Sunday, March 30, 2008


Well, I came home from church about an hour or so ago and was greeted by such a Welcoming Committee. What a time not to have my phone in the car! He was big, black and had the longest forked tongue. He was maybe two feet from my car door with his head up, looking me straight in the eye. When I opened my door he ran into the bushes. I got out of the car, walked around the garage and into the side door. Ramar of the Jungle went out to kill him but let him go because he was a black racer-about 3 feet long. Who cares????? The only good snake is a dead one-lizards and other snakes be damned.

Well, a few minutes ago Ramar went to check on him. Notice I say "him". A "she" would have fought back. He came in and said he was back in his favorite spot. He got Sally (my .357 loaded with rat shot just for the occasion) and went in search for game. The snakey-poo had left for higher ground, rat shot is saved for another day, so tonight when I take Rose out for her evening constitutional I will be on the lookout for my new little buddy.

Unless one of you would like to volunteer?

Saturday, March 29, 2008

I've been bad this week. I've had spring fever and haven't done much of anything. I did go to my stitching group on Tuesday night and enjoyed that very much. I had a great visit yesterday with Councilman Mike Walker, a dear friend of mine. His daughter married last night and the pianist needed to practice so she came to my house and spent a couple of hours on the piano and he and I chatted. The wedding was last night at 7PM. He told me he had to be at LSU at 1PM today to judge a chili cookoff. Oh, goody!

Easter music was great at church Sunday. Well, Linda did play the fellowship hymn at the end of the service in a bit of a different key than the rest of us. No keyboard person likes to play in E so she just changed it to E flat. I imagine everyone was hungry and in a hurry to leave and didn't notice. Linda hardly ever makes a mistakes so it will make great fodder for us mere mortals for awhile.

I did finish a project this week. It was a quickie and a freebie. And a knob knocker, in case you can't tell. It came from the Kreinik site. I did it on 36 st. Edinburgh cloth with Anchor threads. I did the finish work myself. The whole thing was one big error (see Linda-I make BIG ones). When I was almost finished stitching it I noticed in the instructions that it said tent stitch over one and I did full cross stitch over two. It's twice the size it should be but is still small enough.

Friday, March 21, 2008



Luke 24:29 "But they urged Him, saying, "Stay with us, for it is getting toward evening, and the day is now nearly over. So He went in to stay with them' ".

Long before I realized what a total anglophile I was, this hymn was one of my most favorite. It is what I call "exquisite". By that I mean that it is a rare combination, to me, of the perfect melody combined with the perfect words.I love it best sung acapella. So totally "English". It was sung at the weddings of George VI and later, his daughter's, Queen Elizabeth II. It is always sung at the beginning of the English FA Cup Final (since 1927) and at the Rugby League Challenge Cup Final. It is sung at Rememberance Day (Veteran's) celebrations in Australia, Canada and the UK. It's also surprising to note that it was one on Mahatma Ghandi's favorite songs. No wonder it is considered England's national hymn.

The tune is "Eventide", composed by William H. Monk in 1861, just for these words. The lyrics were written by Henry Frances Lyte in 1847.

Lyte was Scottish, well-educated, and was often quoted as saying "It is better to wear out than rust out". He was a musician, poet and a minister. Lyte was never healthy, suffering from asthma and tuberculosis. He eventually decided to move to Italy to try to improve his health. He never made it. On his way to Rome he died in Nice, France, and was buried there. He composed the words to "Abide With Me" just three weeks before he died.

There are many verses to this hymn. The best thing is to check them out on the Internet:

Once again, go to, type in "abide with me". Check out Haley Westenra at the Crystal Cathedral. I cried when I heard this one. Libera is excellent: typical English boys' choir. Oh, and don't miss Elton John. Yes, I said Elton John!

The sampler is one I did maybe 10 years ago. It's by Stoney Creek. It's my always reminder of the hymn I love so much and am not embarrassed to say that I want it sung at my memorial service.

Lovely, lovely hymn!


