Relief, 3-27-24

The rest and the ice packs plus my chiropractor did the trick. The pain is probably not completely gone but so much better! Today I went to Staples and bought a lumbar support desk chair. I think that will really help and I pick it up tomorrow – I’ll be sewing tomorrow night!!

With no ballgames to watch I went back to watching Unforgotten which is on Prime and very good.

I had a reader contact me about the book The Women and I suggested we have a discussion. Will those of you who have read it, tell me if you think it was an accurate portrayal? Did you like it? What didn’t you like about the book? I felt like I learned a lot about Vietnam but maybe what I thought I learned wasn’t the truth. What do you think?

Reader photos

So clever to cover the tv in the travel trailer when it’s not in use.
Love this color combo!
Meant to mention yesterday that I took this picture because of all the blackbirds. There are swarms of them arriving!

51 thoughts on “Relief, 3-27-24

  1. Sandy

    Hi Mary, glad you are feeling better. I feed sparrows on our driveway, they wait on the fence for their breakfast. Quilting all done on the wedding quilt, so will sew down the binding tomorrow when l get together with my 2 quilting friends, our first get together! April is the daughter of a friend l started quilting with 30 years ago, and Karen was the first person l met when l joined ghe local quilt guild. I hope every one as a happy and safe Easter weekend, take care, best wishes from Sandy s

  2. Charlotte in No California

    So glad you are feeling better Mary. I hope the new chair helps too. I think I need a new sewing chair since my neck always hurts when I sew a while.
    Love all the pictures today. Beautiful quilts. That’s a lot of blackbirds. We have several crows in our neighborhood but not as many since a big tree at one of the houses was cut down recently.
    I made the Salsa White Chicken Chili this week for my sewing group at church. They all loved it and wanted the recipe. I don’t know who sent it in but thank you. It’s really good and easy!! I love easy!! I will be making it again.

  3. Barbara Yarnell

    Great pictures today. Love the pink table runner, so simple but so lovely! Patti in FL: your quilt is outstanding! I wonder, how big is it? Did you lay out the squares on a design wall or did you make a diagram? I’d love to make one like it.
    I didn’t read the book about Vietnam, one of my brothers was injured there and he was affected for his entire life. But I did read The Mystery of Mrs. Christie by Marie Benedict and it was really good! My local library has several of her books so I’m excited to try them also.

    1. patti leal

      the sew many squares quilt ended up 40.25″ x 50.5″. i had quilted it on the longarm but had tension problems. thought i could only take out a bit. no. undid it all, quilted it on my domestic machine with ditch quilting side-ways, 1/4″ from seams up and down, one side had to be cut off by two squares and the other side by one square (backing shifted). it still looks okay. i had seen it somewhere and drew it out on graph paper. made using 2.5′ squares. i did have to cut more 2.5″ squares in yellow. i did not use a design wall. i laid out 11 squares x 11 squares for the center. all random. trying not to put the same fabric or color next to each other. no stressing – just lay it down. sew into rows, then rows together. same with each side by the big square. did the same for the top and bottoms. just sewing squares to squares into rows, rows into big units. i felt like it was kind of freeing. feel free to use my example. i have more designs on the horizon as take-offs of this one. it is a nice size for me and i’m keeping it. thanks. patti in florida (who still has tons of 2.5″ squares and other sizes also)

  4. MaureenHP

    Something about your barn photo always touches my heart and makes me so grateful for our country and our freedoms.

  5. Gloria from CC

    I just started reading The Women so I can’t add to the discussion. What I’ve read so far is really good but I’ve been a Kristin Hannah fan for years.
    One comment I can make about Vietnam is that friends who fought over there and came back alive, were never the same. What I thought/hoped was temporary personality changes, lasted a lifetime.

    1. Cynthia from SW MN

      When my husband got off the plane in Vietnam he said he saw these old men going aboard the plane after the new guys had all gotten off the plane. He realized that those people were not old men, they were the soldiers who were going home after their tour of duty. This is how being there affected them, physically and mentally. One time when he was at the VA for his appointment a lady asked him if being in Vietnam affected him….he said every day of my life. How could one be the same if they were in a war like that. Lucky to be alive. Remember, most of the soldiers epwere 18-19 years old. My husband was 21. I will check the book out or purchase it if there is a long wait line at the library.

  6. KathyG from Oak Creek, WI

    I’m reading The Women now and I can’t wait to finish in order to be part of the discussion. My husband is a Vietnam Era vet, he was lucky to be stationed in Hawaii during the war. However, we have many friends affected by the war. So we took a 3-week trip to Vietnam a few months ago and it was an eye-opening experience. When we returned we found that many vets started opening up to us about their experiences there. And they want to know what it’s like today. So many people are in so much pain.

