My Answer, 10-20-23

Instead of repeating myself on 40+ comments I might as well write a post because my answer is the same. I choose to do these jobs. This place is my whole life. And no, I’m not going to put it off till tomorrow if I can do it today. I have other things I want to do tomorrow. Betty – you have given me lots of good advice through the years but this time you’re wrong. I don’t want to sit in my recliner. You might want somebody to take care of your yard but I don’t. I’m no spring chicken, that’s for sure, but I can’t believe you think I should go in the house and rest! I don’t want to rest.

My back feels fine today and it wasn’t bad yesterday either. Yes, I use Biofreeze, other arthritis creams, lidocaine patches – and ibuprofen but I’m not damaging myself. This farm is my identity and when you tell me not to do it, you simply don’t understand. I’ll just quit writing about it if it’s going to get me berated every time.

Golf and cards are too boring. If I have free time I want to sew. I can’t wait for supper to be over so I can go to my sewing room as I rarely sew during the day.

This morning I’ve been to the doctor with Rick – again. It’s too long a story to tell right now. I want to get to work! Hahahahaha!!!!!!

P.S. I’ve always been told that the more you sit, the more you want to sit. Hmmm – what should I do today!

Even Three joined in the fun!

112 thoughts on “My Answer, 10-20-23

  1. Elaine Kopischke-Trejo

    Mary – I absolutely agree with you!! Keep doing until you absolutely can’t! Then take a rest and start again! My mother is 97 and until 2years ago scrubbed her floors on her hands and knees. You keep doing what you love! Do not pay attention to people who advise you too stop! And please keep
    Blogging! I love your stories and the pictures you post!

  2. Mrs. Goodneedle

    Mary, have a great day! So glad that you’re feeling better. You’re the best. ❤️

  3. Vicki Ibarra

    I agree. I don’t always like doing the outdoor work I do, but I sure do like the results. And that is what it is all about. The sense of accomplishment can’t be beat. Hard labor accomplished that. It is the same with the sense of accomplishment with quilting, though that isn’t hard labor. It is the creative process that is the sense of accomplishment with quilting. We do what we want to do. We are all made differently.

  4. LuAnn Dekker

    So happy that you love your farm. You are so right. The more you sit the more you want to sit.
    My mom lived till almost 92. There wasn’t a day in her life that she wasn’t busy doing something. Sewing, Thrift Store volunteer, or working her plants at her home.
    She taught each of us the value of keeping busy to keep happy.
    Again love what you do and where you are in your life.

  5. Vicki Ibarra

    p.s. My days start early as I like to get a lot of things done in the morning. I have often said I am either wet or dirty from outdoor stuff within 15 minutes of waking up. I do a few things, go in for breakfast, and then back outside. I have an outdoor “wardrobe” that stands up to the wear and tear. I don’t need many “good” casual clothes.

  6. Chris Johnson

    I love the cats enjoying the cat condos. Great investment! Enjoy your day being productive. It’s the satisfaction of getting things done that makes for good sleeping! There will always be time for recliners.

  7. Linda in NC

    Mary keep doing whatever you want to do. I cannot sit still and I’m 78. I have too many things to do. Live life while you can! Keep blogging

  8. Dorothy

    I love you !!!
    My Dr. once told me: use it or lose it In other words–keep moving
    I turn 81 next month, and keep his quote firmly in my brain
    And yes, I’m still working

  9. Linda

    I totally agree with you…You keep going until you can’t…If they could all see your amazing, beautiful yard, maybe they would understand.( with all the animals!!!) .It is such a special world….I have been through some rough time the past two years..accident-broken bones–sitting in that darn chair until I got better…Boy–that is not the way to live…I am in pain outside also, but I keep going….And, I get to look at pretty plants and a garden..

  10. cindy from NOVA

    Well, they all mean well, but yes, most of us do not manage a farm and its animals like you and Rick do. So we speak from the heart, out of concern for all our aging bodies.
    You know what they say, you do you! Just with some caution.😜
    You are relatively healthy and you stay that way do to all the physical work that you do. And you enjoy it!
    Soldier on, my dear, and keep sewing away. We love it all.

  11. Rhoda Ebersole

    Good for you Mary keep doing what you can and want to do. You are a caretaker to the nth degree who happens to love quilting.
    Just be sure to take care of you too.
    I have in my datebook you had a knee replacement a year ago or more than a year already.?
    Rick is very fortunate to have you.

  12. JeanneH in the Finger Lakes of New York

    Goodness, Mary, I can’t believe someone suggested you shouldn’t do what you want, what you like and enjoy doing! While I myself may not be up to everything you do, I DO admire what you get done! 😀

    DH has been having problems with his knees, and the treatment is physical therapy, doing progressively more demanding exercises after starting out easy. He still has bad days of course, but he IS improving. This has made the point to me of how important it is to keep moving. I might need to take a break and sit to rest briefly for 10 or 20 minutes when I hurt, but then I can get up and do more.

