Wandering sun.

I spent this weekend on the lake with some girlfriends on Nirvana.  In the cove that we anchored in, there is a lovely view of both the sunset and the sunrise.

Saturday’s sunset from the stern:

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And Sunday morning’s sunrise glow from the v-berth hatch.IMG_1065

Towering.

I booked a couple of tickets to tour the University of Texas Tower tonight.  It has been, thankfully, a rainy weekend, so I didn’t get the pre-sunset view that I was hoping for, but I enjoyed the tour and the 360 degree views of the city.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

A panoramic view from the observation deck, located below the clockface, looking south.IMG_0975

Fore!

Monte introduced me to golf.   He started me off with my first golf clubs.   He chose a nice ladies’ club line with custom fitting from Golfsmith, the Snake Eyes Viper LS with graphite shafts, and suggested I only get a few to start and add the rest over time, as I improved.   So, I started with an 8 iron, pitching wedge and putter, which was enough to get me out on the course to learn the game and how to swing.  After a few years, I added a 6 iron, for a little more distance, and a sand wedge, for those darn sand traps.  A few years later, I added a 5 wood.  I can now say that I enjoy golf, and love the clubs I have.  But, when I went back to Golfsmith a couple of years ago to add my next club, I was very disappointed to hear that they had discontinued their line of custom made club heads/shafts!   Since then, I’ve just kept playing with my incomplete set.

Now that I’m retired, though, I’m ready to take my golf game a tad more seriously; i.e., golf more than once or twice a year, and fill out my set of clubs.   I didn’t really want to dump a grand on a completely unknown new set, brand, fit, flex and performance.   But with my Snake Eyes discontinued, I thought I was out of options.   On a whim,  I decided to check out eBay, and am so glad I did.   I found lightly used clubs identical to mine from various sellers and was able to fill out my set!   The sellers were very responsive via email to give me measurements so I could see if the length would be right.  I’m still waiting for the 7W/4I hybrid to arrive, but the rest of them were delivered yesterday.   I trotted out to the driving range today to try them out.   After emptying a big bucket of balls, I was thrilled that I could hit them as solid as my existing clubs.   I’m certainly not ready for the pro tour, but I am excited that I now have a set of clubs to play with that will help me take my game to the next level.  Woot woot!

Thanks eBay!

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Lemony goodness.

During our visit to Seattle, my niece made ice cream sandwiches for dessert.   They were delicious, so I had to try making them when we returned home.

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If you like lemon, and you like ice cream, you must try these.

Lemon Ice Cream Sandwiches (makes 4)

4 or 5 scoops of vanilla ice cream – we used Bluebell Homemade Vanilla, of course
1 Tbsp Dickinson’s lemon curd – or more, to taste
8 belgian butter cookies

Put all ice cream scoops together in a single bowl.  Add lemon curd and stir well.  I used a stiff spatula to blend.  Do this relatively quickly, before ice cream gets too soft.  Place 4 cookies on flat baking sheet.  Spread a scoop of the blended ice cream onto each cookie.   Lightly place another cookie on top of each.  Place in freezer for several hours.

 

 

 

Cheers, sweetie dahling!

Every August 4th I celebrate Champagne Day, because I once read on the interwebz that it was on this date in 1693 that French monk Dom Pérignon created the very first batch of the stuff.  Many thanks, Dom!

And, so, it is only fitting that we picked Champagne Day to see the new AbFab movie.

Cheers, Eddie & Pats!

The Boys’ boat.

We stopped at the University of Washington rowing center.  The rowing 8 shell that won the gold medal in the 1936 Olympics, the Husky Clipper, is on display there.   A book was written about it, called The Boys in the Boat.

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Then on to Pike Place Market for the obligatory walk-through.

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Different points of view. 

Layers of Cascades foothills with Mount Baker off in the distance, center.Mount Rainier flyby as seen through a window waaaay over on the other side of the plane.  And from my window a few minutes later.  Looking up through a glass sidewalk in Pioneer Square from the Seattle Underground

Not a sculpture.

I took a field trip today to the Umlauf Sculpture Garden Museum, down by Zilker Park.  Admission is free this summer, through the end of August, thanks to donations from Amplify Austin.   You may want to check it out as well.  Hours are Tue-Fri 10am-4pm, and Sat & Sun noon-4pm.

