Thursday, April 29, 2010

Friday Fave Five, April 30th

Here we are again. It's Friday! And it's time for (insert drum roll) Friday Fave Five hosted by the lovely and gracious Susanne!  Go on over to Living To Tell The Story and check in with our constantly growing group of thankful people.

Wow, what a week it has been at Willow's Cottage!  I am not sure I can limit myself to only five favorites. (I also am not sure that I will be able to upload any photos today since I updated blogger and may have difficulties with new formats.)  But first I want to say that whenever I have one of THOSE weekends when I don't get around to visit everyone, I always feel sad. I really do make an effort to visit everyone who links to Susanne's FFF, but I missed out last weekend because, well, because:

1.  The Professor and I spent all day on Saturday at UCLA.  Yes, that big magnificent university in Westwood, Los Angeles.  The LA Times hosted its annual Festival of Books with UCLA and on the university campus.  Because Chaplain Dan was on call, The Princess came with her parents and a friend, and the six of us attended interesting and stimulating lectures by many different authors, grabbed lunch with thousands of our best friends, toured the book stalls and finally stood in line for a half hour to sample the world's best ice cream sandwiches at that locally famous Diddy Riese's.

Amazingly, I didn't purchase a single literary volume, although I was certainly tempted by Captain Richard Phillips' account of his time spent as a hostage of Somali pirates after I heard him speak at one of the lectures.

2.  The local hospice hosted a Garden Tour on Sunday. We thoroughly enjoyed our three hours of walking through five gardens.  Especially meaningful was the third garden--a home grown backyard garden belonging to our close friends T and D.  I'm hoping to post more photos of the gardens over the weekend (once I figure out blogger).

3.  Years ago, an Indian neighbor taught me to make kefir/yogurt.  I made my own yogurt until we moved to an Asian country where it was impossible to procure fresh milk.  Then I just never got back into the habit of preparing my own yogurt.  Why would I, when Trader Joe's carries such marvelous Greek yogurt?  After I received my dehydrator birthday present last month, I noticed that the owner's manual gave directions on how to make yogurt.  So. I made Greek yogurt this week!  Yummy!

4.  Knowing that my two girls are great friends who love and support each other makes this mother's heart happy.  MamaMia spent last week helping Kiti and The New Boy move to a larger apartment.  You may think, O how nice. But really, it's a major accomplishment considering that it takes MM as many hours of travel as it does me to get to Kiti's city and state.  I love seeing how my kids love each other and sacrifice to help their siblings.

5.  Speaking of kids, the two male siblings each called his mother on the same afternoon, just to check in and say hi.  Yep, Mom's heart was bursting with happiness!

6.  Oh, and speaking of the dehydrator (see #3), I received a book called The Dehydrator Cookbook from a blog friend who found out I had  a new dehydrator and had never used one before.  Thanks, Kathie!

I need to stop here at five, umm, six faves. But Willow's Week was so full of blessings!  How was your week?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Garden Tour

Five local gardens in three hours.
Proceeds benefitted the local hospice.
It was a perfect afternoon.

Each garden unique, unlike any other.

Large outdoor playrooms.

Quiet zen like gardens.

Happy peaceful gardens.

Even a little desert habitat.

A good time was had by all.

Especially the resident turtle.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Friday Fave Five, April 23rd

Friday is here again and so is Friday Fave Five! Welcome!

1. I am proud to announce that The Professor not only survived the fifty-five mile bicycle Ride for Literacy, he finished in great shape and time!

2. Our garden is growing! Soon we'll be enjoying kale, lettuce, peas and other green yumminess.

3. I had fun this week recycling a sweater that I am going to reknit into a more appropriate and better fitting garment. I posted details of how to unravel and old sweater and prepare the yarn for reuse on my new knitting blog.

4. The performing arts department of the local university where The Professor is on the faculty did several performances of "The Heidi Chronicles" this past week. Of course, we attended because usually The Professor helps out with the lighting design. For this production, we were just part of the audience. I enjoyed watching the set crew and performers work with the abstract stage set moving staging cubes around between scenes.

5. Ellen is in town for a couple of days packing the last possessions she has here. We enjoyed tea and then dinner at an excellent little Italian restaurant. Spending a few hours catching up on family and personal news was truly the best highlight of my week. Hopefully, we'll be able to meet up again for lunch before she heads to LAX.
That's a wrap on Willow's Week! What ONE event from your week reminded you to be grateful? Join our hostess Susanne at Living to Tell the Story and share your faves from this week.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Three Rs

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

What do you do with an underworn sweater that doesn't fit but was knitted with beautiful yarn?

