Wednesday, December 31, 2008


I hope it's a good one for all of you. It's quiet here. I'm by myself. DH opted to watch the LSU game with some golfing buddies so I'm listening to the fireworks next door and playing with my laptop. Better that being on the highway with all the party goers, I guess.

I'm working on my resolutions-whoopee! But I intend to stick to my stitching ones, though.

I slipped away to the movies yesterday afternoon. Went to see Valkyrie. I rather enjoyed it. I already knew the story. Tom Cruise isn't my favorite but he did a passable job. He'll always be Lestat to me-typecast! The scenery was good. Pretty well written. It could be that I just like historical movies. The previews to Gran Torino were playing. That's one I want to see, also. Maybe next week.

Until next time, hope all of you have a great celebration tonight and a great day tomorrow-lots of cabbage (ugh!) and black-eyed peas.

Sunday, December 28, 2008


We're back home. We went to Houston on Friday to spend a few days with John, Laura and the kids. It was great fun. Laura Sullivan was there and Laura (Harden)'s family was, too. It was like a good old-fashioned family Christmas. Except that it was 80 degrees outside!! Michael was with us and he is going to stay another day or so. We came home early for Bonnie's funeral tomorrow.

John and Laura just moved so this was our first visit to their new home. Boy, what a house. Hu-mongous. Plenty of room for everyone. And a pool and hot tub in the backyard. There was some damage from Ike but John is taking care of it pretty good. There was lots of food, too.

I discovered H.E.B., which is sort of a local grocery except that it is All sorts of goodies. I went twice and ended up bringing home goodies to stock the pantry and freezer. From now on it will be a stop when we go to Houston. It's just around the block from their house. First time I've found Stilton cheese outside of England. And the best Roasted Pineapple and Habanero Dip. It's wonderful on cream cheese on a cracker. Chipotle cheese straws that taste homemade. ENOUGH!!!

The kiddies got all sorts of stuff for Christmas. Ann, the baby at 4, wanted a REAL laptop and that's what she got. No internet, of course. But she has lots of games she plays and can maneuver the thing like a pro. Grace got jewelry-she's very much the princess. Bradley got night goggles and video games.

Annabell, my furry grandchild, finally decided she'd let me pet her. My head scratches were pretty good. Next time we're going for lap sits!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


wing your flight o'er all the earth."

Just a few more hours and it will be Christmas Day. The food is cooked and in the fridge, the presents are all given out except for the few that will be given tomorrow, the Christmas Eve service is over and I'm here waiting for Midnight Mass and then will snuggle in my bed and hope that sugarplums really do dance in my head. It won't be a white Christmas. It was over 70 degrees here today. It is raining but unless the temperature drops a few points we won't have a snow. We had that 2 weeks ago.

Bonnie is going to spend her first Christmas in Heaven. She slipped quietly away this morning. The families will be gathering tomorrow and will stay to say farewell on Monday. She had been ill since 1999 so she's a new person right now and I'm so happy for her.

We'll see the grand kids in a couple of days. Seems like yesterday that I was fighting to get my boys in bed so we could put together yet another Big Wheel. Can't even remember how many of those we went through. I'm not even sure if they're made anymore.

I remember the Christmas that John was finally convinced there was no Santa. He had second thoughts when he woke up and found Santa's boot prints in the ashes on the fireplace.

Of course, I think most of us are aware that Christ most likely was born in the Spring. I like it that way: Spring symbolizes new birth and I think it is so appropriate. But I am glad we do set a special day aside-- whenever-- to acknowledge His birth. It isn't the date that is important. It is the Act itself that is important.

So, to all of you, in whatever way you celebrate (or when you celebrate it) Merry Christmas. I hope all your wishes come true. And leave some cookies and milk for Santa.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


until Christmas Day. And I'm sure it will be a busy one for everybody. Hopefully by this time tomorrow night all the kiddies will be in bed waiting for Santa. I'll be in front of the TV waiting for my Christmas Eve shows to start.

Then Christmas morning, up early, Michael will be here and we will do presents and food. I already know what one of my--I should say "our"-- present is: tickets to the Sugar Bowl. I can't miss seeing my team and I haven't been in the Superdome since the 1988 Republican National Convention. Certainly not since Katrina made a royal mess of it.

I got all enthusiastic this afternoon and dug through my stash for some ornies I started this summer. They're the bride's tree ornaments from Something In Common. It has to do with a German custom of having a certain 12 ornies on the tree to guide the couple to happiness. The game plan was to give them to the first grandchild to marry. Until then, I think we'll enjoy them. When I get them finished!!

Monday, December 22, 2008


It's two more days and it's over!!! I shouldn't be that way, but I am looking forward to the New Year and the goodies it will bring-hopefully. Laura sent us the kids' Christmas picture today. I didn't get it scanned for the blog but will tomorrow. It even includes my fourth grandchild: Annabell.

The choir had its Christmas Party Saturday at Arthur's house. We all had a great time, especially the men. Arthur's super sized TV was going with some body's football game. I think he bought it before he had his cataract surgery! Love those lens implants.

The picture on the header is from his tree and so is the Santa. I've always had a "thing" for Christmas trees and next year I want to bring mine out. I haven't really decorated for several years and maybe it's time to give it a try again. I'm working on cross stitch ornaments with the idea of having one tree with nothing but them on it.

Our Christmas Eve service is at 5PM on Wednesday night. Wish you all were near enough to join us. I don't know the schedule yet-what's new-but Linda and I will play for the service and I'm sure there will be other music and Dr. Collin will speak. Baptist that I am, I always stay up on Christmas Eve for midnight mass from Rome. I visited the Vatican several years ago and was in awe of the beauty of the church. I was there in December and always relive those memories when I watch. OK, I'm a little romantic.

On a very serious note: Arthur's wife Bonnie is VERY seriously ill. She is remaining at home with her family and Arthur has been a rock. Most amazing man. Those of you who would do so, I ask you to lift Bonnie and this family to God. There's a very good chance that Bonnie will spend her first Christmas in Heaven this year. Please give some kind thoughts to my friends.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


is Christmas Eve. Can you believe it? And two weeks from today is the last day of this year. Time is going somewhere. And it's going too fast. It went SO slowly when I was younger. Now it's going at a blur.

