A Slow Monday

After the busy weekend I was happy for a slow day. It was going to rain by noon but I got this little corner of a hosta garden raked and cleaned off before it started. After that I was glad it was raining.

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See a few little green hosta leaves poking up?

If it doesn’t rain tomorrow this is my next area to uncover.

Looks pretty hopeless, doesn’t it? And the planting time in the spring is so short – no time to think and plan before the greenhouses run short and close for the season. There used to be a gorgeous kiwi vine on the back fence but it died out completely so now I have to decide what to do in that spot.

On Saturday I emptied the playhouse and cleaned it all. Last year I was so stressed and so tired when Rick was laid up for all those months that putting garden things out was just not fun. This year will be different.

A few chicken pictures.


The herd

The geese

Don’t forget Harvey is still available until May 1 and the Goat Gazettes are available for $12.00. Beyond The Battlefield is $31.00. (I’m still planning a sew along but have to finish some things first!). Spring Gameboard is $5.00, Louise and Friends is $10.00.

What have I forgotten?

I finished sewing the rows of the Kaffe Fassett Pastel 9 Patch together today and also started working on the binding of Good Fortune. I need to hit the longarm machine the next rainy day – I love catching up!

I got a package in the mail from a reader who gifted me this very special needle case.

Thank you, Martha! I’ll think of you when I see it in my display case.

I learned this teepee “trick” from my friend Brenda in Kansas. I love leaning up those straight branches and limbs! It’s those little pleasures that make life in the country so fun!

Not much new today but wanted to touch base.

33 thoughts on “A Slow Monday

  1. Betty Klosterman

    Mary, you said you didn’t have good luck with grasses. I remember a big clump of pampas grass by the gate going out to the road. It looked pretty good to me. I’ve tried to grow it here, but my soil is clay and rocks plus between the wind and the low humidity, it just didn’t work.
    Your chickens are always wonderful. People can really see what pecking order means.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Betty Klosterman- yes, Pampa grass is like a noxious weed here and it has spread like crazy. I want to grow some decorative grass as a perennial but have no luck!

  2. Brenda in Kansas

    Mary when we bought our little piece of heaven there were years worth of limbs and dead trees everywhere. We did the teepee trick so we didn’t have to carry the branches somewhere. We were planning on burning it when we got everything cleaned up but cleaning everything up never happens. We have bunnies that make nests in it and lots of birds that take shelter in it. Now we couldn’t even think of burning it. Sent a picture of ours to your email.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Brenda – I search out straight branches to use and have started another one out by the garden – what a great idea you had!

  3. Donna Giddens

    Mary. I guess I missed the Louise and friends Unless it’s the goats. If not the gosts please resend. Far be it from me to miss something. Thanks. Donna .

  4. Becky from TX

    I love the little needle case….what a treasure!i don’t know how you do it all. You are amazing! Have a most wonderful day doing whatever you love doing!

  5. Sandy

    Have you gone to the Elma area greenhouses? We use Oak Grove, Zimmerman’s, Hoover’s and Acme greenhouses. It is hard to not fill the whole SUV and we don’t take more than 2 to the vehicle because we fill it. Also the auction at Cedar Valley Auction has so many plants in bulk. Worth the trip just to see it. Just north of Charles City

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Sandy – I go north of Floyd to Countryside Gardens and have for years – a Menonite lady who has wonderful plants! The best hanging geraniums I’ve ever seen so I’m betting the greenhouses near Elma are similar however my van is packed full just shopping there. I know what you mean – we don’t buddy up in the spring – we’d never get it all home! Can’t wait!

      1. Sandy

        Not sure where Countryside is, but that is the area. We like Acme Greenhouse for the variety. But Oak Grove and Zimmerman’s are great, too. If you have never attended the auction at Cedar Valley, it is worth the few miles farther. Amazing, with an acre under the roof. The produce is fantastic.

  6. Launa

    A sunny spring morning here with 39 degrees. What a great clean up idea the teepee look is with sticks! I love to learn something new, Mary!
    So nice to see all the chickens and your herd out enjoying nice weather there.
    Plenty of sewing needs to get stitched today.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Launa – a nice day here but our early temps were close to yours – chilly. Hope to get more raking done this afternoon.

  7. Paula Philpot

    I love that teepee!!! and love seeing those farm pics. I need a quilting day too for charity quilts and another of mine. I poured out the orange peel mixture…….what did you do? Paula in KY

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Paula P – I have not done anything yet – guess I should because I think the orange rinds are turning sorta brown.

  8. Mrs. Goodneedle

    Your chickens provide such bright spots in the yard as your spring emerges by leaps and bounds; you’re doing a great job preparing for the plants that will be growing like topsy before you can blink! That needle case is a true treasure, thanks for sharing.

  9. Marilyn

    Hi Mary, I really like the teepee idea..a place for birds to hide maybe. I feed the birds on the end of my front porch so I can watch them in the morning and evening however I have a friend..a possum that comes around 9 each night and eats all my bird seed.. Always enjoy reading your blog.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Marilyn – possums are a very helpful animal who eats thousands of ticks and other insects. They are not pretty however and I’m sorry he comes to eats your bird seed. Maybe you should take the feeder inside for a few nights so he realizes there won’t be food there.
      I make brush piles all through our old grove – birds need cover – but I like the looks of the teepee.

