A Nice Connection, 10-6-23

Remember I said I was going to take my own advice and visit the care center?

Meet Kaitlin and Gus

I asked to be introduced to someone who didn’t get much company or family in the area and she introduced me to Mary Ann who was actually waiting for her lunch to be delivered so we didn’t get to chat. I asked what room she was in and,,,, wait for it – she lives in my mom’s old room!!!! Is this a God thing or what? I’ll be visiting MaryAnn.

Some of the cards you have sent me!

Sadly this is our Dollar Store in Garner:

Very little merchandise on the shelves and boxes everywhere. Shop local? I try but this is ridiculous.

I was literally cleaning the parakeet cage and was using an old Goat Gazette when I saw this list of local restaurants and hotels and I recalled telling you that we got no support from the local businesses – they referred to us as “that little craft store west of town”. Look at this advertising WE did for them. When we had camp we took all 26 people to a local restaurant 3 nights in a row. (Sorry – that just got under my skin again when I saw it.). Moving on – meet Biscuit!

Isn’t he a sweetie pie?

Reader quilts

We had to turn the furnace on. And tomorrow I might just as well give in and move my favorite chair from the porch into the house. But I hate to.

College football tomorrow and the baseball playoffs start – this time of year is the only time I’m interested in baseball. What kind of fan does that make me? I’m looking forward to the Twins vs. Astros – hey, Tanya!

72 thoughts on “A Nice Connection, 10-6-23

  1. Tanya T. In Houston

    Love those quilts from Patti in Florida! She thinks like me…easy and colorful!

    Hey, Mary! Thanks for shouting out for our Astros! We will be watching, too!! Be nice to see Carlos Correa again, but hoping he does not bring his A game!!

    1. patti

      thanks. quick and easy and get ’em to the people who need them. also lots of pre-cut squares. patti in florida

      1. Mary Etherington Post author

        Patti in Florida – always comment as Patti in FL so I know which one you are.

      2. Judy Jaques

        Hi Mary, I have been following but not posting, By the time I get to your blog it is evening and I am worn out.
        Getting plants in and ready for the cold that we know will be here sooner than we want.
        I have 2 really beautiful boston ferns that I will not bring in because they make such a mess.
        I did read how one woman keeps hers from year to year. She cuts them all off, stores in a cool place, waters them sparingly and says they grow again the next year.
        I wish I knew someone that was getting married that could use them as decorations or a church that could use them but no one wants them.

        I wanted to say about the dollar general —all DG stores must all be lacking help.
        My friend in Eldora said she stopped at the DG store there, yesterday, and could not get to the shelves for what she needed.
        She said the isles were full of boxes. I will never figure out why there are not enough workers.
        It is that way everywhere. Before covid we didn’t have such a shortage of people. With the higher prices on everything you would think people would be happy to get a 2nd job.
        I don’t get it.
        Blessings Judy

        PS I have 4 dolls in the works, and I have taken up acrylic painting and water color painting.
        It is so fun. I also just found a table runner pattern I want to do.
        I have a pair of nice cotton pjs of Toms, I want to use.
        I went to our local fabric store and would’t you know—in the whole store— there was not one piece of fabric with the same color blue as the pjs. LOL.
        Of course I did fine a few OTHER pieces that had to come home with me.

    2. Mary Etherington Post author

      Tanya – now you know I’m going to have to cheer for the Twins – until the Astros beat them and then I’ll be an Astros fan – ha!!

  2. Pamela Dempsey in Northeast Texas 😻

    Can’t believe your dollar store, I guess not enough workers. Our high was 83 but tomorrow is supposed to only be 69! Yay! It’s also our anniversary, probably get takeout and later enjoy the hot tub. I hope you enjoy your games Mary! 😻

  3. Lynn

    I thought our dollar store was bad. I visit a nursing home with my golden, Rosie, every week. Have been doing it for about 15 years. Hard part is losing a long time resident. Beamer’s Mom, so sorry for your loss. What a beautiful boy he was.

