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Friday, July 30, 2021

We Made It!!!

Before I go very far into the post, I just want to let anyone with nefarious ideas out there know that we do have house sitters while we’re away. Not only that, we have amazing neighbors on all sides of us that are watching the house with eagle eyes. That is just one benefit of moving into a neighborhood where everyone has known you for 45 years!

Our flight out of Omaha was delayed for quite some time and we only had a one hour connection in Chicago so before we even left Omaha, the wonderful people at American Airlines had rebooked us on a British Airways flight leaving Chicago a few hours later. That was the best thing that could have happened. Since we had to take a train and go through security again in Chicago that gave us plenty of time to accomplish all that needed done security wise and still have time to get some dinner at one of the restaurants.

The flight was a wonderful one on British Airways, where they fed us both dinner and breakfast with regular trips through with water and juice to keep us hydrated. We actually arrived a little early in London and we breezed through immigration. We didn’t even talk to anyone. We simply had our passport and hand print scanned and our photo taken by a machine. Our bags were waiting on the luggage carousel and we walked straight through customs without talking to anyone there either. At the end of the corridor stood Alex waiting for us with a big grin on his face. Oh how wonderful to see our boy after over one and a half years!  The first thing he did was buy his dad a cup of coffee, but I used the restroom and then off we went, driving through London.  We went straight to his house and haven’t left since.

We’ve been in here for two days now and we’re having a lovely time visiting. However, we aren’t allowed to leave the house or back garden until five days are up and we “test to release” from quarantine. It is all a bit hard for me to understand since beginning August 2, anyone arriving in the UK from the United States who is fully vaccinated does not have to quarantine at all. Since we arrived on July 28 we have to quarantine the entire 10 days unless we test negative on day five and day 8, even though we are fully vaccinated. Then we have to test again before leaving to go home. There is so much we want to do, much of it outside where we wouldn’t even be around other people. Oh well, we are still having a wonderful time.

The house in London is a beautiful three-story home right in the middle of the city. It’s within walking distance of many places. One of my favorite parts about European cities, is the fact that you can walk to the shops and restaurants and just about anything you need. Anything else is just a short train ride away. I always miss that when I go back home. Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to experience any of that yet. Ha! We are not allowed to go outside the front door, but we are allowed in the back garden. This garden is not a bad place to spend time at all. I sit there knitting or reading your blog posts.

Here is the view from our bedroom window. You can see some of the skyline from here. So far we have had two of the best nights sleep of our lives in this room. It’s quiet and cozy. We have had the windows wide open and I have a hard time believing just how quiet it is in the center of London.

Dennis has been doing some work from here and so has Alex. They have also done some home-improvement projects. Dennis made up a list of lumber and tools required and Alex went to the local home improvement store.  They spent the afternoon putting drawers and shelves in the pantry. It looks very nice! They had planned to work on the decking this week too. You can see in the photo above where Alex removed one board to see if it had rot in it and it did. Now they are trying to decide whether to replace the decking material or take the decking off and leave the brickwork underneath. If it keeps raining the way it has been the past couple of days, the time for Dennis to help him will have passed, although I’m sure we will be coming back before too much time has gone by.

I am able to read all of your blogs and I am doing so, but I didn’t bring my laptop with me and so I am unable to comment. For some reason Blogger quit letting me comment on my iPad or iPhone a couple of years ago. Teresa tried to help me solve it, as did several of you, to no avail. Please know that I am trying to keep up with all of you.  Connie, I am praying for you and Far Guy as he gets to know his new doctors. Val, I am enjoying reading about your move and how all three kitties coped in their own ways. Sam, I’m glad you had such a wonderful time with your family right now and looking forward to all the new projects. I know that’s just a few of you, but I want you to see proof that I really am reading your blogs! Ha! Oh, and Connie in WA, I absolutely love what you did with your new pick-up. It’s exactly what I would like to do, but Dennis isn’t so keen on it. 😂 Take care everyone and I’ll try to post again soon. Love to you all.💜

Blessings love and hugs,
Betsy


Thursday, July 22, 2021

Visitors, some yarn and plans

It’s been a pretty busy week. Dennis left early Sunday morning for Spokane and he’s actually on his way home right now. He should be flying over Grand Teton National Park as I type this. His uncle Al and two cousins, Janet and Bonnie, came to visit this week. It was very nice having the two houses right next-door to each other. Uncle Al and Bonnie stayed at Moms and Janet stayed here with me. It was like having a girls slumber for three nights. Janet and I stayed up talking every night until well past midnight. After all, we had 30 years of catching up to do. We had only seen each other briefly at a family wedding during that time. I just wish we had had another guest room so Bonnie could have stayed here too and all three of us could have visited. They left to drive back home to Minnesota this morning. It’s too bad Dennis didn’t get to see them as they are actually his cousins. We hope to see each other again this fall before the snow starts flying.

I did finish another wheelchair blanket for the veterans home…

And made an identical one to the one I made last week.

I also have for stockings done for Piper’s advent calendar. I promised her one like the calendar I made myself last year.  The little socks go fairly quickly. I’m just using a pattern that I found online for baby stockings.

Mom told me she needed some new hot pads so I whipped her up these double-sided crocheted hot pads and she was thrilled to get them.  These things last forever. Usually they get stained and disgusting looking long before they wear out!

