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Tuesday, December 5, 2017

COLD....

Happy Tuesday Morning everyone!  It's turned cold here the past few days.  Brrrr.  We were supposed to get several inches of snow Saturday night but it bypassed us, thankfully, and covered the mountains around us instead.  This picture was taken about a block from our house.  I dread the day when they decide to "improve" this area and develop it into something.  They have cut so many trees down near us to build yet another storage facility.  Personally, I think we all have too much "stuff" anyway and they are destroying all of this beauty in the name of progress.  Oops!  I better jump down from this soapbox now.  Excuse me for a moment while I try to crawl down without hurting myself.  :-)
Sophie went home with her Mom and Dad Sunday night.  They had a lovely cruise to Mazatlán and Cabo San Lucas.  Another cruise is planned for February and Sophie will be back for another visit with Chloe.
We had an ordination at church on Sunday.  Chad was ordained as the new youth pastor.  He is a wonderful young man that we've known for almost 25 years.  He has a wife and two sweet babies.  You can't see Dennis because of this angle, but he is right behind the guy on the left front.  That's Troy, our senior minister whom we've also known for almost 25 years.  He was the youth pastor when our boys were in high school and he and his wife are great friends of Mandy.  We met both of these men when we moved to Spokane and Chad was just a young boy.  Dennis has been an Elder of the church here for 24 years and before that was in leadership at the church we attended in Omaha.  It's always wonderful to see young people grow and learn to serve the Lord.
 Thank you Sherri for the sweet card and this precious ornament you crocheted for me.  It is hanging on the tree right now.  It sparkles so pretty in the light.  I love the sparkley gold yarn that you used.
 Debbie sent another wonderful package of soap and lotion bars along with card she made that I can now share with someone else.  This woman's talent knows no bounds and she generously shares her lovely creations.  I really like the lotion bars as they keep my dry hands from snagging on yarn.
I tried very hard to get a good picture of the moon the other night.  It was stunning!  But no matter how many photos I took, they were blurry and then the clouds began to cover it.  Well, I think it's still pretty, isn't it?
Four more hats were finished for the hospital nursery.
 A baby blanket that I've been working on in November is also done.  I finished another identical one earlier in the month of November but forgot to take a picture and it's already been delivered to the Crisis Nursery to keep a baby warm.
 I finished another Fibi shawl pattern by Taci.  This was using Knit Picks City Tweed DK.
 The three colors I used were Snowshoe, Plush, (light purple) and Morning Glory, (darker purple).
 After blocking it is well over 5 1/2 foot long!  It's so cushy and snuggly and I absolutely love it!  I'm still deciding whether to keep it our give it away but I think it will be a gift for Christmas.  I hope you all get a copy of this pattern and knit it.  It's a very easy and intuitive pattern using the seed stitch.
I finished 3 more pair of mittens for the school kids on Sunday afternoon and evening while watching Hallmark movies.  I am addicted to the Hallmark movies.
 Yesterday I started a new blanket for Marilyn, Mandy's mother-in-law.  She is such a sweet lady and very good to Mandy and Piper. She's really been a great support while Mandy was so sick, etc.  Of course, she's Grandma to Piper too and adores that little girl.  We have become friends and I thought she might like a blanket to wrap up in during the cold Nebraska winter.  It's not a Christmas gift, it's a "just because" gift.  :-) You can't tell very well, but this is a lovely pale yellow yarn with a cream border.  Yellow is her favorite color.  Michaels had Impeccable yarn on sale for 3/$5 yesterday in a flash sale.  I bought all of the yellow they had but it wasn't enough.  The sales girl suggested I look online.  It was in stock there, so I bought 6 more skeins at the same price!  With shipping and taxes it was still less than the normal price for 3 skeins!  I felt like I really got a wonderful deal.  It will be here next week and whatever I don't use for the blanket will be used for mittens because it's the same yarn I use for them.
Life is wonderful, but life can also be difficult.  Many people are suffering this year and the holidays are hard for them.  That was brought into the forefront yet again this morning with an email I received when I woke up, about the difficulties a dear friend is going through.  My own brother-in-law is fighting cancer for the second time this year.  All caused by the anti-rejection drugs he has to take from his liver transplant.  It's terrible for him and my sweet sister Melanie and their kids.  One of my brothers had a skin cancer removed last week from his hand.  Another blog friend sent an email earlier in the week with a list of many, many family members who are very sick with life threatening things.  I know many of you have lost parents and family members during the past year and this holiday season of "firsts" is SO, SO hard.

