Turkey Tracks: Houston International Quilt Festival

Turkey Tracks:  October 28, 2014

The Houston International Quilt Festival


I’m off to Portland, Maine, tomorrow and will fly to Houston on Thursday.

Blog readers will recall that I made these plans last January–and, now, here I am, mostly packed and ready to go.

Seeing this show is a bucket list item for me.

And I am excited!

Dear friend Gina Caceci, my wonderful neighbor back in Falls Church, Virginia, has arranged for me to picked up by a DRIVER!!

Oh my goodness!

And, somehow, it’s a wonderful mystery at the moment, I am also being brought from the hotel back to the airport on Monday by the same company–free of charge and Gina isn’t funding this leg of the trip.

She has promised to tell me when I get home.

Also, Gina has business in Houston and delayed her trip back to Virginia so that we can have dinner Thursday night.  How fun is that???

I will try to post from Houston, but the ipad is not crazy about the blog.  Likely I will not be able to post until I get home.



Interesting Information: “A Smarter Way to Vaccinate”

Interesting Information:  October 27, 2014

” A Smarter Way to Vaccinate”

If you are a parent trying to figure out the vaccine conundrum…

Or someone thinking about getting a flu shot…

I have a gift for you:  Sarah Cimperman, N.D., has an article called “A Smarter Way to Vaccinate,” in the November/December 2014, issue of Well Being Journal.  

And guess what?  The whole article is on Cimperman’s web page–which is great as Well Being Journal does not allow access to its articles.

A Different Kind Of Doctor: A Smarter Way to Vaccinate.

***Cimperman has the best information about vaccines in one space I’ve seen in a long time–including information about individual vaccines.  There is, also, a section on “harm reduction strategies.”

I signed up for her blog.

A naturopath doc does not compete with a md doc, and they are good to know as they come at health problems with an entirely different tool box and with much more time than an md doc can these days.  They really try to figure out what’s wrong, for starters, rather than just throwing drugs at a problem.  And most of them have a certain reverence for diet and the ability of foods to heal.


AND, I want to say that I am not totally against the concept of vaccines.  I just want to see adequate science about them–including some long-term studies and some double-blind studies.  I want recognition that there are known and unknown risks with vaccines that are greater than most of us realize.  I want vaccine makers held legally responsible for vaccine damage–especially when there has NOT been adequate testing, as is true with Gardasil.  And I want parents to do their homework before allowing any vaccine to be given to their child.  Or, to themselves.


Turkey Tracks: Maine Fall Foliage

Turkey Tracks:  October 28, 2014

Maine Fall Foliage


Neighbor Meg Barclay posted this photo this morning on Facebook.

Meg really captured the intense fall color of our trees now–a color that does not always show up well in photos.  On top of that, there is a RAINBOW.

I am posting Meg’s picture to my blog so many of you can see one of the natural events that I love about Maine.  And, because I ran into Evelyn and Jack Kane at one of our local coffee shops and promised I would put the picture on the blog.  Evelyn also belongs to Coastal Quilters, Maine, but is here only during the summer/fall months most years.  We wish she were here more…


Thanks, again, Meg!

Interesting Information: The Gold Standard: Double-Blind Studies and Cough Syrup, Antibiotics for Ear Infections, and Knee Arthritis

Interesting Information:  October 27, 2014

The Gold Standard:

Double-Blind Studies and Cough Syrup, Antibiotics for Ear Infections, and Knee Arthritis


I had a really, really bad ear infection this summer.

Friends kept asking me if I’d been to the doctor to get an antibiotic.

But, somewhere I had read that antibiotics don’t really help ear infections.  And I am SUPER antibiotic cautious anyway as they wipe out ALL your gut flora and fauna, which is increasingly being shown to be a really dumb thing to do.  And, sometimes one’s immune system needs some inflammation to strengthen itself.

I did some selected herbs and some homeopathic treatments, and eventually, the ear infection resolved itself.  (I will not be swimming without ear plugs in our wild water next summer though.)


I’ve been catching up on back issues of various magazines in my read pile.  A sidebar in the November/December 2014 issue of Well Being Journal (7) caught my attention.  The sidebar referenced an article by Steven Bratman, MD, on the importance of using evidence-based medicine in the form of double-blind studies.  Here’s a quote.

