Friday, March 16, 2018

Mid March Happiness

It is time to be back on schedule and at Willow's Cottage, scheduling includes doing my
each week.  Yes, I missed last week, but I am back and ready to jump in again.

1.  I'm very thankful for Gypsy Cold Care tea and echinacea drops.  Fortunately, my cold did not materialize in a nasty way. I credit my herbal teas and drops.

2.  I'm thankful that I was feeling great by Monday because I received a Very. Important. Visitor. My sister-in-law arrived for a five days visit!  We have been buds since high school and then she married my beloved brother and so became my sister-in-law.  Am I not the most fortunate person?  My relative by marriage is a favorite friend!

3.  Sister-in-law had never been to Santa Barbara so although it was raining cats-and-dogs, we decided to go ahead and show-her-the-town.  Our destination was Santa Barbara Botanic Garden and we drove past Santa Barbara Mission.  Usually people don't photograph lovely places in the rain, but I think they are still beautiful.

4.  You know that friend who you can laugh with about most anything?  That's my sister-in-law and me.  When you've been friends since you were fourteen, you have a lot to laugh about.

5.  Daily walks, even in the rain, were favorite activities for both of us.

Oh! And the rain!  Yes, I am thankful for RAIN!

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Back Up

Thank you, everyone, for your encouraging words and for checking in.  I am fine, now.  I wasn't very sick or for very long, but I needed to get healthy fast because I had a reunion to attend AND I have company.  Here's a little happiness to share:

Always make sure you are headed in the right direction.

Watch for the small things--like a tiny feather on a hummingbird sage.

Friday, March 09, 2018

Heads Up

Or rather, heads down.  If you happened by today to say hi and check in on my usual Friday Fave Fives, I'm sorry I haven't posted.  I'm on the edge of getting sick and trying to rest.  Hopefully, I'll be back in a day to catch up.

Thursday, March 01, 2018

In Like a Lion?

March.  A new month.  Here at Willow's Cottage in Southern California, it looks like March will be coming in like a lion tonight with a strong winter rainstorm.  We are not complaining as we desperately need the rain although much of Santa Barbara County just to the north of us is under mandatory evacuation.  We're hoping there will not be a repeat of January's devastation.

And this first Friday in March here are my Friday Fave Fives--with Susanne at Living to Tell the Story who hosts us every week as we reflect on our blessings.

1.  I do love March for a couple of reasons.  It's my birthday month and it's SPRING which means spring flowers.  These flowers are blooming in my garden right now.

                         That come before the swallow dares, and take
     The winds of March with beauty.
                                    William Shakespeare

2.  I love books and saw this on facebook.  I understand that Kindles and audio books have their place, but I love a REAL book.

Benefits of books
 no glare
    no battery
                                                         dog ears (I don't do that; I use a book mark)
          no pop up ads
                                                probably won't get stolen at the beach
      smells good

3.  March also means my garden is beginning to take shape.  Along with last week's tomato plants, I now have snap peas and kale planted.  And the spinach seeds have been put in the starter pods.

4.  The Professor and I took a little break and enjoyed an outing for a coffee.  We each had our drink and a book.  Often, it's those quiet moments that are most refreshing.

5.  Speaking of coffee, I visited a new-to-me coffee place, meeting up with a friend who asked me for help with a knitting project.  Believe it or not, that coffee place is only three miles from my house and I'd never been there.

Friday, February 23, 2018

February Faves

Friday Fave Fives

Even if I don't post anything else on my blog during the week, I think it's important to share my Five Faves of gratitude every Friday.  Susanne hosts this weekly group of thankful people HERE

1.  Yes, more hiking faves this week.  The Professor and I are taking advantage of the days when our weather is warmer.  I realize that warmer is a relative term. My apologies to all people suffering with snow.  Our 'cooler' temperatures are more like balmy-ish spring days for many.  It did get down to FREEZING here over night a couple of nights.  But we do try to fit in hikes when we can.  One afternoon we walked from the local mall to where we thought we could enter the Conejo Valley Botanic Garden only to discover a locked gate.  So we returned to our car and drove around to the entrance and hiked for just a bit there.  The garden is small but is connected to a park and baseball field.

2.  We had heard that there was a path on the south side of Calleguas Creek but had never found the entrance point for the lower section of it.  So one day we set out to explore.  We hiked along the edge of the dry creek bed

and came out on a major road.  Thinking we could continue east, we were deterred by this:

Oh well, it was a great hike and we learned more about our city's walking paths.

3.  Gifted yarn.  Other people's leftovers become more hats.  This yarn will soon be turned into NICU and children's hats.  Already I have made a few and sold several (six!) NICU hats to a friend who will gift them to her pastor's new premmie son.

4.  I love those texts that say, "Hey, do you have time to skype with PAL?"  Of course!  We always have time to skype with our sweet grandgirl!

5.  We scored two plants of our favorite cherry tomatoes.  The local hardware/nursery had just put them out that day and we just 'happened' to stop by to look for something else and spotted them.  They're already planted and thriving.

