Errands In Mason City, 11-20-23

I had an errand to run in downtown Mason City today and was close to a thrift store I rarely visit. I bought this silly little dish for $.75 just so I could show you the back.

I have never ever seen this warning on any type of houseware.

This was one of the sculptures along the street.

I love it!

On my way home I tried to stop at Taco Tico – the cars were backed up into the street in the drive thru lane. I went on to Dairy Queen where I ordered a small turtle blizzard. They couldn’t make one because they didn’t have any pecans. What???? She did not offer a different flavor – obviously she didn’t want to work. If I were that manager I would have driven across the street and bought pecans at Target and next I would have fired that girl.

We always get a pizza from Casey’s on Sunday night. Last night they were out of thin crust until Thursday. You’re kidding me.

It was a weekend of college sports – of course we all watch the University of Iowa’s Caitlin Clark. You just gotta love an institution of higher learning whose school song is In Heaven There Is No Beer!!!!!

I finished this book last night and really enjoyed it. I hate reviews that give away too much of the plot so I’ll just say the story revolves around a little girl who needs a heart transplant and the skilled doctor who can do the delicate surgery but is unavailable for several reasons.

And now – drumroll please!

The reader who sent this was not able to find an empty spot in this lot!

From Biscuit’s grandma – a reversible quilt!

Squeak and Millie could be twins

Here’s the quilt on my bed – the cover of our last book

Found all these little blocks – this old charm pack will work with them

Remember the doodle that needed a home? Today he got one and we’re all so happy! It’s an answer to prayer.

I so appreciate this platform where I’m allowed the freedom to rant!

What would YOU like to rant about? Go ahead!

100 thoughts on “Errands In Mason City, 11-20-23

  1. Jill Klop

    Thanks for the laugh! Who makes bowls like that but not for food?! Ha ha. I saw a picture on Facebook the other day that made me think of the bad parking pictures. It showed a car that had parked horribly. Someone had left a condom on the windshield along with a note that said “please don’t reproduce “.

  2. Linda in North Carolina

    I was in JoAnn Fabrics on Saturday to get 7 skeins of yarn for an afghan I wanted to start. The most they had of any color was 5 skeins and most only thee. The clerk apologized saying everything is backed up in the back of the store and it’s been that way since July. She suggested I order on line. So frustrating. It’s like this in almost every business. Just like your pecans Mary.

  3. Shirley Andersen Smith

    Loved the blog today. Yes, rant all you want to. We are here to listen, laugh and cry along with you.
    Just remember, eating out is nothing like it was pre-March 2020!!!!!
    Bob and I dined at our favorite little Italian restaurant in Bend a couple weeks ago and 2 teenage girls, close to 18 dined and dashed. The manager chased the one down(they split up), she said she didn’t have any money. He said well come back to the restaurant with me and you can call your mommy. Yup, mom paid up for both over the phone with her credit card. He didn’t call the cops, figured mom would take care of her when she got home!!! What is wrong with our youth today???
    Shirley from Oregon

  4. Sandy

    Hi Mary, l wonder who orders clothes and shoes on line, l know plenty of people do, how do they know if they fit, or are comfortable to wear? To me this is one of the mysteries of life, or it shows how old l am! Best l just stick to staying home and making quilts! Take care everyone, best wishes from Sandy

    1. Brenda in Georgia

      I am elderly and I do on occasion order both clothes and shoes online. I have narrow feet and narrow heels and it has been almost impossible for many years, even before the pandemic, to find narrow shoes in almost any store. I can find narrow shoes online and I discovered Zappos. They have free shipping and free return. I like the Easy Spirit brand and I buy them and have never had to return anything. I buy tops such as sweaters and blouses also online from Macy’s. I seldom to never return anything, but I do have a Macy’s within a couple of miles from my house. I suppose the reason I don’t have to return anything is that I buy brands that I have found comfortable in the past, such as Alfred Dunner and I can pretty much tell from all the pictures and descriptions if I will like the item.

    2. Paula

      I had to laugh, because I just told my husband that we were going to drive over an hour away to Cabela’s the next time I needed a new coat and rain jacket, so I can try them on before buying! Hate the two I ordered on line a couple of years ago. My daughter, on the other hand, buys most of her clothes on line.

  5. Arrowhead Gramma

    Mary, I have come to the conclusion that there really isn’t customer service in a lot of establishments. Very sad and extremely frustrating/disappointing to the customers. Take heart, you are not along with your feelings. 💖🧵🪡💖

  6. Tanya T. in Houston

    My rant for the day: Our Jo Ann fabric stores have cut the full time employees. Guess it’s expensive to pay benefits! So now we have green haired extremely young people with facial piercings and multiple tattoos who don’t know much about inventory or sewing. Get them talking and they lose count of how much yardage they have measured!

