sheila grace

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since Apr 16, 2013
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Recent posts by sheila grace

Hi all!!!  First I would like to thank Paul & Jocelyn for inviting us and being such gracious hosts! I'd like to apologize to Erica, Ernie, Paul and Jocelyn for having completely missed the invite texts that came in on our last night there - inviting us to additional  'doings' - our cell phone is, well, a dinosaur. Bill Kearns and I were much embarrassed when we got home and found all the invites on our email. When we got home we dove right into the MANY photos we took and sat around in the after glow of the trip talking about the whole deal. I've had a course (or two) in geology, but I turned Bill onto the incredible geology of Wheaton Labs and surrounding region, so last I heard, he's elbow deep in researching all about that subject with hopes of a future map sans the address and boundaries.

I've kicked out a couple of blogs (two more to go) about our trip and I'd like to share them. I don't blog for $ so there's no promotional 'thing' on my end, and we do very much support what Paul & Jocelyn are doing. There are only two of us here, and I'm the only one updating what we do, so in other words, when Bill has time he'll show me how to post pics on Permies and in the mean time this'll have to do.

A huge thanks to Fred for his incredible pictures of the place and C.E.'s consummate generosity of time. I wish we could have stayed longer and spent more time with all of you! We badly needed the rest and beauty offered and I'm already hearing about "when we go back..."   Title: Redemption and a trip to Wheaton Labs   Title: Trip to Wheaton Labs part 2


2 years ago
Thank you Leah for the puff pancake mix recipe, and Jocelyn's history of the origin via Germany/Russia. I'll try them tomorrow. Our fridge downstairs in the storage room/basement is getting kinda full so here's what I do (other than giving eggs away)...

Flan: Brazilian, Puerto Rican, and some whacky ones like Yam coconut flan with a shot of whiskey on top when warming..
Creme Brulee
Frittatas of every sort
Hard boiled then pickled; we've pickled them in jalapeno juice, pickle juice, pepperoncini juice - good for two weeks
Bread: I use an egg per two loaves (which doesn't get me very far on the egg reduction) and kick out 12 loaves, then freeze.

When we're really hard pressed I'll start in mid-June to build our 'egg' reserves for when the girls slow down egg production in the fall & winter by freezing the eggs.

Whip together and for every cup of eggs add 1/4 t - 1/2 t salt or honey, label and freeze - good for six+ months. Then when it's cold out and we have the wood cook stove going (October - April) I can go crazy with cookies, cakes, and what ever else I can think of.


2 years ago
Thanks to Leila Hamaya for taking the effort to tally the temperament/character/intelligence types of persons responding to this post. I’ve been thinking about this exact subject for two years now; what is the difference in ratios between the pc community and the general pop? I have hypothesized; most likely, a thorough study would reveal a distinctly larger ratio of NT’s and NF’s inhabit the world of Pc. It gets really interesting thinking about at what point will a greater number of SP’s and SJ’s join the subject of Pc.

If we draw a square and split it into quadrants, the NT’s and NF’s on the left vertical side share the use of language in abstract word form, while the SP’s and SJ’s on the right, share concrete word use. At the top horizontally the NF’s (idealists) and SJ’s (guardians) share the cooperative methods to achieve their goals and the NT’s and SP’s find commonality in utilitarian approaches to solving challenges. Without this understanding of how language is used to communicate (abstract vs concrete) and the tools (cooperative vs Utilitarian) a whole lot of feathers can get ruffled. BTW that analogy was an example of NT/NF abstract word use.

Now here is where it gets really freaky awesome interesting and could ‘splain’ some things in regards to Mr. Wheaton’s stupefaction (and rightly so) of the infighting and ugliness within the Pc community and that’s for a future comment as I work this out in my brain. The point I’m trying to deliver now is when any two diagonal squares meet each other and try to work together there are some mighty big mountains of communication and tool use to overcome. IF I know where I am on the quadrants then I can truly appreciate why I ‘get along’ with the two other quadrants that are adjoined to mine and understand why ‘not so much’ on the square diagonal to mine.

Whew! That’s a lot of work…let’s go watch TV or something.

