A Productive Thursday

I started working in the barn at 9:30 am and two hours later the dogs left me and went to the house! I took their hint and went to the house with them. If I could just learn to go half speed with all the chores, my old creaky body would so appreciate it. Haha!

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Here is Karla T.’s Bullseye that wouldn’t load yesterday.

Looks at that special border and notice how much she had to plan to match 4 connector squares. Super job, Karla!

And for everybody who wondered why I don’t just put up nesting boxes for the hens to lay their eggs in –

I have two of these – do you see any hens in the nests? The nests are clean and very convenient but they’d rather make life hard for me and lay their eggs elsewhere.

Do you realize it’s May 2 and time to send me the titles of any good books you’ve read recently? I’ll add my good book to the list – All Our Lies by Sue Watson. It’s so fun to finally read a good one after several “slow” reads. This was masterfully written and the angst built up in my head so much that I woke up at 4 am and read until I finished it.

I finished cleaning up the hydrangeas in front of the quilt shop.

I always put the fence up to keep the hydrangeas from falling flat after a windstorm or rainstorm or just because the blooms get so big and heavy they want to topple over. I planted several experimental pots of hydrangeas and we’ll see which ones are successful, if any.

The books have been sent to the three winners. It was a very successful post and we’ll do another one in a couple weeks.

I transplanted hostas last fall and it’s rewarding to see that they survived the brutal winter.

I put these cinder blocks on the west side of the garage where it’s very sunny and hot. I’m going to plant sedum in the holes in the blocks.

Every time I go to the basement to feed the cats, get meat out of the freezer, or clean litter boxes, I grab a plant in each hand as I go up the stairs because soon they’re all going outside. See how much work I’ve saved myself? No going up and down, up and down on the day I decide to move them all.

I’m hoping to buy some geraniums this weekend if I can get to a greenhouse. Hobo Dinners for supper tonight! Don’t forget your book titles!

70 thoughts on “A Productive Thursday

  1. Nikki DeRamus Moshier

    Love a good book review. Here’s my latest. Loved it so much sent it to my nephew! The Woman in the Window by A. J. Finn. Thriller, with a great description of her illness.

    A friend referred me to your blog. I am enjoying reading past posts.

  2. Nancy J Finch

    I have been reading a series of books by Laura Bradford . They are a series called AnAmish Mystery.
    I will send the titles of 4 that I have read. I think there are 6-7 total in series. I really am enjoying them as they have main English and Amish characters in each one.

  3. Sue in Marion, IN

    Just finishing “The Secret Scripture “ by Sebastian Barry. It’s stunning…takes place in Ireland. The memoir of a 99-year-old woman who has spent 60 years in an insane asylum, for no apparent reason, and the diary of the doctor who is trying to find out why she was placed there. Wow….going to look for more by this author.

    Hobo dinner is something we made in the Girl Scouts! Haven’t thought about it in forever. We cooked it in foil over a campfire. Yum!

  4. Deb

    Love the bullseye quilt! Fly Away Home by Jennifer Weiner………not a great book 📖 in my opinion….. but good for spring/summer reading.

  5. Gloria from CC

    Karla’s quilt is beautiful and the border gives it a different dimension. Very creative. Two books I recently read: Remember Me by Eileen Anderson which is a help book for owners of dogs with Canine Cognitive Dysfunction or dementia. Second book is Lessons Learned from Lucy by Dave Barry which is about his dog Lucy and how she is dealing with old age better than he is. It’s hilarious. In answer to the question about a flannel backing – I’ve made several quilts with tops/backing using flannel fabrics (and 80/20 batting) and I didn’t think they were too heavy.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Gloria from CC – thanks for the tip for Kathy about the flannel backing! Hope she reads this. As for the books – readers should know you’re dealing with dementia in your beloved little dog, Pooh Bear. I hope he’s hanging in there, Gloria! Is anyone else dealing with dementia in your dog?

