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Thursday, March 31, 2016

It's Thursday!

It's a gorgeous day here in the Inland Northwest.  I am love, love, loving our weather this week.  Chloe and I spent a few hours at the lake yesterday getting things ready to, get this...sleep there tomorrow night!  Can you tell I'm excited and happy?  We even walked down to the lake.  By myself with just Chloe.  I haven't done that since I had my surgery last summer.  It felt SO good.  Here are a few photos I took yesterday.  Isn't it beautiful?
This little fella was chattering away at Chloe and I and I had to laugh out loud at his indignation.
The lake was mirror smooth.  Perfect for water skiing if it were a little warmer.
I never, ever tire of the view.  Still some snow up there a little higher.
Back at the camper in my reclining lawn chair.  I covered my legs with the sock yarn blanket I made last summer and knitted on Alex's socks for awhile.  Ahhh.  Paradise!
Back at home the flowering pear tree finally has some buds on it.
The rhubarb is coming along nicely.
Oh my!  If you could only smell my house right now.  I just took this out of the oven and it's still bubbling.  An apple dump cake for Bible study tonight.  I truly believe it's the easiest thing I've ever baked.  Two cans of applies dumped in the bottom, a yellow cake mix dumped on top, and two sticks of butter cut into pats and laid on top.  Bake at 350 for 50 minutes.  I can't wait to try it.  Yum!  Oh goodness, the smell.  Do you think anyone would notice if a piece was gone?  :-). Actually, I finally lost 1 lb. this week.  And a hard one pound it was to lose.  Apparently unexplained weight gain is another side effect from two of my new meds and I have gained a LOT over the winter.  I'm trying SO hard to lose it and it's frustrating.
Yarn in a bowl.  Doesn't everyone have it?  The little ceramic birds can use it to build their nests.
Alex's socks are coming right along.  Yes, he really does wear these bright colors.  He'll wear any color I make him, he likes them so much. :-)  One sock done and I'm turning the ankle on the other one.  Love my Knit Picks double pointed needles.  I've tried magic loop method and the two circular needle methods, but I always come back to my double points.  I don't have any of those fancy sock blocker forms, but they fit just as well this way.  I always use machine washable sock yarn but don't put them in the dryer.
I placed an order for two skeins of sock yarn and another set of needles from Knit Picks yesterday.  It's the first time I've ordered from them in quite awhile, since both Mandy and my credit cards were hacked a few years ago after ordering from them.  I love their yarn and needles though and I know many of you have been ordering with no problems so I'm giving it another try.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.  I will be at the lake.  I don't know for how long.  Maybe Tuesday?  If the weather stays good I'm staying there.  :-) We'll come home for church Sunday and go back out.  It is harder for me to get online there until I up my data plan on my phone for the summer, so I may be catching up with all of you when I get back home.  I promise to read everyone's blogs when I'm able to though.

BIG NEWS!  I'm going to Portland, OR to see Gracie, Teresa, Taci and Becky, all bloggers I met through this blog. I used to see them much more regularly until Mandy up and moved across the country to D.C.  I've driven down twice and flown there once since she moved, but after the summer and winter I've had, my dear husband won't let me drive the 6 hours each way by myself.  Last fall we both made the trip and he met Teresa's husband Dayle.  They hit it off and really enjoyed each other's company, so we're going again in April.  We'll have dinner together and talk and talk and talk!  I miss my girlfriends and I'm so glad to get to see them again soon.  Two more weeks girls!

"Neither height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate u from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."  Romans 8:39

Blessings,
Betsy












Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Yarny Things

Hello my friends out in blogland.  I thought today I would clear up some misconceptions.  Lest any of you think I'm a super organized person with my yarn stash, today I will be completely transparent with you.   My name is Betsy and I LOVE YARN.

This is my main yarn closet.  Many of you have seen this before.  Neal surprised me one year while Dennis and I were gone on vacation and put these wonderful shelves in our office closet for me.  On the left side of the closet where you can't see, is about a 3 foot of hanging space that he left for me.  I have all of my seasonal wreaths and decorations for the kitchen island hanging on it with a little plastic set of drawers holding my cross stitch supplies, buttons and some fabric underneath.

