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Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Still Chilly...er, COLD!

Hello again from the hinterlands where the furnace is still running apace.  The temperature only climbed to 44 yesterday.  I know, I know.  I've been reading blogs.  Most of you had your AC on for awhile already.  But not here in Washington.  Here on the normally dry side of the Cascade mountains, we have run well over our normal yearly rainfall totals...as of last month!  And it poured Monday.  And it dumped buckets of rain yesterday.  All day.  And it is supposed to rain today.  So I worked on this....
and this,
and this,
and more of this,
before giving up at this,
and settling in here for the afternoon.  Knitting with my favorite podcasts and bundled up in lots of blankets to ward off the chill.
Yes, my poppets.  We're having the infamous garage sale on Friday and Saturday.  Dennis is taking Friday off so he can help carry all the big stuff from the shed in the backyard.  We have SO MUCH STUFF!  I guess that's what happens after 39 years of marriage.  All of that "stuff" you see in the garage?  You can't even tell inside the house that anything is gone!  The inside of the house looks the same.  So do the closets.  I think the void from whence all of the stuff came, was automatically filled overnight by some evil packrat who doesn't like empty spaces.  Oh well.  It's supposed to be in the low 70's both days so hopefully we'll have a nice turn-out.

And what was I knitting on yesterday you ask?  It's my Amulet shawl.  Once I got past the annoying hiccup of starting the cream section, I moved on quickly to the first lace section using the beautiful yarn I received as a prize from Knit Styles Etsy shop. 
Those beads.  Yes, they are gorgeous, but it takes forever to do a row with beads as it means stopping every 3 stitches and getting a bead, putting it on a crochet hook, looping it onto the stitch, putting the stitch back on the needle and then knitting it.  Every. Three. Stitches.  And at this point there are well over 300 stitches per round and it increases every round!  But although it's very, very slow going, I'm enjoying it immensely.  This may be my main project for awhile and that's fine with me.
I did make 2 pair of mittens which I forgot to photograph and I put a few rows on a sock, but this is my main knitterly love at the moment.  I do think something easier, needing much less concentration will be worked on during the garage sale.

Kris from the blog "Simplify," sent me this beautiful card, just because.  Don't you just love the happy flowers? Thank you Kris!
My rocking chair on the deck is waiting patiently for warmer weather for me to sit and rock, read my Bible, and drink a cup of tea in the mornings.
The grass is so green and lush from all of the rain.  That's our little flowering pear tree that we had to replace last year after the big windstorm that blew it's big brother down onto the fence.  Our neighbors had the little wishing well in the trash pile last year, so Dennis rescued it and painted it for me.  I love it!
The rhubarb is going gangbusters with the cool, wet weather.  I've harvested several times already and it needs it again.
And one last photo.  This is my Mom, sister Melanie, and I on our way to church, probably around 1965-1966 or so.  Again, Mom made our dresses and I love the knee socks.  My sister just lives about 3 blocks from here now and has lived there for at least 40 years, (I think it's been 40 years, I lose track of time).  One brother is just 6 blocks away and another brother just on the other side of the river.  Melanie sent me a house listing just one block over from here that just came on the market yesterday.  Guess where she wants us to move when Dennis retires?

The most recent news is that I am definitely Vitamin D deficient so they started me on mega doses of Vitamin D on Monday.  I have felt kind of yucky ever since.  Is that normal?  Tired, tummy upset, and barely sleeping at all.  I keep thinking it's just a supplement so there shouldn't be any side effects, but it is 50,000 IU in one little tiny pill!  Only one pill a week.  I'm told that your D3 levels should be 29 or higher and mine was 18.  Let's hope this is the reason for the back not healing and I'll soon be on the mend.

I thank you ALL for your sweet comments, prayers and well wishes.  I feel like I've been all "doom and gloom" for awhile now and I really want that to change.  Hopefully this will do the trick.

And now, I have more garage sale "stuff" to do.  I have to make a sign for the main road and take some more small things downstairs.  This garage sale is a LOT of work.  I don't know how people do them all of the time.

I hope you all have an absolutely wonderful Wednesday my sweet friends!

"Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see."  Hebrews 11:1

Blessings always,
Betsy














Friday, May 12, 2017

Rainy Days

Hello and happy Friday to you all.  We've had some absolutely gorgeous days this week, but last night it began raining and it is a dreary day today too. The weekend looks the same, so I think we'll be staying home and working on getting things ready for the garage sale next week.  There are five of us on our street having garage sales next Saturday.  I don't have good luck with them, but I'm going to try one more time.  Maybe with several of us having sales, more traffic will come in.  Dennis is taking Friday as a vacation day so he can help and do the lifting that needs done.

Meanwhile, I spent Wednesday night at the lake and took these beautiful pictures yesterday.  Finally some blooms!  These are in the flower bed by the trailer.
And these beautiful tulips are close to the park entrance.
I don't know the name of these happy flowers, but they remind me of daisies and are so cheerful and bright.  The purple and yellow look so pretty together.
While I was walking I took these two pictures.  The cabins are all spiffed up and waiting for the summer visitors and the sailboat looks ready to take a voyage on the lake.
I began the Amulet Shawl by Helen Stewart of the Curious Handmade Wednesday.  I started this thing three times!  I don't know what was wrong with me.  It's a fairly simple shawl pattern so far with just a few increases.  Each time I would get to this point I would mess up.  Do you see the huge holes just under the stitch marker?  I messed up the m1's on either side of the center stitch.  And I kept doing the same thing for some strange reason.   I seem to be on the right track now though and finally have it past this point.

I'm using a cream yarn I had in my stash and the yarn I showed you last week that I won from the Yarn Style podcast.  I also purchased beads to add to it.
The corner to corner baby blanket was finished.  It's being washed right now, so this photo doesn't show it blocked properly but you get the idea.
This is a truer representation of the colors.  It's a nice size blanket, about 36 inches square.
My mother-in-law requested some new kitchen towels.  The ones I made her about 25 years ago finally wore out.  I made these in a couple of hours.  Several people have requested the pattern.  I made it up as I went along, but I tried to recreate it for you.  There are several really good free patterns I found on Ravelry yesterday though, that are probably muchbetter written.  Here are a few:

Quick Kitchen Towels
Hanging Kitchen Towel
Towel Topper H
Towel Topper   (this one is my favorite)

I didn't have access to my computer when I made these or I would have used one of those, but here is my pattern anyway.  I hope you can understand it since I'm not a pattern writer.  Feel free to ask questions.
Cut a purchased kitchen towel in half.  I then sew a 1/4 inch hem on each towel.  Alternatively, you can stitch twice along the width of the towel and cut between the stitching.  The first row you sc as close to each end of the towel as you can.

R1-slip knot, sc 44 sts across the towel over the hem.  ch 1, turn
R2-sc in each st across, ch 2, turn
R3-*sk 1 sc, dc, ch1* across, ch 2 turn
R4-dc in each ch1 across, ch 1 turn
R5-sc in each st across, ch 2 turn
R6-Repeat row 3
R7-dc in each st and ch 1 across, ch 2, turn
R8-dc in every other dc across, ch 2, turn
R9-dc in first dc, sk 1 dc, dc in each stitch across row to last 3 stitches, sk 1 st, dc in last 2 stitches. ch 2, turn
R10-Repeat row 9
R11-21-dc in each st across, ch 2, turn, (in row 21 ch 1, turn)
R22-sc across to end.  Weave in ends.  Sew on a button and you're done!

I hope that made sense.  As I said, I just made it up and I'm not a pattern maker.  I highly recommend one of the patterns on Ravelry.

I don't remember if I told you last week, but the x-ray they took on my back has shown absolutely no change in the bone since January.  The break hasn't healed at all and they don't know why.  I am now taking calcium supplements and yesterday they drew blood to check my vitamin D levels.  Apparently that can affect bone growth.  I've been walking, a lot of walking, but now I'm having dizzy spells again and almost fainting.  No one knows why those are happening and the cardiologist says to talk to my primary care doctor and the primary says it's heart related.  To say I'm beyond frustrated would be putting it mildly.  I don't mean to bore you with all of this, and I know most of us try to keep our blogs happy, happy, happy but this is my life and I have come to think of you as my friends.  I share my life with my friends.  If you are praying people, I would definitely appreciate your prayers.

