Friday, June 21, 2024

Oldies but Goodies

We made it to Friday! Have any of you melted? I hope you don't fall over in shock since I've posted twice this week.  I have some photos from when I went to a big antique store about 30 miles sw of Omaha with my sister a couple of weeks ago. We had such a great time.  First we went to the huge candy store where they sell the old fashioned candy from when I was little. Remember the wax bottles of kool-aide and candy cigarettes? They have almost every candy you can imagine, but the majority is made right here and it's called Baker's Candies. Oh my goodness. The dark chocolate mint is fabulous. I had Dennis hide it from me or I would have eaten the entire bag within a few days. He gives me a few every night. I'm so pitiful. No self-control at all.

I thought I would share a few pictures I took at the antique store.  Christmas in June!

Precious Moments anyone? There were hundreds of figurines.

Hundreds of Hummel Figurines too. Oh look! They're on sale!

All of the white and blue hobnail dishes were on sale in this booth.

I fell in love with this teeny tiny piano that actually played. It had a bench that went with it.  I tapped out "Mary Had a Little Lamb" but it was out of tune.

I really like this Raggedy Ann and Andy mirror. Wouldn't it be perfect in a baby's room?

But the bottles were what amazed me. They were in booths all over the store. Some Coca-Cola bottles were over $20.00! I saw Grape Knee-High bottles and many different root beer bottles. I wish I had thought to keep our old pop bottles. Maybe we could have funded our retirement. lol

There goes Melanie. As I said before, we had a great time. We've never bee able to do things like this until we moved back three years ago. Can you believe it's been three years? I can't. We still miss Spokane terribly, but I absolutely love being able to spend more time with Melanie. Thirty years ago, before we moved to Spokane we were both working full-time and had little kids. Life kept us really busy. She's still working, although she is of retirement age, but she still likes working. She also volunteers at least 2 days a week, usually more, at the University of Nebraska Med. Center. She rocks babies in the NICU and the nurses love her. She's been doing that for years and is known as the baby whisperer there and at church. But she has lots of vacation and other days off and we try to get together often. We also go to church together so I get to see her at least once a week. I sure love her. She's a WoNdErFuL big sister. She always protected me as a little girl too, although for some reason it was okay for her to beat me up. :-)

Here's the almost obligatory photo of the girls. Tuesday when I took Piper to tennis camp they played so hard at Mandy & Brad's that they both crashed in Mandy's office while she was working. She said they were exhausted. Always together and I love how they love each other. Sisters forever. 

Piper did great at tennis camp. They told her she should be moving up to the next level in the fall and then the final level is tournament play.  She's been taking lessons for several years now. I spent awhile watching her play at the camp and thought she did very well. Lots better than Grandma. Dennis and I used to "play" when we were dating 47 years ago! Well, actually he hit the ball to me and I never returned it. I mean I missed it every. single. time. To say I'm not athletic would be a huge understatement.

This is the project I'm working on now. It's another wheelchair blanket to donate. I'm using Caron Jumbo Ombre in the faded jeans colorway. No pattern used. Just one row dc and one row dc shell. I hope to finish it before we leave Monday morning, but time is passing and I really need to start packing. sSince we'll be gone over a month there is a lot to take. I'm planning to take small projects like socks and dishcloths to work on while we're driving. 

I think I posted this verse before but it was my Mom's favorite verse and I've been thinking of her a lot. She would have loved to spend the day with Melanie and I. She had an amazing sense of humor and literally everyone who met her, loved her. I honestly don't know anyone who didn't like her.

Okay. I'll stop for now. I'll try to post while we're gone as much as possible. Of course a lot will depend on WIFI. Take care and stay cool.

Blessings and love,
Betsy

Tuesday, June 18, 2024

April Tornado Damage and France?

Good morning! It’s a dreary Wednesday morning with more rain in the forecast today. I’m not going to write a lot this morning because it’s an overload of photos. We haven’t been near the areas that were hit by the tornado at the end of April because we wanted to respect the cleanup process. But on Monday morning I had to drop a book off at a friends who lives very, very close to one of the hardest hit areas. I snapped just a few photos to show you how devastating it was. If there were people working at a house, I didn’t take any pictures out of respect for them.



