So Much Has Happened…(Part One)

…since the last time I blogged (April 2012).  Almost a year!   Let’s do a quick year in review:

April 30, 2012:  Had surgery to repair (and practically rebuild) my right shoulder.  What was supposed to be a 12 week rehab ended up taking 16 weeks.  Thanks to a brilliant surgeon and phenomenal physical therapist, I have complete and pain-free use of my right shoulder and arm.  Seems 18 years of doing deep tissue massage took its toll.

May 2012:  Discovered, due to inactivity from shoulder surgery, that I have an anatomic anomaly, called Iliac Vein Compression Syndrome (Also known as May-Thurner Symdrome, or MTS).  In a nutshell that means that the vein that is responsible for draining the left leg is lying underneath, instead on top of, the artery responsible for feeding it.  This resulted in compression of the vein, and my leg swelled to three times its normal size.  Fortunately for me, I did not develop a Deep Vein Thrombosis.  I had a semi-surgical (balloon venoplasty and stent placement) that opened the vein, the stent keeps it open, and the swelling went down within 48 hours.  The rest of the good news is that the stent has remained open, and I need to get it checked (via ultrasound) every 6 months.  So far, so good.

Also, in May, we discovered that Morgan had an inoperable cancerous tumor in her colon.  Careful management gave her just a few weeks or months to live.  All of you who know me, and knew Morgan, know the very special bond we had.  I was devastated, and continue to grieve.

I don’t remember much of June, except that it was filled with kitty intensive care, and preparation for a great loss.  Somewhere in there, I think both Tim and I had the flu.  Of course,  I then developed bronchitis and ended up on Prednisone for a while (my least favorite thing).

July:  We lost Morgan in July.  She let me know when it was time, and we brought her in to the wonderful Dr. Stone for the last time.  She took her last breath while sleeping peacefully cradled against my chest.  Just like it was supposed to be.  Even typing this, I feel the tears well up.  I miss her so very, very much.

August:  Tim and I took a much needed vacation, camping on Cape Ann in Massachusetts.  A week on the beach was very much needed, as was the change of scenery.

My birthday came and went without a lot of fanfare.  I wasn’t in the mood to celebrate much.  In fact, I’m pretty horrified that I’m 53 years old.  That brought up a whole bunch of other stuff.

I was diagnosed with sleep apnea, and got fitted for a CPAP machine.  I have a love/hate relationship with it.  I don’t like the mask/hose thing, however, I sleep through the night and wake up refreshed.  It seems that I suffer from Severe Obstructive Sleep Apnea.  The CPAP is like a gift from the gods.  Even though I, periodically, disengage myself from the mask mid-night sometimes.  Oh well.

End of Part One

 

 

 

Looked At My Last Post..about writing more….

…and that couldn’t have been an less accurate prediction.  What has happened to the art of blogging?  Has it gotten subsumed by Twitter and Facebook?  Have our lives devolved into sound bites?  I hope not.  I’m just not that kinda gal.

This is going to be a photo-less entry.  I’m trying to ease back into the world of blogging, and that will mean getting used to taking pictures and photo-documenting my life again.  Fortunately my Droid has a pretty good camera and it’s my constant companion (other than Morgan).

Speaking of Morgan, the little girl we were afraid wouldn’t make it, celebrated her 18th birthday yesterday.  To celebrate she brught me a, still warm but dead, mouse.  She is not yet ready be discounted.  However, her body weight is down 8 ounces, and that is a little worrisome.  A call to the wonderful Dr. Stone is in order.

 

 

 

 

 

Other than that, this post is preparatory to going back into the studio.  Went bead shopping last week when downstate and have a craft fair coming this weekend.  Time to get some new stock.

So, off I go.  Remember, pictures and a real update tomorrow.

 

Full Moon, January 2012

I watched the moon rise tonight on my way home.  Immense and yellow in the clear, darkening sky.  The weather has been so strange for so long, I have no intuitive sense of the season.  There should be snow on the ground.  It should be colder.  It feels like late November, not mid-January.

We discovered that we have not had a working shopping cart on the Double Spiral Designs page.  No wonder there haven’t been any online sales since we opened the shop last year.  Since we fixed it, we’re starting to sell, and that feels really good.

Ah…Double Spiral Designs.  Yes, that’s where I’ve been since my last post.  I was making jewelry, then selling jewelry, and making and selling more.  T and I did 5 craft fair venues in 4 weeks.  We were more successful than we’d anticipated and that felt good.

