Another Week Closer To Spring, 2-13-23

It will be months before this snow pack in my grove is gone!

I really enjoyed the Super Bowl – very exciting and not a blow out. Hobby Lobby spent $20 million on the ads – He Gets Us – to rebrand Jesus. Amazing, huh? Of course my favorite commercial was the dog who destroyed everything in the house until the owners brought home a pal for him – a cute little terrier.

Jan – how is Thor?

A little cat news – JB is looking pretty rough for his 16-17 years.

The fur is a sure sign of aging – it becomes greasy, the cat doesn’t clean much anymore probably because of arthritis that limits his body contortions. And then there’s cataracts and hearing loss – JB exhibits all these signs.

And very sad news about Colton which I couldn’t even report last month. Colton is gone very suddenly after what appeared to possibly be a burst bladder? He had several incidents of urinary blockages through the years but this was much more serious and I chose to have him euthanized. I’m still expecting him to be laying in front of me until I remember he’s gone.

Quilt Show!

Walk, Don’t Run from 1993
This is what I’m working on

And this is what I’m mad about today – a 50 lb. bag of kitty litter – in a box with no way to pick it up – no handles of any kind to get it from the mailbox to my house. When I did get it to the house and opened the box, I found a 50 lb. bag of litter also without any type of handle to grab to lift it out of the box! I guess I’m going to have to open the bag and dip out the litter cup by cup until the bag doesn’t weigh so much. I am a very unsatisfied unhappy customer and there’s no way to leave my complaint on their website because you can only choose your complaint from a list. It says satisfaction guaranteed or your money back – what a joke! How would I return it? Ugh.

I’ve yacked long enough – definition of yack: trivial persistent conversation. Haha!!

And that’s the blog about nothing on a Monday morning.

83 thoughts on “Another Week Closer To Spring, 2-13-23

  1. Diane in Maryland

    Mary, so very sorry about Colton! We miss each one so much and always expect to see them lying in their favorite places.

    The dog commercial was my favorite too! Thought it was bittersweet when the two brothers, on opposing teams, hugged after the game. One was so happy and such disappointment on the other’s face as he actually smiled for his brother.

    More pretty quilts. The strawberry is lovely! Makes me anxious for strawberry season.

  2. Terri S.

    It’s so hard to see our fur babies get old. They are just like our children. . I’m sorry about Colton.our cat will be 14 years ,next month and we are giving her sub cutaneous fluids because she is in renal failure. What we don’t do for our pets. Give JB all the lovin you can, I’m sure you do !

  3. Cathie

    I am so sorry to hear about Colton and JB. These fur creatures become so much a part
    of our families that it’s hard when they are gone. Gone but not forgotten. Please know
    that my thoughts are with you.

  4. Jo in Michigan

    So sorry Mary. I’m so sad for you. It’s so hard to lose a loved fur baby. And it does take a while to talk about it. I was that way with my Golden’s. As you know you gotta give them all your love while they are with us. And I’m sure Colton still feels your love over the rainbow bridge. Hugs to you Mary♥️

  5. Rosalie

    So sorry to hear about Colton.
    Those lightweight kitty litters are appealing but I would go broke with the number of cats I have! I’d rather buy fabric.

  6. Fiona at Ice Bear Quilts

    Hi Mary, so sorry to hear about Colton. He was a beauty. I’m sure you made the best choice for him, and he is waiting over the rainbow bridge.
    I remember when the cat I got as a teenager died in my twenties: I kept expecting to see her for months: one is just so used to them being around after years of companionship and love. To this day that cat, Pangur, features in my ‘anxiety dream’ a recurring dream that I have when I am really stressed. In the dream I have forgotten that I have a cat !! (As if!!) and so have forgotten to feed her, and she is standing in my kitchen, thin as a rail and starving. And in the dream I am appalled and berating myself ‘how could you forget to feed your own cat?!’ It is always a huge relief when I wake up and realise it was just ‘the anxiety dream’ again. But it shows what an impact pets have on your life, and that the sense of responsibility and connection is still there, decades later, along with the love. They don’t live the years we do, but the love lasts lifelong.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Fiona – your nightmare about your cat really hit home with me – thanks for sharing it!

