Friday, March 24, 2023

Late again.

Hello everyone. Once again it's been almost two weeks since I posted. Life has gotten in the way. Doctors appointments for Mom, lots of things going on here and well, just life in general. It is gorgeous today, in the mid 50's and sunny. Zoey is laying in her bed in the sunshine on the balcony. We just got home after five hours of errands and taking Mom to lunch. Yesterday my snow tires were taken off. Watch us have a blizzard now! :-) 

Last Wednesday was a hobby sharing time downstairs. We had everything from foreign dolls to an original Barbie collection. Lots of diamond paintings, some quilts, stamps, coins, lego flowers and piano and photography.  At 3:15 we have a video of the last five years here at The Grand Reserve that a resident has put together. He used to be a movie producer for commercials before retirement and he has made some amazing videos of their travels. We've seen several and the quality of the videos is outstanding.

Yesterday a tour company came to the building and had a presentation about 20 tours, both day trips, overnight trips and week long trips, to various places including Branson, Missouri for Christmas concerts, Amish areas, fall tours, etc. They pick people up right here at our building because apparently, we have the most participation in the tours. I have no idea if Dennis and I will do any of the tours but it has given us some ideas of places to go see. Even growing up here, there are some places we've never been to or even heard of!

I hung up Easter decorations the day after St. Patricks Day. There's not a lot of time between the two holidays, so I thought I better get them up.  On St. Patricks Day we had a band here in the evening that performed 50's and 60's music. It was so much fun. People were dancing, singing along and moving to the music. 

Once again, I couldn't get all of the decorations in one photos. 

I started a new shawl for the Medical Center. I'm using yarn I bought at the Hobby Lobby clearance sale. I didn't buy much and only spent $25.03 and ended up with $99.27 worth of yarn at the original prices. I think I bought 4 skeins of I Love This Cotton, 4 skeins of baby yarn, 2 each yellow and gray. Six variegated skeins of I Love This Yarn and 5 skeins of sport weight in cream and golds. Some people had their entire carts full and overflowing. I only bought what I know I'll use soon and not a lot of extra. 

The yarn I'm using for this shawl is Yarn Bee, "Urban Chic" in the Denim Days Colorway. I'm also using a 5.5 mm, (I) crochet hook.

And a TA-DA moment too! After about three years, I finally finished my sock yarn, Cozy Memories Nine Patch Quilt. I made each small square with #2 sock yarn and joined them together into nine-patch quilt blocks. Then I used a #2 knitting needle to knit a garter stitch border around each nine-patch square. I then crocheted the blocks together this week and crocheted a single crochet border around the entire blanket. Each nine patch square is about 12 inches square so the blanket is approximately 60 inches by 72 inches. 

I would go months without picking these squares up when I had other projects going, which is why I took so long to finish it. I am very happy with it though. I have debated putting a backing on it of soft flannel or something else, but I'll probably leave it as is. What do you think?

Don't we all have these days as parents? I saw this cartoon and I think it's hilarious.

I'm so sorry it took so long to get this post done. We had some illness in our extended family this week which occupied a lot of my brain power. All is well on that front now though. I was with Mom all day Tuesday with doctor visits and we have more next Tuesday. There seem to be so many distractions in life right now. I know you're all just as busy and I'm just making excuses. I have been trying to get to all of your blogs though, and if I'm missing your blogs, please send me an email so I can add you to my blog list. Thank you for all hanging in there and visiting me. Please try to stay safe out there with all of the storms. The weather seems to be a bit insane this year doesn't it?

Blessings and love,

Sunday, March 12, 2023


Hello my friends. I can’t believe it’s been a week since I last did a blog post. Time sure flies these days. But I do have all three Christmas stockings completed, except for the names, for Alex and his little family. Each stocking is 30 inches long and 9 inches wide at the top. They should be able to get a lot of goodies inside those stockings, don’t you think? I used Red Heart “cherry red” and white yarn. I thought by using an easy to find yarn, it will be fairly easy for me to make more stockings that match, if and when, they add to their family.

Curt and Barb came over for dinner on Wednesday evening.  I made lasagna, a tossed salad and garlic bread. For dessert I made chocolate lasagna for the first time. I thought that would be a lot of fun since we had lasagna for dinner. I’m including pictures and the recipe for you. I used mini-chocolate chips on the top. It was absolutely delicious. We shared some with the building manager and maintenance man here at the apartment. They were both very appreciative. I would have been very happy to just eat this entire pan of dessert instead of dinner!

