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Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Gorgeous Sunshine

I am so sorry that most of you are in the grip of a horrible freeze with lots of snow. Meanwhile, so far we have enjoyed one of the most mild winters I can remember in Spokane. I took this picture out the back door about five minutes ago.

 Although it is not overly warm outside, I think it’s about 34°F right now, the sun is so bright and warm that everything has melted. Oh, it’s still on lawns and grassy areas, but the roads are all clear and most of it is gone off of roofs. I’m keeping all of you that are dealing with the bitter cold in my prayers. If you can, stay inside and stay warm.

I finished Dennis’s socks Sunday night. They have been in my knitting bag for almost 2 months! They were my carry along to doctors appointments and that was the only time I worked on them. Basically I had the cuffs done as of Friday morning and nothing else. I put my mind to it and finished them. He’s a happy guy as he loves to wear my hand knit socks inside his cowboy boots. Yes, we live in the west and my husband wears cowboy boots. If I had my way I would have him wearing a cowboy hat too, but so far he hasn’t found one he likes. He wore a cowboy hat the entire time we were dating and I loved it.. :-). He also looks great in jeans! :-) The socks sure look purple in this picture. They’re actually a deep, almost eggplant color. They look more blue than purple in real life.

Here is the yarn I used and the pattern was Petty Harbour which is free on (Ravelry).

Last night I also finished another square for my cozy memories nine patch blanket. I will start the border in cream around the square today.

On Saturday Dennis and I went and walked around the RV show for almost 3 hours! I’m counting that as a win. My back was stiff at the end of the day but I was able to do it. Last night however, it was on the verge of spasming again and I have no idea why. Every time I go for physical therapy or to see the actual doctor they ask if I’m getting better. I have no idea how to answer them. We did have a great time at the RV show. Although we have no plans to buy anything now, we like to look at the different floorplans and dream about what we want to do in retirement.

I put my Valentines decorations up today as it’s almost February!  The hearts are a free pattern on my friend Teresa Kasner‘s blog. You can find her over there on my side bar. They are very easy to crochet and she’s very generous in sharing the pattern.

My birthday is on Friday and the plan is to go out to dinner somewhere with Neal and Jenny.  I get to choose as that’s the tradition with the four of us. The birthday person gets to choose where we eat. I think I will choose a German restaurant here in town that I know both Neal and Dennis enjoy and we haven’t been there for a while.

I’ve also been doing quite a bit of reading. Right now I am re-reading some books I read almost 30 years ago when we still lived in Omaha. They are Frank Perretti‘s “Piercing the Darkness” and “An Ever Present Darkness”. I’m finding them quite applicable in light of the world we live in today. Our battle is not against flesh and blood, but about unseen forces in the world. I truly believe that.

I have a neat little book holder. Actually I have two of them. One holds regular size paperbacks and the other holds trade size paperbacks. The clear band that you see allows me to read without holding the book open. There are hinges on the back that you just pull one side of the book up and the page flips automatically. This makes it very easy to read books while I knit or crochet.

You can tell by the yellowed pages and the curled up corners that these books have been well read. Our entire family has read them and I’ve loaned them out to other people. Both of the books have been autographed by the author when we went to hear him speak years ago when we first moved to Spokane.  They are works of fiction, but they truly make you stop and think.  Every time I read them it reminds me how important prayer is.

Tonight is my appointment at the Apple Store. They are going to set the computer up for me and hopefully get it all ready to work. I’m excited. I am happy however, that my iPad has decided to cooperate again in blogging. It sounds like the whole photo issue was a Google problem. What I’m told is that they changed a setting a few weeks ago but they have now “fixed” it.  

I hope you all have a wonderful week. Stay warm, and in the case of my friends down under, stay cool!

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”  Ephesians 6:12

But then we have this verse.

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in Heaven.” 
Matthew 5:14–16

Many blessings to you all my friends, 
Betsy

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

I have photos!

So I thought I would share pictures that I tried to post last week. Since there are several I will try to keep the actual words to a minimum. Here goes!

