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Thursday, August 17, 2017

Beautiful Days

Good Morning everyone! 

Do any of you remember the smoky skies I showed you last week?  Here was the view of Mt. Spokane off of our back deck last week.
Here is the view this morning, as of about 10 minutes ago.  Quite a huge difference and a very welcome one.  We had a bit of rain Sunday morning, just a little bit, but coupled with the wind, it was enough to blow most of the smoke away.  We still have some smoke, but much, much cooler temperatures... in the 80's and that is very welcome.  We broke all previous records for the number of days over 90F in a row.  85F feels like a cold snap and has people talking about fall!
My marigolds this morning.  They loved the heat and are doing a great job of brightening the yard.
I took this picture on my walk at the lake yesterday.  This little guy was sure I had some wonderful treat for him...I didn't have anything so he wandered away to join his friends.  I love that beautiful blue patch on his wing.  It turns from green to sapphire blue depending on how the sun strikes it.  Would you believe Dennis and I saw about 30 geese flying south Tuesday night?  Now THAT'S depressing.
Piper's blanket is growing.  The light pink came out, not without difficulty, since I'm using the "join as you go" method of putting the squares together.  It does look a lot better though with just these two colors.  I need more pink, but Michaels is out of stock.  I hope when they get more in that it matches.
Here are my two little hats for the Purple Hat Project.  They went in the mail yesterday to Seattle Children's Hospital.  I hope these little hats will help to be a reminder for parents and protect an innocent little one.  If you're curious about them, I wrote more on my last post and KathyB talked about it on her blog, Compassion Knits, on my sidebar.

The model is my little newborn sized doll that I found at the Union Gospel Mission thrift store a few years ago.  She's a great model for my baby makes and fits the average newborn size exactly.  It's a good way to know if I'm correct in my sizing when making things for charity.
I finished Kale's first sock last night.  A ten year old with feet as big as mine!  Here I am modeling it.  I began the second sock just before bed last night.  This is my "carry in my purse project since Pipers blanket is too big to carry around.
I've seen lots of different toes and heels around the internet but I love the wedge toe and regular heel flap.  The heels wear very well with the flap, unlike some others that I've heard about online.
Lori's flowers at the lake being guarded by the Seattle Seahawk garden gnome. (Did I spell that right?  It looks totally wrong. Ha!)
Larry finished restoring his 1926 Chevy truck last week and has now listed it for sale.  It is pretty!
Look at that blue trim!
He painstaking restored each board of the bed too. 
He loves this truck, but wants a new project to work on.  After all of the work he has done, I would have a difficult time selling it if it were mine.

Today is a busy one.  I went to the Spine clinic yesterday for a second opinion on my back.  I still had a referral until November from last year, so I just called them myself!  He was very frustrated that I wasn't referred back when I fractured my back.  Yes, the fracture is still there.  Now, because of the way I'm walking, my feet are also messed up. I went to acupuncture for them before, which helped immensely but because of my pacemaker, that's a no-no now.  So, today I'm being fitted for a back brace to help support the muscles that are trying to protect the bone.  They are also going to try a laser procedure to help get oxygen to the muscles.  This will be done on my back and my feet and I'll have the first one today.  I'm hopeful that something will help.  I've been trying to walk, yesterday I had almost 12,000 steps, but between my back and my feet, I'm still in a lot of pain.  Mind over matter, only takes you so far my friends!

We had planned to take the new camper out tomorrow for the weekend, but received an email from the campground that they were overbooked, (by the computer).  Apparently this eclipse is sending a lot of people into the wilderness.  I have a couple of other places to call today but we may have to postpone our maiden trip until Labor Day weekend.

I have to get moving.  Weight Watchers is in less than an hour and I'm sitting here with dripping hair!  And WW is another story.  I have stayed exactly the same, up 3 lbs., down 3 lbs., since the beginning of summer.  What's with that?! 

