Thursday, August 31, 2017

Smoke-It's still here...

...and I feel guilty even mentioning the smoke, based on what's happening in Texas and Louisiana, but it really is getting old.  As for the people in the southern U.S.  My prayers and my heart goes out to them in the terrible tragedy.  We have donated to Samaritan's Purse, who has many people on the ground assisting and they will be there for years to come.  They still have teams rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina so many years ago.  They come and don't leave until the job is done.  A very worthy organization if you're interested.  There are many more too, including the Red Cross.

As for the smoke, I had my oil changed yesterday and they showed me the cabin air filter.  It was full of soot, as was the engine air filter!  Of course they had to be changed too, but it does make you wonder what our lungs look like after breathing in even more than the car does!

On to happier things.  I finished Hayden's socks last week...
And his brother Kale's socks this week.  Both were made with half balls of sock yarn I had left over from other projects.  I wish I had some of those fancy sock blockers so they would look less wrinkled, but this is what you get.  Hayden's are for a third grader, but Kale's fit me!  And he's only 10 years old!  I think he's going to have some big feet. :-)
I also finished Piper's blanket.  When I measured it after washing it was 5 1/2 feet X 5 1/2 feet.  I thought it was 6 foot square, but this is plenty big.  I think she'll like the bright color since she chose it.
I made these dishcloths yesterday . The end of the skein was just enough for a matching coaster.  Very fallish wouldn't you say?  Since it's still in the 90's here and is predicted to stay there for the forecasted future, this is as close to fall as we'll be for a while anyway.
I cast on a shawl after I finished the socks yesterday.  Can you even consider these two rows as begun?  This is a Knit Picks yarn and the colorway is "Mountain" something.  I'll let you know in the next post and hopefully will have more progress to show in it.
I also began the first of what I hope is several blankets for the local Veteran's Home.  I usually try to take 8-10 blankets there before Veteran's Day.  This year a gentleman from our church has moved to the home.  He will be the first person to get a blanket from me.
This was Maddie last week at the lake.  Ahh!  A dogs life.  She slept like this for about 20 minutes and looked so relaxed and happy.
A faint haze of smoke, but mostly blue. This was last week.  Now it's all gray again, at least here at home.
Dennis had a coffee mug that Mandy gave him for father's day about 4 years ago.  It had his picture with all of the grandkids sitting on his lap.  They all had bed hair and were in their jammies.  It was so cute and he absolutely loved it.  He used it at work every day.  Last week he took it out of the microwave and dropped it.  He was so upset with himself.  Although I didn't have the same picture, I ordered him a new one with recent photos of the kids on it.  Here's Miss Piper, Kyleigh and Caleb are on the other side but I am not allowed to show their pictures on my blog anymore.  Suffice it to say, they are also precious and sweet.  Grandpa was so excited when he got this on Tuesday.  He actually had tears in his eyes.  He does love his grandbabies.
Miss Piper's first day of pre-school was on Tuesday.  She is SO tall!  I'm excited to see her in a few weeks.  She told me she is really liking her school and has made some friends there already.
Dennis is on vacation for a week starting tomorrow.  We had originally planned to go to Oregon with the new trailer but all of our favorite campsites are booked all the way into next weekend because of the holiday.  Then we decided to go up near the Canadian border for a few days next week.  Well, the smoke and fires may decide that's a no-no.  It's looking like we may not even get to use the new trailer until next year! 

We have to go up to the lake tomorrow and wage war with the squirrels again.  We've been fighting them for a couple of weeks now.  They've decided to make a nest in the insulation under the floor of the trailer.  We have a four seasons camper, which means it's heavily insulated for winter camping.  It also makes a cozy nest for rodents of all kinds.  We've never had an issue with any rodents until this year.  They won't give up.  We've tried all kinds of repellents and they just laugh at us.  Dennis has ordered some sheets of metal that he is going to put on the bottom tomorrow after he tries to make sure there are no squirrels actively inside.

I've got some laundry and cleaning to do before Bible study tonight.  I made zucchini bread yesterday from the zucchini's at the lake garden.  Yum!  It's not weight watcher friendly, but was still worth eating it!  I hope you all have a wonderful holiday weekend.  My prayers will continue for the people down south.

