Saturday, December 31, 2016

A Photo View of 2016

Seriously incomplete. But here are a few (a very few) of my favorite photos from 2016.  Enjoy!













Friday, December 30, 2016

Christmas Week Fave Five

Merry Christmas Week!  Are you tired and overwhelmed from all the festivities?  It's time to stop, breathe, relax, and count your blessings.  I've been away from home a long time. But this week most of our family was together to celebrate.  Only Chaplain Dan and his wife and PAL were missing although we were able to Skype with them on Christmas Day.  Here are my Friday Fave Five blessings from this week.

1.  Everyone was hoping for a White Christmas.  Me?  I'm thankful we DIDN'T have one.

2.  My gift from my son (we draw names among the adults since we really don't need more stuff) was a subscription to  I am a truly happy mommy.

3.  But my absolute favorite present was a book The Professor knew I wanted because I had checked it out of the library numerous times and devoured it cover to cover.  He totally surprised me!

4.  I have been deeply touched by the friendliness and loving care of my daughter's friends who have helped provide meals, cleaning sessions, respite care (ie: babysitting), transportation.  They have a wonderful support group and that makes my mommy's heart so happy.

5.  I am still working my way through the photos I took in England.  Slowly.  Here are two of my favorite people in London.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas!

became flesh and dwelt among us.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Returning Just in Time for Christmas

Finally, I am returning to blogland!  This past month has been truly crazy.  As I mentioned, I spent a week in ENGLAND with my older daughter.  Then I returned to the mid Atlantic east coast and have been here helping my younger during and after her surgery.  So now it is almost CHRISTMAS.

I considered writing a Friday Fave Five about the five weeks I haven't posted anything, but I think that I will just mention what pops into my head.

1.  How can I not love love love England?  I will post more details later but here is one of my favorite photos of my girl.  We were hiking around Avebury searching for the Long Barrow.

And here she is standing in front of one of the stones in Avebury.

2.  Eleanor Elizabeth decided to join us on our trip.  She had been to England with me in June 2008.  She did request that I make her a pair of wellies since this time it was autumn and we knew it would be rainy.  I do enjoy sharing my adventures with my bunny.

3.  My love language is spending quality time with people.  I've loved having all these days with my younger daughter although she has been in pain and recovering from surgery.

4.  Christmas is happening for most of our family at Younger Daughter's house.  The Professor and Dr. Mike arrived late last night.  Older Daughter and The New Boy will be here within 24 hours!

5.  And finally, I love Christmas!  A Very Merry Christmas to you!

Friday, November 18, 2016

More November Thankfulness

Greetings from the East Coast!  I'm here in the mid Atlantic states having arrived Wednesday (which is why I didn't get around to visit people for Fave Fives last weekend--craziness at Willow's Cottage as I prepared for travel.  Not even any photos...).  So I will endeavor to post today and then visit others posting at Friday Fave Fives before I head out again on a jet plane tomorrow evening.

OK, first things first.

1.  I'm thankful for a safe flight across the US.  Not being an intrepid flyer, I am so very grateful when the plane touches down and I can state those famous words of our MAF jungle pilot in Papua, "Cheated death again!"

2.  I am thankful for The Professor who encourages me to take these adventures, sometimes without him.  I miss him when we're apart, but I know we're never very far apart in thought and spirit.

3.  Those hugs and kisses when the car pulls up at airport arrivals and everyone yells, "Meema!"

New news:

4.  I am thankful that my daughter (The New Boy's mom) wants to travel with me.  It's a privilege and joy to have special times with my adult children.

5.  Finally, I am thankful and excited that I have the chance to visit ENGLAND with my girl!  Leaving tomorrow!  So maybe I'll be able to visit a few blogs.  I'll try!

Friday, November 11, 2016

11/11 + 5

Willow's Week on Veteran's Day in Five Faves.  (How's that for succinct?)  Follow this link to Friday Fave Fives.

1. Today is Veteran's Day in the US.  I am thankful for my family members who have/do serve in the US military.
my father
my paternal uncle
my maternal uncle
my husband The Professor
my brother-in-law
my son Chaplain Dan
my son-in-law The Marine (retired!)

2.  Today is also Chaplain Dan and his wife's tenth wedding anniversary.  Happy Anniversary to them!

3.  I love those spontaneous texts from The Professor when he notices a poster and knows I'd enjoy listening to the lecture.  He sent this photo and one word:  "Interested?"  Duh!

4.  I've been watching this monarch chrysalis every day (even in our hot hot hot 90s blistering dry heat).  Yes, I finally found a way to photograph it.  No butterfly yet...

5.  I love the photos of my granddaughter that are sent  to me!  Her auntie took this picture at Halloween.  Somebody loves Minnie Mouse!

Bonus:  This quote from a gardening article by Karen Maezen Miller, author of Hand Wash Cold: Care Instructions for an Ordinary Life. (I haven't read the book, but I enjoyed the article.) 

"...but there are ways to get by on less.  First, want little.  Second, be satisfied.  Third, don't replace anything that still has a useful life.  This last point has served out marriage well."

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

A Saturday Hike

On Saturday afternoon, The Professor and I decided that a hike was a great choice of activity.  Where to hike?   Obviously since we live on the edge of the Santa Monica Mountains, it was a easy choice to hike one of our favorite areas.

The main trail in Point Mugu State Park runs from the beach at Pacific Coast Highway just north of Malibu up into the Santa Monica Mountains to Thousand Oaks.  This trail is paved and is very popular with mountain bikers as well as hikers.

It's seven miles to the beach from here.
See that canyon?  In a normal rainy year, there is water in the creek.  These days, it's just dry brush.
The Professor and I walked down to where a secondary trail splits off and follows the creek up to the falls. Then we turned around and hiked back up the trail.

This entire area was burned in the Camarillo Springs Fire three and a half years ago.  You can still see the dead trees and brush although there is new growth sprouting from the ashes and dead branches.

The madrone bushes are growing back.  You can always tell the madrones by their red trunks and branches.

Our Saturday hike was just what we needed.  A few miles of walking in quietness, in nature.

Friday, November 04, 2016

November Delights

It's already November?? Wow.  Eleventh month of the year 2016.  Traditionally, in the US, November is the month of Thanksgiving.  I think it's important to be thankful every day, not just for a month or a few days in November.  That's why I delight in Friday Fave Fives.

1.  Here is the proof that it rains in Southern California.  On Sunday, it rained!

2.  The monarch butterfly caterpillars are back again, chomping on the milkweed.  I had read that monarchs return several times during a single season to lay eggs.  Fortunately, the milkweed plants, which is their only food, have been growing well this year.  I found one chrysalis but because of its position hanging from a dead branch I haven't been able to photograph it easily. (I'll keep trying.)

3.  Here is a yummy fave!  This is an update on the sweet potatoes I planted in the spring.  So far, I've pulled up less than one fourth of the plants and I have a lot of tubers.  Admittedly some of them are weirdly shaped probably because they were confined to a pot.  But they'll still taste fine, right?  I'm super excited!  My first sweet potatoes!

4.  Although I'm trying to knit down my yarn stash, sometimes I need to purchase a skein to finish a project.  I'm thankful for sales and coupons to keep the cost down.  This week I scored yarn for a baby vest to give a sweet little one who is outgrowing the one I gave her a few months ago.

5.  This quote:  A Garden is a Delight to the Eye and a Solace for the Soul.

And this one:  The Earth Laughs in Flowers.
(Ralph Waldo Emerson)

Flowers from my garden this week.  I laugh in delight and find solace in my garden.

California daisy

Hummingbird sage

Where have you found delight or solace this week?