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Posts Tagged ‘Cycling’

As you may have seen online or; gasp, read in an actual paper newspaper, or maybe heard some faint mumblings during a local news broadcast; the state of California is in woeful condition when it comes to water. With nothing near the expected rainfall usually seen from New Year’s Day to February 1st, California’s reservoirs, which dot the state here to there, have seen reserve water levels continue to drop to what is now becoming an honest to goodness drought emergency situation.

At least these three will not have to worry about water

Thankfully; these three will not have to worry about droughts

Having lived in California since 1975; I have seen my fair share of droughts and let me tell you; they suck, each and every one of them, just suck. Water rationing is strictly enforced here in California; which means excess water use is strictly verboten. Excess watering usually includes routine chores we take for granted; watering the lawn and garden, washing your car, cleaning / filling swimming pools, etc., will stop being routine this year. The lawn and garden watering issue  also comes with its own potentially big problem; dry grass and dead plants that quickly turn into fresh tinder waiting to be introduced to a spark. Yep, like I said, droughts suck.

Will this hydrangea grow-up or fade away from drought?

Will this hydrangea grow-up or fade away from drought?

There will many gardens facing a very long and thirsty spring should we continue with these dismal rainfall totals. I still haven’t had the heart to break it to my garden friends yet. Today, the patio is awash with Primrose flowers opening in various planters scattered around the rectangular patio. There is also a seemingly endless fall of dainty white Snowflakes cascading down and around the three-shelve plant stand I rescued from a recycling bin last year. Seeing as all of my plants and flowers are happy and oblivious of what is coming; I have decided to wait and see what happens before I break the bad news to my patio family!

New Primrose Greet the Mid-Day Sun

This Primrose can’t be bothered with drought talk

Snowflakes continue to fall all around the patio

Snowflakes continue to fall all around the patio

Thankfully; today we received a promising sign, the start of a predicted week-long rain storm. Now, the rain that is coming down isn’t exactly a deluge of biblical proportion; and I have not yet been tempted to start gathering animals and figuring out what a ‘cubit’ translates to in modern measurements, but it is at least a good start to reducing the severity of the state’s drought woes.

I have always liked primrose when they are saturated

I have always liked primrose when they are water-logged

A soggy primrose; right now, is a happy primrose

A soggy primrose; right now, is a happy primrose

Hopefully, today’s rain will be an omen for another drought; my drought on finding gainful employment, now dragging on into its sixth month! I have reached that point where I have had to reverse where I stood on the issue of; ‘what I want to do‘ for a living vs. ‘what I need to do‘ in order to survive the next couple of months. The field of jobs is now open to anything; from office management to the old stand-by; a prep/line cook position in a local restaurant, I have bills to pay and a cat to feed!

Bright Blooming Flowers Hopefully Signal Bright Future Ahead

Snowflake continue to fill the patio with tiny white flowers

What else is going on? Well not very much actually. I put my road cycling adventures on temporary hiatus to focus squarely on searching for a job to get me through the coming months. I have signed on with five temporary staffing agencies, which even if the employment is not full-time, at least contracting will get some money back into the bank account, the creditors to stop calling, and me on the track to normal life v. 3.0.

Il Toro-Blu Waits for His Turn to Run Free Again

Il Toro-Blu Waits for His Turn to Run Free Again

The Euphorbia Prepare to Sow Her Seeds

Meanwhile; Miss Euphorbia Prepares to Sow Seeds

I had to touch on what was for me the highlight of the past week; the February 4, 2014, Evolution vs. Creationism debate pitting Bill Nye, The Science Guy, vs. Ken Ham, Founder of the Creation Museum.

Science: For the Win!

Science: For the Win!

Since first learning about the debate a month or so ago, I have read a wide array of opinions regarding the merits of this debate. The majority of the science community generally agreed that the debate was not the best use of Mr. Nye’s time and overall just a bad idea; some commented that Mr. Ham was a much more skilled debater and that debates are won more with conviction than with facts; others noted that the Science Community had nothing whatsoever to gain from this debate; and nearly every opinion thought that the idea of the debate being held at The Creation Museum in Petersburg, KY, was a really bad idea.

