free hit counter javascript

Thursday, July 07, 2005

A Terrible Morning

Lake Conroe is serene this morning; the sky is its bluest, the breeze is warm and we are so far away from the carnage and strife in London on this terrible morning.

From our idyllic weekend celebration of Independence Day here on the lake to the jubilant Trafalgar Square gathering yesterday on the announcement of their 2012 Olympics win. Why does anyone dare to interrupt the inherent joy and peace in everyday living? What compelling reason can there be to cause grief and misery in the lives of hundreds of everyday people in a single act?

Londoners, we are all with you in spirit today.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

After the 4th

So much for the county ban on aerial fireworks. We “attended” (by boat) two separate private fireworks shows on our peninsula alone. And each of them could easily rival Walden’s or SJRA’s or Bentwater’s. The lake was crazy with watercraft as we expected, so we stayed to our own cove until late Monday when we ventured north to the Stow Away and Lochness nether regions.

After all the company left on Tuesday, all we could do was lounge around, try to catch up on sleep and NOT drink, NOT eat and NOT talk to one another. Five days of debauchery is about all our bods can stand these days. We’re figuring that 2006’s Independence Day will be a repeat performance with the actual holiday falling on a Tuesday – everyone will be opting for a vacation day on Monday.

We only heard of one lake accident and Neighbor was on the rescue end of that one. Poor guy tumbled off the upper deck of his houseboat hitting his head in the process. Luckily Neighbor and two of his cohorts witnessed the fall and got him out of the water and began resuscitation efforts right away. The paramedics were there in just a few minutes but were unable to revive him until he was on the way to the hospital, so, Neighbor thought he was lost. It wasn’t until several hours later that he got a phone call telling him he’d saved a life. The victim is still in critical condition with severe head trauma so its still touch and go, but Neighbor and his buddies definitely bought him some time.

Beyond the partying and firework-going we spent most of the time helping our would-be Neighbors from California select a new home. He’s retired now and she has agreed to sell their home before the bubble bursts and settle where we are. Couldn’t believe that they not only put a contract on a new home that’s under construction, but also chose the carpet, tile, paint, brick, etc. Some would call that decisive! Now we wait for other would-be Neighbors from Chicago and Atlanta to make the same decisive move.

Still no rain but a tropical storm just missed the folks in Louisiana and it appears Dennis is on his way. Thunderstorm warnings in Houston as I write but in Montgomery County, not a drop.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Neighbor's Watching

Man, leave for a few weeks, come back and barely any lake in the backyard. Will it ever rain again? If this keeps up, it will be too treacherous to take the boat up north with all those wylie stumps laying in wait. We heard recently that many of them aren't marked because he who marks it takes responsibility for it and is liable. Can that be true?

We weren't here, but we heard (word spreads fast around here). More foiled thieves on the marina docks. Don't these people realize how visible what goes on in the marina is to all the houses that surround it. With that "if I can't see them, they can't see me" mentality, it's not too difficult to trip them up.

This time the attempted theft was for --- get this --- catfish bait. Neighbor walks toward three or four teens on the dock who are walking back toward the parking lot holding a paper bag. He watches as they surreptitiously try to put the bag down on a hidden portion of the dock. "What's in the bag?" he asks. "What bag?" one of the scrawny punk petty thieves says. "That bag," Neighbor says as he walks toward it and opens it. It just happens to be the brand of bait he uses - they were stealing from him.

Thankfully, Neighbor didn't drop it there. Nor would he have dropped it had it been anyone else's bait. Sheriff's office will be involved next time -- and no doubt, there will be a next time because, again, no one realizes how visible those docks are from literally every angle. Even in the wee hours, there is usually someone up and about who can't sleep in one of the houses and its natural for those of us who live out on the marina to gaze in its direction. Movement out there at night is especially visible.

And, Neighbor's watching!

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

R.I.P. Easter Duck

I'm so sad when I see the white duck now. He's without his mate and i don't know if his little brain is at all big enough to comprehend his loss.

The 1st Spring after we moved here, we watched as two Easter ducklings were unceremoniously dumped off at the little pond that drains into the lake at the marina. They were precious with the white feathers just beginning to emerge from their dyed-yellow down. We watched them month after month, always afraid that some predator would take one or both out.

They were inseparable. The male never got far from the female except when he was waddling after drake mallards who grew amorous toward his mate in the early Spring.

