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Posts from the ‘animals’ Category

losing daylight

twilight with cows

I love this time of year.  And I don’t.  The air is cool, dry and crisp … the leaves are falling … the mornings are edged with frost.  And it gets dark much too early.

While the squirrels hide away nuts and acorns, I’m filled with the urge to cook and bake.  Pumpkin and spice muffins, soups, squashes.  Warm and fragrant comfort foods – the things I crave after being outside and riding in the cool weather.

The #330daysofbiking count:  have ridden 203 of the past 223 days; 144 days remaining.  Ride on. 😀

white cow, white bike

colors of solitude

still life


#330daysofbiking Day 90: tour de geocache (& cuteness overdose)

Jack(ie) - Dillon's girlfriend's tail-less kitten

Just don’t even say it.  I am feeling like Angela from The Office without anyone having to make any comments … gaaahhhh!

Kids were here at the house, hanging out today … along with a kitten.  I had the camera.  I couldn’t help myself.  Please don’t hate me.

Mark left this afternoon for a business trip — to France! Although I know it is going to be short, and full of business stuff, and likely not much fun … still, of all of the months to be in France –  during Le Tour de France!  There was some kidding around during dinner last night about him secretly going over to ride in a stage or two, and someone made the comment, “no – more likely going over to be one of the crazy half-naked guys who run alongside the riders in the Alps.” ROFL!

Today’s ride (after all of the kitten cuteness overdosage) was a geocaching-by-bike adventure with the boys, Matt, and Tim.  Neither Matt nor Tim had ever done any geocaching, so this was their introduction to the “sport” and their first find.  We had hidden a cache just up the road a few years back, and it has had a lot of “finders” over the years.  Every time we pass by the site while riding, we’d often talked about stopping to check the log, but never managed to stop. Tonight we decided to head over and  make sure everything was intact – and let Matt and Tim have a go at finding their first cache using our GPS.  Success!

Matt, Mason & Tim - found the geocache 😀

We rode over to a second cache in the area (one that we had never attempted to find), and spent the better part of an hour hunting for it – without success.  We’ll have to check with the cache owner and see what’s up, maybe try again?

All in all, a fun way to do some geocaching and riding … everything is more fun – by bike!

#330daysofbiking Day 84: cows and cool

in the cool evening

Fairly productive day, although feeling like I am sounding like a broken record lately…

My rather skewed idea of a productive day:

  • swam (in the morning)
  • sheared Elmer the goat (with the help of Matt and Grant)
  • took Grant to get his hair sheared off (thank you, Donna)
  • made the mango-jalapeno ice cream (with the help of Matt and Grant); recipe needs revision
  • helped Mark with the mowing
  • took an evening ride on the Xtracycle (with cows)
  • wrote this lame-o post, and got my ShutterCal pic posted

It is a silly life I lead some (most) days…

The things that will have to wait for another day: reading, paddling, a test ride with the new bicycle/boat trailer, catching up on email/notes I owe to people, groceries.  And a nap in the hammock. 😀

Mostly, I am thanking the weather gods for the cooler evening temperatures; what an incredible difference to ride with a cool engine.  And @blueallez, the cows say “hey” (or “hay”?) –  and also made a few suggestions for the ice cream recipe revision…

a very cool bike (lol)

a cooler Elmer, shearing day - Matt holding the "handlebars"

a "cooler" Grant: last week he lost his appendix, this week he lost his hair 😉

#330daysofbiking Day 64: back to crazyland

(I will let you come up with a caption for this one)

This was exactly the expression on my face upon seeing how much laundry had piled up over my weekend away. 😉  I should have kept on riding…

One of those Mondays … more than enough to do around the house, youngest son Grant starting his “job” (volunteering) as a junior instructor at the local tennis camp, groceries to get, vegetables to be picked.  And, of course, a few goats in need of haircuts and manicures.  I am very proficient at coming up with lists of things that need to be done – and much less proficient at actually getting the stuff done.  Today was no exception.

