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Thursday, April 27, 2017

Spring?

Hello again!  Yes, it is spring on the calendar, but with the notable exception of last Saturday, it doesn't feel like it.  In fact, it was snowing in parts of our town this morning.  I'm really very weary of snow.  I want to wear a sundress and sandals, not my sweater or my winter coat.  Yes.  My winter coat AND mittens AND hat have been worn several times this week but...I'm going camping tomorrow anyway.  I'll just thumb my nose at that nasty snow and turn our propane furnace on!  HA!

Three more pairs of mittens done!
And being the optimist that I am, I'm hoping to be able to NOT wear a coat sometime this summer, so I made this little cell phone pocket that I can wear on my walks this summer.  None of my sundresses have pockets and Dennis won't let me go anywhere without my phone in case something happens.  You know, it's not like anything EVER happens to me!  Like a fall.  Like my heart stopping! :-)    Just thought I would throw in a bit of sarcasm for entertainment value. 
I had some Hobby Lobby I Love This Cotton and boy, do I love this cotton!  It is absolutely the softest cotton yarn I've ever worked with.  I made these two washcloths and the purse carrier above with one skein and I used the entire skein.  The washcloths are more true to the color of the yarn than the carrier.  Aren't those purple speckles gorgeous?
And I just started a baby blanket a few minutes ago with some yarn given to me by a 90 year old lady at our church.  She gives me yarn for "the babies" every once in awhile.  This color reminds me of rainbow sherbet.  What do you think?
I also won another Craft Along from Kim Napier at Napiers Knits podcast.  She sent me this book that arrived yesterday.  It's going to the lake with me and I think I'll be doing more reading than knitting this weekend.  Isn't that face cute.  It reminds me of Mandy & Brad's dog, Polly.  She is the sweetest dog and so good with Piper.
This was our one day of nice weather, and that only lasted until about 1:00, then the clouds and rain came back. It was nice while it lasted though.  Here's my Hubby enjoying a glass of tea after getting the gazebo set up and the outdoor rugs and furniture in place.  Mattie, Paul and Lori's dog has already found her favorite summer spot, on the loveseat.  I would like to make curtains for our trailer to make it even more "home like."  The ones that came with it are just little side panels but they are glued to the valances and I haven't figured out a way to get them off without ruining the valances.  Any ideas?
I drove up to the trailer yesterday to get Chloe's leash and harness that I forgot when I  came home on Monday.  She's been falling down our stairs the past few days and I'm taking her to the vet tomorrow.  I hope it's something easily fixable.  We were warned that she could get arthritis in her legs and pelvis from all of the breaks she had as a puppy but I didn't expect it to happen so quickly, almost overnight.  If it is arthritis, I imagine this cold and damp spring hasn't helped it at all.

Anyway, I snapped a couple of quick photos as I drove down the highway.  This is about five miles from home.  Sorry about the truck, he was in front of me and I wanted to get a picture of the mountains ahead.  I love the "layers" of mountains in the drive and the rain clouds just added to it.
Another view.  We do live in a beautiful part of the world. We have had double our normal YEARLY totals of rainfall for the year already and it's only April.  Two years ago we were in a drought.  The weather is really crazy this year.
Well, I'm off to bed.  It's been a long day and I have to be at the vet's at 7:00 with Chloe.  Take care and I hope to be visiting all of you on your blogs.

"This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down His life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters." 1 John 3:16

Blessings always,
Betsy






Friday, April 21, 2017

Sunshine!

Good Morning!  It's a beautiful day here in Spokane, WA.  We have some clouds and some sunshine, but the weather girl has promised us mostly sun by the afternoon so I'm holding her to it!  We've had rain every day this week except Wednesday which dawned beautiful and bright.  It also made it into the 60'sF for the first time this spring on Wednesday.  There is hope!  It was my best friend Jenny's birthday on Wednesday.  We ate a very healthy lunch at Taco Bell, (ha ha, it was her choice), and then took a long walk around a local park.  It was a fun and relaxing way to spend the afternoon, just catching up. 

