Yesterday was graduation parties in North Iowa – fun to see everybody! Amy Larson – it was pointed out to me that when I gave you your quilt I called you my cousin when in fact you’re married to my nephew. I apologize – I have made so many quilts for actual cousins that I misspoke.
This has kept me busy – opening the porch.
And this big project – moving the plants – and I’m not done yet!
I still have the desk and other plants in my sewing room to move out -maybe today – but I have no help and I don’t think I can lift that desk on my own.
And then there’s the rat problem in the barn – they are definitely eating the bait making them slow and Hazel is on it! One dive into that rat hole and she’s got one in her mouth. You will be as shocked as I am to know that we killed Number 44 yesterday! I find it disgusting and I get nervous just walking into the barn to check on my chickens.
And that’s another issue – I lock everybody up at dark and out when I get up in the morning. Seeing those piles of feathers and dead chickens give me nightmares – along with seeing rats in my sleep. To say I haven’t slept well lately is an understatement.
I have tried unsuccessfully to get a lawn service to spray and fertilizer my lawn – I’ll try again today. My grass has never looked this bad in over 40 years that I’ve lived here and I love my grass! What good is an expensive irrigation system when the fill dirt I paid good money for is no good – just another problem to deal with.
Last night the garage door wouldn’t close all the way – it would get within 2” of the floor and go up again. I have cleaned off both the electric eyes and can find nothing that is interfering – I will call the overhead door people today.
I have been texting tirelessly with a reader who wants to adopt the special needs kitten – that story is just too long to tell at this point.
I opened my kitchen towel drawer last night only to find mouse poison pellets – obviously mice have carried it up into the drawer! What is happening???? So today all those towels will have to be washed, dried, folded and put away.
This morning Hazel chased a squirrel that ran up into the engine of Rick’s pickup and I could not figure out where the release button was located – when she started crying and couldn’t get out – had to ask Rick. Good grief.
I’m still enjoying all the bird at my feeders – no grape jam in Garner. Everybody must be feeding the orioles.
So that’s why you haven’t heard from me – and sewing? What’s that? I have no time. Oh, but I watched a great Netflix series called Anatomy of a Scandal – really good!
Now I’m going to make another cup of coffee before I leave the porch and get to work.
Your porch looks so inviting. We have a deck and a patio on the south so lots of sunshine. We bought the house almost 2 years ago with the idea to make a 3 season room but “THINGS” keep getting in the way. I need to get the awning Scotchguarded and put up. The plants I bought week before last are still unpotted…maybe this week. I’m working on a cross stitch chart with corn, a flag, and a fence; too close to finishing to want to do anything else! I think you will need a second cup of coffee this morning-maybe 3!
Those icky rats. Maybe move the bait out of the barn into a hole nearby and lure them away. Ugh
I love your porch. I can see lots of reading and appliqueing out there, plus a little wine time.
The rock garden has just come to life with your plants set among them. Wow.
I absolutely LOVE your porch, but can see it takes a lot of work to make it the sanctuary that I see. Hope you get weeks and weeks of enjoyment!!!
Oh, goodness. The critter issues are overwhelming!! What is the pest service saying? I know they “guaranteed” their work, but doesn’t sound like you’ve gotten much relief yet.
My grass appears dead this year—the worst I’ve seen since I moved to my house. It gets great care—fertilizer, water, etc. I understand there are bugs here that are causing a lot of damage. My front yard is fine. I don’t get it!!
Wow, Mary, you sure have been busy. If you are like me the older I get the more I worry. That’s why we have quilts! At least we can find pleasure in choosing patterns, colors and the act of sewing.
I saw that series and quite liked it.
The porch looks great – ready for you to have a cup of coffee of beer at night and watch the fields growing or the birds……..
The porch looks great. The plants and the orbit from Connie look great. You have been busy!
I can’t stand the thought of mice let alone rats. I would be having nightmares as well. I agree with Diane see what the pest guy says, though mice and rats in the country there probably isn’t anything you haven’t tried already.
Will be interesting to see what the lawn company says about the grass. I put one rose begonia out in a planter and by the next day it had brown edges and had broken stems etc. I don’t know what happened to it but I’ve dragged it back into the garage to try to nurse it back to health.
