• 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 private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Anne Miller
  • Pearl Sutton
  • r ranson
  • Nicole Alderman
stewards:
  • Joseph Lofthouse
  • paul wheaton
  • Mike Haasl
master gardeners:
  • jordan barton
  • John F Dean
  • Carla Burke
  • Greg Martin
gardeners:
  • Jay Angler
  • Leigh Tate
  • thomas rubino

How do you Have Both a Homestead and a Chronic Illness?

 
Posts: 205
Location: Northern California Mediterranean climate zone 10b
7
dog forest garden books urban fiber arts greening the desert
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Kate Muller wrote:

Jeremy Baker wrote:?
That’s a tough situation to be in . Good luck and best wishes. I just take miniature sized bites at a time these days. And get a surprising amount done.



This is exactly what I have spent the last 2 years learning to do.  In my case I have a connective tissue disorder called Ehlers Danlos Syndrome.




I have it, too.  It's a bitch, isn't it?
 
Posts: 8
2
  • Likes 10
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have found this thread so comforting! I see now that it’s not just me! I, like a few of you, have ehlers-danlos syndrome. I hurt ALL the time and have constant fatigue. Problem is, my mind is hyper. I’m guessing a lot of you are that way as well, or you wouldn’t choose to be a homesteader... I have sooo many thing I want to do, and I try to do, but my body can’t keep up. I truly enjoy the work, but I often find myself over-doing it, and regretting it later.

I am a 33 year old, homeschooling mom of 4 (ages 2, 4, 8, & 10). Husband works out of town a lot, so I pretty much take care of things by myself. My strategy is similar to many of y’all’s.  I work in spurts and take frequent breaks.  I have also learned to fully expect not to get as much done as I’d like. I need to be a morning  person and get my priorities done early in the day, because oftentimes, by noon, I am completely spent and have to quit. So, I plan and design things accordingly. I do very little in the way of gardening, but I do have some fruit and nut trees and lots of wild blackberries. I actually find livestock to be easier and less time consuming than gardening. We have one horse, several mini donkeys we raise as a source of extra income as they are practically maintenance free, chickens of course, and a dairy jersey that I machine milk once a day. I only allow myself animals that don’t have to be fed daily. The chicken feed is in a big auto-feeding bin, so all I do on most days is top off their water and collect eggs. We have 36 acres with several ponds, so plenty of grazing and water for everyone. I only feed them as treats. It is not a daily chore. My favorite time of day is when I get to go out and milk. The cow comes when you call her name and I get to peacefully milk in the barn, BY MYSELF, because I make my kids stay in the house. That is my “me time!” I drag my milk back to the house in a wagon to avoid too much heavy lifting as she gives 2-3 gallons a day. I think depending on your setup, that livestock are actually very easy and rewarding. I would suggest getting animals only if you’re able to avoid feeding them daily. We plan to get a few beef cows this spring to butcher/sell. A food forest is a goal of mine. I’m also, slowly (VERY slowly) building a little cob house out of pallets, straw, and cob... just for fun. I’m sure it’ll take me years and years to finish it. But I love the work and I believe no matter if your ailment be physical, psychological, mental, etc., the homesteading lifestyle is the best way to live for your overall health!
 
pollinator
Posts: 241
Location: Dolan Springs, AZ 86441
34
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Ryan Hobbs wrote:How do you do it? Today I was fine in the morning and then completely useless.
...

How do I homestead with these problems? How do I design the homestead with permie principles to work for me? How do I make it work so that if I have a bad day or even a bad week, that it isn't the end of the world? I know someone is going to say I have to figure it out myself, but I'm in terra incognito here, a road map would be awfully useful for choosing a way forward. What are my options here?



First, you don't try to do it alone. Gather a community of people around you. I have come to see Permaculture and homesteading are best suited to the young. Unless a Permaculture community is incorporated into your plan from the start, it takes an extraordinary individual to overcome the "drag" of a chronic illness.

Personally, I have given up on trying to do it alone here in the desert. I have not found (or attracted) such a community in my area, and I am out of resources.

I want to sell my 3.66 acres and move to a place that already has an established community of Permaculturists. I'm open to suggestions, but I find that doing it all on my own, just ain't cutting it.
 
Posts: 37
11
  • Likes 8
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I keep telling myself, "Rome wasn't built in a day."  I try to set goals but if I don't get to those goals, I don't let that be the end of a world.  Small bites. Do what you can when you can with what you have.

This is for Ryan. Cooped chickens are at the mercy of you feeding them and watering them. Unless you have automatic waterers and feeders that hold lot of feed. Free range chickens and other poultry aren't at the mercy of you taking care of them quite as much, but they do need protection from predators. If I were you I would consider investing in automatic solar powered coop doors that would let your poultry range out in the morning when the sun comes up the door opens. At night when the birds come in the door closes. They sell those doors in a lot of places like on amazon. You can buy the parts you need and make it yourself cheaper.  I make a cheap chicken/poultry waterer with a bottom of a plastic barrel cut to adult chicken height with an automatic float valve and a hose to the water hydrant. If you don't have a hydrant and are catching water in a barrel or tote, you can still hook up a float valve to a water pan or barrel bottom.  If you get ducks, you probably don't want a waterer with an automatic float valve as ducks will just keep the water flowing especially if they can jump in a swim or attempt to swim and bathe.  You can get large poultry feeders that hold 25 lbs and more of feed or you can build some that people are showing on pinterest using a tote and PVC pipe fittings. I haven't tried those yet but I might in the future.   I tried Muscovy ducks. Never had one roost on anything ever. Never had one fly into a tree. Never had one scratch through stuff like a chicken.  If you let them get over a year old they are so tuff you can't eat them in my personal experience.  I sold all of mine. Two of the drakes would gang up on any new drake and have their way with him......over and over and over.  You mileage may vary with muscovy ducks.  

This is for Carla Burke. You are thinking you have to move a whole bag. When I was a kid of about 8 I had chickens and a horse. I had to take care of them.  So my parents took me to the feed store bought a bag of laying mash for my chickens and had the very nice guys at the local farm equity load it in the trunk of the car.  When we got home, I was told I had to move the feed and feed the chickens as it was my job since i wanted the chickens. I think my parents thought I wouldn't have the chickens much longer as there was no way I was going to be able to move that bag of feed. I am pretty sure it close to 100 lbs had to be at least 80 lbs since it was one of those big plasticy burlap bags that was longer than normal 50 lb bags.  I did manage to get the bag sitting up vertically in the trunk but I couldn't manage to lift it up out of the trunk.  So, I went and got some container/bags/ buckets and my feed scoop.  I scoop feed out of the bag into my buckets/bags and containers in amounts I could lift and move to the trash can I was going to store the feed in. I would fill a bucket or bag and then take it to the trash can and dump it in. Then I would go back and do some more until I had that bag down to weight where I could lift it and carry it to the trash can and dump it in. Over the years, I have had various injuries that have forced me to return to this way of thinking. Broken arm, hurt back, crushed knee.  My husband travels for his job so I have to do things myself.   So save your old bags. Take them to a the car. Scoop half of the new bag or a third of the new bag, what ever it takes to make it easy into a extra bags and carry them into the the feed storage area or container.  If you need help carrying even the small bags, get a dolly or a wheel barrow or a lawn cart.. This is doing things smart. Not everyone can heft a 50lb bag onto their shoulder and walk with it for tenth of a mile or a 100 yards or 50 yards. I am blessed that I can at my age of 56.  Yes, all that scooping may take longer, but you do what you have to do.

you can do it.  Yeah, you have to believe that you can do it. One small chunk at a time.

