The Swan Visitor

Gazing out glass windows
Still, calm waters
LBJ’s remembrance
Lake of many views
Suddenly, ripples from around the bend
Soft push back-forward….push back-forward….push back-forward
Closer, closer, closer, slowly spinning
Long pure white neck decorated with abundant soft feathers
Looking towards me
Slowly opening nature’s doors
I creep down the sidewalk
Closer, closer, closer, slowly raising camera
As I softly speak in high – pitched tones
Orange beak alert; listening; watching
Snap; Beautiful Swan-moment captured
I sit on the dock; bread in hand; watching; waiting
Soft push back-forward…push back-forward…push back-forward
Closer, closer, closer, slowly spinning
Listening; watching; waiting
Niblet of bread gifted forward
White neck stretching; reaching
Orange beak to hand….opening wide-wider;
I toss the bread in an arc towards the waiting wonder
Touch of soft bread piece on water triggers ripples
Snap; treat from a friend

By Terry Grosvenor
1/18/2014
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Owl Houses

Living on the creek, a variety of “visitors” surprise us on occasion.  We’ve seen raccoon families, possum families hanging upside down from trees, a few long-tailed creatures tight-walking the telephone wires across the creek, bobcats on people’s roofs, multiple foxes, squirrel families born in birdhouses, etc.  When our boys were very young, they had a yellow and orange “Little Tykes” picnic table out in our backyard.  One morning following a very bad thunderstorm resulting in many broken tree limbs, I looked out the window and saw an unusual shape moving underneath the picnic table.  I watched it for a while to see if it was staying in one place. Looking closer, I felt it was definitely some sort of  bird; small, but with a significantly round body.  When I got outside, the bird made no effort to escape.  As I approached it, I discovered it was a screech owl.  He was adorable, but one of his eyes was badly injured. I wondered if he had been hit in the head by the large pecan tree limb that had fallen nearby in the storm.  Knowing very little about screech owls, I didn’t really know how to help him.  I didn’t want to leave him on the ground too long due to the possibility of a predator harming him.  I made a decision to call our local zoo and ask their advise.  They told me to get him to walk into a box and bring him out to the zoo.  How does one get a little screech owl to agree to walk into a box?  Very carefully!  I found a big stick and gently coaxed him into a box I had put onto its side in front of the owl.  He acted like he didn’t really know what was happening.  I was finally successful in getting him to slowly waddle inside the box, tipped it over quickly and put the box into my car.  After delivering him to the zoo, I waited several hours before receiving a phone call from the zoo veterinarian. After several hours, the zoo called me and told me they had worked on the owl in surgery all night, but that they couldn’t save him.  I was so sad about the sweet owl, but was somewhat comforted that at least we had attempted to save him.

Ever since that day, having had a close encounter with a little screech owl, I have always been fascinated by owls.  My niece, Jannica had a screech owl living in an owl house in her backyard by the swimming pool.  She named him Otis and he was just adorable.  Now that the age of “Google It” has arrived, I enjoy searching for information about a variety of subjects.  I started looking up information on attracting owls to your property and found the specs. for building a screech owl house.  Knowing my younger son, Brett,  loves to use his tools and build things, I e-mailed him today to see if he would build his mama a screech owl house.  His response was quite positive, so I am hoping that someday we will have an owl house complete with owl family on our part of the creek.

On the Subject of DREAMS

I rarely discuss my dreams.  However, I found last night’s dreams to be quite interesting.  To set the scene for one of my dreams, my mother is an amazing lady in her 90’s, who lives quite independently outside of Austin on beautiful Lake LBJ.  Her faithful companion, since the death of my father, has been a delightful Pomeranian, named Riley.  One could say that Riley has definitely acquired  “the life of Riley” from living with my mother. They adore one another.  Riley is 14 years old and has numerous anomalies which make his life more difficult at this point, such as poor hearing, poor eyesight, allergies, violent coughing, and occasional listless behavior. However, with all of Riley’s old age problems, he still takes wonderful care of my mother.  Recently, my mother’s three children, including me, have been discussing how to best care for her if needed in the future, since all of us live quite a distance.  Of course, my mother has no desire to leave her home or her sweet Riley.  So, last night, I dreamed about my mother and I searching for a new puppy for my mother on a huge beach.  There were numerous people on the beach selling very odd-looking puppies of all ages and sizes.  Of course, no matter how many possible puppies I found for her, none of them could ever begin to replace her Riley.  A very appropriate dream, I think.

