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Monday, August 31, 2015

Fun Week!

WelÅ‚, all good things must come to and end, or so the old saying goes.  Our girls are flying home tomorrow, clear to the other side of this big country.  I'm going to miss them so much.  The sticky kisses. The toys all over.  The HUGE hugs.  Mandy has been so busy while she's been here.  She's outside mowing the grass right now.  She's done all of the mowing, cooking, cleaning and laundry while they've been here.  I'm very spoiled and now I'll have to go back to work.  :-)  Papa and I will be so lost.  We adore our girls.

Just look at this face.  We finally took her to the lake to swim last Thursday. It was the last day predicted to be warm enough while they were here.  The smoke has been too bad to be outside, but on this day we had strong winds with gusts up to 60 mph.  It blew the smoke away somewhat but also made the fires explode around here.
She danced and twirled with her princess suit on.  Can you see the sparkles on the skirt? She calls them "farkles".  Gosh I love her.
And then...finally we took the golf cart, (which she loves), and went to the water.
This is Brandy and her daughter Stella.  They camp about 3 trailers down from us and  Piper just loved them.  Stella played with her and watched her all day.  She even sat with Piper while she ate her lunch.  We have met the nicest people since we've been camping here.
Can you tell she was having fun?
On Saturday we took her to breakfast at this train car.  At least we tried to, but there was a 30-40 minute wait for a table. Too long for a 2 year old.  They blew the train whistle for her and gave her a balloon anyway.  She adores trains.  I thought it was really sweet of them to be so nice when we didn't even stay to eat.  Can you see her purse?  She takes it everywhere with her, just like Mommy and Grandma.  :-). We still went out to eat but not at such an exciting place.
They bought Papa this shirt from Annapolis.  He's a big fan of the TV show NCIS and Mark Harmon who plays Gibbs.
Piper has never had a donut...until yesterday!   Papa took her to the store and they picked out a dozen donuts for breakfast.  It was a tradition he had with Caleb until Caleb was diagnosed with Celiacs disease.  No more donuts for Caleb, but now it's Pipers turn.
She dove right in...
Mmmmmm.  Chocolate.  She's Grandma's girl for sure.
She's quite the artistic eater!
On Saturday the girls had a reunion picnic with several of Mandy's friends and their kids.  One flew up from Los Angeles.  Three drove over from Portland, OR., and two still live here in Spokane.  While they were occupied we drove to the lake so Dennis could fill the gas tank on the lawnmower there and I could take inventory of the food we had there since I'm heading up there tomorrow to stay a few days.

This is what happened on our way home!!!  Hallelujah!  RAIN!!  The winds were blowing very hard and we were in a high wind advisory.  The rain only lasted a ahort time but what we got was wonderful.  It wasn't enough on Saturday to help much with the fires but it also rained for several hours yesterday and that DID help.  The one closest to us is still only 35% contained but that's better than before.  We still need LOTS of rain so please keep up the prayers.
Tomorrow is also our 37 wedding anniversary.  I'm heading to the lake in the morning and I'm going to grill steaks for us when Dennis gets there after work.  Hopefully I'll be there until Thursday morning, then home for Bible study.  Friday morning will be back out at the trailer until next week sometime.

I really don't want to be home once the girls are gone because I will see them everywhere I turn.  It happens every time one of the kids leaves.  I can't bear the reminders.

I am feeling better all of the time.  Still not 100% but I'm better.  I still have problems with my left arm and get short of breath but I think my stamina is improving.  I thank you all for your prayers and well wishes.

Piper is waking up from her nap so I'm going to close and play with her.  I want every minute I can with her and I'm sure you understand.

"Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous be shaken." Psalms 55:22

Blessings always,
Betsy

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Piper & Mommy are here!

I haven't been around very much this week because this little girl and her Mommy are here.  We've been busy...

