Thursday, May 5, 2016

I'm still here, but so is Alex!

And so I'm not spending much time online at all.  I hope you all understand. We've been having a lot of fun.  The first picture below was taken at a local hamburger place just a mile or two from our trailer at the lake.  We were on our way to spend the afternoon out there on Tuesday and stopped for lunch.  Hamburgers and chocolate shakes.  Yum!  Fifi had just flown in the day before from Tokyo to spend about a week and a half with us.  Poor girl.  The line in customs was so long she missed her connection from Seattle  to Spokane.  She doesn't speak much English at all so it was very disconcerting for her.  Alex was texting and calling her trying to get the logistics taken care of.  She finally arrived about 3 hours later than scheduled.  
Alex wanted to take her down to Riverfront Park where we were last week with Jamie.  She's never seen falls like ours before.  The water roaring by surprised her.  Here I am with two of my boys.  I made it all the way down the stairs and back up this time!  Yippee!  See Alex's air cast on his left foot?  I made him use crutches for this hike. Once a Mom, always a Mom!!!  My shoes aren't very cute, but they are Keen's and great for walking a lot.
Proof.  There are the crutches.  He's doing fantastic.  He went to the doctor for a one week check yesterday.  She was very pleased.  He doesn't have to use crutches anymore and can try walking with a regular shoe on for short periods of time.  He goes back next Wednesday to get the stitches out and then he and Fifi fly home to Tokyo on Thursday.  I'm really going to miss them.  I told him yesterday when we were talking that no matter how old he is, he'll always be my baby and I miss him.  I think as he gets older he's finally understanding that more and he's missing us too.
The falls roaring.
That's a LOT of water.  Cold snowmelt straight from the mountains.
This is our courthouse.  It's very blurry because I was zooming in with my iPhone and it was well over 2 miles away.  It looks like a castle.  You can't see the bottom floors very well in this picture.  Our little girls always want to visit the castle, they think there will be a princess living there. :-)
Here's my Prince Charming.  Seriously, this guy gets better looking every year.  How does that work, because I am certainly going downhill!
I liked this picture.  Fifi is a photographer for Amazon Japan and takes amazing pictures. Alex also does photography for several business in Tokyo in his "spare" time.  They are both good with cameras.
You saw the inside of the carousel in my last post with Kyleigh and Caleb.  Here's the outside of the building.  I love the reflection on the river as the sun was setting.
Lots of ducks swimming by use as we walked.
Last night we mowed the grass and trimmed bushes.  Fifi has never seen anyone cutting grass like we do so she wanted to try it.  She did great!  She mowed about half the backyard.  Then she saw our woodpile and wanted to try to chop some wood.  She did try but just couldn't get enough "umph" behind the axe.  So Dennis showed her how it's done and split several rounds.  He may not be 30 anymore, but he's still "got it".  :-). I was taking pictures from up on the deck.
She was thrilled!  America has been chock full of surprises for this girl who was born and raised in Shanghai, China and has lived in Japan for 7 years.  She's never lived anywhere except Shanghai and Tokyo, two of the biggest cities in the world.  Spokane is a culture shock for sure, but she seems to be enjoying every minute.
I got this package of socks mini's today from a friend on Ravelry.  Many of us are making cozy memory blankets with our leftover sock yarn.  It only takes about 3-4 grams to make a square for the blanket.  But, I haven't made enough socks to have enough yarn to make very many different squares and here's where the fun comes in.  We've been swapping yarn!  We can send yarn to other Ravelers and they send different kinds to each of us.  So much fun!  I don't have any sock yarn to share though so Debbie was generous enough to send me this package not expecting anything in return.  However, I surprised her with a knitted spa cloth and a double pointed needle holder, (shown in the picture below.) She loved both, at least that was what she was kind enough to tell me.  :-)
Last weekend while Alex was laid up in bed I took the opportunity to make two new small project bags and more DPN holders.  Taci, (over on my sidebar), has convinced me to make some to sell because they aren't readily available anywhere.  She said she uses the one I gave her all of the time and is going to tell her knitting group friends.  Isn't that sweet?  So I did buy more fabric today, (these particular fabrics were sold out, but I found some other cute ones.  I cut them out this morning and will try to sew them up in the next few days.  If anyone is interested, just give me a shout and I'll email or text you a picture when I have them done so you can choose.  I'm thinking $9.00 plus postage for a DPN holder.  My project bags are NOT good enough to sell.  I wouldn't inflict them on you!  Ha!  I don't want to make this blog a selling thing, but before I consider an Etsy shop I wanted to see if anyone is interested like Taci believes they will be.  I'm so computer illiterate that the thought of opening an Etsy shop gives me chills!
Mandy just texted me this picture of Miss Piper this morning.  They went to place called Storyville today that is north of Baltimore.  It had an entire village of shops and houses.  Piper shopped at the grocery store and then rang up her purchases.  Then she played in the houses.  Mandy said she had a wonderful time.  Grandma sure misses this little girl.
I know you've all been so sweet asking me about my MRI.  It was an awful experience.  Suffice it to say, during the MRI in January they shut my pacemaker off completely and I did great.  This one they turned it to 50 beats per minutes pacing from the bottom of my heart and I felt like I was dying.  Literally.  Once they turned it back to my settings though I was fine, although exhausted for several days and light headed again for several days.  The MRI showed no problems though, which was very good.  Yesterday was my cardiologist visit and he is tweaking my medications because I gained so much weight over the winter.  He said two of my meds can cause unexplained weight gain, so he want's me off of them if possible.  He also told me to get a Fitbit and try to get 10,000 steps/five miles a day to strengthen my heart.  I think that will be easy enough at the lake, but at home, not so easy.  These were the meds that helped with the tachycardia though, so I'm hoping that doesn't make a reappearance.  I've been feeling so much better the last few weeks, (with the exception of the MRI stuff,) that I hate to mess with anything.