I received this sweet Easter card from Becky (GrandmaBeckyL on my sidebar).  It was so thoughtful of her to send it to me.  Thank you Becky!
And I ordered this hand dyed yarn from Kim Napier at Napiersknits Etsy shop.  I really enjoy her podcast and this yarn is just wonderful.  I'm still trying to decide if it should be socks or a shawl. 
This came in the mail from Kim too!  I was the lucky winner of one of her Craftalongs in her Ravelry group.  Have you ever heard of C.C. & Dami?  They are a mom and her 17 year old daughter originally from Texas who live in Edinburg, Scotland while their husband/father finishes seminary.  They design knitting patterns together and this book is full of gorgeous patterns. My copy is signed by the two of them. And yes, C.C.'s hair is PINK!  It's her favorite color. :-)
Here is a sample of what's inside, socks, fingerless mitts in three lengths, and a shawl.  The socks are unique in that each pattern includes both the toe up and top down versions so you can knit your preferred way!  An E-book is also available.  C.C. & Dami also have a podcast called "Geeky Girls Knit", where they share their love of fiber, books, T.V. shows and movies.  They podcast faithfully each and every week and I've been watching them for quite awhile now.  It's one of my favorites. Thank you Kim, C.C. and Dami!
Holy Family Hospital here in Spokane let me know that they really needed some micro-preemie hats for the tiniest little ones.  These are about the size of a goose egg although the photo makes them look a bit bigger.  I crocheted these in about 2 hours Wednesday night and dropped them off yesterday.  I do need to find a knitted pattern with a ribbed border to use instead of this one though, because these don't have quite enough stretch at the brim for the sensitive skin on the babies.  As I made them I was a bit concerned about that and although the nurses didn't really want to sound critical, they agreed more stretch would make them work even better.
I made a few pair of mittens on Tuesday when the rain was pouring down.
And a pair of toddler socks for Miss Piper to match some I made for myself.  I had 42 inches of yarn left when I cast off!  Whew!  I don't like playing yarn chicken at all!  :-)  Both pair of socks from one skein of yarn is pretty good though. :-)
And a pair of wrist-warmers for Miss Margie who has been a very good friend to Mandy and Piper while they have been on the East Coast.  Miss Margie is about my age and walks at the mall with my girls several times a week and they go to church together.  Yesterday Piper showed her some wrist-warmers I had made for Mandy several years ago, (they were in the glovebox in Mandy's car and Piper found them while they waited for Margie.)  Piper asked her what her favorite color was and told her Grandma would make her some for herself.  Piper didn't know what color turquoise was, but told me that Margie liked that color.  Quite the generous little girl and apparently she believes I can make anything and everything she requests.  I confess, I do try to make anything she asks me for.  What's a Grandma to do?  I whipped these up this morning from a pattern I made up and I'll mail them out with Pipers socks as a thank you for being there for my girls when I couldn't be.  It's very warm there already, but she'll be able to use them next winter.
And my grand Tah-dah!  I finished my "Portage" sweater.  I love, love, love it.  I've been wearing it everywhere.  I love the pockets.  One of the nurses at the hospital yesterday asked if I made my sweater and wanted to know if I would sell her one!  Nope.  For the time it took to make this sweater it would cost hundreds of dollars.  Plus it takes the enjoyment out of it for me.  I would rather make things and give them away.  This sweater is SO comfortable and it was easy to make.  I would highly recommend the pattern if you want to make a comfy sweater.
I got this sweet card in the mail yesterday from Piper.  She must be a busy girl because Debra, (Araignee on my sidebar), received one from her too and shared it with us yesterday on her blog along with a hilarious bra story. I suggest you read it for a good laugh!
She dictated a  note to her mom to write and then signed her own name.  For a 4 year old, I think she did a wonderful job.  I love this!
A back update.  Yesterday my PT was a very happy man.  I don't know what's different, but he said I can do all of my exercises again and even begin vacuuming and doing some cleaning, etc.  Still no lifting over 10 lbs. but that's an improvement over 2 lbs.!  He said we're moving into the strengthening portion of PT and hopefully I can be done soon.  It's crazy.  Last week he said stop everything.  This week it was go, go, go!  It does hurt quite a bit and I'm having back spasms, but apparently that is the muscles getting used to doing things again and I'm not to worry about it, just take pain relievers if need be.  So finally some good news!

We're heading up to the lake tonight and home tomorrow to have a birthday dinner with Jenny and her family.  It's a new restaurant downtown that we haven't gone to before so that should be a lot of fun.

