Thursday, October 31, 2013

Fave Fives in November

So begins the month of giving thanks which ends in the celebration of Thanksgiving in the US.  I like to focus on gratitude and thanksgiving all year, each week, each day, and Friday Fave Fives helps me do just that.  Here are my faves for this week:

1.  This comment from a friend's facebook page.  It made me LOL.

The worst part of exercising is when I fell like I'm going to throw up and pass out and then the instructor says, "Now that we've warmed up, let's get started..."

2.  I continue my obsession with reading Louis L'Amour books.  As The Professor states, they are not great literature, but every once in a while L'Amour nails it with a brilliant and entertaining sentence:

"His background was unknown, except that it seemed more than probable that it had included a postgraduate course in the unrefined arts of murder, mayhem, and assorted varieties of robbery."  
The Trail to Seven Pines

3.  This week, although I was unable to join in the celebration, a little girl was formally adopted into her forever family.  The Professor and I are 'honorary grandpa and grandma' to this sweet girl and her big sister who also call my daughter 'Auntie Mimi'.  Her mama told me a couple of weeks ago that after October 30th she was giving me permission (and, indeed, encouragement) to post photos of their new daughter. 

Welcome HOME!
Little Miss N with her mama and sister

4.  Yes, there has been knitting.  The last Christmas stocking, which is for The New Boy, is nearly finished.  Isn't it just adorable?

5.  Sometimes it's just serendipity.  I was in the right place at the right time to be gifted this beautiful yarn-- hand spun silk and wool, hand dyed in my favorite blues.  There is 14 oz, certainly enough to make a vest, or maybe a sweater.

What has happened in your week to produce in you daily thanksgiving?

Thursday, October 24, 2013


Absent With Out Notice
Oops.  I didn't mean to be gone.  It just happened.  Life was busy around Willow's Cottage what with jobs and life, and we took a couple of trips to the south.  It was a great two weeks but you know how it is--it gets tiring running around and having fun.  I definitely chalked up the blessings during these two weeks.  I'm sharing them here and on Friday Fave Five.

1. The main reason we were in San Diego was to celebrate a certain seven year old's birthday with a Bat Girl Party.  Happy Birthday, ZG!  We are so very thankful that you are in our family and we will be able to celebrate your birthday every year forever.

2. While we were in San Diego that weekend, we decided to drive up to Julian.  Julian is a sweet little town east of San Diego, up in the mountains.  Julian is over 4,000 feet in elevation and therefore has actual real seasons.  In October, there are pumpkins and yellow leaves and horses standing in golden fields.

3. The days in San Diego were wonderful.  Playing hide and seek--

"I'm hiding!"

Playing cars

 Finishing Christmas stockings

Knitting Pink Socks

4. Then The Boy and his mama met us in Los Angeles.  What do you do when the family is together?  We visit museums.  A little back story here would help.  When my younger daughter was in college, she was an anthropology major.  Her close friend and classmate is now employed at the Los Angeles Natural History Museum in Exposition Park.  So we enjoyed a special tour of labs at the museum.

Their favorite find?  Coprolites  (common name:  fossiled animal poop)
Such kids.

Then we were off to the Page Museum at the La Brea Tar Pits.  (This is where my daughter worked during her internship)

 skeletons and skulls

Dire cat skulls

Finally we ended the day the way we love--eating Indonesian food!

This is the only food photo I caught because I was too busy eating rice, veggies and peanut sauce.  The dish in the picture is a special chicken soup called soto ayam.  Note the TWO spoons--you just gotta share!

5. Our final day together was at the Getty Center.  Oh we love that place!  There is just So. Much. To. See.  Check out the permanent and special exhibits here.

Even the buildings and autumn leaves are breathtaking!

So this is why I disappeared for two weeks.  We were making memories.  Did you make memories this week?

Thursday, October 10, 2013

If It's Friday,It Must Be Fave Five

Can it already be Friday again?  I thought it was Monday just yesterday.  I've been searching my soul and my memory for the blessings of the week to celebrate Friday Fave Five.

1.  There were three of us in college who sang together and hung out together.  We considered ourselves 'sisters'. One of them I've maintained close contact with through all the years (that would be Blueberry Lady) and one I've reconnected with in the past two or three years after losing contact for awhile.  We exchanged the most encouraging and enjoyable emails this week.