  7. Colleen from Central Oregon

    Hi Shirley! You and I must be neighbors. I live in LaPine. What Italian restaurant do you like in Bend? I love trying restaurants where I haven’t been before.
    I guess I don’t have much to rant about right now. I have a lot to be thankful for though. We won’t be having any family get together this year, so Thanksgiving will be simple. Just my style! Lamb shanks and stuffing from Costco. I don’t know what vegetable yet. What is everyone else serving?

    1. Shirley Andersen Smith

      Pastini in the Old Mill District.
      Yummy brown butter butternut squash raviolis.

  8. Patty T

    I love the blog and look forward to every one! The parking ones usually make me laugh or shake my head. I had one at church yesterday. Granted the spaces seem extra narrow, however I was parked in the middle of my spot. There were lots of parking spots that were empty. A mini van parked next to me- so close that I had to back up so my husband could get in. No dings in my door but sometimes I would like a really old car and…oops!

  9. Kathy Hanson

    CAN’T THINK OF A RANT RIGHT NOW BUT SOMETIMES IT IS HARD NOT TO RANT!! I AM CURENTLY HAVING THE GRANDDAUGHTERS AND SOME OTHER FAMILY MEMBERS COME AND CHOSE A QUILT THAT I have made to take home with them. I have so many finished quilts laying on my guest bed that I couldn’t have anyone stay over nighht and what often happens is that when someone dies the people left are asking people what quilt they might like that the person who has died has made. I decided I wanted to see what the people I love would want to have – instead of letting them pile up and not get used. So, I am enjoying having them come and pick out what they would like. Seems like more fun for me and them too!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Kathy – I agree! You get the pleasure of giving! I have the purple one you gave me hanging with a group of other small quilts in the shop.

  10. Amy F

    Oh Mary, your rant struck a nerve with me. I also am fed up with the lack of work ethic that is so evident lately, mostly in younger people from what I have experienced. I have recently had to deal with an insurance agent who ignored my requests for help for 3 MONTHS!!! I won’t drag you into the details but I am so completely frustrated by the whole thing! The problem is will complaining even solve situations like this? I think people in management either don’t have the time to deal with issues or just don’t care. What does this mean for our society? People are stealing grocery carts full of merchandise from retailers, just walking out with it, and no one does anything to stop it. Other crime is also up and no one seems able/willing to do anything. What is the solution?

    UGH!!! Anyway, thanks for giving me space to rant! By the way, I’m in my mid-50s and also live in a very rural area to give you an idea of my situation. Small town retailers don’t seem affected by the current state of affairs, but I fear it’s a matter of time.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Amy F – the scenes shown on tv of groups of young people breaking into a store and completely destroying it just shocks me! How can that happen? Doesn’t anybody ever try to stop them? How would anyone dare do that? I live a sheltered life of my choosing and I don’t know how anyone can live in that environment. I can almost imagine the insurance brouhaha! I feel for you because it would make me so mad I couldn’t sleep.

  11. Carlene Buck

    Today I have a sigh…not a rant. I have retired to Iowa and am almost 77 years old. I have siblings, but not a husband or kids. Thankfully, I have a cat for company. I remember the old days (1960s) when we had big family dinners for the holidays. I wish it was still the same, but family ties change and relocate. I had a friend invite, but I had already made the choice to be here at home quilting with two friends on Thanksgiving. You know it is not perfect, but it is friendship…and I am thankful for that. I hope each of you have love from friends, family and/or critters this holiday week. I am not a great cook, but I think I will buy a rotisserie chicken and make a couple side dishes. Then I can have leftovers, too and feel like I am in the loop.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Carlene – I could feel your sigh. My mom was one of 8 kids and holidays were full of cousins and large spreads of food. This year I’m going to help at the community meal which I enjoy very much! Where in Iowa are you living?

      1. Carlene Buck

        I live in Clarinda which is in southwest Iowa. I quilt every day with the help of my cat, Bobbin. I longarm for others and myself and make many quilts….currently over 360 since I started in 1983. I could send so many pictures, but I am intimidated about the photo sending process.

        1. Mary Etherington Post author

          Carlene – let me help you with the pictures, please!! Write to my email and I’ll walk you through the process.
          Sadly we are very far away from each other – I wish we could meet for lunch!

