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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Is spring coming....please?

Is everyone as ready for spring as I am?  The weatherman predicted snow flurries for us yesterday.  This is what it looked like when the snow began.
Big fluffy beautiful snowflakes.  At times it looked like a snow globe.  My house looks like someone poured a jar of mustard over it.  Eww.  I think it's the light and not quite that color!
This is this morning.  I ventured out into the backyard to get this picture.   I just love this little tree.
And there is blue sky peeking through today.
Our woodpile is definitely covered isn't it?
Last but not least.  I took this from our bedroom window looking down.  All told, we recieved about 8 inches of "flurries".  This is on top of the 4 inches we got on Sunday.  I am definitely tired of winter.
It wouldn't have been so bad, but our snow blower keeps "throwing it's belt", whatever that means, so then the shovel has to make an appearance.  I know that compared to some in the eastern U.S. this isn't much, but keep in mind I just came through Portland's "great blizzard" a few weeks ago, and I'm sure the snow isn't over for us either.  March is due to "come in like a lion", so I'm hoping there will be a great turnaround in the weather and it will go "out like a lamb" and spring will be here.

Hubby wants to go look at new snowblowers this week and I've been putting him off, but after this latest dumping of "flurries".  I think I'll take him up on it.  It's really for me since I do most of the snow removal while he's working.  

And now a little knitting.  Two washcloths done for the "Days for girls in Africa charity."  I made one while getting my oil changed yesterday.  Silly me, I thought with the snow no one would be out driving and I thought I would get it done during a slow time.  I forgot.  I'm in Spokane, not Portland.  Everyone was out driving around and the oil change took two hours, there were so many people there.  Thank goodness I always have a project in my purse.
And here's Teresa's doily.  I'm on row 32 now and its really looking pretty and lacey.  I had a boo-boo awhile back and had to rip out 4 rows but now I'm rolling right along.   I can only work on this at home when I can concentrate, so not much will be done today as I have errands to do.

Isn't it pretty?  Vicki aka Stitchy McFloss is crocheting right along with me on her own doily.  I'm enjoying comparing notes with her.  I now have a deadline to complete this doily though.  Hubby says I've gotten to see Miss Piper way more than he has and Grandpa is a bit jealous.  :-)  We're planning a trip to see them around the middle of March.  I can't wait!  More hugs and kisses from Piper.  Grandpa is even planning to take a vacation day so he can have more than one day with them.  Yippee!

I guess it's time for me to venture out into the winter wonderland that is Spokane this morning.  I don't mean to complain about the snow.  I know the moisture is much needed, and we haven't really had all that much snow this year.  I'm just ready for some warm weather and sunshine.  And camping weather. The lake is beckoning to me!  :-)  

Have a lovely, wonderful day my friends.  

Blessings

Betsy

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Winter Wonderland

Happy Thursday morning to you my friends.  It snowed again last night.  Not much, but enough for me to get the shovel out and clear the driveway.  It is pretty though.
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One of the comments on my last post from "Three Pines Ranch" was brilliant.  I don't know this person and would love to have her post again so we can connect with each other.  I have a hunch she lives close to Spokane because she knew about this little store named "Sew Easy too".  I hadn't even thought of checking there for the thread for Teresa's doily.  That was plain stupid of me because they always seem to have the things the bigger stores don't. This isn't the first time I've found something there that was unavailable anywhere else locally.

Take a look at just one small wall of embroidery floss.  This floss is SO unbelievably soft.  And the colors!  Oh my goodness!



There was even more of this floss that I didn't photograph.

This is the #30 thread that I needed.  Look at all of the colors available.  And I couldn't even find ecru anywhere else, let alone this color selection.
So this is the doily with #10 thread on round 28.  Sorry it's a bit blurry.
This is the doily with #30 thread on round 12.
Both of them together.
I'm not going to rip out the first one.  It's still pretty even though it's too big for Teresa's piano.  I'll finish it later and either give it away or keep it.  This tiny #30 thread is lots of fun to crochet with.  

