Tuesday, December 22, 2009


I've enjoyed reading the way some of you celebrate Christmas and thought I'd follow with answering the questions myself.

1. Wrapping Paper or Gift Bags? Wrapping paper for sure (unless there is something that is so oddly shaped that I must put it in a gift bag). I started using the curling ribbon several years ago (thanks to my friend, Jane) and use it on my packages.

2. Real or Artificial Tree? Artificial -- only because I put my trees up way early and having a fireplace in my den causes a real tree to shed way too early.

3. When do you put up your tree? I used to put my tree up the Saturday after Thanksgiving but this year I put it up the Saturday before Thanksgiving. I have Christmas parties early in December and find it too hard to decorate after Thanksgiving.

4. When do you take the tree down? I usually take the tree down the week after Christmas. It's always sad for me to take it down.

5. Do you like eggnog? NO! I can't stand the thought of raw eggs.

6. Favorite gift received as a child? I can't remember a favorite....it's been a LONG time. I do remember getting some play dishes so this must have really been special.

7. Hardest person to buy for? My neighbor, Larry. He has everything one could imagine and it's always hard to think of something for him.

8. Easiest person to buy for? My daughter, Amy. She doesn't have a problem giving me a list to choose from!

9. Do you have a Nativity Scene? Yes....this is a must!

10. Mail or email Christmas cards? Mail. I love getting cards through the mail.

11. Favorite Christmas move? "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation".

12. When do you start shopping for Christmas? I tell myself I'll shop throughout the year, but really I start the day after Thanksgiving with the sales.

13. Have you ever recycled a Christmas gift? Probably have.

14. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Jane's Icebox Fruitcake

15. Lights on the tree? White

16. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Stay home but travel after Christmas to see son and his family.

17. Open the presents Christmas Eve or Day? We open presents on Christmas Eve because Santa came on Christmas morning.

18. Is there any specific "tradition" that you do? Christmas Eve is spent with my best friend. We alternate years having this at our houses. One year it will be at my house and the next year at hers. This is tradition and the kids look forward to it.

Thursday, December 17, 2009


Look at all the bicycles....this picture shows only a section of our church gym. A few hours before this picture was taken a HUGE truck pulled up to the door and over 400 boxes were unloaded. (All the bicycles had to be put together) Tables were set up to use as each bicycle was assembled. Crews were ready to work through the night and next day in order to get these bicycles to foster children in our area. I could not believe that 5 hours later all bikes were together and the men were on their way home. The story behind this endeavor really hits home to me. My two oldest grandsons were foster children of a couple who once attended our church. God placed them there so my daughter and her husband would meet the children and know these boys were to be their children. Several years later (after the boys became our grandsons) the man who had been Keith & Zack's PaPa (foster dad) passed away. It was his wish that instead of flowers at his funeral, bicycles would be bought for foster children. His family has kept his wish going for several years at Christmas. Bicycles are bought and delivered throughout the area for foster children.

In case I haven't told you before.....I LOVE my church family. This project was one example of men working together (with some help from others) to get a project done for others. Acts 20:35 reads "It is more blessed to give than to receive." It is through giving that we receive the most rewards.

Monday, December 14, 2009


See the CHRISTMAS outfit above? No, it's not finished....the ruffle hasn't been put on the pants and the buttons aren't on the top. (In case you are wondering, the pants are from the same fabric as the top....it just looks different with my "not so great" camera.) It has to be mailed to Louisiana on top of it all. I also have not finished with all my shopping and none of the presents I have bought are wrapped. I know exactly how many days are left and it sure isn't many.....it's ALMOST time for me to panic. Looks like I will be spending tomorrow night finishing the sewing and getting outfits in the mail on Wednesday. Pray that I'm able to find the last of my gifts soon and then get them wrapped.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


Each year the ladies from church come over for an ornament swap and a time of great snacks and fellowship. This year we brought gifts for a sweet girl who will be married in a few weeks. All the gifts you see are for her and there were so many wonderful things for the new couple to use in decorating their home.
There's absolutely no need to worry about trying to diet during the month of December. There were too many yummy finger foods and none were "healthy" or of the low calorie type.
Angie & Anita tried to escape to the sunporch but soon every seat was taken. There were 33 sweet ladies who came.

I'm not kidding when I say there were no more seats. If you notice there's someone on each of the stairs.

It's so much fun to be with friends. These ladies don't know what they mean to me and my family. I know Aramie went home with MANY beautiful things....but all left with the gift of friendship.

Saturday, November 28, 2009


The picture above was made last year when my son and his family were home for Thanksgiving. Last night he said he'd like to make a picture this year of his three girls before returning home to Louisiana. So....right before they left this morning we "tried" making a picture to see how they have grown. Baby Emma wasn't too excited about having her picture taken but here's our 2009 version below.

