A Couple Of Thoughts, 5-9-23

We had to be at the clinic yesterday and tried to find a parking space. This was the last one available – here we have another example of someone who drives a big a_____ pickup and is so arrogant about it that they don’t care who else might need a parking spot. I drive the white van shown below.

I took this picture from my driver’s seat.

When I post these bad parking pictures I feel a real kinship with Otto from the movie A Man Called Otto who couldn’t stand the idiots that didn’t follow the rules. Just call me Otto!

Still working on plants today – the basement plants have to be fetched and hauled.

This is what my sunroom looks like today – I’ve got some cleaning to do here, too.

Porch floor needs scrubbing and then I can move in – new rug should be here this week and quilt to match needs binding.

Someone told me this box Rick built on the golf cart looks like Queen Elizabeth’s vehicle from several years ago – all I need is a hat, pocketbook and gloves! Another reader thought it looked like the Popemobile! Haha!!

It’s almost here – the Susannah book. Here’s the front and back covers:

And a sample of inside:

I’ve asked for a quote on several quantities of books – I’ll let you know what the price including shipping will be.

Here’s a funny for you and it’s true:

Person #1 made a quilt (I don’t know how big) for Person #2. Person #2 gave Person #1 a gift card from JoAnn’s for $25 and told her to keep the change. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

More of Tim’s huge equipment just across the road – I love watching this process.

Mollie visited on Monday.

Pet Parade and Reader Quilts

Rosie is experiencing stiffness accompanied by old age – hard to watch her struggle to get up and I’m hoping I don’t have to have her put down.

Storm clouds last night but no rain.

76 thoughts on “A Couple Of Thoughts, 5-9-23

  1. Sandra Fraenkel

    Can’t wait for the Susannah book! I was lucky enough to be at quilt camp when she was there. I have lots of cute pictures of her🙂
    Sandra in Virginia

  2. Rosie Westerhold

    Some days I feel like Otto, too!! I just HATE the bad parking by people who feel they are entitled to a space and a half☹️☹️.

    Just came back from a 4 day quilting retreat. Brought too many projects, ate too much, and laughter filled my soul and heart. It was a great time, and I’m working on finishing one of the projects already. So good to be around creatives for a period of time🥰🥰!!

  3. Teresa in Port Coquitlam, BC

    I really like the scrappy quilt Jeanine made. I’ve got to start making some and use up my scraps. I have a friend that quilts but due to a shoulder injury can’t cut the fabric. She offered to help make donation quilts for me if I would cut out the fabric. I’m going to do that so my stash can get smaller. Hahaha

  4. Cathy D

    We got some much needed rain last night! No wind, no hail, just a good old thunderstorm. It was beautiful! I’ve known Susannah thru your eyes for years Mary. She was a resident in your barn when I first started coming to Country Threads. I can’t wait for the book to be published and get a copy 🤗 I haven’t been sewing much at all lately but I do have a project ready to start. I will spend time today crafting a garden angel for a new flower bed.

  5. Lynette in Orlando

    I feel your parking aggravation…… I hate when big a$$ trucks park on a diagonal over 4 parking spots……. ugh. rude and entitled!!!!! Makes one want to let all the air out of their tires….. or at least 2 of them. But as my momma said, don’t go down to their level. Hang in there Mary!!!! And Mary – see this isn’t a “blog about nothing”. LOL

  6. Lynn

    Mary, once again thank you for all the pictures. I love dogs so love seeing all the doggies. You are such a good mom to all your animals!
    Sally love your blue and yellow quilt.
    Off to puppy petting for the morning with Rosie (golden retriever). They are being raised as service dogs.

  7. Ann in PA

    Susannah looks wonderful!
    Of course the quilts & furry friends are always wonderful, too. I had a thought when I saw yet another who doesn’t park properly. Perhaps get a pile of business cards from a driving school. Then put one on their vehicle, kinda like a parking ticket! Lol
    Screened in porches are the best! Wish we had one.