Today’s ride was a quick trip to the jeweler’s for some new watch batteries and a repair.  My road bike has been in the shop (front derailleur “surgery”), and is ready to be picked up, but I just couldn’t get there today; food and clean clothes had to come first.   Got a few things done, at least – including the brief ride.  Like the Xtracycle motto – the “everyday adventures” always manage to sustain me, make my day complete and purposeful.  Happier, calmer; a little less crazyland.

Looking at my to-do list, still feeling a little bit like Hershey, the goat, tho … 😉

#330daysofbiking Day 56: deliverance

Hey! My handlebar plug is missing?! :-0

Today’s big accomplishments:

  • got out and back before the rains came
  • saved another turtle from certain road peril (or at least I convinced myself that I did)
  • got a new kayak(!) 😀

I moved him ... hopefully in the direction he intended to go

Mark and I got out this morning for a ride – before the rains came.  Passed a box turtle sitting in the road, not moving.  Why do they do this?  The warmth?  Just taking their time?  Deciding direction?  I do not know – but of course I was compelled to deliver him out of harm’s way, and hopefully a little closer to wherever he was headed.

A slight sprinkle on the last mile before home, but nothing like the deluge than came later.  I think I start making Mark crazy with all of my stopping  Move a turtle, a picture here, a picture there.  More flowers. (What can I say? They are eye-catching, they’re everywhere … and yes, they appeal to my girlie side.)

Headed to Chattanooga in the afternoon, looking for a new kayak for the river this summer.  Managed to find a nice little boat, nothing fancy – a sit-upon model designed for fishing, which I think will really suit me well for managing camera gear, etc.  Looking forward to peaceful evening paddles, wildlife watching … and hopefully no banjo music. 😉

... and more flowers (sigh)

#330daysofbiking Day 48: goofus world :-P

always an attitude ...

Apparently it is some law of nature:  enter the goat pen with a camera, and there is never a shortage of goofus goat world.  Never.  Tonight was no exception.  Always the comedians, they are.  (If you don’t believe me, more on my Flickr … )

I don't know what this was about - she kept swinging her head around. Goats - who can possibly know?

Rainy morning. Spent the better part of the day working around home.  The really fun stuff – like laundry, cleaning, some work outside.  And yes, in the goat barn.  Tomorrow the boys are having a big end-of-school bash here … same as last year, after Mason & Ross’s graduation, many of the same kids.  The Band will play, volleyball, food, good times – and hopefully I will not get thrown in the pool this year.   I’ll be keeping my eye on you, Justin.

Mason and I got out late, but did take a nice evening ride.  It was cool, but clear.  Cacophony of crickets, frogs, all the sounds of dusk.  Baseball game in the nearby field.  The quiet whrrrr of our bicycles.  Blinkies.  The fragrance of honeysuckle, that I can’t get enough of.  Lens Baby.

And yes, the background nyaaaaaa of a couple of goats.

sounds of crickets

the sounds of crickets...

not as goofy as goats

#330daysofbiking Day 34: nosy

visit with one of my nosy neighbors

Long day of travel – and sadly not by bicycle.  Headed up to Johnson City to move Ross out of his dorm and back home for the summer.  Hard to believe his first year of college is over.  Tomorrow we get to do the same thing all over again – trekking to Clarksville to move Mason. Unfortunately, Clarksville sits on the banks of the Cumberland River, and was one of the towns badly hit by recent flooding.  Talking to Mason this week, everything was fine at school, but large parts of the downtown area were under water … could be an interesting trip tomorrow.

Got home in time to take a brief spin close to home, just before sunset.  Long or short, each ride manages to have its own defining moments.  Tonight’s was a stop near a neighbor’s pasture.  I had wanted to shoot the landscape in the “golden hour” as the sun was setting.  A couple of horses and this great mule came up to investigate my bike.  I think he was attracted to the red blinkies?  He ended up nosing the bike right over – but no harm done.  Mostly, it made me laugh.  I never did capture the sunset, but had fun with the animals – as usual (seems to be how it frequently ends up with me lately ;).  Oh well.

sidewalk flowers

good-bye dorm life (Ross)

conversations with holsteins (day 31) ;)

drooling over my camera (literally) 😉

And just when you thought I was all done …….

