Another Cold Friday

by CountryThreads on January 5, 2018

This weekend marks 2 weeks of this brutally cold weather for us while you folks on the East Coast are trying to survive over a foot of snow, blizzard strength winds and now the cold will reach you. Oh what a stretch of terrible weather! On Tuesday Reed was here early and we went to the barn to check on everybody. When I stepped inside I knew the furnace was not working. Everyone was huddled together and shivering and after talking to Rick, we got it restarted. Water that wasn’t in a heated container was frozen solid and several roosters had parts of their combs frozen. They’ll be fine – those tips will likely fall off next spring but I hated it. The hydrant has remained unfrozen for which I’m thankful. I moved some goats around to different pens so they had more room to live in because they have not been outside for over a week and they are getting restless. By this Sunday our temps are going to hit 30 which will definitely feel like a heat wave – about 50 degrees warmer than some of our days this past 2 weeks.

Reed started his 4-H project that day – he’s going to sew a simple quilt top and I will quilt it for him. We talked about his goals and made lots of notes throughout the day so that when he has to write his paper, we’ll remember how we started. Here’s Reed at the sewing machine.

Christmas vacation flew by as frigid days, too cold to venture out but one of the things I intended to do was make ice cream. It was nearly supper time but Reed and I hand cranked delicious vanilla ice cream. Again – where was my camera? Dang!

Friends from church raise cattle and January is calving time. Nancy has this guy gaining strength in her kitchen – he’s actually laying in an old suitcase so she named him Case. How could you not fall in love with this face?

As I get older I am content to stay home during this kind of weather – I check the barn many times a day and simply don’t have any desire to leave the farm. Thankfully there aren’t many places I need to go. The book I’m reading right now is “Little Fires Everywhere” and a Connie finally convinced me to subscribe to Netflix which I watch on my small IPad. The screen is small and the volume is limited but I’m watching The Killing which is 4 seasons long and I find myself watching more than sewing. I think that’s a sign of good television.

I still have not redecorated – too busy checking the barn but when I do get the quilts up, I will take pictures and post them. This is one of those posts that’s opposite of most – lots of text and not many pictures.

I’ve heard from Bev that many of you ordered her book Round Two which has the red and white Buzz Saw pattern in it and I’m hoping you’ll send pictures of the quilts you make. It’s a time consuming project however so I won’t expect anything for awhile – ha!

Just wanted to check in and let you know we’re surviving but I’m thinking of all of you experiencing weather you’re not accustomed to. Stay warm and safe and let me know what’s happening in your neck of the woods.

{ 57 comments… read them below or add one }

Gail Lockington January 5, 2018 at 6:34 am

Thanks so much for your news – cold here in Toronto too and thinking of family on the east coast hunkering down for the storm. When you get a “heat wave,” we sometimes get it a day or two later – warmer temps and snow are expected here on Sunday – just below freezing – zero on the celsius scale.


Diana January 5, 2018 at 6:39 am

I love reading about your time with Reed – that is something that someday he will treasure – what wisdom and knowledge you are showing him. I also am content to stay home with the weather like it has been. I work part time but look forward to my afternoons for quilting, baking etc. Hopefully this weather will give us a break – for us and the animals!!


Dee January 5, 2018 at 6:44 am

I have a winter tip to share to help with those trips to the barn. Bomgaars has socks called Heat Holders and they are wonderful! Really warm. Almost everyone on my Christmas list got a pair this year.

Also wanted to say that I think your friendship with Reed is such a beautiful gift! It isnt common to have the opportunity to meet someone and have such a wonderful connection. It’s a gift for both of you and I love reading about your adventures together! It warms my heart!


Virginia January 5, 2018 at 6:57 am

Good morning everyone! Even though I don’t live where it normally gets toooo cold …temps here are in the 20s. I can only say no ice or snow. I agree with Dee it is so heartwarming to see the interactions between you and Reed. Glad to hear all your fur babies are warm. I hope everyone stays inside during this cold snap. Hugs to all.


