Saturday, May 30, 2009

Balboa Park, San Diego, California

Balboa Park in San Diego, California is amazing. It has a park, a garden, a museum, a zoo, historical buildings, all located in one place. The area was dedicated in the Nineteenth Century as a park, and in 1915-1916 it was the location of the Panama-California Exposition (first World's Fair). The California Dome (which houses the Museum of Man) was erected for the exposition.

The architecture of the park's buildings reminded me of Stanford University. When I mentioned this to The Professor, he commented that both 'campuses' were built in the same era so it is not surprising that they would be similar in style.

We passed the Botanical Garden on our way to visit the Museum of Man. We misread the sign as 'fee entry' instead of 'free entry' so we did not go in until just before closing time at 4pm when we walked by again and correctly read the sign. We did a really quick tour of the building and promised ourselves we'd return when we had more time.

There are 35 of these little 'houses' in the International Houses Park, each one featuring a country of the world. They are open only on Sundays, so we were not able to do more than walk around and peek in the windows.

Thirteen museums, a replica of The Old Globe theatre, Casa del Prado theater (MamaMia said she saw the Nutcracker there last December), many parks, walking trails, and gardens!
There is just so very much to see at Balboa Park! You can click on the link and read more about this incredible park in the middle of San Diego.

I think the next time we go to visit MamaMia, we will need at least a week in San Diego to explore the 1,200 acres of Balboa Park. The Professor says we can buy a pass that allows us to visit all thirteen museums in a seven day period. And for a little more we can get passes to the San Diego Zoo, too. Two museums a day for seven days, he says...

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Friday Fave Five, End of School Edition

It's Friday and it's Fave Five Time. Thanks to Susanne for hosting our Fave Fives every week!

And now for my Friday Fave Five, End of School Edition.

1. You guessed it! Today was my last day in the classroom for the school year. The classroom teachers and students have 11 more days but teachers in my classification finished today. I baked chocolate chip cookies for all three first grade classes and passed them out at recess and lunch, helped to complete all the assessments for language arts, attended an appreciation luncheon, unclipped my ID badge for the last time, and at 5:30 met some fellow freedom lovers for Happy Hour at a local restaurant.

2. Our Southern California weather has been wonderful this week. Early morning coastal fog and low cloudiness with sun breaking through in the late morning, giving us temperatures in the high60s/low70s. Perfect for doing afternoon gardening. Nothing tastes better than freshly picked spinach leaves straight from the garden container!

3. A wonderful weekend in San Diego with most of the family. We celebrated MamaMia's college graduation (scroll down to the post below if you're interested) and then played the rest of the weekend.

4. Where we played.
Balboa Park in San Diego.

Museum of Man

Balboa Park deserves a post all its own and I plan to share photos of the area later this weekend.

5. Coronado Beach.

I think I'm falling in love with San Diego!

Many other people share their weekly fave fives through Living To Tell The Story. Go on over and visit with them and Susanne.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Memorial Day Weekend

Three flags were flying at Balboa Park in San Diego. I thought of my men- three of them- husband, son and son-in-law, three of the millions in this generation who have served our country.
Thank you!

San Diego State University

San Diego, California

May 22, 2009


Department of Anthropology

summa cum laude
Spencer Lee Rogers Award

Arts and Letters Graduation
How will we ever find her among the 1,200 plus graduates?

There she is!
Right side. Third row from the front, just to the left of the two flags.
150 feet away.
Love my new camera's zoom!

Congratulations to MamaMia!

Particulars: The Professor and Willow

Four children

Four Bachelor Degrees!
Two BAs and Two BSs

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Friday Fave Five

Here we are at Friday again!

1. Of course, on the top of the list is my trip to Oregon. I spent three days with my brother and Flower.

2. I also went by the MarketPlace for The Knit and Crochet Show on Friday and found the booths of Red Fish Dye Works and Fiber Rhythm and bought some unspun fiber and bamboo yarn. I've already drafted one of the silk/merino blend fibers and started spinning. Photos? Oops. Still on the camera.

3. Short timers calender. I have three work days left in the school year. I'm looking forward to spending more time in the garden and puttering around my little cottage. Rather high on my to do list is decluttering.

4. Today is a very special day! Our youngest girl, MamaMia, is walking in commencement at San Diego State University. She will be wearing a gold cord with her gown. Word on the street is that she is getting an award... Are we proud parents? Oh Yes!

5. The Professor and I ate our first tomatoes out of our garden this week! Oooh, they were good! Sun Gold cherry tomatoes. So very sweet!

6. I have to add a sixth fave. The Professor pointed out that HIS fave this week was setting up part of his home theater, for which he has been saving his pennies a long time and has been researching AND researching for weeks. While I was in Oregon and NOT around to have to accompany him to electronics stores, he bought speakers, a Blu-ray player and an AV receiver (whatever those are). He says that when he is watching a Dodger game, it sounds like he really is sitting in Dodger Stadium.

