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Krista over there at WordPress has chosen the topic “Ephemeral” for this week’s photo challenge. The definition of Ephemeral is: Lasting a very short time.

Here is my take on Ephemeral…

What luck to catch this shot of geese landing on a lake…

Ready to touch down

Ready to touch down

Or, watching the hummingbird feeder at dusk and seeing ten at once!

10 Hummer's

10 Hummer’s

Here is a shot of a buffalo who is talking!

This buffalo has something to say!

This buffalo has something to say!

This is a fleeting moment: Catching a fox peeking around a tree!

Teenage fox in our yard!

Teenage fox in our yard!

There is nothing like observing bees. The day I took this photo, I felt lucky that I was able to capture the details of its wings…

Looking at nature up close

Looking at nature up close

How often does one make eye contact with a giraffe?

Giraffe face

Giraffe face

One final shot. This is one of the lions over at PAWS…Isn’t he a beauty?

Close up with a male

Close up with a male

So there you have it! Did I meet the challenge? :)

Thanks for stopping by today and be well! ^..^


This is my entry for the Friday Fictioneers, hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. This challenge requires me to write a story using 100 words or less. Today I am tying my story to two others that I have done. The first one is: The Wine Bar. The second: More!

Senior Band - Photo by David Stewart

Senior Band – Photo by David Stewart

The sun was setting in the park, and the senior citizen band was ready to play. The conductor raised his baton; and the music began. Notes flowed from each instrument.

Song after song they played. As the evening wound down, they finished the song “25 or 6 to 4.” Suddenly they could hear a humming sound. A light beamed down upon the gazebo, and in a flash, it was gone!

The seniors found themselves in a bar filled with grey beings drinking glasses of wine. Each senior heard the word, “Play.” And, so they did. The aliens raised their glasses!

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Thank you Rochelle for hosting this challenge and David for the photo that inspired this story! And, I thank you dear reader for taking the time to stop by for a quick read! Have an amazing day and be well… ^..^

Stunning Flowers


Spring arrived the other day, and this has turned my mind to what annuals I will be planting this year. We are limited here with what can go into the yard because of the deer and jack rabbits. We are also limited with the unimaginative selection available at the local Home Depot. Rarely do we see anything other than petunias, pansy, lobelia, and alyssum. When we made a day trip to Jackson recently, we stopped into the Lowe’s there, and I was amazed at the array of plants that they have. Why can’t our Home Depot do this too?

I had my camera in hand that day, not wanting to leave it in the car when we went in. So today, I am going to share with you a number of the stunning flowering plants they had available!

Taishan Orange Marigold

Taishan Orange Marigold

Blueberry Shake Bacopa

Blueberry Shake Bacopa

Kangaroo Paws

Kangaroo Paws

Gerboa

Gerboa

African Daisy

African Daisy

Columbine

Columbine

Helleborus

Helleborus

Anthurium

Anthurium

Fuchsia

Fuchsia

And finally, this stunner!

Ranunculus

Ranunculus

Thanks for taking the time today to drop on by! Have an amazing day! Be well… ^..^


I do not often do two posts in one day, but my friend Michael from down under, with his friend, the lovely Phylor, put together a post. To get there click HERE! The challenge is to write about a mythical tale…Little is known here in the Sierra Foothills about the Gnomes, but I have this on good authority from Morris. He is a gnome that lives at Trout Lake.

So, here on Tuesday, I have put together this post about Morris and his kind…

I would like to introduce you, formally, to Morris the Gnome.

Thanks Barb for introducing me. To the readers: I am a gnome and my name is Morris. I know, the name is innocuous enough, and truly, it in no way tells you anything about who I am. Knowing this about my name, I would like to introduce myself to you. You might have seen my work somewhere in a pond or lake where you live. I might not look like much to you, and that’s OK, because it works for me!

My dear friend, one very perceptive gal named Barb, comes to visit me all the time. She asked if she could photograph me, and I agreed. Here is a photo she took of me this year. Do you see me? She told me she would have an arrow pointing to me.

Here I am!

Here I am!

I live with the frogs, the tiny fish, and turtles. I put up with the ducks and geese. What I really like about them is that from underneath the water I can poke them in their butts and they go flying off, shouting about me doing this, and warning others as to where I am in the pond. The group that is here lives for tormenting the ducks and geese! We do a good job of this. Remember that when you are at a lake or pond, and you see the ducks and geese go flying off, shouting as they fly away. We are the cause! Hee-hee-hee!

My kind takes care of the ecological balance of this small pond. Some might argue this, but when it comes down to it, everyone that lives on this pond relies on us! So, next time you find yourself around a pond that has lily pads, see if you can find me. I am most certainly watching you!

See you soon! — Morris

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This piece was written for Mind Love Misery;s Menagerie. Please stop by and say HI to Michael and Phylor for me! :)

Be well!


