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Friday, May 29, 2020

Life goes on.....

Life does go on doesn’t it? I would love to thank each and everyone of you for your wonderful and heartfelt expressions of sympathy on the death of my brother Roger.  I try not to hate anything or anyone but my friends, I hate this virus. I detest what it’s doing to people and to families. How it is dividing our country and indeed the entire world. I pray that each one of you and your families stay healthy and strong and avoid catching this. I mentioned to someone this morning that Roger had died and their first question was did he have any underlying conditions? Well yes, yes he did. That’s why he had been in the hospital and then the rehab where we’re sure he got it. But really, what does that matter? Does that make his life any less valuable because he had underlying conditions? Maybe people are just wanting to feel better and think that if they don’t have have anything wrong with them they’ll be fine. Well, from what I have seen and read, this virus affects healthy and sick people. Young and old. Black and white. Stay safe my friends.

Now on to a happier subject. I have spent all week at the lake, just coming home last night. While there I made these mittens.

I also started a baby blanket of little granny squares. One of you recently made one like this, but I cannot remember who made it or the name of the pattern. I will try to remember to take a picture when I go back out.  I have about 20 squares done right now.

I also started a new pair of socks last night using the plain vanilla pattern and a one by one ribbed cuff.

I got up at 5 AM this morning to go to the grocery store. I wanted to be there when they opened, before the crowds came. And it worked! There were only about 10 of us in the entire store. I had my mask on and I ran around stocking up on the things that for some reason I can never get on the grocery pick-up orders. They always say that certain items are out of stock and yet this morning there were plenty on the shelves. Things like sliced cheese! Every time I have put cheese on my order it has come back out of stock. I wonder why? I still was unable to find Clorox or Lysol wipes, but I still have one container here at home.

Now I should be able to get by doing grocery pick up orders again for a few months.  That is a relief. The events of this last week brought home just how fragile life is. So many people seem to not be taking any of this seriously.  I am trying to do everything I can to keep myself and Dennis safe in these trying times.

I’m praying for you all to stay healthy.  Thank you again for all of the love and support you’ve shown to me this past week. I appreciate it more than you can know. 

Blessings and love, Betsy




Sunday, May 24, 2020

He’s gone

Just dropping in today to let you know my brother Roger passed away this morning from Covid-19 around 9:00 central time without regaining consciousness.  My niece called me and then his nurse also called to tell me about his last moments.  I’m so impressed by the care he received from the staff at Methodist Hospital in Omaha.  It’s very hard being the only family member that doesn’t live close by in times like this.

I also want to thank each and every one of you for your prayers and the love you’ve shown to me on my last post. You are all so thoughtful and so very important to me.  I appreciate each of you.

Please continue to pray for his children, Becky, Michael and Terry as they were unable to be with him since he entered the hospital.  Also for my other brother and sister Lynn and Melanie.

We’ve been told there will not be a funeral because of the virus.  Not being able to say goodbyes will be very difficult.

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”  Matthew 5:4

Thank you all again and many blessings and much love,
Betsy

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Prayers Please?

I’m writing this Saturday evening and would like to ask for prayers for my big brother Roger.  He is not doing well at all and he isn’t expected to make it through the night.   Yesterday he was up in a chair eating breakfast.  This COVID-19 is terrible.  It kills so fast.  Please don’t think it’s nothing serious or a made up virus.

His nurse face-timed with me awhile ago so I could talk to him and say good-bye.  He is non-responsive and was gasping for air.  It’s a terrible, terrible thing.  The nurse is a saint.  She looked dreadful.  I told her I would pray for her too and she started crying.  She said this is the hardest thing she’s ever done and that she hates this disease with everything in her.  She said it’s so hard to have no families to hold their loved ones hand so she tries to be there until the end.  I can’t even imagine.

Here are the four of us years ago.  I believe it was around 1964.  Roger is the sailor boy, Lynn on the right.  Front row is Melanie on the left and I’m the baby.  My Mom made Melanie’s and my coats out of Pendleton wool scraps from the throwaway bin.  (My Dad and Mom both worked at and retired from Pendleton Woolen Mills.)
  
