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jacque greenleaf

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since Jan 21, 2009
Burton, WA (USDA zone 8, Sunset zone 5) - old hippie heaven
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Recent posts by jacque greenleaf

Doug Kalmer wrote:

Johan Thorbecke wrote:

There is btw a more easy solution for this, you can get USB solar panels for not too much these days. Plug them in to a honking big USB power bank and you're good to go for between $40-100 depending on how large you want the system to be.
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Do you mean a Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS)? USB panels are small panels to charge portable devices. I have never heard of a UPS panel, any power source of the right voltage and frequency can charge a UPS. https://www.amazon.com/Computer-Uninterruptible-Power-Supply-Units/b?node=764572



RVers use USB panels all the time - here's an example - https://www.jackery.com/products/solarsaga-100w-solar-panel. These panels will charge a battery bank. Some RVers are now carrying around 1000 watts of solar panels, although 200-400 watts is more typical.

Granted, for typical household use, this is pretty darn minimal. But it's not trivial if you live in an area prone to power outages. Managed correctly, this amount of power will keep a CPAP operating and run a 12v fridge.

Grid-tied solar is a great technology, and more people should be taking advantage of it, IMNSHO. But it's not the only game in town.



1 month ago

Lito George wrote:Thank you Lauren,

Your Sherlock Holmes hat was fitting perfectly well with that post of yours. The bobbin thread is indeed not catching. So very frustrating at the same time - I'm itching just to have a few stitches go my way ya know?

I'm going to watch some discovered in depth tutorials on thread tension and then find someone who can educate me why the bobbin thread isn't doing its thing. Makes sense now why the original bobbin has been cut with a knife (apparently) and why I had to use a ginger technique in smoothing it all down so that nothing could catch.

I am guessing this machine was neglected or simply never worked well, sat in the basement for a few decades, then was rediscovered after the GrandMa deceased.


I appreciate your feedback and interest and encouragement - its very helpful



The machine probably worked fine when it was sold. It's not difficult to knock the timing out of whack, a hard blow - such as dropping the machine - could do it. I've never tried to fix a timing issue myself, but I know it can be done, and I'd bet there are YouTubes about how to do it. Don't write it off yet, these all-metal machines are usually very fixable. And you are obviously comfortable with mechanical things.

Grandma probably stored it in the basement because a) she someday intended to see whether it could be fixed and/or b) she couldn't bear to throw something away that she thought could be fixed.

My mother, a depression kid, died with 4 vacuums - one that functioned fine, and three out in the garage in various stages of "not working quite right".
7 months ago
I agree with Sonja, but have additional comments.

1) Older sewing machines can often be better than newer ones. I once sewed a canvas tent with my all-metal straight stitch Singer Featherweight. As long as that older Janome is well-adjusted, it should be just fine. In fact, a very good move on your part would be to take the machine to a sewing repair place and have it checked out. A good place will also offer classes for beginning seamsters. The very best teacher is someone you personally know who knows how, the second best teacher is a pro level teacher. It's certainly possible to teach yourself from scratch, especially with youtube and DVDs, but a good teacher can save you a lot of time and frustration.

I'd be leary of the chinese machine. I once saw a modern chinese version of my genuine Singer Featherweight. It was advertised s being made from the original plans used by Singer, and it sure looked like mine. Maybe it was, but the fact was that a pro sewing machine repair person could never get it to work correctly, and he really tried. Metal quality, machining to exact specs? Dunno, just that the buyer had wasted her money on a cute doorstop. Also, factory machines are more powerful than home machines, are designed to run at higher speeds and need to be bolted into the floor supports, otherwise they "walk" all over. Maybe not the best thing for a beginner. Sailing nuts who make their own sails and take their sewing machines with them on the boat favor older machines with outside pulleys and crank wheels, as they can be converted to hand crank machines or treadles. I know that one of their favored machines is a particular Pfaff, but can't remember which one. (When I made the aforesaid tent, I used the crank wheel every time I came to a seam crossing. My machine forgave me.) I believe there is at least one internet forum on sail making, you might want to spend a little time browsing. I've been intrigued by converting a machine myself, but never done it. My childhood best friend's mother was a very fine seamster, and she never used anything but a treadle. Also, I believe there is at least one company (Amish) out there that takes a modern machine and coverts it to treadle. I think it is easier to find a consistent rhythm with a treadle than with a hand crank, and I like to have both hands free to manipulate fabric as I sew.

