Friday, February 23, 2018

February Faves

Friday Fave Fives

Even if I don't post anything else on my blog during the week, I think it's important to share my Five Faves of gratitude every Friday.  Susanne hosts this weekly group of thankful people HERE

1.  Yes, more hiking faves this week.  The Professor and I are taking advantage of the days when our weather is warmer.  I realize that warmer is a relative term. My apologies to all people suffering with snow.  Our 'cooler' temperatures are more like balmy-ish spring days for many.  It did get down to FREEZING here over night a couple of nights.  But we do try to fit in hikes when we can.  One afternoon we walked from the local mall to where we thought we could enter the Conejo Valley Botanic Garden only to discover a locked gate.  So we returned to our car and drove around to the entrance and hiked for just a bit there.  The garden is small but is connected to a park and baseball field.

2.  We had heard that there was a path on the south side of Calleguas Creek but had never found the entrance point for the lower section of it.  So one day we set out to explore.  We hiked along the edge of the dry creek bed

and came out on a major road.  Thinking we could continue east, we were deterred by this:

Oh well, it was a great hike and we learned more about our city's walking paths.

3.  Gifted yarn.  Other people's leftovers become more hats.  This yarn will soon be turned into NICU and children's hats.  Already I have made a few and sold several (six!) NICU hats to a friend who will gift them to her pastor's new premmie son.

4.  I love those texts that say, "Hey, do you have time to skype with PAL?"  Of course!  We always have time to skype with our sweet grandgirl!

5.  We scored two plants of our favorite cherry tomatoes.  The local hardware/nursery had just put them out that day and we just 'happened' to stop by to look for something else and spotted them.  They're already planted and thriving.

So that was Willow's Week of Wonderful Blessings.  How was your week?

Friday, February 16, 2018

February Faves

Friday!  The end of the week!  It's time to look back at how I've been blessed this week.  Susanne hosts a group of thankful people each week on her blog.  Join in if you want with your own 

1.  My decision made, we purchased this camera.  I chose a 'point and shoot' again because I just don't want to expend the necessary energy it would take to learn to use a dslr camera.  I'm satisfied.  I've taken quite a few photos and finally figured out how to upload them to my computer.
Canon PowerShot SX730 Digital Camera w/40x Optical Zoom & 3 Inch Tilt LCD - Wi-Fi, NFC, & Bluetooth Enabled (Black)
2.  I just started a new thing.  Every day, I am writing a short diary entry just about what I did that day.  I'm not much of a journal person, but I recalled that my grandmother and my mother didn't write in journals; they simply recorded their daily activities, especially if they were on a vacation or extended trip.  So I decided to just write a simple summary of my day.  So far, it has been working for me--that is, I haven't abandoned the effort yet and it has been almost a week (which may be a new Willow record).

3.  Since I can check my diary and remember what I did during the week, I can report here that on our evening walk the other night, I was struck with just how much I enjoy walking in the evenings.  I think we began this tradition more than twenty-five years ago when that was the only time The Professor and I had any downtime.  I know that even now it is refreshing for us to walk in the moonlight and starlight.

Walking into the sunset

4.  Do you celebrate Lent? (Does one celebrate Lent or observe Lent?)  Most years, I contemplate a way to observe this season, either by giving up an activity or food or by including something in my daily routine--like reading a devotional or inspirational book.  This year I have chosen two things.  First, I am spending some time each day in decluttering my home.  One day it was accumulated papers.  Another day, I finally organized the coin collection books and so was able to 'declutter' a bunch of duplicate pennies I've been planning to check. [note here:  I've been a coin collector since I was a wee girl and my uncle taught me about collecting coins.]

5.  Another thing I'm doing this Lenten season is read a devotional book.  My artist group is joining together and we are each reading a different book and then sharing what we are learning each week.  My choice is Henri Nouwen's book The Return of the Prodigal Son.  Although the others are familiar with him and his writings, Nouwen is a new author for me.

a couple of fun photos, just because.

Friday, February 09, 2018

Walks and Talks

It's been a warm week at Willow's Cottage.  Literally.  The temperatures have been way higher than is normal.  Shirt sleeve weather.  So I did get some gardening clean up done.  Mostly, though, I just did 'the usual'.  But even in not-so-interesting-just-regular weeks I can find so much to be grateful for.  Here are Five Faves from my week.  Friday Fave Fives is a great way to focus my attention and be thankful.