Well, along with everything else going on this week I did manage to finish one project. It's called "My First Stitching Box and Scissor Fob". It was designed to fit inside this little Whitman's box-complete with candy, which I gave to David. I'm not a particular fan of chocolate and those two shots of Byetta a day tend to discourage candy-eating!

It was done on 30 ct. pink linen from R&R Reproductions and the thread was by Crescent Colors. The photo doesn't do the colors justice. They are luscious. Wouldn't they be with names like : "Sunshine Girl", "Jelly Roll", "Amethyst", "Steamed Broccoli", "Tangerine" and "Pink Champagne"? It actually took just about a week to do the embroidery and do the finishing work. And it was a lot of fun to do.

It was designed by Clara Blalock of the Stitching Parlor. Thanks, Diane and Robin.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


As we enter Holy Week I thought we'd take a look at some of my favorite hymns and how they came to be. I almost saved the best for last but decided to tell you about my most favorite first. I'm not really sure when it became my Number One. It's just always been there. The words are so special to me.


Great is Thy faithfulness, O God, my Father,
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Thou changest not, Thy compassions they fail not;
As Thou has been, Thou forever wilt be.

Summer and winter and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon and stars in their courses above;
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth,
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside.

Great is Thy faithfulness
Great is Thy faithfulness
Morning by morning new mercies I see
All I have needed Thy had hath provided
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me.

Unlike most hymns, "Faithfulness" did not come about as a result of a deep personal experience. Thomas Chisholm was a Methodist minister who was eventually forced to give up his profession as a result of ill health. He wrote the words of this hymn simply as a realization of God's faithfulness in his life. The hymn became the unofficial "school hymn" of the Moody Bible Institute. It was first introduced to all of us in a 1954 Great Britain meeting of the Billy Graham Crusade.

There are some interesting websites to visit and some of them have music. Youtube is always a favorite and if you go there, check out Bob Swift and the Metropolitan Baptist Church (I wish our choir would do this version: hint, hint). One other good site is:

Monday, March 17, 2008


It's a great day for wearing green and it was a great weekend. It began on Saturday morning when we gathered at Beth Shalom Synagogue to attend the Bar Mitzvah of Seth Bombet. It was a first for David and me and we were most impressed with this young man. It was a ceremony celebrating his becoming an adult in his Jewish life. It took hours and hours and months and months of study to bring him to this place and he did it well. The service was mostly in Hebrew but we could follow in the prayer book and actually participate in the English part of the service.

We attended the Kiddush luncheon afterwards and the food was delicious-even the yak cheese. DH was too chicken (kosher, of course!) to try it, but I did and it was pretty good.

Saturday night we joined the Sunrise Nursing Home group at Mary Lou and Bob Thompson's for a dinner. The fellowship was wonderful as was the food. The highlight of the evening was Cajun, their aging but active poodle who kept everyone entertained.

Sunday night we presented the Easter music. It was nervy for some of us old ones who had to jump out of our boxes to do the rousing, rock and roll music. I was firmly convinced it would be my last night on earth, but here I am, still here. We did very well, if I say so myself.

Sunday night at 11:12 pm saw the arrival of Silas Andrew Wimberly into this world. He's the ninth child of our pastor and his wife, Dr. Collin and Gina Wimberly. He is a big one-7lbs. 5ozs. And we all look forward to making his acquaintance at the proper time. Welcome, Silas!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

One project of mine that I am most proud of is my chatelaine. I completed it a year or so ago and it hangs across an antique chair in my living room. I used Drawn Thread's pattern and then added some thoughts of my own to finish it out. It was done on linen banding with Needlepoint, Gloriana and Soie silks. I did the finishing work myself. I purchased the tools in different shops.

A chatelaine is a very old invention, developed as a way to carry personal possessions in such a way as to keep them close by. Chatelaines may be traced back as far as China (225B.C.). The name more or less was attached during the Middle Ages when the mistress of the castle kept the keys, a the symbol of her status, attached to her waist. Her title was "La Chatelain". The name of the clasp then became known as the chatelaine. The 18th Century saw the peak of popularity of the chatelaine. They became more elaborate and they held everything from perfume bottles to eyeglasses and prayer books. The Victorian era saw the use of the chatelaine expand. The housewife's chatelaine was often made of leather and held needles, thimble, pincushion, pencil, etc.

