Puppy School, Cataracts and a Christmas Quilt

Last night I went with Connie and Betty to Puppy School. It was wild! I think there were 8-10 puppies there and every single one of them wanted to rassle and play – barking, jumping, pulling on their leashes – such fun! Easy for me to say, right? I had no skin in this game so I thought it was all funny and fun!

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Betty wanted to play with her neighbor named Newman, a cockapoo who just could not sit still.

Here’s about half of the puppies.

This morning I had an appointment at North Iowa Eye Clinic to finally schedule my cataract surgery on both eyes. I really needed it done last spring but Rick was laid up and now I can’t get in until October 25 and November 8. Think of how your eyes feel when they’re dilated – that’s how I’m seeing these days. So annoying.

And it’s almost time for bed but I just finished the Christmas table mat. Here it is….

Here’s the bigger quilt….

I have lots of details to talk about but I’ll do it tomorrow morning.

The flowers are still blooming in my yard…..and it’s still raining. Poor farmers.

39 thoughts on “Puppy School, Cataracts and a Christmas Quilt

  1. Dianne H.

    I will be having cataract surgery on my rght eye in a month. Back in May when I had my eye exam, my doctor said it needed to be done. I couldn’t see the big E on the eye chart. I even passed the eye test for my drivers license. Because my left eye is 20/20, it takes over and supports the vision in my right eye. All was good. In the last month or so, my cataract has gotten worse and is making vision fuzzy. It is driving me crazy. I got the earliest appt. I could get, which is the day before Thanksgiving with my follow-up appt. on Thanksgiving morning. I was surprised that my doctor would be willing to do the surgery and follow-up then, but I guess he does what “needs to be done when it needs to be done”. There will be other patients haveing surgery that day too. Since our oldest daughter passed away three years ago, our family has “early Thanksgiving” at our house. It was decided that we needed to get together at least once a year because life is just too short to put things off. Everyone comes to our house because we can accommodate everybody. My three daughters prepare the turkey, stuffing, and mashed potatoes in our kitchen. All the other guests bring a dish to pass and/or desert. When we have finished the meal, my daughters put the leftovers away, wash the dishes, and leave me with a spotless kitchen. I’m not even allowed to help. How great is that!! Since we live in the country and our driveway is a half mile up a hill, we hope the snow holds off until after the second Saturday in November or preferrably until after Christmas. Good luck with your surgery. I’m sure all will turn out well.


    The flowers are so pretty, do you keep your seed? I am buying some new seed for next year to increase the colors and size. I have kept my seed for about 3 years and it still work great!! Paula in KY

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Paula Philpot – these were special seeds that Reed and I found – but I might try to save some seed. I wonder if I’ll know where they are next spring.

  3. Pam From North Carolina

    I remember my yellow lab, Lucy’s puppy kindergarten! She fell in love with a tiny terrier a third her size! They wrestled and played the whole time. They both graduated and got to wear the mortar board. I seriously think the trainers passed them so they didn’t have to deal with the puppy antics through another session! HA!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Pam from NC – Betty’s favorite puppy is a springer spaniel named Bella but she liked Newman a lot, too. Such fun!

  4. SusanfromKentucky

    I’ll bet you loved Puppy class! I took my (then) puppy last year. It was crazy, but fun! Love the table topper, so pretty! And love your flowers, especially the Zinnias. My husband used to always grown sunflowers (all varieties he could find) and all varieties of Zinnias. He used to bring me in bouquets of his flowers. He loved the Envy (green ones) especially. I am going to try to plant some Zinnias and sunflowers next year. Couldn’t bring myself to plant the past two summers. That’s what I was doing the day he died.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Susan from Kentucky – oh, I hope you can plant those zinnias and sunflowers next year – my sympathies to you. WHat kind of puppy, now dog, do you have?

  5. Diane in Ohio

    The puppies look so cute. Betty will be great. Your two quilts are so beautiful and On my list to make. When my Aunt had her cataract removed MANY years ago, she had to be on her back in a dark room for several hours. Now, you’re up and about in no time! Isn’t research wonderful? Betty K is right, you’ll do fine. We’re in North Carolina and it’s hot here, too. In Ohio, our leaves are turning brown and falling because we had so much rain. Sad. We still have some flowers, too.

  6. Diana

    I am having eye surgery at the end of the month. Not cataracts, but nodules growing on my corneas. Been waiting for years for them to be ready for removal, finally it is time! I understand your vision issues – I am blurry in my right eye.
    Our guild has a retreat this weekend for 2 days. Love retreat!
    Will pray for your eye surgery!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Diana – please let us all know how your surgery goes! And have lots of fun at your retreat!

