farewell March

… it was a lovely, if somewhat bipolar, month.  Days when it was unseasonably chilly.  Days of spring.  Even a few days that felt downright summery.  Rain.  Fog.  Bright sunshine.  And through it all, Spring came marching onward. Camellias and Azaleas bloomed.  Spring bulbs burst forth with flowers.  Bumblebees made a happy buzzing return rejoicing in the bloom of white clover and blackberry flowers.

Now March is swiftly passing and we await the welcome embrace of April.

Thanks for stopping by, March.  See you next year.  

New redux

The whole island is new again as Spring charges past winter (a month late but who’s counting?). The azalea hedge around the front yard and the house is almost entirely in bloom.  The camellias are still in bloom, although the reds which began the show are slowing, and the whites and red streaked ones are just beginning to really take over. And today the wisteria burst into full bloom…cascades of purple flowers covering the mounded bush and festooning the fence the other one is trellised along. The fat anole that thinks he ‘owns’ my garbage can was out sunning himself.  He puffed up but refused to move when I approached.  I will wait till nightfall when he has left his sunning spot for bed before I put the trash in the can.

The dogs have spring fever and have run in and out all day,

Tomorrow morning…hopefully and fingers crossed… I will be driving out to check on a car to buy for my growing brood.  A nice little hatchback that will hold all the kids PLUS have room in back for dogs, boogie boards, and beach towels.  Or groceries.  😉  Then in the afternoon I have an eye exam for new contacts.  Haven’t had an exam in 4 years… I am definitely due.  Excited to be able to see clearly once more.

And now…since it is a lovely Friday night… we have our Friday Fantasy.  Lots of thought on this one.  Current WIP is heading into the mountains….what better time to post a fantasy mountain scene?  Ever since the days I first read of Rivendell I have been in love with mountain keeps… what do you think of this one?

Rainbow Fortress

Amazing Beginning…

Life has been a crazed roller coaster of late.

All right, maybe more than lately.  Maybe for the last five years!  Friday it has been 3 years since my husband passed away…quite suddenly… of cancer.  We’d beaten it twice.  We expected to do it again.  Then he was gone.  Still haven’t quite figured that one out, but I picked up the kids and we came home to the Lowcountry.

It has been crazy… in good and bad ways.  Of late…lots of bad. Crises upon crises,  each deeper and scarier than the one before.  Most my own fault.  I have a stubborn streak of intractable faith in people.  I was brought up to believe the Golden Rule.  To treat people…all people….the way I would want to be treated.  To give everyone the benefit of the doubt as equal children of the Lord.  Love your neighbor as yourself.

Sometimes people make fun of me for being naive. Sometimes people take advantage of my desire to believe in them. I’m not stupid, really.  I just believe, in the long run, good will overcome.  I can’t imagine how cold the world must be to allow oneself not to trust that beyond the ugliness the news seeks to bury us under there is a greatness in the human spirit.  It just needs nurtured.

I digress.  Since David passed away, I haven’t had his influence to keep my ‘world is my oyster’ nature under control.  Frankly, I’ve made a mess of more things than I care to admit.  And, frankly, it has become more than a little discouraging.  Then today…faced with having to begin the process of digging out from under the two latest messes…and each time I reach for the edge of the hole it crumbles away… it occurred to my daughter and I that the glimmer of hope we have been so desperately praying God would give us… is all around us right now.  In the midst of our being broken and trampled by life, God is preparing us for the blessings yet to come.

He is teaching us to be humble. Teaching us to wait on Him.  And above all, reminding us to be thankful and to be good stewards of what He entrusts us with.

Hard lessons for me.  I am so not equipped to handle financial things.  I just hate them. But I am learning.  And part of what I am learning is not to trust ME.  Because I will definitely. mess it up again, LOL.  A good thing to know.

So now we have a new and hopeful outlook on our current trials.  It doesn’t make it easier in the moment.  I will continue to have my little panics and moments of doubt that I can crawl out of whatever the next hole is…and then I will.  And we will carry on, and keep failing, keep falling, keep learning, keep surviving.  Keep giving and hoping and praying… and trying to learn what He is teaching about how to do what is right…the right way.

