Friday, April 12, 2024

A few finishes!

Hello! It's another Friday and we've survived another week. There is so much happening around the world and even here in the United States. I know that I can't do much about the bigger picture of the world. War, rumors of wars, hate, lies and more lies. But, and it's a BIG but, I can show love where I am. In a world where it seems people are getting ruder and, to use a grade school word, meaner, I want to be a light, shining God's love to everyone. He loves and cares for everyone on this earth. That's why He came to earth, to die an ugly death for us. So I want to do the small bit I can do while I'm here on this earth.

I finished another wheelchair blanket for the Memory Care unit in the building Mom lives in. This was just using scraps I had in my stash. I started with the blue/brown/cream variegated that I had and went from there. I ended up with the blanket you see below. I hope it will keep someone who may be confused as to where/who/how old they are, warm in their chair. This is the third one I've made in the last few weeks. I'll take them to the memory care next week.

The past two days I've worked on this beautiful pattern below.  Ir will be given to the local Crisis Pregnancy Center. It's also a free pattern on Ravelry called "Rainbow Ripple Baby Blanket" 12-pointed star. I do still need to wash it and it will smooth out a lot.

It was sure a lot of fun to crochet over the past two days. Do you see my toes peeking out at the top?

And finally, here is the latest mat that  I made that will be donated to the Open Door Mission. I go to our old apartment building every Tuesday afternoon and a group of about 10-12 of us work on these mats. They are sleeping mats for the homeless shelter. We make "plarn" or plastic yarn to crochet with. Since I'm the youngest, I'm chosen to stand and cut the strips from plastic bags. Then several of the women tie the strips together and roll into balls. This is the majority of the ladies, because only four of us can crochet. So far we have made 48 mats and this one will be 49. We're going to treat ourselves to a taco lunch after the 50th mat. They are supposed to be 4 foot x 6 foot with a carrying handle. 

Dennis spent Tuesday and Wednesday at the Open Door Mission volunteering in both the donation drop off center and the grocery distribution store. I'm amazed at the stories he comes home with of the generous donations of food from various restaurants and grocery stores. One day, Little Caesars Pizza donated over 100 pizzas to be given out. Fruit, veggies and fresh bread are donated by grocery stores. Most people are GOOD and generous at heart, but we don't hear much about it. Most of what we hear is bad. I wish I could start a news network of the loving acts and good things. I would watch that news with joy in my heart!
I need to go get myself ready because we're meeting my brother and sister-in-law for lunch at a little local cafe just across the Missouri River in Iowa. It's only about 20 minutes from home and we're looking forward to it. It's been quite some time since we've been able to have a relaxed visit together.

Here is the coffee cake recipe that some of you wanted. I hope you like it as much as we do. :-)

Overnight Coffee Cake
3/4 c. butter or margarine            2 c. flour                    1 c. white sugar        1 tsp baking soda
1/2 c. brown sugar, packed          1/2 tsp. cinnamon     2 beaten eggs            1 tsp nutmeg
1 c. sour cream

Cream butter and sugars. Add eggs and dry ingredients. Mix well. Fold in sour cream. Spread into a 9 x13 baking dish.

Topping
1 c.  chopped nuts (I use walnuts)            3/4 c. brown sugar        2 tsp. cinnamon
(I upped the cinnamon from 1 tsp and the brown sugar from 1/2 c. because we like it with more topping. This measurement is entirely up to you.)
 
Sprinkle topping over the batter. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Bake at 350 for 40 to 50 minutes until toothpick inserted in center is clean. Enjoy!             

