Changing of the Season, 9-29-22

It happens every year – there comes that first night that the weatherman predicts a freeze. 60-70 houseplants have to get inside and right now before I lose them. I start with my favorites and work backwards – each plant has to be cleaned of debris and treated for insects before they are moved into the house. This job almost kills me. Some of the pots/plants are so big I can hardly handle them. Remember the school desk I planted? I was able to get it into the house by myself – inch by inch.

Please don’t think people haven’t offered to help! Many have but how do I know which night this is going to happen? I don’t and all of a sudden it’s upon me and people already have other plans.

And here’s the kicker. It doesn’t get down to freezing that night and once again nice warm sunny weather returns and all my plants are inside. The first time I don’t head the weatherman will be the time I lose my plants and some are over 40 years old!

Some plants are in the front room, some in the piano room, sewing room, quilt shop and lots are in the basement with grow lights. I can just hear my mom saying “Mary! You make so much work for yourself!” Next year at our sale I’m going to sell a bunch of them.

Are there any Florida readers that can let us know they’re safe? The hurricane coverage on tv is beyond belief!

Reader quilts

And Connie just finished binding Chicken Tracks from our first book, On Behalf of Chickens. You can download this pattern from our online store.

So the past few days have been overwhelming – the porch repair, the longarm maintenance and repair, the piano tuner, choir practice, the pumpkins, the mowing – yikes!

One last question – has anyone read this book? What did you think of it?

28 thoughts on “Changing of the Season, 9-29-22

  1. terri

    I read the book and really enjoyed it. A friend of mine loaned it to me. I was telling her I didn’t know where my dad’s, father and his siblings came from. My great-grand parents adopted them. And then we got to talking about the book. I couldn’t put it down once I started. Happy Quilting and Reading

  2. Janet

    Sorry but the photos did not copy and please could you list the name of the book . Thank you so very much .Janet

  3. Jo in Michigan

    So much work! Ugh 😣 I have a few to bring in but not near as much as you. Mainly because I have no where inside with good light through the winter. They barely survive and look awful when spring comes and they finally look great by fall ☹️ Just a viscous circle! I give up!
    Wanted to let you know your pictures didn’t come through on my email but when I clicked to go to the blog I seen them there.
    Hope you get to rest for a day! Take care Mary.

  4. Jo in Wyoming

    That desk planter is beautiful, I can see why you work so hard to save them.
    The quilt show tonight is very entertaining. Thanks to all.
    I listen to that book many years ago…I need to reread it.
    I my neck of the woods, the grand fall weather after the first frost is called Indian Summer. Always pretty.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Jo – I love the succulent desk and would hate to lose it because I didn’t bring it inside. I started it several years before we closed in 2014 and it lived in the shop.

      1. Michele

        Maybe you already do this, but have you tried putting a rug under the desk, and pulling it by the end of the rug?? That seems to make heavy things a bit easier lighter. Might work for some of your big heavy pots too that you keep out of the basement. Still have to lift them to the rug and over doorways, but still would save from carrying a long distance. Stan came up with this idea a few years ago when pumpkins got too big. With nothing really to hang on to, and we couldn’t get our arms around one, and too heavy for one person to carry, so we rolled the pumpkin onto an old towel. We both took an end of the towel and carried it like a hammock. Genius idea I think. When the pumpkins get rotten, we do the same thing when we throw them into the field. We now use this method for lots of things that are awkward to carry or heavier than they used to be.

        1. Mary Etherington Post author

          Michele – good idea – I had to bring it up 3 shallow steps but the rug would certainly have helped traveling on the gravel. And Happy Birthday!

  5. Mary Hehlke

    Mary, What do you treat your plants with before bringing them indoors? I don’t want bugs in the house. Thank You.

  6. patti leal

    hi mary, lots of work bringing in all your plants. but i so enjoy seeing them. thank you. loved the quilt show today. i’m answering as someone from florida. i live just northeast of orlando (like a suburb). i am one hour west of the east coast and about 1.5 hours from the west coast. hurricane ian hit the state with a 500 wide wind field. it was enormous. we were originally to be on the east side which is the bad side. ian came in off the west coast of florida, around fort myers and naples. winds were 150 mph and the storm surge was over 12′. even some of the fire stations in naples flooded. the wind howled and howled but i think the water did way more damage. those towns on the west coast were hit so hard. the surge went over 3 miles inland. we were predicted for 15-20″ of rain in 48 hours (that is more than our yearly total). all the rivers, streams, ponds, lakes, etc. have flooded in central florida. the pond behind my house came up about a foot. drains got stopped up by debris. ian left the state around melbourne and is now a hurricane again headed for the carolinas. places i’ve never seen flood, have flooded. and it was going so slow, between 5 and 8 mph. the national news is doing a good job of describing what has happened here. we are fine. we know that lives are precious and things can be acquired again. patti in florida playing weather reporter.

