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brainstorming for the homesteading badge  RSS feed

 
master steward
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This is for a long list of bits and bobs that don't quite fit into other badges.  

The first thing on this list is:


Be able to properly connect a trailer to a truck and drive that trailer backwards on a road for at least 100 feet.

drive a truck and trailer backwards - with turns

---

This badge is different from the "oddball" badge in that the things on this list are known things that you would need to do to operate and maintain a homestead.

---

Use tractor to plow snow on a large drive
Use tractor to plow snow on a road

(note that a lot of tractor stuff is done in the earthworks badge)

maybe some brush hog action with the tractor?

caring for a more conventional home/barn/shop/building   ??


checking on the septic tank

outdoor spring cleaning
   - just after the snow melts and before the growies get started, you can see garbage and stuff that people have dropped.  This is the perfect time to sort it out.



That's a feeble attempt to get a start on this list.   Anybody else?







 
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Some ideas:
  • Clear snow from a roof safely
  • Haul something 10' long safely in a truck bed
  • Tie down a load securely in a vehicle or on a trailer
  • Pull a stump
  • Pack a trailer bearing
  • Fix a flat (not just pump more air into it)
  • Repair/install trailer lights
  • Salt/sand/ash a slippery area
  • Make/fix a metal gate
  • Remove rust and refinish metal
  • Clean the filter on a septic tank (maybe better for the Plumbing badge)
  • Keep a stock or water tank from freezing in winter without the grid to help
  • Clean the gutters?
  • Replace a siding board on a barn
  • Tow a vehicle XXX feet with another vehicle
  •  
    pollinator
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    One handed gate clasp. Not something thought of but it can be a bitch.  You have your arms full and need to.open a gate. Might be hay in your arms. Gotta drop it on ground.

    Using a pasture gate as an example, remove the chain from the gate, attach it to post.  Now chain goes into slot in gate with one hand. In the stock format the chain has to go around post first, then into slot. Normally 2 hands or a very clumsy ackward one handed dance is needed. Then profanities.  
     
    wayne fajkus
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    Fix a fence
    Repair sagging gate
    Dig a post hole
    Mow what the (cows, goats, sheep) dont eat to keep it from taking over.the pasture.
    Spread manure (or compost) over pasture
    Seed an area of pasture (hand tools only?) (Mechanical equipment ok?)
    Mulch a seeded area with hay.
    Seed an overgriwn area and crimp the grass for mulch
    Establish food plot for (deer?cows?)
    Mend a water hose
    Install 5 flytraps. The kind they fly in then drown
    Trap mosquitos- leave bucket of water, watch for larvae. Dump out (preferably in animal trough with minnows)
    Add minnows to snimal trough.
    Repair window screen.
    Cap metal pipe posts (they fill with water, then mosquitos)
    Dump standing water after a rain (skeeters again)
     
    Posts: 109
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    MILKING BY HAND:  Cow or goat

    Making butter from collected cream
    Making cheese, and yogurt
    Making milk soap

    Calculating winter feed;  pounds per animal ration in relation to; climate zone, housing, gestation period and/or in lactation

    Calculating winter wood as per hard/soft woods and wood stove type;  wood cook stove vs air tight

    Cheers!  K
     
    master steward
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    Hmmm, I'm wondering if this has a bit of overlap with the Nest badge. Do we want Nest to be more about cleaning and beautifying the home, while Homesteading to be about basic home/property maintenance and repair (kind of like "tool care," but instead, "homestead care")?
     
    Kate Michaud
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    Homestead butchering byproducts:

    Processing of fat for;  suet, lard, salves, soap, and candles
    Processing of bones from;  soup, to broth, to bone meal

    Cheese making byproduct:  The many uses for cheese whey; from cooking ingredient, to wine, to cosmetics, to chicken feed

    Cheers!  K
     
    Kate Michaud
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    Hi Nicole.

    I did go and check out the Nest Badge info.

    With regards to my previous post:  Maybe I should have been more explicit:

    A homestead inasmuch I live it, has animal systems.  In the fall we not only harvest the crops, but also the meat.  So, I look at it as a seasonal thing, rendering the animal not just for meat, but paying respect for ALL that this sentient being has given up.

    In the fall we harvest, give or take 6 goats, wethers and nasty nans;  of course there is the meat, then the hide, the organs, the bones, the fats, all of this is rendered in the fall/winter when the wood cook stove is operating.  For me, to not use ALL of the animal is disrespectful of the life taken to benefit my own.  So, I strive to use all of it.  It is more of an Pioneering Spirit of wast nothing, and quite seasonal at that.

