Where does the time go? 3 – 6 – 22

It’s been three days since I posted and I’m sorry – the time just gets away from me. Could it be I have too much to do?

1. Thankfully North Iowa got only a thunderstorm and not a tornado like Madison County and Winterset. Remember the popular book The Bridges of Madison County? I wonder if those old covered bridges survived the storm.

2. Saw a post on Facebook referring to Yellowstone – John tells Rip to take Putin to the train station. Good idea – those poor people and what they’re enduring because of such an evil man.

3. Trying to clean my sewing room. ugh.

Here are a couple more sewing boxes/pincushions in my room:

Reader quilts:

A friend made this sweet table topper for me – I added the basket of colorful eggs.


Jessica – did you see the neurosurgeon?

Susan, Gayle, Joy – you all had back surgery – how are you doing?

I guess I ask too many questions – nobody will answer me.

88 thoughts on “Where does the time go? 3 – 6 – 22

  1. MaureenHP

    1. No apologies for not posting daily. You have so much on your plate right now.
    2. Seeing your sewing room makes me feel good about mine. Of course, I didn’t own a quilt shop for many years!
    3. May and Rick have a calm week!

  2. Billie

    Watched the news tonight, and saw about the storms, my first thoughts were of you! Glad to hear you weren’t in the path. Keep blogging, we are reading!!!

  3. Launa

    I wondered about the covered bridges as well!
    Good the tornadoes missed you!

  4. Pamela Papazidis

    Those eggs are beautiful. From your chickens? How many b do you get daily? Thank you for posting. Enjoy hearing from you when you post.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Pamela – yes, all the eggs are from my chickens but I didn’t have room in my frig for more cartons of eggs so that basket is about 2-3 days worth. Sometimes I get more than a dozen a day! What do I do with all of them??????

      1. Jan Hebert

        Mary, the eggs are so pretty! Can you bring them to church once a week? We’re in the same boat, but I’m only getting 8 or 9 a day. I’m thinking of putting a cooler out by the road with a sign to see if anyone would buy them. I don’t feed them organic feed, too expensive. But they are really good! Your sewing room looks a lot like my dining room! We’re getting snow again tomorrow but it won’t last long. I love this time of year – except for the mud! Yuck. Praying for Ukraine… Jan in MA

  5. Linda

    Love the colorful basket of eggs on that darling table topper! Reminds me of Spring just around the corner.

  6. Brenda in Iowa

    Deb G in SE WI – I LOVE the green/red/gold sampler quilt. Very stunning.

  7. Margie

    Not to worry, Mary. We know you are busy with so many things. Post when you can. Like seeing all the readers quilts. Take care.

  8. Sandy Kolarik

    I love all your posts and glad you posted today. I wasn’t sure where your home was from the tornado and was praying you and everyone ok. Your sewing room makes me feel better about my messy one, I’m glad someone else’s is like mine. If I can ever figure out how to post photos I’ll send you some. I’m not computer savvy. Never feel bad about not posting you do so much and we enjoy reading your adventures. 😊

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Sandy – do you know how to send a photo by email? That’s how everybody sends their photos to me and I take it from there.

  9. Lynn in NE Iowa

    I also wondered about the covered bridges. Have not heard anything on the news about them. No need to apologize about not blogging. You have a lot going on right now. Can tell by the pictures your sewing room is where you go to create and relax. Sometimes the mess does not matter when i just need to sew. I have a finished quilt in the drier right now. I love the look and feel of a new quilt after it comes out of the drier the first time. I did not piece this one. One of my coworkers had a top the her husband’s grandmother had pieced but couldn’t finish due to some vision problems. It is quilted very simply, much like you do your quilts, no fuss. I’m looking forward to giving it to her tomorrow. We took our granddaughters to Disney On Ice yesterday in Coralville. They are 5 and 2, we all had a great time and made memories. Hope this next week is calmer for you Mary. Thanks for keeping in touch.

  10. Sherry Whalen

    You have the most interesting pin cushions/sewing boxes/paraphernalia!

    In Kasson, we got some rain, tiny hail/large sleet, more rain, thunder and lightning, then sometime after midnight a bit of snow that luckily stuck to the ice (that flash froze) for texture so our walk this morning was a bit safer. And of course WIND. The ground is still frozen so I have a frozen river in my back yard. My heart goes out to those who suffered tornadoes yesterday and are now dealing with a winter storm advisory now. Crazy.

    I did a thing. I’ve ordered a long arm and frame! I am excited and quite nervous, I guess I will find out soon if I can transfer my skill of moving the quilt on a sit down machine to moving a machine over a quilt! I’ve been busy prepping backs to get a few quilts ready to quilt.

    I hope Rick is getting all healed up so you can stop doing all of your travel. It is wonderful to have Mayo so close, within driving distance when you need them – but ideally it is better to not need them! We are close – we could do lunch!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Sherry – oh how fun! You’re getting a long arm – of course you can do it! I’d be happy to try lunch but I’ve been trying to meet up with my friend Kathy(she made the sweet table topper) and I get so bogged down inside Mayo that there just isn’t enough time to leave and get back for the next appt!

      1. Janet S

        Sherry, Lucky you to live in Kasson. Do you know when the Hubbell House will reopen? We heard it is down to remodel the kitchen. It is absolutely one of our favorite places to eat even though we have to drive from southwest of the Minneapolis and it takes about an hour and a half to get there. Thanks in advance for the info.

        1. Sherry Whalen

          Hi Janet – I haven’t heard of a definitive opening date, I think they are hoping for April. The new owner has said he won’t change much of the dining area or menu (but maybe they will add Bunny’s coconut cake – it is very good!) – but they are completely redoing the kitchen, we’ve seen a couple of pictures of a mostly empty kitchen! We go there occasionally, it is so fun to look at all of the collections of antiques and the different feel of dining in a non-chain restaurant. We really like Kasson/Mantorville area, close to Rochester and an hour drive to the Twin Cities, plus 30 minute drive to I-35 and I-80 – we can be on the road north/south or east/west within an hour!

          1. Mary Etherington Post author

            Sherry – I had forgotten about the Hubbell House – I took Reed there and we loved it.

      2. Sherry Whalen

        No worries about lunch – I know it is so stressful and busy within those Mayo walls, plus you have 4 hours of drive time and hubs with you who probably isn’t feeling the best. I have the ‘luxury’ of having spent enough time inside those walls and the surrounding area that it doesn’t seem so overwhelming – and only a 20 minute drive time. We end up there for many things – our Kasson clinic is a satellite so mammograms, etc are all done there. Mom and Dad have been patients there and we’ve been their ‘tour guides’. We give blood/platelets in the Hilton building several times a year and Al and I have been in a couple of studies that have taken us to some very obscure parts of the complex. For fun in the winter weather we will walk the subways, sky ways, and Galleria for exercise and lunch, so I know my perspective of the complex is different than others who are there in very stressful situations. I think of you when you are there, hoping that everything is going smoothly; I have always found that everyone is helpful and willing to guide you to the next place.

  11. Jan in NW WI

    Glad to hear all is well with you and Rick. No need to apologize if you don’t post, we all understand that sometimes life gets in the way of our best laid plans. Lots of ice and a bit of snow here in NW WI. Spring will hopefully show up in late April or May. Looking forward to digging in he gardens. Take care, be safe and thanks for taking the time to share with all of us.

  12. Betty Klosterman

    I wondered about Fons and Porter, too. Plus John Wayne’s birthplace. I am afraid of tornadoes. You just don’t know what they are going to do. If I remember right we used to get a lot of tornados in Iowa, but people didn’t usually die. We got some snow yesterday and I shoveled a width of the shovel today. Don’t ever buy a house on a corner lot!! More snow coming tomorrow and Wednesday, but we really need moisture. It did feel good to shovel in the fresh air today. My weight restriction is over.
    Just love all the pictures of your collections and people’s quilts.
    What was the pin cushion you were selling to buy your grand piano? Was it the shirt cuff? Finished a couple old projects and now cutting 1 1/2″ strips out of pile of scraps. Can’t just put them in Dog beds. I feel the urge for more log cabin pot holders coming on. With my big variety of scraps, they get very interesting and lots of fun — no rules!
    Mary, only 2 dr appointments this week? Keep your chin up. We always seem to manage to do all that is necessary.
    John Dutton’s idea of taking Putin to the train station is great. He is an awful person. “They” are wondering if he is mad. In this day and age, that is very dangerous. It is very interesting seeing all the ways people are finding to help the refugees. Keeps our faith in the human nature. A lot of good out there.
    Take care, everybody.

