Jackpot Update

I finally got to the point where I had time to run down where the DNA dog testing on Jackpot went missing–for me, anyway. Sure enough, the Maine vet had the report and emailed it to me.

I sent it on to the amazing foster person–who is Irish–as I thought the new owners might like to have it. And I sent it to Glenna Tucker at Sweet Pups Nation Rescue and Sanctuary as Jackpot had two litter mates.

The DNA is NOTHING like I expected. I thought Jackpot a hound/terrier mixture–a “Feist” dog. Nope. There is a pointer bird dog, but no outright hound in the mix. No beagle or Basset hound. And no terrier either.

The foster person who took Jackpot from me and helped get him to a happy home has kept in touch with me, and she sends me current pictures from time to time–as she did this time after my email as Jackpot recently spent a long weekend with her. She is happy that she helped me get to South Carolina and to land on my feet here–and she was so much a part of making the move happen so that I could handle it as it was so, so hard for me to give up this adorable little dog.

Jackpot is about 7-8 months old now. She wrote the following:

“The little love bug has landed on his four feet too, smothered in love. He was back for a long weekend; it was so good to see him. He hasn’t gotten a whole lot taller. I think he’s stretched though; he seemed longer; his coat is so soft, a little thicker; he has grown into his funny ears. He’s still the same cautious, mad, fun, snuggly, adorable little dog, maybe slightly more mature, and his itching has completely disappeared. He is still a baby. He’s in heaven. The last photo, his ears were up, pointy, makes him look so different.”

Look at this trickster look. And note the snuggly blanket and the toys.

You can see the depth of his soft winter coat here. I want to leap through the frame and love on him.

The pointy ears. LOL. He’s such a sweet, sweet boy.

I’m delighted that his itching has stopped. He had a lot of detoxing to do, but he got and is getting what he needs.

Here is the DNA profile. Note the strong Akita on one side. There is a “mixed breed” marker, so maybe there is some hound/terrier there.

Anyway, I was so happy to get this Jackpot update.

Another November Update

Hello friends.

The contract about which I last wrote fell through. But there is another one now, so I have a new closing date (December 28) and a new moving date (December 15). The due diligence time (8 days this time) started today and will end December 3rd. And a formal inspection will be done tomorrow. During due diligence buyers can back out of the contract if an issue is found that they feel makes buying the house not a good idea for them, for whatever reason.

The great news is that if this contract holds, I’ll be able to buy “my house” in Charleston after the December 28 closing here. I am trying not to get completely giddy over that possibility.

Both sons are coming on the 16th (we are meeting in Portland near the airport) to drive me to Charleston as I cannot fly and don’t feel like I could drive myself down the I95 East Coast urban corridor for 20+ hours. But what a gift to be with both sons at once in a car for 20 hours! My life in Maine has not included driving in urban traffic or for long periods of time, so at almost 78 I feel so grateful for all the family support I am getting to make this move not only happen, but to be a happy occasion.

During radon testing in the failed contract due diligence period, it emerged that there is an air/radon problem here, but that knowledge emerged only after the contract fell through for some other reason. Plans are now in place to mitigate that issue asap.

I have learned a lot about air radon and radon mitigation over recent weeks. It takes 48 hours for a machine to test for indoor radon, while doors stay shut except for going and coming. It’s winter, so all the windows are already shut. The mitigation will involves drilling down through the utility room slab to install a vent pipe (powered by a fan) that takes the radon air outside and over the roof–and that drilling is complicated by the radiant heat pipes in the lower floor. But there is a very nifty infrared camera that can show where the pipes are–but shows the pipes clearly after the heat is turned off overnight and restarted the next morning. Brrrrr!

Since I can’t do any more packing until the due diligence period is over, I got bored. I unpacked the Janome 6600 and its Sew-Ezi portable table–which positions the machine so it is flush to the table top–and set up a little sewing station in the quilt room that is now full of packed boxes and items that “will move” from other parts of the house.

I have four monthly fabric packets from Sewtopia for the Tara Faughnan designed block-of-the month Traverse quilt project. Each month’s fabrics makes one of the rows in the quilt–and some months have multiple rows of the same design that are repeated on the quilt. I am working on row 4 now, and it has 3 rows. It’s the row at the top of the quilt with the small green squares.