Several people have posted about crochet hook and knitting needle cases/holders they've bought or made recently.  I've meant to show you mine but I keep forgetting.  Taci showed her new crochet hook case on her blog yesterday and it reminded me again.  I posted about this a year or two ago when I made it! but I'll share again.  I had found a case I like online, but at about $90 it was out of my price range so I made my own double pointed case.

Here it is rolled up.
Here it is open.  I still have lots of room left for more needles. :-)
A close up view.
I went to the cabinet place Tuesday and hubby put in the bottom drawer that evening,  I just love my pantry now.  Hopefully it will stay nice and neat.  He offered to put another drawer in the bottom, but I have jars of my canning, plus a couple of cases of soup that I think may be too heavy for a drawer, so for now we'll just have these four and can add another one later if we want to.
I've also wanted to share with you about a tea that was shared with me.  I've had trouble sleeping for several years.  I believe it's due to the hormonal changes of menopause but who knows for sure.  A fellow blogger gave me a sample of tea that her family, (kids included), drink everyday.  I drink one cup in the evening before bed and I sleep all night!  It doesn't make me sleepy but relaxed I guess. I don't know how to describe it.  Not drugged or anything.  I don't feel ANY different at all, but I sleep all night. I've shared it with friends and they like it too.  I bought mine from bulkherbstore.com.  I ordered one package each of whole organic chamomile flowers, cut organic oat straw, cut peppermint leaf, passionflower and mix it all together.  You get a LOT of tea.  I've given lots away and still have a huge jar.  I'm guessing I have enough to last a year or two even after giving lots away.  You just steep one teaspoon in a cup.  

I hope this helps some of you who also have trouble sleeping.  I don't know why it works but it does.  It's also supposed to help regulate blood sugar levels.

And now, my friends, I need to get busy crocheting on this cute little doily.  Thank you "Three Pines Ranch" for your help and please introduce yourself to me. Maybe we even live close to each other!  Wouldn't that be fun?  Vicki, aka "Stitcy McFloss" was a huge help too.  She went so far as to call a local Hobby lobby from her home in Kentucky to try to find the #30 thread for me!  Thanks a bunch Vicki!

Have a lovely day everyone and thanks for visiting with me.

Blessings,
Betsy

Monday, February 17, 2014

Monday, Monday!

Good morning my friends!  It was a busy weekend here at the Queen house.  Over yonder in Portland, little Miss Piper is sick with something.  I'm sure it's a virus she picked up at daycare after I left.  She had a fever during the night of 103.6.  Mommy is home with her today and I would appreciate any prayers and good thoughts you would care to give for my little girl.

