Mothers Day, 5-8-22

It’s another miserable 20 mph windy day plus it’s raining. Without fail the goldfinches showed up for Mothers Day as well as the orioles and indigo buntings – my feeders are busy busy and I’m enjoying the show! It’s like a miracle that they know when to return to my yard!

Did you watch the exciting Kentucky Derby yesterday? Here’s Jenny working at Trader Joe’s in Louisville wearing Governor Hammill’s hat. Do you remember when I gave it to her last summer? He was from the neighboring town of Britt and was Iowa’s governor in the mid 1920’s. The hat got a bit of curious attention yesterday when Jenny told the story. I hope he knows his dress hat was in Louisville for the Derby.

It was windy yesterday, too, but at least it wasn’t raining so I started cleaning up the rock garden so I can move the plants outside. This is what I’m up against – leaves stuck between the rocks!

This was not a good plan – even though I like it – those crevices are packed full in the spring but this year I have decided not to stress about it. I’ll get what I can and then I’ll let the plants cover up the rest.

Connie gave me this beautiful piece of garden art – a round wire ball which will add to my “round” theme in this area.

After it was all cleaned up I decided not to move plants out due to the wind – I’m so glad I held off!

Waiting for the plants

Now please don’t everybody tell me I shouldn’t do all this work – nobody is holding a gun at my head. If I didn’t want to do this, I’d move to town and that’s not my plan. No, Rick is not able to help me so I do what I can. He can fix any lawn mower – and that right there is pretty valuable to me when it finally becomes time to mow.

When I said nothing green is popping up, I meant the flowers and bulbs – the grass is green but a long way from needing mowing. I picked up all the sticks but after this wind I will need to start again.

Here’s a quilt I just finished – The Free Quilt. It’s called “free” because I just had to get out my tub of 2-1/2” squares . This pattern is in the online store but shown in denim.

And here’s my Millie/Dianne tribute quilt – pattern is found in Life In the Country With Country Threads (I think).

I’m also willing to send you a paper pattern for $10 – please enclose a SASE.

So that’s all for today – we’d like to hear from the surgical patients/readers – how are you doing?

57 thoughts on “Mothers Day, 5-8-22

  1. Marj in Western Wisconsin

    We have your wind also as well as the rain. Been getting my yard going at 15 minute stretches, but don’t think will get anything done today outside. Since it is Mother’s Day, my hubby will take me out for lupper (lunch and supper combined) and the rest of the time I will sew and watch basketball. Sure glad our Bucks were able to hold on yesterday. Can’t wait for Middleton to get back from his strained ACL. Hope we can hang on until then. Also will need to watch out Granddaughter play basketball via internet later today.

  2. Rita in Iowa

    Mary I love your quilts, just simple and beautiful. I will have to send you the tops I have finished recently.

    I hear you on cleaning up the gardens. I worked the earlier this week and 5+ hours yesterday finishing up the large flower beds. While doing so I think of my mother and her love of her flowers. She would sit for hours pulling weeds and get the tiniest weeds. She would say the tiny ones will become big weeds soon enough.
    We had orioles, grosbeaks, finches, blue jays, cardinals, purple finches all showing up today at the feeders
    Windy here in Stone City, Iowa today and threatening to rain.
    Have a great Mother’s Day everyone!

  3. DebMac

    Good morning, Mary. You keep right on working as much as you want and are able to. Life is pretty boring if we can’t spend time doing things we enjoy. I plan on enjoying having a landscaper come in to redo my front flower beds. I can do maintenance but these days I’m happy to pay someone to do the heavy lifting. We had a lovely day yesterday here in the Quad Cities, today we are back to gray skies and rain. Will have to do some more weeding after the rain passes.

  4. Jacque

    I guess I’m one of the surgical patients! Two lumpectomies down (he had to go back in because he missed a tiny little speck the first time) and started radiation on Thursday – only 3 more weeks of treatments to go! Feeling OK so far but know there will be some side effects down the road. My husband is having rotator cuff surgery June 2 so I have to be doing good because it’ll be my turn to take care of him! Our son and family were supposed to come in town yesterday but he called yesterday morning saying that they had all done covid testing on Thursday before leaving – and our 10YO granddaughter tested positive! No symptoms whatsoever and hope she stays that way. He was very disappointed (as were we, of course) because he said he really needed to see me in person to know I’m OK (that made us both cry). I reassured him I’m fine and we’ll get together sometime in the summer. Hope your wind settles down so you can get all your plants outside!! We desperately need rain here in South Central Texas – it was 101 yesterday and today will be a repeat…and no rain in sight! You’d think we’d be used to this as it’s pretty much the same every year.

