Friday Night News, 12-8-23

I have so many things to write in this blog about nothing that I had to make notes to myself today!

Could you please send another very special card? Bonny Hall who is a reader told me about her mom, Maggie, who is going to be 101 years old on December 15 and I’m going to send her a birthday card. Here’s what Bonny had to say about her mom:

She has lived with me the past year, but considers herself a lifelong resident of Little Sioux Iowa. She has outlived her siblings, and has been widowed 25 years. One son died 20 yrs ago. An outbreak of Shingles totally changed her health…GET VACCINATED!

  She loves to read.  She dearly loved the Kitchen Klatter program and magazine, flavorings, and cleaning products . Through a friend, we have scored 70 years of back issues! Oh the pleasure these bring!!

Pretty crisp mentally. Plays a mean game of Uno and loves a good dish of baked beans loaded with bacon.

Here is her address:

Maggie Hall

PO Box 14

Onawa, IA 51040

Happy 101st Birthday, Maggie!

Reader photos:

Squares are 1” finished
Wild Rice by Country Threads

I need to reconsider Wild Rice in a new palette because I love this!

Marie finished the cross stitch, the wild rice quilt and the dresser since last summer. I admire her ability to stick to a huge project – I am too easily discouraged and can’t keep with it. Wow – just wow! Well done, Marie!!

This would be such a fun toy for a little dog that isn’t quite as aggressive as Hazel – haha! Actually Gracie and Greta thought it was great fun until Hazel hauled it outside. And just so you know, Amazon advertised this as a dog toy originally. It’s no longer on their site and I guess we probably can guess why. All is well – Hazel is fine but she had a wonderful time for 6 minutes.

A package arrived in my mail today – this sweet little stuffed goat from Terry N. It’s so cute! Hazel is begging me for it already.

I cleaned my sewing room today – I even scrubbed the floor! It’s amazing what one finds.

I’m a sucker for these old filet crochet pincushions.

I found more framed needlework, too, so I’m still working on my wall.

This unbelievable warm weather is worrying all of us in farm country. No rain or snow means no moisture for the crops next year. The farmers can’t grow corn and beans without moisture.

Since my sewing room is clean that gives me permission to start something new, doesn’t it? First I’m going to write a card to Marie! How about you?

P.S. This is a poor photo but this gray and white cat has been hanging around for several weeks now. I put this picture on the North Iowa Lost and Found pets – if someone is missing him, I hope they see the post.

58 thoughts on “Friday Night News, 12-8-23

  1. Sunflower from Michigan 🌻

    Wow, this blog was wonderful today. I’m behind a few days so hope you see this response. I have a card ready and addressed for Maggie.
    I loved all the trees today and quilts. I’m a cross stitcher at heart so Marie, I loved your picture, also.
    I spent the day with my mom(87) and it was very disheartening. Her memory is getting worse and my siblings and I are going to have to place her somewhere. I was so hoping she could stay home til after Christmas but it doesn’t seem likely. She’s lived there 63 years and my parents will celebrate their 69th anniversary January 3, 2024.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Sunflower – oh, I hope she can hang in there a couple more weeks at least. Can somebody stay with her? I know that’s really impossible for anybody to just drop their lives and move in however. Is there a home near to you? Is it just her memory or has her health declined as well? Oh, I am so sorry. We all have or had parents and this situation faces all of us sooner or later. I am so sorry!

  2. Jackie in NY

    I just love today’s trees and the quilts and cross stitch! Wow! I finally got my tree decorated when my granddaughter came for a sleepover Friday night. Now I just need to move a few decorations to cover bare spots (or maybe I’ll leave it just the way she decorated it). And I need to take a picture. If we could only get some sunlight. We had 50 degree weather today – in December! Can’t believe it’s so warm!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Jackie – we couldn’t believe it was so warm either but that changed overnight. 22 degrees this afternoon!!!

  3. Karen Juergens

    I just sent cards to Maggie and her daughter who must be aging herself! Your idea to write to these
    Women is so kind and thoughtful, especially with the
    Epidemic of loneliness in this country.
    Here in Oregon we have had a months worth
    Of rain in the past week!
    Karen juergens in Oregon

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Karen – we are hearing about your rain on the news – I can’t imagine where all that water is going! Very sad really – homes, roads, wildlife – many being displaced. Hang in there and please let us know what’s happening. Thanks for sending the cards.

  4. Betty Klosterman

    Marie, your counted threads cross stitch is beautiful. It reminds me of the Jon Crane pictures. You did a great job. I was always fascinated by the details and how real it looks. The 22 or 18 count was always my favorite. Don’t think my eyes could handle it now. Your quilt is so pretty, too. We just have to go to bigger to see?

