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|[+] personal challenges » How to balance ideals with reality (Go to)||Kailee Williamson|
Brody, sounds like you are in the midst of a tough life transition. I relate to a lot of what you described. I hear some "sunken cost fallacy" in not wanting to give up what you put into your current place. I have moved several times and given up a lot of work put into other places, but ultimately the landscape is meaningless if your other needs aren't going to be met there. It's normal to grieve the loss and lament not being in control of the places' future. I take comfort in the skills, experience, knowledge gained during the time that will always be with me. And try to remind myself that whether or not it continues, the life/ecosystem/restoration/carbon sequestration etc. that was achieved during the time I was in control is always meaningful and a positive even if it doesn't last. After all nothing lasts.
I remember being all-consumed with the urgency of the permaculture way, so much so that it became tied to my self worth. Anything not permaculture or not sustainable that I did was bad and I was bad and wrong, hurting the earth, hurting everyone's future, whenever I did anything not perfectly aligned with my perceived permaculture ideals. I also felt I needed to make up for past behavior and offset the unsustainable parts of my life by permacultur-ing extra hard. This way of thinking was unsustainable, costing my mental health and my relationships.
I related to your description of a permaculture awakening that changes your whole perspective, purpose, priorities. I went through another kind of awakening which kind of settled me back down in a way and broadened my perspective to include permaculture as just a part of everything. Where we are today is the product of everyone and everything that came before and I think I was putting an unfair expectation on myself of fixing the world and as quickly as I could separating from the unsustainable modern world. The reality is that I can only do what I can. I'm cutting myself some slack and taking less responsibility for things outside of my control. I wasn't born into this society on purpose and I didn't make it this way. Of course I will do what I can to change it, but I don't beat myself up for what I can't change anymore. I went through a grief process for the state of the world and the inevitability of suffering, devastation, and what not. In accepting all that and accepting how little I can individually actually do, I became free to enjoy my progress however big or small, to not feel guilty about spending time with my family or having fun, to get excited about a new project without the specter of obligation looming, and to rest. That is the balance I have reached between my ideals and reality so far. Hopefully that all made sense...
I think the most important skill in a relationship is communication and it sounds like you guys are communicating well. I don't think partners necessarily have to have a common goal as long as your differing goals don't contradict one another, and you can be supportive of each other's differences without getting resentful. Ultimately I think it's important to accept your partner as they are and expect the same from them. I think it's important for a partner to listen to your perspective, but at the same time we can't expect them to change their minds or have an awakening based on the same information or in the same time frame as we did. Spending a whole life side by side, each one will be ahead or behind at certain points. What matters is if it's something you can wait on and for how long. But of course in your relationship, if having the same goals is very important for you, then that's what's important for you and that's ok.
I think it's totally normal to give up a "good job" and perfect house for any reason you think is important to you. Your job doesn't sound very good for you from how you talk about it though. We have left jobs and moved a few times. When it becomes clear that the current situation isn't working for us, it's time to move on. I wonder if there is work that is more aligned with your current values if you moved back?
I think it's amazing that you guys are able to openly communicate these things!
|[+] asia » Newbie - restoring a farm in Japan (Go to)||Maieshe Ljin|
Hi Bobby, welcome to permies!
Your plan sounds good to me. I would recommend digging up/pulling out the monster grasses, as I call them. They tend to poke their way through cardboard or grow horizontally til they find an edge. I've found it's just easier in the long run to dig them out, which isn't easy if they've made a big ball of roots from being weed whacked.
The grass that gets like this:
Old tatami have been a great source of straw. There is a lot of straw packed into them. Kind of a pain to take apart, but the older ones from abandoned houses seem to all have used natural strings to bind them.
Please keep us updated!
|[+] dogs and cats » Cat meows.... a lot. (Go to)||Paul Sofranko|
I petsat once for a senior cat who had similar symptoms, would meow/howl randomly for a few minutes and then go back to normal. Their vet thought it might be some kind of dementia, where the cat might be forgetting where it is and who its people are, panics and gets stuck crying. They used a calming pheromone collar and it worked well. I don't remember the exact one, but it was purple. Something like this:
|[+] meaningless drivel » Ranting about Everything (Go to)||Sarah Koster|
Yes! bird wonderland! We are hoping to set up a rotational silvopasture situation kind of like edible acres does with perennials in their chicken run, but with multiple runs. The 17 chickies we have now are a good number for our current house and garden. The other house has a similar size garden/hatake space that came with it, but we haven't had any time to do anything with it yet, besides pull up all the plastic and metal roofing that was acting as weed prevention. It's gotten pretty overgrown, but at least it's green.
A big challenge is setting up fencing that is secure enough to keep out weasels since the property is terraced and has probably ten different levels/hatake areas. There are some larger, unused fields across the street and across the river that would be better for rotational grazing. Just need to figure out who they belong to and if we can buy/rent them. That might be years away though.
I think it's best to start small and slowly expand. So even just a few birds in one of the gardens of the extra house would be a good start to help clean up and keep the weeds and bugs down while we replant.
Religion isn't very prevalent around here, so I would definitely recommend coming here for a break and to step outside for a bit and figure things out. Participating in the ecology and regeneration of the land is becoming a very spiritual experience for me. I have lots and lots to say about religion and spirituality, but I'm noticing this thread is not in the cider press, which is where we like to talk about that kind of controversial stuff. So I might start a thread there later, or please feel free to pm me if you want to talk more about it now!
Yes there are all kinds of people and all manner of village customs, but my experience so far has felt more relaxed than my life ever was in the states. I acknowledge that I currently kind of reap the benefits of living here while also not being held to the strict conformity that Japan is known for because I am obviously foreign. For people who want to come to japan for school or a fulltime job like teaching english, the expectations can be pretty suffocating depending on the company of course. I first came here for grad school and ended up dropping out after I got married. It really depends on where you end up and who you are working under, so if you are willing to shop around chances are you can find a place that fits you. We've lived a few other places in the country and settled on our current village for lots of reasons, but mostly because they were very welcoming to newcomers and there were already a couple other younger people using the word permaculture. Of course we have some grumpy neighbors who wish we would cut the grass, but they are politely grumpy. And they can't really complain when most of the neighborhood is abandoned and overgrown...
I'm autistic and while I didn't do well in the university I chose (I also didn't know I was autistic or had adhd at the time either) I feel more comfortable where I am now than I did in the US. And for my situation, I think it's easier to do what I want to do living here in this particular village. In fact there is a need for what we want to do. I'm fortunate to have a partner who doesn't mind taking care of all the paperwork and phone calls and PTA business.
We are hoping to be able to eliminate some of the obstacles to living here for other people who would really benefit from being here and would also benefit the surrounding environment with their presence; if that makes sense. Like a place to just be for a while, and just do what you want. Maybe it's just my experience, but I feel like things are more reasonable here. Like what it takes to live, finance-wise, resource-wise, community-wise. And the coutryside is way more relaxed regarding appearance, what you're wearing, schedules, pace etc.
