A Smokey Hazy Day, 7-15-23

The fires from Canada brought a smokey haze to North Iowa today but it didn’t stop the birthday bash at Farmer Tim’s place. The celebration was for Ellen’s 60th birthday – last year- which was cancelled by Covid. Ah, but you can’t keep a good party postponed forever, can you?

Here are Tim and Ellen sharing a dance.

I don’t get out much and it was fun to see neighbors and friends all together celebrating another neighbor and friend.

Reader photos

Penny Hanson
Lora’s new puppy Griffin

This volunteer tomato plant looks better than any I planted!


I’m not sure I will ever make any progress with this kitten – I try not to pressure her but keep my distance and just let her know I’m in the building. She is so afraid of me.

I’ve gotten several good jokes lately – I’ll feed them to you one by one. I think this might be my favorite.

Good Night, Everybody!!

36 thoughts on “A Smokey Hazy Day, 7-15-23

  1. Jo in Wyoming

    Funny joke…the old guy needs hearing aids!
    Is that farmer Tim? They are a cute couple.
    Beautiful flowers. I have pulled hundreds of tomato volunteers out. All from composting.
    Great quilts.
    Summer has arrived. It’s in the 90’s now. Yuck

  2. patti leal

    give the kitty time. i adopted my slinky in 2016 and he hid from everyone for 2 years. for the next two years he ran anytime he saw you. now he thinks he needs to live in my lap and he sleeps with me. my kitty had been a feral and i got him when he was two years old. best bet. ignore him. give him food, water, litter etc. and ignore. he will come to you eventually. at least he knows enough to stay with the fabric. smart kitty. as soon as i figure out how to send you photos, i have one of the kitty and several quilts. thanks for sharing all the photos you share of your life and all the quilts. patti in florida

  3. Charlotte S in No. California

    Great joke! Love all the pictures. I heard on the news that you were going to get smoke from the fires in Canada. It might even reach all the way to Georgia. They definitely need lots of rain.
    Everyone enjoy the rest of the weekend.

  4. LMK

    did i miss something? i thought rick had his surgery at mayo but now it doesn’t sound like it. i have had things done in iowa city (36 yrs. ago, 20 hours) also i have been to mason city and mayo and had things done, was pleased with all 3. some time soon maybe a knee done. we have rain so our grass is green. not sure i could do all the stuff taking care of rick, sounds overwhelming. i read you blog every day and enjoy hearing from everyone. also seeing the pretty quilts and pets. i love seing penny. we have no dogs or cats, too much work. we get to see denise’s two dogs. take care and good luck being a caregiver.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      LMK – Rick had his hip done at Iowa Specialty in Clarion – the surgeons come from Des Moines. He had his ankle and knee done at Mayo and I wish I hadn’t insisted having this done locally. He’s having quite a time and we didn’t know about the other type of anterior surgery which isn’t performed at Clarion. When we have to go to Mayo I always have to ask for help with the pets because we’re gone all day.

      1. Jo in Wyoming

        My hip was done from the front and I didn’t have much trouble with it. I guess that’s the secret handshake. I did develop a lot of scar tissue internally, but the PT broke that up.
        I ask him to remove some of the fat on that hip…he only does that on Thursday and my surgery was on Wednesday! Ok, ok, ok!

  5. Kathy Hanson

    That last one was very funny! Loved all your pictures today! Poor kitty, looks so scared!!
    Hopefully it will warm up to

  6. Susan Boyd in VA

    We’ve had the smoke from Canada wild fires several times over the past couple of months here in Northern Virginia. Winds must have changed and you’re getting it now. It was smoky and hazy and you could smell it. Air quality was bad and people were advised not to be outside (particularly sensitive groups and elderly – I don’t consider myself in either one of those categories – haha!). I wore a mask one day when I was outside working in the yard. Your kitty looks terrified! If anyone can get him to trust, it would be you! Give him time! I do love the quilts and pets — I have every intention of getting some things sent to you. I’ll possibly follow through soon!

