Monday, November 30, 2020

November Challenge Day 30

I did it! Today is November 30th and I blogged every single day in November. I have only done this once before, so I’m pretty proud of this. I’m going to try to post a photo every day of what is in my advent calendar in December. There may not be much else because my life is fairly boring, but it’s ridiculous how excited I am about those little socks and I want to share it with all of you.

Today’s challenge question is, why do I blog?  That’s an easy one. It’s because of all of you. As I said in another post this month, I started out blogging to share the Japan trip with everyone who contributed to the gifts Alex and  I delivered. But during that time I made friends. And through the years I’ve made more friends. I guess some people would call us acquaintances, but I think of you as friends and I hope you feel the same way about me. So that’s why I blog. I love reading about your lives in your own blogs, and I love the conversation back-and-forth that the comment section provides for us.

I woke up this morning to 3 inches of beautiful snow. I haven’t watched the weather for a couple days so I was totally surprised to see it. I’m sorry about the screen in this first picture. I didn’t realize how much it would show up. 

It always looks so pretty when it first falls, before it gets driven on. I don’t think it will last very long as it is supposed to be in the upper 30’s for the next day or two.

I’m still working on the socks that will be a Christmas gift. I’m using Knit Picks new Static yarn in the Terrarium colorway. The pattern I’m using is Cindy’s over at the “Delighted Hands” blog on my side bar. It has quickly become one of my favorite “go to” sock patterns. It is an easy four row repeat.

Hoping you all have a wonderful Tuesday. Can you believe it is December already?

Blessings,
Betsy


Sunday, November 29, 2020

November Challenge Day 29

Today’s challenge question is an easy one for me. I’m supposed to tell you what is in my make up bag. I don’t have a make up bag. Pretty much the only thing I use is Chapstick year-round and in the winter I use Oil of Olay on my face at night because my skin dries out so much. That’s it. About 10 years ago I developed an allergy to most make up. I’ve tried hypoallergenic mascara and eyeshadow and I still have an allergic reaction, so now I don’t use anything. Dennis is just fine with no make up, in fact, he prefers it and it sure makes life easy.  

Since I finished the question so quickly I’ll show you a few other things that happened around here today.

Jenny brought my filled Christmas socks back! I crocheted a chain and fastened it to the bottom of the cabinets with Command hooks.  Then, just touching the tops of the socks so I wouldn’t feel what might be inside, I clothes-pinned them to the chain. I love how it turned out.

I moved the tree to the back window so everyone can see it at night as they drive or walk by. I have it sitting on a tray covered with a kitchen towel. I didn’t have any festive Christmas cloth to put on the tray and I’m not about to go shopping to buy one, so that will have to do. I went outside and looked in the window and it looks so happy and cheerful.

Look how cute the socks are hanging there on the chain. Some are lumpy and some are almost flat!  I’m looking forward to opening them every morning in December. I feel like a little kid on Christmas morning.🎄I honestly have no clue as to what is inside any of them.

We got an email from the manager of the RV park. There is going to be a Christmas decorating contest that will be judged on December 23. They have two large gift baskets to give to the winners. We are not competing. We know that our lights are “small potatoes” compared to some of the spots. Some people have gone all out. We’ll have to take a walk around later in December and take some pictures and share them with you. This manager tries to make sure there are fun things happening all of the time. She even did a socially distanced Halloween bash for the children in the park. I thought that was very thoughtful of her because it’s not included as part of her job and sure makes a lot of extra work for her.

I think Dennis would just be just as glad not to have all of the stuff sitting around the RV and putting lights out, etc. But he humors me. He is a good man. All I have to do is suggest something and he jumps right up and takes care of it. I am a lucky, lucky woman and I know it.

We put a string of white Christmas lights out on the bush and stick-like tree in front of our spot. There aren’t a lot of lights, but I do love white lights and even just a few look festive. On the right in the picture, you can see the projector that our neighbors have set up on the side of their trailer with snowflakes that move around.  You can also see a little bit of it in the picture above too.

I think Command strips are the best thing ever invented for RV’ers! I have a waterproof one on the outside next to the door, where I have this Merry Christmas sign hung.

I was watching the news this evening and things sure don’t sound good out there with COVID. It seems a lot of people ignored the recommendations to not gather in large groups for Thanksgiving and over 1 million people flew last Wednesday alone in the U.S. I can’t believe it. Is no one listening out there? I think we’re destined to have a lot of people sick in the next few weeks. A vaccine can’t come quickly enough for me. Are any of you going to get it as soon as you can? I hear a lot of people saying they don’t want to get it because they don’t trust it.  I can’t say for sure what I’ll do, but right this moment I would gladly get it. I would like to have my life back.  One doctor that I saw interviewed on Friday said no one is sure how long the immunity will last from the vaccine. It could be like a flu shot that we have to get every year.

