Thursday, April 28, 2016

Closing Out April

Happy Friday!  And Happy Friday Fave Fives.  Here is Willow's Week in five short bits of thankfulness.  And so we finish April.

1.  Trying to work on my macro photography.  Jasmine in my garden.  I am thankful for a good camera.




2.  After finishing six hats, I decided to pull out a new project.  Several years ago, I spun some fiber I bought on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada.  I knitted a sweater -- nearly finished it.  But it just wasn't right.  It didn't fit.  So I abandoned it.  My niece lives now just north of where I bought the wool.  So this week I began knitting her a shawl to wear during those cold, damp months when this wool fiber will be warm and welcome.  I love a new project!


3.  Watching the 1965 production of The Agony and the Ecstasy.  Having been to Rome and the Sistine Chapel, I am enjoying this story of the painting of the Sistine Chapel by Michelangelo.

4.  Again this year, I planted milkweed plants in the garden.  The ones I put in last spring didn't survive the hungry caterpillars, the larvae of the monarch butterflies.  So I'm trying again.  This week I planted three more.  Here's hoping these thrive.

5.  This spring I have been studying The Lord's Prayer in my Friday morning Bible Study.  Do you know the Lord's Prayer?  Do you identify with praying it?  I've been reminded that my allegiance is for God and I recognize my dependence on Him.

Pray, then, in this way:‘Our Father who is in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven. 
Give us this day [a]our daily bread.
‘And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.

‘And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from [b]evil. 
[c][For Yours is the kingdom
and the power and the glory forever. Amen.’]
     

Friday, April 22, 2016

Little Things

This week my focus has been on little things.  Sometimes that is a good thing.  Not every week has to be 'amazing'.  But I'm still thankful.  Here are Willow's Week's Fave Fives, linked to Susanne's Friday Fave Fives.

1.  Garden.  An offer for free broccoli starts.  Planted five in my garden for another experiment.

2.  Garden.  The sweet potatoes are growing.  Some better than others.



3.  Garden.  This seems to be a theme...  We ate our first snap peas and I had a salad today with spinach and kale, all from the garden.

4.  Garden.  Do you know what this plant is?  It's cotton.  Brown cotton, to be specific. Yes, I have another experiment.  Will they grow?



5.  OK.  Changing focus.  Knitting.  I do love my hats!  I've finished four and am nearly done with the fifth.  How many will I make before I am bored with this pattern?  I found it interesting that when I was working on the green hat, two people commented on how they like the color--and it is my least favorite.


Bonus:  The fruit man at the farmers market gives me the apples which he can't sell because they are bruised or have small rotten spots.  Magically, they turn into dried apple slices in my dehydrator.  Over the past two weeks, I've cut and dried A LOT of batches of apples!


Friday, April 15, 2016

Being Thankful About Thankfulness

How do you keep track of your blessings?  Your wonderful weekly favorites?  Do you have a gratitude journal in which you nightly note the three (or four or five) best things from your day?  I am not so good at keeping any kind of a diary or journal, but I always think that I will be able to remember what has blessed me during the week so I can write my Friday Fave Fives.  Well.  Evidently, I have a terrible memory.  In my defense, I have two rather full days on Wednesday and Thursday, so my brain doesn't function optimally on Thursday evening or even Friday morning.

Like this week.  I was tired Thursday night and felt like "I just don't care" when it came to writing up my Fave Fives.  It's not really true that I don't care, but my brain wasn't working real well.  So I figured I would write my Friday Fave Fives first thing in the morning before I left at 9:00.  Huh.  That didn't happen.  So I am rather late to the game as they say.  Fortified with chocolate and coffee, I will attempt to force my brain to remember the best of the best from this past week.

Willow's Friday Fave Fives with encouragement each week from Susanne at Living to Tell the Story.

1.  That chocolate I mentioned.  I have a policy that if a student (or former student) is doing a fund raiser, I will help the first person who asks me.  So, I agreed to purchase some See's Candy last month.  It was delivered on Thursday morning.  I may have already eaten several pieces...

2. Sometimes a Fave isn't about what you get but what you give.  This is actually a win-win.  We are doing some changes on the side of our driveway, removing red volcanic rock and white decorative rock that's been there since before we moved here nine years ago.  Two neighbors are thrilled to be the recipients of that rock.  We have been pulling it out and delivering by the bucket load and they are happily placing it where they need to do some fill in.

3.  A couple of days ago, I posted about all the purple in my garden.  Well, there's been purple on my needles, too.  I know this photo makes the hat look blue, but it's really closer to the shade of the flowers. (I know not why colors are off.)


4.  That hat pattern is a Fave.  It was a free pattern from Pickles in Norway.  I've been in a bit of a knitting slump--just bored and trying to focus on being enthusiastic again about it.   I decided that I like this pattern enough to make it in several colors.  Purple.  Check.  Green.  On the needles.  Light Lavender.  My next project.  We'll see how many Close Cables Hats I make before I am bored with this easy and cute pattern.

