Friday, August 07, 2020

August. Ready, Set, Go!

 Good Morning!  First Friday in August.  This is my month of huge changes.  Selling our home of thirteen years.  Driving across the US.  Moving to a new place.  Even in all the chaos and change, there are moments and hours of blessings.  Here are my best moments of this week.  FRIDAY FAVE FIVES.  Follow the link to join and read and be encouraged.

1.  What's not to love about lunch with a friend?  Especially now.  And especially when we live two counties apart.  She drove UP from Orange County.  I drove DOWN from Ventura County.  We met in the middle in Santa Monica in Los Angeles County.  We brought our own homemade lunches, found a coffee shop with outdoor seating and spent HOURS.  We have known each other for nigh unto thirty years.  Wherever either of us have lived, we've always made sure we stayed in touch.  Oh, it was wonderful to just drop right back in to our friendship for a bit.

2.  And what's not to love about driving home along the Pacific Coast Highway and all the ocean and beach views?

3.  House sale is moving along.  The big fave about that is that packing is also moving along and although the house looks like a tornado blew through, we are on track to have all the packing done by early next week when the movers are scheduled.

4.  A miracle happened.  We have been wanting a (very) small motor home.  Especially now, it is difficult to find one since everyone who is traveling wants to distance from others by staying in their own space.  BUT.  Wednesday morning, The Professor showed me a Class B van type and he had already contacted the owner.  Short story:  it's ours!

5.  More saying, "See you later".  Lunch with my former boss/friend and my TA who I mentored in teaching the writing classes.  It was great to just reminisce and catch up on what they are doing and how teaching is going to look this fall.

Bonus~ conversations with my girls who say, "We can't wait for you to get here!"

Wednesday, August 05, 2020

Wednesday Hodgepodge

Welcome to Wednesday Hodgepodge.   This is a first time for me to do this.  Here is the link to join the group. From This Side of the Pond.

1.  What's happening where you live in terms of schools opening? How do you feel about it?
    As of today, all schools in my county, Ventura County, CA, are doing online classes this fall.  That includes university, public and private, and homeschool.
    How do I feel about it?  I think it's wise.  But I know it will be hard for single parents and younger children.

2. What's something you still do 'old school'?
    I write real letters and mail them.  I grow herbs and use them.

3. August 4th is National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day. Will you/did you celebrate by baking a batch? Eating a batch? Nuts or no nuts? Homemade or store bought? Soft and chewy or do you prefer your cookie to snap when you bite into it?
    Soft and chewy.  Yes on the oatmeal.  No on the nuts.  Homemade.  Actually, usually I just skip the baking and eat the chocolate chips.

4. What are you starved for?
    Great vegan pizza from our favorite pizza place which has closed.  (is there a loud weeping emoji that I can insert here?)

5. Anything new and interesting on your August calendar? What is one thing you're looking forward to this month?
    New and interesting thing on my calendar?  Ummm, YES!  We are moving next week.  2,400 miles across the US.  I'm looking forward to being done with the packing and moving.

6.  Insert your own random thought here.
    There is much I will miss about my home of thirteen years here.  BUT, there is much I am looking forward to in our new location--especially FAMILY.

Friday, July 31, 2020

G'Bye, July

Happy Friday!  Happy Last Day of July!  Happy FRIDAY FAVE FIVES!

1.  Today is my youngest child's birthday.  I prayed for this girl!  She's a treasure, and I will always be thankful for her.

2.  Last weekend, I met my art group friends in a park. We sat in appropriate social distancing chairs we brought and discussed another chapter of Hidden Art by Edith Schaeffer.  We're almost done with the book and it has been a great review for me as I had read in a long time ago.  How I appreciate this group of women--just five of us.  

3.  After that, one friend and I walked up the horse trail by the park.  She wanted to show me the sculptures and animals at one property and the vineyard at another.  I love the terrain of this area.  It reminds me of Italy (as it should since we have the same mediterranean climate.

4.  Yes, things are moving forward and after one small glitch, it looks like the house sale will be finished in less than two weeks.  [insert deer frozen in the headlights look]

5.  A crew of guys from church showed up this morning to move all our boxes from storage and bring them to our home, so they can be packed into the moving truck when it is loaded.  Firefighter guy and his young brother-in-law and one other man.  Besides our being so blessed by their strong arms and willing help, I loved listening to those brothers act like brothers. [Smirk]  Honestly, we couldn't have done it without them!
So much to be thankful for.  All the help and care of people we are leaving.  All the excitement of family who are expecting us next month.  What are you thankful for this week?

Friday, July 24, 2020

July and More July

I check the calendar and realize, Nope, we're still in July.  I know I'm not the only person who just has no idea of what month it is or even what day it is.  So I think it's Friday.  I hope.  If it is, that means it's Friday Fave Fives day.  No matter what day it is, I need to remember to be thankful for all the blessings in my life.  Here are mine for this week.

1.  We are keeping careful track of the progress of our home sale.  Our excellent agent is keeping us up to date, and it's still on track for closing August 10th.  I am so thankful that it seems to be working out.

2.  Bring Your Own Dinner in the park with our friends who have the blueberry ranch, which is now actually the strawberry ranch.  We chatted for almost three hours.  I'm thankful for wonderful long time friends (who I will miss so much!).

3.  Wednesday morning, I walked up to my friend's home.  She is part of my weekly Bible Study class and is the leader for my small group.  She got our group of ladies together in her back garden and we spent a wonderful couple of hours sipping our coffee and catching up.  I was totally surprised by the cards and little gifts they shared with me since this will be the last time I am able to be with them.