      1. Steph

        My almost 14 yr old lab has dementia. He was always so well behaved and now does funny (naughty!) things. He has become food obsessed! He opens the dog food containers and the pantry door and helps himself. We keep a close eye on his weight and just laugh. He’s been such a good dog he deserves it!

        1. CountryThreads Post author

          Steph – did you see 60 minutes last night about the younger man who had a form of dementia? Uncontrolled eating – he’s gained 100 lbs. I did not know about this condition!

  6. Betty Klosterman

    Ruth (above comments) described what a Hobo dinner is and how to fix it.

  7. Felicia Hamlin

    My goodness Mary, Karla’s quilt is gorgeous! Some people are so creative. Your hydrangeas are looking great. I closed more adds today, for a while there were none. A big deer was by one of my flower gardens today, so bold.

  8. Gwen

    When I first started quilting, the Bull’s Eye quilt was very popular. I never knew that you had designed it. It was fun to learn that. I was happy to find that the book containing that pattern is still available so I bought a copy. I like several of the quilts in it.

  9. Helen Jane (TX)

    Really-really like Karla’s bullseye quilt. The work put in is really lovely. I have also liked many other B-E’s and Harvey’s. Please don’t think we get bored learning about eggs (drying) or the hydrangea (sticks sprouting) etc. Both I didn’t know about. About the hen nests…on the farm the nests were higher in the hen house (always a varmit around). Anyway things are done differently in various parts of the country. I came across the printed pattern (the other day) mentioned by a comment above for a flowery bulleye’s. I remember our “bee” made blocks for a drawing (years ago) I will look and see if you are given credit. If turned another way the wavy flowers become a butterfly design. Mary, appreciate all you bring us each day…Connie included!

  10. Janice Brown

    Karla- Great job on the quilt, it is gorgeous! Love the colors.

  11. Brenda archambault

    Just love karla’s bulls eye quilt. It’s a real stunner. Hope to get back to mine soon. It’s sitting by my machine, half finished, which is where and what it was two months ago when I broke my arm. Finally able to do a few things and look at the pile of unfinished quilts and stitching projects all over the place.
    Gardening isn’t my thing in the Phoenix area as the rabbits eat most everything I plant, but enjoy your fauna and Flora from afar. We hit 100 one day last week but it’s cooled to the 80s which is much more enjoyable.
    And sleeping in a recliner helps a lot with the aches and pains.
    Have a wonderful weekend and try to relax bit.

  12. Judith Ann Jaques

    If you lived closer I just had over 300 hosta taken out. They are free for the taking. Some have been here for 25 years. In just 2 days they took out all those hosta, trimmed trees, leveled the ground, moved veg. garden soil to the hosta beds replanted the peonies, 1 row of hosta and a 5 foot forsythia.They also put down a truck load of sod. Makes me tired just thinking of all they did.It would have taken me all summer. Hiring the landscape company was such a good idea.

  13. Jan Behm

    Karla did a GREAT job with her Bullseye quilt. Absolutely love the colors & the border she added!
    I think your hens need Hen Training School so they understand where they’re supposed to nest! LOL!
    Can’t wait to hear what a Hobo Dinner is! Sure am glad I’m not the only one who has no idea!
    Just about everything is in bloom here in Middle TN. Weather has been great but today we’re having some real thunderstorms but no damaging winds or buckets of rain. Everything is SO green here. The dogwoods are about done as are the redbuds that grow all along interstate I-40! It was a gorgeous site to see! I’m hoping to get back to weed pulling once the rains end. Makes the ground softer so weeds are easier to pull! Thanks for your entertaining blog posts. I look forward to them every single day!

  14. Norma

    I recently listened to The Good Dream by Donna VanLiere. She narrated the book and I really liked it.

  15. Diane. Squeak’s mom

    Karla made an awesome quilt. The border is stunning!! I am taking my blocks on retreat next weekend so hope to have it to show soon. Question— it is all flannel. Should I put flannel on the back? Will it be too heavy?

    We took our grand daughter to DC for her Spring Break in March so I am reading Margaret Truman Daniel’s MURDER AT THE WATERGATE. I like her mysteries.

