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Saturday, November 29, 2014

Quiet

Happy Saturday my friends!  We've had a relatively quiet holiday weekend so far.  It was just Dennis and I and so I made the chicken enchiladas that he requested.
They were delicious.  Larry, Nita and Sophie stopped by in the evening and we shared dessert of pecan pie and pumpkin cake.  Yum.

Kyleigh's Wonderful Wallaby is finished!  I'll try to remember to get a picture of her wearing it at Christmas.  She chose the color and I think it turned out well.
I changed up the pattern to seed stitch instead of garter stitch for the accents around the hood, front placket and pouch.
I really like how it turned out don't you?
And now I've begun one for Caleb in the Denver Bronco's colors as he requested.  I think he's going to love it.  :-)
Yesterday I decorated for Christmas.  I didn't put out as much as I usually do since we'll be gone a lot this December.  We have a friend staying here while we're in Hawaii, along with her daughter, son-in-law and grandson who are visiting from New York.  I don't want them to have to worry about things breaking so I didn't decorate as much.

This nativity gets a prominent place every year.  I made it 36 years ago for our first Christmas together.  I'll try to get a better picture during the day when the light is better.  I hand painted each piece and it will be handed down to one of our kids someday.  36 years and not one piece has ever been broken.  A miracle to be sure, considering we had three kids and I had an in home daycare for 13 years. :-)
The tree.
I made this tree skirt a few years ago.  Mandy had always loved the one we had when she was growing up, so when she and Brad got married, I gave it to her for their first Christmas together.  You can see the Christmas Moose sitting there.  He sings different Christmas songs.
Today I wrapped presents and had a nice fire burning.  It's cold outside.  We have lots of wood scraps from the building of the shed.  The guys were going to take the scraps to the dump and I ran out there and collected them all.  No sense wasting good firewood is there?
I mailed our Christmas cards yesterday and got ALL the wrapping done today.  Monday I will go to the post office and mail the boxes to Mandy & Brad, Alex and the box with the blankets I made for the Navajo reservation.  I will be completely done with Christmas preparations and it's not even December yet!  I strive for this every year but don't always manage to do it.  I love being able to relax and enjoy the season without any panic about gifts or decorating.  Now, I can sit back and enjoy the hustle and bustle.  I've been known to just go sit at the mall with a hot chocolate and watch the crowds as they scurry around.

I'll be heading to Portland, Oregon to see Taci, Teresa and Gracie on December 19, one day after we get back from Hawaii!  Dennis decided he didn't want me to drive the 6 hours each way by myself in the winter, so I bought a plane ticket and rented a car for the day!  In the past it wasn't a big deal.  If the  weather was bad I could just stay with Mandy and Brad until the roads got better.  Now I've lost my free hotel!  I can't wait to see the girls, it's been a long time, I think it was in July or early Augustwe last were together.

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

"Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name." Psalm 100:4

Blessings,

Betsy

Monday, November 24, 2014

Blankets and Some News.

Without further ado...the sweater I made for Sophie last Monday and forgot to post a picture of last time I posted on the blog.  It should probably have been about 2 inches longer but it was too late by the time I realized it.  She loved wearing it.
It has a series of interlocking cables down the back and a turn down ribbed collar.  Sophie has now returned home to her Mom and Dad.  The ship they were on last week made the news for having the Noro virus on it. Thankfully Larry and Nita don't seem to been affected.
A bit of snow fell on our woodpile.  Not much and it has melted now.
And look what lovely Sherri from Sherrisneedlecrafts over on my sidebar sent me last week!  How sweet it this?  I have made hundreds of these blankets in the past years and my copy looks simply awful and is almost unreadable.  Sherri found the original book somewhere and made me a color copy and put it into this folder.  I cannot believe the generosity of bloggers.  Teabags too.  I dont drink coffee but I do love a nice cuppa tea.
It not only has the blanket and matching sweater but it has a lot of other baby items as well.  I can't wait to have time to try making some of these sweet sweater and hats.  Thank you SO MUCH Sherri.  I so appreciate your thoughtfulness.
Kyleigh's sweater has begun.  The ribbing is done and since I took this picture I have finished about 4 inches of the body.  I work on it as a take along project.  I took a gentleman from church to the doctor this morning for an appointment and I got about 2 inches knitted while I waited for him.
Saturday we drove up to the lake to check on the camper since we have had our first hard freeze.  Dennis wanted to make sure things seemed to be winterized sufficiently.  All was well and Chloe and Sophie had a great time running around the field playing.

