Puppy Update, 4-30-2020

If you’ve ever raised a puppy, you know how busy they are and how much work raising them entails. They play hard

and crash even harder.

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This morning I rolled up both area rugs so I didn’t have to go chasing after the puppies the minute they headed that way. It will save much bending over to clean up. The wind has been too strong to rake or clean more flower beds so I’ve just watched the puppies from the shop or from a chair in the garage. I can’t believe they have been here just 7 days today.

Here is Lola:

And Lindsey:

Rick is busy getting all the lawnmowers ready to go for the season. Anybody who lives in the country knows about maintaining a fleet of vehicles that include, lawn mowers, tractors and utility vehicles.

There are two more riders and two walk behind mowers still in the shed.

The chickens come running when they see me because I’ve been breaking the goose eggs for them to eat – and no it won’t be a problem with them breaking their own eggs. I don’t want goslings so this is really birth control!

I love these chickens!

For many years we’ve had an old tire in the goat pen hoping to provide entertainment for the goats but they’re all too old and too fat to use it anymore so Rick had the great idea to cut off the top rim and move it to the garden area. He filled it with black dirt and will plant radishes, onions, and carrots in it. I continue to want a raised strawberry bed but Rick says it will freeze out every winter so I’m out of luck. Too old to weed a strawberry bed at ground level.

Rhubarb is almost ready for me to make a rhubarb cake – next to the rhubarb is the start of an asparagus bed – 6 nice shoots coming up but I know I’m not to cut it for 3 years, right?

More cookies – two different kinds that I have in the freezer for the garbage man, mailman, UPS, Culligan – plus we like cookies anytime – sometimes for breakfast actually.

Remember this project? I had lots of trouble quilting it on the longarm and I think it was because of the size of my needle – too big for the tight weave of this aged muslin from years ago. The thread broke repeatedly and I’m so glad to have this in the finished pile – not my best work as I tried to replicate Connie’s matchstick quilting lines but you know the old saying – finished is better than perfect.

Dirty Dozens –

Donna M. Is also working on Tula Pink’s Sunrise quilt like Connie’s. I think this is just gorgeous – but beyond my capabilities.

If you’ve got any finished projects, send me the picture for posting. Whoops! And just like that I see a little dump in the middle of the living room floor – so glad I took the rugs up temporarily. There’s just no easy way to raise puppies, I guess.

61 thoughts on “Puppy Update, 4-30-2020

  1. Martha Engstler Gettysburg

    Your sky is beautifully blue with wonderful sunshine. It’s like a curse here with overcast and rain most of the time. Lots of rain today. This Sunday is forcasted to be nice but then clouds again all next week. Your rhubarb looks wonderful. My grandmother in Iowa had a huge amount in her yard. The puppies are so cute but remember they are a lot of work.

  2. Susan MM

    Good morning, Mary! Those puppies are sure brightening up and thriving! I planted strawberries in a kiddie pool last year and put mulch over the bed in the fall. All of the plants made it safely through the winter, but I’m in Illinois in zone 5b, which I’m sure is warmer than where you are. Also, if you planted your asparagus, you can pick for 2 – 3 weeks, or until the spears get skinnier than a pencil. Then add a week next year, and so on. Love, love, love rhubarb and asparagus! Enjoy your day! Susan

  3. Diane from TN

    Love seeing pictures of the puppies. We had gotten a new puppy two years ago. I forgot what it was like having such a young thing to watch over. We ended up with a brother and sister after a few months. They are finally settling down so that they don’t require constant attention. Our house is never quiet. How is Hazel adjusting to the two puppies? Does she get worn out too?

    1. Candice

      You always inspire me with all you accomplish! Love seeing the puppies. Our puppy is almost three and I remember how much work he was. He’s great now, but I think it would have been easier if we had gotten two puppies. But I do not want to start over at this point.

  4. Sarah in NE TX

    I so miss rhubarb here in TX. Yours looks great. Lola and Lindsey are precious! And I don’t have a problem eating oatmeal cookies with a glass of milk for breakfast!

  5. Gwen Minshall

    I have raised two puppies at different times and also have adopted a year old dog. They are a lot of work but so much fun. Our last dog died a year ago. At age 70 I am trying to decide if I have the energy to have another dog. We live in a quiet neighborhood in the city so having a dog means long walks every day with them. I enjoy that too but am not sure if I will be able to take care of a dog like it needs for the long term. I sure do miss having a dog though. I love seeing your farm. It makes me miss the 8 acres in Nora Springs where I grew up.