You pull the sweater apart, unraveling six large skeins of gorgeous denim colored wool,

so you can reknit it into another sweater that will fit better and show that beautiful yarn to better advantage? Recycle. Reuse. Reduce the stash.

See more photos and read more of the story HERE at my knitting blog.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Friday Fave Five- A Gentle Week

Friday is here! Susanne at Living to Tell the Story hosts Friday Fave Five every week, giving us an opportunity to share five events of our week for which we are thankful. Join us in looking for gratitude in our every day lives. You can participate by posting at Susanne's blog.

1. After enjoying two weeks of Spring Break, I slipped quietly back in to the school routine. Gearing up for the last six weeks of classes, last weekend I glibly ignored the papers that clamored to be corrected and the lesson plans that needed to be planned. Because a friend was competing in the Southern California Junior Bach Festival, we drove to Ventura on Saturday afternoon and enjoyed listening to an hour of Bach Minuets, Preludes and Fugues while gazing at beautiful stained glass windows.

2. After Bach, while The Professor rode his bike (in preparation for the 55 mile Ride for Literacy he's participating in this weekend), I strolled along the beach path at Ventura Beach State Park. The yellow flowers were blooming brilliantly.

3. The week passed gently. Heirloom tomatoes and basil seedlings were planted.
4. Students were tutored, papers were corrected and a pot of tea was enjoyed at my favorite tea shop All Things Tea.
5. A little knitting, a little walking, a little reading filled my evenings. All in all, Willow's week was wonderful.
How was yours?

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Friday Fave Five, Two Weeks' Worth

It's Friday and time for my favorite post of the week: Friday Fave Five which is hosted by Susanne at Living To Tell The Story.

Because I was traveling and visiting my New Boy last week, I missed posting FFF, so this week I am combining the past two weeks of Friday Fave Five. Remembering back to the week between Palm Sunday and Easter, I want to share two special events.

1. Just the day before I left, I received a phone call. The caller was an employee at our local Trader Joe's grocery store informing me that I had won the weekly give away for bringing my own bags to the market. I have been taking my bags and filling out the little raffle ticket for YEARS and had never won anything. Even if there were no give away of a new reusable bag and $25.00 gift certificate, I would still take my own bags to the store, but the tantilizing opportunity to maybe, just maybe, win that prize some day added incentive to my resolve. But after several years, I wondered if there really was a weekly winner. Imagine my surprise and joy to find I'd WON! Yay, Trader Joe's! Go, Me!

2. Since I'm not an enthusiastic flyer, I arrived at LAX somewhat concerned about my lack of an assigned seat. I had to check at the gate for my seat assignment and that usually means being relagated to a middle seat in the rear of the plane which is not the best spot for a reluctant flyer. The customer service agent earned extra brownie points from me for working to get me a great seat--on the aisle, right behind first class! In fact, on all four connections during my trips to and from The New Boy's city, I sat on the aisle in the front section of the plane.

3. The days and nights I spent with The New Boy and his mama were delightful. We enjoyed one afternoon at the Zoo.

There were tigers
and monkeys

and bears,

Oh, my!

4. The New Boy is growing up so quickly. No longer is he a baby. He is a little boy who loves to be outside playing in the park. He is curious about everything from red trucks and fire engines, from airplanes to the gray squirrels racing through the grass from tree to tree.

He astounded me by counting from one to twelve, pointing out the 'red atagon, Meema!' (translation: red octogon stop sign, Grandma), and reciting his colors. The current favorite dvd is Thomas the Tank Engine, which he seems to enjoy watching without stopping, over and over, day and night.

5. The last evening, we met a friend at the local coffee spot and sat next to a very pleasant group of knitters. As you know, if you pull out knitting needles, other knitters will find you and strike up a conversation with you like you are old friends. Imagine my delight to discover that one of those knitters had purchased and knitted up Sweet Eleanor, the cabled cap I featured on my blog here a few weeks ago. The hat was designed by a friend of Kiti's and all proceeds go to help a little girl who has cancer. What a small world! What a wonderful world of knitters!
Susanne has a link on her blog where you can post your FFF or just click to read other FFFs.
Now I am home and relaxing on my last day of spring break. How was your week?