Friday, May 14, 2021

A Lovely Spring Week

 Hello Friday!  It's time for FRIDAY FAVE FIVES!  Click on the link to join in.  All during the week, I keep a short log of what I've done each day.  I try to focus on the best stuff.  Then, on Friday, I write those blessings and points of gratitude in a blog post and read what others have been doing.  Here is Willow's Week.

1.  Younger Daughter and I planned a visit to a garden nursery.  We were a bit early to meet up with friends, so we wandered around on some country roads.  I love old buildings!

2.  Mother's Day.  Of course, that would be a favorite part of the week.  We honored our two daughters by having dinner together at our house after church on Sunday.  Getting take out kept us all from having to cook.  Win-win!  AND, both sons called and chatted.  AND, I talked with World's Best Daughter-in-Law and our granddaughter PAL, too.

[warning!  cuteness overload below!]

3.  I was able to help Younger Daughter with some driving on Monday.  The fave is obviously time spent with her, being able to assist and drive her home after she had a nasty reaction to her second vaccine shot.  Then I drove her to her nursing class so she could take a test (results:  highest grade in the class!).

4.  Between those drives, The New Boy and I accompanied The Professor to a local park where The Prof was working through the plans for a compass reading class for Trail Life.  So The New Boy and I took off on a hike.  We crossed streams, tromped through mud, scrambled up a nearly vertical bank.  So. Much. Fun!  And we agreed that we probably shouldn't admit to all the adventures (like how many times we crossed the stream).

5.  Then on the evening when the guys went to the park for Trail Life and were doing the compass reading exercise, I hiked in another section of the park.  No stream crossings this time since I was on my own, and I ambled off the trail only once to take a short cut up to another trail.

Following the compass reading...

And now, a bonus fave:  the weather reports are telling us that maybe, just maybe, the weather is going to warm up a bit.  That means more garden time and more hiking time ahead. Happy Weekend!

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Wednesday Hodgepodge, Mother's Day version

Wednesday Hodgepodge.
My answers.

1.  It's like my mama always said, "____."

    My mom told me this when I was about forty:  "When I was twenty, I worried about what people thought of me.  When I was forty, I quit worrying about what people thought of me.  When I was sixty, I realized no one was thinking about me; they were focused on themselves."

2.  May 11th is National East What You Want Day.  What will you be having by way of celebration?

    So, we have been having the discussion about this.  Cinnamon roll from Rolls By the Pound.  If I were still living in CA, I would definitely be going for my favorite burrito!  Probably, we will grab pizzas from the pizza place that has vegan options for me.  My grandson approves!

3.  Describe your idea of a perfect spring day.

    Sunny, not windy, warm.  Yesterday was almost perfect.  In the evening, The Professor and New Boy (husband and oldest grandson) had a Trail Life adventure at a local park, so I drove over with them and spent the whole time hiking around by myself.  Not much better than that!

4.  Success, fulfillment, growth, achievement...pick one and tell us how it related to your life in some way, either currently or in days gone by.

    Growth.  I can always be growing in wisdom.

5.  I saw this going around on various social media sites and thought it would be fun to answer here.  The last thing you bought on Amazon is your weapon in battle.  How will  you wield it?

    The last thing I bought online was a package of socks.  Hmmm, how could I use this as a weapon in battle.  Fill with rocks or sand and use as a cosh?  Possibly.  But the best defense weapon would be to have a group of young teen boys wear them for two weeks without washing them, and then place them around the perimeter of your defensive area.  No attacker will come near because they will assume they have stumbled into the local sewage plant.

6.  Insert you own random thought here.

    My son and daughter in law sent me a Mother's Day card.  On the front was written  "A good mom sends you down the right path, then prays for you every step of the way."  TRUTH!

Friday, May 07, 2021

It's May!


Hello Friday Afternoon!  It's the first Friday in May.  The weather is, umm, notable.  Cool and rainy interspersed with sunshine and wind.  Later on this afternoon, we will be attending our granddaughter's invitational track meet.  Hoping the weather holds...

1.  Older Daughter's repair work in her house is finished! (only part of the garage walls need to be replaced)  This is a huge deal since her home and neighborhood flooded more than a year ago.  Now the next step can begin--putting the main level back together again.  I'm thankful this is done.

2.  When I was dropping off a donation bag to the local Heartbeats (pregnancy) center, I met a woman who shares my love of all things fiber related.  She gave me information on places where I can give some of my knitted hats to people who have lost their hair due to medical issues such as chemotherapy.  I love making those connections.