    1. Rosalie

      Gwen, what about adopting an older dog. Many times an older dog has to be surrendered because their owner dies or becomes ill and can’t take care of their pet. You can let the animal rescue in your area know.
      We had 8 dogs at one time and are currently at 3. All have been rescues.

    2. Diane and Squeak

      Hi Gwen. My friend, now age 78, adopted an older dog, about 6 years old, three years ago. She is so happy she did. “Baby” is great company for her, loves to walk, and is adorable. She found her at the Humane society.

  6. Jean

    I just love and adore that tula pink quilt! Thanks for sharing. Would love to see Connie’s version.

  7. Teresa

    Mary, I live in Worth county and I tried for a few years to grow strawberries and was never successful. And of all things, I’ve never been able to grow rhubarb here either. Most people can’t get rid of it once it’s established and mine could never make it through the winters.

    I have raised beds for all my garden now, it’s so much easier for weeding and picking. Made four of them 3’ x 6’ and they’re about 26” high. They do need more water because of the constant wind up here but that’s easy enough to manage. I’m always on the lookout for old metal water tanks. Those work really well and are a good height.

    The puppies are cute, but a lot of work too. Good for you for fostering them.

    1. Pauline

      Have you heard about wicking beds? You could google plenty of information, but basically the water supply is deep in the raised bed, so the plants’ roots go deep, and survive dry, windy weather. The other advantage is that because the surface is dry, there are very few/no weeds. Mulching the surface is important. It works brilliantly and is popular here in South Australia – “the driest state in the driest continent”.
      Pauline in SA

      1. CountryThreads Post author

        Pauline – no, I’m not familiar with wicking beds but I understand wicking pots so this is just a bigger version. Hmmmm – I think it would be a good idea and fun to try – I’ll run it by Rick!

  8. Anonymous

    Thank you for your wonderful daily blogs. Love the puppies. They are so cute but so much work but thank you for sharing your stories of them.

  9. Frances

    So glad the puppies look better. I’m sure they love their new home and you. I agree with another reader, thank you for our daily look at a lovely farm that many of us wish we had, but don’t. Here in NC it is raining cats and dogs, and the wind howled last night waking me many times. This has been a cold Spring, but we ‘re expecting 84 degrees this weekend. Treat!

  10. Diane Bauer

    The puppies sure are cute, but oh my, so much work in the housetraining stage!! Good thing they’re cute or we might not have the patience!!

    I LOVE your blue and white quilt! I’ve always been drawn to the simple geometric quilts of my childhood and two color quilts are favorites! I love that this is two color, but with different shades of blue to make it extra interesting! Finished is way better than perfect!!

    Rhubarb is not commonly found out here in Colorado and often those who do have it don’t know quite what to do with it or don’t like it. Like with zucchini, I’m always happy to help with the extras!!

  11. Sharon Geiger

    Donna M. is my sister and she sent me tons of pictures of her progress. She does amazing work and her skills are far more advanced than mine. It’s okay because I don’t do hard and I like simple quilt patterns and quilting. Lol isn’t farm life the best?

  12. Rhoda Ebersole

    From Las Vegas it was 99 here yesterday. Next forecast is winds forecast a few days which means storms up north. We are still sheltering in place for a few more weeks. My Meyer Lemon tree has never bloomed as much as this year.
    Love looking at L and L.
    Stay well

  13. Sue in Colorado

    Shortly after we got our puppy many years ago, husband and I attended a talk on laughter. The speaker stated you should laugh at least 17 times a day and asked if anyone in the audience laughs 17 times a day. My husband raised his hand and I’m sure every eye in the room was on him. He then stated, “We have a puppy,” then every head in the room nodded.

  14. Lois Ann Johnson

    Love seeing the puppy photos! Wondering how Hazel is accepting of the new boarders? Does she get jealous? I noted, with interest, one of your readers questioning having another dog at age 73. I adopted Bailey at age 83 last year; she wasn’t a puppy (she was 2) but boundless energy and hardly any training in her previous life. Meanwhile, a year later, she has learned a lot from me and what I expect of her plus she has brightened up my life considerably with her antics and personality. I used to have a rhubarb patch but when I transplanted it (because of too much shade), it never made it through the next winter. Now I beg, borrow or steal some each year for my annual “fix.” Your cookies looked absolutely wonderful!