Apparently out of habit I had to ride today.  A little bit rainy, but again – there were rewards.  Some great conversations with Holsteins along the way.  Nice little ride before all of the bad weather moves in.  I don’t know why I have such a fascination with these cows, but they are so sweet and gentle, I just can’t help myself.

up close and personal

the Cow Chronicles continue ... Day 31

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#30daysofbiking Day 18: a “serious” cyclist?

They are obviously pretty serious...

Today as I was fluffing about, thinking about today’s ride – a road ride? a bike picnic? a leisurely family spin on the greenway? – I thought of a recent conversation I had with a nice guy who had been asking me about my Xtracycle.  At one point, as he was telling me about one of his friends who cycles, he said something along the lines of, “Well, he’s one of those really serious cyclists …”, with the inflection in his voice implying that we both knew that I (goofy lycra-less woman on an Xtracycle) was obviously not in that category.

(Let me preface this by stating my feeling that labels are not only unnecessary, but also unfailingly stupid and inaccurate, and I try to avoid them.  But we’ve all heard – and likely even used – terms and labels when referring to other riders.  Like, “He/She’s really hard-core”, or “He/She’s a really serious cyclist.”  Enough said.)

But it has had me thinking about how right (or wrong?) was he?  What exactly is, and who qualifies, as a serious cyclist?  (And please feel free to chime in with your comments – whether you are serious or not. ;))

So, my self-evaluation of my cycling seriousness led me to the following conclusions of why I don’t, apparently, fall into the serious cyclist category:

  • I have more skirts in my closet than lycra-wear.
  • I have never ridden a century – or across the continent, or around the planet – and am not sure I really care if I do.
  • The combined dollar value of all of my bicycles is likely less than that of some (many?) serious cyclist’s wheel sets.
  • I do not have a training regimen.
  • I do not have a fully-equipped bike mechanic’s shop in my garage or basement.
  • I could not tell you how many miles I logged last week, but only that I rode every day.
  • Although my kids sometimes call me a hippie, I’m definitely not a hipster.  And I don’t own a fixie. (Yet.)
  • I stop a lot.   To take pictures, eat an apple, look at old barns, talk to farm animals, or just sit and enjoy the scenery.
  • I cannot execute a bunny hop.
  • Some days, I just get the groceries.
  • I don’t know the names of all of the components on my bicycle.
  • As much as I would like to, I don’t live in a serious cyclist city – like Portland, Minneapolis, NYC or Chicago.
  • I have been known to ride in flip-flops.
  • I still own a car.
  • I admire people like Kipchoge Spencer and Ross Evans infinitely more than Lance Armstrong.
  • I enjoy riding entirely by myself.
  • My husband is my only sponsor.

Part of my is, admittedly, a little sad that I will likely ever be referred to as a serious cyclist (despite my aversion to labels).  The only thing I know for sure is that even if I’m not a serious cyclist, I am a passionate cyclist – I love bicycles and the place they hold in my life.  I try to ride nearly every day, and hope to be doing so for a very long time to come.  I like to think that I embrace the bicycling lifestyle, even if I’m not defining it.

So, today’s #30daysofbiking ride ended up being a sub-serious-cyclist leisurely ride around “the neighborhood” – with my sponsor.  It wasn’t blazing fast, or very long, but there were a couple of nice sheep.   😉  Fine by me.

I, on the other hand ... obviously not so serious 😉

"Seriously" in need of shedding a sweater ... or four.

#30daysofbiking Day 10: indecision

apple blossom time

Happy Saturday.  Lots of things to do today … so many, in fact, that I couldn’t really make up my mind where to start, what to do.  Spent the morning with household chores, and Grant and I debated heading down to Chattanooga for the Green Festival in Coolidge Park.  After some indecision, we scrapped the idea.  Then considered riding into town, a quick trip to the grocery store and a ride on the greenway … but also scrapped that plan.

Eventually opted for a road ride close to home.  Another day of perfect cycling weather – lovely temps, little wind, lots of sun.  So many trees and flowers are in full bloom that the pollen count is getting crazy.  Great for bees – not so great for humans (or at least for me and my seasonal allergies). But the scent and color of the apple trees is heavenly!  I just can’t resist being out in it.

Day 10: bike, cows, and lush green spring pasture ... 😀

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