Thursday, March 31, 2016

Out Like a Lion

This darn cold/flu!  It has had me down for almost two weeks.  For me, March ended with me fighting this bear lion of a virus.  I've been able to function on a daily basis, barely, but coughing, etc., has made this week a very low activity one.  I didn't even take a single photograph.  Maybe it's what I needed.  While I've been 'resting', I've done a few organizing projects which I could do while sitting in my favorite chair.  And this is a definitely a Fave for me.  So, in spite of my 'slow week', here are my Fave Fives for this Friday.  (See? You can find blessings everywhere and anywhere.)

1.  My knitting patterns were in a mess.  Normally, I store them in a couple of three ring binders, but the binders were over full and showing their ages, so I replaced them with new binders and reorganized the tabs.

2.  I also reorganized the binders of warranties/instructions/receipts for things we own.  For the fronts of all the binders (see #1), I printed up sheets to identify categories of what is in each one.

3.  Then, I went through a few other files and either consolidated or cleared out excess to make it easier to find what I need.   I do love me some organized files.

4.  Every day I have made a point of being outside for awhile in the morning and the afternoon in the sunshine.  Mostly I've puttered around in the garden and done things like repot some plants or moved containers to sunnier (or shadier) spots.  I'm pleased to report that all of the sweet potatoes plants are still alive.

5.  Something in a conversation with one of my girls triggered a memory and so I pulled out my files of ancestors' records.  I've been reading through them and am simply amazed at the history of my family.  In more than one family tree, I (and The Professor, too) can claim the right to belong to the Sons and Daughters of the American Revolution.  One of my great(times N) grandfathers crossed the Atlantic Ocean from England and landed in the New World in 1636.  One of my dad's cousins was an enthusiastic (and excellent) researcher and shared all her information with me.  I loved just sitting and reading about my family.

I hope you've had a week where you've noticed your favorite blessings!

Friday, March 25, 2016

Spring Break!

Last week of March.  Beginning of Spring.  Holy Week.  Easter.  So much to celebrate!  Here are my Friday Fave Fives for this week.

1.  Our little one PAL came with all her mommy's family to visit in Los Angeles.  While everyone else toured The Museum of Tolerance, we took PAL and her daddy to The Getty Center which is one of my favorite museums in the world.

2.  Saturday was spent with our PAL at Disneyland.  It was her first visit to The Magic Kingdom.  This face---she's watching the parade.

3.  I love when events and timing come together.  Dr. Mike was at a university near Disneyland for a conference and we were able to see him for a bit on Saturday evening and then again on Sunday for breakfast and lunch.  And the brothers (PAL's dad and Dr. Mike) had a couple of hours to hang out together.

4.  I'm thankful for Spring Break!  I guess my body really needed the rest since I've spend this entire week in the house sick with something. I seldom run a fever so when I do, I know I'm sick.  Fortunately, I've had the week off so I haven't missed any classes.

5.  Spring! The sun is shining.  The garden is growing. Everything is blooming.  Today I feel well enough to spend some time in the garden.  How long will it be before I can harvest some kale and spinach?

This was Willow's Week in Five short segments.  Happy Easter to everyone!  HE IS RISEN!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

The Happiest Place

The Happiest Place on Earth.

Tea Cups


Pirates of the Caribbean

The best part was the parade!

It's a Small World

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Party Green

This week is St. Patrick's Week.  It's also my birthday week.  In fact, my birthday is on St. Patrick's Day, March 17th.  It's fun for me to have my birthday on a 'holiday'.  This has been a week filled with little blessings which I'm sharing as part of Friday Fave Fives.

1.  On Wednesday, a former student walked up to me and handed me a plate of cookies.  I was a bit surprised although I know we have talked this year about baking vegan cookies.  When I asked her if she knew that this week is my birthday, she replied, "No."  But it was serendipitous, don't you think?

2.  Two brothers ran bounding up (as only boys can do) with handmade birthday cards and a small pot of succulent plants and yelled, "Happy Birthday, Mrs. Willow!"  How did they know/remember?  It turns out that their mom has my birthday saved on her phone.  Every teacher loves a mom like that!  It also turns out that their grandma is a succulent plant enthusiast, and I am definitely benefiting from her expertise.

