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Turkey Tracks: “Big Bunny Hug” Quilt

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Turkey Tracks:  September 30, 2013

“Big Bunny Hug” Quilt


Here’s a quilt I mailed a few weeks ago to my niece and namesake Louisa Nancy Howser Gardner–called Nan–celebrating the birth of her second beautiful son almost a month ago now.

Big Bunny Hug 3

I bought the fabric three or so years ago in Williamsburg while with my Virginia quilting friends for a week.  The panel was meant to be a fabric book, but I thought I would like to make a quilt with the story inside it.  I did a similar quilt for Nancy’s sister Lauren for the birth of her first son almost two years ago now.

The red brick fabric and the green swirly fabric came out of my stash.  I had intended a border fabric to run along the sides, but decided I liked it on the back instead.

Here are some individual blocks:

Big Bunny Hug Block


Big Bunny Hug Block 3


Big Bunny Hug Block 2

Here’s the back, made up of the border fabric;

Big Bunny Hug Backing

And a close-up of the border print:

Big Bunny Hug Border detail

And here’s how the front, binding, and backing work together:

Big Bunny Hug Backing and Binding

I quilted with a limey green thread that just goes right into the quilt–with the pantograph “Deb’s Swirls,” medium size.  The quilting is lovely if I do say so myself.  (I’m getting so much better.)

It’s a cute quilt with very cute fabric.  BUT, but, getting the blocks all to match mathematically was a small nightmare as the “book” pages were not all the same size.  I’m glad it all came out nicely.




Written by louisaenright

September 30, 2013 at 5:12 pm

Interesting Information: Jessica Gianelloni Tackles Vaccine Myths: Herd Immunity and Measle Outbreaks

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Interesting Information:  September 30, 2013

Jessica Gianelloni Tackles Vaccine Myths:  Herd Immunity and “The Worst Measles Year Ever”


Jessica Gianelloni is a young mother (five children, one of which is adopted from Uganda) who has DONE HER RESEARCH about her family’s vaccine decisions.  Fortunately, she blogs and has put her research online where everyone can read it:  http://gianelloni.wordpress.com.  I urge you to take a look if you are contemplating vaccines of any kind.  And I urge you to spend $20 and get a DVD of THE GREATER GOOD, a documentary that explores all sides of the vaccine question. 

A recent CNN story claimed that 2013 was shaping up to be “the worst measles year ever,” which sparked a new round of Jessica’s research.  Have you NOT noticed that we get a story like this almost every year from the media?  It’s either the flu or measles.  But there are no statistics.  No citations. 

Let me tell you that Jessica has read widely and documents what she shares.  She uses sources like the CDC database.  She wrote a two-part blog entry on this recent CNN story, beginning with the myth of “herd immunity” (a total industry scam backed up by a brain-dead press) and ending with the myth of any kind of measles epidemic occuring.

Here’s a quote on Jessica’s blog from Dr. Palevsky, a board certified pediatrician, on the myth of herd immunity:

You can’t vaccinate believing that your children are protected and then feel that your children are not protected because somehow, some non-vaccinated child is carrying some secret organism that no-one else is carrying. You can’t have it both ways. It just doesn’t make any sense.”

Jessica uses Dr. Palevsky to explain more of how vaccines work, using the Pertussis (whooping cough) vaccine:

Do children vaccinated with the pertussis vaccine somehow stop carrying pertussis bacteria in their airways simply because they’ve been vaccinated? NO

Do pertussis vaccines stop vaccinated children from transmitting the pertussis bacteria to other people? NO

Do pertussis bacteria disappear from society once vaccination rates are high? NO: Vaccination rates for pertussis have no impact on whether the pertussis bacteria are in the air or not, or whether or not we breathe them in. The presence of the pertussis bacteria, and the exposure to them, are in no way affected by vaccination status or vaccination rates.