    1. Diana in Des Moines

      It’s been a really long weekend. We were at my granddaughters birthday party last night when the sirens started going off. No damage to our house north of Des Moines, but two friends lost their homes in Runnels due to the tornado in se Polk County. So scary and I feel so bad for them. And it’s only March. God help us when summer comes.

    2. Diana in Des Moines

      Fons and Porter are no longer in Winterset. They split up and retired. Tornado was outside of town, not in the city. John Wayne’s home and museum not damaged.

      1. Mary Etherington Post author

        Diana in DM – so glad you answered that question – I didn’t know the answer.

        1. Diane, Squeak, and Buddy in Central,Ohio

          Me, too. When I saw Des Moines and Winterset, I took out the Atlas to confirm that Garner was farther North of there. I am always worried about tornadoes. Mary, my sewing room often looks like yours. Our wonderful son in law never saw it for the first two years we lived here. When I finally let him, he said, “ Oh, Mom, it’s a working, creative room.” Bless his heart, no wonder I love him❤️ ! Your pin cushions and little boxes are gems, Mary. The DD’s are always fun to see. I love the purple table topper. Glad Mayo is over for a while. Down to 39 from 71:(

      2. Carolyn S Knott

        I just read an article saying Fons retired to the Texas hill country near Austin . Spends her time teaching grandkids to sew and plays golf.

    3. Mary Etherington Post author

      Betty. I will answer your pincushion questions in the next blog post.

  13. Betty Klosterman

    Forgot — your quilt room looks just plain wonderful!! Who cares what other people think. We are all so happy sitting in the middle of a pile of fabric making the most wonderful things.
    Betty in Rapid City

  14. Gayle Shumaker

    I had back surgery Oct. 2020. It was lumbar fusion of 2-4. A laminectomy of L1 was planned as well as something to deal with the mess at L5 & S1. Unfortunately those were not able to be done due to it taking 16 hours under anesthesia for the fusion ultimately causing post anesthesia pneumonia. I did well, the horrible nerve pain was greatly reduced and controlled with meds. It took 7 months of grueling physical therapy but I achieved my goal of walking again and being strong enough to ride from our home in Northern Michigan to our son’s house in Memphis TN. Unfortunately I had some medical issues (kidney stones and then an upper respiratory infection that caused some cardiac symptoms causing ekg changes causing a cardiac cath) in the fall. By December I started having back pain again. More neurological symptoms have occurred and over the past 8 weeks have escalated. I had appt with neurosurgeon from U of M on Thursday. He’s concerned. I’m waiting for approval from insurance for imaging then will know if I need more surgery. Phew that’s a lot but it needs to be put in context with an autoimmune disorder and a clotting disorder that has caused 3 strokes. Mary you may wish you hadn’t asked
    I can tell you I’m glad I had the surgery and if needed I’ll have more because it improved my quality of life.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Gayle – I remember it being extensive but I had no idea. I so hope your pain can be fixed and or/controlled! Thinking of you.

      1. Janet S

        Blessings to you Gayle. I sure do admire your determination it is serving you well. Hopefully, with spring, you will be on the mend.

    2. Diane etc

      Gayle, Good luck. My husband has had three laminectomies, fusions. He goes to PT a lot, but is upright and doing pretty well. Hoping for the best for you.

  15. Kathy Hanson

    The tablemat looks nice with the eggs on your table. Love seeing everyone’s projects. I will send my last one when the binding is done!

  16. Susan K in Texas

    I’m doing well after surgery. Nerve pain is gone! I saw the physical therapist Wednesday. He told me still no bending, twisting, or lifting – so no cooking, dishes, laundry, house cleaning for a while yet! Yippee! My husband asked me how much money I slipped him to say that – haha! I’ve been doing the exercises and walking around the block twice a day. The therapist said they basically did a roto rooter job around the nerve to relieve the pinched nerve.
    I’m able to sew but won’t be able to quilt any of the quilt tops for a while. So there will be tops added to the UFO pile.
    We heard about the tornadoes. We visited Madison county and the covered bridges several years ago. It was a beautiful area. So sad to hear about the deaths and destruction in the area. Thank goodness my son and his family in the Davenport area were ok although they did get caught in the storm while driving home.
    Your sewing room looks like a fun place to play. Thanks for sharing your sewing treasures. Take care of yourself and may Rick heal soon.

