Friday, September 23, 2016

Presentations, Anniversaries, Birthdates

Friday Fave Fives, a little bit late.  Here are Five Wonderful Events in Willow's Week.  Thanks to Susanne for always hosting Friday Fave Fives.

1.  I've been focused on a project I am presenting this weekend.  The title is Textiles in Indonesia.  All week, I've been searching my old photos, scanning a few, taking new photos of the batik fabrics and Papuan strings bags and woven bags I own, and double checking my facts.  I'm enjoying reviewing (and reliving) this part of my history.

2.  The Professor is doing his magic with my photos and miraculously producing a power point presentation for me.  I am so thankful to have a tech savvy and willing husband.

3.  Cool evenings for walking.  The weather has been perfect for our night walks.

4.  Happy Anniversary to my youngest daughter and her husband!  It has been TEN YEARS!

5.  And finally, last but certainly not least--very dear friends introduced a new baby into the world on Thursday morning!  My daughter was privileged to be there and help in the delivery room.  I feel a bit like this is a new grandbaby.  Her photos already melt my heart!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Just a Quiet Week at Willow's Cottage

I've been pondering this today:  where did the week go?  I had big intentions to photograph all the baby hats I've made in the past three weeks.  I thought I'd post a couple of times but then--I didn't.  However, I did work almost every day outside on that ongoing garden project.  (That's not in my faves, but I am pleased at the progress I've made especially since it involves digging rock and dirt, sawing roots, moving heavy edgers and pavers, and using a plumb line.)  Even though it seems like I didn't do much this week, I still find lots of blessings, things that make me smile and make me happy.  That's what I'm sharing for Friday Fave Fives. Five things that made Willow's Week.

1.  I am loving these early autumn slow days!  The weather is noticeably a bit cooler. At least twice this week, I've stayed home ALL DAY.  That never happens.  I've decided to be intentional about being home this year, the first year in decades that I haven't had a pile of responsibilities pushing me out of the house almost daily.

2.  I'm not really a foodie kind of person; mostly I eat to live.  But this week I did have some yummy meals.  Burrito from my favorite restaurant: it includes black beans, brown rice on a whole wheat tortilla, cilantro and green salsa.  Then I made an Indonesian dish called gado-gado:  homemade peanut sauce, various veggies both cooked and raw (cucumber, spinach, broccoli and potatoes) served over rice.  I also made three batches of my granola recipe.  Mostly I love having the cooking and baking finished so we can contentedly consume our meals without alot of fuss.

3.  A high school classmate messaged me on facebook to ask me some questions about people from our class as she is evidently on a committee to put together a class reunion in 2018.  It was a treat for me to reminisce a bit and the result was my digging out my old high school annuals and thumbing through them.  I loved reading all the notes and seeing all those old photos.  Also I found my grades from my senior year.  I don't remember getting an F in study hall...

4.  Back in May, I mentioned that I had some handspun wool from Canada that I was planning to use to make a shawl for my niece who lives on Vancouver Island.  I finished the shawl in June and it was delivered to my niece by her mom in August. But I never took any photos of it.  (Silly Willow!) This week on facebook she posted a photo of her wearing the shawl.  So now I have a picture of the shawl and more importantly, her wearing the shawl.

5.  I have had some crazy, funny conversations this week about BUGS like spiders and ants.  First, my cousin's daughter who with her husband is visiting his grandparents here in Southern California.  She mentioned finding black widow spiders in the garage.  So, yeah, here in SoCal black widow spiders are everywhere.  You just deal with them.  But she didn't know because she doesn't live here.  No, you don't vacuum them up with a shop vac.  Poison them or smash them!  In the end, we decided that if you vacuum them up and feed them growth hormone, you can use them on Halloween to scare all the kids who come to the house to treat-or-treat.  (Really you shouldn't even let her own a shop vac or medicines.)  Then, I told my daughter that we have ants in our microwave, and I'm not sure how they're getting in.  BUT.  They don't die when you run the microwave.  WHY?  We think they're mutants and will grow into giant radiated ants that will take over the world.  And they all started in my little microwave.  Maybe you shouldn't have conversations with me about weird stuff. (But it makes me laugh.)

