Friday, March 27, 2009


This was the front page photo on today's newspaper (no, that's not my car!). We're having some major storms here. I know other states have, too. The last two nights have been noisy with some bright lights. And we have it to look forward to tonight, also. Some of the damage is SO much like hurricane damage and so many of us are still dealing with the results of Gustav. The shingles for our roof are supposed to be delivered today.

Luckily we have no damage here at my house, except for a few fallen limbs. But city wide there are major outages and schools in the area are suspended. And only two more months to hurricane season.

Such is life. We'll all get through this one, too. Our newspaper is here and you can see more pictures:

The photo is from the Advocate, 3/27/09.

Thursday, March 26, 2009


Hello from this rainy part of the world. We had massive storms during the night-quite a light show-and are expecting more rain today and tomorrow. Good excuse to stay inside and stitch.

And watch a little TV. And catch up on internet stuff.

Here is my first photo for the Totally Useless SAL. There are a lot of scraps because I did a lot of frogging this month. I'm not sure if I will keep filling this jar or pour the little scraps into a larger container. The piece underneath the jar is the Crown & Thistle Quaker Sampler. It moves really fast. This is one afternoon's work. And I'm working busily collecting birth dates.

I made my Spring doorpiece over the weekend and finally got it hanging. Hopefully in the next few weeks (months?) we'll get the house painted. And my wonderful front door. I went through a feng shui period and painted the door a reddish color. It looked pretty good at first. Then the sun faded it. I just used a grapevine wreath from Hobby Lobby. Hot glued some ivy in place, the used some scrap flowers from the garage. I did buy a yellow rose bush and added the roses because a big portion of my family lives in Texas.

Well, that's all from Baton Rouge. The best part of rainy weather is catching up, so hopefully I can work on this blog and the other one. I have some great new sites to add. And a few to remove. Until then, ta.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


Well, here are a few facts from past years (some of them MANY past years) that happened on this date: March 24. Here goes:


1874: Magician, Harry Houdini

1905: Dance instructor, Arthur Murray

1906: News correspondent, John Cameron Swayze

1909: Bank robber and close friend of Bonnie Parker, Clyde Barrow

1911: Cartoonist, Joseph Barbera

1914: Actress, Lilli Palmer

1924: Actor, Norman Fell (Three's Company)

1930: Actor, Steve McQueen

1944: Singer, Patti LaBelle

1954: Actor, Robert Carradine

1970: Actress, Lara Flynn Boyle


1603: Elizabeth I, queen of England

1882: Poet, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

1905: Sci-Fi author, Jules Verne

1964: Actor, Peter Lorre

1984: Actor, Sam Jaffe


1868: Metropolitan Life Insurance Company forms

1930: First religious service broadcast in US

1937: National Gallery of Art established by Congress


1958: Elvis Presley joined the Army!

Thanks to Nicholas Hillard (1585) for the portrait of Elizabeth I

Monday, March 23, 2009


I'm frogging again! I really messed up my Beatrix Potter sampler. I wasn't paying attention to what I was doing and started stitching the inside of one of the medallions sideways. I put it aside for a couple of days and am now thinking maybe I'll pick it up again.

Then there is the Friendship RR. Sara's arrived in the mail today so I started stitching the proper heart. Well, sure enough I messed up on my count. It has to be frogged over halfway up.

I'm blaming all this bad stuff on the little procedure I had done on Friday. I had a little thingy removed from a very miserable place (above my waist). This was the second go-round on it. Had it frozen off last time. This time the doctor did a little cutting. It was about the size of a quarter. She didn't do stitches, which was good. She cauterized it and it's having a time not bleeding. Everything went bad because of my........attitude?

The good news is that I've redone the Traveling Stitcher and have- YEA!- figured out the pattern for the needlebook and carrying case. I think I'l look for the fabby on Thursday. I can use the part I messed up for a little pouch for buttons, safety pins, etc.

DH sent me an email this morning. We have a chance to go to the Arizona Biltmore in July. We've been before and it's a WONDERFUL place (pictures in my Kodak gallery: password shown, other code is The only problem is July. It was hot as hades in November. I can guess what it would be like in the summer. But it's such a great place to go. Maybe we'll make it. Some great reading and stitching time.