  17. Carolyn Boutilier

    Mary, Glad to hear you are Rick are safe. I thought of you when I heard about the tornados. So glad you posted. How is Rick’s foot, is it healing. We had a 74 day today here in Va but windy. Worked some outside raking leaves and in the evening did some rug hooking. I go between quilting and hooking.
    Carolyn b Shenandoah Valley

  18. Jo in Wyoming

    I remember going to underground bunkers when the tornado sirens went off. They were dirty, dusty, full of spiders and other crawling things. I remember flashlights. I huddled with my sister, the other 2 were with my parents. It was so scary. I feel for the Ukraine children and families who have to go there for bombshelters. Putin is insane.

    On the bright side…I didn’t see any new blisters today, so I hope that is a sign these terrible shingles are on the downhill side.
    Wh had snow again today and bitter cold. High 15, tonight 4. Loretta went to the beauty shop last week, so, no dilly dally outside!!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Jo in Wyoming – so are you on the road to recovery? I have a friend who thought maybe he had shingles but it’s rosacea – annoying but not so serious as shingles. Send us a picture of Loretta.

  19. Rhoda

    My desk looks like your sewing room.
    You have lots to do and don’t worry about us.

    I too wondered about the covered bridges in Madison County.


  20. Carlene Buck

    I love reading your emails. I agree that time is flying by. I have never posted before but I have made over 300 quilts and one of my favorites to sleep under is my 100″ square Bullseye I made in the 1990’s when I was living in the Chicago suburbs. I was recovering from carpel tunnel surgery and was off work and staying at my summer cottage at the Des Plaines Methodist Campground for six weeks. I cut with scissors and sewed one handed but I made so many blocks that I was also able to make a twin and couch Bullseye to give to family members. They are backed with flannel and are so cuddly to sleep under. I visited your shop with family around 25 or more years ago. So many good “Iowa quilting memories”. Now I have retired in Clarinda, Iowa and couldn’t ask for a better life….well except for the pandemic and Ukraine situation. We do need more peace.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Carlene – when you want to sew, you sew! No matter what! And you are a prime example. Did you get hit by the storm over the weekend?

      1. Carlene R Buck

        lucky here in Clarinda…south of the damage. Take care of yourself and your husband and animals. You have a full plate.

    2. Betty Klosterman

      I thought it was “people who have immaculate homes are dull and boring!!”
      Betty in Rapid City

  21. Sue In Oregon

    Jo…I did not know you had shingles. If you told us, I must have missed your comment somehow. Did you have the shot? I haven’t. I have heard you can get it even if you did have the shot. The new 2-part one is supposed to be much better, but I still haven’t done it.
    They say that people with really clean homes don’t have enough to do. Especially sewing rooms. ( I made that last part up.) But, really. When you have two or three quilts going it’s hard to stop and clean. I have a small room and Oh My Gosh. What a fright. But, if I had a big one, it would be just the same, I am sure.
    I have started a new online mystery. I never learn. The last one I tried was so ugly I just couldn’t continue. Perhaps I will make it into a dog bed. and donate it to an animal center. I think this new one will be better, though.
    Hug Rick and yourself too. We all wish you two the best.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Your note made me laugh – I just asked Rick why I would clean house for hours – it’s just us here – we’re not having company. And yes, I have a big sewing room and I’m going to take extensive pictures to show you when I get done – I can’t work in the mess – I can’t concentrate so I finally clean, sort, and throw.

      1. Carol Eberhardt

        I agree with the idea that concentration diminishes when you’re surrounded by too much clutter. That goes for the sewing room as well as the rest of the house. I like to chunk the work or spaces where work needs to be done, and then tackling a chunk over a day or two; Saturday I started in the part of my room where I sew and iron. It’s just about seven linear feet and cleaning the length I work in meant cleaning and oiling my machine and cleaning my iron. Next up is the cutting table, which is designed, evidently, for cutting in about 12 inches by 12 inches, and piling stuff up all over the rest of the table. Yikes! How does that happen?