Our booth has grown and changed a little from this picture, but it’s primarily the same.

This year I have fallen in love with vending.  Frankly, I’d been afraid of it.  Putting my work out there, wondering if it people were going to like it, if it was good enough was completely paralyzing.  But, people do like it, and I discovered I love everything about vending (okay, maybe not the schlepping and setting up, breaking down and shlepping some more), but the part in between is fun.  Lots and lots of fun.  So, as I get my show schedule ready for next year, stay tuned.

I was looking at my desk before.

I’m amazed when I look at it.  Not the disorder…it’s sort of an organized chaos….but the fact that it’s real.  I have hammers and an anvil, spools of wire, different types of pliers.  There’s a dremel and a torch.  And of course, beads, beads and more beads.  I can’t believe that I’m doing this, for real.  I’m working as an artisan and making money at it.  And even though our investment in the business was much more time than money, the fact that we turned a (minimal) profit in our first year…well…that’s just amazing to me.

But this blog isn’t all about the business (although a lot of the last few months have been about that for me).

Morgan is still with us.  I really don’t remember how much I posted about her illness, but she was one sick kitty.  Her diagnosis is Idiopathic Inflammatory Bowel Disease.  It means her gut gets inflamed and no one knows why.  She was on a monthly steroid shot, but that left her with too many ups and downs, so she’s now on a daily dose of Prednisone.  At seventeen and a half, I’m just grateful for every day she’s with us.

I really want to blog more.  I need to be writing and documenting my life as it unfolds.  So, if you’re still here, still hanging around, a comment or two would be nice.

More later….

Artistic Setbacks

Is it possible to write an article about artistic setbacks when in the middle of one?  Is it simply a matter of showing up at the page, or jewelry bench or wherever you make your art?  According to everything I’ve learned from Julia Cameron, it is.

I had a serious setback last week.  I’m trying really hard to keep it from turning into a true U-turn, or worse….a complete roadblock.

Here’s what happened.  I’ve been focusing a lot of my attention on making shawl pins.  I’ve been focusing on this because there are two yarn shop owners who are interested in seeing my work.  This is a good thing.  I’ve also been experimenting with some new techniques and creating pins that are different from work I’ve done in the past.  I’ve shown them to a few people and mostly met with good results.

Then this thing happened.  I showed them to a friend who I thought was in my artistic corner.  That is to say that I thought she was one of the people who was “safe” to show new work, work that I wasn’t so sure of, and get encouragement and support.  She asked me what I would charge for one of these pieces.  I told her that it depended on the piece, but anywhere from $15 to $30, depending on the materials and the amount of work.

Her response was an incredulous, “Really?  You mean there are people who would spend that much?”

Now, I’m not sure how, exactly, that was meant.  She could have been commenting on the state of the economy, or the state of our society.  However, as an artist (and an insecure one at that), I took it personally.  My internal translation was “You mean there are people who would spend that much money on a worthless piece of crap like that?”

The fact is I have spent that much money, and much more, on handmade items, whether jewelry or hand-dyed fiber or yarn or other craft items.  People have spent that much on pieces that I have created, and not blinked an eye.  So why did this hit me so hard?

I don’t know.

Maybe because these pieces are a departure from work I’ve done in the past, work that has sold well.  Maybe because I’m unsure about them.  Maybe because the reviews have been mixed.  Maybe my vitamin D level was low that day.  Maybe I was tired and particularly sensitive.  Maybe because I’m insecure as an artist and given the opportunity I will always assume that people mean the worst.

Whatever.

It doesn’t matter.

What I do know is that when in the throes of an artistic setback, it’s crucially important to show up.  My inclination is to run away and hide from The Work.  I can find a million things to do other than sit down in the studio and make things.  I can clean (as I did this weekend), I can get really social and need to connect with the immediate world, or I can just hole up and read or watch TV.  But the important thing is to show up and Do The Work.  No Matter What.

And so I did.  Here is what I did today:

I made a bracelet

see more shots at my shop Double Spiral Designs.

About Soup

I woke up yesterday to a chilly, damp and rainy day.  It called for soup.

The process of making soup is magical to me.  I take all these disparate ingredients and mix them together into a watery mess.  I add heat and come back hours later to find that the watery mess has turned into something rich and nourishing and delicious.  Like I said, magic (or at least alchemy).

