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Monday, December 31, 2012

Completion!

I've finished a couple of projects while here in Portland. Please excuse the wrinkles etc. as I have no way of blocking/starching anything here. But, I'm excited to show everyone what I finished.

First is the Farmhouse shawl I started on our drive to Portland last Saturday. It's for me! Yep. I'm keeping this goodie. It was just supposed to have 1 row of crochet edging, but I added 10 because of my long arms. I wore it to church yesterday and it was cozy and warm on a very chilly morning. I made it specially to wear when knitting by the fire in the evenings.

Next are Teresa's Scandinavian hearts. We bought the thread when we went shopping together on Friday. I made all 12 out of 3 skeins of thread in about 3 hours last night. I'm looking forward to starching them them when I get home and finding a way to decorate for Valentine's day with them. I may try to make a few more as gifts. They are quite addicting! Thanks Teresa!

Have a lovely Monday and Happy New Year! Stay safe everyone.

Blessings,
Betsy






Saturday, December 29, 2012

Friends & A Baby!

Happy Saturday friends! I'm still in Portland playing with Piper and her parents. But I slipped away yesterday for a fun afternoon with Gracie, Teresa and my new friend Taci. They are all bloggers who live here in the Portland area. Whenever I visit we try to get together. Unfortunately the picture I took of us all was with my 'real' camera and not my iphone so I have no way of showing you. I also need to try to learn how to embed links here so you can see their blogs too. They are all amazing women and have beautiful blogs. Mine is not nearly so interesting.

I did get a picture of the lovely gifts we exchanged. Gracie made a lovely snowflake based on Matt's blog. Taci crocheted me a beautiful bird of her own design. Teresa gave us all miniature skeins of glittery yarn. What fun!

Teresa gave us all tips on how to blog from our phones so it was s "working" lunch. :-). After lunch and lots if fun chatter, Taci headed to an appointment and Gracie, Teresa and I headed to the JoAnn's superstore. What fun we had there. Gracie captained the cart and we all proceeded to fill it full of goodies. I bought yarn, (big surprise there), supplies to make wreath pins and the thread to make some of Teresa's scandinavian hearts for Valentine's day.

I couldn't leave without a picture of Piper in her Christmas dress. Isn't she adorable?

The stockings I made for Brad and Mandy their first Christmas together. Piper's was obviously new this year. The yarn matched up very well don't you think?

Enjoy your weekend friends and I'll be back soon with a picture of my finished shawl.

Blessings,

Betsy





Thursday, December 27, 2012

In Portland!

We had a lovely Christmas here at Brad & Mandy's house. We were able to skype with Alex in Japan and talked to the rest of our family too. Dennis flew home to Spokane late last night and left the car for my use here. He 's back at work this morning. :-(. I miss him already.

Mandy went in to work today for the morning. It's her first time back to work, (other than answering and sending emails), since little Piper was born. It was a traumatic morning for mommy. She goes back full-time next week. Grandma's enjoying her princess. She's sleeping right now and looks like an angel.

Here are a couple of Piper pictures for you. Grandpa monopolized her most if the weekend, but I get her now!

Tomorrow I'm having lunch with blogging friends Gracie and Teresa and I'm hoping to meet Taci too. It will be such fun.

I hope you all had a blessed Christmas and plan for a safe and happy new year.

Blessings,

Betsy



Thursday, December 20, 2012

More Snow!


This is what I woke up to today. Nice and only half of the predicted 8-10 inches. We received around 4-5. I went out and snow-blowed half of our driveway, up and down the sidewalks on both sides of the street and then went home to finish our driveway. The cable "thingy" that makes the snow "blow" out of the machine broke. NO!!! This was no light powdery snow. It's wet and heavy and I ended up shoveling the other half of the driveway. Not what my cold, coughing body wanted, but what do you do?