I just want each of you reading this to  know that I am going the throne room of Heaven for each one of you.  Every time I hear of a need that one of you has, I write it in my prayer notebook and I REALLY DO pray for each of the things that you mention every single day.  Whether you ask me specifically to pray for you or not, I pray anyway.  Because I know that that's the least and the BEST thing that I can do for each one of you.

I don't want to end this on a down note, but I do know that the holiday season can be very, very difficult and I wanted you all to know that I am here for you.

I do hope that you each have a wonderful day today.  Much love from me to you!

"There is no one holy like the LORD: there is not one besides you; there is no Rock like our God.
1 Samuel 2:2

"For I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you." Isaiah 41:13

Blessings always,
Betsy

Friday, December 1, 2017

Fun Questions

My friend Dee at "Pointy Little Sticks" blog over on my sidebar had these questions on her blog last week and they were lots of fun.  I thought it might be a wonderful way to get to know my friends that visit me here on my blog.  If you have time, and I know that's a short commodity, especially in December, but...if you have time, would you play along?  I'll include my answers too.  Have fun!

1.What is your middle name?  Beth.  But my "real" first name is Mary, not Betsy. :-)  I've been called Betsy since I was a baby.  Dennis didn't know my real name until we got engaged.  I didn't know it until I had been in kindergarten for several weeks and the teacher thought I was ignoring her when she called my name.  I just didn't know what my name was!  :-)

2. What was your favorite subject at school?  History
3. What is your favorite drink?  Water or Diet Coke or Diet Pepsi
4. What is your favorite song at the moment?  "Amazing Grace" always
5. What is your favorite food?   DARK CHOCOLATE if that's considered food, otherwise pizza.
6. What is the last thing you bought?  Pizza for dinner last night with our Bible study group.
7. Favorite book of all time?  the Bible.  It has all you need to know in life.
8. Favorite Color?  lavender
9. Do you have any pets?  One.  Our rescued British lab, Chloe.
10. Favorite Perfume?  Japanese Cherry Blossom from Bath and Bodyworks.
11. Favorite Holiday?  Christmas

12. Are you married? Yes, to Dennis for 39 years last September.
13. Have you ever been out of the country, if so how many times?  Yes, many times.  Mexico, Honduras, Belize, Canada, France, England, Japan

 
14. Do you speak any other language? Nope
15. How many siblings do you have? Three siblings.  Two brothers and a sister all in Iowa.  They live within a few miles of each other.  I miss them.
16. What is your favorite shop?  Online-Amazon,  Sticks and Bricks-Hobby Lobby
17. Favorite restaurant? Applebee's
18. When was the last time you cried?  Within the last week.
19. Favorite Blog?: Too many to mention.  Please check out my sidebar to see my favorites.
20. Favorite Movie?  White Christmas
21. Favorite TV shows?  NCIS, (the original one)
22. PC or Mac?    PC, but I have an iPad too
23. What phone do you have? iPhone
24. How tall are you?  5'10"
25. Can you cook?  Yes.  I used to cook a lot, not so much anymore with just the two of us.
26. Do you have children?  If yes, how many?   Yes, 3.   Mandy, Jamie and Alex
I hope you enjoyed the questions and that you'll play along.  I've never done this kind of thing before but thought it might be a fun change of pace.  I hope you all have a lovely weekend.

"Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast sprit within me." Psalm 51:10

Blessings,
Betsy



Wednesday, November 29, 2017

I'm back again!

Good Morning!  It snowed again last night but it's melting and I'm a happy girl about that!  There were a few things that I forgot to share on my last post so I thought I would pop in for a short visit today.

I made four Christmas dishcloths but have already given one away.  I really like using knitted dishcloths and find others usually do too.  The past couple of years I have had a basketful by the front door during December for anyone who visited to take one.  This year I slacked off and didn't get very many made.  Oh well.  I've been busy with other things. These are the three I have left but I'm giving one away today.


 I started another of Taci's Fibi (Phee-bee) shawls yesterday.  This time I'm using Knit Picks City Tweed DK and oh my goodness!  You can sure tell the difference when you use a quality yarn.  This is a fun and easy pattern to knit and this is my second one.  The first was a test knit for her and I'm sorry I didn't use a better yarn that time.
This yarn is 55% Merino Wool, 25% Alpaca,20% Donegal tweed.  It is wonderful to knit with.
It's not expensive, but it is oh, so cushy and cuddly.
 These are the three colors that I'm using
 Just look at how soft and plump it is!
I got my Knit Picks order last Friday and the City Tweed was included in it.  Here, let me snow you everything I received.  Merry Christmas to me!  (It is my Christmas gift from Dennis.) The first photo is a kit.  It's for the Beachcomber Shawl.  There were eight skeins of this Cot-lin yarn included in the kit.  I think it will be perfect for spring/summer.   I've never bought a kit before, but it was almost half the price of buying everything individually.  There was another color combination you could choose from too.  I think it was blues and beige but I'm not sure.  I loved these colors so much I didn't look at the other one very long. :-)
 Then, of course I bought sock yarn.  Lots of darker colors because the men in my family prefer darker socks over bright reds, yellows and purples.  Go figure!  Ha! Those two in the center are called "Skating Rink" and were on sale for less than $6.00 a skein.  I think it was $5.49.  That is a steal for a good Merino/nylon sock yarn.
 And here is the yarn that I'm using now for the Fibi shawl.
Gosh it was fun to open the box and touch all of this great yarn.  In my humble opinion, you can't beat Knit Picks for price and quality.  I just can't bring myself to pay $28+ for a skein of sock yarn from the yarn store.  It's great for people who can afford it.  I say, "go for it if you can!"  But I buy too much yarn to spend that much money.  Knit Picks is a great option for people like me.  Goodness!  I sound like a commercial don't I?  Oops.  Sorry.

I think that's it.  I'm having lunch with one of the young mom's from church today so I've got to get running. Still have to clean the bathrooms before I go.  Tomorrow is a ladies luncheon at church.  A couple of us provide lunch once a month for the senior ladies.  We have a great time of eating, talking and laughing.  For some of them it's the only time they get out with people besides church on Sunday and doctor appointments.  It's been very well received.  We were going to cancel for the winter months so they wouldn't have to worry about getting out in the snow, but every single lady asked us not to cancel.  So tomorrow is the day for November.  It's usually the third Thursday of the month, but this month it ended up being postponed until tomorrow.

I'm officially finished with Christmas preparations with the exception of buying two gift cards and the actual dinner preparation on that day.  Cards and packages have all been mailed and now I can just enjoy the season.  I love that.  I enjoy going to the mall and people watching in December.

I'm rambling aren't I?  That's what happens when you spend so much time alone!  Ha!  I think that's my signal to say "adios" for today or "jaa nee" which is "see you" in Japanese!

Genki de,  (take care of yourself), and I'll be back soon.  (Don't ask me why I got on a saying goodbye in Japanese kick.  I'm strange like that sometimes.)

"Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good: His love endures forever." 1 Chronicles 16:34

Blessings,
Betsy

Monday, November 27, 2017

Let The Madness Begin...