And for the person talking about freezing hoses. I live in North central Ohio have hoses everywhere from my animals. In the winter the hoses are off the hydrants so the hydrants won't freeze. I have invested in some of those light weight hoses some of them even collapse. The water drains out of the them really easy and I can carry them into the basement of the house so they stay warm and don't freeze. I have a 35 footer I can easily carry with one hand after it is drained.  Heck, I have a 75 footer that I can carry with one hand when it is drained. Makes life so much easier in the winter. I use regular hoses in the summer but I use the lightweight ones in the winter. I love them and they make life so much easier.

You Can Do It.
Bonnie
Bonnie
 
pollinator
Posts: 618
Location: Scioto county, Ohio, USA - Zone 6b
155
forest garden duck hunting foraging books cooking food preservation woodworking homestead
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I'm writing as part of my therapy. So I started this blog in hopes that it could help other people while I help myself. I have made 3 posts so far. My posts will tend to be short so that people like my mom who has ADHD can read them without much trouble.

https://myscarsareinside.health.blog
 
Mark Kissinger
pollinator
Posts: 241
Location: Dolan Springs, AZ 86441
34
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Bonnie Johnson wrote:I keep telling myself, "Rome wasn't built in a day."  I try to set goals but if I don't get to those goals, I don't let that be the end of a world.  Small bites. Do what you can when you can with what you have.

...

...

you can do it.  Yeah, you have to believe that you can do it. One small chunk at a time.

And for the person talking about freezing hoses. I live in North central Ohio have hoses everywhere from my animals. In the winter the hoses are off the hydrants so the hydrants won't freeze. I have invested in some of those light weight hoses some of them even collapse. The water drains out of the them really easy and I can carry them into the basement of the house so they stay warm and don't freeze. I have a 35 footer I can easily carry with one hand after it is drained.  Heck, I have a 75 footer that I can carry with one hand when it is drained. Makes life so much easier in the winter. I use regular hoses in the summer but I use the lightweight ones in the winter. I love them and they make life so much easier.

You Can Do It.
Bonnie
Bonnie



Yes, I should have shut down the yard hydrant for the freezing weather. I got lazy, and believed the forecast. It was wrong, and instead of having an hour of 30 degree weather, it was 4 to 5 hours of 27 degree weather. Also, the water line supplies water (from my above ground 2500 gallon black plastic storage tank) to my RV, day and night. I had intended to freeze-proof the line before the first deep freeze, but this freeze was much earlier that usual for this area. I'll be finishing up on the newly insulated, heat-taped, and buried supply line by this time tomorrow. If need be, for longer freezes, I can switch to the internal water tank on my RV when we get that rare week-long freeze. Other garden hoses get drained after use during cold weather. The yard hydrants are self draining when they are off. When homesteading off-grid, a person really has to pay attention to what nature is handing out to you.
 
Posts: 49
Location: Colorado Springs, CO zone 5A / Canon City, CO zone 5B
2
  • Likes 6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I am deeply grateful to all who have posted in this thread. You have given me new hope. Thank you.
 
master gardener
Posts: 1956
712
personal care gear foraging hunting rabbit chicken cooking food preservation fiber arts medical herbs homestead
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Bonnie Johnson wrote:I keep telling myself, "Rome wasn't built in a day."  I try to set goals but if I don't get to those goals, I don't let that be the end of a world.  Small bites. Do what you can when you can with what you have.

This is for Ryan. Cooped chickens are at the mercy of you feeding them and watering them. Unless you have automatic waterers and feeders that hold lot of feed. Free range chickens and other poultry aren't at the mercy of you taking care of them quite as much, but they do need protection from predators. If I were you I would consider investing in automatic solar powered coop doors that would let your poultry range out in the morning when the sun comes up the door opens. At night when the birds come in the door closes. They sell those doors in a lot of places like on amazon. You can buy the parts you need and make it yourself cheaper.  I make a cheap chicken/poultry waterer with a bottom of a plastic barrel cut to adult chicken height with an automatic float valve and a hose to the water hydrant. If you don't have a hydrant and are catching water in a barrel or tote, you can still hook up a float valve to a water pan or barrel bottom.  If you get ducks, you probably don't want a waterer with an automatic float valve as ducks will just keep the water flowing especially if they can jump in a swim or attempt to swim and bathe.  You can get large poultry feeders that hold 25 lbs and more of feed or you can build some that people are showing on pinterest using a tote and PVC pipe fittings. I haven't tried those yet but I might in the future.   I tried Muscovy ducks. Never had one roost on anything ever. Never had one fly into a tree. Never had one scratch through stuff like a chicken.  If you let them get over a year old they are so tuff you can't eat them in my personal experience.  I sold all of mine. Two of the drakes would gang up on any new drake and have their way with him......over and over and over.  You mileage may vary with muscovy ducks.  



Agreed! We are currently keeping our girls confined to the house & run, until the predator issue we ran into is resolved, but free-ranging it's cheaper, FAR easier, and (imho) healthier!

Bonnie Johnson wrote: This is for Carla Burke. You are thinking you have to move a whole bag. When I was a kid of about 8 I had chickens and a horse. I had to take care of them.  So my parents took me to the feed store bought a bag of laying mash for my chickens and had the very nice guys at the local farm equity load it in the trunk of the car.  When we got home, I was told I had to move the feed and feed the chickens as it was my job since i wanted the chickens. I think my parents thought I wouldn't have the chickens much longer as there was no way I was going to be able to move that bag of feed. I am pretty sure it close to 100 lbs had to be at least 80 lbs since it was one of those big plasticy burlap bags that was longer than normal 50 lb bags.  I did manage to get the bag sitting up vertically in the trunk but I couldn't manage to lift it up out of the trunk.  So, I went and got some container/bags/ buckets and my feed scoop.  I scoop feed out of the bag into my buckets/bags and containers in amounts I could lift and move to the trash can I was going to store the feed in. I would fill a bucket or bag and then take it to the trash can and dump it in. Then I would go back and do some more until I had that bag down to weight where I could lift it and carry it to the trash can and dump it in. Over the years, I have had various injuries that have forced me to return to this way of thinking. Broken arm, hurt back, crushed knee.  My husband travels for his job so I have to do things myself.   So save your old bags. Take them to a the car. Scoop half of the new bag or a third of the new bag, what ever it takes to make it easy into a extra bags and carry them into the the feed storage area or container.  If you need help carrying even the small bags, get a dolly or a wheel barrow or a lawn cart.. This is doing things smart. Not everyone can heft a 50lb bag onto their shoulder and walk with it for tenth of a mile or a 100 yards or 50 yards. I am blessed that I can at my age of 56.  Yes, all that scooping may take longer, but you do what you have to do.

you can do it.  Yeah, you have to believe that you can do it. One small chunk at a time.



