Holding my breath! 10-4-22

That short test photo worked so I’m going to dive in with a full post. It was another lovely day in North Iowa – warm , sunny, light breeze – perfect for working outside while the dogs played. Mollie visited so Keeper was occupied.

This also happened – a garter snake! In the 45 years I’ve lived here I’ve never seen one.

Hazel was fascinated!

I sent this picture to Connie right away – she hates snakes.

The pumpkin garden is completely cleared.

The leaves are starting to fall on the green grass.

Connie is at Missouri Star attending a retreat – here’s the room with 100 quilters!

I can’t wait to see what her classes are. Here’s what she’s working on until the classes start – the cover quilt from Fresh Start Quilts! She needs 80 blocks – she’s crazy!! This is the same quilt Susan and Cathy were holding up when they visited.

I hope I haven’t pushed my luck with all these pictures! Let’s try it!

129 thoughts on “Holding my breath! 10-4-22

  1. Frances E

    All if the pictures and your narrative came through just fine.
    Poor garter snake.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Frances – the garter snake crawled away into my rock garden – he’s still fine.

  2. Marj in Western Wisconsin

    Everything was great. Loved all the quilts. I wish my garter snakes would take care of all the moles. I have been in a dry spell, I think burnout from dealing with my husband’s stroke. He is making a great recovery, very lucky to have just a few issues. Already able to give up the walker for his cane indoors. Friday will be the 30 day mark since the stroke. Saturday we will celebrate our 56th wedding anniversary.

    1. Kathy in western NY

      Marj, I know what you are going through each day and it does drain you but makes you appreciate what truly is important. Like you, I am blessed my husbands stroke left him with minimal after affects that are manageable. Make time for yourself too. I sure find my sewing time peaceful and rewarding. I hope you will too.
      And Mary, no more snake pictures! But I am happy they all posted. I am with Connie and do not like them. My husband doesn’t even tell me when he kills one around here anymore.

    2. Mary Etherington Post author

      Marj – Happy Anniversary! So glad your husband is recovering!

    3. Jo in Wyoming

      Happy anniversary, I hope you get many more. I’m glad better health has been restored to all of you.

  3. Joy

    It is great! Love it! I went to a mission group meeting which we do every year in October for the Girls in need of personal care products. We had four lovely speakers today that shared the needs of the mission we do. Such a meaningful presentation, May it be blessed

  4. Susan K in Texas

    It worked great. The pumpkin patch sure got cleared off quickly.
    I’ve got two sampler quilt finishes to send to you. The blocks were made years back and now they’re finished. Yay!
    We’re headed up to Iowa again this weekend. It’s our second grandsons first birthday.

  5. Billie

    I’m with Connie – I am deathly afraid of snakes!! Everything came through on my end tonight. Loved the picture of the leaves turning, so pretty.

  6. Diane in Maryland

    Wonderful pictures except for the snake! I agree with Connie! Hazel and Keeper were very interested in it. Wow…that’s a big room for the class. The cover quilt is really pretty!

  7. Amy Kollasch

    It worked for me! I can see all the pictures. I really want to visit Missouri Star some day 🥰. We rented a house that had tons of garter snakes in the yard. I don’t think there was a day during nice weather that we didn’t see one. The whole side of town I lived on was (and still is) completely infested. We moved after a year. They should do something about them, but never have. I have not seen a single one on our acreage in the four years we have lived here.

  8. Arrowhead Gramma

    If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again!!! You are terrific Mary and you never give up. Love your pumpkins, wishing they were decorating my yard.

  9. Diane in Colorado

    Everything came through perfectly here!!
    I hope you know, Mary, how very much we all appreciate your tenacity with all of the issues this blog has sent your way. You have created more than a blog. You have created a community. And this community values connection to you at your farm in Iowa!!

  10. Robin Boggan

    Hooray! It work for you!! 👍 I enjoy you blog so much thanks so much for not giving up! Your new book is just great I just love it.

  11. Amy M

    Yeah a beautiful post with fantastic pictures! Rats, mice, snakes and bats….all in the same category..no thanks! I can’t imagine sewing in a room with 100 people talking, machine noise, etc. Will be anxious to hear how it goes. The new book cover quilt (and the others!) is just gorgeous. Connie must be enlarging to king size. Looking forward to seeing her finished quilt.

  12. Carol Reents

    I received the pictures. Our pumpkin garden got hit with frost last night so clearing is the next step. It was fun raising them.

  13. Ann in PA

    Yay! Everything looks great! So nice to see puppies and “friendly” snakes. I love the signs of fall on the farm -harvested fields, fallen leaves, Virginia Creeper in shades of yellow, orange, pink and green, pumpkins, quilts and that retreat room- oh my! Lovely quilt on the book cover.

