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.

 

 

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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.

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.

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.

 

 

 

Fall takes flight

There are, in case you haven’t noticed from previous posts, LOTS of birds in the Lowcountry.  Which birds changes a bit with the seasons, although there are plenty of year round residents.  The last couple of months have rewarded our watching with a familiar resident, but in a new location. Bald eagles have moved to the pond at the elementary school. October is the beginning of nesting season here, so we were delighted to find they have taken up residence where we can look for them every week.

Image result for bald eagle in South Carolina

The pond is prime territory, open flight paths, but plenty of trees for roosting and nesting, and a gator free pond stocked with an abundance of fish.  By next month the eagles should be laying, and by early spring there will be nestlings to captivate the careful observer.

Snipe may be the stuff of stories and campfire pranks, but here they are among our oddball seasonal shore birds.  Wilson’s snipe are hard to spot, they are so well suited to the area, but fun to find strolling through a local ditch or in your yard.

Snipe-One

After another successful breeding season here in the Lowcountry,  our woodstork population continues to make a comeback from endangered to threatened.  They are ungainly to look at, but amazing in flight or roosting in groups in the trees.

Wood Storks

When you don’t happen to see wood storks feeding in

As fall cools into winter, we are thankful for the return of our seasonal birds. Another year of survival, another hope we can reduce climate change and protect these animals for our children and generations to come.

Welcome home.

Full Moon Magic

Tonight the actual full Beaver Moon shines down upon us all.

Image result for Folly beach by moonlight

The moon is in close proximity to our little blue planet, and it shines upon us bright and filled with hope and encouragement. It reminds us of the slow turning of the universe…always changing and moving forward.  And as the moon reaches its perfection in fullness …so can we all.  Now is the perfect time to turn our dreams into goals and our goals into actions. To reach beyond the limitations we have placed upon ourselves and become more. Dream more. Dare more.

I danced beneath the moon tonight. The tide was soft and the breakers gentle, singing the ancient song of creation and love.

T H E F U L L E R V I E W  ( Fullerview photo)

Then the return to reality…to kids, and dogs, dishes, and deviling eggs for tomorrow when we celebrate not moon, but sun.  The blessed warmth of autumn’s embrace, another chance to cookout at the park, try new recipes, hear the laughter of the children at play. Bird songs, frogs in the reeds along the ponds. Paths to wander and sights to share.  A new abundance.  A new promise.

May we live up to the promises we make tonight…and remember them in all the days to come.