I hope you are all having a lovely week and can enjoy the weekend ahead.

"Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility, value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of others." Philippians 2:3-4

Wouldn't the world be a better place if everyone did this?  Just a thought and something I need to work on more.  Putting others ahead of myself.

Blessings always,
Betsy




Friday, April 14, 2017

Never Ending Sweater

Hello my friends!  It's good to visit with you this morning...although I don't have much to report.  Between physical therapy, walking at the mall, etc., my knitting time has been curtailed and this sweater seems to have unending lengths of knits and purls too.  I had an unexpected day shopping too, that I'll tell you all about.  It has also been quite chilly here this week, with snow falling on Monday, so I've spent quite a lot of time here...
Watching podcasts and knitting on the never-ending sweater.  This is the "Sew Sweet Violet" podcast.  A lovely lady from England with the softest, sweetest voice.  I just love it when I see she has a new podcast out.
Lots and lots of knits and purls!  All I have left now are the sleeves.  Yippee!
Sophie has been here this week and snuggles down under the blanket on my lap to keep warm.  She has four layers of blankets and the sweater on her at this point! 

I received two sweet packages in the mail.  This one full of soaps and lotion bars is from Araignee, (Debra), on my sidebar.  She generously has giveaways of her handmade goodies quite often.  I love it all, but the lotion bars are my favorites.  I keep one in my knitting bag and one by my chair at all times.  They aren't greasy and are perfect for keeping my hands nice and soft.  Thank you, thank you Debra!
And this package with six skeins of Red Heart yarn arrived very unexpectedly from Sharon, who is Grammy Braxton on my sidebar.  Wasn't that sweet?  This yarn is great for the lapghans that I make for the nursing and Veteran's Homes.  I so appreciate it Sharon.  Thank you again for being so generous.
I'll say it again.  Bloggers are some of the most giving people I know.  Many of you have been so kind and giving over the past years and I can't tell you how much it means to me.

Now for the shopping.  My iPad kept freezing up on me.  I had only had it about a year and a half, but I let the salesman talk me into getting one without much memory.  He said I didn't need it.  Wrong!  I went to the Verizon store to check on their new unlimited data plan for my current iPad and phone so I could still facetime with my girls whenever I want to while at the lake this summer.  I ended up getting a new iPad with a lot more memory, it's own internet, unlimited data etc., for not a lot of money.  I think I'll be happy with it.  It took hours at the store though and even more hours when I got home, reloading all of the apps and passwords, etc.  I really don't like getting new devices.  I still can't get the new iPad to do Instagram, so for all of my friends on there, that's the reason for my absence.  Getting it, and setting it up literally took all day and evening on Tuesday.  I still can't blog on it, but that's a blogger issue.  Blogger lets me load photos from my phone or iPad but won't let me write anything.  That's been going on for months now and that's the reason I'm down to one post a week.  I have to type everything on the desktop and that's not always convenient for me or easy to sit at because of my back.

My back.  That's another issue.  The physical therapist said again yesterday that he's not happy with my progress and has taken my exercises away again.  The torn muscles just aren't healing very fast for some reason.  I can still walk all I want or am capable of until the pain sets in, but I can't do any of the exercises.  I feel like it's one step forward, two backwards sometimes.  But I know it's just a slow healing process.

On a brighter note.  It's spring break from preschool for this little Princess, and she and Mommy got pedicures for the first time to celebrate.  She had a blast and guess what color polish she chose?  Pink of course!  Everything is pink for this little girl!  Just look at that smile.  She couldn't wait to tell me all about it and show me her toes.  And that's exactly why having a working iPad is so important to me!
We're heading to the lake tonight to stay for the first time this season.  It's supposed to be 28 degrees overnight, so I really hope we have enough propane to keep the furnace going until Dennis can get the bottles filled tomorrow.  We're staying both Friday and Saturday and I'm so looking forward to it.  Many would call me crazy, but that trailer is my "happy place".  We both have lazy boy chairs there and are taking some movies along in case of rain.  (Thunderstorms are predicted.)  And the camping season has begun! Yippee! 