Thankfully, The Science Guy allayed any fears with the head-to-head debate. Bill Nye methodically ripped through the ‘creationism‘ theories scientific merit easily and thoroughly. The best evidence Mr. Ham had was that “there is a book, it’s called the Bible” and if it says so in the bible, it happened. Needless to say; creationism did not pass the scientific test by any means! Thank you Science Guy!

Did the debate actually make a difference? My thought is that is probably did nothing to sway the creationism hardliners; but if just one ‘on the fence‘ family will now allow their children to understand real science then in my book it was well worth it.

A Blue Primrose Joins the Party

A blue primrose opens to reveal her magnificent yellow heart

I leave you today with a trip back to 1986; my hair was longer, my stress levels were considerably less than they are today, and I had still not realized the joys of simple things, like gardens. I dug this photo from a pile of miscellaneous paperwork as I was cleaning the house last week and decided to post the photo on my Facebook page for #Throwback Thursdays. This photo serves as a reminder to me that things turn out okay in the long run and that I am just a gardener who has played many different roles at different times in my life; however, at the end of the day I am still just as young and free as I allow myself to be.

Today is today; tomorrow is tomorrow; today I guide myself to a better tomorrow ~ Peace!
Misc_Feb06 047

Just a humble future gardener; yours truly, Age 17

Until Next Time…

HAPPY GARDENING FRIENDS!!

~ Noah

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Primrose basking in the January sunshine

Primrose basking in the January sunshine

I can’t believe it is the middle of January already and that I am just getting around to my first post of the New Year!

The garden continues her perennial teetering between what should be the winter dormant period; yet as seems to happen each season, there are those garden residents who just won’t give in to such mundane things as weather and calendars and set flowers seemingly at will. Notably are three healthy sets of Primrose which seem to have conspired with each other and are hellbent on continuing with the summer flowering business regardless of what Mother Nature may think. Dotting the patio; the flowers quickly evoke memories of the summer recently passed. Clusters of delicate blue and yellow flowers add much-needed brilliance, warmth, and color to the otherwise fading summer facade of the patio’s plants which decided hibernation sounded like fun.

The outlook is brilliant!

The outlook is brilliant!

January thus far has been good; I am fully back on two feet without the need to use crutches or a cane to assist me. After 3-months of uncertainty, I really cannot express how happy I am about this, but suffice to say, I am grateful to be okay. I have also gotten myself back out on the road on my bicycle! The freedom to be able to get myself out of the house and doing something has made a big difference to the life I was fated with since September. A month ago, I could only look at my bike and hope to ride again, today I did 23-miles! Since taking my first tentative pedal around the neighborhood on December 15th, I have been able to get between 150 – 175-miles under my belt, helping me to rebuild the muscle lost and the cardio capacity to push myself down the road. I was surprised at how much a toll the 3-months off the bike took on my overall conditioning!

Pt. Richmond, CA

Pt. Richmond, CA

A good day in the saddle

A good day in the saddle

Elsewhere around the patio; I notice outcroppings of new growth on some plants; stark contrast to a patio seemingly in the midst of settling in for a nice hibernation. Apparently the Primrose will just do as they please; I am okay with this! Following the Primrose’s lead; the Snowflake’s have also ushered in a flurry of lovely white flowers which creep across and lazily hang from my patio plant stand – a stunning display if I do say so myself.

Snowflakes reach for the safety of the patio floor

Snowflakes reach for the safety of the patio floor

The lookout will find a safe path

The lookout will find a safe path

Some of my regular readers may have noticed something different about the look of my page; indeed, I am playing with some additional imagery as I was just not a fan of the sterile background of old. Now; wild turkey’s crossing a road in Berkeley, CA, that is something which just makes me happy each time I see them.

The Primrose is strong in this one!

The Primrose is strong in this one!