    As for your pain, I hope your new chair support gives you the relief you need. This probably sounds crazy, but after my major spine surgery I had to switch to a saddle chair in my sewing room. It makes me have to sit up straight using my core muscles – my physical therapist would be proud – haha! Anyway, best wishes for a speedy recovery.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Kathy G – a saddle chair – no back and on wheels? We have one but my back gets no support when I use it.

      1. KathyG from Oak Creek, WI

        I had a lumbar laminectomy with spinal fusion. It was 16 hours of surgery over 2 days. The first day they went in from the front and placed a metal plate in the inner side of my spine. That took 8 hours. The next day they went in from the back and put in 2 artificial disks (mine were worn away to the point where the vertebrae were rubbing against each other wearing them down). They surrounded the disks and vertebrae with cages that were screwed to the plate that was put in the day before. They also had to reinforce some of the vertebrae with cadaver bone to help keep things in line. That surgery was in 2014 and after 6 months of physical therapy I feel like a miracle occurred. I still have a little residual nerve damage in my toes but that only happens after long hard work days. I would not be walking if it weren’t for my miracle surgeon, Dr. Tom Perlewitz. I have no back pain ever. I feel so very lucky.

        1. Cynthia from SW MN

          To be able to be relatively pain free, it is so wonderful the advances medicine has made. I am going to tell my brother about your surgery.

        2. Mary Etherington Post author

          Kathy G – what delicate surgery – 2 days worth? Yikes. Do you have a lifting weight limit? I forget how long ago this took place – what was your recovery time? Did you inherit a bad back or did your lifestyle, like mine, deteriorate your back?

          1. KathyG from Oak Creek, WI

            I have congenital degenerative disk disease. In fact they did the same surgery on my neck 10 months after the lower spine surgery. It comes from years and years of long distance running as well as heredity. I had the lower back done in January 2014 and the neck in October of the same year. All in all, I was in physical therapy for almost 2 years however, I was running on a treadmill 3 months after the first surgery! I wanted to be better than before! I have a 40-pound weight restriction which isn’t bad and I can do almost anything I could before however the fusions have left me with limited ability to twist at the waist or turn my head as far back as I used to. Considering the results, if I had to go back and do it all over again I would!

        3. Mary Etherington Post author

          I went back and reread your details – sorry to have asked again. There are so many comments and emails between questions and answers it’s hard to find the originals!

  7. Donna Jo

    Good to hear you are feeling better and ordered a new chair. We spend so much time in our sewing chairs, a good one is important. There’s 93 people on the waitlist for “The Women” at our library. It must be a great book! Another great quilt show today!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Donna Jo – I am never willing to wait for a library book – I always buy my books because I like to keep them.

  8. Susan Franke

    I normally don’t read constantly but The Women was a book I couldn’t put down. I can easily picture it being very real. I was too young to understand a lot about the war but knew people who came back totally changed, and not in a good way. I never heard much about the women who served as nurses but the death, pain, sadness and challenges they met, to me, are totally possible, probably likely. They are to be thanked and admired for their service as are the men who served and sacrificed. I’m glad some of their stories have finally been told.

  9. Diana in Des Moines

    Glad to hear you feel better.
    My happiness starts tonight with the season opener of the Cubs! We don’t have cable anymore, but streaming. Tonight the Cubs game is on ESPN which we do have! Will miss part of the game as we have Maundy Thursday services at church.
    Heading to Joann’s this morning for more flannel. On sale and I can make many, many more receiving blankets to our church team to take to Uganda. Did you hear Joann’s filed for bankruptcy? I hope they can get their act together so we can continue to shop there. I don’t buy much fabric there, but notions and thread are always on sale.
    Oh, and Hobby Lobby opened about 5 minutes from my house!! Haven’t been yet – waiting for the crowds to thin.

  10. Diane in Colorado

    I will be watching the discussion on The Women with interest. I looked at it in Target yesterday as I’ve heard many good reviews of it but put it back down because I have about 5 others on my bedside table to read first. I’m reading The Frozen River right now and really enjoying it—also historical fiction.

  11. Linda in NC

    I missed the Salsa White Chicken Chili recipe. Can someone repost it please.

      1. Linda in NC

        Dot in NC
        Thank you for the link to the Salsa White Chicken Chili. I did read that post but forgot about the recipe. My Vermont Cheddar Soup was in that post. I’m in Charlotte, NC where are you?