I didn't get a lot of anything done today-much less my stitching! Wednesday and Thursday are always the worst days of the week for me and tomorrow is even worse. But Friday-ah, Friday- I don't intend on going anywhere. I'm going to stay here and do---maybe nothing.

The picture in the header is a shot I made last Sunday morning of the tree in the foyer at church. It's HUGE. I made several snaps that I'm going to use over the next week or so.

In the meantime everyone take care and stay warm (or cool, as it is down here! Snowing a week ago and now back into the 70's and 80's). Happy stitching and happy cooking.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Today is good friend Robin's birthday. I'm not sure how old she is and I'm not going to ask. She's younger than me, but then again, everyone is younger than me.

Robin is my chief stitching advisor. She can be found everyday at my favorite needlework shop, Cross Stitch Corner, on Coursey Blvd. She knows fabrics, threads and finishes better than anyone I know. And has a great sense of color, balance-all the elements of design.

Happy Birthday, Robin. I hope it's a good one and that you have many more.


Jane Austen, by far my favourite author, was born on this day in 1775, in Steventon, Hampshire, England. She was the daughter of the Steventon rector, Rev. George Austen, and his wife, Cassandra. She was the second daughter of eight children-her sister, Cassandra, being her closest and best friend. Although some might consider it dull, I do envy her her childhood. It was simple but active-mentally and physically.

She did things women didn't ordinarily do. First of all, she never married. It was almost a necessity that women did marry for financial reasons, if nothing else. They could not inherit and did not work, other that being a governess, for instance. Secondly, she was an author who actually was paid, although very little, for her work. She wasn't blessed with great riches but never lacked companionship and intellectual stimulation. To say nothing of great needlework!

Her books are wonderful. Like Dickens, they are social commentaries. They are also written in her biting, delightful humor. She didn't spend a lot of time on physical descriptions but her personality descriptions are wonderful. I can actually see people I know in her characters.

Persuasion has long been my favourite of her books. Not too long ago I took one of those little tests to show which of her characters you most resemble. Oddly enough, I was Anne Elliot! I would have thought I would be Elizabeth Bennet. I'm more of the "speak off the top of your head" person like her. On the other hand, who wouldn't like to sail away on a ship with the long-wished for man of your dreams, knowing you "pierce his soul".

I re-read her books often. And I love her History. And how I would love to meet her and have tea and a great conversation with her.

Jane Austen died on July 18, 1817, in Winchester. She was 42 years old. She was buried in Winchester Cathedral. Interestingly enough, her own sister and mother did not attend her funeral: women did not do such things in those days. Several years ago I was privileged to visit her resting place. I spent those moments in a sort-of awe that I was finally that close to the woman who had given me so many enjoyable moments through her works. I'm planning one more trip over in a couple of years and part of that trip will be a pilgrimage to her birthplace and to Chawton and again to Winchester.

Thank you, Jane. I hope my granddaughters will come to love you as I have. I'm going to do my best! Happy Birthday.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


If I had not been here, I would NOT have believed it. When I opened my eyes this morning I thought maybe it was a little foggy outside. Snow and sleet had been predicted for last night, but when I went to bed it was just cold. I crawled out of bed and looked out the window and a Christmas card was staring me in the face.

Believe me, this is not a place that gets snow. It's way too mild. I think the last snow we had was 10 or 12 flakes maybe ten years ago. And believe it or not, it will be back in the 70's by Sunday. ENT specialists make a fortune down here. Kids were out having snowball fights and, even though I didn't leave the house today, there were snowmen everywhere. The local news stations were having a day.

The snow is about gone now. The trees are bare again. But yards are still covered. We lost a lot of branches. Bonfire time again! I'm glad we had today. We had Christmas early. And for a little while the earth seemed so clean and sparkly.


It's snowing here. I don't mean a little. A LOT!!!!!! 4 inches or so. Wow! Everything is closing down because we're not used to this. But, boy, is it beautiful. Pictures later. As the news person says "serious snowmen".

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


It's nasty outside and snow and sleet are predicted for tonight. That's something!!! This usually doesn't happen down here. I'm tucked in bed with my electric blanket on high, so come on down snow.

We had choir practice tonight--in all this bad weather. But our Christmas music is Sunday night and we only have one more rehearsal on Friday night. If any of you are in the area, it's Sunday night, December 14th, 6:00 PM, at Parkview Baptist.

I've a couple of finishes for you. This has been the month of ornaments. I've got several more in the works and they will appear later. They're both resting on my little panda that I brought back from Beijing, China, several years ago. I also bought the cute little hat he's wearing in Beijing.

The rose ornie is a freebie from La-D-Da. The fabric is a mystery: it came from my stash. The threads are GAST. I did make a few changes on those. The noel ornie is a freebie from Blue Ribbon Designs and is one of my favorites. The fabric is also a mystery and the threads are the ones suggested on the instructions: GAST, again.

Time to tuck in with my book. I"m reading The Venetian Betrayal by Steve Berry. It's very good. Can't wait to finish it. Then on to the new JK Rowling book.

Sunday, December 7, 2008


It's been awhile!! Sorry, but I just got involved and never really got back to the old blog. I did write one a couple of days ago but couldn't get the pictures to do what I wanted so I just deleted the whole thing.

We all got through Thanksgiving and my team beat Auburn quite well-actually, a shut out: 36-O. It was drizzly and COLD. It had been so pleasant the day before. But the tailgaters were all out and all was well. We lost our game last night. Florida beat us for the SEC Championship. It's okay, though. We did so much better this year than expected and we are going to the Sugar Bowl on January 1st. I'd love to go but DH doesn't "want to go to New Orleans". 60 miles down the road and HE doesn't want to go. Gee, let's be boring about it.......

I have a lot more to say but it's getting late and I have to be at the dentist's at 7:45 in the morning. I will surrender to a drug-induced state, get the work done and return home to a peaceful afternoon of sleep.

