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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It’s always something. 

This morning a crew showed up to repair our failed sewer line.   By dinner time we were back in business.   The upside:  I am just very happy that this issue arose now and will be fixed before a big family gathering at the house in a few weeks.  

#ItsAlwaysSomething

Sugar bombs.

I was introduced to cake pops recently, when a friend brought a dozen to a party.  They are an excellent sweet treat.   This weekend I took a stab at making a batch myself.    Here’s how they turned out:

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I did a little research beforehand, googling a few recipes and how-tos.   This is the one I picked to guide me, and pretty much followed it exactly.   I made one modification – I detest frosting-in-a-can, as its main ingredient is partially hydrogenated fat.   I bought a powder mix instead – which was basically powdered sugar, really.   I just had to add butter and a bit of milk.  And it worked great for the frosting.  I mixed up half a box (i.e., about as much frosting to cover half a cake), on the advice of the how-to that I was following.   And it worked fine.

I bought pure white Wilton candy chips, and added food coloring.  I have to say that the “dipping” phase is still a mystery to me.  No matter what I tried, the candy coating was always the consistency of frosting.  I tried both the microwave method, as well as the double boiler method.   It was still very thick.    So I couldn’t really “dip” the pops.  I spun them through the coating and had to smooth with a knife most of the time.   No matter, though, they turned out fine.

Some people recommend buying floral arrangement foam to use as a stand to hold your cake pops.  I asked Monte to make me a few stands with wood scrap he had laying around in the shop.  They worked great.

Oh, Mercury, give it a rest!

I took this photo last weekend on the lake, right before the last bit of seemingly relentless rain storms passed.   It has an ominous look to it – fitting for how I’m feeling today.

IMG_8304Have you heard tales of bizarro things happening when the planet Mercury is in retrograde (which happens a couple times every year)?   If not, you can read about it here.  Well, Mercury has been in retrograde since May 18, and will be through June 11.

Here’s a short list of things I’m writing off as Mercury’s doing during this period of retrograde:

– historic flooding (since around the 18th……hmmm)
– the docks at our marina have broken in places due to the flooding and storms, so the dock our boat is on Is in limbo, unable to be brought back to shore for the time being
– our anchor rode snapped unexpectedly while pulling up the hook 2 weeks ago
– I found a bat in my office at work yesterday (the Mexican freetail kind, not the Louisville slugger kind)
– the sewer drain at the house up and died last night (freakiest – and grossest – of all)

And we still have almost another week of this.  Have you any bizarre happenings to share?

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.  

I’m beside myself. 

Today the lake is lapping close to 665′.  How amaze-balls is that??!!! The forecast has settled down enough for us to plan a night out.  And it is amazing.  The lake is up 45’+ and we are anchored up in a cove we could only look at on maps 2 weeks ago.   Thank you!  Kurt & Kevin joined us a little while ago. Who else is in?!!
 

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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