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all of our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God." 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Blessings always,

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Not Much

Hello again.  It's Thursday, actually it's Thursday half gone already.  It's been a busy day.  Weight Watchers this morning.  A trip to the RV store to get a part for the new trailer and a ladies luncheon at church.  I was responsible for set up and clean up today and there were several ladies who volunteered to help me since I can't lift much.  I'm grateful to each of them.  I carried plates and food and salt and pepper!  All of the easy jobs.

Not much on the knitting and crochet front to report.  I'm still working on these socks when I'm in the car and NOT driving.  I have one sock done and have turned the heel on this one.  I just don't have a recent photo of it.  Almost done though!
Miss Piper's blanket is BIG.  This is it folded in quarters so if she see's this picture she won't know "exactly" what it looks like.  I ran out of pink yarn!  Michael's is supposed to get more in on their truck tonight.  I knew I was going to run out last weekend, so I called and they have reserved six skeins for me.  Hopefully I'll be able to pick it up tomorrow morning.  I do like how it's turning out and I think an almost 5 year old who loves pink will like it too. :-)
See that white speckled thingy in the center of the photo below?  That's a little bag I crocheted a couple of years ago to put my phone in when I walk Chloe at the lake or take walks on my own.  I rarely have pockets in my dresses and I get tired of carrying it all of the time.  Dennis insists I always have it with me in case I fall or something.  Well, fast forward to Tuesday.  I was sitting with three other ladies outside of our trailer and one of them saw mine on the table by the door.  She asked where I bought it because she had seen me wearing it and wanted one for herself.  The other two ladies chimed in and said they wanted one too.  They each chose their yarn colors and here is one completed and the yarn for the other two.  I never dreamed anyone would want one.  They're pretty simple and not very pretty but they ARE useful.  I put my phone, a tissue, the trailer keys and a doggy pickup bag for Chloe in mine.
Sunsets are sure pretty.  The color is because of the smoke that is back again, almost worse than before.
There is a garden of sunflowers next to the trailer.  They make me smile just looking at them.
Pure gorgeousness.
I tried to get a better photo of the bumblebee but he wasn't cooperating.  Still pretty neat to see.
Barry brought Lori and I each a beautiful bouquet on Monday.  Wasn't that sweet?  He's in his middle 80's and takes care of the huge garden at the lake every year.  This year he is slowing down a lot.  It's really sad to think of him not being there and plowing on his tractor.  He's even saying this may be his last year in the garden.
I finally finished this book.  Pretty good and an interesting viewpoint on Oxford, England where she when for her Masters Degree. 
My girls.  On Sunday, Brad, Mandy and Piper went flying around eastern Nebraska in Brad's new airplane, a Piper Comanche.  Look at that face!  Piper loves to must be genetic from her Dad.
This was this morning as they crossed the pedestrian bridge across the Missouri River from Nebraska to Iowa.  How I love these two.  I can't wait to see them next month.
Is this an attitude or what?  One foot in Nebraska and one foot in Iowa!  And a pretty skirt too!
She informed me the other day that she has all kinds of plans for me when I get there.  I can sleep with her in her big girl bed and then she'll sleep with me in my bed.  We're going to watch "Moana" and dress up while we do it.  We're going to play with her babies and have lots of fun.  I'm sure we will!

Dennis is off work tomorrow so we're heading to the lake in the morning and then on up to the farmers market in Chewelah, WA.  We've been just missing it all summer, so I hope we have success tomorrow.  I keep hoping that one of these days we'll run into Pammy Sue of "Scotty's Place" on my sidebar while we're in Colville sometime.  No luck so far but I'm not giving up.

That's about it here.  Not a lot going on at all.  I've been at the lake since last Friday, just coming home for church on Sunday, then back to the trailer until last night.  I feel like we need to enjoy every second we can because people keep telling me it's going to be a severe winter again based on the signs from the animals up here.  I hope they're wrong because I can tell you one thing for sure.  I won't be going out in the snow any more than I have too.

