Overwhelmed, 1-12-22

I have never been so overwhelmed with comments in all the years I’ve been writing. I am ashamed that I ever said you didn’t care – or I didn’t THINK you cared. I was wrong, so wrong. I spent the entire day at Mayo reading the wonderful comments left on the blog from so many of you readers. I feel just terrible that you thought I wasn’t interested in your lives! And I also feel bad that you “didn’t want to bother me”!

I have so enjoyed hearing about your families, your jobs, where you live and what you love! So many readers have requested that I ask you to leave your location – like our friend Jo in Wyoming. We all know where Jo lives and that’s because she signs in that way. I, too, would love to know where you’re writing from.

The next question concerned red and white quilts. The secret here is to buy solid red fabric only from Moda! I have made many red and white quilts and I do prewash even my Moda red fabric but I have never had any problems.

One reader doesn’t receive any photos – can anyone help her?

Another reader wanted to know more about each quilt. Now that is an impossible task. It would mean not only uploading the photo but highlighting the text which would need to match up to the correct quilt photo and getting it saved and moved into the WordPress location. Now really – do you think I have time for that or know how to do it? If a reader wants more info on a quilt, she will have to ask in the comment section. Which means everyone should read the comments and if there’s a question about YOUR quilt, please answer it there. I can’t even get you to put your name on the photo! How can I convince you to help answer the questions about your quilt? It is your responsibility to answer these questions – don’t forget to read through the comments if I’ve recently shown your quilt.

And now over the next day or so I will go back and read through all the comments again and post my answers . You guys have to know that I consider you real friends, don’t you? You’re going to be my only view of reality in the next few months – I wouldn’t dare get Covid – who would take care of Rick, the pets, the barn animals, the farm in general? And I can’t have him getting sick either. What would I do??

So today – it hit 50 degrees here and I cleaned the garage.

I also washed the sewing room windows and all the glass doors because my window cleaners were also coming! Oh, what a wonderful feeling! Sparkling windows! And there are so many of them!

So tomorrow when it starts raining and snowing, I can sit and look out of my clean windows – maybe I’ll even get to sew!

The chickens were like those proverbial 3rd graders who race to get to recess! They couldn’t wait to get outside today. And the goats laid out in the pasture soaking up the sun. I forgot to tell you that Hazel got a rat in the barn last week – we watched and listened to that rat in the wall for several days until it got brave enough to came out and she pounced! Yesterday was her 5th birthday and tomorrow I will try to take her birthday picture for her photo album.

Let me end with an apology to all of you that I yelled at for not leaving a comment – I LOVE your comments just like you evidently love reading the blog.

Carry on.

99 thoughts on “Overwhelmed, 1-12-22

  1. Dorothy Sheldrake

    Mary, I’m convinced that your days are twice as long as mine. I could never do all you do in one of my days.
    May God keep you well and strong during this time you are caring for Rick and the farm.
    Dorothy, Winchester, CA

    Reply
    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Dorothy Sheldrake – haha! I assure you my days are the same length as yours but I do try not to waste time. I worked hard so I can sew tomorrow and Friday when our weather turns dicey. I’m looking forward to it.

      Reply
    2. Cyndi Jacobson

      Dorothy I could not help but notice that you live in Winchester. I grew up in Hemet and went to HS in Temecula. My husband was a federal agent and we lived in Temecula for years. I still have many family and friends in the area! It is a great place to live. Did you ever go to the Temecula Quilt Company? I was so sad Sheryl closed the shop!

      Reply
      1. Launa

        Cindi,
        Our friend Sheryl is still online selling fabrics, has two new lines coming out this month so you can pre order from her! Where else would I purchases 28mm rotor blades and Shop Scraps?
        Her new 2022 Postcard Collection is featured as a sew a long this month. I live totally off the grid up in Idaho with 5 feet of snow so far. Was 18o this morning.

        Reply
  2. Debbie Smith

    Mayo Clinic has been a part of my life. My dad had cancer and with the help of Mayo he lived 10 years longer.
    My son at 17 went to Mayo, from Colorado,
    For help. The Doc’s found a couple of things but not the biggie. He found help in Colorado and followed up with 2 surgeries.
    Hes a big guy and grew way out of his skin!!
    We will think of you and send prayers for Rick’s surgery.
    Stay strong and know that you are loved.

    Reply
  3. Mary Howland

    If I had to unsubscribe from all posts except five, you would remain on my list. I look forward to your posts – I love the quilt stuff and the farm updates. I live in So Cal and I’ve never been to Iowa but some day. Please keep posting.

    Reply
    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Mary Howland – remember the line in the movie – “Is this heaven? No, it’s Iowa!” By Kevin Costner in Field of Dreams

      Reply
  4. Mary

    Oh Mary, of course we love your emails. But if I don’t get an email, I just figure you are busy.
    Your day @ Mayo sounds exhausting. I so hope the procedure will help Hang in there. Take care of you too.
    It was a great warm day.
    Be well!

