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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.

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January 12, 2022 at 10:20 am

I’ve Been Busy!

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Turkey Tracks: November 29, 2021

I’ve Been Busy!

Life gets in the way of this blog some times.

For sure.

There have been well water issues—which are slowly getting resolved. The well pump removal and new pump installation likely caused a coliform bacteria overload, alongside all the rain we’ve had this summer and fall. The water tables are really high these days. Coliform bacteria are NOT e.coli bacteria, which derive mostly from animal feces contaminations. Coliform bacteria come from plants and other vegetation. The well test didn’t show e.coli problems. It did show way, way too much radon—which is a colorless and orderless gas that comes from granite and can dissolve into water—and emerge when you use water, like in the kitchen sink or the shower. A “bubbler” filter will be installed soon now. High radon levels are associated with lung cancer.

But, the GOOD NEWS is that my oldest son visited for a long weekend recently. I had not seen him for 2 1/2 years, so we had a grand and sweet visit. We cooked, ate, talked, binged watched WICKING and MANHUNT, on Acorn, talked and cooked and ate more, and took some sightseeing drives off and on.

Mike took this video of AC putting a flock of turkeys into the air. Note that if a turkey turned on AC, I’m quite sure that he would run the other way. The turkeys were in a neighbor’s roadside field up the hill from me.

And Mike took this video of me after I pulled out the apple corer to process some apples we were going to bake for dessert. Mike loves lamb like I do, and it is hard to get in South Carolina, so I roasted a leg of lamb for him while he was here.

I had forgotten how fun the apple corer is—so I may buy more of these Black Oxford apples and make some applesauce. They are a Maine heritage apple and are delicious.

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November 29, 2021 at 9:16 am

AC Will Miss His Daily Swims

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Turkey Tracks: September 5, 2021

AC Will Miss His Daily Swims

We are having a cooler spell these past few days.

I’m sure that we’ll get an Indian Summer soon, but for right now, it’s jeans, long-sleeved t-shirt, and sweater time. And more trees are turning.

AC has been swimming every day after he runs after his ball and gets hot. Over by the Snow Bowl, there are FIVE places where he likes to swim—two in the pond, one in a runoff pool, and two in a stream with some deep pools.

But now the cooler nights are making the water cold.

So he is being more cautious. These may be the last dips until next year as an Indian Summer warmer spell won’t heat the water enough.

Here is the pond over by the Toboggan Run—which is, actually, a lovely spot.

Then we backtrack towards where the car is parked, past the run-off pool and the two places in the stream, where he also swims, to the boat launch/swimming area.

Sometimes there are other dogs swimming and/or playing, and AC loves to join in.

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September 5, 2021 at 11:04 am

I Never Get Tired…

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Turkey Tracks: July 24, 2021

I Never Get Tired…

…of watching AC doggie in the woods and water.

This swell in the land is boggy and filled with “things that jump away,” like small frogs.

That tail goes a mile a minute when he’s hunting.

The fox-like springing up and pouncing with front feet is his modus opperendi when he hunts in tall grass. This time out I missed the first line of jumps, but they were at least 4 feet off the ground.

These degraded mushrooms were just out in the middle of the field. They could be the poisonous Jack-O-Lantern, but the one I picked smelled really sweet.

I want to go sew some now that I’ve worn down AC’s super energy, so I’m not going to look through my books right now to see what other possibilities I can find. The dark centers are almost a deep purple. Nature is a really good color artist.

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July 24, 2021 at 7:39 am

Mowing Accomplished!

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Turkey Tracks: June 22, 2021

Mowing Accomplished

With my hurt foot, I’ve been worried about getting the mowing done this week.

I usually mow on Sundays, but cooler weather did slow down the grass growth a bit, so I thought I’d try to mow yesterday, Monday.

At least two friends have suggested I would benefit from gardening in MUCH sturdier shoes than in worn out sneakers. One, in fact, wears dedicated hiking boots. So…

And, yes indeed, my foot felt quite safe and well supported—particularly the ankle and the instep. There was no pain at all. But the foot is weak, so I was determined not to pressure it in any way.