Here is a picture of Tara Faughnan’s sample quilt–done in the Windham Artisan “shot” cotton solids, which I chose. Other choices were Kona solid cottons in colors or neutrals or the Artisan cottons in neutrals. All of these quilts are beautiful, and the rows are fun to make, though the two flying geese rows were super challenging for me as each row needs to measure 72 1/2 inches.


I will be less anxious when the due diligence 8 days are over and the air/radon problem is mitigated, but I’m getting much better at just letting what I cannot manage go. All is just going to be what it is, and I am flexible with what life puts in my path for the most part–even when disappointment occurs.

I will miss Maine, for sure. But I miss my family much more. And I’m truly excited about living close to them again. The years since John died in January 2013 have been so good for me as I learned I can live on my own and that I can cope when life gets messy.

I suppose in that way I am choosing to be happy, no matter what. And I have so much for which to be happy.

PS: I learned this week that Jackpot has been adopted by a local family–after he visited them with his foster caregiver to see if JP and the family were happy with each other.

October 2022 Update

I’m doing a quick check-in so you all know I’m alive and well, but incredibly busy.

The house was listed 10 days ago, and in that time, the boom real estate market disappeared and slowed to a crawl. So we lowered the price, and that seems to have generated more interest and some more scheduled showings.

I am still culling and organizing at top speed—and making real progress too.  Days are super busy, so I’ve had little time for the blog.  The rainy day coming tomorrow will be good for sorting out my clothes and culling—one of the last tasks of the moment.  I can’t do much more until I have a signed contract, then I can start to take apart the house. I can let Recover take most of the extra furniture that is not going. Maybe I can hang on to the tv for a bit longer, though I do have audio books. The timing of the settlement will dictate what I do in terms of a final clearing out and the scheduling of the actual move. With a firm contract, I can take down quilt wall hangings and start packing the quilts for the move.  Ditto for the whole rest of the quilting/sewing endeavor.  I need to go through everything “sewing” to see if I still need or use all of it.

At this point, though, all of the storage spaces except for the one in my bedroom that holds my out-of-season clothes have been sorted and drastically culled. You can’t imagine how much “stuff” has been sent out into the community. And I’ve had such good help from two friends in particular, Margaret Rauenhorst and Linda McKinney, both of whom have worked tirelessly to help me get ready for a move which includes downsizing. Both have made so many trips to Good Will, the dump, and other places in the last 10 days and have worked to rehome so many items.

I want to note that so many of my friends have offered help, and they have made me feel loved and appreciated—and that they will miss me. I know I will miss each and every one of them.

Perhaps the biggest news is that along the way I realized that I can do this move or I can do Jackpot.  I cannot do both—especially with an injured ankle that is better but still healing.  Glenna at Sweet Pups found me two AWESOME foster women within 15 minutes of me to take Jackpot until she comes on a transport Nov. 8th—unless either of them adopts him, which she would approve as she has had a long relationship with both women.  Or, unless they find a new situation for Jackpot, which Glenna would also trust. Each of these foster women has one of her pups.  Together they run a dog-training school, and they both have the biggest “dog” hearts. It was a joy to meet them.

I turned Jackpot over to them Sunday afternoon.  And can I say that the one who is housing Jackpot had him so enthralled that I don’t think he even knew when I left, though there were good-bye kisses and hugs from me.  He is now living with this big-hearted woman and her 4-year old Sweet Pups male dog, and last night these two fellas played and played until they both fell asleep. The report today was that Jackpot was a perfect gentleman last night, is eating well, and loves playing with his new friend. There is a fenced yard, so he has a lot more freedom to go outside on his own and to run and play while out there.

Ron from Olde City Quilts (New Jersey), my Innova dealer along with his wife Judy, is coming Thursday to take down the longarm. They will store it until I have moved into a home in South Carolina and then Ron will bring it to me there. The Smith Tractor crew (Duane and Leslie Smith) will also be here Thursday morning and will do all the tasks that need to be done this time of year to prep for winter, for snow, and for the snow plow. We still have not had a hard freeze, so it is too early to cut back many of the perennials. That task may have to go by the wayside for this year. Time will tell.


I’ve been thinking that I’ll have to change the descriptive name of my blog from “My Life in Maine” to…what??? The main address is louisaenright.com, so that part can remain.

