Saturday, December 31, 2022

Happy New Year!



I pray that all of you have a very happy and blessed 2023. I am grateful for each one of you.

Blessings and love,
Betsy

Wednesday, December 28, 2022

The Week In Between

Does anyone else find this week in between Christmas and New Years is kind of strange feeling? I don’t know why I’ve always felt that way. A bit of sadness that all of the festivities of Christmas are over, yet anticipating the new beginnings of another year.

OK, the first thing I have to do is apologize for the photo below. My elbow is in the way and I couldn’t back up far enough across the hall to get everything in the picture and it’s crooked to boot! But this is the doorway to our apartment all decorated for Christmas! People love to decorate their doors here and one of my favorite things do do is walk up and down the halls looking at all of the pretty things hanging on the doors.

Here is Miss Piper wearing her current “Wonderful Wallaby” sweater that I made her for Christmas. She had picked out the color of yarn which is a dark hunter green a couple of months ago and I think she had forgotten about it, so she was pretty excited when she saw it in the box. It has a hood and a pocket on the front. She’s also wearing her new ring that she’s been saving her money for from Hobby Lobby and the Black Hills gold necklace that Papa and I gave her for Christmas. We bought it when we were in the Black Hills last summer. We also bought her three books from her favorite author while we were in London last spring. There was a book fair along the South Bank of the Thames river. I was so excited to find the books that I knew she would love.

And Mandy’s “Portage” sweater is what I was working on when the knitting cable broke. She had requested another sweater in this pattern in gray. She already has one in a marled blue yarn color. This sweater is actually her birthday present, but I knew she could use it now so I gave it to her a little early on Christmas. I have a brown sweater in the same pattern and I’m very tempted to make myself another one. I’ve been wearing mine as a winter coat, even in those -45F windchill‘s last week. They are amazingly warm. I love the big pockets on them too. 

And these two. They have been together every day since last Wednesday for at least a few hours each day. They are going to be totally lost without each other when that stops. They are the cutest puppies and we love them both so much. All you have to do is mention the other one’s name and whichever dog you’re with goes absolutely crazy. Running to the door and looking for them. I have never seen two dogs love each other so much. This is how they sleep. Basically on top of each other.  Zoey’s head was laying on top of Lizzie‘s just before I took this picture. But I must have disturbed them when I reached for the camera, because they both turned around and looked at me. Such sweeties and they add so much love to ours lives.πŸ’œ

This morning we had to be at the church by 9:30 to start setting up for a funeral dinner at 12:00. It was so sad. It was a lady that Dennis grown up with in the church. She was two years older than him. Basically she went to take a bath two days before Christmas and her family never heard the water shut off in. When her husband went to check on her, she had passed away in the bathtub. Apparently it was a heart attack. She was a very healthy person with no known issues. I guess that’s a good way to go though. No long and lingering illness. The service was very well attended, full of love and memories and we were able to see some of her family that moved away years ago like we did, that we haven’t seen in a long time. Dennis and I’ve been enlisted along with another couple, to take care of all of the luncheons after funerals. I know I’m getting old because it was always the old, retired people in charge of those luncheons. Ha! Now I am one.

Tomorrow I’m going to take down the Christmas decorations and for the first time since we’ve lived in this apartment, put the regular decorations out. When we moved in, it was fall, so I had the Halloween and Thanksgiving decorations out. Then it was Christmas. It will be nice to find a place for all of the regular things.

Take care and have a safe and happy New Year.

Blessings and love,
Betsy

Saturday, December 24, 2022

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to each one of you, my dear blog friends. You are indeed a gift to me. 

May you feel the wonder of Christ-child as we celebrate the day of His birth.



Much love and blessings to each of you.
Betsy

Thursday, December 22, 2022

Brrrrrr!

Like most of the rest of the country we are having bitterly cold weather this morning. The windchill is -47F as I type this. We didn’t get nearly as much snow as was predicted… or maybe we did, but it all blew around and so there was no drifting that I can see from the apartment. They were out at 4:30 this morning with snow plows in the parking lot and snow blowers and shovels for the sidewalks. I don’t think many people will be venturing out today though.

I thought I would share a few of my Christmas treasures with you. Some of you will probably remember these little poinsettia girls. I made them the first Christmas we were married in a ceramics class I took with Dennis‘s mom. The sweet little wooden snowman has pride of place next to them. Cindy from the “Delighted Hands” blog on my side bar made this for me. I treasure it.

