Have you ever? 4-20-22

Have you ever been so overwhelmed with everything happening at once you cry several times a day? Last week on Wednesday my painters came to paint the kitchen which meant on Monday and Tuesday I had to tear the kitchen apart to get ready for painting.


Thursday morning I called Orkin to tackle the rat problem in the barn and he just so happened to be in Garner and he’d come out in about 30 minutes. After inspecting the rat problem in the barn he said, “As long as I’m here, do you want me to look at the house?” I said sure. He went into the attic crawl space and said “I’ve got bad news for you.” Oh, please don’t tell me it’s bats! “Yup, there are fresh droppings up here.”

Then we checked the quilt shop. Up the ladder into the crawl space – it is riddled with mice. I have thrown poison up there many times but never had it inspected. Back to the house where my painters were working as the Orkin man went over the charges to sanitize, secure flashings, cover roof vents, replace insulation and plug any holes.

The cost for this? $24,000!!!!!!

I almost fainted! But the work is guaranteed and professional and I have contacted several local exterminators who never returned my call or email – so $24,000 it is. The two guys who came live 2-1/2 hours away but as they said “This isn’t their first rodeo!” So don’t tell me to get someone cheaper – they won’t be cheaper in the long run.

In the meantime my kitchen was still torn apart and Thursday night was church when I also delivered 21-1/2 dozen fresh eggs for Easter brunch. Friday we went to Mayo. Saturday I raked the yard. Sunday was Easter and I had to be at church at 9 am. Easter afternoon was spent working in the kitchen and dismantling about 1/3 of the quilt shop.

On Monday I had an eye appointment and Tuesday morning the Orkin workers came and replaced insulation in the attic and all the rest of work upstairs. They also installed an escape tube that the bats will go out thru to eat during the evening but they can’t get back in. Today they tore out all the insulation in the quilt shop and tomorrow they will put new insulation in.

It will take me several weeks to reorganize and clean up. It will be weeks before I can sew out there again.

So why are bats so protected????? Rats in the barn – bats in the attic – mice in the quilt shop!

Here’s my new and very clean kitchen! Two of the pictures have already fallen down and broken however – ugh.

More pictures to come but I am tired to the bone.

Reader quilts:

Mom died 10 years ago today – she returned as this cardinal today to say “all is well”.

Telly got rat #22 this morning!

Yesterday was Ina’s birthday – maybe 96? She was our machine quilter for years and I gave her a call yesterday and promised to pick her up next summer in the Roadster so we could go for a ride around the lake. She sounded good and very upbeat! It was so fun to talk to her.

Whew – I think that’s all and that was a lot! Choir practice tonight.

152 thoughts on “Have you ever? 4-20-22

  1. Nancy Poole

    The kitchen walls look wonderful. Exterminators are a necessary expense. So sorry Mary.

  2. Shirley

    Hang in there! Just think how happy you will be when this is all done and taken care of. Will keep you in my prayers.

  3. Paula Nordt

    Yes, I’m kind of in that spot right now. I feel like my 33 year old house is conspiring against me. Medical costs from hubby’s knee replacement surgery are coming in. We both need new glasses. We are still paying on foundation repair and plumbing costs, which is close to your exterminator costs, but more. I’m substituting to try to help cover expenses, but it seems the credit card is inching up. Also getting too old to deal with student meltdowns at school.

  4. MartyCae

    I am so sorry to hear about the pest control bill. I wish it could be otherwise.
    I have had experience with bats and they really make a mess.
    I love your kitchen paint job!
    Take care.

  5. Kathy L

    O the kitchen look great, I just painted mine a soft white.
    So sorry about all those pesky rats bats and mice don’t like any of them but thank God you will have you as removed good luck in all

  6. Diane in Colorado

    Oh, my goodness!!! $24,000????? That is incredible. I’m so sorry you’re going through all of this!!! I would be crying, too!!! Tearing out and replacing all the insulation—a big job, for sure.

    Your kitchen looks fabulous!! It’s a good bit brighter!
    I love your commode (dresser?) and swan—very pretty!!

    I’m off to Santa Fe for the weekend—a quick girls trip to get out of town. Looking forward to MeowWolf and some yummy New Mexican food!!
    And now you need and deserve a rest!!

  7. Mary

    The kitchen looks great. I’m glad you’re getting to the bottom of the problem

  8. Angie from Baltimore

    I can only say I am here to support you. I hate to pay money and can’t see the difference but necessary crap. Your kitchen looks lovely and it will give you pleasure for many years.
    You deserve to shed a tear or two out of frustration. You have been under a lot of stress and things will get better. We love you

  9. Janice R

    Mary, so sorry for all your problems. Love your white walls in the kitchen. We have a lot of paneling and it makes the rooms so dark. Seems like Telly didn’t want Hazel to get all the rat catching glory! Take care.

  10. Carol L

    Wow what a week. Your kitchen looks very bright, love it. Outside creatures that move into the house are just awful.. Exterminators are expensive!!!!! Have a nice day. cl

  11. Susan NY

    Hang in there Mary, things will get better! Your kitchen looks lovely. Take time to sew as it is good for the soul.

