justice and equal opportunity will be a reality”
  2.   Anti-Defamation League: A national organization devoted to fighting anti-Semitism and bigotry in all forms
  3. Speak out. If you hear racist/bigoted/hate comments, call them out. Yes, it’s uncomfortable. Try to do it respectfully and engage in conversation to help someone understand the problem, not just name calling. Violence is not a solution. Open a dialogue. This is the most important thing, IMHO.

It’s on all of us to work this out. We can’t wait for someone else to do it for us.

Photo fun

I grew up in a photo family. My grandparents owned a photo developing business and so I’m sure you can imagine the number of photos our family has stored in boxes upon boxes.

Transferring those photos to digital either requires sending out the negative and not getting it back or trying to take a picture of a picture, which doesn’t yield the best results. Enter google’s app PhotoScan and now I can get these pictures in a digital format. It’s available for iOS and android. Maybe it’s been around for a while, but it’s new to me.

You just put the photo in the viewfinder and match up the 4 circles. Here are some photos I did today:

That’s a wallet photo of my dad. The app removes any glare, too.

This was the photo that got me looking for a solution. I wanted a copy of this pic of my sister and I.

Not really sure why because that santa looks completely bored Lol ?

Finally getting the technique down a little better. Not getting too close is the key.

This is young me:

I’m having a tea party and no one came! Not quite sure how old I am here, but suffice to say it would be in the very early 1970s.

Of course, these pictures will never be crystal clear and the age discoloration isn’t going to go away. Anyway, this wasn’t any kind if sponsored post or the like. This is just a great tool for those of us with a lot of pre-digital age photos.

John’s birthday cake

Gratuitous food post here! John’s birthday was Friday, but the cake party wasn’t until Sunday when everyone could get together.  Since he did such an amazing job with my birthday cake, I had my work cut out to make one for him. He sent me this recipe from King Arthur Flour for a chocolate cake with mousse and raspberries as a starting point.

He wanted strawberries instead of raspberries and I decided to use my standard chocolate buttercream frosting recipe instead of the one that was listed on the recipe.

Here was the start of assembly:

There were 3 layers of cake and a chocolate mousse filling between the layers (with mini chocolate chips) and fresh strawberries. The mousse used Clear Jel to help set the mousse, which is a vegetarian option instead of gelatin.

The cake ready for frosting:

This went into the fridge to firm up before frosting with chocolate buttercream. I also made some white chocolate decorations on parchment paper.  I tried my hand at piping as well.

I was pretty pleased with how it came out! This stayed in the fridge until everyone got here so it would be firm for cutting.

Ta-da!

I think everyone enjoyed the cake. John did, which was the most important thing!

This cake did make a lot of dishes and took a bit of time, but even just the mousse is a keeper to have as a dessert all by itself some time. We have now really upped our baking game for birthdays. Where to go from here??

Word Wednesday

I was going to do a Wordless Wednesday post — after first checking to make sure it was actually Wednesday — but then I realized I just like words. I may not use a ton in my posts, but I like them nonetheless.

Morning biking today for breakfast:

I do love my routines.

I actually had pretty good sleep last night. The day we got back from Colorado, I had horrible insomnia, which was my pattern for a while now. Then for 2 days in a row I slept and slept hard getting about 8 hours of sleep. I was shocked!  I felt so good those days and thought “this is what people who sleep normally feel like”.  Too bad it didn’t last.

I shared a picture of these on instagram the other day:

Yes – I made them. King Arthur Flour has a bake along series and each month they post a recipe for everyone to try.  I hadn’t done one until this month, I’ve got the baking bug. I really do love to bake, but for obvious calorie reasons, I don’t bake near as much as I would like.

Anyway, July’s recipe is Blueberry Hand Pies. Here is the link to the recipe. It’s pretty easy, although there are a fair number of steps.

These were delicious!

I really haven’t been steered wrong with KA recipes. Good stuff.

I’m gearing up for fall and holiday with the soap biz already. Getting stock up for the wholesale buying which really starts to hit in August. Boxing and labeling:

Still lots more to go, but I’m feeling pretty prepared for the season so far.

I don’t know about where you are, but we have had garden friendly weather this year. Rain every few days. I’ve actually only needed to water the garden a few times this whole summer.  See how happy it is?

And it makes me happy 😀

Colorado trip

We just returned from a trip out to Colorado. We arrived late on Thursday night and came back on Tuesday. We stayed in Greeley.

The reason for the trip was John’s sister and her partner of 20 years got married! 

There was a lot of last minute planning to do on Friday and part of Saturday before the ceremony. After it was finished, there was some work to be done at the reception. It was held in an art gallery, which was really neat. I wish I had a chance to actually get pictures in there, but it was so busy I didn’t get a chance. The gallery has a nice open space with a sound system area and hardwood floor for dancing. It’s such a great idea for a gallery to get exposure and bring in money by holding receptions.

John and I set up the beverage area and mixed up the sangria. The gallery has a little coffee shop attached to it, which was our food and drink area.  John behind the counter!

He’s so cute <3  It was fun doing all that.  One of Sarah and Cathy’s friends made some home brewed beer for the ceremony as well, with a homemade “kegerator”!

A good time was had for sure! Best wishes for a long and happy marriage!

After the first couple of nights, John and I moved over to a B&B for the remainder of our stay. It was the Currier Inn:

Interesting note, John and I lived 2 houses away from this when it was being built in 1998!

