Good Monday Morning

Reed is coming to sew this morning so I can’t spend two hours writing, watching tv and drinking coffee which is my normal routine. Yesterday was a low key day at home – I finished “The Reckoning” by John Grisham. Very good and now I’m looking for another great book that keeps my interest.

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Rugs From Rags

Anyone wanting to make a rug will need to have a copy of our book Rugs From Rags that comes with a DVD which goes through each step. These twined rags are made on a simple wooden frame with nails. They aren’t difficult to make but we don’t sell them anymore so if you don’t have a fame you’ll need to get one made before you can start. The book and DVD are $20.00. All measurements are in the book to make the frame. If you can’t do it, find a handyman who wont have any trouble making it.

In the meantime cut or tear your strips out of any old fabric or old linens. Do not make this rug out of expensive jelly rolls. You will use approximately 12-15 yards total to warp the frame and then twine the rug.

I am just barely started on this rug but I hope to have it done by fall. I have not included it in my Dirty Dozen because I just started on it.

Catching up on my mail. Here is Kate Schloemer’s Stack ‘n Whack which can be made from a tutorial online.

And this is Debbie Goad’s Charming Nine Patch. What great color!

Many of you probably remember Diane’s senior horse named Pete who had suffered a couple strokes. Pete crossed over the Rainbow Bridge last week and is now happily running on strong legs and nibbling on green grass. And the best part? Diane and Jen will see him again one day.

Have you ever purchased gift cards from Casey’s convenience store? I like to have them on hand to slip into cards so that the person receiving the card could buy a pizza or coffee and donuts when life is busy or stressful. I had one in my purse and as I was getting gas I thought I’d just use it. WRONG! My $10 gift card was gone because Casey’s took out $2 per month after one year. They say the card does not have an expiration date but it does because they take your money back $2.00 at a time until it’s gone!

I had four cards left from the 10 that I purchased. Gone. They have my $40.00. Let this be a lesson for all – do not buy Casey’s gift cards. We have a new Kwik Star in Garner who will always get my business from now on.

Last week I browned and drained 2 lbs. of breakfast sausage for Rick. In his paper bowl he can put a big spoonful of sausage, a bit of shredded cheese and add two eggs. Two minutes in the microwave gave him his own omelet. Such an easy meal.

Before I got to Connie’s I stopped at a greenhouse in Spencer where I looked only at the succulents. I’m always on the lookout for something different. I would love to have another coral cactus but they were $38! Nope.

ZZ plants can be found at Walmart for less than $10. They were $29.99.

And my 7′ pencil tree must be worth $300 if this one is $78!

When I got home I cut the top half off my pencil tree and started several new ones. Now I can get it in my house again.

And this sweetie pie showed up in my yard yesterday. I joke about having so many cats I’m one shy of a hoarder but truth be told, I do not want any more cats. This little guy is young – seems healthy and loves attention.

I was talking to Sam and her kids on the phone last night so I named the kitten after 3 year old Owen Lund. They’re coming to meet him this afternoon . I wish I wanted him but I don’t – does anyone want a cute kitten?

I’m going to call the vet office and see if he’s been reported missing – I don’t know how he got to our house and we have no close neighbors who might have had kittens. Isn’t there someone reading this that would like a sweet little kitten?

I think I’ve covered all the miscellaneous. You enjoyed the tour of Connie’s house at the lake, didn’t you? I did, too. Reed will be here soon so I’d better get my chores done so we can sew. I’ll tell you what he’s working on very soon.

58 thoughts on “Good Monday Morning

  1. Elaine Kopische-Trejo

    Hi Connie – I just received 5 handmade rugs that my mother had packed away in the attic! One of them is made from old denim material – and her aunt had made it so it’s over 60 years old!! I don’t know if I will ever put it on the floor!!!
    Anyway – I would love to have one of the books. Do I just send you the money along with my address label – I don’t think a self-addressed envelope will work for this. But postage? I really would love to do one of these – and I have someone who can make a frame for me! SO excited to try this!!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Elaine Kopische Trejo – just send your check to the address on our home page and I’ll send you the book and dvd. Address label is very helpful, SASE is not necessary.

    2. Betty Davis

      I also would love to have a book and dvd. Have a frame but no clue how to use it.

      1. CountryThreads Post author

        Betty Davis – I can help you! Do you hav a DVD player? Could you watch the video first before we start?

