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Thursday, March 28, 2019

I’m Alive!

Hello everyone.  I thought I should check in with all of you because I had so many wonderful and thoughtful comments on my last post. I have a hard time comprehending just how wonderful it is to have girlfriends like you all over the world, who truly care about me and we haven’t even met. I want to thank you all from the bottom of my heart for being there for me.

I went to my cardiologist visit yesterday and he has ordered a nuclear stress test for me in April. I still have tachycardia, but it’s not as severe as it was when I saw him in December, so he is recommending to hold off on the ablation for now, which is wonderful news to me. He doesn’t know what is causing the chest pain and fatigue and so hopefully the test will enlighten us on that. If it doesn’t show anything, I guess that would be good news that there are no blockages anyway.
I have completed 15 dishcloths for the church with one more almost ready to come off of the needles.  I have made a big dent in my bin of scrap cotton yarn. I also have the pattern and cotton ready to begin a kitchen towel like Nancy’s who is “Wyoming Breezes” over on my sidebar.  She has included a link to the free pattern on Ravelry.
I forgot to say earlier that I did ask the doctor about the meds causing me to feel down and he said that’s not a typical side effect from the ones I’m, on so that was a relief.  I think it’s a combination of the long winter, frustration over my back and then dealing with these chest pains and fatigue. All of them together just got to be a little too much. I could tell he was somewhat peeved at me that I hadn’t taken one medication that he prescribed me. But when I read the side effects I decided I would rather take my chances. :-) Sometimes I think they just automatically prescribe medications and don’t think of the side effects. That particular one causes low blood pressure, tachycardia and anxiety. Three things that I already have without making them worse.

 I’m getting excited. My big sister Melanie is coming to visit me.   She will be here April 9-16.  We don’t get to see each other very often and we plan on doing lots and lots of talking.  Poor Dennis.  Seriously, he doesn’t care how much we talk. He enjoys her company just as much as I do. We used to take trips sometimes with Melanie and her husband Mike. The guys wouldn’t say a word and we never stopped talking.  They said that they had a great time with each other. How do guys do that anyway? So often they seem to communicate fine without using any words. But then again, I  use enough for both of us! Ha!

Anyway, I’m really excited to see her. If you would have told me when we were children how much I would enjoy her company when we got older, I wouldn’t have believed you. She picked on me something fierce. But she always protected me too. I guess that’s being a big sister isn’t it?

I have my nuclear stress test on the 17th, the day after she goes home. I wanted to be able to enjoy our time together and not have to see any doctors during that week.

I hope you’re all having a lovely day and I’ll be back soon. 

“May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.”  Psalm 19:14

Blessings, Betsy

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Spring has sprung!

 Hello everyone! We have had spring arrive in the Inland Northwest. Finally. Most of the snow is gone from our yard because we had two days of 70° weather last week. This week it’s back into the  40s’s and low 50’s, but I’ll be happy to take it. It’s not snowing! In fact, Dennis and I took Chloe for a walk on Saturday and look what I found a couple of blocks from our house. They were bravely poking up in a patch of bare ground away just feet away from the snow that was left in their yard.  It gives me hope.

We still have some snow in our yard, but most of it is gone. There are big piles all around town and we drove up to the lake on Saturday to check things out there. The lake is still frozen solid and there’s about 2 1/2 to 3 feet of snow all around the trailers. The season starts May 1, so I’m hoping it’s all melted by then. 

 I put some spring decorations out on the kitchen island. I crocheted these flowers several years ago and the bright colors always make me smile. 
 Several years ago I made an Easter egg tree out of a pussy willow branch. I bring it out every year in the spring time. 
 
 I found this happy little bunny family at Hobby Lobby last year along with my sheepy friends from fellow bloggers.  I have noticed they have the same bunny family this year if you want to get one for yourself. :-)

I’m working on a temperature blanket along with podcaster Anna in Berlin. I’ve always wanted to do one of these blankets but just never got started. I’ve chosen to crochet the blanket with the linen stitch and size I hook.  If you have never heard of a temperature blanket, the idea is that you knit or crochet a row for every day of the year using the color that you chosen for that temperature range. You choose either the high temperature or the low temperature of the day and you use that scale for the entire 365 days.  I have chosen to use the high temperature of the day. There are many websites you can go on to find the temperatures you need for any year. I have heard of people going back and making blankets for their grown children using the temperatures for each day of the year they were born. 

 This is my color chart. Please excuse the scribbles. I was trying to make the temperatures adjust more to our temperature ranges so the same color won’t be used over and over again.   After some thought, I also adjusted the top three colors because we rarely get above 100F.

