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Sunday, July 27, 2014

Tour de France ITT & fig preserves wrap up

In case you're interested, this is the recipe on which I based my fig preserves. I doubled the recipe in figs, and halved the sugar. Used the ¾ cup of lemon juice, and after removing the figs, cooked what was left until it was halved; added the figs, cooked for a couple minutes, then spooned the figs & liquid into jars. So, half the sugar, double the orange  and lemon juice, figs, and cooking the liquid tp about ½ its volume. It may yield a soft set. Do we care?  No.  The preserves will be totally delicious, I'm sure.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

July is a Full Month

Full of processing peaches from our tree, mostly. Our tree, a dwarf Babcock peach, yielded more fruit than we've seen in years. Many peaches were 3" in diameter, most were smaller. We came home after a ride on July 4th and found 2 branches broken from the weight of the peaches. (Oliver ate most of the peaches from the lower branches, and Beau would find one, carry it around, a guard it. Our dogs are quirky.) So we picked those peaches and made jam right away.

As the month has progressed we were overwhelmed with peaches, tomatoes and figs from friends, and we decided jam wasn't enough. We bought a dehydrator and have dehydrated pounds of peaches, Bing cherries, and grape tomatoes. We've made 3L of peach brandy, which involved toasting the pits, cracking them, toasting the kernels & adding them to the mix.

Today we made salmon jerky in the dehydrator -- a first. We made fig preserves -- another first. And I found a recipe  for tomatoes cooked in tomato juice. I substituted V-8 juice, and followed the recipe.  I hope it turns out OK. It's not only a first for us, it's messing with the recipe, which makes me kind of twitchy. Not my M.O.

Last Friday Colin came home, bearing flowers that his friend Anastasia arranged, and 2 bottles of Marian organic brandy from Fresno. We cut up peaches, roasted the pits, cracked them, then roasted the kernels, and added them to the peach & brandy mix. I double-strained it Tuesday evening; it took much longer than I had thought. And it's so good!  It's subtly peachy, with vanilla and toast notes that were quite surprising. I'm not a brandy fan but after tasting this, I may be.

So adding to our food preservation firsts, besides the salmon jerky, we made fig preserves and tomato...sauce?  We'll see what it ends up. As long as we don't get food poisoning it's all good.

I'm anticipating tomorrow's bike ride and not canning or dehydrating anything. Time to  be free!

And in 6 mos. we'll be celebrating July and its rich harvest.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Loop the Lagoon 10K Tower Challenge.

So my last 10K was 4 weeks ago, and flat. Fun, yes, and I was happy with my results.

I had intentions to run after that but turned all my workout time to ride my bike.

Today we showed up 90 min. early (when told parking is difficult we believe it). We walked around; it was chilly, clear, windless, sunny and chilly in the shade. I haven't figured out how to get pics from my iPhone to show up here, so I have some learning.

OTOH, I know links, and here is what my Garmin and Strava revealed relative to today's run.

The official stats are: 1:10:24.; 2nd in my age group; 23rd of 46 women;49th of all runners on the Tower Challenge. Having not trained aside from walking up the hill and riding my bike I'm really proud and happy with my results. Chris was first in his age group. I wonder how we'd do if we actually trained for this...

Later, after a hot shower, we went to a friend/client's home to celebrate the Fiesta of Santa Monica. I hung onto one of the Filipino guest's  coat tails to find out what the food was.  I followed her instructions to try everything and only one dish was not wonderful. Desserts were instance. And they featured a roast pig. A priest conducted a service and included candles, a crucifix, and a blessing of the house. It was baffling (we aren't familiar with Filipino Catholic customs), humbling (no communion for this sinner), and very interesting. We were humbled to be in the minority and pleased to build relationships today.

Final stats 2nd in my age group 23rd of 46 women; 49th if 84 overall.  Very pleased with my results.

FYI I run with the 55-59 age group.

