Wednesday, September 29, 2010

My last EP post

Since it is the end of Emergency Preparedness month (September), this will be my last EP post.  I hope no one ever needs to use any of these tips, but if you do, I hope they were helpful.

In the case of a hurricane, there is a defined season and we also have several days of advanced warning to be able to plan ahead.  At the beginning of the season, I always make sure I have some extra supplies on hand.  These items become hard to find just before hurricane landfall and are sometimes impossible to find after.
  1. Bottled water (I use 5 gallon bottles with a hand pump and individual bottles.)
  2. Disposable plates, cups and utensils - if clean water is a problem, you will not be able to wash dishes, if you are busy making repairs, you won't have time.
  3. Bleach, paper towels and other cleaning supplies - you do not need a closet full, just make sure you have a full spare bottle -- these items fly off the shelves after the storm has passed
  4. Garbage bags - if you can find contractor's bags keep small box handy, these are great for heavy items, like throwing out the entire contents of your refrigerator and freezer, construction trash, wet clothes, wet books, etc. 
  5. Rubber boots - you really don't want to walk in that water!
  6. Large wash tubs or plastic boxes - makes a great outdoor washing station for salvaged items - use one for a bleach mixture and the other for clean water rinsing (if your items are especially dirty, you may want to incorporate a third tub (clean /disinfect /rinse)
Be careful - More injuries are caused during the clean-up than during a hurricane.  (You would be shocked at the number of chain saw injuries following Katrina).  All those commercials about power line safety - they mean it.  Downed power lines can become live once the power company starts restoring service, that goes for power lines that make contact with the trees in your yard.

And finally - Watch out for "widow makers" - large branches that have been weakened or are dangling after the storm.  A dead branch can hold an amazing amount of water and when it finally gives way - - lets just say I have a pot hole in my driveway.  BTW, your insurance company will NOT pay to have these removed, however they will be happy to pay to remove it from your guest bedroom (in addition to the related repairs) after it falls on your house.

We have been very blessed this hurricane season, I hope Nicole is the final storm of the season.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Another Finish!

I have another finish!!

"Sampling Thanksgiving"
Lizzie Kate (Quick-Its)
over 2 threads on Light Mocha Cashel linen
using recommended DMC threads
with supplied acorn charm
 I am planning on stitching this one again (but probably next year) using the recommended WDW threads.  I do like the design and the colors, but I think the varigated colors of the WDW threads will give it more "pop".  Amazing how flat the DMC begins to look when you have been stitching with hand dyeds (mostly WDW, CC, GAST) for the last year.

DS picked a design for his room and in keeping with his new color scheme, I changed all the colors.  I have to stitch it on the sly so it will be a surprise, so no pictures here until it is done.  He might not read my blog, but he does pay attention to the pictures when he sees me posting.

I have a couple of designs that recommend R&R Reproductions fabrics.  I have never used them and my local LNSs do not carry them.  Since it will represent a significant investment, does anyone have any opinions to share on R&R Reproductions or can suggest another fabric that would be close to 18th Century Brown??

Hoffman Distributing publishes a list of new charts every Friday.  Here are a few newbies that caught my eye.

Need a new ornament or want to stitch a meaningful Christmas gift . . .

"Holiest of Nights"
Homespun Elegance
For you fellow Austen-ites, here is a new Austen inspired design . . . 
"Jane Bennet Wedding Sampler"
Kit & Bixby

How a about a "too cute" Halloween design . . .

"French Country Scaredy Cats"
JBW Designs


So, what do you think?

Monday, September 27, 2010

Talking Turkey

Our cool front is finally here!!! Our high temps are in the upper 80s (that is fall in the Deep South).

Fall is my favorite time of year!  I have already roasted a turkey breast with baked sweet potatoes.  I am also gathering up my fall baking recipes (it is too hot to bake here during the summer) - pumpkin cookies, ginger cakes, etc.  In anticipation, I also started stitching on a new design . . .

Sampling Thanksgiving
Lizzie Kate (Quick-It)
stiched over 2 threads on 28 count Cashel linen in Light Mocha
using 2 strands of the recommended DMC threads
It is a fun quick stitch.  I think I might do it again with the recommended WDW threads to see the difference.

This gives me 3 Fall smalls with which to decorate.

I am also starting a new stitching related project that I will share later this week.

Hoping you are enjoying a cool, cinnamon scented breeze of fall.