Here is our little Christmas tree. Remember it from our winter in the camper? It’s perfect for our apartment. I bought a tiny little black and white buffalo check tree skirt for it yesterday at Hobby lobby for $1.50. All of their Christmas decor is 70% off. Piper and I had a grand time wandering around those aisles looking at treasures. Papa just followed us all over the store.  He’s a very willing servant to Piper, (and me too.)😍

We spent the morning yesterday taking Piper Christmas shopping for mommy and daddy. She had a list and she checked it twice! She knew exactly what stores she wanted to go to and exactly what she wanted to buy. Then we came back to the apartment and she wrapped them. We picked up lunch and shared it with Mandy before coming back home to try to beat the big storm.

In the afternoon they made these Christmas trees downstairs in the craft room. It was a lot of fun, I’m just not sure where I will put this. Super simple if you have a glue gun and extra ornaments.

While working on one of my Christmas projects I broke a knitting needle cable and had to wait over a week for the new one to arrive to finish the gift.  I guess they do wear out after years of use. So, over period of three days I made this blanket. I absolutely love it. I showed you some of the snowflakes in my last post. I went around each one twice with red and then join them together and crocheted a border on it. I should be able to leave this out most of the winter as it’s not just a Christmas only design and it sure adds a pop of color to the apartment.

Oh my goodness, it is so cold outside! Brrrrr. I just came in from taking Zoey outside and I felt like my fingers were frozen in less than 30 seconds. It seems that most of the country is in the same predicament. I plan to stay home today and tomorrow because there’s lots to do around here.

My computer is still not repaired. I can’t believe how lost I feel without it. They had to order a new hard drive and now we’re being told it will be ready at end of this week which I’m guessing means tomorrow since it’s Thursday already! I’m  looking forward to being able to comment on your blogs again.

Dennis had a phone call this week from a local company asking if he was interested in working for them. They asked if he wanted part time or full-time and he said he would be interested in part-time.  He is at a job interview right now. He’s going a bit stir crazy here after working for so many years such long hours and I think he would enjoy getting out for a few hours every day. Me? I’m very content in our apartment visiting with the other people and taking part in some of the activities. 

This afternoon there is a scripture service with a carol sing that I’m hoping to go to. I’m still coughing and so singing isn’t very easy for me but I would enjoy hearing the others. I do love it here. Dennis and I are both much, much better, I just have a lingering cough and get tired easily. He seems as good as new. Thank you all for your prayers for us while we were recovering.

I pray that you all have a very blessed Christmas and safe travels if you’re going anywhere.

Blessings and love, 
Betsy




Saturday, December 17, 2022

On The Mend!

Whew! That was certainly a harrowing week and a half. We seem to finally be on the mend after both taking five days of Paxlovid prescribed by our doctors to combat Covid. I’m still exhausted all the time and have a cough that I fear will hang on for awhile. Dennis is still pretty tired too and has a very deep voice these days. But, we have had two negative Covid tests over the last three days so we are no longer infectious. I did a grocery order last night for Walmart and we went and picked it up this afternoon. That is the first I’ve been out of the apartment building since a week ago last last Monday. I wouldn’t wish this on anyone. So much for having the original immunizations and the boosters. I was even too tired to knit or crochet for a lot of the time. You know that for me that’s nearly impossible. I hadn’t made it through an entire movie or television show in over a week without falling asleep until today!

I still have one last Christmas present to finish but the cable for my interchangeable knitting needles broke and I had to order a new one. It won’t be here until next Monday, so I will be knitting down to the wire on that present. I have started a few other things in the meantime though.

Several of the crochet podcasts that I watch have made a granny snowflake blanket. I am making my own version of it, called the “snowflake granny square”. It’s a free pattern on Ravelry. I’m making the center of the square, the snowflakes, white and I’m finishing the square with red and then will join them together. I hope to have it finished before Christmas and it will be a blanket I can leave out all winter. I almost made one that has Christmas trees in the center instead of a snowflake, but changed my mind because I want to be able to leave it out longer than just the Christmas season.

This is a black-and-white photo of the front page of the pattern. Where it looks black it will actually be red in my blanket. I’ve seen people use light blue and midnight blue for the border and sparkly white for the snowflake. Every one of them is beautiful. I just started the snowflakes tonight and I have one square completely finished and 10 more snowflakes crocheted.

It is a super easy pattern and should crochet up in no time. It’s nice to be crocheting again after so much knitting the past several months.

Below is a baby blanket. My niece Chaela gave me the pattern and the yarn a couple of months ago. She said there was no hurry to finish it since her nephew that she bought the yarn for graduated from high school this past year. Ha! So I’m making the blanket to give back to her and she’ll have it as a gift next time a friend has a baby. I took this photo after midnight and the yarn looks very washed out, but it is Bernat softee baby in the baby denim marl color-way. I just started the blanket yesterday and I have about 12 inches done on it so far.

The next two photos I took while waiting in the car for Dennis to come out of the computer shop. We’ve had light snow all week long with little to no accumulation. It sure looks pretty coming down though. Compared to the Dakotas and Minnesota we came out light in the snow scale! Aren’t these snowflakes beautiful though?



