Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Autumn Nostalgia and Coffee

Hodgepodge Day.  Click on the picture if you want to join in.  Edited to add:  I have no idea why my post is all wonky today.  Not a fan of the new blogger format!

 From this Side of the Pond
1. When is the last time you experienced nostalgia?  This morning.   Every day I miss my California friends.  And the beach.

 2. September 29th is National Coffee Day. Do we need this? Ha! So are you a coffee drinker? If so how many cups per day, and tell us how you like it. Is there a recipe you enjoy that calls for coffee as one of the ingredients?   {Raises hand}  Yes, I am a coffee drinker.  I like mine half-caf and diluted with unsweetened almond milk.  I experience a daily miracle.  Every morning, I eat a banana.  As I am holding the peel, shazaam! Suddenly, the peel turns into a cup of coffee that is made just the way I like it.  It's a miracle.  How does that happen?  Maybe my husband The Professor is a magician?


 3. Do you find praise or criticism to be more motivating? Explain. Praise is definitely my motivation.  If you thank me or praise me for something I have done, I will happily strive to do more and better.  Criticism will simply shut me down.

 4.  What's a television series you keep coming back to and re-watching?  I can't think of any TV series I would re-watch.  Maybe  I Love Lucy?   

 5. As the month of September draws to a close give us three words to describe your mood.   A. Bit. Impatient. I am impatient to move into my home.  By the end of October, we should be living in our home, unpacking our boxes, meeting new neighbors.  Can't wait! 
6. Insert your own random thought here.   I'm glad I'm knitting a warm wooly afghan today.  It's cold and windy.

Friday, September 25, 2020

Autumn is truly here

Happy Friday!  Here is Willow's Week with Friday Fave Fives.  Thank you, Susanne, for always hosting this wonderful way to focus on giving thanks and being grateful.   Here's the LINK TO JOIN IN.

1.  Haircut!  First time in ten months. No more covid hair.  No explanation needed.

2.  I drank my one and only pumpkin spice latte this week.  I allow myself ONE each year.  Gotta admit.  It was delicious.

3.  Home purchase is moving along.  Here in the US, an inspection is done to determine if there are any repairs that need to be made and who pays for them.  Our inspection is done and we are mostly done negotiating some minor issues.  The best part?  The house is in very good condition.

4.  We took our younger grandson on a walk along the bike trail.  There is a connector to the trail just a block from our new home!  I think this trail is going to be well used by us!

Some photos from our walk

Goldenrod blooming along the creek

Getting their ducks all in a row

The tree leaves are beginning to change their colors.

5.  On Saturday we visited a community garden where volunteers plant, tend and grow vegetables to teach community people to love homegrown food and grow their own gardens.  We harvested kale and carrots.  Yum!  Together We Grow Gardens is a great community resource.  Local schools, including my grandson's, have gardens, too.  I'm pleased to see all the efforts that people are making to bring homegrown food to people's gardens.

I hope you are enjoying these early autumn days. 

Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower."  Albert Camus

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Alphabet Bible Verse C

 My in person and blog friend Ellen at HappyWonderer is hosting a Alphabet Bible verse party every Thursday.  I just found out about it and we are on C.

When I was a third grader, my teacher at the Christian school I attended assigned us a Bible verse to memorize every week.  The verses were alphabetical and I still remember most of them.  The verse for C was:

Casting all your care on Him for He cares for you.  1 Peter 5:7

All these years ago, and I can recite them.  Mrs. Pfrehm certainly knew that if I hid those verses in my heart as a child, I would always have them.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Falling in

From this Side of the Pond 
1. It's fall y'all. What's something you love about this season and also something you don't? 
        I'm learning my new climate.  So far, I have noticed that the humidity is gone.  I like that.  I've also seen that the leaves are starting to turn on the trees.  What don't I like?  When the season changes, allergies (especially for my daughter) kick in.

2. When you think of the colors of fall, which one is your favorite? Is there somewhere you could easily day trip to see the leaves in all their glory? Will you? 
        Honestly, I'm not a fall colors girl.  But I do love the color of all the goldenrod I am seeing (just not in my house). 

 Because of all the logistics of moving, I doubt we'll be going anywhere to sightsee.  But there are many parks and trails where we can walk and bike.  I'm sure we'll be doing that.

3. What's one thing you've let 'fall' by the wayside during this season of staying home and staying away? 
        Since our move, I haven't even pulled out my watercolor paints.

4. If you're wearing a sweater is it most likely a cardigan, crew neck, v-neck, or zip up hoodie? 
        Cardigan or crew neck for me.  And I'm a big fan of warm cozy sweatshirts.  And vests.

5. What's your secret to dealing with change? 
        Joshua 1:9 states, "Be strong and courageous.  Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed. for the LORD your God is with you WHEREVER YOU GO."  I cling to that promise.  Life changes, but God is with me.

