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Comforting Poems

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Turkey Tracks: May 20, 2022

“Comforting Poems”

Thanks to all of you for so many lovely words of comfort and care.

I truly appreciate your kindness.

I’m still a bit of a mess. Of course I am. But, as I’ve said before, life can be quite messy some times.

The house seems so empty, but my heart is full.

Some of you have sent me some really nice poems, including the rainbow bridge poem.

So I will include them here as so many of you also carry a lot of grief, earned in just…living.

Written by louisaenright

May 20, 2022 at 8:14 am

AC Slater and the Red Rubber Ball

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Turkey Tracks: May 13, 2022

AC Slater and the Red Rubber Ball

More than just about anything, AC Slater loves to go to a field where he can chase his ball—which I throw with a Chuck-it thrower. His ball is red and made of rubber—so when it is thrown, it has the most satisfying bounces, which are made even greater and for longer throws when the ground is frozen or the grass has been mowed.

AC Slater also loves water—though he never gets away from the edge of a pond. He feels safe with his back feet firmly grounded. So, his ”swimming” takes the form of sloshing and wallowing.

He loves this little pond on a neighbor’s property. So, when he gets hot from chasing his ball, we go down to the pond so he can take a rest and cool off.

Right now, the big bull frog tadpoles are on the edge of the pond, and when he appears, they run into deeper water—which makes AC hunt for them. He can follow their initial movement, but does not seem to see them when they get into deeper water.

He runs the edges of the pond first, where he often causes the frogs that already exist on the edges to dive away from him.

The other day there were two other visitors to this field. As we talked, AC chased his ball off and on. When I was busy visiting, he took his ball down to the pond and, yes, put it in the water—where it quickly drifted away from the edge.

AC tried everything to get to the ball, including running around to the other side of the pond to see if he could get to it from there.

I thought he might be tempted to swim out to the ball.

But…no.

We eventually went home, leaving the ball in the middle of the pond.

The next day we went back—with me carrying a long crab net. I thought that maybe the wind had blown the ball to the edges of the pond somewhere where I might be able to reach it.

And while I walked the near side of the pond, AC ran to the other side to chase the big tadpoles. And when I walked over there, the red ball was at the edge of the water. He had already retrieved it from the edge and had dropped it on the ground right at the edge of the water.

So I scooped it up, and that was that!

It was the end to this episode of the red ball getting into water. There have been several such episodes—and to date, no permanently lost ball.

Written by louisaenright

May 13, 2022 at 6:35 am

A Rainy Day

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Turkey Tracks: April 9, 2022

A Rainy Day

It poured rain all day yesterday. All day.

It was the kind of heavy rain where flooding happens, and the intermittent creek on the woods side of my house was ”booking” all day.

I hunkered down and made do with food I had on hand and just enjoyed the peacefulness of a rainy day.

AC, who hates rainy days, was ever hopeful that I would play with him with his ball.

To amuse him, I cut his toenails, which he HATES, and cleaned his teeth, which he LOVES. I clean his teeth with some double-wrapped gauze that I put over my finger and rub on his teeth. Then I used the Furminator on his coat. I have not “Furminatored” him in about a month—and he is starting to shed his winter coat. Using this tool weekly really helps the dog-hair-in-the-house problem.

Good Heavens! I had to get out the vacuum to clean up the rug and me when I was done. The Furminator excels in getting out the loose undercoat in a dog. For AC, I got the short-hair medium-size dog version—and I highly recommend this tool as it has made a big difference in the amount of dog hair in my house.

I also spent some time looking at John Steele’s web site. John is a retired pharmacist from Utah, and he is a wildlife photographer. I met him at the Snow Bowl field as he takes his two older dogs there to walk, and one of them, Miss Daisy, loves to chase AC’s ball with AC. Miss Daisy is the black dog in this screenshot of a photo John took of Daisy and Jamie jumping from the float into Hosmer Pond—which I took from his web site: johnsteelephotography.com

John’s web site also has some beautiful and interesting pictures of mustangs out west. He’s currently working on a photography book that he hopes will educate more people about these horses. And there are really nice photos of Maine and Maine wildlife—and more photos of these two dogs who love to swim.

Enjoy!

Today is sunny, so AC and I will be out and about to make up for the rainy day yesterday.

The grass is…GROWING…and turning quite green. The lawn crew that helps me is coming next Wednesday to take up the wooden, winter snow boardwalk and to help me with some of the needed spring clean-up. And AC has not heard any flying squirrels in the house for about a week now.

Written by louisaenright

April 9, 2022 at 8:40 am

A Beautiful Spring Day!

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Turkey Tracks: March 27, 2022

A Beautiful Spring Day!

