Friday, January 28, 2011


I won a giveaway!!  Imagine my surprise. It has been years and years and years since I won anything. I am one of those people that if there were 3 people in a drawing,I would be the last one drawn. Always !! When we were doing craft shows and they were giving away door prizes Mother would win all kinds of things. She truely had the luck of the Irish even though she was mostly Scottish. I have entered all kinds of giveaways on the blogs.  I never come close.  I was floored to see a comment on my blog entry telling me I had won Lorena's giveaway over at Rose Chic Friends ( ).  My prize arrived Thursday and it is beautiful. The pics do not do it justice. She painted the beautiful roses on a paper doily and added rhinestone hearts.
And as pretty as the heart pocket is, it is the little fan that I adore.  I am a hot natured person living in the South, where it is hot 3/4 of the time.  I carry a little fan with me all the time.  Now I have a beautiful fan to take to church with me.  It will fit right in my small handbags that I like to carry on Sundays.  I am going to give my friend Rheba one of the tags.  She loves cottage chic as much as I do. 
I have this $1.00 bullentin board hanging over my computer. One of my favorite finds at the thrift store because it is so big and fits right in that space over my monitor. Now I am going to have to decorate my board to go with my pocket.  Trust me, that beautiful pocket will hang there way past Valentine's Day.  Thank you Lorena so very much for drawing my name.  You have boosted my flaging spirits so high during these dreary winter days.
May God Bless you and your loved ones.

Saturday, January 22, 2011


I know that lately I have been rather pessimistic and down.  I guess it is after Christmas blues.  Just to let you know that I can finish something, here are pics of a little sachet I made recently.  It was a gift to go with a purse I sold. 
Just a little simple thing that only took a little bit to make. Maybe now I can finally get in the groove.  I am working on a pillow top that I started a long time ago. I didn't like the center part ~ a ruffled lace heart outline and a lot of ribbon work. I have gotten it out and looked at it and then put it back up. Finally I just ripped the ribbon and lace out. I had done a lot of ribbon work, but I just couldn't stand to look at it. I found a vintage pic of a lady with flowers that I had printed off on fabric and I have tacked it down and now I have decided how I will decorate it.  I am not kidding when I say I have spent a lot of time looking at it. I have an ottoman in front of my recliner (that doesn't recline any more, but it is a Lazyboy and VERY comfortable to sit and sew in). Any way I put the piece on the ottoman and left it there for the last week and just looked at it when I was reading books or watching movies w/ the hubbyman. I have finally reached a decision.  Now we will see if I can execute what I have in mind.  Here is the now pictures and I will post the after picture in a couple of days
This is only the basic stitching.  I have put a few beads on it so far, but a whole lot will follow.  While I was taking that picture I decided to photograph some finished pieces, 2 of the first crazy quilt pieces I ever did.

I don't remember why I strip pieced them. I have never been able to put them up for sale. Several people have wanted to buy both of them but I just couldn't let them go.  Funny how you can bet attached to some things. Sometimes I know there is a flaw in a piece and I want sell it.  I have a handbag like that. I made a mistake with one of the straps and turned it wrong. I guess no one would ever even notice it, but I do.  When Mother and I were sewing for shows, sometimes I would hit a piece like top stitching something, I just could not get it right. After ripping it out 3 times I made it a practice to throw it away and quit working on it, because after 3 times I would never get THAT piece right.  I would waste too much time trying to fix it and could have something else finished and ready to go in that same time.  Well that is it for tonite.
God Bless each of you.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