2) I am highly dubious about fabric freezer bags. Fabric by nature is permeable, You'd need to use some high-tech sports fabric and seal all seams. You can now buy silicon food bags that can go in the freezer. Or you can use what my mother used - aluminum foil. It's reusable several times. When my mom got her freezer in the 50s, they sold waxed cardboard freezer boxes, similar to chinese take-out boxes. Dunno if anyone still uses those for freezing, but I'm sure you can find the boxes at a restaurant supply. Personally, I use canning jars whenever possible.

3) If you like your duvet cover, then keep your duvet cover. Just find a new duvet for the cover to cover. In my neck of the woods, you can find used down comforters for reasonable prices - $30 to $50, depending on size. Used polyester ones are even cheaper. The problem with wool as a filling is, as you've discovered, that it will shrink and clump. So will cotton filling. You can buy wool or cotton batting in quilt-sized pieces and use several layers, but even then, you'll have to both seam and tack it sufficiently to hold the layers in place. Down will also clump, but the answer to that is to wash your down comforter in your washing machine, then throw it in the dryer with a couple of tennis balls, and not on the highest heat setting. Maybe you could try that with your lumpy wool comforter before you give up on it?

Another idea would be to find several wool blankets and seam and tack them together to replace your lumpy wool duvet.

4) Backpacks - yes, you can. Here's a good source - https://www.thegreenpepper.com
7 months ago

Stacy Witscher wrote:I wasn't told to eat wheat everyday for 6 weeks to get tested for celiac. It was the first test the doctor's did, same day as my appointment.



"If the person being tested has not consumed any gluten for several weeks to months prior to testing, then celiac disease tests may be negative." https://labtestsonline.org/understanding/analytes/celiac-disease/tab/test

Not sure what test you had. But the standard celiac test is for blood anti-bodies, and those anti-bodies are only present if you've been eating wheat/gluten. Maybe the doctor just asked you whether you'd been eating wheat.


Stacy Witscher wrote:I do agree that IBS triggers are highly individualized. I have to watch the fiber, a moderate amount is good, a large amount is very bad, and a steady supply, about the same amount everyday is best, no ups and downs. And some types of fiber are easier than others.

But other than fiber, I can eat a varied diet, meat, dairy, eggs, wheat etc. I wouldn't want to live without dairy, I would be so unhappy.



I'm envious. Sometimes thinking about a grilled cheese sandwich can bring me nearly to tears!

No wheat. No dairy. No chocolate. No pome fruits. No stone fruits. No onions. No mustard.

Now that still leaves me plenty of great stuff to eat. But boy howdy, how I do miss cheese and real bread and apples.

2 years ago

Natasha Flue wrote:The thing I've figured out after 3 years is that it is all very individual to the person and how they eat and live. You'll need to experiment and test foods, possibly do an elimination diet.

For me, I never have been diagnosed but I have a cousin with Celiacs and I have always had digestive system issues. Around three years ago I had an esophagus spasm that sent me to the hospital. After that, I went to the doctor and he recommended the FODMAP diet for that and the other issues I'd been having. I started adding foods back in after two months but I need to keep onions, garlic and wheat completely out of my diet.

The other odd thing I noticed is that I need a certain amount of fatty red meat in my diet to not be sick. I had ground venison that I'd been cooking with canola oil and I'd been eating it for months but still had issues. I started eating bacon, saving the fat and cooking the venison in it. Huge difference. I now cook and bake almost all of my own food because it's cheaper and easier than buying stuff in the store. Even things like gluten free granola bars can still make me sick. My grocery store runs now mostly consist of spices, dairy products and rice. I also put away a lot from my garden and local farms.

At the end of the day, you need to sit down, meal plan, track how you feel and what works and doesn't work. Good luck!



THIS.

IBS is a moving target, and what one person can eat, another can't. The first thing you need to do is keep a food and symptom diary. Track everything you eat. And track your symptoms, whether GI or not. Besides diarrhea, constipation, and GERD, IBS can manifest as insomnia and weird joint pains.

For instance, a poster above mentioned Heather's Tummy products. The peppermint capsules worked for me for about two weeks -  then I started reacting to them. The acacia has been working great for me for the past 3 months. Her diet recommendations, however, would put me doubled up on the floor. I know this because I've done the elimination diet routine, and I know what does "it" to me. BTW, fermented foods absolutely cause symptoms for me. You are just going to have to experiment on yourself and learn your own gut. And, be aware as you do this, that what works and doesn't work today for you now will likely be different 5 years from now.