Do unvaccinated children, because they are unvaccinated, carry the bacteria in their airways, which vaccinated children are somehow no longer believed to be carrying because they’ve been vaccinated? NO

Do unvaccinated children transmit the pertussis bacteria to other children by the mere fact that they are not vaccinated? NO: Air is air. Air is free to breathe. We breathe in whatever is in the air. And, vaccinated and unvaccinated children are equally exposed to breathing in pertussis bacteria.

Anyone who poses as science the idea that unvaccinated children pose a threat to the population because they are unvaccinated and are more likely to transmit a disease to the rest of the population, is misleading you, promulgating myth, and inaccurate.  Vaccination with the pertussis vaccine does not exonerate anyone from carrying the pertussis bacteria, or prevent them from being exposed to the bacteria.

The fact is that vaccination does NOT stop you from carrying bacteria or viruses in your nose, throat, intestines, airway, skin, or in your body. We have been made to believe that if you’re vaccinated, you won’t carry the viruses, and therefore, others will be protected because you’re vaccinated. This belief is NOT based on scientific fact.

You can’t vaccinate believing that your children are protected and then feel that your children are not protected because somehow, some non-vaccinated child is carrying some secret organism that one else is carrying. You can’t have it both ways. It just doesn’t make any sense.

So, Jessica asks the following—after noting that in her state there is over a 90% vaccination rate of children—as is true of many states.  And after noting that what gets ignored is that most adults HAVE NOT BEEN VACCINATED—so for the past 40 years or so, the herd has never been really “herd immune” at all.

So is the herd immune or not? How do we keep blaming the small percentage of unvaccinated children on “outbreaks” when the majority of children are vaccinated.  It’s a joke. I think we should blame the outbreaks on people who haven’t had a measles vaccine since they were children. Those no-good-non-immune-measles-spreading-x-generation-and-baby-boomers.

Jessica uses Dr. O’Shea to explain how NATURAL herd immunity actually works:

Dr. O’Shea, in his book: “Vaccination is Not Immunization”  explains:  “Do not make the error of many pediatricians or journalists who talk about herd immunity as though it refers to the immunity that proceeds from a large group of people being vaccinated. The calculated deception behind this common misnomer is that if you don’t know what herd immunity is, you’ll buy their illusion: that the unvaccinated child can take advantage of the herd who have been vaccinated. This is well though-out propaganda. True herd immunity is a term which indicates that a disease has burned itself out within a population, as with plague, smallpox, typhus-every infectious disease in history. The herd has become immune. Natural selection. It has to do with nature, not with manmade vaccines. Don’t be fooled again”

And, here again is Dr. Palevsky:

 “This whole concept of herd immunity is very interesting, because we were taught that herd immunity occurs because a certain percentage of a population gets an active illness. Therefore by a certain percentage of getting the active illness, they impart a protection onto the remaining part of the population that has not gotten the illness yet. And so the herd that is getting the illness is shedding the illness and protecting those who have not gotten it.

In vaccine science, we are extrapolating or concluding that if we vaccinate a certain percentage of people, we are imparting protection on those who have not been vaccinated. And that has NOT been shown to be true, because the true herd immunity in theory is based on an ACTIVE DISEASE, and we know that despite what we’re taught, vaccination does not mimic the natural disease.

So we cannot use the same model of herd immunity in a natural disease in the vaccination policy. But unfortunately, we do use it even though it doesn’t have scientific backing.

Jessica surfaces the other really BIG FACT that we should all know:  vaccines are only effective for from two to 10 years!!!  Vaccines DO NOT give one lifetime “protection”—and that word I am putting deliberately into quotes because so many children are being harmed by vaccines. 

Further, the greater predictor and correlation of death due to a child getting measles or one of the other childhood diseases is malnutrition and poverty—not being unvaccinated.  And, most “outbreaks” are occurring among children who have been vaccinated. 

