Louisa Enright's Blog

Mainely Tipping Points

Posts Tagged ‘Ronald VanHeeswijk

Turkey Tracks: Solstice 2015

with one comment

Turkey Tracks:  December 22, 2015

Solstice 2015

December 21st is Solstice–the longest night of the year.

Friends Margaret Rauenhorst and Ronald VonHeeswijk host a Solstice bonfire most years.  This event is one of my most favorite events of the year.

Solstice marks the passage from darkness into light.  Solstice is a time of reflection and quiet.

This year, the sky was filled with clouds, so no stars or moon–though the moon will be full at Christmas.

Margaret and Ronald light a HUGE bonfire that warms all who stand about it.  This year, we are experiencing very warm weather on mid-coast Maine.  It will be 60ish tomorrow.  But the fire still warmed our hearts and provided moments of contemplation and companionship.

IMG_0847

The paths in the yard are all lined with lumanaria that guide us down the drive to the house and fire.

See the sparks?  We have to watch for those as the wind shifts because they can and do burn holes in your clothes.

IMG_0849

When the embers die down, we throw our past and future intentions into the fire:

IMG_0850

Holly is for a future intention we want to adopt or experience; hemlock for the past and involves something we want to release/let go/stop.  We make little packets with our intentions written down and wrapped around the greenery.

IMG_0853

The house is lit only by candles and the fire inside the hearth.

IMG_0851

IMG_0855

My camera flash illuminates the room for a moment only.

The sideboard is filled with bowls of nuts and fresh and dried fruit.

IMG_0856

And Margaret makes us her dad’s special drink–a Tom and Jerry–which has eggwhites, spices, and whiskey as ingredients.  It is delicious!

Thanks, Margaret and Ronald, for once again bringing your friends together for this celebration you make for us.

 

Written by louisaenright

December 22, 2015 at 3:04 pm

Turkey Tracks: September Update

with 2 comments

Turkey Tracks:  September 22, 2014

September Update

Late August and ALL of September are really busy months for me in Maine.

First of all, son Bryan often comes for his birthday, which is September 11th.  Bryan and Corinne like to come visiting in the early fall as most of the tourists have gone home or are taking a breather before the fall foliage gets rolling.  And, it’s cooler.

Second, in Maine, September is the red month (tomatoes), not July, as is true for regions south of us.  Plus, the gardens are cranking out food at alarming rates.  So I am busy blanching, roasting, drying, lacto-fermenting, and generally reveling in all the bounty of our earth in Maine.

Third, MOFGA, the Maine Organic Farmers and Growers Association fair happens in the third weekend of September.  This fair, also known as the Common Ground Fair, is one of my most favorite things to attend all year.

Fourth, Coastal Quilters starts its new year in September.  I agreed to be President this year, so I’ve had a fair amount of organizing and reviewing to do to get back up to speed.  We had a terrific organizational meeting September 14th, and we’ll have a really good year this year I think.

Fifth, I start the process of putting the yard to bed for the winter.  The flower pots are played out.  The wind chimes have to be taken down.  The hummers are gone.  The porch furniture and kayaks have to be stored.  The chickens have to be winterized.  And, the garden put to bed with the new garlic planted for next year.  I have LOVED having that garden fenced all this summer–especially since I never was able to keep the hens I have now inside their pen.

So….I will do some separate entries on some of these events.  But I will leave you with some fun pictures taken more or less in late August/early September.

Susan McBride of Golden Brook Farm grew these awesome cherry tomatoes.  I experimented with drying these to see which ones were the best.  Hands down, the purple heritage cherry tomato was.  They are like eating candy–and I know I will enjoy having them on hand all winter when the snow is flying.  That bag of highly colored bits is corn from Margaret Rauenhorst and Ronald VanHeeswijk.  I’m going to grind it and make cornbread with it any day now.

Golden Brook cherries

I planted random squash seeds in the blue tubs this year.  One is growing a Hubbard Squash–which delights me so much.  I will go ahead and collect the squashes as soon as it stops raining and put them into the garage to “sugar off” for a bit.  They do better when they have a bit of time to cure.  The Blue Hubbard squash can get HUGE–and is a really great all-purpose squash.  It’s delicious to eat and makes great “squash” pie too.

Hubbard Squash

Here is a typical Hope’s Edge pick-up day–with Giovanna McCarthy.  We have sacks of food and flowers!

Hope's Edge Flowers and Food

I found this picture on John’s computer before we retired it.  It’s one of my very favorites.  He really had such a great eye for a good picture.  LIkely I’ll make some cards from this picture…

Hope's Edge

Turkey Tracks: Margaret’s Rag Rugs

with one comment

Turkey Tracks:  July 15, 2013

Margaret’s Rag Rugs

 

Friend Margaret Rauenhorst just made the two prettiest rag rugs I’ve seen yet.