After WW, it's errand day.  The bank, Costco, Shopko, grocery store and then my doctors appointments.  I told you it was a busy day.  That's what I get for being at the lake all week.  I have to cram everything into one day.  Including blogging because blogger won't let me type from my Ipad or IPhone.  At least I can still read all of your blogs and comment.  I would be lost without my visits to all of you. :-)  I better get a move on and stop sitting at the computer!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and enjoy the last few weeks of summer here in the upper hemisphere.  And for all of you "down under,"  enjoy your last few weeks of coolness.

And in these turbulent times, I pray this daily.

"Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God; may Your good Spirit lead me on level ground.: Psalm 143:10

Blessings to you always,
Betsy








Thursday, August 10, 2017

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes

Happy Thurdsay!  Another week has gone past and I really am not sure where summer is flying to this year.  Soon, way too soon, that dreaded four letter word "snow" will be uttered by the weatherman and I'll be stuck inside again.

For now, we're stuck inside for the most part anyway, either at the trailer or at home because of this.  Smoke.  You know that view I photograph now and then of Mt. Spokane off of our back deck?  This is the same view.  No Mt. Spokane.  It's been covered in smoke for a couple of weeks now.  Apparently we're getting the smoke from the Canadian fires and the ones by the Canadian border in Washington, along with fires in central Washington.  Since we're only 100 miles or so from the border depending on the roads you  take, it's not very far away.  I took this picture about 10 minutes ago.
Here at the lake isn't any better.  This was the view yesterday and early last month!  See the difference? 
It does make it difficult to breathe and my eyes feel like they are full of grit and sand.  My nose and eyes water constantly too.  Ick!  There is supposed to be a change next week and the wind is supposed to shift everything out of here.  I'm hoping that happens, because it's been several weeks now and we're all feeling the effects of the nasty stuff here in Eastern Washington.

Neal and Jenny have our new trailer in North Idaho this week at Silverwood Amusement Park north of Coeur d'Alene.  See the smoky sky there too?  She sent me this picture of the trailer all set up.  Doesn't it look cozy?  I need to think of a name for it.  Any suggestions?
I'm looking forward to using it ourselves, but I'm very happy that our best friends are having fun with it too.  We're planning to take a drive up north from the lake on Friday or Saturday to check out a couple of campgrounds.  I would like to dry camp, (boondock), on DNR land, but we're a bit hesitant to be off by ourselves with all of the fires.  An established campground would have a better warning system to get us out in an emergency.

I did get some knitting done this week while sitting INSIDE the trailer at the lake away from the smoke.  These are for Hayden made with some leftover camo colored yarn.
Yesterday when I came into town I bought yarn and started this granny blanket for Miss Piper's new big girl bed.  Papa, (Dennis), bought her a new comforter set when we were there and hopefully this will match it.  She loves her new bed and calls it "the cloud" because it's so soft and comfortable.  I want to have this done when I go back there next month.  Wish me luck!
I also started a pair of socks last night for Kale, Hayden's big brother.  I had to buy yarn for them yesterday since I had no "boy" colors.  Look!  See!  They really are started.  Technically anyway.  :-)There are 16 stitches cast on that needle.  I just finished casting on all of the stitches and knitted one round so they are well and truly begun.
A friend just texted me a link about the "Purple Hat Project".  I haven't read the entire thing, but I what I have read sounds like a great charity project.  Here are the links if you're interested in checking it out. 

http://clickforbabies.org/

Also: 

http://www.southernliving.com/news/knitting-for-charity-crochet-baby-cap-period-of-purple-crying


Finally, here is our youngest son, Alex.  A friend of his posted this on face-book and I copied it.  This was taken Tuesday night in Aomori, Japan.  Alex has taken part in this festival in rural Japan since he was 14 years old.  He is 28 now!  It is quite an honor since they usually do NOT allow foreigners to be in the festivals in rural areas.  They take their traditions very seriously.  I truly think Alex is more Japanese than American!  He was born in the wrong part of the world as he loves the Japanese people and their culture so much.  And, can you believe that he was born on Pearl Harbor day, December 7?

