Thursday, August 27, 2015

Counting Down

It's almost September and I'm counting down the days until I turn the calendar page to the month I start back teaching.  I'm also counting down to the weekend when The Professor will have finished his first week of teaching this semester.  Fridays are good days to evaluate the week, not to wish you'd done more lesson planning but to count blessings and find favorites from the week.  That's why I do Friday Fave Fives.

Here are my Fave Five from Willow's Week.

1.  The high school class reunion for The Professor's graduating class was a success!  We thoroughly enjoyed visiting with his old classmates.  Truly, I appreciate how accepting they all are of me and other 'spouses'.  Altogether, it was a great weekend.  Here are a few of them who are intrepid souls and joined up to walk in the Arcata Humboldt Bay Marsh.

2.  We picked up Son #2 from Stanford and he helped with the 675 mile drive home.  That's the fave--The Professor (and I) got a break from driving.

3.  Said son has flown away again.  This year he will be nearer his sisters on the east coast since he was given a post doctorate position out there.  At least we had him around for a few days before he took off again.

4.  On our nightly walks in our neighborhood, we often meet an older couple walking slowly up the hills.  They are adorable.  He holds her hand; she walks with a cane.  We always share 'Good evening' and other pleasantries.  One morning this week they drove past me as I was walking and stopped to say hi.  Shyly, she told me, "Today is our fifty-fifth wedding anniversary."  Happy Anniversary to them!  This made my whole week happy!

5.  I've been plowing through the lesson planning.  As of this writing, I am 1/3 through the lessons I need to write for the year.  That's a fave because I can now sorta kinda see the light at the other end of the tunnel.

Bonus:  I've been going through my photos from the trip and as usual my favorite shots are all close ups.  All of them are flowers or flora of some kind.  Here are some for your (and my) enjoyment.

I hope you've had a great week, too!

Green, Door, Recipe

More of August Break.  See Susanna Conway's blog for the list.

# 25  Green

Green provides a beautiful background for a lovely lavender aster,
but green marsh in the foreground takes over the view of the redwood trees in the background.

#26   Door

Fortress Ross wooden door

#27  Favorite Recipe

I don't make my favorite cinnamon rolls exactly like this anymore since I no longer eat eggs or dairy and I use whole wheat flour.  But oh my, they are still delicious!


Patricia Blem (The Oregonian)

1 cup sour cream
2 TBL oil
3 TBL sugar
1/8 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 large egg, unbeaten
1 pkg dried yeast (1 TBL)
2 ½ cups flour

Heat sour cream to lukewarm.  Stir in next 4 ingredients until well-blended.  Add egg, then add yeast until dissolved.  Mix in flour.  Knead. 
 Cover with damp cloth, let stand 10 min. Roll dough ½ inch thick.  Spread on 2 TBL softened butter.  Sprinkle with 1/3 cup brown sugar and 1 tsp cinnamon. Roll, then cut in 1 inch slices.  Place in greased pan to rise.
 Bake 20 minutes, 350 degrees.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

August Break Catch Up #19 - #24

I've been road tripping and am behind on the August Break photos.  I took plenty of pictures, just didn't have time to upload them and post them.  The list for August Break is here.

So here they are.  Without further ado:

#19  Sweet Delights

#20 Two
I got  a little carried away with this one.

two leaves on a bridge railing

two roses

two lane road

two large rocks/two small rocks near the shore
Mendocino County

#21 Real Life
In Real Life, some days are cloudy, the tide is out, and there are rusty things in the way.

#22  Curves
Hwy 1 in Mendocino County is famous for its treacherous curves.

#23  Water
Water, water everywhere

#24  In the Distance
ocean view from the top of Point Arena Lighthouse

Golden Gate bridge with San Francisco in the distance

Thursday, August 20, 2015

August is Travel Time

It's Friday--Fave Fives with Susanne at Living to Tell the Story.  Here at Willow's Cottage, it has been busy, first finishing some chores and then jumping in the car for a quick road trip.  Traveling is always a fun adventure for me.  I am blessed to be able to travel.

