Honey's Treasures

Honey's Treasures

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Happy New Year!

I'm not one for New Years resolutions only because they get broken.  Or, at least I break them.  So no resolutions for me.  With that said, I have fully committed myself to exercise and getting in shape and being healthy.  This commitment was made to myself in the beginning of October, 2013, so it's not a New Years resolution thingy.  I simply got sick of not feeling my best and having a little flabbiness or fat on my body.  Some people were saying to me that there's nothing you can do when you get older, that it's just the way it is, we get fat and flabby no matter how much we exercise blah blah blah.  That seems to be the normal consensus I was buying into.  Not wanting to starve myself (because I like food) and even though I was working out at the gym, I really didn't know what to do about the more than a few pounds I'd put on over the past several years. 

I've never been an overweight person and looking into the mirror I could see where I was headed if I didn't make some changes and get serious with it.  Nothing was changing with my body and the weight was sloooowly creeping up on me.    

Today Michael and I are very committed to hiking mostly every day of the week.  We're averaging a minimum of four miles per day and on some days we do more.  We're hiking between three and six or sometimes seven days each week.  Last week we hiked a total of 22 miles.  I got a free app for my phone which breaks down the mileage, etc. for us.  This morning we hiked 6.17 miles which breaks down to 15,212 steps completed in 2:27:18 minutes.  I only use the app on the days that we travel a new route so I can know how far it is for future reference. 
Across the lagoon looking toward the hill we climb practically every day.
This morning we went up the trail which leads to the back side of the tower, traveled down the hill on the main service road and then we walked around the lagoon which totaled up to just over six miles.  Because I walk so fast compared to Michael, and I'm trying to slow myself down for him, I bought a pair of two pound dumbbells which I use either going up or going down the hill.  I'm doing: front lateral raises, shoulder presses, arm extensions, upright rows, bicep curls, hammer curls, tricep kickbacks and anything else I can think of while walking.  If I find myself getting to far ahead of Mike, I stop and do lunges or squats and wait till he catches up with me.  This is really working to get me in super shape and I'm feeling so good.  I'm thinking, who needs a gym membership when they have something like this in their backyard?  To be honest, I probably won't give up my membership though because I love and enjoy spin class too much.  Although, when the weather is nice, I could go back to riding with Michael.  I have a beautiful Cannondale road bike.  We could ride a day, hike a day and so on.  I haven't mentioned this to him because I'm not sure if I want to give up the gym just yet and mine doesn't expire until May, I think, which is when I'll have to renew.

About Pena Adobe Park;

The 470 acre park includes the historic Pena Adobe home, barbecue areas, horseshoe pit, multipurpose field, bike trails, a small pond, excellent hiking, Lagoon Valley Lake for fishing and non-motorized boating. The park also features a 30,000 square foot fenced in dog park complete with trees, water and trash receptacles.

Some history about Pena Adobe HERE.

Friday, December 27, 2013

New Quilt

I originally bought this star quilt for our 5th wheel but we both liked it so much that we decided to put it on our bed in the house where we can enjoy it more.  
Pottery Barn Quilt.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

A Merry Christmas Indeed.

We were invited to our friend's home for Christmas.
Donna had the dessert table decorated prettily.
With the gingerbread house contest's houses.
Which included a drunken Santa at the doorstep.
Mike and Andy, longtime pals.
Brother and sister being goofy.
We divided into two teams and played Pictionary before dinner.  No drawing skills necessary.
This is Mike's version of, can you guess?  Why it's basketball, of course.  See the ball with the arrow going to the basket?  I knew you would guess it right away.  Such fun!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Trail Blazers

Last Thursday we hiked Pena Adobe like we do most days of the week these days.  As we were heading up the regular trail we hike on, there were two young guys ahead of us and they turned right where we normally turn left.  It's at a point on the trail where you can either go left, go straight ahead up a very steep path which ends up on one of the upper trails or you can turn right.

Being curious, I kept my eye out for them the whole way up because I wanted to know where this trail led.  Every time I saw them, they were on the low side of the hill and following the contour of it and then either they or we would disappear around a bend and I'd lose sight.  When we reached the rope swing, they were coming straight up a steep hill and then they turned right.  Finally we reached the tip top of the hill where the tower is and there they were coming up the very same trail we were on only a minute ago.  Where did they come from?  It puzzled me because I kept looking to see where there might be a trail connecting to the one we were on and I never did catch sight of one.  It was then that we two decided to walk the same trail on Saturday.  Today.

