Let’s catch up! 12 – 27 – 22

Weather is a different kind of miserable today – strong winds from the southwest making those “warmer” temps register way below zero wind chills. BUT we aren’t as miserable as Buffalo and nobody around here has died due to the weather. Rick got our yard cleaned so now we can get out.

Several readers sent this – so true!

I’m going to write this at the beginning of my blog post so maybe everyone will read it. I AM THE ONLY ONE WHO CAN POST PICTURES TO MY BLOG! If this weren’t the case and thousands of pictures were posted, this blog would crash! This is not Facebook.

Pictures from readers:

Calico Beans – so good!
Had to take Hazel to the haymow to pee and let all three dogs run around for some exercise during the storm.
Telly is exhausted – she’s getting too old for running around outside in the bitter cold.
Leaves broken off but still in plant – rooted!
Becky’s neighbor made these sweet little mice! Who could eat this little darling?

I’m going to try to get Bitcoin on the longarm today – I’m pretty proud of this pressing job! I’ve always said pressing is just as important as piecing accurately. Flipped over seams make for a lumpy quilt!

This has been a mishmash of pictures but now I think I’m caught up – if I have missed your pictures, please tell me.

I hate to go out today – I can already see a ground blizzard developing!

59 thoughts on “Let’s catch up! 12 – 27 – 22

  1. Sheryl Austin

    These cold days, my dogs have taken to peeing on the deck ☹️ But at least not in house!

  2. Erin

    Thank you for all the pictures! That scrappy red tree is so sweet. Is there a pattern for that?
    Stay warm and safe!

  3. Linda in Michigan

    Mary, your yard looks like ours here in West Mich. Husband plowed the driveway yesterday so we could get out, but I haven’t been anywhere for the last week.
    I laughed at the picture of the dogs looking out the window, but the dog dressed in his winter gear is really a hoot!!
    The red and white Christmas tree is very cute, and looks pretty easy to make, I might give it a try.

  4. Joyce from NY

    It’s still cold here, but in the 20’s today, a little better than it was, a few light flurries coming down, nothing serious! Your pictures are so precious, I also love the red & white tree quilt, would also love the pattern!

    1. Sue in PA

      I loved all the pictures of the dogs. I can’t wait to see the Bitcoin quilt finished. It is on my list of quilts to make. There is just not enough time to make all the quilts I love, but I certainly have enough fabric to last for the next one hundred years. I have started sorting through it and giving some away to groups that do charity sewing. I have made pretty good progress paring down other things in my house, so my sewing room and the garage are next. Our three grown children live nearby, so whatever they don’t want usually gets donated or thrown out. We have been very fortunate with the weather. It has been cold, in the twenties and thirties, but there is no snow on the ground and the storms have pretty much bypassed us in southeastern PA. We have been following the terrible conditions in the Buffalo area and feel so badly for the people there. I can’t imagine the hardships they are going through. I hope Carol will be able to see her family soon.

  5. Sandi

    I love all the pictures!! I especially enjoy the different dog ones! The quilts are beautiful, I really like the tree in those colors. Enjoy your day, I hope you get your Bitcoin quilt done. Hugs,

  6. Jackie in NY

    Wow some real stunners in the reader quilts!!!! Kind of boring in eastern upstate NY. I’m about to catch up with my sister and see how my nephew in Buffalo made out. I’ll let you know tomorrow.

  7. Jill Klop

    We are warming up (thawing out) here in Texas. I caught an upper respiratory virus…I’m on day 4! Ugh!

  8. Carol L

    Beautiful day here in NW NE. Men still blowing and dozing snow so cattle can get around. Loved the picture of the hero dog!!! If it involves quilts, coffee, and dogs, I’m in!! cl

  9. JeanneH in the Finger Lakes of New York

    Love the pic of the dog in his/her outdoor coat (and cowl?) and booties! 😀 Back when we had our dog, we had to put booties on his feet when the temp dropped into the teens. He’d drop and lie down if his feet got cold. I realize that sounds odd, but he was shaggy-coated so warm enough otherwise.

    Is Telly cold? She is curled up so tight in that dogbed. Or maybe she is using a smaller dog’s bed? I am reminded of those igloo dogbeds that must be warm and cozy.

