bike ride

Last Ride

Well I’m pretty sure last week’s ride to work was the last bike commute for the winter. It was dry and crisp, the perfect fall day, but FREEZING. It was around 40 degrees when I got up and out of the house and I think that’s being generous. Even though I have decent gear (and supposedly cold weather gloves) my fingers were so frozen they hurt. Same with my toes and my face. The rest of me warmed up nicely on the ride.


The Springwater Trail was fairly empty that morning. I stopped mid-ride to blow my nose (cold weather makes it runny, same with my eyes) and my friend Debby rode past! So I caught up to her and we rode the rest of the way into work together. It was nice because we chatted a little and it distracted us both on how miserable we were!


So yeah, that was the last ride!

I was so cold the rest of the day at work. Even though I was wearing a sweater, I just had a chill. I was so freezing that I skipped my apple for my morning snack and got a cup of broccoli cheddar soup to warm me up. I ate half of it and then had the rest with my lunch.

The afternoon was much more pleasant. It was warmer and the sun was out.



About 10 miles total for the day. It was a pretty good way to end the cycling season. I’d done Body Pump the night before (took it easier this time so I wouldn’t be as crippled). By the afternoon ride home I was starting to stiffen up and get more sore. I think the bike ride helped loosen me up a tad.

So how are the kitties doing?

I figured it was time for an update on how the wild beasts in my home are getting along. As I predicted, Maya is staying in the bedroom and doesn’t come out. I knew it would take her a lot of time. Fat Kitty, on the other hand, has FINALLY decided to assert his authority. He’s the King of the house and he’s letting Bella know it!

Last Tuesday night I got home from Body Pump and watched as Fat Kitty and Bella met. For two hours. It was quite entertaining. He alternated what side of the gate he was on as he hissed and growled at Bella. Bella was really good and didn’t chase him or antagonize him. She’d sit on one side of the gate, Fat Kitty on the other. Bella seemed more curious and scared than anything! She’d run back to the couch and look scared:

That short video needs audio. That is Fat Kitty growling at Bella. šŸ™‚ He’s so fierce! Last Wednesday night I hung out in the bedroom with Fat Kitty watching some TV. He sat next to me on the bed and Bella came in and laid down on the floor at the foot of the bed. It was awesome! Fat Kitty didn’t growl for nearly 30 minutes! The three of us just hung out together. I was so impressed at the leaps and bounds the animals are making with each other.

But they aren’t ready to be alone together yet. So when Michael I got dressed to go out to dinner for date night, I put Bella in the crate for the hour or so we’d be gone. She wasn’t happy about it and I felt badly but…it’s too soon for her to just be out and about without us there.


Michael was going out of town for a week so we went to Eleni’s in Sellwood for dinner as a date night before he left. Eleni’s has a special place in my heart because it’s where we had our first date.


I ordered a glass of Ā Pinot Gris with dinner and we started with Michael’s favorite appetizer, the “Ktipiti” which is a spicy feta dip. It’s so good! We always order it.

It came with warm pita bread, veggies and Greek olives. If I could have licked the plate of the feta dip residue I would have, it’s that delicious. For my entree I went with the steamed mussels that were in a tomato and garlic sauce with onions and feta. I’ve been craving clams or mussels for weeks! Finally got to have it.

Michael ordered the lamb special of the night. It was a leg of lamb where the meat was so tender it fell off the bone and mashed sweet potatoes. It came with sauteed kale but they’d used a really heavy hand with the lemon and it was basically inedible. Which was weird because we’ve always had a good meal at the Sellwood Eleni’s.


On the way home we stopped at Dairy Queen for a blizzard. It’s been a good 8 years since I’ve been! I used to be obsessed with Blizzards and would eat the big ones at least once or twice a week. This time Michael and I ordered the mini–which surprisingly still had a lot of calories in it! The mini was about 350 calories. Eeeek. Oh well. It was worth it. It will probably be another 8 years before I go back. šŸ˜‰

We got home and let Bella out of the crate for the rest of the evening and Fat Kitty was extra grumpy. Hissing, spitting, growling. It feels like we take one step forward, two steps back with the cat and dog!

QUESTION: If you have a dog and cat, how long did it take for them to get along?Ā 

For the 4th

I was filled with a little bit of sadness this 4th of July. I realized that this time last year I went hiking– 9 miles on the 4th of July. A 9 mile hike. It was a glorious hike with perfect weather and I remember feeling so happy I did it. I didn’t know at the time that it might have been one of the last hikes I was going to go on for awhile. And a month later, I started to think about my knees and whether or not I had some issues going on. Funny how that premonition came to fruition only two months later.

