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The aging homesteader

 
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I love this thread !
I’ve come across a practice that has enhanced my wellbeing, decreased physical aches and pains, increased my flexibility and enhanced my mood and sleep.

What is it?  “Yoga nidra”

It’s not a physical practice, it’s closer to a guided meditation which achieves specific patterns of brainwaves.  You essentially go into healing mode.  It is more restful and rejuvenating than sleep.  This is what I read, and this is what I have experienced.  My niece agrees.

I have a podcast app as part of my iphone and that’s how I found this, but I think I can post a link.

All you do is lie down on your back or get into a comfortable sitting position, a chair is fine.  An aligned spine is recommended.  You might want a blanket to stay warm.  And you listen to the guiding suggestions.

You can just go to bed and fall asleep and still get the benefit….

There are sessions up to an hour or as brief as 25 minutes.  There are plenty of people providing guidance, so if it’s intriguing and this woman’s voice isn’t appealing, search around!  For me, it’s heavenly!
 
Thekla McDaniels
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Trying again

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/yoga-nidra-beyond-ayla-nova/id1643838005
 
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Thank you for sharing about “Yoga nidra”.  From reading about this on Wikipedia this sounds very similar to something that I have done for years only without the guidance for someone.

I am not sure where I learned this technique.

There are numerous YouTube someone can learn from and get the guidance needed.

Once on the floor, give way to it as far as possible. Every day you will become more sensitive to tension, and every day you will be better able to drop it. While you are flat on your backs, if you can find some one to "prove" your relaxation, so much the better. Let your friend lift an arm, bending it at the different joints, and then carefully lay it down. See if you can give its weight entirely to the other person, so that it seems to be no part of you, but as separate as if it were three bags of sand, fastened loosely at the wrist, the elbow, and the shoulder; it will then be full of life without tension.
   — Annie Payson Call, Power through Repose, Chapter 12 "Training for Rest" (published in 1891)



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yoga_nidra
 
master steward
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Back in the early 80s I made a fast trip down from a second story roof and landed on the left side.  For the past 2 weeks I have had pain in every joint on my left side.  … I blame the weather.   This year it has been unusually rough.  I have more trouble that I would like when navigating stairs.
 
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John Weiland wrote:Thank you for all responses and I will check back in as the thumb improves (hoping!).  Same old story today,.... woke up with it clicking and will go about chores today and see how it may or may not change.  



A quick follow-up to say that the thumb-click slowly has improved over time.  Some mornings, still a bit cranky, but no decline at this point.  Here's hoping summer helps to improve,....although this morning's 2" of new snow is not improving our household attitude! :-(

 
John Weiland
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Discussion of 'lift' as we age.....
.
.no, not the 'nip and tuck' variety, ;-)

I'm talking about the aging homesteader solutions (varied no doubt) for raising heavy objects (from animals to engines).  There has been some allusion to this in past entries within this thread, but I wanted to see what kind of variations many have come up with, from purchased to home-built.  The two types of lifting approaches I'm interested would be in either a modified gantry crane or a  scissors lift (pictured below).  Both my wife and I are getting closer to needing such a lift....as portable as possible....for getting items into the back of trucks, onto tables in the barn, etc.  The tractor front loaders we have do a lot of this work in spaces where they can be maneuvered, but I'm searching for alternatives that could be used in  tighter quarters and also without having to fire up the tractor each time.  I don't anticipate needing it to lift over 500 lb.  I'm considering home-builds as well that would employ either electric (120 or 12V)  winches or actuators to substitute for hydraulic cylinders in the lifting action.   Thanks!...
GantryCrane.JPG
Gantry Crane
ScissorsLift.JPG
[Thumbnail for ScissorsLift.JPG]
 
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John Weiland wrote:

Discussion of 'lift' as we age.....

I recall seeing a hack where someone adapted an old hospital bed to lift things. Not sure exactly how...

I also saw on a permies thread some sort of a small crane type lift attached to one back corner of a pick-up truck. I'm talking a sort of wire rope with a handle type as opposed to the beefier ones for loading pallets of stuff.
 
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I got a "log trailer" that I use for lifting, but I use quotes because it really is a jack of all trailers. It can lift 800 pounds at 10 feet of full extension, and go 16 feet high. I can lift everything from round bales, to engine blocks, and everything in between because it has its own 6 hp engine and hydraulic system. It can switch from having a log grapple, to a backhoe, and even a post hole driller. It can also go from having log bunks to a one yard dump body. It really does everything, and really takes abuse off the tractor. In fact all the tractor does is get the trailer in position. And all this saves on my body. It has really been a life-extender for me I think.