Exactly! Right now, the speed of flipping it from the trunk to the wagon rules, lol. But, when I pull the wagon to the henhouse, to dump out into the bin, I usually do have to switch to buckets. If I am able, I'd much rather tip the bag into the bin, then pull up the emptied bag, so that's what I'm doing - for now. You're only a year ahead of me, and like you - I've a loverly collection of injuries to my name, lol. I'm torn, these days, between wanting to tough it out, like the badass I used to be, and preserving what left of me, for the next decades. You were a smart little thing - and that's obviously not changed! I hope my ridiculous need to get it done quickly is soon overcome by the wisdom in slowing down, and shifting into 'low' gear!

Bonnie Johnson wrote:And for the person talking about freezing hoses. I live in North central Ohio have hoses everywhere from my animals. In the winter the hoses are off the hydrants so the hydrants won't freeze. I have invested in some of those light weight hoses some of them even collapse. The water drains out of the them really easy and I can carry them into the basement of the house so they stay warm and don't freeze. I have a 35 footer I can easily carry with one hand after it is drained.  Heck, I have a 75 footer that I can carry with one hand when it is drained. Makes life so much easier in the winter. I use regular hoses in the summer but I use the lightweight ones in the winter. I love them and they make life so much easier.

You Can Do It.
Bonnie
Bonnie


I think some of those hoses would be incredibly handy here, too....
 
pollinator
Posts: 291
Location: New Hampshire
83
hugelkultur forest garden chicken food preservation bee
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Lori Ziemba wrote:

Kate Muller wrote:

Jeremy Baker wrote:?
That’s a tough situation to be in . Good luck and best wishes. I just take miniature sized bites at a time these days. And get a surprising amount done.



This is exactly what I have spent the last 2 years learning to do.  In my case I have a connective tissue disorder called Ehlers Danlos Syndrome.




I have it, too.  It's a bitch, isn't it?



Seriously a bitch.   I guess I shouldn't be surprised that I am not the only zebra that has found permaculture a good hack for being able to continue doing the things we want to do.

Would anyone be interested in a homesteading thread about homesteading with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome(EDS)?  It would be about what and how we do things as we maintain, expand the homestead, and slowly get the place ready for retirement and my continued physical decline.  
 
pollinator
Posts: 413
Location: Northern Puget Sound, Zone 8A
66
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I haven't read everything folks have written in response to the OP, but the general advice of just doing what you're able, and starting slow and just doing 1 thing at a time is good advice.

I got dx'd with Young Onset Parkinsons at 38.  For the most part it's still more of an annoyance than a disability.  But, I've discovered some limitations.  For one, if I am doing something that is a combination of physically strenuous and mentally stressful (falling trees being the prime culprit for me) I have to be careful to limit how much I do in a day.  I realized this after having my first ever (and a couple subsequent) full blown anxiety attacks.  I had cut down probably a dozen trees in one day.  I had wanted to be done for the day after maybe 6 or 8 and my wife said she really wanted those 3-4 trees cut down too.  Then just that one over there.  Then just one more.  I finally told her I was just too tired to keep going, she pouted, and we went inside.  About an hour later I was a basket case.  I just overwhelmed my brain's ability to cope, and that shut me down for the rest of the day, and really limited by ability to do much for a couple days afterwards too.  Once I started taking meds it helped a lot, but even still, I have to listen to my body.  Fortunately after that my wife also learned that it really was necessary to listen when I say I need to be done with something like tree falling.

Sometimes falling a single tree is almost too much (especially if it doesn't go quite right).  But even if it goes perfectly, 3 trees is my absolute limit.  Mind you, I can limb and buck for firewood all freaking day.

Another thing is that I HAVE to respect the time to go take meds, and the time I can eat.  The meds and protein don't mix (protein prevents absorption of the meds), but if I don't eat enough I get nauseous, and that is a bigger interference to work that taking a break to eat something.  

Some of the really fine motor skill things are getting harder as my fingers don't respond to commands like they used to, so I try to have my wife or kids help with those tasks where appropriate.  My wife is out of shape, but even when she was still really fit she couldn't do a lot of what I can do (just a fact of biology, God gave men pecs and women boobs - each have their uses and thankfully so).  That lets us both contribute in valuable ways while respecting our individual limitations/skill sets.

Main point is, learn what you can do without causing yourself more problems than it's worth.  Then stop before crossing that line.  Though, it's also like anything where you don't know what the limits are until you exceed them.  So push yourself enough to find those limits, and hopefully it's like in car racing where the driver has a lurid slide, but doesn't actually hit the wall.  
 
Posts: 315
Location: North Coast Dominican Republic
11
forest garden trees tiny house
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
In my case, it is hypothyroidism. Despite my profile listing Dominican Republic as my location, I am at the moment in California; my VA doctor is still trying to figure out the right dose for my thyroid replacement. One of the main problems I have noticed from hypothyroidism is that my energy for the day doesn't have much to do with how much sleep I got. Some nights, I can get a normal night's sleep, and still feel like taking a late-morning nap; other nights, same amount of sleep, and the day is okay; occasional insomnia might or might not be reflected in my energy the next day. The spoon theory has definitely been useful to me in terms of learning not to judge myself.

The difficulty, though, is that necessity does not respect our needs. If I don't get the raised beds dug up, that means a shortage of produce later on.
 
pioneer
Posts: 241
Location: Missoula
98
hugelkultur forest garden books earthworks wofati composting toilet food preservation building medical herbs rocket stoves homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Jason Hernandez wrote:In my case, it is hypothyroidism. Despite my profile listing Dominican Republic as my location, I am at the moment in California; my VA doctor is still trying to figure out the right dose for my thyroid replacement.



If your thyroid gland has not been irradiated or removed and functions at least a little, you could try Armour Thyroid.  It contains T3 and T4 in a proper ratio and helps your thyroid self-right.  Don't be surprised though, if the VA doesn't carry Armour Thyroid where you are.  In Illinois and Florida at least, I've been told it is non-formulary, which is why I learned to make my own.  

I don't know how home made thyroid medication works for a removed or irradiated thyroid.  May be worth researching?  

If it is intact and Armour Thyroid is unavailable through the VA, you can try getting a prescription outside the VA.  

Or, you can make your own thyroid medication quite easily.  If interested, PM me and I'll share the recipe I used.  Technically I have Hashimoto's Thyroiditis because once those antibodies are present they remain forever present.  So I was told.  However, I no longer need thyroid medication because mine healed.  It took a few years to settle down.  Now thyroid tests have been normal for... 7-8  years?  Lots of doctors said that isn't possible, but guess what?  It is.  I did it.  So have thousands of other people.  Furthermore, I was quietly encouraged by a VA endocrinologist to give it a try, though this I showed him what I was "gonna do" but really was already doing.  Self-titration is frowned upon, with good reason I'm sure.  But I had a death sentence anyway and nothing to lose.  

The recipe I found came from a veterinarian who had posted it online for a 60lb german shepherd.  I weighed more so I doubled it for 120lbs to try it out and go slow.  It works naturally, and can be standardized at home.  I increased the dosage gradually by a tiny amount.  With more help regarding dosage from a doctor I might have nailed it on the first try.  As it was, I had to go slow and figure it out on my own.  Still, I'm happy it worked and all the study about it was worth the effort.
 
master steward
Posts: 14664
Location: Pacific Northwest
6630
hugelkultur kids cat duck forest garden foraging fiber arts sheep wood heat homestead
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Hanna Sanders wrote:I have found this thread so comforting! I see now that it’s not just me! I, like a few of you, have ehlers-danlos syndrome. I hurt ALL the time and have constant fatigue. Problem is, my mind is hyper. I’m guessing a lot of you are that way as well, or you wouldn’t choose to be a homesteader... I have sooo many thing I want to do, and I try to do, but my body can’t keep up. I truly enjoy the work, but I often find myself over-doing it, and regretting it later.


