Friday, November 30, 2018

Done with November

I can't believe it's almost DECEMBER.  What happened to November?  I know that Thanksgiving was early this year and that the first Sunday of Advent is this weekend.  Wow!

So what did I do this past week?  What blessings arrived on the doorstep of Willow's Cottage?  I'm sharing Five Faves--five favorite things from this past week and linking to Susanne's group Friday Fave Fives.

1.  Obviously, the big fave this week is the RAIN we had on Wednesday and Thursday.  Here in Southern California, rain is somewhat of a rarity.  We popped into the library to drop off books and all the high school kids are in the front plaza running and jumping around in the rain.

2.  With rain comes some trepidation after having had two or more rain induced deadly mudslides in the past few years in our area after wild fires have decimated the flora on the hills.  So we are all very thankful that there were no mudslides this week.

3.  I'm thankful for the very diligent fire departments and police and sheriffs who patrolled all around the burn areas (including my neighborhood) checking on everyone and everyplace to make sure the mud and rocks stayed where they are supposed to be.  Our first responders have been very very busy lately.  I'm so thankful that they work hard to keep us safe.

4.  Also with rain and wind comes that phenomenon called tumbleweeds.  They are real things.  And they are big.  In the wind, the tumbleweeds were jay-walking across the roads and sidewalks and cutting off other drivers in their lanes and getting stuck on road signs.  I love 'tumbleweed season'.

photo taken in the rain near a lemon orchard

5.  And of course there is always knitting at Willow's Cottage.  Two new bunnies!  Aren't they adorable?  I love to knit and I love to create beautiful things.

So now we are done with November!  On to Advent and Christmas!  My favorite time of the year!

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Five Faves For Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving Weekend to all my American friends!  I know I am a bit late posting my Friday Fave Fives, but because I had family visiting, I decided to just enjoy our time together and focus on them until they left on Friday.  I could have listed fifty things I'm thankful for, but I chose just five from this week.  So here are my Five Faves for Thanksgiving.  You can click on that link to join in.

1.  First, I'm thankful for Susanne who so faithfully posts and leads the Friday Fave Fives.

2.  For the first time in two or three years, I was home for Thanksgiving!

3.  Our older son Chaplain Dan and his family joined us.  Our PAL entertained us all.  Doesn't every four year old need a Hebrew alphabet puzzle?

4.  One of The Professor's sisters joined us for Thanksgiving dinner, and later his other sister and two nephews arrived to share pie and pie and more pie.

5.  Speaking of pie, Chaplain Dan made the apple pies.  It's nice to know that the years of teaching my children how to cook and bake have reaped their benefits.   They even tell me that they LIKE to cook.  And I don't have to do it anymore.

6.  OK, I couldn't do just five.  Because, truly, a week can't go by without knitting.  I finished these two Harry Potter house scarves for Chaplain Dan's nieces.  I made him model them.  The fave parts?  I was pleased that the girls asked me to make the scarves, I am glad I finished them before he left so he could take the scarves to them,and it made me happy that he was willing to model them.

Happy Thanksgiving weekend, everyone!  Be Thankful every day!

Friday, November 16, 2018

What a Week!

What a Week!  Yes, we're home.  Although there have been some fire flare ups on the hills above our neighborhood, we were able to return home on Saturday evening.  We are so thankful that our home is safe from the Hill Fire* and Woolsey Fire.  It hurts our hearts when we hear of people who have lost everything--especially so soon after the Thomas Fire which devastated Ventura in our county last December, and after the shootings at Borderline in Thousand Oaks which is the next town over from ours. So here are my heartfelt Friday Fave Fives.   This week I can link up to Susanne's blog!

1.  Saturday evening, we enjoyed a dinner out with long time friends before we 'repopulated' our home.  We sat there in the restaurant and chatted and laughed.  It was great.  Exactly what we needed.

2.  I was called for jury duty.  Yes. Again.  My report day was Wednesday and I did get called into the courtroom and stayed until 5:15 pm while prospective jurors were interviewed.  Because of the memorial service for the county sheriff who was killed in the Borderline shootings last week, we were held over until Thursday afternoon, so I had to report there again and sit in the courtroom until all the jurors were chosen and sworn in.  Then we who were not chosen on the jury were allowed to leave.  Hopefully. I won't be called again in the near future.  What was the fave?  Meeting a couple of other women who I really clicked with, one of whom noticed my felted bag and asked, "Did you knit that?  I knit, too."  Well, that obviously meant instant friendship.

3.  Meeting with a couple of friends for a morning planning session for our Mom to Mom group at church.  I am learning to love these co-mentor moms and appreciate their wisdom (and their humor).

4.  This is a funny thing:  when we left last Thursday, I had poured some hot water over dried chocolate mint leaves and left it to steep while we were gone for what we thought would be about an hour.  Well, when we returned Saturday night, there was the tea mug.  I decided to try the tea.  It was delicious!  Evidently leaving mint tea to steep for 50 plus hours makes excellent tea!

5.  We hadn't seen one of The Professor's sisters for awhile.  She texted and said, "Hey, I was missing you a lot tonight. Can I come over tomorrow to see you?"  So we had a wonderful visit with her and she stayed for lunch.  She even loved our usual lunch of veggies and more veggies with a bit of hummus thrown in.

I hope you are all preparing for a joyous and wonderful Thanksgiving!  Giving thanks is what we're all about here.

* The Hill Fire was named after the place the fire started:  Hill Canyon-- where The Professor and I hike on a regular basis.  It doesn't look like this anymore:

Friday, November 09, 2018

Faves in a Fire

Hello Friends, you may have heard by now that my county in Southern California is burning. Again. I am writing this while sitting in a Starbucks coffee shop.  We were notified of our evacuation as the first  to receive the notification. But. We weren't at home, so we were unable to pack anything.  However, we are ok and so is our home.

So here are my Five Faves From this new Fire. Here is the link. Hope it works! Until I can get my computer, I can't seem to link up...

1. We are safe.

2. As of now, our home is safe and secure.

3.  We had a place to sleep last night.  Friends invited us immediately to stay with them.  Actually, we had numerous offers for a bed.  We were amazed and overehelmed by the immediate response of so many people offering help.

4.  Following on #3, we were encouraged and felt so very loved by so many calls, emails and texts from friends and family checking on us. Those misty eyes of mine --maaybe it is the smoke in the air; or maybe not.

5. I am so thankful that The Professor and I were together when our phones began ringing with mandatory evacuation notices. I had planned to drive up to the shopping mall by myself, but in the end I waited for him to finish a task and he went with me. Otherwise, I would have been fighting my way down toward him on very.very.very slow back roads and he would have been walking out of our area to evacuate. Together is better. Even though we took that road to our friends' home, we were together.

Thursday, November 01, 2018

Five Quotes to Contemplate

I am out of town right now taking a watercolor painting class (yes, it's true!). 

where I am
 (don't worry; The Professor is home keeping everything safe.)

But even so, I wanted to participate in Friday Fave Fives.  Here is the link to Susanne's blog and directions for how to post your own FFFs.  So here are five quotes I've been thinking of lately.  I share them with you so you can contemplate the truth and beauty of them.

1.  A garden is a lovesome thing, God wot.

2.  Act justly.  Love mercy.  Walk humbly with your God.

3.  Sow the seeds of good health with a generous dose of gardening.

4.  Do something every day that makes you happy.

5.  And The Professor's favorite:  Never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence.

After I return, I will catch up with you all.  Happy Weekend!