Louisa Enright's Blog

Mainely Tipping Points

Posts Tagged ‘Gina Caceci

Turkey Tracks: Mid-March Project Update

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Turkey Tracks:  March 21, 2015

Mid-March Project Update

Ironically, today is the first day of spring.

And it is warmer, but it’s also snowing outside.

Though it’s wet and dreary, my heart has been warmed by Kathleen Nixon’s visit for my birthday.

She was to have come yesterday, but the storm grounded flights, so she arrived bright and cheerful at noon today.  We had a sushi lunch at Mr. Wat’s, a coffee at Zoots, and will have what will be a wonderful dinner at the Hartstone Inn (thanks to Gina Caceci).  Tomorrow we’re going to a special showing of the uncut version of LAWRENCE OF ARABIA at The Strand in Rockland, Maine (where we’ll have some POPCORN).  Afterwards, we’ll have an early dinner at Mirandas in Rockland–a favorite place for both of us.  I have to let her go on Monday, but will take her down to Portland and will do some errands on the way home.

I have been working on the big quilt this past week.  It just needs one more border:

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Which is almost done:

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This is a VERY BIG quilt…

Here are some close-ups:

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AND this one, which shows how much of my focus fabric I’ve been able to use:

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It’s interesting and inspired by Kaffe Fasset’s low-contrast style of quilting.  AND by the American Patchwork and Quilting Magazine’s low contrast “quilt along” of last year.

This year their challenge is to work with four patches–and the above quilt actually uses a lot of four patches.  BUT, I am much more intrigued by the four-patches on point that Bonnie Hunter is making for her part in the magazine’s challenge.  So, these patches have become my current leader/ender project.

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I have no idea how Bonnie is going to set hers, and I’m hoping she will do a “reveal” on April 3rd, the end of the challenge.  If not, I’ll open my EQ7 quilting design program and get to work.

Here’s a close-up.

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I have 20 blocks done now, but truthfully, I could just disappear from the world and sew these fun blocks until I drop.

Remember that I have a whole box of two-inch squares that need using…

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Maybe I’ll do a marathon session and sew these into light/dark four patches…

Meanwhile, the chickens are out every day now and hang out at my quilting room windows where they try to talk to me:

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Barb Melchiskey challenged our group to complete one UFO for our May challenge meeting.  I have a handful of planned quilt projects all folded up together.  This one is at least nine years old:

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And it’s pretty fabric that I still like:

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It wants to be a quilt for a male person…

And I have one in mind…

So, I will start it when the big blue quilt is…quilted.

Happy spring everyone!

 

 

Turkey Tracks: Christmas 2014

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Turkey Tracks:  December 28, 2014

Christmas 2014

I hope your Christmas holiday was as nice as mine!

Friend Gina Caceci came on Monday the 22nd, and I picked her up in Portland at noon.

We played and walked and talked for five days.

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We gave each other experiences, not things, which was lovely.

I miss her already!

 

 

Written by louisaenright

December 28, 2014 at 4:51 pm

Interesting Information: The Nine Ingredients For a Healthier America

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Interesting Information:  November 17, 2014

“The Nine Ingredients For A Healthier America”

Friend Gina Caceci mailed me The Washington Post‘s copy of this opinion piece by Mark Bittman, Michael Pollan, Ricardo Salvador, and Olivier De Schutter.

The article is all over the web now.

This piece is a call to action to change national food policy so that it is aligned with human health, not industry profits.

At the most basic level, we need the government to separate the USDA from healthy food policy as these goals are massively in conflict.  What has resulted is that, in a nutshell, we are subsidizing soda while “paying for insulin pumps.”  And, too many of us are sick.

This issue has to be viewed from above political party lines–not across or through them.  Surely our health, the health of our loved ones, and the health of our soil and planet will allow us to come together on this issue.

Please, please read this article.  Every word.

And, maybe, email the President and your congresspersons noting the article and asking for meaningful change.

I will.  Today.

Commentary: The nine ingredients for a healthier America | masslive.com.

Turkey Tracks: Houston International Quilt Festival

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Turkey Tracks:  October 28, 2014

The Houston International Quilt Festival

 

I’m off to Portland, Maine, tomorrow and will fly to Houston on Thursday.

Blog readers will recall that I made these plans last January–and, now, here I am, mostly packed and ready to go.

Seeing this show is a bucket list item for me.

And I am excited!

Dear friend Gina Caceci, my wonderful neighbor back in Falls Church, Virginia, has arranged for me to picked up by a DRIVER!!

Oh my goodness!

And, somehow, it’s a wonderful mystery at the moment, I am also being brought from the hotel back to the airport on Monday by the same company–free of charge and Gina isn’t funding this leg of the trip.

She has promised to tell me when I get home.

Also, Gina has business in Houston and delayed her trip back to Virginia so that we can have dinner Thursday night.  How fun is that???

I will try to post from Houston, but the ipad is not crazy about the blog.  Likely I will not be able to post until I get home.

 

 

Written by louisaenright

October 28, 2014 at 3:17 pm

Books, Documentaries, Reviews: Michael Pollan: COOKED

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Books, Documentaries, Reviews:  April 26, 2014

COOKED

Michael Pollan

 

Friend Gina Caceci brought me Michael Pollan’s Cooked a bit ago…

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I’m only into the beginning pages, but am looking forward to reading more.

Pollan begins with describing what he calls the “cooking paradox”:

How is it that at the precise historical moment when Americans were abandoning the kitchen, handing over the preparation of most of our meals to the food industry, we began spending so much of our time thinking about food and watching other people cook it on television?  The less cooking were doing in our own lives, it seemed, the more that food and its vicarious preparation transfixed us (3).

Pollan goes on to note that “the amount of time spent preparing meals in American households has fallen by half since the mid-sixties, when I was watching my mom fix dinner, to a scant twenty-seven minutes a day” (3).

TWENTY SEVEN MINUTES A DAY!!

Cooking, Pollan notes, is magic:  “Even the most ordinary dish follows a satisfying arc of transformation, magically becoming something more than the sum of its ordinary parts.  And in almost every dish, you can find, besides the culinary ingredients, the ingredients of a story:  a beginning, a middle, and an end” (4).

And here’s a bit of philosophy that might explain the “cooking paradox”:

So maybe the reason we like to watch cooking on television and read about cooking in books is that there are things about cooking we really miss.  We might not feel we have the time or energy (or the knowledge) to do it ourselves every day, but we’re not prepared to see it disappear from our lives altogether.  If cooking is, as the anthropologists tell us, a defining human activity–the act with which culture begins, according to Claude Lévi-Strauss–then maybe we shouldn’t be surprised that watching its processes unfold would strike deep emotional chords (5).

Other anthropologists “have begun to take quite literally the idea that the invention of cooking might hold the evolutionary key to our humaness” (6).

A few years ago, a Harvard anthropologist and primatologist named Richard Wrangham published a fascinating book called Catching Fire, in which he argued that it was the discovery of cooking by our early ancestors–and not tool making or meat eating or language–that set us apart from the apes and made us human.  According to the “cooking hypothesis,” the advent of cooked food altered the course of human evolution.  By providing our forebears with a more energy-dense and easy-to-digest diet, it allowed our brains to grow bigger (brains being notorious energy guzzlers) and our guts to shrink.  It seems that raw food takes much more time and energy to chew and digest, which is why other primates our size carry around substantially larger digestive tracts and spend many more of their waking hours chewing–as much as six hours a day.

Cooking, in effect, took part of the work of chewing and digestion and performed it for us outside of the body, using outside sources of energy.  Also, since cooking detoxifies many potential sources of food, the new technology cracked open a treasure trove of calories unavailable to other animals.  Freed from the necessity of spending our days gathering large quantities of raw food and then chewing (and chewing) it, humans could now devote their time, and their metabolic resources, to other purposes, like creating a culture (6).

So, “if cooking is as central to human identity, biology, and culture as Wrangham suggests, it stands to reason that the decline of cooking in our time would have serious consequences for modern life, and so it has” (7).

