Catching Up, 10-19-23

You may have noticed I didn’t post last night – I was simply too exhausted and my back hurt too much. I even left choir practice before it was over because I couldn’t sit on that bench any longer.

Now, here’s the thing – I CHOOSE TO DO THESE THINGS! Nobody is holding a gun to my head to do them and if I didn’t want to do these things, I’d move to town and sit in my recliner. When you tell me not to do these jobs, you’re stealing my identity. This blog content is sort of what I do day by day in rural North Iowa. If I don’t tell you these things, I have nothing to write unless I show you a quilt once a week or so. My mom’s favorite advice to me was “Mary, you make so much work for yourself!”

I love living here in the country and I want to do these jobs. I do not want to play games of any kind. What a waste of time! I’d rather scoop shit in the barn than play cards or golf, for example. And that doesn’t mean one shouldn’t play cards or golf. Mom used to play golf one full day a week and always wanted me to go along. No way.

So with that said, this is what happened yesterday – and Becky even came to help! I wanted this huge volunteer lilac bush taken out of my rock garden. It had wire wrapped around the base from years ago when I had goats who wandered in the yard and chewed on it. So the bush had the wire embedded into the trunk which meant we had to use a bolt cutter to get the wire out first.

Remember this? Look how big that lilac is!
Sure changes the landscape, doesn’t it?

Then we dug up one whole section of Karl Foerster grass and moved it along the ramp – like Connie suggested years ago.

So all the hydrangeas that we dug up along the ramp and replaced with grass I moved along the fence by the pump house. Fourteen of them! It will be so beautiful – in time.

Next comes cutting down all the existing hydrangeas because it’s much easier in the fall compared to the spring when they’re covered with leaves and winter debris. Most of these jobs could have been done in the spring but I have too much other clean up to do then.

So….last night I was exhausted and my back really did hurt but today I’ve taken things easy – I even had a nap this afternoon because for some reason I can’t sleep at night.

Around the farm…

Gracie and Greta must have been having fun, huh? More clean up.
Cosmos are still blooming.

With winter and a hard freeze coming, Rick dug Rosie’s grave now in case we need it this winter. Otherwise we’d have to hire a backhoe.

Reader photos

I find this easily online – available at Fat Quarter Shop. Too bad the company doesn’t put a decent label on their product. If you’re looking for this, please do an online search rather than ask me. I don’t have the answer.

And here is the new cat tower. They’re not very interested unless I’m sitting there on the couch. And I haven’t had much couch time lately. When the weather changes and I’m stuck inside I’ll love to sit here and read.

So that’s Thursday on the farm – not much really – just some hard work that I choose to do. Living on this gorgeous little farm doesn’t happen by itself and I love to do it.

60 thoughts on “Catching Up, 10-19-23

  1. Chris

    Mary, you are amazing but I understand completely that you’re doing what you love to do to make the home you love. People just care about you and feel bad when you are aching; but, selfishly, I love reading about what you do and all your plans so please keep writing! Thanks!!

  2. Diane in Colorado

    You have more energy than I’ll ever have, but I love how alive your farm is with things changing all the time!! You are always bettering the landscape somehow!
    I’m with you on golf and cards. I’d rather sew! I have a friend who always wants to play games of some sort, be it cards, dominoes, or something else and often she wants me to join in for a full day of cards. That’s just not my thing and seems like a waste of the precious little free time I do have. Sometimes I just want to sit and visit without having to thing about the rules of a card game. Or read quietly.
    More fun quilts today! Love to see what folks are working on!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Diane – you hit the nail on the head – cards are a waste of time!!! Think of all the other things you could be doing and have something to show for it!

    2. Kim

      I think we all make our choices in regard to our level of activity in the yard and garden work department, and it’s wise to keep moving (within limits) so you can keep moving – move it or lose it, as they say! It’s also good to have help to accomplish the more difficult projects and nice to have the company as well. There is a sense of accomplishment and enjoyment that keeps a gardener going. I wasn’t able to do much of my own yard maintenance this summer after potting and planting flowers, I hope to be back to it come spring, I will say that pushing the lawnmower around wasn’t missed all that much. 🙂 Happy fall cleanup, Mary.

