Jackpot Update

I finally got to the point where I had time to run down where the DNA dog testing on Jackpot went missing–for me, anyway. Sure enough, the Maine vet had the report and emailed it to me.

I sent it on to the amazing foster person–who is Irish–as I thought the new owners might like to have it. And I sent it to Glenna Tucker at Sweet Pups Nation Rescue and Sanctuary as Jackpot had two litter mates.

The DNA is NOTHING like I expected. I thought Jackpot a hound/terrier mixture–a “Feist” dog. Nope. There is a pointer bird dog, but no outright hound in the mix. No beagle or Basset hound. And no terrier either.

The foster person who took Jackpot from me and helped get him to a happy home has kept in touch with me, and she sends me current pictures from time to time–as she did this time after my email as Jackpot recently spent a long weekend with her. She is happy that she helped me get to South Carolina and to land on my feet here–and she was so much a part of making the move happen so that I could handle it as it was so, so hard for me to give up this adorable little dog.

Jackpot is about 7-8 months old now. She wrote the following:

“The little love bug has landed on his four feet too, smothered in love. He was back for a long weekend; it was so good to see him. He hasn’t gotten a whole lot taller. I think he’s stretched though; he seemed longer; his coat is so soft, a little thicker; he has grown into his funny ears. He’s still the same cautious, mad, fun, snuggly, adorable little dog, maybe slightly more mature, and his itching has completely disappeared. He is still a baby. He’s in heaven. The last photo, his ears were up, pointy, makes him look so different.”

Look at this trickster look. And note the snuggly blanket and the toys.

You can see the depth of his soft winter coat here. I want to leap through the frame and love on him.

The pointy ears. LOL. He’s such a sweet, sweet boy.

I’m delighted that his itching has stopped. He had a lot of detoxing to do, but he got and is getting what he needs.

Here is the DNA profile. Note the strong Akita on one side. There is a “mixed breed” marker, so maybe there is some hound/terrier there.

Anyway, I was so happy to get this Jackpot update.

The New Home: Getting Settled

It’s been two weeks since my last post.

Where does the time go?

I’ll tell you. It’s been going to getting settled in my new home, spending time with my families, and learning my way around.

It’s all good. I’m good. I’m happy!

Here’s one angle of The Big Room:

The dining room table went out this week to get refinished–so I have a work table in its place for the 4 to 6-weeks it will take.

The Plantation Shutters will come eventually, and they will cover all the big double windows. The sliding door will remain uncovered. It faces to the back screened porch. The road curves around to the mailbox kiosk–which is a whole new experience for me.

My box is 16B. The narrow dark space is where one can post a letter.

The big boxes below are for packages. One gets a key to the big box in one’s mailbox. Once inserted, the door can be opened, and the key stays in the lock–by design.

Our normal post person was away a few days, and apparently the substitute got keys and packages mixed up. I opened the box with the key in my box, and the package wasn’t mine, which, LOL, I didn’t realize until I sliced open the box at home and found bubble bath and a child’s toy. I tracked down the address and delivered the package to the correct owner as the big box was now open. What else could I do with someone else’s package?

Meanwhile, the package I had been expecting was said to have been delivered. Ummm. No. It was a potpourri mixture for the guest bathroom–so after several more days, I put in a request to Amazon to send a replacement as the package had “gone missing,” and they agreed to send a new package without charge.

When the normal post person returned, I met her, and we had a nice chat. She had BOTH packages for me. Now what to do? I loved the potpourri, so I asked Amazon to charge me for the replacement box.

After a few tries, I gave up. The system just does not allow for one to pay for a replacement box. So now I have this luscious potpourri in my bathroom as well.

Here’s my main meal today–meatloaf. a medley of roasted veggies cooked Tuesday, and fresh roasted cauliflower. And, yes, that’s fresh raw milk!!!

I am working upstairs bringing the sewing areas to rights and hanging pictures and quilts around the house.

AND, attending a series of wrestling matches where a grandson is participating.


