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Saturday, June 29, 2013

Switcheroo

I've put a button on my blog for Bloglovin. I have no understanding of how any of this works but I sure hope it does because I'm told that July 1 Google won't work anymore.

I'm busy with Piper so no time to write but I wanted to let you know I've done my part.

Blessings,
Betsy

Monday, June 24, 2013

"Rainy Days and Mondays....."

Hello my friends!

It's Monday afternoon here in the rainy Northwest USA. I know many parts of the US are needing rain desperately...but not us. Later this summer we'll most likely have our time of dry weather. At least that's what normally happens. After a dry and beautiful weekend, I woke up about 2:00 this morning hearing the pitter-pat of raindrops on the trailer roof. There is no better sound when you're camping in a trailer. I love it! It stopped long enough for me to empty all of the holding tanks, (EWWW!) and load the car. I scrubbed the floors, vacuumed, dusted and cleaned the bathroom and kitchen areas and off Chloe and I went. Back to the "Big House" as we call it! I love only needing about 45 minutes to do a thorough cleaning of my "house". Wish it only took that long at the "Big House". :-)

I ran some errands and have the last load of laundry drying. I need to do some mending and then I plan to make a fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy and veggie dinner for Hubby before I leave tomorrow morning...to see my Piper! And her Mommy and Daddy of course. This has been the longest I've gone without seeing her since she was born and Grandma needs her Piper. Actually we talk to her every day via facetime and she now thinks we live in Mandy's ipad! She reaches out and pats our faces and kisses the ipad and then looks behind it for us! Isn't that cute? I guess it's better than nothing isn't it?

Chloe and I will drive down tomorrow and keep Piper home from daycare Wed.-Fri. to play with Grandma. Yippee!!!! Hubby will drive down on Friday afternoon and we'll both come back on Sunday. Lots of gasoline=lots of money, but it's very worth it to see our kids.

I was hoping to see Teresa, Gracie and Taci while there, but it looks like it will only be Taci and I. Gracie is still gallivanting around California with her sister for a few more weeks and busy Teresa had prior commitments. Next time we will get together somehow but this trip I'm going to Taci's house and we're going to drink tea and knit together. Can you think of a better way to spend an afternoon? I so love these three ladies who have welcomed me into their hearts and lives. I'll take some pictures of what Taci and I were up to and show you next time!

Meanwhile here are a few pictures of random things in my life right now. This first one is of the storm clouds that followed me home this morning. It's pouring outside right now.

Then, do you see the flowers in the round bed? Last Thursday I came home and found a flat of 17 plants sitting on my front sidewalk. I looked around the neighbors yards and they all had them too. It was a gift from a local nursery. I had all of my planters planted already and I usually have green beans planted in this area, but decided to not plant them this year. How serendipitous! Now I had a place for all of these plants! So yesterday I planted them all. If they actually grow I'll take an "after" photo for you too.

The next picture is my rhubarb plant. I've already harvested over 7 gallon bags of rhubarb off of this plant this spring and I know I'll get several more pickings. Hubby loves my rhubarb pie and I like rhubarb crisp.

The deck and fence pictures are just to show you the color of the stain they put on last week. I think it looks really nice and hopefully will last longer than when we did it. I wish we could afford the permanent decking so we didn't have to stain it every other year. Maybe someday.....


I picked Piper up a little something this morning at the Carter's store. Aren't these outfits the cutest? The blue on has a onesie, shorts and top. The lavender one comes with sandals that I'm sure she WON'T be able to wear. They are cute though.


And now my friends, I'm off to iron lots of Hubby's shirts. It's my payment for staying at the lake so long. I have more shirts to iron at one time than if I do them in batches more often.
Have a lovely week and I'll be watching your blogs while I'm away.

I'll leave you with a scripture that I've been trying to implement in my life. I'm a talker and want to be a better listener.

"Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry." James 1:19

Blessings,
Betsy

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Good Morning!

Happy Thursday to you my friends!

It's another rainy, rainy and I mean pouring buckets, day here in Spokane. Originally we were going to stay at the lake until today but Chloe and I decided to come home yesterday and get some things done since it was raining so hard. We couldn't go run in the field or check out the garden or any of Chloe's list of fun things to do. Now I know I live in the Northwest, and most people think we should be used to rain like this, but let me update you all. Seattle=rain Spokane=high desert, not much rain Portland, OR=rain This is very unusual to have three days straight of rain and maybe more tomorrow. None the less, I'm heading back to the lake this morning because I forgot to bring hubby's work cell phone charger home yesterday. That phone isn't allowed to have a dead battery as he is "on-call" twenty four hours a day.