I went out early in the very humid day and was done by 10am and was wet with sweat. The front and back are easy—it’s the steep hill on the far side of the house that is hard to mow.

The brown spots are pee spots from AC. I’ll treat them again with baking soda soon. That dog!

I made myself quit when the mowing was done—I could have stayed out there for hours and hours though. I’ll do the needed weed whacking today maybe. Or, soon. (The replacement batteries for the weed whacker arrived and work beautifully—the original old one was not holding a charge beyond about 15 minutes.)

Look at the Rose Campion plants! They seed themselves here, and, indeed, are a bit like weeds. Beyond that chicken wire fence is a sheer drop off down a wall of boulders.

OK. I’ll confess. I did stop to pick the ripe strawberries before coming inside. I couldn’t resist. And they do have to be picked every day.

The less ripe berries ripen well on the kitchen counter—which means I get them and the chipmunks don’t. The berries on this plate ripened overnight.

I’ve already frozen a big silicon bag of strawberries. Last year I froze berries in plastic freezer bags, and I debated buying some more plastic bags to freeze the ripening fruit in the garden—the raspberries are LOADED with berries that will ripen very soon now. Instead, I ordered more of these bigger silicon bags—and I do have one that is a gallon size I could use as well. I love these bags! They are totally leak proof too. So I have not purchased plastic bags in over a year now.

Before the foot went wonky, I let AC have one of his old balls outside. It is always good to stop and throw it for him or play a game of chase with him. I took this little video last week. We all need to take some time to just play, and AC does this work for me.

Yesterday, AC dropped the ball outside somewhere. At one point he was dropping it down the front wall and retrieving it—much like he does on the stairs in the house. It will be interesting to see if he appears with it on our next work effort in the yard. Today, though, is cleaning and laundry day.

I hope we get rain today. It is very dry here.

Written by louisaenright

June 22, 2021 at 8:43 am

There’s Fox In There Somewhere

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Turkey Tracks: June 10, 2021

There’s Fox In There Somewhere

I’ve been trying to get a little video of what AC does when hunting “in the bushes.”

These leaps are like what a fox does to pounce on an unsuspecting critter.

This video is from over by the pond at the Snow Bowl, where I’ve been taking AC for a swim. It has been way too hot for him to chase down his ball.

But yesterday was marginally cooler with a nice breeze, so he swam, chased his ball for a few throws, then went back to swim to thoroughly cool off.

And today it is blessedly cooler, which is such a relief. I’ve been feeling like Marsha Smith’s Maine Coon cat Rocky who also does not like the heat.

But now it is cool enough to get back outside and continue weeding. So that is where I am headed next.

Written by louisaenright

June 10, 2021 at 9:43 am

Lunch Break From Garden

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Turkey Tracks: May 23, 2021

Lunch Break From Garden

I am just in from working in the garden all morning.

I grilled two little lamb chops to go on my lunch salad—the grill is just at my kitchen door, and it doesn’t take but a minute or two to fire it up and let it heat.

The lettuce is from the cold frame—which is overflowing with lettuce goodness. I’ve been happily taking bunches of the lettuce to friends. And now I’ll include some fresh herbs as the chives are ready to cut.

This salad also has leftover halved boiled Brussel sprouts, carrot, a yellow pepper, cucumber, Vidalia sweet onion, and mint, regular and garlic chives, and some tarragon. I top everything with salt, dried herbs (dill and Penzey’s Sunny Paris mixture, and drizzles of a really fine olive oil from Organic Roots. (I can’t do vinegar.)

AC killed one of the garter snakes who live here two days ago. I thought the snake had escaped him, but he apparently dogged it out into the open, where he shook it. I found the carcass down on the rocks in the lower wall in front of the house the next day. I knew he’d gone back after it as he had streaks of blood on his coat and there were no marks on him.

These garter snakes are such pretty little creatures, with their vivid green stripes and bits of red here and there. Their presence signifies one has a healthy garden I think.

I’ve saved two more from the jaws of death—one yesterday and one this morning. One, if it is the same snake. And this time I made sure each snake was in a good hiding place.