Now I'm inside with a load of laundry in the washer and I'm getting ready to spend what's left of the morning sewing a new dress. I made one yesterday and did some mending. I think I've finally found a pattern I like. It's hard to find modest type clothing in the stores these days so my sewing machine will be put back into use.

I also need to vacuum and dust as tonight is our annual Bible study Christmas potluck and gift exchange. We do that thing where you can "steal" the gift three times but no more than that. We always have fun and this is our 19th year!!! I'm making my homemade chicken and noodles by request of nearly everyone. That means the sewing and cleaning have to be done early on so I can roll and cook noodles.

Here is the O Holy Night dishcloth I forgot to photograph for the last post. It was snowing Tuesday when I took this picture and the light was horrible. The pattern is free on Ravelry. The yarn is actually white if that tells you how bad the picture is! :-) I'm going to try to make a years worth of dishcloths in 2013 for four people on my Christmas list. That's 48 dishcloths! Oh my! On top of my usual amount for my Christmas basket. I think I'l have sore hands from all that cotton yarn.


This is one of the baby hats that I made the other night while watching a Christmas movie. I took a big bag of them to the hospital a week or so ago and now need to start a new stash of them.



I've also finished three more adult hats for Blessings Under the Bridge. That you to Barbara who emailed me and wants to help with this worth project. Barbara has made lots of baby hats in the past and sent them to me for the hospital. As the saying goes, "Many hands make light work!"

And now, I'm off to start sewing. I'm thinking of actually knitting a shawl for myself after Christmas. What do you think? Can I make one for me or will I end up giving it away?

In case I'm not back before Christmas, have a very, very blessed time, remembering our Saviour's birth.

Merry Christmas!

Blessings,

Betsy

Monday, December 17, 2012

Soggy Monday

Good Monday morning to you all. I'm finding it somewhat difficult to settle in and write a post, do laundry, errands, etc. My heart is heavy, knowing that the first funerals are today for those precious children that have been lost to their families at Christmastime. There would never have been a good time, please don't misunderstand me, but at this time of year, when the world is celebrating with joy the birth of our saviour, it just seems especially cruel. I've tried not to watch much news this past weekend, because I found myself getting bogged down in depression over the state of our world. I'm not in denial over what happened, but I've decided that I want to continue to live my life in giving to God, to others and trying to bring joy into others' lives. I can't do that if I let myself give up and that's what I began to do as I watched the endless news reports. I like to try to remember what my priorites are by remembering the word JOY. J-Jesus first. O-Others next. Y-Yourself last. When I remember that, all seems to fit in my life.

So, in that spirit, on with the post to you, my friends. First of all, I expected to wake up to about 8 inches of snow this morning. We were in a winter storm warning overnight and today. We did get about 4 inches on Saturday night that hubby snow-blowed before church yesterday. Then, about 2:00 in the afternoon it started snowing again. We were right on the line where it wasn't sure if the temps would warm up and be rain instead, but it was pretty sure that Spokane would have snow. Guess what. The winds are blowing from the south at about 50 mph, that's right, 50 mph. We're in a wind warning now!!! The snow has all melted from the warm wind and although it's a dreary day, I was able to run my errands this morning because...there was no snow!! I really detest snow. I know, I know. People dream of white Christmases. Not me. Palm trees and green grass would be fine with me. I loved the decorations in Hawaii the past few years although it does seem a bit surreal to see Santa in a palm tree!

Here are a few of my finished object from the weekend.


This first picture is of two more wheelchair wraps for the nursing home. I just laundered them this morning and they will be delivered tomorrow.


Another hat for the homeless here in Spokane. It will be donated to "Blessings Under the Bridge" I took three more hats to a friend this morning. She's in a group that is packing 40 backpacks for homeless teens here in Spokane. The hats will be added to the packs.


This is a favorite decoration of mine. Hubby bought it for me last year when we were on Maui. It is a real starfish and was made by a 1st grade class as a fundraiser.



These last two pictures are of the ornament I made for Piper's first Christmas. I also made two for Kyleigh and Caleb and took them to Montana last weekend. They were very happy to get them.