  4. patti

    thanks for sharing my quilts today. they were scooped up quickly today at my angel group. i wanted to share the picture of slinky. this is a rescue from our county animal shelter in 2016. i was told he was over 3 but even vet said probably not 2 years old. the first year he would have nothing to do with us. he hid upstairs the whole year. i was also told he would probably never weigh more than 6 pounds. hah! of course, now he loves me and wants to be by my side constantly. which is fine but makes it hard to do things. i do cherish him though. i got so inspired at my angel group today, i came home and finished another quick top, called the 5 minute quilt. photos in a couple days. patti in florida

    1. Diane, Squeak, and Buddy

      Hi Patti, I love your bright quilts, too. Our Buddy,stray, sticks to me like glue,too. At 18.5 lbs plus, he makes quilting hard, but I wouldn’t trade him ever! Squeak, from the Big Lots parking lot, just needs to be in the same room with me which is easier, but she howls until she is😹🙀.

    2. Mary Etherington Post author

      Patti – I’d say Slinky has passed the 6 pound limit awhile ago! I so hope Gracie will come around because when Greta comes in the house she’s left alone in the shop. A year? Yikes – that won’t be until February.

      1. patti

        mary, gracie will come around in her own time. probably kinda like when we don’t want people to tell us what to do. she’s obviously comfortable where she is. all my kitties have been large kitties (in the 15-22 lbs range). patti in FL

  5. Martha W in WY

    That Dollar Store is a mess. How can anyone shop there? All the quilts are stunning. The pets are so cute. What a coincidence that Mary Ann is in your mother’s old room.

  6. Sharon G.

    Mary – That looks like the messy dollar store where I live! It must be the way they are everywhere. The first time I went in I was looking for writing pens, cards, and mailing envelopes. I found all of them but it took me a long time to find what I wanted. Everything was mixed together.
    It was a balmy 74 and sunny today. Tomorrow it’s supposed to be 80 with Sunday at 72. I might mow tomorrow or Sunday.
    Quilts are colorful and the pets are so sweet.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Take care everyone.

  7. Sandy

    Hi Mary, l smiled when l saw slinky! Reminded me of a Grey cat we had once, snoopy. Baking tomorrow with Stella and Luna, we are going to make Anzac biscuits. Yesterday we played working in a fish and chip shop, the dogs toys were the customers and the crocodile family ordered 100 hotdogs! Must be a family reunion! They make me laugh with their imagination and games! Take care everyone, best wishes from Sandy

    1. Diane , Squeak, Buddy in Central Ohio

      Hi Sandy, We thought of you this week. One of our former HS students and her husband were in town from Melbourne. We had such a good time catching up with them😀. Fun time!

    2. Mary Etherington Post author

      Sandy – tell me what are Anzac biscuits? With imagination like that, those two will be writers or playwrights!

  8. Linda in MI

    Mary, stay out of that Dollar Store, it’s a fire trap. If Graner has a fire marshal, call and report the congested aisles – or even the fire chief. They need to close the store until the exit paths are clear! A fire in that place, with all the mix of combustibles, plastics. chemicals and flammables, it would go up in a flash and the smoke and toxic gases would be deadly before anyone could find their way out and normally there is only one way in and out. And there is no fire sprinkler system to keep the fire spread and smoke density to a viable level. Closing a store like that is the only way to get the corporations attention. They don’t hire enough staff to handle all the junk they send those stores and they have small stock rooms because stock rooms don’t generate money. If the local fire chief doesn’t do anything I would call the sheriff, you could very easily save lives getting this store to change. Of course, no one thinks a fire will happen to them, but listen to the news, fires can happen anywhere, anytime and no one should die in a tragic fire. It makes me seriously angry to see something like that, that is uncalled for and from someone who has collected fire victim remains and investigated many fires, fires and fire deaths are preventable. And hurting the stores profits is the only way you will see a change.

  9. JoAnne

    Your dollar store probably doesn’t have enough employees either. I went into ours a month or so ago and the poor girl was trying to stock shelves, help people find things and when the bell rang at check out do that also. It seems no one wants to work these days. Everywhere you go there are signs help needed.

