Monday, November 30, 2009

Gardens, Dogs and Christmas

We really didn't go much this weekend besides the neighborhood and local stores. 

I did get some much needed time in my garden though.  That is like a natural tranquilizer.  The cherry tomatoes and peppers are still growing.  Who would have thought that we'd be harvesting fresh tomatoes and peppers after Thanksgiving?  I am not complaining.  On the south side of our house we have a single yellow gerbera daisy.  It looks so lonely over there but I'm glad we have that beautiful flower.  Sassy the Satsuma is looking really pretty.  George pruned the grapes.  Hope we get lots of grapes in the Spring.  The cold weather vegetables are still seedlings but they are growing.  Can't wait for the romaine lettuce, carrots, onions, spinach, cabbage, and brocolli.  The swiss chard and ornamental peppers are still beautiful.  In fact, we picked some and I "tried" to saute the chard.  We like the taste but I didn't cook it very well -- too oily.

A friend of mine asked me several months ago if I would make his dog a Christmas outfit.  At first we thought of a tutu, but she already has one.  This weekend we went shopping and got patterns, fabric and notions for three doggy Christmas outfits.  My instructions are to make the outfits as bright and festive as possible.  The first one was done last night.  Hopefully the fitting will be today, so we can apply the final touches.  I cannot wait to publish these photographs.  The pattern is very simple.  In fact, simple enough that I would make this outfit for sale.  If anyone is interested, just let me know.  I'll post the photographs later when I get them.

We've been working on a few little things trying to finish up some jobs and get them out the doors.  One is the little personalized denim purses.  They are so cute.

The wine aprons have been pretty much perfected.  I love the font that we're using for Christmas.

We did a test on a Notre Dame garter with some simple green plaid.  This, too, is a very doable project.

Of course, napkins remain the top seller item this Christmas.  Here are some that we've done recently.  I love the one for Katie with the personalized gift bag.

A friend who is an LSU fan found a cute football vest in the LSU colors but the back had a football embroidered saying "Minnesota".  We created a football patch with "LSU" and sewed it over the Minnesota football.  It turned out pretty nice.  I think she'll be pleased.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Cajun Corner - Vol. 1, No. 27

Cajun Corner – Vol. 1, No. 27 – NOVEMBER 27, 2009

Bon Jour! Welcome to Cajun Stitchery’s weekly email and welcome to our family.

Thanksgiving Day in the neighborhood. If there was a modern version of the pilgrim experience, we had it yesterday. Our neighborhood group got together for Thanksgiving. Everyone brought some contribution to our Thanksgiving meal. Yes, even I made a green bean casserole. There were 9 of us at the long table. The best I recall we had 3 turkeys and a pork roast. That was only the meats. Each of us had 2 plates, a salad plate and a dinner plate. As the food passed by, I filled one plate, then the other. Finally, I found myself refusing even a bit of food because the plates were so full. The word for it is “scrumptious.” The meal ended when no one could force another bite into their mouths. We then went into the process of cleaning the table and picking up the food. We needed this exercise to help deal with the large amount of calories just consumed. Of course, throughout were wonderful conversations. We met the parents of one of our neighbors. They were interesting and delightful people. With so much food, cleaning off the table and putting the leftovers into containers took more time than setting the table. We realized that we still had dessert. That came much later in the evening.

The weather was getting chilly and a fire was started in the chiminea. We all had some wine. Then the karaoke began. There were two microphones. Words probably cannot sufficiently describe the karaoke experience. Two of our group used to be professional musicians/singers. They have lovely voices. The rest of us can barely hold our own singing in the shower. I love music. I love to dance. And, I love to sing. However, I am fully aware that I cannot carry a tune. It’s genetic. Neither Nancy nor Mama had beautiful singing voices, and I certainly am not an exception. We still loved to sing along. Knowing this, I nevertheless joined in the karaoke fun. Apparently, some others felt the same way. It’s all in fun, anyway. It was not a situation where one person would sing. We were all singing together and the microphones were being passed around. The singing began with some old country tunes, Hank Williams’ “Your Cheating Heart”, and others along that line. Then the song “The Tennessee Waltz” began. I love that song and said so. I suppose that when you have been a professional singer, loving a song must mean that you know the words and can carry your own. That is not necessarily true. That is definitely not true in my case. Well, we had the words in front of us and we all were singing at the top of our lungs. Even when you don’t have a beautiful singing voice, knowing the words goes a long way in convincing yourself that you can sing. Somehow I went from knowing that I can’t carry a tune to Celine Dion in one magical moment. As the evening progressed we had dessert and coffee with Kahlua, and of course, more wine. Then they put on the CD with my songs. You know, the songs from the 60’s, Little Peggy March’s “I Will Follow Him”, “Chapel of Love”, “My Boyfriend’s Back”, and so forth. I was so excited to hear songs that I do know and like that I’m afraid I included a dance routine in the sing along. By the time they hit “Johnny Angel”, I was thinking to myself , “Hey, you’re sounding pretty good.” Finally, I took a break and went out to see what the guys at the chiminea were doing. I walked to the back of the yard, behind the beautiful landscaping to see George and Kenny sitting by the chiminea with little grins across their faces. I could hear the karaoke still going on in the house, as clear as though they were standing next to me. That’s when I realized that I’m not Celine Dion after all. George and Kenny were holding back their laughter. I asked if they heard all of the singing and they responded in the affirmative. I think I saw little tears trickling down their grinning faces. The karaoke continued for awhile longer before we all thanked our hosts for a lovely day and went home.

Today is Black Friday, the notorious “busiest shopping day of the year”. No way am I getting out and into that madness. However, I have friends who got up as early as 2 a.m. to get the “deals”. The radio stations have begun playing Christmas music. The Christmas Season has officially begun.

