Miscellaneous Monday, 3 – 6 – 23

This is how early spring arrives in North Iowa.

Yup – piles of dirty icy snow mixed with mud, branches, twigs and torn apart dog toys. Just beautiful.

Today I picked up 10 bales of straw from Margaret’s farm and stored them in a room in the barn. In a few weeks I’ll clean out the dirty bedding and replace it with sweet new golden straw.

You probably don’t think this is a big deal but it is – very few farmers put up small bales, you know, the ones even I can carry. They usually make those huge round bales that have to be moved with a forklift. And not very many “farmers” have poultry and small livestock. So these 10 straw bales are a really big deal to me!

Reader quilts

This picture was sent for Pet Parade but this is a Country Threads quilt on the wall.

Last night our PBS station showed the stage presentation of Les Miserables and it was fantastic! Did anybody else see it?

I called a local trapper this morning and asked him about the coyotes I’ve been hearing. As we thought, it is unlikely they would make the effort to climb a 6’ fence to eat a goose or a chicken. We are surrounded by hog confinement buildings and dead hogs are left outside until they’re picked up – a feast for a coyote. A starving coyote might be tempted to scale the fence but in our situation it’s unlikely – not unheard of, but unlikely.

I just watched the funniest reel of a gal who parked too close to a pickup and she had a meltdown trying to get the pickup to move when it was actually her car on the yellow line! I’m easily amused.

Ok – that’s it from me. Time for basketball. If I forgot to answer a comment question or post a quilt, let me know.

26 thoughts on “Miscellaneous Monday, 3 – 6 – 23

  1. Maryjane

    Coyotes will scale a 6 ft. + fence here in S. CA to get a small dog in a yard. They’re hungry.

  2. Jamie in Phoenix

    For what it’s worth, we have lots of Coyotes and 6 ft. block walls that they easily scale to get cats. Hopefully the dead hogs will keep them away from your feathered friends.

  3. Billie

    I would be very careful of your animals, here in NV the coyotes clear a 8 foot block wall easily!!!!

  4. Edora Hansen

    Yes, I watched Les Miserables last night and was so thrilled with it. I especially love. ” BRING HIM HOME” and cry every time I hear it. And to hear it twice in one evening WOW.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Edora – that song brought me to tears as well and the curtain call was so wonderful!

  5. Jo in Wyoming

    Our spring looks about the same, except the huge snow drift is still huge! I’m feeling bad for the folks in California. That much snow is scary.
    Great quilts today.

  6. Kathy Hanson

    You sure are right about the small bales, we used to have to work hard to find someone who had them.

  7. Sue in Oregon

    When my husband (and me because I often drove the pick-up) baled hay, it was with our small baler that made approx. 50# bales. He threw them onto our flatbed trailer and from there into the barn. Whew! Lots of work, but very satisfying to him. We loved those small bales and so did a lot of other people. You can hardly find them to buy anymore. All are huge now. The bailers and the bales. I love straw, too, but the price of them here is way too much for me. I use pine shavings for the chicken house and the nesting boxes.
    The quilts are wonderful and Susan, your lunch box is perfect. Good idea to include the pattern.

    1. Susan K in Texas

      Thanks! The lunchbox is actually a backpack. It was a project started 45 years ago. I ran out of the striped denim and wasn’t experienced enough to know how to proceed. My mom saved the project and I finally got it finished. I am now experienced enough to make changes to a pattern to make the project even better. Different hardware is available now and I had canvas fabric in my stash.

  8. Kris in WI

    “Bring Him (Her) Home” — I couldn’t help but wonder how many people say that prayer for the service members in their family. Tears, yes.
    R.S., I love your Leftovers quilt! A timely reminder to tackle the “gifts” of leftovers for LWR quilt tops.
    March in SC WI. Most of our snow is gone…we’ve had warm days and rain. Even our grass looks green, but I haven’t put away the snow shovel or the ice chipper!

  9. Rita in Iowa

    Mary the second picture with two entry doors, is that on your farm?

    The quilts are beautiful, it’s amazing what leftovers will make. What talent you all have. Thanks for sharing.

    Mary I live on a farm when growing up and because they hadn’t taught me to drive yet during hay making time I spent time in the hay mound stacking the bales or outside letting the driver know when the bales reached the right spot in the barn. Memories!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Rita – putting the bales in the haymow involved backing the pickup down the hill with the rope hooked on. This was a clutch pickup, of course and rolling back too far would snap the rope! Very scary for a kid driving!

