Jay Angler

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since Sep 12, 2012
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Recent posts by Jay Angler

Yes, I really like the road stabilization idea too, although in my situation, it's "beside the road where yahoos keep driving on the grass creating ruts". A couple of rows of pipes would support the soil and prevent the lousy drivers from compacting it, and then I could actually have hope of keeping the grass alive. Not that grass is the greatest option - in fact if the base of the plants was protected, I would try a variety of succulents, as it's a dry area all summer.
If you were thinking of trying the birdhouse option, I'd reverse the suggestion. Use the pipes vertically and score the inside so it's rough enough to climb but deep enough that the squirrels can't reach in and grab the babies.
To use as a perforated drain, I'd cover them with a good layer of landscape cloth or two, but depending on what you're trying to get to drain to where, I could definitely see that working. Stacked vertically into the ground, would they be a way of getting water to percolate deeply?

Stacked in a frame against a "too sunny" window, they'd let light in while shading from direct sun.
4 hours ago
I agree - so I'll put my outside the box hat on and give it a try!
1. slice them on one side then put them around new trees to keep the bunnies from damaging them - the split is so that when the tree get's big they're easier to remove.
2. use them for a border on a raised bed, filling them with dirt or rocks. If filled with dirt, you could even plant herbs or flowers in them.
3. as much as starting trees straight from seeds in the ground is ideal, it can't always be done. If you blocked one end, you'd have a relatively tall pot for starting/rooting trees. Someone was describing using a coffee can to start tomatoes and then removing the plastic lid (can was used upside down with the metal bottom removed). He could plant the tomato without disturbing the roots.
4. find someone who makes a lot of wine and pass them on as bottle holders?
Maybe now that I've started the ball rolling, some others will pitch in!
14 hours ago
Just because a journal isn't a PEP requirement, doesn't mean that the people who like to journal aren't perfectly welcome to do so! I have a dyslexic kid who scored in the first percentile for penmanship on standardized testing. You would *not* want to have to read his handwriting. But he speaks chicken better than almost anyone I know. I tend to agree that natural medicine has a greater need for certain types of documentation than some of the other badges might, but a well done electronic document may be a much better tool than a poorly done hand written one.

Grand summary: I back Paul on this one.   ;-)
15 hours ago
Would soil constitution also fit? I'm thinking that there are places in the world that are missing a key element. For example, my area is low on selenium. Plants normally cope but animals frequently need to be supplemented. I've read of similar things on other continents or areas of continents. Sometimes planting dynamic accumulators are enough to solve the problem, but one might not plant them if they didn't recognize the problem.

I like Devin Lavign's post of the expanded forest layers and his comment about microbial life in the soil. That's an area which is getting much more attention finally! That said, Daron Williams suggestions of paying more attention to woody debris and rock piles will support microbial life. I'd be happy to just label that layer "assorted woody debris" just like we label "tree" but not exactly which trees, and leave the examples to explain further.
2 days ago
@Lyda Eagle - It's important to recognize that pain interferes with many other bodily functions which can snowball. Pain = poor sleep. Pain = tendency to avoid movement when movement is essential for healing and health. The trick is to find ways to attack the problems from multiple angles, making very slow, very gentle changes so that things don't crash and burn. One example I've used in the past is to set a 5 minute timer and do an activity like sitting/standing that lead to pain for *only* that limit. If post standing pain increases, 5 min is too long and try 4 min. If post standing pain didn't change (give it a good 1/2 hour to judge), the next time try 6 min. I know that adding a minute at a time might sound ridiculous, but reinforcing the pain cycle just delays healing.
If laying down is the least painful option, at least try to investigate exercises designed to be done laying down and start very slowly with them.
I have a friend with fibromyalgia and she made good slow progress after getting some chickens just because caring for someone else helped both her mental and physical status.
2 days ago
Quick add for people whose guts don't seem to tolerate certain things: The reason salves work is that our skin is our largest organ and capable of absorbing things, so if you think you're low on something like magnesium, instead of a pill, an Epsom Salt bath can do the trick. If you're in pain and getting in a bath is too hard, Epsom salt in a bucket for your feet or a hand (lots of surface area to absorb through) might do the trick. The question is whether your *whole* body isn't tolerating something, or only your gut. I'm not an herbalist, so I don't know which anti-inflamatories work through skin absorption and which don't, but it's definitely an avenue to explore (cautiously if you're sensitive! First be safe!)
3 days ago
r ranson wrote the following in the "dailyish":

My cut healed beautifully well, but it was bone-deep, and now that the bandages are off, I find there's some severe nerve damage.

