Turkey Tracks: Hitting the Jackpot!

Turkey Tracks:  September 30, 2017

Hitting the Jackpot!


I now have two co-pilots in the car.  I can’t believe how far AC Slater has come in just a month.  He may be the smartest dog I’ve ever had, and No No Penny (Penelope), seen here on the left, is super smart.

He comes EVERY TIME he’s called now—running to me with joy and delight.  He’s learning the boundaries of the radio fence.  (See his pink collar in the picture—it has been through 2 dogs now and used to be red.)  He is learning to walk beside me without a leash to the command “Stay by me.”  He’s learning language really fast.  We had about a week of no potty accidents, then a poo accident yesterday, but at the door to go out—and I caught him in the act—so he knew it was bad, bad.  He was embarrassed and immediately regretful.  He is just 6 months now.  

With the radio collar, I can let him outside as often as he wants.  He is “on the job” with the squirrels and chipmunks.  I had an infestation of these this year, so that’s great.  Hoping no skunk episode.  Or porcupine.  

AC wants to help with anything and everything outside.  If I’m removing a spent plant from a pot, he helps with the pruning by pulling at plant pieces with his mouth.  If I’m digging, he helps.  He follows me everywhere, looking for work connections with me.  I think that spending the night with him in an inn near where I met Casey bonded us.  That was a good move.

I would also note that I train with Peter Loeb’s method, from the book SMARTER THAN YOU THINK.  This method is not punative in any way, but relies on getting a dog to hear your voice no matter what, making you the dog’s “safe place,” and does not use treats to reinforce behavior.  The dog works with you because s/he wants to bond with you and be with you, not because of any punishments for bad behavior.

I love his tremendous energy and his happiness and his sweetness.  I have access to woods/fields walks where he can go unleashed.  We ran across a really sweet man and his dog the other day on one of these trails, and I called out to him that “he doesn’t bite; he’s a new rescue” as AC had run ahead of me.  (When this happens, he always runs back to me as I am his safety place.). The man said:  “well, you hit the Jackpot, didn’t you?”  Hmmmm.   Jackpot may be the new nickname as both of us hit the Jackpot.

On this same walk, we met two women with four small dogs, one a female Jack Russel terrier.  She was the miniature of AC, who was taller than she was.  So, yes, there is a LOT of Jack Russel in him.  They ran in circles around us in sheer joy.

AC runs ahead of us, but waits for the two old ladies (me and No No Penny) to catch up when the path curves and he cannot see us.  He takes circular side trips out into the woods, running full bore, but never loses knowing where we are.  Thus, he gets in the running he needs.  And NNPenny and I are moving faster each day and increasing our distance.  Thus, I have not needed to use the dog park so much—and there are some problems with the other dog park dogs, where there is a lot of humping going on.  That’s a whole other topic.

I love this boy to pieces!  Thank you Casey Carter of Rock City Rescue in Arkansas and foster mother Ashlyn for doing the necessary work to get such a fine dog to me.  I am forever grateful.

Turkey Tracks: Roasting Beets

Turkey Tracks:  September 19, 2018

Roasting Beets

I love roasted beets.  I keep them in the refrigerator as an “asset” almost all the time, especially since I’ve read in numerous places for the past few years how healthy they are.  They contribute to “eating the rainbow” in terms of veggies for sure.

And, they are EASY to roast.  Small ones I halve and roast whole around other veggies and meat.  Bigger ones I roast as follows:

I start with this covered pyrex bowl.  Any covered bowl will do.

I wash the beets and put them into the bowl and add about 1 1/2-inches of water.  I don’t trim anything at this point.  I cook them at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes.  A sharp knife can test if they are done or not.  Different pans and different ovens will cook differently.  I let them cool, often with the top closed if the beets are still a bit firm.

When they can be handled, I trim off both ends with a sharp knife and stick a fork in one end.

Rub a paper towel, or a rough cloth, over the skin.  It will slide right off.  Cut the beet into chunks or slices.

There are three kinds of beets here:  red, golden, and a white/pink striped chioggia.

