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Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Groceries!

I did it!  I had an online pick up order from Walmart on Monday. Originally the website said the soonest time slot they had was April 7 but apparently they had a cancellation. The first thing I did before going to pick up my groceries was set up a cleaning station in the garage.  I had watched a video with a family practice doctor and he showed how to clean your groceries. He recommended dividing your kitchen island in two, but I just used this table.

The video I watched was on YouTube. If you type in “How to safely grocery shop during coronavirus” by Now This News, it should come up for you. I think he explained his reasons for how he cleaned the groceries very well.  He also explained how putting things into the freezer would not kill the virus. He said coronaviruses have been proven to able to survive in freezing temperatures for two years!  One thing he recommends is to take things out of their outer packaging if possible. Things like cereal that has an inside packaging. The inside package would be virus free and throw away the outer cardboard or plastic packaging.  I did this with the Texas toast and the pop-tarts that I purchased.
 
I had never used Walmart pick up before, but it was super easy. They sent me an email telling me when it was ready to be picked up. I just parked in one of the pick up slots and texted them which space I was in and the color of my car. They brought the groceries out and loaded them and even signed for me. I didn’t have to touch anything.

I brought everything home and unloaded the car and put it all on the floor. Then I washed my hands and started cleaning. I washed my hands four times in about 20 minutes.  I think I’m getting paranoid, but our case numbers just keep going up here in Washington.  Unfortunately, I think that’s happening all over the world.

This is the stash of groceries after I disinfected everything. Yes, there are two bags of chips. My husband requested them and they will probably last us about two months. We don’t eat many chips, but I don’t want to have to go back to the store. The one thing I forgot to get was bananas. There are some fresh vegetables, bread and eggs behind that pile of frozen vegetables. And yes, those are pop-tarts in the dish in the front.  I haven’t bought pop-tarts in quite a while now, but I love them and they are comfort food to me. I need comfort food once in a while during these strange days. I offer no apologies! Ha!  I didn’t have to get very many things as I stocked up pretty well months ago. I actually started out just ordering the frozen vegetables, chicken broth, bread and eggs and everything else sort of jumped into my virtual cart.  Dennis takes the frozen burritos to work for his lunch.  He loves them.  I can’t stand them.  :-). They actually had everything I ordered and they only substituted one item. I had ordered Great Value frozen pie crust for chicken pot pies and they substituted Pillsbury crust for the same price. I consider that a win!

Now, onto the Knitting. I finished four more pair of mittens. That brings me up to the end of April for my weekly quotas. I like being ahead of schedule for a change.

I ended up having to frog these socks all the way back to the cuff.  I had set them aside for so long that when I started knitting again I messed up the lattice work on the sides. I am now about back to the same spot once again.  I’m using Dee’s Dublin Bay Socks pattern. It’s really not difficult, it was completely a user error on my part.  In the past I would have called it a blonde moment, but I have more gray than blonde these days. :-)

I’ve done just a bit more on my sock yarn blanket.

This is what I played with Saturday and Sunday. I made a whole flock of peeps! Is that what they’re called? A flock? Anyway, I posted a picture of the ones I made for Piper on Facebook and several people wrote to me asking if I could make some for their grandchildren. They certainly are fun, and addictive too.

I hope you are all weathering the storms of this plague that is sweeping around the world in relatively good spirits. We mustn’t give up. Hang in there my friends. I’m thinking of you all and keeping you in my prayers daily.  Dennis is continuing to go to work every day. They have started a mandatory taking of temperatures when they walk in the building and again at noon. There is one employee that is responsible for reporting everything to the corporate office every day.  Our governor is talking about making even stricter rules about lockdown in our state.  I have certainly found myself wishing frequently that we had retired and moved closer to family already. I really hate being here alone during this time.

Our middle child, Jamie,  lives in Montana and this was posted on our family WeChat conversation this weekend. It certainly made us laugh and it is so true!

Our church secretary has been emailing encouragement to everyone in the congregation each day. This is what she sent today.

Wishing you all safety and good health. (Oh, and the icing on the cake for me? It’s supposed to snow again tonight.) Yuck!