Kate Muller wrote:

Lori Ziemba wrote:

Kate Muller wrote:

Jeremy Baker wrote:?
That’s a tough situation to be in . Good luck and best wishes. I just take miniature sized bites at a time these days. And get a surprising amount done.


This is exactly what I have spent the last 2 years learning to do.  In my case I have a connective tissue disorder called Ehlers Danlos Syndrome.


I have it, too.  It's a bitch, isn't it?



Seriously a bitch.   I guess I shouldn't be surprised that I am not the only zebra that has found permaculture a good hack for being able to continue doing the things we want to do.

Would anyone be interested in a homesteading thread about homesteading with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome(EDS)?  It would be about what and how we do things as we maintain, expand the homestead, and slowly get the place ready for retirement and my continued physical decline.  



I'm not quite at the Ehlers-Danlos degree, but I also have hypermobility and some of the other ailments that go along with it (lightheartedness, Chronic Fatigue, joints trying to fall apart, etc). My husband and children are also all hypermobile. I would love to see a thread on this!
 
Carla Burke
master gardener
Posts: 1956
712
personal care gear foraging hunting rabbit chicken cooking food preservation fiber arts medical herbs homestead
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Nicole Alderman wrote:

Hanna Sanders wrote:I have found this thread so comforting! I see now that it’s not just me! I, like a few of you, have ehlers-danlos syndrome. I hurt ALL the time and have constant fatigue. Problem is, my mind is hyper. I’m guessing a lot of you are that way as well, or you wouldn’t choose to be a homesteader... I have sooo many thing I want to do, and I try to do, but my body can’t keep up. I truly enjoy the work, but I often find myself over-doing it, and regretting it later.


Kate Muller wrote:

Lori Ziemba wrote:

Kate Muller wrote:

Jeremy Baker wrote:?
That’s a tough situation to be in . Good luck and best wishes. I just take miniature sized bites at a time these days. And get a surprising amount done.


This is exactly what I have spent the last 2 years learning to do.  In my case I have a connective tissue disorder called Ehlers Danlos Syndrome.


I have it, too.  It's a bitch, isn't it?



Seriously a bitch.   I guess I shouldn't be surprised that I am not the only zebra that has found permaculture a good hack for being able to continue doing the things we want to do.

Would anyone be interested in a homesteading thread about homesteading with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome(EDS)?  It would be about what and how we do things as we maintain, expand the homestead, and slowly get the place ready for retirement and my continued physical decline.  



I'm not quite at the Ehlers-Danlos degree, but I also have hypermobility and some of the other ailments that go along with it (lightheartedness, Chronic Fatigue, joints trying to fall apart, etc). My husband and children are also all hypermobile. I would love to see a thread on this!



EDS is one of my 'bad alphabet soup' ingredients, too. It's why the arthritis set in so early, why I'm often klutzy (hopefully =physical instability, for me), easily sprained & strained joints, and other things. However, mine is not the one that messes with the internal organs. Or, at least, that hasn't presented, yet.
 
gardener
Posts: 1828
Location: South of Capricorn
714
dog rabbit urban cooking writing homestead ungarbage
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hey Ehlers Danlos peeps! (waves)
My blood pressure (and random fainting) has calmed down lately, but this year arthritis has appeared in my hands. Not from typing or my moneyed work, of course, but from the things I really like- gardening, kneading bread, chopping food. There are days I need to choose which one I can do, because I can do about 30 min of one, and then go ice my hands because I'm done. I'm in good shape but have torn ligaments and cartilage in both my knees, I expected my mobility issues to be more leg-related as I got older, never expected my hands to be the problem. When work calms down in January I'll be going to start some PT. In the meantime I've started doing as much as I can without my hands (i no longer type anything on the phone, it is all dictation software; I'm using the food processor and kitchen aid more for things I used to do by hand).
 
Posts: 29
Location: Schofields, NSW. Australia. Zone 9-11 Temperate to Sub Tropical
7
  • Likes 6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi Ryan, Greetings from Oz

There are so many great replies and great suggestions here, you have started an amazing conversation, thank you.

Currently in Australia we are burning up with the bushfires, interspersed with gale force winds, cyclones and flooding all in the same season. Every one has been affected, even city people away from the fires have suffered 84 straight days of heavy particulate pollution from the fires, and an area the size of the whole of Belgium and part of Germany has already burnt with more expected. The flooding has brought massive new growth in some areas meaning a potential new burn load is on the forest floor waiting to dry out and this will start all over.

I hope the rest of the world is watching because they will learn from watching - what they can do to weatherproof in different ways through permaculture methods. My farm suffered some ember attacks, not the devastation further down our NSW south coast, but I am in an areas that will be extremely vulnerable to the next round of fires because we now have extra ground growth from some rain which means a new burn load is ready on the ground for more fires and as a person with mobility problems this has added to the stress.

All this has left me feeling anxious and depressed to a degree I've not experienced like before. I've been helping friends and others who have been affected way worse for a while now, and have hit the point where I've had to stop pushing so hard, step back and try to find peaceful things to do, like walking around the farm or spending time watching animals and birds come in to the dams for water and just not lifting a finger. First off I felt very guilty, now I realize I needed to re-evaluate how I cope with these stresses.

Taking those bite size steps, slowing down and nurturing ourselves is critical for health. I surround myself with friends who are positive, practical, gentle and helpful. Sometimes when I crave solitude I retreat for a dose of me time, and do what I can, then climb back in when it passes.

After reading everyone's suggestions, obvious things stand out about all of us - we have found working close up with nature very grounding and healing, plain good old commonsense - so we're ahead of many who still suffer from modern day demands on our time, our health and our reason for being. We are a permie family, we look after our Zone 1 issues - People Care.

My very best wishes Ryan, and Mr Grape, LOL on continuing moving forward
Annette
 
Posts: 65
Location: central Pennsylvania
4
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
This is such a great topic!  And obviously quite a few permies make it work even with significant health issues. Some wonderful advice and perspectives here.

So very encouraging!  
 
pollinator
Posts: 128
Location: Central Maine
18
homeschooling hugelkultur trees
  • Likes 7
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have had anxiety as long as I can remember.  Mania, depression, fainting spells, stomach ulcers, blah blah blah, all from anxiety.  I moved off grid 6 years ago with my family, and it was the hardest and best thing I ever did.

I say hardest because transitioning from clueless town folk to somewhat skilled homesteaders is insanely difficult anyway.  It was incredibly taxing on my body with the anxiety making my head spin and my body ache.

It was the best thing because it has opened my eyes to the roots of my issues.  When you are responsible for getting your own water and heat, without electricity, you begin to rethink what is important and you can start to let things go.  

I am still just beginning to heal, but at least I finally feel like I'm going in the right direction.  I have figured out how to feed myself without a refrigerator and still eat the good foods I need to heal my guts from the anxiety damage.  I also now am able to work on my issues that caused the problems to begin with.  I have so much time to think in the quiet outdoors while doing chores.  And I have all the space and resources I need to do anything creative I can dream up.

