Monday, August 26, 2013

Walking Down Memory Lane

Not actually a Lane, but The Strand.  In Manhattan Beach.

Planning a meet up with my dear sweet walking buddy from my LA days, we decided to walk our favorite section of the LA Beach Cities. Great memories as we strolled on The Strand.

Past the Pier.

Past the children at surf camp.

We walked and talked and simply enjoyed each other's company.  Then we enjoyed lunch among the hanging baskets of flowers.  It was warm and iced tea was a perfect refreshment.

After we sadly said our goodbyes (for a few weeks), I drove home along Pacific Coast Highway passing the usual landmarks.

The late afternoon fog was just beginning to roll in and the squadrons of pelicans were trolling for fish for dinner.

And so I too rolled on home north past Pepperdine University, past Trancas Canyon and Decker Canyon and Pt. Mugu.  Making more memories.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Changing Seasons

Counting down the days now until we were in full school routine mode.  This semester, for once, The Professor will have the same teaching hours every day.  I won't have to carry his schedule around in my pocket to know whether I can call him.  My days will be the same again this year as last.  Work at home Monday and Tuesday,  teach in two different cities Wednesday and Thursday.  This week we cherished our last days of 'freedom' even as we prepared for the months ahead.  These are my Friday Fave Fives for this week before our lives abruptly shift gears again.

1.  We attended the annual faculty dinner sponsored by the university library staff.  It's a gentle way to return to the academic year.  As always, dinner was served buffet style in one of the hidden courtyards at the back of the library.  And as always, we dipped fruit bits into the chocolate fountain and chatted with other faculty families.

2.  That man of mine knows how to take care of me.  One morning this week I woke to an empty house since he was already out the door.  I was covered with an extra blankie cuz he knows I get cold.  When I wandered stumbled into the kitchen, there was a hot latte waiting for me.  Yeah, he takes good care of me.

3.  I braved the LA freeways one day to visit a friend.  It's always a fave when I'm NOT stuck in traffic down there for hours.

4.  Have you heard of this restaurant?  Le Pain Quotidien.  When you have lunch there on the patio under the umbrellas and the flower baskets sway a bit in the breeze and taste that wonderful bread and scrumptious soup, you feel like you just might be in France, not Manhattan Beach.

5.  I know I mention it often, but I *heart* my local farmers market.  Every Saturday, 50 weeks a year, 8am-12:30pm.  The best fruit.  The best hummus and pita chips.  The best organic cucumbers.  Lettuce. Bok choy.  Kale.  Green beans.   Broccoli.  I could go on and on.  And on.  That farmers market is a weekly blessing.

Is your schedule changing?  I hope you find the blessings in each changing week and season.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Where Has The Summer Gone?

Nearly End of Summer Willow's Week Friday Fave Fives with Susanne.

Summer is almost over.  Sad but true.  In fact, The Professor has already spent a day in his office at the university.  I, also, am gearing up with prep work for the school year.  But mostly I'm ignoring the fact that it is the end of summer.

1.  We spent part of last week visiting little ones in San Diego and doing all the usual summer things.  The main reason for our visit was to be present at the two little ones' baptisms.  (Unfortunately, no recognizable photos are allowed to be posted in a public media place.)  But we did many other fun things such as our usual visit to San Diego Zoo.  The baby flamingos were adorable.  I forgot my camera but The Professor snapped one shot with his phone.

Hikes with friends.

Trolley rides

2.  Summer is not the time to knit warm sweaters.  It's the time to knit socks.

3.  Summer is bike riding time.  Thirteen miles one day with a stop for coffee.  Of course.

4.  Summer is a time for (more) reading.  Yeah, I'm still reading Louis L'Amour books.  Louis L'Amour wrote A LOT of books.

5.  Summer, and specifically August, is the time for more birthdays.  Son #1 and Daughter #1, both in early August.
Many years ago
So. Cute.

I don't know about you, but I am savoring every moment I have left of summer!

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

A Montenegro Day

When a friend lived in Montenegro for a few months, she found that her dramatically simplified life allowed her to focus more fully on creative outlets.  A group of us have adopted the title 'A Montenegro Day' to describe a day or hour set aside for pursuing something creative.

Today was one of our Montenegro Days. We chose Carpinteria, a beach town on Highway 101. They took their watercolors.

Predictably, I had my camera.

 a study in subtle shades of blue


macro setting

And of course, I never go anywhere without my knitting.

What do you do on a Montenegro Day?

Thursday, August 01, 2013

Fast and Fair

This will be quick.  I am in Phoenix, Arizona for two days to attend a funeral.  But even in the midst of a crazy weekend, I want to pop in to remind myself to be grateful.

Willow's Week for Friday Fave Five
with Susanne

1.  One evening we enjoyed dinner with long long time friends.  It's wonderful that we now live in the same town, but we realized that we hadn't been together for MONTHS.  So we just decided to have dinner.  We've hit on the perfect solution to make it easy to get together:  choose your own meal and bring it:  BYOM.  Fellowship and friendship doesn't have to mean a big dinner.  All we want is to hang out together and this way takes away all the stress of being the host/hostess. 

2.  Fun afternoon at the Ventura County Fair.  Every year, I volunteer to demonstrate spinning at the Ventura County Weavers and Spinners Guild booth.  It's so much fun!  Four students/parents wandered past and were surprised to see me 'outside of class'.  One boy asked, "So, is this your hobby?"  So cute!  Of course, in all the preparation for the trip and the demo, I forgot my camera.  Not. One. Photo.

3.  Safe and uneventful drive across the California and Arizona deserts to Phoenix.

4.  Comfy arrangements at the home of my son and daughter-in-law.  And that bit of extra time to spend with them.  (Added blessing:  we will be here for a couple of hours on his birthday!)

5.  Happy Birthday this week to my youngest child!  She has always been a delight and has blessed us so very much with her personality, her love for her family, her love for God, her love of justice and mercy.

Everyone agreed she was a beautiful baby!
One hour old.

On her wedding day
Still beautiful

There it is.  My week in Five.  I hope you've had a great and grateful week.