    Reply
  5. Diane, Squeak, and Buddy in Central Ohio

    We do, we do, we do love you and the blog! I would miss it. Please know we will be praying for Rick’s recovery and strength for you!
    We are on our way home from seeing CATS in Columbus. Fun show. Buddy and Squeak were in it😹😹.
    Take care of you, too💕💕

    Reply
  6. Diane A. in Florida

    Thanks for your writings. I love reading them.I lived in Wisconsin most of my life. So, your weather is similar. Prayers for you both.

    Reply
  7. Betty Klosterman

    Mary. That is what we are for–to share all the problems in life. So, just vent on us. We can handle it. Misery loves company. And here we all are.
    Betty in Rapid City

    Reply
    1. Nancy Schulz

      Betty, so well said about sharing but not only problems, just everything that comes along each day, the good and the not so good. Sharing must helps!

      Reply
  8. Diane Bauer

    Mary, I’m surprised we didn’t run into each other at Mayo this week! I feel like I’ve been there nearly every day with either Mom or Dad. It is a massive place. Mom’s appointments last Thursday went well but we were not exhausted afterwards. We started with her MRI at 9:20 and didn’t finish until after 6. I toured her around a bit in between appointments—she had never been to the Plummer Bldg (they’ve lived in Rochester since 1969!!!!!!) so we made a special point to get there. Back in my college days, I worked at Mayo in General Services during summer vacations. In addition to pushing patients to their appointments, I delivered mail all over the whole Mayo complex, and did the occasional stint operating the elevators in the Plummer Building. They are all mechanized now, but they weren’t then!!! We would have fun stopping them in between floors and other such nonsense. Great memories!!!
    Dad had appointments today, so I was back there pushing his wheelchair through the Baldwin Bldg. Friday is another round of appointments. Mayo is PCP (primary care physician) for folks who live here. Most don’t realize that when they hear Mayo Clinic.
    I sure hope Rick has good luck with the stents and will be able to heal up and get back to living life.

    A cousin called today and asked if I was in MN and if I might be willing to carry a full set of dishes back to Colorado with me for a cousin who lost her home in the Marshall Fire a couple of weeks ago. I have my embroidery machine with me so I’m glad I’ve got a Pilot with room to spare. I’ll be taking a full load home with me next week!!!

    Reply
    1. Sandy B in Minnesota

      Diane..just wondering if you knew sister Vera klinkhammer during your working days at mayo? She was my dads cousin..the family has many stories about her and the Mayo doctors..

      Reply
      1. Diane Bauer

        I don’t recall your cousin’s name. I was there periodically from 1979-1982–summers and breaks from college. I loved my time there and have nothing but great memories!!

        Reply
    2. Mary Etherington Post author

      Diane Bauer – oh, how I wish I had known you were there! We were only in the Gondo building – I don’t know anything about the others. I can’t say enough good things about Mayo – we are sooooo lucky! It’s an easy 2 hour drive.
      Would you be around on the 8th?

      Reply
      1. Diane Bauer

        I’m heading home on Jan 19 as my son is having sinus surgery (opportunities to spend time with my granddaughter!!!).

        The buildings are all connected on the subway level and everything is very well signed. There are also information booths readily available to direct you where you might want to go. I would encourage you to visit the historical exhibit on the main floor of Mayo/Gonda. If you are feeling adventurous, go down to the subway and head to the Plummer Building. The 3rd floor historical exhibit is closed due to the pandemic, but the main floor lobby is worth a visit simply to see the historical architecture. No one builds a doctor’s office/clinic that way any longer—it’s beautiful!! Full disclosure—to get there, you have to navigate an uphill ramp—take a good run at it and you’ll be fine—stay on the hard surface, not the carpet (I’m assuming here that you’re pushing Rick in a wheelchair).

        Reply
        1. Mary Etherington Post author

          Diane Bauer – I would love to visit exhibits – I remember as a kid we were there and I’ll never forget the model of a farmer with a pitchfork in his body! Just the thing a kid would remember!

          Reply
          1. Diane Bauer

            Haha!!!
            Back in the day, the Mayo Medical Museum was in the street level of the Damon Parkade (probably where you are parking these days). My favorite exhibit as a kid was the one that showed all of the things people had swallowed that Mayo surgeons had to remove surgically!! As I recall, there was an over abundance of straight pins!!! I still hold pins in my lips when I’m working on a sewing project, but I’m pretty aware of what I’m doing and what the risk is!!!

