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Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Missoula Montana Bound

Hello and Happy Tuesday to you all.  It's a cloudy, rainy morning here in Spokane, but that's just fine with me.  We need the rain desperately.  Before I tell you about our Montana trip, I have a little more news about our Oregon trip last week.  You remember that we got to meet with Gracie and Teresa and spend some time with them?  Well, we exchanged a few goodies and here is what those sweet ladies gave to me.  Teresa gifted me with some amazingly soft Knit Picks Billow yarn in the Willow colorway.  It is SO soft.  I have to find just the right project for this yarn.  And Gracie gave me this fun Granny Square Flowers book and a leaf bookmark that she crocheted.  I love all of the beautiful ideas in this book and can't wait to make some of these squares.  Thank you ladies.  I so enjoyed the time Dennis and I spent with you.

While we were at the coast we went to Walmart where I knew the Pioneer Woman had her new products for sale.  I always like to get things while in Oregon or Montana because there's no sales tax!  Yippee!  I thought this sugar bowl was very sweet.  I think I may use it as a salt cellar instead of sugar bowl though.  Don't you just love the happy flowers on the bowl?  I've been reading Ree's blog since LONG, LONG before she became popular with her own TV show on the Food network.  I'm very happy for her that her products and show are doing so well.
Last Friday just after noon we began our trek from Spokane to Missoula, MT.  Not a long drive, only about 200 miles or so each direction.  Here we go, just east of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho and heading up over the first pass.  The trees were gorgeous last weekend.
And then we reached the top of 4th of July Pass. 
Dennis talked me into taking his truck on this trip instead of my little Honda CRV.  The truck is a MUCH nicer ride and it seats 6 people, so once we got to Missoula, we could all fit in the truck for our excursions out and about town.  (Sorry about the bug "splat" on the windshield.  There's not much you can do about it when you're barreling down the road at 80 mph!)

Down in the Silver Valley of Idaho.  It's been a dry summer here too.  I love the layers of mountains on the horizon.
The colors were gorgeous, although we couldn't decide if these were trees changing color for autumn, which would be unusual for evergreens, or if it is a blight of some kind that is killing the trees.  If it IS blight, it's worse than we've ever seen on previous trips through here.
And here we are heading over the top of Lookout Pass on the border of Idaho/Montana.  Exit 0.
A series of tight twists and turns through the mountain.  How do you like the sign of the truck tipping over?  These are some serious turns.
But oh so pretty.  (If you don't look at the bug splat)  Ha!
And here is the reason for the trip.  Kyleigh and Caleb, our two oldest grandkids.  Gosh I love them.  We had a wonderful time with them.
Off to Red Robin we went.  It's always interesting finding places to eat because both of the kids have Celiac Disease which means no gluten at all.  I know a lot of people that just avoid gluten, but these two have no choice or they get very ill.  Caleb especially is not able to have anything that is even cross-contaminated.  They're very good about know what they can and can't eat and even know the questions to ask the servers.
This is the hotel we stayed at.  It's the same one we were at last spring and the kids love it.  Two swimming pools and five hot tubs.  It's an amazing log structure that I never tire of looking at.  
Aren't these stairs fantastic?  That's Caleb in the hot tub down there.  Our room is on the ground floor right next to the hot tub.
Another view from the opposite end of the hotel.  See the mountain goat on top of the rocks.  The stones are a waterfall on each side.  In the lobby is a massive stone fireplace that had a roaring fire in it all weekend.  Big overstuffed chairs were all around the fireplace as well as lining the top two levels where you see the walkways.  Outside our door we had a patio table and chairs.  The breakfast was huge and came with your room.

My happy little guy.  He spent a lot of time in the hot tub.
The kids kept Grandpa busy playing Ping-Pong too.  Lots to entertain them in this hotel and it all comes with the room at no extra charge.
But, we had to say goodbye on Sunday afternoon and head back over the mountains and home.  This is a picture I took at the rest-stop at the base of Look-out Pass in Montana.
So pretty.  I have to stop and appreciate the beauty surrounding me or the days pass by and I don't even notice.
Last night I stepped out onto the deck to grill some chicken for dinner and look what was right in front of me.....
An entire rainbow that I couldn't get in just one photo!  And a double one at that.  See the faint colors above the bright ones?
And the other side.  What wondrous beauty God has provided for us.
Then after dinner I drove to the church and defrosted the freezer there.  As I drove home I saw the HUGE full moon.  When I stopped to get a picture, this is how it turned out.  Isn't it fantastic?


Next time I'll show you what I've been busy making during these drives.  We added up the miles and figured out we drove about 1600-1700 miles in the past 9 days.  Whew!  My back did fine on the drives but it's still spasming at night.  Yesterday my primary care doctor did an x-ray on my chest to make sure the leads from the pacemaker hadn't moved and were triggering the spasms.  It all looked fine and I got to see that little thing in my chest.  It looks like a mini computer!  You could see the circuit board and everything.  So now, he is referring me to a spine and pain management clinic.  It's always something isn't it?