Some little things I've noticed that make it easier for me personally: eye contact is not expected, greetings are not physical, "not feeling good" is an acceptable reason not to attend and there are usually no follow up questions, it's very unlikely that staff or strangers will get mad at you, like if I bump into someone, they also apologize, and when it's not possible to outsource a phone call to my husband, I can be 99% sure what the other person will say. As you mentioned, day to day speech is ritualized, it's all decided, so it's easier to do the things needed for daily life like grocery shopping because the person on register will say the same things in the same order every time, they won't comment on what I'm buying or get annoyed with me for any reason. Car horns are used for saying thankyou; in general, drivers are very patient and give way. Taking the test for a japanese license after my international expired was very stressful though....
There are of course things that are hard to deal with sometimes and the city is definitely a rougher vibe than here in the village. The grocery store is loud, I wear ear plugs whenever we go out. Sometimes people randomly ask me if I'm the new English teacher. People feel free to open the front door and holler into the house to check if anyone is home. There is littering and dumping in the countryside. So many layers of plastic packaging.
There is more availability of gluten free stuff recently and online orders arrive usually within two days. Have you tried a gluten free soy sauce? I see some for sale on japanese amazon. There is a kid in the village with a wheat allergy, so they would know where to get alternatives and gluten free ingredients. And there aren't many places to eat out nearby anyway, we mostly make our own food.
Before I ramble any further, I'll stop here with a picture of the extra house...
|[+] meaningless drivel » Ranting about Everything (Go to)||Sarah Koster|
Excellent rant, Sarah!
I really relate to a lot of what you wrote. I felt similarly out of place and disenchanted with society when I lived in the US. Sounds like you would fit in really well in the Japanese countryside. Your train society idea would be doable too, there are plenty of trains already. It sucks that travel restrictions are still in place, but they are temporary. We will possibly be able to get vaccinated in a few weeks, and the olympics are supposedly still going on, so depending on how that goes, I think travel could possibly resume this year. *fingers crossed*
Your feelings after giving up your faith are understandable and totally normal. I felt similarly when I left about ten years ago, but I'm just recently starting work on healing from the trauma associated with my indoctrination and upbringing. The book "leaving the fold" by Marlene Winell and the associated workbook was very helpful for me. The workbook is free on her website I think. She also hosts an online support group for people in various stages of leaving their faith and dealing with still living in a religious environment or with religious family.
Sounds like you are really burnt out and it must be unbearable having stay, work, live in a hurtful situation. Sounds like your "inner critic" is very loud as well. It's ok to not do things that you used to like if you don't feel like it. It's ok to just be. It's ok to stare at the wall for a few hours sometimes. It's such a huge step to notice and be willing to work on healing generational trauma, and it takes a lot of energy. I heard somewhere that it's impossible to heal completely while you are still in a traumatizing environment. So I agree that you need an escape plan.
At the risk of being suspiciously forward, you would be welcome to "work stay" in our extra house once travel is open. Not the one still listed in my signature...there is another house I haven't gotten around to listing it because travel restrictions and general overwhelm of daily life. We actually moved into the listed house just this last week. Anyway, you could have your own private house and surrounding garden space to not weed and not water :). Honestly just being in the house is a huge help as it keeps animals from moving in. There are lots of small tasks that aren't labour intensive that would be helpful. We also want to get more chickens and possibly other animals, but don't have the time or infrastructure to meet our own animal welfare standards yet. We are hoping to attract others who prioritize the behavioural/mental needs of their animals. Anyway, that could be a possible escape plan for you. If it's helpful to fantasize and plan a stay here, I'm happy to talk about more details and what a life here would be like. And if you decide against it later or something else comes along, no big deal!
I've found your posts on permies helpful, knowledgeable and insightful and we are so happy to have you as part of this community.
|[+] personal care » What is mindfulness? (Go to)||Olivia Rina|
Are there any situations you can think of where you can't help falling asleep? For example: riding in a car, floating in a pool, watching tv in an easy chair, sitting in a tree, swinging in a hammock etc. If so, maybe that situation could be recreated at home.
When I have trouble falling asleep and mindfulness isn't working, I put on a "sleepy playlist" of sleepy music I have curated over the years of songs that make me sleepy. Sometimes it works better to focus on something external and familiar, like a sleepy song on repeat or audiobook. Sometimes focusing on my internal state or daydreaming is too stimulating, so the music works somehow.
Sounds like you are ready for "advanced" CBT! If you got a workbook for the class, skip ahead and see if anything interesting is ahead. If it's boring and painful, it's not working. It should be relaxing or at least a positive experience. But I think the point of CBT is that it is supposed to be tailored to each patients needs and how their mind is working. I guess a group class setting would be very basic skills, and it sounds like you have those already!
I don't remember where I learned this or if it falls under CBT. Specifically with nagging pain, I like to visualize the pain as some kind of creature like a gecko or something in my mindscape. This poor gecko is running around frantically trying to alert me to the pain/damage in my body. I hold the gecko, say something like "thanks for letting me know. I'm working on it. You can rest now" and set it on a leaf in my mind forest and imagine it settling in to just bask in the sun for a while. Sometimes I feel better, the pain is still there, but it seems less nagging, like it takes less of my attention. It's a little woo woo and you have to be into it for it to work, but it's the concept of accepting and befriending the pain as a part of you.
Sorry if those are things you've tried already. It's so frustrating to be an outlier!
|[+] gardening for beginners » Mixed Success - germination, pests, allelopathic herbs? (Go to)||Anne Miller|
I think of dokudami as plant that does well in harsh areas and won't get eaten by animals, so I would give the raised garden space to a more tender plant and move the dokudami somewhere where nothing else seems to grow. I haven't noticed it being particularly allelopathic, but it's not really in our garden near other plants, it was already growing near the road outside the fence and it's happy there.
For the beetles and cabbage moths last year we ended up covering our plants with those white, row cover sheets, the word escapes me right now. You've probably seen it in other peoples fields...Once the bugs move along, the cover can come off. We also spent a lot of time checking for eggs under the leaves and squishing them.
This year we have chickens, so will try getting them to eat the bugs. I did notice that some of the extra starts that I had planted here and there in a more polyculture way, stuffed amongst many other plants and weeds, didn't suffer much damage. They didn't produce much either as I was completely neglecting them as experiments. This year I will try to tend them a little better and more purposefully choose the plants around them.
I did notice last year that the little black beetles preferred a weed with little pink flowers over the curcubits. I'll try to find it in our plant books.
|[+] books » A Year in an Off-Grid Kitchen by Kate Downham (Go to)||Kate Downham|
I give this book 10 out of 10 acorns.
Way more than a cookbook! An essential guide for making your own food from homestead to table.
I'm not a cookbook person and generally wing it when cooking, but this is a book I will actually use. The book is full of straightforward, practical, doable recipes and techniques specific to the needs of a homestead kitchen. Coming from an offgrid mindset this book offers recipes catering to ingredients available to us whether grown in our garden or foraged from nearby. There are helpful tips for recipe variations and replacing ingredients. Variation notes are a helpful, inspiring touch, and a great lesson on how to change up recipes in general.
Recipes such as "any fruit crumble", "any vegetable gratin", "grains, sourdough, and year-round recipes", "cooking with whole animals" show the versatility of this book as useful anywhere in the world with harvests form any garden.
