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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.
 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


Saturday, December 23, 2017

Merry Christmas and a Thank You!

Merry Christmas just a bit early to all of my friends in blogland!  I know I won't be posting again before Christmas day because I'll be a bit busy with my grandchildren! Yes, Jamie and the kids just crossed McDonald Pass on their way here today.  Two more mountain passes to go, so we're definitely praying for safe roads.  More snow fell yesterday and that translates into slick roads.  The skies are a beautiful blue today though, so hopefully travel will be safe for them and all others who are driving today.  I'm praying for any family members you may have on the roads this weekend too.

But I just had to stop in an tell you something.  I went to the mailbox yesterday and there was a surprise in it!  Look who came to stay at my house.
Isn't she sweet?  She was in a box from an Etsy shop with just a note that said, "Merry Christmas, Betsy!" and nothing else.  I have no idea who's flock she's from, but I am ever so thankful.  I suspect one of you sent her to me and I am just so grateful.  She even has a PURPLE heart on her side.  Thank you so much to whoever you are.

She joins a sheepy friend that arrived a few Christmas's ago from some other bloggy pals.  I'll soon have a flock of my own. :-)  I love them and they definitely make me smile.
I also received this sweet snowman card, handmade by Debra at "Araignee's Tangled Web" on my sidebar.  She makes the nicest soaps and lotions and shares them with everyone.  Instead of sending this out to someone else, I was selfish and framed it in a shadowbox.  He will stay out all winter and help brighten the long, dark and cold days.
 Piper had "pajama day" at preschool last week.  She wore her princess nightgown and so did her friend and her friends little sister.  Three matching sweethearts.  Aren't they precious?
This picture came by text yesterday.  Mandy and Piper were making Papa's favorite Christmas cookies.  Cut out sugar cookies!  Piper did most of the work herself according to Mommy.
It's a good thing yesterday was such a good day because apparently she woke up upchucking during the  night.  Is there a nice way to say that?  Anyway, we face-timed this morning and she asked Grandma what would make her tummy feel better?  I suggested sucking on a peppermint stick.  That's what we did with our kids and it seemed to help.  Hopefully it will help Miss Piper.  She has a busy weekend ahead of her.  There sure seems to be a lot of bugs out there this winter.

I also want to thank each and every one of you for your sweet comments and prayers this week.  My CT scan came back normal which was wonderful news.  Everyone who knows me made comments about really having a brain in there!  I had my regular eye exam yesterday and the eye doctor gave me steroid eye drops to see if that will bring the swelling down by my nose.  He said if it is going to work it will be by the end of today and it could be inflamed glands from my eyes that are next to my nose.  So far, no change, but at least I know it's not a tumor or something like that!  I still have a headache too, but nothing that I'm going to let stop me from having a wonderful time with Jamie and the kids.

I am so very, very blessed to have such compassionate and kind friends like you all.  Although I know the internet can be used for bad things, I'm so grateful for it because without it, I probably wouldn't have met any of you in "real" life. 

I have made several dishcloths since I last wrote to you, but haven't taken any photos of them yet.  I'll try to do that for my next post.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend of celebration.  If I don't comment much on your posts this weekend, it's because I'm busy playing and talking with my family that we see so rarely.

"She will give birth to a son, and you are to give Him the name Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins." Matthew 1:21

Merry, Merry Christmas to each of you.  You have truly been a wonderful gift given to me.


Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Ever Closer...

Are you ready?  I think Christmas is almost here whether you are ready or not.  It has been a very low key preparation time for me.  For the most part, I finished everything pretty early.  I just have the actual food to make on Christmas.  We're having a very easy meal of ham, mashed potatoes, green beans because I can make nothing that has gluten in it because of Kyleigh and Caleb having Celiac's.  It does simplify cooking and you go back to the basics.  It seems gluten is in everything.  I did buy an Apple pie for them at a gluten free bakery.  I'll pick that up on Friday so they can have it all weekend, not just for Christmas.  They arrive Saturday and the fun will commence!

We have received about 16 inches of snow since I last blogged.  Yes really!  And then yesterday it was 40F and poured down rain.  All around us people got snow but we had rain and it melted a lot of the snow away.  Now it's supposed to be very, very cold through next week.  As in single digits cold!  Brrrr.  Here are a few photos for you snow lovers after the first round fell last weekend.  Merry Christmas!

The dots are more snow falling as we drove home from church on Sunday.  The first two were taken as we drove down our street and the last is our house.  We just keep shoveling the stuff, or to be more exact, Dennis shovels.  He won't let me touch the shovel this year after last years fall.  Yuck!

