Monday Musings (On A Tuesday!)
Obviously I'm a bit late with this, but life is a wee bit hectic at the moment, so I'm going with better late than not at all!
Between the current chaos and stress generated by our in-process backyard project, coupled with some very long days training for our upcoming metric century bike ride, a few things in my life are sliding, this blog being one of them. Maintaining balance is a never ending challenge for this gal!
So onward to this week's Monday Musings:
1. After a few weeks of cooler spring days, we struck gold starting on Saturday, when daytime temps rose into the 80's. As a result, we've been outdoors almost nonstop trying to soak as much of it in as possible. And as an added bonus, the spring break crowds have pretty much dispersed, so the beaches are once again quiet. For now at least!
2. Speaking of beaches, yesterday we completed our last training ride for our upcoming metric century bicycling event, riding a total of 60 miles out and back through the coastal towns of Newport, Huntington, Bolsa Chica and Sunset. The last few miles were the roughest in that we encountered wind and an increase of temps into the 90's once we headed inland into Irvine, the starting and end point of our ride, so we were pretty ecstatic to be done, exchanging high-fives once we reached the car at mile 60. It feels so good to be done with the long distance portion of our training as we turn our attention to simply tapering over the next two weeks.
We began our training back in February, starting with a 25 mile ride, then adding an additional 5 miles each week until we reached our end goal of 60 miles. We probably could have stopped at 50, and just given a big push on the day of the actual event, but I appreciate the confidence having already done the event distance in advance provides. It makes for a much more relaxed ride on the day of, allowing me to focus on going up and over hills without fear of running out of 'juice.'
|We caught a ferry across Newport Harbor for part of our ride. It's not even 1/4 of a mile across, but it's something we always look forward to because it's so, so scenic.|
And also why I'm late with this post. We pedaled for about five hours in total, plus stops for lunch and water, and that much time in the sun rendered me pretty lazy for the remainder of the day. A shower, some book time, and a little cross stitch is about all I had in me afterward.
3. As a result of the above bike ride, we were able to enjoy an absolutely guilt free lunch stop midway through our ride at the awesome, amazing, freakin' delicious Burnt Crumbs in Huntington Beach's fun new Pacific City dining and shopping entertainment center. I ordered the Southern Fried Chicken Biscuit Sandwich with Sriracha Honey and enjoyed every single, solitary burnt crumb (ha!).
Seriously, only when doing an activity of this magnitude would I ever consider consuming something of this caliber. But, oh my, so incredible when I've burned enough calories to do so!
4. I was doing some yard work in the front yard recently when a neighbor stopped to chat. She mentioned that her lemon tree was bursting with fruit, so I quickly volunteered to lend her a hand with finding a home for a few of them.
This is what was waiting for me on my doorstep when we returned home later in the day, to my very happy surprise.
As a result, I see lots of squeezing, zesting and freezing in ice cube trays in my future as I work hard to make sure none of them go to waste. In my experience, there is simply no comparison between the flavor of home grown vs store bought lemon juice.
Along those lines, here is my tip for making the best lemon squares ever: simply increase the quantity of lemon filling in whatever recipe you are using by 50%, and then watch people positive drool over your bars!
5. My oldest daughter dropped by over the weekend for a no-reason visit, our favorite kind. We have lots of common interests - hiking, backpacking, biking, reading and politics - which we much enjoy discussing. We'll generally end of her visits with plans to do something fun together in the near future. This time around we decided to start a family book club to continue our pursuit of getting through all the classics now that my long running book club was disbanded as a result of our move. The first book we've decided to read is Don Quixote, because we are not ones to shirk a challenge!
6. And finally, even though our back yard is currently nothing but dirt, the taking down of our rear facing wrought iron gate fencing has blown open our canyon and ocean views, and I see many happy hours spent outside gazing westward in our future. As a result of how opened up our ocean view is now in the westward facing portion of our yard, we're amending our plans to include a small sitting area in that corner. So, I now have my eye on these Ballard Design Amalfi chaise lounges once our project is complete. Although a bit pricey, these are quality pieces that should last forever based on the condition of the outdoor furniture we already own from this collection.
|Our ocean view is much, much smaller in that we're two miles inland, but this is the exact feeling I'm going for!|
I mean, seriously, expansive views, a comfy chaise, a good book and something chilled to sip? I don't know if my husband will ever get me to move out of that corner of the yard once we're all done!