Monday, September 29, 2008

Miscellaneous Pictures from So Louisiana

I'm probably going to bore the bejeebers out of folks, but I want to post some of these pictures so I won't lose them, and while I still remember what they were.

Sitting at breakfast one morning, Mr. Squirrel was playing right outside the window at Don and Gail's. Well, I think he was actually having his breakfast, too!

Arlington House in Franklin LA. The guy who owns this owned a company, the name escapes me, but his company had something to do with developing the undersea technology that found the Titanic maybe. I'll have to get the true details and post them later. See? I've already forgotten things and it's only been a few days. Anyway, wouldn't this make a wonderful quilting retreat center? We could all sit on the porch and sip mimosas when we got tired of quilting! sigh...

Going down to Weeks Island on Vermilion Bay a/k/a the Gulf of Mexico. The whole area is largely "camps" - weekend get-aways. The Island was heavily damaged during the hurricanes but clean-up is ongoing.

St. Francis Chapel on Weeks Island. Built on stilts. See all the mud on the lawn? This whole island was flooded.

Crab traps on Weeks Island. I'm still thinking of those wonderful boiled blue crabs we had!

This is a house boat that was caught in the tidal surge and was swept out onto the road. They put cones around it until they could get it moved. Yeah, right. Like that's going to stop someone from plowing into it one night.

This is going atop a salt dome about three or four miles from Weeks Island. Notice the entirely different ecosystem on the dome. Ahh, the smell of those pine trees was wonderful. It's almost like the hurricane didn't pass right over.

This is at the top of the salt dome, a facility that pumps or extracts the salt. It's a fastinating process.

And this is who gets it out of the ground and onto our tables!

I swatted mosquitoes for a day or two until two huge C-130s flew grids over the entire parish and sprayed them. It was wonderful being outside after that. These things were flying so low. This was over New Iberia. St. Mary Parish was sprayed the following day. Naturally I couldn't get my camera up in time when they passed right over us. So much for those action shots!

And the last one for today ... the side of a building in New Iberia. I was totally fastinated by those ferns just growing out of the brick. LOL. I'm so easily entertained!

I'll try to tackle the sugarcane explanation tomorrow. Don? Are you reading this? I'm going to need help from the expert!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Continuing ...

Mom and Dad's grave. It wasn't damaged. The City has started cutting the trees away, but it's obvious how much more needs to be done. I talked to Aunt Shanie. She went out there after I called her. She will make sure everything is cleaned and repaired. I told her I would pay for repairing the graves that are damaged. I feel it's important to get that done.

My mother's Irish parents, Oscar and Blanche.

Dad's Cajun parents, Louis Ben and Emily.

This is one of many old tombstones out there. I remember being fastinated by these as a child. A lot of them have Confederate flags engraved on the tombstones. I suspect there are Union soldiers buried in Cedar Hill as well.

Okay, moving away from the cemetery, we rode over to the house where Dad was raised. His father was a cotton farmer. I just can't believe there were nine kids raised in that house. The house has been purchased and restored as an original Acadian style home. This isn't the best picture I took of it, but it's the only one where you can see the staircase on the front porch going up to the second floor or attic room that the boys slept in.

This is an old country store that, I think, an uncle owned. It's really old but I don't remember how old Don told me it was. The reason it's even still standing is because it was made from cypress wood.

The drugstore in downtown Washington. Don't see things like this in SoCal! Okay, I'm easily impressed! LOL

Entering Washington, settled in 1720. This is crossing Bayou Carron. Named for Grandmother Perry's family who settled in this area.

Enough for today. I've got a ton of pictures of planting sugarcane, and shots of the sugarcane that was laid flat during the hurricanes and is growing upright again. I need to double check details on that with Don before I post something that's incorrect from a horticultural standpoint! I also have shots of soybeans being harvested. Even ate some right out of the field.

Some Pictures from Louisiana

I don't know how many I can post on one blog, so I'll just try it and see where it goes.

First, Franklin LA. This is where my brother lives, and I've fallen totally in love with this teeny town. This is a shot of the main street in downtown Franklin. We were in Don's Jeep, so excuse that thing on the front! There's a little more to the downtown, but I wanted to capture the unique street lights down the middle.

This is the Historic District. The street lamps continue. The houses are just gorgeous. I took tons of pictures of big ones, little ones. They're all just so beautiful. This shot, though, will give you an idea.

Don and Gail's neighborhood. These oak trees are across the street. The subdivision was built on land formerly owned by Oaklawn Manor, a gorgeous plantation there. The Manor is located just beyond those houses. Bayou Teche runs behind those houses over on the left.

