Happy happy joy joy.

It’s pizza night!  These are the works of art from tonight’s installment.  Rachel and Julie were the pizza artistes.  Monte’s homemade crusts, of course.  The top left one is margherita with tomatoes, mozzarella, home grown basil and olive oil (instead of red sauce). Top right is tomato sauce, prosciutto, onion, basil, red pepper, olive and goat cheese.  Bottom left and right are varying amounts of prosciutto, mushroom, olive, onion, red pepper and mozz.
Yum – life is good !

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A Saturday drive.

For the last 15 years, Becker Vineyards has had a Lavender Festival.   Its been one of the things on my todo list.   This year, i put it on my calendar several months ago, so I wouldn’t miss it.    And, it worked!   Today we headed out for a long drive through the hill country, in the miata with the top down.   And we had a really great day…

We walked out through the lavender fields.  They have several different varieties.  It didn’t look quite like I had expected – i was imagining endless rows of deep purple, like in Provence.  But it was pretty, nonetheless.

In bloom.
In bloom.

They also grow their own artichokes.   I have never seen them in the wild before!

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Artie chokes three for a dollar 🙂

We walked through the vendor booths.  Lots of lavender goodies, flowers, herbs, nibblies and such. 13042703

Then one more walk through the fields, this shot is looking back at the winery.13042704

We packed a light lunch and ate it at the festival while sipping wine and listening to the Raggedy Cats (we really enjoyed them).

Then a winery tour.   Lots of new factoids.   Becker has been here 20 years or so, and in that time, they’ve increased the amount of their wine that they make from grapes grown at the winery to 85%.  The rest come from Lubbock.13042705

Can’t wait for the Fredericksburg peach harvest!13042706

On the way home we decided to dodge the brewing thunderstorms and buzzed over to Der Lindenbaum in Fredericksburg for some German home cooked food for dinner.

The festival is open tomorrow, too.  Get out there if you can, this year or next!

That’s a wrap!

Next stop:  2013.
Next stop: 2013.

Adieu 2012.  Not the best of years.  Not the worst.

We celebrated the evening with friends.  The murder-mystery theme was fun.  It was set in 1969, so the costumes were a bit … far-out, man.   I was Enya Goddard-Daveeda, high priestess of the Church of the Vacant Mind.  My costume instructions were to wear all white:  gogo boots, flowing robe & miniskirt.   Can you believe I found knee-high white platform-heeled gogo boots that laced up the back?!!  Thank you Goodwill!

It is fun to get a little silly.   And we did.

As is the custom, Monte played Auld Lang Syne on the saxophone at midnight, and everyone sang along.  We also played an encore out on the front lawn just to make sure noone was asleep.

I don’t exactly know what my resolutions are.  I do know that I want 2013 to be a year with a little more peace, love and understanding.   I guess we’ll have to figure out what we each should do to make that happen along the way.

Cheers!

Still here!

On deck.
On deck.

Rumors of the end of the world have been greatly exaggerated.  We headed out today with a boatfull of friends, Al, Tina, AJ and Ireni.   Lori went out as well with Doray, Laura and Ann.  A good time was had by all.   AJ took the helm and took us up and down the lake in mighty strong breezes.  He’s a natural.

We are blessed with great and fun friends.  What a great day spent with them!

A wee sailboat.

An Ace original!
An Ace original!

One of the most well-padded packages I’ve ever received arrived today, containing a lovely gift from friends Teri & Jim… a hand-made sailboat ornament.  L.O.V.E. I.T.!   🙂

Here’s to friends, family and fun.   Embrace them all, every day!

Gather round and be merry.

We went to Laura and Arnie’s Christmas party tonight.  It’s become a tradition, and a most fun one at that.  Everyone ends up gathered around the piano belting out Christmas songs.  Some scenes from the evening:

The setting.
The director.
The script.
The script.
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The actors.

My peeps.

The old gang.
The old gang.

Today Noreen and I went to a glass fusing class in Tacoma.  We each made 5 glass Christmas ornaments.  I have to wait another week or two to see how they turned out… until they are fired, and they’ll mail them to me.  But we had a lot of fun.

Afterwards, all my sisters and my brother met to spend some quality time together and yuk it up a bit.  I had a really nice time.  I have lived away from home for over 30 years, and though we get together every now and then, it never seems like enough.   I’m glad we spent today together.

We ate lunch in a bar / restaurant loaded with Seahawks paraphenalia.   They play tomorrow, but I’ll miss it – since i’m flying while they’re playing.  I hope they make the post-season, so I have a chance to watch them on TV from Austin.  Go Hawks!

Dock walk.

A forgotten one.