The Crosstitch that I was working on. I haven’t touched it since I took these photos. The center angel is finished I’m working on an angel on the left and there will be another on the right.

I’m always amazed at how much the outlining makes the stitching pop. You think it is finished and looks okay, and then you do the outlining and it’s like “wow!” I obviously still have to iron the fabric when it’s all done. The hoop makes a lot of creases.

Blanket number two.

Number three.
Number four.

And all four of them together.

I’ve made all four of these blankets in the last 9 or 10 days. You can’t even tell that I used any of my scraps when you look in my yarn closet! I think it is like the manna from heaven that just keeps multiplying. I still have to wash and block all four blankets and then they will be going to the “Babies of Homelessness” charity in Seattle.

Dennis and I drove up to the lake on Saturday and hiked in to check on the trailer. It’s a good thing we did because the little dishes that collect water inside during the winter were almost full and needed emptied. It uses silica to drawl the moisture out of the air inside the trailer so you don’t get mold growing. They have worked very well for us.

We’ve had such a mild winter that the lake isn’t even frozen over yet. There wasn’t much snow here on Saturday, but the news tells me this morning that they got 18 to 20 inches of snow yesterday and last night.  I’m glad we hiked in last week! We got 7 or 8 inches here at our house. Dennis got up and snow blowed before he went to work this morning. Bless his heart. I always did that until my back issues. I feel like I’ve just placed one more burden on him. I actually enjoy snowblowing, but he won’t let me touch the shovel anymore.

This was the basket I kept the yarn scraps in while I was working on the blankets. Frannie climbed in and made herself at home. For the past week or so she has been in this basket most of the time. I felt bad because it just had a hard cardboard bottom in it, so I knitted a pad for the bottom out of homespun yarn yesterday. It’s very soft and squishy and she has barely left the basket. It’s sitting on top of the dining room table which has always been a no-no for me. No cats on the table. But I just don’t have the heart to make her stop. I tried putting the basket on the floor and she didn’t like that. She likes it up high where she can look out the patio door whenever she wants. Isn’t she pretty?
The table under the TV is back to normal with all the Christmas decorations gone. I do like to leave some snowman out for a while though. I have Kyleigh and Caleb’s pictures covered up as they don’t like those online. Neal and Jenny gave us the scripture sign as part of our Christmas present and I really like it. And yes, that’s the television cable hanging down. I know we’re supposed to try to hide it, but it really doesn’t bother us that much.

The pain is gone from the injections themselves that I got in my back yesterday, all eight of them!  Now I guess we wait to see how they work on the actual muscles. I appreciate all of the prayers that you have all prayed for me. I have another appointment at the spine clinic this afternoon. And physical therapy tomorrow. They keep me busy that’s for sure. I hope you all stay warm and dry wherever you may be.

I will close by sharing my Mom’s favorite scripture with you today. For some reason it popped into my head this morning when I woke up. I miss my Mom. She’s been gone 29 1/2 years now and sometimes I still find myself reaching for the phone to call her. Actually, as I wrote this I just realized I have lived half of my life since she died. I was 29 when she passed and I’m 58 now. I still miss her desperately.

“I lift up my eyes to the mountains, where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of Heaven and earth.” Psalm 121: 1,2

 Blessings, Betsy

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Injections!

Happy Tuesday morning everyone! I just got home from getting eight injections in my back. I was told the pain relief can last, (choose one), not at all, 7 to 10 days or up to three months.  They have no way of knowing. All I know is that those eight injections in the muscle really, really hurt! I really don’t want to go through this very often. I was told they can do the shots every 3 to 4 weeks. Oh boy!

I’m going to try once again to add a photo and we’ll see if it works today. If no photo shows up you’ll know it did not work. Connie, The blog “Far side of fifty,” over on my side bar, said that the problem came from a change google made about a week ago.  Since this is a paid for app that I use, I emailed the administrator but have gotten no answer. So here goes, I will try another photo and see if they fixed it yet.

One of the blankets I made last week for the Babies of Homelessness charity in Seattle.

