Saturday, October 27, 2018

The drive home

When we left Mandy and Brad‘s on Sunday morning two weeks ago there was a light rain starting. By the time we had driven 30 miles, snow was flying and cars and trucks were off the road in ditches. What a change from the day before when the little girls were running around outside barefoot at the birthday party! Here are some photos of our drive home.

Iowa

South Dakota

Wyoming.  By the time we arrived in Wyoming the roads we much better, just slushy in places but the snow was deep.  Several storms had gone through since the week before when we drove to Omaha.

It IS pretty.  By this time most of the slush and ice were just on shady patches of the road but the landscape is beautiful.

The road to nowhere!!!  Well, into the mountains anyway. 

The Tetons or Crazy Mountains, I can’t remember which.  Lots of snow up there.

And then we passed into Montana. No snow at all except on the very highest peaks. It was an absolutely stunning drive through Montana with all of the fall colors.

I apologize for the blurriness of this photo. Once again we were flying down the interstate 80 miles an hour. This is the Madonna on the highest peak overlooking Butte, Montana. I had to zoom in quite a bit to get her.  I always feel like we’re almost home when we get to Butte, even though it’s another five hours or so of driving!  I guess after already driving 19 hours, five hours doesn’t seem like much!

Sorry for the bug splat  on the windshield in these pictures, but the scenery was too pretty not to share with you. This was heading up Lookout Pass on the Montana-Idaho border.  The trees were at their peak of color.

Absolutely stunning and the sky was so blue that day.

And this was heading down the last pass, Fourth of July Pass in Idaho. Almost to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho and home. Coeur d’Alene is only about 20 miles or so from our house.

Although the first day driving home was not fun with the snow and ice, at least it was while we were on the plains of the Midwest. I am so very thankful that we didn’t have any snow as we drove over the passes and mountains of Wyoming, Montana and Idaho.

So, I’ve had my car five months and I have 12,000 miles on it! Over 6600 miles were from our two trips to Omaha. It has driven and handled great though. I am very thankful for a safe car to drive on these long trips.

I had this blanket almost finished before we left on the trip. Just one corner was left to knit so I didn’t take it with us.  It is the “make a long story short blanket” and is free on Ravelry.  I made this with Caron “Big Cake” yarn.  It is also a Christmas gift.  It is over 70 inches long and quite wide too.  My “to do” list is getting shorter!

Sweet Sherri sent me this beautiful fillet Crosstitch of a “Q” along with the mittens she made for the school children. Wasn’t that absolutely wonderful of her? I’m going to hang it up this weekend and I’ll show you where I put it in my next post.

I made a scarf this week for “Operation Gratitude.”Thank you to Kathyb at Compassion Knit” for telling me about this very worthy charity.  I used the Lion Brand Homespun yarn that I had left over from my shawl and it makes a very nice and squishy scarf.

Here are the first three pair of mittens for next year! I call them my “seed mittens.”  Ha ha! Hopefully it will encourage me to keep going. And so far it has. I have five more pair done already. That makes eight pair of mittens since Monday!! You can tell by this that my back hasn’t been doing very well this week.  Lots of sitting and knitting.  At least I am accomplishing something for someone else while I’m sitting around, right?

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend resting and relaxing.  Dee and Vera, I’m very jealous of your time together today.  Have fun knitting and having coffee together. :-)

“We Love because He first loved us.” 1 John 4:19

A simple, but profound verse.  May we all remember it. I love each and every one of you.

Blessings,
Betsy

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Birthday & Flying

While Mandy, Brad‘s mom Marilyn and I were at home with six little girls plus Piper for her birthday party, Brad, Dennis and a friend went flying. Dennis took the flying photos with his iPhone and texted them to me. I think it’s funny that no matter who takes the pictures and emails them or texts them to me, in my photo gallery on my phone they are put in the time that they were taken. So, little girl party pictures are interspersed with flying!

That sounded like a long and convoluted paragraph I hope you understood it! Here we go!

Here is the birthday girl wearing her dirndl that they bought for her while in Germany last month.  She really wanted to wear it for her birthday.
Seven little girls making princess crowns and magic wands. I was absolutely no help whatsoever as my back was acting up and I spent the entire day in the recliner chair. Thank goodness for Marilyn and one of the girls mothers who stayed and helped Mandy.

Here they are, minus one little girl.  They were all so good and play so well together.

Of course what birthday party for a little girl would be complete without “pin the horn on the unicorn?”  Notice they all got them fairly close except Piper? Hers is the one with a “P” down by the hearts.

Then it was outside to bash the unicorn piƱata to try to get the candy out of it. For little girls they were pretty strong!  Just look at that blue sky. And some of the girls were barefoot. Who would have guessed that there would be 3 inches of snow on that grass the next day?

