Thursday, May 28, 2009


ADDENDUM: I have had a terriffical idea: I see a new color for Weeks, Crescent or Gental Arts. A crawfish blue color like little buddy here with a tiny touch of red sliced in here and there- to match the color of a boiled crawfish!! It looks like a sky blue with a little turkish red......

crawfish escapes fate of ordinary comrades

Alan Dufrene and his coworkers at the Exterran oilfield-equipment company near the Bayou Black boat launch in Houma
often set crawfish traps in the bayou before work to try their luck. They were shocked when they pulled in the trap found
an electric blue crawfish gleaming amid its typical red brethren. Desmore, a middle-school teacher with the Terrebonne
Parish school system, said they had never seen anything like the blue crawfish. His unique coloring saved him from a trip
to the boiling pot. He was beautiful, a friend took it home to keep in his aquarium. Relatively rare, but not unknown, bright
blue crawfish are caused by a genetic abnormality in the red swamp crawfish, said Ray McClain, a crawfish researcher
with the LSU AgCenter. A crawfish's coloring is determined by pigment-containing cells underneath its shell. In rarely, the
reddish coloring pigments that normally cause a crawfish to be brownish red in color don't express themselves, and it can
cause crawfish to be orange, yellow or, most dramatically, a brilliant blue. McClain said that for some reason, this mutation
appears mainly in female crawfish and is thought to be a fatal mutation for male crawfish. While they're dramatic looking,
they're not extremely rare, McClain added. "You'll find one in about every 2-3 sacks of crawfish," said David Bourgeois, a
biologist with LSU AgCenter. "They really stand out in the backdrop of all the reddish ones. Sorting them out, sometimes
crawfish dealers will notice the deep blue - they're a really odd and pretty color." Even rarer, McClain said, is albino crawfish,
which is completely white. Blue crawfish are safe to eat, McClain said, but don't expect to surprise your friends with a pot
of true blue mudbugs. The protein that causes coloring in crawfish is denatured by heat, and even a blue crawfish will turn
bright, boiled red when you cook it. Kerry St. Pe', director of the Thibodaux-based Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary
Program, said people have tried to breed the blue mudbugs to sell for pets. Dufrene wished he would have taken the crawfish
home himself. "It would have looked nice in our blue-tinted aquarium."Asked if finding a blue crawfish is thought to be lucky,
McClain laughed. "It depends on how you look at it," he said.

This came in an email my friend Carol sent me. Being a non-believer at times and having an expert marine biologist in the family, I asked him if it's true or even possible. The answer: yes.

Well, I never.....

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Yesterday was a quiet day. I had hopes to go downtown to the USS Kidd but it decided to rain, so I decided to stay inside. Michael was here and he and I ended up the day with a tutorial on pictures. I'm finally deciding to scan some more old photos and to organize what I have.

On the stitching scene, here's the monthly report on my contribution to the Totally Useless Sal. It looks like a lot, but not quite as bad as it seems. I cleaned out my thread stash and added to the jar. I did some frogging because I couldn't decide on a color for a project. Still, it's interesting to see what the New Moon brings.

I'm going to spoil the surprise for Donna, but while I had the camera at hand I decided to get a snap of what I hopefully will be sending her by the end of the week. No, my frilly, little pink bunny won't be in the package!!!

I pulled the threads for the Butterfly Quaker. The photo on the front of the chart doesn't do it justice. The colors are muted and soft. I may just have to go my LNS, to my drawer and bring the companion home just to see what those colors are like. I'm tempted to stitch them on aida just to have a change of pace and to make the stitching faster. We'll see. I still need to retrieve my personalized sampler from Nouveau Encore.
Until next time, happy stitching.

Monday, May 25, 2009


Thank you, Daddy. I love you.

Today is a special day for Americans. It's the day we have chosen to honor our heroes-both living and dead-who have fought on the battlefields of the world to give us our freedom. It's the day we remember those before us who fought in the wars of the past to the wars of today, from Lexington and Concord to Iraq and Afghanistan.

There aren't words enough to express our gratitude to them. And in giving Americans their freedom, these brave men and women also fought for the freedom of other countries. Many forget that and condemn America for it's freedom-fighting.

My Grandmother Wilson had five sons fighting in WWII at one time: from Pearl Harbor to Normandy. The worries she might have carried with her during those years! Wars are fought at home, also. In the mind and heart. And one of my proudest possessions is the flag that covered my Dad's casket-a gift from our nation, along with the Gideon Bible presented to him when he left the States for Burma.