  9. Marilyn Miller

    Mary, I subscribed to the ‘Goat Gazette’ for several years and looked forward to every issue. Loved the recipes, anecdotes and jokes, shop info, your animals and pet rescues and all. Now, I look forward to reading your blog whenever you post. Have been to the farm and your shop numerous times over the years having family in Mason City and Clear Lake to visit. I first became acquainted with Country Threads many years ago when I would see advertisement in the Sunday Des Moines Register and ultimately mail ordered patterns from you. You are such an energetic, talented and compassionate person. Some days, admittedly, I get tired simply reading all that you accomplish in a day’s time. Keep doing you and sharing it all with us. Good luck to Rick and Happy Birthday#5 to sweet little Hazel♥️ P.S. I live in Hamilton, Illinois, directly across the Mississippi River from the southeastern most corner of Iowa, the city of Keokuk.

    Reply
    1. Kim J LeMere

      Hi Marilyn, I love your city of Hamilton, we often spend the night in Keokuk when traveling from TN to Osage to visit my mother. We make a point of coming over the river to eat in Hamilton, shop the main street and hunt for Geodes in the park. You have a lovely place to call home.

      Reply
  10. Diane in WI

    Mary, I loved getting The Goat Gazette In the mail. There were always so many wonderful stories and articles that made me laugh. This blog is a good replacement. Thanks for taking time in your busy day to stop and write. We all appreciate it.

    Reply
  11. Jackie in Moreau, NY

    Hi Mary – so glad you were able to read all the comments! What I wouldn’t do for a 50 degree day! It was -3 this morning! Brrr! My darling granddaughter gave me her cold so I’m calling in sick tomorrow – only the 2nd time in two years! Having your kids as your boss and knowing how much they depend on you really makes you re-evaluate whether you really need a sick day! The plan is to get plenty of rest so I’m as energetic as the two- year old by Monday! Ha! It will never happen! I’ve always wanted to live on a farm – not sure I’m up to all the work you do, though. I’ll bet you’ll enjoy looking out those sparkling windows tomorrow! I hope you get some time to sew.

    Reply
    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Jackie in NY – this weather is so unusual and won’t last. Your -3 would be more like our normal so I really enjoyed working outside coatless today.

      Reply
      1. Launa

        Mary,
        We have been online friends for many years…Goat Gazette subscriber, too! You inspire me with all your energy, critters and news. Wouldn’t miss reading CT as it’s like a friendly visit!
        We recently switched to STARLIGHT and our cell phones and internet are much better in Idaho, off the grid! Think weather is adding to our 5-6 feet of snow here today.
        Prayers to you n Rick!

        Reply
    2. Carla

      Jackie in NY, It sounds like we have the same gig. I am the Nana daycare for 2 of my sons. I have my 4 year old grandson M-F and my 19 month old granddaughter usually 4 days a week. I went to bed last night with the knowledge that I had caught her cold. Luckily it’s just an annoyance. When I had the flu (not Rona) in December I was so miserable they gave me a whole week off. I know it was quite a logistical challenge for them. I think you get often get the weather that we have sent your way. Sorry about that, lol! Carla in West Michigan

      Reply
  12. Donna Israels

    Enjoy reading your blog. I don’t respond/comment much. But please know you inspire me every time I read your blog. You keep me inspired for quilting and to try new things. But…now I’m feeling guilty. As I look at my windows, they need cleaning!!!!!

    Reply
  13. Connie R in Wis

    I too love your emails. I spent part of the morning taking down the outdoor Nativity at the church. It was in the mid 20’s so the weather cooperated. I now am trying to figure out patterns to use to make memory quilts for a friend’s grandsons who recently lost their mother. The clothing she gave me is a mix of all fabrics so, hopefully I can figure out something that will work well and be something special for her boys.

    Reply
  14. Kay Schleusner

    I wish I had a chance to do windows today.
    Brooke said she thinks she needs to clean hers.
    She never cleans windows. Maybe the rain will help or make them worse. Hope your nursing duties go well.

    Reply
    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Kay S – mine needed cleaning badly after our windstorm on December 15. Too bad it won’t last.

      Reply
  15. Vicki in Seattle

    Mary, glad you and Rick had safe travels yesterday and that you were able to get all the supplies there. I so appreciate all the time you spend writing the blog and sharing your life with us. I hope the bad weather misses you Thursday. We have been having record setting lowland rain and snow in the mountains that are causing flooding and landslides. 5 of the mountain passes were all closed for 5 days causing great delivery backups. I felt so sorry for the truck drivers who have to sit and wait. We had a very hot and dry summer so we are thankful for the moisture but it is causing some problems now. Prayers for both you and Rick.