Another change you might see in future posts are more off-topic/non-gardening related posts. There will be adventures in cycling the San Francisco Bay Area, assorted rants and hopefully some useful and possibly insightful thoughts I have regarding local issues, interesting news stories, and anything else I believe would be interesting to my readers. Of course, the garden shall always remain the backbone of my blog, but I have wanted to try my hand at writing on diverse subjects to move my writing style forward and hopefully reach outside my safe zone here in the garden. For me it will be a personal growth challenge; wish me luck and feel free to let me know your thoughts.

The Euphorbia had a growth spurt and easily reach out to bask in the sun!

The Euphorbia had a growth spurt and easily reach out to bask in the sun!

Happy New Year 2014; what started with one plant in an apartment, turned into a thriving patio garden, now the time feels right to venture out along the road and visit the places in-between. I hope to see you along the way!

Until next time….

HAPPY GARDENING FRIENDS!!

~ Noah

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Happy Holidays from the Garden

As the year 2013 winds itself down; I reflect on what was an interesting year and one which I am going to remember for many reasons. I close the year with a few lingering uncertainties; yet, I plan to begin the New Year with a positive outlook, walking (finally) on two feet, and in general good spirits. I look forward to a great year to come.

Feliz Navidad!

Feliz Navidad!

Of all the happenings this year; it is the broken ankle that I think will live with me the longest amount of time. Not just the scar; which will serve as a reminder that I am not immune to injury, but just how humbling an injury like mine can be. I have always been a confident; sometimes to a fault, person and all to often ‘caution to wind’ was a recurring mantra; however, I am learning that ones journey through life should indeed be fun and free-spirited, yet the paths should be tread carefully and with more than the moment at mind.

Ouch! However, getting much better.

Ouch! However, getting much better.

I always look for silver linings in everything and from the ankle injury came the realization (or reminder) that I have a very strong and resilient personality when I set my mind firmly on a specific goal or task. This was definitely the case with my rehabilitating the ankle to regain as close as I will likely get to full range of motion following surgery on October 5, 2013. It was not without A LOT of hard work; including, exercise, maintaining a proper diet, following my doctor’s advice, and a non-stop regime of at home physical therapy and indoor cycle training as soon as I was cleared by my physician.

With hard work; rewards often follow. My reward: Getting the bike back on the road on December 15, 2013 and already putting about 70-miles behind me!

Il Toro~Blu again stretches her legs and runs!

Il Toro~Blu again stretches her legs and runs!

Dec. 23td Ride; I Am Back on the Road!

Dec. 23td Ride; I Am Back on the Road!

The garden continues her slow transitioning into a dormant land of hopes for next year’s garden. A few stubborn holdouts refuse the call to sleep and dot the patio with glints of bright color here and there. Mainly, my primrose plants continue their blooms unabated by weather and cold temperatures. The primrose must be being kept warm and happy by the lone Dragon still in residency on the patio!

Winter Primrose

Winter Primrose

Blue Primrose provide lovely dots of needed color

Blue Primrose provide lovely dots of needed color

A hardy Dragon lurks the Patio

A hardy Dragon lurks the Patio

Interestingly enough; I also have one lone strawberry that is trying her best to ripen! As far as a harvest, it might not be much to write home about; however, a tasty treat would be welcome if I can get it before Mr. Squirrel does!

Almost!

Almost!

Shutting the door on another year; I am thankful for many things: My wonderful family of course, the few good friends I am blessed with, my general good health, and of course, my sweet cat; Miss Gretchen. She has definitely made my apartment feel like home and rekindled some very needed energy that was lacking in the home.

Miss Gretchen stalks her outdoor lair!

Miss Gretchen stalks her outdoor lair!

Until next time….

HAPPY GARDENING FRIENDS!!

~ Noah

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…are not quite as little as I had previously thought.

~or~

How I decided a broken ankle is a temporary setback to be conquered!

Redwood Tree; Tilden Park, Berkeley, CA

Tilden Park, Berkeley, CA

Walking; not really something which I gave much thought to over the last forty or so years, I realize now that it is just not as easy as we all make it look!

Cycling; you have heard the old adage; ‘Easy as riding a bicycle‘? Well, I am now under the impression that whomever it was that coined the term had most likely not broken their ankle. There is nothing easy about riding a bicycle at the moment!