  8. Colleen in Central Oregon

    Love the pets and the spring like quilts! We can call you “Auto Otto” Haha! Love you Mary and your blog about nothing! You make me laugh and I need that in my day, so it’s not `nothing’ to me.
    I’m recovering from eyelid repair surgery, one week out now. Still swollen and looking forward to getting my sutures out Thursday. I’ve got my peripheral vision back. Yay!

  9. MartyCae

    I absolutely cannot wait until your new book is here!
    We desperately need rain. Ground like powder.
    My big kitty is happy it is spring. He likes to sit on the cement in front of the shop and chirp at all of the birds!

  10. Betty Klosterman

    I like Jeanine’s scrappy quilt. Do you cut the pieces a bit larger? Might as well be easier with fewer pieces, but I, too, really like the smaller pieces, especially miniatures.

    Mary, hope you don’t park by me! We’ve got lots of the big honkin pickups out here, but many of the cars are just as bad. Some of the parking spots are so small.

    My dishwasher bit the dust. The repairman said the appliances are now built to last 10 years and the parts almost that long? And I’m in shock at the cost of a service call! Guess old age is showing.
    We’re still waiting for rain. Dumped the rain gauge and 1 DROP came out…..
    Betty in Rapid City

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Betty – well, by now everybody knows that bad parkers are a real pet peeve of mine. To get my van in the parking spot straight I backed up and realigned twice! People with giant pickups are just entitled because they’re bigger than the rest of us like a bully on the playground. Believe me, I’d take a picture of a car parking badly,too. I don’t get out much so don’t see many parking lots.

      1. Diane and the gang

        I totally agree. I park in the same parking lot as a massive pickup that is ALWAYS over the lines and sometimes take 4 spaces. Someday I will wait to see who drives it. No confrontation!!
        I am so excited about your book, Susannah. It looks great😀

    2. Sherry Whalen

      I guess I had better take care of my 25 yo dishwasher! Last spring – we had some intermittent trouble with our then 19 yo refrigerator, it was randomly tripping the GFI. It was the weekend so of course no one would come look at it and we finally got scheduled out for a repairman – for 2 weeks later. We did some moving of stuff to our other freezer and made accommodations for our food, and let the frig run to troubleshoot. After a day, I figured out that it was the ice maker – then spent another day trying to convince hubs that it was indeed the ice maker. We shut off the ice maker and it ran with no problem. In the mean time, we also went to look at refrigerators – at the place we got a repairman scheduled – also told the service department it was the ice maker while we were there. We were told that we were SO LUCKY that our frig was 19 years old – frigs are only expected to run for 6-7 years! And oh my, the price tag!! The sales person told us that their prices were higher – because they had service available, unlike a big box store….. Okay…..I said ‘well I would certainly hope that a new refrigerator wouldn’t need service’. I also disliked the plastic bins and the shelving, the cheapness of even the most expensive. Anyway, we didn’t buy, since we had a service person scheduled and our refrigerator was running fine. If we wanted ice, we ran the ice maker while we were there and shut it off after a couple of cycles. The day before the service person was to come – he called. He said ‘wow, I don’t want to waste your money, I would have a lot of difficulty finding an intermittent problem.’ We told him that it was the ice maker. He still said he couldn’t find a intermittent problem – and we repeated that it was the ice maker, just bring an ice maker and change it out – it was our money to waste. He said he couldn’t get an ice maker for a 19 year old frig and even if he could it would be well over $300 plus service call – which we knew was a lie, because we had looked online and found one for $99. Al finally said – fine if you don’t want to come, don’t come and hung up. We ordered an ice maker and Al and I installed it ourselves. It has run like a champ for over a year. When any appliance dies around here – we certainly won’t be buying from that place. We were so confident after that – we ordered a new burner for our glass top stove top and replaced that ourselves too!! Sorry for the REALLY long story, but I think it must be the new service plan. Tell customers it can’t be fixed so they have to buy new.

      1. Mary Etherington Post author

        Sherry – oh, doesn’t that just burn your britches? I’ve had some issues, too, with our expensive double door computerized frig – why can’t I just buy a refrigerator freezer? And yes, I’ve been told not to expect more than 5-6 years from a new one. Sure, if they’re so much more expensive from the local dealer I’d pay it to get the service but then when the serviceman won’t come, what’s the point? Don’t you just hate it? You can’t get customer service from any company I can think of. So glad you guys figured out the frig and just handled it. No, I’d never buy anything from them again either.

  11. Carla

    Oh Mary, I love your ‘funny’ today. It brought back fond memories of my sister as I would find great bargains of unfinished projects at garage sales and ask her ‘whip’ them up for me. I lost her several years ago and many years before she died she told me to stop picking these things up because there was no such thing as ‘just whip it up’. The only time she was happy when I surprised her with things was when I hit the Country Threads sales – then I got lists and calls when I was there with instructions. Thank you for the funny and bringing that memory back to life🥰

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Carla – oh my gosh! You’re one of those who thinks it can be “whipped up”. Hahaha!!!! Too funny – glad your sister spoke up. Nobody but a quilter would understand that funny comment about keeping the change.

  12. Lois Ann Johnson

    Last night in Humboldt, Iowa we had a noisy storm around 8:30 and did it ever pour! My Bailey was frightened out of her wits and refused to go outdoors for her final potty break of the evening. I kept my fingers crossed that she would make it through the night OK. (She did!) I have no idea how much rain we got but it did come down hard for awhile ! It is so lovely seeing all of the trees leafing out; the flowers blooming; and the grass growing. We have been fortunate to have had good amounts of rain to help make things grow.

  13. Launa

    Morning sun switched to big snow ❄️ @ 11am! Heavy, too! Been 40 minutes so far.
    Yesterday our Veterinarian X rayed Pepper’s left rear leg after watching her walk n a good exam. ARTHRITIS! Is on an anti-inflammatory pill! She’s just 5 yrs old. Had lost a pound, too. We have restricted snacks, too.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Launa – oh, Pepper, welcome to the arthritis club – a club no one wants to join! She’s very young but sounds like your vet is on top of it. Restricting snacks is very hard and I always feel like I’m being mean!

  14. Susan Moore

    I am excited for the book to be published I plan to read it to my great grandson.
    Tim must have a million dollars in his equipment farming has come a long way in my lifetime.
    Susan in Ohio

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Susan – waaaay more than a million. One combine might cost that much.

  15. NancyTD

    Terrible drivers! I came home from Walmart and had a black scratch on the side of my car. New car so I was very upset. After a few choice words and a couple of tears— I decided to try to rub it out with car wax. To my surprise it worked. At the senior driving classes they stress parking straight and wheels straight. Guess they should have classes for others too. Guess the scratch was just someone’ s black bumper!
    Farmers have a lot of money invested in their equipment.
    The quilts were all nice.
    You have a lot of work to do to get ready for summer.. wish I had a porch to enjoy.

  16. Marsha in MI

    Person A should have set a price beforehand. Live and learn. People have no idea.

    Beautiful quilts today! Nice presentation on the blue & yellow quilt with the Pfaltzgraff ironstone. And so springy!

  17. Diane, Squeak, and Buddy in Central Ohio

    Can Rosie take Glucosamine for dogs for her aches and pains? Jack Hanna used to advertise that he used it for his dogs. We went to college with him and his wife.
    Love the quilts. The colors are great!
    Our Guild challenge this year is try something you have never done so I am helping my friend make a Twister wall hanging. I don’t know what to try b/c I think I have tried most techniques. 🤪. I love this blog, Mary. It is never about nothing. It is 71* here now. Nice!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Diane – how will I get a goat to take a pill? And you know Jack Hanna? He’s a real celebrity in my eyes. Loved his show!

  18. Sharon G.

    Mary – I meant to say this yesterday, but I didn’t comment, but I am so glad Fluffybuns returned to you!

    Love the quilts and animals today! You are always busy with your house and garden. An inspiration.

    You just never know what people will do or say especially when presented with a quilt. I can relate to the funny story. Years ago, I made a quilt for my sister-in-law (my husband’s sister). She had seen it in progress multiple times, so she knew the pattern and colors. When I presented it to her quilted, with “hang ups” for if/when she wanted to hang it on the wall, and in a beautiful decorative bag wrapped in acid-free paper, she looked at it in the bag and immediately stuffed it back in the bag. Later that day when no one was around, she didn’t say thank you, no, she told me in no uncertain terms, that she would have preferred that I had made it in purple and green! Over the years, I’ve never seen the double bed size quilt in her home.

    Love the storm cloud photo, too.

    Have a good week!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Sharon – oh, that’s almost hateful! Why didn’t she say something as the quilt was in progress? Wouldn’t anybody thank the quilt maker at least for the thought and extreme work involved? One time I was asked to play for a wedding with very specific music and vocals – I practiced and practiced and met the vocalist at the church, played for the rehearsal as well as the wedding and they gave me a $25 gift certificate at our local grocery store – which was at least useable but $25? That was my last wedding as an accompanist.

    2. Betty Klosterman

      It would be a cold day in Hell before I made anything for her.

  19. Jo in Michigan

    🙄 Person # 2 doesn’t have a clue!
    I love Blue ♥️ but I love Golden’s.
    It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood. I made one last trip to the greenhouse! Your plants look great! I have so much work and only so much energy. But once it’s done I love it and it will look beautiful till the snow flies!
    I really believe these truck people have a hard time with the long wheel base on some of these trucks. I see it all the time especially in tight situations
    Enjoy your day Mary!

  20. Pam in NC

    Mary, I shot sweet tea out my nose when I read the person #1 and #2 story cause I was laughing/choking so hard!

    Susannah book looks great! I vote for the Popemobile (or would it be Popette?)

    Thanks for you time doing the blog!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Pam – we laughed and laughed about your sweet tea shooting out of your nose! It was a funny story, wasn’t it? Thanks for the laugh!

  21. Jo in Wyoming

    I got to escape to jail this morning!! It’s been over a month. It was fun once we got to the cell.
    Central Booking smelled like an outhouse and the AC isn’t working. I felt sorry for those employees who have to work in that area. It was disgusting.
    I received pictures from a customer in Ireland this morning. Oh! My it’s beautiful. Flowers blooming everywhere. What a dream.
    Graduation at UW is Saturday, I’m going. My DIL is graduating and her family is coming. Parking there should be real fun. Dirt lots with no paint.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Jo – we are laughing at “dirt lots with no paint”!!! It will only take one car to get the whole row off the track. Good Luck with that potential mess.

  22. Kathy in western NY

    I love Otto. Another pet peeve I see is people pulling into these specific parking spots where they are well marked with signs that they bring your groceries out to you and then they walk in themselves not even picking up their orders but I see a lottery ticket in their hand! How hard is it to follow directions anymore.

    Made the transition to tee shirts and capri pants today. Sunny days.
    I just love seeing all the pet pictures and those dogs crack me up. And the quilts are so stunning as I never get tired of seeing them in a post from you.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Kathy – you’re kidding! I have to say I’ve never seen that happen around here. Maybe I’m just not paying attention – I will start now!

  23. Sue in Oregon

    Either person #2 has a very dry sense of humor, or she just doesn’t keep up with the times. Pretty funny, actually.
    Pretty dogs and pretty quilts today.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Sue – please send me an email so I can reply with the pictures of the quilt hanger

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Judy – if you aren’t getting the pictures you have some kind of block on your end – I’d investigate that issue. You’re missing the best part!

  24. Chris

    The Sunday our quilts were being blessed, a person leading the blessing actually said each one was worth about $25. My husband wanted me to ask her where she was buying fabric, thread, and batting. He wanted me to start shopping there!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Chris – if that was announced at our church on that particular Sunday, I’d be off the piano bench like a flash!

  25. Sharon Eshlaman

    You just have to stop publishing this blog about nothing…..my jaws are getting tired from smiling ear to ear!
    Once again “nothing” made my day. Keep it coming👍

  26. Joy in NW iowa

    Another beautiful day. We went to Knoblochs green house this morning for green bean seed, and a few plants! Such a pretty assortment! So many flowers!
    Came home and sewed for a bit while waiting for IRS agent to answer the phone. For some reason we have to prove our identity! Really! We have been married 52+ years and filing jointly and what? Finally talked to a real person…….bleh
    Took a little snooze and then sewed a while and made some sympathy cards. So sad I need so many this week.
    Hubby planted a row of green beans, a kale plant, and he’s going to plant a couple broccoli.
    Happy sewing or listening to the birds! We had a cardinal, orioles, yellow finches to watch while we had lunch. Love it!

  27. Sandy in Eastern Washington

    What a great post today. So many topics and of course, pictures to tell the stories too. .
    About Rosie. We give our dog Cosequin DS for joint health. Just wondering if there is a similar supplement for goats that might ease the stiffness. We all need a little help as we age!
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us.

  28. Jane

    I was offered $50 for a queen/king size quilt. Needless to say, I still have the quilt.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Jane – big spender, huh? Yikes! People are so out of touch.

  29. Pamela Dempsey

    Yes! Too many idiots with licenses! We watched the Otto movie Sunday, really enjoyed it. Be sure to wave good when in the Queen/pope mobile 🤣! My girls are 11 weeks old today and can’t imagine our lives without them now. 😻🥰

  30. Trudy

    I agree with the parking. It’s terrible in a parking ramp the big truck bad enough they’re extra long then put a trailer hitch that extends out further. Just hoping you don’t meet another vehicle.

  31. Sunflower from Michigan

    Love the quilts and pet pictures today! No sewing here, just continuing with wedding preparation. We are getting grass coming up in the area we scrapped and leveled for the tent. I’m so thankful! On the weekend I am going to start planting my 40 flats of flowers I’ve grown from seeds. Weather looks like rain but I won’t melt! Tomorrow is the due date for RSVPs so we’ll know the count. Your blog gives me enjoyment during this stressful but fun time! Thanks.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Sunflower – you’ll show us pictures of your yard, won’t you? 40 flats? My back hurts just writing that.

  32. Marcia-Ohio

    Watched Otto last weekend. Absolutely loved it and can relate to Otto. These large pickups and sloppy parkers make it difficult for the majority of drivers.

  33. Joy on NW Iowa

    Jane, I cannot believe someone with any smarts would offer $50 for ANY size quilt! Yikes! They walk among us!

  34. Catherine Beck

    Hi Mary,
    I wanted to comment on the big a$$ truck picture. You see I own anddrive a VW Passat a relatively small car all the time. Well for the past few weeks I have had to drive my hubs f350 dually work truck for everything. School pick up line grocery store, and doctors appointments and all the other requirements of life. It is hard. I barely fit in the lines. I park way out. People block me all the time and I’m stuck. People cut me off all the time and this sucker is not gonna stop no matter how hard I try if they slam on the breaks. But this is a work truck which we have to have for hauling big trailers and ranch work. I don’t think that person was a bad at parking just big for his size. Maybe that’s the only way they could get to the clinic? I know I have taken a lot of heat for going through the car pick up line for my kiddo but it was the only way to pick him up. Just food for thought. Oh and I got my Passat back today and I can now park just about anywhere again and don’t have to hike in from the boonies.

    Much love,


    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Catherine – I applaud you for dealing with that huge truck and parking way out because I agree it can’t be easy. Parking lots should really have separate lots for large extended vehicles – in a perfect world. Glad you got your VW back to make life easier for you. Thanks for writing.

  35. Patty

    Oh I hate it when people park like that. One time I had to get in the passenger side and crawl over to the driver’s side because the other guy was so close there was no way for me to open the driver’s door.

    I love seeing the quilt pictures from readers.

  36. Susan K in Texas

    Carla in Michigan I love your star quilt. I’ve seen the pattern and wondered if it were difficult.
    My son has a biga** truck – he hails trailers and tractors and welding equipment. Some parking lots have spaces that just aren’t big enough. They try to get as many spots as possible in the lot and don’t allow for larger vehicles.
    We’ve been getting some nice rains recently. They’re so much needed and hopefully will continue through the summer.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Susan – you are absolutely right about the size of the parking spots – Target is one of the worst – in my opinion. We got .8 rain today!

    2. Carla in Michigan

      Susan, Thank you. The star quilt is Big Sky Star from Plains and Pines, no y-seams. I did starch my fabrics heavily before I cut the strips to assemble the sections. Pattern directions are good and she does have tutorials available.

      1. Susan K in Texas

        Thanks! I might try it sometime. Just have to catch up on a few Have-To-make projects. Hardest part of that is not starting other projects!

  37. Bridget

    Driving is hazardous (and so is the parking) in my neck of the woods. Amish buggies, big A trucks and tractors at all hours of the day, not just during “rush hour” lol. The quilt joke is hilarious. I do not make quilts when asked, I make for the people I want to have a quilt. Because those people are priceless in my life…

    1. Vicki Ibarra

      I live in Iowa, but we, too, have Amish buggies just 18 miles away in a community where we occasionally shop. On the highway, not so bad. On gravel roads, we worry more about all the dust we kick up as we drive by the buggies. I can’t imagine how much dust those open air buggies get. And tractors, yes! Like you, I have only made one quilt when asked. I was up front about the cost and she didn’t blink an eye. But so many people are like those described on this blog, who clearly don’t understand the cost of fabric, batting, thread, much less the skill and time required to make the quilt. So, I make because I need to create. I give to friends and family. I currently have one throw size quilt and matching pillow case I am thinking of donating to the pediatric department at the hospital for them to choose a patient to give them to.

  38. Susan K in Texas

    I do sew for others – I’m very selective and only do 2-3 per year. They provide all supplies or reimburse me for supplies I provide. Price is discussed up front and it’s not cheap. My time and skills are worth paying for.
    $25 won’t even pay for a good batting any longer. What an insult!

    1. Vicki Ibarra

      I have had people ask me about making t-shirt quilts. When I tell them the price range I would charge, depending on size and number of t-shirts to cut, they look at me like I am crazy. One actually said, “but it is just t-shirts”. I explained there was stabilizer, batting, backing, and all the work (yes, all the work) to stabilize the t-shirts, much less piece, quilt, and bind. No takers so far, once I quote a price. And I am content with that. I would rather create my ideas, rather than stress out over whether or not someone is going to like what I make for them.

      1. Susan K in Texas

        “Just tshirts” are much more difficult to work with than quilting cotton. Good for you for wanting what it is worth. I agree on working on your own projects. It’s more fun and more fulfilling.

      2. Mary Etherington Post author

        Vicki – just t-shirts, huh? One of the harder quilts to make – I’ve made a couple and never again!

    2. Sherry Whalen

      I won’t make quilts (or sew) for others – well, I’ve mended a few things for my kids and grands, but other than that – nope. I have people who I’ve been talking to or have called and asked me to make a quilt. First of all – I don’t WANT to….second, they certainly wouldn’t want to pay the cost of supplies and time it would take to make said quilt. So now when I am asked how much I would charge to make a quilt – I say ‘One million dollars’. It gets a laugh, and a usual response of ‘no really, how much?’ And I repeat ‘one million dollars’. We laugh a little and it ends the conversation. No one has called my bluff yet, but I guess for a million dollars I guess I’d have to do it. On the other hand – I’ve made and given away many, many quilts, to those who I love and care about and understand the significance (my term – ‘quilt worthy’ lol – I really don’t want to go to their garage sale and find the quilt I made with a $5 price tag on it) and I have donated quilts to causes and groups that I care about. All in all, I would rather give a quilt away than have someone give me a $25 gift card and tell me to keep the change…..

      1. Mary Etherington Post author

        Sherry – well said!!! And I agree 100%. I’ve used that million dollar line myself and they usually get it then.

    3. Mary Etherington Post author

      Susan k – I would think it would be difficult to work on a quilt that someone chose and a pattern or colors you personally do not like. Yes, your time and skills are worth a lot.

      1. Susan K in Texas

        The designer I work for usually does quilts I really like. They’re very modern and graphic and easy to do. And she pays me really well.
        I also did some quilts for Craftsy (Bluprint) back before they were sold the last time. I had the option of refusing jobs if I didn’t want to do them. I was often challenged and learned a lot.
        I do prefer to make my own but retirement means I get to sew almost every day.

        1. Mary Etherington Post author

          Susan – well, I have to give you credit! I’ll bet your designer does not realize how lucky she is.

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