Saturday, September 29, 2018

It's over!

Summer is officially over.  The lake trailer is closed up for the season. The first two photos are what it looked like last Friday.  The second two are after we closed up for the season on Saturday.  I like the first two better. :-)



Mandy, if you're reading this, don't show Piper the next two pictures!  

I made this little poncho for Miss Piper and hope she can get some wear from it before it's too cold this year.  I did make it big enough that she should be able to wear it next spring too.  The pattern is one that Jennifer from the "Thistlebear" blog on my sidebar made for her daughter's birthday.  I used the same yarn she did, just in a different colorway because Piper loves, loves, loves pink.  I hope she likes it.  I made it on a whim and it only took two evenings!  Jennifer has all of the pattern information on her blog.  If you don't follow her, you should check her out.  I'm sure you would enjoy her posts.
 As part of Piper's birthday present, (She's 6 TODAY!), I made her a hat, scarf, mittens and wristwarmers.  I have already shown you the hat and wristwarmers earlier, but just made the mittens and scarf.  The yarn is from Hobby Lobby and is super soft.  I used about 1 and 1 1/2 skeins of "I Love This Yarn."
 I also started this blanket for Neal & Jenny for Christmas.  It's made from Caron's Big Cake yarn and I have four skeins.  It's knitted on the diagonal and is 38 inches wide.  I'm using the pattern "Make a Long Story Short Blanket" off of Ravelry.  I bought all of the yarn that Michaels had in this colorway so I really hope it's enough for a decent sized blanket.
We sealed our patio and sidwalk this morning.  Doesn't it look pretty and shiny?  We really wanted it done before another long winter with 3 foot of snow sitting on the concrete, but it has to be almost perfect weather with temps in the 60's or low 70's and on a day Dennis was off of work to prep the area, etc.  Finally today worked!
 Sorry this one is sideways.  But we love how it turned out. 
Last Friday at the lake, Burlington Northern Railroad replaced a bunch of ties on the track right behind our trailers.  It was very interesting to watch the entire process.  There were 17 different vehicles/tractors involved in the pulling out the spikes, removing steel plates, removing the old ties, replacing with the new ones, and then reversing the entire process.  I'm usually not that interested in this kind of thing, but I really did learn a lot by watching.  It is all done very quickly because there are two trains that use this track daily.  There were hundreds of ties replaced within a couple of hours!
 
 And look!  This tractor has a porta-potty and a water container on the back of it.  Look how dry it still is here.  We still have several fires burning around us.  In fact, I took my new car in for an oil change this week and the cabin filter was completely clogged with soot!  So much smoke in the air earlier this year.  I'm so glad that has cleared up finally.
As I said before, today is Miss Piper's 6th birthday and as I type this they are on an airplane flying from Chicago to Omaha.  They have been in Bavaria for the last 10 days.  Here she is in picture Mandy texted to me this morning while they were waiting to board the plane.  I can't wait to talk to them and hear all about the trip.  From the photos I recieved, it looks as though they had a great time.  Piper even got to wear a dirndl while there.  If I know Piper, I'm sure that she was thrilled with that.
We're leaving next Friday to drive back to Omaha for a week.  We have decided not to camp our way back because snow is already falling in parts of Montana and we would rather not be that cold!  Call me a wimp, but I'll give in and pay for a hotel if it means staying warm all night.

Piper's birthday party will be held while we're there so she'll get to stretch this birthday out for awhile.  I'm looking forward to seeing my sister and family while we're there.

We have a new housesitter staying here with the animals while we're gone and we're really hoping that all works out well.  Ellen has always stayed here when we traveled, but she's dealing with some health issues and she doesn't think she would be able to do our stairs right now.  It's hard to leave someone else here, but I'm sure it will all be fine.

One last bit of news is that my middle brother was sworn in as a police chaplain for the Council Bluffs, Iowa police department last week.  I am so very proud of him. It is a volunteer position.  He worked as an ambulance driver all of his life until his back gave out on him.  Then he worked for the 911 center in the records room until he retired two years ago.  Throughout his career he has always met with officers and prayed with them and just listened to them talk.  I don't think most of us realize the horrors that our officers see and face.  We just hear the bad stories about a few bad apples.  Most of them are there to serve and protect us at any price to themselves.  Lynn is there for them.  And they appreciate him.  He has continued to meet with them since his retirement, this merely makes it official. I am so proud to be his little sister.  He has such a HUGE heart for people.  I know he'll never see this, but I want everyone to know how much I love him.