Yesterday was just a beautiful spring day, and AC and I went for an outing at the Snow Bowl area—where the ruined field has some grass strips between the deep ruts made by parking cars there where he can chase his ball for a bit. The parking lot is also empty now, and the ball flies a long way there and bounces further along in a very satisfying way.

Yesterday was the first day I didn’t need a coat over my knit/fleece sweater/jacket. Or a hat, or gloves.

The ice is almost out of the pond on the Snow Bowl side. You can see what ice remains on the far right, over by the toboggan run.

We walked over there as part of our outing.

AC swam at the edges of the pond here, but I didn’t have the camera ready to take a video.

He swam everywhere we went actually—and there are running creeks and water basins that are part of the drainage in this area and the pond itself. Here he is at the public swimming area.

After lunch, I read for a bit on the couch downstairs with a tired dog at my side. Then I sewed blocks and rows together on ”Pot-Pourri 3.” Only two more rows to sew and attach—then on to the pieced backing. I cut binding yesterday.

I always take a picture of a developing quilt top before I start sewing blocks and rows together—so if I get blocks confused I have a picture of how they are meant to be placed.

The morning is bright and sunny at the moment, but weather is moving in. We might even get a dusting of snow later tonight.

That’s spring in Maine.

Written by louisaenright

March 27, 2022 at 8:23 am

A Magic Walk and the Stash Cutting Continues

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Turkey Tracks: March 15, 2022

A Magic Walk and the Stash Cutting Continues

AC doggie and I hiked into my neighbor’s beautiful property yesterday, and when I got to the top of the steep entry hill, AC was nowhere in sight. When I called, he burst from the woods with another dog running at his side—a beautiful young golden female—and both ran helter skelter to me, grinning happily.

Down by the pond, I could see a woman coming toward me, and when she got closer, I could see it was my neighbor up the hill. With coats and hats, it is hard to tell who someone is until they get a bit closer. And for the past two virus years, I’ve mostly only seen this neighbor in person walking on the road while I was in my car.

She did another ”lap” of some of the trails with me while we visited and tried to catch up with our news, and the dogs ran and ran and ran, but in my joy of the moment I did not take any pictures.

It was magic! This gift of a lovely hour!

So, when I came home, I had renewed energy for my Cotton+Steel deep-stash cutting project. My hands and rotary cutter went through these ”light” salmons and pinks—they are all now strips on my cutting board or in the Churn Dash block ”parts” table.

These light strips will be cut and will join the darker reds and pink and previously cut light squares on my sewing table. Colors that aren’t quite right for my current quilt project will go into a box of squares for other quilts.

I take breaks to make more blocks, so the quilt on the design wall now, ”Pot-Pourri 3,” has its planned 7 squares across the top. I was thinking last night while sewing down the binding on the scrappy baby quilt (“Pot-Pourri 2”) that these quilts are special because their variety could only have been made from a very deep fabric stash collected over many years.

The Churn Dash block table is now loaded with cut strips and center squares, and I so look forward to making another of these quilts, which will be ”Eye Candy 3.”

Next up, the neutrals with black, which have been ironed and are ready to go.

On the longarm table are pieces I will fussy cut for Churn Dash centers and some quilt blocks, big pieces of fabric for backings, and what is left of the darker colors.

The end of the cutting project is growing closer.

Today is cleaning/laundry day. But though cloudy, it is much warmer. Maybe there will be another walk in the woods. I made a big soup yesterday, so there is no need to cook today or tomorrow. There will be time later to do more cutting and sewing.

Written by louisaenright

March 15, 2022 at 9:53 am

AC’s Belly Time

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Turkey Tracks: March 12, 2022

AC’s Belly Time

It’s pouring rain today, but inside AC and I are dry and warm.

As the temps drop later today and tonight, the rain will turn to snow and/or ice. West of us, it’s all snow all the time.

It’s a good thing AC and I had such a lovely woods walk yesterday—you can see a little video and a picture at the end of this post. AC does NOT like rainy days where he has to stay inside or go outside and get wet. He rejects both choices presented to him.

Meanwhile, AC knows exactly when it is 6 pm, and he ”dogs” me until I stop sewing and give him his dinner. “Dogging” can be milling and prancing around my sewing chair and/or butting me with his long nose. Below is what he really wants: both of us settled on the couch, me watching tv and hand sewing, and AC presenting his belly to be scratched. How’s that for a display of utter safety, warmth, and trust?

Here’s the hand-sewing project for the moment: sewing binding on this scrappy baby quilt. Note the heavier use of color in this one.

The long-arm holds ironed Cotton+Steel fabrics in pink and red. They are the docket for cutting up.

