Walking Paths and Trails

Maybe, unlike rural Maine, more urban areas have lots of walking paths. Here it is easy to walk because off-road paths criss-cross this neighborhood and wide paths run alongside the outside roads. These walking paths, wide and level, are EVERYWHERE. (Bikers tend to use the streets.)

And, this is the low country, so there are also water features that are used to drain and hold water everywhere too. At the entrance to Moore’s Landing, my neighborhood, there are two cache basins and fountains that run most of the time. This kind of movement of water helps prevent mosquitoes and, maybe, the growth of algae (?).

Also, unlike where I lived in Maine–which was out beyond the town–there is regular trash and recycling pickup. Big brown trash barrels are collected weekly by Mt. Pleasant town, and the blue recycle barrels are collected every two weeks by Charleston County. Mt. Pleasant town, which is huge, is a part of Charleston County, which is even bigger.

The barrels are placed with the handles facing the street, and the trucks can pick them up and empty them without a person touching them–it can all be controlled by the driver in the truck who operates the levers that lift the bins. This past week, the brown trash barrels were picked up on time and homeowners put them away. But the blue recycle bins remained a few days longer. I think the truck driver forgot our street. Calls to Charleston County produced the eventual pickup, however.

I am looking forward to walking the trails in nearby parks–and to visiting the beach again to walk. I am getting to the point where I will have time for walking in areas beyond my neighborhood–as the moving work load is mostly done.

LED Lights

I am not a particular fan of LED lights. They take some time to heat up, for one thing. At least the LED spotlights in the ceiling of my quilt room take time to fully illuminate.

BUT, a clear pattern has emerged where the non-LED bulbs in the dining room chandelier have pulled a lot of voltage, so over time that high voltage load will burn out the dimmer switch–which first grows way too hot to the touch. It is very scary to touch a switch that is…hot.

This is the third time that I remember where the dimmer switch had to be replaced. And this time the electrician told me to replace the “regular” light bulbs with LED light bulbs.

Off to Home Depot I went, where I discovered a box of eight LED lights in either “daylight” or a softer white–for about $15. I came home with daylight, which may be too bright, but they can be dimmed too.

The lights are bright right away as well, so this light dimmer switch issue may now be solved.

Plus, the lights themselves have this kind of funky, but cute interiors (hidden by the lamp shades) that feature three bars that light up and are very bright–made more bright by the “daylight” choice.

I have learned a LOT during this move I’m making to South Carolina.

Read Food Labels Carefully: Crickets are HERE

Turkey Tracks/Interesting Information: August 26, 2022

Read Food Labels Carefully: Crickets are HERE

I posted recently about industry putting crickets in our food.

In this substack link, Dr. Robert Malone shows that there are already products using crickets in places like Walmart. AND, he discusses some of the downsides of eating crickets and shows there are already “manufacturing” plants growing crickets for this market.

Is this move another failure of the now corporate-owned FDA?

The comment section is instructive.

READ LABELS. Labels change all the time. You have to keep reading them if you buy anything in a box or a bag.

Crickets are NOT meat, and while some cultures eat insects, they don’t rely on insects for all of their protein.

More on Wasps and Hornets

Turkey Tracks and Interesting Information: August 10, 2020

More on Wasps and Hornets

We moved to Maine in June 2004, and in January 2005 I took a class on creating and keeping a picture journal that I successfully kept for a year and that resulted in two volumes. Now one of the volumes sits on a counter downstairs, above my washer and dryer, as I follow along in the year. I turn the pages every day and really enjoy seeing how 2005 compares to what is happening each year since.

Here’s the page I did on August 10th—about wasps and hornets. And it sorts out the hornets and the wasps.

It does not cover the ground types—some of which are bee forms. And I got stung here years ago when I encountered a ground nest on the back hill.

There is an old wives tale that if you get stung, something in your system needs the venom.

For whatever that is worth. But I haven’t been stung again, knock on wood.

Wasp Pollinators

Turkey Tracks and Interesting Information: August 8, 2022

Wasp Pollinators

The Pee Gee Hydrangea is in full and glorious bloom.

Pee Gees can and do grow into tree size. I keep mine cut back to a shrub form, but pruning comes in the fall when the white blossoms have turned to deep rusty red.

What has been totally fascinating to me this summer is the huge amount of different kinds of pollinators on all my flowers and the raspberries. I stopped picking the last of the raspberries as tiny wasps were feeding on the ripe berries. Indeed, I have been hesitant about cutting back any of the plants that are now loaded with pollinators—as I do not want to risk a wasp or bee sting—especially as I live alone.

