2018 happened.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

FaceTiming with the bird. 

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!

I’ve missed my 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.

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Pretty bird.

 

Here we go again!

I wish you a most happy, loving, and exciting 2014! I’m counting my blessings while reeling through memories from the year we just wrapped up. Here’s to the next lap ’round the sun. Cheers!

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How’s it hanging?

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.

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When we got back home, Keeto was very happy to see the flock return, as usual.   He’s a funny bird.

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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!

Leaving is always the hardest part.

Sunday already!?   Today we all rolled out of bed for mimosas and crepes.
Then checked out around noon.
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Back in Austin the skies were colorful; remnants of today’s rain showers:
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I picked up Keeto after I got home, and we enjoyed catching up on our favorite crime dramas…
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I wish tomorrow was not Monday!!  :/

Our very own Seahawk.

Go Hawks!
Go Hawks!

We watched the Seahawks win their 1st playoff game today versus the Redskins.  Yay!

Next are the Falcons, a week from today.  (A girl can hope!)

Keeto is our own little Seahawk.  Fierce, isn’t he?  🙂

He’s about 16 months now.  Quite the chatty cathy.

Have a great week!

 

Tuesday at the chez…

Latest project.

It’s Tuesday already.  Almost halfway to the weekend!  The picture above is of Monte’s latest project… a homemade sundial.  I think this is a prototype.  But it seems to work pretty well.  He’s aligned the center of the dial with magnetic North using a compass. Some adjustments will be necessary.  Stayed tuned.

The zinnia patch has flower stalks that are over 4′ tall.  We’re still harvesting them. This is today’s selection.

Fresh cut zinnies.

And, last one, this is a shot of 2/3’s of the flock as we settle in for the evening.

Whacha dooin?

G’nite!

Birthday budgie.

Happy 1st Birthday Keeto!

When we adopted Keeto last year, he was approximately 6 weeks old.  Based on that we guesstimated his birthday to be August 15.  Today marks the completion of his first lap around the sun.  Happy Birthday birdie!

Party animal.

Incoming.

Wanna come see me?!

Have you ever known of a parakeet that comes when you call it?  Monte and I think it’s a pretty cool trick.   Working from home today, I left Keeto in the kitchen on his perch in the window.  My office is all the way on the other side of the house down a hall with several doors off of it.  After a while I called Keeto…  and aimed the camera at the door.  It wasn’t too long that I heard him flapping down the hall and caught a few pics of him coming into my office… landing on my hand a couple seconds later.

The pictures aren’t too good.  He repeated the trick a few times and I used a couple of different shutter speeds.  This was the best sequence I captured.

It’s a bird… no, it’s a plane… no, it IS a bird.  Pretty bird!