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Monday, October 27, 2014

Monday Musings

Happy Monday everyone.  I hope all of you had a wonderful weekend.  We had ridiculously high winds Saturday night and most of yesterday, but we were warm and cozy in the house and had no damage from the wind.  We had a nice morning at church yesterday, lunch with several friends and then Larry and Nita stopped by with homemade cookies and goodbyes for Mandy and Piper.  

Mandy knitted a pair of mittens for Piper while she napped on Saturday and she's worn them almost constantly since she saw them.  Piper picked out the yarn when we went shopping a few weeks ago.  With the arrival of cold weather they were finished just in time.  Show and tell....
She also loves a character on the Disney Channel named Doc McStuffins who takes good care of and fixes all the toys in the neighorhood.  So she's going to be Doc for Halloween.  Brad will take her to a party at a friends house on Halloween while Mandy and I unpack.  We fly to DC on Thursday.  The plan is that we will sleep on the floor in the new house that night and the movers are supposed to be there with the furniture, etc. at 8:00 a.m. Friday.  Let's hope all goes as planned.

Here is our little Doc!
This morning on the way home from the grocery store we stopped at Dutch Brothers Coffee and Piper got a coconut milk hot chocolate.  She loves it.  Since she's very allergic to all dairy it's nice that they have an alternative for her.  Lots of places don't have anything she can eat or drink.  We hope she'll outgrow it someday, but it doesn't seem very likely at this point.  It's amazing how many things have dairy or whey in them.  Who would have thought a jar of spaghetti sauce would have dairy?  It's definitely been interesting learning to cook for her.  Our other two grandchildren have celiac's disease so no gluten/wheat for them.  They have had the blood tests and everything so it's not just that they are trying to avoid wheat like many people these days. They both get very sick when they eat it.  Family dinners are interesting when everyone is here!
Here's a sock I made for Mandy this weekend.  I actually had the leg of the second sock done and the heel halfway turned before I realized I was off 4 stitiches.  Bother!  I had to rip out the entire sock.  Unhappy Betsy.  :-(  I've started it again but only have about one inch of the leg done.  I bought a skein of sock yarn yesterday at Michael's with a 50% off coupon.  That pair will be for me.  I like to take socks to knit on when I'm on an airplane because they don't take up much room.  How much knitting I do with Piper as a seatmate remains to be seen.  HaHa!
Isn't this yarn pretty?  I got it at Paradise Fibers for my birthday last year.  I don't usually spend this much on sock yarn but I loved the colors.  The yarn is called "Zitron Trekking XXK" Color 480.
I'll finish these in the next few days and then have mine to work on in my spare moments at Mandy's and on the way home.

I just hung up from Verizon phone service.  My hotspot is now activated on my phone so I can use the internet for my Ipad while I'm gone.  They won't have internet yet at the new house and with my hotspot they can also use the internet with their Ipads and laptop.  We can have up to five devices at one time using the internet from my phone.  It's really convenient and it's what I use at the lake in the summer.  You can turn it on and off whenever you want and only get charged for the time you actually have it on your phone.  I'm having it turned on Thursday and turned off the day I get home so I'll only have to pay for 15 days instead of an entire month.  I know people who have been unhappy with Verizon, but we've had them for well over 10 years and never had a bit of trouble.  The lady today was actually the nicest person I've ever talked to there and very helpful.

It's a damp cold day today and a good day to stay inside and warm.  Dennis has gone back to work today and trying to play catch up.  Since he worked quite a lot while on vacation he was able to just jump right back into the fray.  Piper is lost without Papa.  When I got her out of bed this morning and took her to cuddle with me in my bed for awhile, she wasn't happy that Papa wasn't there too.  We've spent the last nine mornings cuddling and watching Mickey Mouse in the mornings and all three of us liked it that way.  Mandy brought her Dad coffee in bed every day and made us all breakfast most mornings.  Today was a rude awakening.  I refuse to even think about how quiet this house will be when I get home.

And now I'm off to read your blogs while Piper naps.  I'll be back soon.

"Therefore as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers."  Galations 6:10

Blessings

Betsy

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Vacation?

