Louisa Enright's Blog

Mainely Tipping Points

About Me

with 26 comments

I moved to Mid-Coast Maine in June 2004.   My husband John and I wanted to have an adventure, after having lived in the Washington, DC, area for almost forty years.  It has been glorious to be living in a more rural area.

I study systems of cultural power and earned a PhD in Cultural Studies from George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia.  Prior to the PhD, I earned an MFA, Creative Writing, and an MA, literature.  I taught at GMU as an adjunct while going to school myself.

I am passionate about finding, cooking, and eating locally sourced, nutrient-dense, organic foods; about creating and supporting local markets; about supporting local farmers; and about living in a way that supports community.

My two sons and their families left the Washington, DC, area in order to live simpler lives.  They moved to Charleston, SC, which is another state that recognizes the worth of good food, local markets, and farmers.

My series of essays called Tipping Points is my effort to share my own recent journey of reading, research, and discovery.  The first essay tells you why I started reading and writing.  I have finished now, as of May 2011, 31 of them, and I will post the rest as I write them.  I hope reading them will help you understand what I did not understand four years ago.  I hope that you will see that while I often am writing about the environment and food and health issues, what lies underneath these subjects is a critique of corporatism.

All of these essays have been published in our local paper, The Herald Gazette, which has been amazingly supportive of my work.  One of the tenants of the kind of Cultural Studies I practice is that one must work locally to effect change.  And, of course, there is the bumper sticker aphorism:  Be the Change You Want.

I am also a passionate quilter and, since coming to Maine, a knitter.  I am trying on this blog to revive the practice of making things with one’s own hands.  So, you will see lots of socks and rugs and the like.  Except for socks, which I adore, or the rugs, which we have needed, I practice a Zen way of relating to work:  You can have the work, but not the fruit of the work.  Thus, I try to give away much of what I make.

We garden as much as we can in the very limited space we have.  We try to grow and put up as much food as we can in the summer.  We belong to a Community Shared Agriculture (CSA), Hope’s Edge, which helps.  And, in March 2010, we got 6 chickens and can’t imagine life without them.

We now have five grandchildren, whom we adore!  They bring their parents to Maine on a regular basis.

Addendum:  John died on  January 7, 2013, of a very aggressive form of prostate cancer.  And I/we now have six grandchildren.  The sixth, a girl, born April 2013, was given a feminized name for John, Cyanna.

Written by louisaenright

April 1, 2010 at 10:28 pm

26 Responses

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  1. Prof. Enright- I have no idea if you remember me, but I was a student of yours in English 101 at George Mason University… my friend Melissa and I visited you at your home in Virginia some time after we graduated and unfortunately lost contact. Imagine my surprise to find your blog (having searched after Melissa posted an old photo of us on Facebook)! 🙂

    Jonathan Combs

    July 11, 2011 at 10:12 pm

  2. Do you want to get involved in removibg fluoride drom the water in Maine?
    If so contact Cynthia Thomas email: ccthomas@roadrunner.com


    October 27, 2011 at 11:00 am

  3. Hello,

    I read your blog post about your niece who lived on the Eastern Shore of Maryland and was saddened by the fact that she contracted such a deadly form of cancer. I am exploring the link between the poultry industry and high levels of arsenic in our water for an article I am writing. It has been shown that the feed additive roxarsone turns into an extremely toxic form of arsenic in poultry waste. This type of arsenic has been linked to brain cancer and leukemia in children. Being the mother of three small children, this topic is important to me.

    I am hoping you and your family might be comfortable in sharing your niece’s story with me for my article. I understand if you are hesitant and would certainly be willing to omit names if that makes you feel more comfortable.

    I did send you send you a message on Facebook so you can respond to me that way or if it’s easier, my email address is listed below.

    I have read some of your other posts and really find them interesting. I used to live in Northern Virginia as well and I attended George Mason University in the 90’s.

    Thanks for you time.

    Leslie Orndoff

    May 2, 2012 at 1:26 pm

  4. Hello Louisa,

    I am an an work study aide in the Cultural Studies Dept here at GMU.
    We are trying to make a contact information sheet with the e-mails of current and former students.
    Please share your e-mail with us by e-mailing cultural@gmu.edu.

    Thanks Danielle

    Danielle S.

    February 11, 2013 at 10:51 am

  5. Hello Louisa, I have read your articles on PenBay Pilot and found them to be very interesting and informative. I was quite impressed with, and moved by the Terry Wahls Ted video as well. I live in the area and am embarking on a journey to improve the quality of my life and my health. I am looking to make some changes to my eating habits and wonder if you know if someone in the area with whom I might consult. I am on very limited funds so this is also a consideration Or, do you think I should just forge ahead on my own and try different things myself?

    I have some physical issues that are disconcerting, my energy could be improved and so could my mental focus. From what I have been reading, a change in diet might improve all of these things. I just don’t really know where to start and am overwhelmed and a bit timid about making any changes. Maybe nervous about changing life long habits too?

    Anyway, sorry for the public post, however, i did not know how to otherwise reach you.