I am making a retaining wall here with the log grapple, the dump body and some pretty heavy rocks.

DSCN4220.JPG
log trailer with grapple lifting rocks into a dump bed
 
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My advice at 72  
...get the lifting assists figured out while you are young (20's and 30's) and save your back.
Just because you have the strength and ability doesn't mean it's not doing long term damage that will catch up with you in your later years...ask my big strong guy who had his back rebuilt in his sixties
 
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The hubby and I are on our 3rd homestead due to 2 previous moves for various reasons.  This is our retirement homestead and while I am in my mid 60's and he a couple years older, we have no intention of stopping.  We learned a lot through the first two and we get better and better because of that experience so we expect this one to be our best yet.  I was thinking of all the things I'd like to do here but thought we were too old at first.  But, after discussing it, we've decided not to limit ourselves.  We have big plans for this place and have already accomplished much of it.  Yes, we are older and slower now but we are still in good health and stay active so we are able to do more than the average person our age.  At least this time we have no debt and have all the equipment we need up front.  Our challenge now is we are faced with a clean slate and our dreams for this place are endless.  We just finished the woodworking shop and will soon start my craft shop (we love doing the crafts and actually make money from it).  We also plan to start a commercial berry operation this year but will take a few years before it is productive.  Our son lives close by (that's why we moved here) and he and his wife are very interested in participating and eventually taking the commercial operation over once we can no longer do it.  In the mean time, they will help on weekends but we are not depending on them any time soon.  I think if we stop and give up now, we would be miserable and would not last long.  This way, we are enjoying life, see an actual future for ourselves, and stay active and happy in the process.  I vow to never give up as long as I can get up!        
 
Judith Browning
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kay fox wrote:The hubby and I are on our 3rd homestead due to 2 previous moves for various reasons.  This is our retirement homestead and while I am in my mid 60's and he a couple years older, we have no intention of stopping.  We learned a lot through the first two and we get better and better because of that experience so we expect this one to be our best yet.  I was thinking of all the things I'd like to do here but thought we were too old at first.  But, after discussing it, we've decided not to limit ourselves.  We have big plans for this place and have already accomplished much of it.  Yes, we are older and slower now but we are still in good health and stay active so we are able to do more than the average person our age.  At least this time we have no debt and have all the equipment we need up front.  Our challenge now is we are faced with a clean slate and our dreams for this place are endless.  We just finished the woodworking shop and will soon start my craft shop (we love doing the crafts and actually make money from it).  We also plan to start a commercial berry operation this year but will take a few years before it is productive.  Our son lives close by (that's why we moved here) and he and his wife are very interested in participating and eventually taking the commercial operation over once we can no longer do it.  In the mean time, they will help on weekends but we are not depending on them any time soon.  I think if we stop and give up now, we would be miserable and would not last long.  This way, we are enjoying life, see an actual future for ourselves, and stay active and happy in the process.  I vow to never give up as long as I can get up!        



Hi Kay!
This sounds similar to us although we are a decade ahead.
Third move to be nearer our sons and families and have no thoughts about slowing down our focus here on this land.  
We do see things we might have done smarter in the past but that's likely everyone's learning curve.
After surgery Steve is pretty much back to doing all he used to other than the things that caused the damage in the first place so we continue a bit slower but so much more knowledgable than in our twenties and thirties.
 
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Doctors say I am unsafe on a ladder.  Any ideas for balance issues?  If not for my son driving from 8 hours away, our gutters would have been flooding the foundation.  He came in 3 hours and did the whole house. I am very grateful to him.   Me holding on for dear life to the ladder would have taken 5 days.  Just in case someone has any ways of being more balanced, I'd love to know.
 
Jay Angler
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Janice Carey wrote:Doctors say I am unsafe on a ladder.  Any ideas for balance issues?  ...  Me holding on for dear life to the ladder would have taken 5 days.  

Clearly, it's not just the doctor - you identify that you're not safe also! That's important!

There are many different reasons for loss of balance. To make any reasonable suggestion, I'd need some more info. For example, my friend has Meniere's Disease, which affects hearing and balance based on problems with the nerves that transfer messages from the ear to the brain. There is no "cure" and I certainly wouldn't want to see her on a ladder!