I just keep reminding myself of the verse in the photo below. No matter what happens to me, I know where my final destination will be.

I hope each one of you stays healthy and takes all the precautions you can. I know most of you are. I also pray that your family is staying well too. Wishing you all a wonderful Monday. 
Blessings and hugs, 
Betsy

Saturday, November 28, 2020

November Challenge Day 28

Today’s challenge is to tell you places I’ve traveled. As a child we never traveled anywhere. My parents never took a vacation. Well, they took vacation time, but we never went anywhere. Dennis‘s family always traveled every year. They camped all over the western part of the US. So when we got married we started doing the same thing. We started out in tents. After several rain out trips where our sleeping bags were literally floating around, we moved up to a tiny tent camper. As our family grew we bought a larger tent camper. Then, we bought our first big trailer 10 years ago when we started camping at the lake.  Every year we went to the Black Hills and Mount Rushmore. It is still one of my favorite places in the world. We also went to Yellowstone a lot and to Utah, Colorado, Wyoming and other places in the west. Since we’ve lived in Spokane our favorite vacation spot became the Oregon coast. Most years we would go there camping with the kids.  Dennis and I have also enjoyed going to Glacier National Park several times.

This is the view from our room on one of our Oregon trips to the coast a few years ago. We always stayed at  D’Sands in Lincoln City after we sold our tent camper.

We love Hawaii and I’ve been to Oahu, the big Island of Hawaii and Maui. We’ve actually been blessed to go to Maui four times. I wish I were rich enough to live there!  The best part is there’s not much snow in Hawaii!  This was the view from our room.
This picture was taken underneath the historic banyan tree in Lahaina, Maui.  We have several favorite places that we like to go each time we visit and this is one of them.

The photo below was one of my trips to Washington DC when Mandy lived close by in Maryland.  As you can see, they were working on the capital building. Scaffolding everywhere!

I have been lucky enough to travel to a few places in the world. Dennis used to travel extensively for work and his territory was the Middle East, Japan, Africa and Europe. One time after he had been in Croatia for three weeks, I flew to London and met him there. We spent a week in London and a week in Paris. It was a wonderful trip. It was my first time being out of the United States except Canada.  Of course, since we only live about 100 miles from the Canadian border, we used to go up there quite often. Covid has also stopped that.

We saw so many beautiful things on that trip and visited lots of museums and Notre Dame, as well as the Louvre where we saw the Mona Lisa. It was so much smaller than I thought it was. We visited St. Paul Cathedral as well as the Tower of London and saw the Crown Jewels. In France we took a day trip to Versailles and toured the castle. It was almost too much to take in and was a wonderful two weeks.

Well, that trip really gave me a taste for travel and meeting new people. When Mandy graduated from nursing school, she and I went back to England for nine days. She has always loved everything about the UK. One of her dreams was to go to Bath and see Jane Austen‘s home. So we did that. We also went to Windsor Castle and Stonehenge. We had an absolutely wonderful week seeing all the sights in London. I’ve only been there twice, but I really do love London and I can’t wait to go visit Alex and Tara there.

Unfortunately I don’t have any photos of these trips or of my Japan trips here in the RV or on my phone.

I have been to Japan three times now and have fallen in love with it a little more each trip. We’ve been to Hiroshima and all the way to the northern tip of the main island too. We spent time in Kyoto and Sendai and lots of time in Tokyo.  

I did find this one photo of Alex and I when I first arrived in Tokyo the year I took all the knitted items over there. It’s a very poor quality photograph as you can tell by the graininess. By the time we took this photo, I had been awake for 26 hours. This was taken on the train from the airport into Tokyo. It’s about a one hour train ride.   Once we got into Tokyo we went out to dinner with several people. I think by the time we went to bed that night I had been awake 33 hours! I honestly don’t know how I did it, but I remember being in a fog for the last part of the dinner.
A few years ago Nita and I went on a cruise together. The ports were Roatan, Cozumel and Belize. Those were certainly eye-opening ports.  In Belize we went on a short excursion where we rode a bus way out into the country and then took an airboat tour. We drove through several little villages on the way there and saw some extreme poverty. I will never forget the sight of pick up trucks with men armed with machine guns riding in the back. We were told before we left the port that if we were stopped and people with guns boarded the bus we were to keep our eyes down to the floor and pretend we didn’t understand a word that was said and they would “probably” leave us alone! Scary!