 I am kind of surprised how much I’m actually enjoying crocheting this blanket. It only took me two days to catch up from January 1 to today.   And here is what it looks like right now.   You can see the two rows of bright yellow near the top that show the 70 degree days. 

  All of that blue! You can tell we had a lot of very cold days. 

The other thing I’ve been working on is using some of my scraps of dishcloth cotton and making dishcloths for the church kitchen.  For some reason they seem to disappear and so I thought I would make a batch up. This is what I have done so far.   My scrappy bin is still completely full  end it doesn’t look like I’ve used any yarn! I think it is a magical bin!

 Brad‘s parents are safely back home and they did not have water in their house. Although there was water all around the shed they keep their camper in, along with several other trailers belonging to family  and several classic cars, the water never got above the floorboards of the cars! A true miracle.

Most of the roads from Omaha to the west and north have major damage and are undrivable. It’s going to take a long, long time to repair the dams, levees, bridges and roads that were destroyed in a matter of hours.

Brad spent the weekend flying people in and out of towns in eastern Nebraska. We’re very proud of him and his dedication to helping others. So many people have lost so much and very, very few had flood insurance because it’s very difficult to get in this area. I have family who are farmers who definitely need our prayers. There are families who have lost farms that have been in their families for over six generations! Virtually everything is gone. Houses, livestock, equipment. Everything washed down river. I appreciate all of the concern that you have shown to the people in the Midwest. Please continue to keep them in your thoughts and prayers. 

Tomorrow I go to the cardiologist for my three month check. I haven’t been feeling very well the last several days and I have no idea what he’s going to tell me.  I have been having a lot of shortness of breath and tightness in my chest, so I if I could, may I ask for prayers for myself?   It probably has nothing whatsoever to do with my heart and more to do with being lazy! Ha! 

 I appreciate each and everyone of you. I’ve been trying to keep up with all of your blogs, but have been a bit “down in the dumps” for some reason, and just can’t seem to pull myself out of the funk.  Reading about the things that you’re doing and the crafts that you’re making brighten my days a lot. I count myself blessed to be able to call each of you my friends.

 I hope you’re all enjoying warmer weather and the promise of spring time up here in the northern hemisphere and for my friends down under, I hope you’re enjoying the last days of summer and early fall.

“ Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” Deuteronomy 6:5 

Many Blessings, 
Betsy 




Monday, March 18, 2019

Unbelievable Flooding

Finally. Yesterday the national news media finally decided to begin reporting on the horrendous flooding that’s been taking place since Thursday in Nebraska and Iowa. Unbelievable. It is unprecedented flooding in our heartland. I realize that the media and a lot of the country considers the Midwest to be “flyover states,” as they call them.   But without the crops and the animals they produce, the entire country will be feeling the effects of this flood. It is an unprecedented flood. Multi-generation farms have been lost. Not just one or two but many, many of them.  Everything is gone. Houses, cattle, equipment, animals. It’s just all gone. Entire towns are underwater.  There was absolutely no time to prepare for this flood. And it still ongoing. The infrastructure is completely destroyed all over eastern Nebraska. Roads and bridges are completely gone. It will take years to recover from this.

The town that Brad‘s parents live in is still completely isolated with no way in or out and it isn’t the only one. There are many towns like this.  Brad spent the weekend flying supplies in and out of airports all over eastern Nebraska. He wasn’t alone. There were many private pilots who donated their time, aircraft and fuel and did the same. It’s what you do in the Midwest. You come together and you help each other. Most of the levee systems have been breached and the Spencer dam  has been completely destroyed. Maybe it sounds a bit like I’m lecturing here, and I really don’t mean it to sound that way. But oh my! I was so disappointed in our national media. I listened Thursday and Friday night to our national newscasts and didn’t hear one mention of this horrific flooding. Plenty of political bickering, and even a few “fluff pieces,” but not one word about the hard-working men and women in the center of our country who have just lost everything.

OK. I’m done now. I usually don’t go on rants, but this is just unbelievable to me. The media silence until Sunday was deafening. One more picture to show you how bad it is. This is Offutt Air Force Base.  Home of the Strategic Air Command. This is where our presidents go in case of national disaster. It has never before flooded and look at it now.

I know you all come here for knitting and happy stuff. And normally that’s what I want to give you. Because believe me, I know that we all need more “happy” in this world that we live in. But I just can’t ignore our friends and family members who are suffering right now. Please, please keep them in your prayers.

And now for some happy knitting!
I finished my shawl while keeping in touch with family members.

It’s nice and warm and toasty and I have it thrown around my shoulders right now.

