Sunday, November 30, 2008

A Thankful Month, Day Final

November has been a wonderful month of thanksgiving. I have thoroughly enjoyed focusing my blog posts on giving thanks. On this, the last day of November, I do not want to stop being thankful. It is said that it takes a month to develop a habit and I like to think that this month of intentional thanksgiving has jump-started a habit of gratitude in my thoughts and actions.

And so today, I am thankful that Rebecca started this focus on her blog and encouraged others to follow her example. I am also thankful for the source of all thankfulness, The One Who will be the focus of our thoughts in December, during Advent Season. We will light our first advent candle this evening.

O Emmanuel, Jesus Christ,
desire of every nation,
Savior of all peoples,
come and dwell among us.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

A Thankful Month, Day 29

I am thankful for a safe trip home from San Diego. We drove the length of San Diego County, Orange County, Los Angeles County and partway through Ventura County. We passed an accident scene near LAX, after sitting in very slow traffic that made the 405 freeway look like a parking lot.

Before we left MamaMia's, I finished sewing the seams on this little afghan she crocheted.

Isn't it sweet?

Rebecca is posting all our thanksgiving posts on her blog.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Friday Fave Five

I have combined today's Friday Fave and another day of Thankfulness.

1. A whole week off work. I've had a great week of just puttering around my house and then traveling to San Diego to spend three days with MamaMia and The Marine.
2. A Happy Thanksgiving! We ate homemade cinnamon rolls with coffee for breakfast. Yum. Our Thanksgiving feast included, but was not limited to, green beans, spinach salad, turkey, pot roast, mashed potatoes, apple pie and pumpkin pie. It was all delicious! The best part? I wasn't in charge of the kitchen.
3. Meeting a new grandkitty for the first time.
4. Isn't this the PERFECT gift for a mama who knits?
5. I had time in the car on the way down to San Diego to knit little dishcloths to give as gifts to MamaMia's friend, and her mother, sister and niece who were visiting from Georgia and Tennessee. These little presents were quick, easy and fun to make. I wrapped some small organic soap bars in the cloths and tied them all up with ribbons.

It was a great week!

To visit others' blogs and read their Fave Five for this week, go to Susanne's blog.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving Day 2008

For coffee with cream,

for little grey kittens,
for pumpkin pies
and apple ones, too,
for sons and daughters,
for faithful husband,
for clean water
and abundant food,

Father God, I thank you!

For cameras,
for computers,
for cell phones,
those electronic devices
that connect us with loved ones,

Father God, I thank you!

For new little lives,
for futures invested,
for long lives well lived,
for memories of loved ones,

for home,

for country,

for all the world,

Father God, I thank you!

For beach and ocean,
for mountain and valley,

for summer and winter,
for spring and autumn,

Father God, I thank you!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A Thankful Month, Days 23, 24, 25 and 26

As I sit in MamaMia's sweet home and watch silly movies, drink hot cocoa, knit fun little things, and play with the kitties, I am so very thankful for my family! My husband The Professor, my four children and their families, especially our sweet grandson The New Boy!

I am thankful that I live in a place where I have the freedom to drive between two cities and not be required to get a letter of permission to travel.

I am thankful that I could go to FOUR different food stores today and see the abundance of food available.

I am also thankful for the internet and blogger that has made it possible for me meet and connect with so many wonderful people around the world.

Happy Thanksgiving, my friends!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

A Thankful Month, Day 23

I am thankful today for Google Reader. I am putting names and urls into Google Reader this weekend so it will be faster and easier for me to visit everyone's blog!
Are you having a good Sunday?
Spend some time outside looking UP.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

A Thankful Month Days 20, 21, and 22

It seems that I am able to sit down for extended periods of time at my laptop every two or three days, so I am combining my Thanksgiving posts for Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Again.

1. I'm thankful that I found a way to archive old print negatives. Ritz Camera carries 'sleeves' that are designed to hold several negative sets per page. Buying some of the packets was my first step for organizing many years (think more than 100 years!) of photos and negatives.

2. I am very thankful that a rather busy school week is over and I'm now on Thanksgiving vacation for one whole week and two weekends!

3. I am also thankful that our community has a fantastic farmers market that is open year round. The Professor went this morning to purchase fresh, local green beans, onions, salad mix and spinach.