I couldn’t even begin to tell you all the places Dennis has been between his time in the Air Force and his work travels. I do love to travel and if I’ve learned one thing it’s that we are all the same, all over the world. As Dennis always says, people are people are people are people. We may look a little different. We may sound a little different. But we all have the same feelings and for the most part we all want the same thing. Most of us want our children and grand children’s lives to be just a bit better than ours was.  If we could just realize that, I think we would all get along much better and there wouldn’t be so much strife and anger in the world.  He has made friends in every place he went.

Today I started knitting another pair of socks as a Christmas gift. 

That’s it. I think I’ve bored you are enough again. I hope you’re all having a wonderful weekend. Stay safe.

Blessings,
Betsy

Friday, November 27, 2020

November Challenge Day 27

The challenge today is that I’m supposed to tell you something that I look forward to. Oh my, there are so many things I look forward to. I am also trying to enjoy every day in the here and now because I don’t want to wish my life away. 

I look forward to the day when I can walk into a grocery store with no mask on and wander the aisles to my hearts content. The same thing with Hobby Lobby. I’m not a big shopper, but I do miss those two places.  I want to walk up to my best friend and give her a big hug. We always hug when we see each other and we can’t do that anymore.

I can’t help but look forward to Dennis‘s retirement. I think that is our biggest goal now. It could be as early as this coming spring or it could be a year later. We still don’t know. It depends on what happens with the sale of his company.

I look forward to being able to see Mandy and her family whenever we want to visit them. I look forward to living close to Dennis‘s mom so we can be there for her when she needs us. I’m looking forward to being closer to my brother and sister and all of our nieces and nephews. We’ve been so long without family, that I have these grand dreams of what it will be like. Silly me. I know that everyone else has gone on with their lives while we’ve been out here in the west, but I’m still looking forward to being near all of them and I hope that we can fit back in somehow.

Another thing that I look forward to, if this Covid crisis ever ends, is traveling again. I can’t wait to jump on a plane and go visit Alex and Tara and see their home. We want to take our RV and travel around the country. I think it would be wonderful to meet many of you on our travels.

I wonder. What are you looking forward to?

I finished all 25 mini socks!  Jenny has graciously offered to put something in each stocking for me. I gave her some money and she’s going to fill the socks. She didn’t want to take the money, she just wanted to fill the socks,  but I said absolutely not. After all, I asked her to do this. What kind of friend would that make me?  (Here, I’m asking you to do something that will cost you money, but do it anyway).🤔 I’m excited, because I didn’t want to fill them myself. Where is the fun in that? There would be no surprise at all. I have had very few Christmas stockings in my life, so I’m really looking forward to this advent calendar with its little surprises.

I found some tags that I already had, so I numbered them and clipped them onto the top of the socks. I’m planning to crochet a chain and hang the socks on the chain with wooden clothespins.

It was such a beautiful day today. It got up to almost 45°F! We decided it was a great day for a drive, so off we went.  Most of the snow has melted in the valleys but the ski areas have mostly opened up in the mountains.

Here you see a fresh dusting on the top of Mt. Spokane. Sorry about the bridge in the bottom of the photo. By the time I got my camera turned on we were already going under the bridge. I just thought the snow against the blue sky looks beautiful.

We also drove up to where we used to camp at the lake. It’s only 30 minutes from our old house and about 20 minutes from where we are now, but the change in elevation allows there to be about 8 inches of snow on the ground there, as opposed to none here right now.

An update on our friends and Covid. Neal and Jenny both tested negative. Hallelujah! Jeremy, Alicia and the boys are much, much better. Alicia told me this afternoon that she can taste a little bit again and is starting to get her sense of smell back. She said the boys were only sick for about two days and Jeremy was almost 100% today. Covid confuses me. How some people who are healthy and get so very sick with it and others don’t have any symptoms at all and still test positive. Like Jeremy and Alicia and the boys have had fairly mild symptoms, which I’m very thankful for, and are better quickly. There seems to be no rhyme nor reason as to who is affected. In my mind, that’s what’s so scary about it.

I hope you’re all having a good weekend and for those of you that had a big Thanksgiving dinner, you are enjoying the leftovers. Jenny & Neal gave us a care package of turkey earlier today when I gave her the socks and I had a wonderful turkey sandwich for dinner.  They had a lot of turkey left over and said they would never eat it all. Jenny practically begged us to take some!  Yum. Turkey!  We were happy to help.😍

See you again tomorrow!

Blessings and love,
Betsy


Thursday, November 26, 2020

Thanksgiving 2020

I hope you all have had a wonderful Thanksgiving day. Even if you don’t live in the US and celebrate Thanksgiving day, I still hope you found something to be thankful and grateful for today.

