Friday, March 24, 2017

Happy Happy Spring Break

Hello, Friends!  It's Friday and time for Friday's Fave Fives.  This week Willow's Week is featuring the Best of Spring Break.

1. A visit from our PAL (PAL are her initials. Perfect, yes?) .  Oh, and her parents.  Our son and his family live a seven hour drive from us. They're the closest of our children, so it was a wonderful spring break gift for them to spend four days with us.  For the first time ever, our teacher daughter-in-law had the same spring break schedule as The Professor.  PAL visits are the Best!

2. On Monday, we did a book marathon.  Two libraries and Five used book stores.  Our family might love books. A Lot.

3.  Tuesday morning was reserved for yet another book store visit.  Our city has the cutest independent book store.  Mrs. Figg's Bookworm.  It's the best!

4.  We had promised PAL a trip to the beach, so Tuesday afternoon we drove to Ventura's Marina Park.  Yes, our grandgirl is a beach baby!  She inherited the Best from her Meema and Bapa!

5.  My week was completed with a visit with my brother.  (And this is why I am posting my Fave Fives a bit late this week.)  We live almost 1,000 miles apart, so we don't see each other much.  Today he was in the Los Angeles area for work, so we drove down to spend a few hours with him.  Brothers are the Best, too!

What were your Bests this week?

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Friday Fave Fives, Almost Spring

Happy St. Patrick's Day!  This is one of my favorite holidays.  I am a little bit Irish AND it's my birthday!  Here are the Friday Fave Fives from Willow's Week on this almost spring Friday.

1.  Here is a favorite portion of the Patrick Compline:

May God shield me,
May God fill me,
May God keep me,
May God bring me this night,
To the nearness of his love.

The peace of the Father of joy,
The peace of the Christ of hope,
The peace of the Spirit of grace.

2.  Last Saturday, The Professor and I spent our morning learning about traditional California native plants which were/are used for traditional medicines.  The presenter was a very knowledgeable young woman and was an excellent teacher.  We wandered around the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden with her and several other people (including a former student and her mom!). We learned so much!
A couple of interesting specimens

Mallow (Malva spp)

Horsetail esquisetum arvense

3.  A friend gifted me this from her garden for my birthday.  Isn't it beautiful?

4.  I do love a clean house.  And there's nothing like expecting company to get me to clean my house!

5.  Speaking of company, guess who's coming today?  My dear PAL!  (And her daddy and mommy!) Can't wait!

And, just for fun and your viewing pleasure, here are two more photos of our California poppies which are blooming and blooming and blooming!  This spring, the flowers are extra ordinarily large, maybe because of all the rain we received this winter.

Enjoy your weekend!

Monday, March 13, 2017

An England Adventure, Part 6

Sheep are ubiquitous in the English countryside.
We enjoyed meeting these woolly things everywhere.
Here they are frolicking at Maiden Castle.

Shepherds moving the sheep

Here they come!

Whew!  We escaped those scary humans again!

Eleanor Elizabeth was excited to meet her British friends, but they were having none of it.

Friday, March 10, 2017

March #2 Friday Fave Fives

Some weeks are just 'there'.  This week has been like that.  Nothing special happening.  But that's a good week for me.  It's still important to focus on what things I an appreciate in my week.  Here is Willow's Week in Friday's Fave Five.

1.  Nice long conversation with one of my daughters.  I'm so very thankful to my girls (and boys) seem to like me and enjoy chatting with me.

2.  Last week at my Women's Bible Study class, the leader mentioned that a baby boy was in NICU and, since I just happened to be knitting a NICU sized hat, I passed it on to her to give to the family.  I love it when I know how my knitting obsession ability blesses someone else.

3.  Once a month we join a group of people in the Vegan Gourmet Club for a potluck dinner.  People from all over the area and in all age groups attend and we enjoy the yummy foods and then watch a video on healthy living.  This week I made some red lentil dhal and it was ALL GONE at the end of the meal.  Evidently, it was a hit.  AND someone washed the empty dish for me!

4.  We have had some lovely warm and sunny days this week which means I am able to walk during the day (twice!) and also spend a bit of time in the garden.  The snap peas are popping up, finally.

5.  Sometimes The Professor and I will get hooked on a TV series and faithfully watch it each week.  Somehow, we missed the last season of White Collar.  He found it at the library and brought it home.  We might have binge watched a few episodes.  No spoilers here, but the last episode and ending of the series was great.

I didn't take any photos this week.  Can you believe it?  But here are March photos from a former year.  Just for visual enjoyment.  These California poppies are blooming everywhere!

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

An England Adventure, Part 5

The main reason we chose to visit Dorchester was that Maiden Castle is there.  What is Maiden Castle?  It's an Iron Age Hill Fort!

It was a short walk from our bed and breakfast place to Maiden Castle.  Strolling along the path next to the (almost) two lane road, we could see the hill fort looming ever larger and larger in front of us.

The parasailers were becoming larger and larger, too.

We entered through the eastern gate, dutifully read all the signs and then set out to walk all the way around the hill fort.

Breathtaking views were in every direction.

Facing west gazing over the Dorset Downs

The western entrance had a stile to climb.

Do I not have the most beautiful daughter?

Standing on the highest hill

Overlook toward north east and Poundbury

Looking to the east toward Dorchester

Luckiest sea gull in Dorset

If Maiden Castle, this World Heritage site, were the only place we visited in Dorchester, it would have been worth the whole trip.  

But.  There was So. Much. More!

Friday, March 03, 2017

Hellooo, March!

The sun is shining.  It's the month when Spring supposedly arrives.  What's not to love about March?  It's also Friday.  Here are my Fave Fives for this week.

1.  Beginning a Lent study with my art buds!  We will be reading and discussing The Papa Prayer by Larry Crabb.

2.  The week's hostess for the group had orange marmalade which she was offering to us!  My inner Paddington is so happy!

3.  On the way home from the artist group meeting, I stopped in Hill Canyon to walk for a bit.  Oh how I love this hike.  It's easy and mostly on the level.  And it's stunningly beautiful, especially right now when everything is Ireland green.

4.  The California native spring flowers were blooming.  Year after year after year, it never gets old!

5.  And in my garden, the first rose bloomed!  It's an Iceberg Rose, but it is definitely favoring its pink mother or father.

Bonus quote:  I know I've written it here on Willow's Blog before, but it bears repeating often.

“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.”
Mother Teresa

And, in keeping with my word of this year:

"Peace begins with a smile."