Wednesday, July 30, 2008

An Award

I have been a poor blogger lately. I've been sporadic at best at reading and commenting and even less consistent with posting. I have been traveling a lot and of course been absolutedly engrossed in entertaining the New Boy. At least that's my excuse, and I'm sticking to it.

Anyway. In the past two weeks, I have received three awards from Red Yarn, Violet Lady and Flower. I am truly honored and I get so completely thrilled when I am awarded recognition like this. This is the award...Brillante Weblog Premio~ 2008!

The award Beth gave me said I had to write an acceptance speech. So, here it is!

"I want to thank Beth for nominating me for this award! She certainly deserves this award as much as anyone. Her artwork is joyous and I love visiting her blog to see what new pictures and recipes she has shared. I would also like to thank Violet Lady. She makes me smile, especially when she writes about how much she loves cabins. I would also like to thank my blog buddies for their support, comments and encouragement. I really do think about what I am planning to write (all the time) and who will read my words and look at my photos. My children deserve the credit for encouraging me to start this blog, develop my talents as a knitter and writer and open a website and sell my handspun yarn and various original creations (coming soon, I hope!). The Professor is my constant companion and biggest supporter and fan, and he aids and abets my photography habit/addiction by stopping or turning around as we're driving somewhere so I can get a better shot, tries to hold me accountable to not buy more yarn for my stash this year, and makes me a latte every morning. I love the fact that the blogging world has brought me much joy through meeting other bloggers virtually and in person, reading and learning about their lives."

Flower gave me this award, too. Her version of the acceptance speech says I am to write six random things that are true about me today. My six random things are:

1. I am enchanted with my grandson. When he is visiting Willow's Cottage with his mama, I spend my day trying to make him laugh. We've discovered that Arnold impersonations and peekaboo make him chortle and laugh his adorable little belly laugh.

2. My blog name is Willow because when I worked at a summer camp I had to choose a bird name for myself and I chose a willow finch because I have blonde hair. The name got shortened to Willow and I've been Willow ever since to an ever increasing group of people.

3. I love reading about history. Right now I'm reading The Bounty by Caroline Alexander, which is the true story of the mutiny by Fletcher Christian against Captain Bligh near Tahiti.

4. I like Pepsi but I don't drink it anymore. I quit drinking it several years ago to save the calcium in my bones.

5. I do not like the color orange. Just don't like it.

6. I am knitting a bunny for my grandson (see #1). I put grey and white yarn out and he grabbed the white yarn, so he's getting a white bunny. I also laid out several colors of yarn and twice he chose the navy, so Edward Bunny Rabbit is getting a knitted navy shirt. Edward looks like Eleanor Elizabeth Rabbit whose photo is on my side bar, except he's made of acrylic yarn instead of handspun and hand dyed wool.

Here are the rules for accepting and passing on the award.

1. Please put the logo on your blog.
2. Add a link to the person who awarded you.
3. You must nominate 7 fellow bloggers for this award.
4. Add links to the recipients.
5. Leave a comment so the recipients know they have received an award. 6. Write an acceptance speech in the style of the Academy Awards, thanking everybody's mother, father, sister, brother, aunties and uncles and kitchen staff at your favorite restaurant! OR write 6 random facts about yourself.

Now, I want to give this award to the following seven people:
Knitting Linguist-- I love reading this blog. Great and witty writing and I even understand when she writes about linguistics.

Ramblings from an English Garden-- A dear and generous friend! And beautiful photography!

Sanna's Bag-- Roxie's writing is rich and expressive and makes me laugh. My knitting mentor.

Happy Wonderer-- My walking buddy. Neighbor. Brilliant photographer. It was a good day when we agreed to meet at the local coffee bar.

Two Frog Home-- I admire Kathie's commitment to living the not normal life. She inspires me with every post.

Nikkipolani-- Anne takes incredible photographs of flowers and cats!

Pink Purl-- Tracy combines wonderful, brilliant, creative writing and crafting with a delightful and gentle spirit.

And another blog, just because: Much Ado About Something-- Sara is a real life friend as well as blogger friend. I enjoy seeing her photos of her hometown because I love that town too!

Actually, I have so many other blogs I'd love to nominate I should just say, this is for everyone who comes to my blog to read and comment and for every blog I read!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Wedding Photos

Congratulations to Amanda and Bobby!

We had a great time at the celebration!

Once the ceremony was over, which he spent in the back of the Walnut Grove having dinner, The New Boy enjoyed his first wedding!

He especially liked dancing with his mama.

The Professor's four siblings were all at the wedding and they had a great time talking, laughing and reminiscing.

Weddings are fun times to catch up with the family!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

The Big Day

Today is my nephew's wedding!

The fam is coming and hanging out at our house before going out to the beautiful outdoor wedding site. Same place where our niece (his sister) was married last year.

Yay, Family!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

A Quick Trip

For the past four days we have been in the place where these things grow and the summer day temperatures are regularly well over 100 degrees. It's a place where the tree leaves are tiny, the trunks are green, the grass is nonexistent, and the sunset skies are truly deep turquoise.

