Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Little Stinker

She had herself all wrapped up in these selvages, one ear folded back, with that "Who, me?" look going on. My little helper.

She wasn't at all excited to see me on my return to CA. Jane was here at the house waiting for me when I pulled in. Penny had way too much fun at summer camp with Skippy to even care that I was home. She was watching Jane's every move. Last night she was whining and searching in every corner looking for Skippy. This morning she's my bud again! At least that's what I'm figuring since she brought in a million leaves and sticks for my approval. Will be dragging out the vacuum tonight - again!

I sure did miss the little stinker while I was away, but I knew she was having a blast. I'll bet Jane's house is really really quiet now!

Don's having back surgery Thursday. Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Louisiana Vacation 2009

I got home yesterday afternoon, and what a shock to step off the plane into 105 degrees temp! Lordy, I want to go back to Louisiana!

I told Don and Gail that I wanted to see rain, lots and lots of rain. Well, be careful what you wish for!

We were on our way to Morgan City. It's been 15 years since I've seen blowing-sideways rain. Heck, it's been 15 years since I've seen this kind of rain no matter which way it was blowing! I think it rained every day I was there, but most days it rained a bit and then cleared up into a beautiful day. This day, though, it was constant. We sure could use some of that for the SoCal fires! Well, on second thought, if we had that much rain out here, California would slide off into the Pacific. I loved it, though. The humidity only "got" me one day where I couldn't get my hair dry. So it sort of did its own curly thing.

I lived in Louisiana 40 some odd years and never went to Avery Island, so that was on my request list this trip. It's very near Don and Gail's house. Avery Island is where Tabasco is made. It's absolutely gorgeous there. We toured the factory where something like 750,000 bottles of Tabasco are produced each day. I bought a book about the history of the island, the McIlhenny family, and the making of Tabasco, but it's being shipped home to me. I'll make another blog post about this when I have my facts straight.

There were quality control ladies all around the plant checking the product at various stages of production. The place had a very powerful smell of Tabasco, but it was not unpleasant. I love factories and machinery. This was fastinating to watch.

We drove around the gardens on Avery Island. The McIlhenny family owns (I guess they still do) the entire island. The grounds are absolutely breathtaking. It's a community unto itself with its own elementary school and post office. I said I would hate to be there in a hurricane, and Don said it gets real lonely there when one of those come ashore. I didn't take but a few pictures. I want to visit when the azaleas and camellias are in bloom. I can imagine it's stunning at those times. Here are a couple of pictures.

The trees -- oh my goodness! Although I don't seem to have any in these pictures, there are oak trees that are gigantic, with limbs that curve down to the ground.

There is also a lot of wildlife out there. We saw probably a hundred alligators ...

How many can you find in this picture?

Those things blend right into the shadows. Because I know where they are in the photo, I can tell you there are 10 or 12.

The deer were gorgeous. There are two in this photo.

Of course, I had to do some shopping. This was the cutest store. I loved the building. Looked like an old-time market inside complete with old wooden floors. Wouldn't this make an adorable quilting studio? The smell of those pine trees was fabulous!

If you ever get way down to the southernmost part of Louisiana, you must put Avery Island on your to-do list!

We took a brief drive over to Jefferson Island which is very close, but only drove around a bit. We decided to save that for next year. The grounds were gorgeous. I can't wait to get back there and do some exploring.

The food! What can I say?! Every single meal was so good. We had crawfish etouffee made by my brother, our second annual crab boil ...

Didn't get any pictures after they were cooked because, well, you know, I was too busy eating!

We had the most wonderful crunchy fried catfish from a little market called Bingo's, I think. That's on my list to do next year, too.

We had fresh-made boudin from another local market.

We had the most wonderful Cuban sandwich from the Cuban Corner in Morgan City. I didn't get a picture of the place because it was raining really hard, but it's on my visit-again list for next year.

We had red beans and rice cooked by Miss Diane and Mr. Mike, who are close friends of Don and Gail. I posted a ton of pictures of their home last year. I couldn't resist snapping a couple of more! Bayou Teche runs right behind the swimming pool.

This is the biggest handgun I've ever seen. Don and Mike said they were going doxie hunting! I.don't.think.so!! It was a 50 something. Millimeters, maybe? I don't know much about guns, but even I was impressed by this one! You know the old saying about men and their toys!

A couple of my nieces after a long day of eating and visiting and eating some more. Gail is going through pictures here.

I think the best times of the trip were sitting around and talking with family and friends. The Southern way of doing that is like no place else in the world!

Thank you, Don and Gail, for making this trip such a wonderful one. I can't wait until next year! I love you!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Simply Sophisticated Block 12

The last Simply Sophisticated block! It's hard to believe the year is up!