I am astonished to note that in the hum of insects on the Pee Gee blossoms, there is a tiny wasp who is clearly collecting pollen. Who knew?

Wasps, Surprisingly Cool Pollinators

Here’s where the now overgrown Pee Gee is in my poor, dry, deer-eaten garden. Serious pruning will occur this fall—and I’ll bring some of the cut now-rusty red blooms in the house to dry in vases.

And here’s a view from the guest bedroom inside the house.

There was a thunderstorm late yesterday, but the rain gauge says only 1/4 inch. There may be more rain later today, and it is now cooler and overcast.

What’s Happening With The Daylilies?

Interesting Information and Turkey Tracks: July 24, 2022

What’s Happening With The Daylilies?

I have A LOT of day-lilies in my garden, including many of the ”wild” orange ones, called ”ditch lilies” by some.

The front porch is lined with the gold Stella D’Ora variety, and they already bloomed. But blooming now are these redder day-lilies in places I did not plant them.

And salmon ones too.

And look what has emerged down on the driveway? I did not plant this ruffled beauty.

I did plant this reddish one—and one similar on the other end of the front deck day-lilies.

And I possibly planted this vivid day-lily along the front path.

And, there is this beauty that has been in this spot on the front path for many years.

What is going on here? I’m also noticing these later-blooming dark day-lilies in other places in the garden—sometimes mixed into the wild orange day-lilies.

Are the current plants being taken over in some way and changed? That is not supposed to happen.

So, off to research I went.

Yes, the day-lilies are ”hybridizing,” but they are NOT changing any of the established plants. What they are doing is seeding hybrids into current day-lily beds—and other places in the garden too.

The hybrids can and might overtake or crowd out the established plants, but meanwhile, they are adding interesting plants into what is already in the garden.

Good to know.

And I can always dig up what I don’t like.

A Quilty Surprise for The Bee Cause

Interesting Information: July 18, 2022

A Quilty Surprise for The Bee Cause

My DIL Tami Kelly Enright is the director of The Bee Cause—an organization that began in Savannah and Charleston, SC, some years back. The Bee Cause’s project is providing viable habitats for our threatened bees and now has hives it has helped pioneer in all 50 states.

Recently Tami received an amazing gift from a total stranger.

A quilty gift.

Now, here’s the story, as told by the person who gifted The Bee Cause with this quilt—to use as they will.

The quilt was made as a ”round robin” project—where the center is started by the person who will be its owner. The quilt travels to other quilters for added rows—and each draws on his/her own creative talents. When the quilt returns, it is a surprise for the originator.

It’s a beautiful quilt, with beautiful workmanship, from some beautiful and talented people.

The Grinder

Turkey Tracks: July 14, 2022

The Grinder

These guys went on a quick trip to visit the grinder last Tuesday morning.

They make that visit about every 6 to 9 months—and this time the scissors with the blue handles triggered the trip—which isn’t far at all, only about 15 minutes or so to the south. The small scissors were dull to the tip, and they are the ones I keep by my sewing machine so they need to be sharp. If you have scissors with some serrated edges on one side (some of the Karen Kay Buckley scissors), ask the grinder NOT to sharpen on those edges.

The knife on the far right came, via a Japanese neighbor back in Falls Church, VA, many years ago. When sharpened it is…dead sharp. And very thin and light, too. I use these wider knives like paddles, too, to carry chopped bits to a pan.

Once sharpened, I can keep the knives pretty sharp for many months with frequent passes on the metal sharpening tool (a honing steel) that came with my good knife set.

Local peeps: the grinder is on Route 90 going south, on the left, just beyond Kelsey’s. Call before stopping by to make sure that the grinder is in and can sharpen what you have (594-7007). The business, Acute Grinding, is now owned by Food Prep Solutions, so here is the sign for which you will be looking. The grinder charged me $20 for these 6 pieces.

Some of the raspberries are ripening now. I got this many yesterday. Delicious!

On the last night Bryan’s family was here I made a big “fried rice” dish with what was left of the leg of lamb we roasted, some eggs I fried first (beef tallow) and added back in at the end, and tons of veggies—some leftovers already cooked and some cut for the dish and pan sautéed after removing the fried eggs—and the leftover rice. (Bryan and Corinne had lobsters that night, and the granddaughters had some hot dogs with their fried rice.)