Yesterday we picked up Aunt Joyce from her new home in an assisted living facility and took her to Applebee’s for dinner. She just moved in three weeks ago and she’s absolutely thrilled with it. She loves all of the activities and the fact that she doesn’t have to cook at all anymore. She does have a little kitchenette, minus a stove. She has a balcony that overlooks a courtyard with the fountain. I tell you what, I would move there in a heartbeat. The only thing I would change is I would like a full kitchen. That is Aunt Joyce on the left, Mom in the middle and Uncle Al on the right.

Here’s a picture with the two girls. Bonnie is on the far left and Janet on the far right. Uncle Al will be 90 next year, Mom will be 85 in September and Aunt Joyce is the same age as Mom. Uncle Chuck was Joyce’s husband and Mom and Al‘s brother. He passed away last winter. We had so much fun together over the past four days and I’m looking forward to the next visit we have.
Miss Piper spent the night last Friday and I cut hers and Grandpa‘s hair. She swept up the hair as I cut it off of Grandpa’s head and she couldn’t believe how much I was cutting off! She was really getting concerned that he wouldn’t have any hair left! It looked like I had shaved a cat, there was so much hair on the floor when I was done. He has a lot of very thick hair.  All I did with Piper though, was cut the ends off. Not even a half an inch came off.  She was thrilled with getting to wear the cape.

The next morning she decided to do my hair. There’s not much of it there to style but she was putting barrettes in it anyway. I had put her hair into a French braid because it was very warm out. This Saturday we’re getting our toes done again. Oh how I love this little girl.

I spent a few hours on Tuesday and all morning today working on paperwork for our upcoming trip. Now the state department is warning against travel to the UK because of an upturn in Covid cases and a high threat of terrorism?! We are still going to try to go! My thought is I have just as much chance of catching Covid here as I do by going to see Alex. It’s the same variant as here and we will of had the same vaccinations than if we stayed here in the States. I sometimes wonder if this will all ever be truly over, or if it will constantly just be a new variant.

 I am washing sheets and towels right now and then I will go pick up Dennis from the airport. Yay! I’m looking forward to having him back home with me where he belongs. 

Take care everyone, 
Blessings, 
Betsy

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

We’re connected again!

Hallelujah! Isn’t it crazy how dependent we are on electricity and the Internet? Dennis tried his best to work using the hotspot on his phone, but that didn’t work very well for zoom calls. 😔 Last night about 10:30 we finally got Internet again. I tried to catch up on some blogs this morning and I think I’m just going to take it from today with commenting. I have been reading everyone’s blogs on my phone though. Thank you for being patient with me.💜

This is just a small branch down from a tree about a block from us. The neighborhood pool is behind it. There are huge trees completely uprooted all over Omaha. Some streets you still can’t drive through. Many trees went through the roofs of houses. Miraculously, I haven’t heard of anyone who was seriously hurt during the storm or the cleanup. 

My project this morning was painting the closet under the stairs. The walls didn’t take long at all. What took time was all of the shelves built into the stairs. The shelves sure are handy for Dennis’s hats and other odds and ends. This closet and the coat closet at the top of the stairs still have just reeked of cigarette smoke. I wish we had had the painters paint the closets too when they painted the rest of the interior. I didn’t think they would be a big deal because they didn’t look bad at all, but my goodness they sure absorbed the cigarette smoke and nicotine. One by one we will get them painted now. It seems these two were much worse than the bedroom closets. 
 
We have several of those little puck lights throughout the closet so we can see clear in the back and around the corner.

Last night I made this recipe from a family that we watch often on YouTube. She did two different four ingredient dishes and this was one of them. I used one tube of Pillsbury biscuits, with each biscuit cut into sixths. You pour about a cup or so of pasta sauce on top of the cut up biscuits and stir around to coat the biscuits. I used leftover spaghetti sauce from dinner the other night. Then the recipe just calls for browned hamburger or sausage on top of that and mozzarella cheese. I also cut up green peppers, onions, black olives and mushrooms, although the recipe didn’t call for it. I baked it for 30 minutes at 375. It tasted just like a Pizza Hut supreme pan pizza! There is plenty for dinner tonight along with a green salad again. Yum!

I made this wheelchair blanket for the local veterans home. It has not been washed or blocked yet so the corners are curling a bit.

Then I started this wheelchair blanket last night. It’s lots of fun and interesting to crochet too. I still have to do the second side, which I’m working on now and then both ends. After that a border will be added. I’ve never done this pattern before and I really like it. It adds just enough interest not to get bored with by just making granny squares.
Lots of people around here still don’t have their electricity or cable/internet service. With our whole house generator we were able to plug in Dennis‘s mom‘s refrigerator and freezer, our neighbor on the other side of us was also able to plug in her refrigerator and freezer. We loaned our camping generator to the family across the street so they could keep their refrigerator and freezer plugged in. Neighbors helping neighbors.😍

We’re still working on trying to make sure we have all of our paperwork in order for our trip to London at the end of the month. The Covid protocols are the most difficult to get done correctly. Dennis has to fly to Spokane on Sunday through Thursday of next week. Then we leave just a few days after that for London. Life is quickly going to get crazy!

I hope all is well with you and for those of you out west, I’m thinking of you and praying for you with the fires and the heat. I talked to my best friend Jenny yesterday and she says the smoke is so bad that she constantly has a sore throat these days. Lots of fires all around Spokane. I know they’re also bad in California and Oregon. Take care and be safe.💜

Much love and blessings,
Betsy