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. 🙂

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…


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


I snuck a pic from inside… shhh… a tad blurry, but a grand 4 poster bed…

Lunch at Freddie’s…


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…


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…


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.

131620 1306201 1306202 1306203


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!

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.


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.
The actors.

Sister time (and a little football).

The always stunning Olympic Mountains.
The always stunning Olympic Mountains.

Last night my mom and I went over to Noreen and David’s for dinner.  Colleen and Jake drove over and joined us.  After dinner we all sat around just telling funny stories for a couple hours.  It’s nice to laugh like that.  Everyone in my family is a comedian it seems…

Instead of driving all the way back to Seattle, Colleen and Jake slept at my mom’s, as we were planning on going to Francine and Art’s in the morning to watch the Seahawks game… a rare treat for me, since in Texas all that is usually on the networks is the Cowboys or the Texans (ho hum).

When I went out the front door to get the paper I was greeted by this stunning view of the Olympics.   They seemed particularly white today.

Francine whipped up some biscuits & gravy and mimosa’s — breakfast of football divas   🙂   Noreen and David came over after church and we all cheered and screamed at the refs until the Seahawks won in overtime.  Awesome!

Not up the river.

November Raft-up.

Usually every November a large contingent of sailors head up-river for a multi-day raft-up…aka an Up-the-river cruise.  This weekend the winds were so light, noone was interested in motoring for 6 hours to get up river.  So, plans changed.  Instead, we rafted up in a cove about 5 miles from our marina.  It was a really lovely night, though.  Temps got down into the 40’s but we were toasty down below.   We baked pizza in the oven on Nirvana, and it turned out quite tasty.

We had 6 boats stay overnight.  This shot was taken this morning by Robert from the dinghy, after Eric and Micheline left on Karma.  We’re on the left on Nirvana, then Rory & Greg on Sapphire, Robert on Voodoo, Tony & Sharon (and Aussie) on Wind Thief, and Gray & Debbie on Sacre Bleu.  This morning the winds finally picked up.   We had a really nice sail back to our cove.

It’s Sunday, and I have 7 more days of vacation!!!

Roughin’ it.

Spaghetti di Arky.

Yesterday we set out for the lake to raft up with Lori & Dave on Camelot.  We put our repaired jib back on.  And Julie met us at the slip.  We were the only two boats on the lake, i think, given the continued forecast of rain.

We anchored up in Arky south last night, expecting some good downpours after midnight.  Lori and Dave hosted us to a delicious spaghetti feast on their boat.   Thanks guys!

We played iPod wars for a bit and turned in relatively early.   The rain really didn’t start until about 8 AM.  And it still hasn’t quit.   No complaints here though.  The lake is up a total of about 11 inches since Wednesday.  Keep it comin!

We played rummy in the cabin for several hours and then headed back to the slip.

Now we’re back home and pizza dough is being whipped up as I type this.

Enjoy what’s left of the weekend!

Eleven years on.

Never forget.

I’ve had an eerie experience this morning.  Monte went to the marina last night for some repairs to the jib, and spent the night on the boat.  So I’m up drinking coffee and watching the morning news by myself.  The very same kind of morning I was having 11 years ago today — when I watched a plane fly into the World Trade Center.

At about a quarter to 8AM, central time, it all started.   I recall the evolving emotions I felt …disbelief, anger, uncertainty and confusion throughout the rest of the day as events unfolded.  I went to work that day, but everyone was glued to their web browser or TV monitors.  And then came the prolonged feeling of what can only be described as grief, as I watched the aftermath of the attack play out on television over the following days and weeks.  I did not experience personal loss of family or friends in the attack, but I believe all Americans were mourning the loss, together, of an attack directed at all of us.

Since then, life has moved on for me, bringing both joy and loss.  But in reflecting on that day 11 years ago, it’s startling to realize how quickly the time has flown by.   And, it’s embarrassing to note that I let too many of my days be filled with meaningless concerns and busy work.

So, on this day I pause to remember those that lost their lives, those that sacrificed their lives for others, the family and friends that experienced inconsolable loss, the feeling of national unity that today seems unattainable, and the responsibility we all must bear to live each day of our lives to the fullest.