I didn't think much about this ride; 50-miles on 9/4/13

I didn’t think much about this ride; 50-miles on 9/4/13

I find myself now entering the third month of my unplanned one-legged journey through this section of that which I call my life. Still finding myself unable to take advantage of those two-wheels which just 90-days ago would happily take me anywhere my legs could pedal myself to. Even though my trusty bicycle; Il Toro-Blu, resides with me in my apartment and is more than ready to venture, sadly that means of transportation is still a couple of weeks away.

Needless to say; both walking and cycling have recently gained much ground in their intrinsic value and importance to my life.

Self-Portrait of a Cyclist

You can’t hold a cyclist down forever

I am a cyclist; and unfortunately injuries happen. I have accepted that coaxing my weakened and atrophied left leg muscles back into shape is just par for the course; the price of admission, as it were, to the land of walking under my own power.

My outlook is clearing

My outlook is clearing up nicely

I have been working really, really hard on rehabilitating the ankle and am happy to be able to say that the work is finally starting to pay dividends. This week I have begun my first steps around the apartment without the use of crutches or a cane. As expected, my walking gait is sloppy and ungainly; however, the locomotion is solely under my own power and that for me is a huge victory.

Putting in the work here to get me out there

Putting in the work here to get me out there

I have to thank a lot of people for helping me along the way; my Dad, my Brother, My Ex-Wife, and an assortment of great friends who were game to shuttle me around to doctor’s appointments; grocery shopping; etc. If it wasn’t for them, the last 90-days would have been much, much more miserable.

Goals for 2014

Goals for 2014

Before the accident; the above graphic was a typical week for me cycling. I was averaging between 175 – 200 miles per week and was loving it. My goals for 2014 are realistic and I will be working at putting 400 to 500 miles per month under my belt throughout the New Year. I still have a 100-mile ride to conquer; to date the longest bike ride I have done was just 2-days prior to breaking my ankle, on Sept. 4th, 2013, where I rode from my house in Oakland, up the I-80 bike way to Vallejo, CA for a total of 50.29-miles.

A lovely ride it was

A lovely ride it was

Really though, the one thing that I am looking forward to is just the fun of getting out there and exploring the world on two-wheels, at ground level, and making my own routes as the mood strikes. To be able to get back to the hills, to enjoy the camaraderie of fellow cyclists, and to be able to come home after a long workout and relax in my garden.

I am a simple man, I am a gardener, I am a cyclist.

Until Next Time…

HAPPY GARDENING FRIENDS!!

~ Noah

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Since the accident on September 6, 2013 which resulted in me breaking my ankle quite decently, gardening and blogging have unfortunately had to take a back seat to me focusing on my recovery. There will be plenty of time to tend to the garden and even more time to write down the road; sadly, I only have a very narrow period of time to ensure that the ankle heals properly.

Let the healing begin!

Let the healing begin!

The injury to the ankle was pretty major; a bimalleolar fracture, which is doctor speak that simply means that I broke either two bones or that I broke one bone in two places in the ankle, mine was the later of the two. The bones were set at Solano Medical Center and I had hoped they would set properly; unfortunately, the break was just too severe and I reluctantly conceded defeat and visited Highland Hospital. The attending physician in the Orthopedic Department confirmed the ankle was not healing after looking at my x-rays and scheduled my surgery. The operation; an Open Reduction Internal Fixation (ORIF), was performed on October 21, 2013, and included the need for some new hardware to be added to ankle; a titanium plate and six surgical bone screws, were required to align and keep the fractured bone back into correct alignment. Yep, Ouch!

The point of incision after staples removed

The point of incision after staples removed

I definitely have to thank my surgeon; Dr. Peter Slabaugh and the entire staff of Highland Hospital here in Oakland, CA, for their amazing work. The doctor was really great about explaining everything and ensuring that I understood what I was in for regarding the surgery and post-operative care. The staff at Highland were also great, from the day I walked (well, hobbled)  in to get the ankle looked at, to the scheduling all of my various orthopedic appointments, and through to my surgery, I was never in the hospital for more than just a couple of hours at the most. With the only exception being the day of my surgery, which I believe took between 6 – 8-hours in total from check-in to release, I was a little out of it so departure time is a hazy still.

