Friday, February 24, 2023

Busy Bees

 What a week!  Again!  As I sit down in my recliner this afternoon, I realize that we have been 'running' all week, and finally this evening we will have some 'down time'.  In the midst of all this busyness, I need to stop, take a breath and remind myself that there is so much to be thankful for in every busy day.  That's why I do my Friday Fave Fives every Friday. (follow that link to join Susanne and the rest of us in being thankful)

1.  I am thankful I have the energy and stamina to keep up with the schedule we have right now.  One thing we have added to the daily list is picking up our granddaughter from track practice.  Truthfully, I am happy to do this because it means that she is on the high school spring track team and working hard on running and on high jump.

2.  This week is the beginning of Lent.  My "Art Girls" group is meeting via zoom and studying Brother Lawrence's book The Practice of the Presence of God.  I have read this small book before, but every time I reread it, I glean much from Brother Lawrence's wisdom.

3.  I am thankful for a quick visit to the doctor which reassured me that the pain I have been experiencing is not something to be concerned about.

4.  A good report from the dentist is always a fave for me.

5.  We have had a couple of days of spring-like weather.  Yes, I know that the winter temperatures will return, but it was so so nice to have those days of respite from the cold.  I was even able to walk around my garden and do some evaluation for the spring.  AND.  The daffodils are beginning to grow up and bud!  (I hope the cold doesn't kill them!)

Maybe a bright yellow crocus?

What blessings are you focusing on during your busy week? 

Friday, February 17, 2023

Lots of Love

Good Friday morning.  Here at Willow's Cottage, it is frigidly cold and small snow pellets are dropping on us.  Fortunately, so far, the snow isn't sticking.  I am snuggled up in a blanket having just returned from my Friday morning Bible study.  And now it is time to focus on my Friday Fave Fives.  What good, sweet, wonderful things have blessed my week?

1.  A long phone call with my daughter-in-law.  She is amazing and my Older Son is blessed to have her as his bride.  She has been holding down the fort at home for several months now as he has been deployed out of country.

2.  This week was that daughter-in-law's birthday!

3.  I love little bits of extra time with my children.  One day, I drove Older Daughter to a dr appt.  And then afterwards, we grabbed some coffee for the drive home.

4.  On Valentine's Day, The Professor took me to the local garden nursery.  Just for fun.  We are planning some landscaping to do this spring and wanted to see what what in stock.  I know most women would not think a garden nursery is the place to go on February 14, but it's my happy place, and he knows it.

5.  Also this week, a new washer and new dryer were delivered and installed here at Willow's Cottage as our dryer died last month just before we left on our trip south.  We called these appliances our gifts to each other.  A local nonprofit group came and removed and took away the washer (which still works) and the appliance store brought the new ones and installed them.  I have to say that all the workers were professional and very thorough.  We were very impressed.  You don't really appreciate your appliances until you don't have them.

And here is a bit of bonus inspiration for you.

Friday, February 10, 2023

Jiggity Jig

Home again!  After two weeks of traveling, we arrived home on Wednesday afternoon in time to pick up The Tall Boy from school.  What a great time we had traveling through Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Florida, Georgia and North Carolina.  This past week we focused on historical sites as we drove through the states on our way home.  These are only FIVE of the wonderful things we experienced this week.  I chose FIVE FAVES to share. (the link takes you to the FRIDAY FAVE FIVES group)

1.  Two National Monument forts in Georgia.  Well, yes, we are history geeks and we loved walking around the old forts and reading ALL.THE.HISTORY.  Fort Pulaski  was beautiful!

It is surrounded by a moat.

Eleanor was fascinated with the cannons.

Fort Frederica was also the site of a colonial town although there are very few remains left of it.

2.  Foxfire Museum in Georgia.  Did you ever hear of or read the Foxfire books?  They started as newspaper publications by high school students and then, because they were so popular, they were published as books which are still being published and sold.  In turn, the proceeds from the books enabled the purchase of land to create a museum which highlights the focus of the books--the culture and crafts and knowledge of the Appalachian people who have lived in the area for generations.  We had read the books years ago and only recently discovered that the museum existed.  Obviously, it was a must-go-to stop on our trip.

