News From the Farm, 1-26-22

Oh, the cold just takes my breath away – even with heat in the barn, the buckets are frozen over. But news from the barn is good – I caught another rat! Rick had suggested that maybe I needed to replenish the peanut butter so when I did chores tonight I picked up the trap to look inside and there was a dead rat! I threw that trap across the room!!!! Then reason prevailed and I emptied the trap outside. Gag me!!!

I finally got my Wear Warm Clothes quilt hung up – this quilt and Bullseye are at the top of my most liked list.

Just a quick note about Dianne – her fur is looking pretty ratty because she’s getting so old and over the past couple of years we just didn’t see her around the house much. She’d go to the basement most of the time. As it turns out I think Jackie was bullying her and now that Jackie is gone, Dianne strolls through the house – such a difference and I’m happy for Dianne. She and Heidi are the same age but Heidi is in much better shape.

Lots of reader quilts tomorrow!

48 thoughts on “News From the Farm, 1-26-22

  1. Jackie in NY

    How interesting that once Jackie was gone, Diane came back upstairs. I hope her fur is back in top condition soon. Love the Warm Clothes quilt.

  2. Sherrill

    I have ALWAYS loved Wear Warm Clothes and intended many times to start working on it then didn’t. Don’t even remember if it was in a book or a pattern but I STILL love it!! I hope Dianne gets to enjoy her remaining days/weeks/years in the house!

  3. Susan k in Texas

    I’m so glad that the rat trap is successful. We get rats in our attic and in our greenhouse. The rats are in a part of the attic we can’t get to so we do use poison. It sounds like that trap might be an option for the greenhouse though. They are doing construction one street over and it’s caused the rats to move to our street.
    I’ve given cats baths before – some are easier than others. The cat has to trust you. If they’re skittish it would be hard. Would she let you brush her and use a damp washcloth to clean her a bit? She might enjoy the extra attention.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Susan k – I might try that on Dianne – I also have a dry shampoo that might help. We think the trap is fabulous – I got another one this morning!

      1. Mary Says Sew!

        Mary, is the dry shampoo one that’s safe for cats? Because cats lick themselves so much, some things are not safe for use on their skin or fur.

  4. Diane, Squeak, and Buddy in Central Ohio

    I am hoping to start a new quilt as soon as I finish Sewing room “death cleaning”! I have the Wear Warm Clothes book so maybe that will be it. I love that quilt, too, and I need a winter quilt. Poor Dianne. Squeak is a very nervous cat, too. Someone at the vet yesterday suggested Hemp gummies for her. Hmmm! Buddy had to visit the vet tech. She said he is too fat—true. He was a stray for so long, we kind of over did the food and treats. He up is doing well on his diet. Kathy in WNY, I have a Little Free Library. It is Not very big so no room for puzzles or games, but in good weather—not 3*!!- I put out card tables for extra books so I’ll do puzzles and games when it warms up. Keep on going with your rats, Mary. Good job😃😃. COLD here, too.

    1. Kathy in western NY

      Diane, I thought you have a little library in your yard. They are so popular here in our town. The table set up for puzzle and game exchange is a good idea cause I think the lady near us is doing a tote on her porch till weather breaks.
      She wanted to get it going now with kids being home more. It sounds like we both should get moving on making Wear Warm Clothes while we can still find the pattern in our homes. As I keep cleaning, I know sometimes you have to make a bigger mess till it’s done so I keep pushing forward to sort it out now.
      I know in the end it will be worth it.

      1. Diane, Squeak, and Buddy in Central Ohio

        Me, too. Kathy. If anyone looked at my sewing room and the guest room “ sewing annex”, they would think I” m a super slob. But, I am clearing everything out, purging, and then putting back with labels. I will start Wear Warm Clothes in the next pit year, I hope!

  5. Diane in WI

    I really like your Wear Warm Clothes quilt.. Right away I noticed the Hazel dog with the red coat. I would like to make the Rise and Shine quilt from the first issue of Quilt Sampler. Part of Wear Warm Clothes is in the picture of Connie and you. I enjoy looking at that first issue. We has -15.5 yesterday morning. It did take my breath away. Right now it is 34 degrees – much better. My amaryllis has four huge blossoms, each about 7 inches across with more on the way. Feels a little like spring.

