Sorry to hear about your wife John. Hope everything is well.
We are all so very different and our needs are fulfilled in so many different ways. As mentioned above, I, also, have found sudoku a great help, so is a good book on a tablet that will take my mind and boredom right out of there, What a good book is, depends totally on your taste and preferences.
I am unfortunately in your wife's position more often than not and my husband takes advantage of the long wait to practice his French language skills by listening to audio tapes. He often jokes that I should make another appointment so that he can get onto the next level - what can I say? He is English and the British sense of humour is... well, it is what it is!
I have cooked with cast iron ever since I can remember. I have 4 frying pans (I think you called them skillets in the US) 2 small ones, a largish one and a very large one. I also have 4 cooking pots (I guess dutch ovens) 1 large one, one smaller one, one oval one and a largish rounded one with a handle that can be hung in the fire place or on an open fire with a cooking tripod. I guess you would call that a cauldron.
I use them for everything, frying, stewing, baking, roasting, dry toasting, pizza, bread, you name it. They are so old and so well seasoned that they do not stick at all. Fried eggs just slide on the plate!! The oval one is great for pot roasting a bird (chicken, duck, guinea fowl etc...) A bit too small for a turkey, but then again I don't really do turkey! For a long time in the UK I also had a cast iron kettle, which unfortunately, seemed to have disappeared in the move to France.
I just love my cast iron pots and pans and I really would not want to cook in anything else.
I don't know if it is something you have in the US, but here in France you can get any number of these, in stores and markets, they are usually discarded or given to you to transport your groceries home:
I stand two of them on their end above my seedling when the temperature gets too high - they hold each other up into a steeple sort of structure. It gives a dapple shade and protects the smaller crops from the worst of the heat. It works well for small crops and it's free but for taller/larger ones, I don't know, maybe, a few sticks and large cardboard pieces or an old bed sheet???
Did something happen to call attention to your lifestyle?
That was also my first thought. The law is very much the same here in France and I would imagine probably in the whole of Europe. Rain water for anything else than gardening and washing your car is a no-no. I don't even dare to look into the regulations for humanure. Still, many people here live under the radar, so to speak and enjoy the kind of life that you described.
I am not much good for fighting laws in Arkansas all the way from France, but I wish you good luck with your dealings with the authorities and hope that you will find help somewhere, somehow.
So many people waxing lyrical about this pot, I had to look at it in more details again. Oh, boy, 1000W to 1200W electric consumption depending on the size! Enough to make my eyes water. Our solar system in the Pyrenees was delivering 1500W. A few days without sunshine and there goes my rice!
You only need a couple of drops of oil on a few pine cones strategically placed in your garden. You don't need that many, maybe just one in every 15/20m. I may be wrong but I don't think it would do much to your water. Just a thought.
I guess I am one of the lucky ones. I have been cooking on a wood burning stove for the last 35 years, so if I want a slow cooker, I just put my cast iron pot on the side and it can simmer all day, or even 2 or 3 days for a bone broth. Probably why I never knew about those insta-pots!
It looks similar maybe just diluted into some vegetable oil so that it can be painted on the chicken legs. I never noticed the logo about the danger to fish. However, it makes sense since it is made out of juniper. Many trees, berries, shrubs and vines also can be toxic to pond life, that includes horse chestnut, pine, black walnut, cherry, redwood, oak and yew trees. Also privet, holly, jasmine, lantana, datura, English ivy and mistletoe berries to name but a few. I guess that if you want to use it as a deterrent, you'll just have to be careful not to put any into your pond or too close to it. Let us know how it goes.
By the way, in the Amazon link, if you just change the .fr to .com for the US or .co.uk for UK or .es for Spain, or .de for Germany etc.. if that country sells the product on Amazon. the page will come up in your language and currency.
A great chop and drop plant is comfrey (also fast growing) and I don't think that wild boars would eat them. A great protection against wildlife in general are raspberry and blackberry bushes which also grow fairly fast
Wild boars eat almost anything they come across, including nuts, berries, carrion, roots, tubers, refuse, insects, small reptiles, even young deer and lambs, and even if they don't eat the comfrey itself, they'd do great damage by digging around it. They can up -turn an entire crop or dig up a meadow in one night - depending on how many of them in the group. I can't help thinking that they'd probably have a feast with the blackberries and raspberries, while digging around them for good measure!
Put of few drops on some pine cones or bits of rope or whatever you have and put them around your crop every few feet. Be sure to use some gloves when you do, as the stink will not disappear easily from your hands even after many washes.
It is 100% natural as it is an oil made from a variety of Juniper: Juniperus oxycedrus. It is supposedly also good to ward off snake, ticks and all sorts of critters. It also is medicinal but that would have to go in another thread.
Man surprised me most about humanity, because he sacrifices his health in order to make money, then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health and then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived - Dalai Lama
The older I get, the more concerned I am with clutter. It seems to be a never ending problem. It makes sense though. The longer I live, the more stuff I have.
I am with you on that one John. When my mother passed away a few years ago, my sister and I spent days and days sorting out a life time of accumulated clutter. Things that only had value to her, things that she could not bother to do anything with, things that she forgot about and things that she did not notice were there any more. It was a long, boring, arduous task and I remember thinking at the time, that I did not want my children to go through all this, so I am slowly but surely de-cluttering before I go.
Here in rural, conformist France, everything we do seems to label us as crazy. No dig is a big one for the local farmers, as for growing potatoes under hay/straw is positively cuckoo. Don't even mention all that cardboard!! Being off-grid is seen as radical and the most frequent question is: " But what do you do without a TV?"
Removing a perfectly functional toilet to put in a sawdust/composting one is out there with the loonies, while using my weeds for food - well now, that takes the biscuit! Nursing an injured chicken by the stove instead of wringing its neck is considered rather daft while not using pesticide is positively sinful. And that's just for starters.
They say that there is a fine line between genius and insanity - well, I know which side of the line I am!
It is encouraged to collect rainwater to run the toilet and the washing machine. and water NOT for sale vegetables (for sale vegetables must use drinking quality water) But it is indeed illegal here to use rain water for drinking no matter what you do with it.
It must be an EU law, as it happens to be the same here in France. However, we are fairly remote and have no intentions to abide by this silly law (we do not sell vegetables). I am not encouraging people to break the law, I am just saying this is what we intend to do.
When I first read this post 4 months ago, I did not know what plantar fasciitis was - had to look it up! Well. it turns out, that's what I've got right now and it is rather painful. I couldn't find many natural remedies, save the possibilities of acupuncture and osteopathy that may or may not help, some kind of exercise and special supporting in-soles are also meant to be good.
Anyway, a few nights ago, I couldn't sleep so I went to the bookshelf and picked a random book in the herbal medicine section and I found out that fresh plantain (plantago) leaves and also fresh mullein leaves in your shoes is suppose to help greatly. Have to change them often I would imagine. Well, I don't know if it works or if it's just and old wife's tale, but I'm willing to try it. Just thought I would share this in case it works for someone.