Love the MD forum, gotta go,
4 years ago
Ha! Ha! Leila yes you are 1% of the general pop. Thanks for reviving this topic on the MD forum. I find this 'stuff' incredibly helpful and it helps sort out potential confusion, insecurities and general (butte hurtness) as in we are all excellent humans, with a different approach to a great pursuit. Each of us can bring brilliance to the community from the perspective of our own strengths. Example? i would be very bad at standing up and running the public end of a permaculture convergence, but really helpful in the background, not wanting that much focus on the self but very happy to contribute towards the success of the goal, and receive the acknowledgement of a thank you behind the scenes. Love person to person conversation, big 'meetings' not so much. INTJ, and partner INTP. totally compatible. Different skills sets, the former with strengths in strategy and sequencing the latter with strengths in 3D thinking, building and engineering.

thank you for bringing this up again

4 years ago
Paul, thank you for all you do. Congrats to Cassie, we saw her smiling face in the first issue of Permaculture North America Magazine!
Yes, there are at least a million Gerts. “Some people say that permaculture is a steaming pile of horse potatoes, because if it worked, then all of our big ag systems would convert over.”
“I think that when people have the courage to go down the permaculture path, they end up generally going silent.”
Permaculture can be a rather cerebral pursuit, so let’s pursue it…
Humbly submitted by one of those introverts (INTJ).

Here’s a recipe – start with Cognitive Dissonance & Paradigms, two ingredients that make up a vast landscape for discussion, combine the full spectrum of permaculture (themes, concepts and applicability) and sprinkle liberally with individual perceptions based on Meyers Briggs personality type, character and temperament - and you have a lifetime of mighty contemplation. Go Public with those thoughts and you have entered the strange world of how your words are received; accolades, because you have inspired others (who find great relief in knowing you are out there working very hard on the fringes), or contempt, because you have challenged their paradigms and now you’ve pissed them off.

Awareness is, as awareness does, and once we lift our heads out of our comfort bubbles, and elect to stop looking at the world through a straw, we’re apt to run into the multi-headed monster of cognitive dissonance. The action of purposefully seeking awareness and intentionally practicing permaculture can place you in one of several categories; genius, exotic zoo animal, pain in the ass, inspiring, just plain weird, hero, depending upon your audience. Let’s not forget The Wheaton Eco Scale. Spot On.
from the 2013 talk in San Diego 50 minutes into the talk. Gert fully understands this.

Permaculture provides us with a million ah ha moments of awareness; “No one’s going to hand out awareness like a party favor – you’re gonna have to work for it…” as in my case of an ah ha moment regarding inefficient dwellings:

In the midst of this consumerist clown show there are; brilliant thinkers, inspiring teachers, Amsome presenters like yourself kicking it live using the full spectrum of English, and some mighty fantastic writers, the 10’s if you will;, Geoff, Sepp, David Holmgren, Graham Turner, Salatin, Savory, Darren Doherty, Isaebella Doherty, Nicole Foss, Gail Tverburg, Dimitri Orlov, John Michael Greer.

There’s also a vast cultural world out there in North America, a place filled with contextual mismatches of reality; many can’t find Syria on the map, most watch TV, all have been indoctrinated into the paradigms of Horatio Alger Capitalism. It’s an extroverted shouting match of marketeers hawking their wares to overweight drugged up distracted button pushing consumers.

It’s the fourth industrial revolution magic show, funded by millions of years of stored sunlight energy, a story of exceptionalism and hubris told to all who will listen and obey, perpetuated in words that mark the language, collectively agreed upon to mean something. The American pattern of reaction, more often than not is; sensationalize, capitalize, trivialize, marginalize as demonstrated on so many ‘reality’ TV shows. It is novelty & anxiety in so many forms.

To the extent each reader wants to retain their level of comfort and standard of living within the existing paradigms is to the degree the writer’s suggestions of possible alternative means of living will piss them off and receive blow back. The layers of the onion are incalculably deep. The defensive layers of language well it’s my opinion, the defensive layers of binary thinking red/blue, liberal/conservative, rich/poor, lazy/productive, terrorists/security provide a very rich mine field to negotiate. If Gert has a tough time suggesting permaculture to the sleeping opinionated masses, I imagine my comments posted on might engender something on the order of magnitude 100x. Yep, we happen to reside in the belly of the beast, the writhing multi-tentacle Culthelhucene of Unipolar World vision, color revolutions, false flags, staged coups and all the rest of the behind the scenes handshakes of TPP, Arab Springs, democracy, freedom and liberation this multi headed monster can bring to bear on lesser powers as it goes about gathering the energy and resources it needs to feed its behemoth dissipative organized self Our Finite World.

