Friday, September 30, 2016


Hello Friends!  It's Friday Fave Fives time!  Welcome to Willow's Week.  Follow that link to participate in sharing your blessings from this past week.

1.  Sometimes, I collect sayings.  Here are two I've heard this week in response to "[using whiny voice] It's not fair!"  Both are true.  Both are wise.

Life's not fair, and then you die.

Life's not fair, but you can be.

2.  Sometimes, I notice colors and textures.  Probably it's my experience in working with textiles.  If the light is just right in the kitchen, the sun changes the colors of my green shamrock plant.  My heart leaps when I notice the beauty.

3.  Sometimes, the texture of something will pull up a memory.  I grew up among the majestic evergreen trees of the Pacific Northwest.  This week as I was parking in a public lot in Ventura which is a LONG way from the PNW, I noticed the texture of this tree.  The memory it invoked of my childhood made me smile.  I might have reached out and stroked the bark.  Sometimes I miss the green forests of home.

4.  Sometimes, one thing will lead to another.  I offered to help a friend from the weavers and spinners guild who is also a artist group friend to bring together, organize and document all the equipment (for example, spinning wheels, weaving looms and drum carders) that the guild has to offer the members for rental use.  When I told my daughter my plans for the day, she responded, "That's great, Mom.  Organizing and helping others organize is one of your spiritual gifts."  I guess she's right.  I like organizing stuff.  So, I spent part of a day this week enjoying my friend's company and helping out the guild.

5.  Sometimes, the rewards are great.  The guild is given a lot of unspun fiber, yarn, and equipment.  I brought several bags and boxes of yarn home to cull and organize and take back to the guild.  Also, I was given the opportunity to choose to keep some if I wanted.  I should have warned The Professor that it wasn't all mine to keep.

What little blessings make you smile sometimes?

Friday, September 23, 2016

Presentations, Anniversaries, Birthdates

Friday Fave Fives, a little bit late.  Here are Five Wonderful Events in Willow's Week.  Thanks to Susanne for always hosting Friday Fave Fives.

1.  I've been focused on a project I am presenting this weekend.  The title is Textiles in Indonesia.  All week, I've been searching my old photos, scanning a few, taking new photos of the batik fabrics and Papuan strings bags and woven bags I own, and double checking my facts.  I'm enjoying reviewing (and reliving) this part of my history.

2.  The Professor is doing his magic with my photos and miraculously producing a power point presentation for me.  I am so thankful to have a tech savvy and willing husband.

3.  Cool evenings for walking.  The weather has been perfect for our night walks.

4.  Happy Anniversary to my youngest daughter and her husband!  It has been TEN YEARS!

5.  And finally, last but certainly not least--very dear friends introduced a new baby into the world on Thursday morning!  My daughter was privileged to be there and help in the delivery room.  I feel a bit like this is a new grandbaby.  Her photos already melt my heart!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Just a Quiet Week at Willow's Cottage

I've been pondering this today:  where did the week go?  I had big intentions to photograph all the baby hats I've made in the past three weeks.  I thought I'd post a couple of times but then--I didn't.  However, I did work almost every day outside on that ongoing garden project.  (That's not in my faves, but I am pleased at the progress I've made especially since it involves digging rock and dirt, sawing roots, moving heavy edgers and pavers, and using a plumb line.)  Even though it seems like I didn't do much this week, I still find lots of blessings, things that make me smile and make me happy.  That's what I'm sharing for Friday Fave Fives. Five things that made Willow's Week.

1.  I am loving these early autumn slow days!  The weather is noticeably a bit cooler. At least twice this week, I've stayed home ALL DAY.  That never happens.  I've decided to be intentional about being home this year, the first year in decades that I haven't had a pile of responsibilities pushing me out of the house almost daily.

2.  I'm not really a foodie kind of person; mostly I eat to live.  But this week I did have some yummy meals.  Burrito from my favorite restaurant: it includes black beans, brown rice on a whole wheat tortilla, cilantro and green salsa.  Then I made an Indonesian dish called gado-gado:  homemade peanut sauce, various veggies both cooked and raw (cucumber, spinach, broccoli and potatoes) served over rice.  I also made three batches of my granola recipe.  Mostly I love having the cooking and baking finished so we can contentedly consume our meals without alot of fuss.

3.  A high school classmate messaged me on facebook to ask me some questions about people from our class as she is evidently on a committee to put together a class reunion in 2018.  It was a treat for me to reminisce a bit and the result was my digging out my old high school annuals and thumbing through them.  I loved reading all the notes and seeing all those old photos.  Also I found my grades from my senior year.  I don't remember getting an F in study hall...