Getting kisses.
Building garages out of Legos for her cars.
And just "goofing" around.
We've gone out to breakfast.
And yesterday the smoke went away long enough for us to go to the lake and wade in the water and take a boat ride.
I found this cute hat a couple of weeks ago.
I love this face.
There has been a little time for knitting after Piper has gone to bed so the shawl is coming along nicely.  It is actually grey, I don't know why it looks blue in this picture.  I have about 280 stitches on the needles at this point.
The fires are still raging and we were stuck inside most of the week.  Friday the smoke was particularly bad.  We couldn't see anything here in town.  At 2:00 in the afternoon it looked like it was 9:00 at night and you needed your headlights.  People who have lived here their entire lives have never seen anything like this.  It was smokey all week, but Friday was the worst.  Yesterday was lots better but today is hazy again.  It depends on where the wind is blowing.  It seems that the eastern 2/3 of the state is on fire and for the first time in history they have asked for civilian volunteers to help fight the fires.  It's all so sad.  We're praying for rain.  It's been a long time since a raindrop fell here.

I hope you're all enjoying the last days of August.  School will be starting soon and summer will end before we know it.  Many people are longing for fall but honestly, I feel like I lost most of this summer with this silly pacemaker surgery and recovery.  I would like a few more months of warm weather...with NO fires please.  I am doing much, much better.  I'm moving my arm more all of the time, still not as much as the other side but it's improving.  Still some pain, but not as bad as before.  All in all, I guess I'm lucky that this technology is available.  They "interrogated" the pacemaker at my Tuesday cardiologist visit and it's working as it was designed to, or so they tell me. :-). 

Please keep the firefighters in your prayers as they fight the fires around the northwest.

"Ah, Sovereign Lord, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you."  Jeremiah 32:17

Blessings,
Betsy

Monday, August 17, 2015

FIRE!!!


Happy Monday morning to all of you!  It has been a sad weekend here in Washington State and around the entire northwest US.  At least two people have died as a result of the horrendous fires here.  We've been here 23 years and I've never seen a fire season so bad. 

We had planned to have friends out to the lake Friday night for dinner, but the smoke and wind were so bad we decided to relocate the dinner to our house.  I am so glad we did.  When we arrived at the trailer Saturday morning, chairs were blown over.  The tablecloth pinned to the table was gone, gone, gone and flowers were blown completely away!  I'm happy to have missed that particular storm.  But all of that wind didn't help the fires any.  At one point we couldn't even see across the street at home because of smoke.  What minor trials these are though, compared to the people in the paths of these fires.

Saturday Dennis and I decided to drive north from the lake to Colville, WA to visit the farmers market and have lunch.  There was lots of smoke and haze, but not too bad. We had no idea that we were driving right towards one of the bigger fires until we saw this as we rounded a curve in the road....
Sorry for the blurry pictures.  All were taken with my iphone as we drove down the highway.  See the column of smoke?
It just kept getting worse...
We went past Addy, WA where the fire was burning right outside of the town.  A few miles further down the road we found this little store with fresh produce and antiques.  I bought peaches and sweet corn and then browsed a bit.  The older lady who owns the store said her son and his wife actually discovered the fire burning outside of Addy in the picture above.  He is a firefighter and thought if they had found it even 5 minutes earlier they may have been able to put it out, just the two of them.  With the wind though, it was a lost cause.  The fire was about 1/2 mile behind this store when we were there and burning steadily towards it.  I sure hope it survived the weekend.  It was so cute and full of treasures.
Lots of vintage needlework.
A pile of suitcases.  I think I would have been packing everything into these cases and running out the door if I owned the store.  The lady was remarkably calm though.
So much pyrex.  I have several of these pieces that were received as wedding presents.
We tried to keep going toward Colville but finally gave up and turned around because the smoke was so bad Dennis could barely see the road.  This was the scene when we turned around.
I used no telephoto lens on this.  No zoom.  This is how close the flames were to us.  I was ready to go back to my little trailer.
The fire covered several mountains by the time we drove back through Addy.  It is all so sad.  On the news this morning they said there are are no more firefighters available in Washington.  They are trying to bring in more from around the country but Idaho, Oregon and California are also vying for the resources available.  It's all SO sad.
Here is an old fire tower just outside of Chewelah.  I don't think it's used anymore.
We saw horse trailers and utility trailers everywhere from people evacuating their homes and bringing their animals with them.  Emergency shelters are popping up everywhere.
On a lighter note, does anyone know what this would be used for?  We saw it in a field by the highway just outside of Chewelah as we drove by.  It appears to be some sort of oven.
Sunset last night.
The red glow is from the smoke particles in the air.
On a much brighter note, this is a shawl I started yesterday for a Christmas swap I'm in for a book club on Ravelry.  I'm enjoying it as it is a pattern I've made before and has easy repeats.


