Jun 25, 2010

Another zinnie

Another week flown by.  Got a lot accomplished, but lots more to do.

I had a bit of an inspiration-less day today.   Meetings start at 6:30 every day, and run through the early evening.    It’s refreshing when I can finally log off for the day.

Walking around outside seems to take bit of the fogginess out of my head.   I know I’ve been posting lots of flower pics, but I enjoy sharing them.  Here is another zinnia.

I really like this Canon PowerShot D10.   I’ve found it takes great close up shots.  But, not so great wide shots.   Or, it could be me.  I think it’s time I dig out the manual.  Maybe I’ll flip through that this weekend.

Tonight we are enjoying a quiet Friday night at home.   We’ve got the original “Flipper” movie queued up on the DVR.   Yes, that’s right — the 1960’s movie about the dolphin.

Oh, by the way… just 6 months from today until Christmas (!)

Jun 23, 2010

Volunteer

For the last couple of years sunflowers have mysteriously appeared in the flowerbed out back.  I assume they were seeded by birds on their way back from the feeder… or maybe those pesky squirrels.   They’re a nice addition to the garden.

This one is about 4 feet tall so far and has a number of buds ready to pop.

Jun 22, 2010

Time to light the grill

We love to grill.  Year round.  Weber kettles and charcoal, baby.

Tonight’s menu:

insalata caprese, grilled chicken, spinach risotto, and a decadent chocolate cake from Marty & Sue, who joined us for dinner.

Delicious!

Here’s how we do the chicken, in case you want to give it a try, too……

Grilled Chicken

1 whole chicken
a couple fresh rosemary sprigs
olive oil
kosher salt and ground black pepper

Prepare coals for indirect cooking (2 piles – on left and right side of grill).  Clean chicken, rub with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper inside and out, stuff a few sprigs of rosemary inside (and sometimes a chunk of onion, apple, ..), tie the bird up and put in the center of the grill breast-side down (though we’ve tried both ways, I think it’s juicier this way).  Cook for about 15 minutes per pound.   Remove from grill and let sit 10-15 minutes before carving.

Jun 21, 2010

Summer!

Today is the Summer Solstice — gateway to the REALLY hot temperatures for us.   Tis the season for sprinklers!  Our herb and flower beds will need some extra H2O to get a break from the heat from here on out.

I watched the spray of water go back and forth for a while and thought about what was going on the first day of Summer a year ago.   We had just returned from a most excellent week-long trip sailing through the Abacos with Lori & Dave.   The remodel on our house had started while we were away.  We returned to a house full of boxes, dust and workmen;  and no kitchen or laundry room for the next 6 months.   Whew!  I’m really glad that’s behind us.

As for Summer 2010….bring it on!

Jun 20, 2010

Pretty blue flowers

I have work-work to do today, so Monte’s gone to the lake by himself.     For a change of scenery, every now and then I need to get up and take a walk outside.

This is a shot of some blue plumbago that I planted a year or two ago.   I like plumbago because of the pretty blue color, and how it contrasts with the orange flowers that are nearby.

Also, it’s pretty much indestructible in the Central Texas heat.

Jun 19, 2010

Sweet

This morning we worked slavishly in the yard – mowing, edging, weedeating, trimming shrubs and low hanging branches.  Whew, it was hot!   I was tuckered out by about 1pm.   So, what to do?  Go to the lake!

We loaded up our motor (again) for service.   Then we put up the shade on the catboat,  and we just sailed the slip for the rest of the afternoon.

We played with some of the usual suspects – Marty, Sue, Joe, Sonya and friend, Robert, Nick, Isabelle, Laureen, Morgan and Dimitri.

Late afternoon I noticed a skywriting plane had left some streaks in the sky.   We had to step out from under the shade on the boat to see it, but someone had put a big heart up for all to see.  How sweet!

I ♥ sailing

Jun 17, 2010

Peace out

This week is flying by…I can’t believe tomorrow is Friday.