Moving again is a life adventure, for sure. And I’m so looking forward to spending lots of time with my family in the months and years to come. And to continue with my quilting passion. I have so many quilts I still want to make.

I’ll post again when I have news.


The Yak “Bone” Saga

I like the dried cheese yak dog bones that are hard, but splinter, so they are not as rigid as other choices one could make. And they are fully edible. AC Slater LOVED them.

Jackpot has a whole bunch of puppy teeth—especially the big canines—that are now being replaced by big boy teeth. So the other day I got one of the yak bones out for him to chew while I sewed in the quilt room.

Here’s what happened:

In the end, I had to remove it from the whole room as there was no way JP was going to stand for it in his bed or on the floor. It was a DANGEROUS thing.

The next morning I tried again, this time upstairs after breakfast.

He eventually discovered he could chew it, and now he’s obsessed doing just that. Here’s this morning. So now I have one upstairs and one downstairs.

Yesterday we had a great walk at my neighbor’s—and as we were heading back toward the car, I slipped on a wooden bridge that I thought was dry—and twisted my ankle.

The little boy was right there to “help.” I leashed him and we limped back to the car where I had some 1M and 10M Arnica remedies that I always carry. The rest of the day, though, was spent hobbling around—so no second walk. And I took Arnica 30cc off and on for the rest of the day. It is astonishing how Arnica immediately reduces pain and swelling. Astonishing.

Today the ankle is much better, but I will still be hobbling around. I will likely be able to take JP for some sort of walk on flat ground though—and that will be good for the ankle as well.

BTW, studies now show that the RICE treatment of a twisted ankle is NOT the best strategy and can slow healing. RICE is Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. Advice now is to keep using the ankle as much as possible, that ice can retard healing as blood and inflammation are needed to heal, that elevation means rest rather than keeping the injury mobile, and that compression in RCT studies didn’t matter.

Here’s a link to one study: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3396304/

So, I kept moving yesterday, but also spent some time mid-afternoon just watching tv. This morning, as I said, the swelling has reduced a lot, the pain is way better, and all is clearly much better.

It is MUCH colder all at once. I need to switch out some of my summer clothes, especially my pajamas, summer sweaters, summer t-shirts, and so forth. I’m going to try to do that with the puppy in a bit, and then we’ll attempt a walk.

A Fall Sunday

And here it is already TUESDAY.

Sunday was a nice day though. After lunch I made a trip up to Belfast, our neighboring town to the north, to take JP for a little walk alongside the river and the harbor and to visit the local, excellent Co-op. Raw butter and cream are going missing these days—something is happening to our local raw dairy.

We had a little walk in the big beautiful field next to the water.  It was slow going as EVERY blade of grass has to be sniffed and thoroughly examined.  LOL.  And I let him as he so appreciates a “sniffing” walk. He’s like a vacuum cleaner moving along with his nose on the ground just hoovering up all the new things he smells in his world.

Yesterday was busy too—with two walks, and errands to get various numbers for the new mailbox. AND I made a trip to Rockland to pick up the mail that had been accumulating since Wednesday night—which took an hour to go and return.

But, the mailbox is up as of this morning—and I’ve installed street numbers AND red reflectors, which were not up when I took this picture. The box is too close to the road, but Tom Jackson will just slide the silver pole deeper into the back black pole to move the box back. Right now it is asking for the local baseball-bat wielders to take a shot. The mailbox is smaller than my old box, and I’m not sure how that is going to work out for PO packages. Hopefully they will come up to the house and NOT go to Rockland where they will have to be retrieved.

We got THREE INCHES of rain last night—and more coming off and on today and tonight. JP and I had a lovely woods walk this morning after I got the much-needed haircut at 8 am.

JP dragged this big branch out of a retention basin filled with water on the side of the road. He was so funny dragging it down the road at full speed. And here is he “coming” with joy.

I maybe should have named him “Texas Cowboy” as he is full of fun and mischievous. Note that he comes, but runs wide so I can’t grab his harness. He’s so smart. We’re working on that issue, which is not at all unusual at this stage of puppyness. In the end, he comes. He especially does not like to have to get in the car and go home, which ends all his fun.

