Showing posts from January, 2014

Snow and Stuff

Hurrah! Winter Storm Leon came through in style for HPNC. We got measureable snow this week!

It was the first real snow for the Pound Pups, and they romped and played and tussled and chased and...well, you get the picture, right? If not, here's a helpful hint or two:

Truthfully? I am thrilled to have the snow and cold weather...especially since I'm usually inside by the fire, where it is warm and toasty. Last year we had such a mild winter that Mother Nature couldn't do what she does best with cold weather: help control the garden pest population. By the time the 2013 Summer months arrived, we were facing a huge and mounting "bad bug" invasion...especially in the form of squash vine borers, Japanese beetles, and Mexican bean beetles. So, throw some more cold at us...I'll throw on another sweater!

This snow day also gave me a cause for pause in an otherwise hectic week. All Master Gardening activities got cancelled on Wednesday and Thursday when the Guilford C…

I Heard the Wind Change

I was just finishing up my second cup of coffee this morning. I had fed the pups (who got up extra-early today...bless 'em), read my email, and answered the ones that needed attention. I had just begun to read USA TODAY online. Then I saw the little notification box pop down from the top of my iPad screen: ALERT: Winter Storm Advisory!
What? It's a beaUtiful skies, sun shining, doggies rampaging through the Way Back with joyful abandon. OK, so it is a bit cold, and the fireplace does feel awfully good this morning. But "winter storm?" You've got to be kidding me.
In less than a minute, I received an instant message from Missy M with a picture attached:

Looks like the Winter Storm had already visited The Ville today! A Facebook posting by a cuz in Portland, TN, showed they had a dusting of snow, too...and another cuz in Memphis mentioned flurries there. 
Granted, the folks in Northern Kentucky probably just shrugged. They had a similar dump of the white fla…

500 Miles Away from Home

Three more rides...another half-century...time to report on my trip again! *
1/16/2014: A rest day, just over the state line in Tennessee. "Oh,'re home," say those that know I'm from Tennessee. Uh...yes, but no. I'm "in" East TENNessee. I'm from WEST TennesSEE. World's apart, longitudinally as well as linguistically. Geographically and by state law, Tennessee is divided into three distinct regions: East, Middle, and West...each with a star on the state flag. And I'm a long, long way from Memphis, in West Tennessee. Five hundred miles away...give or take.
Speaking of Memphis, a cuz recently asked on Facebook if my ride was going to bring me through the city of my birth. Sad to say, it isn't. Although Google keeps changing the exact route it maps for my bike ride across the USA, neither of the most commonly recurring routes has me crossing the Mississippi at Memphis. One of the routes takes me all the way up to St. Louis for a cro…

Ain't No Mountain High Enough

Back on my bike after a rest day. Here's my report on the next half-century (50-mile ride, give or take).*
1/13/2014: Made it 17.6 miles on the Blue Ridge Parkway, from the Mile Post 276.4 to Mile Post 294. That put me at the door step of the Moses Cone Manor House, located in the similarly-named park just outside of the downtown area of Blowing Rock, NC. Fortunately there is a craft shop run by the Southern Highland Craft Guild located here. How fortunate, indeed!

I feel a connection with this place, both because of the celebration and preservation of Mountain arts and crafts, and also because the builder and namesake of this Manor made his fortune in Greensboro, and left a legacy of a fine hospital system (where I once worked as a Trainer with the fledgling Clinical Informatics group...early-early days of the digital record.) Way to go, Moses Cone!
1/14/2014: Today's ride was 18 miles, taking me from Mile Post 294 to Mile Post 305.2, where I left the BRP, taking 221 to Linville…

The Second Half-Century

This post is an update on my stationary bike ride across the USA.*
Some of you may be cyclists, who use the language with ease. I'm learning...even though my bike is stationary, and I'm going nowhere when I register my mileage. In cycle parlance, a century means a 100-mile ride in a day. So, the half-century of the title would mean a 50-mile in a day, right? Right...but wrong! My (new) half-century goal is 50 miles over three days, not one. And then I shall rest. I've already posted about 1/9/2014, so I'll start with the second day of this particular segment.
Ride on 1/10/2014: I left North Wilkesboro Speedway, making my way to see M-i-c-k-e-y, via US 421, more or less. And the more I mapped out this section of 421, the less I saw in the way of interesting roadside stops. So, I had to take a little side-trip in order to find a place where I would want to stop...were I doing this ride for real. I rode 17.7 miles in 1 hour and 40 minutes, which puts me near Purlear, NC, nea…

On the Ride Again

To bring you up-to-date, in case you are just joining us...

My plan to get/keep in shape for gardening this year is to ride my stationary bike.* Because I always need a reason to do something...or at least to continue doing something, I have decided on a program of 50 miles each week for the next 52 weeks...a distance of 2600 miles. That happens to be the exact distance from our house to Disneyland in Anaheim, CA, as Google-mapped using the (beta) Bike function. I started 1/3/2014...and am continuing the saga today. BTW, I am tagging all the posts about my ride "Where in the USA is Patricia" on my blog, and #WhereintheUSAisPatricia on Twitter.
In my last post about my ride, I shared that I'd made it to Lewisville, NC...a distance of 31.1 miles from home (as the bike rides). On 1/6/2014, I made it 12.5 miles in 65 minutes, putting me in Shacktown, NC in Yadkin County, stopping at the Shacktown Farmers Market. Although closed for the season, I enjoyed reading about its histo…

(Almost) Back to Normal

The Holiday Season is officially over...almost. I'm slowly de-decorating the house, now that the calendar is past Epiphany (January 6). Oh wait! I see that today is the Eastern Orthodox church's Christmas! Yea!! I can turn the trees on one more day! Wonder if I get 12 more days? (That's good because I need Mr. T's height to help me take the trees down, so that chore has been deferred to the coming weekend.)
So where's Mr. T you ask? He's off and riding..."on the road again"! He headed out yesterday morning, destination Glen Burnie, MD by way of Ashland, VA. He looked so nice in his new burnt-orange and maroon sweater and shirt...a gift from Missy M. I told him he looked like a VaTech fan...and he said that's good 'cause he was headed to Hokie country. It's been two months since his shoulder surgery, and he feels better with each day.

He's a little out of practice. A couple hours after he left, I noticed his wallet on the count…

Having Fun...Wish You Were Here!

I never, ever in a million years thought I would say the words "exercise" and "fun" in the same sentence (unless it was "exercise is not fun"), but here we go: I am having enormous fun riding my stationary exercise bike across the USA! I get so excited about where I will ride to each day that it's hard to wait 24 hours in between rides. I probably should schedule a day off, but I just want to keep pedaling!

Let me catch you up on my progress:
Day 1: Home to Union Cross Moravian Church, High Point Rd, Kernersville: 9.1 miles. 50 minutes. (While I'm not making a race out of this endeavor, I did want to keep up with my mileage. The time is displayed along with the mileage, so I might as well report it to you. Forget about "resistance level," since I could care less if I ever get beyond Level 1. Maybe after I have logged a lot of miles and it gets too easy...ha! Truth be told, I would never make it real-life cycling the USA because of the cha…