  15. Launa

    Huge downpours and accompanying harsh electrical storm about 1:30 am. Sunny, but cooler trend today with more electrical storms! Not my favorite weather up here in the Idaho mountains!

    Finished two styles of masks yesterday. Think I prefer the seam in the center style by Edyta Sitar. Seems to fit better with my glasses! A friend sent n shared narrow elastic with me as ties aren’t easy to do behind my head with arthritis!

    The two puppies are looking so good, Mary! I hope they find a wonderful home together. Thanks for the pictures.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Launa – I didn’t realize you had so many rainstorms in the mountains! Good for you making masks – I agree the ties are hard and don’t fit well.

  16. Amy M

    Rhubarb must be an “Iowa” thing. I remember my great grandma always having it in her garden and serving it to us. My brother-in-law who grew up in Iowa loves it also. He finds at a “farmers market” for restaurants in Atlanta but I’m sure it is flown in but he gets his fix. It just never grew on me. I think you will solve the raised bed issue! Is it possible to put a plastic hoop type greenhouse over the raised bed in the winter? I see a lot of those here in the country. Not big ones like commercial nurseries but small. I think once the metal hoops are attached to the raise bed they stay up all the time. Listen to me as if I know anything about gardening! : ) Glad the puppies now have names. Is there a story to their names?

  17. Sandi

    Hello, the puppies are so cute!! I love watching them play. I was wondering have you done strawberries in a hanging basket? My daughter did it one summer and loved it. Hugs,

  18. Charlotte

    Mary, thanks for the wonderful post. Really lifted me on what today is probably my lowest morning. Two days of rain, dark skies. Question about the puppies: What ingredients do you think make up those adorable Heinz 57s? I am thinking some lab but what else?!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      ChArlotte – they’re listed as lab mix but who knows what’s in the mix? Some kind of hound? Pit bull maybe? Shepherd?

  19. Jane from Blaine, MN

    Love seeing those puppies enjoying their life in the country with you! They are soooo much work but soooo adorable. I’m sure it’s very satisfying to see them thrive. And gosh it’s nice to see your photos of blue sky, green grass, gardens, chickens and beautiful quilts. Lovely warm day with less wind here so going outside to do more yard work and enjoy the sunshine. Thanks for your hard work and know that we surely do appreciate your efforts! Stay well everyone!

  20. Nikki M in Tx

    Lola & Lindsay are so lucky to be in your care.
    Rhubarb!!!!!! I love rhubarb & next to possible to get fresh here. Don’t think I have eaten it anyway that I didn’t like it. Liked to take stalks and dip in sugar and eat raw…& mother would stew it & sometime add pineapple to the stewed rhubarb… making my mouth water just thinking about it. If can find here is frozen, which is better that nothing, so that is not a complaint. Love the tire as raised bed idea.

  21. Jo in Wyoming

    I wonder if you can plant strawberries in an old wheelbarrow with holes? Then you can roll it to the shed for winter protection.
    Everything looks so piece full. I, too, love the chickens.
    How is Becky and Tom? I’m sure isolating is miserable for everyone. No beer and pizza dinners together.
    This too shall pass. Someday.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Jo in Wyoming – I miss Tom and Becky the most but they’re trying to follow instructions to stay home. Oh, that first pizza and beer will be out of this world!

  22. Jan Smith

    The irregular-ish quilting lines look fantastic, I think.
    It will be hard to say goodbye to those pups. How they must love all that room to play!

  23. Liz Schrader

    Rhubarb! Both my sons here in Texas love rhubarb pie and me too. I have found it at a grocery store a couple times but too hot to grow here. Love the puppies. I don’t think I could live without a dog.Real tired of shelter and place. Some stores opening here tomorrow. Maybe too soon. Love your blog Mary! Stay safe.