  12. Casey Devine

    Oh Mary….I feel your pain!! We had/have bats in our garage loft where I store all the boxes that haven’t all been opened yet from the move in 2019….dishes, old bottles, fabric totes, boxes of grapevine wreaths, small furniture and some of Bill’s lumber and tools. We called a bat removal guy in last year. I don’t know what system he used to get them out, but he supposedly plugged up the holes and entrance points. So much guano we swept up. But they’re back and so is the guano. sigh. Mice and chipmunks in the house. Mice did a number on the wiring on the riding mower and that was expensive to repair. The critters are winning.

    But your kitchen!! It looks fabulous. Did all the wood walls get painted white or just the wall behind the stove and fridge? Must make you so happy to walk in there and see the difference it made!! Did you have to convince Rick….men seem to like their wood tones!!

  13. Elaine Kopischke-Trejo

    Seriously- I would have died. Your get up and go is amazing! I cannot even imagine – and then to get hit with a bill like that!!! I’d have to take a second mortgage out!!!!!
    I am so sorry you have had to deal with this let alone appointments AND church stuff! You are unbelievable! But take care!!! You aren’t 20 anymore!❤️❤️❤️❤️

  14. Peggy

    Your kitchen looks lovely. Can relate to your shop as I had water in the basement (my sewing room) in the middle of October and needed everything moved out and the floor replaced. Moved my machine, tv, computer and sewing stuff upstairs figuring it would be about 5-6 months before I would get back. About 2 weeks ago they moved all the boxes back. Floor to ceiling and a path through. Have been unpacking ever since and trying to put things away and sort and purge as I go. Probably about 250-300 boxes to unpack plus what was already in bins. I do not know when I will get everything settled and move back downstairs. Hang in there. It will all work out in the long run. No rats, bats or mice that I know of, thank goodness. Have a good day.

  15. Sheila in WI

    Oh dear! What a week! I would be crying too.
    Your kitchen looks great… love the color!
    Hopefully this will be the end of the bat, rat and mice problem.
    Hang in there!

  16. Jan Hebert

    Wow, you have been a busy lady! The kitchen looks awesome. That sounds like a lot of money but in the long run I think you are right, you get what you pay for. It’s guaranteed, that’s the important thing. Taking out and replacing all of that insulation, wow. I didn’t realize that they did that. It can’t be healthy for you living with all of those critters in the attics and crawl spaces. I love the idea of the tube for the bats to escape but not be able to come back inside. We had bats one year, it was crazy! Kept hearing noises in the wall of our bedroom on the second floor. Peter went up to check and found lots of bats! He ended up waiting until dusk a few nights later and we watched them swoop from the vent they were using as an entrance. He went up and sealed that hole with expandable foam. Thank goodness we haven’t had them since. It was amazing how many came out of that vent! I love the way you display art and photos in your kitchen, going to have to try that! I hope you get some rest soon! Jan in MA

  17. Deb in Idaho

    So sorry for all the trouble . When it rains it pours but the sun does come out, so hang in there. Love the kitchen. Nice and bright.

  18. Janet

    I love your kitchen painted! It’s beautiful with your framed work hung up in there.
    Sorry about your bats, rats and mice. I’m afraid I would have done the same thing. All are destructive and a health hazard to you too. I think you will be happy to know it’s all cleaned up and put back together. And the work being guaranteed is a good thing too. Good luck. It’s hard to go through it all but so necessary. One day at a time, right?

  19. Susan in Ohio

    I am so very sorry to hear of all your problems, any one of them would be enough to set me on edge. I will be praying for you and brighter days ahead.

  20. Trudy

    Gracious! When do you sleep?🤣 I am told I am “high energy” for76, but could get tired just watching you!🤣

  21. NancyTD

    The kitchen looks great 😊. Sorry about all your rats, mice, and bats. At least the pros will get rid of them and guarantee their work. That is a big relief for you!!
    Glad Rick is healing.
    Sit down, put your feet up and admire your nice kitchen. A hug from me. A beer is a good idea too.

  22. Lynn In Scottsdale

    Sorry Mary! I usually don’t cry during the overwhelming times but I can get a bit mean.

    Happy you weren’t doing colonoscopy prep during all your commotion. 😆

    Your kitchen looks great.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Lynn in Scottsdale – not only crying – I have become a real b——h!

  23. Tanya T. in Houston

    No wonder we haven’t heard from you! You are more busy than anyone deserves! But, how gorgeous that white looks! Congratulations on it all. Maybe with all new insulation, the electric bills and heating bills will be much lower? One can only hope!

  24. Barbara C

    Please take care of yourself! Remember that the bats are voracious mosquito eaters! We need them to do that job for us!!!!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Barbara C – yes, they are but they can live in the barn and eat mosquitoes from there.

  25. Joy

    You need at least a mini vacation ! When it rains, it pours. I love the kitchen. This all will be worth when it is over 🥰

  26. Frances E

    Your kitchen looks just lovely! The white walls make such a big difference. I agree with you about the cost of the varmint control. They are doing some serious work. Others probably would not be so thorough. When you get to our age, you need help, and it will be totally worth it for you.

  27. Karen

    Oh, Mary! I’m so sorry! At least your appliances haven’t made a suicide pact and stopped working all at once. Your kitchen is so lovely and bright! I always love seeing your quilts and those of your readers. I especially like the woodland animals one – Effie’s Woods. I’m scheduled to make one for a friend’s granddaughter. Enjoy choir practice. It is something a dearly miss but we have a “worship team.” Meh…

  28. Terrri Mulinix

    there’s nothing wrong with a good cry, better to let it out than to keep it in. Sounds like you are over tired. Try and take a breath. Praying for calm for you. Your kitchen looks great. Take care. Terri

  29. Gail

    Sorry for all your troubles lately! So frustrating isn’t it? Your kitchen looks amazing. Very refreshed! Hang in there – this too shall pass! Prayers and hugs!

