DANCING FIREFLIES BENEATH the MOON

The return of fireflies following our endurance race through weeks of rain

welcome fluttering fire lights

brightened by oversight of the moon’s brilliance

elusive flashes of sparkling wonder

location of next cluster, unpredictable

set against the black parade of massive ENTS hovering in the darkness

TMG    June 20, 2016

Night Heron on Riverside

Neighbor, Larry Millar came to visit this evening and was able to identify the strange, new sound in the neighborhood the past two days.  He found it across the street, instead of on the creek, where we expected it to be.  It was a Night Heron, possibly calling for a mate. Life is always an adventure on Elm Creek-love it!

YCNightHeron_DAshcroft.jpg (414×407) San Antonio Autobaon Society

 

 

Taco-filled Tortilla Bowls-TMG

 

These TACO TORTILLA BOWLS are delicious and perfect for busy parents:

INGREDIENTS NEEDED:

12 flour tortillas

1 lb. ground beef or turkey

1 cup salsa

1 can black beans, (rinsed and drained)

Mexican shredded cheese

1 bunch red leaf lettuce

Guacamole (see recipe below)

Light sour cream

METHOD:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Microwave tortillas 15 minutes, separated on paper plate.

Form tortilla into a bowl inside each large muffin cups with two folds on each side.

Crunch foil and place foil ball into the center of each tortilla bowl

Place tortilla bowl muffins into oven and bake for a total of 13 minutes.

While tortillas bake, brown meat and drain, if needed.

Season with kosher salt to taste, chili powder and pepper.

Pour 1 cup salsa into cooked meat mixture.

Boil and simmer 10 minutes.

Microwave black beans 3 minutes.

Add spoonfuls of meat and beans into each tortilla bowl, topped with Mexican cheese.

After cheese melts, add pieces of lettuce, guacamole mixture and sour cream.

ENJOY!!!

GUACAMOLE MIXTURE:

3 avocados sliced and chopped (include one seed)

1/2 cup salsa

1/4 sliced/chopped onion

1 large lime, squeezed

1 fresh tomato chopped

 

 

MAGNOLIA MAGIC

We planted this magnolia tree (in front of the rock koi pond built by my grandfather), in honor of my parent’s anniversary.  During rainstorms, which have been rare in the past and frequent the past few months in Texas, one of my favorite reflection times is observing the storm roll in from our front porch, the very same view my Grandma and Grandfather watched every evening in the glow of the yellow ceiling light.  Today, the magnolia tree displayed its full beauty  with two low blossoms, opening their soft, white petals to welcome the second coming of the rain:

 

 

Diamond Doves (the Peacemakers)

“diamonds on the soles of my shoes”                   “diamonds are a girl’s best friend”

“Lucy in the sky with diamonds”

Our gentle, cooing Diamond Doves have laid one egg today.  We await the arrival of a possible second.  The female and male take turns sitting on the egg, which lies upon a very thin nest in their basket, put together by the two of them at the last minute!  We miss their daily coos, as their minds appear to be elsewhere today.  However, they are so interesting to observe during this “miracle moment” of sorts.  What wonderful pets; with the right kind of cage, they are not messy at all and provide a constant source of peaceful sounds, adding tranquility to our daily environment, as well.

 

Springtime Do-over: Return of the Waterfall & Lillies

After a two-month interval of no-blogging, no waterfall (due to a pump malfunction), slow-growing water plants without the fresh water of the waterfall, unhappy koi and life struggles, in general, HOPE PREVAILED.   As a result, I am inspired to blog again, encouraged by the beautiful sight of sunshine, a lovely refreshing waterfall, happy koi, and a beautiful, blooming rose-purple lily.  Our HOPE did not come to us without EFFORT. Thanks to the masterful problem-solving efforts of friend, Jerry Kiser, the new pump was successfully installed and all aquatic problems were subsequently resolved.

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   Life is good again for ALL of us:

 

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Daytime Stampers-March Group

Image                                         Mary Innes, Jean Dotson and Roxanne Griffith created these beautiful cards last Friday during our                                                  Stampin’ Up Daytime Stampers March Group.  We explored a resist embossing technique, used the                                              Lacy & Lovely Stamp Set, used the banner punch & Banner Blast Stamp Set, and created Pinwheel                                              birthday cards with the Fan Fair vintage paper on sale right now for $4.39 (snowshoesentiments.stampinup.net).

 

February 12, 2014 Goodbye My Friend, Our “ShoebeDoo”

How do you say goodbye to someone who has been so faithful and sweet for 18 years of your lives?  Our dear cat, Snowshoe, died today. We loved him so very much.  Linda Rhonstadt sang a song years ago written by Karla Barnoff:  “Goodbye, My Friend”, that touches upon many of my feelings on this day:

Oh we never know where life will take us                                                                                                    
I know it’s just a ride on the wheel
And we never know when death will shake us  
 And we wonder how it will feel        

So goodbye my friend    
I know I’ll never see you (here) again
But the time together through all the years       
Will take away these tears                
It’s okay now
          Goodbye my friend

I’ve seen a lot of things that make me crazy       
And I guess I held on to you
We could’ve run away and left well maybe  
But it wasn’t time and we both knew

So goodbye my friend
I know I’ll never see you (here) again
But the love you gave me through all the years
Will take away these tears
I’m okay now
Goodbye my friend

Life’s so fragile and love’s so pure
We can’t hold on but we try
We watch how quickly it disappears
And we never know why

But I’m okay now
Goodbye my friend
You can go now
Goodbye my friend

I found Snowshoe as a kitten at our local humane society. Someone had loved him, also, as he was inside a pretty cage with toys, etc.
A snowshoe Siamese with beautiful blue eyes; loved to play; loved children; loved being around family; loved lying about on my scrapbooking table, playing with papers, etc.; loved playing with Kramer, the Cockatiel, Molly, Buttons012 Snowshoe

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Terry's Camera 04042009 278 Snowshoe & Maxwell; loved watching and patting real snow tigers on the television (even looking behind the television for them); loved eating (panicked if his food didn’t totally cover the bottom of the bowl); loved doing “the bug dance” around an intended prey; loved warming himself on the computer wi-fi box; loved roaming under the birdfeeders and irritating his squirrel friends by sitting below them up in the tree; loved being with me; loved climbing up in my lap out on the porch; loved being outside in the yard or garden with me; my friend…….my soulmate……a bright light in my heart. Snowshoe was part of our family….Billy, Brandon, Brett & Leanna loved him, also. His “Mew-Mew”, rubbing his head against us, and his sweetness will always be remembered by all of us.

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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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!

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!!!