    2. Diane and the gang in Central Ohio

      Re: Shingrex Shingle double shot— Get them if you are over 60. Our Pharmacist, age 36, had Shingles and said if he could get the shots right now, he would. Everyone I know who has had Shingles says the same. We had no I’ll effects after getting them!

  22. Dorothy

    Whenever I hear on the news of something happening in IA, my first thought is of you. Glad to hear the winds missed you

  23. Janet S

    The Iowa storm must have been terrible. I saw on the news what must have been a home. There was a stove and surrounding it was a bunch of debris but it was all kindling and not even a 2×4 to be seen. That would be bad enough but the loss of life is what’s really tragic.

  24. Pattie Weber from PA

    Your sewing room overwhelms me. I wouldn’t know where to start! I have to constantly work at keeping mine organized since it is much smaller than yours. I guess that’s why you get a lot more quilts made than I do! By the way, I don’t comment often but I do enjoy reading your blog. I’m glad you keep at it in spite of the technical challenges.

  25. Marcia

    You need to view-Decluttering challenge 2022 on You Tube by Karen Brown from Toronto. Karen addresses our passion and challenges to keeping a workable sewing space. She has a challenge day by day for 21 days. She encourages setting a timer, working and go on to something else. As a quilter, she nails our obsession about quilting, Karen also has a Facebook group that acts as a support group. I encourage to watch her when you you have a few minutes.
    Several years ago I had an overwhelming task of cleaning my basement that had accumulated my kids stuff, my sewing area, & my deceased in laws stuff that nobody wanted. I set a timer for 2 hours every morning. I sorted and bagged trash, delivered plastic tubs to my kids houses and had a pile of stuff for my husband to sort when he came home from work. After the 2 hours, I went about my day. This went on for weeks.
    My mother in law had nice jewelry and coins. I sorted through those boxes and sold the coins & jewelry. I took the money to my finance man and reinvested,
    I got paid very nicely for those many hours.

    1. Julie D.

      Thank you Marcia for this recommendation! I’m going to look into it ASAP in hopes of decluttering my sewing room, as well as items I have brought home from my parents’ house after my dad passed away last March.

  26. Linda

    Here in the middle of the mitten we are getting snow this morning. We had high winds the last two days and warmer weather Saturday but ol man winter doesn’t want to let go. And my sister in Louisville, KY send me pictures of her daffodils blooming!

    I’m guilty of being one of those who doesn’t write often, compared to you my life is boring, although I do have a farm and critters. Lately I’ve had to “farm” my chores out because I had a nasty case of covid for over three weeks even though I was vaccinated and boosted, then shortly thereafter I missed a couple of steps and broke my ankle and then developed blood clots in my calf. But what has really kept me secluded is the loss of my baby boy Oliver. Oliver was my special needs white lab. We discovered his elbows didn’t grow together as a fetus when he was six months old then at around 1 he went deaf. He was in his own world but was always looking to see where I was and when he saw me and I looked at him those big brown eyes would twinkle and his tail would wag like crazy. He was the love of my life, maybe because I has to look out for him, you see what he couldn’t do running or hearing his nose made up for it and living in the woods provided him with a lot to smell. The other dogs would go into the woods and come out with sticks but not Oliver, he would come out proud with shed antlers, hunks of deer skin or ribs, skulls, you name it. He was so sweet and loving, I don’t think I ever heard him growl in all of his ten years. And boy did he love everyone, including our cats and chickens. My cat Dave used to give Oliver messages, actually walk on him when he was laying down and knead on Oliver like a nursing cat. Oliver didn’t flinch. And when the rumba ran it had to bump into Oliver and move around him. I could run my sweeper hose over him to help control all the hair that overtakes my house.

    I knew Oliver wasn’t feeling well and the two days I had to wait to get him into my vet took its toll. He was pumping his breathing with his abdomen like an asthmatic and what I thought was an off and on snot nose was fluid. He was full of cancer and had a lot of fluid in his lungs, around his heart and abdomen. He was the sweetest and cutest boy, not only was I sobbing at his passing, the vet and his techs were crying with me, they loved him too. I know he is running without pain in heaven and will meet me at my passing, but I miss him so and am always looking for him to make sure he is safe.