It's been a week now, and we still don't know what happened to her and if any of the neighbors know, they're not saying. Could it be that mountain lion that the garbage man spotted in the riverbed about a month ago? Someone on that block is missing a dog. Or another Lake Conroe alligator?

It's so sad to see him there by himself. One is the loneliest number. R.I.P. Easter Duck.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Lochness Revisited

We made a return visit to our new discovery in the north part of Lake Conroe. Most locals are familiar with Stow Away Cove & Marina. Few know about the Lochness Marina & Grill just across the cove, however. It's been there for a year or so but owner, Brandon, has been busy with other endeavors and is just now putting some emphasis on his new enterprise on the lake.

The "for sale" sign with Marion Franke's familiar countenance is a bit deceiving. Brandon's a businessman hence there is a price on everything he owns. Do RV'er's go this far north on the lake? They probably will now. This is a great setup. The RV park is flanked by the lake to one side and a store for supplies, subs and pizza on the other. The brand new icehouse is adjacent and well-handled by Denise, the owner's sister and her daughter Jennika.

We were impressed with the crawfish boil a few weeks ago. All you could eat for $15.00. And unlike others who offer such a "deal", they had plenty and didn't run out. Except for "Crawfish according to John" (our buddy in Walden), we haven't had any better on the Lake.

Bonus: the locals could direct us around some of the stump-ridden areas that lie in wait for our prop. We were able to successfully navigate the cove and entrance to Lake Paula, a very special secret known to very few Lakers. My god it's gorgeous!

Friday, June 03, 2005

Must See - Ruthie Foster

A new discovery for us. Caught Ruthie Foster at the Downtown Conroe 1st Thursday Concert Series. Wow! Blues, rock and reggae plus personality. A megawatt smile, too.

More of a crowd this week; maybe because the opener was perennial crooner, Diunna Greenleaf. We've managed to catch each of this series of concerts and this one was the best by far. Absolutely looking forward to Reckless Kelly next month.

It was a breezy night on the hill...definitely cooler than last month. With our own wine and picnic fare it makes for a great night out and the price is definitely right -----FREE!

The announcer made some disparaging remark about the Woodlands not having anything to compare. Well, OK, not at the price --- the pavillion is anything but free. Probably no Woodlands residents in attendance anyhow. With a 6:00 p.m. start, there's no hope of getting through the I-45 bottleneck before Loop 336 to be there in time.

No one from Houston or from the Woodlands would endure that nightmare (Ruthie Foster or no Ruthie Foster). It just gets worse and everyone is wondering what happens a couple of years from now when the bottleneck is moved to the middle of Conroe rather than at its outskirts.

When the Conroe Chamber of Commerce is sorting out how to bring more business to the city, let's hope the traffic situation is at the top of the list. Until that problem is solved, little else matters.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

More waterfront dining, please

Some entrepreneurial chef will one day determine that there's money to be made in a waterfront restaurant on this lake. Not just an icehouse, but something that can truly be called fine dining and have some semblance of aesthetics about it.

Not that there's anything wrong with an icehouse, but damn, a little variety would be so welcome. I'd bet that 98% of folks who live here when asked about restaurants on the lake think of Papa's (or is it Pappa's?) first. That's depressing. Should we rule out the country club settings--i've only done Walden's restaurant so I can't speak for any others.

We ventured by boat to the newly-managed Upper Deck last night to try their Hamburger Special. The burgers are as good as any we've had on the lake (and Cactus and Peppermill Grille both have pretty good burgers) but the "new" owner needs to stay on premises a little more or he'll miss the signals of less patient patrons than our group. Let me count the ways service is lacking. It seems to be everyone's "1st night" on the job. Orders are confused. Their [really good] onion rings are in short supply because there is no one available to run down to Krogers to buy a few more onions. Waitstaff seems reluctant to check back with customers on the deck necessitating our having to go to the bar for refills ourselves. If the deck's too hot, you can't really sit inside because the second-hand smoke will kill you. Wake up Roy and Sara. You've got a good product but it needs both your attention and a few good smoke-eating machines!

The owner of Cactus Lounge had much the same smoke problem when she opened. On leaving that place, our clothes were so rank, we'd strip in the garage. I'm not sure what she did, but while the problem is not completely solved, it is much improved.

Wouldn't it be great to have a waterfront restaurant that was so fabulous that it becomes a destination drive for Houstonians! OK, I can dream.