Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Five Best Things...

About being on Easter Break.

1. no compositions to grade.

2. no early Thursday morning commute. Even if it is to Ventura. Even if it is shared with a delightful companion.

3. leisurely lingering over coffee and comics in the morning.

4. more time to read and walk and knit.

5. open schedule so my daughter and two little kiddos can come for a three day visit.

Back Soon.

Linking to Living to Tell the Story for Friday Fave Fives.

PS:  Thanks for all the comments and emails about photo storage.  I hope to have time to investigate further next week.  Amazingly, weirdly, I have been able to post a couple of photos...

PSS:  Here is a sneak preview of the green and blue birthday sweater.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Whimsical Windows, Delirious Doors

Windows and doors can tell the observer much about the geographical setting of the home to which they are attached.
I wondered why this doorstep was enclosed and faced the direction it did.  At first I figured it was merely an architectural statement.

Then I passed this craftsman style home with only half of its porch enclosed with windows.  It dawned on me.  Since the prevailing winds blow from the beach which is mere blocks away, these doors are being protected from the wind and rain.  A lyrical answer to a prosaic problem.

On the other hand, banks of windows open to the front of a home indicate that the owners enjoy the view across the road and ignore the wind.

I would, too.  Wouldn't you?
Details:  The Avenues in south Redondo Beach, California

Linking to Whimisical Windows, Delirious Doors at Toby's blog.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Marching On

The Third Week of March
St. Patrick's Day
The First Day of Spring
These are milestones in the year.
Each week is filled with little mileage markers--pillars to mark my gratitude.

1. I had a milestone this week--my birthday.
Since The Professor is on Spring Break and I am not, we decided that a four day whirlwind trip to Phoenix would be a fun way to celebrate my birthday and visit our oldest--The Chaplain and his wife.  It was just right!  I requested lunch at The Farm Kitchen at the The Farm at South Mountain.

2.  My cousin who lives in the mountains north of Phoenix drove down to meet us and spend my birthday with me.  I tried to upload a photo of the two of us with me wearing my new green and blue sweater (yes, I did finish it!) but blogger told me that I am out of space and must purchase the privilege to post more photos.  So, no picture of the sweater.  (I experienced this before and I didn't post any pictures for a couple of weeks and then blogger allowed me to start posting photos again.  Maybe that will happen next month...any comments from your experience with blogger and photos would be greatly appreciated.)

3.  On Sunday, The Chaplain's in-laws who are lovely wonderful fantastic kind fun enjoyable amazing people (yes, they really are!) joined us for lunch.  Uncharacteristically, we had to avoid a rainstorm while we dined under the veranda roof of the cafe. (yes, it evidently does rain in Phoenix.)

4.  The drive through eastern California and western Arizona contains its own beauty.  I love the muted desert colors.  Approaching the Coachella Valley from the east (think: Palm Springs), the highway swoops down into the low flat area which is surrounded on three sides by towering mountains.

Yes, the mountains really do have snow on their peaks.

5.  In the fourteen hours we spend in the car, we encountered traffic accidents, two of which seemed rather serious.  According to news stories we read later, fortunately, no one was killed.  But it reminded us that we are truly thankful for uneventful road trips.

This has been Willow's Week--Susanne hosts Friday Fave Five to allow us to share the blessings of our week.  If you want to join, or just read,  here is the link to Living To Tell the Story.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Whimsical Windows, Delirious Doors #16

Week #16

Last weekend, I took some photos of windows and doors in Redondo Beach and planned to post them today.  But then, I read something about St. Benedict in an email this morning and I started thinking about monasteries, abbeys and cathedrals.  That little rabbit trail took me back to thinking about England.  Again.  I couldn't resist opening up my files of photos and reliving our two visits to Canterbury Cathedral.
Oh, so many elaborate windows and doors!

Glimpses of the tower windows among the arches.

I'm linking to Toby's Whimsical Windows and Delirious Doors.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

More March Memories

The second week of March 2012 has wandered along.  How did you spend your days? What did you do?  Did you find blessings?  I hope your days were filled with choices where you could look and find reasons to be thankful.  Susanne at Living to Tell the Story hosts Friday Fave Five so we can share our weekly events of gratitude.  Here are more of my March Memories.

We spent the weekend doing this
(90 lbs. of pit bull puppy love, dog sitting for out of town friends)

while walking along here

and gazing at this.

2.  The trees are blossoming everywhere even in the Trader Joe's parking lot.

I love how the brown branches criss-cross and make a background jumble of lines against the bright blue sky while the frilly pink blossoms drape themselves everywhere.

3.  The California poppies are showing up in my garden and in every imaginable spot where there is a tiny bit of soil to sustain their carrot like roots.  I see them blooming on the hillsides, at freeway onramps, in neighbors' gardens.

4.  Knitting and knitting. And. Knitting.  Green/blue yarn.  The body of Liesl is finished.  I'm ready to begin the sleeves.  Will I finish by St. Patrick's Day?  Since the seventeenth is my birthday, I'm still hoping.  And knitting.  When I told my students that my birthday is St. Patrick's Day, they asked me if I am Irish.  I told them that I have enough Irish blood to fill my big toe.  I do have Irish ancestors.  Two of my great-great-great grandparents were born in Ireland.  Their names were William Kent and Ellen Brock.  According to the records I have, William was educated at the University of Dublin.  So, yes, I'm (a wee bit) Irish.  Fortunately, my parents resisted naming me Patricia, much to the disgust of my Great Uncle Patrick (also born on March 17th).  I wear a sterling silver clover leaf necklace and clover leaf earrings to honor my Irish roots and celebrate my birthday.  If I don't finish the sweater, I will have to be content with wearing my Irish jewelry.  Stay tuned...the sleeves shouldn't take too long to knit--I'm using large size 11 needles.