However, people can have balance issues following mild strokes and those can respond to physio therapy focused on balance re-training.

People can also have balance issues due to weakness - depending on the cause of the weakness, they may be able to strengthen key muscles. Simply practicing standing on 1 foot beside a sturdy counter for as long as possible may strengthen leg and foot muscles enough to be helpful.

At one point I was having intermittent balance issues. The little bits that are in the inner ear got somewhere they shouldn't have been and eventually they got back where they belonged and although I wouldn't say my balance is as good at 10 years ago, it's functional enough for ladder climbing. It was really weird, because when it was working, I was totally fine, then I'd wake up the next morning and wouldn't be able to trust it at all.

Lastly, you may need to look for ways around what you can't do. So ladders are out, but there are hooked gizmos for power washing out your eves troughs. You can use lamps instead of overhead lights so you don't have to change bulbs you can't reach. You can look at your skill set and see if you can trade favors with a neighbor who can still climb ladders.
 
Thekla McDaniels
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As Jay said, there are various causes of balance difficulties.  

If you want to just increase your strength, a physical therapist told me to lower myself slowly- sitting down into a chair, or backing down the stairs (hand on bannister!).

(I used to just fall into the chair.)

With the stairs, going backwards is to maintain the safest center of gravity, and something about the knees.

Lowering the body weight exercises the same muscles but can be done with less strength, adding to strength over time.

Good luck!
 
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I'm well pleased to find this thread!  I just turned 59, have been privileged to lead a mostly circadian outdoor lifestyle & develop three homesteads across the larger family spread out from coastal sub-tropics to high desert to temperate forest, with locally-adapted fruit/ nut/ berry nurseries, Edible Plantscapes, orchard-gardens, Garden Starts CSA, hardwoods regeneration forestry, etc.  

I've also been lucky.  Over the decades I had a teenage rugby injury propagating into skeletal & back problems + occasional heavy-labour/ abrupt-give injuries that took long times to recede.  Last year I fell into a hole of my own making which entailed learning to walk again though differently, walking-wounded/ new-normal construction/ horticulture/ forestry work, & a shifting-dynamic re-emergence of old injuries.  I have a couple of endocrine/ physiological problems which I might still be able to control through lifestyle.  

Happily my wife's taking sabbatical & we're taking our young son world-schooling so, in preparation we're tuning up our homesteads for others to rent, we'll be visiting family/ people/ communities/ places offering comparable or better opportunities, & I'll really be able to push into my (agro-)forestry & nomadic work.  

A good part of this is raising our son onto a land-based subsistence foundation, the rest for me at least is something to do/ live off/ rely on until I keel over.  Part of my plan is to pursue my work into businesses in which I can share with others & shift from more manual to more mindful work.  My wife hasn't much agreed/ has pulled us elsewhere, but is at least taking a break to get more into the alternatives: our's, others', elsewhere.  After her mortgage, our insurance has been the biggest expense, & we're looking for ways to get out from under both.  

Happy days, good health, continuous growth to you all!
 
John F Dean
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I just ran to a odd situation that might be relevant to others. About a week ago I was offered a job I had not applied for. I checked it out. It was legit. I know the company. I know some of the key people.  The job was for a fiscal year beginning July 1.  The $$ were safely into 6 figures.   At a pretty healthy 73, it represented a nice unexpected income boost.  Then I crunched the numbers.  I currently have my retirement planned where I pay zero state and fed income taxes.  The job would have me at or about 25 %….and having income taxed that is not currently taxed. It was  over 80 miles away.   I have to consider travel and an occasional motel.  My wife has problems walking on uneven ground … I would have to hire someone to handle the livestock when I am not around.  After all the number crunching, I would be clearing about 10k a year …maybe.   And, of course, it would take about 12 hours or more out of my day.   I decided to pass on the job.
 
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Thank you all for posting. I missed this thread for a long time but now in my early thirties it's really given me a lot to think about as I look at my placement and processes for the long term!
 
Thekla McDaniels
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Good for you John!  And thanks for giving us all a heads up!
 
Steve Zoma
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As I age, I have a nagging question, and that is... age in place, or eventually plan to sell?

As we get settled into our new house here after retiring from homesteading, we are constantly confronted with that question. We are fixing the house up for how we like it, assuming if it is nice for us, others will see the value and buy the place... if we do sell.

