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Monday, January 15, 2018

Home Again

Happy Monday!
I tried to do a post while I was gone, I really did.  But blogger wouldn't let me add pictures on my iPad and really, what kind of post would it be while visiting Piper without any pictures of her?  So I decided it would be better to spend my time playing with her instead.  Please be warned this is a photo heavy post!

I'm pleased to announce that we have a budding knitter on our hands.  She was so excited to learn to knit.  She actually knitted around 6-8 rows all by herself and then Grandma finished for her.  I'm excited about his development.

It took much concentration...
 but in the end there was a sweet scarf for Polly to wear outside in the frigid weather.  I was really surprised at how even her stitches were and how hard she worked at it without giving up.
Did I mention it was cold?  Most mornings were well below zero with the wind chill AND the air temperature.  One morning it was -42F with the wind chill.  Schools were cancelled so we stayed inside all day that day.

We had a nice visit with Marilyn and Dennis and I gave her the blanket I crocheted for her.  She seemed to like it and sent me a text later in the week that said she uses it every day.  Just what a knitter/crocheter likes to hear.
 Piper does the vacuuming now and does a great job of it.  Yes.  That's a huge t-shirt that she was wearing for her nightgown.  She likes it. :-)
 Tuesday morning the two of us made a cherry cheesecake for Papa and Mandy's birthday.  Please excuse the wet hair, I had just gotten out of the shower.
 Dennis' birthday was January 9th and Mandy's is the 20th.  Their favorite is cheesecake so Piper and I made one and we celebrated both birthdays at once.  It was a hit!  Mandy got two pairs of socks.
 Later in the week we were at Dennis' Mom's house and they all had socks on that I had knitted them.  This was NOT planned.  Later that night Alex face-timed from Japan and he also had socks on that I made for him.  Gosh, this warmed my heart!
 Here they are with their socks!  It's not easy to see, but Dennis' are full of tiny cables running up the socks.
 Piper diligently worked on thank you cards for Christmas gifts while we were there.  She's quite an artist.
 Our little princess.  A bit of a fake smile but I love it anyway. :-)
 She and Papa wrestled and played the week away.
 They had quite a lot of fun!  She loved having Papa there too.  Usually it's only Grandma!
 And then Belle made an appearance.
 Papa played the part of "The Beast" and they whirled and twirled around the living room while the movie played in the background.  It was a beautiful ball!  Papa needs a costume change though!
 We did have a day when it was nice enough to take a walk and Piper drove her police car complete with lights and siren.  They neighbor GAVE it to them last summer right after they moved in.  He's a police officer and his little girl had two of these cars.  It only needed a battery, but Brad replaced the stickers too and shined it up and it looks brand new.  Gosh that car goes fast and reverses too.  Piper is proving to be a pretty good driver too.  Look!  She has her mittens on that I made her last winter.  I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE seeing my knitted things being used as intended.  So often I give things away and never see if anyone actually uses them.  Mandy wore her wrist-warmers AND her mittens while we were there.  ***sigh***  happy Mama.
I put another row on the scrappy blanket last night while watching podcasts.
I finished the socks that Mandy is wearing in the picture above while flying to Omaha and then started these.  They were my airplane knitting on the way home.  I have both pairs just past the heels.  Alex saw the yarn while we were face-timing and called "dibs" on them just before Mandy said she wanted them!  They both want them.  Unfortunately Knit Picks doesn't have this colorway anymore.  I'll have to watch their website and hopefully they will restock it before we have a sibling war!
Oh my goodness, it was SO hard to leave our girls.  I practically ran in to the airport when we left Saturday night.  The tears were falling.  Piper did not need to see that.  We were able to see my sister just for a short visit, but not my brothers.  We did get to see Mom on three different occasions and Dennis' sister too, but the weather and only having a week made it difficult to see people.

I'm thinking of driving back in the spring so I will have a car and can stay a little longer without airline schedules to deal with.

Well, I think this is long enough for today.  Hopefully I'll be back before the end of the week to visit you all again.  I tried to keep up on commenting on your blogs but I think I missed some.  I hope you all have a wonderful week ahead.

"But  let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you. Psalm 5:11

Blessings,
Betsy


Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Happy New Year....

What?  Am I late?  It's already the third of January?  Oops. Well, actually I did know that, but I've been snuggled down pretty securely in the house during these cold snowy days.  But look outside today.
It's a beautiful, but chilly blue sky today.  This, once again, is the view from the back deck where I stepped out in my robe and slippers to take a photo to show you.  I've had a very lazy morning today.  I've had difficulty sleeping again, which has happened periodically since I was around 50 years old.  In talking to other ladies, it's not an uncommon occurrence and now that I'm not working outside the home any longer, I can just "roll" with it.  So this morning after Dennis left for work I went back to bed and actually slept another hour.  By then it was about 7:00 a.m. and it was cold, so for the first time in a long time, I grabbed my Bible and climbed back into bed to read there instead of my normal routine of showering, dressing and sitting in my chair with a cup of tea.  You know what?  It was kind of fun!  Like playing hooky as a child.  I still read my Bible so does it matter where I did it?  Nope!