  13. Debbie G in SE WI

    I’m so with you. Mary! I’ve watched my mom go from active to spending her days in her chair. I never want to be that! Many times she has said, you need to slow dow, and I think to myself, I don’t want to be inactive e like she is! I never sit still! Not my nature. And if you listen to your body, it will tell you to take break, if you need a reminder! Naps? Not for me! I took naps right after my cancer surgery, but my body was healing and I needed it! But I never sat, I kept going I even if it was a little slower than normal. Keep going, Mary! You are an inspiration to many others. I love reading about your life on the farm.

  14. Launa Peters

    My PA n MD recommended keep walking….I’m 84 n use an arthritis rub on knees n one wrist.
    Good to see your cats using their new tree! Comical!
    Enjoy your beautiful yard. NO SNOW IN THE FORECAST YET! 42o up here in Idaho this early morning!

  15. Diane, Squeak, and Buddy in Central Ohio

    To bad they don’t make cat trees for adults. I would love it! I ““lived” in trees as a kid😂😂. I bet you did, too, Mary! Cool here today. I am cleaning for company tomorrow. We actually did clean when our kids were little, but one time we were doing general cleaning and our son said, “Who’s coming to visit?” Too funny! Keep on doing what you’re doing, Mary. Each person is different and chooses what works. A friend keeps telling me I don’t need 10.000 steps. I love to be outside walking and treating all the neighbors’ dogs. If I get steps, I get steps. Win/win😀. OSU tomorrow. Where does Iowa play?

  16. Deb

    If I asked my hubby to read your post, he would tell me I found my twin! I feel terrible if I’m not super busy. Just finished 146 big scarecrows for my etsy shop, and as tired of it as I was , I miss the push to “do”. Gotta get into the next project. I’m 65 and hubby says I need to slow down. No. My daddy raised me to be a worker not a sitter. I’m either making something or doing yard work. Taking care of my kitty or baking. And my back tells me about it too!

  17. Lynn

    My Grandma Payne always said she would rather wear out than rust out. A great philosophy! I remember her standing on one leg washing her feet one at a time in the kitchen sink after working barefoot outside. She was doing that in her mid eighties! Keep doing whatever brings joy to your life!!!

  18. Barbara Ramey

    Oh Mary-you are a person of my heart! I refuse to quit hand quilting or yard work due to very painful arthritis in my thumbs. I have so much pride and satisfaction in my quilting and my home…. This is not a “house” it is my home and like my Mom used to say “They will have to carry me out!” I have been in my home for 45 years, raised three boys to be good people and 4 grandkids who are upstanding too-3 are in college or working and the last is in Junior High.
    Where there is a will, there is a way. I will not quit either!

  19. Carolyn in NE Illinois

    Love the picture of Greta and Gracie in the kitty condo! I th8nk people tell you to slow down out of concern. I admire your energy say more power to you! That’s what keeps you young.

  20. Sharon Ray

    Absolutely keep on doing what you love!! My mom used to mow about 20 acres. She loved it, when she was done, she would start over. She is 90 now and finally can’t do it anymore because it makes her hip hurt too much, but she still wants to. She dances 3 times a week and loves that too! Do what you want because one day you might not be able to and it keeps you in good health (even if the back hurts)

    1. Teresa

      Sharon I have to share that when my niece and her husband went to look at an acreage, there was a woman mowing on a tractor with a belly mower. The property owner said that was his 93 year old Mother and she’ll be mad when it sells because she enjoys mowing it every week.

  21. Barb K.

    Good for you Mary! I believe, “move it, or loose it”! Sitting too much is not good for anyone, and I think the older we get we need to stay active. My husband and I are both in our early eighties and go to a rec center 4 days a week to exercise and still ride our bikes on the trails.

  22. Donna Sproston

    When my older bossy brother told me what I should do, it made me furious. You go girl! Keep on keeping on! Granted I do not dig in the dirt but I keep busy doing what I choose to do. I love reading about the farm because it is so different from my life experience.

  23. Deb Smith

    I’ve read your post. But I thought it was great that you’re still out and doing things you love. There will be plenty of time for that recliner and cards! I’d give anything to still be able to do all the outdoor stuff, gardening, canning. I do some but it’s limited because of severe arthritis. So you keep on doing and moving. If you don’t use it, you’ll loss it. And I want to hear all able your day!

  24. Teresa

    Mary, you do you!!

    I also have animals on our farm; four dogs, barn cats, house cats, and four horses. I’m 62 and will have horses here, that I work with and enjoy, until I can no longer do it.