We were able to spend over two hours zooming with Mandy, Piper, Alex and Tara. It was wonderful. Did I miss seeing them in person today? Of course I did. The last time I saw ANY, and I mean ANY of our family was last Thanksgiving. It has been an entire year since I saw any of our kids. I have never, ever gone that long since they were born without seeing any of them. Or seeing any family at all, for that matter. We had no idea when we were all together then what the year 2020 would bring for all of us. We were all planning to be at a wedding this fall. Well, that has had to be postponed. It had been several years before that since we had all been able to be together so it was a very, very special weekend indeed.

Looking back on what this year has brought us as a family, there has been much heartache and worry, but there has still been much to be grateful for. I know that I feel very, very blessed in my life.

We ate our chicken enchiladas for dinner as we talked to the kids. Mandy‘s family had already eaten. Her wonderful mother-in-law had made an entire Thanksgiving dinner yesterday and took care packages to all three of their kids houses and left them on the doorstep. The only thing Mandy had to make was the sweet potatoes. Alex and Tara were cooking their dinner while we talked and ate just before we hung up. It was wonderful.

I actually had photos to show you, but they came across as very, very blurry so they’re not even worth posting. I’m not sure what happened with them.

After we hung up, my wonderful husband did all of the cleanup and wouldn’t let me lift a finger.  He always cleans up the kitchen on Thanksgiving with the kids, even when I make a huge meal. Of course, he washes dishes other times as well. 😍 Afterwards we took a nice long walk with Chloe. After we brought her back to the RV, we went on a drive around the countryside, just looking at the mountains and the beautiful part of the country that we live in.  The roads were almost empty and it was a very pleasant ride.

Mini sock update..... I have 24 done!  I’ll show you tomorrow!

Happy Thanksgiving my friends. Each of you are another reason I’m thankful. I feel very blessed to have you all in my life.

Much love and many blessings to you all,
Betsy







Wednesday, November 25, 2020

November Challenge Day 25

Today I’m supposed to share an old photo of myself.  I think I have shared this photo with you before, but I would like to share it again. I am the littlest one here and then my sister Melanie, my brother Lynn is on the right and my brother Roger is the sailor boy. Roger is the one who passed away from Covid in March. This is one of the few photos we have of all of us together. There was a big age difference between the boys and us girls. It was almost like my mom and dad had two different families. 

This is me!  Bald head and big eyes.

A school picture of me wearing a jumper my mom made from the salesman scraps from the Pendleton Woolen Mill.  My Dad would take them from the trash and Mom would make clothes for us girls. 

This picture is of my Grandpa and Grandma Saathoff. This is the Grandma who taught me how to crochet. I think I look more and more like her the older I get. Except she was always thin!  My Mom‘s Mom died when my Mom was only 14, so I never met my grandparents on her side of the family.  

I made the weight watcher pumpkin spice muffins today. I had forgotten just how good they are. Remember, it’s just a box of spice cake mix and a 15 ounce can of pumpkin. Mix it together. It will be very, very thick. Then bake in a muffin pan at 400° for about 10 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Yum!

My friend Kim from Napier’s Knits sent me this wonderful pattern book. I’m sorry the photo is so bad. I took the picture at noon today, but it since rained off and on all day I couldn’t get a picture that didn’t have a glare on it from the overhead lighting.  There are such pretty crochet thread ornaments and I’m looking forward to making some for next Christmas.

I have 20 mini socks done now. I’m hoping to finish them tomorrow but we’ll see. My Knit Picks order is supposed to arrive on Friday and then I’ll need to start the last Christmas gift I have to make, which is a sweater. I need to make it fairly quickly because I need to mail it to the recipient.

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving tomorrow. I know we all have things to be thankful for, even though the day probably won’t be spent like most of us normally would. 

Blessings,
Betsy


Tuesday, November 24, 2020

November Challenge Day 24

Today’s challenge is that I’m supposed to name my favorite blogs and why. Oh my goodness! How could I ever choose my favorite blogs? Even though I haven’t met most of you in real life, every one of you means a lot to me. I could never, ever choose favorites. So many of you have taught me various things through your words, have prayed for me and my family and have just been very kind. And isn’t that what we all want, especially in the world today?  Kindness?

I don’t have anything new to show you today, so I thought I would share a little purse I have that belonged to my grandmother. She made it in 1901. I have it in my cedar chest which is now at Mandy’s house. This is the tiniest little thing and she must have used a size 0 hook. This is not regular crochet thread, it is like sewing thread thickness. 

There is even a zipper sewn into the top.