I hope you all have a lovely week and are enjoying the weather.  Our leaves are turning very, very early this year and many of our trees have already shed their leaves.  Last year we still had leaves in November.  I have a hunch this is a warning of what our winter will be like.

"So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." 2 Corinthianss 4:18

Blessings,
Betsy

Thursday, September 20, 2018

The End

So, tomorrow night is the last night at the trailer for the summer.  Sad really, but I'm ready to be at home and not lugging everything back and forth everytime I head out.  Clothes, groceries, medicine, computer, etc.  I'm ready for a break.  After our trip to Omaha next month we don't have any "set in stone" plans for travel.  We would like to go to Omaha for Christmas, but we'll have to see what we can find in airline tickets.  I'm not driving through the mountains in Dec./Jan.

We have had absolutely gorgeous weather here this week.  It was 28F Monday morning when I woke up at the lake!  I noticed this morning driving home from a doctor appointment, that the leaves are beginning to change.  It's a bit early for that but everyone is saying all signs point to a long, hard winter.  I sure hope that's wrong.  Maybe I'll go to Maui for the winter! :-)

I finished the scarf!  Finally.  It's 56 inches long and I decided that was enough.  I hope it is. Do you see the mistake I made on the right side?  I didn't knit a gray stripe between the lavender and dark purple.  I think it was probably late at night at the lake where the lighting isn't very good.  It was very hard to see the difference between gray and lavender in the bad light.  I figure it's artistic license. Does it look too bad?  I just didn't want to rip all of that work out.
 I started this last night and will finish it up tonight.  I'll show you soon what it is.  It's my first time using Caron Cakes and I have to admit I really like them.  I also bought four skeins of Caron Big Cakes yesterday at Michaels for a Christmas present I will start next.
 Mittens will be delivered the first week in October since it's getting so cold in the mornings already.  I think the children will be able to use them at morning recess anyway.

I don't think I showed you  my little angel I got last week at Hobby Lobby.  If I did, I'm sorry.  She was on a MAJOR markdown.  It was 13.99 with 40% off all fall decor.  Then it was another percentage off for a one day in-store special.  I only paid $6.99 for her and I love her.  I have lots of angels and this one looked perfect for this spot.  She's about 18 inches tall plus the hanger, so perfect for this tall narrow space.
 My geraniums from the lake are looking a bit rough but still hanging in there.
 The same with these two pots.  The round one is usually on the top step of the trailer and the big pot by the trailer hitch.  Considering how cold it has already been, I think they're doing pretty well.
Miss Piper and her parents left for a couple of weeks in Germany.  This was at the airport while waiting in Chicago to check in for their international flight.  She took Paddy because she's soft.  Maybe to use for a pillow?  This little girl is quite the traveler.
 All checked in and at the gate getting lunch before the long flight to Dublin.  I can't wait to see her in a few weeks.
We had our senior ladies lunch at church today.  Several of us drive around and pick up the ladies who can't get out easily anymore and take them to the church where we have provided a lunch for them.  I made some delicious Chicken Broccoli Shells.  The recipe was given to me by a young lady in our church and I had never made them before.  Gosh!  They were a hit.  I didn't bring any home the pan was practically licked clean!  It is a recipe from and old Taste of Home magazine.  The recipe is below if you would like to try it yourself.  I take no credit for how good it is.  Very, very easy and delicious.



I hope you all have a wonderful weekend my friends.

"Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever."  Hebrews 13:8

Blessings,
Betsy

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Fall has arrived!

What's that you say?  Not officially?  Well, maybe not officially, but here in Spokane within the past two weeks we've gone from temperatures in the  90's to highs in the 60's for the past week.  Lows are in the 30's and 40's.  I would say that's fall.  The good news is that it has seemed to rid us of most of the smoke from the past couple of months.  There are still fires burning though and that is not good.

First of all, I want to thank you all for your sweet comments about my migraine and about Alex.  He is fine.  He was woken up during the night and lost a bit of glassware, but no real problems where he lives.  Unfortunately, earthquakes are so commonplace for him that he didn't even think to call to reassure us.  My headache is somewhat better.  Now I'm just having the residual headache that lingers for awhile, but not nearly as bad as the first few days.  Thank you all again.  I am so blessed to have all of you as my friends and that you truly care.

