Louisa Enright's Blog

Mainely Tipping Points

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Turkey Tracks: Visiting Charleston, SC: Part II.

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Turkey Tracks:  June 18, 2014

Visiting Charleston, SC:  Part II

 

The second stop was to my son Bryan’s home.

The plan:  help Bryan with my two youngest granddaughters while Corinne attended a family wedding in Dallas, Texas, over the weekend.

Older sister models Cinderella shoes for me:

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Baby sister is Daddy’s Girl:

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Bryan and I survived until Sunday noon when Mommy came home.

Bryan made terrific meals for the girls and for us.  Here’s Big Sister’s dinner one night:

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Big Sister LOVES puzzles and works five or six each night before bed.  She needs no adult help:

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I love these 2 by 4-feet puzzles as well and will try to find her more of them.  They offer some really good learning opportunities in many ways.

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Corinne and I took the girls to the Charleston Aquarium on Monday and to the big Charleston library for a free, live performance of a “Puss and Boots” story–part of the big Spoleto/Piccolo annual festival in Charleston.

I am very impressed by how much live theater for children is occurring these days.

The girls love this big library–and we went home loaded down with books.

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The time we had together flew by…

This crew will be coming to Maine in September.

Written by louisaenright

June 18, 2014 at 4:51 pm

Turkey Tracks: I’m in Charleston

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anTurkey Tracks:  May 27, 2014

 

I’m In Charleston

 

Hello Everyone,

 

I’m in Charleston–and will be for the next two weeks.

I’m visiting my two sons, who live two blocks from each other on Isle of Palms–which is just north of Charleston harbor.  AND, I’m staring my visit with my old young friend Tara Derr Webb and her husband Leighton Webb of Awendaw, SC.  They are the owners of the Farmbar project (farm to table food and the products of the most amazing farms and fiber makers) and of Deux Peuces Farm (two fleas–they are the two fleas).  Tara falls in age between my two sons, so I’ve known her almost as long as I’ve known them–minus a decade maybe.

Tara and I are working on her farm–there will be a workshop later today to make lacto-fermented foods and to teach others from the Farmbar community to make them.   And we are off in a minute to round up the food for the workshop.  I came prepared with books (Sandor Ellis Katz’s WILD FERMENTATION, for one) and a handout that includes gut health issues and information about The Weston A. Price Foundation.

This morning we shared this page from Thich Nhat Hanh’s HOW TO SIT:

DOING LESS

Many of us keep trying to do more and more.  We do things because we want to make money, accomplish something, take care of others, or make our lives and our world better.  Often we do things without thinking, because we are in the habit of doing them, because someone asks us to, or because we think we should.  But if the foundation of our being is not strong enough, then the more we do, the more troubled our society becomes.

Sometimes we do a lot, but we don’t really do anything.  There are many people who work a lot.  There are people who seem to meditate a lot, spending many hours a day doing sitting meditation, chanting, reciting, lighting a lot of incense, but who never transform their anger, frustration, and jealousy.  This is because the quality of our being is the basis of all our actions.  With an attitude of accomplishing, judging, or grasping, all of our actions–even our meditation–will have that quality.  The quality of our presence is the most positive element that we can contribute to the world.

Here’s a not-so-great picture of Tara on her porch this morning–in between chores.  I will take pictures while I am here for later–the ipad isn’t so great for the blog.

 

image

 

Interesting Information: The Bee Cause Pollinates An Important Message

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Interesting Information:  May 1, 2014

The Bee Cause

 

The Charleston City Paper, South Carolina, just did a really nice piece on DIL Tami Enright’s project:  The Bee Cause.

There is a lot of information in this article about this very successful project to preserve bees in Charleston.  And, about how connecting bees to children and learning and science is really working for everyone involved.

The Bee Cause Project pollinates an important message | Dirt | Charleston City Paper.

Written by louisaenright

May 1, 2014 at 12:33 pm

Interesting Information: ITP, or Immune Thrombocytopenic Purpura

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Interesting Information:  October 16, 2013

ITP

Immune Thrombocytopenic Purpura

One year ago this month, our Kelly and his brother were taking a shower after a soccer game.

Nine year old Bowen wrapped Kelly, then 7 1/2, in a towel and brought him to his parents.

Kelly was covered with bruises–big dark bruises all over his trunk, front and back.

That moment will go down in family history as being one of the darkest.

The feared words lept into everyone’s mind:  leukemia, cancer…

But, fortunately, I guess, Kelly had contracted an immune system illness:  Immune Thrombocytopenic Purpura, or ITP.  His body was turning on its own blood platelets and killing them.  Kelly was down to about 7,000 when he should have had somewhere around 200,000.  HIs doctor wondered how he was walking around, let alone playing a soccer game.

Here’s an explanation from the Children’s Hospitals and Clinics web site:

What is Immune Thrombocytopenic Purpura?

Immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) is a platelet disorder in which the body produces antibodies that bind with platelets that are the small, sticky cells of the blood that help the blood clot. The platelet-antibody complex is then destroyed in the spleen or liver. This can occur as a short-term event or can be chronic. Patients who have low platelet counts are more likely to have bleeding with trauma or surgery. Some evidence suggests that ITP is related to an overactive immune system; however, the cause is not clearly understood. The condition happens more frequently following certain viral infections and certain immunizations. It also can be associated with autoimmune disorders such as lupus.

http://www.childrensmn.org/services/cancer-and-blood-disorders/blood-disorders/childrens-center-for-bleeding-and-clotting-disorders/idiopathic-thrombocytopenic-purpura-itp?gclid=CIirnN6RorQCFUid4AodhiwAxA

With both parents at his side and his siblings farmed out to nearby family, Kelly went straight into the hospital where doctors tried to trick his body into stopping its immune reaction.  The lobster pillowcase went with him.  (Kelly picked out these fabrics, and I made the pillowcase.)

Kels in hospital edited

Everyone held their breath to see if the treatments would work. to see if this would be an isolated incident or would become a chronic condition that would alter his life forever.

Parents worked to keep him amused, as with this loaded dinner tray–ordered to try to get him to eat as much nourishment as he could.  Kels loves mac and cheese and hamburgers.

Kels at dinner edited

HIs siblings visited and crawled into the bed with him.  And his first cousin Ailey visited as well:

kelly and Ailey after hospital, Oct 2012

Even Sea Breeze  visited:

Kels and Seabreeze edited

Thankfully, the treatments did work, and when his platelets had grown to numbers that were not so life-threatening, Kelly was allowed to visit even sicker children and, eventually, to go home himself.

The pillow went, too, but not before many, many people had remarked upon it.

Kelly going home edited

Kelly and his Mom Tami decided they would make more pillowcases and bring them back to the children’s wing of the hospital–and a local quilt store donated fabric.  Halloween fabric.  Here is Kelly giving a pillowcase to one of the nurses to give to a child.

Kelly and the pillowcases edited

The pillowcases make a nice story.

But, the real story here is the one that asks “why did this event happen to Kelly?”

Note that ITP is associated with having had a virus recently.  Or, a vaccine.  Or, certain drugs.  And the internet is full of people making associations with aspartame.

The fancy word for an association is a correlation.  It’s always important to remember that correlations are not causation–which has to be proven to be called a causation.  One thing that is really wrong with our culture today is that all sorts of correlations have been made to seem as if they are causations–like cholesterol and heart disease.  Or, saturated fat and heart disease.  Or salt and high blood pressure.

In the end, medicine and scientists do not know what is causing ITP.  And as near as I could discover, no one is asking about any correlations between toxic chemicals and ITP.

Who would do this work?  Who would pay for it?  Not industry.  Especially not the chemical or drug industries since either might be to blame.

Charleston folks do a lot of lawn spraying and mosquito/bug spraying.  Like too many folks today, they seem brain-dead about the effects of this kind of indiscriminate killing.  They ignore the fact that lawn chemicals have long lives and get on their children and are tracked indoors.  Skin is a very permeable organ.

Mosquitos are sprayed from planes that drop toxic chemicals on everyone and everything.  I’ve been told that after such spraying, local bee hives are surrounded by hundreds of dead bees and the beach is littered with dead butterflies.  Disrupting a food chain in this way causes a ripple effect that spreads and spreads.  Chemical fogging trucks patrol the streets at dusk.

Research shows that we are learning daily that very small amounts of toxic chemicals have long-lasting effects on humans.

It mystifies me why anyone would think that a chemical that kills an insect by harming their nervous system would NOT harm them.

Airplanes sprayed not long before Kelly got sick.  Now, there’s a correlation for you.

A year has passed–a year in which Kelly, who was quite fragile for some time after his hospital stay, has grown stronger and more sure of himself.   The circles beneath his eyes are gone.

But there remains for me a nagging dread as to what caused Kelly’s very serious illness.

Nothing much has changed in his environment…

And, again, I ask myself, where is the tipping point where people say enough is enough and something has to change.  Clearly the tipping point is a long way away when one out of two people now gets cancer, and no one acts.

Turkey Tracks: Green Turtles Quilt

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Turkey Tracks:  August 13, 2013

“Green Turtles” Quilt

 

Just before Mike and my grandsons came in mid-July, I mailed my newest granddaughter, Cyanna Mel Enright, her baby quilt.

Called, “Green Turtles,” the pattern is from People, Places, and Quilts in Summerville, SC, which is just west of Charleston, SC.  They call the pattern “Happy Turtles”–and they are.

I hand appliqued the turtles and used scrappy fabrics for the borders.  I quilted with “Deb’s Swirls”–the medium version.