6.  Insert your own random thought here.
        I've been thinking about autumn colors because everyone is talking about them.  Having lived more than half my life in either the tropics or a mediterranean climate, I didn't even think about fall colors.  As a child, I don't remember paying much attention to the changing colors.  Probably, that was because I lived among the evergreen trees of the Pacific North West.  Every day of our year we had deep forest green trees surrounding us.  Yes, there were deciduous trees, but my memories are of the Redwood and Douglas fir trees towering above me.  So, per #5, I will learn to embrace the change of colors and (maybe or maybe not) learn to like snow in the winter.

Friday, September 18, 2020

Getting Adjusted

Lately, all I have been thinking about is how to adjust to my new life. There are so many blessings in these changes and adjustments. Here are My Five Faves for Willow's Week. Susanne is always faithful to host Friday Fave Fives. THIS LINK will take you to her blog and you can join the gratitude girls.

1. Better weather. Less humidity. I kinda hope we don't get 'second summer' and more humidity. Ohio, please give me a few months to adjust to cold before you hit me with the humidity again.

2. The roses in my daughter's garden are blooming. I've been picking a few and placing them in a mason jar where she can see them as she sits with her leg elevated. I would love to post a photo but my camera has stopped talking to my computer, or maybe my computer has stopped talking to my camera.

3. Knitting is happening. photos. I started another diagonal block afghan using autumn shades of left over sock yarn. It's a fun and easy pattern and so colorful and will be warm and cozy this fall.

4. If you have been reading my blog for any length of time, you know we love farmers markets. There is a great one on Saturday morning here. Yay! The only difference with our Saturday market in CA is that this one closes down the end of October and doesn't go all winter long. But we are savoring our wonderful fresh local veggies for now.

5. I saved the best til the last. We have found a home! If all goes well, we will be living in our home before the end of October! I just can't wait!

Bonus: A younger woman we knew during our Indonesia days (she was a missionary kid and lived in the dorm with my children) posted this excellent statement on facebook.

A good meal can be made better by a happy and grateful attitude while eating.

And I would add, good conversation.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Reflections on Growing Older

Wednesday Hodgepodge is a fun thing to do.  Here are my reflections on growing older.  If you want to participate, you can click on the picture and it should take you to Joyce's blog.

1. What's one thing you learned at the ripe old age of whatever age you are now?
        I've learned this:  I look better in shorter hair.  I can't wear the below shoulder length hairstyle anymore.

2. I read here a list of foods that can help you look younger-
How many of the foods listed have you tried? How many do you eat regularly? Your favorite from the list?
        Since I almost completely eat a whole food plant based diet, ALL those fruits and vegetables are in my daily diet.  Except the avocado.  I'm allergic to avocado.  Breakfast is oat based cereal with chia seeds, flaxseed meal, banana, strawberries and blueberries.  Lunch is a big bowl of veggies and hummus and chips.  Dinner will once in a while include salmon.  I'm not a big fan of green tea, but I will drink it.  And dark chocolate.  Always need dark chocolate.

3. Something you miss from the 'good old days'? When were the good old days anyway?
         The good old days were when all my kids were still living at home.  Believe it or not, I enjoyed those middle school and high school years.  I miss the daily interactions with them all and sitting around the dinner table chatting.

4. What are two or three of the most rewarding things to be found in growing older?
        First, it's great that I am retired, and I don't have to get up and go into work.  I miss the students but not the grading.  Secondly, I love being able to travel in non peak times. England in November and March is beautiful! Thirdly, I enjoy my 'retired' routine of slow mornings, walks and hikes, and books and more books to read.

5. What's your favorite part of your life right now?
        My life right now is so much in flux with moving and house hunting that it's hard to think of 'my life'.  I do love being able to see my daughters daily.

6. Insert your own random thought here.
        Sixty-five is the new Forty!

Friday, September 11, 2020

September Second Friday

It may be Friday evening, but it's still Friday.  And it's still Friday Fave Fives time.  Here are five blessings from this week, five things I am thankful for.  Here's where I link up to Susanne's blog as she is our host:  FRIDAY FAVE FIVES

1.  A couple of cool-ER days.  I'm not really getting used to the humidity in this climate, but at least there was a bit of a respite from it the end of the week.

2.  American flag cleaning.  One of the flags my USAR Chaplain son brought home from Afghanistan which he gave to his sister got water stains from the flooding at her house.  We were able to take it to a dry cleaner's to have it cared for.  AND the cleaners has a policy that they do not charge to clean an American flag!  We'll definitely be frequent patrons of that shop.

3.  We love botanic gardens and arboretums.  There is an arboretum nearby and we became members there this week.  There are so many trails and also numerous activities.  AND our membership is reciprocal with more than 300 other gardens.  Dawes Arboretum is great!

4.  We learned a new skill this week.  Our first tornado warning and watch.  We heard the sirens and saw the scary clouds.  But no tornado appeared, and we were safe.  And then there was rain.

5.  I love being able to keep in touch with our CA friends via zoom and skype.  This morning I 'met' with my art group and we just chatted for over an hour.  It was so wonderful to catch up and share that time with them.  We've also joined our church's prayer meetings via zoom and watched Sunday services on you tube.  We love still having those connections.

Wednesday, September 09, 2020


Wednesday Hodgepodge
I am joining this fun group of people
Click the link to join, too.