This was last year.  From left to right, Lynn, Me, Melanie, Roger.

I appreciate any prayers and love more than you know.  They mean a lot and thank you all.

Blessings,
Betsy

Thursday, May 21, 2020

A week?

My goodness. Has it been a week since I posted? The time is flying by. I spent five days at the lake and it’s hard to get Internet out there sometimes so if I seem to be behind in commenting on your blogs or not posting as much, that could be the reason why. I apologize in advance for that.  But I have been busy. I finished knitting the Reyna shawl with the yarn that Meredith sent to me.  Here it is before I had a chance to block it.

A bit of a closer look.  This was so much fun to knit and it is a free pattern on ravelry.  This was a very quick knit and only took me three days.  I didn’t even feel like I knitted on it that much, because we were at the lake and doing some long walks, etc., so there was no chance of getting bored with it at all. The color changes were wonderful and the yarn was so soft. 

Have any of you ever heard of “Knitted Knockers?“ There is a group online that makes these for mastectomy patients. I have made dozens of them in various sizes and donated them to local oncologists. A good friend at the lake had a double mastectomy about three weeks ago. Would you believe she got out of surgery at 10:30 and was home by 2:30 the same day?  All because of COVID-19. She has ended up back in the hospital twice for emergency surgeries because they sent her home so soon. They sent her home with FIVE drains! Two of the drains got plugged inside her body and they had to go in and put new ones in. It’s been very traumatic for her.  She still has two drains!  They won’t be able to do reconstructive surgery until this virus threat is over. She has been very depressed because the doctor told her the gel prosthesis that most people use will not work for her because of her scar locations.  I asked her if she had ever heard of Knitted Knockers and she was thrilled when I offered to make her a set. I have made them before for ladies from church who have had mastectomy‘s. They all love them. This is what one looks like finished.  This is showing the front and  the second one is on the needles.
The next picture is the back. You leave the tail on the yarn so the recipient can remove or add fiberfill if they want them less full. The pattern has sizes from A to DD!  This one is a C. Some ladies like them crazy wild colors, but I usually make them in neutral so anybody would be happy to wear them. They are so light and can just be thrown in the washing machine. You have to use a very, very soft cotton yarn so as not to irritate the new scar tissue.

My friend was so happy that I offered to make these for her, that she showed up at the door of the camper the next morning with these beautiful roses for me. I had told her I wouldn’t take any money for them and she’s so grateful.

If you are a knitter and you’re interested in making these, most oncology offices are happy to accept them. Or, you can send them to the national office unstuffed to save postage and they will stuff them and mail them on to ladies who have requested them. Hundreds of thousands of these are given out every year. It only takes about two hours to knit one. The pattern is free online, just look for Knitted Knockers!  They are very simple and just use the knit, purl, SSK, k2tog and m1 stitches.  If you can knit socks, these would be a breeze!

We were sitting outside the camper on Saturday and this huge Navy plane landed in the lake directly behind our camper. It is very blurry because I zoomed in as much as I could with my iPhone and he landed closer to the opposite shore of the lake.  It was a huge plane. First he buzzed the lake to see where the boats and kayakers were and then he circled around and landed. Almost immediately he took off again so he must have been practicing his landings and take-offs. There were a lot of kayakers in the immediate vicinity. I would have been terrified.

I took this as he flew directly over our trailer after taking off.

And finally, here is Chloe laying in front of the fireplace at the trailer. She loves it there, especially when we have the fire going during the evenings and the warm air is blowing right over her bed. Yes, I would say she is a bit spoiled. Ha!

My 74 year old brother Roger was recently in the hospital having something done with his pacemaker and then was sent to a rehab center for two weeks to recover before going home. He was only home for two days before he was admitted back into the hospital in Omaha with COVID-19. I suspect he picked it up at the rehab center. Please be in prayer for him. Obviously no one is allowed to go visit him. The nurse told my niece yesterday that he was sitting up and eating breakfast, so at least right now he doesn’t seem to be too ill. I would appreciate prayers for him.

