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Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Oh the weather outside is frightful...

Seriously. It’s like a broken record around here for the month of February. We’re in another winter storm advisory. We could have up to 12 inches of snow by tomorrow afternoon. That’s as in, “new snow.” We already have close to 30 inches in our front yard. One of the newscasters was saying last week that we have had a more severe winter than Anchorage, Alaska with more snow, almost twice as much, and colder temperatures.

I’m supposed to drive up the hill again today for physical therapy. Once again, I’m not looking forward to that drive. Oh well. What can you do?

I took this picture of my car this weekend. Since then we’ve had about another 5 inches of snow if that gives you any perspective.  I just realized that this kind of looks like an ad for a Honda CRV doesn’t it?

I do have some wonderful snow tires and haven’t had any problems yet. I’m praying that continues as I’m out driving around today.

I finished Pipers sweater and mailed it off to her yesterday. Once I got into the body of the sweater, the pattern just repeated with a few increases thrown in here and there, so that wasn’t too hard. She asked for a short-sleeved sweater and this pattern came with both short and long sleeve options. However, the sleeves are a bit wonky and I’m pretty sure I followed the pattern to a “T.” If I hadn’t, the lace repeats would not have worked out. We’ll see if she can wear it. If not, I’ll make her a new one.
Front view

Back view
I started a crochet baby blanket for the Babies of Homelessness. I forgot to take a new picture today, but I’m putting the border on right now.  This photo was from yesterday morning.  I’m just using some yarn I had left over from other projects. The pink is what I used in Pipers sweater and the multicolor is left over from another baby blanket.

There isn’t a lot else going on right now around here. I’m staying pretty close to home because it’s so cold and icy. I’ve been watching a lot of podcasts on YouTube and crafting. That’s about it. I know that most of you are having the same strange weather we are. Spring is only a few weeks away and that gives me hope.  I have to admit though, it’s starting to get me down a bit. We have only had two days of sunshine in the last three weeks.

Take care and keep warm everybody! 

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”  Galatians 5:22-23

I think I need to work on several of these. My joy, peace, patience, and self-control are being sorely tested with this weather.

Blessings,
Betsy

Friday, February 22, 2019

And it goes on and on...

More snow is predicted for tonight.  It sounds like a broken record. Sorry about that.  The weatherman says we’re stuck in a pattern off of the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska that brings us snow every two to three days.  We did have gorgeous sunshine yesterday though, and I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it.  This was the view off of our deck yesterday.

And this was from about a block away.  Look at that beautiful blue sky.

This is what we’re driving on.  This is the street in front of our house.  Solid ice about 6 inches deep.

I have made some more mini socks.  They take just under 2 hours and I have the pattern memorized so I take these to doctor appointments.  I have about 20 done already.

I made a couple more hats for the Veterans and delivered the blankets and hats on Tuesday.  Thy were thrilled with everything and said they could also use some “twiddle mitts” so I may be making some of those too.

Miss Piper got a new pet this week.  His name is Sam as in “Sam I Am” and he is a beta fish with a beautiful pink castle to live in.  She says he really likes his castle.  In this picture Sam was still in his bowl from the store while the new fishbowl came to temperature.  She really loves him.  She has missed Polly so much since she died.

She outgrew the hat I made her last fall so I sent her a new one.  I think she likes it too.  I also sent her a new eraser for her dry erase board that she uses to play “teacher.”  Look at that face.  I love, love love this little girl. Dennis says she’s looking like a teenager already.

My newest project is a short sleeve sweater for Piper. It’s looking pretty small but I thought that about Dennis and Alex’s sweaters too. I’m making it in a size 6 but I don’t know....

The pattern is called Olinda by Georgie Hallam.  It is a paid for pattern that I bought on (Ravelry). It has both short and long sleeve options and fits sizes newborn to 12 years. It is NOT an intuitive pattern and every row is different. It has been challenging. I sure hope it fits her. If not, we have two great nieces that are just a bit younger than Piper that live near to her, so she can share with her cousins and I’ll make her a bigger size.
The pattern calls for DK weight yarn and I am enjoying it even though it takes a lot of concentration. All of those strands of yarn on the sides are waste yarn that I have the sleeves on for now.

I had 10 more injections in my back on Tuesday. I’m really not sure if they are helping or not. It seems I can only be up and about for an hour or two before the spasms start. I try to remain upbeat about it, but it’s hard not to get discouraged. I wanted so badly to be better by spring and camping season and I’m not sure that’s going to happen. I appreciate each and everyone of you who think of me and pray for me.  I know God has a plan for me at this stage in my life and I’m trying to accept whatever it maybe. At least I can still knit/crochet and read your blogs. 
:-)

I hope you all have a lovely weekend and stay safe and warm if you’re up north and cool and dry if you’re down south.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

Blessings,
Betsy

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Sunday

Just a short post today.  It’s still snowing.

