Friday, February 24, 2017

Friday Fave Fives, End of February

Happy Friday!  I have been participating in Friday Fave Five for a long time.  I appreciate the opportunity to focus on and share what I am thankful for.  Here is the link to Susanne's blog where you can find out more if you too want to join us.

1.  Around here, we watch the weather with avid interest.  This winter, we have had lots of rain!  And we are thankful that even our county is now coming out of drought and returning to 'normal'.  I don't think I will EVER take rain for granted again.  EVER.

2.  I love to walk and this week we walked in two beautiful place.  First was our neighborhood.  All the rain we've had produced waterfalls!  Yes, we totally geek out about waterfalls here because they fill and fall only after enough rain.  All three of these falls are on the mountain directly above our neighborhood.

Where does all that water end up?
Here:  in the golf course ponds.
And on the golf course--causing flooding of the paths.
I LOVE living here!

3.  After tutoring on Wednesday, I decided to catch a quick walk at the beach.  The waves were high and were crashing on the end of the jetty which protects the harbor.  I'm thankful I live so near the sea.

This statue stands at the end of the path at the jetty.

The lifeguard hut waiting for summer

4. I was able to attend a one day seminar on promoting health.  The focus was on diet--specifically eating a whole food, plant based diet and how that positively affects your health.  I have been on this journey for several years, but I gain new incentive to continue.

5.  I started my very first tapestry loom piece.  For a while now I have been interested in learn to weave tapestry and promised myself that after I retired, I would do it.  I wanted a way to weave that didn't involved a huge loom which overwhelmed our cottage.  A guild friend offered to help me, so this week I took my 12" x 14" homemade (by another friend's husband) frame, some random yarn and this is what I have so far:

Yes, that is painter's tape.  I don't want to invest much money in equipment until I am sure I want to pursue this art form.  I am thankful for the opportunity (and time) to explore fiber arts.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

An England Adventure, Part 4

Because we had so enjoyed Avebury, the next morning after our Avebury countryside adventure, we reluctantly boarded a bus and rode to Dorchester.  We were looking forward to two nights in this town which is famous for various neolithic and Roman ruins and for being the home of British author Thomas Hardy.  Also, we had a personal contact there--The World's Best Neighbors' brother and sister-in-law reside there.  So we had a great recommendation for a Bed and Breakfast location from them.

As soon as we arrived in Dorchester, we walked to the BnB.  On the way, we passed Maumbury Ring and knew we would have to return and explore this Neolithic henge turned Roman amphitheatre.  Then we walked by an old cemetery.  Same reaction.  We checked in to our BnB and met the delightful owners.  If you are ever traveling to Dorchester and need a place to stay there, I can happily and absolutely recommend Aquila Heights BnB!  Derek and Wendy were the best!

Anyway, we quickly settled our backpacks in our room and then took off to explore.  First stop:  Maumbury Ring!  For all you other history geeks, here is the link to more information about Maumbury Ring.

Can you imagine living in a place where ancient ruins are simply where you walk your dogs??

We walked on into the center of town past houses

and chimney pots

and broken doors

and churches

with fascinating doors.

Even the library and city government center is surrounded by history!  

A remembrance circle

and The Roman Walk which is a tree lined path that follows the perimeter of what is believed to be the Roman town of Durnovaria (Dorchester).  Here is a link to information about The Roman Walk.

I just had to snap this artsy shot of a teenage boy reading by the window in the library!

It was getting late and dark, so we grabbed some dinner and headed back to the BnB.  My daughter elected to rest and sleep, and I spent a couple of hours enjoying a visit with World's Best Neighbors' relatives.  The next day there would be So. Much. More. History. to discover!

Friday, February 17, 2017

Snow, Sun, and Rain

Happy Friday Fave Fives from a very rainy and stormy Willow's Cottage.  (Follow the link to join us in celebrating the blessings of our week.)  I sit in my cosy cottage and gaze out at the falling rain and give thanks for so many things including but not limited to a safe and dry home with indoor plumbing.  Here are five samples of how my week went.

1.  My weather week went from this:
snow at night

to this:

sunshine and green grass on the mountains above my neighborhood

blue ocean and blue skies

2.  I knew that more rain was predicted for our area, so I took a day to work in the garden.  The hyacinth is in bloom now, as are the daffodils.

I planted tomatoes and snap peas and marigolds.  I cleaned up buckets of fallen camellia blooms.  I repotted my chocolate mint.

3.  And today it is RAINING.  Again.  No, I won't stop being thankful for the rain!  With this storm and the next one headed our Southern California way, we might actually move out of drought status.  Fortunately, I finished all my errands yesterday, so I can stay home today.  (Hint:  if you live in Southern California, don't assume people actually know how to drive in rain!)

4.  Our son Dr. Mike happened to be traveling through Los Angeles, so he arranged to spend a couple of days with us.  I flew in to LAX. The Professor picked me up.  Then we drove directly to our favorite Indonesian restaurant and met him there.  Of course we savored our meal.  Since he was here for a few days, The Professor arranged for him to speak at the university on the most recent research he has been doing which was of interest to more than one department--Comp Sci, Anthropology, and Environmental Science.

Mama might have been a bit proud of her boy.

5.  I drove him to LAX the next morning to fly back to snow and ice.  Since it took two hours to navigate the freeways to deliver him there,

I decided to treat myself to a leisurely drive home via Pacific Coast Highway.  The beach photos above were taken near Mugu Beach campground.  Also, on the mountain side of the highway, I noticed that the coreopsis are blooming!  I just had to pull over, jump out and walk up the trail a bit.

Do you see the specks of yellow on the crest of the hill? Those are giant coreopsis.  The large stumps look like dead cactus most of the year.  But in the spring, they bloom with clumps of yellow daisy like flowers.

This  zoomed in photo shows more details. 

 And the poppies are blooming, too!  (See what a little rain will produce?)

I am so thankful for the beauty in nature around me and for my family!

Friday, February 10, 2017

February Faves

I missed posting my Friday Fave Fives last week because I was here.

I left this

and flew east over the Rocky Mountains and across the Great Plains.  The New Boy is now the Big Boy because he turned nine years old this week, and for the first time in many years, I was there to celebrate with him.

So here are my Friday Fave Fives for the past two weeks.

1.  The frequent rains in Southern California (I just can't let that one go, can I?) are keeping my garden happy.

By the time I return from The Big Boy's home, my hyacinth with be blooming!

I planted parsley!

We've been enjoying these daily.

2.  A Lego themed birthday party at the roller skating rink.

3.  On Saturday we spent several hours at the EnterTRAINment museum in Cincinnati.  Eleanor Elizabeth asked to go, too.  She enjoyed it almost as much as The Big Boy.

"Which one is your office?" I asked.

4.  This has been an unusual week since Older Daughter is at work during the day and The Big Boy is at school.  Consequently, I've had a lot of 'down time' at home since a contractor is here working on a bathroom remodel.  And I don't drive in snow.

I'm catching up on some reading for the Herbalism Workshop and Materia Medica classes I'm taking.  As you can see, I'm not alone.  I have both canine and feline company.

5.  Older Daughter has arranged her schedule so she can be home part of a couple of days.  We're organizing and decluttering which I love to do.  There may be some coffee dates in there, too.

All in all, it has been a pleasant and productive time.  How was your week?