    Yes, a good pressing makes quilting a top go so much better! You are rightly proud, Mary!

    It is slowly warming up in western New York. Starting Wednesday, daytime highs should be above freezing!

    Enjoy the sun if you have it!

  10. Paula McKinlay

    LOVE calico Beans…..I consider it food storage….I use sausage…..hands down the best and most used recipe….My children took cans to college….and still use it in their homes now….I have had this recipe since The Goat Gazette…..thanks you so much….still the best and so are you…

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Paula – I’ve never thought of using sausage – just pork or Italian seasoning?

  11. Charlotte S in northern California

    Great pictures today!! I love the red tree. I totally agree about the pressing on the quilts. I can’t wait to see the Bitcoin finished. I want to try that one too.
    I have a very bad cold so I plan on staying in this week. Need to run to the post office to mail my daughter’s bracelets to her. She took them off when she washed dishes on Christmas. I’d wait till I see her next time but they are memory bracelets of her son/my grandson and I know she misses them.
    We are having a very nice, much needed rain today.

  12. Debby Krzyston

    🎄Merry Christmas! Great photos, thanks for sharing.
    I’m also loving the red and White Christmas tree little quilt. Is it yours or a reader’s?
    I’m looking forward to later this week, a warmup is coming to Wisconsin.
    Stay safe and warm everyone. Debby🐝

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Debby – no, it’s not mine but I love it! I could draft it myself but there must be a pattern. I love that it’s all red and white versus red and green.

      1. Debby Krzyston

        I agree, it’s the red and white fabrics that are so “in” right now. I like the background fabric too.
        Please be very careful walking out to your barn. It could get slippery with the warmer weather coming. 🎊Happy New Year!

  13. Anne in Southern IA

    The mouse candy….I could never make it look that good. I’m afraid mine would look like it had been a trap!!! Nice pictures. It looks warm here in Southern Iowa, but the wind cuts right thru you. Hoping better weather later this week.

  14. Tina W in Oregon

    We awoke to 55° this morning in NE Oregon and all the snow is gone! I can only imagine that the river running through town is pretty high. Loved all the pictures today and would also like to know about the red/white tree pattern. We’re going for the updated covid booster this morning. Hope there’s no reaction! Praying for everyone still experiencing bad weather and the aftermath of the storms. We have high winds today thru Wednesday.

  15. Lynette in Orlando

    Love seeing everyones creations!!!! Inspiring. I hope everyone stays safe and warm 🙂 I made a big pot of gumbo…… yum……. those beans sure looked good as well. The mouse is definitely too cute to eat! Can’t wait to see bitcoin all quilted — I’m curious to see what design you choose.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Lynette – you don’t have to be curious – you know I only do straight line quilting!

  16. Carol at Pin Oak Quilting

    Hi from Western New York, Buffalo to be more precise, and Orchard Park to be exact. Home of the Buffalo Bills, “Go Bills!” and the location of the last horrendous 80 inches of snow, the November storm.
    I’ve been quiet this time because I had nothing nice to say about the weather or Christmas, really. My sons live in Ohio and Pennsylvania and those with distance between family members know that on a good day it’s no fun. To have the major family celebration of the year, the season of love and light, cancelled, to be covered with 40 more inches of snow, zero visibility, minus 40 degree wind chill and hurricane force winds, seems cruel. Yes, the reason for the season is still there, but sometimes hearing that is just blah blah blah when you are sad.
    But we are on the other side of the storm now, and everyone I know has survived it. Many have not. There are tragic stories, there are amazing stories of generosity bestowed upon strangers, and everyone was in the same boat… or should I say on the same iceberg? So it’s time for cleanup. The drifts off our roof almost touch the ground, it’s time to wade through the drifted snow and knock those down.
    We have been under a travel ban since Friday, this is day 5 and there’s been a switch to travel advisory. We’re being ask not to drive unless it’s a dire need, such as need for medicine or something essential for a child- formula, diapers, milk. We obey these requests because we’re planners, we want for nothing and know there are others with greater need.
    All in all, this Blizzard of 2022 will be remembered as the Grinch Blizzard, it stole Christmas for many, stole profit from thousands of businesses that lost their two biggest retail days of the year, and worse than anything, stole lives from, at this count, 29 families. A very sad holiday season for many, indeed. My personal distress has been selfish, I know, but I sure do miss having my family close, but feel blessed that all are safe and well.