The damage ranged from roofs gone to entire houses disappearing from their foundations and ending up who knows where?



This was a brand new home that was scheduled to have its new owners move in during the next week or two. How sad.

Lots and lots of power poles were bent in half or completely down. On Sunday for Father’s Day we drove to a small town in Nebraska about 45 minutes away. Brad’s dad was born and raised in the small town of Malmo. He chose the restaurant and my goodness it was wonderful. Small town dining at its best. All along the way, we could see the path of destruction that the same tornado caused. It was on the ground for over 150 miles, which is a long time for a single tornado to be on the ground and at times it was a mile and a half wide.

Now on to happier things. Brad, Mandy and Piper were in France for two weeks. They’ve been back home for a week now. The first week they spent in Beziers, France with a friend and his wife. You may remember me talking about uncle Shane and aunt Angie before. They aren’t really relatives, but they have adopted Piper as a granddaughter. Shane has been friends with Brad for years and years and has been a work mentor to him.

Gorgeous ! And there’s Piper!

Wouldn’t you love to live on this street?

So beautiful.

I think this is the street that their actual Airbnb was on.



My princess. I don’t think she fully understands how amazing it is that she gets to experience all of these things at such a young age.

Uncle Shane and Piper playing around!

Oh my goodness!

After the first week, Alex, “T” and “baby J” flew to Nice, France to join Brad, Mandy and Piper. Oh how I wish we could have been there. It sounds like they had a wonderful time exploring, eating and just enjoying time as family.

Here is Brad playing around but look at that food! Yum!
This is around the corner from their Airbnb. I think I may have mixed up some of these photos. Some of the first ones were during the second week, but since I wasn’t there, I’m not sure who was where! Lol.

Piper has had tennis camp Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of this week. Yesterday, since Papa was volunteering at the mission, it was my turn to take her. Afterwards we went to Panera for lunch and did a little bit of shopping. Then we went back to their house where Piper gave me a foot massage and a manicure.

She also pretended she was the dentist. I’m going to regret putting this photo out on the Internet, but I have nothing to hide. :-) She gave me her headphones and iPad to watch cartoons just like she gets at the dentist. A paper towel was my bib and I have no idea what she was doing with the floss hanging out of my mouth. Within reason, I’m willing to do just about whatever this little girl wants me to do. I guess that’s part of being a grandma and I love it. I’m sad that I don’t get to do the same kinds things with “Baby J” because she’s so far away.

Well that’s it. You made it to the end of the huge photo dump. I hope you enjoyed the photos of the scenery in France. I sure did. Every day Dennis and I got many, many photos from all of the kids. They were so good at allowing us to be part of their trip even though we weren’t there. Most of them have photos of “T” and “Baby J” in them, and as you know, I can’t put their photos on the Internet because of the security of her job. But oh my gosh! She is the most photogenic baby next to Piper that I have ever seen.

Now it’s Dennis’s and my turn for a vacation. Next week we leave for a 4-5 week camping trip across the west and back. Our first stop will be the Black Hills where I hope we don’t have a repeat of last year when Dennis fell.  😬 Then it will be on to visit our son and almost grown grandchildren in Montana and then to Spokane for two weeks. Since we moved from Spokane, we only get to see Jamie, Kyleigh and Caleb this one time of year. We try to make the most of it. After that, we have reservations at the Oregon coast for four days before starting the trek home. We’re sure looking forward to it. I hope to take you all along with us. 

I hope you are all doing well and I’ll see you again soon.

Blessings and love,
Betsy


Wednesday, June 12, 2024

This and That

Hello my friends. It’s Wednesday and already June 12! Where is the time going? We have had a busy few days here.  I’ll tell you all about it, but first let me show you what has been on my needles. I finished these plain vanilla socks made with Paton’s Kroy sock yarn. Unfortunately I threw away the label before I wrote down the colorway. I’m very happy though, that I finally got a pair to match almost exactly.