Meanwhile, the guys are up flying around.

I could not believe how high the Missouri River and all of the lakes were back there. While we’ve been in a drought here in the west, they have an overabundance of rain in the Midwest.

They even flew over the house several times so the girls could see them. Unfortunately Marilyn and I were the only ones that actually waved at them, because the girls were busy eating their cupcakes at the time.

That evening there was a grown-up birthday party too. We had 24 people at the house Saturday evening for hotdogs, nachos, chips, cupcakes and all the trimmings. Both sides of the family were well represented. I am so very happy for Brad, Mandy and Piper to be so close to both of their families after the years of moving around. I think it’s wonderful for Piper to be able to get to know her cousins on both sides, along with aunts, uncles, great aunts and uncles and grandparents, who all spend time with them.

And here I am back home. While driving through South Dakota on the way home I finished this shawl. It is a Christmas present so I won’t name who it’s for. This is the “Utilitarian Faroese Shawl.  I really do believe it’s my favorite shawl I have ever made.  The shaping around the shoulders makes it hug your shoulders and neck so you don’t have to use a shawl pin and it doesn’t fall off.  It’s a very easy pattern too.  

The recipient of this shawl is always cold! I think this will be great for her in her office, as she can just throw it around her shoulders while she’s sitting at her desk and not have to worry about it falling off or getting in the way.


I almost finished Piper’s new “Wonderful Wallaby” while we were there. All I had left on this when we had to leave was about 1/2 of the hood.  Not bad for only a few days of knitting! I kitchener stitched the top of the hood and the underarms and put a button on and off it went to her a day or two after we got home.  It doesn’t quite match Mandy’s, but the color and dye lot that I previously used has been discontinued.

I hope you are all having a lovely week. We have had beautiful warm weather and blue skies, but that’s beginning to change. A lot of the leaves have turned and have fallen.  We are planning to go to a local orchard this weekend with Jeremy, Alicia and the boys. We’re hoping the weather holds for that.

Last week the doctor put me on a medication for my back that actually seemed to be helping a little with the spasms. Unfortunately, yesterday I had an allergic reaction and after talking to the pharmacist, it was decided I probably should stop taking it. How disappointing. So the saga continues. 

I have started the mitten making for next year and I’m currently on the third pair. I called them my “seed mittens” to encourage me to keep going! Ha!

“Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.” Jeremiah 1:5

Blessings,
Betsy

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Corn Palace

On Saturday night during our drive to Omaha we stayed overnight in Mitchell, South Dakota.  They have the worlds only Corn Palace there.  We used to visit it every few years on vacation while on our way from Omaha to the Black Hills or Yellowstone National Park.  We haven’t stopped there for well over 25 years, so we thought we would drive by before leaving early the next day.  The Palace wasn’t open but we did get photos of the outside which is what I wanted anyway.

The inside is used for community events such as graduations, concerts, etc.

Each year the Palace is completely redecorated using corn and parts of the cornstalk.  Nothing else is used. It is amazing.

The mosaic on the right was the only part not finished on the Palace yet for this year when we were there.  You can see where the picture is sectioned off for completion. It could be done by now.

On the side of the building they had a wonderful tribute to the branches of the armed forces.


This was the entire wall.  It’s really quite big, spanning an entire city block.  That’s a LOT of corn!

And the other side of the front of the building IS finished depicting the raising of the flag at Iwo Jima.

When you think about the fact that all of this was done in corn and stalks, it is amazing to me.  And the fact that it is redone every single year is astounding.  It is real artistry, no matter how corny, (pun intended), it all seems.

If you are traveling I-90 through S. Dakota, I think it is worth the time to stop and see the Corn Palace.  I think it is free admission, but I’m not positive about that.

On another subject....Mittens will be delivered tomorrow to the school children. Although we’re having very warm days right now, that is changing later this week, and the nights are in the 20’s and 30’s even now, and I know they will be welcome.

I knitted 60 pair...

And sweet Sherri from “Sherrisneedlecrafts” on my sidebar, sent 17 more pair of beautiful knitted and crocheted mittens.  I am so grateful to her.  Thank you so much Sherri.  I know the children will appreciate them too.

77 pair of mittens this year.  A bit short of my goal of 100 pair, but health issues slowed me down a bit and my thought is that every pair helps, right?  Last year I made well over 100 pair and I’m setting that goal again for next fall.  I’ve already got a pair on the needles for next year!

Next time...Piper’s birthday and Dennis goes flying with Brad.  

