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.

 

 

 

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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.

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.

 

Pumpkins in a pot…

My daughter loves…I mean LOVES pumpkin seeds.  Every year for Halloween the seeds from the jack-o-lanterns are saved, washed, and roasted..and vanish very quickly afterward.  This year she put some into a sandwich container to roast later…and when she went to roast them….they had sprouted!

Image result for pumpkin seed sprouts

The obvious thing to do, of course, is…give the seeds to mom.

Pumpkins don’t really ‘thrive’ here in the Lowcountry…too much heat, no cold snap.  But heaven knows if they were ever going to grow, this nice cool weather is the tome to try. So I dragged out my big ‘tree’ pot, dumped in mulch, and topsoil and voila!

Sprouts of pumpkin seeds

The pot will remain outdoors soaking up warmth and sunshine until fall chills arrive, then move to the porch where the sprouts are protected from any untoward weather.

Can’t wait till spring.  Image result for 4 month old pumpkin plants

Hope springs….

Flights of fancy…

Owls. Today, for quite random reasons, but then again, I am frequently rather random and scattered in where my thoughts take flight…today I kept thinking of owls.

I am quite taken with owls…with the amazing raptor hidden within that soft plumage, the wisdom in their eyes, the way they turn their heads to look back as if it were the most natural thing in the world…which, of course, it IS…if you are an owl. Most of all, I am fascinated by the way they suddenly, silently appear. No wonder they have been  called ‘ghost birds’ and are often associated with spirits.

Great Horned Owl, Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge, Florida, by snooked.

In the ancient live oak at the old house there was a huge hollow in the trunk, a souvenir from Hurricane Hugo. A pair of Great Horned Owls took up residence in the hollow, and I never tired of watching and listening to them. In the daytime they were all but perfectly camouflaged within the foliage and the deep recess of their nest, at night I would spend long hours listening to their calls. At sunset the male would begin his territorial calls…the hoo hoo hoo hoo-hoo we all associate with these birds.  Later at night the call changed, higher pitched, and with a different pattern…sometimes not hooting at all so much as chirruping or screeching. A wondrous thing to fall asleep with the soft scented breeze from the sea drifting through the windows, and the low call of the owls singing the night to sleep.

In Ohio one of my favorites were the barn owls who took up residence in the stable. You don’t really see barn owls so much, as they really prefer the dark of night to do their hunting, but we surely could hear them.  Barn owls don’t mess around with hooting, they shriek, whine, screech, and make all manner of odd noises.

Image result for barn owl

Late one night leaving the stable a silent blur of white swooped just over my head, and my heart leapt like a rabbit on the run. Just the barn owl making a territorial ‘statement’ about my being on her turf during her watch.

If I choose to believe the wisdom of my Native American lineage, and I do believe they were, and often are, more in touch with the world than we…I think perhaps the owl would be my “spirit” animal.  There’s nowhere I’ve lived there weren’t owls. They are a constant and comfortable familiarity in my life.

I saw an owl in the tree here the night we moved in. Never thought much about it…till today. Some flights of fancy are taken on silent wings.

Image result for eastern screech owl

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.

There are waves…and then…

…there are WAVES.

Now I, personally, find huge waves fascinating. The power, the sound, the way they break.

Then again, I also enjoy following tornadoes and I love thunderstorms.  Maybe it’s just me.

Today a friend up on the North Coast, specifically Lake Erie, posted pictures of the waves there.  I remember the waves. That lake scares the fur off me in a way the ocean never has. It is one freakin’ scary body of water, but I DO love the waves.  Since she reminded me… here are a few pictures to show you what I mean.

Image result for huge waves lake erie

photos by Dave Sanford…amazing aren’t they?

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Just one dang freaky lake, especially when winter storms get it churning.

The waves on my ocean are just as powerful and evocative…but somehow, even when they are raging, they delight me.

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You just gotta love it.

I do.