Thursday, November 28, 2019

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy (American) Thanksgiving to you all!  Here we are at the end of the month of giving thanks.  But if you ever read my blog, you know I make a point of posting my Friday Fave Fives every week.  I am thankful every day and we are supposed to 'give thanks for everything' and that's why I do this.

1. Tea with our new youth pastor's wife.  I already love her!  We were supposed to enjoy our tea time at home, but we had a house showing scheduled, so I took her to our nearest tea and coffee shop which is in a commercial and industrial area--I'm sure it's there to serve the workers, but it makes for a great little hidden spot.

2.  I've been in a bit of a knitting slump, but this week I decided to just finish one of the projects which only needed sewing up.  A new pillow cover for the living room sofa.  Details: Caron Pantone yarn.  #7 needles.  Mitered square pattern.

3.  We have been taking our walks before it becomes dark.  Lots of things to notice!

So many brilliant blossoms!

The deer graze everywhere in the neighborhood and aren't shy about it.

Autumn does happen in Southern California.  On one of our walks, I collected some fallen leaves and seed pods.  I love the colors!

4.  All. The. Rain.  There was another fire in the county north of us, so everyone was thankful and relieved to have the rain storm blow in.  Well, almost everyone.  The people who had to change Thanksgiving plans because of road closures due to snow may not have been as happy.  But we need the rain!

5.  Thanksgiving!  This year, our celebration was very low key.  Only The Professor's sister came to celebrate, so there were the three of us.  Other family was supposed to come for dessert but because of the rain storm, they decided to stay home.  So.  Three people and three pies.  Yeah, we have leftovers!

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Be Thankful 4

November is steaming along.  It's hard to realize that next week is Thanksgiving in the US.  I really need these pauses in my week to stop and reflect on the many blessings in my life.  One way I do that is to join other people in FRIDAY FAVE FIVES.

1.  Women's Brunch at church.  Yummy food and encouragement from two women who spoke to us.  I love spending time with my friends laughing, eating, praising, and encouraging each other.

2.  All the murder mysteries.  My sister-in-law loaned me her Kindle with three THREE! mysteries by a new-to-me author.  I've been having a great time reading through them.

3.  Rain!  This week we had our first rain since May. Oh I love the sound and smell of the rain.  And maybe, just maybe, the rain will help end 'fire season' here in Southern California.

4.  A day in Los Angeles.  The Professor's oldest (as in longest--since he was one and his friend was three) friend and his wife met us at LA's Union Station and we visited The Last Book Store in Down Town Los Angeles (DTLA).  I have known them since I was eighteen and had his friend as an English prof in college.  Anyway, it was so much fun to spend the day with them!

5.  And of course there are other iconic DTLA places to visit like Grand Central Market for lunch Bradbury Building, Central Library and Angel's Flight (the funicular rail cars going up and down Bunker Hill).  The Professor and his friend remember these places from their childhood, growing up in Los Angeles and riding on Angel's Flight on their way to the central library or the market.  It was a day filled with memories for them.

Bonus:  Son #2 has been traveling the globe this past week.  Knowing his schedule, I checked his flights and destinations all the time often. This mama's prayers followed him every step of the way.   The best news was that he is home safely, doing well at recovering from all the jet lag.

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Happy and Thankful

So here we are at the mid point of November and the month of Thanksgiving.  I try to focus every day and every week on being thankful.  Here are my Friday Fave Fives--those five things I have chosen from my week that have made me happy or have made me thankful.  Here is the link to join in:  FRIDAY FAVE FIVES.

1.  This week The Professor has been working daily on an outdoor project.  Actually he's been doing this for several weeks.  The project involves clearing paint off concrete blocks and it's A LOT of work.  One morning, two guy friends from church helped him and it speeded up the finish date from three weeks to one week.  Many hands make light work.  I am thankful for friends who help each other.

2.  We took a long walk one day this week.  I hesitate to call it a hike because it was mostly in a suburban area and partly on busy roads.  We walked along the bike paths on both sides of part of the Ventura River.  Of course, the river bed is bone dry.  And of course, I forgot my camera.  I'm am thankful that we have so many places to walk and be outside.