This was yesterday...and it was a SMALL pile of snow in the Michaels parking lot.  There were several much, much higher but I couldn’t get close.

This was this morning on the way to church.  The weatherman said last night that the forecast had changed and we would not get snow overnight. Ha! We woke up to about five fresh inches on the ground. No time to shovel before church so Dennis just finished snowblowing after we got home.
Whee!  This tiny little hill is notorious for people sliding through the bottom of it.  I don’t know why it’s always so icy.  And wouldn’t you know? That car you see ahead of us slid sideways into that fence at the bottom just before we got there. We stopped to check on the people and they were fine. Unfortunately their car had a few dents and scratches all over the side of it.  I am so proud of my little car. So far this winter I haven’t slid once with my new snow tires.

This is what I woke up to this morning. Mandy sent me this text this picture along with the text, “Piper after “helping” daddy snow-blow! Soaking her feet and drinking hot chocolate!”

That looks good to me.

And finally, Dennis bought me this cart yesterday at Michael’s. We had looked at them when I took the picture of the snow pile above, but I decided that I didn’t really need one. He went out to run a few errands later in the day and look what he came home with for me.  I truly have a wonderful husband and I feel so very blessed that he loves me. This will be nice to keep the majority of my yarn supplies in by my chair, and then when we have company I can just wheel it into the office to get it out of the way. I think I’m going to love it.

Lest you think that is all the yarn I have, don’t worry.  I have a closet full in the office. This is just holds my current projects.

I have made 14 of the little mini-stockings and I used one full skein of the green sparkly yarn and some of the white. I’m starting a sweater for Miss Piper today.  The camping project bag holds my sock yarn nine patch squares.  The pink bag holds a pair of socks.  I have a box in the top that holds stitch markers, tape measure, row counters, etc.  It’s nice to have everything handy.  

I hope you’re all having a wonderful Sunday.

“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him. Hebrews 11:6

Blessings,
Betsy




Friday, February 15, 2019

Oh the weather outside is frightful!

I feel like a broken record these days. It’s snowing again this morning. Dennis snow blowed at 5:30 this morning before he went to work and the sidewalks are already completely covered again. Thursday was the only morning this week he didn’t have to use the snowblower before he went to work. Thank goodness it let up a little bit yesterday because I had two doctors appointments and I really needed to get to the grocery store. Just as I drove in the garage huge fluffy snowflakes started falling again! It was perfect timing. I hadn’t been out of the house from last Friday until Wednesday evening. Do you know what? I didn’t mind it at all. I’m quite a homebody.

I thought I would share a picture I took yesterday of an icicle hanging off of our neighbors house.

It is even longer today. They are so dangerous that I’m tempted to go over there and break it off but I don’t want to damage his roof.

I put a call out on Instagram a week or so ago asking if anyone had leftover sparkly Christmas yarn that I could buy from them to make the Christmas stockings for the veterans. After I posted the request on Instagram, a worker at our local Hobby Lobby found two skeins in the back stock room. One each of red and green, so I got started on the stockings. Then I received a lovely email from Linda C. who is a reader of my blog. She is one of those loyal readers who doesn’t comment but always reads. She said she would like to send me some yarn. Oh my goodness! Look what arrived yesterday. (Not the gift wrapped package. That’s a 25th anniversary present for Neal and Jenny.)

Oh, and as a sidenote, look at my flowers from Trader Joe’s. They are the ones they gave me for my birthday two weeks ago today. They are still blooming beautifully!

I couldn’t believe it when I opened it. This is what met my eyes when I opened the box.

Six skeins of sparkly yarn, a skein of I love this Cotton, and a box of Valentines chocolates. And it arrived on Valentine’s Day! Wasn’t that sweet?

Linda sent me this cute little green frog tape measure too!  Isn’t he the cutest little thing? And so far I have nine stockings done. I think I should easily be able to get all 100 done before Christmas. Thank you so much Linda. I can’t even begin to tell you how grateful I am for your generous gift for our Veterans.

I also finished the heart granny wheelchair blanket.  This was sure a fun one to crochet.  I do have to wash and block it yet, so the edges won’t be curled.

I also knitted two hats to deliver to the Veterans when I take the blankets next week. I hope to get a couple more hats made before then.  These two were made using the leftovers of a Caron Cake.  Dennis prefers the rolled up room for extra warmth over the ears and I prefer the beanie type. So I will make some of each.

