Not listening to myself

I’m so glad I didn’t listen to myself this morning. I kid you not, I tried to talk myself out of commuting to work by bike three times today. Three times! Somehow, despite that negative self-talk, I managed to get on my bike and ride.

On my ride, I had to fill my rear tire with air and realized I forgot both my phone and wallet. The positives, I talked to several riders on my way, saw 5 rabbits, various birds, and watch the sun rise, lighting up the beautifully colored trees along side the trail.

Despite all of the challenges this morning, it was an AWESOME ride. I’m so glad I didn’t listen to myself.

Joys of cycling

After a bit of a hiatus, I’ve started commuting by bike again. Honestly, I can’t tell you why I stopped nor why I haven’t started sooner other than laziness. Regardless, I’ve been back on my bike for a few weeks now and I’m happy.

With the cooler weather comes darker mornings. With that, comes running lights and drinking coffee on my ride in. This morning, I treated myself to Anita’s breakfast burrito. If the anticipation of the breakfast burrito doesn’t make you pedal faster, I don’t know what will!

About 1/2 mile from work this morning, I saw a cyclist kneeling in the grass over his bicycle. I stopped and helped him get his chain unstuck from the chain guard and the large chain ring. Showed him how to do it so if it should happen again, he’ll be able to fix it himself. Unfortunately, his bike chain hadn’t been cleaned in some time, if ever, and my hands were black from old chain grease. Luckily, I was able to remove most of it from my hands once I got to work.

This is my favorite time of year to commute. Another beautiful commute under my belt.

Christmas Cactus Bud

I came home yesterday from a long weekend visiting my family and what did I come home to? Why, my Christmas Cactus with not one, but two small buds!

Last year, my mother gave me a clipping from her Christmas Cactus. I thought for sure it would bloom over Christmas, but nothing appeared. I’ve pretty much given up hope on it blooming until next year, so when I came home to a small bud, I was thrilled!!!

When the bud opens, I’ll be sure to post my first bloom here.

A taste of Spring mid-winter

Yesterday, it was higher than normal temperatures, with temperatures hitting over 60F. What a nice break from the really cold weather we’ve been experiencing lately.

Of course, with such nice weather, I left work on time and headed to the woods. I ended up walking for 2 hours, taking me all the way to sunset. As I was heading out of the woods, I started looking for owls, thinking it was time for them to come out from their nests and start looking for food.

Would you believe within two minutes of looking I spotted a great horn owl up in a tree? What a beautiful sight! It’s been years since I’ve seen an owl in the wild. I was really sorry I left my camera at home, but you’re just going to have to take my word that I saw an owl.

Hope you all are enjoying the nice weather! A cold snap is right around the corner.

Another pet?

So, for the longest time, I thought Soph, my cat, enjoyed being an only child. Not only enjoyed, but preferred. When friends come over, they sometime bring their pets (dogs, mostly). And Soph has taken to hiding until they leave the house. She really didn’t want anything to do with them. I think I may have been mistaken.

A friend has been coming over and bringing her 18 year old dog with her. Now, this dog is half deaf and half blind. She also has a really laid back disposition, which apparently has mellowed even more with age. The first few times the dog was at my house, Soph decided she didn’t want to hide. She hissed at the dog when she came close, and avoided getting too close to her. I let them go, thinking they would acclimate to each other. Boy, I had no idea.

Fast-forward to two weeks later and Soph is playing with the dog as the dog passes. She now walks (slowly) when she passes the dog, and has taken to sitting on my table, watching the dog wander around. It almost seems as if she’s enjoying having the dog around!

So this begs the question, would she be happy living with another cat? I’m starting to think depending on the disposition of the cat, the answer is yes.

Now the question begs whether I want to handle another cat. Soph is so easy to care for, not sure if I’ll get lucky the second time.

Cherry Blossom Parade

About 30 years ago, my high school marching band qualified to march in the Cherry Blossom Parade in Washington DC. Who would have thunk that 30 years later, I’d be participating in the parade again?!

The organization that I line dance with was asked to dance for Temecula Road, a new and upcoming Country bandy. So the organizer asked for volunteers, and of course, I seized the opportunity. It sounded like a blast.

After a couple of weeks practice, the group nailed the dance the instructor created just for the parade. I have to admit, the song we performed to was too slow to be an interesting dance, but we didn’t have any control over the song as it was the band’s decision.

This past Saturday was the parade and it went really well. There were about 65 dancers and I was right behind the singers. That means that whenever the camera was on the singers, you could see me in the background. My mom suggested since I’m a flamboyant dancer, the instructor wanted me in front. Personally, I’m not sure why the instructor put me there, but I did well.

