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Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Time Flies

Hello and Happy 2018!  Wait. What?!  You mean today is the LAST day of January?  How in the world did that happen?  I am really starting to believe that old saying that time goes faster the older you get.  I can't believe that January is over already.

But wait again!  That means that tomorrow is my birthday!  And we're finally having our Bible study Christmas potluck and gift exchange tomorrow night.  Yes, you read that right.  It was supposed to be the week we returned from Omaha, but people were sick.  Then last week Dennis was sick.  So it's tomorrow.  We're still celebrating Christmas, even if it will be in February and my birthday.

Even though it's a Christmas party, I have the kitchen decorated for Valentine's Day.  These are the Scandinavian Hearts pattern that is free on Teresa's blog.  She's over on my sidebar.  They are lots of fun to crochet with cotton thread.
 I'm being brave and letting you see my entire kitchen.  It's not a kitchen with nothing on the counters as you can see.  It's cooked in and used every day.
 The hoosier cabinet is also ready for springtime with it's silk flowers in spring colors.
 I just had to show you this bouquet of flowers.  Although the roses are beginning to droop this morning, this arrangement was bought at Trader Joes on January 15th.  That's over two weeks and most of it is still looking beautiful!  You really can't beat TJ's flowers.
Piper sent us this sweet little thank you card she made for her Christmas presents.  She told me that it was Papa, Piper and Grandma.  She used the glitter pens that we gave her as one of her gifts.  I love her artwork.
I've mainly been knitting on mittens this week, although I did finish a baby blanket and gave it away without taking a picture. (oops!)  Eight more pair done!
 I also began a pair of socks for Dennis.  These are my "carry-along" project for when I'm not home.   The yarn is "Tiger Eye" by Knit Picks.
I had an appointment with the foot doctor this morning.  She's fairly certain that the increasing pain in my feet is from arthritis.  She also said there is nothing to be done about it.  Some days I literally have to go up and down our stairs on my rear end because my feet won't bend to walk the stairs.  That's one of the reasons we're planning to move to a one level home or into our trailer in a few years.  I don't think it's going to get better.  Oh well, she just confirmed what I was thinking was the most obvious conclusion.  I know a lot of people have a lot worse problems than that so I will try not to complain.

I also have a dentist appointment this afternoon for my regular check up.  Might as well get everything done in one day and be done with it!  I actually don't mind going to my dentist.  They are so sweet there and they have never hurt me.

It's one of the reasons why it's hard to think of moving when Dennis retires.  We really like our dentist and I have a lot of faith in the Heart Institute that takes care of my pacemaker.  Lots of decisions to be made in the next few years.  The plan right now is to move back to Omaha to be near Mandy and Brad and the rest of our family.  We want to travel in our camper a lot too, but would like a "home base," so we shall see what the future has in store for us.


We have had a few days of lovely warm weather.  In the 40's and party cloudy.   Most of the snow is gone. Yippee!  I do know that it's still winter and there is more snow to come, but I'm enjoying each day that is nice and being cozy at home when the weather isn't so nice.  With weeks like this though, I'm wanting to go open up the trailer and enjoy the lake!  Silly me!

I hope all is well in your world and I think I've gotten caught up on all of your blogs.  I hope you have a  lovely Wednesday my friends.

"If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding going or a clanging cymbal."  1 Corinthians 13:1

Blessings always,
Betsy

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Better....

Hello my friends,

I thank you all for your well wishes and prayers for Dennis.  He seems to be on the road to recovery and has been back to work all week.  He is really tired at night but hopefully that will pass soon.  I'm still not sure if it was the flu or just a particularly nasty virus but I don't wish it on anyone.  Today I'm washing all of the bedding AGAIN in the hottest water I can and on hot in the dryer.  I'm hoping by doing so will kill any lingering germs.

I have to admit, the turning point seemed to be when I started using some essential oils recommended by a friend.  I diffused them and put some on his temples for his headache.  The headache was gone in less than 10 minutes when none of the medication had helped at all.  I think I'm becoming a believer.  After all God gave us plants and the Bible even talks about using them.  I've always thought of it as "ooga-booga" stuff, but hey, if it helps why not try it?

