Life on the Bike Trail

I am sad to say I have not been for a bike ride on the Kingdom Trails yet this year.

Between work, the oh so wet weather in April and May (and some of June) and interests in other things like boating and golf and gardening, I have just been too busy.

However, last weekend was NEMBAFEST here in Burke, VT ~ which means it was one of the biggest bike weekends on the trails, which do pass right in front of our house. The White School trail passes through our property and so it is not uncommon for us to see bikers passing by.

This year, since we had company and were planning a family barbecue, I knew I would be around the house all day so I decided to count the number of bikers who passed through on Saturday. I used my little chalkboard to keep the tally throughout the day.

As we sat on the deck, visiting with our guests and counting bikers, my husband had the brilliant idea to ‘honor’ the 500th biker that passed. Everyone was in agreement and so we watched and waited. When the 500th biker came around the corner we all started to hoot and holler and yell for her to stop.

I think our yelling scared her a bit – she thought we were yelling because she was going the wrong way or had run over something. We assured her that we were simply entertaining ourselves and she graciously posed for pictures. Here she is with my landowner husband.

We hadn’t really planned this adventure so didn’t have a big prize for her, but we did sent her on her way with an ice cold Corona. I think she was appreciative – and very relieved that she hadn’t actually broken any biking rules.

By days end we had a total of 585 bikers pass by and we enjoyed every single one of them.

Just another day of fun and adventure on Sweetwater Lane.

Fun and Games

Several friends came over for a gathering to celebrate the new year. These are people we’ve know for years and get together with quite often.

For this occasion I thought it would be fun to play some games together. I was looking for Win it in a Minute type games and it wasn’t hard to come up with a few good choices ~ just google it!

I picked six games, prepped a direction sheet for each one and gathered the materials.

I have to say, when I first announced that there were games the group was not enthusiastic. I heard a lot of moaning and groaning, which worried me a bit.

Once we got started, however, I think most of us had a great time. We started with an easy one that I called Blow the Cups.

10 cups were set up on the counter and you had to try to ‘blow’ them all to the floor in less than a minute using a balloon.

George Prepping

George Prepping


Next up:
drop around the clock

Everyone was really good at this one. . .if they weren’t laughing.
Next was one of my favorites – Midnight Kiss

midnight kiss

Team DJ

Team DJ


Team DM

Team DM


Team GH

Team GH


Team JC

Team JC


Team PJ

Team PJ

In this next game the challenge was to transfer balls from one bowl to another using a spoon. . .held in your mouth.

Team JC

Team JC


Team GH

Team GH


Team DJ

Team DJ

Now I don’t want to accuse Del of favoritism, but he is the one holding the bowl to receive the balls and if you look closely at these three pictures you may notice in the 3rd one he has moved the bowl closer to the contestant – who happens to be his wife.

Probably the most challenging game of the evening was

count down knock down
knock the clock dm - Copy
knock the clock dk - Copy

Some of the contestants got a little competitive, and while I did keep score, it’s a bit difficult to make any sense of it, as you can see:
scoreboard - Copy

Jobs Pond Adventure

Saturday was an all around perfect day.

It began with meeting up with good friends Jackie and Del for a round of golf. I received a belated birthday gift from Jackie, which is too cute not to share!

Check our my new flip flops:
birthday flops (2)
Are they not the cutest things you’ve seen in awhile? And perfect for pre and post-golf fun!
Thank you Jackie!

I earned my lowest score ever for the front nine at Barton, so already it was the perfect day. But, it got even better when we packed a picnic and headed to Jobs Pond in Westmore for a kayaking adventure.

jobs pond map

Before we paddled we had the best picnic ever! It included Mexican Chicken Salad, Fresh Potato Salad, Amazing Fruit Salad (with whipped cream!), Delicious Zucchini Bread, Fresh Garden Veggies, Chips, Beers, and Wine!

When we hit the water it was great fun. I’ll let the pictures speak to the good time we had:

There were brothers out kayaking and the elder one became my loon guide of sorts. He chatted about the loons in general and offered to help herd them for my photography shoot. How sweet is that? He was very helpful!

My loon guides

My loon guides

The young man seemed to have a way with the loons and they were not the least bit afraid of the kayaks.cohabitating 2 - Copy

Loon Family

Loon Family

I know that the young of Loons are called chicks, but I prefer to call them Loonlings (like ducklings and goslings, right?)

Loonlings

Loonlings

It wasn’t hard to know where the loons were as one of the adults was having a very rigorous preening session.

Preening

Preening

They are just spectacular to watch – so peaceful.

Loon 6

Loon 6

Hi, Mom.

Hi, Mom.