  30. Ellie

    So sorry about your troubles! Your kitchen looks fabulous! One step at a time and you get through it.

  31. Rita in Iowa

    I can’t imagine all the feelings you must be experiencing. Life can be overwhelming sometimes. Hang in there and go do something enjoyable. Like put up your feet and have a beer.
    The quilts show was lovely.

    Thanks for all you do!

  32. Anna M

    Yay Telly! Wow, Mary, I can’t believe the price for Orkin! That’s crazy! Your kitchen looks beautiful, so bright! We finally got a little rain today in SE SD. I can’t wait to get out in the garden. Good luck with everything!

  33. Bonnie McKee

    Wow Mary! I’m worn out just reading this post. No wonder you cried a few times! I know I would have!
    The new paint looks fresh and bright and you must be so relieved to know the rats, bats and mice will soon be out of there!
    Bonnie, in Oregon

  34. Fiona at Ice Bear Quilts

    Hi Mary,
    That’s quite the week! Hang in there. Your kitchen looks fabulous, and good decision with regard to the pest control guys – they sound like just what you need! Good luck, and it will all look better soon!

  35. Sharon Ray

    Your kitchen looks fantastic! I just spent $3500 to fix a plumbing issue then another $255 for another plumbing issue. I think I would have fainted if it was 24K!! At least you know it will be taken care of correctly. Get some rest.

  36. Betty Klosterman

    Wow! I think the kitchen is the worst place to dismantle to get major stuff done. The white walls are great. Love all the good light. You can always ad little things for color, etc.
    It has to be shocking to find out about the critters in the barn, quilt shop and house. They have all survived centuries! And to think you have never noticed them. Your house is old, so it doesn’t surprise me that there are wildlife problems. The cats probably took care of stuff inside?
    Just think how nice everything will be when you get stuff sorted out and put away. I think that you will really like it. The reason to do it isn’t nice, but the results will surprise you. Remember, it doesn’t have to all be done in a day!!!!!
    Some things are meant to build our character but you may be overdoing it right now. Take a deep breath and remember everything looks better after a good night’s sleep. Have fun.
    Betty in Rapid City

  37. Renee Arnett

    Wow Mary! Hang in there! I love the look of your newly painted kitchen. Enjoy! Happy Birthday to Ina…such a sweet lady.

  38. Cheryl from Arkansas

    I didn’t know Telly was a rat killer. Learned from the best! 16 years ago we were selling our house and lo and behold the inspector climbed into the attic and bats were attached to everything! Hundreds of bats! We had roof rats too. Ugh! And guess what? The bats were PROTECTED. So we had to hire someone to catch and remove them to a NEW HOME! Catch and release. We were dumbfounded at the cost. The removal, clean-up and new insulation plus bat barriers, etc. nightmare! So sorry it happened to you. The kitchen is gorgeous!! Mary, almost everyone I know is overwhelmed these days we just need to BE STILL. The bats weren’t a surprise to the Lord 🙂

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Cheryl – yes, bats are protected and they are welcome to live in my barn – but not in my house! Just gives me creeps thinking about them above our heads.

      1. Diane in Maryland

        Bats leave a nasty mess! They can live in caves or trees but not any place where I live or any of my animals.

  39. Jeanine from Iowa

    You have been on overload the last few days. I’m curious how they will get rid of the rats in the barn. I really like your newly painted kitchen. I had paneling in one of our bedrooms and painted it a few years ago….so much better. Take care of yourself.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Jeanine – they have bait traps in many places in the barn and will come every month to rebait. I can quit after 6 months if I choose.

  40. Kathy in western NY

    Your kitchen looks so refreshing painted. Makes it look like a different room. We painted paneling in our bedroom a pale gray and I am so in love with the updated look that I love snuggling in to read at night. It’s worth the work as I had to pack up our bedroom.
    There’s always something to deal with on a farm, owning a house, but the work is needed to enable you to continue to live there. We just signed for a new roof so I too am shocked over the cost but we care about up keep of our property. Our son had bats in his attic and needed an exterminator too. None since so worth the professionals doing it right.
    Another nice quilt show of precious work. It’s hard to be inside when weather is getting better and we look around our yards. Just keeps us active. You will get through this Mary’, one day at a time. I don’t hurry as much as I use to. And gosh Telly still has the agility to get those rats. Good doggie.

  41. Sue

    Orkin has a lot of our money too. They’ve done a good job. This is a too busy time here in TN. The doctors and dentist like to keep us going.

    I’m finding time for hand appliqué. I may screw up my courage and send a picture when it’s finished.

  42. Sherry Whalen

    Well. Fun. Overwhelming. I guess you know that your pest problem will be mitigated, and that will give you some peace. Your kitchen looks fabulous! I see you have a French door refrigerator/bottom freezer – do you like it? We are shopping for a new frig – ours is tripping the GFI intermittently, usually on a Friday night and when we get up on Saturday the frig isn’t on. We tried a different circuit and replaced the relay, reset the compressor,but it still randomly trips the GFI. We now think there is problem with the ice maker shorting out and tripping the GFI so we have been attentively watching that. We have a side by side right now, white(almost impossible to find now), plenty of stainless steel. And many of the new models seem so…flimsy, with no moveable shelves. I am thinking of getting a bottom freezer/French door frig. I guess I should be grateful – at least there ARE refrigerators right now, I think last year new ones in stock were pretty hard to come by. Oh my, first world problems!