I just booked tickets for us to fly to D.C. the first part of December.  We don't like to fly at holidays and Mandy wants us to see the holiday hoopla in D.C.  I'm looking forward to the lights at the Capital.  I think they'll be very pretty.

I hope you're all enjoying fall.  The blogs I've looked at have such pretty decorations.  I may not like winter, but I do love the cooler weather of fall.

"I love the LORD, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy.  Because He turned His ear to me, I will call on Him as love as I live.  Psalm 116:1,2

Blessings,
Betsy

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Mini Vacation

It's Tuesday evening and our little mini vacation is almost over.  I'm watching the sun set over the Pacific Ocean and it's glorious.  But let's go back to Saturday when it all began.  We left home about 8:00 in the morning and made our way to Troutdale, Oregon, a suburb of Portland.  It was a six hour drive with lots of stops, so it was about 3:30 when we arrived.  We stayed at the Comfort Inn at the Columbia  River Gateway.  We highly recommend it.  Brand new, modern rooms and a wonderful breakfast.

We were right next to the Troutdale airport...see our car in the lower right parked at the hotel?  Just the corner, it's blue, not the pretty black one. Ha!  This is the airport that Brad flew out of all the time when they lived here.  I took this picture to send to him and then they knew exactly where we were.
We took our things inside and then drove to Tad's Chicken and Dumplins where we met Gracie, Dayle and Teresa.  (Gracie and Teresa's blogs are in my sidebar.). I just love these girls.  It was the first time our husbands met and I think the guys hit it off right away. In fact, Teresa and Dayle invited us back to the farm and look what I got....
A piece of Kristi's chocolate tart with Teresa's homemade whipped cream.  In case you don't read Teresa's blog you have to check this tart out over there.  It was amazing.  That's the only word for it.  Yummm!  I stole this picture from Teresa's blog.  She has the recipe on her blog.
We had such a great time visiting with Travis and Kristi and the boys along with Dayle and Teresa.  I sure wish we lived closer so we could do things together more.  Kristi gave me a tour of Teresa's craft room and it really is as nice as the pictures on her blog.  I've said it before, I want Kristi to come live with me and organize our house.  :-)

Here we are Sunday afternoon on the coast at Cape Foulweather.  No foul weather that day.  It was beautiful.
Just look at that view!  Gorgeous.
The view from our room.  Is it any wonder why I love the Oregon coast?
This is where we're staying. Right on Hwy 101 in Lincoln City.  You never hear the traffic after you enter the door and then all you hear is the ocean.
Yesterday we had grey skies but we still went out and played.
This was out our balcony door this morning.  Beautiful rainbow.
I thought this guy was going to join us for breakfast in our room.  :-). I loved watching the seagulls soar around the water.
A view from Boiler Bay just north of Depoe Bay.  There was fog and mist here with peaks of sunshine.
Yaquina Bay lighthouse.  So pretty.  The road was closed so we couldn't get any closer.
A little history lesson on the lighthouse.
It was raining lightly as we started toward the Bayfront and the Bay Bridge but Hubby was sweet and let me take his picture.
Hundreds and hundreds of sea lions were here on the docks, swimming around and on a huge rock in the bay.
You should have heard the raucus noise those sea lions were making.  Yelling at each other and claiming their spot on the dock!  I took a video so you could hear them but it won't imbed in my post for some reason.
Doesn't this guy look like he's getting a sun tan?
Back at our room this afternoon and a walk on the beach.  So pretty.
And about five minutes ago from our room's balcony.
There are no words.
I love the coast and wish we lived closer but I have to make do with a visit every few years.  I am very thankful for the times I do get to gcome here.

Thank you for coming along on our vacation with us.  We ate way too much.  I didn't have to cook at all.  Oh and I almost forgot to tell you, Teresa's son Travis sent us a big bag of goodies, cookies and crackers, but especially some smoked salmon.  He caught the salmon a couple of weeks ago and Dayle smoked it in his pellet smoker.  Oh yum!  We've been snacking on that every night.  It's time now for tonight's treat!!!

Homeward bound tomorrow.  Laundry on Thursday and another adventure over the weekend.  Life is good!

"The seas have lifted up, LORD, the seas have lifted up their voice; the seas have lifted up their pounding waves.  Mightier than the thunder of the great waters, mightier than the breakers of the sea-the LORD on high is mighty." Psalm 93:3,4

Blessings always,
Betsy

Monday, October 12, 2015

Monday, Monday


Happy Monday to you all.  It's taken me all day to write this post between other things happening today...like physical therapy.  Oh my aching back is all that I have to say about that!  :-)

Barry gave me this beautiful bouquet last Monday.  The garden has now been plowed under for another year and these were the last beauties before the tractor got them  Aren't they beautiful?

