Sunday, September 19, 2021

Things That Didn't Make The Last Blog Post...

Time for Apple Cider!

 Yesterday was crammed with pics and story and yap and beer.... that I really could not fit in the "other" things that happened last week.  Like:   Cheryl bought me a new bike!  

Yes, the old one has a few issues and Cheryl hates it when I have to drag it into the shop for several days.  Either it ends up taking longer than they promised,  Or it costs more than the bike is worth.   She also hates my complaining about the little things while out on the trail.   So.... She decided to buy me a back-up bike for my birthday. 

Now, My birthday was over a month ago.  So why the delay?   Well,  Subie's little tune up had something to do with that.  Cheryl was hesitant on spending any money on me if the car repair was going to be above the quote as well. ( Which it was!)  But now that that is all over,   I have a new bike to play around for the future. 

I'll be keeping the old one for the time being.   Because we Allens HATE throwing stuff away.  ( good thing Cheryl has no such hang-up. )   It will be the "back-up" bike until for whenever I need to work on the new one.  There are already a few issues that need to be worked on...  Namely:  The handlebars need adjusting and a cup holder and tool kit will also be required.   

It is a nice bike.   It cost more than the last Trek Marlin 5 I purchased several years ago.  But I see where that money went.   It has hydraulic disk brakes. Internal Brake and gear lines.  Only 2 gears in the front.  Better handle grips. And it is an XL size!  My old bike was just a large size, and Cheryl tells me that anyone 6 feet or over need a larger bike.   It still has 29 inch tires, but the frame is slightly taller and longer.   I'll need to do more riding to figure out the bugs, but for now, everything works well.  

Before the Race yesterday,  There was a man in the park walking his dog.   Upon entering the playground, he picked up the dog and put her in a swing.  The dogs tail was wagging the entire time.   I managed to capture the event with the camera. 

A few pics from the Amana shops that I thought were blog-worthy.   I used to be an avid fly-fisherman. My world revolved around fish and fishing.   Funny how things change after moving to Iowa, but I still find the naked fisherman signs humorous. 

My latest chalk art, before the rains wash it away.   It is supposed to rain and thunder tomorrow in the evening, so I skipped chalking today.  Besides, I had to do a bunch of little things, including writing this blog, so I will be able to keep myself busy.   I did want to add to the Minions, but I may not have the chance. I can always do another one in the future.  

Cheryl was walking on the "cat walk" the other day.   She was singing the "I'm too sexy... " song.  She did her little turn on the Catwalk. On the Catwalk, Yeah...  She shakes her little tush on the Catwalk....

An Unknown Pokémon.

Cheryl ran 16 miles today.  It was not fun.  84 degrees and clear, hot, sunny skies. She made it, but it certainly took longer than normal.   

That's pretty much it.  I'll try to keep this one shorter than usual.  Hope everyone is having a great weekend and thanks for stopping in.

Saturday, September 18, 2021

Cheryl Runs For Pie. Ethan And Cheryl Play Tourist in Amana.

Such a busy day today!  And it was all finished before 2 pm.  I wonder if I can squeeze everything in a single blog post or will I have to break things up... We shall see. 

First!  The Pie Run!   Cheryl read that there was a small race somewhere in Iowa where the prizes for winning were in Apple Pie.   The "Finisher's Medal" was also a small apple pie on a stick.  What could be more odd than that?  ( Besides running for a watermelon or something....)  Cheryl has had a number of successes running for food items as of late.   Why not give it another go?

When I say small, I mean really, really small!   I think this was the smallest race we have attended yet.  I think it was done by a church group who is trying to raise money for Haiti.   ( Possibly some missionary thing there... Or natural disaster..   Or terrorism.   Who knows? ) The top three people in each age group gets to pick an apple pie that was freshly baked for the occasion.  

Did I mention it was just a 5K?   Yes,  three Miles.  No Shirt!   No Medal!  Just pie and then a bigger pie if you win.  Good thing there were not many people there, as Cheryl's odds increased.   I could justify the travel, time and cost if she actually won a pie.  Otherwise,  it would have been a complete waste of time, money and effort!  ( Yes!  Pie makes all the difference!) 

Well, she didn't "win".  Only two other females came in before her and wouldn't you know, one of them was in her age group.  No first prize this time.  But she did win a pie, and that makes everything acceptable.  Oh!  And she apparently scored a New PR ( personal record) for the 5K distance.   That's kind of cool...