I told you I was going to have the laser treatments on my back in my last post.  Well!  I had the first one where they were supposed to stay well below my pacemaker, heart and leads from the pacemaker.  Just to be safe, I asked the girl doing the treatment where my T11 vertebrae is, (even though I already knew, I wanted to make sure SHE did.)   She didn't know!  She told me, "That's a good question, we'll have to ask the doctor," and proceeded to run that little wand all over my back clear up to my shoulders!  I asked her to stop and she didn't.  Now, I'm NOT a forceful person and I should have just sat up and said I was done, but I didn't.  I just canceled the rest of the treatments.  I don't know if it would have helped or not, but it's not worth messing up my PM.  When I talked to the cardiologists office this morning to schedule my November checkup they told me to NEVER do that again.  So, I guess I'll just have to deal with the pain.

Enough of that.  Just thought I would update you all.  I hope you all have a wonderful week.  Have school started yet where you live?  Enjoy the sun!  I'll be checking your blogs.

I have a quote that I would like to share with you that I read on another blog, (, this morning that I would love to share with you today.

"A little faith will bring your soul to Heaven; a great faith will bring Heaven to your soul."  Charles H. Spurgeon

"Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." Hebrews 4:16

Blessings to you all,

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Beautiful Days

Good Morning everyone! 

Do any of you remember the smoky skies I showed you last week?  Here was the view of Mt. Spokane off of our back deck last week.
Here is the view this morning, as of about 10 minutes ago.  Quite a huge difference and a very welcome one.  We had a bit of rain Sunday morning, just a little bit, but coupled with the wind, it was enough to blow most of the smoke away.  We still have some smoke, but much, much cooler temperatures... in the 80's and that is very welcome.  We broke all previous records for the number of days over 90F in a row.  85F feels like a cold snap and has people talking about fall!
My marigolds this morning.  They loved the heat and are doing a great job of brightening the yard.
I took this picture on my walk at the lake yesterday.  This little guy was sure I had some wonderful treat for him...I didn't have anything so he wandered away to join his friends.  I love that beautiful blue patch on his wing.  It turns from green to sapphire blue depending on how the sun strikes it.  Would you believe Dennis and I saw about 30 geese flying south Tuesday night?  Now THAT'S depressing.
Piper's blanket is growing.  The light pink came out, not without difficulty, since I'm using the "join as you go" method of putting the squares together.  It does look a lot better though with just these two colors.  I need more pink, but Michaels is out of stock.  I hope when they get more in that it matches.
Here are my two little hats for the Purple Hat Project.  They went in the mail yesterday to Seattle Children's Hospital.  I hope these little hats will help to be a reminder for parents and protect an innocent little one.  If you're curious about them, I wrote more on my last post and KathyB talked about it on her blog, Compassion Knits, on my sidebar.

The model is my little newborn sized doll that I found at the Union Gospel Mission thrift store a few years ago.  She's a great model for my baby makes and fits the average newborn size exactly.  It's a good way to know if I'm correct in my sizing when making things for charity.
I finished Kale's first sock last night.  A ten year old with feet as big as mine!  Here I am modeling it.  I began the second sock just before bed last night.  This is my "carry in my purse project since Pipers blanket is too big to carry around.
I've seen lots of different toes and heels around the internet but I love the wedge toe and regular heel flap.  The heels wear very well with the flap, unlike some others that I've heard about online.
Lori's flowers at the lake being guarded by the Seattle Seahawk garden gnome. (Did I spell that right?  It looks totally wrong. Ha!)
Larry finished restoring his 1926 Chevy truck last week and has now listed it for sale.  It is pretty!
Look at that blue trim!
He painstaking restored each board of the bed too. 
He loves this truck, but wants a new project to work on.  After all of the work he has done, I would have a difficult time selling it if it were mine.

Today is a busy one.  I went to the Spine clinic yesterday for a second opinion on my back.  I still had a referral until November from last year, so I just called them myself!  He was very frustrated that I wasn't referred back when I fractured my back.  Yes, the fracture is still there.  Now, because of the way I'm walking, my feet are also messed up. I went to acupuncture for them before, which helped immensely but because of my pacemaker, that's a no-no now.  So, today I'm being fitted for a back brace to help support the muscles that are trying to protect the bone.  They are also going to try a laser procedure to help get oxygen to the muscles.  This will be done on my back and my feet and I'll have the first one today.  I'm hopeful that something will help.  I've been trying to walk, yesterday I had almost 12,000 steps, but between my back and my feet, I'm still in a lot of pain.  Mind over matter, only takes you so far my friends!

