Finding Friday

Another week past…hard to believe almost the end of another month….another YEAR!  Where in bloody blue blazes did this one go?!

Considering that the phrase itself is a ‘stand in’ for hell…on second consideration that might not be sooooo far from true. Too much anger, too much sorrow, loss, pain, inhumanity in this year….all across our country and our world. Time passes so swiftly in these difficult times…and yet seems to drag on interminably.

For myself, I choose to hold tightly to the victories amongst the sorrow. The wee, small, quiet moments that assure me that life does indeed go on despite the vagaries of men.  My old dog snoring under my feet, as so long she has. Little A’s smile. Aleah and DJ playing in Peppa Pig’s dollhouse. Visiting the birds at the school. The song of the ocean, as it recalls God singing it into creation so very long ago.

The joys and sorrows friends have shared…that is beyond price.

The stories!  So many stories. Theirs. Mine. Ones we have read. What have you read this year?  What mark did it leave within you?

For now…my dear Khyr and his story are told. Upon the new year I shall edit and revise once more, with fresh eyes and an open heart…seeking to draw from those thousands of words the essence of what and who he is and the story he wishes to share.

And I have Truian to keep me company, so very different from Khyr. I never really imagined that world till now with its air ships and swift solar powered sailing ships, the steam-punk edge but without any of the grit and pollution….eco-punk?  I would love such a world.

He wants to be off sailing now. My heroes and their passion for water…yes indeed. I think I can encourage him to go for a swim yet before this year is over. Now there is a lovely fantasy.

 

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The color of things…

Parked at the elementary school today, as usual, I enjoyed watching the waterfowl that frequent the fishing pond at the school. The usual company of Great White heron,  Great Blue heron, Anhinga, Terns, and White Ibis were joined by a new visitor.  A couple of Little Blue herons poked along the shore. So easy to miss, and so lovely to see in their gleaming coats of blue.

We have three bald eagles who live in the trees adjacent to the school: a mated pair, and a single adult we assume is one of their previous offspring.  Today a welcome new arrival at the pond as I saw a gorgeous adolescent perched on the fence still resplendent in its rich brown coat.

I hope the youngster sticks around the area as I would love to watch it grow up.

As it flew off into the trees, the White ibis came marching past, searching through the grass along the edge of the pond.  Their procession is a familiar sight, but today, a newcomer in their midst, the streaked brown incongruous among the pure white of the group.

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I’d never seen a juvenile at the school, as this group doesn’t nest near the pond, so it was a joy to behold strutting among them.

A wonderful continuation of the story of this small pond… the colors of things to come.

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….

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.