    2. Linda in N. CA

      This has been interesting to read what others are doing or not doing on the big feast day. Always, we have had a large group of family and/or friends on Thanksgiving, but not this year. Both Hub and I are 84; he works hard at the farm; I simply cannot be on my feet long enough to cook a feast, nor do I want to spend the week pre-cooking, cooking and cleaning up. No longer have family in town, so I will bake a frozen lasagna and put together a Greek salad. Dessert will be Hub’s favorite pumpkin pie. We will take time to enjoy the meal, reminisce, and give thanks for blessings unlimited. Whether you are celebrating in a crowd or alone, let the remembrance of God’s blessings flow over your heart and be filled his joy. Happy Thanksgiving!

    3. Moe in NE IL

      Hi Carlene!! How are you! I think of you often! Glad you are still enjoying retirement in Iowa. I don’t go to guild meetings anymore, it move too far from my house. But I still see Gail and others from guild at my bee. I retired 3 years ago and quilt everyday too. Hubby and I are going to enjoy a quiet Thanksgiving too. It’s nice to hear from you. My email is (Mary – Carlene and I were Featured Artists at guild in 2005. Her quilts are fabulous with great stories.). Moe

      1. Mary Etherington Post author

        Moe – oh, how fun for you to meet up here! I was hoping she lived relatively close to me but alas she lives about as far away as possible and still be in Iowa. Darn! I thought maybe we could meet for lunch – ha!

      2. Carlene Buck

        Moe, you can still see some of my quilts when you google me. I have a blog spot I created a long time ago and many of my quilts are pictured. Carlene Buck Quiltbabble

    4. Moe in NE IL

      Carlene, I came across photos from when you were guest speaker at guild, it popped up on Memories on my FB feed, it was 10 years ago. You have such a great sense of humor. Happy Thanksgiving. Moe, from NSQG

      1. Carlene Buck

        Moe, I definitely remember you. You were always willing to help hold up quilts at the Northwest Suburban Quilt Guild near Arlington Heights, Illinois for our show and tell segment. I belonged to NSQG from 1983 to 2005. I really miss the Guild and the members. I know many things have changed due to the Pandemic and the members aging. They had so many wonderful speakers at both NSQG and IQI and I took advantage of many lectures and classes they offered. I served on the Board of NSQG as Treasurer, Ways and Means, Audio Visual and Pattern of the Month. Every time you send pictures of your quilts with the name “Moe”, I think…I know her!

  12. Carolyn Boutilier

    Wishing you and Rick a Happy Thanksgiving. Thank you for sharing all your stories and rants. We are expecting much needed rain tomorrow Tuesday. Carolyn b Shenandoah Valley VA.

  13. Martha W in WY

    Mary, I would have pulled in right behind that white pickup. Oh, by the way, did you know Dairy Queen has a senior discount all the time. Just ask for it.

  14. Sue in Oregon

    The warning on the back of that dish made me laugh. What?? Makes you wonder what it’s made of. And the Baptist pick-up. Now that was just plain mean.
    The other day I had a young sales girl try to make change for something I bought. I gave her $20. I ended up helping her, because she just couldn’t do it. She was so embarrassed and I felt bad for her. But….why did they not teach her? Parents, teachers and employers, where are you?

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Sue – so why can’t kids count money? I think it’s because they only shop with a credit or debit card and if they had to shop with cash they’d realize they couldn’t afford lots of things they’re buying. They’ve never been taught to count money. I’ve witnessed a young person trying to count back change and it’s not pretty.

    2. Lynette in Orlando

      Sue — sadly they don’t teach them such things any more. If the register doesn’t tell them they are clueless. My thing is if I purchase something for $10.56 and if I give them $20.56. They look at the change and often say “what am I supposed to do with that” When I reply give me back a $10. they have absolutely NO CLUE. It is beyond sad

    3. Diane, Squeak, and Buddy

      Trust me, we (teachers) are there. I had kids, who no matter how hard I tried, would not learn or even pay attention. Boyfriends, jobs, cheerleading, sports,band,choir, etc were much more important. Maybe now she’ll Google how to make change! Hope so.

  15. Kris in WI

    GROCERY SHOPPING RANT OF THE DAY: Stores that don’t stock enough sale items to meet the demand of customers: No Butterball turkeys, no Breakstone sour cream, no Rhodes frozen dinner rolls, and no oranges! What’s with that? Also — only two lanes open at the checkout, each with at least 3 customers while the self-checkout area, staffed by a clerk who couldn’t leave her post, was completely empty. And — shelves so high I couldn’t reach the item I wanted and no one around to ask for help.

    Aah. That felt good. Thanks for the opportunity to get that off my mind! Kris

    1. Kris in WI

      P.S. Many thanks to Linda in NC for reminding me that having the means to fill my cart at the grocery store was a blessing, especially when so many people are suffering. We will be grateful to be at home together and doubly grateful if our daughter can come from MN on Thursday. I am grateful for the never-ending quilt show that lifts my spirits and pet pictures that make my husband smile. Thank you, Mary for bringing us together. Kris

    2. Paula

      I have the same problem with the shelves. I’m seriously thinking about taking my long handled grabber with me the next time I shop!