Hi Mary, Love to have your enclosed porch. We have an open deck area. Don’t care for the bugs sitting out in the summer time. Love your rock beds with your plants intermingled among them. We cleaned along a fence line where our hostas are planted. Was hard to get out there as has been wet a lot. Plus always the wind which has been strong. We had a derecho on the 12th!! WOW Had to be 90 miles an hour wind. The dust storm just moved in. Could not see anything. We were lucky here. No internet for a couple of days. OMG I can’t believe rat #44. I might call the company. It wouldn’t hurt to talk to them about the situation. It might make you feel better. Working a little on finishing a quilt from a few years ago. Have the middle sewn together. Working on the borders. Been doing a little cross stitching too.
Graduation was Saturday in Canton for grand daughter. Just don’t over do it outside and hurt yourself.
But I know how you feel as is nice just to be outside working.
Glenda – I watched the video of that cloud – called a haboob! Connie could see it, too. And damage in your area, too, right?
I have been dealing all morning with issues with my debit card. Had to cancel it, unwanted charges up the yingyang, luckily my bank highlighted them and stopped them. But now having to deal with cancelling that card and getting a new one. I wonder where all your rats are coming from? I can hardly believe you have killed 44, we had one last winter in our old farmhouse and it really freaked me out. We have a trap set but haven’t caught any more. First time we have had one in 17 years. We have had the occasional field mouse or moles, but that is all. Do I need to watch for more?
Marj – I was told if you see one there’s likely more – I have no idea really. I just got done with a debit card issue similar to yours and it makes me crazy. Let’s go back to cash or check!
Your porch looks so inviting Mary. Love it. I can see that moving all of those plant outside is a huge project but so pretty! I’m sorry about your rodent issues. I hope the extermination works and soon!!! I watched Anatomy of a Scandal and really enjoyed it. Please take care and don’t wear yourself out.
I’m reading this blog on Monday morning after sitting awhile on my deck enjoying the beautiful, calm, sunny Monday morning! We all need to take the time to just sit and enjoy what’s around you before the chaos of the day sets in! Enjoy your porch time Mary!!
Cathy D – it’s my favorite time of the day!
🌻 Your flowers are very pretty! 🪴 Peppermint spray will deter mice (& spiders as well). I love Peppermint. So far I have Peppermint, Spearmint, chocolate mint & pineapple mint growing. My Granny always had mint growing near her cellar entrance & it smelled so good. I put several drops of Peppermint essential oil in a 4 oz spray bottle of water & I use it for hand sanitizer. It has many uses. Anyway, maybe it’s something you can use to deter the rodents. You can put 2 or 3 drops of mint oil on cotton balls & place them around too. Hopefully the rodents will be gone soon. It sure is difficult to deal with them. 🐾 Enjoy your plants & enjoy your day! 🌞🌼🌷
Good heavens are you ever busy! I love your screened in porch….and that is a HUGE project moving those plants outside and back inside every few months. We are going to build a patio cover over our patio next year, and I’m toying with the idea of having a screened in porch on one end – it would be lovely to be able to sit out there with my tea in the mornings (and at dusk) without mozzies buzzing around. Yours looks so wonderful. Do you remember the name of the company who made your plastic covers that you attach (and detach)? What a great idea! Thanks for the recommendation of “Anatomy of a Scandal” – we’ll check it out….always on the look out for really good shows. Enjoy your weekend and I hope you get help with that desk!
Deb E – already got the desk moved outside – by myself! The porch covers were custom made by a tent and awning company in Mason City – easy on and off except for the ladder which I’m afraid to be on.
Sounds like you’re balancing a million plates at once. I can empathize. I’m in the process of moving my 100 yr old Aunt to my hometown from 2 hrs away. She has memory issues, and calls most days wanting to know what day it is and should she unpack all the boxes in her apartment. Once reminded we are getting her ready to move, she understands, but it is short-lived. At least I’m not dealing with mice and rats. You certainly have your hands full! Best of luck.
Connie – I’m not sure I’d trade for a 100 year old aunt – let’s call it even!
Not everyone would do that. I had a dps jam relationship with my aunt too.