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DSC_0804_edited-1My second dream was quite interesting to me and one that I continue to reflect upon in my “spare time”.  If you have ever had a seemingly positive friend relationship explode on you, you might be able to relate to this dream.  The friend, in question, appeared at our door.  The conversation was quite cordial.  Apparently, we were standing on a second-story balcony, looking our over a huge forest and large grassy area.  Our family members and pets were down in the grassy area.  Suddenly, there was an explosive sound and a female lion came bounding out of the woods.  I was trying to warn my boys about the lion, and was very concerned about them.  Somehow, Brandon and Brett ended up donning hammers to defend themselves from the lion.  I was so worried about the boys, but also found myself eventually feeling sorry for the lion being “hammered” on the head.  I found myself feeling as though the lion had escaped from a zoo unexpectedly and had no intention of hurting anyone.  I remember being in quite the conundrum about the entire situation.  Similar feelings to those I have been feeling about the situation with “our friend”-precisely!

Happy New Year, 2014

As another new year is upon us, it is time, once again, to jump start my fitness kick, record all of those calories, walk briskly around the boulevard, budget, and vow to make the most of our time on a slim dime!   Of course, after projecting much more time for creating for others in December than I actually had, I continue to work on a few delinquent Christmas gifts.  Hopefully, the receivers will consider them worth the wait!  I did start the new year off right by spending an entire morning in every book store in town.  My delightful excursions resulted in a boatload of  “good reads” to enjoy and prevent me from spending dollars I do not have!

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We attended a holiday party last night and made a number of new acquaintances, many of whom were McMurray professors and spouses.  I tend to enjoy the “outsider” approach from afar when attending such events, but after receiving a little help from my friends and forcing myself to “step out” a bit, I considered it a highly entertaining evening.  Actually, the first week in January is a perfect time to host a party.  Everyone is ready to escape the comfortable, yet at times tiring ” room with a view” of home, with the opportunity to listen to fresh conversation.  It was a wonderfully, cool night on the LeMaster’s beautiful, covered porch overlooking the creek.  I believe BG looks similar to this picture of Mr. Buttons, following his partying, though he is not inside of a box today.

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At the party,  I was able to find out this year’s location of our previous neighborhood creek visitors , two Great Horned Owls. Apparently, they are “hooting” during this, a later time of year than usual, off of Rivercrest, where my Aunt Ginger and Uncle Hubert used to reside.  I want them to return to us very badly, as photographing them was one of my favorite creek activities!

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I saw a great deal of evidence of our large fox population in my backyard yesterday afternoon.  I need to replace a light bulb, so that perhaps I can catch a photograph of them one of these evenings.

My endless project of card creation continues:      

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One Day

One Day:

SWEET Friend dying

POWER over LIfe–based on Money, an over-taxed system, and “help for the patient” operating in a disguise of yielding a deadly sword of dehydration and starvation

A gentle, sweet, dwarf rabbit, family member for many years – The jewel of Riverside-sputtering his last breath of life in my arms

A homeless dog, with some sort of soul-floating knowledge of the dying state of his mama–
Losing total sanity during the thundering bellows of an approaching storm

Viewing the WHOLE PICTURE-small events when compared to the trials of others

In isolation–MY DAY–enough to make me fall apart

I Gather Again

Cards

THANK YOU CARD

I love designing cards. Cards connect people. Recently, I became acquainted with two inspirational card-creating sites: Simon Says Stamp and the Simon Says Stamp blog, to boost my card-making idea bank. I created the following thank you card for some friends with the materials listed below:

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Materials used to create card:

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Basic Grey precision cutting mat,