    Thank you for listening. I know how dear your fur babies are to you and you understand the devistating grief of losing one even though it’s what is best for them.

    1. Lois Ann Johnson

      Linda: I am so sorry to hear about the loss of Oliver. He sounds like he was a very special dog! I understand how much it affects us when we lose a loved dog or cat. They are just like family! Sending my deepest sympathy; may you find comfort in the memories you have of your Oliver.

    2. Janie Lang

      It is so sad to lose our fur babies. It sounds like Oliver had a wonderful life with you. Take care.

    3. Mary Etherington Post author

      Oh, Linda – your note brought tears to my eyes! Not only because I know the pain of losing a dog or cat but because Oliver was a special needs dog that many would have discarded. I applied to foster a lab from the shelter that people “threw out” because she was losing her eyesight. She ended up going to another foster home but I know deaf and blind dogs still have so much to give. I have a friend living in the mitten but I have no idea how far away she is from you. Would you send me your residence address via email – she is also a devout dog lover and I’d like to connect you two.
      Send to maryehazel2020@gmail.com.
      You’ve had a rough time lately – what kind of outdoor animals do you have – how did you find somebody to do your chores? I worry about that all the time.
      Please contact me via email. I’ll be thinking about your “story” all day.

    4. Diane and the gang in Central Ohio

      Oh, Linda, I am very teary, too,hearing about Oliver. What a sweet boy. Big hugs to you from Ohio.

    5. San

      Oh my Linda,
      I’m so very sorry to hear about the loss of Oliver. What a very special dog he was. And so very lucky to have you. Do take care and know that the rest of us grieve with you.

      San / Gypsy Quilter Designs / North Carolina

  27. Joy in NW Iowa

    Dear Mary, thanks for asking, to Gayle and Sue in Texas I hope you are doing well. I had spinal stenosis and they removed all he nasty stuff and I no longer have any nerve pain! I can walk straight. I wear a back brace while up for support. I start therapy March 31…surgery was Feb 17!

    1. Susan K in Texas

      My surgery was the same day. Isn’t it wonderful to be without the nerve pain? I’m glad you found relief too. They’re making you wait quite a while before therapy. I’m glad you’re doing well.

      1. Mary Etherington Post author

        Good Morning, SUSAN – I have heard from all of you now – thank you for reading the blog and answering. I keep little notes to myself and I’ve wondered about all 3 of you. So happy you’re pain free now!

      2. Joy in NW Iowa

        Susan K in Texas., no I did stay overnight. I struggled with this back thing for over 1 1/2 year. I did have one epidural for pain that gave me relief for a couple months. Took a long time to get my date for surgery with Covid restrictions. When did you have surgery?

        1. Susan K in Texas

          I’ve got a degenerative problem with my back. This is my second surgery in six years. I had surgery on March 17 the same day you had yours. Thank goodness I have been going to a group of doctors who only take back patients. They did the surgery within three weeks of my first visit – the nerve was being pinched by a bone spur and I could barely walk. The delay was getting all the imaging and pre-op prep taken care of.

      3. Joy in NW Iowa

        Susan K in Texas., no I did stay overnight. I struggled with this back thing for over 1 1/2 year. I did have one epidural for pain that gave me relief for a couple months. Took a long time to get my date for surgery with Covid restrictions. When did you have surgery?

      4. Joy in NW Iowa

        Susan, I am curious, how did you get to go home the same day. They worked in my spine from L3 to my tailbone. About 6-7 inches of incision. It’s all healed nice…on the outside, he told me no gardening for a full year….takes that king for those muscles to heal, so, if hubby wants fresh tomatoes, green beans. and peppers guess who will be digging…..not me. That is probably why I cannot go to therapy for 6 months, walk 5 minutes every hour….well, that is a long time roaming the house, haha

        1. Susan K in Texas

          They only worked on one vertebrae (L5 S1). Apparently I’m one of the lucky ones to have an extra vertebrae at that level. Since no hardware was put in and the incision is about an inch long I didn’t need to stay. And the surgery was about an hour.

    2. Mary Etherington Post author

      Joy – what wonderful news. – ! Constant back pain must be a burden – so hard to get anything done! Isn’t modern medicine great? Thanks for reading and answering.

