Wednesday, October 27, 2010

New Knits By Nina

The great thing about knitting is that it is very portable.  So even if I’m at the kids’ house or travelling or sitting in a beauty shop or doctor’s office, I can have my knitting with me.  I have several projects always going at one time and the situation determines which one I work on.  I have larger projects that are not as portable and I keep those at home.  The smaller projects requiring less yarn are easier to travel with.  Then there are more complicated patterns that I need to do only when I can concentrate and others that are more mindless.  But no matter what I’m knitting, it’s always relaxing and calming for me.

Right now I’m still working on this plain black hoody sweater that my son asked for.  This has been really slow going because first of all, black is difficult to see and second of all, it’s boring.  It’s just a plain black cotton and it’s much more exciting  to work on the beautiful silk, mink, angora or wool in beautiful colors.  So this project is taking a lot longer than it should. 


I have the back and two fronts and one sleeve finished.  I’m now working on the 2nd sleeve and then I have the hood to do after that.  It will have wooden buttons up the front.  I hope to have it done for Christmas for him.  Then I just pray that it fits him and that he likes it!

My second current project is another baby set that I have been commissioned to do for a friend who is expecting a granddaughter in December.  She is wanting it the middle of November for the baby shower.  The colors she asked for are lavender and green.  I’m doing a sweater, hat and booties.  The nice thing about baby clothes is that they are small and go real fast. 


This yarn is called “Oh My”.  It is nylon, but looks and feels like chenille.  It’s feels so good to work with.  The green is mink yarn.  I’ll use it for trim and a flower for the hat.

I’m so excited to start the project I just bought the yarn for today.  I think I’ll take this one to work on for the car and plane travel to Las Vegas.  We leave Sunday morning, drive to Cleveland for 2-1/2 hours, then fly to Las Vegas which is around a 4-1/2 hour flight.  I can get a lot of knitting done in all that travelling to and from.  And look how cute this is going to be!


The yarn is from Japan called Noro.  It’s a wool, angora and silk blend.  This one I will probably keep for myself.

See, this is why I don’t get that much listed on my Etsy site.  I always have requests from family and orders from friends and acquaintances.   I do charge for orders, but not family.  And if it’s something really cute or different I make for me!

Happy Knitting!


Monday, October 25, 2010

Calm, Quiet Home Sweet Home

Kincaid - Autumn
(The Blessings of Autumn – Thomas Kincaid)
My house is all mine again!  The grandsons were picked up about 3:00 yesterday and then at 6:30 last night, nephew Kyle was taken to the bus terminal and headed back to Cincinnati.  The boys were only here for the weekend, but Kyle had been here for two months.
Since I am a huge fan of clean, neat, quiet and time to myself, this is a very feel good day for me.  Kyle was actually going to be here longer, but some things didn’t work out quite as planned and our patience ran thin.  I’ll explain this “Kyle Project” in a separate post.  I’m just glad to have no current house guests.  Someone said to me, “You’ll probably be bored when all the activity and chaos goes away”.  NO WAY!  Not this girl.  I  love calm and quiet. 
Today was a rainy and dark Monday and I just kept telling my husband what a great day it was.  It felt so comfy and cozy as I cleaned the guest bedroom and bath and made tapioca pudding FOR TWO!
Again, I am going to sound selfish, but I asked hubby to please promise that he will not offer our home, time, money and energy to any more needy family members.  It would be a different story if it did some good and wasn’t just taken for granted and even criticized.
I didn’t really mean to get into that, I just am glad to have my house back to myself.  Now maybe instead of the time spent on additional cooking, cleaning, tutoring, cleaning up legal issues, working with social services, etc., Bob and I can get back to our own work, hobbies, travel and enjoying our life. 
This last six months was certainly filled with enough activity, including 3 funerals, the births of 2 more grandchildren and everything in between.  This was just one more thing we didn’t need right now. 
There, I vented and feel even better. 

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Ready, Set, Boys

We picked up Logan and Landen yesterday for another weekend here at Bob and Nina’s house.   They call us by our first names because when they were little they just weren’t able to say Grandma and Grandpa.  And since they were the first grandchildren, all they ever heard us called were Bob and Nina.  I enjoy being called Grandma, but Bob and Nina stuck. 

As soon as Logan hits our door, he’s running up to their room to hook up his Game Cube that he brought with him.  Austin and Melissa lock this up during the week and he’s allowed to get on it from Friday afternoon until Sunday afternoon. 


We still limit his time on it because he won’t even stop to eat and pee if we don’t. 

Today was a fairly nice day, so we decided to take the boys to Cooper’s Farm Market.  Their Fall Festival weekends were over, but they still had a few things going on.  Logan really didn’t want to leave his Game Cube, but once we were there he had a great time.  Landen wasn’t feeling very well, so he was a little quiet and laid back today. 

Logan picked out two pumpkins for them so they could carve Jack-O-Lanterns tomorrow with their mother.



Second cousin Kyle, as the two boys have lovingly come to call him, joined in the fun with them.


IMG_2328Kyle is 6’4”, so Landen was thrilled to be up so high while walking through the corn maze.


They also had a smaller hay bale maze that was great for the smaller kids to just run around in.


Logan had a great time trying to catch this rooster.  But there was no way!


On the way home we had to stop at the Harley Davidson shop per  Bob’s desire.  Bob has been threatening to buy a Harley for the last 31 years!  He had a Harley when he was about 21 years old and maybe he hopes to re-capture some of those young and wild days. 

This was the first bike greeting us as we walked into the store.


It’s a real buffalo hide hanging on a motorcycle.

Landen also wanted to try on a helmet.


I think he has a way to go to grow into it.  And I think it was heavier than he is!

We ended our afternoon out with ice cream cones.  This if the kind of weekend and times I enjoy with my grandchildren.  Logan was even glad that he took a break from Game Cube. 

Now we’re back home and Landen is taking a nap and Logan is --- you guessed it!--- back in his room on Game Cube! 

It feels like a grilled cheese and tomato soup dinner night.  I love Fall!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Baby Sitting Limits

The Sunday that Grandpa died I had my son here with his three kids and two dogs.  Keeping in mind that we still have my nephew Kyle here. (More later on the “Kyle Project”).  I  was tired, emotional and needed some time to myself.  As Austin put it, I kind of “lost it”.  In looking back, I think that was a good thing, because some changes needed to be made.  I had a talk with my son and told him I just could not have both of his dogs at my house for more than a few hours, along with the kids,  especially when they are not here with them.  I also made it clear that after the next three baby sitting commitments I already agreed to, it really had to slow down.  I love the grandchildren to death, and they are a huge part of my life, but I just need to have more time to take care of my own house, work and hobbies.  In writing this it’s even sounding selfish to me, but I just want to be Grandma, not a parent again.  There’s a reason why I only had two children and had them in my early 20’s! 
So at this point I have been to their house for almost two weeks in the past month.  Then we had a week of out of town family and funeral arrangements going on.  Two days after the funeral and the day after all the family left, I was back down to their house to  take care of the three grands and two dogs by myself for four days.  If this were an occurrence a few times a year, I would enjoy it.  Three times in a month is just too much for me. 
Now this weekend my son and DIL are off to a family wedding in Maryland.  They are taking the baby, so Bob and I are picking the boys up tomorrow and bringing them to our house until Sunday.  They told me they are making arrangements for the dogs, so I hope they did.
Things are slowing down a little bit, but it’s still something we’re all working on.  On Sunday, Bob is taking the boys back home, then he is continuing on to Cincinnati with Kyle to take him back home.  The Kyle Project didn’t work out as completely planned, but some progress was made. (Again, more on that in a later post).  Bob and I just know that we’ve done all we can and we’re done taking care of others so much.   My son and DIL also agree with us in slowing down their lives, which in turn will calm us all down.
Next Sunday is the start of some time for us.  It’s a Las Vegas trip that we’re really looking forward to.  Then one more prior babysitting commitment the day after we get back.  Four more days of me back to the kids while their parents go to a retirement party in Virginia. 
We’re all looking forward to the Holidays after that and son and DIL also agree that they need to stay home more, get rid of at least one dog, and slow down a little.  They have quite enough going on with three small children and their own jobs.  They need to stop taking on extra trips and activities.
Chaos and I just do not get along!  I HAVE to have order, plans and organization.  I’m not real sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing, but it works for me and makes me happy.
That’s the new plan.  We’ll see how it works! 

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Good-Bye, Grandpa!

On October 3, at 10:30 a.m., my Grandfather passed away.  He was loved very much and will be missed very much.  This was the 3rd death in my family in six months and in that same six months two new grandchildren and a niece were born.  They say these things happen in threes so we've had our allotment and hope we're done for a while.

Grandpa's funeral was held the following Saturday with a military service.  My son, Austin, a Sergeant and Recruiter for the Air Force, accepted the flag.  It was very moving.
Following is my good-bye to Grandpa that I read at the funeral.  Sorry for the length, but I just could not shorten in any way and I just had to share:

Thank you all for being here to celebrate the life of my grandpa, Roland E. Bechtel, Sr. Six months ago I would not have thought that we’d be back here so soon. Grandpa was doing well, was fairly healthy, no disease, no illness, no major medications. But here we are. About three weeks ago Grandpa made some comments that he really missed “his girl” (Grandma) and that he was tired. Shortly after that he closed his eyes and went to sleep and last Sunday he just quit breathing. Grandpa died as he lived. Tidy, neat and with dignity. He was truly a great man; a role model and an inspiration to all that knew him and loved him.

Grandpa had a very successful and accomplished life, in many ways. He was the perfect example of being “self made”, of making your own way and working smart and hard. He was a car salesman and a machinist in his very early years and then was drafted into WW11 and served in the Army Corp of Engineers in Japan, leaving behind a young wife and two young boys. I know this had to have been a tough time, but he returned safe and proud with a life long repertoire of war stories that we think he embellished just a little each year. Then there even seemed to be brand new war stories in his much later years that we’re not sure were real and forgotten for many years or just imagined. Either way, he loved to tell stories and we always listened as if we had never heard them before.

Grandpa started The Bechtel Agency, selling real estate and insurance, shortly after returning home from the war and built a successful career. In addition to brokering the sale of the land where the DuBois Mall is located, he served on the Morningside Cemetery Board, the DuBois Housing Authority Management Board, the 4th Ward Hose Co. of the DuBois Volunteer Fire Dept, was a member of the American Legion Post 17 and served on the Clearfield County and DuBois area Board of Realtors, serving a year as president.

Grandpa accomplished a lot. But he was most proud of his family. He and Grandma raised two handsome and intelligent sons. The biggest tragedy of their life was the loss of their son Charles at the age of 23, but from this tragedy came another proud accomplishment, that of raising their grandson, Brad, as their 3rd son. As Grandpa’s family grew, he became more proud. And it always really stuck with me that he loved every member of his family equally, whether they came into this family by blood, marriage or adoption. It didn’t matter to him. If they were part of our family, they were his to claim. My mother, his daughter-in-law, became especially close to Grandpa after Grandma passed away. She was his main caregiver and he missed her a lot if she didn’t show up a day at the nursing home. And if I came to visit him without Bob, his grandson-in-law, he never failed to ask me where Bob was, and how was he.

Grandpa was the perfect grandfather and great grandfather. And when the great great grandchildren started to come along (he had ten of them) he started to lose track of what great grandchild they belonged to and what their names were, but when we took a baby in to see him and he knew it was one of his, he just loved that baby to death. When my boys were young, he loved picking them up from school whenever he got the chance so that he could talk to the school office ladies and brag that they were his great grandsons. And he and Grandma were always very proud to take my boys to church with them or to Valley Dairy, or the mall, or Bailey’s Ice cream stand.

After Bob and I moved to DuBois and took over The Bechtel Agency, and had our two boys, Austin and Brandon, Grandpa started setting new goals for himself. Austin was his first great grandchild and he said his goal after Austin was born was to see him graduate from high school. Well, that happened 10 years ago and Grandpa was 84. His new goal then became to reach 90. That happened almost 5 years ago. Then he said, “well I’m just gonna go to 100”. And it’s funny, a week before he went “to sleep” he said something to Dad like, “well now that I’m 100”. We think that he thought he had reached his final goal. He had accomplished all that he had set out to do and he left knowing that he did a great job.

Grandpa had some habits and quirks that at times were annoying, but that we now look fondly back on with smiles: His trash habits; he would neatly tear papers or boxes into pieces that would lay flat and stack in the garbage can. Then he would wrap the garbage as nice and neat as any Christmas package to throw it away into the big garbage can; he had a gum chewing habit for many years and being a student of thrift he was not one to waste anything, he would patch holes and cracks in his driveway with his chewed, spent gum; His sweet tooth was legendary. He kept Hershey’s kisses in business. I remember him sitting at his desk in the office and before lunch and about 3:00 every afternoon he would open his desk drawer and divvy out two kisses at a time as his snack. Like clockwork, same time every single day. Now in his later years he didn’t bother looking at a clock or counting out the kisses. He just ate what he had until they were gone. Also later on he added jumbo marshmallows to his daily snacking. Mom kept an eye on this and would only give him so many each day. I also remember as a young girl, and my boys remember as well, spending the night at Grandma and Grandpa’s house and every night at exactly the same time, Grandpa would dish out a small bowl of vanilla ice cream with melted peanut butter on top. Of course, any one around was also offered a bowl. As Jane said the other day, she had a bowl of this famous treat the other night in honor of Grandpa. So much for healthy snacking. He lived almost 95 years this way.; then there are the times when Grandpa was in his late 70’s to 80’s in the winter, due to his OCD behaviors of being neat and tidy, he would get up on his roof to shovel off the snow so that he didn’t get any roof damage or leaks. People would drive by and see this old man up on an icy roof shoveling and stop in our office to ask Bob and me if we knew he was up there. We’d say, “yeah, but he won’t come down until all the snow is shoveled off”. And Grandpa was very well known for being thrifty. He loved to run my office errands for me, such as going to the bank, post office, or getting my office supplies. I would give him the money for my purchases and he would come back with the goods and the receipts and if I was short by even a penny, I would have to make good to the penny right then and there. At the time, I would get very annoyed by this, but have come to appreciate his ways and remember this with a smile.

But what is so moving and heart warming is the legacy of love that Grandpa left. You know when people ask the question, “What do you want to be remembered for”? Grandpa defines the answer to this. The comments I’ve received through the years, and especially this last week, about Grandpa, really does not include too much of his personal career accomplishments, but about the kind of man he was. Comments such as; he was a great man, he was so proud of his family and was always pulling pictures out of his wallet to show the latest grandchild or great grandchild to anyone in the mall that he hadn’t shown them to yet, I miss seeing them walking together about town or at the mall, previous bank tellers telling me they loved talking to him and joking with him when he came into the bank; we have such fond memories of him at the family reunions; he always came into the dry cleaners with a joke and a smile; he made such a great contribution to the community and was so funny; my nephew, Roland IV, wrote to me telling me he’ll always remember Grandpa whistling and humming and eating candy; and from my dad – I will always remember my father as a loving and uplifting man. He always overcame adversity with a smile and a humorous remark. He had a great way of energizing the family and making everyone feel good. He had no hangups except his penchant for tidiness. He succeeded through ‘good times’ and ‘bad time’.

We can only all hope that we’re remembered in these ways that Grandpa, Roland E. Bechtel, Sr., will always be remembered.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Long Catch Up - Part 3

Still catching everyone up to date from my trip to Spokane, the birth of my newest grandchild and so much more.  Currently, things are settling slowly and some new rules and changes to our lives are being implemented by me.  I just can't live at this pace comfortably.  I want to get back to Bob and me enjoying our good life and actually becoming a little more selfish with our time.  I believe we all have the power to create the life we want and should not feel guilty about making it good.  Learning how to say "NO" more often will go a long way in accomplishing this.

(Continued from previous post):
Went downtown Spokane yesterday and walked around the beautiful Park. Bob proudly pushed the kids in the double stroller. The babies were very good. Ate dinner at P.F. Changs. Was so good.
September 14 at 7:51pm via Mobile Web

(Outside of P.F. Changs)

At the Spokane airport waiting to board to Phoenix and then to Pitt. Awfully hard leaving Dee and the babies. Have to say quick good-byes so as not to get emotional.
September 15 at 10:41am via Mobile Web

In Phoenix. Waiting to board for Pitt. Then the 2-1/2 home. Miss my house and dogs. Nephew Kyle now living with us for a while. Hoping all is under control as well as can be expected with me being gone for 3 weeks.
September 15 at 2:46pm via Mobile Web

Got home late Wed. night. Logged onto computer on Thurs. night and a virus shut it down. Another week computerless. Kinda getting used to it. Don't think I like computers anymore.
September 19 at 10:17am via Mobile Web

(Sunday evening, September 19, I had a 23rd birthday dinner for Kyle.  I know he enjoyed and appreciated it.)

(From Sunday, September 26 through Friday, October 1, I went to my other kids' home an hour and a half away to help Austin with the kids while Melissa was away at her week of Reserve's training.  Of course, Austin was home in the evenings, but at work during the day.  Thank goodness he was able to drop off and pick up the boys from school and was able to help with bath and bed time at night)

Not so tired today. Leanna, my beautiful 3 mo. old granddaughter, and I are getting used to each other. With both boys in school all day {Pre-K and Kinder.} I can handle it pretty good. Also fixing up my little mother in law apt. here at Austin and Melissa's house. Making it cute and cozy.
September 29 at 12:44am via Mobile Web

On a sad note - my grandpa not doing well at all . He'll be 95 on 10/28. He's not going to make it. He's had a good life and because of him, so do I! He's tired now and misses Grandma. It's been 6 mos. since she passed on.
September 29 at 12:52am via Mobile Web

‎3 kids, 2 dogs, cooking, cleaning and laundry is a lot of work! How did I ever raise two boys and work a full time job? I know what you're all thinking: I was a lot younger then. Back home - Bob's "Kyle Project" as we have come to call it, still happening and Grandpa still barely with us. No relaxing in my near future.
September 29 at 11:10pm via Mobile Web

(From my niece in Cincinnati) Love you Aunt Nina.. thinking about you and your grandpa! Remember to take some time for yourself while you are helping everyone else! How is Kyle doing??
September 29 at 11:16pm via Facebook for Android

Gross!! I just ate an Entenmann's choc. chip multi grain cereal bar and bit into a chunk of black plastic. I feel sick to my stomach just because of the disgust factor.
September 29 at 11:18pm via Mobile Web

Melissa's home, kids are in bed. Austin making a hot dog run to Sheetz. I told him to get me one too. What the heck! I would never think of doing such a thing at home.
September 30 at 9:40pm via Mobile Web

(On Friday afternoon, Bob came to pick me up along with the two boys to go back home.  Melissa now has to be away for the weekend for Reserves.  Austin is coming to our house on Saturday along with the baby and the two dogs so he can attend the wedding of one of his best friends from high school.  They all left on Sunday.  I don't know how much more of this I can do!)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Long Catch Up - Part 2

Continuing with my Facebook Catch Up:

Brandon is bringing Diana and Heath home any time now.Can't wait to hold him some more.For those not aware of the name origin-Diana's maiden name is Heath and her dad's and oldest brother's first name is David.I don't know how to put pictures onFB via my phone.If I figure out how, I will.Making a turkey dinner for Dee'...s homecoming per her request.BTW-Heath is built just like a wrestler! (Long line of wrestlers on both sides of the family)

September 4 at 3:12pm via Mobile Web

We're all tired today. Espespecially Dee. Heath didn't sleep good thru the night. And a little jealousy is hitting Riley, I think. So we're just laying around today taking turns holding babies.

September 5 at 4:05pm via Mobile Web
Today is Dee and Brandon's 2nd anniversary. They've had a busy and productive 2 years.

September 6 at 2:59pm via Mobile Web

Baby Heath finally had a good night. Night before not so good. Brandon back to work today.  The start of their new normal routine.

September 8 at 12:15pm via Mobile Web

Nephew Kyle [age 22] has arrived at our home in Pa. Bob picked him up over the weekend from Cinti. He'll be with us for a few months. Bob will be joining me in Spokane on Sat.

September 8 at 12:22pm via Mobile Web

I can't believe I only have 5 more days in Spokane with my beautiful kids. It's going to be hard to leave. Bob will be here tomorrow night for 4 days, then home together on Wed. morning.

September 10 at 11:17am via Mobile Web

Brandon left this morning to go out in the woods for 5 days to instruct a survival course. Bob gets here tonight. They won't see each other this trip. Even though Bob is coming to meet Heath and see Riley, I know he also misses Brandon. It's too bad the scheduling worked out this way.

September 11 at 11:09am via Mobile Web

(From my mother to me): Kyle went to Church with us this morning. He says he is going back next Sunday. Went to Perkins after Church. There was 7 of us. Kyle enjoyed himself. He said he was going to go for a walk this afternoon. Corey (a friend we hired to tutor Kyle in math) was there early this morning. (Kyle says) Elle May is not problem, but you know how Fergie is. (My dogs) Can't catch him, won...'t pee. All the doors are closed and he keeps checking all the rooms. I'm staying in touch with him. He loves Bobby. I'll be glad when you and Bob are home safely. Love you

September 12 at 3: 00

Took day trip yesterday to mid WA to Banks Lake and Coulee Dam. Very little population but beautiful country. Think spacious skies, amber waves of grain, and majestic purple mountains.

September 13 at 12:10pm via Mobile Web

Monday, October 11, 2010

Long Catch Up - Part 1

I'm back.  It's been a very long and tiring six weeks.  Good things, not so good, very happy, very sad.  So much has happened that there is no way to even remember it all, let alone write about it all.  I did manage to post  updates almost daily on Facebook via my phone,  so I thought what a good way to put it all together.  So here we go., starting August 24:

I leave tomorrow for Spokane and so far baby boy Knox is waiting for me. I really don't have the time to be sitting at the computer right now, but wanted you all to know why you won't hear much from me for 3 weeks. I hope Bob, my dogs, and Mom get along OK without me! LOL

Sitting in Denver airport. Baby boy Knox is still waiting for me to get there.

August 26 at 12:12pm via Mobile Web

I'm in Spokane and all is good. Dee still pregnant, Riley still adorable, and Brandon's 28th birthday is today. Going to Couer d'Alene to Texas Roadhouse for dinner

August 27 at 11:21am via Mobile Web

Still no baby. Great dinner at Texas Roadhouse. We thought last night Dee was feeling contractions but she thinks she just ate too much. I'll hang Riley's curtains today.

August 28 at 11:17am via Mobile Web

No baby yet. Made french toast for all for breakfast. Put roast in the crockpot for dinner. I am also now Brandon's official gardner. Got a hose & sprinkler as yard is completely burned from hot summer & no rain. Also trimmed the bushes. Think I need another hose for back yard.

August 29 at 1:31pm via Mobile Web

(From my mother) Didn't realize you would be on facebook while you are away. I see you are sitting around with nothing to do.ha ha Everything is quiet here except for Bob's car problems. Might have to take him to Indiana tomorrow to take back Austins car. Brad will be here tomorrow. We think Grandpa will be in a wheelchair soon. His legs are giving out. (so are mine) It's a beautiful day. Someone should cut the grass. I love you and miss you.

August 30 at 10:32am

No, not yet! Dee and I just taking it easy today. My guess is Wednesday is going to be the day. Doing a little cleaning today just because that is what I do on Mondays!

August 30 at 3:50pm via Mobile Web

Going w/ Dee to Dr. appt. Should give us an idea of how this baby is coming along. Then if she's able we're going to Target, lunch and grocery store.

August 31 at 10:13am via Mobile Web

Dee's dr.appt. yesterday went well. All systems ready and good to go for baby's birth. Dr. estimated within 48 hours and that was 24 hours ago. I think maybe we'll take a walk today and maybe a session of jumping jacks. If nothing happens she'll be induced on Friday. He is now officially going to be a Sept. baby.

September 1 at 11:50am via Mobile Web

Looks like baby will be induced tomorrow. He just doesn't seem to want to come on his own. Dee didn't want to be induced but now doesn't care. It's a beautiful day so I think we'll go for a walk. Still watering the grass and just hung the American flag on the front porch. Dee and Brandon's little house is so cute.

September 2 at 12:59pm via Mobile Web

My 5th grandchild was born at 12:25 this morning! Didn't have to be induced. Yay! Heath David Knox weighs 8 lbs., 19-1/2" long. Diana & baby are great. Riley & I are waiting for Brandon to pick us up to meet baby brother.

September 3 at 12:19pm via Mobile Web


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