I hope you have a wonderful Friday, full of God's blessings that show His love for you. I'll be back again soon. Love to you all

Blessings and hugs,
Betsy

Wednesday, April 3, 2024

A Finish

Hello and a very happy Thursday to you all. Are any of you in the path of the eclipse? We're supposed to be at 80% darkness, but since I don't have the special glasses I won't be looking at it. I do remember the last one though. I was at the lake by myself and it got very dark. The crickets started chirping like they do at night and the birds were silent. It was very, very eerie. I've heard that storms are predicted across a big swathe of the viewing area on Monday, but I really hope they hold off so all of the people traveling to see it are able to view it first. Then the rain can come. :-)

I finished another blanket that I started Sunday afternoon. It's called "Baby Shower Blanket," seriously. Such a plain name for a beautiful pattern. It's a free pattern on Ravelry and I really enjoyed it. The blanket is 36" x 36" and will be donated to the Crisis Pregnancy Center. The yarn is Hobby Lobby's Yarn Bee "Pomp." It has stellina in it and sparkles so prettily, but it doesn't show up in the photo at all. It hasn't been washed and blocked yet, so it ripples a bit. It's a sampler blanket that has a 9 row repeat. Each of the nine rows is different and I did four repeats. It was lots of fun and I finished it Tuesday. A very fast crochet. Even though it looks complex, they are all easy stitches.  Popcorn, V-stitch, Front Loop SC, DC. No hard stitches at all.

Last night I started this wheelchair blanket with yarn from my stash. I started with the variegated yarn in the center of the grannies and chose yarns that matched the colors in it. I think it should work well for a man and I'm going to make it a bit longer than the previous ones.

Piper had her photo taken at church on Sunday. Their church does fun things like this for most holidays. She has her new Portage sweater on that I made for her. Doesn't she look grown up? She has the thickest, most beautiful hair and a beautiful smile. I love this girl with all my heart.

My view right now. It's late Wednesday night. Dennis is in bed asleep. Zoey's asleep on my lap and I'm content and happy in my chair with my crochet. God is so good to me.

I found this photo somewhere, I think it was facebook, but it could have been a blog. If it was yours, I'm sorry, I don't mean to steal. I would love to give credit to where it came from. It's so beautiful I had to share with all of you. Doesn't it just say "SPRING" to you? I love the colors, the china, the sweet daffy-dils as my Mom called them. She would be 102 this year. Oh my. She died at 67 and I still miss her every single day. This picture reminded me of her because some of her favorite colors are here.

I hope you all have had a wonderful week and Easter Sunday. We went to Sunrise Service, had breakfast with everyone between services and then I was in the nursery during the main service. I had such a good time singing, dancing and playing with the little ones. For the breakfast I made an overnight coffee cake. You mix it up the night before and refrigerate it. I baked it while we were getting ready for church and wrapped the dish in a towel so it was still nice and warm when they served it. Yum! If you're interested in the recipe let me know and I'll post it next time.

I'll be back again soon.

Blessings and love,
Betsy


Saturday, March 30, 2024

Thursday, March 28, 2024

Maunday Thursday

Today is Maunday Thursday, which is the day that Jesus had the last Passover supper with his disciples in the upper room before he was betrayed by Judas. It is a very solemn day in Christianity. Our church used to have a Maunday Thursday service, but unfortunately the tradition has died away in many areas. This is the beginning of a very solemn Thursday night, Friday and Saturday before the big celebration of the Risen Savior, Jesus Christ on Resurrection Sunday!

We had a funeral this morning for a lovely lady from our church. Sherry was only 75 years old, and a young 75 at that. She found out five weeks ago that she had liver cancer and she passed away last Saturday night. The funeral was a lovely time of remembering with her family and friends. But ladies, because it’s mostly ladies who read my blog, don’t ever let anyone say there is nothing wrong with you when you feel something is “off.” Sherry hadn’t felt well for an over a year and had gone from doctor to doctor and they all told her it was in her head.  By the time they found the cancer, it had metastasized from her liver and was already in her brain. Why do they do this, to women especially? The only thing good about this is that we all know where she is right now and that we’ll see her again someday. She was a wonderful lady, and will be very missed. 