  28. Sally J.

    Oh Linda i am so sorry to of your loss of Oliver. It is so hard losing our fur babies. Praying that you begin to feel stronger from your covid illness and your ankle heals. You have been through a lot. Bless you.
    Sally J. Florida

  29. Jeanine from Iowa

    We had about 6 inches or more of snow here in southeast Iowa. I probably have 8′ or more on my deck. It is hard to know how much we actually got because of all the wind we had overnight and are still having this morning. I saw your shirt cuff pin cushion. The one I made is made differently. I sewed the cuff in a circle, and then added a circle to the top and bottom of the cuff. It is my favorite one, and I stuffed it with poly beads. I use it all the time. I hope you have a better week. According to the forecast we could get some more “white stuff” again this Thursday. It’s boys high school basketball tournaments in Des Moines this week. Congratulations to the Iowa Hawkeye women’s basketball team for winning the Big 10 tournament yesterday in Indianapolis!!

  30. Kathy in western NY

    Linda I am so sorry for your loss. You have given your love and comfort to a dog who others didn’t want so you are a kind soul in my book to love as you do. Thank you Sherry and your husband for participating in trials and studies as that is where I retired from and people will never understand the knowledge everyone learns from new therapies, drugs, and simple over the counter meds before they are ever passed if they don’t acknowledge these are so needed with willing people as yourselves. Thank you!
    I really miss the vast research when I first retired as I like updated facts.
    Mary I got a taste of 73 degrees here yesterday. A record high but strong winds.
    Then it was pick up sticks for the next hours of daylight.

  31. Jessica in Florida

    I snort-laughed about Rip taking Putin to the train station and scared my cat so bad he hissed!! HA

    I sent you an email with an update, no worries…I will just coy and paste here: Hi Mary, I 

    I am having an MRI of my neck done March 18th and meeting a new pain management doctor on the 25th. The doctor I saw today is 99.9% sure I have Occipital Neuralgia, which isn’t all that common (3.2 people out of 10,000!). He seems to think the occipital nerve on the left side is causing the pain and wants me to get an injection in my neck to numb that nerve. It seems I have systemic nerve weirdness. He did the normal reflex tests and my body did things it shouldn’t be doing: my foot jumped sideways when it should have gone out straight and he flicked the tip of my middle finger and saw 2 other fingers jump which shouldn’t happen. So….it would be 3 to 4 shots over the course if a year and, if that doesn’t help, then I would have surgery to basically kill off that nerve. The downside to that would be complete scalp numbness on the left side but you know what? I’d do it today if it makes the pain stop! I will keep you posted. Much love to you all.

    1. Susan K in Texas

      Oh my goodness! I hope the injection brings relief! Nerves are just weird in how they affect our bodies when they go crazy.

    2. Mary Etherington Post author

      Jessica – I think SOMEBODY should get rid of Putin in any way possible. He is evil personified. Glad you might be getting some answers!!! Please keep us posted.

    3. Joy in NW Iowa

      That sounds awful. nerve pain is so awful, debilitating and exhausting! So sorry. Hope you get help!

  32. Debbie Miller

    Love the hanging people pincushions! I don’t crochet so I could never make that one but the other one-boy I wish I had a pattern-love it!

  33. Julie D.

    Good afternoon Mary! I can empathize with you in cleaning out your sewing room. I’m doing the very same thing. It’s overwhelming and during the pandemic, I was entertained by Facebook Live shows from quilt shops and you never really realize how much you’ve purchased until you all of a sudden have a huge pile of projects. So I have been very mindful lately to not buy fabric kits because heaven knows I have enough to keep me busy for years! I have been bringing kits upstairs to the living room and sorting them into clear plastic containers–it’s obvious I love Halloween and Christmas!! Then I’m sorting fabric into colorways. I am giving away things that I don’t like anymore-seeing who might enjoy having them. I’m determined to have a clean space–one that I feel calm in and allows for creativity!!
    I love the pincushion collection that you have! So many unique ones! I also think the cuff off of a shirt is most unique and so easy to make! Readers’ quilts are once again awesome! You all inspire me to sew more! Sending prayers for Rick in his upcoming appointments. I hope everything turns out well.
    Also, my son lives outside of Winterset and he and his fiancee’ did have damage to the outbuildings of his acreage, also trees and fences. I pray for the families that lost loved ones in that storm and anyone that sustained any damage. My son is getting married in September under one of the bridges near Winterset. The same one that he became engaged.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Julie – I love the idea of getting engaged and then married by one of the bridges! They are lovely and I hope they survived. I’m working today again in my sewing room – when I move things I always think I’ll remember where they are but in one day I don’t. Sad to get old.

