Friday, January 31, 2020

🎵🎶Happy Birthday to Me🎶🎵

60! Sixty. Turning 60 really doesn’t bother me at all. None of my birthdays have. You can’t change anything can you? There is no use being upset about it. Birthdays do tend to make me reflect on my life though. People keep telling me it’s just a number. Other people tell me I’m young and I’m just a baby. Well, I have a confession to make. I feel everyone of my 60 years today. But, I am very, very grateful for the blessings that God has put in my life over these past 60 years. 

I have the best husband any woman could ever hope to wish for.  He loves me through thick and thin and treats me like a queen! I have wonderful children and grandchildren who I love more than life itself and I miss every single day. I have friends. Very good friends. Both in real life that I can see and in this strange world that we call blog land. I thank God for each and every one of you.

Most of all I am thankful for a God who loves me and knows me inside and out.  He knew me before I was even born and created me to be who I am today.

 Jenny & Neal brought me this beautiful cake and flowers Thursday night for Bible study. It was delicious!

She even brought me a miniature chocolate cake because she knows how much I love chocolate. The bigger cake was a white cake with a layer of Bavarian cream. Yum! There was a funny story with this cake. She had asked for it to say “60 years Betsy.  Many happy returns”.  When she went to pick it up it said “GO Betsy,  Many happy returns!”  Ha!  Apparently the person writing it down and the person decorating the cake weren’t the same person.  I think that’s hilarious. I could use some “GO Betsy” days.  I think they did a beautiful job correcting it.

We will do our normal Saturday morning breakfast with friends and otherwise have no plans at all. Maybe we’ll go out to dinner, but maybe will just stay home.  As long as I’m with Dennis it will be a wonderful day.

Thank you all for your sweet birthday wishes on my last post. I appreciate them very much.

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mothers womb.”  Psalm 139:13

Many Blessings,
Betsy



Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Another month gone by...

How did that happen? How could it possibly be January 29 already? My birthday is on Saturday and it’s a big one. I’m going to be 60! Now really, how did that happen? I used to think anyone over 40 was old. Ha! I passed that by years ago. We don’t have any huge plans. I imagine we’ll go out to breakfast with our friends as we do most Saturdays and then come home for a cozy day in.

We have had rain every day since the day it stopped snowing a couple of weeks ago.  It has washed almost all of the snow away, although we still have a few inches in our front yard. That’s OK. I would much rather have rain than snow, but a little sunshine would be nice too.  I took this photo as I waited in the cardiologists office yesterday morning. This is what our skies have looked like for a couple of weeks now. This photo is looking south-east towards Idaho.

I have been busy crocheting on a rectangular blanket. So far this is about 36 inches wide and 44 inches long. I’m going to make it as big as I can until I run out of yarn in these colors. I’m hoping it’s big enough for the top of a bed. I like the more muted colors and I’m enjoying the rhythm of the granny stitch. I don’t have to think of it at all. Every round I flip it over and go the other way. That is supposed to help with the stretching and the misshapen  results that come when you just go round and round on a big granny square.

I started ”The Amulet” shawl by Helen Stewart last weekend. I had actually gotten about 4 inches further than this photo shows before I had to tink it back to the color change. I had miss counted on the first row of the lighter color. It was actually a lot of work that I had to take out because in that 4 inches were five rows of beading. Placing beads is always more time consuming.

I have now reknit the first row of beads.  Can you see them?  There!  Towards the bottom!  I have knitted this shawl before and I think it’s a beautiful pattern. I can’t believe I messed up almost 20 hours of work by my silly mistake.

I hung the Valentines decorations on the island yesterday. The hearts are crocheted using Teresa’s free Scandinavian heart pattern that she has on her blog. You can find her on my sidebar as Teresa Kasner and I believe the heart pattern is still on her sidebar.  I made this several years ago and I still think they are one of the best patterns I’ve used for crocheting hearts.

Even though the weather outside is dreary, my Hoosier cabinet says spring to me. The sheep, (and alpaca), have all gathered in a flock and are waiting for the grass outside to turn green. :-)

I’m sorry that my photos today have a lot of shadows in them. It can’t be helped with the clouds outside. I never take very good photos but these are even worse than normal!