The double-blind study has caused a revolution even in conventional medicine. Many old beliefs have been tossed out when double-blind studies were finally done. It’s been discovered, for example, that (as noted earlier) over-the-counter cough syrups don’t work,10 that immediate antibiotic treatment for ear infections is probably not necessary or even helpful in most cases,11-15, 30 and that cartilage scraping for knee arthritis is no better than placebo7.  (The numbers are footnotes).

The whole article can be read at the url below–and it’s a good article on why double-blind studies are so important.

So, now I’m asking myself WHY so much of what is practiced today in conventional medicine has NOT been proven via double-blind studies…

I hope you’re thinking about this issue, too, and asking for evidence of a double-blind study BEFORE you accept any drug, treatment, or so forth…

Double-Blind Studies.

Turkey Tracks: Miss Reynolds Georgia is Ready

Turkey Tracks:  October 27, 2014

Miss Reynolds Georgia is Ready


to go in the car…


She does not look like she’s 12 years old, does she?

She doesn’t act like it either.  She plays and cavorts like a puppy.

She’ll be 13 on March 15, 2015.

Barring the two times I nearly killed her with the first/spring heartworm medicine pellet over the past three years (NOT this year as I finally learned and when Penny, who has a cast-iron stomach, reacted), she’s been pretty healthy.

She’s highly bred, so there have been some food issues–but not much any more since I can feed her whole ground chickens–the bones and organs and skin and EVERYTHING–mixed with my food, bone broths when I have them, and some dehydrated veggies for some of the food each week.  Oh, and chicken poop which she dearly loves.  Mercy!!

Her coat is Maine thick and as soft as velvet.

She is my shadow and runs my life a lot of the time.

I would not have it any other way.

PS:  Rey Rey is a “floppy ear” rat terrier, so she’s really listening or excited when her ears go up.

No No Penny’s ears are always up.  And No No Penny runs both Reynolds and me.



Turkey Tracks: “Ailey Loves Lighthouses” Quilt

Turkey Tracks:  October 27, 2014

“Ailey Loves Lighthouses” Quilt


About 9 years ago, Denise Lanier, one of my Virginia quilting friends–with whom I have been quilting for something just shy of twenty years–gave me set of lighthouse blocks.

We had just moved to Maine, and she had just visited us in our new home.

The blocks sat pinned to my design wall for all that time.  Can you believe it?  I just could not find the right setting for these clever little blocks.  Either additional blocks detracted from them or the colors were too dark.

Then, along came Ailey, who adores our lighthouses.  And, along came all the polka dot fabrics…  And, at some point, the polka dots came close to the lighthouses.  Magic ensued.

Here’s what happened:



I’ll quilt it with a lime green thread–and will keep the quilting very simple and away from the lighthouses.  And it will be bound with another blue polka dot fabric I have.

Can’t wait to see it finished.

Interesting Information: Eating The Whole Farm”

Interesting Information:  October 26, 2014

Eating The Whole Farm


John’s “TUFTS” magazine came in the mail on Friday.

The cover drew my eye as I brought it inside:  a pink plate with a pig’s head and tail drawn on each side, with a fork and knife draped over the plate.

Helene Ragovin’s article, “Enlightened Palate,” (“Tufts,” Fall 2014) discusses chef Dan Barber’s attempts to get people to eat so that balance can be restored to food production.  To achieve that needed balance, people have been encouraged to eat “nose to tail” in order to utilize ALL parts of an animal.  People today, for instance, don’t really eat organs much.  Or take the time to…roast a roast.  Or take the time to…slow braise a pot roast.

Chef Dan Barber co-owns Blue Hill in Manhattan and Blue Hill at Stone Barns, in Westchester County, New York. The latter includes an agricultural nonprofit that surrounds the restaurant.

Barber’s “Eating the Whole Farm” mantra ups the ante on eating and tries to take into account what it takes to produce a crop everyone likes.