Anyway, life is returning to normal around here.  Dennis started teaching another class of Financial Peace University by Dave Ramsey last night at church.  We've been teaching it for about 10 years now and it's amazing the difference getting out of debt makes in people's lives.  I'm also always amazed at the predicaments people get themselves into when talking to the people attending the class.  (Shaking my head.)

Some goodies arrived in the mail this week.  Debra made some lotion bars for my best friend who tried mine and loved it.  She has very sensitive skin and is so grateful for these bars of lotion and soap!  Debra, you are the best with such a huge heart to do this for someone you don't even know in the midst of lots of  "stuff" happening in your own life.  I thank you so much my friend.  I'm sorry the photo is sideways.  I tried to correct it but it keeps turning it back to this view.
 And then I won this beautiful skein of yarn from Kim Napier at Napier's Knits and it arrived Monday.  Isn't it beautiful? It is hand-dyed by Kim and is 85% Superwash BFL, 15% nylon. She  called it "Partly Cloudy."
Has anyone wondered what my "mystery project" was in November?  It was a "Portage" sweater for Mandy for Christmas.  She loved mine when I visited in the fall so I made her one for herself out of a blue marled yarn, where mine was a brown marled.  Isn't she beautiful and the sweater fits perfectly.  I think she likes it.  The pockets are a great favorite of both of us.  Piper took this picture a couple of days ago because I forgot to while I was there.  I think she's a budding photographer.
 I finished the "Beautiful Shells" toddler blanket that I started last week.  A free pattern on Ravelry, it's 38 inches square and made with Caron Simply Soft yarn in brown, blue and cream.  This one will also go to the Crisis Nursery.  I wasn't sure about the colors, but really liked the way it turned out.
 I started the Beachcomber shawl that I bought as a kit last fall from Knit Picks.  I don't know why, but I wasn't enjoying the knit much, so I've put it in time out for awhile.  The colors aren't "my" colors and it uses Cot-lin yarn, but I don't know if either of those things were a factor in why I wasn't enjoying it.  I'll drag it out again before too long and give it another try.
 A better picture of the finished object, or at least what it's supposed to look like if I ever finish it.
 I made a pair of mittens last night but still have to finish the thumb on the second pair.  I just couldn't keep my eyes open long enough to finish them.  I've decided I really need to focus on making some mittens for awhile.  I let myself become distracted on making other things and I'm way behind my monthly goal of at least 10 pair a month.
Isn't this cute?  Brad and Piper were at Home Depot last Saturday and she was building a firehouse.  She adores her Daddy.
Last Friday was pajama day at school.  Here she is in the jammies that Papa, (Dennis), bought her while we were there a couple of weeks ago and the Princess Jasmine slippers I bought her when I visited in October.  She is such a sweetie. 
She also came down with a cold yesterday.  She was so worried about Papa last week.  She face-timed with us daily, doctor kit in tow.  She told me I needed to go to the store and buy Papa grapes because it would feel good on his throat and make him better.  Lots of other advice too, all of it good.  You can tell she's been listening to her Mama, the nurse.  The next day she called to see if I had bought grapes! :-)  She didn't forget one word of her advice.  She even had a clipboard that she "wrote" all of her orders on!

We sure love this little girl and I'm sad that she's sick again.  She had the flu when Mandy did a couple of months ago, but there are so many germs out there in pre-school land.

I'm going to make some deviled eggs today for our ladies lunch at church tomorrow.  I made them last month and was surprised at how popular they were, so I'll make them again.

We also have a ladies retreat on Saturday and dinner with friends Saturday night so I'm hoping Dennis continues to improve and that I stay healthy.  I wash my hands A LOT!!!!

I hope you're all well and having a wonderful January.  We've been having a rainy week but that's fine with me.  It's not SNOW and that's a plus in my book!  :-)

I just want to thank you all again for the prayers for Dennis.  I truly believe they helped him recover so quickly.