Love your porch. Would like to know where you got the plastic covers for the screens. I feel for you when you say you have no help. I have the same problem and wish we were able to find strong and dependable help for around the house. It is really hard to find someone to trust and depend on.
I really look forward to reading your blog and feel I would enjoy knowing you in person. If I lived near by, I would try to help you with your plants, etc.
Brenda – I had the porch covers custom made at Mason City Tent and Awning – they are great!
The wire globe Connie gave you looks perfect in your rock garden! Maybe you could change it up somehow and not use the desk if you can’t move it on your own. Your porch looks so inviting – especially when you added the pops of color with the quilts. Sorry to hear that your rodent problem keeps on going. Hope the extermination company makes good on their guarantee.
Wowzers, you are busy!
I wonder if you can put a block of some sort over the rat hole at night? Are the rats killing your chickens?
Is there something going on close by causing the rodents to move? Here they tore an old house down, and boy did the neighborhood have a rodent problem. We don’t have food in the garage but my neighbor does. She has mice everywhere.
Your porch looks great. We will soon get pictures of fun times on the porch.
Have a great week everyone.
I wish I could fly to iowa to help you! Your creative
Time must be put on the back burner now.
Take care of yourself and don’t have a fall or
Injury! What would your animals do then?
I guess there is truth to seeing 1 rat there are 50 more…ugh!!!
I feel your pain & frustration over the yard and everything else…now that we are finally getting nicer weather…so many things need to be done all at once, everyone is so busy & difficult to find help.
You give me hope with my knee replacement by all you do. At this point I can’t imagine being active again. Although I’m in my 3rd week and I’m guessing the worst is behind me.
About your 44 rats, that’s 44 you don’t have to deal with.
Since I live “in town” we don’t have to deal with that but it rains so often here we have big water roaches and spraying doesn’t get rid of them.
I’ll be glad when I can sew and drive again. Here’s hoping you have a good day.
Carolyn Knott – hang in there – 3 weeks isn’t very long! The only thing I really cannot do is get down on my knees.
Hi Mary- your spring chores are really keeping you busy! I can’t believe you’re up to 44 rats. How many can live in one pack or group? Is it rats that are eating chickens or something else? I would think the mice would carry the poison pellets back to their nest rather than a kitchen drawer – more work for you to do! The year we were infested with mice it took months to get everything cleaned up once the mice were eradicated.
I still haven’t gotten around to planting any annual flowers or getting my vegetable bed planted. Hopefully soon.
Jackie – I belive it’s a hawk and/or an owl that has gotten the chickens
We live near the Rock River in Illinois, our home is in town where the houses are probably ten to twelve feet apart. To close for me, but it is convenient and as we age we haven’t that much to take care of. This year a problem has made me unhappy. A pair of hawks have made a nest in our large oak tree in our front yard. In town, near a street light, I can’t believe it. The hawks haven’t dived at us yet but they swoop buy like a small plane. The neighbor has them sit in her birdbath and make a mess. Well what I am trying to say, is that we are missing all other birds and we don’t have as many squirrels either.
Something isn’t right these predators should be along the river or near the canal. It is always something !
We moved from our country home in Illinois to a townhouse on the edge of Madison, WI in December. I miss lots of things about country living but not the mice! Fortunately we never had rats, but there were p!entry of mice and voles. Last spring after catching mice in the loft crawl space 21 nights in a row, we finally called Terminex. It worked. Over the years I found sunflowers seeds frequently in my basement laundryy baskets and holes in the tee shirts waiting to be washed.. It came from the bird feeders or the stash in the garage. I found egg noodles opened in cupboards and moved to different shelves. The best mice tale, however, was the candy corn trek. My husband found several dozen pieces in the back corner of a drawer in the basement. The only entry into that drawer back meant climbing up six feet of shelves and over the back. The candy corn had been in a dish on the main floor so intrepid mice had made a long journey to hide it. Guess they forgot about this stash. I feel for you.
Donna – I am determined to win this war!
My front “porch” was a roof only for 25 odd years. Albeit a roof with a lovely beadboard ceiling. Well, in 2020 my youngest son,who is in construction, built a screened in porch. I. Love. It. Next step is building panels to close it in once cooler weather hits. I pray things around you even out soon. No one likes being slammed on multiple fronts at the same time. I likely would have cried upon finding the poison in a drawer tbh!
