Late April Update

It’s after midnight. I should be in bed, in deep slumber. Instead, I’m wide awake, listening to the rain falling, and inhaling the scent of it. I have no app for that. I know those of you who have rain year-round think we Californians are crazy; until you experience drought we cannot converse. And yet rain is falling and it’s so sweet. I’m going to stand on the patio and breathe.

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Mid-April Update

So the last 2 weeks I scored over 100 miles. This week, featuring American Home Week, 2 listing appointments, and driving my business partner (currently without car and license to drive it) around, my cycling goals have suffered. We had 3 days of awful, epic north wind that made riding even more fraught with danger. I passed. Dammit.

Friday would’ve been a great day but I had to meet an appraiser mid-day, and shuffled paperwork after for a few hours. Then DH and I spent time at Verizon, while he tried to get his lack of GPS resolved. Fail.

Today we were late to rise & shine, eat, and get out and took the tandem over Gibson & Steiger and English Hills & the Peaceful Glen rollers; finished with Locke Rd. rollers. A quick and fun ride; we haven’t ridden the tandem since February. Next week we’re to do the Chico Wildflower Centery, the 65 version. So the week before “practice” helps. I’m not worried; we’ll prevail. I wish we were spending the night in Chico but our trainer/boarder is riding the event as well and has no space for our dogs. So a day trip it is.

Tomorrow our son & his GF come out and we’ll be planning how to re-do our front yard. I’m so looking forward to having them here — they have such a great,positive energy together and I hope to harness that to finalize our design.

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Highs and Lows, Mere Days Apart

The highs: spending time on Easter Sunday with our son’s girlfriend and her dad, visiting from Russia, tasting wine and sharing a picnic lunch at V. Sattui, our 20th anniversary of doing so, then tasting wine again at Benziger Winery. We love her, he loves our son; we’ll see how that goes. And he’s so Russian! He takes pictures of walls of wine bottles, delis full of cheese and meat, and shares them with his friends in Moscow. Moscow could do worse than to emulate California.

So Easter weekend was so much fun, with those two, and then we had great rain, including thunder, hail and toad-strangling squalls. I spent an inordinate amount of time watching the rain, hail, and dramatic cloudporn blowing through.

Wednesday we cleaned house big time for our hosting of Kameo & Steve’s visit. We had 9 of our collective besties show up for chicken envueltos, asparagus quesadillas, spinach, strawberry & goat cheese salad; chips and salsa & homemade guacamole. Jen is vegan so Chris made vegan versions of both main dishes. He made Spanish rice in the pressure cooker that was a big fail; I should have bought white rice & let him run with it. It wasn’t bad but wasn’t what he’d planned.

Despite the rice all else went off without a hitch and we had a terrifically fun evening reconnecting with distant friends and close-by friends as well. I cannot tell you how fulfilled and satisfied and overwhelmed I was when K said that when she comes back to Vacaville, she thinks of us first. I haven’t had a best friend so loyal in many years. Donna in Grand Junction comes to mind…and I so love these women and am grateful to the richness they bring to my life.

May 28th K’s son will graduate high school. We’ve known him since he was a toddler. We were the rock he needed when his dad walked out 2 wks. before Christmas. We enveloped them here and at their former home for years, as K’s ex worked through his challenges. We’re so happy he’s graduating; for a while  that was iffy. He found himself, and we’re so freaking proud of him. I look forward to watching him walk in his cap & gown, and weeping as I did when watching my own kids graduate high school and college.

The lows: I started coming down with “something” Monday. It’s kind of a headcold today. Meh. Feh. Bleah

Chris’s friend since college passed today. Chris was single and Bud had a wife and 2 kids, then 3 kids, and then we got married. Ginnie & Bud and Annie, Becky and Stevie were big parts of our lives before and after our marriage. When I struggled with being a new mother, Ginnie was there for me, and helped me handle all the new stuff a new mom has to deal with. I learned much about mothering & coping from her, and owe her many props for how much she helped us.

We moved to CA in 1986, when baby Gallagher #2 was 6 weeks old, and the Phillips family did as well; they were in Sacramento. We drove up to spend Thanksgiving (4 days, IIRC) with them. It was cold, and rainy, and we saw a kids’-specific movie, and enjoyed all the fun _–Annie (Clhoë) holding the wee Colin; Becky & Steve playing with 4 y.o. Meave; Ginnie telling us how using real butter in a recipe would “grease the bowels.”

So here’s the point of this post: The patriarch of that family, Bud, died today. We knew he was on hospice, and his lung cancer was too advanced for chemo, and Annie & Becky kept us informed, and we sent messages of love, encouragement, and memories of great times through them. It’s a sad, sad day for the Phillips family. I miss Bud and all of them. I’m grateful for Chloe’s and Rebecca’s FB follows. Your dad was amazing. RIP, Ned Phillips.

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Another Tradition with a Lovely, Winding Twist

In 1995 Chris was working in Concord and I was a semi-single mom in Lompoc. Spring Break found us driving to Concord and singing whatever pop/Jazzercise songs were on the radio as we drove to NorCal. She was 12 and he was 9.

The family with whom Chris was rooming planned to entertain family for Easter Sunday, so we decided to drive to Napa and do some wine tasting. The weather was post-frontal, wind, cold, clouds and occasional rain squalls scudding through, on their way to the Sierra and beyond.

