Friday, April 19, 2019

Back on Track

It's Good Friday!  I'm finally back online to share my Friday Fave Fives with you all.  Did you miss me?  Did you even notice I was absent?  I hope so!  Here are my Five Faves from the last four weeks!  (Was it really that long?)

1.  If you read my previous post, you will know that we spent three weeks in England. Yes, England!  Because our daughter wanted to take The New Boy on his first international trip during spring break, we tagged along to share the experience with them, and then we stayed for another twelve days to visit more new places.  I am thankful to this wonderful opportunity!

2.  I'm thankful for safe travels to and from England and all around the country.  We rented a car for the first week, we rode trains, and we hopped on and off the tube in London.  That was a lot of traveling, and I never take safe travels for granted.

3.  I'm thankful for good friends.  Because of a theft of cards, etc, we had to close our accounts, and people helped us by paying for accommodations and sending cash.  I am so very thankful for good, good friends!

4.  As usual, our friend picked us up at LAX, even in the midst of a huge airport traffic jam, at 11pm!  That's a true friend!  Then she drove us to her house where our car was parked and we hopped on a mostly 70 mph freeway and made it home safely at 1 am.  I'm thankful for yet more wonderful friends and a successful last leg of our trip.

5.  Have you noticed that there aren't any photos here yet of our trip?  Yeah, well.  I bought a new camera just a day before we left, and I pushed the wrong button (I 'knew' what I was doing, but not the result), so four days of my photos have not been easily accessible to edit and put my copyright mark on them.  What I'm thankful for is that The Professor is working on a solution.  The photos should be available 'soon'.

Happy Easter to all my friends who celebrate Easter!

Tuesday, April 16, 2019


Oh, hey! Hi! Yes, I'm back! So, where was Willow for the past almost month?  Here are some hints.

Obviously, it was a long trip.  The New Boy was tired.

He revived.  There were special places he wanted to see that first day.

YES!  We were in LONDON!

Can I say that it is really fun traveling with an eleven year old boy?  His view of what's interesting was different from his mom's and ours, but he (mostly) happily went along with our sightseeing plans.  As long as it involved food.

I am still recovering from jet lag and still organizing photos.  Come back soon to 'see' the whole trip!

Friday, March 15, 2019


Hello!  It's sunny and exceedingly windy here at Willow's Cottage today.  Oh, I'm loving the sunshine (the wind not so much).  And I'm rejoicing in my abundant blessings which I am sharing via Friday Fave Fives hosted by Susanne.  HERE is the link to how you can participate and choose to be thankful and be encouraged by others.

1.  My church has a regular women's event called Rejoice during which we celebrate achievements and milestones for all the women in our congregation ages middle school and up. (Yes, we include our middle school young women!)  Last Sunday we celebrated two weddings, a college graduation, two babies, and a (very sadly) moving military family.  I love how our people celebrate together.

2.  How can a fever be a favorite thing of the week?  The fave part was that I could rest, drink lots of herbal tea and heal quickly.

3.  March 14. Or 3.14.  Or Pi Day.  We celebrated 𝛑 day by--- eating pie.  Pumpkin Pie because it is almost my birthday and I prefer pumpkin pie to cake.

4.  March 15.  It's the Ides of March, that infamous day in history when Julius Caesar met his end by traitorous means.  Why is this a fave with me?  Long story made short--in college I had a marvelous professor who taught me so much about life, Biblical history and Biblical apologetics.  On March 15th, I took an exam in his class and wrote at the top of the page by the date, "Beware the Ides of March".  When he returned the paper to me, he had written on it by my A grade, "The Ides of March treated you better than it did Caesar."  I still have that exam because I still value all that he taught me (and yes, I do refer to my notes from the classes).  Every March 15th, I rejoice and think of him and thank God for that man's influence on my life.

5.  When March arrives, I always wear my shamrock necklace and earrings all month because it is my birthday month and St. Patrick's Day is my actual birthday.  My mother gifted the necklace to me when I was visiting her in Boston on my birthday.  It makes me remember my mom and rejoice that I had a loving, godly mother.

I want to let you all know that I will be off the blog for awhile.  You might think that I am backing away because of the Lent season.  No, actually, The Professor and I have plans to travel to places where I will not be carrying my computer, so I won't be online much except when I have wifi connections to use my phone.  We are leaving on Thursday.  I will do my best to write a post next week. However, I don't have any guarantee of having wifi available to allow me to post.  After that, I will be silent (mostly) for three weeks while we are traveling.  Where in the world will Willow be?

Friday, March 08, 2019

Spring is Springing

It's (almost) Spring!  And it's Friday, so it's Friday Fave Five time.  I hope you have had a good week.  I know I have!  Here are my Fave Fives for this happy springish week.

1.  After the last rainstorm (yes! another one, and this time there was thunder and lightning!), we have had sunny skies.  And flowers.  I know it is spring when the coreopsis and wild mustard are blooming.  Everything is GREEN and YELLOW.

2.  And ORANGE. California poppies always make me happy.  Do you know what time of day I took this photo?  Hint:  poppies are 'light sensitive'.

