A fun, full, first weekend of Fall!

We’ve been busy!  This past weekend, we made a roadtrip out to west, stopping first at William Chris Winery, where we caught up with a friend of ours that we ran into, by chance;  then we hopped over to Wildseed Farms to pickup a bunch of seed; then made it over to one of our faves, Becker Vineyards, where we had a tasting, a picnic, and checked out their new field of zinnias.  Just beautiful.

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On the way home we headed over to the Real Ale Brewery in Blanco.  We took the river road south/southeast from Hwy 290 to Blanco, and stopped along the way several times to check out the now lazy river that was uncontrollably raging just 4 months ago, tragically sweeping away homes and families over Memorial Day weekend.IMG_9158

At Real Ale, Monte sampled a flight, and I sipped my favorite – Hans Pils.

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Then Sunday rolled around, and we headed out to see the Anderson Mill historical site, near its original location at Cypress Creek on Lake Travis.   The Anderson Mill Gardeners do a wonderful job of preserving the site and its history.IMG_9183We made it to the boat in time to cheer the Seahawks on to their first win of the season, enjoying the recently repaired air conditioning on Nirvana (yay!).

About an hour before sunset, Kurt, Barbara, Dakota and little Leila joined us on the boat, and we motored out to the body of the lake to drift and watch the supermoon lunar eclipse.

Have I mentioned taking photos of the moon and stars on a moving boat is hard?  I didn’t get any good shots.  But I thought this one was kinda cool… you get the idea.


It was a great weekend, indeed.

A great day for a sail.

Yesterday was pleasantly windy – 15+ knots.   So we set out for the lake and met up with Lori & Joe on Camelot, and Kurt & Kevin on Dancer, for a long sail towards the dam.  We managed to weave our way through the Austin Yacht Club regattas, and made it to Mansfield Dam Park and turned around.   What a marvelous day!   We had a slip up and talked all night with Lori & Joe.  Just like old times.  I miss the rest of the gang! :)

Here’s a shot of Camelot on the way back.


Never forget. 

Fourteen years.  So much has happened.  In each of our lives.  In the world. 

But in an instant I am taken back to that day.  That morning.   Aren’t you?  The sunny, stunningly clear blue September sky.  Getting ready for the day.  

I have tried before, unsuccessfully, to write what I felt on that day.  I cannot.  It was a powerful mix of emotions.  Anger.  Sadness.  Pride. Fear.  Uncertainty.  ANGER.  Pain. 

But here is what I can share….

I watched the planes hit and the towers burn.  I called my family. I prayed. I went to work.   I talked with colleagues in NY.  TVs in the hallways were tuned to the news.   We were glued to them. Three planes.  Maybe more. The pentagon was hit. One tower collapsed.  2 towers collapsed.  Heroes on Flight 93 gave their lives to stop even more carnage. 

Flights all across the country were grounded – a business trip the next day and a flight to Seattle for my mom’s 70th birthday celebration were put on hold.  And I was ok with that. 

I went home from work.  Put a flag up in the window.  Mostly I remember the numbing, profound sense of national mourning – and pride – watching what unfolded for weeks. 

We must hold this in our hearts and Always Remember. 

There are so many memorial reminders today.  A friend shared this with me today, and it touched me.  So I share it with you here
Hug your loved ones, ya’ll.  

Labor Day weekend.

We had alot of fun with Fran and Rachel this week.   The house is guest-free again.  Well, except for the parrot we are house sitting. :)

We enjoyed a fun weekend on the lake – Saturday’s sunset:


We spent Labor Day down by Zilker Park and paddling on Ladybird Lake.  A friendly swan:


The paddling scene:IMG_4823

Then we threw some lambburgers and hamburgers on the grill to celebrate the holiday.

A short work week is a busy work week.  I didn’t make time to post til now.  I’ll try to not be so slow with my updates.  Have a great weekend!

Blue Bell fix.  

It was April 20th when Monte and I last picked up a pint of Blue Bell ice cream at Walgreens on the way home.  We each had a scoop or two and then read the news about all their products being pulled from the shelf that day due to listeria contamination, and, sadly people had died. 

Well a long 4 1/2 months later, and after a lengthy cleanup and with FDA approval, Texas’ favorite ice cream is back on the shelf.  We should probably wait a while, but we couldn’t stay away.  


The river giveth, and the river taketh away.