I have been busy this week knitting and crocheting. I started another wheelchair blanket on Tuesday and finished it on Wednesday. I’m very happy with the way it turned out. I think it will be a cheerful addition to someone’s daily life. It hasn’t been washed or blocked yet but you get the idea. 😍 The size is 34“ x 46“.

I finished the two sweaters for “Baby J”, who turned two yesterday! Can you believe it? This one looks pink, but it’s really a very beautiful shade of soft lavender. I could not get it to turn out lavender, no matter what I did with my camera.

This one is pretty true to color, but is a bit blurry. Sorry about my photos today. We’ve had a pretty dreary week. Today is finally bright and full of sunshine but these sweaters were mailed off to London on Monday, so I couldn’t retake pictures.

I also crocheted three washcloths out of Hobby lobby’s  I love this Cotton, in the color “Too Pink.”



Maybe you remember that when we were on our way home from the cruise in January, we stopped in San Antonio, Texas, and had lunch with a wonderful lady named Terri and her husband. Terri has a YouTube channel named “Yarnjoy”. I’ve watched her since her first video several years ago. She gave me this journal that has a dots cover. I spent an afternoon working on this on Tuesday and I think it turned out beautifully. Thank you again, Terri! Dennis and I had such a lovely time with you and your husband. I truly do wish we lived closer together and could spend time with each other. The cute card that she sent me is next to it. How appropriate is a skein of yarn for me?

We had dinner last night with Mom at her Assisted Living. It was delicious. We had roast beef, baked potato, and mixed vegetables. For dessert, there was strawberry shortcake. I neglected to take a photo before we had demolished our plates of food! Ha! We have zero regrets about moving her to this new facility. Although there have been a few hiccups with the move, none of them have had anything to do with Parsons House. They have been wonderful to Mom and to us. Change is not easy when you’re dealing with dementia. Things seem to be doing a bit better, but we take it day to day and sometimes hour by hour.

I am praying that you all have a wonderful Resurrection weekend, remembering the reason for the celebration. Jesus came to earth, he lived a sinless life and died to redeem us from all of our sins so that someday we can live in heaven with him. I hope each and everyone of you will accept that most precious gift that has been given to us. The gift of salvation. Much love to you all!

Blessings and love,
Betsy

Friday, March 22, 2024

A Zoo-riffic Birthday to Hope!

Happy One Year Birthday to baby Hope the giraffe! Piper was on spring break this week so we took her to the zoo on Tuesday, the warmest day of the week. It was a perfect zoo day with temperatures right around 66F. We wandered through the aquarium and the jungle before making our way to our main attraction for the day. We wanted to wish Hope a Happy Birthday. There was a constant stream of well wishers through the giraffe house where Hope was greating each person with a smile and look of contentment. Just look at her!  

Our zoo, The Henry Doorly Zoo was voted the best zoo in the United States for the second year in a row. Whoo-hoo!!  We are all, (Omaha people), so proud of the zoo. I remember going to the zoo as a little girl on fieldtrips with my class every year of grade school. It is a beautifully kept zoo and all of the animals seem very healthy and happy. We never walk the entire zoo in one trip. We have a membership and can go as often as we want. We just pick an area or two to visit each time, although we almost always go through the aquarium and jungle. The butterfly house is also a favorite.

The above was her birthday poster but I took all of the remaining photos in this post.
She's just too cute for words.

She looked like she was showing everyone just how coordinated and beautiful she is as she strolled around her home.  There were four more adult giraffes outside in the big paddock where you can see them run and eat the leaves on trees. :-) When Hope and the other teenage giraffe get a bit older and can withstand the temperature changes better, they will join the adults outside.

Pipers favorite is the aquarium where her beloved sea turtles swim so effortlessly through the water.


There all all kinds of stunningly beautiful jellyfish.

These are my favorites and they are really a flourescent purple in color.

Piper loves the aquarium where the fish, sharks, sting-rays and turtles swim right over your head and all around you.

Lots of sharks are in the tank. It's kind of eerie when they swim over your head.