Here's a small photo update of my week which has been pretty quiet as it as almost completely spent at the camper with just Sunday in town for church.

One of the maintenance men who is in his 80's and a real sweetheart gave me this bouquet of peonies and wild roses last Friday and they lasted the entire week! Aren't they gorgeous? This man also gardens a HUGE plot. I'll have to remember to take a picture for you.


Judy in Michigan sent me this cute crocheted flower for making her a few dishcloths. Her blog is listed in my sidebar if you would like to visit her. "CJ Stitching and Blooms" is the name of her blog. The little flower is in my favorite color of lavender and is hanging in the trailer making me smile whenever my eyes land on it! :-)

I finished my lap blanket yesterday. It was hard to get a picture of the entire thing in the camper but here goes.
It's a little wrinkley and puckered because I haven't washed and blocked it yet. Thank you Shari at "Kashmere Kisses" for the pattern idea. I love it and it was a great way to use up partial skeins of yarn. I used Caron's Simply Soft yarn and it's so, so, soft. It will be very comfy when reading at night in my new recliner.

Here are a few "random" photos for you. Yes, I have my spinning wheel at the camper! I love to sit outside and look at the lake and spin. The picture of the lake showing the rainstorm closing in. Finally the "merry go round" at the playground. Someone on their blog commented about the old fashioned merry go rounds but I can't remember now who it was. They just painted this one last week. I was a bit disappointed in the colors. My memory says the merry go rounds of my childhood were blue, red and green. Does anyone else remember? I also remember getting VERY sick on these things. :-)

We'll spend the weekend at the lake again and then on Tuesday I'm heading to Portland to take care of Piper for a few days. Hubby will drive down on Friday for the weekend and then we'll both come home on Sunday. I'm having Piper withdrawals. :-) She's also been sick again and they're trying to find the cause of it. The Dr. is thinking maybe she is allergic to soy along with dairy products. Poor baby. She needs her grandma so I'm on my way.

Hey Taci, Teresa and Gracie...lunch next Friday???? I wish more of you ladies out here in blogland could join us at our lunches. So much fun!

Have a lovely weekend and remember to touch someone's life today, even if it's just with a smile. You'll feel great and so will they.
"From the fullness of His grace we have all received one blessing after another." John 1:16

Blessings,

Betsy

Friday, June 14, 2013

"Finds"

Hello Again!

I'm heading to my "happy place" in just a few minutes but thought I would pop in with a couple of pictures of the tablecloth I found for the bargain price of 50 cents on Monday.


Isn't it beautiful? I do need to iron it again to get the folding creases out. I don't see any stains on it at all. Such a fun vintage find. I think it will have a home in my camper. The little embroidered flowers make me smile! :-)

And then I found this.


I have my grandmothers antique and I mean old, old, old potato masher that I use all of the time. Mandy wanted a similar one but all I could find in stores were those sqiggly wire ones that didn't mash anything and left lots of lumps. I happened upon this masher at the same time that I found the tablecloth. It's not nearly as old as mine, but it has lots of little holes and should work just fine for her.

A few people emailed me about reading and crocheting at the same time. Here's how I do it.

I found this book holder at a craft fair several years ago. This is for a trade paperback size and I also have one for regular paperbacks. The cover has a spring in the back that lets you lift the front or back and turn a page. Then it holds the book flat and that strip of clear plastic stays clipped over the pages to keep the book open. You don't have to unsnap it unless you want to close the book completely. This has changed my crafting life. I LOVE to read, but as you know, I also LOVE to knit/crochet. Now I can do both very easily. If you're interested in one of your own, just email me, I have the couple's name that makes them. They told me that making and selling them supplements their retirement income. I'm NOT selling anything and I really don't even know the people, I just met them at the craft fair and bought these book holders.

The painters that were here all day yesterday just left. We now have a freshly stained deck and fence. They had hoped to complete the job yesterday, but it started raining about 3:00. Both guys are wonderful Christian young men. They also painted the outside of our house last spring. We've had some great conversations. One of them was a marine with two tours of Iraq. He told me of the families he met over there and that his heart just breaks for the regular, everyday people, just like us. They just want to raise their families in peace but then war got in the way. So sad. He told me he spent a lot of time in Falujah. (I probably spelled that wrong.) While there he got close to two families that he still tries to keep in touch with. Mail delivery is sporadic at best. It was an interesting two days, hearing his stories and listening to how these two fine young men are trying to live their lives helping others. It gives me hope in this world that we still have young people like that. It seems all you hear these days is bad news.