  5. Carol L

    Beautiful day here in NE, no wind. Lots of brandings going on in my area. You have a lovely yard, wished my country yard looked that good. cl

  6. Jo in Wyoming

    Thank You, Mary, for a beautiful Mother’s Day post. I love it.
    We’re having wind, rain, and gray today. But we will take all the rain we can get.
    I worked yesterday at our LQS, a longarm customer came in to drop off a job and we had the best conversation! She told us all the now business that are building in town. As well as the ones that pulled out. And other tidbits of information about Cheyenne. It was so fun.

    I have pondered redoing some of my lawn area’s with river rock, but did wonder about the leaves. The rocks are very expensive and wondered about maintenance. Could you use a leaf blower to clean them out?

    On the other hand, my kids called. One is getting better, the other is trudged thru a spring cold.
    They told me the foster dog has short legs, so he gets lots of exercise when they go for walks!!! I laughed.
    Happy Day to all

    1. Cynthia from SWMinnesota

      Jo, I was going to suggest trying a leaf blower as well! It is windy again here in SW Minnesota, we missed a severe quick-moving 70 mph storm this morning, and it is very humid and 82 degrees, makes one wonder if a storm is coming later. I checked BlueBird nest boxes today, one nest with a blue egg in it! There is hope!

  7. Kim from TN

    You go ahead and work in your yard, the secret is to keep moving. We have lots of hummingbirds right now in TN as they migrate north. The strawberries are being picked and my annual flowers were planted yesterday. The weather has been perfect for being outside, 60 and calm and no humidity, yet. We had a large group of neighbors for our Saturday night gathering (14) and we did a cook out to celebrate all the monthly birthdays and Mothers Day.

  8. ANN D

    You certainly have a lot of yard to tend to. A leaf blower is pretty good in getting leaves out of crevasses and out from under shrubs and stuff.

    We are having windy days here in Northern California too. There is the hope of some rain (more likely drizzle) this afternoon.

  9. Susie

    I believe the reason you are in such great shape is being constantly in motion! Good for you! Yes. The garden ,and especially a farm are tons of work but it keeps you going,and enjoying life.It also balances the quilting time spent sitting! I enjoy all your stories and I wish I lived closer so I could stop by and help! Enjoy your summer,Mary! 🌻

  10. Launa

    The cartoon says it all!
    Happy Mother’s Day to you….all your critters LOVE ❤️ you!

  11. Candy

    Happy Mother’s Day everyone … including the pet “moms”! I always love your quilts, Mary … they just suit my taste. We’re also waiting for spring here (Pacific Northwest) … we’ve had about 7 months of rain and it’s just not warming up. Have a great day!

  12. Marilyn Miller

    Loved your newest post today and all the pictures. We’re in West central Illinois, directly across the Mississippi River from the southeastern most tip of Iowa. Beautiful mild day today, vivid spring green grass, redbuds scattered about, lilacs and tulips, too. Lots of birdsong and the orioles are enjoying the grape jelly. You mentioned surgery. I had the Inspire device implanted in my right chest three weeks ago tomorrow. I have sleep apnea and after many years of struggling with a CPAP machine I took the leap to finally be done with the face mask, hose and paraphernalia. Whew. The scar in my chest is healing nicely and the one under my right lower jaw bone is coming along a bit slower. Following a month of healing from the surgery the device will be turned on later this month. Then it will controlled by a remote. The ad is on TV and info available online as well.

  13. Bea knight

    Hi Mary🌷
    Happy Mothers Day from one dog mom to another!!! Enjoy your animals!!!! I love them all too💕🐶🐶
    Bea knight🌺

  14. Shirley from Oregon

    I am with you Mary. I like to dig in the flower beds, haul the heavy pots, etc. If it gives us joy, go for it.

  15. Linda in So CA

    Happy Mother’s Day, Mary. We have May Gray day today! They say the sun will shine later today…fingers crossed. Beautiful sunny Saturday. I tried to find the Free quilt w/ 2 1/2” squares but no luck. Help. Have lots of 30’s fabrics For this quilt. Find some time to kick back, it’s your day.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Linda – oh no! I didn’t look – I just thought I remembered it being there.

