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Monday, November 28, 2016

It's Been A Long Time

Hello all of my friends out there in blogland.  It's been almost a month since I've posted and I haven't been commenting on other blogs either.  The reason?  That ridiculous myleogram I had.  I ended up with a leak in my spinal cord which caused a spinal headache.  If you have never had one of those, I am SO happy for you.  As long as I lay flat on my back, the headache went away.  If I lifted my head at all, even 6 inches or so, it came back.  And it's not a normal headache.  It's awful.  I spent a day in the ER while they did all the prep work to do a spinal patch, but it ended up that I asked them NOT to do it.  I didn't want another hole poked in my spine when the first one wasn't healing.  I was told it would eventually repair on it's own and I just had to stay down until that happened.  So, for 2 1/2 weeks I laid flat before it began to go away.  That is gone now, but I'm weak from laying around doing nothing for so long.

Our son Jamie and grandkids, Kyleigh and Caleb came for Thanksgiving along with a friend and her little family.  The kids were all about the same age and had a great time playing together.  Everyone helped tremendously with dinner and cleanup and I did very little.  They made me sit in the recliner and give orders.

Saturday, Dennis and I took a drive up to the lake and that was really nice.  Just to get out but it wore me out completely.  Yesterday my handsome husband preached the sermon at church and so I went for the first time in a month.  I have NEVER, EVER missed 3 weeks of church in a row in my entire life.  Even when I was born I was at church when I was 4 days old!  I'm still wobbly and dizzy and know all of the issues aren't fixed but at least that horrible headache is gone.  Would you believe after all of that, the tests came back inconclusive?  That's it though.  They aren't poking on me again. I'll just deal with the back pain.

I thought I owed you all an explanation as to where I've been.  I wasn't able to write on my phone or Ipad to comment.  I couldn't read books or knit or crochet.  You talk about a boring few weeks! But now lets move on to the fun stuff.  We had a new little preemie baby born at church just before I was laid up.  I had knit her a newborn hat, sweater and blanket but she needed an extra small hat, so I whipped one up Saturday night and she wore it the next morning in the church nursery.  Meet little Rachel Grace.  Isn't she precious?  Those are her big brother Trevor's hands patting her.  He's in love with his sister.
We chose two boys from a children's ranch in Montana to grant Christmas wishes for.  They asked for such simple things. Cheetos, socks, silly putty, soap, etc.  I decided that since it's a working ranch they could definitely use a hat too, so we included an antler toque, (hat). 
Here they are finished.  The top photo is more representative of the true color.  Yesterday we found out they still had several children who hadn't been chosen so we took another teenage boy.  I'm starting another hat today for him.  They're delivering the gifts this weekend so I need to get it done.  He asked for bookmarks, skittles, guitar picks, body wash and shampoo.  When I compare that to things I hear a lot of kids asking for these days, their wishes are so small.  Dennis and I have tried very hard to get every single thing these boys have asked for and then a few extras too.
Two more blankets put together for the Crisis Nursery.
I have six squares made for my Sock Yarn blanket.
Two more are done but need the borders.  They are time consuming but don't take any thought and are easy to take with me.
I did start another gumdrop blanket before my time laying around and haven't gotten back to it yet.  I've been busy making hats for the boys since I've been upright.  :-)
I have received some very nice surprises in the mail since my last post.  Nancy from Wyoming sent me this wonderful packet of sock yarn ends, perfect for the blanket and some tea too.  I love tea as I'm not a coffee drinker.  These little balls of yarn are so welcome and give some variety to the few colors I had from sock leftovers.  Thank you again Nancy!
A closer look. 
Sherri in Las Vegas sent me five pair of mittens to add to the back for next year.  Even after being laid up from an accident, she thought of the children and made some mittens.  How sweet was that?  Thank you so much Sherri.  We now have 12 pairs in total for next winter.  A great start!
And Kris.  Oh my goodness, Kris sent me these amazing project bags!  I mentioned to her that I had been trying to get a quilted pastel patchwork bag from an Etsy shop but by the time I found out she had listed bags, they were always sold out.  That very day Kris made me that perfect bag on the right and even embroidered my initial on it.  It's even better and more perfect colors than the ones I was trying to buy.  It's the perfect sock project bag. 

