Friday, April 20, 2018

Greetings From Another Place

Hi!   I've been silent all week from my computer, using only my phone for communication. There are several reasons for that, all of which lead me to being so very thankful.  Here is Willow's Week in Friday Fave Fives.

1.  I took a plane trip.  Two, in fact.  They were supposed to be on the same day and connected by only an hour's wait in a transitional airport.  But.  Yeah.  A maintenance problem with the second airplane grounded me in North Carolina, three thousand miles from home and several hundred miles from my destination.  No, that wasn't the fave.  The fave was that I was given a hotel voucher and two meal vouchers because the issue was maintenance and not weather related.  And that's one reason why I was not in constant communication much on Monday and Tuesday.

2.  I was proud of myself for being brave and leaving the airport and over-nighting by myself in the hotel.  It really really helped that two other travelers banded together with me to make sure we got the correct shuttle and were back at the airport the next morning in time to check in.  The fave?  That there were nice, kind, pleasant people traveling with me.

3.  This was so sweet, but also it made me a little sad.  When my grandsons heard that my plane was delayed 13 hours, they cried.  They had planned to meet me at the gate with SIGNS they had written to greet me.  With my delayed flight, they had to miss picking me up at the airport.  Sad? Yes. But sweet?  Oh so sweet.

4.  Both of my daughters drove to the airport to pick me up--both of them taking a couple of hours off work to meet me.  Mama was feelin' the love.

5.  Lastly, I had a bit of a disaster with my laptop computer.  For the second time on this fairly new computer, the keyboard quit working.  Last time, The Professor was able to do a really weird fix on it that he read online and it actually worked.  But this time, he couldn't find that information to relay to me, so I was without a computer until this morning when I visited a big box electronic store and bought a wireless keyboard.  And now I can type, and that means I can type in a password to get internet access.

BONUS:  And the main reason I made this cross country trip.  My younger daughter had surgery on Wednesday.  I drove her to the hospital for the procedure, waited for news, drove her home.  I having been helping with the kids and caring for her.  All is well.  She is recovering.  I'm so thankful!

Friday, April 13, 2018

Extreme Week

Have you ever experienced a fifty degree change in temperature in one day?  That's what happened to us this week!  Willow's Adventures in Southern California include some other ups and downs.  But let's focus on the ups, the Friday Fave Fives right now.

1.  The Professor and I decided to join my brother and sister-in-law for a few days in Death Valley National Park.  Now I know you all realize that Death Valley means hot and dry.  And yes, it is. And it's often extremely windy.  But it is also beautiful!  If you like the American Southwest, you will love the magnificent expansive views and breathtaking colors of Death Valley.




2.  With my brother as guide since he has visited there numerous times, we drove to  Devil's Golf Course, Badwater Basin, and Artist's Palette.


282 feet below sea level.  Lowest point in North America.


Oh, the vivid colors at Artist's Palette!  The photo doesn't do it justice.


3.  Sitting around in the morning by the pool and jumping in to cool off--so refreshing!

My view from under the palo verde tree.


4.  Laughing and chatting with my brother and sister-in-law--the best part.

5.  This may seem a bit like not-a-fave, but really it is a fave.  The wind was SO STRONG that it blew over our tent.  Of the six stakes we had in the ground, only one was not dislodged.  Fortunately, that one stake held the entire tent.  We didn't have to go chasing after our tent and sleeping bags and duffel bags.  (We did lose our footprint cloth but found it later four campsites away.)

In the end, we decided to cut our trip short and drive home late at night.  Again, we are thankful for a safe drive home in gusting gales of wind along magnificent canyons and valleys.

From 105F to 55F, from 4956 feet above sea level at Towne Pass to 282 feet below sea level, it was a trip of extremes.

Friday, April 06, 2018

April is Here Already?

You know those weeks when all of a sudden it's the end of the week and you think, "Where did the week go?"  That was Willow's Week.   I didn't even take a single photo.  But here is what I did do and how I focused my attention.  And this doesn't even include Good Friday and Easter services at church!  Sharing my Friday Fave Fives:

1.  We drove across the north end of Los Angeles for a loonngg way to visit an old friend.  He is in the area for some medical stuff and we wanted to see him.  This man helped save my life and my (unborn) son's life when we lived in Indonesia.  He answered our request of air transport when I developed malaria and flew a single engine plane across the province AND THEN a helicopter into our village to evacuate us.  So, yeah, we'll drive across LA to see him.  It was a great time of reminiscing.