And this is a picture of the side of their rebuilt house. I think I was trying to capture the shop out back. Pool is on the other side of the carport. My bedroom was upstairs. The trees and lawn are still recovering from the hurricanes. Although the broken trees have been removed, there's still some things that need to be done. Their home is just so gorgeous. It's warm and comfortable and just invites you to come on in and sit a spell.

Boiled crabs and shrimp! It was SO good! I'm still thinking about them! A bunch of their friends came over and we had a blast sitting out there eating!

This is a picture of Bayou Teche taken from one of the little bridges in town. The bayou is still high.

The Intracoastal Canal. A very important waterway in Louisiana.

One day we went north to Opelousas where Don and I were born and raised until we moved to Sulphur. This is St. Landry Catholic Church where we were both christened. It a really beautiful church inside.

Then we headed up to Washington which is just above Opelousas. We rode around the town, but the antique shops weren't open that day. Then we went out to Cedar Hill Cemetery where my parents are buried, all of mother's family, and my dad's parents. When we pulled up to the cemetery this is what we saw. A lot of broken cedar trees from Ike. Don and I both gasped because that clump of cedar trees is down right over our family grave site.

Well, I can't post any more pictures here, so I'll continue this on another blog.

Stash Report Weeks 38 & 39

Week 38 I had some orders come in, 20.25 yards. Week 39 - nothing. Of course, I didn't bust anything either those two weeks. (sigh) But I'm home from vacation and raring to sew!

I did stop at Born Quilter in Lafayette on the way to the airport yesterday. It was a tiny shop, real cute, and the ladies in there were real friendly. So friendly, in fact, that I was worried about missing my plane! LOL. I did make a purchase but as a gift, so that doesn't count!!

Year-to-Date Totals:

Busted: 406.00 yards
Purchased: 628.75 yards
Net YTD: <222.75> yards busted

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Counting the Hours

One more day to work and then I'm off! I'M GOING HOME! It's been two very long years!

I thought this would be a good time to share one of the two Louisiana hankies that Jane bought for me at the Long Beach quilt show! Isn't this just the neatest thing?!

When enlarged, it should be readable. Those little dots and names represent forty-something years of my life. I was born in Opelousas, and grew up over near Lake Charles. I went to LSU in Baton Rouge and then stayed there and worked as a court reporter for over 20 years.

On this trip I'm flying into Lafayette, and then heading down to Franklin. I always think of where on the boot or the foot things are in Louisiana. Franklin is way down south in about the middle, the arch of the boot! Judy and I were raised over in the heel area! Okay, no wisecracks here! Judy just recently taught at a quilt shop in Houma.

In the 14 years since I've been away, only one other time have I taken a whole week off for vacation. But since my ex was involved in that trip, I really didn't get to do anything I wanted. This time I will! It's always so much fun being around Don and Gail, and we really don't have to do much except be together. I'm sure lots of wonderful seafood will be involved, and, of course, swatting mosquitoes. There aren't any where I live so it'll take me a day or two of flapping my arms around to get used to them. Everything is SO slow there! And NO traffic to speak of! That alone is worth the price of the plane ticket!

I'm flying American from Ontario CA through Dallas and then on to Lafayette very early Saturday morning. I picked out a really safe plane, but please think good thoughts for an uneventful trip. I'll be back on the 27th.

Thank you, Jane, for taking care of Daisy for me! ILY!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

My QOV Contribution

Alycia is collecting quilts for Quilts of Valor. I had this top, so sent it off to the local quilter, made the binding, and then sent it quilted but unbound to Alycia. This was one of those tops I got the borders on and backing made from stash during my stash busting frenzy earlier in the year!

And I JUST spotted a huge mistake in it. Oh, well, too late now! :(

Check out her blog, and please contact Alycia if you have any tops or quilts to donate.

And to give credit where credit is due, this is a pattern that Judy designed and provided three or four years ago to the QOV project. It was fun to make! Thank you, Judy!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Potpourri - any mixture, esp. of unrelated objects, subjects, etc.

The story of my life, especially my quilty life!

I was going to post just a picture of the Route 66 placements that I finished binding last night, when these little yellow envelopes piled on my cutting table caught my eye. I don't know. I'm addicted to buying fabric. What can I say? For those who don't know, those yellow envelopes each contain the receipt for a shipment from The Fat Quarter Shop. I wonder if those are recyclable? ROFLOL

And here's the reason I shop at The Fat Quarter Shop.

This is the first month's block for Sweet Treasures, the backing and finishing kit. Aside from the fact that this is an absolutely stunning quilt - kudos to Kimberly for putting this one together - look at the packaging! Now I know it shouldn't matter to me how my fabric purchases are packaged, but it does. I'm a bit of a snob that way. LOL. Each and every package that arrives on my doorstep is like opening a present. A few months back I took advantage of a sale at another shop that will remain nameless, and I was shocked that my fabric was literally wadded up in the box. It was awful. I had to pull everything out and refold it before it went into the stash room. So when you add awesome packaging to the fabulous customer service and just plain nice folks at The Fat Quarter Shop, it's real easy to figure out why I love shopping there! Hi, Miss Emma!