This first photo is of the moon on Friday night.  It was taken with my iPhone from a moving car so it's not very clear.  I took it because it's such a treat just to have a sky clear enough to see the moon!
Remember the kitchen cabinet I showed you last week?  Well this is what I did with the jars and chalkboard paint. I had a drawer that wasn't being used for anything except tea bags.  I do all of my baking at the island where this drawer is.  Right next to it is a drawer with all of my baking soda, powder, jello and pudding packets.  Underneath is a drawer with my measuring cups, spoons, scoops.   Anything I use for baking. So I thought this would be a great place for my spices.  I can change the names on top anytime I want.  I think I'm going to like this.  What do you think?
Here is the cabinet after the spices came out.  The big jars of spices I left there close to the stove top and I moved the tea bags and chai to this cabinet.  It would be nice if I can keep it this neat and tidy.  :-)
For years we were going to get drawers in the pantry because things get lost in the back of the shelves.  The pantry is 24 inches deep which is nice, but hard to keep organized when I can't see or reach that far back.  I was supposed to go to IKEA while in Portland to get some drawers, but because of the snow I didn't make it there.  On Saturday Hubby suggested we go to Bargain Hunt.  It's the bargain store for Huntwood Cabinets who built our cabinets.  Off we went and look what we found!  A much better deal than I could have gotten at IKEA.
We got these drawers for $5.00 each!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   That's right five dollars.  I am so excited!  Hubby had them installed within an hour or so.  Well....except for the bottom one.  They didn't include enough of the special screws.  We need 12 more for the last drawer.  Hubby went to Lowes and Home Depot to try to buy some, but you have to get them at a cabinet store. They're closed Sunday and Monday so I'll drive back there tomorrow to get more screws and Hubby will put the last one in tomorrow.  The store is almost to Idaho, at the last freeway exit before Post Falls, Idaho so it takes me almost 40 minutes to get there.  I really am excited for this.  Four drawers/$20.00!  Can you believe it?  I've wanted these for so long, but didn't want to ask for them because I thought they would be expensive-which, if you buy them in a store they are expensive.  I have a WoNdErFuL Hubby.
For my birthday he also bought me a set of signature double pointed needles for making socks.  These needles aren't cheap and he knows I've been eyeing them for a couple of years now.  They're even purple, my favorite color.  They are on top of the oval doily I made a couple of weeks ago.
This is a baby blanket I started when I was at Mandy's.  It will be given to the hospital when it's done.
This washcloth is another charity project I'm working with. It's called "Days for Girls." Girls in many places in Africa can't go to school during "that time of the month".  I'm sure you get my meaning.  This group sews waterproof shields and cloth absorbent liners that the girls can wash out.  Also included are some purchased panties, a store bought, knitted or crocheted wash cloth and a zip lock bag.  All of this is put into a brightly colored sewn drawstring bag.  Girls who are provided with these bags are able to go to school and added thousands of school days just in the last year.  I think it's a very worthy group to help.  In my humble opinion, no girl should have to stay home from school because of this reason.
This is Teresa's doily.  I'm in a quandary.  The pattern called for size 30 thead.  I am using size 10 and I'm afraid it will be too big for her piano.  So this morning I went to Hancock Fabric, Hobby Lobby, Joanne's, Michael's and Walmart.  No one has size 30.  I think I'll keep going and just see what happens.  If it's too big Teresa can use it as a bedspread!  :-)
And now I'm going to get comfy in my knitting chair and have fun with the doily.  I hope you all are having a great Monday too.  Many blessings.

"Give thanks to The Lord, for He is good. His love endures forever."  Psalm 136:1

Blessings,
Betsy

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Home Again!

I finally ventured out on the highways yesterday and made my way back to Spokane.  This is what I encountered along the Columbia Gorge. Wet highways but no snow on them.  Up to two foot of snow was piled alongside the road though and I'm very gtrateful that I stayed a few extra days and didn't drive while that was falling.
The heaviest snow began around Multnomah Falls and continued until I passed The Dalles.  Then the sun came out and it was 50 degrees when I arrived at home.  Most of our snow is gone too but more is predicted this weekend.
A frozen lake right next to the Columbia.
While it was very beautiful on the mountainsides, I'll take a warm summer day anytime!  :-)
Here is the newborn sleep sack that I finished at Mandy's. It's for one of my online charity groups that requested them and provided the pattern.
This is my next project.  Do any of your spice cabinets look like this?  
I bought this at the store this morning. Canning jars and chalkboard paint.  I've begun the project and I'll let you know next time if it worked out.
I started Teresa's piano doily/cloth last night just before bed.  That is one huge ball of cotton thread.  I bought it in Portland at michaels for 40% off plus I used a gift card I got for my birthday. It was a $15.00 gift card and I got the Paris box and birds I showed you last week plus this thread.  All of it only cost .56.  I did very well didn't I?
Remember the little cloche I found at the antique store with Teresa? I wasn't sure what to put under it and didn't want to buy anything right now so this is what I came up with.  It's a tiny candleholder with a silk rose on it.  It sits on the coffe table right next to my bird collection and really looks beautiful.  This photo doesn't do it justice.  It looks so delicate and the etching on the glass sparkles.

