Friday, February 26, 2021

Bye, February!

 Hello!  It's FRIDAY!  TGIF, right?  And TGIFFF!  Thank God It's Friday Fave Fives!  It was a quiet week, but that doesn't mean there aren't things to make me thankful.  Here is Willow's Week.

1.  Everyone around here is talking about 'warm weather'.  And it has been sunny most of the days this week, so we have been out for walks.  Yay!

2.  Sunny days often mean nights where the moon is shining.  I love those clear evenings and am thankful it is nearing full moon, too.

3.  Cold weather has reminded me how much I appreciate and am thankful for a warm, heated home.

4.  Second haircut since moving.  I love my new stylist.  The Professor and New Boy got haircuts this week, too.  I am so thankful that salons are open here.

5.  I don't believe in chance meetings.  I think this was supposed to happen.  On Saturday, we were in a locally owned coffee shop where they roast their own beans.  While we were waiting for our coffee, we were talking to the owner who was in the process of roasting a batch of coffee beans in the shop.  Long story short, when the owner asked where we had moved from and we replied, another couple who was waiting for their coffee, too, piped up and said, "Really?  We recent moved here too and are from the town next to yours!"  We discovered so much in common that we met this week for morning coffee to get better acquainted.  We know we've found new friends!  That just doesn't happen by chance when the towns are 2,400 miles away.

Bonus:  I am really loving that book I am reading during Lent.  A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23 by Philip Keller.  I highly recommend it!

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Cleaning up February

        Good morning!  It's Wednesday.  The sun is out!  I'm feeling cheery!  Here is Wednesday Hodgepodge with Joyce's questions for this week.  Click the cute picture to add your own answers in a post.

                                                From this Side of the Pond

1. Your favorite cleaning product? Do you clean your own house or hire out? Most disliked household chore? What one chore do you not mind so much? 
            Windex is a miracle product for getting grandchildren's finger (and nose) prints off windows.  My own citrus scented vinegar spray is a close second for favorite cleaning product. 
            I have always cleaned my own house (except when I lived in the jungle and had house help).  I figure all the moving and activity will help keep me active.  However, I do not like cleaning the shower.  That's mostly because of the horrible odors of most cleaning products.  I don't mind dusting.

 2. It's Canned Food you use a lot of canned goods? What are the three canned items you purchase most often? Last thing you made using a canned ingredient? 
                We use canned sauces like salsa, spaghetti sauce, alfredo sauce.  Usually, I keep some canned beans available although I prefer to cook my own in large batches and freeze them in smaller amounts.  That way I can better control the amount of salt in the beans.
            Last week, I made nachos topped with refried beans--the beans were canned.

 3. Can of worms, anything can happen, can you imagine?, as best I can, kick the can down the road, more than one can take, no can do, not if I can help it...choose an idiom and tell us how you currently relate.
                CAN YOU IMAGINE?  My daughter and I love England and have traveled there twice together (and each at least twice with others).  Last week, we sat down to scroll through my photos of our 2019 trip and we both said,  "Can you imagine living there?"  "There" was numerous places in Southwest England.

Yeah, I could go on and on with pictures!

4.The last Tuesday in February is National Spa Day. Are you someone who enjoys a day at the spa? Last time you visited a spa? Do you have a favorite spa? Are salons open for business in your area? Have you made changes to your hair and nail routine since Corona hit? In what way? 
                I have been to only one spa and only two or three times to that one.  Skamania Lodge in Southwest Washington.  Located overlooking the Columbia River, it has hiking trails, hotel accommodations and restaurants as well as the spa, hot tub, and swimming pools.  When we visit my brother and sister-in-law in Oregon, we drive up there for dinner and a couple of times we have treated ourselves to a spa visit.
                As for salons in my area, yes, they're open.  I have scheduled a haircut for this week.  This is only the second cut I have had since lockdowns began almost a year ago.

 5. Believe it or not this is the last Hodgepodge of the month. In one sentence sum up your February. 
                Snow, rain, sleet, ice
                did not make February nice.

 6. Insert your own random thought here.
                The sun is out, the snow is melting, and the temperatures are rising.  I am thankful.

Friday, February 19, 2021

Another Week of Winter

Hello!  It's Friday! Susanne hosts Friday Fave Fives and I love joining.  It makes me always be more thoughtful through the days, watching for those thankful moments.  Here is Willow's Week on a snowy day.   

1.  Our microwave died (nope, that's not the fave).  As soon as our older daughter heard about our household disaster, she said, "No problem!  I have one in the garage that came from my rental house."  So... thanks to her, we have had a working microwave while we look for a replacement for ours.

2.  On Sunday, we took a drive in the county south of us.  The roads were clear and it was wonderful to see a new area.  I wrote a blog post with several photos if you want to see more snow covered barns and old houses.

3.  After our drive, we met the family for a winter hike at the arboretum. There, too, the paved trails and roads were clear.  It was great to get out and have a walk.

4.  The weather outside is frightful!  Snow!  I am thankful that we have a warm house and warm clothes.  And even occasional sunshine!

5.  Another blanket story.   Little Warrior (our younger grandson) loves his 'meema blanket'.  Evidently a doggie (who no longer lives in the house) loved it, too, and chewed holes in it.  Meema to the rescue.  Honestly, sometimes I wondered if the worst of the damage could be repaired.  But I persisted.  The blanket is back home on LW's bed.