This week we’ve been working on bottle aprons. I found a beautiful Christmas font to write “Merry Christmas” and have adorned the aprons with the simple message.

We also worked on a football patch to go over another patch on a friend’s football vest.

Garters became an idea this week when we discovered that football teams have garters as part of the ever growing football paraphernalia. Yes, we can make garters in your team colors and with your team’s name on them – not the licensed logos or anything requiring a license. A simple garter begins at $10.00 each. This would make a unique gift for the football lover in your life.

Don’t forget the GIFT CERTIFICATES. They make a great stocking stuffer. They are so simple. Just fill out the information and put them in an envelope – instant gift. Especially nice for gifts that you would normally mail or ship, since you only need a stamp and can give a nice gift without the high shipping costs. The gift certificates are in any denomination that you like, for any occasion. No hidden charges, just the amount you want on the certificate and sales tax, if you live in Florida.
Always remember that we are just a call or email away at or 850-261-2462 and place your order.

• Boudreaux goes shopping for a bargain

Boudreaux and Fontenot are walking down a street in Houston when they see a sign on a store that reads, 'Suits $5.00 each, shirts $2.00 each, trousers $2.50 per pair.'

Boudreaux says to his pal, 'Look here! We could buy a whole gob of these, take 'em back to Abbeville, sell 'em to our friends, and make a fortune. Now when we go in there you be quiet, okay? Just let me do the talkin' 'cause if they hear your accent, they might think we're ignorant, and try to cheat us. Now, I'll talk in a slow Texas drawl so's they don't know..'

They go in and Boudreaux says with his best fake Texas accent, 'I'll take 50 of them suits at $5.00 each, 100 of them there shirts at $2.00 each, and 50 pairs of them there trousers at $2.50 each. I'll back up my pickup and ....'

The owner of the shop interrupts, 'Ya'll are from Louisiana , ain't ya?'

'Well...yeah,' says a surprised Boudreaux. 'How come you know dat!'
'Because this is a dry-cleaners.'


French phrase of the week: oignon (n.m.) onion


Ideas For An Eco-Friendly Christmas
• Give memories rather than gifts. Give tickets to a favorite concert, community theatre, or museum. How about a season pass to a local park. Look in the newspaper, tour guides, local websites for parades or events that you usually don’t attend and gift attending these events with the recipient.

• Recycle holiday gift wrap. Better yet, avoid using holiday gift wrap and wrap your gift in an alternative. For instance, give a tote bag as part of your gift and put the remainder of your gift inside the tote. Wrap your gift in a re-useable tote/gift bag. Wrap your gift in a towel, blanket, or piece of fabric. For the arts and craft lover, wrap your gift in newspaper that you have stamped or decorated with Christmas sayings or art.

• Give a donation to the gift recipient’s favorite charity in their name.

• Give a U.S. savings bond.

• Give a recipe and include the ingredients in the bundle. “Wrap it” by using a tote bag or wrapping in a towel or apron. There are several of these type gifts pre-packaged at most stores to give as gifts. Avoid the pre-packaging by putting the ingredients together yourself. Try giving a mug with a packet of cocoa mix and a spoon. Wrap it in personalized napkins or put in a basket. Give a frying pan or some other type of pot or pan and put the recipe and ingredients inside and give as a basket.

• Give a batch of your homemade cookies, cakes, candies, pies, or other baked goods.

• Wrap your gift in a Santa Hat or stocking. For an extra special touch, have the hat or stocking personalized.

• Give a bottle of wine with a personalized wine apron.

• Give gift certificates.

• Give a plant. Make a gardening basket with seed packets, gloves, apron, and a spade or other garden implements and wrap in a tote bag or basket.
Please let me know if there is something that you would like to see in the weekly email. You may always call me at (850) 261-2462 or email me at
If you are not a subscriber and would like to receive Cajun Corner weekly, please email and let me know to put you on our email list.

C’est tout, mes amis

Peggy Henshall

Cajun Stitchery

(850) 261-2462

P.S. You are always welcome to stop by and look at all of the new catalogs and pass some time with me, cher.

Christmas is right around the corner – have you done your shopping yet? Take advantage of this week’s special and get ahead of the shopping rush.

Cajun Stitchery

Monday, November 23, 2009

Garters and Other Ornaments

Garters are a staple of most Mardi Gras festivities.  They are so dainty and so pretty.  This evening I was reminded that garters are used in many different festivities.  Weddings pretty much require at least one garter, if not more.  I actually remember my grandmothers and other older ladies rolling their stockings over their garters.  Those were not the pretty little things that are tossed at weddings.  The history of the garter toss seems to stem back in time when the couple needed witnesses to the consummation of the marriage.  The witnesses would bring the garter or a piece of undergarments to prove they witnessed the consummation of the marriage.  It became good luck to acquire a piece of the couple's clothing.  Frequently, the groom would simply toss the garter or garment out the window to get rid of the spectators.

There are more uses for the garter than the above festivities.  Sleeve garters came into vogue in the late 19th century when men's shirts could only be purchased in one size.  The sleeve garter was used to push up and hold up the sleeve.  Of course, your more wealthy and aristocratic gentleman of the day had his shirts tailor made to fit.  So, the sleeve garter became a sign of your financial situation.  Sleeve garter can be seen on musicians, especially the barbershop quartet variety; card dealers in casinos; the wild west; bookkeepers; welcome home attire; and sadly, funeral attire. 

I had to make some.  They are super easy to make and so much fun to decorate.  My attention was brought to the fact that team garters are now an accessory for the multitude of football and other sports paraphenalia.  Yes, you can purchase garters with the name or logo of your favorite team.  When I did a search on the internet, the garters were not the most popular team item, like the tee shirt, but darn if they didn't have them.  Except for the one I was trying to find, of course.  My research was not exhaustive but hit the high points.

