Thursday, January 31, 2013

All Good Things

Looking back on the week, I have chosen Five Faves for sharing.

1.  I collect state and province license plates. I don't mean I actually collect them; I keep a list of license plates I see as we drive around the area.  Yes, I actually write them down on a slip of paper I keep in my car.  On the way home from class on just one day, I noticed plates from Georgia, Texas, Minnesota, New Mexico and Maryland, besides California.  For years, I've kept a list.  It amuses me.  It interests me.  I wonder why those cars have been driven from Vermont or Florida or Missouri or Alaska, and what their drivers are doing cruising along my stretch of highway.  What?? You don't notice and collect license plates?  I thought everyone did.  It's not weird.  My favorite find this week?  Hawaii!  How does one drive a car from Hawaii to California??

2.  After the rain we had last weekend, everything is blooming in this week's sunshine, including the flowering trees.  (Photos supplied for snow bound and frozen friends in the north)


3.  Our sunsets have been magnificent!

4.  On Saturday, I attended the monthly meeting of the local weaving and spinning guild.  This month one of our members demonstrated various types of fibers and discussed which ones were best used for which projects. In the afternoon, I tried out various combinations of wool, silk, bamboo, nylon.  It was fun to mess around and spin up little bits and bobs of yarn without having a project in mind.  My conclusion?  I don't enjoy wool/bamboo blend.  It didn't draw well.  It simply clumped up.  My favorite is still wool and silk.  I would have photographed the samples, but truly, bitty bobbins of scrap yarn does not an interesting photo make.  Trust me on that.

5.  However, photos of knitting always satisfy.  Baby hats. Bigger caps.  And some leg warmers.

So ends Willow's Week with encouragement and thanksgiving for all good things.  My Friday Fave Fives with Susanne.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

What Makes Me Smile

Daily, I remind myself to smile and be thankful for the blessings in my simple life.  Knowing that I will be sharing them every Friday through Friday Fave Five helps me concentrate on those positive things.

Thank you for your expressions of concern regarding the pain I have been experiencing.  Mostly, I am better and improving enough to be able to return to my daily walks.

When I hear the news that The New Boy is ripping through his addition and subtraction flashcards, the teacher in me cheers.  His Mama is a scientist/engineer, so it ought not to be surprising that as an almost five year old he understands numbers.

Another thing that encourages my inner teacher is the comment about the little girl who lives at my daughter's house, "Miss T read five words tonight!"

The Grad Student celebrated his birthday this week.  Well, celebrated is a stronger word than what actually happened.  I should say that his birthday was acknowledged.  Texts, emails and phone calls stated, "Happy Birthday!"  I gave him a consumable gift--his very own box of our favorite whole wheat pita chips with my promise to not eat even one chip from 'his box'.  When I remember his birth, I still marvel and am so very thankful for his life and health.  We were living in the jungle with only helicopter access to the nearest town and medical help.  I had malaria.  Mission Aviation Fellowship pilots heroically flew to pick us up and take us to the mission hospital where he was born a month before his due date.  But because of God's grace and mercy, we were both fine.  He has always excelled in anything he puts his mind and attention to doing. And he is thriving in his chosen field of study as an anthropologist.

Flowers blooming in my garden in January cheer me up.  Camellias are busting out all over.

The small white blossoms of the lenten rose have opened.

What's making you smile this week?

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Don't Judge Me

This morning I found this empty box in the parking spot next to mine.  Attracted by the color, I picked it up.

I am not a smoker.  Never have been.  Never will be.
Tobacco is NOT good for you.  Not even Natural tobacco.

Even the makers of these fine natural cigarettes must (by law) admit that smoking isn't a safe habit.
Kids, don't do this at home without adult supervision (or with it, either).

But you have to admit that the small four inch long box is awesome.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


I don't have much to say today.  It seems that during school weeks, I run out of words, having invested them in speaking nonstop for three to five hours during the days I am in the classroom.
So I shall simply show you what is blooming in my garden.


Lots of camellias.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Weekly Check In

Not much to say here today.  After four days of severe neck/shoulder pain, I'm exhausted.  Pain makes me tired.  However, I am truly thankful for these things:

1. My men.  They are taking great care of me.  Cooking, fetching, helping.

2. Cold packs.  I use a bag of frozen veggies.

3. Heat.  Sometimes the heating pad helps.

4.  Rest.  See #1.

5. Drugs.  Pain killers are my friend.

There has been a little bit of knitting but no photos.  Imagine a Harry Potter inspired 'Weasley Sweater', size 5 (child), blue, with a large red N on the front.  It's going to be so very cute.  The New Boy asks for one every year.  He's outgrown this one.

That's about it.  Although it has been a tiring week, I am still looking for and finding positive things in my week to share for Friday Fave Five.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Back to Routine

It was back to class this week which means I'm back in my routine.  I'm missing my lazy days!  The week has been a bit of a blur.  Let's see...can I remember what happened this week, events for which I'm thankful?

1.  The bad news:  our exceedingly aged microwave died.  The good news:  we can replace it easily.  We thought the oven and microwave were attached as one unit, but they're not.  More good news:  the amusement factor.  When I posted on facebook about it, many people mentioned that theirs had died too, including two cousins.  Is it an epidemic??

2.  The bad news:  The Professor's laptop's hard drive killed itself.  Dead. Very Dead.   The good news:  there was a great deal on just the right replacement.  He drove to the store and brought a new one home.