    2. Mary Etherington Post author

      Rita – that’s the other quilt shop called the Barn in the Back which started out as a gift shop but soon morphed into Civil War fabric only – the entire first floor was filled with Civil War – upstairs was our classroom .

  10. MaureenHP

    I LOVE Les Mis! “Bring Him Home” always leaves me in a puddle. I cannot hear that song without praying for those who are putting their life on the line for the cause of freedom.

  11. Kathy in western NY

    You’re right when I think Of bales of hay around here they are always big rolls in the fields. Glad you find a better size to handle. My horse friend has to have bales delivered to her and then finds hands to help store in barn.
    So much eye candy in pictures with those creations!!! Love all that everyone shared with us. I look forward to seeing what all of you make as I am sure most here do too so please keep sending in pictures to Mary. Like the bag, it is very inspiring with the variety, fabric and colors chosen.

  12. Kris in Naperville

    Les Miz is my favorite musical ever! I have it dvr’d but haven’t watched it yet… your truck/parking stories make me chuckle every time. l watch for truck in the parking lots… haha

  13. Joy in NW Iowa

    Our spring scene got a fresh coat of white on Sunday. Plus, guess what is headed our way…..the word starts with s 😂🥹. Spring isn’t here yet…..
    As long as the weather is icky and gray I’ll just hide in my hobby cave. There is always plenty to keep busy with.
    Loved the quilts and yes, straw bales are hard to find. Not many farmers have the small balers anymore. Farmers don’t even raise oats or wheat around here. Some people use ground corn stalks for bedding around their trees, flowers, etc.
    Take care and sew on…..

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Joy – and I’d give anything to find small corn stalk bales!!! The goats would be in heaven – they love to eat them, too. Are they available in your area?

    2. Mary Etherington Post author

      Joy – how do they grind them? They use it for mulch?

  14. Brenda Ks

    Same with the small bales here and if you can find them they are very expensive.

  15. maggierose copple

    I know when my father in law gave me a bale of hay for Christmas-it was the best gift ever as I had been looking for one forever. I needed it for my 18 pound rabbit

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Maggierose copple – Yes, you know how lucky you were to get a bale of hay, don’t you? They do sell small bags of “hay” in the pet sections now and I’ve actually bought it for bedding in the hens’ nests!

  16. Betty Klosterman

    Susan K in Texas, we just can’t throw the old patterns away! Only problem is my shape isn’t the same as 40 years ago! The sheath dresses just won’t fit my belly.
    Doesn’t like anybody in Iowa have haystacks? That would be an easier way to solve the problem, or maybe get it when they are putting up hay?
    We had the 2nd wave of snow yesterday, but it didn’t get us too hard. Out in the country is another story. Roads and Interstate have been very slippery with lots of vehicles in the ditches.
    Now it is clouding up and the 3rd wave is set to hit this afternoon thru Wednesday and letting up on Thursday. It is suppossed to be a lot more snow. We’ll know by Friday. Schools started 2 hrs late the last 2 days. Time to get parking and streets cleared off.
    And Mary, just wait till the sun hits the yard. You’ll have green all over the place. And with a bit of luck, maybe California’s drought might be over. Just wait til all that snow starts to melt! That probably won’t be pretty. There is green grass under the snow in my yard??? Great expectations!!
    Betty in Rapid City

    1. Susan K in Texas

      Betty you are so right! It’s hard to throw the old patterns away. My mom did throw a bunch away though when she moved. The only reason my mom kept this one was because I had started the backpack. I had four sisters and all of us sewed (and still do).
      Let’s just say I haven’t seen size 8 for many many years! The only part of this pattern that still fits is the backpack! Ha!

      1. RuthW in MD

        I wondered if that pattern was for the clothing pictured on the pattern envelope! I, too, have old patterns from high school. No, mine don’t fit me either. But I really like the pictures on the envelope. Good luck with the backpack!

  17. Sunflower from michigan

    Growing up on a dairy farm in the thumb of Michigan, my siblings and I unloaded uncountable loads of baled hay and straw. Sometimes we’d be in the wagon putting the bales onto the conveyor and sometimes we’d be the ones in the barn receiving the bales and stacking them. That’s when my dad was the farmer with five girls before he got two sons!! And the bales were small so we could lift them, my mom ran the baler while dad transported the full and empty wagons back and forth from the fields and set us up to unload. And we’d better have it empty when he got back..couldn’t slow down the well oiled process. Now, my two brothers farm with their sons and they make the large bales. But they built hay barns/sheds so there’s no more hand stacking of bales, it’s all done with machines. Those were great times, thanks for the memory!

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