The modern chatelaine is worn around the neck. It's use is simple but quite often lovely to look at. It's used more by stitchers than anyone else.

Flowers, plants and trees.
Fishes, birds and bees.
There's nothing neere at hand
or farthest sought
but with a needle
may be shap'd and wrought.

A needle (though it be but small and slender) yet
it is both a maker and a mender.

"Some drink at the fountain of knowledge......others just gargle." -ukn.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

My cousin Sarah has just sent me a new website. Everyone should bookmark it and check it regularly. It's very important.


Monday, March 10, 2008

Yesterday as I was returning from church my phone rang. It was my son John calling to tell me that he was leaving from Houston on a 7PM flight to the UK on emergency business for his company. At 7 I was watching my clock remembering the many times I was in his place, so excited because I was returning to the place that I love so much. He was going to take the train from Gatwick to Rotherham. Traveling by train is a wonderful way to see the countryside and he would be traveling in the early morning when it is at it's best. I don't know much about Rotherham except that it is somewhere near Sheffield. Think SILVER! He always says come on and go with me. One day I will. But this week is out of the question. It's full of rehearsals for Easter music which will be on Sunday night. I wish him Godspeed and safe return on Saturday. No matter how little time is spent in England there's always something to see: a wonderful old church, beautiful flowers, a crumbling old castle. And always time for a dish of tea or a cold shandy in the local pub. I love the people. Wonderful senses of humor! And so friendly. John told me after his last trip that he is beginning to learn the idioms. Some of them are great, bloody great!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

"It says something about our times when you rarely see the word "sinful" except to describe a really good dessert." -Ukn.

Friday, March 7, 2008


If ever there was a teetotaler to rival Carrie Nation it was my mother, Inez Wilson. That is, until it concerned her medicinal or culinary efforts. No one around her who had a chest cold was ever safe from the whiskey-peppermint candy concoction. I'm not sure exactly what it did but I do know it meant a good night's sleep. And then there were the cakes. She and my Aunt Marie could make some of the best fruitcakes. I admit to being one of those crazies who loves fruitcakes (not an excuse for Christmas presents, okay?) and these were those luscious, moist, dark, fruit-filled, raisin-plumped delights that were soaked for months in alcohol-laden cloths and then served in small, delicious slices with spiced tea from November until January. I'm sorry I never got that recipe. But I did get the long-cherished Rum Cake recipe. Here it gets interesting.

There was no way she was going to purchase the prized Demon Rum so who was next in line but her Baptist church organist daughter. I could only buy it here in Baton Rouge. Never in a state store in Tuscaloosa because the Deacon's Daughter must not be seen in such a place. She would then carry it back with her on return from a trip here or I would bring it with me on a trip home. Of course I never mentioned anything about "dry counties" in Mississippi or Alabama. Wonder what would have happened if one of us had been caught?

I'm sure my children have memories of "the" cake, too. She would sit one, or both, of them on the kitchen cabinet with her as she made the cake. And the Chosen One would get to help add ingredients, including the good stuff. After it was baked it was served to family and occasionally to ladies' club meetings. It's pretty good even though I prefer a good Italian Cream or a slice of New York Cheesecake. Serve it warm with a small scoop of vanilla ice cream and a little caramel sauce. And to our family, with a lot of memories!


1 C. chopped pecans or walnuts
1/2 C. cold water
1 pkg. yellow cake mix
1/2 C. Wesson oil
1-3 3/4 oz. pkg vanilla pie filling
1/2 C. Bacardi dark rum
4 eggs

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Prepare pan. Sprinkle nuts over bottom of prepared tube pan or bundt pan. Mix ingredients and pour over nuts. Bake until firm. Punch holes in cake and pour on glaze while still warm.