A Grumbling Weekend Weakness

A Grumbling Weekend Weakness

Monday, September 20, 2010

DVD: Pie in the Sky - Series 3

I love this series!

Richard Griffiths plays Detective Inspector Henry Crabbe.  After 25 years on the force he is finally ready to retire and open his dream restaurant.  However, life seldom goes as planned.  Crabbe's superior, Assistant Chief Constable Fisher, is a self-serving, by-the-book and ambitious man who knows that Crabbe is too good to lose.  Can Crabbe, with the help of his junk-food junkie, accountant wife and restaurant staff balance the needs of the restaurant and crime solving? 

DVD: The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes Series 1 and 2

Sherlock Holmes is the most famous of the Victorian era literary detectives.  This series highlights some of the other popular literary detectives of the time.  An enjoyable series.

Sweating, Sneezing, Stitching and Surfing

Well, it was another hot weekend and there is a little respiratory bug here on the bayou.  I am looking forward to temperatures dipping into the 80s later this week possibly paired with some much needed rain.

I put a few stitches in "Merry Skater", but not enough to post a new photograph.  I did a little browsing on the net and found a little Autumn freebie (with 7 pumpkins!) which I look forward to starting later this week with Lizzie Kate's Sampling Thanksgiving.

I have been checking some of my favorite blogs using Google Reader.   I like using GR because I can view more posts in less time, but I find that I leave fewer comments.  Is it the same for you?

As promised, here is the design information for my mystery stitch . . .
"Woodland Snowfall" by Little House Needleworks from JCS 2004 Special Christmas Issue

I will put a few more stitches in my Fleur de Lis during tonight's Saints vs. 49ers game.  I should be a good game, funny how a Super Bowl win (and mothering a budding sports fan) can cause you to develop a greater interest in football.


Tip #7: Another watertight storage solution - 5 gallon paint buckets with lids.  They are inexpensive, easy to store and when filled they are easy to carry and small enough to put on a top shelf, in the attic or in the car.

Tip #6: Keep an ax in the attic..
Tip #5: Fill up your bathtub(s) with water.
Tip #4: Planning ahead for evacuation with children and pets.
Tip #3: Have a plan
Tip #2: Update your address book.
Tip #1: Use your dishwasher for watertight storage.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

A Little Funny

Found these on another blog today and thought I would share a laugh with you . . .

  • Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.
  • We never really grow up, we only learn how to act in public.
  • The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list.
  • Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.
  • If I agreed with you, we'd both be wrong.
  • I thought I wanted a career, turns out I just wanted pay checks.
  • Whenever I fill out an application, in the part that says "If an emergency, notify:" I put "DOCTOR". What's my mother going to do?
  • I didn't say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.
  • You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute if you plan to skydive more than once.
  • I discovered I scream the same way whether I'm about to be devoured by a great white shark or if a piece of seaweed touches my foot.
  • There's a fine line between cuddling and holding someone down so they can't get away.
  • When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water.
  • To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target.
  • I always take life with a grain of salt, a slice of lemon...and a shot of tequila.



Tip #5: Fill up your bathtub(s) with water.
  • During an emergency, water may become contaminated or scarce. By filling your bathtubs with water, you will have water for sanitary purposes (cleaning, toilet flushing, etc.) and in case of a dire emergency you can boil this water for consumption. If you have a tub that does not have a good seal, you can use a little bead of caulk (do not caulk the plug into the drain). When things return to normal, you can scrap off the caulk.
Tip #6: Keep an ax in the attic.
  • In case flooding causes you to flee to your attic, you may need a way out through the roof or you may need a ventilation hole.
Tip #4: Planning ahead for evacuation with children and pets.
Tip #3: Have a plan
Tip #2: Update your address book.
Tip #1: Use your dishwasher for watertight storage.

Friday, September 17, 2010

My needle has been busy . . . (& EP Tip #4)

I am still stitching on "At Home with Jane Austen" and am still "rebuilding" Hartfield. 

"At Home with Jane Austen"
The Sampler Girl
stitched over 2 on French Country linen in Latte 
using 2 strands of the recommended Crescent Colours threads

I am also still working on the Little House Needleworks 2010 Ornament series.  Diane will be doing another series for 2011, can't wait to see the new designs as they are revealed each month.