It is an amazing new beginning… a rebirth of hope.  Just like Spring.

Carry on.

What a fabulous Friday!

The Spring equinox!  A solar eclipse (even though we couldn’t see it here…bummer) and tonight a Super Moon to celebrate the arrival of Spring!  Now this is a day to remember.

Spent much of the day cleaning house with all the kids pitching in one way or another.  Then Reesie and I went and did half the grocery shopping for my 2 week menu of meals to see us through till next pay day.  Tomorrow we will finish the shopping and drive out to look at another potential ‘home’.

The nightmare of my budget remains.  God gives me a little ray of hope, enough to cling to in these dark hours.  And just when we take a deep (and oh so very thankful!) breath… the next catastrophe hits.  Maybe God is checking:  do you trust Me now?  how about now?  do you trust Me NOW?

I do.

I have to.  He’s all I have to hold onto.

We’ll get through.  We always do.

Tonight, as I was making supper another totally random moment.  This time a huge raven flew down into the azalea outside the open kitchen window and sat there… looking at me and making the strange croaking cry they often make.  We watched each other for a bit before he sailed up to sit in the oak tree.  Such fascinating birds. I enjoyed his visit.  I don’t believe they venture often here, but having grown up with both ravens and crows I know the difference.  Hope he returns again. I could use the enlightenment he symbolizes.

Tonight?  Editing and writing to be done on Khyr’s story.  Maybe a quick visit with Mathias as well.  So many stories…so little time.

It is quiet.  Perfect weather.  Dogs snoring.  Life is good.  May it be as lovely for you all.

FRIDAY FANTASY!  (did you think I’d forget?)  In honor of tonight’s gorgeous Super Moon

Moon lights the snow

Random moments to treasure…

A random moment of weirdness….and affirmation of our connectedness to nature around us. Sitting here in the living room, writing away, when ‘plop’ an anole leaps onto my laptop and sits there eyeballing me with its bright emerald gaze. Mind you I am not outdoors, nor near any windows or doors, have not been outside for several hours and even then not near the places our anoles prefer to hang out… where did this little guy come from? It seemed in no way overly distressed by my presence, so I eased to my feet and carried the laptop out the front door so he could leap to freedom into the flower pots or shrubbery,

Nope. Wasn’t budging.

I lowered the laptop into the azalea and the anole promptly scurried up my hand and arm to avoid being deposited in the greenery and seemed, indeed, rather offended by the gesture. Anole and I discussed this for a bit as he sat on my hand, then Reesie came out to help me release my new friend. He didn’t object to her handling either, but again seemed unwilling to be returned to the wild and scurried up her hands as well. Eventually we found a bare branch directly in front of the sunlit porch and the anole finally stepped off and rested there…still watching us with a “seriously? you’re leaving me here?” look.

We have a new friend and he is quite a charmer.

Welcome home, little guy.

Here We Go Again

Another weekend slipped past but wonderfully marked the beginning of Daylight Savings Time.  It is, this year as always, a devisive subject.  For myself, and sun lovers like me, it should be permanent and never change back.  This is the proper time.  My children get to go to school in the light of the new day…not in darkness (which really isn’t safe as well as rather cruel, to make kids get up andf go off into the darkness every morning) and when they come home instead of it being dusk before they can change and get outside… they have another hour to play and run and …oh yes America! run off both energy and calories. People need daylight.  It is good for us.  Helps us sleep better, keep us healthy.  And Daylight Savings means more people see more light.  This is a very good thing.

Meanwhile here in the Lowcountry things got so much warmer.  Beautiful glorious sunny days in the 80s.  Green grass.  Flowers in bloom. BEES! Always so very happy to see the bees. My pear tree is in bloom and there they are…happily gathering pollen, bringing me a new crop of pears.

And so spring comes to the Lowcountry…bit by bit.  A little more sunshine.  A whisper of bees’ wings. Flowers and grass and the call of the ocean. It is so welcome here.

Freezer Friday

Okay…not literally.  This is still the Lowcountry, after all.  Still, after three glorious days of bright sunshine and 80s, to drop into cold rain and 40 was depressingly ‘wintery’.  Tomorrow we shall rebound to 60 and it is all better from there.  Before long this long winter shall finally be a memory and we can all bask in the glory of summer.

