Thursday, July 29, 2010

FFF The Traveling Edition

I did not expect to be writing my Friday Fave Fives from a hotel in North Carolina. But life is full of surprises, isn't it? It's especially exciting when you're traveling.  If all goes smoothly, I will be back in California only a day late.

Anyway,  there were faves this week, even in the midst of canceled flights and unexpected delays.

1.  Wowowowowow!  The writing teachers' conference I attended this week was awesome!  I sat in seminars and workshops morning, afternoon and evening for four days and simply absorbed so much.  It's going to take weeks to digest it all.  I love spending time with people who are passionate about what they do.

2.  Making new friends!  The conference seemed less like a teaching writing symposium and more like a spiritual retreat and summer camp combined.  We bonded during cafeteria meals, over coffee and around the tables after every challenging and exciting lecture.

3.  Especially one new friend.  We stood on the steps of the lecture hall building and marvelled at how we were reading the same books and thinking about the same things.  What a blessing it was for me to discover that I'm not the only person pondering the same fascinating (to us) ideas.

4.  Service personnel.  I was impressed with the cheerfulness and helpfulness of the staff at the university where the conference was held.  It made my stay on the campus truly pleasant.

5.  Pleasant, helpful agents in the airport.  The young lady who helped me reroute my flight just kept on smiling at everyone.

6.  Anticipation.  How lovely it will be to get back to my little cottage, my little garden, my little routine.

Unfortunately, I will be traveling all day on Friday, East Coast to the West Coast of the US.  I'll have plenty of hours of reading and knitting time. But there will be no internet access, so I doubt I'll be able to get around to comment on others' Friday Fave Fives, although I'll do what I can.  If you're interested in knowing more about FFF, click on this link to Susanne's blog Living To Tell The Story.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Fave Fives in July's Doldrums

The middle of the summer (in the northern hemisphere) occurs in July.  Summer Doldrums.  But even in the midst of these dog days of summer, there are cool things happening, stuff that makes me thankful and grateful. This is why I love Friday Fave Five. It's a chance to focus on the positive things, even in hot July.
A family wedding afforded us the opportunity to spend quality time with

1. our own kids.
2. The Professor's brothers.
3. his sisters.
4. our nieces
5. and nephews.

Can you believe it? I didn't take a single photo!  I was just having too much fun.  Congratulations to our niece and her new husband!

I just had to show you the hot pink blooms in the garden at Willow's Cottage!


Mayflower rose

No blue hydrangeas in my garden this year

Did you have a great week, or at least some great events within the days of an ordinary week?  If you want to share the favorite parts, join us at Susanne's blog Living to Tell the Story.

Thursday, July 15, 2010


We're back home!  We enjoyed a great vacation, and now it's time to gratefully reflect with Susanne from Living to Tell the Story about the past three weeks.  If you want to join in, click on the link and sign up to share your week's adventures in gratitude.

1.  Visiting Friends and Family in Oregon. I was born in Oregon, as was my father. While I am now a transplanted Southern Californian, I still proudly claim my Oregonian roots.  Our road trip from SoCal to OR reminded me how beautiful my home state is and made me proud again to say, "I'm an Oregon native!"

2. Beautiful Scenery.  Driving either north or south on I-5 through Northern California, you will be awed by the various views of Mt. Shasta.  I never tire of driving this part of the highway from the Oregon border to Redding. (Get out your maps and you'll see that you drive over several mountain passes, past Castle Crags and Lake Shasta.)

3. Home.  I love coming back again and sleeping in my own bed.  Doesn't everyone?

4. Last weekend, the day after we returned from our trip, we joined Chaplain Dan and his wife for a Yellow Ribbon Ceremony, sponsored by the US Army for military personnel and their families. We were presented with solid, helpful information about services available to help soldiers and families during times of deployment and separation.  The whole weekend was beneficial and well organized, and we were able to spend the time with our own soldier.  And the food at the hotel venue was good, too, along with an endless supply of great coffee (and chocolate chip cookies).  Nothing but the best for our heroes!

5. Wildfires have started in Southern California.  On Wednesday afternoon, one broke out in the hills around my town.  Why is this a fave? It's because our fantastic fire departments were rushing to the scene within minutes, and while many many acres burned, NO HOMES or PEOPLE were lost.  Our city and county firefighters are true heroes, too!

This has been Willow's (last three) Week(s).  How have you been?  I missed you all!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

My Hometown

I think one of the reasons I love London is that it reminds me of Portland, Oregon. With bridges crossing the wide and placid Willamette River, Portland is separated in to Eastside and Westside.  Just like London. Except that the Thames winds and bends its way through London and the Willamette cuts a mostly straight line through Portland.

Historically, Portland grew up as the End of the Oregon Trail where Eighteen-Forties pioneers bound for Oregon Territory finished their arduous overland journey with an exciting and often treacherous raft ride down the Columbia River, then a left turn at the relatively calm intersection of the Willamette and Columbia Rivers.  Portland was also a shipping destination because the Willamette River is navigable from the Pacific Ocean until nearby Oregon City where Willamette Falls comes tumbling down, bringing water from the south to the north from various smaller creeks and rivers in the Willamette River Valley.

I grew up here, crossing these bridges, watching the river, enjoying its changing moods and water levels.  My father crossed the river daily on his commute to and from work.

One day, The Professor and I walked along the banks of the river, remarking that it reminded us of our visits to London and our strolls along the Thames, passing the bridges, watching traffic stop when the bridges were raised for tall masted ships.

Ross Island Bridge, Marquam Bridge, Broadway, Steel, Burnside, Hawthorn, and Morrison Bridge.

An afternoon stroll along the River Walk is a stroll down My Memory Lane.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Where I Was

We are home from a fun and busy trip. Now to rest and catch up on life.

Friday, July 02, 2010


On a Road Trip.

Back soon.