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!

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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.

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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:

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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:

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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.

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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:

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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:

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Quick break at 10 miles.

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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.

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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!

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

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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.

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Boom.

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:

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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.

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

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

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

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

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Then it was cookout time on Sunday:

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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!

What’s Blooming!

Happy  July everyone!

You know, I still haven’t figured out why my pictures don’t show up in feedly. Nobody seems to have an answer for me, either.  If there is ever a problem that is rare or strange, I always seem to be the one who has it. Sorry if you can’t see these pictures in your reader.

Flower time! Fair Bianca is on the tail end of blooms for the first flush of the year. It sent out this spectacular cane:

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This is sticking way out from the top, so I will prune that cane back after these are done. I am loving this rose!

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The Supreme Cantaloupe coneflower:

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Sorry about that sun shot. Normally I don’t take flower pictures in full sun, but I happened to be out there with my phone.  This is a big boy. I am going to have to move it probably next year because the calycanthus bush is getting big behind it.

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Such a pretty color.  I guess I say that about all the flowers 😀

The balloon flowers are just starting to peep out:

Bud one night:

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Popped open the next day:

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These are such a cool flower.  And I spy John’s legs in the background!

Check out this blue:

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There aren’t a lot of truly blue flowers out there, but this is one of them.

In the back shade bed, I have one astilbe blooming:

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No signs of blooms on the white ones yet. It is possible they may not bloom this year since they got eaten to the ground last year and might not have recovered enough to bloom. Maybe later.

Day lilies:

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Those are my neighbors hostas there. This is right were the fence used to be, so we have 2 gardens back to back. Hers are much more mature than mine!

Potted million bells:

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These bloom all summer and are self-cleaning, like impatiens.

I have a couple fauna pictures as well.  This toad hopped all the way across the patio like he was on a mission and stopped right in front of John’s foot. Not sure really what he was doing, but then I think he realized we were out there and got very still.

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I love having a toad, although I wish he would either eat more mosquitoes or invite some friends over.

Then there is Mr. Chippie. This is the guy that put a hole in our newly paved driveway last year. He has several channels around the house and one is out back. I was sitting on the patio and he came running by and scooted into this little hole; then turned around and peeked out at me.

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So cute, but so destructive, the little booger.

We *finally* are getting in a cupcake ride on Saturday! Yippee!  The weather is going to be perfect and both of us are home.

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.

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Lots of interesting stuff (I thought).

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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:

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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!

What’s Blooming!

I am so glad it’s Friday.  I’m so tired! I haven’t been in the gardens too much this week, although I did get in a good weeding session to catch up, but I took pictures before that LOL.

Fair Bianca is loaded with blooms:

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For a second year rose, this is doing fantastic.  This rose will actually stay on the smaller size, around 3 feet or so. I hope it gets a bit wider than this, but you never know.

The roses in back are doing good and the squirrels haven’t eaten the buds. Maybe that Repel’s All really works. I thought this rose was a goner, but then it started growing one cane on the side.

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I hope I can coax it along to grow more.

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More of the Enchanted Evening:

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I just love the color of it. The buds open a pinky purple and then darken to lavender.

It’s been hot and dry here and the garden has needed to be watered more than I like to do.  I planted 3 hyrdangeas in the new front bed. They are under a canopy of trees and even when it rains, they don’t get a lot of moisture. One of them is doing fine (annabelle) and the other 2 wilt a lot.  This is David Ramsey:

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I picked up a couple of these from a big box store and I hope I don’t regret it.  Note the weeds in this picture!  They are gone now.

The flowers on this hydrangea are blue. I’m not sure if they will stay that color because I don’t really work the soil to keep them blue.

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Very pretty.

I still haven’t cut down the Star of Persia aliums. I know I should, but they look neat even dried up.

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The tops look like fireworks. The rest of the plant looks like a dead squid, though.  I think once the liatris blooms next to it, I will cut them down.

You know how you get plants you weren’t planning on? Last fall I got some of those cheap mums and stuck them in the ground for a fall display. Imagine my surprise when they sprouted this spring!

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They are the 2 on the right. The 3 smaller plants to the left are my balloon flowers, which are just starting to get buds.

The supreme canteloupe coneflower is starting to open up.

