Monday, June 23, 2008

Finally done!

This is what I have been busy doing. I've been finishing my Louisiana BOM. I pieced all the pieced blocks together first then I fused all the applique blocks. I kind of fizzled out after that and I wanted to put them away but my friend encouraged me to continue and challenged me to finish the machine applique in a week. I took the challenge but had my doubts. I had a lot of other things to do this week including planning a birthday party and make cakes for my honey and my son. I grabbed every spare moment I could and I finished these up today (one day late). I'm so glad to be done. I'm listing all of them here even though I listed the first three months before in other posts. I wanted a record of all of them together. It is also easier to view them all.

The designer of this BOM had little paragraphs written about each of the blocks and what the names meant. I will scan these and they will all go on my label. To me that is the best part. You get a little history with the blocks and it is all about my home state.

This is the January block. The pieced block is called Shrimps on Point and the appliqué block is called Mardi Gras Krewes.

This is the February block. The pieced block is called Peach Festival (the color in the center is peach even if it looks orange in the photo) and the appliqué block is called Gaston Gator.

This is the March block. The pieced block is called Catahoula Leopard Dog and the appliqué block is called Crawfish Gumbo.

This is the April block. The pieced block is called Mardi Gras (the colors are green, gold and purple, the colors in photo are deceiving) and the appliqué block is called Go Ragin Cajuns.

This block is the May block. The pieced block is called Cajun Spice and the appliqué block is called Hot and Spicy.

This is the June block. The pieced block is called Sweet Potato Pie (the color is a bright orange not red) and the applique block is called Bayou State.

This is the July block. The pieced block is called King Cake and the applique block is called Pierre Pelican.

This block is the August block. The pieced block is called Cajun Two Step and the appliqué block is called Cotton Boll.

This is the September block. The pieced block is called Sun Flower Trail and the appliqué block is called Dixie Land Jazz.

This block is the October block the pieced block is called Blueberry and the appliqué block is called Sportsman's Paradise.

This is the November block. The piece block is called Fried Green Tomatoes and the appliqué block is called French Quarter.

This is the December block. The pieced block is called Strawberry Jam and the appliqué block is Magnolia Blossom.

That's all of them! I'm so glad to be finished these blocks. I will put these away and set them together at another time.

Friday, June 20, 2008


I LOVE YOU HONEY! I hope you will have a great day today!
My honey is 46 years old today and...

it is also my son's birthday today too! It was quite a surprise when 24 years ago he was born 2 months premature! He was due on Sept. 5, which was near my birthday and he surprised us by being born early on my honey's birthday. My water bag started to leak and they could not stop the contractions when they started. So we had a newborn preemie. He was only 3 lbs and had a little breathing problem but otherwise he just needed to gain some weight so he could come home. He spent a month in the hospital. It was hard to leave him there and go home but we went to visit everyday. He is a reminder to me how good God is.

I LOVE YOU JOSH! Hope you will have a great day.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Pattie over at Attitude Changes Everything has issued a challenge to type up a post on how attitude makes a difference in living a healthy lifestyle. Here is my two cents:

I have a hard time with keeping a good attitude in everything I do. It is a struggle. I don't know when or how it happened but I had become a pessimist with negative attitudes. This has affected my life in every aspect, my relationships with my husband and children, parents and sisters. In my relationship with my husband it has caused some strained situations, to say the least. My husband is very patient and understanding but it was hard on him. My children have grown up learning a lot of my bad habits caused from my negative attitude. I see how it affects their life and how they now struggle. I'm sorry for that.
This lifestyle has also caused many of my habits to be unhealthy, not just physically but mentally, emotionally and spiritual. A few years ago, I decided that it was time to change. I was not sure this could be accomplished but I wanted to try. I was unhappy and sometimes miserable.
My Mom was very sick with lung cancer, four years ago, during this beginning time of change and many things I had to deal with during her illness were a blessing in disguise. I literally became the parent and she the child. Just this alone, can change your attitude. I was faced with having to do things I had never done before. Driving her to some of her doctor visits was difficult. You have to understand that I usually drove only in our neighborhood or on certain streets that I felt comfortable. I would worry about going to a place I had never been before or driving on a street and getting lost. This worry was due to my negative thoughts, I always worried about everything. Not driving many places was not usually a problem because I knew my husband or my mother would always take me where I didn't drive, but now my mother was sick and could not. My husband worked and it was too much to ask for him to take off of work to do this for me. So, I had to learn and do it. My attitude began to change and I realized this was something I could do. It is still a work in progress. I have to tell myself not to worry and get it done if I have to drive somewhere I have never been.
Speaking up for myself or my mother was another thing I had to learn. I usually kept to myself. Didn't speak to people I didn't know unless spoken to and even then, kept it short. I didn't know how to carry on a conversation. In my opinion I figured that no one else was interested in my business because I was not usually interested in theirs. Bad attitude, I know. This had to change. My mother was seeing doctor after doctor with new medicines and I was hearing medical terms I had never heard of before. I had to find out about these things for her sake. I had to talk. Sometimes stand up for her if I thought there was something bad for her or making her feel bad. That was so hard for me. That is just a couple of things that changed during that very hard time in my life.
I had also discovered quilting a few years before my Mom got sick. If I wanted to do quilting things like meetings and classes I had to get out of the house and drive there. Talk to strangers (who soon became friends). After Mom passed away I threw myself even more into quilting. I realized also at this time that life is short and I was wasting mine away. I needed to live life to the fullest, to enjoy it more. This all came about and started to change my attitude.
I now try to think positive. I try to enjoy every minute of everyday. I said I try because I don't always accomplish this, it is not easy. My old self wants to slip back in occasionally but I feel I have come a long way. My new friends have a hard time believing me when I tell them how I used to be even just five years ago because they say I'm not like that person I describe. They say I talk, am helpful, and have patience (this one I find funny). I'm not sure about all that but I am trying to get better at being all those things. I have discovered that I like to teach and I'm now teaching quilting to others. That is a big step for me.
I'm reading my bible on a daily basis now and have seen a positive change in my spiritual life as well. I have begun eating healthy and trying to lose weight (even though I have a long way to go). I eat better now than I ever did before. I feel better. I hope that the way I live now can be an example to my children of how attitude can make a difference and a person can change to be more positive and happy.