I’ve been there before, but it has been over 15 years.  It was a lovely morning, and I headed out before it got too hot.   Charles Umlauf was born in 1910, died in 1994, and was a prolific sculptor.  His first commissioned work was at age 12!   The sculpture garden lies on land between his former home and Barton Springs, and displays 50+ of his works scattered throughout lovely, wooded grounds.

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My favorite:

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Spirit of Flight, 1959

Ok, so, now for the best part… as I was walking through the grounds I noticed a large dark shape sitting on a branch of a tree right over the trail I just walked on.  I realized it was a bird.  A big one.  It was just sitting there, watching me, as I doubled back to try to get a picture.   It was an unexpected sight, and I love the shot.  After I got home I looked online to identify the bird… I believe it to be a barred owl.

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Danger lurks.

I love the water and being out on our boat on the lake.  We are out there nearly every week, year round.   I don’t take for granted the beautiful scenery and the freedom of feeling the sun and wind on my face.   We have fun too; lots of fun with friends.   We spent Friday through Monday on the lake this past July 4th weekend.   We were sun-baked, sore and tired when we finally got home.  But we did get home.  Sadly, on Lake Travis alone, on this one weekend of the year, there were several accidents and drownings:   a 2-year old baby girl fell off a dock near Emerald Point and drowned before her family could rescue her; a bi-plane crashed into the crowded waters off Windy Point, thankfully with no casualties; two motor boats collided one evening near Devil’s Cove, sending ten people into the water in the dark, four people to the hospital, and one driver to jail for DUI; and the body of a 50-year old man was found drowned off Graveyard Point.   The previous weekend a 9-year old girl was injured by the spinning propeller of a motor boat operated by her father as she was floating off the back of the boat near Mansfield Dam Park.   And there have been 2 or 3 other drownings on Lake Travis just in the last month.  Tragic.  Sad.   It makes you pause.  It should make you pause.  It is easy to underestimate or disregard the potential dangers of being on the water, and the responsibility all boaters have to take care for ourselves, our guests, and the other boaters whose paths we cross.

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Another serene view from Cow Creek

The lake can look serene, but can be deadly.   Put your lifejackets on your kids!   Keep yours on or at least within reach if you are in the boat, and always put one on if you get out of the boat to swim or jet-ski or kayak or SUP or ski or wave-board.  Learn the rules of the road… who has right-of-way, when.   Maintain the required 50′ minimum distance from other boats while underway.  Study the maps of the lake so you know where you are and where you are going.   Don’t drink and drive a boat.  Learn how to anchor securely and safely.  Don’t drive over the anchor rodes of boats you are approaching.  Pay attention to the wind to know how it will blow your boat relative to other boats at anchor.  Know that your boat throws a wake and be courteous to other boaters.  Learn to recognize marker buoys:  hazard buoys, no-wake buoys and channel markers.   A cove with a no-wake buoy means just that:  don’t drive your boat or jet-ski at a speed that will create any wake.   Do not operate your motor if anyone is near your boat or any lines are floating near your boat.   Watch out for floating debris in the water.   Use your running lights after sunset.  Learn how to interpret the running lights on other boats to know in what direction they are moving.   And for God’s sake, slow down.

Check out the LCRA’s safe boating advice.  Or, better yet, take a Texas Parks & Wildlife Department boater safety course.  It is actually required by law in Texas for anyone born after September 1, 1993 who is operating a jet-ski, or any boat with 15 HP or greater motor, or any sailcraft over 14 feet.

Learn how to recognize the signs of drowning.  It’s not necessarily how it is depicted in the movies.

Please be careful out there.

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Hundreds of motor boaters milling around, waiting for Lago Vista fireworks show Saturday night.

Happy place.  

We spent Friday night and Saturday morning in Cow Creek, one of the loveliest coves on Lake Travis.  In the morning we had the entire cove to ourselves.  We each took a turn kayaking around it.  The wall has water perpetually seeping out showering the lake below and there are curtains of mineral deposits and caves along its face.    It’s a beautiful thing.