This is going to be the first ever Easter that I've worn black! I usually go for something pale and it's the one Sunday a year I absolutely wear a hat -platform and all. Well, we're doing the second part of our Easter music on Sunday morning and the orchestra has to wear concert black. I'm going to become really creative with this one! I bought a nice, short black dress for Sunday morning and am going to wear a long, black dress on Wednesday night (the first part of the music). I'm even going to treat myself to a new pair of black shoes. I need them badly and this is a good excuse to buy them. But no 5 " stilettos. People might talk!!!

I also agreed to play for the Sunrise Service at Resthaven (Cemetery, just next door to the church). The day will start VERY early for me. I really don't mind. I can do it one day a year. There's nothing "early morning" about me.

Wish there was more to tell. It's a little boring right now. I'm going to my LNS tomorrow and maybe I can get into some trouble.......

Friday, March 20, 2009

Over the last few days I, like most people, have been watching and reading news reports concerning the horrific accident and death of Natasha Richardson. She was so young. And the mother of two children. The wife of Liam Neeson. The daughter of Vanessa Redgrave.

Ms. Redgrave has been a favorite actress of mine, I think, since I saw her in Camelot. Her politics were totally different than mine, but I respected her for her superb acting abilities. Now my respect has deepened. To be able to stand by her dying daughter's bedside and literally sing her into Heaven calls for more dignity and love than I've seen or heard. The pain she feels now is something I never want to feel. God bless her.

Liam Neeson got my attention when he starred in Michael Collins. Yesterday when I saw the photos of him returning home after saying good bye to his Tash were so sad. He has an incredible job ahead of him raising those two boys. God be with him, too.

I've seen her sister Joely on Nip/Tuck several times: it's not one of my regular shows. But I remember the episode where she said good by to someone she thought was her dead mother. She poured out her heart and soul in maybe not such a nice way. Her mother in the show was played by her mother Vanessa. She returned to her apartment after her chat with the body she thought was her mother only to walk in the apartment to see her mother just waking up from a nap on the sofa. The look on Joely's face was priceless. I can't imagine what she feels. I have no sister or brother.

Such a sadness for this family. There's nothing anyone can say or do to lessen the loss. But I hope her family has seen, and still sees, the feelings we all have for them at this time. Nothing will bring her back. Be grateful for the time they, and we, had with her. She left our world a better place.

Thursday, March 19, 2009


This has been one of those days. Started out great. Wonderful day at Sunrise Assisted Living. Got a little work done in the house. Then I picked up my stitching.
I'm working on The Traveling Stitcher by LNS. I've finished the needlebook cover and was about half finished with the main piece. Somehow I miscalculated and didn't allow enough side space. I started it all over again on the fabric right next to the needlebook. Well, I'm not happy. I'm working it really strangely just to see if it will fit. Truth is, I'd really rather get another piece of fabric and start over-over. Just to be sure.
I did make a trip to Lifeway Books for some reading material and found a wonderful carry-all that has places for family pictures.
None the less, I'm floundered by my boo boo. That's one that shouldn't be made. And all the thread I used.......overdyes, too.
In the scheme of things, this is small. But an unnecessary mistake.
Orchestra was good tonight and tomorrow I see Dr. Dobson to get my real boo boo removed. Maybe that's what's really on my mind.
Oh, well.......

Monday, March 16, 2009


Remember these two ladies? It wasn't Saturday night at my house unless Are You Being Served? was on the tube. Who can forget Mr. Humphries? Young Mr. Grace? Mr. Rumpole?

These two ladies are unforgettable: Mrs. Slocombe and Miss Brahms. Mollie Sugden and Wendy Richards in real life. Unfortunately Ms. Richards passed away a few weeks ago. At her service this past week in London was, you guessed it, Mrs. Slocombe. I thought for sure she must be gone by now but there she was, being attended by a younger, nice looking young man. It was good to see her and know she's still ticking, but sad about Ms. Richards. I wonder how Mrs. Slocombe's pussy is doing (get your minds straight: it was her cat, Toodles). Can you believe? Love the spunky little hat. Bet the old girl could do some damage with that cane.

I finished my Dad's little cushion this afternoon-well, maybe partly. I added some cording but it was dreadful. Maybe I'll add some buttons or something to the ends. On the cushion are his ring and his Civitan medallion and ribbon. I'm going to do one for my mother next.

Deborah's RR arrived and that's next on the agenda. I hope it will go to Ann in the next few days. This is my first RR and I'm so excited. Something to do on a rainy, dull day.

Photos from the Daily Mail Online.