    Thank you kindly, Minda


    February 12, 2013 at 8:52 pm

  6. Hello louisa, a message fromThe Netherlands,,I was searching the www and saw your blog. Interesting.
    I also noticed the name of Ronald van Heeswijk, age 72. I remembered a dutch guy in Amsterdam with that name. In that time ( 1958/61) we were seen as ‘ pleiners’ and loved jazz musicians as miles davis. Is he a dutch man.? Regards, arthur van dijk

    Arthur van dijk

    May 1, 2014 at 6:00 pm

  7. I forgot to say that in that time we ( Ronald and me) often goes to a small beach place in holland, Bergen on sea, where we had some great beach parties with the artist family min.

    Arthur van dijk

    May 8, 2014 at 5:58 pm

  8. I’m amazed at your many talents. E.G. recommended that I talk with you about the many adventures as we have many ideas and adventures we are starting out with. My 10 girls are 2 weeks old. The coop is started.
    the garden yet to be planted. I also am interested in the simple life, with quilting, knitting & chicks. I’d love to visit some day


    June 10, 2014 at 9:58 pm

    • Thanks for reading the blog Margaret-Elaine. I’m excited you have chickens! Sorry to be slow replying–I’m still catching up from being away.


      June 15, 2014 at 9:37 am

  9. Hello,
    I am so pleased that you are a part of this lovely community that we all call home. You came to our Garden in the Georges River Watershed in the past.
    I thought you might like seeing Maine dressed up once again~ Please share this with anyone that you think might enjoy.

    http://harmoniouspalette.com/ Bo (Atkinson) sends best wishes and love as well
    alda stich fragrant gardens freedom maine 04941 207- 342-5796

    alda stich

    December 27, 2014 at 11:56 am

    • What a terrific memory you have, Alda Stich. I loved seeing your gardens and house. I hope others will look at your beautiful web site. You have such a gift with flowers. Louisa


      December 28, 2014 at 4:29 pm

  10. I am a friend of Susan Daniel ‘s I live in North Chsrleston and would like to invite you to a Cobblestone Quilters meeting held the second Thursday of each moth. Please let me know when you visit charleston next Susan Alberto 843-830-6359

    Susan Alberto

    April 21, 2015 at 6:32 pm

  11. Hello Louisa, I came across your blog while searching online for Joie Willemetz on behalf of my 94 year old mother, Audrey Whetham. We knew Joie, her husband Emil and sons in Lima, Peru in the 1950s. My mother is now living in Victoria, British Columbia. A few days ago we were talking about the Lima years, and she was wondering about Joie – it seems they lost contact a few years ago. Do you know where Joie is and how to contact her? I tried a phone number my mother had, but it is out of service. Thank you!

    Anne Whetham

    Anne Whetham

    April 21, 2015 at 7:50 pm

    • Anne…I was searching online for you when I came across this entry of yours. I am pretty sure this is the Anne Whetham I knew in college, so please respond as soon as you get this. xo/Allan Golden

      Allan Golden

      December 23, 2015 at 9:30 pm

  12. It’s so funny, I just happened upon your blog and was admiring the “Quilty Update” photo and thinking, sigh, when I retire from the Library of Congress in Washington DC and move back to Maine, I’ll have a lovely craft room just like that looks to be! And then I clicked your “About” page and just had to chuckle.

    I have been thinking of Portland rather than my hometown (Boothbay) because I lived in Portland once as a student and loved it and since then it seems to have become fiber heaven.

    One thing I know, friends in DC will definitely be up to visit me in the summer! way humid and hot down here!

    Laura Graham

    September 6, 2015 at 3:03 pm

  13. Looking at your blog further, it’s just full of interesting content. Especially the garden tour along the Georges River. And the quilting is inspiring. Always appreciate that people take the time to do something like this for the rest of us to enjoy. Thanks!

    Laura Graham

    September 6, 2015 at 4:00 pm

  14. I grew up in Portland, and much prefer the country in Rockport, Maine.

    Margaret-Elaine Jinno

    September 6, 2015 at 7:15 pm

    • Rockport is beautiful and actually is another place I’ve considered. I’m figuring I’ll “land” in Portland, orient myself back to Maine, and then see from there! I miss the north Atlantic. The Chesapeake is lovely but doesn’t smell the same :). The Potomac is well,….

      Laura Graham

      September 7, 2015 at 4:53 pm

      • …though I have to admit, it’s the knitting stores and fibre and craft that really attract me about Portland…

        Laura Graham

        September 7, 2015 at 5:12 pm

  15. Hell there from Belfast I am wondering if we can use you John’s Ice Cream photo for a small side comment in the next Belfast The Bay and Beyond Magazine for the Chamber (I used to live in Liberty!) I am Cara at 338 1740


    November 30, 2015 at 5:09 pm

    • Hi Cara. Sorry to be slow on replying to you. I have been visiting family, and my ipad does not like the blog very much. Yes, you are welcome to use the photo. I tried to call, but your answering service says you will be away until “October 29th.” So, will just reply here. Thanks for reading my blog. Louisa


      December 8, 2015 at 3:48 pm

  16. My previous note was suppose tp begin “Hello” not Hell 🙂 Cara


    November 30, 2015 at 5:09 pm

  17. Thank you….

    Madeline Harris

    January 26, 2019 at 9:47 pm

  18. What happened to your scented geraniums?

    Betty Height

    January 28, 2019 at 8:26 pm

    • Good question. I haven’t bought any recently for the garden. I don’t have good spaces in the house for potted plants. The house has overhangs that don’t let in much direct light.


      January 29, 2019 at 9:14 am

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