Many recipes are foods that I imagined as exclusive to a "modern" lifestyle and near impossible to reproduce on my own in a homestead setting. Foods I thought I would have to depend on the grocery store for or give up entirely like crackers, sweets, bacon, cereal, cheese, condiments. For me at least, I knew these foods must have been prepared with traditional techniques on homesteads in the past, but I just thought of these as such far away, almost unreachable skills. The presentation of traditional skills in this book in everyday, accessible language with insights and tips from the author's experience brings them within reach for me.
Mouth-watering pictures capture the beauty and simplicity of the dishes. They look like something I can imagine on my own table, and give motivation to try the recipe myself. The organization of the book by season gives it a kind of follow along quality that makes it fun and gives a feeling of connectedness to the author and other homesteaders. I imagine others are probably cooking the same seasonal dishes or working hard to preserve the surplus of a seasonal harvest.
Definitely recommend to anyone who dreams of providing all their own food someday!
|[+] composting » Wandering worms (Go to)||Michael Dotson|
The bin looks good to me! My worms tend to explore the sides of their bin when the sides get moist enough. I gave up trying to relocate them; I trust they will find their way.
As long as there are still plenty of worms staying in the bedding, I wouldn't worry. Sometimes, if I put too much food in the bin, it will start to hot compost and the worms avoid that area until I stir in some more paper.
My bin is outside, so it's no big deal if they escape. If it's bothering you that they are climbing around, you could try leaving off the lid, or open slightly, so that the sides dry out. That's what I did when I had an indoor bin. The top layer of paper you have should keep the bedding moist enough. You could also leave a light on to encourage them to stay down in the dark.
|[+] chickens » Help needed - Hen with partial prolapse and vent pecking (Go to)||Michael Cox|
Not sure about the root cause, might just need more time to heal all the way.
When I farm sat for chickens in the US, everyone had this blue spray that they said to use on any wounds. It turns the red wound and blood blue which makes other chickens uninterested in pecking. Not sure about use in and around the vent....not sure what is in the spray as I can't find it where I live. There might be a homemade recipe. Hopefully someone more knowledgeable will reply also.
|[+] projects » Home garden in Japan (Go to)||L. Johnson|
Could be a momiji maple. Once the leaves fill out, it will be easier to tell...
|[+] intentional community » The Challenges of Being an Outsider and Finding Community in Canada (Go to)||Amy Arnett|
This can be true, but I would also say that that is the "customer facing" side of Japan. I would say that is more true in more populated areas, and out here in the countryside there is plenty of room to be eccentric. Another parent who moved to this town from the city said that it's easier to be different in the country because there are so few people that every person is different in some way anyway. But in the city there are enough people around that an average way of being becomes more apparent, if that makes sense...
So yeah, day to day, business type, more superficial interactions are very polite and the etiquette is all decided. In general, foreigners are not expected to know etiquette or follow it perfectly. People aren't offended if you make a mistake. There is a certain amount that I compromise and perform the polite social norms, but it's not the majority of my day or even my week so it doesn't bother me too much. It's actually comforting to me to have a pretty good idea of how a social interaction is going to go. Maybe there is less of a stark difference between Canada and Japan than there is for the US and Japan, but when going out in Japan I can be mostly sure that everyone will be nice and polite and no one will get mad at me or yell or say anything negative to me really. That doesn't mean they may not feel negatively toward me, but I likely won't have to know about it or deal with it. There is kind of a cultural promise to uphold harmony no matter what. I think this gives a huge benefit of allowing the practical parts of life to continue without interruption, most of the time.
The flip side of that system is that, yes, it can be hard to cultivate deep, honest relationships. It can be hard to tell if they are just being polite or if they really want to spend time with you. I think this is less of a worry with younger people and people who have lived abroad though. The polite mask is called "tatemae" and the true feelings are called "honne" if anyone wants to learn more, there are lots of books and info on this concept.
But again, in my situation now, it's not really an issue for me. It was more of a frustration when I was a university student and when I was still working part time. It really depends on where you are and in what context. When I was going to the moms group before my daughter started preschool, everyone spoke regular, informal Japanese and talked about all kinds of stuff. I think "taking a long time to warm up" is an example of tatemae combined with language barriers. I think most hesitation around or avoidance of foreigners is fear of speaking English or anticipating communication difficulties.
Personally, I struggle to maintain more than just a few close friends, so the more casualness of Japanese friendship is nice for me. We still have pretty interesting conversations about big stuff when we do see each other.
There are some people in the village who still cling to the old ways of ageism and political hierarchy and keep-doing-what-we've-always-done. But they are in the minority, in this village anyway, and are not above the law, so we kind of just work around them smiling and nodding. Most people, in this village anyway, are pretty open and happy to see new people moving in and taking over a house and some land. Some villages are very close-minded and prefer to rot in place and die out, so it really depends on where you are. Many villages in the mountains were actually connected by road and tunnel relatively recently, 50-60 years ago, so they have kept their own village culture longer.
The traditional "salary man" or "office lady" work culture is ridiculous, yes. I would caution that JET tends to be this kind of work environment. With younger people rejecting this kind of working style and the population decreasing to the point that workers are in demand, depending on the field, I think it's getting easier to find more reasonable employment. In the countryside there tends to be less fulltime jobs, so it's more normalized to make a living from a few different things and be self employed. I will admit though that I have the luxury of a Japanese spouse, so I don't have to justify my presence in Japan or prove that I can support myself to immigration. I don't know if this is still a thing, but I knew someone who came to Japan for one year on a "cultural studies" visa and their cultural study was on a fruit farm. The Japanese embassy serving your area will have the most up to date information about visas.
Permaculture is still relatively new in Japan, but the concept of "satoyama", which I think is pretty close, has been around forever. A lot of older people that we talk to about our permaculture plans will say things like, "oh yeah, we used to do that when I was your age" or "oh yeah, that's how we did it before town water came in". A lot of the older tools and systems are still intact, sitting in abandoned houses waiting to be used.
Does that answer your questions? I tried not to ramble too much; I could go on forever. Please feel free to ask more!
|[+] intentional community » The Challenges of Being an Outsider and Finding Community in Canada (Go to)||Amy Arnett|
While I'm working on answering your other questions, I'll just answer this one real quick. Yes! This is a workstay we posted a year or so ago.
We are actually moving into the building that is pictured soon, but the post still gives some idea of the what the town is like. I'm planning to post a new workstays offering showing other accommodations and updated gardens once moving has calmed down and travel restrictions loosen. Winter is pretty mild here in zone 8. Lots of green and sun with a couple months of freezing at night. Winter crops do well.
|[+] intentional community » The Challenges of Being an Outsider and Finding Community in Canada (Go to)||Amy Arnett|
Same. Same. My solution was to move to a different culture.
I actually feel like less of an outsider living in Japan, than I did living in my home country (the US). I think it's something to do with my outsiderness being attributed to being foreign and therefore accepted and accommodated and even met with curiosity. Somehow I am less different when there is an obvious reason, like having grown up in a different culture and with a different language. Whereas, in the US, I am expected to act like a "normal American" so it really stands out when I don't. Also Japanese cultural norms seem to fit my personality better. My husband is Japanese. We have a three year old, and I'm 35.