War is different these days. A war can be over in a fleeting moment with just the push of a button. Troops can be transported from one place to another in a matter of hours-not weeks and months as it used to be. Wars are often fought with words. Women now have a place in the military. We may watch day-to-day progress on television. Photos are sent home to us by cell phone.

Be that as it may, fighting for freedom is a noble cause. It is an honor for one to be able to fight for his or her country in whatever way.

And it is a dishonor to these fine people for another to burn our flag-even though it is a right granted to them, fought for by our soldiers and given by our government. It is an even greater dishonor not to be willing to defend these rights. I'm a little old fashioned: I truly believe this is the greatest nation and if a person is not willing to defend this country and it's people, perhaps that person belongs in another place.

I'm proud to be an American. And I thank God for those who have been willing to put their lives on the line to defend my country. I love America. I love my home states: Alabama and Louisiana.

And I love my Dad and his brothers who left comfort and family to fight for our cause. God bless America. Long may her flag fly in beauty and freedom. Long may we be grateful.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


I have some new additions to the stash. Said I was going to slow down, but words taste pretty good with a little Tabasco! Here goes:

This is the Butterfly Quaker by Wiehenburg. It's done with DMC and the colors are beautiful. I have a "mate" to it at the shop but didn't bring it home yet.

This is Miss Mary Mac's Pins and Needles Sewing Roll by M Designs. And since I wasn't going to add any more to the stash, I found the pincushion mate to it and just ordered it--along with a piece by LA D DA called Miss Mary Mac. I think I can make it match this, along with Brightneedle's Pretty in Pink.....and it goes on.......

This is Homespun Elegance's Whatsoever Your Hands....Thought it would go great on my needlework sayings wall that I'm working on. Along with the Jane Austen wall....and it goes on!

Okay, okay. I can't help it. Wish there was a pill for stash addiction.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


It's almost the middle of the week. Time goes somewhere!

We had a great afternoon Saturday. Michael, the birthday boy, came over and had dinner. Then we spent some time telling stories of our early lives. We all laughed and had a great time.

I went to the movies today-second time this week. I saw Angels and Demons on Monday. It was very good. Tom Hanks has dropped the mullet. And I enjoyed seeing some of the sites I visited on my trip to Italy. The Vatican is absolutely beautiful. The Sistine Chapel, well, it was something being in a place that Michaelangelo poured out a great part of his life.

Today I saw State of Play. It was quite good. A lot of name brand stars. Good story line and a lot of twists and turns.

I've found another series of books to add to the list. I'm reading the first in the series right now. It's A Rose for the Crown and it's by Anne Easter Smith. It deals with the life of Richard III, the alleged murderer of the two little princes. Of course, it's English history, which is one of my favorite subjects.

On the sewing front, "Saving Grace #1" is almost finished. The second one will come soon. I took "Quaker Christmas" to be framed today. And if I don't have enough to do, I'm about to convince myself to do the "Abecedaire" on Gazette94. I also bought a great wire basket to store my needle necessaires in and filled it quickly. So back to the store for another one.

Oh, there is the greatest freebie on the Blackbird blog. Really, really nice.

Well, that's life here-sort of. If you watch weather forecasts, you may have noticed a little tropical depression in the gulf. It's about 2 weeks early: hurricane season is June 1-Nov. 31. We're just hoping it will fizzle out. At least let me get the damage from Gustav repaired before we do it again!

Ta for now,

Saturday, May 16, 2009


There's a birthday in the family today. My baby (he hates for me to call him that!) is 35 years old today. I don't know how he feels, but time has really flown.
Michael was born at 12:34 PM at St. Vincent's Hospital in Birmingham, Alabama. He came quickly, but not as fast as his brother. He was here in 4 1/2 hours (John made it in 1 3/4 hours!). Remember the comment about being a Steel Magnolia?......Lots of black hair and bluish eyes. They didn't turn completely brown for a couple of months.
He graduated from Belaire Medical Magnet High School and then, Lord love him, my alma mater (The University of Alabama, of course) with a degree in Marine Biology. He' s now a MB with Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries.
He loves computers, fishing, kayaking, working out, reading and movies. He has wonderful hair: it comes to just below his shoulders. He let it grow as a remembrance of his surgery for Crohn's Disease. I should have hair like his: when he wears is loose he looks like Jesus!! No kidding. Only thing is that it is growing gray (so is John's). There's something very strange watching your kids turning gray.
I've often said that if he had been my first child, he would have been my last. Totally ADD. Always into something: playing Peter Pan on the freezer door, his brother setting him on fire. One thing after another. Looking back at it now, I don't really think I would have things any other way. Truth of the matter is that he came by his curiosity naturally. He and his future wife went to England with me on my first trip over. We made a pass through Scotland and he is as proud of his Scottish heritage as I am. We went to see "Braveheart" together. He was totally silent at the ending. And he was a baby when "Star Wars" first made an appearance!