      1. Judy

        The top shelf is a problem for me if the item is not to the front. After knee and hip replacement the bottom shelf is still an issue if the items are to the back. One day I asked other customers 3 times if they would get bottom shelf items for me.

  16. DebMac

    It is so nice to see that other people rant about the same things I do. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

  17. Sharon G.

    Mary – I don’t have a rant this week. Last week I had a rant about a tire company that took 7-1/2 hours to repair my car tire. It had a screw in it. My neighbor inflated it for me so I could drive to the tire store to get it repaired. I think sitting in the cold tire store lobby smelling tires gave me a sinus infection – I know it gave me a headache. 😂
    I’m staying home with my two cats for Thanksgiving.
    If my sinus infection gets better, I hope to finish all of the No Cut No Trim blocks waiting in the queue.
    Thanks for the big and photos tonight.
    Take care everyone!

  18. Barbara Yarnell

    Here’s my rant – there was a not-so-young female employee stocking in the produce aisle at my local grocery store. A male customer walks up and asks her “Where can I find the coffee?” Employee looks confused and says, “I only know where things are in produce.” The man stares at her and finally says, “So…should I go ask someone else?” She smiles and says,”Yeah, that’s a good idea!”
    OMG! If it was me, I would have kept walking right on out of the store! Trouble is, this lack of customer service is not unusual anymore, to the point that when an employee actually helps you, now that’s something special!

    1. Judy

      I was shopping for groceries one day. I asked a clerk for assistance. He was very helpful. It seemed that he went out if his way to help me. When I filled out the online survey, I commented on him, saying that if he was not already part of management , he should be considered. I thought it was important to comment on the good service. That thought brings to mind a worker at the local grocery years ago (when our small town had a grocery). I commented to the owner how well he seemed to be working and how polite he was to the customers. The owner replied, “That’s what I expect. If he wasn’t, he wouldn’t have a job here.” Sometimes the expections need to be higher.

  19. Bonnie McKee

    This was such a fun blog to read about everyone’s rants! I have had similar experiences and feel as exasperated as the rest of you! What has happened to the world we live in? Anyway, thanks to all for sharing your rants.
    Also, it was nice to hear what some of you are doing for Thanksgiving. Because I’m in poor health my youngest daughter is preparing dinner this year. I am grateful that she is able to take over for me!
    Thanksgiving blessings to you all,
    Bonnie in Oregon

  20. Trudy

    If you liked that book perhaps you would enjoy another one by Charles. I did! It is entitled “ Where the River Ends”.

  21. Sharon Eshlaman

    Rants…..I have the same ones as you. I’m also annoyed about the shoppers who are to lazy to push their carts to the designated holding areas in the large parking lots. I live in a small town with a small grocery store. I see so many lazy women push their carts into a empty parking space and leave when the store entry lobby is just feet away. So lazy and usually these individuals could use a little exercise.

  22. Linda Carpenter

    For Thanksgiving I am cooking a Schwan’s turkey breast and Trader Joe’s corn bread dressing in a box and their gravy in a box. I Googled and it said Trader Joe’s is the best gravy. We’ll see. My hubby and I each have a brother to cook for. His will come and we will deliver to my brother. I wish there was another woman in the family. No one to cook but me. All of my children live in MN and I am in Colorado. I also ordered a cherry pie and rolls from our local Danish bakery. I have my quilt projects down to 4 only now. A box for each- Christmas, Patriotic, Pumpkins and 9 patches. I hope to only have those 4 for the future. I am 73 and have made so many quilts, but I enjoy it so I keep getting excited about new projects. Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

    1. Arlene Kohlwey

      Hi Linda,
      My daughter is cooking Thanksgiving dinner this year and I’m thrilled about it!! I love to make those holiday dinners but can’t stand that long in the kitchen any longer…the torch is passed to her…We live in Colorado as well and shop at a Danish Bakery off Jewell in Lakewood. If it is the same bakery it is terrific!!! Our grandson is playing basketball every Sat. at Dunstan Middle School so we stop at the bakery after the games…very dangerous indeed!!! Where in MN did you grow up? We grew up in La Crosse, WI. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

  23. Janet S

    Normally, I try not to say much but my husband is turning into his mother who complained constantly. Last night, there was nothing on tv so I found Transiberian Orchestra on PBS. I know it isn’t the traditional music but it is great musicians and vocalists with a lot of zip. Just something different and really peppy. That sure didn’t set well, so I turned on Everybody Loves Raymond for him and went in the other room to watch PBS. Thanks, that felt better.
    Our thanksgiving will be at my step-sons with immediate family. We bring side dishes and such. Then I try to get in the Macy’s parade, which to me is the beginning of the holiday season.

