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Wednesday, November 29, 2017

I'm back again!

Good Morning!  It snowed again last night but it's melting and I'm a happy girl about that!  There were a few things that I forgot to share on my last post so I thought I would pop in for a short visit today.

I made four Christmas dishcloths but have already given one away.  I really like using knitted dishcloths and find others usually do too.  The past couple of years I have had a basketful by the front door during December for anyone who visited to take one.  This year I slacked off and didn't get very many made.  Oh well.  I've been busy with other things. These are the three I have left but I'm giving one away today.


 I started another of Taci's Fibi (Phee-bee) shawls yesterday.  This time I'm using Knit Picks City Tweed DK and oh my goodness!  You can sure tell the difference when you use a quality yarn.  This is a fun and easy pattern to knit and this is my second one.  The first was a test knit for her and I'm sorry I didn't use a better yarn that time.
This yarn is 55% Merino Wool, 25% Alpaca,20% Donegal tweed.  It is wonderful to knit with.
It's not expensive, but it is oh, so cushy and cuddly.
 These are the three colors that I'm using
 Just look at how soft and plump it is!
I got my Knit Picks order last Friday and the City Tweed was included in it.  Here, let me snow you everything I received.  Merry Christmas to me!  (It is my Christmas gift from Dennis.) The first photo is a kit.  It's for the Beachcomber Shawl.  There were eight skeins of this Cot-lin yarn included in the kit.  I think it will be perfect for spring/summer.   I've never bought a kit before, but it was almost half the price of buying everything individually.  There was another color combination you could choose from too.  I think it was blues and beige but I'm not sure.  I loved these colors so much I didn't look at the other one very long. :-)
 Then, of course I bought sock yarn.  Lots of darker colors because the men in my family prefer darker socks over bright reds, yellows and purples.  Go figure!  Ha! Those two in the center are called "Skating Rink" and were on sale for less than $6.00 a skein.  I think it was $5.49.  That is a steal for a good Merino/nylon sock yarn.
 And here is the yarn that I'm using now for the Fibi shawl.
Gosh it was fun to open the box and touch all of this great yarn.  In my humble opinion, you can't beat Knit Picks for price and quality.  I just can't bring myself to pay $28+ for a skein of sock yarn from the yarn store.  It's great for people who can afford it.  I say, "go for it if you can!"  But I buy too much yarn to spend that much money.  Knit Picks is a great option for people like me.  Goodness!  I sound like a commercial don't I?  Oops.  Sorry.

I think that's it.  I'm having lunch with one of the young mom's from church today so I've got to get running. Still have to clean the bathrooms before I go.  Tomorrow is a ladies luncheon at church.  A couple of us provide lunch once a month for the senior ladies.  We have a great time of eating, talking and laughing.  For some of them it's the only time they get out with people besides church on Sunday and doctor appointments.  It's been very well received.  We were going to cancel for the winter months so they wouldn't have to worry about getting out in the snow, but every single lady asked us not to cancel.  So tomorrow is the day for November.  It's usually the third Thursday of the month, but this month it ended up being postponed until tomorrow.

I'm officially finished with Christmas preparations with the exception of buying two gift cards and the actual dinner preparation on that day.  Cards and packages have all been mailed and now I can just enjoy the season.  I love that.  I enjoy going to the mall and people watching in December.

I'm rambling aren't I?  That's what happens when you spend so much time alone!  Ha!  I think that's my signal to say "adios" for today or "jaa nee" which is "see you" in Japanese!

Genki de,  (take care of yourself), and I'll be back soon.  (Don't ask me why I got on a saying goodbye in Japanese kick.  I'm strange like that sometimes.)

"Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good: His love endures forever." 1 Chronicles 16:34

Blessings,
Betsy

Monday, November 27, 2017

Let The Madness Begin...

Hello Everyone.