Over the weekend I also made two 6 inch granny squares for a comfort blanket for a friend on Ravelry. Several of us are making squares in her favorite colors and they will be put together into an afghan that was crocheted/knitted while we prayed for her and her family in difficult times. I mailed them off this morning before I remembered to take a picture.

Also started and finished was a knitted a dishcloth in the "Oh Holy Night" pattern. I'll take a picture and post it next time as I also forgot it.

Apparently I did get a lot done this weekend as I nursed my cold in my recliner in front of the fire. I'm trying to get rid of it before I see little Piper again. I'm afraid Mommy won't let me near her if I'm sick so I'm trying my best to get it to go away.

I hope you're all having a lovely day and are enjoying the preparations for Jesus' birthday. That IS the reason we even celebrate Christmas. Please don't forget to invite Him to your celebration.

Many Blessings,

Betsy

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Some finished objects!

Happy Tuesday!

We have another inch or so of snow on the ground this morning with 4-6 forecast for tonight so I'm thinking I need to get my errands done today so I can stay home and play, (knit), tomorrow. How does that sound to everyone? Here are a few things that I've finished in the last week.



These first two pictures are of a throw I knitted for my Secret Sister at church. I'm pretty sure she doesn't read my blog so I'm not giving anything away! :-) You should be able to see "blocks" of knit and purl stitch. I'm not very happy with the varigated yarn being used in this stitch pattern and think it would look much better in a solid color. I made a solid red one for daughter Mandy a year or so ago and the blocks showed up much better.


This odd looking thing is a wheelchair wrap. It is designed to wear around your shoulders and not get caught in the wheels of the chair. I'm taking it to give to one of the ladies at the nursing facility this morning. If the nurses like it, I'll make more for the other ladies who always seem to be cold, no matter how warm it is. I would like to adapt the pattern a bit and make it less heavy on the shoulders, but I'm afraid it may lose some of it's warmth if I do that.


And the last picture is of two hats I knitted for the Blessings Under the Bridge charity here in Spokane for the homeless. I have another hat on my needles now and that's all I have going. I seem to have reached a point where I would like to read instead of knit. I do that once in awhile, I think my hands need a rest. They get stiff and sore and when that happens I only knit or crochet for an hour or so in the evening and then read for awhile. My body seems to let me know when my hands need that rest. A good friend brought a shopping bag full of books to me about a month ago and I haven't read any of them yet. They are a mix of fiction and non-fiction. We seem to have the same taste in literature and we share a lot of books. Yesterday I pulled out the top book which is on the Nickol Mines Amish school shooting. Very sad. I've only read a couple of chapters, but it looks like it will provide a lot of insight into the Amish way of life.

Yesterday I made dinner for the lady at church who just had a baby. The chicken & noodles, biscuits and garden green beans all turned out well. I made enough for Dennis and I to have for dinner too. Instead of cookies, I ended up making zuchinni brownies. Yum! We had them warmed up last night for dessert along with vanilla bean ice cream. Just what my waistline needed. :-)

Okay dear friends. I'm off to the nursing home. Pray for me as I slip-slide around town today.

Blessings,

Betsy

P.S. Did you notice that I finally figured out how to do breaks in my paragraphs again? Hallelujah! I'm so computer illiterate that it's amazing I figured this out all by myself.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Montana!