    Reply
  16. Betty Klosterman

    This is to the lady who can’t get the pictures: I can’t tell you why, but when I click on Mary’s email, before doing anything else, I have to go to the bottom of her letter to the spot in Blue that says Comment. I click on the part that says “See all comments.” Then I can see everything including the pictures.
    IF I do not do that, it won’t let me into any part of what Mary wrote, the pictures and the comments. I don’t know why.
    Betty in Rapid City

    Reply
  17. Peggy S

    Oh, my goodness, Mary!! So good to see everyone’s response to your request for comments, responses, pictures, etc. I too, love getting your emails & reading the comments. Whatever would we do if you stopped??
    So sorry you & Rick are having to deal with his medical issues. Hopefully by the end of his surgery & recuperating time it will all be worth it. Will pray that it will.
    Hang in there girl. I know how strong you are.
    Peggy S.
    4 miles from the MOA

    Reply
      1. Sherry Whalen

        I was at MOA today! We went early (arrived at around 10, when Cinnabon opened) and then walked all 4 floors. Most of the stores don’t open until 11 or 12, so most of the people there at that time were the ‘walkers’, so technically today we were also mall walkers! Then we walked over to Ikea, and walked that store too. After that – we headed down Cedar to get to the Joann’s in Apple Valley, walked that store as well. Time for a late lunch/early supper – actually happy hour – we went to Crooked Pint for, well a couple of pints and a Lucy. We were home by 5pm. A grand way to spend my birthday – usually I have a blizzard or at least some type of storm or way negative temps to celebrate by! Sherry from Kasson

        Reply
        1. Kathy in western NY

          Happy Birthday Sherry!!! Good for you to have had a fun day. I have never been to an IKEA store yet in my life.

          Reply
          1. Sherry Whalen

            Thank you Kathy! It was a good day. We are about an hour away from Ikea/MOA in the Twin Cities and go probably a few times a year. I am not really a shopper, just a browser because I have way too much stuff already lol. But it is fun to walk thru to see all of the ‘stuff’. It was pretty startling yesterday, the many empty spaces from previous visits – all due to supply chain/shipping issues but probably similar to all other stores. We always buy a 6 pack of cinnamon rolls to bring home from Ikea – but they didn’t even have cinnamon rolls due to supplier shortages!

      2. Janet S

        Diane, I also held pins in my mouth until I heard about a woman who did just that and accidentally swallowed one. She figured it would be okay but a friend insisted she go and get it checked out. It turns out it wasn’t in her stomach but her lung. They had to do immediate surgery. After nearly two years she is still not a hundred percent. The moral is, I don’t put pins in my mouth.
        Mary, Blessings to you and Rick and all your critters.
        Janet

        Reply
  18. Denise Weise

    Your blog is such a joy. I love hearing about your animals, quilts, friends and all of your activities. You are a delight.
    I am from northern Wisconsin. We moved to AZ in 1984 for 24yrs returning to WI in 2008. In 2019 we moved to TX to be near our grandchildren.

    Reply
  19. Wendy P

    I am reading the blog from Victoria BC Canada. Love following along reading your life on the farm and quilting. Wishing Rick a speedy recovery.

    Reply
  20. Dianna

    Mary – you are an awesome person. You have so much energy, always helping and doing. Rick is so blessed to have you, being a caregiver is hard work. Hopefully the surgery will correct the circulation issue. You have a great team at Mayo. Prayers for both of you.

    I’m in S.E. Wisconsin, we had temperatures in the 40’s, but it was dull and gray. I spent most of the day sorting scraps into bins. Have an idea for a scrap quilt so getting organized should help the process. Sewing and quilting has been a loyal companion while in lockdown.

    Reply
  21. Linda Schaefer

    Love reading about all you do and where you go! And of course love love love see all the animals!!
    Hugs, Linda from Calif

    Reply
  22. Lynn Handberg

    Hi Mary, I love your blog and am so very impressed with the constant energy you put towards all your many creative and farming endeavors!!!
    Many prayers going out for your husband, Rick, and you as his daily healthcare provider.
    Lynn in Maple Grove, MN

    Reply
  23. Kris in WI

    Oh, Mary, don’t feel you need to apologize. I should have used my common sense and written a few comments more than a year ago when I discovered your site. I have limited my blog reading to you, Jo Kramer, and Bonnie Hunter. Any more and I would fall down the rabbit hole and spend the entire day at the computer! I’d rather be quilting! I do share the adventures of “The Iowa Quilters” (including the antics of all the critters) with my husband and he checks on the weather you are having and tells me what you are facing…and what we can expect in southern WI the next day. The truth is, you three have been a lifeline during this time of isolation and Covid when, according to Bonnie Hunter, even a dentist appointment is an “outing!” I hope Rick’s PAD procedure goes well. I will say prayers for both of you and your health care team.

    Reply
  24. Jo in Wyoming

    Mary, my dad had that same type circulation issue. I took care of him, so I pray procedures are different. That was many, many years ago. Plus he was in his 80’s.
    Today, I worked up enough courage to go out and join our new quilting group. New to me.
    Well, I sewed about 6” and my machine quit sewing forward! It would go backwards, but not forward.
    I did all I could do without tools, (I have a small tool box I take to jail), but nothing worked so I clipped chained squares and ironed and did a lot of visiting. It was fun and I plan to return. As for Covid, we were spread out and all vax’d and boosted.
    I’m sure Becky will continue to help you if you need it. But…do take good care of yourself. Becky may not so gracious to Rick!!!
    HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Hazel. Big 5

    Reply
  25. Cheryl from Arkansas

    The Mayo Clinic annex in Albert Lea was Naeve hospital where I was born in a snowstorm! Yesterday I had my first cataract removed. Nuff said! Today I started binding three finished quilts. I use the Lella Boutique method using school glue. It goes so quick…..and is almost fool proof! Ha! We were in Florida after Christmas when I got Covid. It was a rough vacation. But now I have real immunity. Be still.