So now let’s go back to the September 2013 CNN story.  Jessica looks at some history:

The article published last year (2012) from USA Today read “CDC: 2011 was worst measles year in U.S. in 15 years” But now today, CNN runs an article titled “U.S. measles cases in 2013 may be most in 17 years”. Well if 2011 was the worst in 15 years, how is 2013 going to be the worst in 17 years? We haven’t surpassed the amount of cases in 2011 yet. And we are nowhere close to surpassing the amount of cases from 1996. And guess what? Yep, the 2011 worst year was caused by the unvaccinated kids too. Haha!  And the 2008 outbreak.  And every outbreak, right?  Nope. Outbreaks have occurred in populations where 99% was vaccinated.

And then she looks at some facts:

I went through the last few years of measles “outbreaks”, and there hasn’t been a measles death since 2003, despite years and years of “outbreaks” being caused by the unvaccinated. Which by the way, do you notice that we are always having the “worst outbreak in years”, every year? In 2008, we had an outbreak in San Diego…this is how they worded it….”In the end, 839 people were exposed to measles. Eleven were infected.” 11. But in 2008, if you remember the headlines, it was the worst measles outbreak. Ever.

Jessica notes how the media is NOT doing its homework, but just accepting uncritically what it is being told.  By whom?  Mainstream medicine?  The vaccine/drug companies?  Well-meaning doctors who also have not looked at this issue critically or examined the science—of which there isn’t any that looks at what vaccines do to individual and their cells.  (All the science claimed by vaccine promotors are large epidemiological studies looking at large groups of people—studies which could also be correlated to things like DDT use, malnutrition, poverty, and the like—but aren’t.)

The CNN article gives no sources or references. People demand that my blog give sources and references, but we don’t demand the same from media reporting. People just read an article like the CNN one, and they are sold on the underlying message: BLAME THE UNVACCINATED.

Meanwhile, there are states out there—and school systems—who are demanding that ALL kids be vaccinated—regardless of their tolerance for vaccines.  And children are being hurt and families are being torn apart as they try to struggle with the fallout from a child who has been hurt.  Vaccine harm is vastly underreported as the whole system is voluntary entirely.    

Parents who object are being dragged into courts in those states.  That’s why those who smell a skunk are demanding that (1) they be shown the science and (2) they be given a choice.  And that lands us up at the documentary THE GREATER GOOD, which I will write about in a separate blog. 

Meanwhile, Jessica recommends parents trying to figure out what’s what with vaccines take a look at her current favorite books:

There are great books out there. I’ve probably read them all. Here are my current 3 favorites.

“Vaccine Epidemic: How Corporate Greed, Biased Science, and Coercive Government Threaten Our Human Rights, Our Health, & Our Children” Featuring more than twenty-five experts from the fields of ethics, law, science, medicine, business, and history, Vaccine Epidemic urgently calls for reform. It is the essential handbook for the vaccination choice movement and required reading for all people contemplating vaccination for themselves and their children.

Vaccine Illusion” Newly release by a Harvard PhD immunologist. I love her forward: “I never imagined myself in this position, least so in the very beginning of my Ph.D. research training in immunology. In fact, at that time, I was very enthusiastic about the concept of vaccination, just like any typical immunologist. However, after years of doing research in immunology, observing scientific activities of my superiors, and analyzing vaccine issues, I realized that vaccination is one of the most deceptive inventions the science could ever convince the world to accept”

“Thinking Mom’s Revolution: Autism Beyond The Spectrum” Inspiring True Stories from parents fighting to rescue their children.

Written by louisaenright

September 30, 2013 at 4:55 pm

Interesting Information: That “Green Thing”

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Interesting Information:  September 29, 2013

That “Green Thing”


Friend Jon Strother–who served with John Enright at Offutt Air Force Base 50 years ago, who was in our wedding honor guard with crossed swords outside the base chapel, and who lives in Northern Virginia in a town near Falls Church–sent me the following post.

I found it…sad…because we have drifted so far from the days when everyone actually “conserved” things.  I have been organizing the house and yard for fall and winter.  And, once again, I added yet another really good cardboard box to my stash in the garage attic.  I can’t just break them down and throw them away.  For one thing, a decent-sized one costs at least $6 if I don’t have one and want to mail a quilt.  For another, it just seems monumentally wasteful.

