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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Portland

So here I am in Portland again with Piper (and her Mom & Dad if course)! It rained, and it rained and IT RAINED! You wouldn't believe just how much it rained. So I took some pictures as I drove through the Gorge, although they don't begin to show you how much it rained.

Then I stopped at Multnomah Falls along the way and had lunch with Teresa, her sister Denice and friend Shirley. I've included a picture of the soggy Falls too.

And then, my reward at the end of the journey, Miss Piper. She has a miserable cold right now, but she still had a big smile for Grandma. I love this little girl.

Chloe is pretty happy too. She's with her best buddy, Polly. Don't they look content on their beds?

Blessings,
Betsy









Monday, February 25, 2013

Fire!



Happy Monday to you all! And here it is, the first fire in the new woodstove. It burned for a grand total of about 3 minutes and the life was snuffed out of it. We have tried all weekend to keep a fire burning in it to no avail. Hubby thinks maybe the air return wasn't installed properly or something, because it's as if the fire is getting no oxygen and we have the damper opened all the way. So, when the shop opens in an hour or so I shall call them for advice. So frustrating when we woke up to snow this morning as the next two pictures show. Wouldn't a lovely fire be nice this morning? I certainly think so. Oh well, it will all be figured out in time. It's not as if we have never lit a fire. After all, we are avid campers and have fireplaces in previous homes. It was pretty the few seconds it lasted wasn't it. Hee! Hee!

Yes we have more snow this morning. It was a surprise! When hubby left for work there wasn't a flake afalling! I went back to bed for an hour and when I next looked out the window, what a surprise greeted me. This was what happened in that hour I was asleep! It's still falling, but the temperature is supposed to reach the mid 40'sF today so I don't think it will last too long.

Next are my two latest projects. The rainbow blankets are done! I'm going to make two more soon, but I think I'll make a baby sweater or something first for a small break. I don't put the last row of color on until I know if the baby is a boy or girl or if they would like it to match the nursery. I can do that in a short time and it's easier than ripping out a row of blue on the last blanket in the closet and the baby is a girl! This is the first time I made two at one time and it worked very well.

The last picture is of the bookshelves in our cozy basement room. We have a gas firestove there. It's just the right size for the two of us to spend our evenings. We have our two reclining chairs, Chloes bed, my spinning wheel and the T.V. This is where we will be found in the winter. Hibernating with our books. As you can see, hubby and I are avid readers. So are all three of our children. Mandy has bookshelves all over the house, chock full. Jamie has a room in their basement and the office full of shelves of books. Alex would have, but he has limited space in his apartment in Tokyo. When we Skype with him, you can see piles of books all around the walls on the perimeter of the room! Plus, we still have several boxes full of his books that we're storing until he settles in one place. Yes, we most definitely love our books.

We spent the dreaded few hours with our accountant on Saturday getting the taxes done for last year. So glad that's over. Hubby always has everything done on a spreadsheet for them. It's just a matter of signing papers for the most part, but it's good to have a second set of eyes look at things.

I'm planing to make the drive to Portland, OR on Thursday and hubby will follow on Friday after work. We're delivering the Expedition to it's new owners. Then we'll come home Sunday and I'll drive back down on the next Friday to spend a week with Brad, Mandy & Piper. I'm babysitting little Miss Piper next weekend while Mom works at the youth rally at church. Dad has a flight class for his pilot license renewal. It's a great excuse to go back and for the "icing on the cake", Taci, Gracie and Teresa and I are having lunch together! Too bad I didn't know it time that I would be coming this weekend too, we could have met twice! The trip is almost 400 miles each way, so in the next two weeks I'll have 1600 miles logged on my little car driving to and from Portland. Please pray for good weather and NO SNOW!

And now, I have lots of Monday things to get accomplished, not the least is the laundry and some phone calls for hubby.

Have a wonderful day and remember, to have a friend is to have everything!
Blessings,
Betsy

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Wood Heating!



The wood stove has been installed. Yippee! The two young "boys", (are they getting younger or are we getting older?), who installed it were very friendly and efficient. I was told to expect them to be here 6-7 hours but 4 hours of hard work later, they were finished! We haven't had a fire in it yet, but I think it looks very nice tucked away next to the pantry. I have a screen to put around it when little ones are here. We're thinking of buying a pallet of North Idaho Energy Logs as they supposed to burn cleaner than wood and longer than the Presto logs you can buy at the store. There is no worry of bringing buggy wood into the house either with the energy logs and it's using a earth friendly product. I don't think we'll need the stove a lot the rest of this winter, but it's nice to know it's there in an emergency.