  3. Mary Johnston

    Should I stop cleaning my house or doing dishes because my back hurts? Heck no.
    I could sew twelve hours a day when younger, but now 3-4 hours when quilting…should I stop quilting…heck no! Just part of getting older….continue and take two Tylenol! You love your farm…stay as long as possible!

  4. Sandy

    Hi Mary, l wish l had half your energy! I got a new watch yesterday, 2 old ones have died in the past year. Also got red nail polish and sparkly nail gloss for Stella, Luna has pink. The jewelry box l got Stella for her birthday is now a make up box, she pretends there is Rouge in a sea shell, l gave her a lip gloss as she gets dry lips,l don’t know where she gets glamour from, not me for sure!
    I started a scrap quilt lik3 you showed a few days ago Mary, took a photo on my camera for reference from my tablet as posts get lost , but l bet it turns out very different to yours. Take care everyone, best wishes from Sandy

  5. Joyce from NY

    I agree with you Mary, I tried golf years ago & felt it was a waste of time chasing that ball around. I like doing things at home mowing lawn & working in my flowers. Although unfortunately I’m getting older & can’t do what I use to at 79 & that makes me mad. I also live in the country & wouldn’t have it any other way. I do have lunch once a month with friends. Your blog is wonderful, glad you got some things done in your yard!
    My kids & grandkids help sometimes but they are all so busy working, school etc!

  6. Bonny

    Better to wear out than rust out! Love all your projects, admire the landscape but it’s beyond me! Still, I enjoy every single post you make. You’re the frosting on my cupcake!

  7. Ginger S

    I love reading about your life on the little farm and seeing all of your pictures. I think it’s wonderful that you can still do so much and if you enjoy it, all the better. Thanks for making my day, everyday you post!

  8. Angie from Baltimore

    It is a lifestyle you have chosen and the rewards are great for you. I think we are more envious of your energy and what wonderful results of your labor. If it gives you pleasure then so be it.

  9. Marie C

    Great post today. Beautiful quilts. One of the many things I’m thankful for is my ability to do work. I have a love hate relationship with my lilac. There are so many little shoots that try to take over my flowerbed. So far my love of the lilac flowers is winning but who knows about the future.

  10. brendalynne1

    remaining on the farm and all the chores seems to be something in one’s DNA. My parents managed to live on the last several acres that remained of several hundred acres of a family farm. they were in 80s (Mom) 90s (Dad). Knowing there others dependent on them must have been part of drove them as well as hay to be baled and sold, garden, snow shoveling, mending fences ETC. Then they had to manage getting computer literate.. I totally understand what you are doing. God Bless you

  11. Jo in Wyoming

    Taking that lilac out was quite a job. Did you replant it somewhere?
    I love the farm quilt.
    I went to the podiatrist today, he told me to wear shoes all the time. Yuck, even outside, yuck,yuck.
    But, if it makes me feel better, I guess I will try.

    Question…what do you call a dog dressed up like a bee for Halloween?

    A…a boo-bee! Get it?

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Jo – ha! Yes, I got it – so silly! Funny you should mention shoes – I gave in and ordered an orthopedic sneaker because I was told I needed to wear shoes, too. They came today and I’ll try them but … they were very expensive so I promise I’ll try. Ick. I hate shoes.

      1. Sherry Whalen

        Hey Mary – I bought some Hoka brand shoes, I heard about them from my mom, who heard about them from a friend so I did a little research, and they are sometimes recommended by drs. and nurses for foot/knee/leg pain. They are expensive but so comfortable. In the past year, I have been wearing shoes more and more around the yard and house. I have a knee that keeps telling me that I need to take better care of my body lol. My mom has been wearing some inexpensive shoes and crocs, having lots of back pain, but also I was a little scared about her falling and not having sturdy shoes tied on her feet!

