Friday, November 18, 2016

More November Thankfulness

Greetings from the East Coast!  I'm here in the mid Atlantic states having arrived Wednesday (which is why I didn't get around to visit people for Fave Fives last weekend--craziness at Willow's Cottage as I prepared for travel.  Not even any photos...).  So I will endeavor to post today and then visit others posting at Friday Fave Fives before I head out again on a jet plane tomorrow evening.

OK, first things first.

1.  I'm thankful for a safe flight across the US.  Not being an intrepid flyer, I am so very grateful when the plane touches down and I can state those famous words of our MAF jungle pilot in Papua, "Cheated death again!"

2.  I am thankful for The Professor who encourages me to take these adventures, sometimes without him.  I miss him when we're apart, but I know we're never very far apart in thought and spirit.

3.  Those hugs and kisses when the car pulls up at airport arrivals and everyone yells, "Meema!"

New news:

4.  I am thankful that my daughter (The New Boy's mom) wants to travel with me.  It's a privilege and joy to have special times with my adult children.

5.  Finally, I am thankful and excited that I have the chance to visit ENGLAND with my girl!  Leaving tomorrow!  So maybe I'll be able to visit a few blogs.  I'll try!

Friday, November 11, 2016

11/11 + 5

Willow's Week on Veteran's Day in Five Faves.  (How's that for succinct?)  Follow this link to Friday Fave Fives.

1. Today is Veteran's Day in the US.  I am thankful for my family members who have/do serve in the US military.
my father
my paternal uncle
my maternal uncle
my husband The Professor
my brother-in-law
my son Chaplain Dan
my son-in-law The Marine (retired!)

2.  Today is also Chaplain Dan and his wife's tenth wedding anniversary.  Happy Anniversary to them!

3.  I love those spontaneous texts from The Professor when he notices a poster and knows I'd enjoy listening to the lecture.  He sent this photo and one word:  "Interested?"  Duh!

4.  I've been watching this monarch chrysalis every day (even in our hot hot hot 90s blistering dry heat).  Yes, I finally found a way to photograph it.  No butterfly yet...

5.  I love the photos of my granddaughter that are sent  to me!  Her auntie took this picture at Halloween.  Somebody loves Minnie Mouse!

Bonus:  This quote from a gardening article by Karen Maezen Miller, author of Hand Wash Cold: Care Instructions for an Ordinary Life. (I haven't read the book, but I enjoyed the article.) 

"...but there are ways to get by on less.  First, want little.  Second, be satisfied.  Third, don't replace anything that still has a useful life.  This last point has served out marriage well."

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

A Saturday Hike

On Saturday afternoon, The Professor and I decided that a hike was a great choice of activity.  Where to hike?   Obviously since we live on the edge of the Santa Monica Mountains, it was a easy choice to hike one of our favorite areas.

The main trail in Point Mugu State Park runs from the beach at Pacific Coast Highway just north of Malibu up into the Santa Monica Mountains to Thousand Oaks.  This trail is paved and is very popular with mountain bikers as well as hikers.

It's seven miles to the beach from here.
See that canyon?  In a normal rainy year, there is water in the creek.  These days, it's just dry brush.
The Professor and I walked down to where a secondary trail splits off and follows the creek up to the falls. Then we turned around and hiked back up the trail.

This entire area was burned in the Camarillo Springs Fire three and a half years ago.  You can still see the dead trees and brush although there is new growth sprouting from the ashes and dead branches.

The madrone bushes are growing back.  You can always tell the madrones by their red trunks and branches.

Our Saturday hike was just what we needed.  A few miles of walking in quietness, in nature.

Friday, November 04, 2016

November Delights

It's already November?? Wow.  Eleventh month of the year 2016.  Traditionally, in the US, November is the month of Thanksgiving.  I think it's important to be thankful every day, not just for a month or a few days in November.  That's why I delight in Friday Fave Fives.

1.  Here is the proof that it rains in Southern California.  On Sunday, it rained!

2.  The monarch butterfly caterpillars are back again, chomping on the milkweed.  I had read that monarchs return several times during a single season to lay eggs.  Fortunately, the milkweed plants, which is their only food, have been growing well this year.  I found one chrysalis but because of its position hanging from a dead branch I haven't been able to photograph it easily. (I'll keep trying.)

3.  Here is a yummy fave!  This is an update on the sweet potatoes I planted in the spring.  So far, I've pulled up less than one fourth of the plants and I have a lot of tubers.  Admittedly some of them are weirdly shaped probably because they were confined to a pot.  But they'll still taste fine, right?  I'm super excited!  My first sweet potatoes!

4.  Although I'm trying to knit down my yarn stash, sometimes I need to purchase a skein to finish a project.  I'm thankful for sales and coupons to keep the cost down.  This week I scored yarn for a baby vest to give a sweet little one who is outgrowing the one I gave her a few months ago.