Wednesday I joined a new group. A Yahoo group called Crazy Quilting International. A bunch of ladies get together on the internet and share their love for crazy quilting.  While I have always admired crazy quilts, and have been doing floss embroidery since I was in Vacation Bible school in when I was in the second grade age group many moons ago, I had never really tried my hand at crazy quilting until I went to work at Hancocks fabric in Jan. 1997. There was several ladies there that loved to crazy quilt and there were books that HF sold on ribbon embroidery and crazy quilting. About that same time I joined crafters choice book club.  They had lots of books on crazy quilting and silk ribbon embroidery. I was totally hooked. About that same time I also found that I needed stronger and stronger glasses and different glasses to see different things at different distances. I bought bifocals (spent $200 on them) and still couldn't see anything period. Went back to my eyedr and he said probably the best thing was to buy over the counter glasses in different strengths for different projects. That worked. I have glasses for the computer (175's) and glasses for reading and sewing (275's). They cost $6.00 a pair at Dollar General stores and I probably have a dozen pair now scattered all over the house where I work and read.  This system works perfect for me.  I simply can't adjust to bifocals. Anyhoo, back to crazy quilting.  This group does show and tells, round robins, challenges and all sorts of things. That has led me go get out my unfinished projects.
Before my mother died in 2005 I spent all of my none working time with her which meant a lot of time just sitting across the room from her since she was house bound.  She hand quilted baby and lap quilts, almost as fast as I could get them put together and basted.  She could finish a baby quilt with lots of figures to be quilted in a couple of days.  She was the fastest neat quilter I have ever seen.  I would pin and baste 6-7 quilts on an off day and she would finish them for me to bind in 10 to 15 days.  Just sit in the den and watch FoxNew network, talk to Aunt Mary on the phone and quilt and quilt and quilt. So while she was quilting I was designing quilts and doing crazy quilting. And then I would go to work at Walmart for 6 hours (7-1:30), pick up groceries and fabric on my way out of WM and go home and sew. That was her life and my life. We didn't do anything else except go to the doctor or the hospital 3 or 4 times a year. Now I THINK I can finish the CQ pieces I was working on when she died. I put them up because of the memories associated with them and MAYBE now I can finish them.  Some times it has been hard to look at them. I made mother a vest with lots of needle work on it.  It was her favorite clothing to wear. When she died I took it apart (the back and the lining) and was going to resize it so I could wear it.  She didn't want to be buried with it. She said there was too much work on it to put away in the ground.  In 5 years I have finally managed to cut out the lining and back panel to fit me. Mother had a dowager's hump and I had made it to fit so it hung right plus I am larger than Mother was.

My mother and I both loved purple.  She loved cats. I like cats. There is a difference.  Anyway she and I loved fan patterns. I haven't sewed it up yet. I may add some stitchery just to make it my own.  
The initials I did here are the prettiest I have ever done.  This is one time I can say they came out perfect.
I have to get this finished so it can be worn.  I have too many things packed away never to be seen. Mother did too. I found lots of memory pieces hidden away in boxes and trunks that she never got to enjoy.  Toward the end she complained about that and told me not to do it too. To get my stuff out where I could enjoy it.  That is another New Year's resolution for 2011. I will have all my stuff unpacked either sitting out or sell it this year.  I have over a 100 teapots I have collected and most of them are still packed up from when I moved 5 years ago. I am too old to leave them packed up. It is now or never.  Teapots or crazy quilting. It either sees the light of day or some one else will get to look after them.
God bless each of you.

Monday, January 17, 2011


The lost is found.  I want to thank Mariette, Gloria, and Tammy. You all helped to find my missing blogger.  As soon as I hit her site I knew I was on the right one.  I also saved pics of the beautiful lace wreath she had on there.  I can't wait to show it to a friend that doesn't blog, or cruise the internet.  She is a cottage chic fanatic.  I will have to make some new pics of her house for all of you to see. She is an inspiration to me, especially since she lives in a double wide mobile home like I do.  They are hard to 'go cottage' than a regular house, especially when trying to hang pics and shelves. But I am getting side tracked here.  Thank you all so much for taking the time to find her and to leave a comment on my blog.  I put a link to her blog in a button on the right 'Olivia's Romantic Home'. Check her out, she has some great crafts and recipes on her blog.
Thank all of you again.  It never ceases to amaze me how friendly and helpful all of you are, and that you take time out of your busy lives to read (and comment) on my blog. I feel closer to you all than I do some of my family.
  May God shed His Blessings on each of you.
PS: Today the sun shines, you can walk around in shirt sleeves and NOT slip and slide on ICE.  Thank you Lord.