I hope that your Thanksgiving weekend was full of thankfulness if you live in the USA and celebrate it.  If you live elsewhere, I still hope you had a wonderful weekend full of thankfulness for all of your many blessings and all that you have.  We had a lovely day with Jeremy, Alicia and the boys and drove home to this view on the interstate.  I've never seen so little traffic.  The sun was setting behind us and storm clouds were to the east.  The golden hues were so pretty and the highway so empty.  It was almost other worldly.
 Apparently a big storm hit Spokane just before we arrived back in town.  We just missed the actual storm but saw the massive clouds.
When we decorated last week, the first thing set up was the Navity.  After all, Jesus is the entire reason Christmas is celebrated, so I always believe that the scene honoring Him should go up before the tree.
 I made this Navity set the first year we were married.  This is the 39th year it has been in our home.  Would you believe that three kids, a home daycare, three grandchildren, three dogs and three moves later, not one piece has been broken?  I love this scene and hope to pass it down to Mandy and then Piper someday.
The mystery knit is complete but I can't show it too you for awhile yet.  It took "ages" to finish but I love how it turned out.
 Our friends Kevin and Lana's granddaughter is moving back to Spokane in early December and she needs warm weather gear.  "I have a Waffle Hat" almost finished.  It will be done this evening.
 I also finished her scarf made from the same "I Love This Yarn" from Hobby Lobby.  It's the leftover yarn from my "Portage" sweater and I love how soft it is and it wears and washes very well.  The scarf is about six feet long.  I sure hope she likes it.
Sofie is back visiting while her Mom and Dad are on another cruise.  They left yesterday for the Mexican Rivera and will be back next Sunday.  Meanwhile, she's very at home here at our house.  This is her favorite place, all wrapped in a soft fleece blanket.
 When they brought her over Saturday night they had dinner with us and Nita gave me this sweet quilted wall hanging for the trailer.  She has one very similar.  A mutual friend made them for us.
 I always have a pot of flowers and watering can by the door of our trailer.  The watering can is for everyone's use and I thought it was sweet that our friend knew that and found a watering can button.
 A sweet little yellow dog button for Chloe.  How nice is that?
 I usually have flowers by the window inside too.  I was touched by all of the little extra details that personalized the wall hanging.  I will definitely find a place in the trailer for this sweet gift.
And last but not least, I won a gift from Patty who lives in Labrador, Newfoundland.  Look at all of this wonderful goodness.  Several different teas, yarn, scissors, a Canadian bear ornament, chocolate, a notions pouch and a project bag.  I can't believe how sweet it was of her to mail it all the way to me.
I went out this morning and finished most of my Christmas shopping.  We didn't do any over the weekend.  Crowds just aren't my thing.  Stocking stuffers for those who will be here have been purchased too. I only have a couple of gift cards to buy for gift exchanges we participate in and I'll be all done.  I even mailed my cards out last Friday!  I like to be done early and then I can enjoy the festivities without any stress.  Jamie and the kids will be here this year and then we're flying to Omaha in January to have a late Christmas with Brad, Mandy, Piper and the rest of our family there.

I hope you're all having a lovely day today.  We have bright sunshine and a warm-up. It was actually 41F when I was out this morning and it felt really good.

Oh, I almost forgot.  My cardiologist visit went really well last week.  I don't have to go back for a year unless something comes up.  I just do my remote pacemaker downloads from wherever I may be every three months. He was pleased with everything except my BP is pretty low.  That can't be helped though because the different medications I take for tachycardia lowers my BP.  Nothing can be done about it except take precautions like not driving and sitting or laying down when the light headedness hits me.  So all in all, it was good news.  Now I think we're done with doctors for awhile.  At least I really hope so!

I'll be back to visit again soon and I'll be visiting your blogs too!

"LORD, you are my God; I will exalt you and praise your name, for in perfect faithfulness you have done wonderful things, things planned long ago." Isaiah 25:1

Blessings always,
Betsy

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

A little early.....

Hmmm.  Do you think I'm a little early with this?