Not really enough detail, but I thought a quick primer on nerves might help:
Picture a "nerve" like a big phone cable coming into an office building. It has one wire (nerve cell) surrounded by insulation (myelin sheath) in a bundle with a whole bunch more each going to an individual phone.
If you squish the big wire (bruise or compress a nerve) you can damage both the insulation and the wire. This can stop the messages from getting through totally if there's a lot of damage, or partially if some wires are working and others aren't, or can cause cross-connections if wires are touching due to damaged insulation (that's where the "electric shocks" may be coming from that people have commented on), but more or less, since nerves are living, if you get the pressure off, provide all the necessary building blocks (nutrition) there will hopefully be primary healing of the nerves and everything will start working again. If only real life was that simple!
If some of those wires got squished to the point that the wire is broken, but the insulation is still intact, since we're dealing with magical human wires here, the tip of the wire can re-grow, and since it's got a nice myelin tube to follow, with good nutrition it should grow right on back down that tube. Unfortunately, they only grow at 1-5mm/day so if they've got a long way to grow the results may be complicated.
If the big wire got totally cut through (what r ranson probably did no her finger) the myelin sheath tubes need to be lined up to give the nerve cell a scaffold to grow down. Doctors can stitch nerves back together (assuming they're smart enough to ignore the blood during an emergency and *realize* a nerve's been cut - they didn't in a cut my mom had at the base of her thumb), but simply aligning the sides of even a sharp cut will *not* likely have aligned the nerve endings. If r ranson has a large/critical area of numbness, it's probably time for a consult with a reliable Plastic Surgeon who may feel it's worth re-opening the wound and aligning the "ends of the wires". *Even* if they do this though, they're *only* aligning the ends - the insides won't line up to the phones they used to, so the regrown nerves still won't "feel" the same way they used to. But human brains are awesome, so you can "train the brain" to where the new phone patterns are (mostly through use, but there are extra tricks if people are interested.)
Lastly, also because nature is awesome, if an area is numb, nerves in the surrounding area will/may grow toward the damaged area to a small degree. (greater in the under 2 year old department, but that's not what we're working with here.)
Warning: the area that is numb will be more likely to suffer damage from both heat and cold, even if the surrounding finger is fine. How much that is really due to the numbness, or whether because  blood vessels were also damaged and are also operating sub-optimally is a good question that don't have an answer to. It was a *long* time ago that I took an anatomy course!
3 days ago
Nice photo Daron - sooo.... my understanding is that in the Pacific NW, birds eat red huckleberries and poop onto stumps and that's why so many natural red huckleberry bushes are growing out of stumps. Are you taking bets whether your artificial snags will start growing?
3 days ago
C├ęcile Stelzer Johnson:

I enjoy more helping than being helped.

I do not think that feeling is uncommon. Like so many things we are conditioned for or taught when young, "It is better to give than to receive", we need active learning to overcome and learn and practice cooperation and teamwork. The schools are supposedly working on that, because they suddenly realized that it was an important skill for workers, but as with so many social skills, they stick a group of kids together and expect them to learn team building and cooperation by osmosis. That works for some, but not most.

Because of all that, asking for and receiving help is often perceived by the receiver as "charity". We do not teach people how to give and receive charity with dignity and grace. If someone is already struggling on minimum wage, having to receive charity to get ahead can easily be one more blow to their self esteem. There are studies that show that when people's income is too low, or their social assistance money is not enough to actually survive on, there is a tendency to participate in higher levels of behaviors like smoking and drinking alcohol. I suspect their sense of hopelessness translates into, "I might as well enjoy the moment - I have no future worth working towards."

Similarly, so much of "charity" is not really about giving a "hand up". It's about puffing up the givers. If we *really* wanted to give people hope, we would support increases in minimum wage and require companies to offer affordable health and dental care to *all* workers, not just full time ones. We would support free/almost free adult education classes up to Grade 12 and subsidize skills and trades training entry level education. We would teach people how to grow their own food, and not put up road blocks that prevent them from accessing public land or telling them they can't plant veggies on their front lawns. We'd plant edible trees in our cities, rather than ornamentals.

Humans tend to puff themselves up by thinking/seeing that they are richer than those around them, and we're bombarded with technology that tells us that "richer" means "owns more stuff". That means there is huge inertia in the status quo! This is not a situation that will be solved easily.
4 days ago
The former owners of my property installed an artificial pond which is surrounded by rock and is about 3 ft wide by 10 feet long. For years I tried to use benign neglect to "wild" it and it was only about 4 years before the duckweed and frogs moved in. I do harvest some of the duckweed for my ducks, but *never* when there are frog eggs or tadpoles. Some years I've gone out when the tree froglets were too small to leave the pond but were learning to use their new legs and they would pop like popcorn on the top of the duckweed. Unfortunately last year the concrete developed a crack and the pond no longer held water. I've tried to patch it, as frog reproduction habitat is really important, but I won't know for another month or two if my patch was successful. At least there's water in it now (it's a slow leak at least) and the frogs have just decided it's spring. They're being really loud about it too!
4 days ago