        1. Mary Etherington Post author

          Sherry – my new OrthoFeet shoes are still in the box – I go inside and outside so many times a day and I have to change my shoes each time just to keep them clean so it’s a real chore and thus I don’t want to bother with them. I’ll try to do better today.

  12. Tammy Guerrero

    I so agree! It is a beautiful little farm. I also have a beautiful little farm and get the same grief as you do. I would rather be in my yard working, cleaning the coop, shoveling horse manure, gardening than doing just about anything else. I would like to find more time to quilt. Don’t know how you do quilting when you are busy with chores. I haven’t sat at my machine for about 4 months. My mom lives next door on our property, she is 85. I do all her yard work also. But, would not change a thing. Life is good when you can spend it on the farm!!

  13. Jill

    I love hearing about farm life; I just wish I had your energy! Keep up the good work Mary!

  14. Sue in Oregon

    I love todays post, Mary and all the readers quilts, too. It was just what I needed before I go to bed tonight. You are a marvel and a marvelous person you are. Keep on truckin’ on your beautiful little farm.

  15. Diane, Squeak, and Buddy in Central Ohio

    Wow! That is one huge bush!! Glad you got it out and moved. Everything looks so nice at your little farm. It does take hard work and your hard work shows:) I am with you on sitting. I never sit except at night when I do bindings or applique. I don’t play cards either.
    I took Buddy for his yearly check up today. He is up from 16 lbs when we got him to 18 last year to 19 now. The Vet said he did NOT need treats for breakfast!! That’s what my husband does so I am back in charge of feeding. She warned us about Diabetes so hubby is listening and we are cutting out some of his treats and food. SLOWLY, though, is what she said. I found out that our two adopted from the Vet’s kitties from the 90’s were strays that came to her house. Pyramus and Thisbee were sisters who also appeared in the Goat Gazette. We’ve been going there for about 40 years, but I never knew that.
    Sleep well tonight Mary. I heard a woman speak who recommended black out curtains and NO light in the bedroom not even a digital clock or Carbon Monoxide detector. We did that and we both now sleep much better. Good luck.

  16. Betty Klosterman

    What you are doing is HARD LABOR. You don’t need to quit, just try not to do so much. I understand that all the green stuff outdoors gets out of hand so fast. You get started digging, etc and keep going instead of waiting to finish tomorrow. OK. I’ll get off the preachy stuff.

    Bigfoot is great. There is a pile of fabric with the pattern waiting….. Just love him. Makes me smile. Also have to make another sled wall hanging as my niece wanted the 1st one. The farm quilt is just darling. What a great gift for a little kid. And Counted Threads is coming back. Paint by number with thead instead of messy paint. My problem is I just want to make everything….. only I poop out.

    Our weather has cooled a bit. At least I can go outside without melting and if the wasps don’t get me. There is stuff to do outside, but it won’t take too long. I cut way back on my flowers both inside and outdoors a few years ago. The only thing planted in the ground is a rose bush. We planted it about 28 years ago. It has beautiful flowers. And I see that my Thanksgiving/Christmas cactus has buds starting.

    Got a list of stuff to do as company is coming, but they won’t care if the place isn’t perfect. They come to see everybody. The bed is made and the bathroom is clean and works, so what more could they ask for?

    Take care, everybody. Fall is here and it is beautiful.
    Betty in Rapid City

  17. Debra L Reber

    You seem to thrive on the hard work, so glad you enjoy doing it! I’m not much of a “sitter” either, & not much of a game player. We live on a small farm, & I know there’s always something that needs to be done! But you still amaze me with all that you get done! Good for you!!

  18. Dorothy in Chicago

    Oh Mary I laughed out loud when I read that you would rather scoop shit than play cards!! And that’s why I look forward to reading about your day….you are so honest!!
    And an inspiration, when I am cranky from cleaning up my little city garden I remember your gardens and the work that you do and think what am I complaining about. So tomorrow after catching up with girlfriends at the coffee shop I’m going to continue with my little garden clean up and hopefully have time for a little sewing.