This is the grandma who taught me to crochet when I was seven years old. This was the first project I ever made and I still have it. A blanket for my baby dolls bed. Who teaches a 7 year old to crochet a zigzag blanket? Looking back, I realize just how hard that must have been for both of us. She must have had the patience of a saint.  But it did cement my love for crochet.

Today I reorganized the main pantry and knitted a few more mini socks. Nothing really exciting to tell and it has also rained the entire day. Tomorrow I’m planning to bake some muffins made with a weight watchers recipe. Basically you take a can of pumpkin and mix it with a spice cake mix. That’s it, no other ingredients.  You bake it in a muffin tin at 400° until a toothpick comes out clean. I believe they are two weight watchers points. That will be our dessert for Thanksgiving. No pie for us! How are all of your Thanksgiving dinner plans coming? Are you all staying home alone or getting together with family? 

Wishing you all a wonderful Wednesday. 

Blessings, 
Betsy


Monday, November 23, 2020

November Challenge Day 23

Happy Monday everyone. Today’s challenge is to tell what my favorite childhood book was. That would be impossible for me. I was a major bookworm. I loved the Boxcar Children, The Bobsey Twins, Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I could go on and on, but I think you get the idea.

When we moved to Spokane, the movers couldn’t believe how many boxes of books we had. They said they had never moved another household with as many books as our family had!  In my mind, that’s a good thing.

A few people asked what I was going to do with the advent mini-socks. I plan to crochet them onto a chain and then hang them across our slide-out in the RV. Maybe someday I will have a fireplace mantle again to hang them on.  I wanted to put numbers on them somehow, but I’m not sure how to do that. Do you have any ideas? I thought about just sewing the numbers with white yarn. And then I thought about buying numbered buttons to sew on, but I haven’t had luck finding any yet. Jenny has kindly offered to fill the socks with little things. I’m going to give her the money and she’s going to fill them so I can be surprised every day! She offered to do this for me. Isn’t she the sweetest best friend?

Alicia called me about an hour ago. Apparently all four of them have Covid. Their neighbor has it and the kids were at their house playing at the end of last week. This other family rarely leaves the mountain either and they were in each other’s “bubble,” but the neighbor had to go to Idaho last week. So far they seem to have mild cases. All have fevers and are achy and Alicia has lost her sense of taste and smell. If you would pray for them I would appreciate it. They sure mean a lot to Dennis and I and I hate to think of them sick.

Jenny also called me this evening and said that she and Neal were both tested today too. She has a cough and so needs to be tested before she can go back to work. She is the person who trains the caregivers for an in-home elder care company. She can’t be around them if she’s sick, so they have to make sure it’s not Covid. She thinks it’s just a sinus drainage thing and I sure hope so too.

It seems it’s getting harder and harder to not have contact with someone who has Covid, so many people are sick.  I guess all we can do is the best we can do, right?

My big project today was organizing all of the food that I brought into the trailer when we moved in. It was such a rush to move and I basically just threw everything anywhere it would fit. I wanted to have things more organized where like items were together. I had started stocking up a little bit at a time way back in January when Alex warned us of what was probably coming based on what was happening there. Nothing big like you saw some people on the news. I would just buy a few extra cans of vegetables or fruit or beans, etc., every time I went to the store throughout the spring and early summer.  We had a nice little stockpile going on. Nothing huge, but it would keep us going for quite awhile if stores ran out of things. Then we moved into the camper. Whoa! Where was I going to put all of this food? Well there’s an empty spot under the sofa where you usually keep blankets.  I have lots of canned goods there.  From the two blue lids (peanut butter,) to the right, is a double layer of canned goods.  ⬇️  I wrote on the top of every can what was inside. That way I can see at a glance without having to shuffle through them all.

This doesn’t even begin to count what I have in the pantry and in the big closet in our bedroom. There are over 100 cans of beans, fruit, soup and tomato sauce in the closet. I also have all of my baking supplies, and meats, rice, syrup, spices, salad dressing, and on and on stored in there. I would be willing to guess we could live a good six months on the food we have. Of course, when I was buying all of this we had no idea we would be living in an RV. I definitely will not be buying any staples in my grocery orders for quite awhile. The only things purchased will be fresh vegetables, dairy and meats.  Re-organization took me most of the day today. I wrote down everything we had and how many cans, bags, boxes, etc., there were of each item. Tomorrow I will type it all into the computer and hopefully I will be able to keep track of what we actually have with a spreadsheet.  I thought that all might be of interest to some of you. Do any of you have anything similar?