    Reply
        1. Sherry Whalen

          Hi Mary, I looked it up on her blog – machine or hand binding, – sew the binding to the top, it looks like she uses school glue to hold it down on the back and then machine sews it down from the top in the ‘ditch’. I suppose gluing it makes it stay so the stitching catches the binding on the back. link – https://blog.lellaboutique.com/binding/ Sherry from Kasson

          Reply
  26. Carolyn Boutilier

    Mary, Your blog 5 years ago was the highlight of my day. We had lost our son and your blog was something to look forward to each night. You have touched so many lives in ways you would never know. Please keep up the blog as I look for it every evening.
    Carolyn b Shenandoah Valley VA

    Reply
    1. Connie R

      Carolyn, Your comment really touched me knowing that Mary’s blog did some part in helping you through the loss of your son. It made me think how much we need friends and kindness to get us through hard times.Even friends we have never me. I hope you are doing well. Sorry for your loss.

      Reply
    2. Mary Etherington Post author

      I’m glad the blog gave you some highlights during a very sad time. If nothing happens around here, trust me to make it up! Haha!!

      Reply
  27. Bobbie in Seattle

    Hi Mary,
    I have enjoyed your blog for close to 10 years now and have only left an occasional comment, but many time I have turned to you blog for quilting ideas and help. I have found many answers here and feel like I have a bit of a better idea regarding life on the farm. I am a city girl but still manage to garden, quilt and raise a flock of city chickens. While being miles apart we still share many similar passions. I will keep Rick in my prayers that his treatment is successful. Take care and know that you have an impact far and wide, more than you can imagine.

    Reply
  28. Cathy in IN

    Sending healing wishes for Rick & his procedure.

    And how in the world can Hazel be 5 already?! Those years certainly flew by.

    Reply
  29. Jeanie S, Central Illinois

    You do have lots of windows! After your long stressful day Tuesday, your home was a lovely refuge to enjoy today. Even washing the doors is fun when it’s 50 degrees in January!
    A half-hour west of Peoria IL, we had a high of 43; it was bright and sunny. We had lunch with my sister/brother-in-law and washed the car on our way home. Our car never gets washed in January!

    Reply
  30. Sue in Oregon

    First of all….I cannot believe Hazel is 5. And, she even caught a rat on her birthday. I hate rats. We have them around here, too. Something about chickens and barns that draws rats. So…I should borrow Hazel, but I know you would miss her too much. And, of course, we are too far away. If I can’t borrow Hazel, maybe I could have you send your window cleaners over to Oregon. I can’t find cleaners around here and Boy…do we need our windows washed. I bought a handheld steamer thing that is supposed to clean windows pretty well. Guess I should break it out of the box.
    We have been having very mild weather lately. I sure hope that doesn’t mean we will pay later. Usually, when we have a false Spring, we have ugly weather later. So, I planted some seeds in the greenhouse anyway. Hope I won’t regret that.
    And, now about Rick. Mary…I will send prayers to him every day and to you as well. It hurts so much when a loved one is not doing well. We all have great hopes for the surgery.
    Take good care of yourself.

    Reply
  31. Arrowhead Gramma

    Love reading your blog post – a real highlight in my day. My prayers continue for Rick’s healing and for you are his caretaker in chief – a position I can totally relate to. Take care, stay well and be safe.

    Reply
  32. Fiona at Ice Bear Quilts in the Netherlands

    Hi Mary,
    Good luck with the nursing duties, and I hope Rick’s procedures go well. Enjoy your clean windows! We are having a lot of thick mists at the moment: so when I look out there is nothing to see! Happily I am working from home today, so don’t have to go out in my car and drive in the mist. I’ll mail you a picture of my new years mini-quilt, that I made on New Years day, after your call to start a quilt – I think its going to be a new tradition for me! It was such fun!
    Give Hazel a birthday pat from me.