      1. Lynn in Scottsdale, AZ


        I have a recurring dream that I neglected my childhood fish tank, the water is half evaporated, and the fish are really hungry. Didn’t realize it was an anxiety dream.


        So sorry about Colton. He had a good life with you.

        Great quilt show everyone, and Happy Valentine’s Day.

        You can make baked eggs in the crockpot, too.

        Cool and rainy here In Scottsdale, AZ. The weather was really nice for the Super Bowl, though.

        1. Fiona at Ice Bear Quilts

          Hi Lynn, yep, that sounds like an ‘anxiety dream’ to me! It’s amazing how the unconscious mind works and connects, isn’t it?

  7. Joyce from NY

    Went to bed to read after halftime of the Super Bowl game, must have missed the dog commercial. Was surprised to hear this morning that Kansas City won, even the announcers were predicting the Eagles to win! The quilt show today is outstanding. So sorry to hear about Colton.

  8. Susan Boyd in VA

    So sorry to hear about Colton. It’s so hard losing our pets. You gave him the best life he could of had!
    Loved seeing the quilts today and always! We get a big autoship from Chewy periodically and it includes a 50 lbs. bag of dog food and a couple of 26 lbs. bags. They usually come shipped in separate shipments. Our FedEx driver is the best. I was outside one day when he came with the order, and I asked if he could bring the boxes around back near our basement door which is where most of the pet food is stored. He has done that ever since making getting the heavy bags where they need to be much easier! He’s the best driver! Could you talk to whoever delivers that box and maybe have it put in a closer, easier to deal with location?

  9. Vicki Ibarra

    Loved the quilt show. Sorry for the loss of Colton. And seeing Joan’s small quilt with the rabbit reminded me of that pattern I made years ago. As I recall, it is a Country Threads pattern. I need to go through my pile of quilts and find it again. I used to hang it every spring until I made more spring quilt wall hangings and started rotating them through.

  10. Linda in Michigan

    Such sad news about Colton, he was a favorite. But Mary, you made the right choice. As for the bag of kitty litter, what a joke! I was a shopper for a local grocery chain for three years. If an order included a 35lb bucket of kitty litter, I had to hunt up one of the stock boys to lift the pail for me. Even the pails of lightweight litter are getting to be too much for me. This aging thing is great, isn’t it-haha!

  11. Pam Forsling

    Mary..I understand your frustration with the bag. When I get salt for the softener, it also comes in a 50lb bag and no handles .!! Hope you week is all uphill .

  12. Jan Easley

    Love all the quilt shows and appreciate the time it takes you to place the received pictures in the blog. Please continue. 🙂 They are inspirational to see with such variety, creativity and beauty of fabric and colors melded together. Thank you!!
    Sorry to hear about the loss of your pet and the decline of the other. The ebb and flow of life hits hard sometimes.
    Thank you, also, about the heads up in January of Martingale. I was able to purchase several books at the reduced rate, three of them by you and Connie.
    Thank you for the time you spend preparing and sending the blog. I do enjoy seeing Chicken Scratch show up in my emails.
    Jan E.

  13. Charlotte

    Mary, so very sorry about Colton but he is leaping into another of his 9 lives. I know you will miss home very much. He will always be in your heart.

  14. Carmen

    The dog commercial was my favorite too, followed by Ben Affleck for Dunkin. Didn’t realize HL was behind those commercials

  15. Janet S

    Mary, Your grove looks like our yard (Minnesota) but the sun sure feels good. Normally, I don’t get too excited about the super bowl games but I agree, this one was really good – at least the last half. You have my sympathy about putting Colton down. It’s a really hard thing to do but we know he wasn’t going to be fixed so you have to stop his pain. Have a good week everyone.

  16. Cindy Nelson

    So sorry for the pain of Colton’s passing. He is a beauty you will always remember. I understand you are always hearing our accolades, you do mean so much to my life. You are such a blessed example of a Christian. Thank you for your church work, helping the animals, and sharing your love of quilting and antiques. Happy Valentine’s Day to you and your husband.