My visit with the cardiologist went well yesterday. He adjusted my meds again and they did an EKG. It must have been fine because they didn’t say anything about it! Ha! I have to do downloads for my pacemaker every week for the next month so he can see what’s happening with the medication adjustment. I am feeling much better than I was last week. Apparently my heart has been racing a lot due to the tachycardia and that was why I wasn’t feeling well and having chest pain. I hope it’s finally right this time and I can get on with my life.  

It was my last time seeing this particular cardiologist unless something goes terribly wrong with me before July. After 23 years as my cardiologist, he is retiring. He’s going to take the summer off and then start doing pro bono heart surgeries on children around the world. He has actually been trying to retire since January 2017 but they kept scheduling him with patients! He told me yesterday he’s finally put his foot down and said enough is enough.
I have been assigned a new cardiologist/electrophysician who has a wonderful reputation and several of our friends actually see him too.  Although my current doctor can be rather abrupt, I have a lot of faith in him and it will seem strange to see someone new.  He actually hugged me when we said goodbye yesterday.  That was a first as he’s usually fairly impersonal.

It’s always something isn’t it? Next week I go for another round of injections in my back. I am really hoping and praying that they work this time around.  The last two sets have done nothing and my back seems to be worse every week. I have some traveling I really want to do this year, so something needs to be done. I just don’t know what.

I’m wishing you all a wonderful week and I’m trying to keep up with your blogs.

“From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the name of the Lord is to be praised.” Psalm 113:3

Blessings,
Betsy



Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Knitting

And Crochet....  I do love them both.  It was snowing, snowing, snowing and now it’s raining, raining, raining, but the temperature has gone up to 40F and I have high hopes that the rain will wash away some of the snow. This was the view off of our deck as of Sunday afternoon.  We have about 2 feet of snow in our front yard but I’m hoping it will rapidly go away with the rain and warmer temperatures.

I am two weeks ahead on my mitten project. If you remember, I have set myself a goal of two pair per week. Then I should be in good shape by next fall with no rushing to get to my goal of 125 pair.

Two more hats are done for the nursing home project.

I finished a dish cloth at church on Sunday.
My current project is a granny square baby blanket made with Lion Brand Ice Cream Big Scoop yarn in the blueberry color way.

I was FaceTiming with Piper this morning while crocheting on it and she informed me that her music teacher is having a baby boy and asked if she could have this blanket to give it to her. Of course I said yes! I just have the border to put on it and then I’ll wash it and send it off in the mail to my precious little girl to give to her teacher. I am so glad she has a heart for giving to others.  It was bound for the donation pile anyway and Piper is a very good person to donate to!

As I said, Piper and I FaceTimed for quite a while this morning. They had a snow day! She propped me up on a chair and proceeded to draw pictures for me, as she’s showing us in the picture I took on my computer below. We also had a few math lessons and a lesson about the different seasons. She is a very good teacher. She has an easel with a whiteboard on it and she lines all of her babies up on the floor and teaches them.  She is a demanding teacher and expects you to listen to her very closely. Ha! I can tell that she is mimicking her own teacher and I think it’s wonderful. She has done this ever since she started kindergarten and it makes me wonder if she’s destined to be a teacher someday. She doesn’t seem to be losing interest in it at all.  Just look at that smile!  How I wish I could feel her arms around me giving me a big hug right now. 
  
I have not been feeling very well, with some strange chest pain and extreme fatigue along with a lump in my throat that seems to come and go. Very odd. I did send in a download from my pacemaker yesterday to the cardiology office pacemaker department and they said everything looked fine with it, so I have an actual appointment with the cardiologist next Tuesday morning. I would appreciate any prayers you would like to send up as I’m not quite sure what’s going on. I’ve been staying home and just taking it easy since Sunday.

One thing they did discover with my download yesterday was that my transmitting device is not working correctly. It kept giving error messages. So I have a new one coming in the mail next week. The new one will download the information from my pacemaker and then transmit the information through my smart phone. Another learning curve for me as I have to figure out how to operate it.

I hope you are all doing well and staying warm if you’re in the cold areas.  I’m also praying that the rains will continue for those of you in Australia.

“From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the name of the Lord is to be praised.”  Psalms 113:3

Blessings,
Betsy

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Snow!