But we like it here. It has everything we want, but that also comes with stairs and as we age, that might be a problem. We could easily turn the library into a downstairs bedroom, but a full bathroom would be a bigger problem. That means as we discuss what to rebuild here, we always temper it with, "but if we do ever sell, this will make it more appealing to buyers".

I hate saying that, and want to be committed; but I cannot predict the future either.
 
John F Dean
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Hi Steve,

Unless I specifically bought the house for flipping, I decided it was my house, and it would be designed for me.  Even though there are dangers to this approach, with any other approach I am just visiting in my own house.
 
Jay Angler
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Steve Zoma wrote:As I age, I have a nagging question, and that is... age in place, or eventually plan to sell?
...but I cannot predict the future either.


John F Dean wrote: with any other approach I am just visiting in my own house


All good points. I admit I'd hesitate to do something to a house that I figured 90% of people would hate if I was already old enough to be considering exit strategies. However, I'm inclined to side with John beyond that. The world could change a lot in the next 20 years - just look how much it's changed in the last 20!

The "future prediction" problem is a real troublemaker. My crystal ball is not just cracked - shattered would be a better word for it! We never would have figured that my active father would have gone from playing tennis to being in a small box in 5 days at age 66. A friend of my mom's became a widow while building their retirement dream home... heart attack. To balance that out, my in-laws both lived to over 90 and with minimal support, did most of that in their own home, cooking their own meals, and doing their own self-care. (it was in a bungalow, so the only thing involving stairs was 5 at the front porch or doing laundry in the basement.)

Another big factor is the amount of money you have to throw at problems like stairs. I just saw a video about a really cool home-sized elevator based on compressed air technology. The price to avoid stairs used to be for the extremely wealthy only. Now with stair glides, home based elevators etc, if you're willing to set aside a nest egg specifically for that project, and you have a house which would have a suitable spot, it may not be a deal breaker. However, using such things takes time, and seniors don't always allow enough... I encouraged my sister to sell her townhouse and buy a "retirement" home sooner rather than later because of all the stairs coupled with the fact that there was not a single floor which had both a kitchen *and* a bathroom. Many rooms can be re-purposed as bedrooms easily with just heavy draperies as walls if needed. Bathrooms and kitchens take infrastructure and are *really* expensive to contract out!

It turned out that this was a good financial choice - the cost and availability of seniors compatible houses is under huge pressure here in Canada as the Baby Boomer retire. So another factor is to look at the demographics of the area you're living in, and consider if what you might need is going to be an option when the time comes?
 
John F Dean
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I am approaching my 74th birthday, and I really feel like my homestead is getting away from me. There are too many unfinished projects.   It is time for me to cut back.   What have others done to reduce their workload?
 
Jay Angler
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I am sooo... trying to convince Hubby of the same thing!

I'm just going to throw down some quick ideas - strictly brainstorming here!
1. Evaluate projects based on whether they will increase or decrease long-term work.
2. Are they a "need" or a "want"?
3. If a project's a "want", will it give you immediate joy, or long-term joy?
4. Will the world end if you don't do it?
5. Will it improve you or your land's resilience - storms *are* getting bigger in many places?

Add away people!
 
Thekla McDaniels
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I’m watching for the brainstorming from a different perspective.  Today I sign the papers to sell my current house.  I bought it 14 months ago, thinking I would stay here “forever”, or until I die.

The magnitude of error there cannot be overstated.  I’m selling at a (for me) huge loss.

I’m returning to the region I left little more than a year ago, and now have to figure out what I want in a home.  I want a garden, and I want privacy, and the freedom to not smell other people’s lighter fluid when they start their barbecues, nor fabric softener from their dryers.  I don’t want to hear screamed obscenities from neighbors fighting, nor deal with ill behaved children.  I don’t want to live in a monotonous generic subdivision, But? winter access, snow shoveling and road plowing, domestic water supply, …. all of these require effort, or having a good handyperson.

I keep coming back to the idea of “visiting my own place”, something that doesn’t appeal to me.

I try to imagine what I want to find when I step outside my door.  And what I want to do with my time inside.

For now, I am planning to live in my car for awhile.  I figure a few seasons of limited amenities will change my outlook!  A couple months getting my Honda pilot outfitted, then a 3 month course of study (yoga nidra facilitator/guide) and I should be ready to make the decisions involved in resettling.  