    On the plus side, and there always is one, the many acts of kindness flood Facebook pages. One example: a bus with a dozen people from Korea, traveling through Buffalo to Toronto, got stuck in a neighborhood in the city. A family came out, asked all the passengers and the driver in, and gave food and shelter. The tag line on the story said “If you like Korean food, this is the place to be.” The dozen passengers cooked a huge feast for the family that “rescued” them. How much fun did those folks have!!!

    Any other story, happy/sad, a 60+ year old disabled gentleman left his house in the early hours of the storm, found his way to a movie theater and slept there overnight. He left in the morning in the height of the storm, became quickly disoriented and confused and ended up collapsed in a snowdrift. A couple heard a noise outside, the gentleman investigated and found the man frozen in the drift, calling weakly for help. He brought him in, they carefully removed his boots, cut away his clothes that were not stuck to his skin and did everything they could to warm him. They plastered Facebook with pleas for medical help, and for family information. People reposted and reposted until his family was found and emergency help could get to him. That was as close to impossible as you can imagine, with feet of snow blocking everything, abandoned cars making travel impossible, there are no words for how incredibly bad and frightening this storm was in the epicenter. The gentleman who was found is in the hospital in the burn unit, his hands are in rough shape, but miraculously this couple heard his cries in the howling wind and rescued him, saved his life.

    Buffalo in its hey-day was called “The City of Light.” It’s is now called, since I was a child, “The City of Good Neighbors.”

    So you asked for an update, mine’s late in coming but I just was not in the mood to talk about snow… again! I sure hope the rest of the season does not have any more surprises in store for Western New York.

    PS: I am sick of cooking! Need some take-out pretty soon.

    Forgive typos, use context to get my gist, this was a long one!

    1. Kathy in western NY

      Oh Carol, I feel so very bad for you dealing with this and more again. And not to have your kids there is even worse as I am blessed to feel a sense of being safe with mine close by. Will they be able to come this coming weekend? I can’t imagine if this warm up causes flooding around there next. We went to a Thai restaurant at lunch today and boy did it feel good to go in and sit down and have a pot of tea while we read the menu. I think we were the only couple in there. It was moms and sons and tables of all men chatting. Tomorrow I hope you will get out as I have been in since last Tuesday when I went grocery shopping early before the storm. Thanks for the update.

    2. Mary Etherington Post author

      Carol – THANK YOU! We’ve all been worried about you and even though it was sad for you we’re all glad you’re ok. The stories you told were amazing and I’m sure there are many more. I don’t blame you for being bitter about your Christmas – hope you get some takeout food soon!

      1. Carol at Pin Oak Quilting

        Hi Mary,

        I’m sorry to not communicate before today, that was rude I think, but I was in much lower spirits, being selfish and all about a not so merry holiday season. I knew I sounded that way, so I just shut down until I felt like, if we needed any rescue or support, it would be attainable. I actually avoided social media altogether because we have friends in Georgia, Texas, Arizona and Florida all posting their big holiday whoop-dee-dos, and I was pretty annoyed by all of it. Like I said, grumpy! Why this storm affected me so badly compared to the 80 inches of snow in November, I really don’t know, but it sure was an entirely different experience.

        Buffalo has taken it twice now and we are due for some more normal weather! Realizing what the weather means to people’s safety and livelihoods, it hits you right between the eyes how cruel nature’s forces can be. I’m sure it’s true of people in midst of hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, forest fires, volcanoes… the lack of services becomes life threatening very quickly. I think I know that deeply now.

        Well, moving on, it’s going to be a new year soon, with better weather and opportunities for families and friends to reunite, and the Grinch Christmas will be behind us, the stuff that memories, however unpleasant, are made of. We’ll be looking at pictures and the kids will be laughing at how “mom always freaks out”. The confidence of youth!

        I did get some work done on a UFO, it has a tiny bit of black, it’s scrappy, the larger blocks are pink. A reproduction wall hanging, I’m enjoying it very much.