I have one more photo tonight. Two snowmen that I don’t think I’ve shown you yet. We ended up getting about 2 inches of snow last night, but most of it melted today as our temperature went up to 35°F.   I like those kinds of snows.  It falls during the night and melts away during the day and I don’t have to shovel it.❄️☃️❄️

Our family suffered another loss this morning. Dennis‘s Aunt Ev, who lived in Minnesota with her husband of almost 70 years, died this morning. She was 90 years old. She was a wonderful woman who always cared about family. Every year she would write a long, long Christmas letter catching us all up on the cousins and their kids. I will sure miss that letter. Please pray for Dennis‘s mom. This is the third sibling she has lost this year, along with her own daughter Karen. I talked to her today and she’s really having a rough time of it. It is hard to be so far away when we feel she really needs us there with her right now.

I pray that you are all safe, healthy and happy. Take care of my friends.

Blessings,
Betsy

Sunday, November 22, 2020

November Challenge Day 22

Today the challenge is to write about our dream job. My dream job is the one I’m living right now. The thing I have most wanted to be long as I can remember, is a wife and a mom. The people that mean the most to me in the world are those that I call my family. I have been a wife for over 42 years to the most perfect man in the world. I am not exaggerating.  Most of you know that we have three wonderful children Mandy, Jamie, and Alex. They have in turn, given us three more children. Mandy‘s husband Brad, Jamie‘s wife Crystal, and Alex’s soon to be wife, Tara. We also have the three smartest, cutest, and most creative grandchildren ever born. 😍 Kyleigh, Caleb, and Piper.

As I was growing up, the thing I’m most wanted to be was a nurse, and in fact received a full scholarship that paid room, board, books and tuition to Iowa State for nursing school. But, I got married instead and I have never regretted it. I had planned to go back to nursing school when our kids were done with college, but having had a stroke that affected my memory when I was 37, it wasn’t meant to be. There is a lot of memorization to being a nurse you know!  Mandy is living that dream instead!

Some of the jobs I have had in my life are waitress, shipping clerk, nursing assistant, daycare provider, secretary, administrative assistant, bookkeeper/office manager.

I worked full-time from when I was 14 years old until I was 51. All three kids were out of college and our house was paid off and we were debt-free when I quit working. Dennis had been trying to get me to stay home for a few years, as I was in a job that wasn’t the best atmosphere. However, since we taught Dave Ramsey‘s debt-free living class, I thought I better put “my money where my mouth was,” and I stayed there until we were completely debt-free.  I absolutely love being at home now.

I’ve also done quite a bit of volunteer work and I am a trained CASA for the state of Washington. A CASA is a volunteer representative for a child in the foster system and is their liaison with the courts.  I haven’t been active with that recently, because quite honestly, I grew fed up with the court system and what some of those dear children go through.

I have done some knitting today on the mini-stockings for my advent calendar. I have 11 stockings done and another one on the needles. Only 13 1/2 stockings yet to do!

Don’t you just love that sweet knitting bag? My friend Kris who used to blog but doesn’t any longer, made it for me several years ago. It has camping trailers and trucks on it, with snowman and Christmas trees too. It couldn’t be more perfect for me.🎄☃️

It’s been a very quiet Sunday. I haven’t even left the RV. Dennis took Chloe for all of her walks and I have just stayed inside. We attended two different online church services, which we enjoyed very much and we learned a lot from both of the pastors.

Wishing you a lovely Monday and I hope you are all safe and healthy.

Blessings and love, 
Betsy

Saturday, November 21, 2020

November Challenge Day 21

Today’s challenge is that I am supposed to tell you the best things that happened to me this year. This has been a strange year for all us hasn’t it? There have been several good things that have happened and I know I’m probably forgetting many. The best thing that happened to us this year is that we have the promise of a new daughter! Alex got engaged to Tara in the spring and we had hoped to have a wedding this fall, but because of Covid that did not happen. However, we feel she is our daughter already and she is a lovely addition to our family.

In fact, Dennis and I were over sorting through some things in our storage unit today when they called us on a video chat. Mandy and Piper joined in and the six of us had a wonderful video chat for about two hours. As I said before, I am very, very grateful for technology. It’s so fun to be able to talk together and see each other at the same time.

Another good thing that happened is that our house sold the same day we listed it. It took a lot of the stress away from selling it, when everything happened so fast. We are very much enjoying living in our RV so far. Almost every day one of us says that to the other one.  

Another good thing is that so far Dennis and I have remained healthy and so have all of our children and grandchildren.  We are very, very grateful for that fact, even though I have lost a brother and Dennis lost his sister this year.

