A fanfare ending to a family reunion extravaganza.

For the last week and a half, Monte and I hosted his family’s bi-annual reunion.   We started out with a big 3-day weekend, enjoying reconnecting and having fun at the house and in the backyard with 21 of our relatives that came from pretty much every corner of the country.  Then, for the next week, ten of the family that could stay longer came to stay with us at the house.   We packed it with as much food and fun as we could.   It was really a special, wonderful time.   Sailing, floating, grilling, cornhole, homemade pasta, bimini ring game, barbeque, card games, homemade pizza, geocaching, karaoke, low-country boil, gardening, sno-cones, sightseeing, even taking part in our neighborhood’s 4th of July parade.  Over the last few days, our party dwindled until it was just four of us yesterday.   We set out for the lake and sailed to Starnes Island to anchor up and watch the fireworks show.  It didn’t disappoint.  We squeezed every bit of fun out of the time spent with everyone.

Today we said goodbye to the last two revellers.   It’s just our flock now.  The house is quiet.

I leave you with two shots from the fireworks last night — here’s to family!

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Afternoon excursion.

We dashed out to Mayfield Park today to see the peacocks and the pretty grounds, found a geocache, and then climbed atop Mount Bonnell to enjoy the view.

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A nice day, indeed.

Whoa, Nellie. 

I took a walk around the hood tonight to hit my step target. And I came across this little lady who was very wary of me.   I said hi, took a picture and kept moving on down the road.  I’d like to think that she has a similar snap of me. 

  

Girl power!

I’ve been closely following the around-the-world sailing race, the Volvo Ocean Race, since it started back in October of last year.   Seven boats/teams started in Alicante, Spain, and have been sailing individual legs from one port to the next over the course of these last 8 months.   They have circumnavigated the globe and are driving to the end, later this month.  Tonight they will finish leg 8 – which started in Lisbon, Portugal, ending in Lorient, France.  One of the teams is an all-female crew, on-board the magenta Team SCA boat.  They have competed well, but have not yet won a leg.  Tonight they are in the brink of winning leg 8, and I am so rooting for them.   Just a little over 40 nm to go, and they are still leading the pack by 10nm and holding steady on speed.  Go Team SCA!!!

What an amazing adventure.  Check it out!

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Take time. 

My aunt gave me this card a number of years ago.   I’ve held onto it because I like the message.  It turned up again recently when I was cleaning out a cupboard.  Lots of wisdom on a little piece of paper.  Maybe it will touch you as well.  

  
  I don’t know who wrote it, so I can’t give credit.  

Christmas in May.

We headed out to the lake yesterday.  The rains have FINALLY been falling over the basin that flows into Lake Travis.  We have been watching the LCRA lake levels like kids in a candy store.  The lake is up to over 648′ today!  which is up about 25′ from where it has been stuck for the last few years.  We still want more – 30 more feet and brimming would be nice – but boy was it thrilling to see.  I actually felt my heart rejoice.  :)

The band of grey, exposed limestone is thinner now.  Sometimes Islands are islands again!  I’m glad I spent one afternoon walking the length of the peninsula while it was exposed earlier this year.

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Our marina has moved half of its dock back to shore.  All of the ramps for the letter docks are floating.  And one of our boat ramps is usuable again.  We went for a sail with Kurt and Kevin.  We saw alot of debris in the water.  And alot of these….. balls of red ants floating in the lake.   Beware folks, you do NOT want to swim into one of these!

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We anchored in our cove and spent the afternoon marvelling over how great it was to finally have our lake back.   :)

Oh, and…. i want one of these:

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Every rose has its thorn.

When we moved to this house, I scoped out all the plants and trees in the yard, looking forward to taking care of them:   the amazing live oaks all over the place, a couple of pecan trees that are majestic but don’t seem to want to produce nuts, a redbud that has since died (sniffle), the ginormous red oak in the front yard, the (now ailing) flowering pear, the resilient Texas mountain laurels, several red yuccas that I love to watch bloom, silverado sage that forecasts the rain, a mimosa tree in the back with its fine pink puffy blooms… just to name a few…AND one tiny cactus that seemed to be too much in the shade.

It was small in the beginning.  Monte mowed over it accidentally way back when, after which I staked it out with a ring of limestone.  But now after 9 (!) years and much thinning of the small forest under which it sat, it has sunlight, and has thrived.   And I am happy to see two buds on it this year!   The first one opened today.  I’m enjoying my flowering prickly pear cactus.  Perhaps this is the yellow rose of Texas?

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Chasing sunsets.

We popped into our local public house for dinner and some cards tonight.   On the way home we were treated to an awesome sunset… complete with rainbow and mammatus clouds (Monte looked it up).   We had to dash around a bit and didn’t get a good shot, but hopefully this gives you an inkling of how beautiful it was.

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Wall-to-wall. 

This part of New York is quite scenic, striped with miles of meandering stone walls.  I like to think they were stacked by hand in the 1800s, bordering pastures and property lines.  Slow work, I’m sure, but enduring.   

 I’m headed home.  TGIF!!