A Special Visitor, 7-17-23

Sister Carol is a member of the Notre Dame Sisters community in Omaha, NE but she grew up on the farm across the road from me. Her ministry is in Walsenburg, CO where she still works full time at age 84. Her brother still farms and she comes home to visit every year or so and sleeps here. I love her visits! Covid has kept her from visiting for 3 years. We have lots to catch up on.

Meet Norma who lives in a Care center in Leon, IA. Her daughter bought her an Oh, Susannah! book and took her picture – wasn’t that sweet? I hope you enjoy the book, Norma!

A friend visiting Ireland sent this – they’re everywhere!

And another one!

Yup, I’m on my way to a coffee table book!

Reader quilts

Last week Deb from Japan visited and I enjoyed learning about daily life in Japan. Such a different way of life! Everything is fresh and people shop every day. No big refrigerators and freezers! They don’t bake either. Deb is the friend who sent me needles last winter – needles that are made by hand by a family who’s been making them for 350 years! Needles are made lengthwise instead of crosswise and the eye of the needle is round not oval. It doesn’t sound like it’s much different but I can’t wait to try some handwork with a Japanese needle.

Sand hill cranes in a soybean field – don’t know the location

I’m still feeding grape jelly – why would there be grooves on the plastic jar so I can’t scrape it out completely? What’s the reason??? I have so many birds with their babies at my feeders – a pair of red headed woodpeckers and a baby!

A busy day tomorrow – good night!

44 thoughts on “A Special Visitor, 7-17-23

  1. Quilting Sister

    Oh wow … please post some pix of the woodpecker babies, how neat!! 😁

  2. Sue in Oregon

    So, you’re a scraper too. That jar would irritate me for sure. I use lots of spatulas and my husband always gets a chuckle out of me scraping out the last of the mayo or whatever.
    The Japanese needles sound great. I wonder if they sell them here somewhere?
    Have fun with Sister Carol .

  3. Martha W

    I wash out the remaining jelly with very hot water. I shake the jar vigorously to loosen it and then let it cool. The orioles love it.

  4. Polly Blank

    That truck is from Billings MT. I can tell by the license plate. 6 is for Yellowstone Co MT. Why would a cowboy need to half park in a handicap spot?

    Hope all is going well with the hubbie, the animals and plants. Love your blog about nothing. Thanks for posting.

    1. JeanneH in the Finger Lakes of New York

      I wondered if perhaps the driver of the pickup *was* handicapped and needed more space on the driver’s side. We can’t see much to the left in the photo. I actually see parking like that by handicapped drivers quite frequently in the local supermarket parking lot.

      My parking peeve is big honking trucks, SUV’s, and “mini-vans” (more like mini-BUSSES) parked right to the line on both sides of a space, making it so narrow that my compact size sedan might barely fit!

      The only advantage I can see to the ribs in the grape jelly jar is that they might make it easier to hold. Or maybe it strengthens the walls of the plastic so it can be thinner, but I’m no expert! lol

  5. Katie in Gilbert,AZ.

    Mary, Your just having lots of nice visitors, very nice, special the Sister visiting her brother, I admire her still active ..
    Sweet pic of Norma with her BOOK..
    Enjoy all your guest♥️

  6. Sandy

    Hi Mary, l think the cowboy with his truck half parked in the handicap park must have a partner who is handicapped! Glad you are having some nice visitors. One of my sisters has had a stroke, she was slurring her words , but still mobile, high blood pressure, husband being difficult with mild dementia and a perfectionist, not a good thing. Take care everyone, best wishes from Sandy

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Sandy – oh my goodness, that’s a bad situation, isn’t it? Do you live close to your sister so you can lend a hand? Husband’s issues not making life any easier, huh?

  7. Jean

    Great post today. I’m wondering why Deb lives in Japan? Such a different culture. Fascinating.

    1. Deb in Japan

      To make a very long story short, I ended up in Japan after meeting a man on the beach in Maryland. He is British (from Manchester), is an English Professor an has lived in Japan for close to 45 years. We’ve been married for almost 8 years and I’ve lived there for that long. Yes, it is very different but I love it. I get back to MN frequently to visit family and friends.

      Thank you for asking,

  8. Sharon Geiger

    Oops! The sand hill cranes are in NE Indiana. Love the pictures and the facsinating people you meet.

  9. Dee

    The jar may hold a little less jelly with grooves maybe. Multiply that by thousands and some money saved! Ha ha. Enjoy your blog so much.

  10. Ginger S

    The grooves in the jelly jar may be to be able to grip is more easily. Love you blog Mary. Full of interesting, everyday things that I just love.

  11. Teresa in Indiana

    Love your photos and all reader pics today. There are spaghetti sauce jars like that also. Drives me crazy! Almost impossible to get everything out. I’m sure your birds love it! ❤️ Thanks for the blog today. Did you find a bed for Rick?

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Teresa – lowering the bed has pretty much solved the problem for now – I also took off the very thick quilted waterproof mattress pad. It kept bunching up in the middle when he tried to roll over. Much better now but I warned him he’d better not wet the bed! Haha!!!!

  12. Meredith in Cincinnati

    Love the quilts today and Susan’s setting of that HST quilt was great! Those pictures of the bad parking make me laugh, which is a far different reaction when I see those bozos parking at my supermarket! Have lots of fun with Sister Carol!

  13. Joy

    I love reading your blog, always such fun. Wish I could have visited when the shop was open, such a beautiful & interesting place.
    Neat cabin & trees small quilt – any idea on pattern or designer?

