A dose of salt.

I’ve just returned from a week of sailing down the Texas Gulf coast from Galveston to Port Aransas and back.   Monte and I joined Mike to crew for Lori on a shakedown cruise on Trident as she prepares for her cruising life later this year.  The week flew by, with the drive to the coast, 2 days of boat projects in Kemah, then anchoring overnight off Galveston Island’s Moody Gardens before sailing in the Gulf of Mexico for 450-ish nautical miles roundtrip, including an overnight watch while sailing each way, and a two night stay at Port Aransas Municipal Marina, and back again.  It was a fun trip – lots of laughs, sun and wind.  The weather was very different from February when we sailed across the Gulf – much calmer seas and weather this time, and MUCH hotter.

IMG_5587
S/V Trident – our ride
Screen Shot 2018-08-10 at 5.35.46 PM
Our route from Kemah to Galveston to Port Aransas and back
IMG_5633
Miles and miles of oil rigs
IMG_1104
Shrimpers & fishermen everwhere
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
The Colonel paddleboat off Galveston Island
IMG_5599
Sunrise from the marina in Port Aransas
IMG_5662
Sunset out in the Gulf, tankers and fishing boats in the distance

Little helper.

We spent the morning working on the flower beds along the front of the house. This little guy hung around, feasting on bugs in the dirt – flirting less than a foot away most of the time – an adorable Eastern Phoebe.

Table delivery.

Tom and Doray hired Monte to build a dining room table for their new home.   We delivered it yesterday, and since it’s about an hour away, we stayed overnight to play a bit, too.

The table is beautiful, a live-edge walnut table.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

After setting it up, we made stops at Real Ale Brewery and Cypress Creek Reserve Rum Distillery for some celebratory libations.

So many good brews to choose from.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

IMG_5346

Pretty good rum at Cypress Creek Reserve Rum.  Doray and I enjoyed their White Texan, while Monte sipped on a pour of their aged rum.

IMG_5351

 

July 4th Eve!

We took a boatload out to watch fireworks on Lake Travis tonight. A good time was had by all.

A pretty sunset:

And one shot of the fireworks:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

What a fun night to enjoy with friends.

Lazy, hazy weekend.

It’s hard to believe that 2018 is half-lived already, this first day of July.

The Saharan dust has arrived, making the Hill Country very hazy, this is one view from FM 620 looking out over Steiner Ranch.

And it is HOT! Lake Travis water temp is 83 degrees F, and the air temp is 20 degrees hotter. The only way to beat the heat is to get out on and in the water.

We enjoyed a fun weekend on the lake. Saturday, we floated and visited with Sue, Marty, Kurt, Gordon, and Margaret, and slept on the boat. This morning we gathered below to watch Spain’s loss to Russia in the knock-out round of the World Cup, and then went for a sail in nice winds.

We’re back home and worn out. I’m looking forward to more Fourth of July lake fun next week.

Happy Birthday…

… to our Laura!

We celebrated Laura’s birthday by a visit to the Blanton Museum, played ping-pong at SPiN, and then shared delicious nibblies and drinks downtown.

A really fun night!

From my mind’s eye.

I saw a white ceramic boot at a thrift store last week.  It gave me a flash of inspiration; a vision of what it could be.  It would become a colorful planter.  Yes.  That’s it.  I brought it home.

First, I drilled a drain hole in the bottom. Slowly and carefully with my Dremel tool.

Then I popped over to Michael’s craft supply store for paint. I have a lot of acrylic paints, but I wasn’t sure what kind would work on already glazed ceramic. After shopping a bit I found one that sounded like it might.

Craftsmart multi-surface paint pots; you let dry for 72 hours and then bake in the oven.

I also grabbed a pen to help outline the design.  I thought it would be easier than using a paint brush.

I chose a clear acrylic glaze spray-on finish to seal it from the elements.

I used rubbing alcohol to clean the surface first.   I sketched a design on paper to plan it out.  Next I drew it on the boot.  Pencil worked great on the shiny finish.  Then I let loose with color.  I was trying to mimic Mexican glazed pottery designs, though not with real kiln-fired glazes.  I was extra-pleased that it didn’t crack in the oven. After it cooled I sprayed on the glaze. Voila!

 

Now to get a lovely flowering plant.

¡Vamos!

The World Cup matches begin today. We cut the cord a couple of years ago, but will not be denied live coverage. Thank you, over-the-air Telemundo HD TV channel!

The USMT didn’t qualify, so I am all in for España. They play tomorrow.

Laid back Sunday morning.

I joined Lori & Doray downtown yesterday for a morning pedicure, brunch, and a walk about downtown.   This is the new library downtown, we were going to go in, but it wasn’t open yet.  I guess we should have had one more round of mimosas to kill time.  🙂

IMG_5188.jpg

Our local.

We were treated to a visit yesterday from our long-time pinochle buddies and newly moved-to-the-hills friends, Tom & Doray. We took the opportunity to pop over to our nearby bar hangout for dinner and cards.

The guys kicked the ladies’ butts. Next time…. 🙂

Birding outing.

Doray and I visited Warbler Woods and Crescent Bend Nature Park today.  We saw many more species than I was able to capture on camera, but here are my only keepers.  I love the variety of migrant birds we get to see here.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Common Yellowthroat female
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Painted Bunting male
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
White-eyed Vireo
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Bronzed Cowbird

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Black & White Warbler
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Louisiana Waterthrush
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Blackburnian Warbler female
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Inca Doves