November 28, 2011

Eggs of a different color

Eggs leaving the WD are either brown or green, and egg cartons are returned empty to be refilled. But the other day I was presented with a full carton of these beauties. My friend Phil, a bird lover like myself, had made these as a surprise.

This morning Dan made a small container for them and I look forward to the birds' reaction. They have to be delighted as I was.

November 26, 2011

Good grief, Gracie!

What happened here? Was it some internal explosion that blew off your feathers overnight? Perhaps in solidarity with the Thanksgiving turkeys?

It is a bit late for a molt, but that's just what it is. I hope her sisters are keeping her warm during the night in the coop as our nights are cool now. Thankfully new feathers are coming in quickly. Meanwhile, she is a mean mama, so don't get in her way.

November 20, 2011

El Tour de Tucson

We did it, yesterday Shannon and I rode the 60 mile circuit of El Tour! And we did so in good time, a little over 4 hours, Shannon's personal best for that distance. And we enjoyed ourselves.

Shannon and Denise (her mom) arrived from Oklahoma and Texas late on Friday afternoon. We rushed over to the Tucson Convention Center and spent an hour in lines picking up our tour instructions. There are over 6,000 cyclists in "one of the premier organized rides in the United States" so it was well-organized mayhem.

The next morning we got caught up in snarled Tucson traffic because of El Tour road closures, but made it to the starting line in good time. It was amazing to see the crowd about to take off, and these were just the 1398 cyclists for the 60 mile distance. The El Tour circuit is a route around Tucson, with different distances joining the circuit at various places. The longest distance, and the complete circuit, is 111 miles, so we joined about half-way.

It was amazing to join a line of cyclists that seemed never-ending. There were always cyclists ahead and behind, even after aid-station stops there was never a lull. We rode our speed, passed people and were passed, but kept ourselves in safe situations, and only saw one accident. Hats off to the Tucson police and the many volunteers who made sure we were well protected from traffic, and who made sure we had a good time riding.

I had already said before the ride that this would be my last El Tour because there were so many cyclists, but I think that Dan missed not riding this event so we may do a repeat performance together next year.

At the finish.

November 14, 2011

Reflections on 500

This last post was my 500th. Not that I am counting, but Blogger does. I have also been blogging for more than 4 years, I noticed. How time flies! Especially this year my blog posting frequency has dropped off, and I wonder why. We are still very happy here and love the place. I still see all those things that make living here so special: sunrise, beautiful desert, the animals, the plants and the huge diversity. I enjoy them as much, and maybe even appreciate them more, as I did when I first moved here. But now I am not as often surprised: I sort of know what to expect when. When the praying mantis arrive, when to plant tomatoes, when the wind will stop blowing (as a rule). So I am not as apt to blog about it any more.

There is also a new love in my life: cycling. And I am sure that whoever reads this blog is getting tired of reading about it. Perhaps I should start a cycling blog? But there is very little that has not been written already, other than my perspective on it. I will have to think more about it.

So I have decided to not archive Living a Dream, but perhaps post only when something truly noteworthy in my life happens, or when there is something really fun to share. However, I have found that some of my friends use the blog as a gauge of my physical and mental well being, and to them I will say: not to worry, all's well, no news is good news. We will continue to hike, ride our horses and bicycles, garden, and enjoy ourselves. We love our life, and relish in our ability to do and play as we wish. And all this in good health. We are so very fortunate. We wish you the same.