I will leave you with this quote–which contains much “food for thought”:

The shared meal is no small thing.  It is a foundation of family life, the place where our children learn the art of conversation and acquire the habits of civilization:  sharing, listening, taking turns, navigating differences, arguing without offending.  What have been called the “cultural contradictions of capitalism”–its tendency to undermine the stabilizing social forms it depends on–are on vivid display today at the modern American dinner table, along with all the brightly colored packages that the food industry has managed to plant there (8).

 

 

 

 

Written by louisaenright

April 26, 2014 at 6:49 pm

Interesting Information: “Furloughed Federal Employees”

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Interesting Information:  August 27, 2013

Furloughed Federal Employees

John and I lived in Falls Church, Virginia, for almost 40 years.

Former neighbor and dear friend Gina Caceci has a recent letter published in The Washington Post‘s letters to the editor–July 30, 2013, A12.

I loved it.

Here it is:

Here are two suggestions for “out of office” messages that furloughed federal employees can use in their emails or on voice mails:

1.  “I am currently out of the office on unpaid furlough.  Please contact Congress for assistance.  They are actually not working but still getting paid for it.”

2.  “I’m currently out of the office on furlough.  If you don’t understand what this means, please go to your bank, take out 20 percent of your last paycheck and burn it.”

Gina Caceci, Falls Church.

Somewhere I read that Congress is only slated to work NINE DAYS in September.  Good heavens!

 

Here’s a picture of my beautiful friend, Gina

Gina, fall 2012

Written by louisaenright

August 27, 2013 at 11:55 am

Turkey Tracks: Rainy Day!

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Turkey Tracks:  May 20, 2013

Rainy Day!

Finally, a rainy day!

My apologies for not posting sooner, but I have been OUTSIDE for days in this glorious spring, putting the garden back into order.

I’ve been in a planting frenzy, actually, and have really needed this rainy day.  With the generous and kind help of David Hannan, many tasks have been completed:  putting up the chicken fence and the vegetable garden fence, bringing out all the outdoor furniture from the top of the garage, putting away the boarding walk, rebuilding the rock wall on the drive where the snow plow folks couldn’t see where the rocks were, bringing out all of the container pots (I think there are at least 25) and filling them with dirt and planting them, mulching, mowing, weeding, pruning, edging, seeding, and planting a now-shady bed with shade plants and, in the sunny part, an herb garden that I hope will be more permanent.

Electrician David Dodge came and fixed the back outdoor plug and installed a new plug at the front door–which will make mowing with an electric mower and a LONG cord much easier.  And once he showed me how to take out the prong-plug expensive halogen bulbs in an under-the-counter kitchen light, I got new bulbs and replaced them.  I’m afraid I had to touch the bulbs though–the oils from your fingers can make them blow–but they were too tiny and slippery to grip and get into the two out of four right holes.   Anyway, right now, it’s working.

I’ll take pictures soon.  Meanwhile, here’s how the green scrappy quilt is coming along.  I’ve been quilting in the late afternoon through the early evening, and that’s been so relaxing.  This quilt is a green copy of Bonnie Hunter’s “Blue Ridge Beauty,” in her book LEADERS AND ENDERS.   I’m calling my version “Camden Hills Beauty,” and right now, the trees on the Camden Hills are so fluffy and are so many greens that I know this quilt is well-named.  The block is a traditional Jacob’s Ladder block, but I love Bonnie’s method of combining color with neutrals.  I used light greens, but Bonnie uses true “neutrals” in her quilts and just mixes them all up.  I LOVE this quilt!

Camden Hills Beauty top taking shape

Here’s a close-up of some of the blocks.  You can see I’ve mixed in some color–bits of pink and orange.  I like the way they are working in the quilt.

Camden Hills Beauty blocks

I started sewing together rows in the last few days–and realized I need 14 rows, not 12!!!  So, it’s back to piecing more blocks.  But that’s ok as I’m really enjoying this project.  AND, my green stash is diminishing, diminishing–which is a lovely feeling of usefulness.

At night, in front of the tv, I’ve been appliqueing the “Green Turtles” quilt turtles for new granddaughter Cyanna.  I am on the eighth turtle–of nine.  So as soon as I get the Camden Hills quilt off the design wall, up will go the Green Turtles.  You can see some of the blocks on the left side of the first picture.

The 14 rows will mean the quilt will have the DARK line predominant, which is better visually I think.