Riding High and Riding Low

Working as a nurse, or in any profession where you are scheduled to work every other weekend, one tends to savor the weekends they do have off. Of course, being the person I am, I decided to go to work on Saturday (they were short staffed) missing what might have been one of the most gorgeous autumn days we have had to date. I recall seeing a fellow colleague who rides and having a short conversation about how devestating it was being inside with the perfect riding conditions just outside.

Yes, the weekend was cut short, but I was able to bring X on my northern Dutchess County/ Southern Columbia County folliage tour (or as I call it “foilage”) the next day as we had planned on doing the day before when I chose to go to work instead (smacking my forehead). Ok, I promise, these are the last photos of trees for this season. The weather was not as amazing as the day before, but it was still enjoyable. And, I need to give my riding companion credit for taking some of the photos. Obviously, the tour guide cannot do everything. 

Sheep

Nourishment is key on long rides. One whole serving of fruit in this.*Note: the caps are a hazard to children under three.

Sometimes the tour guide gets a little lost….

…And you cannot forget the mountain biking, which I definitely feel I am improving at. I (for the second or third time since “the incident”) made it over bridges that I have a fear of biking over. I was on cloud nine at the fact my tires moved swiftly over the bridges, effortlessly. I was so excited at the fact that afterwards, continuing on my route, I ran straight into a tree and fell. I guess with the “biking highs” come the “biking lows.”

I’m pretty sure another key point of mountain biking is actually trusting the bike. Like when you rock climb, to trust your feet. For heavens sake Mols, your mountain bike has FULL suspension! I realized that having a death grip on the bars makes it harder for the bike to move the way it wants to move. And the less control you attempt to have over the bike, the easier it is to actually move over obstacles.

My ultimate riding motivator at Jockey Hill

Someone created something new at Ferncliff

Mountain Biking Bliss

Part Two: Baking/Cooking

In an attempt to continue on my “Fall baking challenge” I have succeeded in creating a couple more fall-themed baked items, they are not, however, on the list I mentioned in one of my posts.

Yesterday after the realization I had forgotten my muffin tin that I needed in order to bake the maple cupcakes I had planned on, and frantically searching X’s cupboards for a baking dish of any kind, I decided to bake a maple cake with maple frosting instead. This cake recipe has real maple syrup in both the cake mix and frosting versus other recipes I found which used maple flavoring.

During the kitchen raid, I proceeded to find a handheld mixer which, I swear, is some sort of psychotic mixer whose slowest speed caused a hurricane of butter and sugar to splatter the walls of X’s kitchen.

As some of you may know, I dislike cakes and cupcakes. But if you like pancakes, this is the cake for you (thank you to The Baker’s Daughter website for the recipe). The aroma of maple pancakes filled the kitchen after I took the finished product out of the oven. I was caught in the act of frosting the cake–the part of cake decorating I am still working on.

Yup, frosting the cake.

Maple Cake, with Maple Buttercream drizzled with maple syrup

The finished product was, if I may say so myself, pretty incredible. And, if one of X’s co-workers shows up with some of the cake in his mouth saying, “Your girlfriend is a keeper,” than I guess it really was a good recipe.

Lastly, I need to tell the world that there are a couple food items my man can make which are drool-worthy (the pita chips for one, that I mentioned in a previous post). The other is guac (which I might have mentioned, but actually have a photo), home made pizza, and his grilled cheese sandwiches are pretty hard to beat. But, I did manage to make my first quesadilla ever, and think it turned out well (okay okay, make-shift quesadilla…more like a grilled cheese in-between two tortillas).

Perfect post-47mile ride snack for X

And now, X’s creations….

PS. For the record, let it be known to the world that for the first time in months, I got dressed up in something other than scrubs or athletic attire for a “night out on the town.” At 6:30pm after dinner, exhausted, I kept asking X how long we had to wait until it was “socially acceptable” to go out on a Saturday night–knowing that usually I’m in bed by 9pm now a days (complete opposite of years in the past, huh?) anything later than 8pm causes me internal stress…Okay, slight exaggeration. Anywho, going out, blow drying my hair, and “dressing up” is such a rarity, not only X is surprised, but, apparently, family members are as well: “So, I guess Mol cleans up pretty nicely, doesn’t she?”

After an Attack by a Dog…

….I realized my fear of dogs chasing me while biking is a valid fear to have.

However, dear readers, this is not about the dog attack. But, before I do start, do not fret; the bite did not break skin, incase you were worried. It did “freak me out,” and, increase my speed. It has always been something that has caused my heart rate to increase: when a dog starts to chase you on a bike. I’ve heard of it happening to other people, but never to me. I guess I can now say that it has, indeed happened to me.

I thought, as I sit here waiting for my homemade pita chips to cook in the oven at 1am (something my man has always made…watch me, and I will probably screw it up), I thought I would continue this post I began before work. And  as a warning, if you are someone who hates trees, or leaves, or nature, you might want to stop reading this now–although there is more than just photos in this post.

Knowing the weather later today would be rainy, I decided to wake up early and get a road ride in before work–mostly because I wanted to document how amazingly stunning it is in Dutchess County at this time of year. And, after todays ride (and a recent mountain bike ride), I think I am gaining the strength I lost from Lymes back, which is awesome. I plan tri training sometime in the near future, once work settles down and I don’t work an insane amount.*Note: since writing this, I have signed up for some running races on my weekends off! 🙂 **Second note: going for a 30 mile road ride before working a 9hr shift where you are on your feet for about 98% of those 9 hrs with no breaks whatsoever, isn’t the best idea in the world. Ohh how I love nursing.

View from Ferncliff fire tower

Onteora Lake in the fall….

