The marine survey was scheduled for today. I took the day off work so that I could be there with Monte for it. The marine surveyor was fantastic. He spent about 10 hours on the boat with us, inspecting virtually everything on the boat while explaining how everything worked as he went along. He didn’t find much wrong, and no surprises. So, pending getting the final report from him, I think we will be upgrading from our beloved, homebuilt wooden catboat that we’ve been playing on for the last 8 years, to a big-kid, plastic boat that we will be enjoying for the next 15 or so years.
I saw these huge blooms on a plant near the marina. They look like Morning Glories, but the blooms are about 4 inches across! I’ve never seen one so large. This shot below shows the plant in its larger setting, to give you a better sense of its size.
I much prefer these guys outside the house than in the attic. They still seem a little miffed that they’ve been blocked out of getting in back in. Sorry little buddy.
We have lots of baby bluejays around the yard. They take turns sitting in the bird bath and splashing. This guy paused long enough for me to get a shot before he flew off. It’s a bit grainy due to the zoom, but I’m posting it nonetheless.
We buzzed over to Chuy’s for dinner tonight. Since we live so close, we eat there often. We have mastered the art of timing our arrival before the after-work happy hour and dinner rush.
Chuy’s uses those old timey wax paper sanitary wrappers for their silverware. On the back they’ve printed multi-denomenational prayers of grace. It seems so out of place in our world today. But it’s a reminder for us to give thanks for what we have, and for what we are about to eat.
It also caused me to reflect on the dinner times from my childhood. In my family, we sat down for dinner together every night. No TV, no radio. No books or newspapers at the table. We said grace out loud, together. We had to have a little bit of everything on our plate. We had to clean our plate before we were finished (or we’d sit there as long as it took until we did finish), and we had to ask “may I be excused?” before we were allowed to get up, clear our place and leave the table.
Was that really that long ago?
May we all be a little more thankful for our many blessings.
I planted broccoli a few months ago. The plants have grown to about 2 feet high, and now the floret heads are getting big. I can’t wait for the harvest!
The rains have been sucked up by very thirsty trees, flowers and lawn. This is a shot of one of the zinnias in the garden — a pretty fiery orange one.
I awoke this morning to the sound of Monte getting up and going outside. He had been planning on watching this morning’s quadruple conjunction of the crescent Moon, Jupiter, Venus and Aldebaran. So, I hopped out of bed too. I grabbed my camera and he dug out the tripod.
It was 6 AM and the sun was already starting to come up. An hour earlier would have been better, light-wise, but the event was clearly visible from our front yard.
In the shot above, Jupiter is on the top. Venus is below, it is at its brightest this month. If you look closely, you can see the star Aldebaran on the right side of the frame (vertically about halfway between the Moon and Venus). There is another faint star to the bottom left of Jupiter, but I don’t know what that one is called.
It was a pretty sight. It is always thrilling to see the dance of the moon, planets and stars. This morning the clouds lifted and we were treated to a great view.
Wally found this guy on b-dock today. We took a couple of shots and then let him go on his way.
We went to a Round Rock Express baseball game tonight. On Friday nights they have a post-game fireworks show. We had great seats right along the 3rd base line. The game didn’t end well, but the fireworks sure did.
One of the perks of being a customer of Austin Utilities is their Large Brush Collection program — twice a year you can put as much brush, tree trunks, branches, etc on the curb and the city will haul it away.
This year we had alot of trees that had died from the drought and monte went to town on them with the saw. We had about 30′ of frontage piled about 4 feet high with brush.
The city is pretty darn efficient in hauling it away. It took them less than 5 minutes at our house, and they were off to the next pile.
It rained again tonight. We got a good dousing this time. I would like more though, so please do a rain dance for Central Texas and the rest of the country that is in dire need of it.
If you don’t have a rain dance of your own, then just dance with Matt. It’s been 4 years since the last one, but he’s just released his latest Dancing video. Check it out on youtube here. I dare you not to smile.
We’ve been anxiously awaiting some, *any*, rain at our house for the last 72 hours or so. In between weather radar checks, I cooked dinner tonight. And as we were finishing, the rain started falling — yeah!!
Pasta, Proscuitto & Peas
6 oz fresh pasta (I used linguine)
1 T butter
1 T olive oil
1 shallot, finely diced
1 clove garlic, finely diced
2 oz sun-dried tomatoes, thinly sliced
4 oz prosciutto, sliced into long thin strips (I trim off fat to throw it in while sauteing the shallots and garlic)
1/2 c white wine
6 oz green peas (i used frozen, you can also use fresh)
1/2 cup heavy cream
6 oz parmesan cheese, finely shredded
Boil pasta in salted water. Over medium heat, saute onions, garlic and sun-dried tomatoes til soft in butter, olive oil and trimmed fat from prosciutto. After a minute or two, add sliced prosciutto. Stir for 2-3 minutes. Add wine to de-glaze pan, stir and reduce by 1/2. Add peas and cream. Stir again for 2-3 mins.
When pasta is done, strain (saving 1 cup pasta water in case sauce needs thinning). Remove sauce from heat and place strained pasta in cream sauce. Toss pasta in sauce. Add pasta water if needed to thin sauce.
Stir in cheese. Serve!
A chance of rain has been in the forecast for the last day or two. At about 4pm the clouds start to build and red blobs pop up on the weather radar. Unfortunately the rain clouds fizzle out before they get to us.
I hope it’s raining somewhere.