Also, I gathered up a lot of my small balls of worsted weight yarn that I’ve never been able to throw away and I used some of them in another wheelchair blanket. I think it turned out okay. It does still need washed and blocked.

Next on my needles - this morning I started a new pair of socks, again trying to use up some of my scrap balls of sock yarn. Cindy at the "Delighted Hands" blog has inspired me to try helical knitting. When you knit this way, it doesn’t leave a jog between the stripes. The cuffs, heels and toes will be gray, that actually looks brown in the photo and a turquoise and purple for the stripes. I have also never used these tiny circular needles because they’re so fiddly, but the helical stripes are actually easier on them. They are 9 inch Hiya Hiya Sharps. They seem very short and tiny in my hands and will take some getting used to. It’s very slow going at this point. I'm used to knitting sock legs and feet fairly quickly and that's not happening. It's fun to learn a new technique though.

Our friend Jenny from Spokane has been on a cross-country trip. She flew to Maryland from Spokane to visit her dad‘s cousin who is 98 years old. There she rented a car and drove to South Carolina to see two of her sisters, then to Nashville to visit a friend for just a day. Then she drove all the way to Omaha from Nashville in one day and was supposed to be spending a week with us. However, a very good friend of all of ours passed away in Spokane and she had to leave a few days early to go home and do the PowerPoint and photos for the funeral. She left early this morning to drive to Minneapolis where she’ll catch a flight to Spokane. We are disappointed that she had to cut her time with us short as we had lots of plans, but we also know that it’s important that she be there for the funeral and to help with the plans.  We are disappointed that we won't be able to be there.

On Monday, Dennis took Jenny to the zoo and they spent over four hours there and actually were able to walk around the entire zoo! Because of the heat I wasn't able to go with them but they had a good time. If you remember, Jenny and her husband Neal went on the cruise with us in January. We’ve been best friends for over 30 years. She has heard so much about Omaha‘s Henry Doorley Zoo that she didn’t want to miss it again on this trip. 

Then yesterday, we had some adventures of our own. After we dropped Piper off in a town about 30 miles away for a 4H project, Jenny and I drove to Elk Horn Iowa, where there is an authentic Danish windmill. It was disassembled and each piece was labeled and was sent over to the small town where it was reassembled without any blueprints, just a small model. I think this was in the late 1970's. All of the people who rebuilt it were retired farmers, a retired engineer and a retired architect. Dennis and I visited it in 1982 when Mandy was only two years old. This was my first time back since then and they’ve done a lot more to the grounds. The windmill is fully operational and they still grind wheat in it. If you're driving down I-80 through western Iowa, it's definitely worth a stop.

There is a very interesting tour and a nice size gift shop. This is the room on the second floor, where the grinding is done.

I chose not to climb up to the top two floors, but Jenny was more adventurous. She kicked her flip-flops off and proceeded to go up and down the ladders. There was also a catwalk around the outside of the 2nd floor that we were able to walk around the entire windmill on.

They have a tiny, tiny church, where we were told actual weddings are sometimes held!
This is the inside with four seats and an pulpit.

This sweet little gnome house was in the middle of the lawn. I snapped a photo of it for Valerie at the "Wanderingcatstudio" blog. I immediately thought of her when I saw it.

They also constructed an authentic replica of a Viking house. Note the grass on the roof!

The inside of the house is set up as a Viking family would have lived. Everyone slept in the same room in bunkbeds, and the cooking was done in the middle of the floor.

This particular Viking was a blacksmith and he had his shop right outside the doors of the living area. The kitchen is to the right in the photo. There were lots of informational signs all over the property, telling the story of each building.

We also visited Boys Town for a very short visit. We were quickly running out of time in the day, so we just visited the museum and father Flanagan’s burial spot. We plan to explore further next time she comes.
This is also a must see place to visit if you're ever in Omaha. It's just down the street from us a mile or two.
I hope you're all having a lovely week. The world just keeps on getting crazier and crazier, but we just stay firmly planted with our faith in the Lord of Lords. He is our great protector and provider.

I'll see you all again soon.

Blessings and love,
Betsy