Weather Report, 1-14-24

It’s about -11 but the wind went down so it’s much more tolerable – for me but not Hazel or Keeper. After a few steps they become paralyzed and I have to carry Hazel either to the barn or the house and Keeper struggles to come, too. For some reason his feet cannot tolerate the cold.

Laying in the sun on the heated floor – life is good!

Pam lays right on the register.

Snirt = snow plus dirt. This is what we get in North Iowa where we don’t get inches of snow. The wind blows that very valuable and expensive black dirt everywhere and when your boots melt they leave a puddle of mud.

Today is a big improvement over the past two days.

I’m so happy to have these reader photos:

My own finishes are out in the shop and I’ll need to shovel myself out there. Remember I told you about a thrift store purchase of a cross stitch sampler? Here it is dated 1964 and the faded price tag of $2.00.

Faded but says $2.00

Where was Ruth’s family? Why wouldn’t they have wanted this?

Several of you mentioned the green teapot on my table – it actually lives right there on the floor for the cats’ water. The lid lays on the windowsill and the cats all want to drink out of it ……so I let them, of course.

Okay – next week we’re starting something fun –


Helen R. came up with this idea and we need something fun to distract us from our January weather. Remember how much fun it was to see everyone’s Christmas trees? We’re going to continue to share. Pick 1 or 2 of your favorite areas/spots in your house or a special antique or attraction, take a picture and send to my email.

I need to limit each reader to 1 or 2 photos or my IPad will crash. I will also join in because I know how much you study my photos for details. These will be casual pictures, nothing fancy – just things we love and examples of what interest you. So here we go:

One of my “white” cupboards
Pump organ and Thirty Stars

This will give you something to do today, won’t it? And now I’ll wait for photos from all of you – I don’t care what it is just so it’s of interest to you.

Yes, I love being your quilting motivator/influencer – now I’m going to start sewing my BITCOIN strips – what are you going to work on today – other than take a couple of pictures to send me?

The blog about nothing is going to become THE BLOG ABOUT EVERYTHING!

61 thoughts on “Weather Report, 1-14-24

  1. Nancy Sturgeon

    Regarding the sampler—Her family probably didn’t keep the sampler because she stitched a million other projects like this one. The sampler was not her own design. It was probably stamped and not counted. Probably a kit.

    1. brendalynne1

      i love the things my grands aunts and mother created kit or not.
      Even so anything one granny made it was from her head as she put it.

    2. Sue in CA

      I made the same sampler and gave it to my mother for a Christma gift in 1966. It was stamped … and yes, it was a kit.

  2. Bonnie in SE CT

    I’m working on a wedding quilt and have it about half way done on the long arm. Was thinking of making muffins and a pot of soup as it is a cold blustery day. Glad I’m inside and have heat, electricity and options. Have to think about an interesting spot to photograph. Stay warm and safe!

  3. Lori

    Great idea about photos of interest. Love your photos. We have recently acquired a grown pregnant cat. Miss Kitty is a little afraid of our dog so she hides under the steps. Sometimes it is hard to get her to come out. I told my husband to give her a treat every time she comes out as an incentive. Does this work on cats, like it does for dogs?

    1. Beth T.

      It does with our cats. We give them “Temptations” treats and they know the sound of the bag, or the little plastic container, and come when they hear the shaking sound. They also come running when they hear other noisy bags–they are disappointed when John is eating chips instead of giving them treats. 😹 I use the shaking of the bag to gather the cats and bring them in to “their room” at night–they come running and urge me to hurry up. Good luck with Miss Kitty!

    2. Mary Etherington Post author

      Lori – cats are very aloof and independent but I hope it works before she has kittens.

  4. Mary Markert

    Love your spaces..homey and inviting. Have been snowed in here in SE Wisconsin almost all week. About a foot of snow total from storms all week. Lots of limbs and branches down, and one of our trees. Big spring cleanup coming our way. Now we have hit the deep freeze, single digit and below 0 temps. Nothing to do but SEW, SEW, SEW!!!! Loving it. It really is very pretty and the sun is finally out!

