Friday, May 26, 2023

Expressing My Gratitude


quote from Pastor Jim Larson

So let us express our gratitude.

One way to do this is with Friday Fave Fives.  I join other people who want to be grateful for the blessings in their lives (the link takes you to Susanne's website to read more and write your own post)

1, 2, and 3.  Because the invasive Japanese beetles were chewing and destroying the sand cherry bushes in front of our living room windows (and because the bushes grew aggressively tall), we pulled them out.  (we meaning The Professor, Tall Boy and Y)  This week we bought new replacements:  boxwood! (that's #1)  Then, Tall Boy and The Professor put one boxwood in one day after school (#2).  Yesterday, when E and Y were here to grab some moving boxes from us, Y dug three more holes and placed in the rest of the boxwood plants. (#3) Now we have a new look starting in our front garden!

4.  One morning this week, I drove out to my friend's home and walked with her around her property to search for any medicinal plants that might be growing in her woods.  Besides learning what grows wild around here, it was just fun to spend that time with her.

5.  The grandkids' school year is over!  We celebrated by having dinner together at a favorite restaurant, Bombay Garden, where they serve both Greek and Indian food.  And both are delicious.  Congratulations to Tall Boy, Tall Girl and Short(ish) Boy for a job well done!  Congratulations to the moms who got them up every day, fed them and made them do their homework.  And thank you to all the great teachers!  Now let's enjoy the summer.

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Some Actual Knitting

 I know that my blog heading states Life and Knitting, and I know that I haven't shared much about knitting lately.  It's not that I have not been knitting.  It's just that I haven't taken photos of my knitting.

But finally, I did a quick photo shoot of a shawl that I recently made.


    Yarn:  llama and silk blend, handspun by me.

    Pattern:  Raindrops and Roses Shawl by Clara Beauty.  You can find the pattern on Ravelry.  Here is a link:  Raindrops and Roses

    Needles:  size 6US

It took me awhile to knit it, but it took much longer to block it.  I blocked half of it, placing it on the bed in the guest room.  Then I 'forgot about it'. grandson was scheduled to stay with us overnight and would be sleeping in that bed.  So I ran upstairs and finished the blocking.

Now I have a beautiful cream colored shawl to sling over my shoulders to give me just that small bit of extra warmth on cool mornings and evenings.

The bottom edge is knitted 'sideways'.

The placement of the 'holes' created by YO, K2Tog really does create roses and raindrops.
YO means yarn over.  K2Tog is knit two (stitches) together.

Friday, May 19, 2023

Heart-filled Week

Happy Friday, dear readers!  It's time for Friday Fave Fives.  Here is how I was blessed here at Willow's Cottage this week.  The link takes you to Susanne's blog where you can read more or join in.

1.  Mother's Day.  Family was here for dinner Sunday evening.  Pasta with tomato sauce or alfredo (made by older daughter).  Salad.  Broccoli.  For dessert, there was ice cream and sorbet for me.  After eating, we sat on the back patio and enjoyed a cherry bonfire.

2.  Both of my boys called me to wish me Happy Mother's Day and we chatted a long time.  My mama's heart was full.

3.  My girls know me well.  When we were at the garden center, I noticed a bird bath and commented how much I liked it.  Guess what?  Yup.  It was my Mom Day gift!  I loved how they surprised me.  Because it is so heavy, Tall Boy and Tall Girl brought the pieces in and 'hid' them in the living room and turned off the lights in there.  Then, at the unveiling, they took me in and turned the lights back on.  Here are the two pieces...we are still choosing the best place as it is actually going to be used (hopefully) by the bees.

Of course, I love the Celtic designs (knitted cables?)

4.  The Professor's gift to me was labor.  He finished prepping the garden beds!  And now I have planted tomatoes, basil, bush beans, climbing cucumbers, parsley and marigolds.  This morning, I added carrots, lettuce and kale seeds.

5.  Short Boy stayed overnight with us one night this week.  When I said goodnight to him, I asked if I could do what his mom always did when he was young--sing the Doxology to him as part of his goodnight ritual.  His response?  I didn't SEE the eye roll, but I heard it in his voice as he informed me that he was really young then.  But I sang it anyway and I could tell he loved it.  You know, when you're thirteen, you have to pretend you don't want it even if you do.   Meema's heart was happy.