And on the computer front I will hopefully have my laptop back by the middle of next week. What a nightmare this is all been. And to have it happen while being sick with Covid is even worse. Every day we have a new nasty surprise with our bank account. I’m determined not to let it get me down though, during this Christmas season of celebrating our Lord‘s birth. It just means I’m not able to comment on any of your blogs right now, but as I said before, I am reading them and trying to keep up with all of you. Hopefully I will be back to commenting soon!

And now I need to go to bed as it’s almost 12:30 in the morning. My sleep schedule is not normal right now after being sick. Take care of yourselves and try to avoid this nasty stuff. Wishing you all a wonderful weekend and I’ll be back again soon.

Blessings and love,
Betsy

Friday, December 9, 2022

Merry Christmas to us!

Just to top off the saga of the bank fun, Dennis and I both tested positive for Covid this morning. We both feel very icky, but at this point it’s just like a bad cold. Fevers, cough, nasal congestion, and exhaustion. We have had four vaccinations, so it must be a strain that has newly developed. 

I’m sure glad I was done with all of my Christmas things before this happened. we are missing all of the fun things here at the apartment building and we had paid for a rather expensive light tour on Sunday night that I’m sure there’s no way we’ll be going to now. I shall be back when I can. Take care and treat yourself kindly. 

Meanwhile, here are a few of the decorations that I put up last week.















Blessings and love,
Betsy

Monday, December 5, 2022

Uh-oh!?

Uh-oh! We have been hacked! So, apparently someone has hacked into our computers and we had a rude discovery over the weekend. They managed to get way too much from our account. Thankfully hubby checks our accounts regularly and it was caught quickly. Our credit union will refund the money into our account and file a police report against the perpetrators. Apparently they have their URL and some names. I hope they get them! It’s ridiculous that you have to worry about these kinds of things. If people just put half the effort into working at a job and doing honest work as they do into stealing, this world would be a lot better place wouldn’t it? But, meanwhile our accounts have been closed and we’re going through the process of redoing everything. Including our computers being wiped clean, hopefully, of anyone being able to do this again. That means I can’t comment on any of your blogs because I have to do that on my laptop. I can make posts on here, but I can’t comment on anybody else’s. I will be reading them though. Never fear! I’ll be thinking of all of you and hopefully it will only be a few days before we get our computers back. Meanwhile this is an absolute mess to try to clean up.

But hey, it’s not all bad news! Dennis, my sister Melanie and I went to a concert last night in Kearney, Nebraska. After that we stayed the night at a Holiday Inn express only about a block away from the venue. We were able to walk to the concert and walk back to our hotel room! Our kids bought us VIP passes to see the acappella vocal group “Home Free.”  These tickets are our Christmas and birthday presents from our kids. Mandy and Brad bought ours and Tim and Chaela bought Melanie’s. It was absolutely wonderful. It’s Melanie’s third time seeing them in concert, but our first. She has had us hooked on listening to them for the past several years, but we’ve never been able to attend a concert before.

The VIP tickets got us into a Q & A a session with the guys. We were given some swag and CDs and were able to watch the Soundcheck. We also had second row seats right in the center. It was absolutely wonderful. There were two other groups that sang a couple of songs before Home Free and they also sang a few songs with the group. The entire concert lasted over three hours! It was a great gift and we were blessed with wonderful sunny skies and temperatures in the 40s for our trip. There’s always a chance of snow and ice this time of year and since it was a 3 hour drive each way, we were praying for good weather.

Here is Home Free, the main attraction. Love these kids. 😍 The guy on the left with the cowboy hat is from the group Texas Hill, and he came out to do a song with them that they co-wrote. It’s the first time I’ve ever seen these five guys use any kind of instrument in their singing.

Brooke Eden and Ernie Holter, really good singers too.

These are “our” guys. They’re about the same age as our kids and we just love their sense of humor and the way they interact with each other and the audience. They aren’t really “performing” in a sense because they talk to the audience constantly and include them as part of the show

My handsome guy and yours truly.

My big sister. We sure love each other and are enjoying being together again after so long apart.

We took this photo from our hotel. See that building in the background? That is the venue for the concert. We just walked down that road and walked back after the concert. Everyone else had to pay $10 to park at the arena, but we had free parking at our hotel! And it was good exercise. Because, get this, we were sitting on top of a hockey arena for five hours! The walk warmed us up. Between the VIP stuff and the three singing groups it literally was five hours. I had a sundress and flip-flops on, but luckily had taken a sweater with me. Everyone was freezing, including the people singing. It was warmer outside after the concert than it was inside, so I’m guessing it was probably about 40F inside! I am always so hot because of my medication‘s and I had no idea that it was an ice arena. Nobody did. No one was dressed appropriately for being in 40° temperatures for that long. We’re hoping that none of us get sick from it, especially the singing groups, because they have about 20 more concerts to do this month. We must not have been too cold, because we went back to the hotel and got the car and went and got ice cream shakes!πŸ˜‚

As we drove home on interstate 80 this morning I saw this flock of white birds lift up from a cornfield and stay in this tight formation as they flew westward. It was impossible to see what kind of bird they were, but it was fascinating to watch as the cloud of white undulated as they disappeared from sight.