Wasn't it a beautiful view?  Just a hint of snow up on the mountains.
The grass is really GREEN behind the trailer with some pine needles mixed in.
Another blanket is put together for the Navajo reservation.  This one is about the right size for a full size bed.  I just grabbed squares at random and didn't try to put a patten of any sort together.  I like how it turned out don't you?
Now I'm putting together a red/white/blue wheelchair blanket for the local Veterans Home.  I have almost enough squares for another one.  I think I'm short 5 squares. I'll make them after Christmas gifts are completed.  I still have a sweater to make for Caleb after I finish Kyleigh's.
A bit closer look.
And now for my news.  I'm going traveling again!  This time my handsome Hubby is going with me.  My trip to D.C. was completely paid for by Brad's company.  Would you believe they flew his MIL out to help with the move?  They did.  That trip didn't cost me a dime!  And that's good because now we're going to Maui, Hawaii in December.  We leave in about two weeks and will be there eight days.  We orginally were supposed to meet Alex there.  Maui is about halfway between us and he had never been to Hawaii.  Just when we had our reservations all made, his vacation was cancelled by the University because someone with more seniority wanted the same time off.  Uh-oh!  We couldn't get a refund so off we'll go, just Dennis and I.  I'm not complaining, I know we'll have a wonderful time.  We've been there several times and we absolutely love it there.  If we could live anywhere and money was no object, Maui is definitely where both of us would choose to live.  It's paradise on earth.

So...I'm trying to get Christmas done before we go.  We have made or purchased all of the Christmas gifts except Kyleigh and Caleb's sweaters that I'm working on.  I just have to wrap the gifts.  I even have all of the stocking stuffers!  I'll mail Alex and Mandy's Christmas boxes next week so they'll have them in plenty of time to put under their trees.  Cards have all been addressed and stamped to be mailed on Friday.  I'll decorate next week too.  Ellen is staying here with Chloe and she'll be able to enjoy the decorations too.

On Thanksgiving Dennis and I will be all alone.  The plan is that instead of a big dinner I'll make chicken enchilada's and a pumpkin dump cake for dessert.  Dennis actually requested enchilada's!  I bought a turkey this morning, but that will be for Christmas when Jamie and the kids are here.

And now I'm going to try to finish up this patriotic blanket.  I would like to deliver it to the VA Home before we leave.

I hope you all have a lovely week and enjoy your time with family.

"Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever."  1 Chronicles 16:34

Blessings,

Betsy

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Cozy Days!

The temperature has dropped and so I'm spending as much time as I can in front of this:
So  toasty warm.  Sophie seems to like it too as this is where she's spending her time  On my lap.  This photo was the beginning of a sweater I knitted for her on Monday.  It's finished now and I'll show it to you being modeled by Miss Sophie herself next time.  I forgot to take a picture for today's post. 
I am enjoying having her around.  Shee sleeps all snuggled up to us every night.  She's under my arm right now.  Tiny little thing.

See my new sign?  I used to have a tiny little picture above it.  Dennnis and I bought this picture for our 25th anniversary because it reminded us of the narrow streets of Paris.  The frame was bright gold and neither of us like it.  I rubbed some black paint on it to age it and we like it much better.  It hangs in our dining area and this sign was perfect.  A bargain at 50% off at Hobby Lobby last month.
Do you see the quail on the shed roof?  I see five here now but originally there were about 10 up there.  By the time I got my phone to take a picture several had flown away.
This is what I've been working on Monday night and yesterday.  I'm an official "square joiner" for a craft group.  We have crafty people all over the US and Canada who donate and there is a different recipient each month.  I have been remiss in joining squares the past few months with all of the activity around here.  So.  I have begun making some blankets.  Ladies from the group send me 7 inch knitted or crocheted squares and then it's my job to crochet a border around each square, join them together and then crochet a border around the blanket and mail them to the recipients.  Here's the latest one, finished last night and washed today.  (See Sophie in the upper right corner?)  The blankets I'm making this month will go to the Navajo reservation in Arizona.
Another view.  This blanket is about twin size.
I have squares stashed everywhere!
A  pile of red, white and blue squares that I'll make into a lapghan this week for the Veteran's Home.
Nita likes to crochet but only knows how to go back and forth in double crochet.  No problem.  I told her how many rows to crochet and she gives me the squares.  She like's purple!
These will be given to the local Children's Crisis Center.  The top one is toddler size and the bottom one closer to crib size.
That's about it.  The weekend wore me out.  Monday morning I spent 3 1/2 hours getting the oil changed in Dennis' truck.  They were so busy putting snow tires on it was a long wait.  Then I got home, called Dennis and we realized they had used the wrong oil.  So yesterday I had to go back to get it changed AGAIN!  At least they expedited me and I didn't have to wait as long.  Now it's at the dealer for warranty work.  I'm pretty much stuck at home with no vehicle.  No problem.  I love to be at home with my yarn, fire in the fireplace and Chloe and Sophie.  :-)

