The Weekend In Review

Sunday was too cold to be outside and do anything – even for fun. Church was nice – we had 6 new members join and I love having coffee after the service because I get a chance to see people. Sitting in the very front of the church means I don’t ever get to see my church family – I’m playing while when they arrive and I’m putting everything away while they leave.

Read more of the story

I had to think about what I did on Saturday – oh yes, I had help planting the garden. Ella and Dawson planted pumpkins and helped me plant peas and radishes. It was a glorious day fit for being barefoot in the garden.

Saturday night we ate supper with friends and because there was a threat of bad weather Becky and Jenny came to dog sit. Here are some pictures of their evening and what Jenny called “fun on the farm”. I’m sorry I missed it – ha!

It sorta looks like a good time was had by all, doesn’t

The couch is just a loveseat but everybody except Mo, who had some manners, wanted to be the center of attention.

Pretty funny, really!

Another public service announcement about noxious plants – I’ve heard from more of you what has taken over your gardens so I’m going to list them for all gardeners in our group.

Snow On the Mountains



Hawaiian Ivy – chameleon tricolor Houttuynia 3

Creeping Charlie

Four O’Clocks

Japanese Knotweed

Creeping bellflower zombie plant

Mexican petunia – Ruellia simplex


Orange hawkweed

Scotch broom

And my personal challenge is the hops vine – it’s everywhere on the farm!

I finished my first charm pack of 9 patches and have decided to lay them aside for now because I think I’ll make up another charm pack to use all together. This could go on for quite awhile sewing up one charm pack at a time, couldn’t it?

Here’s some inspiration for you gardeners. Diane M. in Ohio has this beautiful row of amaryllis bulbs flowering outside. She says her husband Glenn has a very green thumb and I would have to agree. I love this but also realize it’s not possible in North Iowa.

Isn’t that amazing?

And Karen sent handmade bookmarks to Connie, Reed, and me as well as a sweet pincushion for my collection. Thank you, Karen!

I didn’t get this picture posted the other day of the goats coming in to eat. It is so very green behind them, isn’t it?

I took this picture of Hazel with Jenny – Hazel is almost falling asleep after a full day of play!

The orioles are in every feeder this morning as well as wrens, goldfinches, red headed woodpeckers, rose breasted grosbeaks, mourning doves, nuthatches, blackbirds, sparrows, starlings and blue jays. I love this time of the year and I leave you with a picture taken at dawn when the sun breaks over the horizon.

67 thoughts on “The Weekend In Review

  1. Connie

    Mary! I am in a brown bag challenge at a LQS and this time it was a charm pack. I cut the lady’s charm pack up ( 1 1/2 X 2 1/5 ” bricks) and thought to myself that I needed another because it wouldn’t be enough. So, I purchased one and cut it up too. Well, I started sewing the bricks together and wouldn’t you know…I HATED IT!!! Lol
    Then one night I was reading about your nine patches. Went and bought ANOTHER charm pack, made your 9 patches with only the fabrics it and I LOVE it!! It twinkles nicely, as some mediums are the dark in a block and some are the light in a block! Going to give her the topper unfinished (which is legal to do!) and give her the bag of bricks and see what she chooses to do with the whole bunch!
    Thanks for the tutorial!!
    PS…I have a charm pack that I purchased from your shop titled FLAG DAY….guess what I am going to do with it! HA! I do believe it is aged to perfection!!

  2. Linda Thompson

    Mary, do we need to merely click on the X to close an ad. We don’t have to look at the ad?

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Linda Thompson – yup, just click on the x. You do not have to open the ad. How easy is that?

  3. Sharon B

    Love that picture of your barn! It would look awesome enlarged into a poster or even just a larger picture and framed! 🙂 Sweet little pin cushion too…looks as if it were cut from an antique quilt! 🙂

  4. Felicia Hamlin

    Hello, Mary, your picture of the barn is superb! The sun is hittyit just right. Love to see the dogs and cat with your friends. Hazel looks tired, didn’t think she gets tired like that.