  14. Kim

    Thanks for post and all of the pictures…except the snake ones! Autumn is my favorite season and love all of your pumpkins. That is a huge room and lots of people for a retreat! Love her colors, as well as the quilt and book!

  15. Elaine Kopischke-Trejo

    Oh Mary! I think you did it! I saw lots of pics!!!! So happy for you!!!!👏👏👏👏. Hope whatever you are ping lasts!!!

  16. Carolyn Boutilier

    It worked Mary. Good job. I have not seen a garter snake in years but we do have black snakes and they are pretty big, like 6 or 7 feet. I saw one climb up our fence post that had a bluebird house full of babies. I took a water hose to him. The babies were getting ready to fly and they left the nest the next day.
    Quilt pictures just fine. Can’t wait to see all Connie’s blocks. WE had the last of the affects of Ian today, cold rain and some wind. Carolyn b Shenandoah Valley Va

  17. Susie Kepley

    Connie and her gang came to Quilter’s Station in Lee’s Summit today! It was great seeing her. I told her I was afraid that puppy you posted about was going to come home to your house.

  18. Nancy

    Great pictures. I have garter snakes all the time here. Rattlers sometimes. I know Connie will have a great time at Missouri Star. I was there for a week retreat in April. Wonderfull staff. And of course Jenny. Can’t wait to see what she makes.

  19. Nancy from Iowa

    Sooooo glad to see photos. Thank you for your efforts, they do not go unappreciated. Technology is just AWFUl!!! Connie is right, you do need the photos to tell the entire story.

  20. Sue in PA

    I have been meaning to ask, did Keeper’s sibling get adopted? He seems to have fit in so nicely in your home.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Sue – Keeper’s brother got adopted first and that’s why I just couldn’t leave Keeper alone at the shelter. The brother was adopted by a couple of Iowa State students.

  21. Betty Klosterman

    Mary, everything came thru, and I like the snake, too. For 3 summers I had a garter snake living under my back step and it was fascinating to watch. And they had 4 babies! Frank didn’t like him, but the snake hid when people were around. For once I didn’t have a million ants under that step! Good eating?
    Tell us, who, where and how did you get the computer to work right? In the tax office, we always had an expert to keep things working right. They were my go to. They worked in client offices, too.
    The weather has been cooler and beautiful. Spearfish Canyon turned colors last week. The trees in town are turning, too. Especially neat to see from a higher place. The paper said 20,000 people watched the buffalo roundup at Custer State Park last Friday in the most beautiful weather. And they had the Volksmarch up Crazy Horse, too. And we even got some rain. Life is good.
    Kudos to those taking care of stroke patients. It does build charcter.
    Some outside work, getting ready for company and even working in some quilting, too. My piles are really making good ideas. Have to get 3 tops finished and then on to the new project. Trying to use up the stash.
    With all the nasty storms, take care everybody. I know I’m glad to live in Rapid Citiy. Betty in Rapid City

  22. Colleen in Oregon

    Worked great Mary! Snakes aren’t my favorite either, but spiders are the worst!

  23. Sandy in Eastern Washington

    Your post came through perfectly. The pictures are worth thousands of words. I am so glad all the
    technology is “behaving” so that you can continue to share your stories with us. One question. What do you do with all the pumpkin vines and leaves? Till them in, compost, goat food? That was a lot of green stuff. Good luck to Connie on her big quilt project. Can’t wait to see it finished. And I would love to hear about
    the retreat. Our fall weather is warmer than usual and we are way behind on rain. It was 79 degrees today. It does cool at night so the fall colors are coming. I still have over 20 tomatoes on my vines. Fingers crossed on them.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Sandy- funny you should ask about the vines because I thought about taking a picture of them in the big dirt/compost pile at the edge of the grove.

      1. Sandy in Eastern Washington

        I hope you will take a picture of your compost pile for a future blog post. I would love to see that. All part of your farm life. We put our grass and yard clippings in a tall “clean green” bin that gets picked up every week (not during the winter) to go for composting. We pay for that as part of our garbage system.

  24. Nancy in Pittsburgh

    All the pictures came through, but I’ve been getting them.
    Good luck!

  25. Diane, Squeak, and Buddy in Central Ohio

    The beautiful pictures came through just fine. Aren’t the Fall colors pretty? I drove up to Amish Country today and we are still pretty green so not much color. I’ll go back in two weeks and pick up my machine and the leaves will have changed. There were adorable Percheron foals and lots of other animals out it was such a nice day. I used up the $100.00 gift card I won at Lone Star Quilting. That was FUN:) Now I need to stay home long enough to make something.
    100 in a class seems like a lot to me. I loved seeing Hazel with the Garter Snake. I think most people are afraid of snakes, but they don’t bother me.
    Thanks for the great photos, Mary.