Tomorrow I go to the electrophysician, who put in the pacemaker, for my 6 week check.  They will "interrogate" my pacemaker and make sure all of the settings are working well.  Hopefully he will release me to my own cardiologist then.  I'm still tired easily and my left arm doesn't work as well as my right, but I'm getting there.  I can raise it above my head a little now which is great progress.  I so appreciate all of your sweet comments, prayers and love you've shown me throughout this strange time of my life.  I truly love you all.

Mandy and Piper are flying in tomorrow for two weeks.  Yippee!!!  The fun we will have.  It's sad that our air is so nasty, (even being deemed in the "unhealthy" range), because of the smoke.  It makes being outside for very long difficult.  I know we'll have fun anyway.

Have a wonderful day my friends and enjoy your week!

This verse reminds me of the firefighters who are out there on the front lines fighting all of these terrible fires.

"This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters."  1 John 3:16

They are laying down their lives for complete strangers every fire they respond to.  Thank you to all of these brave men and women.

Blessings,
Betsy

Friday, August 14, 2015

Montana Grandchildren


Here is the promised grandchildren laden post!

My precious Kyleigh and Caleb who are 10 and 8 years old.  They are the best of friends and rarely fight.  I love them both oh so much and wish we could see them more.

In the background you can see a couple of the cabins that are here at the lake.  There are about 22 or so of them in various sizes to rent for a weekend, week or longer during the summer.

A friend from church brought their kayaks and stand up paddleboard out on Saturday and gave the kids lessons.  They loved it.  Don't you just love Caleb's toothless smile?

Kyleigh took to both the kayak and the board like she was born to it.

Grandpa was never far away to lend a hand.  (And play lifeguard)

Now it's time for the board.  Sue steadies it while she gets going while grandpa stands by...

and she's off.  She did so well, and notice grandpa still standing guard.

The kids swim like little fish, but grandpa still wanted to be right there.  Obviously the water was only about a foot deep at this point.  Our little lake does get to a depth of 120 feet not too far out from that point you see on the right.

Caleb's turn and he did great too!

Here is my middle child, Jamie.  He has the greatest sense of humor and I just love him.  He inherited the genes from the males in my family,  All of my nephews and my brothers are well over 6 foot tall and have the same hairstyle or lack thereof.  Jamie blames me.  :-)  I guess he has a right to.  It is my family genes after all.  He is about 6'4" but I still love to give him big hugs.  I miss seeing him more often.

On the drive home after a day in the water and a picnic at the trailer.  One tired little girl.  The boys were in the front of the truck, the girls, including Chloe, in the back so I didn't get a picture of Caleb here.  Gosh it was hard to say goodbye Sunday.  Grandma and Grandpa both shed a few tears.  It was awful.

On a brighter note.  Green beans straight from the garden.  I picked them at 4:45 and by 5:30 we were eating them.  You can't get much fresher than that!
I can't get blogger to cooperate and let my type below the last picture, so I guess I'll say a little here and close with a last picture of my crochet.

We have so many fires burning around the northwest right now, several of them not far from Spokane.  It is just so dry and we've been having dry lightening strikes all night and more today.  Not a good scenario.


The smoke is so heavy here today that you can barely see across the street.  Neal and Jenny were going to come to the lake tonight for dinner with us, but 50 mph+ winds are expected this afternoon and I really don't want to be sitting in my trailer alone with Chloe with winds like that so we're having dinner here at home.  My other fear is that a fire will start while I'm there by myself.   Dennis and I will go to the lake tomorrow for a couple of nights and then Mandy and Piper will be here.  I'm so excited to see them.  I just face-timed with them and Piper is excited for the plane trip.


It's been in the 100's for several days now, but today, with the wind, a cold front is supposed to pass by.  Tomorrow the high is predicted to be 78.  That sounds wonderful!  I hope you all have a lovely weekend my friends.  I'm sorry if this post is a bit disjointed.  I can't seem to keep my thoughts all in one place for some reason
.

