Trying Again, 6-11-24

Richard walked me thru all the many steps to make sure the comments are working properly – I hope this doesn’t happen again but you never know. It’s nearly beyond my capabilities – I know you’re aware of how much I hate technology yet without it the blog would not exist, would it and we wouldn’t know each other. So it is what it is – I have Richard to bail me out.

Someone needed Leona’s address again:

Leona Jensen

2607 Nicklaus Blvd Unit 206

Sioux City, IA


Thank you to anyone willing to put a card in the mail to Leona – it might be one of us someday who will love to receive a card from an unknown caring person just willing to be kind. Kindness matters.

Finally I sewed something. Imagine my shock when I was searching for something else and found these trays of triangle squares! I’m not sure if I was thrilled or disgusted that now I was going to have to sew them up. They’re just not what I had in mind to work on next but it will be a finish, won’t it?

You can see I was watching the ballgame which was sort of what I expected with Connecticut Suns rated #1 right now. I was not surprised but I hope their losing season doesn’t discourage Caitlin so much she loses her desire to play. That would be very sad.

Just pretty on the tray!

I tried to post a short video yesterday – obviously I still don’t know what I’m doing because I sent it to Facebook unintentionally – ugh. And Facebook, if you recall, is a thorn in my side after staff opened several accounts in my name many years ago. Here are some pictures I took as I sat in a lawn chair watching my chickens:


So this is what I did many times yesterday – I sat with my chickens and talked to them so they get to know my voice.

Dean baled the hay – before the rain!

Reader photos

Today is my mowing day but it’s raining lightly this morning so maybe by this afternoon it will be dry. In the meantime I actually need neutral thread – I can’t believe I have to drive 25 miles to buy thread!

I saw Oprah’s book club pick this morning – Familiaris by David Wroblewski which is the prequel to Edgar Sawtelle. I read ES and loved it so I’ll be buying this book. Did anybody else read Edgar Sawtelle?

Here are some random photos I took:


All year I yearn for the porch. All year. It still isn’t warm enough to sit out there in the morning to drink my coffee. It’s nearly the middle of June and our furnace ran a few days ago. Really?

Are we caught up? I think so – for now. I know some of you are having health problems, death in the family, and other issues. Remember Larry who got badly burned? He’s going to the hospital for up to a week for skin graft surgery. And Sharon has lost several family members. Patti and Teresa are recovering. The list goes on – moving, storms, heat, sickness – this really is the blog about everything and anything, isn’t it?


59 thoughts on “Trying Again, 6-11-24

  1. Chris

    It’s always good to read your posts, Mary. Keep up the good work and don’t let the small stuff get you down. We all struggle with technology! Thanks for all you do. I’m looking forward to your triangle triumph because I have a boxful, too!!

  2. Sue Crane

    I don’t comment often, but I love your blog about nothing. I’m surprised you found time to just sit and watch the chickens. I love the flag quilt by Sue in MN.
    Suzanne in MA

  3. Paula S.

    I love the blog – the good with the bad, although mostly good. I found some cut fabric pieces like you and had no idea what I was going to do with them. Usually I’m more organized and have a pattern or instructions, but not this time, so I made several small projects. Placemats and small table toppers which I use all the time. Keep at it!

  4. Brenda in Georgia

    I don’t comment often either, but I so look forward to your posts everyday. The chickens and the dogs are wonderful. It amazes me that the dogs don’t bother the chickens. One photo looks like two of the chickens are following Hazel around. Also I can’t imagine having made all of those triangles! They certainly deserve to be made into a quilt. Love all you do.

  5. Peggy Grandberg

    Love your variety of chickens. Our weather has been very cool and rainy for this time of the year and the next couple weeks don’t look much better. Have a good day.

  6. Vicki

    Love your blog, too! I can relate to almost everything you post. I was about out of neutral thread too and use Aurifil for most of my piecing. Was ordering something for hubby on Amazon and thought I’d check thread prices. As much as I love to support our local quilt shops, I was able to find a two-pack for about $20. In the local shops, it’s now $18.25 for ONE spool. So needless to say, I ordered 4 spools. Saved me a trip and it was delivered in 3 days. Plus I’m trying to stay away from the quilt shops since my current stash will keep me busy for months (if not years!)
    Thanks for your blog and all the work – and frustration – you put into it!