I hope you are all doing well. Wishing you a wonderful weekend with whatever plans you have for the holiday. I know it will be much different than most of us usually have.

Blessings and love always, 
Betsy


Tuesday, May 12, 2020

A Beautiful Weekend

We had a wonderful weekend out at the lake. I just came home this morning and haven’t even had a chance to read blogs yet. It seems everyone was at the resort this weekend, but it was relatively easy to keep a safe distance from people. We really only do things with Larry & Nita and Paul & Lori and we made sure to sit a safe distance apart when we were outside and no one went into anyone else’s trailers. It does seem odd not to be sharing meals while were there as we’ve done that for the past 9 years. But, we are all eating in our own trailers and not sharing any food.

I thought I would share some pictures of the trailer as I can’t remember if I did last year or not. I think I did, so please excuse me if you’ve seen this all before.

The living room. On the left is a set of recliner’s that have heat and massage in them!  The sofa makes into a queen size bed.

This fireplace will heat up the entire trailer, but we do have a furnace too. The pantry is on the right. I really enjoy having that.

The kitchen. After our last trailer that only had about 1 1/2 foot of counter space, I am really enjoying cooking in here.

The bedroom. Please excuse the chairs at the bottom of the bed. We were getting ready to go home when I took the photo and we always bring these inside so they don’t get rained on. Behind those mirrors is a huge closet with a washer and dryer inside, along with shelves and a hanging clothes bar.

It came with the TV in the bedroom and a nice dresser.

There is another closet on the opposite wall with some drawers and through the door you can see down the hall the table that I forgot to take a picture of. Please excuse the little bag of garbage by the door, as I said we were getting ready to go home!

I couldn’t get a good picture of the bathroom, but we have a nice size shower and a couple of storage cabinets in there too. I seriously could live in this trailer.

Look at this wonderful Mother’s Day card from Piper and Mandy. They drew around her hand...

And she came up with the idea of folding the paper to make it pop up. I always say this to the grandkids.  “I love you this much and I wrap it all up and put it inside you.”  And I spread my arms open wide when I say it. I love that she remembers that.

A couple of people asked me what pattern I use for my dresses so here it is. I like that it makes all sizes from size 8 to 18.   It is super easy.

A few people at our church had the idea to make up little packets and deliver these to all the mothers in the church this weekend. They had them in beautiful cellophane bags all tied up with ribbons. Wasn’t this a nice idea?

I got seven more pairs of mittens done.
And now I’m going to try to get online and read everyone’s blogs for today. Take care and stay safe out there.

Blessings,
Betsy

Friday, May 8, 2020

Dresses and Snakes

Wow, that’s an unusual title isn’t it?  I thought I would pop in and show you a picture of the dresses I made this week before I forget. Now mind you, I am not the seamstress that most of you are. These are very, very simple dresses. Shoulder and side seams and interfacing around the neck and little sleeves. A quick hem and it’s done. If I were able to sit at my machine and do it all in one sitting I could probably make dress in 1 1/2 to 2 hours. But since I have to take frequent breaks from my machine, it takes me quite a bit longer. I couldn’t find a place to hang them up, so here they are hanging on a curtain rod! See, they don’t look like much, other than sacks of potatoes hanging here!

I add a couple of tucks on the front because the necklines gape otherwise.

Waving hello!  Please ignore the box on the floor behind me. It’s the “camp box” where I put things as I think about them that I need to take to the trailer.

These are such comfortable dresses. I much prefer dresses over pants. I know a lot of people can’t understand that, but to me they’re cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. I have dresses made from the same pattern that have no sleeves, that I wear all summer long.

Another project that I had was my clothes pin bag that I’ve had for 41 years. It was completely falling apart. I looked on Amazon at new ones but I didn’t see any I liked and the prices were higher than I wanted to pay. And then it struck me. I have lots of scrap fabric and I still have the frame from the old one. It took me about five minutes to make a new bag and attach it to the frame.  That blue hanger on the left was purchased at the ¥100 store in Tokyo. It’s like the dollar store. It is the handiest little gadget and even though it’s plastic it holds more than you would think it would without breaking.
Some of these clothes pins are also 41 years old! Has anyone else noticed the old ones are a lot sturdier than the ones you buy now?

