What happened to spring? 4-11-23

It’s going to be 80 degrees today – with wind and a high fire risk. I started raking on Easter afternoon and continued yesterday. By the way, the Easter service was lovely.

This was my big project yesterday – cleaning the area around the playhouse.

This poor little birdhouse has been around for many years. Looks sad, doesn’t it?

Another repair.

At age 75 it becomes very clear that this property will continue to show wear and tear just like me. I have lived here over 45 years and don’t intend to leave until they carry me out the drive to the funeral home. So I will deal with it the best I can without help.

I’m also wanting to transfer my old VCR tapes to DVDs – any advice?

Reader quilts

Ernie Joe Mauer

Remember all those rocks in front of my house? I fed the birds in this area all winter so now I have all the shells and debris stuck between the rocks. Ugh – but I’ll get it, not to worry.

I’ll bet you’re doing yard work, too – but probably not several acres without help. This is what I’m seeing this morning that’s waiting for me. No sewing for me until we get a rainy day.

If you live in the Midwest, don’t blow away today!

54 thoughts on “What happened to spring? 4-11-23

  1. Gail in Ohio

    We are having great weather here in mid-Ohio this week and I plan to take advantage of it too – as much as possible anyway.
    As for the VCR to DVD issue – shop around, some folks are better at it than others. Also, you’re wise to get it done soon before the tapes deteriorate or the equipment needed is too hard to find. You might consider putting them on a flash drive or external hard drive too (DVDs may not last forever either, I’m told…)

  2. Bonny

    It is always a treat to see the reader’s quilts. Thanks to you for showing. Thanks to readers for sharing.

  3. Sally J.

    Love the black and white Bulls Eye quilt!!
    I also need to start on the yard work. Pace yourself and do a little each day.
    Reaching 78 degrees here in Waterford, Mi.
    Sally J,

  4. Jeanine from Iowa

    Yes, I love the black and white Bulls Eye too! Great job South Dakota quilter. We are to have 81* here in southeast Iowa today. I have most of my outside work done, but don’t have the work that Mary does. We have had some nice days, but very few until now.

  5. Judy

    SO loving hearing about “spring” in the midwest where I was raised. Texas is all green green and grasses are tall enough to mow. Bluebonnet season! It is a BEAUTIFUL morning here! Hope All Yawl have a BEAUTIFUL day!
    Judy in Texas

  6. Diane in Colorado

    Oh, Hazel!! Be careful!! You are braver than me!!

    Yard work has started in earnest here as well. Think I will stop at Lowe’s today and pick up some mulch—it’s $2/bag right now and I need a bunch! I cut down some of my decorative grasses over the weekend. I usually do that in the fall but didn’t get it done last year. Yards and property are a never-ending chore. I am thinking patio home soon as I have trouble keeping up on my own. I admire your ability to keep up all there is to do on the farm!!

  7. Sharon Ludwig

    Your goal of no help is commendable, a good compromise would be to get some young strong kids from church or ??? To help with the big stuff in the beginning . ❤️

  8. Peggy S

    Mary, I’ve been feeding my birds, bunnies, squirrels, chipmunks, etc over the winter off the edge of my driveway. A big mess has been left behind!! I’m hoping my leaf blower & shovel will help the situation!!
    I can only try!! Good luck!!
    Peggy S

  9. Sue in Oregon

    It’s hard to do yard work in the rain. Yes, it’s still raining here. Weatherman says it is going to start clearing tomorrow. I’ll believe it when I see it this time. Seedlings still need to get in the ground. Your bullseyes are wonderful South Dakota. I love mine so much. What a darling photo of Hazel walking down the trunk of the fallen tree. Adjile little dog.
    Actually, that little birdhouse is cute. You could plant a little vining plant in it.
    We have peeling paint, too, but too old to paint now. Depressing, like my mood but nothing a little sunshine wouldn’t cure.
    I am still working on Black and Brown. Just very slow.

  10. Teresa in Indiana

    Love the read quilts today! Mary, I believe Hazel has some “cat” in her also. She’s so adorable. Don’t overdo it on the outside cleanup. We had such a pretty day here yesterday that I know from experience. HA HA! Everyone have a happy day.

  11. Sharon F

    Thanks you and the readers for sharing another beautiful batch of reader quilts. The first one looks like a wonderful way to use up some scraps. I have a good bit of yard work here too, not as much as your farm of course. I’ll wait to get started until the weekend when the weather is supposed to be nicer, raining here the next few days.
    So I hope to get some sewing time.

  12. Cathy Duregger

    Oh Mary I wish I could come help you! My lower back is paining me from all the cleaning, packing, and carrying boxes up stairs to the car for Good Will and the sale of this acreage. I am praying you can rally some youngsters to help! Does your church have a youth Group?

