Friday, April 09, 2021

Easter and More

It's Friday and time to celebrate Friday Fave Fives, the day many people band together HERE and voice their thanks for the blessings of the week.  Here is Willow's Week in five blessings.

Happy April!  April means warm weather, sunshine, rain, Easter, green leaves and spring flowers!  New life!  

1.  Resurrection Sunday!  The day we celebrated Jesus's resurrection from death and celebrate that we too have life in Him.  Our family attended church service together.  Then we met at Younger Daughter's home for a simple lunch (bringing our own meals, so no one was overwhelmed with cooking).  After that, we grabbed their doggies and drove to a favorite hiking place, Black Hand Gorge.  Walking along the trail next to the river, we noticed that the green was just beginning to pop out.

2.  Spring is really here.  This week, just two days later, the trees are blooming and showing their leaves.  And I discovered grape hyacinths in my front yard!

3.  My granddaughter is running track for the first time.  So of course we had to attend her first meet!

As my daughter said, "Do you know how hard it is to photograph that girl running at top speed?"  (Yes, they won the relay race.)

4.  It was late when we drove home after the meet.  So we all decided that Chipotle was a good option.

5.  Because I had to pick up a prescription at the grocery store pharmacy, I thought to ask about covid vaccines since we have been unable to schedule any appointments.  We left our names and cell numbers for any cancellation opportunities, and a few days later, we received a call.  "Can you come in this afternoon?"  Yep.  So The Professor and I both have our first shots.

There are always so many more blessings in our lives each week if we just look for them!

Friday, April 02, 2021

Five Faves From a Road Trip

It's Friday.  Friday Fave Fives, that is.  Here is Willow's Week in five wonderful memories.

Since this is Spring Break week for The New Boy, his mom suggested a Spring Break road trip.  We had only a two day opening because of commitments, but we decided to 'go for it'!  We all love to travel and explore and this week we marked off two more destinations and discovered a third gem.

1.  Where did we go?

2.  On our way, we drove just a bit north and a lot east and visited the Point of Beginning which is located at the spot where Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia meet.  The actual spot is, of course, in the middle of the Ohio River.  But there is a small spot on the road side that commemorates the establishment of the surveying of public lands in 1785.  Yes, all the engineering geeks had to get out and stand on the spot.

3.  Then we crossed over the Ohio River and entered West Virginia!  I have driven through West Virginia numerous times, but I had never really stopped to visit any place.  Our first destination there was Moundville which is the site of the Grave Creek Mound (an ancient mound probably built by the Hopewell Indians hundreds of years ago).  We had just enough time to walk to the top of the mound and spend less than a half hour in the museum.  What a treasure it is!

There is a huge prison across the street which was closed in the 1990s.  The building is amazing.  Although it wasn't open, we drove around it and checked out the architecture.

4.  Older Daughter had booked us into an Air BnB in Wheeling.  We chose to stay in Wheeling simply for convenience, not really realizing just what an adorable city it is.  Located on the east bank of the Ohio River, Wheeling has a lovely old downtown area where many of the buildings are on the National Register of Historic Homes and Places.  After we checked in, we walked to find a dinner option.  The New Boy's job was to research and find restaurants.  He happily fulfilled his assignment and we happily filled our tummies at a local Chinese restaurant.

After dinner, we walked along the river front.  The weather was perfect, and so was the view.  The others may have gotten a bit tired of me exclaiming, "Oh!  This looks exactly like the Willamette River in Portland!"  And "This is so much like the Columbia River!" [ I may have sent several photos to my brother who may have responded, "Yep.  Very similar."]

5.  In the morning, we walked again the four blocks to enjoy our coffee and breakfast at a local coffee spot which had a perfect view  from the back of the shop overlooking the Ohio River.  If you're ever in Wheeling, stop at Mugshots!

Because we had an appointment in the afternoon, we booked it back to Ohio.  

All the way home, we all promised ourselves "We'll be back! West Virginia is amazing!"