Chronic illness makes things more difficult no matter how you live.  I do not, by any stretch, speak for everything, but this lifestyle has helped me tons.  It was worth the stress of the change to get to where we are now.  6 years and we are starting to feel like we're getting the hang of it.  But, my boyfriend reminds me daily that time doesn't matter and we're always moving forward.

I hope I'm not rambling too bad, but this life can be amazing and it's worth the struggle.  It is difficult to put into words.
 
author & gardener
Posts: 720
Location: Southeastern U.S. - Zone 7b
314
goat cat forest garden foraging chicken food preservation medical herbs writing solar wood heat homestead
  • Likes 6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I've always been a proponent of "something is better than nothing."

"In the end, there are no one-size-fits-all solutions to the challenges of (homesteading). . . It is better to grow one potted tomato plant on the patio than none at all. It is better to have a small suburban garden than none at all. It is better to keep a few potted herbs under a grow light than none at all. It is better to do something rather than nothing. By starting one step at a time, you may be amazed at where the journey can take you."
Chapter 6, "Food Self-Sufficiency: Feeding Ourselves," 5 Acres & A Dream The Book.



People argue over the definition of homesteading, but really, there is no iron-clad definition. It can mean different things to different people, and each one of us must decide what we can realistically do. A homestead doesn't have to be rural, it can be urban or suburban. The idea is to be working toward a more sustainable life wherever you are, and no matter what your circumstances. So, if it's a small container garden and three backyard chickens, then that's a huge step toward even a small bit of self-reliance. Small steps are important and can make a big impact.

 
Posts: 41
Location: Ontario zone 4b/5a
13
  • Likes 8
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
This thread is really quite wonderful, and I couldn't add to the insightful suggestions of those with such meaningful experience.

I yo-yo back and forth between understanding that I'm "doing enough", and feeling like a complete failure at life. Just in reading this thread it's a real battle in my head not to feel like a failure compared to those that have to endure more then myself. I know it's the deceptive nature of depression, but it's not always possible to turn a logical assessment into a better emotional response.

I really try to practice not judging others or making too many assumptions; I think it's probably easier to find that grace and forgiveness in yourself when you apply it to others as well. I have definitely met individuals who have suffered hardships and seem to feel that everyone else therefore have no excuses for their own shortcomings. And I have met people who are incredibly kind and generous when life has been less so to them.  



Ok, I've decided to add one more thing (it's probably taken me at least 30 minutes just to decided on those few sentences!)

I have found that some experts, from books or online, on sustainable living/farming/homesteading do push a version of "devote everything to this and you can do it" mentality. So far I have noticed that approach espoused by men particularly so I wonder if it's a bit of that "tough it out" masculine ideal. Either way, it's made me feel less-then before and I've tried hard to separate it from otherwise great ideas. I guess I just agree with everyone else that we're not running anyone else race. And really, you don't have to run at all, a walk or a wheelchair ride gets you there too.

 
Tereza Okava
gardener
Posts: 1828
Location: South of Capricorn
714
dog rabbit urban cooking writing homestead ungarbage
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Glad you decided to contribute, Nicky!

I also have noticed that same "tough it out" mentality. Some of it implies that you are not trying hard enough, not good enough, don't have fancy enough tools, etc etc. Yesterday I was problemshooting a very, very sad sourdough I baked (still tasted good, but very flat) and noticed the same attitude in the sourdough forums-- someone comes with a problem and the responses were all of that ilk. Your flour is not good enough! Your starter is substandard! Why is the percent gluten in your flour so low? You should mail order this special water from Italy so that you can have the perfect pH, etc etc etc. Finally someone said, hey, the person is in Mexico, maybe it`s just going too fast, let it rise in the fridge.
I feel like permaculture offers that kind of refreshing response, instead of the more-better-harder-fancier responses that we sometimes find when we have a hard time and are looking for help. Nature knows what she`s up to, the path of least resistance can sometimes be the best solution.
 
Kate Muller
pollinator
Posts: 291
Location: New Hampshire
83
hugelkultur forest garden chicken food preservation bee
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Nicky McGrath wrote:This thread is really quite wonderful, and I couldn't add to the insightful suggestions of those with such meaningful experience.

I yo-yo back and forth between understanding that I'm "doing enough", and feeling like a complete failure at life. Just in reading this thread it's a real battle in my head not to feel like a failure compared to those that have to endure more then myself. I know it's the deceptive nature of depression, but it's not always possible to turn a logical assessment into a better emotional response.

I really try to practice not judging others or making too many assumptions; I think it's probably easier to find that grace and forgiveness in yourself when you apply it to others as well. I have definitely met individuals who have suffered hardships and seem to feel that everyone else therefore have no excuses for their own shortcomings. And I have met people who are incredibly kind and generous when life has been less so to them.  



Ok, I've decided to add one more thing (it's probably taken me at least 30 minutes just to decided on those few sentences!)

I have found that some experts, from books or online, on sustainable living/farming/homesteading do push a version of "devote everything to this and you can do it" mentality. So far I have noticed that approach espoused by men particularly so I wonder if it's a bit of that "tough it out" masculine ideal. Either way, it's made me feel less-then before and I've tried hard to separate it from otherwise great ideas. I guess I just agree with everyone else that we're not running anyone else race. And really, you don't have to run at all, a walk or a wheelchair ride gets you there too.



I have had so many days with the same thoughts running through my head.  My husband and I will periodically look at the unfinished projects and goals we aren't even close to starting let alone finish and think we are falling behind and haven't gotten much done.  Then we have friends or family over and they marvel at what we have gotten accomplished because they see the difference over months and years not daily.     It helps me to get an outside perspective because I am my own worst critic.

There are a couple of mantras I always fall back on.
Finished is better than perfect.
We can always fix or redo it there is no rush.

 
steward & bricolagier
Posts: 6348
Location: SW Missouri
2858
goat cat fungi books chicken earthworks food preservation cooking building homestead ungarbage
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Nicky McGrath wrote:
I yo-yo back and forth between understanding that I'm "doing enough", and feeling like a complete failure at life.
....
I have found that some experts, from books or online, on sustainable living/farming/homesteading do push a version of "devote everything to this and you can do it" mentality.



I could have written that post, except you worded it much better than I could have :)  

I too yoyo between feeling successful and competent, and feeling like an utter failure. To me, that's only my emotional response, and I try to not let it tear me up too badly. Some days are better than others for that. I try to sort out my emotional response from the actual data, and one of the things in my data is "how much else are the people I'm comparing myself to dealing with?" Comparing myself to a friend who is a strong guy with a healthy body does me no good, he can do things in a day that I couldn't at best. Reality is I spend several hours a day, at minimum, dealing with health stuff, to the exclusion of any other tasks, as well as normal life stuff, only then do I get around to improving things. Is it enough? I don't know, it's all I can do.

The people who say "devote everything" are a totally different category from people like us. I think we need to learn from their experiences and advice, but work with it our own way. Their energy and strength isn't an option. This is why I said earlier in this thread I design my systems to work with my reality. They designed theirs to work with their reality, and their reality includes a healthy body.

Personally, I think my systems, designed for my health issues, are a better decision in the long run, even for someone who is healthy, because it only takes one broken bone or life curve ball to throw a person into a state where they can't do their high energy, high maintenance, habitual tasks. My systems are designed for periodic neglect, and most for long term neglect, just in case. I think in the long run that makes me more resilient, and that's a lot of why I do this.  

