Good Morning!

It’s a beautiful morning and I’m drinking coffee on the porch and watching the orioles come to the feeders. I have been cleaning and sorting and throwing away and it’s amazing and sometimes very fun to come across things I’ve either misplaced or just to take a walk down memory lane.

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My friend Moe sent me this info about sewing caddies – remember last winter when I showed you all my sewing caddies?

Moe visited the museum in Sturgeon Bay, WI and found this display about the Unique Novelty Company, founded in 1935 by John Ewaskowitz. The caddy in this picture was from the Ower Gaserud estate – probably misspelled because I can’t read it clearly in the picture.

This was so interesting to me! I knew they were popular in the 30’s and 40’s and people must have made hundreds of them in this area. Like Moe said, people made things during the depression – to keep or to sell. Thank you, Moe, for this info – I’m tucking your letter into the drawer of this caddy in my collection for someone else to discover when mine show up at my estate sale.

Next – a picture of my sewing room taken in 1985-87, somewhere in there, when the room was finished and I had not moved in yet. Isn’t it beautiful? Wouldn’t it be so inspirational to sit down at that clean table and sew something?

Sadly, here it is today! As Rick says, there’s been lots of fabric through this room! Yikes!

I wore my Kramer Strong shirt yesterday for Jo and Roger. Nobody here to take my picture so I took it in the mirror, reversing all the words but wanted them to know I was part of their support system. I think about them every day – many of you read Jo’s Country Junction blog so you know both Roger and Jo have cancer.

Yesterday when it finally quit raining we visited the cemeteries at Britt and Crystal Lake, leaving planters at both places and then we drove down to the lake to look around. Had to stop and take a picture of the World’s Largest Bullhead that sits at the end of Main Street. I remember when it was put up in 1958.

Today is lawn mowing day and moving into the porch day – it’s finally warm! I finished watching The Crown and loved it – can’t wait for Season 3! I’ve got a stack of feed bags for you girls – just send your $2 and I’ll send you a bag – you can choose until I run out – I have goat, chicken, sunflower seed and cat food bags.

Do you have plans for Memorial Day?

70 thoughts on “Good Morning!

  1. Kathy Hanson

    That caddy with the scissors making the beak and handles at the top bring back memories to me too, my mother had one and I remember it still! Fun memories as you said. What a beautiful sewing room you moved into – but just think of all the beautiful things that were turned out in there! I am just back from taking flowers to the cemetery too – it is so nice to see all the flags and flowers for this weekend. I really put flowers on my daughter’s grave as her birthday was May 30th (which, of course, was the “real” Memorial Day but everyone wants an extra Monday off so it was changed!). We will have shearing and moving for tomorrow and will enjoy a quiet day on Monday! Hope you and Rick have a quiet, wonderful day as well!!

  2. Nikki M in Tx

    Oh,Oh..No ads today! Will check back later to see if they pop up. High 88 yesterday & project low 90s today…lawn needed mowing after all the rain so got up early & mowed..since can’t see house that well from the road & nearest neighbor over 2 miles away I just mowed in my pj’s then came in & showed. I too enjoyed my first cup of coffee on the porch with Ms. Maci and the wonderful smell of fresh mowed grass. Tackled my closet over the past week, little bit at a time & have 2 boxes to take to the charity shop, maybe more after the holiday weekend. You are right Mary, cleaning & perging feels good. Problem is I would rather do most anything else than clean, but I do like a clean, neat house! Told you about the Abby Lane runner/bed rug that I straight line quilted, it turned out great, I love the way it turned out, Will email picture soon. Enjoy the holiday weekend, be safe.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Nikki M – we are close to the gravel road so can’t mow in my pj’s and our grass is always so wet in the morning that I can’t mow much before noon. Thanks for closing those ads!

  3. Karen Gaither

    Mary also look at the sewing room floor and how the wood has aged. It looks so pretty now that it is worn and has a lot of stories it could tell!

