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Thursday, October 19, 2017

Fall is Here!

Hello my friends.  Fall has arrived.  We went from very warm temperatures to quite chilly weather over night.  With 50+ mph winds on Tuesday, many of the leaves have been blown off of trees.  The nip in the air makes it perfect for snuggling down at home with some blankets, hot tea and knitting though, so it's not all bad. :-)

Our camping plans fell through for the weekend after we got all packed up and drove to the State Park just outside of Spokane.  Would you believe that every spot except one was taken and the one left was not one we wanted at all.  We ended up going back home, unpacking the trailer and then Dennis winterized it for the year.  We didn't get to use it at all this year.  After getting everything stored away I called my sweet friend Alicia.  She worked with me many years ago and Dennis officiated at her and Jeremy's wedding several years ago.  Their little family had planned to stop by our campsite to visit on their way home after visiting a nearby orchard and pumpkin patch.  I invited ourselves along on their adventures instead!  Here's Dennis toting the boys pumpkins and Jeremy carrying a box of apples we picked in the orchard.
Kale and Hayden don't have any grandparents close by and even though they live almost 2 hours from us, they have adopted us as stand in grandparents.
I love Alicia.  She is such a sweetheart and I love that they like to spend time with us.  We may be with them for Thanksgiving this year too.  After the pumpkin patch, they came home with us and we ate the food we had planned to use on the camping trip so it all worked out.  I had pre-cooked a lot of things so it was just a matter of warming everything up.
Since the camping trip didn't work out, we decided to take an impromptu drive to Canada for lunch on Monday.  We were hoping to see some fall color and we weren't disappointed.  First we drove to Deer Park, WA and had breakfast and then continued on our way.  This ranch looks straight out of the old west doesn't it?
Lots of color everywhere we looked.
We made it into Canada after a long stop at the border.  Either the guards were bored or we looked suspicious, because they had us exit the car and they did a full search of the car.  Since the border crossing took so long, we only had time for a quick lunch in Trail, BC before heading back towards home.  We didn't want to be driving after dark when our goal was to see autumn leaves!  I always have difficulty when the signs are in km instead of miles.  I'm not good at the math conversion.
In Rossland, BC we found a street named for us.  :-)
And this interesting horse on the corner.
On another corner was this girl riding a pig!  Rossland is a really cute little touristy town high in altitude.
We crossed back into the States with no issues at the border whatsoever and stopped in Kettle Falls,  WA at an antique store that I like.  A few of these things are in my own kitchen and I've never considered them antiques!  What does that say about my age? Ha!
This precious pile of quilts and hand crocheted doilies and table toppers was beautiful.  Since we're trying to downsize, I didn't buy a thing, but the prices were unbelievably inexpensive.  A hand crocheted table topper about 28 inches in diameter was only $10.  That is just so sad to me.  So much work by someone and then sold so cheaply.
I've been knitting on a pair of men's socks since Monday.  They are for Jeremy and he wears size 11.5 shoes!  These socks are seriously huge!  As you can see, I ran out of yarn before I finished the toe on the first sock and knew I had to go by more yarn.  I had thought one 50g skein of Patons Kroy per sock would do it and that is turning out to be not nearly enough.
Here it looks like the pair is almost done, but don't be fooled.  I messed up on the top one and did the toe and kitchenered it closed before I measured. Two inches too short!  Oh no!  Rookie mistake.  (Did I mention above that I'm not good at math?)  They fit Dennis but not Jeremy, so off I went to buy MORE yarn and now I have two more socks to make.  I blame it on 1:00 a.m. knitting and tired eyes.  I read the measuring tape completely wrong somehow.  Oh well.  They will both get a new pair of socks and they can match each other. Ha! 
Our princess has been sick this week.  She even had to miss pre-school yesterday.  She was the snack helper and that's a big deal so she was disappointed.  Mandy tells me that today her fever is gone today and she seems somewhat better.  The "bugs" seem to be starting early this year. 
Dennis has one last vacation day tomorrow so we're planning to meet with our financial advisor in Coeur d'Alene, ID in the morning to sign some papers.  We're hoping the weather cooperates and we can play tourist and take a walk around the resort and the boardwalk on Lake Couer d'Alene.  We haven't been there all summer except for just driving through town.  For those of you who don't know, it's a town that the "rich and famous" like to play in.  Lots of Hollywood types have homes in or near Coeur d'Alene.  It really is a beautiful place.  If it rains as forecast we'll have to come up with a plan B.  I refuse to complain about rain after the dry summer we had. :-)

