A stressful week, 9-6-21

As I wrote this date I realized it’s mom’s birthday today so Happy Birthday in Heaven, Hazel!

Since I share my life with you readers here on the blog, I will tell you about my stressful week. You might remember that Margaret is the organist and I am the pianist at our church and we play together every Sunday. Yesterday I filled in at a very small church in a neighboring town and our choir director filled in for me. Margaret is in the hospital with complications following an angiogram she had last Wednesday. Margaret plays a huge role in my life along with church so I am very concerned about her.

Yesterday morning a man in our church who also happens to be the mayor of Garner passed away from a sudden heart attack. The funeral is Friday…..and Margaret won’t be able to play with me! It will be a big funeral with lots of music since Ken loved music and was a member of several vocal groups.

My week will consist of locating funeral music, practicing and trying not to worry about it.

The rest of my stress involves my chickens – I count only 21 chickens roosting at night and I had over 40. We have closed up every hole we can find in the barn and I don’t let them free range until mid day. About 10 days ago I got 12 day old chicks and put them in the infirmary pen that I assumed was totally safe. Three disappeared one by one so I decided to move them into the dog kennel in the quilt shop with a heat bulb.

As I was catching them one got through a crack in the cardboard and under the wall leading into the old sheep pen. It can’t be even a 1” gap yet that little chick ended up outside! I was mortified! I caught the escapee and moved them all to the shop.

They’re getting big and won’t fit under that wall so this week I will move them back to the barn and then try to get the chicken smell out of the shop. Haha! Some of the chicks are really big and since this was a straight run, they’re probably roosters. I do miss my roosters so I’ll be glad to have some again. I went from getting a dozen eggs a day to maybe one or two – the remaining hens are maybe too frightened to lay right now..

Rick is freezing sweet corn today and I’m going to mow lawn. Hope your Labor Day is lovely – our weather is perfect! watch for a second blog post today – PLAYHOUSE PUMPKIN!

PS – I wish I were sewing all day after reading Jo’s post about all the quilts she has recently finished – I am so jealous!!! I want to make Bonnie’s Bitcoin quilt so bad! And County Fair is also on my radar because I have so make squares cut.

Off to the lawn mower……

41 thoughts on “A stressful week, 9-6-21

  1. RITA in Iowa

    Mary so sad about your chicks and the extra work to keep them safe.

    I started cleaning windows and screens as it been two years since a through cleaning has been done. I have to be careful as I have a torn tendon/ligament in my foot so I have to limit the time I’m on it.

    Today I have spent a couple hours pulling weeds from the part of the garden that is done. Try to get them before they go to seed. My husband doesn’t understand the necessity. HA!

    Hope you get through the week and your friend heals quickly. Thinking of you.

  2. Sue in Oregon

    When I first viewed the last photo of the chicks, my eyes fell on the monster on the floor. I enlarged the photo and realized it was the feather duster. Ha Ha. Thought at first it was the reason for the missing chickens.
    Wishing you all success in the week ahead and blessings as well. So sorry for the loss of your friend and mayor.
    We have had lots of family here off and on for several weeks. It has been beautiful weather for them and yesterday we had a wonderful picnic at the beach. No sewing time a all, but soon.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Sue in Oregon – the feather duster acts as a substitute mama hen for the chicks to hide under. It’s really supposed to be hung at floor level but I didn’t have time. It works this way, too.

  3. Sherrill

    Sounds like you are definitely laboring on Labor Day. Jo really does get tons done and I have no clue how she does it!! Matching the seams on Bitcoin looks way too tedious for me so even though I really like it, I’m passing. Good grief, those chickens! I know you will do wonderfully with the music–hope your partner in music gets well soon!!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Sherrill – when Jo showed the back of the Bitcoin quilt, I gulped. She doesn’t alternate seams so that they lay flat. Her quilts are beautiful so I guess it doesn’t matter but I always press to the dark and on the Bitcoin quilt, that would have made the seams nest.

      1. Kathy in western NY

        Mary – take a look at Monday’s post on kathysquilts.blogspot.com as she is working on a Bitcoin quilt too. She’s a quilter out of Canada I believe.

        1. Mary Etherington Post author

          Kathy in NY – now THAT’S the way it should be pressed! And she’s right – the pressing on this quilt project is a major job!

  4. Diane Bauer

    Oh, Mary. So much loss makes for grief overload. I’m sorry you are going through this. And so sorry Margaret will not be playing this big funeral with you!! That’s a lot of stress on you!

    I keep thinking about your chickens, wondering what’s happening. My guess would be a fox, perhaps, or sn owl or hawk, but I’m sure you’ve already thought through all the possibilities. So frustrating to work so hard to keep animals safe and still lose some of them,

    I lost my dear Patch this week, almost exactly yet two years after losing Pete. Poor Patch had the worst case of “kissing spines” our vet had ever seen. Despite monthly chiropractic and acupuncture, the condition deteriorated significantly over the past two years. I could not put him through another harsh winter knowing that. To make the week even worse, my dear, dear cousin ended up in the ICU (non-COVID but I will forever call it COVID-related) and we are saying goodbye thank him as well. My sister and a friend both lost their dogs to cancer this week, too, and another friend lost her cat. My heart aches.