Today, goods come flying through the mail in these gorgeous boxes–and we just break them down and take them to the dump.  What’s wrong with us?  We can’t just keep on using up resources like this…  OK, I thought, so you’re getting to be like your mother, who filled up many of her kitchen cabinets with those little plastic tv dinner trays.  Only, there really wasn’t another use for those plastic slabs, and there is for a good box.  Or, for a good paper bag.

It’s so sad to me to see how much we have allowed the market to orchestrate our lives–so that paying to exercise, or not cooking your own food, or always having to have everything new, or endlessly drinking from plastic bottles and throwing them away, or throwing out a good box seems…normal.

I don’t know who wrote this piece.



Checking out at the store, the young cashier suggested to the much older woman, that she should bring her own grocery bags because plastic bags weren’t good for the environment.

The woman apologized and explained, “We didn’t have this ‘green thing’ back in my earlier days.”

The young clerk responded, “That’s our problem today. Your generation did not care enough to save our environment for future generations.”

She was right — our generation didn’t have the ‘green thing’ in its day.

Back then, we returned milk bottles, soda bottles and beer bottles to the store.  The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over. So they really were recycled.

But we didn’t have the “green thing” back in our day.

Grocery stores bagged our groceries in brown paper bags, that we reused for numerous things, most memorable besides household garbage bags, was the use of brown paper bags as book covers for our schoolbooks.  This was to ensure that public property, (the books provided for our use by the school) was not defaced by our scribblings.  Then we were able to personalize our books on the brown paper bags.

But too bad we didn’t do the “green thing” back then.

We walked up stairs, because we didn’t have an escalator in every store and office building. We walked to the grocery store and didn’t climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time we had to go two blocks.

But she was right. We didn’t have the “green thing” in our day.

Back then, we washed the baby’s diapers because we didn’t have the throwaway kind.  We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy-gobbling machine burning up 220 volts — wind and solar power really did dry our clothes back in our early days. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing.

But that young lady is right; we didn’t have the “green thing” back in our day.

Back then, we had one TV, or radio, in the house — not a TV in every room.  And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief (remember them?), not a screen the size of the state of Montana. In the kitchen, we blended and stirred by hand because we didn’t have electric machines to do everything for us.  When we packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, we used wadded up old newspapers to cushion it, not styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap. Back then, we didn’t fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn.  We used a push mower that ran on human power.  We exercised by working so we didn’t need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity.

But she’s right; we didn’t have the “green thing” back then.

We drank from a fountain when we were thirsty instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time we had a drink of water.  We refilled writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and we replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull.

But we didn’t have the “green thing” back then.

Back then, people took the streetcar or a bus and kids rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour taxi service in the family’s $45,000 SUV or van, which cost what a whole house did before the “green thing.”  We had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances.  And we didn’t need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 23,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest burger joint.

But isn’t it sad that the current generation laments how wasteful we old folks were just because we didn’t have the  “green thing” back then?

Please forward this on to another “selfish old person” (don’t take it personal, just trying to make a point) who needs a lesson in conservation from a smartass young person…

We don’t like being old in the first place, so it doesn’t take much to piss us off…especially from a smartass who can’t make change without the cash register telling them how much.

The end!

Written by louisaenright

September 29, 2013 at 6:18 pm

Turkey Tracks: MOFGA (Maine Organic Farmers’ and Growers’ Association) Fair, 2013

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Turkey Tracks:  September 25, 2013


I went on the first day–Friday.

By myself, as it turned out…

And that was ok…

It was HOT though, so I found myself going home sooner than I might have in cooler weather.

I visited some of my favorite people in their booths, though some sort of inertia set in and I didn’t take many pictures.  The chicken house has been a bit lacking in recent years–not so many types of chickens.  And I confess I would never take any of my beloveds to be gawked at and yelled around for three days.  I continue to admire and think about a cold hardy, dark brown, chicken from Ohio–Buckeye.  Here’s a rooster.

