So sorry to hear you are suffering from this Paul.
One thing I would do if it was me, is get a session with a REALLY GOOD cranial sacral therapist. Make sure whoever it is has excellent recommendations from satisfied clients. Cranial sacral therapy has really helped me in the past and I bet it would be helpful for you too. No guarantees obviously.
I saw a story fairly recently about someone who wanted a windmill but couldn't have one because there were regulations against having one in his location. So instead either he or someone he knew made a sculpture that also functioned as a windmill. Calling it a sculpture made it something that was allowable.
But now I can't remember where I saw the story. Does this ring a bell with anyone? It might have been a pump instead of a windmill but I am pretty sure it was a windmill.
Help please. Need to show the story to a friend because it might be a solution for him as well.
I found a great recipe in Food and Wine magazine a few years ago and have made it many times. It is so delicious and anyone who has tried it loves it. You may need to make a double batch. I looked online to see if I could find the recipe. Here is a link Turkish-Style Leeks.
You say that you didn't find many mushrooms but there may be more than you think.
Last fall our local county park had some expert mushroom foragers come in and give a 4-hour tour and lesson on mushroom hunting. I was astonished at how many different mushrooms they found that I had never seen and this was in a park that I walk through quite often. It seems to take experience and a trained eye.
Maybe you could join a group of mushroom foragers or have them come onto your land. I bet you will be surprised.
If newspaper will work, you could ask at the newspaper office if they have old newspapers they give away to use as packing material. My local one does and I go and pick it up every so often to use as packing material for things I sell on eBay.
What about an authentic Japanese futon? I lived in Japan for a time and found them to be quite comfortable. I saw on eBay they have them made of 100% cotton batting. They are called "skiki-futon". Maybe it wouldn't be too hard to make one by hand. The are usually placed on top of a foam pad. I don't know how hard it would be to find a foam pad made of natural materials but they surely would be less toxic than all the things they put in matresses nowadays.
what sort of kale do you have that has grown for over a year in Iowa? And, by zero degrees, is that Fahrenheit or Celsius? When you harvest the kale, do you make an effort to bury it in snow again afterwards?
Here is the story with this kale. My girlfriend planted it in my yard because her husband likes it and they don't have a good place to grow it where they live. She doesn't remember what kind it is. It might have even been a plant she bought at the supermarket. But then she kind of forgot about it and didn't pick much. I didn't like it so I didn't either. So it just kept on growing on its own. Then in the fall of 2011 I was really busy and so never got around to pulling it out in the fall. By the time spring rolled around it was still going strong. By that time I was pretty curious to see what it would do. I didn't water it because my water bill was already high and also because I found out that our water is treated with chlolormine and I didn't think that would be good to use on the garden. Both last summer and this one were abnormally dry. So as time went on I kept being more and more impressed with this kale and thought I should really try to get to like it. So I started using it myself and now I like it. It does taste better after a freeze.
Yes, I was referring to below zero Fahrenheit. I do not cover it or anything. It is just out there doing its thing and seems to be perfectly happy in the snow. If I was being fanciful, I would almost say that it is wanting to grow so it can convince me to eat it because it would be good for me, LOL.
I think it depends on the type of kale. I have kale that was planted in spring 2011. It overwintered and grew well all this year and is still going strong. Here in Iowa the temperatures got down below zero last year and this. I did not water it this year either and it would not die. It is amazing. I just harvested some more buried in snow yesterday.