    Just think how nice it will be in your ‘sewing shop’ when you get all put back together! My areas are such a mess right now – and I haven’t been disrupted – well except for setting up my new long arm in a completely different room! That shouldn’t have disrupted anything…but it did a little lol.

    1. Diane, Squeak, and Buddy in Central Ohio

      Sherry, We have a bottom freezer, French doors and I love it. Be sure to get a drawer in the freezer so it is not so deep to get down into. There are lots of neat new features since we bought ours 10+ years ago. It is a Samsung.

      1. Sherry Whalen

        Thank you for the input! We’ve really been waffling, I do really like the frig I have now and I’ve been told by sales people and repair personnel how ‘lucky’ we are that our current refrigerator has lasted 19 years. And they can’t get parts. Their current ‘end of life’ predictions for refrigerators is 5-10 years! It makes me wonder about the 57 yo refrigerator we hauled out of my in-laws basement 10 years ago. It was still plugged in and running.

        1. Mary Etherington Post author

          Sherry Whalen – love my frig – so much easier to find things in a freezer drawer instead of on the top. I would never consider stainless – I’m not that good a house cleaner!

        2. Diane, Squeak, and Buddy in Central Ohio

          I know what you’re saying about life of a refrigerator! We bought an International Harvester small refrig in 1972 which was 3 months older than I was (22). AEP came and got it in 2015 when it was still plugging away at 65 years! It was a great beer refrig, but not as energy efficient as the new ones. I have seen some advertised that are stainless steel, but have a coating or something so not so much cleaning. Mine is white covered in pictures, magnets, and quotes I like! Good luck!

  43. Janet Gluesenkamp

    Kitchen looks terrific, Mary! So worth that effort. Boosting you up to handle all the rest. Decades ago my daughter sprawled LIFE STINKS across a notebook page, I still have it. She doesn’t remember. We all have those periods, things do get better, you know. Strength and prayers to you.

  44. Diane in Maryland

    I love your kitchen painted white! It looks great!
    It’s a lot of work removing and replacing insulation plus all the other work Orkin is doing for you. I suspect one day you will think it was worth every penny! Always love the quilt shows. They are inspiring! There’s so much talent in the quilting world. Hang in there. You’ll have a relaxed and glorious spring and summer!

  45. Marsha from Kansas

    Oh, my, Mary. Sometimes a good cry is the emotional release that is needed. Then you pulled yourself up by the bootstraps and got done what needed to be done. Great job! Your kitchen is beautiful! It’s more fun to cook in a beautiful space! We’ve all got your back!

  46. Joyce from NY

    Oh my gosh Mary how awful, I know I would have cried several times, but you will be much safer & happier when it’s all done.
    Paint job in kitchen is very nice!

  47. Cathie Fisher Braman

    Mary – you are such an inspiration! Love your new kitchen – the bright white will
    be great. Was surprised that Telly caught the rat – I thought Hazel was the only
    one catching them. Love Telly!! Sure hope for you- after this expensive redo that you don’t
    have any more creatures around. Keep up the good attitude. Blessing to you and
    to Rick as he heals.

  48. Carolyn Boutilier

    Sorry for all your troubles. Everything does happen at once. I do know that as our heating system quit 3 days after Christmas, the dishwasher broke, the 3 year old washing machine would not rinse and spin the clothes. The door to outside would not open as the lock broke and no way to open the door to get out. that meant going around to the back of the house to get out.the sliding door screen would not move because the rollers broke during the winter. I had a dentist appointment and he said I needed 8400.00 of work.
    For some reason I had taken out a 5 year warrante on the washing machine and the new 3 parts were replaced for nothing. Nothing like spring weather to set the mind to more cheerful days. Glad you posted as I was getting worried. Carolyn b Shenandoah Valley Va

  49. Cathy D

    Mary you are one busy woman! Your kitchen looks great!! You will be so happy when this is all done and you can settle into summer. Relax a little, I worry about you!

  50. Linda from Georgia

    Mary, hate to say it but when it rains it pores! Just the filter for my HVAC went up 60%. My neighbor came to the rescue with a new ice cream sandwich. He is so nice to share and I feel better.
    Your kitchen looks great! As my husband used to say, my favorite color is “white”.
    I really like all of you pictures. You have the most interesting collection of things.
    I hope you get back to sewing soon. I have been working on a quilt using jelly rolls. Sometime it’s nice not to have to think about colors.
    Take care and try not to stress too much. I enjoy reading your blog.

  51. Quilting Sister

    Good grief!! I’m gonna say a prayer for you right now.
    And it’s not the end of the world if a couple framed pix on the wall fall off and break, you can reframe them … but don’t let any of those beautiful bowls fall off that upper shelf, how pretty!

  52. Lynda

    Your kitchen looks beautiful! So very special to have a cardinal on the anniversary of your mom’s death. She must have known you needed to smile and breathe.

  53. Holly in Two Harbors

    Holy smokes, Mary! I would have had heart failure at that quote! Yikes! I don’t blame you for ending up in tears. You have had way too much on your plate, and none of it has been dessert.