Sunday, January 16, 2011


I have a problem. A week ago I found a recipe for Italian Chicken on a blog, copied it off, left a comment on the blog saying I was going to try the recipe and now I can't find or remember which blog it was. All I know is when I saved the recipe in microsoft Word I named it Olivia's Italian Chicken.  I want to find the lady and tell her how GOOD the recipe is.  Good enough that my husband that doen't really like pasta dishes has declared we will have the dish atleast once a month. Believe me, for him that is a 5 star recommendation. He loved it and since I have never met a pasta I didn't like but have been dieing without pasta dishes since we got married (because he doesn't care for pasta) I would love to hug her.  The dish was fantastic. It was easy to fix. It was rich. It reheated well (we both had it again the second day and I had the last of it the third day). Shoot just him allowing for leftovers was something.  He doesn't like leftovers.  I have talked to the wives of 2 other special forces men and they said their husbands didn't like leftovers either. I wonder if it is a special forces thing or something. I am getting off the track here.  I found the recipe and put it in word on Jan. 10 just a week ago.  I don't think the recipe was blogged that day.  I think the lady had a lot of recipes on her blog, but I may be wrong.  I don't know, other than the background of the blog was white (I think) and the type was black, and she had a picture of the dish in a glass (I think) 13x9 bowl. I am going to post her recipe because of comments she had at the end that someone might recognize. 

Italian Chicken

6-9 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts

1 Env. dry Italian salad dressing mix

1/2 stick butter

1 8oz cream cheese

1/3 c white wine (or Port)

4 sliced mushrooms

1 can cream chicken soup

1 t. chopped chives optional

1 t. fresh garlic optional

Melt butter in skillet. Sprinkle salad dressing mix over butter, saute chicken in butter until brown. Place chicken in a 9x13 pan. Add to the skillet drippings soup and cream cheese. Blend thorough. Add the mushrooms, wine and chives. Heat until bubbly and pour over chicken. Bake at 350 degrees for about an hour. Serve over rice or cooked noodle (I choose noodles, but rice would be good too!)

Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve on your prettiest rose dishes!

~Cottage Hugs~Anyhoo, the end result tasted good! I love to taste until the point of being full by dinner

She was right about the noodles, even my hubby thought noodles instead of rice.
If anyone can tell me which blog it is and the lady's name I would really appeciate it.  I want to thank her from both of us for a dish we REALLY did like.
I did learn one lesson though.  Always copy and paste the web address with anything you save.  I have spent the weekend wading through blogs trying to find Olivia.  I have atleast a dozen folders with blogs listed in them, 'Blogs I Follow', 'My followers Blogs', 'Etsy Cottage Style', etc etc. I guess I try to keep up with too many, but they are all so interesting. I like the people and I like to read about them and their worlds and thoughts, and families and crafts, and collections etc etc.  I love it.
Olivia if you read this please comment.  I want to talk to you.
God Bless all of you.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Since the sun is shining outside for the first time in nearly a week I decided to use yellow tones for my type today.   The sun is shining even though up the road about 30 miles they had fresh snow today.  The temp won't even get above 32F (right now at the NWS office at the Shelby County airport 4 miles from my home it is 29F). Since it is almost 3pm I don't think it will make it to 32F. I am tired of worrying about the weather, I am ready to do some thing else.
I have been reading a lot lately.  Christine Feehan had a new book come out right after Christmas and of course I was first in line for it.  That lady has not written anything I didn't enjoy. I have never liked vampire stuff (still don't) but she has a series of books about vampire hunters (her 'Dark" series) that I have just loved. The lady creates characters that seem real and you would want to meet and get to know.  Her books follow the lives of the characters and overlap into the next book (although each book will and does stand alone) so you don't have that feeling of wondering what happened AFTER the end of the book.  I really like that style of writing. It's kind of like finding out if Scarlett really did get Rhett back in 'Gone with the Wind' and not having to wait 50 years to see. Anyway, 'Ruthless Game' (the latest in the Ghostwalker series) was top notch mile a second action that I read almost in one sitting. I fell asleep about 30 pages from the end. Needless to say I finished it the next morning before I even made the coffee.  If you like high adventure, romantic hunks, and leading ladies that DON'T faint until kissed by the hero, then I recommend Christine Feehan's books. You can start with any series she writes and enjoy them all.
I guess you can tell I am suffering from cabin fever when I start giving book reviews and advising about authors, but it has been that kind of a week.  I have also been doing some crazy quilting too.  And cooking.
So from here the frozen Southland (the low tonight is supposed to be around 10F) ~ God please Bless us and please keep the heat going.