Yep.  I think so too.  On Saturday Dennis volunteered to get my box of snowmen out of the storage closet for me.  I don't remember the last time he did anything with decorating because I ALWAYS do it while he's at work and I hate to ask him to do things I can do.  He works way too hard as it is.  This year he didn't want me crawling around the storage area and carrying boxes because of my back so he brought EVERYTHING upstairs.  Not just the snowmen.  Everything.

I was so tired of autumn d├ęcor since it's been out for two months and since we aren't having any company for Thanksgiving, I thought I would just put my snowmen out.  I love, love, love snowmen.  Well, one thing led to another and by the end of the day the tree was up.  We didn't put one up last year so seeing all of the ornaments and talking about where they were from was lots of fun.  I really enjoyed putting it up together.

Everything else is out too and "it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!"  I have never, ever put the tree up this early and I'm sure by Christmas I'll be really tired of it but I'm sure loving turning the lights in the room off and just enjoying the tree.

Thank you to everyone who asked about my tests.  All the biopsies came back clear-no cancer!  The nurse told me they removed 12-15 polyps in my esophagus!  No wonder my throat hurt for awhile!  My 6 month cardiologist visit is this morning and then hopefully we're done with doctors for a long while.  The insurance company told me this morning that once again I've met my out of pocket for the year so I don't have to pay a co-pay.  f course it's the end of the year and we start over in January.  You really don't want to hear what our out-of-pocket is.  It's outrageous!

Happy Thanksgiving to all of my American friends and I hope the rest of you have a lovely week.  I have much to be thankful for this year and every year.

"Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!" 2 Corinthians 9:15

Blessings,
Betsy

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Organizing madness...

Hello everyone!  It's one week to Thanksgving.  Are you ready?  We're heading to Moses Lake to spend the day with Jeremy and Alicia and the boys since none of our kids will be out west this year.  But our church had it's annual Thanksgiving potluck last Sunday after church.  Here is the fellowship hall all decorated and ready for the feast to begin.  There was so  much turkey, ham, stuffing and all of the trimmings that I think everyone went away 10 lbs. heavier!
 I used to be in the kitchen for this every year but some of the younger ladies are dong it now and it's wonderful to relax and enjoy the festivities.  Lots of us pitch in for the clean up afterwards so no one get "stuck" with it all.
 Mandy sent me this photo and asked if I recognized this dress.  It was the dress the flower girls wore in her wedding!  I thought that one of them had given it to Piper as a hand-me-down, but no!  Brad's mom found this one at a garage sale!  Isn't that crazy.  The wedding was in Oregon and the garage sale was in Nebraska!  It fits little miss perfectly.
Thank you for all of the well wishes for Mandy and Piper.  They are both much, much better.  Tamiflu is amazing!  And just in time too, because Piper has a new baby cousin.  This is Brad's mom Marilyn with Piper and her newest grandchild, Shelby.  Piper is thrilled to have her "own" baby to play with.
 I was asked to make a hat and scarf for a friends granddaughter who is moving here in December.  She doesn't have any warm weather clothes and so she definitely needs some winter things.  This is a pattern I adapted from a favorite baby blanket pattern to scarf size.  you use size 10 needles so it goes fairly fast with a 4 row pattern repeat.
 This close up shows the stitch definition a bit more.  The red heart is a progress keeper.  I haven't decided on a hat pattern yet.
After watching some organizing podcasts and being totally frustrated with our bathroom cabinets I decided to organize and purge.  A trip to the Dollar Tree and $7.00 spent and I'm really happy with the results.  This is my side of the bathroom vanity.
Here is Dennis' side.  Much less "stuff" and the cleaning products are in there too!  Guys just don't seem to collect as much do they?  Although to be fair, that shoebox under my side on the left has travel size toiletries that we've picked up on trips and at Bath and Bodyworks.  I use them in my purse, knitting bags, etc.  I have a weakness for nice smelling lotions.
 The top drawer of the vanity which always seems to become a "catch all" drawer. 
Then, since I was on a roll and still had a few of the storage items left, I tweaked my yarn closet a bit.  I keep cards and wrapping things in here too as well as completed items not given away yet.  On the left side of this section behind the closet door is a set of plastic drawers that holds my cross stitch supplies. You can't see that in this picture.  On top of the shelves where you also  can't see are two more plastic totes full of crochet cotton thread.  Those white tubs at the bottom left hold all of my specialty sock yarns. I try to arrange the yarns by weight.  Baby, DK, worsted, etc.  Now this may not look like much yarn, but this isn't all of it.  Hold on.....
 I have three tubs in the top of our master bedroom closet that have 18-one pound balls of worsted and baby weight yarn, 6 balls in each tub. I use lots of this in my charity knitting as they usually prefer acrylics over wool for washability.  I try to buy it when it's on sale.  There will be a serious dent put into this yarn in the near future.  I want to get some baby blankets done soon.
Under the television in the living room is this bookcase with cloth bins.  It's full of the yarn that I use almost exclusively for the mittens for the school children.  I have no idea why I bought white.  I never, ever have used white in mittens for children!
 Here is a basket with the scraps from the mittens.  I'm going to use these somehow I just haven't figured out how yet.  Maybe some mittens with stripes although that adds a lot to the knitting time.  That's my childhood teddy bear guarding the basket. :-)
I also have three shelves of yarn in the bookshelves downstairs!  It was given to me by a lady at church who moved and didn't want to take it with her.  It isn't my favorite yarn to use, Lion Brand Homespun.  I find it splits when knitting and crocheting with it but I will find a use for it.  I promise.

