Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Aquaponics and a cute fish

The lettuce is growing great, but I think we may need to lower the light. I'm not sure what baby lettuce should look like though.
It seems to be coming up a bit stringy, but the stalks seem strong so I'm not sure. On Friday we'll get more chain and see if it bushes out more then.

This morning
The tomato plants are really growing well and I gave one to a coworker because we needed the room. I'm not sure how long it will take for them to fruit, this is the first time I've gotten them larger than an inch or so. It's too cool! We're growing our own food! Now I want chickens! That's not going to happen though.
They are about 6" tall!
The ciclids ate this ones tail and were starting on his side so we got him his own tank. The conditioner made the water look like pee, but it's good for his slime coat. I wasn't sure he would make it, but after a few days he now flirts for food and seems healthy. He also plays peek-a-boo with me.
I wonder if his tail will grow back. That would be cool. I'm trying to figure out what to name him, Nibbles just seems wrong. ;)
Feed me please!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Aquaponics and my new bag

My lettuce is starting to sprout and it's amazing how fast it's growing. In less than a week it's already over an inch tall. I can't wait to harvest! We're thinking of moving a strawberry plant in to see how it does. This is such a fun experiment! 

I can't believe how fast they are growing! They are almost doubling in size daily. Soon we will have fresh greens! Bwahahaha!

Last Wednesday I got a new bag that I hoped would work for carrying my camera on my bike. Yes I am one of those people who will return something if it doesn't meet my needs.
I'm pleased to say it works great, especially after a few modifications. The bag is the Lowepro Streamline 250. It has enough room for my camera, it's small accessories, my Nook, and a bunch of random personal items. It will even hold a file folder so I've been taking it to work, actually I've been taking it everywhere with me and I'm quite happy.
It has padded pockets and a nice roomy interior, although the camera does push into there. You can expand the main pocket, but I haven't needed to yet. I only have 3 complaints about it and I was able to fix 2. I added a grab strap so it's easier to grab ( I almost dropped it once when I didn't have a firm grip on it); I put a strap pad on the shoulder strap because the rough edge was literally tearing me up; and even though I like the slate gray it comes in, I added a bit of decoration you the front.
So far it's been a week and I'm still loving it; which is good because I'm sure the warranty is now voided. It's great to carry my camera everywhere again, I had really missed it!
Before Bettyfication.

After Bettyfication.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter Weekend

I hope everyone had a great Easter weekend! I had a ton of fun on Saturday riding with my husband. We went to this great hidden bike path that has sculptures here and there on it. It made me glad I got lost on Tuesday and found it. Next time we'll take a picnic!
My favorite sculpture there.

It was installed fairly recently .

I think the whole thing was finished pretty recently. you can still smell the asphalt. In places it's like riding through a field.

Nature in the city.

On Sunday we planted the tomato seedlings and sprinkled the lettuce seeds in the aquaponics bin. I hope they survive, this is the largest I've ever gotten them to grow. My husband is in charge of it because I tend to kill things.
So far so good!
I also finished my Easter snood. I think it came out great and it looks like a flower garden on my head. I love rainbow yarn!

Easter snood rocks!
We also rode our bikes over and had a lovely brunch at my husbands parent's house and in the afternoon his dad took all four of us kids to see the new Captain America movie. It was a very nice Easter.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

I made Skirt Guards

I was looking for skirt guards that would work on Sylvia but all I could find were solid type ones so I decided to make my own. It took me a week to figure out the pattern, but in the end I did it! They are a beautiful sparkling black mesh.
Before installation.
I didn't want to drill holes in her fenders to keep them on so I made it so they tie on over the fender. I forgot to make the chain guard side smaller so there is a bit of bunching, but I think it looks good.
A nice mesh to keep your clothes safe.
Since the yarn is cotton I'm not sure how long this set will last. It will give me time to work out a better pattern for the next set. I really love the way the shiny ribbon sparkles in the sun, it's an added bit of bling to my super practical bicycle.
I also made myself a snood that I am loving from the left over yarn and it's super comfortable, but that'a a post for another day.

They go great under my Wald baskets.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Bike Swap Meet

On Sunday we went to the bike swap meet and it was a ton of fun. There were all kinds of bikes and people there. I didn't get many pictures because I was too busy touching every thing and flitting around like a loon. I was looking for a hub dynamo, but no one seemed to have brought one. I think I'll just get one from Duncan once I've saved up. Most vendors didn't take debit and I'm glad we didn't have cash with us or I would have bought stuff. Sylvia got a few compliments and that made my day though.
I'm looking for a camera purse that will fit in my basket so I can take my camera with me. My phone is okay, but after 150 odd miles of no falls I feel comfortable enough to carry my good one again. My current bag is to big and has to go in sideways.
A lot of people were there.
I had a ton of fun walking around with my husband. It was a great adventure to see all the bikes and bits for sale. I wanted one of everything. The best part though was how friendly the people were.
So many cool bike things for sale.
A lot of times when I go in a bike shop they speak over me to my husband. At the swap meet they saw me. It felt good.
Even the sun is up for the fun.
In some places it was slowed down to a crawl due to all the people. I hope the vendors sold a ton and I can't wait for the November one. I will remember to bring cash! It was a great day out though!
He posed for me!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Spring means growing things

So far I'm loving the warmer weather. It's great to see everything in green. Soon enough it will all be back to summer brown.
My mint is going crazy.

I'm trying to have food plants again this year. I'm starting them from seeds and so far the tomatoes are actually growing. This weekend they will get there own pots. I also have two strawberry plants that are starting to have leaves. I'm keeping them in pots so the strays can't dig them up and so I can bring them in when it gets really hot.
Tomatoes ready to re-pot.
Inside we are going to try our hand at aquaponics with the fish tank. In about a week it will be ready for the lettuce seeds. It's a new experiment and I'm really excited to see how it turns out. We go through a ton of leafy greens here and it will be great to just pick as needed!
Lava rocks and water.
I love trying to grow things and hopefully this year more than my ancient mint plant will survive. It's going to be fun!