  34. Nancy Schmalenberger

    I think the Bridges of Madison County were spared in the tornado, but the destruction and loss of life are terrible. As my daughter was trying to call in the dogs to go to the basement with the rest of the family, she saw the tornado turn away from her home. We are so thankful.

    1. Diane and the gang in Central Ohio

      Nancy, Any relatives from the Dayton, Ohio area? My friend with your same name grew up there and now lives near me in Central. Ohio.

  35. Becky

    I’m not sure if I’ve ever posted before but I have an animal story to tell. My very spry 17 year old cat ate barely anything for 3-4 days and then didn’t pee for 2 days so I needed to have him seen. Since the pandemic all the vets are crazy busy so I called around everywhere until I finally found an emergency one about 20 miles away. I live in the Seattle area and there are lots of vets but I’m told many are exhausted and quitting from overwork. So sad. I thought he had urinary crystals even though he eats the special diet, but it turned out to be a UTI. A couple nights in the hospital and some antibiotics and he’ll be fine. The vet said she’d never seen such amazingly normal blood work on a cat his age! Also sad is that, before the procedure, she asked if I’d rather euthanize him due to his age. I’m sure there are many good folks who couldn’t afford the high price of his care, and I’m so lucky I can because he’s got plenty of good life left. Mary, I love your blog and enjoy reading about the country life in Iowa. My late sister lived in Red Oak in the SW part of the state and I enjoyed visiting her many times.

    1. Janice Hebert

      Becky, so glad your cat is doing better, UTI’s are terrible – for animals and humans! I hope he/she lives many more years. Jan in MA

  36. Joy in NW Iowa

    Mary I feel your pain in your sewing room. I am anxious to be able to lift things again….my side table beside my cutting cabinet looks like that! I have all these containers with leftovers in them that go with quilts to be bound. Six or seven quilts I think. Well, not sure when that will happen but…..until then I just coast….with what I can do. Love you, you are very special. Hope Rick is doing well, and all your animals and take care of yourself!

  37. Cynthia Arneson

    You have lots on your plate at the present. We all just need to know you’re okay. I hope Rick is doing better and his ankle ulcer is healing.

  38. Kris in WI

    Cynthia (comment above) said everything I was thinking. I would just add that if picking up your sewing room makes you feel better (or more in control of the crazy time you have been having lately) then go ahead and dig in. Or, you could just post an I Spy list and we could see what we could find in your pictures! I enjoyed seeing the darning eggs even though my mother taught me to darn using a light bulb! When we had the sewing merit badge in Girl Scouts I had to get a “real” darning egg. I’ll bet they don’t teach darning any more. The continuing parade of pin cushions and sewing boxes is delightful. Thanks for sharing your treasures with us. Prayers continue for you and the next round of appointments.

  39. San

    Hi Mary, I sure hope Spring finds you soon. I just got my order from Morgan Seeds today and am hoping the seaweed liquid fertilizer helps my old seeds to grow. I’d be interested to hear from anyone how they test and propagate old garden seeds.

    In case your readers are not familiar with the face book page for Saint Bernard rescue, I wanted to mention Adriana’s Saints and Angels. They do an incredible job.

    Thanks so much for sharing all of your wonderful pincushion photos. Always entertaining.

    San / Gypsyquilterdesigns.blogspot.com

  40. Barb Mapes

    Barb from Winterset
    I live near Winterset and no, the Covered Bridges were not damaged although our state park, which is Pammel Park, sustained heavy tree damage.
    The outpouring of help from around the state has just been overwhelming and so
    appreciated. Thank you to all the kind people who thought of our community!
    We watched the tornado from our living room window as it came right at us then turned and went east on Hwy 92 which is 2 miles south of us. It was huge! 51 homes along its 70 mile path were damaged or destroyed.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Barb Mapes – weren’t you terrified to watch the tornado heading your way? So sad about losing all those wonderful big trees but happy the bridges survived. Thanks for your note!

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