Louisa Enright's Blog

Mainely Tipping Points

Archive for February 2013

Turkey Tracks: New Purse

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Turkey Tracks:  February 26, 2013

New Purse

 I really needed a new purse all fall.

Here’s what the handles on the old one looked like by mid-December.

Purse handles

Can you believe that?

So, sometime around Christmas I rummaged through my fabric stash and assembled the ingredients for a new purse.

I got as far as getting all the parts ready to be sewn together.

And, then, John got really sick.

After he died, after everyone left, putting together the purse was a very soothing thing to do.

Here it is finished.  See the chicken fabric?

chicken purse 2

Here is the inside, with its egg fabric:

Chicken Purse inside

Here’s a view of the pocket:

Chicken purse

If you follow this blog at all, you know that there are MANY versions of this purse pictured.  When one wears out, I make a new one.  And I’ve helped a lot of people make one.  The pattern is Bow Tucks Tote by Penny Sturges, No. PS008.  And I love everything about how this purse is organized and how it wears.

This new one, though, is about the tackiest thing I’ve ever seen.

And, I love it.

Written by louisaenright

February 26, 2013 at 5:33 pm

Turkey Tracks: Nancy’s Red Socks

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Turkey Tracks:  February 26, 2013

Nancy’s Red Socks

My niece Nancy Howser Gardner offered a barter some months back:  a pair of hand-knitted red socks for a hand-knitted scarf.  She would make the scarf, and I would make the socks.

It actually took me some time to find a nice red yarn.  The one I found had some cotton in it, which I thought would be good for the climate in Atlanta, Georgia.

Here are Nancy’s socks a few weeks back.  I use five double-pointed needles to make socks, that way, the sock is divided over four needles, which are easier to handle than three needles.  I also move stitches around the needles as I go since I have never been able to NOT ladder the work if I keep the same stitches on the same needles.

New Project

Nice red, huh?

Here are the finished socks.  You can see the little blue slub in the red yarn, like a tweed.  The yarn band is next to the socks.

Nancy's red socks

Nan posted this picture  on Facebook after the arrived at her home:

Nancy's socks

I like them with her dark jeans…

The pattern is from Charlene Schurch’s SENSATIONAL KNITTED SOCKS, page 33.  This four-stitch pattern is called “garter rib.”

Turkey Tracks: Reflections

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Turkey Tracks:  February 26, 2013

Reflections

We are getting another big snow over the next few days.

I don’t mind.  I like the quiet and the time to work on projects.

But, I think it’s fun to think about the warm half of the year in the middle of winter.  And, visa versa in July or August.

Here’s a picture John took last summer.  I found it in the picture card of his camera the other day:

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And here’s one I took of the first, ripe Sun Gold tomato of the summer crop last summer:

First Sun Gold August 2012

There’s lots to enjoy  in February in Maine.  Gorgeous light effects at sunrise and sunset and at dusk, with what we call the “blue light.”  And, flowers from “away” that remind us that spring will come around again.  Like these gorgeous roses, with the “blue light” of dusk in the background.

Roses, Feb. 2013

I will have February for only two more days.

Written by louisaenright

February 26, 2013 at 4:53 pm

Turkey Tracks: Knitted Quilt

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Turkey Tracks:  February 10, 2013

Knitted Quilt

I finished the knitted quilt blanket.

Take a look?

Knitted quilt 1

I could have worked on this project forever.  It was so soothing in difficult times.  It used leftover yarns–mostly.  (I confess I did buy a few skeins to get certain colors I ran out of and thought I needed.)  And it was so fun to combine different yarns for different effects.

Here’s a close-up of some of the blocks:

Knitted quilt 2

And a close-up of the binding, which is the i-cord method and, I think, works really well.

knitted quilt edging

All the information you might want if you want to make this project is in earlier posts.  Go to the right side-bar, click on knitting, and all the knitting posts will come up.  Or, search for knitted blanket with the search button, further down on the right sidebar.

Written by louisaenright

February 10, 2013 at 3:52 pm

Turkey Tracks: Blackbird’s First Egg

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Turkey Tracks:  February 10, 2013

Blackbird’s First Egg

Chickie Blackbird was the only female among the three dog house chicks of last summer.  She is a cross between a Copper Black Maran rooster and a Wheaten Americauna mother.  I was led to expect that her eggs would be olive green.