And here is where many of these are going: baby scrappy “Pot-Pourri” quilt number 3. It’s meant for a girl child, and if here are no takers, note that I am a girl child of this earth.

I hiked in to these wood trails where I have owner permission to roam. They are soft and muddy, but I have Bean Boots that take me where I want to go.

Here’s AC waiting for me to catch up. He’s done this kind of waiting for me since he was a puppy of 6 months. No one is going to lose AC in these woods as he knows exactly where I am at all times.

AC loves the drainage culverts. And, AC is very vocal. We have a language we share. What he’s saying here is ”I’m ready if you are to get whatever is in this thing.”

On that note—which shows some of how AC wants to work with me and how fun it is for me to play with him, I’ll close…

…except to say that spring is inching slowly into Maine and that I love this season of promise and mud as the earth opens once more to feeding us again that which we will need in coming days.

Written by louisaenright

March 12, 2022 at 1:48 pm

My Favorite Dog Treats.

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Turkey Tracks: March 3, 2022

My Favorite Dog Treats

I woke to snow this morning—more than the scant 1-inch predicted and with very heavy snow fall happening. Snow was up to AC’s belly when he went out for his morning call of nature. I cancelled my scheduled much-needed haircut, but that will happen Saturday.

I have a fair amount of accumulated snow on the back deck now. But now the sun is out and the plow/shovel crew have come and gone. It’s good that AC and I had a long walk yesterday since I don’t like to walk him over wet roads that have a lot of salt on them. He’ll be on his own today for running outside on this property, though maybe we will take a ride in the car later.

BUT, back to this post, which also got highjacked by the snow—and I’m NOT complaining as I love snow.

***

AC doggie can’t do regular type dog treats as he is allergic.

He loves those hard-as-bricks yak-milk cheese chews that originated in Nepal. He gets about one a week, and it takes him a few days to devour one with off-and-on chewing sessions. When he gets one down to a nub of which I think he might choke, I throw that part away.

I found these sweet potato products about 6 months ago, and AC loves them.

The ”chews” are slabs of dried sweet potato that require him to do some heavy chewing—which helps clean his teeth. The “bones” are softer. He loves both versions. He gets a bone at night after his last trip outside, where he takes care of business and comes right back as he knows his treat will follow.

I order the sweet potato products directly from Gaines, and they have free and prompt shipping. I get the yak-milk bones from the Thrive online market where I have an account, but they are sometimes carried at our local Loyal Biscuit store.

I didn’t think when I wrote about AC’s new toys that the softer toy, an elephant, would be the longer survivor. But Elephant goes everywhere with him between floors, carried gently in his mouth. Elephant’s ears have some sort of crackly plastic that makes a sound that apparently pleases AC to no end. Elephant’s last leg is dangling by a thread, and his squeaker came out yesterday, but Elephant is clearly a hit. The stronger-made Frog didn’t survive the breach of his seams at all. The leathery chew toy is also going strong and is a favorite.

That dog!

Written by louisaenright

March 3, 2022 at 10:25 am

AC Doggie Gets New Toys

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Turkey Tracks: February 26, 2022

AC Doggie Gets New Toys

AC’s current crop of toys has long been reduced to shreds of their former selves.

Thursday when AC and I ran the errands, I stopped by our local Loyal Biscuit to replace his puppy harness as he had chewed the front strap into two pieces when he was a puppy. The strap has been held in place by duck tape for the past 2 1/2 years. It was time for a nice adult harness, since his chewing of inappropriate things seems to have stopped. He will be 4 next month.

I got the harness ok—a really nice one. But I also came home with the three toys you can see leaning against the green bed. The two flat toys (each with two squeakers) were left over from a package of five over a year ago. I hesitate to give him toys with squeakers as I need to be around to retrieve them when he gets them out of a toy.

The green frog is made of a really tough material, stronger looking than a heavy canvas. The tan ”bone” is meant to be chewed. And the elephant has some sort of plastic in the ears that crinkles. I assumed all of the toys would be dismantled in due order.

I set them up while AC was outside and let him in to see them.

It is clear that I am easily amused. He had all but one of the squeakers out while I ate lunch. I think there were 6 or 7 in all.

It is now Saturday, and we had a lovely snow day all day yesterday. I completely quilted and trimmed one of the baby quilts yesterday, and in a bit now I’ll go put on the binding and label. AC hung with me on his bed in the quilt room yesterday, but played with his toys when we went upstairs for lunch.

I think he loves the green frog the best. He carries it everywhere I go—up and down the steps as I move around the house. AC has some sort of rule that if he travels the stairs (up or down), he needs to bring a toy with him. That’s hound behavior I think. Or, retriever of some sort. Terriers don’t really carry things in their mouths all that much.