2.  Every day I've been out in the garden, babying my snap peas, lettuce and basil plants.

3.  A friend recommended a book to me. I found it at the library.  I've already finished it.  The Chosen by Chaim Potok.

4.  I belong to a Prayer Shawl group.  Although we meet only once a month, I greatly enjoy the fellowship and the purposeful activity of this group of people.  And (no photo proof) I started a poncho design based on dimensions which a friend shared with me to create an easy to wear poncho for people having chemo who need to be warm but also have their arms unwrapped. (photos later when I actually have enough to show).

5.  My last remaining uncle has been in the hospital.  That is certainly NOT the fave.  But the fave is that his children are keeping in good contact with us cousins to give us daily updates.  I am thankful for the long time connections with my cousins and also for easy communication via cell phone texts.

Bonus:  Easter dinner with my friend Ranch Lady at their ranch with lots of other people.

The ranch used to grow blueberries; now it's strawberries.



What has resonated with you and for what do you give thanks this week?

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Happy Easter!

Christ is risen!



Thursday, March 29, 2018

Five Loves

Happy Friday!
I'm checking in with Willow's Week in
with others hosted by Susanne at Living to Tell the Story.
It is Good Friday
and Resurrection Sunday!

1.  I love fiber.  Especially fiber I make myself.
Four ounces of wool and silk blend.
Handspun.



2.  I love herbs.  I love learning about them.  I love growing them.  I love using them.

Comfrey


Parsley


Wooly Lamb's Ear


3.  I love hiking.
Hill Canyon is one of my favorite places to hike.  The Professor and I managed to get in a short hike partway into the canyon this week on an otherwise very busy day.  It was glorious.


4.  I love Lent and Easter, celebrating the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
 My Lenten Rose has bloomed just in time to celebrate, too.


5.  I love spending time with friends.  On Tuesday, I walked with one friend.  One Thursday, another friend and I spent two hours wandering around a local garden and another two hours chatting over lunch.  





What did you love about your week?

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Treasuring March Days

All of a sudden, it is quiet again at Willow's Cottage.  After the delightful visit of my sister-in-law, we were treated with three days with PAL, her mommy and auntie.  They arrived just in time to celebrate my birthday.  But other things first in this celebration of Willow's Week at Friday Fave Fives.

1.  After I said a fond farewell to my sil when I dropped her off at LAX for her flight home on Saturday, I enjoyed a couple of hours with my walking buddy from the years I lived in Los Angeles.  There's nothing better for your birthday breakfast!

2.  We have a dear older friend, our mentor, who is suffering from the effects of a stroke.  I sent her a hand knit shawl to wrap her in my love and prayers.



3.  Yeah, I drove to LA and back on my birthday.  Fortunately the traffic was much better than I expected.  That was most likely because everyone was hanging around Irish pubs drinking green beer instead of driving on LA freeways.  Yes, I share my birthday with St. Patrick.  Lots of cards and texts and calls made my day.



4.  The best present though was the arrival of my PAL!  We enjoyed our days with her and her mom and auntie.  One day, we visited Kidscape in Pasadena.  I'd never been there but PAL's mommy remembered it from her childhood, so she wanted PAL to experience it.






Obviously, playing in the mud kitchen was her favorite activity!

There is a four story climbing tower in a cylinder, so we girls crawled and climbed to the top while The Professor held all our bags at the bottom.  A fellow adventurer took our photo at the top of the tower.


5.On the last day of their time with us, we joined them in Los Angeles before they continued their drive to Orange County to stay overnight with friends.  A visit to the Los Angeles City Library was a must since PAL's mommy had worked there as a volunteer before she met our son and married him.


There was so much more to our time together--family dinners, reading books, playing with Meema's toys, strolling around Grand Central Market in downtown LA.  These were more days to treasure in my heart.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Mid March Happiness

It is time to be back on schedule and at Willow's Cottage, scheduling includes doing my
each week.  Yes, I missed last week, but I am back and ready to jump in again.

1.  I'm very thankful for Gypsy Cold Care tea and echinacea drops.  Fortunately, my cold did not materialize in a nasty way. I credit my herbal teas and drops.

2.  I'm thankful that I was feeling great by Monday because I received a Very. Important. Visitor. My sister-in-law arrived for a five days visit!  We have been buds since high school and then she married my beloved brother and so became my sister-in-law.  Am I not the most fortunate person?  My relative by marriage is a favorite friend!

3.  Sister-in-law had never been to Santa Barbara so although it was raining cats-and-dogs, we decided to go ahead and show-her-the-town.  Our destination was Santa Barbara Botanic Garden and we drove past Santa Barbara Mission.  Usually people don't photograph lovely places in the rain, but I think they are still beautiful.



4.  You know that friend who you can laugh with about most anything?  That's my sister-in-law and me.  When you've been friends since you were fourteen, you have a lot to laugh about.

5.  Daily walks, even in the rain, were favorite activities for both of us.

Oh! And the rain!  Yes, I am thankful for RAIN!