3.  Do you love your library?  I am thankful that our library can access and provide books from all over the state.  I requested a book and when it arrived, I noted that it is from a library several counties away from here.  I love having so many books available to me.

4.  The repairman came and fixed our microwave!  Yay!

5.  I think I am thankful that The Professor and I have had our second vaccine shots.  It happened yesterday.  I feel horrible not great with chills, fatigue and headache.  I'll let you know in couple of days...  in the meantime, I am spending a lot of time reading, resting and knitting.  Here is a sample:  two hats finished and a sweater almost done.  For one of my best friend's new grandson!

Saturday, May 01, 2021

May Day!

In honor of May Day
Ohio spring wild flowers

Friday, April 30, 2021

End of April Faves

Happy Friday!  I am stopping, taking a breath, and reviewing my week.  Can it really be the very last day of April?  We are one third of the way through 2021.  Here are the blessings I've noted.  FRIDAY FAVE FIVES.  Click the link to join.  

1.  Exploring new parks is always fun.  It turns out that the park we visited last Friday is used mainly by off road bikers, so we didn't hike any of the trails.  But it was wonderful to find all the trees are producing their green leaves.

 2.  Work is being done at our daughter's home to repair the damage done by flooding in her neighborhood last year.  That is truly a fave because it has been a long and hard road to find workers and materials.

3.   As I am writing this, I am hearing pounding and thumping on my roof.  Yes, the roofers are here.  Long story cut short.  We had a leak in our garage.  It kept getting worse.  No roofer were available.  We made arrangements with the contractor to do other work, and he told us he also does roofs!  AND, it's the same contractor who is working on our daughter's home (see #2)!  After yesterday's torrential rainstorm, we are very thankful to have roofers here!  Of all workmen, I think roofers should be paid the highest wages considering the risks they take working on roofs.

4.  Finally, I'm getting some spring cleaning done.

5.  The Professor and I enjoy watching old movies in the evenings.  This week we found Harvey, starring Jimmy Stewart.  Have you ever watched Harvey?  I know it seems silly to include that movie in Fave Fives, but, really, it is a great reminder of the importance of being pleasant instead of smart.  Want to watch the scene?  Here it is!  Let us be pleasant and nice this week!

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Hodgepodge Wednesday, Beefing up the Creativity

Wednesday Hodgepodge.  Fun way to connect with other bloggers.  Here's the LINK.

1.  What are some memories you associate with spring?

    In places I've lived where there are seasons, I associate budding trees with spring.  When leaves unfurl and turn green, I know it's spring.  Forsythia and pussy willows are other portents of spring.  This year, our first in Ohio, it has been daffodils, grape hyacinths, and tulips that have declared to me, "It's spring!"

2.  April showers bring May flowers...was that saying proven true where you live?  Snapdragons, anemones, carnations, lilacs, sweet peas, tulips, lily of the valley, orchids, roses, gardenias, which one on that list is your favorite May bloom?

    I love sweet peas and roses.  See? I can't just choose one!

3.  What are your top three distractions and how do you deal with them?

    Well, obviously, I get distracted by reading blogs and other online stuff.  If there's yarn around, I'll probably be messing with it. (Squirrel!)  I am often distracted by nature's beauty.  I'll notice a bird (Squirrel!), bunny, cloud, flower, plant and totally become absorbed in its beauty.  Books and crossword puzzles are constant distractions.

4.  Do you eat beef?  In the course of a week, how often is beef on the menu?  A hamburger, steak, prime rib, or a roast beef dinner...which beef entre would you choose and yes you have to choose.  Unless you're a vegan and then you may pass.

    Well, I get a pass.  I'm vegan.  I prefer the term whole food, plant based.  That's because sometimes vegan doesn't mean healthy, and I eat the way I do for my health.  Focus on veggies, fruits, whole grains.

5.  In what way were you creative during the month of April?

       I'm a knitter.  I am always knitting.  In April, I made a couple pairs of socks, a bunch of dish cloths for my daughters, and right now I'm working on a NICU hat for a friend's brand new grandson. 

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

        I save my Christmas cards and letters for several months and then sort back through them to reread them, double check for address changes, and maybe send off a note or email.  I did that this week.  I realize how blessed I am with so many friends!

