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.

 

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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.

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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.

another year over….

…and a new one just begun.

In this case, it is my birthday.  So another year begins in my life.

Now my birthdays are not something I am really excited about…. never was a big birthday girl.  Other people’s birthdays?  YES!  I love to plan parties, find the perfect gift, the perfect meal, and make their moment special.

This year was received with even less enthusiasm than usual, ha. I spent most of the day avoiding it, annoyed another year is gone and I have not accomplished the goals I set for myself. Now the ‘birthday’ is over, whew, and I am ready to tackle this next year head on.

First up…even more focus on my workouts.  Set some ‘markers’ so I have measurable proof of my progress, something I neglected this year.  I did well with my dietary changes…but I can do better.

Next up…make something happen with my writing. I can’t “not” write; and I want to share the places my flights of fantasy take my characters. I need readers.  I need to be good enough to deserve their trust that I can provide a story worth their time.

Meanwhile, on the more prosaic home-front… so many changes ahead.  AJ graduates high school with no actual plan, or even a clear idea of where he wants his future to lead. That could prove a challenge.

Other decisions re our family composition and just how many changes we can make in the coming year is yet to be decided.  A few weeks.  After these last few years, a few weeks doesn’t feel long at all.

For now… my Reesie got me the perfect bathroom accessories for my birthday.   Shops Waterproof Mouldproof Octopus Printed Shower Curtain     Ian’t he ADORABLE?

And as a perfect bathroom companion:   I put a blue candle on it to go with my shower curtain.  It makes me smile.

Lorien and Judah gave me a perfect gift for the writer: a new journal with my little Squid on the cover and a wonderfully creative and encouraging note on the back cover: Like your writing, Cedric is waiting to awaken in this world tremors in all he touches, in all he meets. Wait until the day he reads your atemporal words.

That sure makes my heart sing.  Now to write something worthy of the hope that one day Cedric will read it.

 

 

 

Fantasy Friday

Possibly not the kind of fantasy others expect me to indulge in…those usually involve warriors, weapons, water, and your occasional monster or two. Sometimes a bit of romance/sex just to keep things interesting 😉

No, decidedly NOT suitable for YA. Which works for me.

But today, and tonight…actually for the majority of this entire week…my fantasies have been more decidedly domestic, a lot less fun, but terribly relevant just now.  I am missing our old house, the neighborhood, my gardens and the landscaping I loved.  I have discovered I cannot function when my nights never embrace the darkness; there is always some hideous street light or spot light denying the night and obstructing my view of the moon and stars.  I miss nightly strolls in the dark, just gathering my thoughts, organizing this wild clutter of rampant imagination, and centering my soul.

Where, then, can we go, me and my small troop of offspring?  The countryside may be well suited to this introverted earth mother, but my boys are more like David was…happier with sidewalks or biking/hiking trails, and civilization (at least parks) within reach.

Image result for cleveland metroparks hiking trails

Finding a compromise should be interesting.  I’ll keep you posted.

Meanwhile, other more entertaining versions of fantasy (yes, the ‘other’ kind) are running rampant through my pages with the current focus remaining on dragons and eco-themed ships on both air and water.

FOILER: Båten har L-foiler
på sideskrog og T-foil på senterskrog.

steampunk airship 3d model fbx c4d 6

 

Think they are any match for a flight of dragons?

Image result for group of dragons in flight

This is way more fun than trying to imagine what kind of place we should call home next.

Yay! Fantasy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Moonlight and music

going through a lot of my favorite music tonight as the Muse is quite insistent on being inspired…or at least properly dictated…by the music.

David Garrett has played a lot.  That man and a violin is pure magic.  Plus…definitely fun to watch. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zloCaH9LrCM  if you never have, enjoy

And then I wandered back to other wonderful music… themes from Lord of the Rings, Last of the Mohicans,  and the one song from Gladiator I never tire of hearing… Now We Are Free.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_gNs4W4T20U   I don’t even look at the video, I just want to hear it.

But now I must put aside my fantasy …take to the car, enjoy the moonlight, and the scents of autumn camellias and jasmine on the breeze…pick up my girls…and revel in the music of their laughter and voices.

Blessed night all.