Nokomis Woods

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since Jan 07, 2019
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Recent posts by Nokomis Woods

Does anyone have experience/success with applying the "organic" plant-based sprays to oneself, clothing, and dog? There are various formulas, largely Cedar based with other variable ingredients like lavender, garlic, peppermint. I'm inclined to be skeptical about the likely efficacy of these concoctions but am ready to try just about anything (short of throwing money away on snake-oil)

I live in the NE where (as mentioned by others here) ticks are a pretty serious issue. We suffer from an especially heavy infestation level (compared to western states, I think it is fair to say) and we seem to have a long "tick season" too. Basically any weather that we'd find pleasant for being in the woods, so do the ticks also find it to be quite fine. As detailed by the Vermonter above, the NE ticks carry a multitude of very nasty illnesses that can be debilitating and expensive for our animals as well as ourselves. Avoiding the risk of those illnesses also means that one has avoided the risk of being stuck needing heavy-duty antibiotics to finally defeat them... and we all here know what a mess antibiotics make of our system balance. A cure that can sometimes do almost as much damage as the disease. This definitely doubles the incentive to avoid the tick-borne infections we have out here.

I'm not a fan of the heavy-duty toxic (but effective) petro-chem repellants. But I want to be able to enjoy the woods and working in my "Food Forest" too, and it feels irresponsible (toward my own health as well as my pets') to not employ some type of repellant. My Akita's coat is so dense that there's simply no guarantee that I will find all that may climb aboard. So even with careful daily checks and brushing, I'd like to find something that's safe and effective for both of us. I found this cedar based product on Amazon, where it has reasonably good reviews and seems popular. I am wondering if any permies, particularly of the woodsy northeastern variety, might have any input or comments on the ingredients or experience with this or a similar "natural"/"organic" product (the chemical ingredients may offend some purists, but none immediately jump out at me as carcinogens or environmental poisons... please do correct me on that if you happen to have better info on any evil ingredients) >

My entry here doesn't speak to the original poster's inquiry about clearing the land of the beasties though, so please pardon this bit of divergence. But this discussion stream has prompted a nice crosssection of tick aficionadoes to weigh in on the challenging little beasties, so I hope someone here may have had some experience with this type of product and can comment on viability. If it does work, this product seems like a largely plant-based formulation that one could probably come pretty close to reproducing at home as DIY. Which is another thing that has me thinking, even if it's a long-shot, perhaps it's a purchase worth trying...? (yeah, I know... there's a quantum dose of wishful thinking in there)
7 months ago

Jesse Glessner wrote:HEY ALL:  Something missed on this forum is "How to keep the jars on the shelves during that HUGE Earthquake" and believe me that is important.
One would be putting up a retaining board high enough to keep the jars on-shelf, but low enough to be able to pull the jars...

Those in Quake Country might find some useful inspirations on "containment" and efficient simple stabilized shelf systems by googling and browsing images of marine cabinetry. And, if you're anywhere near a coastal area, marine salvage resale places often have some very clever stuff at a reasonable price. The marine salvage yard can also be a good source for ideas and re-useable "stuff" for people who are managing life in a small footprint. Yacht kitchens, bathrooms, coolers and storage cabinetry often offer many transferrable ideas... from the boat's cabin to your cabin. Purchased new, boat gear is outrageously pricey but these interior cabin items often outlive a boat's hull and then can be found on the cheap (with a bit of luck, persistence, and good timing that is). It also pays to get to know the local salvage yard people, who may give you heads-up when something that fits your needs is brought in. Most modern sailboats are designed to handle a complete rollover. This factors in to the thoughtfully designed galley, as free-flying can goods belowdeck can be even more lethal than the storm raging abovedeck. Which also reminds me, if you have a situation of really frequent quakes, it might be an interesting project to look into how to make a gimble inexpensively... then gimble your shelves, which makes them self-adjusting/self-leveling. There are a lot of basic old-tech low-tech adaptations that were part of belowdeck living on the Great Ships too, as evidenced in things like the captain's table that levels itself, berth-beds and hammocks that all self adjust to tossing seas too.
7 months ago
I'm in the process of reading Temple Grandin's book "Animals in Translation". So I've come upon this posting about deer-deflecting strategies just as I'm simultaneously exploring Grandin's observations, insights & advice on how to learn to see the world the way prey animals & grazing livestock species see & respond to the world. Although she writes & lectures more from the perspective of how to humanely and calmly manage livestock (&/or pets) that have a nervous system based on the survival priorities of prey animals, the principles she applies to moving prey-animals calming into and through various spaces, needed to corral & care for them, would seem to me to offer tips on how to deflect, spook & redirect an invasive grazer as well.