I want to get these socks off the needles so I can start on a test knit I've been asked to do for my dear friend Taci in Portland.  She wants to publish it soon so I have GOT to get busy.  But I promised Jeremy these socks by next weekend when we drive to Moses Lake, WA to watch Hayden's basketball game.  My hands are hurting from these little needles and the wool.  I think I need a break from socks for awhile.  I've been making a lot of them lately.

Oh, I almost forgot to tell you that I delivered 89 pairs of mittens to the school yesterday.  I forgot to take a picture though.  It was down from the 100+ pair last year, but they were still very happy to get them.  I think with the cold weather we're having lately, they will be needed very soon.  Everything was covered in frost the past few mornings.

I hope you all have a lovely week and are enjoying the change of seasons.

"And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him." Colossians 3:17

Blessings always my friends,
Betsy











Thursday, October 12, 2017

Home!

I'm home!  I tried, I really did try to comment on all of your lovely posts but I finally gave up.  I did read most of them and hopefully, starting today, I'll be back in a somewhat normal pace of life.  But, oh, how I miss my girls!  Being torn between two places is pretty hard.  I couldn't wait to be back with Dennis, but now I'm missing Mandy and Piper.

It was a beautiful flight to Omaha.  I had a layover in Minneapolis each direction and, I must say, people were really nice there.  I had a little over two hours with each layover, timed right at mealtime so I picked up some very unhealthy airport food, and the people working there were so nice.  The wheelchair pushers I met in the concourses and the golf cart drivers who whisked by me as I walked always smiled and said hello and have a nice day.  It really gives me hope that the world isn't nearly as bad as the news would have us believe.
Look at this face!  I mean, really.  Who could resist that smile?  Not this Grandma. :-)
There was a sign outside her preschool classroom on her birthday.
Mandy and I made these tutu's for the little girls who came to the family party.  Mandy did most of the work.  All I did was sew the waistbands.  She painstakingly tied each piece of tulle onto the waistband.
Then she clipped them to a ribbon tied to the railing.  We made them different sizes to fit the different girls attending.  The tiny one second to the left is for a 6 month old.  Isn't it precious?  They were a definite hit with the girls.
Piper got a Belle dress up dress from Dennis' Mom, Pipers great-grandma.  To say that was a great gift for her would be an understatement.  She loves Belle.  Here she is sitting on her great-uncles lap,  (Brad's uncle) showing us their matching clothes. They definitely have lots and lots of family around in Omaha.  Quite a difference to when they lived in Maryland.
One of her birthday gifts was this fairy garden.  Mandy had to work the day after I got there so Piper and I had fun with the garden.  She painted the dish and some of the ceramic pieces and then we planted the grass and other seeds.  This was growth after just 8 days or so!  It really is quite magical when you think about it. 
I think she did a beautiful job.
When I got home late Tuesday night I found out fall had arrived while I was gone.  The trees were still green in Omaha but this is what greeted me here in Spokane.
Gorgeous!
After Piper was in bed in the evenings, Mandy and I spent time knitting together while watching Netflix.  Here I am all comfy on the loveseat with both of her cats.  Amelia and Franny always remember me and love to sit and sleep with me.  If you look closely there is a cat on my lap and one of the arm of the loveseat.  They look just alike and blend in with the furniture.  They are great cats and are getting up there in years, but they always remember Grandma!
I finished a pair of Hermione socks and left them for Mandy without remembering to take a picture.  I finished these on the plane home and they are the Petty Harbour pattern.  Sorry it's a bit blurry.  It's very overcast and the lighting is awful today.
I bought this yarn at Hobby Lobby to make a chemo cap for a friend at church who was diagnosed with Leukemia. 
And this is a mystery project that I began yesterday.
All was not roses when I got home.  Our neighborhood had some issues with unruly teenagers over spring break.  While I was gone, last week virtually every house for a 3 block stretch was "egged" including ours.  All of the neighbors have an idea of who may have done this but no proof.  Then, at 2:15 am Wednesday morning, after I got home from the airport late Tuesday night, we woke up to someone hitting the front of our house with bats or sticks, by the time we got our wits about us and got to a window, they were running down the street.  We went outside and this greeted us.
They had broken both of the lights by our garage doors.  The infuriating thing is that we had just replaced the old lights with these last month.  They automatically go on and off with sunset and sunrise and were not inexpensive.  I had to go buy two more yesterday and Dennis will replace them tomorrow. 
I talked to several neighbors yesterday and apparently we were the only ones hit with the vandalism this time.  Eggs to bats.  It sure sounds like things are escalating.  My question is, "Where are the parents?"  Who lets their kids roam at 2:15 in the morning?  The lady that lives across the street from the teen everyone believes is the "ringleader" says that he comes and goes at all hours and has already broken several windows in their house this week.  The police won't do anything because we don't know without a doubt who is doing it.  I filed a Crime Check report but they told me nothing will be done.  They don't even send the police out over vandalism.