I'm getting excited about my trip to Louisiana. Just a few more days to wade through at work and I'm off bright and way too early Saturday morning.

When I get home I'm going to be sewing up a storm. I'm behind on a few BOMs, and I need to get all those loose ends tied up before Simply Sophisticated starts! I hope everyone signs up for this BOM soon, and joins in the fun we're going to have making this gorgeous quilt! Remember, Kimberly has donated a monthly gift certificate, and to be entered in the drawing you have to post a picture of your block and let us know you've done it. I'll get it all set up properly when I get back from vacation. I have a graphic for my sidebar which I'm having trouble getting on there, but it'll all be up and ready to go by the time the first block ships! This is going to be SO MUCH FUN!

Off to vacuum the carpet and mop the kitchen. Then I'll have a couple of days to get some applique prepped to take with me! Oops, I guess I'd better think about packing clothes, too!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Stash Report Week 37

I haven't done any sewing except for piddling around with some applique on Angels Among Us and Debbie's Shangri-La Garden. When I get home from Louisiana, there's going to be fabric flying out of here! I'm hanging in there with the stash reports - just for the "chuckle value" all of my friends get from reading them! LOL. Okay, go ahead and laugh! I really AM buying less this year!

I never did mail out the charity stuff from last week, so I added another 17.25 yards to the box. It's now in the car and will definitely get mailed on Monday. Also, Judy is getting another UFO top that she generously agreed to finish up and donate to the orphanage in Houma. It feels good to move these tops out of here. It's no use letting them sit and sit waiting on me to finish them when they could be getting used and loved by those kids. Thank you, Judy! You're the most generous person ever!

Year-to-Date Totals:

Busted: 406.00 yards
Purchased: 608.50 yards
Net YTD: <202.50> yards busted

Saturday, September 13, 2008

One More Week!

One more week and I'll be home! I'm so excited I can't stand to be in the same room with myself! I'm flying through Dallas and I'm assuming all will be well there weather-wise by next Saturday.

When I fly into Houston or Dallas, the approach announcement with that lovely Texas accent always makes me smile! At last I'm getting to a part of the country where they talk right! I'm positive the folks in South Louisiana will be able to understand my order at the drive-thru!!

I got up twice last night and came downstairs to turn on the news. Hurricane Ike came ashore way too close to SW Louisiana where I grew up and where Judy's parents live. I sure hope they're okay. I heard a report that the Calcasieu River was flooding, and tornado reports in Louisiana but they didn't say where. Then there was a horrible train wreck yesterday afternoon here in SoCal. It's so heartbreaking to know that at last count 17 lives were lost and there are fears of more. Like the Twin Towers and the Pentagon on 9/11/01, these people were just going about their day when tragedy struck.

My plans for the day have changed somewhat. I forgot that I have an 8:00 haircut this morning. I had planned to stay in and clean house today and do errands tomorrow. I might as well get the errands out of the way today while I'm out and about, and clean house later today. Tomorrow will be a free day!

I want to prep applique to take on my trip. I'm not sure exactly what yet, but I think pumpkins will be involved! I have to finish the bindings on those four Route 66 placemats. I had one done, and sewed the binding on the second one last night. I was fighting that binding and (okay, I'll admit it) cussing up a storm. My walking foot wasn't working correctly. The fabric wasn't pulling through and I was pushing and tugging on it. I should have stopped immediately to check it out. About three-quarters of the way around, I finally stopped. I hadn't put the walking foot on properly. I went ahead and finished it and hand stitched the binding down last night but I don't like the way it looks. (sigh) I'll probably redo that one. Two steps forward; one back.

My camera batteries won't charge. I need to get some new rechargables. These apparently are kaput. Another thing on my errand list. And a trip to Nordstrom's for new shoes. And a trip to the pet store for dog food and a new toy.

Last but not least, remember to sign up for the Simply Sophisticated Club! I have received numerous emails from Sophisticates about their participation. I think we're going to really enjoy doing this BOM together, and the monthly prize drawings are exciting!!

Monday, September 08, 2008

Simply Sophisticated Mystery BOM Club

Fall is near and it’s time to start a new project!

The Fat Quarter Shop has introduced Simply Sophisticated Mystery BOM that will start in October. If you haven’t already signed up, now is the time! Space is limited and you won’t want to miss out on this absolutely gorgeous quilt!

Simply Sophisticated has a total of 33 blocks plus setting triangles. The entire quilt will be made from the Harvest Home collection by Blackbird Designs, and includes traditional piecing and no applique.

