Surprise! 3-23-23

Remember how I complained about the dire warnings our weathermen go on and on about for days and then we get nothing in terms of a storm? They are so bored with their job they love an “event” to talk about. The last time they warned us for days they were shaking with excitement about the 8-12” of snow we were going to get. We got maybe an inch.

This is the farm this morning – 4” of new snow not even mentioned last night on the 10 o’clock news.

I recently wrote to the tv station weather department about wind direction and why don’t they mention it. With animals and a dog door flap, wind direction is the first thing we worry about. If you live in town you probably don’t even know it’s windy. End of rant.

And this is what I’m consumed with – the Susannah book. Every time I think I’m happy with the pasteup I think of something more I want to add. It’s bittersweet studying these photos of my sweet Susannah.

All of my photos were taken as film photos not digital so these won’t be as sharp and clear as I’d like – she was born in 2001 before there was an IPhone in my pocket 16 hours a day. It is what it is – I’ll do the best I can because I really want to write this book.

Family health news – Rick’s sister, Nancy, married to Dave, has lived in California for 30+ years. Last week Nancy suffered a fatal heart attack just like her mom 23 years ago and last night Dave was taken to the hospital with a blood clot between his heart and lungs. What??? Their two kids are overwhelmed and extremely sad – shocking for everyone.

Connie and Roy are on their way home – from Key West to 4” of snow and icy roads. Connie said Betty will love the snow – unlike the rest of us.

No sidewalks are shoveled yet so I haven’t been out to the shop – I’ll save “what I’m working on” for a later post. Right now I need to get to the barn – I set the live animal trap last night after finding all the goose eggs broken or gone Tuesday morning which means some predator/varmint/critter visited the lean-to outside the goat pen in search of something yummy to eat.

Just now I got a winter weather advisory on my phone – after we we got 4” of new snow last night. Idiot weathermen! Also waiting for Overhead Door repairman – can’t get the opener to work so couldn’t get my van out last night to go to choir. If it’s not one thing it’s another. Sound familiar? Robin – we’re all thinking of you.


51 thoughts on “Surprise! 3-23-23

  1. DebMac

    What a lovely surprise! Yes, I am one of those people who like snow. It’s another gray, gloomy morning here and you were the top email I started to read while waiting for my cup of tea to brew. Thanks so much for the first smile of my day.

  2. Erin

    Dave is in our prayers.

    We have so many microclimates in my area, I’ve learned our local weather is very difficult to predict. At least we get little snow on the valley floor, so we rarely need to prepare for that. However, one half inch paralyzes this area! Just fifteen minutes away could have feet of snow with closed roads or the need to put on chains. I don’t think meteorology will ever figure things out.

  3. Pat Smith

    What a shock for everyone in Rick’s family. But for their kids, really awful. I’m so sorry to hear this news about another family suffering a sudden loss like this.
    I’m sure you are done with snow for this winter. By the time March rolls around, anyone who lives in snow country has had enough. The only place that might be cheering might be Vermont where they didn’t have the snowfall they needed this year. Because of the influence of the mountains, our weather forecast is frequently wrong. Of course we wussed out some years ago and spend the winter in FL.
    I’m really looking forward to the Susannah book. I wasn’t in your orbit during her life and don’t know much about her except that she was so well loved by you.

  4. Diane in Maryland

    Mary, so sorry about your sister-in-law and Rick’s brother. That is a lot for their children and the family to deal with. Will say a prayer for all.

    Did you try new batteries in your garage door remote? There is also a way to release the door for when the electric goes out or in an emergency. Ask the repairman to show you how to do that when he comes.

    Good luck with your book about Susannah. I am going to buy at least one! I first knew about her, you and Country Threads from Leslie. We all really enjoyed reading about her! She was such a sweetheart!

  5. Emily Pittenger

    We got about 2” last night. Let the dogs out at 10:30 last night. Nothing. Let them out at 5:50 this morning and exclaimed some interesting words upon seeing snow on my deck!!

      1. Sherry Whalen

        Yesterday at 8am I drove from Kasson to Osage – no snow, dry pavements all the way, until about a mile from the MN/IA border, from then on it was a slushy slippery mess. So no new snow for us in Kasson this round – but no worries, we still have about 10 inches of old snow in our yard.