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

My Love Language

"Take me on long walks

and to warm coffee shops."

Or coffee any time.

Friday, May 12, 2023

May Friday Fave Fives, Week Two

Bountifully blessed is the way I would describe my week here at Willow's Cottage.  Some weeks I struggle to find Five Faves; other weeks I work at paring down the multitude of blessings.  Which ever week it is, I am thankful.  Here are five happenings that I chose for Friday Fave Fives (the link takes you to Living to Tell the Story blog to join us)

1.  One piece of siding on our house blew off in a storm months ago.  We have tried multiple times to find someone able and willing to replace it.  Unfortunately, it was the piece at the very tip top of our two story home.  The biggest issue was finding someone with a tall enough ladder to reach that spot.  This week, the father-in-law of our CA extra grandson brought a 35 foot ladder and climbed up there and put that one small piece back up.  We are so thankful for his willingness and ability to help us!

2.  On Saturday afternoon, the daughters drove over and picked me, and we went plant shopping!  AND NOW, my phone isn't talking to my laptop computer, so I can't post some adorable pictures.  The Professor is working on it...)

3.  Monday evening our daughters and the grands joined us here for BYOD (Bring Your Own Dinner) and a bonfire.  The weather was perfect!  I love living so near that we can just say, "Come on over and bring some food."

4.  I have been wanting to get out and hike this spring.  Obviously, my broken ankle has held me back.  But this week, Tall Boy and Short Boy had a Trail Life hike and I was able to tag along with the boys and The Professor.  The trail was very muddy but we persevered and I walked the whole way!

This part of the trail was the 'dry section'.

5.  The garden is s-l-o-w-l-y coming together.  Hopefully, we will be able to plant our starts this weekend as our California 'kids' came and helped us stabilize the corners and sides of the raised beds.  Here's to summer veggies!!

Wednesday, May 10, 2023

Spring Colors

 Spring is truly here.

I just have to share a few flower photos.

So cheery!  Enjoy!


purple petunias

apple blossoms

gerbera daisies



I know that most people are not fond of dandelions,
but I think they are lovely.

Friday, May 05, 2023

May Days Faves Week 1

May Day. May the Fourth (be with you).  Cinco de Mayo.  All the special days in early May.  And Friday Fave Fives, too. (the link will take you to Susanne's blog where she faithfully hosts Friday Fave Fives every week.  It is Friday night, but it's still not too late to be thankful!

1.  As you can see from my previous post about Amish Country, I  figured out how to resolve the conflict between my camera and my computer.  My role as mediator was a success.

2.  It rained most of the week, but in anticipation of today when the sun finally shone,  I bought a bunch of flowers. Not, not a bouquet.  A whole back of my car load of flowering plants.  Some of them are already potted. I love spring when I can be out in my garden again. 

These next three faves are intertwined as you will see.  Declutter>Recycle>Coffee.

3.  This week we moved many things out of our garage which have been stored there over winter.  A few things from our daughter's house after she moved.

4.  We were able to find a place to recycle several very old electronics items. It isn't always easy to find a place, but there is a place in the county just south of ours that took them all. Yay!

5. Since we were in the next county, we arranged to have our weekly coffee date with T and S down there in a new coffee shop. The coffee was good and so were the snacks -- muffins and scones.

Bonus.  A friend recommended a book to me, and I was able to download it from the local library onto my tablet.  I am about 40% done, and it is just amazing but very hard to read.  The Insanity of God by Nik Ripken.  I highly recommend it.  Be prepared to be challenged.

Tuesday, May 02, 2023

Amish Country

Look!  See all the photos??  My computer and my camera are playing nice together, again.  I figured out the problem and fixed it.

So... I have a treat for you!  Photos of my trip to Amish Country!

Of course there are always old barns and dilapidated outbuildings.

If you are traveling in Amish country, watch out for horses and buggies!

Especially on narrow, windy and hilly roads.

How do you know a house or farm is Amish?  Well, first, there will be lots of horses.

The laundry will be hanging outside in all kinds of weather.

Usually, the houses and many of the outbuildings are painted white.

In all the houses, what did you NOT see?  What is missing?  A couple of things.  No cars.  And no electric wires hung from the poles to the houses or barns.

But lots of cows.

As we returned home from our adventure, we noticed an picturesque place for sale.  Want to buy this house and live in the country?