Turkey Tracks: January Thaw!

Turkey Tracks:  January 12, 2014

(I don’t know why some recent posts are not separating paragraphs…  Sorry…)


January Thaw!

It’s a January thaw!
It’s 50 degrees!
We can see grass in the snow paths again, and the chickens came out of their coop/cage and are re-exploring the yard.  There is all sorts of talking and crowing and clucking and general delight going on in the yard.
Today’s job was to retrieve TWO glass bowls that the chickens have dragged to the back end of the cage.  The chickens, in their boredom and hunger for different foods, literally lick those bowls clean and drag them around.  Did you know that chickens have tiny little tongues?
Until today, I could not reach them from the front end of the cage with the crab net.  Or poke a broom handle through the chicken wire to push them forward from the back end as the tarps were knee deep in snow.  I’m going to try the very tall tree/limb cutter which has a curved saw on the top–and if that does not work, will try to life the tarps at the back end.
I NEED those bowls to continue feeding the chickens things like warm mash, leftovers, meat and milk, and so forth.
Well!  The tree saw was too tall to wedge into the flap/gap between the coop and the cage.  I finally got the bowls with a leaf rake–the longest one I had.  The tines kept collapsing, but patience and effort was rewarded, and I gradually was able to turn each bowl over and over until I could reach it with the thick pole I use to prop open the coop roof.  Yeah!!!!  I am easily amused, apparently.
Meanwhile, the rooster herded his girls up together next to the house and told them I was an extremely dangerous intruder into their space.  He is so cute and has come into his own.  He crows all the time now.  I’ll try to get some pictures of him soon, but we are getting more weather coming in over the next few days.
Last night I sewed the fifth row of seven of Celtic Solstice.  It’s so pretty.  Only I sewed one of the units upside down, which threw off the pattern.  I took the offending block out of the row, fixed the unit, and resewed the row together.   Now I had TWO blocks upside down.  I took it all apart and fixed both units and resewed and QUIT for the night, thinking I would finish the rows today.  But I have not yet, and I’m not quite sure where the day has gotten to.
I have downloaded another audio book:  P.D. James’s DEVICES AND DESIRES.  Oh my gosh!  There is a mini-series of this book:
There is something so seductive about having someone read a story to you while you sew.  I finished BEST OF WOMEN’S SHORT STORIES, Vol. 1, William J. Locke, yesterday and thoroughly enjoyed it.  There were a number of stories I read in school, like Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper,” and it was a pleasure to hear them dramatized.
I spent some time yesterday going through ALL the 1200 titles of the audio books as the search engine is not great on this system.  I found so many books I will love to hear and made lists of the same.  I thought a mystery would be fun for a change.

Turkey Tracks: Dianne Hire: Master Quilter

Turkey Tracks:  January 12, 2014

Dianne Hire:  Master Quilter


Yesterday was a miserable, rainy, icy, threatening day.

BUT, the Coastal Quilters met, and many members managed to make it to the meeting–where we were treated to a history of Dianne Hire’s gorgeous quilts and books, and the story of her latest book, “APP is for Appliqué.”

Really, we all felt as if in the middle of this challenging day we were basking in so much warmth.  Dianne’s gracious humor, her own color-drenched and amazing quilts, the quilts of so many local quilters made from Dianne’s new patterns and brought in to share up close and personal, and our being all together made for a wonderful morning.  And by the time we left, the weather had warmed considerably and grass was appearing in the snow paths.

For this new book, her fourth, Dianne drew fourteen complex, amazing patterns, and quilters she knew, many of them local, some of them met while she taught around the country, each took a signature pattern for their personal quilt–which would be included in the planned and approved book.  The quilters could also use the other patterns in their quilts.   And if you know quilting and quilters at all, you can begin to imagine the diversity these quilts represent.  No two are even remotely alike, and all are astonishing!

Here is a quote from Stevie Kumble, Coastal Quilter’s press person, describing the new book in our press release:

The book itself has received acclaim from the quilting world and beyond. According to one reviewer, “The result is a nicely disguised technical manual as a feast for the eyes and an exciting project book. Fourteen stylized floral pattern designs provide the reader with the right place to embark on a unique journey of creativity. Tips and techniques from each contributing quilter will advance the reader’s sewing expertise in multiple ways. This book will either set appliqué design on its ear, advance it for the ages, or both.”

Dianne is famous for her use of color, and she helped pioneer the use of curves, innovative piecing, and so on.  Dianne was on the cusp of taking quilts out of the traditional and into the contemporary.  

