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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

 

Full Moon Magic

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

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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.

 

Harvest, Halloween, and moving ever forward

Last day of October, another year fleeing before us, and the joyous laughter …and screams…of children at Halloween.

We didn’t have many crops to bring in this year, what with the move and all, but what we have had is always a blessing…right now it is sage, rosemary, hot oregano,

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the last of the lemons, salad crops, and kale.  Already I am dreaming of the next plantings, and wondering where we may be by the time I am ready to put them in.

After trick or treat with the kids, time for some grown-up dress-up and a trip to good ol’ Chipotle to get our ‘treat’ burrito bowls for coming in costume.  MMMMM…. the perfect ending to a gorgeous Halloween.  Sofritas bowl with guacamole

 

 

 

Miles and miles of Memories

Yesterday I spent the day driving to Georgia. Alone. It was rather odd, as I have not gone anywhere without a child along for a really long time.  Then, as I zipped along the country roads, reveling in each new vista, the character of each small town, the beauty of marsh and meadow and forests, I found myself embracing the experience.

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A new sense of freedom, a chance to embrace my passion for the unknown, to look beyond the next turn in the road…it was thrilling. I rediscovered a part of ‘me’.

At the end of the day; familiar faces and big Southern hugs and smiles awaited me.  A sense of ‘coming home’ as I shared the evening with my dear friend and her family. But my day wasn’t over’; surprise! we went and got haircuts.  It has been years since I went to a beauty shoppe. I am a very low-maintenance kinda gal, and my hair is a reflection of my hippie roots, ha.  But now I have 8″ less length, layers, and, for the first time in ages…bangs.  It turned out to be more fun than scary, and I am amused with my ‘new look’.

Today, we got up early and drove from their home in Georgia, through Alabama, and a teeny bit of Mississippi, to New Orleans.  No longer alone on my adventure, we laughed, talked, and discussed a hundred different topics. The drive never got boring, and the places we saw were lovely to share.  Cotton fields white with cotton waiting to be picked.

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Wide marshes beneath bridges that stretched seemingly without end across their waters. A small grey fox in the tall grass along the road. Angus and Charolais cattle grazing in rolling pastures. Ancient cemeteries and quaint town squares.  A patchwork of Americana to embrace and remember.

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Tonight, seafood, gumbo, jambalaya, and sweet tea in New Orleans with more friends and other writers. Tomorrow….a new adventure awaits.

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Life is sweet… just slow down and embrace the moments that will become enduring memories.

The life blood of a blue planet

As fires ravage the west coast…we pray for rain. In India, Africa, and Asia droughts and lack of rain parch the lands, and wells and reservoirs are going dry.

Image result for dry reservoirs in california

Our aquifers are being depleted at alarming, no…terrifying! rates. And while the recharge (refill) rates vary…most of the large aquifers now being drained to sustain farming, mining, and industry, and support cities in arid western states…need centuries to recharge. 21 of the 37 largest aquifers on our tiny blue planet are being drained at unsustainable rates. Considering that they are the sole source of life sustaining fresh water for hundreds of millions of humans, that we have stressed them beyond the tipping point…where our demand exceeds their ability to be renewed…there is no time to spare in resolving this.

And there is no outcry. The problem perhaps is that “the problem” can’t be seen. It isn’t as easily evident as dried up reservoirs and forests burning due to drought. Big businesses demand their “right” to use as much water as required for their stockholders to continue to make huge profits. When the water is gone…what then?

Water stuck closer to home for me this week. A family not far from where I live have hit some hard times…it happens in these uncertain days more than ever before.  A big family, an unexpected baby girl eight years after the youngest of the five boys, and not enough money to keep the water turned on. That happens in poor neighborhoods all across America. Not expected in middle class suburbia, is it?  People surprised and saddened me with their lack of compassion. The family tries to hide their problem because other children make fun of their boys. I stopped over today and got a car load of big containers and jugs which I refilled at my house and returned to them under the cover of night…when judgmental eyes might not see. A routine thing, three or four times a week. Not noteworthy in any regard save that a simple act of kindness as a neighbor should need to be hidden.

They have worked out a payment arrangement with the water company…another few weeks and their water will be restored…but how sad people turn away from need, instead of reaching out to one another.

Water shouldn’t be beyond the reach of everyone in this country. In a perfect world, where humans cared more about other living beings and less about possessions, would we not, each and every one, strive for the best for all and not only for ourselves?

Image result for african family at a spring fed well

Such a small, fragile world made all the more remarkable for the blessing of abundant water. If a few jugs of water makes such a difference, imagine the loss when the source of that precious water is gone.

We have to find a better way, world. While we still can.

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