Chloe is shedding her summer coat.  I put a TV remote next to this pile of hair I brushed this morning so you could get an idea of how much hair she's losing.  I have done this every day this week.  I don't know how she isn't completely bald!  She's so good though.  It must feel wonderful to be brushed and get all of this hair off of her.  Yuck!  I love my dog utterly and completely, but I don't like the shedding at all.
I had my endoscopy done on Monday morning.  It was a little rough.  I think I've told you before that I have never been sick to my stomach in well over 40 years except for when my heart stopped.  Mandy tells me that's not unusual for that to happen.  Other than that, I really don't remember the last time.  It was long, long before I married Dennis.  Well, I was sick, sick, sick when I came out of the anesthesia.  They removed several polyps in my esophagus and have sent them off for testing.  Otherwise I think everything is okay.  They fiddled with my meds though while I was there and I've had chest pain off and on since Monday.  Today is better so I'm hopeful that all is on the upswing.  Sometimes it seems like nothing goes easy for me and I'm not sure why.  I have my semi-annual visit with the cardiologist on Tuesday so if anything is still off, I'm sure he will catch it.

We've had a gray and gloomy week of rain that washed all of the snow away.  I kind of like it.  I've been huddled inside, getting some cleaning done, knitting on my mystery  project and watching Hallmark Christmas movies.  Yes, I'm one of those.  I love the corniness of the movies.  With all of the yuck in the world, the innocence and guaranteed happy endings is a bright spot and an escape.

I have two Knit Picks orders on the way.  Yes, I said two orders.  Looking at the photos above, it sure doesn't look like I need more yarn does it?  I plan to make lots of socks though and I want to re-knit Taci's new pattern with some nicer DK yarn than what I used for the first one.  One order should be here tomorrow and the other next Monday so I'll have some yarn goodness to show you next week.  It's my Christmas present so I don't feel too bad.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and are staying warm wherever you may be.

"Now, our God, we give you thanks, and praise your glorious name." 1 Chronicles 29:13

Blessings,
Betsy



Thursday, November 9, 2017

Good Morning!