I visited Kelly Corbett of Romney Ridge Farm.  Kelly is now being accepted into major shows up and down the East Coast.  I stopped by The Spinnery booth.  Bill is the most amazing knitter, and his yarns are gorgeous.  I strolled through the craft tents, but I’m not really into buying many “things” these days.  I stopped by Roots, Coops, and More.  Lori and Steven have so many interesting and well-designed chicken coops for people with small flocks.

I didn’t go near the livestock barns–just got too hot and tired.  So, I missed the man who brings ten mules to the fair–ten mules he hitches up together about once a day.  Mules are like potato chips, he says.  You can’t have just one.  Mules, like parrots, live to be VERY old, over 50 years, so getting one is not a small undertaking.

I bought this year’s t-shirt and listened to Sander Ellis Katz (lacto-fermentation–WILD FERMENTATION), who was the keynote speaker.  (He has a new book out, and it does contain a recipe for corning beef, which son Bryan and I talked about when he was here–I think the new book is called THE ART OF FERMENTATION, and it’s meant to be an “everything you need to know” kind of book.)

I stood in line for the lamb shish-k-bob I love to get each year:

MOFGA, lamb vendor

And it was as delicious as ever…

MOFGA, lamb k-bobs

And I always get a “blood” drink from the Solar Cafe–beet, apple, fresh ginger, and lime.

MOFGA Solar Cafe


MOFGA, bull d

I stopped by John’s ice cream on the way home.  I love the way John changes the flavors on a regular basis.  I got Spumoni, which was filled with dates and figs and coconut and chocolate.  Mercy!  It was so good!

I drifted home on a cloud of sugar energy.

Once a year…

Interesting Information: Food is the Best Medicine – YouTube

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Interesting Information:  September 25, 2013

Friends sent me this video of Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, who is a Russian/British neurosurgeon and nutritionist who is on the cutting edge of understanding the importance of the relationship of gut integrity to being healthy.  I’ve written about her GAPS work many times on this blog.  She is a heroine of mine.

Get a cup of coffee or tea, pull up a chair, and treat yourself to 45 minutes or so of real wisdom.  This woman cured her child of autism and has a clinical practice in Britain where she has cured so many people sick with neurological diseases or food allergies.

There are other, longer videos of her speaking on utube if you want to go further, for longer.  But this video is a very good start if this topic is new to you or if she is new to you.


Food is the Best Medicine – YouTube.

Written by louisaenright

September 25, 2013 at 5:04 pm

Turkey Tracks: Bryan, Corinne, Ailey, and Cyanna’s Visit

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Turkey Tracks:  September 24, 2013

Bryan, Corinne, Ailey, and Cyanna’s Visit

Family members are asking for pictures of Bryan, Corinne, and the girls during their recent visit to Maine.

We had a lovely time, and were able to do something fun with Ailey every morning of their visit.  Ailey will be three in late November (Thanksgiving baby), and Cyanna is entering her sixth month.  At the end of their week here, when her parents were packing up suitcases, Ailey wanted to know where Lovey’s suitcase was.  And all the way to the airport, she announced occasionally that she wanted to stay in Maine.

By showing you their pictures, I am also showing you some places along beautiful Mid-Coast Maine.

I picked them up at the Portland airport, and we stopped at LLBean to eat lunch, shop, and take pictures around the boot.  Ailey got a new pair of boots–which she loves and used every day.

Sept 2013,The Girls at the Boot, Sept 2013

We’ve had a lot of fog this year, and Ailey had read all about lighthouses and pea-soup fog.  So, we headed off to Owl’s Head Lighthouse, where obligingly, the fog bank rolled right in, setting off the fog horn.  Ailey talked about lighthouses and fog horns for the rest of the week.

Sept 2013, Ailey at Owl's Head Lighthouse

At the top:

Sept 2013, Owls Head

Here’s the fog bank starting to roll in–the view is from the lighthouse steps:

Sept. 2013, Owls Head

So, we walked down to the pebble beach at Owl’s Head–following a path through the woods.

Sept. 2013, Cyanna, Owls Head with Dad

The pebble beach.  Ailey loves to pick flowers.