I still need to get my snowtires mounted and put on but I think I'll wait a week or two until the furious rush dies down.

Have a lovely afternoon my friends.  I'm going to get my crochet hook out and start working on bordering some squares!

"I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you"  Psalm 119:11

Blessings always,

Betsy

Friday, November 14, 2014

Home Again

Hello My Friends!

I made it back home safely yesterday afternoon.  On Wednesday, Mandy, Piper and I walked along the bay in t-shirts and jeans, no coats.  We painted all day with all the windows open and the high was 72 degrees.  Yesterday I came home to 10 degrees.  What a rude awakening!  I woke up about 3:00 a.m Eastern time, which was midnight here in Spokane.  Brad took me to the airport and I saw all of the monuments in D.C. lit up during the dark drive.  So pretty!  

I arrived in Spokane a little after 3:00 pm and Hubby picked me up.  I had just enough time to unpack my suitcase before preparing for a potluck dinner here at our house.  After the dinner and a bit of visiting, everyone was preparing to watch a movie and I excused myself andwent to bed!  But...just as I climbed into my bed, Alex face-timed with me.  We  talked for about an hour and I so enjoyed visiting with him.  He is going to Harvard University in February for a few days for work but said it wouldn't make sense for us to fly there to see him since he has to work the entire time.  That's disappointing.  Here he will be on U.S. soil and I still won't get to hug him.  :-(  That's hard on a Mom.  After we talked I finally fell asleep and slept very well until 5:30.  Not too bad.  I was afraid I would be awake really early until I adjusted to the time change.  All told, I was awake about 23 hours yesterday!  I'm getting too old for this!

A few last pictures of Mandy's place.  These next three pictures are of The Londonton Pub, (I think hat's the name).  It's one of the original settlements in the country and is about 2 miles from Mandy & Brad's house.
The old buildings are beautiful.
Just look at the fences.  I didn't get to go inside and explore.   Maybe next visit.
A last vew of the Bay Wednesday afternoon during our walk about a block from their house.  Isn't that gorgeous?
Piper decided to try on Mommy's Ugg boots.  They're a bit big for her don't you think?
Mandy said Piper looked all over the house for me yesterday and kept asking for me.  I had tried to prepare her as best I could that I was going home to Papa and Chloe and she kept saying, "No Gamma.  Sit and stay!"  I'm not ashamed to say I cried several times on the way home yesterday.  I love, love, love this little girl.

When I got home, look what was waiting for me!  A package from Helen at Moonstruck Creations.  I'm sorry the picture is turned.  Try as I might, I cannot get it turned the right way.  I had sent Helen a bit of doily thread and sweetheart that she is, she sent me a package back.  
There is a doily button!  How cute is this?  I love doilies.
Pure British Bluefaced Leicester Wool.  Isn't it beautiful?  I have to find something very special to make with this.
Cadbury chocolates.  Yum!
And little foam shapes.  I sure wish Piper were still here, we would have a fun time making something with these together.  Thank you so much Helen.  This was so sweet of you and completely unexpected.  Blog friends are the best!
I finished the socks I was making in my last post and left them with Mandy.  Now I'm making a pair for myself.  Maybe.  They always get given away before I finish a pair and I have NEVER gotten to keep a single pair of the dozens I've knitted.  I finished the first sock on the plane yesterday and started the second.
This is very nice pure wool yarn.
By 8:30 this morning I had been to the grocery store and washed two loads of clothes.  I've gone through two weeks of mail and filed lots away.  I put a roast into the crockpot for dinner too.  I think I need to give up on catching up on blogs and just start fresh today.  I hope that's okay with all of you.  I love your blogs and hate to miss even a single post but I have so many committments this weekend.  Starting with knitting group this afternoon.  I've missed 5 months and am determined to go today!  Tomorrow is the church craft morning here at our house at 10:00.  I should bake something for that.  Sunday is our church's annual Thankgiving dinner.  We do a traditional turkey dinner for about 300 people every year.  Usually I volunteer to roast a turkey among other things, but this year I took the easy way out and I'm just making a few side dishes.  So it's a busy weekend.  Hopefully Monday will bring a more relaxing time.  Oh, that's right!  Monday I have to take my car to get the snow tires put on.  Okay...maybe Tuesday will be quieter.