  5. Jo in Wyoming

    Great post.
    I shoved about 6” of snow in -11 degree weather. Mostly on the south side in the sun. Loretta peed on the driveway. Came in for a few minutes, then went out to poop…what a wuss. She is a sunshine girl.
    I’m replacing all this winter decor with tulips and pansies. I need some bright colors.

    It’s forecasted to be soup weather all week… ok, chicken artichoke soup is one of my favorites.

  6. Beth M

    I pulled up an obituary named Ruth B from Clear Lake. Passed away in 2014. I wonder if she sewed this? Interesting. Have a good day, Mary!!

  7. Sheryl

    Here in Ottumwa, we have been -20 with windchill -40. We have approximately 25” of snow on the ground. It is brutal out there for man & beast! I enjoy your pictures

  8. DebMac

    We are at -8 and the sun is shinning. That is up from the -14 when I got up at 9; it was even colder when Hubby let Jack out at 7. Poor Jack, he was out for 2 minutes and ready to be back in. Hubby did scoop some spots for him to use. I was out long enough to try and shake snow off my lilac bush. I trudged through snow up to my knees and only got half way around before I had to come inside as I was too cold. Not even sure I was down to ground while walking. We did go out for brunch, roads are snow packed but passable. Good thing I like snow as this will be with us for a while.
    Nice variety in today’s reader quilts. The 9 patch really caught my eye; simple and striking.
    I will try to send in a vignette shot or 2.You Have done such a lovely job with your decorating and collections.

    1. Sue Hoover

      I really liked the 9-patch quilt too. Such a beautiful way to set off a focus fabric. Elegant in its simplicity.

  9. Diane in Colorado

    I oh, how fun!! I can’t wait to start seeing everyone’s photos! I will have to think what to contribute!

    Your home is so lovely, Mary! Just my style, though I haven’t managed to create it here at my house yet. I finally got moved in yesterday—coldest possible day for a move, but I’m here now! Had such a fun impromptu party after we finished up last night! I will look forward to more of the same!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Diane – No! You moved yesterday?? Oh, my gosh, Girl – I’m glad you lived thru it – now for the fun! My house has to be pet proof even though I’d like to create small tableaus with quilts and antiques. I don’t really collect these days – where would I put it? Something would have to go out and I love it all.

    2. Diane in Colorado

      I have had such fun today unpacking the things that go in my china cabinet. So many memories!!! I reached out to my sister about my Grandma’s butter dish, wondering if she had it. I was just looking for a photo to jog my memory.

      Question for you—several items have been destroyed recently, but I’d not been able to confirm who was doing it. Caught Akira in the act today, working on chewing up a cute, little, antique book. This behavior is out of the ordinary for her. My Mom suggested it might be related to a sore tooth. Does that make sense to you?

      1. Mary Etherington Post author

        Diane – yes, it could make sense to me although Telly is acting funny, too, and as I do with my own self, I chalk it up to old age …. And maybe it isn’t. What do you suppose she’s missing? Diet? Telly eats the worst stuff and I can’t get her to stop! Is it boredom maybe? Hmmmm – strange.

      2. Pat in AZ

        Diane, is it possible that the disruption of your move has Akira unsettled? Some animals are more sensitive to changes in their routine and will self soothe. Just a thought as we had that happen with one of our dogs when we moved.

  10. Cathie

    Just love your rooms! The Sampler is one I did in the late 1960’s and gave it to my father for
    Father’s Day. Since he passed it has hung in my living room.
    Also love Vicki’s lilac quilt. I don’t know why since I am not a fan of purple but something about it
    struck me. I may try that pattern with a different color. Thanks, Vicki!!
    Do hope your weather turns a little warmer – poor dogs – have you ever tried the dog booties?
    Thank you for another great conversation with pictures! Have a good week.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Cathie – I’ve never tried dog booties – Hazel would act like I beat her and Keeper wouldn’t stand still long enough. We just hurry.