Deworming is Thursday again, and the DNA test is in, so we’ll do both of those procedures at the vet Thursday morning. They are better at getting him to happily take pills than I am.

I’ve been able to sew for some days now in the late afternoon after the second walk. I’ve been sewing the last of the Cotton+Steel strips I cut for Churn Dash blocks to make scrappy Churn Dash blocks—and they are so cute. I’m closing in on 50 of them now. And I’m down to a small pile of 3-inch strips, but still more of the 1 3/4 inches strips.

And I’ve been able to watch tv at night after a light supper while JP sleeps next to me on the couch.

So, now, a walk and a check to see if there is any mail in the new mailbox.

What Does a Dog DO With TWO Balls?

We were headed out for a walk this morning, and when I turned out of my driveway, I could see my mailbox (which is on a swing bar to save it from being hit with a baseball bat) was…gone. The rod holding it was flat on the ground, bent straight.

Someone came up the hill, lost control of the vehicle (probably a truck, maybe with 4 wheel drive), slammed into the mailbox on the left side of the road, went into the deep ditch, and somehow got out and onto the end of the driveway, dragging the severed mailbox, where the someone then had to get out of the vehicle and throw it on the hillside.

There was dirt, rocks and parts of the car up and down the road, the driveway, and in the ditch. The police came and picked up identifying pieces. It was a Toyota something. The amount of damage to the vehicle indicates that it will have to be repaired to be on the road—so maybe the police will catch the person via that avenue.

I called old friend Tom Jackson, with whom I’ve done business for years. He came around noon and formed a plan to get a temporary mailbox up and to figure out a new mailbox, which might take some days. Some parts might be able to be used again.

Our local post office is closing for an unclear amount of time due to “unsafe construction in the building.” But that construction hasn’t been active for the past two years. So, local people think what has just happened is that our Camden post office has just been closed permanently. Mail will still be delivered to homes, but if one has any other needs, one will have to go to the Rockland PO, which is 20-25 minutes away.

The package mailing-delivery market has been trying to get rid of the postal service for about two decades now. It looks like they are making good progress.

Life is messy.

After we ran errands and when waiting for Tom, I took this picture. What DOES a dog do with TWO fun balls when only ONE can be picked up?

And, this little video, taken right after he chose the larger red ball.

So, JP and I are just now back from our delayed walk, which was nice. He likes to carry things in his mouth: sticks, dried leaves, whatever detritus interests him. He has a soft mouth, too. There is some retriever there somewhere…

Despite all the drama today, it was a beautiful day, one of those crisp, cool, sun-drenched days that I love.

Maybe JP and I will try out a little sewing now, before my dinner.

And Here Comes Fall

Jackpot is fine. I let him in the living/dining room this morning, after his now very reliable morning poop and with frequent trips outside to pee if needed. He LOVES having more freedom and the extra space. And I love moving back to the dining room table!!

It is cleaning morning, too. Clean sheets!

Doors to the bedroom and bathroom will remain closed for a bit more time. He can (and has) go upstairs to investigate, but I’m pretty sure he won’t have a pee accident up there as I’m taking him out frequently.

Look what I noticed yesterday:

The maples are turning color.

Our Maine woods are layered with the most beautiful ferns and mosses. With the turning of the seasons, they will turn brown now and be gone very soon. It has been such a pleasure to be out in the woods again as I wasn’t walking in them without the puppy.

The last of the wild flowers are filling hedgerows and road sides: purple and white asters and goldenrod among them.

With some recent rains, it has been a big fall mushroom year, too. Dry weather curtails the mushrooms, so I couldn’t get any decent pictures on our walk yesterday at Erickson’s as the current crop has shattered and dried. But we had a little rain last night, so I’m sure with the wet, we’ll see how the mushrooms can cover the forest floor in places. Mushrooms present with the most amazing colors that include vivid reds, yellow, and purples. They are interesting and beautiful.

It’s a beautiful day! But it is going to be more humid than I like. But a cool, fall spell is coming right along.

Have a great day!

Good Morning!

Turkey Tracks: Jackpot Update

This morning I slept until the radio alarm went off at 5:40 am. Jackpot sounded an immediate alarm as I usually wake up and dress before the alarm goes off.

