Friday, April 21, 2017

Fave Fives on the Go

Friday night! Yikes! I'm late for writing up my Fave Fives! What happened?  Well, remember that last week I mentioned planning a trip to visit kids?  I flew across the US on Tuesday and have been catching up with jet lag since then.  But I am still thankful for so much!

1.  A long lunch with a dear friend.  Just to catch up before I left.  And the view was pretty good too.

Channel Islands Harbor


2.  Easter Sunday service.  It was a wonderful time to celebrate our Savior's resurrection.

3.  A safe flight.  One fun fact is that I was sitting next to a woman who shares a mutual friend with me!  Talk about a small world!

4.  The flora here on this side of the US is different, and I'm enjoying watching the trees (eastern redbud? and dogwood?) in bloom across the street from my daughter's home.  Also, these little gems are blooming in the back yard grass.  I love them!

When I was a child in Oregon, we called these buttercups.


Violets!


Do you see the bee that photobombed this picture?
(bottom left corner)


I know people think dandelions are a weed, but I think they're cute and useful.


These are (I think) Virginia bluebells.  I had to look up some pictures to compare.


5.  I have loved seeing how my daughter is blooming here in her chosen home.   Lunch with co workers.  Coffee at the local indie coffee place where the baristas know her by name.  Even the people at the grocery store say hi.

I will be on the go a lot for the next two weeks while I'm visiting.  I think the New Boy and I will be doing some fun things.  Like playing chess, for example.  And stacking up memories.

Friday, April 14, 2017

April Good Friday

This year Easter is late.  Today, Good Friday, is the second Friday of April.  That's about as late as it can get.  Our April weather is typical although today the sun is shining.  I have plans to be outdoors digging in the dirt and enjoying that sunshine.  But before I venture out, I want to share my Friday Fave Fives with you all.

1.  During the school semesters, The Professor and I don't always have extra time to hike and walk (except for our nightly neighborhood walks), so it was a treat to walk along Calleguas Creek on the bike path Saturday afternoon.  Views of the creek aren't that exciting since unless it has just rained the creek bed is a dry arroyo filled with various stands of native and non native trees and shrubs.  However, the plantings along the path are beautiful.  We especially enjoyed what I called the blue spires plant (anyone know the real name?).


The bees love them, too.



2.  On Tuesday, our artists group met.  The hostess has hung many of her paintings in her living and dining rooms.  I noticed that she favors various shades of turquoise/aqua which are my favorites, too.  I have been inspired to begin switching out the cobalt and blue in my decor for more aqua.  One thing I did already is move my sweet shamrock plant to a turquoise pot and put the cobalt pot it was in into the outside garden.


3.  My daughter-in-law, PAL's mom, asked for an afghan.  She chose the zigzag blanket pattern from pickles.no.  I've just reached the halfway point on it!  Love the Arizona desert colors she picked

.
4.  About my garden--- the tangerine tree produced an abundance of fruit last year.  It comes ripe in December which is wonderful because I can open my door, walk across the patio and pull off a sweet orangey, tangy ball of yumminess and eat it when no other fruit is in season.  I hadn't even finished picking all the fruit before that tree pushed out buds and flowers were blooming.  Thank you, Rain!  If the amount of flowers is any indication, it looks like we will have an abundance of tangerines again this winter.



5.  As I noted above, it's Good Friday.  This evening we will join others in our congregation in attending our Good Friday service.  Today I've been thinking of a hymn I have sung since I was a young child.  Here are the first and fifth verses.


Beneath the cross of Jesus
  I fain would take my stand,
The shadow of a mighty Rock
  Within a weary land;
A home within the wilderness,
  A rest upon the way,
From the burning of the noontide heat,
  And the burden of the day.


I take, O cross, thy shadow
For my abiding place;
I ask no other sunshine than
The sunshine of His face;
Content to let the world go by,
To know no gain nor loss,
My sinful self my only shame,
My glory all the cross.


HAPPY EASTER!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Some Things That Make Me Happy.

Reading-- Tony Hillerman mystery novels.  A friend introduced me to Hillerman.  I read one book.  I checked out four more. I might be on a binge.