While we’re brainstorming the general topic of planning where and how we shall age, it will support me as I reapproach the question specifically in my own life.

Let’s all have a great day😊

 
John F Dean
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Hi Thekla,

My wife and I have dug in on the idea of staying in place on our 11 acres.  As you alluded to, we appreciate our privacy/isolation.  We have regular conversations on how to adjust to our aging.   Our doctors are maybe 80 miles away, fortunately they are open to computer based appointments if we need them.  I do have a hired person that I bring in every so often.  Most interesting, to me, is that we have taken to limited prepping. That is, we have stockpiled enough supplies that if we couldn’t get to a store for a few months, we would be ok.
 
Thekla McDaniels
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Ah yes, thanks for reminding me about the freedom a well stocked pantry and root cellar provide.
 
Jay Angler
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Thekla McDaniels wrote:I’m returning to the region I left little more than a year ago, and now have to figure out what I want in a home.  I want a garden, and I want privacy, and the freedom to not smell other people’s lighter fluid when they start their barbecues, nor fabric softener from their dryers.  I don’t want to hear screamed obscenities from neighbors fighting, nor deal with ill behaved children.  I don’t want to live in a monotonous generic subdivision, But? winter access, snow shoveling and road plowing, domestic water supply, …. all of these require effort, or having a good handyperson.


You've hit some pretty high, but understandable, identified needs. I have certainly discussed with people that important balance between "privacy" and "access to needed resources".

Toby Hemenway was a strong supporter of "urban permaculture". There are strong advantages as we age of being near to doctors and other services.

Finding a property that's close enough to services, but has the privacy issues met, may well be a bit like finding that needle in a haystack, but we managed exactly that. Getting "enough" property so that you can have something like a good thick, edible hedgerow to help with noise and smells. Using bricks or mounds to deflect sound, even if they have to be adobe ones you make yourself, could also make a huge difference.

And if you've outfitted a vehicle and intend to keep it, you've got the option of escaping the urban life for periods of nature immersion.
 
Thekla McDaniels
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Yes on all accounts, Jay.

And with enough property, I love the idea of adobe sound deflectors.

I’m lucky that the realtors in Colorado have a website with filters that lists almost all the properties for sale through conventional realtors in the state.

It makes searching pretty easy.

It’s likely I will end up with a distressed property, because that’s how I can afford the ground that goes with it…  and I can rehab / recycle another house, which I don’t mind doing.  New is expensive or full of plastic and vocs, and expensive.  Refurbishing redecorating, updating, whatever you want to call it hasn’t usually been done to suit my likes and dislikes,if I do it myself, or hire workers to help me, then it’s not “someone else’s house”.

And it gives me an outlet for my creativity!
 
John F Dean
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I find myself putting up firewood storage much closer to the doors of our house.   Having a wood shed a hundred feet away from the house 20 years ago was fine. It is not so good now.  
 
John Weiland
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The prioritization of snow removal naturally varies across Permieland.  For ~30 years, I've been using shovel, walk-behind snowblowers, and a tractor rear-mount blower to keep the long driveway open in a high snow-drift region.  The tractor never had a protective cab so looking backward to operate the snowblower was never much of a treat even when younger and in better health......especially in sub-zero (F) temps and high winds. It was a bit of a retirement splurge this year to acquire the used Deere 1445 below, but should be worth it given our priorities, location, and typical resale value of these units.  Snowblower attachment arriving soon....
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Jay Angler
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That's a nice upgrade John Weiland.

I expect you've considered ways to install shrubs and trees to decrease the drifting? A lot of people don't realize just how far back from the target zone, the shrubs need to be planted. If the shrubs or fence is too close, the snow will land right in the drive.
For everyone's benefit:


Of course, I expect there are many factors involved like different wind speeds and different types of snow. We tend to get wet snow followed by rain and most snow blowers choke on that!
 
John Weiland
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Jay Angler wrote:....... I expect there are many factors involved like different wind speeds and different types of snow. We tend to get wet snow followed by rain and most snow blowers choke on that!