    2. brendalynne1

      that lilac quilt also caught my eye with a bang. I think it is because it is “just” a nine patch and squares. One just takes in the beauty of it without having to try to figure out what pattern it might be etc. It is just simply beautiful and nicely made. Thanks for sharing.

  11. Diana in Des Moines

    I cut 576 dark rectangles and 576 light triangles for my next quilt. Yes, I counted them. Then cut squares from the leftover fabric (2 1/2″ square).
    My son works for a large fire sprinkler installer here in Des Moines. When it gets this cold, pipes start bursting right and left. He’s on call, so if he has to go, I go stay with the grandkids. Fingers crossed I can stay home, start to sew these blocks and stay out of the cold!

  12. Sharon Eshlaman

    Absolutely gorgeous! A lot of decorating inspiration posted…..good thing my drive hasn’t been plowed yet as I’d be heading to the antique store with a big list of wants😊. Love the post!

  13. Marian Stever

    Wow, the blog was full of fun. I had to go back and read again. Sure takes my mind off all this snow and brutal cold. A couple days to go yet. I loved all your pictures: quilts, cold paws of keeper and hazel, the sampler, your furniture pieces so lovingly refinished and beautiful, the pewter cupboard and white china pieces, our friends quilts, etc. Loved it all. Yes, we do scrutinize your photos for something of special interest. Funny how you know we do so!!!! I sent you a picture of my Annalee dolls. I hope you got it.
    The sun is shining which makes the day much better. Oh, enjoyed the Iowa game last evening.

  14. Martha W in WY

    We watched Caitlin Clark last night in the game. She and her team mates really had some impressive shots.
    We’re having heat wave- 6 above! I love seeing all the photos.

  15. Candy

    This is going to be fun! I love my ‘stuff’, but it’s fun to see other people’s ‘stuff’. It’s like driving down the street just as it’s getting dark … people have their lights on, but haven’t closed their curtains yet … you can see their tv’’s glowing, pictures on the walls, etc. I find it quite heartwarming and enticing. (Just me?). I have always loved your swan pitcher … so precious! I haven’t decided yet what to take a picture or 2 of, but I will.

    1. Kathy in western NY

      Candy- I am the same way as I love looking into peoples windows as we drive around and see what they have on their walls, etc. One special ride was when we were going to a company Christmas party in an affluent area of large homes in the city so I could see huge dining rooms all lit up with candles glowing and glittering lights strung around the room. We had to drive slow being a neighborhood and trying to find the “mansion” we were going to. It was so awesome to me but I thought how wrong it felt to be admiring from afar. So confession time. My family knows I still love a ride admiring people’s yards, decorations on porches but I’m not a peeping Tom as I could care less what the people inside are doing. I like to see people’s styles decorating with what they enjoy looking at. Will be fun to see pictures readers send in.

      1. Mary Etherington Post author

        Kathy – oh, you’re not going to believe this – I loaded all those pics and it crashed. Sad.

    2. Mary Etherington Post author

      Candy – yes, it will be fun – I, too, still am in love with my swan pitcher!

  16. Arrowhead Gramma

    Your Thirty Stars quilt brought back a memory. I purchased two of these kits through Country Living magazine when it was featured on the cover. Gave one kit to my daughter who quickly put hers together and had quilted. Mine is still in the project box where I bring it out from time to time. Must put it on the to do list.😉

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Arrowhead Gramma – and I have a picnic basket full of parts and pieces leftover from making 3 Thirty Stars quilts. Hmmm – maybe we should talk about that quilt. I think it was the most exciting thing that has ever happened in my life.

      1. Teresa from Port Coquitlam, BC

        I have the pattern! I also ordered it when I saw the quilt featured in country living. I really need to make it too. That was when I first discovered your shop and then ordered some books and other patterns from you, and started receiving the Goat Gazette. When I saw your quilt hanging it reminded me I have that pattern.

  17. Sandy

    Hi Mary, a cooler damp, windy day here in New Zealand. I think Hazel would like a cushion on her piano stool, Bella likes to drape herself over cushions on the lounge when she has a nap.i will be dusting off my China houses and English royalty China to photograph for you today, what a fun idea, we all like to look at other people’s collections! Take care everyone, best wishes from Sandy

  18. Fran

    Love it.

    Not sure I can participate as I don’t do email on my cell phone which is my camera. If I can figure out how to take one pic from phone to lap top, I will participate. Probably easy peasy but I have to take the time to mess around. I just came in from my second time of outside 15 minutes or so each time. I cleared half the deck and a path through a big drift to the bird feeder. It’s Alaksa cold out there! Dinner is in the crockpot thank goodness.

    Been piddling in the sewing room too.

    I love your pics Mary. And you should make booties for the dogs paws, Did you know the dog mushing dogs use them? One time my sewing group made a bunch of booties for the Iditarod.

    Fran in frigid Carson, IA

  19. Kathy Duval

    Good afternoon. Our high for the day is -9. This morning when I got up it was -22. I live in northeast NE and we have at least 3′ of snow on the ground. My husband keeps the tank heater going so the cows can have water. My brother comes over every day to feed the cattle. He didn’t know if he was going to make it home yesterday with the snow blowing like it was and this is with a tractor. Unfortunately, two calves were born yesterday and one didn’t make it. They were supposed calve in March. Life on the farm isn’t always easy, but the rewards are usually worth it.

  20. Jeanie S, Central IL

    Early this morning it was -16; at almost 5P, it is -2 with 12 mph winds. We are surrounded by flat farmland, so we were advised to stay in yesterday evening, as the wind caused very low visibility with snow drifting on the roads.
    I am cutting my youngest son’s cotton dress shirts into 4 1/2” x 2 1/2” rectangles, making 8” finished blocks. At this point, I do not know if I am making a throw or queen size quilt.
    I love the pictures of your house. I could look at your collections all day. Thanks, Mary. 🥰

  21. fbklosterman

    I just read thru your Blizzard Day #2 comments again.
    Oh, the stories the old timers tell. My husband would tell about the Blizzard of ’49 and what people had to do to survive, plus the livestock. I was in Iowa at that time and remembered the News Reals showing planes dropping hay and food supplies to people out here. The trains were stuck for weeks, with passengers, etc.
    And the Children’s Blizzard. It is very hard to believe, but it did happen.
    Personally, I am only scared of tornadoes. Nobody can be prepared for that. I have great respect for blizzards, but commen sense and weather predictions help a ton.
    On October 3, 2013, the first named blizzard, Atlas, hit western South Dakota. We didn’t think there would be a problem. It started snowing on Oct 3 and it snowed heavily with blowing wind for 3 full days and nights. Cattle and other livestock were in their summer pasture with no protection. Power poles were down, trees were down everywhere. Drifts were huge. We didn’t go out of the house for at least 4 days. This storm was nothing to fool around with. Over 44,000 head of cattle, horses, sheep, etc were killed. A small herd of about 30 head of heifers walked,, blindly, from outside of Black Hawk, ending up in the middle of downtown Rapid City. They probably walked at least 30 miles. They were lucky as the rancher was notified and the cattle were herded down to the Post Office parking where they could be fed and watered and the rancher got the cattle back to his ranch. The ranchers, etc tied ropes from the houses to the barn so they wouldn’t get lost. Visibility was impossible. The drifts were so high they crawled out the second floors on to the drifts and shoveled their way into the ground floors. We had a lot in town, but nothing to compare with out of town. The logistics were hard to hear. We dealt with the after effects for weeks.
    I never dreamed I’d see a storm that bad. We were very lucky to be home with plenty of supplies, etc — a habit from Iowa and keeping food, etc to last in case…..We had it very easy. Because of preparation, we had it easy. Not so for many people. And now sitting alone because it is so cold, I think of these things we’d never imagined we’d survive. And we did it together.

    So, remember when things are bad, the could be a lot worse. Take care. And thank you for being there.
    Betty Klosterman in Rapid City

    1. Jeanine from Iowa

      Betty – I remember that horrible blizzard and the pictures we would see on our TV. We felt so bad for the cattle and the ranchers. We hope we never have to see something like that again.

  22. Diane, Squeak, and Buddy in Central Ohio

    COLD here, too. —8* this this AM then up,to 11*. Wow! Our daughter and I went to Moulin Rouge in Columbus was awesome. Great voices, beautiful costumes, and excellent sets. We really enjoyed it. My husband could not go due to his surgery. He is doing pretty well.
    I love the photo idea of special places in our homes.
    I tried to make booties for the neighbor dog. Didn’t work. They ordered some.
    The reader quilts today are colorful which is wonderful on these cold days. I am cleaning and putting projects in boxes. Finished projects soon. I hope!

  23. Charlotte S in No. California

    Stay safe and warm everyone. Just seeing the snowy pictures and hearing of the minus temps, gives me the chills. I love all the quilts today. Great work ladies!!

  24. Sandy

    It’s-11 here in Naperville,Illinois. This cold doesn’t motivate me to do much but reading your email and seeing all the pictures definitely gets me motivated. Thank you for all the work you do sending us the pictures and updates on what you’re up to. Stay warm and safe. I must add my dog doesn’t like this cold either I let her out earlier and she took about 20 steps and turned around and came back in. She’s no dummy.🤣🤣

  25. patti

    omg, i don’t know how you all deal with that weather. i know i’ve been away from it for over 20 years. even hearing about the weather in texas (dallas, austin, san antonio, houston), i think i’ll just stay here in florida. i can’t breathe in that type weather. you are all brave souls in my book. i’ve spent that last many days sorting through scraps. thought there was one bin – oh how naive i was. i’ve been through four and can see another 5 on that shelf. sorting by color. then realized how crazy i am and took the blues and tossed little things, started a giant give-away bag. got sidetracked by something called a ‘duckworth quilt’. so had to experiment after i looked it up on pinterest. blocks are basically log cabins, with a center (or somewhere) accent and the rest is the same color (not the same fabric also had to experiment with a 3″ finished house block. that won’t use up fabric in this life time. today i cut mostly 4.5″ i-spy squares (and a few 4″, 5″, 3.5″, 3″) to use up the fabric. then saw a stack of 10″ squares – have found 3 quilts to make with those. found a bin of 2.5″ strips to make bargello, think i’d rather do 16-patches now. tomorrow is off to do bloodwork (potassium too high), then back to sorting. the green bin is really large so want to thin it out of the too tiny things. and probably start more scrap give-away bags. better to thin it out before i start those other scraps bins. please stay safe and warm. all the photos today were excellent. such variety, such talent. mary, you have a knack for decorating. i love so much of your stuff. hugs to all, patti in florida

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Patti – oh, you tickle me- all that sorting and planning! I understand it so well – you’ll be ready to start something fabulous and I hope you’ll show us when you do!

  26. JeanneH in the Finger Lakes of New York

    Goodness, poor Hazel and Keeper! Hazel might like a coat of some kind as would Keeper. And booties!
    Our dog’s feet couldn’t take the cold, once it got down to about 17F. He liked being outside and romping in the snow until it got too cold, and he’d get snow/ice between his pads. We got booties for him, and he was so funny when he had them on for the first time each winter – high-stepping like he was trying to step out of them! LOL But then he’d dash for the door ready to go out – NOW!

    I too love seeing the decorating in people’s homes: an arrangement here and there of special things, and look forward to the pics.

    This morning the sky is clear and it was 9F at 8 am when DH and I got up. Nothing like what you all are having in the plains. Keep warm, everyone!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Jeanne – I have quite a few coats for Hazel but the minute I pull one out to put on her, she runs away and hides!!! If I do put it on she stands there like I’ve beaten her!

  27. Margie Braaksma

    Staying in again. -4 with -38 windchill! Just finished hand quilting a wall hanging so time to cut the binding.

  28. Launa

    School today! Guess Idahoan’s don’t celebrate MLKing Day as a holiday? I thought it was a Federal Holiday? Was minus 9 degrees @ 7am! No new snow today so it’s football 🏈 on tv! Was reading in a couple Debbie Macomber’s past novels and she mentions Seahawks in each. Wonder what she thinks of Pete C’. losing his coaching job?
    The pretty purple quilt caught my eyes as did others. Thanks for posting, Mary!

  29. Arlene

    We grew up in the Midwest with all sorts of antiques and “stuff”. Each time we would go home to Wisconsin my husband would pull a U-Haul behind our car and we would antique our way across Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota and sometimes Kansas. My house is filled with those things we both love that remind us of older times, loved ones and the value of good things that worked… As I looked at your loved and treasured “stuff” I marveled how beautiful everything was together. My biggest question today is: how on earth to you keep your home so clean and lovely?!? It all looks so tidy and organized all the time. I know what it’s like to dust knickknacks!!! I’ve considered giving up my tea cup collection for this reason! So enjoy seeing your lovely home and things that make you happy. There’s no place like home Mary!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Arlene – I’ll accept your compliment only if you think about this – those pictures aren’t going to show dust! I don’t have time to dust but spring and fall. My floors will always be dirty because the pine boards shrunk up and there are cracks between each row that fill with dirt, dust and pet hair immediately after vacuuming. I like tidy but clean is a distant dream.

      1. Arlene

        My grandmother always said the good thing about getting old is our eyes can’t see the dust any longer…I agree. My house is constantly dusty. I start in one room and by the time (if I get there) I get to the first room it is sooo dusty again. Someone said, “frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.” I’d rather be sewing, reading, gardening and playing with my beloved blue heeler (cattle dog). My childhood friend in Wisconsin told me this evening that she found 2 dead birds near her feeder…she brought them into the house hoping they might come around but it wasn’t to be. We have many large pine trees and I think the birds are protected some from the elements. Nature is hard when it’s this cold. I love your home, it speaks of your personality Mary…

        1. Mary Etherington Post author

          Arlene – love your “take” on dusting – I agree!! Tell me about your blue heeler

          1. brendalynne1

            my daughter has spoken with a few docents at some of the beautiful historic homes she has viewed and believe it or not the dusting and housekeeping challenges have come up. They all said they do a clockwise trip around their rooms and wherever they end up for the day that is where the dusting supplies are stored and that is where they begin their dusting for the next day/ Some days they are busier than others and do not make as much progress as others but that is how they keep the beautiful homes looking so nice. It actually seems to be working for dusting and other things that need work every day

  30. Arlene

    Mary, our sweet blue heeler will be 9 in Feb! He was around 7-8 months when we adopted him from New Hope Cattle Dog Rescue here in CO. He was found as a stray outside Joplin, MO! New Hope networks with many states around CO to save these wonderful dogs. His name at that time was Rowdy!! We should have kept that name! We had 2 red heelers before Max and he is definitely the stinker of the 3! He is also half border collie and that adds another crazy to the mix! He can be snarky at times but so loving most of the time. I’m afraid we haven’t had him around many dogs so he is particular who he wants to visit with…We were 23 years older by the time we got our 3rd cattle dog. They need a job and are on the “alert” all the time. He’ll let me know when the delivery trucks are within a block! Yes, I would get another ACD even tho I’m in my 70’s now! I love how you love your furry friends Mary. You have a good heart. Next time I get to Iowa perhaps we can meet for coffee somewhere. Stay warm and safe!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Arlene – I have worked with several rescues transporting dogs and I’m thrilled that’s how you got your guy! Yes, I know he needs a job – around here he’d be herding the geese – ha! If you’re going through North Iowa you can let me know and please give Max a hug from me!

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