We had to move my clock to another wall. Dennis bought me this handmade clock in the Amana Colonies in Iowa for our 15th wedding anniversary. I love this clock. If I forget to wind it, (a rare occurence), I can't sleep at night without the chimes. It chimes every 15 minutes and I don't even hear it anymore unless it doesn't. Does that make sense? Chloe tells time by it too. She knows exactly when she's supposed to eat! It used to be on the wall right behind the chimney. Obviously that wouldn't work anymore so we moved it to the dining room. I keep looking at the wall in the living room to check the time. Old habits die hard don't they?

The next pictures are of my current project(s). We've had a veritable baby boom at church in the past few months and I was down to just one of my rainbow blankets "in stock". I decided I needed to restock my shelves, so yesterday I started two new ones. I've never done this before but it's working very well. I do each one to the same point in the pattern before moving on. Although I have this pattern memorized, the old memory isn't what it used to be and it's easier to do two at a time! I think I need to make four more so I'll have five on hand for gifts. I know of two more babies on the way already! I've been encouraged to find a way to sell these blankets, but I don't like rejection. I honestly don't know how to get started and I don't know if anyone would buy them anyway!

And these little shamrocks. Remember them from my last post? Well, they've been strung up into a delightful little garland that I'll be hanging on the kitchen island very soon. I also made a few pins with them. I think they are so cute!

We had our friends Neal and Jenny over last night for dinner and dominoes. We usually try to have a date night with them the last Friday of every month, but since November someone has been sick every date night! So we just switched it up and had it last night. I made homemade noodles for chicken and noodles, baking powder biscuits, green beans from last summers garden and cranberries. We were going to have ice cream for dessert but everyone was too full. After a rousing game of dominoes we were all exhausted by 8:30. Sad isn't it? But the three of them all had to get up for work today and so we had an early evening. They'll be back tonight along with several other people for Bible study. I've had to stay in another room the last several weeks because I didn't want to make anyone sick. It will be nice to see them all again tonight.

And now to my questions from Taci who most graciously nominated me for the Liebster Blog. As I said last time, I don't know many bloggers other than ones already nominated so I'll say a heartfelt "THANK YOU" to both Taci and Shari who nominated me and answer their questions. Shari's were answered on my last post.

Favorite animal? My Chloe dog of course!
Favorite colors? Lavender
Favorite non alcoholic drink? Diet Pepsi OR Diet Coke I like both. I know that's unusual.
Crochet or Knit? Both equally.
Your passion? My faith.
Getting or giving? Giving of course.
Favorite pattern? I think my Rainbow Blanket. I've made it for so many years.
Favorite day of the week? Sunday
Favorite flower? Pansies
Favorite country? USA
Favorite Recipe? I love to cook and it's impossible to choose. Maybe fried chicken.

Okay friends. I'm off to meet with the insurance agent. It's time to go over all our "stuff" again. I dread this visit every year. Insurance just isn't my thing and I get bored easily! :-)
Have a wonderful weekend and remember to look around you at all the beauty. It's there if we just open our eyes to it.
Blessings,
Betsy


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Finally Better AND more SNOW!!




Good morning my lovely friends,

I think I'm truly on the road to recovery this time,(hoping anyway)! I stayed put in my chair or bed pretty much until Sunday afternoon. I went to church Sunday evening and did okay. Monday was better and yesterday I felt like myself for the first time in a month. I've started taking the Immune System supplements and oh my goodness they taste terrible. They smell like alfalfa but if they work it will be well worth putting up with a nasty taste/smell.

Now a small public service announcement for those of you who haven't heard online. KnitPicks has been hacked. They are saying that they sent letters to everyone affected, (I didn't get one), and that it was only if your card was used to order between late December 2012 and January 2013. Unfortunately I think they are unaware of the scope of this hacking. Both my daughter and I had our accounts compromised, mine to the tune of thousands of dollars and so have many others who didn't order during the posted timeframe. I haven't ordered since late November and she ordered before that. I only mention it here in the hopes that if you haven't heard the news and you've ordered from them at ANY TIME, please check the cards that you may have used. Knit Picks has not notified me in any way, yet they say they've notified all U.S. residents. Okay. Done with the public service announcement! :-)

First of all, isn't little Piper darling? This is a picture her Mama took with her phone and texted to me last Friday. I can't wait to get my arms around this little girl in a few weeks.