Anyway, now that they're finished I can head back to the lake. I'll be reading your blogs while there and trying to comment. And I'll be back here next week with an update on my little life. Hopefully I'll have made some good progress on my blanket to show you.

Blessings,

Betsy

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Mountains and Deer in the backyard!

Hello my friends!

We had a very quick trip to Montana to see our son and his family. Oh my it's hard to leave our grandbabies to come home. We were blessed with beautiful weather while we were there so Grandpa played lots of baseball with Caleb. Actually it was catching the ball Caleb hit from his T-ball stand. Then we went to the park and played some more! Lots of fun. Helena sits in the Helena Valley and is surrounded by mountains on all sides. B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L. But it gets cold in the winter. The first year after Jamie moved there it got below -30F which is very normal. I don't think I could live in that cold. Here are a few pictures of Grandpa playing with the kids.


Here we are with our precious grandbabies, Kyleigh and Caleb.

The drive over and back was beautiful. These were taken at an overlook just below the top of McDonald Pass looking down into the Helena Valley.

These pictures don't even begin to capture the majesty and grandeur of these mountains. Unbelievable gorgeous. In the summertime. In the winter it's also beautiful but dangerous, and I dislike this pass intensely when we're traveling over it in the winter. You can see some snow still on the mountains in one of the photos.

Then, after we got home Sunday evening we headed back to the lake. I think I was home an hour and a half or so. Just long enough for hubby to trim, edge and mow the lawn and I did a load of laundry and repacked the car. Chloe was one happy dog. This dear visited our backyard at the lake last night. I took this picture at 9:20 last night. Look how light it still is outside!


Our camping buddies, Larry and Nita got a new tiny poodle about 3 months ago. Here is Sophie and Chloe playing this morning. They are almost exactly the same color. Sophie now weighs a whopping 4.2 lbs. and thinks Chloe is her Mama. Chloe is very patient with Sophie biting her tail and climbing all over her. She's such a great dog. :-)

I forgot to snap a picture of the blanket in progress that I showed you in my last post. It's about three times the size that it was in that picture. Eleven hours in the car sure helped! :-) That's about all I've been working on lately.

Tomorrow night we're having a potluck for about 18 people here at our house. It's our Bible study group and we decided it would be fun to eat dinner together before study. I bought 30 boneless chicken breasts today and I'll marinate them and then put them on the grill. Yum. We usually provide the meat and ice tea and the others bring side dishes and desserts when we do this. It's always fun.

Also tomorrow we're getting our deck and fence stained by the same painter that painted our house last summer. I usually do the staining since I'm home, but I burnt my lungs two years ago when I did it and now I can't stand the smell. My lungs just close up. Hubby just plain doesn't have time for it. He works about 60-70 hours every week and I don't want him to have to spend several weekends doing that job. He's exhausted by Friday. That's why we started going to the lake, so he could relax. I think I reap more benefits from it than he does though. The painter was scheduled for Friday but finished a job early so he'll be here by 6:30 tomorrow morning. So much for dining on the deck for the potluck. Oh well.

I went to a thrift store at Loon Lake, WA on Monday. It's a tiny town close by our camper. I found a beautiful vintage tablecloth for-----you won't believe this! Fifty cents! It's beautiful. I have it in the washer right now and I'll take a picture of it for my next post. For only $1 more I got four books, a pill holder for hubby's vitamins when traveling, a brand new jump rope, (I gave it to a little boy at the campground), an angel music box that works, a ceramic bowl with the new tag still on it which said $6.99, and a package of thank you notes. All for one dollar! I feel like I stole from them but that was the price I was given. They even threw in a antique metal spatula for free! I definitely will be going back to that store. Lots of fun. Two other ladies from the lake went with me. We giggled and poured over shelves and tables. So much fun!

I almost forgot to tell you that we saw four, yes that's right four, beautiful bald eagles on our drive to and from Helena. And then, yesterday at the lake one flew right at the tree line behind our trailer. Oh my goodness it did my heart good to see those birds in all of their majesty soaring on the wind. I'll be watching for the one at the lake to make another appearance, that's for sure.

Well, I better get busy around here. Take care and I'll be back soon with a picture of my "new" tablecloth.

Blessings,

Betsy

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Weekly Check-in!

Happy Thursday to you all! Even though I'm not able to post as often since my iphone won't let me post pictures for some reason, I do check my blog list every day and try to comment. Please excuse all the typo's on those comments. The tiny buttons on my phone and my fingers don't always write the same things! :-) So, for awhile anyway, I'm limited to posting pictures when I'm home at the desktop computer. And home I am...for one day anyway! We're heading eastward to Montana to see our grandbabies, Kyleigh and Caleb tomorrow. Hubby has taken a half day of vacation so we can leave at a decent time and be there in time for dinner. I can't wait to get some Grandma kisses from them. Teresa, (you can see her blog on my blog list on the sidebar), has been making me jealous with all of her posts about her grandboy's!