Reading your post, Jenna, it sounds like you are feeling pressure to start a homestead as soon as you can, but at the same time aren't quite ready to "settle down". It sounds like social gatherings and events are important for your wellbeing, but you feel you would have to give those up to settle down and homestead? Sorry if I'm misinterpreting...Instead of focusing on the people, it might make more sense to focus on the cultural activities offered. If you could find a place, a town, that seems to consistently offer the kinds of fun events you are looking for, I would think the kind of people you would get along with would also be attracted to that area.
It also sounds like you would be most comfortable with a homestead that you have complete control over. So focusing on the culture of an area and finding your own land nearby might be a better fit than joining a community. I need complete control, so communities were not an option for me. We settled on this town because there were a few other people in the town already doing permaculture type stuff and it offers the events and activities I was hoping for like ceramics, fleamarkets, a farmers market, a sports park, and lots of community clubs and workshops.
And still, most of the people close to our age that we know are too busy setting up their homestead and getting their finances sustainable to hang out....and so are we really.
I think the younger people who are serious about getting back to the land are busy doing that. The people who think it's a nice idea, but too big of a step can be frustrating. They might need baby steps to ease into a more permacultural life, which is fine, everyone at their own pace... But for people who think that permaculture is the obvious and only choice moving forward, it can be very alienating. You might relate to the concept of the permaculture "click".
the podcast: https://permies.com/wiki/153277/Podcast-Click-Part
a thread talking about it: https://permies.com/t/152851/live-life-experiencing-permaculture-click
Other threads about younger permies you might like to check out:
and Welcome to Permies!
|[+] projects » Home garden in Japan (Go to)||L. Johnson|
Looks like things are coming along!
We had mosquitoes breeding in the botton toilet(the old just a concrete hole with a toilet seat over it style). They were getting in through the urinal drain, plus the countless cracks in the walls. So if you have a separate urinal that goes straight to the septic tank, that's one way they could get in. They might also get in through the outflow pipe. Depends on how modern your system is. I think you can just open the lid and take a peek if you are brave...but I would think you would notice adults congregating around wherever they were getting in.
If there are a lot of akiya around your place, you might take a look around the houses and dump any standing water you find. Be sure to weigh the vessel down with a rock or something after you turn it so it doesn't blow away. I don't think anyone would give you a hard time for doing mosquito patrol.
|[+] personal challenges » Sensitive to barometric pressure? What are your symptoms? (Go to)||Jaye Adams|
Hi Sam, Welcome to Permies!
And a belated welcome to Andres and V Ward!
Thank you all for sharing your experience.
Sam mentioned joint issues and vertigo which gave me an idea to maybe connect some dots for myself. I've been having more vertigo and "the spins" and poor balance off and on as I get older (writing this in my thirties, but I feel like childbirth and rearing has aged me ten years all at once...) and blamed it on being hungover. But it has persisted despite not drinking for almost a year now.
From Pearl's barometric physiology write up thread: https://permies.com/t/130152/Understanding-Weather-Effects-Physical-Mental
Joints are fluid filled and so is the inner ear that is responsible for balance and "the spins" effect.
So I'm starting to think that maybe there is a more system-wide issue or imbalance that only becomes more obvious during times of stress or sudden changes like in pressure. I'm thinking that an impairment in self regulation, possibly in the speed of pressure and/or fluid homeostasis, may explain some of our symptoms. The fluid in our joints, inner ear and sinus cavities are kind of "out of the way" and take longer to respond to physiological changes. I think they are less vascularized as well making messages and medications delivered by the blood less effective. I tend to have poor circulation as well. I've got that Raynaud's with the freezing hands and feet all the time.
I'm just brainstorming at the moment, so if anyone spots something they know is incorrect, please speak up!
I think I mentioned POTS somewhere in the thread already, and I just mentioned Raynaud's. These are both under the umbrella of Disautonomia or autonomic dysfunction, which is general problems with subconscious self regulation like blood pressure, circulation, heartrate, fluid and electrolyte balance etc. Lots of little, seemingly separate symptoms may turn out to have one thing at the root cause. It seems like a lot of disorders can mimic each other in their symptoms, like autoimmune, but the root cause may be different.
I've had one episode of random full body joint swelling and pain. It was followed by a random full body hives breakout that lasted only a couple hours. Looking up the symptoms, I thought I had a sudden autoimmune attack or my kidneys were failing, but I was fine a couple days later. Still don't know what to attribute that episode to, maybe just a combination of a bunch of small stressors adding up.
Anyway, I'm starting to look into disautonomia and fluid homeostasis and will report back any interesting connections I might find. In the mean time, I've noticed my vertigo and balance and sensitive hearing are worse when I've had a lot of caffeine and/or salty foods over the previous few days. I've noticed it's better when I drink more water and take a lot of B6 and some magnesium. I think it's also better when I take things that improve circulation like omega-3s, ginger, hot pepper, etc. But changes take a few days to notice, maybe because density changes in the inner ear fluids are a slow process, I don't know.
|[+] composting » Are my worms lazy, or am I expecting too much? (Go to)||Ronnie Ugulano|
We started off with a similar worm tower thing and it ended up being too small for us. It would be full before the bottom layer was finished, and the tap at the bottom clogged often.
We ended up making another bin out of a plastic storage tub by drilling holes in the bottom and setting it on a drainage tray. The bigger bin worked a lot better and there was hardly any drainage. We would let it fill up and empty in spring and fall. It would seem to be getting full, but as the worms ate everything it magically never filled up.
I agree that your bin looks very wet. I used newspaper shredded to a half inch to one inch strips and any other paper from around the house. If an area of our bin was too soggy, we would mix the paper in until it was not dripping anymore. Nowadays, I like to add the paper directedly into our table top compost bucket so that it's already a good moisture balance when we add it to the worm bin, which is an old bathtub now.
When we first got worms, it took a few months for the population to increase to fill up the bins with worms. I don't remember how long their life cycle is, but it's at least a few weeks. Have you noticed any eggs or small, young worms? You may need to slow things down until the worms have enough babies to match your composting needs. In any given handful from our bin, we could probably find 20 or so worms of all sizes.
The worms will work faster the warmer they are, so if it's possible to move them somewhere a little bit warmer they might speed up. We kept ours in the furnace room when we lived in Vermont.
|[+] horses, donkeys and mules » Do you think our new donkey is testing us? (Go to)||Amy Arnett|
Hi Julie, Welcome to Permies!
I'm not too familiar with donkeys, but I am very interested in animal behaviour and learning in general. I think it's up to you what behaviours you want to allow or discourage, and many animals have instinctual behaviours that might be stressful for the animal to suppress. Hopefully someone more familiar with donkey behaviour can comment on that.
In general, if an animal does something potentially harmful toward me, I ask them to leave or back up. Otherwise the animal might learn that if they are naughty, you will leave them alone. This would make future medical procedures and such harder if the animal thinks it can act up and get you to leave it alone. Of course all my animals have been smaller than me so...maybe it's different for large animals.
Sounds like your donkey might be wanting affection, so leaving the area might be appropriate reinforcement of "if you're too rough, affection goes away".