I am still going to make a few pair of mittens for the first graders at the school this year, but I think most of my focus will be on the Veterans. When I delivered the mittens this past fall they were very happy to get them, but they also told me that since the school has been on the news so much they have been getting a lot of donations from various places. The need isn’t as much as it was even a year ago. I think that is wonderful! I will still continue to make some mittens for them but I’m not going to get myself stressed out about trying to have at least 120 pair each fall.  

I guess that’s what you do with charity crafting. You try to fill a need as best you can and if someone else steps up and starts helping that group then you can move on to someone else who’s need is greater at that time. That doesn’t mean I will be forgetting the children though, and any of you who want to continue to make mittens for them, I will be more than happy to deliver them along with my donations.

I’m also going to continue making blankets for the Babies of Homelessness in Seattle.

I am scheduled to have more injections in my back next Tuesday. I’m not looking forward to it but hopefully it’s helping in the long run. I also go to the dentist that same morning. That’s going to be a fun day isn’t it? Ha!

Thank you all for your wonderful comments and prayers regarding my nephew Brian. If any of you are on Facebook and are interested, you could go to my brothers page and there you will find story after story regarding Brian. My brothers Facebook page is under Lynn Saathoff.  The one that really affected me was when the 911 dispatcher, as part of the funeral service, had a last call for Brian. I was sitting here in the living room with tears running down my face while listening and even just typing this I can feel a lump forming in my throat. There is definitely a brotherhood within the first responders. They truly care for each other and that’s as it should be.

I sure hope winter loses its icy group on us soon. The snow plows came down our street last night during the night for just the second time this year. Thank heavens they put gates on the plows this year that block the driveways. We used to have 3 to 4 foot ice berms when the plows came through and we dreaded hearing them coming down the street. In fact, most of you will probably remember that’s how I fractured my back. Trying to clear the berm from the snowplow. Anyway, this morning when we got up there was no berm! Dennis was a very happy man.

I’m wishing you all a wonderful weekend. Stay warm and cozy for those of you up north and for those of you down under , I’m praying for the firefighters and that you will have a break in your hot weather. 

Two verses popped out at me this morning when I was doing my devotion and I thought I would share them both with all of you today.  Those of you who read my blog are some of the most generous people that I know. I am blessed to call you my friends.

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility, value others above yourselves.” Philippians 2:3

“Dear children, let us not love with words or speech, but with actions and in truth.”  1 John 3:18

Many blessings, 
Betsy





Monday, February 11, 2019

Happy Monday!

Happy Monday to you all! I would like to start this post by thanking each and every one of you for your heartfelt wishes and thoughts regarding my nephew Brian. I’m told that the visitation yesterday was standing room only with lines out the door and the funeral was planned for this morning. He was a very well loved and respected young man and will be very missed. I’m sorry I had to miss it, but it’s good to know that the rest of the family is rallying around each other.

And reading other blogs it sounds like snow is hitting everyone. We have had around 15 inches or so just since Friday. Dennis has been snowblowing several times this weekend, including this morning before he went to work. A winter storm warning ended at 7:00 this morning and another one is set to begin this afternoon. We have another 15 to 18 inches predicted by tomorrow afternoon and snow is in the forecast every day for the next seven days. 

And that’s exactly what I get for talking last week about what a mild winter we’ve been having. People are threatening to hunt the groundhog down and shoot it. He predicted our winter was almost over. Ha!

This is what fell overnight. About 7 inches.

One of our neighbors was out snowblowing this morning.   I’ve been hearing a lot of snowblowers during the last couple of hours.  The snowplows had come through twice during the night and there was already a layer of new snow on the streets. School hasn’t been canceled though. Some had a 1 to 2 hour delay, but it takes a lot to cancel school here.

If another 15 inches fall tonight we will have well over 3 feet of snow on the ground. And, of course, I have another doctor appointment up on “the hill” Wednesday morning with the spine doctor. Now you have to understand. I grew up in the midwest, we live near the mountains here. When I say “the hill” this is no midwest hill. It’s steep. Very steep. I’m hoping the snow plows are out in full force before that appointment.

I have a hat done and packaged up, ready to go to the post office for this year’s crochet challenge for Warm-up America. The recipients will be Walter Reed Hospital for veterans and servicemembers and their families. You could choose to either crochet an afghan or knit this hat. They provide the patterns for you to use. This was a very easy hat and only took me about two hours with worsted weight yarn.