BONUS:  It's Good Friday!  Almost Easter!

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Wednesday Hodgepodge, End of March

Good morning!  It's Wednesday and the last day of March!  Here are my answers to the Wednesday Hodgepodge questions shared by Joyce at From This Side Of The Pond.  Follow the link!

From this Side of the Pond

1.  The Hodgepodge lands on the last day of ten words or less bid, the month adieu.

        March was shamrocks, birthdays, daffodils.
        Bye, 'til we meet again.

2.  March 31st is National Tater Day...your favorite way to have a potato?  Given a choice would you opt for sweet, white, or red?  How often are potatoes on your menu in one form or another?  Ever been to Idaho?  If not, is that a state you'd like to visit someday?

        I love my white potatoes mashed.  I do love sweet potatoes; they must be savory not sweet.  I would say that potatoes are most likely to be added to soups at our house, about once a month.
        Idaho is the state just east of my home state where I was born and raised, Oregon.  So yes, I've been to Idaho more times than I can count.  My memory is that the first time I crossed the Snake River into Idaho was when our high school choir met in Boise for a musicale with other Christian high school choirs from the Pacific Northwest.
        Recently, several friends have moved to Idaho from California, so I would always like to visit them.
3.  Last time someone or something 'rained on your parade'?  Explain.
        Currently, I am on a short road trip with The Professor, Older Daughter and Grandson.  Grandson, The New Boy, has been in charge of finding restaurants.  He chose the perfect one we all wanted to try and it was just a few blocks from our Air BnB.  What disappointment!  The restaurant is closed until Friday for renovations/construction work.  We were sad, especially New Boy.  But we found another wonderful place to have dinner.

4.  Put all your eggs in one basket, get cracking, nest egg, bad egg, good egg, egg on, have egg on your face, or walk on eggshells...choose a phrase from the list that applies to something in your life currently and tell us how or why.

        It's time for me to 'get cracking' on starting seeds for my garden!

5.  If I visited your home would I find a lot of baskets there?  Something you like to keep in a basket?

        I think I have maybe four baskets in my whole house.  Two are in my studio room, filled with yarn and knitted items (mostly hats).  In the family room, there is a basket filled with some of my handknitted blankets, folded and waiting for someone to grab and cuddle in if they are cold.  The fourth basket is empty and sitting on the landing at the top of the stairs.  When we moved in the house in October, I plopped it there, and it hasn't moved (but it is kinda cute).

6.  Inset your own random thought here.

        Have you ever heard of Longaberger Baskets?  The company built their headquarters to look like a huge basket.  It's in the county where I live now. 

 Yep.  It's a real place. (BTW, it's for sale, if you're interested...)

Saturday, March 27, 2021

All About Daffodils

 I love daffodils.  I always have.  I always will.  Perhaps I come by my love of these cheerful yellow spring flowers honestly.  It seems like daffodils are the preferred spring flower of England (and yes, I am half English heritage).  In searching for photos of sheep,  I found picture after picture of daffodils from our trip to England in March and April 2019.  Enjoy!

Daffodils with Tintagel in the background

Daffodils gracing the Cornish hedgerows


 Glastonbury Abbey daffodils 

Daffodils in the middle of a field near Avebury

Daffodils decorating York town wall


Friday, March 26, 2021

Windy Week

 Wow!  This past week has flown by.  Literally.  We have been experiencing extremely strong winds.  Older Daughter's power is out, but at least we have not had any tornados.  It's time for Willow's Willow summed up with FRIDAY FAVE FIVES. The link will take you to where you can read other FFFs and join in, too, if you wish.

1.  SPRING flowers!  Lots of daffodils.  (Yes, I mentioned that last week, but these daffodils make me happy all day long!)

2.  More HIKES and WALKS.  Just like last week.  Notice a pattern here?  I do love being outside seeing God's creation, even if the trails are muddy.

