New dawn.

I woke up this morning extra early – given the time change yesterday.  This was the glorious sunrise sky that lay right out side the front door.  I was prompted to go out and take a look when i noticed that the light coming in through the windows was making the entire inside of the house glow pink.

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And, what is that sparkle on the horizon?  Could it be something new coming my way….?

Working on my wannado list.

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I don’t have an actual bucket list. I do have a long-memorized list of things that I’ve always wanted to try once. One of those is scuba diving. But, my aversion to larger-than-me fishes with sharp teeth has kept me from that one. Snorkeling will happily suffice for me.

Another one from my wannado list is skydiving. Well, this year I watched the construction and grand opening of an indoor skydiving funhouse in Austin called iFly. It’s basically a vertical wind tunnel in which you can experience free fall without the hassle of planes and parachutes. Works for me. And boy is it FUN!

Colleen and I each went 3 times. I will definitely go back again.

Check it out!

Vroom vroom.

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This weekend Lori & Dave are out of town, and Jake is staying with us.   He’s a great kid.  I don’t know who is keeping an eye on who.  🙂  We had a fun pizza / game night last night with Doray, Tom, Sue & Marty.   It is so nice to spend time with friends.

Jake and I have been racing Mario Karts on the wii quite a bit this weekend, but today we headed to K1 Speed for the real thing.   It’s a pretty awesome indoor venue for kart racing.   This is not bumper cars, folks, these karts can go over 40 mph.   It was pretty fun!   That’s Jake in #25 in the shot above.   And I couldn’t resist taking a selfie in my cool racing hat…

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A fitting treatment.

My father-in-law served in the U.S. Army infantry in Europe in WWII.  So, when he died 10 years ago, his funeral included military honors.  At the family reunion this summer, Monte received from his sister the burial flag, which was still in the plastic zippered display pouch from the funeral home.  We’ve been displaying it on the shelf in the living room, but it deserves a much nicer treatment.   So, this week Monte set out to the shop to make a fine custom frame.   He used some beautiful black walnut that actually used to belong to his dad.   A day or two later, and it is done.  Complete with beautiful inset splines to join the corners, and a strip of cedar inside.

After placing the flag in its new display case, we acknowledged the upgrade with a toast of sparkling apple cider.  I’m sure Ross would approve of both 🙂

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I’m baaaack.

Wow, I’ve left Sheila365 untended for 3 weeks!  That’s the longest stretch without posting since I started this blog over 3 years ago.  But it’s not because I don’t have new photos.  Oh my, do I have photos!  We spent 2 jam-packed weeks in Seattle visiting family.  I worked the first week, but I was on vacation for the second week.  We celebrated birthdays, had great visits with my mom, all my siblings and their kids, and Monte’s nephew and his awesome family.  Watched kids soccer games, watched football games (go seahawks!), went golfing, went to the Port Townsend wooden boat show, spent a glorious day on the Seattle waterfront.  We’ve been back home for a week, but it was way too busy with work to attack the photos.  I just need to sit down and sort through them, to a pick a few to share.  But that’s not going to happen today, so let me just post this one, to get back into the blogging groove.  Happy Anniversary to us!  We’ve completed another ride together around the sun, with lots of great memories — looking forward to what we encounter on the next lap.
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A boatload of kids. Seriously.

Julie joined us on Nirvana for a raftup last night in Arky South with Rory & Greg on Sapphire.  Kurt, Barbara and some of their friends came out on Dancer and tied up to us until after sunset.  Nick & Isabel came motoring into the cove on Kalliopi right before sunset to join us.  Even from a distance, we could see many people on the deck of their boat.  As they came closer, we counted 14 teenagers + Isabel, Nick and Dmitri.  Whoooa nelly, that’s a lot of people.   And they were staying the night!  It was a going away party for Morgan who is heading to college next week.   Everyone had lots of fun.  And we didn’t lose anyone!  Never a dull moment. 🙂
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A fun but not-on-the-lake Sunday.

As much as we love spending our weekends on the lake, it’s nice to have a change of scenery every once in a while. I mean, we live in an awesome place; we have to get out and about. On the first Sunday of every month, the Bob Bullock Texas History Museum offers free admission to all their exhibits. So, we made plans to go today to see their current special exhibit on Texas Furniture. Here are a few scenes from our day…

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The iconic, iron lonestar out in front of the museum…it was a beautiful day…

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I snuck a pic from inside… shhh… a tad blurry, but a grand 4 poster bed…
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Lunch at Freddie’s…

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And, I finally got a picture of the Austin mural on South 1st street… it’s probably about time for some TLC – it’s showing a little wear and tear…

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And we wrapped up the day at the Zilker Hillside Theater.  Their 55th annual summer musical this year is Little Shop of Horrors.  It was a great show…

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G’nite all!

Virtual Friday!!!

This has been yet another busy week.   But, today is the last day of work for me, as we’re taking a long weekend.   Wooo Hooooo!

Tonight I stopped by Mayfield Park on the way to a friend’s house.  There are peacocks in residence here, and a couple were putting on a show when I arrived.

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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!

A modest proposal.

I have been enjoying swimming at the gym, for the last few months.  I’m slow and steady, and have worked up to being able to swim a mile in an hour.  However, the chlorine is wreaking havoc with my hair, skin, nails and most recently my jewelry.  So today I left my rings behind at home – hanging on the cabinet door handle.

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Now, i have no idea if the fact that I wasn’t wearing my wedding band had anything to do with it… but I had an interesting encounter in the steam room after my swim.  Usually the steam room is full of men and women of all ages, shapes and sizes.  Today, however, when I entered the steam-filled room, there was only one other person there.  Until today, my experience was that steamroom etiquette was a lot like elevator etiquette – you pretty much keep to yourself and exit when you’re ready.

Today, after about 5 minutes, the one other person in a blue swimsuit walked over to me.  Here is the conversation that followed:

blueswimsuit:   <mumble mumble>
me:   “sorry, I couldn’t hear you over the steam vent”
blueswimsuit:   “I said, do you live nearby?”
me:   “Yes”
blueswimsuit:   “well, would you be interested in giving me a sensual oil massage?”
me:   “Uh. No.” <pause>  “I don’t think I would be very good at that.”
blueswimsuit:   “Oh, its pretty easy, you just rub oil on my shoulders and back.”
me:   “No. I wouldn’t be good at doing that. Sorry.”
blueswimsuit:   “are you sure?”
me:   “very sure, thanks.”

After that, she walked back over to her side of the steamroom and we sat there for another ten minutes by ourselves until another person joined us.

Just another day at the gym, i guess. 🙂

Crit sittin’.

Yesterday afternoon I was pulled into a critical situation with a client (aka a “crit sit”).  This usually means 24/7 phone calls with a dozen or more people from all corners of the planet to diagnose what caused a problem in a client’s IT environment, and then fix it.  So it’s been a long day or two… and will be a long weekend.

But…. look what Monte made me today!     🙂

A nice thing.
A nice thing.

Red skies at night.

Lovely sunset.
Lovely sunset.

Today is the last day of my vacation.  Tomorrow it’s back to work for me.

My day started with a mimosa and ended with a glass of champagne — with this absolutely gorgeous sunset squeezed in between.  I snapped this as we headed to BB Rover’s for a quick dinner.

Monte and I have discovered the Showtime series called The Tudors.  We don’t have Showtime, but BBC America is broadcasting past seasons’ episodes via cable.  Yesterday and today have been a marathon session of season’s 1 and 2.   I found seasons 3 & 4 on Amazon Instant Video, so we can stream them for free at our leisure.  🙂  Speaking of leisure… I can’t wait til Friday!

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.
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