I showered last night, so I got dressed and went down to him. He is ridiculously happy to see me in the mornings, so it is hard and funny to get his collar and harness back on so he is ready to go out and pee, which he does immediately and without fuss. Soon I’ll be able to take him out off leash for this morning outing, but I still need to see his poop and I don’t want him to do it in the woods. The draw back for him is he knows he’ll get his breakfast as soon as we go back inside.

I seem to have lost yesterday in terms of posting. We had a good day. There were two good walks, ONE good poop (no more diarrhea), no accidents in the house for many days now—and I’m learning when he needs to go out. He’s started giving me “the look” that says “I need something.”

I’m close to moving back to the living/dining room table with him if he’s pooped in the morning and if I continue to take him out frequently, which I will. He still has to have my eyes on him though so he doesn’t get into mischief. He loves the big dog bed in that room, and the long hall allows for a ball to be rolled down it. He would love having the extra space, I know.

The blood work yesterday at the lab is still too low—but after the hookworm infestation and so much of the antibiotic metronidazole, it is going to take some time for him to regroup and replenish red blood cells. AND it’s going to take even longer to reorient his gut flora and fauna as antibiotics kill the good and the bad. And this antibiotic also wipes out the mucus lining of the stomach, etc. He’s on his nourishing raw food from Rebel Raw, and I have the food I made for him using some ingredients from My Pet Carnivore. And I ordered, yesterday, the complete raw chicken food from Rebel Raw. The food variety is needed in his diet so he doesn’t start up any food allergies. And different proteins bring different sets of goodies to the table.

The blood test at the vets is $85 a pop! And they wanted to do another one on Friday. That’s too soon. He needs some time. I cancelled Friday’s vet appointment until the already paid for DNA kit comes in—at which time I might consider another blood test since they will be drawing blood. He is anemic right now, for sure. As a result, he tries to eat dirt and goes after any of the wild animal poop he can find up in the neighbor’s meadow. I stop him if I can, but he does often get some. He now grabs and runs, as if it is a very fun game.

It is interesting to me that he totally ignores whatever dog poop he passes, so clearly he’s trying to heal himself with wild fecal matter—and I’m not sure that is such a terrible idea given what we know now about fecal transplants for dogs who have intestinal issues. BUT, he also picks up rocks and carries them in his mouth until I remove them. That part I don’t like. And I don’t like the dirt eating—which is a clear sign of nutritional deficiencies. Dogs DO need soil bacteria though—and most city dogs don’t get sufficient soil bacteria as many are always walked on pavement.

I’ve stopped the Slippery Elm now. And he’s getting a daily probiotic from the vets and from Glenna at Sweet Pups. He’s also getting small amounts of dried colostrum, Saccharomyces boulardi (a GOOD yeast that helps repopulate the gut and drives out bad yeast created by too many starches in industrial dog food), a short course of milk thistle powder to detox all the chemicals he’s had, a Four Leaf Rover organic mushroom mix that will boost his immunity (mushrooms are magic), and the last of the organic bone broth.

Next week, I’ll give him the second dose of the dewormer from the vet and will follow up with another fecal sample. And in mid October some time, I’ll give him the second Heartgard to clean out any heartworms he brought from Texas. And that will be it for the winter, assuming his fecal test is clean. In the spring, I’ll test for heartworms—that’s a blood test. If he is clear and he is healthy, likely I’ll not use more Heartgard, which is a double-edge sword for dogs, in that yes, it can stop heartworms and other parasites, but it is hard on their bodies and they never develop an immune system that can handle these issues—which animals in the wild can do. Fecal tests and a yearly heartworm blood test would be an indicator of trouble.

You know, one reason that we have these toxic business models in all our medicine now is that we have been conditioned to be afraid of everything and to “protect” by using a lot of chemicals that promise prevention, but which also have significant unintended consequences, especially when they are all mixed up together. It’s a tough line to walk today, for sure. And we all just have to do the best we can with our informed consent decisions. For me, it is better to have a dog who can run free on my property and on most walks, a dog who is a team member with me, a dog who is happy because he can be a dog in most every sense of being “dog.” I’ll accept the risks that come with that decision. And I’m so lucky that I live where I can have a dog in this way. I’ll be happy when I can train JP on the outdoor radio fence, so I don’t have to worry if he runs down the front hill or out into the woods. But right now, JP has enough to manage on his plate.