Blackbird laid her first egg just after John’s funeral.  Everyone was here at the house after the funeral, and when I went outside to lock up the chickens for the night, there was her first egg.  Olive, as expected.  The dark brown egg is from my only remaining Copper Black Maran female.  The blue egg is from Pearl, one of two Wheaten Americaunas.  Aren’t the olive eggs beautiful?

Blackbird's 2 first eggs, Jan 2013

Blackbird’s “mother,” the hen who sat on the eggs and who raised her, was Chickie Sally, a Wheaten Americauna.  Sally taught her chicks to be careful, careful, careful, which is ironic, since Sally and Chickie Annie, whom I raised from an egg, got eaten by fox? later that summer.  (Both are missed.)  Anyway, Blackbird is so careful, careful, careful that it’s hard to get a picture of her or get near her.  That situation is made worse as she is the current “low chicken on the pecking order,” so she is always a bit away from the others who are mean to her.  Blackbird is coal black and beautiful.  This is the only picture of her I have–taken when she and her brothers (who are beginning to color up as roosters) were three months old.

dog house chicks, 3 months 2

Written by louisaenright

February 10, 2013 at 3:37 pm

Turkey Tracks: The Blizzard of 2013

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Turkey Tracks:  February 10, 2013

The Blizzard of 2013

We knew it was coming.

We were warned.  We went to the store and stocked up for the usual two days.

But, understanding what “blizzard” means is  a big like trying to understand what “hot” means if you live in Maine or what “cold” means if you live in South Carolina.

And I lived in Nebraska for 10 years.  And I certainly read about all sorts of blizzards if I didn’t actually experience one.

I can just tell you that I have never seen so much snow dumped out of the sky in one time or place.  I would look out and see a veritable wall of white swirling around in wind that was swinging tree tops wildly.  No one could get a good picture of that effect.  For one thing, no one with any sense who was surrounded by trees would dare go outside.

The word “blizzard” now means the following:  put the snow shovels INSIDE the house; put the snow shoes and poles INSIDE the house as opposed to, say, the garage, which is 50 feet away and might as well be a mile if 4 feet of snow is between you and it; and don’t think anyone is going to come right away to clear out the propane vents or the generator or help you get to the chicken coop–nevermind to the garage and a car.  For that matter, cars aren’t going anywhere for some time to come.  And, be glad you have a really good pair of TALL boots because you’re going to need them.  An ergonomic snow shovel would also be nice.  (Mine was trapped outside the kitchen door until about an hour ago when help arrived to shovel and plow me out.)

Here’s the situation with the kitchen door.  See the snow driven through the screen at the bottom?  The crew told me that one man they ploughed/shoveled out had the snow come through the screens so forcefully that it popped out all his screens.  I had trouble locking the doors last night as the snow inside the seals was preventing a solid closure.  I finally figured it out, cleared it all out, and could lock the doors again.  I wasn’t worried about intruders–no one was coming up our hill–but about the doors keeping a good seal and not blowing open.  The snow on the deck is in drifts, and most of it is waist deep–except for the large mound just beyond the door which marks where the grill is.

Blizzard of 2013, kitchen door

Here’s the front porch.   You can see the snow out there is higher than the window sills and almost up to the railing top.  Sorry about the view through the screens; it was the only way.

Blizzard of 2013, front porch

Looking out to the garage.  See that the snow is halfway as deep as the doorway?  I dug that path yesterday, trying to get to the propane vents on the north side of the house, back up to the left.  It filled in by another foot last night.

Blizzard of 2013 garage

Here’s the chicken coop through the dining room window.  It was completely covered.  You can see the cage to the left that adjoins the coop is covered.  The coop was covered that high a well.  It was hard to clear it off a there was a limited place to put the shoveled snow because the sides of the path were already so high and because the slope next to the coop is severe.

Blizzard of 2013, chicken coop

This is the view from the back door after the crew shoveled me out.  You can see how buried the hot tub is and how much snow there is between the path and the hot tub–about 12 feet of waist-high snow.  That’s going to require some hearty shoveling.  We did not do the back path that goes around the hot tub to the driveway.  There is just too much snow.