I might ask, what does the animal want to happen, and not do that until they are nice and calm and waiting. For example, a dog is jumping on me while I make its food, I think it wants the food and is seeing if jumping up gets it faster. Or maybe they are just expressing their excitement, but neither of those behaviours achieves food. I wait until they are calm and sitting and give them the food. They learn that jumping doesn't get food, sitting calm gets food.
An example of pushing the head away when a donkey thinks about biting:
In the video, the donkey learns that going to bite gets a push away, and that waiting nicely gets an invitation to touch the rope.
Another way to decrease a behavior is to train the animal to do it. Theoretically, once they are trained to do it for a treat or affection, they stop doing it "for free".
I know it's important to train bite inhibition in dogs, to teach them to control the pressure of their bite and teach them how hard hurts people. I don't know about donkeys, maybe lips only, never teeth? A loud "ouch" just before it would start to hurt is usually enough for puppies to learn a soft mouth, but I don't know if that would startle a donkey....
A video from the same person showing how to give a treat to a toothy donkey:
I think it's important to have a command that means "stop whatever you are doing". It doesn't have to be mean, just firm. And the key is to reward as soon as they stop. That's my experience with smaller animals anyway. For an easy to digest, general overview of animal learning and conditioning, I always recommend the book "Don't Shoot the Dog!: The New Art of Teaching and Training" by Karen Pryor. Hopefully someone with actual donkey experience can share some advice also.
We'd be interested to hear how it goes and how your donkey gets along with a new goat!
|[+] rural » Gen Z Permies (Go to)||shane davis|
Similar situation in Japan right now. Lots of abandoned houses and land in the countryside. For people willing to jump through visa hoops and over cultural hurdles, there are lots of opportunities. The level of infrastructure still maintained in the countryside was very surprising to me. We have full bars on are cell phones and fiber optic internet is available nationwide. There are also some opportunities to earn cash in the village.
The farming population is quickly aging out, so depending on the openness of the area, farmers are looking for people to continue farming their land for free. The scale is small compared to the US, not acres, but plenty for one person to manage. Prices vary and those listed online are usually overpriced. The unlisted houses are unlisted because the owners think no one would ever buy them, so are pleasantly surprised with any offer. But getting the whole family to agree on whether or not to sell the "ancestral home" can be more difficult...even though it's falling apart....
There is a nice forum, where people talk about living and farming in the Japanese countryside to get an idea of what it's like for those interested: https://www.japansimplelife.com/index.php
We are in our thirties now, so millennials, and just starting on our land. Our neighborhood is mostly abandoned. We think it would be cool to slowly flip the neighborhood (and someday the village) into a permies neighborhood. Something to consider when travel restrictions are lifted.
|[+] rural » Dealing with the unsavoury folks among us (Go to)||Valerie Hird|
There are many reasons a person would continue a life of crime, some a community can help with and some that they can't. It's important also to prioritize your own wellbeing, mental and otherwise. It can be near impossible to change someone who doesn't want to change themselves. It might be good to think hard on how much you are willing to do for this person and draw a line for yourself of when to stop. And remember he might not be "self-employed", but could be working for other people that you might not want to get involved with...
It's frustrating to be the new person in a community and want to fix the obvious(from an outside perspective) problems only to find out no one cares. If the rest of the community is not helpful or onboard with trying to change the situation, they might even sabotage your efforts. If they will never accept him as a member, then it would be best for him to leave and try to fit in with another community. Easier said than done...
I think we need to know a bit more about his motivations for stealing. If he really does just enjoy it, then we could think about what skills he is using and what parts of the experience he enjoys. Then we could think of alternative livings that replicate those. Maybe hunting or foraging is similar in that you are looking in new environments for useful things to "steal" from nature?
If he has been living this life since childhood, it may be the only thing he believes he can do. The community and justice system are likely to reinforce this belief. He may say that he likes crime better to save himself the possibility of failing. Giving him the experience of succeeding at something else may open the door to him believing in the possibility of another lifestyle where he is valued and trusted by the community. Best to start small with one time, odd jobs. A respectable job with responsibilities all of the sudden could be overwhelming. Maybe a community garden?
You would really have to get to know the guy to learn what would work best in his situation, at your own risk of course.
You could also look into programs to reduce recidivism or reoffending that produced results and campaign in your community to start one. I'm not too familiar, but I've heard of prison gardens and taking care of rescued dogs in prisons, like each inmate gets a foster dog to train. Not to mention mental health care and job/life skill training in prison or at halfway houses after release. Probably what would really solve the root of the problem is going to be very tough for just one person to do.
"Are we done fighting yet" by Matthew Legge is a great book about reducing conflict and how to interact more peacefully. Might be a good resource for you to communicate more effectively, if you decide to interact with the guy.
A quick note on the preventative side. It might be a good idea to check with your insurance (if you have it) what kind of proof(receipts, pictures) they require for reimbursement of stolen goods just in case.
|[+] chickens » Should I be worried? Egg with blood INSIDE (Go to)||Amy Arnett|
From what I've read, if it's just one egg, it's nothing to worry about. Seems to be more likely for new layers or when pecking orders are changed. Could be a well-timed ruptured blood vessel while the egg was forming due to fighting or getting startled. If none of the hens are acting weird otherwise or bloody around their vent, I wouldn't worry about it.
|[+] personal challenges » How do you prioritize garden tasks without becoming overwhelmed? (Go to)||Myron Platte|
Lots of helpful, nice replies already! I'll try not to overlap too much.
First of all, a handful of weeds is a handful of weeds! And observing your animals for behavioural changes is important to keeping them healthy. Good work!
I have the same problems you are describing. I was diagnosed with depression about ten years ago, then diagnosed with adhd last year. Seems to be common for adhd in adults to be misdiagnosed as depression, or to miss that the depression is a symptom of their adhd. Knowledge and treatment of both have changed a lot just in the last ten years, but can vary widely by provider. There are some treatments you can essentially do yourself, if you are not into doctors. A Cognitive Behavioural Therapy self workbook has worked better than meds for some people. "The mindful way through depression" helped me the most the first time I was cripplingly depressed. There are audiobook snippets on youtube and the first chapter is part of the google books preview. The first chapter was all I needed at the time honestly.
ADHD was a surprising diagnosis for me and not at all what I thought it was. Kind of feels like there is a big wall between the knowing part of my brain and the doing part. I know what I need to or want to do and how to do it and how to do it very nicely, the best way, and I say ok let's do it! But that command just bounces off the wall and my body or mouth doesn't move.
If something is fun or super-interesting (to me), then the command might fly over the wall no problem. What's fun and interesting can change, I'll get bored of things once I've mastered them. Losing interest in things you once loved is of course a well known depression symptom so... and constantly failing short of your own expectations, or the expectation of a "normal" level of adultability, that you know you should be doing and should want to do makes it easy to start negative self talk and be really mean to yourself, which again, depression...
The wall represents a deficit in executive functioning, which includes starting tasks, switching tasks, finishing tasks, prioritizing, emotional regulation, self regulation, inhibition, working memory. Symptoms seem to get worse with age and with hormone fluctuations. Somedays I'm useless and just accept that I will float around the garden in a foggy lump.