And then.  She made me a vintage camper shawl size bag!  Just look at those campers.  Kris and I share a love of camping and I can't believe she did this for me.  I'm completely blown away by her generousity.
A closer look.  Perfection.
And the camper bag has a flamingo progress keeper/zipper pull!  Is that perfect for this bag or what?
I just cannot get over how sweet this was.
You ladies have blessed me this month and may I admit, I needed it?  I was feeling very, very down and then you three showed me that I'm not alone in this big world.  Thank you all from the bottom of my banged up heart!  :-)

On Friday, we gave Christmas gifts to Jamie and the kids since we won't see them at Christmastime.  Caleb was thrilled as you can see by his smile.
Kyleigh was pretty happy too.  We were still in our jammies and they had a wonderful time playing with their gifts.
Here they are all bundled up to go home.  Gosh, it's hard to say goodbye knowing it will be months before we see them again.  We have set up google chat though, so I'll be able to keep in touch with them on their kindles now.
I mentioned we drove up to the lake on Saturday.  The wildflowers are still in bloom...or they were before last night when we received a few inches of snow here in Spokane.  That means the lake probably got even more.
Snow on the mountains but none in the valleys on Saturday.
Well, I think I've made this post way too lon,g so I'll close.  I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving if you live in the U.S. and if not, your weekend was a lovely one.

Hopefully I'll be back before too long.

"Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name."  Psalm 100:4


Tuesday, November 1, 2016

It's Already November!

Happy November 1st to you all!  Can you believe it's already November?  I can't.  It's been a year and that's all I can say.  I'm ready to begin afresh.

One bit of news.  You know how in my past few posts I've talked about rain a LOT?  Well, here in Spokane we got almost an inch more of rain in October than has ever been recorded in one month.  Not just in October, but in ANY month since they began keeping the weather records.  That's a lot of rain.  Good to know it wasn't just part of my crazy imagination, thinking we had lots. :-)

Let's start out with some cute faces, shall we?  Just some of the thank you notes from the children who received mittens a couple of weeks ago.
I love how the teachers took photos with them wearing the mittens.  How sweet and thoughtful was that?
89 pairs were taken to the school.  There are 82 first graders this year so there are a few extra pairs in case new students arrive.  I just wanted to share some of these cute faces with all of you.
Teresa, (Teresa Kasner) is making a C2C crocheted blanket and generously shared the free pattern with me.  It was so fun to make and is 38 inches square.
Here's a close up.  I admit, I cheated and used a baby yarn that was white with pastel flecks so I didn't change colors every two rows as the pattern called for.  It was MUCH quicker this way and no ends to sew in.  Nice!  This will go to the Crisis Nursery.
I completed another square for my sock blanket.  Each nine patch square is about 12x12 inches with the cream border.  I really like how these are going together and are pretty much no-thought knitting. Something I'm enjoying right now.
I had a set of salt and pepper shakers that were the mill type grinders we bought years ago while at the Oregon coast.  Well the salt mill quit working so I took it apart, cleaned it well, re-filled it and it still didn't work.  I bought new salt crystals and it still didn't work so look what Dennis bought for me this weekend.  The Pioneer Woman's S & P shakers.  I love them.  I'm going back to the "old-fashioned" shaker type.  Lots less to go wrong with them. :-)  Aren't they just happy and cheerful?
A photo of my flowers from Trader Joe's taken this morning, almost 4 weeks after I bought them.  Still looking okay but starting to wilt.  I'm buying new ones today.  These have made me very happy for almost a month.  For $3.99 I think this is quite a bargain.
Looky what else Dennis bought for me! I love this.  It's a 20 ounce mug and I've been using it everyday for my water.  Quite perfect for me wouldn't you say?  My favorite color is purple/lavender and of course my last name being Queen he couldn't go wrong with this mug.
Now for Miss Piper.  This may be overload, but being a Grandma I'm invoking my Grandma rights and sharing anyway.    :-)
Mandy made her this cute sweater last week.  I think she did an amazing job on it and Piper models it so well.  Yay!  My daughter likes to knit too!  Yippee!!!  How fun is that?!  Isn't it beautifully made?
Our little "Doc McStuffins" for Halloween.  Grandpa and I sent her this for her birthday.  We got her a set just like it two years ago but she had outgrown it.  She loves playing Doc with her babies and stuffed animals.
Daddy, (Brad) and Piper trick-or-treating.
And my girls.  I sent Mandy and Piper matching "Snappy" hats last week.  I was hoping I made the right size for Piper since the pattern didn't go that small.  I think they are both so beautiful.  And they fit.  And they like them.  It makes my heart happy.
So, today was interesting.  A mammogram with a pacemaker.  I don't recommend it.  Ha!  Oh. My. Goodness.  That was painful but done for another year.  I thought they were painful before and that didn't hold a candle to this time.  She did show me the picture in 3D of my pacemaker being squished by the machine.  Quite interesting. Ha!

Then I had a second ultrasound on my arm from the bee sting.  They still aren't sure what's going on. The radiologist even came in and talked to me.  He can't believe how swollen it still is after almost 7 weeks but didn't see any absesses or pockets of infection.  He made sure to say that I could still have infection but he can't see it with the ultrasound.

I did get out of the bone desity test that they do with physicals for us old ladies.  They realized I had one last year so I didn't need that one.  Yippee!  That would have been the only pain-free test all week and I didn't have to have it!  Oh the irony of it all.

