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Thursday, September 14, 2017

A Sad Week

Hello my Friends.  It's definitely been a week.  I know how hard it's been in the south with dual hurricane's and Hurricane Jose possibly on the way.  Meanwhile, it seems as though with all of that news, the fires that are STILL raging here in the northwest and the millions of acres that have burned have been forgotten.  People have lost homes, ranches, farms.  Their way of making of living is gone in a puff of smoke!  National monuments have burned to the ground and the fires still rage on.  It's been a long, long time since I have heard anyone on the news shows, other than local news, mention these people.  Lots of us know Teresa in Oregon.  She and her family have been on an Evacuation Alert Level 2 for over a week.  That means she has to be ready to leave her home and everything behind at a moments notice.  This particular fire was all because a teenage boy decided to light fireworks in tinder dry, no burn conditions.  What could lead him to take such a tragic route?

We had a school shooting here yesterday.  In the tiny town of Freeman, WA which is on the southern border of Spokane, a teenage boy shot and killed one boy who bravely tried to stop him and three girls who are hospitalized.  The boy who was killed had lost his father in June in a tragic accident.  His poor mother and sister.  No reason for the shooting is known as of yet.  Speculation runs rampant. What could lead him to take such a tragic route?

An Eagle Scout in a friends boy scout troop committed suicide Tuesday night.  He had everything going for him.  A bright young man by all accounts.  What could lead him to take such a tragic route?

There is some good news.  While nothing can be done now about the last two  tragic events to change the course of events, snow and rain is forecast in Montana this weekend, although not in the Glacier Park area where one big fire is burning.  We may get some rain next week for the first time in three months.  We've broken all records this year for the amount of days over 90 degrees straight and also for no rain.  We're all praying for downpours across Oregon, Idaho, Washington and Montana.

Our world is going crazy at a rapid pace.  My prayers go out to each and every person affected by the hurricanes, fires, shooting and deaths.  My peace comes from God.  The author of peace and love.  I hope you can also turn to Him for comfort in these troubling times.

Now, more cheerful things.  I was given two beautiful bouquets at the lake last Sunday.
Aren't they beautiful?  This one looks right at home with the vintage table cloth I found in a thrift store for a mere 50 cents a few years ago.  It really helps to makes the trailer nice and homey.
The smoke cleared a little bit for two days last weekend and it was beautiful, although you can still see a slight haze.
This is what it looks like again today!  Yuck!
So, I've been busy knitting and praying for all of the situations that I have absolutely no control over.  These were knitted with some Hobby Lobby "I Love This Cotton" that was given to me as a thank you for making the cell phone purses.  I also made another cell phone purse with this yarn but gave it away without taking a photo.  All three were made with just one skein!
The end of a ball of Knit Picks Dishie Cotton that I had left over.
These two were also "I Love This Cotton" and I made a small square washcloth which was given away at the lake.  All from one skein.  This is quickly becoming my favorite cotton to knit with.  It's so soft.
I have two pairs of socks on the needles.  I think I have figured out the magic loop method of knitting socks which will be great for airplane knitting. I can't tell you how many dpn's I've lost from dropping them on an airplane!  This is the "Petty Harbour" pattern.  It's free on Ravelry.  Knit Picks "Mocha" yarn.
I have no idea why this is so blurry.  I know the light is bad on all of the photos because it's almost dark at noon from the smoke but the blurriness is all MY fault for some reason.  :-)  These are "Monkey Socks" which is free on Ravelry and Knit Picks yarn.  I will leave these socks alone now and save them for knitting on the plane and at Mandy's house.  I've turned the heel on both, so it should be mindless knitting and easy enough for travel along with being small enough to fit in my purse.
I have reached the halfway point on the "Pimpleisse" shawl and am beginning decreases.  This might go to Mandy's too.
I can't take much carry on with me because of the weight limitations for my back, so I'm trying to find small projects to take along.  All of my clothes, etc. will have to be in a checked bag.  I usually only do carry-on, but I fear those days are over.  I'll take my medications, wallet and knitting on the plane with me and that will be about it.

I have only worked on the blanket for the Veteran's Home for two evenings but it's coming along nicely.  Each square is about 5 inches across.  I may add more rows to the length if I have enough yarn.  I think I'm gong to run out anyway and have to buy more and if that happens I will definitely make it longer.
Are you ready for a happy picture after all of the "ick" I shared with you?  Here's Miss Piper enjoying a quiet moment fishing with her other Papa in Nebraska..  This little girl has a lot of people who love her.  She informed me that she didn't catch anything but had fun anyway.
I hope I didn't upset anyone with all of the "stuff" I shared.  Sometimes life is like this.  A series of not so great things.  I think it's important to share the bad along with the good with your friends.  And I DO feel that you are all my friends.