We had planned to take the new camper out tomorrow for the weekend, but received an email from the campground that they were overbooked, (by the computer).  Apparently this eclipse is sending a lot of people into the wilderness.  I have a couple of other places to call today but we may have to postpone our maiden trip until Labor Day weekend.

I have to get moving.  Weight Watchers is in less than an hour and I'm sitting here with dripping hair!  And WW is another story.  I have stayed exactly the same, up 3 lbs., down 3 lbs., since the beginning of summer.  What's with that?! 

After WW, it's errand day.  The bank, Costco, Shopko, grocery store and then my doctors appointments.  I told you it was a busy day.  That's what I get for being at the lake all week.  I have to cram everything into one day.  Including blogging because blogger won't let me type from my Ipad or IPhone.  At least I can still read all of your blogs and comment.  I would be lost without my visits to all of you. :-)  I better get a move on and stop sitting at the computer!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and enjoy the last few weeks of summer here in the upper hemisphere.  And for all of you "down under,"  enjoy your last few weeks of coolness.

And in these turbulent times, I pray this daily.

"Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God; may Your good Spirit lead me on level ground.: Psalm 143:10

Blessings to you always,

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes

Happy Thurdsay!  Another week has gone past and I really am not sure where summer is flying to this year.  Soon, way too soon, that dreaded four letter word "snow" will be uttered by the weatherman and I'll be stuck inside again.

For now, we're stuck inside for the most part anyway, either at the trailer or at home because of this.  Smoke.  You know that view I photograph now and then of Mt. Spokane off of our back deck?  This is the same view.  No Mt. Spokane.  It's been covered in smoke for a couple of weeks now.  Apparently we're getting the smoke from the Canadian fires and the ones by the Canadian border in Washington, along with fires in central Washington.  Since we're only 100 miles or so from the border depending on the roads you  take, it's not very far away.  I took this picture about 10 minutes ago.
Here at the lake isn't any better.  This was the view yesterday and early last month!  See the difference? 
It does make it difficult to breathe and my eyes feel like they are full of grit and sand.  My nose and eyes water constantly too.  Ick!  There is supposed to be a change next week and the wind is supposed to shift everything out of here.  I'm hoping that happens, because it's been several weeks now and we're all feeling the effects of the nasty stuff here in Eastern Washington.

Neal and Jenny have our new trailer in North Idaho this week at Silverwood Amusement Park north of Coeur d'Alene.  See the smoky sky there too?  She sent me this picture of the trailer all set up.  Doesn't it look cozy?  I need to think of a name for it.  Any suggestions?
I'm looking forward to using it ourselves, but I'm very happy that our best friends are having fun with it too.  We're planning to take a drive up north from the lake on Friday or Saturday to check out a couple of campgrounds.  I would like to dry camp, (boondock), on DNR land, but we're a bit hesitant to be off by ourselves with all of the fires.  An established campground would have a better warning system to get us out in an emergency.

I did get some knitting done this week while sitting INSIDE the trailer at the lake away from the smoke.  These are for Hayden made with some leftover camo colored yarn.
Yesterday when I came into town I bought yarn and started this granny blanket for Miss Piper's new big girl bed.  Papa, (Dennis), bought her a new comforter set when we were there and hopefully this will match it.  She loves her new bed and calls it "the cloud" because it's so soft and comfortable.  I want to have this done when I go back there next month.  Wish me luck!
I also started a pair of socks last night for Kale, Hayden's big brother.  I had to buy yarn for them yesterday since I had no "boy" colors.  Look!  See!  They really are started.  Technically anyway.  :-)There are 16 stitches cast on that needle.  I just finished casting on all of the stitches and knitted one round so they are well and truly begun.
A friend just texted me a link about the "Purple Hat Project".  I haven't read the entire thing, but I what I have read sounds like a great charity project.  Here are the links if you're interested in checking it out.


