Greetings From the Porch, 6-26-2020

What’s not to like about this picture? Since I can’t mow today (it rained in the night) I can sit on the porch and enjoy the great outdoors. Moe is here for the weekend – she is the BEST girl and I never have to worry about what she’s doing or where she’s at – she is safe inside our fenced 7 acres.

Rick picked up our strawberries this morning so that’s a job for me today – just to freeze a few and we’ll enjoy the rest over vanilla ice cream!

Here’s an update on the dogs – none of it is good news so I’ll be brief. Spyro could not come here because he tested positive for heartworm and had to be kept absolutely quiet in a crate for two weeks. Luke couldn’t come stay here because suddenly he had kennel cough. Now I’m treating my own dogs for kennel cough as well which I’m not thrilled about. So my foster days are OVER almost before they began.


I wonder how many times I’ve explained this – what shall I do for those who keep asking? Please tell me! Because either readers can’t remember, they’re too lazy to go back and read the rules or they just haven’t been keeping up in the first place! Can you hear the frustration in my voice?

Find 12 unfinished projects in your sewing room or craft area.

Number them 1-12.

On the first day of each month for 12 months I will draw a number and post that number on the blog.

Find your coordinating number and finish that project in the next 30 days.

Take a picture with your name written on a tag pinned to the project and send it to me at

No, you are not allowed to post directly on the blog – I will lose complete control at that point!

I will draw the first number on July 1 and will continue for 12 months. By next July you’ll have 12 finished projects!

Here are Connie’s Dirty Dozen:

And here are mine.

Cleaning under the cutting table is also one of my numbers. Such a mess!

So….will you join us in them Dirty Dozen game? We hope so. We plan to show our projects in more detail each month.

There’s water running out from under my washing machine – oh, goody, another job to do! So glad to hear from all of you – I missed you!!!!

64 thoughts on “Greetings From the Porch, 6-26-2020

  1. B

    You sound a bit edgy today 😊 take a deep breath, life is good! Beautiful place to sew there!!

  2. Kathy in western NY

    Your porch picture looks as relaxing as I feel right now enjoying a summer breeeze. It’s a double edge sword having shade trees but can be messy too but love having the shade on the house and in yard. So sorry about the doggie situations. Not easy dealing with all this. I sure feel frustrated for you cause repeating yourself is not fun and you shouldn’t have to for those who won’t go the extra step to get an answer themselves by looking back. You are kind to explain it all again just like your patterns for sale. So just hang in there my friend as you do so well and sew away with an afternoon beer.

  3. Angie from Baltimore

    I have a wonderful fast way to clean strawberries quickly. Using a straw pop it through the bottom of the berry popping off the green portion taking out the core at the same time. I can clean a couple of quarts in about 10 minutes wasting almost no good portion. I never tried this method before but won’t do anything else now.
    Sorry about the fostering situation your heart is in the right place.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Angie from Baltimore – I cant believe it!!!! I am cleaning strawberries with a straw! And it works perfect! Thank you so much for telling me – my blog friends are too good to lose track of!

  4. Sandi from Oregon

    If you continue to answer the same question, folks will continue to ask. The only thing you can do is ignore them.
    Love your yard and the strawberries look yummy! I replace the blueberries in my favorite blueberry muffin recipe with cut up strawberries. Try it!

    1. quilting sister

      But if you’re new-ish to the blog, like me, then you never heard the instructions. 🙂
      Thanks so much for ‘splaining it, I wondered what the heck a “dirty dozen” was when I first started reading your blog.

      1. CountryThreads Post author

        Quilting sister – so, will you be joining us in the Dirty Dozen game? I did say last night that I’m always surprised when we have new readers – surprised but delighted!

  5. Diane in Maryland

    Your porch picture is the definition of a perfect summer day. Just lovely!

  6. Linda in So Cal

    Your porch…what a wonderful place to sew. I’m jealous! Farm update…any goslings or baby chicks? So sorry to hear about the foster dogs. I hope they recover from their respective health issues. I presume you are treating your dogs as a preventative measure. My Covid-19 project quilted & bound. Intense 3 mos project… Lori Holt’s Vintage Christmas. Started Farm II last week. Talk about another quarantine since increase in hospitalizations in CA. Thankfully we have our quilting….

