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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Busy Days

Happy Wednesday my friends.  I have big news!  I'm going to see Mandy, Piper and Brad next week in DC!  I'm missing them terribly.  They seem to be missing me too.  I've been watching tickets for a couple of weeks now, and last night they were significantly cheaper that what they have been.  My wonderful husband said, "Buy One Now!"  And so I did.  I'll be with my girls for two weeks.  Oh goodness, I'm excited!  I get some real Piper hugs and kisses, not just computer ones.  And bedtime snuggles. And songs. And playtime.  Can you tell I'm excited?  Maybe we'll even get to do some sightseeing if the weather cooperates this trip.

I thought I would share a picture of the train that goes by our campsite twice a day at the lake.  Usually around 8:30 a.m. and again at 9:30 p.m.  I really enjoy hearing the train.  If we're sitting outside by the fire at night, the conductor will blow the whistle for us.  In the morning they always wave at Chloe and I while we're on our walk.  I love to see and hear it coming down the tracks.
A lady at our church asked me to add some crochet onto her store bought shrug.  She wants to hide those lovely "arm flaps" that we all seem to get as we age.  This particular lady weighs about 90 lbs soaking wet and I have never seen an "arm flap" on her but of course I agreed to try it.  This is the result. What do you think?
A closer view.  I tried to duplicate the eyelet pattern and made it up as I went.  The second arm is a duplicate of the first.  I sure hope she likes it.  It was a lot of work, but this is one sweet lady who does so much for other people.  I just hope it meets her standards.  She is an impeccable dresser and always looks and dresses beautifully.
Nita bought a fleece blanket kit at JoAnn's on Sunday and asked me to make the blanket for her.  I finished it in about an hour once I had washed and dried the fabric.
This week I've completed seven of these smaller flannel blankets.  Two were finished today.  I also made a big one today for Piper. These are swaddling blanket size.  The blanket for Piper is twice as big so she can use it on her "big girl" bed for the summer.  It's so hot and humid in DC that she needs a lighter blanket for summertime.
This is what I used to cut the holes to crochet in for the edging.  I bought the blade for less than $5 at JoAnn's and replaced the normal quilting blade.
Here's a closer look at the blade.  Oh My Goodness!  This makes crocheting around the flannel blankets SO much easier.  If you like to make these baby blankets, you absolutely have to have one of these blades.
I took a drive today.  These photos were taken about 15 miles north of where I live in Spokane.  The main north/south road through Spokane Y's into 2 highways at the north end of the city.  We take Highway 395 northwest to go to the lake.  Today I took the other highway, Highway 2 and headed northeast toward Newport.  I took these photoes while I was driving so please excuse a little blurriness.
Isn't it pretty?
I love the evergreen tree's here in the mountains.
This was my final destination.  I spent the day in this beautiful place.  Our good friends, our BEST friend's, Neal and Jenny's Mom, had her hip replaced last Thursday.  She is so amazing.  80 years old and living alone on acres and acres of forested land after her husband passed away this last winter.  She shouldn't be alone out there yet so the family has been taking turns staying with her since her surgery.  They were all tied up with work today so I stayed with her all day until about 7:00 tonight and I enjoyed every single minute of my time there.  She's up walking around and doing her exercises and even wanted to make lunch for me.  (I had packed my own but we did eat some of her home canned peaches.)  I love visiting her at any time.  She has helped me with so many recipes and crochet tips over the years that I've known her.  She also gave me my rhubarb plants.  I just really, really like my time with her.  Most likely she will move into town before winter arrives, but this lovely property will stay in the family.  While we were sitting in the living room visiting, a deer walked right past her window, about 5 feet from where we were sitting.  So beautiful.  She told me there were moose in the yard a couple of months ago.
The meadow behind the house.  
My good blogging friend Meredith confessed her yarn stash so I thought I would do the same.  Please excuse the mess.  I've also been crocheting and knitting from stash for almost a year now.  I think I have only bought two skeins of yarn to complete two charity blankets with the required color.  I've probably picked up another one or two skeins that I'm not remembering, but no major purchases.

