Books, Documentaries, Reviews:  April 12, 2016

The Housekeeper and the Professor

Yoko Ogawa

I loved this book.

It’s a translation from Ogawa’s Japanese.

She’s an accomplished author and has had a lot of her work published in the US.


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This seemingly simple book asks so many questions about love and memory and what’s important in life.

AND, woven through the text are some fascinating bits on numbers, whole numbers, math theories, and the application of math theory to everyday events.

I took this book to my oldest grandchild as I think he will appreciate the story, thinking theoretically about a subject, and the math theories.

Turkey Tracks: My “Allietore” Quilt

Turkey Tracks:  March 26, 2016


My “Allietore” Quilt

The Bonnie Hunter 2015 Mystery Quilt

Here’s my “Allietore.”

Bonnie Hunter, in my humble opinion, hit this one right out of the ball park.

The directions on her web site are down now, but she will be coming out with the pattern soon.

(For those of you who do not know, Bonnie Hunter does an end-of-year mystery quilt each year.  She releases the color way she is going to use in late October usually.  And the first “clue”–a unit in the quilt–is released on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving.  She gives us a new “clue” every Friday morning until the units are completed.  She then “reveals” the completed quilt sometime between Christmas and New Years.

This is my third Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt, and I wish I had been on board for such quilts as “Roll, Roll Cotton Boll” and “Carolina Christmas.”  I’ve done “Celtic Solstice” and “Grand Illusion.”


Bonnie was inspired by her trip to Italy for this quilt–and, indeed, gold, red, taupe, black, and grey are seen in buildings all over Italy.  I was watching the first episode of the documentary CHEF’S TABLE, which was set in Italy, and was amazed by all the gold buildings.


I learned so much with this quilt.  The scalloped edge, of course.  I’ve never done that–and Bonnie made it so, so easy.  I’ll never be afraid of one again.

And look at the border construction with those large neutral rectangles, each with a grey square in the right side so that it helps make the triangle pattern.  (We laid those in and then trimmed them to the border.)

We could use the Companion Angle ruler to make the red/neutral/black units that surround the gold squares.  Easy Peasy with Bonnie’s instructions.  Ditto the neutral/red/grey units around the red squares.  I’ve already been playing with those units in other quilt blocks.


Friend Becca Babb Brott (Etsy store, Sew Me A Song) helped me pick the light grey Carolyn Friedlander fabric for the back.  The pantograph is “Marmalade” by Patricia Ritter and Leisha Farnsworth.  I love this pantograph!!!  Thanks, Bonnie for introducing this one to me.


Many of the neutral fabrics are from a collection by Cotton & Steel fabric designers.




What’s been really fun about this pattern is all the different colorways people have used to construct their quilt.  One of my favorites involved lime green, a green/blue teal, a darker teal, grey, and neutrals.  One of those may be in my future…   Right after “Carolina Christmas” and “Roll Roll Cotton Boll.”


I can’t wait until Thanksgiving 2016.

Turkey Tracks: Katja Marek’s Millefiore Quilt

Turkey Tracks:  March 21, 2016

Katja Marek’s Millefiore Quilt

I finally found a good picture of Katja Marek’s Millefiori Quilt:


I have 5 of the “rosette” packages for the English Paper Pieces.  You can get them at the English Paper Piecing Web site.  And there is a “club” of people doing a rosette a month, or something like that.  Once you have a package in hand, you go to Katja Marek’s web site for refined instructions.

The large rosette in the middle left of the quilt (rose/yellow/green) is the starting point.  I have TWO of these packages as I want to do one with baby fabrics and use it as the beginning of a medallion quilt.

These pieces are larger than some of the other millefiori quilt patterns–so I think this quilt will be more accessible to more people, including ME.

My thanks to friend Becca Babb-Brott (Etsy store:  Sew Me A Song) for introducing me to this Katja Marek pattern.

AND to friend Megan Bruns, who has been a trailblazer in this whole millefiori quilt knowledge base.  (You should see her finished rosettes–and I will ask her for some pics when I get back from Charleston.)


Interesting Information: 2015 Was Hottest Year in Historical Record, Scientists Say – The New York Times

Interesting Information:  February 26, 2016

2015, The Hottest Year on Record

Two of my neighbors now have installed solar panels on their roofs.

I’d LOVE to install solar panels.  It’s a long-held dream.

Yes, even up here in Maine, solar panels will work.

What’s stopping me is that my roof is about 14 or 15 years old, and I don’t want to install solar panels and then have to take them down for a new roof.

Apparently one can get a loan that is a “wash” with current energy bills.

But, maybe, this year I’ll start the conversation with a local solar company with a great reputation.


Meanwhile, here’s an article discussing the heat generated this past year.  There are some great statistics and good graphs AND a link to a “quick question and answer” document that’s interesting.  (Admission:  I don’t agree with the section on meat eating being a major cause of global warming.  The CAFO lots are a problem, but we should be grass-feeding cows anyway.  Meat is a major source of fat soluble vitamins and amino acids in forms that our body accepts.)

Source: 2015 Was Hottest Year in Historical Record, Scientists Say – The New York Times

Turkey Tracks: February Farmer’s Wife Blocks

Turkey Tracks:  February 6, 2016

February’s Farmer’s Wife Blocks

From earlier posts, you know that a group of us at Coastal Quilters (Maine) are spending this year making the 99 Farmer’s Wife blocks from Laurie Aaron Hird’s book, The Farmer’s Wife 1930s Sampler Quilt.

We set of goal of making two blocks a week, or eight a month.

Since February is a short month…  OK, since I am addicted now to making these blocks, here are my February blocks.  Each block has a woman’s name, and I have only one more “b” name to go.