  6. Jane

    So sorry to read of Rick’s sister’s passing and her husband so ill. A hard time for their children.
    Snow reports are something else. My property in the mountains is so snowed in I hope we can get up the road by May 1st. The snow is so deep the moose are eating the trees. Definitely a winter to reckon with. Keep warm and safe. It seems each day brings a new challenge.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Jane – evidently you’re accustomed to being snowed in for long lengths of time – how about groceries? Appointments? How do you do that if your road is snowed in for so long?

  7. Diane in Colorado

    If it’s not one thing, it’s another—I think that’s the mantra of most homeowners. At least it is for me and it’s the reason I’m looking to move to a patio home where maintenance is taken care of. My yard is not fenced here, and even if it was, I wouldn’t leave my dogs out without supervision. So I don’t need a yard, just a place I can walk my dogs safely.

    What I’m working on—I finished some zip pouches a couple of days ago. Everyone needs a zip pouch, right?!?!? I’ve got my Easter decorations up.

    It snowed here all day yesterday—big, fat, fluffy flakes. Thankfully, it has been warm enough that it was just good, spring moisture.

  8. Kathy Hanson

    What a life you live!! Certainly never a dull moment…I am sure you would like some dull moments!!! Living on a farm and in the country has it’s really challenging times and wonderful times as well! Our snow is melting here in Rochester MN but they are talking about a little more. We shall see…Penny would love it! Not us so much!!

  9. Peggy S

    Mary. . . Have you ever heard the saying “All little boys who lied grew up to be weathermen??”
    Of course that was back in the day when there weren’t women weather people. Ha!!

  10. Jan Hebert

    Our weather forecasters seem to really like hyping up a weather event as well. I guess it’s exciting to them! Sometimes they’re right! I’m so sorry about Rick’s sister and now his brother in law! I hope he survives. So hard for their children, I’m sure. Look forward to your book! Jan in MA

  11. Sue in Oregon

    While you in the mid-west get snow, we get rain, rain, and more rain. Once in a while, a nice day gets thrown in and we think…Wheee. Winter is over, and then the next day right back to cold rain. As depressing as this is, I am glad we don’t have snow and I am sorry for those of you that don’t want any more of it this year. It has been a nasty winter. One to forget about as soon as the good weather finally arrives.
    You would think I would have been sewing more. I have, but slowly going about my projects. They won’t sew themselves, darn it!! I am making a quilt for my great-grandson, making it up as I go along. I have to remove one block for another, then the borders, and then, I will attempt to quilt it on my wide Janome. I have done them this large before, but not for a while now. All that fabric. Have a great day everyone.

  12. Paula Nordt

    Down here, it’s either drought or days and days of rain. Had to wear rubber boots most of winter in order to walk the dog. Now we haven’t had rain any weeks, just when the Spring flowers need it the most. Already getting cracks in my clay soil. Last summer, some were so wide, I could put my whole leg in them! Had to be careful when my then 18 month old granddaughter wanted to go walking.

  13. Sharon G.

    It’s getting so the weather forecasters can’t predict weather even if the sky is blue and not a cloud in sight.
    Sorry to hear about your in-laws I hope your brother-in-law pulls through. 🙏
    It’s hard to lose someone. I lost my husband of 40+ years earlier this year! I wasn’t prepared. In addition to dealing with being alone, grieving, and the big hole in my heart, I am dealing with so many changes and paperwork it’s overwhelming! My social security meeting isn’t for another 3 weeks. And it’s a telephone meeting at that! I hope one day to get back in my sewing room. Even my sewing machine reminds me of my hubby – he was with me when I bought it!

    I am glad I signed up for your blog. I enjoy it and look forward to reading it everyday.
    Hope your snow melts today and you don’t get any more!
    Take care.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Sharon – I’ve talked about Cathy on the blog and I made her the quilt from Tom’s shirts – remember her? Tom died in January, too, and she is bogged under with the paperwork as you are. Why does it have to be this hard for a new widow? I’m so sorry you’re having to go thru this like Cathy. You two have an awful lot in common – they were married for 47 years.