In "Animals in Translation" she emphasizes that we need to retrain our perspective/outlook to try seeing & observing the world of "threats & dangers" from the prey animal's perspective, which she explains is entirely sensory & heavily visual. With a narrower range of color vision, high contrast between light & dark, the illusion of bars or confusion of high contrast color-tones or shadows may do more to spook deer than barbed-wire or a thin wire that's run 6'-8'up (even if it is electrified). From reading Grandin, I'm suspecting that running a string of fluttery white and black flags might buy one as much deflection as anything... because of the spooking factor & triggering caution over approaching something that is changeable & hard to ID, hard for the animal to "read" or categorize as "safe".

It makes me wonder if stringing CDs in a manner that lets them spin & flutter might be effective. An experiment with putting inexpensive high-contrast whirlygigs on the fence posts might be interesting.

I think I would be tempted, by Grandin's observations, to go photograph my deer-proof fence from the deer's side, at deer eye level, and then set my camera to view in gray-scale in order to get a better sense of how the deterrents look to the deer. I suspect that thin gray wires may be nearly invisible while clipping high contrast fabric strips (or large stripe or block pattern) to the wire with clothespins might be visually "more spooky" to a grazer (& perhaps less costly than an electric top-wire). Though I also suspect, if you have a regular neighboring herd vs deer passing through, it may be necessary to switch things up periodically so the "spooky" stuff stays unfamiliar, new & uncomfortable to be around.

In this thought-experiment, in order to maintain the fence's ability to spook the deer, if you want to redirect them away from your garden crops, I'd be inclined to set up the alternate browsing goodies some distance away from the fence & possibly in or near some comforting "cover". Offering alternate grazing goodies near the fence, but on the deer's side, may stop the fence jumping in the short run but it may also desensitize them & make them comfortable with grazing near the fence. In the long run that may just serve to neutralize the fence in its role as a discomforting barrier to avoid.

Of course, Grandin describes all the rationale for this far better than I ever could. The thought I'm really offering here is that for those who are really struggling with a lot of deer pressure, & who are looking for humane & low-cost solutions, reading-up on some of Grandin's work might give you some further ideas to test before you you have to go all-in with more electric runs or other more costly materials. Although I have not yet read it, Grandin also has a book on Livestock Handling for Small Farms that looks to me like it could be a worthwhile read for homesteaders. This is a different book than the one written for livestock yards/larger-facilities (where she started her career).

If you'd like to explore her work, without buying one of the books, she has a pretty extensive & pragmatically oriented website loaded with free info & advice covering many species from pigs to antelope. Her books include entertaining stories & contextual tales in the set-up to the science, but her very unglamorized website just cuts right to the facts & straight talk advice on what works with what animals (& cites research as well)>

If you're not a reader, but are curious to learn more about her observations on how animals think & how we can interact with them more effectively (both more kindly & more cost-effectively) you can find many YouTube videos of her giving farm talks in that vein such as this one which is titled as being about horses but which ranges around to dogs and other barnyard species as well  

Bottom line for me, in reading her book as I was reading this post... I was just struck by how we are here trying to construct our human idea of what might be the most effective warrior deer obstacle course. Many good ideas, but most may still be grounded in our own perspective: our human view of the problem, our omnivorous primate cultivator's view of our garden & what we conceive of as a "barrier" or detraction to entry.

If I weren't in the middle of reading "Animals in Translation" this week, I know I would've consumed this posting's conversation in a mindset of seeking to learn: How high should I make it? when triggering a grazer's fear of being preyed upon while eating may well be a much bigger detractor for this visually hypersensitive skitterish (high jumping) muncher than building a higher fence or adding an essentially invisible hot wire. Grandin's book doesn't specifically present a solution for deterring invasive deer but reading it has given me a new perspective on how to approach the problem. It also reinforces the comments here that suggest: While we busily test the rest, the fact remains ~ Dogs are Best! ...with cats that think they are mountain lions being in the running, it seems, as well  ; >
7 months ago
This inexpensive device is easy to acquire and learn to use.
Used by respiratory therapists to develop lung capacity and to fend-off, or recover from, loss of capacity due to pneumonia.
Perhaps worth considering in proactive mode to exercise/strengthen and expand lung capacity. Gives you a way to gauge progress and status.