    What kind of plant is the 3rd picture? Very interesting. What are the bushy things on the end of the branchs? Anything can be a great Christmas tree! Great creativity.

    Two weeks and days will be getting longer again! I have to be home by 3:45 as I don’t drive after dark.

    Take care and enjoy the season. Betty in Rapid City

  5. Launa Peters

    Will be sending a card to Maggie in Onawa today…101 birthday 🎂! My husband will be 90 on January first! He made me tea and started a nice fire in the stove this morning.
    Tis 17o out up here in my neck of the woods in Idaho. Pepper is cozy in front of stove so her arthritis must be bothering her? Have tree lights on and the lights on banister to loft are lit as well. Sun is just poking over the mountains; no new snow last night. A quick email from our granddaughter letting us know they arrived safely home in CA…missing the huge snow squall!
    So enjoyed all the pictures this morning!

  6. Rachel Summy

    Mary, Bonny is a member of our quilt guild and got her permission to share your post about Maggie with our group. So hopefully 50 or more birthday greeting will be sent her way to celebrate 101 years! Love how you connect so many of us with the common interest of stitching!! Keep writing your Blog about Nothing, ha!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Rachel – oh, that’s great! It takes only a middle man to keep a group interacting and I’m happy to be that person. Too bad we didn’t know about the 100th birthday last year, huh? We’re all about alike really and the blog about nothing is all the excitement our ordinary lives can handle! Haha!!

  7. Chris

    It’s so much fun seeing all the Christmas trees! Thanks for sharing. We gave ours away when we downsized. There’s no place to put it in our new home. But there’s still Christmas here even without a tree.

  8. Linda Carpenter

    I have discovered 7 count fabric for cross stitch. I don’t need magnification to do it, so that’s great. I did a Prairie Schooler Santa and it came out so nice, of course bigger, I framed it with fabric and prairie points for a wall hanging. We woke up to snow here in Colorado Springs (about 3 inches). We sure need the moisture. Love this blog, I check it every and read every comment.

  9. Sally J. Mi.

    Beautiful cross stitch Marie!! beautiful and unique trees and inspiring quilts… all of it!!
    A warmup today and then the temperature drops!! Making a Trifle today for family Christmas party tomorrow.
    Blessings to all!

  10. Sue Hoover

    Maggie’s birthday card is sitting in the mailbox ready for the mailman. I enlarged the photo and could not believe that picture was cross-stitched! Simply gorgeous! I made my daughter a goat quilt because of her love of goats. You sure received a sweet stuffed one. Love the look on his face! Lol!

  11. Kim from Wi

    Your blog about nothing lifted my spirits this morning. We laid my mother to rest yesterday, and the day was a great celebration of her 85 years here on earth. This morning I’m enjoying the blog and all those beautiful quilts and trees and feeling better about the day ahead. I will get a card in the mail to Dorothy. How wonderful to be 101 and playing UNO, I hope the Iowa snow hold off a few more days so we can get everyone home safely.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Kim – oh, I am so sorry, Kim! What a shock for all of you – seems like you were just telling me the places you were going with her. Is snow in your forecast? Nothing here – nothing at all. The grass is wearing off where we drive the golf cart to bring firewood to the house!
      And now there is another adjustment in all your lives – my sympathy. I know it’s hard and honestly I think I miss my mom more today than right after she died and that was 10 years ago.

  12. Francine from Dubuque

    I find so much pleasure reading this blog about nothing, I find myself reading at 2am when sleep doesn’t happen or right after breakfast. I am very grateful to have you in my life. The trees today are so uniquely different and love them all. Going to get some baking done starting with date nut bread, mom always made it only at Christmas for some reason. Thanks to all,getting a card out to Maggie today. Enjoy your day!!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Francine – date nut bread! My mom used to make that, too, and it was delicious – does your recipe have Brazil nuts in it?

      1. Francine from Dubuque

        Mary. My date nut bread has regular walnuts, never tried Brazil ones, perhaps I’ll try it.

  13. Sheryl K Harrison

    I saved the last newsletters with addresses of new friends and will get cards in the mail. My 14 year old grandson, Gus, loves Uno. I had to chuckle that Maggie plays a mean game because I thought no one loved Uno like Gus. We also have Uno Attack and if the device doesn’t spit out enough cards, he’ll hit the button until it does.

    Beautiful cross stitch picture!

      1. Sheryl K Harrison

        Mom didn’t have a good visit with the surgeon (a check up from removing stitches from her amputated foot). she had an infection above her heal. the doctor said she could risk losing part of her leg. he could send her back to the nursing home with antibiotics but he wanted to put her in the hospital w/ an iv so we chose the hospital. she will be in the hospital for 14 days. she should be done the middle of the coming week. she is doing good. she is in good spirits. we think good hydration is helping with all that.

        she is still getting cards. some of your readers sent thanksgiving cards and she got a few christmas cards. some readers are repeat senders. getting cards has been a blessing and we want to pass that joy on.