    1. Kathy in western NY

      Oh Janet, I always play my Transiberian Orchestra CDs in my sewing room all through December! My kids and my aunt have been to their concerts prepandemic and said it is so exhilarating being in the audience. Now it seems every ticket price for a concert is way more than I could ever afford. And yet things sell out…..

    2. Mary Etherington Post author

      Janet – your tv comment sure hit home. I watch in my sewing room and I’m in the process of turning my old office into a small den for me to watch tv. I’m going to buy a chair that fits me and have a great lamp with all my handwork, books and magazines close at hand. I need help moving the tv and haven’t yet found anyone to help me but I can’t wait till I can make this move.

  24. Ichele

    Mary you really hit a nerve today. Thank you for the rant, I agree 100%. No customer service, no ability to make change, don’t know how to park, the list goes on. The cashier at a large box hardware store told me they have so much theft they now only put a few of each item on the shelf and they were instructed not to confront anyone they see stealing.
    And the holidays are a great time to be with family but remember those without family. Our senior Center used to have dinner on Thanksgiving and Christmas, open to the public. We do have family locally but We went to this several times. So many people there without any family, so eager to chat and spend time with someone.
    Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

  25. Vicki Ibarra

    I love Sunflower’s quilt with both the front and back being lovely (either side is really the typical front). What a special gift! Mary, how small are the finished squares in the blocks that you will combine with the charm pack squares?
    For Thanksgiving it is just my husband and myself. I haven’t decided on the entree yet (yes, shame on me but I have plenty of meat in the freezer to draw from), but sides will be fresh cranberry sauce, yams, and a frozen strawberry/pineapple/cool whip salad. I will try a new pumpkin cake recipe for dessert. I am one of those people who loves good pumpkin foods.

    1. Marsha in Michigan

      Oooh, Vickie,

      That cool whip salad sounds very interesting. Would you mind sharing the recipe?

      1. Vicki Ibarra

        1 – 8 oz package cream cheese
        3/4 cup sugar
        Mix together. Add 1 large can crushed pineapple, 1 – 10 oz package sliced strawberries. Mix well. Fold in 1 – 9 oz container cool whip. Put in 13 x 9 pan and freeze. Easy and tasty.

        1. Arlene

          Hi Vicki,
          Do you drain that pineapple or put juice into the recipe? Sounds like something my aunt used to bring to Sunday dinners.

  26. Lynette in Orlando

    Mary — totally there with you also on customer service…. there is none anymore. I’ve started going to the small Ace Hardware near my house vs Home Depot/Lowes. They help you and are nice. If I spend a little more, I’m ok with it because they are worth it.

    My heart is also with you about Rosie — on Sunday, very suddenly and unexpectedly, I had to put my horse down. 30 years old and was never sick. Has broken my heart.

    I do hope everyone has a Happy Thanksgiving. I’m supposed to go to friends…… right now I feel like staying home and sewing, I don’t feel very social at the moment but probably don’t need more time home alone,

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Lynette – oh, how sad! Could you send me a picture of your horse? I wonder what happened – if you had to put him down he must have collapsed or gotten sick? I’d rather stay home and sew, too. If you lived closer we could commiserate together over our sewing machines.

  27. Kim from Wi

    Oh Mary I feel your pain about getting food in Mason City. About a month ago my mom and I ate breakfast at Perkins and 3 days later it was closed up! No warning just gone, the sign and everything. Mason City has lost quite a few places to eat in the past 3 years, such a shame. Apparently, the ones that are open are not running on full speed either. Our daughter is making the Thanksgiving meal this year with help from her brother. They both love to cook and wanted to try to brine the turkey. I need to make a pumpkin pie and just show up, easy enough. We usually play games and watch How the Grinch Stole Christmas while together. It will be the 4 of us and I’m grateful they are both off work and we can enjoy together. Love the blog and hope your next trip to Mason City goes better.

  28. Bridget

    Well, my rant isn’t really a rant. About 15 years ago I listened to a presentation from the head of vital records in my state. (the people who track birth and death records, you know). His talk was horrifying!!! He basically explained that there are more people who are over 65 years in our state than under 35 years old. Our population is basically a triangle which is sitting on its point. The 65+ are on the top and the 35 and under are balancing everything on the bottom! The take away was that we will never have enough people to give customer service again in our lifetimes!!!! It really changed how I think about my expectations when I shop! The numbers would be more horrifying if the country did not take in immigrants who are younger! Also, it isn’t just the U.S., China has hit the point of no return on population decline too…depressing isn’t it? However I am thankful that I am healthy and that I can afford to put food on my table and that my small gathering brings love to the table.