    So, my thought was the process of going from "birth to grave and beyond" a valid homesteading skill.  After all I'm out there, twice a day, every day, no matter the weather, helping the Nans birth, feed/watering/caring for moms/babies as well as the buck, knowing how and when to band the males, raising the young, managing the milk and byproducts.  Then, after butchering, rendering all the rest into food, food stuffs, home tanned hides, medicinal salves, soaps, light for the dark nights of winter, and wasting nothing.  Not Nesting as I see it, but not my decision in the end.  Hoping you may consider that managing animal systems and their byproducts as a valid homesteading skills.

    Cheers!  K
     
    Nicole Alderman
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    Oh Kate! I wasn't responding to your post, but to the badge in general--I was typying over a child sleeping in my lap, so I didn't explain as well as I wanted to.

    I honestly don't know how much overlap Paul wants between the badges. Sometimes--like with the Community Badge--someone can make signs or chairs from the woodworking badges to qualify. Other times, Paul focuses on drawing lines when there could be a lot of overlap, to make sure more skills are covered.

    I hadn't realized quite how much overlap Homesteading and Nest might have. When I'd brainstormed stuff for Nest, I'd included a home-maintenance stuff, like cleaning the chimney and sealing windows...but looking at the things that people are suggesting here for homesteading, those home maintenance stuff might be better for Homesteading than Nesting.

    When I helped brainstorm things for Textiles and some other badges, I soon realized that WOW, there's a lot to cover. The sand badge is only supposed to take 5 hours, and it's hard eliminating things that you think are essential, so sometimes having overlap isn't as good, because it means less skills are learned.

    I'm thinking that, with your example of processing an animal, that the skills might end up getting divided between lots of badge. Maybe:

  • Animal Care: I'm out there, twice a day, every day, no matter the weather, helping the Nans birth, feed/watering/caring for moms/babies as well as the buck, knowing how and when to band the males, raising the young,
  • Food Prep: managing the milk and byproducts.
  • Animal Care: butchering,
  • Food Prep: rendering all the rest into food, food stuffs,
  • Textiles: home tanned hides,
  • Medicinal Herbs: medicinal salves,
  • Nest: soaps, light for the dark nights of winter,


  • Homesteading Badge seems to be a really hard badge to figure out what to put into it. Paul says earlier, "This is for a long list of bits and bobs that don't quite fit into other badges." So, what doesn't fit in nest? Should nest have home maintenance, or just cleaning and home decor? I honestly don't know!

    What I do know, is that you've got a ton of great ideas and knowledge! You've thought of a lot of things that I don't know about, let alone how to do! And, I'm glad we're all hammering these badges out together, because they sure are a puzzle!
     
    pollinator
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    Safely chaining and dragging away (possibly cutting up first) downed trees or debris blocking roads or fallen on fences or in yard or on roof after storms

    Getting a vehicle unstuck from mud or sand using another vehicle, a come-along, a boat anchor & winch, putting something under the tires, etc

    Jump-starting a vehicle with cables or jump box (super basic but shocking how many people, esp. women, never learned to do this)
     
    gardener
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    Would replacing things that wear out in a home fit in homesteading?

    Like:
    Replacing and reglazing a broken pane of glass in a window
    Replacing a rotting window
    Replacing rotting exterior window and door trim to prevent further water infiltration and house damage
    Installing a new door so it's plumb and doesn't open it close on it's own and installing door knobs
    Trimming doors that no longer close due to house settling so they do close
    Replacing worn washers/valvesets in leaky faucets

    Maybe the faucets one belongs in plumbing

     
    gardener
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    Setting up a rainwater collection system. Don't recall seeing that in the other badges.
     
    paul wheaton
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    Nicole Alderman wrote:Hmmm, I'm wondering if this has a bit of overlap with the Nest badge. Do we want Nest to be more about cleaning and beautifying the home, while Homesteading to be about basic home/property maintenance and repair (kind of like "tool care," but instead, "homestead care")?




    That is exactly it!

     
    paul wheaton
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    Mike Barkley wrote:Setting up a rainwater collection system. Don't recall seeing that in the other badges.



    Maybe for plumbing?
     
    paul wheaton
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    Knots.  

    Tying down a load.

    Lashing.