The next photo is an ornament that has been on our tree every year since I was five.  I don't think I've shown it to you yet this year.  It was given to me by my kindergarten Sunday school teacher and has been one of our favorite family ornaments.
Can you believe it still has glitter on it after 52 years?  Yep.  I'm 57, at least for another month or so.

Piper was in a program at  her preschool last week.  Mandy sent us a photo of her ready to take part at school.  Brad's parents were there too.  I'm so glad that she has family close by now to celebrate all of these fun events with them.
We also had our children's program at church on Sunday.  It was wonderful.  They enacted the traditional Nativity, down to a 3 year old innkeeper!  It really was wonderful!  I laughed and I cried.
There is nothing like children telling the greatest story that has ever been told.
We lit the third candle on the advent wreath at home on Sunday.  I've always wanted to have a wreath at home and Dennis and I are really enjoying it together this year.  Each night for the month of December, there are scriptures we read, reminding us of why we are celebrating Christmas.  Even though Christ's birth wasn't really on Christmas, it has been the day chosen to celebrate this wonderful day.  Three candles were lit last Sunday.

I finished this cross stitch earlier in the year and have decided to leave it out all year long as a reminder.  It looks small but it is framed in an 11x14" frame.
Through the week I have managed to finish some things.  First up is Marilyn's blanket.  I love, love, love how it turned out.  It's almost big enough for a twin size bed and the yellow color is so soft!
I just did a single crochet border and then some chain stitches.  I think it was a nice finish.

I also finished another Pimpelliese Shawl made with Knit Picks Stroll tonal yarn in fingering weight.  I plan to give it as a gift to a co-worker of Dennis.  I've known her almost 24 years and I know she will appreciate it.  This is a free pattern on Ravelry if you're interested.  I've made lots of them over the years.  I played "yarn chicken" and lost.  That has never happened to me before.  See the right edge of the shawl?  I had weighed the skein before I began, but I still ran out. I only needed about a yard more to complete it properly.  I don't think it will be noticeable when she's wearing it and it would be a LOT of work to rip out clear back to where the decreases began.  What do you think?  I haven't given it to her yet.  Should I rip it out?  Now I'm second thinking it all! :-)  I hate giving things away that aren't right.  Let me know in the comments what you think please.
With some of the mitten scraps I have, I made a simple toddler sized granny stripe blanket for the Crisis Nursery.  Nice, mindless crochet to use up little bits of yarn.
I also finished a doily I had started in November and then let languish in the basket.
I received a gift in the mail from my friend Becky in Portland.  She takes the most beautiful photos and she sent me a calendar with some of her photos and a beautiful ornament.  She's "GrandmaBecklyL" over on my sidebar.  Thank you so much Becky!
I hope you are all ready to celebrate and are not too stressed.  Slow down and take a deep breath.  The day will come and go just like any other whether you are ready or not, so I hope you can enjoy it and be thankful for the greatest gift ever given.

(Edited to add that the hospital just called and I have a CT scan of my head scheduled for 7:00 tonight. Please pray that answers would be found...finally. I have had a headache for almost 2 weeks and swelling around my nose that hasn't gone down at all.  Both sides of my nose and the doctors don't know why.  Sinus xrays have been clear.  The antibiotics I've been on for 8 days now have done nothing. Thank you all.)

"For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes." Romans 1:16

"She will give birth to a son, and you are to give Him the name Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins." Matthew 1:21

Merry Christmas and many blessings to you all.


Friday, December 15, 2017

Just Stopping by...

I had a few photos I wanted to share with you all.  I just finished Marilyn's blanket, literally 10 minutes ago, and popped it in the washer on delicate so I thought I would show you a few precious things I've received recently and a surprise when I went downstairs to the laundry room.

First the surprise.  It's snowing!  It just started and I really thought it was going to pass us by because it was supposed to arrive during the night and didn't.  Oh well.  I don't have to go anywhere and it's so pretty to watch falling.
 As you can still see the grass peeking through, it has obviously not been coming down very long.
 This is a beautiful Christmas card by my sweet friend Sharon in Australia.  Her blog is on my sidebar as "Calligraphy Cards - Shaz in Oz".  She is an amazing lady and makes the incredible cards.  I've put this into a shadow box frame and intend to leave it out year round.  Each of those tiny details were made by her own sweet hands.  Just lovely.
This is a sweet little monster made by Mere's friend in honor of her daughter who was killed in a car accident.  Doesn't he make you smile?
This sweet little angel is the newest to join our tree.  She was my gift at the ladies Christmas tea and ornament exchange at church last Sunday. Isn't she beautiful?  I collect angels and love every one.
Our star tree topper was bought by Dennis' parents the year he was born.  They gave it to us the first year we were married because she bought a new one.  It has proudly graced our own tree for 39 Christmas's.  It's not fancy but we love it.
Jamie made this angel ornament when he was five in Sunday school.  It has hung at the top of the tree ever since, right under the star for 29 Christmas's now.
That's about it for today.  I'm at the strange stage for me, of only having a pair of socks and a scarf on the needles.  I don't feel like working on either, so maybe I'll start a scrap toddler blanket.  What do you think?  Well, maybe I should turn the heel on the sock so it's ready for mindless round and round knitting if I go somewhere.