"If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal." 1 Corinthians 13:1

Blessings,
Betsy

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Sickness

Hello friends,

Dennis is home sick.  He came home Tuesday at noon with a horrible headache, nausea and stuffed up head.  I called the doctor to see if he could be tested for flu so we could start Tamiflu if positive but was told no fever/no flu.  He worked yesterday but he got up this morning and showered, dressed for work and then and went right back to bed because he's so lightheaded.  Still no fever.  I sure wish they would have just tested for flu so we could put that fear to rest.  Please pray for him.  He NEVER.  And I mean NEVER misses work.  39 years married and I can count on one hand how many times he's stayed home from work because of sickness.

Also, please pray that I don't get it.  One of us needs to stay healthy for grocery runs, etc.

So this post will be short and sweet.

Two finished items.  A blanket for the Crisis nursery.  This was made from the ends of the skeins that I use to make mittens. The border was put on last night but it hasn't been washed yet so it's still a bit stiff and wavy.
I also finished Alex's socks last night.  They are going in the mail to him this morning.  Knit with Knit Picks Felici yarn.  And look!  Perfect matches.  I love when that happens.
Miss Piper fell asleep in the car after they dropped us at the airport on Saturday.  Mandy sent me this.
Oh to be able to sleep like a five year old. :-)

And this one of her this week wearing a sweater I made her.  She is a very knit-worthy person as she loves everything I make for her.  And I love her. :-)
Okay ladies.  I have to go.  It's weigh in day at Weight Watchers. I won't stay for the meeting, but I missed last week while we were gone and who knows what next week will bring, so I better check in. Then to the post office to mail Alex's socks and back home to take care of a sick Hubby.

Please keep us and everyone else with these horrible illnesses to be better.

"I can do all this through Him who gives me strength." Philippians 4:13

Blessings,
Betsy

Monday, January 15, 2018

Home Again

Happy Monday!
I tried to do a post while I was gone, I really did.  But blogger wouldn't let me add pictures on my iPad and really, what kind of post would it be while visiting Piper without any pictures of her?  So I decided it would be better to spend my time playing with her instead.  Please be warned this is a photo heavy post!

I'm pleased to announce that we have a budding knitter on our hands.  She was so excited to learn to knit.  She actually knitted around 6-8 rows all by herself and then Grandma finished for her.  I'm excited about his development.

It took much concentration...
 but in the end there was a sweet scarf for Polly to wear outside in the frigid weather.  I was really surprised at how even her stitches were and how hard she worked at it without giving up.
Did I mention it was cold?  Most mornings were well below zero with the wind chill AND the air temperature.  One morning it was -42F with the wind chill.  Schools were cancelled so we stayed inside all day that day.