It’s been a wild time for me since I left Maine in mid December. For sure. The time seems much longer than a month. But this time has also been filled with joy and laughter and FAMILY and the sale of a beloved Maine home and the purchase of what will be a beloved new home in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina.

I am still pinching myself that I am actually here and not just visiting. And there is so much to enjoy and to learn. There is also a lot to do to settle in here.

I have loved live oaks with their mossy draping since I was a child and went with family to St. Simons, Georgia, for a treasured week at the beach. Here’s a pretty live oak on Isle of Palms (IOP) where both of my sons live.

The IOP beaches are so lovely. Here is a picture just north of the inlet between Isle of Palms and Sullivan’s Island. That channel is deep and the current is very strong; it’s a place where dolphins in deep water will drive schools of fish right up on the sand banks in order to eat them. Locals call this area “Breach Inlet.” The low-tide pools just above the breach provide endless investigation for children and adults.

Here’s a live star fish.

The sand dollar below is still alive. They die in a few minutes if they get out of the water. So, many get trapped by a retreating tide, even if they bury themselves in the sand.

I am looking forward to when I have more time to explore the beaches and the many parks and trails here. But as I said, there is a LOT of work to do with a major move. There is the packing and organizing what is coming, of course. And then there is the unpacking and realizing what is and isn’t going to work in the house. But there are mounds of paperwork and errands to do as well: setting up house utilities (power, gas, water), wi-fi, the ADT security for which the house is already wired, a local bank account, and switching to a medicare advantage plan that covers Charleston County. I had to organize the state taxes on the house, a SC driver’s license, SC plates for the car, and finding and making appointments with new medical people. I’m still working on getting all the house warranties in place. I’ve also had to learn my way around, which has been made easier by the WAZE app that pretty much takes me wherever I need to go–in traffic that is much heavier than what I was used to in rural Maine.

The HUGE moving van (90+ feet) came from New England last Saturday, and it held my possessions and the possessions of two other moves–one nearby and one in Florida. (The brown grass is Centipedegrass–it will be lush and apple green in a few months.)

Here’s my house–and it has all the spaces I need for my sewing/quilting passion. The upstairs has two rooms that will house my longarm, my sewing machines and serger, and all the fabric and sewing notions.

This floor plan mirrors my house, which has the garage on the right. And the internal organization of the rooms is slightly different, but all the rooms are there. That storage loft is, I think, where all the air-conditioning and heating equipment is located. I have 3 bedrooms (the upstairs one will be my sewing room) and the downstairs flex room will be a tv room. The smaller closet in the master bedroom is going to be a little office. There is awesome storage all over the house. I will put the longarm in the game room space.

My refrigerator, washer, and dryer come on Saturday, so Saturday night will be my last night with my older son’s family. I have so enjoyed my time with this family–and with visits to my younger son’s family. My bedroom is mostly ready for me to move into it–I still have a lot of pictures to hang or to store propped on the wall there, but there is no rush to decide where to hang pictures or which ones to store.

I’ll include some pictures of the inside of the house when things are more settled. The guest bedroom and the upstairs are a disaster at the moment. But I like bringing order to chaos. And I can’t wait to set up my sewing spaces.

Farewell: Moving Van Wednesday and Thursday, December 14 and 15th

Hello everyone!

This post will be my last post in Maine. Next week, after getting to Charleston, SC, hopefully on Sunday, I’ll work on changing the name and regional focus of this blog. I’m thinking of something like “Living in the Low Country” or “My Low Country Adventure.” If YOU have ideas for a catchy new blog title, let me know in the comments?

The movers will be here Wednesday and Thursday, and I am mostly ready. I will leave here Friday to meet my two sons in Portland. They are flying in to drive me to Charleston. With my mast cell disorder, it isn’t wise for me to try to drive myself. What if I get triggered along the way and have a bad reaction? I will bring my own food in a cooler, but triggers can happen with chemical smells created by too many people sharing in a small space all their body and laundry products. Or, in a hotel room that likely gets sprayed to control insects and/or has residues from cleaning and laundry soaps.

