Thursday, June 25, 2009

Friday Fave Five, First Week of Summer

Friday Fave Five, MidSummer Plus Four Days

Welcome to Friday's Fave Five!
1. Definitely, my big fave for this week was the time we spent in the Beach Cities of Los Angeles where we were house-and-kitty sitting. (Yes, I know I mentioned this last week, but the time covered both weeks, and I enjoyed it so very much.)

We provide this blessing to our friends two or three times a year and they in turn bless us with an excuse to 'get away'and relax.

(Please 'scuse the blatant product placement)

We watched all the episodes of Firefly, read books, took long beach walks, ate out at least once a day. Loved it! (If you want some visual evidence, you can scroll down to the previous posts.)

2. Our housesitting coincided with a visit with a former coworker who is now married and has a son. We spent a couple of hours just catching up and enjoying this new little boy.
Posted with permission from his mama

3. Father's Day spent with Son#2. Hmmmm, no photos of lunch at Rocky Cola's, or Friday night dinner at The Veggie Grill.

4. As fun as it is to be 'out of town', it is always good to come home. I've been decluttering and organizing here at Willow's Cottage. A friend came on Wednesday morning to provide encouragement for the organizing part. I'll be doing that for her next Monday. I am also being the second pair of hands at another person's Decluttering Decathalon. I really do enjoy cleaning out and organizing. Weird, I know.

5. Slow mornings. I truly appreciate my summer break from school. I can sit and sip my latte (made by The Professor), read the local paper, check my email and blog, and NOT race out the door to school.

What have you enjoyed this week?

Join Susanne at Living To Tell The Story and others who want to share their Fave Fives.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Spinning and Knitting

It is no secret around Willow's Cottage that I have a lot of fiber. I refuse to make an accurate count of the boxes, bins and bags of yarn and unspun fiber I own. The Professor claims I have a lifetime supply of fiber, even if I live to be 100. He's most likely correct. But it's better if I don't know for sure. At least it isn't spread all over the cottage. It is all confined to two spots-in my guest room closet and under my bed-except for the three baskets of hand spun yarn on display in my bedroom. Please do not tell me that you do not keep yarn under your bed. I won't believe you.

I don't purchase much yarn throughout the year. I still maintain that my ultimate goal is to use up my stash and believe it or not, I am making progress on that front.

However. I do make allowances for some purchases of specialty fiber. For example, I bought two skeins of merino/silk blend fiber at The Knit and Crochet Show Marketplace last month in Portland. I expected this fiber to spin up with the blue/purple and the raspberry pink maintaining a dominant vibrance in the yarn.

But the predrafting and spinning showed how much yellow and rust was in the coloring.

After I finished spinning the 435 yards (approximately) I spent a few weeks just looking at the yarn, wondering what to knit with it. I loved the softness of the silk and wool, and I loved the colors. When MamaMia saw it, she said it reminded her of a hibiscus blossom.
But less than 450 yards wasn't a lot to work with to knit a wearable garment. I finally decided to knit up a few swatches. Just to play around. I tried purse stitch and then garter stitch but neither pattern showcased the sheen of the silk and the color variations. I ended up liking the look of a plain stockinette stitch. Some elongated stitches gave length and maximized the yardage. I thought I might have enough yarn to make a wrap.
I have knitted my way through 1/3 of the yarn. It looks like the wrap is going to be wide enough and long enough for snuggling when the weather turns a little cooler in the fall.

When it is finished, I'll have details. For now, the Hibiscus Wrap is still a work in progress.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Pier To Pier

During our visit to the South Bay Beach Cities, The Professor and I spent a lot of time walking on The Strand, which is a paved 'boardwalk' that runs from north of LAX south to Redondo Beach. We usually marked our distances from one city pier to another.

