We’re good

My first biking experience every morning is a short but speedy descent down a hill. It’s a 72-foot drop over 539 feet (with a traffic light at the foot of the hill so I really have to be alert). It’s a fantastic way to wake up in the mornings. However, early on, I knew it wasn’t going to be all fun and games:

If every morning started off with a descent, every evening would end with an ascent. I’d have to climb a 13% grade every day. At first, I couldn’t do it. There’s a certain point where it becomes extremely difficult—when I can see the end in sight but my lungs and legs refuse to work any harder.

Gradually, I was able to conquer the hill. I would huff and puff up this tiny but mighty hill, with my legs turning into jelly when I finally get off my bike. These days, I’m much better but it’s still a struggle. I’m still out of breath and panting at the top of the hill, with a slight wobble to my gait when I dismount my bike.

…But not this guy:

This guy climbed a 38% grade (that’s 3 times as steep as my tiny hill!) and he didn’t even break a sweat. Ah, to be a tiny man on a lightweight steed who rides a bike for a living…

Bitten by the gardening bug

Back in October, Alex and I moved into a new apartment. (We had spent only a year in our previous place. The apartment wasn’t bad but the landlord was greedy.) When apartment hunting, I specifically looked for one with outdoor space because I was hankering for some gardenin’. At a certain point, though, I’d given up on finding my dream place and started responding to ads without photos. (The shock! The horror!) As luck would have it, one of the apartments we went to see actually had a terrace! The apartment was also very attractive but the terrace was the clincher.

Now, eight months after moving in, I have what’s shaping up to be a dream terrace:

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I have two window boxes that are hanging over the railing that contain mint, parsley, and basil. (I had cilantro but it started bolting in the 70°F weather. Now I’m trying to see what happens when you plant store-bought scallions that have been kept in water…) I have several pots that contain tarragon, oregano, lemon thyme, and sage. I also have three elevated planters that house multiple okra plants and a dozen green bean plants.

I’m particularly fond of my adorable little bistro set on the terrace:

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The small begonia plant I picked up at Trader Joe’s this morning is so precious!

Did you spot the tumbling composter in the panoramic shot? It’s the black drum on steel legs. (Next to it is a non-operational vermicomposter–or “the green thing.” I may put it up on craigslist since I’ve never used it and I no longer plan on using it.) Instead of schlepping my vegan scraps to the farmer’s market, I plan on making and using my own compost. The bin is already full of scraps, getting nice and warm from all the nutrients breaking down. Alex says it’s also forming an earthy aroma. (“It stinks like garbage,” he says, “but not in a bad way.”)

Out front, I have another elevated planter that houses a handful of strawberry plants. (It’s so exciting seeing the berries form! Now to try to keep the squirrels and birds away from them…) There’s also room to plant more things but that may be a project for next year. I’m thinking a blueberry bush and a fig tree in a super sunny spot on the side of the house.

For a girl who thought she had a black thumb, all of this gardening is very exciting! I started slow (planting just the two varieties of veggies) not only because I’m a first-time gardener but also because Alex and I just signed up for the local CSA. I was afraid of being inundated with kale, tomatoes, and zucchini all harvesting season long. I’m eager to see how everything turns out but, in the meantime, I’m enjoying a cold beer on my terrace, watching ships sail across the New York Harbor.

Life is good.

Did you do somethin’ new?

On Thursday, Alex had all four of his wisdom teeth removed. As a result, my Vitamix blender has been getting quite the workout! I made:

I’d also whipped up a batch of almond butter since we’d finished the jar adding the nut butter to our porridge and smoothies.

So, in an effort to give my blender a rest, I turned to my juicer! And came up with this tasty concoction:

Bright & Cheery Juice
Serves 2
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141 calories
34 g
0 g
1 g
3 g
0 g
456 g
148 g
21 g
0 g
0 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 141
Calories from Fat 7
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 1g
Saturated Fat 0g
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 148mg
Total Carbohydrates 34g
Dietary Fiber 8g
Sugars 21g
Protein 3g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  1. 3 carrots, peeled
  2. 3 sticks celery
  3. 1 beet, small, peeled
  4. 1 cucumber, large
  5. 1 apple, peeled and halved
  6. 1/2 lemon, peeled
  7. 1 bunch parsley
  8. 1 knob ginger
  1. Add to juicer in batches until everything has been juiced.
  2. Stir well to incorporate.
  3. Divide among two glasses and serve with ice (optional).
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It was bright and refreshing and delicious! It also helped that it’s almost 70°F today and all our windows are open! It’s amazing what a little sun and a springtime breeze can do for you.