Thursday, October 19, 2017

October, Three

I have had some posts mulling around in my head, but I haven't written them yet because, well, I am waiting for my photos to be able to be downloaded to my new computer.  We'll see if I get any up for Friday Fave Fives this week.  Every week, I join others to focus on my gratitude for the blessings in my life.  (Yes!  The Professor did his magic, and I have pictures!)

1.  This past weekend I spent both Saturday and Sunday spinning at a historical adobe site.  Each autumn, Reyes Adobe in Agoura Hills celebrates with a two day (or more) festival.  Reyes Adobe is one of the loveliest simple original adobe homes left in Southern California.  Each year, our spinning and weaving guild is invited to demo our craft at the site.  Truly, we are given The Best Spot for our demos.  We're on a patio under an arbor with a covering of grapes vines.  The staff is fantastic and the visitors are friendly and interested in what we are doing.  In addition, I am allowed to encouraged to sell my hats.  Which I did.

2.  This week, I received a letter in the mail from a former student.  Occasionally, we correspond because his mother asked me to please keep in touch with him.  I had sent him a postcard from one of our recent trips, and he responded right away.  It's obvious he is thriving in his writing and other interests.  It does a teacher's heart good to know her students are doing well.

3.  I finished the last of the seventeen scarves I am sending to be included in a holiday give away for homeless people in the LA area.  They're all boxed and ready to be sent off.  More stash used up!

4.  A long hike.  The Professor and I decided to finally drive up the coast to Summerland and hike the trails that I did with a group a couple of years ago.  I remembered most of it, but when we decided to take the shorter way back to the town from the mountains behind, we evidently turned the wrong way on one trail and ended up, and I do mean UP, the mountain which added an extra two miles to our hike.  Really, it was fun.

You can't really tell from the photo, but way out there beyond the orchard on the hill is the Pacific Ocean.  That's where we started.  If you were in downtown Summerland looking up at the mountains, you'd be looking where I am standing to take the photo (about a 500 ft rise).

5.  On the way home, we stopped and had my phone fixed.  Yeah, I dropped it and broke the screen.  The fix wasn't cheap, but the fix-it guy is local, and we were happy with his price and his work.

Since I have my photos available, here are some bonus pictures just for fun.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

More October

Hello!  I am writing on my new computer although I still don't have all my photos available.  Most of my files have been transferred and The Professor will most likely finish that task tomorrow.  Here I am to post my Friday Fave Fives.

1.  Safety in travel.  As we were leaving Humboldt County, we drove through California wine country. Yes, that wine country which has been burning in the fires.  We passed through the area Saturday afternoon.  Friends from the reunion last weekend had difficulty getting through the areas affected because they were traveling on Monday.  I am so sad for all the people who have lost family and homes.  So thankful we are safely home.

2. 3. 4.  Yes, we are happy to be home.  A wise proverb states that there are three great goods in life:  a comfortable bed, a hot shower and a good cup of coffee.  We are home and we have all three!

5.  Toward the end of this week (having recovered some from our trip) we decided to drive down to eastern Los Angeles County to visit the Southern California RV Show.  It's a long drive with horrendous traffic, but we were curious just what is available in the RV market these days.  A fave that resulted from it was that we were admitted FREE because The Professor is a (card carrying) military veteran.

Bonus:  An evening and a morning with Dr. Mike as our paths intersected in Stanford University area where he was giving a talk and we were overnighting on our trip.  I love it when serendipity happens!

I hope you have a great weekend with many unexpected blessings--watch for them, make note of them and be thankful.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Los Angeles Beach City

Redondo Beach is where a good friend of mine lives.  The city is tucked in among the beach cities south of Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).  Whenever we are down in Los Angeles, we try to get over to see my friend and her husband (who is The Professor's friend as well). In fact, when we travel, we have permission to use their driveway as our car rental space.  Their beach town is an amazing place and we love to visit.

The Redondo Beach Pier is not your typical coastal pier with one long walkway stretching straight out from the beach into the ocean.

The pier is triangular V or horseshoe U shaped.

From the Boardwalk along the beach you can walk out over the ocean and then reconnect with the pathway farther down past the parking structures.

You can fish from the pier, stroll slowly and watch the waves roll past the pilings under the pier, or stop at Tony's for great seafood. I recommend the fish and chips. Redondo Beach Pier also has a number of touristy type shops, but usually I just pass by them without giving them a glance.

There are benches where you can sit and relax and catch your breath before jumping back on your bike (please walk it through the designated 'no riding' areas) and pedaling south to Palos Verdes.

I think we need to put our bikes on the bike rack and arrange a visit (coffee?  dinner?)!

Friday, October 06, 2017

Hello, October!

Again,last week I missed posting anything.  I didn't even put up any Friday Fave Fives.  The reason is that my computer screen LED light died.  My computer works, but I can't see anything on it. [insert sad face emoji]

We have been traveling again this week. But I want to be sure to check in with Friday Fave Fives if I get nothing else posted.

1.  So my first blessing of this week is that I have a new laptop computer.  The Professor checked, used his magic hands, but in the end, he determined that even having a new light installed was not cost effective.  The local computer store had a model I liked, so I got it AND got the sale price for it.

2. I am so thankful for a husband who knows computers, having been a university lecturer in Computer Science for many years.  After we brought home the new computer, he went to work setting everything in order and beginning to move the files over from the old one.  That task is mostly finished now.  It has been interrupted somewhat by our road trip.

