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Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Good news, Bad news...

Happy Tuesday my friends.  It's been a long day, but more on that later.  First I want to share a picture of my handsome husband on Sunday.  Our longtime pastor retired last summer because of health issues.  We all love him dearly and it has been difficult to find someone to fill his shoes.  The Elders have been rotating for the preaching/teaching schedule.  Since Dennis is an Elder, he takes his turn about every five weeks or so.  This week his lesson was on growing in our walk of faith.  He did an amazing job.  One of Mandy's friends snapped this with her phone and texted it to her saying, "Your Dad say's hi!"  Isn't that funny?  Mandy then sent it to me.  I am so proud of this man.  He has such a love for everyone and a true servants heart.  I was certainly blessed when he asked me to be his wife.
Now I have a favor to ask.   Do any of you have a pattern similar to this that you would be willing to share?  It doesn't have to be exact or even the same pattern, just the shape and in a relatively loose pattern.  This belongs to my friend Lori and she wants another of the same general shape.  It's 14 x 8 inches.  I was going to try to duplicate it but it's a machine made doily and the pattern is wacky.  I got the center part all done but the ends aren't very easy to do.  I could follow a pattern much easier.
Here's Piper outside in the middle of the snowstorm.  I think they ended up with about 2 foot of snow.  She doesn't like to walk in the snow, she says it's too slippery.  :-)  But she discovered the joy of snowballs this morning!  She was throwing them at Mama and having fun.
I got this packet of thank you notes in the mail for the mittens I took to the school a couple  of weeks ago.  Aren't they cute?  I just love all of their little faces.
Progress on next years mittens.  I think I have around 15 or 16 pairs done so far.
Another pair almost finished.  I must admit, my fingers are itching to make something else.   Right now my concentration isn't that great so the mittens are probably a good idea because I have them memorized by now!  :-)
Yesterday my Family doctor said no cruise and that he's writing a letter to try to get our money refunded.  Today I saw the cardiologist and he said no cruise and he gave me a letter right then.  We did buy the trip insurance so I don't think there should be too much trouble getting a refund.  Two doctors writing letters and I didn't even have to ask them, they told me they were doing it.  That was really nice of them.

Next Tuesday I'm having an ultrasound of my carotid arteries in my neck to make sure I'm not "throwing blood clots".  Sounds gross to me!  Ha!  My BP is still elevated but not quite as much.  My pulse is still way too high.  They gave me another new medicine today to help the pulse rate.  It's ironic to me.  I got the pacemaker because my pulse was too slow and my heart kept stopping.  Now I get drugs to lower my pulse because it's too fast.  Hmmmm.    Last year at this time I didn't take any prescription medicines and now I have a bathroom full.  This growing old isn't fun.

I appreciate each of you and your sweet words of encouragement.  I know I've said it before, but I am so happy and blessed to have each one of you in my life.  Thank you for every thought and prayer you've had for me recently.

I'll try not to talk much about my health issues here because I know that's not what people want to hear.  But I wanted to give you an update after my last post.  I've lost several followers because they said they read my blog for crafty things, not to hear my problems.  If that is you, or you're teetering on the edge of unfollowing me because of this, I'll try to be better.   But...it is my blog.  This is my life.  And this is a blog about my life.  Right?  I hope I didn't offend anyone.

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

"And He has given us this command:  anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister." 1 John 4:21

Blessings,
Betsy

Friday, January 22, 2016

Non-productive...that's me this week.

Hello everybody.  Gosh! What a week I've had.  In my last post I mentioned I wasn't feeling well.  I had my MRI for my back spasms on Wednesday, (the results were in this morning and all is well there.)  to do the MRI, they had to turn my pacemaker off and then back on when they were done.  They also "interrogated" it, which means they run a print out of all activity of my heart for the past several months.  The technician looked at me and said, "Have you been feeling okay?"  I said nope, I haven't.  Apparently, since the end of November, I have had "several dozen" episodes of tachycardia when my heart was beating over 155 beats per minutes.  Many were well over 200!  No wonder I've been tired.  Apparently it has been at it's worst the past couple of weeks when I've felt so dizzy and shaky.

Yesterday they started me on a medication that is supposed to help.  It hasn't yet. :-). When I went for the MRI follow up this morning, they took my BP and sent me directly across the street to the cardiologist because it was so high. So I go back to the cardiologist again next Tuesday.  All this after being in the emergency room for most of Wednesday night.  A thoroughly yucky week.  

I don't mean to complain and be a "downer".  This is NOT normal for me, I usually keep pretty busy and I'm not happy about this stuff at all.  Especially because we have a CRUISE planned for next week to Mexico.  It has taken me years to talk my dear husband into going on a cruise.  We got a absolutely amazing deal on this one and if we have to cancel because of me I won't be a happy girl. :-(. Right now my doctors are split on whether they want me to go.

Okay.  Enough of that.  This and one other pair of mittens are all I've managed to complete so far since my last post.  I do like this blue color don't you?  If anyone would like a copy of the pattern, please just email me at queenbetsy2@gmail.com and I will be happy to send a copy to you.  I don't think it's on line anywhere.
I think I already posted this last month, but it's one of my favorites.  Papa reading to Piper.  She's eating a "roreo" as she calls them.  Dennis is wearing a sweater I knit him last winter. It's his favorite which makes me happy.  Mandy is hunkered down for the predicted blizzard.  I jut talked to her and it started snowing at their house about a half hour ago.  I'm praying all will be safe and the storm isn't as bad as predicted.
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.  I'm sorry that this was a more depressing post, but that was my life this week.  Doctors, doctors and the emergency room!  Next week WILL be better.

"Let us approach God's throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need." Hebrews 4:16

Blessings always,
Betsy


Tuesday, January 19, 2016

More Mittens!

Hello everyone!  

Goodness I had lots and lots of good advice about cleaning the wood stove.  I must admit, I haven't done it yet.  I haven't felt very well for a week now and have done only what I have absolutely had to.  Dennis took off work to take me to the doctor yesterday since I was so dizzy he didn't want me driving.    Short story, my blood pressure is really high for me, I have a headache fairly constantly and I'm dizzy.  My resting pulse is about 112.  The blood work showed nothing so we're in a wait and see mode now.  The doctor doesn't think it's a virus.  Tomorrow is the MRI on my back and so they tried to schedule one of my head at the same time but the imaging place refused because their schedule is full.  He wants to rule out an aneurysm since I had a stroke about 20 years ago.

All that to say I've been sitting and knitting mittens and not much else.  I'm working on next years batch now and I have eleven pairs done.  I'm going to fill this huge bag up before next fall. I am determined.
Michaels is having another sale this week and so my wonderful husband took me to get this batch of yarn tonight. Twenty three skeins.  Now I should have plenty of yarn to make all of the mittens for next year.  I have a yarn shop in my house!  :-)
The next pictures are just for smiles.  Visitors always comment on my bathroom decor.  Three little outhouses.
Rustic.
Ahhh springtime flowers.
If I had an outhouse like one of these it might be easier to use one!
I was so happy to meet all of the new people that commented on my last post. I absolutely love meeting each one of you.  I'm astounded that anyone wants to read what I write and I truly appreciate you taking time to visit.

If you would please pray that I would get over whatever this is quickly I would appreciate it.  We have a little trip planned in the near future that I really don't want to mess up.  I'll tell you about it soon...if I get to go.

I hope you're all staying warm and well.

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance." James 1:2-3

Blessings,
Betsy


Friday, January 15, 2016

Gloomy but cozy Friday...

Hello and happy Friday everybody.   It's a gloomy, cloudy, frosty day here in Spokane with more snow predicted for tonight and tomorrow but it's nice and cozy inside my home.

You can't see the hoarfrost very well in this first picture...
but look at this...
and this.  I just took these outside the window and it's 1:30 in the afternoon.  I don't think it will be melting off today.  It IS pretty though, isn't it?  Both of these are the wind chimes that Dennis made me a few years ago.
And this is my view from my chair.  It's nice and cozy inside by the fire.  You can see how brightly it's burning with the door open.
With the door shut it's much more muted but still warm.  :-). Does anyone know an easy way to clean the creosote buildup off of the glass doors?
Chloe likes the fire too and is my constant companion.
I've been busy knitting mittens.  I want to get a start on next years batch.  I also made a pair of grey 100% wool mittens for Paul, our friend from the lake.  I would show you a picture but I forgot to take one and he already has them.
It's been a quiet couple of days here.  I haven't left the house in two days and that hasn't bothered me one little bit.  I love to be home.  I have a fire, my dog and my knitting.  What else could a girl want?   Except to have my sweet husband come home to me after a long day of work.  I. Am. Blessed.  Beyond measure, I am blessed.

Have a lovely weekend my friends.

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

Blessings,
Betsy



Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Gloomy Days

Happy Wednesday everyone.  I hope you're all doing well during these winter months.  Today is gloomy and rainy, but at least the snow has stopped for now.  Our road is still snow packed in front of our house, but with several upper 30's and low 40's degree days predicted, maybe that will be a memory soon.  My light blue car is black with road ick, but I see no point it washing it right now.  Maybe next week.

I spent yesterday at the hospital with a friend from church who had to have his big toe removed.  He has no family here, they all live on the east coast, so I drove him to the hospital and stayed with him. 9 hours!   Believe it or not, they sent him home right after the surgery!  He's 69 years old, lives alone and I couldn't believe they didn't keep him overnight.  Dennis and I tried to talk him into staying with us for a day or two, but he is fiercely independent and insisted on going home.  The problem is, home is over 30 miles away from us.  I worried about Tom all night and called him first thing this morning.  He said he took a pain pill at 8:00 last night and slept until 8:00 this morning.  Better than I did!  I HAVE got to learn how to not worry so much about everyone.  I take him back to the doctor next Monday for his follow-up care.  Then, next Wedneday I have an MRI for my back.  Would you believe that since I slipped on the ice last week and had two days of pain from that, I have had NO pain since then.  It's like the slip fixed the problem that I've dealt with since October.  Just when I finally get in for the MRI.  Now I don't know what to do.  It took so long to see anyone and get the test scheduled that I'm afraid to cancel it.  Dennis says to just hav it done anyway.  Oh my goodness!!!  How silly is this?

I still have a bit of Christmas up. I love to look at the Christmas cards.  I'll probably keep them up for another week or two.
This...
was from this falling off the wall yesterday when I was winding it.  Luckily I caught it with my HEAD before it hit the floor. :-) Dennis will rehang it after the wall is repaired and repainted.  I haven't the foggiest idea why it fell.  It's been hanging there for several years with no problem.
I started a new devotion book on January 1.  I'm really enjoying it.  The cover is made of cloth and feels very luxurious.
A sample devotion from the 12th.  I liked this lesson a lot!
Every week or so there is a recipe included.  I haven't made this but doesn't it look good?
I delivered the last 13 pair of mittens to the school today.  I was taken to a classroom where I met some students I hadn't seen before.  When the teacher told them I was the "mitten lady" they spontaneously began calling "thank you" and all ran up and hugged and hugged and hugged me. One little boy would NOT let go.  He was crying and saying thank you over and over again.  My friends, by that time I was crying too.  After talking to the teacher for a minute or two I understood.  She has a class of over 20 students who are just learning English this year.  They are ALL refugees from Africa and the Middle East.  These families came here with nothing except their lives.  The children have NOTHING.  To have someone give them mittens was beyond their understanding.  Such a small thing that meant so much to them.  They asked me to come back and I'm considering becoming a "reading Grandma".  They need someone to come in and just read with with the children.  Oh my goodness.  What an overwhelming experience.  The gratefulness of these little children was unreal to me.  It sure puts my blessed life into perspective.

Thank you to all who have encouraged me as I persevered in making these mittens.  A total of 103 pair since just after Thanksgiving.  I will definitely keep making them so they are ready for the cold next year.  I have to admit though, I am tired of mittens and want to make something else for awhile but I will wait until I have at least 10 pair in my "mitten bag."

I'm sitting by a cozy fire and will start my next pair of mittens as soon as I'm done with this post! I have a new motivation after that visit today.

"Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap.  For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." Luke 6:38

My friends you are, each one of you, definely blessings in my life and I'm grateful for each of you.

Blessings,
Betsy








Friday, January 8, 2016

Yarny Goodness!

Hello my friends!  It's Friday!  I'm always happy for Friday because Dennis is off on Saturday and Sunday and we get to be together all weekend  Gotta love that!

I just have to tell you all about a sale at Michaels that is just today and tomorrow and it's limited to in-stock merchandise.  I received an email late last night about it.  All Loops and Threads yarn is on sale 1/2 price!  Wow!  This is the yarn I use for the mittens, so I woke Hubby up and asked him if I could yarn shop this morning!  And this is my haul!
The original price with tax would have been around $93.00.  When I told the cashier what I was doing with it, (he asked what I was making),  he gave me another 15% off with his own discount.  Wasn't that nice?  I paid a grand total of $38.54 for all of this yarn.  I figure this will make about 60 of the 100 pair of mittens I plan to make for next year.  And now I can shop at home for the yarn from my own stock!

I got a text from the school on Wednesday asking if I could make 13 more pair of mittens right now.  I guess they had a few transfer students after Christmas.  I have 4 of those pair done and hope to have them all done by the end of next week.

Anyway, I just wanted to let you know about the sale because it's only for two days an it's an amazing deal just in case you had some projects of your own in mind.

We bought this little shelf and bins at Target for under the new T.V.  Guess what is in two of the bins?  Yarn of course!   We hope to hide those cords in the wall soon but it's not a huge priority.  There are a couple of birthday cards there on the top.  Dennis turns the big 6-0 tomorrow.  He is NOT thrilled but I say he still looks as handsome as the day we were married.  We're going to Paul and Lori's tonight.  Larry and Nita and Neal & Jenny will also be there.  We had to cancel our Friday night lake re-creation last week because Paul was sick.  So we're doing it tonight with Pizza Hut pizza.  I'm making cherry cheesecake, (Dennis' favorite), and we're having a birthday celebration in addition to our "yearning for summer" get together.  It's so nice that these friends are all also brothers and sisters in Christ and our summer "playmates" too.  :-)
While I did put away the Christmas decorations, I left out my snowmen.  After all it's STILL snowing around here.  I do love snowmen and especially Olaf from the movie "Frozen".  See him there on the right?  Piper knows I love Olaf and always tells people he's Grandma's favorite.  Love that little girl.
A few more on the lazy susan on the kitchen table.
This is why I feel snowmen are appropriate decor.  I just took this out the patio door a few minutes ago.  A little bit has melted over the past couple of days but it did snow a little again last night.
Thank you for all of the nice comments about my new haircut.  I think I'm going to like it very much.  It's fairly easy to take care of and that's the main thing for me.  My back is also better after my slip the other day, but I'm still waiting to hear about the MRI.  The Imaging place called me earlier in the week but they have to make sure their software is compatible with my pacemaker.  Hopefully I'll hear soon.  The original issue is still bothering me but I'm very glad I didn't make it a lot worse by slipping on the ice.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and stay safe if the weather isn't good where you are.  We always have to be careful in the mornings because of the roads freezing overnight after melting a bit during the day.  I have absolutely no desire to take any road trips over the mountain passes right now or in the near future.

Since I'm sharing favorites today, (like Olaf) and Dennis' favorite cheesecakeI thought I would share my favorite Bible verse with you today.  I hope it blesses each one of you as it does me.

"But those who hope in the Lod will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."  Isaiah 40:31

Blessings,
Betsy

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

It's Tuesday!

Happy Tuesday everyone!  Blogger is playing games with me today.  I wrote a post ad tried to publish it and it disappeared so here is take two. :-). 

It's warming up a little bit here today.  32F outside right now so hopefully we'll have a bit of snow melting today.  I delivered some mittens to the school this morning and slipped on the ice outside of the school.  I caught myself before I hit the ground but twisted my back in the process.  It's always something isn't it?

Yesterday this pretty little calendar arrived in my mailbox.  What a nice surprise.  It's from Becky at GrandmaBeckyL over on my sidebar.  She took all of the photos and made the calendar herself.  Thank you so much Becky.  My guess is that they were taken at the tulip farm near Portland, OR last summer.  Am I right?  I love the photos.
So colorful and here is yet another one.  The truck is perfect!
Here is the colorful pile of mittens that I took to the school this morning. 40 pair.  I'm happy with the progress.  Most days I made 2 pair, some days 3 and a couple of days none were made because of other commitments.  I'm going to continue to make them and they're going to let me know if they need more for this year or if I'm just building up the stockpile for next winter.  My goal is to make at least 2 pair a week all year long so I don't hit this crunch next winter.  Then, as soon as the weather starts cooling in the late fall, I can take them to the school so every 1st grader has a pair of warm mittens.
And a ta-dah!  I got my hair cut yesterday!  What do you think?  She cut about 16 inches off!  I'm still a bit in shock and I'm not sure how I feel about it.  Is it too short?  Too long?  What do you think?  I value your opinion very much.  Should I grow it a little longer again?  Get it cut more?  Gosh, when I've had it long for such a long time it looks and feels very strange to me.  I detest messing with my hair which is part of the reason I kept it long.  It was easy to care for.  I keep trying to push it over my shoulders and there isn't anything there!!!!
I think I'm going to put some ice on my back and see if it feels better.  I hope you're all having a wonderful week, getting back to "normal".  Whatever that may be for you.

"Jesus replied: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind."  This is the first and greatest commandment/" Matthew 22:37-38

Blessings always,
Betsy

Saturday, January 2, 2016

A New Year

Happy New Year a day late!  Goodness we have had a day around here.  Busy, busy, busy.  But first, look at what the temperature was on our deck this morning at about 8:30.  Yep.  You read it right.  It was 3 degrees BELOW zero.  It got up to a whopping 13!  I think it's supposed to be warmer tomorrow though and almost hit freezing.  I sure hope so.  It would be nice to have some of the icicles on the roof thaw out, although they are gorgeous to look at.
Here, I have some pictures to show you just how pretty it is.  This is the blue spruce tree in our backyard.
A solar light next to the patio.  I like the little snow "hat," don't you?
Our pear tree in the front yard with the neighbors Christmas lights behind.  It has been so cold, none of the snow is even melting OR falling off of the trees.  That's unusual.
About ten minutes from home.  I took the following three pictures as we were driving on errands today.
I think this looks like a Christmas card don't you?
So crisp and clean.
And this is our Christmas present to each other.  We bought a new 55 inch TV.  We got a wonderful deal on it.  We've never had a TV in this room, but decided we would like to be able to stay upstairs and not have to go into the little family room downstairs.  This way I can light a fire in the wood stove directly to the left of the TV in this picture and can actually enjoy the heat.
The chair underneath will be moved and we're looking at console tables to go under the TV to hold the electronics.  And that's not all.  My wonderful husband bought us two new Lazyboy recliners today too!  We have two Lazyboy chairs that we bought about 22 years ago.  They are still going strong and will remain in the family room.  They're rocker/recliners.  The new ones are wall hugger ones.  We've owned both knock off brand recliners and the true Lazyboy brand chairs and hands down, we recommend paying just a little more for the real thing.  They last forever.  The mechanisms don't seem to wear out.  We even bought two of them for the trailer at the lake last year.

Boy oh boy.  For people who weren't going to get anything for each other for Christmas, we kind of went nutso today!  Dennis' 60th birthday is next Saturday and my birthday is February 1 so we're counting the chairs and TV as Christmas/Birthday/Birthday presents.  Whoo Boy!  We never, and I mean never, buy expensive gifts like this.  I think we're done for a long, long time.  I'm looking forward to being able to knit and watch TV upstairs by the kitchen.  I can cook and basically stay on one level of the house for everything except laundry.  That was a big deal last summer when I didn't feel well and the stairs were a challenge for me.

I have 34 pairs of mittens done and ready to be delivered to the school next week.  I still have more to make, but I want them to have the ones that are done as soon as possible.  I'll take a picture so you can see them for the next post.

I hope all is well with each one of you my friends and that the new year is all that you've wished it to be.

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!" 2 Corinthians 5:17

Blessings,
Betsy