    I have also enjoyed Jennifer Chiaverini’s historical fiction. I was sorry she left the Elm Creek Quilter’s, but her new ones are pretty good. She has improved over time in representing the “ voices” of the characters to reflect the time period.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Diane, Squeaks mom – Readers, what do you think about using flannel on the back of her all flannel Bullseye? Yes or no?

  16. Diane Bauer

    Karla’s quilt is beautiful! The border adds so much to an already amazing pattern!

    Our local Windsor quilt shop is closing. Very sad. I just discovered it a few months ago when a friend from church mentioned it’s where she always shops. It is off the main drag and not well signed, so I imagine I was not the only one who didn’t know it was there. I miss your quilt shop, Mary. Country Threads was always such a lovely, welcoming place. We loved stopping there on the way to MN in the summertime!

    My envelope is on its way to you for Uncle Sam. He may get combined with my Flag Houses quilt–seems like they’d make a good pair!

  17. Diane Deibler

    The FFA boys are selling plants this Saturday and next Saturday from 9-11 at their green house at the high school. I didn’t go last year but someone said they went fast. Nice to support locally.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Diane Deibler – I heard they were all gone in a few minutes. I’d love to support them but evidently lots of gardeners already are. Maybe they should grow more plants?

  18. Sandee

    Under This Unbroken Sky by Shandi Mitchell.

    Upon finding homesteaders in my ancestry search, I asked myself if I could have handled living that life style. And, after reading this book, I know I would have never made it. Get your tissue box ready.

  19. Susan Fiorito

    That quilt is simply amazing! I love seeing the picture of sweet Hazel.
    I have two books I recently read, both are very good:
    Small Sacrifices by Anne Rule (true crime)
    The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah

  20. Martha Engstler Gettysburg

    So impresses with all your hydrangeas. Will try your method next winter. Karla’s bulls eye quilt is really special, beautiful.

  21. Jane W

    I sure wish I had your ambition to get all my yard work done but after dealing with cows & calves….I’m too tired to do anything else! I’m showing my age I’m afraid! I just read Temple Secrets by Susan Gabriel & chucked through it numerous times! It’s set in Savannah GA & I just was on a bus tour there so it reminds me of the mansions I saw! There is another book in the series called Gullah Secrets that’s next for me to read. I may not be getting much done outside but I sure have gone thru several good books!

  22. Ann Roth

    Quilt shop looks so good! My friend, Linda & I are attending the NC QUILT SYMPOSIUM IN Lake Junaluska, NC for the next 3 days—classes & fabric shopping !!! Wish you were here.
    Ann in NC

  23. Connie R.

    I love Karla’s Bullseye quilt. I just picked mine up from the longarm quilter today and she did an amazing job with the quilting design. I recently saw a couple Pinterest posts that showed a Bullseye Flower Quilt. They were posts from several years ago but I tried to find out what pattern it was. One quilt shop said it was a Country Threads pattern. Have you ever had a Bullseye Flower Quilt pattern? Thanks.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Connie R. – I have to ask Connie – kinda sounds familiar but I think anytime a bullseye block is used they “should” credit Country Threads BUT after we did the original quilt several designers took the raw edge bullseye block and used it in their designs in some way which was stealing basically. Oh, don’t get me started – ha!

    2. Jan Behm

      I think the flower “bullseye” pattern was called French Roses but I don’t recall who it was by!

      1. Gwen

        It is called French Roses. I have the pattern but have never made it.

        1. Connie R.

          The French Roses was similar but, not the one I was looking for. The pattern I saw was on the Sweet P Quilting and Creations blog dated April 2, 2010. The quilt had bullseye blocks and stem with leaves blocks. But thanks for the reply.