Sept. 2013, Ailey, Owls Head Beach

On another day, we walked the Rockland Breakwater out to the lighthouse that sits at the end.  The breakwater was built in 1899 and is a mile out and a mile back–or so I’ve been told.  The granite rocks have big cracks between them–so someone needed to hold Ailey’s hand.  But, it was a beautiful morning–we saw dolphins, all kinds of sea birds, a lobsterman working his tracks right next to the breakwater, and lots of happy people.

See the lighthouse all the way at the end?  Ha!  You barely can…

Sept. 2013, Rockland Breakwater 1

Almost there…

Sept. 2013, Rockland Breakwater 2

One morning Bryan and Corinne took the girls to the carriage trail that is the back way up to Mount Battie.  A creek crosses the trail about a half-mile in, and Ailey had a great lot of fun wading through it in her boots.  (I was at our monthly quilt meeting.)

We took some bread to Camden Harbor to feed the ducks one morning–and to let Ailey throw rocks into the water–an occupation of which her Enright boy cousins seem to never tire.

Sept 2013, Camden Harbor white ducks with friend

Mommy found some boots she liked as well in Maine!

Sept. 2013, Harbor

Cyanna is always happy in her baby carrier–and she is “Daddy’s Girl.”

Sept. 2013, Cyanna at Camden Harbor

Here’s a harbor view:

Sept 2013, Harbor view from park

And I’ll print this shot to make the house photos current.  And the first one of Cyanna with Bryan.

Sept 2013, Ailey at Camden harbor

It was a lovely visit!

Written by louisaenright

September 24, 2013 at 6:12 pm

Interesting Information: A Horror Story

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Interesting Information:  September 24, 2014

A Horror Story

I can tell this story now that my niece (and namesake) has delivered her beautiful second son and is home safely.

To tell this story before this event would have scared my niece to death.  Though she had chosen to use a midwife and to have her son in a birthing center, the birth still took place in a hospital.  And hospitals are not places one wants to be in these days.

Heather Ann (Woodward) Nichols, 29, grew up in Owls Head and Rockland.  She met husband Matt in Portland, and they married int he spring of 2011.  Heather went to one of our best state hospitals to have her first baby in early August.

The baby’s room was all ready, the couple was so excited about the birth of their first child, and the birth apparently went well.  Heather had an episiotomy during the birth process.  Heather went home with her daughter, Ruby Ann, and in a matter of hours, starting experiencing a lot of pain.  She went back to the hospital and died a few days later.  She had picked up a flesh-eating bacteria through the episiotomy–A Streptococcus, or necrotizing fasciitis.  These bacterias LIKE living in hospitals.

NPR’s Diane Rehm has had many programs on the overuse of antibiotics over the many years I’ve listened to her radio show.  She had another one last week (September 2013).  But, the herbalist Stephen Harrod Buhner says that it’s way too late now to try to cut back on the heavy use of antibiotics–most of which are used on the animals in our food supply–to promote growth in overcrowded conditions.  The barn door is already open, and we can’t go back.  Worse, there are no magic drugs in the pipeline that can control the super pathogens that we now face.

Herbal Antibiotics

Here’s a quote from Buhner’s HERBAL ANTIBIOTICS (13-14):

The thing that so many people missed, including my ancestors, is that all life on Earth is highly intelligent and very, very adaptable.  Bacteria are the oldest forms of life on this planet and they have learned very, very well how to respond to threats to their well-being.  Among those threats are the thousands if not millions of antibacterial substances that have existed as long as life itself.

One of the crucial understandings that those early researchers ignored, though tremendously obvious now (only hubris could have hidden it so long), is that the world is filled with antibacterial substances, most produced by other bacteria, as well as fungi and plants.  Bacteria, to survive, learned how to respond to those substances a long time ago.  Or as Steven Projan of Wyeth Research puts it, bacteria “are the oldest of living organisms and thus have been the subject to three billion years of evolution in harsh environments and therefore have been selected to withstand chemical assault.”

