Friday, December 27, 2013

Christmas Week

Really, it's the week between Christmas and New Years.  For many of us, it's a week off.  This time has generated many blessings.  Here are Five Fave blessings which I'm sharing via Susanne's blog.

1.  I love how The Professor has described our Christmas break:  it's a series of Saturdays.  Day after day, it's Saturday.  We truly needed a rest, and so far this Christmas has been just what we needed.  Rising late and slowly.  Sipping coffee and maybe getting another cuppa at our favorite coffee place where we sit and read quietly.  Visit points of interest.  Run an errand or two.  Do the usual Saturday stuff.

2.  A day at The Getty Villa
I know most people spend their time at Getty Villa gazing at statues and other ancient artifacts such as these

Dionysos (Bacchus) on a jar handle

Victorious youth statue (Greek, bronze, 300-100 BC)

But I always end up spending at least half of my time wandering in the gardens and photographing the flowers and landscape views.

The weather that day was perfect--sunny, 80 degrees F

3.  AND our girl was with us.

4.  A friend sent me THIS for Christmas!
(oh, this looks like so much fun!)

5.  I love how my children have embraced our love of Christmas carols.  On facebook, they posted their favorites:  Silent Night and I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day.  I love so many, how can I choose just one?  I remember singing O Little Town of Bethlehem in choir in elementary school and in first grade, I sang Away In A Manger as a solo in the Christmas program that year.  But I think I'd have to say that this year, at least, Come Thou, Long Expected Jesus is my favorite.  What's yours?

My younger daughter has begun a blog titled Love Tree.  Her latest post tells the latest news on the adoption of our little ones.

Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Almost Christmas

It's Almost Christmas!  This week I've been thinking about and doing all the 'almosts'.  Some weeks, almost is as good as it gets.  And that can be a blessing too.  Here are my Five Fave Almosts:

1.  I am 'almost' finished with school work for the calender year.  All the papers are corrected and materials are ready for the first class in January.  All that's left is to write thank you notes to students for gifts they gave me.  My policy to hand write a note to each child who gives me a gift.  Their Christmas homework assignment is to write a thank you note for a present, so it is only fair that I write thank you notes to them.  And trust me, they carefully inspect the notes they receive to make sure their teacher follows her own instructions.

2.  My daughter is 'almost' here to spend Christmas week with us!  She arrives tomorrow!  CAN'T. WAIT!

3.  We are 'almost' finished sending all our Christmas cards.  Just a few to go and we'll be done!

4.  I am 'almost' finished with a couple of knitting projects.  Of course, during this 'almost' week, I have 'almost' taken some photos.  I knitted a quick bulky weight scarf for a friend.  She bought the yarn and showed me the sample and I made it.  Then, I 'almost' finished a pair of fingerless gloves for someone.  They're not quite done so I hope to get a photo of them before I hand them over to him.

5.  We're 'almost' done with Christmas shopping!  Since we will be seeing the grandchildren AFTER Christmas, we still have their gifts to choose and purchase.  But thanks to Amazon and its wonderful option to SHIP THE PACKAGE for me, my shopping was so very easy this year.

Wishing you all a Very Merry Christmas from Willow's Little Cottage in California!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

That was Fast

Wow, that was a fast week.  Weather went from frigid with rain (California style) to pleasant and sunny.  I feel like I hardly had time to breathe.  But Friday is here and I can stop and take some slow breaths and focus my brain on the bright spots.  Here are my Friday Fave Fives:

1.  I knitted a pair of fingerless gloves and posted a photo of them on facebook.  It made me really happy that so many people commented about them and 'liked' them.

And they're warm and comfortable, too.

2.  This Christmas carol.  In the Bleak Midwinter sung by Gloucester Cathedral Choir.  Thanks for sharing, Sara!

3.  Christmas break! Yay!  Last class and last tutoring session for 2013.  I am looking forward to a restful time.

4.  My students always love the last class day before Christmas because they know they will be given these lollypops:

It's fun to see their excitement at receiving such a simple gift.

5.  In turn, my students love to give little gifts, too.  I arrived home with oh so many cookies.  It must be the year for cookies, all kinds--chocolate chip, white chocolate and cranberry, chocolate with sprinkles, and on and on...  I think I'm going to need to throw a cookie eating party to share all. the. cookies.

Happy Third Week of Advent!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Two Finished Projects

These fingerless gloves with caps were finished just in time for this last bout of cold Southern California weather.

Two people have noticed them and asked me if I would knit a pair for them--and they offered to pay me.

This makes me a bit nervous.  It's not that I don't think I can knit them; it's that I want to make sure the buyer is happy with my product and satisfied with the price.  Have any of you, my dear readers, had this same situation?  How do you handle it?

Here is the nine month sweater and cap set I knitted for the little man who accompanies his mama to my Tuesday morning Bible Study.

Simple Fair Isle patterning adds so much to a plain sweater.

Thursday, December 05, 2013

It's December

First Friday in December.  And of course that means Friday Fave Fives which is hosted every week by Susanne at her blog Living to Tell the Story.

1.  I don't need an excuse to visit The Getty Center.  Since it was a first visit for two of our Thanksgiving guests, we happily arranged an expotition.  Although we were not allowed to take photos in the exhibits we chose to view (Canterbury and St. Albans), the architecture and views of the LA coastline did not disappoint.

2.  My daughter and the two little ones stayed on for a few days after the others left to return home and to work.  The weather was frightful.  But that didn't stop us from a couple of beach visits.  Equipped with warming drinks, the adults staked out our sandy claim

while the children did what children do--ignored the temperature and headed straight for the water.

3.  The pelicans were fishing.  I may have taken an abundance of photos...

4.  Listening to Christmas music in the car...

5.  and attending the Christmas concert of the Channel Islands Choral Association which is a local choral group comprised of both local people and students from California State University, Channel Islands.  We attend every year, and this week our little ones accompanied us (and did very well sitting and listening to the music which included several pieces played on the harp).

These are the highlights of Willow's Week.  There were of course many normal, boring hours and events, but each day was filled with blessings.  How was your week?

Monday, December 02, 2013

When You Teach Students to Write Similes,

this is what you might get:

"Leah was as pretty as a princess."

"These unusual owls had brightly shining blue and red feathers which were as beautiful as sapphires and rubies."

"The dog seemed as smart as a human."

"Raven who was the toughest, meanest girl in all Ventura, teased her hair so high it looked as big as a beehive.

"He was as angry as a gorilla."

And my all time favorite (for this year):

"She was as worried as a porcupine carrying a bundle of balloons."