I want to share two photos of flowers that are blooming in my neighborhood this month.

Frangipani is the Malay/Indonesian name for plumeria.

Poinsettias grow large and bushy in our mediterranean climate. These blooms are growing on a bush at least eight feet high. When I first moved to Southern California I was shocked to see little Christmas house plants growing outside, in the garden, big and tall.

Enjoy your weekend!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Friday Fave Five

It's Friday! Time for Friday's Fave Five hosted by Susanne.

1. I enjoyed my weekend kitty sitting. I went down to the beach and felt the warm sand on my feet.

2. Ellen often mentions our afternoon walks. They are a fave part of many of my days. We walk and talk and laugh and count our steps and photograph whatever catches our eyes.

Bumblebees napping in the Iceberg roses

Deer family we see almost every day

A hawk keeping an eye out for an unwary mouse or squirrel
We have seen a road runner twice recently, but my photographs of him are always blurry. You'll have to visit her blog to see him. Beep, beep!

3. The parents of the first grade classes at my school brought a Thanksgiving feast to school today. Turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, salads, rolls, pumkin pies! I took the opportunity to meet several moms and dads and enjoyed getting to know them. Since I'm not the main classroom teacher I don't always meet the parents so it was a good chance for me to do so.

4. I have been reading Three Cups of Tea in the evenings before bed. I am enjoying the book; so far it seems so very encouraging. Because my children are Third Culture Kids as is Greg Mortenson, it is interesting for me to read a book written from a TCK's perspective.

5. The New Boy is learning things every day! I love watching him rise to his knees, clap his hands, try to balance and rebalance himself (and sometimes fall over). He has also discovered why we peel lemons before we eat them.

Have a FAVE weekend!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A Thankful Month Days 17 and 18

On Sunday, we passed the Good Year blimp in Long Beach. We were driving along the freeway and looked to the right and saw the blimp moored in its field. We realized that it wasn't going to be flying anywhere that day in the winds, flames and ashes.

We drove west and south to Palos Verdes Penninsula, hoping to get out of the smoke from the fires. The sky above the Pacific Ocean tried so hard to be blue, but mostly it was gray. We could see the top of Catalina Island in the distance but most of it was obscured by the smokey haze that had settled along the coast.

All the way back north to Ventura County along the coast road we looked out over gray water and a fiery orange sunset.

I am so thankful that we are back to the Southern California days of beach umbrellas

and surfers.

Rebecca is recording all our thankful posts on her blog.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Day 16 of a Thankful Month

I am thankful that when I came home this evening, my house was safe, untouched by fire. Smoke and ash, yes, but, flames, no. We are not in the fire zones here in Ventura County.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

A Thankful Month Days 13, 14 AND 15

While I've been enjoying my time in Los Angeles I've slipped through some days of not posting my Thankful Days. So here are THREE in ONE.

1. A couple of days of solitude. I am kitty sitting at a friend's house, knitting, reading, organizing photos.

2. I'm thankful for thought-provoking, well written books and my daughter who loaned these two books to me.

3. A beach walk. My personal name for this beach is Alfredo's Beach--after a little snack shack called Alfredo's.

Visit Rebecca Writes to find links to other thankful people.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Friday Fave Five

Here it is Friday again, so soon, and it's time for FAVE FIVE.

1. Ellen and I took a morning walk on Tuesday because I had a day off school for Veteran's Day. We chose a different route, one that took us under the 101 freeway and past a lemon grove

and a ranch where we met her

and him.

2. A drive down Hwy 1 through Malibu and Santa Monica to Los Angeles' beach cities. No photos--I was driving!

3. Dinner with Number 2 Son at one of our favorite Thai restaurants, Thai Dishes. Bean curd soup. Basil chicken. Thai iced tea.

4. Photo hunting at home. I have gathered all the stray photos and the albums and the supplies to start my photo album marathon. I found printed photos and cds that I thought maybe I'd lost. Now comes the hard part: organizing them and putting them in to albums!

5. Coffee with a wise older friend I hadn't seen for several months. The hours we spent talking and catching up just flew by.

It was a good week!

Drop by Susanne's blog to read more fave fives.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A Thankful Month Day 12

What am I thankful for today?