I also must recognize and give my sincere thanks to my AMAZING family for always being there for me after breaking my ankle. Especially my Dad for taking me to the hospital for all of my appointments, my surgery, and for picking up groceries for me. I am also grateful to my brother and my ex-wife for making themselves available to take me grocery shopping or drop off the rent check if needed. I never really imagined just how completely limiting having a broken ankle really is and were it not for the support of my family over the past 2-months, it definitely would have been nearly impossible to mange completely on my own.

Recovering; swollen from a walk today, but getting better!

Recovering; swollen from a walk today, but getting better

The seemingly endless boredom of being home, limited to the couch and the occasional trip to the kitchen or to the patio, has easily been the worst part of my recovery. Frustrating and Emotional succinctly summarize the last 2-months of my life;

  • Frustrating; in that I have not been able to enjoy the two activities which most make me happy; gardening and road cycling
  • Emotional; in that there had been that lingering uncertainty regarding the recovery outlook
Things are looking brighter!

Things are looking brighter!

Thankfully; since having the operation, the last 2-weeks have been much, much better than the preceding weeks. The surgery went great and the ankle feels much more stable than I would have thought so soon after the operation. In fact, my doctor advised that I am able to start adding weight to the leg, which is a month sooner than I was expecting. I still rely on my crutches for mobility and balance; however, with each passing day I am able to increase the amount of weight my ankle can bear. I have set a goal of being able to use a cane by my next appointment on December 5, 2013. Hopefully my doctor will clear me to start indoor cycling after the December appointment and that I might get back to road cycling by January or February.

Soon.... soon!

Soon…. soon!

In garden related news; I got a great new book for my birthday on Nov. 3rd from my Dad’s wife. I am just starting to dive into the book; however, so far, I really enjoy it and can see that i will likely be referring to it often. I was very pleasantly surprised with the book and it is the perfect gift considering my current state of immobility and residence. The book; Apartment Gardening, by Amy Pennington, is a great reference for all things gardening in an apartment environment, including many projects and recipes to get the most out of your tiny space. I look forward to reading the rest of book, trying out some of the projects and recipes, and adding it to my reference library.

Apartment Gardening

Apartment Gardening

I was able to clean up the patio today, do a little bit of pruning of the overgrown snapdragon, watering all of the indoor and outdoor plants, and finally just relaxing and enjoying the patio garden. Next, finish preparing the garden for the long winter months ahead and start planning next year’s garden!

A clean, happy place for plants

A clean, happy place for plants

The other side of the patio

The other side of the patio

A happy day in the garden

A happy day in the garden

Until next time…

HAPPY GARDENING FRIENDS!!

~ Noah

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It is not always the biggest flowers that I enjoy the most

It is not always the biggest flowers that I enjoy the most

I gotta tell you, I am really starting to enjoy the weekends much more than I have for quite some time! Sunday’s have historically been a day for getting the chores done (laundry, grocery getting, house cleaning, etc.); however, since I purchased my bicycle in January, Saturday’s and Sunday’s have become a day for getting out, getting some exercise, and just having fun without worrying about parking, gas, or traffic.

Cineraria in incredibly VIVID purple!

Cineraria in incredibly VIVID purple!

Since getting the bike; I have been trying to ride somewhere in the 15 – 20 mile range during the weekends. I have come to terms with the reality that 20+ years of driving had taken its toll on my stamina, leg strength, and overall cardiovascular system; by the time I get home after a long ride, I am usually far too tired to think about doing chores!  This is not a terrible thing as I now find that I spend even more time out on the patio just enjoying the garden from a comfy garden chair (to rest my weary old bones upon). The chores which formerly dominated my weekend are easily pawned off on an unsuspecting work week, ensuring that my weekends are again valued as a precious resource –  not to be squandered on the tedious, but to enjoy at a full throttle pace in pursuit of fun!