We had a WONDERFUL Thanksgiving week with our family. There were over 50 who ate with us Thursday. The house was full (and so was our tummy). Family means so much, and we have so much to be thankful for. I hope each of you had a great Thanksgiving. It's almost time for Christmas!

Friday, November 20, 2009


When girls are coming to visit for Thanksgiving and they won't be back at Christmas....what do you have ready for them? How about some overalls for outside in the country!! I didn't really know how these would turn out but even my husband likes them. I put a Santa applique on the front.....had to cut some off the length and put a ruffle.
Look at the back. I love it. Can't wait to see a sweet girl in this "country attire"!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


I've made three outfits like this for the girls. This one is Emma's --- the youngest. The green is a tiny corduroy that is so soft. I appliqued a snowman so they could wear it after Christmas. I have a cute stocking that I'll have to use but they can only wear it the month of December. I bought fabric today for Christmas dresses. My house may not get decorated (or cleaned) until the sewing is finished.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Back in early fall my son-in-law bought the neatest "gadget" at Homestead Hollow's Fall Arts & Craft Show. He brought it to my house a few weeks back to show me how easy it cuts onions and potatoes. Above he is cutting an onion. He then dipped it in eggs and milk and then flour....dropped it in a deep fryer and look below to see what we had to eat.

These were the BEST onion rings I've ever had. This is from one onion!
Next he cut one potato and look at these "homemade" potato chips! No batter on these....just dropped them in hot oil. I wanted one of the cutters for myself and knew I'd buy one if I ran across them. Guess what?? My daughter was at the Thrift Store last Saturday and found one. It was only $2.88. She gave it to me and now I can fix these any time ........ this could be dangerous!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Remember my last post about me going to Christmas Village? Well, my daughter called that morning and was unable to go. My sweet husband offered to go with me but I KNEW he would be miserable and I would be trying to rush and it wasn't worth it. So instead of Christmas Village I went to my favorite place to shop for Children's fabric (The Smocking Bird in Homewood) and bought enough fabric to make several outfits for the girls. This is the first that I made and love that it's reversible so they actually have two dresses in one. My oldest granddaughter is too old for this style dress so I am going to attempt to make her a skirt from this fabric to match.
This is the other side. The lighting doesn't show the exact color but it's the best I could do. It's a very light blue with brown designs.

I also bought the cutest pants pattern and there was enough fabric left to make a pair of pants for Emma. I love the ruffle at the bottom!

I really don't think she will wear the "dress" over the pants but it looks cute in the picture. I'm going to applique a design on a white shirt using the fabric from the ruffle. I can't wait to show you the other fabric I bought and the finished outfits. I had SEW much fun making these until missing Christmas Village wasn't so bad!!

Friday, November 6, 2009


I am SO EXCITED because my daughter and I are going to Christmas Village later today. There's always so many neat things and I'm hoping to mark some items off my Christmas list that I'll find there. Besides that....I usually come home with so many new ideas (but never get around to making them). This is the largest indoor arts and crafts show that I've ever seen. I love the time that Amy and I have together too.
My husband and I had a "date night" last night. We try to do something once a week where we spend time together. It doesn't matter where we go or what we do....it's always nice. Last night we ate at Lloyd's (a favorite for MANY years), went shopping to pick up a few things, and stopped by Books A Million for awhile. I love looking through magazines and didn't buy anything for me. He bought a new book he had been wanting by a favorite author. I don't have a picture today but hopefully I'll be able to show you some things from Christmas Village tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


Ever wonder why the name of my blog is "The Cotton Patch"? If you are new to visiting me you may not know that cotton is all around me. In fact, the very spot where my house now sits was once planted in cotton. There are so many WONDERFUL memories of my childhood which involves cotton. They are wonderful to me because I was not working.....but playing....in and around the cotton. That was before mechanical cotton pickers. My family and those hired to help would put a strap around their shoulders and this LONG bag would hang and cotton would be placed in the bag. It was so long it drug behind them on the ground. When the bag was as full as it could be it would be weighed, and that's how they received money for the day. The money would be determined by how many pounds of cotton you picked. HARD work but I never heard my folks complain. I really don't think I/WE could do it today.

This is how the field looks from across my front yard. It's not as "white" as usual because of so much rain. It won't be long before those "mechanical" cotton pickers will have it picked and I'll have to wait for next year to see the white fields. It's this time of year that I love so much. It brings back times I shared with so many special people. Thank God I'm A Country Girl!!!

Saturday, October 31, 2009


HAPPY HALLOWEEN! I know that some of you don't like Halloween (and I respect your opinions) but it's always been a fun holiday for me. As a child I never associated it as a time for anything other than dressing up and going "trick or treating". I know that I had so much fun and remember my mother and aunts fixing all kinds of neat treats for kids. It was the ONLY time I remember seeing them make popcorn balls. When my children were young, Halloween was just under Christmas as a time they looked forward to coming. I'm sure those who live in subdivisions have MANY trick-or-treaters, but living where I do there isn't a huge amount. I can always count on 10 or 12 coming by. I'm ready and love pretending that I don't know who they are when my doorbell rings. I made cookies and have tons of candy ready. Hope you have a fun and safe Halloween!!

Friday, October 30, 2009


Our church had it's annual Fall Festival Wednesday night and it was a huge success. We weren't sure the crowd would be as large because we moved it from a Saturday night to Wednesday. However, it doubled in size. We usually have around 500 but this year we had over 1,000 people. Yes....that's right....1,000! We were amazed. Inside the gym we had booths set up for the cake walk, popcorn and cotton candy, Go Fish, basketball shoot, and the duck pond. In our fellowship hall we served hotdogs and chips. Outside there was two inflatables, a hayride, and a train the kids could ride, boiled peanuts, coffee & hot chocolate. Everything was free. It's an outreach our church does for the community.

Each lady in the church was to furnish two cakes or sweet for the cake walk. This is one of the most popular booths. I made a chocolate and red velvet cake. The line was pretty long most of the night for this.

Here's a picture made early in the night from the balcony of the gym. You can see that the gym is beginning to fill. We had a great time and I think those who came had fun too!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


After making the "Haunted House", Aunt Beth took the older girls with her leaving the boys and Maddie with me. Every child likes to cook....right? These kids LOVED making cupcakes....from beginning to eating them ALL. Griffin and Maddie put all the paper liners in but each child had a turn putting ingredients in the mix. They helped me read what was needed and the most fun for them was cracking the eggs. They loved doing this, although it wasn't very smooth. I just had a dishcloth close by to clean their messy hands. The picture above shows Zack's turn with the mixer.

See how patiently Maddie and Griffin were when waiting for Keith to finish his turn. I didn't get a picture of the cupcakes after they were baked and frosted but I will tell you that they were delicious! I don't know who had the most fun....the kids or Gigi.

Monday, October 26, 2009


As I shopped at Wal-Mart last week I found a kit for making a haunted house and couldn't resist getting it. I knew that I'd have five of my grandchildren and a great neice on Saturday and wanted to something "fun" with them. Somehow I had forgotten how messy gingerbread house making was in December!

It didn't matter at all to the kids that the icing was dripping everywhere or that their hands were covered with orange and black frosting.

Griffin felt the need to sit on the table at times. I wonder what Aunt Beth was about to do with her hand in the air???

I found beads, candy corn, and frosting under the table but it was worth the mess to see the "master piece" the kids created. Next post will be about more fun we had that day.

Sunday, October 18, 2009


We made a QUICK trip over the weekend to Louisiana to see our son and his family. He had planned a surprise birthday party for his wife on Friday night so we went down for the night. She was totally surprised by the party (and us being there). We knew we'd have to come back on Saturday but were able to go with the kids to a pumpkin patch Saturday morning. The weather was pretty cool but everyone enjoyed it. The picture above shows why a fast trip was worth it.

Look at these sweethearts. Baby Emma isn't so sure about smiling for pictures. They will be here for Thanksgiving and I'll have more time to spoil them!

Thursday, October 15, 2009


Several weeks ago my daughter, Amy, called and said that she had me signed up to go to Sips n Strokes with her and a friend. For those of you who aren't familar with Sips n Strokes it is a place where you go and they teach you "step by step" how to paint a picture that you bring home that night. You pay your money (which is very reasonable) and they furnish all your materials. You just bring the beverage that you want..... some bring wine, some softdrinks or water. Talent is not needed to attend!!! I am a testimony for that statement. In fact, when I told my sweet husband what I would be doing his comment was "is this a paint by number class"!! Each night a different picture is painted and you choose what you want. Being ALABAMA fans, we drove quite a distance for a class to paint a picture of "The Bear". It was so much fun to be with my daughter and my grandson's teacher(s). Here is Amy as she smears her pencil sketches. You can see Griffin's teacher in the back. I laughed so much and I still am sure that my gifting has nothing to do with painting.....but from a distance my painting does resemble our famous coach. Thanks Amy for inviting me......it helps for an "older" mom to have a night out with young chicks!!!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


I decided today might be a good day to pull out the fall decorations. It hasn't been cool enough yet for me to get in the fall mood, but since I was off work today I started putting some things out. Last year I saw this idea on one of the blogs I read and copied it. It was fun to pull it out again this year. I have this on my table in my foyer.
My dining room table is decorated very simple. I just put some pumpkins, gourds, fall leaves and berries on a tray covered with a fall napkin. Of course there's my old oil lamp. I'm not really pleased with my mantel but it's going to stay for now anyway.