  7. Janet S

    Good joke Mary. The quilts are really pretty but I especially like the flag quilt. Give Terror time. He/she will start trusting you when he wants to. A cat showed up next door and it took two years or better before anyone could pet him but that has sure changed. He thinks everyone is supposed to pet him constantly. He wouldn’t dream of coming inside (he has an insulated/heated house) but last winter was so cold, we coaxed him into our porch. He loves it and comes in for a visit often.
    Have a blessed Sunday all.

  8. Kathy in western NY

    It warms my heart to see the goodness of people who care, protect, feed and provide soothing hands to pet a critter. We need to know how much it is appreciated and pets continue to be loved by us with adoption and looking out for them. They all come around eventually at their own pace much like foster children. But Terror knows best that fabric brings hugs to us sewers so I guess I would have a nice comfy place to sleep if I piled my stash in the middle of the room.
    It’s nice farmer Tim still gave his wife her party a year later to celebrate her 60th. Nothing like a gathering of good people catching up.

  9. Barbara Firesheets

    Happy Birthday to Ellen! Enjoyed the pictures. Love the Flag quilt. Funny joke! 🤣

  10. Vicki Ibarra

    Love the flag quilt! Socializing is the best. I am glad you could participate in the fun. Haze here in SE Iowa, as well. I can’t imagine how much Canadian forest has burned, and continues to burn. Our air quality is in the unhealthy range, this Sunday morning, so I think that means today I will have sewing time. Yay! Progress is being made on March Madness blocks, as well as the simpler quilt I started.

  11. Gail in Ohio

    I too love that flag quilt and agree with the others that the kitty will come around on her own time. Also love the photos from the party. That’s how we do it around here too – clean out a garage, barn, or machinery shed for the floor space and enjoy ourselves with friends, family, and neighbors.
    The smoke is forecast to come to the eastern side of OH later today – we’ve had it different times as the weather patterns change. We could use a good rain to wash it out of the air, but those systems have gone around us the last couple of weeks – hopefully tomorrow! The crops and gardens could use a good soaking.
    I think I finally have a chance today to set up tables and start a quilt sandwich that has been interrupted and postponed the last 2 months – crossing my fingers!!!

  12. Sherrill

    Sounds like a fun time with friends and neighbors! I don’t recall where the scaredy kitty came from to begin with–hope you two become friends even if it’s only one step at a time.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Sherrill – she was dropped off or wandered into my neighbor’s yard nd

    2. Mary Etherington Post author

      Sherrill – and she has 5 big dogs who chased her and corned her under a log. I felt sorry for her – she’s been traumatized. I think it’s a girl – I have to get her to the vet or she might escape and I’ll have a litter of kittens to find homes for.

  13. Gloria from CC

    Great pictures today. Love the picture of Hazel in
    the wagon. Tell farmer Tim thank you for purchasing John Deere equipment from a retired John Deere employee. 😁

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Gloria from CC – Farmer Tim has the biggest and the best John Deere equipment around!!! I’ll tell him you said thanks – I get the fun of watching it in action across the road.

  14. Diane, Squeak, and Buddy in Central Ohio

    Oh, Mary, That’s how my husband hears things, too! I laughed and laughed:) He better not be getting a “Hot Mama”!!
    Tim and Ellen look like a great couple and what fun to have everyone come to celebrate.

    Is there a pattern for the flag quilt? Love it and all the others. The embroidery reminds me of my Nana who was an amazing quilter, sewer, embroiderer (sp?) etc. That all totally skipped my mom, but she was thrilled that I inherited the traits:)

    I feel sorry for poor little Terror. I wonder what she went through before she found kind hearted you!!
    Poor little girl. She will come around sometime, I hope. Keep trying, you have the “touch” for sure.

    We went to an ABBA concert last night in Columbus with our daughter, son in law, his mom, and the grands. What a fun, happy group they are and we all had so much fun:)

    My husband is 74 today so better go cook ’cause the whole gang is coming in:)
    Mary, As always, THANKS so much for your blog, your insights on quilting, life, trials, joys and everything:)

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Diane – Happy Birthday, Glenn! I would love to go to an ABBA concert – and with the whole “fam damily” – haha! The women in my family before me were also the quilters and needleworkers – not my mom! She wanted to play ball, shuffleboard, cards or golf – all of which I hate! Haha!

