Thursday, September 26, 2013

First Full Week of Fall

Some weeks I hardly pick up my camera to snap a photo.  This was one of those weeks.  To no one's surprise, I would say it is mostly due to the fact that I am back in teach classes/correct papers mode.  Even with the change in routine, I look for ways to find blessings in my week.  That's what Friday Fave Fives is for--recording and sharing five blessings.

1.  Knitting.  Last December I made Christmas stockings for the eight adults in our family.  I posted photos of them here.  This week I've been working on the stockings for the three littles.  One is finished--lots of pink with magenta hearts.  Obviously that one is for our girlie girl Z.  The boys want more many colors like orange and brown and green.  L's stocking is nearly finished--just have the toe to finish.  Then I will knit The (Not So) New Boy's stocking.  Photos soon?

2.  The news from The New Boy is that he really likes Kindergarten.

3.  Our espresso maker died.  That's NOT the blessing.  But having an alternative available for brewing coffee is.  We've pulled out our one cup Melita from the camping gear and so the morning coffee has continued to flow without interruption.

4.  I've been attending not one but TWO Bible Studies this fall.  Both of them have a rather aggressive homework assignment expectation.  I decided to participate in both of them because I have taken the classes before so I don't have to do all the homework; I just review it.  But the blessing has been that I am loving BOTH courses all over again.  Philippians and II Peter.  SO RICH in life lessons for me to relearn.

5.  A while ago, I downloaded a free book on my Kindle-- Brother Lawrence's The Practice of the Presence of God.  I own a paper copy of the book but having it on my Kindle makes it doubly accessible and easy to pick up and read just a page or two which is really all one can read and meditate on at one time.  Have you read it?

Not an exciting week here at Willow's Cottage.  It's been one of those same old, same old weeks.  Work, Read, Walk, Knit, Sleep.  Beautiful weather.  Loving family.  Who could ask for more?

Sunday, September 22, 2013


I love autumn.
Vibrant colors thrill me.
Green, Brown, Tan, Orange,Yellow, Red
All mixed up together
in leaves and grass.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Continuing On

Friday Fave Fives.  After a busy week, it's good to slow down and THINK about my blessings.  Susanne's Friday Fave Fives helps me do that.  Without the discipline of knowing I want to write my gratitude list for the week, I might let the week slip past without taking notice.

1.  A long conversation with a cousin.  As I sift slowly through the photos from my father's childhood, I have found pictures of my uncles.  I called the oldest son of one uncle to ask about where to send photos I have scanned and want to share with him and his brothers.  We chatted for quite awhile and caught up on family news.

2.  Loving some of the old photos I'm finding.

'Three Dirty Boys'
(on the ranch in rural Oregon, mid 1920s)

Three Brothers-- a bit older

3.  I'm not sure how my computer changed a setting for my desktop background.  But recently the photos have been rotating and changing daily or more often.  I've realized how much I am actually enjoying the unexpected memories the photos have elicited.  Some photos I don't remember taking; others I look and think about where I was and why I shot that particular photo.  It has been fun.  I've learned how to reset the background but I've decided for now I like the changes.

4.  I'm not much of a sports fan but here at Willow's Cottage, SOMEONE has been faithfully watching the Los Angeles Dodgers make their way to clinching the Western Division Championship.  SOMEONE is really happy since HE has been a Dodger fan since the Brooklyn Dodgers moved to Los Angeles in 1958.  GO BLUE!

5.  Dark Chocolate.  A little bit, just a bite or two.  Every day.  It's a health food, right?

I hope you won't let your week's blessings go unobserved.  For what are you grateful this week?

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Beginning Again

It's the start of the school year for me.  It's also a reboot for me to participate in Friday Fave Fives since I have been road tripping it on an out of state adventure.

Because I haven't posted a FFF lately, I can't focus on just this past week!  So here are my favorite parts of my trip to Oregon and back.

1.  Riding with my daughter and her two kids.  We. Love. Road. Trips.  It was So. Much. Fun.  Almost two thousand miles of chatting while gazing at incredibly beautiful scenery.  (Just a little note here.  You may wonder why I never post photos of these two grandchildren.  It's because in the world of rules imposed by the state, county, and social services, photos of children who are not officially, finally adopted, are not allowed to be posted on any internet site.  So until that long anticipated and joyous event occurs, all you get on social media is blurry pictures of the backs of their heads.  This in no way lessens the deep love I have for these two precious little ones, but I do try to live within the law.)

2.  Visiting my only brother and his wife for the first time in three years.  He has always loved driving anything.

3.  Seeing friends from my Oregon days. Lunch with the Taylors.  Afternoon with a dear friend, her daughter and grandsons--they loved playing with our little ones.  Breakfast and coffee with the Soap Lady (we've been friends since college days).

4.  Attending the morning service at our church in Portland.  Oh that was wonderful.

5.  And of course I knitted there and back again.  Socks are good projects for road trips.

And now it's on to the business of teaching classes, correcting papers and keeping to a schedule.  Everything has its season.  Have you changed your activities with the season?

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


With apologies to all my friends who live in the San Joaquin Valley of Central California.

Driving through the very arid valley along a very dull interstate highway, we stared from our car windows and decided that George Lucas must have taken his ideas for the climate and terrain of Tatooine from this area between Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Slowly Moving Toward Fall

It is hard for me to wrap my brain around the fact that I will be going back to work this week.  I have had nearly four months off from teaching and I am adjusting my attitude to the idea that my schedule is changing.  It's not that I haven't been preparing lessons and materials for my forty IEW homeschool composition students.  It's not that I haven't been noticing the changing seasons -- even here in Southern California, the weather is telling me that autumn is coming.  It's just that I have gotten used to my summer life.

I had one last summer fling over Labor Day.  A Road Trip!

We drove north and east to intersect with Interstate 5 which runs from the Mexican border to the Canadian border.  Fillmore.  Castaic.  Lebec.  The Grapevine.  All these place names are like familiar friends.  The San Joaquin Valley.

Stockton.  Sacramento.  Williams.  Red Bluff.  Redding.

Northern California is a place of childhood memories for me.  Camping in the Redwoods.  Visiting a great aunt in Yreka. (Did you know there is a YREKA BAKERY?  It's a palindrome!)  Dunsmuir, a small town where the Sacramento River runs swiftly through the mountains.

Mt. Shasta!

Our destination:

So you can understand why I am dragging my feet about jumping in to autumn.