A Friend In Need, 2-5-24

My good friend, Jo Kramer of Jo’s Country Junction blog, would love a card from anyone willing to send one. She is being treated for cancer in her lungs and bones and just spent two long days at Mayo. Read her full report on her blog.

Jo Kramer

111-2nd Ave NE

Waucoma, IA. 52171

She has been a prolific quilter – although, like Connie, she has jumped ship and become obsessed with cross stitch! I just don’t think it’s right, do you? Both do beautiful work – but it’s not quilting! They could be described as traitors in my mind.

Remember this red, white and blue quilt?

Here are the scraps all sewed together willy nilly – my favorite way to sew!

Very improv, don’t you think?

Thank you for all your input about Telly’s growths on her face. You were all correct – nothing really to worry about except the way it looks. I called the vet who said to take the same picture in 2 weeks so we can compare her face for changes. Yes, they could be removed but they would just come back again and unless they get torn off and start bleeding, I’m just going to watch them. They do not appear to bother her at all. Old age, ugh.

A reader asked about the Scotty bookends I bought last week – here they are.

Only one of these.

There’s a pair of these but both left ears are broken – it’s ok.

I said I’d show my dog pictures, a few at a time.

A soup recipe

I’m trying to find Carol from Pin Oak Quilting and the reader who asked me about wool. Please email me.

And here’s a dilemma – what if one of you died – how would I know? Could you all put this blog address in your death instructions so your family could let me know? This did happen one time – I corresponded with a gal in WI and suddenly she didn’t answer me. Then I sent a card and it was returned months later. I’m guessing she died but I’ve never heard from her family. And I still wonder what happened to her.

50 thoughts on “A Friend In Need, 2-5-24

  1. Angie from Baltimore

    I live in a retirement community and the other day a lady was carrying a box of flowers I commented on her getting flowers. She said they were sent to Maggie (she died 6 months ago) and staff didn’t know what to do with them. Judy said she would research it and let the sender know. When my mil passed I took her Christmas card list and sent notes about her passing. I received so many thank you notes from people telling me how they knew her and how she would be missed. The ones that she was close to or spoke of I added a story or antidote she had told.
    I know I would appreciate being told.

    1. Marsha from Kansas

      I also wrote to people on my mother’s Christmas list. Through the years I enjoyed reading her Christmas cards and felt I had a connection with her friends/family I never met. I, too, got very nice cards and telephone calls from her friends and family I hadn’t kept in touch with, her cousins. The people shared good memories of my Mom. I appreciated hearing and visiting with them. I got the idea from the daughter of a friend of my Mom. She mailed a nice note about her Mom passing in a Christmas card. Only thing was, the daughter used her married name and just referred to her Mom. It was a guessing game who the card was from and who passed away. By the end of the card exchange time, Mom figured it out by who she had not received a card from. Turned out to be a friend of my Mom from 40 years earlier when we lived in another town. They had kept in contact over 40 years with Christmas cards.

    2. Lois Ann Johnson

      What a nice idea, Angie! I have old friends who just dropped off the “Christmas Card List” and I never knew if they had died or if they were in a care facility.

  2. Sheila in WI

    Minor clarification: yes, Jo cross stitches, but she also continues to make beautiful quilts. Needless to say, she amazes me.
    Love the card sending idea.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Sheila – yes, I know Jo makes quilts – but since she took up cross stitch with a vengeance like Connie, she spends lots of time on that. I did not mean to imply to all my readers that Jo no longer makes quilts. Remember – I read her blog, too.

  3. Chris

    Winter Squash Soup
    Taste of Home
    6 Servings
    Prep: 15 min.
    Cook: 30 min.
    Ingredients
    2 celery ribs, chopped
    1 medium onion, chopped
    1 garlic clove, minced
    3 tablespoons butter
    3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    3 cups chicken broth
    2 cups mashed cooked butternut, acorn or Hubbard squash
    2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon dried savory
    1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
    1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    1/8 teaspoon pepper
    1 cup half-and-half cream
    Directions
    In a large saucepan, saute the celery, onion and garlic in butter until tender. Stir in flour until blended. Gradually
    add the broth. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Reduce heat; stir in the squash,
    parsley, salt, savory, rosemary and nutmeg and pepper. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes or until heated
    through. Cool slightly.
    In a blender, process soup in batches until smooth. Return to the pan and heat through. Gradually stir in cream.
    Cook 5 minutes longer, stirring occasionally.

  4. Dee from Shell Rock

    My friend and I were talking about this problem. My kids had a big birthday party for me, the kid here doesn’t give a rat’s patootie about my friends, and my daughter doesn’t know them since she doesn’t live here. So the long time friends I stitched with were invited, but the newer friends who I travel with often, were not. So we have swapped phone numbers of kids/sisters, and each one has a list we gave to our families of people that we think would like to know that we are gone. Hard to do, but recently there was a bad spell, my one friend was worried that I’d had an accident. I love your dog pictures, my kids are pushign me to divest myself of “things”, I’m just not ready. I’ve cleaned and sorted and disposed of the family members, it’s even harder to do my own.

  5. Sandi

    Jo is a sweetheart! I only know her thru her blog but her kindness comes shining thru. She does still make quilts but she cross stitches up a storm. 😂 I follow her for both, I love to make quilts but cross stitching was my first love. I love all your dog pictures. You have the neatest collections. Hugs,

  6. Cindy K

    Thank you for posting Jo’s address. I’ve been following her blog for several months now but didn’t know her address to send a card. She’s a real inspiration and takes each day as it comes. And she does still quilt too.
    Liked your improve scraps-will it be another quilt or a backing for the red, white and blue quilt?

  7. Carolyn in NE Illinois

    The pictures of the dogs reminded me of one that hung in my grandparents’ house when I was a kid. My mom told me her brother (my uncle) found the picture of a boy hugging a dog when he was just a kid, brought it home asked my grandmother to hang it up. It was the there as long as I can remember.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Carolyn – when I show you the rest of them you might see it – what are the chances that I could have the same picture? Slim maybe.

  8. Sue in PA

    I read Jo’s blog every day, just like I read yours, and I know that she is still quilting quite a bit although she does love her renewed interest in cross stitching. I am glad she has multiple interests and a very supportive family and friends as she goes through her ongoing cancer struggle. I am sure she will appreciate the cards and well wishes.

  9. PENNY KRUSZKA

    You need to google the 2024 posters for the solar eclipse April 8. The poster by Genna Duberstein is of a bright, happy, stars in it’s eyes dog with glasses on to look at the eclipse. Makes one smile like your dogs always seem to be doing! You can even print a coloring page of it.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Penny – I think my dogs do smile a lot! Thanks for that tip – I’ll look it up.

  10. Brenda in Georgia

    I follow Jo too and definitely will send her a card. I admire her so much and love reading her blog just like I love to read yours. All the cross stitch is beautiful, but I cad not imagine the patience to do those patterns. I did a little of simple cross stitch years ago, but never with the passion I feel for quilting. Now my eyes are in bad shape and I have to magnify everything and my eyes get very tired. The beautiful colors stand out in quilts, and I love that I am still inspired by the rainbow of colors. Sweet Telly, give her my love!

  11. Jo in Wyoming

    Great idea about notifying friends on blogs of passing. I’ll add a page to my “book”.
    Mary, I’m not getting many ads to click. Only about 3-5 each time.

    Most ladies here “go to the dark side” with knitting. Not a lot of cross stitchers.
    Today at jail, we got the girls making scrappy 9 patches. They were so excited. I told them our goal with this program is to make a difference in their lives. One replied she wants to buy quilting fabric instead of shoes when she gets out……isn’t that wonderful!!!

  12. patti

    lovely note tonight. spent the day with computer problems. did get three blocks pieced and three more cut out. have just about finished taking out the stitching in the quilt with tension problems. i’ve already put two lines of stitching in it on my dsm. will finish it that way and save the batt and backing i already had. i have lots more quilts to quilt on the longarm and lots more quilts to make.
    i like the idea of leaving a list to let people know of passing. i’ve got a short list for dh for if i’m in the hospital of people who will want to know. he would definitely need a list for on-line friends. will add it to my notes. will someone on your end send a note to your readers? have loved the quilts and photos recently. still recovering from the stress of the scam but have almost all of it taken care of now. more issues with dh going part time at work prior to retiring. this is so life changing. he is the epitome of a workaholic. we need new rules on tv and not changing channels if someone is already watching. and don’t mess with my basketball games at dinner time. will be sending a card to jo in the next douple days. i’ve followed her for years. happy quilting to all, patti in florida

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Patti – Becky will write a “comments here on the blog if something happens to me. Oh, the stress must be awful from your experience with the scammers. And I’m sorry to say if your husband is retiring to sit under your nose all day long with the tv blaring and changing channels constantly, your stress is just beginning. Ask me how I know.

  13. Sandy

    Hi Mary, l love the brown dog book end, so many dog drawings ❤️ . I am an avid reader of the obituaries in the paper and often cut out one’s l know to pass onto other people that know them.l will put a note in with my will to let you know if l kick the bucket(as they say!) Jo is so brave facing her issues and when her husband was ill.She is lucky to have a supportive family and friends. Off tomorrow to lunch and a movie with a friend who looks after Bella when l am away. Take care everyone, best wishes from Sandy

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Sandy – thank you, Sandy. Not many obits in our regional paper anymore because they’ve made it so expensive to put in. Give Bella a hug from me!

      1. Sheryl Harrison

        Just a thought about obituaries not in local papers…the funeral homes have links for obituaries and also have a link to subscribe to obituaries sent to your email. Between me and my brother, I think we subscribe to notices from funeral homes from most of the towns around us. That doesn’t help when you know people from out of your area but will help you keep up with people closer to your area where you know a lot of the people.

  14. Kathy in western NY

    Card will be on its way to Jo who has a good outlook on her medical care but cards to sit down and read are another healing hug. I use to cross stitch and it’s in the past for my eyes. So many of my friends and family have gone back to doing it after I donated all my books. Now they want some of the older designers.
    I was reading Jo in Wyomings comment on helping her girls at jail with the nine patches and how special it must feel to get someone engaged in making a difference in their lives when situations got them into such a mess. Not many feel that connection between busy hands and happy hearts like us quilters. I am grateful every day to have it.

  15. Donna Jo

    Mary thank you for the morning laugh! Saying Connie and Jo are traitors is too funny!😂 I will definitely mail Jo a card.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Donna Jo – it was meant as a joke, as Connie well knows but Linda in MI was offended! Doesn’t everybody know my sense of humor by now? I’ve been talking for years!!!

  16. Donna Jo

    Mary I forgot to say several blogs I have followed have just quit blogging! I have reached out to them but never heard back! I don’t know if something happened in their family or God forbid they died. After reading a blog for years, I feel like I know that person so to abruptly quit posting feels like a death in a way!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Donna Jo – that’s what I mean – how would we ever know if our online friends are ok?

  17. Linda in Michigan

    I take offense at you calling us cross-stitchers traitors! I enjoy quilting, but sometimes it’s nice to do something else. I’ve been so involved with a mon-ster size Bonnie Hunter quilt, I don’t even want to sew right now. This morning I’ll be going to the library to do handwork–embroidery. Call it what you must, but I’d rather think of myself as a well-rounded stitcher. That’s my rant for today.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Linda – oh my, it was meant as a tongue in cheek joke!

  18. Sheryl Harrison

    Thank you for Jo’s address. I’ve been following her for a few years and read about her last Mayo visit. She is so brave and positive.
    My dog skippy had a growth like Telly’s by his eye. The vet never seemed concerned.

  19. Fran

    Great pics.

    Love those dog framed pics especially.

    Prepare, winter is going to rear it’s ugly head again. Not expecting much in this part of the state but it would be nice to be surprised as we are in serious drought in SW Iowa.

  20. Connie R. in Wis.

    I will definitely send a card to Jo. She has had so many health struggles but continues to have an inspirational outlook. I admire how she handles everything that comes along.
    And yes, I agree that these great quilters have become traitors with their renewed interest in cross stitch. And, I am joking, just like you, about that. I enjoy whatever handiwork they share. Always interesting. We love it all

  21. Alice in SW Ohio

    Mary, I’m thinking that the growths on Telly is just age related. My Bentley, who will be 14 in June, has a growth on the back of his neck. The vet wasn’t concerned, but it seems to be growing & that worries me. All of my older dogs have had non cancerous growths. So we watch & wait. Really good idea putting into our notes to let online friends know if something happens to us! Cross stitch, though I love it, my fingers struggle to hold a needle because of arthritis. All my quilt bindings are finished by machine now & I will say they turn out very nice…& It’s quicker! Thanks for Jo’s address, will send out a card very soon. I admire her! She has such a beautiful outlook! I can understand her love if cross stitch. It’s also very portable & if she has to go in for treatments, it’s a bit easier to take along than a quilt! My 2nd love is knitting & have been knitting for 60+ yrs. I knit socks mostly now. When my late husband was going through chemo I sat & knitted & the nurses were fascinated by it. I knitted a couple pr of socks during that time & it helped to keep me calm! Stressful time in our lives. First love is quilting, but that knitting bag is always ready for a road trip!! Love all your dog pictures! This last soup recipe is very similar to my recipe except I buy the frozen bags of soup veggies & add a can of Rotel. It just adds a little kick to the soup. I also freeze it in serving size containers. Great for nights that I don’t feel like cooking!