3.  Great Smoky Mountain National Park.  What an amazing part of the United States.  It's beautiful!

4.  Manhattan Project National Historical Park, Oak Ridge, TN.  We have previously visited the Manhattan Project museum at the Los Alamos, New Mexico site.  So we were pleased to add the second of the three parts of the Manhattan Project sites.  We couldn't stay long but we thoroughly enjoyed our visit.  A World War II secret site where people worked to create the materials for the atomic bomb.

5.  Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose when you randomly choose a restaurant or coffee shop in a strange town.  Twice in Tennessee and Kentucky we WON.  Pigeon Forge, TN was our goal for a coffee shop stop.  Espresso Yourself won big time!  Then we chose The Abbey in London, KY for dinner.  It was a delight.  Delicious food and British decor to celebrate London and The Beatles.  I am always thankful for the culinary adventures, too.

And now we're home again, home again, jiggity jig.

Sunday, February 05, 2023

History and the Beach

St. Augustine, Florida is an historical city, the oldest continually occupied (by Europeans) city in the New World, established by the Spanish in 1565 as a post to protect their trade routes against the British.  Castillo de San Marcos is now a national monument.

Another fort, Fort Matanzas, was built on the other side of the inlet in 1740 to repel advances by the British.  It is now also a National Monument.  Accessible only by a boat ride provided by the Park Service, it is well worth the time and effort to visit it.

St. Augustine is full of old buildings and streets.
The Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine is a lovely place to visit.
The bell tower can be seen from all around the city.


So many intriguing doors, gardens and gates!

St. Augustine has a light house!

Are you bored yet?  There's MORE!

St. Augustine is a popular tourist destination because it is on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean.  That means BEACHES!

If you love history and the beach, St. Augustine, Florida is the place for you!

Thursday, February 02, 2023

On the Road

Since I've been traveling, I haven't been online all that much.  But I am racking up the gratitude this week for sure.  All week, I've been thinking I need to share this and this and that and that for Friday Fave Fives.  How can I choose just five?  (The link in bold type is for you to follow if you want to read more encouraging Faves from others, or join in)

1.  Lunch and afternoon chat with The Professor's oldest (longest) friend.  We met him and his wife for lunch at a wonderful Italian restaurant and then we drove to their place and chatted for a couple more hours before we hit the road again.  What a refreshment that was since I also knew his friend as one of my first college English professors.

2.  Two nights with other friends.  One of the highlights of our time spent with these 'church in California' friends (we've all moved away) was that one evening we enjoyed dinner at their daughter's home and she invited yet another family from our same church to join us.  Oh, that was just a wonderful time!  The younger kids have grown up so much and they pretended to remember us.  One even made us a banner welcoming us to their home and their state. (insert googly eyes here)

3.  We proceeded on south and stopped at the Space and Rocket Museum in Huntsville, Alabama.  We wandered around for HOURS reading the plaques and gazing at all the exhibits.  A bonus on that was a wonderful late lunch at a great little restaurant we found on our way.  The Yellow Deli.

4.  Two more nights were spent with long ago college friends.  The husband has had some major health issues and we were just so happy to visit with them and encourage them and rejoice with them in how well our friend is recovering.

5.  Another highlight (see how they just keep rolling in?) was to meet and have dinner with a cousin's son who have grown into a wonderful young man.  Also, we were able to meet his wife and her parents.  You know that feeling when you have an instant rapport and know you are already 'family'?  That's how it was.  (If you remember seeing any photos of my children, you will see the striking resemblance with my cousin and my son.)

Bonus.  Gotta have a bonus to this.  Warmer weather and sunshine!  I'm soaking it in.

Do come back in the next day or so and enjoy ALL.THE.PHOTOS of St. Augustine, Florida.  Spoiler--yes, that is where we were for three days.