  19. Brenda in Iowa

    I don’t blame you for removing the lilac bush. While the bushes smell so good in the early spring, I’m not a fan of them the rest of the year. There are two on my farm that are big, bushy, and a pain to mow around. I hope to get rid of them someday. Good for you. You amaze me with all the work you can accomplish in a day. My thought is that if you love it and can do it, then do it. Don’t put yourself into a box that another person wishes for you.

  20. Susie Lenz

    I so enjoy hearing about all that you get done in a day,it really inspires me to get more done! I do not have a farm and all the chores,but all of us have projects ,gardens,quilting ,cooking ,cleaning etc that keep us moving! I hope Three continues to improve,that is quite the wound. We have an 11 year old cat with Diabetes ,who keeps us busy with shots and giving her lots of attention . She makes us smile every day. She too is improving with time. Enjoy this lovely fall season🍁

  21. Tina W in Oregon

    Wow! The before and after pictures of where you took out the lilac bush are amazing. It looks opened up and more welcoming. Good job! My flowers have continued to bloom and look really nice right now because we haven’t had any frost yet. I hate to begin cleaning out the beds because the weather has been so nice. Of course, once it turns cold, it’ll be twice as hard to get out there to do it. Oh well – I’ll just enjoy it while we have it. Loved today’s quilt show – especially the farm quilt.

  22. Carlene Buck

    I moan and groan about staying up too late sewing, and friends and family say….Go to bed. If I had wanted to stop quilting and go to bed, I could have, but I would rather sew. No one else can save us from outselves. We are each in charge of our choices. I am not an outdoor person. I think your farm is looking so beautiful. I remember how lovely it was MANY years ago when I visited your quilt shop and farm. I especially loved that the doors of the chicken house fabric shop were left open and the cats lumbered in and slept on the cutting tables and in graniteware bowls among fabric bundles. Adjacent to the fabric area, patterns were hanging on nails and books were stored in the egg nesting boxes on the wall. You had a small new barn-like building with a gift shop and longarm for your quilting. Your garage door was up and we could shop for ice cream novelties in a freezer with a see-through top for purchase (possibly on the honor system). And thankfully you had a “public restroom” in your garage. The big barn had long tables set up in the center of the building for attendees at your quilt classes. Quilts hung high up on rods from the rafters. I always enjoyed getting my Goat Gazette. And the animals. I know you remember all this. I love remembering and creating some memories for some of our group who never had the pleasure of being there.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Carlene! I love this and you understand perfectly, don’t you? I do these things because I WANT to and I don’t need saving – this is my whole life, this place and your memories nearly brought tears to my eyes. I have forgotten some of those things we did and yes, some were pretty crazy but if something didn’t work, we tried something else. The public restroom is a pretty funny story actually. If we had even imagined that our business would be so successful we would have put in a new sewer system to accommodate a bathroom in the quilt shop but we had no idea!! And we started by each of us putting $300 in the “kitty”. And thus the public restroom had to be connected to the house water system. Haha!!! Oh, the memories of it all! Thank you for visiting and thank you for the trip down memory lane. I loved it!

      1. Betty Klosterman

        You described the Country Threads Quilt Shop perfectly. You didn’t mention the exotic chickens, the geese, the donkeys, the dogs and cats. I overheard my husband telling a friend ‘she always has to stop at this quilt shop, but it isn’t a bad place to wait.’ And he’d take a nap in the car. And you just told it right out, if you don’t like animals, DON’T come. It is still beautiful and that is because you keep it up. We just don’t want you to wear yourself out doing it. You aren’t as young as you used to be either??
        I always took pictures inside and outside and love looking at them.
        Thank you, Mary.
        Betty in Rapid City

  23. Another Shirley in Oregon

    You gave me a good laugh tonight because no one is holding a gun to my head either. If something needs to be done, I just do it. That being said, by any chance is there a massage therapist near you? A good therapeutic massage may really help to relieve some of your aches and pains.

    Take care!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Another Shirley – good idea – I may look into a massage therapist although I went to one years ago and my neck hurt for awhile afterwards.

  24. Susan K in Texas

    My mom (86) mowed her own lawn until this year. She did it because she enjoyed it.
    Me, I enjoy being outdoors in the spring and fall playing in the dirt with my aloes or just sitting with the cats. Unfortunately my back limits my activities but the weather is just so nice in those seasons. I don’t like too hot and I don’t like too cold.
    Do what you enjoy. We all make our choices in where to live and what we enjoy doing. Keep on keeping on. 🙂

  25. Jeanie S, Central Illinois

    That lilac bush was big; how nice of Becky to help.
    I hope Three’s wound is healing. One of our cats had a large abscess, and he lost most of his hair. Our vet warned us this could happen, and it grew back.
    Thanks, Mary 🥰

  26. Teresa from Port Coquitlam

    I can’t believe the change in the yard since you took out the lilac. I see why you wanted it out of there. Good for you for doing the things you want to do. You have to do what you love until you no longer can. It keeps you young. Thanks for the quilt show.

  27. Fiona at Ice Bear Quilts

    100% correct Mary, you do you and live the life you want to live! It is keeping active that keeps you young! And it is doing the things you love that make you happy. There is nothing odd or wrong about being tired every now and and again.
    My mother is 84 and has just announced that she is considering getting her firewood delivered ready chopped and getting someone else to paint the outside of the house this year. Just considering, mind you. Once a farm girl, always a farm girl!
    Great job with the lilac. We have just done something similar with a zelf seeded butterfly bush, that was fine the first few years, but got too big and in the way, as it was right by the path along the side of our garage. I keep looking at the empty space and wondering why we waited so long!
    I love that the readers quilts are getting seasonal, with Autumn and Christmas quilts starting to appear.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Fiona – I wish I knew your mom – see how many more years I have to work hard?

  28. Mrs. Goodneedle

    Doing what you love to do is its own reward. I’m so happy that you can be there and do just that. ❤️ My mother has always admonished me similarly, thinks I do too much. When I tell her that’s what I love to do she sadly shakes her head. Oh, well. Your farm is a haven, thanks for sharing your daily doings; I love to see what you’re up to! Take care of that back!

  29. Barbara A Wegner

    Mary, Thank you for standing up for yourself! Why do people scold or tell others not to do what they love? I admire everything about you and you are so lucky to have Rick support all of your efforts!.

    I wonder what it is with us older people who can’t sleep at night? I usually go to my sewing room & putter around for a while, then get back to bed & sleep a bit more! I think it is better than tossing & turning or thinking too much about stuff we have no control over.

    Keep up the good work & do as you wish! Love from Donna’s sister Barb

  30. Janet S

    Mary, Along with everything else you’re doing, you found the solution for the couch you don’t like – cover it with quilts and adorable pillows. It will work for the time being. Thanks for all you do.

  31. Beverly in Texas

    Good for you, Mary! Do what makes you happy.
    Working on your farm brings you pleasure & that’s what counts in this crazy world.
    I don’t have a green thumb as you do, so my joy, “happy place”, is in my sewing studio!

  32. Julie K Green

    I Love how you keep yourself so busy on your farm. I’m also one who likes to keep myself busy with everyday things around the house. Now I know I’m not as ambitious as you are and I’m getting weaker in my middle years of life, but I love life and staying busy. Enjoy your posts, so keep them coming. I post to my 93 year old Mother every morning, she loves it, and so do many others who follow me. Keep showing a quilt now and then too please, love seeing them. Julie

  33. NancyTD

    The quilts were great. The farm quilt is special. We all love what we do. I always finish a task even when Iam tired. It is rewarding to sit back and admire a job well done—not to say I will finish another day!
    Some of the flowers I cut back are growing back—such a crazy fall. No frost yet in SE Minnesota.. wonder what winter will bring. We even put the weed and feed fertilizer on yesterday that didn’t get put on because it was so hot and dry. Didn’t want all the bags in the garage all winter. Forecast is for rain all next week—we will probably be mowing a lot.
    All the quilts were great today. Thank you for sharing and inspiring us!! Mary, this is all because of your blog about nothing. Hugs to you!