  7. Caryn Goulden

    The porch looks like a great place to sew with that relaxing view. Moe looks like good company. I hope your dogs get well quickly. Kick back and have a beer. 😊

  8. Jane dumler

    My dirty dozen projects are listed and I need to number. Not hard finding 12 projects to list.
    Your wqshing machine entry brought back a funny memory of visiting a neighbor near the ranch. I walked in the back door and had to jump the water coming from the washer— I told her the washing machine was overflowing but she said it is no problem. I turned around and looked in the ranch and she had 12 turkey babies in there roosting everywhere and not co:corned about the mess. So I guessa little wash water was ok. It’s all in your priorities—I would be going nuts.
    Thanks Mary for all,you do to keep this group going. You are an inspiration for us. Enjoy your wonderful porch.

  9. Vickie Devore

    Thank you for repeating. I guess I was just suppose to make a list of 12, draw one each month and get it done. But I’ve decide to make a big notebook with things I should remember!! So good to have you back

  10. Tina W in Oregon

    I envy your enclosed porch where you can sit and sew! It would be heaven!
    Working on getting my 12 projects together. Some will be leftovers from last year’s dirty dozen!
    I’m anxious to try Angie from Baltimore’s strawberry cleaning method. Its amazing the things you can learn!
    Sorry about the doggy dilemma. Hope things get back to normal (whatever that is!) soon.

  11. Jeanne H

    Dearest Mary, it’s so good to see your posts again. The view from your porch is delightful, and the perfect place to sew. Moe looks so sweet. The strawberries look delish. While I envy you having them, I do not envy the prep! LOL

    As for those of us who have memories like sieves about the Dirty Dozen, maybe you could put something in along the side bar, below where you have your mailing address? It’s a bugger getting old. The mental Rolodex gets overfull, so it doesn’t flip thru as fast as it used to do! LOL

  12. Dee

    I missed reading about you those 10 days. I really enjoy hearing about your adventures.

  13. Linda

    Then there’s also the new subscribers who maybe weren’t on here the previous times you explained.

  14. Debby Krzyston

    Hi, I’m one of those that didn’t remember or know the Rules for the Dirty Dozen. This time I took a picture of them with my phone. Plus I wrote it in my notebook.
    Enjoy your day.

  15. Peggy

    Will have to pick my projects when I get back home. Love your happy place. I enjoy your posts every day. Hope I can do better this year on the dirty dozen as I had too many things come up last year and did not get too many finished. Keep up the good work. Thanks

  16. Liz Schrader

    I plan on doing the dirty dozen again. Just wondering if you got my picture of one of my last DD. I emailed it to you a couple weeks ago.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Liz Schrader – since it was two weeks ago that the blog went down, I’m guessing I didn’t get your picture either – could you resend it to my email?

  17. Ann D

    I’m glad you are back. I don’t see ads to click on unfortunately. You have a lovely view out the porch. I need to rummage around to collect projects for the DD. I’m sure I have twelve hiding in the house.

  18. Deb Harrison

    Ahhhhhhh, your porch! The first four of the 12 months have to be my immediate to do list that I put off to do masks! Very first is for my sister with two shoulder replacements in 8 months. She deserves it. So sorry the pups are under the weather….no pun intended. Missed hearing from you, too!

  19. Arliene Zeigler

    I’m so excited to start the new 12 month challenge. I got so much done! The best (worst) quilt was #6. Every month I was SO glad it was not #6. Finally, it was picked for March. It was a Thimbleberries row by row sampler from 2001. It was cut out and I had started the first row. I got it finished by the end of March. What a great feeling!! Wish I could figure out how to send a picture of what I finish. Another goal for this year. I have been working on getting my quilts ready for 2 months. I am ready. Thanks for your inspiration.

  20. Jan in NW WI

    When it rains it pours (out of the washing machine). Sorry to hear that the dogs are sick, but the downtime can be spent quietly relaxing on that wonderful screen porch eating ice cream and strawberries. Enjoy!