    Putting snow chains on something

    Taking snow chains off of something

    improving internet junk

    taking stuff to the dump

    build or repair a gate for vehicles

    game cam stuff

    cleaning up messes made by trespassers or previous owners

    removing unwanted fence






     
    pollinator
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    Things that are more of a concept than a specific example...

    A "make-do" repair, that will solve an immediate need, with common materials on-hand (both for buying time until the repair is possible, and for knowing what materials to have on hand)

    Making only one trip to the hardware store. (measure/count properly, identify part/model correctly, make a list, ask clerk's advice)

    Make a record (database, notebook, photo log) of model #, serial #, part #, of your equipment to aid in finding/selecting parts, and avoiding wasted trips.
    Possibly identify two local, and one online, suppliers for each and their phone numbers, hours, prices, shipping time

    Some other things...

    Make/repair a window screen/screen door.

    Cover something stationary with a tarp, so that the tarp stays in place.

    Cover something on a vehicle (truck, trailer) with a tarp, so that stuff makes it to the destination dry (in case of rain) or without blowing away (loose materials).
     
    paul wheaton
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    For the first part ...    to be in the homesteading badge, it needs to be something specific and not in other badges.    It also needs to be something we can take a picture or video of.   And maybe a bit of a tip of the hat to Otis.


    Make/repair a window screen/screen door.

    Cover something stationary with a tarp, so that the tarp stays in place.

    Cover something on a vehicle (truck, trailer) with a tarp, so that stuff makes it to the destination dry (in case of rain) or without blowing away (loose materials).  



    Good ones!
     
    Kenneth Elwell
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    So, i think the equipment database/notebook could be a real thing, with photos.
    I also think it could include a “kit” of spare parts and tools for those jobs.

    Being prepared with spares and tools (that aren’t “stolen” from the workshop set) to make the repairs.

    Ideas: a snowblower kit- belts, shear pins, wrenches, hammer and a punch; an irrigation kit- hose clamps, nutdriver, knife, irrigation fittings, hose menders to fix irrigation system...
     
    paul wheaton
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    - make sure a first aid kit is properly supplied

    - create a new first aid kit

    - make sure a fire extinguisher is ready for duty (without actually expelling the contents)

    - install a fire extinguisher where needed

    - make sure that proper fire starting, fire maintenance and ash handling tools are at each fire burning contraption

    - make sure that work sites have ample safety glasses, hearing protection, first aid kits, gloves, etc.

    - make sure there are smoke detectors in good places and functioning correctly

    - make sure there are CO detectors in good places and functioning correctly



     
    paul wheaton
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    Kenneth Elwell wrote:So, i think the equipment database/notebook could be a real thing, with photos.
    I also think it could include a “kit” of spare parts and tools for those jobs.

    Being prepared with spares and tools (that aren’t “stolen” from the workshop set) to make the repairs.

    Ideas: a snowblower kit- belts, shear pins, wrenches, hammer and a punch; an irrigation kit- hose clamps, nutdriver, knife, irrigation fittings, hose menders to fix irrigation system...



    So maybe there should be a list of supplies to keep in stock?

     
    Kenneth Elwell
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    Yeah, and that list might vary for climate, equipment, activities, number of levels to house, outbuildings...

    But there could possibly be a boilerplate list of "everything" basic, and then maybe there's a page for each machine, workshop, living area, vehicle... which you would complete if those applied to your situation.

    Example: Snowblower page

    Make: Troy-Bilt
    Model: Storm King 8hp 28"
    model#: SK828-1234
    serial#: 123456-2008
    Purchased 2008 from small engine guy 555-555-1234
    Wear parts /# to keep on hand/ where to get/ notes
    Auger belt: #1234/ 1/ small engine guy 555-555-1234/ CLOSED on SUNDAY!
    Drive belt: #2345/ 1/ ditto
    Shear pins: #3456/ 10/ ditto/ also town hardware 555-555-6789/ 7 days
    Oil: SAE 30 /1qt. /ditto /also NAPA 555-555-2222/ closed sunday
    Spark plug: sp123/1/ ditto

     
    master steward
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    making hide glue might be something to add to one of the lists.

     
    Nicole Alderman
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    paul wheaton wrote:- make sure a first aid kit is properly supplied

    - create a new first aid kit



    I'm thinking these two might be in Natural Medicine, as our current brainstorming has a person making a first aid kit as part of the straw badge.
     
    gardener
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    In another thread Mike Jay came up with:

    cleaning the gutters
     
    Nicole Alderman
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    Another idea would be to create a Emergency Notebook (also called "Family Reference Binder") where you compile all the essential infmation in case you have to quickly access it, or quickly leave your home. There's more about it here https://permies.com/t/70703/National-Preparedness-Month-prepare and here https://www.nwedible.com/preparedness-101-family-binder-information-preparedness/
     
    steward
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    I like the idea of creating an Emergency Notebook, or Homestead Journal. I think that starting the journal could be in the Sand Badge section. And at the end of the whole Homesteading Badge process, the journal has grown to include many more things.

    Start with:

    List of all machinery and structures that need regular maintenance and upkeep
    List of tools needed
    Maintenance log
    Weather log
    What else?

    So besides the journal, I like the idea of common tasks that are needed frequently on a homestead - Paul mentioned learning to back up with a trailer hitched up; someone mentioned plowing snow; what other basic skills are required to use the machinery generally encountered on a homestead? Using a tractor to carry a round bale out to the cows?

    Paul also mentioned safety features that should be in place on a homestead: fire extinguisher, first aid kit, CO and smoke detectors, fire starting safety.

    I think these are a great start for the Sand Badge: Basic simple skills and elements that need to be put in place.

    What do you think?
     
    pollinator
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    I'd like to see some stuff also about the mental side of homesteading, particularly about fitting the homestead to your temperament (and that of your spouse) so it's enjoyable in the long run.

    Perhaps a starting place could be a simple list of how many hours you (and your partner, if you have one) want to devote to the following:


    Cooking .... hours/day
    Eating .... hours/day
    Taking care of the basic needs of children  .... hours/day
    Taking care of animals .... hours/day
    Gardening .... hours/day
    Cleaning the house/ dishes/ laundry etc. .... hours/day
    Repairing and building .... hours/day
    Family time (playing with kids, hobbies, recreation) .... hours/day
    Me-time (to do whatever you feel like in that moment) .... hours/day
    Sleep .... hours/day

    The total cannot exceed 24 hours.

    The point of this would be to create the Vision for the homestead in question.
    What do we want to achieve? What do we want to produce and why? How can we devide the chores so that both partners can keep on being enthusiastic about homesteading?
     
    Mike Jay
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    I like that idea Nina!  I'd wonder if it should be by the week instead of by the day, in case people have day jobs and weekends and variable schedules like that.  I'd also think about if it should be figured out for a few different times of the year.  My September schedule is much busier than my January schedule.
     
    Nina Jay
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    Mike Jay wrote:  I'd wonder if it should be by the week instead of by the day, in case people have day jobs and weekends and variable schedules like that.  I'd also think about if it should be figured out for a few different times of the year.  My September schedule is much busier than my January schedule.



    Yes, that's a good idea. The schedule does vary a lot depending on the season.

    And I forgot to add "money-work" to my list! Unless of course someone makes their money from selling farm produce and it's included in the gardening/ taking care of the animals hours.

    The idea behind counting the hours per day was not so much to come up with a precise schedule, it was more about finding out what one would want to do, in an ideal situation. And, in case of a teacher/ consultant, it would be about helping the homesteaders find out what kind of homestead suits their specific temperaments. Obviously there's going to be times when you have to do stuff you don't enjoy, but it's better that those are indeed just temporary stuff. If you find yourself doing 8 hours a day for 6 months something you don't enjoy that much, I think it takes the joy out of it pretty fast.

    Example. Someone might find out that they like to do mainly building, constructing and gardening and don't like to tie themselves down to any daily routine work. If their spouse feels the same, I think they might be better off buying their milk, or making oat milk or almond milk or whatever, instead of getting dairy cows.

    Another reason I suggested counting it by the day is that I find it's so easy to forget about there are only 24 hours in a day  It helps me to keep my feet on the ground and not add too many tasks to my list of responsibilities.
     
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    Kenneth wrote above "A make-do" repair, that will solve an immediate need, with common materials on-hand (both for buying time until the repair is possible, and for knowing what materials to have on hand)"

    I think this is a category all on its own!  Problem solving?  Improvising?  Creative solutions?  Being able to get the job done with what you have available is a vital skill, a required attitude, even, dare I say, the defining mindset necessary for homesteading.  The further off grid or remote you are, the more it matters, too.  Not to minimize the importance of skills and the like, but it's pretty easy to become competent and awesome when you have all the correct parts, materials and tools.  
     
    Shawn Klassen-Koop
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    I think a make-do repair sounds like it fits in the oddball badge.
     