  17. Jan Hebert

    Oh, how sad about Colton. I’m so sorry Mary, but you made the right decision. And yes, JB’s coat is a sure sign of aging. So glad you have your other kitties to lessen the sadness. The quilts are wonderful, as usual. Love the quilt shows. Thor is doing well! Thankfully, the weather is much warmer than that horrible stretch of frigid cold and his comb hasn’t gotten any worse. Parts of it have turned black and I’m sure he’ll lose a lot of that eventually. But he’s a trooper and is back to bothering the ladies! I separated him from the hens for a few days and they are used to it now and aren’t pecking at it – which was what I was most worried about. Are you getting another rooster? Do you have any young ones in your flock? I’m actually thinking about getting chicks and growing them out to sell as pullets. If I do, I’m going to go for breeds that you can tell the roosters from the hens. Another thing I would love to know is how other readers who have chickens or ducks are doing with the Avian Flu? I wasn’t too worried at first but spoke with a neighbor who goes bird watching in our area and he said that it’s definitely here. The farm a short distance from us has many dead birds and geese in their fields! It’s so sad but so scary that it’s that close to us. I’m going to put a tarp over the run we have for them but I hate not being able to let them free range, they so love getting out! So I’m wondering what other bird owners are doing to protect their flocks. Jan in MA

  18. Kathy in western NY

    It always makes me so sad when loving parents Of pets have to say goodbye to a part of their family. I would wait to share it too Mary but know we care and feel your sadness.
    Wonderful quilts today and so colorful and fun to see. I appreciate them so much so thank you everyone for sharing them with us.
    My husband told me the half time show was a singer grabbing her crotch too much for him so what’s up with that. I guess we don’t know a lot in this crazy upside down world.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Kathy – and that’s exactly what I think live music is these days – singers grabbing their crotches! Why oh why would we want to see that?

        1. Diane in Maryland

          I agree and many, many others say the same thing. I don’t know why it’s necessary or understand why anyone would do that. If this is a message they are sending to their “fans”, exactly what does it mean? Just seems vulgar…

          1. Kathy

            Think we will live long enough Diane to understand the meaning of why singers or artists do this when performing on stage? I agree it’s vulgar. Buy good underwear, maybe??? I have no clue.

          2. Diane in Maryland

            Kathy, I have gotten a laugh about the good underwear. I will be thinking of that when they do that again! Very funny!

  19. Deb in Idaho

    What can I say about losing a pet, we say never again but do just the opposite, and say never again but do just the opposite. Do we learn, no we humans fall in love with another dog or cat.I think we need to hear the clink of toes on the floor. So very sorry for your loss. On a happier note, I love the quilt show

  20. Brendalynne

    Where does your melting snowpack distribute? It is a sign I live in Calif. Where we waste ours when that is my query after viewing such examples of talent. The quilts seem to be exceptionally lovely today sorry about the kitty litter issue. Makes you wonder about a lot of things /people on the other end of that chain doesn’t it??

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Brendalynne – the snow melts into the ground although we do have a small pond that gets nice and full in early spring.

  21. Sandra Goddard

    My sympathy on the loss of your dear Colton. They all take a part of your heart. I love my cats dearly and each has their own personality. Litter that is another story. My bags are 40 pounds and no handles and mine have to go to the basement. Got to be a better system it seems. Anyways that’s my complaint litter yuck!

  22. Lynette in Orlando

    Mary, first off, I think JB looks pretty good for his age (maybe just like us? 😂). So sorry about Colton. I miss my fur-babies that have passed so much! They are all so very special to us and hold such special places in our hearts….. forever. 💝. I will agree with you about the Super Bowl. When they brought that pup home, I got tears in my eyes! So many people adopted dogs during Covid and then had to go back to work – loved the message that it sent. I have a VERY needy dog that goes EVERYWHERE with me. and I am ok with it – knew it when I adopted her. She is a rescue and from what I can piece together the previous owners weren’t very nice to her. Can’t tell you how angry that makes me — she’s a sweetheart. Have a good day Mary!

  23. Carol at Pin Oak Quilting

    Oh, I’m sad for you, losing Colton. Those soulful eyes are beautiful. I’m still sad about my Kitty and her passing this fall, but my husband has finally relented and agreed to finding another sweet rescue.
    This took quite a lot of whining to accomplish, feeling pretty powerful with this new skill. Whining is unbecoming but accomplishes much, I now realize!