Here is a web site with a lot of her quilts pictured–just scroll down and enjoy:  http://dhquiltsandclasses.blogspot.com.

As you perhaps know, I can applique, but I am very drawn to and happy with my ongoing scrappy piecing project and using up my stash.  But Dianne swears that these complex designs are not hard to make.  The results, I can tell you, are well worth the effort.

The quilts of Coastal Quilter’s members Gail Galloway Nicholson and Roxanne Wells appear in Dianne’s new book.

And, this program was arranged by Gail Galloway Nicholson.  Thanks, Gail!

And Dianne’s information is as follows:

Dianne S. Hire

One Hundred Bayside Road, Northport, Maine 04849


email:  alternatives2@bluestreakme.com

Turkey Tracks: Dump Run!

Turkey Tracks:  January 12, 2014


What do we do with our trash and garbage in Camden, Maine?

We take it to the dump–where we have a massive recycling program.

I start by recycling as much of my garbage as I can here at home.  I have three compost containers out back of the garage for anything I can compost, and I have a bin of worms in the utility room here in the house.  (There is a blog post on the worms–vermiculture.)

I sort trash in the garage.  There is the garbage that can’t be composted (meat, oils, for instance).  Other categories include returnable bottles (Maine has a returnable tax/refund on bottles), cans/steel, aluminum soda cans (I don’t have any of those really), glass, milk jugs (not many of those as I buy milk in glass containers), food plastic, newspapers, mail and boxboard, cardboard, brown paper sacks.  You get the idea…

Here’s a video of our dump, and you can tell I went on a very windy, cold day.  I speak at first of the blue bins at the front end of the dump line where bottles are deposited.

Recyclable/refund bottles get sorted by clear and color–and there are bins where the Lion’s Club picks up bottles for the refunds.  Just off-site is another organization (Coastal Workshop) where one can drop bottles and the organization gets the refund.

Here’s a long shot down the recycling containers–you can see the entry point–the little red building–behind the car.  I’ve never been sure what goes on in the big building to the left.  There are offices in there–and probably dump equipment.


Here’s a container.  There are big openings to throw stuff in along both sides of the containers.


My goodness!  My car is waaaaayyy  dirty!


What can’t be recycled goes into yellow pay-as-you-go bags–I think they are $1.50 now–and gets burned.  This method is thought to encourage people to recycle as much as they can.

This trip I have two bags:


The bags get thrown into a hopper as one leaves the dump–where the bags are crushed into a much smaller footprint.


The dump also has a “Swap Shop”–which is closed for the winter.  The Swap Shop is run by volunteers and is beloved by the community.


In the summer, there are always interesting items to be found at the Swap Shop.  It’s a great place to take items you are not using, but which someone else might treasure.  I got a small dog house there that John painted and repaired.  The chickens adore it!  I used it the year we let a mother hen hatch and raise babies.

And in the summer, or warmer weather anyway, you never know who you will run into at the dump.  It is often a place for a quick visit with someone you maybe have not seen in a while.

Turkey Tracks: Dead Diva

Turkey Tracks:  January 12, 2014

Dead Diva

I have not posted for a few days.

Mostly because I knew I had to tell you that one of the two Divas is dead, and the remaining one is very sick.

Winter in Maine is harsh, and this winter has been particularly difficult for us, with the ice storm at Christmas with all its power outages, and for all the animals.  We have had sub zero temps and wind chill factors way below zero.  The weather has taken a toll–and the Divas have suffered it.

One of the Divas was dead last week–dead in the coop as I opened it in the morning.  She had terrible frostbite on her neck and around her head and her wounds were open and bloody.

Perhaps the others killed her.  Birds will do that.  And, given the Diva’s condition, it was a mercy killing, if so.  Here is where “Nature” is “red in tooth and claw.”

The frostbite and open bleeding explains why the Divas were refusing to join the others in the coop at night.  (Chickens will attack and peck at other birds with open bleeding.) And, by staying out, were risking more frostbite.  The other Diva was in terrible shape as well, but living.

The remaining Diva is hanging in there.  I am feeding her high protein foods and fats as much as I can.   Some of her wounds are better; some are still fresh.   She looks terribly bedraggled and has lost all her vibrant color.

I have such mixed emotions about her.  Should I put her down or help her to live?  Is she in pain?  If so, how much?  She is eating.  As long as she is eating, I will not act.

I will keep you posted…