Good Monday Morning to you my friends. It will be a short post today and I'll try to get back later with some finished object pictures. Hubby and I were supposed to leave for Helena, MT Friday afternoon but a winter storm warning was posted, said storm swept in and we waited until Saturday morning. The wait didn't make the trip much better though. It was still a winter storm warning when we left and we drove through horrendous conditions. All of this was to see our precious grandbabies for just one day and take them their Christmas presents. The normal 4 1/2 hour drive took about 6 hours. Then, yesterday the drive home was forecasts to be with sunny skies. HA!!!!!! Snow, sleet, freezing rain. Accidents galore. It took 7 hours to get home yesterday. We dropped Chloe off at home and went to the Olive Garden for dinner and washed the digusting mess that was my car. Icky! My pale blue CRV was literally black from the road goo. This morning I woke up to the driveway socked in with more snow and ice. So, the first picture is of our son. He had the message/sermon time in church yesterday which was an added bonus to our trip. He has grown into a wonderful man of the Lord and we're very pleased. The sermon was wonderful, based on a book about being a fan or a follower of Jesus? Big difference. Huge difference. He also lead the song service and we felt very blessed to be there. The other pictures were of some of the snow on our drive Saturday. I was trying to get a good picture of the Clark Fork river for you, but I'm afraid I failed. I need to start some homemade chicken and noodles for a new mom at church. It's my night to take dinner. I'm making the chicken and noodles, baking soda biscuits, green beans from my garden and homemade chocolate chip cookies. Hopefully I can slip-slide my way to her house this afternoon! I'm sorry this is short. Lots to do and little time! I'll try to post some knitting/crochet pictures later tonight or tomorrow. Blessings, Betsy

Monday, December 3, 2012

Christmas Decorating

Hello Everyone! It's a windy morning here in Spokane! I had to take down my wreath outside because I kept finding it in the yard yesterday where it had been blown off the garage wall. The wind is still howling this morning, but the temperatures are very warm for this time of year in the 40's. I'd rather have the wind than snow any day, so I'm okay with this. I had little Julian Monday through Saturday last week and so he supervised by decorating attempts. It was his first time to see a Christmas tree and he was facinated by the lights.
I also finished about 35 Lucy ornaments and have started gifting them to people. Meanwhile they are living on a tree on my kitchen island.
I should have rearranged them before I took the photo. We had friends over yesterday and they chose several to take home and I didn't "fix" the tree afterward. In the first picture in the middle left of the tree, you can just see a little bit of the one I made for little Piper for her first Christmas. I'll try to get a better picture for next time.
This is a nativity set I made the first year Dennis and I were married. So, can you believe it has survived 34 years, three kids, grandkids, numerous dogs, a cat and a bird without one tiny break or crack?! I can't believe it considering how often I break things. Our daughter has already put "dibs" in for it when we no longer have it displayed. (i.e. when I'm dead and gone!)
This last picture is a nativity ornament that I recieved in 1965 in my kindergarten Sunday School class. Can you believe I still have it? The glitter is slowly disappearing from the stable rooftop each year, but oh, the memories this little stable holds for me. A happy childhood and wonderful teachers. Such blessings to me and the other children they taught. I hope your Christmas preparations are going well. I have all gifts bought, wrapped and cards are mailed. All that is left to do is enjoy this blessed season when we celebrate the greatest gift of all. And that, my friends, is why this season is celebrated in the first place. The birth of the Christ child, Jesus! Many Blessings and love to you all, Betsy

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Cold!