Hello Everyone.

I hope that your Thanksgiving weekend was full of thankfulness if you live in the USA and celebrate it.  If you live elsewhere, I still hope you had a wonderful weekend full of thankfulness for all of your many blessings and all that you have.  We had a lovely day with Jeremy, Alicia and the boys and drove home to this view on the interstate.  I've never seen so little traffic.  The sun was setting behind us and storm clouds were to the east.  The golden hues were so pretty and the highway so empty.  It was almost other worldly.
 Apparently a big storm hit Spokane just before we arrived back in town.  We just missed the actual storm but saw the massive clouds.
When we decorated last week, the first thing set up was the Navity.  After all, Jesus is the entire reason Christmas is celebrated, so I always believe that the scene honoring Him should go up before the tree.
 I made this Navity set the first year we were married.  This is the 39th year it has been in our home.  Would you believe that three kids, a home daycare, three grandchildren, three dogs and three moves later, not one piece has been broken?  I love this scene and hope to pass it down to Mandy and then Piper someday.
The mystery knit is complete but I can't show it too you for awhile yet.  It took "ages" to finish but I love how it turned out.
 Our friends Kevin and Lana's granddaughter is moving back to Spokane in early December and she needs warm weather gear.  "I have a Waffle Hat" almost finished.  It will be done this evening.
 I also finished her scarf made from the same "I Love This Yarn" from Hobby Lobby.  It's the leftover yarn from my "Portage" sweater and I love how soft it is and it wears and washes very well.  The scarf is about six feet long.  I sure hope she likes it.
Sofie is back visiting while her Mom and Dad are on another cruise.  They left yesterday for the Mexican Rivera and will be back next Sunday.  Meanwhile, she's very at home here at our house.  This is her favorite place, all wrapped in a soft fleece blanket.
 When they brought her over Saturday night they had dinner with us and Nita gave me this sweet quilted wall hanging for the trailer.  She has one very similar.  A mutual friend made them for us.
 I always have a pot of flowers and watering can by the door of our trailer.  The watering can is for everyone's use and I thought it was sweet that our friend knew that and found a watering can button.
 A sweet little yellow dog button for Chloe.  How nice is that?
 I usually have flowers by the window inside too.  I was touched by all of the little extra details that personalized the wall hanging.  I will definitely find a place in the trailer for this sweet gift.
And last but not least, I won a gift from Patty who lives in Labrador, Newfoundland.  Look at all of this wonderful goodness.  Several different teas, yarn, scissors, a Canadian bear ornament, chocolate, a notions pouch and a project bag.  I can't believe how sweet it was of her to mail it all the way to me.
I went out this morning and finished most of my Christmas shopping.  We didn't do any over the weekend.  Crowds just aren't my thing.  Stocking stuffers for those who will be here have been purchased too. I only have a couple of gift cards to buy for gift exchanges we participate in and I'll be all done.  I even mailed my cards out last Friday!  I like to be done early and then I can enjoy the festivities without any stress.  Jamie and the kids will be here this year and then we're flying to Omaha in January to have a late Christmas with Brad, Mandy, Piper and the rest of our family there.

I hope you're all having a lovely day today.  We have bright sunshine and a warm-up. It was actually 41F when I was out this morning and it felt really good.

Oh, I almost forgot.  My cardiologist visit went really well last week.  I don't have to go back for a year unless something comes up.  I just do my remote pacemaker downloads from wherever I may be every three months. He was pleased with everything except my BP is pretty low.  That can't be helped though because the different medications I take for tachycardia lowers my BP.  Nothing can be done about it except take precautions like not driving and sitting or laying down when the light headedness hits me.  So all in all, it was good news.  Now I think we're done with doctors for awhile.  At least I really hope so!

I'll be back to visit again soon and I'll be visiting your blogs too!