  7. patti

    love the table topper and quilt! i had the cataract surgery on both eyes this year. i paid the extra for them to remove my astigmatisms because they were so bad. i still have a hard time realizing i can’t see up close without readers or glasses. it seems strange. but, you’ll be so glad to see clear colors again. patti

  8. Betty Klosterman

    Mary, I forgot about the colors. That was the most striking difference. You will be seeing them thru clear eyes, not the smokey cataracts. I was shocked at the difference. A baby blue piece of fabric was laying on top of the pile. It was beautiful. Don’t worry about the drops. They aren’t a problem. I was still working when my eyes were done and I’d just put the drops in my eyes and go on working. Not a problem. Oh, and that little triangular shaped pillow they put under your knees! Too bad it wouldn’t fit in my bag.

  9. Teresa

    Thanks for the cataract discussion everyone. Good information.

    Mary, the two quilts are gorgeous! Hoping your eye surgery goes smoothly and your vision is much improved. I don’t mind getting older but I hate that my vision isn’t what it used to be and I worry I’ll have to stop sewing one day.

  10. Launa

    Mary, I had one eye done just before moving from CA and my other cataract removed here in Idaho. It was a snap both times and now rather than being myopic I can see great distance..better than 20/20 and I opted for glasses since I have worn contacts n then graduated lenses for years. I like the self darkening lenses in my glasses, too. We quilters need to see!
    Your Christmas table topper is great…my colors! Love the reproduction fabrics.

  11. Kathy Hanson

    It looks like most of us have had the cataract surgery that you are signed up for – it is so easy and so nice to see well again – I wish you well and know you will be so happy with the results. You will be so amazed by colors when it is done Surprised by what you have been missing!! The quilt and table topper are so great – love them. What fun to go to puppy school, it must have been such fun to watch all of those darling pups! You have such an interesting life!!

  12. Marsha Ransom


    Good luck with the surgery. I appreciate everyone’s comments. I have very poor vision (extremely near-sighted and astigmatism). My mother had hers done and is not happy that she can’t see to read the small print or thread a needle WITHOUT her glasses. I, too, take off my glasses to read fine print and thread needles. I’ve resorted to needle threaders now that I have cataracts starting. I’m terrified of eye surgery (cannot stand anything in my eyes but have no problem doing drops, as I use them for dry eye and allergies). I wonder if the drops sting or burn after cataract surgery? I’m interested in the multifocal lens so will be asking whatever doctor I see about that.

    1. Betty Klosterman

      My main thought was there was no way I could hold my eyes open, either. They said not to worry, they would take care of that and I said Let’s go. There was no pain or burning. The eye drops are for preventing infection and they don’t hurt. I wore heavy, thick glasses for years and thought my eyes were really bad until a new doctor told me my eyes were very healthy, I just had long eye balls–hereditary. My eye doctor always said he could really make me see. They tested the distance so I could see the computer screen without the readers. I can read without them unless the print is very small and poorly lit. Mine are half glasses and find I wear them most the time at home as I’m always doing needlework. Also scrub the floor with them so I can see if the little spots of dirt come off — not very often. Don’t be affraid.

  13. Brenda Archambault ( northwest Phoenix)

    Mary, the surgery s a breeze. The best part was the beautiful swirling of colors as they removed the really bad cataract in the first eye. Looked forward to surgery in second eye and was disappointed that there was no color display, as the cataract wasn’t as bad! You’ll see colors differently now. My brown chairs take on a mossy green hue occasionally, but the best was when my husband had his surgery 20 plus years ago and discovered I wasn’t a blonde. My hair was quite white!
    We had quite a bit of rain here yesterday ( record breaking, over two inches) and the furniture creaked, it was so busy absorbing the humidity.
    Love your posts and life on the farm.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Brenda A., Phoenix – we saw the heavy rain in Phoenix on the national news! Yes, that amount is unheard of for you and we are getting used to rainy weather but the farmers are pretty worried – they want to get started with the harvest!

  14. Pat Smith

    I’m glad you’re having the cataract surgery. I was afraid, but tried to see the bigger picture. I had multifocal lenses put in and have been very happy with the results although I probably wouldn’t go to the expense again. I was never one who hated wearing glasses, but found it pretty convenient to have really good close up vision whenever i wanted it with the glasses. After 4 years I need 2.0 readers for print media although I’m still fine using the computer or tablet. I think it must be a matter of lighting. The world is a really bright place now, and I have several grades of sun glasses—one pair for bright sunny days and a lighter pair even for cloudy days because it is too bright when I’m driving on those days. It was worth all the drops! Loved the zinnias, a reminder of my Iowa childhood. I don’t see them enough any more—think I’ll plant some next summer.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Pat Smith – I’m having the astigmatism lenses put in but I’m ok with reading glasses. My vision has gotten worse gradually but she didn’t want to do the surgery until last spring and then I couldn’t leave Rick. Now my vision is very bad.

