Friday, July 12, 2024

Home Sweet Home!

 Yes, we are home.  In Ohio.  I was away for three and a half weeks.  And I am so happy to sleep in my own bed again (I guess that could be my first Fave of the week.).  I am still having photo issues, but I will see what I can do to post pictures.  Otherwise, please come back during the week for an Ireland, England, Wales photo dump.

Here are my Friday Fave Fives for this past week. (the link takes you to Susanne's blog where you can join in or read more FFFs)

1.  Safe trips home for all of us.  The stages of the trip for The Professor and me included a ferry boat ride across the Irish Sea and two airplane flights.

2.  On the flights, I was able to sit next to The Professor partly because people were willing to swap places with me.  I deeply appreciate the kind people on those flights.

3.  OK, back to a few highlights of our trip.  We spent five nights in Wales, at Conwy.  Wow!  Our windows looked out over the small town toward Conwy Castle.  Can you imagine living in a place where you could view a castle built almost eight hundred years ago?

4.  We took a train along the Conwy River, and then a cable car to an old copper mine called Great Orme Mines.  Maybe walking down into the mine wasn't my favorite part of the visit, but it was amazing to see where ancient people were mining copper a LONG time ago.  Yes, we love history.

Enter at your own risk!
Archaeologists are working in here.

It's a long way down-- thirty-five meters underground.

The light at the end of the tunnel!

5.  I have to give credit to our favorite coffee shop in Conwy, Cantin Cafe.  We enjoyed coffee and delicious fresh bakery snacks.  And the servers were delightful.

Now, I will see what I can do to add some photos to this post.  I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, July 04, 2024

Still on The Road

Have you wondered what has happened to Willow? I am still traveling. Yes, this is a long trip. Where has Willow been? Ireland was my first stop. Dublin to Glasgow via several places, then back to Dublin. Then I flew to London to meet up with my family.  After one night in London, we headed south to Hastings and then west to Poole.  Some family returned home. The Professor and I and Older Daughter journeyed to Telford and Ironbridge, and now we are in North Wales!  This is my view from the airbnb window right now as I am writing this post. That castle in the background is Conwy Castle.

Anyway,  I am here to let you know I am fine and I am writing my Friday Fave Fives after two weeks of being MIA.  Sadly, there will be very few photos until I return home. That camera of mine is being persnickety and won't talk to my tablet. (Follow this link to Susanne's blog to join in on the FFFs. (

1. Safe travel is a major point of thankfulness.  I have been on three airplanes, numerous busses, and too many trains to count. I never never take safe travel for granted.

2. Wonderful travel companions in Ireland. For the first time,  I was on a tour. Everything was planned and cared for including most meals and all hotels and activities.  I loved it all and am enthralled with Ireland-- the land, the people, the SHEEP, the music. How thankful I am for all that I experienced in Ireland!

3.   I am thankful for so many kind and friendly people who have helped us find our way when we were lost or who merely paused to converse with us.

4.  Dreams come true for grandchildren.  Z wanted to see Taylor Swift's concert and go to Bath. Check.  Warrior Boy got to visit Tankfest and the National Tank Museum.  Check.  Tall Boy had his return visit to Corfe Castle.  Check.

Corfe Castle


Eleanor at one of the windows in a guard tower

5.  The rest of this trip is seeing places on The Professor's bucket list.  Ironbridge Gorge was amazing! We loved this small town (I could live there!), a very important place in the history of the industrial revolution of the world.  Now we are in North Wales, possibly a place from where some of his ancestors may have originated.  We are all so thankful for this amazing opportunity to travel.

I am hoping I will be able to soon post photos and more photos. Maybe it won't happen until I am back on home turf again. Stay tuned.

Thursday, June 13, 2024

Food, Fellowship, Family and Knitting

It has been a  crazy week.  I have been busy preparing for an international trip; I should say "We".  We are leaving on a jet plane (actually, three different jet planes)--our two daughters, three teenage grandchildren and a friend.  Eight people in the party.  Eight very excited people.  But in the midst there have been a couple of hard things... our daughters' home had a water pipe burst which caused some flooding in the house.  Don't worry!  Servpro is on it!  And the plumber is on it!  Sometimes this week, I have had to stop and hit the reset button and remind myself of the good things.  Like a momentous trip.  Fellowship.  And of course, knitting.  These are the Friday Fave Fives Friday Fave Fives I am sharing for this mid June week.

1.  Sunday evening we were invited to dinner with a young couple.  She and I know each other from Bible Study group.  You know how sometimes you just 'click' with someone.  We enjoyed our wonderful dinner and great fellowship.  Their four sweet children were just a delight, too.

2. Of course, on the way out to their home, we drove through some lovely farmland.  And farmland has barns!

3.  I finished the vest I was knitting for my friend for her birthday.  The yarn came from a local alpaca farm.  When the owners sell their yarn from the flock, they label each skein with the alpaca's name.  According to the label, I knitted fiber from (oops, I can't find its name).

4.  All the little things that you realize you need to travel... I think I have them.  I made a list and The Professor and I made more than one quick run to the store.  Travel size sun screen,  Check,   Sanitizer, another small bottle,  Check.  Travel mending kit with needles and thread,  Check. 

5.  Dinner with our travel buddies.  We got together a meal on Tuesday evening and ironed out various things like exact dates, exact addresses for AirBnBs, Exact times and places for events we are interested in.   Needless to say, the atmosphere was exciting.  And we accomplished a great deal.