“I keep my eyes always on the LORD. With Him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.” Psalm 16:8 

Blessings,
Betsy

Friday, October 19, 2018

Sunny Friday

I thought I would post some photos today of our drive to Omaha last week on Friday and Saturday. The passes had some snow in them, but overall the drive was wonderful. We timed it well, because all of the roadsigns warned us of a winter storm warning taking a fact Friday night at midnight going through Monday evening. We just missed it!
The autumn colors put on a beautiful show.

Snow up high, but thankfully not on the road.

Isn’t this gorgeous?  And my iPhone photos at 80 mph don’t even begin to do it justice.  I think this one looks almost like a painting.  

This is a little valley just before you cross from Montana into Wyoming.  Dennis even pulled off the interstate so I could get this picture. I thought it was just so beautiful!

The Big Horn Mountains in the back ground.





Then, just before we crossed from Wyoming into South Dakota I got the shot of Devils Tower National Monument. This was also taken as we were flying down the interstate and the tower itself was over 30 miles away!

Just before we reached our stopping point for the night in Mitchell South Dakota, Dennis said “look in your rearview mirrorand this is the photo I got of a gorgeous sunset behind us.

This is a photo of the shawl I was knitting as we drove.  It’s a Christmas present and I finished it and a sweater for Piper.  Photos to come!

I have lots more photos of our trip. Next, I’ll show you the pictures of the famous Corn Palace in Mitchell, South Dakota. It was too dark to see it when we arrived Saturday night, but before we left Sunday morning we stopped by and took some pictures. When we lived in Nebraska, we would stop every few years and see it on our way to the Black Hills or Yellowstone National Park.  We haven’t seen it for almost 30 years so it was a treat.

My back held up very well on the drive to and from Nebraska, but unfortunately I over did it while we were there and spent a day and a half down with back spasms. I went to the doctor yesterday and he has given me a prescription that he hopes will help the spasms and a referral to a spine and pain center. I’m sure hoping someone figures it all out soon.  We were only there a week and I wasted over a day on this silly back of mine.  Thank you to all of you keep me in your thoughts and prayers as we traveled. You don’t know how much I appreciate it. I am so blessed to have you all as friends.

See you again soon!  I hope you all have a wonderful Friday.  This new app makes posting so easy! I wish I would have found it a long, long time ago.  I appreciate all the encouraging comments on the last two posts. You girls are great!

“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful.”  Hebrews 10:23

Blessings,
Betsy


Thursday, October 18, 2018

Trying again.

Hello again everyone. My friend Connie, over at The Far Side of Fifty blog, told me about this app, Blog Touch Pro, that you can use on your iPad to blog using Blogger. I Purchased it this morning and this is my test to see if I can actually post from it. Thanks for the suggestion Connie.  Here’s crossing my fingers and hoping! I’m not good at technology at all, so my hope this is it is that this is a user-friendly app.

Here’s a picture of Miss Piper in the poncho that I crocheted for her in just two nights using the pattern that Jennifer over Thistlebear on my side bar recommended. She loved it!


OK my friends. Let me know if this actually worked in the comments and if it did, I’m back in business! A HUGE, and I mean HUGE thank you to Connie for recommending this app. I feel like the girl who cried wolf so many times when trying to post pictures onto my blog. I have shed tears of frustration while trying to post and also tears for fear of losing contact with all of you, my friends. 

All of your kind comments on my last post convince me to actually purchase this app and try one more time. I must confess I’m pretty excited.

If this worked I cannot believe how easy it is now! Much love and many blessings to you all. 
Betsy

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Home Again!

Hello my friends! We're safely back in Spokane. I have tons and tons of photos to share, but once again Blogger is NOT cooperating. I think I'm giving up. I will try to keep up with all of your blogs but I really believe I'm done. I have spent 3 hours trying to write one blog post. I do have an Instagram account where I post photos and you are all very, very welcome to follow me there. You can find me at- queenbetsy2 - and I would love to see you there. I will pop in here now and again and see if Blogger will let me post pictures and I will definitely still be reading your blogs and commenting as long as I can.

We had a great trip with beautiful weather on the way to Omaha with autumn colors through the mountains. Coming home it was crazy snowing through Iowa and S. Dakota. The roads were slushy in Wyoming but once we crossed into Montana it was gorgeous. Here in Spokane it's in the 60's all week and I'm enjoying the beautiful blue skies.

The girls in my family, seven of us, went to a painting party last Thursday and all of us painted pictures that actually turned out beautifully. We had a fun time and made some good memories

Piper's birthday parties were fun too. There were seven little girls at her party Saturday morning and then the family all came Saturday evening. I counted 24 people at that one! It was fun to catch up with everyone. We spent time with Dennis' Mom and sister on several different occasions during the week.

