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Monday, November 30, 2015

Weekend odds and ends...

Hello my friends!
It was a cold, cold, cold weekend here in Spokane. The temperature never got above freezing and it was usually right around 15°! So I decided I really needed to get going on the mittens. And last night I finished the 25th pair while watching a marathon of Hallmark channel Christmas movies. This morning I delivered them to the school and they had me take them right outside to the playground and put them on some of the children's little hands. Boy! That sure made me feel good. And they gave me a count on the other first grade classes. I have about 70 more pair to make when I get home from Mandy's.  This is what I took to the school this morning.
We got another small dusting of snow yesterday.
The nativity that I made for our first Christmas together was put out on Saturday. It's amazing to me, 37 years and so far nothing has gotten broken yet!
Not many decorations were put out this year since we won't be home for a lot of the season and, quite honestly, without the kids here I just don't have the heart for it. But a few of my favorites were put out for display.
Teresa, (over on my side bar), made this for me. Isn't that sweet? It sits out year round.
And this little girl is the reason that I'm flying for hours and hours and hours tomorrow. I get to hug her and kiss her good night tomorrow night. And sing songs. Lots and lots of songs.  I have to be up by 3:30 in the morning to go to the airport. I have a 1 hour flight to Seattle and then a nonstop flight from Seattle to Baltimore. 6 more hours!  She's well worth it though isn't she? Too bad grandpa has to stay here and work.  He'll fly out next week and join me for the second week of our trip. And Ellen will be staying at our house with Chloe so she won't be left alone either. 

Seriously, it will be good to see Mandy and Brad too. It's so hard having them all so far away. This is a picture of Piper after they put their tree up on Saturday and put the Polar Express train around the bottom. Her and Daddy love to put up the Polar Express. It's their thing that they do together.
Have a lovely week my friends. And remember the reason that we're celebrating the season. The One who came, gave His life for us, so that we can live again with Him forever. 

"But thanks be to God. He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."
1 Corinthians 25:57

Blessings, 
Betsy

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Crazy Weather...really crazy!

Oh. My. Goodness.  We have had a crazy, insane week here.  Last Tuesday we had hurricane force winds for the first time in Spokane's recorded history.  There were 180,000 households and businesses without power at one time, which is most of the city.  This morning there are still over 40,000 without power.  The winds were howling at 77-79 mph for hours in the afternoon into the overnight hours.  We we laying in bed Tuesday night and it felt like our house was breathing.  It's the only way I can describe it.  We only lost our electricity for a little over 18 hours so we were VERY fortunate.

I was making a pot of soup when the power went out.  Since I have a gas stove, I was able to light the hurricane lamp and keep chopping vegetables.  :-)  I could hear the shingles ripping from the roof like a giant roll of duct tape.  However, all of the houses on the block north of us lost their roofs down to the plywood so I count us as very fortunate indeed.

Before the distruction pictures, here's Sophie, just before we took her home Sunday night.  I miss my little knitting buddy, curled up in my lap on these cold nights.  
I don't have many pictures of the utter destruction around town because I've stayed home for the most part.  It's still difficult to drive through the city in places, because of downed wires and trees.  It's easier to stay in my house.

There are over 280 trees like this down at last count.  Huge trees just gone.  See the one leaning on the house at the left?
Luckily this one missed the house.
Not quite as lucky.
Through the bedroom.
Scenes like this are everywhere.
We lost a bunch of shingles and when I called roofing companie, they were 6-8 weeks out just for an estimate.  I called our son Alex's best friend Shane, and he came right over.  Shane's a rock climber and at a few of the steeper points on the roof he actually put his climbing gear on and took care of fixing the roof in no time.  I am SO grateful to him.  Shane and Alex have been friends since they were five years old.  They used to sit on our bed with their guitars and sing Dennis and I to sleep when they were teenagers.  I love this boy like he is our own.  He has a wonderful heart.  Even though he is still without power himself, he has been working half-days and taking vacation the other half and helping the worst hit people clean up trees and whatever they need.  And who says our younger generation is self-centered?  Not this guy.  And he's cute too!  :-)
And this morning this is happening.  WIth people still without power.  Can you see the snow still falling?  We're supposed to get another 4-6 inches this morning on top of what you see here.
Another view.  I detest snow.  I want to retire somewhere that it doesn't snow.  It's pretty, but it's dangerous.  Dennis said when he went to work at 5:30 this morning that the roads were already slick because it rained sleet before the snow started.
I've been busy making mittens.  This is what I have so far.  I'm a bit puzzled.  I've been using Loops and Threads Impecable yarn.  They are brand new skeins of yarn.  I got 4 pairs of turquoise, 4 pair red, but only 3 pairs of pink.  They are the same size skeins of yarn.  This tells me that the amounts on the labels aren't very accurate.  I'm still enjoying making these and with so many more pairs to make that's a good thing!  :-)  
If you are so inclined, would you say a prayer for the people of our city?  The winds are predicted to blow again this afternoon.  Not as strong as last week, but arborists are saying the trees will suffer a sort of whiplash since last week the wind was from the south and today it's from the north.  Trees that the roots were weakened in the windstorm will easily fall this afternoon.  Which means more power outages and it's so much colder this week.