Bea knight January 5, 2018 at 7:14 am

Hi Mary,
Glad to hear your goats have heat again. I’m in south Florida and it’s in 40’s which is very cold for us. We are enjoying the cold weather. Thankyou for your posts I enjoy reading every one of them and seeing all the pictures you post! I have been enjoying putting sweaters on my dog Casey a rescued Schnauzer mix. Thanks again for all your posts!
Bea knight


Sue H January 5, 2018 at 7:19 am

Good morning from IL. We too have been WAAAAAY colder than normal but are looking forward to this weekend = 40s predicted with rain! It will feel like spring and we may all put on shorts & t-shirts and dance in the rain!!! Hahaha! Not really …

Never knew that a rooster’s comb could freeze and then fall off. I guess it grows back? This city girl is always amazed by country common sense. Little Case is adorable and I had to laugh at him settled in the kitchen of all places. Probably the warmest room in the house and non-carpeted flooring is my guess.

Looking forward to your pictures when you get time & gumption. Happy New Year!


Betty Klosterman January 5, 2018 at 10:37 am

FYI for city girls: The kitchen had the big black iron cook stove, which was the gathering place for everybody as it was the warmest place in the house. So, when we had calves or lambs that needed warming up and drying off, they joined the rest of us in the kitchen. It was the best and happiest place in the house.


Fiona at Ice Bear Quilts January 6, 2018 at 5:16 am

That was true in our house when I was growing up too: we had a huge wood fired AGA range in the farmhouse kitchen, and if we had any orphaned lambs at lambing time, they were put in a basket with a blanket in the warming oven (with the door ajar!) as it could be kept at a constant low temperature. The dogs caught on pretty quickly, and needed to lay ‘protecting’ the lambs, right beside the open oven door!


Angie Rowland January 5, 2018 at 7:39 am

Reed is lucky to have a role model like you but I am sure you are enjoying the time with him as well. Please convey to his parents how we think they are raising a great young man. Here in Baltimore we have 10 degrees and I worry about the homeless that refuse to go to shelter and live on the streets. I am sure we will lose several. Many belong in mental wards but we closed the hospitals so they leave the community homes and move to the streets. Sorry for the rant but we are all human beings some just don’t think others are worthy.


CountryThreads January 5, 2018 at 10:30 am

Angie – hard to hear – about the homeless in this weather!


Janet January 5, 2018 at 7:46 am

Morning from Florida, it’s 42 degrees here this morning. Love all your farm stories. Don’t know if you saw on the news ,iguanas are falling from the trees from the cold snap here. They froze. . I watch Netflix on my kindle. I use wireless ear phones with mine because I have a hard time hearing also. That might help you. Your a great mentor with reed.


CountryThreads January 5, 2018 at 10:29 am

Janet – thanks for the tip about the ear phones – sounds like a good idea!


Felicia Hamlin January 5, 2018 at 2:47 pm

Yes, I saw what happened to the poor iguanas, in the news. Poor innocent animals, these cold temperatures were not done for them. The news said they were falling from the trees and were dazed. I am sorry to hear they died.


Kathy January 5, 2018 at 7:52 am

Good Morning from NY along Lake Ontario! I too am inside for the next two days. I went out wednesday to visit in laws and mother and took care of what was needed as I knew I would hunker down. The older I get, the more I prepare and feel better by doing that with meals and care of pets.
Love seeing Reed starting his 4-H project with you to guide him and I am sure it will be a blue ribbon for him! I worked for our local 4-H office for 7 years and such a rewarding job with volunteers leading children with life skills. And yes I worry too about homeless people who can’t accept the Angels who try to convince them to come inside for help. It is sad to me too.


Ellie January 5, 2018 at 8:10 am

Bitter cold here in Indiana as well but it makes for good sewing weather as long as you don’t run out of fabric! Lol! Not going to happen in this lifetime!
Love seeing Reed sewing along with you. A sewing machine is a power tool. Boys need to know how to use one.


Mary Hawk January 5, 2018 at 8:13 am

Mary, you can get an inexpensive little blur tooth speaker to up the volume. Works for the phone too for audio books.

Yes, this is a long cold spell. One gets afraid to be away from home in case a furnace stops, etc. Best to you and Reed and your animal family.


CountryThreads January 5, 2018 at 10:27 am

Mary – really? I’m going to Best Buy asap to get one of those speakers! Thank you! I have never heard of this. This blog is a win- win for me!


Fiona at Ice Bear Quilts January 6, 2018 at 5:09 am

Hi Mary,
I use a little bluetooth speaker too, to up the volume of audiobooks that I play on my ipad whilst sewing. Mine is a JBL Go, about 4” by 4” by 1” and low cost. It works really well, and once charged runs for ages (you charge it up with a cable that it comes with).


Wendy January 5, 2018 at 8:22 am

We survived our storm on Cape Cod nicely which we are very grateful for. Now it is time to hunker down and get through the frigid temperatures for a few more days.
So glad that you were able to get the barn sorted out – otherwise would we have seen a picture of all the barn animals in your kitchen Mary? I think so as you are that kind of caretaker to all the furry and feathered ones. Reed is lucky to be able to spend time with someone like you. I can only imagine how much he will learn and appreciate the experience over time. Love the pic of Case. Too cute.


karen January 5, 2018 at 8:29 am

Reed and his family are so special. What a grand job the parents are doing.


Donna Sproston January 5, 2018 at 8:30 am

I agree with others that you and Reed are so lucky to have this special friendship. What memories for both of you! It is currently a balmy 8 degrees here in West central Illinois, but the sun is shining. I am heading to my sewing spot to piece more blocks.


Launa January 5, 2018 at 9:07 am

24 degrees out at 8 am, Mary. So good to read your blog this Friday morning. We warmed up here in chilly Idaho to 24 this morning and will probably have more snow by evening. So nice Reed has a bucket list going with a quilt top and how fun to see him at the Bernina.

The calf, Case, is so precious. Stay warm. Our snow has ice under it and makes walking outside dangerous so I don’t venture far.


Diane January 5, 2018 at 9:21 am

It is so great to see Reed quilting. I love going to our county and Ohio state fairs to see the 4-H projects and quilts:) Our Emma ( not the goat!!) showed Chinchillas for several years. It’s great for all to know how to use a sewing machine:) He’s a cutie. Update on the iguanas. In our paper, it said their temperature goes down, but they are not dead and it will go back up so best not to move them. Cold here in Central Ohio, too. Case is adorable. Stay warm everyone:) Mary, can you get PBS on Netflix? We love Poldark. Wonderful series.


Sue January 5, 2018 at 9:55 am

Two weeks of brutishly cold weather! I just can’t imagine. We just read that the Great Lakes are frozen. Amazing! And, iguanas falling out of trees?? Another amazing fact.
It seems selfish to be in mild temps while everyone not too much east of here are so cold. March is usually our worst month, with constant rain and floods. I would love to bi-pass that kind of weather this year.
Love your photos. Reed making his 4-H project and Case in the kitchen. Heartwarming.
We watch Netflix every night on our Smart TV. And, U-Tube as well. We only venture off those channels when there is a good game or some news we may want to see. No ads. We love it.
I am trying to send mild weather to you as fast as possible. Guess it’s coming and it will feel so good you will think it is spring.


Janet Snyder January 5, 2018 at 10:07 am

I love the picture of Reed at the sewing machine. Also, cows have such great faces and this pic really shows it. Thanks for sharing.


Jane Dumler January 5, 2018 at 10:08 am

Loved the post this morning and Reed at the sewing machine. My grandchildren made quilts with me when they were that age. Fun times and great memories.
Our son, who lives in Minneapolis, reports it is colder there than it is on Mars! He follows the temperature from the Land Rover ! Oh my these computer kids keep you informed.
Stay warm!


Martha Engstler January 5, 2018 at 10:16 am

It’s up to 17 at 11am here in south central Pennsylvania. The winds have almost stopped but there is just a little moving air. Last night it sounded like the house was going to blow away. Can’t imagine what it would have been like on the ski slope next door to us. Hope no one wanted to ski bad enough to be out in that cold. It’s sunny today but 17 is cold. Love seeing Reed at the sewing machine. Thanks for sharing about Reed and your fur and feather friends.


Sandie Jagusch January 5, 2018 at 10:19 am

Love that Reed is making a quilt top!


Maryjane in CA January 5, 2018 at 10:35 am

My heart goes out to all of you with this bitter cold. I remember the cold living in Ohio. This is one of the few times I’m glad I live in CA. Nights are in the 40s now, feels cold but probably warm to you. You take such good care of your sweet animals. Hope all farmers and everyone with animals are doing the same . Love all your blogs – look forward to them. Thank you.


Paula in Texas January 5, 2018 at 10:45 am

Thank you for the update. I have been thinking of you and your many animals, working very hard to stay warm. Prayers for your safety during this severe cold ❄️💨 season.
I look forward to seeing Reed’s quilt progress!