Later, I had this dinner:  the last of the local summer corn I think–small ears so I had two; green haricot beans from my garden; sliced cukes with some raw onion, the beets topped with yellow sweet pepper and herbs from the garden; chicken drumsticks; and some yellow watermelon.  I drizzle a bit of really good olive oil over fresh-cut veggie salads.  I use local raw butter for the corn and beans.  And I use a local sea salt or the brand REAL SALT.  Trader Joe’s has a pink salt I keep on hand as well.  These salts all have slightly different minerals, depending on where they were mined or dried from seawater.

That all looks like a rainbow to me.

Turkey Tracks: Karen Martin’s Donation Knitted Hats

Turkey Tracks:  September 19, 2018

Karen Martin’s Donation Knitted Hats

I always admire the work people in my community do for others.

Like, Karen Martin, for instance.

She’s been knitting knit hats for a state event for disabled children.  Each year specific colors are selected, and knitters can combine them as they see fit.  The hats with a yarn-color pattern will go to this event.  Solid hats will be donated locally.  Our library, for instance, has a Christmas tree every year where local matters hang hats, mittens, and scarves.

A bouquet of knitted hats:

Go Karen!

Turkey Tracks: Hope’s Edge CSA Bounty

Turkey Tracks:  September 18, 2018

Hope’s Edge CSA Bounty

I took these pictures back on September 3rd–but have been so busy with visitors and getting AC Slater acclimated.

There are almost always flowers on the main info table.

And the bounty is rolling in.  Look at the organic corn!  I could not get enough corn this year.

And I’ve really enjoyed the slender yellow squashes–just split and cooked in warmed butter in the oven.

Here are my bags of produce and flowers.  The bag on the right will have greens and herbs and whatever treats, like fresh beans, the crew has picked and washed for us.

Look!  Here it is all spread out.  The tomatoes were just coming in strong.  September is our “red” month here in Maine.

I love Hope’s Edge.  I love going out there every week, I love the place/the land, and I love the people who grow this amazing food for us.

Turkey Tracks: Hope’s Edge CSA Sheep

Turkey Tracks:  September 18, 2018

Hope’s Edge CSA Sheep


A few weeks back when I went to pick up my weekly produce from my Community Shared Agriculture Farm (CSA) Hope’s Edge, Farmer Tom Griffin had penned the sheep near the working buildings–presumably so that they could “mow” the grass there.

They had, and now they were ready to move to new grass, which they were loudly communicating.

I always find animal behavior fascinating, so took this video and pictures:


This mom had two lambs this year.  Not uncommon at all for sheep.

Love her face.  They stick so close together.

And they are patiently waiting for Tom to open the fence.



Turkey Tracks: A C Slater is In The House

Turkey Tracks:  September 12, 2018

A C Slater is in The House

My beloved rat terrier Miss Reynolds Georgia died two years ago.

I had been thinking of adopting again as Penny (No No Penny) is now 15 years old.  She’s doing great for the most part, but…

My kids thought it was time.  And, Penny could help train a new dog.

I was looking for another rescue rat terrier female, between 2 and 6 years of age.  NO PUPPIES!

Then I saw this online picture from Rock City Rescue, Arkansas, and fell in love.

AC Slater was a 5 1/2 months old male.  Mommy was a 40-pound “hound,” and daddy was a 30-pound terrier mix, with some Jack and some rat involved.  I needed a dog big enough to be safe on my property, and most rat terriers today have been bred to be smaller–unlike my No No Penny, who is a standard size and weighs about 25 pounds.  I am wondering if Slater actually has fox hound genes.  He doesn’t really act like a Beagle mix.  But who knows…  And I don’t care really.  The upper middle picture reminded me strongly of Miss Reynolds Georgia–and friend Gina Caceci saw that too the other day when I sent her the picture.

AC Slater came from an unintended litter which was turned over to Casey Carter.  All AC’s siblings have been adopted now.  They were all named after characters on the old tv show, “Saved By The Bell.”  AC Slater is a real musician who was also a character on the show.  I like the name and will keep it.