Dennis and I will be alone this Thanksgiving and have decided to forgo the big turkey dinner for the two of us.  After all, we just had a complete Thanksgiving meal at church last Sunday at our annual dinner.  So I'm making chicken enchiladas instead.  His request.  Not very holidayish, but we like them.  

I hope all of you in the U.S. have a wonderful holiday and the rest of you are having a fantastic week too.

"But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."  1 Corinthians 15:57

Blessings,
Betsy

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

It's Tuesday!

Hello my friends!  It's a windy, WINDY day here in Spokane.  We're being told that we could have winds up to 80 mph today.  Whoa!  I think I'm going to stay inside my cozy home.  I have to stay home anyway.  The Culligan guy just delivered salt for our soft water tank and the appliance repair man is supposed to be here sometime today.  Neither one would give me a time that they would arrive.  I just have to be here whenever they show up.  Well, one down, one to go!  My oven has been acting up for months.  I set it at 325F and the thermometer inside will read 450F.  Or I'll set it at 400F and it will read 275F.  Thre is no rhyme or reason to it.  I'm hoping it's an easy fix of a thermostat or something.  Just to have the repairman show up to look at it is $80.00.  Parts and a return trip will be extra.  I sure hope they fix it fast.  :-)

We had a dusting of that nasty white stuff last night that people refer to as *snow*.  It's gone already down here in the valley and I'm very happy about that.  My flowers from the lake are still blooming prettily on the front porch.  I just don't have the heart to pull them up until I absolutely have too.
A picture of Sophie on my lap.  Nita asked me to post a picture on facebook of her baby and this is the one I put up.  She's doing very well and I'm going to hate to have her go home when they return from their cruise.  Speaking of the cruise, they missed a port last week because of a tropical storm and last night Nita wrote that things were pretty rough at sea at that point too.  I hope the waters calm a bit so they can enjoy this week.  Sophie is a cutie isn't she?  I took her for a hair cut and bath last Wednesday.  She was sure glad to see me when I picked her up.  She sleeps on Dennis' pillow right under his chin.  I think she believes we're her second set of parents.  She acts like she lives here with no adjustment period whenever she stays with us.
We had houseguests from Wednesday last week until Yesterday afternoon.  Our pastor of 16 years stepped down in June because of health reasons.  His shoes will be hard to fill because he is much loved.  But the man below is a candidate for the job.  This is him and his family who stayed with us for the week while they interviewed and met the congregation.  We had a wonderful time and even though they were strangers when they arrived, they became friends very quickly.  I loved having them here.  Childrens voices in the house were wonderful!  The house is way too quiet today.  Dare I say that I hope this is the man chosen by the Elder's to fill the postion?  How fun to have a full house again.
I must say that I am tired.  On Thursday night we had 23 people here for a potluck dinner.  As we went to bed that night I told Dennis that I can tell the past year has really sapped my strength.  I would have done this with no hesitation a year ago.  But...and it's a big but, I never would have been up to hosting six people for a week even a couple of months ago, and although I'm tired, I did it!  And I had a good time doing it.

So far today I have cleaned 3 bathrooms, washed, dried and folded 4 loads of laundry, remade 3 beds and vacuumed the house.  I'm done. While I wait for the repairman to arrived I'm going to knit.

And this is what I'm knitting. Some of you may remember two years ago when I made 70-80 pairs of mittens for the first graders at a low income school here in Spokane.  Last night I was asked to do it again.  Gosh!  I don't have much time if it's already snowing.  I think I've learned my lesson.  I need to make them all year to have them ready when the cold hits.  I've decided this will be an annual thing for me and this school.  So far this is all I have.  One mitten made last night and another begun.  I'll be knitting away on these until I have all 75 done!  Each pair will keep a little pair of hands warm.
So, I better get busy!  I've been trying to keep up with your blogs while we had guests.  Please forgive me if I missed yours.  Hopefully I"ll do better...at least until I go see Piper and her parents in a couple of weeks.

My prayers are with the people of Paris, Beirut, Russia and all of the other places that have had terrible attacks by the cowards known as ISIS.  May God be with all of the families and loved ones affected by these awful events.

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

Blessings,
Betsy

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Winter Project Link Party

Hello everyone!  I rarely post on the weekends, but I wanted to join in with Jennifer over at "Thistlebear" on my sidebar.  She is have a"Winter Project Link Party".

My log cabin blanket which is technically my winter project has been set aside so I could get these two blankets done by the middle of November in time to mail to Tokyo to Alex and his girlfriend Fifi, for their Christmas gifts.