He face-timed us the next night to show his Dad the mustache before he shaved it off.  Right after we face-timed he said it was coming off.  His girlfriend wanted him to grow it, but he didn't like it and in the place he lives it is NOT the thing a businessman does if he wants to look professional.  So off it came!
I don't have a lot of news this week.  Just trying to stay out of the extreme heat and smoke.  We will break a record today of temperatures about 90 degrees in a row.  That is so unusual for us here in Spokane.  I'm ready for a cool down, but not ready for fall yet.

Dennis has Fridays off for the next couple of months to use up his vacation or he loses it.  They are so busy at work that he can't take a week or two off all at once, so he's taking Friday's until the end of October, plus the week of our anniversary in September.  We're staying close by, probably at the lake that week or maybe somewhere close in our little trailer, so if they need him he can get to the office in a short time.  Frustrating, when we had wanted to go to the Oregon coast in October for a week.  Campsites are also hard to find right now because of the eclipse.  Even though it will be over by October, it is bringing many people up to the northwest and they are apparently staying around for awhile.

I hope you have a lovely week and are enjoying summer.  The evenings are getting shorter and we have to turn the lights on outside at the trailer again when we sit outside visiting.  Dennis is driving into town in the dark now in the mornings.  Unmistakable signs that summer is waning.  I am NOT ready for it, but the seasons will change anyway won't they?  I'll just have to follow along, kicking, screaming and pouting my way behind it!  Ha!

"Give praise to the LORD, proclaim His name; make known among the nations what He has done."
Psalm 105:1

Blessings always,
Betsy






Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Blue Sky

Hello my friends!    It's been a hot, hot, hot week.  In fact, it's so hot that when we came home from the lake for church Sunday morning, we stayed home and haven't gone back!  Highly unusual but I'm enjoying my AC in the 95F+ temperatures that we've had all week.  They are forecast to continue for the next 10 days at least.  Ugh!  We pick up the new trailer this Saturday, and Alicia and Jeremy are staying in it at the lake Saturday night though, so we need to head on out there Friday to get things ready.  Neal and Jenny are using the trailer all next week to go to Silverwood amusement park in Idaho for their annual trip with their adult kids and grandkids. I'm SO glad people are using the trailer.  It's what we got it for.

Look at this blue sky!  On Saturday, Dennis and I took a road trip up north to our friends property about 10 miles south of the Canadian border.  Here, I'll take you along.  It was a beautiful, if hot, day.
The grasses and fields are very dry.
A bit blurry as we were whizzing up the road, but it's still beautiful.
So dry.  No wonder we have so many fires burning.  We don't have blue skies now.  We have had BROWN skies for several days because of the smoke and not much wind to blow it away.  Although wind would make the fires worse so it's a "catch 22" situation.
Crossing the Columbia River north of Kettle Falls, WA.
The next pictures are of our friends property where they spend weekends, (they live in Spokane too.)  They have 10 acres and have put in 3 RV spots with water, electric and a sewer dump.  This way there is room for friends and family to join them.  The property has been in the family for years.  We're planning to go up either later this month or in September with the new trailer to spend a weekend with them.
Look at this view!  I could sit there all day and look at this.  Bob has built benches all over the property at particularly beautiful spots for Laurie to just sit and enjoy. This is one of them.
Looking the other way.  You can just see our truck and their motorhome back in the middle left in the photo.  They have a beautiful brand new Winnebago motorhome.  You want to talk luxurious?  Oh my goodness it's gorgeous.  I could seriously live in it.
On our way back to our humble little trailer.  More views of the  mighty Columbia River.

I took part in an "Everything but Yarn" swap that Kathyb held on her blog Compassion Knits.  I was paired up with Nancy of the Wyoming Breezes blog on my sidebar.  Nancy is a prolific quilter who makes the most gorgeous quilts and donates them to "Quilts of Valor" for our veterans.  You should definitely stop and visit her. 