  2. Sandy Schmeling

    I’ve always meant to ask if you know JIm and the late June Shultz from Garner? It is my husbands Aunt and Uncle. Small world. Sandy

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Sandy Schmeling – yes, I know the Schultz’s but not well.

  3. Linda Thompson

    I dont usually comment…but I did yesterday and will again today. I wonder where my rug book is! I think I bought it before the day of dvds….and still have not used it. Do you suppose he remembers where the loom is stored?

    Thank you for the idea for an omelet. My favorite breakfast is with sausage, eggs and cheese. But, oil! I hate the daily mess of even the frying pan! I think a paper bowl probably enhances cleanup, does a regular bowl get a mess to clean. We don’t even use paper when traveling, except for paper towels.

    And, I am glad to know my morning routine is much the same. I’m not alone with my morning routine. I’m not sure how you get all you do done! And, yes, our greenhouses in our area are much like the price of the one you stopped at in Spencer. I think the wealth at the lake drives the prices.

    Will the sun shine today?

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Linda Thompson – nothing to clean up – just throw the bowl away. We always spray the bowl with “Pam” so the egg slides right out.

  4. Dee T.

    The kitten is so cute. I am allergic to them. Connie’s homes are to die for. Check with the police to see if they reported it lost. Otherwise maybe one more won’t matter.

  5. Judy A

    Love the omelet idea, but what’s a paper bowl? You’re gonna be a millionaire, cause if you split your pencil tree, you’ll have over $1000 forth of pencil trees 🙂

    I think I may have to make another 9 patch. Or at least finish my last one. I should probably do that finis-it-up project challenge.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Judy A – a paper bowl is like a paper plate only it’s a cereal bowl size. I wonder what people actually call it.

  6. Linda in North Carolina

    I think by law they are no longer allowed to deduct from gift cards. I would complain to the store and tell them you will no longer shop there. being out $40 is outrageous. They should honor them.

    1. Marilyn

      There are many stores that have limits as to when you have to use the gift cards. I always ask before I purchase cards for myself and as gifts! A year is quite a long time. I, too, would contact the manager first!

    2. Kathy Teske

      Laws vary by state. In Minnesota, purchase cards keep their full value. I’m not sure what the law is in Iowa.

      I don’t understand why some businesses think it’s okay to take money away from gift cards. They already got there money up front and I’m sure there’s a percentage of cards that they know will never get used anyway!

  7. Gramapama

    Cute little kitty. Someone may have dropped her off? I’m going to order your rug book!!! I crochet rag rugs but I’m having pain in my hands. This looks like something i can do. I’ll send in my order! Have a wonderful day with Reed today. 🙂

  8. Sherry Whalen

    Good morning! I should jump in and finish the rug that I have had on the frame for a year!!! We’ve been doing some stuff around the ‘homestead’ that needs to be done every once in a while – like really cleaning the garage, going thru stuff that get set aside ‘for later’. My SIL gave my hubs 2 LARGE plastic tubs filled with photos, photo albums, interesting family information, recipes, cookbooks, that she took when we cleaned out of my MIL/FILs house several years ago. Apparently she thought we could scan all of the photos and make DVDs for everyone in the family….Anyway, I am tired of moving the boxes around (I am sure that is why she handed them off to us) so yesterday we set up tables in the garage and started sorting photos. Fun, but surprisingly tiring! Instead of scanning, I have been taking photos of the photos, I created a private facebook page and will upload the photos and the kids and grand kids can do what ever they want with the photos, plus there are a couple of other extended family facebook pages that I have been uploading the more ‘antique’ photos on. I wanted to get this done because of a couple of family reunions are coming up and I think after we get done with the photographing I will take the photos and take them to the reunions, if someone wants them they can take them or I toss them. Surely there will be someone who does genealogy who will want them. Yahoo! Maybe when I get done with this project, I can run a little thread thru a machine!!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Sherry Whalen – what a huge job! I started going through my own photos and I’m pitching them – nobody will ever care. Those family reunions have a way of inspiring one to clean out – I know!

