This Spring I’ve Been…

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Running early in the morning.

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Strolling in the late afternoon.

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Planting.

Who said women can't build walls? Before and after

Who said women can’t build walls? Before and after

Repairing stone walls.

A new daffodil species?

A new daffodil species?

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Taking in spring beauty.

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Soaking up some vitamin D with furry friends.

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Exploring local trails.

Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo

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Celebrating holidays.

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Creating messes in the kitchen.

Homemade peanut butter- never buying PB again

Homemade peanut butter- never buying PB again

Juicin' up a storm

Juicin’ up a storm

Making things from scratch.

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Sporting spring stripes.

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It’s a Beautiful Day

Mother Earth decided to skip spring and head straight into summer weather. Two days ago the weather was in the 20’s. Today it hit mid- 70’s. Okay, okay, it is still spring. But what a difference! I ran in shorts and a t-shirt today for the first time since before Christmas! Not to mention, rode in similar attire. It’s about time!

I just got back from my first group ride of the season–last year, the first one was in the beginning of March– and it’s great to be riding with a bunch of riders through the woods. The fact that the sun now sets around 7:40 adds to the greatness. Group rides means spring is really here.

Riding at Taconic 909

Riding at Taconic 909

In the sneakers category, I’m trying to decide on whether to run the Lake George Half Marathon in two weeks…It’s my next weekend “off” and would be a lovely weekend away; affording an opportunity to go back to a place I used to spend summers. It would also allow Kevin and I to do some more exploring of the area–which is something we’ve decided we need to do more, as there is a plethora of activities and sites in our area that we have not explored.

Last weekend, we ventured to Stockbridge, MA to visit the Norman Rockwell museum. For any art enthusiast, or American who may be familiar with Norman Rockwell, this museum is fascinating. During the summer, you can visit his last art studio (we were unable to visit it as, despite the lovely weather, it isn’t quite summer yet).

Kevin next to Norman Rockwell's 1965 Rudge--Kevin has the same one at home

Kevin next to Norman Rockwell’s 1965 Rudge–Kevin has the same one at home

Norman Rockwell (front) riding his Rudge through Stockbridge--a painting he composed

Norman Rockwell (front) riding his Rudge through Stockbridge–a painting he composed

Norman Rockwell: incredible

Norman Rockwell: incredible

We also checked out a special church…Kevin had to see it…It was on his “Bucket List” (well not really, but he acted as if it was). I grew up where we had Thanksgiving on a day when my mother did not work and had time to bake a feast, so when he mentioned a Thanksgiving song, I was at an utter loss as to what he was talking about. Perhaps you know?

Arlo Guthries's "Alice's Restaurant"

Arlo Guthries’s “Alice’s Restaurant”

I do not see the connection between the song and this building, as this is a church, not a restaurant….But I obliged in Kevin’s desire to take a picture.

On the food aspect of life, I’ve realized I love baking (which may have already been apparent to those who read this blog–sometimes it takes me a while to realize things). I baked my first donuts for Easter–Carrot cake donuts with cream cheese frosting!

My colleagues at work have been quite happy with my love of baking, as they are the main recipients of the end products. I have yet to meet a healthcare worker who does not devour fresh baked goods when offered to them.

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Carrot cake cupcakes with marzipan carrots

Carrot cake cupcakes with marzipan carrots

Lemon blueberry cupcakes with lemon cream cheese frosting, and strawberry cupcakes with buttercream

Lemon blueberry cupcakes with lemon cream cheese frosting, and strawberry cupcakes with buttercream

Caught in the act of my baking craze

Caught in the act of my baking craze

…Who knows, perhaps when the spirit moves me, I’ll add recipes to this blog as well.

Outside of biking, running, and baking, I was able to plant seeds in the garden today. Like last years crop, I hope to have sugar snap peas and sunflowers. I decided to add wild flowers in a patch where my carrots did not grow last year.

Lastly, I’ve been experimenting with fashion. I’ve been wearing:

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Fancy flats

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And fancy hats.

Races, Gardens, Farmers Markets, and Everything Inbetween

This post may be composed of a variety of different themes–that seems to happen when you do not keep up-to-date on your posts.

Triathlon training has been going well, and I’m ecstatic that I can now swim outside without a wetsuit (wetsuits are a whole post in itself).