Sunday, March 15, 2009


Yes. I actually made it to church, Donna and Julie! One of God's miracles!!!! Got there 30 minutes before the service started. Since I quit taking my little white anti-aging pills I stay up a little longer. And forget things, too. And grow wrinkles.
Julie, the Peacock Chair is
unbelievable! All of you guys, go to Julie's Stitchyknitter's Journal and check it out. So cool!

Donna, I have 5 stitched so far and am going to start putting them together. I have some great breast cancer fabric (that sounds funny!). And I've finished the Lizzie Kate (?) Peace, Love and a Cure and am thinking about making it into some type of patchwork knob knocker.

I did come home from church and napped. Later we met our friend from Plaquemine, Doris Pettus, for dinner at Ruffino's. The food was wonderful as usual, but I got a little nuts and ordered my favorite pizza-Margharita. No, that's nothing to do with the drink (which is NASTY). It's named for some Renaissance queen or so. I have to say that it was a bit of a dud. There's a little place here in town called Schlitz and Giggles. They make the genuine article. A Margharita pizza is one with a paper-thin crust, sliced Roma tomatoes, Mozzarella cheese, fresh basil and olive oil. Tasty! No red sauce-which Ruffino's had. No no.

Doris is great. She lost her husband a year or so ago. She is a corporate travel agent and is pretty good at her job. We talked travel tonight: she's going to the Mediterranean this fall. We both love London and we talked about places we visited. London is my favorite with Rome a close second.

We talked a lot about the Vatican and St. Peter's, as well as St. Paul's in London. She didn't like Russia and I want to visit. I didn't like China and she would like to go there. So that's why we're all different! Boring world if we were all alike.

We're supposed to be getting the new roof this week. Right!!! Heard that before. I'll be even more glad when the hole in the bedroom ceiling is fixed. It's just a couple of months until hurricane season starts all over. Unfortunately, Michael's new promotion will mean that he stays here in the city if we have a hurricane.

Enough gibberish. If I'm lucky I may have some pictures to post tomorrow. Ann, my friend at With My Needle, has completed her heart on my Friendship Sampler Round Robin. You might stop by and see it. She does beautiful work.

So for now, ta.

Saturday, March 14, 2009


I'm in the middle of one of those series of sleepless nights that I go through every now and then. So here it is, 10:30 at night and and EARLY service lookin' at me in the face in the morning. So, what does an intelligent person do? Instead of counting sheep, reading her Bible, doing her cross stitch? She plays on the computer!

If I don't turn it in soon I will be the Ghost of Christmas Past in the morning. And I'm not a morning person anyway.

It was a nice evening. Michael came over He's got a promotion (he thinks!) at work. Certainly a raise in pay. He brought his new rod and reel-the first he's ever bought for himself-and says we don't want to know what he paid for it!!! He'.s taken up kayaking. You should see it. And he's been doing a little tournament fishing. That would figure: he's a marine biologist. I can't believe that little strawberry blond that nearly drove me crazy so many years ago now has graying hair and beard. I'm so glad he's ours.

I worked some on the ornament's for Donna's Stitching For A Cure. I'm not really sure when the deadline is, but I'm enjoying doing the ornies. And I hope she raises a bundle for breast cancer.

Might as well through in a recipe. This is one my mother used to make. Along with the Rum Cake, she would bake this one with the boys in tow. It used to make me nuts seeing one or both of them sitting on the kitchen cabinet, pouring ingredients into the mixer bowl. I was just waiting for an accident to happen. If it ever did, no one told me. Good idea!!! Here goes-and it's actually pretty good.


1 pkg. yellow cake mix
1 small pkg. lemon jello
2/3 C. Wesson oil
2/3 C. warm water
4 eggs
1 tsp. lemon flavoring

Preheat oven to 350. Prepare pan. Dump mix into bowl. Mix jello in warm water.
Add to cake mix. Add rest if ingredients and bake for 45 minutes or until done.

Well, that's about it. I'm going to try reading now.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Wonderful day, here. Just like Spring. Mild weather and I even see green leaves on the trees. I saw some caterpillars today, climbing up the windows in the den. Not the stinging kind, but the ones we played with as kids. Unfortunately, they chew on the shrubery, so they will be short-lived.

I paid a visit to my LNS and picked up a couple of charts I had ordered. The first is the "Traveling Stitcher" by Little House Needleworks. I have to confess that I actually took a few stitches when I got home with it. No finishing instructions were included, but there are a couple of pictures on the website. It should be easy enough to figure out how to do it. And I hope I can find some fabric like what's shown. It's shown above.