4.  Back in May, I mentioned that I had some handspun wool from Canada that I was planning to use to make a shawl for my niece who lives on Vancouver Island.  I finished the shawl in June and it was delivered to my niece by her mom in August. But I never took any photos of it.  (Silly Willow!) This week on facebook she posted a photo of her wearing the shawl.  So now I have a picture of the shawl and more importantly, her wearing the shawl.

5.  I have had some crazy, funny conversations this week about BUGS like spiders and ants.  First, my cousin's daughter who with her husband is visiting his grandparents here in Southern California.  She mentioned finding black widow spiders in the garage.  So, yeah, here in SoCal black widow spiders are everywhere.  You just deal with them.  But she didn't know because she doesn't live here.  No, you don't vacuum them up with a shop vac.  Poison them or smash them!  In the end, we decided that if you vacuum them up and feed them growth hormone, you can use them on Halloween to scare all the kids who come to the house to treat-or-treat.  (Really you shouldn't even let her own a shop vac or medicines.)  Then, I told my daughter that we have ants in our microwave, and I'm not sure how they're getting in.  BUT.  They don't die when you run the microwave.  WHY?  We think they're mutants and will grow into giant radiated ants that will take over the world.  And they all started in my little microwave.  Maybe you shouldn't have conversations with me about weird stuff. (But it makes me laugh.)

What made you happy this week?  What made you laugh?

Thursday, September 08, 2016

Hellooo, September!

Happy Friday Fave Fives!  Here are five events that made my week blessed and joyful.  Without further ado, Willow's Week:

1.  Our PAL is a curious kid.  Our week was filled with her cheerful and happy chatter and her winsome ways.  She and her daddy flew in to see us over the Labor Day Holiday weekend.

2.  A Day at the Beach.  September is one of the BEST months to be at the beach in Southern California.

3.  A day at the Reagan Library.  Her daddy loves historical places too, just like his dad.  Summer crowds were gone and the school trips haven't started yet, so it wasn't crowded in all the exhibits.

(this is the car I want!)

4.  Her daddy also loves book stores as much as his parents do.  So of course we had to visit THREE:   Bank of Books and Abednego Book Shoppe and Mrs. Figg's Bookworm.  And I found a used book that I've been wanting for awhile!

5.  Remember that outside work?  One large part is finished!  All the decorative rock is gone, and my neighbor who is the recipient is as happy as I am.  This project is ongoing.  Hopefully, next week, there will be a report of more work accomplished (and maybe fewer sore muscles).

Bonus:  kudos to Bob Hope Burbank Airport!  I was able to accompany PAL and her daddy all the way to the gate and wait with them until their plane departed.  That's great service!

Happy Weekend!  Happy September!   Be well.  Knit on.

Friday, September 02, 2016

End of August 2016

It's Friday, And time for Friday Fave Fives.  I thought I'd post more this week, but as you will see, my hands and thoughts were busy elsewhere.  I still need to pause, focus, and be thankful.  Thankfully, Susanne's Friday Fave Fives help me do just that.

1.  Sore muscles.  Why oh why do sore muscles make me happy?  It means that I have put in two good days on some heavy outside yard work.  We need to adjust the property line markers on our side property to correctly reflect the property line.  So I shoveled rock, moved cement edgers and pavers.  There is still more work to do, but I'm proud of those sore muscles.

2.  In my garden, there are many more monarch caterpillars (no more photos because, you know, how many photos of caterpillars do you need?)  But World's Best Neighbor phoned and left me a message telling me the butterflies are flying everywhere around the milkweed on the back bank of the garden and she has a perfect view of them.  In other garden news, the cotton plants are flowering!

3.  AND the potatoes grew!  My first attempt at growing potatoes yielded these!  I planted one potato cut into four sections and I harvested enough to fill a gallon pot.

4.  Not everything was about the garden this week (but of course it's the end of August and beginning of September so of course there is a lot going on in the garden).  These two felted sheep have decided to relocate to the East Coast.  Someone noticed my sheep at the county fair display and asked to purchase a couple from me.  So these two are off on a new adventure.

And  I have been on a NICU hat kick.  This week:  eleven hats and the twelfth nearly done.

5.  I saved the best for last!  See what I picked up at the airport on Thursday??  PAL and her daddy are here for a visit!  She brought her bunny Alexandria to visit with Eleanor and they are all having a great time playing with blocks and duplos, taking walks, picking tomatoes and oranges!  The arrival of our Princess PAL also explains my lateness in posting my Faves this week.

I foresee a busy Labor Day weekend--beach trip, museum visit for Daddy, lots of walks and book reading.