Finally, here is our youngest son, Alex.  A friend of his posted this on face-book and I copied it.  This was taken Tuesday night in Aomori, Japan.  Alex has taken part in this festival in rural Japan since he was 14 years old.  He is 28 now!  It is quite an honor since they usually do NOT allow foreigners to be in the festivals in rural areas.  They take their traditions very seriously.  I truly think Alex is more Japanese than American!  He was born in the wrong part of the world as he loves the Japanese people and their culture so much.  And, can you believe that he was born on Pearl Harbor day, December 7?

He face-timed us the next night to show his Dad the mustache before he shaved it off.  Right after we face-timed he said it was coming off.  His girlfriend wanted him to grow it, but he didn't like it and in the place he lives it is NOT the thing a businessman does if he wants to look professional.  So off it came!
I don't have a lot of news this week.  Just trying to stay out of the extreme heat and smoke.  We will break a record today of temperatures about 90 degrees in a row.  That is so unusual for us here in Spokane.  I'm ready for a cool down, but not ready for fall yet.

Dennis has Fridays off for the next couple of months to use up his vacation or he loses it.  They are so busy at work that he can't take a week or two off all at once, so he's taking Friday's until the end of October, plus the week of our anniversary in September.  We're staying close by, probably at the lake that week or maybe somewhere close in our little trailer, so if they need him he can get to the office in a short time.  Frustrating, when we had wanted to go to the Oregon coast in October for a week.  Campsites are also hard to find right now because of the eclipse.  Even though it will be over by October, it is bringing many people up to the northwest and they are apparently staying around for awhile.

I hope you have a lovely week and are enjoying summer.  The evenings are getting shorter and we have to turn the lights on outside at the trailer again when we sit outside visiting.  Dennis is driving into town in the dark now in the mornings.  Unmistakable signs that summer is waning.  I am NOT ready for it, but the seasons will change anyway won't they?  I'll just have to follow along, kicking, screaming and pouting my way behind it!  Ha!

"Give praise to the LORD, proclaim His name; make known among the nations what He has done."
Psalm 105:1

Blessings always,

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Blue Sky

Hello my friends!    It's been a hot, hot, hot week.  In fact, it's so hot that when we came home from the lake for church Sunday morning, we stayed home and haven't gone back!  Highly unusual but I'm enjoying my AC in the 95F+ temperatures that we've had all week.  They are forecast to continue for the next 10 days at least.  Ugh!  We pick up the new trailer this Saturday, and Alicia and Jeremy are staying in it at the lake Saturday night though, so we need to head on out there Friday to get things ready.  Neal and Jenny are using the trailer all next week to go to Silverwood amusement park in Idaho for their annual trip with their adult kids and grandkids. I'm SO glad people are using the trailer.  It's what we got it for.

Look at this blue sky!  On Saturday, Dennis and I took a road trip up north to our friends property about 10 miles south of the Canadian border.  Here, I'll take you along.  It was a beautiful, if hot, day.
The grasses and fields are very dry.
A bit blurry as we were whizzing up the road, but it's still beautiful.
So dry.  No wonder we have so many fires burning.  We don't have blue skies now.  We have had BROWN skies for several days because of the smoke and not much wind to blow it away.  Although wind would make the fires worse so it's a "catch 22" situation.
Crossing the Columbia River north of Kettle Falls, WA.
The next pictures are of our friends property where they spend weekends, (they live in Spokane too.)  They have 10 acres and have put in 3 RV spots with water, electric and a sewer dump.  This way there is room for friends and family to join them.  The property has been in the family for years.  We're planning to go up either later this month or in September with the new trailer to spend a weekend with them.
Look at this view!  I could sit there all day and look at this.  Bob has built benches all over the property at particularly beautiful spots for Laurie to just sit and enjoy. This is one of them.
Looking the other way.  You can just see our truck and their motorhome back in the middle left in the photo.  They have a beautiful brand new Winnebago motorhome.  You want to talk luxurious?  Oh my goodness it's gorgeous.  I could seriously live in it.
On our way back to our humble little trailer.  More views of the  mighty Columbia River.

I took part in an "Everything but Yarn" swap that Kathyb held on her blog Compassion Knits.  I was paired up with Nancy of the Wyoming Breezes blog on my sidebar.  Nancy is a prolific quilter who makes the most gorgeous quilts and donates them to "Quilts of Valor" for our veterans.  You should definitely stop and visit her. 