Yesterday I tried out the quilt room for a short period. I put down the beautiful dog bed I’ll use and brought in the toy bucket, and after a struggle to figure out the door gate got that up, sat quietly to see what JP would do. He fussed for a bit and then laid down on the floor and rested. He’d had two walks/runs, so he wasn’t antsy. So…. I think that will work for piecing and cutting, but not yet for the longarm. Soon.

I left the door to the quilt room open last night, and he went inside in the dark several times, and I think his trips were to check out the dog bed.

There’s a whole lotta beagle in that puppy. But I see the terrier too. And I still say there is some retriever some where as he carries things in his mouth and brings back things thrown to him without prompting.

Have a great day everyone!

We’re off for a morning walk soon, and the afternoon will bring thunderstorms and rain. That might make a good time for the quilt room.

More on the Rescued Beagles at Paws

Another dry crate morning. Yeah!

I’ll know more about Jackpot’s progress after I see his poop today. Yesterday he pooped only three times—which is a lovely milestone.

People have asked about Slippery Elm. Here’s an article:

And here’s an article about the rescued beagles at Paws, which gives more information about that whole, tragic lab mess.


Yesterday I caught this Monarch butterfly just drying off his/her wings. The colors at this point are so intense and shiny.

And here are some pics of my snuggly boy.

Clean and Dry Crate This Morning

September 10, 2022

Clean and Dry Crate This Morning

After a really bad afternoon of lots of diarrhea, I made a Slippery Elm syrup for Jackpot last night and gave it to him with some of the crappy canned industrial crap the vets sent home with me. This morning his crate was DRY and CLEAN.

I almost fainted with joy.

I’ll give it to him 3 more times today—and begin giving him real food, which he really, really needs, at noon—starting with the bone broth, some cooked carrots and winter squash (firms up poop), and some raw chicken I will cook in the broth and whirl into a slurry with the veggies in the food processor.  If that holds, I’ll start giving him bits of the balanced raw food that is right for puppies that is currently living in my freezers. I defrosted a patty I had cut from a whole bag over night.

Jackpot has had too many meds over the past month.  Not avoidable with the hookworms, but now it is time to build him back up. And industrial fake food isn’t capable of that task. If you want to understand more about feeding a dog so they are healthy, THE FOREVER DOG by Dr. Karen Becker and Rodney Habib is the place to go.

After I gave him the second metronidazole antibiotic late yesterday afternoon, in about 30 minutes he went completely NUTS.  Running to the end of the leash—crazy and dangerous—and I’m so glad he didn’t hurt himself.  Or me. I could hardly hold him, and he’s a puppy. And, again, bad diarrhea. BUT, no blood.  It is very clear to me that this drug is NOT good for him.  It’s been overused on him in the last month anyway. I felt like he was telling me that his insides were scalded and hurting.

Here’s a discussion I found online that references recent studies and is written by qualified people.  Among other damages, metronidazole can harm the mucus lining in the gut and kill the “good” gut critters needed for proper health.  It isn’t a good choice for intestinal issues UNLESS sepsis is involved.  It will cause dysbiosis that will to a bad place.


I am so sick of this toxic vet business model with its industrial foods and medicine-based one-size-fits-all solutions and no knowledge of nutrition.  But I need them, so I will check in as planned on Monday and, maybe, quietly, they will see what I see—a dog who is (prayers!!!) over the hump and moving forward without the Metro.

The day went well. JP only pooped twice, and it was the consistency of pudding and not pure diarrhea, and had no blood. He’s hydrated ok too and pees when taken out. But he’s clearly not peppy. I think he is just enjoying maybe not being in pain. And maybe he’s just catching up on his sleep too. Pooping all night and day for days has got to have made him tired.

Here he is, napping in his crate while I ate lunch.

This morning we went for a stroll (and he didn’t poop which was great), ran some errands which included getting some fresh chicken breast for his food, and rested on the downstairs couch for a bit late morning. Then I gave him the Slippery Elm again and made the fresh food for him. He inhaled it, and it has stayed down well.

We both had a long nap—2 hours. Then we had another ride in the car (a trip to the dump). He loves riding in the car.

I’m hoping tonight will be another dry and clean crate night. I am hoping we are over the worst hump and that good food can build him back up again.