When I first blogged about this new BOM, several folks expressed an interest in joining a Simply Sophisticated Club. The details have been worked out, and everyone is invited to join the Club! The rules are simple!

First, sign up for the Mystery BOM at The Fat Quarter Shop. The BOM will be shipped the third week of each month. To allow for mailing to different parts of the globe, your blocks for the month must be completed by the 25th of the following month. I will post a Club blog post each month a few days before that. When you have completed your monthly blocks, post a picture on your blog and leave a comment on the Club post here on my blog, or you can email me a picture if you are not a blogger. Your name will go then go into a monthly drawing. The Fat Quarter Shop has generously offered to donate a $25 gift certificate each month to the winner of the drawing! Remember, you must have a picture to show us of your completed blocks, either on your blog or by emailing a picture to me.

Please let me know if you want to join the Club! We’re going to have a ton of fun! And a HUGE thank you to Kimberly, Kevin and the adorable Miss Emma at The Fat Quarter Shop!

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Stash Report Week 36

I really thought I was good this week, but I guess not. LOL. I sewed a little, and packaged up some fabric for mailing. Total busted 21.5 yards.

Backings did me in this week. I purchased some of the Heritage line to make the kit a little larger, and the backing, and then backing for another quilt. Also a little bit of fabric on sale. Total purchased, 31.25 yards. Jeepers, that added up fast!

I've been looking through all of the patterns at The Fat Quarter Shop. I love the new pattern menu that separates them into categories! I'm looking for stash busting patterns! LOL

Year-to-Date Totals:

Busted: 388.75 yards
Purchased: 608.50 yards
Net YTD: <219.75> yards busted

And a little tease here - Simply Sophisticated Mystery BOM starts in October. Stay tuned!

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Starflower Charm Top Done

I need to clean house, and I'm going to do that right now. But, I mean, everyone knows you can't clean house when you've got some cut borders sitting on your sewing table just needing to be attached! Am I right? Yeah, I thought so.

Not a good picture. It was pinned to the back of the sofa! LOL. 2.5 yards busted on this little Starflower Charm quilt!

Thursday, September 04, 2008

I've been Sewing a Bit

Just a little, but making some progress on some applique pieces.

I was going through the Dutch Treat book on Sunday to find a block to make while listening to the hurricane news. I found a block called "Hurricane." LOL. I'll post a picture of it later.

Monday night I pulled out the Starflower Charm pattern and started working on it. Talk about easy! I'll get it finished up tomorrow night. I'm going to try quilting this one myself - yikes! No, no, I can do it!! I just noticed that are not one but two seam rippers in this shot! I laughed because I haven't used them at all on this quilt!

This weekend I plan on getting four quilts squared up and the bindings machined on them. I'll have plenty of hand stitching to do. It's so exciting to get these quilts finished up that have been languishing in a pile for so long!

Just over two weeks until I go home! I'm so homesick and lonesome for my family! The 20th won't come soon enough for me!

EDIT: Don called this morning (Friday) and said his power finally came back on last night. My nieces in Baton Rouge still are out.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Designer Mystery BOM

Block #3 of the Designer Mystery BOM. I got behind a bit on everything when I was sick, so this weekend I've been playing catch-up. Now I'm wishing I had squared up those four quilts that need binding. This would have been a good day to sit and hand stitch those down. Losing three weeks of quilty time has really put me behind.

As I've said many, many, many times, I LOVE BOMs! Kimberly has some new ones starting over at the Fat Quarter Shop. I'd suggest that you sign up now if you're interested because once it gets closer to the starting time, they will sell out.

Simply Sophisticated Mystery BOM will be starting in October. The Harvest Home fabric is gorgeous!

Sweet Treasures BOM is starting in September. Wait, that's this month!! Yipee! This one uses Portobello Market fabric. I've also used this in a kit sample for Kimberly, and it's so beautiful!

Okay, I'll admit it. I'm a BOM addict! LOL

Star BOM Block #3

Well, that was easy! Not my best sewing efforts, but that is completely "user error"! LOL. It's hard to sew and watch news reports on Gustav at the same time.

I need to go prep and make a little Dutch Treat block to commemorate Gustav. I started appliqueing those blocks on July 4, 2004, and have over 100 done. I'm using the book as a diary of sorts, writing important events and the date on the page with the block. They're really small so it shouldn't take but about an hour to do.

I just talked to Don and Gail. Gustav has made landfall and has weakened significantly. Because it's coming at them sideways across land, it will be less than Cat 2 strength by the time it gets to them. The rain bands have not been too bad so far, but their power is out and a huge pear tree broke in half. The worse should reach them in about four hours. Of course, it's not over until it's over, but it seems at this point that they will be safe. However, I'm not going to stop worrying and praying until tomorrow!