I actually sewed a dress yesterday.  I cut it out Tuesday night.  Most of it was sewn in the morning.  Then I went to acupuncture which went very well.  I came home and put in the sleeves and hemmed it!  Oh, it felt so good to sit at my sewing machine again.  I just have to remember to pace myself and do a little at a time.  I bought material today to make two more, a sundress for next summer and a short sleeve dress.   I use the same pattern for all of my dresses but the sundress just has interfacing around the armholes instead of sleeves.  It sure makes getting dressed really easy!  I've never been a big follower of fashion trends anyway.  :-)

The verse I would love to share with you today is one that Marilyn from the blog "Mountaintopspice.blogspot.com" shared this week.  It's so appropriate and speaks to my heart today.  I hope it brings you some peace too.

"He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.  I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in Him will I trust." Psalms 91:1-2

I hope you all have a wonderful, much calmer week ahead and that you feel free turn to the One who can comfort us through anything we face.  He's just waiting for us to ask Him.

Blessings,
Betsy












Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Fire!

Hello my friends! I hope you all had a wonderful and SAFE weekend wherever you were.  The news around the U.S. is not good for a lot of people, so I'm hoping that all of you are doing well.

I'll begin with this picture of my handsome husband, (near body,) and Larry, (Far body), under our trailer.  This is how he spent our 39th wedding anniversary on Friday.  Saturday too.  We have squirrels trying to take up residence for the coming winter in the insulation under our trailer.  There was a HUGE stockpile of nuts and pinecones in the underbelly of the trailer when they opened it up.  We have tried everything, from natural predator scents sprinkled around, to moth balls and duct tape and a plastic owl to scare them away. Nothing worked.  Dennis bought some sheets of metal at work and this is him and Larry putting it underneath the front and back end of the trailer where the entry points seemed to be.  We're hoping this does the trick as they could completely destroy the trailer over the winter months.
Now for some smoke photos. You know how beautiful our view at the lake USUALLY is.  Here it was yesterday.  It just kept getting worse throughout the day...
and worse....
and worse.  I didn't even take any pictures after you couldn't see the lake anymore!  It's so bad that we lost complete internet and phone service there for the last 29 hours.  We came home this morning so we could check messages.  Somehow the smoke is interfering with the satellite transmissions to the cell towers.  Since Dennis is on vacation this week, we had planned to stay at the lake until today and then come home and get our little trailer and go to a state park outside of town for a few days.  That's not going to happen.  Spokane and Sandpoint, ID were tied yesterday for the worst air quality in the world.  You cannot breathe outside.  Dennis is on vacation and we have no where to go.  We thought of driving to Portland, OR, but their fires are horrible too.  We may just go back to the lake and sit inside the trailer and watch movies and knit. Or we may stay home all week.  We're still trying to decide.  I'm doing laundry and we went grocery shopping and then we have to decide where to go.  Lots of the smoke is coming from the Glacier Park fire but they are all around us.  Spokane is literally in the middle of a circle of fires this year.  Between floods and fires our country is having some major issues aren't we?  I'm praying for each and everyone affected by all of this.
Meanwhile, a little bit of knitting is happening.  I started this little shawl on Saturday.  It's the "Pimpelliese" Shawl and is free on Ravelry.  I have made many of these and I just love the pattern.  Lots of fun to make and they make great gifts.  I'm using Knit Picks "Mountain Pass" tonal stroll fingering yarn.  I sure hope some of our mountain passes still have some green in them like this yarn when this fire season is over. 
I am also trying the magic loop method of knitting socks for the first time.  I ordered a set of ChiaoGoo 40" circular needles from Amazon because they are known for their flexible cord.  So far so good.  I knit the cuff of the first sock yesterday and it worked very well.  This pair will be made with the "Petty Harbour" free pattern on Ravelry.  The yarn is Knit Picks "Mocha Tonal" Stroll fingering.  Apparently you can do two at a time socks using the magic loop method, but I need to see if I can do one first!  I want to knit socks on the flight to Mandy's house this month and I always drop my dpn's.  This way I'm thinking it will be much harder to lose my needle!
Another dishcloth for mindless knitting.  I'm using Knit Picks "Dishie" yarn in the "Orbit Multi" colorway.
I have had these socks on the needles for a couple of months and work on them at odd moments here and there.  They are the "Monkey Socks", also free on Ravelry and I'm using Knit Picks "Berry Smoothie Speckle", in Hawthorne fingering. 
Goodness!  I sound like a Knit Picks commercial don't I?  It sounds like that's all I knit with and I guess right now I am!

