Friday, January 31, 2020

Closing Out January

Wow, it's the END OF JANUARY!  How did that happen??  Willow's Week just flew by.  Here are the Five Faves I chose to share for Friday Fave Fives.

1.  I am thankful for clean and running water.  Water that just runs from the spout when I turn it on.  Why am I thinking of water this week?  One day, we had our water turned off for a few hours.  This was a planned event due to work that needed to be done on the water main in our neighborhood.  We were able to plan ahead and put aside some water, fill our water bottles.  But it made me remember the years when our water arrived in buckets from the river and had to be boiled to use.  Clean water is something to be thankful for!

2.  Evenings spent with friends are always a blessing.  Our BYOD (Bring Your Own Dinner) friends came to our house this month.  Having known each other since college days, we have SO MUCH FUN.

3.  I've been knitting socks for more than twenty years.  I love wearing the socks that I knit.   They're warm and snuggly in the winter.  Currently, I have five or six pairs that I am rotating wearing.  And it makes me extra happy to know that I made them myself.

4.  The word I chose for 2020 is TRUST.  I found a necklace that says, "TRUST in the Lord".  Now I can wear my word for the year around my neck.  I can simply look down and remind myself to TRUST.

5.  In closing out this first month, I would have to add the I am thankful I can walk regularly.  I love walking and hiking and am thankful I have the ability and strength to do that (and I've walked, hiked or worked out at the gym twenty-five of the thirty-one days of this month).

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

End of January Knitting Project Update

One of my goals for 2020 is to knit several WIPs (works in progress) and PKs (planned knits).  I have had a month to work on them, and I have successfully finished two and am working on two more projects.


1.  Multi Directional Diagonal Afghan.  Made from leftover sock yarns.  Size 4 needles.  This was begun on our road trip this summer and I just kept adding to it.  Finally, I've declared it done.

2.  I finished the blue variegated socks I started at the beginning of the month.  And I wore them this week.

Almost finished!

1.  My younger daughter knitted one sock and gave up on the other one.  I realized why--she had messed up the heel, neglecting to actually 'turn the heel'.  No wonder she quit.  So I took the yarn and now I am finished with one sock and half way through the other one.

2.  No photos of this project yet.  Someone asked me to knit a replacement sweater (which had been moth eaten) for an antique doll.  No pattern.  So I am copying the original and am almost finished.  I just have the sleeves and finishing edges to do.  When the project is complete, I'll take photos of it.

Hopefully, I will be able to finish that doll sweater and move on to a commissioned baby sweater, hat and blankie.

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Always Thankful, No Matter When

I've been sick with a cold this week, and I thought I'd just skip posting.  Then I realized, NO. No matter how I am feeling right now, I still have so many things to be thankful for and it is important for me to focus on those.  So here are my Friday Fave Fives, a day late.

1.  I am so thankful for all the ways I can help my body heal from this cold.  Herbal teas.  Elderberry syrup.  Zicam.  Airborne.  Decongestants.   Ibuprofen.  Rest.  Naps.

2.  I am thankful I am not working now so I have the luxury of just resting and letting my body heal.

3.  Time to snuggle under my afghan while I finish knitting the last few blocks.  Yes, it's DONE! (off my knitting project list) Hopefully, there will be photos soon.

4.  I also finished one pair of socks. (knock that one off my knitting to do list, too)

5.  Books to read.  I can curl up with that afghan and my books and read all day.

I am thankful that I should be back and fully functioning tomorrow.  And here are some bonus photos of Southern England in early spring because few pictures make me happier than ones of rural England!

Friday, January 17, 2020


One new week!  Can it be possible that we are halfway through the month of January 2020??  I purposely carved a couple of days at the beginning of the week to relax.  But then the end of this week just got busy and busier.  Truly, I'm thankful for both the rest and the activities.  I just need to learn how to balance it.  So here is Willow's Week in Friday Fave Fives.  The link is to Susanne's blog Living To Tell the Story  where you can find other people's Fave Fives and join in, too, if you want.

1.  While I haven't been as consistent with my sketching as I would like to be, I have been doing well with my goal of exercising more.  In fact, I have walked, hiked, or worked out at the gym EVERY DAY this week.  I feel great.  Except of course for some sore muscles.