Happy Tuesday!  When I say it’s been snowing, I’m not kidding. We have had to shovel and/or snow blow every day since Dennis came home on January 4.  Somedays both have been done several times in one day! And as I look out the window it is still coming down right now. I have shoveled twice today and Dennis shoveled before he went to work this morning. I also took the snowblower up and down both sides of the street doing everyone’s sidewalks for the school kids.  Fat lot of good that did! Ha! You can’t even tell where the snowblower went.

This is what it looks like out my patio door right now.

I took this on Sunday as we drove home from church. We have received about 12 more inches at our house since then.

Because I have been stuck inside a lot, I finished all three sweaters for the girls. This is the Olinda pattern in size 4 toddler for Maddie.
This one is a size 6X in the same pattern and it is for Aria.

And this is the “Childs Smocked Cardigan” and it is also a size 4 for Maddie. Dennis took Aria’s sweater to her when he went to Omaha.  Both girls are our great nieces. They are Dennis‘s sister Karen‘s granddaughters.

I wanted to show you my prayer notebook. When I say I’m praying for you, I really am. Your names go in this notebook and I pray for you and whatever you have asked prayers for, both in the morning and at night. It helps me to remember when I actually write your names down and what specifically I’m praying for. Then, as I hear updates from you, I can go back in and put a note in the journal. Really, I just wanted you to know that they are not empty words when I say I’m praying. I really am.  I care very much about each one of you.

I was reminded yet again today of how much we don’t know what will happen to us at any given moment. Yesterday I was talking on Facebook with a friend in Omaha that I have known since I was a young teen. Anita was a quadriplegic from a swimming accident when she was a teenager. She was just a year or two older than Dennis and I. As I said, we were chatting back-and-forth yesterday on Facebook Messenger.  When her brother stopped in at the house to check on her late in the afternoon, she was gone. I have no idea what her cause of death was, but when we were chatting a few hours earlier there was certainly no indication of anything being wrong. It was a reminder to me, yet again, that we just never know when we will take our last breath. I need to remember to live my life loving people and telling them how I feel about them every chance I get.

I hope you all do the same. I also hope you are all having a wonderful week, enjoying whatever weather has been given to you and each and every day that you have to live this life we’ve been blessed with.

“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”  Psalm 73:26

Blessings,
Betsy

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

More Sweaters

It is a veritable sweater factory here! I finished knitting the second white sweater. The first one was a size 6X, this one is a size 4 and will be for Maddie. I haven’t washed and blocked it or sewn the buttons on yet, but here is the second sweater.  The pattern is “Childs Smocked Cardigan.”  I’ve had it a long time and I don’t remember where I got this pattern but I think it might have been Ravelry.  Although that sleeve on the right looks longer because of the way the sweater is laying, it is exactly the same length as the left sleeve!  Ha!

This next sweater is called the “Olinda,” and it is a paid for pattern off of Ravelry.  As I started knitting this sweater which is a size 4 for Maddie, I remembered how poorly this pattern was written. After several frogging’s around the armhole, I finally remembered what I needed to do to correct the pattern. Hopefully, when I start Aria’s size 6X it won’t be as much of a struggle.   One sweater is this light lavender color and Aria’s will be a light pink.  I’m going to knit cap sleeves. The pattern gives you options of long sleeves or cap sleeves. Piper has several sweaters in this pattern in various colors and wears them almost constantly. 

A few people asked who Maddie and Aria are. They are Karen‘s little granddaughters and she wanted them to have the sweaters from her. Of course I said I would be happy to make them.

Two more pair of mittens were completed.

Mandy took some photos last week while Dennis was in Omaha. His sister Karen is on the left, then Dennis and his mom.  Mom doesn’t look like she’s 84 does she?

Let’s add Miss Piper into the picture.
And finally, Piper took this picture so Mandy could join them. I think she did a great job.
I have some errands this morning and this afternoon I will go to the retirement home to knit with the ladies there. Tomorrow night is our Bible study Christmas party here at our house and it’s also Dennis’s 64th birthday.  Where does the time go?  Mandy will be 40 on the 20th and I will be 60 on February 1.  Sixty!  Where did that come from? :-)

Dennis had his endoscopy on Monday and he did very well. The doctor said that by just looking, it doesn’t look as though the Barrett’s Esophagus has progressed any since his last endoscopy three years ago.  That is VERY good news. Of course they did biopsies and we have to wait a week or two to find out the results.  

