Louisa Enright's Blog

Mainely Tipping Points

Archive for April 7th, 2014

Interesting Information: Skin in the Game

leave a comment »

Interesting Information:  April 7, 2014

Skin in the Game

 

We all have skin in the game of life.  Literally.  Our own skin.

Our skin is our largest organ–a fact I’ve seen many times, but I like the way John Moody, in “The Clothing Conundrum:  Safe, Warm, Winter Dressing,” writes about our skin (Wise Traditions, Winter 2013, 47-49).

An adult’s skin averages “twenty-two square feet in surface area and [weighs] eight pounds.

Our skin is our first line of defense “against a host of dangers.”  And, “the body also uses our skin as an important pathway to eliminate certain toxins, but at the same time, it thus also becomes an easy way of access for many toxins to gain entry into our body.”

Warning:  “This entry pathway may be even more dangerous than others, such as inhalation or ingestion, since toxins that enter through the skin bypass the digestive and respiratory tracks and the defenses these systems employ.”

“For instance, studies have shown that our skin possibly absorbs more chlorine in a five to ten minute hot shower than in drinking five to ten glasses of chlorinated water!”

AND:

“When you use personal care products (make-up, deodorants, etc.), the chemicals in those products can show up in the bloodstream less than sixty seconds after being applied to the skin.”

“A 2008 study by the Environmental Working Group looked at twenty teenage girls and found sixteen chemicals with potentially harmful health effects in blood and urine samples from their personal care products.”

Moody goes on to discuss how modern clothing is coated with chemicals that are known toxins and how we wash clothes in another whole set of toxins.  And, he makes a case for using traditional fibers that are free from toxins, which is food for thought.  He notes that hemp is a great natural fiber, but has been banned by many states as it is related to marijuana–even though it is NOT marijuana–which has been a boon to industries that fabricate cloth from chemicals.  You can read the whole article if you like: http://www.westonaprice.org/health-issues/the-clothing-conundrum-safe-warm-winter-dressing.

* * *

I saw an ad on television last night for a product to treat acne.  The ad depicted a young man with truly terrible acne.  And, of course I wondered two things:  what chemicals are involved in the ad’s product and what is this young man eating and/or to what is he being exposed.

We should not have to fix a problem that starts inside us by slathering on a chemical product from the outside.

When you see sores on the skin, it’s a sign that the body is trying to detox itself.

So, our skin is always already “in the game.”  Every day.

Turkey Tracks: April Update

leave a comment »

Turkey Tracks:  April 7, 2014

April Update

 

We are finally getting some warm weather, and near me, the Megunticook River is thawing out fast.  I was a little shocked when I went by Megunticook Lake Sunday on my way to see Rose Thomas as the Lake is still pretty frozen.  This view is from the top of Barrett Cove, looking north.  (This lake is 15 miles around and filled with interesting islands and “necks” that jut out into the water.)

100_3800

The ice looks bluer towards the middle though, suggesting thinness.

Chickie Diva Queenie has been healed up for some time.  I have only been waiting for the night temps to get warm enough to risk her in the coop.  She can’t take any more frostbite probably ever in her life.

She did not seem unhappy in her kitchen box, but on a bright sunny day last week, I put her outside.  She prowled the yard, scratching and digging, but not getting near the other chickens, who did not seem to notice her.  That night, she came to the back door and when I opened it, she came right in, and hopped in her box.

The next day, I put her out again, and she wanted to come right back inside.  I had planned to clean out the coop, so I gathered up the buckets and the shovel and started to work.

What followed was shocking!

The chickens found her and immediately attacked her.  Even the rooster.  They weren’t trying to dominate her.  They were trying to kill her.

I rescued her from where she had wedged herself behind the sandbox and the house wall.  Her comb was torn again, and she had wounds on her feet again.  She was dazed and stunned and so happy to be put back into her box.

I consulted with the chicken whisperer Rose Thomas, and we formulated a plan to integrate her into Rose’s flock, which is larger and far less territorial.

So, on Sunday, I took her to Rose.

Rose’s chicken house is a lot bigger than my little coop, and there are MANY egg boxes.  Diva Queenie put herself into one and seemed quite happy.

 

100_3798

Rose has three roosters at the moment–Guy, the father of my rooster Pumpkin; the brother of Pumpkin; and Merlin, a guina rooster who is ferocious.

Rose distracted her flock by throwing them some scratch feed to them while we put Queenie into the chicken house.

 

100_3799

 

I called Rose this morning.  Queenie is just fine and is out in the yard with the rest of the flock.

* * *

Look at these–I have 12 out of 15 done and have another one half done now.

IMG_0241

Here’s a close-up of one:

IMG_0239

This large “hexie” is made from the kite shape you can see with the dark blue.  I first saw a quilt made with these medallions at Alewives, a quilt shop in Damariscotta Mills, Maine.  The hexies get linked by big diamonds, and the pattern comes from the book Material Obsession 2 by Kathy Doughty and Sarah Fielke.  Other blog entries here show their TWO quilt versions using this block.  Rhea Butler made the quilt at Alewives.

I’ve finished the red/green quilt, which remains nameless so far.  It’s loaded on the long arm.  It’s pretty big–I used 7 yards of fabric for the backing–a Kaffe Fasset I bought on sale about a year ago.  And I had to piece a column of about 20 inches to get enough width for the long arm–which was fine as I used up a lot of orphan blocks.  I really draw the line at buying 9 yards of fabric for a quilt backing when I’m only missing ten or so inches.  With the long-arm, I need about 5 extra inches of width on the sides, but I could always put on a temporary outside border that would come off when the quilting was done as well.

IMG_0242

I  am going down to Manchester, New Hampshire, with Gail Galloway Nicholson this week to the big MQX show (Machine Quilters Expo)–where we will both take some classes.  I am taking both pantograph and free-motion quilting classes for the long arm.  So…it seems to make sense to wait until I get home to quilt this quilt.  The pantograph class may change how I currently quilt with a pantograph.  Also I ordered a different green quilting thread as I did not like the color I thought I would use.  Funny how that happens…

So, here’s my current project:

IMG_0245

I am sewing together colorful 5-inch blocks from my stash.  I will put a 3-inch border on this grid and use it to cut out “Lil Twister” blocks.  Here’s a clue of what I am talking about:

 

Lil Twister block images – Google Search.

 

Canton Village Quilt Works has a very nice tutorial on how to use the Lil Twister tool.