Sunday, December 31, 2023

Photo Recap for 2023

 I spent some time scrolling through the photos I took in 2023 and chose a picture from each month.  OK, a couple of times, I chose two.  And evidently I didn't really take any photos in April.

Anyway, enjoy!





I got nothin'.









Friday, December 29, 2023

The Week Between

 Good Friday morning!  Here we are in the week between Christmas Day and New Year's Day.  Many people consider this time a 'holding pattern'.  For us at Willow's Cottage, this week has been filled with family.  I am so thankful for so much.  Here in my Friday Fave Fives I am only touching on a small amount of the wonder of Christmas at the Cottage.

1.  Of course the arrival and visit of Younger Son (shall I call him Dr. Mike?) is the absolute best.  We had not seen him for more than a year as he now lives in San Diego.

2.  All the breakfasts, lunches and dinners shared with family.  Christmas Eve was pasta.  Christmas Morning was The Professor's coffee cake along with all sorts of eggs and bacon/sausage.  Dinner was take out that we brought in from Thai and Chinese restaurants (we were cooked out...).  The rest of the week has been meals together to eat all.the.leftovers.  What feasts of abundance!

3.  Phone calls from our missing Older Son (Chaplain Dan) and his family, including PAL.

4.  I managed to catch a few photos.  Three of the four kids.  Three of the four grandkids.

No, you can't open your stockings yet.

Say Cheese!

Just chillin'

5.  Are you noticing a theme here?  Family!  I am thankful for family including lots and lots of texts from my brother and sister-in-law in Oregon.  One topic was our father's birthday, December 27th.  Dad would have been 101!

One of my favorite photos--Dad standing by the Old Columbia River Highway at the tunnel.  1942.

Bonus:  Our weather wasn't frightful, except for the rain, so we were able to get out to walk twice on the paved trails near our home.  We really needed the exercise!

I hope you enjoyed your Week Between and found many blessings, too.

Monday, December 25, 2023


 The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.

John 1:14a

Merry Christmas to you from Willow's Cottage!

Friday, December 22, 2023

Almost Christmas!

 First, thank you to all who sent get well wishes last week.  Thankfully, I am feeling so much better especially since Christmas weekend is almost here.  As I fell asleep last night, I realized that for the first time in at least two weeks I wasn't coughing constantly.  I really am getting well!

This is the Friday before Christmas.  All through my house, I have lights, red and green fabrics and decor, and little piles of Christmas cards.  There is so much to be thankful for this Christmas of 2023.  Here are my Friday Fave Fives which I had to narrow down to just five things I noticed this week that are this season's blessings.

1.  I was well enough to attend a very dear and sweet friend's birthday party Sunday afternoon (yes, I tested negative for c-vid) and then an open house time at other friends' home.

2.  On Monday, we had our first snow!  It is now melted, but it was lovely to watch while it lasted.

3.  I finished that last baby blanket (last week's mention) and we delivered it to the parents on Tuesday so they can give it to their son for Christmas.  A bit out of focus, but the pictures show all the colors.  If you want details on the pattern, here is the link to the post I wrote for the other afghan I made.  Simply Soft yarns, size 8 needles.

4.  The weather was warm and sunny, so I took my first walk since being sick.  A half mile may not seem like much, but it was something to celebrate that I could walk that far and not feel completely fatigued.

5.  Do you enjoy cleaning?  Evidently, I'm one of those weird ones who like to clean and organize.  Younger Daughter requested my help in doing some deep cleaning at their house, so I spent much of Thursday there at the Hive (we call it the Hive because they are all busy as bees). It truly does give me great joy and I am thankful I have the energy to do it.

Bonus:  And now...we excitedly await tonight's arrival of Younger Son from San Diego who is coming for Christmas!

Friday, December 15, 2023

There Are Always Blessings, No Matter What

I certainly did not imagine that, ever, I would write a post about being thankful for catching that nasty virus the world has labeled C-v-d.  And yet, here I am, searching my foggy brain for Five Faves from this week.  I'm sure we would all agree that we are thankful that we are able drink, eat, breathe.  Last week, I thought I was dealing with a nasty cold.  Nope.  Tests on Saturday showed those dreaded black lines.  But as I Thessalonians 5:18 states, "Give thanks in all circumstances."  So here are my Friday Fave Fives, giving thanks even in the circumstances of illness. (the link takes you to Susanne's blog where she collects our links)

1.  I have finished reading several books.  Some I had started but not finished.  Others were on the table staring at me, waiting for me to pick them up.  So as soon as I had the energy to pick up a book and open its pages and when I had the ability to focus, I read three, maybe four? books  So I am thankful for quiet reading time.

2.  When your eyes won't focus any more on the words in the book, you pick up your knitting.  I finished my last baby afghan for the year.  Again, it is blocks of different colors randomly arranged.  This one is for a little boy who can use it to snuggle and learn to identify the names of the colors.  Sorry, no photos at this point.  My recovery hasn't quite made it to photographing anything.

3.  Being confined indoors and basically without energy to do much, I am thankful that the sun was shining in through our windows and cheering the whole house.

4.  I am thankful for a healing body.  Maybe TMI here, but ALL the mucus that one has to cough out of their throat, nose and sinuses, is the result of our amazing white blood cells sacrificing themselves to help us heal.  Yes, I knew that, but I am thankful that The Professor reminded me so I would not be grumpy about constantly blowing my nose and coughing up all that muck.

5.  Not quite sure how to phrase this as a fave--- Older Daughter loves to dance.  She's a member of the local youth ballet (which also has classes for adults).  We had tickets for their last performance in a beautiful theatre in a nearby town.  Sadly, I missed it.  But I am thankful that all the rest of our family (plus friends T and S) were able to attend. 

So, my friends, I hope you are well, and if you're not, you still find the goodness of God in your life.  And enjoy some poinsettias from my photo archives.

Friday, December 08, 2023


Hello to all my friends from around the world.

If you came here looking Friday Fave Fives, please return in a bit.  I'm fighting what is most likely a cold and need some rest.  Then I'll post my usual Five Blessings from the week, one of which will undoubtedly be that I am feeling better.

Until then...

Thanks for your patience.  I am feeling some better.  Here are my Friday Fave Fives from this past week.

1.  I am thankful for all the OTC helps I've been consuming.  They really have helped me feel better.  My favorite is still Cold Care tea from Traditional Medicinals.

2.  I'm thankful The Professor has been doing so much to help me.

3.  Can you imagine feeling sick and living in a cold house with no heat?  I am so thankful for my heated home, cozy blankets, and warm clothes.

4.  OK, on to other things...  Last night (Thursday) we attended our first Sights and Sounds of Christmas.  It is a tradition here and we loved walking around the center of our town and visiting eight churches and listening to Christmas music--bells and chimes, choirs, organs, harps and pianos.  It was beautiful!

5.  I love our library!  And I am thankful for all the books I can read which I can request from the library.  Especially when I am 'confined' to my recliner.

Friday, December 01, 2023

December Has Arrived

 Hello December!  We've made it through eleven months of this year.  And wow, has it flown by so quickly.  I really do need to slow down every week and contemplate what has happened, how I've been blessed and cared for.  And the best way for me to do that is to focus and plan my Friday Fave Fives.  (the link will take you where you can read more and share, too, if you want)

1.  Baby, it's cold outside!  I am thankful for my warm home and cuddly blankets!

2.  We are starting to decorate for Christmas.  Again, I am thankful for a  home where I can celebrate Christmas season.

3.  Both of our daughters were traveling this past week. The weeks around Thanksgiving are the busiest of the year, and all kinds of delays, problems and cancelations can happen.  But both are home safe and sound. For that, I am thankful.

4.  We were invited to attend an event about one and a half hours drive northeast of us, in Amish country.  After a wonderful buffet dinner, we walked over to the concert hall and enjoyed listening to The Hoppers, a Southern Gospel group.  I love music, and it was great fun to spend the time with friends in the car, too.

5.  And of course, I had an opportunity to grab photos of barns along the way (until it was dark...)