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Wednesday, June 30, 2010


This time last week we were mourning the death of one of our chinchillas. She was 15-1/2 yrs. old and except for her ailing health the last couple months, she lived a happy life with her sister.  We expected this, as she showed signs of slowing down, eating less, sleeping more, losing weight.  The saddest part?  We don't know if it was Pooh Bear, or Tikka.  They were twins.  Their personalities were their distinguishing features.

So we dug a little grave out in the front garden, and Chris made a little marker for her.

The remaining chin, whom we've dubbed "Tikka-pooh," seems fat, happy, and more people-oriented than before.  Our friends ask if she's lonely.  I don't know, but I imagine so. But she's a chinchilla, and doesn't emote like, say, a dog, so it's hard to tell.

Friday morning I had a great ride.  Saturday and Sunday the temperature finally passed 100*, finally.  We rode alone Saturday, and joined friends on Sunday for a quick 50-miler.

Sunday afternoon I showed a house, counseled buyers about their options, then attended a fund-raiser dubbed Tasting for Ta-ta's. It supports a local charity that provides funds for mammograms for those who can't afford them, and funds to help out for those undergoing treatment for breast cancer. The wines were, for the most part, worthy, the Kinder's BBQ up to usual standards, and the reconnecting with friends/colleagues/clients very satisfying.

Monday was my local Assoc. of Realtors (R) annual charity golf tournament.  I don't play golf but I serve on the committee with gusto:  I get to solicit prizes, visit clients/friends/colleagues, run an event for a worthy cause, help golfers have a good time.  And those who participate whom I know expect me to hit them up for some cycling event support.

While I'd rather watch grass grow than play or watch golf, I appreciate that golfers love their game as much as I love riding my bike. And golf courses are beautifully landscaped acres, and I do loves me some beautiful landscaping.

After 3 hours of registering players my partner and I took off for the 17th hole, as we were witnesses for the hole-in-one.  The prize?  A 2010 Honda Fit.  So it took 5+ hrs. in 104* or so heat (we had shade and company, food and every manner of beverages) for 28 foursomes to play through.  Around 4 p.m. we saw some deer boldly trot onto the course, oblivious to the balls flying and carts careening.  By the time we headed to the clubhouse for dinner there were easily over a dozen deer grazing placidly on the fairways.  I can see how the local creatures adapt to a golf course, and it gives me one more reason to appreciate a well-placed course.

Fast-forward to today:  Chris was leaving on a business trip so we took the tandem out early.  Temps were 20* cooler than Monday and Tuesday, humidity was up, so smells were lingering close to the road.  My favorite time to ride is early morning, beating the heat, feeling spots of cool air in the low-water crossings, the smells, the animals.

We were close to the end of the ride, barreling down Steiger Hill Rd. towards Cantelow Rd. at 40+ mph when a spotted fawn leaped in front of us. Yikes!!  Chris kept the bike upright and managed to spare the fawn by about 8".  It ran to the left, and slightly ahead of our front wheel. We could hear the tiny clicks of its hooves on the pavement, its tail high in the air, bounding away for its life.  We slowed a bit as we approached a right turn onto Cantelow; it crossed in front of us and got off the road.  I glanced over my shoulder as we pedaled away and saw it crash into a square-wire fence (its head was too big to fit).  Once we un-puckered we felt sad that it was alone.  I hope its mother found it.

We're pretty competitive but we've never been challenged by a deer.  This time I was happy to let it "win."  Our win was staying upright and coming home excited and unscathed.

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