Nita is bringing little Sophie over today and we'll be puppy sitting for a week while she and Larry take a cruise somewhere in the Carribean.  Lucky people.  Just as it gets cold here they leave.  

Such is my life.  Busy, but I like it.  It was SO WONDERFUL to see Dennis again yesterday.  I miss him so much when one of us is gone.

Okay.  I've rambled enough.  I hope all is well with each one of you.  Have a lovely day and weekend my friends.

"Yours, Lord is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours.  Yours, Lord is the kingdom: you are exalted as head over all."
1 Chronicles 29:11

Blessings,

Betsy

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Playing Tourist

Friday night and yesterday we worked hard at painting the kitchen, dining room, living room and downstairs bath ceilings and cleaning up the mess painting ceilings makes.  Today we decided to play tourist in our nation's capital for my last day here that Brad has off work.  We headed to the downtown area-I was surprised to find that it is only about 45 minutes from their house.  They don't actually live in D.C. itself, but in a suburb called Edgewater, appropriate since they are right on the Chesapeake Bay.  I can't tell where Edgewater and Annapolis end and begin.  We do most of our shopping in Annapolis and the stores are only 10 minutes away.

It was a beautiful day, in the low 50's when we arrived, but 67F when we left in the afternoon.  I think that may be unusual for November.  We walked the length of the National Mall and back-about 4miles.  This was our first stop.  The Washington Monument.  Gorgeous.
My Mandy, Piper and Brad.  I love them and they seem to like me okay too.
This was an accidental picture of the monument.  I was trying to get a perspective of how tall it is and didn't notice the flag but I think it is very appropriate.  I used my iPhone for all of my pictures so they aren't professional quality.  I like them anyway.
Piper loved this "horsey"!
In front of the Capital Building.  Poor Miss Piper has a terrible head cold but she was SO good.  Not fussy at all and loved the walk.
Pretty day.
Here I am!  
Scaffolding seemed to be the order of the day at the Capital Building, but it's still grand.
Love the road sign.  I tried to get a few others but the traffic was pretty heavy.  I actually took this one as We were walking across the street.
We parked downstairs in this building.  It was gorgeous.
inside on the way to the parking garage.  The floors were amazingly shiny!
Another view.
I lost track of the names of these beautiful old buildings.  I told Mandy that this part of D.C. reminded me of London and the City of London.  Just as I said it she said she was thinking the same thing.  She and I spent a week in London, Bath and Stonehenge, England when she graduated from nursing school.  We had a great time.
This was the only shot I got of the White House.  Too many people and we were in the car.  It was too far to walk because this....
....was happening to Piper.  She was exhausted after our long walk.  We had lunch at the Smithsonian Museum of Aeronautics and Space and looked at airplanes.  This little girl and her Daddy LOVE airplanes.  Their new house is within 2 miles of an airfield so Daddy and Piper can go flying in his free time.  
Poor baby was exhausted.  She slept like this all of the way home.
I forgot to show you the pictures of the Porta Potties.  Yes I took a picture of them.  There were literally thousands around the perimeter of the Mall.  We checked online and sure enough, they're setting up for a huge Veteran's Day Concert Tuesday night.  They are expecting over 850,000 people!!!!  I guess they will need all of those toilets, but I would sure have liked to see the beautiful Mall without all the fencing and Porta Potties!  I'm sure we'll play tourist there again someday when Dennis comes back with me to visit.

Tomorrow We Paint!!! The walls downstairs will be done first and if there is time before I leave, we'll start upstairs.  Lot's of work and a sick toddler.  Oh well.  We'll do our best.

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend.  I am way behind in reading your blogs.  Please forgive me.  I'll try to catch up when I get home.

"Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit.  Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of others."  Philippians 2:3-4

Blessings,
Betsy