    Hang in there!
    Cathy Duregger

  13. Sue Hoover

    The house & yard work sometimes takes a toll on our outlook, doesn’t it? We live on a couple acres and my husband claims to be “allergic to manual labor”. Oh brother! Anyway, I usually do a couple of hours outside in the morning and then attend to whatever needs to be done in the house and then I reward myself with some time sewing by machine or hand. This time of year is very tiring — but necessary. Loved the picture of Hazel! If you hadn’t said she was in the picture I doubt I would have seen her! She has got to be part mountain goat! Hahaha! Hope you have a good and productive day.

  14. MartyCae

    Thanks for the picture of Ernie Joe. And that Hazel- what a hoot! I find that it takes me twice as long to get work done. So be it! Old age is not for sissies as they say.

    1. Linda in Estherville

      Marty Cae, if you are who I think you are…you are far far from old age. Hush!

  15. Teresa from Port Coquitlam, BC

    Wow can’t believe hazel balancing on that tree. I didn’t know a dog would do that. The quilt show is great as always. We were just talking about vhs conversion. Our new computer doesn’t have a way to play dvds any more so I also would suggest putting it to a flash drive. I wish I was close to help you with your yard work. My mom is turning 80 this year and has started asking for help to do the big clean up in spring then she can maintain. Spring has come brining rains so very hard to start cleaning up.

  16. Carol Reents

    I enjoyed seeing the bullseye quilts. It makes me want to get mine finished. Here in Indiana it will get warm but more cold weather is forecasted.

  17. Barbara Moore

    Hi Mary! Greetings from Tucson where it’ll be nearly 90 today, maybe over. Our hot season is in its beginnings and soon the A/C will be a-blowin’ overtime😳. We used LegacyBox.com to preserve our family’s photos, 8mm movies and videos. They did a great job. All your stuff comes back to you plus a stick where they’ve stored it. Was heartwarming//heartbreaking to see now-gone family members from the 50-60’s and then we three siblings as kids. You return your items in a box they send you and then get in line. Took about 6-8 weeks for them to finish. Their fee is reasonable. Have a great day and don’t get blown away!
    Barb in Tucson

  18. Bea knight

    Hi Mary

    I love your blog. Thankyou so so much! I love all the pictures of everything you post!

    You are very very special. Your animals are all so so blessed.
    God bless you and your hubby always and forever 🙏🏻🐶❤️‍🩹

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Bea Knight – I’m always so happy to see you’re still reading – I’ll never forget your gorgeous dogs!

  19. Jo in Wyoming

    We’re having spring too…finally. For a few days. Then another possibility of snow.
    Hazel has no fear. And so curious.
    The quilts are wonderful, again. Thanks to all.
    Happy Spring to all.

  20. Kathy in western NY

    Love the first scrap quilt!! Nice work on all the quilts to see. The Bulleye’s are stunning as usual so thank you everyone for sharing your creative works. I love seeing them all.
    I spent yesterday cleaning out one area in my yard and I could hardly move last night to even walk! I over did it being up and down planting primroses. I’ll send you a picture. So today it’s inside after I took a walk to our town library. Easy spaghetti and meatballs for dinner. I try to tell myself to pace the chores. And I don’t have all the acreage you take care of so please do take it easy. My husband did mow yesterday so he’s a huge help taking care of the house.
    We too are at a fire risk believe it or not! Winds today and no rain for the next 7 days. It’s 68 out there now and high 70’s for next 5 days.

  21. LaNan

    I’d b interested in knowing how to transfer old vcr tapes to dvds. It’s great to have the warmer temps even tho everything is still brown!!

  22. joy in NW Iowa

    Here in NW Iowa it is windy and warm also! Yesterday was a beautiful sunny day with no wind! Hubby is busy raking rocks/gravel out of the ditch from the snow removers blading it there. What a job. The grass is getting a bit green. We need a good washing rain to get rid of all the dirt from the winter. We had lunch on the deck which is a treat! The birds are happy too.
    Enjoy the weather!

  23. Nan V.

    Spring in northern Illinois seems to last about 20 minutes. One day it’s snowing, the next day it’s shirtsleeve weather! No leaves on trees here yet, but my daffodil leaves are poking out of the ground.

  24. Linda

    In central Minnesota. we are still buried in snow…A lot of snow has melted and hopefully a lot more snow will go this week with the high temps…We had a long winter…

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Linda – yes, you really did have a very long winter! Much worse than us.

  25. Connie R.

    We had a long winter in NE Wisconsin too but, today it reached 70 degrees. A lot of the snow has melted and lots more to go. Unfortunately the fast melt has caused a small leak in our basement so, time to clean the basement! Guess I’ll start that tomorrow.
    Love the quilt show… especially the Bullseye quilts. Always a favorite.