        1. Mary Etherington Post author

          Carol – I know exactly how you feel when everybody is posting pictures of all their kids and grandkids – and I’m here all alone. Grumpy is hardly the word for it. Christmas is not necessarily a fun time for me – I’m glad it’s over.

          1. Carol at Pin Oak Quilting

            Exactly. I felt like I was having an advanced peek into my future, when my kids might be even more distant or I’d be too elderly to welcome them home. My husband stressed out so badly he had a couple of anxiety attacks this week, which mimic heart attack symptoms. That’s when I realized how truly isolated we were.
            The holidays are so hard for people with limited family. I’m glad your fur family was with you and got a lot of Christmas love from you.

    3. Melody in Wisconsin

      Thanks for letting us know you are okay. That storm was a doozy with all the wind. We had snow and gusts of up to 50 mph. I live in town and it was bad but I can’t imagine being out in the country. Our Christmas was cancelled and moved to this Saturday. Better to have everyone safe in their homes and not on the roads traveling even though it made for a depressing day. It’s amazing how the weather can have such an effect on our health and mental well being, but this too shall pass. I hope the rest of this winter “tames down” for everyone.
      Thank you to all the readers for their stories, photos, etc. and Mary that keeps us all connected.
      Happy New Year!

      1. Carol at Pin Oak Quilting

        Mary’s posts have a way of bringing light and happiness into our days; I read every day, sometimes I don’t respond but not because I’m not loving each one, from all her beautiful animals to everyone’s lovely quilts.
        Happy 2023!

        1. Diane, Squek, and Buddy in Central Ohio

          Carol, I am holding you in my heart. Weather can be so brutal and unforgiving. We spent our 53rd anniversary today in Urgent Care. I had the flu or something and could barely move. We were there 5 hours, but I am a little better now. What a day, but we had warmer weather and could get out. I sent the pic of my friend’s dog, Gracie in her boots. She is a sweetheart. The quilt show is wonderful. Thanks so much, Mary, for keeping us in touch.

          1. Carol at Pin Oak Quilting

            Thank you, and I’ll pray your anniversary and health improve. 53 years and you get a trip to Urgent Care instead of an exotic island! Bummer!
            Feel well soon. All occasions, even Christmas and anniversaries, can be celebrated at any time.

        2. Diane, Squeak, and Buddy.

          Thanks for your well wishes. I am feeling better.😃
          You are so right. After 53 years of a late December anniversary, we celebrate when it fits the schedule!

  17. Kathy in western NY

    All the photos you posted are sooooo neat! I do love seeing photos people send to you to post on your blog. You sure have some nasty drifts but glad you are able to dig out okay. We have some patches of bare grass and then a tiny drift in front of a doorway so wind sure can create a nuisance. Sun is in and out today and NYE we will be 53 degrees.
    We went early this morning to Barnes and Nobles as they had 50% off hard bound books so I stocked up on 5 new books, cheaper than buying a new paperback and it’s hit and miss at the goodwill store lately for any books.

    If you want to read an interesting piece on men sewing quilts in a Missouri prison for foster care children, look up on the internet for Meg Cox, quilt journalist tells all. It’s her December newsletter.
    Very fascinating story and Jo would enjoy also reading as it began with the chaplains wife teaching them sewing and then grew to inmates who were to leave, passed their skills onto new inmates coming in.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Kathy – I’d love to read about that – hope Jo sees your comment. She could write her own book, I think.

    2. Jo in Wyoming

      I just opened my iPad, I will read the article about men sewing in jail.
      We are getting new machines, that’s exciting news….plus, there’s more.
      We’re getting new, heavier extension cords. The smallest things make me happy for them.

      Don’t ya just love good news?!

      1. Kathy in NY

        Me again. I have to say I just came in from outside with tears in my eyes. I waved goodbye and a thumbs up at a convoy of 6 dump trucks, one pay loader on a flatbed truck from our town on their way to Buffalo to help out. People helping people and Buffalo would be here if it were us. God bless decent men and women.

  18. Jan Smith

    You have so much drifting! Our snow was nothing compared to Buffalo. Oh, I hope they don’t get more. Any info available on the doggy boots? My dog never seems cold, just his paws.