Hopefully will see you all tomorrow night. Until then---the picture at the top of the blog was made in the woods next door to my MIL's house. The other picture is tailgating with the Crimson Tide in front of the Ferguson Center. Even the trees are crimson!

Friday, November 28, 2008


We're in Tuscaloosa (Alabama) at my MIL's. We came up on Wednesday and we will return home after the BIG GAME tomorrow afternoon. We had a nice Thanksgiving and now we're settled in watching the LSU-Arkansas game and trying to keep up with the Ole Miss- Mississippi State game. Go Rebels. Eat your heart out, Sylvester!

I've got a little stitching done and plan to continue in a few minutes. It's surprisingly warm here and a little drizzly. Hopefully it will clear off enough tonight so that we can go into town to visit the RVers. Day will start early tomorrow. We're going to park and ride the bus to the stadium. My old ticker doesn't always let me walk long distances. We all bought rain suits today because it's supposed to rain tomorrow. That's okay, as long as it's fairly warm. We'll visit some friends who are tailgaiting, on to the stadium for the Walk of Champions and them to our seats to visit with more Alabama friends and do our duck calls for the dreaded Auburn fans. That has something to do with some screwup that their coach, the wonderful Tubby, made. Alabama fans are going to welcome him into the stadium with duck calls.

I made some photos yesterday and today. I'll get some here as soon as I get home to my photo gear. I made my first ever (and last ever) visit to any mall on Black Friday this morning. And I've caught some fairly nice photos of scenery here.

See ya'll on Monday.

Monday, November 24, 2008


It's almost that special day for all us jolly Americans. It's the day for turkey and dressing, Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and the official arrival of Santa Claus. It's the day we set aside to thank God for all the blessings He's given us for the past year and to ask Him for His guidance for the year to come.

Several years ago I visited Plymouth, England, and stood on the spot where the Pilgrims stepped off onto the Mayflower and left for America. A little later I joined my fellow travelers for a little voyage around Plymouth Harbor. I tried to imagine what it was like floating off into the unknown, not knowing what was ahead. Looking behind at safe land and ahead to thousands of miles of open water. The seas were rough that day and I was tossed against an iron railing. I did not know until I returned to the States four days later that I had, in fact, broken my leg. Had the same thing happened on the Mayflower I probably would have, at the very least, lost my leg. How things have changed. How much we have to be thankful for.

There really are only two (that I can think of) holidays that are American-born: Thanksgiving and the Fourth of July. Maybe the whole world should set aside a day of thanks. I was joking with a friend the other day that, at my age, I'm losing friends faster than I'm making them. That's not really true. Thanks to the internet I have friends all over the US and the world. And I can share my Thanksgiving Day with them. Sorry, guys, that you're not here for the sweet potatoes and pecan pie. Cranberry sauce, Sister Schubert's rolls. But know that I'm here thanking God that you're there and that you're a pretty important part of my life. And to little Martha-Happy First Thanksgiving Day!

Here are some sites that I found that are pretty informative and have some pretty cool pictures:

Saturday, November 22, 2008


Here we are--at the end of a week again. It was a football day, but not for my team. We had the day off, as usual before Thanksgiving, and now are getting ready for the BIG one next Saturday.

Congratulations to Ann and the Ole Miss Rebels. They soundly whupped LSU this afternoon. Last year LSU was the #1 team in the nation. What happened, I don't know. The crazy fans are wanting to fire Coach Miles but I think some of them are forgetting how much it would cost to buy out his contract.

The picture at the top was one I made at the Chelsea Flower Show in London--I think maybe five or so years ago. I have some other photos to use. It was one of the most beautiful shows I've ever seen. I had always wanted to go, so I made flight and hotel arrangements and took off. I stayed at the Rembrandt Hotel, a little shabby chic place across from the V&A Museum, which is one of my favorite places in London. There's a great little cafe there with reasonable prices and admission to the museum is free (most of museums and galleries are) and I walked across the street off and on during those days to either grab a bite or check out a cool place. There's a wonderful embroidery section there, as well as a music floor. And Harrod' s is just two blocks or so down the street. The two things I want to do but haven't done (I will, though) is to do a Jane Austen tour and to visit the Ackworth School. Enough of this!

I have a couple of starts and finishes to show, so I hope I can get them photographed tomorrow. I also found some great Thanksgiving sites to show, also. See you later!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Excuse me----it should be "FROM WHERE THE BIRD CAME". All those years of study and diagramming and I still mess up. Opps! Did it again. Hate that. Never end a sentence with a preposition.

I always thought this was a pretty picture. The colors turned out nicely-not that I didn't doctor it up a bit. I added the spotlight(love that Kodak software). But of all the peacocks I've ever seen, this was the first to be sitting down -almost posing, if you wish- looking downright regal.

I shot this picture at Warwick Castle (England, of course), in the garden in front of the Orangerie. I've heard that peacocks can be naughty, but I've never had a bad experience with one. I also have some great pictures of the peacocks at Leeds Castle. I'll look them up and use a couple of them here. Believe it or not, I've seen very few of the little creatures over here. But they are everywhere-along with swans- in England. But my favorite little bird is the wren. We have them here and they are so TINY with the cutest upturned tails.

I didn't leave the house today. Tried to finish the ornies. One just WOULD not straighten up. I think it will go into the trash and I'll start again. I just joined the Christmas Ornament SAL and I have almost completed my first one. It's a little large so I may take it apart and size it down. And the foundation for the front is too heavy. Stiff as a board!!! I used a lighter paper for the back.

It's getting a little chilly here-but it won't last long. I'm not too wild about cold weather, but we do need a break down here. And a little rain wouldn't hurt, either. We had several trees removed from the backyard last Friday and Saturday. Some were damaged from Katrina and some from Gustav. It's really beginning to look like a park. But.......I don't venture too far back there because I have an aversion to things that don't have legs!!!!

I'm on pins and needles like a lot of you ladies. Elisa's Martha is due to arrive in 3 days. It's like waiting for Bradley, Grace and Ann when it was time for them to appear. Hang on Elisa, and get some sleep while you can!

Monday, November 17, 2008


In October we had our picture made for the church directory. We ordered copies for the boys and David's mother. They all arrived here on Saturday. I'm posting the photo just so everyone knows that I REALLY don't look like Hyacinth. Would love to have her hats, though.