The garters that I made are LSU colors for a friend.  I should be able to embroider on the garter.  I've read articles and watched videos on embroidering on ribbon.  If I can embroider on ribbon, I should be able to embroider on garters, especially if I make the garter.  I'm thinking that if it works out okay, I might do garters for my Krewe.  Oooooh yes!

There is also a type of machine embroidery called "free standing lace" (FSL).  This type of embroidery is done on a water soluble stabilizer (WSS) and is specially designed for FSL.  The design is stitched onto the stabilizer in such a way that the stitches hook onto each other.  Once you've finished embroidering the design, you wash away the stabilizer (which is simply a sheet of starch) and dry the design.  Here are three such designs that I did this weekend.  They are Christmas ornaments.  They turned out pretty cute.  The trick for something like this is to wash away the stabilizer leaving just enough starch in the design to make it stiff.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Cajun Corner - Vol 1, No 26

Cajun Corner – Vol. 1, No. 26 – NOVEMBER 20, 2009

Bon Jour! Welcome to Cajun Stitchery’s weekly email and welcome to our family.


Ron Magee’s shirts are all done with the exception of one. It was the first one. We started sewing and toward the end of the logo the letters weren’t very crisp. Darn, the back of the shirt had gotten caught up under the hoop and we embroidered the back to the front for several stitches. We thought we might be able to undo those stitches, which we did, but once undone the letters are out and you cannot match the stitches perfectly in the machine. So, we ordered another shirt, which I’m waiting on now. It should arrive today and the order will be filled. Lesson learned. Even when you just know nothing is caught, keep checking. This is one of the reasons that embroiderers don’t particularly like embroidering on items provided by the customer. Had this been something that we didn’t order wholesale, there really would be no way of replacing it. Sure, you may be able to go to the store and buy another one, but we certainly wouldn’t be making money on the sale. We can’t afford to give away work and stuff simply happens. That’s why we make sure the waiver is signed when we do work on items that we do not purchase wholesale.

Now we are working on the logo for the Krewe of Junkanoo. Can you believe it’s almost Mardi Gras season. Our parade this year (always the Sunday before Mardi Gras) will be on Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2010. I’m especially pleased about the Krewe of Junkanoo logo because I digitized it myself. Actually, I have digitized it twice. The first time was 8” x 8”. It turned out that their logo (on the back of their jackets) is actually 10” x 10”. Remember, you can usually make a design smaller without losing the details, but the reverse doesn’t work. George is stitching out the new 10” x 10” logo as I type this. If all is well, we can begin working on the jackets.

My sweet dance instructor, Monette, gave me a bag with jackets to embroider. I embroidered her jackets last Christmas before there was a Cajun Stitchery, on Doris. This year we will do them on Boudreaux. We will have to get Boudreaux used to metallic thread.

With Mardi Gras around the corner, I began looking at my various costumes. Our krewe, the Mystic Krewe of Nereids has a tuxedo costume that we all wear on various occasions. Last year I purchased a new tuxedo jacket and never attached the sequins and bling. So, when I was looking last night, I realized that I need this jacket finished and soon. I was up until 4:00 this morning taking sequins and patches off the old jacket. I want to put some embroidery on my jacket this year. I’m busy trying to design it in my head.

My most memorable Mardi Gras when I was a little girl in Lafayette was the last year we lived there. Mama dressed us as a band of gypsies. Yes, we were an adorable looking little family. I remember going to friend’s homes and eating gumbo, crawfish, gratons (cracklin), boudin, and an unending list of Cajun delicacies. The parade was downtown Lafayette. The streets were closed off. We caught beads and candy, and I remember one float was handing out hot dogs. After the parade there were bands in the streets and everyone was dancing and having a wonderful time. We ended up at the VFW. It was a delightful day.

Don’t forget the GIFT CERTIFICATES. They make a great stocking stuffer. They are so simple. Just fill out the information and put them in an envelope – instant gift. Especially nice for gifts that you would normally mail or ship, since you only need a stamp and can give a nice gift without the high shipping costs. The gift certificates are in any denomination that you like, for any occasion. No hidden charges, just the amount you want on the certificate and sales tax, if you live in Florida.

Always remember that we are just a call or email away at or 850-261-2462 and place your order.


One morning Thibodeaux was sitting under the tree in his front yard patching holes in his shrimp net. His neighbor, Boudreaux, came out his front door, waved to Thibodeaux, and walked to his mail box. He looked in the box, scratched his head a minute, and went back inside.

Half hour later Thibodeaux was still patching when Boudreaux checked his mail box, again. This time he slammed the box shut and walked back inside mumbling.

Another half hour passed. Thibodeaux was still patching. Boudreaux stomped to his mail box, yanked it open, looked in, and slammed it shut. He took a deep breath and started back to the house.

“Boudreaux, what’s wrong?” Thibodeaux yelled.

“Dat computer my boy give me has lost it’s mind,” Boudreaux replied, walked into the shade.

“You got a computer? I didn’t know dat,” Thibodeaux said.

“Yeah, Pierre give it to me yesterday – all hooked up to dat Inner Net,” Boudreaux replied.

“Pierre. Dat’s a good boy you got. What’s he doin’ now?” Thibodeaux asked.

“He’s workin’ over in N’Awlins, got a good job,” Boudreaux answered.

“So what’s wrong with de computer?” Thibodeaux asked.

“It just plain lost it’s mind,” Boudreaux replied. “You saw me. Tree times I looked in dat box. ere ain’t nothin’ dere. But dat computer keeps sayin’ ‘YOU’VE GOT MAIL’.”


French phrase of the week: neuf (adj numér.) nine.

neuf (adj.) new; brand new. quoi de neuf? what's new?


This week’s tips come from:
• Step 1: Make the turkey eco-friendly.