3.  No bad news about this:  we attended the first part of a three week seminar on using a digital camera.  The program is free, part of a series of seminars at the local library.  Instead of the expected 30 attendees, there were at least 150 people!  Even in this first program there was great information.  We enjoyed it and plan to attend the next two seminars as well.

4.  The really good news.  While #2 Son is visiting and waiting for visa paperwork to be processed so he can return to his research location, he has designated himself Chief Chef.  The boy is an inspired cook!  I taught him well--at least I gave him the basic tools and provided a positive environment for him to develop his own skills.  We are being fed quite well.  This was lunch--leftover lentil soup.  Delicious!  Magnificent! Delectable!  And it pleased me to eat it with a turquoise spoon.

5.  I can't let a week go by without knitting.  I finished two sets of leg warmers for a friend who will wear them with her boots--
the gray and navy ones are reversible.

Modeled by Miss P.

I hope you will continue to focus on the positive things every day.  We are certainly bombarded by negative news constantly, but it's crucial that we remember the good.  Susanne leads the way each week with Friday Fave Five.

This week I'm praying for the students and staff at Taft High School--just a few hours from me.

Thursday, January 03, 2013

First Fave Five of 2013

Are you still typing and writing 2012?  I am.  I have to stop and look to make sure my hands are keeping up with the dates.  Happy New Year!  2013!  Is it possible?  My mental calender has me somewhere back in November thinking about Thanksgiving plans.

Keeping connection with my Word for the Year, SAVE, here are my Five Faves for this week.  I saved my time, attention, money and personal energy to do what is most important to me--spend quality time with people I care about.

1. My daughter was gifted a LARGE amount on a coffee shop gift card, and she generously shared it with her family every day.  Mmmmmm... can I just say Soy Peppermint Mocha No Whip?

2. San Diego Zoo.  We visit the Zoo every time we are in San Diego.  Finally we decided it's just simpler to buy the yearly pass.  So we did.  It's a favorite place of the grandchildren too.  We each chose an animal to see.

3. The Hobbit!  Loved it. We put the littles to bed, hired a babysitter, and the adults went to watch it at a local theatre.  Martin Freeman is brilliant as Bilbo although I have to make a mental leap from seeing him as Watson to being Bilbo.  I recommend it.  Go watch it.

4. What did you do on New Year's Eve?  We enjoyed two special meals with friends.  We lunched at an Indian restaurant in LaJolla with a young man from Chennai (Madras) along with two of our own kids and two more of their friends.  Lentil soup and samosas.  Lively conversation.  An invitation to visit and sample 'real South Indian cuisine'.  That's an invitation we will certainly arrange to accept the next time we drive down to San Diego.  Then in the early evening we enjoyed dinner with a couple we hadn't seen in almost ten years.  We all agreed we need to get together sooner than that next time.

5. The best part of the week and of New Year's Eve was pulling into our drive, parking our car, dragging in our suitcases, and snuggling in our own bed after eleven nights away. There's no place like home.

Bonus:  Happy Third Birthday to Our Little R!

There we have it.  My first (partial) week of 2013.  My hope is that I will remember to always be thankful and be faithful to express it in print weekly again this year via Susanne's Friday Fave Fives.

Tuesday, January 01, 2013


New Year's Day is usually recognized as a time for new beginnings.  How many New Years resolutions have you made on January 1st and broken by January 7th?  After the indulgences of November and December, we want to straighten up our lives, homes and schedules and jump back on track.  For the past several years I have resisted making New Years resolutions because it was just too disheartening to realize I had failed at some abitrary rule I had made for myself.  I changed to making lists of hopes and goals and at the end of the Old Year and beginning of the New Year checking on my progress in reaching them.

For 2013 I decided to choose a word that describes those hopes and goals I want to accomplish this year.  After reading about this at my friend Meg's blog, I wondered what one word I could possibly use to sum up my plans and ideas for 2013.  Almost immediately, one word popped into my mind. 


This is not a word that I would have considered for my year's goals.  No one who knows me would consider me a 'saver' in the material possessions department.  But it fits perfectly.  Let me explain. 

1. Save money.  We are Dave Ramsey fans.  Well before Dave Ramsey began his Financial Peace University program, we were believers in living below our means and investing wisely.  This year we will continue to save our money wisely.

2.  Save Time.  Focus on wise time management.  Don't waste hours cruising facebook or reading blogs that don't really matter to me.

3.  Save Energy.  This is self explanatory.  We have energy efficient appliances.  We group our errands.  We bike.

4.  Save the Earth.  Although I wouldn't classify myself as a 'tree hugger', I care deeply about conserving our beautiful planet.  My efforts are focused on (but not limited to) maintaining safe and responsible food production, using renewable resources, and not wasting nonrenewable ones.

5.  Save the Best and Get Rid of the Rest.  For someone who is not a collector, stating that I want to save stuff is antithetical.  I'm not one to dump everthing and live out of a backpack, but I don't hoard stuff.  When I think of saving things, I want to save and use the things which are useful, bring me joy, save time and energy.  This year I will continue to get rid of the rest of the stuff that's not the best.

6.  Save the Memories.  That would be the yearly effort to deal with the photographs.  Will this be the year I finally finish?

I have two or three other goals for which I am still considering the details but this is a start for Hopes and Goals for 2013.  I'll save those for later.  These Six Saves will do to begin The New Year.

What hopes and goals are you choosing for the year?  Do you have a word that sums up your intentions for 2013?