Fun at the Fair

July is county fair month around here.  We typically go to two different fairs, the county fair for Fayette County in Iowa and for the county just north of us.  Our daughter Kelli was so sweet and shared some pictures of the two fairs she took her kiddos to.

One of the biggest attractions for us is to hit the pork producer’s stand and get a pork chop.  It’s seriously some of the best eating around.  To eat it we all just grab the bone caveman style and dig in.


There was a nice little petting zoo Georgie loved.


They checked out many of the exhibits.  Again…Georgie loved it all.  She’s the perfect age for the county fair.


It’s easy to make her smile without spending an arm and a leg.  Here she is eating ice cream.

…and what’s a day at the fair if you don’t… Continue reading

Blast from the Past: August 2012

I’m doing a little series of posts that feature old blog posts.  I have been going back and looking at them.  It’s been fun.  I started blogging in June of 2009…WOW.  Over ten years.  I’m so glad I’ve kept the blog as a diary of sorts…today I’m telling you about things I was working on in August of 2012.

Not a lot of sewing happened.  It never does in August.  The gardens are busy.  School starts…and Kramer, my husband always took vacation time in August.

I did manage to work on my Nine in the Middle quilt.  It’s a Bonnie Hunter quilt from the book  Adventures with Leaders & Enders: Make More Quilts in Less Time! (This is $2.99 in the Kindle version)

I was chugging along on sewing my Pineapple Crazy blocks.  I managed to get 18 done that week.  That was a lot!!  Here’s a link to the book with the pattern: String Fling: Scrappy, Happy and Loving It!

I was also gearing up to sew a Moda Bake Shope project with this jelly roll.

I finished up my mini quilts for the Quilt Square Quilt Along…


I was patching Karl’s childhood Harry Potter quilt that I tied for him.
I told the story of how I came to buy my long arm.  You can read about it all HERE.

I did a sewing room tour of my small space.  You can read about it HERE.

I remember being SO-SO embarrassed to have to do this.  Moda Bake Shop, who we were working with so much at the time, asked their designers to do sewing room tours.  BLAH.  We were living in an old farmhouse that we lived in as part of my husband’s wages.  We had no control over the space but I made due.  I was sure all of the other designers were going to have fancy spaces.

I felt very uncomfortable showing my space.  I’m sure all of you who are sewing in a space you can’t control can relate.  But…I did it.  You can read about the tour and see my sewing space from then HERE.

August of 2012 is when I first started my “Ask Jo” posts.  This was one of the questions… Annie M asks: “BTW, please tell us about the quilt pattern on the wall behind your pretty daughter and the quilt.”

I decided to include this in this current-day post because this is a question I still regularly get asked.  The quilt is one of my all-time favorites.  The pattern is from Country Threads.  You can find it in their book Civil War Remembered.  HERE is a link to the book.

I purchased some Purple Hyacinth Bean Flowering Vine Seeds and planted them around our mailbox.  This reminded me that I should find a place to plant them here at this house.  Hmm.


Crops were bad in 2012.  It was so dry and hot.  The guys were busy and made corn silage in August.  Typically it doesn’t happen until mid-September.


Since we moved to town, people always ask me don’t you miss the farm and peace and quiet.  NOPE…I don’t.  It wasn’t peaceful and quiet.  The yard often looked like this.  Of course, there are a few things I miss but for the most part…I love where I am at.

There was an updo happening at the farm house that year…

They poured a spot for a fire ring.  I really enjoyed that and actually miss having a fire in the evenings.


I was busy in the garden.  This was the onion harvest.  We had purple onions too.


I was making salsa…

Kalissa had her annual salsa party at our house.


Kramer, my husband took some time off work.  We went to Oronoco, MN for their Gold Rush days.

We went antiquing in Wisconsin and crossed the Mississippi via the ferry in Cassville, WI.

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Kalissa was our only kiddo left at home.  Karl was headed off for year two of college…

It was Kalissa’s senior year of high school.


We went to our annual family picnic.  It must have been cold that year because we were all wearing coats.  I am on the far right.  I still have those shoes…These are my siblings.


Kayla was getting married in the fall and we all got together and made the coursages.


I was berating myself for having such a messy work desk.  It’s about 50% better now…but still bad.  Somethings don’t change.

I was complaining about having to do paperwork…something else that doesn’t change.  I miss that calculator.  It was a good one.


Are you ready for a good funny story?  I was reviewing this book on my blog.  You can read the review HERE.


You can find the book HERE.  It’s only $5 now.

The book was filled with a variety of projects from quilts to wall hangings to needle books…and even cross stitch.

In the blog post, I showed this picture from the book and wrote…


“I don’t cross stitch anymore…it’s too taxing on my eyes.  For anyone who does, this little sampler is cute.”

HA!!!!  This old dog picked up cross stitching.  Ten years ago I didn’t think I ever would.  HA!!

Well, that proves that some things actually do change…my messy desk and hating paperwork.  That has stuck but me and cross stitch, we’re good friends now.

That wraps up the happenings at the Kramer house in August of 2012.

In My Mail…

My mail had slowed.  I barely had enough to start a blog post and then BAM!  I have enough to write two blog posts and am feeling really behind with it all.