Don't panic. This step isn't about replacing your turkey with a Tofurkey though that is certainly an option. This is about choosing a turkey that is as eco-friendly as possible. Some tips:

1. Buy from a local source.

2. Make sure it's organic and had been grass fed.

3. Also make sure it wasn't fed antibiotics or given hormones.

4. On top of that, make sure it was raised on a humane facility.

• Step 2: Reduce waste.

How much waste gets produced during the Thanksgiving festivities? It can really add up. Here are some ideas on how to reduce the trash produced while preparing the meal and when you have guests over.

1. Use reusable shopping bags when buying supplies for the feast.

2. Don't use a disposable aluminum pan - buy a nice roasting pan instead.

3. Recycle all bottles and plastic items that are eligible.

4. Be sure to serve the meal using reusable plates, knives, forks, etc. Disposal plastic and paper is not good for the environment.

5. Start a compost bin and put all eligible food scraps in it instead of throwing them away.

• Step 3: Reduce your carbon footprint.

Between traveling to your Thanksgiving dinner, cooking the dinner if you're having it at your house, and the fact that all your guests needed to travel to get to your location, Thanksgiving can have a substantial carbon footprint. Reduce yours by taking these suggestions.

1. Planting a tree puts more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere which will reduce the carbon load.

2. has "free clicks to donate" and one of them is about reducing your carbon footprint. Make it a point to click each day at no cost to you (the sponsors donate).

Please let me know if there is something that you would like to see in the weekly email. You may always call me at (850) 261-2462 or email me at

If you are not a subscriber and would like to receive Cajun Corner weekly, please email and let me know to put you on our email list.

C’est tout, mes amis

Peggy Henshall

Cajun Stitchery

(850) 261-2462

P.S. You are always welcome to stop by and look at all of the new catalogs and pass some time with me, cher.

Christmas is right around the corner – have you done your shopping yet? Take advantage of this week’s special and get ahead of the shopping rush.
Cajun Stitchery

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I Love Puppets

Have I mentioned before that I absolutely love puppets.  I don't know what it is about a puppet that enchants me so much.  This past weekend when shopping for a birthday present, I bought a hand puppet.  The birthday girl is a grown lady but she got a hand puppet anyway.  They aren't hard to make, either.  My boys and I played for hours and hours with hand puppets when they were young.  Every once in awhile, George will still see me picking up the hand puppets and playing.  I made a cute hand puppet with the face embroidered last year on the Singer.

This is a photograph of the embroidered items for the birthday girl.

This week we've been doing a job for a local process serving company.   The shirts turned out well.  I never tried this brand before but I really like it.  The men's shirts are Munsingwear and very nice.  I sure hope they hold up well with time.

Christmas and Mardi Gras are beginning to collide in my world.  We are embroidering all kinds of Christmas gifts for people, putting baskets together, and so forth.  Napkins are a big thing this year, some with placemats.  Nice gift.  I have an order in now to restock the napkins.  They are a nice quality napkin, 20"x20", restaurant quality, with a hemmed edge rather than a serged/merrowed edge.  My personal napkins, which I made, are a simple cotton broadcloth with serged edges.  There is just something really nice and clean about a hemmed edge. 

My dance instructor gave me a bag full of jackets last week to embroider.  I did this on my Singer last year for her.  I'm looking forward to trying out Boudreaux on the jacket back this year.  They are all done in metallic thread -- oh my goodness.  Boudreaux is getting a work out this year.

The little blue jean skirt purse that is so cute and I showed a few posts ago, turned out to be in all of the stores around here.  I've only seen a few of them in the blue denim and I must admit that they aren't as cute out of other fabric.

Monday, November 16, 2009

November Birthdays

A friend of mine reminded me recently of one of my all time favorite television programs, Connections.  A British scientist, historian and journalist, James Burke, put the Connection series together, as well as several other similar series.  Mr. Burke is now in his 70's and has a website with all of the videos of his shows.  You know it.  George and I were glued to the computer watching these things.  If you've never seen Connections, search for it on YouTube.  You won't be sorry.

November is turning out to be a pretty popular birthday month.  Of course, my birthday is lasting for the entire month.  Last night we had a celebration for the birthday of one of our neighbors.  These neighbors are all such great cooks and last night was no exception.  I made what Mama used to call a 5 Cup Fruit Salad which turned out great.  George even went back for seconds and thirds.  When the birthday girl arrived, not all of us were there.  Some of the group had gone home to bring back other dishes.  So, it was a surprise for both of us.  We had decorations, food, cake, singing, backyard fire in the fire pit and of course, gifts.  I personalized one of  Cajun Stitchery's gift bags and also a wash cloth with her name.  We had a theme of rest and relaxation.  The gifts were all associated with a soothing bath and included a candle, bubble bath, back scrubber, pumice, manicure set, hand lotion, liquid soap, and more.  We even included a little hand puppet -- mainly because I love hand puppets.

Hand puppets are easy to make.  You can make hand puppets out of so many things.  Of course, I sew mine, but they can be made out of plastic bags or paper bags, as well.  You can make them with an arm on both sides and the head, with the body just hanging fabric.  Or, you can make them without arms and make the mouth move.  A very simple one is a finger puppet.

All of that reminds me of an incident that occurred many years ago when the TV series Laverne and Shirley was popular.  In one episode, Shirley was trying to cheer up Laverne and using make up, she made and upside down face on her own face.  She then leaned over the back of the sofa with her head upside down and a cloth covering up her nose and mouth.  The show was hysterical.  One day I was playing with my boys and I drew the upside down face on my forehead and did as Shirley had done in the show.  We laughed and had a good time but, I forgot to wash the face off.  Later that day, one of George's friends came to the house and I greeted him at the door.  He looked at me with a peculiar look, came into the house and during his entire visit, he kept looking at me very strangely.  It wasn't until he left that I realized that I still had my face painted.  Embarrassing!  But funny.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Cajun Corner Vol 1, No 25

Cajun Corner – Vol. 1, No. 25 – NOVEMBER 13, 2009
Bon Jour! Welcome to Cajun Stitchery’s weekly email and welcome to our family.