  21. Joan S

    Your porch looks like a delightful place to enjoy the weather. So happy you were able to continue your blog; I would really miss reading it!
    Your strawberries look awesome. We put some strawberry plants in this year and I’m looking forward to future strawberry harvests. Have a great weekend!

  22. Mary Howland

    Your project’s look so organized as do Connie’s. I’ll look for mine. So glad you’re back.

  23. Beth T.

    So glad you’re back! I missed you, too. Let’s be thankful for good people like Kayla and Jo, modern medicine that can treat kennel cough, and for the internet that allows us all to be connected. How awful must quarantine have been back in “the old days”?
    I won’t be officially joining in the Dirty Dozen, but I have a long list of Projects in Progress that I finally got around to putting in writing, and just the act of doing that–and listing all the steps that still needed to be done–has really helped a lot. It was amazing that some of them needed only to be bound, or labeled, or for me to get over my worries about trying a new technique before I moved on to the next step. I’m making progress, and seeing the beautiful quilts you post keeps me motivated! (And adds quilts to my “Someday…” list.)

  24. Launa

    Just inside from a lovely sunny Summer day up here in Idaho with 76o @ 3pm! I sat in the shade watching a big variety of birds gathering bugs and worms to feed their nestlings.
    We take Pepper for a kennel cough shot annually and living totally off the grid she needs a flea and tick chewable as the elk, deer, etc. carry those pests.

    Looking forward to the next DD!

  25. Sandy

    Hi Mary, wish I could join you for strawberries and icecream on the porch.will just settle for coffee and fruit loaf as l read your blog.take care, best wishes from sandy

  26. LaNan Eldridge

    Looking forward to dirty dozen! It worked well for me last year for about seven months!!

  27. Jean

    Oh mary! How good it is to hear from you. The everyday chatter is so heartwarming. I absolutely love it!

  28. Marj in Western Wisconsin

    Mary, I am sorry if my request for “rules” for dirty dozen upset you. I am fairly new (just a month or two) to your blog and didn’t know what you had set up as the procedure. I had looked for a separate page that might give the details. Again, sorry to upset you. I will get busy on locating 12 projects that are ufos.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Marj in Western WI – I do forget that the blog picks up new readers now and then and I apologize for being testy with my answer. The blog and the computer have not been my friends lately and it showed!

  29. Nikki M in Tx

    Have a pint of strawberries in fridge plan to try the straw tip, had never heard before. Looking forward to DD round 2… while didn’t complete the 12 numbered last year did complete more than 12 projects, it made me accountable. Seeing your porch makes me want to kick back & have a big plate of nachos & a beer…what can I say it is what sounds good to me right now!! Wish you were here to share them with. Since I hate cooking anymore & cooking for 1 is almost impossible I decided to do something I did years ago when I was working full time, raising a child that was involved with multiple extra activities & working on my masters… foil pouch dinners… think hobo foil pack suppers… I would make several varieties and freeze, take out night before or morning and place in fridge, when got home pop in oven & dinner ready on time ( or close to it). Yesterday made up 3 varieties ( each recipe makes about 4 meals) & popped them in the freezer. Also made a pot of Chile & frozen in serving size portions… great for eating just as Chile or frito pie or over hot dog. Covid still on rise here, 16 days of records highs & once again DFW area hospitals cancelling all elective surgeries. Hospitals at 78% capacity, and Houston area worse. Stay safe.

  30. mary jane

    This is what summer produces here in the midwest, strawberries AND a wonderful porch to sit in to sew, read, watch the rain, husbands on their riding machines !! letting the dogs run free. Mary I just can’t imagine what we would do if you gave up the blog.. loved it before the pandemic but now it is a connection to life out there. I am working on my Dirty Dozen projects, I thought I didn’t have as many as 2020 but funny how they hide in a corner, in the closet or under a bed etc. So I think I may have enough after all…I want everyone to please be safe, as well as still, so please wear a mask…it could save a life, a family member, a friend or a complete stranger…Thank you …MJ

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Mary Jane – I agree! Wearing a mask is such a simple proactive way to help get rid of this virus! I read that if everyone wore masks religiously, this virus would be gone in a very short time. I want this blog to be a nice diversion from that life! And hopefully I can continue without any more technical problems!