I am putting on the setting triangles as I go, and I am loving these bright modern fabrics.  (Leftovers are going into a hexie project.)  Each block, even the so-called “simple” ones, takes a fair amount of time to make.


















Interesting Information: Joel Salatin’s Testimony on Food Freedom in Maine

Interesting Information:  June 15, 2015

Joel Salatin’s Testimony on Food Freedom in Maine

Joel Salatin is one of my heroes.

He and his family have shown us a better way to raise and relate to our food.

I would never have thought growing up that the government would erect the kind of food practices with which we now live–all in the name of  “public safety”–two words that should give us great pause as they allow too-strong industries to literally roll us into their goals for profit.

Joel was in Maine in late April to testify to the Maine legislature on a bill that allows our “right to food” we choose.

Here’s a small quote:

I can’t imagine a more basic human right, a more bi-partisan issue, than protecting my right to choose my body’s food. Who could possibly think that such freedom of choice should be denied? We allow people to smoke, shoot, preach, home educate, spray their yards with chemicals, buy lottery tickets, and read about the Kardashians: wouldn’t you think we could let people choose their food?

Joel Salatin’s Testimony on Food Freedom in Maine.

Interesting Information/Vaccines: Why I’m Putting Up Vaccine Posts

Interesting Information/Vaccines:  May 6, 2015

Why I’m Putting Up Vaccine Posts

The vaccine issue is big and it’s complex.

The mainstream media does not cover it well or fairly.

Myth, not science, permeates this issue.

I can break this issue into TWO big parts:  vaccine efficacy/danger/unintended consequences AND the civil right of a sovereign individual to make his/her own informed choice about what gets put into his/her own body or the body of his/her child.

What I’m trying to do is to create a body of posts that will enable people to follow my links to reputable information from reputable people.  All of which means some of you are hearing much more about vaccines on this blog than you want.  Be patient.  I have about five more posts, and then I’m done.  More or less done.

Anyone who wants more information than they are going to get from the press or their doctor will have a place to go to explore and to thoughtfully think through this issue.

What you do with the information is your own business.

But I need to be able to sleep at night, and that means I have to share what I have read/researched that I think is important for anyone to consider.

Vaccines can and do cause harm for some people more than others–although there are no long-term studies targeted toward seeing ALL the outcomes of vaccines and no studies comparing vaccinated/unvaccinated people.  The Supreme Court ruled that vaccines are unavoidably dangerous–which is why no one can sue the vaccine makers/industry.  Or, the docs who give vaccines.  So, before you start down any vaccine path, take a deep breath and inform yourself before consenting to a practice that can permanently harm for life.

How many folks are being hurt?  We have no idea as the VARS reporting system does not work.


Interesting Information/Vaccines: Garda$ell: Snake Oil With A Bite

Interesting Information:  April 27, 2015

“Garda$ell:  Snake Oil With a Bite”

The vaccine Gardasil is perhaps the biggest vaccine scandal of all:

Gardasil (HPV vaccine) has never been proven to prevent a single case of cervical cancer, but as the most profitable vaccine ever created it is increasingly being mandated despite having an atrocious safety record. 

Cervical cancer is comparatively rare.  HPV issues do not necessarily lead to cervical cancer.  And Pap Smears will still be necessary and will detect problems just fine.

YET, states are mandating Gardasil!!!

Don’t fall into this industry trap.  Don’t let Merck use this vaccine to augment falling profits from the Vioxx scandal, the loss of statin drugs, and bad reports on allergy/asthma drugs.

Be sure to scroll down to the EXCELLENT VIDEO unpacking of Merck’s PR campaign to sell this vaccine and of the ACTUAL SCIENCE by Dr. Lucija Tomljenovic (biochemist), who works with Dr. Chris Shaw:  “HPV Vaccine Safety and Efficacy Issues.”  The Merck PR campaign has lied about the efficacy and safety of Gardasil, and the corrupt FDA fast-tracked Gardasil.

Garda$ell: Snake Oil With A Bite | GreenMedInfo | Blog Entry.

Interesting Information/Vaccines: Nurses Against Mandatory Vaccines

Interesting Information/Vaccines:  April 26, 2015

Nurses Against Mandatory Vaccines

Nurses are organizing against mandatory vaccines required in order to keep their jobs.

They have information showing their vaccinations do not impact patient health.

Here’s their web site:

About Us – Nurses Against Mandatory Vaccines.

Here’s a quote from that web site:

Research and other publicly acquired information now shows why: hospital systems are REQUIRED to have a 90% or higher flu shot reception rate among their staff, or they lose up to 2% of their funding of Medicare/Medicaid ( While the government itself does not require mandatory vaccination policies, many hospital systems and healthcare organizations, are taking an “all or nothing” stance against their workers. You now face being fired and without a job if you refuse a flu vaccine. Or you get to wear a mask of shame and be humiliated and have your private medical information on display for the world to see. This is a human rights violation, is a violation of the Patient Bill of Rights, and can lead to major EEOC violations.


If you watched the Dr. Suzanne Humphries videos I put up this week, you’ll see the same thing with regard to her patients being given flu shots and other vaccines upon entering the hospital.  Recall that her patients were very sick kidney patients–or patients whose bodies did not need any other stresses.  But the hospital GOT MORE MONEY if all their patients were vaccinated.

Interesting Information: “7 Super Healthy Foods and Superfoods You May Not Know About”

Interesting Information:  March 25, 2015

“7 Superfoods”

The Mercola post below lists 7 “superfoods,” a list which starts with BONE BROTHS.

And there is an additional listing of 7 unfamiliar foods that are also deemed “healthy.”

7 Super Healthy Foods and Superfoods You May Not Know About.