I'll cut to the chase:  The pie was tasty.  Light, flaky crust... sweet and tender filling.  Everything you want in a dutch apple pie with caramel drizzled on top.   She took a chance and picked one of the "unknown pies" that did not have clear plastic wrap on them.   She got lucky as Dutch apple pie is her favorite. 

After the race,  we headed to an Art festival that was happening just down the road.  It was definitely "Fine Art" as most of the vendors were painters, ceramicists, or glass blowers.   I few other odd media pros, like basket weavers and knitters, were also there.  We purchased a few replacement mugs for Cheryl's Tea set and my home coffee needs.  

Then on to the Amana Colonies. Apparently,  there is an apple festival there as well and we have never been to the Amanas before.   What better time than October to see what the Germans of Iowa are up to? 

Well.... Besides pastries...  Beer! After visiting the bakery and a few shops, we headed out to find the local brewery for some of their seasonal beverages.  I should note that the Bakery was like one of those Disney animated movies.  I was swarmed with Birds and butterflies while we ate our pastries.   All that was missing was the background  music and dancing. 

To the Brewery!  We could not make up our minds on which beer to sample, so the attendant suggested the "Flight"  a sample of five beers.   We got the two Oktober Fest Beers, the Two IPAs and a Wheat/pecan porter.  We topped it off with a couple Rootbeers for hydration.  After running any race... even a 5K,  I believe some form of beer needs to be involved. 

We could not find any Brats, however.   Which is too bad.  Because after sampling those 5 beers,  Cheryl and I were feeling it!  (Cheryl had skipped breakfast and all I had was a small Muffin.)  I must say that going from the brewery into the Christmas store was a bit overwhelming.   Cheryl found everything funny, and I could not really focus on any single thing to purchase.  

Until Cheryl found this hat.   She decided I needed it. A Green Fedora.  I don't know why.  Perhaps she fantasizes about me yodeling in the Alps with matching lederhosen. 

All in all, it was a good day.  And for brief moment in time,  Cheryl was happy.  We now get to eat her winnings and plan our next Amana visit.  Possibly with some relatives.   There were plenty of shops we did not peak inside, so we still have much left to explore.  I also hear that there is an Oktoberfest festival there later next month.   More beer!  And hopefully some freshly grilled Brats this time.  We did not want to go into the restaurant where they were serving the meats.... Too many people there on a Weekend.  But maybe mid week sometime. 

Hope everyone is having a fine weekend so far.  There is much more to blog about, but I'll have to save it for later.   Tomorrow might be boring and I will have time then... Unless I spend the day chalking in the park.  We shall see.   

Thanks for stopping in.

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Finally! The Chicken Of The Woods Appears.

Today,  while running in Coralville today,  we found our Elusive Chicken Of the Woods!  

There is no mistaking it!   We were here last Monday and it was not out yet.  I figured we either had lost it forever, or  the log that it grew on was covered by the fallen tree.  Turns out.. The latter was the correct assessment. 

Cheryl had to climb under the tree to get it.   IT was FRESH!   Super fresh!   Soft and rubbery and a bright blaze orange.   We cut off the sections and brought them home. 

One thing about the Chicken of the woods is you have to eat it right away.  I'm not sure if it dries well and I know we are not going to pickle it.  ( I have seen videos on the process, but I'm not realy to tackle that just yet. 

Besides, Chicken of the Woods is best eaten fresh!   And so Cheryl and I purchased a package of buns and set out to have them for dinner this evening.  We even have a fresh heirloom tomato from the garden to add to the mix.  Cheryl was quite happy.   

Even Hiro wanted in on the action.  Perhaps he would eat it thinking it was chicken, but most likely he was after the Mayo.   Either way, Cheryl refused to share. 

We have enough for several more meals if we pace things right.   I think it will last just sitting out on the kitchen table.  Earlier this summer, we purchased a half pound from a mushroom dealer and he just had them sitting out on a table.  Seems like it would be better than sitting in the forest where the bugs could get it. 

I just finished another cat for the sidewalk.  I barely beat the kids before they arrived home from school.  No one wants to talk to kids at 3:30 in the afternoon.  Especially folks who draw on the sidewalk.  All they do is ask obvious questions..." Are you the guy who draws on the sidewalk?  What are you making?   It that a cat?   Is this all you do everyday?   Don't you have a real job? "   

So obviously,  I can't stand them.   But I was young as well... a long, LONG time ago.   Thankfully, I have forgotten just how annoying I was to adults.  But leave it to kids to remind me.  Such fun...

Hope everyone is having a find Thursday.  Life is whole once again with Subie at our side. Thanks for stopping in.

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