The second contract on my Maine house failed late Tuesday last week. But I’m moving anyway. I have an excellent house caretaking team here, and all agree that I should just go ahead and leave the house in their capable hands–so I don’t have to hang around here all by myself (again) during the upcoming holidays. Thus, this Christmas I will be with family after many, many years of being alone in these winter holidays.

I want to be with my family–and I’m very much at peace with this decision to go. The house will sell when it sells, and it will sell at some point. It is a beautiful house–and I have loved every minute of living in it and living in Maine and living in the Camden community.

Somehow I’ve erased by mistake my favorite picture of the house and garage. Oh my! But I used my favorite fairly recent picture as the wallpaper on my iPad Pro, so I was able to at least get a screenshot of it, though I could not get rid of the time stamp from last year.

Here’s the house from another angle.

I will miss the lush green of a Maine summer, hikes through beautiful woods filled with ferns and the smell of fir trees, the cooler temps, the SNOW, the bracing sharp clean air, the very different and beautiful light changes in a place so far north and east, the stunning sun rises and sunsets, the dark sky filled with a huge moon and bright stars, many vistas from high hills that look out over the bay… I can go on as Maine has been a gift of the soul.

But I’ll be regaining family and a kin network that is much closer, access to a beautiful beach, a place filled with parks and nature walks, a new house to make a home, and a whole new adventure. I’m excited about the change and the new explorations to come.

Here’s one more picture, but there are many on this blog taken over the years.

I have been so busy since Tuesday doing the last packing and organizing. But here’s the progress on the 1 1/2-inch blocks from the Cotton+Steel project of the last two years. The two patches have all been sewn into four-patches.

And here are the four-patches being joined into strips that when sewn together will make a 4 1/2-inch (unfinished) block.

Four blocks make an 8 1/2-inch bigger block.

But then what?

I can set these blocks with sashings. Or, even, wonky-sashing settings. Perhaps that solution would depend upon how many blocks I wind up with–though I can augment somewhat from the bin of 1/1/2 C+S strips.

Or I can set them all together–or at least some of them–to make some sort of medallion center.

However, due to the lack of CLEAR darks and lights, the above bigger joining seems somewhat incoherent to me. So I’m NOT going to go this direction.

Right now with the move, I might be able to carve out enough time in the next few days to make all the 8 1/2 inch blocks, which I’ll put back into the bin holding the leftover C+S pieces and blocks, like a good pile of Churn Dash blocks, the 2-inch squares, and some other odd leftover pieces–some sewn into pieces that can be used somewhere.

I’ll try to post again when I am in Charleston. Meanwhile, enjoy this season of dark nights and starry skies and all the gatherings you might have that hopefully include good food and much cheer.

I wish you all JOY!

LED Lights

I am not a particular fan of LED lights. They take some time to heat up, for one thing. At least the LED spotlights in the ceiling of my quilt room take time to fully illuminate.

BUT, a clear pattern has emerged where the non-LED bulbs in the dining room chandelier have pulled a lot of voltage, so over time that high voltage load will burn out the dimmer switch–which first grows way too hot to the touch. It is very scary to touch a switch that is…hot.

This is the third time that I remember where the dimmer switch had to be replaced. And this time the electrician told me to replace the “regular” light bulbs with LED light bulbs.

Off to Home Depot I went, where I discovered a box of eight LED lights in either “daylight” or a softer white–for about $15. I came home with daylight, which may be too bright, but they can be dimmed too.

The lights are bright right away as well, so this light dimmer switch issue may now be solved.

Plus, the lights themselves have this kind of funky, but cute interiors (hidden by the lamp shades) that feature three bars that light up and are very bright–made more bright by the “daylight” choice.

I have learned a LOT during this move I’m making to South Carolina.

Knitting Kitchen Cloths

Two events started this knitting project: (1) I mailed to Charleston the EPP hand-sewing project I had put together to work on until I can move into my Charleston house as it would take up too much room in my car AND (2) when sorting “stuff” for the move I found a bag of cotton yarns I had purchased so grandchildren could learn to knit. But, the three covid years didn’t deliver grandchildren to my house in Maine who wanted to learn to knit.