  24. Mrs. Goodneedle

    So, they’re no longer Blackie and Brownie? They sure are cute! 🐾❤️ Your matchstick quilting looks good from the photo, sorry that it gave you a headache— finished is always better than perfect! Congrats to all the dirty dozeners, well done! Ever since you posted the picture of the sourdough bread loaf that you traded for eggs I’ve been determined to created that bread here (in the absence of yeast). So far, the results have been less than satisfying but I’m NOT giving up! 😉 Stay safe~

  25. Sandy Bessingpas

    Mary I think you could harvest that asparagus sparingly..the other lady is right, when the stalks get pencil thin stop harvesting and let it store energy for the following year. Every year the stalks will improve in size, always just harvest the larger ones and leave the pencil thin ones..each year you can harvest for a longer period of time

  26. Teresa in Port Coquitlam, BC

    The puppies are so cute. What a wonderful person you are to foster them when it is so much work. They are so lucky to have you. The farm looks great, spring is here too, in Port Coquitlam. I would love to have raised beds but we are in the city and the neighbours trees are getting so tall it won’t be long before our back yard is all shade and then we won’t be able to have a garden so we don’t want to put in the work to build them. Oh well, we enjoy the garden we have until we can’t. Love your chickens too. Ours are very happy it is spring. Looking forward to more eggs. Quilts are all really nice too. I really like your blue and white one. Soon I am going to make a two colour quilt. Thanks for this blog I enjoy reading it especially now when we are all staying home. It gives me such a boost in my mood when I read it and see all the pictures and comments!

  27. Penny Ericksen

    I love puppies!
    I love quilts!
    I love you for reaching out and touching all of us!

  28. Candy

    I’ve had a real craving for some rhubarb pie lately … hubby’s favorite, so it’s the only kind of pie I make! I wonder if you can grow rhubarb in a large planter … maybe a barrel? I love your finished quilt (and the quilting), and you’re absolutely right, “finished is always better than perfect”! Thanks for sharing puppy news … so cute!

  29. Janice Hebert

    Your rhubarb looks great! I just bought rhubarb roots to see if I can jump start the small one I have in my garden that was shared by someone years ago. It’s never done very well, my fault as I haven’t paid it much attention. I do love rhubarb custard pie! One of my favorites. Your chicken pictures are great and your place looks awesome! We’ve been trimming trees and picking up branches. Had to stop raking for now as it’s been so windy lately. Lola and Lindsey, love the names! They are looking so much better. Enjoy them while they are with you! Jan in MA

  30. Janice Hebert

    Mary, tell me (us) about your barn. It has stairs up to a second floor? Is it mainly for storage? I’m afraid I don’t know a lot about barns but yours is beautiful! Jan in MA

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Janice Hebert – oh, I’d love to tell you about my barn. Give me some time to locate pictures.

  31. Charlotte Shira

    The puppies are so cute!! Everyone tells me I need to get a dog now. I’ll see…maybe. Don’t think I’m ready yet. I love rhubarb! We had rhubarb in West Virginia where I grew up and when we moved to our house here in northern CA there was rhubarb in the the yard. I think my husband got tired of it and it disappeared. I just ordered a plant online from someone back east. Should be here soon. Can’t wait to plant it. Could never find it in the nurseries here. I have a delicious recipe for Rhubarb Crunch.
    Love the DDs. Great jobs!
    Love the chickens too.

      1. Charlotte Shira

        Rhubarb Crunch
        Mix until crumbly:
        1 1/4 c. flour 1 tsp. cinnamon
        1 c. brown sugar 1 1/4 c. oats 1/2 c. butter (melted)
        Press half of the mixture into a greased 9″ baking dish. Use a large dish or it will run out. I use a round 2 1/2 qt. Pyrex dish. Cover with 4 c. diced rhubarb. Add 2/3 c. sugar.
        Combine 1 c. sugar, 2-3 T cornstarch, 1 c. cold water, 1 tsp. vanilla in a saucepan. Cook till thick & clear. Pour over diced rhubarb. Top with remaining crumbs & bake at 350* for 1 hour. Enjoy!

  32. Sandy

    Hi Mary, is Lindsey a boy or girl? We have a male friend called L indsay, just curious. I love stewed rhubarb and apple with icecream or on cereal for breakfast.hope everyone is keeping safe and well, my cousin Graeme is now home! Best wishes from sandy

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Sandy – Lindsey is a girl. I grew up on rhubarb sauce but haven’t made it for awhile. Hope Graeme is doing well!!