Lovin’ life

I finished my first individual duathlon of the season (the Trooper Duathlon I did as a part of a team), and despite the fact we got there at the very last minute and I had no time to eat breakfast, I finished in a decent time. Well, I could have really pushed myself on the runs (and create a list for why I wasn’t as fast as I wanted to be). But, the course was actually much hillier than I thought–not only on the run, but the bike ride as well. I was lucky to have my #1 fan and best sports event photographer waiting and cheering me on–as well as getting sunburnt. Below are some photos from the event.

My number

My Transition area

Listening to pre-race instructions (Yes, the number is not centered)

Where swimmers swam

Making friends with others while waiting for the start

First sprint….I’m not the most photogenic athlete

Running to T1; ignore my mis-matching outfit

Bike out

Preparing to dismount

Done!

Yes, mis-matching and post race stretching….

Done, sweaty, and disturbingly off-center bib

🙂

 

As a post race celebratory treat, we walked to the Rhinebeck Farmer’s Market. It is a small market, but has great falafels, and produce from local farms in the area.

Rhinebeck’s Farmer’s Market

Fresh lavender and local apples

Falafels, all the way from New York City….Pure deliciousness

Yummy

And, just a couple days ago, a pedestrians walkway was painted in Rhinbeck town. Finally, after years of dodging cars and traffic, people can cross in safety….God willing.

People can now cross without the fear of people hitting them.

Now, to my gardening. The past heat waves and afternoons of downpour rain have really given growth to my garden. My sunflowers (with edible seeds) are almost three feet, and my sugar snap peas are growing like crazy–almost big enough to eat! The lettuce is delicious, and I can tell that the carrots and cherry tomatoes will be edible soon as well.

Peas!

Fresh greens- perfect for juices and salads!

My sun flowers before the support structure went up (right after a storm)

And with fresh ingredients, I’ve been able to keep cool by cooking up some refreshing meals, such as homemade gazpacho.

Mmmmm

There will be a post soon about my bike (oh, remember that old thing I was building?) and recent wanderings, but I leave you with a photo of K with sparks flying…for my seatpost.

Please do take caution when attempting something like this…Or atleast know what you are doing.

Going Green

I like to consider myself an environmentally friendly person– I recycle or reuse when I can, buy locally grown produce when possible, use natural cleaning supplies that are not too caustic on the environment….Ask me the year I spent living without a car. It was only a matter of time before I used my green thumb and started sewing seeds for new vegetables in our garden. *Note: I’ve only ever really picked the veggies that had already grew in the garden, never have I actually tilled the soil and planted seeds, except back from when I was a youngster.

Gardening is hard work. The digging, the planting…That, or I still have not recovered fully from the bad virus I had last week. But, it is. I was exhausted, and only planted the carrots, sugar snap peas, and “decorative gourds” (which will be non-edible). The lettuce, zucchini, and eggplant will have to wait until this week.

Seeds, seeds, seeds

Plus, a garden needs your attention. It needs to be watered, if you don’t have frequent rain. Weeds need to be pulled. You need to tend to it frequently, make sure that the garden (if you are growing edible plants) is secured from predators that might nibble the fruits of your labor.

I think this “gardening thing” started a couple of weeks ago when I planted my first little flower garden pots. I have plans to plant wild flowers and sun flowers shortly. I have no idea how any of it will turn out, but it is something I thought I’d give a shot. What harm could come out of it?

My first ever little garden

Not only am I planting, but attempting to eat healthier–greener–foods, literally. The other night I made a Kale, Spinach, and Pear smoothie for my friend. It also had almond milk, Agave Nectar, and a frozen banana in it. I previously gave the recipe to another friend of mine who loved it. I don’t think it was a hit on K’s end, but he did try it.

Thumbs up for the green

I thought it was so good, the next day I made more for myself, this time adding soy milk for more protein, which adds its own sweetness to the smoothie. And, I must admit, it took awhile to get used to the consistency of it, (but that is because I did not follow the recipe regarding the amounts of kale and spinach–I just threw lots in the blender), but it is super healthy for you.

Lastly, I end this note with photos I took on a recent, incredibly peaceful, mountain bike ride.

Peace amongst the trees

How can you not feel refreshed with a new sense of energy after riding though, and seeing this?

When was the last crazy post written?

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