AC Got To Chase His Ball

Turkey Tracks: March 6, 2022

AC Got To Chase His Ball

It’s been days since AC could chase his ball, days in which his blistered paw healed, a wound obtained by running on frozen pavement in cold temperatures as the field at the Snow Bowl is pretty much ruined for now. The ruts are deep and hard to negotiate when frozen or hidden under the snow.

So yesterday, I took AC to Barrett’s Cove to chase his ball in the parking lot—AND so I could spend some time outside in what was a warmer, sunny, beautiful day. We are all starting to smell spring in the air now. But spring does not bound in here in Maine; it crawls in, inch by inch.

AC was delirious with joy.

And you can see there is enough snow cover on the parking lot where AC would not be running on the pavement. Here’s a little video I took. Note that AC ”leads” the chuck-it throw. He almost took a walkabout into the deep snow on the grass—carrying his ball. If he dropped it over there, I’d have a hard time getting to it though the banked snow and then I’d have to negotiate the steep slope.

Today is very wet, but the air feels balmy. So far, I have hunkered down inside to do household tasks and to sew. AC is tolerating inactivity, though he asks to out for a run around the property off and on. The deer are very present today, and AC is sure it is his job to run them off.

The deer… They have broken into the protective burlap over a big rhododendron on the woods side of the house and eaten it back to some bare stems. They have been increasingly a problem in the past few years. I’m not sure why that is.

The roasted chicken is carrying me through today’s meals. Tomorrow I’ll plan on cooking something else that has carrying power.

Rare Steller’s Sea Eagle in Maine

Turkey Tracks: February 6, 2022

Rare Steller’s Sea Eagle in Maine

Friend Gina Caceci from Falls Church, Virginia, where I used to live, sent me a newspaper clipping yesterday (from WAPO) about a rare HUGE sea eagle from Asia appearing on the New England coast. The Steller’s Sea Eagle is now off the coast of Maine in the Boothbay area, having first been sighted further south.

This eagle’s natural habitat is northeastern Asia, which includes Russia and Japan. It is named for German naturalist Georg Wilhelm Steller. There are only a few thousand of these birds in the world now.

If you google, you can get a lot of stories and pictures, but I found these two: one with a video and one with lots of pictures that people here have taken. This bird is drawing big crowds as even non-birders are trying to see it. The bird does seem to be moving gradually north.

This bird is HUGE: the wing span is nearly 8 feet. It dwarfs our local Bald Eagles as it is twice as heavy. No one yet knows the sex. It has an ample food supply off the New England coast (fish and DUCKS), and the climate is quite similar to its native habitat. No one knows why it has ventured so far from its home grounds, but naturalists say birds going on ”bird walkabouts” is not unusual. Some even return to places they have found year after year.

This link has a lot of pictures.

Thanks so much, Gina, for this very interesting information.

The Storm is Over

Turkey Tracks: January 30, 2020

The Storm is Over

Today dawned sunny—the storm is gone.  It’s 10 degrees.  The snow is light and fluffy, so fairly easy to shovel.  But there is a lot of it—at least 18 inches up here on the hill, but the drifts are deeper of course. And light snow sticks to one’s boots and gloves.

I waded out twice yesterday, snow shovel in hand, to clear the generator, but never lost power. Out by the garage, the drifts were deep enough that I need the shovel for balance.

The storm was meant to be worse in the night, with high winds, but by the time I did the last generator check before bed, local radar showed that the worst had passed us by here on the coast. The darker snow bands were to our west.

AC refused to go out for a long time yesterday until I put on a coat, boots, etc., and went with him.  He didn’t like the high wind. Or peeing in deep snow.

Now, on this sunny, bright morning, I’m enjoying a cup of coffee and waiting for the plow/shovel guys to come.  I need to get the kitchen door open—it got snow stuck around it when I was out there shoveling—there is a kind of wind tunnel that comes off the roof just over that door that dumps snow onto the deck—just outside the door.  I was able to bully that door closed enough to lock it last night (which makes the seals better), but it needs to be cleaned off this morning so it will properly close.

There is something about a big snow storm that makes me feel so alive—especially when I go out into it for a bit.

Bitter Cold and a Rainy Morning

Turkey Tracks: January 17, 2022

Bitter Cold and a Rainy Morning

Three days: two days of temps in the single digits and today we have temps going to the 40s and…rain and high wind.

Oh my…

I’ve never yet had a problem with pipes freezing, but with the wind chill factor in play, I did run a thin stream of water in a downstairs bathroom faucet.

My Camden friend sent me this photo of a Titmouse hunkered down in the bitter cold of Saturday and Sunday.

My bird feeder is full and two suet feeders are hung. The turkeys tried to inhabit the warmer slope behind the house yesterday, but AC would not allow them to stay.