Mr. Sting-ray always looks like he's smiling at me when we visit. How can something this cute be poisonous?

This guy just lay there completely still as we watched him for awhile. He looks like a grumpy old man, but he did have some pretty colors on his jet black scales! How do you like those lips? :-)

This is my other favorite. Honestly, I could sit and watch these penguins all day, but Piper is always itching to get to the sea turtles around the corner! These kids are so funny and hilarious to watch. It "snows" in their house every so often, but best of all is when they are fed. It's fun to watch them eat.

The monkeys in the jungle were busy swinging all over the place. This guy was a LOT bigger than he looks in this picture.

These three were content just to sit and watch the people watching them. Just who is in the zoo anyway?

I have no idea what this bird is but I thought it's wings were pretty. It was way up high in the tree when it spread it's wings so prettily for me.

If you don't like bats, close your eyes now. There were literally hundreds and hundreds of these bats hanging out and flying around our heads. I'm fascinated by them but don't like them much, even though one has never landed in my hair. We had them at the lake in Washington. At dusk you could see them swooping and flying through the air around the campground.

Piper and her puppy Lizzie, both spent the night on Tuesday after we went to the zoo. Well, Wednesday she decided she wanted to stay at our place another night. I had Bible study Wednesday morning, but when I got home I grabbed Piper and we went to Taco Bell for lunch before going yarn shopping at JoAnn's. I needed some acrylic yarns for my charity knitting. They are having a fantastic sale this week. I bought about $150.00 of yarn for $80.00 with the sale prices and coupons. I usually do that about once a year at the beginning of the year to stock up a little bit. It really was a GREAT sale!

Yesterday, (Thursday), we spent a lot of time plaing Rummikub with Papa and then a few games of UNO. By then this little girl was missing her Mama and decided to go home just before dinner about 5:30. When we got home, the house was so quiet without her and Lizzie. Zoey was exhausted from all of the playtime. Both of those dogs love Piper and let her dress them up and carry them around like babies. No one else can carry them like that, but Piper can do anything with them. 

Here's Lizzie, all tired out and sleeping in Zoey's bed. Zoey was on my lap sleeping too. :-)

I did get Baby J's pink sweater finished and also finished the sleeves on this purple one a few minutes ago. I just need to put the button band and edging on and it will be finished. Her second birthday is next month but I don't think they'll arrive on time with the mail service the way it is.

We went to the fish fry again tonight at a local Catholic church. This was our third week going to the dinner with two other couples that we've known forever. And I mean since we were teens! Now we're in our mid 60's to 70's! Lots of history. This church feeds well over 1000 people every Friday night during Lent. The food is delicious, the company is great. Everyone is very, very friendly and so welcoming. Tonight was the last night and I'll miss it. After dinner the six of us went to Coldstone Creamery for ice cream. I forgot how expensive it is there. We haven't been to Coldstone for 5-6 years, since when we lived in Spokane.

Take care everyone and I'm sorry if I bored you with zoo photos. We had such a great time with Piper this week for three days and two nights. I don't want her to grow up and go to middle school next year. Is there a way to keep her 11 and in 5th grade longer? She loves her Papa and Grandma and enjoys being with us. I don't want that to end.  :-) Plus, I know as she becomes a teenager her social life will get much busier. I guess that's part of life isn't it?

Blessings and love,
Betsy

Thursday, March 14, 2024

Raindrops are fallin’ on my head….

Hello  and happy Friday. I'm writing this at 11:00 Thursday night thinking you probably won't see it until Friday! As always, we've had a very hectic week with Mom and all things related to her care. The assisted living is now trying two new medications to hopefully help her anxiety, and based on the past two days, they do seem to be helping. Praise the Lord! It has been SO stressful and anxiety ridden for all of us, especially Dennis. Maybe we should all be taking those drugs too! :-)

We had rain all night and most of the day today. It just stopped an hour or so ago. There are no complaints here about the rain. We haven't had much snow this year and the farmers really need the moisture for the fields. Until today, (Thursday) we've had unseasonably warm temps all week, but today was only in the 50's. We're hoping for a warm-up again for next week because Piper is on spring break and we want to take her to the zoo.