Can you believe how fast this year has gone? A year ago my Mama was still alive and I was working in a law firm. It’s amazing how life constantly changes. You really never know what the next minute will bring.

I’m still celebrating my birthday. I figure that time is going by so fast that my birthday really should be a birth month now.

Last Friday we visited with a friend in Mobile. She is a landscaper and for my birthday, she filled the car to the brim with plants. A woman after my own heart. We were busy last weekend planting and gardening.

The GIFT CERTIFICATES are a big hit. They are so simple. Just fill out the information and put them in an envelope – instant gift. Especially nice for gifts that you would normally mail or ship, since you only need a stamp and can give a nice gift without the high shipping costs. The gift certificates are in any denomination that you like, for any occasion. No hidden charges, just the amount you want on the certificate and sales tax, if you live in Florida.

We are still working toward our goal this month. Not there yet but we have high hopes. This is a real turning point for Cajun Stitchery. Go Lois, go. Lois is our wonderful sales lady and has been working hard bringing in business.

While in the legal field (I was a paralegal for 35 years), I belonged to the Northwest Florida Paralegal Association. This year Cajun Stitchery will be donating items for their Christmas raffle. If you are a member of NWFPA, don’t miss the Christmas party. You could return with some of our beautiful gifts. Now I need to think of what to give them. On a business level this is great publicity for us. We not only get to give items for the raffle and include our business card, but also, we will be mentioned in their brochure and email. We need name recognition.

If you haven’t been to our website lately, go/allez and check it out. One of our friends has been working on it and now we have buttons that work to send emails, connect to the blog, and to show a gallery of our work. Good going Phyllis! And thank you very much.

Always remember that we are just a call or email away at or 850-261-2462 and place your order.


One afternoon Boudreaux was coming down the bayou when he sees Thibodeaux on the levee waving his arms and yelling for him.

As he approached Thibodeaux shouted, “Boudreaux, der’s been a ‘mergency, you gotta get to da hospital rite now.”

Boudreaux jumped in his truck and drove like crazy. At the hospital he found out that a relative had received a severe head injury in a car wreck. The relative was in surgery and Boudreaux began pacing back and forth. After awhile the surgeon came out and spoke to Boudreaux.

“Mr. Boudreaux, I’ve got good news and bad news,” the surgeon said.

“Gi me da bad firse,” Boudreaux said.

“The bad news is that we have to do a brain transplant. But the good news is that we’ve done it before and we have two brains available,” the surgeon said.

“So dis ain’t too dangers?” Boudreaux asked hopefully.

“Oh, no, not at all, we have over a 99 per cent success rate with this operation,” the surgeon said, “But you do have a decision to make.”

“What’s dat?” Boudreaux asked.

“You have to decide which brain to use,” the surgeon said. “We have a man’s brain for $50,000 and we have a woman’s brain for $200. Which should we put in?”

Boudreaux was shocked. He’d never been called on to make such a decision before. He considered, then asked, “Why’s da woman brain dat much cheaper?”

The surgeon looked around to make sure no one could hear. Then she whispered, “It’s been used.”


French phrase of the week: macaquerie (n.f.) foolishness, monkey shines.


Thank you Kathi Lewis for this Banana contribution to Cajun Corner:

Never, put your banana in the refrigerator! !!

After reading this, you'll never look at a banana in the same way again.

Bananas contain three natural sugars - sucrose, fructose and glucose combined with fiber. A banana gives an instant, sustained and substantial boost of energy.

Research has proven that just two bananas provide enough energy for a strenuous 90-minute workout. No wonder the banana is the number one fruit with the world's leading athletes.

But energy isn't the only way a banana can help us keep fit. It can also help overcome or prevent a substantial number of illnesses and conditions, making it a must to add to our daily diet.

Depression: According to a recent survey undertaken by MIND amongst people suffering from depression, many felt much better after eating a banana. This is because bananas cont ain tryptophan, a type of protein that the body converts into serotonin, known to make you relax, improve your mood and generally make you feel happier.

PMS: Forget the pills - eat a banana. The vitamin B6 it contains regulates blood glucose levels, which can affect your mood.

Anemia : High in iron, bananas can stimulate the production of hemoglobin in the blood and so helps in cases of anemia.

Blood Pressure: This unique tropical fruit is extremely high in potassium yet low in salt, making it perfect to beat blood pressure.. So much so, the US Food and Drug Administration has just allowed the banana industry to make official claims for the fruit's ability to reduce the risk of blood pressure and stroke..

Brain Power: 200 students at a Twickenham (Middlesex) school ( England ) were helped through their exams this year by eating bananas at breakfast, break, and lunch in a bid to boost their brain power. Research has shown that the potassium-packed fruit can assist learning by making pupils more alert.
Constipation: High in fiber, including bananas in the diet can help restore normal bowel action, helping to overcome the problem without resorting to laxatives.

Hangovers: One of the quickest ways of curing a hangover is to make a banana milkshake, sweetened with honey. The banana calms the stomach and, with the help of the honey, builds up depleted blood sugar levels, while the milk soothes and re-hydrates your system.

Heartburn: Bananas have a natural antacid effect in the body, so if you suffer from heartburn, try eating a banana for soothing relief.

Morning Sickness: Snacking on bananas between meals helps to keep blood sugar levels up and avoid morning sickness

Mosquito bites: Before reaching for the insect bite cream, try rubbing the affected area with the inside of a banana skin. Many people find it amazingly successful at reducing swelling and irritation..

Nerves: Bananas are high in B vitamins that help calm the nervous system.

Overweight and at work? Studies at the Institute of Psychology in Austria found pressure at work leads to gorging on comfort food like chocolate and chips. Looking at 5,000 hospital patients, researchers found the most obese were more likely to be in high-pressure jobs. The report concluded that, to avoid panic-induced food cravings, we need to control our blood sugar levels by snacking on high carbohydrate foods every two hours to keep levels steady.

Ulcers: The banana is used as the dietary food against intestinal disorders because of its soft texture and smoothness. It is the only raw fruit that can be eaten without distress in over-chronicler cases. It also neutralizes over-acidity and reduces irritation by coating the lining of the stomach.

Temperature control: Many other cultures see bananas as a "cooling" fruit that can lower both the physical and emotional temperature of expectant mothers. In Thailand , for example, pregnant women eat bananas to ensure their baby is born with a cool temperature.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): Bananas can help SAD sufferers because they contain the natural mood enhancer tryptophan.

Smoking &Tobacco Use: Bananas can also help people trying to give up smoking. The B6, B12 they contain, as well as the potassium and magnesium found in them, help the body recover from the effects of nicotine withdrawal.

Stress: Potassium is a vital mineral, which helps normalize the heartbeat, sends oxygen to the brain and regulates your body's water balance. When we are stressed, our metabolic rate rises, thereby reducing our potassium levels. These can be rebalanced with the help of a high-potassium banana snack.

Strokes: According to research in The New England Journal of Medicine, eating bananas as part of a regular diet can cut the risk of death by strokes by as much as 40%!

Warts: Those keen on natural alternatives swear that if you want to kill off a wart, take a piece of banana skin and place it on the wart, with the yellow side out. Carefully hold the skin in place with a plaster or surgical tape!

Please let me know if there is something that you would like to see in the weekly email. You may always call me at (850) 261-2462 or email me at

If you are not a subscriber and would like to receive Cajun Corner weekly, please email and let me know to put you on our email list.

C’est tout, mes amis
Peggy Henshall

Cajun Stitchery

(850) 261-2462
P.S. You are always welcome to stop by and look at all of the new catalogs and pass some time with me, cher.

Christmas is right around the corner – have you done your shopping yet? Take advantage of this week’s special and get ahead of the shopping rush.

Cajun Stitchery

Monday, November 9, 2009

Toppings and Blue Jeans

I did it again.  I let some of my work out of the door with the customer without taking a photograph.  However, I did take photographs of some of my other work that I did last week.  Let me describe the project that I do not have a photograph.  Two white hand towels that I stitched about 1 1/2" wide animal print fabric and then embroidered the person's initial in the center above the animal print fabric.  They turned out gorgeous.  I'm now thinking about making some for myself.  Another project almost left at the same time but we had a defect.  The design used, among other colors, a bright yellow.  The project was on a beach towel and I used the usual topping of Aqua Magic that I use on all terrycloth fabric.  The Aqua Magic and other solvy type toppings are basically sheets of starch.  You put them on top of the fabric so that the embroidery doesn't sink into the fabric and distort the appearance.  This topping is used on any fabric with a high pile, such as velvet.  Anyway, I washed the Aqua Magic off and when it dried I could see that some of the yellow had bled onto the towel.  Very embarrassing.  I purchased one of those "Stain B Gone" pens and I'm working on cleaning it up, per the customer's request.  It so unusual because I'm about half way through this particular spool of yellow thread.  The spool is large and I've used it on other items that have not bled.  It may be that it just showed up on the white towel.  I did email the manufacturer about this.  I purchase my thread direct from the mill and their other colors do not bleed.  Very perplexing.  Anyway, I will gladly refund the customer's money, if she likes on this project.

Our saleslady came in today with the cutest little purse.  We are going to try to find more of these adorable purses.  Let me know if you like them.  They are blue denim and look like a blue jean skirt, with a shoulder strap and a zipper at the top.  It's small.  I would think for a little girl.  The pockets are actually little pockets and not just for show.  We are going to embroider her granddaughter's name on this one.

Of course, out little Manx cat with the bad eye, Polly, wanted her photograph taken.

The gift certificates are here.  This is a great Christmas present.

Ida, Ida, Ida -- a "ho" lotta wind

As time has gone by, I have found that I watch less and less television.  I guess it all began when I got Doris, my Singer embroidery machine.  I would come home from work and play on Doris until bedtime.  It became a habit, which has turned into a business. 

Being aware of current events is important.  Looking outside an individual's life into the community, state, country, and world is healthy and necessary.  However, coming from a legal background, we always realized that people allow others into their home without thinking about it.  For instance, we used to get up in the morning and as we were dressing for work, we would have local news and then Good Morning America on the television.  We knew those people by their first names.  They became our friends.  Another example which entails a humorous story is many years ago when my family lived in Louisiana, my mother called my grandmother on the phone.  My grandmother answered the phone crying.  Mama was alarmed and my grandmother was talking about a lady died, a friend of hers.  It turned out my grandmother was an avid soap opera watcher and the lady that died was on one of the soap operas.  To my grandmother, she was a friend.  My grandmother knew everything about her (character's) life.  Because we believe what our friends and family tells us -- for the most part, they would not lie to us -- we are very susceptible to the twists and turns in the way that reporters relay the news.  We believe them because they have become friends and family.  We see them everyday, in our homes, because we invite them.

The same is true with newspapers and the internet.  How many times have you received the same email that years ago someone looked up on and found that it wasn't true?  It's gone around and around and comes back to you time and time again.  People believe these emails because they come from family or friends who would not lie to them.  They come from people you trust.