So that was Willow's Week of Wonderful Blessings.  How was your week?

Friday, February 16, 2018

February Faves

Friday!  The end of the week!  It's time to look back at how I've been blessed this week.  Susanne hosts a group of thankful people each week on her blog.  Join in if you want with your own 

1.  My decision made, we purchased this camera.  I chose a 'point and shoot' again because I just don't want to expend the necessary energy it would take to learn to use a dslr camera.  I'm satisfied.  I've taken quite a few photos and finally figured out how to upload them to my computer.
Canon PowerShot SX730 Digital Camera w/40x Optical Zoom & 3 Inch Tilt LCD - Wi-Fi, NFC, & Bluetooth Enabled (Black)
2.  I just started a new thing.  Every day, I am writing a short diary entry just about what I did that day.  I'm not much of a journal person, but I recalled that my grandmother and my mother didn't write in journals; they simply recorded their daily activities, especially if they were on a vacation or extended trip.  So I decided to just write a simple summary of my day.  So far, it has been working for me--that is, I haven't abandoned the effort yet and it has been almost a week (which may be a new Willow record).

3.  Since I can check my diary and remember what I did during the week, I can report here that on our evening walk the other night, I was struck with just how much I enjoy walking in the evenings.  I think we began this tradition more than twenty-five years ago when that was the only time The Professor and I had any downtime.  I know that even now it is refreshing for us to walk in the moonlight and starlight.

Walking into the sunset

4.  Do you celebrate Lent? (Does one celebrate Lent or observe Lent?)  Most years, I contemplate a way to observe this season, either by giving up an activity or food or by including something in my daily routine--like reading a devotional or inspirational book.  This year I have chosen two things.  First, I am spending some time each day in decluttering my home.  One day it was accumulated papers.  Another day, I finally organized the coin collection books and so was able to 'declutter' a bunch of duplicate pennies I've been planning to check. [note here:  I've been a coin collector since I was a wee girl and my uncle taught me about collecting coins.]

5.  Another thing I'm doing this Lenten season is read a devotional book.  My artist group is joining together and we are each reading a different book and then sharing what we are learning each week.  My choice is Henri Nouwen's book The Return of the Prodigal Son.  Although the others are familiar with him and his writings, Nouwen is a new author for me.

a couple of fun photos, just because.

Friday, February 09, 2018

Walks and Talks

It's been a warm week at Willow's Cottage.  Literally.  The temperatures have been way higher than is normal.  Shirt sleeve weather.  So I did get some gardening clean up done.  Mostly, though, I just did 'the usual'.  But even in not-so-interesting-just-regular weeks I can find so much to be grateful for.  Here are Five Faves from my week.  Friday Fave Fives is a great way to focus my attention and be thankful.

1.  I've been contemplating the camera purchase.  For some reason, I just couldn't settle on what I wanted.  Knowing that a DSLR camera takes better photos, I was thinking of moving up to that.  But.  I am not sure that right now I want to put in the hours and hours of tackling the new technology I would have to learn to be up to speed on it.  Every time I'd think about it I would not have the excited and anticipatory feeling I ought to have; it was quite the opposite.  This week a friend was telling me about a hard decision she made because she kept feeling anxious and not excited about the situation and decided she needed to step away from it.  She made me stop and think---hmmm, that's how I'm feeling about the step up to the new camera.  Her comments helped me decide.  I really appreciated that.  So this weekend I'll be getting a simple upgrade on the same kind of Canon I have had for the past several years.  I truly can't wait to photograph the shawl I have almost finished!

2.  The second comment someone else made this week encouraged me.  She noted, "God is always at work behind the scenes."  That gives me comfort and confidence.

3.  This week I was out to the blueberry lady's ranch twice.  On Super Bowl afternoon, we took BYOD (Bring Your Own Dinner) and enjoyed football (the guys), burritos (all four of us), and a walk around the ranch (the girls).  Then on Tuesday morning, I drove out there again to walk with my friend and encourage her to get back into exercising.  By the way, the blueberries are mostly gone, having been replaced by strawberry fields.  Such is life in the agricultural world.  (So does that mean that Blueberry Lady is now Strawberry Lady?  Maybe I should just call her Ranch Lady.)

4.  Have I ever mentioned ginger turmeric tea?  Oh my!  It's marvelous!  We've been drinking a mug each most every day.  There's no caffeine, so we can enjoy it in the afternoon.

5. Last weekend we were invited to dinner at the home of a young couple in our church.  Their two children have been in the 'babies' room where we occasionally volunteer on Sunday mornings so we have gotten to know this sweet family.  It was a delight to spend time with them and their two little ones.  Now I'm looking forward to reciprocating and pulling out the grandkids' toys for the littles to play with.  When your grandchildren don't live within 500 miles of you, it's a delight to pretend to be surrogate grandparents once in a while.

Enjoy your weekend!  Will you have snow or rain or sun in the forecast?