Hubby finally "bit the bullet," so to speak and bought himself a new pickup truck on Saturday. My it is pretty. It's powerful enough to pull our camper, which is the only thing that would get him to part with his beloved Ford Expedition that you see in the above picture. He really loves his Expedition and I think he'll like his new truck just as much, given time. He's had the Expedition a long, long time as it's a 2000 and they have become very attached. It's in such good shape inside and out, he's really agonized over this decision. We may still end up keeping it. After all, it's paid for so only insurance costs. However, we really don't have a place to park it now that the new baby is in the garage! I'll try to get a picture of it for the next post. It hasn't left the garage since he drove it home on Saturday with 23 miles on it! He's still driving his Expedition. It will be like taking a pacifier away from a baby if we do sell it! I did drag myself out of the house on Saturday long enough to sign the papers at the dealership. Then it was home for me.

The next picture is of a lovely package that came in the mail for me yesterday. Yes, I know there wasn't mail delivery yesterday, but the mail carrier delivered it to my neighbor on Saturday by mistake and she brought it to me yesterday. A lovely crochet hook holder from Taci at TaciStudio, and a felted heart from Meredith at Mereknits! Aren't they the cutest? I already have my favorite hook in the case and I wore the heart all day yesterday and I have it on today. They both remind me of the sweetness of my newfound friends in blogland. I never expected to make such sweet friends when I began blogging about my trip to Japan. What a blessing you ALL are to me.

I finished my afghan of squares last night. I made this one smaller, (twelve big blocks), than the last one so it would fit the loveseat better. It's a perfect size for visiting children to wrap themselves up in. This was my project last week when I just sat in my recliner all day. I do like how it turned out and the brightness of it. It cheers the living room up immensly on these snowy winter days. Yes it's snowing again this morning. Blah!

And these little shamrocks are a preview of something I'm working on now. I started making four-leaf clovers and then read that they aren't real? Is that true? Of course I could have made them anyway, but I really like the pattern for these little darlings. I'm seeing a garland for my kitchen island and maybe some pins made from these. What do you think?

The woodstove is being installed tomorrow so I hope to have pictures for you on my next post. Stay tunned for further details!

Shari at Laurens Closet has nominted me for the Liebster Award for a blog with under 100 followers. Taci of Taci Studios also nominated me and I'll answer her questions on my next post. I'm so honored that these two ladies nominated me. It was really very sweet. So here are Shari's questions and my answers.

1. WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO IN YOUR SPARE TIME? Knit & Crochet of course! Reading and camping too.
2. WHAT KIND OF TRADITIONS HAVE BEEN PASSED DOWN IN YOUR FAMILY? Faith in God. Loving each other.
3. IF YOU COULD TRAVEL THE WORLD, WHERE WOULD YOU GO? Italy to visit, but I'd live in Hawaii
4. WHAT OR WHO INSPIRES YOU THE MOST? My husband. He is the perfect man. (after Jesus of course)
5. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE COLOR? Lavendar
6. WHAT IS THE BEST THING ABOUT BLOGGING? All of you of course. I've met the best people in the world through blogging.
7. IF YOU SPEND ONE DAY WITH A FAMOUS PERSON, WHO WOULD IT BE? Jesus
8. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE BOOK? The Bible. It's so full of life and love. It's best read front to back, not in pieces like we usually do.
9. WHAT IS THE HAPPIEST MOMENT OF YOUR LIFE? My wedding day.
10. DESCRIBE YOUR IDEAL DAY! Any day all of our children and grandchildren could be with us just being together.
11. IF YOU GO ON A PICNIC WHAT WOULD BE IN YOUR BASKET? Chocolate! Lots and lots of chocolate!

Thanks for visiting me today. I have to get to the post office and mail boxes off to Alex in Japan and the grandbabies. I bought them Valentine's candy to take them last week. Since we didn't get to visit them, I'm mailing them a big box of candy before I eat it all!

Have a wonderfully blessed day. Smile at everyone and you'll see it returned tenfold.

Blessings,
Betsy




Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day!

I hope you all have lovely plans today. It's cloudy and foggy today. The perfect kind of day to snuggle with your sweetie-if he wasn't at work-and if I still wasn't sick.