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Cosmos:

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These are tall cosmos. I should have pinched them back when I got the 6-packs. I also have some cosmos growing that self-seeded from last year. I’m letting those grow.

On the tag end of the foxgloves. I am letting them go to seed to hopefully grow more.

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The cleome is starting to bloom as well.

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These plants spread lots and lots of seeds and I must have hundreds of baby cleome sprouting. I keep pulling them up and more grow. I let a few stay to fill in some spots, but they aren’t anywhere near blooming. Or even that big! I also have a bunch of self-seeded snapdragons. All you have to do is buy snapdragons once, then deadhead them in the garden and you will have them forever!

I ate tofu and liked it!

With John going vegetarian, he eats tofu for his protein – usually when I am having chicken 😀 .  I have tried it a couple times. Once was in a chocolate silk pie, which was very good, but then that’s chocolate.  Not to mention you shouldn’t really eat chocolate for breakfast or dinner, I suppose. Sorry Count Chocula.

Another time I tried tofu and it was too soft and tasteless to me. Needless to say, I haven’t been too eager to try it again.  However, when we were at the store last week, I was looking at the tofu for some reason and I saw a pre-marinated firm tofu.

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Since taste and texture are my biggest issues with the ‘fu, I wanted to take a gamble.  John was more than willing to try it and we planned a stir fry.

A serving is only 90 calories, so we just split this package and had 2 servings each. For dinner, 8 grams of protein is not enough for me, but 16 is more like it.

John cubed the tofu and pan sauteed it.  Then added a little Kikkoman Triple Ginger sauce for extra zing.

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This sauce is really good, by the way.

I sauteed some broccoli for myself and we cooked some calrose rice in the rice cooker. Dinner is served!

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It was really good, I have to say. The tofu was really firm and had a nice flavor to it.  Much better experience this time. I would definitely eat this again.

By the way, calrose rice is that sticky rice used for sushi and I like it a lot more than brown rice, hate to say. Especially in stir fries.

Who else eats tofu?

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!

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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:

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

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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.

 

What’s Blooming!

Yay, more blooms this week!  The front bed is just doing its thing now. I planted a couple replacement Agastache since all mine seemed to have died over the winter. Boo. Other than that, I haven’t put anything else in new. Time to just let it grow.

John got some new solar lights for the front. We didn’t want to go with cheap lights in the front, so he spent a little more and got these beautiful copper lights:

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Excuse my weeds. I’m a little behind on that front. I’ll have to have him put in the link on Amazon for them.  There are six in a set. The coolest thing is the light pattern at night. It’s almost like a daisy and very pretty!  Now hopefully no one will steal them…

This is year 2 for Fair Bianca. It’s filling out nicely and looking pretty healthy. It has so many buds on it.

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You can actually smell the blooms from the driveway. It’s heavenly!

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I have a pot of geraniums that is going gangbusters as well.

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Isn’t that amazing? You can also see some ant hills forming next to it. Our soil is sandy and the ants really seem to love it. Ugh.

I’ve spent a good amount of time working the shade bed in back. Now it’s starting to look like something.

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This is what it looked like when we first moved in:

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Much different. Sometimes when you are amidst the weeds, so to speak, you don’t see the progress that has been made.

I did a fun project that I have been wanting to do for a while. One of those pots with spilled flowers. It’s behind the hosta in the picture above.

It needs to fill in, obviously, so hopefully it will look good in a couple weeks.

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Here is the post on how I did it.

The shade bed has some blooms. This is Jacob’s Ladder:

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The bloom is flopped over, so here it is:

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I think it actually gave me a couple seedlings, which would be nice. I always like free plants!

The lupines are still blooming. It seems each plant puts out one big bloom and several smaller ones:

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I do find that they are somewhat fragile and I think once the plants get filled in they will support each other more. That’s the border between our house and the neighbor behind the lupines. She has some nice plants there, so it kind of adds to the garden, although the mulch line is a little obvious.

All of the roses are blooming now.  My 100 pound rose:

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I actually thought this was dead, but then it came to life. I did lose one rose, but it was the free one I got with an order last year, so it’s all good.

The Enchanted Evening:

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Lots of blooms on this one:

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Now to be patient and let this fill in.
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Waiting is the hardest part – there’s your ear worm! 😀

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.

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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!

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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:

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

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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!