Busy work day.  Rain by noon, steady into the evening.  Elaine grills under an umbrella.   Straighten and guy-wire the canopy which is still up from this weekend but was not tethered, and was bowing under the wind and light rain almost looking like it could take off.   Doggies very quiet (sleeping) after a tough day at the play place.

Back to work.  Later, major clean of the grill and still no flame until Elaine figures out no propane flow and disconnects and reconnects the valve (Hank Hill would be proud).  Brat-and-a-half on the grill then sitting outside til it cools down enough to want to get inside.  Or put on the camping parka.

Some days, there is something magical about riding the bike to work.  The gears tick along, and the wheels whirr on the pavement, the wind is at my back, and – almost miraculously – the operators of two-ton bicycle death machines decide to yield properly at intersections.   The bike path is mostly clear of gaggles of sauntering, lane-blocking pedestrians; dog-walkers keep their friendly hounds from barking at my heels, and all is well with the world.  I even remember to keep my lips closed as I smile my way down the path (thus discouraging unwelcome insectoid guests in my mouth).  I happily greet people with a quick “g’mornin’ – on yer left” to warn them of my passing.  (N.B.  I follow the rules of the road and of courtesy, which allows me griping rights when others don’t.)  And I love the ride in.  I really, really do.

And today was, for the most part, that day: I had a great ride in (almost floating on the balm of self-satisfaction for having changed my first flat, all by myself).  And the ride home would have been equally great, had I not tangled with my own clumsiness.  You see, when I geared up and got on, I hadn’t latched my pannier (the Detours Toocan Pannier ) and, a few blocks away from launch, my foot started smacking the bag.  When I pulled off at the nearest open area, I failed to unlatch from my clips, and – well – there’s no other way to put it: ungracefully flailed and flopped over (HARD!) onto the pavement.  Gash on my knee:  2 inches.  Bruise on my hip:  7 inches (likely).  Damage to my dignity: countless.  Many thanks to the folks who inquired after me (most of whom continued on when I bravely stated, “nope, fine, just clumsy”); most thanks to the very kind fella who stopped, and waited, until I was up, dusted off, helmet re-set on head, and responding to questions.  The ride home was fine – a little twingy, and the blood running down my leg was a bit unsettling – but I made it, and though I’m a bit sore, I am fine.

My friend James tells me that people who really ride bike occasionally spill a little blood, but in so doing, earn their bragging rights.  I guess I got a few more of those today…but I would feel better about that were it not such a stupid, avoidable, clumsy accident.  D’oh!

Spending the day getting ready for and then hosting a small garden party. Weather actually mostly cooperative, mid-70s by the afternoon, some sun.  Spiedini a la Romagnola (per Batali, thanks Leah for the cookbook!) for befores, slabs of Memphis-style ribs and all the goes-withs for main.   Here’s a look:

Surf & Turf

Ready to Serve

More photos here.

I’m sitting here, in my warm socks and fuzzy sweater, thinking about how a rainy, grey day of “bitter” cold (54 degrees) in midsummer ought to make me appreciate more the glorious sunny days of weeks past.

It doesn’t.  Not really.  But I promise to try to recapture some of those past days by adding my thoughts about them…I think the hard part will be adhering to Gordon’s numbering conventions.

Nevertheless, I’ll try.

Gordon’s given me access to the site, so I can learn a new skill (working with WordPress) and help keep him up to date with postings!

My report for today is grim:  the weather is shockingly cold and grey for Summer, and I would like to make a motion that we do not, in fact, include July 17, 2009 as one of our 106 Days.  Do I have a second?  (Gordon?)  If so, the matter is open for discussion.  Please comment below, and we’ll take a vote on the matter tomorrow.  (Blogging meets Robert’s Rules of Order…)

Ok!  We are in for record cold here for the next two days.   We will be colder than Fairbanks, Alaska today.  Hot fun in the summertime.