Bonnie January 5, 2018 at 10:49 am

I do not envy you with your freezing weather. We grew up in northwest Wisconsin and lived the first few years of our marriage in St. Paul so we are too familiar with midwest winters. We’ve lived all over the U.S. due to job transfers, from north to south and east coast to west coast. So when it came time to retire it was a ‘no brainer’. We settled in the desert southwest where it will be 77 today.

Enjoyed your photos. Love seeing Reed making a quilt. Good for him!!


Jo January 5, 2018 at 11:16 am

Good morning from Wyoming. We are forecasted to get into the 50’s today! Yeah!!
Reed is one lucky boy, having a friend like you, and you are lucky to have company like him.
Everybody, stay warm and dry.


Karen L Chaudoin January 5, 2018 at 11:19 am

We are in the teens had frozen pipes and snow and ice here is eastern NC. I love it but I only have two dogs that go outside and we enjoyed out walk in it. It is lovely and I wish we had it more frequently. It makes the grass so much prettier in the summer. I am thankful you got to your animals in time and that you are such a good caretaker.


Kathy Hanson January 5, 2018 at 11:36 am

So glad that your animals are doing well – this cold is hard on all of them. Our llamas are doing ok in it as their fiber is so warm. The oldest (12) has less fiber and was shivering one day but otherwise well. They get extra grain when it’s cold. So glad that Reed is in 4-H as it is such a wonderful program for kids. And to have you helping him make his own quilt top is so special! What a wonderful friendship you both have. Looking forward to the warm up that is supposed to be coming – I am sure you and your animals are too!!


Susan January 5, 2018 at 12:22 pm

Oh Mary, the calf is just darling. It looks like others have you covered on earbuds, bluetooth and portable speakers. ROKU’s can be purchased for under $80 and will pick up the signal from your IPad to your television if you have a HDMI television set. You get less neck cramps watching this way! LOL

Ohio has been an iceberg for the last two weeks.


diane matthews January 5, 2018 at 12:27 pm

Oh, my goodness, your poor animals. So cold! You are good to check them often. My kids were all 4-H’ers and loved it. Fair time was always fun as well as a challenge., Thank you for posting often. Diane M


Dot Howard January 5, 2018 at 2:26 pm

Thank you for your update on the weather. It was supposed to be small amount of snow 14″. 4 H was a great adventure for our daughter. Chickens, sewing, cooking.


Dot Howard January 5, 2018 at 6:03 pm

Received my copy of ROUND TWO today,
Thank you.


Jane Wolfe January 5, 2018 at 2:27 pm

Hey Mary….tell the Jass family I for one am glad it’s them dealing with cold calves & not us!!! We won’t start until the end of the month so we’re hoping for slightly warmer temps by then!! And how cute is that Case!!! Looks like they are off to a good start! Reed is lucky to have you as a teacher & your barn animals as their caretaker! Always remember…this too shall pass!


Felicia Hamlin January 5, 2018 at 3:03 pm

I will never get really used to the cold and this cold has been brutal. I was born and raised in the tropics and I don’t ski or skate and nowadays I don’t even feel like making snow angels. However, I respect the elements if I don’t need to go any place, I stay put. The state news reported about two men who froze to death. I do feel for their families, very sad!
It is so nice to see that you are introducing Reed to the fine art of quilting, I am sure he will be an apt pupil. You two are blessed to be in each other’s lives. Such a cute calf, sorry to hear about the roosters freezing their combs. Diane mentioned the Poldark series. My husband and I I enjoy a lot. Stay warm.


Susan-AZ January 5, 2018 at 3:56 pm

Mary, thanks so much for this blog! Truly appreciate you! Hope the cold lets up soon! The calf is enjoying a spa day! 🙂


Vickie Devore January 5, 2018 at 4:31 pm

Here in Indiana (south of Indianapolis), we’ve not had that much snow where we’re located, but it has been sooooo cold (setting records for length of time of below freezing), that the idiot writing this is getting used to the cold. Ha ha. But other than feeding the birds and our son takes care of the farm animals (cattle, sheep and of course, cats). My husband is who is an outdoor man is “jailed” inside for his health so this weather is kind of a God send. His cancer treatments start Monday and will be 5 days for 6 weeks, so I keep telling myself this weather is a great for an outdoor loving man .
Hope all stay safe and warm, vickie


CountryThreads January 5, 2018 at 5:07 pm

Vickie – my prayers go up for your hubby!


