Books, Docementaries, Reviews: Parul Sehgal On Jealousy

Books, Documentaries, Reviews:  October 27, 2013

Parul Sehgal On Jealousy


Want to take 13 minutes and listen to an amusing, smart, funny, classy TED video?

Parul Sehgal’s TED talk, “An Ode to Envy” starts with Sehgal telling us a really funny piece of her past.  Then she moves on to discuss Envy, jealousy, and where it appears in some of our great literature.

I’ve already listened twice and will do so again likely.



PS:  You can download the TED talks as podcasts on ITunes.  That way you don’t have to search around for different one.

Turkey Tracks: The World Series

Turkey Tracks:  October 27, 2013

The World Series

I love baseball.

But I never watch it on tv unless, now that I live in Maine, the Boston Red Sox are playing in The World Series.

One must support the Boston Red Sox if one lives in Maine.

And that’s ok.  I can do that.  Because I do love baseball.  I was probably taught to love it by my younger sister, Jamie Philpott Howser, who married Dick Howser’s younger brother, Larry.  Dick started as a third baseman for the NY Yankees, went on to manage them, and went from there to taking the Kansas City Royals to the only World Series win in their history–or so says Wikipedia.

So, it’s safe to say that I have not actually watched a major league baseball game in…more years than I might want to say.

Can I say that I have deeply shocked at how BIG most of these baseball guys are.

So I’ve been studying this bigness.  And I’ve decided in most cases here, BIG means FAT.

I will state up front that these guys are amazing athletes.  Watching baseball is like watching a cat stalk a prey.  It’s all quiet and stillness and creeping until–BAM–the action unfolds lightening fast.  Such was certainly the case in last night’s third game where all changed for the Red Sox in less than the 30 seconds at the end of the game.  (I still would like to see an instant replay of that last call–from several different angles.)

Aha!  The runner did beat the ball.  The call was obstruction back at the third base.  Seemed to me to be more about two big guys running into each other…  But, I am a novice, so what do I know?

But watching this game has produced the realization anew that Americans have more than gone round some sort of bend into obesity.  These guys look pumped up with a bicycle pump, as my mother used to say.  Their faces are shiny smooth and as round as melons.  And their legs and buts are HUGE–they look like Mack Trucks.  Or, what?  Gladiators would be the kind of word that might lend itself to thinking this over-developed body is ok.  The giveaway is their bellies.  Start counting how many have bellies overhanging whatever they use to hold up pants.  Wheat Bellies and what?  Steroids?

Probably someone will tell me that all the statistical data shows that the game is faster, bigger, better, etc., now.  That may be true.  But what does it do to a heart to play at this level when one is so unnaturally BIG?  That’s my question.  Many of these guys are in their early twenties.  It’s a long, long way to sixty or seventy from there says this old woman.

I’m shocked at this new “normal.”

The Red Sox are in a hole now.  I don’t know if I can watch them try to crawl out.  They need a few BAMS for sure.

Turkey Tracks: Fall Hydrangeas

Turkey Tracks:  October 27, 2013

Fall Hydrangeas

Before the first freeze I cut as many of the hydrangeas in my yard as I deem necessary for the house.  Once the winter weather hits them, the blooms are ruined.

I strip the leaves off the canes and just stick them into a dry vase.  Most of them dry just fine.  Some will shrivel up almost right away, and that’s just the breaks of this endeavor.  (This year none of the lime green Annabelles dried for me.)

For the ones who dry nicely, the brilliant colors stay true for months and months.  Often, I stick blooms into the fir Christmas Wreath I hang at the front door–and they are gorgeous there.

Here’s a lot I put into the kitchen.  The pinkish lavender blooms came from a plant that JoAnn O’Callaghan Gladbach gave me on one of her visits before John died.  It survived the winter beautifully–and one transplant this spring–and bloomed all summer.

October hydrangeas 2013

I’ve often thought I’d love a house where the rooms were painted the shades in one of these fall hydrangeas:  lime green, deep blues, aquas, deep purples, magenta pinks.  Such a color scheme would not go with a thing in my house though.