There is also a failure to filter out useless information, so my brain notices every little thing and every little thing can spark many thoughts. So I notice the wrinkle in the greenhouse plastic and might get stuck trying to fix it, when it's not necessary. Most people wouldn't notice or care. I'm trying to tell myself that noticing something isn't an obligation to fix it. But it takes energy to actively ignore things, so putting it out of sight helps.
My medication puts a little window in the wall and almost like magic, my body is listening to my suggestions and things get done. And instead of negative self talk, there is just music and shower thoughts.
Medication isn't for everyone, and there are plenty of lifestyle tricks to kind of get around the wall. A big one is lists and planners and calendars that lots of others have mentioned. The paper is an extension of your working memory. It feels better just to write it all down and get it out of your head. Knowing I can refer to it later keeps me from trying to constantly check on the list in my head. I write lots of lists and promptly forget about them, there is a list from last year still on the fridge with tasks completed or irrelevant now.
When I'm overwhelmed with task choices, I ask someone else to pick for me. Or I do a fallback task that always needs to be done and will never be finished, like weeding. Sometimes while I'm doing the fallback, my mind clears.
A lot of times I have to wait for an external deadline to become urgent enough to propel me over that wall, like a typhoon is on the way so I must put that stuff away. Or someone is coming to visit, so I must clean the house. The house is pretty messy this last year...
Another thing others are mentioning is making the tasks smaller. If I didn't cross a bunch of stuff off my list today, the tasks were way too big. Like silly small, so pruning a tree becomes 1) find the clippers 2) consider the tree and it's future shape 3) clip one branch, any branch etc. Once I start clipping, I can usually finish the plant, it might have taken three days, but finishing one part each day and crossing it off the list feels better than seeing an uncrossed task for three days. And make sure to add all the other stuff you do all time, like eating breakfast, answering a kid's question, checking on the chickens, taking your vitamins, brushing your teeth. Just because you're not working at a job, doesn't mean you're not using energy, and being hard on yourself uses a lot of energy.
When you are having trouble cutting yourself some slack, think about someone you love thinking what you are thinking about yourself about themselves. Treat yourself how you want your loved one to treat themselves.
If your kid needed help and didn't ask you, how would you feel? Also, they don't have to work for free. Money, cookies, the right to name the hugel bed...
Another "trick" I do is to reframe my not doing something into an "I'm seeing what happens if I don't do it" experiment. My not washing the frying pan experiment is going very well.
When you can't possibly do everything in the time that you have, you have to purge some things from the list. What happens if the walnuts stay where they are? If stuff doesn't get pruned?
An audience sometimes keeps me on task and helps me to start. Someone to bounce ideas off of. I get my husband to hang out nearby, or even get him to start the thing for me and then I'll take over.
Start small, start badly, or start in the middle help me to start sometimes.
Change or add to the task to make it more interesting and fun. Sometimes I select one lucky chicken to help me. It's more fun to move dirt around with a chicken thanking you for grubs. Or I can work better with music or a podcast in my ear. Eat cookies while I do it. What works one day might not work the next once the novelty wears off.
Outside accountability, like telling a bunch of people about my project makes me more likely to finish because I feel like they are wanting to see the results. This can backfire and turn into another stressful, self imposed demand though.
This is kind of counterintuitive, but doing two things at once is sometimes easier than doing one thing at a time. When I get bored or fed up with the first, I'll do the second for a while and then switch back.
If your list was mine, I would chunk out the greenhouse first. Jane broke it down nicely. And maybe containing chickens at the same time. And after dark possibly figure out a new working surface to start on the masks. Everything else I would probably ignore for now.
Vitamins and supplements have helped me also. B vitamins, extra b6 (more than 25mg), extra D3 (5000units/day) when I haven't gotten in the sun, omega 3s, probiotics.
It's hard to settle for fine when you know all about perfect. But fine works just fine and a handful of weeds is a handful of weeds.
|[+] projects » Problem with translation of Regenerative Agriculture to japanese and our Project (Go to)||Emilio García|
My husband is from Niigata. We will try to stop by your farm next time we are visiting his family.
Being the first to translate a word is tough. Most of the time I just write it in katakana and try to make it a borrowed word. I think patagonia's translation comes off as kind of industrial, like it's something that a bigger farming business would do. Your translation seems more accessible to anyone who might want to try.
Since it's still a new word, people will be searching the internet for what it means. If you haven't already, a short blog post or youtube video that's just explaining what both translations mean should help anyone using the new word to find you.
Anytime you can write "regenerative agricultureとは" it should put you higher in search results as that is the phrase most people would search for to find the Japanese explanation. Regenerative agriculture and permaculture are still not well known in Japan, as you mentioned, so you might get more interest by focusing on the individual components of your farm, like what you are growing or what animals you are keeping. You could try inviting people for 農業体験 nougyou taiken, farm experience, kind of like small workshops. A search turns up lots of sites to post experiences, even Jalan has them. Planting rice by hand is probably the most popular, but you can hold one for anything you do on your farm.
I'm finding that there are people who want to move to the country and live a permaculture life, even if they don't know the word permaculture, but it can be very hard to find a place that will accept new people in the neighborhood. "Trial stayトライアルステイ" is becoming popular. People can come live in a village on a trial basis, a couple weeks to a few months, to see if they are a good fit and if they will enjoy the village life or not. You might advertise a trial stay on your farm, or propose the concept to your town office.
Another thing I hope to try someday is set up an independent study program with a university. Students could come and do some kind of study or experience (自習）and get university credit for it. I'd also like to offer experimental fields for students to do their undergraduate thesis someday.
Permies is a great site for attracting people from abroad, once travel becomes less restricted of course.
|[+] woodworking » Resources for building your own tools? (Go to)||Jordan Holland|
I can't help with your main question, but I can help with this part of your post...
Sources for old tools in Japan:
Make friends with the people at your local dump, clean center, or metal recycler and ask if they can set tools aside for you.
Put the word out in your neighborhood and hopefully people cleaning out their ancient garages will bring you tools.
Find your local akiya (abandoned house) cleaning service, usually a non profit, and sign up to work or volunteer if they will let you take what you want out of the "trash" pile.
Search on mercari, （メルカリ）、or similar for old tools, vintage tools or old carpentry tools. A lot of people sell sets of the tools they have inherited without knowing what they are. A lot of times the tools names aren't listed anyway.
Tell me what you are looking for, or draw a picture or something, and I will see if we have duplicates. We keep all the tools we find cause I just can't let tools be thrown away. I'd be happy to send some to a person that would use them, if you want to pay shipping. Or come and get them, I'm not sure how far you are from Nara.
I googled tapered reamer and I don't think we have anything like that. I also found this illustration of some old carpentry tools with the names in blurry katakana.
|[+] meaningless drivel » You know you're a permie when... (Go to)||Timothy Norton|
The glass of water you just tried to drink out of had seeds soaking in it.
|[+] personal challenges » Sensitive to barometric pressure? What are your symptoms? (Go to)||Jaye Adams|
Welcome to Permies, Jaye! and thank you for sharing your experience. I'm sorry that your symptoms are so alarming, sounds almost like a panic attack.