  54. Jan from TN

    Hi Mary! I haven’t commented in a while. I’m now 3 weeks post-op from my total shoulder replacement. I started passive PT Monday & I thought the therapist was gonna tear my arm off! Hurt so bad!😬 It was my right, dominant shoulder so no sewing, no cross stitch, etc. As I sit here with an ice pack on my shoulder reading about your troubles, I feel so awful for you & your multitude of house & rodent issues! I pray everything works out ok & you can see the light at the end of the tunnel. 🙏🏻🤞Also, your kitchen looks so bright & fresh! Hope you can enjoy it. Sending you hugs 🤗 & love 💕. Hang in there!

  55. mary h

    Oh Mary! What do exterminators exactly do about the rats? Maybe I don’t want to know. I love the white paint. Did they have to prime that or seal the wood before painting? It will lighten your room. I had my kitchen a deep sienna red for years and last year grew tired of it and went with “Cream in your Coffee”. Don’t you wonder who names paint colors?
    The weather has been pretty crummy, and I fear the second it gets nice, I will see a million things that need to be done.
    My mom died on 4/19 and I always really miss her at Eastertime. A dear friend of mine died in October and she shared the cardinal story at our church circle 2 weeks before her death. I think she knew she was going to die. Twice since Oct I have had a cardinal sit on a low branch of one of our crab apple trees, right by the driveway. This friend often pulled in my drive on her way to her farm and this spot is right where we visited. Twice this bird has not flown away when I have gotten really close. It’s my friend, visiting.
    Get some rest.
    Good luck with all the putting back together. You’ll be so organized.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Mary H – I forgot to answer the paint question – yes, it took primer and three coats of paint! Our moms died on the same date!

      1. Mary H

        Wow, glad you weren’t doing the painting.
        Well, we can have 4/19 in common as a say of remembrance.

        1. Mary Etherington Post author

          Mary H – yes, I’m going to mark your mom’s date in my book. I have a reader friend in MD that has not forgotten this date in 10 years and I always appreciate it.

  56. Diane, Squeak, and Buddy in Central Ohio

    Wow, Mary. What a last few days. You can cry all you want. I remember talking with Ina sometimes when I ordered from the store. Please say hi to her. I love, love your white kitchen. It looks great. RATS—ugh. They are costing you more than our first house. Poop on them😝. Hang in there and BeStill. I am sending a BIG hug🥰
    Warmer FINALLY here. Our great nieces in upstate NY had a snow day yesterday—11 inches of snow!

  57. Launa

    OH my…I got tired just reading and thinking about all of your recent tasks, cleaning n putting items back in places!
    Had snow early morning here, but it melted off trees n dripped off roof! Probably the same tomorrow n Friday. Winter is slow to leave this year!
    Enjoyed the readers’ quilts! Thanks for the many pictures, Mary!

  58. Linda

    Mary, you deserved a good cry but you survived. Your kitchen looks fabulous. I hope the vermin are on their way to another life. I’m not sure I could have survived all of that and your Easter responsibilities on top. I think you are fortunate to have found someone to complete all that work in a timely fashion. it isn’t easy these days. But the price was indeed shocking. Thanks for sharing.

  59. Joanne

    Enjoy your kitchen with either a coffee or beer! You truly deserve it! I was exhausted just reading your email😂 Joanne

  60. Vivian

    I love the pictures of your kitchen! I use the old stoneware bowls and crocks for decorating..one of my favorite things!

  61. Sandy

    Hi Mary, can’t believe all your misfortune!wish l could come over and help tidy up your sewing room for you(and give you and the dogs a hug!)Don’t do it all at once, pace yourself,take care, best wishes from Sandy

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Sandy – yes, I will try to pace myself but it’s hard to live in the mess.

  62. Carmen Montmarquet

    Your kitchen looks fabulous, your decorations and pictures on your wall pop now! And you can say you got your Spring cleaning just about all done! I haven’t even gotten started yet?? I’m sorry it cost so much for you to pay out but hopefully this will give you peace of mind in the end to not have to deal with those pesky varmints anymore!! Please take care of yourself and not rush to get everything back in place all at once, everyone will understand!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Carmen – spring cleaning, you’re right! I told Becky my kitchen has never been so clean – cupboards next!

  63. Jeanice Domino

    $24,000 – wow!!! I guess it will be worth it to have your barn, house and quilt shop varmint free! How long does the guarantee last?

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Jeanine – I will sign on for a periodic inspection so that it will never get out of hand – the bats cannot get back into the house now and if a hole develops the Orkin guys will find it. I trust them completely – it will be an ongoing thing.

  64. Moe in NE Illinois

    I’m so happy you talked to Ina. I was thinking of her today because I was folding quilts which she had quilted for me. Please say Happy Birthday to Ina for me. Your kitchen looks great. Happy you are taking proper care of creature invasion.

  65. Dorothy

    Oh Mary you sure have a lot going on. Just keep telling yourself this too shall pass. I hate rats and bats. Had a bat in the house one time and just about lost my marbles!your kitchen looks lovely…. Bright and clean and cozy.Very nice. Hopefully all those critters will be gone before you know it. Have a beer and put your feet up!

  66. Sheryl Harrison

    love and prayers!

    i need to find your book post because i wanted to tell you about a book i think you will enjoy. you might have already ready it.

    rest and take care of yourself.

  67. Beryl BC

    Your kitchen looks terrific.

