A day or two after I left for Charleston, in one of our phone calls, Monte gave me the sad news that our sweet Keeto bird had died. We had been keeping an eye on him for the last year or so, as he seemed to tire out quite a bit after flying around, and sleep more and more. We took him to the vet for a checkup, and he was given a clean bill of health. But last Monday he went down to the bottom of the cage, laid down, and flew his spirit away. That little bird had the biggest personality. We are both so terribly sad.
Most days, Keeto likes to leave his cage and fly around the house. I think he enjoys the exercise and the freedom. He has a couple of favorite perch locations that he flits between. Sometimes he likes to play hide and seek with us, though, and will land somewhere different and sit still as we look around for him. This morning I spied him sitting on a globe that I have placed atop an armoire in a far corner of the gameroom. I had to sneak a photo with my telephoto lens from across the house. 🙂 You’re IT, Keeto.
Halls decked. One creature stirring; not a mouse.
After a hard afternoon of yard work on Friday, Monte and I were sitting on the back patio enjoying a brewski. Keeto was out there with us in his cage (sans brewski). I caught a flash of blue at the bird feeder. It was a budgie! And a blue one at that.
It appears to be a young male. I didn’t see a band, and the wings don’t appear to be clipped, so I don’t know if it is wild or escaped. He didn’t stay long, but I saw him again Friday, several times on Saturday, and again this morning. I have named him Niño. 🙂 I will put a cage out to see if he wants to take shelter.
What a sweet treat!
I have arrived in Charleston to help Lori bring Trident up to Norfolk. We plan to take the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway, which winds its way through coastal marshes and towns, through countless bridges and locks, crazy strong currents and tidal flows, and some very shallow and narrow water passages. We hope to make 40-50 miles a day. Norfolk is at MM 0.
We had time for a short visit to the historic downtown last night, then drove to Sullivan’s Island for a delicious send-ourselves-off dinner.
The boat, a 45′ Island Packet 445…
The marina @ St. Johns Yacht Harbor…
Shadowy oaks in the Battery…
Crossing the Ravenel Bridge over the Cooper River, by car, the easy way. 🙂
The next post on our ICW journey: https://sheila365.com/2019/07/09/mm420/
The last few weeks have flown by. We’ve enjoyed family in Colorado, friends and family on the lake in Austin, and are looking forward to the next adventures on the horizon.
We hosted a boatload of friends and family to watch July 3rd fireworks on Lake Travis… Photo credit to Julie 🙂
Then Monte and I headed upriver with Kurt & Kevin, to Mile Marker 47, up near the northern end of Lake Travis.
We anchored off Grelle Park for two nights…
Saturday, we motored farther north to around mile marker 50 before turning back and sailing down to Bar-K Park to anchor on Saturday night.
All told, we spent 4 days and 3 nights on our lovely lake. Keeto accompanied us; a most pleasant sailing companion.
We ended the long weekend floating with Marty & Sue, and are now home doing laundry and laughing at good times had by all.
The year was full of the usual fun times spent with Monte, our friends, as much family visits we could squeeze in, and my girl posse. I stopped coloring my hair. I gained too much weight. I missed my mom often. I was continually enchanted by Keeto. People often ask me what I do with my oodles of free time. On the spot, I usually can’t think of what the heck I’ve done to fill the days and weeks of this year of retirement. So, I spent some time today scanning the photos I took this year, to jog my memory for some highlights.
January brought many birding day trips and a number of lifers. More special were visits with 2 of my high school friends. Pilar was in Austin for business and looked me up. We hadn’t seen each other for … decades, not counting one brief wedding visit that happened many moons ago. We’d reconnected on social media several years back, but it was really wonderful to get a face to face visit in. Another friend from high school, Irene, texted me to see if I could join her in Lubbock, of all places, while she was there for her son’s sports event. And so I took a road trip and saw some interesting things along the way.
February brought a huge leap of faith, a drive to Florida with Lori, Monte & Joe, and then a journey across the Gulf of Mexico by sailboat to bring Lori’s new-to-her sailboat home to the Texas coast. It was an awesome and challenging trip.