Finding a new common language to describe what permaculture is and can do, in a palatable way to millions that live in an entirely different paradigm is tricky and potentially exhausting which is why so many Permies choose to take the path of attraction not promotion. Permaculture; is a comprehensive multi-faceted set of understandings that then must be acted upon by repeated loops of design and observation towards our best attempts to mimic the complex interactive world of ecosystems AND is ethically inclusive of all life while providing surplus. Wow. You mean I can’t ‘just’ press and set?

Trying to convey this wholistic nature/time/dependent/resource auditing design has a difficult time (for now) convincing others to jump off the gerbil wheel because the former group can’t slow down enough to take in the information in its entirety – shared my experience with the online PDC, told countless others about Permies and PRI etc. The information generally gets lost in a sea of the paradigm we have now; specialists tied into a dissipative centralized system of magnificent proportion in all its affairs; energy, big agriculture, transportation, housing construction, utilities, economics, behavior, GDP, and perpetual growth. The number one question I get over and over is “yeah but how do you make money at this?”. I call it the yeah butt disease.

Language is critical. In the last 50 years of cheap oil, advertising, and marketing, language has literally had the meaning sucked right out of it. To paraphrase; conservatives don’t really want to conserve anything, liberals really don’t want to liberate anything, Citizens United and Patriot acts are anything but, and so it follows that for most people in North America the word sustainable is nothing more than Pablum to be tossed around for the purposes of dissuading guilt and stalling the inevitable notion that we may have to learn to do with less.

Binary thinking says; OH No! Anything other than the level of lifestyle I’m living now will look like abject poverty and drudgery and too much hard work! I happen to know this guy that has a brilliant approach to bridging this gap. He uses humor, he makes up words, he drives home critical ideas in standup comedy routine style, he lays out the dysfunctional ugliness by presenting seemingly crazy solutions and gets the audience to laugh and then be inspired. He embodies Extroverted Awesomeness with a cherry on top. For those too dim witted to fully appreciate this strategy, well, my condolences.
This Tai Chi style confronts binary thinking, by exposing it for what it is, both the content and how it’s delivered. Remember; let’s not spend time being mad at the bad guys. Thus the bridge; the notion to trade a linear life of singular income, long meaningless hours of mindless work, debt, plastic goo ga’s and inefficient homes, for something much richer, far wealthier.

It is a work in progress. Many thanks to everyone who chooses to be courageous and give it a go.


Non Disclosure statement: absolute total support & respect for all that is done on Permies and certainly all that is done by Mr. Wheaton and his amazing staff, I’m from NY, I have faithfully followed numerous threads, podcasts, and learned a TON of relevant valuable information, all very much appreciated.
I respectfully submit a few Big Thoughts that may be of some use and speak to the Culture I know in reference to 11 reasons to carry a big, long mortgage.

Permaculture & Real Estate are two very different animals.

Deep breath; permaculture is a wholistic ethical design science. A good design is predicated around in-depth knowledge of Water, Climate, Culture.
It’s the last one - Culture, that if a person is not fully aware of the culture within which they exist, and practices permaculture AND dives headlong into RE (debt, interest rates, contracts) without the total awareness of how the larger macro systems interact in a Liberal Capitalist economy; booms, busts, QE, energy dependence, energy decline, centralization, NIRP, you can in effect, lose your shirt.
I will speak to the culture I know and respectfully submit a few Big Thoughts that may be of some use.

Awareness of Self, Awareness of Culture

Basic Meyers-Briggs test to indicate whether your personality, temperament, character is introvert or extrovert after that it’s broken down into one of four main groups; NT, NF, SJ or SP and yes this very much matters when contrasted with how you operate with the external society, how ‘successful’ you’ll be towards your goals or waste precious energy trying to be like somebody else, remember Permaculture principals of energy audit. After that exercise it’s fairly easy to quantify your capabilities & experience in any number of areas, improving and adding more areas of knowledge where you see fit. The Ant Village videos express this brilliantly.

Crunching numbers is not that hard - although it does take time - but it misses the crucial point; make sure you understand the present paradigms and their inherent patterns that for now, are accepted as the norm, and don’t assume they will remain intact. To know where you are going is fine but if the society your living in won’t support those plans because it’s about to take an altogether different and opposing trajectory, you might want to find that out first.