I took a walk down E-dock this morning after scrubbing Nirvana stem to stern.  There are some big boats on this dock, and most seem to be used frequently and are well taken care of.  There are one or two that haven’t been boarded in many, many years.  The photo above is of one boat that has lichens growing all over the top of its deck and cockpit.  Sad.

As I was walking along in my flip-flops looking at the boats, and not watching where I was walking, I kicked one of the dock cleats.  OW!  Luckily just a scrape.  A few minutes later, CRACK!  I did it again, and this time brought blood.  I thought I had broken my toe.  That brought an end to my dock walk.  Live and learn:  no flip-flops on dock walks.

Cleat toe.

The rest of the day was spent lounging around.  Until the afternoon, when the beer can race took place.  This week Wally came aboard Nirvana and gave us some lessons in racing a sloop.  Kurt and Kevin won on Dancer.  Marty & Sue came in 2nd this week.  And Monte, Wally & I took third.  That’s better than last week when we came in 4th! 😀

The shot below is of Marty & Sue on Caribbean Hug approaching the starting line.

Caribbean Hug underway.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend!

Perseids raft-up.

1st raftup with Nirvana in the books.

It’s Sunday night, and the end of another great weekend.  Yesterday my cousin Devitt and Aunt Joanne came over for a breakfast visit with Monte, Julie and I.  Monte made french omelettes, Julia Child style.  And we tried our hand at a potato recipe that we got from Devitt:

Browned Breakfast Potatoes

Large cast iron skillet
8 oz bacon, cut into 1-2″ pieces
3 large potatoes, peeled and diced into 1/2″ cubes
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Salt & pepper

Cook bacon, onions and garlic in large cast iron skillet until browned.  Discard bacon fat from pan.  Add potatoes, salt & pepper.  Cook another 10 minutes or so over medium heat on the stovetop.  Then place skillet, uncovered, in 425 degree oven for 20 minutes.  Lower temperature to 350 and cook for another 10 minutes.
Serve and savor!

Afterwards, Julie headed home to study up for the last final exam of Summer session (good luck!), and we packed for the lake.

We planned to raft-up with friends overnight to watch the Perseids meteor shower.  We made it to the cove by about 5pm and set our first anchor on the new boat.  It was a good set.  We were soon joined by Joe on Prelude, Rory & Greg on Sapphire, Nick, Laurene & Morgan on Kalliopi, and Kurt & Kevin on Dancer.  Everyone was tied up by the time the golden hour was upon us.  The shot above is of the 5 boats, stern to the sunset.  Nirvana is in the middle.

After dinner and stories from the day, everyone grabbed a cushion and laid on the bow of their boats to watch for meteors.  It wasn’t a knock-out show, but we did get to see some good ones.   The night was peppered with random shouts of “There’s one!” every 10 or 15 minutes.

This morning everyone floated for a while and then people started peeling off at about noon.  I’m pleased to report that we got the anchor up with little problem.  I am loving the electric windlass to bring up the chain and anchor!

Monte and I sailed ALL afternoon.  The breezes started out sluggish but filled in to some great wind that we haven’t seen in a long time on the lake.   At about 3:30 we dropped sail and picked up Devitt at Arky cove to take him out for a sail.   He did great, taking the helm as Monte and I worked the lines.  We dropped him off back at the park around 5:30 and headed back to the marina.

By the time we got home several hours later we were pleasantly exhausted.

I can’t wait to get out there again.   Friday soon come!

Surfdancing.

I love this pic.

When I got my Mac, I realized that it could only open the windows filesystem on my old USB backup drive in read-only mode.  Not great for doing backups.  I’ll need to reformat it to use it.  But I’ve been procrastinating, because i’m going to have to sort through what’s on there to see what to keep and what to get rid of.  So this week I took the first step – I copied most of what was on the backup drive to my mac to prepare to reformat the USB drive.

Consequently, the next time I opened Picasa, it found ALL the photos that I had just copied and loaded them into its library, which took a while.  But, once it finished, it makes for very easy viewing of many years of pictures.  So, I’ve been spending a lot of time this morning browsing through photos I’ve taken that I haven’t looked at for years.

When I got to this one I thought I’d share it with you.   This is a photo that I took when my sister, Colleen, and her son, Jacob, were visiting about 4 years ago.  We drove down to Port Aransas for the weekend, and stayed a place right on the Gulf-side of the beach.   This is a picture of Colleen and Jacob jumping together in the surf.   I used some piece of software, can’t remember what, to create a water-color effect — oh, and I edited out the oil rig on the horizon :(.  I later printed this and framed it for her.

I guess it’s kind of appropriate, too, because this is Mother’s Day weekend, and she’s a great mom.

I have to smile every time I look at this pic.

First raft-up of the year.

Raft-up!