Just look at those delicious layers. Yum!

So easy and so good!

After I finished the Christmas stockings, it was fairly late in the evening, so I decided to whip up a dish cloth. This is using the lemon peel crochet stitch and I did finish it that night and have already given it away.

I received a surprise gift in the mail from Regina at the “Plain Christian Housewife” blog on my sidebar. Two delicious teas, and two beautiful bookmarks that she crocheted. I believe she also made the beautiful card. Thank you so much Regina. I don’t drink coffee, but I do love tea and hot chocolate. And I’ll definitely use the bookmarks.

I saw this funny on Facebook and thought many of you would appreciate it. 😂🤣😂

Dennis is enjoying his new job. He works from eight in the morning until noon. Then we have the rest of the day to do whatever we want. It’s the best of both worlds. He still has a purpose every day, and they are also very happy with his skills. 

We are also in the process of trying to plan our summer vacation. We will be heading back to London in September, but we want to go to Spokane with our camper for a few weeks during the summer like we did last year. We will also be housesitting for our friends in Spokane who are going to Italy for a week. Well, we will be parking our camper in their driveway and staying in the camper, but also watching over their house. We will have free use of the pool and the washer and dryer while we’re there! Wonderful perks! We will also be taking care of their little dog Izzy, who is best friends with Zoey, so that will be fun. The problem is trying to reserve campsites for on the way to Spokane and on the way home. During lockdown, a zillion people started camping because it was a way to get out and yet stay isolated. Now all of those people have discovered the joys of camping, and it’s hard to find spots unless you do it very early. So that’s what we will be doing in the afternoons this week, looking for places to stay.

The building here is having a “Share your craft,”  Day on Wednesday. Whoever wants to, can go down and put anything that they like to do for a hobby out on display to share with the other residents. It will be a lot of fun to see the different things that people do. There are so many talented people that live here. One lady has a long arm quilting machine. They had to take the window out of the apartment in order to fit it in the room when they moved in! 

Take care and I’ll be back again soon.

Blessings and hugs, 

Friday, March 3, 2023

One down, two to go!

Happy Friday my friends! We’ve made it through another week. We have beautiful blue skies again today and warm temperatures in the 50s are predicted. Next week it will be much colder and a rain/snow mix is forecast. We need to enjoy this beautiful weather while we can.

I am feeling much better. After the telehealth appointment last week and getting antibiotics, I quickly began to feel better. My voice still isn’t back to normal and I have a cough during the night, but I’m thinking that might hang on for a while. I’m just glad to have some energy back and able to get out and about.

I’ve been busy in my spare time this week starting Christmas stockings for Alex, our daughter-in-love “T”, and Baby J.  They saw Brad, Mandy and Pipers socks I that made for them years ago but hadn’t realized that I had made them. They don’t have stockings at this time, so when I offered to make some for their family they were very happy. I finished the first stocking last night. It didn’t take very long, only a few days, but it’s my first color-work project l and it also uses charts. These are both things that I have never done before, so please don’t look too closely. I also haven’t blocked the stocking yet, so there are some wrinkles. When I have all three stockings completed I will duplicate stitch their names on the top in white. I thought I better start early in the year in case of disasters and the fact that it might take me all year to knit three stockings. 😍 I couldn’t stop the top edge from rolling under, so I crocheted around the top, first with single crochet and then a row of half double crochet. I thought that worked well.

After I finished the stocking last night, I started this dish cloth in the lemon peel stitch. I’m using an H hook and I started out with 27 chains.
We have not been happy with the freezer in the kitchen since we moved in. It only left me about one and a half feet to get into the pantry and then we couldn’t see what was inside. Several people here at the apartments have told us they have their freezers in the closet of the second bedroom. So that’s what we did. We moved the freezer into the yarn room closet…

Then we moved the shelving unit out of the main bathroom into the space where the freezer was…

and moved this dresser out of the closet in the yarn room and into the space in the main bathroom where the shelving unit was! This is working out much better. Eventually I’ll go through the drawers in the shelving unit and it will actually make more storage for the kitchen. I also have a “bon appétit” sign in storage that we will hang above the shelving unit.