  16. Margaret in North Texas

    Happy Mothers Day everyone!! Mary, i love the yard art Connie gave you. I’m entertaining the shingles as of now. Very little pain so far. Something new all the time –right?

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Margaret – oh no! You and Jo need to compare notes! I am so sorry

    2. Jo in Wyoming

      Oh dear! Day 1 not bad…day 3 unbearable. I still have trouble sitting back in a chair. The patch on my back is as big as my hand. The front is smaller, but I still have sharp pains at the worst places. My side is mostly healed. Life goes on, so I put on a bra and try not to think about it.

      I hope yours is a mild, quick case. I’ve had them since Valentine’s.

    3. Vicki

      Margaret, Did the doctor give you a prescription for acyclovir (or other similar med)? It can help. I had shingles on my face years ago and the doctor prescribed this for me. I caught it early with just a few blisters before seeing my doctor, and that prescription helped immensely.

  17. Jeanine from Iowa

    We had a beautiful day here in south east Iowa yesterday. I got the rest of our garden planted—-tomatoes, okra, green beans, more radishes, zucchini, summer squash, butternut squash and cucumbers. Our potatoes are starting to come through, and we have radishes, onions, and snap peas up. I like to get it all done in one day so I can spend more time in my sewing room. I am working on a quilt for graduation right now. Almost have the top sewn together. Now today it is dreary and windy again. Some farmers were able to get in the field yesterday, depending on how much rain they received earlier. It has been a difficult year for our farmers to get into the field. Your rocks look great to me. I can’t really see any leaves from the pictures, and yes, your plants will cover them if they are there. Happy Mother’s day to all!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Jeanine – if we get anything planted by Memorial Day, I’d be surprised.

  18. Ann in Virginia

    Loved you post today and loved the “free” quilt!!! So Pretty!!

  19. Beryl BC

    Jenny looks terrific in Gov. Hammill’s hat. It would have made a fun story to tell folks how the hat made it from Iowa to KY.

    We’ve had to mow twice in SW OH. We should be planting in the garden but it is too wet. Summer is coming this week with highs in the mid 80’s.

  20. Paula Philpot

    It’s Paula in KY, I am a surgery patient from Jan 26, ankle fusion. i was able to f i n a l l y take my first steps on Easter Sunday. I progress a little each day and I am so happy. I made it to my sewing room which is down 7 steps with my husband holding my arm and me hanging on to the banister and then using my left foot to sew and this was just wonderful. I spend the days in the sewing room now. I still have an air boot and may get a shorter boot the end of the month. No way I can work at my quilt shop for quite awhile but 2 of the girls are keeping it open for me….Hope Rick is doing much better. Supposed to get in the 40’s tonight. Paula in KY

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Paula P – you are doing great! And now the days will go much faster because you can sew again! Thanks for letting us know – you’re lucky to have those girls running the shop, aren’t you?

    2. Joy in NW Iowa

      Oh wow! Get well! I cannot say soon but that’s a long time. After my back surgery, it took 1 week and hubby could do the steps with me to my happy place. Then I would call him to go up with me. He’s a keeper! Sounds like yours is too! A quilt shop! That would be fun, if I was a lot younger!! Do you sell on line? Wish you the best!

  21. Margaret in North Texas

    Jo, Thanks for your note–do hope the coming days are better for you! I see the Dr. Monday but he started me on Valacyclovir on Friday. Paula–That was the best derby yet! My ancestors came from Versailles Ky where Calumet Farms is home to the winner. Been there a few times on Genealogy searches. Beautiful country!

  22. Sandy from Eastern Washington

    Yes, I did watch the Derby. That was a masterful ride by that jockey and who doesn’t love a big chestnut with a white blaze. Your Free Quilt is so bright and beautiful. And do not worry about those leaves. They will crumble and return to the soil. Your round theme is genius and you can pace yourself moving plants once the weather permits. So glad you have rebounded from Covid and that you are back to your routine.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Sandy from Eastern WA – the thing is, dirt collects on those leaves and maple spinners begin to sprout there – ugh.