    1. Kathy in western NY

      What Diane!!! You won a gift card to Lone Star quilt shop!!!! That is one spectacular shop in Ohio. I bought so much thread and adorable kits they put together the time I shopped there. I can’t imagine how fun it was to have $100 free cash. My daughter and I were supposed to go there in 2020 to see Corey Yoders trunk show (Moda designer) but cancelled due to the pandemic. We hoped to go to Ohio in our motor home this fall to enjoy their gorgeous mums and pumpkin displays around their pristine white farmhouses but not sure if my husband is up to it yet. It’s his call.

  26. Corliss Paige

    Glad your pictures worked. Don’t want you to give up. Enjoy reading about Iowa. Wish I could have spent more time there.

  27. Bonnie McKee

    Loved all the pictures that came through without a hitch!
    The retreat classroom is huge! I can imagine how it sounds with all the ladies chatting and their machines humming! Good times for sure. ❤️
    Thanks for not giving up Mary!
    Bonnie in Oregon

  28. Linda/ Texas

    I’m so happy to see your successful post. I know you’re frustrated with your tech problems, but I appreciate your perseverance!

  29. Rosemary

    Oooooohhh the snake! I think I’d eliminate him ! Yuck! You don’t want to bring him
    In with your plants!
    Great to have you up and running again!

  30. Jo in Wyoming

    I’m so glad you got the issue fixed. Your known for grand pictures.
    Love the gords and pumpkins.
    I could not rest knowing a snake is that close to my house!!! My friend told me a story about finding a snake in her bathroom. She shut the door, called her husband home, and he couldn’t fine it. 😳 I’d be gone till somebody found it!!!

  31. Kathie

    Still getting all the blog with the pics.. YIPPEE SKIPPY. I’ve been living in the country for 38 years and within the last three years I’ve never seen so many garter snakes. Love the countryside but could live without the snakes.

  32. Nikki in Tx

    I Hate Snakes also…at ranch having to extra careful with debris that remains ) piled up waiting to be able to burn..have had more snakes it seems. Killed 2 copperhead & one 3 ft rattle snake last week while up there working. Have had nice crisp fall morning but still in 80s in afternoon. Can wait to start on quilt in new book.. my only problem is which one first.

  33. Jeanne Stenerson

    Great job with the computer, Mary. The pictures and the blog came through fine today. I am back in Iowa this week. Presented the Quilt of Valor on Sunday afternoon.? You posted it on your blog a week or so ago. That done, we spent a couple of days going quilt shopping. My daughter won’t leave Iowa without visiting the shop in Jesup- Merry’s Stitchins. Before moving to Colo. with my daughter, my husband and I lived in the same house for 60 years. Never had a snake any kind in all that time. After moving to Colo., I have become acquainted with many garter snakes, much to my dismay. We even caught one in a mouse trap a couple of weeks ago, in the garage. Ugh. I hate, hate, hate them. Thanks for not giving up on the blogs. We all love seeing the pictures and hearing your everyday activities.
    Any news on the book about Savannah?

  34. Jeanne in Colo

    Forgot to ask——How is the rat population doing, or are they all gone? And are the guineas still with you? Maybe the guineas will take care of the garter snake too. We can hope so.

  35. Patty Turner

    It worked!!! I’ve missed your pictures! I would have freaked out about that snake! I enjoyed seeing all your pumpkins!

  36. Dianne Swanson

    Great photos! It worked again! Glad you fixed it. It’s nice to have you back!

  37. Debbie Miller

    I’ve had pictures all along I think. Great pictures! Love the cover quilt but wondering, just how big of a quilt is Connie making? Snakes are the reason I made my husband give up chickens. After finding the 3rd 7 foot long black snake curled up in a nest box-I said enough! I told my husband when he retired and he could gather the eggs-he could have chickens again-but I was through!

  38. Dorothy

    Lovely pictures — EXCEPT for the snake 🙂 I “hate” them now either live or in pictures, which is strange to my thinking because as a child I had no problem picking them up in my bare hands and throwing them at the boys. 🙂 I love your blog

  39. Deb in Japan

    Ah, snakes. Actually, I like them – but then I like bats also. The snakes are coming out of the grass because the temps are getting cooler. They will likely be showing up on your driveway as the gravel heats up faster and lasts longer than the grass does. He was out warming up in the sun. Glad the dogs didn’t try to eat him.

