cat dreams

I have vivid dreams – always have – and I often remember them. Last night, I had a dream that I was driving to (Tahoe?) to go camping, and it started snowing. I was unprepared for the sudden blizzard, and started spinning out (which actually has happened to me before – ending with a crash into a hill on the side of the road). I knew not to hit the brakes, which could make me spin more, and I was now in a parking lot (appeared to the left of the road), so I just let it spin until I crashed into the building. They didn’t mind, and let me stay at their inn for the night. As we were unpacking the car (which was fine – not damaged at all from the crash), hubby asked me if I had my long underwear. I started freaking out that I didn’t have them, because I didn’t pack any skiing clothes, as it is the middle of summer. So, we got inside the building… which was much larger inside than it appeared on the outside. Similar to the way the wizards use magic to make their buildings larger on the inside in the Harry Potter books. We went to our room, and I decided I wanted to take a bath (which, by the way, I NEVER do in real life in hotel rooms). It was snowing outside, so maybe I wanted to warm up? I started the water to fill the tub, and when I went back to check it, it was on the brink of overflowing… which I am famous for doing in real life… I just forget about it, and always remember right before it starts pouring out onto the floor. Back to the dream… when I went back to check the water, I found all these kittens in the water… some drowning, some on the brink of drowning. I approached the water, and tried to get them out, and then I was attacked by the mom cat… Who was watching the water, but apparently not trying to save them? Not able to save them? Either way, I was getting bit by the cat. Then I woke up. After relaying the dream to hubby, he said, “What do you think that means? Other than the fact that you don’t like cats?”



sunsets here in the sacramento valley are rarely glorious bursts of color. tonight's show was a deviation from the customary unnoticed retiring of the sun for the day. hubby and i were surprised to see a rainbow in the clouds against the hills behind our house at dusk, followed by disbelief when we discovered orange and pink gleaming in the sky overhead. my father routinely sends me pix messages of sunsets from the west coast of florida, and even on the tiny 2.5 inch screen, the beauty of a setting sun over the ocean is obvious.

i received sunset pictures every day for a while, and mentioned once that pix messages aren't free on my cell phone plan. but considering all the basketball shoes, soccer cleats, track shoes, uniforms, softball gloves (need i go on?) that were purchased for me over the years, i figured i could spare the 5 cents to receive the pix messages. so far, i am probably up to the cost of a shoelace on one of the aforementioned items. i considered sending back a sunset picture of the sky here tonight, but decided they deserved more than a tiny screen view. (oh, and i didn't have to pay 25 cents to send them).

from the backyard:

a patch of blue peeking through:

disclaimer: these pics are not actually of the sunSET per se, but rather the view to the east (east? inland? yes... east) of the clouds building up against the foothills of the sierras.

unfortunately, these colors also brought with them their old friend, humidity. which was not invited, and should not be here. the sac valley mantra "it may be 95 degrees, but it's a DRY heat" is now voided, and i will be locked up in my air conditioning until it subsides. or until september. whichever comes first.


east to west... directional challenges

i grew up in new jersey. bring on the big hair and mall jokes… like i haven’t heard it before. i now live in a state that looks remarkably like jersey – in shape… if you take the mirror image and enlarge it by about a thousand percent, and leave the same amount of people... oh, and move it to the other coast (or, the LEFT coast, as my mother likes to call it). pretty much the same thing, right?

so, having grown up with the ocean to the east, my instinct is that when going inland, one is traveling west. doesn’t work out here. every time someone asks me directions that involve east/west, i conjure up a map-like picture in my mind with land and an ocean - but i don't have the standard n-s-e-w cross on my imaginary map in my head. i just have the instinct that inland is west. so, when i respond to the question about directions, here is how my response sounds: "go west. no east. no... um, hang on... hubby! which way do they go? no, they need to go away from the ocean. that's east, right?". then i have to listen to him chuckle at me, or roll his eyes (yes, i can hear him rolling his eyes).


tour de france & tivo

okay, i admit it, i am a tour de france junkie. hubby and i got addicted somewhere in the middle of lance armstrong’s reign as champion. i cannot even fathom how many hours we have spent watching guys ride bikes on tv. good thing we can exercise by osmosis. i love listening to paul and phil announce on versus (i really liked the name OLN better, but i guess they don’t care about me) – after watching for years, i am still learning nuances to the race – and the sport.