On that note I will close. I did knit most of theway there and back but I can’t show you what I made. As I said, I’ll be back commenting on your blogs as soon as I can but I will continue reading every day. Take care my friends and enjoy December.
Blessings and hugs,
Betsy

Friday, December 2, 2022

December

I know, I know. It’s been a little over a week since I last posted. I honestly don’t know how you retired ladies do it. It seems that we run, run, run all of the time since Dennis stopped working. Of course this was an extra busy week. Alex and his family arrived last Wednesday night as scheduled and left this past Wednesday. They are now back home into normal life.  We had an absolutely wonderful time, but I don’t have a lot of photos to show for it. It seems that little Baby J made her way into almost every photo I took. Imagine that! And since I can’t post photos of her online, it makes it a bit difficult. Suffice it to say she was the entertainment for everyone this week including Miss Piper. We ended up having 23 people for Thanksgiving dinner and everything was delicious. We ate pie for several days afterwards and enjoyed the leftovers most of the weekend. Plus I have some turkey frozen to use later in pot pies, soup, etc.

I did get a little bit more done on my Christmas socks. I am working on turning the heel right now. I’m still hoping I get them finished and be able to wear them for Christmas. We shall see, it’s not looking too promising right now.

I’m still working on another Christmas present that is going to take all of my time between now and then. I have high hopes, but I seem to have hit a wall with not really wanting to knit or crochet. I don’t think I could possibly be burnt out, I love it too much. It’s just that there are so many things to do around here that are fun, I don’t want to sit in the apartment and watch TV. Also, the hospital has asked me if I would make some port protectors for people undergoing chemotherapy. They have provided the fabric and stuffing. I told them it would be after the first of the year, but then I will get some of those done.

Here’s a photo of our youngest, Alex, with grandma in her apartment. I just love this boy. I guess he is a man now, but he’ll always be my baby.😍 And she looks pretty good for 86 doesn’t she? She spent the day with us on Thanksgiving and then again all afternoon on Sunday. She was pretty tired after that. We took her to a doctors appointment yesterday and then out to lunch. She had such a wonderful time meeting her new great-grandchild and Alex got to spend more time with her on this visit than he has in years. That meant a lot to both of them. She still absolutely loves her new apartment and wishes she had moved there years ago. We are very glad she’s happy and still only 10 minutes away from us.

Miss Piper turned out to be an absolutely astounding babysitter for Baby J. When she wasn’t at school or asleep in bed at night, you would certainly find her with her baby. And Baby J loved her right back. She would look for Piper. I’m sorry I had to block her face out, but just know she is one of the most beautiful babies I have ever seen. Piper not only gave her her bottles but fed her solid foods while the baby was in piper’s old highchair. She did a great job. I think Mandy is signing her up for a babysitting class next summer and I think she will be in high demand. πŸ’œ Just look at the beautiful hair on Baby J.

These two I’ve been having the time of their lives. They have been together every day for the last 10 days. Today will be the first day since last Tuesday but they have been apart. Look how they even sleep in the same position. They also love the baby and just wanted to play with her.

I wanted to show you a Christmas wreath that I made for mom during a craft day here last week. I forgot to take a photo of it though. I’ll try to remember next time I go over there and put it in my next post. I also put up our decorations here in the apartment and tonight when the lights are on I’ll take photos of those for you. It’s not nearly as many as we had in the house but still it’s some of our favorite things.

I do have news. I will be taking a trip to London to babysit a precious little baby next month. I will leave January 15 and I won’t be back until February 10. It’s a long time to be gone but when you know your kids need help you do what you can. I’m looking forward to being away from the cold and snow of the Midwest to a more temperate climate in London, but I know I’m going to miss everyone here, especially Dennis. He is staying home with Zoey and to watch over his mom. That will be strange in and of itself. However I got a very, very good deal on my airline ticket so I can’t complain. And how could I complain anyway, when I get to cuddle that sweet baby for over three weeks?

I hope you are all having a wonderful start to December. We had just a skiff of snow and freezing rain on Monday but it was gone by that night. Today is very warm and tomorrow is supposed to be in the 50s again. If it could be like this all winter long, I would be one happy girl. Take care everyone.

Blessings and love,
Betsy