I had a sort of fun morning. I got a new phone and iPad! They even transferred everything for me from phone to phone. The iPad will be delivered in two days and I can take the old one in and they'll do the same thing. The Verizon store is only two blocks from us, so it's not much of a problem to take it in. The phone is only $5.00/month on our bill for three years, ($180 total), and the iPad is free! Apparently we haven't been using any of our benefits from our loyalty program. We've been with Verizon for 23 years! Not a bad price for brand new devices! Especially a free iPad. :-) I'm really excited because my iPad hasn't held a charge in a couple of years. I have to keep it plugged in all of the time.

The wheelchair blanket is finished, but not washed and blocked yet. I just used scraps from my stash and I'm really happy with it. The tan and burgandy match the varigated yarn perfectly. That's always nice when it happens so nicely.

I started a sweater for our Baby "J" in London yesterday. Small sweaters go so much faster than bigger sweaters. I remember when cardigans for Piper went this fast. Now she's in a womans small size and they take much longer! This will be just a simple plain cardi for Baby "J" to play in at the park. Can you believe she'll be two in a couple of weeks?

I'm also copying my friend Cindy at the "Delighted Hands" blog and making some new dishcloths using the moss stitch in crochet. It goes really fast. This is about 20 minutes of crochet. I could use a few new dishcloths and they make nice gifts, so I always like to have some on hand. That "blob" under the yarn is Zoey taking a nap on my lap this afternoon while it was raining.

I thought I would share the table by our entry way. I have our little "Welcome" bunnies on here along with some birds to welcome spring. I crocheted the filet crochet table runner years and years ago.

Mandy sent me this photo of Piper reading in bed the other night. She reads every night before going to sleep and of course her shadow, Lizzie is right there with her. You can see two of the blankets I've crocheted for her folded up at the foot of her bed. The pink and white one covers her full size bed.  The teal one is her watching TV blanket and pretty big too, but not as big as the pink one. How I love this girl. She's going to middle school next year! Can you believe it? I can't.

I have a couple of new readers that I want to welcome. 

Janice visited the blog and she lives right here in Omaha too! She told me about a place where I can possibly donate my baby blankets to called Bethlehem House, and it's also right here in Omaha. Thank you Janice. I haven't had a chance to call this week with everything happening with Mom, but I will definitely contact them.

Mary is from Oklahoma and is also involved in BSF like I am. I think I told you all before that women all over the world are studying the same thing every week. Here I am in Nebraska and Mary is in Oklahoma and we're reading the same scriptures every week. Very unifying and a great experience.

Welcome to you both! I hope you come back and visit again. :-) I love making new friends.

I hope you are all doing well. I'll be back as soon as I can. Life is a bit wonky right now, but hopefully getting better. Love to you all.

Blessings and love,
Betsy

Wednesday, March 6, 2024

Finally better

Hello and happy Thursday to you all. I'm happy to say that the plague seems to be letting up around here. My cough is much, much better. Still there, but not bad. Dennis is better too, but coughing more than I am. Mom still sounds rough, but I made her and Dennis go to the doctor yesterday because I was worried about pneumonia for her. She doesn't have that, thankfully, but does have both ears infected and a sinus infection. She's now on an antibiotic and cough medicine. The doctor did say that we most likely had influenza B as it's everywhere right now. I truly appreciate the sweet thoughts and prayers that you all said for us. 

I finished Miss Piper's sweater and we had a photo shoot for you. Isn't she the cutest? She went to visit Grammy on Saturday and wore the sweater. It fits Grammy too and now she wants one! She already has 26 cardigans! I counted them when we moved her. That's how tiny my mother-in-law is! Piper likes the pockets and I made the sleeves a little longer that the pattern called for so hopefully it will fit for awhile!