  7. Lynette in Orlando

    Mary, I also love the blog, love how we reach out in kindness to someone with the simplicity of a card. Easy simple way to brighten someone’s day. Love the pictures of Keeper and Hazel! 💝 I have the same issue — I try to clean or at least straighten the sewing room and end up sewing what wasn’t in my plan for next, Ah well….. first world problem my son would say. Those you listed at the end — especially Larry — can we send cards to some/all of them? Just a thought. You’re running the heat and my AC barely shuts off it’s so horrendously hot here. It’s a crazy world!!!!

  8. Gail in Ohio

    I feel your pain about having to drive so far to get supplies! Fortunately, we have a quilt store in our nearest “big” town that is only 16 miles away. I try very hard to combine trips for haircuts, groceries, quilt supplies, library etc. Then once a week I drive 20 to 25 miles in the opposite direction to my Sweet Adeline chorus – but that’s in the evening, so most shops are closed by then. Oh well – I wouldn’t trade living “out” for anything!
    We had cooler weather yesterday and today but are headed for the high 80’s by the end of the week here in central OH. Every year is different, isn’t it? I remember bringing my newborn home from the hospital about this time in June 50 years ago – I wore wool slacks because it was really chilly!
    Love the photo of the dogs at the top of the steps with the red and white quilt in the background!

    1. Diane, Squeak, Buddy in Central Ohio

      Gail, you don’t have to say if you don’t want to, but do you live near Newark?

  9. Karen Ann Cottom

    Would love to know the pattern name for the red and white quilt with the dogs at the top of the stairs
    Love reading this blog!!

      1. Janice B

        Mary, in your post dated December 12, 2017 titled ‘Buzz Saw Quilt Pattern”, you provided both the quilt pattern name and the book title/author names it is found. You did contact one of the authors to find out if there were additional copies available for purchase, as noted in your posted dated December 23, 2017 titled ‘A Christmas Gift’.

        1. Mary Etherington Post author

          Janice B – WHAT? How in the world did you find that? I’d never be able to look back – do you have certain posts saved somehow? Please save me some time and energy and leave this information. It’s an uneven log cabin block and I think the book was by Blanche Young? I have t had a chance to search. Thank you so your help! How did you do that?????

        2. Dot in NC

          To follow up on Janice’s great detective work, the designer listed in your 2017 blog post is Bev Vickery. Searching on her name, I found that she has an Etsy store, and has for sale a couple of books: “Log Cabin in the Round Designs”, and “Round Two”. Barbara Schaffeld and Bev are the co-authors. One of these books probably has that design. Search Etsy for “Bev Vickery”.

  10. Dorothy

    Oh Mary, thank you so much for this wonderful blog “about nothing” And I am so sorry that it makes you frustrated at times.
    I LOVE the red and whit quilt at the top of the stairs — and Keeper laying on the top step brings joy to my heart
    (Dorothy in W WA)

  11. Diane, Squeak, &Buddy in Central Ohio

    The little oval with COMMENT in it didn’t come up, but I just went to Read in Blog and got here:) Yesterday I was on Instagram from the college where our grand kids attend and next to it popped up Mary Etherington with your video of the chickens. It was so nice and peaceful and I could hear them cheeping:) Really neat! I don’t do Facebook, but this was in Instagram.
    The other day you had some small blocks you were working on. Do you have measurements for those?
    Keeper is such a stunning dog and Hazel is adorable. It is fun to see them out roaming around. The quilts are always so beautiful. I have several “in the works” I hope to send soon. I am doing lots of cleaning out which is great:)
    73* here today–great.
    I LOVE this blog about nothing and everything. THANK YOU, MARY for sending it to us:)

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Diane – I was trying to send that little video to a friend and it even ended up on Facebook and I don’t like that. I am planning to do it better with music, etc but I have to research. When I finish with the little blocks I will definitely post the directions and measurements.