  34. Vicki Ibarra

    Taking out the lilac was a big job, but it opened up the space so much. We have lilacs and this past spring it was time to cut or dig out the suckers. That was a 7 hour job. Not hard work, like yours was, but tedious. I broke it into 3 work sessions. The lilacs looked so much better all summer. I smiled at the Cosmos. Splashes of flower color this time of year are precious. I have mums, rudbeckia, and bachelor buttons still blooming. The bachelor buttons just kept seeding themselves all summer, so I have had those blooms since May. The leaf quilt is in colors I truly want to replicate. The new cat tower should be well used, once you spend time indoors where the cats want to be near you.

  35. Marcia

    It takes work to maintain a property if we take pride in it. We have yet to do much with ours. We are having a 2nd day of drizzly rain here in SW Ohio.
    Growing up on a farm meant lots of work to get ready for the winter months. My mom used to say there was no rest for the wicked🤦🏼‍♀️. I need to trim my hydrangeas as they were gorgeous this year. I cleaned inside yesterday and even made it into my sewing room to put things away. I have been doing machine embroidery which has me digging in my stash. Today, I will run my longarm.

  36. Fran

    Don’t stop what you love to do. Being outside strengthens your mind and your body and helps build the immunity system. Yes, our body hurts from overuse but if it continues with use, it adjusts unless you are physically injured. I still lift things that many of my friends won’t do because that’s for a man they say. Well, my man has been gone 10 yrs. Who is gonna do it? oh just stay home and veg they tell me. No thanks. Rest and watch TV they say. No thanks. I still try to get a walk every day. Bones weaken and muscles go away if not used. I am not a napper but bed calls me early. I admire you Mary. Keep up the good work–hard work. I love reading your blog and love the photos too!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Fran – Rick is here but can’t do physical work so if not for me, it would all go to hell! And I’m not going to allow that just yet. Ha!

  37. Kim from Wi

    Mary, you keep on moving or you loose it. I love that you share with us all the things that happen on the farm. With the lilac bush gone the space is wide open and ready for a new plan. Looks great. I grew up on a farm in Minnesota and handle lots of stuff that my friends would never attempt. The farm raised us to be workers and just get it done mentality. I helped my father roof a barn when I was a young adult and had no problem roofing 2 of our homes (my siblings came to help) or helping my sister put new siding on her garage. Keep the farm stories coming and I love the black soil found in Iowa.

  38. Jan Reliford

    Oh Mary I so agree with you on choosing to keep up your beautiful farm and enjoy God’s Gifts of country living! I too choose to always work on my little bit of mountain property here in the 8500ft elevation of mountain living in Colorado!
    There is just something so gratifying about not only being outside and tackling a huge job but then the satisfaction of completing it and hearing your property say Thank You for loving the land! It is hard work but I wouldn’t want it any other way. We’ve had 49″ of rain this Spring/Summer and I have new river gullies on my property including an 8″ deep x 3ft wide x 15ft long doozy in front of the 5 mailboxes in front of my house on the road. So for respect for the neighbors and the mailman I poured concrete….had Lowe’s deliver a pallet of 26. 80lb bags of cement next to the mailboxes. It took me a day and a half to do the job but now there’s no “clink” when the cars pull up to get their mail. Hard work and achy muscles but so rewarding. I do take time to relax as you do too but I choose to always be busy and work. Here’s to continued good health!!!
    Hugs from Colorado!

  39. Joy in NW Iowa

    Mary, I do not like to play cards or golf…ugh! I do like to fix puzzles tho.
    Playing golf was the most boring thing! I did occasionally ride in the cart with Jay when it was a beautiful evening!
    I mistakingly planted some ‘free’ lilac by Jays shop. They are totally out of control! One of the crimson maples we planted several years ago is so beautiful this year! Bright red.
    I love to read about all your digging and trying to pull out the lilac bush. My mom and I tried to pull out a stump on the lawn with the pickup! Oh oh! We broke the whole aksil (sp) etc (can’t for the life of me think of how to spell the thing) 😂😂. Anyway, we were in deep dodo! Mom and I were always tearing something apart! We pulled out a lilac in front of the bay window one day so thus the stump was next! Such fun memories!
    Mary your yard looks so nice! Enjoy! I know it is a lot of work but it always feels so good when you are finished!
    Boy! Your shop sure does have a lot of good memories! That is so neat!

  40. Kathy in western NY

    Many hands make the job go faster so kudos to Becky for giving a hand with a hard job but what a task to see it completed and looking nice. Wonderful quilts and loved Carlene’s description of the shop as I never got there but her piece by piece of what was where gave me a nice visual.
    The older I get the more I tell myself I need to sit and rest between chores I do. And it’s hard to accept I don’t have the stamina I use to have. So many friends I know don’t even clean their own homes anymore and bring in a cleaning lady which I can see me doing down the road as it’s one household chore I don’t like to do. Not that I can’t – I just would rather sew! We all pick our choices and I am not one to verbalize what each others choices are for their lifestyle as I just listen and nod. Some criticize me for buying a book and passing it on but it’s my choice. Glad the couch has a quilt on it as that is what I do to enjoy them now. My fall one had to go in the washer the other night cause of the dog but they aren’t showcase worthy so why not look at them like decor to admire.

  41. MG

    The children’s quilt with farm animals is adorable. I bet it was made for some grandchild. What a labor of love.

  42. Janet Easley

    Amen to all the comments about working and taking care of your farm. It is a very different landscape from where I live and I enjoy the photos, understanding that such beauty requires maintenance. Over the years I’ve mowed the lawn, pulled out bougainvillea – one weekend involved four, removed a few century plants, trimmed trees, climbed in citrus trees harvesting the oranges all with tired muscles and a few scratches when finished. But, the end result was worth the effort. It’s not quite that intensive these days, Yet, it is important for me keep moving, while begrudgingly having to recognize some of my limitations. When I go for walks there is nothing plugged into my ear – just the sounds of birds and nature.
    The last few years of teaching I was thinking ahead about what the next chapter would entail when I “grew up”. Quilting has taken hold in many forms which is why I so enjoy your blog and the quilt shows with the variety of creations shared by the readers, as well as yours. It’s inspirational. Thank you for being the conduit for us all.
    Jan E.

  43. Molly

    Mary, I love being busy too. My mother used to say the same words to me as what your mother said. I am not game or card either. Molly from Moline, Illinois

  44. Sharon G.

    Good grief, Mary, what is this all about?
    I like to get stuff done. Indoors outdoors wherever the need be!
    Weeding, mowing, watering – whatever needs to be done outside before it starts raining and never stops until April. I live in the Pacific Northwest – what can I say?
    This year I am alone so it’s a different scenario.
    I had some help from friends until June, but the rest of the chores are my responsibility.
    My priorities have changed this year as I am decluttering and getting ready to have the interior of my home finished! Once that’s done, hopefully I can sell it and move closer to my family.
    Like you, I have no intention of sitting around and wasting away. There’s too much to do!
    Hang in there, Mary, and thank you for your blog!
    Take care everyone.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Sharon – you have a huge job ahead of you and now you’re alone to do it. I can’t keep all the details straight but am I to assume you recently lost your husband? Without all those chores to do you might sit and mope. Sounds like you have a plan for moving forward – where do your kids live? What’s this all about? Some readers think I’m too old to do these big jobs but I intend to do what I can for as long as I can. I am never going to retire to my recliner! And I don’t intend to put something off until tomorrow so I can “rest”!!!! This is all just a tempest in a teapot!!