Thank you for the sweet well wishes.  The doctors office called this morning and since nothing has changed, improved or worse since starting antibiotics I'm to check in with them Monday unless I get noticeably worse and then go to E.R.  Luckily, I'm a homebody and don't mind staying home at all.  I'm watching podcasts, and Hallmark movies and enjoying my nice warm house.  I do appreciate the prayers and sweet messages you all have sent me this week.

I hope all of your holiday plans are coming together and that you take the time to remember to include Jesus, as He is the reason we're celebrating the day at all.

"Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen." Ephesians 4:29

Blessings always,

Wednesday, December 13, 2017


Good Morning!  It's another dreary winter day.  A little more snow fell overnight and the clouds look like they're ready to dump even more although the weatherman says it won't.  We usually have crisp blue skies in the winter, but we're under what is called an "inversion" this week which is keeping it cloudy.  Bleh.  I haven't been feeling well either.  A trip the doctor yesterday and some antibiotics given so here's hoping I'll perk up soon.  All I want to do is go from the bed to my knitting chair.  I'm sure glad I got Christmas all done early this year. :-)  I have a few things to show you but not much knitting so here goes.

Since it's been over a week since I last posted I have some photos to share. Lots of photos. Dennis and I had a "date night" to Coeur d'Alene, Idaho last Tuesday after work and we walked all around the resort.  My photos aren't very good but they'll give you an idea of the beautiful lights.  It was so COLD!

Santa came flying in with his reindeer.  They twinkled on and off and actually looked as if they were flying.  Up, up and away!
 This sign for 2017 was at least 30 foot across.  I didn't know how to get a good perspective of it's size for you.
 One of the parking garages!
 The clocktower by the lake.  The trees light up the beachfront.
 These were taken on the boardwalk on the lake itself.  The docks were all lit up with dozens of huge displays. We couldn't walk very far on the boardwalk because it was icy from frost with the water underneath.

 I sure wish I had been able to get better photos for you, but I wanted to give you an idea of the scope of these displays.  They are massive.
 Then we went inside the resort itself to warm up a bit.  This wreath was wider than our garage door at home.  At least 15 foot across! Where do they get ribbon that wide?
 Up close on one of the beautiful trees in the lobby.

 Across the street at the  Shops at Coeur d'Alene, there were beautiful displays too.
 That green and white box is taller than I am and I'm 5'10"!
 This was where the line formed to get on the huge boats that take people out to Santa's village.  There are light displays all around the lake, which is HUGE!  Santa calls out each child's name and it's so exciting.  However, we couldn't get tickets. It's sold out for the entire month.  There were people dressed at Snowmen, toy soldiers and elves to entertain the people while they waited to board the boats.
Now for the little bit of knitting/crochet I've completed.  I've made two pairs of Kathyb's wrist warmers this week for my friend Jenny and a co-worker of hers. Their offices are quite cold and so I told them I would make them wrist warmers.  These are for Anne.  She chose Knit Picks Stroll Tweed in "Farmhouse Heather".
 These are for Jenny who chose Knit Picks Stroll Tonal in the "Pansy" colorway.  Thank you for this great pattern Kathy.  It knits up so fast!  I made each of these pair in less than a day.  These lavender ones are the same size, I don't know why they photographed with one shorter than the other.
I've also been working off and on on this blanket for Marilyn.  I love the pale yellow and hope she likes it too.
I did make a couple of dishcloths and gave them away.  I think I'm forgetting something else too but I'll think of it later after I publish this post. :-)

I'm going to leave you with some pictures of Miss Piper.  Santa came to her house to see her and she was SO excited.  This is the very same Santa who used to come visit her Daddy and his brothers, Brian and Bill when they were small.  How neat is that? I love this picture.  He left her a sparkley snowflake with LED lights to put in the window on Christmas Eve so he's sure to remember that's her house! :-)
 Here is Santa, Piper and her Daddy. 
They all went to a local nursery to see the displays last weekend that we used to visit when we lived in Omaha.  I love the happy faces.
Well, my friends.  I'm tired and I'm heading for my knitting chair.  I'm really not enjoying being under the weather at all.

I hope you're all having a great December and are ready to celebrate our Saviour's birth.  I also hope you can all slow down and remember the reason we're celebrating this season of joy.

"Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; His love endures forever." 1 Chronicles 16:34

Blessings always,