We'll be back in town for church on Sunday morning to celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior on Easter Sunday.  Hallelujah!  This Sunday is the reason Christians have any hope at all.  Our Lord has conquered death and is risen from the grave in order to give us life after we die to this world.  What a wonderful gift we were given.  I hope you have chosen to receive it.

"But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8

"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 6:23

And one of my favorites:

"You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified.  HE HAS RISEN! He is not here.  See the place where they laid Him.  Go, tell his disciples and Peter, there you will see Him, just as He told you."  Mark 16:6

I hope you have a wonderful Resurrection Sunday celebrating that He Has Risen, just as He said He would!

Blessings always,
Betsy







Friday, April 7, 2017

Sweater Solo

Hello friends and Happy Friday! 

It's been a week since I last posted and would you believe that all I have worked on is this sweater?  It's taken an extraordinary amount of time.  It doesn't look very long here, but to give some perspective, that ribbing at the bottom is 5 1/2 inches.  The rest is solid knitting and purling.  It's the purling that always slows me down.  That being said though, I love this pattern so far.  I did change the back from a lace design to solid for warmth.  I still have to knit about 6 inches around both fronts and neck.  Then sleeves and pockets.  I won't finish anytime soon.  Admittedly, I didn't knit much over the weekend and have been busy a lot this week, so I haven't knitted as much as usual.  I am enjoying it though, and can see myself making another if the pattern continues to go so smoothly.
Tomorrow it will be three weeks since these carnations were bought at Trader Joes.  I can't believe how long their flowers last.
My little Easter tree.  It makes me happy.
Did I show you this last time?  Sorry about the glare, I am most definitely NOT a photographer and don't pretend to be.  I crocheted these flowers a few years ago and they spend a lot of time on the island in the spring and summer.
As you may remember, we drove to Missoula, MT last Friday to spend the weekend with our son and grandchildren.  This was our absolutely gorgeous drive there through two mountain passes.  It's a three hour drive for us and one and a half hours for Jamie and the kids. In that three hours we're in three states, Washington, Idaho and Montana.
At the bottom of 4th of July Pass. (Sorry about the bugs on the windshield. It's a hazard of highway driving.)
Up, up, up we go.  It was SUCH a beautiful drive that day.  The snow is still fairly deep up there. This photo was close to the bottom of the pass.
Then, after a short drive through the valley we headed up Lookout Pass.  At the very top is exit 0, the state line of Montana.  Did you know that on the west side of the continental divide the rivers flow west toward the Pacific and on the east side, they flow south and east?  When we first moved here it was so strange to me.  It seemed as if the rivers were all flowing backwards.  It's really very disconcerting.  Now I'm used to it, and when we go home to Nebraska, it seems to me that those rivers are flowing backwards!
Now, on the way home, things changed drastically. It was 59 degrees in Missoula and I was in flip-flops.  As we started up the pass, this is what we found.  Snow.  Lots and lots and lots of snow falling.  The temperature dropped to 15 degrees.  I'm sure glad I didn't have to walk in my choice of shoes!  I also always keep a crocheted afghan in each car.  That came in handy too.  Thankfully, although it was piling up next to the road, nothing was sticking on the highway yet.  A co-worker of Dennis' drove through the pass about 2 hours later and had to stop and chain up.  It was good we left for home when we did as we didn't take chains with us!
Icky, icky snow!
This is the inside of the hotel we stayed at.  The kids, (and adults), just love it.  Two swimming pools, 5 hot tubs, ping pong tables and an amazingly huge breakfast.  Every thing is centered around this courtyard with a waterfall.  You can see it from every room.  We really enjoy this place.
Here's a picture of our keycard so you can see if there is a location near you.  It is a wonderful place to go for a night away, especially if you have children.  The employees have always been super helpful and nice.  AND, you get warm chocolate chip cookies when you check in.  Coffee and hot tea are in the courtyard 24 hours.  We really like it here and have stayed 3-4 times now as the price is extremely reasonable.
When we got home, we had an email from the management at the lake that there was flooding happening.  Although we knew there was absolutely no danger to our trailer since we're up on a hill, we drove up to take a look for ourselves.  We have never, ever seen the lake even close to being this high.  This cabin is normally about 25-30 feet from the lake and they have had to sandbag several others besides this one.
These trees and rocks are usually on high ground far from the water.  This is normally where I walk every day.  Some trailers closer to the lake are threatened by water and lots of homes around the lake have basements full of water and it's up to their front doors.  Many of these people are year-round residents.  It's sure been a crazy spring.
We had overnight guests last night so I haven't had a chance to check blogs since early yesterday.  I always feel that I'm missing important things with my friends when I don't read your blogs.  I think I'll go do that now. :-)

I hope you are all having a lovely day and enjoying a lovely spring.