Living in Pensacola, FL we used to watch the Weather Channel religiously, especially during hurricane season.  People in Pensacola will tell you that Jim Cantore is more than a local celebrity.  Jim Cantore has become one of us.  He doesn't even live here.  But his coverage on Hurricane Ivan and the other hurricanes that year endeared him to our hearts.  It also had another effect.  It alarmed us.  I shouldn't include everyone in this, so I'll say that it certainly alarmed me.  Yes, there were several weather disasters during that period of time that people needed to know.  It went further than that.  It seemed that the least rain shower was a cause for alarm.

All of this is to say that when I stopped watching so much television, I realized that I wasn't nearly as stressed as I had been otherwise.  I still try to stay on top of current events but that is usually via the internet, reading headlines and then I move on.  Earlier this year when the television stations were going to digital, we got the converter boxes and were surprised to find so many channels on non-cable television.  I must admit that if I watched a lot of television, I would probably get cable again because occasionally the reception is poor, but that is only occasionally.

These past couple of days have, again, proved to me that limiting my television viewing is helpful.  My son called me from Tampa this weekend telling me to evacuate to his house.  He informed me that Hurricane Ida was headed in our direction and had already killed 127 people in El Salvadore.  All of this was true.  However, I decided to follow Ida on NOAA, not the news media.  NOAA showed that Ida was, indeed, coming this way but was coming at a pretty fast pace.  I knew the weather up here had the highs in the 70's which would be remarkable for a hurricane to maintain strength.  We were pretty calm about the whole situation.  Not to mention that it's very hard to predict exactly where a hurricane will land.  Earlier today we saw Ida losing strength and NOAA was saying it would end up a tropical storm.  However, the people that I encountered during the day were all alarmed at the approaching hurricane.  My neighbor even closed her hurricane windows.  Schools were closed today and will be closed tomorrow.  Our govenor has declared a state of emergency (along with other governors).  Don't get me wrong, tropical storms can be serious and cause damage but they are not a hurricane.  Well, after the news reported that Ida was no longer a hurricane and was a tropical storm, people that I talked to were still referring to the approaching hurricane. 

One of my dearest cousin, who passed away several years ago, was a journalist.  He used to tell me that as a journalist it was his job to report only facts without any twists or turns.  He would tell me that it really made him sad and sometimes mad that today's journalists throw their own emotions and beliefs into their reporting.  That is not good journalism, and those are not good journalists.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Cajun Corner - Vol. 1, No. 24

Cajun Corner – Vol. 1, No. 24 – NOVEMBER 6, 2009
Bon Jour! Welcome to Cajun Stitchery’s weekly email and welcome to our family.
This has been a busy week. Of course, it started out on Sunday with my birthday. An elderly friend of mine sent a card that said that no one would believe that I was 55 because I only look like I’m 45. This was especially kind because I’m actually 59.

The neighborhood gang gave me a wonderful surprise party on Sunday and my Wednesday night ladies gave me another exceptional party Wednesday night. I’m a pretty lucky lady to have so many good friends.

George’s dental work is finally over. He still goes back but it’s only for follow-up visits. No more reception rooms for me, at least for awhile.

The GIFT CERTIFICATES are here. We have already sold some of them. They are in any denomination that you like, for any occasion. No hidden charges, just the amount you want on the certificate and sales tax, if you live in Florida.

This promises to be a real turning point for Cajun Stitchery. Lois, our wonderful sales lady, has been working hard bringing in business. I’m expecting Lois any minute to bring the largest order Cajun Stitchery has had, to-date. Way to go, Lois! This is our first month that we actually have a dollar goal set.

Among the many beautiful and wonderful gifts that I received this week, was a book titled “Sewing for your Garden”. How perfect is that for me? You know I’ll be making those projects.

Another wonderful gift that I received was a Satsuma tree. Satsuma oranges are in the mandarin orange family. We have decided to rearrange a large section in our front yard to host this lovely tree.

Today we are closing Cajun Stitchery early, going to Mobile, and doing some shopping for sales for Christmas, among other things. Can’t wait to see what we find for you. I have been thinking of putting together some spa baskets that include personalized towels, wash cloths, scrubbers, good smelling oil beads and/or bubble bath. Let me know what you think about pre-made baskets. For instance, I could keep a small stock of various occasion pre-made baskets for those last minute shoppers who need a birthday, or whatever, gift immediately. It wouldn’t be personalized but it would be fast. Let me know if you think that would be helpful to any of you. Of course, it doesn’t have to be a spa basket; it could be anything.
Always remember that we are just a call or email away at or 850-261-2462 and place your order.
Boudreaux been fish'n down by de bayou all day and he done run outta night

crawlers. He be bout reddy to leave when he seen a snake wif a big frog in his

mouf. He knowed dat dem big bass fish like dem frogs, so he decided to steal

dat froggie.
Dat snake, he be a cotton mouf water moccasin, so he had to be real careful

or he'd git bit. He snuk up behin' dat snake and grabbed him roun de haid. Dat

ole snake din't lak dat one bit. He squirmed and wrap hisself roun Boudreaux's

arm try'n to git hisself free. But Boudreaux, he had a real good grip on his haid, yeh.
Well, Boudreaux pried his mouf open and got de frog and puts it in his bait can. Now, Boudreaux knows dat ha cain't let go dat snake or he's gonna bite

him good, but he had a plan. He reach into de back pocket of his bibs and pulls out a pint of moonshine likker. He pour some drops into de snake's mouf.

Well, dat snake's eyeballs kinda roll back in his haid and his body go limp. Wit

dat, Boudreaux toss dat snake into de bayou. Den he goes back to fishin'.
A while later Boudreaux dun feel sumpin' tappin' on his barefoot toe. He look

down and dare wuz dat water moccasin wif two more frogs.


