Thursday, January 24, 2019

When Others Encourage Me

My word for this year, as I wrote earlier this month, is ENCOURAGE.  I want to encourage other people, but this week others have encouraged me.  Here are five examples (out of many more I noticed this week) which I am sharing as my Friday Fave Fives.  Here is the link to Susanne's blog where she hosts our Gathering of Blessings and Encouragement.

1.  Out of the blue, I received a phone call from the mom of a former student.  For the last eight years of my teaching career, I taught homeschool students how to write--stories, essays, compositions.  Anyway, the mom called me and had her son tell me how as a jr high student now, he had been earning the highest marks in his class.  As he said, "I did what Mrs. Willow taught me and got extra credit."  Isn't that the most encouraging thing a kid could say to a former teacher?

2.  We have had a crazy week...just lots of 'little things'.  A younger mom from church assured me she was praying for me.  That's encouraging!  (and I'm supposed to be her encourager!)

3.  How can a memorial service be an encouragement?  Well, it was.  Yes, another funeral.  This week we celebrated the life of a younger man from our church congregation who was a great encourager.  Born with disabilities, he embraced life with the happiest and brightest smile.  He was a greeter at church and hugged everyone.  Bill's life was an example of how to be an encourager. And that encouraged me to 'be more like Bill'.

4.  On Sunday evening, I had a meeting and so did The Professor.  But they were at two different times in two different places.  Since we have only one car, I was blessed and encouraged when a friend who was going to be at the meeting with me, offered me a ride home.  Then we sat and chatted in her car for awhile--just because we could.  She encouraged me, and I hope I encouraged her.

5.  An hour or two later, the same friend texted me, "Look outside!"  It was the lunar eclipse which we didn't expect to see because our sky was clouded over.  But the clouds parted just enough.  I snapped this picture at about 3 minutes past totality.  I'm glad she encouraged me to go look!

How have you been ENCOURAGED this week?

And here are a couple of photos from our very very green wild landscapes as a bonus.  Where I live in Southern California, we don't have green mountains very often, so we revel in it when we do have the green!

There's not much green here, but you can see some new life returning after the Hill Fire burned through here in November.

Yes, we really were that high above the entrance to Hill Canyon.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Two Quick Hikes

It's not all books, knitting, and weaving around Willow's Cottage.  The Professor and I love to walk and hike.  After our rainy week last week, we have been taking advantage of the warmer sunny weather this week.

Hill Canyon.  Yes, that Hill Canyon.  Where the Hill Fire started in November.  The canyon trail is still closed only because the bridge across the creek isn't fixed yet.  But the trail up the east side of the canyon wall is open, so we hiked up there Monday afternoon.  The GREEN which is popping up everywhere is beautiful and healing to the land.  Yes, we can thank all that rain we've had for the past week.

Then on Tuesday after having lunch with some visiting family from up north, we hiked into the area where the Woolsey Fire swept through at the same time as the Hill Fire did.  Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area is closed due to the federal government shut down, so the buildings are closed, but the grounds are open for hiking.  Specifically, we hiked around the King Gillette Ranch.  Yeah, that Gillette.  Basically, this ranch was purchased and built from the money King acquired from selling those little razor blades.  The ranch land didn't burn, but the areas around it and even across the road did.

Front entrance

You can see the effects of the lack of personnel caring for the property.
Leaves Every Where.

Back entrances

We hiked up to Inspiration Point, about 180 feet above the area where the house is.

(notice the cars and the white trailers in the picture above?  That is probably a movie photo shoot.)

I zoomed in and took this photo of the Gillette Ranch House from the top of Inspiration Point.

And a shot of Inspiration Point from the front lawn.

Both of these hikes weren't more than about two miles each, but they included some steep hills and so much beauty!

Friday, January 18, 2019

Simple Week

This past week was a quiet simple time.  I'm thankful I was able to take the time to adjust back to being home and get settled in again after being gone for almost a month.
Here is how I spent my Simple Week--being thankful for the quiet.  I'm linking up to 
to share.