    1. Betty Klosterman

      When we have below zero temps for awhile, and finally the thermometer gets up to zero — it feels balmy! And it does. I’ve heard so people who work outside say that. Amazing what we can get used to.
      Betty in Rapid City

      1. Mary Etherington Post author

        Betty K – I thought the same thing! I went to do chores without my cap! You’re right, I thought I had gotten used to the cold. And I forgot to say in my post – I GOT ANOTHER RAT THIS MORNING!!! That’s 3 of them and this one was BigDaddy – he was so big his tail hung out of the trap!

  6. Joyce C

    I remember my Dad telling of driving home one evening in Southern Minnesota… the headlights cast light on a huge dark moving mass….It Was Rats!!! Leaving one farm to another! Ugh.. makes me shiver. We had barn cats and a rat terrier… so no rats at our farm ! So fun to read your posts everyday. Brings back a lot of memories of growing up in the best place in the world.. A Farm!!

  7. Michele G

    I also love my Wear Warm Clothes quilt. As bad as it sounds, each year I can’t wait until I can take my Christmas tree down so I can hang up that quilt.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Michele G – we really should work on another quilt like it, shouldn’t we ?

  8. Kim

    Wear Warm Clothes evokes a very cozy feeling. It looks soft and comfy just like favorite old clothes feel. The difference between your two cats is quite different and I wonder what Dianne needs, aside from time in a sunny spot, to look and feel healthier. She looks like she’s had a bit of a tough time of it compared to her housemates and perhaps more so than age might cause. Healthy cats usually keep themselves pretty clean. My Chloe had a yeast infection in her ear when we got her, had diarrhea and she wasn’t taking care of her cleaning duties. She was dirty! Once we cleared up the ear issues, had a fecal check and exam done, found the right food for her, gave her a bath (Bert’s Bees shampoo for cats) she’s taken up typical self-cleaning and looks much healthier. Her nails were also in terrible condition! They had curled under and fur was overgrown on her paws making it impossible for her to jump up on things without falling. I’m just glad she was found and we’ve been able to care for her as she would not have survived outdoors on her own. Happy times when the rat trap works so well! That thing is worth every penny and sounds like the most humane way to dispatch a rat. You are pretty brave to be able to dump the bodies, I’d be sick to my stomach if I had to do that and I have had to do that with mouse traps.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Kim – well, I’m not sure where to have her bathed. Wouldn’t I be scratched to death if I tried it? The vet suggested senior food and even some kitten food to get her to eat. She actually had a broken leg many years ago that the vet set and put a cast on so she’s had some issues in the past.
      I got ANOTHER rat this morning! I think it was Big Daddy and yes, my expensive trap has sure been worth it!
      Please tell me how you bathe Chloe!

      1. Kim

        First thing is to trim the nails before bath. I use the dunking method. I use a washing water pan and a rinsing water pan that I set up my wash tub to make the process quicker and I always keep a firm hold on Chloe’s front legs while dunking her into the soapy water to bathe her, keeping her head dry, and then move to rinse pan. She’s not terribly afraid of water but not all that happy about being wet. There’s a lot of towel snuggles after the bath. I’ve had my vet clinic do baths in the past as well as nail trimming for cats that refuse trimming. It’s not often that a cat requires a bath, in my opinion. Brushing helps a great deal. One other thing, Bert’s Bees makes a spray on cleanser for cats. Spray on and towel dry. That spray helps with dander issues. It sounds like you have a situation with a cat that probably won’t appreciate a bath or has pain that makes handling her unpleasant for her. A nice brushing would be a good start. I have scars from cats that did not like to be handled and I understand why you wouldn’t care to attempt a bath. We have pet groomers here where we can take pets in for grooming needs and I figure they earn any amount they charge! I’m not sure they check for lice or ear mites but probably know it if they see that and any sign of skin issues. You know, you could wash that cat and she might just find the dustiest place she can hide and get all dirty all over again. You truly have to pick your battles. Ha! Good luck.

        1. Mary Etherington Post author

          Kim – I had some wipes for cats which turned out to be dried up but I wet them and wiped Dianne and then combed her – I think she’s better! Thank you for that suggestion – I also have some dry shampoo that I’m going to try. Dianne doesn’t even like me to pick her up and hold her so I know a bath wouldn’t be popular but wiping her down really did help! I learn so much from my readers!!

  9. Lori

    An interesting thing about rats, if you see one there are many more. Rats need a water supply to live. We have a grain farm and hire an exterminator year-round at about $150 a month, and it is worth it! There will always be rodents, but if you make it less desirable for them, they will go elsewhere. If people say they don’t have rats, then they just have not seen them. Besides being just plain icky, they tunnel under the foundation of grain bins and buildings so that the foundations will crack and break.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Lori – everything you said was absolutely true! I used an exterminator years ago and I think I’ll contact one again because I don’t want this situation to get ahead of me!

  10. Joy in NW Iowa

    Glad you are catching those rats! Yes, our outside cats definitely have attitudes……they have cliques which only allow certain ones in the box to sleep. Not sure where the outcasts go… the neighbors? We don’t have any tame kitties. Love your farm stories! And your quilts and all your stories!

    1. Kathy in western NY

      It’s on my list to make someday too, Lynn. I have a container of fabrics simmering with the pattern book as I love love love that quilt every time I see it. I need to finish a couple other projects that are about 75% there. Gosh I hope it happens. Thank goodness this next storm coming up the east coast will miss us but boy some of those cold temperatures coming to them are real shockers for those not use to it. Sun is shining which makes it great for sewing but temps and wind here too brisk and cold to be out walking in it. I keep a puzzle going all the time for us to fiddle with. They even have puzzle libraries in our town like the homeowners put up the little book libraries! One lady has addd board games now to her little library. I think there are a couple readers who have those book libraries in their yards already.

  11. Rita in Iowa

    Love your Wear Warm Clothes quilt. It’s amazing that cats have attitudes too.
    Did you see were they are making the Red MM less hostile? The Green MM will wear tennis shoes instead of heels. I think there are better things to worry about, just saying…..

  12. Carla J in West Michigan

    I always loved your wear warm clothes pattern and the fabric from that line is a favorite. I think I may have a few scraps left of it. A mitten quilt made from that fabric graces our front entry each winter.
    Puppy pickup is our weekend plans so portable stitching is embroidery this trip.
    The woods are dancing as gale force winds are coming across Lake Michigan.
    Stay warm.

    1. Carla

      Carla J, I’m Carla I, also in West Michigan. How funny! We have been cold and windy, haven’t we? Such interesting comments with this post. Puzzles… that’s a competition around here. I bought a flannel roll up mat to do puzzles on top keep my cats away. Cats… we have had some bullies. I’m down to three kitties and they seem happier. I bet your kitty’s appearance will start to improve. The mouse bucket… they could be collected without the water and released in the wild. I’ve seen some people do that.

      1. Carla J in West Michigan

        If I remember you are in Holland area? I live north of Muskegon out by the Big Lake.

        1. Carla

          Yes, you’re correct. I did grow up in Muskegon. We lived in Lakeside one block up from the Harbor theater. Apologies if I had said that already! We do an annual fall camping trip at the state park. LOVE that area.

      1. Carla J in West Michigan

        We are getting a new puppy. A nine week old English setter. Hubby is a an avid upland bird hunter and our Gordon Setter has retired.
        Mary, we are staying at our sons in Ohio and driving to Kentucky for the pup.

  13. Kathy Hanson

    This cold spell has been brutal, that’s for sure. Penny still loves the snow so much she still wants to go out to play. We really have to limit it!! I can’t imagine having to deal with the rats! You are amazing! Glad your car feels more comfortable being out with you now that the “bully “ is gone, how sad all the way around!

  14. NancyTD

    Mary I can’t send a picture of my quilt. Updated my iPad and all my email contacts are gone. Iam no tech so I need your email address . Will have to go to Verizon to get this new iPad figured out.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Nancy TD – my sympathies – I almost lost all my emails the other night and I just about had a heart attack!!

  15. Sandy

    Hi Betty, the trap you describe is used on wheat farms in Australia where they can get over run by mice.They use water in the bucket so they drown as they can’t get out.Looking forward to seeing all the quilts tomorrow, best wishes from Sandy

    1. Betty Klosterman

      Thank you for the information. Isn’t it nice to have friends living in different areas of the world to tell us how things work where they live? I was thinking it was a more humane trap…..nope, drown the critters. At least it would be easy to empty.
      Many years ago I used to have pen pals from many countries. I always loved getting mail and their letters were a real trill. Haven’t had contact for years and wonder what they are doing, etc. I did find a list of their names and addresses, but many lived in what became war zones, hurricanes or earth quakes. Sometimes I think I should try to write to them.
      Love to read about all your lives.
      Betty in Rapid City

      1. Mary Etherington Post author

        Betty K – that’s exactly what I think! We can’t go anywhere but I have friends who can tell me what’s going on in their lives!! And so many different lives!

  16. Betty Klostermanff

    It seemed like I saw something about a bucket for a mouse trap, so I looked it up. Yep. It does look interesting. The bait is on top the bucket, the mice run up a piece of board to get the bait and fall into the bucket. Wouldn’t a bucket full of live mice look interesting in the morning? It didn’t say what to do with them then…….
    Take care. Betty in Rapid City

  17. Sue in Oregon

    Hazel looks so cute in her sweater on your Wear Warm Clothes quilt. Now is a perfect time to hang it. Sounds like it has been a very cold winter for you. Much of Oregon has been cold, too, but here on the coast, it has been very nice. We went crabbing in the bay the other day and caught 10 nice ones. Ate lots and put 6 bags in the freezer for the Crab Quiche and Crab Bisque we love so much. We saw a 6-ounce container of crab in the store later and it was $12.00. We nearly fainted but we felt rich for a minute. lol
    Stay warm and wear warm clothes.

    1. Susan K in Texas

      Oh I love crab quiche! I used to make it when I could find crab at a decent price. It has gotten expensive. Lucky you!

  18. Diane Bauer

    I got out of MN just in time!!! It was 3 here at my house this morning, but felt balmy compared to the -17 posted by my cousin in Austin, MN!!!! We had about 5” of snow yesterday morning. More coming tomorrow and again next Tuesday. I’m ready for spring!! I miss walking the dogs but don’t go out when it’s icy—to many falls over the years.

    I have been puzzling as I need to get my sewing machine in for it’s annual clean and tune—needed something else to keep me busy. I did a fun one by Wrendale Designs—1000 pieces and all dogs!! I’m working on another 1000 piece one now that is all of the state flowers—easier than the dogs!!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Diane B – I saw your complicated dog puzzle – it was so wonderful! With all these cats in the house, it is impossible for me to leave a puzzle on a table!

      1. Diane Bauer

        Oh, yes, I can well imagine!!!! Hard enough with dogs who will eat anything that hits the floor!!! Pet the kitties and read!! Gizmo used to make it pretty hard for me to sew—he was fascinated by the thread and if I wasn’t careful, he would grab the thread from the spool and run across the room with it!!

  19. Teresa in Port Coquitlam, BC

    Im glad your trap is working. It’s always scary when there a dead one in it but I’m always happy when we do get one. One less rat is probably hundreds less per year. I really like your wear warm clothes quilt too. I just need to stop buying patterns and actually make one of the patterns I’ve already bought from you. I’m sure I speak for many of us quilters. Keep warm.

  20. Jo in Wyoming

    That is a great quilt…it even has Hazel in a sweater.
    It’s cold here too. We had about 5” of fresh snow Monday night. If it’s going to be cold, it might as well snow.
    I hear we are going to get more.
    Yeah! For the trap.
    I’m sad Amy lost on JEOPARDY! tonight. She did so well.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Jo in Wyoming – I didn’t even notice the white dog with red coat!!! Karma!

      1. Marsha from Kansas

        Mary, i wondered if you had a terrier in the past when I saw this quilt. Jo, we enjoyed watching Amy, too. Looking forward to seeing her again in the Tournament of Champions.

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