We had a beautiful sunshiny day today. It seemed a lot warmer than it was. I think our high was 41°F but with the bright sun shining, it really did seem a lot warmer. We even took a trip to the car wash. It’s a car wash where you just stay in the car and ride the track through, so there’s no interaction with anyone else. It was the first time I had really left the RV all week, other than to drop some mail in the box and walk Chloe.  It was probably silly to do since snow is predicted for tomorrow night but it felt good to get it nice and clean again.  I must admit, I have been very spoiled having a garage for the last 20 years. I could wash my car and it would stay clean for days on end if I just stayed home when the roads were bad. Here, I don’t have that option. The car is outside through all kinds of weather.

Mandy and Piper went over to Dennis’s mom’s house this morning and raked leaves for her. It looks like they got quite a pile.  Mandy does most all of Mom’s yardwork for her, in addition to the huge yard they have at their own house. They are very careful to wear their masks when they’re around Grandma and I don’t think there’s any actual touching happening. Mom hasn’t gone anywhere since Karen died in September. The only place she has gone since March was to Karen‘s to help care for her and then to her funeral.
Piper looks like she’s cracking up laughing at something Mandy must have said.  Mom even cuts her own hair! I don’t know how she does it. I would never be able to cut the back of my hair.

I’m waiting for my Knit Picks order to arrive with the yarn for a sweater that will be a Christmas present. Until then, I’ve started making some mini socks and I’m going to try to get 25 made for an advent calendar. I have always wanted to have an advent calendar. I have made a few for other people but never one for myself. It’s late and a picture wouldn’t turn out tonight, but I’ll try to take a photo of the socks I have finished tomorrow. I think I have five done so far.

Wishing you all a lovely Sunday.

Blessings and love,
Betsy

Friday, November 20, 2020

November Challenge Day 20

Day 20! The challenge today is my favorite foods.  Well that should be fairly easy. Anyone who knows me at all knows that I absolutely love chocolate. Especially dark chocolate. And if it has sea salt with it, so much the better. Let’s see, I’ll  name 10 more of my favorite foods.  Let’s go!

1. Pizza
2. Fried Chicken. (I can still taste my Mom’s fried chicken and it been well over 30 years!)
3. Prime Rib (I’m a midwest girl at heart)
4. Almost any kind of bread
5. Ice Cream ( Especially Rocky Road)
6. Moe’s clam chowder (Moe’s is a restaurant on the Oregon Coast)
7. French Toast
8. Shrimp
9. Lasagna
10. Donuts (especially with chocolate frosting and cream filled)

There aren’t too many foods I don’t like which, I guess,  explains why I need to lose weight!🤣

Tonight my best friend Jenny called me when she got off work and said she was on her way over. She asked me to meet her outside when she got to the RV park and she had something for me.  It’s so hard not to give her a hug when I see her, but we tried to keep our distance from each other. Look what she brought for Dennis and I.

Isn’t it just the sweetest little tree? When her mother was in a nursing facility she had bought her a little 3 1/2 to 4 foot tree. It had a long trunk and this greenery at the top of it. She and Neal offered the tree to us to use in our trailer, but it was just too big and we didn’t have any place for it. So Neal cut the long trunk off and made this new base for it.  Inside the present on the right, there are control boxes that let you set the lights to whatever color you want or you can make them stay on or flash on and off. Wasn’t this just the sweetest gift? I love the little tree.  It’s covered with ornaments already too. It’s wonderful to have such good friends who care about little things 
like this and think of us.  We are so blessed!

Although, like many of you we will be alone for Thanksgiving this year, Alex sent a message over our family WeChat group that we needed to have a virtual Thanksgiving dinner together. So we will we’ll all be online together in a video chat on Thursday and hopefully we will manage to time it right so that we can eat our meals together. It will be noon for us, 1:00 for Jamie‘s family in Montana, 2:00 for Mandy’s family in Nebraska and 8 in the evening for Alex and Tara in London. Tara is excited to cook her first Thanksgiving dinner.  The kids and grandkids were all here last year for Thanksgiving and that was the last time I’ve seen any of them. It was Tara‘s first Thanksgiving dinner and she really enjoyed it. What a wonderful weekend we all had together. 

This is our family’s favorite sweet potato dish. I highly recommend it. Tara and Alicia both requested it this year so Mandy wrote it out for them. My copy only has the ingredients listed with no instructions! I guess I have made it so many times, I knew exactly what to do, but still needed a reminder of the amounts of each ingredient. I highly recommend this dish. It is so good it could almost be a dessert.  Instead of fresh sweet potatoes or yams, you can also use canned sweet potatoes, just be sure to drain all of the liquid off of them first.

I hope you all have a wonderful Saturday. Does anyone have big plans or are we all staying home alone, together?