    1. Janet S

      At our Dollar Tree, there are times they leave a note on the door ‘closed – no staff’.

  10. Sandra Goddard

    Good morning Mary. I had goosebumps when I read about the lady in your mom’s room with few visitors. You are such a blessing with the things you do. Maybe we could shower her with some mail too? Just a thought no one should be lonesome if quilters can help.

  11. Rita in Iowa

    Mary I was appalled at the site of the Dollar Store. Why are people not willing to work. I come from a large farm family and was able to work at school a couple hours a day. If gave me enough money to buy my own clothes and save money for Junior College. Kids need to work. It teaches them how to complete task and work for other people. Taking pride In their work. Both of my girls worked during High School and babysit. Taught them a lot of responsibility and organization. Okay enough of that.
    I’m glad you have a person to connect with at the care facility. She will be so glad to have such a great person to converse with.
    The quilts and pets are lovely as always.

  12. Diane, Squeak, and Buddy in Central Ohio

    So true about work! Our son had a paper route starting at age 12. I wish they still had those because he learned a lot. When he was in the hospital for 13 days after a serious car wreck, our daughter took over. My husband did Saturdays and some other days so our daughter could work her other job. The neighbors got a kick out of my 6’5” husband throwing papers from that bike! 😹.
    It is nice to meet Kaitlin and Gus. The quilts are so pretty and bright on this cool 42* day. OSU this afternoon. I will send a photo of a quilt I bound for my friend who had a mastectomy. Our Guild makes Hugs from the Heart quilts (we are the Heart of Ohio Quilters’ Guild) so the whole guild appliqués the hearts and many make the 9 patches. Gooo Hawkeyes and Go Buckeyes🏈🏈

  13. Kim from Wi

    I did take pictures of our dollar store in TN and then sent them to the corporate office in TN. I explained that it was a fire hazard and a tripping hazard to those who entered the store. I let them know the staff was helpful and friendly, but this was unacceptable. They increased their hourly pay and were able to hire more help and things cleared up quicky. Just my thoughts. I loved seeing all the quilts today and I have lots of charm packs that would go together quickly. Patti quilts made me feel inspired to just go and sew something lovely and easy. It was cold this morning in Wisconsin, so it’s time to use the fireplace to take the chill out of the air and grab some hot coffee.

    1. patti

      kim, glad i could inspire you. these quilts mean so much to the recipients, they feel the love in them. patti in FL

  14. Sandie

    Your Dollar Store looks to be a definite fire hazard in need of clean up…..
    Enjoy the games today!
    Really enjoy your blog🥰

  15. Sue in PA

    So sorry your Dollar Store is such a mess. I would find it almost impossible to shop in a store like that. We are fortunate to have a number of that type of store in our area and most of them are well stocked and pretty neat. It is true that there are signs everywhere for “Help Wanted”. It’s very sad. Restaurants seem especially hard hit and a few have had to close down and in others there is a wait, not because there are no tables available but because of a lack of servers.
    Love the pictures of quilts and animals as always!

  16. Kathy in western NY

    I love the name of Patti’s group that meets to quilt – Angel group. A quilt is a gift of a love to wrap warmth and comfort so very appropriate being named Angel.
    Ours is Stitchin for Missions so those who sew, knit or crochet make items for our many missions in need.
    I love spending time with my elderly lonely ladies I visit so I hope others find that reward too. I learn and love to hear their stories they share. Your person you will be visiting might like some cards too.
    Mary I totally agree with Linda in MI about the condition of the aisles in your dollar store. Management should never allow that if they were spoken to by a fire Marshall with the threat of being closed down. It is a fire hazard! Ours is clean and organized or how would I and our minister been able to walk with a cart next to my little lady friend the other day in the aisles. Their smaller containers of food are many times all some can afford. I couldn’t shop in that mess. Report it to make someone held accountable to either a lack of help or not pitching in as a team and clean up the place. Even with help wanted signs everywhere, ours would be shut down by local authorities if stock were blocking like that. It’s a liability. I have a quilting friend who works for hallmark corporate stocking dollar store shelves with cards and wait till I show her these pictures!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Kathy – I wish I could organize a community work force to clean up that store. And then run it efficiently. I hadn’t thought of fire hazard – I think our fire chief should see these pictures.