First, husband Ronald VanHeeswjik made her the hand-held loom–using the original stacked method, not the method that miters the corners which makes the loom totally flat and, we think, harder to handle.  They figured a way to make a stand that allows Margaret to prop it over a radiator as she wanted to stand to make the rugs.  Along the way, they made some other improvements in the loom and in the braiding that I think are really good.

Margaret collected her fabrics from Good Will, The Salvation Army, and local quilting stores with fabric on sale.  Just remember to choose fabrics that don’t ravel easily and that will wash and wear–that probably means cotton sheets, tablecloths, curtains, and the like.  (And wash everything you bring into the house to prevent bedbugs.)  Margaret divided her fabrics in half so that she could keep the rugs similar in color.

First before anything, look at these beauties:

Margaret's Two Rugs 2

The one on the left is made by banding the same colors; the one on the right is more of a herringbone pattern, where you keep switching colors when a color runs out.

Margaret's two rugs

I love the clear colors Margaret has used–the rugs shimmer in the light.  So pretty.  And of course Margaret checked with the bride to see what colors she and her groom liked together before collecting her fabric.

Here’s Margaret braiding/weaving on her loom.  Note how she’s using a dowel to separate the background strands–I like that idea a lot.

Margaret's rag rug frame

Here’s another improvement:  the side bars slip up and down until you get enough tension on them–and can slip all the way out if you are not careful to grip them when you lift the loom.  Ronald and Margaret solved this issue by drilling a hole in the bottom of each bar and attaching a clip that keeps the bar from sliding.  They’ve promised to drill mine when I finish with the rug that’s on the loom now–which will be a winter project for me maybe unless one of the kiddos or Tami gets interested.

Margaret's rag rug frame catch at bottom

As part of the wedding gift, Margaret put together a little book of all the “sayings” she said ran through her head about healthy marriages and relationships as she stood and braided.  She told me some of these one day when I went to see the first rug.  I thought them wonderful–and still think she should maybe do something more formal with that book.  (The bride loved it–how could she not?) Many of them speak to how lives get woven together as we live:  the bride and groom, of course.  But, also, Ronald, Margaret, and me as they took up this rag rug project.  And, of course, all the lives woven together on this blog.

I can pretty much bet that those two rugs will be with that bride and groom throughout their lives together.

What a gift–on so many levels!

Earlier entries on this blog give more information about a good rag-rug book and how to make the loom.  It’s pretty basic.

Written by louisaenright

July 15, 2013 at 5:34 pm

Turkey Tracks: Counting Joys

with 2 comments

Turkey Tracks:  June 30, 2013

Counting Joys

I am counting joys today.

Sunshine, after days of rain.

The new Corian kitchen counters are in.

And aren’t they beautiful?  I have snagged my sweaters on the shredding formica for the very last time.

The whole kitchen seems brighter and lighter…  The color is beautiful with the oak floors and white cabinets…

Kitchen counters, June 2013Kitchen Counters 2, June 2013

Many, many thanks to Lynn Gushee of Dream Kitchens in Rockland.  She’s amazing and is also helping me with some other details in the kitchen that needed tackling.

The leaky 70-gallon water tank is gone.  Mark and Cappy of Mark’s Appliance said they had never seen the inside of a water tank so corroded.  Friend Meg Barclay, an architect, tells me that was probably due to the acidity of our water from local granite.

We did more than replace the tank–we replaced the whole heating system, which was old and getting cranky.  The old boiler sat on the floor and was about 2 feet by 5 feet.  It took up the whole utility room and put out a constant wall of heat–so that in the humid summer, everything in the utility room was covered with a layer of running, condensing water.

Here’s the new boiler and the new water tank “helper.”  This system is more efficient and will use less propane (my house is heated by water, which I love).  The new helper has a lifetime warranty.

Yes, the new boiler is that little white box on the wall.

BoilerHelper

A new dog fence has been installed.  Penny is delirious and so am I.  She will not be patrolling the street below and nipping at feet peddling bicycles.  Thanks to Sarah Rheault and the folks from Invisible Fence.

The moss has been cleaned off the roof.   Thanks Horch Roofing.

The garage stairs, open to a bad fall from either the stairs or the floor of the attic, has been walled in.  Thanks to Ronald VanHeeswijk.  Neither I nor the grandchildren will fall off that death trap onto the concrete floor below.  Best of all, they can make the attic of the garage their own space this summer.

The back deck privacy wall has been painted and shored up for another year.  It’s pretty much rotten, and I will replace it next year.  Thanks to Margaret Rauenhorst, Ronald VanHeeswijk, and John Marr.

All the leaky faucets have been fixed, thanks to plumbers Wes Avery and Ben Varner.

Mulch and weeding and all the spring tasks have been accomplished, thanks to David Hannan.

Hope’s Edge, our CSA, has started, thanks to Tom Griffin and crew.

The strawberries are ripe in the garden.  The garlic scapes are ready to be cut.  The peas are coming in.  The cold frame is full of lettuce.  And, it’s summer in Maine!