    1. Diane, Squeak, and Buddy

      Hi Jan, I just sent the info to Mary, but happy to share here, too.
      They have for standard breeds, but also will make if your dog is bigger. Gracie is a long haired Weimaraner, but larger than regular so my friend had to measure her.
      The company is Voyagers K-9 apparel. Good luck. We have an indoor Maine Coon cat who only goes on the screened in porch.
      Good luck.

      1. Jan Smith

        Thank you so much! My dog is small, about thirteen pounds. I’m going to check the site now. Very appreciative!

        1. Diane, Squeak, Buddy in Central Ohio

          You’re welcome😀. I spent the morning with Gracie and her biuddy Thurman who is a Heinz 57 variety. He is also big, but she is bigger and likes to get on laps. I have an 8 lb cat and an 18.5 lb cat so Gracie is large to me. But, she is beautiful and very loving😀

  19. Pat Williams

    And how many days til spring? Bet we are all counting! We have several bird feeders out as well as some niger seed sox so have lots of birds, squirrels etc. Yesterday a hawk visited our backyard at some point and must have gotten one of our birds, we think a dove. The bird was nearly gone when I happened to look out, sad but I guess a part of nature. This morning when I looked out there sat 7 doves, 1 lone dove and the other 6 kind of in a row behind him/her, like in the church pew supporting their friend. They all sat in that position for at least 15 minutes. We thought it must be the “funeral” for their missing friend. Who knows but it sure looked like it to us. And then a few minutes later, they were all at the feeder eating away, the funeral lunch/brunch. We had never seen anything like that but something must have been going on and like all of us, it appeared they were mourning with their friend and offering support. A very special thing to watch. We do hope the hawk stays away, we do see him every now and then and usually all the birds and squirrels have gone. Think they must send out some kind of warning signal when he is around. Just a very interesting act of nature. Pat in Iowa City

    1. Sue in Oregon

      Wow…I would love to have seen that. How very interesting. We have a hawk around here that sits on a garden post near the chicken house. He really had big ideas because they are bigger than he is and they are fenced in. HaHa


    Know how it is when dogs can’t get out. We had snow but thankfully not as much as some. Sun is out and melting everything.

  21. Sue in Oregon

    Jan, Me, too. I hope they don’t get more as well. Enough is enough, already!
    We were without power overnight starting at 8:05 PM last night, just as we were starting another Netflix saga. Called the power company and they said it would be 6:30AM before we would get it back, so we went to bed early. At 6, all the lights came on at once. Yipee!! I was dreading daytime without power because we take it so for granted. We are all used to going about our day using power for everything we do. But, to be cold without power day after day….well, that’s the worst! I feel so bad for them.

    The reason we lost power was the wind storm we were having. It took down 2 trees on our road. We had hard rain all night. Our fields are beginning to flood now as they always do during storms. When the tide is high they fill up really fast and when the tide is low, it sucks back out again. Hopefully! Sometimes it doesn’t work that way and then the water sticks around a few weeks. The cows learn to wade to the high spots or they can stay on the side hill. Our house is above all of this, so we can look down on them and the fields. Another interesting fact is, some portions of our fields are below sea level.
    Someone mentioned a while back how different all the places where we live can be. I sure agree with that. Now, they are saying we might get some snow. Very unusual for these parts.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Sue in OR -I don’t think there’s much of anything worse than the power going off in the winter! Glad yours came back on so fast!

  22. Jo in Wyoming

    Oh! My. What a post today.
    Those drifts are incredible. We haven’t had that for a while. We got the wind, but not the snow.
    The hero dog made me chuckle
    Love the quilt pictures, and pets.

    Kathy, I tried to find Meg Cox newsletter, but only found Burning Man…that was a hoot.

    To our friends in Buffalo, do the best you can, stay safe. Shop local when you get out. Reschedule Christmas.

    1. Kathy

      Hi Jo,
      I found an article about the prison from St Louis public radio. Try going to
      Stlpublicradio.org/culture. It was dated July 9, 2021 if you need to search. The woman, Jenifer McShane, is writing a documentary on these men making quilts but has had to stop due to low funding and seeking grants to continue writing it. I looked up her bio and she also did two other films, one called Mothers of Bedford, which was about women in prison. I am so glad you work to help women feel productive.

