Friday, August 18, 2017

Therapeutic Massage

I had my first therapeutic massage in 2000 after I walked a marathon to raise funds for the Leukemia Society. My friend Brenda gave me a gift certificate for an hour-long massage because I was walking like a duck. Even though that initial massage was painful, I did not forget how great it felt when I walked out of there.

Then after my rotator cuff surgery, I had regular therapeutic massages every two weeks to help me recover from scar tissue and over-compensating muscles in my arm, shoulder, and back. I don't know what I would have done without those appointments with a massage therapist recommended by Nancy.

Since then, I have only had three therapeutic massages. I found a place near home (Alicia's Massotherapy) where the therapists are well-trained and do a great job.

I was there today, in fact, having Christine work on my trapezius and palmaris longus (inside forearm muscles) which have gotten extremely tight from all the biking I've been doing.

I highly recommend getting an occasional therapeutic massage - not a relaxation massage - to loosen up tight muscles and find out what muscles you tend to overuse.

You will know which muscles they are because you will want to scream when they press on them!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Roman visits Riley

Katherine brought Roman along this weekend, and I was amazed at how much he had grown since we last saw him. His legs are growing like weeds.

I took him out in the backyard by himself with a handful of his dog food, and he did everything I asked him to do...which was basically - sit and stay! He is really good at that when you have a treat in your hand.

He tried and tried to get Riley to play with him, but the grumpy old man would have nothing to do with it. Roman really missed his sister Lucy. I hope they get to see each other soon!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Potatoes & Onions

This is such an easy recipe, and one that tastes so good! You can eat these potatoes with your eggs in the morning or with your steak in the evening. Or anytime in between.

Potatoes & Onions

3 pound bag Yukon Gold potatoes
1 large yellow onion
Olive oil
Salt & Pepper
Paprika (optional)



Wash potatoes and pat dry with paper towel.
Cut potatoes into bite-size pieces.
Cut onion into chunks.
Place potatoes & onions on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet.
Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt & pepper.
Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes or until crispy.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Goodyear Half Marathon & 10K

Congratulations to Daniel and Heidi for completing the Goodyear Half Marathon & 10K race yesterday morning!

This was Heidi's very first race, and she ran the 10K in 57:22.

Daniel ran the half marathon in 2:03:00.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Sprinkledoodles

While I was checking out my stack of Paleo cookbooks from the library, the circulation clerk recommended this new cookbook by Patti LaBelle.

Even though a dessert cookbook did not fit in with the theme of my checkouts, I said, "Why not?"

One recipe I found in the book stood out as something Don would really enjoy. On page 113, there was a cookie recipe called Sprinkledoodles.

Sprinkledoodles are like Snickerdoodles, only they have sprinkles on them to make them look a little more cheerful.

I made them on Tuesday, and he loved them!
Here is a shortened version of her recipe:

Sprinkledoodles

2 3/4 cup flour
2 t. cream of tartar
1 t. baking soda
1 1/2 t. ground cinnamon
1/2 t. ground nutmeg
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. ground cloves
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 c. sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 t. vanilla extract
Multicolored sprinkles for decorating

Sift flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and cloves together in a bowl.
Cream butter and sugar in another bowl with an electric mixer.
Beat eggs in, one at a time, and then the vanilla.
Gradually stir in the flour mixture.
Chill dough for 1-2 hours.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Position oven racks in top third and center of oven.
Using a 1-tablespoon cookie scoop, shape dough into balls.
Press top of each ball into sprinkles and place on ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake 15-18 minutes, switching the position of the baking sheets from top to bottom and rotating front to back halfway through baking time. Remove from oven when cookies are barely browned.
Let cool on wire rack for 5 minutes.

Makes 3-4 dozen.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Bike the Gap - Day 4

We biked 32 miles from Meyersdale to Cumberland on day 4 of our trip.

After ten miles more of gradual uphill climbing, we finally reached the Eastern Continental Divide. Elevation 2,392 feet.