I try to use my mind as a toll to help me, and not let it's emotional state get in my way too often. I will admit to working on things while crying with frustration because I can't do enough, but as long as I work while I do it, I call it a positive step, and the next day is better emotionally because something got done. I try to not let the emotions paralyze me. I'll admit, I fail at that some days, but that's my goal.

Hugs to you Ms Nicky, you are not alone. Far from it....

:D
 
Ryan Hobbs
pollinator
Posts: 618
Location: Scioto county, Ohio, USA - Zone 6b
155
forest garden duck hunting foraging books cooking food preservation woodworking homestead
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I'm going for a strategy of diversity personally. 4-5 years to establish a food forest; and while that is just growing, I'll be building multiple businesses. I don't expect them to all work out. But I expect at least one to work out. That way I will have a good enough income to start a family.

Businesses I'm planning on starting in the next 5 years:
Communications Technology
Edged Weapons
Multi-Fuel Tractors
Farm Implements
Seed Cleaners
Bloom Steel
Ceramics
Custom Replacement Parts for old machines
Brown-water Shipping Vessels
Hydroelectric Power Plants without Dams
Alternative Fuels
Extremely Efficient Steam Engines for driving Machinery or Generating Electricity
Vintage Tool Reproduction
A Tavern serving 18th century American and European Food and Drink
A Surface Mine Rehab Company
 
Posts: 29
Location: N Kentucky/S Ohio
11
forest garden foraging medical herbs
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thank you for the post Ryan and thank you everyone who responded. It's nice to hear from others that stuggle with this and that it can be done. I have also been treated for various mental health and physical disorders for years, ASD/PTSD/a list of related issues. For me it's not a question of how do I do this with a disability. Doing this is my solution to my disability because I can't do anything else very well! I belong in my garden better than anywhere else it seems and it never judges my issues and just breathing around the plants is like a lifeline when Im stuck and can't talk or move well. I'm in the middle of a stressful move and reading all this has really reassured me it will work out and I'll be okay. Thank you again everyone.

Ryan it sounds like you have some amazing plans for your food forest already, some really good ideas for building your life around what you can do. That's a lot of interesting business ideas! I have a million too, it's easy to get tangled up in them all sometimes. Which one will you start with?

Some of my solutions I have used...Small, square foot beds for higher maintenance plants, raised beds, gravity drip irrigation from rainwater barrels, companion planting. The black raspberries are my sacred Preying mantis hatching sites. I haven't done livestock being in the city. I let a lot of things go wild. Tomatoes and pumpkins growing from piles of compost aren't organized or orderly but they're still tasty. I eat my weeds, so there's motivation to pick them. I plant heirlooms and hoard seeds, I scatter and plant seeds in their respective area whenever I can, if it's not the right time of year or they're three years old I will plant them just in case, because better planted than forgotten and I forget everything. Usually I get nice surprises. As everyone has said..things happen when they happen. If I do it two days late and had to make up for a bunch of damage I could have prevented..it's still done. There's no other way it would have happened, there's no one else who would have done it. It is what it is. If something is picky and dying or the project just isn't going well at all, roadblock after roadblock for me is just a sign I'm trying to force the world to work my way and that it's time to look for a path that's trying to make itself instead.
 
Pearl Sutton
steward & bricolagier
Posts: 6348
Location: SW Missouri
2858
goat cat fungi books chicken earthworks food preservation cooking building homestead ungarbage
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Natalie Lawrence wrote:
Some of my solutions I have used...Small, square foot beds for higher maintenance plants, raised beds, gravity drip irrigation from rainwater barrels, companion planting. The black raspberries are my sacred Preying mantis hatching sites. I haven't done livestock being in the city. I let a lot of things go wild. Tomatoes and pumpkins growing from piles of compost aren't organized or orderly but they're still tasty. I eat my weeds, so there's motivation to pick them. I plant heirlooms and hoard seeds, I scatter and plant seeds in their respective area whenever I can, if it's not the right time of year or they're three years old I will plant them just in case, because better planted than forgotten and I forget everything. Usually I get nice surprises. As everyone has said..things happen when they happen. If I do it two days late and had to make up for a bunch of damage I could have prevented..it's still done. There's no other way it would have happened, there's no one else who would have done it. It is what it is. If something is picky and dying or the project just isn't going well at all, roadblock after roadblock for me is just a sign I'm trying to force the world to work my way and that it's time to look for a path that's trying to make itself instead.


Natalie: Welcome to Permies! Sounds like you'll like it here :)
I'm also a big fan of forgetting what got planted where, and hey, surprise!! One of the things I'm doing on my place is planting all kinds of things in all kinds of areas, I think of it as being able to wildcraft on my own land. "ooh, what might be over here?"
:D
 
Natalie Lawrence
Posts: 29
Location: N Kentucky/S Ohio
11
forest garden foraging medical herbs
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thanks for the welcome Pearl, I've been creeping for years now, I love it. Usually there's so much to soak up I never get to replying I am slow at organizing ideas. I just quit my job job to move so hopefully I will be able to do more than read now 💚
 
Ryan Hobbs
pollinator
Posts: 618
Location: Scioto county, Ohio, USA - Zone 6b
155
forest garden duck hunting foraging books cooking food preservation woodworking homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Natalie Lawrence wrote:Thank you for the post Ryan and thank you everyone who responded. It's nice to hear from others that stuggle with this and that it can be done. I have also been treated for various mental health and physical disorders for years, ASD/PTSD/a list of related issues. For me it's not a question of how do I do this with a disability. Doing this is my solution to my disability because I can't do anything else very well! I belong in my garden better than anywhere else it seems and it never judges my issues and just breathing around the plants is like a lifeline when Im stuck and can't talk or move well. I'm in the middle of a stressful move and reading all this has really reassured me it will work out and I'll be okay. Thank you again everyone.

Ryan it sounds like you have some amazing plans for your food forest already, some really good ideas for building your life around what you can do. That's a lot of interesting business ideas! I have a million too, it's easy to get tangled up in them all sometimes. Which one will you start with?

Some of my solutions I have used...Small, square foot beds for higher maintenance plants, raised beds, gravity drip irrigation from rainwater barrels, companion planting. The black raspberries are my sacred Preying mantis hatching sites. I haven't done livestock being in the city. I let a lot of things go wild. Tomatoes and pumpkins growing from piles of compost aren't organized or orderly but they're still tasty. I eat my weeds, so there's motivation to pick them. I plant heirlooms and hoard seeds, I scatter and plant seeds in their respective area whenever I can, if it's not the right time of year or they're three years old I will plant them just in case, because better planted than forgotten and I forget everything. Usually I get nice surprises. As everyone has said..things happen when they happen. If I do it two days late and had to make up for a bunch of damage I could have prevented..it's still done. There's no other way it would have happened, there's no one else who would have done it. It is what it is. If something is picky and dying or the project just isn't going well at all, roadblock after roadblock for me is just a sign I'm trying to force the world to work my way and that it's time to look for a path that's trying to make itself instead.



It's my solution too.