2.  Blueberry Lady and I had coffee one afternoon.  She brought along a book to show me.  It's called An Anthology of Christian Literature.  The three of us knew the author well and were each given a copy of it to read and treasure.  Sadly, mine disappeared during one of my MANY moves across the country.  (I know when it happened, and I blame the US Post Office for the loss--the book box evidently broke, and the postal worker substituted a neurosurgery book for mine--yes, really.)  I am thrilled to see a copy of this book and am looking in to the possibility of having a personal copy made of it.  (Still looking for a family member of the author for permission)  Oh, and our chat of mutual encouragement was just what I needed that day.

3.  On Saturday, I took my portable Lendrum spinning wheel to demonstrate spinning at Reyes Adobe Days at-- the Reyes Adobe.  It's an annual outing for me and the people who stopped by to watch us spin remembered me and the hats I've had for sale the past couple of years.  Several people specifically came by to buy another hat.  One family purchased a little one for their new son so both of their boys could have a 'favorite cap'.  It's encouraging to know that my handiwork is appreciated.

4.  It's also encouraging to note that my classes are beginning to 'gel' and gain a sense of their identity.  Some classes take longer than others but they seem to be settling in well.  (I had my doubts about one class but it's coming together.)

5.  Long conversations with my adult children are always a joy and delight for me.  This week I've talked at length with all four of them.  What a blessing they are to me!

Here is more useless gratuitous trivia:  Nearly 90,000 people live in Santa Barbara, California where the (average?) elevation is 33 feet.  (Yes, I was there again one afternoon this week to visit my friend in the rehab hospital.)

Happy Thanksgiving to all my Canadian friends north of the 49th Parallel in North America!

Thursday, October 03, 2013

October's First Friday Fave Five

It's Friday Fave Five time.  First Friday in October.  It was a good week.  Of course, there's always knitting.  And reading.  But I can only choose FIVE.  So here they are:

1.  One day on an errand of love and concern, I drove to Santa Barbara to visit an ailing friend who was a colleague and neighbor when we were living in Papua, Indonesia.   Her steadfast spirit and cheerful attitude encouraged me. I hope I was able to encourage her.

2.  My destination was less than a mile from Mission Santa Barbara and I was a bit early, so I detoured to the mission to have a peek at it.  I've toured the mission in the past so I didn't go in.  Simply standing outside and gazing at the wonderful architecture of the mission was delightful.  I love California Mission style and Santa Barbara Mission is one of my favorites.  One of these days, I'll visit the gardens as I remember being enchanted with them.

3.  The residential area surrounding the mission is filled with beautiful homes, almost all of them built in the same California Mission style.

I can't decide which one I'd want to live in!

4.  There is a memorial rose garden in the small park in front of the mission.  Of course, I had to take a couple of photos since all of my roses at Willow's Cottage have been pulled off and eaten by the local deer.

I didn't realize until I uploaded the photo and looked at it on my computer that there is a ladybug crawling up the stem on the right.

5.  Our Dear Girl is seven!  Happy Birthday!  Yes, she's a total whirlwind of energy.

photo stolen from her mommy's facebook page

Bonus:  Plates.  License plates.  On my drive to Santa Barbara, I noticed Louisiana, Texas, Arizona, New York and Colorado.  Also, I saw license plate holders from various colleges and universities:  Westmont College (in Santa Barbara), UC Santa Barbara, San Francisco State, THE Ohio State University, and Cal State Channel Islands (where The Professor professes).  And then there were the team plates:  Lakers, Texas Longhorns, Green Bay Packers.  Well, I have to do something to keep myself alert and paying attention to traffic...If I don't have my eyes on the road and the cars around me, I would be staring at the beach and surf where I'd really rather be.

Extra Bonus:  Useless Trivia.  Carpenteria, a beach town between my city and Santa Barbara, has a lower elevation than Malibu.  Malibu: 12 feet.  Carpenteria: 7 feet. (according to the population signs on the highway)

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

A Work In Progress

WIP in the knitting universe means a Work in Progress.  This is my current WIP.  (I admit, it's one of the three or four WIPs on my knitting needles right now.)

Pure and Simple Babies Neck down Cardigan
Size 12 months but the gauge is smaller so I'm guessing it's maybe 8-9 months
Debbie Bliss ecobaby yarn (100% organic cotton)
Size 6US needles to accommodate the recommended gauge

This is pure delight to knit for several reasons.  It's a simple pattern I've made numerous times so I don't need to 'think' about it.  There are NO seams to sew.  As for the yarn, it slides sweetly through my fingers onto the needles.  The recipient is a relative-- a cousin's grandbaby.

Win, win, win, win.