Yes, the sad and boring recurring theme of this blog lately has been sickness. Ugh! I did go to the doctor on Monday and my white blood count was sky high, which indicates infection somewhere. They don't know where though, and since a fever and exhaustion are my only symptoms, they told me to go home and rest. If I'm still having a fever next Monday I'm supposed to let them know. Blah, blah, blah. The receptionist told me about a supplement that she takes and she hasn't been sick in three years. I ordered some off Amazon but since it won't arrive for two weeks, I ventured out to the health food store and bought a bottle. It cost three times as much as Amazon! I'm trying so hard to get better.

We had plans to go to Montana for the weekend to take Caleb his birthday presents. We missed his birthday because we both had the flu. Needless to say we're not going. I'm supposed to go to Portland the middle of March to watch Piper for a week. Please pray I'm completely better by then.

But there is good news! Yesterday my fingers finally stopped hurting enough to crochet. And this is what I began. I'm making another granny scrap afghan. I'm enjoying the easy, no pattern following ease of it. I just reach into the basket and whatever color I pull out is what I use!

We did decide to get the wood stove. Thank you for the advice and emails. I investigated all of venting concerns, etc. with the installer and everything seems to be working out.

Installation is scheduled for next Wednesday. Pictures will be forthcoming!

Have a lovely day everyone. Thank you SO much for the kind words and advice you've all given me. I still find it mind boggling that I have friends who care about me virtually all over the world.

Blessings,
Betsy



Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Sick Again!

Well I had five days of feeling good and then Sunday night I started running a temperature of over 103F again. A trip to the Dr. yesterday for blood work just to be told he doesn't know what's wrong with me. The blood work should be back soon. Maybe that will help answer some questions.

When I was feeling well on Saturday we went to the trailer to check on things. There was over 2 feet of snow! You can't tell in the pictures, but we were walking in the iced over snowmobile tracks. Every once in awhile I would break through deeper than my knees. The lake is completely frozen over! So hard to imagine skiing & swimming in the summer.

I hope I'll be better for the next post. This has been a nasty month for me.

Blessings,
Betsy












Thursday, February 7, 2013

On the Mend

Good Morning friends!

I think I'm finally on the mend here in the Queen hospital! Hubby and I are both still coughing a bit, but I'm told that the cough will likely be around for awhile so we'll just have to deal with the annoying thing. I'm still tired very easily, but with some long nights sleep, that seems to be improving too. I even went to my knitting group on Tuesday morning and had a lovely time with two ladies that I haven't seen in over a year. They won't be back for a month because they are off to Hawaii for 3 1/2 weeks. I wish I could hide in their knitting bag and go along. Away from the snow, fog and rain. Sounds good to me.

Tomorrow night is the Valentine Dinner at church. We have two professional chefs in our church who have volunteered to do the cooking. It should be wonderful. Fabrice is from France and like an adopted son to us. Hubby baptized him and then performed the wedding for him and his lovely wife Heather. We are like their adopted parents and it thrills us no end to see them becoming more involved in church functions. They met as pen pals in High School creative writing class. Isn't that romantic? She was here in Spokane and he was in the south of France. He later went to Paris and became a chef but true love was too much for them and he moved here and married Heather, golly, it's been about 8 years now I think. Time flies. They have the cutest baby named Julian and he is our grandson for all intents and purposes. Anyway, Fabrice will be taking over my kitchen tomorrow to do a bunch of prep work for the dinner. It should be lots of fun!

I have some finished projects to show you, so with no further ado, here we go!

I finished my scarf! I do like the pattern very much, but the obvious striping hasn't grown on me, so I think it will go into my gift basket for when I need a quick gift for someone. Meanwhile, I bought myself some new yarn as you'll see in a later picture.

My valentine heart dishcloths are finished for my two sets of yearly dishcloths. I've begun another one of the lacey hearts for me, just because I really like it! I'm allowed aren't I? The lacey one only takes about 2 hours, the solid one took days. And that, my friends, is the difference between size 3 and size 6 needles! The lace pattern took more concentration and counting too, but still was much faster.


I decided to make a loaf of bread yesterday, but had a hard time getting it to rise because of the chill in the air. I took it to the basement and set it on the gas stove right over the pilot light and look what happened!

It was delicious for dinner along with real butter and homemade mushroom soup. Yummm!