I have also finished one wheelchair blanket for the veterans home and started another one yesterday morning.
This one is finished, but not washed and blocked yet.

I still have several more inches to crochet around this one.

You can’t tell in this picture, but it was snowing pretty hard. The robins were all fluffed up very fat and huddled in masses in the trees in the backyard yesterday. One tree had at least 100 robins in it. I felt so sorry for them. Our temperatures never got above 8°F all weekend and the lows were much lower. They probably don’t know what’s happening. I’m surprised we have robins in February anyway, but as I said, until now it’s been a mild winter

This area was all clean when we went to bed last night. It just keeps coming down.

Judy asked about the pattern for the sweater Piper was wearing in one of my last posts. I tried to find it and I think it is called the “girls all-in-one sleeveless top” by Marianne Mel. It is a free pattern on ravelry. I have been very bad about answering your questions and I will try to be better.  I always forget when writing a post to go back and check for any questions you might have had. If you’ve asked me a question and I haven’t answered it, please ask again and I will try to remember to answer it next post.

Stay safe and warm everyone.

“He sends His command to the earth; His word runs swiftly. He spreads the snow like wool and scatters the frost like ashes. He hurls down His hail like pebbles. Who can withstand His icy blast? He sends His word and melts them; He stirs up his breezes, and the waters flow.”   Psalm 147:15-18

Blessings,
Betsy

Friday, February 8, 2019

Snowy Friday

Our light dusting of snow predicted for this morning is still coming down with over 6 inches so far today. Snow is also predicted for tonight, tomorrow, Sunday and several days next week. I never should have written about the mild winter we were having! I’m getting payback now.

Socks were finished and put in the mail to my mother-in-law. She should receive them tomorrow

I started making mini Christmas stockings for the veterans home for next Christmas. I have 100 of these to make so I thought I should get started. I will fill these with sugar-free candy and take them to our local veterans home before Christmas. I would like to do other things for the residents throughout the year. If any of you can think of anything small that I can do, please share your ideas. So many people donate at Christmas, which is wonderful, but then they are forgotten the rest of the year. I would like to honor these men and women all year long.
This is a wheelchair blanket that I’m working on right now. I have another row of squares to go and then the border.

We had sad news in our family this week. My nephew Brian, who was 39 years old, collapsed last Friday morning when he got up to go to work. They believe he had a stroke. He was put into a medically induced coma and his body temperature was lowered, hoping to give his body time to recover over the weekend. Brian never regained consciousness and passed away Monday evening.
Apparently it has been all over all of the news stations in Omaha, Nebraska this week. I will provide a link for you to watch just one of the coverages of the Walk of Honor at the hospital at 2:30 this morning for him. It was only the second Walk of Honor ever at Bergen Mercy Hospital. There were over 200 people lining the hallways. Family and hospital personnel of course, but also dozens of first responders. Firefighters, ambulance drivers, paramedics, state patrol and police officers. Brian was very well respected in the community and was a firefighter for the Ralston Fire Department.

There are also several news stories at wowt.com. Although he passed Monday night, it took until this morning to arrange everything that needed to be done. Brian has donated any part of his body that is needed and so many, many transplant teams had to organize and get recipients prepared. This is been a horribly long week for members of my family. I think I’m the only one that doesn’t live in close proximity. It has been very, very hard to be out here by myself,  knowing what they were all going through. Brian was a very giving person and has continue this giving even in his death, by providing so many transplant recipients another chance at life.  The fire chief said in an interview that it was typical of Brian, who was so giving in life to be still giving even in his death.

Would you please pray for my brother Lynn and sister in law Val, along with Brian‘s wife Tara and their children and grandchildren?  My niece and nephew, Doug and Maureen, Brian‘s brother and sister, are also in need of a lot of prayer. They were a close family. Brian was very active in many volunteer roles throughout the church and the community and will be very missed as you can tell by these new stories. He lived a big life. 

Brian can now say these words.

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”  Second Timothy 4:7

And hear these words.

“Well done good and faithful servant.”  Matthew 25:21

Although we will miss him here in our family and in the community, the angels are rejoicing in Heaven because Brian has gone home.

Blessings,
Betsy

Monday, February 4, 2019

It’s Monday already?

Gosh, I’ve been so busy trying to keep up on everyone else’s blogs that I haven’t posted anything in over a week. Sorry about that everyone. We’re having the coldest weather of winter so far this week.  It’s supposed to be in the single digits for lows and teens and 20’s for highs. Now, that is the normal winter temperatures, but we have been living in an El NiƱo year here and we’re not used to it being that cold. I washed the car this morning and it’s a good thing I put it in the garage when I got home, because in less than a mile I had little ice droplets all over the car! 

