Along for the ride:

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

A Varied, if Disjointed, Day

I stole an hour this morning to ride with a regular group who meet every Wednesday at 8am. It was a pristine morning, with a few remaining wisps of mist contrasting with the dark green conifers in the creases of the higher hills. My road was all dappled sunlight snaking up to the stables; a Doe with two spotted fawns popped out of the creek-bed and crossed in front of me. I drive with deer and cyclists in mind on this road; although last week it was a double truck-trailer rig that almost wiped me out. His front end was on track but the rear trailer completely cut across the corner I was planning on driving around. I could see from the driver's face that he knew he had come close to disaster. I was able to hug the hill and brake in time but it was down to an inch or less.
The entrance to the stable is through their vineyards. Workers were out nurturing the grape vines; they drive small electric vehicles similar to a golf-cart pick-up truck conversion; painted green, of course. There are tractors too, but the small stuff gets done quietly.
Back down the hill afterwards, a "Flash-Shower", clean clothes and letting my hair dry with the car windows open. Detour to a job site that needed some instant answers and in to our business to approve an edge detail for the hearth of a fireplace that is under fabrication.
A new client meeting scheduled for 11:30 am in nearby Palo Alto, to meet all members of a design/build company with some good projects sprouting around the area. I was on time for my appointment, but only just; many surrounding streets were closed and police were everywhere. The ensuing traffic snarls and lack of parking can be laid at the feet of Russian President Medvedev, who was in town to speak at Stanford and decided to visit Yandex Labs, the largest internet company in Russia (except they are here). Per the local news website, Medvedev sauntered down the street with secret service and motorcade in tow, and spoke to local spectators, many of whom had just finished watching the World Cup Football Games at Antonio's NutHouse.
It was just as hard to get out of there after my appointment. Nose to tail traffic made me depart in the opposite direction to that which would lead me home for lunch. Even though I know my way around it was time consuming and laborious.
By the time I got to our house, Hubby had eaten and was taking a short nap before the second phase of the work day. We had received a delivery from the Exotic Meat Company. I unwrapped Wild Boar Bacon and Boar Chops (from Feral Swine, it proclaimed on the packaging). There were Venison sausages and stewing meat, as well as a roast. Everything arrives vacuum sealed and frozen, transported in dry ice to ensure freshness. I used to order from this internet source when Lovely Daughter and her Husband were first stationed at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. I couldn't send them wine, they were too young to sign for the shipments. Their 5th wedding anniversary is coming up soon and they are doing so well in life and careers that I was happy to order something that would bring back memories and just be a fun and useful gift. I packed their share in a cooler and delivered it to Lovely Daughter's work place at the end of her day.
I had received a call from my sister, who is ensconced in rural England. We have horses in common and she once also had a French Husband. He, and her previous ex-boyfriend both managed to be pedestrians killed by cars, although one was in Italy and the other in the U.S. at the time. Her current husband and the father of her son works in Siberia three weeks out of every six. Fiona takes good care of  her horse, her son and the neighbor's rescue greyhound.
The neighbor is a famous lady artist, full of her own importance and living in what was once the Manor House. My sister has the little cottage down the lane that is overgrown by the trees that flourish from next door and steal her light. Last time they needed pruning there was much hullabaloo. Apparently, even if you rarely go outside and can't see these trees from your house it is impossible not to interfere with work that your neighbor has undertaken.
The root of the problem was disclosed today, when Fiona went to discuss sharing the impending 700 pound tree trimming bill with the owner of said trees. "But you live in the Wood Cutter's cottage" said Marge " The Wood Cutter always takes care of the trees".
My other link to a partial childhood/adolescence in Cornwall is a friend who is very successful in marketing consulting for firms in Silicon Valley. She needed to meet to brainstorm a transformation of her house and garden. She has become a quirky germo-phobe, who believes in alternative medecines of all kinds. When we spoke to set up a get together she was at the vet's office with her favorite chicken, who was unwell. The chicken is spending the night under observation and, in her absence, we decided on a navy blue front door and cancellation of a trip to the U,K, tomorrow for the Christening of a new family member this weekend. I further suggested that she put her teenage son on the plane by himself so that she could recuperate and get some work done uninterrupted to pay for the pending money-pit of renovations.
One of my frustrations today was that there was a news story, in which I was interested, on my  talk radio station in the car. It seemed as though every breaking news update was announced right when I had to get out and leave my car to do other things. I was able to catch up with the gist of it but missed some important press conferences and commentaries.
My last achievement of the work day was pinning down "she of the sage cleansed house" to a rendez-vous tomorrow morning. " If I am not there please call me at my other house number" she requested. "Oh sure!" I thought to myself. "My time is of no importance" " I look forward to seeing you" (Swallow bile).


  1. Swallow bile? Is that another product available for order from the Exotic Meat Company? ;-)

  2. isn't daily life humdrum?

    I need a lie-down after that tour-de-force. Each of these tales separately would have made a post, particularly the ailing chicken and the inherited responsibility of the wood-cutter-cottge occupant.

  3. Good way to start your day. At least the ride gave you an uplift to get through the rest of a very busy day. The exotic meat sounds very interesting.

  4. Good on the ride.

    Good on the Lovely Daughter & spouse's meatful delights.

    Bad on all the rest of those imbue with an inflated sense of their own importance.

    Good on you for being able to cope with it all in your own inimitable style!

    Happy Anniversary to the youth on July 15th.

  5. Ms. Pliers, I must add that aforementioned client was punctual this morning. She and I are now teaming up to try to bend her husband to our whim. You can't spend 4.5 million on a house and expect to move in without redoing all the floors, cabinets, windows and garden. How unrealistic is that? He's French too, so I might have some understanding of how to approach him (or Not!)

  6. TechnoBabe, I must look for a good recipe for venison stew.

    Friko, yesterday was a little weird, with the juxtaposition of such randomly different things. Spice of life to me, but not every day thank goodness.

  7. Steve, a comment so pithy it must be a food group.

  8. Ok, I am worn out just reading the post. While the morning ride was certainly an auspicious start, the incident with the truck might have completely unnerved me...I hate trucks and we have hundreds of them around here. *shiver*

    I am not an exotic meat person myself, nor do I cope with Frenchmen. Sometimes your world sounds as alien as California...uhm, wait, it is California!! *lol*

  9. Jean, California changes daily. We are exposed to so many different cultural perspectives. Never boring, for sure.

  10. Such a varied existence! Such interesting people! Such dry,wry humour! I love these posts, when you shine your high-intensity flashlight on all these fascinating characters and their quirky goings-on. You are anything but ordinary, ER.

  11. Deborah, Thanks for your kind words. Life really just tosses these oddities at me, all I have to do is notice.

  12. I have recently discovered your blog (love the name) and wish you had photos of your venture to the stables and your ride. The images in my head are riding through tall trees (mostly coniferous and dark green), seeing ferns of various greens and maybe some small creeks (for the babbling water effect).

    The meat reminds me of the concept of food porn. Imagine the steaming meat on platters with gorgeous vegetables, maybe a divine sauce on the side...

    I am glad you are able to relate these interesting stories and people to those of us living a more bland life...

    Redmond, WA

  13. Welcome Luna, Food can be a sensual experience, that's for sure. Horses give me so much more satisfaction though. I spend days visualizing small achievements in my head. The feel of a successful and balanced transition tingles through me from fingers to toes, even far from an equine. I ride mostly in an arena, although my younger days were spent galloping along wild and barren cliffs above the stormy sea. No trees in sight, just the wind.