On top of these shelves you see are two bins with odds and ends of yarn in them.  Then it's categorized, (believe it or not), by type of yarn.  Baby, worsted, chunky, sock, cotton, etc.  Two shelves on the right hold my stock of cards.  Below that are finished objects yet to be delivered to the recipients.  There are baby hats, blankets and sweaters on the two shelves.  It looks like a mess, but I know where everything is!  I think I need a bigger closet because I've begun stashing other places in the house too!
These are the ends of balls of cotton that I have in a bin on the floor of the closet.
An older lady at church just gave me this bag of Red Heart yarn last week.  I'm not sure what to do with it as I'm allergic to Red Heart. It is a lovely tweed and would make a nice lapghan for a male.  I may just try to use it and deal with the allergy symptoms.
Next to that is a bag with the leftover yarn from the blankets I made for the Veterans last week.  They don't fit in my closet. :-(
In the living room is a basket with the ends of the balls from the mittens.  Now these I do use.  There is about enough for one mitten in each ball.  When I have two of the same color, I take them out of this basket and make another pair.  By the way,  I counted last night and I have 53 pairs made for next fall. I thought it was more but I was WRONG!  Only about 45 or so more pair to go by fall.
Here in the living room under the television I have drawers full of just mitten yarn.  I keep this separate from my own personal stash because a few of you have helped buy this specifically for the mittens and I don't want to use it for anything else.
One more drawer on top!  All six of these drawers were crammed full at one time but it's slowly getting made into mittens!
Now on to the basement coat closet.  Hidden way in the back is my bin of dishcloth Cotton.  In the plastic bag is my very favorite cotton of all.  Knit Picks "Dishie."  Hobby Lobby's "I Love This Cotton" is a close second on my list of favorites.
A few odds and ends on a bookshelf in the family room.  I'm telling you, there is yarn everywhere in this house.  But I do use it up.
There.  I have confessed.  My yarn isn't neatly stored away.  It oozes out of every nook and cranny.  It makes me happy.  :-)

I made another farmhouse shawl this weekend.  I always like to have one on hand for a gift when I feel someone is in need of a hug. This one still needs blocked and I don't know what that strange bump is in the middle of the bottom.  Hopefully it will block out.  I always add few more rows of the edging than the pattern calls for because I think the shell pattern is so pretty.
I also started a pair of socks last night for Alex.  He wears my hand knitted socks all of the time so I wanted to be able to send a couple of pair home with him after his visit.
I have absolutely no idea about this underline thing.  It did it a week or so ago too.  The only buttons at the top of the screen are for italics and bold.  No underline, so I don't know how to turn it off OR how it got turned on!  Blogger strikes again. 

We have amazingly blue skies today.  Yesterday was cold and it even snowed, but didn't stick around.  This weekend is supposed to be 68 degrees so guess who's going camping Friday?  Me!  We went out to the lake Saturday and Dennis put in my new kitchen faucet with a sprayer.  Gosh, I feel like a very posh camper now.  The water is hooked up so we can shower and use the bathroom.  I made the bed and took some food out.  Tomorrow, Chloe and I plan to go out and spend the day.  I'll turn the refrigerator on and we'll be set for the summer!  Yippee!

After a talk with the pharmacist on Sunday, it seems virtually all of the strange things I've been experiencing are side affects of the two new medicines I have.  It may be that I'll just have to learn to live with them.  And maybe they'll get better after awhile as my body adjusts.  I so appreciate the love and prayers you have all been sending to me.

Have any of you watched any knitting podcasts?  I think I'm becoming addicted to them.  There is one Mother/Daughter podcast that I especially enjoy very much.  "LegacyKnitz". Oh my goodness.  I was laying in bed last night watching it on my iPad with headphones in so it wouldn't wake up Dennis.  I think it was episode 5 that I was watching.  I was laughing so hard the bed was shaking, (I really WAS trying to be quiet),  I woke Dennis up with my hysterical laughing.  Oh my goodness they are funny.  I would love to have the talent to do something like this with Mandy, but I'm not funny at all.  They finish each other's sentences and use the same expressions.  Love it.  And the yarn.  Oh my goodness, the yarn.  They are definite enablers.

You should go check them out.  Apparently there is a whole world of crocheting and knitting podcasts that I never knew existed.  I have a whole list to watch.  Much better than TV in my opinion.

And now I need to get my ironing done so I can knit socks!  Have a lovely Tuesday my friends.

"I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in His word I put my hope." Psalm 130:5

Blessings always,
Betsy








Sunday, March 27, 2016

He Is Risen!

He Is Risen!



He Lives!

I serve a Risen Savior. He's in the world today.
I know that He is with me, whatever men may say.
I hear His voice of mercy, I see His love and care.
And just the time I need Him, He's always near.

He lives!  He lives!  Christ Jesus lives today.
He walks with me and talks with me along life's narrow way.
He lives. He lives. Salvation to impart.
You ask me how I know He lives?  He lives within my heart.

Happy Resurrection Sunday to all of my friends.

Blessings,
Betsy

Friday, March 25, 2016

Good Friday

It's Friday.  Usually I would say Happy Friday, but today is Good Friday and when I remember the significance of this day and the suffering that took place for me and for you, I can't utter those words. Although, because of that suffering, I can rejoice in knowing that there is a place for me someday in Heaven!  Unbelievable that He would choose to suffer on that cross like he did for me, but I am oh, so grateful that He did.

And now a few photos of the past few days.

I repotted an African Violet that was not doing well.  I hope it perks up here in it's new little pot.  I don't seem to have much luck when it comes to violets.
Piper's other Grandma and Grandpa are visiting them and I'm SO jealous.  They wanted us to visit at the same time for Easter, but I'm still under "no fly" orders for a few more weeks. (I see the cardiologist again next week.)  We so enjoy visiting with Dennis and Marilyn and maybe you remember they even came here to see us for a week two summers ago.  It's nice to get along with your in-laws so well.  We often try to time our visits to Mandy & Brad's so we're there at the same time.

You can tell Piper is thrilled Grandma is there.  Marilyn worked at an elementary school in the library for years and she always keeps Miss Piper supplied in books.  Fun!
A friend from high school that I haven't seen in years asked me to send a picture to her.  I detest pictures of myself but here it is.  A selfie.  I look scared or something.  Ha!  Look at all of those chins!
Our friend Pam has been living in Spokane for about 10 months while her and her husband were trying to flip a house they bought online.  Her husband was back home in Indiana.  She visited our church and started coming to the Bible study we have here at our house on Thursday nights.  What a wonderful gift we have been given with her friendship.  Unfortunately it hasn't been a good house flipping experience for her.  Several contractors have taken the money she provided and ran, without completing the work.  They are  giving up and listing the house as is, because she misses her husband and wants to go home.  Last night was her last Bible study with us, so I got her a cake.  It's supposed to say, "Safe Travels Pam. We will miss you."  The writing isn't the best, but goodness, the cake was delicious.  White cake with raspberry filling.  Yum!  Dennis and Neal are going to load her Uhaul trailer tomorrow and she'll leave after church Sunday to begin her drive home.  We will sure miss her.
Wednesday I got a "bee in my bonnet" to make a crocheted bunting for the island.  Here it is about 5 hours later.  So simple.  So easy.  Such a LOT of ends to weave in!  Seriously those ends were the most tedious part.  But I really like it...what do you think?  I think the flower garland will remain on my Hoosier cabinet and this one on the island for the summer months.  Bright and cheerful. 
I'm going to close today with one of my favorite hymns of old that reminds me of what happened on that Good Friday so many years ago.  I pray that each of you will take a moment to remember the reason that we celebrate Easter this Sunday.  HE IS RISEN!  For you.  And for me.

Lead Me to Calvary

King of my life, I crown Thee now, Thine shall the glory be;
Lest I forget thy thorn-crowned brow, Lead me to Calvary.

Show me the tomb where Thou was laid, Tenderly mourned and wept;
Angels in robes of light arrayed, Guarded Thee whilst Thou slept.

Let me like Mary through the gloom, Come with a gift to Thee;
Show to me now the empty tomb, Lead me to Calvary.

May I be willing, Lord to bear, Daily my cross for Thee;
Even Thy cup of grief to share, Thou hast borne all for me.

LEST I FORGET GETHSEMANE; LEST I FORGET THINE AGONY;
LEST I FORGET THY LOVE FOR ME, LEAD ME TO CALVARY.

"It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour, for the sun had stopped shining.  And the curtain of the temple was torn in two.  Jesus called out with a loud voice, Father, into your hands I commit my spirit." When he had said this, he breathed his last."
Luke 23:44-46

But this wasn't the end.  Sunday came.  He rose and He lives today!  May you have a Happy Easter.

Blessings,
Betsy


Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Snow.

It is spring.  The calendar says so and we had the most gorgeously beautiful weekend.  But this morning it's been snowing for hours.  The ground is still warm enough that none of it is sticking to the ground, but it is falling quite steadily.  Bleh!

I do know that it is a few days past the first day of spring, but I just LOVE Olaf!  He's my favorite character in the movie "Frozen".
This is what we did this weekend when the temperatures were in the 60's and the sun was shining.  I even got a little bit sunburned.
We went out to the lake and opened up the trailer.  The slides are out and we put out the stairs, furniture and outside mats.  I made up the bed and took out some food.  After I took this picture we removed the cover on Larry and Nita's trailer for them.
Someone was having a well deserved rest.
We raked and raked pine needles and filled both of those blue cans.
I was cleaning out a drawer inside the trailer and found this picture of Piper from a few years ago.  It's one of my favorites.  Crazy hair girl.
On Saturday we went to a "soft opening" for the new Bonefish Grill restaurant that opened this week.  I forgot to take a picture before I started eating.  This is all that was left of my shrimp & scallops, asparagus and augratin potatoes.  We went with Jenny.  Neal was still sick with that cold/flu thing that's going around.  The meal was completely free and you got to order from the regular menu.  Dennis had crab encrusted cod and Jenny had rainbow trout.  We also had appetizers, salad and dessert.  I can't believe we got all of this amazing food for nothing.  The restaurant was completely filled and everything was wonderful.  The service was also outstanding.
I made a flower pin for spring.  Love the bright colors.
These were Easter eggs I knitted a few years ago along with a few ceramic ones.
A closer picture.

And one last photo of my handsome husband after a hard day of setting up camp.  We don't have the water turned on yet because he took my kitchen faucet off to install a new one.  We have bought one at Home Depot and hope to put it in on Saturday.  I hope this is a better camping season than last year between all of the fires and my health "stuff".
I'm having another "dizzy" day today and so I"m glad to be home and just doing laundry.  I hope you're all having a lovely first week of spring.

"They took palm branches and went out to meet Him, shouting, "Hosanna!"  "Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!" "Blessed is the King of Israel!" John 12:13

Blessings,
Betsy









Friday, March 18, 2016

Sunshine

Happy Friday my friends!  It's knitting day!  I get to go and knit with some other ladies this afternoon and I'm looking forward to it, but first a recap on my week.  Well, the fun things that is.  Laundry, ironing, vacuuming, etc.  Those are not so fun, so we'll pass those right on by, although I count it a joy that I am physically able to do those things again fairly easily.  I don't want to take that for granted.

Here is my garland of spring flowers that usually hangs on the kitchen island in the summertime.  I thought I would switch things up just a little and hang it on the Hoosier cabinet for a little while. It makes me happy.  :-)
Yesterday I made cherry bars for Bible study.  Here they are unbaked...
and here they are after they came out of the oven.  Oh. My. Goodness. These bars are delicious and very easy.
Cherry Bars Recipe
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
3 cups all purpose flour
2 cans, (21 ounces each) cherry pie filling

Glaze:
1 cup confectioners sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract 
2-3 tablespoons milk

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl, cream butter, sugar and salt until light and fluffy.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Beat in extracts.  Gradually add flour.

2. Spread 3 cups batter into a greased 15x10x1 pan. (I just used a pan I had that was 17x12x1 and it worked well.) Spread top with pie filling.  Drop remaining beater by teaspoonfuls over filling.  Bake 30-35 minutes until golden brown.  Cool completely in the pan on a wire rack.

3. In a small bowl, mix confectioner's sugar, extracts and enough milk to reach desired consistency.  Drizzle over the top.   Enjoy!

I finished a third lapghan for the Veteran's Home yesterday.  I used the Granny Stripe Blanket pattern.
I also used the cozy blanket edging, both were from Lucy at Attic 24.  I really like how the edging turned out.  She used four colors and four rounds and I only used three colors and rounds.
The orchids are still making me very happy.
Aren't they gorgeous in the morning sunshine?
Brad's Dad sent me this picture of a golf cart he was looking at in Nebraska. He thinks we should get one for the lake.  Ha! We could really use it!  The six of us went in together and bought a golf cart last year, but it only has one seat and one the guys built on the back.  We all ride on it though!  Four of us sitting and two of the guys standing on the back.  This 8-person cart would be perfect!  (No way are we buying one though.)
Here's my sweet little Lilly smelling the flowers.  I wonder if she realizes they're not real?  :-)
I'll be back to making mittens for awhile and maybe knitting a bit on my Zilver shawl that I've had put away for a few weeks.  I hope you all have a wonderful weekend whatever you may be doing.

"Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground." Psalm 143:10

Blessings,
Betsy

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Eye Exam and Value Village!

Hello and happy Tuesday everyone.  It's been a very good day today. Not one bit of dizziness and I've gotten a lot done...but more about that later.

Yesterday I went to the eye doctor for my yearly, (or every three years because I forget to go!), exam.  I've been having lots of blurriness in my left eye the past three weeks that was a little concerning.  All is well.  Apparently that is the eye that is a little bit weak anyway, and the beta blockers that they have me on for tachycardia can cause blurriness because it relaxes not only the heart, but the eye muscles as well.  He tells me that should go away as my body adjusts to it.  The good news it that it also lowers pressure in the eye and it would reduce chances of glaucoma.

After the eye appointment I drove down the street and walked around the mall three times upstairs and three times downstairs.  It was raining too much to walk outside but I thought I should get some exercise.  I'm NOT a mall person and it surprised me how quiet it was there.  Not many shoppers there at all.  A good place to walk for exercise.  I'll have to do more of that next winter.

And now the fun stuff.  Here is another lapghan I made over the weekend and finished yesterday for the Veteran's Home.  I put the squares together with no rhyme or reason as to color.
I started this one last night.  It's just a plain granny stripe blanket and very easy to make without much thought.  I'll put a border on it of some sort and hopefully show it to you finished next time.
Another pair of mittens are on the needles too. Don't you like my fancy project bag?  I like the clear bags because I can see at a glance what is inside.
My Easter banner is hanging front and center on the kitchen island.  I know St. Patrick's isn't over yet, but I wanted to be sure and have this out for awhile too and Easter is early this year.
My wonderfully sweet friend Teresa Kasner, (over on my sidebar), helped me find this little knitting bunny on EBay last year.  She has one like it and I fell in love with hers.  She sits on my Hoosier cabinet all year long.  It was love at first sight.
Dennis' orchids from his hospital stay are still blooming profusely.
I love the different colors.
Friends who stop by think that they're artificial.
It has been a good day and I've accomplished a lot.  I was at the grocery store by 7:30.  After putting the groceries away, I face-timed with Mandy and Miss Piper.  I've washed three loads of laundry including the kitchen curtains.  I'm getting ready to go iron after this post is done.  

I also went to Value Village and bought Pipers summer wardrobe.  I can't believe the wonderful prices I get on clothes for her. Over twenty items for less than $30.00!  I'm pretty picky and only choose things that are in "like new" condition.  Sometimes they even have the original tags still on them.  I've been doing this since she was born.  Every spring and fall I make a trip to Value Village and get her lots of clothes.  For the price of one brand new outfit or dress, I can get her things for the entire season.  Tuesday is senior citizen day for those of us over the ripe old age of 55!  So I got an additional 10% off of the sale prices.

Of course now I have to mail them to her instead of taking them to Portland.  Mailing usually costs more than buying the clothes themselves, but it's still much less expensive than buying them new.

I roasted a chicken last night and will make my homemade chicken pot pie for dinner tonight.  I saved a recipe on Facebook that used crescent rolls for the dough, but I think I'll just use my tried and true homemade dough.  There will be enough chicken left for a couple more meals for us.  Not bad for a $4.50 chicken from Costco.  At least 4-5 meals!

I hope you're all having a wonderful week.  Spring will soon be here.  I'm already enjoying the longer days with sunshine lasting into the evening hours.  I bought seeds for my garden this morning although I will be patient awhile longer to plant them.

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28

Blessings,
Betsy