Neal built these shelves for me in the double closet in our office/sewing room while we were on vacation a few years ago.  He also built an entire wall of custom shelves in our family room for our books.  Oh goodness, this closet looks even worse than it really is.  I think I need to do some cleaning. :-)  My secret sister at church bought the create sign for me a couple of years ago.  I thought this was an appropriate place to hang it.
My log cabin knit blanket and odds and ends of yarn that I'm trying to use up in the blanket.
More yarn for the log cabin blanket in the basket on the left.  I bought some pink, cream and gray a couple of years ago to make a blanket I've never had time to begin.
And a tub of cotton yarn.  I usually try to stock up when it's on sale but I haven't even bought any for a year or so.
And that's the end of my yarn confessions!  I know it's messy, but it's real.  And I go through a whole lot of yarn.  I have a very hard time passing up yarn sales but I've been doing better lately.

I hope all is well with all of you.  I'm trying to keep up with all of your posts, but summer is hard for me to get online as easily.  Tomorrow we're having a potluck for our Bible study group at the lake before the crowds descend there for the summer.  I'm looking forward to that.  We'll have the weekend there and then home on Monday to return the heart monitor to the cardiologist and pack for my Tuesday flight.  Hopefully there will be good news from the doctor when I return.

"A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger."  Proverbs 15:1

Blessings,
Betsy

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Happy Place

Hello my friends.  I'm writing to you from my "Happy Place".  I've been at the lake since last Friday morning.  We went into town for church and to mow the grass at home and then back by 3:00 Sunday.  I do have to go home tomorrow because Chloe has to go to the vet to get her yearly shots.  She will also get a bath in the morning...not one of her favorite activities.  Hopefully we will return here on Friday morning for the long weekend.  I hope to stay until Wednesday or Thursday next week

I have lots of pictures for you of our "place" here.  I took this one Saturday morning of my handsome Hubby, (on the left), with Larry just after they completed putting in their permanent sewer hook-ups for their new trailer.  It only took 3 trips to the "big" city of Loon Lake to get all the parts!  :-)  Loon Lake is really small with a Hardware/Grocery store and gas station as well as a thrift store.
Then they laid a bit of sod by the front door and gravel around the front of the camper.
Then they put in the steps down our little hill.  Busy bees those boys were on Saturday.
Last Wednesday night Dennis and I built these stairs for Larry & Nita.  We've now built five sets of steps for people here and with teamwork we have quite the system for getting them done relatively quickly.  They are so much nicer than the normal fold-down steps and much more sturdy and secure.
I bought a bowl of flowers for my own stairs.  Aren't they pretty?
We  put fresh bark dust around our little flower garden areas. And Nita put out her "Welcome" sign.
Here's a bit of a different view for you.  We put in this sod last summer and it looks great.  Paul & Lori's trailer is on the far left behind the tree.  Our in the middle and then Larry & Nita's.  
The view from the road looking toward the lake between ours and Larry & Nita' trailer.
From the top of our hill looking toward the road.  We have a little conversation area and fire pit.  Sorry it's a bit tilted, I was trying to balance on my tip-toes.
Our flowers are blooming so prettily..
I like to sit here and watch the hummingbirds at the feeder there on the right.
The only drawback?  This is yellow pine pollen floating by the dock.  Pollen has been terrible this week and trying to keep it wiped off of surfaces and keep from sneezing has been "fun"!  It's just as bad at home so I'm not complaining.  At least I'm trying not to complain.
I have crocheted around five flannel blankets this week but I admit, I have been reading quite a bit.  It's a book of fiction about the settling of Nebraska.  I can't put it down.  I always find myself reading more in the summer and knitting less.  I feel like I'm being lazy but I do love to read.

I have had a few people ask me in the comments and by private email about my headcovering so I thought I would answer here.  I wear in because of 1 Corinthians 11:1-16.  We belong to a non-denominational Christian church and I am one of only two women there who cover their heads.  