      1. Sandy in Eastern Washington

        I do remember you talking about those thousands of maple spinners. I did not realize the outcome of not cleaning up those leaves. It seems that every part of our country has its own particular seasonal, climate, flora and fauna issues. We are just a couple of weeks away from evergreen pollen season. Every outdoor surface, roads, driveways, sidewalks, roofs, furniture, cars, ponds, lakes, even the power boxes, will have a coating of yellow pollen. Mowing sends it back into the air. No sense in going to the car wash. The pollen will stick to the car on the way home. Don’t leave a window or door open; a layer of pollen will be in the house. We all can learn a lot from each other.

        1. Mary Etherington Post author

          Sandy – are you allergic to the pollen? Is it just the mess to clean up or does it affect one’s health? Yes, we all deal with what is common to our climate! I really should just cut down those maple trees! But I just hate killing three perfectly healthy trees.

          1. Sandy in Eastern Washington

            I am not allergic to the pollen, but many people are. I do get itchy eyes because the pollen, microscopically, is substantial in size and very “nubby”, not smooth, so very irritating. And your maple trees are mature and quite beautiful. They probably give you good shade on your hot days. I would be reluctant to cut them down unless they were endangering a building. Also, our evergreens are just that. Green year around. Your maples follow the seasons from bare to leafed out and green, to the beautiful yellows, oranges and reds of fall. They really put on a show.

          2. Sandy in Washington

            You also asked about clean up. Pretty much we have to wait for a good rain to wash it away and settle it into the ground. Actually I will try to remember to take a few pictures when it happens this year and send them your way.

  23. Deb in Idaho

    Happy Mothers Day to all the mothers out there. I enjoyed a lovely dinner with my daughter and son in law and grand son. It’s raining off and on here. I did do some gardening but the weather prediction for tomorrow is snow and a highs in the 30’s. I can wait for a week. Guess I’ll quilt instead.

  24. Billie

    We are having terrible winds here in Las Vegas! We are so tired of them. Hope everyone had a wonderful Mother’s Day.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Billie – we had gusts to 35 today and tomorrow we already have a wind advisory – what was today???? The wind absolutely ruins everything I want to do.

  25. Billie Munn

    Mary – Our winds right now are at least 45 mph, we had a dust advisory earlier today. Should calm down to 20 -30 tomorrow!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Billie – and that’s what’s coming our way – ugh.

  26. Sherry Whalen

    I was okay with the rain and wind today – Thursday we cleaned up some of our back yard and garden area, under a tree that we have shade plants and mulch. We needed to get remulched this year. Friday we went in to pick up mulch and laid it down then did a little more raking. Saturday’s weather was SO beautiful. We washed all bedding and hung it out, flipped the mattress, switched to summer blankets. Then we also finished raking the yard – front and back, and planted some greens and onions under the mini green house. Hopefully the soil under the cover is warm enough to germinate the lettuce and spinach. The uncovered soil is much too wet and cold to plant so far. So tired last night, but it looks so nice. Tomorrow is supposed to be another crazy windy day. We will walk early and then I think I will find indoor activities for the rest of the day.

  27. Pat Smith

    Our wind was 20 mph yesterday making sitting outside miserable, so we gave that up. It looks like a slow coming spring in Iowa. I would expect to see leaves on the trees by now, but it doesn’t look like you have any yet. My husband has a tool he bought at the hardware store that sucks up debris like leaves, little seeds etc. It’s like vacuum for the yard. It sucks up the leaves but leaves the rocks, even the smaller ones, behind. I was skeptical when he bought it, but it has really come in handy.

  28. Sibyl

    If those leaves in the rock cracks get dry enough, could you blow them out with a leaf blower?
    Just a thought…..

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Sibyl – oh, believe me the blower and I are best friends but they are packed in the cracks and on days like today, the leaves will blow right back in! I have a long needle nose pliers that I use to get out what I can.

  29. Joy in NW Iowa

    As the day went on it was beautiful! I went out for a walk around the house to the garden and my flower bed. Not much growing but Jay planted the four tomato plants. One was looking like it was going to die, so it was last chance….to the garden! We had a nice rain last night and today that little sickly looking tomato plant is loving he outdoors in his little jug green house. It was a learning experience for Jay for putting plants in the garden. Ni gardening for me this year and Not sure he has ever done that before either. I don’t know if I told you I ended up with bursitis in my hip….too many strenuous things for an old problematic hip I guess. Anyway, I’m giving the hip a big rest! Walking is funny stuff! It is so hard to not do something that is natural like picking rhubarb! Mmmmm mine is looking like it will be tasty soon! I have that slower plant that is more red. I made a kale salad that was on Iowa Girl Eats post on face book! It is awesome and not a huge bat tech! Plus, it gets better with age! The guys loved it! I will definitely make it again! Have a good one!