Second chances.
Last month I purchased a skein of silk and wool blend fiber dyed in blue and purple. I spun and plied a skein last week.

Then, over the weekend, I predrafted and spun a second skein of this gorgeous fiber.

After I plied it and used the knitty-noddy to wind it in to a lovely soft, thick skein, I compared it to the first skein I had spun.


Skein One is spun much tighter than Skein Two.

My second chance? I respun the second skein a second time, tightening the ply so the two skeins look much more alike.

Can you tell which is Skein One and which is Skein Two?

Aren't you glad there are second chances? Not just for yarn but for lots of other things that we mess up the first time around.

Check over at Rebecca's blog for other thankful posts.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A Thankful Month Day 11

I am thankful for all the men and women who have served my country and the sacrifices they have made to give me a safe and comfortable place to call home.

I am thankful that my son Chaplain Dan married the love of his life two years ago today.

Happy Anniversary!

Read the beginning of this love story here.
Rebecca is keeping track of many other thankful people.

Monday, November 10, 2008

A Thankful Month Day 10

I'm thankful for tea, chocolate and roses today.
I came home from my walk and brewed a pot of chocolate tea in my Blue Willow teapot,

and ate chocolate hazelnut rose brownies.

Yes, they really were chocolate-hazelnut-rose brownies.

A friend whose son I tutor weekly owns Ojai Lavender and Roses farm. She is publishing a cookbook with recipes using ROSE flavoring and she sometimes brings me samples to try. She warned me that the rose flavor was overpowered by the Belgian chocolate. I had to sample two or three of the brownies she brought me today to make sure I agreed with her. I suppose now she'll have to make another batch of chocolate hazelnut rose brownies and have me sample them again. Pity. It's a dirty job but I volunteered, anyway. Well, somebody has to do it.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

A Thankful Month Day 9

I have been thinking all day about what to write that I am thankful for today. The options ranged from friends to coffee, from The Professor to afternoon tea made in my Blue Willow teapot. I finally settled on a good combination:

I am thankful that The Professor makes me a latte every morning!

How many people have a latte steamed and ready for them when they emerge from the bedroom dressed for the day (and often before)? I have no photos of this luxury because 1) I drink it immediately and 2) I'm seldom awake enough to find my camera before I drink it!

Thanks, Professor!

I just realized that I have not credited Rebecca Writes with organizing this month of thankful posts.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Thankfulness Days 7 and 8

1. I'm thankful that The Professor and I are both employed. We don't take our jobs for granted and appreciate our positions as college lecturer and Title 1 teacher.

2. I'm thankful that I learned to read when I was quite young and my parents and teachers instilled in me a deep love of books and reading. I always have a couple of books out with markers in them. I just finished reading The Tale of Holly How by Susan Wittig Albert, I am reading my way through Real Food by Nina Planck,
I have a marker in A Weaver's Garden which I read just before I go to bed, and I just pulled the 1957 Newberry Winner Miracles on Maple Hill by Virginia Sorensen off the bookshelf to start reading.

What's on your book table?

Friday, November 07, 2008

Friday Fave Five

This week's Fave Five:

1. Our normal blue skies had lots of clouds and that made for beautiful formations, plays of light and shadow.

2. We had beautiful sunsets this week. Tuesday evening as we left our local polling place, the sun was setting and the colors were vivid pink and orange.

3. It rained three different days and for a water starved Southern California, the rain was so very welcome. I like my rain in small doses and that is how we got it this week. One morning it even rained just before dawn and then by the time I left for school, the sun was shining.

4. We received a short email from an American family who is currently living in the village where we lived in Papua during the 1980s. The note said that the people in the village remember us and talk about us often. That was an encouragement and blessing for us!

5. This afternoon I cooked an Indonesian chicken dish called Opor Ayam that features spices not usually used in American cuisine -serai, laos, kemiri nuts- fried with garlic and onion and all simmered in coconut milk, and we ate it served over rice (of course!) The whole house smelled heavenly all afternoon!

6. I'm going to add a sixth fave. I did not work today and spent the entire time in the house doing housewifey things like laundry, dishes, and cooking. I enjoyed the relaxation of the routine and found it restful.

For more Fave Fives, go to Susanne's blog Living to Tell the Story.