Frigid Friday

I am not a fan of winter.  Some people love their snow and cold.  That’s not me. I chose the South because I just do NOT do ‘cold’.

But here it is…December…and, sure enough, it has decided to be frigid.  As in more than nippy… just not good.  So tonight I moved my tender plants indoors and covered the rest. Next week they can return outdoors.

The good news about freezing?  I am inspired to break out the crock pot, try new casseroles, and make soups/stews/chowders.  This is the new recipe for tomorrow:

Mango Thai Red Curry with Chicken - Restaurant quality, extra saucy, thick and creamy, 1/3 less calories, this Thai Red Curry is truly incredible.   We adore Thai curry…and this one sounds so good!

On the fantasy front…it IS Friday after all… and as I can’t have my dream of living where winter doesn’t exist… we might as well think of ways to stay warm.

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Yep…maybe winter isn’t sooooo bad after all….

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Wicked Wednesday

There is a certain sensual quality to water.  The way it moves, sounds, feels as it caresses the body.  It’s rather a consistent player in my writing, I’ve noted.

Escaping to a quiet pool or stream, standing beneath the flow of water.  Image result for tropical waterfalls

It becomes a sensual escape.

Likewise, music that evokes the emotions water rouses within us provides an escape from the mundane and a fantasy in its own right.

Bring on the water…and let it sweep you into its wild embrace.

December Dreams…

It’s Friday, and a new month begins. Already the temperatures are dropping, leaves are falling, and night comes far too soon. First day of the month and already I am looking forward to Winter Solstice and the promise it brings.

But for tonight, this peaceful night, with the room filled with my eclectic mix of music on Spotify, Remy–my Staffordshire Pitbull–curled up beside me and our sweet old chocolate lab, Meg, sleeping on my foot, it is a good winter night.

Lab going for a nice ride..love his white face... There’s a lot of white on her now, but she’s still our baby girl.

I have been pursuing dragons (of my sort) across the pages all day. That is always fun.

Related imageAdorable!

Also another reason to get my protagonist to shed his shirt 😉  Water. Dragons.  Heroes.  Yep, it’s been a good day.

Image result for waves crashing on sea cliff gorgeous photo by Giovanni Allevi… perfectly captures the mood of the sea for the story.

Welcome back December.  Please be good to us this year.

 

 

Snake birds and sunshine

The sun was warmer today, mid-70s, gorgeous for autumn.  Passing the school pond, I paused to enjoy the many birds that gather there as the cooler days approach. Ibis strutted the lawns, snapping up bugs. Herons…white, blue and green, lined the banks, and stalked through the shallows and reeds. Loons swooped and dove.

What I stayed to watch were willowy, snaking necks and heads cruising through the water, body unseen until a small fish flashed in the late afternoon sun as it was flung upward and snatched in the long, spear-like beak.   Image result for anhinga images

Image result for anhinga images

photo by Phil Lanoue

Image result for anhinga images

Larger ones were speared.

And after a successful fishing ‘dip’, the bearers of the snake-like necks for which they are named came ashore to perch, spread their wings, and dry off.

Image result for anhinga images

Image result for anhinga images

Anhinga.  Their name coming from the Brazilian Tupi language and meaning snake bird or devil bird.

Welcome to the pond you devilish beauties.

 

Sunshine and sofas

Today was a beautiful autumn day here in the Lowcountry,  low 70s, clear blue skies, and sunshine. Hard to get better than this when you have plenty of fun errands to complete.

First up:  rescue the small sofa/loveseat I bought yesterday from the second-hand store but couldn’t get into my little hatchback. A dear friend was kind enough to lend me her jeep and with back seats removed it was the perfect size.  Up the stairs to Reesie’s apartment and hoping she loves it when she gets home tonight. It is a nice solid little piece of furniture and in really great condition aside from a small paint smudge on one arm. Tomorrow I will take the sweet lilac crocheted prayer throw the dear church ladies made for David when he was fighting his cancer.  It made him feel better having it, and will be the perfect accent (and smudge hider) for the sofa.  Then I will nab a couple of cute throw pillows and it will be adorable.

Next up, take my ‘helper’ (aka Little A) for a quick stop at McD’s for drinks and a haIf hour break on the playground. This one has a tube-slide almost two stories high…and a sign saying it is for children 3-12 and their parents too!  Challenge was given, and I crawled up the endless spiral tube, through the maze, following a giggling and taunting boy-child, and there it was: the slide. I got turned…and he shoved me.  Middle-aged woman eeeking her way around all the curves and whoosh out the end.

Image result for big tube slide at mcdonalds playground

I survived!  There may be bruises come morning, ha.

The trip home was blessed with a gorgeous orange half-moon over the river.

Image result for pictures of half moons

Loving life here in the Lowcountry.

 

Adventures in Thanksgiving

A crazy busy week that began on Saturday before my birthday and culminated today in a marathon of cooking and experimenting.  It was great!

Reesie invited her ‘sweety’ over to have Thanksgiving with the family. He got to meet AJ and the pets… he survived the shock, ha ha.

One of the goals I set myself for this new year is to not just eat healthier, but to explore new possibilities. What better time to indulge than today?

First up, a departure from the sugar-laden sweet potato casserole with its marshmallow topping invitation to diabetes… instead I made sweet potatoes with coconut sauce and fresh coconut which provided natural sweetness and a surprising crunchy contrast to the creamier sweet potatoes.

This was yummy … next year I am going to find the purple sweet potatoes. That ought to add a nice pop! to the table 😀

Instead of traditional gravy I made a lovely gravy with vegetable broth, sage, and apple cider. It turned out great, even the kids loved it.

Cider-Sage Gravy

And green bean casserole with its mushroom soup and fried onion topping was replaced with wonderful fresh green beans sauteed with a touch of garlic, caramelized onion, mushrooms (in this case brown beech mushrooms for their lovely nutty flavor, shiitake, and oyster mushrooms for their ‘meaty’ texture), fresh ginger, and a splash of my favorite spicy szechuan sauce and sesame oil.

I took some new ideas, tweaked them to fit our tastes, and what was available, and had so much fun in the kitchen this year.  Truly another reason to be so thankful this year.

Can’t wait for the next special occasion to see what I can come up with next.

Hope your Thanksgiving was extra special too.