JoAnn carried hydrangeas in her wedding bouquet–as did Tamara Kelly Enright.  Tami’s blooms came from my Virginia garden.  I made JoAnn and John a wedding quilt using hydrangea fabrics, called “Delectable Mountains” after the traditional block name and because JoAnn and John live in Denver, Colorado.  Here it is being held by my sister-in-law Maryann Enright and me before I mailed it to Joann and John.

Delectable Mountains 2

Local quilter Joan Herrick quilted this quilt using the Celtic New Grange symbol that JoAnn used in her wedding invitations.  New Grange in Ireland is the site of one of the oldest and most amazing solstice sites.

Delectable Mountains detail 2

Here’s another block:

Delectable Mountains detail 3

And a close-up of a corner:

Delectable Mountains detail

I love life circles like this one.  I mean the giving and receiving of items that signal you love someone.

Here’s a picture of the counter about three weeks later.  You can see the pink hydrangeas did not dry well, but the others are going strong.  One never knows.

Melody's Pumpkin

Melody Pendleton brought me this gorgeous pumpkin from her garden–and a Butternut squash which I cooked that night for dinner–on the day she finished painting the stairwell.  Melody is a meticulous painter and a delightful person.

I have a jar of Sparky’s Honey (wild, unheated, local) for her.

And that’s how these things roll…

Turkey Tracks: Endless Flower Farm, Camden, Maine

Turkey Tracks:  October 24, 2013

Endless Flower Farm

Camden, Maine


Their colors take your breath away.


Endless Flowers Farm 7

And at Endless Flower Farm in Camden, Maine (on East Fork Road) there are thousands and thousands of these dahlia’s–in every color imaginable.

This farm is within walking distance of my house–and I took Susan there on our way home from our trip up north.

Every fall, each dahlia tuber has to be dug up and stored and each spring each one has to be replanted.  Keeping track of all these tubers–and knowing where to plant them next year–is mindboggling.

Here’s Sue, who was amazed.

Endless Flower Farm

Here’s a view of one of the gardens:

Endless Flowers 6

And here’s Susan in that garden:

Endless Flowers 4

Many of these dahlias are way taller than a person.  All have lavish, glorious blooms.

We also liked this building design on the outside of the house!

Endless Flower Farm 2



Turkey Tracks: Gallery On The Lake, Greenville, Maine

Turkey Tracks:  October 24, 2013

Gallery On The Lake, Greenville, Maine

One of the stores in Greenville, Maine, is Gallery On The Lake, run by Becky Morse.

Susan and I both bought multiple items for gifts in the store.

I bought my granddaughter who will be three in late November a special present.  I’ll put up a pic of that after she has the gift.

And, I bought several handbags made by Anne H. Doody.

Now, I don’t buy handbags.  I make them myself.

But, Anne’s workmanship was so excellent and her fabric combinations so terrific that I bought two bags–both destined as gifts.  I am telling myself that I am supporting a fellow fiber artist and saving myself some time to work on the many quilts I have planned for the winter.

Here’s a bag of Anne’s I bought:

Anne Doody blue purse

Here’s the backside:

Anne D. blue purse back

I love the jean pocket.  And here’s the inside which has a zipper pocket and other pockets too:

Anne D. blue pursie inside

I also bought a diaper bag–and sure enough, I just heard of a new family baby coming in May.   (Not one of my sons.)

Greenville, Ann Doody diaper bag

Here’s the side view of a bottle pocket:

Anne diaper bag

And there are lots of pockets on the inside:

Anne diaper bag 3

ANNIEUPNORTH takes custom orders, and if you want something special for someone special, you would not go wrong with her work.

Anne H. Doody

PO Box 87

Sinclair, Maine 04779

207-543-7382, or

And Becky Morse of Gallery On The Lake can be reached at

Turkey Tracks: Moosehead Lake, Fall Foliage, Greenville, Maine

Turkey Tracks:  October 24, 2013

Moosehead Lake, Fall foliage, Greenville, Maine


Sister Susan Heath came for a week on October 6th to see our beautiful Maine fall foliage.