What made you happy this week?  What made you laugh?

Thursday, September 08, 2016

Hellooo, September!

Happy Friday Fave Fives!  Here are five events that made my week blessed and joyful.  Without further ado, Willow's Week:

1.  Our PAL is a curious kid.  Our week was filled with her cheerful and happy chatter and her winsome ways.  She and her daddy flew in to see us over the Labor Day Holiday weekend.

2.  A Day at the Beach.  September is one of the BEST months to be at the beach in Southern California.

3.  A day at the Reagan Library.  Her daddy loves historical places too, just like his dad.  Summer crowds were gone and the school trips haven't started yet, so it wasn't crowded in all the exhibits.

(this is the car I want!)

4.  Her daddy also loves book stores as much as his parents do.  So of course we had to visit THREE:   Bank of Books and Abednego Book Shoppe and Mrs. Figg's Bookworm.  And I found a used book that I've been wanting for awhile!

5.  Remember that outside work?  One large part is finished!  All the decorative rock is gone, and my neighbor who is the recipient is as happy as I am.  This project is ongoing.  Hopefully, next week, there will be a report of more work accomplished (and maybe fewer sore muscles).

Bonus:  kudos to Bob Hope Burbank Airport!  I was able to accompany PAL and her daddy all the way to the gate and wait with them until their plane departed.  That's great service!

Happy Weekend!  Happy September!   Be well.  Knit on.

Friday, September 02, 2016

End of August 2016

It's Friday, And time for Friday Fave Fives.  I thought I'd post more this week, but as you will see, my hands and thoughts were busy elsewhere.  I still need to pause, focus, and be thankful.  Thankfully, Susanne's Friday Fave Fives help me do just that.

1.  Sore muscles.  Why oh why do sore muscles make me happy?  It means that I have put in two good days on some heavy outside yard work.  We need to adjust the property line markers on our side property to correctly reflect the property line.  So I shoveled rock, moved cement edgers and pavers.  There is still more work to do, but I'm proud of those sore muscles.

2.  In my garden, there are many more monarch caterpillars (no more photos because, you know, how many photos of caterpillars do you need?)  But World's Best Neighbor phoned and left me a message telling me the butterflies are flying everywhere around the milkweed on the back bank of the garden and she has a perfect view of them.  In other garden news, the cotton plants are flowering!

3.  AND the potatoes grew!  My first attempt at growing potatoes yielded these!  I planted one potato cut into four sections and I harvested enough to fill a gallon pot.

4.  Not everything was about the garden this week (but of course it's the end of August and beginning of September so of course there is a lot going on in the garden).  These two felted sheep have decided to relocate to the East Coast.  Someone noticed my sheep at the county fair display and asked to purchase a couple from me.  So these two are off on a new adventure.

And  I have been on a NICU hat kick.  This week:  eleven hats and the twelfth nearly done.

5.  I saved the best for last!  See what I picked up at the airport on Thursday??  PAL and her daddy are here for a visit!  She brought her bunny Alexandria to visit with Eleanor and they are all having a great time playing with blocks and duplos, taking walks, picking tomatoes and oranges!  The arrival of our Princess PAL also explains my lateness in posting my Faves this week.

I foresee a busy Labor Day weekend--beach trip, museum visit for Daddy, lots of walks and book reading.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Winding Down the Summer

Can it really be the end of August and the end of summer?  Many kids I know (including my littles) are all back in school.  It seems like this week 'just happened' with everything winding down slowly.  All week I thought about Friday Fave Fives and watched for 'those moments' of blessings which I always know are there but I forget to acknowledge them.  So here are my Friday Fave Fives from Willow's Week.

1.  This week the mornings have been perfect for sitting outside with my coffee.  What can be more calming than watching the monarch butterflies and the tiny hummingbirds flitting and flying around the garden?