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

"So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. 
Colossians 2:6-7

Blessings,
Bryay

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Life

First of all, I just had to share these pictures of my precious Piper that Mandy posted on facebook Sunday.  Isn't she the cutest little girl ever?  Notice the chalk on the sofa?  I'm guessing those are Pipers handprints.  :-)
Outside by the new fence that's being installed.
On the front steps.  Oh my heart.  I MISS this little girl and her hugs and kisses.  I do get to FaceTime with her every day, usually twice a day, but it's not really the same.  I am grateful though, really I am.
The blankets for Syrian refugees finished,
washed and dried,
and put into the box with 82 other things.  Sweaters, jackets, hats, gloves, underwear and socks among other things.  The box was mailed this afternoon to Seattle, and will soon be on it's way to the Syrian refugee camps to help the people who are being persecuted, especially the women and children.  This was a HUGE box.  It about killed me carrying it into the post office.  57 pounds!  The box was about 3 feet high and 2 foot square.  Lots of goodies inside.  I hope it helps the people just a little and lets them know that someone on the other side of the world cares.
Do you remember Teresa's little knitting bunnie she got a month or so ago?  Well she found one for me  too and it was delivered while I was off cruising.  Isn't she cute?  I love the little ball of yarn and the fact that she's wearing a dress, as I mostly wear dresses too.
And remember the pretty light that Becky gave me last week when I went to Portland?  I sat it in the sunshine at the lake and let the solar thingy charge and this is what it looks like at night.  It was still glowing about 5:00 am when Hubby left for work.  It's so pretty.  Thank you Becky.  Lots of people have stopped by and told me how pretty it is.
Dennis was visiting his Mom last week in Nebraska and for the first time in seven years all three siblings were together.  From left to right, Doug, (his brother who lives in Florida), Karen, (his sister who lives in Omaha), Mom, (who also lives in Omaha), and my Handsome Hubby, (who lives with me)!   Dennis is the oldest, then Doug and then Karen.  If you remember, I went back to Omaha last spring when Karen had quadruple bypass surgery.  She's doing wonderfully.
That's about it.  Not a lot of news here.  I'm making a blanket for Larry and Nita's new trailer.  I have one more square to make and then I need to join it together.  The sock yarn blanket is growing slowly and the log cabin blanket is most likely set aside until fall.  It's too heavy and warm to work on in the warmer weather.  

I did buy flannel to crochet edgings on while I was shopping with Gracie and Teresa last week, but I'm still looking for the yarn that Taci recommened for the edging.  That will be a good, "take to the lake" project for the summer too.  Crafting always slows down for me in the summer.  I would rather sit by the water and read a good book.

What are all of you up to these spring days?  I enjoyed reading all of the Mother's Day blogs the past few days, although, I admit, I struggled terribly with the day for some reason this year.  It was very hard for me to see all of the Mom's with their children and grandchildren at church and online.  I was HAPPY for each and every one of those Mom's.  Very happy.  But...I miss my children and grandchildren.  Alex face-timed from Tokyo on Saturday where it was already Sunday.  We talked almost 2 hours.  Mandy face-timed with Piper too.  I know they love me.  They KNOW I love them.  But, I want to touch them.   I sound ungrateful.  I don't mean to be and I hope you all understand.

I also hope you all have a lovely week and enjoy the spring, (or fall), weather, wherever you may live.

"Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace.  And be thankful."  Colossians 3:15

Blessings,
Betsy

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Portland or Bust

Hello my friends.  As you all know I took a trip yesterday to see my girlfriends.  And I believe that they are your friends too aren't they?  Oh how fun it would have been if all of us blogging friends could have lunch together and just chat and laugh and not want to leave each other.

I got up at 4:30 a.m. and left home by 5:15.  After driving for a little more than 6 hours through some of the most beautiful scenery in the world along the Columbia Gorge I arrived in Gresham, which is a suburb of Portland and where we ladies were meeting for lunch.  I was early so I wandered through a couple of antique stores and a yarn shop, "Little Lamb and Ewe" which is closing in September unless the owner can sell.  She has to retire and take care of her mother with Altzheimers.  It's a sweet little shop that I like to visit when I can and I really hope it can stay open.  There was a knitting group going on and the buzz of voices was a sweet song to my ears.