I’ve happily hunkered down—though AC and I made a quick trip to the grocery store yesterday mostly just to get out. Organic blueberries and raspberries came home with us, along with some fresh lettuce and AAA batteries.

I’ve finished quilting (on the domestic machine) ”My `Sunny’” and have bound it and am now hand-sewing the binding at night. I love having this Janome set up with a walking foot already attached—and I can store this whole arrangement neatly on the back wall when I’m done. I can watch tv or listen to whatever book I have on Audible from this place. The red quilt keeps AC off my new hassock and, as a bonus, part of the couch.

”Whirlygigs” came off the longarm yesterday afternoon, and I’ll install binding on it today. The pantograph is ”Bayside,” which Wendy’s Quilting blog used recently, and I think it gave this quilt wonderful texture. Wendy is an awesome longarm quilter, and she lives in Thunder Bay, Ontario.

I finished and attached the 5th block of 6 to the 4th row of the EPP project from hell. So, progress there as well. And I spent some time gluing the last of the rectangles that form the rings. One more block and two more rows. I think I’ll NOT attach this row to the others, but will attach the last two rows, then attach them to the mother ship.

And so, the winter of 2022 progresses…

Christmas Eve 2021

Turkey Tracks: December 24, 2021

Christmas Eve 2021

It is brrrrr…. cold today.

It was 18 degrees outside my kitchen windows this morning. AC didn’t stay out long for his morning excursion at all.

And to think we were complaining that it was in the 40s and raining only last Tuesday.

My Camden friend sent me this picture of a hawk in Tuesday’s rain—she said he was ”patiently waiting” for a meal to arrive. Isn’t s/he beautiful. And s/he blends so well with the winter woods.

I finished ”Calm” last night and took pictures this morning. This quilt has provided many, many fun hours of planning and quilting. I’ll mail it on Monday—and now it’s in the wash—remember the chipmunk-in-the-house episode…

The new printer came and had a software problem that rendered it inoperable. Strange. It will go back Monday and another one sent in its place. I hope it works. The printer comes with great reviews.

Happy Holidays Everyone!

May your homes be warm and filled with light and laughter and joy.

And I wish you all the very best Happy New Year 2022 as we travel around the sun together once more.

Refrigerators and AC’s ”Chase Me: I Have the Ball”

Turkey Tracks: December 16, 2021

Refrigerators and AC’s ”Chase Me: I Have the Ball”

Can I just say that NO ONE in my life has ever told me it is really important to take off the front grill on the bottom of your refrigerator and to vacuum out the dust balls that accumulate there? Even better, after vacuuming from the front, pull out the refrigerator and take a shop vacuum and blow beneath the refrigerator from front to back.

I was hesitant to reach beneath the refrigerator with the vacuum as I didn’t know what kind of electrical connections could be present there, but it turns out, nothing to worry about under there.

And can I just also say that getting appliance fix-it people to come fix something up here in rural Maine is not an easy task. Most are tremendously overworked and super busy.


No one told me…


And I think it might be that I am a military brat, and we always moved pretty often, so maybe my mother didn’t ever do this task.

I have learned the hard way, and right now I’m feeling really lucky that doing those two tasks (vacuum and shop vac blowing out) allowed my refrigerator to once again run its fan and to cool to the proper temperatures.

If you don’t have a shop vacuum and have a garage, I’d highly recommend you get one. I have used the one John bought more than I would have thought. But, mostly for tasks in the garage.

Of course I can’t get that front grill back on. There are these two pesky clips, and I don’t see how or where they work. But help is on the way next Thursday, and meanwhile, all seems good again.

So, today is a rainy day, and AC hates rainy days. We did take a ride out to the post office to mail something, but AC doesn’t think that ride counted. He wants to RUN, to chase his ball at the Snow Bowl field.

AC is all about play—of all kinds—especially if balls are involved. ”Chase Me I Have the Ball” is his favorite game. Unless it’s ”Chase Me: I Have the Stick,” which happens when I walk down to get the mail.

Anyway, here’s a little video of AC inviting me to play with him—taken a few days ago AFTER he had a good run.

A Winter Day in December

Turkey Tracks: December 4, 2021

A Winter Day in December

Today has been all shiny and bright.

But cold.

The sky is the crystal, clear blue we get often in winter.

As I threw AC’s ball for him, the sharp air, laden with the faint smell of wood smoke from nearby houses, cleared all the cobwebs out of my head.

I’ve said it before on this blog, but AC chases his ball with his whole heart. Without a heavy coat, neck scarf, hat, and gloves, it’s hard enough to throw the ball and get a video. This video is the best I could do this morning.

And now I have time to sew, so off I go.

Wild Storm

Turkey Tracks: October 31, 2021

Wild Storm

It’s Halloween tonight.

I think the wild storm that tore through here last night and this morning has traveled enough away now so that the children will be able to Trick or Treat tonight.