"LORD, you are my God; I will exalt you and praise your name, for in perfect faithfulness you have done wonderful things, things planned long ago." Isaiah 25:1

Blessings always,
Betsy

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

A little early.....

Hmmm.  Do you think I'm a little early with this?

Yep.  I think so too.  On Saturday Dennis volunteered to get my box of snowmen out of the storage closet for me.  I don't remember the last time he did anything with decorating because I ALWAYS do it while he's at work and I hate to ask him to do things I can do.  He works way too hard as it is.  This year he didn't want me crawling around the storage area and carrying boxes because of my back so he brought EVERYTHING upstairs.  Not just the snowmen.  Everything.

I was so tired of autumn décor since it's been out for two months and since we aren't having any company for Thanksgiving, I thought I would just put my snowmen out.  I love, love, love snowmen.  Well, one thing led to another and by the end of the day the tree was up.  We didn't put one up last year so seeing all of the ornaments and talking about where they were from was lots of fun.  I really enjoyed putting it up together.

Everything else is out too and "it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!"  I have never, ever put the tree up this early and I'm sure by Christmas I'll be really tired of it but I'm sure loving turning the lights in the room off and just enjoying the tree.

Thank you to everyone who asked about my tests.  All the biopsies came back clear-no cancer!  The nurse told me they removed 12-15 polyps in my esophagus!  No wonder my throat hurt for awhile!  My 6 month cardiologist visit is this morning and then hopefully we're done with doctors for a long while.  The insurance company told me this morning that once again I've met my out of pocket for the year so I don't have to pay a co-pay.  f course it's the end of the year and we start over in January.  You really don't want to hear what our out-of-pocket is.  It's outrageous!

Happy Thanksgiving to all of my American friends and I hope the rest of you have a lovely week.  I have much to be thankful for this year and every year.

"Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!" 2 Corinthians 9:15

Blessings,
Betsy

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Organizing madness...

Hello everyone!  It's one week to Thanksgving.  Are you ready?  We're heading to Moses Lake to spend the day with Jeremy and Alicia and the boys since none of our kids will be out west this year.  But our church had it's annual Thanksgiving potluck last Sunday after church.  Here is the fellowship hall all decorated and ready for the feast to begin.  There was so  much turkey, ham, stuffing and all of the trimmings that I think everyone went away 10 lbs. heavier!
 I used to be in the kitchen for this every year but some of the younger ladies are dong it now and it's wonderful to relax and enjoy the festivities.  Lots of us pitch in for the clean up afterwards so no one get "stuck" with it all.
 Mandy sent me this photo and asked if I recognized this dress.  It was the dress the flower girls wore in her wedding!  I thought that one of them had given it to Piper as a hand-me-down, but no!  Brad's mom found this one at a garage sale!  Isn't that crazy.  The wedding was in Oregon and the garage sale was in Nebraska!  It fits little miss perfectly.
Thank you for all of the well wishes for Mandy and Piper.  They are both much, much better.  Tamiflu is amazing!  And just in time too, because Piper has a new baby cousin.  This is Brad's mom Marilyn with Piper and her newest grandchild, Shelby.  Piper is thrilled to have her "own" baby to play with.
 I was asked to make a hat and scarf for a friends granddaughter who is moving here in December.  She doesn't have any warm weather clothes and so she definitely needs some winter things.  This is a pattern I adapted from a favorite baby blanket pattern to scarf size.  you use size 10 needles so it goes fairly fast with a 4 row pattern repeat.
 This close up shows the stitch definition a bit more.  The red heart is a progress keeper.  I haven't decided on a hat pattern yet.
After watching some organizing podcasts and being totally frustrated with our bathroom cabinets I decided to organize and purge.  A trip to the Dollar Tree and $7.00 spent and I'm really happy with the results.  This is my side of the bathroom vanity.
Here is Dennis' side.  Much less "stuff" and the cleaning products are in there too!  Guys just don't seem to collect as much do they?  Although to be fair, that shoebox under my side on the left has travel size toiletries that we've picked up on trips and at Bath and Bodyworks.  I use them in my purse, knitting bags, etc.  I have a weakness for nice smelling lotions.
 The top drawer of the vanity which always seems to become a "catch all" drawer. 
Then, since I was on a roll and still had a few of the storage items left, I tweaked my yarn closet a bit.  I keep cards and wrapping things in here too as well as completed items not given away yet.  On the left side of this section behind the closet door is a set of plastic drawers that holds my cross stitch supplies. You can't see that in this picture.  On top of the shelves where you also  can't see are two more plastic totes full of crochet cotton thread.  Those white tubs at the bottom left hold all of my specialty sock yarns. I try to arrange the yarns by weight.  Baby, DK, worsted, etc.  Now this may not look like much yarn, but this isn't all of it.  Hold on.....
 I have three tubs in the top of our master bedroom closet that have 18-one pound balls of worsted and baby weight yarn, 6 balls in each tub. I use lots of this in my charity knitting as they usually prefer acrylics over wool for washability.  I try to buy it when it's on sale.  There will be a serious dent put into this yarn in the near future.  I want to get some baby blankets done soon.
Under the television in the living room is this bookcase with cloth bins.  It's full of the yarn that I use almost exclusively for the mittens for the school children.  I have no idea why I bought white.  I never, ever have used white in mittens for children!
 Here is a basket with the scraps from the mittens.  I'm going to use these somehow I just haven't figured out how yet.  Maybe some mittens with stripes although that adds a lot to the knitting time.  That's my childhood teddy bear guarding the basket. :-)
I also have three shelves of yarn in the bookshelves downstairs!  It was given to me by a lady at church who moved and didn't want to take it with her.  It isn't my favorite yarn to use, Lion Brand Homespun.  I find it splits when knitting and crocheting with it but I will find a use for it.  I promise.