    So glad it looks like you got the blog issues cleared up. I’ve missed the goings on. First night below 70 here and rainy and 75 most of the day. Leaves haven’t started turning yet, but I’m hopeful as the Japanese Maples are beautiful with all the colors.

  40. Laura DeMarco

    Got all the pictures. I’m with Connie, I hate snakes, too. I had a 5 foot black snake on my patio this year. Yuck!!

  41. Sandra Goddard

    Worked great seeing pictures again. Here in Western New York we are in grape harvest. They are very sweet but small yield. That’s mother nature. And Keeper and those ears just bring a smile to my face. Everyone have a great day.

  42. NancyTD

    Pictures came through good. Thanks.
    Connie- I like to make king quilts too. I have started to cut out one block of the cover quilt from scraps from a block of the month. Just have to see how many I get. Enjoy your retreat at Missouri Star. I would probably wander around too much looking at everyone’s project if I was in a class of 100. Have a great time😀
    Mary- It was nice of you to grow pumpkins for the youth groups fundraiser. So many neat varieties. Dogs liked looking at the snake. Not me! Cleaning up my garden. So dry that I had to dig up the plants. Neighbor started harvesting his beans yesterday. Take a day just for you!

  43. Susan Boyd in VA

    All the pictures made it to me. So happy you have it straightened out. I so look forward to your blog!

  44. Vicki

    I am sure Connie appreciated your thoughtfulness in sharing the picture of the snake (laugh). I don’t particularly mind them, if I am prepared for them. However, you should have heard me shriek once when I lifted a squash leaf in our garden and one slithered out from underneath. Not expecting that!

    Great to see the pictures and your chat. Love the stories of your four legged family members and the farm.

  45. Angie from Baltimore

    Shame on you for sending the snake picture I also hate snakes. I don’t care what kind I am terrified. She will forgive you but may not be visiting for a while because they are NOT loners
    Great news about the pictures. I always enjoy seeing them.

  46. Brenda C

    It worked perfectly. Thanks for the fall update and will follow closely to see Connie’s projects.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Lynette – I have no more books to sell. You’ll have to buy elsewhere

  47. Lisa in eastern Washington state

    Beautiful! Everything worked! Thank you for persevering on this blog.

  48. Cheryl Regan

    Thanks for sending the picture of your book. I got it ordered….yay! Welcome back!

  49. Diane Deibler

    Could see the pictures. Although I’m not a quilter,I enjoy your blog,Mary.

  50. Brenda

    Worked like a charm! I loved the line that said you sent the pic of the snake to Connie because she hates them…of course you did! So happy that you seem to have overcome your technical obstacles.

  51. Mary Roen

    I love the name “Keeper”! It’s absolutely perfect and he looks like he is thriving!

  52. Cynthia from SWMinnesota

    Yay! Whatever you did worked and photos are back! I received my signed book and am excited to get started on a project again! I am just about done with my outside garden work then I can sew!

  53. JoAnne from NW Wisconsin

    I had to laugh about the snake, I have one in my house somewhere, I brought in some plants from outside and I’m thinking it came in from one of those pots! Then we were gone for almost 2 weeks and when I came home was returning some phone mag’s an d saw what looked like a stick off in the corner and asked my hubby is that a snake or what, sure enough it was a snake and boy can they move went under our entertainment center and we haven’t seen it since! Good thing I’m not afraid of snakes and I’m sure it will turn up one of these days. Who knows I might find it curled up in one of my scrap baskets!!

    1. Diane in Maryland

      JoAnne, I would not go back in my house until my husband proved he had gotten that snake. Not kidding…

  54. Beth

    Came through beautifully, Mary. We are getting ready to go camping in our rv were it will be cold, but beautiful colors. Our garden is winding down but have not had a frost to really end it.

  55. Sharon in North Carolina (previously in Oswego, Illinois)

    Love the pictures! And “Go Connie”! for deciding to sew 80 blocks!

  56. Carolyn Beck

    Thank you for not giving up! Reading you posts are always a bright spot in my day! I’m so glad this worked and you are going to keep posting. Love seeing a little glimpse into a quilters life on the farm😁! ❤️❤️

  57. Diane in WI

    Everything came through just fine. You have a great crop of pumpkins and gourds. I, too, hate snakes. One of our cats was playing with a snake one time. Beautiful fall weather here in southern Wisconsin. Have a good day.

  58. Nina

    I have been receiving your pictures all along, got them again today. So Nice. Hope you can continue sending them, also continue with the blog. I enjoy it so very much, feel like I am hearing from a real friend.
    Thank you.

