Friday, February 25, 2022

Final February Fave Fives

Hello, Friday!  TGIF.  And TGIFFF.  It's Friday Fave Fives.  Welcome to this end of February edition of Willow's Week in Five things that make me happy and thankful.  Even though my heart is very heavy and I have been praying and praying for peace in the world, I purposely focus on finding Five things to give me hope.  Follow that link above to join us in finding joy.

1.  Hikes and walks are always a fave with me.  Monday our weather was temperate and it was warm enough to walk.  Yay!  We drove out to the end of one path we have been wanting to walk or bike and walked 2 miles out and 2 miles back.  It was a school holiday and there were many others on the trail. Warm + free time = busy.  There was even a kitty monitoring the passing population of humans.

2.  Exploring new places in the area is also always a fave.  The county south of us is mostly rural but also has some sweet towns.  We found a coffee shop and have been twice this week, once with New Boy and then with our SoCal coffee time buddies.

3.  I finished this Many Buttoned Vest.  I particularly like the wide cabled section in the back.  Yes, I know there are no buttons on it.  The idea is to find and add your own favorite buttons.

4.  A long long zoom call with a long time friend.  We've known each other for thirty-six years, and through much of that time our friendship has been sustained over long distances.  I value her friendship so much!

5.  Family dinners.  That's what we call them.  Sometimes, they're planned.  Sometimes, they're spontaneous.  How I love living near my girls so we can just enjoy a meal and each other's company.  I am so blessed.

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Dover, England

Dover, England.  A beautiful and historic town on the the English Channel.

Remember the famous White Cliffs of Dover?

And Dover Harbor?  It is the nearest port on the English Channel to France and so very busy in ferrying cargo and people across the water.

Dover Castle
You climb many many steps to reach the height of Dover Castle

There was an ancient hillfort on the site of Dover Castle.  Later, the Roman built a lighthouse on this hill overlooking the English Channel toward Normandy.

And then a church was built attached to the lighthouse.  Church of St Mary-in-Castro (the Castle)

Can you imagine ALL. THE. HISTORY.  Ancient hillfort.  Roman ruins.  World War II Operation Dunkirk.


Friday, February 18, 2022

Five Cheering Things

 Hello from cold, snowy Willow's Cottage.  I have absolutely no ambition to do anything.  However, I need to focus on something positive.  FRIDAY FAVE FIVES does that for me.   We choose FIVE somethings from the past week and post them to encourage ourselves and others.  Here is Willow's Week in FIVE encouraging statements.

1.  Although it is cold and snowy today, the middle of the week was warm (I mean warm in Ohio terms, not Southern California terms).  Because the ice mostly melted, we were able to get in a couple of walks Tuesday and Wednesday around our neighborhood.  Crunching around the leftover ice patches slowed us down but kept us from slipping and falling.

2.  In fact, it was so nice out that people were outside sitting on their porch steps and watching their children play.  We finally met a neighbor on the street behind us and reacquainted ourselves with neighbors on our street.

3.  Now it's back to winter weather again.  I decided to dream a bit about traveling.  So I pulled up some photos of our 2019 trip to England and scrolled through them.  Want some cheer? Two photos from Dover.  (I think I am going to make some posts about that trip--I never did that)

4.  Obviously, I have England on my brain.  I've been reading more D.E. Stevenson novels.  This week I've been immersed in her stories about living in UK during World War II.  Crooked Adam and The English Air.  Books are a wonderful antidote to winter.

5.  Plans for a Lent study with my Art Girls!  When I saw the email, I knew we would have some wonderful mornings chatting via zoom.  Our book choice is a new non-fiction work by Andrew Peterson, God In The Garden.  I'm excited to read the book and enjoy the fellowship of my friends.

What FIVE things have cheered you up this week?

Friday, February 11, 2022

February is for Cold and Ice

 Good Morning!  The sun is shining.  No accumulation of snow or ice is in the forecast.  Right there in those three sentences are three things for which I am thankful. And I haven't even begun my Friday Fave Fives list.  The world is so full of blessings that everywhere I turn my mind or eye, there is something to appreciate if I choose to notice them.  If you are a repeat reader at Willow's Cottage, you will know about Friday Fave Fives.  You can read and rejoice with me and others when we post and link to Susanne's blog.

1.  Last Friday after I wrote my FFF, Younger Daughter had a disguised blessing.  The ice and snow were making driving difficult and dangerous, but she had some important things to do at work.  But as she pulled out of her driveway, her car got stuck.  Really truly stuck.  So she had to consort to Plan B and work from home (managing a major online conference!).  The blessings here are that she didn't have to navigate the horrible highway situation; she didn't have issues with internet during the meetings; her neighbors saw her car in the street and managed to get it back in to her driveway for her.  I am thankful she was safe!

2.  The Professor knows I enjoy photographing birds, but birds do not cooperate for me to photograph.  BUT.  One morning, he tiptoed into the kitchen and told me to grab my camera.  This time the hawk did not immediately fly away so I was able to catch a couple of pictures.

3.  The New Boy had a birthday!  Can you believe he is now FOURTEEN?  We celebrated with birthday dinner at Olive Garden.  And of course, since he is fourteen, there are no photos of him.

4.  Being stuck at home with snow and ice everywhere was a blessing in that I was able to organize my notebooks on my garden plans and herbs information.  It took me the better part of two days, but now it is done. For Now.

5.  The ice and snow are mostly melted.  That is a huge blessing because our street is dead end and usually doesn't get plowed.

That wraps up Willow's Week of blessings!  

Thursday, February 03, 2022


 That's how I would describe our weather.  COOL.  Or rather, cold. Or frigid.  We are having a 'winter storm' here.  That means there is lots of snow and ice.

So that also means The Professor and I are COOLing our heels here at home. The farthest we have ventured from the house today is the compost bin.  We may not go that far tomorrow as the forecast is for four to six inches of snow tonight on top of the snow and ice already on the ground and in the streets.

My Friday Fave Fives are certainly going to be different this week.

1.  I am thankful for power.  So far, we have not lost our electricity.  Knowing we could lose it means that we appreciate every hour we have it.

2.  I am thankful for other options.  We have our lanterns, flashlights and candles ready.  We have snuggly blankets.  We have boots, gloves, and jackets.  We have food and water.

3.  I am thankful for things to do to keep my mind occupied.  Books.  Obviously.  Projects to focus on.  This afternoon, I finished a project I had procrastinated--hemming a tablecloth.

4.  I am thankful for yarn.  After finishing a pair of socks for granddaughter PAL,

I rummaged around in my stash and finally decided to do something with this nubby handspun yarn.  I didn't spin it.  All I know is that it is combined wool and silk noil (raw silk) and hand dyed probably with indigo but maybe woad (no way to be sure).  Anyway, I have started a very basic shawl since the yarn is certainly texture rich and striking enough to stand on its own.

5.  Before all this weather excitement happened, we did get some fun walks in.  This is along a trail near Older Daughter's home.  I love the river!  Even in COOL weather.

So this has been Willow's COOL Week.  I hope you are all staying safe, warm, and well and able to cool your heels and relax a bit.