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Sunday, May 31, 2009

Sunday Afternoon


We have two pieces of furniture in our house that we don't allow Oliver (left) and Beau (right) on, and they're on one of those pieces in this picture. I shooed them off after I got the shot.

I'm posting this because I had a nap today, a 90 minute nap. I napped so long we didn't get a bike ride. That wasn't my intention. I thought I'd get a power nap and we'd go for a quick spin, then off to Kameo's for dinner.

Sleep trumped, and Oliver spent that time at my feet, his chin resting on my legs, just above my ankles. He's not big, at 16 lbs., but he sure puts out the heat.

So the weekend is complete.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Another Day, Another Tandem Challenge








I've been off my Diva since March 15th, the day after my crash and subsequent broken wrist. Now nearly 10 wks. since my titanium screw was surgically inserted into my scaphoid bone, I'm still relegated to the trainer or the tandem. And Chris's demanding work schedule makes it darn near impossible to ride after work. So we do the weekend thing. And it's thrilling and fulfilling to be on the road, hammering at 25 mph in near-perfect conditions, as part of a team.

We headed out early and it was cool enough that I wished I'd worn a base layer. That thought was gone after we started up Cantelow hill, from the east, a long and challenging grade. It has ups and downs, some of those ups are 12% and the downs can get crazy-fast.

Chris likes to turn a big gear where I'd spin if I were in charge. Since I'm not (even though the stoker is always right -- or never wrong) I mash along and call it strength training.

We haven't climbed over Cantelow since Feb., as best I can recall, and I wasn't sure I wanted to today, but there we were, climbing and enjoying the light traffic and pretty views. No pics of that; I had to stay focused on the work. We ended up spinning up the last, steepest part of the grade. It was easy, very easy, especially after we climbed Chili Hill Rd. last week. Talk about a pain fest.

At the top Chris shifted into the 54/11 and down we went. We didn't use a lower gear for another 10 miles, when we cruised through downtown Winters. As soon as we turned onto Putah Creek Rd. he shifted up again, and we time-trialed away.

We passed a lot of cyclists, most of whom seemed to be out for casual rides. We saw a group of people on mostly hybrid and mountain bikes, flat pedals, baggy shirts and shorts, helmets askew. Some of them looked like they were ready for the ride to be over. Not many water bottles on those bikes, either. Good thing it wasn't hot.

A fellow pulled up to us and asked if he could ride with us, since he was alone. He had a striking LaPierre bike, and we shared good conversation. That's one of the beautiful things about road cycling -- you often meet the nicest people.

The sunflowers have grown a couple of feet since the last time we were out. Apricots are ripening, too. The tomatoes have flowers. Even without looking I knew when we were in the tomato fields. That distinctive scent gives them away.

A pair of redtail hawks were flying near us and I barely got the camera out in time to snap a couple of pictures.

We ended up with 44 miles, 18.6 avg. mph. That was good for us.

Chris made a fancy albacore salad. Then we made a menu for the week and went shopping.

Later I napped about 30 glorious minutes. I love a good power nap.

He grilled salmon and asparagus, steamed snap peas with a minty/lemony glaze, and I made salad. I'm still full.

We ended the evening with a fine cigar on the patio. For me, this is living the good life.

Sidebar: Now all I need to do is figure out how to insert my pics after the description, rather than before. I'm still new at this; I'll get it one of these days.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

A Bit of Serendipity




This morning I wasn't wakened at 4 a.m. by a crazed robin repeating the same 6 notes obsessively. Shortly before the radio came on I exhaled into consciousness, not quite ready to be awake, not wanting to continue sleeping. The dogs immediately detected my relative alertness and started their not-so-subtle attempts to rouse me and let them out. I resisted. Chris got up instead. I floated between sleep and awake until he brought the coffee, then I really got up, almost bounding out of bed.

Sidebar: Our standard ritual is a tall coffee, a double shot of espresso, 1/2 c. foamed 1% milk. When Chris is working he assembles it. When he's not, I do. I'm spoiled and I like it that way. I enjoy spoiling him as well; he deserves it.

So I greeted the day especially refreshed and particularly inspired. I went out to see Chris off to work, watered plants, inhaled the honeysuckle, and as I was watering the begonia, noticed the gardenia in bloom. Heavenly. And lovely to gaze upon, creamy white flower against shiny green leaves.

Sidebar: I love flowering plants and steward them to the best of my ability. A flower is a plant's orgasm. Cultivating and caring for the plants so that they reach their peak is restorative for me. We love the flowers, their scent, their dramatic contribution to our little Eden out back, that they give their all and ask for so little. Connecting with the earth on any scale helps me put the b.s. of selling real estate into perspective. I love what I do.

After my morning reverie, some fruit and my physical therapy exercises it was office, ho! The rest of the day was all about real estate.

It was not quite 6 when I met my business partner, Lisa (more on this amazing woman later) at the Vacaville Museum for the 25th anniversary celebration. We visited with people we know, ate and drank; I put in a request with the DJ for some Stevie Ray Vaughn. He found it, and after the announcements & raffle drawings he played it. Chris had a hard time standing still, but refused to dance. Boo. Still, it was a perfect evening and a very enjoyable event.

Tomorrow is a bike day. Yay!


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A New Blog is Born

Took me long enough to make this official. I should have been doing this years ago. Instead, I rode my bike, every chance I got, flying down the roads of Solano, Yolo, and Napa Counties. Dancing up hills and stopping to enjoy the views from the top. Watching the seasons' passing in the orchards, the sunflower and tomato fields, the horse farms, the cattle ranches, the flowering of the shrubs and trees that line the roads.

I still do that, just not as often, since I'm on the DL (still!!!) since 3/14/09. I'm on the back of the tandem during one of Chris's busiest years ever at work, making us weekend warriors. The Diva's been on the trainer since 3/16, patiently enduring grind after grind, until she's out on the road again.

One post down, more to follow.