Well, I've promised Alex and Fifi my homemade noodles and chicken for dinner so I better get cracking.  She wanted to go shopping at the mall so that's where they are right now.  She is going to be surprised how small our mall is compared to Tokyo's.  I think it's fairly normal sized for most malls here in the U.S., but compared to what she's used to I think it might be a disappointment.

I hope you all have a wonderful day and are enjoying your week.  I'm trying to keep up with reading your blogs and commenting but if I've missed yours I sincerely apologize.

"And do not forget to do good ad to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased." Hebrews 13:16

Blessings always,


  1. Thanks for posting! I have been wondering how your days have been going, and I enjoyed reading your narrative as I looked at your interesting photos. Are you still working on the sock yarn striped blanket or is the sock yarn squares blanket a new pattern I missed? I love Piper's joyful smile. I'm glad that Alex and Fifi are having a good visit and that Alex's foot is healing well. I am sorry that the MRI was so difficult, but am glad that it showed no other problems. Now I'm praying your meds and Fitbit therapy get sorted out so that you truly feel better! Blessings to you and yours and my love to you dear Betsy. xx

  2. What a cute couple they are! Isn't she just precious and Alex is a handsome man! And yes, men seem to age better for some reason or maybe it's genes? I was doing great until I got my illnesses but as long as I feel good and can get done what I want to do by myself then I'm good to go!
    I received your package today and you will be getting one hopefully soon! You have been so kind and generous so I want to send you something. Don't hold your breath though as I am slow but I do keep my word! LOL!
    How did your son end up in Japan? Did they experience those earthquakes? So glad they were able to visit as that must be expensive. I had an MRI once and they had to give me a tranquilizer to get me to do was like a coffin! Awful but the tranquilizer made everything fine! LOL! It must be so scary for you with your heart issues...I hope you can get out and walk and that it will help. I wear Asics shoes and I love them on my feet! So comfortable but any good shoe is not cheap. I've never heard of Keens but as long as they feel good that's what counts. I'm all about the comfort!
    I was thinking of making some of those DPN holders too as I found a pattern and am ordering one of those snap things with the snaps. I want to have some inventory before I open an Etsy shop but I said I am SLOW! But some extra income would sure be a go girl! There's plenty of market out there for everyone! I think your project bags are darling and most people that knit prefer the drawstring as then there's no chance of yarn getting caught in a zipper. The DPN holder you sent me is so sweet and I love the fabric. I started using it right away and it is slick! You are such a sweet and kind friend! I don't know how you get all you do done! You talk about me but at least when you start something you finish it! LOL! Take care my friend and enjoy your lovely visit with your family.