I have some photos for you today.  Look at this handsome guy! I asked Alex to send me a picture of him wearing the sweater I knitted him and this is what I got.  Now he and his dad can be twins!:-) I think he looks like a model for GQ. :-)

I think it fits very well. I’m pleased, especially considering there was no way I could measure while I was making it. He seems to like it too.  Gosh his dad and I miss him!  It will be three years in May since we’ve seen him. He is so good about FaceTimeing with us, usually several times a week. We are grateful beyond measure for FaceTime.

Then Mandy sent me these two pictures yesterday.  Aren’t our girls beautiful? Piper is also wearing a sweater that I knitted for her.  This poor little girl has five more loose teeth! I think it’s really cute, but she may have a hard time eating if she keeps losing them all at once!

So precious. I miss these girls too. What’s the deal with all of our kids moving so far away? It makes my heart actually hurt sometimes.  These two right here? They are the reason we are seriously planning to move back to Nebraska after retirement. Not much else would convince us to leave the Pacific Northwest.

When the Trader Joe’s cashier looked at my ID last week he said, “It’s your birthday!” I answered him, “Yes it is.”  Then look what he gave me!  He told me, “Happy birthday from Trader Joe’s!”  Aren’t they gorgeous?

Then I had found a Dutch Brothers coffee card in the bottom of an old purse a week or two ago. I don’t drink coffee and I very rarely go to any of the coffee stands for anything. But I thought, hey it’s my birthday so I’m going to get myself a hot chocolate chai. When I gave them the card, somehow it showed them it was my birthday. He said, “You’re not paying on your birthday.”  He gave me the card back and a free hot chocolate chai. If you have never had a hot chocolate chai you are missing out. Amazingly delicious.

Then I went to the gas station and filled my car up with gas. They did NOT give me free gas. What’s up with that?!  Ha!

For Bible study Thursday night Debbie brought a Costco chocolate cake and Jenny brought a pail of ice cream. It was delicious. Over half of the cake was left, so I cut it into slices and froze them individually. Now when I have a chocolate attack I can just pull out an individual piece of cake. How great is that!?

Yum!  That’s my friend Debbie on the left cutting the cake and my absolute best friend in the whole world Jenny, who is scooping the ice cream.

There’s my handsome husband getting some cake and ice cream for himself and to the left, looking toward the kitchen is Neal, Jenny’s husband, who is Dennis’s best friend. It’s pretty handy having my best friend and his best friend married to each other. We do a lot together.

The guy in the photo below, supervising Dennis is Dean, who is married to Debbie, the cake cutter. :-) Dean is a retired deputy sheriff and he keeps us all in line. We’re such a bunch of rule breakers, you know. Ha! That’s Kevin and Lana in the background of the picture below. Dennis was the best man in their wedding many, many years ago. Not pictured are Mark and Nancy who are brother and sister. I thought it was very sweet of the group to bring me cake and ice cream. I’m usually the one that provides it for all of the birthdays and I must admit sometimes it’s nice to be the one receiving the sweet treats. Especially chocolate.

I got this sweet package in the mail from Becky who is “GrandmaBecky” over on my side bar. Inside the Be Happy folder are lots of different kinds of stickers and flags. They will come in very handy. Also some teabags and a sweet little placemat to remind me of the ocean. Thank you so much for thinking about me Becky. I’m hoping to get to the coast within the next couple of months and I also hope to get to have a visit with you, Teresa and Gracie while I’m over that direction.

I started these socks for myself Friday morning but then I talked to Mandy. She told me that grandma, Dennis‘s mom, wears the pair of socks I made her almost every day because they keep her feet warmer than any of her other socks. She suggested I make her another pair so....

I put these away and ran to buy more yarn and Friday afternoon I started these. The Lion Brand sock is yarn is the the same yarn I used for the socks she likes so much, just in a different colorway.  Since she likes the others, I wanted to use the same yarn. I’m making quick progress using the plain vanilla sock yarn pattern and hope to finish them by tomorrow and get them in the mail to her.  They are taking a little longer because her feet are so swollen all of the time I have to make them a little larger in the ankle and foot area. 

Well I think I’ve babbled on long enough for today. I know I’m forgetting to tell you lots of things but maybe I’ll remember later. I hope those of you that were in the grip of the polar vortex are now beginning to thaw a bit. Just think, Spring is less than two months away. We can do this!

“Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also are to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and His love is made complete in us.” 1 John 4:11-12

Blessings,
Betsy