I found a “fall foliage” suggested route on the Downeast Magazine web site that took us up north to the famed Moosehead Lake area.  We decided we would stay a night in Greenville, which sits at one tip of the lake.  Our destination–halfway around the suggested route–would be the Captain Sawyer Inn.

So, we set off on Wednesday morning–the car packed with warm clothes in case we needed them and a cooler filled with food we could both eat.  It was a beautiful fall day, and the tree colors up north were said to be at their “peak” intensity.  (Our leaves here on the coast were just starting to turn in earnest.)

North of Waterville, which is about an hour from Camden, we started up a scenic highway, 201.  And, it was very pretty.  We stopped several times to take pictures as the Kennebec (or some of its tributaries) ran alongside the road all the way up to Jackman.  you can see that these trees are not at full peak yet, but they were starting to be really pretty.

Moosehead Trip 3

Here’s where we stopped for our picnic.  This stretch of the river was damed years ago down in Skowhegan for electricity.  In the process, a whole village was flooded and people had to relocated in the name of progress.  Susan could not get over how much water there is in Maine–rivers, creeks, lakes, ponds, mudpuddles.  Maine was gouged out by the retreating glaciers, which made all of our beautiful water features.

Moosehead Trip Picnic Site

There were a half-dozen picnic tables scattered across this pretty little park.

Moosehead Trip Picnic

Up near  Jackman, we stopped at this amazing view.  That’s Canada starting in those mountains.  And the start of the Appalachian Trail is just a few miles north of Greenville, at Mount Katahdin.

Moosehead Trip Canadian Border,

Sadly, Susan, who takes far better pictures than I do, lost all of her pictures in a technical glitch.  Among them was a great picture of the sunset over Moosehead Lake.  That means another trip up there to take the picture again!!!

At Jackman we turned north and drove along the lake to Greenville.  The Inn was delightful, and the town had some shops selling lots of products made by local artists.  I WISH NOW that I had bought one of the wooden picture pieces–where the artist fitted together a north country scene out of painted wooden pieces.  So many of these products were so very different from anything else I’ve seen in Maine.

The leaves were gone up here though–blown off by a storm that came through two days before we left for our drive.  And our trees, which are very late this year, are only now, on October 24th,  in all their magnificent full color.

We stopped in Belfast for another picnic on our way home.  Belfast is just above Camden on the coast.  Belfast and Searsport, the next town north on the coast, were major sites for ship captains to sail into when transport was best served by boats.  Searsport has dozens of huge sea captain homes as a legacy of that time.

Belfast has done a lot of work on their harbor park in recent years.  It’s quite lovely and very inviting.  As you see, we had another gorgeous day.

Moosehead Trip Belfast Harbor

Here’s Sue again:

Moosehead Trip Belfast Harbor (2)

On the way home I took Susan up to Point Lookout, where the woods and the view are lovely.  (I will be eating Thanksgiving dinner up here.)  Susan took this picture with my camera.

Moosehead Trip Pt. Lookout


It was a good trip.  One I will make again I hope.

We ate the rest of our cooler food, which was delicious, for dinner.




Turkey Tracks: Elderberry Tincture

Turkey Tracks:  October 22, 2013

Elderberry Tincture

I almost missed the elderberry harvest again this year.

you really have to keep a sharp eye on the berries because they are near ripe one day and gone (birds) the next.

So, back in September some time, I got what remained on the two bushes I have.  One is almost a tree, and when we first came, I kept cutting it down as it’s growing in the rock wall below the house.  (Harvesting it is…dicey.)  The other is a bush I planted two years ago, and those berries are plumper and bigger than the wild berries.

Anyway, you cut off the berry clusters and strip off the berries in the kitchen.  You can see elderberries are TINY little purple berries.  And you can see how the clusters grow on the plant from the last one I’m stripping in this picture.


I make a tincture.  And, tinctures are alcohol based.  I use vodka.  Next time you are in Whole Paycheck or a health food store, see what a little bottle of elderberry tincture costs, and you’ll have newfound respect for my efforts.