    Love the bunny quilted wall hanging, lots of interesting quilts today (as always!).

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Carol – I am thrilled with your news!!! I was hoping he’d come around – whining is good!!

  24. Janet Gluesenkamp

    So sorry about Colton. Mary, I meddled. I copied your paragraph about that darn bulky bag and sent it to Dr Elsey’s site. There is a space to contact with your problem, that’s where I plunked it, stating “sending for a friend”, not using your name at all. Would you like to know their response, if any? Says it should be within 24 hours, ha. And tell me if this angers you, risky behavior for me.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Janet – THANK YOU! I want to know what they say – and where did you find it? I could find no place without an account number and a password. Probably because my email is in their system? Ugh. That was very thoughtful of you – I need all the help I can get! Ha!

  25. Angie from Baltimore

    So sorry for your loss Colton had a great life with you as do your other kitties knowing love earth and affection perfect. I have put my cats down and I know of people that could be put down with a lot less sorrow on my part. I only have one but when I am gone all day leaving her with the tv on food and water she follows me around talking about her day and her feelings of abandonment until she gets it all out and then goes and takes a nap. The guilt but so worth for the company she brings to me

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Jill – since I have fencing all the way around, Chewy has to leave all shipments at my entrance gate. One time they left almost 100 pounds in boxes up against my gate so I couldn’t even open it! If they had even parked it off to the side I could have managed but no, they left it up against the gate. And if it’s raining they still leave it outside the gate.

  26. Annette Austin

    I made your crockpot burgers over the weekend. They came out so good. I’ll definitely make them again. Used the crockpot liners. No washing the pot.
    Thank you for the recipe and the liner hint. I had never used the liner before .

    1. Kathy in western NY

      Annette, I too used a liner for the first time yesterday in my crock pot. I am sold on that convenience! It was a good recipe and my husband really enjoyed a plate full of burgers and onions watching the super bowl.

  27. Sara in Indiana

    All the previous pet condolence comments by readers are spot on. It is so sad that doing the right thing hurts so much, though. We always record the Super Bowl, then go back and only watch the commercials, which are much more entertaining (in my humble opinion). The quilts pics were great– I especially like the simple ones with squares placed to look like plaid.

  28. Jeanne in co

    I am reading all the comments about the passing of pets while I am puppy sitting my daughter’s 16 year old male Shih Tzu. I am a widow , I live with her so he is used to me. She is on a trip to New Zealand for three weeks. A retirement gift from friends after all of her teaching years. Then covid came and the trip had to be delayed, so she has been looking forward to it for several years. Her puppy was bought as a rescue, a few months after her husband passed away suddenly from a heart attack. He has brought her much comfort as she adjusted to an empty nest. Her children were in college at that time. Her puppy is blind and very frail and needs me to carry him to the potty area every hour or two. And yet there are times when he rolls and plays like he was still young. I am praying the Lord will keep him alive at least long enough for her to return home. My own little female Shih Tzu is 14 and I dread looking ahead to losing her too. But the love we receive from them is worth having them. I’m Praying God will bring comfort to you as you grieve the loss of Colton. Happy Valentines Day to everyone. Jeanne in Co.

  29. Jo in Wyoming

    Oh! Mary, I’m also very sorry for you losing Colton. He was a beautiful cat, that had a beautiful life on the farm.
    A bag with handles would add about 5 cents to the cost and be so much easier on everyone.
    Another great picture show today.
    I enjoyed the game and some of the commercials. Some were too weird for me. I watched about 10 seconds of the halftime show…that was way too weird.
    We have a drift on the side yard that looks like yours. 10’ wide, 4’ high, and 60’ long. Loretta loves to walk on top of it.

  30. Jeanne in Co

    I hope I’m allowed two comments in one day….. loved all the quilts today (and everyday), but having just bought a lovely fat eighth pack of reds and whites, I’ve been wondering what to do with them. The large Star wallhanging would be perfect….if I knew what the pattern was and where to get it. Alas, there was no one’s name on the photo. Can anyone identify the pattern? Thanks. Jeanne in Co

    1. Kathy in western NY

      I didn’t make it but I believe it is a Moda free pattern called Love charms or something like that. It’s been shown on various Moda bloggers sites this month.
      Go to Moda and it shows the free pattern. Don’t worry about 2 comments….I love reading everyone’s comments and just wish I could say something to everyone! Ha!