  3. I'm just super pleased that you've had your darling youngest son there for 3 weeks.. I know you've been in heaven. With my middle son moving to SoCal.. I'm appreciating my youngest son and his family living here all the more. You son seems very fond of his gf! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  4. Thanks for sharing your family time with visits from your sons and kids and girlfriend. It's a pleasure to "meet" them. Glad your son's foot surgery went ok. Those falls are amazing. Thanking God your MRI had good results. My house is quiet now the grands are back home. Megan went with us last evening. Phil had little sleep that nite. So I drove the 4 of us to Justin's. Lydia is so cute. More photos soon. Enjoy your fun and loved Piper's photo. Sweet little girl. Hugs my friend.

  5. It is always such a joy and blessing to see that you have posted! I know I miss them lots of times, but you always brighten my day when I do get to come by. So thankful all is well with you and your dear family and trust your medical issues are all resolved. Grateful your MRI went well, too. God is so good. Sending you love and hugs!

  6. I am so glad your son is on the mend, a bittersweet thing for you I am sure as he will be returning to Tokyo once more. Thrilled the MRI did not find anything sinister and hopefully they will be able to sort out your meds. Take care.

  7. Lovely pictures - enjoyed them all. Glad Alex's foot is healing well and nice that he can have so much time at "home" (well...American home) and so nice that Fifi came over (love her name!!). I would be very interested in one of your DPN holders - please let me know when you have some ready! Thanks.

  8. Good to hear news of you and your family. Glad your son is doing well and you are all having a lovely time together. My mum has a pacemaker and is having breathing problems :-( she is 87 now and can't accept she can't do what she used to- she still drives though! Hugs Anne x

  9. Your visit with Alex and Fifi sounds wonderful Betsy, she is a delight! I am so glad Alex is healing and so are you. Such a scary experience with the MRI. I am on medication for my headaches that is making me gain weight, it isn't fun that is for sure. But my head is feeling a bit better so I guess that is the trade off. Piper is a doll! I think you should sell the project bags, I would order one for sure! Have fun with you family dear Betsy,

  10. Lots of fun stuff! Alex is doing well it would appear! Love seeing his darling girl! So fun with the sock yarn minis. I am wanting to start one of those too. I am new to socks, and have made a big mistake! I ordered new dpns from Hiya Hiya, and a 9" circ in 2.5 I started a pair of socks in a Knitpicks yarn, only a fingering weight. I am going bonkers with the smallness of it. I need to go back to maybe size 4 needles, and a sport weight yarn. I am bound and determined though.
    xo Kris
    PS love your project bags and dpn holders!

  11. Alex and his beautiful friend are ajoy to hear about!
    I want to see your leftover blanket progress!

    As for weight, it is such a difficult struggle. God blessed me this year with the resolve to get healthy again. I've lost 41 pounds in 15 months on weight watchers. I did not have to work out and diet.
    I do not like working out. I walk, I cycle a bit, but not fanatically. I have one half pound left to reach my goal weight...
    the maintenance. Chewing gum has helped me a ton! Good luck with those steps because that works too!

  12. ah doing some catch up as way behind dear sis, and so good to read your little bit of news.
    Wonderful in fact to know you're through the MRI etc .. will pray re med changes they can be very un-fun!
    I put my foot down these days refuse to go their way with med changes I know my body and live with it day in day out. Admittedly mine is not heart related, but related to the pituitary gland but equally as life threatening as I know.
    I guess I've been working with it for over fifty years now since child though.
    Loved reading about your time with Alex and Fifi. If Fifi is Chinese, not Japanese, why dont they come back to USA ... Thanks so much for popping over, dear Betsy.
    Shaz in Oz.x

    {Shaz in Oz – Calligraphy Cards}