On the knitting front I have been working non-stop on the zick-zack scarf with one small pair of mittens thrown in the mix.  The scarf is now 33 inches long as of this morning.  The size 2 needles and sock yarn are making it a slow knit, but I am enjoying it.  I realize that I am a production knitter, not a process knitter and this is forcing me to slow down and enjoy each stitch and the definition of each row.  Since all shades of purple and lavender are my favorite colors, this scarf is tempting me to keep it, but it is destined to be a Christmas gift.
 I decorated for fall yesterday and today.  It may seem like a lot of decorations and kind of "busy" but I do like it.  I found a box of decorations today that I haven't seen for a couple of years and I thought had been lost or given away.  So I have even more fall stuff.  :-)  I like fall and the cooler temperatures, just not the winter that follows. (No suprise to any of you is it?)
This is the console cabinet under the TV.  See the ugly wires?  I got all of my decorations that you see in these pictures either on sale somewhere or at the Dollar Store. I rarely pay full price for any decor items.  I lOvE the dollar store.  It's amazing the things you get there.  Ours now has fresh bread on Tuesday and Thursdays.  It's the same breads you get at the grocery store and it ISN'T day old bread!  They stop on their route to deliver to the grocery stores.  I get sandwich thins for $1.00.  They are $2.98 at the store.  They also have Orowheat Rye, english muffins, whole wheat and white Sara Lee bread.  All kinds of breads.  All fresh and all for $1.00!  You have to know when it's delivered and be there waiting because everyone is waiting for them and I tell you what, it's like a bunch of locusts!  The delivery guy loads the carts and they're empty in less than 5 minutes, but everyone is very nice about it.  No pushing or shoving at all.
  
 This is on the kitchen island.  I have a crocheted leaf garland that will replace the triangle bunting soon.  All of these were from the Dollar Store over the past several years.
 This is the middle of the Hoosier Cabinet.  The sign and flowers are from the Dollar Store this year.  I have had the big pumpkin for years.  I think at least 20 years!  All of the pinecones that you see in these photos are from the lake.  I use them as fire starters in the fireplace in the winter, but meanwhile they make good decorations.
 I have had this "Welcome" sign for over 30 years, it came from Omaha with us when we moved.  Isn't this little guy cute?
 This sign and pumpkins were from the Dollar Store a couple of years ago.  I love this picture of Chloe.  Sorry about the glare.
 These leaves and flowers were from the D.S. too.  The photo is from our 25th anniversary and the heart photo frame is from Neal & Jenny for our 40th this year.  The picture was taken in Washington D.C. at the Washington Monument a couple of years ago while we were visiting Mandy and Brad.  It says "Dennis and Betsy - 40 years of love"  Isn't that nice?  It spins around and I'm going to put a wedding photo on the other side.
 A full photo of the Hoosier.
 I still love these little glass bottles and I'm so glad I persevered and finally bought them.  Aren't the little plaid pumpkins cute?  I got them from Mandy.
 The corner shelf by the front door.  Too busy?  Oh well, I like it.  I've had the basket on top for years.
 A corner in the hall bath.  Flowers again are from the D.S.
 You're probably all sick of fall decorations aren't you?  Well here is a cutie for you.  Piper sent me a picture modeling her Halloween costume.  She's going to be a unicorn!  Isn't she the cutest unicorn you've ever seen?
And guess what?  We're heading to Omaha again so I'll get to see this little girl soon!   Not in time for her birthday, but she won't be home then anyway, because the three of them are heading to Germany for a couple of weeks.  They come home on Piper's birthday and we're driving to visit the next week.  We'll be driving during October, through the mountains of Idaho and Montana.  We're really hoping to NOT encounter any snow as we drive, but we're taking the 4-wheel drive truck instead of my car, just in case.  I'm also hoping to sleep in the truck overnight if it's not too cold.  That way it will be an adventure and more of a vacation to me.  I've checked and the KOA camp grounds are open in Montana and South Dakota until the end of October.  We can have nice hot showers in the mornings.  Sounds like fun to me...if it doesn't snow or get too cold.  If so, I'll settle for a hotel, but I would rather camp!  Dennis is worried about my back, but I would like to give it a try.  I miss those kinds of trips with an air mattress in the back of the truck.