We had a nice visit with Marilyn and Dennis and I gave her the blanket I crocheted for her.  She seemed to like it and sent me a text later in the week that said she uses it every day.  Just what a knitter/crocheter likes to hear.
 Piper does the vacuuming now and does a great job of it.  Yes.  That's a huge t-shirt that she was wearing for her nightgown.  She likes it. :-)
 Tuesday morning the two of us made a cherry cheesecake for Papa and Mandy's birthday.  Please excuse the wet hair, I had just gotten out of the shower.
 Dennis' birthday was January 9th and Mandy's is the 20th.  Their favorite is cheesecake so Piper and I made one and we celebrated both birthdays at once.  It was a hit!  Mandy got two pairs of socks.
 Later in the week we were at Dennis' Mom's house and they all had socks on that I had knitted them.  This was NOT planned.  Later that night Alex face-timed from Japan and he also had socks on that I made for him.  Gosh, this warmed my heart!
 Here they are with their socks!  It's not easy to see, but Dennis' are full of tiny cables running up the socks.
 Piper diligently worked on thank you cards for Christmas gifts while we were there.  She's quite an artist.
 Our little princess.  A bit of a fake smile but I love it anyway. :-)
 She and Papa wrestled and played the week away.
 They had quite a lot of fun!  She loved having Papa there too.  Usually it's only Grandma!
 And then Belle made an appearance.
 Papa played the part of "The Beast" and they whirled and twirled around the living room while the movie played in the background.  It was a beautiful ball!  Papa needs a costume change though!
 We did have a day when it was nice enough to take a walk and Piper drove her police car complete with lights and siren.  They neighbor GAVE it to them last summer right after they moved in.  He's a police officer and his little girl had two of these cars.  It only needed a battery, but Brad replaced the stickers too and shined it up and it looks brand new.  Gosh that car goes fast and reverses too.  Piper is proving to be a pretty good driver too.  Look!  She has her mittens on that I made her last winter.  I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE seeing my knitted things being used as intended.  So often I give things away and never see if anyone actually uses them.  Mandy wore her wrist-warmers AND her mittens while we were there.  ***sigh***  happy Mama.
I put another row on the scrappy blanket last night while watching podcasts.
I finished the socks that Mandy is wearing in the picture above while flying to Omaha and then started these.  They were my airplane knitting on the way home.  I have both pairs just past the heels.  Alex saw the yarn while we were face-timing and called "dibs" on them just before Mandy said she wanted them!  They both want them.  Unfortunately Knit Picks doesn't have this colorway anymore.  I'll have to watch their website and hopefully they will restock it before we have a sibling war!
Oh my goodness, it was SO hard to leave our girls.  I practically ran in to the airport when we left Saturday night.  The tears were falling.  Piper did not need to see that.  We were able to see my sister just for a short visit, but not my brothers.  We did get to see Mom on three different occasions and Dennis' sister too, but the weather and only having a week made it difficult to see people.

I'm thinking of driving back in the spring so I will have a car and can stay a little longer without airline schedules to deal with.

Well, I think this is long enough for today.  Hopefully I'll be back before the end of the week to visit you all again.  I tried to keep up on commenting on your blogs but I think I missed some.  I hope you all have a wonderful week ahead.

"But  let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you. Psalm 5:11

Blessings,
Betsy


Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Happy New Year....

What?  Am I late?  It's already the third of January?  Oops. Well, actually I did know that, but I've been snuggled down pretty securely in the house during these cold snowy days.  But look outside today.
It's a beautiful, but chilly blue sky today.  This, once again, is the view from the back deck where I stepped out in my robe and slippers to take a photo to show you.  I've had a very lazy morning today.  I've had difficulty sleeping again, which has happened periodically since I was around 50 years old.  In talking to other ladies, it's not an uncommon occurrence and now that I'm not working outside the home any longer, I can just "roll" with it.  So this morning after Dennis left for work I went back to bed and actually slept another hour.  By then it was about 7:00 a.m. and it was cold, so for the first time in a long time, I grabbed my Bible and climbed back into bed to read there instead of my normal routine of showering, dressing and sitting in my chair with a cup of tea.  You know what?  It was kind of fun!  Like playing hooky as a child.  I still read my Bible so does it matter where I did it?  Nope!

Now I'm up and have vacuumed and dusted the bedroom and living room and getting ready to go to Hobby Lobby which is right down the street from me.  They have "I Love This Cotton" on sale this week, so I thought I might pick up a few skeins of it.  I can also wander around and look at beautiful things while I try to get my steps in.  It's way to slippery to walk outside these days.

I took the picture below on Friday.  At that point I think it had snowed at least a little bit every day for at least 11 days straight.