  9. Beryl BC

    I’ve got the book for the rug, maybe two copies. I started a rug and wonder if I started with the wrong fabric for a first. I used cotton strips for the warp, but cut up old t-shirts for the weft. Would I have been better off to start with woven cotton? It’s been partially done on the frame for a long time.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Beryl BC – I’ve made t shirt rugs with cotton warp several times and they’re some of my favorites. Just be sure you continue the use of T-shirts for the whole rug. Dig it out and I’ll help you finish it!

  10. Ruthr

    RE the gift card shop that takes back the money after a year: My bank did this. I discovered they were removing $5 intermittently at the three year point. $140 gone. Why? Because one statement of two was returned by the mailman one month, the bank put a little “$5 return statement fee” note on statements for that account, and stopped sending that statement by mail.
    Because it was still available online, they claimed that the “$5 return statement fee” was to “tell us to contact them as there was a question on our account.” Because “The statement is the bank’s way of communicating with you.” What?? Never mind letters. Never mind that the main statement still arrived by mail. Never mind that this went on for THREE years and no one ever said, “Hmmm, I wonder why this person is not responding?”
    WARNING: Check ALL your statements, online or paper, for this notation “$5 return statement fee” and Contact the Bank if you see one!!!!
    I apologize for sounding like a troll, but this just happened to us and I still think the bank is wrong. There’s nothing I can do about it though. They did start sending that statement in the mail again, at least. A notation like this showed up on different bank statement, but included “please contact us”, so I did and only lost $15 on that account.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Ruthr – that is just terrible! I just always think other people and companies are so honest and looking out for my welfare but I’m going to go look at my bank statements right now. Thanks for the heads up! I am so sorry for you!

  11. Nikki M in Tx

    So enjoyed the tour of Connie’s lake house.
    Hard to believe, but we received another 1 inch of rain last night! More rain predicted for tonight. Still have one hay field have not been able to get mowed and doesn’t stay dry long enough. Neighbor was out in his field with swather and ran over a very larger raccoon. Needless to say put a stop to his work. took a while to get the raccoon out, then to repair the equipment, and yes, you guessed it, by this time it was raining again.Have a good day and sew on!

  12. Brenda archambault

    Many years ago I tried to get the kids to put $$$ in their savings account. Of course, what goes in must come out. They had each dwindled their balances to about $25. And when I took the passbooks to the bank some time later, discovered that they were charging a monthly fee and there was no money left. I guess the saying, “use it or lose it” rings true. I guess we all need to use up or cash in those miscellaneous cards.
    Have a great time with Reed today. We’ll all be curious about his new project.

  13. Cheryl in St. Paul

    The tour of Connie’s house was delightful. Thanks you both!

    My husband would love a kitty. Me? Not so much! We have seen coyotes in our large more often this spring. Small animals would be in such danger. Yesterday we had three turkey hens and about 40 baby poults.

    I’m anxious to see what Reed is working on now. How blessed are you to have each other!

    I’ve played for three worship services in four days. That means today is a day for filing music!

  14. Norma Gebhardt

    Love the easy omelet idea. My grand daughter just taught me about mug cakes. 3-2-1 method. Dump one angel cake mix and one funfetti cake mix into a bag or container. Mix them together. When you want a mug cake put 3 T. of the cake mix into a mug. Stir in 2 T. of water. Microwave 1 min. They can be removed from mug and frosted . Good with berries on top. The only drawback is that it takes a long time to use up all the cake mix. Could share it with a friend. Don’t know if it works with chocolate cake mix. Will have to try it. Only know it worked great with white and yellow mixes. I don’t know why I am always looking for something sweet, but at least it’s easy and a small serving.

    1. Beryl Hoff

      Norma, the mug cake works with any cake mix! I have a jar with the mix in it all the time. I have used chocolate, yellow, and white. I use 1/3 cup and 2-3 Tbsp water. I usually put Cool Whip on mine. I don’t keep icing on hand so Cool Whip works well. Here is a recipe for 1 Microwave Cookie! 1 Tbsp. melted butter; 1 Tbsp. sugar; 1 Tbsp. brown sugar; 3 drops vanilla; pinch of salt; 1 egg yolk; 1/4 c. flour; 2 Tbsp. chic chips. Put into a cup or bowl, microwave for 40-60 sec. It is actually pretty good!! It is a good size, I broke it into pieces.