Have a lovely weekend everyone and I'll try to keep up with your blogs.

I'm trying to live out this verse and I know many others are facing much worse than I am.

"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







Thursday, May 4, 2017

Sunshine And It's Warm Too!

Hello and happy Thursday everyone!  It's warm!  It's in the 70's today and I'm soaking it all in.  The weekend is supposed to be cool and only in the 50's so I have all of the windows wide open and I'm enjoying the warmth.

Monday morning I took a walk at the lake before coming home.  Don't let the sunshine fool you.  I had my winter coat, hat and mittens on.  It was COLD but beautiful anyway.  I was the only person in the park and I loved the quiet.
Pretty skies and mountains.
On Tuesday I had physical therapy and then an appointment to get my back x-rayed.  After that I treated myself to a pedicure, my first in over 1 1/2 years!  It felt SO good and I'm glad I splurged on it.  Don't my  toes look pretty? :-)
I haven't been crafting quite as much as usual.  We're getting ready for a garage sale on May 20.  Several families on our block are all having one the same day.  I don't normally have much luck with them, but since there are several other people having sales, maybe there will be more of a turnout.  I'm finding I can only work for an hour or so and then I have to sit down for at least an hour to rest my back.  It's taking a long, long time to get things together and I haven't even began pricing things yet.  I usually find these sales are a LOT more trouble than they're worth.

I did make a doily though.  It's about 16 inches across so a nice size.
Here it is being used on the island.
The knitted baby blanket was ripped out and a Corner-to Corner crochet one was begun.  I guess I just wasn't in the mood for knitting for some reason.
I received this lovely package in the mail on Monday.  Isn't this wrapped, just so special?  I love the butterfly. It was from Roxy at the "Living from Glory to Glory" blog on my sidebar.
She made me this sweet apron and had even noticed the color of my kitchen walls and made it to match.  Wasn't that just the sweetest thing?
I love the pretty lace at the neckline.  I've been wearing it already and love it.  Thank you so much Roxy.  It will definitely be a well-used apron.
And then, I won another skein of yarn, this time from the "Knit Style" podcast.   I merely commented on her anniversary episode and she drew my name for the yarn.  Isn't it gorgeous?  She hand dyes all of her yarn and the colors are amazing.
Can you see the sparkle of the strands of stellina in the yarn?  It doesn't photograph nearly as well as it sparkles.  She has an Etsy shop under Knit Style and has lots of colors and even project bag and yarn kits.  Dennis bought me four new shawl patterns from Ravelry for Mother's Day.  I bought some beads this morning and I think I'm going to use this yarn for a beaded shawl.
We finally have a few blossoms in our neighborhood.  I spied this tree...
and these tulips on my walk yesterday.
I've also been going through old photos this week.  I took pictures of pictures with my phone and this is the result.  Not bad.  I'm taking the originals all back to Omaha next month to my siblings to share amongst each other.  I rescued a bag of family photos from the burn barrel years ago when my Dad remarried after my Mom died.  Our step-mother was just going to burn our family history.  I don't understand that.  There was also a quilt I had made for my parents in the pile to be burned.  My Mom had never used it because she was "keeping it for good."  I'm so glad I happened to drive by when I did or they all would have been lost.  There were photos of our great grandparents as well as the younger generations.

This is a picture of all of us kids, I think from 1965 or so.  My oldest brother Roger is the sailor.  He was home on leave from the Navy.  Lynn is next, then my sister Melanie is on the left and I'm the baby.  I remember my Mom sewing us those coats and I was so proud of mine.  Maybe I'll share a photo from the past when I blog.  Would that interest any of you?
I may not be crafting quite as much as usual for awhile.  I have lots and lots of books that I want to read this summer from my bookshelves.  I have bought books and never taken the time to read them.  In preparing for this yard sale, I've realized that I have way too many books.  I'm taking lots back to Omaha to Mandy next month and selling some in the yard sale but I still have shelves left of unread books.  There are only so many hours in each day so I want to dedicate time this summer to reading.  I'm sure there will be some knitting/crochet happening too, but it will definitely slow down some.

I hope all is well in your world wherever you may be.  Have a lovely and safe weekend my friend.

"Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."  1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Blessings,
Betsy