Josephine Howland

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since Dec 08, 2015
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I am an old crone of a witch, with a degree in Fashion, living in the middle of the forest with a husband, two dogs and a cat. We try to grow our own food, can, freeze and dehydrate for winter eating. Both of us are now disabled, so with his lung trouble making it impossible to raise chickens and livestock, and last year I broke my hand, we have had a rough couple of years. We have 13 acres which I would love to see more food growing on.
White Mountains of New Hampshire zone 5
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Recent posts by Josephine Howland

We have had several health setbacks with both my husband and me. Many of the plans we have had to be put off, and now seem so impossible. My husband, who had been a strong mountain man, has been on oxygen for 6 years now. His back is bad, has already had one hip replaced, and now needs the other hip replaced as well as both knees. I've had various injuries over the years, but just a week ago, I had a pacemaker put in. I have both A-fib, and pauses (mini cardiac arrests). The medication they can give me for my A-fib, causes my pulse to go to slow and pause. So the pacemaker will keep my heart from pausing while they use medication to control the A-fib. During the two-week monitoring session I just did, my heart was over 100bpm 70% of the time. The highest was 222bpm. After the A-fib events, my heart pauses. So, as expected, I am sore right now, and won't be doing much in the way of raking or other fall prep chores. Between the two of us, we are a sad crew. Now we know why homesteaders and farmers in the past had so many children. A crew of offspring to tackle the chores right now would be great.
2 months ago
It seems to me, that what we need to do is find a place and funding to hold a patternmaking, muslin making weeklong seminar. Post pandemic of course. Pearl Sutton, do you think so? We could also have knitting and crochet sessions. Or several shorter, smaller ones
more locally?
3 months ago
r.ranson, I agree finding natural fiber is very hard. There is a web store that sells natural linen in various weights. What I really miss is finding good wool fabric. I used to make myself wool skirts all the time in the 80s, now it seems to have disapeared.
4 months ago
I can do that. At least I could do that. I do have a degree in Fashion Design which includes pattern drafting, as well as being a third-generation dressmaker so my grandmother and mother taught me drafting. Of course, nowadays everything is done by CAD which is after my time. When I was a teen, my mother was a representative for a company called Dot patterns, There were sample shapes with numbers on them. You then took your measurement did some math and followed the lines out and made a dot. Connect the dots and you have a custom pattern to fit you. I still have a different version from the 70s. I'm planning on using it to make new slopers for myself as I have gained weight with age. I did see a Swedish company that still made something like it a few years back. Hold on while I do a google search. yes, I'm aware that you will not really be waiting. This would have been the set that my mom sold.   Ok on further searches, I found a copy of the book that you can download. You have to join the library, but they have a 14-day free trial. The key things that you could use though are the proper measuring ruler, I'll try the one that came with my other set. If it works I can try to replicate it for those interested. You should have a set of french curves as well.  These are all great 70s styles, but you can make some basic slopers from them and then adjust. As for all our physical issues, they would need to be custom adjusted having a friend would help. Meanwhile, if you're in New England we could make a plan. I do have a separate building for my sewing room, it's just rather a mess, due to deaths in the family leaving me with endless "stuff." Once that as cleaned up, I am thinking of offering sewing lessons there.
4 months ago
I really like the pulaski hoe/ax. We picked up two at a thrift shop a few years ago. One is even marked with WPA and the worker's name. They were used by the WPA workers during the depression doing trail work here in the White Mountains of NH. I also find many uses for my winged weeder. Not just for weeding, it also makes a fine shallow furrow for seed planting. We use it in our raised vegetable beds. We first use the handle to make where we want the row, then the tip and wings to make the furrows after the seeds are dropped, we can use the wings to cover the seeds.
4 months ago
Years ago I lived in Boston in a 130-year old Mansard roof house that had been split into two apartments. I first lived in the smaller 1st-floor apartment and rented out the larger apartment until I reached the financial point that I could switch out. The kitchens were huge! When I was getting ready to move upstairs, I began planning how I wanted the kitchen to work. I took a pad of graph paper, pencil, ruler, and eraser, and took an inventory of what I had in my current kitchen and what I wanted in the new kitchen. Having flunked housekeeping 101, I have learned that the key to having a clean house is to have a place for everything, then at least trying to keep everything in its place. I also had a catalog of cabinet sizes and their actual measurements. Keeping mind my inventory, I planned the kitchen so there was a place for everything close to where it would be used. Lots of drawers and pull out shelving. The ceilings were 11 feet tall so lots of room for extra tall cabinets and room for a step-stool. An extra tall pantry cabinet with pull-out drawers to reach into the back. By shortening the height of one window, I was able to add 5 feet of cabinet and counter space. I had just a few inches next to the stove, just enough to add a 9" undercabinet to hold baking trays upright. A corner cabinet that had an appliance garage under it. I added a plug inside the garage so that I could have my blender, toaster, etc. there, then just pull them out when needed, put back with the Tambor door shut they are hidden from view. I also made room for a stacking washer and dryer in a corner. By removing the original cabinets I was able to find a window (I could see from outside, but couldn't find from inside. Uncovering that window not only add light and air but a view of downtown Boston and the Prudential and John Hancock buildings. When finished, I had a wonderful, easy to work in kitchen. I really miss that house, but it was on a tiny postage stamp lot, and whereas now I have 13 acres in the forest. Tradeoffs

6 months ago
There is a wonderful castle build near Phoenix AZ Called the Mystery Castle. It was made of all recycled materials. and has a great story behind it. I was lucky to visit it when the builder's daughter was still alive. She was a lovely feisty woman. When she saw that I was using a cane at that time, she laughed and used her cane to try to have a bit of a sword fight with me. If you get the chance visit it. It is truly a work of art.
8 months ago
Welcome Phil, your socks look they would be great for those of us who have a 7-months-long winter.
8 months ago
My dream has been to build a dome home. I mean since high school, and I'm 62 now. The issue has always been money and physical strength. Maybe one day I will build a dome greenhouse. I have devoted many years to studying plans, but due to divorce, change in income, illness, etc. it just never happened. Now at 62, I find myself feeling like none of my dreams have or will come true. Sorry to sound depressed, but it is depressing. I do what I can. I can what I grow.
9 months ago