I think I will do whatever I have the opportunity to do first. So, I'm currently in the design phase of the Metal Workshop itself, and for the multi-fuel tractors. I'm also setting up an electronics lab, an alternative fuels lab, and the metal shop parts I have already determined the design of. I plan to fully build my machine shop and smithing station from scratch. I have a building that is mostly empty, and I just need to clean it up. Like the TARDIS, it is bigger inside than it looks from outside. (See photo below.)

I decided to make a langesmesser and and a rondel dagger before anything else because they are technically difficult and I do HEMA. And since they are a warm-up before I start to fabricate my shop tools and the small single-cylinder steam engine to power them, I decided to make them much more complicated than needed. So for the langesmesser: damascus flats, mild steel cores, and tool steel edges with a temper line; filework on the spine; damascene decoration on an engraved portion of the blade; forged bronze mokumegane guard, bolster, and pommel; horn grip scales with inlaid mother of pearl; a wooden scabbard wrapped in dyed leather with bronze mokumegane fittings, with my personal arms painted on the leather in full color. The Rondel Dagger would match, but be somewhat different. For example, the blade will be the French style flattened triangular cross section, so the long flat side with the edges will be tool steel, and the damascus will be on the ridged side. This design is prone to warping and will present lots of challenges during the quenching and tempering. The hilt construction is different too, instead of rivets and dovetails holding it together, it is peened or held together with a nut. But otherwise it will be very similar. It will use the bronze mokumegane, horn, etc...









DSC07968.JPG
[Thumbnail for DSC07968.JPG]
 
Natalie Lawrence
Posts: 29
Location: N Kentucky/S Ohio
11
forest garden foraging medical herbs
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
It must be a fairly logical solution then if so many have it. I was reading several other older posts about autism and aspergers last night and there seemed to be a lot of us diagnosed and un. That's reassuring I think.

Hell yeah, sounds like you've got it all planned out! Very exciting. That looks like a perfect shop building. Like a TARDIS is good for sure, since it sounds like you might be doing a version of time travel with everything you're going to be making and after you get alternate fuels and electrionics going who knows maybe space too. Very cool.
 
Ryan Hobbs
pollinator
Posts: 618
Location: Scioto county, Ohio, USA - Zone 6b
155
forest garden duck hunting foraging books cooking food preservation woodworking homestead
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Natalie Lawrence wrote:It must be a fairly logical solution then if so many have it. I was reading several other older posts about autism and aspergers last night and there seemed to be a lot of us diagnosed and un. That's reassuring I think.

Hell yeah, sounds like you've got it all planned out! Very exciting. That looks like a perfect shop building. Like a TARDIS is good for sure, since it sounds like you might be doing a version of time travel with everything you're going to be making and after you get alternate fuels and electrionics going who knows maybe space too. Very cool.




I do have a lot going on. Hahaha!

I like the reliability of older technology. When something goes wrong you know why pretty quick. Don't take my word for it. Ask any mechanic if they would rather fix a car from 1978 or one from 2008. Also, I don't want to have to rely on piped in electric for the shop. It goes down often. We have some gnarly thunderstorms in the Ohio River Valley. It reminds me of the Hurricanes I experienced in North Carolina aside from the lack of an eye wall and the gravity defying rain drops that hang suspended in the air in spots in hurricanes. The shop lighting is going to be LED 12v solar. So, that way, if the steam engine and dynamo are out of order, I have light to fix them. Also, is it just me, or are the new incandescent lights kind of iffy? I have a fixture in my kitchen that goes through light bulbs really fast. I'm kind of betting I could make my own edison bulbs... I need the spreigel pump for making vacuum tubes anyways...
 
Natalie Lawrence
Posts: 29
Location: N Kentucky/S Ohio
11
forest garden foraging medical herbs
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
That's true about the cars for sure. How big they are helps. I've been asked many a time to offer a small hand to reach some weird spot in a compact car. My truck is 93 and I could fall in never to be seen again just reaching for the oil dipstick. It's glorious.

I like old things too, though I don't have a lot of time to mess with them I hope to soon. The only sewing machines I wouldn't let anyone get me to give up were the two that are about 100 years old..and one is treadle so I get that.

Another Ohio person! Yes, Ohio weather doesn't like to make up its mind. Especially with the tornadoes now increasing. Yuck.  

That's smart, bad lighting makes everything harder. This house is so dark I mostly use shop lights and my studio lights only buy bulbs when I break them, which says nothing about the light bulb just my motor coordination. Oh now you're making light bulbs too... That would be a very cool project. It would take showing off your shop to an unheard of level.. "I made it myself.. including the light bulbs!"

The other tinkerers may roll their eyes but they will be secretly jealous.
 
Posts: 18
Location: Kalamazoo, MI
2
duck urban fiber arts
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
This thread has given me so much to think about!  Thank you!

I'm still pretty new here, long-time lurker, but I have fibromyalgia and a bunch of other health nastiness that has me disabled.  We're expanding the garden this year (again), which means many more seeds started, and we have ducks, which means I have to take care of them every day, and don't get me started on how much work teens are.  ;)

My big job right now (other than trying a modified version of the Autoimmune Protocol for Lent to see if I really am allergic to more tree nuts than the ones I already know about, etc.) is working on the negative messaging in my head.  Tonight, for example.  I tried a new recipe (sweet potato gnocchi), and it was a disaster.  So, dinner wasn't ready on time or, in the end, at all, so everyone has had to just grab what leftovers they could.  I couldn't clear out the area of the duck pen I wanted to, but I got some of it.  I couldn't get to both grocery stores in the plans for today, but I made it to one and got the needed bread flour.  Okay is good enough.  Some is good enough.  Anything at all on my bad pain days is good enough.  At least, this is what I tell myself every day now.
 
Ryan Hobbs
pollinator
Posts: 618
Location: Scioto county, Ohio, USA - Zone 6b
155
forest garden duck hunting foraging books cooking food preservation woodworking homestead
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Carina Hilbert wrote:This thread has given me so much to think about!  Thank you!

I'm still pretty new here, long-time lurker, but I have fibromyalgia and a bunch of other health nastiness that has me disabled.  We're expanding the garden this year (again), which means many more seeds started, and we have ducks, which means I have to take care of them every day, and don't get me started on how much work teens are.  ;)

My big job right now (other than trying a modified version of the Autoimmune Protocol for Lent to see if I really am allergic to more tree nuts than the ones I already know about, etc.) is working on the negative messaging in my head.  Tonight, for example.  I tried a new recipe (sweet potato gnocchi), and it was a disaster.  So, dinner wasn't ready on time or, in the end, at all, so everyone has had to just grab what leftovers they could.  I couldn't clear out the area of the duck pen I wanted to, but I got some of it.  I couldn't get to both grocery stores in the plans for today, but I made it to one and got the needed bread flour.  Okay is good enough.  Some is good enough.  Anything at all on my bad pain days is good enough.  At least, this is what I tell myself every day now.



I deal with things like this too. I'm as frustrated as you are. I also have to tell myself: There is always tomorrow to try again. Some days are just a bust for physical work from apathy from me. So I do something creative instead. If you have a lot of goals, you can either look at it from the perspective of having too much to do, or you can think you have something else to do when things don't work out.
 