I have what I call "floppy heart" or random palpitations. When I wake up from a nap, someone knocks on the door, I was breathing funny, laid on my back for too long, breathe out just right, too much coffee or ephedra and my heart goes all floppy with palpitations. It runs in my family so I was aware of it early on, and doctors have mentioned that it is probably "sinus arrhythmia", which is changes of heart rate when breathing in and/or out and isn't too serious. It's also the kind of thing that never shows up for the doctor. One thing they sometimes do is give the patient a portable ekg to wear for 24 hours to see if they can catch it. It may be worth asking your regular doctor about it if these symptoms are interfering with your daily life.
If I didn't know what it was, it would be very scary. I would think my heart is about to give out, and I'm sure my diaphragm would tighten from the anxiety. To kind of reset my heart, I hold my breath for about ten seconds and then breathe out all the way for 8-10 seconds. That seems to work for me most of the time, sometimes it takes a few repetitions.
Another detailed thread about physical effects of barometric pressure: https://permies.com/t/130152/Understanding-Weather-Effects-Physical-Mental
Your blood pressure is as low as mine. Sometimes I get a palpitation just from standing up if my pressure is low that day. The body struggles to readjust to the change in height of the heart relative to the rest of the circulatory system and triggers faster heartbeat to try and catch up the blood to the brain. My eyes also grey out for a couple seconds. If this sounds familiar, you may look into POTS (postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome).
A thread about treating low blood pressure: https://permies.com/t/119696/kitchen/treating-blood-pressure
Combined with an abscess, that sounds very stressful! Hope the storm passes and you feel better soon!
This thread might be helpful to you, it's about all kinds of ways to treat tooth pain at home while you wait for an appointment:
|[+] meaningless drivel » Inspirational quotes from kid's clothing in Japan (Go to)||Amy Arnett|
Today's inspiration is brought to you by a paper plate that was part of a preschool project.
Everyday is an opportunity to have a fresh start.
The beginning of a new life."
|[+] earthen floor » Anyone have a gravel or pebble floor? How do you like it? (Go to)||John C Daley|
We are deciding what kind of floor to have in the kitchen of the house we are repairing. Neither of us have much experience with building or big house repairs. We were going to just replace the wood that was there, but we found lots of animal tunnels and nests under the house. So we took all the floor out and will have to pound in the tunnels and relevel the dirt.
We are thinking why not just get a bunch of sand and gravel and pebbles from the river and have a gravel floor. The river is filling up with sediment from poorly managed cedar planted mountains and is a problem for native fish that need deeper water, so it would be good to remove gravel and sand from the river.
We are thinking we could put larger stones down for furniture and the sink and counter and such to sit on.
Right now it's just dirt and the house is resting on stones. It seems to be pretty dry. It only freezes a couple weeks out of the year at night.
Anyone have experience living with a floor like that? Thoughts, pros, cons, obvious problems?
|[+] ethics and philosophy » anxiety/depression (Go to)||Pete Podurgiel|
That's one way to look at it. Just like insulin covers up a diabetes problem, an inhaler covers up an asthma problem, tylenol covers up a pain problem, or benadryl covers up an allergy problem. Whether or not to use medication is absolutely the individual's choice; they don't work for everyone.
In case someone reading might be interested, there are also quite a few herbs and supplements that some have found helpful with anxiety. Some are discussed in this thread that I started before going to the psychiatrist the second time and getting diagnosed:https://permies.com/t/133660/kitchen/Herbs-acting-social-inhibition
Anxiety and depression are symptoms that can come from a variety of causes that can be physical, genetic, environmental, experiences, trauma and many others. The root cause will determine which treatments will likely work best for each person.
I like the suggestion of mini-goals. I do that too. It's easy to set impossibly high standards for ourselves. Small, achievable goals are a great way to increase our successes and feel better about ourselves. Life skills are important as well. Taking care of ourselves, and other people or animals or plants, can be empowering. When I'm feeling like I haven't done enough, I often reflect on the trees I've planted, the gardens I've grown, the perennials I've shared, and the animals I've raised or rescued over the years.
|[+] ethics and philosophy » anxiety/depression (Go to)||Pete Podurgiel|
I've tried lots of things over the years and found some coping skills that help me. A couple times, the demands of life outweighed my ability to cope on my own and I went to a psychiatrist. The first doctor gave me an ssri antidepressant, which reduced my symptoms, but wasn't a good fit for me long term. The second psychiatrist diagnosed me with ADHD and autism. Medication for the ADHD reduced my anxiety and depression symptoms drastically, but I still use the coping skills most days.
The closest thing to mind control that I have found is mindfulness and cognitive behavioral therapy. The part of mindfulness that really helped me was the idea that thoughts just occur for no reason and aren't significant by themselves. My emotional reactions to my troubling thoughts were the root of my persistent negative mood. Mindfulness is basically practicing accepting whatever thoughts occur and letting them just float by without reacting. (Easier said than done). It is also practicing moving and focusing your attention. Controlling what I am paying attention to is very helpful for me when I get panicky or am focusing on being anxious. I can choose to focus on my breath or something sparkly or the sound of the wind, and after a minute or so the anxiety has simmered down and I feel like my brain resets and I can start over dealing with whatever I was doing from a calm place.
The specific book I used was "The mindful way through depression". Some of the audiobook and guided meditations or on youtube I think.
Cognitive behavioural therapy uses some mindfulness, but is mostly about training your response to your thoughts. Everyone's goals will be different, but some general goals are reducing negative self-talk, giving yourself positive feedback, and stopping rumination or negative thought spirals. At least that was my take away. I never participated, just read a book. There are many self work books now I think.
CBT focuses on identifying your triggering thoughts and reframing them or deciding on a positive response. Eventually, when the problem thought occurs, you would use your decided upon response and move on skipping all the negative emotional reactions and storytelling.
So "I wish I were dead. Oh no! we can't think that. That's a bad thing to think. what's wrong with us, why do we think things like that. I am a bad person. why can't i just be grateful and enjoy my life. imagine the funeral and my grieving family. i'm the worst for even thinking about something that would devastate my loved ones...etc."
becomes "I wish I were dead....yep, and right now I am hanging up laundry. Good job doing the laundry that you wanted to do. The laundry is wet now, but it will be dry later because I'm hanging it up right now. Nice!"
Or when I start to catastrophize about the worst possible outcome to a situation, I interrupt the catastrophe spiral with "yes, that is one possible outcome of many. Another possible outcome is..." and think up something positive and more likely to happen.
It takes some work and practice and being nice to yourself when you don't do it right every time. And it's ok to let a medication do the heavy lifting if visiting a psychiatrist is an option.
Try to be nice to yourself, you deserve it! and thanks for sharing your experience.
|[+] pep animal care » Relocating a Yellow Jacket Nest - PEP BB animal.sand.yellowjacket (Go to)||Angel Hunt|
Is this only for yellowjacket nests or for any wasp's nest? I see the first video is about paper wasps, which I had never considered to be yellowjackets.
|[+] paul wheaton » permaculture thorns, A Book About Trying to Build Permaculture Community - draft eBook (Go to)||Jules Silverlock|
Wow! I haven't read a whole book straight through in probably three years. Couldn't put it down, or couldn't look away is maybe more accurate since it's a pdf.
An insightful look at what's needed to select, form and maintain community by going with (human) nature. Some great examples of how a leader can preserve the harmony of the community. Some great ideas for designing the community to work with the nature of its members and their needs.