If you're swimming a mile a day or taking uphill walks that get you huffing and puffing you probably don't need this, but if you're elderly or have reduced lung capacity due to respiratory challenges, or if you've just been lying around in front of the tube too much and getting into a shallow breathing habit... this is a tool that can help you put your lungs in training to be ready to fight a congestive attack.

Just an idea, for those who like to keep all systems tuned up.

Check out YouTube for video on how to properly use a "volumetric incentive spirometer". The strengthening "exercise" is in the exhale, not the inhale (often misunderstood in absence of instruction by a professional). Here's one example of an instructive video (there are many others as well)  There are a couple of variations available in spirometer designs. Easy to find a good one for under $25-30, of same quality the respiratory therapists give you in the hospital if/when you have a long bedridden stay or an extended pain mngt period on opiates (as opiates can suppress lung capacity).
9 months ago
If your yarn is all non-acrylic then another crafting or fabric creation option might also be Needle Felting, which you can do in your sink or a large tub. If you have fun or interesting colors in this scraps collection, and an artistic/creative streak, you might enjoy "painting with yarn" by needle felting the scraps onto/into a felted base fabric that you treat as your "canvas". This could make an interesting wall-hanging/drape that could serve double duty, beyond being decorative, hung as an added insulation barrier just as castle tapestries were hung to cut down on drafts.

Smaller fun needle felting projects might be children's toys or ornaments. Starting by felting a base body of a bird or animal in a neutral or uniform body-color, then with needle felting method you can use your orts to add details. A little googling will provide loads of inspirations and if you think you'd enjoy those types of small projects you may end-up with a whole stash of creations for next year's holiday gifts. You can also see examples of some pretty interesting needle felted "jewelry" on Etsy. There's a whole technique for making small felted balls that essentially take on the role of beads and can be very easily then strung together as a necklace, etc.

If your orts offer a less than inspiring color collection, or perhaps you're not feeling quite so artistically inclined, remember that orts are also great for stuffing toys and pillows. Sew a muslin "skin" for the toy or pillow, then stuff away. Good for disposing of small qualities of clip ends from all your other yarn projects. And if they end up too ugly, or too small, to be appreciated as toys for kids... stitch a braided tail on any ole shape and cats will love to swat it under the sofa (if you stuff some nip inside it then it will even be worth retrieving from under the sofa too).

If you come up with quite a large supply of scrap ends, you might consider making a wool alternative to a down coverlet (anywhere from bed sized or lap sized) by sewing a muslin skin stitched down in rows of "tubes" that you stuff with all your collected wool orts.

Like so many things in permaculture, once orts breakthrough the mental firewall that trains us to think of scraps as useless disposable waste ... we find ourselves swimming in a sea of possibilities... as there are always lots of ideas for what we ort to do with our orts. And, when all other uses seem exhausted, we're still left with a great underutilized Scrabble word that is remarkably stackable and an easy bridge to the hard to reach triple word score squares! useful when you're down to using up those end-of-game leftover letters... which, as "small leftovers" are themselves orts of a sort too.

Here's to a Permie celebration of the whole notion of making all Sorts of Use of Orts of all Sorts... be they wooly or otherwise.
11 months ago
Given the limited uses you're looking for, it might be worth exploring eReader devices as a cheaper option than full-on tablets or full feature smartphones. Many (most? all?) eReaders have internet and email option over wifi. Something like a low end basic function Nook might also satisfy your desire to avoid Amazon and Google products and services.
1 year ago
I joined this local neighborhood-specific network a year or two ago. The site's "For Sale" section seems workable as a local networking alternative to "yardsale" types of selling and, in my area at least, it can work well for miscellaneous homesteady type sales too (like offloading extra eggs or veg if not ready to take on the overhead or commitment of a farmstand or farmers market presence).

Since the original posting in the discussion stream expresses a preference to Not have an in-person hand-off of items, ETSY might prove a better match for that goal than this specifically local exchange. But as I've gotten good utility (& free easy local "advertising") from this site, as well as good referrals and responses when looking for labor (from finding an Electrician to hiring a 1-day tree planting helper), it seems worthwhile to add it to the broader discussion going on here... for the benefit of others with whom it might have broader application.

In my neighborhood the listing of "Free" stuff is pretty useful too, from firewood to lawn chairs, from free "rotting hay" to things that can have 2nd-life if kept out of a landfill. I've seen people posting the free trade of goods or services too, as in after heavy storm damage there have been postings by people willing to clear downed trees in exchange for keeping the wood, etc.