Looking for tickets--- another trip to visit children.

Enjoying my garden-- the monarch butterfly caterpillars are back!  This morning I found three caterpillars on one bush.  I'm sure that soon there will be more chomping away at the leaves.



Knitting-- an afghan for my daughter-in-law.  ZigZag Blanket pattern from pickles.no in four Arizona Desert colors.  No photos yet.  Also, I will be starting a pair of fingerless gloves for someone--a commission.

Learning-- I am taking an online class in Introductory Herbal Medicines.  I'm just in to my second video and already learning and enjoying it.  Also, I decided to get over my fear of crossword puzzles and have been doing the 'easy' puzzle in the local paper every day.  Fortunately, I'm married to the crossword king, so I can ask for hints when I am stuck.

Preparing--- for Good Friday and Easter.  Just focusing on prayers of Holy Week.

Thursday, April 06, 2017

April Means Spring

I think Spring is my favorite season in Southern California.  The weather is wonderful.  The flowers are fantastic.  Here are Friday Fave Fives about Spring (mostly) that I love and look forward to each year.

1.  On Saturday I took my spinning wheel and some llama fiber to California Lutheran University's campus to join a couple of other spinners from the weavers and spinners guild and demonstrate spinning at the Scandinavian Festival.  (A historical note here:  many Scandinavian people settled in the area where I live between Los Angeles and Santa Barbara.  The street names are an interesting mix of Scandinavian and Spanish words.  There's even a road up the hill to the next town called Norwegian Grade.)  Every spring there is a big festival to celebrate everything Scandinavian.  I enjoy participating and showing people how fibers were and are used in creating yarn for knitted and woven fabrics.  I didn't have time to take any photos.  But if I had a nickel for every photo taken of me that day, I'd be rich.

2.  Spring means the monarch butterflies are back!  We have planted milkweed in our garden to entice the butterflies to return each year during their migration up and down the Pacific coast.


3.  Those two toned poppies I saw at the beach and mentioned last week?  Well, they popped up in my garden this week.


4.  Spring here in coastal Southern California means morning fog.  Around here, we talk about May Gray and June Gloom and joke that our monthly forecast is "early morning coastal fog and low clouds, giving way later in the day to sunshine."  Every, Day.  This week we've had April Haze on the mountains above our neighborhood.  It's beautiful!


5.  Finally, I decided to listen to my optometrist and my husband.  I bought a pair of sunglasses and picked them up this week.  I wore them out of the office into the sunshine, and my first thought was, "Hey!  I'm not squinting!"


I hope you are enjoying Spring!

Friday, March 31, 2017

March--Out Like a Lamb

Here it is Friday already.  I had planned to post another England Adventure, but, oops, time got away from me.  So I am posting Willow's Week in Friday Fave Fives on this last day of March. Our weather is wonderful and warm.  The sun is shining!

1.  I finished  a cowl for a friend who will be wearing it in Ireland next week.  Details, if you are interested-- Size 9 needles, Red Heart Soft yarn, 161 stitches,


2.  Time out for a walk at the beach.


Ventura Pier from both directions


I have NO idea WHY there were numerous driftwood shacks built along the shore between the pier and Surfer's Point.  But they are fun art creations.






3.  I can't get enough of the California poppies.  These were growing in the dunes and are unusual because they are two colored--orange and yellow.



4.  Our car needed some body work done on it.  Finally, after many delays, I was able to take it in this week since I had a day and a half when I wouldn't need my car.  The result of the mechanic's magic on the hood makes my car look like new!  We have the best mechanic ever!  He is kind, thoughtful, and fair, and he does excellent work.

5.  An evening at the university.  The Professor had worked on the lighting and worked during the rehearsal so we decided to attend the concert.  Perla Batalla singing Leonard Cohen songs.  What impressed me as much as Batalla's singing (LOVE her voice!) were the session musicians--keyboard, bass, drums, lute, and violin--who were excellent.  (This in no way makes a statement about Cohen's lyrics, which I personally find a bit weird--but his melodies are fantastic.)

Just for fun--more beach photos.




Enjoy your weekend, friends!  Watch for those favorites in your life!

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.