Now I'm up and have vacuumed and dusted the bedroom and living room and getting ready to go to Hobby Lobby which is right down the street from me.  They have "I Love This Cotton" on sale this week, so I thought I might pick up a few skeins of it.  I can also wander around and look at beautiful things while I try to get my steps in.  It's way to slippery to walk outside these days.

I took the picture below on Friday.  At that point I think it had snowed at least a little bit every day for at least 11 days straight.

Dennis took the day off on Friday because work was so slow, as it usually is between Christmas and New Years, and we went to get a permit renewed at the courthouse.  My little CRV gets around wonderfully in the snow and ice with it's Blizzak snow tires.  But...others don't do so well.  Right after I took this picture a jeep passed us on the left going way too fast.  He spun two complete circles and then went off the road, just missing several other cars while he was spinning.  He also just missed a power pole and a garage.  People were following way too close and we were almost rear-ended at least three times that I saw.  What is wrong with people?  It's not like we never have snow and people don't know how to drive.  And what's up with the huge hurry?  Although we had several other errands, we decided that we, and the car, would be much better off at home.  At the end of the day the news reported over 175 crashes on Friday alone.  And it wasn't even that slick!  People need to slow down!  Okay.  Enough of my rant.  Sorry about that.
 It was beautiful.  But I'm thankful for blue sky today.
I've been hibernating inside most of the time watching videos and knitting.  This is my view.  As I said before, I leave my snowmen out for awhile after the holidays.  My little camper stays out for a month or two longer too, even though Santa is waving from the roof.  It reminds me that I'll be back at the lake before too long.
I do have a couple of finished objects.  I made this scarf for another one of Dennis' co-workers, Paula.  It's really a brighter yellow but looks rather faded here.  Blame it on the cloudy day that I took the picture!  I just used a simple garter band on all sides and the body is k2, p2, alternating every two rows. It's about 6 feet long.  I really like it and will definitely use this stitch pattern in other things.
 I finished a pair of socks out of Paton's Kroy sock in the "blue rag" colorway.  Look how well the stripes match until the toes.  I didn't do it on purpose and I have no idea why the color is off on the toes.  Oh well, no one will see the toes anyway, right?
I started another pair of socks too.  These are made with Regia yarn and I love the pattern that it's making.  I'm gong to finish the heel flap today and then put them in my carry-on to knit on while flying to Omaha on Saturday.  I want them past the heel flat so that in case of interruptions I can just knit round and round.  Notice I'm back to my dpn's.  I like the magic loop method okay, but I always go back to dpn's.  They are much more comfortable for me to use.
We're heading into the deep freeze that is Nebraska for a week.  Dennis will be there for his birthday  for the first time since we moved to Spokane in 1993.  That will be nice for his Mom.  We'll have a late Christmas with Mandy, Brad and Piper too.  We had a new little great-niece born over New Years weekend so it will be fun to see little Madeline Elise.   It will be a busy week, trying to fit everything in.  Plus, we're flying Alaska there and United home.  United has some strange restrictions on carry-on luggage.  Apparently my purse counts as my carry-on!  I usually take a little hand-held bag that holds all of our medications, my Ipad and my knitting onboard with me.  We're trying to figure this out.  We'll have some Christmas presents, plus snow boots, clothes for both of us all in one large checked suitcase.  Traveling in the summer is much, much easier.  Less bulky clothes.  And I am a very light packer too.  I don't take many clothes at all.  We really don't want to pay for another checked bag.  Hmmmph.  It's much easier to drive. 

We are both looking forward to Dennis' retirement when we can drive wherever we want to go.  If the weather gets bad, we can just stop.  No timeline to follow strictly.  I used to love to fly.  All over the world.  Get me a ticket and off I would go.  I flew to London and Japan by myself.  Several times.  I've flown all over the U.S.  But it's NOT fun anymore.  They pack us in like sardines and the security is not fun.  Especially now with my pacemaker, because I can't go through the regular detector anymore.  And they overbook most flights now, because sometimes people just don't show up.  Then people get kicked off the plane because they've overbooked.  Not fun.  Am I ranting again?  I don't mean to.  Just trying to explain why it's so much more fun to drive and stop whenever you want to.

