• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market permies.com pie forums private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Anne Miller
  • Leigh Tate
  • Pearl Sutton
  • r ranson
stewards:
  • Nicole Alderman
  • paul wheaton
  • Mike Haasl
master gardeners:
  • Carla Burke
  • John F Dean
  • Jay Angler
  • Beau Davidson
gardeners:
  • Jordan Holland
  • thomas rubino
  • Nancy Reading

I thought I had prepared - turns out I was a self-righteous prick.how covid whacked my perfect world

 
Posts: 214
Location: Finland, Scandinavia
120
  • Likes 31
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I had prepared for every risk: climate change, drought, floods, pests... you name it.
I was even a bit smug about how clever I am.
An WHADAAM. there went my pride down the drain when I got a really severe bout of Covid. Did I pride in my ability to plan for all possible risks?

I live alone on an off grid 10 acre farm in Scandinavia. No electricity, plumbing or other modern conveniences. Wood stove heating. Fierce winters.

So the clever "had-it-all planned" me spent two months whabsmacked with high fever, alone, in a hut heated by logs I had to lug in. I will not even go into personal hygiene.

Food, yip. In all my self-righteous plans I had seen myself cooking wholesome dinners .. The only wholesome part was my hunger. OK, I have been doing my own youghurt but having that and porridge for breakfast lunch and dinner kinda gets tiresome. I did enormous (really! Like 2 gallons) portions of veggie soup. For recipies, please refer to "Root vegetables you can grow" . Oh, and some salt and pepper. Tastes equally bad heated or  unheated when eaten 6 weeks in a row.

I had some sweets but run out of them quickly. Warning to anyone planning to live without frequent visits to the shop: take the amount of chocolate you can maximally imagine consuming and multiply by ten.

No, actually twenty. Might as well add a buffer. OK, thirty.  After all, we are great at restraint, aren't we?

Glad to be back. I love this  forum and have missed you all ♥️
20230112_182032.jpg
[Thumbnail for 20230112_182032.jpg]
 
pollinator
Posts: 465
Location: Carlton County, Minnesota, USA: 3b; Dfb; sandy loam; in the woods
185
4
forest garden trees chicken food preservation cooking fiber arts woodworking homestead ungarbage
  • Likes 6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Glad you're feeling better!
 
Kaarina Kreus
Posts: 214
Location: Finland, Scandinavia
120
  • Likes 14
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Christopher Weeks wrote:Glad you're feeling better!



Oh yes, and veeeeery much humbled. The pride I took in planning for all possible eventualities...

Please, learn from me. There will ALWAYS be some surprises you did not account for.
20230109_165310.jpg
[Thumbnail for 20230109_165310.jpg]
 
master pollinator
Posts: 555
Location: East of England
215
3
cat forest garden trees tiny house books writing
  • Likes 6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
So glad you got through it okay, Kaarina!
 
gardener
Posts: 624
Location: Tennessee
366
homeschooling kids urban books writing homestead
  • Likes 11
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Kaarina Kreus wrote: I had some sweets but run out of them quickly. Warning to anyone planning to live without frequent visits to the shop: take the amount of chocolate you can maximally imagine consuming and multiply by ten.

No, actually twenty. Might as well add a buffer. OK, thirty.  After all, we are great at restraint, aren't we?

Glad to be back. I love this  forum and have missed you all ♥️



Yes, I can see that this would definitely be me. My wise mother has vacuum-sealed jars of chocolate bars just in case.

I was wondering if managing the winter weather and chores was keeping you too busy to post--I am so glad that you are better now, and have passed through that difficult time. Welcome back and here's to a fantastic 2023 for you!
 
Posts: 33
Location: Rural Pacific Northwest, Zone 8
9
transportation forest garden writing
  • Likes 6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Glad you are ok! Illness is the worst.
 
master gardener
Posts: 8134
Location: Pacific Wet Coast
3972
duck books chicken cooking food preservation ungarbage
  • Likes 22
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
First off - Welcome back Kaarina and I'm glad you made it through.

Second off - Yeah, I get tired of telling all the people who want to live alone with no support network, that getting ill or breaking a necessary bone, or even just needing to get to a hospital when you can't drive (or bike) yourself is a problem. If your outhouse doesn't have grab bars and a very secure path to it, now might be the time to consider remedying that! It's good to have most of your firewood stored far enough from the house that it's not a fire risk to the house, but it's also ideal to have a closer supply for emergencies, although sick for that long, it still wouldn't have lasted.