Chloe is shedding her summer coat.  I put a TV remote next to this pile of hair I brushed this morning so you could get an idea of how much hair she's losing.  I have done this every day this week.  I don't know how she isn't completely bald!  She's so good though.  It must feel wonderful to be brushed and get all of this hair off of her.  Yuck!  I love my dog utterly and completely, but I don't like the shedding at all.
I had my endoscopy done on Monday morning.  It was a little rough.  I think I've told you before that I have never been sick to my stomach in well over 40 years except for when my heart stopped.  Mandy tells me that's not unusual for that to happen.  Other than that, I really don't remember the last time.  It was long, long before I married Dennis.  Well, I was sick, sick, sick when I came out of the anesthesia.  They removed several polyps in my esophagus and have sent them off for testing.  Otherwise I think everything is okay.  They fiddled with my meds though while I was there and I've had chest pain off and on since Monday.  Today is better so I'm hopeful that all is on the upswing.  Sometimes it seems like nothing goes easy for me and I'm not sure why.  I have my semi-annual visit with the cardiologist on Tuesday so if anything is still off, I'm sure he will catch it.

We've had a gray and gloomy week of rain that washed all of the snow away.  I kind of like it.  I've been huddled inside, getting some cleaning done, knitting on my mystery  project and watching Hallmark Christmas movies.  Yes, I'm one of those.  I love the corniness of the movies.  With all of the yuck in the world, the innocence and guaranteed happy endings is a bright spot and an escape.

I have two Knit Picks orders on the way.  Yes, I said two orders.  Looking at the photos above, it sure doesn't look like I need more yarn does it?  I plan to make lots of socks though and I want to re-knit Taci's new pattern with some nicer DK yarn than what I used for the first one.  One order should be here tomorrow and the other next Monday so I'll have some yarn goodness to show you next week.  It's my Christmas present so I don't feel too bad.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and are staying warm wherever you may be.

"Now, our God, we give you thanks, and praise your glorious name." 1 Chronicles 29:13

Blessings,
Betsy