1. Something you've done in recent days or months that might be described as a labor of love?
        Since we are staying with our daughter while we search for a home to buy, we have been keeping house for her.  Laundry.  Dishes.  Cleaning.  Yard work.  It's a fair trade, though. Biggest labor of love?  Taking her ice packs several times a day to place on her ankle as she recovers from the ankle surgery.

2. Last time you 'worked your fingers to the bone'?
        Yesterday? Playing nursemaid to my daughter and granddaughter who are BOTH on crutches right now.  Actually, I think the hardest I've worked lately was packing boxes during our move.

3. According to a recent survey people named the following ten jobs as the hardest-nurse, doctor, paramedic, police officer, firefighter, surgeon, healthcare worker, bomb squad, farmer, and prison warden. Of the jobs listed which would you say is the hardest? The one you'd most like to do? Least like to do? What's one job you would add to the list?
        I would say that, at least right now, FIREFIGHTER is the hardest job.  I lived in wildfire country (SoCal) for a long time, and I know how hard those firefighters work.  We have friends who are firemen, and we know their fire season schedules.
        Which job would l like most?  Nurse.  I always wanted to be a nurse.
        Least want to do?  Prison warden.

4. A recipe you make that is labor intensive, but worth it?
        We love our Indonesian food!  There are a couple of recipes that just take time and a lot of cutting of ingredients (mostly veggies). Gado-gado is mix of cooked and raw veggies served with peanut sauce.  And no, store bought peanut sauce just doesn't do it; it's gotta be our own peanut sauce.  And then there's curried lentils with roasted vegetables...

5. Last job you did or task you completed that required teamwork?
        My older daughter needed some furniture moved into her garage so the flooring in two rooms can be installed.  So The Professor (my husband) and I helped her and her eleven year old son move book shelves, book boxes, an elliptical machine and a day bed (with trundle).  It took all four of us to move that bed!  But really, The Professor and I do see all of life as 'teamwork'. WE do the grocery shopping.  WE cook meals.  WE do laundry. 

6.  Insert your own random thought here.
        All I can think about right now is my family and friends whose homes are in danger of burning (and my high school friend has already lost her home!) from the West Coast wild fires.  I keep praying for their safety.

Friday, September 04, 2020

My First September Week in Five Favorites

 Good morning!  It's Friday!  Willow's Week has been full of our two full time (temporary) jobs:  nursing our daughter during her recovery from ankle surgery and searching for a new home.  Here are Five Faves from this week which I am sharing along with others via FRIDAY FAVE FIVES.

1.  My daughter's ankle is healing well after her surgery two weeks ago.  I am so thankful the doctor was able to remove the external stitches today and she is cleared for 'starting' to put weight on it.

2.  We have the best realtor.  He is helpful and patient and persistent.  While we haven't yet found 'our home', we are being very interactive with the realtor and looking at properties nearly daily.

3.  Weather.  Lots of rain.  We don't have to be concerned about drought here.  And according to my girls, the weather 'broke' today and it wasn't muggy.  (See?  I get to learn lots of new things!)

4.  Listening to Daughter #1 (the rocket scientist) and her dad talking about old movies.  They both love movies, especially old ones, and they can discuss the pros and cons of them all for hours.

5.  Family dinners.  It's one of the reasons we moved here.

What blessings have you found in your week?

Wednesday, September 02, 2020

Hodgepodge 1 in September

September 2020
Let's hope and pray that this month  brings beauty, peace and joy to everyone.
Here are some fun questions to review in your mind as you read my answers.

From this Side of the Pond

 1. The Hodgepodge lands on the second day of a brand new month. Tell us one thing you're looking forward to in September.

        In September, I am looking forward to finding a home and moving in to it!

2. Do you enjoy browsing second-hand shops? Last thing you bought or 'inherited' second hand?

        I don't particularly enjoy shopping in general, so I seldom browse second-hand shops or any shops (except grocery stores and garden stores!).  However, last winter, just before Covid put an end to all shopping, I had a day out with my art group friends.  After spending a couple of hours at a nearby art museum and eating lunch at a favorite local restaurant, we visited some thrift stores.  My friend noticed a turquoise long sleeved Eddie Bauer t-shirt and identified it as "Willow's color and type".  Yup.  I bought it.  Love it.

3. Something you had second thoughts about after committing to, purchasing, or posting/commenting  online? 
        I always have second thoughts after I have ordered clothing items for myself online.  I finally bought a pair of my usual walking shoes this summer.  Second thoughts all the time until they arrived.  Fortunately, they fit.

4. What's a product or service you use that you'd rate as second to none?

        There's nothing to rival Mary's Gone Crackers--the original ones!

5. Something you do so often or that comes so naturally to you it's second nature ?

        Knitting.  I knit in the dark.  I knit when I'm half asleep.  I knit in the car.  My children have accused me of knitting while I drive.  Nope.  I only knit at red lights and stop signs.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

        I am a second child. (So is my husband, The Professor.)  I have been so very blessed my whole life that I have an older brother who, while he teased me and got annoyed with me, has loved me, protected me, and guided me through our lives.  Case in point: he still calls me regularly to check up on me and to just chat.  How many older brothers do that?