But, even if this didn’t work I’m not going to lose hope. Because you know what my wonderful husband did? He asked me if I would please stay home yesterday because he had an important package that would be arriving from UPS.  When the package arrived it had my name on it! I called him at work and he said he didn’t know what it could be so to go ahead and open it. He had bought me a MacBook Air for my birthday which is February 1!!!! We rarely buy each other birthday presents. We’ve been married so long, birthdays, etc. are not big deals anymore. In fact, his birthday was January 9 and I didn’t get him anything. Boy, do I feel bad now!

Now, I know some of you use MacBooks to blog with, especially my dear friend Teresa Kasner. So I know I’ll be able to ask people to help me when I have problems. And the problems have already begun. Apple makes an appointment with you online to have a technician help you set up your computer. The technician called me at 1:45 yesterday afternoon and we hung up just before 5:00. I had six different technicians as they kept escalating the calls because of issues with the computer. Would you believe there is a software glitch in my new computer? We couldn’t get past the first set up screen. Dennis had to send it back this morning.  They were all very nice though, and a nice lady even offered to send me a hard case for the computer for free because of the inconvenience. 

You know, I didn’t even know I was getting the computer and today I’m frustrated because I had to send it back. Isn’t that hilarious!?  I’m so spoiled.

We are expecting 3 to 5 inches of snow beginning this afternoon. Do you all remember how worried I was about driving to the doctor this morning, up the hill in the snow? The time for the storm to begin kept getting pushed back further and further. I am so thankful that it’s not starting until later in the day.

OK, I’m going to push the button on this post and see if the one photo that I posted actually worked. If so I’ll do another one soon showing the pictures from last week. I hope you all have a wonderful Tuesday. 

“ Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the Heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”  James 1:17

*** edit it to add, it worked! Hallelujah!!!***
Many blessings, Betsy


Thursday, January 17, 2019

Foggy Thursday.

I have been trying to publish this blog post since early yesterday morning. I had several photos to share with you as you’ll be able to tell by reading, but blogger will no longer let me publish photos. When I followed the link it provided, it says  blogger no longer supports picasa as of January 12. I have no idea how to not use picasa because I didn’t know I was using picasa! I simply go to my photo gallery, choose a photo, and it publishes it. Once again, blogger has stumped me. If anybody has any idea what I can do would you please help!?  I spent hours upon hours yesterday trying to fix this problem and I couldn’t figure it out. After reading the post you will see how frustrating it is and how I feel without photos there’s no point in me even blogging anymore. So much of my blog is showing you the projects that I’m working on.

Now, onto yesterday’s post. :-)

It’s another rainy, soggy day here in Spokane but I’ll take it! It’s not that white stuff, so I’m not complaining. It’s nice and cozy inside the house and I believe I will stay here all day. It was below freezing this morning and the rain was actually ice on the roadways. Dennis said it was a pretty slippery commute, but he made it to work safely.

Of course snow is predicted next Tuesday morning for the first time in several weeks. That is the morning I have to drive up to the top of the hill to get the injection in my back. Of course. I would appreciate prayers that morning for any of you that think about it. Since I quit working I’ve become a huge wimp when it comes to driving in the snow and ice, and I prefer to just stay home when I can.

I have a few projects to show you this morning. The first one is the corner to corner crochet blanket that I showed you last Friday. I finished it a couple of days ago.  It hasn’t been washed and black yet so it’s a little crooked, but that will all even out afterward.

Photo deleted by Blogger.

This will be donated to either the Crisis Nursery or Babies of Homelessness in Seattle, as willl the next one that I started last night.

Photo deleted by Blogger

It’s just a simple ripple.  I’m still trying to use up some of my scraps.  I think they are multiplying in the basket at night like manna in the desert, after I go to bed. I seriously think I have just as much as I did when I started the first blanket! I haven’t crocheted a ripple in a long time and I’m enjoying this. It’s about 36 inches wide and I’m just using the colors randomly as I reach into the basket.  I forgot how quickly the double crochet ripples work up.  This is about three hours of crocheting yesterday evening while I waited for Dennis to get home from a meeting.