    I did get to see my sweet Laurel Belle yesterday when my son and daughter-in-love dropped their two Goldens with me for the week. They will travel to San Diego so Liz can present her doctoral research at a NICU conference. So now I will revel in the love of four Goldens for the week!!! They do help with the other sadness!!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Diane Bauer – oh good Lord! I’ve never imagined such a list of losses – so sad – I can’t believe you lost Patch! I’m going to look up kissing spines because I don’t know what that is. So no Patch, no Pete! Will you get another horse? Oh, your goldens will be such good therapy for you! What kind of dogs were lost to cancer? And a cousin leaving this world? Oh, it’s all just too much! I will just be thankful if Margaret survives and even returns part time!

      1. Diane Bauer

        Kissing spines is in horses similar to bone-on-bone for humans facing knee surgery. Patch was not a good candidate for surgery because he had 24, not 2-3 vertebrae involved. It was a horrible decision, but I understood my responsibilities when I chose to keep animals. Today I am not sure I can do it again, but I also can’t imagine never having a horse again. For now I am loving on these Goldens and doing my best not to think too much about what has been lost.

        My sister’s dog was a dachshund. Keila was diagnosed about a year ago. Nala was a Golden diagnosed 3 years ago. Nala did really well in a CSU cancer study but ultimately could not beat her cancer (mouth). Goldens are susceptible and I am appreciative every day my two remain healthy.

        My cousin is a horribly sad story. I have not heard an official diagnosis, but from what I am hearing, alcohol poisoning makes sense. I had no idea he drank at all—seems to have started when COVID killed his business. I’m a therapist. I understand how these things happen. Doesn’t make it any easier.

        1. Mary Etherington Post author

          Diane Bauer – oh, Diane, it’s all so sad! Covid has been brutal in many more ways than just having the sickness itself. I am so sorry. And poor old Patch – you did the right thing, of course. I never, ever, ever want my animals to be in distress of any kind including pain and hard as it is, I hope I will always put them first. It’s the last most loving thing you can do for them and people who say they “just can’t do it” are self centered and selfish in my opinion. They want you to think that they love their pet more than you love yours. THINK ABOUT YOUR PET! Release them like you did Patch. He’s thanking you now and you should enjoy those goldens while you decide on another horse. You’ll do the right thing for you.

          1. Diane Bauer

            Thank you, Mary. Yes, we do have to release them when it’s time. I take my responsibilities to my pets pretty seriously, as I know you do, too. They bring so much joy to my life!!

  5. Charlotte Shira

    I’m praying for peace and calm for you this week. So much has been going on in your life. Is mowing the lawn a stress reliever? I hope so. So glad your weather is nice!!

  6. Lynn in Scottsdale

    So sorry for everyone’s sorrow, stress, and loss.

    Thankfully, our stitching, friendships, and faith eases the pain.

  7. Shirley

    Oh Mary, life gives us lits of fits n starts. Take time for yourself to relax and find a little hygge to relax. So sorry for all the loss in your circle roght now.
    Take care and think of what you can play on the piano for the service as you ride the mower round n round. Better days are ahead.

  8. Diana in Des Moines

    My heart breaks for you and the chicks. Hopefully they are all safe now.
    We have plenty of time for sewing when the snow flies. We were going to take a ride today to Iowa Falls to visit the quilt shop and take in a car show, however hubby threw his back out. Sewing day for me – yippee! Working on UFO’s and watching the Yellowstone marathon on tv.
    Cooler weather on the way. I love 70’s!!

  9. Jo in Wyoming

    Oh! Mary. This past few days have been a challenge for you, with more to come. What ever music you find for the funeral will make it a beautiful service. I do wish your friend could help.
    Sounds like perfect mowing weather and I know how you love to mow. Your own little break from so much sadness and stress.
    Take care, we love you.

  10. Holly Woodyatt

    so sorry about your chickens. I think you have a weasel. they won t stop until they get them all.this happened to us one year and we lost all our chickens. weasels can get in very small spaces and are difficult to trap. the year one killed all 7 of our chickens and we finally trapped him, a fox killed the remaining chicken.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Holly – I’ve had a weasel before and they usually pull the head off, suck the blood and leave the carcass. THere is no sign of a carcass anywhere I have looked. I’ve almost decided it’s a raccoon – although how the dead chicken is removed is still a mystery.

      1. Holly Woodyatt

        I sure am sorry, I am with you, they are part of your family. Hope you can get it resolved.

  11. Connie R

    Margaret is in my prayers for a full and speedy recovery. You will do fine for the music at the funeral mass. We’re always our own biggest critic. Hope you solve the mystery of the missing chickens.