We have lived here over 15 years and never, ever had any problems before.  It's always been a very quiet neighborhood and this makes me just sick.  I'm almost afraid to go to sleep now.  Not a great welcome home.

On a much happier note, we're hoping to take the small trailer out for this weekend before winterizing it.  Dennis closed up the lake trailer while I was gone so that's done for the year.  We really would like to use the little trailer at least once this year, but snow is falling pretty close to home today.  We'll see what happens.

I had a good time while in Nebraska.  I was able to spend a lot of time with Mandy, Piper and Brad.  Mandy started working every other weekend as an RN so Piper will be at home with Daddy those weekends.  A nice arrangement with no need for daycare.  And there is family to fill in when needed.  I'm happy about that.

I also spent a day with my sister and we drove to the very southern edge of Nebraska to Beatrice and visited our aunt who has recently had to move into an assisted living facility.  I try to visit Aunt Joyce when I go back home, but was unable to go when we were there in July so I was really looking forward to this visit.  I also saw my cousin who is only 11 days younger than I am.  We grew up together so that was a special treat too.  :-)

Dennis' brother was also visiting from Florida and I hadn't seen him in over 10 years!  We were able to have lunch together too.  I also had several visits with Dennis' mom and sister.  Family is such a blessing.  Because everyone lives there, we are struggling with the decision of where to live after retirement.  We love Spokane, but family is family.  Decisions must be made.

Now I need to get some cleaning finished before Bible study here tonight.  It's good to be home, my friends.  I'll try to catch up with you all soon.

"Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace.  And be thankful."  Colossians 3:15

Blessings,

Betsy

















Thursday, September 21, 2017

Rain!

Hello my friends!  We have rain!  Blessed rain!  I know that many people are inundated with water, but we desperately needed rain and it has been coming down sporadically for several days now.  It's wonderful.  I think it is forecast to be over with as of today for the foreseeable future, but it helped with the smoke and dust so much.  Our air quality is "good" for the first time in months.  We are so thankful for that.

My prayers are definitely with the people in the south and in Puerto Rico right now and with the people in Mexico too.  So many needs.

I finished this crocheted twin size blanket last night.  I washed it this morning and Dennis and I will deliver it to the Veteran's Home to our friend tomorrow when Dennis has a day off of work.  He has two more days off before the end of October and he will have used up his vacation days.  I have so enjoyed having him home on most Friday's for the past couple of months and it will be hard having him at work all week again!  These are just simple granny squares joined with the "join as you go" method.  Double crochet around four times for the border.  I thought Bob would appreciate a simple border.
I have worked on a few dishcloths and a baby blanket that is in the trailer at the lake so that's all the photosI have to show for progress.