Sunday I was sitting in a pew listening to the sermon. Directly behind Dr. Wimberly was David. All of a sudden I realized his hair was completely white. It had been gray for a number of years. Now it is snow white. Wow! Where has time gone? We're now 62 and 64. Something has happened here.....

Alabama beat Mississippi State Saturday in a real UGLY game. We sure didn't look like the No. 1 team in the nation. Now we have a rest until the 29th, when we play Auburn. LSU pulled one out. Wish I could have seen that one.

I finished stitching on two ornies. Hopefully I'll start putting them together tomorrow. Will post a pic as soon as I finish.

Photo by Olan Mills.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


Here it is, Saturday afternoon, and 4 hours to game time. We play Mississippi State at 6:45 PM, and I'm not really feeling warm and fuzzy. I've changed my stitching piece several times while sitting here watching Georgia and Auburn. Michael is at the game but we're here with colds and with some heavy music on Sunday. We're just going to get well and get ready for the Big One on the 29th. So here I am with my greatest consolation-my computer.

Thought I'd throw in a recipe. It's one of my favorites and I sometimes give them as presents at Christmas. It's a good substitution for those who don't like Pumpkin Pie. It is good served warm with a little vanilla ice cream.


1C. butter, softened
3 C. sugar
5 lge. eggs
3 C. AP flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. cloves
1/8 tsp. apple pie spice
2 C. cooked (or canned) pumpkin
1/3 C. rum

Preheat oven to 325. Grease and flour a tube (or bundt) pan.Beat butter at medium speed until creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating until yellow disappears. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves and apple pie spice. Combine pumpkin and rum. Add flour mixture to creamed mixture alternately with pumpkin mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Mix at lowest speed until just blended after each addition. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bak for 1 hour and 30 minutes or until done. Cool cake on wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pan.

For those of you who prefer to omit the rum, I'm not sure what you can substitute. Apple juice? Orange juice? Rum extract won't work because liquid is needed.

Here's a fun site I found when looking for a picture:

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Dull day here today. It's raining off and on
and its getting a little cooler. I'm sitting here looking out my den window and I see leaves falling from the trees. It used to be true that we never had autumn--one day green leaves were on the tree and the next awful brown ones on the ground. Now we're actually seeing some color changes. This is my favorite time of year to head towards Tuscaloosa. Leaves are a beautiful orange, yellow and red treat.

I have a finish to go along with a couple of purchases. Any organization that supports breast cancer research has a place close to my heart and if a little sewing goes along with the help, that's even better. The pink snips and the needle minder are from Kelmscott Designs. My LNS has them in stock (Cross Stitch Corner on Coursey Blvd.). The Cat's Whiskers Design Studio has a limited edition scissors holder. It comes with everything except the fabby--white 32 ct. Belfast linen and the satin pink thread. It only took a couple of days to do the sewing and a couple of hours to put it together. Part of the proceeds go to support Breast Cancer Research and Education.

Monday, November 10, 2008


Here I sit on this great Monday, sneezing my head off and considering stitching and reading all day. David brought me the Mucinex this morning because sooner or later this will hit my chest. Always does. I just hope I don't spread it too far.

A word about the opening picture: Michael took this a couple of weeks ago when he was in Washington. I downloaded some pixs from my camera this morning and some of his shots were still in the camera. So I commandeered one. It's the Korean War Memorial. Since it is Veteran's Day, I thought it was appropriate.

Here is the infamous scarf. This one was more or less tongue in cheek. It didn't take long to sew up-all the seams are French seamed because the fabby ravels so badly. I had planned to use ribbon for the trim but had the black stuff already here and decided to use it. The Bama fabric was left over from Michael's Christmas present last year. Now what I REALLY want to do is one a little smaller, one layer of fabby and a Bama monogram. What I need to do is find a shop who can do the monogram. I'll worry about that tomorrow!

Right now I'm watching "Patriot Games" on the tube. I love Jack Ryan movies. I wish he would make a couple more of them.
Thanks, Michael.


I had a good time at church today. Since I spend most of service time on the platform my hounds tooth scarf and red dress were obvious!!!! The LSU fans were nice. They all know I would have worn the same thing if we had lost. Win or lose, they're my team.

One of the guys said that, since we'd beaten LSU, we were now expected to beat Florida in the SEC Championship. We'll try, but it will be difficult. Then again, I half expected LSU to beat us.
These people think we stole their coach. Not true. He left LSU for the Miami Dolphins (pro team), didn't like it, and accepted our offer when we made it. He's a darn good coach. Who would have ever thought we'd end up No.1. We're going to enjoy it while we can.

We can't go home for next week's game. It's at 6:45PM and that would mean no church on Sunday and we both feel, that since it's special service all day, we need to be here. Don't worry. I'm not that nice. I have a BIG guilt complex!!!! But I guar-an-tee you I will be sitting in Bryant-Denny Stadium for the Auburn game. This is one of the biggest rivalries in the South--no, make that "nation". For those who don't know--not that it matters that much--David and I were born and raised in Tuscaloosa, one son was born there and the other in Birmingham. We bleed crimson......

I'm sitting here with a gimoungous cold. I'm sure I picked it up working the polls on Tuesday. I do the book, which means I'm exchanging my pen with people all day. Still, it's cool to get to see neighbors and friends. But I don't think it was worth the cold.
Photo from Tuscaloosa News

Saturday, November 8, 2008


And the band plays: Ta-DA-ta

And the people say: Hey, Tigers!

And the band plays: Ta-DA-ta

And the people say: Hey, Tigers!

And the band plays: Ta-DA-ta

And the people say: Hey, Tigers!

We just beat the hell outta you!

Rammer Jammer, Yellow Hammer

Give 'em Hell, Alabama

Repeat in case anyone missed it.

Yes, just a few hours ago Alabama handed LSU their tiger tails. Neither team looked great but the one with the most points at the end-even if it's overtime-wins. We did 27-21. And we cinched the Western SEC title and will meet the winner of the Eastern SEC in December.