Now, I'm off to check my bag.  Again!  And remind myself of All The Blessings of this week.

Friday, June 07, 2024

Friday Fave Fives, First Week of June

Today is Friday.  I can't believe it has been a whole week since I wrote anything here on Willowscottage blog.  I've been thinking about posting the information and photos of my most recent finished knitting project.  Hopefully, I can do that tomorrow.  But anyway, since it is Friday, it is time for me to write about all the blessings of this past week.  Well, at least Five of them.  Here are my Friday Fave FivesFriday Fave Fives.  (follow the link to join in and read more)

1.  Who doesn't love a bonfire? We had a great time at The Hive (daughters' home) burning lots and lots of papers and a few logs. Tall Boy burned his papers from this past school year.  I helped burn some other unneeded papers. So much fun! I love bonfires!

2.  Saturday morning I joined some friends at a coffee shop in a town south of us and then enjoyed the rest of the morning wandering around a huge antique mall. I think I was the only one who didn't buy anything. But it was fun.

3.  Then we attended the high school graduation party for a young man. Love those celebrations!

4.  Tuesday night was an important evening for our grandsons. They are both members of Trail Life (similar to Boy Scouts). The troop had their Crossover Ceremony, which is for graduating boys up to the next age group.  Our Warrior Boy is now in Adventurers (high school) group with Tall Boy. I am so proud of these young men.

5.  And who doesn't love a nice rainstorm?  The main reason this is a fave this week is that having a healthy downpour means I don't have to water the garden.  And truly, I enjoy watching the rain drops falling.  And I love the smell after the rain. It must be the Oregon native in me.  Every time it rains, I am thankful for how God waters my garden.

And a yellow finch came to visit!

I hope you have had a great week, too!

Friday, May 31, 2024

The Last Day of May!

 It is the last day of May!  We are five-twelfths through the year.  Crazy!  And it's Friday and time for Friday Fave Fives with Susanne as our host.  Every week, we think back on our days and find five ways we have been blessed.  I find this exercise to be helpful for me to focus on all the good things in my life and to help me not wallow in the difficulties.  The LINK takes you to Susanne's blog where you can read more and join us.

1.  My laptop is back up and running well.  The Professor found a local guy who does this kind of repair from his home, and his place is walking distance from our house.  Saturday afternoon, we walked over and picked up the computer and had a great chat with him. (one thing I love about Ohio-- people are friendly)

2.  As I checked my little 'diary' where I keep an account of each day's happenings, I noticed that EVERY DAY this week I wrote that I worked in the garden.  My garden is my happy place.  I am so thankful that I have the space to mess with plants on the east, west, north and south sides of our home.

3.  One afternoon, our neighbor was out doing some cleaning with her power washer.  She ended up cleaning our (hers and ours) front sidewalk.  When I thanked her, she replied that she was having fun.  And the sidewalk looks like new!

4.  Our garage clean up is almost done!  We can again park our car in the garage.  The past two days, The Professor has been putting up wall hangings for our garden tools.  Am I weird to love an orderly garage?

5.  For the second week in a row, we have invited people for dinner at our house.  This youngerish couple used to be in our life group at church, but they have moved to a church closer to their home.  We miss them, so we've been having meals together regularly just to catch up on life.

And now for a bit of a photo dump...

the wedding~

Father escorting his daughter down the 'aisle'.  (note Tall Boy in the background in charge of sound)

Prayer of dedication

Cutting the cake at the reception

Sunset on a stormy evening

I am so happy to have my computer back in working order!

Wednesday, May 29, 2024

The Colors of Spring

 Here is proof that my laptop is functioning again!

All the colors in Willow's garden!

The bees and butterflies approve.

Even the mallard ducks dropped in to check out my garden!

Friday, May 24, 2024

Fave Fives for Late May

 There is some progress being made on the recovery of my laptop. Maybe, just maybe, we may have access today to the replacement fan.  Waiting for that text on The Professor's phone.   In the meantime, I am taking photos but can't move them from my camera.

Anyway,  this week has still moved quickly.  The weather has bloomed into true late spring. Warm, humid, with cloudy arriving carrying bouts of rainfall.  Tall Boy was finally able to mow our lawn yesterday. It looks great!  The flowers in the pollinators garden are blooming. The bees are happy.

What else could we wish for? What else has blessed us this week? Here are five more happy events.  I am linking my Friday Fave Fives to Susanne's blog (

1. In anticipation of some more active weeks traveling, I have been working with a young woman doing some strength training. While I tease her that she's killing me, I do appreciate how she is pushing me to improve my upper body strength.

2.  Our handyman came back this week and power washed our house. It sure needed it. And now it looks great.

3.  I am almost finished with knitting a vest for a friend. All I need to do is have her try it on and then sew up the sides. It was made from the wool of local alpaca.   Photos hopefully coming soon.

4.  Our younger grandson, Warrior Boy, graduated from eighth grade this week.  How did this happen? So proud of the progress he has made.

5.  Two dinners with friends. We love the food but especially the fellowship.

BONUS! I SAVED THE BEST UNTIL LAST.  S and S were married last Saturday!  Who are they? You may recall that a family foursome who we call our kids and grandkids moved from SoCal about two years ago.  We have known them for more than twenty years. The younger son married his sweetheart on Saturday! And now we have another granddaughter!

Random photos of the south coast of England (Jurassic Coast) for your enjoyment of the beauty of this area (from April 2022).

And of course Eleanor wanted to have her picture too!