Diane January 5, 2018 at 8:25 pm

Vicki–I volunteered in a cancer boutique for several years and I’ve taken friends for chemo many times. Your husband might like Jolly Rancher or some kind of hard candies during chemo. Also, if the hospital doesn’t have a quilt group that will give him a quilt, it’s a good idea to take a blanket of quilt. Sometimes they get cold. Good luck and prayers for you and your husband. Diane in Central Ohio


Kate January 5, 2018 at 5:03 pm

My husband and I went to a movie yesterday and I had to wear my coat and gloves and he put his coat over my lap and I was still cold. Don’t think they had the heat on. He finally needed his coat back because he was getting cold. I am so ready for thirty degree temperatures. Our grandchildren’s school has been closed for three days because of busted pipes and a broken furnace. This weather is taking it’s toll on everyone. Keeping my animals warm is my only job right now.


CountryThreads January 5, 2018 at 5:06 pm

Kate – my animals are my main concern right now, too. If something happened to me, I don’t know what would happen to all my animals.


Pat Smith January 5, 2018 at 5:41 pm

It’s a -4 here in northern Vermont going to a high tomorrow of -8. I just took our shelties out one at a time and had to carry one back in the house. He just laid down in the snow and gave up the ghost. I feel so sorry for them and can understand how upset you must have been at how cold the barn got. its going to be like this until Monday. Thenwarmer with 2 days of snow. I would like to ski, but way too cold and I don’t like to ski when it is snowing because I just can’t see well enough. Wed. is the first possible day. I’m older now and try to take few risks. Winter here and in northern Iowa is long and hard. I really don’t know how the wild animals survive.


Janie January 5, 2018 at 6:05 pm

This is, indeed a brutal winter for all! I’m in Wisconsin, so similar to yours. Stay and warm and safe! It’s so challenging to take care of critters in this weather. Here’s hoping for an ‘early’ spring!


Maryann Lohmann January 5, 2018 at 7:03 pm

Ozark and Shetland are also good series to watch O and Hinterland and Travelers I like to look at the landscape when watching the British series Lol Enjoy your inside time.


Agatha January 5, 2018 at 7:06 pm

I so enjoy all your pictures and stories they are always very interesting and heart warming. You are also very inspiring and as I am getting closer to retirement I understand you closing your shop, but I do miss it a lot. Sometimes I save your blogs to read when I sit with my husband as he gets his chemo. Makes the 4 hours go a little faster. Thank you for all you do.


Nancy Lamontagne January 5, 2018 at 7:26 pm

I am happy to hear that your animals are okay! With all of the loving care you give them, they will always be fine. We, here in Maine, are huddling in after the storm but all is well! I’m teaching a quilt class this Sunday and I hope that there is heat!
Thank you for your updates and good luck to your friend Reed with his quilt construction! He is so cute!
Take care!


Patti January 5, 2018 at 7:55 pm

We are also cold here in northern WI. Working to keep a fire going to stay warm inside. I really enjoyed watching The Killing – obsessively watched it until all episodes were done. Another good show is Happy Valley.


Vickie E from Snellville January 5, 2018 at 10:48 pm

I know our cold weather here in Snellville, Ga hasn’t been as bad as yours but we aren’t used to this! It’s colddd! I know your animals are getting “barn fever” from being inside. That calf is so pretty! I love seeing your pictures. The one showing Reid beginning his quilt is precious. Stay warm! Vickie


Carolyn Sweetman January 6, 2018 at 7:15 am

This morning in New York the temperature was 3 degrees. Definitely not what we are used to, I do not know how you do it! My husband and I have been watching The Killing, a very good series. Glad you are in for some warmer weather.


Carol H. January 6, 2018 at 7:37 am

It’s 4 degrees here in Kentucky this morning, so ready for warmer days. I’ll be able to work in my sewing room though today, it’s been awhile since I’ve had a day of fun. Love your updates. Stay warm. Carol


Noel January 6, 2018 at 1:08 pm

Mary, do you have a USB port on your tv? If so, you could get a Google Chromestick and then ‘cast’ the Netflix shows on to your tv to watch.


Jeanie January 6, 2018 at 7:50 pm

Today in southwestern IL, it got up to 15 degrees, while we were out running errands; we were so grateful for the sun.
Our basement sewing room has been too cold, so I have been making a baby quilt in the dining room. My husband has been working at the kitchen table sewing fabric strips together for making rugs on his floor loom. We both loved the picture of Reed working on his quilt. Thanks so much for this blog.


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