It is warming up here today. The weekend was nice and sunny and we’ve actually begun to have some snow melt. It’s not quite spring, but that isn’t keeping me from trying to move the season along a bit.  My toes just wanted to feel the sunshine on them! We still have about 2 feet of snow in our yard but I have some windows open today letting some fresh air into the house for the first time in months. It gives me hope that spring is actually on the way.

Thank you all for listening to me vent today. I hope I didn’t offend anyone. Wishing you all a most wonderful Monday and praying that you are all safe wherever you maybe.  

This is one of my favorite verses in the Bible.
 Blessings always, Betsy

Friday, March 15, 2019

Friday

Good morning my friends. It’s Friday. I’m writing a short post today to ask you to be in prayer for our family and friends who are smack dab in the middle of the flooding in Nebraska and Iowa. We have family members who have been evacuated from their homes. If you haven’t heard about the flooding, entire towns have had to evacuate. This all happened very, very quickly as the result of the huge storm that has crossed the middle of the country in the last day or two. I just spoke with my brother and he has a friend who told him that they had no water in the house and 20 minutes later 3 feet of water was in their living room! I’m asking you if you will pray for all of these people and for the water to go down quickly, as it is still rising right now! The Missouri and Platte Rivers are not expected to crest for another day or two.

***** A quick update. I just talked to Mandy and Brad‘s parents are stranded. There is literally no way in or out of the town they live in. They had left for a doctors appointment this morning and now can’t get back home. It sounds like there is water around their house but we don’t know how much. We have other family members in the same situation. Please keep them in your prayers.

And, as I turned the computer on this morning I saw about the horrific terror attacked in New Zealand. I also ask that you keep the people of New Zealand in your prayers. I haven’t read or heard very much about that situation, but I know there are hurting people. My heart goes out to them all.

It feels silly to even talk about knitting when so many people are struggling today. But I thought I would show you Pipers two completed sweaters that I mailed off to her yesterday along with a few Easter goodies in the box.



The sleeves are even in the correct places!

I began another shawl last night for myself to replace the one I gave away to my friend last week. I’m not as thrilled with the color changes in this colorway, but it will be OK for me. I’m using Lion Brand Homespun Thick and Quick yarn in the Granite Stripes colorway.

I’m wishing you all a peaceful and quiet weekend.

Many blessings and much love to you all, 
Betsy

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Another snowy Tuesday...

Yes, my friends, we are in the middle of another winter storm warning today. Thank goodness physical therapy was yesterday and I don’t have to go anywhere today. Everyone is hoping this will be winter’s last big hurrah!

I finished Piper’s lavender sweater. I haven’t washed and blocked it yet or sewn on the buttons, but here it is.

It will be much more drapey and less stiff once I’ve washed it. And below is the replacement pink sweater that I’m working on right now. The sleeves look like they are in the right place on these two sweaters.  :-). Much better to make some new sweaters than to ask Piper to move her arm to the front of her body! Ha!

I have had this pair of socks on the needles for over a month. We had a ladies retreat at church last Saturday morning and I was able to complete one leg and the heel flap. I don’t mind them taking a while to finish. I just take them along to doctors appointments while I wait, and work on larger projects at home.

Many of you will remember my friend Kris who has the blog “simplify.”  It’s over on my side bar so feel free to go look at some of her amazing posts if you would like. She doesn’t post often on her blog anymore, but is mainly on Instagram these days.  She sent me this beautiful knitting bag. She has also made several other bags for me that I’ve shared with you on here. I love the tape measure drawstring and just look at the beautiful embroidery that she put on the front.
Isn’t this vintage fabric on the back sweet?  I love that kitchen sink!
This is my object lesson for the post. Ha! A friend brought me this blanket yesterday. It belongs to her mother who lives in a nursing facility.  At first glance it looks pretty good doesn’t it? But look closer...

It is actually filled with holes like this. She’s asked me to try to repair it for her and so I’m going to do my best. Whoever made this beautiful blanket and put so much time and love into it, only left the yarn ends 1 to 1 1/2 inches long. It’s what I am constantly telling people when I teach them to crochet or knit. I know it feels wasteful, but please, please leave your ends long enough to weave in a decent amount. This is the result otherwise. And who is going to know how much beautiful work you put into a project when it falls apart at the first washing? I hope I can fix it well enough that she can still use it.
And finally, I love this picture of Frannie with her paws crossed. She stays pretty close to me these days and sleeps curled up next to me at night. Her fur feels like velvet and she has a very sweet disposition.