Tim Holtz Vagabond

Tim Holtz Alterations die movers and shapers, cut in half

Tim Holtz Walnut Distress Ink

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Prima Embellishments

SMILE CARD

I wanted to use a slanted tag on this card and, of course I had to use my favorite Stamping’ Up Old Olive ink. I also tried out my lighted Imaginisce CUTBRIGHT cutting tool-just love it!! The materials used to make this card are listed below:

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CUTBRIGHT tool

Basic Grey Precision Mat

Stamping’ Up Old Olive Ink

Twine

Green Brads-tiny

Zip-Dry Glue

20120813-172445.jpg Will ‘n Way Clear Creative Stamps-Smile

Two Ladies-Many Talents

This summer, I have experienced the pleasure of getting to know my neighbor Janice Nowakowski, who is so delightful, creative and described by me as a very fast thinker. When you hang around with Janice, creative ideas seem to explode; just visiting with her is pure joy! She has opened up the world of antiques and refined junk to me. She inspires me to visit sites around Abilene searching for “good finds” with potential for greatness!! We have so much fun planning and discussing her latest projects. During one of our recent discussions, Janice peaked my interest in going to Baack’s florist to see its transformation, authored by Janice and another talented friend of mine, Cynthia Deegan. Visiting Baack’s, I fell in love with the bright-colored ceramic vases and candle holders, the oval grapevine baskets and of course, the gorgeous plants! As I entered the plant room, my eye was immediately drawn to a beautiful sun catcher created by Janice, made from an old window frame, hanging amidst the butterfly plants. When I commented to Janice about how much I liked it, she told me to take it. I was shocked, but also so appreciative of such a beautiful and creative gift from a friend whose talents I so admire!! BG and I immediately hung it in our walkway near Fee’s garden.

Unique gifts created by friends are the best!

After another visit with Janice, questioning where she comes across her “fabulous finds”, she expanded my decorating horizons by referring me to It’s About Time-a unique store in Abilene full of new discoveries! During my later visit to It’s About Time, I became acquainted with Pam Sumrall, a friend of Janice’s, who is also a design consultant for this amazing store. I felt like Pam and I had been friends all of our lives. She was so kind and helpful to me in acquiring a sense of my own preferences in design. She looked at design elements we were using in both rooms and encouraged me to think in different ways about those items. Pam helped me find the perfect color of khaki for our walls and taught me so much about decorating in my own unique style. Among Pam’s many suggestions: bringing elements of nature inside through use of a variety of textures (including textured fabrics, rocks (which I love), pillows, artwork, etc.), adding hints of outdoor green, use of the wonderful khaki scarf as part of my new centerpiece, glass domes, feathers, bird nests, etc. Pam showed me how to use groups of books (something important to me), color, and groupings more effectively. We gathered several items from the store for me to take home on a trial basis-what fun–we will have a whole new look in a few months! I found Pam a delightful and fascinating person and look so forward to spending more time with her!

New Adventures

Now that I have retired for a second time, I have expanded my activities and interests and continue to seek a way to organize all of the new adventures and goals I have in mind. I have been blog-cruising lately and have become reenergized to the plan of blogging more often and more consistently! I have also been expanding my horizons in card-making and look forward to sharing some new ideas. With the weather suppressing us with over 100 degree temperature every day, most days my efforts seem to be focused on watering plants and Fee’s garden, exercising, visiting Avonne with Buttons, and scrapbooking. i have also managed to place a great deal of time and energy into improving our curb appeal and emptying rooms in preparation for living and dining room wall painting. pictures to come after we put it all back together!