      1. Sharon G.

        Mary – Happy Saturday.
        Tempest in a teapot is right! LOL
        Yes, I am a widow making the best decisions I know how. My husband of 40+ years died in January this year. It was not expected, as they cleared him to have shoulder replacement surgery January 6th. He was making great strides and was getting stronger so we thought he would be around for a while. He was supposed to begin physical therapy the day he died. But, he was immunocompromised due to a bone marrow transplant in 2020. So, when he got pneumonia and sepsis, there was no hope. He died 6 days after he was admitted to the hospital. I miss him everyday. He was the love of my life. He left me with a lot of things to do so I’m busy.
        Except for two weeks with my sister after his passing and an occasional overnight guest or friends /family stopping by, I have been alone. My husband’s sister and her son left the hospital right after he died and drove home. I haven’t seen them since. They have promised to visit me but they are no-shows every time.
        I walk most days. I run errands. I do whatever needs to be done around my house and property whether it’s inside or outside.
        My family (siblings, nieces, nephews, and a few friends) live in my hometown about 100+ miles from where I live. I went there for a 2-day visit in April and stayed a week.
        I returned home with the 2 cats I adopted/rescued.
        I miss my two sisters, my brother, and all the “kids”.
        We are all concerned about me living alone in a 2-story house. So even though I lived here with my husband for 35 years, it’s time to move on.
        I’m clearing a room downstairs (instead of renting a POD) to store the things already packed that I want to take with me. At some point, I will need help taking some things downstairs, though. I hope to employ one of my nieces and a nephew.
        There is no big rush as I just found out the contractor won’t be starting on the interior work until January. And, there’s probate which I didn’t know needed to be done until a month ago when I went to a lawyer to get my will and POA revised. Haven’t heard back from them. The paperwork and never-ending issues that pop up has been unbelievable through this journey. I never thought I’d say this, but Social Security was the easiest entity I’ve had to deal with.
        I better have another cup of coffee and get busy.
        I love that cat tower you bought.
        I hope your hubby gets better.
        Thanks for the quilt show and have a good Saturday.
        -Sharon G. (Snoqualmie, WA)

  45. Kathryn Schwartz

    Mary, just keep on, keepin’ on. That is what you need to do. The medical field tells us that sitting around, (or not moving) may lead to dememchia. (SP???)
    The good news is that I can spell axel —tell Joy who lives in Iowa. ha, ha. To break an axel would be major!!!!
    I always tell my husband, “The hired help didn’t show up, so me, myself and I trimmed the shurbs today.” Or mowed the lawn, dug the potatoes, washed the windows, cleaned the car, etc.,etc.etc. On the farm the work is never done. I don’t want to play cards or pasture pool. Not to mention hauling food out to the fields or helping move equipment from one field to the next.
    Quilts are just lovely. So many great ideas. Thanks for all of your effort in sharing.

  46. Donna A

    I wish I had your dirt! Mine is black too but then I have clay. I mix leaves and such in the soil but it takes a long time to have it look like yours. Maybe I will live long enough to make it better for someone in the future. I need to dig my flower beds because they are getting too full and overgrown. It’s supposed to be nice for a few days so maybe I can get some of it done. I will be done working for the season on Nov 1 so maybe I can get more done outside. There’s always something to sew after I come in, if I can stay awake long enough. It seems like I have so many projects started that there is never any time to be bored. I don’t like shopping very much and I don’t have much time to do it if I did like it. I enjoy your blog more than any others that I read so don’t quit writing!!!

  47. Judy-Michigan

    At Shabby Fabrics:
    ByAnnie’s Double Sided Basting Tape
    This double-sided, extra-sticky adhesive tape from ByAnnie’s is wonderful for sewing and crafting. It works well with fabric, paper, cork, vinyl, mesh and more! Simplify your processes for installing and placing zippers, fold-over elastics, handles, and straps. The tape is conveniently narrow, easy to peel, and comes two rolls to a pack, altogether measuring 1/8 inch x 21-4/5 yds (3mm x 20 m).


    Great posts Mary – You’re doing fine….try to ignore those people who want to tell you what to do.

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