I also need to go through the drawers in this dresser and clear out a lot of craft supplies I no longer use. This was Dennis‘s dresser when he was a baby. Each of our three children used it when they were babies and it’s been my craft dresser for years. Dennis refinished it many years ago and I absolutely love this dresser.

My orchid is blooming profusely with six blossoms on it. It’s the first time I’ve ever been able to get an orchid to rebloom.

Apparently the light here in the apartment is very good for plants, because they are all doing well right now.

I have always wanted a pot of ivy and this one hasn’t disappointed me. If you remember when I got it, it was being thrown out at Walmart about a year and a half ago because it was virtually dead. They gave it to me for free and look at it now!

Lizzie ended up staying with us for almost a week and a half while their floors were being done in the house. This is what both of the girls looked like every evening after playing hard all day. Lizzie was on Papa‘s lap and Zoey was crashed out on my lap.

She went home the night before last and it sure is quiet around here now. Zoey is really missing her. I have never seen two dogs love each other as much as they do. They even seem to have their own language that they talk to each other in. One of them will say something and then the other one answers. It’s just too cute.

I can’t begin to tell you how content I am here in our little apartment. There are fun things to do all of the time and yet you can go into your own place and hibernate if that’s what you want to do. It’s a very, very active building. There are people jogging on the trail around us and taking their dogs for walks constantly. There’s always something going on. At 1:00 and 6:30 today they’re showing a Kenny Rogers concert in the theater. A Zumba class is going on downstairs right now.

One lady who lives on the floor below us has her long arm quilting machine in their living room. They had to take the window out to get the machine into the apartment! She hangs quilts in the hallway outside of their door and changes them out every few weeks.

I hope you are all having a wonderful week. Do you have big plans for the weekend? We don’t have anything in particular going on besides church activities. Next week we’re having friends over for dinner. Please stay well and healthy everyone.

Blessings and love,

Saturday, February 25, 2023

Blue Skies!

Although it’s been very cold the skies are blue today and a warm up into the 40’s is supposed to happen. Brad & Mandy are getting new flooring throughout their house so Lizzie has stayed with us all week and will be here through Monday. These two are exhausted with playing and are loving every minute together.

I changed the decorations on the door from Valentine’s Day to St. Patrick’s.

Once again I can’t get both sides in one photo.
Remember the socks I made while in London with the Paton’s Kroy? I ran out of yarn with both balls so I finished the toes with some leftover turquoise yarn. I kind of like them. A bit quirky.

Here’s my finished Portage sweater. It’s so comfortable and soft. Judy asked about the yarn I used. It is from Hobby Lobby, I Love This Yarn in the color “Fireworks Show.”

The pockets are my favorite part of the sweater. They’re so roomy and spacious.

This past week I made a shawl for the hospitals prayer ministry. It’s made with Impeccable yarn in the colors  Cream and Buttercup. I just did a simple granny stripe with a single crochet and half-double crochet border. The shawl is 2 feet wide and 5 1/2 feet long.
I also made an “Every Which Way” baby blanket for good friends of Alex and Tara who live outside of London. They are expecting a little boy soon.

I started another prayer shawl as a granny triangle. I’m using deep stash yarn that I’ve had for years. Red Heart in the color “Grape Fizz”. I forgot how stiff the older Red Heart is to work with, but once it’s washed it will be nice and soft.

I brought this jar home from London. It came with honey in it. Can you see the cute little bees in the glass?

More cute bees. I’m not sure what I’ll use it for but I couldn’t bear to throw it away. I even like the label with the little bee on it.

I still don’t have a voice and I’m also still coughing quite a bit. I had a telehealth appointment with my doctor on Wednesday and he prescribed antibiotics for bronchitis. Hopefully they will work and I’ll be better soon. There is so much sickness out there right now. Hopefully you are all well and healthy.

I’ve been following with interest the revivals and prayer meetings on campus’s around the world. May God be glorified and lifted up at each one and let no person seek to elevate themselves through it all.

Blessings and love to you all,

Thursday, February 16, 2023

Snow Day!

It looks like the weather people finally got it right for once. It started snowing a couple of hours ago and is supposed to keep going most of the day. I just took this picture, but it doesn’t show very well how hard the snow is coming down. Sometimes quarter size flakes are flying around. I think this is the most snow we’ve had this year. It IS nice not to have to worry about snow blowing or shoveling this year. ❄️❄️❄️

I’ve had this pile of yarn in my lap all week. All I have left to knit are the pockets. I’m looking forward to the finish, which should be today. 