Blizzard of 2013, hot tub

Here’s what the kitchen door looks like after shoveling.  The only way to get to this door was to shovel a path around the side of the house and then shovel the drifts down from the outside.

Blizzard of 2013, kitchen door outside

Here’s the right side–you can see how high the snow is in relation to the windows.

Blizzard of 2013, kitchen windows outside

Here’s the back path, around to the chicken coop.  The railing to the left is on the deck, which is 2 plus feet off the ground.  So you can see how much snow that is in the back yard.

Blizzard of 2013, back path to coop

It’s hard to convey just how much snow we got.  Three plus feet fell in flat, measured sites.  But, when it blows and drifts, it can be a much greater accumulation.

So, now I have a “blizzard” memory and experience.

It’s a beautiful day here today, Sunday.  Clear blue, blue sky without a cloud around, and the snow is all sparkling like diamonds in the sunlight, especially if you pick up a shovel full.

Can I tell you that we are going to get snow or rain tomorrow.  And, on Wednesday.  But no one is using the “b” word.

Written by louisaenright

February 10, 2013 at 3:18 pm

Turkey Tracks: Goodbye John

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Turkey Tracks:  February 10, 2013

Goodbye John

It’s hard to say goodbye forever.

Even after an illness of 4 years–years that now seem very short.

John Michael Enright, my husband of 47 years (on May 28th 2013), died of an aggressive prostate cancer January 7, 2013.

This picture was taken in September of 2011 at the Waterfront Restaurant in Camden, Maine.  You can see he is wearing his Schooner J&E Riggin hat.

John, Waterfront, Sept 2011

The end came very fast.  We had gone out to lunch on Friday, January 5th.  And, he ate and enjoyed a very good lunch, despite having been “off” food for the past ten days or so, eating only a little and fussing about what was on his plate a lot.  On Saturday he was very tired.  Friend Dave Miramant came to repair the back screen door and visited for a bit.  After Dave left, John put his head down on the table and said, “I’m so tired.”  He spent the rest of the day in his reading chair by the fireplace.  We had a nice evening downstairs watching tv series we like, and he climbed the stairs ok.  But, toward dawn on Sunday, he “crashed.”  His legs stopped working after he got up for a bathroom visit.  He just seized up somehow, catching us all by surprise.  I knew he was getting much sicker, but…

Hospice came Sunday morning, and we began morphine to help with his breathing.  He did not complain of pain.  I stayed next to him all night Sunday so I could help with whatever he needed and could give him tiny, tiny doses of morphine through the night.  Our regular hospice nurse came on Monday morning, and it was clear that John had entered the dying process.  His sister Maryann got here late morning, having left Boston at 7 a.m.  She and I were with him as he drifted away, one of us on each side of him, about 2 p.m.

Friends came immediately.  Dick and Cassie Snyder.  Margaret Rauenhorst.  Dave Miramant and Dee Webster.  Maryann and I washed John’s body and figured out what clothes to send him off in for the cremation he had chosen.  The Long Funeral Home here were absolutely terrific.  I cannot recommend them highly enough.  And then we began planning the funeral, calling friends and family, and grieving together.  Our children arrived on Thursday with all the grandchildren, who have very much been part of John’s cancer from the beginning.

The funeral was January 12th and the Congregational Church in Camden.  The church was full of family and friends, many of whom came from long distances to be with us and to celebrate John’s life.  John would have been proud and pleased with the service, especially as a beautiful young woman with a great voice sang “Danny Boy.”   The reception following the service was also at the church and was catered by Lani Temple of Megunticook Market.  It was lovely, as I knew it would be when she agreed to do it on such short notice.

Here is John’s obituary:

John Michael Enright

1942-2013

John Michael Enright, 70, died at home, Monday, January 7, 2013, with his wife Louisa and his sister Maryann Enright at his side.  John chose the outstanding staff of Kno-Wal-Lin Hospice and Dr. Ira Mandel to manage the last stages of his cancer, and they kept him so comfortable that he was out in the community up until the Saturday preceding his death. 

John attended St. Clements High School (1960) and Tufts University (1964), both in Medford, MA.  He graduated from Tufts with a BA in Government .  Having completed the Tufts’ ROTC program, John was sworn in as an officer in the United States Air Force and was assigned to the 544th Aerospace Reconnaissance Technical Wing at Offutt Air Force Base in Offutt, Nebraska, where he worked in intelligence (1964-1968).  At Offutt, he met and married, in 1966, Louisa Philpott Enright, the daughter of Lt. Gen. Jammie M. and Lucy Bryan Philpott.