Blessings,
Betsy

Friday, March 27, 2020

Normalcy?

I don’t think I had even heard that word before just a few weeks ago. If I had, it wasn’t used very often. Now every time I turn on the news I hear someone ponder the question, “when will life return to a sense of normalcy?”  Isn’t that a great question that we would all like the answer to?

But, we all get enough of that on the news, so I would like to share some of the things I’ve been doing this week.  I am forever grateful for my huge stash of yarn. I could stay isolated for years and not run out!

I added a couple of inches to my scrap yarn blanket. I am making this using the scraps of a lot of the socks that I have made. You also hold a strand of one continuous color throughout, which I have chosen to be the off-white. It’s Loops and Thread Woolike that I found at Michael’s.   The pattern is the “bits and bobs blanket” and it is a paid for pattern on ravelry. It makes a nice and squishy fabric and I think will be a great blanket when done. It will be a long-term project for me that I pick up and add a few rows between other projects.

I also made four more pair of mittens to add to the bag for the children.

Yesterday I made some Easter peeps. It is the “Easter marshmallow bunnies” pattern by Doni Speigle.  You can find a link to the pattern on Teresa Kasner‘s blog, over on my side bar.

Teresa posted that she had made one of these peeps about three days after I saw and printed out the pattern too! Great minds think alike!  These will go to Miss Piper whenever I can get to the post office again.

I was going through a box of photos on Wednesday and look what I found. This is my handsome husband on June 6, 1987. He worked full-time during the day and went to school four nights a week for seven years to get his bachelors degree. I married a brilliant and very hard-working man.  He hasn’t aged much at all but I certainly did.

Piper was meeting with her teacher online yesterday. After that she had a group chat with a bunch of her schoolmates. How life has changed for these children!  Who would have thought just a month ago that this would be happening?

Alex made it safely back to Tokyo where he is once again in quarantine. That boy seems to spend most of his life in quarantine in some country or another. He flew from London through Qatar to Tokyo. Tara is finally feeling a bit better. We have no idea if they had the dreaded C-virus or something else, as neither of them were able to get tested.

We woke up to several inches of snow.  I think it was on Tuesday but who knows?  I’m losing track of the days when I don’t go anywhere! It melted by noon but it was still a shock as it was completely unpredicted.

Dennis is still going into the office every day as he is considered an essential employee. He has a letter he has to keep in his truck at all times in case he gets stopped. His secretary is still sick. She has been sick for almost 2 weeks and was finally tested on Wednesday, but we have not heard the results yet. I haven’t left the house since my last post.  The soonest day for grocery pick up at our local Walmart is April 6!  I’m glad that we are still OK and don’t really need much of anything.

Last night we met with our Bible study on Zoom. There were 10 of us and it seemed to work out very well. It’s not the same as actually being with them, but it was wonderful to see their faces and hear their voices and for all of us to be able to interact together.  Life has definitely gone through some changes recently.

I hope you are all well and weathering the storm we’re going through as well as possible. I am a homebody  at heart anyway, so this is not difficult for me. It’s just the stress of the unknown and worry about the other people in my life.  I am spending a lot of time in prayer and listening to Christian music and that definitely helps. I have had to wean myself away from watching much news. I’m limiting myself to just a few minutes in the morning and then an hour or so at night with Dennis.  I think that is much better for my mental health!

Take care and wash your hands!

“This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.”  Psalms 118:24

Blessings,
Betsy

Monday, March 23, 2020

Spring!

Spring has sprung! Or as my mom used to always say “Spring has sprung, the grass has rize, I wonder where all the birdies is!”

I miss my mom. She had the best sense of humor and would be weathering these days of isolation just fine. Give her a good mystery novel and her rocking chair and she would be a very happy lady.

How are the rest of you coping? I’m finding myself very, very grateful for social media. We again watched a couple of different church services that were live streamed yesterday and enjoyed them very much but we’re missing seeing our church family too.

I put out some of my spring decorations. Here is the spring egg tree and the sweet little family of bunnies that I found at Hobby Lobby last year.  They make me smile just to look at them.