Arriving at the location where they turned right, we do likewise.  Right off the bat I notice that the trail appears to be a little less traveled than the normal trails and I mention this to Mike but that doesn't deter us and we kept on trucking along our merry way.  Perhaps we should have taken this as a warning sign because after a way the trail became smaller and more weedy and more tilted sloping downward so that our feet were no longer walking flat, they're at a sideways angle making the going more difficult.  Dang.  The trail kind of disappeared.  It just vanished and my eyes quickly began to scan the hillside to see where I went wrong.

One thing you need to know about me, I walk fast.  I always have.  I don't know why.  I'm always in the lead going up or going down the hill.  Or wherever we go for that matter.  Mike is always trailing behind me somewhere like a little puppy dog.  Even my children trailed behind me whenever we went for walks all those years ago.  Lately I've been trying to force myself to walk more slowly, I really am and I have been making myself go slower but for some reason, I still get ahead.    

Alright, back to my story.  I'm looking around and see all these little trails, much more narrow than the normal looking trail.  They're cow trails leading this way and that way.  We end up taking one of them that looks a little wider than the rest thinking this must be it.  Then it happens again that the trail appears to disappear out of nowhere.  And again.  And again.

Feeling frustrated, we realize that we need to get up to the main trail because this is going nowhere fast.  I look around for what I think would be the safest route to get my husband up to the top trail and I see something that goes straight up (and maybe a little scary) but looks doable.  It's either this or we continue doing what we had been doing and I was afraid of where that might lead.  It was looking pretty iffy and could get a little hairy if we continued this nonsense.  I didn't want to leave things up to chance and convinced Mike that the best and safest thing would be to get to the top and main trail way up there.  Poor guy.  His eyes followed to where my finger was pointing and he tried with all his might to see a better trail around the hill.  It just wasn't happening.
We climbed this very steep hill.
I took the above picture after we had climbed more than halfway trying to reach the upper main trail.  When looking at this picture, please keep in mind it doesn't appear to be as steep as it really is.  Pictures can be deceiving.
Getting closer.
Almost there.  I'm getting closer to the top trail.
Going up this steep grade, it was not easy trying to figure out secure spots to place my feet.  Ended up getting some very pokey stickers in my socks and my hands got pricked from falling forward into the hill trying to prevent myself from falling down the hill.  Thinking to myself how difficult it was for me, I was a bit worried about Mike and kept telling him to make sure that he doesn't stand straight up because I was afraid if he did that he might end up taking a tumble down the hill.
Careful, Mikey.
It was a little tense moment watching him come up but I wanted to hurry and get up to the main trail to be there to give him my hand and pull him up. We both made it in one piece and I'm proud to report no injuries. 

Darn, I wish I knew the way those guys went.  Maybe next time...  Maybe not.

Friday, December 6, 2013

A Cold Spell and Some Hot Tea for Me Please.

This morning we hiked up Pena Adobe again.  It was butt ass cold!  Shallow parts of the lagoon were frozen as was my nose.  I wore my warmest hiking pants and two base layers on top and a wind breaker as well as wool mittens and Smart Wool socks.  I can't say that I was toasty warm but I wasn't cold.
I bought several cool pairs just like these at REI and they are ski socks but I wear them hiking and I like how they're nice and tall to cover my leg and help keep me warm.

I was wanting some honey and while grocery shopping at Raley's a couple of weeks ago I discovered this brand of honey.  It looked good to me so I bought it hoping it would be better than your average jar of honey.  It is!!  I'm in love with this honey because it's the best tasting and full of flavor, unlike any I've tried before.  You only need a small bit of this because it's sooooo sweet.
My pretty little tea cup and matching saucer.
I bought my hand knitted tea cozy at SweetMaya's shop on Etsy and my tea today is Chocolate Orange Cream which I bought at Mr. Trombly's Tea Shop in Duncan Mills while on a camping trip. 

Sunday, December 1, 2013

A Fun Trip!