5.  Few things make me happier than seeing my garden grow!  We have kale and spinach ready for harvesting!



So.  What has bubbled up to the top of your consciousness this week that you recognize as a blessing, a Fave from your week?

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Purple Season



It's purple time in Willow's Garden.  Usually, February is pink season when all the camellia bushes bloom in every shade of pink.  March tends to be yellow because that's when the correopsis blooms on all the hillsides in Southern California.

But April is purple time.  Sage and lavender begin to blossom and the osteospermum opens up its purple flowers.





What color is it in your garden?

Friday, April 08, 2016

Quietness on the Home Front

Short and Sweet this week.  No photos.  It was that kind of week.  However, it does not change the need to focus on thankfulness.  Here are Friday Fave Fives of Willow's Week.

1.  I am of a certain age.  Last week I received my first Social Security check.

2.  My artist friends group is meeting again on Fridays.  As we read through AWE, Why it Matters for Everything We Think, Say and Do (David Tripp), I am amazed at two things--I am reminded constantly of my need for AWE of God, and I am thankful that these talented, wonderful women consider me a friend.

3.  A little rain.  Last night's rain could be termed 'slight drizzle' but it's still RAIN and it watered our garden.  Every drop matters.

4.  Decision made.  Why I obsess over what books to use for a book review for fourth graders, I don't know.  But I finally decided on the books to use to model how to write a book review.

5.  Texting with my cousin.  I never had a sister, and she was my 'almost sister'.  We live 1,000 miles apart now, but it's like we are in the same room.  We dream of living in the same city or even the same state or region some day.

Hopefully next week will be a bright photo taking week!

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Out Like a Lion

This darn cold/flu!  It has had me down for almost two weeks.  For me, March ended with me fighting this bear lion of a virus.  I've been able to function on a daily basis, barely, but coughing, etc., has made this week a very low activity one.  I didn't even take a single photograph.  Maybe it's what I needed.  While I've been 'resting', I've done a few organizing projects which I could do while sitting in my favorite chair.  And this is a definitely a Fave for me.  So, in spite of my 'slow week', here are my Fave Fives for this Friday.  (See? You can find blessings everywhere and anywhere.)

1.  My knitting patterns were in a mess.  Normally, I store them in a couple of three ring binders, but the binders were over full and showing their ages, so I replaced them with new binders and reorganized the tabs.

2.  I also reorganized the binders of warranties/instructions/receipts for things we own.  For the fronts of all the binders (see #1), I printed up sheets to identify categories of what is in each one.

3.  Then, I went through a few other files and either consolidated or cleared out excess to make it easier to find what I need.   I do love me some organized files.

4.  Every day I have made a point of being outside for awhile in the morning and the afternoon in the sunshine.  Mostly I've puttered around in the garden and done things like repot some plants or moved containers to sunnier (or shadier) spots.  I'm pleased to report that all of the sweet potatoes plants are still alive.

5.  Something in a conversation with one of my girls triggered a memory and so I pulled out my files of ancestors' records.  I've been reading through them and am simply amazed at the history of my family.  In more than one family tree, I (and The Professor, too) can claim the right to belong to the Sons and Daughters of the American Revolution.  One of my great(times N) grandfathers crossed the Atlantic Ocean from England and landed in the New World in 1636.  One of my dad's cousins was an enthusiastic (and excellent) researcher and shared all her information with me.  I loved just sitting and reading about my family.

I hope you've had a week where you've noticed your favorite blessings!

Friday, March 25, 2016

Spring Break!

Last week of March.  Beginning of Spring.  Holy Week.  Easter.  So much to celebrate!  Here are my Friday Fave Fives for this week.

1.  Our little one PAL came with all her mommy's family to visit in Los Angeles.  While everyone else toured The Museum of Tolerance, we took PAL and her daddy to The Getty Center which is one of my favorite museums in the world.



2.  Saturday was spent with our PAL at Disneyland.  It was her first visit to The Magic Kingdom.  This face---she's watching the parade.



3.  I love when events and timing come together.  Dr. Mike was at a university near Disneyland for a conference and we were able to see him for a bit on Saturday evening and then again on Sunday for breakfast and lunch.  And the brothers (PAL's dad and Dr. Mike) had a couple of hours to hang out together.

4.  I'm thankful for Spring Break!  I guess my body really needed the rest since I've spend this entire week in the house sick with something. I seldom run a fever so when I do, I know I'm sick.  Fortunately, I've had the week off so I haven't missed any classes.

5.  Spring! The sun is shining.  The garden is growing. Everything is blooming.  Today I feel well enough to spend some time in the garden.  How long will it be before I can harvest some kale and spinach?

This was Willow's Week in Five short segments.  Happy Easter to everyone!  HE IS RISEN!