This verse has really caused me to stop and think.  It was in a devotion I read a little over a week ago.  I's important to set priorities on who we are trying to please/impress in this life.

"Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of GOD?  Or am I trying to please people?  If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ."  Galatians 1:10

My goal is to live my life based on Jesus and not on the whims of this world.  Who are you trying to please?  Just a thought that I've been thinking about a lot lately.

Blessings,
Betsy













Thursday, March 30, 2017

Missoula or Bust!

Hello Everyone!  I hope all is going well with you all.  It's been a slow and quiet week here.  I'm just plugging away at my physical therapy appointments for my back.  On Tuesday, he added back two exercises and I just got home from my appointment this morning.  He's very happy with my progress but still no lifting more than 2 lbs. or vacuuming, etc.  I can walk two laps around the mall and that's it.  Still, it's better than I was doing before and the pain has given way to just being uncomfortable so that's progress!  He's happy for me to sit and knit after I get my exercising done so the muscles can relax and mend.  I really like going to my appointments because of the treatments they do to it.  It feels so good on my back muscles.

You may recognize this picture of this sweater.  Well, I made another one this week...
...only in this lavender color.  I forgot to take a picture and I've already taken it to the Crisis Nursery.  It's a size 4/5 so will be good for a pre-school age child.  They get donations for the babies, but not so much for the older children.  I need to find a nice boys sweater pattern and make some of those.
In other news, I snapped this photo the other day when I went to walk at the mall.  This is how high the snow piles, dirty as they may be, are around town.  As high as the two story mall.
Here's a cleaner side.  Look, almost as high as the street lights.  It was still there this morning when I drove by.  Winter, go away.
Obviously, some snow is melting because we've been in a flood warning for several weeks now.  This is the river fairly close to us.  Our first house here in Spokane is just about 1/2 a block from where I took these pictures.
Do you see the ducks in the bottom picture?  So much water.
Mandy, Brad and Piper went into D.C. last weekend to look at the Cherry Blossoms.  I love this photo.  I think it was at the Jefferson Memorial but I could be wrong.  Piper just loves her Daddy.
My girls.  Oh my heart breaks from not getting to see them in person for so long.  Maybe soon though as they're in the process of getting ready to move once again.  Still not here in Spokane, but a bit closer.
Piper got the two Octopi that I sent her.  Did I spell that right?  It was a good day for her to get the package because she wasn't feeling well at all that day.  She was SO happy! Which made Grandma happy of course. :-)
And I started this yesterday.
Hopefully it will become this when it's done.  And guess what?  It's for  me!  I don't make things for myself very often, but I've been wanting a cardigan for the lake that has pockets for my phone and a Kleenex or two when I take walks.  The pattern is a bit confusing but maybe I'll be able to figure it out.
Are you wondering about my post title?  Missoula or Bust!   We're driving to Missoula tomorrow to see Jamie, Kyleigh and Caleb.  We've reserved a hotel room and are eagerly awaiting our trip to see our babies. We'll be home on Sunday and have a good friend staying here at the house with Chloe.  I sure wish all of the kids were here, but I'll take what I can get.  I haven't gone anywhere for so long, I've forgotten how to pack a suitcase.  Believe me, if I could I would be packing one to go to D.C.  I miss my girls and really need a Piper hug.

There is absolutely nothing else remarkable happening here.  It's been raining, raining, raining here so I spend a lot of time inside.  No flowers are coming up.  Nothing.  It's spring on the  calendar, but still resembles winter outside. I know it's coming though and I'm trying to be patient.

Have a lovely week my friends.  I'm going to go hug three of my babies, (even though one is a grown man, he's still one of my babies!)  Am I right, all of you Mom's out there?  It doesn't matter how old they get, they're still our babies and we love them.

"Then Jesus declared, "I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty."  John 6:35

Blessings always,
Betsy