Monday, April 7, 2014

This weekends adventures

On Saturday we decided to go shopping by bike and it worked out great! My husband got me this sweet cooler backpack at Home Depot so now I can carry cold stuff without the melt. The amazing thing is that it fits in all my baskets so it's multi-use. It also matches Sylvia perfectly and came with two six packs of my favorite beverage!
We also hit the Red Wing store for some leather care stuff and Safeway for ice cream and produce. I keep getting amazed by how much she can carry. When will I learn she's magic? It was so much fun that we have decided to do all of our 5 mile shopping by bike together. In that area is Safeway, Walmart, Home Depot, Target, Petsmart, and a ton of other places. I wish there were more local type places though.
It can hold 2 gallons of ice cream and 2 mini watermelons!

I love these benches by the park. They're made with old train wheels.

On Sunday we rode downtown to check out Cyclovia. It's a twice a year thing where they close some streets traffic; peds and bikes can roam around freely. It was definitely an experience! The Netherlands we are not; but I had fun. Tucson cyclists are a lot like Tucson drivers, oblivious to whats going on around them. There were a lot of sudden stops and people would just step out right in front of you with out looking. I almost ran over a lady carrying a small dog, but I missed them.

Just arriving and it's already busy.
There were thousands of bicyclists out there. I didn't know there were that many bikes in the city, and more kept arriving. In some places it was scary fun!
Lots of cruisers were there.

I loved seeing all the families out with the children. The kids seemed to have the most fun, but you had to go super slow so you didn't run over them. I'm so glad Sylvia is so stable and easy to balance!

Happy families of all types were out and about.
A lot of the tents were set up in the middle of the road so you had trouble getting by at intersections. On the plus side I learned I can rice slower than 2 miles an hour and stay upright. That's a feat! Once I got used to the flow it went smoother and was actually enjoyable. We walked the bikes a lot though.

I would love to see this every day!

There was this really cool Bull Bike. It's made of real bones and the parts of three different bikes! It's really massive. The legs are articulated and move when it's pedaled which is creepy cool.
Ghost Rider?

I think it would be scary to see that come up behind you in your mirror! It does have a nice smile though.
Smile and wave!

 It was definitely to big for me to even try to ride.
She looks so tiny next to the beast!

Towards the end of the route I found this really cool mail box. I love cool mailboxes! It's a little church!
It's all metal!

All in all it was a great weekend filled with fun and new experiences. I can't wait to see what next weekend will be like; we're going to the bike swap meet! 
I hope you all had a great weekend too!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Bike date!

Last night we went to the first Bike Fest bike-in. They were showing "The Goonies" at a little park a few miles from my house. I love that movie and we had to go! I got everything ready well in advance and even packed a picnic diner of cold chicken sandwiches and crackers. We had cookies for with the movie too!

All packed up.
All the lights were charged and on the bikes. The rear Wald baskets were deployed to hold sweaters, blankets, and seating. I love them even though they are a bit of a pain to open. They are super convenient to have.
It was fun packing stuff into Sylvia's baskets and the scary thing is she could hold way more than that. She's a real pack horse!

Niterider and Flea go nicely under the basket.
About halfway there I was struggling a bit with the extra cargo, and I even told poor husband to go ahead of me and I'd catch up. He refused and stayed with me. Then he toldme it looked like my wheel was a bit squishy. The one thing I had forgotten was to check my tires! All tires have a slow deflation factor and it caught up with me.

We made it to the park.
Even with me moving super slow we got there way early. We were the first ones to arrived. After a few minutes more people came and milled about. It was a cute little park and the only downside was no bathrooms. Fortunately there is a church nearby and I used theirs. My husband and I ate our sandwiches while we waited for the show to start.

Mirror image

"Goonies" was better than i remembered. I don't know if it was the cold outside air, the other people laughing and hooting at the screen, or the fact that it was our first bike date ever, but it was great. Even the cold couldn't detract, but I'm glad I found my favorite gloves and took them. Now I want to go and buy the movie so we can watch it again!
The ride home was dark and chilly, but not as scary as I had worried about. I have a fear of my lights suddenly dying, but it didn't happen and it was actually kind of peaceful. I'm thinking there will be more nighttime excursions in our future, especially after I get a dynamo set up.

Best light gloves ever, and they turn into mittens!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

My roses are blooming!

My love rose is blooming! It only has a couple of blossoms so far but there are tons of buds showing up.
My husband got my this bush for our first dating anniversary in 1999 and this bush is one of two I haven't killed yet. Every time it blooms it sends a warm fuzzy through me that it, and we, are still around.
Spring is here!

It glows with love.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

A pleasant Monday meeting

I went to an appointment on Monday and they didn't have bike parking anywhere so I just took Sylvia in. The man I was meeting was super nice about it and held the door for me and everything. His company doesn't need our services, but it was still nice to meet someone new. That has to be my favorite part of my job. I get to meet new people every day, and I get to learn about different types of businesses. I'm really lucky I literally stumbled on this job! I got to learn a little about how charter schools get funded and how the decision on who to fund is made. I also learned a bit about how to tell if they will be around for a bit or are just fly by nights. It was something I had never thought of before. He said he was going to keep us in mind if he needed any web work done so that's a win.

On my way out he took a picture of me with Sylvia for me with my phone. It's really rare for me to have someone around to take my picture so I am grateful he did! He's thinking of starting to ride again himself. I hope I see him out there!

Betty and Sylvia