    I truly believe in the saying, if you don’t use it you lose it. I’ve been very blessed to live an active life and I’m not going to let age change that. Carry on doing what you love and brings you joy every day ❤️

  25. Chris

    More power to you, Mary! My 91 year old mom always says, ‘Got to keep moving.” She is riddled with arthritis, uses a walker, and lives in rural Washington State. She no longer mows her yard but she still deadheads her flowers as she enjoys being outside. Whether she is inside or outside, she is up and moving as much as she can. Just like my mom, you are an inspiration and I admire your can-do attitude. I love the blog and the pictures. So fun to see all the animals, especially these three furbabies. Take care, Chris in Corpus Christi, Texas

    1. Mary Ann

      You go girl. I have idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, a fatal lung disease. My breathing is severely compromised. We have a huge garden so I can lots of vegetables. Sometimes I have to sit, but then I see. Keep up what you love.

  26. Deb E

    So glad to hear you’re feeling better today. That sense of satisfaction in a huge job, well done – the pain is worth it, knowing it’s done, will reduce future work and looks wonderful. Hubby & I landscaped our back yard & front yards – had the backyard regraded (just before 12 atmospheric storms), which saved our house from being flooded. Had an old patio torn out & broken into easier to manage pieces and we built a french drain (over 75 feet long and then out to the front, over 125 extra feet of underground drains). 48 yards of rock hauled mostly by shovel, wheelbarrows and wagon, several tons of cinderblocks, pallets of paver stones and bricks, 2x8x16 foot treated wood to build 2 planters, rocks moved to build a planter along the fence 3 feet deep. Thankfully I had steroid shots done in both knees and hubby babied his back — and we both felt the best we’ve ever felt once we passed the first few days. Our bodies were responding well to the heavy, heavy work. It’s all done now, and looks fantastic. New patio poured to replace the old, new covered patio nearly the length of the house, planters everywhere with plants thriving. TREES (we had zero on our property when we closed on it) – we now have TEN. Not a blade of grass, beautiful rock (2 different types and colors) interspersed with a huge variety of plant material with lots of color, texture. Our yard is nearly maintenance free now…just have to occasionally spray weeds that occasionally spring up, clean out the french drains using openings we installed in the piping to do just that, cut bushes down this fall and do spring cleanup. This yard is saving us money, time, water and work that our future, older selves will be grateful for. You’re doing basically the same thing in cutting down on future work by making changes. I totally get what you’re saying! Good for you in doing these projects — and doing it smart so that your body can handle the extra work without hurting yourself. We had LOTS of people telling us we were nuts, too — and also, lots of neighbors stopping by every day while we were doing it, walking by & stopping to watch what we did, the decisions we made for plants, planters, trees, and wanting to see the backyard, too. Our yards are nothing like others have done and look very professionally done, and what’s most important, they will still look just as good in 10 or 20 years as they do right now. We LOVE our yards now, just as you love what you’ve done with yours. Someone who really LOVES to garden will never be totally done with their yard, there will always be tweaking — in our case, its adding yard art. I want some large metal, primitive statuary in our back yard, but it will be gradual as those are expensive! In the meantime we have 3 different heights and types of rusted sunflowers in our backyard, a rusty peacock with luminous blades of painted metals for tailfeathers, a pair of what look to be a squawking rooster and hen next to each other, a flying pig, and a 4×4 by 8 foot long treated & stained frame to hold up a bear on a swing & a bear climbing up one of the posts, our collection of license plate frames and soon, a collection of handmade bird houses. All fun! Can’t wait to see your hydrangea along the fence settle in and start blooming — that will be a sight to see, and can’t wait to see the grasses you were talking about — when they settle in it will be beautiful.

  27. Judy Jaques

    Mary I understand. I have down sized (some) the hosta garden/pond area, took all of it out and put back to grass so I can just mow instead of weeding. A lot gone but there is still a lot to do outside. Some think I should downsize and move to a smaller house. This is my home and I am staying here. Today I am cutting down all the vines the neighbor let grow up the back side of my privacy fence. What a pain. Wild grape vine and trumpet vine. I could cuss about them but I won’t. All my house plants are in. I’m taking a break because the wasps are out today. I fight them all the time. Keep doing what you love as long as you can.

  28. Robin B

    Our friends always ask my husband, who is 75, why he doesn’t hire someone to cut grass and tend to the landscaping…he says it’s what he loves to do and when and if he some day doesn’t, then he will.
    We don’t live on a farm (he grew up and worked on his family dairy farm), but you get what he is saying, I’m sure.

  29. Sue franke

    One of the great things in our lives is that we can do what we want. We pick how we want to use our energy, our resources, our time. Do what makes you happy, Mary, and enjoy your life as you want it to be. It’s no one else’s business.