3.  The Professor and I also ventured out on our BIKES this week.  We are slowly working up to longer rides.

4.  I asked my grandson The New Boy what I did this week.  His response:  You taught me alliteration.  Ah, yes.  I enjoy TEACHING writing/composition and find it fun to teach my grandson as part of his homeschool curriculum.

5.  My art group friends and I were 'zooming' this week, discussing the book we chose to read for Lent.  As usual, we got a bit off topic and our conversation ended up at this quote (which I have written over one of my photos.

Friday, March 19, 2021

Celebrating St. Patrick and Spring!

 Did you know that the Spring equinox is this weekend?  In my time zone, spring will arrive at 11:48 tonight!  Today the weather is celebrating with sunshine (and a lot of wind thrown in for 'interest').  Since it is also Friday, I am celebrating Spring with Friday Fave Fives, my weekly collection of examples of gratitude.  This is the link to join Susanne and others in being thankful on Fridays.

1.  This is my birthday week.  Yes, I was born on St. Patrick's Day!  I appreciate how people celebrate my birthday with parades and parties and green things like beer and shamrocks.  Here at Willow's Cottage, we enjoyed a meal together.  All my family called or came by.  One of my favorite things is that my six year old grandgirl informed me that March 17th is not St. Patrick's birthday; it's the day he died.  (She looked up that information on her own!)

2.  Lots of cards from friends.  I love receiving snail mail.  Oh!  And a package, too!

3.  A week can't go by without my being happy for hikes.  In fact, we did two hikes as well as a couple of shorter trail walks.  On Sunday we explored Infirmary Mound Park, which is a 316 acre park that includes a prehistoric Hopewell mound. 

Then on Wednesday, we visited the arboretum and hiked on the east side which is described as for 'our more adventurous visitors'.  That area also has a pre-historic mound.

4.  My younger daughter and I "attended" a baby shower for one of her life long friends.  "Attended" means it was a zoom shower.  Mom-to-be's mother lives even farther away than we do, so there were people from all over the US attending the shower.  Yes, that is the baby for whom I made that hoodie sweater (I'll have to ask her for a picture!).  I'm so glad we were able to celebrate with this sweet family.

5.  The garden progresses!  I love being surprised by what shows up in this garden.  I have positive identification on three flowers.  Crocus.  Yes.  Daffodils.  Yes.  Tulips.  Yes.

And here is a bonus.  A bit of St. Patrick's Day humor.

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

St. Patrick's Day!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Here are some fun answers to Hodgepodge for this week.  Click on the picture to join in.

                                                From this Side of the Pond

 1.  This week's Hodgepodge lands on St. Patrick's Day.  Will you wear green?  Eat corned beef and cabbage?  Drink green beer?  Have you even been to Ireland?  Is it on your travel 'bucket list'?

        I am wearing green.  And shamrock necklace and earrings.  No corned beef and cabbage and no green beer. I am choosing all my favorite foods for dinner tonight. Why?  Because it's my birthday!!  We will have triple berry pie for dessert.

         Although I haven't been there yet, I do want to visit Ireland and find out more about where one of my ancestresses lived there.

2.  Something you think is 'worth its weight in gold'?

         Obviously, my morning coffee!  And shamrocks!

3.  Something that makes you 'green around the gills'?

         Very few things bother me.  I don't mind bugs, spiders, dead things.  Except snakes.  I don't like snakes.  What makes me 'green'?  Turbulent airplane rides.

4.  What puts a 'spring in your step' these days?


5.  Write a limerick using one of the following as your theme...March, St. Patrick's Day, Covid, 2020 and/or 2021, the color green, or life lately.  Yes, you can do it.

          There was a St Pat’s girl who wore green

Every Irish birthday she could be seen

Sporting a shamrock

And bright colored sock

And drinking her liquid coffee bean.

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

             It's a perfect birthday today!  Sunshine and blue skies!  Calls from my kids and favorite (only) brother!  Birthday dinner and birthday pie to look forward to this evening!