It’s that time of the year.  This weekend was the first raft-up of 2012.  And it was a doozie!  We had 14 boats, 31 people and 2 dogs.  I don’t have a picture of all the boats, but I took this one of 12 of them as we were coming in to tie up, and Joe arrived later.

It took quite a while to walk from one end to the other.   Some of the boats’ lifelines couldn’t open, so it was a gymnastic feat crossing from boat to boat …with one hand free 🙂

Let me see if I can do roll call….left to right, we had Mark & Sarah on Serenade, Gray & Debbie on the blue hulled First, Bartlett’s parents’ Catalina, John & Claudia & 2 others on the brand new Solace, Tasha & Robert and Tony & Michelle (visiting for the weekend!) on Voodoo, Danny & Casey on the Beneteau 31, Rory & Greg on Sapphire, Camden & Terry on MoonRock, Kurt, Wally & Kevin on Dancer, John & Deanna on Caribbean Run, Mike on Allegro, Lori & Dave on Camelot, Monte & me on Cupholder, and last but not least, Joe on Prelude.  Whew!

As much fun as these are, we did have a rare, bad experience on our way to the cove.  Some <expletive> motorhead nearly crashed into us as we were under sail.  Coming within about 5 feet of us, and going about 30 miles an hour.  As they passed, they turned their boat, pushing up a wall of water that dumped into our cockpit, drenching both of us, and pouring water into the cabin, v-berth and lockers below.

Monte immediately got on the cell phone and called LCRA dispatch, gave them a description of the boat and their heading and … they pulled them over.   Goobers.   It could have been very bad.  I guess it’s good that we only got wet.

Anyway, we didn’t let that spoil our evening.

In true B-dock fashion, the party went on into the wee hours.  A good time was had by all.

It’s truly wonderful to have this bunch of people to play with.  Everyone really enjoys being out on the lake together.  We are very lucky.

We are the people your parents warned you about.

AK Bend at 646'.

Woooo-weee what a party!  Well, we will NOT be doing that every weekend!

After the beer can race yesterday everyone jumped in the water and stayed there for quite a while – me, monte, joe, kurt, wally, lori, dave, marty, sue, wiz, david (new guy on b-dock w/ Misguided), robert, and his friends who own Hakuna Matata on a-dock).  After last weekend’s very wake-y raftup spot in Cypress Creek, this weekend we’ve planned to have a party on B-dock and just sleep on our boats.

Doray, Tom and Judy joined us after the race and stayed til after sunset.   Teri and Jim showed up around 11pm.   We brought a blender, and lots of ice and margarita and pina colada fixins.   Staying in the slip has its advantages.   What a fun time.  Dave left about 9 or so, when his teenage son called my cellphone looking for his parents… heh, heh (isn’t that supposed to be the other way around?! 🙂 )

We pulled out the coleman stove and made a bazillion quesadillas.  Sue brought her legendary bean dip.  We played iPod wars into the wee hours.  There is a digital recording floating around somewhere of what may perhaps be the worst rendition of the happy birthday song ever.  (Happy birthday Mark!)   The security guard even stopped by about 2AM, wasn’t that nice of him?   I think it was about 4AM when everyone headed back to their boats for the night.

I’m so glad we started working on that first wooden boat 13 years ago or so.  We could never have known at the time that it would lead to us learning to sail, making a bigger sailboat, getting a slip at Yacht Harbor marina, landing on B-Dock, and meeting such fantastic people that are so easy to have fun with.

We packed up early this morning and got home about 10AM.   On the way home we took a short detour up to Vintage Villas to see if I could get a shot of the lake from up there.   This is a shot looking down on Arkansas Bend.  In the distance you can see Hurst Cove, where our marina is.

Check out the clouds.

Jul 25, 2010

Catch!

It’s truly amazing how easily entertained we can be.   We spent half the day anchored in the cove, floating out back, cracking eachother up.   I was trying to get a shot of the squishy-splash-ball as I caught it, but I mostly ended up getting Marty laughing as he hit his mark.   Good one, Marty!   🙂

Jun 27, 2010

Wheeeeee!!!

Jen and Rob invited us to go tubing with them and their niece, Channing, today.   We did our traditional  San Marcos River extended float.   We go farther downstream past the official take out point where we park a car and trailer ahead of time to haul tubes and tubers back to the starting point.  That way we have a 3 hour float.

It hasn’t hit 100 degrees yet this year, so it’s a little unusual for us to go tubing until triple digit temps.   But we had a fun time.   The flow was unusually swift, so it was more work than your typical lazy float down the river.

This is a shot just as I entered the chute at the rapids.  I’ve never turned over before, but this time I did, and ended up losing my hat and sunglasses.   My hat was found a bit down river, but my prescription raybans are gone for good.   Oh well.   But it didn’t dampen the fun.

Can’t wait for the next float!