Along for the ride:

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Worth Getting Up For!

Top of the morning, ten minutes up the hill from home, at what would have been 7am yesterday and is 8am today.
Using up a credit I had left on a gift certificate, I went on a trail ride with a friend, who needs to get her behind in shape for a 200 mile pilgrimage ride in Spain, come May.
Turning away from the vineyards, the vista of San Francisco Bay stretched below us.
Home for a much deserved cup of coffee. The garden is showing some color by my front door.
Cheerful nasturtiums, black-eyed Sues, freesias, primroses and geraniums wrap the corner out to the sidewalk.
Cymbidium Orchids tantalizingly close to flowering, need attaching to support canes.
Spring color palette continued right onto the lunch table.
Thank goodness for pressure cookers. Lamb Shank stew in 35 minutes, seasoned with fennel, brown mushrooms, rosemary, Worcester sauce, shallots and beer.
More green and orange stuff.
These strawberries looked too good to be true, but their sweetness surpassed the brown sugar and calvados.
I have another 500 mile road-trip planned for tomorrow, so I may take a nap. This time it's not dog-related. It's about a designer who needs some support in a meeting to explain to a client why she's a million dollars over budget and she hasn't finished closing in the walls yet. This promises to be fun!


  1. That ride looks glorious! Really nice trail and a good group of horses too!

    Love your flowers. Around my house, it's haphazard leftovers from my Dad's careful tending. Afraid I'm not much of a gardener.

    And the food. Good thing I just ate. Otherwise I'd be headed for the kitchen to whip something up to try to compete.....yeah, sure. My cooking is just a bit better than my gardening. *G*

    1. Definitely worth getting up for: how beautiful.

      I also bought beautiful strawberries yesterday, expecting to be disappointed, but they are lovely. yum!

      I hear that pressure cookers are great, so why am I afraid to get one?

  2. Oh for a trail ride. Every time I see photos of horses let alone seeing a horse and rider out, I get all nostalgic. I'm hoping someday I will be back in a saddle with my own horse. I have issues with rental I sound like a snob!

  3. Jean, the horses are happy and well cared for. They do English lessons as well as Western. The flowers are repeaters from previous years. I'm not as devoted as I used to be.

    Kerry, pressure cookers were part of our school curriculum, amid much shrieking and hiding under tables. Followed by living in France, where I really got used to the thing. It's an amazing time saver once you get the hang of it.

    Ellen, Trail riding on an escorted trail ride is not the same as on a horse of your own, for sure. I prefer lessons nowadays. I like to strive for improvement and understanding of the art. If you find the right place and trainer, it can be very rewarding and every horse has something to teach us. It sounds as though you might enjoy part leasing a privately owned horse. They even advertise that on CraigsList.

  4. "A million dollars over budget..."

    Happy Trails on the pony and in the Escalade!

  5. The trail looks beautiful, the flowers are gorgeous, and I'm drooling over the food! What a great day you had.

  6. Lovely photos...Would love to hear more about your friend and her ride...Still waiting for word on the next study...I've never used a pressure cooker, must try that. It's strawberry season here and I just had the last of the berries and cream. Your day sounds great.

  7. The trail ride looked fabulous. I used to have a lovely old mare called Frosty, an ex Police horse so rock solid and I could take her anywhere. I'd struggle to get on one now and having been on one to be honest would probably struggle to move for the next few days. ;0)

  8. That lamb shank stew looks wonderful.

  9. Who says there's no such thing as a perfect day?

  10. I just love it when you show off...!

  11. Some colour showing?
    Girl, have you forgotten your roots entirely?

  12. Too many hours behind the wheel today for any residual coherent thoughts. Thanks for your comments.

  13. It would be worth being reduced to a hobble for ever more just to have a morning like that !
    Though , being a timid person , I think I'll stick to s-l-o-w cooking stews .

  14. What a perfect day, horses and food...oh and what a pretty garden!

  15. Seeing your flower bed was like a mini-retreat to a B&B!

  16. Tamara, that's kind of you to say. My front garden is all in pots so I move them around depending on the sun exposure at different times of year and which are flowering depending on the season. It's a bit like creating a window display. Just now the freesias are perfuming the whole area.

  17. The whole day sounds delightful. Your flowers are so lovely. Everything is still brown and dry here. Oh my the lamb stew looks so good it makes me hungry.

  18. CiCi, I love this transitional time of year, before it gets too hot.

  19. Beautiful :)

    Had to chuckle at the designer problem. That's one hell of a "over budget" ;)

  20. Ah, on my first visit here, I find you love flowers and food! How could this not be a match made in, um, a garden?

    Here in Northern Minnesota, I look at your pots of flowers with envy. We are months away from riots of color...but you've given me a taste!

  21. Jocelyn, welcome. I'm not sure I'd be willing to go outside in Minnesota in wintertime. I just noticed that my maple tree has gone from naked twigs to a full neon-green head of perfect baby leaves. My crab-apple is starting to show some dark pink blossoms. Still, you have daffodils and such to look forward to when ours are but a memory. (And you won't have to worry about showing/shaving your legs for a while:)

  22. I love everything about this post; beautiful scenery, garden & food.

  23. Great blog - why not come and post it at Haynet an Equine Social Blogging Network? Come and have a look at

  24. mouth is WATERING. pass the salad and strawberries this way please!
    - The Equestrian Vagabond

  25. Merri, Colors are part of the food experience, aren't they?

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