If you look carefully at this photo you will see why we are so excited.
It's downhill all the way from here!!

One of the many tunnels we rode through. 
The longest one was the Big Savage Tunnel - 3,294 feet long
That little blue speck is Merry.

A few miles later, we crossed the Mason-Dixon line. 
Nancy has one foot in Pennsylvania and one foot in Maryland.

Merry is so talented. She can ride her bike and take photos from behind all at the same time!

We rolled into Cumberland just past noon.
We had time for a quick lunch at The Crabby Pig.

We finally found someone to take a group shot. 
Three cheers for completing the GAP 150 mile trail!

Our luggage shuttle picked us up at 1:30 p.m.
 and transported us back to the parking garage in Pittsburgh.
Time for a well-deserved nap.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Bike the Gap - Day 3

We biked 40 miles from Ohiopyle to Meyersdale on day three of our trip.

And as you can see from this elevation chart, it was an uphill climb the entire day.

When we got up Saturday morning, it was chilly and raining outside. 
We were not happy about that, so we had a nice, leisurely buffet breakfast.

By the time we set out, the rain had stopped. A huge blessing!

Aren't these guys cute!

Nancy said she can tell if a relationship is serious when the girl puts her hand on the guy's belly during a photo. That made me laugh.
We're 31 years of seriousness.

Butt break.

Selfie of the day.

Lunch was at this cute little place in Rockwood.

Enjoying a gorgeous view. 

We were so happy to arrive in Meyersdale for the evening! 
Our legs were spent.

A map in the visitor's center showed where everyone who came through the trail was from.
 Our region was so congested that I couldn't add one more pin.

Our lodging for the evening (Trailside B & B) was situated right next to a very active train track. It was so active that the B & B owner left a basket full of ear plugs for her guests.

The place was actually very charming.

After a nice dinner at Morguen Toole Company, those who could eat ice cream (all but me) 
ate ice cream.

Then we played two games of Farkle. Merry was the winner of both games.

And I was the loser. 
We look kind of tired.
 Probably because we were.

P.S. The Trooper award goes to Nancy. She managed to do this trip without her suitcase! Yes...Rite Aid sells wicking t-shirts and Dollar General sells underwear. And fortunately, she and I wear the same size bra, and bike shorts dry quickly when you set a hair dryer on them. She's my hero.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Bike the Gap - Day 2

We biked 42 miles from West Newton to Ohiopyle on day two of our trip.

We got on the road early in the morning since we had such a long way to go.

About every 7-10 miles we would take a butt break.

Every day for lunch and dinner, I pretty much had a salad with chicken. And for some reason, in these parts, they always put french fries on your salad. 

Butt break.

We reached Ohiopyle around 4:00 in the afternoon, giving us time to shower and rest up before dinner. We stayed at the Yough Plaza Motel.

I was pretty excited to find a Free Little Library across the street from the Motel.

You're looking at some tired legs.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Bike the Gap - Day 1

We biked 32 miles from Pittsburgh to West Newton on day one of our trip.

Starting from the top of the First Avenue Parking Garage in downtown, we rode down to the street level and then found the trail.

We rode 17 miles just to get out of the city. The path was paved and scenic.
Every once in awhile we would pass a small waterfall along the trail. And each day, we took a group selfie.

We stopped in McKeesport at the Marina Cafe for lunch. This was the first of our fine dining experiences on the trip. We were introduced to Turner's Premium Iced Tea served in quart jugs.

Another stop was at the Boston (PA) visitor's center. We met two nice men who told us all about this little town before they wished us well on our journey.

Boston, PA

Any chance we could, we got off our saddles. During this break, we walked around the Old Dravo Methodist Church Cemetery which was established in 1824.

We slept at the Bright Morning B & B in West Newton the first night (in the second and third houses).

This is when Nancy realized she left her suitcase in her kitchen at home!