        1. Mary Etherington Post author

          Sheryl – I stopped reading comments and jumped over to email so I asked about your mom before reading this. 14 days? That’s a long hospital stay – I hope she doesn’t lose part of her leg. I’m thrilled she’s still getting cards.

  14. Marsha Ransom

    The warm weather and no moisture is definitely a problem for the farmers. I don’t know how they keep at it being so dependent on something so out of their control. But then, I guess we are all dependent on things beyond our control to a great degree.

    Lots of eye candy on the blog today, Mary.

    My husband and I spent the day in Shipshewana, IN yesterday. We had donuts, browsed a Christian bookstore, saw the hilarious musical The Candy Caper at the Blue Gate Theater, found a Stormy Kromer hat for my hubby at Yoders (one of our favorite places to shop; there’s shoes, clothes for all ages and a huge quilting/sewing fabric section while across the aisle there’s a hardware/gift shop) and finished the day at East of Chicago Pizza (highly recommend).

    We’re childfree this weekend so it’s more relaxing but we miss our little granddaughter when she’s not here. She won an award at school (kindergarten) for Moral Focus Student of the Month and that month’s focus is gratitude. So proud of her. She loves school and her teacher!

    It’s a dismal winter day her in SW Michigan but I’m going to try to finish my Christmas shopping today.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Marsha – your day in Shipshewana sounds so fun!! I can tell you’re very proud of your granddaughter

  15. Kathy in western NY

    Woke up to 50 degrees this morning. Have a card ready to mail to the sweet lady so thank you for letting us spread some kindness. Heading out to local craft shows as I need a few gifts and hoping the crafters have what I am searching for. If not I will pick up a few things anyways to support the shows and crafters. Love seeing all the tree photos your readers sent in!

  16. Fran

    Great photos! Wild Rice quilt is awesome And I suspect that you will be taking in another cat Mary!

    I will get a card out too as soon as I can sit a min and tend to stuff. I have been on the run for days it seems. I am off to Ugly Sweater wearing times in Elk Horn, IA. Log Cabin Quilt Store there is participating in the 25% off sale. Do I need more fabric? No. But I am sure I will find something, besides there will be cake!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Fran – An ugly sweater event! I’m shocked that the quilt store is till there – same owners? You just voiced my fears of another cat moving in here!!!! You see? Like it always happens – just like Three and if you recall, I didn’t want him either. Sigh.

  17. Pamela Dempsey in Northeast Texas

    That is such a cute stuffed goat! Enjoyed all the pictures, such beautiful trees and quilts, pretty stray kitty. He heard you are the kind animal lover! I bought the octagon templates from MSQ and maybe it would work in your wild rice pattern? It’s very pretty! We got up to 73 yesterday. Tomorrow the high like 55 and dropping. We need rain too.

  18. Vicki Ibarra

    So many beautiful quilts and unique trees. The Christmas tree with 1 inch finished squares is beyond my patience level. I love the counted cross stitch picture. On first look, I thought it was printed fabric. Then I realized all the detail of that stitching. Wow! And I love the Iowa Hawkeye soup cozies. I went on a stint of sewing soup cozies a few years ago. They made great gifts. Maybe not as practical as eye glass cases, but still useful. Maggie sounds like a dear and I hope she gets lots of cards.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Vicki – just FYI – Darlene hd a stint put in her kidney yesterday. I’ll check on her today or tomorrow.

      1. Vicki Ibarra

        Thanks for letting me know. I sent her a card. I will keep her address so I can send her a card now and then.

  19. Ann, Bowling Green, Oh

    This is a very good blog about nothing. I really enjoyed reading this morning’s entry as l sipped on my coffee. I love all the pictures of the quilts and trees but l especially love the little goat. He is just as cute as a button!

  20. Rosalie in Texas

    Mary, the word is out there that you love animals! I had a very friendly, very skinny cat show up last week. Named him Buddy. No chip but is neutered- so got him a rabies shot and he’s found a home here. Finally got a feral Tom cat trapped and neutered this week. Always something on a farm….

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Rosalie – I did put the picture out there and hope somebody calls me that he’s their cat. He meows at me like he really wants me to pet hi. But he’s so scared. Yes, the word is out.

  21. Debbie R.

    I love seeing all the trees. So fun!! And the cross stitch is amazing. I don’t have the patience to stick with a cross stitch with that much detail. I am enjoying cross stitching again, but am starting with much smaller projects. And the quilts are amazing too. I have the pattern for the tree with the 1” finished squared but so far have just been collecting the fabrics for it. Maybe this will motivate me to start it for next year. I will send a card to Bonny. My grandmother lived to be 101 and she lived in Onawa where Bonny’s daughter lives. It’s a small world.

