Thursday, June 28, 2012


Wow!  This has been a week of many accomplishments and finished projects.  I'm not sure what came over me, but I was a busy little Willow and crossed several things on my summer to-do list. Not to worry.  I know this will pass.  Maybe it's knowing that we will be off and flying again on the weekend which spurred me to action.  I am thankful for a productive week.  Frankly, I needed one since I've been rather lazy so far this summer.

1.  In clearing off a section of my kitchen counter (that nemesis is constantly recluttering itself), I found some cards I hadn't sent off to various people for various occasions.  So I sat down and wrote those notes and mailed them.  Wedding: check.  RSVP: check.  Graduations: check.  Email reply to handwritten note: check.  Typed reply to handwritten note: check.  Oh, it felt so fantastic to finally finish those letters!

2.  Two knitting projects off the needles.  Here is one of them.  A sweater for our Little R so he has a sweater knitted by Meema, too.

Red Heart Soft yarn.  Size 8 needles.
Oh Handsome Winter Sweater, size 3
Pattern by

And I even mailed it!

3.  I completed a couple of gardening projects.  I repotted some root bound plants and in the process cleaned up my little potting area.

4. In the middle of the week, I decided to set a goal for myself to weave at least 1 inch of weft on my loom every day. Here is the weaving I did--about 3 inches. 

5. No week would be complete without a couple of great quotes:

"The richest person is not one who has the most, but one who needs the least. Are you content with what you have?" (from someone's facebook page)

"This year I'm letting the Joneses keep up with me!"  (The Professor)

So this has been Willow's Week--so very productive!  What did you accomplish this week?

Thanks to Susanne for her faithful leadership in hosting Friday Fave Five where I've added my Fave list for this week.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

More San Diego Windows

Another skyscraper in San Diego with windows and (gasp!) doors onto sky high balconies.
I tried checking on some websites to identify what building this is (and the building in last week's WWDD), but I wasn't able to identify either one.  Because the photos were snapped from the middle of San Diego Bay on the Coronado Ferry, the angles of the buildings are different from the skyline photos I found.

Did you notice the circular window on the top floor?

Photographing architectural features is so much fun!
Here is the link to Whimsical Windows, Delirious Doors.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Travel--There and Back Again

Having been away for most of the past two weeks, I have had much to catch up on including participating in Friday Fave Five with Susanne at Living to Tell the Story (click the link to add your own FFF to the list).  The purpose of FFF is to practice gratitude for the wonderful gifts of grace we receive daily.  I find it to be an excellent exercise in thankfulness as I look back and  focus on the positive events in my life.

1.  Summer break always involves traveling to visit my children.  What mother does not LOVE spending precious moments with her kids?

 We had less than twenty-four hours to enjoy The Grad Student's company before he headed off on another summer's worth of adventures in other parts of the world digging for bones, shards and other ancient artifacts. (Yes, really and truly, that's what he does.  Isn't he lucky to have such an interesting job?)

We enjoyed a quick stroll around the Los Angeles Farmers Market on Fairfax where we know we will always be able to find our favorite drink of all time: es cendol. It's a sweet coconut drink we learned to loved in Indonesia.

After that, we met up with a couple of his friends and devoured a fantastic feast of Ethiopian food (one of our absolute culinary faves), said our farewells, knowing he was flying out of LAX just a few hours later.  We do know he arrived safely at his dig site but internet and phone access are seriously scarce out there so we don't expect to hear from him often. (In this case, no news is usually good news.  As long as I don't receive a call or visit from the US embassy or State dept, I can assume he's alive and well.)

2.  Just a couple of days later we hopped back in our happy little Honda CRV (love that car!) and drove to San Diego to see our youngest girl and her family.  We always have to visit the San Diego Zoo--it's tradition.

3.  This time, Little R had a preschool field trip--a ferry ride from Coronado Island across the bay to downtown San Diego and back again. So. Much. Fun.  The trip is only about fifteen minutes each way which is just long enough to enthrall a little one but not too long to bore him.

