Merry Christmas Week! Are you tired and overwhelmed from all the festivities? It's time to stop, breathe, relax, and count your blessings. I've been away from home a long time. But this week most of our family was together to celebrate. Only Chaplain Dan and his wife and PAL were missing although we were able to Skype with them on Christmas Day. Here are my Friday Fave Five blessings from this week.
1. Everyone was hoping for a White Christmas. Me? I'm thankful we DIDN'T have one.
2. My gift from my son (we draw names among the adults since we really don't need more stuff) was a subscription to ancestry.com. I am a truly happy mommy.
3. But my absolute favorite present was a book The Professor knew I wanted because I had checked it out of the library numerous times and devoured it cover to cover. He totally surprised me!
4. I have been deeply touched by the friendliness and loving care of my daughter's friends who have helped provide meals, cleaning sessions, respite care (ie: babysitting), transportation. They have a wonderful support group and that makes my mommy's heart so happy.
5. I am still working my way through the photos I took in England. Slowly. Here are two of my favorite people in London.
Finally, I am returning to blogland! This past month has been truly crazy. As I mentioned, I spent a week in ENGLAND with my older daughter. Then I returned to the mid Atlantic east coast and have been here helping my younger during and after her surgery. So now it is almost CHRISTMAS.
I considered writing a Friday Fave Five about the five weeks I haven't posted anything, but I think that I will just mention what pops into my head.
1. How can I not love love love England? I will post more details later but here is one of my favorite photos of my girl. We were hiking around Avebury searching for the Long Barrow.
And here she is standing in front of one of the stones in Avebury.
2. Eleanor Elizabeth decided to join us on our trip. She had been to England with me in June 2008. She did request that I make her a pair of wellies since this time it was autumn and we knew it would be rainy. I do enjoy sharing my adventures with my bunny.
3. My love language is spending quality time with people. I've loved having all these days with my younger daughter although she has been in pain and recovering from surgery.
4. Christmas is happening for most of our family at Younger Daughter's house. The Professor and Dr. Mike arrived late last night. Older Daughter and The New Boy will be here within 24 hours!
5. And finally, I love Christmas! A Very Merry Christmas to you!
Greetings from the East Coast! I'm here in the mid Atlantic states having arrived Wednesday (which is why I didn't get around to visit people for Fave Fives last weekend--craziness at Willow's Cottage as I prepared for travel. Not even any photos...). So I will endeavor to post today and then visit others posting at Friday Fave Fives before I head out again on a jet plane tomorrow evening.
OK, first things first.
1. I'm thankful for a safe flight across the US. Not being an intrepid flyer, I am so very grateful when the plane touches down and I can state those famous words of our MAF jungle pilot in Papua, "Cheated death again!"
2. I am thankful for The Professor who encourages me to take these adventures, sometimes without him. I miss him when we're apart, but I know we're never very far apart in thought and spirit.
3. Those hugs and kisses when the car pulls up at airport arrivals and everyone yells, "Meema!"
4. I am thankful that my daughter (The New Boy's mom) wants to travel with me. It's a privilege and joy to have special times with my adult children.
5. Finally, I am thankful and excited that I have the chance to visit ENGLAND with my girl! Leaving tomorrow! So maybe I'll be able to visit a few blogs. I'll try!
On Saturday afternoon, The Professor and I decided that a hike was a great choice of activity. Where to hike? Obviously since we live on the edge of the Santa Monica Mountains, it was a easy choice to hike one of our favorite areas.
The main trail in Point Mugu State Park runs from the beach at Pacific Coast Highway just north of Malibu up into the Santa Monica Mountains to Thousand Oaks. This trail is paved and is very popular with mountain bikers as well as hikers.
It's seven miles to the beach from here.
See that canyon? In a normal rainy year, there is water in the creek. These days, it's just dry brush.
The Professor and I walked down to where a secondary trail splits off and follows the creek up to the falls. Then we turned around and hiked back up the trail.
This entire area was burned in the Camarillo Springs Fire three and a half years ago. You can still see the dead trees and brush although there is new growth sprouting from the ashes and dead branches.
The madrone bushes are growing back. You can always tell the madrones by their red trunks and branches.
Our Saturday hike was just what we needed. A few miles of walking in quietness, in nature.
It's already November?? Wow. Eleventh month of the year 2016. Traditionally, in the US, November is the month of Thanksgiving. I think it's important to be thankful every day, not just for a month or a few days in November. That's why I delight inFriday Fave Fives.
1. Here is the proof that it rains in Southern California. On Sunday, it rained!
2. The monarch butterfly caterpillars are back again, chomping on the milkweed. I had read that monarchs return several times during a single season to lay eggs. Fortunately, the milkweed plants, which is their only food, have been growing well this year. I found one chrysalis but because of its position hanging from a dead branch I haven't been able to photograph it easily. (I'll keep trying.)
3. Here is a yummy fave! This is an update on the sweet potatoes I planted in the spring. So far, I've pulled up less than one fourth of the plants and I have a lot of tubers. Admittedly some of them are weirdly shaped probably because they were confined to a pot. But they'll still taste fine, right? I'm super excited! My first sweet potatoes!
4. Although I'm trying to knit down my yarn stash, sometimes I need to purchase a skein to finish a project. I'm thankful for sales and coupons to keep the cost down. This week I scored yarn for a baby vest to give a sweet little one who is outgrowing the one I gave her a few months ago.
5. This quote: A Garden is a Delight to the Eye and a Solace for the Soul.
And this one: The Earth Laughs in Flowers.
(Ralph Waldo Emerson)
Flowers from my garden this week. I laugh in delight and find solace in my garden.