  15. Mrs. Goodneedle

    What a cute kitten; I hope you can place him soon. I would love to find a Pencil Tree; I was just visiting my sister-in-law who has a succulent dish garden in her window with a Coral Cactus in the center, I didn’t know the name of it until now (thank you!); it is such an interesting plant. That gift card scam is a complete rip off. Grrrrrrrrrr

  16. Carmen

    In Nebraska state law prevents the reduction of gift cards in such a way. I agree, it is not fair or right! Sadly, someone probably dumped the kitten because they know you are a softie for animals. Hope he finds a good home, I love an orange cat!!

  17. Kathy in western NY

    I felt sad for Diane and her daughter losing Pete. They sure were attentive to his needs. I said goodbye to my mom recently so have had a few rough weeks and services this week. I am ready for some hellos rather than so many farewells. My kids lost all their grandparents in less than a year so it’s been a huge void in our lives losing their last one. The kitty is so adorable. Mine have all been strays who I trained to stay inside the house or I could never have slept at night. Enjoy the time shared with Reed.

    1. Diane Bauer

      Kathy, I am so sorry about your farewells to your Mom. I am with you. It is surely time for some hellos! Blessings to you and your family during this difficult time!

    2. CountryThreads Post author

      Kathy in western NY. -I kinda wondered why I hadn’t heard much from you lately – goodness, all in one year is tragic! I’m so sorry!

  18. Cheryl

    I finished A Dangerous Act Of Kindness by L Fergusson yesterday. It is a summer suggested book by public libraries. I read it straight through. The rest of my June book list is all the Cobblestone Quilt shop books by Marie Bostwick. My dad grew up in Spencer and I was born in Albert Lea. Our parents moved us to the deep south in 1961. Hotter than blazes! I love to hear about the corn and the farm and Okoboji…….and that awesome black dirt. $10K a foot!!!

  19. Bobbie

    Hi Mary,
    I love your sausage and egg idea. There is a country store close to us that sale what they call stuff. The problem is it’s $5.99 a lb. so I make it my self. You can freeze it in small bowl or casserole dishes and pop into oven for a quick meal. The recipe is:
    Potato tots on the bottom,
    Your sausage I add onions and pepper into sausage mixture
    Then I buy the package pepper gravy and add it to top.
    It’s yummy but doesn’t have eggs.
    My daughter in law said we should try scrambled eggs then the gravy.
    I’ll have a crowd here the 4 th of July week so I’ll try it then. I love you can make ahead.
    The kitten is a cutie I’m sure you can find him a good home. Just don’t let someone get him that uses them for dog fighting. They do that in our area. Always say don’t give cats or puppy’s away. Charge for them.
    I think all the things Reed has learned from you, he will carry into adulthood. He will be a great father and teach his kids so many things.
    I’m going to order the rug book but it will be awhile before I’m be able to get a board made but I’ll have the book when I do.
    My hubby bought me a long arm last summer and started me a building to put it in. Then got sick, my wonderful son his wife and her brother came in got it wired, insulation in sheet rock. Painted and the floors in. What a blessing for me. They only could come every other weekend as my son works every other weekend. And they live about 100 miles from me. It took hubby about 3 weeks to put the molding on the floor, windows and door. He just can’t work very long. But now it’s finished and I’m moving in. Then I have several quilts I want to get made. I’m still painting some thrift store furniture I’m putting in the room, it’s very small 12×18 ft but I’m so happy with it.
    Have a great day sewing with Reed!

  20. Linda Baker

    The kitten is adorable, he looks quite young. I was very disappointed in the last Grisham book I read, but maybe I’ll try another one. We’re looking for storms this afternoon and yes, more rain.

  21. Kathy Hanson

    So sad that Diane and family have lost their special family member – They did so well by him. He can rest now! Love the little kitty – I would be in trouble if I were to get a kitty yet. Maybe when we have done all the traveling that Jerry wants to. Love Debbie’s colorful 9-patch – so pretty! That omelet sounds really yummy!
    The plants are so pretty – too expensive though. Your pencil tree is worth a lot of money!!!

  22. Anita L Fetzer

    Hope youve read “Where the Crawdads Sing” Delia Owens. Can’t say enough about her 1st book. Beautifully written. Couldn’t put it down Anita Fetzer

  23. Carol at Pin Oak Quilting

    Oh poor little kitty, I wish my son lived near you, his beloved Cricket, a cat of similar coloring to your new little friend, died early this month very suddenly, a blood clot in her leg. He and his wife were heartbroken.

