In the moment

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

In love - It’s no secret that my latest preferred vehicle for food delivery is the taco but very recently, I’ve fallen back in love with egg sandwiches.  I’ve been making them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner (with fresh sourdough bread please) and slathering them with sriracha.  Add a handful of salad greens and you’ve got your veggies too.  Also, I’ve rediscovered my love for audiobooks and am currently listening to Career of Evil whilst I run.  Listening to books is easier than trying to read while running and less distracting (read: less chances of me falling off the treadmill).

On consumption - Never have I been more aware of the amount of things I buy and own than the past few months.  Even more than inventorying the amount of stuff I have, it’s about how buying things makes me feel.  I’ve loaded and unloaded virtual shopping carts dozens of times and have not yet been regretful of not making a purchase.  My last non-food purchase was a $5 ball cap that I got at Tractor Supply to commemorate my first visit to B’s favourite store.  If you can believe it, it’s the only souvenir that I purchased on our road trip through Texas Hill Country last week and I’ve already gotten my money’s worth.  Don’t worry though, I’m not going to go all KonMari on y’all.  

Out of the bubble - My allergies are the worst that they’ve been in a decade.  This may or may not be attributable to the fact that up until this spring, I’ve typically been surrounded by concrete and buildings rather than blooming wildflowers and freshly cut grass.  This year alone, I think I’ve spent more time outdoors than I have in the previous three in Dallas.  I went on a bicycle ride this past weekend for the first time in ages and couldn’t fully enjoy it, despite the balmy weather, because of the faceful of pollen I got during the eight mile ride.  I had to hide out inside the house while everyone else lounged poolside until I got my sneezing and itching under control.

On writing - I’ve been completely derelict in my writerly duties, except for the weekly haikuesday tweets.  During my week off, I scribbled incoherent and disjointed thoughts on paper but can barely read my own handwriting, looking back on it.  Maybe it’s because I’m physically pooped and the need to write doesn’t arise due to exhaustion.  Or perhaps it’s because so many of my old blogger friends have gotten busy living and don’t visit as often anymore.  In any case, I feel as though I’ve been neglectful and am trying to find the right balance between writing more and writing intentionally.  There may be some rambling that finds its way on to this space and possibly some nuggets of gold as well.  As with all things, time will tell.

A word on Ryon

Sunday, April 17, 2016

It HAS been ages since I’ve given you an update about my guy, hasn’t it?

I believe the last place I left off in The NeverEnding Saga That Is Ryon was during his joint procedure rehab in November 2015 (he’s faring quite well with that).  Other than that minor operation, Ryon had a relatively quiet and relaxing winter.  The weather in Texas didn’t get cold enough for the friskies to come out to play, and he got along really well with his horse friends.  During December and January, he started losing weight at a maddening pace, so we put him back on fat calorie supplements which he’s already burned through (zing).  Side note: Pretty sure all of that extra weight latched on to me instead because that’s how that happens.

Fast forward to this spring and it’s as though he was punched in the face with Spring Fever.  In February and March, Ryon morphed into the biggest bully, almost a flashback to when I first got him.  He kicked the newest horse in the chest and then tried to coerce the other horses in his paddock to gang up on Poor Tony as well, which earned him a week in solitary confinement.  When we finally turned him out again with other horses, we paired him up with Eddie, the alpha of our herd, who Ryon promptly decided to attack.  He immediately got his ass soundly walloped and has behaved like an almost-perfect angel ever since.

When I say almost-perfect, rest-assured that he wouldn’t be Ryon without some sort of attitude injected into my everyday life.  Ryon continues to throw a fit when I make him wait his turn to ride through our jumper courses, which in turn has ensured that he is dead last in every single activity we participate in.  His cheekiness also extends to making a break for it from the arena and toward the green green grass outside, whilst he had a beginner rider on him.  If I have ever for an instant felt confident in my abilities as a horsewoman, Ryon promptly puts me in my place.

Never were there any truer words: There are only two emotions that belong in the saddle; One is a sense of humor, and the other is patience.

In the quiet

Thursday, March 24, 2016


It’s quiet and dark in the early hours of the morning.  You barely shift beside me, your breathing deep and easy.  One leg always flung outside the covers, you rarely dream (and when you do, is it of me?).  I set my alarm ten minutes before yours to spend that time awake before you, soothed by your steady breath and arm resting beneath my head.  Outside the sky slowly shifts from a dark wicked navy to muted pastels.  When you open your eyes, you blink slowly and peer out from the shadow of sleep as though you’re seeing the world for the very first time.  

The music is moving on to the next track, and there’s a slight pause in the rollicking laughter and conversation that flows so effortlessly.  Before we know it, we’ll start dancing again, barefoot and booty-shaking around the room.  But in this quiet moment where we both take a breath, time stands still.  We are here now incredibly enough, in what you called “a thimbleful of chance” amidst an ocean of possibility.  There’s barely a half second to capture the moment before the bass starts its thumping.

It’s a silent spring night, and the only sound is the turning of pages.  Your legs cross over mine and we both glance up occasionally.  You keep track of the time to make sure that I get to bed at a reasonable hour; I watch your eyes to gauge how much you’re actually enjoying the book recommendation I gave you.  My head rests on your shoulder and then whoosh! I’m gone, in a world of Chuck Palahniuk or Daniel Wilson’s choosing, their words pounding a beat into my head.

In between the jokes, laughter, engines roaring, phones buzzing, the cacophony of noise throughout the day, those snippets of quiet say the most and speak the loudest.  It is within the quiet of your presence that I grow closer to you.  