 

Green Turtles

In choosing scraps from my stash, I was reminded of other quilting projects.  Carrie and Fiona–you’ll see the pink plaid from Fiona’s baby quilt.  The stripe is from a purse project with Karen Johnson of The Community School.  Lucy Howser Stevens, one turtle is wearing the backing to your quilt of last year–the daisy floral on acid green.  There’s a fabric in here from my very first quilt, which went to JJ Viarella, who is now entering high school!!!  It’s the green on the bottom row, far right.  There is a blueberry fabric from my oldest grandchild’s baby quilt–Bowen Enright, who will be 10 in a few weeks.  And a green and pink floral/leaf that backed my niece’s quilt of last year–Mary Chandler Philpott.  And on it goes…

Here are some of the blocks:

Green Turtle block Green Turtle block 3

Green Turtle block 2

I love Bonnie Hunter’s method of putting on a label.  If you haven’t yet found Bonnie’s web site and blog, it’s http://quiltville.com.  She does a daily entry most days and highlights the work of her students all around the country–so sign up for her FB page as well.

The green turtle fabric came from People, Places, and Quilts on my April trip this year.   It seemed really fitting to find this fabric at the store that made the pattern.  The plain pink binding also came from my stash.

Green Turtles label

Here’s how the corner borders worked out.  I love the green and blue polka dot border.

Green Turtles borders

Here’s the backing and binding on the quilt top.

Green Turtles backing and binding

It’s a cute quilt, and I enjoyed the hand work.

Written by louisaenright

August 13, 2013 at 4:35 pm

Interesting Information: Bees, Bees, Bees

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Interesting Information:  May 8, 2013

Bees, Bees, Bees

April in Charleston, SC, where my two sons live with their families, is a very busy month for bees.

Tamara Kelly Enright is a beekeeper.

She has two hives in her yard and is teaching her children how to care for them.  She helps manage ten other hives with Tara Derr Webb at Deux Peuces Farm in Awendaw, SC.  And she supervises two hives at a local school for rescued children, where learning how to care for bees is part of their emotional development via a deep connection to nature.  She is deeply involved in placing demonstration bee hives into local schools–a practice started and funded by the Savannah Bee Company.

Tami and Kelly suited up one sunny Sunday afternoon to check the two bee hives in her yard.

Here are the hives, tucked into a corner of the yard.  Tami has planted jasmine on the lattices behind the hives, which the bees are going to love.

Bees, Two Hives

Here’s a video of Tami and Kelly telling you what they are going to do:

Here are Tami and Kelly opening the bee hive.  They have to break the insert loose–it is sealed by the bees with a waxy substance called propolis–which has amazing healing properties.

Bees, opening the hive

Here’s a close-up of one of the inserts.  You can see the waxed cells and the “brood,” which are the cells holding baby bees and developing bees in the foreground.  The second picture shows the brood even better.

bees up close

You can see the cells with baby bees hatching in the center front of this picture.

bees up close 2

Here’s another video up close so you can see what it feels like to work inside the hive and its panels:

During the time I was in Charleston, Tami rescued two swarms of bees.  One swarm came from one of the demonstration hives in Talula and Mina’s school.  The school staff sent out a call for help to local beekeepers, and Tami went and rescued the hive.  She brought it home and used it to repopulate one of the ten hives on Deux Peuces Farm–which had lost three queens–rendering three of the hives inoperable.

The second swarm Tami rescued landed up next to a local pool.  The pool people were going to call an exterminator, but agreed to let Tami come at night and get the swarm, which she did.

A friend told me today that he just heard that America alone has lost over 43% of their bee population.  I don’t know if that figure is correct, but I do know that it is a very serious problem for our food supply.  Yet we continue to allow chemicals to be used that kill bees.  The European Union, while I was in Charleston, banned one of the greatest offender chemicals for two years to see if it helped preserve the bees.

Written by louisaenright

May 9, 2013 at 12:42 pm

Interesting Information: Homing Bees

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Interesting Information:  April 2, 2013

Homing Bees

Old friends Leighton and Tara Derr Web are working with bee master Tamara Kelly Enright (my daughter-in-law) to start ten hives on Deux Peuces Farm in Awendaw, SC.

Leighton oversaw the building of the ten hives.  Here’s Tami trying her hand at cutting some of the hive wood:

And here are Tami and Leighton “homing” the 50,000 bees in the ten hives.  Tami is setting up a hive by installing the pieces which the bees will use to build the interior of the hive.  I presume Tara is the photographer.

Tami’s honey is called “Talula Bee Honey,” and it is highly prized in the Charleston, SC, area.

And you can see much more information about Tara and Leighton and their farm on THE FARMBAR web site, which is linked on this blog.  See the right sidebar to click over to The Farmbar.  There are some gorgeous articles and pictures on The Press section of Tara’s blog.

Written by louisaenright

April 2, 2013 at 7:46 pm