Carla – I did cry – I simply could not believe it – I’m washing towels today.
It is amazing, those screens that you put up with those turnbuckle on the wood. I have never seen anything like that. I lived in Iowa my whole life, 47 years before we moved to Washington State. I remember all the mosquitoes there so those screens are perfect. None of those bugs here. Do the rats kill your chickens?
Heidi – last August when I got 10 baby chicks, 5 disappeared and now I’m wondering if a rat may have gotten them when they were tiny. Oh, how awful.
Have you checked with Ryan Ploeger, in Garner for your fertilizing/weed control on your lawn. His number is 641-425-9876.
Carla – THANK YOU!!!! I will – I have a call into Malek’s right now so I’ll see what they say.
The ladies stories today bring back memories! A few years ago mice took over our kitchen. They got into my towel drawer and chewed holes in my favorite dish towel. Got up one morning, and there was a mouse on top of the microwave staring at me. Imagine my surprise when I found a ton of candy corn stashed in an open box of spaghetti. We’ve always had indoor cats, but they were not mousers.
I agree with everyone else, the porch and plant areas are wonderful, especially when the work is done, Ha,ha! I’m still a little leary about moving my Christmas cacti outside, as this is Michigan, and we never know when it will be frosty again.
Sounds like a busy day. I was going to recommend Caleb Dirckson and Ryan Plagger they bought out Ryan Hiscocks of Britt spraying business. I think it’s called Extreme Turf.
Hi Mary, Fun to see Millie on your porch. Our grand daughter is adopting, Archie, a tuxedo kitty. He’s only 5 weeks old right now. Squeak says hi to Millie.
Your porch looks so nice. I know it’s a lot of work, but I am happy you and Rick enjoy it:) RATS–ugh–44 double ugh. Good for Hazel for keeping after them. I am sorry about the chickens. Could it be raccoons? I think Squeak and Buddy keep away the mice because we’ve never had them in this house–thank goodness!
I am still working on my T quilt from A Country Calls. I hope to send a picture soon.
Take care, Diane
I agree! Our yard is usually immaculate. The yard is the worst it has ever looked! Full of weeds and dandelions. We are religious about putting on fertilizer and treating weeds. Yet to no avail!Are they watering down the weedkillers and putting more filler in the fertilizer?!
I always enjoy reading about your day to day life.
We live south of Chicago. I look forward to the warmer weather but don’t always love the work on the yard the comes with it. Like you, I have found little time for sewing during the last few weeks.
We are now a three cat household. I got a kitten for my birthday. We have a 14 year old Himalyan that was adopted as a rescue and two weeks ago we adopted another Himalayan/Persian from our vet. He was found dumped in a cornfield in January with two other Persians. I can’t even imagine! Our Crookshanks is a gorgeous cat and is the best buddy for our kitten, Odin. I really can[t imagine life without at least one cat.
Your porch cleaning will be worth it all to sit out and enjoy but gosh every year it takes more and more out of me doing heavy work like that. Now I know why my mom would ask for help just changing bed sheets!
We had a mouse once inside and our cat never caught it so we set a trap and got it. How we knew we had one was I went to get a bag of brown sugar I stored on shelves in the basement and the whole bag of brown sugar had been eaten from a hole the mouse chewed to get in the bag. We did have a laugh over it saying imagine how much sugar that mouse has in him! Luckily we caught it before anything else was eaten as I had to be reassured nothing else had a corner chewed from it. Just that one bag of brown sugar so we had a sweet tooth mouse.
I have found Amazon to be the go-to source for so many things my local stores cannot keep in stock. Maybe a case of grape jam can find the way to your house?? So sorry your rodent problems are continuing. So frustrating. And now the garage door. Home upkeep is never ending.
Your porch is looking so fresh and inviting. Plants are thriving. Take time to enjoy.