  31. Pat Smith

    I can remember being a new subscriber and asking what Bernita you used after hearing you say your sewing machine was capable of even making dinner, you thought. I wanted one of those and mentioned I was new and would like to know which model. It’s possible that people asking the same questions might not have heard it the first time. I was a teacher and can certainly understand the frustration you must feel at having to repeat the same things. Beer is the answer! I’m afraid I look forward rather joyously to that time of day. I was so hoping you’d be able to foster Spyro/Sparrow. He was such a sad looking little dog and needs the love of a person like you. Could you be his foster after he finishes his quarantine?

  32. Charlotte Shira

    What a wonderful place to sew!! So glad you and the blog are back. I love your stories and pictures. My granddaughter, daughter-in-law and I went on a quilt shop hop Wednesday and Thursday. 10 shops – 7 were open to 5 people at a time with social distancing and a mask. The other 3 were virtual only. I was so glad to go to a quilt shop again. We are hoping next year’s hop will be back to “normal”.

  33. Betty Klosterman

    Mary, maybe you could put the instructions in a permanent site for the DD which could be referred to by old or new bloggers? But by the same token, finishing any project is a good thing even if it isn’t in the DD project. Personally my life hasn’t been conducive to getting things done, but working on what I want or have time is a good thing. Also being in the right mood to work on certain projects doesn’t hurt either. Guess I wouldn’t be upset if DD wasn’t done in the “official” order.
    In the meantime, enjoy your strawberries. Are the bad hair chickens still around?
    Betty in Rapid City

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Betty Klosterman – and there you have it! I don’t know how to put in a permanent file but maybe I can find someone to help me – ugh. Yes, the bad hair day chickens are all healthy and walking around the yard in search of bugs to eat. I’ll take some pictures of them today!

  34. Paula Philpot

    The ads on your site since being fixed are not showing and nothing to close. The space for the ad is marked off in yellow but no ad and no X. Maybe the ads were the problem? Just a thought. Paula in KY

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Paula Philpot – I see that the ads are not showing up – maybe Kayla can help?

  35. Carol in Memphis

    So envious of your porch you sew on! Love your watermelons on the table. Wrote down all my unfinished projects and anxious to start. Of courseI have waaay more than 12 projects!

  36. Donna. St. Paul

    Mary happy to have you back. I’m planning to do the DD again & maybe now that I’m almost moved I can take some breaks to sew. I have so much work ahead of me & I VOW TO PURGE 50+% of my crap. There is no reason to have do much “stuff/crap” for one person. My sewing projects & stash and books to read will keep me busy until I leave this earth. When I spend too much time looking for something it’s a sign my crap needs to go! Your posts help make my day 😊. Thank you for your condolences…. I miss my boys. I really feel my last cat aged quickly due to a lonely heart, missing Henry. I hope they’re playing happily now. =^^=

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Donna, St Paul – did you find a place? I haven’t talked to you in awhile except condolences on your boys. Maybe when you get moved you could adopt another cat – they’re so much good company! How about if I give you one of my boys????

  37. Jo in Wyoming

    That view from the fabulous porch is incredible. Love it. Tonight, with the dust, we had a spectacular sunset. I’m sure yours is grand too.
    Before you “fix” the strawberries, or any other berries, soak them in a bowl of water with a splash of vinegar for about 1 minute. Then rinse them well, pat dry and refrigerate. They will keep without getting moldy for quite a while. Maybe a week to 10 days.
    My dd’s have multiplied, like rabbits…how did this happen?

  38. the other Angie

    Mary!!!! Soooooo glad to hear from you!! It’s great to catch up a little. I hope Spyro gets thru his heart worm treatment ok – having those few quiet weeks can give him the chance to have a great life. I hope you will still have the opportunity to foster Spyro and Luke when they are better. And, to you and Angie from Baltimore, thanks so much for the strawberry cleaning info – what a great idea! Stay safe.