What makes the problem even more egregious is that most of the antibiotics originally developed by human beings came from fungi, fungi that bacteria had encountered a very long time ago.  Given those circumstances, of course there were going to be problems with our antibiotics.  Perhaps, perhaps, if our antibiotic use had been restrained, the problems would have been minor.  But it hasn’t been; the amount of pure antibiotics being dumped into the environment is unprecedented in evolutionary history.  And that has had tremendous impacts on the bacterial communities of Earth, and the bacteria have set about solving the problem they face very methodically.  Just like us, they want to survive, and just like us, they are very adaptable.  In fact, they are much more adaptable than we ever will be.

What does the overuse of antibiotics look like?  Buhner quantifies the overuse in this way (7):

In 1942 the world’s entire supply of penicillin was a mere 32 liters (its weight? about 64 pounds).  By 1949, 156,000 pounds a year of penicillin and a new antibiotic, streptomycin (isolated from common soil fungi) were being produced.  By 1999–in the United States alone–this figure had grown to an incredible 40 million pounds a year of scores of antibiotics for people, livestock, research, and agricultural plants.  Ten years later some 60 million pounds per year of antibiotics were being used in the United States and scores of millions of pounds more by other countries around the world.  Nearly 30 million pounds were being used in the United States solely on animals raised for human consumption.  And those figures?  That is per year.  Year in, year out.

Buhner also notes that most of these antibiotics pass through animals and are excreted into the various waste stream systems where THEY NEVER GO AWAY.  And, “hospital-acquired resistant infections, by conservative estimates, are the fourth leading cause of death in the United States.  And that doesn’t even include the death toll from infectious diseases in general, the same infectious diseases that were going to be eradicated by the year 2000 (11).

Buhner argues in HERBAL ANTIBIOTICS that our only solution is to return to plant-based medicinal strategies.  This book is daunting in its scope.  I feel like I did when I first started reading NOURISHING TRADITIONS with all its information and new ways of handling food.  But, by now I have waded deeply into traditional food ways and into sourcing local foods and into thinking about and researching alternative medical strategies.  So, I will begin with baby steps with finding ways to use herbal antibiotics–remembering that all the most powerful medicines are located in plants, which themselves organize through chemicals.  That would lead to Buhner’s THE LOST LANGUAGE OF PLANTS, which was an eye-opener for me and which I will write about in a separate post.

And, what can we do about this very serious problem of antibiotic resistant diseases–which are part and parcel of ALL the superbugs we have created with our greedy and stupid practices that have ignored the powerful interconnectedness of nature?

Stay out of hospitals if at all possible.  I, for instance, am done with getting blood tests unless I need one because I’m sick.

If you are pregnant, watch the excellent documentary THE BUSINESS OF BEING BORN.  You will be shocked to discover how much of pregnancy and birth in the United States has been colonized by practices located in making money, rather than in practices grounded in science.  And, yes, I will write a separate posting on this documentary.  For the moment, note that something like 85 percent of births across the rest of the world are overseen by midwives–and the survival rates are much higher than those in the US.  Note, too, that most OB/GYNs have NEVER SEEN a natural live birth.  These doctors are highly trained surgeons, and we are so lucky to have them if trouble develops, but have them attend normal births is a super, and expensive, overkill.  So, do some research on your own.  Learn for yourself what the issues are.  And make your birth choices not out of fear, but out of knowledge–like my niece recently did.

Turkey Tracks: Wheels of Mystery Quilt

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Turkey Tracks:  September 22, 2013

Wheels of Mystery Quilt

I started this hand project earlier in the summer.  I wanted to take a break from knitting and do some hand sewing at night watching tv shows and movies–that I stream.  I HATE all the noise and confusion of watching tv shows with commercials. It’s just plain painful.

So, this quilt has grown a lot since this picture…

Wheels of Mystery

I’m going to do 9 rows by 11 rows.

And, it’s all out of my stash.  And, scrappy, of course.

This block is an old traditional block–and I love what the curved pieces do when hung together.


Wheels of Mystery 2

They make BIG circles.  Isn’t that cool?