One of the mums that our church sold for missions.....isn't it beautiful? I have five different colored ones around the pool. This one has opened more than the others. Fall colors are beautiful to me. I'll be happy when it cools off a little more but I know that will come soon enough. I hope you are having fun getting your fall decorations in place.

Monday, October 5, 2009


Today is my husband's birthday. Although he doesn't read my blog I wanted to take this opportunity to wish him a Happy Birthday. I am SO BLESSED that God chose him to be my husband. I'm not saying that our marriage has been perfect....but we endured the times that weren't good and with much prayer....our marriage is stronger today than ever. I've tried to think of things that I love about him...
* He loves God with all his heart
* He is a wonderful father (and grandfather)
* He is honest
* He isn't ashamed to cry
* He never complains about what I cook
* He is a wonderful Sunday School teacher
* He supports me when I am working on a project or job
* He looks for the positive in every situation
* He speaks well of others
* He loves ALABAMA football and Vincent Yellow Jacket (where he coached 29 years)
* He is faithful to his church
* He thinks things through before doing them
* He has taken care of me for 37 years
HAPPY BIRTHDAY to the love of my life......I pray that we have MANY more years together.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


There aren't many foods that I don't like, and I eat too many times when I'm not even hungry. I don't turn away much of anything but I really have a weakness when it comes to BREAD. I love homemade bread.....yeast rolls especially. I have tried numerous bread recipes and haven't found one that I wanted to repeat....until now. I have a bread machine (which makes it so easy to make bread) but I decided I would try this recipe after reading all the reviews. I even researched just how to 'knead' the dough so I wouldn't mess it up. It was pretty easy and the two loaves turned out better than I expected. I sliced some while it was still hot and buttered it and ....OH MY GOODNESS!!!! It even made delicious cheese toast and sandwiches. I'll be making bread for my family often. If you have a weakness for bread....try this recipe. I think you'll be pleased.

Sunday, September 27, 2009


My husband and I made a quick trip last Thursday to Louisiana. It was Maddie's (pictured above) 4th birthday party on Saturday and Friday was "Grandparents Day" at her preschool. We were so excited that it was during one of our visits and we were able to attend. There was coffee, juice, and doughnuts for us in the gym when we arrived and then we were entertained by the children singing songs and visiting classrooms.

Although Emma (above) isn't in school yet, she certainly knew her way around and found much to play with while we saw Maddie's work. I don't think it will be very long before there will be another student in school!

This picture of Breanna was made on Saturday morning. She is growing up SO fast.

I thought you would really enjoy this picture. Maddie's class had made each grandmother a hat and each grandfather a tie. They wore these and had pictures taken with them on. We had so much fun visiting....even for a short time.

Thursday, September 17, 2009


We love fried pies at our house. I don't make them often and I really don't know why other than it takes forever to cook the dried fruit. Last summer my friend and I dried apples and I have several bags in my freezer. The other day my neighbor told me that he'd love to have a fried apple pie. I came right home and started cooking those apples. This neighbor will help me do anything....if I have a project going on I am quick to ask for his help so making fried pies was no problem for me! Back to the apples....when you add the water to the dried apples they swell up and the longest part is cooking down the apples. The picture above shows them after they have been cooked down and sugar added. (I don't know why the first two pictures are turned sideways). I use canned biscuits for my dough....just roll them out flat... and they taste just as good as my mother's did. If you'll notice they are frying in her black iron skillet. I use it for so many things.
Here's the pies all ready to eat....ok...some have already been eaten. I still have some cooked apples so I believe I better fry up another batch this weekend. The pies sure don't last long around here.

Monday, September 14, 2009

One Down...Two to Go

When you have three granddaughters...you can't make just one dress. There must be three made. I cut this one out and started it last night and just finished it. I have two more to go. I wanted something the girls could wear for fall and couldn't find fabric Saturday that I just loved so I came home with the tiny black gingham. Usually I put ribbon on the bottom of the pillowcase dresses, but decided a ruffle might change it a bit. I will say ribbons are much quicker! When I bought the fabric for the ruffle I couldn't help but think of my mother. She would never have put checks and 'dots' together. Oh, times have changed! Hopefully, this doesn't look too much like Halloween so the girls can wear it in November also.

It's pretty hot in Louisiana where they live, but just in case the weather turns cool I found them each a black turtleneck. I think it looks pretty cute. Two more and they'll each have a fall dress from Gigi.