  39. Mary Lynn

    Daily difficulties are hard, very hard. I remember how I stressed about everything and anything. My 42 year old daughter died 1 year ago after a 20 month battle with breast cancer. Her daughter was 2, I’m trying to be there for her. Tonight I sat with my 90 year old mother in the hospital. I worked 25 years as a hospital RN, I quilted a lot. This all happened after I retired. I so miss quilting. I love quilting blogs, I read them to relax. Perhaps I should temporarily stop. What really matters? FYI, I have never commented on a quilting blog.Tomorrow I will probably regret my comment.

    1. Diane in Maryland

      Mary Lynn, do not regret commenting on this blog. There are wonderful people who read this blog and many prayers are being said for you to be comforted. With love,

    2. Kathy in western NY

      Mary Lynn,
      What heartbreak you have gone through and being there for your granddaughter is the right thing as well as on the opposite end is your mother so trust me, we all know what your emotions are. Mary has shown some very basic scraps usage on her blog in the past and I find myself writing them down and using them when I need that unwind time in my sewing sanctuary. It’s mindless but in the end I know I will have something look as nice as she has shown. We are all here for you as Quilters do care.

    3. CountryThreads Post author

      Mary Lynn – thank you for joining us in your comment! I am so sorry you lost your daughter and at such a young age! Your granddaughter is so lucky to have you! This group of blog readers is a very compassionate group and will support your desire to get back into quilting – are you looking for some mindless piecing ideas? Those are my favorites! I’m working on something now that’s too hard for me to enjoy – I’ll be posting it soon, I hope!

  40. Mary Ann

    Would love to join you on your comfy porch. Always good to hear from you. Not all days are jump up and down happy, you are keeping it real.

  41. Kim J LeMere

    So glad your blog is back with us all. I took a break from my computer, just needed to break away for a few weeks. Thank you Kayla for helping us all to stay connected and to Mary for keep on trying during these crazy times. Mary Lynn, we are here for you and I’m sorry for the loss of your daughter, its so difficult to out live ones children. Rejoice in your granddaughter and the time you get with her.
    I hope to participate in the DD with y’all

  42. Polly Perkins

    Isn’t that the way it goes! Since Covid hit, our washer became possessed, our refrigerate started spewing out water in the front and warped our wood floor, the quilt shop building (which we are trying to sell) had 2 major water leaks and we had to refinish its wood flooring. We were able to get a new washer and dryer eventually by picking up washer at Lowes and dryer at Menards. Bob googled how to fix the refrigerator. AND our plumbing upstairs started leaking and collapsed the ceiling in the room below it…. major plumbing job and still waiting to get it all repaired. ENOUGH already.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Polly Perkins – oh good Lord! I guess my problems are few compared to yours, Polly! What a mess to have a ceiling collapse and replace all damaged stuff! So sorry to hear but glad you wrote!! Be Still…..

  43. Moe Baly

    Hi Mary, SO SO SO happy you are back at your blog. All of us have troubles in our lives, and all of us need a good escape which you offer! I read your blog to Jay as we commute to work in the mornings. I’m going to pick out my Dirty Dozen today and hope I will do better than I did last time. :-). Sorry to hear about the foster dogs. Love Moe

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Moe Baly – keep your fingers crossed that all remains well!

  44. Sue in Oregon

    Thank you, Angie and Jo for the strawberry ideas. I am going to try them both. We have a nice little patch going and I just finished making strawberry/rhubarb jam. Wish I had known about the straw idea sooner but we will have them coming steadily into July.
    Sure wish I had a large porch to set up my machine. We have a small porch that we love, but it is just right for our chairs, us and a table to set out drinks on.
    I won’t have much trouble finding my DD’s. They are still bagged from last year.
    Have a lovely Sunday, Mary.

  45. Kathy

    The expression “It’s Always Something….” is so true, Isn t it? For me lately it’s a matter of, if I have to make one phone call to get something fixed I have to make eight because people don’t call me back. So frustrating. Just sharing your pain Miss Connie. Maybe we should stick it on a pillow. You think?

  46. SuzyQuilter

    I’m a new blog follower. I like the challenge of working on my Dirty Dozen. It gives me a push to work harder even during the summer. Escaping the heat to cool air conditioned sewing room is so appealing. Sewing during this Pandemic Lockdown has been wonderful . Love your chickens and gardens.

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