3. That's my third blessing.  We drove north from Southern California to Northern (truly Northern) California so The Professor can join some of his classmates for a reunion at his high school in Humboldt County.  (If you don't know where Humboldt County is, think almost to Oregon along the Pacific Ocean Coast. )

4.  Faves Four and Five reflect back to the week before when we spent a week in the mid-Atlantic area (think Washington D.C, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia) on the East Coast of the US visiting with our youngest daughter and her family.  Mostly, we simply enjoyed sharing their daily lives, but we were able to visit a few historical spots like Annapolis and Baltimore inner harbor.  Incidentally, there are excellent independent coffee shops and unique book stores in the area.

5.  We arranged our schedule so we would (almost) be there to celebrate our granddaughter's birthday.  Although it was a few days early, we had dinner and a cake and gave her her gift in person.

Did you notice--no photos?  Yeah, that part of the computer will be set up soon.  I hope.

Happy Weekend!  We will be traveling south, waving at San Francisco...

Friday, September 22, 2017


Late to the party.  I am traveling and completely missed Friday Fave Fives last week.  And now it's Friday night. Again.

So here are my Friday Fave Fives from points east of Southern California.

1.  Visiting family!  Can you believe I did not take any photos of my The New Boy who is now a big fourth grade boy?  We had a great time;  we played Super Scrabble; we walked the dog.  At least I got a photo of the dog.

2.  This is the BEST time to visit the areas east of the Mississippi River.  The leaves are beginning to turn and show their autumn colors.

3.  We love driving through the mountains-- here are fleeting photos of the Appalachian and Allegheny Mountains.  Obviously, these pictures taken from a speeding (rental) car don't show the true beauty of the mountains.  But we feasted our eyes on mountains very different from our Southern California mountains.

4.  And farm houses.

5.  The best part?  Being greeted with hugs and smiles.  "Hi Meema and Bapa!"

Friday, September 08, 2017

Friday Fave Fives #hashtagfun

Yikes! It's Friday evening and I'm finally posting my Friday Fave Fives.  Where do the days go?

1.  I found a couple of books at the friends of the library used bookstore.  Normally, I just browse my favorite area, but this week I picked up two from the gardening section.  #canthavetoomanygardenbooks

2.  Not all books are fun and entertaining.  Currently, I am reading a book which was recommended to me titled Chasing the Scream.  I'm not sure what I think about it, but the subtitle The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs told me from the first that it would challenge me.  Drugs are a problem.  What's the answer?   #warondrugs

3.  Anyone who knows me also knows I hate to shop.  However, I really really needed some casual and casual dress tops.  I live five miles from a major shopping outlet mall.  So, The Professor pushed me to go and find some new things.  Success!  Now I won't have to shop for new clothes for a long time. I hope.  #canibedoneshoppingnow

4 and 5.  This week I spent an inordinate amount of time with two different friends on two occasions.  I've been friends with one of them for forty-nine years a long time, since we met the first week of college.  The other has been my friend for thirty-one years  almost as long.  You know, we could just talk for hours, and we did.  It's refreshing to connect on that level with long time friends. #oldfriendsareablessing

How was your week?  Any books you've read?  Any goals reached (like finally buying some clothes)?
#sharethefun #fridayfavefives

Friday, September 01, 2017

Every Day Gratitude Edition

Every Day Gratitude

Gratitude doesn't have to be reserved for magnificent announcements.  It isn't only 'real gratitude' when something amazing happens.  Gratitude is an every day occurrence, an every day habit.

1.  Sometimes, gratitude is simply part of a normal every day kind of life.  Case in point.  Every morning, when my husband hands me a cup of coffee made just the way I like it, I am thankful.  I'm thankful for the coffee, and I'm thankful for a kind, caring and faithful husband. That's simple, every day gratitude.

2.  What prompted this rabbit trail of simple daily gratitude was the thought that I am thankful for air conditioning.  We poke our finger a couple of times on a gadget attached to our hallway wall, and presto magic-o, a machine starts working and the air temperature in Willow's Cottage returns to a comfortable level.  I'm thankful that I have air conditioning in my house (and my car).

3.  This week has been HOT (at least hot for us) and some of my neighbors don't have AC.  World's Best Neighbors are waiting for the AC guy to race through his work list and get theirs installed.  In the meantime, we've told them that our house is open for them ANY TIME to drop in and cool off.  Chocolate, wine or tea will be served.  We've enjoyed the impromptu conversations.  Who wouldn't be thankful for congenial neighbors?

4.  Another every day habit I am thankful for is our evening walk.  Most evenings, right around sunset, if you were to pass through my neighborhood, you'd find us out walking.   We have a nearly perfect place to walk--lots of challenging hills, a paved nature path (maybe 4 blocks?), access sidewalks to golf course paths. Our walks are usually about 2.5 or 3 miles.  I suppose that is really two things for which I'm thankful.  A pleasant place to walk and the ability to walk.  These days when it's just too hot to hike our bare mountains, it's lovely to have a way to exercise in the cooler evenings.

5.  This is supposed to be a knitting blog.  The subtitle of my blog is "Life and Knitting at Willow's Little House".  I realize that I write mostly about life, not knitting.  However, I knit every day.  Sometimes I think that it's boring knitting.  Fortunately, this week I finished this hoodie for a baby boy in our extended family.

AND...I'm working on another shawl.  This one is for me.  I admired one a friend had knitted but the pattern is no longer available.  So I found a similar pattern and have been adapting it a bit to match what I want.  Particulars are size US 6 circular needles, double strands of a made-in-France 100% acrylic fingering/sock yarn.

I am grateful that I have an every day activity which brings me such joy.

[I made good on my pinkie promise to post the Indonesian peanut sauce recipe.  If you missed it, you can find it HERE.]