  14. Gail in Ohio

    Enjoy your company!!
    I too have wondered about those grooves in the jelly containers – I feel like I’m not quite getting my money’s worth! We are still feeding jelly – still see orioles, finches, catbirds, woodpeckers etc. enjoying it. One week we went through more than 3 jars – bet you use a lot too.

  15. Jeanine from Iowa

    I, too, have been annoyed by those grooves in the grape jelly jars. I have even bought an off brand, and it is the same with them. It is very hard to clean them out. Our orioles left long ago, and no other birds here were eating the jelly, so I no longer put any out. We are finishing it up on our toast! Enjoyed all the interesting pictures today.

  16. JoAnne

    Put some water in the jar, give it a good shaking and then pour into a container and put out. That’s what I do and oh my it seems they like this better than just the jelly. I usually have 6 or more birds fighting over it.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      JoAnne – I never thought of that – I’m going to try it!!

  17. Gloria B - IL

    We just organized a mock bus trip for our guild (around 50 members) to “visit” the best quilting locations in United States. Of course Country Threads was one of them! Instead of our regular round table setup we organized chairs by two across a row just like on a bus and hung fabric strings with pennants on outside of chairs to create the “bus”. As members “boarded” the bus they were given a bus trip labeled bag with water and to hold their goodies. The tour director announced each stop, asked if members had been there and highlighted facts about the stop and what they contributed to quilting. A small project was gifted to each member at each stop. We provided a “box lunch” including a “sandwich” (hexie project wrapped in wax paper & labeled ham, beef etc.) and a number of sewing items (needles, glue stick, etc) which we’ll use in an upcoming meeting. As we “drove” between stops a member walked around bud with moose and cow signs on a stick. Each lunch box had raffle tickets to win gift baskets including Country Threads books and magazines. It was a fun evening.

      1. Gloria B - IL

        It was a group effort. We used to organize a real bus trip every other year but costs are now prohibitive and unfortunately so many shops have closed.

  18. Diana in Des Moines

    My theory on the jar – ridges cut into the sides, thus making it smaller so they don’t have to put so much jelly in but charge the same price. Noticed that with my vegetable oil bottle. Not as deep – same height and looks the same from the front, but looking at it sideways, you can see it’s slimmer. Same price. Sneaky.
    Enjoy your visitors!

  19. MaureenHP

    You’ve enjoyed some fun guests lately–how nice! I wonder if the family that makes the needles Deb brought you have a website. I would enjoy learning more of their history.

    1. Deb in Japan

      Here is the website for the needle shop. It is in Japanese, but there is a translation (little button next to the “refresh” circle in the search bar). Mary has asked me to do a write up about the shop – and I’m working on that and searching for my pictures of the last time I was there.



  20. Lois Ann Johnson

    A family of baby cardinals were hatched in a nest in my “Limelight” hydrangea bush a week or so ago. The bush is just to the right of my back steps and is only about 5 ft tall. I knew something was going on earlier because every time I would open the door to step out, a mama cardinal would be flying out of the bush. One day I decided to look into the bush and saw a nest of babies newly hatched! Having a dog out there brings all sorts of problems so in the meantime, Bailey Girl is banished to another part of the yard until the babies are big enough to fly away. There are several large trees in my backyard where Mama Cardinal could have had her nest ; why did she pick this skimpy bush inside a dog pen where the babies could be killed?

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Lois – what do baby cardinals look like? Yes, why that bush indeed?

      1. Lois Ann Johnson

        Mary: All I could see of the baby cardinals was their wide open mouth and that they were brown colored. It was j ust a split second that I looked as I was afraid I would hurt them if I lingered too long. Maybe today I will try and get a better look at the situation and report back. I hope they all survive t his precarious nesting place and will fly off soon and be healthy cardinals!

  21. Deb

    I agree about those frustrating ridges in the jelly jars. I’ve asked the same question.
    We have a bunch of jelly- junkies this year. Two pair of Orioles and now their kids, red finches and a hyper male cardinal. Oh and the young squirrels lick it clean if my kitty lets them on the deck. As if they need the sugar!

  22. Beamer's Mom

    Beautiful quilt by Susan K. Love her choice of pattern and color arrangement.

    1. Susan K in Texas

      Thanks so much. I had fat quarters from a quilt group member. I added a couple of additional fat quarters and the sashing fabrics and came up with the design. I’m so happy with how it turned out.

  23. Janet M

    We have the same issues with the Welch’s Grape Jelly jars as you.
    I am trying to purchase another brand!!

  24. Teresa

    My husband is handicapped and we do have trouble parking in handicap spaces. If you have a wheel chair and the car next to you is close to the line you can’t get your wheelchair and sometimes even a walker up to the car door. We have a lot of Dr appointments and when we can get a spot with the striped off area beside the car we some times park over some so the handicapped person beside us has a little more room to maneuver in and out of his vehicle. Just some insight from a handicapped person’s designated driver!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Teresa – very valuable info!! Thank you for your insight and just since I’ve been driving Rick to his therapy appts I know firsthand how hard it is to park so it’s easy for him.

  25. Diane, Squeak, Buddy

    I don’t buy grape jelly b/c we have Orioles only for one day and it is not my favorite! Lots of birds feeding in our back yard, too. We had a young Pileated the other day. The parents have come for years. Our chipmunk population has exploded!! Squeak and Buddy love to watch them from the screened in porch. Have fun with Sister Carol. She looks spry for 84😀

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