5.  Time change.  The reasons I chose last weekend's time change as a fave are because now I am back in the same time zone as my son and daughter-in-law who live in Arizona.  It's easier to call them when we all think it's the same time.  Also, while the sun may rise later now, it also stays lighter longer in the evenings.  Light at night makes it easier to walk after dinner which I have done three times since Sunday.  It's good for my heart and health.

This weekend we shall be away.  We're driving to Arizona to visit Older Son (The Chaplain) and his lovely wife.  There will be no beach scenes.  Just lots of this:

and this.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Whimsical Windows, Delirious Doors #15

As Toby mentioned in her post today, WWDD has been around for more than 1/4 of a year.  I don't know about you, but I'm thoroughly enjoying it.

Here is a whimsical window, a wall of windows in a high rise office building in downtown San Diego where they reflect the view toward the east.

Follow THIS LINK to see other fantastic images from around the world.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

March Memories

Friday Fave Fives
First Week of March 2012

1. Older Daughter was in Southern California last week attending business meetings.  Amid her many hours of work and evenings of gaiety visiting her many SoCal college friends, we managed to grab a couple of hours with her.  When we live 2,400 miles apart, those hours are precious.  What did she want to do?  Eat Indonesian food.  So over our lunch of nasi goreng, gado-gado and soto ayam, we chatted and laughed and reverted back to speaking the (second) language of her childhood.

2.  On the return drive, The Professor and I stopped at LaJolla Canyon just north of Malibu and hiked up just beyond the (dry) waterfall.  It's a steep, deep, narrow canyon which we've hiked before with friends.  I tend to linger behind The Professor with my camera, and then too, he is a much faster walker than I.

3.  The giant coreopsis are blooming.  These odd gangly sticks are dry and, if you must know, rather ugly most of the year.  But.  In Spring.  Oh they burst into feathery green fronds and bright gold daisy like blooms.  When I see the giant coreopsis shooting up above the buckwheat, sage and manzanita on the hillsides, I know Spring Is Here in Southern California even if the calender states that it's still winter.

4.  To make the day complete, all the other children who weren't in lunch driving distance called.  Communicating with all my kids in one 24 hour period helped to make this mama joyful and thankful.

5.  After weeks of dilly-dallying and indecision, I finally chose a pattern to knit a sweater with some silk/wool blend yarn I recently finished spinning.  It's Liesl by Scottish designer Ysolda Teague.  I've been trying to post a photo of the sweater from her blog but so far all my efforts have been unsuccessful.  Basically Liesl is a round yoked cardigan knitted in a simple lace pattern.  I have delusions of finishing the bright green and blue sweater before St. Patrick's Day so I can be wearin' the green.  Do you think I can knit that fast? Yeah, I'm not sure, either.  But at least I made the decision and bought the pattern...

I know that there were many other highlights from this week which I could include, but these five are favorites because my mind  and memory continues to return to these particular events of the past seven days. (I didn't even begin to describe the fun and funny stories my students wrote which have kept me entertained during the hours of correcting mostly punctuation and sentence fragments. And the essays one boy sent me to read which he wrote as part of his requirements for receiving his Hapkido black belt were beautiful and deeply touching.)  This was Willow's Week.  Did you have highlights that are remaining in your mind and memory?

I always link my Friday Fave Fives to Susanne's blog Living to Tell the Story.

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Whimsical Windows, Delirious Doors #14

Whimsical Windows, Delirious Doors
hosted by Toby at her blog.

What could be more whimsical than the Narnia Window in the Headington Quarry Parish Church where C.S. Lewis worshipped and where he is buried in the churchyard?

Close ups and details

Photos taken June 2008, Headington, England

Thursday, March 01, 2012

One of Those Weeks

You know those weeks when things just hum along, those weeks which are neither exceptional nor dastardly.  Some weeks, I don't have much to report because the days simply 'happen'.  So, let's see.  What happened to Willow's Week?

1.  On Sunday we needed to drop by Lowe's and the library, so we decided to make an afternoon of driving to Ventura.  North on Hwy 101 to California Street in Old Town Ventura.

 We lunched at Nature's Cafe and serendipitously found a pair of shoes for me next door.  After a 3 mile walk on The Promenade,

 we finally made it to Lowe's to purchase some garden supplies and a new kitchen door knob to replace a broken one.  Exciting, huh?

2.  Phone calls with my brother.

3.  Visit with my sister-in-law.  We live in the same town and used to work in the same school and often saw each other seven days a week.  Now we're lucky to see each other once or twice a month.  So this week, I grabbed a couple of cups of coffee and headed to her house--just to chat for an hour.  We should do that more often--both the coffee and the chat.

4.  Quiet hours of reading.

5.  Bluster Bay Shuttle.  I need a shuttle to use with my loom.  I didn't have one.  Asking around, I discovered that a member of the spinning/weaving guild was selling a couple of hers.  So I bought one of these:
I'm one step closer to actually weaving on my new-to-me loom.  Hopefully, by next week, I'll be able to report that I've wound some yarn on the new shuttle and used it to begin practice weaving.

This was my quiet week.  Even in the quiet, ho-hum weeks, there can be blessings and simple pleasures.  How was yours? 

I've linked my Friday Fave Fives to Susanne's blog Living to Tell the Story.