      1. Cynthia from SW MN

        A friend of mine said she asked about a job in one of the dollar stores, she said she was told a hiree must be able to run the checkout as well as clean and stock shelves so she did not apply. They need people to do specific jobs in order to get inventory on the shelves to keep the clutter down. I am not a big fan of those stores due to always being so junky and cluttered. There are dollar stores in most small towns.

        1. Mary Etherington Post author

          Cynthia – sounds like management actually expects an employee to work.?!!??? Why wouldn’t they expect the employee to work if there’s nobody checking out rather than just standing behind the counter? As a past employer I would expect nothing less. I’m paying them to work. The cashier was checking her phone instead of working when I was there. Ugh.

  17. Jill Klop

    I couldn’t help but compare…you turned your furnace on and here in south Texas, I was just able to open my windows this morning! It’s the first time it wasn’t so hot since April!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Jill – I really hate this time of year – it’s just a forewarning of what’s to come.

      1. Jill Klop

        I remember facing bad winters when we lived in Michigan. Now that we’re in Texas, we dread summer like we used to dread winter.

  18. Linda in Michigan

    Mary, I read the blog first thing in the morning, to get my day started. Loved the animal and quilt pics today.
    Your dollar store looks just like the one here in Allendale. The doors have been locked for a couple of months, but the lights remain on. Should I say “the lights are on, but nobody’s home”, ha ha!
    I would just love to get my fingers in Slinky’s fur!!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Linda – if I were 20 years younger I’d organize a community effort to put that store to rights! As a community we need this store – Walmart is 30 min away – but I will start a very detailed shopping list and drive to Walmart from now on.

  19. Sheryl K Harrison

    Does Gus live at the care center? My grandson is Gus!

    I believe in “God Things!” After you get acquainted with Mary Ann and if think she’ll enjoy a card shower, let us know.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Sheryl – Gus belongs to Kaitlyn and comes to work with her every day. And everybody loves him! I will certainly keep your suggestion in mind. It had also occurred to me.

    2. Mary Etherington Post author

      Sheryl – forgot to say – your Gus and me introducing you to this Gus is also a God thing!

  20. Rhoda Ebersole

    That Dollar Store needs a new manager yesterday.
    Ant imagine the economic impact you had on Garner over the years!!!

    Cold here now with sunny skies this morning. My furnace is on in NE Wisconsin.

    Enjoy your new found nursing home friend.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Rhoda – yes, only one young employee who can’t possibly stay at the cash register and stock shelves, too. When I asked she said she was also the manager. Good grief!

  21. Dee in Ohio

    Our Dollar General only has 1 employee during the shifts and expect them to run the register and stock the shelves. I feel sorry for the clerk. The one clerk told me that he works 60 hours a week and they have figured out how not to pay him overtime.

  22. Angie from Baltimore

    Being from Baltimore we are rooting for the Orioles. They have played so hard this year and how support they are for each other makes fans of those who were not strong baseball fans before. So I will be glued to my tv.
    The Goat Gazzette was something I always looked forward to reading. When it came things would be set aside until I had read it through. Then set aside to be read again to copy recipes or just articles I wanted to reread. I feel that this blog helps me remember the Gazzette fondly

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Angie – this blog is the 2000 version of the Goat Gazette. Should I request specific recipes? It must be a cooperative effort because otherwise it’s just me giving speeches.

      1. Diane in Maryland

        Angie – we are also rooting for the Orioles! Seems to be such a good group of young men on this team. Hoping it won’t rain! My brother in FL is an O’s fan and has loved Mr Splash and the Birdbath! We do too. Been a fun year!

  23. Bonnie

    Yes, Mary, your story about the care center and your mom’s old room is a God thing. Very special and Mary Ann will be blessed to have you visit her.