I'm going to be out of town next week, so this drawing will be held on Sat. 10/3/09 around 6:00 Pacific time. This gives you a couple of weeks to get the last part made.

When you have finished Month 12, please leave a comment here linking back to your blog and a picture or email me a picture to be entered in the drawing. Kimberly and Kevin at The Fat Quarter Shop have been so wonderful to us this year, providing a $25 gift certificate each month to the drawing winner! This the LAST drawing!

There are still a couple of backing sets available, and they're on SALE! Grab one now while you still can!

Good luck to everyone!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Three More Days

Three more days of work, and then I head home to visit my brother. I'm not even excited yet ... that will happen when I make it to the airport.

Penny had a play date with Skippy on Sunday afternoon. I forgot my camera, darn it. They were so cute together. Penny climbed the hill with Jane's DH urging her up the first time. She was slipping and sliding but she made it. Jane and I were laughing so hard. Her back end spun out a few times, fishtailed. It was hilarious.

I need to get a post up about the Simply Sophisticated BOM -- the last one! I'll do that tomorrow. And, no, I haven't done mine yet. I know it won't get done until I get home.


EDIT: I just realized I had typed Daisy in one spot instead of Penny. I started tearing up when I saw that tonight. I miss her so much.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Stash Report Week 37

I posted the picture yesterday, so there's not much else to be said. Except the purchase total - 52.50 yards. Rouenneries, Wiscasset, Aster Manor, Mill House Inn, and Flag Day Farm.

Seems *someone* thought enough about it to email me (with a fake email address I might add) with their issues about my purchases. I mention it only in passing and to make this reply to them: Go fly a kite.

Year-to-Date Totals:

Busted: 165.25 yards
Purchased: 545.365 yards
Net YTD: <380.115> yards

Saturday, September 12, 2009

One Week in September

There once was a girl who had a little curl
Right in the middle of her forehead.
When she was good, she was very, very good .....

Well, you know the rest.

Just for you Judy! Just so you'll feel better about your purchases this week! That's what friends are for, after all!

Monday, September 07, 2009

Happy Labor Day!

I was a total slug yesterday, and didn't finish up my household chores. I sat and read all day. I haven't done that in years, and, frankly, I liked it! But today I must finish laundry and vacuum before I pick up the Kindle again.

These ducks visited this morning on the walking path right by my patio. Penny was whining and they were quacking. This went on for quite some time, before they finally waddled on. Now she's out there sniffing around for them still. We're next to a golf course, but I've never seen them by my condo before.

I've had a burst of quilting inspiration this morning, but I'm sure by the time I finish vacuuming it'll be gone again. After vacation I know I'll get back into it. I'm just tired now and homesick. Nine more working days!

Hope everyone has a safe and fun Labor Day.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Stash Report Week 36

I hung in there this week, but it's the calm before the storm. Fat Quarter Shop boxes will be landing next week. I went way overboard. Probably four or five towers. 'Nuf said about that!

Jane and I dashed over to Temecula Quilt Co. yesterday. I picked two one-yard cuts. Amazing, huh? The place was really busy. Their quilt made the cover of the Ten Top Stores for "Quilt Sampler." It's the cutest store. Good thing I don't live closer!

My report is sick. Well, I guess I'm sick because it's my report. I have a plan for next year that I need to ponder before I talk about it - ponder if I think I can do it.

Year-to-Date Totals:

Busted: 165.25 yards
Purchased: 492.875 yards
Net YTD: <327.625> yards

Penny is playing in leaves on the patio that I swept in a pile yesterday morning. I need to get out there and resweep and bag them up. I can hear her crunching through them right now. Give her a leaf and she's happy as a pig in mud! I love that little puppy. Can't believe she'll be seven months old on the 11th.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Whatta Week!

I am SO glad it's over!

This weekend is going to be spent playing with Penny, sewing, dusting, laundry - and a visit with Jane tomorrow. Mostly, I want to sleep as late as I can each day, which probably means 6:00 a.m. That's okay. At least I won't hear the alarm clock until Tuesday morning.

Vacation is in two more weeks. I'm so excited that I can hardly stand it. Just need a good fix of family. That'll probably cure all of my ails.

This week I poked buttons. I was hoping to have received a couple of things, but I guess it'll be next week now. But I have ordered Aster Manor, Wiscasset, Rouenneries, and something else but I can't remember what right now. I knew September and October would be brutal.

I tried to grab a picture of Penny tonight, but she's busy running her 100 yard dashes through the condo. Round and around and around she goes .....