Friday, October 30, 2015

Friday Fave Five: Autumn Adventure

I missed last week's Friday Fave Fives.  In my defense, I was AWOL because of traveling with my family.  Is there a better excuse?  It was a wonderful trip.  But it's always also wonderful to state at the end "There's no place like home."  But oh! It was marvelous!  So, here are Five Faves from my Fall Adventure.

1.  A birthday party for our Miss PAL.  She's ONE!

2.  Then there was the plane flight to the home of Older Daughter.  Flying would certainly not be one of my faves.  And nearly missing my connection was very low on the 'faves' options.  But the consideration of the other passengers in allowing me and others who were making close connections to deplane first actually made the difference and I hurried RAN through the airport and was literally the last person on the plane. (Maybe they were waiting for me, knowing I was RUNNING to catch the flight?)  Sometimes considerate co passengers are a scarcity.  But this time there was an abundance of them.

3.  A whole day with three of my children and three of my grandchildren.  We hiked in the woods and enjoyed each other's company.  It made my mother's heart sing!

4.  Then I spent a week farther east with Younger Daughter.  We drove with Dr.Mike and dropped him off where he is living this year and then on to the Chesapeake Bay.  We walked the dogs.  We fed the children.  We enjoyed coffees and snacks.  We knitted.  We might have visited a yarn shop or two.

5.  We had occasion to visit Annapolis.  Since we both love the water, we strolled along the harbor and even drove through the US Naval Academy.

It was a long time to be roaming around the US, but I loved every minute.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Eastern Autumn

So different from our West Coast Mediterranean climate, an East Coast Autumn provides a vibrant colors, brilliant, beautiful orange, and red, and brown, and gold.  While The Professor reports hot Santa Ana winds in the weather report, I have been experiencing crisp, sunny and cool fall days.

A picture is worth a thousand words. 
 Sibling and cousin fun.

Rambles in the woods.

You just don't see the COLORS in Southern California.  I'm feasting my eyes while it lasts.


Thursday, October 15, 2015

Friday. It's That Time Again

Friday.  It's Friday Fave Five time.  As you read this, I am wending my east to visit my granddaughter. (Oh, and her parents, too, of course.)  We're going to celebrate her birthday.

1.  That's my first fave.  Our little PAL is ONE.  Stay tuned for photos :)

2.  Saturday afternoon, we drove up the coast hwy and turned off at one of the county parks where The Professor's brother and his wife were 'camping' in their fifth wheeler.  We enjoyed dinner and a long fun chat with them.

3.  I can never get enough of the beach.  This was the view from our 'dinner table'.  Yes, four photos because I can't decide on my favorite.  Those small bumps out at the horizon of the first, third and fourth pictures are a couple of the Channel Islands.

Do you see the tiny island with the palm trees and the bridge connecting it to the mainland?
That's a private spot, used by an oil drilling company.

4.  As long as we were traveling on the weekend, I decided that adding a bit of an extra trip would work out well.  So...I made arrangements to fly on to the east coast and visit my other children.  Arranging this was not an easy task.  Purchasing tickets.  Check.  Easy-peasy.  Packing for two distinct climates.  Check.  Not hard at all.  Finding a sub to teach for me next week.  Now that was a bit harder.  But.  Yes.  Check.  A retired writing teacher, who is also a friend of mine, rearranged her schedule to make herself available to take my classes.  That was a huge help and I am truly thankful for faithful, helpful friends.

5.  I think that maybe our horrible heat wave has broken.  That statement alone involves more than one fave--I'm thankful for slightly cooler weather; I'm thankful for air-conditioning at home; I'm thankful for AC in my car.  Autumn is my least favorite season in Southern California.  Soon we'll be into November and our weather will settle into lower temperatures.

This is Willow's Week in five short paragraphs.  How was yours?

Friday, October 09, 2015

Almost Mid October?

I'm a bit late writing my Friday Fave Fives.  Obviously I had a bit of a busy week.   But I like to hit the pause button and spend some time reflecting on gratitude.  Friday Fave Fives is a good way for me to do that.

1.  We had RAIN.  It rained 1/2 inch on the weekend!  I know, I know.  I am shouting about 1/2 inch of rain?  Really??  Well, here in our drought plagued West, 1/2 inch of rain is a treasure.  The geraniums loved it.  So did we all.

2.  That RAIN gave us a short respite from the heat.  Although the record breaking heat is back again (103F when I checked at noon), I loved the promise of November and December when our temperatures will hopefully drop into the 50s, 60s an 70s.

3.  During the weekend, I took my spinning wheel on Saturday and Sunday to Reyes Adobe and demonstrated hand spinning.  I enjoy the time chatting with other spinners, explaining the spinning of fibers to adults and children.  The Fave Bonus is that I actually get some fiber spun.  This is 100% llama fiber from a very dark animal appropriately named Ebony.

4.  I appreciate the staff at Reyes Adobe.  They plied us with water and offered us coffee.  Who wouldn't want to volunteer to work with these pleasant people?  In addition, they encourage me to sell my hand knit hats and even provide a little table to make sure the sale items are easily noticeable.  I sold almost all of the hats I brought!  (Generate Hope is going to receive another nice sized check from the proceeds.)

5.  A spinning friend stopped by one afternoon this week with a box and a bag and said, "Here, look through these.  It's all donated yarn.  Take what you want for your hats."  So I did.  Yeah, I realize that in knitting down my stash, I ought not to be taking in more yarn, but I will be spending the next few months replenishing my hat inventory, so I appreciate getting free yarn.

So that was Willow's Week.  I'd love to hear from you what blessings you experienced this week.

Friday, October 02, 2015

October Comes Crawling

A quiet week doesn't always produce exciting eye-catching photos or exciting news.  But it still can contain moments and occasions of appreciation and thankfulness.  Yes, we saw the lunar eclipse.  No, I didn't take any photos of it.  Yes, I drove past the beach.  No, I didn't stop and snap a picture.  It was just one of those 'I can only focus on today' kinds of weeks.   Here are Friday Fave Fives from Willow's Rather Quiet Week.

1.  We attended a neighborhood meeting one evening this week.  One of the topics discussed was the progress on securing portions of the hillsides which flooded last winter in the two rainstorms we had and produced horrific mudslides and damaged more than a dozen homes in our area.  I'm thankful that the city and the neighborhood are working together to protect our property and our lives particularly in anticipation of a record rainfall this winter.  [We need the rain.  I just hope it falls in small but steady amounts rather than in torrents.]

2.  My decision to cut a day of teaching from my schedule this year was a good one.  I have had time this week to just sit and relax, do some reading, actually finish my Bible study lesson.

3.  My grandson makes me laugh.  His little five year old mind spins waaay faster than his age and size might suggest.  He was talking to me on the phone and I just sat and laughed.

4.  Finished projects make me happy.  I had been procrastinating on doing finishing work on a few around twenty knitting projects.  I'm not a fan of weaving in the ends on hats or anything else, but I sat down on afternoon [see #2] and finished them all.

5.  Among those projects in #4 were some hats which I needed to mail.  On Tuesday and Wednesday, I just did it.  I stuffed those hats into padded envelopes and braved the post office crush.  But now they're truly DONE and gone to bless the heads of two people who will likely have a lot less hair in a few weeks than they do right now.

Of course, you can't leave this page without a photo, can you?  Here are a couple of pictures I took in other years about this time.  This is October in Southern California.  Ripe yellow lemons, crispy brown sycamore leaves, bright pink bougainvillea, and the ubiquitous palm trees.