I spent a chunk of the morning watering. It is so dry. And when I came in for lunch, there was an alert on my phone about a line of thunderstorms heading our way.

I hope so. It is getting dark. I brought in my buckets, shoes, and gloves just in case.

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May 23, 2021 at 1:24 pm

Gardening Wore AC Out

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Turkey Tracks: May 22, 2021

Gardening Wore AC Out

Yesterday AC and I spent most of the day outside working.

I weeded in a place where I could throw weeds down a hill. AC thought his job was to chase the debris that sailed through the air from time to time.

By the time I took a shower late afternoon, we were both exhausted.

When I got out of the shower, here’s what I found:

Normally he would be curled up, waiting for me, and when he saw me, his tail would wag happily.

Once dressed, I was too tired to do more than listen to my Audible book while I enjoyed a coffee.

AC was too tired to snuggle with me. (I’m glad he seems to have topped chewing his bed in recent months.)

He was too tired to eat his dinner until we were ready for bed. He ate while I cleaned the kitchen.

I watched the beginning of MRS. WILSON last night. I thought it quite good.

And today I mowed. If we don’t get rain tonight, I’ll have to water tomorrow. The soil is dry enough to blow away.

I’m writing on a lunch break—and will likely head out to try to finish weeding the bed I started yesterday.


Written by louisaenright

May 22, 2021 at 1:49 pm

The Call of the Wild

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Turkey Tracks: March 8, 2021

The Call of the Wild

We watched the 2020 CALL OF THE WILD last week.

I say “we” because AC watched the entire movie with no loss of attention. I would probably have stopped and moved to something more “adult,” but AC was watching so intently. Occasionally he would leap from the couch to more closely inspect the tv screen. Or, to guard us against “those dogs” in our house.  It was too funny to miss.  He’d run back to me in a bit and wedge himself against my body. Gradually he relaxed and lay down beside me, but he never took his eyes away from the screen.  

Any appearance by the BIG black wolf (the movie’s metaphor for “the call of the wild”) always produced a trip to the tv screen.

The scenery was pretty.

I am easily amused.

The pandemic is hard on dogs that are very social too.

Written by louisaenright

March 8, 2021 at 7:28 am

AC Slater Loves His Red Rubber Ball

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Turkey Tracks: February 5, 2021

AC Slater Loves His Red Rubber Ball

It is Friday. And we are getting rain later today, so AC and I went out late morning to run food errands and to make some time for AC to chase his red rubber ball to run out his kinks.

What amazes me is that he knows where we are in the car, and if we are near any of the places where he can chase his ball, he begins to “talk” to tell me he’s so ready to go when we get there. It is a rare day when I don’t take him somewhere to run.

It’s hard to throw the ball and take videos, but here’s what I got this late morning at the Barrett’s Cove parking lot. Look at that happy face and wagging tail as he brings the ball back. If I can get the ball ahead of him, he’ll put on a burst of speed that is so fast. I’ve started wondering if he’s got some greyhound in him somewhere.

For some reason, when he brings back the ball, he rubs all over my legs, going around and around my body.

When he starts to out of breath, I’ll do a few “short” throws where I pound the ball against the surface so it goes high in the air. Most of the time he catches it on the fly, which is pretty darn awesome.

Here’s a picture of Barrett’s Cove. It is just one of my favorite spots winter and summer.

When we got home, it started to snow—not rain. And it is so pretty.

A warm lunch was in order:

I cooked some chicken breasts in 14 minutes in the Instant Pot last night! So I had delicious leftover tender and tasty chicken and a cream-based sauce made with onions sauteed in ghee and with some heavy raw cream, dried herbs, and a bit of mustard added. I added more chicken broth to the leftover sauce after I put away the groceries, and quick-cooked some fresh broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots in the sauce while I got the chicken off the bone. I added the chicken and poured the whole thing over the leftover rice from last night. I cooked a whole bag of sprouted brown rice in the Instant Pot some days back and froze the extra rice in individual portions.

And now I’m going to finish lunch and have some sewing time.

Written by louisaenright

February 5, 2021 at 1:42 pm