    1. Amy Kollasch

      So glad you are safe! Prayers continued for the massive clean up and everyone involved. Thank you for your weather report ❤

    2. Lynette

      Patti – glad you are safe. I’m on the north west side of Orlando and agree with everything you said. Worst storm ever!!!!

  7. Pat Smith

    We live in central Florida part of the year. We were due to start back down a week ago from Vermont where we live in the summer, but we delayed due to this hurricane because we were afraid that it would leave Florida and then start up the east coast on the I-95 corridor right where we travel. Sure enough, that’s what it’s doing. We are due to try leaving again on Monday. Where we live in central FL, The Villages, was so fortunate. My neighbors say they didn’t even lose power, probably due to the fact that we have underground utilities. Our house watch person is going over today an will report any problems with our house. Needless to say, we’ve been glued to the TV the last several days and feel so sorry for those on the west coast of FL who have had a devastating disaster.

  8. Kathy Hanson

    Mary I hope you can have a quiet day today after doing all that work! You are the most amazing person I have ever met, so hard working and loving! May God bless you !!

  9. Lynette in Orlando

    I am safe. I have lived in Florida for 35+ years and I can honestly say I have never experienced such a horrible storm! The SW coast of Florida is decimated….. even up to Tampa. Here in Orlando there is flooding as I’ve never ever seen. The East coast has been battered as well, with many coastal towns flooded – like St Augustine. The winds were scary here in Orlando – I can only imagine what it was like in other parts of Florida before the storm lessened. My yard is entirely flooded, but Thank God the house is dry, others are not so lucky. My neighbors huge oak tree is now in my backyard. But again, Thank God, my house was spared. Around my area power is being quickly restored. Please pray for Florida — the only geography that’s been spared is the panhandle, the rest of the state is a mess. Also – be wary of “go fund me” accounts — there will be many scams popping up. Sad that we need to think about that.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Lynette – we are all glad you’re safe! What we are seeing on tv doesn’t even seem possible to us in the Midwest. We consider ourselves fortunate and thankful that we are spared hurricanes.

  10. Kathy in western NY

    Keeping all those affected in FL in my prayers as recovery will be a long duration. So much destruction and sad to watch news coverage, especially hard to see elderly so frail.
    Mary I have 2 tidbits to share with you this morning. Growing up a house on our trick or treating route as kids is very historic and the couple ( he was a writer and she was a doctor) had three children, one of which I knew. He would invite me to his Halloween parties and boy was I always scared cause their house has a part of the Underground Railroad in it for safety to Canada. I always had my parents get me early from the party.
    My second tidbit is I went to an estate sale of an antiques dealer yesterday and I finally spotted dog pictures, fairly large size, $20-$30 each but I noticed they were all of children taking care of sleeping pets. Like one laying in a doll bed with a child hovered over with a blanket and one with a bottle of castor oil next to the sleeping dog. I could not buy them after I finally find one as they made me sad and I would not enjoy seeing one on my wall. If the owner wasn’t busy totaling up a large purchase, I would have asked if they came from a local veterinarian office.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Kathy – yes, those pictures are too sad to enjoy! What an interesting house party to attend. The Underground Railroad was and is an unbelievable story. As a kid did you understand it?

      1. Kathy in western NY

        Yes I did understand as I loved all history and English subjects. Math was my summer school class – ha!! But seriously I felt so privileged growing up in my area after studying more about the Underground Railroad so learned valuable lessons. We are rich in my history as I use to do tours for school children in a cemetery where Frederick Douglass and Susan B Anthony are buried.

  11. Elaine

    Hi Mary….such a huge amount of work!! I’m in awe!
    BTW I can’t see any photos so don’t know what book you are referring to…

  12. Sherrill

    I did read that book and, as I recall since it’s been awhile, I really enjoyed it (as much as one can given the subject matter). I search and typically only read books that have a 4.0 or greater rating just because there are SO many books out there. That is a TON of work for you moving those plants. Good thing that only happens twice a year!!

  13. Sue H

    As you can hear your mother speaking to you, I hear my father saying the same thing over my flower gardens. They were/are both right! haha! Connie’s quilt is gorgeous. Love how she used such a beautiful blue fabric for her setting triangles. Hope you have a peaceful day today.

  14. Cathy in IN

    I haven’t read the book but the area I live in was an active part of the Underground Railroad. We are just across the Ohio River from Kentucky. In the basement of my house (circa 1840) there was a room that had a separate set of steps & a door leading outside. It was a hiding place for the escaped slaves.

    Cathy in IN

  15. NancyTD

    See the pictures in the comments section only. Our TV provider is having problems too. We get more messages that they are working on the problem than seeing the program Do you suppose all the bad weather is causing this?

  16. LEE





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