        1. Dot in NC

          Hi Linda,

          I’m in Wilmington. I moved here about 5 years ago to be near my daughter. I like Wilmington, but have yet to learn my way around the whole place. My daughter took me to Charlotte once, when I first got here, to shop at IKEA.

  12. Carolyn Rector

    I am on the wait list for “The Women” may just have to go buy a copy.
    Glad you are feeling better, Mary. Hope the new chair helps.
    I,too, love the barn picture. Must have been something to hang that flag. Thank you readers for all your pictures.

  13. Janice in Middle TN

    So good to hear you are feeling better. I think maybe I need a new chair too! Loved seeing the pictures of the kitties today – I have one house cat who is about 15 years old. Enjoyed all the pictures today and I got ideas from several quilt photos -the table runner would be great to make for my sofa table. The quilt with all the squares makes me think I could cut up some of my chicken fabrics to mix in with others. So much fabric, so little time! Today I am hoping to baste and start quilting a UFO that I’ve had sitting around for 25 years or more! I won’t say how many UFO’s I have…..

  14. Vicki Ibarra

    I love the pictures today. The cat pictures make me want to sit with a cat on my lap once again. I spent some time yesterday cutting backing fabric and batting for some small quilts I have pieced. They are UFO’s until they are completely done. I have 9 total quilts to finish, but with it being spring and time to be outdoors on the occasional nice days, I won’t get them done for a while. I love spending a few minutes here and there choosing backing and binding fabric and prepping the fabric. As someone on this blog once said, “Petting fabric is soothing”. Laugh

  15. Jan Blatnik

    I read The Women and I think it’s a good portrayal of the times. I figured I was Frankie’s age. I was in college and watched the protests at the student union. My parents were not affluent but my mother was in social clubs and served tea just like Frankie’s mom. She was a stay at home mom. I was encourage to become a teacher. During that time it seems our choices were teaching or nursing. I also loved the references to the music of that time. I knew every song. Sadly, my cousin lost his life as a gunner on a helicopter in Vietnam. Clearly, I would highly recommend this book.and I think the research she did was authentic.

  16. Karen Cyr

    I haven’t read the book but I lived next door to a woman in grad school who had been a nurse in Vietnam. She was one of the toughest resilient women I have known. She didn’t talk a lot about her experiences but it clearly had impacted her significantly and she wasn’t shy about her admiration for the men who were there. Many of my classmates in law school at that time were Vietnam vets and they were among the most mature, focused people in my class. They survived alot and we as a nation took a long time to recognize their sacrifice and service.

  17. Jane from St Marys IA

    I read The Women & I really liked the 1st & last part of it the best. There was something about the middle that was hard to read for me & I know others that have had the same reaction. That being said…it is a very good book for the most part. My hubby served in Vietnam for a year & he has told stories about places mentioned in the book like Pleiku where he flew into coming into Vietnam & then was stationed an hour away from Qui Nhon. I did ask about seeing any nurses at their base & he said there were no women at all. The nurses…or medics as they were called…were all men. The only American woman he ever saw the whole time he was there was some lady who he has no idea why she was at the base to start with out in the middle of no where & he was chosen to drive her to Qui Nhon. He tried to talk to her for that whole hour & she just wouldn’t talk. He has no idea if she was a nurse…where she came from…nothing. He said he gave up & it was a long ride after that! I grew up with lots of friends going over there & watching all the happenings on tv but I’m sure lots of the news was not reported right after listening to hubby’s stories. It is the kind of book that makes you really think about the past.

  18. Cathy D

    We had hundreds of black birds in our yard and farm field on Sunday. They spent the better part of the day here, pting everything with poop! Thank goodness for the rain that washed everything off! Spring has sprung in Iowa.

  19. Cynthia from SW MN

    Mary, which chair did you order from Staples? They have quite a few models. I think this would help me be able to sit up higher. I have been busy working on my UFO’s, ready to start another sampler quilt, all the blocks are ready to get washing around them! I think I still have three more groups of sampler quilt blocks, then I will turn my attention to 5” squares and make the mini yellow brick toad table runners. Next week it is supposed to warm up and I will put up my bluebird houses.