    James Freyr
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    How can the homesteading badge requirements be inclusive and the badge bit be obtainable for everyone? What I mean by this is some of the brainstorming ideas, while very good, may not be applicable to some. For example, plowing snow and owning/using snow chains in southern Texas or the deep South where snow is rare or doesn't happen.

    Some folks are "suburban" homesteaders, practicing a lot of homesteady things like canning, dehydrating, preserving but aside from a backyard garden, also support the farmers markets and aquire what they can't raise themselves. Some may not have the acreage for livestock which need fencing and fence repair.

    Should some badge requirements have a multiple choice so it's less limited to who can actually earn one?
     
    Shawn Klassen-Koop
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    James Freyr wrote:Should some badge requirements have a multiple choice so it's less limited to who can actually earn one?



    Yes, but keep in mind that PEP is specifically designed for Paul's property. And if it happens to apply to thousands of others with similar property that's cool too. But someone on an urban lot in the middle of Texas might need to design their own PEX program.
     
    James Freyr
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    Shawn Klassen-Koop wrote:

    James Freyr wrote:Should some badge requirements have a multiple choice so it's less limited to who can actually earn one?



    Yes, but keep in mind that PEP is specifically designed for Paul's property. And if it happens to apply to thousands of others with similar property that's cool too. But someone on an urban lot in the middle of Texas might need to design their own PEX program.



    Got it. So there's PEP and PEX badges?
     
    Shawn Klassen-Koop
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    Currently there are only PEP badges.

    The 'X' in "PEX" is a placeholder for other people's programs (yet to be developed) that smell similar. So if I wanted to do something like PEP but that was better suited for the Canadian prairies, I might make "PES" where the 'S' stands for Shawn. And then I would come up with PES badges. But if I were to do this, because I'm lazy, I might just repurpose a large part of PEP and swap out a few BBs here and there.
     
    Mike Jay
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    I think that's it exactly Shawn!  Some day we'll have a PEX for people living in urban, suburban, NE USA, frigid prairie, subtropical, desert, etc, etc type places.  They would still be attached to a name (Paul, Shawn, Mike, etc) since you couldn't ever say that your badge system is the ultimate guide to frigid prairie permaculture.

    If/when I put one together I'll swipe at least 75% from PEP.  
     
    master steward
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    The first thing we did we we bought our homestead was to put up fences.

    Something showing installing a gate or corner braces might work for the sand badge.
     
    pollinator
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    Lovely ideas, y'all!

    I was thinking it would be good to have one on creating a household budget, not just of expenses, but forecasting profits from ventures, managing resources, etc. I suppose this could be in the "commerce" section, but it's important for homesteading too.

    There might even be enough here for a whole section/badge scheme of itself - Documentation? Business Development? Household Management? or Emergency Planning?
    it could include:

    Zone Map/property map
    Homestead Budget
    Work/chore schedule,
    seasonal crop/livestock schedules,
    Harvesting/sales ledger or journal
    Household maintenance schedule(or vehicle maintenance schedule)
    Tool or supply inventory
    "Scrounge" list of items to pick up for re-purposing, maybe with list or map of likely places to procure(like the business down the road that puts out pallets to take, or used buckets from the grocery store, ugly produce, day-old donuts, etc.
    Emergency binder(contacts, First aid information, disaster instructions, evacuation routes, important documents
    Legacy binder((basically instructions on what to do if you die, not just a will,but also instructions  on how to pay bills, other bequests, contacts that need to be made, where things are stored, how to run household systems, etc.) - Edit to add: WIFI password and listing of accounts/investments - this was a big issue when my grandpa passed away recently!

    and, if you want to have a "prepper" tinge included here, you could add:

    GHB/BOB/INCH and/or car/home emergency bag
    Emergency food storage inventory
    Important documents/ skills library  backup on a thumb drive
    SHTF Plan - whether it be bug out, bug in, relocation, whatever, your family needs to know what to do, and you won't have great capacity to think/communicate in a heavy situation.


    Could get it all set up in a big binder or a Bullet journal, then it's easier to document your plans, see your progress and make changes, rather than just "wingin it."

    I've already setup a few of these (my preferred method is Google Sheets + the Notes app on my phone, shared w/ my wife) and it helps me stay organized and on track when a flurry of tasks comes crashing down on me.
     
    Hey cool! They got a blimp! But I have a tiny ad:
    Permaculture Design Course in Divinya - a yogic community in Sweden
    https://permies.com/t/106159/permaculture-design/Permaculture-Design-Divinya-yogic-community
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