"Merry Skater"
from the 2010 ornament series
Little House Needleworks
stitched over 2 on 28 count Lugana in Summer Khaki
using recommended threads

I love Fall, but with temperatures still in the 90s it does not feel like Fall is remotely close.  Happily, we did get a little tease for two days this week with overnight lows in the upper 60s and low 70s and highs in the upper 80s and low 90s (yup, we consider that cooler).  The cooler temps inspired me to do a little fall stitching (that and I have no Fall themed finishes), so I found this cute design in my freebie binder.  I think I will finish it as a pillow, maybe with a hanger for a cabinet or door knob.

"Fall Leaves"
Designs by Kathy (a freebie from Wichelt Imports, Inc.)
Stitched over 2 on Wilchet 28 count linen in Lambswool
using Gentle Arts Simply Shaker floss in Autumn Leaves (thanks again Sue - LOVE this color!)

I was looking for another little Fall piece and found a winter design that would adapt easily to a season change.  This is my first time making color changes to a design and I am really happy with it.  You will notice that I left the design name and designer a MYSTERY.  I thought I would be fun to see if anyone can identify the design and designer, post your guesses in the comments.  I will update the post with the design information on Monday.

"Woodland Snofall"
 Little House Needleworks

from JCS 2004 Special Christmas Issue
Stitched over 2 on Wilchet 28 count linen in Lambswool
using recommended threads
with the following changes
Border - Gentle Arts Simply Shaker-Autumn Leaves
Leaves - Weeks Dye Works - Autumn Leaves
Moon - DMC 676

I love the color of both of the Autumn Leaves threads.  WDW is brighter and would also be perfect for a pumpkin (I love pumpkins and cannot believe I have no pumpkin charts!), while the GASS is rich with golds and browns -- these are the perfect threads for Fall stitching.

I am also stitching on my fleur de lis during Saints' games, but I do not have a photo to share.
I also acquired some new stash this week . . .
Little House Needleworks'
"Family Sampler", "Peppermint Twist" and "Under the Tree"

Lizzie Kate's "Sampling Thanksgiving"

Weeks Dye Works
Scuppernong, Honeysuckle, Begonia, Americana, Hunter, Emerald, Holly and Garden Trellis
Crescent Coulours
House Wine, Antique Lace and  Pea Pod

I gave my blog a Fall makeover, hope you like it.  I also updated my STASH and WISH pages to include links to pictures of each design on the list.
Did you know September is Emergency Preparedness Month? 
Guess my tips are timely.
Emergency Preparedness Tip #4: 
Planning ahead for evacuation with children and pets.

Tip #3:  Have a plan
Tip #2:  Update your address book.
Tip #1:  Use your dishwasher for watertight storage.


  • When staying at a hotel with children during an evacuation, you may not be able to use the pool, in the case of a hurricane, the winds and rain will arrive not long after you do. Power outages can follow, plan ahead and bring their favorite books (or that classic from your childhood you always planned to share), family board games or a new puzzle.

  • Give each child a bag (backpacks work great) to pack up their "evacuation" items (favorite toys, treasured mementos, etc.) to take with them.

  • Pack a flashlight or two in case of a power outage (also useful for making shadow puppets). 

  • Pack their favorite snacks.  Stores in your evacuation destination may run short on supplies like bread, milk, sandwich meats, ice etc as everyone stocks up.  Bring some supplies with you, apples, grapes and carrot sticks can stay chilled in a cooler with some ham or turkey.  PB&J is quick and easy (splurge on the squeeze bottle of jelly).  Even, your hotel may run short of food (especially free continental breakfasts - ours did).  When loading your vehicle, pack the food where it can be reached while driving in case your drive takes longer than expected. 

  • There is nothing you can do about what might be going on back home, so just be with your family without homework, practices, laundry, etc.  Having a plan (and knowing the plan of your extended family and friends) makes for less stress (we had family "missing" during Katrina).

  •  To inject a little fun and reduce stress, we invoke "hurricane rules".  I make sure I say "hurricane rules" when suggesting or implementing a new "rule" so DS knows this is not only unusual, but temporary.

    • DS can have Fruit Loops  or another item(s) not on our usual grocery list

    • we might start a meal with dessert

    • we might let DS sleep in his clothes or let him watch a movie past his usuall bedtime

    • make up a new "family game" - we played an alliteration game - sentences could only use words starting with the same letter - (Does Daddy's diminutive dear desire dessert?)