4.  Of course, at Willow's Cottage, knitting constantly commences.  On the needles right now are no less than four projects.  But this one is off now, finished, and on the shoulders of T.  Once I gave it to her and she was off and running, there was almost no opportunity for a photo op.  I did catch a quick close up shot of the Fair Isle design on the body of the sweater.  A top down raglan cardigan with a hoodie, knitted in Red Heart Soft yarn on size 9 needles, this Knitting Pure and Simple sweater is a perfect fit for our girl.

5.  I could mention all the wonderful walks and quiet reading hours of the past week, but what jumps out at me as a fave during the past few days is the generosity of a friend from my spinning/weaving guild.  Debbie had taken a non-working weaving loom that I owned and was ready to part with, fiddled around with it, and with the help of another friend, FIXED IT.  Then, she offered it back to me!  Not only did she graciously return it, but she also spent almost a full day with me teaching me how to work it, warp it and weave with it.  That is true generosity!

What moments stand out to you in the past weeks as events of thoughtfulness, generosity, gratitude?

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Colors of June

June's color palette

Sunday, June 17, 2012

A Whimsical Window in San Diego

Now this is a whimsical window:
a skyscraper in downtown San Diego has a window at the very tip top of its tower.
I wonder who lives up there and gazes at the pelican's eye view of San Diego Bay.

Monday, June 04, 2012

Windows and Doors

In honor of Queen Elizabeth's Jubilee, I chose a photo showing the windows in St. Paul's Cathedral which was taken in June 2008.  (yes, back to London again)

Friday, June 01, 2012

June First

Wow, it really is June!  Already.
And it's Friday, the first one in the month.
Time for Friday Fave Five hosted by Susanne at Living to Tell the Story.

Now that summer break has arrived, I am excitedly organizing my summer plans.  Trips to visit family, days off to play at the beach, books and more books to read, sweaters and more sweaters to knit. 
1. I began my fun filled week with a walk along the beach in Ventura where the wind surfers were out in the water taking advantage of the high winds.

The walk included this guy, Lord Surrey, my favorite pit bull puppy.

2. An advantage of having summer break is the freedom to take a day trip during the week.  On Tuesday, The Professor and I drove to Claremont (east of Los Angeles) to visit the Rancho Santa Ana Botanical Garden (RSABG) which features native California flora.

Sometimes RSABG places scupltures in meadows and small gardens.  This summer there are BUGS.  Big bugs.

I kept thinking how delighted our little ones would be to see them.

The garden also features unusual native plants such as this boojum tree.

Manzanitas are not uncommon but their red bark is distinctive and truly stunning.

The garden is situated in the foothills of the San Gabrial Mountains which you can see in the background behind the Our Lady's Candles.

3. The following may not seem like a favorite event for the week.  What I value about it is The Professor's steady and calm actions when he discovered this guy behind our house after we returned from our excursion -- a young rattle snake about 14 inches long.  He was just basking in the early evening sun and seemed disinclined to move.  Since we couldn't get at any defensive or offensive weapons (like rakes and shovels) without risking disturbing him, we called 911 to contact animal control.  A fire truck arrived rather quickly and the five firemen expertly and carefully executed their duty to remove the snake.  That's my fave--prompt and serious removal.  Earlier in the spring, our local newspaper had published an article warning residents who live near the mountains (we do) to be aware that this has been a season of unusually high numbers of baby rattlers hatched (abundant rain two years ago=more baby rabbits last year=more mama rattlers hatching more babies this year).  As you can imagine, we have and will be very careful and cautious working in our garden from now on.

4. There are happy animals in my garden, too, such as this feral ginger cat who decided that my Iceberg rosebush was a delightful spot to grab a little nap as long as I kept my distance.

5. What flowers say 'Southern California Summer' to you?  In my garden, I know it's almost summer when the jasmine and the hibiscus are blooming. 

Note:  This week I discovered proof that people have been taking my photos and posting them on other websites.  I have been aware for a long time that this is a wide spread problem on the internet and I suspected that my photos were being 'appropriated'.  When I was checking my 'sitemeter' account, I followed some trails and found my photos on more than one site. My reason for mentioning this is to ask what you do if/when you find your pictures posted without any permission from you or credit given for your work?  I have a notice on my sidebar that all my photos are copyrighted but obviously that doesn't mean anything to people who take them and post them.  I would appreciate your thoughts/opinions/ideas/suggestions about what to do.