  24. Diane in Maryland

    What a nice coincidence about Mary Ann in what used to be your mom’s room!
    A friend of ours is a member of Pets on Wheels. The members take their dogs to nursing homes to visit with the residents. The residents look forward to the visits and appreciate time with the dogs.
    Often times the dogs just lie on the bed next to the patient. Some become very attached to certain dogs and the dogs look forward to visiting certain patients!
    Mary, your Dollar General store looks like every one I have ever been in! We got a new one in our little town and we were so excited when it was first opened and clean and neat. It didn’t stay that way. Many times they have one person working who is supposed to stock shelves, clean the store and run the cash register. Seems a tractor trailer comes every day to unload more and it sits in the aisles in boxes or thrown onto shelves like your store. The higher ups who run these stores don’t seem to care.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Diane – and if they do put something on the shelves, they put it on any empty shelf. There are room fresheners all over the store – wherever there was an empty shelf. What company can operate this way?

  25. Barbara Onnen

    Hi Mary. Our DG looks like yours but 15 miles away theirs is very orderly. Maybe it has something to do with the employees. And , Sox months ago we have another DG, brand new building, as well as a Dollar Tree and Family Dollar!! And the old DG is still open! I guess Harlan will be known as the dollar town. Ha Ha!

    1. RuthW in MD

      Barbara, is that Harlan, Kentucky? I have a neighbor friend whose husband was from Harlan, Kentucky. His last name was Bruce.

  26. Lois Ann Johnson

    The Dollar Store here in Humboldt is sadly just like the one you pictured, Mary. I hate going in since it is such a hazardous place. I have been going to our care center 1x month to play my violin for the residents, along with a friend who plays the piano. We play for about 30 minutes; visit with everyone; stay for coffee (if it is offered) and enjoy every minute. I started doing that years ago when my mother was a resident at one of the care centers here in town. Covid shut us down for a while, but now I am happy to say that we are again up and running.

  27. Diane Deibler

    I noticed that in the $ store yesterday,too. Not enough staff,I’m sure to stock the shelves. I’ve been told they lack storage room and the back is probably filled with Christmas! I bet I could get a job stocking shelves if I really wanted to. For now I’ll just complain!!!
    We will surely get a warm up yet…I hope.

  28. Tina W in Oregon

    The dollar store where I live has increased prices to $1.25 now so that’s what we call it – The $1.25 store! It’s pretty messy most of the time. I don’t go in very often. In a small town about 20 miles from here, they built two new stores, a Dollar Tree and a Family Dollar just a couple blocks apart. They have caused the one and only other little market to close at the end of this month. It’s been open for 20 years! It’s sad.

  29. Joy in NW Iowa

    The Dollar Store in Larchwood isn’t that stuffed but I did go in there to buy something. I went to the checkout and there was no one around, so I said ‘hello’ and than a little louder and louder and louder….finally I put my purchase in the counter and decided to walk out…..here she came in from outside smelling like a cigarette! Really? , you leave the store unattended to go have a cigarette? Hmmm. Well, they won’t fire her because they can’t get help….

    Love all the quilts but especially the gray kitty!
    Mary it is suppose to get a little warmer next week but maybe not warm enough to sit in the porch. It was 28 here this morning and white frost very thick! But not windy, thankfully! Yesterday was awful!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Joy – what is wrong with the working world????? You should have just left with the merchandise – in time management would discover their profits were disappearing because there was no cashier to accept payment.

  30. Pat

    Why not send MaryAnns address and we can send along cards?
    Our Dollar Store looks a little better than yours it all depend on the day of the week and who is working not a lot of staff just like most places here staff shortages .

  31. Cheryl

    I’m a Twins fan as well but I am an October baseball watcher! I think it was 1984 or 1987. My Twins were up against our son’s St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series. The Twins won!!!! It is finally autumn here in the south! The trees are glorious and the temps perfect. My favorite time of the year! Y’all have a great weekend!!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Cheryl – 1987 was the year of the Homer Hankie and we were in Houston at Quilt Market during the games – we waved our homer
      hankies at an event. I’ll never forget it.