3.  Have you ever received a gift of flowers delivered to your home?  I never had.  But This, Year. my sweet friend sent me a beautiful bouquet.

4.  When your hubby asks, "What would you like for your birthday?" it's always a good idea to have an answer ready.  My desire was not an expensive thing.  I wanted a tea ball spoon.  Evidently, he visited my favorite tea shop and found exactly the right one.

5.  For obvious reasons, St. Patrick is my favorite church father (followed closely by St. Francis of Assisi).  Everyone is familiar with various Irish prayers.  Here is part of one of my favorites:

In the name of the King of life
In the name of the Christ of Love
In the name of the Holy Spirit
The Triune of my strength.

May God shield me,
May God fill me,
May God keep me,
May God watch me,
May God bring me this night,
To the nearness of his love.

The peace of the Father of joy,
The peace of the Christ of hope,
The peace of the Spirit of grace.

May you all have a Happy (St. Patrick's) Weekend!  We'll be off celebrating with my PAL and her parents.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Rain, Garden and Work

I didn't expect this week to be as busy as it was.   My boss is gone on an emergency family matter, so the rest of us have been picking up some extra classes.   My extra duties aren't that much but it has made a difference in my week's schedule.  I had intended to write more about our hike from last week, but I just didn't have the time to do it.  Nevertheless, I tried hard to slow down when I could and relax and focus on the blessings of the week.  This is an important part of my week--Friday Fave Fives.

1.  Rainstorms.  Complete with lightning and thunder.  In most of the US, that wouldn't be a big deal, but here rain is scarce and thunderstorms are even scarcer.

2.  I happened on a gardening web series which I've been watching this week.  It's been amazing!  I've watched presentations about bee keeping, composting, seed saving, modern victory gardens, fruit tree grafting, and herbal medicines.  I love gardening and I've learned so much.

3.  The details:  growing your own food has a long and noble history.  Americans grew Liberty Gardens in World War I and Victory Gardens in World War II.  Now we can grow our own food and save money and energy AND have excellent nutrition and flavor right in our back garden.

4.  I loved this comment:  Bring the store to your home.

5.  A sobering quote and thought from Wendell Berry (Pleasures of Eating):

We still (sometimes) remember that we cannot be free if our minds and voices and controlled by someone else.  But we have neglected to understand that we cannot be free if our food and its sources are controlled by someone else.

The only photo I took was of this funny quail booking it across the road in front of my house.  I had to zoom in and then crop it a bit.  Doesn't it look like a postage stamp image?

Friday, March 04, 2016

In Like a Lamb

March has arrived, gently and softly, like a lamb.  Willow's Week has been mostly uneventful with just 'the usual' activities of work, church, small groups, Bible study class, farmers market, and spinners/weavers guild monthly meeting.  These are the best and brightest spots--my Five Fave which like always I share as Friday Fave Five with Susanne at Living to Tell the Story.  Here's the link.

My Fave Five from Willow's Week:

1.  A bit more gardening was done.  Mucking around in my garden is at least as much fun for me as harvesting the produce.  I planted kale and spinach next to the snap peas.

2.  I also planted six sweet potato starts.  This is a first for me, so I've made a little experiment to determine how best to grow sweet potatoes in my garden and planted three different ways. After watching several youtube videos, I still couldn't decide on how to plant them.  So I thought, "I'll just try all three."  It'll be fun to check out the results in about four months.

3.  Saturday was a beautiful day!  We hiked in the Satwiwa area of the Santa Monica Mountains.  It's very mountainous (hence the Santa Monica MOUNTAINS) and so after we left the valley, it was all up and down.  (I'm planning a more detailed post on the area since I've hiked it several times since the May 2013 Springs Fire which roared past my home and on into this area, burning all the vegetation to the ground.)

Satwiwa Meadow

4.  The poppies are blooming everywhere now.  I love these cheery, cheeky flowers--our state flower.

5.  I love our nightly walks.  We decided that if we are going to walk every day, it would have to be in the evenings since our schedules are dissimilar and every day of the week is different.  We often meet the same people out walking which is always pleasant.  And best of all, for the first time ever, I'm taking some interest in astronomy.  Finally, I (sort of) understand how the moon works, how it changes moon rise through the month.

It may still be winter, but it's March.  Soon, soon, it will be spring with more garden and more hikes and more poppies.