I really love to have hand work to do at night–so I started knitting these cloths for the kitchen. It is a good project as my stack of these cloths, which I use to dry my wet hands, was growing low and some cloths were getting worn and shabby looking.

I’ve finished the top three cloths now and am working on the fourth one.

The 4th cloth is being knitted in a moss stitch, which I’ve never made before now. I like the seed stitch (see the aqua/purple cloth), and the moss is the same except one starts with even stitches (seed with an odd number of stitches) and in moss one knits TWO rows that are identical and then two rows that start by knitting a purl into a knit and a knit into a purl, as with the seed stitch.

You can see the moss stitch creates wonderful texture.

The other two completed cloths are just a garter stitch (all knitting all the time)–and all of these choices (garter, seed, moss) give a heavier texture to these cloths, which I think is needed.

I have four more cotton balls, and they are all solids, so I will have fun with both the seed and moss stitches that create so much texture.

Extraordinary Attorney Woo

I finished watching all 16 episodes of the South Korean drama series EXTRAORDINARY ATTORNEY WOO Tuesday night. It is hosted by Netflix.

What a treat!

Attorney Woo is on the autism spectrum. She has a photographic memory and is a genius with regard to South Korean laws. But, as she is autistic, it takes some time for her colleagues to appreciate her amazing skills as she is very different than they are.

However, over the 16 episodes, her colleagues not only learned to appreciate her, they have grown to love her and to work together to protect her. Happy endings are part of comedy and romance, and at least some courtroom dramas, and this series brings all these threads into a satisfying ending by the last episode.

The first two episodes set up the characters and then the series just takes off and soars. Each episode features a different legal issue and different issues for an autistic woman to learn to manage, but each episode also shows how the characters stretch and grow. A full range of emotions is present, and I often found myself laughing out loud or feeling really sad about how things are developing. And one learns a fair amount about South Korean culture along the way.

There are subtitles. But I think it is worth reading them in order to experience some of the very good foreign tv series that are now available on our streaming platforms these days.

There will be a season 2.

Below, is a link to Wikipedia if you want to know more:


Quilty Order Out of Chaos

I’ve been working for some days now–when I have time between packing, organizing all the “moving” parts of the move (pun intended) to South Carolina, and the general upkeep of the house and cooking–bringing order to the 1 1/2-inch squares created by trimming in the Cotton+Steel project of the past years.

The pile is going down–even though I have had to cut more neutrals in order to make a 4-patch that has neutrals and colors. On the right, you can see layered blocks ready to sew.

I’ve reached the point where I can organize better by color.

Here’s a picture of strings of sewn two patches on the ironing board that are ready to be ironed.

Next I’ll sew two 2-patches together to create a 4-patch that when used, will form diagonal lines in this project–as can be seen in this picture, which also includes the 2-inch 9-patch blocks that will also form diagonal lines.

I’m not sure how I’ll use the 8-in blocks I will create with the 1 1/2-inch squares. Maybe I’ll surround them with sashing so each block is set off by itself and can shine. Maybe I’ll just but the finished blocks back into the C+S “parts department” bin.

In any case, the time spent organizing, piecing, ironing, and planning is soothing to me–so I try to make some time each day for this project.

Blender Drinks

Turkey Tracks: Recipes

I’m late to the party on making blender drinks, I think.

But when I got so sick about a month ago now and couldn’t eat, blender drinks were the way back to getting sufficient calories, thanks to suggestions from my homeopath.

What I like about my blender drinks, rather than juicing, is that one is eating the WHOLE food, and the fiber from the pulp is needed in one’s gut.

You can use a high-speed blender or, even, a food processor to reduce your ingredients to a drinkable or spoonable texture. The more water one adds, the thinner the texture.