Happy Thursday morning to you all. It's a cold, rainy day outside today.  A perfect day for snuggling in with my knitting, but I do have a few errands to run so I have to brave the elements.  We ended up getting about 7 inches of snow here at our house over the weekend. It's still on the ground, but probably not for long since it's supposed to rain for several days and be in the upper 30's.  That's okay with me as it should wash away most of the white stuff and make it less slippery when walking.

I don't have a lot of knitting to show you because it's been all knit, knit, knit on a mystery project.  Here is a sneak peak though and all you'll see for awhile.
As you can tell, it's lots and lots of stockinette stitch.  Back and forth. Back and forth.

Miss Piper joined her Mama in contracting Influenza a, but was put on Tamiflu within hours and is doing much better.  I was informed on Friday that her little hands were cold and she needed new mittens.  She wanted purple, so I made purple with darker purple stripes and they were finished that day. I had to wait for the post office to open on Monday to mail them.  She got them yesterday and sent me a picture.
They fit perfectly and she looks like she's feeling much, much better.  And look!  She lost her first tooth last week too.  Poor Mandy is still not feeling very well and they're both still coughing and sneezing, but Piper looks lots better than she did over the weekend.
Larry and Nita had a run in with a snowplow with their new car on Sunday.  Ouch. The blade caught the door and just ripped it back.  Oops!  A hazard of driving in snow and ice.  They are both fine but obviously the car has issues.  Be careful out there.

I'm still working on Dennis' socks when I'm not at home and need a small carry along project.  I'm at the heel turn now for the second sock, so we're on the home stretch!  A good thing too.  I just placed an order at Knit Picks last night.  I have more sock yarn on the way!
Chloe loves these dark and gray days.  We snuggle up in the living room and watch knitting/crochet podcasts, her on her bed and me in my chair.  I do love winter for the coziness and contentment I feel in being home.  I am blessed.
Ready for the continuing saga of me?  If not, that's okay.  I'll see you back here soon and you can skip the rest.  As you know I had my mammogram last Friday.  They called me on Tuesday afternoon and made me go back yesterday for a repeat mammogram and an ultrasound. The new 3-D machines are so sensitive they pick up everything...which is a good thing, but for me, ended up with more pain.  Of course the two spots they found were on my pacemaker side.  After an hour of  torture, seriously, it was PAINFUL, I was told it's probably nothing and to come back in 6 months for another mammogram.  Oh bother!

And on top of that, I have an endoscopy scheduled for Monday morning.  When Dennis' had his a few weeks ago, we all, (the G.I. doctors office), realized that I had never been rescheduled to have a follow-up endoscopy done after the one I had 9 years ago.  It said I had Barrett's syndrome which is a pre-cancerous condition and you're supposed to have follow-up endoscopies every 2 years.  Oh well, it's only been 9 years! :-)  I told them that if I HAVE to have one, they needed to schedule me before the end of the year because we've met our out of pocket again this year.  I'm truly hoping next year will be better...but that's what I said the year before. 

The only time we have ever met our out of pocket AND deductibles was when I had our babies.  Now, in the past three years we've met it every year, and every year it goes up.  It's a ridiculously high out of pocket we pay now, along with high premiums.  I tell you, moving to Japan after retirement and becoming Alex's dependents like he wants us to, is sounding better and better.  We would have medical provided for us as his dependents.  Just kidding, we aren't planning to move there, but something has to be done, I just don't know what.  At this rate, retirement for Dennis isn't an option.

And on that bright and happy note, I'm going to close.  I want to get my errands done early because FedEx or UPS is supposed to be delivering a package from Amazon today and I don't want it left in the rain.  I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.  Sorry for the rambling.  Life is life and I share it all with you.  The good and the bad.  That's what friends do, right?  I know that I am truly blessed and privileged to lead the life that I do.  Some of those blessings are each and every one of you who come to visit me here in my little corner of the world.

"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." John 13:34-35

Blessings always my friend,
Betsy




Friday, November 3, 2017

Snow!