Linear progress, that is, anything we can invent based upon the footings of the industrial revolution, thus oil, is better than anything civilization has built before.
Technology will save us, that is, anything we have already learned by using oil, thus inventing new technologies, will in the end produce some new technology that will be equal or greater in energy delivery systems, than oil.
Free Market Capitalism and Capitalism in general is the pinnacle economic system of human civilization and capable of self-adjusting to deliver greater and greater standards of living.
Massification of the American population (higher education) will contribute to the centralized system and make it more effective and efficient and sustain a thriving knowledgeable middle class capable of solving problems.

Nothing is static, and it ‘pays’ to pay attention to the national culture that exists now and where it may be headed in the near future. Before you take out a loan of ANY kind give yourself a crash course (literally) and do the real work required to make much better choices.

The indoctrination & acceptance of Linear progress, almost on religious equivalence, has been pushed into our collective and historical psyche since the inception of this country, manifest destiny and all. The discovery of a little black puddle in Titusville Pennsylvania and subsequent use in 1859, put this ideological process on steroids. Anyone who genuinely embraces permaculture design understands that while some subsets are successional, overall the system is cyclical in how energy is transferred over time. Linear unending progress has its place with butterfly winged kitten unicorns.

How long do empires take to grow, thrive, then decline? 500 – 1000 years. Start date 1492 David Graeber, The First 5,000 years of debt.
Cheap energy (oil) does have its limits, after that the EROI declines and that precipitous decent has direct effects on economies. Booms & Busts, fits & starts, expansion & contraction are the evidences we have reached that point.

GDP growth on one end of the seesaw and its endless cries for expansion meets end of 300 year run on cheap fossil fuel party on the other end of the fulcrum and contraction is the force to split the two in half. The laws of physics state you can’t have endless growth without huge amounts of resource input to keep a dissipative system going. This country has used both economic hitman policies to saddle other countries to debt for the purposes of extracting resources and outright military ‘shock & awe’ action all for the purposes of keeping this party going.

When cheap oil was beginning to look sparse, the debt spigot was turned on full blast to substitute for what would have been a declining GDP in the early 80’s. It was essentially a bait and switch. Wage increases would not support the GDP (because they couldn’t be paid for) so debt became the currency. The Salary Class threw the Wage class under the bus with NAFTA/GAFTA (and we’re seeing the blowback in politics right now).

Be sure that the mortgage you are taking, with the rates you are getting, can be supported by the income you are counting on once the banks (faced with NIRP) take currency in a ‘virtual’ direction and start helping themselves to your precious bank account and 401k (if you have one). It’s called a Bail In, and has already been signed off by the G20.

Technology will continue to make advances, to be sure, and as Martha says ‘that’s a good thing’ and it certainly won’t hurt to implement any and all de-industrial technologies into your plans and designs.

Part of the Linear progress double speak is ‘just do this or just do that’ and we’ll all be ok. Look around the average dwelling and begin to realize that 99% of EVERYTHING was manufactured or delivered via oil. So pervasive - this reality has seeped into our very beings, which allows us to think in terms of one size fits all, such as Mr. Edelman and so many others peddling the LP meme of our time.

I thank Corrie for bringing this subject up, now I have to go get ready to salvage a fallen building tomorrow.


4 years ago
omg Paul, I'm so sorry to hear you're going through this. Will & I send our sympathies and best intention for your recovery. Know that you are supported, by many, many people for the HARD work you have been doing. We are a community and now it's time to get some energy back for the efforts you have made so far. First and foremost Take Care of Yourself. You will recover, gain information, and come out of this a stronger wiser person. Do not allow your mind to f-k with you. Get rest. None of this is going away, just taking a time out. We do permaculture, and observation tells us that in Nature, ALL beings have a rest period. Now it's your turn. What can't get done now, will get done later, tell the doubts to take a hike.
4 years ago
All true as far as Castor canadensis is concerned. They are capable of repopulating quickly and expanding territory. Their internal point of reference is slope, water availability, sound (water), food source (tree species) and not road, golf course, housing development, corn field, which earned them the term "pest". Biggest take home lesson while working on different reintroduction projects (Mexican Wolf, River Otter, Peregrine Falcon) is whether or not and to what degree human monkeys can be re-educated to accept a new reference point for the beaver and its place in helping reduce drought impacts. Not having read the article in Water Deeply my guess is they would start in areas of low human population and see how it goes from there.
5 years ago
You're killin me. I want one. We were just talking about miniature donkeys the other day. The hammock looks nice too.