Casey Carter of Rock City Rescue down in Arkansas worked with me to make the adoption happen.  These people are so amazing.  Their dedication to this cause is awesome.  When Casey decided I could have AC Slater, she put me in touch with his foster mother, who has had Slater since he was about 4 weeks old.  Ashlyn was and is an amazing foster mother.  Slater clearly has been loved and nurtured.  He is so sweet and gentle, and he’s good with people and other dogs.  Ashlyn shared with me all the information I needed to make the decision to adopt AC Slater.  And she sent him “fully loaded”:  collar, retractable leash, food he was on, bed, blanket, favorite toys.  I was moved to tears when I saw her generosity.  It was already clear she loved him from our conversations, but now I saw how much she wanted him to be happy in a good home with another person who also loved him.

Casey, pictured on the left below, rented a van and with a friend, left Arkansas on a Friday morning and dropped off dogs and cats all along the way to people who were adopting them.  That’s Casey’s friend in the white shirt on the right.  The couple in between were adopting a cat–they live in Portland, Maine.  I drove to Kittery, Maine, down on our southern border, and met Casey about 7:30 Saturday night.  AC Slater and the cat were the last two animals in the van.

Here’s my first look at this adorable creature.

And Casey took this picture of us when he let me pick him up.

I had rented a “pet friendly” room nearby, so I took him there, and we began to bond.  You can see his bed and his blanket and toy, sent by Ashlyn.



The next morning, AC Slater was my co-pilot for the 3-hour journey home.  You can’t see it well, but he does have a safety chain attached to the seat belt.  By putting him near me, I could talk to him and pet him all along the way.  And we did stop often in case he needed to go potty or just stretch his legs a bit.

He LOVED the basket of dog toys:

And Penny let him into her bed at some point in the next few days:

And so it goes.

My life has been incredibly busy as I walk this high-energy puppy, which Penny loves, and take him to our local dog park where he can really run with other dogs.  Then there is the potty training, the leash training, and, lately, the gentle introduction of the radio fence collar so he can have full run of my property.

He’s doing well.  I’m doing well.  Friends are helping.  It’s all been really good.

Here’s a picture taken this morning of Slater outside of my house–with his radio collar on:

My thanks to my family for encouraging me to take this risk, to Casey Carter for the work she does, to Ashlyn who gave AC such a good start, to friends who are also helping me when I need help.


Turkey Tracks: Blackberry Treat

Turkey Tracks:  September 12, 2018

Blackberry Treat

Betsy Maislen is here, volunteering on the windjammer J&E Riggin.  She and Co-Captain Annie Mahle love to cook together.

Betsy comes to stay with me when she is off the boat on its turnarounds.

Betsy always plans a hike or a bike ride after she’s organized clean clothes for the next trip.

She picked the last of the blackberries on a nearby road as a gift for me during a bike ride.  She discovered this roadside patch last year and gifted me with berries then too.

What a gift!  I love–and always have loved–wild blackberries.

I divided the berries into three portions to make them last longer.


Turkey Tracks: Hot Weather Lunch

Turkey Tracks:  September 3, 2018

Hot Weather Lunch

I am way, way, way behind on posting to the blog.

But life has been busy for me lately.  I’ve had a lot of lovely rich life experiences taking place.  Among them a visit from old Falls Church, VA, friends Terry and Bob Zawacki—after 14 years.  They took pictures, but I, as often happens when I am busy and happy, did not get a single one of them.  Betsy Maislen arrived the same day for her annul volunteering on the J&E Riggin windjammer boat. (She comes to me when the boat is in port.). We all had a lobster dinner here.  AND, I have been preparing to take in another dog—a rescue from Arkansas.  More on that ongoing adventure in another post.

Up here in mid-coast Maine, we think we’re truly suffering when the temps go up to 80+ and humidity rises.  Few people have air-conditioners, so the heat is…felt.   Suffered…  We do a lot of whining.

I also make “hot weather lunches.”  Here is one:

Salted ricotta cheese (find one that does not have additives), apple, beets, cukes, carrots, orange bell pepper.