  59. Deb in Idaho

    I hate snakes, I would sell my home if I had one in the house. Hubby hates them too. The retreat looks like fun. Can’t wait To go back in the sewing room, we’ve been working on a new roof so no sewing. Lively weather here in Idaho

  60. Tanya T. in Houston

    Beautiful pictures! We should all arrange a retreat at Missouri Star and go meet each other! 🙂
    PS Connie, I don’t like snakes either!!

  61. Barb Kaup

    Good picture of the dogs and snake–they are really curious–we have quite a few garter snakes in Nebraska–as well as others (Rattle Snakes by the Niobrara River!). Love your cover quilt in your new book–great scrap quilt!!

  62. Sandy Dangelo

    Great pictures. I love Keeper with the snake and hope they did not hurt it. Love the gourds on the tree stump.

  63. Ruth K Bridges

    The blog came through on my end. I don’t like snakes either. I don’t know what it is about them ,but they just creep me out.

  64. Susie Emmons

    Thank you for the new post.
    Pics were great!

    Prayers of patience for those taking care of family member w/medical/physical needs. As a friend told me…it’s not a job for sissies! Amen.

    The only snakes that terrify me are copperheads.
    Almost picked one up with brush I was cleaning up. Scary!😳

    Good things,
    Susie E from TEXAS

  65. Caryn in Eastern Washington

    All the pictures came through in the email and on the blog post.
    Prayers for strength for those caring for loved ones—try to take at least a little time for yourself to “recharge your batteries”

  66. Beryl BC

    The pictures came through fine. We saw a garter snake in our yard in early summer. I think it was the first we’d seen in our yard in 41 years. We often see various kind on the bicycle trails; they like to sun themselves on the warm blacktop.

  67. Marian Stever

    Mary, keep them comin’. So enjoyable. Hazel and Keeper are doing what dogs do. So entertaining. I like the stump montage with gourds. The quilt is lovely. Connie has her hands full with that beautiful block.
    Enjoy are beautiful weather. The trees are turning and it is the best time of year until it turns…
    Greetings from Rochester!

  68. Candy

    Mary, I always get your pictures, but today I really wished I didn’t! I didn’t get further than the first picture, and I nearly dropped my iPad when I saw that legless creature. My husband has to dispose of the newspaper when they publish those type of pictures. I’m with the ladies who would sell their homes if they found one inside! Glad the blog seems to be up and running again though.

  69. Sue H

    Good job, Mary! They all came out beautifully. Love the gourds nestled among the stump. Connie’s block is very pretty. What great taste with her fabrics. I have a friend who also HATES snakes. For crying out loud, it’s just a sweet little garter snake trying to keep the bugs & rodent population down! haha

  70. Carlene R Buck

    Where is the meeting room in Hamilton? That looks like so much fun. I have missed retreats. Our Clarinda guild is having one for our group on Saturday, November 5. Your new book cover quilt is endearing.

  71. Jeanie S, Central Illinois

    The pictures came thru, but they always do here. I loved seeing curious Hazel and Keeper examining the garter snake—so cute. Your arrangement of pumpkins, etc on the tree stumps is great!
    We arrived home after three weeks out in our camper. Time to decorate for October. Thanks for the blog. 🥰

  72. Kathy in SW Minnesota

    I’m glad you warned about the snake pictures, because I skipped over them. I was mowing the lawn and i saw a snake. I chased after it and I mowed over it, many times. (It was gross!) Somebody on the MN Master Garden line was telling how many snakes she had. I told about my “mowing experience” and the Master Gardeners really got after me about that. I thought they would kick me out of the Master Gardeners. I just didn’t want the thing in the house. I saw one last week while I was mowing, but the Toro was not fast enough. Maybe next time.
    Glad to see the pictures, thank you for all of your effort.

  73. Kim from TN

    So glad that the blog seems to be working, my pictures came through just fine. I don’t mind snakes and for the most part they are helpful creatures. I can’t imagine a retreat with 100 people! hope she shares with us all how it went. I love the new book, so glad I was able to get a copy at my local quilting store. Your tree stump is perfectly decorated for fall, its coming quickly here in middle Tennessee. I pulled out my Zinnias and will get the flower bed ready for some winter Pansy. Garden mums are blooming profusely right now.

  74. CHRIS in WI

    All the pictures came through great! Love the one of the gourds on the stumps.
    Thanks for blogging so often.
    CHRIS in Wisconsin

  75. Jan Smith

    Hurrah for photos loading, but snakes should come with a warning! I’m with Connie!

  76. LisaS

    I was at that retreat! I’m in one of the pictures you posted! It was so much fun!! I sure wish I had met Connie

Comments are closed.