Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Beach Walk

There's nothing better than a walk on the beach.
Surfers Point

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Back in a Routine, I Think

Evidently I took an unintended mini break from blogging.  We were gone again and internet access was not always easily accessible.  Now that school and September are looming over me I will be more consistent in my routine.  I hope.  So here I am back again on reboot.  And these are my Friday Fave Fives for the past two weeks.

1.  That trip we took-- it was across Southern California desert again and into Arizona desert.  Destination: Phoenix.  When you have family, you travel to where they are.  Even in the summer. Even when it's 109F outside.

2. I love spending time with my kids and our visit coincided with Son #1's birthday. He was a fun child.  And as an adult, he's still fun.  We are proud of his accomplishments as a military and hospital chaplain--we know it's not an easy job to bring comfort to grieving and worried people.

3.  Older Daughter also celebrated her birthday.  Although I wasn't there in person, we communicated and I posted these photos on facebook.  She was and is adorable!

 I am very proud of this daughter of mine.  She's strong.  She's smart.  She's beautiful.

4. We love our evening walks.  Around our neighborhood there are hills, so we get a good workout walking our three miles.  I'm thankful I live in a safe and pleasant place with beautiful places to walk and hike.

5.  When I have been away for two weeks, it's hard to choose my favorite faves and limit them to five.  I have spent time trying to decide what else to share?  Birthday party for a four year old relative?  (That was so much fun!)  Being part of the tear down crew for the weaving/spinning guild booth at the fair?  (Weird, I know.  But we make a good team and work well together.)  Finally I asked The Professor and he suggested that I share the memorial service we attended for an elderly lady from our church.  She was part of our small Adult Bible Fellowship group and we had never met her extended family.   What a blessing it was to share some memories with her family and learn more about her life.

How about you?  How was your week?

Friday, August 01, 2014

Fair Week

Summer weeks seem to fly by.  This last week of July just raced along, day by day.  I may be on summer break, but I've been busy doing-- busy things.  Here are my Friday Fave Fives--five events out of a busy week--just fun things.

1.  County Fair.

I love county fairs.  This week I spent a few hours volunteering to demonstrate spinning at our handweavers and spinners booth in the agricultural building.  One would not readily and immediately think of 'country' and 'Southern California' in the same setting.  But Ventura County which is adjacent to Los Angeles County has a distinctive and extensive agricultural presence in Southern California.  (Note:  if you eat strawberries in January, it's a good chance they were picked and shipped from Ventura County.  Ditto on blueberries. Or carrots and spinach. Or kale and parsley.)  So the theme of this year's fair was "A Country Fair with Ocean Air"  because, you know, Ventura County hugs the Pacific Ocean.  Think: just north of Malibu.)  Opening Day is always super busy.  During my hours of spinning, there was hardly a lull in people passing by and asking, "What are you doing?"  I enjoy talking with the kids and showing them how ALL fiber is made into 'string' which is woven or knitted into every bit of clothing they wear.

2.  It's always fun to watch the dare devils on the rides.

There is NO way in the world I am going to get on the bungee jump.  But it was thrilling to watch these jumpers get their nerve up and then jump.

See the large palm tree down in the lower left corner?  Yeah, that's how high they were.

3.  BEACH BOYS!  How appropriate it was to have the BEACH BOYS play on Thursday night on the stage across a parking lot from THE BEACH.  We sat high up in the bleachers about as far out as you can get and still be in the arena.  Behind us, we could see the waves rolling in and crashing on the sand, and in front of us, the BEACH BOYS were playing and singing Surfer Girl and Surfin' USA.

4.  I did something this week I've been promising myself I would do--for YEARS.  I wove a rug!

I haven't brought it home from my friend's studio because it is still 'on the loom'.  When the rest of the warp is used for another rug, I'll return and watch (help?) to take it off the loom and finish the edges.

5..  My youngest girl's birthday was this week.  It's birthday season here and although she is the youngest of the siblings, her birthday begins it.  Born in the interior highlands of New Guinea, in the Indonesian province of Irian Jaya (now called Papua), she spent her early years playing in the jungle and at the tropical seashore.  She's a great wife and mom and we are proud of the godly, wise woman she has become.

First beach day

Happy Birthday!

So those are the highlights of Willow's Week.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Wherein I Weave a Rug

Yesterday I did something I've been promising myself for a long time I would do.  I wove a rug.  My handweaving guild owns a number of looms which are always ready for someone to rent for a day to weave with.  An added bonus for me is that those looms are stored in the studio of one of my good friends.  So yesterday I drove over to her home, sat down in front of one of the four harness looms and wove my first rug.

Picking through the balls and scraps of old fabric, I chose my favorite color scheme--mostly blues.

Since the loom was already warped, I was able to start right in and weave a twenty-three inch wide rug which is forty-one inches long.  It'll be a perfect addition to the back entry hall.


I think I may have found a new hobby.

Friday, July 25, 2014

So Unstructured I Forgot the Day

Oops.  I just realized that it's Friday.  I mean, I knew it was Friday, but I forgot it's Friday Fave Fives time.  That's what happens in the summer when my schedule is less organized.  But now that I have remembered, here are my five favorite events from this past week.  I'll link them up with Susanne at Living to Tell the Story, late though I am.