I'm pretty sure you self identified as an introvert. I get that - #2 Son is one. However, this would also be a good time to figure out things you might have in common with some of the neighbors and maybe offer some "time share" exchanges. Offer to help them with a job where an extra pair of hands would either lighten the load, or simply make it more fun with company. If they know you and consider you a community resource, you would be in a better position to beg a favor like "please get me X, Y and Z when you go shopping. I'm too sick to get out myself."

Similarly, so many people are dependent on charge cards - having some good old-fashioned cash in a cubby hole that no one even knows exists so you're not worried about it disappearing if you're away, is really useful for covering costs if someone does have to drive you to a hospital or pick up groceries.

Last but not least, some people actually have to "practice" asking for help. I think it works better if it's clear and precise. "Please buy me 3 lbs each of onions, carrots and apples" as opposed to "please buy me some food" as an example.

PS - There's a reason dark chocolate is considered a good addition to an emergency hiking pack, so if the only way to guarantee it is kept for emergencies is to triple wrap it and hide it in the cellar, that's what you do!
 
master pollinator
Posts: 2964
Location: Canadian Prairies - Zone 3b
793
  • Likes 7
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Glad you are feeling better. It's no joke. Covid took me out of action for 3 weeks. Nasty little bug.
 
pollinator
Posts: 1087
Location: Ashhurst New Zealand (maritime temperate - 9b with cool summers)
335
duck trees chicken cooking wood heat woodworking homestead
  • Likes 11
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Glad you're back and I hope you're feeling decent again. Covid's not to be messed with. Son and I got it back in October and it put me out of commission for over a month, buggered up the peak of planting season, and since I don't have a "normal" job I didn't log very many billable hours. I was extremely lucky that my wife avoided it and our house is big enough that I could hole up downstairs for a couple of weeks and not expose her.

We are also extremely lucky to have a close-knit community around us in the township. Several friends called and emailed to check in on us. Jay's advice is spot on: get to know your neighbours well enough to call on them (or have them call on you) when push comes to shove. Sort out the mobility and self-care issues that might arise if you were to be on crutches or in a wheelchair for a period.

Keep an eye on your energy levels and take care not to overdo things for a while yet...there's a sting in the tail of this one. And I like your thinking on the chocolate safety margin.
 
gardener
Posts: 3210
Location: Isle of Skye, Scotland
1289
2
transportation dog forest garden foraging trees books food preservation woodworking wood heat rocket stoves ungarbage
  • Likes 8
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Welcome back, and I second all the good advice on this thread about neighbours, chocolate and continuing to rest through the next few months. If things still aren't right soon seek medical advice, there are some things that can help.
Just as well you didn't have livestock to worry about too!
Hugs!
 
Kaarina Kreus
Posts: 214
Location: Finland, Scandinavia
120
  • Likes 12
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Jay Angler wrote:First off - Welcome back Kaarina and I'm glad you made it through.
!



Jay - great points. I wish I had been more humble. The reason I posted this was to remind everyone, that even meticulous planning is not always enough.

And, I freely admit I thought I had been sooooo clever and taken into accout all risks. Arrogance, in plain english. Do not fall for it. I did, and got humbled dearly.

Let my humbling be your lesson. ♥️
 
Kaarina Kreus
Posts: 214
Location: Finland, Scandinavia
120
  • Likes 7
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Nancy Reading wrote:Welcome back, and I second all the good advice on this thread
Hugs!



Nancy. Exactly. I explained what a self-righteous fool I have been to help others be better.

God, I am ashamed about my foolproof plans 😪
 
Jane Mulberry
master pollinator
Posts: 555
Location: East of England
215
3
cat forest garden trees tiny house books writing
  • Likes 14
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
No shame, Kaarina. A learning experience. No one else here apart from you is judging you, I am sure of that!
 
Jay Angler
master gardener
Posts: 8134
Location: Pacific Wet Coast
3972
duck books chicken cooking food preservation ungarbage
  • Likes 9
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Jane Mulberry wrote:No shame, Kaarina. A learning experience. No one else here apart from you is judging you, I am sure of that!