1.  The Professor pointed out this article to me this week.  We have always known we live in a beautiful, wonderful place.  According to Washington Post, our county is THE BEST COUNTY, the most desirable place to live in the continental US.  Note: this does NOT take in to consideration housing prices which are desirable only when you are selling.

2.  I've been traveling this week from my beautiful Ventura County through other beautiful counties in California--Santa Barbara and north, all the way to Mendocino and Humboldt Counties along Hwy 1 hugging the Pacific Ocean. Our first stop was in San Miguel to visit the old mission there.  Mission San Miguel.

3.  Then after dropping Son #2 off at Stanford University for a quick visit, we drove on north through San Francisco and across the Golden Gate Bridge.  That bridge never fails to thrill and awe me.  I was a wee girl the first time I crossed it and cannot count the number of times since then I've made that trip.

This photo was taken about five years ago.  This week's crossing was done later in the day and in cloudy weather--not the best for photos...

4.  I have always wanted to visit Fort Ross which is the site of a Russian settlement established on the northern California coast in the early 1800s.  We had read that it was closed during the week, but we discovered when we drove in to check that this month only it was open.

5.  Then, farther north, we stopped at Point Arena Lighthouse.  Yes, we are 'those people' who love history.

We climbed to the top and even walked out on the 'catwalk'.

Bonus:  This is a long quote.  I was deeply struck with the truth of this (partial) paragraph from Elizabeth Goudge's novel Green Dolphin Street.  Humbling and convicting.

"The violence of three days ago seemed like a bad dream, and it was difficult to think of it coming alive again in this peace and beauty.  It was still harder to imagine one's self being tortured.  Torture was the sort of thing that happened to other people, to early Christian martyrs and people of that sort, but not to one's self and one's relations.  Yet why shouldn't it happen to one's self and one's own?  Out of what congenital arrogance had sprung this sense of immunity?  This "to them, not to me and mine" way of thinking, that she had hitherto taken as quite natural, was a shocking and dreadful revelation of human callousness.  Pride and selfishness, they were the same, really."

How was your week?  I'd love to hear!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Looking Up

#18 Looking Up

My sister-in-law once commented that if we don't look up, we miss an entire world of activity and experience.  She was of course talking about the fowl life.  The drama of birds flying, fighting, swooping and swirling often occurs above our heads and we have no clue anything is happening in the avian world.

My youngest daughter was fascinated with the birds which sit on wires, perching in groups.  One Sunday morning, she pointed them out and we decided that they were attending 'bird church'.  The term stuck and to this day we refer to those flocks as 'bird church'.

If you're not 'Looking Up', you are missing out!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Art, Fire, Reading

#15, #16, #17

Art on the ceiling of the Los Angeles City Library
Downtown at the Hope Street Main Library

At my house, there is no fire place.  There is no fire pit or chimenia.  If I ever move again, I think a fire place will be a non-negotiable item in my new house.
Like this Tudor kitchen fire place.

I own  a Kindle and I do read books on it.
But truly, I prefer to hold a book in my hand or on my lap while I am reading it.
Books are treasures waiting for me to pick them up and read them

Friday, August 14, 2015

August Break #14

August Break #14
 Favorite Smell

This one was hard.  There were so many favorites to choose from.  At first, I thought, "Roses.  Of course."  But then I stopped and considered.  Lovely luscious lavender--oh how I love lavender.  And chocolate.  Rosemary.  Although rosemary isn't really my favorite, it is so memorable.  And aromatic sage.  Chocolate mint.  Cinnamon.  Ginger.  Nutmeg.  So many wonderful odors in the world of smell!

I realized, however, that the smell that makes me smile most often is COFFEE.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Five Faves and One August Break

Friday Fave Fives and August Break.  It has been a busy week.  Spinning.  Writing lesson plans.  I've decided to join August Break and post a picture every day.  And of course, since it's Friday, it's Friday Fave Five.