    2. Rosie Westerhold

      Sharon, I TOTALLY understand your situation. I lost my husband of 40 years quite suddenly 2 years ago. He had just been diagnosed with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer, and he was gone 2 weeks later. It was so quick that we hadn’t had time to get anything in order. He was still running a construction business so I had to deal with that, grief, money/financial issues, IRS issues, family issues, and on and on and on. STILL dealing with “stuff” that I didn’t deal with when he was alive. It’s almost a daily struggle. My animals and my quilting friends helped me survive those first few months. I would have been a basket case without them, for sure. One day at a time was my mantra. And some days it was just one hour at a time. I think we are all stronger than we think we are, though. I never imagined what I could do: I ran a construction company for several months, I sold a property, I sold 2 vehicles, I arranged for a 2-day auction, I paid bills, and bills, and more bills. Not entirely alone, I had “helpers,” but I was the one making the decisions. It does get better, little by little. I miss my husband every single day. I could be bitter about the mess he left for me to deal with. Or I could be grateful that I had him in my life for 40+ years. I’m grateful to have known him and to have loved him for so long. I swear he visits me sometimes during the night. I know absolutely for sure he appeared to me the day after his death. It wasn’t scary, but rather comforting to think he had come to check on me before he left for good. Hang in there. You can survive this. It’s definitely not easy, though. My deepest sympathies to you. Remember to take care of yourself. Try sewing for 15 minutes. It really helps, even if your machine reminds you of your hubby. That was a happy time for you. Remember all those happy times.

    3. Kim from TN

      Sharon, I’m sorry for your loss, so glad you are on the blog and we can be here for you. Keep moving forward and wish you more good days than bad.

  14. Kathy in western NY

    I watch our local CBS news station for weather as that man gives wind, insight into what’s going on around us influencing highs and lows so he’s pretty spot on. Of course I take it day by day anyways with so much changing. We are pouring rain right now, and it was 58 and sunny yesterday till mid afternoon as I took a walk.
    Please tell Rick how sorry I am to lose his sister and how sick his BIL is. I have lost my parents, my aunts and uncles to heart attacks for many years so I tell my doctors it’s my family history of heart disease that will take me, as there is no cancer. My brother had a heart attack at age 40, my dad died at age 57, so I felt if I lived past that age, I was in luck. My husbands dad had a stroke and then my husband did so genes tell so much. We try our best.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Kathy – yes, I can hear how your family has been affected by heart issues. Rick is taking as many precautions as possible but……

  15. Jo in Wyoming

    I pray you have better family news in the coming weeks.

    I have been at a retreat in a very small town, Lusk Wyoming. It was such fun and a great getaway from daily grind. Ladies came from far and wide and even Canada. Lots of visiting, sewing and of course, eating.
    We had lots of snow in Cheyenne, this morning 16 degrees and 3-4” of snow on top of ice. Great moisturizer.

  16. Dorothy

    sometimes just having the chance to get something off our chests make us feel so much better, so rant away, we are here for you Mary.

  17. betty klosterman

    Weather! Now we have atmospheric rivers????? Hard to guess what the weather will do, but they do come up with some interesting names! What happened to the Jet Stream? This has been an extremely tough winter for so many parts of the country with great hardships. Out here everything effects the weather, even just from the west to the east side of town. We prepare for the worst and then look out the window in the morning to see what we got. The hills and altitudes effect everything. It’s just a wait and see thing.

    Death and sickness at anytime is not good, but this has been a hard winter for so many people. I feel so for their losses. We don’t get to choose a time/place. The survivors have to cope and adjust to lives without loved ones. It is never easy. Family and friends help. Holding on to “normal” as much as possible. Things can always be worse so we need to be thankful for what we have.

    In the meantime, watch the kids and dogs frolic in the snow. They have so much fun. We have to enjoy the small things. And, of course, at least pet your fabrics as you walk by them. This, too, will pass???
    Betty in Rapid City

    1. Vicki Ibarra

      I loved your comment about “pet your fabric”. When I first buy fabric, I will lay out the pieces and touch them (I guess you could say I pet them) as I ooh and ah over my new purchases. And with my fabric stash I pull out pieces to plan next projects, essentially “petting them”. How funny!

  18. Lynette in Orlando

    Mary – I’ve given up on weathermen! Even here in Florida it’s crazy. I will say they do a pretty good job though when a hurricane is coming. Getting better at predicting the path. So sorry about your family – those poor kids dealing with both parents! Mary, stay warm and safe.