  12. Kathy in western NY

    Lots to keep you moving this coming week. I hope and pray Margaret is well soon from her procedure. Poor soul. With the congregation coming together, a service to honor the mayor will fall into place as they all do without a hitch. It’s hard when it’s sudden though. The added stress of worrying about your animals is difficult so I pray you come up with a solution to help ease your mind.

  13. Betty Klosterman

    So sorry for the loss of friends, family and pets. That is never a good thing, but that time comes. We can never forget our memories.
    I’ve been watching Yellowstone, too, while sorting thru at least 40 years of car lot books and other miscellaneous piles. Most of it needs to be sorted. At least that will be 1 more thing done. Seems like I never threw anything away and the worst part is I can find all the information if necessary! It is at least the 3rd time streaming Yellowstone that I’ve watched besides when they were first on TV. Can’t wait for Nov 7th.
    I’m still keeping at going thru small piles and I reallly put a mark on the wall when something leaves the house and doesn’t come back. And I’d rather sew.
    Take care. Hopefully everything will get better. Betty in Rapid City

  14. Joy Van den top

    So sorry for all your stress! That is really sad that your chickens are disappearing! Ugh! Hope things calm down soon! Our weather in NW Iowa is beautiful also and the grass is sooooo green!

  15. Launa

    You’ve had such a very traumatic week, Mary. Know your music will be fine. Sad to miss friends.
    Earlier this afternoon two huge planes from Boise did retardant drops on the Trail Creek Fire. Answers to so many prayers!
    Today is our 63rd anniversary! Looked through new Fall n Winter issue of Shop Sampler magazine…it is a great issue!
    Fresh cob corn sounds tasty 😋!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Launa – HAPPY ANNIVERSARY! 63 years???!!??##$&. Holy Cow! Congratulations!

    2. Betty Klosterman

      Did the slurry help slow the fire down? Isn’t it just magnificent to watch those big planes fly by? One year we had a lot of fires and the slurry station was at our airport. The planes had to fly over the house going both directions. We really have to admire those pilots and job they do — along with the red bellies on their planes. Hope everything is going the right direction, finally. Betty in Rapid City

  16. Diane, Squeak, and Buddy in Central Ohio.

    Oh, Mary. Here is hoping all goes well at the funeral and with Margaret. I am sure your playing will be beautiful and much appreciated by family and friends. I feel awful about your chickens. A trail cam might help; that’s how we discovered our stray, Buddy, two raccoons, and a skunk were visiting our porch!! Happy birthday to your mom who is watching over you as you go through these stresses. Be still.

  17. Cheryl

    Do you know anyone with a wildlife camera you could position outside so you could see the varmint ???

  18. Betty vest

    Snakes. You have a snake eating the chickens. I went crazy trying to get that little ba te d. I put light bulbs in the chicken nest. The snake eats the bulb the the bulb beaks and kills the snake might work for you. Keep thinking your smarter than what ever want to eat the chicks

  19. Susan K in Texas

    Mary you have had a stressful time! I’m sure you will do well with the funeral but I know you are worried about Margaret. I hope she recovers and the two of you are playing beautiful music together again.
    And worrying about your chicks too! Hopefully they will be safe now.
    We have learned two men in our community that were our age (early 60’s) have passed away in the past weeks. And a sister in law lost her 84 year old dad (my dad just turned 85.
    Times are stressful with covid again. It’s time to lay low again – more sewing time which is my therapy for sure.

  20. patti

    mary, your piano playing at the funeral will be fine. rely on muscle memory. also people will be so involved in the funeral and the grieving that they won’t be thinking about the playing. i know that it goes against human nature but try to ‘let go and let God’. He knows what He is doing. i lived for a good six years telling myself ‘i don’t have to know why or how. God will take care of it. if it isn’t what i want, it will still be what He needs me to have.’ I was 21 i think when i adopted that saying. i also try to remember that other people aren’t noticing me as much as i think they are. you’ve had a time of it with animals and friends hurting. it’s been so stressful. prayers for you. patti in florida

  21. Kim

    Sorry for the stressful and sad times, Mary. We certainly do have more of these worries over friends as we all age. As for your chickens, do you have Pine Martins in your area? Apparently a telltale sign is finding swirls in the lawn where they dig during the night and they can squeeze inside small openings. We have them here as well as fox that will snatch a hen leaving only a few feathers behind. So disturbing! A Field Camera in the henhouse might help reveal who the culprit is.

  22. Amy M

    Prayers for Margaret and a quick recovery! I agree with everyone else, your piano playing will be terrific as always. Sorry you are also having such issues with the chicks. I’m glad you had the shop kennel to use. And as others have also said, don’t let the stress get to you, your help is important! ❤️

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Amy M – my mind is racing thinking about what to do with the hymn panels and I’ve got some great ideas!!!! Please send me the bill, Amy!!!!

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