Thursday, June 06, 2019

More Road Trip

This past week has been a blur.  Starting with Friday, we have been visiting friends, classmates,  and family nonstop.  While it has ALL been wonderful, the schedule has not allowed for much down time (or computer time).  I didn't even get online to check in with other FFFers.  I hope I will have a bit more time this week to do that.

Here are my Friday Fave Fives from this past week.  There was so much it was hard to narrow it down to FIVE.  The link above takes you to Susanne's blog where you can post your link and share in the goodness of others' lives.

1.  This past weekend, `the alumni from FIVE classes got together for a reunion.  My brother was three years ahead of me, so we were both part of the group (and he and my sil were on the organizing committee) as well as my sister-in-law.  Oh! It was wonderful reconnecting with so many people from our high school years!

2.  Then on Sunday, we visited our former church.  We moved away from Oregon sixteen years ago, but we keep in contact with many people.  One amazing thing that happened was that our former adult ministries pastor, who has retired and now lives in Maine, and his wife were visiting their daughter who still lives in the area.  So we hugged and chatted after the service.  None of us had any idea we'd be in town at the same time!

3.  Then we hit the road.  We drove east.  In Idaho, we had two groups of people to connect with.  Mission Aviation Fellowship is headquartered in Nampa, Idaho.  During our years of ministry in Indonesia, we depended on MAF to provide transport for us in and out of our village.  In fact, on two different occasions, MAF pilots flew in on the helicopter and med-evacuated us.  Literally, they saved my life and my sons' life.  We value their ministry!  Those two pilots are still on staff and working at the headquarters.  We were privileged to stay overnight with one couple and have dinner with both families.

4.  Our pastor of church ministries moved to eastern Idaho six months ago to take a new church position.  They have four lively little boys and we had so much fun hanging out with them and eating an early dinner before we had to leave and drive on to our campsite for the night.

5.  Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park were our next destinations.  One paragraph cannot possibly contain enough expression of my awe of the beauty and majesty of those places!  (I haven't had enough time online to get all my photos downloaded and organized.  But, WOW!)
Eleanor was very impressed with the Grand Tetons!


She was a bit out of breath at 8,530 feet above sea level!


Lake Yellowstone is the largest high altitude lake in the United States.  
(those mountains almost hidden by the clouds way out there in the far distance are the 'back side' of the Grand Tetons)


Bonus:  we have discovered that when we chat with people in various landmark places, we find kindred spirits.  I commented to The Professor that people who travel to these amazing places have, like us, adventurous spirits.  We've met people from all over the world and with some of them we have really connected.

Friday, May 31, 2019

Friends, Family and Road Trips

Welcome to Willow's Week!  Here are my Friday Fave Fives for this last week of May.

1.  Meals out with friends. On Sunday, we were at World's Best Neighbor's house hanging out and she asked, "What are you doing for dinner before we all leave for small group tonight?" Our answer was obvious.  "Let's grab some dinner on our way."  Thai spring rolls with lots of peanut sauce = yum!  Monday was Memorial Day and since several people in our Monday night Bible study group were available, we decided to have dinner out instead of having our usual group meeting.  We had so much fun!  The guys sat together at one table and the gals at another.  So much laughter! I love our small group!

2.  Tuesday morning we left on a trip.  Background: my high school was small.  There were thirty people in my graduating class.  So a reunion is not much of a happening.  So this year, five years of senior classes are combining our reunions.  Since my brother and sister-in-law were part of these classes and are on the planning committee, of course I wanted to be there for the party!  So this weekend, we are 'home'.  So looking forward to our reunion!

3.  The trip 'home' is always a wonderful drive.  We travel from mediterranean coastal terrain to high desert to forests and mountains.  I just love it!  When we start seeing the snow capped mountains and fir trees, I know I'm 'home'.

4.  We always try to stop by our 'old' friends.  The husband was (and still is) a professor of English (and was my advisor in college).  Because of various reasons, we drove to their new-to-them home and spent a wonderful afternoon just chatting and reminiscing with them.  I so value their friendship even though I don't get to see them more than once a year at most.

5.  My brother and sister-in-law reserved Thursday for us.  We decided to drive up the Columbia River Gorge.  The fish hatchery just below the Bonneville Dam was our first stop.  Then we drove across the Columbia River to the Washington side and had lunch at Skamania Lodge.  After lunch, we walked the three mile loop around the lake there.  It was a really special time with them.


Our lunch view
That's the Columbia River and Oregon side of the gorge.




Brother and Sister-in-law walking the trail





Friday, May 24, 2019

Fiber Arts, Books and Friends

Good Morning!  It's Friday!
Willow's Week has been busy but normal.  I like normal.
Here are Five Things that just made my week happy.
I share these to encourage you to find the joy and good in your life.
Want more?  Here's the link to Friday Fave Fives.

1.  I bought two sweaters recently at the thrift shop.  One was a grey linen/cotton cardigan.  The other was this--a crazy pink, coral, grey and white combo.  I unraveled both sweaters and reset the twist (that's like getting the wrinkly twists out of the yarn).  Then I used the multi-colored yarns to warp my loom.  That means all the long strands.
I used the grey yarn to weave the scarf.



I like the result.
The scarf will be displayed in the Ventura County Handweavers and Spinners Guild booth at the county fair in August.


2.  More about weaving.
Here is the finished scarf I wove for Son #2. 
He says he likes it.


3.  My sister-in-law knows what kind of t-shirts I like!
A gift from her this week.


4.  This week we met up with long time friends for lunch and coffee.  It was great to renew our friendship with them.  The Professor and the husband were neighbor and friends from where he was one year old.  Yes, that long!  I met them in college when the husband was one of the new, young profs in the English department and I took several classes from him.  One of the best parts of the day was watching the guys smile and laugh--just like you do with your first friends.

5.  It turns out that both the wife and I love reading mysteries.  When she got home, she emailed me a LIST of all her favorite mystery writers!  I've already been to the library to search for some of them.

Normal activities in a week.
But these are what fill our hearts and minds
and make us thankful.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Willow's Week Mid May

All of a sudden, it was Friday night! And I realized I hadn't posted my Friday Fave Fives.  Where did the week go??

1. Mother's Day.  None of my children live in driving distance but they are always good to call or text to wish me a Happy Mother's Day.  Makes my whole week.

2. A couple of things have pushed me to start scanning my photos.  Mission Aviation Fellowship is writing an article on how they have helped bring Bible translations to groups of people who don't have the Bible in their languages.  Since MAF was an intregal part of our ministry in Indonesia, they asked us for information and photos of our time there.  So we did that and dug out some photos and scanned them.  Then our kids' house mom in their boarding school hostel has been posting on facebook lots of pictures she has been scanning.  So...I've been inspired!  And since organizing and scanning my pictures has been a goal of mine for YEARS, I jumped in this week and have begun.

Me in the Papuan jungle 1987


3. I got to do that drive to Santa Barbara again this week to pick up World's Best Neighbor from the airport there.  This week I took some time to stop by and visit with a former coworker from Indonesia who lives there.  We had a great chat.  I took her photo to share with my kids who knew her as "Aunt Marge", but she made me promise not to post it on social media.  (But for eighty-seven, she's looking good!)
And of course I had to stop and snap a photo of the Isla Vista pier


4. On Wednesday, we decided to get in a long walk along the beach and through the town before the rain came.  Oh, it was wonderful to watch the waves roll in and smell that sea air.

Surfers Point


Mission San Buenaventura


5.  Rain!  It is so unusual for Southern California to have rain in May.  I loved just listening to those drops hit the ground.

Friday, May 10, 2019

Beaches and Gardens

Happy Friday!  I've had a most energetic week filled with all kinds of activities.  It's good to arrive at Friday, take a breath and look back on the best things that filled the week.  As always, I link my Willow's Week report to Susanne's Friday Fave Fives post. 

1.  Saturday was a fun day.  We drove to Pasadena (well, San Marino, really, but no one knows that San Marino is next to Pasadena) to the Huntington Library and Gardens.  I spent the day in the Huntington Rose Garden with my weaving and spinning guild friends talking with people and demonstrating how a simple loom works.  The bonus was that I got a lot done on Son #2's scarf.


Lunch spot overlooking the Japanese Garden


2.  Our local hospice hosts a yearly spring garden tour to raise money.  I really enjoy going with friends to wander around people's gardens and noticing what is being grown and how they are landscaped.  On Sunday, a friend and I took our pastor's wife for her first tour.  We all agreed that while we like seeing the large expansive and expensive gardens, our favorites were the small ones which are more our style.  And it was fun to hang out with someone who is just learning about gardening and finding a few ideas that might work in my garden.
I like the border of this herb garden--pots to plant MORE herbs.


We all agreed that this terraced hillside area was perfect--flowers and veggies together.


3.  World's Best Neighbor went to visit her son for Mother's Day.  I took her to the Santa Barbara airport.  That is SO MUCH easier than LAX!  On the way home, google maps routed me off Highway 1 onto Santa Barbara streets because of two accidents.  It was faster and I got to drive right along the beach!  Obviously, I didn't take any photos.

4.  The route from our place to Santa Barbara has some of the most beautiful beach scenery! I love just glancing over and seeing the pods of surfers and the sand and the waves.  The tide was all the way in.  I don't think I've ever seen the water so high and near the road.  It was beautiful!

5.  Most people, when they think of Southern California, imagine that we have 365 days of sunshine.  What they don't realize is that we have what is termed May Gray and June Gloom--days and days of "early morning coastal fog and low cloudiness".  Hence May Gray.  That's what we have had most days this week.  I really don't mind.  The soft clouds and cool temperatures are a pleasant contrast to those blistering hot days of July (July Fry), August and September.  I love soaking up the cool days.


Friday, May 03, 2019

Blessed and Thankful

I'm a bit late today posting for Friday Fave Fives but not for want of being thankful.  We decided to go for a hike this afternoon after I was home from Bible Study, so I am just now posting.

1.  And that's my first fave.  The weather was perfect and so we headed out to Santa Monica Mountains Recreation Area at Satwiwa.  We've hiked there often but always enjoy it.  The poppies are done blooming but the yellow mustard and the purple flowers still provide color.


2.  A friend gifted me a new mug.  It is inscribed with the Bible verse "The joy of the LORD is your strength." (Nehemiah 8:10)  I have a new favorite tea mug!

3.  I have a new scarf warped on my loom.  I went over to my friend's weaving studio and spent a couple of hours with her while I put the navy and grey yarns on the warp.  I love a new project!

4.  I've also taken on another weaving challenge.  This week I drove to the thrift store and found two different sweaters, both of them made mostly of cotton (one is about half linen).  I am pulling the sweaters apart and recycling the yarns to weave a shawl.  No photos yet because it's just in the beginning stages of planning.

5.  And finally, my biggest fave of the week!  A little background first.  Eleanor my bunny accompanied me on our trip to England.  Well, at least she started the trip.  One evening while we were staying near Glastonbury she met some other bunnies and sneaked off with them to play.  I didn't notice that she had run away until we received a message from our hostess asking if Eleanor belonged to us!  That sneaky little bunny, running off to play hide and seek in the garden and snack of the carrots and lettuce!  So. What to do?  Finally our hostess caught her and mailed her back to us and she arrived this week.  Truthfully, as much fun as Eleanor had, she is happy to be home with me again. And I'm happy to have her back.


Bonus! A few quick photos of England!



Be blessed and be thankful this week!

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Exploring England, Part 2

Barrows and Tors.  What are they? Why would we spend most of a day in Cornwall searching for these isolated places?

A barrow or carn is an ancient burial site.  (If you hang around the Willow family, you will discover that conversations about such places is commonplace, even at the dinner table.)
Ballowall Barrow, or Carn Gluze, is a burial mound with chambers where more than one person would have been buried.


The walk up to the top of the cliff was worth it for what we found.
We were warned to stay on the paths and not wander around because there are mines and holes left over from the tin mining that was done.


The view over the Atlantic Ocean was amazing.


 But we didn't really come just for the view.  We wanted to see this hidden treasure.

For a long time, this barrow was covered over with debris from nearby tin mines. Eventually, it was discovered and excavated by William Copeland Borlase in 1878.  According to the sign at the site, "His excavations revealed a unique and complex Bronze Age funerary monument."  



"Ballowall Barrow is one of the largest and most complex of the prehistoric funerary monuments that cluster along the West Penwith coastline.  Often located in dramatic locations, it is likely that the local communities which built them did so to provide striking tombs for the dead."




Older Daughter loves to explore these places.


Another site in the area is Carn Euny, an Iron Age village. According to archaeologists who have done excavations there, it was occupied from at least 500 BC through late Roman times.




 "At the heart of the village is its most intriguing feature -- a stone-walled underground passage know as a fogou.  This mysterious type of Iron Age monument is found only in the far west of Cornwall." (English Heritage site statement)

As we were walking up the path to the village, we met a couple who had been there before and they told us about the fogou and its importance.  Otherwise, I might not have been as impressed with walking through the tunnel.


Carn Euny Holy Well was on the edge of the path and we almost missed it!  


As you can tell, we are a family who love ancient history!