I also started a blanket for the Veteran's home and will work on it when I'm at home.  This is one evening's worth of work and I've been at the lake ever since!  Plain and simple granny squares in worsted weight acrylic yarn for ease of care.
Well, Dennis is waiting for me to take a trip to Lowes with him while the washer is going so I better get moving.  We still like to do errands together even after all of these years.  I hope you all stay safe and that fall is transitioning smoothly wherever you are.

I hope this verse gives some help to those fighting the fires and the floods.

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9

Blessings,
Betsy










Thursday, August 31, 2017

Smoke-It's still here...

...and I feel guilty even mentioning the smoke, based on what's happening in Texas and Louisiana, but it really is getting old.  As for the people in the southern U.S.  My prayers and my heart goes out to them in the terrible tragedy.  We have donated to Samaritan's Purse, who has many people on the ground assisting and they will be there for years to come.  They still have teams rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina so many years ago.  They come and don't leave until the job is done.  A very worthy organization if you're interested.  There are many more too, including the Red Cross.

As for the smoke, I had my oil changed yesterday and they showed me the cabin air filter.  It was full of soot, as was the engine air filter!  Of course they had to be changed too, but it does make you wonder what our lungs look like after breathing in even more than the car does!

On to happier things.  I finished Hayden's socks last week...
And his brother Kale's socks this week.  Both were made with half balls of sock yarn I had left over from other projects.  I wish I had some of those fancy sock blockers so they would look less wrinkled, but this is what you get.  Hayden's are for a third grader, but Kale's fit me!  And he's only 10 years old!  I think he's going to have some big feet. :-)
I also finished Piper's blanket.  When I measured it after washing it was 5 1/2 feet X 5 1/2 feet.  I thought it was 6 foot square, but this is plenty big.  I think she'll like the bright color since she chose it.
I made these dishcloths yesterday . The end of the skein was just enough for a matching coaster.  Very fallish wouldn't you say?  Since it's still in the 90's here and is predicted to stay there for the forecasted future, this is as close to fall as we'll be for a while anyway.
I cast on a shawl after I finished the socks yesterday.  Can you even consider these two rows as begun?  This is a Knit Picks yarn and the colorway is "Mountain" something.  I'll let you know in the next post and hopefully will have more progress to show in it.
I also began the first of what I hope is several blankets for the local Veteran's Home.  I usually try to take 8-10 blankets there before Veteran's Day.  This year a gentleman from our church has moved to the home.  He will be the first person to get a blanket from me.
This was Maddie last week at the lake.  Ahh!  A dogs life.  She slept like this for about 20 minutes and looked so relaxed and happy.
A faint haze of smoke, but mostly blue. This was last week.  Now it's all gray again, at least here at home.
Dennis had a coffee mug that Mandy gave him for father's day about 4 years ago.  It had his picture with all of the grandkids sitting on his lap.  They all had bed hair and were in their jammies.  It was so cute and he absolutely loved it.  He used it at work every day.  Last week he took it out of the microwave and dropped it.  He was so upset with himself.  Although I didn't have the same picture, I ordered him a new one with recent photos of the kids on it.  Here's Miss Piper, Kyleigh and Caleb are on the other side but I am not allowed to show their pictures on my blog anymore.  Suffice it to say, they are also precious and sweet.  Grandpa was so excited when he got this on Tuesday.  He actually had tears in his eyes.  He does love his grandbabies.
Miss Piper's first day of pre-school was on Tuesday.  She is SO tall!  I'm excited to see her in a few weeks.  She told me she is really liking her school and has made some friends there already.
Dennis is on vacation for a week starting tomorrow.  We had originally planned to go to Oregon with the new trailer but all of our favorite campsites are booked all the way into next weekend because of the holiday.  Then we decided to go up near the Canadian border for a few days next week.  Well, the smoke and fires may decide that's a no-no.  It's looking like we may not even get to use the new trailer until next year! 

We have to go up to the lake tomorrow and wage war with the squirrels again.  We've been fighting them for a couple of weeks now.  They've decided to make a nest in the insulation under the floor of the trailer.  We have a four seasons camper, which means it's heavily insulated for winter camping.  It also makes a cozy nest for rodents of all kinds.  We've never had an issue with any rodents until this year.  They won't give up.  We've tried all kinds of repellents and they just laugh at us.  Dennis has ordered some sheets of metal that he is going to put on the bottom tomorrow after he tries to make sure there are no squirrels actively inside.

I've got some laundry and cleaning to do before Bible study tonight.  I made zucchini bread yesterday from the zucchini's at the lake garden.  Yum!  It's not weight watcher friendly, but was still worth eating it!  I hope you all have a wonderful holiday weekend.  My prayers will continue for the people down south.

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all of our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God." 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Blessings always,
Betsy