After the parade, my sister and I headed to Georgetown to walk around as if I didn’t get enough walking in the morning.

Overall, it was a wonderful day. Glad I participated.

weekend in review

Things have been a little dull here lately which would explain why I haven’t posted for a little while. This past weekend was nice. For the first time in a while, I went for a bike ride. I ended up going to Kent Island to a trail called the “Cross Island Trail.” Much to my surprise, it was an absolutely beautiful trail with a lovely mix of woodlands, marshland, beach, and suburbia. During the ride, I remembered how much joy riding brings me and contemplated why I don’t do more of it. The only lame answer I could muster was laziness with a touch of depression.

After the ride, I stopped for a bite at Fisherman’s Inn. I had a lovely beet salad and some eggplant stuffed with cheese. For a diner, I was quite surprised they had clearly marked vegetarian/vegan options. When patronizing such establishments, I rarely find anything other than salads and grilled cheese that are vegetarian friendly, let alone entrees that are clear marked as such. And to top it off, the food was good. I’d say it was a win!

The unfortunate part of the weekend was the constant discomfort of a TMJ flare-up as well as a four day migraine that didn’t end until late Sunday afternoon. At times, it was close to painful. Somehow, it didn’t ruin my weekend, although at times, it was a challenge to engage with others when I was uncomfortable. I’m glad I have a doctor appointment this week to start investigating my ailments.

Eerily quiet

This morning I headed to my car to brush the snow off when I realized it was really quiet in my neighborhood. That seemed odd. Well, the snow is odd considering a couple of days ago it was in the 60s and I was in a t-shirt, but I’m not talking about the snow…I’m talking about how quiet.

It was weird, I like was the only one in the neighborhood. Nobody was out walking, nor were there cars heading to work. Kids weren’t heading to the bus stop. I didn’t see a single soul the entire time I was cleaning the snow off my car.

When I got to the stop light at the end of the street, there wasn’t another car on the road. This is a busy street, usually backed up with traffic this time of morning. It’s like the whole city closed and I didn’t know about it. As it turns out, that’s the case. Schools, the government, and most businesses are closed. And here I am heading to work.

There’s not any snow now, but we’re expected to get anywhere from 5-8″. I’m skeptical about those numbers, although the roads did accumulate some snow on my way in. Where did Spring go? Oh, how I miss thee already.

I’ll keep an eye out on the weather condition. If it starts to get bad, I’ll head home early. Maybe it’ll be a short day. Maybe not.

Spring is here

It’s a few days before the “official” day of Spring, but it looks like Spring has sprung early! Robins have been everywhere for the past couple of weeks, which, in of itself, is a sure sign of Spring. But today, I saw two Eastern Blue Birds on my walk to get some lunch.

Ah. Spring. How I’ve missed you.

education of an urban farmer

In a recent conversation with a close friend, it has come to my attention that growing veggies in your house could classify you as an urban gardener. Having the curious mind that I have, I had to look up the definition. Unfortunately that term hasn’t made a dictionary yet. So I turned to google.The first entry explained urban farming as

Simply put, urban farming is growing or producing food in a city or heavily populated town or municipality.

Yeah, that’s me.

So I thought I’d share stuff that I’ve learned recently. Although it may not be specific to urban farming, it’s farming in general.

– Tomatoes are self-pollinators. When I developed flowers on my tomato plants, it occurred to me that I didn’t have any bees in my bedroom to pollinate the flowers. I found out after some research that tomatoes are self-pollinators. All they need is a little wind to blow the pollen. I’m using a fan to see how that works. The other option is to manually pollinate them. Side note. When I told people of my dilemma of how to pollinate tomatoes, it was asked if I would put a bee hive in my bedroom. Honestly, I considered it, but didn’t think it would be conducive to “overnight” guests.
– Don’t plant too many plants. You need to have enough grow lights and room to handle them when they are transplanted after their true leaves have sprouted.
– Fertilizing your tomatoes, which are in your bedroom, causes your room to smell of fertilizer for a week. Again, not conducive to overnight guests.
– Don’t believe seed labels as they are sometimes mislabeled. When I planted what I thought was rosemary ended up being tomatoes. Tomatoes are a lot larger than rosemary. They were not in the plan.
– I now understand what “leggy” plants are and why they are bad. My poor basil is “leggy” and all of the leaves are at the top causing it not to be able to stand up on it’s own.
– Growing stuff is fun. It’s a huge thrill to go into my bedroom and cut spinach for an omelet or create a salad with my own lettuce.
– I need a heated outdoor greenhouse. My bedroom just isn’t cutting it. But I’m sure my HOA won’t allow that, so until I get my own house in the wilderness, the bedroom is going to have to suffice.