This is Alex's blanket completely done and washed.  I started it last Friday and finished it Tuesday or Wednesday, I don't remember exactly. He specifically asked for a "vintage" colored blanket.
Fifi wanted a blanket in bright red and blue.  She showed me the exact colors when we face-timed and I think I matched them pretty well.  Her blanket was just finished late last night about 1:00 a.m.    I haven't  washed it yet so it's still pretty stiff.  I sort of made the pattern up. I'm hoping to mail them on Monday.
I took this picture on Thursday when it was cold and wet outside.  Chloe and I were happily by the fire and I had a nice hot cup of tea.  Ahhhh!  Contentment.
Dennis painted the laundry room floor this morning.  We also took Larry and Nita to the airport for their two week Carribean cruise.  Right now I have a tiny little poodle on my lap.  Yep.  We're Sophie sitting for the next couple of weeks.  She's a sweetie and I don't mind at all.

I hope you are all having a lovely weekend.

"Jesus said, I am the light of the world.  whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life."  John 8:12

Blessings
Betsy



Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Life at home.

Hello my friends:  It's Tuesday again already!  I don't know where the time goes these days, but it surely passes quickly.  I told you in my last post that I would show you what I made on our car trips the past few weeks and here you go...

Five baby sweater, hat and sock sets plus an extra two hats and a pair of socks to use up the leftover yarn.  I think these will go to the children's shelter here in Spokane.  Our weather is getting colder and I think they will be needed by some little ones.

Then, I had that lovely Knit Picks Willow yarn that Teresa gave me.  I made these wristwarmers with it.
I wish you could feel how soft these are and the pattern was so fast.  I had this pair done in about 2 hours!  Thank you SO much Teresa!  I love them.
I also won a giveaway by Becky (GrandmaBeckyL) on my sidebar.  I have three books going already but I'm looking forward to devoting my attention to this one very soon. I've already drank, (drunk?) the tea and it was delicious.  Thank you so much Becky!
Are you all tired of Halloween pictures?  I'm sorry but I have to show you my little ones.  They're too cute to keep to myself.  Grandma's opinion of course!  

Miss Piper is Anna from the movie Frozen.  I have not idea why her eyes are closed but isn't she the cutest thing?
A tired girl and her dog Polly who was dressed as a court jester.  I cracked up when I saw this picture.  Polly looks like a person sitting there.  She adores Piper and is the absolute best dog a little girl could have.  Grandma can't wait to see BOTH of these girls in a few weeks.  Polly loves Grandma too.  I give her lots of treats.  :-)
Kyleigh and Caleb.  Oh how I love these two.  Kyleigh is Hermione from Harry Potter and Caleb is "The Falcon" whom I am told is a superhero.  I'm kind of out of date on the new super heroes.  Aren't they cute?
I started the squares for Alex's vintage blanket on Friday night.  Each is bordered with a dark brown.  Here I have them all laid out on the floor trying to get a good mix of the colors.  Last night I crocheted them together vertically.  Tonight I'll work on the horizontal rows and hopefully begin the border.
After I finish Alex's blanket, his girlfriend has requested a blue and red blanket.  She doesn't like stripes and I'm going to be tired of squares after this one, so I need to find a pattern for her blanket.  I would like to get these mailed by mid November if possible so they have them in Tokyo by Christmas.  They have both asked for blankets as their Christmas gifts and I'm honored that they want something homemade by me.

This morning I spent 2 hours at the cardiologist.  All is going very well with the pacemaker.  They "interogated" it and can see that it is working just as it should.  It is pacing me about every 100 beats of my heart or so.  My heart does well on it's own, but the pm steps in when it gets "lazy".  I don't have to go back for 6 months unless something comes up.  Yay!  He gave me directions on flying and going through security.  Thank goodness he gave me the okay to fly since we already bought tickets to Mandy's.  I wanted to get them before they got too expensive.  I can't go through airport scanners anymore so I guess it will be pat downs for me from now on.

My back is still not happy though, and so tomorrow I am going to see an acupuncturist who did wonders for my feet a few years ago.  I'm hoping she can work her magic on my back too.  I always enjoy seeing her anyway, she's a lovely young lady who truly cares about the people who come to see her.

We're starting to have cooler and wetter weather here which is very, very welcome.  Well, the wet is welcome but I do prefer warmer weather and open windows over furnaces and fireplaces.  I hope it continues to rain every other day or so like it's been doing the past week and a half.  The yards and foliage look so much better with the moisture.  It's hard to remember that we usually have snow on the ground by now.

I am always reminded by the Thanksgiving holiday in November to try to be thankful each moment for the blessings that have been given to me.  Each one of you are a blessing in my life.

I appreciate each an every one of you taking the time to visit me and I hope you all have a lovely week.  

"Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.  Let us come before Him with thanksgiving and extol Him with music and song."  Psalm 95:1,2

Blessings,
Betsy