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

A Penny for My Thoughts

Wednesday Hodgepodge.  (If you click on the drawing below, the link will take you to Joyce's blog)

From this Side of the Pond

1. This week's Hodgepodge lands on Ash Wednesday which signals the beginning of Lent. Do you mark this season in some way? If so tell us more. Did you grow up 'celebrating' Lent? Is attending church part of your weekly routine? Are churches open for in-person worship where you live? 
        Although I did not grow up in a tradition that observes Lent, I have become more involved in the past decade or two.  My art group buddies always do a Lent Bible study (and an Advent one, too).  This year we are reading Phillip Keller's book A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23.  We meet via Zoom every Friday morning anyway (they all live in CA and I am the one who moved to OH) so we just move our focus to our current study book.
        Our church here has services on Saturday night and Sunday morning.  Usually, we attend the Saturday service with our daughter and grandson.  The church is open for in person services with distancing protocols in place.

2. When is the last time you sat beside a 'real' fire? Do you have a fireplace in your home? Wood or gas logs? Favorite thing cooked over a fire?
        I love fires!  We now have an outdoor fireplace which we used the last time in early November.

        Our new home has a gas fireplace which can be redone into a wood burning fireplace.  This we plan to do and use an insert to help heat this area of the house. 

3. Something that's currently got you fired up? 
        What has me fired up?  People's lack of preparation for emergencies.  Nuf said.

4. February also happens to be National Cabbage Day. Who knew? Do you like cabbage? Is cabbage on your menu Wednesday? Of the following cabbage dishes which is your favorite-coleslaw (mayo or vinegar?), sauerkraut, cabbage rolls, cabbage soup, kielbasa and cabbage, grilled cabbage, bubble and squeak, kimchi, or haluski? 
        Not a cabbage fan.  I will eat coleslaw if it is made with a vegan mayo.  Many years ago, our friends gave us some kimchi which they had made.  I liked it.

5. Do you hang on to pennies? What do you do with them? Last thing you purchased for $1.00? Last thing you purchased for $5.00? 
        I collect pennies (and nickels and dimes).   My uncle got me started in coin collecting when I was about six years old.  I still find coins fascinating.

6. Insert your own random thought here. 
        It is vewy vewy cold here.  I woke up this morning to my phone showing me that it was 1F.  Now it is a balmy 21F.  Snow and ice everywhere.  And more snow and ice expected.  BUT!  I have heat!  And I am so very thankful for that.

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

A Winter Drive

 We decided to venture out on a Sunday afternoon drive and explore the area south of our town.  The roads were clear, but the fields were snow covered.

I love the old farmhouses, churches, schools, and barns!
I would love to know the stories behind these buildings.

And now, we are snowbound for the next few days.
I'm glad we were able to get in a scenic drive between storms.

Friday, February 12, 2021

More Winter Faves

Happy New Year (if you are in China)!  Happy Friday!  Here is a list of my Five Fave things for which I am thankful this week.  It doesn't include the obvious things like a warm house, hot coffee, cozy jackets, boots and gloves.  I am thankful for those things, too.  Always.  Here is a link to Friday Fave Fives if you want to join us.

1.  Well, there is still a pile of snow on the ground and more expected.  This is winter.  Did you know that there are only thirty-six days until spring?  And today is Chinese New Year.  It's the year of the OX.  What part of this is a fave?  The thirty-six days until spring.  But who's counting?

2.  But since it is still winter, what can I appreciate about it?  Icicles are pretty.  When they're finished with being an outdoor decoration, they just melt away.

3.  We were able to order some window coverings for our house this week.  It will take some time to have them delivered and installed, but at least now we have one more home upgrade almost off our to do list.

4.  Our new library is amazing!  Evidently, we have passed the time frame when a limited number of books can be checked out.  Now our accepted number of books is ninety-nine!  Yes, 99.  [I wonder if I can actually reach that number of books to check out and read all at once.]

5.  And at the library, we have been able to check out the British series Lewis.  We've watched all the Endeavor and Morse series, and now Lewis is carrying on the story of murder mysteries in Oxford.  I'm glad we can get them locally.

BONUS:  I finally finished this cozy (and gigantic) blanket for The New Boy.  He wanted it BIG.  He chose the colors and yarn.  He's taller than I am now, so you can imagine how big this thing is.

A New Year. A New Blanket.

Have a warm safe weekend!

Friday, February 05, 2021

Hello, February

In the bleak midwinter...

1.  Here we are in cold, cold midwinter.  As I write this, it is snowing.  The temperature is a balmy 31F.  But in the night, it will be half of that.  This is the time I look for things to warm me, my feet, my tummy, my spirit.  Friday Fave Fives is an encouraging way to cheer us all up.

2.  The grandkids had a snow day (actually, more than one; and today is another).  Younger Daughter was working from home and took a long lunch so she could take her two sledding.  We joined them.  Yes, we sledded.

Younger Daughter's Bernese Mountain dog was in doggie heaven.

3.  After sledding, The Professor treated us to hot chocolate!  Yum!  Making memories!

4.  I made another pair of socks!  Nothing cheers like warm feet covered in handknit socks.

5.  I am a total garden geek.  This winter I have been growing ginger indoors.  I had no idea if the ginger I had bought at the grocery store and accidently let sprout would grow.  But I tried.  And guess what!  All four rhizomes I planted in pots are sprouting and growing.  Squeee!

That tiny green sprout will turn in to a tall tall plant.
Yes, that is what a ginger plant looks like.

These are five things that have warmed my heart (and feet) this week.  I am thankful, even in the bleak midwinter.