John worked at Planning Research Corporation from 1968 to 1992, first working in Intelligence Systems and then moving to Civil Systems in 1978, where he was made a Vice President.  He worked at Andover, MA-based Dynamics Research Corporation from 1992 to 2004 as their Washington, DC, marketing representative.

John and Louisa lived in Falls Church, VA, from 1968 to 2004.  John, at 32, was elected to the Falls Church City Council in 1974, the youngest councilman ever elected at that time.  He was a Commissioner of the Northern Virginia Planning District.  He retired to Camden, Maine, in 2004, and John often expressed that these years were the happiest of his life. 

In Camden, John was on the Board of Directors of the Camden Area Futures Group, The Coastal Counties Workforce, The Camden Conference, and The Community School.  And, John served as Roger Moody’s Treasurer during Moody’s two successful campaigns for Knox County Commissioner.  John was a member of the Camden Rotary and the MidCoast Forum for Foreign Relations.     

John was predeceased by his parents, John Joseph Enright and Norah T. O’Connell of Ireland and Somerville, MA.  John is survived by his wife, Louisa; his sister Maryann Enright, a Sister of Saint Joseph in Boston, MA, and his brother, James Gerard Enright of Surprise, AZ; his sons and his daughter-in-laws J. Michael Enright and Tamara Kelly Enright and Bryan J. Enright  and Corinne Casacio Enright of Isle of Palms, SC; and his grandchildren Bowen, Kelly, Talula, Wilhelmina,  and Ailey. 

John’s life was celebrated at the Camden Congregational Church in a service led by T. Richard Snyder and Maryann Enright, csj.  The Long Funeral Home has a memory book and information on donations to local organizations at their web site, www.longfuneralhomecamden.org.  And, donations can be made also to Kno-Wal-Lin Hospice, 170 Pleasant St., Rockland, ME 04841.    

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In the funeral program, we also listed Camden First Aid, Restorative Justice, and The Community School as worthy sites for donations.  If you are interested in any of those, addresses are on the Long Funeral Home site.
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There is only one other thing to say at this moment, and that is that if John had it to do over again, he would not have done one single thing about the prostate cancer–a plan that is now recommended by the main prostate cancer oversight group.  John did not have the “usual suspect” kind of prostate cancer.  He had one of the growing number of aggressive prostate cancers.  Nothing mainstream medicine did slowed it down for long.  At our very first “discovery” meeting, we were told that the average for this type of prostate cancer was 5 years.  John’s felled him in 4 years.
So, if you have ever wondered why I research and write about food and the human body, know that it is because that work is one way for me to try to get people to realize that we cannot continue down this path we are all following.  We cannot continue—well, we can, actually, but the results will be what we are all now seeing:  massive amounts of cancer among people we love, among…ourselves.  The reason my essays are called “Tipping Points” is because I want to know where the Tipping Point will come when people will say “enough.”
John’s death was more than enough.  John was, in fact, never sick.  That John could get cancer is akin to one of the canaries in the mines, to the frogs in the pot of heating water.  Wake up folks!  No one is really searching for “the cure.”  Industry is searching for more ways to sell you drugs that “might” cure cancer or control it.  The cure can only be cleaning up the world we’ve degraded since World War II.  The cure is refusing to eat poisoned food, to breathe poisoned air, to drink poisoned water, to put poisons on or near our skin.  The cure is to pay attention to real science, not paycheck science created by industry.  The cure is to break the grip that industry has gotten on all of our lives and to create rules that are good for people.
I will leave you with one more picture, taken in May 1966:
1966 2 John & Louisa's Military Sword Walk
 OK, here’s one more.  The man I married and loved for so many years:
1968 02 Captain Enright

The father of my two beloved sons, born 14 months apart:

1968 4 John with the boys

The beloved grandfather of five (and soon to be 6) grandchildren:

100_0088

Goodbye, John.  May you rest in peace and love.  We hold you in our hearts.  Always.

Written by louisaenright

February 10, 2013 at 2:11 pm