Totally this  - what I wrote are just concrete examples for people to learn from your experience and add to their repertoire! You've done fantastic things with your property in a relatively short time, and you've actively researched directions to consider developing it further. We all miss things! In my "BC" Days (Before Children) I worked in the medical field, and yes, I once had to make suggestions for adding a grab bar in an out-house! The rest of the people around the table were shocked that the guy had no indoor plumbing, but I had a friend who often stayed in her Grandmother's then 100 year old farmhouse which had no plumbing. I wasn't about to tell this old fellow that he couldn't go home to a lifestyle he'd lived all his life - but I was prepared to do a few safety upgrades!
 
Jane Mulberry
master pollinator
Posts: 555
Location: East of England
215
3
cat forest garden trees tiny house books writing
  • Likes 13
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
It took a lot of guts to share this, Kaarina, and if it helps someone else think about what they might have missed preparing for, you will have been a huge blessing to them. I don't think anyone is ever 100% successfully prepared for every eventuality.

Jay, excellent suggestions.

I have bought a house that is totally unsuitable for aging in place, will need to make a lot of adjustments - including the railings to the outhouse and plenty of spare buckets for the humanure.
 
gardener & hugelmaster
Posts: 3410
Location: Gulf of Mexico cajun zone 8
1685
cattle hugelkultur cat dog trees hunting chicken bee woodworking homestead ungarbage
  • Likes 9
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Welcome back Kaarina. Glad you're feeling better. No need to be ashamed. Mother Nature has a way of humbling us all from time to time. The only shame would be to not learn from those times. Sounds like you learned many things that will help you in the future.
 
Kaarina Kreus
Posts: 214
Location: Finland, Scandinavia
120
  • Likes 16
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Jay Angler wrote:First off - Welcome back Kaarina and I'm glad you made it through.

Second off - Yeah, I get tired of telling all the people who want to live alone with no support network
I'm pretty sure you self identified as an introvert !



Jay dear, it is not my choice to live alone. I simply have nobody to live with. I would gladly sacrifice a limb or two to be blessed with a partner. As I have been brutally honest in this thread, I might as well continue.  I am excruciatingly lonely. I try not to think about it, but sometimes loneliness just comes as a tsunami after you have succesfully avoided thinking about it for weeks.

You can successfully be busy with things you love, but when you sit down  you would love to share it with someone dear.

Whenever people ask me how are things going, my answer is "brilliant, great". It often is a blatant lie - could I tell anyone that I need friends, companionahip, affection?

20221026_170316.jpg
[Thumbnail for 20221026_170316.jpg]
 
pollinator
Posts: 86
Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan
19
4
hugelkultur monies personal care trees hunting building medical herbs writing homestead
  • Likes 11
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I suspect Covid is responsible for the symptoms I’ve been dealing with since having it. I’m no stranger to fatigue, brain fog, and digestive symptoms due to Crohn’s disease though. So it’s kind of hard to tell what is what.

These concerns of living alone are on my mind a lot since I do plan to get property in a place several hours away from any friend or family member. It’s more of a concern since I went to the ER twice last year(and never once before in 38 years). On the other hand, most of my adult life has been spent doing tasks while feeling ill. And wherever I go, my health follows. It isn’t as if living in a city means I’m going to make more connections. I think Jay’s point about the importance of making connections holds true regardless of where or how one lives.

If I were to have faced these health issues living in a temporary shelter in the countryside, how might have things gone? I’m not sure. The fatigue I had while taking a steroid was exceptionally debilitating even though I’m used to dealing with fatigue.

In India many things were easier for me.  Easy and cheap to rent an apartment. Active public transportation, so no need to drive when feeling fatigued. Food in South India agrees with my digestion better than anywhere else.  I got along with people  very well. I didn’t feel the need to be so alone in India. In fact, it’s hard to feel alone in India whether you want to or not. And as a foreigner, it’s impossible to get by without help sometimes due to restrictions, etc.

I do find myself questioning the whole American homesteading mentality. Or, at least the frequently idealized version of homesteading like in ‘Alone in the Wilderness’. Dick had distant neighbors, supplies brought in by plane, and left for winter sometimes. I’m reading Gabor Mate’s new book which talks a lot about community and reminds me of many points Chris Ryan (Sex At Dawn, Civilized To Death) has made about our need for community to survive.