    I will be working in sewing room some this weekend, but today off to sew with 6-8 girl friends at a local quilt shop. We have “retreat sew day” there 2 Saturday’s a month. We sew, talk, eat, laugh and counsel if needed. It is $6 a day, which is nothing considering what it does for us mentally!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Karen Gaither – oh, I wish I could go with you to the sewing day! But this is one of our first nice warm days so have to tackle the lawn, the porch and the screens. Maybe by Monday night I’ll be done – and maybe not! Haha! Have fun!

  4. Jean Elliott

    Oh what memories this post brought me. I remember fishing at Crystal Lake with my Dad and catching bullheads! Hesperian clean them in the basement & deep fry them. I remember that statue!

  5. Jean Elliott

    Oops…it should have said he’d clean them in ……don’t know where that big word came from!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Jean Elliot- doesn’t auto correct drive you crazy sometimes?

  6. Mary Hawk

    Mary I had a good laugh- when I saw your first pix of your sewing room, I thought you’d gone ballistic and done a massive clean out! My sewing room is a mess and that is because I haven’t been sewing, just piling stuff in there!
    I need to find a happy home for the 20 pounds of fabric I brought home form the Salvation Army sale in Maine. No judging – it was a bargain 🙂

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Mary Hawk – and I had to laugh when you thought I’d gone ballistic! Haha! No judging on fabric bargains from me – I buy old pictures. The other day at the thrift store I found all four seasons of Norman Rockwell, nicely framed, each picture was kids and always a dog. I bought them for $2.00 each. I’ll take a picture and post next time. I just love them but they’ll end up back at the thrift store someday. I’m just “renting” them for awhile – hahaha!

    2. Janice

      I thought the same when I saw Mary’s sewing room all spiffed up! Mary Hawk, where in Maine was the fabric sale? I’m in MA and go to Marden’s in Maine some times for fabric. You have to watch as some of it is “seconds” but on the whole, I’ve been happy with what I’ve gotten. Jan in MA

  7. Donna Sproston

    I do envy those with a dedicated sewing room. However, whether it is a whole room or a corner of one, it is an ongoing organizational fiasco. How can we possibly add fabrics, cut pieces, store patterns and UFOs and not keep it in a state of clutter, organized or not? My husband is one of those everything in its place guys, but now he just does a lot of head shaking. Enjoy the porch.

    1. Brenda archambault

      Donna, can your husband come and live here for a year or two? I was in a massive clean out, sorting, etc. In early March and badly broke my arm. Am finally able to use it, to a degree, but between therapy twice a week and other appointments, my sewing room doesn’t look much better than it did 10 weeks ago. Husband isn’t much help with putting things away, so we’re in a mess.
      P.S., I’d take him for 6 months if the year is too much!

  8. Debra Miller

    Love your comment on “renting” things from the thrift store! I too love a thrift store and am always finding “Treasures”. I know my kids don’t appreciate them and I told my son one day he could clean the house out and take everything back. He said no-he would hire an auction company since he knew there was probably a lot of my “junk” that was worth something! Of course, both of my kids have picked out some things that they want when I decide to get rid of them.

  9. Beth Laverty

    I had a “chicken” sewing caddy but gifted it awhile ago. So glad your weather is getting better. We are still getting lots of rain but temps due to go up to 80 next week. Actually not looking forward to that. I PREFER the 70s.

  10. Patti in W Barnstable

    Hi Mary! Thanks for the great pictures. I feel like I was there with you at the lake! I enjoy checking in with Iowa every day. Sunny here today and very windy. It’s about 60. The parade is on Monday morning. I hope it warms up. Your sewing room looks just fine. I’m still on the lookout for a sewing caddy in thrift stores around the Cape. None yet. I keep Jo and Roger in my prayers each day, too.

  11. Launa

    Thanks Mary, Gameboard pattern arrived so I have it in a cut off Costco delivery box with a few Halloween theme fabrics, but need to add more scraps. It’s sprinkling up here in 45 degree Idaho and an Elk and a few Deer are out doing the only mowing we are getting. Pepper is at a local groomer so the wild critters will be here a while. We don’t allow her outside while they are visiting.
    I read and closed one ad! Wish those cute sandals and shoes came in wide!
    Enjoy your porch and birdwatching.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Launa – Pepper is getting her summer “do”, huh? She must like to chase the wild critters when she sees them. I just can’t figure out why some days it’s only one ad and another day it’s 5 ads. Thanks for closing whatever you see!