4.  We were given an unexpected blessing this week in the form of A.Whole.Bunch. of used moving boxes.  As I was walking home from my friend's (see above), I passed a new neighbor who we had met on one of our nightly walks.  He was throwing used moving boxes out of his garage, so I asked him if I could have them.  YES!  So The Professor and I drove our car up to his place and filled it with boxes.  Four times.  It was a win-win.  He got rid of the boxes he didn't want and we got boxes we need.

5.  Back gardens and parks are great places to meet (see #2).  The art group met in a park this morning and we discussed one more chapter of Hidden Art.  We can be social distanced and still have the friendship and fellowship together.

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Busy Week

Late. Late. Late.  Sometimes it is just like that when it comes to Willow's Week for Friday Fave Fives.  But I think I made it in under the deadline.

Edit to add:  I should have reported that the sale of our home is moving along.  So far, so good.

Here are five things that I have been blessed with this week.

1.  An older friend from church is decluttering his house after his wife passed away.  He has handed over all her yarn to me (as the conduit) to share with others.  Wow.  There is a lot of yarn.  It is going to be a blessing to my friend's weaving studio, Threadbender Textiles, and to a church's knit group which makes afghans, prayer shawls and hats for people who need them.

2.  I just can't get enough of the beautiful animals and birds in our neighborhood.

Herons and ducks night fishing

3.  On Saturday, a friend and I hiked up the very steep trail to the water storage tank across the freeway from where I live and almost exactly halfway between her house and mine.  When we reached the top just above the tank, we sat on the highest rock and chatted for a long time before hiking back down.  The views were stunning!

We were actually overlooking Highway 101, Camino Real.  Waaay out there under the fog bank is the Pacific Ocean.

One of the places where your California lemons are grown

4.  I had a good reminder to FINISH something this week.  I'm working on it!  There's a knitting project someone asked me to do (make a copy of an antique doll's sweater which was ruined) and I've been procrastinating.  It needs to be finished before we move.  So I picked it up and have been knitting and am nearing the end.

5.  This week was our anniversary.  We've been married forty-seven years!  My constant thought that day was--we started out on an adventurous life and it seems like we just continue with the adventures.

Our Engagement 

Bonus.  A favorite quote (taken from Micah 6:8)

Do not be daunted by
the enormity of the world's grief.
Do justly, now.
Love mercy, now.
Walk humbly, now.
You are not obligated to complete the work,
But neither are you free to abandon it.

Friday, July 10, 2020

It's Still July

Well, I'm late posting my FRIDAY FAVE FIVES.  It has been a crazy week and especially a crazy Thursday and Friday.

1.  But first, this blessing.  The Professor preached Sunday morning.  There were a total of ten people in the building (and I got to be one of them).  But it was on YouTube and nearly 1,000 people tuned in to listen to him talk about Heaven Is More Than a Wonderful Place.  It was a blessing to hear my husband speak of something of utmost importance and from his heart.

2.  AND I bought myself a pair of walking shoes on Amazon.

3.  AND I bought myself a pair of black Skechers shoes, too.   In a store.  I've been avoiding buying these shoes for months, and my feet finally convinced me to just buy the shoes.

4.  AND the baby quail are back!  I happened to be standing in the back of the house and heard a quail calling.  I knew she (I think) was calling the 'babies, where are you' cry.  Quietly, I peeked out the open window and spied the mama quail standing guard above the broccoli patch.  And YES!  The baby quail were there pecking around for seeds.  This new little covey is the first one we have seen for a couple of years.  They are such a delight!

5.  We have accepted an offer on our home!  It has been a long time coming, but we are thankful that soon we will be able to move to live nearer our two daughters and three grandchildren.   The next few weeks will be a bit wild, but we know this is our next step in life.

Friday, July 03, 2020

July Has Arrived

2020 is already half over!  It's hard to believe.  Here we are in July.  And here we are on Friday.  I've been writing parts of this post for Friday Fave Fives during this week as I think about what gives me joy and what I am grateful for.  Being thankful is a good thing to practice.  Every Day.

1.  I am catching up on a couple of books I started awhile ago and set down.  I am really enjoying The One-Page Financial Plan.  The author has a great sense of humor that shows through his writing about a difficult subject:  money.  One of my favorite statements so far:  "There isn't anyone who know what the next week, month, year, or even decade of the stock market will look like.  And if an advisor or investment expert tells you they can: run."

2.  I decided to post a picture a day on facebook, focusing on photos I have taken through the years.  I'm enjoying wandering through my history via the photos. Today is July 3rd.  Here are my 1st, 2nd and 3rd photos.

1st:  happiness is... my hubby and me and our coffee.

2nd:  favorite colour.  It's obvious.

3rd:  mirror.  On the shed wall at my friend's farm.

3.  This happened.  The Professor said I should add it to my fave fives.  He was scrolling through some movie options on the tv, and I said, "I remember that movie.  We watched it.  It was good."  Then I added, "I remembered a movie! We should mark today on the calendar!"  You see, for some reason, I simply do not remember movies.  It's a family joke.  Usually, I'll remember movies I've seen in a theatre, but since I didn't grow up going to movies and I didn't much care, I don't store movie trivia and data in my brain.  So actually remembering a movie is a highlight of a week for me.

4.  Some evenings we walk a bit earlier and so can take the trail up above our neighborhood.  We love the view.  I'm thankful to live (for now) in such a beautiful place.

5.  I am an American.  For that I am thankful.  Happy Independence Day!

Enjoy your weekend!  For those who are U.S. citizens, Happy Fourth of July!