It is an octagon shape all throughout.

Our view in the dining room:

John did play this piano and it was really out of tune LOL. He didn’t play it for long.

Our host didn’t seem to quite know what to do with a vegetarian, which is so surprising to me.  They’ve owned the B&B for a few years and you would think other vegetarians would have stayed there. She asked if we were okay with eggs and cheese since everyone else was having some sort of meat filled entree. I ate veggie, too, as I figured it would be easier.

Simple, but good. The B&B was quite nice, although we both thought the price was a little high for the overall experience there.

We spent the trip visiting, playing games and walking. No trips to the mountains this time.

I did have one of the best cookies I’ve had in a loong time!

Ginger cookie with a lemon cream cheese filling. This cookie seemed like it was made just for me!  I kept talking about how good it was 😀

Greeley has been doing some nice things with art in the downtown area including murals in an alley.

Other than being in an alley and kind of “fragrant” on a hot day, it was very cool.

 

It was so hard for me to take a picture without my sunglasses on on a bright day.  It was pretty hot while we were there – in the 90s.

The trip went by all too quickly.

Weekend mish-mash

The weekend started around here with taking Pixie to the vet on Friday. She was feeling poorly for the week and had tummy issues, which doesn’t happen much with indoor cats. However, we did take her out on her harness last week and she ate a lot of greenery. She loves being out in her harness:

The vet thinks she may have ingested a tiny mushroom since it has been so rainy around here lately. Any way, with being off her food, diarrhea and vomiting more – hairballs being pretty common – Pixie got put on antibiotics  and probiotics. Did you know they make special probiotics just for cats?

She is definitely feeling better now and eating her food.  We are waiting on a stool culture result just to make sure she didn’t ingest a parasite (ewww).

Unfortunately, there was no true cupcake ride this weekend. Saturday it kept raining on and off, which makes it too hard to go a long distance. Unless we wanted to ride in the rain, which I don’t LOL. We actually did end up having cupcakes anyway. We were down in Albany and stopped in at the new Rivers casino down there.

It’s quite nice, really, if on the small side. John has a players points card with a lot of points on it, so we got free food at the bakery, which is the reason we stopped in there! I should have taken a picture. Not sure why I didn’t, probably because I was overwhelmed with the sugar. It was a big cupcake and one that would really be only for a 40-mile ride.

My appetite still seems all over the place. I had gained a little from my Ireland weight last fall, then I took off a few pounds and then last week I was just eating too much. I generally ride 80-90 miles a week, plus walking, which is really a lot of activity. With that comes the boomerang effect of the appetite. It’s kind of hard to actually lose weight over the summer months, although I did that last year. It’s also a challenge not to gain – but when is that ever not a challenge for me 😀  I note that last summer, I actually cut down how much I normally exercise because I wanted to take off some weight.  It’s just hard not to be super active when our warm weather outdoor season is kind of short.

On the track of warm weather, I found this little guy/gal in the yard yesterday:

I think it’s a cicada and I’ve never seen one up this close. I know we have them around here, but I’ve just never seen one.

It was flailing around upside down and when I touched it with my glove, it just grabbed on and sat on my hand. I put in in a potted plant on the patio.  I had no idea that there were so many species of cicada and they do come out every 17 years, but with so many species every year has them – just not always in huge numbers.

Speaking of patio, we are certainly enjoying Radiance Falls, which we installed last year.

We need to cover it over the winter as the cedar trees left a ton of junk in it that was  a pain to clean out. We removed the pump over the winter just to keep it safe. It looks a little more naturalized this year. I have a few planting around it, but not much. It’s a tough spot for growing with dry shade.

It’s another busy week coming up. Hope you all had a great weekend!

Thursday things

I’ve been trying to pull together a post, but my blog thoughts are about as scattered as the rest of my thoughts, so here are some of those random things.

-Why do people use “continue reading” for their blogs still? I’m having trouble keeping up with blogs and personal social media as it is. There is a reason I have a blog reader – so I can read the blogs! I’m not clicking and going to a site to read the rest. Sorry. Not sorry.

– Baby bunnies are the cutest things ever. I hate the damage they do to my garden and I yell “Stay out of my garden!!” and then “But you are so cute!” I’m a sucker.

– Misogyny masquerading as a compliment is still misogyny.

-I have always hated hashtags. For whatever reason, they annoy me to no end. With growing our business social media accounts, I  have had to use them. Kicking and screaming I’m being forced to use hashtags.  And of course it’s working in growing the accounts (which annoys me). Still not doing Snapchat, though.

-I wrote my first word of Portuguese. A customer sent an email that said “Gostei muito dos produtos !!” , which I thought was Spanish until I tried translating it. Turns out it is Portuguese. It says “I really like your products”. So using babelfish, I translated “thank you”, which should be “Obrigado”. That’s what I wrote them, so I hope it’s correct! 

-Allowing others to help me is really difficult. I’m so independent that I really struggle with not doing things. With my shoulder issues, pulling on the lawnmower cord is a big no-no. I really hate the fact that when I want to mow the lawn (we alternate), I have to ask John to come and start it for me. It’s for my own good, but the stubborn independent in me is having a hard time accepting that.

Maybe all this stuff in my head is from insomnia, which has come into active phase again.

That’s when I start contemplating stuff like this:

 

Lots of stuff rolling around the noggin 😀  Good thing tomorrow is a garden post!