Il Toro Blu - my 2012 SE Draft - Froio's Custom Edition

‘Il Toro Blu’ – 2012 SE Draft – Froio’s Custom Edition

My bicycle has followed the same theme as my garden; replace and refresh until I find something  I like – with the garden; it was January’s Winter Patio Refresh ; taking what I had learned from 2-years of gardening here in Oakland and turning that into what is now the garden I envisioned when I moved in and realized that the patio was screaming to be reborn. The patio was a dirty, unkempt, and generally dingy concrete slab, devoid of anything interesting which I quickly set about addressing.

From the barren wasteland that you see outside the window in this early blog image (Mr. Big Boy Avocado and an avocado that didn’t quite make it)

My plant collection, January 2011

My plant collection, January 2011

To what I enjoy today (Mr. Big Boy Avocado still very much a part of the landscape)

Flowers, Flowers, Everywhere

Flowers, Flowers, Everywhere

So too my bicycle has undergone a metamorphosis; from the plain stock version that arrived in January. I quickly set about upgrading this, changing out that, and before I knew it; the only parts remaining from the factory are the frame, forks, front brake caliper, and chain. Starting with the pedals, I have replaced everything on the bike at least once, some twice (handlebars, cranks, & grips).

Jan. 16, 2013 - Factory Fresh

Jan. 16, 2013 – Factory Fresh

Now; after much searching for just the right part to accomplish an image that was never clear in my mind until it unfolded before me, my bike is a track monster which I have dubbed; ‘Il Toro Blu’; Italian for the Blue Bull, after the 2nd set of new handlebars (Cannondale C3 Bullhorn Aero Bars) and the bikes theme color (blue).

Il Toro Blue (the Blue Bull) - March 24, 2012

Il Toro Blue (the Blue Bull) – March 24, 2013

Note to self: find another frameset to put all of the parts that I replaced onto

While writing this post earlier today I realized something about myself; I am not sure if it is a good thing, a bad thing, or just an ‘it is what it is‘ thing. Either way; I think I know why I have often butted heads with those in my life that want me to conform to their ideals, I am a stubborn, bull-headed, learn-it-by-myself, or don’t learn it kind of guy.

The hydrangea readies itself for summertime blooms

The hydrangea readies itself for summertime blooms

The way I look at it, I know what I want in life (same as with gardens and bicycles), I generally know a way to get there, and once locked in, I won’t compromise that methodology in pursuit of something that doesn’t ring true with me. I am sorry if my methods don’t always make sense to those around me, my methods and directions always make perfect sense to at least one person, myself.

Ms. Jade's new planter mates are settling in nicely

Ms. Jade’s new planter mates are settling in nicely

This stubbornness has definitely caused a lot of familial stress and relationship stress.

  • Is it my fault for not bending like the young willow?
  • Is it the other party’s fault  for not realizing that I am who I am and leaving well enough alone?

I don’t know the answer to either question; however, I do know that I miss my family. I also know that I won’t be the one with the olive branch extended this time around, I didn’t do anything wrong this time. I guess I will just continue to till my own soil and beat my own path my own way. Overall; the good has outweighed the bad – What bad there has been, I have dealt with myself and have come out the other side a-okay.

I will leave the answers to such questions on the table for now, that deck will have to wait for another day to be dealt out.

For today, it is late, and I shall just leave with these parting shots – enjoy…

Last year's Amaryllis bulb has awoken

Last year’s Amaryllis bulb has awoken

Looking up through the Euphorbia

Looking up through the Euphorbia

Pastel Blue Cineraria

Pastel Blue Cineraria

Until next time….

HAPPY GARDENING FRIENDS!

~ Noah

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…Oh my!!

Scarlet Pansy greets the morning

Scarlet Pansy greets the morning

Sunday for me is generally my day to get the household chores done, work on the garden, go grocery shopping, and then plan out the work week ahead over dinner. Today; however, was not one of those days at all!