      1. Diane and the gang in Central Ohio

        Thanks, Mary. I’d like the measurements. I agree about Facebook—too intrusive for me.
        Did I ask you if you have read A DOg’S WAY HOME by Bruce Cameron?

  12. Martha W in WY

    Thanks for posting Leona’s address again. I usually take a photo of the address but then it gets lost in my gallery. Imagine that!! I like it when readers put there general location either connected with their name or in their comments (especially when they mention the weather). I really like Sue’s flag quilt- so simple but striking. Love your chickens and dogs photos. My daughter in ND is finally going to get a fence put up to protect the kids and chickens from the neighbor’s chicken eating dogs. She’s been getting nervous because the 3 year old now wanders away from her when she’s outside (Penelope even goes off and collects the chicken eggs by herself).

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Martha – fences make good neighbors – remember that old saying? It’s true! I, too wish they’d call their name like Jo from Wyoming – I’ve tried and tried but have given up because I don’t think anyone really listens to me when it comes to things like that.

  13. NancyTD in Mn

    Nice pictures of the chickens and dogs. Hazel looks like she stayed clean since her spa day! That is a lot of triangles all cut out. The quilts were all masterpieces too. Thanks to all.
    Still trying to weed my flowers so I can put new mulch on. Weeds are just growing too fast with all this rain Today the rain was a quick shower and now the wind is back.
    Glad you are back, missed the blog.

  14. Ruth Bridges

    Great post and pictures today Mary. There is one of those little libraries on the corner of 7th and Maben, the southeast corner. I haven’t looked in it for a while. I’ll have to pick a book to trade out and walk over and check it out. It’s a Beautiful Day !

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Ruth – there’s a little library at the Iowa Specialty Clinic, too. I try to always take a book with me when I have an appointment – sometimes I just trade for one that’s there.

  15. Kim

    I’m happy to see there is another book from the Edgar Sawtelle author. I enjoyed the first one when it came out. I will definitely be getting the new one.

  16. Kris in Naperville

    That picture of Keeper on the top of the steps with his ears up…. so stinkin’ cute…. then the next picture… Hazel joining Keeper to see what’s going on….. I just love them! Thanks for working through the technology difficulties…. so appreciate this blog about nothing and everything… and You!

  17. patti

    great blog today. love the red/white quilt at top of stairs. sue’s flag quilt is great. i drew that one out right away. thanks, sue. you know, mary, if you don’t want to work on triangles today, you can stack the trays and think about them for a while. it won’t hurt and it may give you time to think of what to do with them. i do that with cut squares and/or strips. then when i get an idea, they are already there. i laughed at the idea of you talking to your chickens but it makes sense and it makes you happy. i’m sorry you can’t enjoy your porch yet. i’ll gladly send you the heat from florida because it is wilting me. you’d send it back in a hurry. rain off and on today. rainy season usually starts by the 25th of may and we are just now getting bits of rain. thanks for the info on the new book by the author of edgar sawtelle. yes i read that, yes i ordered the new one, familiaris. i’m reading a book by robert galbraith (the running grave), book 7 of a series, just noticed it has 960 pages. haven’t been getting as much reading in as i would like but,.. everything happens in spurts around here. i love the idea of the little libraries. we can’t have them in my neighborhood. so sad. hugs and good stitching to all, patti in florida (who has been ct’d and no more appts until the 24th. yeah

  18. Hank's Mom

    Keeper’s ears !! 🙂

    I sure hope next time Hank is visiting he will pay no more attention to the chickens than Keeper and Hazel.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Hank’s Mom – we will work with Hank until he ignores the chickens, too. We three sit down there lots of times during the day – I love watching them!