Happy November!  We have snow!  I did take a photo of it but for some reason it's not uploading.  Suffice it to say, we were NOT supposed to get snow today, only rain.  This girl isn't a happy camper because you all know how I feel about snow.  The weather people had a group session on the news a few nights ago.  They informed us that we're most likely in for a repeat of last year.  Snow and cold without any breaks to thaw out.  I'm sure hoping they're all wrong.

I've been working on my baby blanket just a little tiny bit.  Mainly for a few hours last night.
Because I've been knitting on the test knit for Taci at TaciStudio.  I finished it yesterday morning and it's blocking now, although I still can't show it too you completed because the pattern hasn't been published yet.  Here's a sneak peak.

Now I'm going to have to get going on some Christmas knitting so I won't be showing much on here.  I have a few ideas but only one started.  One lonely row.  It's the mystery knit I told you about before.  I had quite a bit done on it when I set it aside to work on the test knit.  Somehow in my knitting bag, my row counter got bumped and the rows were way off.  I could not figure out where I was so I ripped the entire thing out and started one little row last night.  Today I hope to do a bit more.

Piper decided at the last minute to treat or treat as Elsa because it snowed at their house on Halloween just before they went trick or treating.  She thought Elsa would be appropriate.  :-)  Brad is dressed as Brad. :-)  Their tradition is to get a Papa Murphy's Jack o 'Lantern pizza on Halloween.  Both Piper and Polly look pretty pleased about that decision.
 And off they went.  You can sure tell it was cold there.
Poor Mandy has been REALLY,  REALLY sick all week with Influenza A.  She tested positive and has been put on Tamiflu.  She's still very sick but thinks she's a little better today.  Last week at work she had patients who tested positive so I'm pretty sure that's where she got it.  And yes, she did have her flu shot.  Piper has spent the last two nights at Brad's parents house, trying to keep her away from it.

I went to Weight Watchers and had gained .2 lbs. yesterday, so what did I do?  I came home and baked banana bread!  What is wrong with that picture?  Ha! Here it is in the mixer just before adding the nuts.  This was my Grandmother's recipe. I still have it on the card I wrote it on when I was about 10 years old.  I never met my Mom's mom.  She passed away when my Mom was only 14.  Then my Mom died when I was only 29.  I miss her still and even today will forget and pick up the phone to call her.  She's been gone 28 years.  I can hardly believe it.  We lost my Dad shortly afterwards.  It was really a traumatic time in my life.  Whoa!  Where did that all come from.  On with the banana bread.  :-)
 Oh yum!  One loaf was eaten last night at Bible study.  I think I'm going to take the other loaf to our new neighbors this afternoon.  Get it out of the house!
Last night I was driving home from dinner and saw the moon.  This picture isn't the best because
I took it out of the windshield.  The clouds were flying across the sky and the moon was huge and bright.  It really looked a bit spooky.  It would have been appropriate a few days earlier!
I had my mammogram and bone density scan earlier today.  I'm SO glad to have that done for another year.  They are never fun, but with the pacemaker it really is pretty painful.  The top plate squishes down right on top of the pacemaker.  Ouch!  Oh well, I'm done and I'm glad.  Ladies, make sure you take care of yourself and get those scans done.  That's my public service announcement for the day. :-)

I have laundry going and I'm going to watch some knitting podcasts and fold and iron clothes.  Tonight we're supposed to drive to Deer Park, WA and take my cousin and his wife out for dinner.  They are north of us by only about 20 miles, but they got several inches of snow last night.  I'm hoping for clear roads for the drive.  It's always good to get together with Jack and Barbara but we don't do it very often.  Life gets so busy.

Dennis' biopsy reports came back and everything was negative.  Wonderful news!  He has to repeat the endoscopy in two years but right now all is clear.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all of the prayers and well wishes.

I hope you all have a lovely weekend my friends.

"Your word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path." Psalm 119:105

Blessings always,
Betsy