I have the mylegram on my back on Friday so Dennis has to take the day off to stay with me.  I'm not supposed to be alone for 24 hours. No walking around afterwards for those 24 hours. Just to the bathroom.  That will give me lots of time to knit, right?

I looking forward to the new year.  A new start.  Feeling much, much better.  The past two years haven't been great healthwise, but it has given me the opportunity to appreciate my friends who have been there for me.  Driving me to appointments when I couldn't.  Praying for me.  Listening to me whine.  :-) And lots of YOU are included in that group of friends.  It's also given me lots and lots of time to knit and crochet for charity, so it hasn't been wasted time.  I look at those little children's faces wearing the mittens and I realize that God can use me wherever I am, in whatever state I am in.  And He can use you too.

I hope you're all having a lovely week so far.  I think of you all very, very often and I'm so glad for each of you.

"The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold." Psalm 18:2

Blessinsgs always,

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Still Rain

Well hello everyone!  Would you believe it is raining again?  Yes, I know I live in Washington and everyone believes it rains all of the time here, but they are thinking about the other side of the Cascade mountains and the Seattle area.  We live in what is called "high desert" and usually only have a rainy period in the spring and maybe a few small showers in the fall.  This year?  All bets are off.  So far we are in the 2nd rainiest October in recorded history.  I may need to buy a rowboat!

But, the trees are pretty  down the street.  I took this from the truck window on Monday because all of the trees in our yard are bare of leaves already.
We even have moss growing in our driveway!  That has NEVER happened in all of the years we've lived here.  I feel like I've moved to Portland.  But as long as it's raining, it's not snow so it's okay with me.  It makes for a cozy house.  Yesterday I baked a chicken and tonight I'm making homemade chicken pot pie with the leftovers.
I got out the 38year old Kenmore sewing machine to do some mending yesterday.  This machine has never been worked on and is a trooper.  I've made lots of clothes and quilts with it.  It was my very first Christmas gift from Dennis the first year we were married.  Very basic but it does the job well.
I started on next years mittens yesterday!  I forgot to mention in my last post that I delivered the mittens about 2 weeks ago and they were so happy to get them.  I received an envelope FULL of thank you notes in the mail yesterday and I'll share some of them with you next time.  We had a few days of below freezing temperatures and I wanted the children to have warm hands so I delivered them a bit earlier than last year.
I made two pair yesterday to go into the bag for next year!  I feel very good having made this start already.  And in my favorite color!
The SAL cross-stitch I did with Vicky (Stitchy McFloss) is done!  I absolutely had the best time working on this and it went very quickly.
Dennis hung it up for me last night.  A perfect place for it, wouldn't you say?  I think it will be left up all year and not just at Christmas as a good reminder to us that our hope is not in this life with it's troubles and trials.
My Trader Joe's $3.99 flowers after THREE WEEKS!  Can you believe how beautiful these flowers still are after 3 weeks?  Very worth every penny.  I just change the water every few days and trim the stems at the same time so they keep absorbing water.  Love them.
And here is Miss Pipers school picture.  She goes to Londontowne Christian Academy  for pre-school on Tuesday and Thursdays and they have this blue polo shirt as a uniform.  The picture was taken on her birthday!  She told her Mama that the lady was trying to get her to smile.  I would say she succeeded and made her laugh!  I love this little girl with my entire heart!  I miss her more than anyone can imagine.
So.  The trip to the coast.  It didn't happen.  Suffice it to say that I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired.  I'm tired of not doing any fun things.  I missed seeing my sweet friends.  They were all wonderful about it, but gosh, I was so looking forward to going.  I'm having an ultrasound done on my arm on Friday because of the sting/bite that I got five weeks ago.  It's still swollen, sore and red and the doctor thinks there could be infection deep inside.  Next Monday I have a mammogram and bone density scan.  I didn't have my mammogram last year because of the recent pacemaker surgery so he is adamant I get it done ASAP.  Then the following week I'm supposed to have a mylegram, (spelling) on my back.  Whew!  Once again, I will be glad when this year is done and over and I certainly hope next year will be better. 

I want to see my girls again.  FaceTime is great, but no substitute for actual touching and little girl kisses.  I really don't mean to complain though.  So many are so much worse off than I am.  I can still knit and crochet for other people and I have family and friends who love me.  That is a GOOD thing!  Dennis and I took a drive with Chloe to the lake on Monday when it was 70 degrees and had a nice walk.  No one was there except the guys closing up and we had nice visits with all of them.  And Dennis and I had four wonderful days together.  I miss him this week, the house isn't the same with him back at work.

I hope you are all well and enjoying the changing seasons wherever you may be.

"But I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love: for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble." Psalm 59:16