    2. Sunflower from Michigan

      1984 the Detroit Tigers won the World Series. We traveled to Toronto, Cleveland and Chicago for weekend series. Not to mention about 15 home games. That was a great year for the Tigers!,

  32. Ginny

    Our dollar store in Boiling Springs looks the same, it’s only 3 miles from me. I drive to another town to go to a clean well-stocked store, I don’t know what’s up with the management of these horribly messy stores. It’s like people that don’t know how to park. That’s my pet peeve.
    Our weather is perfect right now,
    George and I plan on going, to Franklin NC to see my great grandson which means a ride through the mountains, the leaves should be beautiful.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Ginny – is it Liam you’re going to see? Please send me his picture – and enjoy the drive.

  33. ChristieB

    Seriously?!? I thought our Dollar General was the only one!!! I have had to walk out without getting what I wanted because it was on the bottom of the stacked cart and not enough employees or time to get to it! I think this has to do with UPPER management! They don’t want to hire any more people and give them the hours to get things done! We have 3 self checkouts (card use only) and only 1 assisted checkout for us old timers that still use the green stuff or checks! And, usually you have to holler for help at the checkout counter. Ok! Enough ranting on DG! That was definitely a God-thing with Mary Ann! He is good! All the time!!! HUGS… and stitches

  34. Sharon F

    Biscuit and Slinky are adorable! I always enjoy seeing the pictures of reader quilts, so pretty.

    I don’t think of Dollar stores in relation to shopping local. I thought shopping local means the family or locally owned businesses, while the Dollar stores are owned by big corporations. I do understand that in some places they are the only places to shop, and so provide a needed service.

    Having a few nice days here before the rain and chilly days set in next week. Looking forward to getting a lot of yard cleanup done today and tomorrow.

  35. Kris in WI

    MARY–In response to your picture of the fungi you found in your grove from a few days ago, my husband, Robert, thinks they are most likely a species of Amanita; probably Amanita Muscaria. It is one of those varieties that range from” poisonous” (“though not usually fatal, the experience is one not soon forgotten”) to “not recommended” when considering if it is edible. Best to check with your University Extension agent to be sure and see what they say about having the critters around them.
    It would not be unusual to find it at this time of year. It fruits in early June/July and again in late August/ September in “the Lake States,” and you would be in that range.
    Robert grew up in the country and has always roamed the woods and fields. He graduated from the College of Natural Resources at UWSP and I trust his judgement when it comes to all things wild (plus I read the field guide).
    A little late, but I hope that helps. Kris

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Kris – thank you! I checked them again today and they seem to be shrinking – maybe due to the chilly temps? I appreciate this info.

  36. S.Lenz

    Our dollar store looked much like yours does right after covid,and a long time afterward. No employees to pur out merchandise,or cashier.I thought they would close their doors for good! People did come forward to straighten things out,and now it looks good again.I hope the same happens to you in your town. I love your “God moment “with the room numbers at the care facility-so special.💕

  37. patti

    mary, i find it such a God-thing that mary ann is in the room your mom used to be in. it was obviously meant to be for you to visit. patti in FL

  38. Jane Boyer

    Your Dollar Store is similar to many others. Managers are told how many employees they can hire and higher ups don’t seem to know that hiring more people to stock their shelves will result in more sales.

  39. Susan K in Texas

    What a neat coincidence about Mary Ann being in your mom’s old room. I’m sure she will appreciate visits from you. I’ve enjoyed reading about the cards being sent.
    We’ve just gotten back from a visit to Iowa for a second birthday ( second grandson’s October birthday). The weather was much cooler and a welcome relief. We got back to cooler temps in Texas. Now the aloe and other plants will start being moved into greenhouses. Hopefully we’ll have some time to get all of the plants in before the first freeze.
    One of our local Dollar Tree stores looks like your dollar store. An employee there told me she’s not paid enough to be both a cashier and put stock away. What an attitude! They never seem to have enough employees, boxes are in the aisles, and there is trash and inventory all over the floors. The other local Dollar Tree has friendlier staff and inventory is neater and there are fewer boxes in the aisles. It all boils down to management.

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