Here’s a quote from Ragovin’s article:

So, Barber says, if you want those peak-of-summer Brandywine tomatoes–a water-hogging crop that depletes the soil–you also need to cook with kidney beans, millet, and mustard greens.  Those less glamorous crops build soil structure, replenish nitrogen, and keep plant diseases at bay.  But because not enough people buy them, farers either sell such crops for animal feed, at a loss, or don’t even grow them.  “That’s very dangerous from an ecological point of view, and economically from the farmer’s point of view,” Barber says.

I would add that we should all be eating seasonally and eating a lot of different things.  We are…omnivores.  Too many of us eat the same old things week in and week out.

Blog Readers’ Quilts

Blog Readers’ Quilts:  October 26, 2014

Linda Satkowski’s Selvedge Quilt


Linda Satkowski is, also, a fellow Coastal Quilter here in Maine.

Like me, she loves to piece.

When I posted recently about finishing my quilt using selvedge edges, she wrote me that she, too, had a selvedge quilt.

She sent me this picture:

Sevedge quilt 2011

Oh my goodness!!  How cool is that!

So, of course I had to go see it (and her)!

Here are the pics I took of this amazing quilt–which is soft as butter, by the way, and has been washed too.  Here it is doubled on a couch–so it’s a great lap size.


The blocks look to be about…???…7 inches?  Linda used a muslin backing–which has not made the quilt heavy at all.  Note that she has used some blank selvedges as well as those with writing or colored dots.


And another:


She used a bright blue for the backing and binding, which works well:



Linda tears about 1/4 inch off the main selvedge.  (I’ve been tearing up to two inches in order to have at least 1 1/2-inches of fabric for strips if I don’t use the selvedge.

So, a project like this would really lend itself to Bonnie Hunter’s leader/ender projects–where you add to blocks while sewing on another project so you don’t have to cut thread.

Turkey Tracks: “Ain’t This Fun?” Quilt

Turkey Tracks:  October 19, 2014

“Ain’t This Fun?” Quilt Finished


It’s such a nice feeling to finish binding a quilt, fold it up, and call it done.

I finished “Ain’t This Fun?” this past week.


You may remember that I used the string blocks that I made last March in Williamsburg/Norfolk with my Virginia quilting buddies–using selvage edges and leftover strips of fabric that were too big to throw and too small for a 1 1/2-inch strip.   After a week of quilting many hours, I had about 100 blocks.

What to do next?

Bonnie Hunter’s “Tulip Fields” quilt in her book STRING FLING provided an idea for setting the blocks and for the border.

Here’s what this quilt looks like on a queen bed–so you can see the size.


Here’s the backing–which is a spring green, not really a yellow:


And here’s a close up of the blocks–the quilting is a “spring” green–using a pantograph called “Denise’s Spirals.”


I made this quilt for the Coastal Quilters’ auction in November.

It’s a lively, very fun quilt, and I had a lot of fun making it.

Turkey Tracks: I Hung My Four Seasons Quilts Myself

Turkey Tracks:  October 19, 2014

I Hung My Four Seasons Quilts Myself


I am feeling REALLY SUCCESSFUL this afternoon.

I finished my “Four Seasons” quilts and hung them myself this afternoon.



Here’s another view:


And one more:


(There are close-ups for these quilts earlier on the blog–though I added more “falling blossom” buttons to “Spring” last night.)

(And a reminder that these quilts were inspired by Sarah Fielke’s quilt in MATERIAL OBSESSIONS 2–and I used her tree-trunk template.)

I found the nice white rods at Loews about a week ago.

Each rod has 4 nails–which required a trip to the hardware store this morning for a box of “just right” nails.   AND, all the nails had to be lined up perfectly both horizontally and vertically–which took the 4-foot level I purchased last summer.  (It’s such a useful tool.)

The hanging took a bit of math, a ladder, a footstool, patience, no panic, etc., etc., etc.

Boy am I happy with how they look hanging.

The quilt you see on the bed was a gift from the Coastal Quilters when John got really, really sick.  Isn’t it beautiful?

I have spent some time this year making this room a pretty bedroom/office (for me).  I reframed some pictures John took–and one of our wedding.  Melody Pendleton painted it.  I consolidated all the “office” stuff–and moved my work space into the office space. I’m almost done.

(The little hand-made doll is a version of one I gave a granddaughter on her third birthday.  Her younger sister will get this one on her third birthday.  There are blog posts on these dolls here.)