When I unpacked my suitcase last night guess what I found?  One of Pipers socks!  She helped me fold laundry and put it away Tuesday and when she put my things in the suitcase she must have put her sock in too.  I looked and looked for that sock.  It is so tiny and you know how the sock monsters always eat socks when you wash them.  I put it into an envelope and mailed it to her this morning.  :-)

I started going to a new, (to me), Bible study this morning.  It is called BSF, short for Bible Study Fellowship.  I guess it's been around since 1952 but I just heard of it a few months ago.  This particular study is all women, about 130 of us!  We sing, break into small groups and then get back together for a lesson given by a lady I happen to know.  This same exact lesson is done by women all over the world each week.  It is very structured and has printed lessons that every group follows.  Women of all denominations are there and one of the rules is that you don't ask anyone or tell anyone what church you go to.  This is so no pre-conceived barriers are erected.  I've never taken part of anything like this and look forward to seeing what it's all about.  There are three months of "pilot lessons" before the main studies begin in the fall.  I missed the first week last week, but they were gracious enough to let me begin today.  Lots of homework goes along with it.

Now I'm going to go sit In my chair and crochet for awhile.  Thank you for the wonderful comments and prayers for me as I drove home.  I truly appreciate each and every one of you!

Blessings,
Betsy

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

I'm going home tomorrow! Happy or Sad?

Look at this face. What do you think the answeris to that question?
The snow has stopped in both Portland and Spokane for the moment.  Hubby says about 7 inches fell just yesterday at our house.  There has been snow almost every day since I left home.  I think he's missing his snow shoveler.  Tomorrow looks to be a window of opportunity so I'm driving home with Chloe.  Look who will be missing each other.
They have become good buddies this trip.  

I was talking to Dennis today on his lunch break and just I started sobbing uncontrollably.  Seriously.  It will be so hard to leave this little girl tomorrow.  Not that it has ever been easy to leave her, but she has become such a "little person" this trip.  We have conversations with each other and she kisses me and we play with her "babies" together.  She calls me Gramma.  I just love her so much.

On the other hand, I miss Dennis terribly much.  I feel like half of my heart is left behind in Spokane when I leave him there.  I can't wait till he retires and we can travel together.  So that's it.  Part of my heart in Spokane, part in Helena with Kyleigh and Caleb. Part in Portland with Piper.  That's not even counting their parents and Alex in Japan.  Whoever said when the kids grow up it gets easier is nutso.

Piper and I went shopping this morning to get thread for Teresa's piano doily and then to Target for some pretty hair things and a princess plate for Miss Piper.  It's the first time I've left the house since last Thursday and it was a fun time with my little girl. She likes to shop and really likes Michaels and the yarn aisle with all the colors.  I let her "pet" the yarn  and she really likes that. I think we have a future crocheter/knitter here girls!

She's napping now and silly me, I'm begrudging even those few minutes of not playing with her before I leave.

Have a wonderful day my friends. I'll let you know when I get home.

Blessings,
Betsy

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Snowmeggedon in Portland!

Happy Saturday morning everyone!  Is it snowing where you are?  It is here in Portland, OR where I'm still visiting Mandy.  Now what you need to understand is this isn't Spokane. Portland DOES NOT get snow like this. Ever.  The city is virtually shut down. It took Brad over 3 hours to get home Thursday after work.  Yesterday he and Mandy went to work together but it didn't take as long since the vast majority of people didn't go to work and all schools were closed.

This was Thursday night and the little fountain in the back yard.
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This was yesterday afternoon.  Even with 4 wheel drive on his pick-up, Brad said the drive home from work yesterday was treacherous. I'm glad they work close together and can carpool at times like this.
This is this morning on the front porch. It doesn't look that deep but there is at least 8-10 inches out there, maybe more.  It's hard to tell the exact amount because of the blowing and drifting with the high winds the past few nights.  I came to Portland to escape the snow and look what followed me. :-)
Can you see my little CRV in the driveway?  This was when the snow started up again yesterday.  Almost all the snow was off of it because it had been driven.  That's Mandy & Brad's house. Isn't it pretty?
This is my car this morning with the snow that fell overnight.  Bleh. I was supposed to go home Monday but I really don't know when I'll leave.  All of this is heading to Spokane and I'm not driving 6 hours in this.  Luckily, Mandy and Brad have told me I can stay as long as I want to.  Hubby is missing me but agrees that the best thing is for me to just stay put. Warm and safe. 
And obviously, staying with this little girl is no hardship.  I brought her this blue bunny and she loves to comb it's "hair".
And kiss him
And just give him lots of hugs and love.  Right Grandma?
One of her favorite pastimes is to read her books. She loves books.
Did I tell you the most important news of this post? She called me Gramma yesterday for the first time. I was watching her eat her lunch and she pointed at me and said "Gramma" clear as could be.  I did a happy dance. Kissed her all over and tried to get her to say it again.  I love this little girl.