There are only a few camps on the pond, but they had some distinct character.

jobs pond camp wc - Copy
jobs pond stone camp 2 - Copy

And here are my good friends enjoying their time on the pond.

kayaking friends - Copy

Thanks to all for a wonderful day! And thanks again to Asa and Kattie for the use of the kayaks! We sure are enjoying them 🙂

Play Time

Spring has arrived in all its green glory and that means summer is on the way!

Summer is my play season. There are so many incredible things one can do in the summer and I am looking forward to every. single. one.

Golf
Hiking
Biking
Boating
Swimming

Those are the go to choices for me. I have managed to get in one hike this season. It was a sweet hike with my son, for Mother’s Day, to one of my favorite places, Wheeler Mountain.

What a view!

What a view!

See that body of water down below? That’s my favorite boating and swimming spot, Willoughby Lake in Westmore.
There isn’t much better than going up to the lake for a day of floating around in the water! Except for going to the North beach with my friends. Or maybe taking my granddaughter for a scuba dive. Or taking a day to go to the coast of Maine for an ocean fix.

willoughby

Willoughbydiveoct

Long Sands Beach, York, Maine

Long Sands Beach, York, Maine

And then there is golf. I am so looking forward to playing in our annual Memorial Day golf event. I don’t want to call it a tournament because it’s not really a competition. It is more of an opportunity for good friends to get together doing something we all love – playing golf. We’ll be up at the Barton Country Club enjoying the greenery.

View from the 10th tee.

View from the 10th tee.

Lucky #13!

Lucky #13!

The biking season has already begun. With a couple of early road rides and now a couple of trail rides squeezed into a very hectic schedule I am feeling energized.

And then of course there is gardening. I have cleaned up the front garden and the back garden – one more flower garden to go! It’s such a miracle to watch the perennials pop!
bleeding hearts
viola
twin tulips

And then of course there is gardening. Of the vegetable variety. What is more satisfying than growing your own salads, peas, beans, broccoli, squash, carrots, corn, tomatoes. . .? That’s the upcoming weekend project!

And I haven’t even mentioned day trips with friends to new places, or having drinks at the Tiki Bar (though we have our own little Tiki bar of sorts right on the front deck), or early morning photography shoots, shopping for more plants at the greenhouses, home DIY projects. . .

The season is upon us – let’s play!

Play Day!

There haven’t been that many ski days for me this winter. I’ve maybe skied 6 times. But the last few have been great! Despite a serious lack of snow in our region Burke Mountain has once again managed to make enough snow and groom it in just the right way that it feels like much more. This week I had a couple of chances to ski with my granddaughter.

Playing with children is a sure way to keep you feeling young. Colby met Dave and I at the mountain one day. She went up with her step-mom and younger sister and said she ‘had to ski with Nat for awhile.’ She’s an amazing sister. She called me when she was ready to join us at the upper mountain and from the first run the fun began. While we rode up the chair lift we played the name game. You have to come up with people’s names for each letter of the alphabet – A to Z. We finished that so quickly we then did it again, but with foods. We finished that one before getting to the top of the lift. T

Then Colby decided the first one should be easy to ‘warm up’. Of course, every chance she got she ducked into little woods trails along the side of Deer Run. She was warmed up by the time we got back to the lift and ready for a bigger challenge.

Colby 1
There she goes – racing off ahead of me!

This time on the chair ride up we talked about her basketball season, schedules, tournaments, traveling teams and regular teams.

Then we let Dave guide us to his secret stash of woods trails, which she decided were warmer, in amongst the trees. And they was definitely less traveled.

the woods
Doesn’t that look peaceful? It was.

On Town Meeting Day we headed up to Jay Peak for something different. There we found more snow and more woods to ski in (away from the long lift lines and crowded groomed trails!)

On this day she came up with a new game for the chair lift rides – to come up with a sentence for each letter of the alphabet, using only words that begin with that letter. (She did let us use coordinators, like if, and, or, but. . .)

So we came up with sentences like Alice ate apples and activated all alligator allies.
Bob built bridges for Barbara.

Then she upped the ante, so to speak. She decided we needed to include in each sentence an animal, a food, and a location! Geez, this kid is demanding! But I’m always up for a challenge.

Now we had sentences like Dolly Dingle delights in doing daring deeds with dogs dining on Danville doughnuts.

Really, it taxed my brain as much as the woods taxed my body.

colby 4
That’s her making it look easy!

ski day 1
Fantastic family finding fleecy fun in forests of furry fox.

ski day 2
We tried to take a group photo by hanging the camera in a tree and setting the timer. As you can see, Dave didn’t have time to get in the shot 🙂

These days reminded me of the value in playing with children. They have a way of keeping you mentally and physically fit, and what could be any better than that?

colby 3