  30. Susan K in Texas

    I’m glad you’re back to doing your yard work. There’s just nothing like losing yourself in working in the dirt. My husband loves being outside in the yard. He moved some rocks around our pond Saturday to lift the side of the liner. Every year he works on cleaning all the leaves our from around the rocks. We used fossils from my family’s farms around the pond. The wind lately has been crazy here too. This week it’s going to be hot hot hot. So it begins. If we could only have a few days of steady rain it would be nice. It’s still unusually dry.
    I’ve been repotting aloes and succulents (Echevaria) a few at a time. If I spend too much time my body tells me to take a break. I finally got a Fitbit and I’m finding that 6,000 steps one day means I have to cut back to 4,000 the next. I’m doing my PT stretches and walking 20 minutes twice a day most days – 5 to 6 out of 7 days.
    We’ve been watching hockey playoffs. Our Dallas Stars are playing the Calgary Flames. It’s been a good series. We go to all of the home games and playoff games are the best. The crowd is crazy. Gary is also watching the other hockey games and the basketball playoffs.
    I’ve been working on baptismal stoles for my grandsons. I’m using my wedding dress. My son is a priest and will baptize them both over Memorial Weekend. So we’ll be hoping for good weather in Iowa that weekend.
    Take care!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Susan – how can this wind continue? Warming up here this week, too and now my yard is littered with sticks again. I’ve decided to cut my hair short because I can’t stand the wind whipping it around. I have plants to repot, too, but will wait till they can move outside for the season.

      1. Susan K in Texas

        I need my hair cut so badly. It’s been since before Christmas. I called last week and my lady is on vacation! She never takes time off.
        I’m with you on the short hair in the wind. I’ve never liked it blowing in my face.

  31. Fiona at Ice Bear Quilts

    Hi Mary, the Derby: what a race this year! Fantastic to watch: it even took the race commentators by surprise! I spent the weekend planting up our vegetable garden: although everything is still protected under little polytunnels. Our biggest weather challenge at the moment is that we have had almost no rain in the last two months. There was brief heavy rain on Saturday, but afterwards an inch down the ground was still as dry as a chip! Most unusual for us: we usually get a good sprinkling of rain in the spring. Today it is 78 degrees! Very warm for early May.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Fiona – very interesting that your weather is so different this year because ours is not nice at all – didn’t you tell me about the hedgehogs in your garden last year? Maybe I don’t remember correctly. I’m afraid all those seeds I bought will not get planted this year.

  32. Carolyn Knott

    Hello I’m one of those surgical patients. Had right knee replacement. It will be 2 weeks on Wednesday. I’ll just say this I’ll be glad when the good days outnumber the bad. But I know I have to go through this. I have been able to walk a little better today. Right now I’m waiting on physical therapy to come. I’ve been good to do my excises even on the days it hurts so badly. Because I know that’s the only way to get better.
    Mary I know you have gone through this and also some of your readers and came through great. Looking forward to that. Enjoy your day and thank you for asking.
    Carolyn K

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Carolyn – I remember those hard days but I can do nearly anything now so don’t give up!

  33. Cathy D

    Mary would a leaf blower work to clear out the leaves from your rock garden?

  34. Gayle Shumaker

    Hi Mary, thanks for you supportive messages. I had an appt with neurosurgeon at U of M and ended up in ER and having emergency surgery April 30th. They fused and caged cervical vertebrae 2 through thoracic vertebrae 2. Ian now in a rehab facility but thankfully only 2 miles from my home. It will take a lot of work to get stronger but also for the spinal cord and nerves to heal before we know how much is permanent. Im hoping to go home by the end of the month.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Gayle – oh my goodness, Gayle!! That’s a lot to deal with! Rehab is very hard and no fun but be a good girl and do everything you can to get back to your life! Please let us all know how it’s going occasionally


    What is the name of the “free” that is in denim. I can’t find anything like it.

    Thank you

Comments are closed.