Friday, November 29, 2013

Thanksgiving Day FFF

Short and Sweet as I skid to a stop between activities...

Friday Fave Fives

I am thankful for
1.  safety for my sweet ones who drove in three different cars from Washington and from San Diego.

2.  beautiful weather while we played at the park on Thanksgiving morning.

3.  talking on the telephone with Son #1.

4.  skyping with The New Boy and his mama.

5.  clean water, central heating and wholesome food.

Bonus:  for friends and family.

Happy Thanksgiving weekend to you all~

Random beach love

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Week of Thanksgiving

Giving Thanks.  This month of November and in particular this week of the US Thanksgiving holiday, everyone around me, on facebook, and in the news, is focusing on giving thanks.  One of the main reason I like to participate in Friday Fave Fives is that ALL. YEAR. LONG.  Every. Week. I engage by my own focus and by the encouragement of other people in giving thanks for whatever comes my way during that week.

1.  I love 'spur of the moment' outings.  My friend/neighbor had a free day and after hearing me rave about the Cyrus Cylinder at the Getty Villa, she decided she wanted to take a Monday afternoon field trip and invited me along.  I loved returning to reread and review the exhibit.  I learned more history and noticed more details.  I was able to revisit one of my favorite museums with one of my favorite people.  Win-win.

2.  Company coming provided the impetus to deep clean my house.  I love a clean and orderly home, but I'd let myself get in to a rut of just making do and the house was looking like it.  Knowing that Thanksgiving (and next month, Christmas) company will be arriving has given me the boost I needed.  I've made my cleaning list [two rooms a day] and I'm sticking to it.  I've even moved some furniture around.  It looks like a new place.

3.  Finishing a couple of knitting projects.  Two red and green hats for a baby for his first Christmas.  A sweater and hat(s) set for a relative's grandson.  After I mailed them off, I realized I hadn't taken photos of them.  Even so, it was good to get them off my 'Works in Progress' list.

4.  On Saturday I washed my car.  It rained on Wednesday.  Obviously, there is a connection.  Everyone in my area should thank me for our first rainfall--all .17 inches of it.  You're welcome.

5.  A full week off for Thanksgiving.  No more explanation necessary.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

A Geeky, Nerdy Grammar Post

My job is to teach kids to write better.  Last week I taught them about adverbial clauses, those dependent clauses one adds to another clause to provide more information.  Their homework was to take one sentence, "Joe likes to sing" and add seven different adverbial clauses to it.  Here are the sentences written by one of my students:

1.  When Joe likes to sing, I run away.
2.  While Joe likes to sing, I plug my ears.
3.  Joe likes to sing where our fir tree is.
4.  As Joe sings, I rip out my hair.
5.  Since Joe liked to sing, I moved away.
6.  If Joe likes to sing any more, I am going to die.
7.  Although Joe likes to sing, he isn't very good.

I love my job!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

More Thankfulness in November

November is half over.  In two weeks we in the US will be celebrating Thanksgiving.  I've seen several people on facebook posting daily 'thankful' updates.  I like that and enjoy reading them.  But my favorite way to participate is in Friday Fave Fives because I do this every week during the year and it helps me focus DAILY on my blessings and reasons to be thankful.  Last weekend, my schedule went a little crazy and although I posted my Faves, I didn't get around to share in others' blessings.  I missed that and hope to be able to better reserve time in my schedule this weekend.

1.  Finally, there is evidence of autumn in Southern California.  While the temperature hasn't dropped, the flora is showing the season.  I do love the color changes which tend to be more pink and red rather than orange.

2.  Speaking of autumn, yeah, I love love love Southern Califerornia mediterranean fall weather--dry and in the 70s.

3.  Again this week I had occasion to drive to Santa Barbara.  There is something about that drive along Hwy 101, hugging the Pacific Ocean.  It is. Just. Beautiful.  In fact, we did that drive twice.  One Sunday, we enjoyed a delicious lunch with two friends.  I think we sat there in the restaurant for nearly three hours, chatting.  What a blessing that was!

4.  Monday, Veteran's Day, was a holiday, so we decided to do something special.  What could be more special than a visit to Getty Villa?  Again, we drove along the Pacific Ocean coastline (this time on Hwy 1), AND we saw the CYRUS CYLINDER.  Click on the link to learn more about this amazing archeological treasure.

The Getty Villa is breathtakingly, heart-achingly beautiful during any season, but in autumn the landscape glows and complements the colors in the buildings.

5.  I saved the best until last.  I *heart* technology! On Monday evening in our time zone, our family orchestrated a five way conference call via skype, so we could chat with each other across seventeen time zones!  I appreciate the care and love my kids have for their family, and I love how they sacrificed their time to be available to make the call happen.  From the East Coast of the US, to the Southwest desert, to the Pacific Coast, to Eastern Indonesia, we all connected so Son #2 could tell us about his research, Son #1 could share about his new hospital chaplain position, we could find out that The New Boy likes school and his favorite subjects are computers and recess, and we could hear the latest about adoptions progress and Marine Corps gunnery sergeant course.  This mama's heart was bursting with thanksgiving for my four children and their love for us and each other.

Thursday, November 07, 2013

First Week of November

This first full week of November brought that dreaded time change malaise.  It also brought us a cold virus which we've generously shared with each other here at Willow's Cottage.  Even so, there were many blessings to remind me to be grateful. I share them here for Friday Fave Five.

1.  A beautiful day
      in a beautiful place

2.  With my favorite person
We packed a lunch, bought some coffee, drove up the coast highway, and enjoyed a picnic in a park overlooking the Pacific Ocean.  Summerland is a tiny beach town near Santa Barbara, and its community park has FREE parking which is a small miracle along El Camino Real in sight of the beach.

Sitting at the picnic table under the pine tree watching the birds which were perched on the branches above us.

The school of surfers was sharing the water with a pod of dolphins.  (Just so you know, it's very difficult to catch a photo of a dolphin breaching the waves.  I tried.  Many times.)

3.  Encouraging words from friends in person and by email.  They remind us of how many people love and care for us and each other.

4.  A comment from my daughter's facebook page made me laugh.
My grandkids *heart* musicals.

"Little Man just took a bite of his food and said, "Mmmmmm... Rum punch." 
Thank you, Mary Poppins."

5.  Happy Birthday to the United States Marine Corps!  My daughter and son-in-law enjoyed attending the Marine Corps Birthday Ball this week.  Waiting for photos of them all dressed up in their formal clothes.

Bonus:  We don't live near any of our children.  But this week we talked with each one.  That's a wonderful gift!

I hope you've had a great week!  What gifts came your way?

Monday, November 04, 2013

Thankful #3 and #4

Two of my favorite things
coffee and the beach

(Yes, the Christmas cups are already here)

Saturday, November 02, 2013

Thankful #2

Today we drove to Santa Barbara to visit our friend who had a stroke recently.  I am THANKFUL that she is making wonderful progress!

Random beautiful photo

the camellias are beginning to bloom