How Did You Spend Your Labor Day Weekend?

Does this tell you anything about how I spent mine? I’m the one who fell off the bed and is laying out of sight. The gray fur ball on the floor is Shy.

My latest household problem was another appliance failure, this time my kitchen range. It seized recognizing the oven temperature setting and just kept heating and heating and heating until it reached around 550 degrees. I didn’t wait to see if it could go even higher.

A thermostat replacement would have been a cheap fix but that didn’t appear to be the problem and a new range brain is a bit more pricey and not worth the hassle on an old stove with other issues.


It was tough spending money on a kitchen appliance when there is real fun stuff to be had out there. So to make myself feel better, I grilled pancakes to try out the stove’s long middle burner. It worked pretty well.

For dinner that evening, I made pizza from scratch.
The toppings and tomato sauce (made from my own garden tomatoes… see following dramatic photo) were awesome! The crust I need to do a bit more experimentation as it was a bit bready. I may not have rolled it out thin enough.

I baked very healthy banana bread that took forever with all the rising and baking time, and I seriously injured my shoulder mixing the dough, but so worth it! Giganteously yummy!

And I baked salmon with soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and chives. The chives were my very own idea — I’m all about presentation.

It’s hard to take a “good looking” photo of salmon but it was dang tasty! I also made a sauce out of rice vinegar, lemon juice, white wine and raw sugar which doesn’t sound so good, but the sauce drizzled on the salmon was just the right taste bud treat. (I should definitely write for a foodey magazine.)

Beside doing a lot of cooking over the weekend, I also put in a few bushes — some Pinky Winky Hydrangeas…

And a Nishiki Willow.

I’m hoping to find some kind of marker to put by this bush in memory of my dog Willow, who’s been gone for over two years but I still think about her quite often.

So I now have a new favorite nursery. It’s Nelson Nursery in Zimmerman where they had their bushes and trees 50% off and this coleus was 75% off which meant it cost $5. I was told I could bring the plant inside to winter it. I love the colors!

OK. The plan is that the bushes will spread out and block one side of the fence. Next year I’ll buy some more bushes to block the other side. My Mom told me back when I got my first house and wanted more trees to buy one thing a year and that way it wasn’t such a hard financial hit. Good Mom wisdom.

So, I’m working on my patience and doing only a bit of my big picture yardorama oasis at a time. It’s a work in progress, like me, and gives me something to plan, save for, and look forward to.

There were also some walks with the Brew Babes over the weekend. Yes, Latte has on one of those uncomfortable looking Gentle Leaders. I think they are fine for training dogs but I hope it’s not something I need to use permanently. I keep running into loose dogs or leashed but aggressive dogs, on our walks and my body cannot handle the pain caused by two strong dogs pulling on me. I know, training, I’m working on it… it’s another work in progress.

Fallen leaves along our walking paths are making it look very Fallish.
Plenty of Monarch butterflies around.
And a turtle crossed our path… s-l-o-w-l-y.

The grand finale of the weekend was a mountain bike ride with friends. Every time I go mountain bike riding, I realize how weak my legs are and how little stamina I have.

I’m not so hot at passing through trees that look like my bike won’t fit through either. I try to tell myself “keep your eyes on the path, not on the trees” but my eyes and my bike are magically drawn towards scary objects. Hmmm… I’m pretty sure there’s a doubly-deep meaning thing going on here….

But I had childlike fun on portions of downhill trail swoops that were like mini roller coaster ups and downs. I even enjoyed some of the standup, pump your legs up the hill climbs. It makes me feel strong. That is, until my legs start to tremble…

I may not be mountain biking material – a bit of a chicken and not so strong – but I try, and I’m proud of that anyway.

And to the little girl hiking with her family, who I passed by as I brought up the rear of our biking group, who smiled ever so sweetly at me and said, “You better catch up!” I have a response now that I am breathing normally and can talk.

“Sugar, in life, it’s not how fast we get there but that we get there at all and that we know that our friends will be waiting for us.”

Better yet, is when my friends are waiting there with extra water because I have sucked my own water bottle completely dry.

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  1. Wow Maery,gorgrous photos again. Your tomatos really turned out well…and yes, I am not a mountain biker either, I love my paved trails along scenic parkways… but who knows, you may still be! (BTW such a cute photo of the very spoiled doggies…love!)

  2. What a nice weekend…with your stove you took lemons and made lots of lemonade!

    I like…”it’s not how fast we get there but that we get there at all.” On all counts you’re getting there and your friends are there too.

  3. Love those photos, especially the walking path. Beautiful!

    And the Brew Babes hogging the bed cracked me up. You and the poor kitty stuck on the floor. lol!

    Sounds like a good weekend, even with the dead appliance. You turned lemons into lemonade and enjoyed a delicious feast. Good for you. Wish I was there to help you eat it all. Yummy!

    I spent my weekend crewing an AERC Endurance ride in the rain. The temps never got above 60F during the day and 40F at night. Even with layers, a fleece jacket and a rain poncho I was so cold!
    Yeah, I think summer is finally over. I miss it already!

    You said: “Sugar, in life, it’s not how fast we get there but that we get there at all and that we know that our friends will be waiting for us.”

    Ain’t that the truth. I say that during every ACTHA ride I ride in, because my mare and I always tinker along slow as molasses. But if we finish that’s good enough for me. We don’t need to be first or keep up. 🙂


  4. Ooooo new appliance. I’m jealous!!!
    I covet that long burner.

    I completely understand about using whatever *tool* to have a relaxing walk.
    We’ve used the Halti, the Gentle Leader, etc.

    Your response to the little girl is priceless.

  5. That looks like a great weekend. Super pics! I love that hydrangea bush. We need to do some landscaping next year, maybe we should hit the sales now! That my fav nursery too– it’s between that one and 101. Don’t be discouraged about mountain biking. You did great! Give yourself time to get used to it. You *build* stamina, and confidence (just like a new life). That’s what makes it an accomplishment. 🙂

  6. I love the pict of the monarch butterfly. It’s amazing.

    I’ve always been a bit of a chicken on a mountain bike. One trick that I’ve learned is to go out by myself and keep trying to do the sections that really scare me. I usually end up surprised that they were no where near as scary as I expected.

    I’m so glad that you like mountain biking!

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