Thanks for that image, Jay, that so aptly indicates the situation.  "If only"... we could implement snow fencing or wind-breaks in the fashion shown in that photo.  Exactly where that fencing or wind-break would need to be placed for our benefit would be in the farmer's field across the county road that "T"-intersects with our driveway.  There would need to be at least 2 layers of wind block, probably 3, to make an adequate difference for our predicament.  [I blame it all mostly on Doug Alpenstock on the Canadian prairies, sending all of those high winds, frigid temps, and flat-line horizontal snow fall our way each winter!..... :-)  ]  Even if the farmer wanted to sell me the land to plant such a wind-break, the land cost would well outweigh the cost of the purchased machine.  As for requesting permission to put snow fencing in his field to help our cause, that would not happen.  It would simply cause that area to become overly saturated from melting snow in the spring at just the time when he wants to get planted.  The Deere seemed like a good solution.  It came with a large mower deck, but I'm hoping to find a small 3rd party bucket for summer use that can make use of the moderate lift on the front hydraulic arms.
 
John Weiland
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In the older, not wiser department....... :-(

We lost 4 geese last night to coyote and it's pretty much my fault.

Our property is fenced to keep our LGD's in (not roaming) and also as a predator deterrent.  One section of the fence parallels the river on the property and for appropriate times during nice weather, we open a small 'goose gate' that they can go out of and swim on the river.  We've had unusually nice weather for several weeks and the geese were allowed down there, even as the water began to freeze up.  Nevertheless, coyote howls that were sounding close of late prompted us to start closing the gate at night.....and last night I forgot!   Usually more sharp than this during the rounds when closing chicken shelters, but my aging brain just gets a bit more distracted these days and is more reduced in its multitasking abilities.  For some reason in the middle of the night (snow began falling around 1 am) they decided to go down to the river, now with only one 20 ft diameter hole of water remaining on the ice-covered surface.  In the morning, only 7 of the original 11 geese remained in that water hole....no doubt the ones taken were not in the water at the time.  Signs on the snow-covered ice were clear regarding the struggle and the tracks of things being dragged away were all too apparent.  On the one hand, if the dogs had been allowed past the fence, this might have been averted.  But the ice is of questionable thickness.....a seasoned coyote might know what the limits are but we aren't risking the dogs out there.

So just finished earlier re-fitting an open-ended outbuilding as we did last year that we know is coyote-proof (below).  Additionally, down to 7 geese now, we can put them into any number of closed outbuildings pretty easily.   Back when the flock was double in size, it could be like herding cats trying to get them into protective shelter.  Anyway, just upset about the whole ordeal.....
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Jay Angler
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I'm so sorry to hear that John, and I would be terribly upset also.

However, unless you're sure you saw signs of 4 whole birds being dragged, do keep a bit of an eye out in case one or two went to ground somewhere. I suspect with coyote, that's a forlorn hope, but we've had chickens show up the day after a aerial predator attack, skittish but alive.

The underneath issue needs thinking on. Staying active helps keep you young, but finding ways to prevent complicated systems from failing is important too. Would some sort of flag system on that mini-gate help? Flag is up, the door is open?

Similarly, getting birds to bed is not always easy. I gave up on Venus last night. She's a Muscovy that's supposed to go in with a group of khakis and the Khaki drake hassles her. She started going in with a group of young Muscovy, but clearly she's not that happy there either. She can fly, so she' not easy to argue with. The last time I trimmed flight feathers on a couple of birds, they got taken by the eagles in the spring, so I figure I'm better to let her take her chances. We don't have coyote, but we do have racoon and they will take her if there's a group of them.
 
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Damn. I'm so sorry, John! I couldn't believe how lucky we got one night, when I forgot to shut the chickens in, but remembered, the next night, not knowing that the night before, a young opossum had snuck in, for warmth. The birds were in molt, so no eggs were stolen, but that's also why it didn't occur to me to check the nest boxes. I'd only been checking every other day, because they'd only just stopped laying. So that alternate day, when I checked, there he was - young one, maybe half brown, curled up, asleep in the next box. He never had the chance to wake up, again.

Jay said, "The underneath issue needs thinking on. Staying active helps keep you young, but finding ways to prevent complicated systems from failing is important too."