    Reply
  33. Sandy

    Hi Mary, 10 pm here in wellington new Zealand, just been outside to look at the moon with my son’s new telescope! Prefer him to send photos of it as it’s too small for me to see clearly!so back to bed now, my love to you and Rick and the fur babies, best wishes from Sandy

    Reply
  34. susan rynex

    Love your posts, pets& patterns. Sorry I never got to the shop. Have most of your books and some patterns. I agree men are not easy to take care of and can be cranky if you try. I would miss you if you stopped posting❤️Susan in Carlisle, PA

    Reply
  35. Gloria from CC

    Happy Birthday sweet Hazel! It’s hard to believe she’s 5 years old. Emmett had surgery yesterday to remove a small tumor from his eyelid. We reminded the vet that Emmett will be 13 a week from tomorrow and to go easy on the anesthesia. The surgery went well and we can pick him up this morning. We drove to Chicago ten years ago to rescue him from a Norwegian Elkhound shelter. His owners got a divorce and neither one of them wanted him. It took an act of Congress to get him adopted. The shelter called our vet for references and our vet told them “if I come back as a dog after I die, I hope I become Gaylen and Gloria’s pet.” Needless to say we took him home with us.

    Reply
    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      And I know absolutely that your pets are well cared for and loved very much! Here’s a hug for Angel!

      Reply
  36. Cyndi Jacobson

    Mary I so enjoy your posts! I am still embarrassed I got you mixed up with Jo!I was really having a senior moment! I appreciate you taking the time to respond to to me personally! I got the book we emailed about!I can’t wait to get busy! I hope that your husbands wounds heal! It is so hard when we get older! I know he is getting top notch care at the Mayo Clinic! Hang in there!❤️

    Reply
  37. Lynette in Orlando

    Hello Mary! No apology needed!!!! How do you know if we’re even out here if you don’t hear anything from any of us. I join the chorus in I will try to answer more. I’m in Orlando. Weather has been quite nice here (it’s why I live here). We had a bit of a cool snap which we are enjoying. My sewing room is a nightmare of chaos and mess so since the first of the year I’ve been trying to clean and organize. I get overwhelmed and then I have to stop and sew…….. LOL. I’m not one for UFO’s, so I find a “kit” and I cut it out and sew, then move on to more organizing. How did I get SO MUCH????? Even with Covid, and no quilt shows and limited shopping and sewing my way thru quarentine, I still have so much! My 2022 mantra — sew on! Happy stitches everyone and especially to you Mary.

    Reply
  38. Sandra

    I and my husband both look forward to your blog. It is wonderful. We are so concerned about Rick and pray all works out. Please keep us posted. We care deeply about you and Rick. I live in Irving which is 30 miles south of Buffalo. We have a hobby farm and I have cats and dogs too. Our kids were in 4H and now our 4 grandkids are. 3 boys and 1 girl ages 13 to 8. Love them to the moon and back.

    Reply
  39. Kim from TN

    I do love reading the blog and all those who comment, it’s wonderful to feel connected to others far and wide during this pandemic. I grew up in Minnesota on a small farm in Afton, then my parents upgraded to a larger farm in River Falls, Wisconsin. I married a guy from Green Bay, where we spent over 20 years raising our family and he ended his working life in a Suburb of Chicago. We retired and moved just outside Nashville about 8 years ago and I must admit I don’t miss the bitter cold of a Midwest winter. We still get some snow days here in TN but ice is more of the issue. If one is feeling the need to clean and downsize I recommend moving, its brutal to sort through one’s life and purge but it also feels quite refreshing to unload so much stuff. I love seeing the corn grow in Iowa and all that lovely black earth, there no place like it. Happy 5th Birthday to Hazel and I hope Ricks being a cooperative patient.

    Reply
  40. Vickie L. Devore

    Simple — take care of yourself, hubby and all that YOU can manage to do. Lots prayers coming your way. LOVE YOU ALL, vickie

    Reply
  41. Rita in Iowa

    Gotta laugh, I started by reading your second post and wondered about all the info on Rick and your adventures at Mayo. After reading all the comments I then realized the info was all in the first memo.
    I have to say you are one brave woman to make the drive to and from the Mayo. I’m not sure I would be that committed so I admire what you do and wish BOTH of you well.
    As far as what I’m doing, currently I’m working on JACKIE FROST, a wallhanging of a snowman I started two years ago. I am also cutting scraps with my quilting buddy (neighbor next door). To make a scrap quilt.
    Using AccuQuilt to cut the units. I sometimes just walk over if I don’t have to carry much.
    Also going through recipes of my mother in law, my daughters said they would like to go through also before we pass them on to other family members.
    Stay safe and warm with the storm coming.

    Reply
  42. Shirley from Oregon

    So sorry to hear about Rick and his trials. Of course they are yours too. Maybe we need to all hop in the car this spring and drive to Iowa to cheer you up. Wouldn’t that be fun!!
    I am in AZ for the winter visiting daughter and youngest granddaughter. We didn’t come last year and are pretty much hunkered down in the motorhome except for trips over to her house. Carry on and we love you and enjoy hearing about the farm, quilts and animals.

