Thursday, January 27, 2011

Ending the Month on a High Note

These four weeks in January have sailed by so quickly.  During this week of classes, day trips and wind storms, I continually took note of what was happening to me and around me, paying attention to everything I am thankful for.  Participating in Friday Fave Five is a great training exercise in gratitude, and if I post nothing else here at Willow's Cottage blog, I make sure I write about my five faves every Friday.  Thank you, Susanne for hosting this at Living to Tell the Story.

1.  I know that it's January when the early camellias begin to bloom.  Both the flowers and I are soaking up the warm sun.  I learned years ago that cold weather and I are not compatible companions.  Even Southern California winter rain storms cause me to shiver and be miserable. (I know, I know.  I sound like a wimpy wus, but I really do not do well in freezing temperatures)  When the sun shines and the temperatures hover in the 70s, I'm just a happier person.  I can identify with the camellias.


2.  Recently, we received a communication from long time, long ago friends telling us that they would be in the San Diego area the end of January and asking if we could get together.  He was our fixed wing and helicopter pilot during the first two years we lived in Papua, Indonesia.  We saw them on Saturday afternoon and evening and enjoyed reminiscing with them about those days when we were all a lot younger, living in the jungle, flying around in the three seater Hiller helicopter, and being stranded in crazy places by crazy weather.


3.  Spending Saturday night and Sunday morning with our daugther Mia and her husband (and the two puppies and two kitties) in San Diego before we drove back home through the four SoCal counties was another highlight of the weekend.

4.  This week there has been simple knitting.  Knit one, purl one. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Five inches wide.  Five feet long.  Soon, it will be a scarf.  Sometimes I appreciate the relaxing and repetitive hand motions of a simple knit.

5.  I am continuing my relaxation reading.  This week, I finished The Dark Frigate by Charles Hawes which won the Newbery Medal in 1924.  Hawes published only two books in the early 1920s before his untimely death from a sudden illness.  The Dark Frigate tells the compelling story of a young man who is boatswain on a British ship that is commandeered by pirates, and from the first page, I was enthralled by both Hawes' writing style and the very true to life tale of danger on the high seas.  I know I mentioned the Newbery Medal books last week--I'm wondering if this will be a recurring theme--the best children's literature of the Twentieth Century.

Willow's Week was sunny and quiet.  How was yours?  Snow?  Rain?  Sun?  Loud?  Busy?  Relaxed?

25 comments:

Deb said...

Ah, those flowers are beautiful. Living in snow covered NH it seems like forever since I have seen color. If we get anymore snow here I am not sure where we will put it ~ seriously! Hard to believe that January is almost behind us...trying to enjoy EACH day, EACH moment ! Take care.

Tracy said...

Those camellias DAZZLE, Willow! Oh, so beautiful... and love the shades of pink. ;o) Sounds like a VERY good week there with you. Here it has been BUSY... a little too busy...LOL! But SUNNY at least...it hasn't snowed for a week here--me so HAPPY! Have a great weekend, my friend ((HUGS))

Jane said...

The camellia's are beautiful Willow, ours won't be out for another couple of months. But today we have sunshine although its chilly outside (2 celsius) brr. Soon the daffodils will be peeping through then it will feel as though spring is on its way. Happy Weekend Jane x

Dorothy said...

Willow, those camellias are just gorgeous! Especially to someone who is living with 6-8 inches of snow on the ground and at least a chance of snow in the forecast every one of the next seven days!

Bethany Hissong said...

Thanks for posting the beautiful photos of your camellias! You know about our 15 inches of snow! I love it though, as long as I can stay warm! I'm so thankful for shelter this week and that my family has stayed safe in it.

Marg said...

You have camellias and we have tulips...they are just poking out...
It true...FFF is an exercise to find some wonderful opportunities.
I like that K1 P1..Easy and relaxing.
Enjoy

ancient one said...

Seems you've had a wonderful start to the new year. Enjoyed reading your favorite fives today. The pictues of the camellias were great.

ellen b. said...

Dry, rain, rain, rain, sunny, dry, cloudy, rain soon. That's my week in a nutshell. The great thing is that for all the events we had to go to they ended up being on the dry days!
How fun to meet up with your friends in San Diego!
Have a wonderful weekend and I hope it's a warm one for you...