We left at 5:45 Sunday morning and finally stopped in Billings, MT that evening after over 15 hours of driving through pretty nasty weather. Then we had an easy 8 hour drive on Sunday, getting home in time to wash the car and get a pizza to take home for dinner. My poor car hasn't been that dirty since we bought it. I have over 11,300 miles on it and I just got it in May! Two trips to Omaha with over 3500 miles round trip for each trip was most of those miles!

It's good to be home but I'm sure missing Mandy and Piper.

I sure wish I could share pictures with you all, but please, please pop over to Instagram to see all the pictures I've posted over the past couple of weeks.

Much love to you all and be assured I'll be visiting your blogs. Feel free to email me anytime at queenbetsy2@gmail.com. I promise to reply!

"Yours, LORD is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in Heaven and Earth is yours. Yours, LORD, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all. 1 Chronicles 29:11

Blessings,
Betsy

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Bits and Pieces

Bits and pieces.  All that has been accomplished this week is packing and sitting.  I have gotten some knitting done, but my back has NOT been happy this week.  I don't know if it is because of the colder weather, but I have sat with ice on it quite a lot this week.  Which is making me dread the 24 hour drive this weekend.  The only thing that can get me to even contemplate this trip is that Piper, Mandy and family are waiting at the end of it.  I only hope I can move when I get there.  Seriously.  I don't want to be "Debbie Downer" about this, but my life of inactivity is getting very old.
Plus, I spent Sunday morning in the Emergency room with chest pain.  The only thing the doctor could figure out is that it could be related to my back spasms.  Apparently the muscles are all connected and they believe it was causing chest spasms, mimicing the symptoms of a heart attack.  They were sure it was a heart attack until the EKG and blood work showed differently.  As they always tell you, come back if it returns.  Well...I don't think so.  From now on out I'm taking my chances.  I had to give them $200.00 just to be seen for our co-pay, payable immediately.  Then will come the bills...deductibles, out-of-pocket, etc.  Something is seriously wrong with our medical system when you're afraid to go to the ER for a possible heart attack because of the cost.

Okay, I'm done whining.  Just frustrated and tired of being frustrated.  I have been knitting.  This is the Utilitarian Faroese Shawl which is on Ravelry as a paid for pattern.  It will be a Christmas gift for an unnamed recipient, just in case that person sees this, unlikely as it is, I want it to be a surprise.  As the pattern calls for, I'm using Homespun yarn.
 Next is the "Make a Long Story Short Blanket" and is also a Christmas gift.  I have used Caron "Big Cake" yarn.  It's been a super fun and easy knit, although the bigger needles have made my hands ache  a bit.  It is 40 x 68 inches and I am now closing up the end corner.  I'm very pleasde with how it turned out.
  
The leaves have turned and are almost gone from one of the trees in our front yard although the other one is still green.  Many trees in our neighborhood are already bare of leaves.  Very unusual to be gone so early.  I love the fall colors.  It's as though the trees put on a pretty show to encourage us all just before winter's icy blast.
 
These are the berries one one of our neighbors trees that is drooping over our fence.  There is a LOT of weight on this tree and it's hanging very low.  I think there will be plenty of food for the birds this winter.
This past weekend Mandy was wearing the "Wonderful Wallaby" sweater I made her a couple of years ago as it was chilly in Omaha.  Piper's eyes lit up and she ran into her bedroom and came out wearing the matching one that I had made for her at the same time.  Mandy sent me this picture of the two of them.  Dennis says it's one of his very favorite pictures of them.  However, Piper's sweater will NOT fit her very long.  Look how short those sleeves are.  I'm searching for more of this yarn and I'm taking the pattern and needles with me.  Hopefully I can find the yarn and get it done while there, if not I could make a good start anyway.
I hope all is well with all of you.  I met with our new house/pet sitter yesterday.  She's a sweetheart and we've known her for years and years, but none of the animals know her.  Ellen, our friend who normally stays here is having leg and hip issues and can't do our stairs.  We have a split level house with stairs everywhere. 

To top the week off, I had to take both Amelia and Frannie to the vet on Monday.  Mandy thought one of them might have a UTI but didn't know which one.  Since Amelia had one before, we thought it would be her.  Nope.  Back home I came and returned to the vet with Frannie.  So now she is on antibiotics twice a day for 10 days.  She already seems much better and no more accidents, but it's not easy getting her to take her medicine.  I'm hoping that goes well for Sheila.  She has a cat herself, so I think she may be experienced in giving them meds.

Wow!  This wasn't a very upbeat post.  Sorry about that.  It's life right now and I share that with all of you.  I hope I have lots more happy things to report next time I write after spending time with Miss Piper. :-)  That won't be until our return home, but I'll try to keep up with all of your posts while gone.  I hope your fall is a happy one and that your gardens are all harvested and you are enjoying the bounty and fruits of your hard work all summer.

"The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold." Psalm 18:2

Blessings,
Betsy