I have a childish delight in this quilt.

I tried to draw the block on QE7, but have been totally unable to do it.

Will try again, as I’d like to play with light and dark borders.  And what would an outer border of 9 patches look like?  Made with these same fabrics…

Blog Readers’ Quilts and Quilting Information: Judith Brill’s Double Wedding Ring Quilt

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Blog Readers’ Quilts and Quilting Information:  September 22, 2013


Judith Brill’s Double Wedding Ring Quilt


Double Wedding Ring, Judith Brill

Blog reader Judith Brill sent me this picture of the Double Wedding Ring quilt she made for her daughter’s wedding.


I love the contemporary nature of this quilt.  Look at the very interesting border.  And look at how she has hand quilted the wedding ring motif down the side–in the white just above the border.

Here’s a close up of the wedding ring block:

Double Wedding Ring 4, Judith Brill

And, more of the hand quilting:

Double Wedding Ring 3, Judith Brill

And, more of the hand quilting in the border:

Double Wedding Ring 2, Judith Brill

Really, this border is quite amazing.  I’ve never seen anything like it on a double wedding ring quilt, and I love it.

I also really like the contemporary use of colors in the wedding rings.  I think Judith said her daughter helped her pick out the colors.


And thanks for reading the blog and for sharing your beautiful quilt!

Turkey Tracks: September Update

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Turkey Tracks:  September 22, 2014

September Update

Late August and ALL of September are really busy months for me in Maine.

First of all, son Bryan often comes for his birthday, which is September 11th.  Bryan and Corinne like to come visiting in the early fall as most of the tourists have gone home or are taking a breather before the fall foliage gets rolling.  And, it’s cooler.

Second, in Maine, September is the red month (tomatoes), not July, as is true for regions south of us.  Plus, the gardens are cranking out food at alarming rates.  So I am busy blanching, roasting, drying, lacto-fermenting, and generally reveling in all the bounty of our earth in Maine.

Third, MOFGA, the Maine Organic Farmers and Growers Association fair happens in the third weekend of September.  This fair, also known as the Common Ground Fair, is one of my most favorite things to attend all year.

Fourth, Coastal Quilters starts its new year in September.  I agreed to be President this year, so I’ve had a fair amount of organizing and reviewing to do to get back up to speed.  We had a terrific organizational meeting September 14th, and we’ll have a really good year this year I think.

Fifth, I start the process of putting the yard to bed for the winter.  The flower pots are played out.  The wind chimes have to be taken down.  The hummers are gone.  The porch furniture and kayaks have to be stored.  The chickens have to be winterized.  And, the garden put to bed with the new garlic planted for next year.  I have LOVED having that garden fenced all this summer–especially since I never was able to keep the hens I have now inside their pen.

So….I will do some separate entries on some of these events.  But I will leave you with some fun pictures taken more or less in late August/early September.

Susan McBride of Golden Brook Farm grew these awesome cherry tomatoes.  I experimented with drying these to see which ones were the best.  Hands down, the purple heritage cherry tomato was.  They are like eating candy–and I know I will enjoy having them on hand all winter when the snow is flying.  That bag of highly colored bits is corn from Margaret Rauenhorst and Ronald VanHeeswijk.  I’m going to grind it and make cornbread with it any day now.

Golden Brook cherries

I planted random squash seeds in the blue tubs this year.  One is growing a Hubbard Squash–which delights me so much.  I will go ahead and collect the squashes as soon as it stops raining and put them into the garage to “sugar off” for a bit.  They do better when they have a bit of time to cure.  The Blue Hubbard squash can get HUGE–and is a really great all-purpose squash.  It’s delicious to eat and makes great “squash” pie too.

Hubbard Squash

Here is a typical Hope’s Edge pick-up day–with Giovanna McCarthy.  We have sacks of food and flowers!

Hope's Edge Flowers and Food

I found this picture on John’s computer before we retired it.  It’s one of my very favorites.  He really had such a great eye for a good picture.  LIkely I’ll make some cards from this picture…

Hope's Edge