I've used eBay in the past, both as a buyer and small scale seller. I echo the sentiments here that in becoming more "refined" and more deeply monitized than it was 20yrs ago, it lost many of its best features to "improvements". As is often the way of things on the internet, for those of us old enough to have been early-adopters... there is a clear case to be made that earlier versions are generally much more user focused, and that's nice while it lasts. For this reason I would personally much prefer ETSY "these days" over eBay for selling items I prefer to ship or specifically want to cast a wider for than "local".

For yarn and needlework supplies, I remain loyal to and forever impressed by -- a terrific global community network that is, IMO, really well run, easy to use, it's free, non-predatory & non-explotive of its users, and operating in congruence with its original standards and values. No signs of selling-out in the ways that so many other networking sites of its vintage have done, so I can't help but add a "shout out" to Ravelry here for all things yarny (including easy low-level small-item buying and selling without added fees). And mentioing Ravelry reminds me to mention that if items you're selling fall into a particular interest area, profession or hobbiest area, you may be best served by searching out Yahoo or MeetUp groups or other guild-like associations or clubs for posting your sellable items to a more targetted audience. In my experience, such groups often have a "Sell & Swap" page where you can post items for free.

But returning to the "Nextdoor" site again for a moment, just want to add that so far I've continued to be pleased with the leads and referrals that I've found there. Free to join and I've seen no obvious downside to giving it a try to explore whether there might be an active enough node of subscribers, near enough to you, to enjoy Permie friendly benefits like to swapping, selling, collecting free stuff, finding referrals, posting one's availability for various odd jobs, etc. In someways it is similar to and overlaps with Craig's List, but (so far) in my area Nextdoor *feels* to me like it has a lower sleaze-factor... maybe because it's not as widely adopted yet. In my area there are often safety notices posted by neigbors, Re: Things like car break-ins; Coyote citings; Lost pet notices; and the occassional police bulletin too.

How vibrant or useful "Nextdoor" might be in any given area seems likely to be highly variable. I have no idea how widespread the use of this platform is across the US, but I've found it to be a positive enough experience to be worth passing along to any who are curious to explore alternative avenues for networking around goods, services, info and land too. I've had no trouble with spam or other invasive practices, but I do use an ad-blocker on my system so I may not have the same on-screen site-browsing experience that someone without a blocker has.
1 year ago
Amy ~ Hi, regarding your Barometric Pressure Sensitivity, you might Google "vasomotor rhinitis" and see if the symptoms fit what you commonly experience (are you also a super-sniffer? do you pick up on smells that other people don't, or find yourself hypersensitive to "fumes", smell the diesel that's 10-cars ahead of you, etc? those are also characteristics of vasomotor rhinitis). Basically this is a bit like a human being gifted with some of the heightened sensitivity of a dog's nose. That's an exaggeration of course, but putting it in terms of maximum positive spin, so you can lean-in to it as a Super Power if vasomotor rhinitis proves to be what you have. The blood vessels inside the nose (for everyone) are Many and Sensitive and they are that way in order to responsively perform several respiratory system regulatory & protective functions. Swelling up is one such response and triggering the production of mucus is another.

People with vasomotor rhinitis are thought to have a more sensitive vascular network in the higher/deeper reaches of the nose. Perhaps this is due to having more of these little veins, or perhaps some are Larger, or perhaps the membrane walls are thinner/more sensitive. There can be subtly different structural "causes" from one individual to another. In my case, I discovered this diagnosis after years of searching for the root-cause of my barometric pressure triggered migraines. I noticed I'd get these horrible headaches whenever I Smelled Mold in the air (only later learned they were actually migraines). I went through a lot of extreme environmental purification of my home and yard, etc, to find and kill mold that I had concluded I must have been allergic to. But to no avail. Finally, I lucked upon quite an excellent allergist who rather quickly ID'd vasomotor rhinitis as the culprit (diagnosed this based on symptomology rather than tests per se).

I was prescribed Flonase which is now available OTC (though it wasn't at the time I started taking it). I really avoid taking drugs but am thankful that I did give the Flonase a try. To be effective it is best used as daily prophylactic not episodically, as it seems to work by toughening up the hypersensitive veins & membranes. Ten years later, this remains one of the very few pharma meds that I use. I was amazed by the dramatic difference Flonase made in reducing the frequency and intensity of the otherwise crippling migraines I will be hit with before/& during every big weather event or change in a major front. Of course, I'm still a little more sensitive than average to barometric pressure changes (& smells & chemical fumes) but this is toned down now into the "useful" level of weather prediction rather than producing crushing migraines or pressure headaches. So, even for those who are not big on pharma, if your discomfort is enough to be life-limiting or the headaches are truly mind-numbing then Flonase might be worth a try. I'd give it a month to 6-wks of daily use though, before passing judgment on efficacy.