I also made a blanket over the past week.  It's about 42 x 42 inches. I just used scraps of acrylic worsted weight from my stash and a size I crochet hook.  Its just a simple shell pattern with a chain foundation row between each color. The border is single crochet in all of the colors with a cream row between each color. It will be donated somewhere soon. I have quite a few baby blankets in my finished project totes. The hospital doesn't really need them, so I may check out a Mom/Baby center around here. 

This is another stash buster using some partial skeins I have. It will be a wheelchair blanket for the place Mom lives. Their memory care can use them, so I offered to make some. I just started with three, four round granny squares. I sewed them together and then just started doing the granny stitch round and round.  Starting with the three granny's makes them rectangular and they should end up the perfect size. I'm using a J hook for this one. Zoey is sleeping under the pink rainbow baby blanket on my lap. Yes, she has her own baby blankets. :-)

Dennis hauled this shelf down to the garage on Monday and painted it for me. He primed it Monday and painted it Tuesday. It made it's appearance back in the living room Wednesday. It used to be a black shelf that we got from Target years ago. In all of our moves it has gotten pretty scuffed up. I think it had originally been painted with just one coat of spray paint! 

He used the same paint as our baseboards and I think it looks great. Sunday night I had just mentioned to him that I was thinking about painting it and he was hauling it out early Monday morning! I have to be so careful what I ask for. He never lets "grass grow under his feet" and spoils me terribly. I had been looking on facebook marketplace for a white console but hadn't found anything in my price range that I liked and this was the perfect solution. It's like having a brand new piece of furniture. Those are Zoey's toy baskets on both sides of the shelf and our grandbabies on top. I adore those four kids.

Zoey spent a few hours playing with Lizzie on Saturday. They love each other so much. They sure sleep well after playing for a few hours. Neither of them move all night long. :-) I cut Lizzie's nails while we were there. Zoey had her manicure the day before and she was very concerned as to what I was doing to her sister. They both lay there quietly in my arms while I cut their nails and then dremel them, but they look at me with their eyes like I'm cutting their feet off. They're happy for treats when they are all done. Spoiled girls.

Yesterday I went to the crochet group at our old apartment where we crochet plastic mats for the homeless. I haven't been there for a couple of weeks since we've been sick. It was good to see all of the ladies. They are so sweet. One of them is 102 years old and is there every week, cutting plastic bags into strips for us to crochet. She doesn't crochet, but there is plenty for everyone to do. Cut the strips, tie them together and roll them into "plarn" balls to be crocheted into mats. All of them are well into their senior years and I enjoy their company immensely.

I was also able to go to my ladies Bible study group this morning for the first time since our trip. Mom had a doctor appointment the first week we were home and then we've been sick. It was so good to be back with the ladies. We're going through the book of John with BSF and other ladies all over the world. I've really enjoyed the study and have learned a lot.

Mom has an MRI and a cardiologist appointment on Friday, so that will be a busy day. I did make reservations for four nights of camping on the Oregon Coast in July. Fingers crossed that we'll actually be able to go. We're planning to spend a couple of weeks in Spokane just before going to the coast. We'll be staying in our friends driveway again. Lori called yesterday and told us their "resort" is open. Pool, laundry facilities and no leash rules because of they have a fenced yard. :-) Last year we stayed in their guest suite when we were there since Dennis had broken his hand. Oh, he went to the surgeon last Tuesday and was released to do whatever he wants now. Who would have thought a broken thumb would require two surgeries and nine months to heal? We're so glad that now he can start using it and build up strength in that hand/arm again.

I hope you're all having a great week. We've had beautiful weather for March so far. It's been so warm, in the 50's and 60's and only 20's at night. Such an usually warm winter so far. I don't want to jinx it though. I'll be back soon and I think I've finally caught up on all of your blog posts. See you again soon!

Blessings and love,
Betsy