Thursday, October 27, 2011


1.  This has been a momentous week!  I am now back in the driver's seat of my Honda!

2.  I took my first short walk post ankle sprain, eight weeks ago.  It was simply up the hill and around the corner to my neighbor's house.  But still.

3.  This chat conversation with my older daughter is typical of what our discussions are like.  Some are less serious.  (With her permission):

her: I'm trying to think of more interesting stuff to post.
me: Post about your new appliances

her: and how they use less electricity!

me: How old the frig was. Or the washer--exaggerate. It was a hand cranked wringer style. haha
Yes. How you evaluated and rated to choose therm. NOT by color

her: Nope, it wasn't even a washing machine. I had a branch of the Licking River diverted through my basement, and I had to beat the clothes with paddles to get them clean.

me: My situation was that I sneaked down to the local swimming hole at night to wash my clothes.

her: I had to wait for rainy days so I could go stand out in it. Fortunately, it rains a lot in Ohio.

me: lol

4.  Knitting down my yarn stash a little bit more.  This time around, I'm knitting hats.  They will most likely be traveling to a snowy climate to warm up cold little ears.

5.  This quote which I stole found and copied from Colleen in Australia's blog“In daily life we must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratefulness that makes us happy.” Brother David Steindl-Rast

And that's why I write my Fave Fives every Friday.  You, too, can share your gratefulness and, if you want, link to Susanne's blog here.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Things That Make Me...

1.  Laugh.  This week my friend MARILYN brought me a cup of coffee at the end of my class.  The barista had written her name on the side of the cup.  But it was spelled MARYLAND.

2.  Smile.  Spending several hours Wednesday evening with my daughter Kiti who was in Los Angeles for business meetings this week.  Chatting, laughing, talking over a yummy Thai meal, I realized that there is no substitute for face to face conversations.  Skyping, texting, and chatting are great but sitting across the dinner table is best.

3.  Relieved.  My grad student son who has been wandering around Indonesia for three months is back stateside.  When I saw that the phone call I missed during class Thursday morning was from his 'domestic' cell phone, I realized he was 'home'.

4.  Pleased.  With another finished sweater.

and buttons sewn on this one.

5.  Thoughtful.  The combination of what I have been learning in my Precepts Bible Study on the book of Daniel (that guy in the Old Testament--you know, the one who got thrown into the lions' den), my discussion group about the book The Power of a Whisper, Hearing God, Having the Guts to Respond by Bill Hybels, and my continued (slow) reading of Richard Foster's Freedom of Simplicity has provided me with ample thought-provoking and challenging material to meditate on this week.

My week has been one that has simply made me grateful to be alive and well here in my own little corner of California.  Thank you, Susanne, for providing the opportunity to link up for Friday Fave Five!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Just Add Buttons

This week (like many other weeks recently) was quite busy.  I have not had much time to be online or visit other blogs.  I'm hoping that my days will slow down a little.  Here are highlights from Willow's Week.  As usual, I am linking up with Susanne's Friday Fave Five as I focus on, not the busyness, but the blessings of the week.

1.  Choosing to spend a couple of hours reading on Monday morning was the right thing to do.  I just needed a short sabbath to relax before the week roared in to high gear.

2.  All that remains to finish the February Lady Cardigan for my daughter is sewing on the buttons.  I am more motivated to do it this weeked in anticipation of seeing her when she is in Los Angeles on a business trip this next week.  Two faves in one; but who's counting?

3.  We rushed down to West Los Angeles Wednesday afternoon after our classes to meet up with friends who we hadn't seen for a couple of years for dinner.  The young woman we watched grow from a jr higher to a lovely adult as a classmate and close friend of our daughter (see #1).  I furiously knitted on a little sweater for their new baby and almost finished it.  Part of one sleeve, the hood, and five buttons left to work.  The yarn came from my stash and so that is THREE faves in one--knitting, using up my stash and cuddling a precious new baby boy.  But who's counting?

4.  More spinning and demonstrating, this time at the Ventura Scottish Highland Games.  We were positioned near the building entrance by the stage where Celtic Spring performed four times during the day.  LOVE their music!  And I sold more hats and scarves which means more $ for Generate Hope.  Another two for one?

5.  Thursday (last) night we attended a dinner at The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.  Wow!  What an amazing place.  After the dinner/program, I just stood under Air Force One and marveled at the plane and at the helicopter.  I think that President Reagan would have approved of the function--The Prison Fellowship (Chuck Colson) and The Urban Ministry Institute (a ministry of World Impact) are partnering to provide seminary education to people in prison in a program called Prisoners to Pastors.  Since The Professor is a board member with The Urban Ministry Institute Satellite in Los Angeles, we were excited to hear about the partnership and enjoyed spending a couple of hours with some friends and former colleagues in a marvelous venue.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Some Mobility

Lately, it seems that I manage to post a Friday Fave Five every week, but that is about all.  I find that my days are flying by this autumn especially since I started back to teaching the writing classes.  This year I have more students and more classes.  While I am happy for the extra income and the opportunity to teach more students excellent writing skills, the work has seriously cut in to my photography and blogging time.  And truthfully, recovering from the sprained ankle has taken much time and energy.

Nevertheless, even in the midst of busyness and healing, I continue to focus on what is important to me, what blessings God has provided to me each week.  Because that really is the reason for Friday Fave Five.  Thanks to Susanne for hosting FFF every week!

1. I had agreed two months ago to demonstrate spinning with the weavers/spinners guild at Reyes Adobe Days in Agoura Hills, CA (far northwest suburb of Los Angeles County).  On Sunday morning, The Professor loaded up my spinning wheel and accesories into the car and drove me over there.  I discovered that, yes, I can manipulate the spinning wheel with one foot.  I enjoyed the day spinning a lovely blue and green wool and silk blend fiber. (Photos to follow when the two ply yarn is finished.)

2. The best part of the day was selling several items including two boy bunnies, all but one of the coffee cozies, that sweet turquoise, grey and white striped baby sweater, and several scarves and hats.  All proceeds will be going to help THIS GROUP.

3. The Professor was looking for a particular library book that isn't in our city library system.  He found it was available at the main library location in Ventura so, of course, we drove up there to pick it up.  While he was searching the shelves for his book, I found a volume of all three of Elaine St. James' books which included Simplify Your Life, Inner Simplicity and Living the Simple Life.  This week I'm rereading St. James' ideas.  I had read the books in the 1990s shortly after they were published and appeared in our library in Oregon.  It has been good to remind myself of how far I've come on my simplicity journey and remember some things I'd forgotten in the past few years.  My favorite:  remembering why I love very simple eating (and cooking) habits.

4. We had a lovely and refreshing rainstorm this week.  Our very thirsty, dry, brown mountains happily soaked up the wetness.  I think that just the one day of rain turned the hills a little bit green.  Maybe it's just my imagination.  But they look green to me.

5. These weeks while I've been sitting around, NOT walking much, besides the knitting I've been doing, I've also been tackling the mountains and boxes and files of old photos and slides.  Finally, I overcame my resistance to learning to operate the scanner.  I've been scanning photos and organizing them on my computer.  In a pile of old slides I found this one:

Me on a trail in the Papuan jungle

That was Willow's Week.   How was yours?  Did you reread any favorite books, enjoy a hobby, rediscover an old memory?