As for the baking, I did manage to make cinnamon buns with maple frosting, however forgot to add the yeast (perhaps a sign I’ve been working too much?), but was successful at making one of my recipe goals: homemade pumpkin pop tarts, which are pictured below, before I added a glaze. They were delicious.  I am pretty sure once (1) my schedule settles down and (2) the weather turns horrible, my baking will increase.

Mmmmmm

In addition, I made caramel marbled apple bundt cake which turned out as shown below:

It looked good in the pan…Not so appealing on the ground

Yes, I dropped in on the ground. Kitchen mishap. Major bummer, because it smelled delicious. Probably  would have tasted yummy, too.

Alas, the pita chips are finished, and it’s time to get some food…I hope this finds you happy, healthy, and well!

Autumn Rides

“Autumn…the year’s last, loveliest smile.” William Cullen Bryant

Autumn; it might be my favorite time  of year. I was blessed to be able to live in an area where we can see the colors of the trees change from green to golden brown to shades of  golds and ambers;and to have the opportunity to jump into piles of crispy, crunchy leaves that hath fallen from trees (yes, the youth is still in me). In all honestly, where did September go? I feel the month disappeared without my knowing. I guess all the overtime at work had something to do with it.

Autumn. Think about it. Trees change colors, you do not sweat to death walking to you car….Yes, it might be chilier, and snort sleeve jersies will be replaced with long jerseys. And the change of leaves brings yet  another challenge to (esp) mountain biking, since paths are covered by leaves ( as well as rocks and roots)…Not to mention we have started the  hunting season, which brings a whole different change of mountain biking.  Thankfully, Ferncilff  Forest is a “safe’ zone for riders; i.e. hunters are not able to hunt in these zones (hallelujah!).

On my first couple days off in  a row after hellish days 0f non stop insanity at work, I decided to get back on my road bike– one which, I am afraid to say, tool somewhat of a back seat this summer. I guess with Lyme you need to pick yourself back up and just pedal, pedal,pedal to get back into the shape you once were. Not to mention, most of my recent rides have been mountain bike ones.

Running is getting better as well. I cannot believe the amount of strength I lost–but am determined to get it back, not only that, but he healthier, leaner, and stronger. As well as start swimming again. I am not going to get one little tick bite destroy the goal of mine to do a triathlon.

So, I convinced K to go for a ride with me–a road ride….And for some reason my GPS system doesn’t work (okay you got me on that one….I simply forgot my garmin–gasp. But I think it was about 35miles around through Dutchess and Columbia counties. I have done this route multiple times before, but never with someone else… I’m more of  a solo rider). Below are a few pictures–a few taken by me…the rest taken by him.

Off of River Road

 

Pretty road

River Road….Freshly pave…like riding on clouds.

K  found flowers….

And to top off the day, I created homemade pumpkin pop tarts and pumpkin cinnamon rolls….That post will follow.

To the One I Love

Dearest X,

As the blogging world knows you as “X” or “K” or “The Man,” to me, you will, and always will be, mine.

I know that life has brought its challenges, to both with you and me. And I apologize for those long awkward silences in cars whilst you would drive when I  would attempt to keep the tears streaming from behind my glasses a secret from you, in fear that you would judge me….Or judge my ability to be that strong independent girl who always kept it together. And this kind of scares me, because it has never happened before.For the 26 years I have never had to hide myself from another being– lest alone, an amazing one at that.

 

For years I have spent protecting myself from love–from the possibility of a man loving me. Furthermore  after different times of heatbreak…ones which I feel happened right after the other, I gave up on the possibility of love.

But you, Kevin, are different from all those other men who’ve caused me heartbreak and anguish.

Kevin, (and yes I am referring to you by your real name…let the blogging world know), I love you.

This past year as we’ve grown to know each other as people, I grew to know a man who is honest, sincere, accepting, and loving. It doesn’t matter whether or not I still cannot ride over certain obstacles—you merely stop and tell me it is okay if I cannot ride over–that it is difficult–that one day I will to make it …

We’ve shared numerous bike rides of different kinds, experimented with new dishes, gone cross country skiing, fished in the back yard pond, taken a couple road trips, gone for evening walks after dinner, or simply gone for walks, picking out the houses in a different life we would want. We swam at Lake Onteora for the first time together with high hopes the rope swing would be there, only to find it was no longer there.

I apologize for those nights after work, or me working 12+ hours away, not coming home to meals specially prepared by you, because you already  knew I would be an emotional rollercoaster by the time i got home.

You kill or trap spiders on my walls for me, listen to me rant, and never complain. You tell me, whether or not my day at work was shitty– that I am still an amazing nurse….If one batch of cookies comes out bad, I always have another time to make them,

And despite the person inside me who wants to be perfect at anything I do, I do know that it takes time to navigate the perfect line on a bunch of crooked rocks in order to ” flow over them whenever I  ease,” while on a mountain bike, and a long life ahead of me to do athletic events that I want.

You know me better than anyone–you know exactly what I am thinking, and are definitely the voice of reason between us, i.e. when I was sick from Lyme you told me not to do a race I  really wanted to do, knowing that if I did attempt it, I would not get the result I wanted, leaving me with a heavy heart….Which is exactly what would have happened.

One day, I promise, I will be able to ride over those ridges with ease; without you having to wait for me.  I will finish the line; I will finish my baked good or what have you. I will finish it, with a smile on my face, and you to thanks.

 

And, the thing is, whether you gave me a hug or made dinner for me–the moment you held me in your arms I knew I was safe and loved, and everything would be okay.And after one full year…

Kevin, I love you.

Pure and simple. You are the man who has saved me from my fears, taught me to face my fears and have  loved me unconditionally. And for that, I love you, X, “the Man,” or for the first time ever spoken, Kevin.My best friend,and teacher.

Love, Me

 

 

When was the last crazy post written?

October 2012
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