Yesterday I received my swap package from Nancy.  Look at all of this goodness.  The cowl is gorgeous and my favorite color.  Lots of tea, candy, knitting notions, soap, post-its, a little fan, magnet frames.  Oh my goodness!  She put a lot of thought into this package.  Thank you so much Nancy!  I appreciate each and every item.
I made some new hot pads and dishcloths for the new trailer, but  on second thought, I think I'll put them in the camper we use all of the time and put the older ones in the new trailer.  I purposely made the dishcloths longer and narrower than usual because of where they hang on the oven door to dry in both of the trailers.  There is not a lot of space since I also hang the dish towel there.  This is just cotton I picked up at Michaels and had in my stash.
I have also started a pair of socks for Alicia's son Kale.  I promised him and Hayden each a pair of socks before fall gets here and that will be soon, so I thought I should get started.  Heel, toes and cuffs will be of this stash yarn and then I  have some camo colored yarn for the body of the sock.  Since they are most definitely BOYS, they will appreciate the camo color.  Their Dad taught survival school in the military and still takes people out for weekends of training.  In fact, he was out last weekend.
This is a pair of Monkey Socks I've had on the needles for a couple of months.  It keeps getting set aside for other projects.
A closer look.
I took a bag of goodies to Holy Family Hospital this morning and forgot to take pictures first.  I had 43 crocheted hats from Nita.  I made 27 knitted and crocheted hats, 2 crocheted baby blankets. 2 sweater/hat/sock sets, (one pink speckled and one blue speckled) and 2 burial buntings.

Only one pair of mittens was finished this week.  It was a red pair.  I think you can see it in your mind since I've posted so many mitten pictures!  :-)

I just took a yellow cake out of the oven.  I know, I know.  It's not Weight Watcher friendly, but I need cake today.  I'll frost it with chocolate frosting and we'll have some after dinner tonight.  I'm planning to stay in the rest of the day unless we go over to Larry and Nita's to swim tonight.  We went there Sunday night and swam in their pool and then I dangled my feet in the hot tub while the others got completely in.  It's a no-no for me because of my pacemaker.  I love hot-tubs, but the germs in public ones always freaked me out a bit.  Since Larry and Nita keep theirs impeccably clean, I used to enjoy sitting in theirs, but no more!  Oh well.  I guess it's a small price to pay to keep my heart beating.

Mandy, Brad and Piper are getting all settled in their new home and finally have internet again.  I was able to face-time with my girls this morning for quite awhile.  Mandy had a job interview yesterday that went very well and it sounds as though she will begin her nursing career again now that they have family to help a little with childcare if needed.  She will be working part time and I think she's looking forward to it.  Brad is enjoying his job and I think they are all having a good time with family around them.  They have been in the new house a week and Piper has already found a friend right across the street who has been over to play with her.  I'm SO happy for all of them.  AND, I bought my plane ticket to fly to Omaha at the end of September to spend Piper's birthday with her.  Yippee!  I've missed the last two and I don't want to miss anymore if I can help it.

Alex face-timed with me from Japan for almost 2 hours last night after Dennis was in bed.  That time difference really messes up his talks with Dad!  One is sleeping or working when the other one is doing the opposite!  Luckily I can stay up later and sleep later in the morning so I get to enjoy our visits.  He takes me on bike rides around Tokyo or Tawada, (where his office is.)  He also takes me shopping with him and even introduces me to people he knows via his phone!  Technology is wonderful!  He's doing well and is in Tokyo until Friday when he heads back north.  His company has officially been in business supporting him and others for one year this week!  He also got two new contracts yesterday, so he was in a great mood and very happy with where he is in life. It's wonderful to see your kids successful and happy, but golly, I miss having him closer.  He's great about face-timing several times a week, but it's just not the same as being able to touch him.  I think it's a Mom thing!  :-)

I hope you're all having a great week and enjoying summers bounty.  Unless you're down under and then I hope your winter is mild. :-)

"The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness.  Instead He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance." 2 Peter 3:9

Blessings always,