And Mandy says they will have Piper's birthday party while we're there so we won't miss it!  Yay!  I'm looking forward to seeing my sister and all of our family again.  More and more, I'm finding that I miss family and we're tentatively making plans to move back to Nebraska or Iowa after Dennis retires.  We will dearly miss our mountains, but the pull of family is real.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.  We're heading to the lake and will try to enjoy one of our last weekends there for this year.  We have to be closed up completely by October 1, so we will start bringing things home this week.  Dennis will start making trips with his truck, bringing home the patio table, chairs, cushions, grill, lawn mower, etc.  We'll take the roof off of the gazebo.  I'll bring home extra food that we won't use up during the next few weeks.  It's like moving twice a year in the spring and the fall.  I'll try to take before and after photos when we start closing up so you can see the difference.

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Romans 15:13

Blessings,
Betsy


Thursday, September 6, 2018

Still Smokey....

Hello again.
Same song, second, third and fourth verse.  The smoke, once again, drove me home from the lake on Tuesday.  This is getting old people.  We have to close up the trailer by the end of September because of new rules in the park.  Everything must be done on or before October 1.  It seems we lost much of this summer because of smoke.  The weather people are promising, again, that the smoke should begin to clear by tomorrow.  We shall see.  We get one or two nice days and then a week or more of smoke.  To top it all off, I got a migraine last night that is still making it's presence known today.  I get the type of migraines that the first symptom is a "hole" in my eyesight.  Within five minutes I can't see at all and then after about half an hour my sight returns, but then the headache comes.  Sometimes the headache remains for days.  I thought this was going to be a relatively mild one, but unfortunately, it's still here today.  Sometimes worse than others.  So, while it's not too terrible, I thought I would try put up a post and say hello to all of you.

As I said in my last post, Saturday, September 1 was our 40th anniversary and we spent it at the lake.  Neal & Jenny took us to dinner on Friday night where we all ate way too much.  Here we are 40 years ago. (That was my Mom's wedding dress that she wore in 1944 as a bride in WWII.)  Dennis and I are exactly the same height so the difference must be my shoes, veil and the fact that his hair is so dark it blends in to the background. :-)
 And here we are exactly 40 years later on Paul & Lori's boat at Loon Lake, WA.  Still happily in love with each other.  He's my best friend and I'm hoping for many more happy years together.  Our hair is pretty much plastered back but that's because we had been flying around the lake at quite high speeds!  We were wet too, from waves splashing in from skiers and tubers.
 We were then surprised at church Sunday morning with cake and punch after services.
 40 is apparently the "ruby" anniversary so they had little "rubies" sprinkled around the table.
We had visitors too.  Larry & Nita, Paul & Lori who all camp with us were all there of course, but Mark & Karen and Jenny all came to visit too.
 Neal & Jenny's daughter Cassie was getting married the next day so Neal was at the wedding rehearsal and couldn't come out.  That's our trailer in this photo.
 Speaking of the wedding.  Here is the Dad & Step-Mom, Neal & Jenny at the reception.  It was a beautiful outdoor wedding and the smoke actually stayed away that day.
 They were married at a venue right by the Spokane River Falls which were still flowing even after a long, hot summer.  You can barely see them behind Nick, the ring-bearers head.  Cassie was a beautiful bride.  We've known her since she was a toddler.  We wish her and Andrew all of the happiness in the world.  They are so in love and it shows.
 All of the knitting I've done this week is two pair of mittens which I didn't bother to photograph and more on this scarf.  It really DOES take a long, long time on these tiny needles.  Amelia doesn't look impressed does she? She's my supervisor. :-)
  
I thought I would show you a canoe that Alex built himself this summer out of plywood!  And it floats. :-) He takes it out onto Lake Towada in northern Japan every Monday morning and every other moment he gets a chance.  I'm really proud of him for building this with virtually no carpentry skills.  And I love the colors he chose for it.  It really stands out on this beach doesn't it?  I just heard about the earthquake that hit northern Japan in Hakkaido today.  That isn't very far from Alex and I haven't heard from him yet.  If you will, could you say a prayer for him and all affected.  I just read that several people have been killed and many are missing.
 This is a photo from his facebook page.  I have no idea what it says, but it does have his picture and the name of his company, Queen&Co.  I thought it was kind of neat.
And that's all I have.  My head is really hurting again so I'm going to close.  I hope you're all having a wonderful week and I'll be checking in with your blogs.  I am grateful for each one of you and appreciate you taking the time to stop by and visit with me.

"The LORD is my strength and my shield;my heart trusts in Him, and He helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise Him." Psalm 28:7

"Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer." Romans 12:12

Blessings,
Betsy