  19. Launa

    Sending prayers for such sad family news.

    Our tv weather always shows wind directions, but coming from 40 miles south of me…it’s better than nothing. Atmospheric Rivers n huge tornadoes in CA…Husband has a great weather station unit and it is accurate with inside and outside temperatures, etc!
    Snow running off roof in afternoon 40o sun yesterday produced lots of iced roads for this morning in 21o! Heating up to 40s later as sun is out now in my part of Idaho!
    Hope you trap the egg theft!

  20. Kim from TN

    I shall keep Nancy & Dave in my prayers for a speedy recovery, how awful for their children. The weather in TN has been colder than usual and I hope we are getting back to normal with this weeks forecast.

  21. Carolyn barnett

    Southern Calif. had more rain and snow the last couple of days and they predict after it leaves the Rockies it will hit Iowa. Winter weather is still with us! Southern Calif desert areas had snow a few weeks back. We were so shocked all we did was take pictures of it!! Had to laugh about your garage door not going up. Had the same problem with my wooden garage door a few weeks ago. I diagnosed a completely saturated door that was too heavy for mechanism to lift. Sure enough a few days later sun came out and “ dried up all the rain” and my door staring working again. Los Angeles had 20” of rain reported. We are happy about the rain helping with drought conditions but we SoCal people are so overwhelmed and basically spoiled!! I just am full of admiration for all of your readers and You Mary for staying in all that snow! Makes Spring all the better!! Off to write supply list for quilting class I am teaching at my guild. Should I send a picture of it??

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Carolyn – oh, yes! We all want to see what you’re teaching! We’re all nosey like that – haha!!!

  22. Diane, Squeak, Buddy in Central Ohio

    So sorry to hear of Rick’s sister’s passing and of his brother in law’s health issues. I feel bad for the kids, too. It is very hard. My father in law always said, “A weatherman is the only job where you can be wrong 50% of the time and still be paid.” Maybe it’s more than 50%!!
    Hey everyone in the blog, please tell us where you’re from. It is hard to know where “up here” or “down here” might be!
    It is 64* here today so we are in a mini heat wave. It goes up and down, though. It poured last night and we had big thunder and lightning so poor Buddy stayed in the basement. The thunder hurts his ears.
    Mary, it truly does seem like when it rains it pours–a death in the family, garage door, eggs, snow–what next? Stay safe:)

  23. Cheryl from Niagara Falls

    I was just talking to my new neighbor yesterday as the weather was nice and people ventured out. I felt so bad for him as he told me he lost his oldest daughter last month and his mom two weeks ago. Both lived out of the area and I had no idea. Such sadness, Then I read about your sister and brother-in-law. So incredibly sad. I keep telling my husband to buy what he wants now, let’s go where we want now because you just never know what tomorrow will bring. Life IS too short. My deepest sympathies.

    My husband used to get fresh eggs from a co-worker until a wessel took care of his flock. Boy do I miss those eggs! In the 50’s here. We had some snow a few days ago but it didn’t last. I am so tired of all this brown! My tulips are showing so that is a very welcome sign!!!

  24. Rhoda Ebersole

    Have you seen the movie Otto? Mary?
    You would identify with him.
    Hope you find the egg eating varmint. So cruel !!!
    Yes weather can be more accurately forecast than you are getting. NO one cares at the TV station.
    We get our weather from the west from California and when they have bad weather black clouds come over the mountains to us. We had rain yesterday again. That generally means in a few days the upper midwest will have a storm too. We have been cold all March even though it is Spring. Supposed to be at least in the 70’s but barely 60. But I am purchasing solar panels for my house and hope springs eternal. Also sewing upstairs where it is warm. Making baby quilts to give away and Veterans lap blankets so helping the young and the old.
    In between that Doctor appointments to get my body checked out.
    So sorry for your family’s loss. It is our age isn’t it???

    Take care of you.