The birds have come back for the season....

Along with a little bowl of Easter eggs.

I finished another crocheted baby blanket. It will most likely go to the hospital when I am allowed to make a delivery again. I have quite a pile of blankets and baby hats ready to go.

Last night I started a new blanket. It’s called the  Bit’s and Bobs blanket and is a paid for pattern on ravelry.
You use two strands of fingering weight yarn held together. It’s supposed to have quite a pronounced ridge pattern but mine isn’t looking like that for some reason. I’m hoping as I continue on it will be a more defined rib but we’ll see.  It’s not a normal Knit one, Purl one ribbing pattern.  You actually knit into the stitch below. It’s fun, but not turning out quite like I expected it to.

And a friendly reminder for you.

We didn’t go anywhere all weekend but Dennis is back at work today.  We feel very blessed that he is still able to work when so many have lost their jobs, but it is still a worry that he has to be around other people.  They are trying very hard to abide by the 6 foot rule and he assures me he’s sanitizing everything he touches.

I had to go to the bank this morning to get something out of our safe deposit box. The branch lobbies are all closed so I had to call them on Saturday and set up an appointment for 10:00 this morning. They met me at the door and let me in and then unlocked it to let me back out again. Very, very high security. I wore gloves and used hand sanitizer and washed my hands when I got home. I also used Clorox wipes on the steering wheel, seatbelt, car door handles, etc. Now, I don’t have anywhere that I have to go in the foreseeable future. My neurologist’s office even set up a video appointment for me for next week.  Luckily, I love being home so it’s not a problem to stay here.

How are you are coping? Do you have nay new projects that you’re working on?

“Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” Psalm 51:10

“So not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”. Philippians 4:6

Blessings and love,
Betsy


Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Empty Shelves

I just thought I would pop in here and update you on my trip to the grocery store this morning. I was there a little after 5 AM only to find out that they were not opening until 7 AM. This is normally a 24 hour grocery store so I was surprised. There was already a line of people waiting to go in that stretched across the entire front of the store. I got back into my car and went to a different grocery store. The prices are significantly higher than my preferred place to shop, but at least they were open.

For those of you who haven’t been shopping lately, those stories on the news are not exaggerating. The shelves were all but empty. I came home with less than half of my list and it wasn’t a very long list to begin with. There is one aisle that is usually filled with canned vegetables, fruit and juice. There was not one can of vegetables or fruit to be found and only two bottles of the exact juice that I needed to get to take with my medication. I only bought one bottle and left one for someone else, but seriously that was the only thing on that entire long aisle. I truly feel that God put that juice there for me because he knew of all the things on my list, I really needed it.

No flour, sugar, actually I could just go on and on. I have never seen anything like it. Sam just suggested on my last post that next time I do a call in order and either pick it up or have it delivered and I think that’s what I’ll do.  All I really needed was some fresh items like milk, bread, eggs and the juice. I was just going to pick up a few other things to round out our cupboard but I guess not. We may have some interesting meals but we will not starve.  And there was lots of ice cream. So I bought ice cream!

I should have taken some photos but honestly I was just shellshocked. You’ve probably all seen very similar pictures on the news and online anyway

I did start a new baby blanket this afternoon. It’s not very big yet! Ha!

Would you all like to see a picture of Piper?  That always cheers me up!

Their neighborhood sent out a message to everyone saying that since the kids couldn’t do anything fun for St. Patrick’s Day at school, they suggested putting shamrocks in the window so they could take walks and count the shamrocks and know that they were all thinking of each other. Here is Piper on her walk this afternoon counting shamrocks on her little clipboard.  I think it must be cold!

Stay safe out there everyone!