Of course we girls brought a little something for each other.  This is what the table looked like before we opened our goodies.
And here we, are toasting Meredith and all of our blog friends.  Here's to you, ladies!  From right to left, Taci, Teresa, Gracie and yours truly.  You can find these lovely ladies blogs on my sidebar.
Teresa and Taci with their gifts.  Gracie brought us each a pattern book and a dishcloth, wasn't that sweet?  I gave a metal flower pot with a ball of cotton yarn, a wooden bug, magnets and a crocheted bookmark.  Taci gave us some beautiful cotton yarn in patriotic hues so we have time to make something for the 4th of July.  Teresa brought me a pair of beautiful tortoise shell knitting needles from her collection and some cotton yarn.  How generous and lovely all of the gifts are but these ladies are the best gift of all.  They all seem to like me!!!!  How absolutely amazing is that?  They are my soul sisters and I wish I could see them more often.
Here are Gracie and I showing off our gifts. My book from Gracie is all about babies.  That's my lunch in the bowl.  Farfalle pasta, alfredo sauce, mushrooms, chicken and asparagus.  Yum!  SO yummy.
Here is my beautiful yarn from Taci and just look at the amazing tortoise shell knitting needles from Teresa!  I love these ladies.  On the table you can see the Country Living magazine I brought for Teresa.  As I was reading it, I came across an article all about Jadeite.  Well.  I knew I had to pass it on to her.  I'm sure you all know how she collects Jadeite.  
A close up of my gift to Gracie.  I loved these little bugs. :-)
Here is my pattern book and just a few of the cute things in it.
Sweetness!
Does this say Piper to you?
Porcupines on a blanket!
Awwww!
Squeezably soft.
To warm little feet.
I see many hours happily making these little baby things.  

Becky had to work and wasn't at lunch.  She texted me and offered to meet me for dinner at Elmer's, a restaurant right next door to my hotel.  I love Elmer's.  They have them all over the Portland area and have really good food.  We both ate breakfast for dinner.

Here's Becky with her gift from me.  Like the girls except a different bug!  You can find Becky's blog on my sidebar also.
And here I am with my gift from Becky.  It's a solar light for the sitting area at the lake.  I've already set it outside to absorb some rays from the sun and hopefully it will begin to shine tomorrow night.
In between lunch with the girls and dinner with Becky, I made a trip to IKEA.  I had a list of a few things I wanted and found them all plus a few other things...and I only spent $34.00!  I really like IKEA and wish we had one closer than Portland.  I was pretty proud of myself for braving the Portland rush hour traffic to get there, but it was only one exit away from my hotel on the freeway.

I stayed at the Pony Soldier Best Western and it was very nice.  A big room with two Queen size beds just for me!  I watched a little television and knitted just a bit, but after my early morning I didn't last very long.  By 11:00 I was sound asleep.  After a nice complimentary breakfast of a waffle, sausage, fruit and juice I was on my way home by 7:30.  There was an accident that closed the interstate at one point and we were all diverted on a 40 mile detour.  I thought I was making great time on my drive until then.  It was a narrow 2 lane country road with semi trucks and lots of cars going single file at about 35 to 45 mph.  I ended up at home about an hour later than I should have.  But no worries.  I'm back at the lake with my Chloe and all is well...or as well as it can be with Dennis still in Nebraska.  :-)  I'm so grateful for the beautiful trip and the safety that God provided for me as I drove the 13 hours in two days.

So, I think my travels are over for the summer.  At least planned travels.  We never know for sure what life will bring do we?  And now, once again, I've gone on and on too long.  I absolutely love my time with these ladies.  I do so wish I lived closer to them.  Maybe someday when we retire.  I slso hope to have the opportunity to meet with more of you someday.  Until then, know that I think each one of you is special and a real blessing to me.

"Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to HIm, and He will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:5-6

Blessings,
Betsy