I’m not sure which I love more, cooking or feeding people.  It’s kind of like trying to figure out whether I like the process of knitting more than the finished product.  It’s hard to tell.  Since it was Wednesday, and Knit Night, I could cook and feed my knitting friends.  What could be better?

What kind of soup to make was the question…I had no idea, so (as we say in my house) I went to see what Mr. Fridge had to say. (Yes, kids, it’s true, sometimes our house is little like Pee-Wee’s Playhouse…without the alleged exposing yourself stuff).

Anyway.

Mr. Fridge said, “Red peppers.”

Mr. Freezer said, “Artichoke stock.”

I said, “Roasted Red Pepper and Artichoke Soup?  I wonder what that would taste like?”

There was a time when I thought roasted red peppers came in jars.  Then I was amazed to learn how how easy it is to do yourself.

Start by preheating your oven to 450 and prepping a sheet pan by covering in aluminum foil and spraying it with cooking spray.  Then wash and core the peppers.

 

Put the peppers on the sheet pan and pop it into the oven for 15 minutes.

 

 

When the timer goes off, flip the peppers over. (The skins will start to blacken and the peppers may char a little.  This is a good thing).

Put them back for another 15 minutes.  When they are done, immediately put them in a brown paper bag and fold the bag over to seal the steam inside (this is important).  Leave them and go have lunch or something.  Come back about 20 minutes later and take the peppers out of the bag.  They’ll look like this:

 

At this point it’s really easy to slip the skins off.  (The skins are yucky and will separate from the peppers in your soup if you don’t take them off).

Voila!!  Roasted Red Peppers.

Then, if you want, you can follow the rest of the recipe and have really yummy soup:

 

 

If you have really good friends, they’ll bring bread (gluten-free for me) and the salad.  Then you’ll have dinner and great conversation and fun!

 

 

How did Roasted Red Pepper and Artichoke Soup taste?  Well, the bowls weren’t licked but, I was told, that’s only because people might look at us funny.

 

Roasted Red Pepper and Artichoke Soup

1 Large Onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 stalks of celery, chopped
1 tsp kosher salt
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 quarts vegetable stock (I used artichoke stock that I made previously and had frozen)
10 roasted red peppers (see directions above), roughly chopped
1 large jar marinated artichoke hearts, very well rinsed, drained and roughly chopped
1 large can garbanzo beans
1 large can 2lb, (or 2 quart jars) whole tomatoes
3/4 tsp dried basil
1 cup half and half (or light cream)
salt and pepper to taste

5 or 5 large fresh basil leaves basil to garnish

Gently heat olive oil over medium low heat in medium sized (5 quart) stock pot.  Add onions, celery and salt.  Sweat (not saute)  until the onion is translucent and the celery is soft.  Add the garlic and continue cooking until garlic is soft.  Do not let these ingredients brown.

Add the rest of the ingredients, bring to a boil, then lower heat to simmer.  Simmer for 45 minutes to an hour.

Take off the heat and let cool.

Using an immersion blender, puree until ingredients are blended but still rustic.  If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can use a conventional blender and do in batches.

Add cream.  Heat until heated through but do not bring to a boil.  Adjust seasoning.

Garnish with freshly chopped basil.

Enjoy!!

 

Birthday Celebrations

I had a birthday last week.  I won’t tell you which one it was, but suffice to say I’ve been old enough to vote for a while now.

There was a time when I didn’t like birthdays.  I used them as an excuse to take out that old measuring stick (the one in my head) and affirm to myself that I didn’t measure up.  I’m not sure what I was trying to measure up to, but somehow I knew I didn’t make the grade.

A while ago I stopped doing that.  Now I just count myself grateful to be, as my old friend Monte used to put it, ‘on the green side of the grass.’

Now I try to celebrate my birthday with all the enthusiasm I can muster.  This year was no exception.

The festivities started the afternoon before when one of my best clients brought me a gluten-free cake, flowers and jar of handmade jam!  It was totally unexpected and therefore sweeter.  The cake was just in time because some folks came over to spin and knit and we stayed up way too late laughing and having fun.

Tim took the next day, on my actual birthday, off from work and we went over the mountain to The Clark.  If you haven’t been there, and you like Impressionist Art, go.  Now.  Really.  They have an amazing permanent collection (which…um…actually, is out on tour right now), and until October 2nd, they have an exhibit of Pissaro’s People.

Who knew Pissaro did so much portraiture?  I didn’t.  The exhibit had many wonderful paintings, but also the studies (sketches the artist made as preludes to the completed painting) of the works.  It was like a glimpse into Pissaro’s head, and I found it amazing.