Friday morning we went for another hike but this time we took the wooded nature trail leading from the campground which was very close to our site.  At the end of the trail, the path hooked up with the road and we kept walking for another mile down and then walked back up the hill to the camper to relax for a bit before heading south to Santa Rosa and dinner at Bistro 29 with Andy and Donna.  I had Steak Frites, my favorite.  Actually, Donna, Michael and I all had the Steak Frites.  So yummy!
We woke up early yesterday morning, had our routine (not in any way boring) bowl of oatmeal with dates and raisins and got ready for a bike ride along The Geysers Road.  I tucked my camera safely inside my backpack because I just knew that I'd find some beauty along the way.  Michael kept telling me to leave the camera because of the added weight but I told him no way and the weigh only adds to my workout.  Right?  Right!
The beautiful canyon and river on the right side along Geysers Road.
A hilly climb.  Up and down. 
The ground is parched and patiently waiting for the rains.
One day soon I hope to paint this one, so pretty.
I just love how the tree stands out against the blue rocks.
I made it up to the top of this difficult climb first and was able to capture Mike ascending.
I ride straight up and he zig zags back and forth across the road as he comes up the hill.  Hey, this one was steep and pretty much did it for us.  As much as we enjoyed the scenery, shortly after this hill we turned around and went back down and took another less hilly road.  All in all, we did about 20 miles yesterday and most of that was climbing.

The Shed in Healdsburg.
After our bike ride we showered and had a small bite to eat.  Then we took off for the town of Healdsburg.  If you ever get a chance to visit Healdsburg, you must stop in at the shed.  It's really quite interestingly laid out.  Upon entering the building, on the right, there was some live music going on and all sorts of little stations of this thing and that thing.  Cute dishes and stuff for sale, different foods and eating areas all within the same airy open space, lots to choose from and what looked like a small garden shop in the back.  We weren't hungry yet and at this point only wanted to check things out because it looked like a cool place to hang out.  
Upon exiting the building there was a nice lady roasting chestnuts.  I say nice because she patiently taught me how to eat them and in the first place handed me a bag as I was walking past which prompted me to stay, explore and ask questions.  As I've never experienced chestnuts before I decided to give them a try.
First they soak in water.  She said you can skip this step but she prefers to soak them first.
I honestly don't know what I expected but for some reason unknown to me I thought that I wouldn't like them.  I'm delighted to say that I'm now a fan of roasted chestnuts.  They're delicious!
Chestnuts roasting on an open fire.
One of the many wine shops in town with wine to taste and art for sale.  Mostly the wine around town is from the Alexander Valley and we plan on coming back for some wine tasting with our friends.  Well, I am.  Mike doesn't like wine as you'll soon see below.
It's amazing how something as simple as stringing white cotton balls on string can be effective at prettily decorating a window display.
I think I'm jealous.
The trees in the square are adorned with Christmas decorations.
There were tons of people meandering into the shops and the restaurants were crowded and couples wine tasting in the shops and families were out enjoying the beautiful weather in the park, playing with their children.  It was all very romantic and I long to go back.

Michael is so sweet, he hates wine but he knew how much I was wishing that we had some friends with us to wine taste with me because I won't do it alone.  It's no fun to do it by yourself, at least for me it's not.  Anyway, as we were walking down the sidewalk we came upon a small shop that sells port.  He actually said that he wanted to try some.  My mouth dropped.  I was flabbergasted.  If you knew Mike, you'd understand.  Michael says that all wine tastes like vinegar to him and he cannot see why people drink it and what the fuss is all about.  Please know, he has tasted some very good expensive wines and cheaper quality wines and they all taste like vinegar to him.  I think Mike just did that for me.  That's love isn't it? 

We did go inside to sample the port and Mike actually tried all three of the (free for Sat. only) samples given us.  We sampled Raspberry, Chocolate and Sweet Hazelnut.  They were all good and I ended up purchasing a bottle of the Sweet Hazelnut because it was my favorite and Michael didn't like any of them.  The man said that he makes the port himself.  The name of the winery is Porthouse Winery, which when I looked it up online found the address as; 331 Healdsburg Ave.  I'm not sure if this is the same spot or not as I didn't get his business card and the bottle doesn't have anything except the name as Porthouse Winery.  It's a very small tasting room with only room for about five or maybe six people at the bar.

Shortly afterward we dined outside on the patio at Healdsburg Bar & Grill.  We splurged.  I had a hamburger with fries and Michael had some ribs and fries.  Sometimes you just have to give in to your cravings and I can safely say that I didn't gain one pound over Thanksgiving weekend and didn't miss out on anything.  I sampled everything and even had some pumpkin pie.