3.  March is my birthday month.  It's also my friend's (Blueberry Lady).  So we are planning our March lunch together.

4.  One evening I called my sister-in-law who lives in our town and said, "Come to (inset our favorite Mexican restaurant name) cuz we haven't had dinner and a chat with you for a long time."  We convinced her, and we had a wonderful time.  Our favorite server was surprised to find out that sil and The Professor are siblings--she has thought all these years we've been eating there together that we were just really good friends (which we are).

5.  Speaking of sisters-in-law, my brother's wife has been my friend since we were in late middle school.  One day this week, we chatted for over an hour.  So much fun!  I'm thankful for my family!

Saturday, March 02, 2019

Fave Fives, Finally

Oh my.  I am very late with my Friday Fave Fives this week!  But, quickly, here they are.

1.  Rain.  Are you tired of reading that I am thankful for rain?  Well, we've been in drought conditions for years (maybe seven or eight?) and finally, the official word came out this week that our county is now No. Longer. In. Drought.  For an agricultural area, this is a huge blessing.  And as I am writing this, it is raining lightly. The best kind of rain.

2.  On Sunday, the women (high school and above) had lunch together after church.  The menu was very versatile and everyone had something they could eat.  The speakers were from our church.  I was sitting with several younger women, some whom I didn't know well--it was great to talk with them and learn more about them.

3.  Those women--we are all book lovers!  During our conversations, one younger woman pulled out a pen and wrote down everyone's suggestions for good, clean historical novels.  Then on Tuesday, she texted a couple of us the list.  I may have already popped over to the library to check out one of the authors...

4.  I am so thankful for cell phones.  Both of my daughters called me and talked for a long time this week.  Just wanted to hear my voice.  Phones make that possible even though we are thousands of miles apart.  It made my heart happy to hear their voices, too.

5.  An elderly gentleman who is friends with us made a comment about some events and people he has observed during his long life.  His final statement was, "So, don't be a grump."  Simple and true.

I didn't take a single photo this week. (must correct that!)  But here are some pictures taken during this week over the past years.  I realized that spring is a little later this year as in other years the flowers have already been blooming.  Enjoy!

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Good Medicine

Hello Friday!  What a week it has been.  It just flew by and I'm barely keeping up.  The best part though is that I was able to stop and smell the daffodils (from my garden)

and laugh a bit.  That's why I am posting my Friday Fave Fives.

Have you heard that statement, "Laughter is the best medicine"? This week, I noticed several things that made me happy, made me smile and made me laugh.

1.  Saturday when we shopped at Trader Joe's, we noticed there were kids wandering around the store dressed in Hawaiian shirts, accompanied by store employees.  It was 'take your child to work' day!  The kids were helping in all kinds of jobs--serving snacks and stocking shelves.  Cuteness overload!  We loved it!

2.  Our nephew has two children, a boy and a girl.  Since they live not so very far away, we are often invited to dinners and birthday parties.  This week, we received thank you notes from them for the books we gave them last month.  They made us smile.

3.  We also received the cutest Valentine card from our PAL.  She's only four but she quite neatly wrote her name on it.  Awwww.  A little card like that can produce the biggest smiles from her Meema and Bapa.

4.  So.  I live in coastal Southern California where weather is steady, temperatures seldom fluctuate much and, according to legend, the sun always shines.  But.  This week.  On Thursday, we had HAIL. And SNOW on the coastal mountains--not more than 10 or 15 miles from the Pacific Ocean (Boney Peak--over 2,800 ft).  We drove over to a nearby national park (Satwiwa) and walked in to take some photos.  The place was packed with other people doing the same thing.  Yeah.  Snow on Boney Peak is a bit unusual.  It was so much fun to see it, and everyone we talked to was so excited.

See it?  It may not be much and it probably has already melted away, but it is amazing and unusual for us.

5.  Down in town there wasn't snow.  It was HAIL!  A friend posted on facebook that her son, after seeing the hail, asked his mom, "Is this a national disaster?"

Are you laughing now?  It's good for you!

Friday, February 15, 2019

Fiber Theme

I am so thankful for the ability to create beautiful things from fiber.  This week I've been focusing on finishing some things.  Other than the usual daily tasks, this is what I've done.  They're my Fave Finishes!  I'm sharing them for Friday Fave Fives with Susanne as our host.

1.  The main reason I have been focusing on the knitting is that I emptied the four drawers of yarn this week and reorganized them  My intent was to pull out and give away some of the yarn I know I'll never use.  The Professor told me I should have taken a photo of the bed--piled high with different yarns all in their little sections.  Acrylic. Wool. Sock. Cotton.  At least it's organized again and some is finding its way to others who will use it.

2.  A vest.  It's still in the beginning stages.  I love love love the yarn--wool and silk. Yum.

3.  Socks.  I've decided to work my way through a bunch of sock yarn.  You can't have too many warm socks when it's rainy and damp and cold.  I was working on this sock at the doctor's office this week and drew a lot of attention.  (Was it the sharp needles or the yarn?)

4.  Scarves.  It was almost Valentine's Day and I had some left over red and pink yarns.  What to make?  Another scarf!  I started it with warping on Tuesday night and finished it on Thursday evening.  I'll be wearing it to a Valentine's dinner tonight (Friday night). The colors in the photo show the scarf to have much more pink tones and less red.  In real life, the scarf is mostly red.

5.  Another bunny.  This one is for Easter.  Photos soon.

How did you enjoy your week?  Any creative outlets?