Then we were treated to a second exhibit by sculptor El Anatsui.  The artist used flattened bottle caps from various forms of alcohol sold in Africa to make a kind of cloth.

These pieces are HUGE.  And fascinating.  And beautiful.

Although this was probably not an exhibit I would have gone out of my way to see, my life has been enriched by having seen it, especially when I learned that the artist used bottles from alcohol because alcohol was what the Europeans brought to Africa to trade with, and then enslaved the Africans and brought them to the sugar plantations in the West Indies to raise the sugar used to make more alcohol and the cycle continued.  To say I was blown away wouldn’t be exaggerating.

Then we drove back across the mountains to have dinner at Athos, one of my favorite restaurants in the Capital Region.  We were joined by Lisa and Dave and we sat so long over dinner, talking and eating and talking some more, that the soft-serve ice cream place next door had closed by the time we got there.

When I got home, there were zillions (maybe I am exaggerating) of birthday messages waiting for me.   I just kept repeating, “What a wonderful day!”

More On Canning

A long time ago, I lived in Brooklyn, NY.  I was a Young, Urban, Professional seeking to live a Yuppie lifestyle.  There was only one problem, my soul was craving something different.  That part of me showed herself with little herb gardens in pots on fire-escapes.  One year I grew tomatoes in pots on the roof of my apartment building.  This went on and on, shopping in farmer’s markets and getting fresher fruits and veggies than I got at the local Korean fruit stand.

About that time, ‘things’ started to happen.

I discovered herb infused vinegar and decided to try my hand at it.  So I bought some wine vinegar, heated it, infused a batch with basil and garlic; infused another batch with dill.  Totally amazing (and my husband-at-the-time thought it was nuts, but loved the product).  I loved the product too, but more than that, I loved the process.

So vinegar making led to buying fresh tomatoes at the market and making pasta sauce at the peak of freshness and freezing it in my tiny above-the-fridge freezer.  I would stockpile as many containers of sauce as I could and mourn when the fresh taste of summer led to the use of canned tomatoes or jarred sauce.

One year, my friend Phyllis shared with me a prized holiday gift — a jar of home canned peaches given to her by her friend Laura.  I had yet to meet Laura at this point, but she later went on to become one of my closest friends.  But I digress.  Back to the peaches.

The way I had grown up, cooked peaches were something you ate in the summer when they were fresh — my mother would cook fruit that was just on the edge of being over-ripe — or the nasty stuff in extra heavy syrup that came out of cans (which I’ll admit that I enjoyed despite the tinny taste).  But when Phyllis cracked open that jar of summer goodness in the middle of February, it was as if the sun broke through the winter gloom and shone for us, just for a little while.

Time passed and life intervened.  I moved a couple of times, divorced husband number one, met (but not yet married) husband number two, and I eventually moved to the part of the world where Laura lived.  I was in canning country!!  I also ended up, through careful planning interrupted by a life intervention, with a garden planted to feed 4 people – but with only two people to eat it.  What do you when you plant enough cucumbers for salads for 4 people and you have a bumper crop?  Make Pickles!!

I have a crock of pickles sitting in my kitchen as we speak.  They will be ready to can next weekend.

That was the summer I learned to can my own food, and I was instantly addicted.  I think I have put up at least something in jars, regardless of what life had thrown at me, since the summer of 2001.  Tomatoes, pickles, jams, etc.

Filling my pantry with food I’ve preserved (if not grown in my own garden), satisfies, for me, a primal need.  I look at my filled pantry shelves, the jars all bright and gleaming (and I think smiling because they’re full), and it fills me with both pride and security.

This is a really long introduction to what has turned out to be the major activity of this weekend.  Despite the fact that I had a splendiferous birthday (jammed from beginning to end with wonderful things – that will be its own post later in the week…I promise), a drive to our favorite peach orchard, Golden Harvest Orchards, on Friday, netted us 3/4 of a bushel of peaches.  Which is a lot of peaches.

Yesterday, we took all the peaches that were going over-ripe and blanched them, skinned them, cooked them with sugar and spices until they formed 19 jars of Spiced Peach Jam, and canned them.

Today we’ll check the seals on all the jars we did yesterday, label and date them, and put them away.

Today we will be making Peach Chutney (this is a new recipe for us) to use as a condiment.