I err on the side of more veggies and less fruit. Too much fruit is too much fructose sugar, so while I want the vitamins and fiber, I don’t want to overload on sugar. Of course many of the veggies I love also have sugars included. But on days I make or have blender drinks stored, they can be used as a dessert.

Note that I can’t do citrus, but that YOU could–and the addition of orange, lemon, or lime, would make your blender drink have a sparkly taste–or so I imagine.

AND, I use organic ingredients.

I have frozen local organic blueberries, so I start with a half cup of those. And, an apple I’ve seeded but not peeled. I have some frozen peach slices from a neighbor’s gift of fresh peaches last summer. And, I froze a bag of my raspberries last summer as well. I limit fruit to 1 1/2 to 2 cups–and a big blender batch makes enough of these drinks for two days. (I wouldn’t keep drinks longer than that I think.)

For veggies, anything goes: carrots, beets, celery, cucumber, bell peppers (red pepper has a lot of vitamin c) the leaves of greens (kale, chard, lettuces, a wedge of cabbage), leftover cooked broccoli and/or cauliflower. Use what you have on hand.

Add a chunk of ginger–for me about 1/4 inch thick and the size of a quarter.

And, I’ll confess I’ll sometimes add just a dollop of maple syrup (dissolves more easily than honey)–which gives a base note that is lovely. But if you want to use local raw honey (a tablespoon a day is a good health measure), that would be lovely too.

At first I kept the mixture in my blender in the refrigerator so I could re-whirl it before pouring into a glass, but I discovered along the way that if I just poured the original mixture into glasses and covered them with the silicon covers I like, it is easy enough to just remix the drink with a spoon. And, I could grab a drink without the to-do of remixing in the blender container, which was now clean and stored.

The stretchy round silicon covers have reduced the use of plastic in my kitchen down to almost no use. These lids are not expensive, and the sizes range from very small (a soda can or a can of Bar Keepers or Comet) to ones that will cover a fairly large bowl. A quick check on Amazon also showed that now some rectangle lids are available. The lids can go into the dishwasher and be used in a microwave.

Hmmm. Rectangular lids will have to wait until I’ve made it to Charleston, though. And maybe in that more urban environment, silicon products will be in local stores.

Note: pure silicon does not show any white when you pinch it. The color is true throughout.

A Sunny Saturday

Turkey Tracks

It is a sunny, cold morning here in Maine. And I have been steadily working away this morning at organizing all the moving parts involved in my move to Charleston, SC, in mid-December. And, with catching up with emails and messages to friends. I am making great progress in crossing off items in my many “to do” lists.

In just a bit I’ll stop working here and make a stir-fry with a package of gifted deer meat that I’ve been hoarding. I love deer. And lamb. I find that one either does or does not like these stronger, gamier, meats.

I’ve been able to carve out a bit of sewing time in recent days. I now have made four rows of the Traverse Block-of-the Month project designed by Tara Faughnan and hosted by Sewtopia. I did not want to fall behind during the move, and I’ve taken four of Tara’s The Color Collective classes and made her astonishingly gorgeous wedding quilt pattern, so I did not have any trouble with making these rows–once I got over the exacting flying geese rows, which I seemed to have made much harder than they needed to be.

The green and yellowish row of little squares is surrounded by its two sashing rows as I had those fabrics on hand, and it will sit at the top of the quilt. (See the previous post for a picture of the whole quilt).

So now what? I opened the box of what’s left from my year(s) long Cotton+Steel projects. There are bags of 1 1/2 and 2-inch squares, some rectangles of two blocks, and the long strips cut for the Churn Dash blocks (only a few of those left now). Sewing the small squares into blocks is fairly mindless and soothing, so that’s what I did yesterday.

The 2-inch squares will make a good size lap quilt. The 1 1/2-inch block measures 8 inches finished–and I’m not sure where that one is going yet. And I will need a few more Churn Dash blocks to make a good lap size quilt, but not many.

It’s good to have this sewing time while I wait for the Due Diligence period of the contract to finish on December 5th. After that, I will do the last of the serious packing and cleaning.

Time is moving fast, even during this quieter period.