I'm not sure I met Pattie's challenge and it is probably way more than any of you wanted to know about me but it is me from my heart and how I feel about my attitude.

If you enjoyed reading about my attitude changes then go one over to Pattie's site and read about how you can join in this challenge.

Friday, June 6, 2008

So Sweet Beets!

This is what I was up to this morning. Pickling Beets! My Dad gave these to me yesterday straight from his garden. He has had a garden for as long as I can remember. I remember working in it every Saturday. Forget watching American Bandstand on Saturday's. The only time I got to watch it was when it rained. But that's another story for another day.

Anyway, I thought I would share with you the process. The picture below is cleaned beets ready to boil until tender. Cover with water and boil (do not peel first, the red color will leak out into the water and your beets will be a light pink color. They still taste the same but they are not as pretty). After they are fork tender the skins slip right off. I love this part. It is fun to hold one of the beets and slip the skins right off. Very textural. I know, I'm goofy!

Next you get the jars sterilized and ready with the lids and rings. I usually put them in my dishwasher and run them through a cycle but this morning I put them in the canning pot with water and boiled them.

After I slipped the skins off then I slice them into the jars. Isn't that color just delicious? I got seven pint jars full.

Now it is time to fix the pickling juices. Remember this is pickling, which you can do in a water bath, if we were just canning them, without vinegar, then they would have to be finished in a steam pressure canner. In a small pot on the stove I have the lids soaking in hot water (not boiling) they will be ready when I am.
For four pints (I doubled it today because I had 7 pts.) you put:
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups sugar
2 cups vinegar
1/2 cup water
Bring to a boil in a medium saucepot and boil for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and fill jars. Remove air bubbles by sliding a knife (plastic is better than metal) inside the jar along the sides. Add more juice up to about 1/2 inch from the top of the jar and make sure all the beets are covered.

Wipe the top of the jars clean. Place lids and rings on top and hand tighten. Place in canning pot that is filled with hot water. Make sure the jars are covered by about 1-1/2 inches of water. Bring to a boil. This takes a while on my electric stove. After it comes to a boil, lower the heat to simmer and cook for 30 minutes.

Remove from water bath and place on towel to cool. Make sure there is no drafts in room (like a ceiling fan right above the jars that is on, speaking from experience here). The jars can cool too quickly and break.
Aren't they lovely. I really love looking at them when they are finished. Anything I can from the garden, I love the look of them. I told you I was goofy. I put them in my canning cabinet when they are cooled off. I will take a picture of this later when I have time. It was built by my husband. I told him I wanted it built like a pie safe. It has screen on the doors in the front.

Isn't that color spectacular! (Did I say that already?) Anyway, just beautiful. And yummy too!

Hope you enjoyed my journey through Pickled Beets. Come on over and I'll share!

Monday, June 2, 2008

This morning I started with the first class of my beginner quilt class. This is the third go around. The three ladies in this class are all friends that I have known for a few years. It went pretty good. They learned cutting and 1/4 inch seams. One of the ladies has a 1/4 inch foot on her sewing machine that came with her machine. It was not working correctly. The little metal guide on the right side would bend out whenever she put the foot down to sew. It was frustrating for her. I marked her machine with blue painters tape (about 4 layers) to make a guide for her to follow but I suggested she let the dealer know about the problem with the foot. I wish they made one 1/4 inch foot that fit every machine. It would sure make it easier.

We had a busy weekend. It passed so fast. We were invited to eat at my BIL's house on Saturday night and went to the movies with them on Sunday night. It was a lot of fun. The men went to see "Ironman" and the women went to see "What happens in Vegas". It sure was a funny movie.

I think it is time I got off this computer and got to some sewing. See ya!