BUT....we are looking forward to seeing our girls again. 

And how about all of you?  Is the new year treating you well so far?  I'm going to try to read more this year.  I used to read several books every week.  Now, because I'm always knitting/crocheting, my reading has all but stopped.  So, although I may not get as much crafting in, I'm determined to read more.  That's one of my goals.  My big one however, is working on the "fruit of the spirit" in my life.  As you can tell with my "rant's" in this post, I can definitely use it.  For those of you unsure of what I'm taking about it will involve cultivating love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control. These are found in Galations 5 in the Bible.  I also want to make prayer a bigger priority in my life. 

I hope you are all having a wonderful week.  Jamie did something to my Ipad while he was here, so I'm going to TRY to post while I'm at Mandy's next week.  We'll see if it works.

This is my favorite Bible verse and I'm going to leave it with you to start this new year of 2018.

"But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.  Isaiah 40:31

Blessings,
Betsy

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

The day after the day after...

Good morning friends. Christmas is over.  Jamie and the kids went home yesterday and through my tears, I decided the best way to cope would be cleaning.  I washed all the sheets and towels and remade beds.  I vacuumed and swept all of the floors.  I cleaned bathrooms. Then I took down the tree and last night Dennis carried everything to the storage closet for me.  This morning I packed up the last of the decorations.  The only thing I have left out is my snowmen collection and they stay out until the middle of February or so.  I would much rather look at stuffed snowmen than the cold, white stuff outside. It's easier for me to  cope with an empty house if all signs of the visit are gone quickly.  That may seem an odd way of coping but it's what I've found works best for me.

Mandy and Piper face-timed a couple of times through the day yesterday and Alex face-timed from Tokyo, I think the calls were because they knew I was feeling really lonely after the grandbabies left.  They both face-timed every single day over the holiday weekend which I know isn't easy for either of them.  Mandy had family obligations at various places and just the time difference makes talking with Alex a challenge even when it's not a holiday.  Oh. How I miss my kids and tears are falling as I write this, but at least we know they love us.  And...we're flying to Omaha next weekend to have a late Christmas with our Omaha family.  Dennis will be there for his birthday with his Mom for the first time in years, so it's all good.  I'll get over the tears.  I always do until I think to much about the fact that none of them are here. :-)

I forgot to show you this yummy lotion that Cheryl, ( Homespun Devotions blog), sent me last week.  It smells like Peppermint and it's wonderful.  Please say a prayer for Cheryl's family, especially her sister Debbie and nephew Mark, as Debbie's husband LD passed away yesterday from cancer.  The family is devastated and grieving deeply during this season where everyone else seems to be so joyful.
 I bought this apple pie at a gluten free bakery and it was a hit with Kyleigh and Caleb.  They said it was really delicious but I can't for the life of me figure out why gluten free foods cost so much.  This one pie was $17.99!  They always go without when others are eating pie though, so I bought it anyway.  For those of you that eat gluten free, do the ingredients REALLY cost that much more?  It wasn't just the pie.  I bought bread, crackers, cereal and hot dog buns too and they all cost much more than "normal" food.  Don't get me wrong.  I didn't mind getting these foods for them at all, I just can't figure out how people can afford to eat like this all of the time. :-)  Isn't it a pretty pie?
 Our tree on Christmas morning.  It was definitely a white Christmas here and the snow is still falling!
I managed to make four matching dishcloths over the weekend for some girlfriends of mine that I'll see next week.
Two...
 and two more.
 I made my friend Teresa another hat a couple of weeks ago that I forgot to show you.  She texted me yesterday and asked if I would make her another one as she gave it to a homeless woman yesterday.  Well of course I will!  That makes 6 since last winter that I've made her.  She gives them away and I make more!  A great collaboration in my mind!  Teresa is a school teacher and an amazing one at that.  I would have loved to have a teacher like her when I was a child.
The sun was coming up over Mt. Spokane yesterday morning when I looked out the patio door.  I thought the pink was beautiful.
 Snow fell, and fell and fell yesterday.  It wasn't even in the forecast!  More is on the way. I need to go shovel the driveway again, but Dennis has forbidden me.  I shoveled yesterday and got into big trouble when he got home last night.  Tomorrow another 6-8 inches is forecast and then freezing rain after the snow.  Yuck.
Well, I'm off to finish some cleaning and then I need to knit on a scarf for a co-worker of Dennis.  I'm trying to find a nice easy one that will go fast!

I hope you're all having some relaxing time after all of the hustle and bustle of the holiday.  I'll be back soon and popping around to visit your blogs too.

Suddenly a great company of the Heavenly Host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peach to those on whom His favor rests."
Luke 2:13-14

Blessings,
Betsy