    • Use whatever works for your family, the evacuation has already turned your kid's world topsy-turvy, might as well have fun with it.  Do keep try to maintain most of your usual household rules and rituals, the stability (predictability) helps keep the kids stress level in check.

  •  You will be tempted to watch the 24-hour coverage on cable channels -- DON'T.  I am not suggesting you do not check periodically, just don't stay glued to the television.  I can tell you from first-hand experience, half of what is reported is just plain wrong.  You would think the out-of-town cable news channels would snag a couple of locals to confirm details about the locale, but they don't.  They hear a piece of "news" and it goes directly to broadcast (accurate or not) or they just keep re-playing the same footage and information over and over.

  • Talk to your kids about what is happening.  Be age appropriate, let their questions be your guide to how much they want (need) to know.

  • If your child has a school uniform, pack a uniform (or two) in your luggage (if you have the room bring along their textbooks and notebooks, too)

  • Keep a phone list of pet­friendly hotels/motels and animal shelters or kennels that are along your evacuation routes. Sometimes, non-pet hotels will make an exception during an emergency. If you pet is clean, well-behaved and has a kennel, it is easier to convince a reluctant manager to let them stay. Don't forget to show your appreciation by not letting your pet's poop populate park-like places (sorry could not resist a little alliteration) or mark its territory in the hotel (we stayed in a room where cats had obviously "marked"- ughhhhh).

  • Pack their regular food, favorite toys, etc. the change in location can be stressful for them (and they can usually pick up on your stress, too.)  If you have to evac your pets with a family member or a friend, remember to send a t-shirt or blanket that has your scent, it will comfort them while you are separated.

  • If you are staying in a private home, check with your hosts before you show up with your pets.  Your hosts may be pet-friendly, but may have some restrictions (no pets on the furniture, etc.), allergies, etc so it is best to discuss all the details in advance. Also, be realistic about your pets behaviors/habits.

  • If you have a regular evacuation destination, check on local vets and kennels and if you pet has on-going medical needs, keep a copy of their vet records with your evacuation kit.  It saves time and money if you can show them the last test results or medications prescribed by your regular vet (their office will be closed).

  • If you have a goldfish your child is especially attached to, an cleaned spaghetti sauce jar makes a great evacuation "module".  Remember to take the cap off occasionally to let in fresh air and leave it off when you reach your destination.

Keep praying these storms continue to stay mostly over water.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Stitching At Home with Jane Austen and the Saints

I am still stitching The Sampler Girl's "At Home with Jane Austen"
and I have enjoyed every stitch.
(I have not finished the "n" in Austen.  I ran out of thread and am
waiting for another "spot" of Plum Paisley before I reload my needle.)

Except the stitches I missed!
I finished my first roof row 2 stitches too early.
The entire house is off by 4 threads (2 columns).
I will have to take out the entire house, picture frame and little trees. 
(The key is okay, but I will double check it to be sure.)
Good thing this is such an enjoyable design to stitch.
Are you ready for some football?
Tomorrow night is the first regular season game for the Saints.  The entire downtown
is going to be one big NFL amusement park:

  • Dave Matthews and Taylor Swift will be performing in Jackson Square,

  • a 7-float parade will wind its way from the French Quarter to the Dome,

  • the NFL set up an exhibit on the Mississippi River next to Jax Brewery and

  • the new Champions Square next to the Dome is hosting a party for fans without tickets. 
The game will effect regular Thursday schedules for everyone:
  • New Orleans public schools will be releasing students early (to avoid additional traffic congestion),
  • downtown workers (without tickets) will be leaving the office early (same reason),
  • I will pull out my fleur de lis UFO from last season to finish stitching during the game(s),
  • DH will come home early (everyone else will want to finish up early to watch the game), and
  • DS will get to stay up a little past his bedtime to make it to the half-time dessert. Oddly enough he has no tests or quizzes scheduled for Friday.  Coincidence????

We will be enjoying a dinner of red beans and rice, seafood gumbo, and crawfish cornbread before the game
and watch the game with frosty mugs of Barq's root beer with mini beignets at half-time.
Who Dat, Who Dat,
Who Dat say dey gonna beat dem Saints?!?!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Still at home with Jane Austen

I am still stitching away on "At Home with Jane Austen" by The Sampler Girl.  It is a pleasure to stitch.