Last Wednesday I met my BFF Jenny for lunch while she was between work appointments.  She chose Jimmy John's.  I have never eaten there.  My sister did pick up their sandwiches about five years ago when I was visiting her in Omaha, but I had never been into one of their fast food places.   Just look at these eager faces waiting for our order!  I couldn't believe how fast they were.  Before I had finished ordering and paying, they were handing me my sandwich.  All with smiles and welcomes.  I was really impressed.  Jenny took the next two photos because she was as impressed with their attitudes and speed as I was.

And my sandwich was delicious too!  We had a great visit and there was no pressure to give up our seats as there sometimes is at a busy lunchtime place.  I got an old fashioned bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich.  Yum!  Maybe not very healthy but it was good.

Saturday was bittersweet.  We started closing up camp at the lake about 8:15 and by the time we finished unpacking at home, mowing the grass, etc. it was after 6:00.  Dennis got Panda Express for us while I folded some laundry and started another load of camper sheets. 

Here is Larry on the ground and my handsome hubby in his muscle shirt, (LOL), up top.  I have no idea why he tied a piece of the cover material around his head!  Crazy guy!  They were putting the cover on Larry and Nita's camper.  None of us wanted Larry on the roof.  He turned 71 a couple of months ago and has had some health issues this year.  He has always been a force to be reckoned with and it's hard to see friends age but he did play volleyball Saturday night on the church team!  You can't stop that guy.

I have no idea what he and Larry were joking about here.  He was laughing at something when I snapped this picture.  It  was HOT on Saturday and it seemed VERY, VERY wrong to be closing up camp in that beautiful weather. 

Making progress.

The carpets are up and the furniture...

...is stacked and tarped under the roofless gazebo.  Everything is ready for a northwest winter of cold and snow.  At least I hope we get snow this year.  We need it desperately so we don't repeat our fire season of this year.  We've blown out the pipes and put antifreeze everywhere antifreeze is supposed to go.  The potty can't be used anymore,  which means I can't stay there long.  The slide outs have been slidden, (is that a word?), in.:-)  Doesn't it look lonely and sad?  But next year we'll be back.

I finished a sweater, hat and sock set for the children's shelter.  It's a light blue and white yarn, but the flash makes it look more of a creamy white.

This is closer to the correct color. It's another sweater that is about half done.

Alex called us from Japan on face-time Saturday night and we talked over an hour and a half.  He got very sick while he was in Australia a couple of weeks ago and we hadn't heard anything from him.  This Mom was getting a bit worried because he's very good about calling us every week.  He said by the time he got home from work every day, he just wanted to sleep.  But he also said being that sick made him realize he missed my crocheted blankets he used to wrap up in on the sofa when he didn't feel good when he was growing up.  So he asked me to make him a blanket.  Well of course I will!  When your 27 year old son asks for a crocheted blanket to remind him of home, what else do you do?  He asked for specific vintage type colors, orange, brown, yellow, dark green in granny squares.  Isn't that funny?  I'm so HaPpY that he wants a blanket from Mom.



My Ipad has been giving me some, (a lot), grief lately.  It's five years old and hasn't wanted to do the past few updates from Apple without a lot of coaxing.  And now the screen has been freezing up on me.  So guess what my wonderful husband went and bought me yesterday?  This....
A brand new Ipad Air.  I love it.  It's much, much lighter in weight than my old one and the colors and graphics seem crisper and clearer.  Although I spent much of the afternoon setting it up, a process I detest with new electronics, I think I'm going to like it very much.  I ordered a case for it on Amazon which should be here tomorrow.


The church music team has been telling me for a year that they would buy my old one from me anytime I got a new one.  They will use it during services, so we're all happy campers!


I don't even want to tell you how much pain I was in with my back last night.  Suffice it to say that I slept about 1 hour all night long.  I told the therapist today that I didn't think things were working and maybe we needed to try something else.  He said to give him another week, that this was the "hump" he knew I would have to pass over to begin healing.  So...I'm giving him one more week and if it's not better I'll be going back to the doctor.  Dennis won't let me do anything around here and I feel terrible that he's doing everything.


After talking to the PT on Thursday last week and getting his permission, I cleaned the bedroom carpets.  Do you know that didn't bother my back in the least and the carpets look wonderful!  I have no idea what happened last night.  So, if you would, please pray for me as we have a 6 hour drive planned for Saturday, another 2 on Sunday and then the 8 hours home next Wednesday.  The PT told me today that it will be fine and he'll give me some advice for the drive when I see him on Thursday. 

What a bother it all is!  This has officially been a bummer of a summer physically for me.

But...I have an amazingly wonderful husband who spoils me and friends who care.  Who can really ask for more than that?



I hope you're all having a wonderful October.  I've been enjoying looking at the beautiful fall decorations on blogs.  I'm always surprised how many people say that fall is their favorite season.  I would have to vote for spring.  :-) 

 I'll see you all again soon.


"I will keep my eyes always on the Lord.  With Him at my right hand, I will not be shaken."
Psalm 16:8


Blessings always,
Betsy