Good Morning!  It's a dreary, rainy day here in Spokane, but I'm playing with my Piper and all is well with the world.  Look at this tree in our neighbors yard.  It's certainly loaded with berries.  I keep hearing conflicting reports of how severe the winter is going to be.  Because of these loaded trees and fuzzy caterpillers peoplle say it will be lots of snow and cold but then others say because of el niño, it will be warm and rainy.  I guess time will tell.  I'm ready to be cozy and curled up by the fire knitting, crocheting and reading.
Mandy and I took Piper to the playground  Sunday.  She loves to go up and down the steps and the slide.
We  were trying to get a good picture of her dress.  Brad's grandma, Pipers great-grandma, sent it to her for her birthday.  Isn't it cute with the ladybugs all over it? Piper loves it.
I finished Alex's wristwarmers....
...and started a pair for his girl friend for Christmas.  This yarn I actually a deep purple, but no matter how much I changed the saturation I couldn't get the color right.  Alex's were finished in a couple of hours, but these take much, much longer with the lace pattern. It's an 8 row repeat so not too bad but still takes lots of concentration, (and size 1.5 needles!)
Trying Mommies clothes on.  This is one of her favorite passtimes lately.
Dennis and Mandy have Polly the dog and the two cats at the veterinarian this morning to get their health certificates to fly.  Piper and I went to the post office and mailed some crochet thread to a blog friend in England while they're busy at the vet's.  When we came home, this is what I found.
Chloe was so sad.  All the other animals were gone and she was left all alone.  I really don't know what she's going to do when we take them all with us to D.C. next week.  They've been here since the 4th of July and she's gotten used to having lots of playmates.

Dennis is on vacation this week.  His anniversary date at work is this month so he had to take the vacation now or lose it.  He has worked some from home, has taken phone calls here and actually went into the office for awhile yesterday, but for the most part we're just hanging around home.  Yesterday we spent two hours at the financial planners office finding out what we need to do to prepare for retirement in a few years.  That was an eye opener for sure.  This is the first time we've ever taken a vacation and just stayed home.  Usually we camp, go visit relatives or go somewhere fun.  We've been talking and we both realize that if this week is any indication, there is no way he can do what I do.  And this is even having Miss Piper around for entertainment.  I get up early and do my housework and any errands I have and then most afternoons I'm able to knit or read.  My always busy husband will be bored out of his mind soon.  He can't just sit still.  Example-he went into the OFFICE yesterday while on vacation.  We need to figure out a hobby or part-time job or volunteering somewhere or something to preserve both of our sanities.  :-)
Mandy, Piper and I have our tickets to fly to D.C. next Thursday, October 30.  I'll come home November 13 and then Hubby and I go on vacation, an actual vacation, in December.  I'll tell you about the plans for that trip when I get back from Mandy's new house.  She wants me there to help with Piper and to help unpack the house.  Also the actual trip there with Piper, the dog, two cats and all the luggage.  I'm sure we will be quite the spectacle at the airport!  The new house is all done and Brad had the walkthrough yesterday.  He's face-timed with us and shown us the house and yard and it's a beautiful home.

And now it's time to fix lunch.  I'll be back soon!

Blessings,
Betsy

Friday, October 17, 2014

Finished CAL

KHello my friends!  Happy Friday!

I finished the doily in the CAL with Pammy Sue over at Scotty's Place (on my sidebar.)  Mine turned out much smaller than most of them at only 16 inches in diameter.  I think it was supposed to be about 21 inches.  I crochet very tightly and I should have known to use a larger size hook.  Oh well, I like the size it turned out anyway.  The pattern wasn't a very easy one to read but once I figured out her writing style it did get easier.  I was tempted to do the entire rip out thing several times though.  :-)
It is pretty though isn't it?  I thought I was doing something wrong because of those ripples but all of the pictures I've seen of the completed CAL projects have the same ripples so that must be the way it's supposed to look.
And now some Piper pictures.  Here we were watching "Frozen" on Mandy's iPad.  She had just downloaded it and we were checking it out to see if it worked.  That's Polly cuddling with us.
We bought her some headphones on Wednesday so she can watch movies and listen to music on the plane.  Hopefully it will help with the 5 1/2 hour flight.  She's worn them a little bit since she got them so she will be used to them.  Look how serious she is.  :-)  She also loves listening to music on Mandy's Ipod and dances around.  That's hilarious to watch since we can't hear the music that she's dancing and singing to.
Are you ready for some Piper & Grandma selfies?  I let her push the buttons on my phone camera while we were sitting together reading a book.
Have I told you enough times just how much this Grandma loves this little girl?  I really don't like these pictures of me at all, but I love how it's obvious she loves me.  She runs up to me and gives me hugs and kisses all the time.  I wake up in the morning hearing her call, "Gama"!  What a sweet sound.

Now I'm making a pair of wristwarmers for Alex for Christmas.  He is a photographer in his spare time and snaps pictures constantly as he's traveling around Japan.  These will allow him to keep his hands warm while keeping his fingers free to take pictures or text!  I'm also going to make a set of wristwarmers and a cowl for his girlfriend.
I'm also planning to make Kyleigh and Caleb Wonderful Wallaby sweaters for Christmas but I won't make those until I get back home from D.C.  I should have plenty of time.  (I hope.)