We have been driving between Phoenix and Los Angeles. It was a quick and unexpected trip and we are tired. But the nice thing about it is that the New Boy and his mama are here with us.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Potpourri Post

This is Saturday. Our flooring is finished. The books are still on the floor in (almost) every room. Our to do list includes washing the cars, replacing the rest of the books and furniture, watering the garden, washing the clothes, buying food at the farmers market, etc, etc. And driving to Ventura to submit my entries for the Ventura County Fair.

Do you remember the Aran sweater I designed for The Knitting Guild Assoc.'s master knitting certification? I'm going to enter it in the hand knit sweater competition.

Here's a close up view of the Beaches Blanket I knitted. I made mitered squares in beachy colors and placed them somewhat randomly so it looks like a stony beach with white foam rolling in on the waves. It sat around for a while, almost done, and a few months ago I finally finished the weaving in of all those ends. I love it; I hope the judges do, too.

I am not going to submit any of my photos this year. I didn't start thinking about it until it was really too late to choose my favorites, print them, and have them framed without making me a little crazy and The Professor a lot crazy. So I'll plan ahead for next year.
Our wedding anniversary was last week. We didn't go off and do anything special except try out a new Italian restaurant in town where a friend of ours is working as a chef. MMMmmmm, Good! D'Amore's Pizza! The Professor and I aren't much on giving each other gifts (comes from all those years of living in the Papuan jungles where there were NO stores and NOTHING to buy), but this year, he surprised me with a little package. Nope, not a diamond ring or a necklace. A little packet of INDIGO seeds. Yes, that's right. INDIGO. I had purchased some woad seeds from Chelsea Physic Garden in London, but the nice men in customs at the Philadelphia airport confiscated them. It turns out that the packet didn't have a special certification seal on it and it is also illegal and dangerous to agriculture to bring them in to California. We live in an agricultural area (believe it or not, there are ranches and farms with lots and lots of yummy fresh food raised on them within 50 miles of Los Angeles) so it could have been a problem to grow woad here. I was very sad to lose my blue dye plant, so The Professor did the research, found out that we may (and maybe can) grow indigo here, and had a packet shipped to me. The little package of seeds pleased me more than a 2 carat diamond would have. What is he getting? A new coffee maker. Ours broke. Life is too short to live without coffee.

Have a great weekend! We're off to check errands and jobs off our to do list.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Project Black: Take Ten

Project Black: Take Ten
Straw hats with black bands
Anna Carson Photography is the host for Project Black.

To see all my Project Black photos, click on the Project Black label below.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Project Black: Take Nine

Project Black: Take Nine
Five Palms Sunset

It's not the 'big W' (name that movie!) , but if you live in SoCal, you gotta take at least one photo of palm trees in silhouette. I took this one 14 July 2008 on a walk along an arroyo near my home.

If you want to see all nine of my Project Black photos, click on the Project Black label at the bottom of this post.

Anna Carson Photography has a list of all the Project Black participants.

Photo Challenge: Noisy

Photo Challenge: Noisy

To see more Photo Challenge, go to spunwithtears.
For Project Black, scroll down to see all eight takes.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Project Black: Take Eight

Project Black: Take Eight

Black Candlesticks in a Tudor Kitchen

Project Black--Anna Carson Photography!
Scroll down to see Takes One-Seven!

Two Tree Island, Thames Estuary

In the afternoon of the day we went to Leigh-on-Sea, after a wonderful dinner at a local restaurant, Alan and Barbara took us to Two Tree Island in the Thames Estuary.

We walked along the trails and admired the flowers and watched the birds. We sat on the benches when we wanted a rest.

The summer flowers were blooming.

On the hill over on the mainland stands Hadleigh Castle.

At the end of our day, we were completely charmed by this area of Essex. All that was needed was a little refreshment to make the day perfect.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Leigh-on-Sea, Essex

Scroll down for Project Black.
One gray morning in June, when we were in England, Alan and Barbara took us to a small sea coast town in Essex called Leigh-on-Sea. This picturesque place is actually located on the Thames Estuary at the far eastern edge where the Thames River flows out in to the North Sea (or is it the English Channel? Gotta go check my map.) .

We first drove past the lovely beach homes.

Then we saw the Leigh Library. Wouldn't you love to walk into this old brick building and choose books by Dickens, MacDonald, Lewis, Tolkien or Goudge from its shelves?

So many boats!

First stop was coffee at The Grove, just inside the patio doors, out of the wind but still with a view.

Having sufficiently fortified ourselves, we walked down to the harbor, where we passed the docks, catching glimpses of the estuary between buildings and boat ramps.

This little museum was set up to show what a typical dock side home looked like in the Nineteenth Century.

Coarse Burlap Curtains
Hand Knitted Shawl
Back outside, into the wind, along the shoreline.

Up the hill into the town again and so to lunch.

Project Black: Take Seven

Project Black: Take Seven
The papparazzi caught her wearing black.

Project Black: Anna Carson Photography.