Friday, July 24, 2015

There and Back Again, Again

I've been gone traveling.  Again.  Summer is like that for teachers.  We take advantage of those weeks off during the summer to wander around.  This time, we flew east to visit our girls and their families.  I'm so thankful for two weeks of grandchildren and adventures!  Linking with Susanne's Friday Fave Fives.

1.  But first, the knitting--
I finished two projects, one just before we left

afghan knitted in seed stitch
and one just before we returned.

Mara Shawl in grey

I also almost finished a pair of socks--photos when they're done.

2.  A visit to our nation's capital, Washington, D.C.

3.  The best part was the Library of Congress!

Did you know that you can FOR FREE receive a Library of Congress reading card??!!  The card gives you complete and total access to all of the library's contents for two years.  Yes, we got one.  :)

4.  In all our travels around the world and the US, we have never actually put our feet into  the Atlantic Ocean.   We've been in all the eastern seaboard states, swum in the Caribbean and the Pacific Ocean, but not the Atlantic.  On this trip, we accomplished this milestone in Delaware.  (photo compliments of Daughter #2.

5.  We love playing outdoors with the littles and their parents.  On the east coast, it's so very different--trees, trees, green, and water.

There are so many more photos and adventures.  I just hit the highlights.  Over the weekend, I hope to finish up the picture downloads and post my favorites.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Oh, Say, Can You See?

Independence Day is past, and we in the US have reflected on our patriotism and saluted the flag and sung The Star Spangled Banner.  But do you know the story behind our national anthem?

It all started with a battle in 1814 when British ships were bombarding Ft. McHenry in Baltimore, Maryland.  Francis Scott Key was an American lawyer who was on an England ship and watched overnight, wondering if when morning arrived whether the American flag or the British flag would be raised over the fort.  Imagine his relief and thankfulness when he realized that it was the American flag which flew that morning.  Here is a link to more information about his life and how he came to write these words which eventually became our national anthem.

The Star-Spangled Banner

O say can you see, by the dawn’s early light,
What so proudly we hail’d at the twilight’s last gleaming,
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight
O’er the ramparts we watch’d were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there,
O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?
On the shore dimly seen through the mists of the deep
Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream,
’Tis the star-spangled banner - O long may it wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!
And where is that band who so vauntingly swore,
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion
A home and a Country should leave us no more?
Their blood has wash’d out their foul footstep’s pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave,
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.
O thus be it ever when freemen shall stand
Between their lov’d home and the war’s desolation!
Blest with vict’ry and peace may the heav’n rescued land
Praise the power that hath made and preserv’d us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto - “In God is our trust,”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.
Ft. McHenry is an interesting place to visit.  There were displays inside various buildings and lots of  walkways and bunkers to explore.

Little ones love to run around old forts and see the buildings and ramparts and cannons.

"There was a JAIL here???"

Key Bridge seen from Ft. McHenry

Saturday, July 11, 2015

We Are Wild Travelers

One would think that we had already done enough traveling for a summer.  Evidently not.  Here we are on the East Coast of the US.  Three of our grandchildren live out here, so obviously, it's a travel destination.

The flora and fauna are different here (and yet strangely familiar).

Fortunately, the grandchildren love to be outdoors, hiking, playing in the water.

Young naturalists

Sometimes, they're just silly.

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Cutest. Baby. Ever. Hyperbole? Or Simple Statement of Fact?

If you are anti-baby or just bored by cute baby pictures, then this isn't the post for you.  But, it's just what my Friday Fave Fives are about this week--our adorable granddaughter.

1.  She came to visit this past week from Phoenix so we had ample opportunities to enjoy her sweet and joyful personality.  She truly is a happy and content child who wakes up from naps with a smile ready to play.

2.  Believe it or not, although we have lived for a long time in Southern California, we had never visited Santa Barbara Zoo.  So we took our PAL and her parents and auntie there on Saturday.

watching the elephants

3.  A visit to Meema and Bapa isn't complete without including books--here she is at our local independent book shop, Mrs. Fig's Book Worm.

4.  Then we made sure she had a chance to see the children's section at the university library.  Oh, and the sweetest thing happened--the librarian who of course is acquainted with The Professor--gifted PAL two children's books, one of them signed by the author!  Two books to treasure.

5.  OK, so I can't fill up the whole week with just photos of our PAL.  What other blessings were evident in my week?  I've spent time in my garden which I always love.  No photos because, well, gardens in Southern California these days are dry and sad.  Mostly I pulled weeds and clipped back dried up poppy plants.  But my lavender bush has produced some lovely blooms which I shared with two neighbors, both of whom were delighted with the fragrant bouquets.  I've finished a book--Three Weavers by Joan  Potter Loveless.  This is a biography/autobiography about three women who met and became friends in Taos, New Mexico and were drawn together by their love of weaving.  The setting (Taos), the topics (weaving, spinning, family) and the writing style made me want to revisit Taos (could I LIVE there?) and  pull out my spinning wheel and set up a tapestry loom.  Also, I've completed some knitting projects--must document and photograph them-- another shawl and an afghan.

So, that was Willow's Week.  How have you been?

Friday, June 26, 2015

Whirlwind of Travel

We've been home for three days from our road trip. Suitcases are unpacked.  Laundry is washed.  House is clean.  I think I'm rested.  It's time to resume normal activities such as Friday Fave Fives--that time of the week when I review and recount with gratitude what has blessed me this week.

1.  Going from most recent to most distant-- today is The Professor's birthday!  Happy Birthday to my husband of almost forty-two years.  He still makes me coffee in the morning; he still makes me laugh every day.  And he's still cute.  Here we are with my brother and sister-in-law on the Columbia River in Oregon.

2.  Brother and his wife share a wedding anniversary with us.  So whenever we are together at any time near the date, we celebrate!  Happy Anniversary to us!  Our day included a visit to the End of the Oregon Trail exhibit, and drive up the Columbia River Gorge to Bonneville Dam and dinner at McMenamin's, a popular pub chain which buys and renovates awesome old buildings and sells awesome beer.

3.  Visits with friends.  On our 2,500 mile trip up the West Coast of the US, we connected with several people from our past.  Church friends, High school friends.  College friends. And family, of course.

4.  We managed to carve out one day to get out and hike.  I was born and raised in Portland, Oregon, and lived there for a dozen years as an adult.  But there are so many places I never knew existed.  Like Canema--a very early native American settlement and later a pioneer community just upstream from the Willamette Falls in Oregon City.  In fact, my sister-in-law's mother lived there as a child.  I never knew.  So we decided to explore the nature park there.

Look!  Water.  Lots of water!

And green stuff growing!

5.  What precipitated this trip?  It was the graduation of our son from Stanford University!
[If you scroll down, you will find more photos of this momentous occasion.]
PhD in Anthropology

Dr. Mike

And now, we are home for a bit and waiting expectantly for the imminent arrival of our PAL and her parents for a birthday visit to Bapa!  Happy Weekend!  Let us count our blessings--safety, friendship, beauty.

Monday, June 15, 2015


Doctor Mike, that is!
My #2 Son graduated this weekend from Stanford University.  PhD in Anthropology.

Are we proud parents?  Oh yes!

Many people are celebrating with us.  Last night, I posted these photos on Facebook and  as of the time of writing this post, there were 150 'likes'--a combination of my friends, The Professor's friends, and Doctor Mike's friends.

[This also explains my lack of commenting on other blogs.  Sorry!  Gone traveling.  Be back soon.]