Monday, January 10, 2011


Well, the storm came just like they said it would.  At 2:34pm Sunday I saw my first snow flakes. Unfortunately, that was just about all the snow I got to see.  Within 10 minutes it started sleeting pellets the size of BB's and a couple of hours later freezing rain.  And that is all we have had.  I had rather have snow, atleast it is pretty.  So far no power outages for us. I have only heard 2 rescue units go by. We live about a 1000 feet from a major highway with mostly pasture and forest between us and the road. It means we can hear everything that goes up and down the road, according to ALDOT about 8,000 to 9,000 cars and trucks and rescue units a day.  That's pretty good for 1/8 to 1/4 inch of ice out there.  The temp is sitting right around freezing right now with no sunshine in sight before Tues or Wed.  So I guess the ice will stay for a while.  As long as we keep the power I will be happy.  If we don't, I will endure.  Hope you all have a happy day and God bless all of us.

From iceland, Alabama

Sunday, January 9, 2011


Well after days of waiting and preparing the time has come. As far as the forecast goes, my little plot in the world is sitting on the line between heavy snow (1-8 inches) and 1/4 to 1/2 inches of ice.  Personally I will take snow. I have NO plans on leaving the house from after lunch today until Tuesday and possibly Wednesday. All I pray for is the power to stay on.  If we keep power we will survive like fat pampered cats.  I really and truely feel for all the police, fire, EMT's, and hospital and ambulance folks that HAVE to be out in this stuff. Been there, got the shirt, the pins, the hat and the hurting joints.  I worked in a hospital ER (only as a clerk/aid) thru some of our worst snow and ice events. Been hauled into work (when it was my off days) in an ambulance and police car (my only trips in either one in my life) because they needed more help.  I told them then if they wanted me they had to come get me. Darn if the didn't send a police car to ferry me part of the way and an ambulance carried me the rest.LOL  I didn't mind going into work but I WAS NOT driving my car on snow and ICE. We had about 6 inches of snow with ICE above and below the snow.  My Mama and Daddy didn't raise no fool and my insurance man would have killed me. I ended up staying at the hospital that time 4 days before I got to come home.  It was unbelievable how many people managed to show up in the ER when if you didn't have chains you really could not get around the hills here. Another time when I was working in ICU one of the RN's and I started home at 11:30 PM and it was barely spitting snow and the weather men said that was all it should do, so they let us go home. Martha and I still laugh about that trip.  I only had 6 miles to go and she had 4 more past my place. We got about 4 miles from the hospital and it was snowing so hard the windsheild wipers couldn't keep up. I was the passenger so rolled my window down and stuck my head out to see if I could see the side of the road. We made it to my place, she dropped me off at the mailbox (we had a long driveway ~ this was out in the country) and she decided to keep going. I wanted her to stay, but she went on.  She did make it home.  That was in APRIL of 1980 or 1981. We got about 4 inches of snow that night and the next day my Father and I went out in the horse pasture and took a picture of me standing with snow way up above my knees and holding a sign saying "APRIL IN ALABAMA". He sent it to his WWII B-17 co-pilot that was born and raised and lived near Detroit, Michigan. He always teased Daddy about the sunny hot south and how Daddy had never seen a REAL winter. I wish I had a copy of that picture.  It looked like I was standing in nearly 30 inches of snow because the winter grass was already so high and the snow was laying on top of the grass.  It was the latest snow central Alabama had ever had.
Well, according to the weather service (NWS-BHM) the low has formed in the Gulf off Texas just like they said it would. It is already moving into Mississippi. The cold air is in place (it went down in the low 20's last nite) and now we wait and see. As long as we have power I will keep you posted here and on facebook (look for Mary Albrethsen) with updates and pics.
May God have mercy on us.