By yesterday, the toys showed his intense interest. As fast as I pick them up, he drags them out of his play bucket and puts them at my feet. I think his goal is to entice me to enjoy the toys with him—which does happen with his balls.

Uh oh! He breached Frog’s seams.

I’m eating lunch late today, Saturday, as I went out to retrieve my weekly raw cream and some kale for soup. I made the broth this morning—using the package of frozen chicken bones I defrosted over night and the fresh bones from the leg of lamb I cooked Wednesday. I’ve never mixed up bones—but the soup broth is really lovely.

As usual, I packed the developing soup with lots of veggies, and I added 4 chicken thighs as well. The kale almost didn’t fit, so I had to add it a little bit at a time when the liquid level dropped a bit while the veggies cooked. Finally all the kale melted down into the soup pot.

And here is my beautiful bowl of lunch-time soup—with the meat taken off one of the thighs that cooked in the pot.

While I ate, AC played with his toys. Elephant lost a leg, but the ears still crackle. And Frog’s seams have been breached further, and the squeaker removed. I used to restuff toy bodies and sew up the seams, but no more. It’s a total waste of time.

And now AC is taking a little rest in his bed. He was asleep until I walked over there with the camera. If I move, he knows it.

He’s rested now, and is ready ”to go” again. It’s time for me to pull off some of the soup for my dinner and to store the rest in the refrigerator. And to clean up the kitchen and make a cup of coffee to take to the quilt room—after AC and I take out the compost bin to the containers back of the garage.

Slowdown Farmstead, on Substack, has some lovely, lovely writing. Tara’s farm is in Canada, somewhere near Ottawa. Her post this morning was all about making and storing bone broths—a task she does in the summer and where she makes enough for the whole year. I learned two really interesting pieces of information I didn’t know: don’t make the broth in a stainless steel pot because it will leak a little of the metal, which can be toxic if you get too much over time, AND use glass bottle containers with NO SHOULDERS as they can and do break in the freezer—something I’ve had happen many times now. She mentioned a brand name of jars she has found work well.

Tara is a woman after my own heart.

Written by louisaenright

February 26, 2022 at 2:44 pm

Tucker Came to Visit AC

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Turkey Tracks: February 19, 2022

Tucker Came to Visit AC

My friend came for a visit, bringing Tucker doggie with her.

It was his second visit here.

He was still wary of this new situation, as a tiny, delicate doggie should be, especially when faced with a bigger dog.

Tucker is VERY vocal, as his owner demonstrates.

The other day, LIz and I walked a local, quiet street, and the two dogs recognized each other and went trotting happily along, both enjoying the outing. AC had a doggie grin the whole time.

Today it is snowing and will snow all day. I’m going to enjoy this gift of a snow day.

One of the baby quilts is on the longarm—so that is the task for today.

Written by louisaenright

February 25, 2022 at 10:11 am

Mid-January 2022

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Turkey Tracks: January 12, 2022

Mid-January 2022

Well, it’s almost mid-January.

It’s been super cold for the past few days—8 degrees yesterday morning with a wind chill of -30 degrees or so. Inside, where AC and I stayed yesterday—I’ve been busy with projects of all kinds—including an extended period of learning more about my Innova longarm. Today I’ll put ”Sunny” on Innova. And I’ve had also an extended period of cutting into my Cotton+Steel/Ruby Star Society stash as I want to get to the point where I can put what’s left into my regular stash. More on those projects in future posts.

Tuesday, yesterday, was laundry, cleaning, and general household organizing day. And this week, I undertook some cooking duties as well. I spatchcocked a chicken and made AC’s fish food. The spatchcocked chicken will cook in 45 minutes in my oven with the convection fan running—which is way, way faster than an upright chicken. It’s easy to cut out the backbone with good kitchen shears and to flatten the carcass for roasting.

Here’s my lunch salad—all made and waiting for some warm chicken on the top:

It was totally delicious—and made enough that I saved what I didn’t eat and had it for part of my dinner. I read yesterday that red bell papers are a fruit, not a veggie, and that they have more vitamin C than an orange. I also took the meat off the bones for future meals and froze all the bones for a future broth project—probably to be made after I cook another chicken.

I’m two months behind on The Color Collective’s very dynamic and interesting current projects—due to fabric-delivery issues at Sewtopia. One palette should come this week, and the other soon now. I am in no rush, really. So it’s all good.

Here’s AC hunkering down on his bed beneath Innova:

He’s such a good boy!

He did get a good run at the Snow Bowl athletic field on Monday—though it was very cold then too. I don’t take him out to run if the temps are below about 25 degrees as I’m afraid, as hard as he runs, that the bitter cold would harm his lungs.

Written by louisaenright

January 12, 2022 at 10:20 am