Manhattan Beach Pier in June Gloom haze

If you walk north from Manhattan Beach Pier you will eventually cross under the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) flight path over the beach and ocean at Dockweiler Beach.
If you walk south, you will have the beach on your right and beachy showcase homes on the left.
Canterbury Meets Manhattan Beach

McManhattanmansion, Italian style

Beach Victorian with Widow's Walk

California Stucco with Cactus tree

After you walk down the steps, still following The Strand, you are in Hermosa Beach.

Hermosa Beach Pier with Palos Verdes Peninsula in the background

If you are thirsty, you can stop off for refreshment at Hennessey's across from Hermosa Beach Pier.

We are somewhat partial to the breakfast omelettes at Scotty's, also by the Hermosa Pier, where you can sit in the enclosed patio and watch the surfers and volleyball players on the beach and the bikers and walkers on The Strand.

Manhattan Beach Pier to Hermosa Beach Pier: about one mile of concentrated beach culture.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Mug Monday

Elizabeth at About New York invited me to participate in Mug Monday which is being hosted by Valerie of AcornMoon and Pat of Weaver of Grass.

I have discovered that it is actually quite difficult to properly photograph a mug. Hard to place decoratively. Hard to avoid glare from too much light.

A much loved and much used gift from MamaMia. Quite appropriate.
Good for drinking either coffee or tea.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Beach Scenes

In no particular order.

Because you can't have too many beach photos.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Friday Fave Five

Welcome to Friday Fave Five hosted by Susanne at Living To Tell The Story! Every Friday anyone who wants to participate can go to her blog and sign up with Mr. Linky to be included in telling others the five favorite things of the week. Here are mine in no particular order:
1. Kitty sitting in a local beach town in the Los Angeles metro area. We love visiting our old stomping grounds in LA and love helping out our friends who are on vacation. The kitty is kinda fun, too.

2. Dinner with MamaMia and her Marine, the Marine's good buddy from Oregon, and Mike our anthropology student. Mike lives and works nearby until time to leave for Stanford. The others were doing some Los Angeles tourist things. Yummy Thai food. What's your fave Thai dish? Mine (this week) is pad thai. And thai iced tea.
3. This fave should be counted as an un-fave, sort of. I heart my hometown of Camarillo, CA because we have free parking. I'd forgotten about paid for parking everywhere here. $.25 for every 20 minutes.

4. We finally purchased some patio furniture this week. Unfinished red cedar adirondack style chairs. We sanded and puttied and sanded again and when we return to Willow's Cottage we plan to pull out the paint brushes and finish the job with white paint. We got a great deal on the chairs here:

5. Dinner with a friend who is older and wiser than I. We talked and laughed for hours.

What about you? What did you love about your week? Share it with others here.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

June Gloom

This month our weather here in coastal Southern California has followed the typical early summer forecast. The Professor says that Southern California weathermen always take their vacations during June because they can just email in their predictions. Every day will be the same:

Early morning coastal fog and low cloudiness,
giving way to sunshine later in the day.

When The Professor, Ellen and I went to Malibu last Friday to walk at El Matador State Beach, we were met with grey skies and equally grey surf. There wasn't much color around. See the evidence in the Surfing post below.

Maybe that's why I was drawn (again) to Malibu Garden Nursery and the Starbuck's next door. The whole place was bursting with color!

The perfect antidote for June Gloom.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Summer Surfing

Summer Vacation: Day 1

Happy Summer! Happy Surfing!
El Matador State Beach
Malibu, California

No Alcohol Allowed

A rule

more honoured
in the breach
than the observance.
El Matador State Beach
Malibu, California

Saturday, June 13, 2009

A Walk In The Park

In American English, we have a saying, "It was a walk in the park," meaning ' That was really easy, very simple.' With The New Boy, a Walk in the Park is very simple, but it's not really easy, because you need to be 'on your toes' or you will be 'left in the dust'.

Toddler Speed

Hmmm, wait a minute...

Yup, I like going this way better!

This is interesting!

This is the Best Place in the Whole World!