  29. Kathy in western NY

    I am sighing in disbelief over the truck parked. It brings me to my rant….double standards. It seems more and more accept this as normal behavior with no consequences.
    I support more local places than I use to for their excellent customer service even if I paid $30 for a mincemeat pie at a farm. We called the place a half hour from us and asked if they had the pie in stock and she said no but would make us one for pick up before Wednesday. I told her I couldn’t drive there today or tomorrow because of appts we had and didn’t she go in the back and talk to the bakers who agreed to make one for me to pick up that day but it wouldn’t be out of the oven till 2:00. Perfect….my husband only remembers his mothers suet type mincemeat and this was with sweetened green tomatoes, cherries and apples. What a treat that piece was to enjoy with our coffee when we got home as it was still warm. An expensive indulgent but I wouldn’t have made it and hopefully I am still here next year to say I tried it so let’s splurge on another kind.

    1. Vicki Ibarra

      And this is when I give a big tip. When we get really great service, we acknowledge it with a tip because it feels really special to have received the service we received. We have done this with wait staff who remember our typical food and drink orders, who see our sodas get refilled (amazing how many times this doesn’t happen), and put extra pecans on our creme brulee. Nice to hear about the great service you received. Amazing and what a treat for the two of you. It is a “repeat” location for you.

  30. Kris in Naperville

    Mary, I chuckled when I read “You just gotta love an institution of higher learning whose school song is In Heaven There Is No Beer!!!!!” Don’t you mean …in heaven there is no TEA????

  31. Linda in Michigan

    An interesting post this morning. I’m so glad to hear that puppy found a new home. Hopefully, this one will be better than where he was.

  32. Frances E

    I’m usually grinning so much after I read your blog, I can’t remember what I might be upset about! You are a tonic. 😂👏😄 Somebody else will have to rant today. 😄

  33. Diana in Des Moines

    Love the dog statue!
    My eye surgery was yesterday. It went well, and today my eye is itchy and sandy, and sore. It will be fine in a couple of days and lots of eye drops. Thank you for caring.
    My rant involves WalMart. I should have known better than to go Sunday, but out of Tylenol right before my surgery so off I went. 1, A guy was standing in the middle of the self check out area. I couldn’t get pat, so I just stopped. He looked at me and said “am I in your way? I said yes, and said, I quote “I hope your day gets better” ?!?!?!? I WAS having a good day, you were in the way.
    2. When leaving, this group of large young men barreled right at me and my cart as I was halfway out the out door. they said Oh SO Sorry, ma’am, then snickered and laughed.

    I’m teaching my grandchildren to be kind and polite and having my mom living with us is a good way to teach them.

    Pre-school parties today for the kids, then church tonight for Thanksgiving service. My favorite holiday has a church service! Oh Joy!!

    Enjoy your day, Mary!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Diana – I hate going to Walmart but have no choice. I try never to leave my cart in the middle of the aisle and always follow the rules of the road. Most people don’t. The eye will improve – I actually don’t remember any discomfort – just lots of eye drops. Yes, please teach your kids manners and kindness. The world needs kids like that.

  34. Paula S.

    I’m so glad to hear the doodle-dog found a home! And I hear you on customer service. I’ve found a nice locally-owned women’s clothing store that gives excellent service. Their prices are comparable to some of the lower-cost stores. They will get my business as long as I can walk!😄

  35. Michele

    I fear all the inventory shortages and lack of help we have seen the past 2 years isn’t ever going back to what we had pre-covid. If employees don’t like their current job, there are plenty of other openings out there. But trying to hire a great person is tough. The employer/employee relationship has completely flipped. Now employers are scared if they say something to correct an employee, that person will quit and then they don’t have a replacement. Plus, now when you try to hire someone, many of them will insist on working 100% remote.

    The Mason City DQ doesn’t exactly hire the ‘cream of the crop’. Each Fall I look forward to pumpkin pie blizzards. I stopped in early Sept for one and was told they were still waiting to for graham cracker bits that are part of the blizzard. I said I’d take it anyway. I stopped for the same thing last week (2+ months later) and they didn’t tell me they didn’t have the graham cracker bits, but it came without it.

    I hate to think we all need to lower our expectations. But when I do get good service, I thank them sincerely and we’ve increased our tips for those people that show up AND do the job well.

    I’m not sure how this all ends. Not sure I want to know.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Michele – the part that really got to me was the car in front of me also turned around and left without going thru the drive thru so he didn’t get what he ordered either. The fact that she simply didn’t want to work was appalling and I’m afraid you’re right – the employee will quit if disciplined.