Today, I woke up early, made a fresh pot of my favorite Fair Trade Dark Roast coffee, and began getting ready for my day. My first stop this morning was the garden. The garden in the morning; with a piping hot cup of coffee in hand, a cool seat beneath me, and an explosion of colorful flowers all around me, is easily one of my all-time favorite spots to be in the world. It is eerily quiet here in Oakland at 5:45 a.m., the only sounds are the distant whir of traffic on the freeway a quarter-mile away, the breeze rattling the leaves of the bamboo forest which stands as the privacy barrier the chain link wouldn’t, and a couple of critters scurrying around on the hunt for their morning’s repast.

A field of Scarlet greets my patio entrance

A field of Scarlet greets my patio entrance

As much as I am enjoying my coffee, I know that if I want to get done today all that I have planned, that I must venture back indoors to get ready for a bike ride. I push for Lake Merritt early, I shoot for 2-laps before the inevitable hoards of local residents descend upon this beautiful lake to enjoy a day of walking, jogging, biking, boating, or just people watching and a nosh!

It wasn't cold; however, a snowflake or two was present

It wasn’t cold; however, a snowflake or two was present

I have recently gotten back into cycling after a 20+ year hiatus from any type of riding. At a coworkers suggestion, I bought a 2012 SE Draft single-speed road bike (56cm) and have been riding to work nearly everyday instead of driving the short trip that separates my apartment from my office. It was not long after purchasing the new Pirate Ship (my old ’97 Ford Probe being the original) from my ex-wife that I realized I had fallen into a “drive everywhere” frame of mind. The store is 3-blocks away, down a beautiful residential street lined with lovely gardens in full bloom, yet I still drove! That had to stop, much of the inspiration and motivation for my patio garden came from walking to work and seeing something in someones garden that I just had to find at the nursery. In came the bicycle, realizing that I didn’t want to drive everywhere (plus, with gas prices these days!) and that I could definitely benefit from putting exercise back into my regular routine.

Big, bright, beautiful Crimson Primrose brighten my day

Big, bright, beautiful Crimson Primrose brighten my day

2-laps around the lake (6.2 miles and change) later and it is time to get the golf clubs ready and get changed for a lazy round of 9-holes at one of our local municipal courses. Golf is another sport/game (?) that I played often but had fallen out of playing regularly after leaving my job in the City and moving to the East Bay. I decided that I would pick up another set of clubs (Craigslist to the rescue) and get back out on the fairways every now and again. Today reminded me that I need A LOT of practice! Oh well; like they say, your worst day on a golf course is almost always better than your best day at the office!

Profusion of Pacific Giant Blue Primrose

Profusion of Pacific Giant Blue Primrose

I am now home and I am exhausted! I’m thinking that dinner will involve a call to Lanesplitter’s Pizza and an order a two of their HUMONGOUS vegan calzones, delivery please. One of their calzone should do it for dinner and I will enjoy any remains from #2 for breakfast or lunch tomorrow.

I end the day as it started, looking out on the patio. Now the afternoon sunshine is giving way to the shadowy light of the early dawn. I am too tired to even open the sliding glass door and venture outside to enjoy the last of today’s daylight. No, now I am seeking only the comfort of the couch and continue to fight off my body’s suggestion to ‘lay down and take a nap, old man!.’

Before I close the lid on my laptop for the evening, I share with you some new friends who have joined my family of  plants. A recent trip to the nursery ended when I found the following two members of the Primula family. The newbies quickly bloomed and are now providing a happy, yet muted, splash of pastel color to my indoor space.

These dainty little beauties now enjoy the view from the window box in my living room (they replaced the much adored; however completely spent indoor primrose). The Primula are joined in the window box by a little known member of the Aster (Asteraceae) family; Cineraria ‘multifloral mix’. The Cineraria have yet to set flowers; so for now, enjoy the Primula (apparently she is a dainty cousin of the Primrose).

Primula

Primula ‘Embrace Mix’

Primula 'White'

Primula v. acaulis ‘White’

Say Goodnight Gracie, good night!

Say Goodnight Gracie; ‘good night!’

HAPPY GARDENING FRIENDS!!

~N0ah

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