And now for the story of the snake.  Last weekend our friends Kevin and Lana, were hiking in Riverside State Park which is on the outskirts of Spokane. Lana had walked ahead about 20 feet further on the path to read a sign while waiting for Kevin to catch up. All of the sudden he heard something and he looked down and there was a rattlesnake that was approximately 8 to 10 feet long!  That was a shocker! Lana had just walked past it and since she’s hard of hearing she didn’t hear the rattle.  He sent us photos but do you think I can find them on my phone? Nope. Suffice it to say that they had one scary encounter. It took them about 20 minutes to figure out a way to maneuver around the snake. That’s the first I’ve heard of rattlers in the park. I wonder if it’s because there are so few humans out and about now. It seems that the wildlife is getting much braver.

This was a meme that our son Jamie sent to our family chat group.  It cracked me up because it’s so true.

Yesterday I made my first trip to Costco since all of this isolation stuff began.  I had to pick up Chloe‘s prescription or I never would have ventured in. I thought as long as I was there I would buy a package of paper towels and toilet paper and Clorox wipes so I wouldn’t have to go back again anytime soon. Nope. They were completely out of stock! I couldn’t believe it. After over two months people are still buying everything up as quick as it hits the floor? It’s insanity. I was able to buy laundry detergent and dishwasher tabs and that was it. People were loading their carts up with meat while I was there. I didn’t even go in that department. If people would just buy what they needed, as they needed it, there would be plenty for everyone. At least I would hope so. I know they’re saying there will be shortages of meat, but when people go in and buy everything on the shelves and leave nothing for anyone else it seems so selfish to me. End of rant!

On that note I will close my mouth, stop complaining, and say goodbye for now.  I hope you all have a wonderful weekend with no snow!  

Blessings,
Betsy


Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Rainy Days

It’s been a beautiful week...until today.  Yesterday it was in the mid 70s and today it is only 42 outside right now at three in the afternoon with rain and wind.  Such a big change!  I harvested the first batch of rhubarb yesterday and gave it to a couple ladies at church.  I took it over and left it in a bag on Nita‘s deck and they picked it up from there. I know I will have a lot more coming from this little patch. It’s quite prolific.

I have been busy sewing this week. Meredith sent me interfacing and I was able to begin putting the dresses together right away, as I already had them cut out. I finished the fourth dress about half an hour ago and they are now in the washing machine. I use the same pattern all of the time because I like it so much.  They are easy and comfortable.  They don’t look like anything special, but I will take a picture for you for my next post.  I’m not sure, but I think my back did a little better. I still had to take frequent breaks away from the sewing machine which is why it took me two days to make these very simple dresses.

I also finished six pairs of mittens since my last post.

Sweet, sweet Meredith sent me the interfacing for my dresses and also in the package were these three gorgeous skeins of buttercream yarn.

I have to find a very special pattern to make with this. Thank you, thank you Meredith. This was so very sweet of you.  I think these colors are fantastic.

Alex sent me some pictures of a walk he took last week near his home in northern Japan. He lives in Towada.  Isn’t this gorgeous?

Cherry Blossoms in bloom.

So pretty.  I had hoped to be visiting him for the cherry blossoms this spring. Obviously that was not to be the case.

This is the art museum in Towada. Alex does a lot of work with them.



Below is a photo Brad’s brother Bill who is an avid bicyclist.  He takes part in Ragbrai every year, which is a bike ride across Iowa. Piper called him last week and told him that she was riding her bike without training wheels now.  So he rode his bike 16 miles from his house to theirs and took her on a 3 mile bike ride and then rode back home. He is such a great uncle to Piper. He has taken her to the College World Series several times. He is definitely what you would call a doting uncle. And just look at Piper’s outfit. From the helmet to the necklace to the bike bag and pink shoes. She is definitely her own girl and couldn’t wait to tell me about the big bike ride.

I hope you’re all hanging in there. I can’t believe that two months have passed by since we all began this strange odyssey that we’re living in.

Blessings and love,
Betsy