Photo deleted by Blogger.

I haven’t worked on this since Sunday afternoon because the lighting has been so bad and these old eyes need good lighting to do Crosstitch anymore. I forgot how much of a difference the outline detail makes. That is another angel on the left and there will be another one on the right. Look at the difference in the detailing from the one on the left with no outlining and the one on the right. I really am enjoying this again.

Photo deleted by Blogger.

A closer look at the completed angel. Sorry about all of the wrinkles, that’s what happens when you have the project in a hoop.

Photo deleted by blogger.

The table under the TV is back to normal after the Christmas decorations went away. I have Kyleigh and Caleb‘s face’s covered because they prefer for them not to be online. But there is Miss Piper and Kale and Hayden. Also our sweet Chloe front and center. We received the beautiful sign from Neal and Jenny as part of our Christmas gift from them and I like to leave some snowman out throughout the winter. Dennis bought me the one on the left for two dollars at an after Christmas sale. He is about 9 inches tall and I think he is very handsome.  I know that you’re supposed to try to cover up that cord from the television, but honestly, it really doesn’t bother us that much. A fancy decorator, I am not.

Photo deleted by blogger.

The kitchen island has a welcome sign from the dollar store, along with some of my crocheted snowflakes. Sorry about the angle and the crookedness of this picture, but I was trying to get a picture without too much of a glare. I’m not sure I succeeded. Ha!

I still have the same pair of socks in my carry-along bag that I’ve been working on for about two months now. I need to get cracking on them, but I’m really enjoying these crochet blankets! I’m also putting a square on my nine patch block every few days. How are things with you? I know some parts of the country are getting slammed with snow this weekend. I hope you are all safe and warm. 

“For every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the Heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”  James 1:17

Many blessings, Betsy

Friday, January 11, 2019

Foggy Friday

When I woke up this morning I couldn’t even see across the street. But that’s better than the freezing rain we had all day Tuesday. I didn’t leave the house at all that day. It’s a little better now. I can make out the windows of the house directly across from us! It’s been a quiet week. I’ve just been doing physical therapy and pretty much hibernating at home. I love to be home this time of year.  Definitely a homebody and I always have been. Just ask my sister. Melanie? I know you’re reading this. Even as a little girl I preferred staying home over going anywhere. So it is a little strange that I love to travel so much. Given the choice of shopping, taking a walk or going out to dinner, I will always choose to stay home. But if it means getting on a plane and going to London or Japan or to the Oregon coast I’m all in! Sounds crazy doesn’t it?

I just can’t get my heart into the Mystical Lanterns blanket. After talking to Dennis about it, I think I agree with him that it’s just too busy with all of the colors. He said he thinks it would be prettier with a cream color yarn and another color, like sage green. I tend to agree with him, so I’ve stopped working on that blanket and I started this one to use my scraps.

It’s just a crochet corner to corner blanket and I’m enjoying it. Very mindless crochet for me. But even that hasn’t been able to keep my interest going because I started this two days ago.

My love of cross-stitch has not diminished, I just have to use fabric with bigger squares to the inch! These old eyes don’t like those tiny squares anymore. I ordered a booklet from Amazon that has 50 Christmas designs. I had intended to use it to make some Christmas ornaments for gifts next year and get an early start on them, but when I saw the angels in the book I decided to make something for myself first. This is the center angel and I’m planning to make two on either side of her. Then maybe I will make this into a pillow. That will make it easier to store and I won’t have to find a place to hang it on the wall.  She’s not quite finished, but I have sure enjoyed working on it over the last couple of days.
This is the brochure with just some of the designs. Aren’t they the cutest?