      1. Diane, Squeak, and Buddy

        That is funny. My mom played Bridge and told me once she had her first job, she was never crawling around on the floor trying to get a dress out of fabric that was half a year too little.

  15. Fran Dixon

    Love the joke! And the flag. I need that for my front door.

    I hate this smoke. Air quality alert so no walking… Grrr

  16. Susy Boyer-San Diego

    Fun pictures and cute joke! The picture of Hazel in the wagon is fantastic. It could be a greeting card and certainly framed and hung. Isn’t that the truth about tomato volunteers? See you next time. I enjoy your blog very much.

  17. Betty Klosterman

    Mary, have patience. Maybe talk to him a bit? Works on my robins. Terror already knows a very good, safe place where he can watch what is happening. It is amazing how they can survive in such a big, dangerous world. Good advice to ignore him but be sure to feed him! Works on husbands…….way to their is thru their stomach!
    Farmer Tim has really nice, CLEAN, machinery. Have to take care of that huge investment. Farmers are part of the backbone of the world. They feed us.
    The smoke from the fires is awful, but it could be a lot worse. The fires could be here. Hard to imagine that. The wind will change direction for us and they will have to wait for winter. The smoke does do great things with the sun.
    In the meantime, life goes on. Enjoy what we have. Pet the critters, give them a hug and be thankful for what we have — and for what we don’t have!
    Betty in Rapid City

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Betty – oh, there’s food, water and 2 litter boxes in the quilt shop and I go out there several times a day and just talk out loud so she gets used to my voice. Sitting in the porch just now I thought I heard a meow in the grove – ?FluffBun maybe? Of course the dogs tore out of the house immediately so who wouldn’t hide?

  18. Sharon Geiger

    Thanks for the chuckle!! love the pictures and what a sweet couple having a dance together.

  19. Tanya T. in Houston

    Oh, I do love those pictures today! That happy couple and that one gorgeous zinnia made my day! Not to mention the joke!

    PS We saw a group called ABBAcadabra who recreated the ABBA group and sang all their songs. It was SO much fun!

    1. Diane, Squeak, Buddy

      Our daughter is Tanya, too. She and her family love them, too.

  20. Kris in WI

    So good to “meet” Ellen and Farmer Tim. And Happy B’Day, Ellen! I confess I enjoy seeing all that big machinery in action.
    Thanks for the pix of furry friends, flowers, flag quilt, and embroidered bluebird. You made my day. Now back to fixing dinner and checking the To-Do list.

  21. Sharon G.

    Thank you so much for the Oh Susannah book and pattern! What a great book to receive in the mail.
    I needed that pick me up! Thank you, Mary!
    Glad you were able to enjoy a little bit of fun with neighbors.
    Hopefully Rick is doing okay. Remember caregivers need rest, too.
    Lovely photos. The animals, flowers, quilts.
    Kitty will get used to you – look what you did with Susannah and other animals. Just make sure she has an area so she can lay down and sleep. All she needs in addition to that is kibble, water, a cat box, and to hear your voice. She will get used to her surroundings and eventually come out and join you. Just give it time!
    Hope you are having a relaxing Sunday,
    Take care, everyone!

  22. Pamela Dempsey

    I enjoyed all the pictures and especially the animals. I hope the terrified kitty will learn to trust you 😻!

  23. Jeanie S, Central Illinois

    It was smoky here, also; the few minutes I was out running errands, my eyes burned.
    Farmer Tim and Ellen are adorable. I am glad you could join them for her party.
    Thanks for the great pictures, Mary. 🥰

  24. EllenT ( Farmer Tim’s wife)

    Thank you for all birthday wishes! It was fun.
    Glad Mary could make it!

  25. Brenda in N Calif

    I agree you need to give the kitten sometime. But when Rick is able have him go talk to her. When a neighbor dropped off a kitten she had found in her engine block 3 days in a row, only my son could get close. She would crawl up and sleep on his head. It was 7 or 8 years before she would come to me. Now she sleeps with me every night. Love today’s pics

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