  31. Betty Klosterman

    My eyes are running over while reading about the loss of Colton. I never had a house pet until God gave me a scroungy, very tiny, long-haired calico cat that I named Festus after Festus Hagen of Gunsmoke. She was my very dearest friend, thru thick and thin. When she was 14 1/2 she had a stroke, but came out of it. Many times I wished she had died then, so we wouldn’t have to cope later. BUT she recovered nicely, except then she was an ‘old’ cat. At age 16 we had to put her down. She was just a bag of bones at that point. That was in 1981. Nobody could even look at me and think cat and I’d cry. Still, I think of her and cry as if it was yesterday. Frank and I decided no more pets. When Frank and I were married, he got me AND the cat. It took a bit, but was hilarious when she decided to ‘like’ him and would put the moves on him!!

    Now, do you have a 2-wheeled cart to help move 50 lb bags? Like the drivers use? Since I couldn’t lift 50 lbs, I’d hold on to the top, not lifting the bag, but turning the bottom corner to corner and’ ‘walk’ it where I wanted. Like holding on to the arms of a standing child and walking his feet. That worked in lifting only a small part of the weight at a time. I didn’t have a cart then.

    And that beautiful snow in the grove! Wonderful moisture that will melt slowly into the roots. A gift from God. And you don’t have to shovel it.

    The wonderful inspiration of the quilters! What fun. It helps us imagine what can be done . We can never get enough of that.

    Oh, we are supposed to be 63 degrees today with beautiful sunshine, and tomorrow the temps drop with a snow storm and wind. Yep, if you don’t like the weather, just wait 5 minutes and it will change. I’m getting groceries today so I can stay inside tomorrow. I think I remember Iowa being like that, too. At least we don’t have the high humidity like Iowa out here.

    Take care everybody, smile and go sew on your latest quilt.
    Betty in Rapid City

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Betty – I do have a mover and I got the box into the house and to the top of the basement stairs with it but that’s where I stopped. This morning I opened the bag and dipped it out until I could get it down the steps. I’m not sure I could have lifted it 30 years ago without anything to hang in to!

  32. Quilting Sister

    Mary I’m sooo very sorry to hear that you’ve lost your kitty Colton. He was a beautiful fella!! It’s just the worst thing in the world losing a pet you love, and I’m thinking of you.

  33. Charlotte S in northern California

    So sorry to hear about your Colton. It’s so hard losing our pets.
    Great quilt show today….so much talent!
    I loved the dog commercial and the Dunkin Donut with Ben and Jennifer. I didn’t know Hobby Lobby was the sponsor of the Jesus ads. Love that store! Wish we had one in my town.

  34. Beryl BC

    The quilts are lovely today.
    sorry to hear of the loss of your Colton. You talk of JB looking like an old cat. We have a 19 1/2 year old cat that definitely looks old. We had her as a kitten and remember her climbing to the top of the draperies. Now her fur looks old, probably like you say, arthritis may stop her from reaching everywhere. She doesn’t hear well, and my husband thinks she may have cataracts. She often hisses at the younger, about 8 year old male that tries to get her to play.
    Your talk of the heavy bag of cat litter reminded me of my mother and her water softener salt. It was a heavy bag. For a while, she emptied the bag one paint pail at a time and carried it from her car into the house to the basement. Later on, she had it delivered and the person from the store would carry to the basement..
    Thanks for your blog posts.

  35. Carmen Montmarquet

    Dear Mary, I am so very sorry to hear about Colton, at least he is not suffering anymore! Always worries me when my cats get close to being 12-14 as it’s then when their health starts to suffer, although I did have one that lived to 20 but not without fluid therapy etc. I now have 2 feral kitties that are coming around nicely, can’t imagine life w/o a cat or two! I agree on those large bags of litter, handles would be awesome! I hope JB starts to pick up when the weather warms up! Love the reader quilts!

  36. Kim

    Colton was a beautiful boy. I’m sorry for this shocking end to his life, he was so young and who would expect such things to happen? I can imagine your heartbreak over the loss of your sweet little buddy.