Friday, April 23, 2021

Weekly Blessings

 Again, I'm a bit late to post my Friday Fave Fives.  But, hey, it's still Friday, right?  Here are the wonderful blessing of this week.  You can click on the link HERE and join Susanne and the rest of us in being thankful for this past week.

1.  On Saturday, The Professor and I drove down to my weaving friend's home again.  This week, we spent time outside in her garden where she dug out several plants for me to transfer to my place.  What a treasure trove!  I stuck them all in pots until I can get my beds ready for them.  I'm so thankful to have plants already adapted to this climate!

2.  One reason I waited to plant them was because SNOW.  Yes, we had snow this week.  That's not the fave.  I am thankful that the snow didn't hang around very long (although we have had freezing overnight temperatures through last night).

3. and 4.  Dinners at Olive Garden.  We ended up having dinner TWICE at Olive Garden.  First, on Sunday, we celebrated our two grandchildren's adoption day with dinner after church.  What a blessing these two are to our family!  Because Older Daughter and The New Boy were not feeling well, they didn't join us, so we had dinner with them on Wednesday evening--because we could.  I love being able to just hop in the car and have dinner with our family!

5.  Bike ride!  The Professor had taken our bikes in for spring tune ups.  As soon as we got them back, we took them out for a spin!  Yes, we love our bikes!  I'm thankful for having good bikes, good maintenance and good trails to ride.

How was your week?  Can you find blessings in this week?

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Hodgepodge 416 on 4/21

 Good morning!  I am a big late posting this morning because we have been having internet issues.  Fortunately, it seems like our provider may have fixed the widespread problem.  Here are my answers to Wednesday Hodgepodge.  Click the link!  FROM THIS SIDE OF THE POND.

From this Side of the Pond

1. Find a penny.  Look at the date and tell us something about your life or what you were doing that year.   So, the first penny I grabbed was a 2020.  We all know that 2020 was boring.  So I took a second penny. 1989.  That was more like it.  In 1989, we were living in West Papua, Indonesia.  We moved from one small village, Sowi Tiga, to the nearby city of Manokwari.  We had lived in Sowi Tiga for three years on the campus of the Erikson Tritt Bible School, but one of the other teachers there needed our housing.  So we were assigned to housing in 'town'.  For the FIRST TIME in all our years in Papua, we had twenty-four hour electricity and a telephone in our house!  Luxury!

2.  Were you given an allowance as a child?  Did you have to earn it in some way?  Did you learn to save money when you were a child or is that something you figured out as an adult?   No, I didn't have a allowance when I was a child.  My brother and I did our chores and were just glad to have food and a home.  I think I learned the importance of saving money from my parents.  And after I was married, I learned even more from my mother-in-law and my husband.

3.  April 23rd is Nation Take A Chance Day...what's a chance you need or want to take?  Hmmm, I might take a chance on being able to travel this summer.  Our first trip will most likely be to Tennessee to visit friends.  And our second trip may be to Illinois and Iowa.

4.  What's some outdated slang you seem to use a little too often?  I can't think of any.  When I asked my hubby, he said, "No, you're too rad for that.  In fact, you're the bee's knees."

5.  It's National Poetry month and I always like to make us work our brains a little...

Roses are red.

Violets are blue.

Tulips are yellow

and purple, too.

And here is my grandson New Boy's rendition:

Roses are cute

Violets are too;

But neither of them are

as pretty as you.

6.  Insert your own random thought.   Yesterday was a beautiful warmish spring day.  Overnight, it snowed.

May your week be bright and cheerful.  May your internet work.  And may you have no snow.

Friday, April 16, 2021


 Friday evening.  Here I am at Willow's Cottage.  And trying to catch up.  (Is it really Friday?  Are you sure it isn't Wednesday?)  Yeah, how can a quiet week get crazy?  Anyway, here are Five Wonderful Things that I can think of that happened this  past week.  Thanks to Susanne at Living To Tell The Story for hosting FRIDAY FAVE FIVES every week!

1.  Believe it or not, I had time to read.  In fact, I finished one book and read the entirety of another.

2.  A friend of Older Daughter's found out that I weave and spin.  She has just inherited a large floor loom, so she invited me and another lady to her home to help set it up.  It was fun to sit on the floor and figure out how to assemble a loom that did not come with any instructions (and no brand name!).  But they did it and I mostly watched and followed their directions. (as in, hold this up; keep this piece steady; can you grab the scissors?)

3.  Same friend lives in the country and has extra perennial plants and flowers that she is going to give me for my garden.  Stay tuned.  I plan to pick them up tomorrow.  I love having already-adapted-the-climate plants to put in my garden.

4.  We are working with a contractor and have signed for getting our fencing up!   And we have the wood for making the raised garden beds.  I may be really excited about my garden.

5.  Home track meet!  We were able to walk over to the middle school where our granddaughter's meet was being held.  And she placed second in the 200 meter race and beat her personal record in the girls' high jump!  This is the girl who has never run or jumped until this spring!

And so this was Willow's Week.  Not all that exciting.  But definitely blessed.

Have a blessed week, my friends!

Friday, April 09, 2021

Easter and More

It's Friday and time to celebrate Friday Fave Fives, the day many people band together HERE and voice their thanks for the blessings of the week.  Here is Willow's Week in five blessings.

Happy April!  April means warm weather, sunshine, rain, Easter, green leaves and spring flowers!  New life!  

1.  Resurrection Sunday!  The day we celebrated Jesus's resurrection from death and celebrate that we too have life in Him.  Our family attended church service together.  Then we met at Younger Daughter's home for a simple lunch (bringing our own meals, so no one was overwhelmed with cooking).  After that, we grabbed their doggies and drove to a favorite hiking place, Black Hand Gorge.  Walking along the trail next to the river, we noticed that the green was just beginning to pop out.

2.  Spring is really here.  This week, just two days later, the trees are blooming and showing their leaves.  And I discovered grape hyacinths in my front yard!

3.  My granddaughter is running track for the first time.  So of course we had to attend her first meet!

As my daughter said, "Do you know how hard it is to photograph that girl running at top speed?"  (Yes, they won the relay race.)

4.  It was late when we drove home after the meet.  So we all decided that Chipotle was a good option.

5.  Because I had to pick up a prescription at the grocery store pharmacy, I thought to ask about covid vaccines since we have been unable to schedule any appointments.  We left our names and cell numbers for any cancellation opportunities, and a few days later, we received a call.  "Can you come in this afternoon?"  Yep.  So The Professor and I both have our first shots.

There are always so many more blessings in our lives each week if we just look for them!

Friday, April 02, 2021

Five Faves From a Road Trip

It's Friday.  Friday Fave Fives, that is.  Here is Willow's Week in five wonderful memories.

Since this is Spring Break week for The New Boy, his mom suggested a Spring Break road trip.  We had only a two day opening because of commitments, but we decided to 'go for it'!  We all love to travel and explore and this week we marked off two more destinations and discovered a third gem.

1.  Where did we go?

2.  On our way, we drove just a bit north and a lot east and visited the Point of Beginning which is located at the spot where Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia meet.  The actual spot is, of course, in the middle of the Ohio River.  But there is a small spot on the road side that commemorates the establishment of the surveying of public lands in 1785.  Yes, all the engineering geeks had to get out and stand on the spot.

3.  Then we crossed over the Ohio River and entered West Virginia!  I have driven through West Virginia numerous times, but I had never really stopped to visit any place.  Our first destination there was Moundville which is the site of the Grave Creek Mound (an ancient mound probably built by the Hopewell Indians hundreds of years ago).  We had just enough time to walk to the top of the mound and spend less than a half hour in the museum.  What a treasure it is!

There is a huge prison across the street which was closed in the 1990s.  The building is amazing.  Although it wasn't open, we drove around it and checked out the architecture.

4.  Older Daughter had booked us into an Air BnB in Wheeling.  We chose to stay in Wheeling simply for convenience, not really realizing just what an adorable city it is.  Located on the east bank of the Ohio River, Wheeling has a lovely old downtown area where many of the buildings are on the National Register of Historic Homes and Places.  After we checked in, we walked to find a dinner option.  The New Boy's job was to research and find restaurants.  He happily fulfilled his assignment and we happily filled our tummies at a local Chinese restaurant.

After dinner, we walked along the river front.  The weather was perfect, and so was the view.  The others may have gotten a bit tired of me exclaiming, "Oh!  This looks exactly like the Willamette River in Portland!"  And "This is so much like the Columbia River!" [ I may have sent several photos to my brother who may have responded, "Yep.  Very similar."]

5.  In the morning, we walked again the four blocks to enjoy our coffee and breakfast at a local coffee spot which had a perfect view  from the back of the shop overlooking the Ohio River.  If you're ever in Wheeling, stop at Mugshots!

Because we had an appointment in the afternoon, we booked it back to Ohio.  

