Thursday, June 23, 2016


Midsummer day was bright, sunny and quite warm here at Willow's Cottage.  This week's Fave Fives* include just normal activities.  I like weeks like this and am thankful that it's peaceful and quiet. *link to Susanne's blog so you can participate if you would like.

1.  The Professor and I attended a thank you brunch for volunteers at the county fair.  We do enjoy  helping out and it was nice to be thanked.  I even received a five year award.

2.  Tuesday:  maybe the best day of the week.  I just stayed home and didn't get farther than the mailbox.  I'm thankful for summer days.

3.  I have decided to branch out a bit in creativity.  My sister-in-law inspired me to begin artistic journaling.  So this week, I bought some pens and pencils and just started.

4.  The Professor had fun this week.  He designed, planned and executed the installation of a drip irrigation system.  This way the watering of the garden will be automatic when we travel.  The best part?  I think it was the solar powered control box.

5.  I love to hike.  Today, I joined a couple of other people for a hike up Conejo Mountain which overlooks my community.  Five+ miles with lots of up mountain and down mountain. I think I'm going to be sore tomorrow.

[That road making the sort of left hand bend in the middle of the photo?  That's Highway 101, El Camino Real.]

The views were amazing although the sky was hazy because of the smoke from the wild fire just north of us.
(Below--memories of the fire that swept along the mountains three years ago.)

What are you thankful for this midsummer week?

Friday, June 17, 2016

Two Thousand Two Hundred Excuses

I have an excuse for being AWOL.  2,200 excuses.  That's how many miles we drove on our trip to the Pacific Northwest.  Here is Willow's (Two) Week catch up with Susanne's Friday Fave Fives.

1.  Time with my brother is especially precious. It is just the two of us. For many of our adult years we have lived thousands and thousands of miles apart, but now it's easier (less than a thousand miles!).  I have been pondering how to describe relationships among siblings.  Maybe this is how.  My husband has my heart.  My brother has my history.  Because he was older than I, my brother bossed me, protected me, helped me.  (I wonder how many potential dates or boyfriends my brother scared off...)  This photo captures our love for each other and our joy at being together.

2.  The World's Best Neighbors gave me a 'celebrate retirement' present!  The Dr. Seuss Green Eggs and Ham Knitting T-shirt!  Here I am wearing it while I 'knit with a goat'.  (Goat provided by older brother)

3.  Visiting the communities where we lived for many years provided lots of opportunities to visit people.  Church friends and former college buddies.  So many lunches and dinners.  One evening, we spent three hours at one (sort of semi-fast food) restaurant talking, eating, laughing with people who included the college professor who was my department advisor.  Three hours!  And we could have talked for another three hours if the shop hadn't closed at 9pm.  (For the record, the staff seemed to enjoy our rowdy, joyous laughter, our switching seats at the table, our passing of the old college yearbooks around to share pictures and stories.)

4.  One day, we decided we wanted a quiet hike.  We needed the tranquility of a forest.  There is no place like the Pacific Northwest for hiking under fir trees and beside streams.  (LOOK!  WATER! and GREEN ferns!)

5.  People have asked if we are bored driving an sitting in the car all those hours.  The answer is no.  Fortunately, we travel well together.  I had lots of time to knit and read.  Here are a couple of samples.  Hats for my niece's family.

Those 2,200 miles passed like a blur.  But now I'm home and my garden is calling to me.

Friday, June 03, 2016

Green, Blue, White, and Blue

Friday Fave Fives from Willow's Cottage.  Short because we're traveling.

1.  A birthday present was ordered in March and delivered this week.  A friend is a potter and made these BLUE bowls:

2.  Commercial blueberry season is over for the year. The Blueberry Lady called to tell us, "Come glean some berries."  So we did.  Sixteen quarts of BLUEberries frozen!

3.  Road trip!  I just can't post photos of California's Central Valley.  Too much drought.  So here are pictures of Mt. Shasta with WHITE SNOW!  That's Southern California's drinking water for next year.  And I love the view.  As I told The Professor, I probably have 100 photos of this mountain.  It never gets old.

4.  Until you've been gone for awhile, you don't realize how much you miss the evergreen trees. Warning:  over the next two weeks, there may be a plethora of GREEN photos at Willow's Cottage.

5.  That first hug.  When you haven't seen your only brother for a year, there's nothing else that comes close to the feeling of rightness and settledness of hugging him.