I did decorate for fall this week though.  I sorry the photos are a bit dark because of the rain, but here you go anyway.

I bought these two sprigs of leaves and flowers and the pumpkin at the dollar store yesterday.  Total spent $3.00!  I think it looks nice.  That's a picture of Dennis and I at our 25th anniversary party which was *gasp*, 14 years ago!  Oh my goodness!  It was Hawaiian themed and we went to Hawaii a few months later.  We wanted to wait until it was snowing here so we could really enjoy being away. :-)
On the shelf under the TV.  I know, we should probably hide those wires, but they don't bother either one of us so they just hang there.
I bought the pumpkin at the 70% off sale a few years ago at Michaels.  The leaves are from the dollar store last year.  A big bag for $1.00.  You'll see them throughout my fall decorations.  Of course my grandchildren's pictures stay out all of the time so I can see their sweet faces.  Oh, how I love them.
The "Give Thanks" block was bought at Hobby Lobby this week.  It was $2.99 and 40% off of that.  When I got to the check out stand, she took ANOTHER 40% off because of what she called wear on the corners.  I think it's supposed to be like that.  I didn't ask for anymore off and offered to pay the normal sale price.  So I think I paid around $1.00 or so for it.
This was a dollar store find this week too.
I made this pumpkin a couple of years ago out of a book I had read and had two copies of.  I love it.  The flowers are from the garden at the lake last week.
A sign from a few years ago and the crocheted autumn leaf garland I made a while back.
The ceramic pumpkins are from last year at Michaels and the burlap one is from the dollar store.
I've had all of this on the table by the front door for a few years.  Nothing new to see here! :-)
Oops!  I guess this isn't a fall decoration.  It's Sophie!  She's been here for a week now.  Nita and Larry are on a New England cruise and Hurricane Jose is putting quite a kink in the ships cruising plans.  They have had to skip at least one port because of high seas and when Nita emailed me yesterday, the ship was rocking and rolling out at sea.  I do enjoy having Sophie here.  She acts as if she's at  home, which I guess in a way she is.  We spend a lot of time with her between here and at the lake.  They are due to be home Monday morning and I leave on Tuesday.  I'll miss her cuddles but when I get to Omaha I'll have Mandy's two cats and sweet Polly dog.
I probably won't be posting for a couple of weeks because my phone will only do pictures, but I will try to keep up with your blogs.  I'm going to be flying to Omaha on Tuesday until October 10!  Piper turns 5 on September 29 and I get to be there!  Gosh, it's been a long, long time since I flew anywhere.  I feel as if the world is being opened up to me again.  Maybe I will be able to go to Japan and see Alex again sometime.  Please pray that my heart does okay on the flight and the vibrations don't cause the tachycardia to kick in.  I have no fears about it because I've been doing so well.

I've also gone to acupuncture three times this week for my feet and she's worked on my back too.  They are both feeling better, but especially the muscles in my back even though she can do nothing to the bone itself, I am so thankful for her.  She's such a sweet young lady and she's so good to me and very thoughtful.

I've got to get busy around here.  We had a potluck for the senior ladies at church today at noon that I was in charge of and tonight we're having a potluck at our house for 19 people.  Who planned that on the same day?  Me?  Oops!  I didn't look at a calendar before planning it and goofed up.  Oh well.  I just made double the food and it actually will probably end up being easier this way.  Tonight we're having a baked potato bar and chili since it's turned so much colder.

Did I mention that it was 34F this morning?  Last week it was 97F.  The roller coaster weather of fall has begun.  We're going out to the trailer tomorrow for the night and I'll start bringing some food and clothes home.  That way if Dennis has to close it up while I'm gone he won't have so much to do.

I hope you all have a lovely weekend.  If you're in England, are you going to Yarndale?  I think that would be so much fun.  Maybe that could be on my bucket list.  :-)

"But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law." Galations 5:22-23

Blessings,
Betsy