Although it has snowed a few times in the last week, the daytime temperatures have been in the 40s and everything has melted quickly. However, that is supposed to change and change drastically. This weekend we are supposed to get snow. Lots of snow.  And the highs are predicted to be in the single digits next week. Yuck. I was hoping we would get off with an easier than normal winter this year but apparently that is not going to happen.

I hope you are all having a good first full week of 2020.  I’m keeping all of my friends in Australia in my prayers. The fires there sound horrendous.  May God protect everyone, especially the firefighters who are putting their lives in danger daily.

I thought I would share my favorite Bible verse with you today.

“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”  Isaiah 40:31

Blessings,
Betsy





Friday, January 3, 2020

Friday, Friday

Hello again.  I’m back quicker than usual.  I keep forgetting to show you all of the beautiful Christmas cards we received this year. I still have them hanging up. I like to enjoy them until sometime around the middle of January and then I’ll take them down and re-read them all again. Thank you to each of you who sent me a card. 

You can also see a few of my angels from my angel collection up on top. Dennis built this shelf above our patio doors for me to display them.

Christmas decorations are gone, I even took down the outside lights yesterday, but my snowmen stay out until around Valentine’s Day.  The card on the right was handmade by Shaz in Australia. Teresa made me the sweet nativity that is next to it in the jar.  It stays on display all year.
The candle was a gift from Alicia for Christmas and smells heavenly. It is lavender and vanilla.  I have only been been lighting it for an hour or so each evening in order to make it last longer.
Another of my snowmen and the cute purple sheep that was also a gift from Teresa. Please excuse the hot pad on the counter. I’m in the process of making my lunch and I didn’t see it there when I took the photo.

More snowman! I adore Olaf from the Frozen movies.

The sweater that Dennis took back with him is a hit! Here is Aria wearing her new sweater and it fits. I believe a lot of you thought it was a baby sweater, but it was actually a toddler size 6X. A lot bigger than a baby sweater!

I have now started working on Maddie’s sweater. This one is a size 5.

Mandy, Papa and Piper went to the zoo yesterday before they went to Grandma’s house. Karen had several doctors appointments in the morning, so they decided to take that opportunity to go to the zoo.  Omaha has an amazing zoo, the Henry Dorley Zoo. If you’re ever there you should check it out. I remember going as a kindergartner in school. We had a zoo pass when our children were small and we used to go several times a week.  It’s so big you can’t see it all in one trip.

Piper received this Lego set for a Frozen II jewelry box from Amazon last week. They have no idea who sent it, it’s a total mystery, but she and Papa had a wonderful time putting it together yesterday. I think this little girl is going to be lost when her Papa comes home tomorrow night.

Sunset last night off of our back deck looking towards Mt. Spokane. Isn’t it gorgeous?

I wasn’t feeling very well when Dennis left Tuesday morning and I sent a download of my pacemaker in to the cardiologist. Imagine my surprise when they called me back very quickly. It usually takes several days to hear back! Apparently my heart rhythm has been a bit wonky and so he adjusted my medications yesterday.  No wonder I was feeling so icky.  I am exhausted today, but I guess that’s part of adjusting to the new dosages. It’s always something isn’t it?

I am so ready for Dennis to come home but I’m  very glad he’s had this time to spend with our family.  This house gets very lonely and quiet with just me and Chloe here. I can’t imagine what it would be like without her here.  I’m wishing you all a wonderful and relaxing weekend.  Do you all have big plans?

“Sing to the Lord a new song, for He has done marvelous things.”  Psalm 98:1

Blessings,
Betsy



Wednesday, January 1, 2020

It’s 2020 already!

Who would have thought that the year 2020 would be here so soon? It seems like just yesterday we were all concerned about Y2K and now here we are, 20 years later!  I remember everyone at work being very worried that the computers were going to crash at midnight in 2000 and yet everything rolled along just the same.