AC and I went out mid-morning to the grocery store, with rain clouds still swirling around but not actively producing rain. All along the road wherever water ran over the road in the night, it had carved out serious ditches which probably compromised the stability of the road at the edges. The worst places were marked with orange cones the town had installed to warn drivers to stay away from the edge of the road.

We couldn’t get to the athletic field at the Snow Bowl as Hosmer Pond was pouring over Barnstown road which runs alongside the pond—and it was deep enough I wouldn’t take the risk of traveling along it to get to the field. The car in front of me turned around, and I did as well.

I thought I’d try the parking lot at Barrett’s Cove at the lake to see if AC could chase his ball there. All along Molyneaux Street, which runs below my house, the creek was raging.

Here’s the second part of the video as I had to travel down the creek to get this part of what was happening.

Other people were out and about to see how things looked.

I had a tree limb down in the driveway that I was able to pull to the side. I had to get the bow saw to cut off one of its limbs, and I’ll pull it further down the hill when things dry out a bit and I have on sturdy boots. So, I’m feeling lucky with regard to trees falling and water flooding.

AC did get his time chasing his ball—and he chased the ducks on the pond near the water line and took a little swim. He didn’t stay long though as the water must be really cold now. Our temps are dropping pretty low at night, but so far, no hard freeze up here on the hillside. That’s coming though, any night now. The zucchini plant is still trying to grow zucchinis.

Mid October 2021 Update

Turkey Tracks: October 25, 2021

Mid-October 2021 Update

I spent most of last week outside putting the garden to bed and putting away outdoor things that get stored during the winter.

And yesterday I did the last mow and spent some time blowing off the new crop of fallen leaves to get ready for the crew coming this morning to do the heavy lifting I can’t do—like putting down the snow boardwalk—and the weed whacking I can’t do of trees that sprouted this past year in places where trees getting bigger pose future problems.

And I am still finishing up, but most of what I can do is now done until we have a hard freeze.

On some days I wasn’t too tired in the late afternoon to do another row of quilting on ”Joyful,” the wedding ring quilt designed by Tara Faughan. I used my solid scraps to make it, and I have loved working with all these colors. The binding has been installed and is being sewn down at night and all the threads on the front have now been buried.

I used the Innova attached ruler equipment to quilt ”Joyful,” as I thought it just needed something plain. Along the way, the extra heavy ruler foot arrived, and I installed it. The thicker foot makes working with rulers a lot easier. The quilting is NOT perfect—as using this ruler was another learning curve, but along the way I got better and better at making lines meet and not making rookie mistakes. In any case, the whole effect looks grand, and I’ll let it go at that.

The quilt really needed lines on the diagonal—it would have been easy to do a horizontal grid, but that would not have played well with these blocks. And as longarm quilters know, the longarm machine can only go on a diagonal as far as the quilting space allows. And, with the ruler foot supportive pad installed beneath the quilt, that space gets shortened as the pad bumps up against the rollers front and back. Plus, one has to ”travel” to get to the next horizontal line—so part of my learning curve involved accurate stitching in the ditch—which got better as I went along because I got way more comfortable with the machine itself.

I can’t wait to make this quilt again using a controlled fabric palette. The block is just so much fun to make.

Speaking of fabric palettes, the first month’s fabric for The Color Collective, season 4, is due to arrive in the mail today, and the first pattern designed by Tara Faughnan releases November 1. It’s a really fun quilt, and I look forward to playing with these new blocks. If you want to see the pattern, go to Tara’s Instagram account and take a look. I took a screenshot but don’t think I should use it without her permission. (The Color Collective online class is hosted by Sewtopia and runs for six months with Tara’s designs and one month with guest designer Annabel Lowe Wrigley.) When I have a few of my own blocks on the design wall, I will be able to share those.

Meanwhile, I’m working on the 12-inch block light grey/dark grey/black chimney log cabin project, AND I’m playing with a quilt idea seen in the most recent Simply Modern magazine. More on these projects along the way.

We have rain coming in, and I can use a few rainy days for sewing, weekly inside cleaning/laundry, and some cooking.

Some Inspiration

October 24, 2021

Some Inspiration

Here’s a poem and a picture a friend posted on Facebook. She got it from a site called “Midwives of the Soul.”

“In difficult times, you move forward in small steps.

My grandmother once gave me a tip:

Do what you have to do, but little by little.

Don’t think about the future, or what may happen tomorrow.

Wash the dishes.

Remove the dust.

Write a letter.

Make a soup.

You see?

You are advancing step by step.

Take a step and stop.

Rest a little.

Praise yourself.

Take another step.

Then another.

You won’t notice, but your steps will grow more and more.

And the time will come when you can think about the future without crying.”

– Elena Mikhalkova

(Image of Tasha Tudor, American Illustrator 1915-2008)