  19. Fiona at Ice Bear Quilts

    What great photo’s: life at its best in the country: blue sky, chickens, dogs, quilts and a barn!
    We have had yet more torrential rain here, and today the temperature was 13 degrees centigrade (55 degrees Fahrenheit) and yesterday was even colder and it is June!
    Last weekend we had a couple of beautiful early summer days: blue sky, little puffy clouds, light breeze, so we took advantage of that to visit a very cute early 17th century moated castle about an hour away, which is surrounded by beautiful baroque gardens full of roses and majestic trees. There was going to be an open-air concert that evening, and towards the end of our visit the orchestra and the singer were rehearsing so we got half a concert for free! We had afternoon tea in the parterre garden beside the orangery where all the citrus trees in tubs are kept warm in the winter. There were ducks wandering freely throughout the gardens (there is a high wall around the whole castle-moat-garden setup) and they seemed very relaxed about the visitors. They keep the slugs effectively under control apparently, and certainly all the hostas looked very healthy. It was a great outing.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Fiona – what you described sounds like a fairy tale setting. You had never been to this castle and it’s an hour away? Are there castles everywhere? And a concert! Tea in the garden with the ducks – lovely scene.

  20. Sandy

    Pictures today of chickens, especially your gold and white rooster, are so great. Our HOA says no chickens or I would have some. And Keeper (those ears) and Hazel are besties. They surely keep other company through all their adventures.
    Hopefully the weather allows porch sitting, reading, and some “iced tea” soon. I can’t wait to see all those triangles pieced into something wonderful. You must have had a plan for them at some time. The other day I discovered a bag, large bag, with about 120 already pieced Churn Dash blocks and more cut and ready to sew. What in the world?? I certainly got sidetracked on that plan more than 5 years ago. That project needs to come back towards the front of the line very soon.

  21. Barbara Yarnell (Barbara in MO)

    I can’t believe how big your chickens have grown!
    Totally understand not knowing whether to be thrilled or disgusted to find the trays of HSTs. I found a container of
    1 1/2″ squares along with 1 1/4″ strips. No idea what I planned to do with these but obviously there was a plan at one time. Ugh, I drive myself crazy when I do this sort of thing…

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Barbara – I feel your pain – I almost wish I had chucked them but it was obviously a lot of work to cut them originally.

  22. patti

    prayers for larry and his wife and family while he recovers. prayers for the others who need them for health, for grieving, for adjusting to new lives. patti in florida

  23. Brenda

    Don’t give up….if it makes you feel any better, I closed 7 ads reading the last entry! All of your efforts are appreciated….

  24. Pauline (in South Australia)

    Love those trays of triangles! I’ve been discovering such things, in an overflowing box hidden on a bottom shelf. Labelled “HSTs”, and most of them 2.5”, 2” finished – I remembered a QAL at a quilting group I’d just joined about 10 years ago, so I watched them and didn’t join in. There were some problems and grumbles, so one lady “donated” her complete set to me, as she knew I liked scrap quilts (& she didn’t!). Then others made theirs smaller, and gave me their leftovers. I realised there are too many to count, so I weighed them: more than 2 kg, or 4.5 lbs!! I now have a Pinterest file for HSTs, and will use them for leaders and enders….for now 😬🙄😊
    Pauline in Oz

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Pauline – lots and lots of ideas using HSTs and I will choose something easy in the end. 4.5 pounds of them? Enough for a king size quilt probably.

  25. Pat in AZ

    Mary, the colors of your triangles are so pretty! Whatever you decide to do with them is going to be beautiful.
    I too can’t believe how much the chickens have grown. That Bob is one handsome fella. Hazel with the white chickens in line remind me of a momma duck. And Keeper and those ears crack me up every time!
    Speaking of ducks and slugs, we had free range ducks growing up and it was us kids job to wash off their beaks when they got all gummed up. Boy, they hated that!

  26. Pat in AZ

    PS shout-out to Richard for his assistance keeping the blog going. Without this blog about nothing, we would have so much less joy in our lives

  27. Denise Erbacher

    Best wishes to you Mary and your lovely band of followers, love to get my daily email. People i tell can’t believe that someone takes the time to do this.
    Mary you amaze me that you find the time to do so during your hectic day.
    Thank you so much.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Denise – don’t give me too much credit – I love writing and taking pictures and you’re a captive audience. Haha!!

  28. Joy in NW Iowa

    So sorry you are having techi issues! We all love your blog! Those dogs at the top of the stairs remind me of our Aussie! He would not ever come down the stairs to the family room etc, he would lay at the top with paws over the edge!
    We have had a busy long weekend! We took off for Michigan last Thursday morning and came home this evening! Such a nice time with our Michigan family! Yesterday they took us up to Ludington, Michigan. We had not been there before. It was a very windy and cool (cold) day by the water, the wind about blew the guys off the pier. The kids loved paying in the park!
    Take care everyone!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Joy – wow, that’s a long drive for the weekend – so they have wind in Michigan, too?