Be warm. Stay safe. Happy Birthday to my good friend Taci.  Enjoy your snow day my friend.  :-)

Blessings,
Betsy 

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Snowy Portland

Sunday I took a road trip to Portland with my Chloe for company on the drive.  Look who greeted me with her surprised face she's just started making.   Yep.  She's definitely well worth the six hour drive each direction don't you think?
I think this is her "I'm so happy that you're here Grandma" face. She loves the little heart box I brought for her. She puts all of her mail in it and carrys it around the house.

Today I had lunch at Bocelli's with the "blogging girls".  We have a great time, every time. The waitress has a hard time taking our orders because we can't stop talking long enough.  Here we are as a group.  My goodness how I've come to love these ladies and their generous hearts and lovely spirits.  From left to right-Gracie, Me, Teresa and Taci.  If you've never read these ladies blogs be sure to check them out on my sidebar, you'll be glad you did.
Taci & Gracie

Teresa and me.
Look at the little gifts we brought each other.  Gracie made those cards for each of us and she wrote the names of all of the restaurants we've met for lunch at on the front.  Teresa gave the three of us birthday girls chocolate hearts and a card she made with a picture of all of us on it. Taci made us beautiful crocheted cloths with little hearts on them, an emery board and hand sanitizer.  Gracie gave gifts of yarn to each of us and a potholder.  I knitted them each a heart for Valentine's Day.
After we sat and visited awhile Taci had to go back to work. Boo!  Teresa and Gracie did some work on my blog, finally giving me a reply button that I've tried to figure out since I started this blog and enabling comment moderation to help with the spam.  These ladies are pros at figuring out blogger and I'm always picking their brains for help when we meet.  Thank you again girls. I appreciate you and your help so much.

Gracie also had to leave, so Teresa and I wandered across the street to an antique store.  Look at the goodies there.  I like this cabinet and it's worn look. I'll bet it has a history don't you think?
We both liked this shelf and the light behind the glassware but my favorite part was the Japanese fishing floats.  There were also some old canning jars with the screw on metal one piece lids.  They were a little pricy for me though at $28.00.
A closer view of the floats.
And when we looked closer, we discovered that they were reproductions, not the real thing. So none came home with me today.
Aren't they pretty though?  I've always wanted some of these floats, especially since Alex lives in Japan now.
Beautiful vintage tablecloths.
And I loved this little desk and hutch and its happy color.  Here I found one of my treasures to take home.
Look at this precious little cloche. It's about 5 inches tall and I'm trying to think of ideas for it. The little blue jar with a bail is about 4 inches high and I think it would be great with a candle in it.  Aren't they sweet?  That's one of Piper's books in the background to give you perspective.  It's a 5 inch square book.
Here are my sweet gifts from the girls.  The yarn is variegated purple colors.  These girls sure know me well don't they?  This little table and chairs were one of Pipers Christmas presents from Hubby & I.  It's really a nice solid wood table and chairs. We got a similar one for Kyleigh and Caleb a few years ago and they hold up very well and are nice looking too.
A friend gave me a Michael's gift card for my birthday.  Piper and I went shopping yesterday and I found this sweet box with a magnet closure and these little birds.  The birds were only 69 cents each  and the box around $5.  It's a nice size box about 8 inches square that I think will be ideal for keeping some of my small knitting things organized.  It has a magnet closure and reminds me of our trip to Paris a few years ago.
And that, my friends is the end to a lovely day.  If the snow continues to fall in Spokane, I just may be here a little longer than planned.  If that happens, I hope to get together with the girls to have a crochet/knit time, otherwise I'll be driving home next Monday. Again that's IF the weather cooperates.  I already miss Hubby and feel bad for him home alone.

Have a lovely evening my friends.
Blessings,
Betsy