Happy Tuesday morning to all of you, my friends in blogland. It's been cold the past couple of days here in Spokane, but the sun has shone and that makes all the difference in the world. I had intended to write a nice long post yesterday, but I had a "to do" list a mile long and it was at the end of the list. It was the only thing not completed on my list though, so I feel pretty good about that! I'm watching a 6 month old little guy all this week and most Saturdays when I'm in town. He's been with Grandpa & Grandma but they went home to Texas last week and the daycare didn't have a spot until next week, so Grandma Betsy volunteered to keep him. He keeps me on my toes, that's for sure. I don't see a lot of crocheting or knitting getting accomplished this week! We had a lovely, lovely Thanksgiving with Brad, Mandy & Piper. They arrived late Wednesday evening and stayed until after church on Sunday. Lots of baby cuddling, turkey eating and relaxing was done and I think we all had a great time. Brad and hubby replaced a ceiling fan in our bedroom that was "out of whack". It wobbled every time we turned it on. Hubby has tried and tried to balance the blades ever since we got it. Come to find out, it was a factory issue, but it's too late to get a replacement so we just got a new one. It's really nice and quiet now. I did get a few ornaments done before Thanksgiving. I'll be giving them as gifts to the people in our Bible study group.
I like the ones with the flower buttons! As I said in my last post, I got this pattern from Lucy at Attic 24. I want to make sure she gets credit for it. She sometimes adds little bells on each of the star points but I have been unable to find them.
A few pictures of little Piper to tide you over till next time. :-) She had a fun bath time in the kitchen sink, hung out with Grandpa and modeled the hat and blanket Grandma made for her. Yesterday I was able to cut out and sew a dress for myself. In record time for me too. It only took me about 4 hours from start to finish. Obviously it's a very simple pattern, but I think it will become my "go to" pattern. It has sleeves for winter but can be adapted to a sleeveless sundress for summer. We have lots of babies being born at our church right now. It's a veritable baby boom! I arrange meals to be taken to people after surgeries, babies are born, etc. Whenever there is a need, the ladies, (and some men), take food to the families so it's one less thing to worry about. Just yesterday I had two new babies born! So I spent several hours on the phone, scheduling people to help out. It can be a big job, but we are blessed to have willing hands to help others. I was also able to get Alex's birthday gift and my Christmas cards to Japan mailed yesterday morning. That takes a lot of pressure off. You never know how long it will take the mail to arrive there. His birthday is Pearl Harbor day-how ironic! The boy who loves Japan with all of his heart was born on Pearl Harbor day. Well, I'll leave you with a picture of the blanket that's my project to work on when I'm brain dead. I think I've finally figured out who it will go to, but I can't tell you yet because she may see this and the surprise will be ruined! Have a wonderful day my friends and please remember as the hustle and bustle of the next month begins, the reason we celebrate this Christmas season. The birth of Jesus. God's only son. Blessings, Betsy

Monday, November 19, 2012

Thanksgiving Already?

The year has just flown by for me. Hubby and I were talking on the way to church last night and I told him it becomes increasingly hard each year for me to get excited about the holidays. I'm not sure why that is. Have any of you experienced this? Maybe it's because our children are all so far away. I'm happy Mandy, Brad and Piper will be with us this Thanksgiving, but I'm missing my boys too. I miss our big family holidays. My goodness, I'm maudlin this morning! Anyway, it is what it is and I miss my family all being together. I know life is all about change and I wouldn't want to make any of them feel guilty for the choices they have to make. So I'm putting on my "happy face" and trying to be thankful for the MANY blessings that God has given to me. I've been busy making hats for a charity called "Blessings Under the Bridge". It's a group that feeds and clothes the homeless here in Spokane. They have asked for warm clothing, so last week I knitted five hats for them.
oops! One is missing! I took them to church last night so I can't retake the photo. The other hat was like the orange one only a dark green color. I hope they'll warm some heads this winter. I also finished crocheting 22 dishcloths for my basket by the door. I'll still need to make a few more, but it's good to have a good start on them. Now I'm working on ornaments to give everyone at our Bible study as a small gift. We'll have our Christmas party on December 20th so I still have more time. I've made five so far, (another one late last night after this picture was taken.) I think they still need something so I'm planning to add some colorful buttons after I get to Michaels or Hobby Lobby today. I got the pattern from Lucy at Attic 24 and I love how it's using us my little bits of scrap yarn. The points on them aren't eactly even, but I kind of like that. What do you think?
I'm dithering about what to make after I've finished the ornaments. I bought some yarn to make a granny patchword blanket but I'm not finding any enthusiasm for it and the last thing I need is another knitted/crocheted blanket. The postage to mail a completed blanket to a charity is rather prohibitive too. I'm thinking of making some child size blankets to take to the crisis nursery. Do you all have any suggestions? I'm feeling majorly "burnt out" and just want to curl up in front of the fireplace with a good book these days. I have my 20 lb. turkey thawing in the refrigerator and I'm trying to plan a menu for Thursday. Because Mandy still can't have any dairy or soy products I'm tring to adapt some of the normal Thanksgiving foods so she can eat with us. Instead of mashed potatoes I think I'll make white rice. A jello salad should be fine. Plain green beans instead of the normal casserole. Any other suggestions? She can't have rolls, pie, sweet potatoes etc. I would also like to ask for prayers for my blog friend Henya, her family and all of the people of Israel right now. I just can't imagine having to worry about bombs and missiles flying at my home and my children. I wish people would just realize that deep down, we're all the same. We want a better life for our children and safety and happiness for them. We truly need to count our blessings here in the United States. If you do live here I hope you have a wonderful holiday this weekend and enjoy your family and friends. I know I'm blessed by many wonderful friends both here and all around the world. Many, many blessings to you and yours, Betsy P.S. I write my blog posts with paragraphs, etc. but when it publishes it everything runs together. Any advice? :-)