I had LOTS left over, so I packaged it up in two large silicon bags and froze them. The other day I pulled out of the freezer some frozen broth, a package of ground lamb, and one of the packages of fried rice.

Instant soup—after I sautéed the ground lamb. I also added more herbs, salt, and more water.

It was delicious and provided two days of dinner and supper meals—AND time for me to do other things than cooking.

A Very Special Gift

Turkey Tracks: June 18, 2022

A Very Special Gift

Jan Corson came yesterday with this little gift for me—which she made using a photo of AC Slater. Jan is a very talented maker of needle punch felting.

This special, special gift is one of the most thoughtful and cherished I have ever been given. Look! Jan even got AC’s orange collar and the little medallion inscribed with his name and my telephone number. And all his markings are accurate.

Right now, felted AC Slater is guarding the dining room table and listening for squirrels to chase outside.

I’ve done a little research on ”feist” dogs these past few weeks. I suppose as a way to understand and reach out to my little lost dog.

Look at this picture that popped up on the Rescue Me rescue site. You would think AC posed for it. And note that feist dogs can look very, very different from AC Slater—depending on their particular blends of terrier and hounds.

Up here in Maine, I am a very long way from where feist dogs and rat terriers are more prevalent. And I don’t know that I would try to get another feist—as they do require daily heavy exercise and want to be doing things with their human many times during any one day. Feists are…connected…to their humans, body and soul.

AC was a one-off “homemade” accident feist doggie, which is the best kind. There is no way that I could ever just replace him with another feist. And I’m not sure I want to replace him anyway. Perhaps at 77 years, a big personality dog with lots of energy is not the best idea. But maybe a doggie that serves as my ears (I am really deaf without my hearing aids) and warns me when people come on the property is a good idea.

But I am so not ready yet to get another dog. And I think it will be like another friend said one day after AC died: ”one day another nose will poke at you and the magic will happen again.”

Feists developed in the rural South and are a mixture of terriers and other breeds, among them formally beagles, whippets, and Italian greyhounds—but many other hounds can be involved, which I think was true for AC doggie.  The “mountain feists” are highly prized in the Southern Appalachian mountains, and puppies can sell for as much as $3000+.  Some are trying to get these dogs declared a recognized breed.  

Feists are trackers—not retrievers. They like to tree animals and hold them there until their hunting companion, a human, comes.  They will bark at the base of a tree until the other half of the team arrives.  Otherwise, they are not overly “barky.” They are death on four feet for rodents of all kinds if they trap them on the ground.  They shake a caught prey, which kills it quickly.  They have really soft, thick short coats; have webbed feet for swimming; need some challenging exercise EVERY DAY; are great with people and are not overly aggressive; insist on lots of daily “play” with their human; are really smart and easily trained; and will do destructive things in a house if left alone!!!!  And they can be prone to allergies—which did happen with AC if you recall the years I made him fish dinners as he couldn’t eat any other kind of meat protein.

Yep!  AC doggie fits that description to a “t.”

And I still miss him, but I am moving on and developing different daily life patterns.

AC was a gift, lent to me for only a short period of time.

“Amore” Petunia is Fragrant

Turkey Tracks: May 16, 2022

“Amore” Petunia is Fragrant

On Saturday I made a quick trip to our local Home Depot for a dedicated cord for the leaf blower.

The back deck needs to be blown off and scrubbed. So I also got a stiff, rectangular ”push” broom to help with cleaning off the green ”stuff” that grows in the winter on the shadiest parts of that deck. Clorox is required for that job. And I thought that if we had a harder rain, I’d use the already wet deck to make this job easier.

With those items in the cart, on a whim I decided to see if there were any reasonable geraniums or petunias I could use—which could save me a trip to my favorite nursery, which is 30 minutes away. I saved my hanging basket from last year with the thought I could reuse it.

I walked by a big display of a pink and white-striped petunias called ”Amore,” which were planted in bigger pots.

Hello! Amore was incredibly FRAGRANT.

I LOVE fragrant petunias in a hanging basket.

Amore came home with me—and I planted it right away—and hung it on the upper porch where I like to have a hanging basket.

I saved about $20, and I can see it from where I sit at the dining room table. Win-Win.

So now I’m happy and the very hungry hummingbirds are happy as they like to have a hanging basket near their feeder It makes them feel safer I think.

I still need the geraniums though. And a few other plants as well.