We're still No. 1 in the nation-totally unexpected. And that was cemented by the fact that Penn State lost today.

So tomorrow I will clothe myself in my red dress, Alabama scarf (I'll post a picture because I designed and made the thing myself) and prance off to church. We haven't beaten LSU in quite a few years and I intend to savor EVERY minute of this next year.


Thanks to the Tuscaloosa News for the photo.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


America is the greatest country on earth. Our history is short compared to others but it's a wonderful one. Our freedom has been bought at a great price. Our freedom is our most prized possession. Many members of my family-as well as millions of others- fought and shed their blood to leave us this legacy.

One of the things that makes us what we are is the ability to choose and make that choice known. Yesterday the citizens of the USA spoke and elected a new president. President-elect Obama was not my choice but he is the choice of the majority. I accept that choice.

My job now is to work together with other Americans to continue to make this nation work for all our people. I will continue to pray for my country and to do all in my power to unite us. I would not be anywhere else on earth. I look forward to what is ahead.

God Bless America.

Monday, November 3, 2008


Tomorrow-actually a few hours from now- we will begin the process of electing a new president. I will be in my precinct bright and early in the morning to open voting machines and get ready for a record turnout. Most people aren't really aware that someone may win the popular vote and still lose the election. Our president is actually selected by the Electoral College. It will meet sometime in the next month or so and make the election official.

My pastor's sermon Sunday was about the election. It was very good and very timely (you can hear it by clicking on the Parkview site and following the links). He reminded us that God is in control and He already knows who will win. Even if it's not our candidate, it's okay. HE is in control. He also reminded us that justice is more important that economy and then listed two very good reasons why he WON'T vote for a certain candidate. He and I agree on that!!

So......I will come home late tomorrow night- polls close at 8, but we will have an even later night than that- and I will fall into bed and sleep until the next day. And I will get up to face a new era-good or bad. Some pundits have predicted civil unrest. Pray God that it doesn't happen. Pray God that we can all learn to live together in peace.

Saturday, November 1, 2008


Today is Homecoming at the old alma mater. I'm not there (sob!) but David and Michael are. It's past halftime now and we're ahead 28-7. They're driving back after the game. Next year will be my 40th anniversary so I WILL be there. Couldn't miss that one.

Ole Miss tromped Auburn so all certainly is well with the world. The next best thing is for Georgia to decimate Florida. Not likely, but I can hope.

Bama plays LSU here next week. We're a "divided" family. Alabama is the tradition in our family but John broke with custom and graduated from LSU. However.......there is no doubt where our loyalties will be. I'm going to be at a wedding. The Minister of Youth at my church is being married and I figure I'd best be at church behaving myself than at Tiger Stadium being a very bad girl.

Some new stitching this week plus a finish. That's for another day. It's about time for a story or maybe a recipe. Stay tuned.

Friday, October 31, 2008


It's that time again. To all of you: have a great day- and night. Stay safe, enjoy all the treats and give all the little witches and ghosties a hug.

May all your treats by chocolate- or in my case, vanilla or lemon.

Monday, October 27, 2008


Having your own blog has advantages. Grandmothers like me have a chance to show off kids and grandkids.

Saturday everyone was here: John, Michael, Laura, Bradley, Grace and Ann. We grilled hamburgers and hot dogs and watched the LSU game (oops!).

It was wonderful and growing old does have compensations.....

Friday, October 24, 2008


Just stopping by quickly with this blog link. One of the ladies in the Jane Austen Stitching Group gave us all the site. It is beautiful and came at a time when I needed something like this.

The Button Willow Chronicles:
There are some recipes, too. The gingerbread cupcakes sound yummy.

My kids and grandkids are coming from Houston tomorrow and it will be great to see them. Went out and bought Halloween goodies for them. And I ran into son Michael at WalMart. It ended a better day than it began.

And to Jo: again, glad you're home and doing great.

Back to my surfing........

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


I'm sitting here in bed with my wonderful laptop sitting on a pillow in front of me and feeling really LOUSY. I've had a weight problem for quite awhile. A little over a year ago I had lap band surgery and lost 50 pounds. And it still does a pretty good job. I still "revisit" a lot of things that won't go through it-mostly sandwiches, donuts, steak, etc. And it cured my acid reflux. But it really didn't do all it should.

So my cardiologist (I'm a great spokesperson for the AHA) suggested that I try Byetta. It's a diabetic drug (I'm not one yet but am doing my best to become one!) but researchers discovered that it kills the appetite. It does. When Gustav hit I kinda got off it. Then decided to go back on it.

Well, my prescription was for the large dose-1omcg. I should have started with the "starter" dose of 5mcg. The larger dose sometimes causes nausea when one first begins it. Imagine, if you will, beginning with the larger measure. I just thought I felt bad a few months ago when I started the maximum dose. Now I'm walking around very green and with a large rock in my belly......BUT......very little appetite. It will go away soon-I think- and life will return to normal. Right now the only thing that agrees with me is yogurt.

Such is the life of a thin-want-to-be.

The good news in all of this is that, for all practical purposes, I'm a vegetarian. Not a bad thing.

Thursday, October 16, 2008


Today is my grandaughter Grace's eighth birthday. She's a true princess and the light of my life. So is Ann! And Bradley!
Happy Birthday to her and I hope we see you soon. She and her family live in Houston.
I've also joined two new groups, both related to quaker stitching. On one of them we'll be stitching along together on a project and the other is for those of us who like quakers, period.

Monday, October 13, 2008


I got real busy during the LSU game Saturday night, pulled out my acorn ornaments and decorated my fall tree. They were really the first thing I did on linen-a long time ago. I put them down many a time, swearing never to pick them up again. Thank goodness I did because I really like them. I used all the fabby, threads and felt that the directions called for. And Robin at my LNS helped me make my first cording. Now I have one of those little gizmos and it's so easy to do.

I also finished my Quaker Sampler this morning. It is a SAL and now 2 of us have finished. You can see the blog by clicking on the site to the right of my blog. Now I may take on the Beatrix Potter sampler. There's a new blog for it, too. It's a lot more fun having friends stitch along and share ideas.