This year instead of a 9 mile hike or a 40 mile bike ride like 2 years ago, Michael and I went for a fairly easy, very flat, short bike ride since that’s all that I am allowed to do at this point. It had been almost 2 weeks since my first experiment on the bike and I’d successfully run (only 1/2 a mile so far) and hadn’t had any knee pain of note as a result of that ride. So that was good news! Time to go out again.


Or so that was the plan. Michael had a flat tire, so he changed it. Then it wouldn’t hold air and he changed it a few more times. He gave up, rightly frustrated, and I said I’d just go to the gym. No big deal. I got to the gym and did a short weights workout–upper body only–and he messaged me saying he got the bike to work. I came home early to go riding and when we got to the parking lot at Johnson Creek, he had another flat. He ended up using another bike instead and we got to ride but it was sure a pain in the ass to get going!


Once we got going it was good. We headed East on the Springwater and despite being a nice, sunny day and a holiday, the trails weren’t too busy. Maybe it was because we got a late start. At almost 6 miles my right knee started to feel a little irritated. It didn’t hurt but it didn’t feel great. I wasn’t sure what it was so we decided to turn around. The way back is slightly downhill and much easier so there were no issues.


Woot! Almost 12 miles this time! Yay! I felt great the rest of the day and the knee issues didn’t come back. Here is the calorie burn for the weight session and the bike session:


Not bad!

We had some friends coming over to BBQ and our street was having a block party so the rest of the afternoon was spent cooking. I made a Southwest Quinoa Salad that was fantastic!! I went off this recipe from My San Francisco KitchenĀ and kind of made it my own. I used red kidney beans instead of black, used a chili lime mixture of nuts that I got a Trader Joe’s instead of pistachios, and added red, yellow and orange peppers to it. LOVED IT.

Southwest Quinoa Salad

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 2 servings



  • 1 cup organic white quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup chili lime pistachios
  • 1 cup black beans
  • Ā½ cup chopped red bell pepper
  • Ā½ cup corn
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped red onion
  • 3 tbsp fresh cilantro
  • Chili Lime Vinaigrette
  • Ā¼ cup olive oil
  • ? cup lime juice
  • Ā½ tsp finely chopped jalepeƱo
  • Pinch of salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Bring 2 cups of water to boil in a medium pot.
  2. Add quinoa and cover.
  3. Lower the heat and simmer for about 25 minutes, until all of the water is absorbed.
  4. In the mean time, add olive oil, lime juice, jalapeƱo, salt and pepper to a salad dressing cruet or small bowl and shake or whisk together well.
  5. Place the dressing in the refrigerator to chill.
  6. Once done, remove the lid and allow quinoa to cool for about 15 minutes.
  7. Add pistachios, black beans, red bell pepper, corn, red onion and cilantro.
  8. Drizzle with chili lime vinaigrette and toss everything together.

I have no idea how she only got 2 servings out of this recipe because that’s about 3 or 4 in my house! But I tripled the recipe to make a ton for the party.


Everyone at the party loved the salad, even the ones not keen on quinoa! I loved it too and it was great as a leftover. I will most definitely make this recipe again–especially for potlucks. Michael grilled up bratwursts and hot dogs cooked in beer, onions andĀ sauerkraut. They were great!

There was tons of food. Our friends brought a green salad made from their veggie garden, Michael made guacamole and I also made a bunch of cheesy kale chips (at the request of several neighbors days before the holiday. Because it was a block party, the neighbors offered us some of their goodies. There was chicken and veggie kabobs, lots of munchies, dips, mixed nuts, etc. There was just too much food and I oddly wasn’t as hungry as I thought I’d be after my two workouts.

I did, however, have a small piece of the oreo ice cream cake that our neighbors had. I mean come on, how could you resist thisĀ dessert? It’s been YEARS since I’ve had ice cream cake. Mmmm good.


Our neighbor across the way put on a big fireworks show once night fell but Michael helped Hans with the kiddie fireworks that our friends brought along with them. They also had their 6 month old baby with them and he slept through the whole show! What a good baby!


I was so glad our friends joined us this year. It was fun to entertain and just kick back and relax. I ate a little too much, drank a little too much and paid for it a tiny bit the next day. But it wasn’t too bad and Michael and I zipped up to Seattle for the weekend! More on that later; I’m still sifting through pictures. šŸ™‚

How was your holiday?