This is my new yarn! I very rarely splurge on yarn from a "real" yarn store. I usally buy Michaels or JoAnn's yarn and sometimes Hobby Lobby. My wonderful Mother-in-Love sent me money for my birthday and looky what I got. It's an 85% Merino/15% Mulberry silk blend. I plan to make another scarf for myself with it. I had enough money left over to buy some precious little sheep stitch markers that I've been eyeing for a long time now. I have the plastic circle ones that work just fine. A whole box for $2.95, but just look a those sheep. And it was birthday money! I didn't have to take anything out of the grocery budget to buy them!

One skein was exactly what the pattern called for, so I got out my trusty scale and ball winder and wound two 51 gram balls with it so I'll know exactly when to stop and begin making the decreasing side.

Aren't these little guys cute?

And now, I need to get busy. Tonight is Bible study here and we're having a video with popcorn. We usually go out to dinner before study, but tonight we're doing a finger food potluck. I'm making my infamous barbeque sausages, (cut up sausage, put it in the crockpot with barbeque sauce! So easy!) But I'm also going to try out a new recipe and make apple struedel too so I need to get busy on that.

Thank you for all of the comments about the wood stove. The store came out to measure, but we haven't heard back from them on an actual price, which will be the deciding factor. It was an overwhelming majority vote of yes, get the stove so now we'll see what happens. I'll keep you all updated on it.

Now, I need to get off the computer and get busy. Have a wonderfully blessed day everyone. I wish we could all spend a day together and really share with each other. Since that's fairly improbable, hug someone that's not expecting it, you'll be amazed at the response. Everyone needs a kind touch now and then.

Blessings,

Betsy


Monday, February 4, 2013

Foggy Monday

Good Morning Friends!

This is what has been outside our window for the last week.
It has been so foggy and generally depressing. There hasn't been any snow though and I'm grateful for that since neither of us is quite up to shoveling yet.

I think I'm a bit better, but still running a temperature. I'm told that's not real unusual for this flu bug. I'm just going to try to take it a bit easier than usual for a few more days. I'll just sit around knitting and crocheting, There is nothing that absolutely HAS to be done. Hubby even has a meeting after work tonight so I'm on my own for all three meals today. Hmmm? I think it will be soup from a can and toast or something equally as easy.

Aren't these little mini roses just cute as can be? My best friend, Jenny, brought them to me on my birthday as a get well gift. She also brought an angel figurine, (I collect them), and a huge piece of chocolate cake. She said everybody deserves cake on their birthday and I just didn't feel up to making one. She also gave me the cutest card that plays the song from Charlie Brown and has Snoopy dancing on the front. It was really nice.
Aren't these little rosebuds darling? I want to try to keep it alive to plant outside, but I usually don't have much luck with that.
Here is my scarf. It's just over halfway done. I've attached the second skein of yarn and have begun decreasing. I'm liking the colors very much but do wish they weren't quite as obviously stripy. You couldn't tell in the skein how it would actually knit up. For socks it would be great, but I'm not as crazy about it in a scarf.
I've begun a heart dishcloth that is also a little over halfway done. I started it yesterday and will add it to my yearlong sets. I may just have to make myself one of these, I really like how the pattern is coming out. It uses size 3 needles! I've never made a dishcloth using smaller than a 6. No wonder both of my current projects are taking so long. Not only am I sick, but both of them are using size 3 needles!
Here is where I'm asking for your opinion. We have a person coming out today to measure this corner to put a woodburning stove in. Everyone thinks we, (I) am nuts because our house is only 10 years old and we live in the middle of town. I say you can't be too prepared. What if the heat goes out like the poor people who still have no heat in New York from the hurricane? We have earthquakes here in the Inland Northwest, albiet rarely, that could easily disrupt the natural gas lines we use for heat. You never know what could happen! The stove we're looking at can also be used to cook on. What do you think of this corner? Do you think it will look too crowded? Do you think we're nuts? Feel free to comment. We haven't bought it yet! :-)

Now, I'm going to check on a few blogs and then get cozy in my recliner for awhile. I have absolutely NO energy which is not like me at all. I feel like I'm never going to be better, but I know it's just a healing process and there are lots of people out there with the same stuff I have.

I am being very jealous today of my blog friends Gracie, Taci and Teresa who are lunching together in Portland without me. I hope they have a wonderful time and miss me just a little. :-)

Have a wonderful day my friends and enjoy everything you are blessed to be a part of today.

Blessings,

Betsy