All the way home, we all promised ourselves "We'll be back! West Virginia is amazing!"

BONUS:  It's Good Friday!  Almost Easter!

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Wednesday Hodgepodge, End of March

Good morning!  It's Wednesday and the last day of March!  Here are my answers to the Wednesday Hodgepodge questions shared by Joyce at From This Side Of The Pond.  Follow the link!

From this Side of the Pond

1.  The Hodgepodge lands on the last day of ten words or less bid, the month adieu.

        March was shamrocks, birthdays, daffodils.
        Bye, 'til we meet again.

2.  March 31st is National Tater Day...your favorite way to have a potato?  Given a choice would you opt for sweet, white, or red?  How often are potatoes on your menu in one form or another?  Ever been to Idaho?  If not, is that a state you'd like to visit someday?

        I love my white potatoes mashed.  I do love sweet potatoes; they must be savory not sweet.  I would say that potatoes are most likely to be added to soups at our house, about once a month.
        Idaho is the state just east of my home state where I was born and raised, Oregon.  So yes, I've been to Idaho more times than I can count.  My memory is that the first time I crossed the Snake River into Idaho was when our high school choir met in Boise for a musicale with other Christian high school choirs from the Pacific Northwest.
        Recently, several friends have moved to Idaho from California, so I would always like to visit them.
3.  Last time someone or something 'rained on your parade'?  Explain.
        Currently, I am on a short road trip with The Professor, Older Daughter and Grandson.  Grandson, The New Boy, has been in charge of finding restaurants.  He chose the perfect one we all wanted to try and it was just a few blocks from our Air BnB.  What disappointment!  The restaurant is closed until Friday for renovations/construction work.  We were sad, especially New Boy.  But we found another wonderful place to have dinner.

4.  Put all your eggs in one basket, get cracking, nest egg, bad egg, good egg, egg on, have egg on your face, or walk on eggshells...choose a phrase from the list that applies to something in your life currently and tell us how or why.

        It's time for me to 'get cracking' on starting seeds for my garden!

5.  If I visited your home would I find a lot of baskets there?  Something you like to keep in a basket?

        I think I have maybe four baskets in my whole house.  Two are in my studio room, filled with yarn and knitted items (mostly hats).  In the family room, there is a basket filled with some of my handknitted blankets, folded and waiting for someone to grab and cuddle in if they are cold.  The fourth basket is empty and sitting on the landing at the top of the stairs.  When we moved in the house in October, I plopped it there, and it hasn't moved (but it is kinda cute).

6.  Inset your own random thought here.

        Have you ever heard of Longaberger Baskets?  The company built their headquarters to look like a huge basket.  It's in the county where I live now. 

 Yep.  It's a real place. (BTW, it's for sale, if you're interested...)

Saturday, March 27, 2021

All About Daffodils

 I love daffodils.  I always have.  I always will.  Perhaps I come by my love of these cheerful yellow spring flowers honestly.  It seems like daffodils are the preferred spring flower of England (and yes, I am half English heritage).  In searching for photos of sheep,  I found picture after picture of daffodils from our trip to England in March and April 2019.  Enjoy!

Daffodils with Tintagel in the background

Daffodils gracing the Cornish hedgerows


 Glastonbury Abbey daffodils 

Daffodils in the middle of a field near Avebury

Daffodils decorating York town wall


Friday, March 26, 2021

Windy Week

 Wow!  This past week has flown by.  Literally.  We have been experiencing extremely strong winds.  Older Daughter's power is out, but at least we have not had any tornados.  It's time for Willow's Willow summed up with FRIDAY FAVE FIVES. The link will take you to where you can read other FFFs and join in, too, if you wish.

1.  SPRING flowers!  Lots of daffodils.  (Yes, I mentioned that last week, but these daffodils make me happy all day long!)

2.  More HIKES and WALKS.  Just like last week.  Notice a pattern here?  I do love being outside seeing God's creation, even if the trails are muddy.

3.  The Professor and I also ventured out on our BIKES this week.  We are slowly working up to longer rides.

4.  I asked my grandson The New Boy what I did this week.  His response:  You taught me alliteration.  Ah, yes.  I enjoy TEACHING writing/composition and find it fun to teach my grandson as part of his homeschool curriculum.

5.  My art group friends and I were 'zooming' this week, discussing the book we chose to read for Lent.  As usual, we got a bit off topic and our conversation ended up at this quote (which I have written over one of my photos.