    Reply
  43. Deb in Northern CA

    LOVED that Hazel caught a rat on her 5th birthday! We had elderly yorkie sisters who caught a broad footed mole in Salem, Oregon, years ago and they were 11 or 12! I was walking by their dog door & looked down at what I thought was a dog toy…NOPE! They caught & killed it & dragged it up their ramp (the dog door was about 12″ off the ground, so a carpeted ramp was a necessity for 2 petite dogs), and into the house to be noticed and admired! That, and regularly finding possum in the back yard when let out at night which they would run down (yes, possum DO ‘play possum’) — they kept us busy! We now live in Roseville, CA, which is about 30 minutes northeast of Sacramento. Returned to the valley as I had a serious health scare several years ago & we needed to be near the kids & grandkids. Moved into our ‘new’ house this past summer and today we get our new windows & doors for the back of the house. Summer heat here is ferocious, so those were ordered with specially treated glass (used in Arizona because of heat) and screening that filters out UV and sun damage over 90%. Thankfully today will reach the low 50’s as we’ll have no heat due to the installation, which will be ALL day. I’ll just have to do some quilting today — woohoo! SO glad that they have a game plan to get Rick back on the mend — I don’t know how you find the energy for all you do! : )

    Reply
  44. Edora Hansen

    Your energy and accomplishments make me feel so much like a sloth. I look forward to your post so much. I went to the U. Of Iowa for my nursing degree a long time ago. I grew up in Omaha but
    my parents were from Spirit Lake and Orleans. I loved Iowa. I now live in Michigan. I am a quilter and rag rug maker. Your creativity and Christ-love inspire me.

    Reply
  45. Mary Lou

    Sending prayers and hoping for the best with getting Rick well and for you to have some down time
    to do things you enjoy… Love all your adventures and especially Hazel and all the animals that
    you so lovingly care for… All those windows are just wonderful what a fantastic view to enjoy when
    you get a minute to stop and as they say smell the Roses… Pls stay safe and wishing the very best
    for all..

    Reply
  46. Kathy in SW PA

    Mary You have an army of people praying for you and Rick. Hang in there, I see good things coming your way. Blessings!!!

    Reply
  47. Lori

    Dear Mary,

    I’m finally commenting, thank you for letting us know what you want. Here are my excuses, I don’t think my life is that exciting, I am not a writer, I can usually write something in one sentence and someone else could write a whole page on the same subject. I have commented on other blogs and never get a response. Ok, enough of the excuses.
    I just spent three days at retreat with two of my quilting friends, we shopped, we ate out, we laughed, bitched and cried, and we sewed. I had my project all cut out ahead of time, my project is YOUR Sea Glass Stars pattern from the book, Scrap School. Oh, I’m lovin’ it, it’s a good one!!
    I mostly sew with civil war prints, but while we were shopping, I came across Elizabeth Hartman’s “Social Sharks”, I had been looking for a good quilt that is lake related. This is it, sharks and the lake, what a hoot, I’m in love with it. Yes, I know lakes don’t have sharks, but that makes it fun!
    Take care, sending prayers for you and Rick. I’m sure Rick knows that a lot of women are thinking of him and praying for him. Make sure he knows. I’m betting you will get a smile out of him. What man doesn’t like attention from lots of women. haha

    Reply
    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Lori – haha! Yes, I’ll tell Rick – I showed him last night how many comments came in – he is impressed that so many of you even know him! He obviously doesn’t read the blog, does he?

      Reply
  48. Jan in NW WI

    Just wanted you to know that I appreciate your blog. I live vicariously thru you, grew up in the city of Chicago, always wanted to have a small farm with animals and a garden. Now I live in Northern WI and am grateful for the wide open spaces, my pets and my gardens.
    I hope Rick’s stent procedure goes well. A family member of mine had it done and the result was wonderful!
    Also, thanks for the tip on The Moda reds. Always a tense time when you wash the finished quilt that has any red in it.
    Be safe, stay warm and enjoy the sun!

    Reply
  49. Sharon Lowy

    Feel sorry you have such a long ordeal in front of you and Rick but so glad you have each other. I have hated the shut down parts of the last 2 years. Even though I have been able to make about a mountain of quilts, being a widow there is no one to talk with. My husband died after a lengthy illness 14 years ago and I never even considered another marriage and I still wouldn’t but I really missed him so much during this down time. Take care of each other and by the way, your house looks fantastic! We are still snow covered in Illinois.

    Reply
  50. Susan K in Texas

    Wow Mary you have had a time of it! I check my emails every day looking for one of your posts. I read all the comments on the blog – it’s the only one i read the comments on.
    I need to wash windows but they’re redoing the street parallel to ours and the dust is terrible. We’ve hardly had any rain since last spring which is good for construction but not so good for our plants.
    I’ve been working on two commission quilts. There’s a short turn around time but it’s a great way to start the year.
    We have rats in our attic. I’d love to let the cats hunt up there but am scared they might be injured. It’s not big and open enough for us to get into all the areas. Besides my cats would play with them – it’s happened in the yard before. Klaus has caught the rat but it got away because he played with it. My husband had to take care of it.
    I’m so glad you’ve had a good experience at Mayo. We took our middle son to Mayo in Arizona. It was a terrible experience. They were no help at all and we spent three days sitting in the waiting room hoping for a possible appointment. We spent so much money to get there. He was finally diagnosed with vestibular migraines at UTSW here in Dallas. It’s been a long haul but he’s finally doing better.
    Take care!

    Reply
    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Susan K – you need a Hazel to take care of those rats – she’d make short work of them! Sad to hear that Mayo facility couldn’t help you but glad your son got some answers.

      Reply
      1. Susan K in Texas

        A Hazel would be fun to have! My husband doesn’t like dogs and I would love to have one. At least he tolerates the cats or he’d have to go. (That is said only half jokingly!) He was raised without pets and I was raised with them. His mom is about as anti-animal as they come.
        We were very disappointed in Mayo but apparently vestibular migraine sufferers go to many many doctors before they’re diagnosed. It was through a few dedicated doctors locally that he was put on the right track. It’s been years of therapy and medication and his determination that he’s doing much better now. The brain is a weird thing and difficult to treat since everyone is unique.

        Reply
  51. Brenda Ks.

    Mary
    Prayers for you and Rick! I am a cranky patient too and sometimes not very thankful. Makes me upset when I can’t do what I want to. But remember we all do love our caretakers. Can’t believe Hazel is five already. Time goes so fast. Ron says happy birthday to the most amazing Jack Russell he has ever known. Happy Birthday Hazel!!!

    Reply
    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Brenda KS – I will tell Hazel that Ron thinks she’s amazing- she’s asleep on my lap right now but my post later will be about her big adventure last night!

      Reply
  52. Kelli

    I’m so glad you’ve been sharing with us – we all love you and want to support you and Rick! Thanks for the updates and know we in blog land really do care! Blessings to you both!

    Reply
  53. Moe from NE Illinois

    Hi Mary, I like the idea of people leaving their location in the comments like Jo in Wyoming. I’ll do that from now on too. I love clean windows and wow, won’t that be awesome when the snow flies. I’m working on three more Halloween Quilts. I’ll send photos soon as I have them pieced. That will make 7 Halloween quilts with barely a dent in my stash. Part of my stash was my friend Vicki’s stash, she loved Halloween, she passed away too young in 2003, I’m just getting to making some of the quilts of her dreams because of course now I’m retired. Stay safe my friend, Moe

    Reply
  54. Candy

    Wow, Mary! You wanted comments … you got comments! Just wanted you to know I’m one of your MANY regular followers. I love all your stories of life in your part of the world. I’m on Vancouver Island in Canada. We’ve had ridiculous amounts of rain this winter and waaaay more snow than usual. Good quilting weather, I guess … but for me even the middle of summer is good quilting weather. Happy Birthday to Hazel! Good luck to Rick (and you!) on his procedures and recovery! Mary, could you remind those of us who have never sent a picture how to do that? Do we send it to your email address? Thanks and have a great day!

    Reply
  55. Dot

    I’m in North Carolina, having recently moved clear across the country from California to be near my daughter. But I’m half-Iowan! My mother was raised on a farm in Palo Alto County. Today, driving back from a doctor’s appointment, my car radio played Frank Sinatra singing “You’ll Never Walk Alone”. That line “Walk on, walk on, with hope in your heart” really spoke to me. Please know that YOU aren’t walking alone, Mary. We are all with you.

    Reply
  56. Susy Boyer

    Hi Mary, I guess I could say I love your honesty when you blog. Whatever the feelings and mood, we know what you’re thinking. I own many of your quilting books for years now, but I only found your blog about 4 years ago. I love following along with you and the farm.
    Yes, you do get a lot out of your days and I’m sure the weather has a lot to do with that. I live in San Diego, CA where there is no snow and I probably goof off a little to much. But I totally get getting your chores done so you can sew! I really need to at least touch fabric and dream a little every day. Makes me feel so much better.
    Best wishes to you and your hubby as his health improves. You’re a great nurse/wife.
    Susy

    Reply
  57. Marcia from SW Ohio

    I look forward to reading your blog and Jo Kramer’s blog. Both of you are my kind of people from the midwest. I hope the weather cooperates with you on your trips for Rick’s medical treatment. I found with my mom and my husbands medical trips to have a bag full of things to stitch or read helped to pass the waiting time,

    Reply
  58. Cheryl in St.mPaul

    Oh Mary, I’m so glad you received such an outpouring of support. I especially love when you talk about your music. I am blessed to play for many worship services, funerals and weddings, too. I even play for Winkels!! Have youheard of them? The German word, “Winkel” means corner, angle, place, or spot; and in the early days of the LCMS, the circuit pastors’ meetings were called “Winkels.” They still are called that. And let me tell you, when you get a sanctuary of pastors, the singing is out of this world.

    Being a caregiver is a hard journey. May God give you stam8a, health and encouragement.

    Now I’m going back to my quilting!

    Reply

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