  30. Jeanie S, Central Illinois

    I am glad to see Three feels like playing, too.
    It is a beautiful fall day here; this weekend might be the color peak.We went to our local orchard and bought cider, butternut squash, and hamburger.
    Thanks, Mary

  31. Betty

    I take much inspiration from you and all that you do. I turned 73 in early September and I am hell bent on staying active. I refuse to give in to my arthritic shoulder, hip and knee. Motion is lotion for arthritis. Just this past week trimmed all the shrubs in my front yard–put down 10 bales of pine straw, planted almost 60 bulbs for the spring. I take more frequent “rests” while I am doing all this work. You have to learn to pace your self and work with consistency. Also discovered wonderful light weight battery powered hedge trimmer by Black and Decker. No electric cords to worry with!. So there are “work arounds” that can enhance our ability to stay active as we age–you just have to look for them. So Mary–please “keep on keepin on” as long as you can!! Many of us “love” you for your tenacity and humor.

  32. Kris in WI

    As Jo Kramer says, “You do you!”
    When you post The Chore Report from around the farm, you often give me a kick in the right place to get going on my own to-do list! Yesterday it was to help my husband replace the dead lights on the garage and shop. I was a big help; holding the ladder, washing the covers of the fixtures, and telling him how to screw in the light bulbs. Hey, he couldn’t have done it without me! Next up–shampoo the living room carpet. It’s a good drying day and I can open the windows…which need washing. I’ll put that on the to-do list. Kris

  33. JanK

    I love your spunk! You do you! I love living in the country too. It does have its challenges, but it is so worth it!
    Love, Jan K.

  34. Lynn

    Mary I am totally with you. I love to work in my garden. I get so much satisfaction from the work and when it is done. Maybe for only a day this time of year. So many leaves. I live on 76 acres but only have one to two acres landscaped. My mom stopped working sat and became sedentary. Never me! We have lots of days to rest and sew in winter.
    Thanks for the quilt show. Always inspires me.

  35. Holly in Two Harbors

    I glad Three is feeling better! That was a nasty looking wound. You’re right about the cat trees from Fleet Farm–so sturdy and they really last. I have two. When my cats (six , all inside) shred the scratching post, my husband uses a matching piece of carpet runner to recover it and they’re set to go again. They love those cat trees! As far as work goes, you do you. What makes you feel good can’t be too bad. You’re an inspiration to me. I could never keep up!

  36. Viv in Idaho

    Hi Mary, I believe the way you work and keep busy is the best thing people can do for their health and mental well being. I think we are about the same age and I have aches and pains whether I am working or sitting on the couch so I might as well stay busy and accomplish something!!

  37. Mary Beth in Missouri

    Mary, I understand your need to be outside doing everything yourself. I enjoy my yard and gardens as well. I get this love from my dad. He’ll be 90 this next June 1 and still owns and runs his business. We had supper with Dad last night and he was telling us how tools have changed through the years. I love hearing his stories about the beginning of his business and how he’s worked these many years to build it to what it is today. Two of my brothers are partners with him and they are all go getters. Dad has instilled a great work ethic in all six of us kids, and I can’t thank him enough. You are made from the same cloth my dad was made from. Why put off until tomorrow what can be done today? I admire that.
    Have a great day!
    Mary Beth

  38. Kathy in western NY

    Oh that picture of the cats playing gave me the biggest smile. Nothing sweeter than kitties having a happy safe life playing and I always have said you are Saint Mary for giving these sweet creatures a haven for food and love. I guess I am saying I wish I knew you back in the days of being known for quilting cause I began my time with getting to know you as an animal rescuer and have the upmost admiration for those who give of their time to do this in their lives.
    I know you want to save them all and I am like you and can’t go to our shelter any longer like I use to as it breaks my heart I can’t find a home for them. My husbands barn is filled floor to ceiling with his tools and wood and all his fun stuff like my sewing but if it was empty I would be bringing home animals like No tomorrow! And at 72 we just purchased a little piece of land in an existing campground we will own to keep our motor home on it. We can drive an hour in our car and enjoy it 7 months of the year. So different than being a seasonal camper cause we all own our land and take care of them. We might be nuts but since he had his stroke and knows his new limits, this is a way to enjoy it, takes the dogs and staying active caring for the property. I don’t care how long we have this but it’s seizing the days we have together that matter the most.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Kathy – if Rick’s two workshops were empty I’d fill both buildings with dogs who need a home. Your solution for your RV is a good one! Very smart. And a stroke can be limiting in many ways but look how much fun you’ll have with this arrangement! And the dogs get to go along!!!

      1. Kathy in western NY

        Thanks Mary for the words of support on this new venture of ours. I like that it’s there for us to just go to anytime without him having to drive the 40’ vehicle as it’s not enjoyable some days on roads with selfish drivers. And is in a new to us area we haven’t explored much in our years living here so will be fun. My husband already found the library for me so I can get my library card for that county and bring my IPad to for the WiFi as we don’t want to set up that yet. I do look forward to new adventures in a different way than we had visioned for retirement but a stroke changed those plans so Plan B will be just as fun.