For me, the Low FODMAPS approach works. It is a more lenient protocol than GAPS or a couple of the other protocols mentioned, so I recommend that anyone exploring a diet approach start with Low FODMAPS. The book to start with is The Complete Low FODMAP Diet by Sue Shepherd and Peter Gibson. It explains the theory and research behind the diet, describes a recommended elimination diet, and offers recipes. This protocol was developed by Monash University in Australia, which has on ongoing research program. If this diet works for you, there is an app, which is continually updated with the results of their latest research.

If Low FODMAPS doesn't work for you, then try one of the stricter diets.

Note, I've never been formally diagnosed with IBS. That's because to get that diagnosis, I'd have to have a gluten test to rule out celiac. And in order to get that gluten test, I'd have to eat wheat every day for six weeks. There is NO WAY I am going to do that, wheat being the food that I react to the most. I think I probably react to both wheat sugars (fructans) and wheat protein (gluten). Milk is also a probable double whammy, with people reacting to either the FODMAP sugars and/or the protein casein. If you haven't stopped eating wheat yet, I recommend you get tested for celiac first, and then try an elimination diet. IBS is not thought to permanently damage your gut. Celiac and Crohn's do. If the FODMAPS didn't manage my symptoms as well as it does, I'd probably bite the bullet, start eating wheat again, and get the celiac test. But thankfully, I've talked myself out of that!
2 years ago
I've always used mineral oil, and I've never heard of any health problems related to this use. Still, I'd rather not use petroleum products on food surfaces.

I'm sure other people here have come up with a solution. What do you use, and why is it better than other choices?
3 years ago

Joseph Lofthouse wrote:
I don't have anything to contribute to the discussion about overwintering runner bean tubers. However, something growing in a pot has radically different growing conditions than something growing in the ground.



True, and some plants think this is OK. Some don't.

I grow my dahlias in pots, to save them from whatever rodents find them tasty. (Yacon is basically a dahlia.) And since I'm lazy, I bring the pots inside at first frost and let them dry slowly, without digging them up. Pots go back outside when the tubers have woken up and sent up green sprouts.

I've decided to try treating Black and Blue Salvia the same way in the future. The smaller one I had in a pot from last year sprouted a good two weeks before the large one in the ground, undoubtedly because its roots noticed the warmer weather sooner.

So sure, I'd try doing this for runner beans. And it may be that warmer root temps will wake them up sooner. Then when I put the pots outside, I'd figure out a way to keep them a bit warmer than ambient. Prop up some old windows around them? They wouldn't need it for long.

Another thing I'm going to try this year - drilling holes in the sides of the pots that the dahlias are living in, and sinking them into the ground for the summer.
3 years ago

R Ranson wrote:

It burns hot but is sappy, so if I put it in my woodstove, it creates build-up in my chimney. Maybe a rocket stove would be the answer, with it burning hot enough that the sappy stuff wouldn't be such a problem? I don't know enough about rocket stoves to say if this is true or not.



And this is a big reason to control it - it can do a great job of supporting wildfires.

I like a lot of weeds, but there are good reasons to keep this one under strict management. In my area, at least, deer won't eat it, so maybe it's rent-a-goat time? Mowing keeps it down in open areas, but I'm not a bit interested in mowing the nearby forest, and there's a lot of it in there. The local salal does a pretty good job of defending its territory against the broom, but the broom seems to do a pretty good job of defending against salal incursions as well, so it's a standoff.

3 years ago

Marco Banks wrote:White, black or giant? White morels tend to come back in the same spot, year after year. Continuing to feed that area organic material and NOT TILLING will increase the likelihood of them returning next year.

When you pick them, don't put them into a plastic bag. Put them in a wire-mesh basket, so the spores fall out and drop to the ground. Give them a couple good shakes every now and then, and let the spores fly.

There are few things better in the spring than cooking a handful of thinly sliced morels in butter in a frying pan, and then scrambling a couple of fresh eggs in with them.



Dunno what kind they are, but they're definitely morels - attached cap and hollow inside. The caps are a blondish brown. Some of them are pretty large, 4-5 inches.

By the time I noticed them, they had insect entry/exit holes in them. Anyone know which insects make use of them?

I'll be watching A LOT more closely next year!
3 years ago