  24. Pat Smith

    Like others, I would like to know what a hobo dinner is? Cooking remains one of my greatest interests. While we were away for 2 weeks, our refrigerator of only 8 years old, died. My heart sank when I came home and opened the freezer. We lost a lot of food, but luckily we have an old refrigerator in the garage. We are living out of that until the repairman comes next week. Probably the compressor. I love Karla’s bullseye—so creative with the border. Your yard looks beautiful, but what a lot of work I know it is. I don’t think you sleep 8 hrs. every night because you get so much done in a day!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Pat Smith – I’m not a good sleeper but have some new medication that has really helped turn my brain off so I can sleep – that and I started sleeping in a recliner instead of the bed. I will post tomorrow about Hobo Dinner.

  25. Kathy in western NY

    It’s all about pacing ourselves as we get older and realize we should not expect our bodies to work like they did 10 years ago. I want to save my shoulders and joints from further erosion so I clean and tidy up one room and next day if I feel like it I clean another. No more several rooms in a day! And heck to be honest, cleaning is low priority when weather gets better and I want to do so many other things. Felt bad today when I saw all the flooding in Davenport IA.
    I imagine Karla is a wonderful quilter by the looks of her stunning bullseyes quilt and taking on a unique approach to her blocks and the border.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Kathy in western NY – poor Davenport! Looks awful, doesn’t it? I feel pretty good tonight so I must remember that I can no longer work an entire day at those manual labor jobs – like scooping manure – hahaha!

  26. Paula S.

    Mary, I always enjoy reading your blog and all the pictures you post. Curious about what a hobo dinner is. Guess I’ll google it!

  27. Julie D

    Oh, I absolutely love the Bullseye quilt made by Karla T. That border just makes the bullseyes pop!!! Very creative!! Chickens are such funny animals! I love seeing them in people’s farmyards. I admire your love of plants Mary. I love plants, but I’m not good about taking care of them–I need to work on that in my yard especially.

  28. Diane in WI

    Karla’s quilt is beautiful. Doesn’t it feel good to clean up after the winter? I pulled last summer’s Sweet Autumn vine off of our windmill and raked. It sure makes a difference. Now if it would only stop raining. I’ll be sending for the Little Uncle Sam and the tulip patterns. Thanks for the great patterns.

  29. Jo in Wyoming

    Mary, do tell what a Hobo Dinner is. We’re having reruns for supper! That means we get a little ice cream for dessert.
    Your yard work looks great. I did chuckle at the experimental pot.

  30. Angie R.

    Sandra Dallas. “Prays For Sale”. And “The Persian Pickle Club”. Both were wonderful. I saw her email address and sent her a note and she responded. I thought that was so nice.

  31. Jody R

    I have another question 🙂 why plant the Sedum in the cinder blocks? Not heard of that. Does it keep them from falling over??

  32. Jo

    I checked Sue Watson on Amazon, but didn’t find that title. Do you mean Our Little Lies? I see she has another book being released May 23 called All Her Secrets. Love love love Karlas quilt. The crosses on the border caught my eye.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Jo – YES, you’re so right — Our Little Lies is the title. It was on my Kindle and I didn’t want to go upstairs to check so I thought I remembered- another senior moment! Thanks, Jo!

  33. Ruth

    Hobo Dinner – probably! what my mom used to make: cut up potatoes, a handful of chopped onion pieces, slices or circles of carrot and most important, a hamburger patty, seasoned and placed on a square of foil. The potatoes, onions, and carrots were placed on top of the patty, salt and peppered, then the foil sides were folded up and bent over to seal in the meal. Place on a baking sheet or in a pie pan and cook at 350 for 1 hour. Delicious!!
    I think I see two hens in those nesting boxes! One above the other with only the little eyes glinting.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Ruth – you’re exactly right! And it was delicious!

  34. Sue in Oregon

    “See Me” by Nicholas Sparks. It was okay, but I must say it was not my favorite by Nicholas Sparks.

    I love Karla’s, Bulls Eye, especially the border she designed.
    I wonder why your chickens choose not to lay in their boxes? They seem really nice. Maybe some of those fake eggs to make them think other chickens are laying there? Or, just lay some of those you found iin one box. My chickens have 6 boxes, 3 on each side, yet they all lay in just one box. They must have to wait their turn. Makes it easy to pick them up, though.
    I have been buying plants lately. Today we are going to plant our Walla Walla onions.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Sue in Oregon – I use the plastic Easter eggs when a hen goes broody so she still has something to sit upon. I don’t dare leave eggs in a nest because I’ll forget which ones are old and which ones were just laid that day! Memory is the first thing to go!