  37. Joy in NW Iowa

    I am so sorry about Colton, losing our fur babi3 is so hard!
    The weather here in NW Iowa is gorgeous today! It could stay this way for me! But, the weather man has other ideas! Ugh! I wanted to go see the kids in Michigan! But, that’s not in the plan now. Sewing in my future now..
    The quilts are all beautiful, as usual.

  38. Gloria from CC

    I am just sick to hear about Colton. He was such a pretty cat and he can’t be that old. I am so sorry!
    Beautiful quilt show as usual – so much talent among your readers.
    Loved that the Chiefs won. Of course I would have loved the Packers to go to the Super Bowl but the Chiefs are my second favorite team. We are having beautiful weather for February. 100% chance of rain tomorrow should take away the small amount of snow we have left.😁

  39. Jeanne in Colo

    To Kathy in W NY, Thank you for the info on the red and white wallhanging. I did find it on Moda’s website and have already drafted it out on graph paper. I’ve never bought a pack of coordinates before so the hardest part will be deciding where to put each fabric. The block itself is an easy one. It will be fun. Thank you. Jeanne S

  40. Marian Stever

    Oh, I love JB and Colton. I know how you get attached to those beautiful kitties. The Valentine quilts are timely…so pretty. The crib quilt for a lucky child. Spring has too come soon. Thank you for your thoughts. We so appreciate your keeping us all together.

  41. Susan K in Texas

    So sorry to hear about Colton and to see that JB is looking old. Our pets mean so much to us and it’s always hard that they don’t live as long as we do. But in our lifetimes we get to love a lot of pets. As for the cat litter – I wouldn’t be able to move a 50 pound bag without emptying it into smaller containers.
    Lots of nice quilts today. I really like the colors and design of Julie B from Cedar Falls quilts. I too made a Moda Love quilt but haven’t gotten it quilted yet. I’m at the point where it is time to pin baste and quilt a bunch of quilts again. I’ve been in a quilt top making time right now. Currently I’m working on a couple of different tops. I find it hard to stick to one project at a time.

  42. Diane in WI

    I am sorry to hear about Colton. He was a beautiful companion. I relented a few times when it was so cold out and let Boo and Toby stay inside with me. Now every day they come up to the house to spend the day with me. Beautiful quilt show. Four of us went to a quilt show on Saturday. There were many bright fabrics. Lots of rain coming tomorrow. Hurry up spring!

  43. Joy in NW Iowa

    Happy Valentines Day!
    We are suppose to get rain this afternoon turning to snow tonight! And get cold! But, back to 30 by the weekend.
    Have a good day!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Joy – we have been getting steady rain since about 7 am – of course the ground is still frozen so it’s not sinking in but I’m looking forward to a green summer without having to water everything. Yes, we have snow predicted for Thursday.

  44. Carol L

    Good Super Bowl Game. The dog that destroyed everything was my favorite, some commercials were just wierd. Half time not my cup of tea but better than some of the others. I think they need to get George Strait!!!! Sorry to hear about the passing of Colton.

  45. Lynn

    Mary, so sorry to hear your loss of Colton. It makes it so much harder when they are too young.
    Beautiful quilts!

  46. Diane, Squeak, Buddy in Central Ohio

    I am so sorry about Colton. 🥲. I love Tuxedo kitties. Sorry he got sick; he was a beautiful boy. I am at the hospital
    waiting to take my husband home after his neck surgery. It has been a long haul, but he finally had the surgery. .of course, we’ll be smack in Columbus rush hour traffic. Oh joy. The quilt show is awesome. I am sending one pic! I hope to finish more soon. I agree about the big bags. We’re all
    not mammoth people. Be careful, Mary, lifting those bags even half full.

  47. Diane and the gang

    Thanks, Mary. All thoughts and prayers are welcome. He is in bed and doing ok. Thank goodness for pain meds, but the nerve pain is not there😹. Whew. Now it is the incision pain which he can handle.

    1. Susan K in Texas

      I totally understand about the nerve pain. The relief from it is so great the incision pain is just a minor issue. May the nerve pain remain gone and may his rehab/physical therapy go well.

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