3.  On that walk, we passed many eucalyptus trees.  The leaves smell wonderful.  We found a few branches on the ground and brought them home.  I'm going to love having the aroma of eucalyptus for a while.

4.  The local university has occasional performances by professional artists in conjunction with classes.  We attended a performance by a trio--piano, cello and clarinet--showcasing compositions from Bach to Beethoven to some mid Romantic composers.  It was beautiful!

5.  These flowers from a friend's daughter who was selling her arrangements at a homeschool Christmas boutique.  She's five.  We bought them to cheer up our dining room table.  (and to encourage her)  What's not to love about fresh flowers?

What made you happy and thankful this week?

Thursday, November 07, 2019

Be Thankful 2

Have you been focusing on Being Thankful this month?  November is the month to do that, but I try to be mindful daily about the blessings in my life.  Here are Five Faves that I am thankful for this week.  The link to post your FRIDAY FAVE FIVES or read what others have written is in the link.

1.  One day we drove to Santa Barbara to visit the Botanic Garden there.    Our purpose was to  purchase some California native plants to add to the slope behind our house.  But since we were at the garden, we decided to walk a couple of the trails and view the autumn colors in a Southern California garden.

2.  No garden in Southern CA is complete without the state flower--the poppy.

3.  The view from the top of the trail  extended all across the city and over the sea (which was fogged in) and out to one of the Channel Islands.  That slightly darker line just below the sky and above the fog is the outline of the island.

4.  A friend gifted me a succulent filled pumpkin.  Evidently, what you do is trim the top off the pumpkin and glue succulents there.  The idea is to have the plants take root in the pumpkin which has not been gutted or carved.  I think it's cute.

5.  Coffee time with a college friend.  We found out that an old friend from college who lives in our county is also moving out of state.  This news prompted us to reach out and grab a coffee time with him before we all disperse.  We had a good time and I especially enjoyed listening to the guys reminisce about their dads who both were professors at the college we attended.

Bonus pictures:

There is so much beauty around us!  Let's be thankful for even the little busy bees and tiny rushes by a pond.  Happy Thanksgiving Month, week two!

Saturday, November 02, 2019

Let's Be Thankful

November is the month of giving thanks.  Shouldn't we try to focus on being thankful every day?  One way I do that is to post here on my blog every Friday what are my Friday Fave Fives. (Yeah, I know it's Saturday, but Friday was a bit crazy here at Willow's Cottage.)

1.  Lately, our lives have been focused around keeping the house clean and show ready and then not messing it up.  This necessitates many hours of sitting around reading and knitting (reading for both of us and knitting for me).  It also means spending chunks of time away from the house.  That means hanging at someone else's house or at a public spot.  This week I had a morning of wonderful tea and conversation with a friend.  We share so much in common with our love of various arts.  She paints and sketches.  So she gave me a two minute lesson in how to begin sketching.  I told her, "Pretend you are talking to your grandson Z.  How would you explain the first steps to him?"  So she did, and I got it.  Now I have an assignment to do this week.  I love these conversations.

2.  We also had BYOD with our friends this week. BYOD is Bring Your Own Dinner.  We met at their house and no one had to cook.  We just sat in their 'three season room' and ate and chatted for HOURS.  Their power had been turned off for two days, so they were just thankful that they had electricity again.  I'm so glad we had that time together...

3.  About that power outage.  Many people we know in our area have been without electricity due to the incredibly strong winds and concerns about fires.  Fires?  Yes, There have been two fires in our county this week.  One of the fires burned up to the parking lot of the Ronald Reagan Library (north east of us).  The other is still burning north of us.  We watched it burning Wednesday night.  I'm thankful that we have not had to evacuate from our home and that we have had uninterrupted electric power.  Maria Fire about one hour after it started:

4.  Another thing I'm thankful for is that list of things to take when you have to evacuate.  We've been checking it and making sure we are ready.  From our county fire department website:

5.  And of course in the midst of all this, life continues on.  PAL's mom sent me this photo of her after Trick or Treating in her neighborhood on Halloween Night. "Captain Marvel" brings us so much joy every day, even from a distance.

So that was my week.  Yes, I still have to photograph my knitting and weaving and post some pictures.  I hope to do that by Monday.  In the meantime, Let's Be Thankful!