“And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.”  Hebrews 13:16

Blessings,
Betsy

Monday, March 16, 2020

Changes

My goodness, the difference a few weeks can make! Actually the difference just a few days can make! We are pretty much isolated in our homes here in Washington. Schools are closed for six weeks, restaurants and bars, gyms, any groups of people over 50 are not allowed.  The news said that pretty much any public space is closed except grocery stores and pharmacies. I haven’t been out of the house since last Wednesday, so I really don’t know what’s happening in the outside world except what I see on the news. I do plan to get up very early tomorrow morning and go to the grocery store to pick up a few things. My thinking is that by Tuesday the grocery stores will hopefully be restocked from the craziness of the weekend and at 6:00 in the morning not too many people will be there. That’s the hope anyway.

Meanwhile, Dennis and I were able to watch a couple of church services online yesterday. One from the church that we were married in in Omaha and also one from Mandy‘s church. We miss seeing our own church family, but I am so very grateful that this is even a possibility in these days of computers and live streaming.

I have gotten a bit of crafting done over the last week.  I haven’t done much thread crochet lately, so thought I would play with that a little bit. These two doilies were the results.

The first one is about 18 inches across.

This one is about 12 inches.
I also finally finished this pair of socks that I’ve been carrying around for the last two months. All I had done on them were the cuffs and about half of one leg when I opened the bag and started started knitting on them Saturday night. I turned both heels yesterday morning and made short work of both feet.
Knit Picks Stroll fingering yarn in the “Skating Rink” hand painted color way.  I’m not sure how I feel about the fact that the socks don’t match at all from the heel turn down. I guess that part will be hidden in the shoe anyway, right? I really don’t like that big patch of navy on the left sock. It looks like someone spilled a paint can.

Dennis does still have to go into work every day and Brad‘s office in Omaha is still having them go into work too. Jamie‘s company has him working from home. As a nurse, of course Mandy is working, and I worry about her the most. Alex is in London and got sick over the weekend.  Now he and Tara are in another seven day isolation.  He was running a fever but he did not get tested for c-virus. Apparently most places in the world only test if you’re very, very sick, so I have a feeling that many more people actually have the c-virus and aren’t being tested. The numbers that are reflected are probably very low. He is feeling better this morning and we were able to chat by video and that made me feel much better to see him looking more like himself.  Of course we have no way of knowing if he had some other bug that he caught on the plane last week or what exactly it was.

Stay away from people and stay well everyone.  I am envying those of you who live in the country and can take a nice long walks outside right now.

“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”  John 16:33

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”  Isaiah 41:10

Blessings,
Betsy

Monday, March 9, 2020

Monday Catch Up

It’s Monday morning here in Washington state. The news has been crazy all weekend so I thought I would share some happy things with you.

I just took this photo about five minutes ago looking towards Mt. Spokane from our deck. The top of the mountain is hidden in the clouds.  These are the only clouds in the sky. Every other direction is bright blue sky. I’m looking forward to taking a walk this afternoon when it warms up a little more. The sunshine is deceptive. It’s only 33° right now!

Dennis and I took Chloe on a couple of long walks around our neighborhood yesterday just to get out of the house and look what I found! These were hiding under a bush a few blocks away. The first flowers of spring!

I finished the blanket for my blog friend Pammy Sue, and will deliver it to her tomorrow. She had it about halfway done when I started working on it last week. Because of a shoulder injury she wasn’t able to complete it and it is a gift for a friend of hers. This was so much fun to crochet! She used Hobby Lobby‘s “I Love This Yarn” and it is one of the softest blankets I’ve ever worked on. Pammy Sue used a size I crochet hook and to match her gauge I had to go up to an N! I always knew that my crochet and knitting tension is very tight, but I didn’t realize just how tight.

This photo is on top of a queen size bed so you could get an idea of the size. The tension still isn’t exactly the same but unless you are a crocheter, I don’t think you would be able to tell.
  
Four more hats are done for the retirement centers hat project.  Three are crochet and the one on the top left is knitted.

Last night I picked up my baby blocks blanket again.  I have three more repeats of the blocks and it will be finished. I’m not sure who this will go to, probably the hospital as I don’t know of any little baby girls on the way!  it definitely looks more girly than it does boyish.