  26. Beth Laverty

    We are expecting that HOT weather later this week. Then they said we might even have snow after that Strange weather at best.
    I live in a college town and every spring the students do something for the community. You can sign up to have them come and clean up your yard. Since I hit 80 this year and my dh is 86 I DECIDED it was time to get in on it!!! They call it the BIG EVENT and when they do it for us it will feel like a big event.

  27. michele

    check your library for transferring vcr tapes
    some have a machine you can borrow

  28. Kate

    My husband and I live on just a half acre and we cannot keep up with the upkeep. At 74 and 75 it’s not quite as easy as it use to be. I have a whole list of things that need repair this Summer, so he is going to be very busy and I have flower plots I have to care for along with chickens and three dogs. I really don’t know how you do all you do, but I’m like you. When I leave this world I hope they carry me out of our present home. We have lived here for over 45 years, too. I love our home and can’t imagine living anywhere else.

  29. Dee from Shell Rock

    Hi, I don’t have the VCR to dvd project to do, I lost my tapes in our flood. But there’s a place in Denver Iowa that will scan your tapes and put them on a flash drive. I don’t know their cost but they advertise alot. They do slides and negatives, so I’m working on getting my act togther to take to them. Yes, I think the bigger libraries have those machines to transfer them, but am I confident it would be a good copy? WEll —-
    Yard work isn’t on my schedule yet, letating the bees and bus enjoy their warm home in the ground. I saw my first turtles in my pond today.! Spring is really popping up now.

    1. Dee from Shell Rock

      And their name is JRS scanning. Sorry forgot to put that on there.

  30. Laura VS

    Before you try to transfer VCR to DVD, check and see if there is anything left on the VCR tape. My dad saved them all, when we tried to play years later, there was nothing but blurry, garbled tape.

  31. Linda in Estherville

    The bird house is beautiful. On my drive home today from DesMoines, I was alone in the car and driving and perhaps more aware of my surroundings. Usually when “he” drives, I have my nose in a book, cause there is never anything new to see. I did make a detour thru Jolley to The Quilt Shed…so perhaps I saw it on that road. It was an old farm shed sitting back always off the road. I thought about stopping to take a photo…I didn’t! But it was so beautiful, your bird house could be an exact replica of that old shed nestled away with old trees growing up around it. So many of these old roadside treasures are torn down and burned; never to be see again.

    Mary, I think it would be beautiful sitting among your other treasures on your shelf, just to be sure it is one of the last things you lay your eyes on in another 30 years.

  32. Jan Hebert

    I agree, that birdhouse is so quaint. I’d have to keep it. I have one that’s covered in birch and the bark is peeling away. It has a tin roof, I love it! Hazel is a riot! My SIL’s Jack Russell would do that! She’s fearless. They’re a funny breed. Take your time cleaning up, it’s not a race! We have seven acres as well and no help. Raking leaves is the chore that takes the longest. There are so many windy days here that raking days are rare, I’m sure our neighbors cringe when they see the leaves piled up against the stone walls. Anyway, I love the reader quilts – the bull’s eye’s are definitely a favorite. How do you quilt yours Mary? It’s so nice to have a place to read about normal people doing normal things. Unlike what I see and hear on the television and nightly news. Take care all, Jan in MA

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Jan – the original bullseye is quoted in circles and stippled between blocks. I tried to do it but couldn’t so the Baby Bullseye I made last winter is still not quilted! I think I’ll have to take it to Sue.
      Yes, I agree about our conversations – normal people my age who do normal things – the blog about nothing. There’s nothing happening here, that’s for sure. As soon as we get the garden tilled I suppose I’ll start planting – not much however. I am going to rake and clean this year without killing myself – windy days like this make it impossible!

  33. Agatha B

    It makes me sad for you and all the other women out there in their 70’s like me that have lots of outside work with little or no help. I know it keeps us going but sometimes overwhelming. We lived in a condo for over 20 years then in our late 60’s moved and bought a house. Way to much work. What were we thinking. But I just take one day at a time. And squeeze in quilting when I can.

  34. Susan K in Texas

    Spring has sprung! It’s going to be in the 80’s here in Texas this week. Warm weather means mowing yards around here again. I’ve been working with moving the aloes out around the yard again.
    That Hazel is quite the character. I love seeing what she’s up to. And that birdhouse has character too.

  35. Jeanie S, Central IL

    Loved all the beautiful quilts; good job readers. Thanks for posting, Mary. That Hazel is quite the little adventurer-she is so funny! Our high was 78 today; the last three days have been wonderful.

  36. Linda

    That Hazel! She’s been hanging around the goats and cats so long she’s taken on their climbing habit!! I need her on my farm, I’m down to Miles and Sammie now and there’s 9 years difference between them and Miles doesn’t always want to romp and wrestle like Sammie. Sammie could teach Hazel how to bring opossums (Oppies) up to the house. She would rather chase squirrels because they are more game and she kills them and buries them somewhere but Oppies play dead so they get dumped on the porch, Of course they “come back to life” and wonder off so she can bring them back in a night or two.

    I hope all those bird seeds don’t grow, I always have a good crop of seed weeds under my feeders. Only good thing, they pull up easy! Don’t over due!!

  37. Kim from TN

    Hazel makes me smile and I wonder what she is thinking? today I will be a goat, lol lovely quilt show today and I have 2 children’s quilts to finish up for a friend. It’s been spring for a while in TN so my flower beds are weeded and fertilized. I did plant 20 feet of Zinnia seeds a few days ago. The butterflies and bees just love them. I need to replace a few rose bushes that didn’t survive the deep frost that hit us. I think I will put in coneflowers instead of roses, which are more work than I care to do these days. Happy raking and cleaning up that lovely place you call home. I always enjoyed your flowers and rock beds when I came to the shop.

  38. Sherrill

    I didn’t read through all the comments so forgive me if someone’s already mentioned it. I used Legacy Box when I was transferring photos et al to a DVD/thumb drive (you could choose). They did a fantastic job!! They send you a box (size according to what your estimate of goods are), you fill it up and send it to them. Then they return it all along with your DVD/thumb drive. I LOVE that black and white bull’s eye! And I only live on a ‘standard’ 1/4 acre lot and don’t even do much on that. I have a group of brothers (high school) that mow and edge for me and I sure as heck don’t move all the pots and planters in and out like you do!! HA

  39. Janice Brown

    Good day Mary, it reached 85 degrees here this afternoon (Traverse City MI area). It has been a warm week. Next week, the forecast shows cooler weather with possible snow on Monday. That birdhouse is really cool looking. It has an interesting design. Not sure if the birds mind though that it needs some mending. Love seeing photos of your house and property . . . to me, it is so peaceful looking. The reader quilts are very nice and inspiring. Jeanine, I really like your charity quilt.

  40. Glenda Fletcher

    Hi Mary, We took 2 reels of Randy’s basketball to Flicko’s 4811 E. Grant Rd. STE #262 Tucson, Az 85712
    Phone # 520-742-3153. Had them put on a Flash drive and a DVD. They also work on VCR’s . They can send them in the mail. They turned out very good. Turn over time was short. WE will be taking the rest
    to them next year. Yes, also make sure there is something left on them if at all possible. Otherwise, I
    would assume Flicko’s would call you if they were not good. Could also ask them about that to make sure.
    We were very satisfied with them.
    Good to have warm weather back here. Was warmer than here in Arizona but still 10-15 degrees below
    normal most of the time. Not many days of capri weather. But feels good to be back home.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Glenda – I’ll bet it does feel good to be home – when my mom returned in March/April each year she always said the same thing even though she just loved her winter home in Texas. Thanks for the info – I’ve had quite a few recommendations. Now I just have to do it!

  41. Cheryl from Niagara Falls

    Love the birdhouse too! I had a very old one that was falling apart but the birds still used it. I bought three new ones that they have not used. Hmm. Every year I can’t wait for nice weather but then I soon remember how much work it brings too. I used to be able to work all day outside and then at mom’s helping her. Not anymore. Small bursts now or I am paying for it big time the next couple days. I hate that I can’t work like I used to!!!!! We feed the birds and squirrels all winter too, but they sure make a mess. And all the weeds from the seeds. Ugh. My favorite squirrel who would jump on my lap and take the food from my hand isn’t around so he must have passed over the winter. Sad as I really got a kick out of him. He would jump on my porch furniture and look in the window like “hey, I’m here. Feed me”. I will miss him.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Cheryl – a wild squirrel actually sat in your hand? Wow! How old do you think he was? I have no idea of their life expectancy. Yes, a terrible mess to clean up but I so enjoyed feeding them all winter! I absolutely hate that I can’t work like I could years ago. What will I be like in 5 years??? And how will all this work get done if not by me??? Don’t get me wrong – I like it!

  42. Ginny

    I wish I could send George up there to help you! I know first hand how much work cleaning up a farm after an Iowa winter is but we have both done it for years with no help.
    One day at a time, it might take longer now but you will get it done.
    Hazel is a little adventurer!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Ginny – your George is Superman! Your kitchen will be so nice, won’t it? Oh, I’ll get it all cleaned up – I’m just impatient. It was 86 here today so I just naturally think all the work should be done. Not so fast – it’s getting cold again this weekend.

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