  15. Diane Moffett

    I’d say you see perfect now when I look at those quilts! Wow! They are lovely and so many pieces. Watch out quilt world when Mary’s cataract surgery is over!

  16. Joy

    Wish you the best on your cataract surgery! Love your puppies and your quilts are awesome!

  17. Gayle

    Good luck with your cataract surgery. I’m scheduled for amniograft in late November and then the other eye in late December. I have a condition called conjunctivochalasis dry eye. Basically my excessively dry eyes have damaged the outer membrane covering the eye. My vision is affected also. The thought of eye surgery is somewhat scary. But I want my clear vision back.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Gayle – I can’t wait to see again, too. My vision is quite bad right now – we’ll both be in good shape later this fall, won’t we?

  18. Anita Fetzer

    You will be amazed at how wonderful and bright the world is after cataract surgery,only down to it are the eyedrops🤐 the Christmas quilt is great, I just finished 1 from a pattern of yours from way back. I can relate to puppy training, did it with our little poodle. At first it was just like a zoo but got lots better. Betty will be the star of the gr9up I’m sure. 80s here again today . Where is fall. Only a few days then back to summer. Then to winter I suppose. Anita Fetzer

  19. Ann Barlament

    I remember the day I took myself off the road because I couldn’t read the “big E” at the top of the chart. My eyesight was 200/20. Before the surgery the birds, at the feeder were blobs of color. After surgery, I could tell you how many feathers each bird had.
    The miracles these eye doctors perform daily is a blessing from heaven. She took my 200/20 vision and gave me 20/20 sight!

  20. Martha Engstler

    I too had cataract surgery (this past February) and it’s fantastic. A new kind of lens was used and the lens are the same in both eyes. Distance and mid distance are perfect and even close up is great. I can read the fortune in fortune cookies. In the good light I can see to read without glasses but for serious reading I use glasses, l.50 or l.75. Love your flowers. I remember puppy training, crazy.

  21. Susan Sundermeyer

    Betty is so cute! I have a beautiful red rose in bloom. Back up to 80 here in southern Ohio so the air conditioner went back on. I put the Halloween decorations out over the weekend. It’s time for fall weather.

  22. Beryl Hoff

    You will like the vision after you surgery!! I, like Betty, have one eye close the other for distance. I love it. If I am going to do any long distance driving I wear a contact in my left eye so I can see far away and my eyes don’t get so tired. I have readers for anything I need to read. I have just about mastered the needle threading but some days are very frustrating! I could wear the contact lens but hate to wear the readers so I manage without. I don’t remember a lot of drops but each doctor and set of eyes are different. I think the worst part of the surgery was the anticipation of not knowing just what was going to happen. The doctor talked to me the whole time, they prayed with me before the surgery, he asked if he could…what a comfort that was!! I had mine done out of town so my sister and I stayed in a motel so I could go back in the morning for a check up…he said it was already healing! The second one went well also. I still check at 20/20 in both eyes and it has been about 4 years I think.
    We had rain today in MT too, it was welcome..no snow yet, please!!

  23. Betty Klosterman

    Oh, Mary! You are going to love cataract surgery!! They made one of my eyes for distance and the other for close up. I nearly had a fit when I found I couldn’t thread a needle. I have to be able to thread a needle! The eye doctor prescribed the half glasses for reading. The lens for the close up eye has no correction. The far sighted side makes that eye see close up. I can thread a needle in a second. When sewing without the glasses is kind of like a drunk weaving all over, but near perfect with the reading glasses. I just talked to a girl who couldn’t see and she is going to see my eye doctor because she needs to sew! I think it took me about 2 years to stop pushing my glasses up on my nose. You will love it. It does take awhile for your eyes to heal so don’t get impatient.

    1. SusanfromKentucky

      I have the mono vision for my contact lenses. Have been wearing them like this for about 15 years and love it!

  24. Jo in Wyoming

    All the pictures are so happy. Puppies..cute, quilt…great, flowers…beautiful.
    I’m told cataract surgery is like a miracle. So much better when it’s over.

    Happy Birthday Singer Featherweights, 85 years old tomorrow!!!
    I have my moms, her fingerprints are all over it. I’ll never clean them off. She loved her machine.

  25. Nancy Wines

    You are going to be so happy once your cataracts are removed. The surgery is painless. The biggest thing are the eye drops you have to do before and after surgery. They seem to be constant! I set alarms on my iPhone to keep up with schedule. But your vision will be so much better. I can see to drive without glasses! Awesome!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Nancy Wines – I am so tired of not being able to see my phone and computer!

      1. Julie Burkhardt

        I had both of my eyes done in 2015.. so glad I did. Are you having one done for distance and one for near vision? I did not..can see distance really good, but still have to wear reading glasses… surgery is a breeze. The one thing I really noticed was the brightness Of the colors…no wonder my daughter and I couldn’t agree on color combos prior to surgery. Good luck🤗

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