    Thanks for the blog about nothing that always has something interesting!!

    Debbie in IA

  22. Linda in MI

    Morning all. I am fighting covid, had a “light” case two weeks ago but I feel like it is back. The cough is horrible and my head is plugged so sleep is really difficult.

    I love the pictures of the trees, goes to show you can have a Christmas tree out of anything. I am especially fond of the Charlie Brown trees, I would purposely get a small sprout for my oldest son when the boys and I cut our Christmas tree every year because he used to dance all the way through the program. So we would decorate the tiny tree in his room with a couple of very light ornaments, no lights because the poor little things couldn’t support them.

    I will send a birthday card to Maggie today, what a lovely lady and going to be 101! God bless her!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Linda in MI – no! Covid is still in your system!! I told somebody else about Vicks on the bottom of their feet at night to help them sleep. I know it sounds ridiculous but it’s an old treatment. I can’t say for sure that it works.

  23. Jeanne in Co.

    Mary, the pictures of the trees are wonderful, especially the one with 1” squares. So many great trees and each one is different, but why aren’t very many people signing their names and claiming their trees?
    The cross stitched picture of the farm is fantastic. It brings back many fond memories of vacations on the farm that my three aunts farmed in Iowa; gathering eggs and candling them, pulling the rope to dump hay in the hay mow, bringing the cows up from the pond for milking, and much more. Doesn’t that date me? Farm life is the best. Marie, I hope you are having that farm scene framed and displayed in a very visible spot so everyone who visits can enjoy it too. It is awesome.
    Have a blessed Christmas season everyone. Jeanne in Co.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Jeanne – what can I do about readers signing their photos? I have harped on it for years now and there’s no way I can keep all of that together when I’m downloading the photo.

  24. Sandy

    Hi Mary, wow! Evan scrubbing the sewing room floor! I swept my kitchen floor, then poured some disinfectant on the sponge mop and gave it the once over today, will never win house wife of the year!Then back to a pieced cushion cover for Christmas and checkerboard borders on a baby quilt.Hazel is a real live wire, so active. There must be a sign at your gate for stray cats to find a home here, l hope you find a home for for the kitty!
    Take care everyone, best wishes from Sandy

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Sandy – I walked out there this morning and it’s so peaceful, clean and organized – I can’t wait to sew there this afternoon during the ballgames. My wood floors are wide pine which don’t “scrub” well but good enough for me. Cleaning house is not high on my list.

  25. bobbie rumler

    The husband and I live near Tucson (Corona de Tucson) AZ we pray for rain all the time…..thank you for a great website

    1. Barbara Moore

      Bonnie – we live in Oro Valley, and yes, any time it rains in the desert, it’s a good day!😉. Barb in Tucson

  26. Jeanie S, Central IL

    These are wonderful trees and projects. I am especially in awe of the tree quilt made of 1 1/2” squares. Wow!
    Thanks for posting, Mary 🥰

  27. Carolyn Boutilier

    Love all the photos especially the x stitch. Will get a card off to Maggie. We are in for 2 days of 60+ degrees with a rain storm coming in on Sunday. we are in an extreme drought so praying we get a good amount of rain. Truly appreciate your blog about animals, quilts and a day on the farm.
    Carolyn b Shenandoah valley VA

  28. Mareen

    I will send her a card Mary. I agree we need moisture. I remember when Hazel lived that ball thrower. She has so much energy it amazes me.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Mareen – I have the ball launcher hidden but I might have to give in – she’s just so wild when she sees it!!!! I’m amazed and many times downright sick of playing ball!

  29. Linda

    My applause and admiration to Marie for the cross-stitch. Beautiful work and I love the design. I used to be an avid cross-stitcher until my eyes and arthritic hands said “enough!” Now I make quilts but in my heart I’d prefer to be the cross-stitcher.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Linda – and I just love cross stitch but my arthritic hands cannot even hold the needle.

      1. Joy in NW Iowa

        Mary, do not forget you can dig in the dirt …probably a lot easier than a lot of us your age. I can still cross stitch but I sure cannot dig! Love you

  30. Gloria B - northern IL

    Mary, is Wild Rice a standalone pattern or in one of your books? It looks like great for coordinated scraps?

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Gloria – old stand alone pattern – I’ll need to look for it now, won’t I? Ha!

      1. Gloria B- northern il

        Thanks. It’s a good one. Versatile for all fabric genres and could show off some of the larger prints. Now I’ll have to look in my “library” of Country Threads patterns. Maybe I already have it. Lol. I think it would sell well.

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