  29. Jeanie S, Central IL

    The pictures of your chickens and the dogs outdoors were wonderful. It was a beautiful day for sitting out with them.
    We have had several beautiful days with moderate temps. I guess we are having very high temps in the coming days. Ugh!
    It will be interesting to see what you do with the triangles. Thanks, Mary 🥰

  30. Gwen

    I love your blog. I read it every evening. Your beautiful country home looks so peaceful. (I know you put a lot of work in to make it that way.)

  31. Carolyn Rector of Ohio

    Found the link at the top, read on blog, and that led me to the comments site. I Love to read the comments from everyone. I read the blog on my kindle. My daughter keeps me up to date with technology. She bought me a Mac laptop for my retirement and an Apple watch for Christmas this year. She said it will alert her if I fall. And I can call the squad too i think. I fell in November and drive myself to the emergency room for stitches so she’s a little worried about me. She can also follow me on an app.I
    Love all the pictures, especially the flag quilt from Minnesota.
    I like how you have trajectory dogs to love chickens or at least ignore them.

  32. Carolyn Rector of Ohio

    I hate auto correct. “Trajectory dogs” should have read “trained your dogs”

  33. Janet S

    Keeper looks like the ‘hall monitor’ we had in school. Just watching all the coming and goings. It’s been cool here in southern Minnesota this spring but today is going to change all that to air conditioner weather.

  34. Donna Jo

    What a find in those triangle squares and the colors are gorgeous. Love the picture of Keeper and his big ears. Your mowed lawn looks amazing. I watched the Fever game; another hard one to watch. Did you hear the crowd chanting for the coach to put Caitlin in? 😳

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Donna Jo – Caitlin is having a tough time and who could be motivated to hit those tough baskets when Boston can’t put one in directly below it???? I hope she doesn’t give up,

  35. Joy in NW Iowa

    Mary, yes they have wind in Michigan and of course, on the lake it is always worse. But inland where the kids live it isn’t as bad as in Iowa! As for a long way to drive for a weekend….we stay with our kids, because that is what they want, and you know what they always say, four days and the fish stinks 😂. So we were together Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday …. It’s time for us to get out so they can have a normal routine again. They actually just got out of school the Friday we got there. So, they had that transition also. The two oldest have jobs in the summer (15 & 13 year old), the 11 year old broke his foot last Wednesday, and the 7 & 2 year old are shall we say very busy! Had a wonderful time and now it’s time for our normal routine 😉

  36. Cindy Sabinske

    Hello Mary and fellow followers of this blog! My son, granddaughter and I drove up to Regions Hospital yesterday and spent the day with Larry! My Cousin Debra and her husband Dave visited for a while as well. He is healing, they look at his grafting each morning and put new bandage/gauze on. He will be at the hospital for a few more days for sure. We drove home and it was a lovely drive home, saw one farmer out baling small square bales. They also do round bales as well. I hope they got done as it is probably raining near Green Isle today.

    1. Sally in LV

      Cindy, so glad to hear your husband is healing and getting good care. Your part of the country sounds beautiful. I have never heard of square bales 😂 I am in the desert, Las Vegas/henderson. The desert landscaping is in full bloom, the flowers are vibrant reds, orange, yellow, purples. I love it! Sally

  37. Charlotte in No. California

    Your blog is so interesting. I’m always telling my friends and family about it and what we talk about. I love the triangle fabrics…so beautiful. Can’t wait to see what you make. Such great pictures today.
    I love that you talk to the chickens. I even talked to the doves that nested on my front porch.
    It was 93 on my patio yesterday but is gorgeous here today. Supposed to be 80.
    Charlotte in Fremont, CA

  38. Katie, Gilbert,AZ

    ❤️that you talk to your chickens….wish I could share some of warmer AZ. heat so u could enjoy your porch..Prayers for those folks needing medical help.🙏🏼


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