Sunday, February 23, 2014

An Artist is Born

My first ever Paint Nite!  The painting I selected to reproduce -- a Tuscany landscape.  Could I do it?  Well, thanks to Barmaid Sarah at the Bamboo Lounge ... oh, I get ahead of myself.

Portrait of an Artist, blank slate.  This ought to hang in a gallery ....

The Artist begins her creation.  Looking pretty darn awful already ... but wait, thanks to Barmaid Sarah....

The Artist hard at work.

Please, please, no applause, we're not done yet.  Notice the empty wine glass.  Yoo hoo, barmaid Sarah, the Artist needs nourishment.

Ah, satisfaction, 2 1/2 hrs. later.  Though, of course, one is never done creating.  R and I learned a lot about ourselves from this exercise. 

My Tuscany landscape masterpiece.  Any imperfections are naturally attributed to the barmaid Sarah.  :)

Saturday, February 22, 2014

To the Villa that was Hidden

We found the parking lot.  We found the restrooms.  The slimy black snake with red tail found us.  But we couldn't find the start of the trailhead for our adventure at the gorgeous Hidden Villa.  So, we came up with Plan B -- the trail we did stumble upon named Long Bunny Loop.  Where were the bunnies, I ask you.  I kept my eyes peeled for Peter Cotton Tail, Roger Rabbit, the White Rabbit, the Easter Bunny and Bugs Bunny of course.  No such luck.  Loved the sheep with thick winter wool coat (had to plunge my finger deep into his coat to reach his skin).  Can we just say right now that his hanging private parts were weird.  While I was petting him, he decided to poo.  I wish I had taken more photos to capture the beauty of this preserve but I was too busy giggling.  Til our next hiking adventure!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Save It For a Rainy Day

First challenge of the day for this year's Low-Key Mega-Monster Enduro -- Would we need to contact Crowd Control to contain the lone spectator viewing the cycling event of the season?

Second bet:  Would volunteer turnout exceed registered participant for the Enduro?
Third bet:  Would the weather hold?

The gloomy forecast was not inviting but the Enduro was on and in fact, it barely rained.  However, we had strong headwinds for the 36 cyclists who braved the conditions, and yes, they clearly outnumbered the volunteers!  No doubt many remember the stormy weather from two years ago and it is a rather long commute, so, understandably people decided to forgo said cycling event of the season.

A team somewhere on the course.  Go team!  Mr. Bill and I did SAG and took photos.  We both got up rather early and frankly we were a bit brain dead because it took about 45 miles or so for us to realize that if I reclined in my seat, he could get some decent shots of cyclists without my nose in the way.  I believe he may dedicate his forthcoming photo album to my nose.  How delightful.

Fourth bet:  Would the guy on the Hybrid Electric who drove all the way from Portland, OR. beat Mr. Bill's time!  

Mr Kevin of course coming from the East thought the weather to be fabulous, well, perhaps a bit of a stretch.  Our cyclists were real troopers, many opting to do the entire 100 mile course and others like Miss C. proving to herself that she can brave not ideal conditions and get back on the bike and go for it.   Miss P and I already had our fun in the sun (literally) doing much of this course a few weeks ago so we were fine with being volunteers.

Mr. Bill and I amused ourselves in his van, much of which I can not share, oh dear, that sounds naughty.  He gave me a super topographical depiction of the area.  We saw a roadrunner.  OMG, what a treat.  And many magpies near the entrance to the Pinnacles Park.  And from the behind, Mr. N really did look like a baboon's butt.

The staff at the Paicines store was wonderful.  Mr. L was without his dogs at Bittersweet but he managed nicely.  Dan got in a run.  Kevin reminded all who biked around the dinky coffee cup at the turnaround point of the 100 mile that Heaven was in sight.  I think a fun time was had by all despite the lack of sunshine.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Round Up the Usual Suspects

With The BF away on the East Coast for several months, Miss P ill, and others off elsewhere, I found myself alone, wondering what mischief I might achieve.  There was frost on the carport. I contemplated staying in bed with my favorite bonbons.  I bid adieu to the thought of the 9am club ride as I had no desire to bike in 48 degree temperature.  The photo above is of Mt. Um.  But I am getting ahead of myself.

I am a 50 year old wuss who doesn't like cold weather.  Which reminds me. Earlier in the week, I ran into a club member.  We got to chatting.

Me:  I turned 50 earlier this month.
He:  You don't look a day over 35.  Have you lost weight, too?
Me:  Remind me to tell The BF.
He:   A woman like you, I am surprised that you don't have several men in your life.
Me:  Keep it coming Mister.

Ah, a fellow flirter.  How delightful.  Now, where was I.  Oh yes, back to this morning.  Around noon, I decided to check out the Sierra Azul Open Space Preserve.

Driving up Hicks, as my car strained, I appreciated how nasty a climb it is for cyclists.  I think I saw Dr. G. flying down but I'm not sure.  I did an out and back hike, with some running as well, managing 5.4 miles and 1100 feet elevation change in 1 hr 35 minutes.  The trail is quite wide with some nice views.  Above, way in the distance is Mt. Hamilton.  Glad I wore wool for the shaded parts of the hike.  I enjoyed myself.