1.  My favorite photo of the week.  Palm trees with snowy mountains in the background.  That's Southern California!  Taken from my front window.

2.  When it rains, the flowers soak it all in, and they love it!  Can you see the raindrops?  It has been raining and raining and raining this week.

3.  Lunch with a friend.  We might have spent almost three hours...  And it was worth every minute.

4.  This week I did some reviewing of my family history documents so I could scan the information to send to a possible distant relative.  It was fun.  And now I want to do more delving in to my family's past.

5.  Knitting and weaving is a daily event around Willow's Cottage.  I'm thankful for being able to learn more of my art.  I finished two bunnies which will be gifts for two new little girls. 

  And I warped my loom for a new scarf.  Thankfully, my friend noticed a mistake I had made and showed me how to correct it.

What are you thankful for this week?

Saturday, January 12, 2019

All. The. Good.

"And you shall rejoice in all the good that the Lord your God has given to you and to your house, you, and the Levite, and the sojourner who is among you."
   Deuteronomy 26:11

The Bible text above popped up in a devotional someone shared this week and it struck me that Friday Fave Fives does exactly this.  All The Good.  Here are Five Good Things the Lord my God has given me this week.

1.  Safe and easy flight home.  Not being the world's best flyer, I always appreciate a mostly turbulence free flight.  And this time, no transfers.

2.  We spent one day this week driving to Los Angeles to attend a memorial service for a dear friend who was my mentor and Bible teacher for a few years when I lived in LA.  I loved what one person noted about her life.  "GW lived her life for two things: to bring people to Jesus and to bring people together."  I would want that legacy , wouldn't you?

3.  Then we met family friends for lunch in Santa Monica--We have know them for many years, since those adult boys were primary students at the school where I taught (Watts Christian School).  We love them!  We laughed and chatted and reminisced.  What a blessing to spend that special time with them.

4.  We drove home via Highway 1, also called  PCH (Pacific Coast Highway).  The road has been closed due to the Woolsey and Hill Fires.  It was the first time we had driven along there since the fires.  Look where the rain has already started to green up the burned areas.  I'm thankful for the healing of the land.

5.  Dinner with World's Best Neighbor.  Pizza.  How thankful I am for a good neighbor who is also a good friend.

Happy January to you!  Be blessed!

Friday, January 04, 2019

Flight 2019

Happy Friday!  It's 'take off time' for the New Year!  I continue to highly value Friday Fave Fives as a way to focus on my blessings from the past week and NOT focus on the difficult or sad things.  Here are five things I am thankful for this week.

1.  My daughters had some extra time off from their jobs so we were able to spend days with them.  One day we went to a science center and the grandchildren had a great time.  (a year pass is our gift to them for Christmas)

2.  Walks and hikes.  Even in cold wintertime, we try to get out and walk every day.  (I have photos but haven't downloaded them yet. I'll repost when I do.)

3.  Playing games.  The New Boy has discovered Settlers of Catan and Pandemic.  I tried Pandemic.  The Professor and New Boy's mom played Catan with him.  Scrabble--he is a solid player and keeps us on our game!

4. On New Year's Eve, New Boy wanted to stay up until midnight.  I was ready for bed long before, but we waited and as 12pm arrived, New Boy counted down, "Ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one!  Happy New Year!"  His next words were, "OK, let's go to bed."

5.  My small group leader from Friday Bible study sent this.

Will all passengers on Flight 2019 please proceed to the boarding gates...
Your checked baggage should include only the best souvenirs from 2018.
The BAD and SAD moment if carried in your hand luggage must be thrown away in the garbage bins before boarding Flight 2019.
Stopovers will be:  Health, Love, Joy, Harmony, Well-being, Peace.
Refueling will be at Giving, Sharing, Caring.
Remember that you will enjoy the journey better if you talk, share, smile, and laugh together.
Sitting silent will make the flight seem longer.

Wishing you and your family an enjoyable trip on board Flight 2019.