I’d hoped to have peaches to slice and can and turn into wonderful jars of sunshine for the middle of the winter but, alas, the peaches I got weren’t up to that level of snuff and while there may be another orchard run later this week, that hope might be like my hope for the New York Mets…maybe next year.

 

 

 

 

Saying Yes

I wanted to reply to a comment left on my Facebook in response to yesterday’s blog post, but I don’t know how to do that without sounding over-the-top preachy.   So, suffice it to say that my husband and I do not have an extravagant income, nor do we have exorbitant food bills.  However, we make careful choices in how we spend our food dollars.  Since we’ve cut out almost all processed foods (because they contain gluten) and replaced that with more things made from scratch, our food bill has stayed pretty much the same and we’re eating better, more nutritious food.

When we started this adventure, I was the only one gluten-free.  So I was still buying conventional breads, etc. for Tim and GF bread for myself.  I also took the opportunity to cut down the amount of bread I was eating, so while a loaf of GF bread did cost more, it also lasted me a month.  That turned out to be an even exchange.  I turned all the money we were spending on takeout and fast(er) food into shopping the perimeter of the store only.  I found the supermarket that had the best produce (and the lowest prices…go figure), and even though it’s out of my way, I make it my business to shop their once a week, buying what’s on sale.

There is a whole world of food that is naturally gluten-free.   Rice and beans are really cheap.  Red lentils and rice (in equal proportions) are the base for many of my lunches.  I make a big pot of it early in the week and top it with leftover green veggies from the night before.  I had to open my palate and my mind to different tastes, but because of that, I discovered which dark, green, leafy veggies I adore (most of them) and which I don’t particularly care for (mustard greens).

I tried different grains and now Quinoa is my go-to grain instead of rice.  It’s a whole grain, it’s packed with protein and I like the taste.  Buckwheat (Kasha) is not made form wheat.  In fact, it’s not even a grain.  It is naturally GF and I use it as a side dish frequently.   I also use rice (brown or white depending on what I need it for)  where I used to use pasta and my big splurge is brown rice pasta.  Again, I would make conventional, cheaper pasta for Tim and use the expensive stuff in single servings for myself.

I also cut back on dairy.  I hadn’t realized how much money I spent on processed cheese that really wasn’t doing me any good.  I credit the dairy cut back for 15 of the 30 lbs I’ve lost in the last year.  At first I really missed it.  Then I didn’t miss it as much, then I did and I went back on the dairy…and now I don’t feel so good, so it’s going again.

My next venture is to become a working member of my local food co-op.  That will get me a 25% discount on everything I buy there.   After that I want to look into starting to bake my own GF bread.  If I calculate out the difference in price, it will probably pay for me to get a bread machine fairly soon.  If I buy my flours from the bulk bins at the co-op I can’t see it costing my $5/loaf.  I will, however, let you know.

All this writing about food is making me hungry.

 

 

Poisoned

I wanted to write a post about all the fun the I had this weekend, but instead I need to write about something much more serious.

I got poisoned this weekend.  I’m sure it wasn’t intentional on the part of the poisoner, nor was it intentional on my part, but it happened all the same.  The poison in my case: WHEAT.

Let’s follow the progression that occurs after I ingest wheat:

The first thing that happens is NOTHING.  That’s right.  For the first 12 hours, I blithely live my life without the slightest suspicion that I’ve been poisoned.  

The following morning, I will wake up feeling groggy and hung over.  I’ll assume, incorrectly, that I didn’t get enough sleep and maybe I need a little more caffiene than usual to get my day started.  But instead of getting better throughout the day, I’ll get worse.  My joints will begin to ache.

The joint aches start slowly.  The bigger the joint, the more pain.  So that means hips: Sacro-iliac joints as well as the big ball and socket joint.  Over the course of the next 12 hours the pain in my pelvis will increase until I feel like every place a bone comes in contact with another bone is on fire.  Usually the pain in my hips will distract me from the pain in all my other joints: wrists, finger, elbows, knees and even the places where my ribs attach to my spine and breastbone.  And let’s not forget all those joints in the spinal column.

Most people have experienced this type of pain when then have the flu.  Then it’s a dull acheyness that is very uncomfortable, but since it’s accompanied by fever, etc., and you know that you’re ill, and that there’s an end to makes it bearable.  This is worse.  It is more intense, more “on fire” and it will get much worse before it gets better.  It will take around 72 hours – that’s 3 days – from the point of ingestion to the peak of the pain.