We have been staying away from crowds lately. I have been advised by my cardiologist’s office that I am in a high-risk group for the c-virus and that I should try to stay away from groups of 10 or more people. We watched the live stream of Mandy‘s church service from Omaha yesterday morning and then read our Bibles together. I sure hope this doesn’t last long because it doesn’t seem right not to go to church on Sunday morning.  I could probably count on both of my hands the number of times I have missed Sunday morning services in the last 50 years or so.  

Our family has big, Big, BIG news! Alex and Tara are engaged! He followed her back to London from Tokyo last week and surprised her. Both families were in on the surprise but Tara had no idea. I think he was down to plan “D” for the actual proposal because of the virus and quarantine issues messing up all of his plans. But, all’s well that ends well, and they are now in quarantine together in London.

I cannot even begin to tell you how excited and happy we are to have Tara joining our family. She is a lovely, thoughtful and sweet and very intelligent woman and we are thrilled to have her as our daughter. Dennis and I have both said we have never seen Alex as happy as he is with Tara.  Lots to be decided now as far as the wedding goes and his life will definitely change a lot since his business is based in Japan and her career is in London.  I’m sure they will work it all out as for what’s best for the two of them and the only thing that could make me happier was if they lived in Spokane! I know that’s not going to happen but a Mom can wish. Ha!

I hope you are all well and stocked up on the necessities. I’m hoping you all have a wonderful Monday. Remember to wash your hands!

“The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.”  Numbers 6:24-26

Blessings,
Betsy

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Some Finishes

I have some finishes for you today.  I have the mittens finished for the month of March.  My goal is two pair a week.  All eight of these pair were made with donated yarn from my friend Kim at “Napier Knits.” These make a total of 10 pair knitted since last Wednesday.  Isn’t that blue yarn fun?

Some of you have you asked to see a photo of Dennis wearing his new sweater so here you go!  He chose the pattern and the yarn. It is Knit Picks Wool of the Andes, 100% wool.

He wore it to work yesterday and said it kept him nice and warm. Isn’t he handsome? We will be married 42 years this year and I think he’s still the most handsome man I’ve ever laid my eyes on.  He has a heart of gold too and would do anything for anybody who needed help.

Next up are two hats to be donated to the nursing homes hat project.  The one on the left is crocheted and the one on the right is knit.

I only put a row or two on the “Baby Blocks” baby blanket this week because I was busy with mittens and finishing Dennis’s sweater.

A bit of a closer look at the stitch definition and the border.

I’m currently working on one more hat and then I will set everything aside to work on a blanket for my blog friend. She has it about halfway done but it is unable to crochet because of a shoulder injury. She was making it as a gift, and I told her I would finish it for her. I’ll take a picture of it next time.

Tara arrived safely back in London a couple of days ago and went directly into quarantine for two weeks in her apartment. Alex followed yesterday and he is now in quarantine in London along with her. I guess if they have to be in quarantine at least they’re together. Neither are showing any signs of illness at this time. Thank goodness.

I just heard on the news that we had two more deaths in Washington state today, bringing it to eight deaths here in the past few days from the coronavirus. I don’t mind telling you that this whole thing is making me more than a little bit nervous. In my last post I told you that my friend Nita had an ablation on her heart on Thursday. She ended up being admitted back into the hospital Saturday morning with pneumonia as a complication from the ablation. She is back home now, but I drove Larry to his appointment with the neurologist today because she obviously doesn’t feel up to going anywhere.  He sometimes has problems remembering/hearing things, so I went with him to be a second set of ears. My goodness me, they had hand sanitizer and signs to wash your hands everywhere. And I mean everywhere. Bottles of hand sanitizer were on every flat surface in that medical building. People are really afraid here.  It’s quite a topic of conversation and there are school closures only 70 miles away.  I would like to say that I think the threat will go away soon, but I don’t think it will.

On a happy note, we have temperatures in the high 50’sF today with white puffy clouds against a bright blue sky. It’s absolutely gorgeous. We definitely had March come in like a lamb this year. I’m wishing you all a lovely Tuesday and that you’re all safe and well.

Today I thought I would share what was  my moms favorite Bible verse with you all.  I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I heard her quote this to me.

“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.” Psalms 121:1, 2

Blessings,
Betsy