Brad has bought our plane tickets to D.C. so it looks like we'll be leaving the end of October and I'll fly home on the 13th.  I admit to being a bit nervous because of all the things going on around the country and indeed the entire world right now.  However, I also know we can't live in a state of fear and must continue living our lives.  I'm in prayer constantly and if you are a believer I'm sure you are too.

I hope you all have a lovely weekend and I'll be back soon.

"My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever." Psalm 73:26

Blessings,

Betsy



Monday, October 13, 2014

This and That Monday

Happy Monday everyone!

Mandy, Piper and I have had a productive morning at Costco.  Our Costco card expired in July and we're experimenting with not having one.  With just the two of us, it's hard to justify the $55.00 a year cost of membership.  I don't think I actully use it enough to save $55/year.  So this morning we went to Costco using Mandy's card.  I spent $150.00!  So easy to do there.  You have to buy such huge amounts though, that I think I have enough toilet paper, paper towels and ziplock bags to last Dennis aand I for years!  Does anyone else find that the savings don't seem all that different than at, say, Walmart or is it just me?

The shower gift is finished, laundered and gift wrapped.  Two blankets, two sweaters, two hats and two pairs of socks.  Whew!  It was a marathon of knitting and crocheting and, of course, I still played with Miss Piper too.  :-)
A  little closer look.
Now I'm working on a doily in a CAL with Pammy Sue over at Scotty's Place (on my sidebar).  I'm on row 17 and I fear I'm far behind everyone else since I wanted to finish the shower gift first.  The pattern is more complicated than most doily patterns I've used and the directions don't seem very clearly written, but that could just be the way I'm reading them.
When we moved into our house a little over 12 years ago it was newly built and we put the "cheapo" vinyl miniblinds in, because, frankly, with landscaping, AC and all the other things that have to be done with a newly built house, that was all we could afford.  One by one they "bit the dust" so to speak and we were left with just four blinds working out of 11 windows.  This weekend Dennis and I bought new blinds at Home Depot.  They are 2 1/2 inch slats and white faux wood.  We installed three of them on Saturday and four yesterday.  I must say, we've gotten pretty good at the installation.  Whereas the first window took about 1 1/2 hours, by yesterday we were slapping them up in about 1/2 hour!  Hubby put them up and I trimmed the excess slats from the bottom.  We were like a well oiled machine and are thinking about hiring ourselves out to install them for people.  Just kidding, although the $25.00 a window that home depot charges for installing them is an incentive to me!

This is in Mandy's room (or the upstairs guest room).  That picture on the right is one that Mandy drew in the 8th grade.  Yes that's a wallpaper border by the ceiling.  I know they went out of style years ago, but Harumi, one of our Japanese girls helped me put it up and I just can't take it down.  I miss her.

Blinds open.
Blinds closed
A closer view of the "molding" valance at the top of the window.  It's  little hard to see because the wall color is so close to the blind color.  One of the things that I like about these blinds is they don't have the wand thingy to open and close the slats.  They have two strings that you just pull up or down.  So easy.
We had to special order the blinds for the three narrow living room window and they should be in this week.  The rest of them they were able to cut to size right at Home Depot.  We still have the kitchen window to install but we ran out of time yesterday.  I am really happy with them and wish we had done this a long time ago.  The gentleman that helped us at the store was great!  Very helpful and knew just what sizes we needed.

Here is a shot of Miss Piper on Saturday.  It was a cool day and she wore her new "Princess" fleece outfit that she got for her birthday from her other set of grandparents.  She looks so serious here.  I think she had been counting her money.  Very important business!  Papa gave her five pennies and she carried them around all day, actually she's still carrying them around and counts them constantly.  And of course, Elmo slippers.  We gave her the slippers for her birthday and she loves them.
I hope your week has started out well for you all and I'll see you all again soon my friends

"Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is he one who takes refuge in Him." Psalm 34:8

Blessings,

Betsy

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

I Won! I Won!

Hello my friends.  It's been a beautiful week so far.  Crisp, cool autumn evenings and nights and warm sunny days.  Just how I like it.  Could I please arrange for it to be exactly like this all year?  Wouldn't that be nice?