And if you do conclude your symptoms fit vasomotor rhinitis, the next time you're out with the dogs you can give them a knowing wink & nod as you now have a bit of insider insight into the world of data they're constantly slurping up through their extraordinary noses 24x7 (still thousands of parts per million more sensitive than ours... as we humans with SuperSniffers just get a little taste of what it's like to be Born with a Dog's Nose!)
1 year ago

A.T. Penobscott wrote:My problem is musical instruments.
I used to play much more, but I have gone on to woodturning and blacksmithing.
I have two guitars, two violins, a mandolin and a banjo, all excellent expensive quality items.
I know I would keep my old german violin, but the rest could go...

I can't seem to let them go because I know how expensive they were. I want, and need, to get good value back out of them.
Nobody wants to pay a decent price, even 50%, but they would all love to have them on the cheap of for free.
Makes me feel very used and somewhat disrespected. They can sit in the closet till I die at this rate.

It's very weird, like mental illness. I do not play them, but refuse to part with them...because of emotion?
Hoarder!? I just can't let go.....

AT ~ I can definately relate to the "Free to a Good Home" urge for quality/value goods. Have had this issue myself when I've rotated out (or aged out) of a passion-hobby where associated items linger in my home because of emotional attachment to that past endeavor but also because they're "too good" to donate or sell on the cheap to someone who won't really appreciate or put to good use (by my standard, for that item, which is a screwed standard via my attachment -- so Catch-22). But as to the wonderful musical instruments you describe... How about composing a really attractive lay-out & getting a gorgeous photo that you can hang to enjoy & commemorate them in your home. Then, perhaps consider finding a music program, local arts program, or music teacher to donate them to... where your instruments might make music accessible to a young person who couldn't otherwise afford an instrument. This might avoid that sense of being taken advantage of in "letting them go" to someone who has just haggled their way into getting your valued items on the cheap without appreciating them as you do. Instead, be a patron & enjoy your act of generousity by knowing your loved instruments could be the key that unlocks access for another budding musician. Plus, to be kept in prime-fiddle, don't all those instruments you mentioned need to be stored in proper conditions (re: humidity balance etc)? And are they at risk of their sound-quality & life-expectancy deteriorating if just left to hang around as clutter rather than being actively tended & used? Perhaps -- "if you love them, set them free" could apply here a bit too?
1 year ago
Hi Adam ~ Though I'm no longer living in Michigan, I'm quite familiar w/the area you're targeting. What a great area for doing what you're seeking. Wish you the best in making a connection.

As the fates would have it, I just happened upon this very interesting website called & I think it might be worth your taking a look. My first impression on stumbling into it was "Wow this is great! Just what us visually oriented Seekers have been craving!" At first blush, this map looks like it would be an excellent tool for helping people connect with resources and opportunities via an easy & relateable geo-area visual search. Unfortunately, on closer inspection... it strikes me more as a high-potential concept that's still apparently struggling to fully populate itself to best effect. In any case, the part that may relate to Your posting here...

The map has a search & label feature for "Farms seeking Farmers & Farmers seeking Farms". Hurray -- I thought -- So many Permies could make great use of this. But sadly, there are not many entries on the map in that category. *Except* there is one in Jordan MI (as you probably know= north of TravCity & south of the Mac). So, for You, perhaps worth checking out. Click on the orange dot in the NW area of the mitt to see if thats something that might be up your alley (and if it's not, perhaps that landowner might help network you into the area as an ally or offer a referral). I believe you can directly message the farm owner who is Seeking Farmer (if I read all that correctly)... and I believe you can put yourself on the map as Available & Seeking a farm opportunity in your desired geo & skills area as well>

Although the site refers to itself pretty narrowly as a resource for "perennial farming" it is clearly loaded with lots of other useful cross elastic resources that Permies could totally benefit from (Fruit, berries, bees, maple syrup, seed banking, etc). I found myself routed there during an ag-forest silvopasturing search and quite unexpectedly I did find some useful resource "dots" pinned in my area of the map in the Research/Education category that were new to me. (Though it seems odd to me that none of the Ag and Forestry colleges/universities, that I know are doing research in my area, show up on this map as info-resources. Still, what is there, while incomplete, did deliver some added value)

Wishing you best of luck with your search &... "Don't quit your daydream!"
2 years ago