If "the click" podcasts resonated with you and community is in your future, you will probably love this book.
|[+] wild harvesting » Sansai (Japanese Mountain Vegetables) or Foraging in Japan (Go to)||Jeff Steez|
I'm liking this little guide book called tsumikusa zukan, literally "picked weeds guide book". This is the only book I've seen use the term "tsumikusa" （摘み草）; I take it to mean something like "foraging". The book is only in Japanese.
some used ones on amazon.co.jp. here
and some on book off
The book includes a lot of plants I haven't seen in other sansai guide books. The guide has useful graphics and short text packed with information. The text is short enough that it could probably be translated reasonably accurately by showing pictures of the pages or live camera to the google translate app on a smartphone. I'll attach a sample page at the bottom.
The only pet peeve I have is that scientific names aren't included. And there is not much about positive id and look alikes, but most of the weeds are ubiquitous that you probably see all the time and will recognize if you've been living in the countryside of Japan.
The book also includes some recipes and notes on how much "aku" is in the plant and how to get it out. "Aku" is a difficult concept to translate, but it's basically any compounds in the plant that taste bad or are poisonous. Aku is usually removed by soaking in water or boiling a few times.
The word aku sounds the same as the word for bad or evil, but it actually comes from the word for lye and has come to mean any yucky part of food that we don't want to eat. The foamy stuff that collects on the surface of chicken soup is also aku, so make sure you get it out of the soup before serving to anyone from Japan :).
I'll dig through our book piles and see what other guides I can find.
|[+] volunteer offerings » Casual work/stay stay/cation Japan (Go to)||Amy Arnett|
Hi Ashley! Thank you for your interest!
Yes, we will need help forever I think. Once the property pictured above is "finished", there is still the other property to work on which I haven't uploaded yet. We also have a few forested mountain plots that need thinned and transitioned from cedar to more diverse food forest ecosystems.
Hopefully things will calm down sooner, but we will be accepting helpers for years to come so no rush!
|[+] pep natural medicine » BRAINSTORMING - how to document things like depression for PEP natural medicine BB (Go to)||Mk Neal|
This doesn't make sense to me because questionnaires are basically how doctors assess mood disorders. When getting a diagnosis, patients usually fill out a self screen questionnaire and show it to their doctor. If they go to see a psychiatrist or counselor, they are asked questions about how they feel. Treatment is started and the questions are repeated some time later. Asking the patient how they are feeling is the primary way that professionals determine if treatment is working or not.
The most widely used questionnaire: http://med.stanford.edu/fastlab/research/imapp/msrs/_jcr_content/main/accordion/accordion_content3/download_256324296/file.res/PHQ9_id_date_08.03.pdf
Second page in the link explains how scores inform diagnosis.
Mood disorders are tricky because most of the symptoms are happening in the patient's mind. We have to rely on their honest communication of their symptoms and believe their experience. There can be physical manifestations of symptoms, but not always. Some of the questions above allude to physical manifestations like length and quality of sleep, eating more less.
It seems like the best way to show changes in symptoms and quality of life would be a journal or calendar of some kind. Something like: before treatment suicidal ideation happened between 5-20 times per day, and after two months went down to once a week. I don't see how pictures or data from a journal is any less valid than pictures of blood test results.
Also if we require an official diagnosis, we will exclude people without access to such.
Tracking all of your symptoms for months could be a lot of work when it comes to certification, and a possibly insurmountable task for the depressed patient. Maybe each person could pick one part of their life that is most impacted by their depression that they want to improve and use that as a measure. The BB could be more roundabout than explicitly treating depression; it could be "improve quality of life" or something vague.
Mood disorders are also very individual as far as what treatments might work for each person. I think each person's submission will be very different and take a lot of time to certify. So maybe it's better to restrict the BB to trying a certain treatment and focus on documenting that the person tried the treatment in the BB. Whether it improves their life or not, if they tried the treatment, they get the BB.
|[+] personal challenges » Sensitive to barometric pressure? What are your symptoms? (Go to)||Jaye Adams|
Hi Maria, Welcome to Permies! Thank you for sharing your experience.
And a belated welcome to Katy and Diane! Thank you for sharing your experiences.
I lived in Florida for five years and I remember less barometric symptoms overall, but hurricane season had a lot of big ups and downs.
I came across this video in a series where people write in autism/aspergers questions and around 4:30 is a question about feeling air pressure changes, like when closing the last car door.
Dr. Tony Atwood has a lot of experience with aspergers/autism and his videos are a great resource for validating lesser known symptoms/traits. I was diagnosed this year with autism and adhd, and it explains so much including my barometric pressure and other sensory sensitivities. I still haven't found any research specifically on this subject yet, but it seems to be common knowledge in the autism community. Parents of children with more severe presenting autism seem to report symptoms and behavior worsening around bad weather.
Of course there are many potential causes of weather sensitivity. It was nice to hear a doctor saying, yes people can feel pressure changes and it can be painful for them and we have to listen to and believe their experience.
|[+] parenting » Letting the village raise our children: when to let it go, when to make a fuss? (Go to)||Amy Arnett|
Thank you for sharing your experience, Julie!
Pre-school is not compulsory. Regular school is compulsory on paper, but a gray area as there is no minimum attendance requirement to my knowledge.
Main reason to send her to preschool is that it's more fun for her. Second would be that stuff needs to get done and it's a million times easier with her in a separate, safe place. There are many other valid reasons a parent might choose daycare or preschool for their small child. Rather than being separate, I consider her to be with her co-parents.
The teachers are doing such a great job, really going above and beyond my expectations. I've relaxed a great deal as well seeing that she wants to go. And if she ever doesn't want to go, she doesn't have to.
I agree that being naked is way less of a big deal in Japan as it is in the US. I was more concerned about them not respecting her body language of no. But now she is speaking both languages enough to say clearly and explain what her problem is, so that's less of a worry now.
|[+] dogs and cats » 11 year old great pyrenees help (Go to)||Amy Arnett|
Ticks and Lyme seem to be expanding their range as the climate becomes more mild. My dog contracted it in Vermont, a place where ticks and lyme were unheard of ten years ago. Our vet said that most dogs they test are positive, and that most aren't bothered by it at all. But ours had some miniature pincher in her that made her extra susceptible to kidney issues. Well that's the story we went with anyway.
More accurately, her leaky bladder was a symptom of her kidneys starting to fail. In her case, caused by the Lyme infecting her kidneys. Your mention that long term antibiotics helped is consistent with Lyme, but not conclusive of course. It might just be age related kidney issues.
It's tough dealing with our pets' health issues and being put in the position of making difficult decisions on their behalf. Sorry another pup is having trouble.
|[+] dogs and cats » 11 year old great pyrenees help (Go to)||Amy Arnett|
It could possibly be lyme disease. Our dog's first noticable symptom was pee leaking. Then she lost her appetite completely and went into kidney failure. Each breed handles lyme differently and ours was a more susceptible breed, yours might just need antibiotics for longer.
The vet should be able to test for lyme with some blood, you might ask that they take enough for blood work showing kidney function. I don't remember all the details, it was few years ago. Hope he comes around!