      1. Mary

        I want you to know I closed 6 ads today. They are probably trying to catch up with me since I had ads closed off. Didn’t realize that, LOL!

  12. Marie Fibelstad

    Mary: sent the requirements for a feed bag for cats, but it you run out I will take a
    Sunflower as 2nd choice.
    I do not get any ads, wonder why?
    I would love to have chickens but we live in town and you can bet someone would turn me in!
    So I will enjoy seeing your animals.
    Marie Fibelstad from Storm Lake, IA

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Marie F – you can remove the ad blocker on this site only, if you’d like to help us out.

  13. Mrs. Goodneedle

    Our Memorial Day plans are working outside, doing yard work and putting in a watering system for my newly designed perennial garden. I have a question for you, I know that you said your original sewing room was circa 1985, but I wonder if you happen to recall the source of the sewing machine block pattern that is displayed in the photo beside the window, I have been on the hunt for a block design such as that for some time. Now I am wondering if I had seen it as one of your patterns years ago. Any light you can shine would be helpful. Thanks. Enjoy your porch sitting and warmer days, I would love to see Orioles at my feeders here!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Mrs. Goodneedle – I’m sure the sewing machine was by Debbie Mumm – can I gift the book to you if I can find it?

        1. CountryThreads Post author

          Mrs. a Goodneedle – you can pay the postage if I can find it!

  14. Jo in Wyoming

    I am back from a week long quilting retreat. Spent a week getting ready, week there..the Colorado mountains, fog, snow, drizzle. Perfect quilting weather. We watched “Why Quilts Matter”, wonderful documentary. Next year we will bring quilts made for a specific purpose and tell why the quilt matters.
    I love your dedicated quilting room. Mine is in the basement, but the windows are above ground so I can see out. On occasion the deer look in and watch me. Our rooms get messy, but what a comfort it is. Only quilters would understand that feeling.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Jo in Wyoming – a week of quilting retreat! Wow! How fun! Did Loretta go along? My messy room is very comfortable and I love it!

      1. Jo in Wyoming

        Loretta doesn’t like to ride in the car!!! She stayed home with “dad” and got a little more spoiled.
        We have rescued 5 golden retrievers, two didn’t like to ride, one didn’t like windows…go figure.

  15. Diane, Squeak's Mom

    Well, look at those neat sewing caddies. Yours is famous:) A friend who taught Home Ec came over Friday for help with sashing and cornerstones on a quilt her mom started, but died before she could finish it. I think it’s funny that the kid who did NOT make a very good skirt in Home Ec is helping the Home Ec teacher!! Also, she said my somewhat clean and organized sewing room showed creativity so yours must, too, Mary. Just got the mail. Email in a minute:) I’m thrilled!!
    Happy Memorial Day. I love seeing the flags and always think of the freedoms we have because others went to serve. Bless them.

  16. Kathy in western NY

    Your lake picture was nice with the bright blue skies. And I always like to see pictures of anyone’s sewing room, cleaned up and tidy or messy with projects scattered around. To me it’s the best place in the house!! Shows creativity.
    This morning we took a ride to Watkins Glen area and looked around at lakes, stopped at Amish markets, had a pork bbq lunch and bought some plants from Amish so enjoyed my ride. Now having coffee on back deck where it is pretty warm and dogs are happy we came home! Enjoy opening your porch.

  17. Gail Maslan

    I used to go “bullheading” with my dad up at our lake cottage in Michigan. We’d go at dusk, go to our favorite spot, lower our hand lines to the bottom. We’d get a strike within minutes. Came back in after dark, had to use our searchlight to find our dock. Then up 37 stairs to the top of the bluff. Our stairs were yellow then – so they were easy to spot in the dark. Now they are red, white and blue. The next day we’d have a great fish fry. My mom and I especially loved bullheads. Those were the days!!
    We still have our cottage, but I haven’t gone bull heading since my dad died, which was 25 years ago.
    Sure do miss him.
    Gail — Illinois

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Gail Masan – I haven’t eaten a bullhead for years but I love them! I don’t want to fish but I wish someone would bring me some – already cleaned, of course! Haha!