Here (briefly) comes the sun

Friday, March 18, 2016

The City can be so noisy, when one is trying to shake off the effects of jet lag.  A garbage truck rumbles by.  Late night partygoers laugh and yell in the streets (during a work week no less).  I can block out the light with blackout shades but can’t seem to block out the noise.  A quick trip but when am I going to get some sleep this year?  I slept the best that I have in awhile on the plane ride over the pond, despite the turbulence, a sign that I’m either becoming extraordinary accustomed to plane travel or that I’m exhausted.  Or both.

The last full day here, the sun finally revealed itself in all its blazing glory to the citizens of the City, and we all quickly forgot how dreadfully dismal and moody the previous days were.  I slapped myself for forgetting to pack my sunglasses (but also while congratulating myself for packing and using my workout clothes).  I’ll be chasing the sun westward this morning (or night or morning) - what does the beginning of spring look like for you all?

I've already

Thursday, March 10, 2016

It’s March...

And I’ve already jumped into a swimming pool (and surfaced with almost smurf blue skin)

And I’ve already grilled out with sausages, kebabs, and more

And I’ve already downed way too many Sonic diet strawberry limeades (the largest size please)

And I’ve already slathered aloe all over my body and face because of an epic sunburn

And Ryon and I’ve already raced thoroughbreds down stretches of turf, sending dirt clods flying in every direction

And I’ve already packed and unpacked my suitcase more times than I care to recall

And I’ve already participated in an absurd number of impromptu dance parties - shoes optional

And, speaking of shoes, I’ve already slopped and speckled most of my footwear with mud

And it’s only March.

On unpacking

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

...Which consisted of dumping everything into the overflowing dirty clothes hamper.  There was a mishmash of items unloaded from my suitcase that needed a good scrubbing - ski pants, jacket, flannels, and swim suits.  I feel extremely lucky to have spent three weekends in the mountains so far in 2016, and it’s only the beginning of March.  I’ve watched the sunrise over the Rocky Mountains and watched it set over the beaches of Monterey, with the mountains of Garrapata State Park looming in the background.  Those lungfuls of clean mountain air have sustained me throughout the work week in my beige box.

One shadow on the travel adventures: Siri and Misha were supposed to join us for a ski weekend in Colorado, but Siri had an emergency appendectomy three days before they were going to fly out and meet us.  She’s still recovering, and we missed her on the slopes.  Next time Siri!

After all the weeks in the snow, it’s quite fun to come back to an early spring here in Texas.  We missed winter altogether - not a single snow day so far this winter - although it’s not inconceivable for Texas weather to throw us a late spring snowstorm.  Walking on the trails this weekend, it feels like Mother Nature lost the memo that it was only February.  It’s greener here than I’ve seen it in years and the trees have gone quite mad with a frenzy of blooms.  My cheeks are rosy red with an early sunburn and I may or may not already have an utterly delightful farmer’s tan.  Come at me spring 2016!

Big Sur I know you're the one

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Courtesy of BW

“It’s not a race, Ruth, slow down.”

Quietly and ever-so-gently, I was pulled to a stop after twenty minutes of gallivanting up the mountain like a billy goat on too much espresso.  My run was brought to a calmer, moseying pace, up the trail with plenty of pauses to actually stop and take a look around.  If you stop bouncing around enough, you can spy a red tailed hawk gliding on the ocean breeze, and look here at the orange, purple, yellow, and white flowers that line the path.  What kind of flowers are these, none of us are sure, and let’s take a look at the next one over here.  At one point, we stood and listened to the surf and watched the waves crash and froth along the coast of Big Sur.  We were, at separate times, high enough to watch the mist glide in over the shore and low enough to see the white tent tops from the Pro-Am event at Pebble Beach.

Later that afternoon, we rolled past tourists pulled over in endless rows of Mustang convertibles, gawking at the vistas.  We eased our windows down to gawk at the tourists, surprised that more of them weren’t hit by oncoming traffic or toppling over barricades.  There were too many selfies / selfie sticks / couple selfies to count.  When did we become so obsessed with viewing the world through a screen and memorializing every. single. moment. that we miss out on the waterfall cascading on to the beach or the peachy sunset dipping behind the clouds?  At some point, instagramming everything became more of a focus than holding on to a railing, catching the sunbeams on your face, and not caring which way the wind has blown your hair.

In the mornings, tracking California dew on the carpet, we’d meander next door for breakfast or rather, the boys would chow down on biscuits, gravy, eggs, bagels, yogurt, sausage and I’d drink my breakfast.  On my last day, I caved and housed down a meal alongside them - keeping up was hard work.  In the evenings, we dined on only the most high class fare available - pub grub or chowder in a bread bowl.  To be specific, someone else’s bread bowl after he ate the chowder out of it already.  How magnanimous right?  Oh bread, you’re always so good to me.

On President’s Day, on our way through San Jose, we stopped off for a tour of the Winchester Mystery House, something I’ve wanted to do ever since I watched that Halloween / late night special on all the spooky places you can visit in the US.  We wandered through 110 of the 160 rooms on the six acre property, lagging behind the tour group to peer out windows that looked out onto other parts of the house and craning our necks around corners to encounter shrinking, dimly lit hallways.  If you ever need a new setting for a Gothic ghost story or have any interest in Victorian architecture, this house is The Place to visit.

Having gorged myself on only a smidgen of California adventures, I’ve been invited back the next time the guys are out there.  There are more parks and more peaks to conquer, along with wineries and restaurants that we didn’t even get to.  Next time, CA, I’ll be back.

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