1.  I've been contemplating the camera purchase.  For some reason, I just couldn't settle on what I wanted.  Knowing that a DSLR camera takes better photos, I was thinking of moving up to that.  But.  I am not sure that right now I want to put in the hours and hours of tackling the new technology I would have to learn to be up to speed on it.  Every time I'd think about it I would not have the excited and anticipatory feeling I ought to have; it was quite the opposite.  This week a friend was telling me about a hard decision she made because she kept feeling anxious and not excited about the situation and decided she needed to step away from it.  She made me stop and think---hmmm, that's how I'm feeling about the step up to the new camera.  Her comments helped me decide.  I really appreciated that.  So this weekend I'll be getting a simple upgrade on the same kind of Canon I have had for the past several years.  I truly can't wait to photograph the shawl I have almost finished!

2.  The second comment someone else made this week encouraged me.  She noted, "God is always at work behind the scenes."  That gives me comfort and confidence.

3.  This week I was out to the blueberry lady's ranch twice.  On Super Bowl afternoon, we took BYOD (Bring Your Own Dinner) and enjoyed football (the guys), burritos (all four of us), and a walk around the ranch (the girls).  Then on Tuesday morning, I drove out there again to walk with my friend and encourage her to get back into exercising.  By the way, the blueberries are mostly gone, having been replaced by strawberry fields.  Such is life in the agricultural world.  (So does that mean that Blueberry Lady is now Strawberry Lady?  Maybe I should just call her Ranch Lady.)

4.  Have I ever mentioned ginger turmeric tea?  Oh my!  It's marvelous!  We've been drinking a mug each most every day.  There's no caffeine, so we can enjoy it in the afternoon.

5. Last weekend we were invited to dinner at the home of a young couple in our church.  Their two children have been in the 'babies' room where we occasionally volunteer on Sunday mornings so we have gotten to know this sweet family.  It was a delight to spend time with them and their two little ones.  Now I'm looking forward to reciprocating and pulling out the grandkids' toys for the littles to play with.  When your grandchildren don't live within 500 miles of you, it's a delight to pretend to be surrogate grandparents once in a while.

Enjoy your weekend!  Will you have snow or rain or sun in the forecast?

Friday, February 02, 2018

What I Did This Week

The lack of a camera to document my week has been frustrating for me.  We did look at cameras but I have not yet decided which camera I want.  In one sense I realize that I have become lazy in writing because 'one picture is worth a thousand words' and therefore I don't have to write as many words in a blogpost.  So today I am writing my Friday Fave Fives and not adding photos (which feels very weird to me).  But there is still much for which to be grateful!

1. and 2.  Walking and hiking are favorite activities for me.  This week we took two walks.  The first was along the beaches beyond Ventura.  We parked at the west end of the city and walked about two and a half miles up the biking/walking trail toward Santa Barbara.  The weather was perfect.  The air was clear.  The scene was peaceful.  It was the perfect place and day to walk by the ocean.  Then another day we hiked in the Santa Monica Mountains.  The area is called Satwiwa and is the site of an ancient Indian settlement.  Where we walked was mostly through meadows although there was enough up and downs to make it more challenging.

3.  On Wednesday we drove into Los Angeles.  How on earth could that be a fave when the traffic is always horrendous?  Well, we took the opportunity take a walk on The Strand which is the beach walk in the South Bay beach towns, to have lunch with a friend,  visit another friend who is in rehab from a stroke, and finally to pick up a friend/neighbor at LAX airport.  All in all, it was a wonderful day and was worth the traffic stress.

4.  My sister in law (one who lives in our town) had a birthday.  So we celebrated with lunch after church on Sunday with another sister and a nephew.

5.  Any excuse to start a new knitting pattern is a good thing, right?  My daughter asked for help on a pattern, so I figured I might as well try out the pattern myself.  Makes sense, right?  In the end, she chose a different pattern to use to knit a shawl, but since I had already made a lot of progress on my 'sample', I decided to just keep on  knitting.  I'm half done.

Thus ends my attempt to express Willow's Week with any photos.