    2. Moe Baly

      Gail – I don’t think I ever heard this story. Thought I’d heard them all. Your dad was an awesome dad.

  18. Nikki M in Tx

    Bullheads.. I never heard of this fish! Is it a type of catfish? It looks similar and catfish can get really large also…husband got a 92 lb yellow cat out of Lake Benbrook once…took it to local meat market for weigh in…what a fish fry we enjoyed along with a group of friends.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Nikki M – yes, a bullhead is a type of catfish and delicious I might add!
      92 lbs! Wow!

  19. Betty Klosterman

    Mary, you have at least 30 years on your sewing room and you and it really looks wonderful to me. We look in the mirror and we’ve each got a few years on ourselves, too, and a few wrinkles, etc. show up. Just think of all the wonderful quilts and stuff you have made and all the creative hours of fun you have had in the room, too. What great memories. I think that “clean” is overrated as we have to dust again in about 6 months. Sewing stays sewed.
    We’ve had about 24 hours of no rain and everybody is mowing. Heavy rain is forecast for the beginning of the week. Both sump pumps are going all the time. It was below freezing the other night and the hoses that drain the water into the yard were froze solid. Very interesting, but we did survive.
    AND my quilting friend brought some of her quilting books she is going to give to the guild for me to look thru. One book is titled “Quilted for Christmas” dated 1994 and is a collection from different designers. You and Connie have a wall hanging of a Christmas tree called Country Christmas dated 1993 and Mary, you have very dark hair!!! Oh, the goat is in the picture, too, along with Connie.
    All we used to catch was bullheads which we skinned and ate. Of all the times I was horned by them, I never had a problem, until the last time. It wasn’t a very big fish, but Gramma would eat it. It wiggled when I was putting it in the bucket and in 15 minutes there were 3 red marks going up my arm. I lived.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Betty Klosterman- it’s so much easier to work in when it’s cleaned up though. As soon as I get the plants moved out and the porch moved into I’ll be able to start something. Sounds like we’re getting rain again Sunday night. We need some heat!
      I still have that Christmas quilt from that book and I hang it up every year! Becky and I love bullheads but we don’t know anybody who fishes.

      1. Betty Klosterman

        We used to go to a place called Mill Dam about 70 years ago. Coming east on #3 from Clarion, keep going strait when the highway turns north to Belmond. In just a short distance you cross the bridge and turned right and the path would go down to the Iowa River where there was an old paddle wheel and what one might call a beach. I liked that spot, but seems like all we caught there were suckers, crawdads and mosquitoes. About 15 years ago we tried to get there, but the road was closed. The paddle wheel is probably gone.
        A bull head is a relative of the cat fish (bottom feeder) and could taste muddy when the river flooded. The big channel Cat fish are relatives but a LOT bigger. They will not win a beauty prize. Bull heads have whiskers like a cat but are an ugly fish. The whiskers are actually spiney and stiff. A bull head has skin, not scales.

  20. Linda in North Carolina

    Mrs. Goodneedle and Mary: I found the sewing machine quilt by Debbie Mumm in my book “Quick Country Quilting. It’s called “All Sewed Up” on page 113. I think you have a Cats quilt on your wall too but I can’t quite make it out. If so it might be in the same book called Crazy For Cat’s. Haven’t looked at this book in years but I love it now! Oh my! More sewing projects!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Linda In N. Carolina – I knew that was the book but I haven’t found it yet. Surely I didn’t actually get rid of a quilting book! I’ll keep looking.

  21. Julie D.

    Honked several times on the highway yesterday as my dad and I drove past your house around 2 pm. We were on our way to cemeteries in Britt, Kanawha, and Belmond. Had a wonderful grilled walleye meal at Cattleman’s at the Club in Belmond and then came back home. All of the cemeteries are so beautifully decorated and I love the Norway Township Cemetery south of Kanawha. My dad’s great grandparents who came from Norway, grandparents and other relatives are buried there.
    I hope you have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend. By the way, your sewing room is like mine—a space of creativity! Oh, the quilts that have been visualized and created in that room!!!