But in the meantime I'm going to start Rhapsody in Blue. My finger have just been itching to get started!

Saturday, October 11, 2008


In spite of it being such a sad week, I did get some stitching done.

I finally finished "A Love Song" by Fouroaks designs. I've been working on it for several years. I recently bought "Rhapsody In Blue", it's companion piece. Unfortunately, the fabric I used was no longer available. I chose the next best thing. And instead of using Anchor thread, which is my favorite and what I used on "Love Song", I chose a DMC color: 3842. I don't plan to begin Rhapsody until I finish Bygone's "Quaker Christmas"( I'm going to show a picture of it on the Quaker SAL site later today) . No plans to frame them until both are done. I want them framed alike.

I also finished "Home Is Where You Hang Your Needlework". The sampler was done weeks ago. I just had to finish the pin keep and pincushion. This was my first BIG experience with crushed walnut shells. Now I'm hooked!! Hopefully I'll get the sampler to the framer's this week.

Alabama is not playing this week so I'm sitting here pulling for Tennessee to beat Georgia (won't happen). Later tonight I will yell really loudly for LSU, who is playing Florida. Texas just beat Oklahoma. I was pulling really hard for OU. A really good friend of mine graduated from there.
Hopefully Arkansas will CRUSH Auburn.

Enough of that stuff. Time to stitch and watch. Oh, Tanya Anderson has started a yahoo group for those who follow Stacy Nash. She's one of my favorite designers and I just bought another one of her designs last week. Great idea, a stitching group.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


There's something I need to do. I've put it off since Monday. Sometimes I climb into my boat and go floating down the river deNIAL. Now I need to grow up.

In the late hours of Sunday night I lost a dear friend. Erika Duffield lost her battle with cancer. She was just diagnosed a few months ago and then was treated at MD Anderson. It's difficult to beat cancer of the liver but I thought if anyone could do it, Erika would. She had faced physical problems before-always with a smile- and to my tiny brain she would beat this.

Erika was one of the strongest women I ever knew. Nothing stopped her-until Sunday night. Erika might tell you something different. She MIGHT tell you she won the battle. She was also one of the softest: she had the softest, fluffy light red hair, she wore soft clothes (usually some type of peasant skirt and blouse). She was from Munich, Germany, but she had the softest German accent I've ever heard. She said it was because she learned English the hard way. She didn't learn English in school. She learned it by coming to the States and living with people who spoke English. And she always worn a beaten-up pair of Birkenstock sandals.

Erika and I spent some time talking about Germany after I returned from a trip several years ago. I was there in the winter and loved the snow. She didn't like snow. We both spent some time in the Munich "beerhall" (get over it, my Baptist friends!). She returned to Munich often and finally sold her apartment there. I would loved to have made a trip there with her. In the spring, maybe.

Her husband is a doctor at LSU's vet school so she knew a lot about animals. She had a little dachshund (of course!) and I have my little Rose. We often spent time talking about our furry little children.

And she did something I could never do: she took very good care of her mother-in-law. The lady lived with Erika and her husband and she was forever taking her somewhere, doing things with her. I can't help but think again of how strong-and loving-she was.

Her funeral will be on Saturday. I won't go. I will say good bye to Erika in my own way, privately. I think I have already begun the process. Last night she was on my mind-never far from my thoughts. And I want it to stay that way for awhile. She made my life better. I don't think I ever got to tell her that. But I think she knows that now.

Rest, Erika. I'll see you again. And we'll have some catching up to do!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


It's Monday after a big weekend. Friday, or course, was my birthday. It was very quiet, which is the way I really like things. Saturday was election day and one I enjoy because I get to see my neighbors. Still 5:15 AM until 8:30 PM is a LONG day. Our mayor was re-elected over three other candidates-after some very dirty, typical Louisiana politics. I've been a Republican all my voting life and don't intend to change now. But I do admit voting other parties. Our mayor is a Democrat and does a great job. The two Republicans in the race were not my idea of mayoral material. My candidate for DA was a Democrat. Oops. I just put it into writing and I'm sure some of my Republican buddies won't appreciate it too much.

Last Wednesday night I came home from church to see about a million fairy lights strung all around the house two doors down. By Saturday there was a huge tent set up on the front courtyard. And Sunday lots of little white table and chairs were set up. Turns out there was a wedding reception there Sunday night. We heard no noise so they were pretty well behaved. There was a long, white limousine parked in front of the house. I did my best to spy out my windows to see what was going on. Unfortunately my windows are not made for peeping!. Best of luck to the couple-whomever they are.

My team won again Saturday-by a thread. One poll actually had us as #2 in the nation. We have this week off and then we play Ole Miss. Hoddy toddy, Ann!!!! LSU plays Florida this Saturday and I'll cheer VERY loudly for LSU. May even wear my forbidden sweatshirt. Nov. 1 is our Homecoming. We're trying to decide about traveling plans right now.

Friday, October 3, 2008


Today is THAT day again. Of course, I'm glad I have it. World of hurt if I don't. Today is the 23rd anniversary of my 39th birthday (62). Just three more years I become church organist emeritus. Sounds fancy!

I received these wonderful flowers from David, the boys and Rose. Mary Margaret at Marino's always does something fantastic. She knows I like pretty containers. For my 40th anniversary in August the flowers were in the most fan-tabulous crystal vase. Takes two hands to carry just the vase.

I had a couple of finishes this week. I'll get them photoed later. Good news, though. The camera I thought I had lost during Gustave turned up this morning in the pocket of my raincoat. Imagine that! What a birthday present.

I found the prettiest song. It's called "Gabriel's Oboe" by Amy Grant. You can hear it on Creekside Cottage. CC is on the right side of my blog under "Inspirational Blogs".

Thursday, October 2, 2008


It's officially Fall now and time for pumpkins, colorful leaves and ghosts and spiders. It's also time to bring out the Prairie Moon Halloween Tree. I'm proud of this one: it took forever, it seems, to finish it.

Football continues. Alabama plays Kentucky at home on Saturday and I'm stuck here playing Commissioner of Elections. We have a major election : mayor, city council some judges. It will probably be a very busy day so I won't take any stitching. Probably a book. I'm reading Tess Gerritson's The Apprentice right now. Can't say I'm totally involved in it. I plan to go to Books A Million tomorrow to see what I can find that might be more interesting.