Well, mostly the river taketh away.

It’s a risk we deal with, spending so much time playing on the water.  And, it so happens that this past weekend I lost yet another pair of prescription sunglasses.   I was helping put up a friend’s wind scoop on the bow and the wind whipped things up and the next thing I knew they were sinking below the surface of the lake.  I summarily jumped in to try to grab them, but to no avail.

I lost a different pair of prescription Raybans on the San Marcos rapids a few years ago.  Monte lost a pair of prescription glasses there, too.  A friend lost their wedding band on the same rapids.  I’ve lost three favorite hats, a towel, and know of at least one bathing suit top and diamond earring sitting at the bottom of the lake.   And, amazingly, we lost our entire flag and flagpole that was flying off our transom – on the Fourth of July, no less!  It happens so frequently that we keep a Lost Sh#t Log on the boat.

But every once in a while, the river gives back.  About 10 years ago, I lost a pair of prescription eyeglasses in the lake.  One minute they were sitting on the cabin-top while I tightened my pony tail.  The next minute they were gone.   Over the following few years the lake alternately rose and dropped.   Until, about 3 years after I lost them, the lake was finally low enough that the place where we anchored the day I lost my glasses was high and dry.  So one Saturday morning, I announced that I was going back to that part of the cove to look for my glasses.   And I did.   I combed that dry cove for an hour or two.   I found a snorkel, swim goggles, a swim fin, numerous pieces of fishing tackle, several pairs of sun glasses, a hat, an anchor, lots of trash, AND my lost-for-three-years eyeglasses!

They were sun-bleached and cruddy and one ear piece had broken off.  But there they were!  I can’t bring myself to throw them away.  So they sit in a drawer until I take them out for a chuckle every once in a while.

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iPod wars. 

When rafting up with friends on Lake Travis, we invented this game to amuse ourselves – everyone takes turns playing a song from their iPod that they think is awesome.  We pass the plug from one person to the next.  You strive for a song that others will agree is awesome.  Some songs take people down their own memory lane, some are just funny, some songs everyone sings along to, some are songs other people never heard before.  It’s a great way to pass the time, under the stars, on a boat, with friends, slightly impaired, at anchor, off the grid, into the wee hours of the morning.   Here’s the typical scene.  


Awesome!  :)

A busy two weeks and a new find.

I have been challenged in posting the last two weeks.  We are in the middle of a 3 week set of back to back visits from family.  Which we absolutely love, but it means a little less time to tend to my photoblog.   The real challenge though is that the WordPress for iOS app that I use primarily for quick posts is broken and completely useless since the last 2 updates (both updates ver 5.4 and 5.4.1) of the app.  So I’m using the browser version of the app for this post.   I hope they get it together and fix the problem in the next update.

One set of guests were unaccompanied minors, so I had to get a pass to go through security and accompany them to their gate to pick them up and drop them off at the airport.   As I was strolling along the concourse on the west end of the ABIA terminal, I spotted some lovely, colorful prints on display from a Texas artist that I hadn’t seen before.  The artist is Margie Crisp, and her prints are simply beautiful.   I took a picture of one – couldn’t avoid the reflections from the lights in the airport.  This one is called In the shadow of Buchanan Dam.   Inks Lake is in the foreground, with images of all the things I love about the Central Texas Hill Country.


I googled her to learn more about her and found that she has produced a book called  River of Contrasts: The Texas Colorado, which features many of her river prints.  As I’ve come to love the Colorado myself, I’m going to order one.

You might want to check her out, too.

As for me, i need to get moving… we are headed to the lake to raft-up overnight.

Perseids show. 

Pre-dawn today was to be the peak of the annual Perseids meteor shower.  So last night after work, and after the rush hour traffic had subsided, we headed to the marina.  We anchored in the cove after sunset and made comfy spots on deck to lay down and watch the stars.    

The best time is typically between 1AM and 4AM.  There was no moon to interfere.  We just had to wish away the partly-cloudiness that arrived with sunset.   And the clouds did clear up and we saw the first burner by about 10:30.  More clouds came.  And then the sky became crystal clear around 12:30.   We were treated to a nice show – dozens this year.   Star gazing on a boat does not lend itself to photographing meteors, so I have no awesome pics to share.  

Even if we hadn’t seen any meteors, sleeping under the stars and this morning’s sunrise would have made it all worth the trip out. 

Now…off to work!