    2. Nikki M in Tx

      Marilyn, remove the possums food source and it will not be a problem..but you will have to be diligent aa possums are smart, devious animals and will check in just to see if you have returned to your old habits. Just take feeders down/in at night.

    3. CountryThreads Post author

      Marilyn – I replied to you but don’t see it – did you get it?

  10. Kathy in western NY

    Mary, I would love to know your story of the playhouse. Is it something you played in? Why I ask is that my dad built me a playhouse as a child ( and you and I are around the same age) and it became a place I played in for hours till winter and I couldn’t get into it. I think it taught me the meaning of home sweet home and being creative with making do with my furnishings! Move onto marriage and that playhouse got moved from my childhood home to my first house we bought. Then onto our second home which we still live in, and now our son has it at his home for our grandkids. Only they had more fun making it a fast food restaurant using the little slide windows for service and drive by bikes. I wish my dad were alive today to see the use that little playhouse has had thru the years and I am sure he built it from scraps of wood back then. I know our son stores their plant pots and outdoor decor in it now as you do too. Thanks for letting me indulge in a trip down memory lane.

  11. Patti in West Barnstable

    Thanks for all the pictures. I love seeing your animals. What a lovely gift you received. Cold and rainy here today. The high was only 47. Come on Spring!

  12. Sue

    Diane…Thank you for the report on Pete. Sounds like he is doing pretty well after his last bout. Just like us, I guess. Good for a while, then not so good. Rinse and repeat.

    The grass greened up amazingly fast and the chickens are loving being outside in the grass. Ah, Spring!

    1. Diane Bauer

      Yes, Sue, isn’t that the truth? Pete is in full shedding mode so I groomed him again today and got a bucket load of hair out of him! I’m anxious to see him beautiful summer coat again as it’s much darker and sleeker than his fuzzy winter coat. He seems to be doing better every day, which is so good to see!

  13. Kathy Hanson

    Isn’t it fun to watch the geese, chickens and goats enjoying the spring weather??!! What a big job you have cleaning up all your flower beds. My husband is starting all of that too – I love to see what he does with all the gardens and watching the crocus blooming and the daffodils getting close too! Hooray for Spring!!!

  14. Diane Bauer

    Ahhhh, spring! I love the greening up all around!

    I am all in with pincushions. PinPals was the initial inspiration, for sure, but I keep looking for more minis I can convert to pincushion size. I love that I can get a project done in an hour.

    Our Easter brunch was splendidly overtaken with a pregnancy reveal, so I am on to baby quilts!!! I asked a quilting friend what she might suggest as her favorite baby quilt and she suggested Moda’s Bitty Bunting Quilt. Since we don’t yet know the gender, I’m going to go with an ombré green background instead of blue or pink. Excited to get started!

    Pete is doing pretty well. Jenica was home Friday and Saturday to spend time with him.The first couple of days were pretty hard. He was spinning in circles that really were rather scary, but he has improved a good bit and is now walking in pretty straight lines again. I go out at least once a day and we walk 5-6 times around a small pasture. He LOVES treats, so I always take out a big bag for him. I finally looked up a horse age calculator and he’s somewhere between 95 and 115, depending on the calculation. Doing pretty darned well, given his age!! We appreciate any extra prayers for his return to health and/or his peaceful and pain-free transition to the Rainbow Bridge.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Diane Bauer – such good news about Pete but we all know his time on this earth is coming to an end. I hope it’s peaceful as he passes across the Rainbow Bridge.
      You’re a mad woman making pincushions – I see them on Instagram and wish I were making them! They’re lovely!

      1. Diane Bauer

        I was out to see Pete again this morning and gave him a thorough grooming. He looks incredible!! His main and tail are so pretty against his golden body. He is shedding like crazy, so I’m hopeful we will yet get to see his full summer coat. His registered name is Silky Copper and it fits him to a T!! You’ll see pictures on my FB and Instagram of him later when I get them uploaded. Jenica is hoping to get home again this coming weekend to spend more time with him, but in the meantime, I’m trying to get out every day to take more pictures so she can at least see him that way.

        I’m loving doing the pincushions. They are so quick and such fun to try different patterns and use up more of my stash!

        I meant to comment on your hostas!! They are not as big of a thing out here as they were in MN and I’ve always loved them, so I brought some out years ago to have that little bit of home here in Colorado!

  15. Susan the Farm Quilter

    So why do you teepee trick?? I have to know so I can stop just piling up my branches!! You new needle case is wonderful! Love all the pictures of your animals enjoying the early spring.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Susan the farm quilter – I do it just because it looks so cool! Don’t you think it looks cool?

    2. Pam Forsling

      I love reading your blog daily along w looking at the chickens. A friends daughter has chicken. She informed me 1 laid an egg that was 7″ in diameter today!! They are going to crack it open tomorrow to see how many yolks are in it! Thanks again for your daily enlightenment!!

      1. CountryThreads Post author

        Pam Forsling – if that egg has more than two yolks, tell me. I’ve never heard of a triple yolker!

  16. Linda Arganbright

    I love your chickens. I love the goats too, but I just love the chickens!!

  17. Mary Rhodes

    What is the teepee trick? Wouldn’t that hurt the tree? Wonderful pictures of the chickens goats and geese!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Mary Rhodes – why would it hurt the tree? I just like the looks of the teepee of straight sticks – maybe Brenda can tel us why she started doing it – I just copied her!

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