  39. Diana in Des Moines

    Bravo, Mary!! We have but one life to live and I intend to live mine to the fullest! If I wear myself out and cause myself pain, so be it. My 89 year old mom lives with us. She thinks I do WAY too much and advises me to stay home once in awhile. My mom has NO friends, and every time I think of staying home, I remember that fact. I refuse to sit while life passes me by. I love going to quilt guild, the quilt shops, church, sewing with friends, sewing at church, making items for the craft show, quilts and receiving blankets for Agape Pregnancy Center, and the list goes on and on. I don’t HAVE to do these things – I WANT TO!!!
    Please keep doing what you want as long as you want. It is your life to lead, and I admire you.
    Happy Friday, my blog friend!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Diana – whenever I see your name pop up I remember that your mom lives with you and I try to imagine my mom living with us. And then I also remember she always thought I did too much and I always made more work for myself. It must be a mom thing.

  40. Nancy Rubeck

    I’m like you!! Keep working as long as you feel like it and can do the job!! Even if what you could do in a couple hours in the past, takes all day now!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Nancy – I have more time now to complete the job so if it takes all day that’s ok!

  41. Karen Cyr

    Just to let you know, Mary, you are an inspiration to me to get out there and keep doing. I only have a small yard to work on, but there is always something to do. And so much fabric to use, I often feel overwhelmed where to start. But you illustrate how the joy isi in doing the things you love, digging in the dirt, and starting and finishing even small quilts, so keep on doing what you love and being so nice as to tell us about it to encourage us to do the same.

    Karen in Maryland (but an Iowan at heart)

  42. Meri in SoVa

    Mary, you’re a woman after my own heart! I have 157 acres and there’s ALWAYS something to be done! And I go on the premise that I need to exercise so I might as well be productive! (I’m 66 and try to be active) I keep hearing that “sitting is the new smoking” so I work on functional fitness, just like you…hauling, weeding, gardening and tending to things. Thanks for your inspiration!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Meri – 157 acres!!! That’s more than I could manage, I think. Is it cropland, wooded? Do you garden or just enjoy it as a yard? It’s a big yard however. I need to hear more from you!

    2. Martha W in WY

      I like your term “functional fitness.” I’ll share that with my hubby who is still farming at 71 after 50 plus years of a full-time accounting job plus farming. We always called it nightly, weekend, holiday, vacation farming. But, it was so much more. He loves it.

  43. Tammy Guerrero

    My dad passed at 85 from dementia. His work ethic has been passed down to me. He would get up, work in his yard, garden until mom said, John, start putting your stuff away, it’s getting dark. That is me and you Mary. I would not know how to act if I woke up some day and couldn’t do my chores on this farm. I had alot of relatives that have said, why do you have all those animals. It’s alot of work for you! Well, i would take my farm and the work over people any day. The animals give us unconditional love. I so understand you Mary! Have a great day on your farm!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Tammy – yes, you understand! There is no way I would agree to give up my animals no matter how much work they are. I haven’t replaced them as I’d like to it I have nobody to help me with them if I died before they do. That does worry me.

  44. JoAnne

    There are readers out there who have never grown up on a farm or married into one who just doesn’t understand the satisfaction of doing barn, yard, gardening work. The joy of getting your hands in the dirt and enjoy it. Different strokes for different folks! If you sit all the time your going to regret it in the long run. Use it or lose it as the saying goes!

  45. Karen

    Reading all the pro work comments thrill me! I’m a worker, born by parents that were workers, and expected nothing less from their 3 daughters. I have days when I wish there were more hours. So much to do and I’m happy to do it. Kerp up you spirts Mary and don’t worry about what others say, they just don’t understand the mentality of someone like you!! Have a happy football weekend!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Karen – YES! I learned the work ethic through and through and being the first born I accepted it more than my siblings. Ha! Sometimes I just hate to go to bed because I can’t wait to get up and start again.

  46. Dena

    Mary, I completely agree with your life philosophy. When I turn 50, I became so ill l I was bedridden for almost 2 years. ITT took 10 years for doctors to diagnose me and then I was under-treated for years so I couldn’t heal. 4 years ago, I finally found the correct formula for treatment and gave it to my doctor. He agreed and I have been up and going ever since. 3 years ago, I dug and replaced most of my landscaping by myself. After years of being unable to function, I am not planning to stop. If death come for me, he is going to have to find me. I have plenty of life left in me and I intend to use it up.
    I went in Monday for steroid injections into my back Monday and today I am packing up to take my Mom, sister, Hubby, and daughters family to the beach next week.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Dena – oh, that’s a wonderful story! I love that you said “he’s going to have to find me”! Haha! Digging up all your landscaping is a very big job – probably more than I’ve ever attempted. I can’t help but wonder what your problem was and what you discovered that solved it. I can’t imagine what your dr. must have thought!