  22. Joanne

    Every year I watch my husband march in our towns Memorial Day parade. During the week we help the graves committee decorate the War Memorial in honor of our fallen soldiers. Please stop at a fallen soldiers grave and place a flower if one not there. They have given us our freedom . AFter the parade we co e home and have a cookout with friends and family.

  23. Paula Philpot

    Taught a class today at the quilt shop and three others came to sew and TALk . Needless to say it was a fun day with friends. I am keeping the shop open on Saturdays this summer with a class each Saturday. Paula in KY

  24. Christina

    I have been absent from comments for awhile due to work and grandchildren demands . Love all of the photos and friends’ comments ! I will be ordering a feedbag for sure . Happy Memorial Day to all !

  25. Margaret

    We are having our 25th annual Memorial Day parade in our neighborhood on Monday honoring those who have served. Our home is on the parade route, so my children decorated home and yard and will drive a ’70 Cadillac along the route. Let us not forget the real meaning of Memorial Day.

  26. Kathy Schwartz in SW MN

    I like the “present day” sewing room the best. It’s true, we overrate clean in this country. Some of the hand sanitizer is disappearing in the schools. Think: “dust to dust. . . ”

    Are you making rhubarb jam this year, or is that a thing of the past? Just wondering.
    I hope I didn’t boil it to much.

  27. Kathy Schwartz in SW MN

    I should have added that I made three batches today, and I hope I didn’t boil it too much. Next, I’m going to make the one with the cherry pie filling. Our church is having a Flea Market (well, really we are having 5 of them this summer) and I will take some jam for the “Bake Sale” table.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Kathy Schwartz – I have not made any rhubarb jam or anything yet – mine is just now getting big enough to use, believe it or not. Thanks for the reminder!

  28. Robin

    We usually hit 8 family cemeteries but my husband just died last Monday and I’m just not up to it this year.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Robin – I am so sorry, Robin! Of course you’re not up to visiting 8 cemeteries just days after your husband died. How long were you married? Will you be OK? Kids close by? Anytime you need to have somebody listen, just use my personal email This must be a hard long weekend for you – my sympathy!

    2. Carolyn Rector

      I am so sorry for your loss. If you need it Hospice may offer grief counseling for free in your area for anyone facing a loss, even if Hopice wasn’t involved. Just found this out at the loss of my husband. I think that is very kind.

  29. Kathy Schwartz in SW MN

    Rhubarb Cherry Jam

    8 cups R. cut up
    4 cups sugar Stir these together and let sit on cupboard overnight.

    Next day: Cook 10 minutes (should boil)
    Add one can of cherry pie filling: Cook 10 minutes.
    Add cherry jello (2 small OR 1 large) Mix together.

    Put in sterilized jars and seal. Yield: 5 pints

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Kathy Schwartz – thank you for posting this! I just hadn’t had time to find the recipe.

  30. Janie Lang

    All the bullhead stories brought back a lot of memories. My grandpa had a summer cottage on a channel off of Okauchee Lake in Wisconsin. He would go bullhead fishing at night with his long bamboo fishingpoles. We knew when he was back when we heard the creaking oars of the boat!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Janie Lang – I remember those poles and can hear the oars myself.

  31. LaNan Eldridge

    If you have a sunflower bag left I’d be delighted! Do I mail you the $2 or go thru paypal? Thanks! I also like your Uncle Sam pattern. Is that available for purchase?

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      LaNan Eldridge – send $2.00. No PayPal available. Yes, Uncle Sam is still available for $10.00. Be sure to indicate what you’re ordering.

  32. Moe Baly

    You are welcome about the sewing caddy info Mary. Love when a small museum shows sewing items. If anyone is ever up in Sturgeon Bay Wis in Door County it’s worth visiting that museum.

    Love that giant Fish!

    And your sewing room before and after is awesome!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Jo – I’m coming to the party! I have 4 dozen eggs for you if you can use them?

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