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?”

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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!

When was the last crazy post written?

March 2019
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