Some few hours after that starts the muscle pain begins.  That follow the same pattern as the joint pain.  Starting in my hips and legs.  To relate what this pain is like, let’s just say that I woke up from a dream in which someone was inserting live electrical rods into my hips to see how much pain they could cause me.  I woke up from the dream, but unfortunately didn’t wake up from the pain.  The pain was real.  This also builds until it reaches it’s peak after 3 days.

Imagine now that the only way you can be somewhat comfortable is lying flat on your back.  Sitting is unbearable because of the pressure on your pelvic and hip joints.  Standing is unbearable because of the pressure on your spinal joints.  You can’t do anything with your hands because of the pain in your wrists, fingers and shoulders…and the only pain reliever that gives you any kind of relief is narcotic, which means you can’t think, read or have a conversation.  Or you suffer with the pain, so at least you make some sense.

Did I mention the fatigue?  The bone-weary feeling that you can.  Not.  Take.  One.  More.  Step.  Or keep your eyes open….One….More….Minute.  That in order to function at all you must get between 9 and 12 hours of sleep.

And then there are the cognitive issues.  Fuzzy-headedness, inability to retain information, general malaise, depression.  None of these symptoms are manufactured.  All of them have been documented in thousands of people with gluten or wheat intolerances.

Now, for the worst part.  Although it takes 3 days for these symptoms to reach their full intensity, it takes THREE WEEK for them to disappear.

Where did this poisoning occur?  I don’t know.  I tried really hard to keep my food clean. I made sure the hot dog (no bun) was Hebrew National (gluten free).  I read the label on the salad dressing (no wheat).  I ignored the pasta salad.  I ate grapes and ignored the 3 delicious looking pies that were the table.  But I didn’t check was the potato salad (commercial) or the baked beans, and I have to think that there was a stabilizer or a food starch that was wheat based  – and I’m paying a terrible price for it.

Lesson learned.  Read every label, every single time.  If it’s been commercially prepared, don’t eat it if you can’t read the label.

See you all after Labor Day.

Pussycat, pussycat, where have you been?

I’ve been to London, to visit the queen!

That’s how the rhyme goes, but not for me.  Oh, well.

But to answer the question, I’ve been right here.  Doing stuff.

First of all, I’ve been trying to spend less time online.  As I’ve been feeling better (and yes, yes I have!) I’ve been trying to move more and spend less time sitting in front of a screen.  It’s amazing how much more likely I am to move when I’m in less pain and have less fatigue.

It’s only in retrospect that I see how truly bad it had gotten.  There had been the bad, initial, Fibro spiral, then I felt somewhat better, and then there was a slow spiral down and then a long road back up.  Now, I’ve had a really good burst and I’m making the most of it.

I’ve been in the garden.

Rhubarb Queen in Dirty Jeans

 

See me hiding behind the GINORMOUS rhubarb leaf?

I swear, Rhubarb looks like something that should be growing in the tropics, or on another planet.  Ours had taken over the yard.

See the Rhubarb stems already harvested behind me?  When I stopped to measure, after already cooking up 6 or 7 lbs and giving away another 8 or so lbs, I still had 11 lbs of rhubarb left.  So what’s a girl to do?  Buy 8 lbs of strawberries.  Tomorrow, I’m making Strawberry-Rhubarb jam.  Starting to stock the pantry early this year.

We were also given a yard tractor:

See Tim under the back of the tractor?  He spent a few weekends like that, but after replacing the belts, and some tinkering, she runs just great.  Considering we have the best part of an acre to mow, it has come in very handy.  Especially since we also have the trailer for it, it is much easier to get stuff (like 400 lbs of top soil) from the car to the garden.

Speaking of trailers, Dipsy got herself a hitch!!

Why would a tiny Kia Rio5 need a trailer hitch?

So she can get a bicycle rack!

 

Now that I can start my rides anywhere I want, there was this one:

Mohawk River Lock 7

In which I rode from Railroad Park to Lock 7 (5.1 miles RT)

I love living close enough to river that it is part of my daily life.  This is the cover next to the lock (for those of you who are local to me.

Then, on Friday, Tim joined me for an evening ride.

We started at Gateway Landing in Schenectady, and drove to Lock 8.

 

 

 

 

This past weekend, all our attempts to do anything were thwarted by rain.  So we shopped.  Got a vacuum sealer for food and a freezer (which is coming tomorrow or Wednesday).  More pictures when I get them.

More later….

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