Thursday, August 28, 2014

Eventful or Not



September, that is.  It's fast approaching--the September season which leads to nine months of classes, lesson plans, and paper correcting.  I'm not ready for this!  Stubbornly, I'm holding on to my last days of summer.  So this is what I did--sharing them for Friday Fave Fives.

1.  I knitted.  More hats.

2.  I went to the beach to watch the huge surf swelling.  Hurricane Marie is churning up the waves all along the Southern California Pacific Coast.




3.  Had a picnic there.
      I packed some leftovers in plastic containers, grabbed some silverware and drove out to the university to pick up The Professor.  He started classes this week--all full, with waiting lists. Mugu Rock on Pacific Coast Highway is just a few miles from campus, so we drove out to the point to watch those magnificent waves roll in and splash

4.  Memories.  My laptop rotates photos from my files on the screen.  I enjoy viewing the changing pictures.  Lately the program has been cycling through photos of our trip to England in 2004.  My current favorites are of Northumberland along Hadrian's Wall.




5.  New pair of shoes.  I'm no shopper, but I needed a pair of shoes to replace the ones I lost (yes, I did) on our road trip.  I finally found a pair.  Crocs Gianna Flats.

So that was my week.  Mostly uneventful.  Right now uneventful is good.  Have you ever heard someone say this?  "May you live in interesting times."  According to some, it's supposed to be a 'curse'. (Others dispute that it is not a curse, simply an ironic statement.)  But in the spirit of the former, I wish you all an UNinteresting week.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Little by Little

Friday Fave Fives. It's a tradition here at Willow's Cottage.  I need this to keep me focused on the blessings of my week.  Susanne provides the link at her blog Living To Tell The Story.  So here are mine:

 But first... A beach photo--the wind surfers.  I am slowly getting back in to life in Bloggersville.  I even posted two photos of our weekend walk at Ventura Beach.  Here's one more. Little by little...


1.  Stellar weather (if you don't mind drought conditions).  Sunny.  Not too hot.  I don't have to run the AC; I just open the window and let the wind blow through.

2.  Fun evening at the university.  Once a year just before the beginning of the fall semester, the library staff hosts a dinner for the faculty and their families.  Some years are just more fun than others.  I reconnected with a former student's mom who teaches in the math dept.  We met a newer physics prof we hadn't known before.  We chatted with a lady on the library staff and found we had so much in common.  Great connections and great conversations.

3.  My cousin's daughter is visiting her husband's family in LA this week and arranged to spend a day with me.  I was seriously so excited since I hadn't seen her for way too many years.  What a delight she and her husband were.  We spent most of the day at The Getty Villa which they had never seen.  And then I took them to one of the beaches north of Malibu.  It was such a great day!  And they seemed to enjoy it too.


4.  The Getty Villa...I could visit that place every month and never tire of it.  Besides the permanent exhibits, there are always temporary ones which draw large crowds.  Because of our Southern California drought conditions, the pools in the gardens were empty of water and the fountains were turned off.  While it was disappointing for my cousins not to see the gardens at their best, it did change something for the better.  Usually, I am so enchanted by the pools that I spend less time gazing at the walls of the outer peristyle garden.  This time I noticed so many more details on the walls.  The Romans loved symmetry and the wall murals reflect that.  But there is also whimsy in the paintings.  Crickets and birds.  Little bunnies.  Lizards.






5.  Funerals are sad.  Seeing family and friends is happy.  We experienced both on the weekend.  When an extended family member dies, we are sad.  But Saturday was an opportunity for grandchildren, nieces and nephews and brothers, sisters and in-laws to assemble and remember with laughter, joy and comfort.  Because the service was at the church where The Professor attended when he was at university, he also reconnected with old, old friends from his college days.  It was good, but I hope we don't repeat this kind of event any time soon.

I just have to add this!  I'm rereading a book.  Do you do that?  Reread a favorite?  At the library this week, I pulled The Scent of Water by Elizabeth Goudge off the shelf.  Now I'm engrossed in this wonderful novel again.  It's excellent rest for my spirit between periods of lesson planning.

That was my week:  beaches, family, friends, museums.  What fun and wonderful things filled yours?

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Beach Walk

There's nothing better than a walk on the beach.
Surfers Point
Ventura




Thursday, August 14, 2014

Back in a Routine, I Think

Evidently I took an unintended mini break from blogging.  We were gone again and internet access was not always easily accessible.  Now that school and September are looming over me I will be more consistent in my routine.  I hope.  So here I am back again on reboot.  And these are my Friday Fave Fives for the past two weeks.

1.  That trip we took-- it was across Southern California desert again and into Arizona desert.  Destination: Phoenix.  When you have family, you travel to where they are.  Even in the summer. Even when it's 109F outside.

2. I love spending time with my kids and our visit coincided with Son #1's birthday. He was a fun child.  And as an adult, he's still fun.  We are proud of his accomplishments as a military and hospital chaplain--we know it's not an easy job to bring comfort to grieving and worried people.




3.  Older Daughter also celebrated her birthday.  Although I wasn't there in person, we communicated and I posted these photos on facebook.  She was and is adorable!





 I am very proud of this daughter of mine.  She's strong.  She's smart.  She's beautiful.

4. We love our evening walks.  Around our neighborhood there are hills, so we get a good workout walking our three miles.  I'm thankful I live in a safe and pleasant place with beautiful places to walk and hike.

5.  When I have been away for two weeks, it's hard to choose my favorite faves and limit them to five.  I have spent time trying to decide what else to share?  Birthday party for a four year old relative?  (That was so much fun!)  Being part of the tear down crew for the weaving/spinning guild booth at the fair?  (Weird, I know.  But we make a good team and work well together.)  Finally I asked The Professor and he suggested that I share the memorial service we attended for an elderly lady from our church.  She was part of our small Adult Bible Fellowship group and we had never met her extended family.   What a blessing it was to share some memories with her family and learn more about her life.

How about you?  How was your week?

Friday, August 01, 2014

Fair Week

Summer weeks seem to fly by.  This last week of July just raced along, day by day.  I may be on summer break, but I've been busy doing-- busy things.  Here are my Friday Fave Fives--five events out of a busy week--just fun things.

1.  County Fair.


I love county fairs.  This week I spent a few hours volunteering to demonstrate spinning at our handweavers and spinners booth in the agricultural building.  One would not readily and immediately think of 'country' and 'Southern California' in the same setting.  But Ventura County which is adjacent to Los Angeles County has a distinctive and extensive agricultural presence in Southern California.  (Note:  if you eat strawberries in January, it's a good chance they were picked and shipped from Ventura County.  Ditto on blueberries. Or carrots and spinach. Or kale and parsley.)  So the theme of this year's fair was "A Country Fair with Ocean Air"  because, you know, Ventura County hugs the Pacific Ocean.  Think: just north of Malibu.)  Opening Day is always super busy.  During my hours of spinning, there was hardly a lull in people passing by and asking, "What are you doing?"  I enjoy talking with the kids and showing them how ALL fiber is made into 'string' which is woven or knitted into every bit of clothing they wear.

2.  It's always fun to watch the dare devils on the rides.


There is NO way in the world I am going to get on the bungee jump.  But it was thrilling to watch these jumpers get their nerve up and then jump.



See the large palm tree down in the lower left corner?  Yeah, that's how high they were.


3.  BEACH BOYS!  How appropriate it was to have the BEACH BOYS play on Thursday night on the stage across a parking lot from THE BEACH.  We sat high up in the bleachers about as far out as you can get and still be in the arena.  Behind us, we could see the waves rolling in and crashing on the sand, and in front of us, the BEACH BOYS were playing and singing Surfer Girl and Surfin' USA.

4.  I did something this week I've been promising myself I would do--for YEARS.  I wove a rug!


I haven't brought it home from my friend's studio because it is still 'on the loom'.  When the rest of the warp is used for another rug, I'll return and watch (help?) to take it off the loom and finish the edges.

5..  My youngest girl's birthday was this week.  It's birthday season here and although she is the youngest of the siblings, her birthday begins it.  Born in the interior highlands of New Guinea, in the Indonesian province of Irian Jaya (now called Papua), she spent her early years playing in the jungle and at the tropical seashore.  She's a great wife and mom and we are proud of the godly, wise woman she has become.


First beach day


Happy Birthday!

So those are the highlights of Willow's Week.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Wherein I Weave a Rug

Yesterday I did something I've been promising myself for a long time I would do.  I wove a rug.  My handweaving guild owns a number of looms which are always ready for someone to rent for a day to weave with.  An added bonus for me is that those looms are stored in the studio of one of my good friends.  So yesterday I drove over to her home, sat down in front of one of the four harness looms and wove my first rug.

Picking through the balls and scraps of old fabric, I chose my favorite color scheme--mostly blues.



Since the loom was already warped, I was able to start right in and weave a twenty-three inch wide rug which is forty-one inches long.  It'll be a perfect addition to the back entry hall.


\

I think I may have found a new hobby.

Friday, July 25, 2014

So Unstructured I Forgot the Day

Oops.  I just realized that it's Friday.  I mean, I knew it was Friday, but I forgot it's Friday Fave Fives time.  That's what happens in the summer when my schedule is less organized.  But now that I have remembered, here are my five favorite events from this past week.  I'll link them up with Susanne at Living to Tell the Story, late though I am.

1.  Summer.  Obviously, I love it when I can take long trips, return home and hang about and FORGET what day it is.

2.  Those summer days allow for relaxation like take evening walks and sometimes ending up a friend's house for a leisurely fun chat.  ( I think I'll do that again...)

3.  Summer Specials is a tradition at our church.  Every Wednesday evening during July and August, our church serves a roast beef dinner with mashed potatoes and beans and rolls and salad and desserts created by our resident best bakers.  It's all volunteer labor and we pay $6 for the meal.  Since I don't eat the meat, I just take my own dinner and nobody cares.  The focus is on fellowship and we all sit around inside or outside and chat with new and old friends.  I like to make a point to learn one person's name each week.  Our congregation is larger than our building so we have three Sunday morning services--you don't meet people who attend a different service than you do.  Summer Specials help bring all of us together at the same time.

4.  What would a week be without some knitting?  I'm creating a stack of sweet things for our expected little grandgirl.  Currently I'm working on a blankie for her crib.  Pickles.no has this free zigzag blanket pattern on the website.


And I just finished another, larger Pickles Plain Vest for her.  Yes, I *heart* Pickles patterns!


Ten more hats for the local NICU.


5.  We are continuing our Project: Declutter.  The Professor recycled a bunch of old used up highway maps.  We tackled the garden tools and let go of the extra ones we don't use.  I passed on some magazines I have finished reading and enjoying to someone who will do the same.   Our shredder got quite a lot of use as we recycled more papers we don't need.  A little bit each day adds up to a lot by the end of a week or month.  Yay, us!

It was a quiet, less structured week (except for the two days of training I did for new teachers and TAs).  How was your week?