I love sharing these weekly Fave Fives and reading about YOUR weeks. Go to Susanne's blog Living To Tell The Story to found out who else has posted Fave Fives this week.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Acres and Acres of Green

About twenty years ago, my brother made one of the best decisions of his life. In a stroke of good fortune, brilliant, blinding good luck, he married my best friend from high school. And so for the past two decades, I have also been the luckiest of sisters--to have two of my favorite people in love with each other! If you have been cruising around Willow's Cottage and Blogland very long you might have figured out that Flower is my sister-in-law.
My brother and Flower live on a Christmas tree farm. They grow several acres of trees.

But they have also chosen to leave a portion of their land as forest. Whenever I visit them, we always make time to 'take a walk in the forest'.

There are paths that beckon you to duck under the tree branches and follow where they lead you.

You walk past the hawthorn trees that are in bloom in the spring.

You can peer through the old moss-covered branches and see the forest floor covered with new ferns.

There are little white daisies and johnny jump-ups along the edges of the paths so you need to watch where you step so you won't trample them.

Dandelion globes decorate the damp ground under the forest canopy.

Even snail shells nestled in the moss are beautiful!

During the three days I was visiting the farm, Flower and I took two wonderful rambles through the forest and the Christmas trees.

It was wonderful!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Now, Where Was I?

If you board an airplane in Los Angeles and fly (almost) directly north for a little more than two hours, you will arrive in Portland, Oregon. My home town. I was born and raised there, left for twenty years, came back for a dozen more years, and left again. I now live in Los Angeles, but I love to check in with my roots regularly. Visiting is easy because almost my entire extended family lives in Oregon, including my one and only brother.

Last week I had one of those visits.

I spent one of my precious days in Downtown Portland. I grew up walking around the downtown areas, shopping on Broadway, crossing the Willamette River daily to attend high school. On this trip, when I was crossing the Willamette River on the public train, I was struck by the physical similarity between London with its Thames River bridges and Portland with its bridges across the Willamette.

Hop off the train and head west through China Town.

The Pearl District in Northwest Portland is a fun, funky, newly renovated urban area with lots of condos and lofts, shops, and restaurants.

The famous Powell's Books is on the south edge of the Pearl. You really need HOURS to explore Powell's. We had a tradition with our children that we went to Powell's on New Year's Day and spent ALL DAY there, wandering around the stacks and stacks of books in all the rooms in the massive building that houses only PART of Powell's book collection.

Friday was a lovely warm spring day and every where I looked there was blue sky and trees bursting out with green leaves. Portland really shines in the spring!

Of course, an outing to Portland wasn't my only activity during the weekend. There are so many green and fragrant places in Oregon! Stayed tuned for more!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Friday Fave Five

Even though I am out of town this week, I am able to post my

because blogger has this great feature called autopost.

1. Being able to post my Fave Five without being home. Go Blogger!

2. See above. I'm on a little visit to a happy place.

3. Mother's Day. Phone calls and sweet cards from children unable to make the trek home. And what mother doesn't smile happily when not one, but TWO, of her offspring come for the weekend? Son #2, soon to be Grad Student, came bearing a sweet card and a cheesecake. MamaMia decided at the last minute to hop the Amtrak Surf Liner and come for 25 hours of Mom Time. I love this photo. I named it Like Mother Like Daughter.

3. A God Thing. I had been meaning to go by G**dy**r Tire and get my tires' pressure checked because one of my tires was looking a little low. I had 10 minutes one day this week between tutoring and a dr. appt., so I popped in there. It's a good thing I did. A different tire had a loose air pressure valve and the tire could have gone flat at any time. The guys there fixed it quickly and I'm safe on the freeways once again. I'm glad I listened to that little prompting. I should listen more often, huh?

4. Evening time spent with my spinning wheel and The Professor. We have been watching old NCIS episodes before Laker games. That translates into more hours spent making Red Circus Clown Hair yarn (if you're confused, see haiku post below), yarn dyed Mountain Blue and undyed natural gray yarn. I'm in spinning heaven!

5. Local food. My garden has been sprouting! Carrots, squash, spinach, bush beans, bush peas. Some of the tomatoes are already ripening! Spring blossoms on trees means autumn and winter fruit!

As always, thanks to Susanne for hosting Friday Fave Five. Go here and see what other people all over the world are thankful for.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


It's a secret! I'm on my way...somewhere.

My bag is packed; I always take only one carry-on.

Yes, I have my camera and back up batteries and memory.

Knitting? Check.

Books? Check.

It's been rather hectic here and I haven't been around to visit my fave people. So sorry. Teaching (California state testing again this week) and tutoring and packing has kept me off the computer and out of blogland.

I'll be back soon.

In the interim, here is a little eye candy from the hummingbird feeder

and a blossoming tree.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Haiku Festival

Elizabeth at About New York and Tracy at Pink Purl are hosting a haiku festival on Monday, May 11th. I decided to join and have been pondering my entry. You can click on either link and find many people writing much better haiku than mine! The haiku muse has not been around Willow's Cottage much lately, but here are my two attempts.

White against the blue-

sky, boats, sea blend together.

A perfect sail day.

I named it Neon.
But The Professor called it
red circus clown hair.