    Sorry about the rodent situation and the exterminator costs. There are so many things to have sticker shock over, especially when we can remember the days of 10 cent ice cream cones. It’s best to get it done right.

    I enjoyed seeing the quilt with the Effie’s Woods line of fabric. The fabric designer lives in our area. She spoke at a recent quilt guild meeting about designing the fabric. Very interesting!

  68. Bobbie

    So sorry to hear that you have had to go thru all of this. Your kitchen looks beautiful and you have done an amazing job getting things back in place. You have so much more energy than many of us that are younger than you! Take care.

    Bobbie in Seattle

  69. MaureenHP

    Oh Mary, what a week. I think you deserved a good cry. Connie’s sale, Rick’s health issues and all the Mayo trips, choir practices, too many rats and now bats–that’s an awful lot to handle!
    Praying for you, that you will know God’s peace and rest in Him. In the next weeks, all will settle down. And your kitchen is beautiful!

  70. Suzanne Golden

    Boy you have been busy. You need to put your feet up and have a cold beer. Had to do that work on our house last fall quite an undertaking.

  71. Jane Dum.er

    So sorry to hear of all your woes. What a list. Be glad you are getting the rodent problem taken care of. Love the new kitchen. You will survive and be happy when you are through with all this mess. Thinking of you. J

  72. Kris in WI

    Rats and bats and mice, OH MY! Talk about the plagues of Egypt. How you got through all this on top of all this winter brought to you, I’ll never know. You are such a good soul to go ahead and do what has to be done. I’m so glad you found a reliable company to help you. This getting old is for the birds. We simply can’t do some of these jobs by ourselves any more. Just the thought of taking out old insulation makes me want to itch all over. On a happier note: What a great look in your ‘new’ kitchen! Now your prim pieces, pictures, and collections can really take center stage. Thanks again for the quilt show; nearly as inspiring as you are. Sandy is right…give yourself a big hug from all of your readers.

    PS: I love the cardinal stories I’ve heard through the years. Yours is extra special!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Kris in WI – I’ve never thought too much about that cardinal “sign” but after today I believe!

  73. Pat Smith

    So sorry you are going through all this. No wonder we haven’t heard from you in awhile. I thought the rats in the barn were the worst part, but there was more. I do really like the white painted paneling in the kitchen. It really lightens things up a lot. I’m sure these exterminator people will get things fixed up. I know, at a price, but it is guaranteed so maybe this will be the end of it. Thinking of you and hoping for the best outcome…

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Pat Smith – I’ve gotten used to the price – I just want all the rodents gone!

  74. Kay Crandall

    Mary! Please take care of yourself!! All of that sounds like too much to handle – you need peace in your life!

  75. Kathy

    Mary, Mary, Mary.. how do you do it? It is very unsettling to have so many areas in disarray. Especially when not planned. Sleep well! Rats be gone!!!

  76. Kate

    I almost cried to hear what Orkin is charging you. And why are there still rats if the Orkin men took care of them? I know I could not survive your schedule. Fixing Easter Dinner for eleven people just about wiped me out. Your kitchen looks so bright and inviting and makes me want to get mine painted a new color.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Kate – they just put the bait traps out yesterday so it will take a bit of time for all the rats to eat the bait and Orkin will come back every month to check those traps. All of this will not happen overnight.

  77. Patty Turner

    Mary- I’m so sorry to hear the cost of extermination. And I thought a problem with ants was bad! Your kitchen area looks so nice and fresh! Really makes your artwork pop. We’ve been in the process of packing, selling stuff and moving to Ohio. Seems like we’ve been prepping for a year! My sewing has been packed for 4 months now. The house sold and final move is May 17th. Can’t wait to get settled. Hang in there Mary!!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Patty – oh, the moving! Awful! I don’t know how Connie has managed it – Roy is a big help – as you know Rick can do nothing at the moment so everything feels mountainous to me – including the bats, rats and mice!

  78. Jeanine

    I am so sorry to hear about the rodent/ bat issues. Been there with the rats. We had a pack rats issue when we lived in the mountains. Luckily just in the barn and on the deck. Set traps every night. One night set the traps on the deck, walked in the house and upstairs to go to bed and heard the trap. That rat must have been on the deck when I went out there!! They got into the engine compartments of our truck and car. Luckily no bad damage other than the wiring on the plow which my husband was able to fix. They cleaned off all the stuff, like drill bits and screws, nails, etc on the work bench in the barn and “packed” it away behind and around the freezer and fridge we had in barn. Or baby mice dropping out under the dash in the truck (on the side I was sitting – not driving) as we were driving down the mountain in the snow. Oh the stories!!! So blessed they never got into the house. This has brought back so many memories of living in the Colorado mountains. I can laugh at some of them now. But, was frustrated, angry and cried then. I wish I had kept a diary to write a book. We were building our house then too which took 7 years. More stories! We still live in Colorado but 40 miles from those rats. Will pray for a good, successful out come for you. And strengthen for you to get through it all!

    Was telling my husband about your rats, mice and bats, he was wondering if your home owner’s insurance would cover some of it.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Jeanine – it’s funny you should mention insurance – our agent was here today when the Orkin guys were working and I asked if it might be covered. No – because it’s a rodent. No rodent damage is ever covered – news to me!

      1. E June LeBow

        Mice damaged the wiring in my vehicle several years ago during the winter. Car insurance covered the cost of repair to the tune of #900.