  35. Gail Lockington

    ‘love the front of your quilt shop – and also Karla’s bullseye quilt. Two good books to recommend: The Lost Letter by Jillian Cantor and The Gown by Jennifer Robson. Both are historical fiction and alternate between 1939 and present day approx.

  36. Nancy A

    Not sure of the kind of books you like, we like all books by Colleen Coble and Dee Henderson.

  37. Marie Fibelstad

    I never see any ads to click!
    Need to know what Hobo Dinner or Supper is!
    Love seeing the animals!

  38. Marian Stever

    Mary, Karla’s quilt is stunning. Great idea for the border. So pretty. Hazel looks so cute and I am sure loves being outside. So much work getting ready for spring. Visited two greenhouses today and it is so hard to not buy because I think it is too early. But, visiting the greenhouses with a friend was so healing!

  39. Rhoda Ebersole

    You are a smart cookie to bring up a plant or two every time you go downstairs. I try to do that too with walking out to my garage which is a separate building away from my house here.
    The List Night by Andrea Bartz

  40. Elaine Kopischke-Trejo

    Bitter Grounds by Sandra Benitez

    About El Salvador….GREAT read!!!!

  41. Nikki M in Tx

    Karla’s quilt is wonderful..love the border! Lol..chickens are so fickle ! 4 inches mir rainin last 24 hours..,more coming our way.I am not complaining, just wishing would spread the rain out a little.

  42. Mary Hawk

    Love friend Karla’s quilt -she is a constant source of inspiration!

  43. Celaine

    Bending Toward the Sun – Gilbert-Lurie

    The Only Woman in the Room – M Benedict
    (This book was amazing. It is about Hedy Lamarr, the 1940’s actress who was an inventor off set and developed a torpedo navigating system that is the precursor to Bluetooth, etc. )

    My Mother’s Secret – Witterick

  44. Kim J LeMere

    The quilt is lovely and the border really adds to its charm. I love how you manage to plant such a variety of stuff and I miss your shop so its nice to see it in so many pictures. Happy spring

  45. Carolyn Rector

    I am listening to American Agent by Jacqueline Winspear, the latest Maisie Dobbs. It’s so good. World War II historical mystery.

    1. Beth Laverty

      I just finished reading American Agent. I love Jacqueline Winspeare’s books. I have learned a lot about the two World Wars in reading them. I dont remember that much from school so MANY years,ago.

  46. Janice

    Just to let you know, had a lot more ads to click! Six (and now I’ve clicked six more, haha!) Jan

  47. Emily Pittenger

    I just read two by Amy Tan:
    The Bonesetters Daughter
    Saving Fish from Drowining

    Both were good but I liked The Bonesetters Daughter better.

  48. Janice

    Wow, Karla’s quilt is amazing. I can’t imagine how much planning that took – especially the squares in each block corner! It makes me really regret not keeping up with quilting over the years. But, I’m back at it! And I’m really enjoying it. Thanks to you, Mary, and Bonnie Hunter. So glad you mentioned her in your blog. I love scrappy quilts. Your former shop looks like it must be wonderful to work in with all of those big windows. The hydrangeas must look so pretty when they are all in bloom beside the shop. Funny about the hens. I could see that happening. Mine had a few boxes to choose from and they all wanted one. Would sit on top of each other when both felt the urge to lay an egg at the same time – that happened a lot! Enjoy the weather, it looks a little more calm in your area of the world. We’ve had the wettest April recorded in many many years. The grass is awesome though! Jan in Topsfield, MA

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Janice – yes, my hens crowd into an already occupied nest as well!

  49. Donna J

    Both were good
    One Good Dog by Susan Wilson
    The Dog Who Danced. by Susan Wilson

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