Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Burlington Historical Signs Challenge Ride

I received a tip on an interesting bike ride around our city - ride to all 20 Vermont Historical signs within Burlington's city limits. I love local quests (see City Streets Challenge) and needing to stick close to home these days, and enjoying local history, the quest was right up my alley.

Always delighted to ride dirt in the Intervale. At 6 pm on a weekday, the trail was quiet.
By using a documented resource for roadside markers, I zipped around town for 15 miles, including riding the Intervale Trail. Most importantly, I avoided the busy waterfront trail.

My favorite sign, by far, is the newest, implemented in 2019. The bilingual nod is aimed at our Canadian neighbors, who in better times are frequent tourists in our region. I had no idea international hockey games were played on the Burlington Waterfront!

Next up: linking all the city parks?

Are there any themed local rides that might keep you motivated?

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Some Positives in an Otherwise Strange Time

Relaxing on our camp deck

Like everyone that has been severely impacted by the current situation, (we are selling our home and building another - and we're fortunately healthy) it's important to remind ourselves of the positive impact of staying at home.

  • More family time (college and high school age sons both at home)
  • We are finding patience with each other
  • We spend less money dining out, thus eat healthier meals prepared at home
  • Furloughed (VT has 23% unemployment), I have time to continue sprucing up our current home and accessorize the next - guess which one is more fun?
  • Ability to help my mother/brother's household
  • Time to reconnect with friends
  • Lots of time to ride and work on bikes

In Vermont, because of our smaller population and quickly implemented SIP orders, we've escaped severe impact of the virus - so far. In Burlington, Vermont's largest city, we have room to spread out for daily walks and rides. With the popularity of our waterfront trail, it gets dicey on weekend days, so I'm finding alternative routes.

Like others who've suddenly found themselves at home, I've run the gamut of emotions: first delighted to have a couple weeks off to take advantage of lots of projects, to daily crying because I felt inadequate, to now a more acceptable mental health state, being kind to myself, lowering expectations as far as productiveness around the house.

As the spring warmth descends, it's easier to adjust, wandering outside, watching birds and squirrels, puttering (productively, of course) and for once, I've kept up with weeding my perennials. While each day blends into the next, I've found it's important to just keep moving forward - the excitement of  watching construction on our new home is keeping me upbeat!

What are positive impacts to your daily lives?

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Hot Pink Reflective Vest Love

Seeking a new, easier to wear reflective vest, I spotted another commuter merging onto the bike path ahead of me one morning last winter. wearing a hot pink vest with various sized reflective polka dots. Hot damn, what a great vest, I thought and picked up the pace to catch up with the person to ask where she got it, but she was speeding up! When I realized the person was riding an e-bike, I slowed down, figuring I would find the style online and have it delivered to my door.

Or so I hoped...

I scribbled down what I could recall, but in the end failed to find anything remotely similar. Hmmm.

Adding drawing back into my life: envision what the vest might look like post-alteration.
What's a girl to do? I couldn't source local fabric or reflective material (pre-lockdown), so armed with a vision, I made do with a pre-made vest, knowing I could alter the style to suit my needs. And, who knew there's a site dedicated to women construction workers? (though not who I ordered from)

Ta da! I shortened vest length by 4", just enough for more freedom of movement without having to move the zipper.

Then I carefully cut out triangles and circles and re-positioned shapes in a pleasing arrangement, taking care to place shapes right-side up (material is reflective on only one side).

Then I resewed shapes and opposing fabric.

I rather liked how the backside turned out - less triangles and more circles!

A fun reflective pattern on the back side.
Like many projects that I thought I would get to after we moved, the fall out from Covid-19 had other plans and I have more free time now. 

In addition, as much as I like Dewalt's low cost, comfortable eye wear, I may have to get hot pink safety glasses to match my new vest. (If you scroll down to second option, there's even an "Annie" version.)