Friday, November 9, 2012

Snow!?

Well, I drove home Wednesday through some beautiful fall weather. No coat, just flip flops for shoes. And look what I woke up to today!
We're expected to receive another inch or two. That's better than where our son lives in Montana. They already have 12 inches and another 7-10 are forecast. Winter HAS arrived. It was so hard to leave little Piper and her Mama. I just happen to have a picture of her for you.
Grandpa drove down last weekend and took up some of my valuable Piper cuddling time! That wasn't very nice now was it? :-) I have been busy knitting since I came home. Two more baby bonnets for the girls at church that are expecting to deliver girls within the next week. I'm also sewing them "Spit up cloths or burp cloths", whatever you want to call them. I've cut them out this morning and will sew them today. I'll take a picture for you when I finish them. Mandy got three as a gift from a lady at our campground. I've never felt anything so soft for the babys little face to rest on. Much better than any store bought cloths. And they wash really well. I should know, I've been washing them for a month now! I also made a pair of socks last night for Piper to match her new bonnet. Mandy knitted her a pair of little mittens to match so she'll have a complete set. On my "to do" list are the dishcloths for my basket by the door. I only have 8 finished so I have to get busy. As most of you know, I keep a basket of hand knitted/crocheted dishcloths by the front door in December. Anyone who visits gets to take a dishcloth home if they want one. It's my little gift to my friends. I'm waaaay behind this year in making them though. I'm also sewing myself a new dress today. I'm so disappointed in the fashtions I see in the stores and I desperately need some new clothes. I don't sew for myself much, so I'm not sure how this will turn out. If it's okay I'll take a picture for you, but don't hold your breath!!! A few dishcloths made so far using Teresa's pattern.
Also pictures of the bonnets, including on my baby doll that I keep here for children to play with when they visit. It shows the lace pattern better that way than laying on the table. My fall decor looks a little odd with the snow falling outside. I'm so tempted to get out a few winter things, but Thanksgiving is still two weeks away! Have a wonderful weekend my friends and I hope you have many, many blessings in your lives. Betsy

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Still in Portland

Happy Tuesday my friends. I'm still in Portland but planning to drive back to Spokane tomorrow. Little Piper is still having some problems and may have to see a GI specialist if not better by next week. Mommy is "hanging in there" but exhausted.

We have had beautiful weather here for several days but it's much cooler and cloudy today. Mandy and I have even been wearing flip flops. In November! Crazy but nice!

Here are few pictures for you.
The happy family. Piper all ready for church on Sunday. My knitting-which is another bonnet like the one Piper is wearing. We have two baby girls expected at church in the next few weeks so I'm making a couple more since they're so fast. I found the pattern on Friday and made it in just a few hours.

Finally, Polly and my Chloe. They have been together for almost 7 weeks and will be lost without each other when I go home tomorrow. Thankfully, the plan is for the kids to visit us for Thanksgiving and the two of them will be together again.

Have a wonderful day.
Blessings,
Betsy