I've added some more blogs to my site. And have some wonderful decorating sites to add. I could get into this blogging thing.

Tonight is the Big Debate. I'm going to stitch and watch. I have no dog in this fight. Just as I have no choice for whom to vote. Even though he is not the best candidate my Party could have chosen, I have to vote for McCain. It really is a hoot watching Biden fall over his own feet as he sticks them into his mouth!

Saturday, September 27, 2008


Here we are. David, Michael, Rose and me. In our usual Saturday places in front of the TV, waiting for our team to kick off. It's been a great day so far: Ole Miss beat Florida/Tebow. In this neck of the woods NOBODY likes Florida. It will be the grandest night if Tennessee will beat Auburn but that's not likely. LSU plays Mississippi State and the same time our team plays-and hopefully beats- Georgia.

I'm working on "Love Story". I want to have it finished by the first of the week. Three years is long enough to spend on it. I paid a visit to my LNS today and picked up Blackbird Design's "Buttons and Blooms for The Cure". Don't plan to start it just yet.

It's sad about Paul Newman. But 83 years is a great lifetime and he sure lived it to the fullest. He will always be the most handsome man to me. And to have a 50 year marriage in Hollywood is a record.

Friday, September 26, 2008


I began this "little" project in 2004, completed the stitching in 2007, and put the final construction stitches in place this morning. It's "Elizabeth R: A Sewing Case" by Fancy Work. It's been so long that I don't recall what type of fabric except that it is linen and the thread is silk by somebody. There are many little gold paillettes scattered about all the sides.
I absolutely HATE to do backstitching and a great deal of this was backstitching. But because Elizabeth I is the woman in history that I admire the most, it was, for the most part, a labor of love. The motifs are actual motifs that were on her dresses.

The large medallion on the black silk is actually a medallion from my wedding gown (4o years ago). So are the three buttons and the pearls. The small straight pins on the burgundy velvet are from my mother's old tomato pin cushion. I thought that after this much time I should make this REAL personal. Plus the fact that it will belong to one of my granddaughters one day.
The instructions for putting it together were complicated. I finally tossed them and did it My Way. Once I did that it fell together quickly. Instead of using 5-that's right, 5) layers of felt between the top two pieces I cut it to 2 between top and bottom. Some pieces were necessary to make it almost like a pin cushion.
It was a fun project. Would I do it again? Not sure.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


It's here! It's here! "Family Reunion" by Rosewood Manor is now in my hands and so is the fabby (Cashel, 28 ct. Platinum, as it calls for) and all the DMC colors are pulled. I'm trying desperately to wait until tomorrow to begin. The design and colors are what I expected. The designer suggested finishing the piece and the adding names. There are several alphabets given and more than one set of initials and even a whole name may be placed in a spot. Surprisingly there aren't that many colors but the one that are are very soft and a little dusty. It's large.

The needle case is coming along. I ended up having to glue the cording on because the joining seam was so wide my stitches were showing. I hated to do that but I couldn't handle little black stitches everywhere. Tomorrow I should be able to put the bottom part together.

If you haven't checked the site yet, go to needlework sites on the right side of my blog. Look for ''Tempus Fugit". It the most beautiful stitching site. It is in French but has English translations. About the second page or so begins instructions for the most beautiful needle wallet. It's on my list for maybe year after next. This lady does beautiful work-even finishing work. It's just lovely to look at.
See ya'll later.......

Monday, September 22, 2008


I started to call it the remains of the day but I think that's been taken! It's dusky outside and that means it's time to settle in and do some stitching. I've convinced myself that I can finish "Quaker Christmas" by Christmas, so we'll see.

I'm going to my LNS tomorrow to pick up some charts I've ordered. I hope "Family Reunion" from Rosewood Manor is there. I've wanted to do that one since I saw it. It's a great way to honor family members that have gone on.

I started the finish work today on something I started in 2004. It's "Elizabeth R: A Sewing Case" by Fancy Work. Most of it is in back stitch, which I HATE and a little cross stitch. It's done is silk thread on French linen. A very pretty piece. The few little gold paillettes on it were very expensive-and worth it. The fabric used to back it is dupioni silk. I guess one reason I've been so slow in putting it together is that the directions were a little detailed. When I slowed down, thought it through, added my own touches, it wasn't so bad. I should have it finished in a day or two. I even added a medallion and some pearls from my wedding gown. The idea behind the design of the needle case is that the motifs on the case were actual designs from gowns of Elizabeth I.

I've really been watching Rose these days. Losing Pepe has brought it home how old and fragile she is getting to be. She's been a part of my life for so long. She was probably 10 or so when the picture at the top of the page was made.

Saturday, September 20, 2008


It's the end of the day here. Just a lot of football and stitching. John finally made it to San Antonio where the rest of his family is. I think they have some catching up to do. And I know he has some laundry ready and probably would like a good drink of water. He said a couple of days ago the water in Houston was not drinkable.

We watched our team beat Arkansas-handily. Lord Saban did a great job. Florida took care of Tennessee. We were hoping LSU would take Auburn to the woodshed but it doesn't look like that will happen. The highlight of the day was Michael being here for the Big Game and the amount of stitching I got done: some of my Bright Needle ornies and a few more stitches on "Love Song". Almost finished on that one-finally. And "Rhapsody in Blue" is at my LNS waiting on that start.

Tomorrow is church day and my music is all organized and ready. Since this game is a read dud I think I may go to bed and read-I've started Patricia Cornwell's Book of the Dead. I'm not sure what I think of it yet. It seems different somehow. Oops. Auburn just scored again. LSU should be in total shock.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


We've not had a good day here. We've lost a little friend.

Many years ago son John and his wife Laura adopted two little furry friends, Garbo and Doogie. Two adorable Llhasa Apsos. Eventually they had two more little furry babies of their own named Pepe and Rose. John and Laura adopted Pepe and David and I took Rose.
Rose has been my baby and best friend for almost 15 years just as Pepe has been for John and Laura. He watched as they welcomed Bradley, Grace and Ann into their family and later the furball Annabell.

