Tuesday, May 15, 2012

back to our regularly scheduled programming

I got back from California…um…geez. Earlier today, technically speaking: my flight landed just past midnight, meaning I got home around 2:30 am. Some lovely people on the plane were so kind as to share their cold viruses with me, so I am currently nursing golf balls in my throat. Not great timing – we’ve got a chorus concert this weekend. I am assured that gargling with warm salt water and holding the intention to heal will do the trick, so that’s my plan.

I was in California to run in the Santa Barbara Wine Country half marathon with my brother and sister-in-law. It was a gorgeous day for running: cool and foggy! And that, plus the whim of the gods, combined with my recent studly habits, enabled me to knock more than ten minutes off my previous best time: I finished in 2:13:35.


What’s not to love about this medal? It’s a wine bottle stop complete with corkscrew! My brother’s shipping mine to me, since otherwise TSA agents would have confiscated it out of my carry on.


The best thing to do after a long race is attend a beer and wine festival. I have never before been slightly tipsy at ten in the morning before. Hey, nice hair, Sarah!


Here’s my sister-in-law Lynn showing off how the tech T she’s wearing is from a half marathon she ran the previous weekend. She is such a stud. She’s got me thinking about doing a full marathon now. Gulp.

The central question in any post-race recovery meal is always, am I about to eat more calories than I just burned?


I think the answer here is “yes”.

The rest of the day was spent going to various wineries in the region and taking advantage of the fact that my bro and his bride are members of a bunch of them. This means that they can waltz in and be treated like royalty to free tastings.


Those tiny tiny sips do add up.

And now, for the flower report.

We start with what passes for ordinary shrubbery in southern California: the exploding bottlebrush bush.


It starts off innocuously enough.



This can’t be right: strings?!





Just stop, already!

(Hey, those were all cell phone camera pix. Not too shabby, but I won’t make a habit of it.)

Next up, agapanthe, native to South Africa but happily occupying some prime real estate just off the Pacific Coast Highway.



It’s like dinosaur-sized chives. This thing’s the size of my fist and comes up to my collar bone.


Coming out to play.


Laaaaah! (BTW, that’s the ocean peeking out from the base of the flowerlets.)

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