I did start another nine patch square.  It’s easy to pick up and put down.
I received this beautiful handmade card from a dear blog friend name Shaz who lives in Australia. You can find her over on my side bar as “Calligraphy Cards-Shaz in Oz.”  She makes the most beautiful cards for all occasions. Paper crafts are not a talent that I have and I’m always a bit amazed when I see the beautiful things that she creates.  She embosses, (did I even spell that correctly?), these beautiful stars onto the card stock and makes the little sheep and colors the cut outs and makes those perforations on the borders. I have no idea how any of it’s done, but I am very happy to have received this beautiful card.  Thank you Shaz!

These are all of the beautiful Christmas cards Dennis and I received this year. I love to leave them hanging up until the end of January every year where I can look at them and enjoy them. Then I take them down and put them in a pile and every day when I do my devotion, I choose the top card in the pile and I pray for that person and their family. Then it goes under the bottom of the pile and I rotate through them throughout the year. I love doing this because then I get a chance to look at the beautiful cards several times throughout the year, and also a chance to remember each of these dear people in prayer.  So if you have sent me a card, know that I will be thinking of you and praying for you and they won’t be thrown away until a new batch comes in next year. And even then, some of the more beautiful ones get kept and put in a scrapbook or framed.

Do any of you display cards that you receive?  Dennis turned 63 on Wednesday and we like to put the cards on the table out to enjoy for a week or two after our birthdays, anniversary, etc.  That lime green one is from Miss Piper and is extra special.  It even says “Papa” on it and that’s what she calls him.

Well this is a much longer post than I intended to write so I’m going to stop there. I have some laundry to fold and some other things to get finished this afternoon. I hope you’re all having a wonderful Friday and have some fun things planned for the weekend. 

“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.” 1 John 5:14

Many blessings, Betsy




Monday, January 7, 2019

Soup’s On!

Happy Monday!!!  The first one of 2019!

Many of you asked for the recipe for the chicken and wild rice soup I mentioned it last week. So here it is!



I have never been able to find the Lundberg wild blend rice that she recommends in this recipe. I just use Uncle Ben’s or farmhouse brown rice mix in the box.  Whatever I find that is on sale. This is seriously some delicious soup. I had a lot of chicken so I doubled the recipe. I froze about half of it and we’ve been eating it all weekend. Yum!  I hope those of you that try it like it as much as Dennis and I do. Mandy fixes it quite often too.

I started and finished another nine patch cozy memories square over the last several days.

I take this bag with me to all of my doctors appointments with a pair of socks for Dennis in it. I need to get serious and finish them as I’ve been carrying it around for about five weeks now.   I just put a round or two on it while I’m waiting for my appointments, but never work on them at home. That needs to change.

And today I’m going to start working on my “mystical lanterns” crocheted blanket again. I want to get some of my small balls of scrap yarn used up and then this will be donated somewhere. It really is fun to crochet on, I just haven’t worked on it for a while as I’ve had other projects going. Like two sweaters for Dennis and Alex.

I want to make one of Helen Stewart’s shawls soon too.  It is called “Smowmelt” and Dennis bought the pattern for me for Mother’s Day last year. I really like her patterns and when I get around to knitting it, the shawl will be for me. However, it will take a lot of concentration and I would also like to add some beads to it.  Since it will be for me it keeps getting put on the back burner. I actually sorted out yarn for it last week and it’s all sitting on the desk now in the office, so maybe there is a chance I will actually start knitting on it soon. :-)

I have faithfully been doing the exercises the physical therapist gave me last week.  I’ve been down with back spasms more in the last four days than I have had for several months. It’s all so frustrating. By the time church was over yesterday, I was in my recliner for the rest of the day. The spasms just would not stop until sometime during the night.

I think the Sunday school class went well. I don’t think I was the children’s favorite teacher, because I actually expected them to not talk over me when I was talking and to sit quietly and listen to the story. I did have several games planned out and there was plenty of running around time for them. Is it just me, or do any of you think a lot of children aren’t expected to mind very well these days?  Oh well, time will tell on how it goes in the long run.  I appreciate those of you who were thinking of me.

And now begins the long stretch of months where Dennis doesn’t have any days off for holidays unless he takes vacation time. It’s always a rude awakening after having so many days off for Thanksgiving and Christmas and New Years.  