You r one busy woman. The Lincoln Lawyer is another good one on Netflix. And Rescue by Ruby. Oddball is good too. Last 2 are dog stories. Some nights can’t find anything to watch. Enjoy your going ons. . You wear me out just reading all u do. Take care of yourself
Hi Mary, I’m sorry life is tough at the moment for you. Stella has covid now, just a day of fever and now ok but sleeping lots.My son has woken up not feeling well, l am isolating out in the cabin,triple jabbed but still don’t want covid! Will Potter around today , cutting out a new winter nightie. Take care everyone, especially ❤ you Mary! Best wishes from sandy
Sandy – poor Stella!
Oh, I’m having porch envy! I’m sure you will enjoy it from here to late fall. Plus, it’s cat approved! Your succulent garden is charming, rather like looking at an I Spy quilt–one surprise after another. Yikes! That sounds like your life these days, doesn’t it.
I finally finished a quilt for a wedding this Thursday. After 2 false starts with patterns I didn’t like after I made a few blocks, I finished the quilting on the keeper, trimmed the edges and at midnight I decided it was time to try machine binding and with a little help from YouTube. By golly, I got it done and it looks really good. I usually like to do the hand-stitching, but time was of the essence. Our son is in the wedding party and will be flying in today to pick it up and deliver it…to Iowa! Happy spring, everyone!
I can’t believe it’s time to move out onto your porch. You must be having nice weather. I’m jealous because we aren’t!! This has been the coldest, wettest and windiest spring ever. What you call a very long-suffering spring. My tomatoes are usually in the ground by now and lookin’ good. This year they are still in the greenhouse and are tiny little things. I usually have to protect seedlings from mice out there but haven’t seen any signs of them this year. Maybe they drowned. Ha
Good luck with your rodent problem, Mary. That is such a defeating feeling, but I know You Will Win!!
Orioles with eat other kinds of jelly or jam. When i couldn’t find grape jelly i fed them strawberry jam.
Tired out just reading what all you’ve been up to. Got my porch cleaned up a few weeks ago when the Georgia pollen quit flying…all set to enjoy and do some slow sewing – doing some applique at the moment and enjoying getting back to some hand work.
Orioles will even eat cranberry jelly! So sorry about your rat and mouse issue. Contact those guys that treated them! Ugh! Beautiful here in NW Iowa after the big wind last Thursday! Ugh!
I just LOVE your porch. I’m guessing you really live out there all summer and fall; I certainly would. Hope you find help for your plant moving. I haven’t bought annuals yet; it’s been chilly here lately, and the ground is just starting to be warm enough. Maybe tomorrow! We’re all cheering for you in the rodent war!
Your porch looks great. Enjoy 😊
I worked outside for 3 days. Things aren’t coming to life like usual. Winter was hard on things.
Today I torn off the bathroom wallpaper. Not in a hurry to get it painted. Accessories need to get some updating and I don’t have time right now to shop.
Need to get my garden planted.
Also the binding sewn on my finish #2.
Then I will sit and enjoy being outside.
Thanks—I received my Layer Upon Layer pattern today.
Wow Mary! At first the tales of the rat(s) was interesting. Now, as you said, it is the thing of insomnia.
I really feel sympathy for you on that one.
They are not the things of cjildren’s stories or you could name them all Templeton.
Your porch is wonderful. My parents had a screened in porch, and it was the best room in the house on nice days in spring, summer, and fall. I have been seeing a mouse running around upstairs. My son has some very good white plastic traps. I put peanut butter in the trap and caught a mouse last night. I also found evidence that a mouse had been chewing on the wood in my dresser drawer. I also have washing to do! I hope my new apartment is free from mice. Have a good day tomorrow.
Oh Mary I hate mice! I feel like everything is dirty!😖
I kinda clean till I catch the little devils then I really clean. One year they got into my sewing room 😩 Oh what a time I had with that mess. I have cried too. The thought of all the work to do when you find those little droppings. Did I say how much I hate mice?!
Love your porch ♥️ I bet you hate to see the plastic go back up in the fall. I love my deck and all the flowers I have. A very peaceful place to be.
Hang in there Mary soon everything will clam down and get back to normal……well, as normal as normal is Ha! Take it easy and enjoy your porch ♥️
Jo in Michigan – I definitely have clean drawers right now! Haha! Seeing those droppings just makes my heart stop – ugh.