  20. patti leal

    mary, hope you are feeling much much better today. my chairs can sometimes do a number on my back so i have office chairs at my machines. am considering putting one at my kitchen table since that chair hurts my back so badly. i don’t care what people say/think, i care about being able to walk. the kitties look so cute. i remember when mine were small. now slinky is 8 and not so small. all the pictures are wonderful. i so like that people are comfortable enough to share. we are all so different and do different stuff. i love it all, but don’t want to do it all. ‘the Women’ is on my list. i grew up with class-mates going to viet nam, married a vet on his return. the war changed these young men and women so much. then to come home to protesters saying they were ‘baby killers’. most of these men were drafted, no choice. just a bad time in our country then. we didn’t do right by them and they are still paying the price. let’s go quilt. patti in florida

  21. Sheryl Harrison

    I would love to follow conversation about The Women. I love Kristin Hannah but haven’t read The Women. Firefly Lane is one of my favorite books. I put off reading The Women because Four Winds was so heartbreaking and right now I need to read lighter happier books. Maybe in a few months…

  22. Janet Beyea

    I read The Women and it was very absorbing. We were stationed on Guam during that time period. Military personnel who were badly wounded in Vietnam were treated on Guam. Because of some tragic incidents caused by PTSD, military procedures were changed.

    We also lived in San Diego for decades and I was disappointed with her research about the area. She made several errors that greatly annoyed me although I’m sure people who aren’t familiar with the military bases in San Diego aren’t bothered by the errors.

  23. Jo in Wyoming

    Oh mary, I’m glad you’re better. A new chair may be just the ticket.
    I have door wedges under my sewing machine. It tilts the machine so I have a much better view of the machine bed without bending my neck so much.
    I remember the your post on Easter with the cinnamon rolls you took to church. They looked so good.
    I Hope Easter is joyful to all.

  24. NancyTD

    Glad you are feeling better. Happy Easter to everyone.
    My B880 Bernina broke down again. I bought a new 790 Pro. Technology has changed in the sewing machine industry in the last 10 years. Busy learning to operate it. Love it !

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      NancyTD – I’ll go look it up. How long did you have the 880?

      1. NancyTD

        10 years old. Getting it serviced or at least an estimate. Hope it can get fixed for a decent price.

        1. Mary Etherington Post author

          NancyTD – do you want something different in a machine? It looks like the 880 has everything you could possibly want. It’s too much machine for me – I have a 440 that never gets used.

  25. Robin

    I just finished the audiobook version of The Women this morning and found it to be very captivating. I’m too young to remember when the Vietnam War was going on but from what I’ve heard the book is a true depiction.

  26. Joyce from NY

    I’m reading the Women, I have a hard time putting it down. I don’t know anyone that served in the Vietnam war, they were treated unfairly when they returned home.
    I’m a big fan of Kristin Hannah books!

  27. Linda Orizondo

    I am on the list at the library to get The Women so I won’t be able to discuss it at this time. I had many friends in that war. Some never made it home and some were never the same when they did get back. My husband was a Marine at that time but whatever his training involved was never used and thank goodness he never went to Vietnam.
    I really enjoyed Unforgotten. Let me know your thoughts when you finish it.
    I am glad that you are feeling better. I really dislike aches and pains. Keep on sewing!

  28. Pat in AZ

    So glad you are finally getting some relief from your pain. I hope your new chair is icing on the cake.
    Such pretty quilts, kitties and treasures. The creativity is so inspiring but I have to put blinders on. I’m very susceptible to squirrels!
    Always love seeing pictures of the barn. It’s just so stately and perfect.
    My husband and I have both read The Women and felt it was so important for people to know more of the story of Vietnam. John was in the Navy serving on river patrol boats. In addition to his patrol duties they occasionally transported injured servicemen to naval hospital ships for more skilled care. Women medics often accompanied the injured. There were definitely women in Vietnam.
    I wasn’t sure if this was a book he could read as he was pretty bitter when he got stateside and encountered the hatred. He said he was glad he did as it was reassuring to know it wasn’t just him , as odd as that may sound. I think this is a book that everyone could benefit from reading.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Pat – thanks for your very important comment – I am saving it for my next book club when we discuss The Women

  29. DebMac

    I haven’t read “The Women” and didn’t even know it was out there but will put a copy on hold. It sounds like an interesting read. A friend from college wrote a book about the war, (A Life in a Year; the American Infantryman in Viet Nam 1965-1972 by James R. Ebert) in which he interweaves research with interviews of 50 soldiers from (mostly) Iowa, Wisconsin, and South Dakota. I was on the tail end of the Viet Nam war and to be truthful, even this many years later, it is hard to read about. I have read more military history than the average person about many wars but Viet Nam is one I tip toe around. Ebert’s book (shameless plug here) is well written, well researched, and a “good” read. Not enjoyable but a “so that’s how it was” book. It can easily be found on the secondary market.
    So glad to hear your getting some relief and hope the new chair works for you. I had a cheap office chair that hurt my back until I leaned back too far one day and snapped off the back support. Now it is much more comfortable.
    Nice photos again today, folks, keep ’em coming.

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