Dennis took the day off on Friday because work was so slow, as it usually is between Christmas and New Years, and we went to get a permit renewed at the courthouse.  My little CRV gets around wonderfully in the snow and ice with it's Blizzak snow tires.  But...others don't do so well.  Right after I took this picture a jeep passed us on the left going way too fast.  He spun two complete circles and then went off the road, just missing several other cars while he was spinning.  He also just missed a power pole and a garage.  People were following way too close and we were almost rear-ended at least three times that I saw.  What is wrong with people?  It's not like we never have snow and people don't know how to drive.  And what's up with the huge hurry?  Although we had several other errands, we decided that we, and the car, would be much better off at home.  At the end of the day the news reported over 175 crashes on Friday alone.  And it wasn't even that slick!  People need to slow down!  Okay.  Enough of my rant.  Sorry about that.
 It was beautiful.  But I'm thankful for blue sky today.
I've been hibernating inside most of the time watching videos and knitting.  This is my view.  As I said before, I leave my snowmen out for awhile after the holidays.  My little camper stays out for a month or two longer too, even though Santa is waving from the roof.  It reminds me that I'll be back at the lake before too long.
I do have a couple of finished objects.  I made this scarf for another one of Dennis' co-workers, Paula.  It's really a brighter yellow but looks rather faded here.  Blame it on the cloudy day that I took the picture!  I just used a simple garter band on all sides and the body is k2, p2, alternating every two rows. It's about 6 feet long.  I really like it and will definitely use this stitch pattern in other things.
 I finished a pair of socks out of Paton's Kroy sock in the "blue rag" colorway.  Look how well the stripes match until the toes.  I didn't do it on purpose and I have no idea why the color is off on the toes.  Oh well, no one will see the toes anyway, right?
I started another pair of socks too.  These are made with Regia yarn and I love the pattern that it's making.  I'm gong to finish the heel flap today and then put them in my carry-on to knit on while flying to Omaha on Saturday.  I want them past the heel flat so that in case of interruptions I can just knit round and round.  Notice I'm back to my dpn's.  I like the magic loop method okay, but I always go back to dpn's.  They are much more comfortable for me to use.
We're heading into the deep freeze that is Nebraska for a week.  Dennis will be there for his birthday  for the first time since we moved to Spokane in 1993.  That will be nice for his Mom.  We'll have a late Christmas with Mandy, Brad and Piper too.  We had a new little great-niece born over New Years weekend so it will be fun to see little Madeline Elise.   It will be a busy week, trying to fit everything in.  Plus, we're flying Alaska there and United home.  United has some strange restrictions on carry-on luggage.  Apparently my purse counts as my carry-on!  I usually take a little hand-held bag that holds all of our medications, my Ipad and my knitting onboard with me.  We're trying to figure this out.  We'll have some Christmas presents, plus snow boots, clothes for both of us all in one large checked suitcase.  Traveling in the summer is much, much easier.  Less bulky clothes.  And I am a very light packer too.  I don't take many clothes at all.  We really don't want to pay for another checked bag.  Hmmmph.  It's much easier to drive. 

We are both looking forward to Dennis' retirement when we can drive wherever we want to go.  If the weather gets bad, we can just stop.  No timeline to follow strictly.  I used to love to fly.  All over the world.  Get me a ticket and off I would go.  I flew to London and Japan by myself.  Several times.  I've flown all over the U.S.  But it's NOT fun anymore.  They pack us in like sardines and the security is not fun.  Especially now with my pacemaker, because I can't go through the regular detector anymore.  And they overbook most flights now, because sometimes people just don't show up.  Then people get kicked off the plane because they've overbooked.  Not fun.  Am I ranting again?  I don't mean to.  Just trying to explain why it's so much more fun to drive and stop whenever you want to.

BUT....we are looking forward to seeing our girls again. 

And how about all of you?  Is the new year treating you well so far?  I'm going to try to read more this year.  I used to read several books every week.  Now, because I'm always knitting/crocheting, my reading has all but stopped.  So, although I may not get as much crafting in, I'm determined to read more.  That's one of my goals.  My big one however, is working on the "fruit of the spirit" in my life.  As you can tell with my "rant's" in this post, I can definitely use it.  For those of you unsure of what I'm taking about it will involve cultivating love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control. These are found in Galations 5 in the Bible.  I also want to make prayer a bigger priority in my life. 

I hope you are all having a wonderful week.  Jamie did something to my Ipad while he was here, so I'm going to TRY to post while I'm at Mandy's next week.  We'll see if it works.

This is my favorite Bible verse and I'm going to leave it with you to start this new year of 2018.

"But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.  Isaiah 40:31

Blessings,
Betsy