  36. Fran

    A smile on my face. Your blog today was all over the map and I love it!

    Nothing to rant about right now but we still have freedom of speech (for some) so thank you for a platform where we can do this. Filter in place. LOL

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Fran – oh, I really need a filter sometimes! I feel like I’m safe and among friends here so I can rant – when one presents itself – ha!!

  37. Billie - Henderson Nevada

    My rant is – to those who put up their Christmas decorations before Halloween. I think after Thanksgiving is
    plenty of time to show off your decorating skills.
    Have a wonderful day Mary!!

  38. Joy in NW Iowa

    Oh the chuckles were great today! To top it off now I’m hungry for pumpkin pie, mashed potatoes and turkey gravy and stuffing! Yum!
    When your children all get married thanksgiving get togethers are on all different schedules! Back in the day we went to both parents on thanksgiving! That is how it Was, and boy were the babies CRABBY THE NEXT DAY! But, I am not the hostess this year so, I kept my mouth shut! Imagine!
    Our local grocery store has that one clerk that takes her ‘crabby’ pill every day. Ugh! Our store still does carry out! So does Fareway! And they are closed on Sunday! Everyone needs a day of rest!
    Loved the blog and all the laughs!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Joy – we have that one crabby clerk, too, but I’m going to kill her with kindness. Our Fareway has carry out but one of the cart girls is terrified of dogs so if I have any dogs with me I ask her to trade with another. When I open the back end of the van the dogs come rushing up to greet the carry out person.

  39. Li

    I am quite serious. It is a sad day indeed when thin crust pizza is unavailable, but the topper is no pecans.

  40. Dot in NC

    Regarding the thrifted dish: many decorative ceramics have lead in their glazes or paints. If you use them for food, the lead can leach out into the food.

    I didn’t get a photo, but a couple of weeks ago, at my doctor’s office, I saw a giant pickup truck which had backed up into a handicapped space. And his trailer hitch was pushing against the handicapped sign post, and had bent it back about 30 degrees! He had no handicapped placard or handicapped license plate. When I drive by, I see that the signpost is still leaning back.

    I, too, am thankful for your blog, and for this lovely community.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Dot – that would have been some picture! I wonder what that guy was thinking. Doesn’t the old red Fiestaware also have lead?

      1. Dot in NC

        I would have taken a photo, but I needed to get in to my appointment, and when I came out, he was gone. I imagine that his pickup was so big that he just about needed the extra width of the space. And the lanes in that lot are narrow, so long pickups also block the lane. Of course he COULD have parked at the back of the lot, where there were many empty spaces, instead of right by the door in the handicapped space. When I see the misuse of handicapped spaces, I tell myself that the driver is indeed handicapped; MORALLY handicapped.

        I just checked online, and Fiestaware made since 1986 is lead-free. But I guess the older dinnerware is not. This online discussion also said that you can buy a lead test kit at hardware stores.

        1. Mary Etherington Post author

          Dot in NC – I ate off that red Fiesta plate for the first 18 years of my life – oh, maybe that’s my problem! Haha!!!

  41. Moe in NE IL

    Hi Mary, great post today. I always enjoy reading your blog. I like Sunflower from Michigan’s reversible quilt. Great idea! I also like your fresh start quilt on the bed, and can’t wait to see what you do with your blocks and the Dotties fabric squares. I usually have a rant, but not today, but certainly do agree with everything everyone has said. I constantly say to my husband, “we live in Chicago! Why can’t we find pickles at the stores!” (Or a variety of other things) I call it the Curse of the Baby Boomers. I too tend to shop at smaller stores such as Ace or a small local grocery store for the customer service. Glad to hear the Doodle found a good home.

  42. Kelli

    You rant away! I love everything you share and can SO relate! I have found customer service is a foreign concept with most of the stores or restaurants. They look at you like you are bothering them when you seek help and they can run away fast enough! 😝 Sometimes I get so aggravated that I think smoke is coming out my ears! 🤣 I must give a big kudos to a Fex Ex employee – yesterday he delivered my Sam’s Club order and saw that it was leaking! He rang the doorbell, told me he recommended I refuse delivery and to call and get a replacement! WOW! What a helpful kind young man. I was so thankful for his help and direction and I didn’t have to deal with a huge mess. Take care and keep up the great work – we all love you out here in blogland! ❤️

  43. Marsha in Michigan

    Hi, Mary,

    I do get a kick out of reading your blog each day! Love the Fresh Start cover photo! Your quilting is amazing! How do you get the stitching lines so straight?