March brought a really memorable road trip across Arizona and New Mexico. We celebrated Monte, Gene and Susanne’s birthdays together. I saw a couple dozen lifer bird species. Tucson, with its Catalina Mountains and the Sonoran Desert, is a truly amazing birding destination. And on the way home, we saw some glorious works of nature and man. We spent 2 days on the south rim of the Grand Canyon, staying overnight in a cabin sitting about 50 feet away from the rim. We marveled at a ginormous meteor crater off of I-40 on the drive to Santa Fe. Then we spent 2 days in Santa Fe, staying at the luxurious Spa at Loretto. We saw more new birds there, but the highlight was a visit to the Loretto Chapel, with its spiral staircase that legend says might have been constructed with divine intervention.
April brought a number of trips to the coast; one special one to visit High Island during a Spring fallout, and another girl’s trip to Kemah to officially rename Lori’s boat, S/V Trident. But if that wasn’t enough, I joined Irene again, this time for a week in Italy. I thoroughly enjoyed Florence, Pisa and Cinque Terra and points in between.
May brought more trips to the coast to help Lori with Trident repairs and projects. It also marked the return of warm weather and lots of fun boat outings on Lake Travis with friends and family on Nirvana.
June and July were full of projects at the house, in the shop, and in the yard. We popped down to the coast again, a time or two, and really enjoyed our almost full lake during the peak of the heat of summer. We delivered a beautiful table that Monte made for Doray and Tom in their new home in Wimberly.
August brought another trip to the Texas coast – to crew for Lori and Mike on their first shake-down cruise on Trident since she arrived in Texas. We sailed out to the Gulf of Mexico and down to Port Aransas. We stayed for a couple nights in the municipal marina there, and enjoyed one of our favorite towns on the Texas Gulf Coast, before our return sail to Kemah. Then we popped up to Seattle for a very overdue trip. We stayed two weeks, encased in smoke from the nearby fires, but did enjoy immensely seeing our family, and a bonus of 2 clear days on the Pacific coast of Washington.
September brought a month of non-stop rain to Austin. So we busied ourselves with more projects in the house. I began to dabble with sewing canvas projects for the boat. Monte made sawdust and honed his web site and various GPS apps.
October brought another trip to Kemah. I became a novice diesel engine mechanic. We also experienced historic flooding amongst the Highland Lakes. Monte worked on shop projects for a client or two. Autumn arrived in Texas, which I love only second to Spring in Texas.
And then it was suddenly November! Monte made another trip down to Kemah to help with last-minute projects. Thanksgiving happened. Then we made one final trip to Kemah together at the end of the month to bid bon voyage to Lori and Mike, and their crew, Janet and Will, taking Trident back east to Florida.
December brought the usual whirlwind of decorating, baking, parties, Christmas shopping, visiting with friends, and eating too much. And now, POOF, it’s the last day of the year.
Tomorrow, I will gear up to do it all again – starting a new year with an as-yet-unknown set of trips, projects, visits, fun and (hopefully only occasional) troubles that lay ahead. I am truly blessed.
Monte, Keeto, and I headed for the lake today to beat the heat. Soooo nice.
Today was another lovely day in Palm Desert. Irene and I took a long walk this morning and found two geocaches along the way. We all had massages this afternoon and then grabbed a bite to eat while watching the end of the Seahawks game at a restaurant nearby. We won!
Back at the house we did our best to finish off all the food and wine we had bought for the long weekend. We stayed in the hot tub again looking at the moon and stars til we were pruned.
We also face timed with Keeto, a first for both of us. Goodnight birdie!
First day back. Buried in email. My feet are sore from the decks. I have a plethora of bruises and scrapes. We have a pile of laundry to do. The fridge is empty. I still feel the sway of the waves. But I’m still smiling at all the laughs we had.
I miss my birdie, though, we’re going to pick him up tonight.
We had a great day on the lake today. The winds picked up so we pulled anchor and sailed over to the Gnarly Gar and had lunch. Jake did great at the helm. On the way back to the marina, the winds were so light that Monte and Jake were able to jump in and be towed behind the boat, as we sailed along at about half a knot.
When we got back home, Keeto was very happy to see the flock return, as usual. He’s a funny bird.
The evening was filled with Wii contests of strength and speed; a delicious spread of sauteed pork chops, pasta and kale that Jake prepared; and the mandatory showing of Captain Ron for new-sailor initiation.
A great weekend!