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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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.

 

 

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.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

Wandering into November

A new month and the end of this crazy year draws nearer.  The marsh grass has faded to brown, and cooler water temperatures add a deeper blue to our usually greenish water.

Image result for November in the Lowcountry

At the pond at the elementary school, waiting to pick up the littles, I saw a great blue heron stalking along the shore before it lifted in a low, lazy flight to the trees on the far bank.

Image result for great blue heron

Alligators laze in the sun, soaking up the last, lingering warmth of summer.

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New birds have come to call, enjoying our still gentle temperatures and sunshine. Kinglets chatter. Golden crowned flitter through the wax myrtles and ruby crowned scurry amongst palmetto fronds.

Image result for kinglets in south carolina

The kids and I have an abundance of park days coming in these short but pleasant days of November. Welcome back. Let’s have fun.