Dennis is in Omaha with family, and I have to admit that spending my first ever New Year’s Eve alone was a bit strange. Of course I knitted and I watched a lot of U-Tube videos. Alex and Tara FaceTimed with me from Liverpool, England where they had taken a Beatles tour earlier in the day. It was wonderful to see their faces.

I have some very good news. When they did a scan on Karen on Monday, they found that the spots on her lungs and her liver have disappeared! It is truly a miracle and we attribute it to all of the people who are praying for her. Please keep up the prayers. She sees another doctor tomorrow and as of now she still has cancer in her pancreas, lymph nodes and bones.  We do know that miracles happen and are happening for her.  I am very grateful that Dennis is getting this time to spend with her.

He will be home Saturday night. I was supposed to drive him to the airport yesterday morning early, early, early. However, it snowed all night and he did not want me driving those roads in the dark with so much snow. So he left his truck in the parking garage at the airport.  It was snowing so hard that they sat on the plane at the gate for over 2 1/2 hours before they could take off. They couldn’t keep up with removing the snow and deicing the plane. Thank goodness we had allowed a long connection in Seattle because of this possibility.
Almost 7 1/2 hours after he left our house, he flew back over Spokane on his way to Omaha!  He had to fly from Spokane to Seattle and catch a connecting flight to Omaha. How crazy is that? 7 1/2 hours to end up just above where you started out!

Then, Neal came over and shoveled the driveway out for me when he got off work in the afternoon. We have the most wonderful friends and family you can imagine. I haven’t left the house since Monday and I’m not sure if I will go anywhere today or not. I have a hankering for fried chicken and I may just treat myself and do something I never do. Go through the Kentucky Fried Chicken drive-through!

As I said, I have been getting some knitting done. I finished the sweater just in the nick of time to run to JoAnns and buy some buttons and get them sewn on before Dennis left.

I also made five hats for the ladies at the retirement home to donate.

And I made two pair of mittens yesterday.  A pair for me and a pair for the school children.

Now, there is a story about these mittens I made for myself.  Dennis and I took a walk up at the lake on Sunday to check on the trailers. I had my mittens on because it was very cold.  I remember having them on when I got back into the car. However, when I went to put them on Monday morning for the drive to JoAnns for buttons, they were nowhere to be found. I searched the car. I searched the house. I looked in all of my coat pockets, even the coat I didn’t wear! Nowhere! I thought I must have dropped them when we stopped in the little town of Deer Park on the way home.  

I went ahead and did all of my errands including a few other stops at the grocery store, Walmart and Staples. I had been talking about making a second pair anyway, so I could have a pair in my dress coat and in the coat I wear with jeans. I had just never done it.  So, I went back out Monday afternoon to Hobby Lobby and picked up another skein of the exact same color because I like them so much. When I opened my purse to pay for the yarn guess what was in my purse? My mittens! I have never, ever put my mittens or gloves in my purse before. Plus, I had paid for things at JoAnns, Staples, Walmart, and the grocery store and I never saw the mittens in my purse. How does that happen? I went ahead and bought the yarn and made another pair of mittens anyway! I think I’m losing my mind.  That was my first purchase with my Christmas gift card. :-)

This is Papa‘s plane taxiing to the gate in Omaha yesterday. Does someone look excited to see him?  I can’t believe they had such a good view of the gates from where they were waiting.

This one is really blurry because they were both in motion but it gives you an idea of how excited they were to see each other.  I love this picture.  A moment later and she was in his arms.

I had a few other lovely goodies arrive in the mail. First of all was a sweet card with a Christmas tree framed behind a sweet window with birds. Sam who is “farmgirlsam” on my side bar, sent Dennis and I this beautiful ornament that she made. Unfortunately it was broken when I received it but I have a glued it back together as best I can and I will cherish it. Thank you so much Sam.  We love it.

I also got this handy needle sizer from Judy who is “cozythings” on my sidebar.  It is the perfect size and I can keep it right next to my knitting chair.  I can’t believe how much I have used it already.  Thank you so much Judy!

I hope that you are all having a wonderful New Year’s day and are finding some time to do whatever makes you happy. I’m wishing you all a wonderful 2020. I am so grateful to be starting the year out with wonderful friends like I have here through this blog. You have all come to mean so much to me.

“He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.”  Ecclesiastes 3:11

Blessings and love,
Betsy