1.  Summer.  Obviously, I love it when I can take long trips, return home and hang about and FORGET what day it is.

2.  Those summer days allow for relaxation like take evening walks and sometimes ending up a friend's house for a leisurely fun chat.  ( I think I'll do that again...)

3.  Summer Specials is a tradition at our church.  Every Wednesday evening during July and August, our church serves a roast beef dinner with mashed potatoes and beans and rolls and salad and desserts created by our resident best bakers.  It's all volunteer labor and we pay $6 for the meal.  Since I don't eat the meat, I just take my own dinner and nobody cares.  The focus is on fellowship and we all sit around inside or outside and chat with new and old friends.  I like to make a point to learn one person's name each week.  Our congregation is larger than our building so we have three Sunday morning services--you don't meet people who attend a different service than you do.  Summer Specials help bring all of us together at the same time.

4.  What would a week be without some knitting?  I'm creating a stack of sweet things for our expected little grandgirl.  Currently I'm working on a blankie for her crib.  Pickles.no has this free zigzag blanket pattern on the website.

And I just finished another, larger Pickles Plain Vest for her.  Yes, I *heart* Pickles patterns!

Ten more hats for the local NICU.

5.  We are continuing our Project: Declutter.  The Professor recycled a bunch of old used up highway maps.  We tackled the garden tools and let go of the extra ones we don't use.  I passed on some magazines I have finished reading and enjoying to someone who will do the same.   Our shredder got quite a lot of use as we recycled more papers we don't need.  A little bit each day adds up to a lot by the end of a week or month.  Yay, us!

It was a quiet, less structured week (except for the two days of training I did for new teachers and TAs).  How was your week?

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Routine Week

Having been home in our own place for a full week, I am beginning to feel rested and centered again.  Life takes on its usual routine which can be so very comforting.  It's also great to be back on my usual Friday Fave Five schedule (thanks to Susanne at Living to Tell the Story for hosting).

1. We visited a new Wednesday farmers market in town because the market was closed on Saturday for our Camarillo Fiesta Days which is held in the same place.  Some of the Saturday vendors were there and greeted us like long lost friends.  Sprouts, carrots, lettuce, broccoli were bought (and consumed).

2. We have resumed our big clear out and declutter which we began before we left on our road trip.  We've pulled out bags of stuff--clothes, old towels, and the like.  Oh, it makes me happy to have more open space in closets and drawers.

3. Part of the clear out included our storage shed.  We finally made the decision to let go of our back packing packs.  We haven't used them for years.  I listed them along with some quart canning jars and a lovely solid wood quilt rack on a local resource exchange site.  Today they are gone, and I'm $60.00 richer.  I love the double win--declutter and get cash for it.  And the buyers were thrilled to get a good deal.

4. This week on Bastille Day was our wedding anniversary.  When you've been married as long as we have, you don't need all the fuss (we never did; we're quiet people), so we drove up to Santa Barbara and visited the Santa Barbara Botanical Gardens.  We've been there before but wanted to stroll again through the native California garden along the famous Mission Creek.  In fact, we bought ourselves an anniversary present:  a year membership to the garden so we can visit as often as we want.

5. Back to our anniversary---I am a most blessed woman.  We have had a wonderful and long marriage.  We both possess a refined sense of adventure and that has worked well for us--we've lived in crazy places and done crazy things.  We share the same goals to live as true Christians and share the same beliefs.  Sometimes people ask us for advice for a successful marriage.  We have two suggestions.  1) Don't take everything seriously.  Laugh a lot.  Like every day.  2) Don't make everything a hill to die on.  It is guaranteed that if everything is so important that you make it a hill to die on, you will die on a hill.  Give a little, or a lot.  Choose your battles.  Happy Anniversary to The Professor and me!

A fun snapshot.  I was trying to photograph the wild flowers as we were driving through Cimarron Canyon in New Mexico.  What I got was a surprise.  Prairie dogs...do you see them?

Friday, July 11, 2014

Home Again, Home Again

Friday, July 11th.  I've missed a few Friday Fave Fives because of our travels.  There's SO MUCH to catch up on!  Here's the link to FFF at Susanne's blog.

1.  Home after 6,845 miles and 4 1/2 weeks.  That is a fave on so many levels.  We *heart* traveling, but it's great to be home.  (cleaning, laundry, garden, meetings...)

2.  Projects finished.  I knitted 25 hats and gave away 5 of them.  I also made The New Boy his afghan.  By the time we reached home, I had knitted my way through all but 3 works in progress I had taken on the road trip.

3.  Wonderful memories of visiting people and places.  Here's a list of the US states we drove through, in order:  California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Lousiana, Alabama, Florida, Alabama,Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and finally back to California.  We visited children and grandchildren and siblings and cousins and friends.  Oh my.

4. Favorite town.  At least this week as I sort through photos.  Taos, New Mexico.

World Heritage Site: Taos Pueblo

St. Francisco de Asis church in south Taos

5.  Special knitting projects to keep me busy the rest of the summer.   Infant size Plain Vest by Pickles--with a little hat.  Pink?  Yup.  For a new little PAL joining our family in October.  Excited?  Yup.

It's SO GOOD to be back with the regular schedule of Friday Fave Fives!