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Mainely Tipping Points

Archive for October 12th, 2011

Turkey Tracks: Indian Summer in Maine

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Turkey Tracks:  October 12, 2011

Indian Summer in Maine

Summer is officially over in Maine.

But, we have been blessed with some gorgeous fall weather, and now our leaves are coloring up fast.

We try to get as much outdoor sweater/light coat weather as we can these days.  Here’s John on the deck of The Waterfront restaurant in Camden, Maine, enjoying a fine, sunny lunch:

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We had a wonderful time at MOFGA’s–Maine Organic Farmers’ and Growers’ Association–Common Ground Fair this year as well.  I can’t imagine how we both left cameras at home, but we did.  And, as usual, there were many wonderful pictures to be had.  I would especially have liked some of the many, fabulous hand-knit sweaters made with local yarns we saw.  Or, of the conga dancers–we finally saw what that was–and it was wonderful–not like square dancing at all, but done in long lines with couples who do repeating patterns that ensure that they move up and down the line–all to the sound of fiddle music.  (A violin sings but a fiddle dances, we learned.)

Here’s a picture of the bird house that John bought and hung on a tree where we can see it all winter long.  People hang lots of bird houses in their woods around their houses in Maine–they provide shelter for the birds that winter off in a storm.  John wants to make some with the grandchildren next summer.  We can’t wait for them to see it.

We celebrated Bryan’s birthday here, as I wrote in an earlier entry.  Here’s a picture of the outside of his birthday card.  I used pictures from their time in Maine to create the card–along with other bits of flotsam and jetsam collected along the way.  The buttons come from South Carolina.  The blue ribbon is off a box of chocolates we got from our new chocolate store here in town, Chocolatier Blue.  You wouldn’t believe these chocolates.

We ate the last of our lamb from last fall:  lamb shanks.  John thought the plate so pretty, he took this picture.  Everything on that plate but the lamb came from our garden.  See the little white pearl onions in the background.  The spaghetti squash came from  Hope’s Edge.  The green is Gundru, for fermented kale.  The white sauce on the tomatoes is homemade mayonnaise.  It was all delicious!  A great fall dinner.

Books: Internal Bliss

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Books:  October 12, 2011

Internal Bliss

The GAPS folks–Gut and Psychology Syndrome–have a cookbook out that helps those needing the GAPS diet–which is likely most of us these days–learn how to cook without using grains, sugars, and starchy vegetables.  You can order the main GAPS book and this new cookbook together on the GAPS diet web site:  http://www.gapsdiet.com/.  Or, you can order the cookbook alone.  The original GAPS book also has a lot of menus and recipes.  The main GAPS web site, which deals more with the GAPS problem at large, is  http://gaps.me.

I have written about the GAPS history and program in Mainely Tipping Points Essays 31 and 32, available on this blog.

Written by louisaenright

October 12, 2011 at 5:11 pm

Turkey Tracks: Chicken Mischief Continued

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Turkey Tracks:  October 12, 2011

Chicken Mischief Continued

Sister Susan asked for a picture of our chickens raiding the greens I planted in five deep blue plastic pots after we harvested potatoes from them.

You can see they visit the pots daily.  Since I’ve got a nice crop of lettuce in the cold frame, I just let them have these tender greens.  Chickens would choose greens to eat over anything else, probably, even, over a fat worm or a bug.  John says my chicken wire just gave them a really good platform from which to eat.  All of them were on the pots when I ran to get my camera.

The big girl is Valentine, the Freedom Ranger from our spring batch of meat chickens.  She gives us either a small rose-brown egg or a HUGE rose-brown egg every day, which is always double-yolked.  Sometimes the smaller eggs are double-yolked as well.  The lighter tan girl is Sally, an Americauna Wheaten.  She lays blue eggs.  Her sister Nancy has become quite “broody,” so she spends most days in the coop sitting on whatever layed eggs she can acquire from the other hens.  Both Sally and Nancy are molting, so the coop and the yard are adrift with their pale feathers.  These girls are two years old now.  And, since Pearl, the new Wheaten has not started laying yet, we have no blue eggs at the moment.  In fact, all laying is slow these days as our daylight dwindles.  It’s getting to be time for chickens to rest.

Here’s a picture of our new rooster–Pierre.  Or, Pretty Pierre.  Or, most of all these days, My Roo.  He’s just six months old now, but he’s sweet, gentle, and comes to see what is going on with whatever moves or makes noise in the yard.  He’s my constant companion in the yard as he’s so curious.  He lets me get close now, but it really scares him to be touched.  The new hens have settled in now and all will let me pick the up and cuddle them whenever, pretty much.

 The Wheaten below is our new little Pearl.  She’s quite lovely.  See her little bearded face?  And, Ninja and Annie Chickie, the hen raised last year, are with Pierre.

Pierre, who runs as fast as the wind, has taught me that our poor old Nappy had something wrong with his feet.  I think he might have been in pain.  He walked very strangely, and he didn’t like to walk.  Perhaps that’s why he was cross and took to charging people???

Written by louisaenright

October 12, 2011 at 4:44 pm

Turkey Tracks: Let There Be Light

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Turkey Tracks:  October 12, 2011

Let There Be Light

I keep forgetting that I’ve never put a picture of one of my favorite quilts on this blog.  I think it was among the most challenging quilts I’ve ever made, and I think it turned out well.  I designed it myself and drew some of the patterns, including the border, on Electric Quilt.  The quilt is made from a New York Beauty block, and I was inspired by any number of published quilters who have worked with this traditional block.  I remember the first time I saw a New York Beauty quilt years ago and how excited I was about making one myself.

The quilt is heavily quilted, with many different threads.  And, heavily beaded around the borders, as if the center is throwing light out to the edges.  Sarah Ann Smith took a picture of it–she’s got really good lights, etc.  But I can’t get the picture any bigger than this one without distortions.

Here’s the best I can do in my studio–and my camera distorts from top to bottom anda the colors aren’t right.  The splashes of bright green are lost, for instance.

Here’s a piece of the quilt–I used it to make my “business” card.  I put business into quotes as I don’t have any business to advertise.  We don’t really call these cards “calling cards” anymore, but I do give mine out to everyone I meet who seems as if they might be interested in some facet of this blog.  By the way, Vista Print makes beautiful cards for practically free.  I put this image on the front of the card, chose a coordinating color for the back, and put my information on the back.  Quilters could make different cards from details from different quilts pretty inexpensively.  When I reprinted my cards last month, I opted for GLOSSY on the front, and I really like it.

Here’s a close-up of the little version of the New York Beauty block:

 You can just see some of the beading, but even through it’s heavy, it’s also quite subtle.

I love this quilt.  I kept it, and it hangs in my quilt room!

I hung it in the judged section of the Pine Tree Quilt Show three years ago, and it only garnered a third.  I was terribly disappointed because I thought it was a first for sure, especially since Pine Tree judging is supposed to be about the merits of a quilt on its own, not in comparison to any other quilt in a curved judging event where percentages are considered for firsts, seconds, etc.  That’s judged quilting for you, though.  As much as people have tried to make quilt judging fair, it is terribly subjective, and the colors in this quilt are…different.  This quilt was a watershed for me.  I decided that I make quilts because I love to make quilts–good ones that are exciting and fun.  I don’t need someone else to tell me they’re wonderful because I know each one is, even when something has gone wrong along the way.

Written by louisaenright

October 12, 2011 at 4:15 pm