  23. Connie R.

    I too, love the red Christmas tree. I typed in “Christmas tree quilt “ in Pinterest search and the same picture came up as Craftsy. I could not locate the pattern on that site. However, I saw a pillow size version listed as JITKA Design on etsy listed as Christmas Tree Foundation Paper Piecing Pattern. Hope this helps somewhat.

  24. Beverly in O-H-IO

    Mary, in the picture of the snow drift behind the barn, it looks like a dog sitting by the fence. Is it a dog or an optical illusion. I can’t decide!

  25. Marie C

    Beautiful pictures. I so enjoy viewing the pictures and reading the comments. I’m trying to comment more. We are getting warmer here in east central Iowa. It felt like a heat wave when it was only 11 degrees a couple of days ago.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Marie C – it’s more fun when more readers chat among themselves! Thanks!

  26. Kris in WI

    Note to Carol near Buffalo:
    I’m so sorry the you and so many others are having to deal with this weather system. Don’t feel bad about feeling low on Christmas. I’ve been singing “Blue Christmas” all week and didn’t have the ambition to even put up our Christmas tree this year. Our son is on the East coast and the bad weather kept our daughter in Minneapolis. Plus, with our health issues, we have had to be cautious about Covid and distancing for nearly 3 years. I get it!

    How many days till Spring? 82 days, 16 hours, and as of this writing, 52 minutes, 5 seconds! Take another look at Mary’s plant sprouting babies with air roots and check out Jo Kramer’s blog about her African violets at Jo’s Country Junction to restore your faith that Spring really will come!

    Mary, thanks for the pictures of the dogs. The Mister enjoyed those and had a good laugh at the trio by the windows and the perfect Doggie Winter Wear model! Me? I can identify with Telly! Tale care, everyone and Happy 2023.

  27. Cheryl Saunderson

    LOVE that mouse! They look fun to make! And yes, that is a lot of pressing! I love pressing my blocks. Love that crisp finish. I know many finger press as they go but I just don’t feel I get precise seams without it, especially with tiny pieces, which I love to work with.
    Things are looking up in Niagara Falls. Roads are plowed. driving ban lifted, and it’s warming up so flooding will start. We didn’t get hit as bad as Buffalo, those poor people. But like Carol said, they are the city of good neighbors. I saw that article about the stranded bus and it made me smile. Others weren’t so lucky. The death toll keeps rising. So sad. Niagara Falls has no gas though! I would imagine the gas trucks couldn’t get through. We are retired luckily and do not have to be anywhere. Carol, I came down with Covid on Christmas Eve so couldn’t see my kids or grands either. My daughter’s BD is Christmas Eve so that is postponed also. Not sure when we can get together as we are waiting if hubby gets it. Mild case, thank goodness, due to the vaccine and boosters I would imagine. This will go down as the Christmas that got away but at least we kept our power, had food and were warm. Friends have been without power since Saturday. Their home was 48!
    Love the dog pictures! We had a cocker spaniel who absolutely loved the snow. He would dive into the snowbanks after a snowball. We would have to put him in the laundry tub every time afterward to melt the packed snow with warm water on his leg fur and ears, and everywhere his sweater didn’t cover it was so long. He was a good dog. My daughter rescued a greyhound and he just runs and leaps over the drifts like a deer. Loves the snow. We have been filling the bird feeders and suet holders non stop. Poor things. The squirrels too. My heart breaks for all the animals out there.
    I am new to this blog but am enjoying it and all the pictures! Thank you Mary!

  28. Carol at Pin Oak Quilting

    You are right, we had lights, heat and plenty of food…. we were blessed to get through the storm unscathed, except for spirit. A Christmas Eve baby, weren’t you especially blessed? Like a Hallmark movie! I’m sure you missed her terribly.
    Take care, and I hope your husband does not catch your Covid!

  29. NancyTD

    I forgot to put my name on my three fabric containers.
    Great job on your pressing. Looks perfect and took a lot of patience.
    All the pics of the dogs and weather were nice to see. Warmer here today, but the wind is making it colder than the +31 it is already.
    Prayers go out to everyone in Buffalo.

  30. Erin

    By the way, the pattern for the red tree is from jitka designs in Etsy. It’s a paper-pieced pattern and is $10.
    Stay safe and warm.

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