    There was too much to comment on re: Connie’s home. Absolutely lovely and interesting and gloriously landscaped. Thanks for the picture rich your!

    Looking forward to Reed’s next project.

  24. Julianna

    Mary, Thought about you yesterday (Sunday) as it was a good weekend. Saturday I FINALLY was able to put out a few plants/flowers – almost the 4th of July but it felt like spring to me :-/ Sunday my quilt buddies came for brunch and an afternoon of quilting. What a great productive day – and so fun to see everyone’s projects!
    Have a good week, and thank you for sharing YOUR news. Always so fun to read!

  25. Paula Philpot

    I have my 12 unfinished projects chosen and put each on a numbered index card with the date I originally started. Two of them are from 2010 and that is terrible.

    I also have a rug on the frame so I plan to start off with that too. I have the original book so mine did not come with the DVD so I will have to review my book before starting again.

    I think the 12 projects will be fun. I have not had time to read the comments so will the number come out on the first day of each month? Thanks for all you do…Paula in KY

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Paula philpot – yes, Connie will draw and I will post the project number on the first of each month.

  26. Margaret Jessen

    I Just finished the novel “Trouble the Water” by Rebecca Bruff, about a slave in Beaufort SC named Robert Small who found his way to freedom. Hope you enjoy!! Thanks for the tour of Connie’s home and the wonderful quilts. I just experienced the less than full dollar amount of a gift card. Live and learn as they say.

  27. Helen Jane (TX)

    Hi Mary…thank-you for both Connie tours of the City Garden and Lake Grounds. Awesome properties! I especially like the use of quilts which is a tour of its own. I am in awe of the lush grounds. The incline elevator is not a familiar sight here. I have seen something similar in France. You mentioned plants/prices and today I saw a lovely ponytail plant at “Wally” for $25.00. I was getting sweet potato ornamental vines. Mainly here the rainy weather continues. Spasmodic as it is. Everything seems behind schedule with our outside chores. I planted morning glory seeds and normally this would be too late in the season but they are up about 3 inches. I enjoy your blog and all the activities around your farm.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Helen Jane – Hi, Helen! So nice to hear from you. When those glaciers dug out those lakes it evidently created high lake banks as well. There aren’t lots of elevators but in 1993 the lake rose drastically taking out those steep banks, vegetation, docks, boats, decks, structures a all those steps going down to the water. It was all replaced and repaired but parts of the shoreline were gone forever.

      1. Janice Brown

        Hi Mary, What caused the lake to rise drastically back in 1993? Is it something that can occur again?

        1. CountryThreads Post author

          Janice Brown – heavy rains and flooding made the lake rise and a wind storm then took out all the docks and boat lifts – it was a mess!

  28. Sandy

    I recently finished two good books– Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover and Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate which is historical fiction.

  29. Sue H

    Adorable kitty! I’m sure you’ll find it a good home. Surely someone will adopt him. I’m looking forward to the start of The Dirty Dozen.

  30. Pat C.

    I recently received my copy of Sew Charming. It is very inspiring and the color choices are wonderful. I especially loved the colors selection for the Split Square . I am planning to make this with larger blocks, perhaps 8” finished. Thanks to you and Connie for your love of quilts and sharing your ideas.

  31. Janice Brown

    I’m catching up on reading through your posts. . . . My condolences to Diane Bauer and family on the passing of Pete. How sad. My condolences also to Kathy in western NY on the passing of your mom, and on the loss of your other family members this past year. May god give you the strength to move forward.

    1. Diane Bauer

      Thank you so much, Janice! We miss him so much. Jenica has already had a dream about him romping in green grass with more energy than she had ever seen him have. I’ve made her a Shutterfly book of her and Pete and both of us remarked how much it helped to look through all of the photos.

  32. Brenda C

    My friend’s husband, John Locey of Hen Scratch Quilting makes these rug frames here in California. Check their website. Thanks for the virtual tour of Connie’s beautiful gardens.

  33. Diane, Squeak's Mom

    All of my ads today were about rungs! Interesting. I love my rug I made from your book and DVD. Squeak helped:)
    Diane Bauer, I am sorry for your loss of Pete. It is so hard to lose our family members.

  34. Billie

    Wasn’t that the best book, couldn’t put it down! Love your quilts too.

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