Oh Mary..I do believe spring 2022 has not been good to you. So many quirking things going wrong at your place…I am wishing your summer is much better and you can actually sit on your porch and enjoy it.
I have not sewn for almost 3 weeks..I will pick up 2 quilts from my quilter tomorrow…have to bind them and then will be done for the summer. I have enjoyed being outside the past 2 weeks.
Our granddaughter, Soren, has qualified for state track in class 3A high jump. Send good vibes her way Thursday afternoon. Her boyfriend will be competing in 3 events so it will be a great year at the state meet. My sister arrived from Arizona yesterday to go to Des Moines with me and cheer on Soren and Tristan.
Take care…you and Hazel are doing a great job keeping everything running.
Julie B – good luck to Soren and Tristan – the state track meet is a big deal – have a great time! You’re right, 2022 in general has been hard – if it rains today I have a fun “job” inside. I finally moved a curio cabinet into my front room to handle all my overflow pincushions and it will be fun to get them out of boxes and arrange on the shelves. When you say you’ll be “done” for the summer, does that mean you don’t sew at all till fall? Just curious
Hi Mary…I still sew in the summer, but do not make it a priority. I have a couple quilts in my head that I want to make for myself (surprise)…so might start them this summer. In the fall and winter I usually sew 5-6 hrs a day…but I am outside with a good book or gardening when the weather is warm..I love the heat!
Yes, State is a big deal…Soren and Tristan both qualified last year as freshman and sophomore…Soren placed 5 th in high jump…anxious to see what she will do this year. They both run hurdles..Soren was beat out by 1/100th of a second this year, but Tristan will run in 3 hurdling events….makes a Gma proud, but very nervous!
Julie -what? 1/100th of a second – that sounds like a tie to me. How can they even time that? Poor Soren! I read lots more in the summer, too – because of the porch.
WOW! Had to sit down and rest reading all you have done…feel like a real slacker…..lol
Midgeh, I have to comment on your name, it’s so pretty. If I’m being too nosey I apologize, but could you tell us a little about your name? I’m a person who loves words, languages, and history, and I’ve never seen your name before. Blessings!
Your so busy. Have you thought about hiring a high school student to help out, till Rick is up to it? Seems like to much to do by yourself. Have a wonderful day.
Billie – yes, I have tried – remember Nate came twice this spring but then was not available. No high school kid wants to pick up sticks and rake or haul pots of plants outside. I don’t blame them exactly but I would think $20/hour would speak to them.
Wow, 44 rats. That is incredible. I hope we never have that problem. We have got something in our walls occasionally. We think it’s red squirrels. I’m so sad about your losing the chickens. We would love to free range the chickens more often but I only let them out of their run in the late afternoon and we’re out them with them. Not that it would really deter a hawk or coyote but my hope is that they’ve already found their dinner by that time, haha. The hardest thing is that half of them go in one direction and the other half go the other. I kinda wish the hawk would get one of the two roosters though! Your porch looks awesome. We have a porch of sorts, it used to be a screened in breezeway but my husband put up walls and lots of windows. It’s nice but not as nice as having three walls of screen! But we do sit out there and eat our meals on the nice days. The best thing is it has a ceiling fan, I love that. I wish it was big enough to put a futon out there! We’re having an awesome day here today! It’s 70 degrees with a nice breeze. I’m going to check out my sister in law’s garden that she has growing in the community gardens of her town. Looking forward to that! Jan in MA
Jan Hebert – yesterday when I was sitting on the porch and was on the phone with Amazon no less (!) I saw a big bird, wide wing span, fly over but couldn’t see what it was and it was gone. And last night when I took the dogs out we heard something scurry up the tree – ugh. I am so sick of wild animals! The rat issue is nearly driving me nuts! I am not willing to lock my remaining chickens up in the barn so I’m taking a chance – they like to congregate by a fence however and that’s safer. I plan to sleep in the recliner on the porch this summer – too cold right now – only 52 right now.
I know you’re trying so hard to rid yourself of the barn rats. Have you considered a professional exterminator? They multiply at such a fast rate. I have found mouse droppings in my towel drawer as well. It’s so disgusting when you discover that! Then you clean and disinfect and see them again…ugh! Take care!
Janie Lang – you don’t consider Orkin a professional exterminator?