JEWELRY

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EWELRY
* Pieces of Jewelry tell your stories-stories of rapture, enduring love, connection, family, friendship, sorrow, and even pain. Jewelry expresses YOU- how you are feeling in one given day-professional, free-spirited, frolicking, serious, elegant, charming, colorful or simple!
*. All of my treasures displayed on a pegboard wall made by my husband.
*. Memorable
*. Eventful
*. Sparkly
*. Decorative
*. Flashy
* Charming
*. Fun
*. Tingly
*. Layered
*. Some costume
*. Some sterling silver ( most needing polishing!)
*. Picturesque
SO MANY CHOICES:
* Freshwater Pearls Necklace and bracelet, given to me by Billy and our boys, Brett and Brandon
*. Brandon’s gold bracelet-a gift to ‘Mama Terry’
*. Brighton Hearts Necklace, Bracelet and Earrings-purchased at a Brighton shop in an airport, as I traveled to different cities to give presentations about helping young children learn
*. Palm Tree Necklace and earrings purchased in an Orlando Florida Hotel, attending a National Head Start conference-I wear it whenever I am feeling adventurous or in need of discovery!
*. Watches without batteries-too many watches without batteries!!
*. Angela Moore heart earrings, bracelet and penguin necklace purchased in a small boutique in New Hampshire, while on a tour of New England with my mom
*. Green-and-black spotted heart necklace, bracelet and earrings purchased at one of our monthly bunko gatherings, made by a friend of my dear friend, Kelley
*. New Mexico turquoise earrings given to me by my brother while he was living in Albuquerque and turquoise earrings Found in New Mexico when presenting for High-Scope (brings back fond memories of the Southwest, exploring Indian ruins, hiking, and visiting with the Hopis in Farmington, New Mexico)
*. Turquoise bracelet purchased in Sante Fe, Mew Mexico
*. Colorado turquoise necklace and earrings purchased in Colorado while attending a Head Start conference.
*. Colorful Beaded Necklace given to me by Mimi-Billy’s mother.
*. Teardrop Necklace-James Avery, given to me by Sweet Billy, which I wear always.
*. Two pair of beautiful glass earrings purchased from a wonderful Save the Earth World Store in Sonoma, California, where Leanna May and I shopped, while the boys and BG were at the local brewery!
* Coldwater Creek Watch ( just because I liked it) and following the “all I need is one watch with a working watch battery” realization
*. BIG black and white earrings-I am often stuck inside a box of “sameness”, always wearing the same necklace and earrings repeatedly. My sweet daughter-in-law helps me “step out” by encouraging me to buy “big earrings”, like the round black-and -white ones!!
*. The very sad tale of the missing Silpada hammered silver earring-lost somewhere near the armadillo sculptor at Perini’s Steak house in Buffalo Gap-maybe we need to schedule another dinner date to see if the earring is still there in the red dirt??
With all of the stories generated by one piece of jewelry, wearing it can give you a refreshing new lens to look through each day, as you approach the world!!

Christmas with Fee, 2011

B and I enjoyed spending time with Fee prior to Christmas–mom is always such a delight.  We loved listening to her stories about Christmas memories from the past, watching her smile over the geese flying over the lake, watching her trying to figure out her new IPhone technology, seeing her in the kitchen cooking her culinary delights, listening to her talk with family friend Mary Lee, and seeing her sip her “Fee-tini” in her Christmas sparkle glass! There is only one Fee and we love her SO MUCH!!!!

Fall, 2011

Thus far this month I have:
Enjoyed a road trip With my sweet mama,
Celebrated the 90th birthday of my Aunt D.D.,
Reunited with “the three girls” of my childhood,
Enjoyed joyful times with family,
Called 91-year-old Judge Bob (the fishing buddy of my childhood), listening to him talk with joy and sadness about his sweet wife and our Peggy; telling us about sharing family dinner in Peggy’s honor with my best friend, Janie and her husband Bob at “The Country Squire”, a familiar place from my past,
Celebrated the 4 inches of rain and prayed for Baby Cade,
Cried sweet and painful tears for my friends and their
families, gifted with holding beautiful baby Cade for one precious hour of life,
Walked miles feeling Fall’s first breaths,
Cheered for my boys’ excitement in experiencing the Texas Ranger’s wins,
Enjoyed telephone visits and “texting” with my family,
Endured the barking of Buttons through the thunderstorms,
Rocked our Molly May nearing the end of her Fall season,
And shared good reads and pumpkins with my sweet Billy!

Fall, 2011 brings a mixture of pleasure and pain, moving me forward.

Pond Frog-Life is Good!

There is no mistaking the billowing sound of a frog and there is a never ceasing amazement at that gutterally, symphonic production,

that in the end is nothing short of musical.  This being, less than one inch long gives proof to the notion “less is MORE”!

Amidst the blooming water lilly—-summer is here!!!