I don't have a lot of news to report since I've just been spending lazy days at the lake. Judy in Michigan sent me a lovely crocheted flower as a thank you for making her some dishcloths. I meant to take a picture of it and now I have it decorating the camper and I'm at home. I'll try to remember to snap one when I go back on Sunday or Monday. We'll just be in Montana until Sunday afternoon. It's about a 4 1/2 - 5 hour drive, so depending on when we get home we might go to the lake Sunday night. I'm thinking it will be Monday though by the time I buy groceries and do laundry. Hubby told me last night that he was down to one set of drawers-when was I coming home to do laundry??? He was kidding. He does laundry all the time. I haven't left the campground since Sunday afternoon until my drive home an hour or so ago. Oh how I wish I could just stay there.



This first picture is my new recliner in the camper. I L-O-V-E it! It's just the thing for achy feet. I sit there in the mornings and drink my tea and at night to knit/crochet and watch "America's Test Kitchen" on PBS. It's so comfy and I'm so thankful to my Hubby for getting it for me. That footstool there by the sofa? It's full of yarn. What you can't see is that stored behind the chair are two baskets full of - yarn! My knitting bag is behind the footstool, full of - yarn! You can never have enough yarn and I'm always afraid that I'll run out. :-) I wanted a matching chair for Hubby too, but he likes to stretch out on the sofa at night. Soon it will be warm enough to sit outside by the fire until bedtime and he won't even need the sofa!

The second picture is a sign our camping buddy Nita found and brought out. Hubby hung it in the gazebo and soon this is where will be, at the beach or on Nita's boat. Other good friends that live in Seattle have rented the camping spot on the other side of us this weekend. Yeah! We've known them for almost 20 years, ever since we moved to Washington. Since, at least for the time being, they won't be able to come over more than a few times a month, Lori's mom and step-dad who live in Spokane in the summer and winter in Arizona are also using their trailer. They've been there the past few nights and it's so very nice. We've also known them the same length of time and we all go to the same church. It's so nice to be surrounded by our friends. Our trailer is smack in the middle of the three of our campers. Basically now we have three spots to overrun!

Here are a few pictures of our lake again. Just look at the beautiful rainbow we had Monday night! It was actually a double rainbow but I missed getting a picture of that. And the blue sky above the camper yesterday. The third one is of the mist coming off the lake Tuesday morning. A lone fisherman on a big lake. Then I thought I would show you some of the larger houses across the lake. I really had to zoom in to get as close as I did. Lastly, we have a train that goes by around 9:15 in the evening and back again around 9:15 in the morning. This was the train this morning. We are grateful that it is running again twice a day. It used to run every day, but last year, with the economy still struggling, it only went past every other day or so. It heads to a logging operation up north by the Canadian border and then back south to Spokane. So, even though it gets noisy, we're grateful. It means jobs for people. And really, it's not bad, the engineer always waves to me and calls out that he's jealous I'm sitting at the lake and not him! It's also during waking hours so it's not a bother at all. Plus...I love trains and always have. I love riding the "bullet" train in Japan. I wish we had some kind of subway/rail system here in Spokane, I'd probably never drive again. Just think, I could knit while traveling! That's what I did in Japan. I knit socks for Alex while riding the Shinkansen all over the country. I did get strange looks as knitting isn't as common there. :-)


Lastly, Shari at Kashmere Kisses, (you can also see her blog on my blog list on the sidebar), has been making the most beautiful blankets. She inspired me to begin this one to use at the camper in my new recliner on those chilly nights. It's very fun and relaxing. I find I can read a book and crochet this blanket at the same time. Talk about multitasking! I finished two books in the past two days by reading and crocheting!



And now, I'm off to fold laundry. I know my life isn't very interesting these days, but I do love the slow pace of summertime. I enjoy sitting by the lakeshore for a few minutes when I take my morning walks and just meditating on the handiwork of God and the majestic mountains surrounding me. All made by His hands. All made by our mighty Creator God. It overwhelms me to tears at times.

And now, I leave you with a picture of my baby dog Chloe. I practically had to pry her into the car to come home today. She loves the lake as much as I do!



Have a lovely weekend my friends. I intend to spend lots of mine playing with my grandbabies. Remember to smile at someone, it may be the only one they see all day. You CAN make a difference in someone's life with just a little smile.

Blessings,
Betsy