I have 2 potted Peace Lily plants.   Both came from the same original plant, which I’ve had for over 14 years (wow!).   When I first moved to Austin, my mom sent me a plant basket as a house-warming (or at the time, apartment-warming) gift.   In it were 3 small plants — a peace lily, an ivy and a fern.  The last 2 are long gone, but this guy has stuck with me.

With the great light in the game room and foyer in this house, they’re thriving.  I love the blooms.

Jun 16, 2010

Pesto!

For dinner tonight Monte decided it was time to make pesto.   He went out back and thinned our basil garden by about 3 plants.  The result is what you see here.  It was delicious.  We tried it on some pasta a little later and it was even better.

Here’s the recipe we used:

Fresh Basil Pesto (makes ~ 1 cup)
2 c fresh basil leaves, packed
1/2 c freshly grated parmesan-reggiano or romano cheese
1/2 c extra virgin olive oil
1/3 c pine nuts
2 cloves of garlic,  minced
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Combine basil with pine nuts in food processor.  Pulse a few times.  Add garlic, pulse a few more times.

Slowly add olive oil while food processor is on.  Scrape down sides of food processor several times.  Add grated cheese and pulse again until blended.  Add salt/black pepper.

Can’t wait to try it on pizza!

Jun 15, 2010

Nice white

I went to take some shots out back tonight — I saw a hummingbird at one of the feeders in the backyard for the first time.   But, alas, my camera battery was dead.    I went to get my spare, and it was still in my backpack from the lake trip, and it too was dead.

After recharging both, it was getting a bit late in the evening to be really creative.  So, I took a picture of one of the first things I saw — this bottle of Snowline Pinot Gris.   It’s my current favorite white wine.   And, it’s inexpensive.

Jun 14, 2010

Trail's end

After work today I met Monte at the marina to help schlep the remnants of a 4-day weekend back home.

Joe was awesome to tow Porter Belle and the kayak up and down the lake for us.  It sure saved time for the catboat to not have to drag those behind us.

This is a shot of our awesome trailer and the 2 littlest members of our fleet, after returning home tonight.  The boat on the bottom is a wooden sailing dinghy, called a shellback-dinghy.   We built it as our practice boat before building the catboat.

Here’s to a quick week and fair weather for the weekend.

Jun 13, 2010

Floating fun

Day 3 – This morning the plan is to head downriver to Cow Creek at mile marker 32.    Kurt will head out today and join the raftup there.

I have to work tomorrow, so I am catching a ride with Tony and Michelle back to the marina.  Monte will come back with everyone else tomorrow night.

This is a shot from this AM.   The kayaks got a lot of use this trip.   Monte and Alex sailed around the cove in Porter Belle.

The winds are still blowing.   It will be another long day on Caribbean Run back to the marina.   But for now, it’s nice to enjoy the water.

Jun 12, 2010

Cast of characters

Day 2 of the trip.  Another windy, sunny day on the lake.   Today the plan is to pile on 2 boats and head even farther up river for a daysail.   The part of the river at Mile marker 55 is called the Narrows, and is about as far as a sailboat should venture up the lake.   We’ll anchor there, swim a bit, eat lunch and head back to the raftup at mile marker 47 for a second night.

This AM Mark and Pam drove to the park to spend the day with us.  They brought 100+ pounds of ice with them to replenish the coolers, which was AWESOME!

7 boats, 5 kayaks, a rubber dinghy and a sailing dinghy.

This is a shot of the boats rafted up outside Krause springs.

From left to right:   Pat &  Dave on Va Bene, Robert & Tasha on their latest Beneteau 34, Bay on Red Sky, Tony & Michelle on Caribbean Run, Joe & Alex on Prelude, Marty, Sue & Koko on Caribbean Hug, and Monte & me on Cupholder.  The sailing dinghy on the far right is our homebuilt Porter Belle.