Eventually Pepe and Rose began showing their age, perhaps Pepe more than Rose. Last night Pepe went to sleep and he didn't wake up this morning. I spoke with John as he was making a place for Pepe in the yard. It's still bad in Houston: no water, no ice, no electricity. His family is still in San Antonio and he will join them this weekend. A sad reunion, I think.

I believe that our little friends go to Heaven just like our other family members. So Pepe is there, waiting for the rest of us. Murry is scratching him on the nose with his little finger like he did to all the family animals. Miss Wilson is spitting at him. And Sweetie is sitting to the side looking down her nose at it all. Tommy is grinning, remembering the time he crawled up my leg because I paddled him with the paper.

I hope I have Rose for awhile longer. Today has given me pause. She had her hair done today and the groomer put a pink bow on her. She's not the pink bow type. Think I'll go take it off now and put it in the drawer with her other bows. Maybe give her a kiss.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


I bought a feather tree at Hobby Lobby this weekend that I thought would be great for the acorns I stitched a couple of years ago. Bad idea. Then I remembered a kit for some little Christmas ornies I added to my stash a few years ago-2006, to be exact. I pulled the kit out and sure enough, there was the tree pictured on the front. I've finished five of them-there are 24 in total. It takes maybe and hour or two to finish one of them. Maybe, just maybe, I can finish them by Christmas. The pattern calls for NPS but I've pulled DMC and Anchor to stitch them. The front cover looks like bright thread so that's what I'm using. The kit is by Bright Needle.

It's been a beautiful day here and there are no blips on the radar for tropical storms. PTL. We still have HUGE piles of rubbish out front of our houses and blue tarps everywhere and will for awhile. Patience is what we all need now.

"The Closer" is one of my favorite shows. Last night was the season finish. Boy, what a finish and no clue until the opener in January. Poor Sanchez!

Monday, September 15, 2008


It looks like rain again. I'll know for sure when I hear dripping into the pan in the bedroom next door. We still don't have a tarp. And part of the limb is still sticking from the roof. Oh well, some things I can't fix.

Here's something neat to try. I made it for the first time Saturday night and then made some corrections last night. It has a stange consistancy and isn't very good when it gets cold but is wonderful while hot. It is GREAT served with a little Bluebell vanilla ice cream on top. The second time around I added 1 Tbs. more sugar and a little more vanilla extract. It also occurred to me that Splenda could be substituted very easily. Here goes:

CAKE IN A CUP ( I use a large mug)

Mix: 4 Tbs flour (plain, not SR)
4 Tbs sugar (more is better)
2 Tbs. baking cocoa
1 egg
3 Tbs milk
3 Tbs oil
Chocolate chips (optional)
A little vanilla extract

Mix dry ingredients and add to mug. Add egg and mix thoroughly. Pour in the milk and oil and mix well. Add chips (if using) and the vanilla. Mix again. Put mug into microwave and cook for 3 minutes on high. The cake will rise over the top of the mug. Don't panic. Let cool a little. Pour onto plate if you desire. This will serve 2 if you want. It is wonderful with vanilla ice cream.

Sunday, September 14, 2008


Sunday is a day of rest unless you're a church musician. But most of us around here had a day off last week so it was a welcome experience to be back at the keyboard today. I sat the wrong way in the 8:30 service and messed up my back so I slept the whole afternoon, went to choir practice this afternoon and now am at home anxiously waiting for Masterpiece Theatre. The Inspector Lynley Mysteries have been playing the last few weeks. He is a character created by Elizabeth George. He is really Lord Atherton, who has chosen to be a policeman. His partner is Inspector Barbara Havers, a sloppy from-the-other-side-of-the-tracks savvy woman and I just know that some day they will discover each other (that way, especially since Lynley's wife has met an untimely demise).

I' m showing you a picture of a piece of needlework I started early in 2005. It's "Love Song" by Fouroaks Design. It's going slowly, probably because it's all one color and very boring sometimes. I'm almost finished-just a little bit of the left border to do. I'm showing it to you because of its history. In the upper right hand corner is a little remembrance of Katrina. In the lower left is my thoughts to Gustav and Ike. I actually stitched Gustav's name in the border as he was coming ashore-before we lost power. I'm hurrying to finish it now in case another storm decides to form. Maybe he or she won't come this way!!!!! I'm actually going to do the companion piece to this one which is called "Rhapsody in Blue".

Tomorrow I have a recipe to share-a really strange one, but an interesting one. It's a Chocolate Cake In A Cup. I made it for the first time last night during our ball game. We won-ROLL TIDE!

Until tomorrow, ta.

Saturday, September 13, 2008


We have heard from John. By phone, no less. He is okay. There is a tree down in his yard, no glass broken, no power (of course!) but other than that, all is well. He said he had never heard a house creak so much as theirs did during the storm. I thought I worried about the boys when they were small, but that was small stuff. It was really rough managing my thoughts last night, knowing he was alone in that BIG MOTHER HOUSE (as Michael calls it). When they are small they are usually within your sight and touch. When they are adults they abide by their own thoughts and actions and you can't change those thoughts and actions even when you know they're making a mistake. That's when faith steps in (and happy pills!).

It's even harder when the TV is on and you watch what is going on: winds, water, fires. Add to that the fact that you yourself just went through the same thing the weekend before. I'm glad we did it during the day. It must be horrific at night when it is totally dark-no electricity, no communication except by battery-powered radio. And knowing your family is miles away in San Antonio. Hats off to you, John. You've grown into quite a man. I love you.

Friday, September 12, 2008


He's heading for the Texas coast but is giving us grief way over here. The wind has been blowing and it's raining. The rain has been coming through the hole in the roof left by Gustav. We need to get a tarp over the hole because it will be a while before we can get it repaired: too many people ahead of us. This will be a good day to stay in and do some finished on needlework. The chocolate box will be finished later today and I'll hopefully get some pictures downloaded.
In the meantime, I'll stay busy so that I won't worry about John too much. I guess he's decided to ride this one out. He's supposed to make landfall some time during the night.