Friday, November 17, 2017

Time To Be Thankful

Happy Friday! (I'd be happier if I could figure out how to find my downloaded photos on my new laptop.  No pictures today unless I can find them and add them later. Update:  Yay! The Professor did his magic! I have photos!)  It has been a busy week at Willow's Cottage, but I want to stop and reflect on the blessings.  Thanks for Susanne for always faithfully organizing Friday Fave Fives.

 1.  This week, I read the following quote in, of all places, the local newspaper.

Be the reason someone else is thankful.

Excellent thought. 

2.  Knowing I have had a lot of stuff on my mind lately, World's Best Neighbor treated me to a pedicure which included a relaxing time in a heated massage chair.  It was exactly what I needed.  And I have dark red toe nails.


3.  The Professor and I stopped by an estate sale in our neighborhood.  He scored a stack of music cds.  As we were leaving, the elderly owner saw what he had purchased and said, "Yay! You have the same musical taste as my husband!  Enjoy!"  The Professor has been having fun choosing what to listen to first.  In addition, he found a cd of bagpipe music and gifted to our friend who PLAYS the bagpipes.

4.  While most of the north hemisphere is feeling the cold and rain and snow, we are enjoying mild days, usually sunny, occasionally cloudy.  The flowers are still blooming



and the monarch caterpillars are still chomping away at my milkweed bushes.




5.  One never takes light and easy traffic for granted on Southern California freeways.  We had to make an unexpected trip sixty miles each way into the South Bay of LA to deal with a medical appointment.  The traffic was much lighter than we expected and planned for, so we arrived home in record time.  Such a drive is always a fave for us.

Final thought:  Another quote and good advice for this holiday season.

(Being too*) Busy is being under Satan's yoke.
*my addition

Friday, November 10, 2017

More Hashtags

I had so much fun writing the post a few weeks ago with hashtags.  So I decided to do it again.  Here are my Friday Fave Fives for this (fortunately much cooler and pleasant) week.  #fridayfavefives  #thankssusanne

1.  An elderly friend was talking with me about aging gracefully and mentioned words of wisdom from someone else who stated that it is important to think about becoming better if you don't want to become bitter.  I like that.  #betternotbitter 

2.  The Professor and I took our bikes out for an excursion this week.  In the past year or two, a dedicated (and protected by steel rails) bike path was built along the edge of Hwy 101 on the ocean side.  We were just feet from the beach and ocean.   I think I could ride this section of the trail every day!  #bikinginventuracounty

Only metal fencing separating us from the beach on the left and Hwy 101 on the right.


Our view at lunch.  One of the Channel Islands in the distance.


3.  I dislike shopping so much that when I find a basic item like pants that fit, I buy an extra pair.  This summer I bought an inexpensive pair of black yoga pants and decided to see if I could find another.  Lucky me!  There were not, one, not two, but three, pairs in the store.  I bought them.  Now I wont't have to shop for pants for a long while.  #blackpants

4.  One afternoon we decided to hike up to the top of the hill at the end of our neighborhood.  There is an electrical company 'station' there, so the road is paved most of the way.  We spooked five deer who were grazing in the area.  (Can you see all five deer?  Evidently, brush and cactus make excellent camouflage. )  #walkingtheneighborhood


5.  I've been busy knitting hats for the local hospital's NICU.  I posted a photo on facebook and two people asked for the pattern, so they can knit, too.  #twentytinyhats


#thatwasfun

Thursday, November 02, 2017

November is Here!

Friday Fave Fives.  It's November  and the month of Thankfulness.  People focus their thoughts on being thankful here in the US during November because of Thanksgiving Day.  I think we should be thankful every day and that's why I join Friday Fave Fives each Friday.  It's a good way to PRACTICE THANKFULNESS.

1.  Here in Southern California, we love November because the weather finally cools down.  Last week the temperatures were over 100F, but this week, ah well, the weather was wonderful!  Obviously, I have to count cool and foggy mornings as an example of the blessings of this week.  I love the clouds over my mountains.


2.  Yes, autumn even comes to SoCal.  We get fall colors in small amounts.


3.  Although The Professor is retired from the university, we still occasionally attend various functions.  This week we enjoyed attending a class on world music history featuring Singer Chamber Players who played and gave short explanations of the periods and styles of music they played.  They played samples of Baroque, Classical and Romantic music (18th and 19th Century).  It was a wonderful performance!


Campus in the fall


4.  Saturday I volunteered at the handweavers and spinner guild Harvest Sale, working in the area where we sell odd bunches and bits of fiber and yarn which people donate from their stashes.  I bought one lovely green skein for myself and was able to take home several other balls of yarn which didn't sell.  The fave?  I'll have some new options to use for hats throughout the year.

5.  The Professor and I have entered that stage of life where we are needing to move our health care coverage to MediCare.  That's not the fave part.  The Fave is that The Professor has been researching and dealing with all the changes, so I don't have to.  Honestly, I don't see how people can navigate that whole system without throwing up their hands in despair and total frustration.  I'm so thankful that he has been able to work out the issues with grace (and without losing his mind!).

Bonus:  I just have to share this photo.  A cow in a fenced paddock surrounded by oak trees and bouggainvillea bushes!  It amuses me as one does not normally associate the lovely bouggainvillea with cow pastures.


Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Fiber Goodness This Week

What I've been knitting.  There are a couple of other projects but these are the ones I'm focusing on this week.

Finishing an afghan for my daughter-in-law


A pair of fingerless gloves.  I'm not really a fan of using black yarn and smallish needles, but this is what the owner of the gloves wants.


And finally, something for me.  A raglan top down pullover.  The yarn is really a bit darker.
Size 6 needles


And more yarn goodness was added to my stash.    On Saturday, I helped the handweavers and spinners guild at our annual Harvest Sale. I came away with a few skeins that I am already having fun choosing projects and patterns to use.

Isn't this beautiful fiber?  I'm thinking that a scarf or small shawl would look great as the yarn is sock weight and will drape beautifully.


Five balls of Knit Picks yarn in three different colors and fiber content.


And (in a fuzzy photo not quite in focus) a bumpy acrylic yarn in my favorite colors.
What should I make with it?


Thursday, October 26, 2017

October Week 4

It may be the last week of October, but our weather here in Southern California doesn't seem to get the meaning of the word 'autumn'.  We had triple digits temperatures and HOT HOT east winds.  It certainly made me thankful for air conditioning.  I can think of so many other things to be thankful for--like laughter and friends and good deals.  Here my Friday Fave Fives for the end of October.

1.  What made you laugh this week?  Laughter is good medicine!  Seeing a pumpkin sitting on a pillar next to the freeway made me I'm used to smiling at the bell on the side of El Camino Real (Hwy 101) as we drive past, but this week, we saw the carved pumpkin grinning at all the commuters and just laughed out loud.

2.  That phone fiasco that was fixed?  We had a little problem with my phone again (it got it fixed right away and all is well).  When I made a call to my brother and left a message, the phone couldn't hang up because the screen was blacked out. So I just kept on talking and telling him silly things.  Made me laugh.

3.  On Saturday we met dear family friends for lunch half way between their house and ours.  We've known them since we first moved to Los Angeles.  They are like family and they wanted us to meet so we could meet 'J's girlfriend'.  We love this family!

4.  Years ago, Dr. Mike gave us a gift card which he decided he wasn't going to use.  I saved it, forgot about it and then found it again.  This week, I took to the store, found out it had $20 on it.  When I checked around the store, I found a sweater on sale for $22.  With tax, I paid less than $4 for it!

5.  World's Best Neighbor called me and said, "Want tea at the tea shop?"  She had an errand there, so we enjoyed a cuppa and a scone.  I love those spontaneous 'let's do it' times.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Baltimore

My youngest daughter lives near Baltimore, Maryland on the Mid Atlantic Seaboard.  When we visit her, we often make the drive into Baltimore to explore the area.  Here are three snapshots that made me laugh or smile.
Someone at the Maryland Science Center has a sense of humor.


I know some people who would proudly drive this van around town.


The persistence of some plants amazes me.
This brave petunia was blooming in the midst of brick and cement.



Thursday, October 19, 2017

October, Three

I have had some posts mulling around in my head, but I haven't written them yet because, well, I am waiting for my photos to be able to be downloaded to my new computer.  We'll see if I get any up for Friday Fave Fives this week.  Every week, I join others to focus on my gratitude for the blessings in my life.  (Yes!  The Professor did his magic, and I have pictures!)

1.  This past weekend I spent both Saturday and Sunday spinning at a historical adobe site.  Each autumn, Reyes Adobe in Agoura Hills celebrates with a two day (or more) festival.  Reyes Adobe is one of the loveliest simple original adobe homes left in Southern California.  Each year, our spinning and weaving guild is invited to demo our craft at the site.  Truly, we are given The Best Spot for our demos.  We're on a patio under an arbor with a covering of grapes vines.  The staff is fantastic and the visitors are friendly and interested in what we are doing.  In addition, I am allowed to encouraged to sell my hats.  Which I did.



2.  This week, I received a letter in the mail from a former student.  Occasionally, we correspond because his mother asked me to please keep in touch with him.  I had sent him a postcard from one of our recent trips, and he responded right away.  It's obvious he is thriving in his writing and other interests.  It does a teacher's heart good to know her students are doing well.

3.  I finished the last of the seventeen scarves I am sending to be included in a holiday give away for homeless people in the LA area.  They're all boxed and ready to be sent off.  More stash used up!


4.  A long hike.  The Professor and I decided to finally drive up the coast to Summerland and hike the trails that I did with a group a couple of years ago.  I remembered most of it, but when we decided to take the shorter way back to the town from the mountains behind, we evidently turned the wrong way on one trail and ended up, and I do mean UP, the mountain which added an extra two miles to our hike.  Really, it was fun.


You can't really tell from the photo, but way out there beyond the orchard on the hill is the Pacific Ocean.  That's where we started.  If you were in downtown Summerland looking up at the mountains, you'd be looking where I am standing to take the photo (about a 500 ft rise).


5.  On the way home, we stopped and had my phone fixed.  Yeah, I dropped it and broke the screen.  The fix wasn't cheap, but the fix-it guy is local, and we were happy with his price and his work.

Since I have my photos available, here are some bonus pictures just for fun.