I fill a quart jar with berries and pour the vodka over the berries to fill the jar.  I freeze the berries I have left.  Then I let the mixture sit out on the counter until the berries go white–as all their purple goodness is leached out.  At that point, I strain off the old berries and put in new ones and pour the now-purple vodka back into the jar.  Last year I did this process three times.  And can I tell you that that tincture was incredibly powerful.

Elderberry Tincture 2013

This year, I will probably do only two leachings since I don’t have that many berries.  Maybe I’ll leave the second batch of berries inside the liquid–they would provide fiber at least.

This tincture is dynamite for anyone coming down with a cold or the flu or anything that seems like it will become an illness.

Another use for frozen elderberries is to just thaw a few in a spoon overnight and eat them in the morning.  Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride–of the GAPS protocol–which I’ve written about many times on this blog–recommends eating a few berries over the fall and winter to support your immune system.

Elderberry bushes are easy to locate and to forage, in the late summer.  FInd them in the spring when they have big white flat cluster blooms, flat like a Queen Anne’s Lace flower.  Google them for an image?  They like damp places.  If you don’t have access to the countryside, plant a bush in your yard somewhere.

Turkey Tracks: Fall Foliage

Turkey Tracks:  October 22, 2013

Fall Foliage


Oct. 16, 2013, Sarah's field close-up

These trees are on Sarah Rheault’s land, and they were so pretty one day last week that I turned the car around, went back, and took this picture.

The green tree is an apple tree, and it’s got lots of deep red apples that are not really showing up in this picture.

This view is the kind of fall foliage I wanted to show to my sister when she came for the week of Oct. 6th.  But, the trees up north had lost their leaves in a storm, and our trees had not yet turned.

The fall foliage here on the MId-Coast seems late this year.  We have had a long dry spell.  That’s probably a factor.  But they sure are pretty now.  One just wants to ride around in the orange and gold light.

Turkey Tracks: A Prairie Home Companion

Turkey Tracks:  October 22, 2013

A Prairie Home Companion

One of the delights of my life is listening to the LIVE BROADCAST of Garrison Keillor’s weekly program “A Prairie Home Companion.”  It airs on NPR from 6 to 8 p.m. on Saturday night and is repeated on Sunday from noon to 2 p.m.  Sometimes I listen to it twice–while I quilt.

“A Prairie Home Companion” is filled with music and skits–and always has a segment where legendary sound man Fred Newman creates the sounds that illustrate a Keillor story.  This program can and does make me chuckle, sing along, and spend some quality time with music and creativity right in my own home.

I podcast the “Lake Wobegon” segments and often listen to them more than once.  But, I thought that once the program was over for the week, it was over–due to copywrite restrictions from the many guests on the show.

This past week’s show was in Lincoln, Nebraska.  Some of you know that I spent many years growing up in Nebraska, from eighth grade through high school.  One guest on this week’s show was a farmer who talked about why he loved farming in Nebraska.

This show featured  Sara Watkins, jazz vocalist Jackie Allen, Tim Russell, Fred Newman, Lynda Crotty, The Guy’s all-Star Shoe Band, and the latest news from Lake Wobegon.

But guess what!!!!  The web site has many utube clips from the show.  So I’m listening again while I type.  And, am thrilled to discover this additional resource.

Here’s a link to videos from last week’s show:


And think about slowing down to do some hand work or machine quilting work while listening to “A Prairie Home Companion.”

Quilting Information: Fons & Porter Needs Quilts

Quilting Information:  October 22, 2013

Fons & Porter Needs Quilts


Fons & Porter have several magazines.  I get “Love of Quilting.”  They also do “Easy Quilts,” “Scrap Quilts,” and “Quilty”–and others.  As a result, they need 300 to 400 quilts a year to feature in their magazines.

Do you have a quilt that YOU designed without using published instructions from anybody/any place?  And, yes, you can use traditional blocks.

You might want to submit a quilt to Fons & Porter for consideration.

For detailed submission guidelines, go to They respond within the week.

Remember, they can’t say “no” if you do not send your quilt information to them.