1.  #13 August Break.  Last year.  One of my favorite places--the beach.  On New Years Day 2014

2.  Another afternoon of spinning at the fair.  I do enjoy it--explaining the mechanism of the wheel, showing the spinning process.  I actually get some fiber spun.  And we get in free.

Our family has a lot of birthdays this month.  Beginning the last day of July and going through mid August, three of my children celebrate their birthdays.  Although we don't live near them, we call them and send them presents.  Happy Birthday X3!

3.  Youngest

4.  First Born

5.  Older Daughter

I am truly blessed to be mother to these three!

Bonus--Son #2 is visiting for a couple of weeks.  My fourth blessing!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

August Break #11 and #12

#11  Edge
Living life on the Edge
County Fair Fearless Fun 

#12  Yellow
Yellow Flags Flying at the Fair

Monday, August 10, 2015

August Break #9 and #10

#9  Earth

This is my part of the earth, my daily view above my neighborhood.  Santa Monica Mountains, a rugged coastal range between us and Los Angeles.  Two years ago, all the vegetation burned off and because we are enduring a drought, there is still not much green up there.

#10  Talisman

I checked on the definition of a talisman.  Talisman means an object which is endowed with magical powers.  According to that definition, I have no talisman.  But I own a beloved and favorite necklace which is one piece of jewelry which I actually wear on occasion.  Celtic Cross in sterling silver.

August Break is a meme which I found HERE through Tracy's blog.  I don't have flickr or instagram accounts, so this is the only place I am posting.  No links.

Saturday, August 08, 2015

August Break #8


I love the smooth lines of these vases.  Two turquoise glass vases which my daughter gifted me.  I love them.  Full disclosure:  it's not a recent photo.  I snapped it a few years ago, but I still love it and think it's one of my all time favorite photos.

Friday, August 07, 2015

August Break #7

There is a meme going around this month titled August Break.  I noted it at Tracy's blog, so I thought, "Hmmm, why not?  It's August."
Of course I've missed the first six days, so I'm jumping in at day #7.  Maybe I'll go back and catch up; maybe not.

Day #7 is:  five things about me.

1.  This one isn't a secret.  I like to knit.  A lot.  All the time.  Every day.

2.  I am a simple living advocate.  Years ago, I taught a little class in simplicity because people found out I was passionate about simple living.  These days, the simplicity movement has moved to include minimalism.  While people would not refer to me as a minimalist since we own a smallish house and two cars, we certainly own much less than our neighbors.  Our focus is on enjoying our family and all those non price tag things--walks, gardens, beach views.

3.  I am steady and steadfast in my Christian beliefs.  The Westminster Confession states 'Man's chief end is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.'  That's me.

4.  I eat a whole food, plant based diet.  Cuz I want to live a long time and watch my grandkids graduate from college.  That's why I exercise, too.

5.  I am not afraid of spiders.  Or cockroaches.  I used to be scared of worms, but I'm not any more.  Snakes I'm a bit wary of.

Thursday, August 06, 2015

Early August Faves

Friday Fave Fives for August, Edition 1.  Thanks to Susanne as usual for hosting Friday Fave Five.

1.  We have air conditioning!  Finally installed.  I think that's all I need to say, right?

2.  On Sunday afternoon, we attended a Red Egg and Ginger Party.  Friends have adopted a little girl from China and chose to introduce Grace in this way.  It was a wonderful celebration and we were delighted to be part of it.

3.  Our daughter in law drove over for the weekend because she is the older sister's godmother, and so we saw her too!

4.  Coffee time with a good friend, The Blueberry Lady :)  We've been besties for a great many years and it's almost like having a sister.  We just hang out and don't have to explain anything.

5.  One day four of us from our artists group decided to get a field trip to Santa Paula's wonderful little art museum.  The exhibition of John Nava's paintings and tapestries was just incredible.  It's amazing to me that a small Southern California town has such a wonderful art museum.  I've been hearing from my friends for years what a great museum it is and I have to agree.

How has your week gone?  What little or large events have blessed you this week?