Friday, January 7, 2011


Well, the weathermen (and women) are using those 4 letter cuss words that start with 's' and end with 'w' and have had the nerve to add a new one with 3 letters that starts with 'i' and ends with 'e'.  If there is ever a single word that can strike fear in a southerner's heart it is 'ice'.  Ice in the south means people getting hurt, power outages, falling tree limbs on cars and houses (and sometimes even people). I can deal with snow. At my age I just stay inside and look out the windows and take pictures from the front door and the back sliding door.  I don't go out.  Ah, but 'ice' ain't no fun in the South. People keep on thinking they can treat it like rain and get out on it in cars and trucks. Just 'cuz you think you can go ANYWHERE in a 4 wheel drive DOES NOT MEAN YOU CAN ON ICE ! ! ! Now our power lines are underground in our little community, the main power lines out on the highway are on wooden poles that break when that 4W SUV hits them.  And there goes the power. This is the first major storm since I switched from a propane stove to all electric.  I wish I still had my propane.  If you can keep hot food going even if you don't have heat, and you will survive.  I just could not afford all the set up costs for propane when I moved the doublewide. It also means my gas fireplace does not do anything but look pretty any more.  So I will make sure all the jogging sweats are clean, and the heavy socks.  I have plenty of battery lanterns, candles to heat the fondu pots of soup and pre-made coffee that I will set on my useless electric stove. Battery radios will keep us connected to the outside world.  
I had to stop writting and go with Don to the store (Walmart) and do my best to keep him from buying  Coleman stove (I explained we didn't have a covered deck to cook on, therefore, the deck would be covered with ICE and we couldn't go out to cook, hence no need for cook stove). We have a gas grill sitting  out there already that we won't be able to get to for cooking because of UNCOVERED deck. LOL This is his first experience with ice in Alabama. Where he is from snow and ice are common everyday occurance and he just doesn't see why I get stessed out over it. That is why I have bread, peanut butter, Pringles, KFC chicken, Vienna sausages, cookies, deli turkey breast, etc.etc. and will make a couple of pots of coffee that we will only have to heat.
 This AM when I started typing this blog they were predicting 4-6 inches of snow/ice. Now at 6PM they are saying 6-10 inches of snow/ice and maybe more ice than snow. Experience says that they will either be VERY right or it won't do anything.  We had that once. They kept saying we were going to get inches of snow and NOTHING happened here but further south (Montgomery and south) they got 8 inches of snow.  In Alabama you NEVER put money on the weather forecast. 
Now to all you sweet folks that prayed for my Aunt Mary, I have an update.  I finally was able to go see her Thursday. I had talked to her every day but this was the first time to see her.  She has a fantastic shiner and a few stitches where she lost the fight with the door handle to the pantry when she fell. She getting up and walking in physical therapy (aided, NOT alone yet). I took a pic of her so you all can see her. She will kill me if she ever finds out I posted it on the internet, she didn't have her teeth in or any makeup on.  She had just gotten her hair fixed and her nails look great, so she was partially happy. 

 I think considering surgery and stitches and her age, she looks great. She is ready to go and doesn't slow down talking. She seemed in good spirits. So far so good.  She likes to be around people and has never met a stranger so in that respect she seems happy.  I hope so.  She said the pain pills have made her sleep good and she was happy with that.  I printed off your comments and took them to her and read them.  She was thrilled that folks from New England and other parts of the states and one lady from Singapore took the time to pray for her and write a note to someone they had never met.  It made her day. I thank each and everyone of you for your time and prayers. They mean a lot to her and to me.
I will keep you posted on her journey and the weather.
  I did not realize until I got home that I never took a picture of the vest that I made her for Christmas.  I hope Sheryl will take a pic with her phone so you can see it.  It came rather nice even if I did the work and design on it.  If Sheryl takes a pic I will post here.
May God shed His Blessing and Peace on each of you.