21st Century Housewife© said...

It sounds like you have had a lovely week, and those camellias are so beautiful! I've never had much luck growing them, but I think it might be the climate and not my (lack of) skills as a gardener! It's been a busy week here and it seems to have flown by, but it has been a really nice one too. It was warmer earlier in the week but my son has just come in and it has gone down to 32 degrees F outside - brrr!!

Barbara H. said...

Flowers blooming in January! Sounds heavenly!

So neat to get together with old friends!

We've run the gamut of weather this week, from snow to rain to sun.

Lisa notes... said...

I like warmer temps too. Glad you got to meet up with old friends. Always nourishing. I love your “relaxation reading.” I need to incorporate more of that into my life.

My week has been busy, as will be the weekend. But next week? I think it should be much quieter. Whew. :-)

Faith said...

beautiful flower pictures!! I can relate to the woman Deb on here....I live in NYS where we have lots of snow on the ground currently altho today is a "balmy" 34 degrees so it's slowly melting :)
My week was crazy busy but the evenings were fairly quiet....enjoy your weekend!!

snoopydog said...

Beautiful camellias, Willow! So lovely to see some rich colour durimng this rather dull and gloomy UK January. Sounds like you've had a great week;meeting old friends, reading a good book and some knitting. Perfect! Enjoy the weekend. Ros

Laura said...

The camellias are beautiful! And how nice to see family and friends this week!

I wish I could sit with you and learn to knit...!

Happy week ahead.

Kathie said...

I'm getting my gorgeous flower fix here :)

I don't think I've read The Dark Frigate - one of the few Newbery's that I haven't read. I'll have to check it out at the library.

Happy weekend Willow!

Karyn said...

The flower photos are beautiful - a lovely glimpse into summer for those of us who are still living in the land of snow and ice. :)

How fun to get together with old friends...especially ones you shared adventure with!

Brenda said...

We've had beautiful weather here in Northern CA as well. Its always nice to catch up with old friends, how nice for you!

Flower said...

A very good week..indeed! Doing ok here....I just deleted thousands of old emails! It is shocking how they pile up and so quickly!
Keep the flowers coming!

Anonymous said...

I love knowing you and family are doing well via the weekly blog! I just told John that it's a good thing there is lots of color inside, because unlike your sun and camillias, all I see out our windows is white and grey.
I'm going to look up that book at our library this afternoon. Mary

Roxie said...

Life in New Guinea left your blood too thin for the frigid north. Hooray for early camelias!

Jill Foley said...

gorgeous flowers! Thanks for stopping by my blog...the 30 day clutter bootcamp is such an encouraging book. It really is worth every penny (and then some) in my opinion. I love Tanja's blog (the author - www.minimalistpackrat.com). Not only is she a great writer, she responds to almost every comment and takes the time to build relationship with her readers. She's been following my journey through her book and is kind enough to leave me comments on almost every post!

M.Kate said...

Sunny and quiet life is what I want nowadays. However, its anything but that...sibuk sibuk selalu, especially with the Chinese New Year around the corner. I love those camelias..though they wont bloom much no matter how I induce them. Having time with family is the best and talking about knitting, my son often ask me when I am going to knit like other moms...Happy week ahead Kak Willow, big hugs...M

Kiti said...

Mama, it's so cold here, and we're looking for blizzard conditions in the next few days. It's an act of faith to live in a place like this, with real winter, and believe that eventually, spring will come.

On a change of topic, I'm hereby casting a vote for Willow to write her memoirs. She needs to record for posterity all those tales of 3-seater helicopters and crazy adventures. Who's with me? Cast your vote in the comments!!

Confirmation word: ovegic. This totally seems like a legitimate word, probably referring to a distinct style of organic gardening.

Caroline said...

Oh! I always enjoy camellias blooming. I don't think we have many blooming yet. It's been pretty chilly lately. I'm barely keeping up with my book club reads, but it's mostly poor time management. I want to make room to read some Newberry books again. I remember The Dark Frigate. Kai, of course, liked it, but Paige wasn't too interested.

Barbara said...

How nice that you could meet up with your old friends like that.
Cannot imagine Camellias at this time of year! Hard to keep them from going brown even in the summer here.

So true I have not known a January go so quickly.