    With others, I have started overtipping when I receive exceptional service. I always tried to tip the correct amount & I appreciate good service. I also comment to them with a smile and “thank you for your excellent service today.” If I can, I let the manager know, too.

    I wanted to comment on the pickup/utility trailer parking photo. If the driving aisles are narrow, someone pulling a long trailer has to find a space to park that allows them to enter at an angle, then crank the wheel back to park the truck at the opposite angle to the trailer so they can be sure to be able to get their rig back out of the parking spaces. We often have to park like that with our travel trailer. In a big box store lot we ALWAYS park way out in the area where not many vehicles are parked, but sometimes we have two choices, park like the pictured truck/trailer were parked, or move on to try to find a different store or restaurant with better parking options for big rigs. Sometimes we park several blocks away and walk to our destination because there is no place near the quilt shop or museum or wherever we want to visit. If the driver in the photo had been able to maneuver to take just two spaces & someone parked next to him, he wouldn’t have been able to get out of the space. I hope that explanation helps if you see long rigs parked like that in the future. We really aren’t trying to be a pain, it’s just hard, especially in small towns, to find a place to park that works & won’t inconvenience anyone else for too long.

  44. Betty Klosterman

    Marsha in Michigan — Thank you for explaining the parking of long-box trucks with even longer trailers. You can’t maneuver them into a space meant for a car. So many people have no idea the space it takes for a big semi to get thru. Out here people travel long distances on gravel roads before they get to the highways just to get groceries, supplies, etc. We are lucky that some stores have large parking lots. You will see the big rigs parked on the outer edges as far away from the cars as possible. The visitors have the same problems with their motor homes and campers. We just have to be tolerant and nice. A big honest smile really helps.
    Betty in Rapid City

  45. Diane, Squeak, and Buddy

    I laugh at so many pitiful people who can’t park. I am a pitiful backer upper😂😂. But, I can park between the lines. I often ask a taller customer to reach something on a high shelf. I usually explain that I have a “ tall person” at home, but I didn’t bring him. They all have been very nice😀 I had excellent help at Kohls the other day. Today, I saw her and thanked her in front of the manager. The employee beamed😁
    We are hosting the family and Bob Evans is doing most of the cooking. We will add pecan pie, scalloped oysters, bday cake for our granddaughter’s bday, more potatoes and stuffing , and a veggie tray. My husband can’t help like he used to until after his neck surgery so Bob E to the rescue😀
    I am happy about the doodle’s new home. Great.
    I am thankful for my family, kids, and grandkids. We just came home from calling hours for our friend’s 18 year old son. Car accident. It was so sad.
    HAPPY THANKSGIVING everyone. Thanks for the blog,Mary.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Diane – was this death for the terrible accident you told us about? So sad

      1. Diane, Squeak, and Buddy in Central Ohio

        This was a single car crash, not the bus crash. The 18 year old hit a tree while speeding. His whole family and the entire school where he graduated from this year are truly crushed.
        When I taught, we had 1 death about every two or three years. It was so hard for everyone, but of course, especially for the parents. Kids think they are invincible.

  46. Linda from Georgia

    Mary, I do love reading your blog! Rant away because then I know I am not alone! Of course guess who is first in my thoughts when I see a badly parked car? You of course. My grandchildren have a golden doodle. She is so sweet and is so good with the 3 of them. She even plays fetch with the one year old and he climbs all over her. They are best of pals. I love looking through junk and antique shops. I never go looking for anything specific because I know I won’t find it. Whenever I go to the library there is one that I always stop and look. It’s so exciting finding a little treasure! I watched my granddaughters today. We love putting puzzles together and playing cards. The older one is finally ready to learn to sew. Maybe after the holidays when things aren’t so busy. Have a great evening!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Linda – and I’ll guess that the things you find in the junk store are entirely different junk than I might find in Iowa! Love to hear the doodle is so good with the little kids!

  47. Patty

    I read the post from the lady who said she couldn’t get yarn at Joann’s. I was Joann’s getting lacey fabric and a satin fabric, both white. The young girl cutting the fabric asked what I was making and I told her a baptism gown for my granddaughter. She said, “Oh, so you are a Baptist.” I said no and that some people would call it a christening dress. So she said, “oh so you are a Christian then.” I smiled and said yes cos I didn’t know how to explain what a baptism dress was. She was so young, but very sweet.

  48. Judy

    I’ve enjoyed reading today’s blog. Actually they are all good. I already commented several times on others comments. Here is my Thursday. Family is coming, and bringing salad and dessert. Turkey, dressing, noodles, mashed potatoes and green beans can all be cooked in the morning. Noodles were cut last week. Just a little dusting today and I am ready for company. Happy Thanksgiving everyone !!!

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