Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Shawl Week

Hello again! Well, it wasn't quite as long this time as it was for the last post. It's still been a busy week but I've figured out how to post the photos to blogger on my iPad and then type the actual words on my laptop which makes things a bit faster. 

Our precious Baby J celebrated her first birthday this week. Oh my goodness, what a celebration! They face-timed so we could be a part of the party. I have photos of her kissing my face on Alex's phone. She loves me and remembers me! That means SO much when we live so far away.

Yesterday was a long day with doctors appointments for Mom most of the day. We now have a referral to a neurologist for her as the memory tests didn't go well. We've noticed a memory issue for quite some time, but Mom was able to pass the memory tests until now. I detest the fact that she's losing her memory, but so far it's just short term and has no problem knowing people, etc. It's just recent events, appointments and the like that she doesn't remember. I spent some time on the phone this morning making several appointments for the future for her. Meanwhile, the doctor is putting her on a new medication that could help slow down the memory loss.

On Monday I was home while Dennis worked all day. Believe it or not, I crocheted this entire shawl in that one day while I watched two movies I had wanted to see. I used three skeins of Hobby Lobby's "I Love This Yarn." I bought it in the clearance sale for $1.24/skein. So I was able to make this shawl for the hospital for only $3.72! I think that's a pretty good deal. I basically made the pattern up using a basic shawl set up stitch. This yarn is so soft and squishy and I think whoever recieves it will appreciate it.

I also made this shawl this week. The details of the yarn are in my last post.  It's also nice and soft. Squishy too, but the yarn isn't as thick as the above shawl, so not quite as squishy.:-)

Today we made this sweet little tealight candle in our crafts group. We could choose the size canning jar we wanted. Then we brushed mod podge onto the the jar and placed dried flowers on the jar. Then we mod podged the entire jar over top of the flowers.

Partway around the jar.

And the rest of the way showing the twine bow.

I also put a flower on the top of the lid. It was a fun craft. They had 24 different packets of dried of flowers and greenery to choose from. Inside is a small tea light with a battery. When it lights up inside it's really pretty.

I forgot to show you the bunny I made last Wednesday. Is't it cute? I'll give it to Mom to put on her door for Easter and springtime.  For this one we had a wooden shape of a bunny and lots of fabrics to choose from.  You lay a square of fabric over the form with mod podge covering the shape. After it dries a bit, you just trim the fabric close to the wood. I added a "collar" and a pom-pom tail. Another super simple craft. I enjoy helping the older ladies who have arthritis in their hands and find some things, especially using scissors harder to do. One lady is 99 and shows up at every single activity. She has a few mobility issues but is the sweetest lady and loves everyone. She still lives alone in her apartment.

Not a lot else going on. In the evenings we've been busy planning our trip west this summer. We're staying at few KOA's and also in the Black Hills again at Fort Welikit where we stayed last year. We'll be house-sitting for friends in Spokane while there. We will stay in our camper and take care of their dog Izzy. She and Zoey are great friends. We're planning to be gone 3-4 weeks if all goes well, during he last week of June and into July. In September we'll be heading back to London for a big party. During the week following Memorial Day my sister Melanie, niece Chaela and hopefully Mandy and I will take a girls trip to Pioneer Woman's shops in Pawhuska, OK. Then on the way home, we'll stop in Westin, MO. I've been told there are some great antique and specialty shops there. Lots of fun things to look forward too.

I hope you all have a wonderful few days. We're supposed to get up to 71F tomorrow. Thats the warmest we've had so far this spring. I'm looking forward to that. Maybe winter has taken it's last gasp here after the snow dump we had on Sunday. We can only hope. :-)

Blessings and hugs,

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,