Friday, June 26, 2020


I know that I love summer.  Here in coastal Southern California, we usually have those June Gloom foggy mornings and then sun in the afternoons.  I love early summer here!  Somehow, no matter what is happening, I am happy in the summer.  And it makes it easier for me to find my FRIDAY FAVE FIVES.  Follow the link to join in and read what people around the world are thankful for.

1.  Dining in.  For the first time in how long?  We dined in at our favorite restaurant!  Yummy burritos and the BEST salsa verde!

2.  After taking our house off market for a bit (thanks to  pandemic stuff), we are back on market and hoping to move forward to sell our house.

3.  I 'rediscovered' a t-shirt that is in my shirt drawer.  I hadn't worn it for awhile, and when I pulled it out and read the front, it made me smile and giggle a little.  Who doesn't love a t-shirt that says,

Ye not in the affairs of
Dragons for
Ye are
crunchy and good
with Catsup!

4.  Today is The Professor's birthday!  We are celebrating quietly.  All he wanted was a razzleberry pie from Marie Callender's.  One of my favorite photos of him is this one which I snapped as he was sitting on the porch steps of our bush house in the interior of West Papua, Indonesia--a long time ago.

5.  And today is also my mother's birthday.  Were she still on earth, we would be celebrating her ninety-eighth birthday.  I know she is much happier where she is in heaven, but we still miss her.  My brother called me earlier today and we reminisced about our wonderful mom.  I don't have many photos of my mom from her early years--this one was taken during World War II when she was a young woman.

Happy SUMMER to you all!  Let's find the blessings in this sunny season!

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Notice the Beauty

I'm a bit late posting my Friday Fave Fives.  I have a good excuse (which you can see below).

1.  Yesterday (Friday), I had a doctor appointment.  Yes, I'm fine.  It was just a check up.  But I am happy that I finally had a face to face appointment.

Other things that blessed me this week:

2.  We went to the beach!  It's the first time we've ventured out to the beach since March.  Ventura State Beach.  Oh, my heart is just full!

3.  The beach doesn't just have seaweed, rocks, shells, driftwood and shorebirds, it also has flowers in the dunes.  I love the color and beauty that greets me at every step on the trail.

4.  Our evening walks often provide us a look at our area wildlife.  We often say HI to the bunnies which are prolific this year.  We've seen a coyote once before this year.  But this week, we heard one howling and yapping and ended up meeting him on the golf course.  He didn't want to get close enough for a photo op, but I managed to catch him on the run.  Blurry because I had to zoom in so far.

5.  Sunsets have been gorgeous this week!  It's June Gloom time which means we have fog and low clouds rolling in at night and keeping the sun hidden in the morning.  But it also means beautiful sunsets.

  As I finished writing this, I realized that four of my five faves involve being outside!  Yes!  If you need some encouragement this week, get outside!  Enjoy and experience our beautiful world.   The wildlife, birds, flowers, trees, hills, valleys, mountains, beaches.

Friday, June 12, 2020

Where's Your Focus?

Well, this week included fires, riots, dissension...but I can't focus on those things.  I choose to put my focus on the good things in my life, the blessings and the things which make me grateful.  If I do nothing else here at Willow's Cottage blog during the week, I still post my Friday Fave Fives.  I have to.  I need to.  It blesses me.  I hope it blesses you, too.

1.  I have had three face to face meetings this week!  In person!  We (mostly) observed distancing.  But oh!  It is wonderful to really SEE people!  First was our small group from church.  Just the women.  For Sunday lunch.  It was in a back garden, under a jacaranda tree, next to the avocado orchard.

2.  Then my Bible Study small group met at our leader's home.  Just six of us.

3.  One afternoon, I told The Professor, "I miss your sister, and I want a burrito."  (Note that I said I miss her first.)  So we set up an early dinner at a park near her home.  We picked up the burritos and a taco for her then sat and chatted and laughed until the cold wind blew us back to our car and her to her home.

4.  (Notice a pattern here?)  We got to go to church on Sunday!  We wore masks while we sang, but that's ok.  It was wonderful!

5.  I took a total of two photos this week.  One was to verify I had ordered the correct book for a study I am doing.  But I liked the other picture.  How often do you find a hawk sitting in someone's front garden?  As we walked past on our daily walk, it hardly moved until it decided we were too scary and it flew into a nearby tree.  How I love seeing all the wildlife that lives around my neighborhood!  The photo is a bit blurry--but you can't be choosy with a hawk.

So this sums up Willow's Week.  Just another quiet Covid week.  Stay safe and well, my friends.  And focus on the blessings!

Friday, June 05, 2020

Hello, June

Thinking about the fact that it is JUNE is making my head spin.  I guess that is what happens when you mostly stay safely and boringly at home for almost three months.  Truthfully, I'm not bored.  I am purposely staying busy.  And the things that keep my brain and body busy also help me be thankful and grateful.  This week at Willow's Cottage has been quiet but productive and I'm sharing the parts that bring me joy.  Linking to Friday Fave Fives.

1.  Sunsets.  Usually, we take our main walk around the neighborhood after dinner.  That's the perfect time to view the sunset.  The sky was incredible this week, partly because there was a fire on Santa Cruz Island (one of the Channel Islands off our coast).  That's not the fave although it is now completely under control.  The fave is the effect of the smoke and clouds on the sunset.

2.  Moon.  I love the waxing and full moon and it makes me happy to watch it rise in the sky in the evenings. 

3.  Calendula Salve.  For the first time, I hitched up my big girl pants and braved making my own salve from my calendula flowers.  I have such dry skin from working in the garden that I am thankful to have a DIY option for helping heal my hands.

4.  Garden.  We had an outdoor project that needed doing, but we were concerned about the heavy work that it involved.  So we hired a high school boy from our church congregation to help us.  He worked for seven hours and took only one half-hour break for lunch!  We were very pleased and made sure he knew it and his parents knew it.  And, the edgers along our property line are in place and look great!

5.  More Garden.  I've mentioned before that I am reading Hidden Art by Edith Schaeffer with my art friends.  This week, we read and discussed the chapter titled Gardens and Gardening.  I love these two quotes:

Human beings were made to interact with growing things,
not to be born, live, and die in the midst of concrete set in the middle of polluted air!
Growing plants are supposed to be doing something to the air human beings are breathing,
and human beings are supposed to be doing something to the plants.

It seems to me the beauty which causes strangers passing by to stop
and ENJOY a garden,
provides a background and already 'says something'
which gives an emphasis to what it is important to say.

I want my garden to bring joy to me and to the people who walk or drive past my cottage.  Maybe that will remind them that this is really all God's creation.

Bonus!  More of God's creation!

King Quail watching over his kingdom

monarch butterfly