That about sums it up for everything, I think - even not as complicated systems, and even critter choices. For example, choosing indoor pets. I adore both of our dogs. Charlie, the 17lb Cavalier, has long fur, but she's easy, with a 5 minute daily brushing. She sits in my lap, and it's bonding/snuggle time. Bailey, our 130lb, or so Irish Wolfhound (who was & still is the runt of the litter), on the other hand, is enormous, impossible for us to bathe, and John can only brush her a bit at a time, before he's worn out, and she's just DONE. So, her fur is EVERYWHERE, and this pic is a single day of accumulation in only 1 room. I love her to pieces, but I can't keep this up, past her. When she passes, there will not be any more big dogs in the house, because it just adds too much to the workload, and we're both constantly healing from bruises and deep, bruised scratches and welts, from accidental contacts during zoomies, or getting whacked by her firehose-like extremely happy tail.
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One day - one room... ~le sigh~
 
John F Dean
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I need to add to Carla’s observations.  I am approaching my 74th year.   I have come to face the fact that if it wasn’t for my limited livestock, I would be sitting on my recliner all day playing on Permies.  Much as going outside a couple of hours a day in bad weather can be a pain, in the long run, it is good for me. I also try to keep at least one project in my barn going.
 
John Weiland
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Thanks for thoughts and comments about the geese.  I can't help but feel it was the 'perfect storm' of incidences.  First time forgetting about the gate at the same time that the river was juuuuust hard enough to support the coyotes and yet one hole of water was still juuuuuust enough open to entice the geese down there one more time.  Yet why they decided to go through the gate and to test getting to that hole in the middle of the night is still a question.  The dogs do an......er.....okay job of night patrol.  They have constant access to both the fenced property and the interior of our house.  Alternatingly, one may be in snoozing while two others are out barking along the perimeter.  (No doubt at least one of them saw the whole thing transpire from inside the fence.....but until we can learn to speak and understand canine, it will remain a mystery.)  For now, we have two of the buildings set up to keep the geese safe.  Getting them into one of them last night was a trial, but they naturally are spooked right now and it will be better once they understand the routine.

As a follow-up, what is the success rate of introducing new geese (basic large white farm goose...probably Emden variety with some Pomeranian mixed in?) to an existing group if we decide to add a few new ones in the spring?  Thoughts or experiences on whether they will integrate or stay separate?  Thanks...
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Staff note (Jay Angler) :

John, I hope you don't mind, but I feel your last paragraph would be valuable as a stand-alone thread in the Geese forum (which could really use some love!)
https://permies.com/t/234742/Integrating-geese-existing-flock
I've posted my experience there.

 
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About three years ago, in this thread, I missed an inquiry about the kind of door handles we had used, from Restore, in my underground house. Hopefully the pictures are still of interest. Note that if you have a pet that has learned how to open doors by pushing down on these handles you may wish to install them upside down. I had a big pit Akita foster dog that could follow me into the garage demanding to not be left behind. A regular door knob stopped her but she made a mess of it. She ended up going along almost everywhere I went.?
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Handle upside down
Handle upside down
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Handle from Restore
Handle from Restore
 
John Weiland
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Not getting any younger.....  ;-)  ....... so I'm back with more questions.

I could not find a thread on this specific issue so am bringing it up here.  We all have favorite comfortable wear for most of the 'reasonable' seasons in a temperate climate zone, but the bitter chill of winter can offer challenges.  I tend to dress in layers for winter to stay flexible between outdoor and indoor transitions throughout the day, but I'm more interested in this post in outerwear that is of the quick stripdown type for easier access.....like for bathroom breaks (which come....oh....a bit faster in older age), body temperature control, and perhaps the surprise yet astronomically-rare frisky encounter in the hayloft!... :-)  .  I suspect something with suspenders like insulated overalls are best, but if not I'd be interested in alternatives.  The common offerings at stores in the region are standard Carharts and Dickies -- are these still a 'gold standard' for work-wear?  Are they as 'easy-access' others or are there new designs out there that combine good insulation with ease of disrobing?  What have you found for winter wear that you've been pleasantly pleased with?  Thanks!
 
Carla Burke
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I have a pair of those Dickies insulated overalls, but (being a woman), I still have to disrobe, to relieve myself - and with a coat on top... Well, we'll just say that pregnancies and now, old age have made disrobing from multiple layers, the work coat, & the Dickies into something of an Olympic sport. And, with boots on, they can't come all the way off, so I feel like I've got several blankets wrapped around my legs, when the going gets tough. They are toasty, though. Oh, the pictures we paint...
 
If you are going to the sun, make sure to go at night. Use this tiny ad's space ship:
FREE Perma Veggies Book! - Learn how to grow the most delicious and nutritious food with the least amount of work.
https://permies.com/t/238620/perennial-vegetables/FREE-Perma-Veggies-Book
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