Natalie Lawrence
Posts: 29
Location: N Kentucky/S Ohio
11
forest garden foraging medical herbs
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Carina Hilbert wrote:
Tonight, for example.  I tried a new recipe (sweet potato gnocchi), and it was a disaster.  So, dinner wasn't ready on time or, in the end, at all, so everyone has had to just grab what leftovers they could.  I couldn't clear out the area of the duck pen I wanted to, but I got some of it.  I couldn't get to both grocery stores in the plans for today, but I made it to one and got the needed bread flour.  Okay is good enough.  Some is good enough.



Amen. I have so many sweet potato gnocci type nights and grocery trips are an daily event all to themselves.
 
Carina Hilbert
Posts: 18
Location: Kalamazoo, MI
2
duck urban fiber arts
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Ryan Hobbs wrote:
I deal with things like this too. I'm as frustrated as you are. I also have to tell myself: There is always tomorrow to try again. Some days are just a bust for physical work from apathy from me. So I do something creative instead. If you have a lot of goals, you can either look at it from the perspective of having too much to do, or you can think you have something else to do when things don't work out.



Oh, there is always more to do.  Lol!  Always!  That's a good point about just switching to something else.  I mean, that's what I do with my knitting and spinning projects, so it makes sense to do them with the homesteading projects.
 
Ryan Hobbs
pollinator
Posts: 618
Location: Scioto county, Ohio, USA - Zone 6b
155
forest garden duck hunting foraging books cooking food preservation woodworking homestead
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Carina Hilbert wrote:

Ryan Hobbs wrote:
I deal with things like this too. I'm as frustrated as you are. I also have to tell myself: There is always tomorrow to try again. Some days are just a bust for physical work from apathy from me. So I do something creative instead. If you have a lot of goals, you can either look at it from the perspective of having too much to do, or you can think you have something else to do when things don't work out.



Oh, there is always more to do.  Lol!  Always!  That's a good point about just switching to something else.  I mean, that's what I do with my knitting and spinning projects, so it makes sense to do them with the homesteading projects.



I built a chicken coop today. Tomorrow, weather and illness permitting, I'll be erecting the Greenhouse! :D

Next I need to get some organic seed starting mix and mulch for the herb and vegetable gardens. I'm waiting to see what the circumference of the hoops will be once planted firmly, to buy the plastic, but maybe by the weekend I will know the size I need. The greenhouse is bigger in person than I imagined when I made the plans. I already have the really sturdy (buy it once) seed starting trays. I plan to start them indoors next week and Move them out to the greenhouse once the plastic is on it. Next Month we will be pre-ordering Buff Orpington pullets from Murray McMurray for Grandma's egg layers, and maybe some red rangers as an experiment. I have scrap lumber and chicken wire is cheap. I was thinking of building a Salatin style pastured chicken tractor. It's not my ideal tractor, but with a smaller size, and a few chickens to round out the order, it's good as an experiment to see if pastured chicken is doable for us. We have to do mail order since my mom decided to sell the truck. I find that frustrating too. lol
 
Catherine Windrose
pioneer
Posts: 241
Location: Missoula
98
hugelkultur forest garden books earthworks wofati composting toilet food preservation building medical herbs rocket stoves homestead
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I think those of you who are already 'doing' are amazing, because I haven't figured out how to begin.

Too often, I hear and feel and think everything at once.  Then it takes a minute or so to sort it out.  Then there's catching up... always catching up with what's going on around me because of all the sorting.  

While I manage noise artificially by combining 'colors of noise' and sounds waves, there's no escaping thoughts and feelings.  And people.  People can be most painful of all in so many ways.

Recently I realized effort spent researching materials and building methods was aimed at protecting myself from the inescapable ^.^  Now that's come to the surface, it's back to square one to determine practical, reasonable expectations and workarounds for coping with 'too much'.  

If I make walls thick enough with good windows installed well, that could be a real sanctuary of peace in the quiet.  Tie a cloth into a bag shape, add a slice of apple and some crickets.  Awesome <3  I dream... hahaha

During basic training, there were 40 of us to a room.  20 in each bay either side of a row of lockers in the center.  People noises all night.  Between people noises there were non-people noises which seemed louder and more persistent.  Sleep was only possible through exhaustion.  It's always been like that though, so nothing new there.  What changes are the workarounds.  

Today it dawned that I've spent most of this life managing workarounds.  So how to stop that?  What's the workaround to stop workarounds?  I suppose that points to addressing the root of why those are necessary.  I won't bother with the past personal and iatrogenic toxic gick-ish stuff.

As things are now hyperacusis remains, albeit more mildly, which is treated with special hearing aids that play noise to drown out the incessant buzz of everything all at once, so certain tones can be heard more clearly.  Those are so old they need to be replaced and I dread the testing.  There was also an adapter with a mic to use for listening to a speaker (as in a classroom), where the speaker wears a mic which is picked up by the hearing aid, which then allows the speaker's voice to rise through and above other sounds.  It wasn't ideal, but it did work for the most part.  However, it's mostly for students so there aren't many circumstances in which that can be applied even though it really is thoughtful piece of technology.

The rest is significantly reduced when stress is kept minimal.  Working with my hands is cathartic and being in nature's sounds is soothing, not irritating,  How to get to that has been the challenge.

So today I suppose I will start thinking differently.  Less about escaping the inescapable.  More about how to live with unavoidable discomforts.

Big kudos to the rest of you.  I'm glad Ryan Hobbs started opened this dialogue :.)  Listening to everyone here has been deeply helpful in a re-self-assessing kind of way.
 
Carina Hilbert
Posts: 18
Location: Kalamazoo, MI
2
duck urban fiber arts
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I don't see anything wrong with workarounds.  In education, we call those accommodations, and those are so common that most of us don't even think about them anymore.  It's just normal.

I think we all need and use workarounds everyday.  It's just that the ones for so-called normies are so ubiquitous that no one sees them for what they really are.  For the rest of us, we figure out what works for us, and we do that.

I will say, moving to a house that's still in the city we need to live in but is quieter and has space for ducks and gardens and trees and even deer and wild turkeys, that has massively helped all of us with stress loads.  Having space to get away from the crowds that's quiet is such a needed thing.
 
Ryan Hobbs
pollinator
Posts: 618
Location: Scioto county, Ohio, USA - Zone 6b
155
forest garden duck hunting foraging books cooking food preservation woodworking homestead
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Carina Hilbert wrote:I will say, moving to a house that's still in the city we need to live in but is quieter and has space for ducks and gardens and trees and even deer and wild turkeys, that has massively helped all of us with stress loads.  Having space to get away from the crowds that's quiet is such a needed thing.



Oh I know that's true! Stress is the catalyst for most of my symptoms. I don't have them when I can go out and do stuff on my land. But I'm basically a squirrel with anxiety in town or around most people. Nothing has been better for my mental health than this move. And my physical health is about to rocket up as soon as the garden and our first livestock become productive. I was actually recently able to stop taking the anti-psychotic medications. I still hear stuff sometimes, but it has become indistinct and muted. I no longer see stuff that isn't there. PTSD is still a thing, but not as bad as it used to be. And I'm hoping one of my non-farm businesses takes off so I don't have to use disability anymore. I still have to take stuff for anxiety and depression, but I'm hopeful that I can get off of them when psilocybin micro-doses become legal for the gen pop. (I've used similar but legal things. They both use the same metabolic pathway and are both in the tryptamine family.)
gift
 
My PEP Badge Tracker: An easier way to track your PEP Badge Progress
will be released to subscribers in: soon!
reply
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic