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?

Friday, February 08, 2019

Time to be Thankful

Good afternoon! It's Friday Fave Five time.  Here is Willow's Week in Five short summaries.

1.  I heard a new to me term this week for the beautiful green grass that has grown on our mountains this winter (because of the rain we've had--see below).  The "emerald hills" of Southern California.  I love looking up and gazing at our Emerald Hills!

2.  Rain! More rain! Because of the rain storms which have blown through our area, we are no longer in drought. According to the official wording, we are now merely 'abnormally dry'.  Whatever the terms are, I am thankful for the several inches of rain we have had this season.

3.  And these have blossomed!

4.  This happened last week, but I am thankful for it still.  I was driving our car and noticed that a warning light came on the dashboard.  What it was for I wasn't sure, so I checked the information book we keep in the car.  Hmmmm.  Low tire pressure?  When I got home, I checked again.  Yup. Right rear tire was almost flat.  So I turned around and slowly and carefully drove the back roads to the tire store.  There was no charge and the wait wasn't all that long for the repair.  I am thankful for a good car, a reputable tire store and most of all safety on the roads. (and that it happened between rain storms!)

5.  A dear friend of mine is moving soon.  That's not the fave.  The fave is that we spent a couple of hours one afternoon nursing a cuppa at CBTL and just chatting up a storm.  We've decided that we need to do this a lot in the next few months.  She challenges me and encourages me.  It seems that until we realize we may lose something or someone, we don't carve out time with them.  I'm thankful for the reminder and for time well spent.

6.  A children's book I loved:  A Leap of Faith by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley.

What blessed you and encouraged you this week?

Tuesday, February 05, 2019


Karen at Over the Backyard Fence mentioned that she was doing a daily writing challenge in February to help her get over the blues hump of blogging.  I've been feeling a bit like that so I figured I'd jump in and at least try to write something most every day. Note: I didn't write anything on Saturday, Sunday or Monday because I just decided today to do this.

Karen wrote about how she keeps track of her week.  My way is similar but different.

I use 3x5" cards to write out my daily to do list.  I used to make a weekly list on a card but lately I haven't done that probably because The Professor and I keep our shared calendar on our phones.  That works well for us since we also share a car and need to make sure that we don't schedule over each other at times we both need the car.  Whenever either of us is scheduling anything, we immediately write it on to the phone calendar.  Hence the need for a 3x5" card weekly list is redundant.

Back to the daily card.  Either the night before or the morning of, I write down my to do list below the day's date.  My list includes emails I need to send, appointments, gardening, cooking, whatever is on my schedule.  For example, one day I may have a physical therapy appointment, but I want to work my shopping or a post office run around that time so I can be more efficient with my time and gas.  So the whole list gets written down including times if appropriate.

How do you keep track of your schedule?

Friday, February 01, 2019

Encouraging Words

Encouraging words can and do change people's reactions and perspectives.  That is why I regularly participate in Friday Fave Fives with Susanne who hosts us. (Follow that link to find her blog and connect with other thankful people.)  This is why:

It is now Friday early afternoon and I am home from all my wanderings and appointments of the morning. 

As I was sitting in Bible Study, I was reflecting on my week and thinking, "What can I write about?  It was one of those weeks when stuff happened and I need to focus on the good things."  Then I noticed I had a message on my phone.  It was my (new) pastor's wife, just checking in and telling me she was praying for me today.  OK!  Right there--that should count for ALL.FIVE.FAVES for this week!  She remembered.  She prayed.  She cared.  She told me.  She encouraged me.

That caused me to pull out my pencil and notepad and write down all the other blessings that suddenly popped into my mind.

1.  Today I wore a vest I knitted last year.  It's not my favorite although I love the pattern.  I made it from a heavier yarn and it just doesn't fit me right.  But.  Several people complimented me on how lovely it is.  Maybe it looks better than I thought...

photos of the detailed cables on the back of the vest

2.  World's Best Neighbor has a tiny patch of rhubarb in her garden.  She shared some with me and I baked a strawberry rhubarb crisp.  YUM!

3.  I finished weaving another scarf this week.  Have I ever mentioned how much I LOVE weaving on my Cricket rigid heddle loom?  (photos soon!  I am in the process of blocking it.)

4.  Some younger women at church have expressed interest in learning to sew.  I offered to teach some hand sewing basics, and we started this week.  Something as simple as sewing a straight seam is bringing me so much joy.  I get to teach.  I get to become better friends with these young women.

5.  Apologies to all of you who are in very very cold places.  Including my daughters.  Here in Southern California, we are all excited about the rain.  It rained one day this week.  And we are going to get more rain starting tonight!  Maybe finally our decade of drought is ending!

Thursday, January 24, 2019

When Others Encourage Me

My word for this year, as I wrote earlier this month, is ENCOURAGE.  I want to encourage other people, but this week others have encouraged me.  Here are five examples (out of many more I noticed this week) which I am sharing as my Friday Fave Fives.  Here is the link to Susanne's blog where she hosts our Gathering of Blessings and Encouragement.

1.  Out of the blue, I received a phone call from the mom of a former student.  For the last eight years of my teaching career, I taught homeschool students how to write--stories, essays, compositions.  Anyway, the mom called me and had her son tell me how as a jr high student now, he had been earning the highest marks in his class.  As he said, "I did what Mrs. Willow taught me and got extra credit."  Isn't that the most encouraging thing a kid could say to a former teacher?

2.  We have had a crazy week...just lots of 'little things'.  A younger mom from church assured me she was praying for me.  That's encouraging!  (and I'm supposed to be her encourager!)

3.  How can a memorial service be an encouragement?  Well, it was.  Yes, another funeral.  This week we celebrated the life of a younger man from our church congregation who was a great encourager.  Born with disabilities, he embraced life with the happiest and brightest smile.  He was a greeter at church and hugged everyone.  Bill's life was an example of how to be an encourager. And that encouraged me to 'be more like Bill'.

4.  On Sunday evening, I had a meeting and so did The Professor.  But they were at two different times in two different places.  Since we have only one car, I was blessed and encouraged when a friend who was going to be at the meeting with me, offered me a ride home.  Then we sat and chatted in her car for awhile--just because we could.  She encouraged me, and I hope I encouraged her.

5.  An hour or two later, the same friend texted me, "Look outside!"  It was the lunar eclipse which we didn't expect to see because our sky was clouded over.  But the clouds parted just enough.  I snapped this picture at about 3 minutes past totality.  I'm glad she encouraged me to go look!

How have you been ENCOURAGED this week?

And here are a couple of photos from our very very green wild landscapes as a bonus.  Where I live in Southern California, we don't have green mountains very often, so we revel in it when we do have the green!

There's not much green here, but you can see some new life returning after the Hill Fire burned through here in November.

Yes, we really were that high above the entrance to Hill Canyon.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Two Quick Hikes

It's not all books, knitting, and weaving around Willow's Cottage.  The Professor and I love to walk and hike.  After our rainy week last week, we have been taking advantage of the warmer sunny weather this week.

Hill Canyon.  Yes, that Hill Canyon.  Where the Hill Fire started in November.  The canyon trail is still closed only because the bridge across the creek isn't fixed yet.  But the trail up the east side of the canyon wall is open, so we hiked up there Monday afternoon.  The GREEN which is popping up everywhere is beautiful and healing to the land.  Yes, we can thank all that rain we've had for the past week.

Then on Tuesday after having lunch with some visiting family from up north, we hiked into the area where the Woolsey Fire swept through at the same time as the Hill Fire did.  Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area is closed due to the federal government shut down, so the buildings are closed, but the grounds are open for hiking.  Specifically, we hiked around the King Gillette Ranch.  Yeah, that Gillette.  Basically, this ranch was purchased and built from the money King acquired from selling those little razor blades.  The ranch land didn't burn, but the areas around it and even across the road did.

Front entrance

You can see the effects of the lack of personnel caring for the property.
Leaves Every Where.

Back entrances

We hiked up to Inspiration Point, about 180 feet above the area where the house is.

(notice the cars and the white trailers in the picture above?  That is probably a movie photo shoot.)

I zoomed in and took this photo of the Gillette Ranch House from the top of Inspiration Point.

And a shot of Inspiration Point from the front lawn.

Both of these hikes weren't more than about two miles each, but they included some steep hills and so much beauty!

Friday, January 18, 2019

Simple Week

This past week was a quiet simple time.  I'm thankful I was able to take the time to adjust back to being home and get settled in again after being gone for almost a month.
Here is how I spent my Simple Week--being thankful for the quiet.  I'm linking up to 
to share.

1.  My favorite photo of the week.  Palm trees with snowy mountains in the background.  That's Southern California!  Taken from my front window.

2.  When it rains, the flowers soak it all in, and they love it!  Can you see the raindrops?  It has been raining and raining and raining this week.

3.  Lunch with a friend.  We might have spent almost three hours...  And it was worth every minute.

4.  This week I did some reviewing of my family history documents so I could scan the information to send to a possible distant relative.  It was fun.  And now I want to do more delving in to my family's past.

5.  Knitting and weaving is a daily event around Willow's Cottage.  I'm thankful for being able to learn more of my art.  I finished two bunnies which will be gifts for two new little girls. 

  And I warped my loom for a new scarf.  Thankfully, my friend noticed a mistake I had made and showed me how to correct it.

What are you thankful for this week?