I hope you’re all enjoying your Monday morning. We have snow showers in our backyard and sunshine in the front yard this morning.! How does that happen?

“If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. 1 John 4:15

 Blessings, Betsy

Friday, January 4, 2019

2019

I’m off to a slow blogging start for the year. I had three doctors appointments this week and haven’t been able to get myself organized enough to do a blog post. I haven’t taken hardly any photos either so this will probably be a short post.

Dennis went back to work on Wednesday. After 2 four day weekends it’s going to be hard for him next week when he has to work five days in a row! I imagine there are a lot of people facing that hard fact right now.  I’m sure missing having him home. I’m looking forward to his retirement.

 I finished Alex’s sweater! It will look very familiar to you all because it is exactly like Dennis’s, just a size smaller. And I played yarn chicken and won!  Do you see this 4 inch length of yarn? This is all that I had left when I finished his sweater! Believe me, I wasn’t sure that I would make it. I don’t think I’ve ever cut anything this close. It sure made me wish I had taken a couple of rows off of the length of the sweater. Ha!

And the finished sweater after washing and blocking. Please excuse the wrinkled tablecloth.  I will be mailing this off to him shortly.  I sent him this picture and when we talked last night he was pretty excited about it. I enjoy knitting for my kids. He and Mandy are especially very verbal in their thanks for anything I knit for them. Definitely “yarn worthy” people.

Wednesday night I made a big pot of chicken and wild rice soup. I used a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store and that makes the process so easy. It is very labor-intensive, but also very worth it. We will have the leftovers for dinner tonight. If anyone would like the recipe just let me know and I would be happy to post it next time.

Last night we had our annual Bible Study Christmas potluck and gift exchange. We usually wait until January to have it because people are so busy in December. I left the decorations up and I took this photo of the tree just before I went to bed last night. This morning it all came down and got packed in boxes for Dennis to drag downstairs tonight. It’s always sad to take the decorations down, but also a nice feeling to get things back to normal again.  In the past, I have always wanted to have everything put away before the new year so it felt like I was starting with a clean slate. Since we’ve had the party in January, I’ve left the decorations up by everyone’s request. It’s really no big deal since I’m home now and can take them down anytime. When I was working it was a lot harder to find the time to put them away.  Do you see my blue and white crocheted tree skirt? I love that tree skirt. I debated making it for a couple years and I’m glad I finally did it.

Monday, on New Year’s Eve, I saw the actual spine doctor that took me months and months to get an appointment with. I was so glad that Dennis was off work and able to go with me. That extra set of ears is so handy. The doctor was amazed at how much I have already done to try to make my back better. I saw the physical therapist in their office yesterday and a pain psychologist this morning. She gave me some breathing exercises to do when the pain gets severe and also recommended some natural supplements to reduce the inflammation in my back.  I can either choose to keep seeing her or not. The physical therapist gave me two exercises to do. They don’t seem to be hardly any motion at all, but boy, I can sure feel it. On the 22nd I will receive an injection in my back and will also continue with physical therapy for a month or so. They will then reevaluate where I am.

I hope you are all having a wonderful start to 2019. I am very hopeful that this will be the year I get my health under control and I can start traveling again. I want so badly to go to Japan in the spring to visit Alex for the cherry blossom festivals.  I would love to be able to go to Omaha and see Mandy and Piper and the rest of our family too. And of course, Dennis and I want to go to the coast in February or March to watch the winter storms come in off of the Pacific. Such an amazing and powerful sight to see.  We had hoped to go to Hawaii in February but that’s obviously not going to happen. Maybe next year.  It all depends on when I can fly again.

On Sunday I begin teaching the kindergarten through third grade Sunday school class every Sunday morning.  I haven’t taught Sunday school in several years and I’m both looking forward to it and dreading it. :-)  I’m not sure what to expect. Children seem to have much different expectations now than they did when our children were young. I’ll let you all know how it goes. Pray for me!

“Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and He will establish your plans.”  Proverbs 16:3

Many blessings, 
Betsy