As we made our way along SH12/29 we noticed that many places were closed. We remained hopeful and continued to drive.

V. Sattui was the first place we saw that was open. The kids were hungry and we were tired of driving, so we turned right into the parking lot. They had a lovely picnic area, an extensive deli, and wines we liked. We tasted in the main room, bought wine and food for a picnic on the grounds, and bought wine to take home.

We’ve also spent every Easter since 1998, when we moved up here, at that place. Yesterday we celebrated our 20th anniversary there with our son’s girlfriend and her husband.

Just as we were enjoying our tasting Tom Davies, the President, brings us a board of their homemade salumaria meats, olives, and a washed-rind mozzarella. Hello. sophisticated tastebuds, please show up. It was delicious!

Chris bought a bottle of Ramazotti Zinfandel and some of the local salami and Italian thin-slice meats; V & A bought bread, cheese, and dessert, and we enjoyed a lovely picnic lunch on the grounds.Her mother tasked her with picking up wine from Benziger, and our apps sent us over Oakville and Trinity Grades – whoa! What a challenge those roads will be on bikes.

Benziger Estate wines are fascinating geographically and lovely to drink. The staff are dog-friendly and offered our dogs (asking permission first; that’s important) treats. We loved the wines & will be back to get the full tour.

For us, as having spent 20 Easters at V.Sattui, with and without our offspring, this seemed pivotal: Colin’s girlfriend and her Russian dad repped, so we went with that. Colin’s band is in Portland, as part of their tour, and we Facetimed with Meave and her bf and new roommate Kas later. The entire day was so fulfilling –deepening our relationship with A, and enjoying her dad’s humor and take on new experiences –I don’t know how much my brain and heart can expand, and I’m ready for it. What a wonderful  day!

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Early April Observations

So I have a needy, high-maintenance seller, and we’re in contract, so that’s a plus. That he can’t remember details is concerning, yet I’m prepared for it. He didn’t call today. I’m pleased that he trusts me.

The dogs have no respect for weekends or days off, so I rolled out of bed shortly after 6 to let them out, make the coffee/steamed milk/ espresso and deliver it to Chris, and feed the dogs in the meantime.

Chris made an omelette with one of the goose eggs we were given; I made purple fingerling potato and spring onion baked in the oven and he omeletted the egg. So breakfast was done.

We rode to Doris’s place and determined the route as to the prevailing wind. Some of our ride was in a wind shadow, which was great, until we road into a headwind. And the tailwind was fun, too.

We stopped at Steady Eddy’s for coffee; iced coffee and Arnold Palmers FTW.

We rode home through the orchards, and despite the headwind we found we had a blast. It’s a ridiculously warm April day — what’s not to love?

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Another Midweek Musing

So I don’t know how to post photos or links here; I need to take some classes. Let me see: Take WordPress classes or ride my bike. Sorry, WordPress.

So G posted up about leading a ride. I had 2 days off and C is out of town; a ride was needed. N,M,L,R joined us; all people with whom I’ve ridden for many months and years.

Yet the pace northward, even with a tailwind, challenged me, and I met that. 128 was more challenging with its undulations and the tendancy that L & N had to take the bit in their teeth and go off the front.

We communicated well so as the weakest (ugh, how I hate to own that) rider I knew where the regroups were, and appreciated the communications. I worked hard on the pulls and to keep up, and I know I’m not as fit as my co-riders. I really appreciate that they waited for me. And it was an effort, definitely one I needed, and I hope to drop N by July. Heh. J/K. Or maybe not.

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Tuesday: Another Rest Day for My Bike

Chris was up at O-dark-thirty because he had a plane to catch. He wrangled the dogs, made the usual morning coffee (see previous post), wrapped my insulated mug in a tea towel to keep it warm, kissed me goodbye; I woke up enough to hug him and thank him for my daily spoiling, and went back to sleep. Woke in plenty of time for breakfast, still-warm coffee, and the weekly trashcan roll to the curb.

My business partner  no longer drives, so I drove halfway across town (there is no direct route) early to fetch her and drive to Winters for our weekly marketing meeting. Great meeting; packed house, all kinds of energy happening in Winters. In the next 5 years the population might double, maybe even more. Yikes.

A colleague who mentored me during my leadership years is a casual cyclist; her boyfriend is much more avid. She asked the obvious questions regarding Winters’ remaining bike-friendly. The mayor answered in the affirmative. I sincerely hop she’s right & committed to that — we bike to Winters for food, coffee, fun, and we invite many out-of-area friends to join us in enjoying Winters. I wouldn’t be happy to see Winters lose its wonderful bike-friendly culture.

The latest offer was accepted, yay! And now my sweet & naïve seller, so high maintenance, is excited and nervous and requires me to repeatedly bring him into focus. It should be okay in the long run, and as much as I’m used to the hustle and the continual need to be on my toes, I admit that it’s mentally and emotionally taxing. Usually I ride my bike to work that out; tonight, however, I’m enjoying a craft beer (locally made, no less) and a Romeo Añejo cigar on the patio, listening to the wind blowing through new leaves, and relaxing. Breathe in, breathe out, let the tension go. This is just what I needed.

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