Cait came by today and we made Red Shrimp Curry for supper…while the teens ordered pizza.  Too bad for them, we got all the good stuff 😀  Since Cait surprised me with that meal, the supper I had planned gets pushed back to tomorrow.  Mushroom and pepper alfredo… which may not be exactly traditional…but I love the flavor the cashew milk adds to the garlic and spices.

I have the hankering to bake.  Something I loved to do and gave up when Reesie was diagnosed with celiacs because I couldn’t find a way to make anything come out ‘right’ with what was available back then and I refused to make something we  all couldn’t enjoy.   Now there are a lot more options and it is possible to make at least some of my favorites in a GF/vegan friendly version…  I really want to give it a go.  Maybe next week when the groceries for this month are gathered I can get the ingredients to enjoy playing with some old favorites once more.

Spent some time yesterday working out the final (okay …right this moment final but could still be changed on a whim when I commence, LOL) patterns for the little rocking chair.  Some of them I like so much I may very well turn them eventually into clay ‘stamps’ for future use on pieces of pottery.  A rather random and ecelectic mix that speaks to my own whimsy and our heritage… a bit of Gullah, a bit of Celtic, some Native American inspired, and a squid….because…well… SQUID.

Now to this week’s FANTASY inspiration for Fantasy Friday… I have reached a turning point in the story, and looking out over a scene rather like this and deciding which way to follow.  Where would you go?

misty waterfalls

Shine on…

The first genuinely perfect spring day here in the Lowcountry!  It was 80 here on the island, bright sunshine and just the sweetest breeze blowing inland from the beach.  Everything smells of sun and sea.  Birds of every variety singing joyously, even the plants rejoiced!  My camellias, who have blessed me with daily blooms since December, went crazy with a wild, glorious profusion of flowers in this single moment of glorious spring weather. Reds, pinks, white, cream, and striped… all burst forth in a display unequaled with the long cold, dreary winter we’ve had this year.

In the yard, because the long-ago owners of this house were quite eclectic as to how and where they planted things, I have jonquils, narcissus, daffodils, and these lovely purple flowers I have yet to identify that pop up randomly in beds and lawn, and the huge red and white blooms of the amaryllis stuck against the wall of the house behind the azalea bushes.  A joyous display for those with the time to stroll this big ol’ yard and just enjoy the randomness of it all.

Today was a walking day.  To the bank, home, to the store, home, back up to the bank, back home…about 10 miles all told.  By that last walk home my feet were protesting, so once I got past the big road I took them off and walked the rest of the way home barefoot.  My tootsies were ever so grateful, the soft squish of turf and sand underfoot was a joy and a reminder that spring really is finally at hand…or foot, as the case may be. I rejoice in the return of flip flop weather.  What could be more perfect?

Not that winter is through with us just yet.  I hear there is another cold snap in a couple of days… but embracing these moments keeps it all in perspective. Winter will pass.  Spring is at hand.

Tonight I sat out in my bright turquoise lawn chair in front of my little house and listened to the night sounds, lifted my face to the warm wind blowing in from the sea, and stared into a clear star-flung sky with a soft full moon bathing all below in its gentle embrace. And life, my friends, is so very, very good.

MARCHing into spring…I hope

Today was/is gorgeous! Mid 70s, light breeze, bright sunshine.  Couldn’t ask for a lovelier spring day.  I hope it stays.  It has been an unusually cold and dreary February for here in the Lowcountry.  Usually by now I would have my spring crops in, this year the rain and very cold nights prevented that.  This week, with more seasonable temperatures promised, I hope to accomplish getting at least the pots of vegies started. The garden still has onions,  three kinds of kale, and lots of herbs from last year. That is a good beginning.

So welcome March!  About time you got here.  The camellias are still in bloom.  The red and white striped ones have joined the red, pink, and whiite ones.  

Yellow is stilll biding its time.  Azaleas have fat buds, so they are late but will be here soon. Amaryllis left by some long ago residents of this house are blooming now too.  Sadly tucked behind the huge azaleas where no one can appreciate their amazing beauty but me.  After they are done, I really should lift and move them to a location where future generations can enjoy their show.