This is one of my favorite photos. Uncle Deigh took it. I'm thinking he was about 2. I'm sorry it's not in color: beautiful light red hair.

Fantastic sense of humor!! These are chopsticks and I guess I should be grateful he didn't stick them out his nose!

The latest picture of Michael made a couple of weeks ago while we were in Houston.

Both the boys are great guys. I love them both and I loved watching them grow up (sometimes). What a great legacy I'll leave someday.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Guess I'm slowing down!! Or side-tracked. All of a sudden many of the people I graduated from high school with (bad grammar) are showing up on Facebook. Could be because our 45th reunion is this weekend. I won't be going, but it's been great re-connecting. And seeing how they-certainly not me- have aged. I will say that our class beauty is still lovely. But some of the men have gone a little to seed. My cousin Jimmy excepted. He still looks the same.

On the needlework scene, I'm in the process of having Stephanie at Nouveau Encore design a family sampler for me. I need to send her the info that I've chosen because the more I look, the more I change. It will probably be the largest piece I've attempted and probably the last large chart I will do. There's something great about finishing a piece in a few days and then putting it together or taking it to the framer's.

Have a look:

On the reading scene, the Jane Austen Stitching Group decided to read a book together. Well, I bought it and have read it. Okay, it was passable. To me, there's absolutely nothing about JA that says detective. But I also made another discovery. There is a series of books written by CJ Sansom. They're about a Quasimodo-like character named Matthew Shardlake. He's a Tudor age attorney who solves mysteries. I'm about half finished with the first one. Very good series and I'm going back for more.

That's all on the home front. See ya'll later.


Saturday, May 9, 2009


Happy Mother's Day to all you ladies out there! I know it's a day early, but hopefully I will be spending tomorrow playing at church, visiting my family and generally enjoying the day. Tomorrow will be back on schedule after three Sundays away from the keyboard. I did spend most of this week playing for a revival in Sorrento, LA. I was joining friend Phillip Willis in doing the music for this wonderful little church. The members were all so gracious and the food was fantastic: crawfish etouffee, jambalaya and fried fish (not all at the same time!! On different nights). And Phillip flew out of Baton Rouge on a 6:30 AM flight, headed eventually for Vermont to bring music to churches there.

I have some new charts. I'm trying to stitch smaller things now. Things I can finish quickly and finish myself, if I can. Here's a look at some of them.

The first is a little chart from The Sampler Girl. It's eventually going to be a knob knocker for me and framed as a picture as a Christmas present (hint: my granddaughter is named Grace). Or it may be a knob knocker instead of a picture....

These three are from Little House Needleworks. The first I finished this week and is at the framers.

This is to be a companion piece to the sampler above.

I don't know where this one will go. Maybe on a bookself or the mantle in the den.

So......again I hope everyone has a great Mother's Day. May it be peaceful and s great fellowship day for your families.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

This weekend we went to Houston to visit John and his family. I do like Houston, especially HEB ! But I think I've said that before. I came home with some wonderful hand-milled lavender soap and some Mexican spices to use when (!) I cook.

On Saturday, we traveled south to John's company's fishing and hunting camp. The house was a little bit of a shock on the outside but was really nice on the inside. I guess it has something to do with the way men live when they're on the hunt! Everyone fished but me, of course. My skin burns so quickly so I stayed inside-where it was cool- and read a little and worked on LNS's Home of a Needleworker.

The kids are growing so fast. And John actually has gray hair in his beard. He'll be 40 next year. Michael is graying, also. I don't really think I will as long as there's hair dye!

Anyway, here are some snaps from the weekend.

The camp
David, John, Bradley and Ann

Michael, The Big Fisherman!

Bradley's SMALL catch

Michael and my fourth grandchild, Annabell

Bradley and Grace

The four kids at play
It was a great way to spend a weekend. Hummmm........I wonder how I can get David to move????