This is where this little girl stayed for two hours yesterday when Dennis went to do his Moms laundry. She’s so pitiful when one of us is gone.

I still have something going on in my head! Icky stuff is still spewing forth from my nose and now a cough has been added, so I’m staying in the apartment and away from people. Covid test is negative. I think it’s a plain old sinus infection or head cold from the airplane. If it’s still around next week Dennis says I’ll be calling the doctor.
And now, I’m going to snuggle into my knitting chair in front of the fire, have a cup of tea and watch the snow fall. No school for Miss Piper as it’s conferences this week so she gets to stay home and warm too.

Blessings and love.

Sunday, February 5, 2023

Out and About

Gosh, it’s been awhile hasn’t it? I’m home! I started several blog posts while still in London but was interrupted each time and unable to finish them. The last week and a half was filled with a sick Baby J with tummy upsets and teething. Dear DIL had some sort of stomach flu too that lasted several days. I was busy, busy the entire last two weeks. I did read all of your blogs but sometimes it was at 3:00 am! I apologize. 

I do have a few highlights. DIL and Alex sent me these beautiful flowers for my birthday on February 1. They arrived in a 1x5x24 inch box that fits through the letter slot in the door! When you open the box they look DEAD. I though, “that’s a strange gift”. 😂 Then you put them in a water filled vase with this special little packet of powder that “wakes” them up. Three days later you put a different packet of powder in new water to prolong the life. It was amazing to see the difference overnight. I should have taken a photo of the “dead” flowers.

The nanny gave me this beautiful Cath Kidston notion bag. 

I’ve always wanted one, but would never purchase one for myself. Sorry for the blurry photo.

We also had some delicious pieces of cake and a tart to share. The squiggly frosted one is tiramisu.

And a candle to blow out! Our DIL’s father’s birthday was on the Saturday after mine so we went to their home where DIL made an entire meal for the family including her sister, BIL, nephew and niece too. She baked an incredible chocolate fudge cake with two layers. Crumbled on the frosting in the middle and on top were dark chocolate digestive biscuits that I adore. How did I not get a photo? Too busy having fun with everyone.

Many days, just to get outside for a bit, I walked to the Old Paddington Cemetery a couple of blocks from the house, where Michael Bond is buried. He is the creator of Paddington Bear. On the top of his headstone are always new jars of honey and little figures of the bear.

I love the inscription. “Please look after this bear. thank you.” So simple.

A few more figures in a bag and bottle to help preserve them from the weather.

One Sunday evening just before they got sick, Baby J, DIL and I walked to a neighborhood restaurant for dinner. It was nicely decorated.

We ordered several small plates to share. We both love truffles so we had truffle sauce wings, truffle fries, truffle Mac & cheese, kale salad, some kind of bread and truffle chicken croquettes. Oh, my gosh! It was all so delicious. We don’t normally eat this fancy but I loved it all. There are so many restaurants in this city and most are in neighborhoods so you can walk to them.

I was also asked to make my homemade chicken and noodles the night before I left. It has become a tradition for me to make this for the entire family the night before we leave to come home. I make my noodles from scratch and roll them out and dry them. I made two huge pots of noodles, garlic sautéed fresh green beans and garlic bread. There certainly wasn’t much left of anything after we finished eating! I may have to buy another pot next time, so I can make three kettles full. 🤣 Alex is always upset that there isn’t enough left over to freeze and have later. They all love these noodles, but I think Alex loves them the most because they remind him of home. I do try, but no matter how many I make, they eat them!
I think that’s about enough of my babbling on. I arrived home late, late Friday night. Saturday was spent doing laundry, grocery shopping and visiting mom. Yesterday was church, then we took my sister out for lunch for her birthday and after that Piper came home with us for the Super Bowl party downstairs. I haven’t had a spare moment to sit down since I got back to write a post. This morning I woke up with a sore throat and headache. I think it might be a sinus infection. I’ll spare you the details of what’s being blown from my nose!😁 The air was seemed to be even drier than usual on that long flight home and I overheard several people commenting about it. I’ll give it a day or two, but I think I may need to see a doctor for this. I’ll also do a Covid test later today, just to make sure.

Take care everyone. Today is my day to be able to talk to you all again on your blogs. Yay!

Blessings and love, 💜💕💜