5.  This quote:  A Garden is a Delight to the Eye and a Solace for the Soul.

And this one:  The Earth Laughs in Flowers.
(Ralph Waldo Emerson)

Flowers from my garden this week.  I laugh in delight and find solace in my garden.

California daisy

Hummingbird sage

Where have you found delight or solace this week?

Thursday, October 27, 2016

October Faves, Take Four

Happy Friday!
Thanks to Susanne for always hosting Friday's Fave Five
Here is Willow's Week in five favorite blessings

1.  There has been knitting.  I finally finished my grey gloves--I wove in A.L.L. the ends.  The weather has been cooling down enough that I may be able to wear them soon.

2.  Speaking of weather, we Southern Californians are all excited because we are getting RAIN!  This is the kind of rain we've been getting for the past year--just sprinkles.  We're hoping for some real rain this weekend.

3.  Here is a quiz.  What is this?
(Hint--I grew this.)

Give up?  It's COTTON. My first harvest from the cotton trees I planted this spring.  I'm growing three plants in pots and so far this fall I've gotten three bolls.  It's not much, but it's a start.

4.  My friend had a birthday this week.   We celebrated by having a painting party.  My first acrylic painting ever.

5.  It has been a busy month for The Professor.  In addition to his normal teaching schedule, he has been doing his job of lighting designer (and hanger of lights) for the university's performing arts department.  This week, he wrapped up his part and handed it over to the stage manager, and the play opened Wednesday night.  I have my hubby back.

A quote I found this week:  Three things cannot be long hidden:  the sun, the moon, and the truth.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Pursuing a Simple Life

Recently, I was reading online and discovered a blog post that intrigued me.  It was titled "How to Start Living a Simple Life".  I am and have been for a very long time a simple living advocate.  I have pursued a simple life for most of my adulthood.  I have minimalist tendencies although I would not label myself a minimalist.  I like books, real books, and would not choose to downsize my personal library.  I love my garden.  I want my dirt and my shovels and seeds.  In addition, I have my yarn and needles because fiber arts give me great joy.  But simplicity is an important part of what defines my life.  At the end of that blog post, the author instructed her readers to 'stop reading and write down these five statements on a piece of paper'.

So I did.

Make your lifestyle a priority.
Slow down and enjoy every task.
Know what is important.
Connect with nature.
Make the most of today.

I'm going to keep that paper around and do those things mindfully.  My lifestyle.  Enjoy every task (even doing the laundry).  Know what is important.  Connect with nature (I love my walks and messing around in my garden!)  Make the most of my day.

What tasks did I enjoy today?  Making several batches of granola.  Finally, baking some cinnamon rolls.  Weaving in the ends of several finished knitting projects (mostly hats).  Decluttering some papers from the counter where they always seem to collect.  These are quiet everyday tasks which I sometimes avoid simply because I don't slow down and enjoy them.

I hope I've made the most of today.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

October Fridays, Take Three

shared through Susanne's blog--see the link up above.
Willow's Week in the Wilderness and at Home

1.  As I stated a week ago, I was out of routine this week.  My adventures involved a solo drive across the Arizona desert.  Really and truly, I don't mind the seven hour drive.  I cranked up Celtic Woman Christmas and The Messiah and sang along.  Since we do this trip from coastal California to middle of the Arizona desert on a regular basis, I know the rest areas, the coffee stops and the cheap gas stations.  And I'm thankful for safety on the highways.

2.  What always amazed me is the beauty of the desert.  (Yes, it was HOT. Fortunately, my car has good AC.)  The desert has its own wonders and I enjoy soaking in the colors and terrain.  The sparse but beautiful foliage with a green all its own.  The majestic and rugged mountains and mesas.

3.  The reason for my visit was to help celebrate this girl's second birthday!  Check out her cake--the girl loves Mickey and Minnie!

She loved driving the ice cream truck at the pizza place.

Her newest friends are Donald and Daisy.

Even big two year old girls can get tired.  The best way to sleep is to snuggle with all your friends.

4.  It was a great visit.  I had one on one quality time with both my son (Chaplain Dan) and his wife.  And of course,  PAL and I had fun, too.  I visited the yarn section of a store with family members and brought home enough yarn to make two more Weasely sweaters and an afghan. (More on those later)

5.  Back home and settled in after sleeping and sleeping, I've been catching up on some reading since this week it has been too hot to be outside much.  (Yes, it was unseasonably hot and super windy due to the Santa Ana Winds which I probably brought home with me from the desert.)
In one of my reading books, I came across this statement.
My quote of the week!

"There is no dignity quite so impressive,
and no independence quite so important,
as living within your means."
President Calvin Coolidge