The second chart is the Quaker Seasons of Friendship by Crown & Thistle, shown below. No thoughts of doing that one right now. It's BIG. Worked on 40 ct. fabby which I don't even dream of. I can see why one color is used. It's very busy. It's shown in Belle Soir's Mudpie. Forget that! I couldn't live with that much brown. I see it in some sort of blue.

That's about all on tap today. It's such a beautiful afternoon that I should get my big self up and go out and walk. Maybe in a few minutes. Right now the view out my den windows is great. All those lovely green leaves. The deer and fawns will be coming out soon and Spring will be officially here!

Monday, March 9, 2009


I didn't get back as soon as I planned. What a weekend!
On Saturday, we went to Plaquemine, a sleepy little town across the Mississippi River. Go across that dreadful bridge, carefully driving through Bruly and Addis, because they are speed traps, and then happily into Plaquemine. Right? Wrong. There had been a chemical spill earlier that morning and traffic was being re-routed. We rode by many, many sugar cane fields, past many, many police and National Guard guys, and getting more stressed by the minute. We had to go to a funeral-yes, another one. One of DH's clients died and we were going to pay our respects. We finally rolled into the funeral home just a few minutes before the procession to the church was to start. Well, because of the spill, the service was at the funeral home. No Mass. Just a short service. But the best part came afterwards.
We went to his house for the repast. WOW. He was a big game hunter--literally--so the living room was filled with LOTS of stuffed animals: giraffe, grizzly bear, gazelle. You name it, it was there. Whatever floats your boat! Their daughter had been in 3 Mardi Gras krewes, so her costumes were on display in a large case. Absolutely beautiful. I still don't understand how the ladies wear those LARGE headpieces.
The best part was the food. No one can cook like South Louisiana Cajuns. There was everything you could want, even meat pies. And some real home-baked ham. Anything you wanted to drink. And the desserts! I always thought an Irish wake would be the way I wanted to go. Now I've changed my mind.
Sunday was slow. I'm not an early morning person, so the time change nearly did me in. I woke up every hour during the night, so afraid I would be late for the Early Service. I wasn't, but yawned through the first service, poured in the coffee between services, and made it through the last service. Came home and took a long nap.
On the sewing front, I actually picked up the petit etui and did some stitching. Same for the Bea Potter SAL. I got an email from Robin, saying that some charts I ordered came in. I know one of them I want to start right away, so I'll get a little fabby, too. That's on tap for tomorrow.
Well, now for a recipe. I think my favorite holiday to cook for is St. Patrick's Day. Maybe it's the little bit of the Irish mixed in with the Scot. My favorite is Leek Soup. Sometimes I even make it during the year. Here goes:
4 medium leeks (white and pale green portions only), cleaned and trimmed NO SAND!
1 Tbs. butter
2 tsp. olive oil
1 large clove garlic, finely minced
3 Tbs. AP flour
2 2/3 C. Chicken stock (or Swanson's broth)
1/2 C. milk
nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste
1/2 C half and half (or heavy cream)
1. Quarter leeks lengthwise and cut into 1/2" long pieces. Makes about 2 1/2 C.
2. Melt butter with olive oil over medium heat in large saucepot. Add leeks and garlic. Cook about 2 min., stirring often. Don't let garlic burn.
3. Mix flour with milk. Add to leeks with stock and seasonings. Stir and bring to simmer. Cook 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cool slightly.
4. Spoon into blender and puree well. Put into saucepot. Add half and half and heat slowly. Garnish with chopped chives to serve, if desired.
I have another recipe around here that is Leek and Potato Soup. It's good too. Just what we need in this 80 degree weather.

Friday, March 6, 2009


Well, finally something to do with those millions of orts, broken needles and floss labels. This is a super cool SAL and we can all do it. I just started a couple of days ago and my little old jar is just filling up.

All you stitchers, check it out. Yoyo at Dragon My Needle started it and all stitchers are invited.

It's also time for a recipe! I'll get one online later today or tomorrow. Maybe it will be one of my St. Patty's recipes.
If I could remember where the snap came from I'd gladly give credit. I just have no idea where I got it!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


On my last post, I had a question from Craft-i-leigh about aida and other fabrics. So here goes:

I used aida for many years because it was the only thing available: Michael's, Hobby Lobby and Hancock's. I didn't order by mail because I didn't have a computer and even now I'm hesitant about ordering fabric over the Internet because I want to be sure of the color. I have a friend that uses Vikki Clayton 35 ct.. I have a sample of it and I wouldn't hesitate to use it.