    I found a recipe for weeds, is salt, vinegar and dis soap and spray on noxious weeds. They were showing a 2 litter pop bottle with about 1/2 cup salt, filled up with apple cider vinegar and some dish soap. It said that it works better when is sunny and it showed the weed all wilted and brown. Plantian is another bad weed.

    1. Launa

      I’ve used that weed recipe, but you need to add a squirt of Joy or other liquid dishwashing soap to make the mix adhere longer to the leaves.

      1. CountryThreads Post author

        Launa and Felicia – that’s the recipe I found on Pinterest and wanted to try! Does it really work?

        1. Felicia Hamlin

          I don’t know, Mary. But it is organic and I would imagine not too expensive. Yes, Launa, I did mentioned the dish soap.

        2. Launa

          Mary, Had SPURGE in Rose bed and it worked in Ca. Spurge is an awful weed. Grows close to ground. Pull it up and the roots bring up more. Just have to keep after it! Star Thistle we’d cut and then cattle would eat it.

          Have only wild flowers volunteering here! Last night about 20 Elk were visiting and feeding on Buffalo grass. They seem to know what they favor and when it’s safe to wander down here from the mountains.

  5. Tammy Guerrero

    How big are your squares in your charm packs you are using for your 9 patch. Thank you. Love your farm pictures.

  6. Julianna

    Mary, is the beautiful red quilt behind the love seat Barn Swallow?
    It is such a beautiful quilt! Of course I love anything RED 🙂

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Julianna – yes, the quilt behind the loveseat is Barn Swallows and it’s been up since Christmas and should come down!

  7. terry

    I also find Morning Glory to be invasive. Although I love this plant and flower, before I knew it it had climbed up the side fence and traveled up a tree and managed to wrap itself around other plants and whatever garden art I had in place. Had a heck of a time pulling it away and discarding it. Again, I love this plant – especially watching it react to the sun. But alas, it loved me and my garden too much and took over.
    Terry in So. Calif.

  8. Kathy in western NY

    Morning Mary – I had five ads to close on my iPad and if I go back to re-read the comments which I really like doing, I get more to close so I know it all helps. I am with you and sure do like coffee hour fellowship after church. Last week a lady made a bundt coffee cake with a sweet brown sugary swirl inside and it reminded me of one we made years ago. Now I don’t bother to make those old tried and true recipes and should as it tasted so good.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Kathy In W.NY – I think I should look through my moms recipes – I remember something like you’re describing and it was good! Thanks for closing the ads – I so appreciate it!

  9. Kathy Schwartz in SW MN

    Great weekend photos.
    Cute pincushion.
    Maybe Carol should file an appeal with Medicare. Sounds strange to me.
    I also play church organ–it is in the balcony–and many times when I am driving home,I think, “I didn’t talk to anybody at church.” Strange, but true.
    Add garlic chives to your list of weeds. If they form a “head” (looks like a small onion) they will go to seed. I have been pulling mine out before they get to that stag. They also have a strong root system. If possible, I pour straight Round–Up on them–does not always kill them.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Kathy Schwartz – I agree with you about Carol – I’ve never heard of such a thing as Medicare not covering a health issue because of high risk. What good is Medicare and the additional insurance if it won’t cover anything? I’d also write to my legislator – I’d go to bat for her. Write a letter to the editor of the newspaper. This can’t be right!
      Yes, I don’t even know the new members because everybody is gone by the time I finish up. And I consider my church family MY PEOPLE.

      1. Carol

        Believe me, I have gone around the block on this Medicare thing, the bottom line is that just because you are high risk for breast cancer, it does not mean you necessarily will get cancer so the MRI is not medically necessary. When you get breast cancer, you get to have your MRI for free. I guess I’d rather pay for it than have the diagnosis!
        Here’s another doozy, this goes back 32 years, so not Medicare. I was pregnant and at five months it was determined that my child might have Downs Syndrome, so an amniocentesis was ordered. In the hospital I was asked if I was planning on aborting my child if it had Downs. I said no, and they said, in that case, if the child is Downs and you choose to keep it, you will have to pay for the test. If the child is not Downs you also have to pay for this test.
        I was dumbfounded, flabbergasted, appalled… my baby was fine, I had him and loved him for who he was, not for what he was. Holy moly, what a country!

        1. CountryThreads Post author

          Carol – oh my gosh! What a story! So glad your baby was fine but you would have loved him with Downs, too!

  10. kathy hanson

    Your barn is just beautiful!! I always love the pictures you post – the animals and your collections, etc!
    I always look for the ads to click on, They don’t show up on my computer, only once-in-a-while. Haven’t seen any in quite awhile. I went to look on my phone and found one ad that I closed right away but I wish that they would be on my computer so I could help you out!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Kathy Hanson – do you have a friend who could remove the ad blocker from our blog only? That’s probably the answer.

  11. Helen Jane

    Hi Mary…after school Kayden came by with his mom. He is almost 10 with 7 days of school left. He had something in his backpack to show me. He was excited at his interesting class. They got to dissect “owl pellets”…his find was in a baggie. They divided into groups and then each had a partner. They found very tiny teeth, a rat tail, small bones etc. He mentioned sharp objects on the main intact owl pellet. I showed him your “owl pellet” pictures and explained your blog. What a fun thing for kids to do (yes, they wore gloves)…we hear owls in the woods so I need to search even tho our woods are dense. Thanks for your mention of this beginning back to Reed with the owl pellet. All your pictures are lovely. The animals look so contented.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Helen Jane – Reed is the one who told ME about the owl pellets and yes, they’re very interesting! We haven’t dissected the most recent one yet.

  12. Caryn Goulden

    Enjoyed this lovely blog about your weekend. Great pictures, and the ones of your garden helpers and the American flag on your barn at sunrise tugged at my heartstrings. I so miss living in the country! Here in my yard in eastern Washington the bindweed is a nuisance-crawling into everything. Then there’s something that has leaves that look like very small geranium leaves-the roots go down to China! And maple trees! No matter how well I rake in the fall there are thousands of seeds that make it through the winter and come up everywhere. They particularly love the groundcovers!
    Sewing on a couple of UFOs but getting impatient to start something new. Maybe Uncle Sam?
    Closed 4 ads today. I usually come back to the blog to re-read something and close them again. I hope that still counts!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Caryn Goulden – YES, it sure does count! For some reason, even though the ads are back, I don’t think many are closing them. I’ll add bindweed to my list. Thanks so Much!

      1. Gwen

        My techie husband has an add blocker on our computer. Most of the time I like it but I don’t get your ads. Is there a way to disable it for your blog? I love your blog and would certainly close ads for you if I got them.

        1. CountryThreads Post author

          Gwen – your techie husband can remove it from this blog individually so the ads will appear on this blog but nothing else. Thanks so much!

  13. Diane, Squeak's mom

    Great pictures again today, Mary. The barn and flag are beautiful. I love red barns:) Your little barefooted helpers show summer is coming, just not yet. Thanks for posting our amaryllises. My husband was touched that he made Chicken Scratch since most of our cats made The Goat Gazette:) I worked on my flannel Bullseye at the retreat.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Diane – how did it go at the retreat? Did it drive you crazy that you weren’t matching things?

      1. Diane, Squeak's mom

        Actually, I have most of the little 4 inch circles sewn on and then I AM going to cut them apart and put them back together “willy nilly”. How’s that for progress!!! I’ve been watching your weather. It looks like it might pass under Garner. Hope so! I log onto your blog many times after you post and often go back so I close lots of ads which I know helps. It just takes a second unless of course, I just have to check out that cute shirt–LOL.

        1. CountryThreads Post author

          Diane – since I have to go to post office to weigh up the feed bag, I’ll get the purses boxed up and take them at the same time. Sorry it’s taken me so long. We have not gotten storms but high winds – I underestimated wind speed yesterday – it was up to 50 mph! Miserable outside. Congratulations on the bullseye – you can do it and you might like that willy nilly look!

          1. Diane, Squeak's mom

            Oh, thank you! I was not in a rush:) That wind can be wild and dangerous if trees are not kept trimmed or cut down when they’re dead.
            I will send a picture of the Bullseye when it’s finished.

  14. Jan B from TN

    Mary- I just LOVE your blog entries. Today I was able to close 3 ads for you. Would have been 4 but that 4th ad didn’t have a close (X) button. Hmmm……
    Love all the dog pics! Do all your dogs where name tags? If so, my friend found the coolest dog tags. They have to be ordered online. The website to check them out is ! It’s looks like a mini-driver license for your dog with all the dog’s & yours vital info included. It can be printed on both sides & you get a full-size one to keep in your wallet! They’re guaranteed for life, made in USA & a portion of each sale is given back to pets in need. Sounds like a win/win for everyone! Thanks for the list of invasive weeds/plants to avoid. I’m afraid we may already have some of these plus we’ve found TONS of poison ivy in our decorative plant beds! Guess I’ll stop weeding for a while & hope what my husband sprayed on the poison ivy kills it but not my flowers & plants! Fingers crossed cuz I’m way behind on my yardwork this year & it’s not our weather which has been great for May!!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Jan B from TN – thanks for closing those ads – I think lots of people just don’t want to bother to close them and I’m checking into my admin info to see if I can unsubscribe readers who won’t close the ads. It sure won’t be you, will it? Which of those weeds do you think you have?

  15. Paula In Texas

    What a Beautiful picture of the Barn!!! The pumpkin planting helpers look amazing!!!! They will be so happy to assist in harvesting them. Hopefully, it will warm up, without being HOT!

  16. Carol

    Hi 80s and humid yesterday, 50s today… in the Buffalo NY area, you never know what you’re going to get!
    Your barn looks like a postcard or calendar page. You have great photo skills!
    I just got a new book, Quirky Little Quilts. Were you recently posting about that book? I love it, can’t wait to start something new.
    I spent two hours today on the phone with Medicare and Blue Cross/Blue Shield. My grandma had a mastectomy, my cousin died of breast cancer, her sister had breast cancer and now my sister had breast cancer and now skin cancer, too. So I am high risk for breast cancer and a candidate for breast MRI. I’ve had a few “pre-old age” (aka Medicare age). Now having reached the “elderly” benchmark, Medicare does not cover high risk candidates, and Blue Cross Blue Shield does not cover what Medicare denies! What??? Why have secondary insurance, at ridiculously expensive costs, when they don’t cover procedures denied by Medicare? I don’t understand. Well, that just sucked the life out of me, dealing with the bottom line, which was recited to me word for word three times as I worked myself up the chain of Medicare command. You are not winning on this one, ladies, until more men get breast cancer.
    Scrubbed floors to take my mind off of second class citizenry.
    Just sign me off as…
    Grumpy in Buffalo
    (And $1700 poorer! And I know, it’s my health, suck it up and pay. I will.)

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Carol – No! I can’t believe it! I had no idea Medicare could refuse to cover you.

      1. Betty Klosterman

        To date, there are 7 of us blood relatives that have had breast cancer and a few more have passed away with other cancers. I’ve got a lot of relatives.

      2. Rosie Westerhold

        Um, yeah, Medicare can do whatever it wants. Had to sign a waiver at my gynecologist’s office last fall that I would pay if Medicare denied to cover a breast and pelvic exam. Not even a Pap smear!!! Well, Medicare denied it. It was only $50, but, still. Insurance makes me crazy to talk about. Having worked in the health care field for over 40 years, it STILL makes me crazy. Most of the services I provided weren’t EVER covered!! So my career was part of the problem. Hasn’t changed since I started out in the 70s. (Retired now, but insurance still doesn’t cover what my profession provides!).

        OK, rant over. Back to quilting.

        1. CountryThreads Post author

          Rosie Westerhold – feel free to rant! I don’t understand insurance in the first place and I really did think necessary medical tests and treatments would be automatically covered under Medicare. Silly me – politics must be involved to have created such a misunderstood practice.

        2. Carol

          Boy, that Medicare sure is a racket, we pay into it all our lives and then find out our old lives aren’t worth a nickel to them! Still Grumpy, Carol

  17. Martha Engstler Gettysburg

    Great pictures of your dog sitters and the wonderful collection of porcelain dogs on the shelf behind them. It’s helpful to have the list of weed type plants to stay away from. Thanks for posting them. I’m sure at least one of them is in my garden. I can’t get down to weed and the man that does help me does it when he feels like it. I have wild ginger which is a delight but it is beginning to have a mind of it’s own.

  18. Kate

    Creeping Charlie has definitely taken over in my yard and gardens. I am pulling it continuously, but there is no catching up with it. It’s pretty in its own way. The guy who use to mow our yard told me some people like it in their yard and consider it a ground cover. I have a love hate relationship with it, but I think it’s going to win because pulling a half acre of Creeping Charlie is too much for this girl and I will not use poisons with my dogs always in the yard. Love the little pin cushion.

  19. Mary Says Sew!

    Some weeds will succumb to boiling water. Might be worth a try for some spot treatments.

    I threaten to get a flame-thrower, but i can tell that idea scares my husband and it’s the only time I can remember him saying, “NO!” to me.

    Maybe there will be a portable weed steamer someday, like the one- or two-gallon sprayers.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Mary Says Sew – maybe you should invent the portable weed steamer and make a ton of money!

      1. Mary Says Sew!

        I just Googled weed steamers, and they’re already available! Not sure how well they work, or what weeds they’ll kill.

        I am not an entrepreneur, by any means. I’m going to stick to sewing, gardening, taking care of cats and avoiding idiots as much as possible!

  20. Nikki M in Tx

    Photo of your barn make my heart swell with pride. I remember driving thru Iowa after returning from the war,and one of the few places I stopped that was not critized for being in the military. Rained 3 1/2 inches Saturday & more projected for today & rest of week, obviously hayfields wil not get cut. Drove to bank earlier today and noticed the Worldfeeder field is fence another field almost that high. Tanks are all full & going around the spillways! Not complaining as come July & August will be wishing for this rain. Finished runner, Abby Lane pattern by Debbie Maddy of Calico Carriage from Graham Texas, used indigos from Japan a friend brought back to me. Straight line quilted it, and I absolutely love it! Hope to get it bound today or tomorrow, good rainy day project. Stay warm, be safe.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Nikki M – thanks for the comment about my barn – it really is SO Iowa, isn’t it? Tell me about the war – were YOU in the war? Have I forgotten this? You can respond to me email if you’d rather. And what’s a Worldfeeder field? And I’m so sorry about your hay – by the time ours is ready we’ll have a rainy week for sure – that’s just how it work! It’s always fun to hear from you, Nikki! And a hug to Bongo!

        1. Launa

          Just want to say thanks for your service! We lived on Alameda Island in the East Bay when all the ridiculous protesting was ongoing. A close cousin served 6 tours in Nam. My husband was in Marines in Korea.

  21. Launa

    Rainy weather off n on for a week! This morning there was snow in Teton Pass and some in Jackson Hole. The town square there has huge arches made of antlers! People are out in the forests gathering shed antlers and some mushrooms now.
    So far this morning I’ve seen an Elk, a couple Mule Deer 🦌 and a Fox 🦊 come thru our property. Always
    nice to watch them while they are here, Mary.
    I’m starting to look in my stash for some fabrics for Gameboard. I noticed the Spring n Summer Shop Sampler is available now. Nice you finished a charm pack of 9 patches. Seems like I always go through mine and use few in scrappy projects.
    No bright blue sky this morning in my part of Idaho. Off to finish a couple UFOs!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Launa – I’ve seen those arches of antlers years ago on a family vacation – awesome! I’m really enjoying the birds but I’d love to have that wildlife in my yard!

  22. Sandi

    I absolutely love the picture of the barn and painted flag!! It’s beautiful. I always enjoy seeing pictures of all your babies. Hugs,

  23. Vickie L. Devore

    I appreciate your pictures so much. Have made a list of your weeds to compare with the list for Indiana. Sometimes they have names for their local area, so it’s easy to miss their scientific names (which is impossible for me to say anyway – lol). Will let you know what I locate and what’s bad here (Mooresville is just a bit south of Indianapolis). Cold here too!

    Thank you so much – you have no idea how I look forward to reading your blog. God bless.

  24. Amy M

    Love the picture of the barn-it looks so good. We had rain in Kansas City most of Saturday and supposed to start again tonight and go through all this week and weekend. Memorial Day seems to always rain! Glad you were able to go out for dinner! I can’t add to the flowers taking over, my problem is the pin oak acorns dropping in the landscape bed. I have so many squirrels and chipmunks but they don’t get them all. If they get grow too much they are so difficult to pull up, you have a real tree start on your hands. The ones in the yard get hit by the lawn mower often enough they don’t get a chance, it is just the ones in the landscape bed that land in the mulch and sink into the dirt. Uggh! As I read on our neighbordhood site this week, homeowner can be overrated.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Amy M – being a homeowner CAN be overrated! I felt the same about being a small business owner! Haha!

  25. Janet

    Mary, I was thinking of you Sunday while I walked to church. I wondered what your weather was like.
    I finally turned on the air conditioner Sunday. Our temps were almost 90 here in WV.
    Thanks for reading the comments and going back to answer questions.
    Have a good week!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Janet – I won’t be needing my AC anytime soon, I’m afraid. Still sleeping with 2 blankets at night! I really try to answer all the questions but if I miss something, someone needs to remind me!

  26. Sue in Oregon

    Please add bindweed to your list of noxious plants. It has two sizes. Large and small. Both are so bad here. They will crawl along the ground and climb anything in their path to great heights. Their flower is white and kind of petunia shaped. It quickly goes to seed and every seed becomes a new plant. They are impervious to most weed killers. When you pull them out, the tiny white hairs left behind in the dirt will become new plants. I have the small one in our garden and some days I just want to cry. We just cannot get rid of it. So I yank it anyway, knowing it is not really going to go away.

    I LOVE the photo of your red barn with our flag painted on it. Glorious!

    1. Lisa in eastern Washington state

      Sue, try some glyphosate or Tordon. I don’t know the laws in Oregon, but here in eastern Washington noxious weeds must be killed. I have my weed license and spot spray offenders on my acreage. I successfully have obliterated field bindweed! Oregon may require licensure to purchase those chemicals, otherwise try Milestone, which can be purchased over the counter from an ag supply store. Good luck!

  27. Rita S

    Hope to get outside and finish weeding the flower beds, one of always the first go around. Too cold and windy yesterday to be out. Tomorrow hope to start quilting a quilt. This morning was spent cleaning the shower and bathroom, along with the kitchen floor. Starting to warm up so outside after lunch and a walk.
    Love your pictures Mary and farm updates. Grew up on a farm but I live in the country less than fifteen miles from were I grew up. Only a mile from Stone City, Iowa. If you’re in the are the General Store is a great place to eat Wednesday thru Sunday. First Friday of each month is Rib night.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Rita S – I have a decoupage picture that my mom made of Grant Woods’ Stone City and honestly that’s all I know about it. (Remember the decoupage craze?). Thanks for the heads up on where to eat if I’m ever in the area.

  28. Donna Sproston

    I bet some of the Iowa craft breweries would appreciate your hops. It is cold, dreary, and rainy in West central Illinois. What happened to spring? The birds are amazing this year, and the grosbeaks are sticking around.

  29. Diane Bauer

    Saturday evening looked lovely–everyone surrounded by wonderful pets! Great photos of everyone!

    We are in for a very rainy week with nights dipping into the 30s again. I’ll be covering and uncovering plants all week by the look of the forecast. The mountains are looking to be buried under another 12-24″ of snow. Oh, Colorado, I love you!!

    Uncle Sam is proudly hanging by my back door now! Today I will work on finishing another UFO. I truly don’t know where they come from. I thought I caught up with everything last year when Justin was deployed, but I can count at least five projects that are in various states of completion. I’ll celebrate the rain as an opportunity to hunker down and sew!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Diane Bauer – we all need to see your Uncle Sam – please send photo!

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