First up, this came from Kayla.  It didn’t come via the mail but I just couldn’t resist showing you.  I know all of you quilters will think it’s cute.  It’s a Pioneer Woman tray for serving.  I just love it.  It would be great in a sewing room too.  I can imagine little squares waiting to be sewn together in each one of the little containers.

It is under $10 and can be found HERE.


Kayla also brought me a few of her sewing room cast offs.  She has these blocks made from Shot Cottons.


I already have these made into a quilt and will be sharing a pattern with them in the future.

She also had these projects started.  I guess I’ll add them to my UFO projects…I don’t mind.


She also sent me two other things…a baby quilt that needs a border and finishing and also a quilt that needs the binding tacked down.  I’ve already finished them and showed the to you.

Holly was so sweet and sent some goodies.  There are some vintage items that will go on the postage auction.  I’m hoping to have one of those ready sometime this month.


These fabrics were in the mix and … Continue reading

PLEASE READ: The Blog Via Email

I didn’t know if I wanted to take a whole blog entry to address this but in the end, I decided I really wanted to because I didn’t want ANYONE to miss this post.

I’ve told you all in previous posts that I’ve been plagued with lots of emails.   I love hearing from you so please don’t think you can’t email me.  What is hardest for me though, is the many emails on the same topic…and that topic is Blog Lovin.  So many of you write to me and complain about Bloglovin’.

The hardest notes to read are the “where are you?” or the “Are you okay, I haven’t seen a blog post from you for days?”.

I’m here.  I’ve always been here.  I’ll always be here…  Seriously, if you go through the blog and look over the past 365 days, I’ve likely had 360 blog posts.  My track record is REALLY good.  I’m likely one of the most predictable blogs to read.  I have a new post that publishes each morning between midnight and 1 am central time.  I have another post that publishes between 5 and 6 pm central time each day.   Even in June of 2019 when my husband died, I still only missed a couple of blog posts… If I can blog through that, I can blog through most anything.

I work super hard for the posts to be consistent and to give you a variety of content.  You likely have noticed that specific posts happen on specific days.  For example, Monday mornings are for what I’ve been sewing…Friday mornings for what I’ve been stitching…Thursday evenings are book reviews and so on.

The people who are “looking” for me and can’t find me are reading the blog via Blog Lovin’.

The problem is not me…it’s not the blog…It is completely the problem of Blog Lovin’ or the subscription program you are reading the blog from.  I have ZERO control over that program.

From my experience listening to the complaints of all of you who use the program, this is a terrible program.  It is full of glitches and isn’t fixed and updated regularly.

As you all know, your phones, Ipads, and computers update regularly.  In these updates, Bloglovin’ gets lost or loses blogs that you once subscribed to.  There is no rhyme or reason for it…they just get lost.

Over the past week or two, the comments like these from Ginny and Pat have quadrupled…

Ginny wrote:
…I realized today that I hadn’t received any new posts from you in a few days. I came onto your site and signed up again, so I hope that resolves my issue. Have you heard about anyone experiencing this?

Pat wrote:
I used to get your blog posts every day by email but they stopped a few weeks ago. I would like to be back on your mailing list. Thank you!!!

People…I can’t control it.  Trust me.  If I could.  I would make this super easy for you.

I lamented to my daughter Kayla about this.  She said that she would do some checking to see how best to help readers so this wouldn’t happen.

We looked into producing our own newsletter through Mail Chimp.  With the number of people I have reading the blog and considering we thought to send a letter daily, that was going to be more expensive than I wanted to afford.  They wanted to charge big business prices and I’m just a little blog.

She ended up looking more extensively into the options that Jet Pack offers via WordPress and she came up with a better solution.

Kayla writes:
The best way to be sure you don’t miss a post is to subscribe to the blog by email. There is a box in the sidebar right under my picture or there is a checkbox when you leave a comment.

If you have tried this before and it hasn’t worked, be sure to check your email and your spam folder. You have to confirm your subscription. Once you do, you can choose if you want an email whenever there is a new post, once a day, or once a week. Every time you get an email from the blog you can manage your subscription options to get more or fewer messages.

Blog posts auto-post to Jo’s Country Junction Facebook page, but Facebook does a lot to manipulate what you see or not.  If you want to see more Jo’s Country Junction posts on your Facebook page, it’s important for you to like or comment on those posts regularly.

So, in the end, email is really the best way to never miss anything. ”

So…to sign up to get blog posts in your email through a program that isn’t unpredictable like Bloglovin’, this is what you need to do.

Go to the blog.  Look at the right-hand column.  See the picture of me and Rosie?  Below that is the search bar that allows you to search the blog for anything you want to revisit.

Just below that, you will see the words “Subscribe via Email”.  Then it says,  “Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.”  All you need to do is enter your email into that box and emails will start coming to you.

Easy peasy…no Blog Lovin’ and a program that works.  No big business costs to me to send a newsletter.  So…it’s a win for us all.

PLEASE-PLEASE-PLEASE, sign up, and get the blog through email using this program.

I know new things are hard.  I know we like things the way we’ve always had them, but if you want to get the blog regularly via your email, this is the very best option out there that I can afford and you can benefit from.