Back update:  Feel free to stop reading if you’re here for the yarn and animals. :-). I saw the spine doctor last Wednesday. He is recommending trying Botox shots in my back directly into the muscle. Physical therapy is helping, but only on a limited basis. I have an appointment the first week of April for an evaluation by the person who does the actual injections. I have no idea when they will take place. It’s so frustrating. I feel like I’ve tried just about everything.  Several of you have expressed concern that I’m sitting in the same position all the time or not doing anything. Well, I have to confess that some days when the spasms are particularly bad, I don’t do much simply because I can’t move. But most days I get 8,000 to 10,000 steps in on my Fitbit and I am up and about. I’m really hoping that this can be fixed soon.

I hope you are all having a great week and that you will soon have the weather you’re hoping for. Here, we’re hoping for spring. Some of us were just talking last weekend that three years ago, we were at the lake having a picnic on that Sunday afternoon. This year there are literally many feet of snow in the same spot. Our front yard still has about 4 foot of snow in it and we’re supposed to get another 8 inches today!

Spring can’t arrive soon enough for us this year. Have a wonderful day my friends.

“Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”  Psalm 139:23-24

Blessings,
Betsy

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Another....

Happy Tuesday everyone! It’s still cold here. Very, very cold, as in our lows have been below zero for several nights, but at least we haven’t had snow in about five days. I would love to see spring, but I’ll take the cold temperatures over the snowfall any day.

So, do you all remember that pink sweater I knitted for Piper last week?  Here’s a picture in case you have forgotten.

Look how wonky it is. One side of the front is noticeably wider than the other side. Here’s a picture of my sweet girl wearing it.  (I should have just ripped it out and not even mailed it.). Hindsight is 20/20.

There is obviously something very wrong with it and it doesn’t fit correctly at all. So I couldn’t let it stay like that. Out came more yarn and I have I started a new sweater in lavender for her. I got to the same place, where you divide for the sleeves and after frogging it three separate times and following the pattern to a T, I realized that it wasn’t me, it really was the way the pattern was written. So I got out my trusty calculator and refigured where the sleeves should go and this is where I’m at this morning.

Much, much better. The sleeves are actually in the same spot on both sides. I’ll continue working on this and hopefully finish it in the next day or two. However, Miss Piper really wanted a pink one to go with her Easter dress so I’ll have to see what I can do about that.  Maybe a third sweater will be on the needles before long, but I will have to go yarn shopping before I can start another one.

I also knitted myself a Sockhead Cowl over the past week. I was inspired by Nancy over at Wyoming Breezes on my sidebar.  This is knitted from Knit Picks Stroll Fingering yarn in the colorway, “Skating Rink Hand Painted.”  I used almost the entire 100 g skein with about 18 inches left over after I bound off.  In knitting this project I learned a new cast on and a new bind off.  Both are super stretchy. It’s always fun learning new techniques.

I am a bit disappointed in the way the colors show up. In the skein it looked as if there was a lot more pink which would match my winter jacket. This has a lot more blacks, grays and blues in it. I may end up giving it away.

I did give away the Utilitarian Faroese shawl that I made for myself.  We had a houseguest last week and she couldn’t seem to get warm. I loaned her my shawl to wear while she was here and she liked it so much I told her she could keep it. Dennis just shakes his head at me. Ha!  Hey, I did actually wear it once or twice before I gave it away this time. :-)  She told me she has worn it nonstop around her house since I gave it to her. This pattern is fantastic. It stays on your shoulders and doesn’t fall off like most shawls.
 I bought some yarn this weekend to make another one for myself. I’m really hoping to have it to use at the lake this summer on those chilly summer evenings in the mountains. I think after I finish Pipers sweaters that will be my next project.

A few snow photos.

And this is our front yard.  About 4 feet of snow right now.  You can see where the electric meter reader tried to wade through the snow. It was up to his waist!

And Frannie, my faithful knit companion. I really don’t know what I did without her.

I love having an animal snuggling with me on my lap while I  knit or crochet.

I hope you’re all having a lovely week so far and staying warm...or cool if you’re down under. I had my eyes examined yesterday and ordered new glasses this morning. I also had physical therapy this morning and I see the actual spine doctor tomorrow. Fun times! Is this what it means to be old? Doctors appointments constantly?  The physical therapist isn’t very happy with my progress and has a put notes in the computer for the doctor tomorrow. He’s recommending a more aggressive therapy. Whatever that means. Oh well. I just keep plugging on. What else can you do?

I have still been knitting on the little mini socks for the Veterans Home, but have set them aside for a couple of days to do Pipers sweater. I also think they will make a lovely summer project, because they are small.  They work up so quickly and it’s very satisfying to knit them.

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9

“A person may think their own ways are right, but the Lord weighs the heart.”Proverbs 21:2

Blessings,
Betsy