versus televises the tour live every morning from 6a-9a (in my time zone). i used to wake up every day before work and watch it (not the entire thing – i took a break for a few minutes to shower). the problem was that it would end at 9a. yes, i have a job. so, for three quarters of the month of july, i would roll into work sometime after 9 (no, i didn’t get fired). and if the race didn’t finish at 9, i would have to go to work, wait the whole day (if i had enough self restraint not to look up the results online), and then watch the ending during the 6p delayed viewing.

but, now, i can watch it whenever i want! i have loved tivo from the beginning. in fact, it was my christmas present from hubby 3 years ago. since then, we traded in our little tv for this monster:
it is humongous. i had to apologize to all my girlfriends and warn them before they brought their husband's over to our house. when they delivered it, i told hubby it was too big, but he looked at me like i was crazy, and said, "there is no such thing as a tv being too big."

as a sidenote, directv changed our tivo to dvr, but i am still calling it tivo. 1) it is easier to say; 2) i think they should get name recognition and credit for naming this wonderful invention.
we love riding the alps from the safety of our own couch. with the tour entering the mountains this weekend, we had a busy saturday and sunday - the entire stage was televised... it was a bit daunting when we opened the show, and our little timer at the bottom said 5:30... yes, for 5 hours and 30 minutes. but we battled through, knowing that we had a rest day on monday. we needed it!


shiny new shoes

hubby and i went on a hike today – he got new hiking shoes, which was a perfect excuse to drag him outside. after thoroughly searching the internet, i found a great hiking area near our new house. we gathered a few of the 10 essentials (hubby was an eagle scout and is always reminding me that we should be prepared). but really, the hike was only 4 miles near a fairly populated area, so 5.5 of the 10 essentials seemed sufficient. water – check; food – check; sun protection & sunglasses – check; first aid kid – check; matches (conveniently stored in the first aid kit) – check; map & compass (map – check, compass – nope). as for the others: extra clothes – forecast said 95 for the high, and even the low at night can’t possibly be below 70 based on our air conditioning bill; flashlight – it wasn’t even lunchtime… sun had many hours left in the sky; rain gear – it just doesn’t rain here in the summer; pocketknife – would probably end up being more dangerous for me than helpful.

we departed early(ish) so that we could do the hike before it got too hot. i printed a map of the hiking trails, and jotted down the roads to get there. first navigational setback: missed the first turn about 3 miles from our house – went 5 miles past the road before i realized that we were heading in the wrong direction. oops. i blame hubby for allowing me to navigate to a new destination without double checking my route. he KNOWS i can’t read a map. at this point, you might wonder why i was so cavalier about not needing a compass – well, i don’t know how to use it, so it wouldn’t really help me if i got lost.

new shoes at the start of the hike:

new shoes at the end of the hike:

yes, i know the lighting is completely different... like i said, i might have to read that manual thing (if i kept it).

we consulted the trail map in the parking lot - considered altering our planned route, and taking the trail to the right to see the giant fly... are we the only ones with a warped sense of humor?
we started down cronan ranch road, headed up west ridge trail and then looped back. i took some test pictures to see if i magically figured out how to use my camera this morning. i think i might try to read the instructions soon. maybe.

view up from the start of our hike: turned off at the west ridge trail:
hiking to the top of the ridge:

view from the top of the ridge... in the distance, you can see the lollipop tree (a local landmark above the river used by kayakers and rafters) - it is really just a tiny dot on the top of the hill from here:
note that he is carrying the backpack. he told me that we would have to take turns, but i made the argument that i carry crap for him in my purse ALL THE TIME, so i didn’t think i should have to take a turn carrying the pack on a short hike… guess it worked.

getting closer to the lollipop tree - you can actually kind of get the point in this picture:

hubby checking out the shrubbery on the side of the trail:
he said that it had signs of being poisonous: 3 leaves, red color, shiny appearance. that's why i married him... okay, not actually WHY i married him, but it is a great 'free with purchase' bonus gift.
on the way down the ridge trail, we could finally see the river:

for those living in the greater sacramento area, i would highly recommend this hiking area. no fee to park (we parked at the lot off of pedro hill road), and we didn’t see anyone the entire time we were hiking. we saw a hot air balloon operator in the parking lot at the start of our hike, and another hiker at the end, but other than that, did not cross paths with another human. i believe you can get down to the river (we didn’t) from the main trail. after our hike, we drove past the other parking area (off hwy 49), and it was full of horse trailers. so, watch your step on the trails – no need to get horse dung in your shoes just to break them in.