French phrase of the week: lagniappe (n.) something extra given at no cost. [From the Spanish " la ñapa" meaning "something extra," which was originally borrowed from Quechuan.] Pronounced: lawn – yap.

Thank you Kathi Lewis for this Cucumber contribution to Cajun Corner:
1. Cucumbers contain most of the vitamins you need every day, just one cucumber contains Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6, Folic Acid,

Vitamin C, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium and Zinc.
2. Feeling tired in the afternoon, put down the caffeinated soda and pick up a

cucumber. Cucumbers are a good source of B Vitamins and Carbohydrates that can provide that quick pick-me-up that can last for hours.
3. Tired of your bathroom mirror fogging up after a shower? Try rubbing a

cucumber slice along the mirror, it will eliminate the fog and provide a

soothing, spa-like fragrance.
4. Are grubs and slugs ruining your planting beds? Place a few slices in a

small pie tin and your garden will be free of pests all season long. The

chemicals in the cucumber react with the aluminum to give off a scent

undetectable to humans but drive garden pests crazy and make them flee the area.
5. Looking for a fast and easy way to remove cellulite before going out or to

the pool? Try rubbing a slice or two of cucumbers along your problem area for a

few minutes, the phytochemicals in the cucumber cause the collagen in your skin

to tighten, firming up the outer layer and reducing the visibility of cellulite.

Works great on wrinkles too!!!
6. Want to avoid a hangover or terrible headache? Eat a few cucumber slices

before going to bed and wake up refreshed and headache free. Cucumbers contain

enough sugar, B vitamins and electrolytes to replenish essential nutrients the

body lost, keeping everything in equilibrium, avoiding both a hangover and

7. Looking to fight off that afternoon or evening snacking binge? Cucumbers

have been used for centuries and often used by European trappers, traders and

explores for quick meals to thwart off starvation.
8. Have an important meeting or job interview and you realize that you don't

have enough time to polish your shoes? Rub a freshly cut cucumber over the

shoe, its chemicals will provide a quick and durable shine that not only looks

great but also repels water.
9. Out of WD 40 and need to fix a squeaky hinge? Take a cucumber slice and rub

it along the problematic hinge, and voila, the squeak is gone!
10. Stressed out and don't have time for massage, facial or visit to the spa?

Cut up an entire cucumber and place it in a boiling pot of water, the chemicals

and nutrients from the cucumber with react with the boiling water and be

released in the steam, creating a soothing, relaxing aroma that has been shown

the reduce stress in new mothers and college students during final exams.
11. Just finish a business lunch and realize you don't have gum or mints? Take

a slice of cucumber and press it to the roof of your mouth with your tongue for

30 seconds to eliminate bad breath, the phytochemcials will kill the bacteria in

your mouth responsible for causing bad breath.
12. Looking for a 'green' way to clean your faucets, sinks or stainless steel?

Take a slice of cucumber and rub it on the surface you want to clean, not only

will it remove years of tarnish and bring back the shine, but is won't leave

streaks and won't harm you fingers or fingernails while you clean.
13. Using a pen and made a mistake? Take the outside of the cucumber and slowly

use it to erase the pen writing, also works great on crayons and markers that

the kids have used to decorate the walls!!

Please let me know if there is something that you would like to see in the weekly email. You may always call me at (850) 261-2462 or email me at
If you are not a subscriber and would like to receive Cajun Corner weekly, please email and let me know to put you on our email list.
C’est tout, mes amis

Peggy Henshall

Cajun Stitchery

(850) 261-2462

P.S. You are always welcome to stop by and look at all of the new catalogs and pass some time with me, cher.

Christmas is right around the corner – have you done your shopping yet? Take advantage of this week’s special and get ahead of the shopping rush.
Cajun Stitchery

Monday, November 2, 2009

What a Weekend

Wow!  What a weekend.  Halloween on Saturday and my birthday on Sunday. 

We were busy working on some birthday presents and sales orders last week.  The photo of the brown sweatshirt shows the use of a wash away topping.  The topping is a form of starch and washes out.  In this photo the starch hadn't completely washed out.  We cleaned it up before we sent it on its way, of course. 

The towel, wash rag, and bag are for a friend to give as Christmas presents.  They turned out really cute.

Thursday evening I spent next door helping to create a Halloween costume out of 2 fleece, animal print throws.  In the end, we create Neanderthrill.  Her costume was so cute.  We even sewed part of the fabric to her shoes. 

Saturday morning I received a call from a neighbor needing help altering his costume.  He needed a slit up the middle of his dracula's wife costume.  We had a blast altering his costume.

Sunday was my birthday and I wanted to go to Ft. Pickens and ride the beach road from Pensacola Beach to Navarre.  I had not done either since before Hurricane Ivan.  It was an absolutely gorgeous day and George and I had a ball. The sand was sugar white.  So white, in fact, that at times it was blinding.  We drove the whole way with the windows down, feeling the clean, fresh air.  Just a delightful afternoon. 

When we arrived home, all of that clean air made me drowsy.  George suggested that I take a nap.  After all it was my birthday.  So, we turned on our latest favorite movie "A Good Year" with Russel Crowe and I napped on the sofa.  We were to have dinner next door at my neighbor's home at 6:00.  I guess I awoke around 5:30 and we prepared to leave for our dinner engagement.  Upon arrival next door, the neighborhood surprised me with a birthday party, including party hats and more food than an army could eat.  Our neighbors are such good cooks.  We started out with a glass of wine and a wilted salad.  This salad would make Paula Deen envious.  Then we had one of my favorite foods, shepherds pie.  Finally, the birthday cake which was another favorite of mine -- Boston Cream Pie in the shape of a cake.  We opened presents and had wonderful conversations.  This neighborhood group is just the best.

Here it is, Monday morning.  The start of a new week.  My to-do list is packed for today.  Guess I better get going.

C'est tout mes amis.