  22. Sherry

    Mary, just saw on GMA that Robin Robert’s is doing a 1 on 1 with Caitlin in IA City tomorrow.

  23. Tina W in Oregon

    My husband and I just went to a seminar with Neptune Society (cremation services) and will be signing up. Since we don’t have kids, who else is going to take care of stuff?! We’ve both had health situations lately and got to thinking about it. I bought one of those death books like you have so really need to get it filled out. Leaving a list of people to contact is a really good idea – especially when it comes to my sewing room!
    Jo is such a talented and inspirational person. I love her in-site and outlook on life. Will be sending a card.
    Your dog pictures are wonderful. Do you ever buy duplicates or do you know when you see them that you already have a particular one?

  24. Jan Smith

    So happy that Telly is just suffering from aging. Most of us are, aren’t we?
    Jo Kramer still accomplishes more than I do in a day. She is such a kind soul, and very brave. I follow her blog, too.
    Certainly do enjoy the pics of quilter’s spaces, and your nine patch on the frame!

  25. Lora

    You have a great collection Mary! I love dog pictures just like you and cat pictures too! Those old frames are so lovely too.

  26. Tanya T in Houston

    Alice, I wish we lived closer. I dream of making socks. I have yarn, needles, and instructions but long for someone like you to show me the finer points!! I will stick to dishcloths for church bazaar in the meantime. Mailed Jo a card today!

    1. Barbara Moore

      Tanya – Go to YouTube and search for Crazy Sock Lady – she has wonderful tutorials on knitting sox. In one she uses a 9” circular and while that seems tiny, I’ve gotten used to it. However she takes you through the entire sock and it’s one of the best tutes out there on sock knitting. 9-inch circulars can be subbed out using dp’s or magic loop technique. It’s thorough, with good up-close shots, and and you should be able to follow without problems since you already know how to knit😉
      Barb in Tucson

  27. Dot in NC

    Regarding letting people know that you’ve passed away – I had an idea I’m going to get working on. The Contacts on my iPhone and computer have a way to create “lists” or “groups” so you can easily send emails to a group of people by just typing the name of the group into the “To” field.. Gmail will also do that. I’ll create a new list/group named “Notify”, and add to it the people whom I’d like to be notified. My daughter won’t have to go through all 800 of my contacts, and figure out who to tell. She won’t necessarily send one email to the whole group; she could also just print the list of names in that group.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Dot – what a good idea! I have to investigate this a bit more.

  28. Carol Ann

    I fixed this tonite. Very yummy. Used my tomatoes and green beans from last summer’s garden.
    I liked that it was from an old Farm Journal. Thanks for sharing.

  29. Susan K in Texas

    Because we no longer have a local newspaper , we really no way of finding out who has passed. And that’s in our local community. We’ve missed funerals of several people over the past few years.
    Ok. Here’s our big news. We bought a house in Iowa! It will be our part time home. The best part is the three grandsons live directly across the street. It was built in 1970 and needs a lot of work – like a total redo. So lots more work and lots more trips to Iowa. We’re all so excited.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Susan – oh, it’s just what I guessed! How fun! The grandsons can live in both houses – you’ll be a big help, I know – but lots of work on your new house, huh? Are you guys able to do the work yourselves or do you have to find a contractor?

      1. Susan K in Texas

        We’ll have to get contractors. It needs a new septic system, electrical, paint, flooring, bathroom and kitchen. The shower is fairly new so that’s ok. Very little has been done since 1970. The multicolored striped shag carpet in one room was really cool except for being from 1970 and the padding is totally turned to mush. Because we’re going to stay based in Texas scheduling the work will be key to getting it all done but we won’t be living in it as it’s being worked on so that should make it easier on the contractors.

        1. Mary Etherington Post author

          Susan – you’re so lucky you won’t be living in the middle of the mess! Sounds kinda fun to redo a whole house!

  30. Jo Kramer

    Oh Mary. Thanks so much for thinking of me! I’ve started to be flooded with cards. How encouraging!! Many thanks for you thoughtfulness!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Jo – I knew our combined readers would want to send you a card and wouldn’t realize where to find your address. I so hope things are going ok! I’ll check your blog

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