I was stitching on it during cross-country practice
and I miscounted by one thread, so I had to do some frogging.

Well, we are all breathing a sigh of relief that Earl will not impact the Gulf Coast and praying that it stays as far away as possible from the East Coast.  The Atlantic is pretty active and it looks like potential storms are just lining up across the tip of Africa.
Emergency Preparedness Tip #3:  Have an emergency plan in place and make sure your entire family knows the plan.

Having evacuated by car a few times, I can tell you that preparation makes all the difference. Think of your morning commute, leaving 10 minutes early can make a 30 minute difference in your arrival time; did you travel by car with the kids this summer ("Are we there yet?", "He keeps touching me!", "I'm bored."), any annoyance you may have felt will be magnified 200% when you are in an emergency instead of vacation.

An emergency, such as a hurricane, gives you advance notice and you have a few days to make a plan.  However, in the event of a tornado, forest fire, chemical spill (highway, railway or plant), earthquake or terrorist attack, you will have no time to plan.  Your family may be scattered across town at work and school.  If you do not have a plan, you may not only waste precious time, you may be putting yourselves in greater danger.

Plan what you will do if you are separated during an emergency.
  • Choose two places to meet:
    • Right outside your home in case of a sudden emergency, such as a fire, earthquake or tornado
    • Outside your neighborhood, in case you cannot return home or are asked to evacuate
  • Choose an out­ of­ area emergency contact person. It may be easier to text or call long distance if local phone lines are overloaded or out of service. Everyone should have emergency contact information in writing and programmed into their cell phones.  Make sure your emergency contact person knows your emergency plan.
Plan what to do if you have to evacuate
  • Where will you go and how will you get there - Decide where you would go and what route you would take to get there. Be aware of any evacuation plans enforced by your local government (if I wait for the mandatory evacuation to be issued, I have to take an alternate route).  You may choose to go to a hotel/motel, stay with friends or relatives in a safe location or go to an evacuation shelter if necessary.  You may need to make your hotel reservation days in advance to be able to stay in the location you prefer.
    • If you can, leave early.  This is especially important if you live near a large city or if there are few travel routes from your location.  Traffic will be very heavy.  Would you rather leave work a half day early and arrive at your destination within 2 or 3 hours or spend 12 hours in bumper to bumper traffic going 5 - 10 miles per hour? 
    • Drive your planned evacuation route, if it is unfamiliar to you, and plot alternate routes on your map in case roads are impassable.  Do this in advance and keep a copy of the map in every family car.
    • Keep your tank full, in case of an emergency there will not be time to stop for gas.  Keep all your other fluids (oil, radiator, etc.) topped up, as well.
    • Keep your car in working order, you do not want to break down during an evacuation - tow trucks may be unavailable or may take hours to reach you. 
    • Keep an "emergency kit" in your car:
      • clean water for overheated radiators (do not put cold water into an overheated radiator - you will have a bigger problem)
      • a quart of oil (more if you tend to have oil leaks)
      • tape to repair broken hoses
      • jumper cables
      • a good jack
      • an inflated spare (have you ever tried to change you tire and found a flat spare?)
        • if you can change your "bicycle" spare to a full size spare, I highly recommend it
      • Fix-a-Flat
      • camera - in case of an accident, you can take photos of the scene and damage, exchange information and move on, do not hold up traffic, local law enforcement will have better things to do than respond to a "fender bender" and it could take an hour or more before they can get to you
      • snacks and water for the passengers
      • books and quiet toys for children
        • be prepared to turn off DVD players, a/c, CD, etc. if they are causing your car to overheat or draining your battery - driving 5 - 10 miles an hour for hours on end is hard on a car's engine
      • blankets
      • rain gear (stash a few rain ponchos from the Dollar Tree in the glove box)
      • if you have kids, make an emergency "potty" plan - if you have boys, an empty, large mouth jar with a tight fitting lid will do, if not, consider a potty chair or a camping toilet or a "pot" -- believe me, you will not want to pull over and they will have to go eventually
      • poster/cardboard and a thick marker - in case you have to abandon your car leave your name & number on the dash or if you have to make a sign (Need gas/jumper cables/ etc.) to solicit help from fellow drivers
      • Think of your last car trip vacation - what items were the most helpful or what do you wish you had thought to bring?
NEXT TIME:  Planning ahead for kids and pets during an evacuation.