2.  One morning, a few of the moms from my Mom to Mom group met to walk part of the same trail I walked last week.  Walking with two and three year olds and stroller is a much slower gait than my usual pace.  But that's ok.  I had a chance to chat with a mom I hadn't really met before.

3.  Normally, I wouldn't add a memorial service to a favorite part of my week, but the service I attended for a Bible study friend was a wonderful celebration of her life.  And the words from the pastor were encouraging and comforting.

4.  As I am writing this, I am listening to 'the falling rain'.  It's one of my favorite sounds.  As a child, it was a most familiar one as I grew up in the Pacific Northwest, ie. the Rain Capital.  And we had A LOT of rain where we lived in the tropical jungles of New Guinea.  Where I live now, rain is always welcome!

5.  I am making progress on my afghan.  The blocks are now 10 x 12!  Photos soon because maybe by next week I'll be finished.  I've also finished one of the socks and have started on the second one.

Here's hoping I can balance the weekend's busyness with some 'down time', too!

Friday, January 10, 2020

January's Fave Fives, Week Two

I totally forgot it was Friday!  This week has been so busy that we have lost track of what day it is.   Willow's Week just kept coming!  But I'm happy to be able to pause, take a breath, and focus on what I'm thankful for this week.  Here are my Friday Fave Fives.

1.  Our Mom to Mom group met this week.  It's a ministry in our church for young moms.  Each month we have a speaker and this month my college friend Sue Moore Donaldson from Welcome Heart spoke on hospitality.  Geared for young moms, it still inspired me to be more hospitable.  And it was fun to catch up with an old college friend.

2.  Then I received two encouraging texts from a couple of moms about the presentation. Yay!

3.  Tangerines!  My tree is bursting with them.  Yum!

4.  I am happy to be staying mostly on point with my 2020 goals and specifically my January goals.  I've started a fun pair of socks, and I am forging ahead with the leftover sock yarn afghan. The afghan is growing--right now there are more than 100 squares.

5.  An extra long walk.  A friend and I walked the creek that flows through our town (usually it's a dry arroyo).  We forgot that the gate near where we parked our cars was locked, and so we "had" to walk part way back up the path to the place where we could get off the path and walk back to the car.  We didn't mind the extra mile--it just gave us more time to talk!

This is what the creek looks like after a rain storm.

What made you slow down this week to say "Thanks"?

Friday, January 03, 2020

Happy 2020!

It's the new year!  2020!  How 2019 for you?  What are your hopes and goals for 2020?

One of my goals is to post more often here on Willow's Cottage blog.  I have been mostly consistent with posting my Friday Fave Fives.  Last year, FFFs was one of the things that kept me posting!  So here I am.  Posting my Friday Fave Fives on the first Friday in 2020.

1.  Safe drive home from Phoenix.  We left at 3:00 pm because we stayed to attend the Children's Theatre production of Ella Enchanted with PAL.  It was a great play and we enjoyed sharing it with Chaplain Dan, PAL's mom and PAL.  Then we hopped in the car with Dr. Mike and made it home in record time.  It helped that we gained an hour in the westward change and that Dr. Mike took his turn driving.

2.  New Year's Eve.  This is the first time in several years that we have been home on New Year's Eve.  We joined many families in our church congregation for a fun evening and watched the ball drop -- in New York.  We were home by 9:30.

3.  New Year's Day we took a walk along the beach.  4.21 miles.

4.  How fast can you clean up your house and make it ready for a realtor to show it to a prospective buyer?  We were out of the house in twenty-one minutes!  (Is that a world record?)  No, the agent said his client isn't going to make an offer on our house.  But it is nice to realize that we can prep the place so quickly.

5.  One of my goals for 2020 is to actually practice my sketching this year.  I discovered that Leslie Fehling who I took a class with a couple of years ago has a January Everyday Artists Challenge.  Do a  pen/pencil sketch or watercolor every day in January.  I've done two.  This afternoon I am going to my Art Group and will do Day 3 there.  Three days in a row is already a record for me!

Yesterday's pen sketch
Palm trees from a photo

Here's to a New Year!