I received this lovely package in the mail from GrandmaBeckyL, (you can find her on my sidebar).  I won her blogversary drawing and oh my goodness, the wonderful things that package contained.  Most of you have got to be aware by now that my very favorite color in the world is lavender with all the shades of purple being quite lovely too.  And looky what my gift contained.  A 2015 calendar with photos taken by Becky herself of lavender!  Also, some tea and a bar of homemade lavender soap. And just look at the cute tea towel.  It says, "Take life one cup at a time," and has names of different teas all across the bottom.  How appropriate.  I love tea.   Not coffee at all.  But tea...I drink lots of it.  Thank you so much Becky. I've used the towel already to dry my homemade noodles on for chicken and noodles.  It worked great and is the perfect size.
One of my favorite photos from the calendar.
A closer look.  Cute isn't it?  The soap smells wonderful.
Some pictures I took today of a park near here.
Yep.  I'd say fall has definitely arrived.
I  do know it means winter will be here soon, but it IS beautiful, isn't it?
Looky what else I got just today.  It's an early Christmas present from Dennis.  Mandy makes fun of me.  She says everytime I get something it's my early Christmas present.  :-)

This is a set of Hiya Hiya interchagable knitting needles, in US sizes 2 to 8.  It comes in this beautiful black and lavender brocade case along with 4 cables in various sizes.
The bamboo 5 inch tips.
Cables in various sizes.
I'm very happy to have them.  I have the Knit Picks harmony interchangables and have loved them for several years, but I'm starting to have problems with the cables pulling out of the tips.  The more people I talk to that have them say they have had similar problems.  The last time it happened was when I was making Mandy's Wonderful Wallaby sweater.  It pulled completely away from the tip leaving me with half of my over 300 stitches off the cable and the needle tip completely broken and unusable.  Of course I didn't have another needle that size so I had to go buy one before still more stitches unraveled.  I was very frustrated to say the least.  That's a lot of knitting to lose!

I live very close to Paradise Fibers.  If you've never heard of them you need to check them out online.  They do the vast majority of their business online but they have an amazing store here in Spokane.  Two HUGE floors of yarn, spinning fiber, wheels, looms and anything fiber related you can possibly think of.  I have been eyeing these Hiya Hiya needles for awhile now and this week got a coupon by email for 25% off anything in the store.  Hubby told me to go get them.  Isn't he the sweetest?  Well of course he is!  I know I'm going to love these needles.  I'll keep you posted on how they work out and I encourage you to check them out online this week.  The 25% off one item is for everyone and you can use it to order online.  They even provide you the coupon code to order. No, I'm not paid by them to say these things, but it really is a great store.

The two baby hats and two pairs of socks are done.  I have the first sweater about half done.  I think I just may get everything done by the shower!  Phew!!!!  I was a little worried.
And last but not least.  Miss Piper decided she was cold Monday morning.  After all, the temperature was only predicted to be 80F!   She proceeded to put on a sweater I made for her, her coat, two hats and of course no ensemble is complete with out her Elmo slippers.  I adore this picture and this little girl.  Papa says she looks ready to go out and run the new snowblower!
Have a lovely evening my friends.  I'll be back soon!

"Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal. " Isaiah 26:4

Blessings,

Betsy

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Fall Fun

Yesterday we decided to make a trip to the pumpkin patch with Miss Piper.  We are blessed to have several huge fruit farms in the foothills of Mt. Spokane and they are only about 20 minutes from our house in Greenbluff.  I buy my apples from Hidden Acres farm most years and make applesauce and pie filling.  Yum!  We first went to a big farm that is very popular.  The first thing we noticed were the outrageous prices for EVERYTHING!  The petting zoo was $4.00 for Piper and I.  The only animals were a few sheep.  Very disappointing.  We overheard others saying the same thing.  Everything was really expensive so off we went to the car and we drove to Siemers Farm.  Alll of the photos below were taken there.  Papa paid a couple of dollars to ride the train but Piper was free.  The same for the petting zoo.  Mandy paid $2 and Piper was free and there were LOTS  and LOTS of animals.

Here comes the train with it's precious cargo.
It's Piper and Papa!
They had a grand time seeing the orchards and corn fields.
There were even camels named Dolly!
Piper loved the camel and kept going back there.
Baby ducklings.
Posing with Dolly.
There's a fairy castle.
And live music that Piper loved dancing to with Grandma.  Wow!  Look at that gray windblown hair.  On second thought, don't look at it!  :-)
Preciousness.
She was supervising Grandpa mowing the yard this afternoon.
I've finished the two baby blankets for the twins.
Now I've started the first hat for the sweater/hat/sockie sets.
We're enjoying unseasonably warm weather the past few days.  Tomorrow is supposed to be 80 degrees!  Very nice for October in Spokane.  It looks as though Mandy and Brad's home in the D.C. area will be done by the end of October.  I really don't know what Papa and I will do once they leave.  The house will be so quiet.  That little girl is a bundle of energy and I love it.  She changes so much every day and I'm so glad we get to see it all right now.  She adores her "Papa" and wakes up in the morning calling for him.
Okay my friends.  I'm off to bed soon.  Two year olds get up pretty early in the morning!

"So in everything, do to others what you would have them do unto you." Matthew 7:12

Blessings,

Betsy