Good day and welcome to Tasty Tuesday! For today, I wanted to share with you an easy beef recipe that takes about a half hour to prepare and then 8 hours of cooking time in the crock pot. The flavors are amazing, and the aromas that will fill your home while this is cooking will make others believe that you have been slaving in the kitchen! Here is a preview of this dish…

Preview

Preview

Looks good, doesn’t it? Let’s head into the kitchen…

Ingredients
6 tri-tip strips or 6 medium hanger steaks (I used a combo of these because of limited availability in the store)
1# cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 onion sliced and separated
1 TBS fresh thyme, leaves stripped from stems and minced
1 tsp of Spanish paprika
3/4 cup of chicken stock
1/4 cup sherry
1/4 cup of flour
4 TBS extra virgin olive oil
1 TBS dried parsley
1/2 cup of heavy cream

Ingredients

Ingredients

The first thing that I do is get all of the ingredients prepped and ready to use. This cuts down the prep time of this dish, or any other.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add 1 TBS of olive oil. Add the mushrooms and saute until the mushrooms begin to brown.

Brown the mushrooms

Brown the mushrooms

Move them to the crock pot. Then add another TBS of oil to the skillet and heat. Add in the meat and brown on both sides. Remove the meat to a plate.

Browned beef

Browned beef

Add the remaining oil to the pan, heat and then add the onion, thyme and paprika.

Cook up the onions, paprika and thyme

Cook up the onions, paprika and thyme

Cook until the onions become translucent. Then add in the flour. Stir to coat.

Flour is incorporated in to the onions

Flour is incorporated in to the onions

Add in the chicken broth and sherry. This will be a bit thick. Add it to the crockpot.

The mushrooms and onions provide a bed for the beef

The mushrooms and onions provide a bed for the beef

To the crock pot, add in the meat and any juices that have accumulated on the plate.

Beef is added

Beef is added

Cover and cook for 8 hours.

After the timer goes off on the crock pot, remove the meat to a plate and cover with foil. The meat will be very tender. To the liquid remaining in the pot, add in the cream and cook on high for about 15 minutes.

Sauce

Sauce

Add the meat back to the crock pot and stir to coat the meat. I served this dish with green beans and baked potatoes! Check it out!

Dinner is served!

Dinner is served!

Thanks for joining me in the kitchen on this Tasty Tuesday! Enjoy your day, and be well…


It is Monday and once again I am participating in the Mondays Finish the Story flash fiction challenge. The rules for this challenge are to write a story that goes with the photo and uses the opening line provided. The word limit is between 100-150 not including the opening line. Here is the photo and my story!

On the River - Photo by Barbara W. Beacham

On the River – Photo by Barbara W. Beacham

“When the team heard the dam explode, they knew they had limited time to make it to safety.” The team made their way into the rapids, hoping that with their paddling they would be able to get farther down river.

They could hear the roar of the water from the dam as it rushed towards them. “Strap in!” shouted Captain Venisant. “All paddles in!”

The team complied with orders. Each man grabbed a hold of the strapping. The roar of the water was loud. Taking a quick look back, the Captain shouted, “Brace for impact.”

The water crashed down on them. The men held on tight. The rocks at the rivers bottom battered them. The raft slowly began to rise. Finally, it surfaced.

Each man drew a deep breath. They made it without casualties. “Well done men!” shouted the Captain.

They all looked at each other. Smiles adorned every face. Then they heard the roar. Turning to look ahead, they hit the top of the falls.

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Mondays Finish the Story

You too can join in on this flash fiction writing challenge! To get to the page, click HERE!

Thank you dear reader for stopping by today! Have a marvelous Monday and be well… ^..^


Today being Sunday, I am once again participating in Sunday Photo Fiction hosted by Joe Owens. This flash fiction challenge asks that you write a story that goes along with the photo prompt using about 200 words. Here is my story entitled “A Celebration.”

George and Hazel - Photo by Joe Owens

George and Hazel – Photo by Joe Owens

It was a night of celebration! They arrived early for a glass of champagne to kick off the evening. They wandered through the crowd, and then headed out onto the promenade deck. Fresh sea air caressed their faces as they looked out over the deep blue sea.

A bell clanged three times alerting them that it was time for the feast. George took Hazel’s arm in his as they headed indoors. Aromas of various types of foods mingled in the air. The Maître had greeted them with a slight nod of his head and said, “Please follow me.”

He led them to a table chosen especially for them. He pulled the chair out for Hazel as George took his seat. Taking the napkin in his hand, he snapped it open, and laid it on Hazel’s lap. Dish after dish came out of the kitchen, and they both enjoyed what was one of the best meals either of them had ever had.

After dinner came the dance. George and Hazel made their way to the ballroom. Arriving there, the ships photographer snapped their photo. He complimented them both for having some of the best bone structure he had ever seen!

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Thank you Joe for hosting this challenge and to you as well dear reader for taking the time to stop by today!  Have a splendid Sunday and be well…    ^..^