Yesterday I received my swap package from Nancy.  Look at all of this goodness.  The cowl is gorgeous and my favorite color.  Lots of tea, candy, knitting notions, soap, post-its, a little fan, magnet frames.  Oh my goodness!  She put a lot of thought into this package.  Thank you so much Nancy!  I appreciate each and every item.
I made some new hot pads and dishcloths for the new trailer, but  on second thought, I think I'll put them in the camper we use all of the time and put the older ones in the new trailer.  I purposely made the dishcloths longer and narrower than usual because of where they hang on the oven door to dry in both of the trailers.  There is not a lot of space since I also hang the dish towel there.  This is just cotton I picked up at Michaels and had in my stash.
I have also started a pair of socks for Alicia's son Kale.  I promised him and Hayden each a pair of socks before fall gets here and that will be soon, so I thought I should get started.  Heel, toes and cuffs will be of this stash yarn and then I  have some camo colored yarn for the body of the sock.  Since they are most definitely BOYS, they will appreciate the camo color.  Their Dad taught survival school in the military and still takes people out for weekends of training.  In fact, he was out last weekend.
This is a pair of Monkey Socks I've had on the needles for a couple of months.  It keeps getting set aside for other projects.
A closer look.
I took a bag of goodies to Holy Family Hospital this morning and forgot to take pictures first.  I had 43 crocheted hats from Nita.  I made 27 knitted and crocheted hats, 2 crocheted baby blankets. 2 sweater/hat/sock sets, (one pink speckled and one blue speckled) and 2 burial buntings.

Only one pair of mittens was finished this week.  It was a red pair.  I think you can see it in your mind since I've posted so many mitten pictures!  :-)

I just took a yellow cake out of the oven.  I know, I know.  It's not Weight Watcher friendly, but I need cake today.  I'll frost it with chocolate frosting and we'll have some after dinner tonight.  I'm planning to stay in the rest of the day unless we go over to Larry and Nita's to swim tonight.  We went there Sunday night and swam in their pool and then I dangled my feet in the hot tub while the others got completely in.  It's a no-no for me because of my pacemaker.  I love hot-tubs, but the germs in public ones always freaked me out a bit.  Since Larry and Nita keep theirs impeccably clean, I used to enjoy sitting in theirs, but no more!  Oh well.  I guess it's a small price to pay to keep my heart beating.

Mandy, Brad and Piper are getting all settled in their new home and finally have internet again.  I was able to face-time with my girls this morning for quite awhile.  Mandy had a job interview yesterday that went very well and it sounds as though she will begin her nursing career again now that they have family to help a little with childcare if needed.  She will be working part time and I think she's looking forward to it.  Brad is enjoying his job and I think they are all having a good time with family around them.  They have been in the new house a week and Piper has already found a friend right across the street who has been over to play with her.  I'm SO happy for all of them.  AND, I bought my plane ticket to fly to Omaha at the end of September to spend Piper's birthday with her.  Yippee!  I've missed the last two and I don't want to miss anymore if I can help it.

Alex face-timed with me from Japan for almost 2 hours last night after Dennis was in bed.  That time difference really messes up his talks with Dad!  One is sleeping or working when the other one is doing the opposite!  Luckily I can stay up later and sleep later in the morning so I get to enjoy our visits.  He takes me on bike rides around Tokyo or Tawada, (where his office is.)  He also takes me shopping with him and even introduces me to people he knows via his phone!  Technology is wonderful!  He's doing well and is in Tokyo until Friday when he heads back north.  His company has officially been in business supporting him and others for one year this week!  He also got two new contracts yesterday, so he was in a great mood and very happy with where he is in life. It's wonderful to see your kids successful and happy, but golly, I miss having him closer.  He's great about face-timing several times a week, but it's just not the same as being able to touch him.  I think it's a Mom thing!  :-)

I hope you're all having a great week and enjoying summers bounty.  Unless you're down under and then I hope your winter is mild. :-)

"The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness.  Instead He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance." 2 Peter 3:9

Blessings always,
Betsy

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Dog Days of Summer

Another week has gone by and it's been a hot one!  Actually, it's been pretty hot for weeks now and the forecast is for the 90's for the entire 10 day forecast.  Very unusual for our area.  Usually we have one or two hot weeks and then it's in the 70's and 80's.  I don't like heat.  Not at all.  For some reason the past few years I've felt it more, perhaps all the meds the doctors have me on?  Who knows?  I am ready for some cooler days though.  At least it always cools to the 50's at night at the lake, in town, not so much!

Nita's pretty flowers.  See that big plant in the back?  That's her zucchini that she has planted in a pot!  There are lots of zucchini's in there too with a few almost ready to be harvested.  You can see the faint blur from smoke over the hills in the background.  Lots and lots of fires again this year.
Do you see this little guy on the side of the tree?  He's making a mess of our campsite every. single. night.  How one little squirrel can tear up so much is astounding.  At least it's just pinecones that he's chewing up and throwing around and not our furniture!  I'm not kidding, every morning ours and Paul & Lori's spots are completely covered with pieces of pinecones.
This is Dennis' new baby.  We've been looking for a smaller trailer that was reasonably priced to use to go on trips since our trailer is pretty permanently placed at the lake and I don't want to pull something that big. We stumbled upon this one last Saturday.  It's a 2009 but the stove,oven, refrigerator and microwave were never even used! It seriously looks as though it was only used once or twice.  We will be letting others use it to take trips too.  We feel God has blessed us and we want to share that.
It is smaller than our lake trailer but still has a queen size bed, although curtains separate it, not a true door.  We don't care about that at all.  The table also makes into another bed.
Kitchen area and bathroom door.  It has the same exact appliances as our lake trailer and they have always been reliable.
The bathroom has a tub and shower and more counter space than our lake trailer.  It also has a huge closet to the left of this photo that you can't see here. I honestly think this camper has more storage than our big one.  Maybe we should full-time RV in this one!  :-)
 
We're already going to use it next weekend when Alicia, Jeremy and the boys come to visit.  We've rented the spot across from us at the lake and will take this trailer there for them to use.  When Jamie and the kids come or when Mandy, Brad and Piper visit in the summer, we can take this up to the lake and not have to run back and forth to town every night.  It's like a little guest house. :-) We're hoping it gets lots and lots of use.  A bit of advice for anyone wanting to buy a trailer?  Wait until this time of year or later.  They are trying to get rid of them before winter hits and boy, can you talk them down, down, down in price.  I was really surprised at how cheap we got this.  We've been watching Craigslist for months and not finding anything that wasn't damaged or filthy,  This one is like brand new.  We are really looking forward to sharing this blessing with others. :-)

Dennis and I went shopping last night for all of the hoses, adapters, pillows, kitchen stuff for it.  Goodness!  It was like outfitting a small apartment!

Kim from Napiersknits sent me this book.  Andrea is the daughter of Max Lucado, Dennis' favorite author so I'm really looking forward to reading it.  Thanks Kim!
I finally finished my beaded shawl. It is the Asana Shawl by Helen Stewart.  I really do like this pattern.  Every pattern of hers that I've done has been very well written and easy to understand.  She even provides the number of stitches that you should have at the end of each row so you can check yourself.

My problem was the yarn.  I don't even know what yarn it is since it was given to me years ago from someone's stash.  I blocked this thing like crazy and look at it, still curled up.  I could tell it was going to do this, so I bound off several rows early.  I spent soooooo much time knitting this and I'm so disappointed.  But, it is a beautiful pattern and don't let my yarn issues stop you from knitting it yourself.
Look at that beautiful pattern.  It really is a fun knit, just not worth wasting time with this yarn.
I also knitted four more pair of mittens this week and started a pair of socks.  I'm sure not getting much accomplished this summer.  I think this disappointing shawl makes me want to tackle some smaller projects.  There is a KAL going on for double knitting next month and I've never tried that.  I may just go pattern browsing and try to find something simple to try to learn something new.

I hope you're all enjoying summer and all of it's fresh produce.  I picked 3 gallons of raspberries last week and froze them.  That will be a nice reminder of summer in the snowy days ahead. :-)

Have a lovely week my friends.

"Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." Psalm 139:23-24

Blessings,
Betsy












Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Lazy, No, Busy Day's of Summer!

Happy Hot Summertime in Washington.  We've had some really hot weather since our return from Nebraska.  Some of that time has been at the lake but some at home too.  Last weekend our son Jamie and two of our grandchildren came to visit.  They arrived early afternoon Friday and left Sunday morning.  We spent all day Saturday at the lake where they went boating and swimming.  By request, I am no longer posting photos of them.  Suffice it to say, they are absolutely wonderful kids, both inside and out.  They are so polite and thoughtful and we had a wonderful time.  It is always so hard to see them leave because visits are few and far between.

Then yesterday Alicia and her boys drove to our lake place from their home in Moses Lake, WA.  It's about a 3 hour drive.  Kale and Hayden are about the same age as our grandchildren and they treat us like grandparents which is really sweet.  They swam all day, (literally in the water for 5 hours straight!), and then we came home and grilled hot dogs and hamburgers and had watermelon and macaroni salad.  Yum!  Then we watched the new Beauty and the Beast movie which was wonderful.  They spent the night with us at our house and then left this morning to do some school shopping and a doctors appt.  They may be back the weekend of July 29 with their Dad.  Dennis is preaching that Sunday and they want to go to church with us.  Dennis baptized both Alicia and Jeremy and also performed their wedding.  Alicia worked for me for a number of years when I was a bookkeeper.  They are a really sweet family and we enjoy having them for visits.  You may remember that they had Thanksgiving with us last year.

Here's a somewhat smoky view at the lake yesterday.  The smoke is from fires in Canada and also across the Columbia River in Washington.
Nita's flowers are thriving.  She hasn't even been at the lake for almost a month but Lori takes good care of the watering for her.
Nita's container zucchini plant.  Again, Nita planted the seeds and then Lori took over. Look at all the blossoms!
There are lots of little zucchini's in there.  Can you see them?
Chloe and Maddie.  They are such great friends and really miss each other in the winter.  We're doggy sitting Maddie this weekend while Paul and Lori go canoeing and biking the "Trail of the Coeur d'Alene's" in Idaho with some other friends.  Last weekend we had Sophie.  I think I should hang out my shingle as a dog sitter!  Both Sophie and Maddie are very easy to care for and all three dogs love each other.  Larry and Nita are camping in their motor home on the Columbia River in Oregon until Sunday.  They just arrived this morning and Nita sent me a text saying she should have left Sophie with me.  There are a bunch of other dogs at the campground and she's so little she's scared to death.  We would have had all three dogs if they would have left her with us!
Only four pairs of mittens were done this week.  I have been busy with company all week and not much time to knit at all.  Kale and Hayden have asked for socks so I need to get busy with those too.
This is the little purse my grandmother crocheted way back in the 1800's.  I keep it in my cedar chest to preserve it.  The stitches are the tiniest I've ever seen.  The hook must have been a "0".  The thread is just that...tiny, thin thread.  She was about 8 years old when she crocheted it and the workmanship is so perfect it's almost unbelievable.
She even put a zipper in it...perfectly.
Look at those tiny clusters!  I remember her telling me that her grandmother made her do it all by herself with no help so she would learn to do it right.  She's the one who taught me to crochet and I'll forever be grateful to her.  I miss her.  She taught me so much about sewing, yarn work and cooking.
I made a spaghetti salad this morning for a luncheon I'm going to tomorrow.  It's best if it sits at least a day to let the flavors marinate together.  Doesn't it look good for a hot day?
My English Rose bush bloomed this morning for the first time this year.  Usually it's around the 4th of July so it's a bit late this year.  I just love the gorgeous lavender color of these flowers.
Well, I think I've bored you enough today haven't I?  Life is in it's round of lake time, company time and home time.  I still haven't gotten into the water at the lake, but that's my plan for Friday!  I have my floaty inflated and I'm going to enjoy myself.  I hope you're all having a wonderful summer, (or winter if you're down under).  May God bless each and everyone of you.  I'm SO thankful for you being here to visit me.

"Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ." Galations 6:2

Blessings,
Betsy