  25. Rhoda Ebersole

    I am in Las Vegas.
    Have you seen the movie Otto? Mary?
    You would identify with him.
    Hope you find the egg eating varmint. So cruel !!!
    Yes weather can be more accurately forecast than you are getting. NO one cares at the TV station.
    We get our weather from the west from California and when they have bad weather black clouds come over the mountains to us. We had rain yesterday again. That generally means in a few days the upper midwest will have a storm too. We have been cold all March even though it is Spring. Supposed to be at least in the 70’s but barely 60. But I am purchasing solar panels for my house and hope springs eternal. Also sewing upstairs where it is warm. Making baby quilts to give away and Veterans lap blankets so helping the young and the old.
    In between that Doctor appointments to get my body checked out.
    So sorry for your family’s loss. It is our age isn’t it???

    Take care of you.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Rhoda – I have that movie saved to watch when I have two hours to just sit and pay attention – Connie liked it. I’m trying to catch the varmint again tonight.

  26. Joyce from NY

    So sorry to hear about Rick’s sister & her husband!
    I lost one of my best friends just last week, she had been battling kidney cancer for at least 2 years, it finally got the best of her!
    The weather here is typical March weather, yesterday it was 50 degrees & I could do stuff outside, today it has cooled off & rainy, dark & dreary!

  27. Diane, Squeak, Buddy in Central Ohio

    Mary, this is from my husband. Get the APP Windy on your phone. He has it and can check the wind anytime. He’s a weather geek and loves it! I love it b/c I just ask him about the weather for the day and he knows😺

  28. Renae in Iowa

    Sorry in advance if this has been suggested already—maybe the blocks you found were a Bonnie Hunter pattern—think it is called Carolina Chain.

  29. Carolyn Boutilier

    Hope you get your door fixed. Our spring broke. Door man gave us a temp fix and it took 3 1/2 months to get a new spring. $110.00 later.
    80 degrees today but lots of wind. Fire up on Blue Ridge Mts.
    Carolyn b Shenandoah Valley Va

  30. Grandma Rabbit (Pat) in AZ

    Our weather people are pretty accurate but it’s hard not to be when it’s “sunny and warm” every day! Haha. Seriously, I hope everyone stays safe and warm. It’s sure been a strange winter.

  31. Arrowhead Gramma

    Mary, if you are wanting more snow, I will be happy to ship you some of the white stuff to you. On top of the 109″ we received the end of February into March, we now have an additional 20″ from the last two days. Just tell me when you want it and I am happy to send some on to you. LOL

  32. Jeanie S, Central IL

    My condolences to you and Rick; prayers for your bil.
    Also, condolences to you, Sharon, on losing your husband.
    It is still rainy and dreary here with some occasional warmer temps, but we have no snow.
    Thanks for the blog, Mary. It is a real bright spot. 🥰

  33. Betty Klosterman

    Mary, did you get one of the remote cameras? You could monitor the goose nest to see what is eating the eggs. That could be interesting.

    When I was working and had no time to sew, every time I passed the sewing room, I’d to stop and pet some of the fabric. It gave me hope. It is amazing how each piece feels. Yes, I dream about the colors and what I could make. And now I’m sewing, just slower, and there is way too much fabric and patterns collected over the years……. I love it.

    So many of you mention the dreary dark days of winter. After a friend moved out here from Minneapolis, I asked if he missed Minnesota. His answer was No, because the sun shines here and it is dreary in Minnesota. I’d never thought of that, but he is right. I’m not going back to Iowa, either! We don’t have the awful humidity here!! And I don’t like to sweat.

    So get the crock pot going with something that will smell really good and start sewing — after the snow is shoveled!!

    Take care. There is hope.
    Betty in Rapid City

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Betty – I got a remote camera last year and it’s on the post but 8 have no idea how to look at whatever it recorded – don’t even know if it’s turned on. So sad to be so old and so dumb.
      Guess what I have in the trap this morning – the goose laying the eggs! Haha! She headed to where the other eggs were to lay the next one and the door closed on her. I let her out and will put the trap elsewhere tonight. Dang.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Lee – you’re going to love this story! You must know my life because I am very familiar with Wonky Donkey and I have given it at least six times to kids I know. One of the books actually had the sound included that you just pushed a button on the page – it was the best one. Anyway I’ve always wondered why I didn’t keep a copy for myself – good grief! And I’ve never gotten around to buying one for myself so THANK YOU! Isn’t it the best little book? I even watched a YouTube video of a gramma reading it to a little kid and the way she read it and laughed was hilarious! You should look for it. And now tell me how YOU know about Wonky Donkey!

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