  47. Betty Klosterman

    Mary, I am sorry you didn’t understand my suggestion of easing up. You will never go sit in a chair. You will always be busy, whether feeding the chickens, mowing, planting, sewing. You will always be thinking about the next thing you want to do. Moving and exercise is so important. There are always aches and pains, but keep moving. It will keep parts working right. In the meantime, don’t forget to write??
    Betty in Rapid City

  48. Brenda in Iowa

    Glad to see Three playing with Greta and Gracie since he was injured. Those cat trees sure do provide a lot of enjoyment for cats. I know my 2 black cats Laverne and Shirley love theirs. Have a great weekend.

  49. Shirley Andersen Smith

    I am 100% with you. A very wise older doctor once told me after I broke my elbow bone, ” Use it or lose it.” Our bodies are made to move. I have taken what he said to me to heart and I like you dig in my flower beds, divide and move plants. It is good for our bodies and our soul.
    I am dividing a large peony today. One of those dang aspens decided to sprout in the middle of it. It took some digging and whacking with the ax, but it is now divided into 4 and replanted. The aspen is in the much pile.
    Keep up what you are doing, I know you will. I just had a stress test for a reason I did nit believe necessary and it was completely normal with a low risk assessment and I am 75. I consider gardening another form of exercise.
    Shirley from Oregon.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Shirley – yes, I never worry much about lack of exercise. And I know I don’t need to join the rec center! Think about how much work those people could get done with the time they spend in exercise class or the rec center. What a waste.

  50. Lynette in Orlando

    Well, Mary, I didn’t get an opportunity to reply to that last post…… my comment was going to be and still is…… YOU GO GIRL!!! I’m no spring chicken either but I agree with getting out there and doing whatever I can. Often I start something and get to the point of oh @$$%% I’m in over my head!!! But I do what I can, have friends who can help me when I need them and a good handyman for the stuff I just cannot do. I can say I don’t disagree with you. Those days I have a lazy day and sit — you are absolutely correct – just makes me want to sit more. Not good!!!! You inspire me!

  51. Beryl BC

    It has been so uplifting to read all the comments today and yesterday. The cat pictures today and the quilt pictures yesterday were great.

    Keeping busy is a wonderful gift. There are all kinds of things that keep us busy. I, too, like being outside and avoiding shoes when possible. When I feel like sitting, there is a book in my hand most of the time.

    I think living in the country is something that gets in a person’s blood. I’ve had many relatives that lived on the farms into their 90’s. My grandmother kept chickens and sold eggs into her 90’s. My in-town grandmother had a large flower garden that got her outside.

    Keep up the good blog, and thanks for generating so many comments.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Beryl BC – this has been quite the discussion, hasn’t it? I think we’ve all come to the conclusion that we’re going to do as much as we can for as long as we can. And I’m not going to worry about over doing anything.

  52. Janice Shock

    I am happy that you won’t let others dictate what you want to do. I have had to give up so much because i can’t physically anymore and it is very frustrating. You are right about sitting so keep on moving. Love reading about all you get done in a day. I can only envy your strength.
    Janice Shock

  53. Moe in NE ILL

    Hi Mary, You keep on doing what you love! Being happy at what you are doing is the main thing. Taking care of the farm, taking care of your animals, and taking care of Rick… that is you! Enjoy!

  54. Heidi

    Use it or lose it is my motto. I am 82 and still out there doing whatever I can. I may not do things a fast as I used to, but I still keep doing all I can. It just takes me longer. I enjoy be out in the yard and garden and feel better outside. Keep it up as long as you have the desire to do whatever. If other people want to sit and watch others do their work they just don’t enjoy it like we do.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Heidi – if you’re 82 and still working in your yard and garden, I think that’s wonderful. I hate fall because I know winter will keep me locked indoors.

  55. Sunflower from Michigan 🌻

    That first cat tree picture is priceless! Glad Three feels good enough to play and check out the new cat tree.
    I so believe physical exercise is the key to a long healthy life. My dad actively and aggressively dairy farmed til he was 75. Never went to the doctor, took NO medication, was so healthy and always busy. He turns 90 next week. He’s slowed done in the last ten years, but is in good shape for his age. He does use a walker now. My mom, 88, stopped being active when she turned 80 and just sits. She hasn’t kept physically or mentally active and it’s very sad to me. I am like everyone who thinks there aren’t enough hours in a day to do everything I want to do. And, I think being happy and enjoying what you’re doing is a key to good health. I retired four years ago and haven’t had a boring day yet. I can run circles around my husband and he knows it! Lol. We have a half acre and our son has almost 3 acres nearly abutting our property so I have loads to do outside!
    Vicki, I laughed at your comment about being wet or dirty….the same for me, I put clean dry clothes on every morning but by the time I go to the chicken coop and do my chores and then walk Biscuit, then work in the garden, I’m a mess! But I’m never happier than when I’m hauling dirt or wood chips or moving plants or other gardening. Once a farm girl, always a farm girl.
    Keep yourselves doing what you can. Love the blog, Mary.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Sunflower – I’m with you – I want to do it all! I’m so glad your dad is in good shape.

  56. Carol at Pin Oak Quilting

    Ah, Mary, I think it’s really obvious you LOVE what you do even when your body tells you it’s hurting.
    I ache every night after going to the gym in the morning; my husband and I are early 70s, we engage in High Intensity Interval Training from 7:30 am – 9:30. Most of the people in classes are 20s through 60s. We are the “elders”!
    We do it because we know it’s good for our bodies; my husband’s cardiologist said it probably saved his life. It would be so much easier to sleep in and then sit with coffee and our new kitty, Scarlett, but at the end of the day, I’d still hurt. I know this to be true because during the pandemic we sat around for a year and a half. We walked like “old people” at night, hips and knees hurting. Now it’s just the muscle groups we worked in the morning that hurt.
    Anyway, if you’re not loving what you do, you quit. If you love it, you fit cooking and house cleaning and sewing around it. At least, that’s how I roll.
    You sure do pack a lot into your day and I don’t think golf and cards and pickle ball are ever going to be part of it. A recliner, maybe, with a beer and a ballgame and a pet in your lap!

    PS I think people can be careless in their word choice and sentence structure, and maybe you hear a lambasting tone from some posts that is unintentional. Some peoples’ writing really is just a reflection of what they would do rather than what you should do. I hope. I haven’t been reading since Scarlett moved in and became boss of my day, so I could be very wrong about that. I don’t think anyone would ever mean to make you feel how you’re feeling right now.

    I hope we hear again soon a little something about your “nothing” day, which is always fun to read!

    PPS: Inspired by you, we bought Scarlett a condo – made in the USA! They had none boxed, would we mind taking the floor sample? Oh yes, we’ll take it! Tell Rick, he’ll be jealous!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Carol – oh, Rick will definitely be jealous if it came assembled. Scarlett is so lucky and don’t you wish many other cats and dogs would get homes? I had to block my local rescue’s posts because it just made me cry. Watching baseball tonight from the sewing machine, not the recliner. Smile.

  57. Laura VS

    I agree with you the more you sit, the more you sit! I, definitely, don’t have the chores you have, but do everything I can. Yes, there are aches and pains, but that’s not going to stop me, and I know It’s not stopping you. I love your drive and if I can do half of what you do, I would be a lucky girl! You are my inspiration

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Laura – Holly will keep you moving!! Before I got Hazel a reader wrote to me and chastised me for getting a Jack Russell because I was too old for such a lively dog. That was 7 years ago! I’m not ready to give up yet and you aren’t either!

  58. Joy in NW Iowa

    Love it! All of it…you doing what you want and your kitties doing what they do! My hubby gets criticism about ‘why don’t you retire? Why do you still farm? Oh blah blah! It’s Jays business why he’s doing this! He loves it! Keep it up!

  59. Kathy L

    you are right the longer you sit the longer you want to, I can’t do that either. if something has to be done I do it, I with you Mary

  60. Jan P from Cosby, TN

    Hi Mary,
    I can’t tell you how happy and inspired I am to read your response and the dialog! I am a 75 year old who is beginning to sit in the recliner way too much and read mostly mindless Facebook. I’m not happy doing this, but it’s so comfortable. I’d much rather be working outside, walking dogs, quilting, or decluttering (ugh!). So, I’ve decided to set a timer if I feel I have to check in on FB and then, get up! Thank you, everyone! I know for sure if you don’t use it, you lose it! I see it in my own family and I don’t want to be a part of it!! So, again, thank you, first to you, Mary, and then to all of these amazing friends!!! Love, love, love your blog!!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Jan P – well, it wasn’t intentional but I have really enjoyed this exchange of ideas and comments. You’re right – Facebook is a time stealer and is worthless entertainment ….but I do it, too. My IPad can be educational but it can also be a drain on my time and energy. Let this discussion be a lesson and inspiration to us all. Thanks for writing, Jan!

  61. Diane Deibler

    I’m right there with you,Mary. My chiro told me I need to keep moving and moving I’ll be til I have no choice in the matter. I’m not ready for the rocking chair yet. Although I enjoy reading in the recliner at night! As long as you enjoy doing what you’re doing, you go girl!

  62. Diane and the gang

    Henry David Thoreau said,, “… and not when I came to die, , discover that I had not lived.” And, Jimmy Buffet sang, “ I’d rather die while I’m living, than live while I’m dead.” Both of them said what you are, Mary. You go girl😺😺

  63. Katherine Schloemer

    Do the things you want to do!!! I don’t want to hire work done outside in my yard. If I can fix it, I’m going to. I do all the sitting I want on days that I can’t mow or pick up sticks. My back hurts or has spasms and those are the days I will rest but as long as I’m alive and able to take care of things around me myself then I will do that. lol
    You go girl!!!

  64. Susan Leone

    I share your sentiment! My husband and I are in our 60’s and just bought our forever home. Lots of renovations and updates to do but it gives us a sense of accomplishment. We do as much of the projects ourselves except plumbing n electric. It brings us great joy…yes, we have to pace ourselves…can’t to it all as fast as we used to but boy what a sense of satisfaction! Rock On!

  65. Liz Foster

    Mary please don’t stop writing about your farm life, I love that you still enjoy doing all you do. It will keep you young and going long after someone who chooses to sit in their recliner!
    Love tour post!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Liz Foster – thank you. After this intense discussion I’m not sure what to write this morning.

  66. Linda

    Mary, I SO agree with you! My mantra is, If you don’t use it, you’ll lose it! I wake up in the morning with everything hurting but I try to thank God for a new day and push on! The yard work is grueling at times, but the feeling when it’s done is wonderful! Keep on keeping on!!

  67. Teresa

    I’ve so enjoyed reading everyone’s comments about their elder family members and everyday work ethic. I love the quotes shared by, Diane and the gang. None of us wants to die and have our headstone read: Wish I had sat more and done less!

    Time is a thief and the days seem to pass faster the older I get. There’s never enough time, I aim to use it well every day.

  68. Julie DeBower

    Mary I can’t imagine you living on any place other than that farm! In the retired teacher’s group that I belong to the gentlemen responsible for talking about health news always says if you sit, you rust! So keep moving! You do an excellent job of that! I totally relate to your back issues! It’s the same for me and I believe it is from years of teaching on cement floors with thin carpeting and carrying sacks and sacks of groceries from the car into the building and heaven’s sake you didn’t want to make three or four trips so you loaded up–not good on the back!! So I have to limit my sewing time with breaks every so often or I won’t be able to stand up and walk. The things we do to our bodies when we are younger!! I visited my Aunt and Uncle in Britt and drove by your place a couple of weeks ago–I wanted to stop so bad, but didn’t want to bother you. So many fond memories of driving from Charles City to Garner to visit your wonderful shop! Always will be my top quilt shop!!! Happy to read your blog when I get the chance so I can still keep in touch with what you are doing. Thank you!!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Julie- will you promise to let me know when you’re going by again? If I’m not toooo busy, I’d love to see you again! I honestly don’t try to get all this “weight training” – ha!!! To live here is to accept all that hard labor because even though people tell me to hire some help, there really is nobody to hire. I did think I’d ask our church group of young folks. Yesterday my window washers came and washed the outside of the east and south windows – 20 of them. $200. I hired it done but it’s not cheap.

      1. Julie D

        When I’m over that direction again, I will most certainly let you know ahead of time and if you are available I will most certainly stop! Julie

  69. Connie

    I think work keeps us going & enjoying life. My Grandma always had a garden that she worked in even when it was hard to bend over she get down on her knees to work in it. She lived to 99. We all need hobbies & passions in life to keep us active.

  70. Nancy Wines

    I am constantly amazed by all your energy and drive to do things on the farm. Yes farm life is hard but so rewarding. Don’t stop doing what you love!

  71. Debby Krzyston

    I agree with you Mary,👍🏼
    Your husband, farm with animals, and sewing gives you Joy every day.💓
    You have a very happy and interesting life.
    You do you very well!
    🐝Debby from Wisconsin

  72. Kathy Duval

    Mary, please continue to do what you are doing. I’m 76 and if my back starts to hurt when I’m outside working in the flower beds, then I quit for awhile. I cook for my brother and nephew during harvest to be able to help out the guys a little. They work long hours to get the harvest in and that’s my contribution. You have to be you and I think that’s the motto we all should have. Thank you for your blog, I enjoy it immensely.

  73. Gayle in Tennessee

    You do you Mary! Be happy in your life!!
    It doesn’t matter what other people think.

  74. Ginny

    Mary, I can’t imagine you sitting in your recliner all day. You have more energy than the Energizer Bunny! With hard work comes aches and pain but as you said it goes away. Keep on keeping on.

  75. Elizabeth

    Like a popular song says, I’ll get my rest when I’m dead.” More power to you Mary.

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