The big complaint I always had about aida was that it was SO stiff. It was rough in my hands. And there were so many big holes. When I did my Marty Bell pieces I actually stitched in the sky because I didn' t want all those little square holes (I know. Sounds OCD and it is). I still use aida for some things, especially ornies. There is an aida that is very soft and I use it for table runners, etc. And it has a tiny bit of shine to it.

The first pieces I did on evenweave were the Cricket Collection's acorns. Somewhere in the archives of my blog you can see them. Probably around October or November. I got discouraged at first, but then went back to them with more care and finished them. They are beautiful and the colors wonderful.

I like evenweaves (linen) because it gives a more polished, complete finish: no little (big, to me) holes around. The only size I don't use is 40, simply because I'm old and it's difficult to see the threads. I'm participating in a Round Robin (my first) and I know some of the ladies will be using 40 ct., so I'll put on my big girl panties and do it.

The colors in linen are GREAT. They're a little limited in aida.

Another thing is that you can do is"over 1" on linen. When over 2 and over 1 are combined in a piece the finish is spectacular. Right now I'm doing the petit etui and it combines those two stitches as well as others (which are easier to do on linen). I guess the password is "versatile".

If you're ready to try linen I'd say get a small pattern-maybe a Christmas ornie- and try Use a 28 ct. fabric. And don't give up. It took a little while to get used to linen. It's not unusual to split a stitch. Sometimes you have to frog some stitches. Sometimes you can just compensate.

Go for it. And take your time. Get the feel for it like you did for aida. As I said, do something small.

I don't know if you've tried over-dyed threads. If you haven't, try them. I love them, too. And silk: it's just wonderful. It's more expensive so I used it more for "special" projects. Belle soir is my favorite. Vikki Clayton is great. So are the others.

I will tell you (at the risk of giving away a secret) that I'm going to do a special piece, starting in the next few months. It's going to be for a very special person. It's a Stoney Creek chart. It's LARGE and the only fabric I will use is aida. If I ever split a stitch on that one it would be a major disaster.

Don't be afraid. Step out and do it. You can! If I did it, any one can. Just ask Robin at my LNS. She kept at me until I started stitching on linen. Now there's no turning back.

Any one else out there that has a comment, please make it. Let's convince her to try!

Monday, March 2, 2009


My friend was buried on Saturday. Chiquita Tate was an attorney and a member and friend of those of us who sit on the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board. She was horribly murdered and the police are still looking for her killer. We all miss that big, old smile of hers.
We said goodbye at a service that was made of good preaching, eulogies and music. One of the solos was a particular favorite of mine: His Eye Is On The Sparrow. I really can't remember the first time I heard it. I've played it many times both as a solo and accompanying a soloist.
It's always been assumed to be a black gospel song. And it is a staple of black services. But, in fact, it was written by white songwriters: Civilla D. Martin, who wrote the lyrics in 1905, and Charles Gabriel, who was the composer of the music. Ethel Waters, the great gospel singer, used it as the title of her autobiography.
Mrs. Martin based her words on two things: scripture (Matt. 6:26 and Matt. 10: 29-31), and a visit with a sick friend. She and her husband were in Elmira, NY, paying a call on Mr. and Mrs. Doolittle. Mrs. Doolittle had been bedridden for many, many years, and her husband was confined to a wheel chair. Yet, Mrs. Martin observed, they both lived Christian lives and, in spite of their infirmities, were both so happy. Mrs. Martin asked Mrs. Doolittle why they were so glad. Mrs. Doolittle answered, "His eye is on the sparrow and I know He watches me."
A couple of years ago I made this cushion from one of Tanya Anderson's patterns from The Sampler Girl. It sits in my living room and I see it every time I pass by. It's just a lovely pillow honoring such a fine, fine Gospel hymn.
Check out some options on You Tube. Simply type in the words of the title. Look especially for: Sandi Patti, Fantasia and Lauryn Hill et Tanya Blount. Lauryn Hill is the one who sang it in Sister Act 2.
At times like Saturday, it's often difficult why things happen. Why Chiquita died so young and so brutally. Then, hearing the words of this song, one realizes that things happen according to God's plan and that He is watching over us.