Anyway, I can relate to the situation of being sick, alone, doing only chores that are necessary to survival. I’ve done it in a city. I’ve done it in first world countries and third world countries. I think it’s important to remember what the alternative is. We still would have had Covid regardless. Still would have needed food, etc. The main difference I see is how well we integrate into one community versus another. Some  “communities” being far more spread out than others, and therefore having different dynamics and social norms.
 
master gardener
Posts: 5621
2841
4
personal care gear foraging hunting rabbit chicken cooking food preservation fiber arts medical herbs homestead
  • Likes 8
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Oh, no. I'm so sorry, Kaarina, that you've had such a hard struggle! And, equally pleased that you're back, and doing better!
 
gardener
Posts: 563
Location: N.E.Ohio 5b6a
416
food preservation homestead ungarbage
  • Likes 10
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thank you Kaarina, I really enjoy reading your posts.  Your experiences definitely help others.  I love chocolate too!  My wife always keeps some on the table. My wife, son and I go out to eat once a week, because food can get pretty boring on the homestead.  I think you have touched something that is hard to explain.  The spice of life, makes life worth living.  The little things are often the most important.  If I could have a million dollars or a great friend, I'd pick the friend.  I sure hope somebody comes along for you to share your life with.  Until then, you have us to chat with.
 
pollinator
Posts: 268
Location: 18° North, 97° West
78
kids trees books
  • Likes 12
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I'm so happy that you're on the mend. And yes to chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate! (I've chosen to live in a place where chocolate is local, so I can eat local and still eat chocolate.

I think this highlights the importance of community building!  It's hard, and it's something we all need to work on, I'm trying to be more open with everyone I interact with because you never know who might be a kindred spirit. And I remind myself that while some people do instantly become fast friends--it's more often that relationships get built slowly overtime.
 
pollinator
Posts: 3343
Location: 4b
1134
dog forest garden trees bee building
  • Likes 16
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
So glad you are better.  Please don't beat yourself up.  I made a post recently about a power outage we had.  It only lasted 30-some hours, but it pointed outa huge shortcoming I had as well, and I was perfectly healthy through it.  Being sick and having to deal is far, far harder.  I would still urge you to simply use it as a learning experience rather than a look-how-arrogant-and-stupid-I-was experiment.  You got through this and you learned some valuable lessons that will help for next time.  Take it as a win, although certainly not an enjoyable one.  Again, I'm so glad you are feeling better.
 
pollinator
Posts: 419
97
  • Likes 6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Never got tested, but safe to assume it was covid that kicked my ass for 3 solid weeks. Not real 'sickly', but absolutely exhausted. Spent couch time one day making a list of how to be better prepared for the next 'unplanned event'. Firewood wasn't an issue, there's backup gas heat. Food wasn't an issue, always stocked up with broth and rice, meat in the deep freeze, root veggies and canned fruit, peanut butter, chocolate... and had little to no appetite anyway. Livestock care would be a major concern. I found it took the entire day's energy just to feed and let dogs/cats in and out. VERY glad to have indoor plumbing! I was too exhausted to even laugh when someone would call and say "you sound tired".
So yeah, count me as 'thinking I am prepared' but in truth you can't be fully prepared because you just don't know what the 'event' will be, when it will occur or how long it will last. You do your best and plan for as much as possible. Being off-grid and extremely independent can be a mixed blessing. It's a great feeling until it isn't. Being too proud to ask for help (my huge flaw) is an additional burden. Sounds bad, but needing help just makes me feel stupid that I didn't plan better.
Glad you survived to tell the tale Kaarina! The worst part of any flu, I think, is not knowing how long it's gonna last.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Someone mentioned-  

It's good to have most of your firewood stored far enough from the house that it's not a fire risk to the house


Unless you have a lot of dry cedar kindling, a woodpile is not a fire risk. It simply does not burn easily, as a mass pile, so even stacked directly against a structure, it's very low on the list of things that burn quickly/make it worse. I actually saw (the day after) a garage fire last fall, where the building was destroyed and a stack of lumber 5' away was just charred. Nobody was home, and the fire dept was never even called. Remote property and neighbors that saw the smoke assumed a brush pile being burned. Luckily it was a rainy day and the garage was not close to the house.
 
Kaarina Kreus
Posts: 214
Location: Finland, Scandinavia
120
  • Likes 6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Sometimes, you are just too exhausted to think c4eatively.
So you just think.
HEUREKA.


FB_IMG_1642094689388.jpg
[Thumbnail for FB_IMG_1642094689388.jpg]
 
Your mother was a hamster and your father was a tiny ad:
Our perennial nurswery has sprouted! 🌿
https://permies.com/t/174246/perennial-nursery-sprouted
reply
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic