Nothing to read when you checked, 8-8-23

Got so occupied yesterday I forgot but I’m still working on the hand binding of my pink project. Becky’s daughter, Jenny, is coming home today from Kentucky for a summer visit – just in time for some great Iowa sweet corn.

Our .6 of rain was a real drop in the bucket compared to some parts of Iowa that got 5-7”. My lawn is still green except in spots by the barn where it gets full sun.

As I look online and see pictures of great quilts I want to make them all- which we know is impossible but here’s one I love.

And here’s a reader quilt that I love and should make with some of my shirts included:

Remember my tomatoes in the galvanized wash tubs? Well, look at this!

Yesterday was a day in the dirt pile –

Filthy dogs! Hazel is easily washed but I ended up taking Telly into the automatic dog wash which I had never tried before. I needed two more hands! Had so much trouble with the whole operation that I’ll need some help before I try it again. At least her feet and legs were clean. When we got home she ran straight to the dirt pile and this time her legs were still wet so all was in vain. She came back to the house with imbedded dirt up to her belly and her face just covered with black dirt – enough to plant a seed in. I just had to give up.

And how about this? Ugh.

The kittens who are still unnamed are getting along great. I do call gray kitty “Gray” so I guess it might just as well be Gracie – by default.

Look at that velvety fur!

And remember Penny and Lucy? They’re really growing – especially their ears. Ha!

Linda sent these great goat pictures.

Today the blog about nothing is about pets, I guess.

67 thoughts on “Nothing to read when you checked, 8-8-23

  1. Linda in MI

    I love Gracie and her new tabby baby, they will be besties before you know it, I just love that. And Hazel with the sticky weeds! Boy do I hate those. I thought picking the leaves and sticky seeds out of my Aussie’s coat was bad but you should try our newest baby Nelson, he’s a black golden doodle that a breeder friend of mine could not sell (him or his two sisters) because they are black goldendoodles. I will email you some pictures, he is so adorable but it didn’t take long to realize he does not have a farm coat, picking sticky seeds out of the fluffy, shaggy, curly coat is a task, but then so is getting the barn sawdust off of him after caring for the horse and donkeys. If you are wondering about his name Nelson, goldens are Scottish, my fathers family came from Scottland and the family name was Nelson, as was my grandpas middle name and my dad’s, so Nelson was appropriate. And it’s a name, I would never name even my goldfish anything but names!

    Good luck with deciding a name for the kitten, she reminds me of my Sophie when she was a baby.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Linda – I dog sit a black golden doodle name Moe and they keep her coat trimmed quite short – not shaved looking but shorter. I love Nelson’s name and love when names have a family connection because of course they’re family. Give Nelson a haircut and it will grow out by the time cold weather gets here. I’m anxious to see a picture – thank you for taking him! He’s a lucky dog to live on a farm even though he’s a “designer” dog – they like the good life, too- haha!!! Send a picture of Nelson.

  2. Ginny

    Your gray kitty looks like my Mousey when she was young. I miss her so much but my 2 new dogs have made her passing easier.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Ginny – named Mousey because of her color? How are the new dogs getting along?

  3. Jennifer Mattoon-Anderson

    Love the pictures of the pets. My daughter is going to Alaska for a couple of weeks and we have two of her chickens that she let one of her hens hatch. They were not ready for the larger pen and free area with the other chickens. We were just about to take down our chicken wire fence around our apple trees and they came – so they stay in the chicken wire during the day and a makeshift house in the garage at night. Milo our dog keeps stalking them and barking / running around the fencing – not sure how to make him stop, so I just keep him by me when I am gardening and working in the yard,,, no clue how to get him accustomed to them – thankfully they go home in a couple of weeks. Who would have ever thought I would babysit chickens!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Jennifer – Never say never, I guess! I love to hear you’re chicken sitting – I think it’s sweet! Do you know what kind of chickens?

  4. Pamela Dempsey

    What a great post, love the pictures😻! The quilts are beautiful and would enjoy the patterns/sew a long. I’m so glad to see the kitties getting along and they look happy! My Penny and Lucy do love each other but they still can rough and tumble and don’t want them to hurt each other. We’re looking at another 10 days forecast of over 100 and I will be so happy when Fall arrives. My plants are struggling with the heat and grass has started browning. I remember last August when we moved here the grass was all dried up so we have had better rain just not lately. I would enjoy seeing some of your recipes too, Mary🥰

  5. Susan K in Texas

    A good post today. Quilts – both of them look like good scrap busters. Very tempting!
    Pets – dogs who just have fun getting dirty and kitties being cute as can be.
    No rain here but today we had clouds. The first clouds we’ve seen in two months. It was only 102 today.
    We’ve got a washing machine drain that is clogged. Both the AC and the washing machine drain in this drain. We’ve been working on clearing it ourselves but may wind up calling a plumber. Also we’ve been put on watering restrictions and can only do laundry/dishes before noon or after 7pm. They’re asking us to restrict our electricity usage during those hours also.
    I’ve got two quilts pin basted for quilting and tomorrow will work on the third. So I’m staying busy in the air conditioning. Yesterday I went to the Barbie movie. I enjoyed it.

  6. Pat Smith

    Hilarious pictures of the dogs today. I know JRT’s are bred to do exactly what Hazel is doing, but I’ve never seen such a driven dog. She is more driven to retrieve than any of our golden retrievers were. The picture of Hazel with the burrs on her face says it all. Terry spent the day out in our yard with a pitch fork digging burr plants out because that is how Sonny comes in every time he goes out. Digging them up was a major operation that we hope is going to keep more of those burrs off Sonny. I’ve long wanted to make a flying geese quilt and have the Tucker Trimmer that I used to make pine trees for a quilt (that still isn’t finished, sigh). I have saved multiple pictures of quilts similar to the one you showed today, but refuse to let myself start on anything until that quilt with the pine trees is done. I still have hope…

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Pat Smith – there’s no way I can pull ALL those weeds in the grove but when we stop I pull all in the vicinity of the golf cart. Oh, Sonny’s hair would be like a magnet for those burrs – awful to get out. At least Hazel’s hair is short and wiry and it’s easy to comb. But not Telly – she didn’t get a summer haircut this year – every groomer was too busy! Yes, Hazel is just doing what comes naturally to a JRT but wouldn’t you think at 7-1/2 years old she’d be slowing down some? Haha!!

      1. Jeanine from Iowa

        I find it hard to believe that Hazel is already 7 1/2 years old! It just seems like she was a little puppy a couple years ago. I guess time just gets away from us. I think I am going to make a quilt like Christine’s from my men’s shirts. I think that would be perfect. I was happy to see that the kittens are getting along better. Always enjoy reading your blog and all the comments.

        1. Mary Etherington Post author

          Jeanine – I can’t believe she’s 7-1/2 either! I think I should make Christine’s quilt, too! We all have strips to use. Maybe she’ll tell us her measurements or else I’ll draft it.

  7. Jeanie S, Central IL

    I loved seeing the pictures of Gracie and the tabby kitten being friends; they are adorable. I was also glad to see Telly feeling good enough to have fun, even tho you had to bathe her.
    We have had about six inches of rain during the last week, for which we are extremely grateful. We do not plant a garden, but our neighbors keep us supplied with tomatoes. BLT’s are also on our menu.
    Today’s quilts are wonderful! Thanks, Mary

  8. Jackie in NY

    Hi Mary! I love your sweet kitties! Gracie is a great name for the grey kitty. The tiger striped kitty reminds me of my sweet Whimsy (named by my son when he was a youngster). She lived 14 years with us before crossing the rainbow bridge.

    1. Melody in Wisconsin

      So happy to see the kittens getting along – the photo with the gray kitten’s paw resting on the tabby is precious. I wonder if the gray kitten is a Russian Blue? They are known to have beautiful gray coloring, sometimes with a silvery sheen.

      I am glad to see Telly having fun with Hazel even though it made extra work for you getting them cleaned up.

      I agree with Susan – I would love to see some recipes (ordinary, simple and quick are the best).

      I have been feasting on sweet corn and tomatoes knowing that the season for them to be eaten fresh is too short.

      I have read all of James Herriot’s books and I also think you would really enjoy them being such an animal lover. All Creatures Great and Small is also a series on PBS television but I don’t feel they focus as much on the animals as they do in the books but it is still a very good series. Some good, clean television which is hard to find anymore.

      1. Mary Etherington Post author

        Melody – I’m sure you won’t be surprised to know I have all of James Herriot’s books, a children’s book and I wait for Sunday nights when it’s on tv. I just wish there were more episodes. I think Gracie has the most beautiful fur I’ve ever seen – but I don’t know anything about Russian Blue cats. Yes, I want Telly to have some fun if she wants to join in but she was breathing so hard I was worried she might have a heart attack. She acts like a young pup at times and then at others I find myself checking to see if she’s breathing.

        1. Melody in Wisconsin

          Ha! Ha! Mary, I should have known you would be a James Herriot fan. I agree that there are are not enough episodes and I wish it wasn’t so long between seasons. I think it’s one of the best shows on TV right now. I wish there were more shows like it.

          I wouldn’t be surprised if Gracie isn’t partly or all Russian Blue. I believe Ash is based off what I have read. You will have to google it as it gives the personality traits, color of fur, etc.

  9. Vickie

    Wonderful! I think quilts and pets go together. Lovely tomatoes. The heat here in East Texas has really affected ours, so I’m glad to see someone got nice tomatoes.

  10. Sandy

    Hi Mary, we had a very noisy hailstorm yesterday, parts of kelson were snow white, not so much at my house. The quilts and cats were beautiful, looking forward to meeting my brothers dog in 10 days, she was millie, but he has changed her name to Eileen, so he can say !come on Eileen! We are off to see The Miracle Club today, movie for seniors with coffee and scones!Take care everyone, best wishes from Sandy

  11. Tanya T. in Houston

    Yes, let’s do a sew-along with scraps like Christine Swank’s photo!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Tanya – we should – I love her quilt! Let me play around with strip sizes etc.

  12. Vicki Ibarra

    Love seeing the two kitties together. We have a burgeoning tomato crop: grape tomatoes by the dozen, BIG tomatoes by the dozen as well. It is a good time for BLT’s. Nothing beats the taste of a garden fresh tomato. The pear crop from two of our trees is ready, so we have been picking those. Everything comes on at once, but we eat lots of fresh for weeks/months. I can’t imagine dog bath time at your place. We had miniature schnauzers and I could just lift them into the utility sink and bathe them. Telly is too big for that. I spent a lovely afternoon quilting.

  13. Kathy in western NY

    I saved both quilt pictures to my iPad so thanks for the inspiration. Many of us seem to want to use our scraps. And my homespuns someday too.
    The kitty pictures are so sweet. Glad they get along now for the company.
    Our former terrier use to get those burrs from a weed in our garden and I would sit and pick each little nugget out of the fur. It’s so cute Telly still has it in her to be adventurous.
    Well we got the cooler air you had so it’s only in the 60’s today. Tomorrow back up to 80. I had a tomato sandwich yesterday and they sure do hit the spot like the first hot dog of the season.

  14. Sharon F

    I’m happy to see that your two new kittens are starting to get along, so sweet. Christine’s quilt is so pretty with all the plaids. And I love the flying geese quilt, might have to put that one on the ever- growing list. It’s comforting to know I’m not the only one walking around with a list of quilts to make running through my mind.

  15. Rita in Iowa

    After spending the weekend at my sisters boat on the Mississippi it was home again and doing a little weeding this morning. We got less than a half inch of rain over the weekend. Better than none.
    Love the pictures of the dogs in the dirt. I was hoping wasn’t hurt with the stone so close to her. They do know how to get dirty. Maybe need a dog shower made for you outside.
    Nice quilt Christine and love the scrappy flying geese quilt.
    Mary how about Gigi for the stripe kitten name?

  16. Judy Greco

    How about Gracie and Ethel?
    I have many wonderful memories of coming to the shop with my Mom. Your books are still among my favorites!
    Judy, Solon Iowa

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Judy – Hi, Judy – I remember you well – thanks for still reading farm news! That’s a lot of years reading the farm news, isn’t it? Ha!

      1. Judy

        Your news never gets old! And it’s never boring!
        Thanks for remembering my Mom.
        Hugs, Judy

  17. Deb in Idaho

    Wow nice tomatoes! Mine are starting to come in. Can’t wait for a tomato sandwich. I’m glad the kittens are getting along. Dogs will be dogs. Mine love to roll in back yard smells. The smell is terrible but she thinks it’s perfume . Makes me laugh.

  18. Jo in Wyoming

    Dirt is the best thing for kiddos, of all kinds, to play in. I remember when you got your pile of dirt by the road, Mary, you were very excited.
    Those are some beautiful kitties. I’m happy they figured out getting along is bettered than being alone.
    Gracie and Little Bit.
    I have to fix fences today, then dig weeds.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Jo in WY – your chores for today didn’t sound like too much fun but it all has to be done, doesn’t it? How’s Steve doing?

  19. Launa

    My quilting friend’s husband is having knee surgery…Has the info to read….I told her how important it is to read it!
    Thanks for today’s pictures…

  20. Brenda

    Love the quilts and love the animals. Gracie is such a good name for her. I am so glad they are beginning to get along!

  21. Bonny

    Love the quilts! Both are scrappy which is my groove! Your pet pictures are a tonic for me, altho I know the extra work they create! Today I canned 5 pints pasta sauce using my tomatoes. So far I’ve heard the musical “tink” of 3 jarlids sealing. In January I won’t remember the effort! Just read James Herriot book The Lord God Made Them All, part of the All Creatures Great and Small series. It isn’t necessary to have read the others to enjoy. An oldie but a goodie. You would enjoy it I’m certain.

  22. shirley krause

    I had a westie for years. Amazing dogs. x was so special. Love seeingyours.

  23. Jean

    Gosh Mary it’s a small world after all. Just yesterday I saw that exact flying geese quilt online and started picking some fabrics for it! It’s an easy mindless quilt that appeals to me and a great quilt to use up scraps. Win win.😊

  24. Susan Moore

    I love your blog about nothing.
    Wanted to tell you how much my family enjoys your recipes I make your green beans frequently in the summer and the sausage gravy casserole in the winter we have it for dinner. My husband said Mary is a good cook, would love it if you shared some of your favorites once in a while.

    Susan in Ohio

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Susan – I’m not really a good cook and I don’t really like to cook but with fresh tomatoes I love to make a Mexican casserole so I can cut up fresh tomatoes on the top. I’ll find the recipe. Also a corn bread “salad” with fresh tomatoes. OK, the blog about nothing will post some very ordinary and easy recipes.

  25. Lynn

    Cute kitties and like the name Gracie. Glad to see Telly is doing well, dirt and all.
    Your rain sounds refreshing. None in summer in ca.

  26. Debra Reber

    So glad the kittens are starting to get along! Had to laugh about the dirty dogs, we are keeping my son’s dog temporarily right now. She is a brown doodle, & the same color as dirt. She loves to dig in our back yard. One time my husband let her in the house, & because she is the same color as the dirt, he didn’t realize how dirty she was. She made a mess in the house- jumped on the bed, rolled on the rug, etc, before my husband noticed how dirty she was!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Debra Reber – oh, just perfect! The big dirt pile even has old junk buried in it – Rick had cleaned out a pit – and I’m always worried they’ll get cut on something . Doodles are such nice dogs, aren’t they?

  27. Linda in Michigan

    The dirty dogs remind me of when our dogs would roll in fish that had been buried in the garden–PHEW!! I’m envious of the tomatoes you gals are talking about. We’ve only had one small one that was ripe enough to eat. So I’ll be canning when all of you are putting your gardens to bed for the winter, ha ha! But we have been eating sweet corn from the garden, so that’s a plus.
    The kitties are cute, even if they don’t have names yet. How does your sewing stuff survive with those two on the loose?

  28. Lorna

    Since you are thinking about Gracie, how about Georgia for the striper….George Burns & Gracie…
    they are very sweet looking.
    Thanks for the fun blog, Mary!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Lorna – that’s an idea – I’ll take it under consideration.

    2. Susan K in Texas

      Lorna you just gave me a good laugh. At first read I thought you called the little tabby a stripper! Haha! I had to read it a second time to get the word right.

  29. Sue in Oregon

    I love both of those quilts, too—especially yours, Christine. I am on a bent to use up scraps, so paying close attention to scrap quilts. The squares would probably be quicker and easier than all those flying geese.
    Gracie still looks a bit leery of the camera, but the little one pays no attention to it. Gracie also needs to be touching her new friend it seems. Sweet. So very sweet.
    The dogs sure do love the dirt pile.

  30. Kim from Wi

    I like the quilt with all those flying geese parts, anyone know the name of it? Went shore fishing with the hubby yesterday and it was wonderful to just be outside enjoying the great weather. We caught 2 but threw them back. This is the perfect summer weather for us. Time to check our tomatoes and make some bacon for BLT this week.

    1. Carla J in the mitten

      I don’t know the name of the flying geese quilt but I did notice that geese are in sets of four. So it would be easy to make in the four at a time method.

  31. Teresa from Port Coquitlam, BC

    Glad the kittens are getting along,it didn’t take too long. Gracie is a cute name. We are getting rain later tonight and for the next two days they say. It is needed. So many fires in our province. 40 started by lightening on Sunday alone. I really enjoy your blog about nothing. For the next two weeks we are babysitting our sons two dogs while they move, this weekend we are getting our other sons 3 birds while he travels to Alberta for a horse show. It will be a zoo for a week at our house. Lots of fun though. I will try to send pictures.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Teresa – oh, they’re all coming the Grandma’s for the week! Does your son have horses? What kind of birds? Hang in there – it’s only a week not the whole summer, thank goodness!

  32. Diana in Des Moines

    Gracie is so adorable! Glad she came out of her shell.
    We had over 2″ of rain here. We live between DM and Ankeny. The grass has already greened up nicely and my tomatoes have taken off again. Canned 5 pints of salsa, 4 quarts of diced tomatoes, 6 pints of relish. Last weekend I made peach jam – 24 pints, then picked plums at my sons house that resulted in 6 pints of jam. I’m sure I’ll have to can tomatoes again this weekend. Not bad for being planted in 5 gallon buckets.
    Going to the state fair Thursday morning to see how our quilts have fared. My friend has 8 in competition, I have 5. Will try to remember to take pictures if we ribbon.
    Enjoy the cool weather this week.

    1. Beamer's Mom

      Diana in Des Moines, we always go to the State Fair a few times each year and the quilts are my favorite part, closely followed by a corn dog and the 4-H Beef Show. I’ll look for your name on quilts, if I can find them.

    2. Mary Etherington Post author

      Diana – we are more interested in your quilts than in any ribbons so we’d like to see all of them. But good luck!!

  33. Jill

    For those of us that have lost our fur family member it is a joy to hear about your wonderful animals! Please don’t stop!!!

  34. Elizabeth Noorlander

    The “Blog about Nothing” is really about life. It’s truly wonderful and the first thing I read every day. Thanks, Mary!

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