  79. Gayle Shumaker

    Oh my after that whirlwind you deserve to be bone tired. That is a lot of money to put out but if it’s guaranteed it is worth it. As I know you already know rats, bats and mice all can carry disease. Protecting your health is priceless. Take a deep breath, have an afternoon beer and relax everything will get put right without you wearing yourself out to nothing.

  80. Mary

    You are SO energetic and upbeat about everything! I’d love to have 25% of your energy! Your kitchen looks great and refreshing, I need to kick myself and get more done. I agree you’ll always hear of “someone else would do it cheaper”, you get to the point of “just do it”, get it taken care of. Getting it all done now and you’ll have all summer to enjoy doing whatever you want!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Mary – please don’t think I’m so energetic – I am exhausted tonight! One more day of the Orkin guys and then I can relax and pull everything together again. Now I’m waiting for the electrician to replace all my outlets to ivory – they’ve matched the wood walls all these years. If I ever get the island cleaned off I’ll take a short video of the kitchen.

  81. Jo in Wyoming

    I’m shocked! I had no idea Orkin did all that handy work. But more shocked at the price. Mice poop dust can be deadly, so I’m sure the others can be too.

    Your kitchen is truly beautiful. I think I saw the big swan in picture from Connie’s house a while back? If so, it has a great home now.
    When life hands you lemons…stick em in your bra and sit in your new kitchen.

  82. Dee

    Your kitchen is beautiful! Looks homey. One of our friends was going to Galena from Chicago. His GPS took him to Savannah IL instead. That’s where 2 of his bestest friends used to camp and fish. Both of them are gone, it was his equivalent of the cardinal. Take care, it will all get done.

  83. B Campbell

    Aw Mary, I feel your pain! God bless you.
    Your kitchen looks awesome!
    When it’s all over you will be sooooo happy!
    Someone once told me that God will never give you more than you can handle……He has great faith in you.
    As does your Fan Club.

  84. Shirley

    How frustrating! Never just one thing! Your new kitchen looks great. I sympathize with the rodent problem….. we have a mouse problem we can’t solve!

  85. Diane in WI

    I love the color in your kitchen. It is bright and cheery. I think I will use white or off white in my new apartment. Hopefully, we be able to move in by July. Lots of cleaning and getting rid of stuff I don’t need or have room for. I recently found evidence of mice in my dresser upstairs. They were chewing on the wood. How annoying!! We’ve had a couple of bats in the house. I don’t know how they got in. Last year my family had a small picnic at Bernard’s gravesite. We were going to have a celebration of life, but Covid was still too bad. Through most of the picnic there was a cardinal singing in a nearby tree. I guess Bernard approved of our celebration. I hope tomorrow is a better day. Take care.

  86. Jeanie S, Central Illinois

    Your kitchen is bright and beautiful! Tears can be therapeutic, and you deserve to let off steam. Take Care, 🥰

  87. Rhoda Ebersole

    Yes Mary how do you do it all?
    Hard to believe your Mom has been gone 10 years.

    Your repainted house looks beautiful.
    So long to all rats and mice.


  88. Karen Gaither

    Mary i love the Kitchen painted white. It looks nice and bright.
    So sorry to hear about $24,000 to get rid of mice and rats. So glad you haven’t seen any in the house. The bats is crazy. How did you know you had them?

  89. Charlotte E Shira

    Oh Mary, I’m so sorry you are going through all of this stuff! It’s great that Orkin will stand behind their work. We had a roof rat in our attic in 2019. I hated the idea that it was over my head in my house. My husband covered the spot where it got in and we had an exterminator set a trap. After it was gone, we had another company come in and remove the old insulation, sprayed to get rid of the rat scent that they leave and replaced the insulation and the screen over the vents. No more noises in my attic. Now if I could just keep the skunk from digging up the lawn in my backyard.
    Please take care of yourself and get some rest. Your kitchen looks beautiful!!

  90. Ruth Tacoma

    I am so sorry about all the stuff…and all at once! But that kitchen is looking amazing! The pictures really pop on that white. And soon you will be rid of the rodents for good, so there’s that. Once you get the sewing room back together you will have everything spring cleaned and you can just enjoy it. Take Care!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Susan – it is not covered because it’s rodents – rodent damage is never covered according to my agent who was here yesterday.

  91. Lynette in Orlando

    Oh my goodness!!!! I’ve decided that it’s always something with the house…… ugh. I got a bat in the house a while back….. if someone had videoed it I’m sure it would have made $ on the funny video show. Thank God I got it out the back door…. I was totally freaked out. I realize it is a lot of money, but once they are done your uninvited houseguests will be gone.

  92. Mrs. Goodneedle

    Oh, my! As my nine year old granddaughter says: “it’s always something!” Your kitchen looks so bright and nice, that’s a big change; I know that you love it. The Orkin estimate almost made ME faint from here! Wow!! That will be a good thing to have tackled professionally though. 🐀

    In August of 1999 I visited Country Threads and met Ina, who was quilting at the time. It was my first time ever seeing a long arm in operation. She was so gracious, showing me how it all worked! I never would have imagined, at that time, that nine short years later we’d be traveling back to Iowa, to Des Moines and Carroll, for operator and maintenance classes on my brand new APQS long arm! I have Ina to thank for this next , exciting, chapter of my quilting journey. Happy birthday to Ina!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Mrs. Goodneedle – I will try to remember to give her this message when I see her next summer – she will be so pleased!