2.  All of the floors in our house are vinyl tiles which look like tile (I love the look!), but we do have a couple of large area rugs.  So this week, yes, we cleaned them.  The Professor runs the cleaner and I run around wiping up the water around the edges.  We make a great team, we both get a good workout, and our rugs are clean.

3.  I had work done in my mouth by an oral surgeon.  What it comes to dentists and all those guys, I'm a baby.  But this doctor did everything just right to help me, and my time in the chair of torture was very limited.  Win. Win. Win.

4.  The Professor for the Win, too.  He drove me to the surgeon's office, stayed there, drove me home and even bought me soy ice cream.

5.  University classes begin next week, so The Professor has been on campus a few days for faculty meetings.  It's just now beginning to sink in that I'm not just on summer break now--I'm really retired.  I'm excited to plan my days and weeks now with projects, but not too many of them.  Those times spent in the garden (see #1) have been focused on just how I want to do this retirement thing--sifting through my thoughts, making goals.

Friday, August 19, 2016

This Week in Five Faves

We are nearing the end of summer break for The Professor.  In fact, he has ridden his bike to the university campus a couple of times to spend the day in his office.  It definitely feels weird to not have lesson plans looming over me, to not be thinking subconsciously all the time about source materials, assignment sheets and checklists.  But I think I can deal with it. {insert large smiley face here}  The weeks are different in summer and in retirement.  Every day but Sunday feels like Saturday.  Indeed, The Professor calls Monday the First Saturday, and Tuesday Second Saturday, and so on.  It takes more effort for me to focus on getting something done and also on remembering what happened on Fourth Saturday.  That doesn't make it any less important.  Here are my Friday Fave Fives.

1.  My Garden.  I consider my little garden to be a place of serenity and calmness.  This week we planted a couple of fall crops-- dinosaur kale and red carrots.  I do love me an experiment.  The kale I planted in the spring and yes, it does grow to dinosaur size.

2.  Butterflies and Lizards.  The monarch butterflies are hatching.  It's a good thing it's that time in their life cycle because the caterpillars have eaten every green thing off my three milkweed plants.  Finally, I caught a photo of one.  They fly and flit around constantly after they hatch because they are trying to dry their wings.

And the lizards are so cute.  Here is a baby lizard.  He couldn't have been more than 1.5 inches long.

3.  Yarn.  The movie.  One evening our local yarn shop sponsored/arranged for the showing of an indie film titled "Yarn".  The Professor and I decided we'd make it a date--dinner at our fave Mexican restaurant (Sharky's) and then drive up to Ventura to watch the movie.  I was amused that of course I saw many of my guild friends there, but most of us had knitting in our hands or our bags.  An added bit--there were a surprising number of men in the audience and not all of them were husbands accompanying their wives.

4.  Cooler weather.  This week our temperatures have been Ventura County perfect.  I know so many people are either very hot or very cold, but here it has been high 70s, morning coastal fog to keep things cool, sunny days after the cloud cover breaks and evaporates.

5.  My computer desktop screen rotates photos from my files.  This week one appeared from the trip we took to England several years ago.  So I looked back at those files and 'relived' our trip.  I love the memories!  Bath, England.

Bonus quote of the day:  "The problem with a good book is that you want to finish the book but you don't want to finish the book."  So true!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

On My Walk Today

What I saw on my walk on the hill above my house.  This morning it was sunny, mild and breezy, just perfect for a quick trek along the deer paths through the dead dry bush and grey stones.  I came across a white beehive which had honeybees hovering around it.  I had no idea there was a beehive up there.

These pink blossoms were actually quite small and about the only things blooming on the hillside.

As I neared the area where sprinklers were watering the ivy (yeah, ivy isn't my idea of a great option either), I noticed brilliant orange flowers arranged along vines which were growing out among the ivy.

I'm not sure what this plant is.  Now I have a fun project--identifying the mystery vine.