Color me happy

Friday, May 9, 2014

May Update

So I rode every day in April but for the 30th -- I went to Sacramento for the California Association of Realtors spring business meetings, and on that day, Legislative Day. We meet in the morning and usually the Governor comes to speak to us -- Governor Schwarzeneggar usually did a recorded speech; Atty General  Brown spoke in person, and as Governor, he's spoken in person twice.

Then we transition into National Bike Month, and I think I've repped well. I celebrated Bike to Work Day yesterday by riding to the Property Management Committee meeting (good info; total snore as to how it was presented), then to the office for some maintenance, and then the scenic route home. I planned my ride to leverage the wind, and according to Strava, it worked. In spite of my lights and backpack. I do enjoy defying the odds. Full disclosure: I love defying odds whenever I can.

Tomorrow we're running the Loop the Lagoon 10K Tower Challenge.  We've walked it, we've run it, but not with the Lagoon loop. I haven't run in 4 weeks, since the Run for Good that I ran with my injured bestie. 2nd in my age group, yay!  And yikes! I haven't run since April 12th.

And since I've been so bike-centric and nearly overwhelmed with buyers and sellers, and I love it, my runs have fallen by the wayside in favor of my bike. I suspect that will show up tomorrow.

I'm happy to start...and we'll see about finishing.


Monday, April 21, 2014

30 Days of Biking

So for the 3rd year I've taken on the 30 Days of Biking Challenge. Some days are fantastic rides, both solo and with friends, with some decent mileage and great fun. A few days are riding around the block, park, and/or neighborhood, in whatever clothes I have on, and no helmet. As I've probably said before, this month gets my bike off the hanger and onto the street. Not every ride has to be epic or feature a Strava score. Sometimes it's about smiles per mile.

This month I've also included some running...I haven't figured out how to run + ride on the same day -- too busy with real estate. I ran a 10K on 4/12, one of my slowest, with a long-time bestie who no longer lives on the Left Coast. We caught up on that run, and since neither of us had run that distance in some time we were both grateful that we helped each other finish. I was 2nd in my age group, a pleasant surprise. And when people asked what I did over the weekend, I shared that. I'm proud of that effort. And happy for the opportunity to connect and finish with my friend.

So Chris & I signed up for the Loop the Lagoon run, which I have led twice on bicycle (better than a moto escort) but never run. We signed up for the tower challenge 10K. Sometimes I feel as though we're the old people deluding themselves into thinking we're contenders. On the other hand, if we don't continue challenging ourselves, how will we grow?

And tomorrow I'll get up and do what needs to be done, esp. if I can ride my bike.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Happening Now

If anyone sees my mojo, please send it back. I need it.

Had a so-so weekend relative to real estate (buyers cancelled at the last minute), and a great bike weekend, and an even better family Saturday.

However, Monday's run and tonight's trainer session (Sufferfest: Hell Hath No Fury) I struggled to get my rhythm.  I'm used to the first mile running/first 5 mi. riding to being challenging, but not both one day after the next.

Now that I reflect on those performances and my mindset, I see that I'm in a wee rut.  After a year of not training but performing that makes sense -- I adapted to the "smiles per mile" attitude and it was great. I loved the fresh perspective, the people with whom I rode, the fun I had. And now that I'm trying to ramp up training to race again, I find much resistance and am not happy about that.

I have some work to do. I'd predict a long tempo ride but rain is moving in. I wonder if the right play list will keep me on the trainer Saturday morning for more than 65 min.

Friday, January 31, 2014

California, Arizona, New Mexico, and other states, are in severe drought conditions.

I do no awfulize things, it tends to end up too dramatic and not factual.

Yet our situation is worth awfulizing. We have some dire consequences ahead. We can pretend that ain't so, or we can embrace our water shortage, and build conservation onto that.

I throw down my glove...whos is up for the challenge? How will you  positively impact our water woes?

xoxoxoxo,
Deborah