  93. Jan from SW Iowa

    Oh, my!! I’m totally in awe of ALL you’ve accomplished in such a short time…and still sane!!! I salute you. (I do understand the therapy of the sewing machine!) Go, Girl!!

  94. Vickie Devore

    You definitely deserve a reward for all of that!! and now some restful rest!!

  95. Joan

    I admire your sense of humor when faced with SO much happening all at once in your life! It will all be worth it as you know but OH, when it is all happening!! Love the pictures you send of your cozy, lovely home. Go get those rats!!🤨

  96. Kim

    When it rains it pours! But your kitchen looks marvelous and the light color shows off your pictures nicely.

  97. Jeanne H in Finger Lakes of New York

    Sending you love and hugs, Mary. It’s awful how things can come to a head all at once. But now you have a fresh kitchen, and you can be relieved when all of the work has been done by Orkin.

    Not that one wants bats in any of one’s buildings, but they do eat mosquitos which is a good thing, right?

  98. Nancy Norris

    Mary you have my sympathy for all the animal problems. Good to have someone who can take care of the problems. You are an amazing woman. Wish I had half your energy.

  99. Sally J.

    Love your bright new kitchen color!! Hang in there and try getting some rest.
    I am still busy packing and sorting as our move back to Michigan is coming fast!! Movers are coming April 29th!!
    Sally in Florida

  100. Sue in Oregon

    Good Morning, Mary..I hope you are having a better day today. You must feel pulled in every direction with so much going on. Reading about the bats makes me wonder if we have any in the attic. Our attic has very little height for a person, but it is perfect for bats. Yuk! I have to make sure the back garage door is closed at night.
    Your kitchen is lovely. Wishing you good cooking and back to normal soon.


    Wow, I’m tired just reading this. Sorry about all your unwanted guest problems but it will be great when all are gone.
    Your kitchen looks wonderful, so bright and fresh. Don’t forget to take care of yourself.’


  102. Kathy Hanson

    Your kitchen is lovely, you will enjoy working in it! As for
    The critters and the cost of getting rid of them, it will be worth the money to have the work done and a relief for you! I hope you get a couple days to sit
    Down and relax a little knowing that things with the critters will be taken care of and you have new insallation in the sewing room and your kitchen is all clean and pretty! You are so Amazing, and so deserve a break!!

  103. Linda in So CA

    I hope your life is settling down. What a shock…all those critters moved into your house/barn/shop. Bats scare me. I hope they are long gone. Last night’s news/ABC highlighted a Jack Russell in Ukraine that is trained to find bombs. So far has found 90+ & saved many lives. He’s a Ukrainian hero. Love your kitchen. Hang in there …

  104. Ann in Virginia

    I have paneling in my kitchen. Did you have the paneling and they painted over it? It looks wonderful.
    Please let me know because I have contemplated painting mine white. Thanks so much

    1. Kathy in western NY

      Ann, we had paneling in our bedroom and painted over it. We got a Behr brand of paint from Home Depot in a pale gray color (sometimes looks blue to me ) instead of white which I originally wanted. I am very happy with the paneling painted and it covered well. It sure makes Mary’s kitchen look so much brighter and happier to me being painted. Good decision on her part.

      1. Mary Etherington Post author

        Kathy in NY – I purposely chose a shade of white so nothing had to match – white appliances, white sink, white countertop – all a bit different. I can’t do matching anything!

    2. Mary Etherington Post author

      Ann in Virginia – all of my walls are actually pine car siding not paneling – paneling is another whole ballgame, I think – the surface is slick not like pine. I’d look into this thoroughly – mine was just wood.

    3. Sue In Oregon

      Ann–I believe there is a product that is actually an undercoat paint that is made specifically to go on the paneling first. It allows the second coat…the chosen paint, to stick. I used to work in a paint store. That was a long time ago so not sure about now.

  105. Liz Schrader

    Mary did you get photos of two quilts I made recently? I haven’t seen them posted.

  106. Lori Porter

    Hello, Your kitchen looks fabulous!
    Lots of hard work to clear out & then redecorate.
    The critter problem/damage on you property can be devastating. We caught 32 mice in our garage with mouse traps. Glad you found professionals. I hope they guarantee their work at that price.
    I do enjoy hearing about your days & am going to try to write my own daily projects & outings.
    You inspire your readers! thank you for your blog.
    Lori Porter
    Bozeman, MT

  107. Rosemary W - Garner

    Your kitchen looks great! But, Yes, lots of work to get it ready to paint and then put back together. Good to hear you’re taking care of unwanted critters, Yuck! I truly believe the cardinal visitor was your Mama….makes me smile. She was such a sweetheart! Love the reminders to BE STILL…..even for a few minutes to regroup and go again!! Take care….

  108. Jane Boyer

    Your troubles make me tired just thinking about them. We bat troubles when we lived in Mpls. One was flying around on a New Year’s Day so we called it “The Year of the Bat” We were also close enough to some grain elevators that mice and rats were a problem — neighbors had rats in garage but we had mice in the couch. An owl would perch on the ledge above our back porch door at night. We’d know he was there when his tail feathers hung against the glass.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Jane Boyer – it actually makes me feel better when I hear that others have had bat, rat and mice experiences! If spring would only come soon I think I could get over this awful feeling of rodents everywhere – last night I saw 3 rats in the barn late at night when I took the dogs out. Ick!

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