  33. Judith Ann Jaques

    Mary I got a sheltie puppy in Feb 2019. I had never gotten a puppy in the winter. I bought a puppy playpen. Best thing ever. I crate train so at night she came upstairs with me went into her crate. I have a full tub upstairs I no longer need. I used it every morning.for her,put a puppy pad in it. Ava did her business. I carried her down stairs to the puppy pen. By the time she could go outside I knew when she needed to go out.I had puppy pad in the pen for tinkles. She loved playing in that pen. It took a few days for her to get the hang of going to the door to go out. I was too old to chase a puppy or clean up floors or wash rugs. Hope your girls catch on soon. Good luck. j

  34. Kathy in western NY

    Rained most of the day here. Today we had a little bit of maintaining yard stuff too. My husband needed a part for some of his lawn equipment so I rode along with him and felt like I went on vacation for 2 hours! Back to sewing a few more masks tomorrow. Puppy pictures are so cute and as exhausting as they can be it is worth it in the long run. I trained our last one and I think it was cause he chose to keep up with the older dog going out so maybe Telly and Hazel will nudge them along.

  35. Paula Philpot

    I love the LINE quilting. I did 2 last week one was a snowball and the other I can’t think of name right now. The second one I did really close and don’t think I like it quilted that close. Love those chickens and dogs. We have or should I say my husband has a lot of equipment to get ready too. We now 6 acres and he has been doing the pasture since we sold the cows and donkeys. Paula in KY

  36. Kathy Hanson

    I love that the puppies have real names now! Lola and Lyndsay are great names for them. They are so darling, I can say that because I am not the one having to clean up after them!! Your birth control for geese is a great idea and the chickens are loving it by the looks of things. I love that little blue quilt! The “sunrise’ quilt is beautiful but I’m not up to that one either but I enjoy seeing it! Hoping you are having a lovely day today, it is beautiful here, I seem to either be sewing or reading and I should go out and take a walk!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Kathy Hanson – walks are highly overrated, don’t you think?

  37. Pauline

    Puppies! It must be puppy season! You have your two, Mary, then Bonnie Hunter at Quiltville has an Australian kelpie, Jo at Jo’s Country Junction has a beagle, and two ladies in my local quilt group have adopted rescue puppies since we’ve been in isolation. I love reading about them all – we had a kelpie-border collie cross when our kids were little, but where we are now we don’t have a fenced yard, so I get my puppy fix vicariously.
    And rhubarb! As you go into spring, we are well and truly in autumn, and with a cold wintry snap this week, yesterday my husband made rhubarb (from our garden) and apple crumble (LOTS of crumble!) for dessert last night. There’s enough for the next two nights, and a widowed friend as well. We had cream and ice cream with it last night, so I might make some custard for tonight…yum!! Just as well I do a 5 km walk every morning!
    Cheers, Pauline in South Australia

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Pauline – I always forget you’re opposite us and I hate to think about going into winter! Do you get bitter cold temps? Lots of snow? Yes, we quilters are a doggie bunch, aren’t we?

      1. Pauline

        Our long range forecast is for wetter-than-average June, July and August, but coming out of drought, for the last few years, we won’t mind. There is snow in winter in the mountain ranges on the east coast of Australia, but not here. The closest ski fields are over 600 miles away. We are arid lands and desert in most of our state, with most of the population around the coast, where there is water. I’m in awe of you starting your gardens from scratch every spring, as we can enjoy ours all year, despite frosts.

        1. CountryThreads Post author

          Pauline – I love hearing about the conditions in Australia – makes me feel like I understand the other side of the world just a little bit. Nothing lives through the winter here except for the hardiest of perennials. Such as my hydrangeas – they do great!

  38. Margaret

    I love rhubarb too, only get it in the stores in TX for a short time. I made your cauliflower salad–so good—- will make it often. Love the little blue quilt you finished and I sent for the men’s blue shirt pattern today, looking forward to receiving it. Thanks for your blog.

  39. Felicia Hamlin

    Love the names, Mary! Lola is so perky, but I can see that Lindsey is shy. Our two love going out now that the weather is nice. We used to have rhubarb, but somehow we lost it, a good friend shares some of his with us. Love all the quilts.

  40. Diane and Squeak

    Thanks for so many beautiful farm pictures and adorable Lola and Lindsay. They look so much healthier after being with just for a short time. I love your blue quilt and one day will be brave enough to do your straight line quilting. I love rhubarb and miss ours, but I can buy it in the Amish stores here in Central Ohio and in Amish Country. My mom swore by horse manure on it🐴. It is May first so I will hand my purses quilt and purses today. Should I send a picture, Mary? You did a great job and I love it😃

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