"Follow God's example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a Fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.: Ephesians 5:1,2


Blessings always,
Betsy




A little crocheting was done, but not much.  I was too busy playing at the beach with my babies. :-)

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Family

Hello Everyone!


It's Sunday here and although I usually don't post much on weekends, I thought after my last post I should check in with you.  First of all, I know I said it before, but I am stunned by the wonderful, thoughtful comments you have all given to me.  You are such an encouragement in my little world.  I'm still in pain...the cardiologist gave me some pills for nerve end pain last week but I can't take them.  Oh my goodness I was loopy!  My sister said my pupils were dime sized after 1 little pill.  He prescribed 6 a day!!!!  I think I'd rather have the pain for awhile.  Anyway.  I'm about the same physically as I was last week but in a better place emotionally after having my big sister and BIL visit from Monday until yesterday.  We were busy all week, and I was exhausted but it was SO GOOD to see them.  I miss my sister.  She lives in Nebraska 1,572 miles from me.  She picked on me something fierce when we were kids but she never let anyone else do it!  :-)  And we're good friends as adults.  It was the first time her husband has flown in over 40 years-since he got out of the army.  He tells me he will drive here next time.  He doesn't care for flying.  She's never seen the ocean and their next visit needs to be longer so we can take them to the Oregon coast.


Here they are in Riverfront Park in downtown Spokane.  Melanie and Mike.
Blocks by the red wagon you see in the following photo.
Kids of all ages love this wagon...
including Mike!   There is a ladder in the back of the wagon to climb up and the handle is the slide.
There is a beautiful carousel that is well over 120 years old.
And the garbage eating goat.  You put paper up to it's mouth and it sucks it into it's "stomach".  The kids all love this too and it really cuts down on littering.  Everyone feeds their litter to the goat!
Spokane is famous for Bloomsday, a run in the spring.  These statues depict the run.  We really do have a beautiful downtown here in Spokane.  There is something going on all spring, summer and fall most weekends in the park.
On Thursday, Dennis took a day of vacation from work and we drove to the $50,000 Saloon in Montana to take Mike over a couple of mountain passes for the first time ever.  He's a Midwest flatlander!  Melanie has driven with me before from Omaha to Spokane so it wasn't new to her.  We had breakfast at a restaurant in Spokane, lunch in Montana and then we went back over the passes to Coeur d'Alene, ID to walk the boardwalk and we had ice cream.  Not bad.  We ate our way through three states in a  matter of hours!

Here is Mike and Melanie in a HUGE Adirondack chair at the end of the boardwalk.
And here is Hubby and me.
This isn't a good picture, but a lunch cruise was leaving as we were walking the boardwalk and there on the left is a float plane getting ready to take off.
Part of the marina at the Coeur d'Alene resort.
Another view of the plane, boat and beach.  Coeur d'Alene really is beautiful and it's a resort destination for many.  It's hard to remember that it's only 45 minutes from home.  We rarely go unless we have visitors.  There is world class shopping and eating too.
Friday afternoon our son Jamie and our two grandchildren drove over from Helena, Montana and they left this morning.  Beware... the next post will feature grandchildren pictures!  It was so hard to say goodbye to them.  We never know when we'll see them again.  The last time was Christmas!

AND, Mandy and Piper are flying in on the 18th and staying for two whole weeks!  I'm so excited.  All of my grandchildren within two weeks time.  I think they all were afraid I was dying or something and thought they better come see me one more time!!!  Ha! Ha!    Maybe I should get a pacemaker more often!  On second thought, no.  

I am very, very tired and had planned to go to the lake this afternoon until Thursday morning and do nothing, but it's supposed to be 103F on Wednesday so I think I'll probably come home early.  It will be too hot to be there by myself.  I can come home and do nothing, right?

Thank you all again for your sweet words and encouragement.  I am a very blessed woman and I know it.  You. Are. All. Wonderful!!!!!!!!

"Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.  No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and His love is made complete in us."  1 John 4:11-12

This is how you all have shown me that God lives in us.  With the love and sweet words you've had for me.

Blessings,
Betsy