1/4 lb. butter
1 C. granulated sugar
1/4 C. water
1/2 C. Bacardi dark rum

Melt butter in saucepan. Stir in water and sugar. Boil 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in rum.


Wednesday, March 5, 2008


I have discovered quite by accident the absolute BEST blog, website, whatever you wish to call it. I spend so much time there and still discover something new each time I visit. It was developed by Nancy Brister and it's called It is filled with the most beautiful photos and pictures, some of them hers. Poetry, sayings, music. It's just wonderful. It does take a Southern turn, but anyone would find something to love. This lady must have the most kind heart. Go there and check out her midi sight for some great music from good old Ragtime to Civil War favorites, Irish ballads, Rock and Roll. Find words to songs that are difficult to locate. Take a look at Magnolia Memories, What's in the Kitchen (with a section on Jane Austen recipes!), Teach Him Gently, The Deacon's Masterpiece, Tea In Charleston and my personal favorite: The Land That Made "Me" Me. Check out her tribute to New Orleans.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


It was 80 degees yesterday so on one of my trips outside with Rose I took my Kodak to have a "moment". Flowers are blooming everywhere here and even now I can look outside my window and see little green things appearing on trees. I snapped a few pictures and here they are. It's a good thing because it's 53 degrees today. I'm glad I have the flu now because if I didn't I'd be getting it. This stuff is going around and it's dreadful. If you get it find a bed, lie down and take enough sedation to last a couple of weeks and maybe you can sleep through it. I did get out long enough today to buy more kleenex and orange juice. And to pass by my needlework shop for some thread. I work the polls Saturday and I need to replenish my supply so that I won't go into withdrawal halfway through the afternoon!
1 Thessalonians 4: 11-12:
Make it your ambition to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.

Sunday, March 2, 2008


Well, who is this? Does the word "how-DEE" mean anything? A $1.98 price tag? Sarah Ophelia Colley was one of my most favorite people. Most people know her as Minnie Pearl. She was born on Oct. 25, 1912 in Centerville, TN, and died on March 4, 1996. She was born into an affluent family, graduated from Ward-Belmont College and terrified her family by going into show business. Sarah met the person she was to base her character on in Bailyton, Alabama (wouldn't you know!). She became a member of The Grand Old Opry in 1940 (and remained a member until her death) but the Opry was originally afraid that country people would be affronted by Minnie Pearl. Everyone came to view her as a good friend. Minnie was also a member of the HeeHaw cast from 1969 until 1991. She eventually married Henry Cannon. They never had any children. Her importance lies in the fact that she was a trailblazer for rural-type humorists. Many who followed her example included Jerry Clower and Jeff Foxworthy. She was successfully treated for breast cancer in 1990. She suffered a stroke in 1991 and died in 1996.
More information?:

Saturday, March 1, 2008


In spite of a miserable cold I managed to finish two projects this week.
The first is "Sweet Sparrow Sampler", designed by Tanya Anderson of The Sampler Girl. It's worked on latte Jobelan and finished with threads by DMC, Crescent Colors and Gentle Arts. I did the finishing work my self.

The second pieces are the forty-seventh exemplary Wabbit's Garden by Sheepish Designs. The fabric is 32 count 18th Century Grape from R&&Reproductions, threads from Sampler Threads, bead from Mill Hill and silk ribbon from YLI. I finished the pin cushion and scissors fob myself.

Thanks again to Dianne and Robin at my favorite shop for frequent advice.


Last Friday, February 22, grandson Bradley Michael Harden passed a big milestone when he passed from Cub Scout to Boy Scout in a very impressive ceremony celebrating Chinese New Year and complete with authentic Indian dancing. We were there with mom and dad John and Laura, sisters Grace and Ann and Uncle Mike. His chocolate cake spelling Boy Scouts in Chinese took 2nd place was delicious and he was so proud of his arrow marking the event, as were we all. I still can't believe he's old enough to be a Boy Scout. He says he going for Eagle. We're proud of you, Bradley!