Blessings and hugs,
Betsy

Thursday, November 19, 2020

November Challenge Day 19

Wow! I’ve made it to 19 days in a row of posting. That’s amazing for me. You all know that I’m usually kind of a once a week gal!

The challenge today is that I’m supposed to tell you of a difficult time of my life. Probably the worst time of my life was when my mom died. You should never have to say goodbye to your mom when you’re only 29 years old and have three little kids. I still needed her then and I still need her now. I can still hear her voice and I can hear her laughter. She was taken from us suddenly with a heart attack. We did have almost three weeks when she was on a ventilator so we had a chance to tell her goodbye and she knew what was happening right up until the end. She was a great mom! Her funeral was standing room only. In fact, there were people standing in the parking lot because there wasn’t room inside. She didn’t have a big career and she never went very many places, but she loved people and everyone she met heard her laughter.  She had lost her own mother when she was only 14 years old from heart issues, so it must run in the family.

The second most difficult time in my life was actually three times. It was as each of our children moved away. I know you raise your children to grow up and be independent, but in my minds eye I always thought that they would grow up, get a house and live in Spokane or nearby where we could see them and our grandchildren on a regular basis.  First Mandy moved away.  First to Portland, OR, then Maryland, and now Omaha.  Then Jamie and his family moved to Montana and then the clincher. Alex moved all the way to Japan. We are so proud of our children and we love them with everything we have in us. We would do anything for any of them. But boy, sometimes it’s really hard when I see other people with their kids and grandkids.  But, we DO know that they all love us and keep in contact with us often.  And we look forward to being closer to Mandy soon.  If this virus would go away, we would be able to see them all much more often.

And now a much lighter subject. I have some things to show you.  I made homemade split pea soup in the instant pot today. Dennis said it was amazing and he ate three bowls of it for dinner! I ate about 1/2 of a bowl. I have never liked split pea soup and as far as I’m concerned homemade is no better than the canned stuff!  Ha!🤣 Dennis and Mandy both love it and don’t understand why I can hardly even look at it.  It sure did smell good while it was cooking though.

I forgot to take a photo when the instant pot was full. This was after our 3 1/2 bowls were already dished up.
We also had refrigerated Pillsbury biscuits with it. I know, I know. Most of you make your biscuits from scratch. Sometimes I do too, but you can’t beat the taste of these and they were on sale for $.99. Of course, I took this photo after we had already eaten several of them. I am so bad at taking pictures of food. I would never survive in Japan. There everyone takes pictures of their food before they eat it! I always forget.
Do you remember the beautiful card I showed you yesterday that I had received from my friend in Australia? This was the envelope it came in. How in the world did it ever get to me with the address like this? This truly amazes me. The post office truly worked a miracle.

The color on these socks is so washed out. They are much, much deeper blue but I do love how this pattern works up. It’s so fast and yet gives the sock such an elegant look. This is Cindy‘s pattern from the ‘Delighted Hands” blog over on my side bar and I finished them this afternoon.

Isn’t that just the prettiest pattern? It’s a simple four row repeat. The socks are one more Christmas gift checked off my list!

I remember reading this verse over and over when my mom died. It gave me so much comfort.

I hope you all have a wonderful day on Friday.  Thank you for visiting me again today. 
Blessings, 
Betsy

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

November Challenge Day 18

Today’s challenge is to share my collections with you. Well, with all of the photos I’ve been posting, you all know that I collect snowmen. For many years I collected bells but when we downsized I was forced to get rid of all but the most sentimental of them. I do still have about 20 bells, but they’re packed away in storage. I also have a lot of angel figurines. Most of them are packed away in storage too.

My angels remind me of the angels that I truly believe are all around us, we just can’t see them. I believe they are watching over us and taking care of us every day.

I guess you could say I’m a collector of yarn too. I certainly have enough of it. Most of it is also in the storage unit safely packed away in sealed plastic totes. I have it in the very front of the unit so I can get to it whenever I want.

I absolutely loved reading the comments on my last several posts. There are a lot of you out there that have never commented before and it was so wonderful to find out you are there and your names too. I would love to get to know you all better.

I know you all just saw this photo last week but I thought I should at least show you one photo of part of my snowman collection.

I am turning the heel on my second sock and hopefully will have it finished to show you tomorrow night. 

I have been working on Christmas cards and hope to mail them early next week. I know it’s early, but I wanted to get them mailed so people have our new address before they start sending cards.  We already received the first Christmas card of the season yesterday from Shaz in Australia. It’s the beautiful card in the photo below.  She makes all of her cards by hand and it is absolutely stunning.  Everything is hand cut and it has little gems on it too. Such a special card to be the first one we’ve received this year.



Take care and stay safe everyone. 
Blessings, 
Betsy