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Mick Fisch

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since Jun 24, 2013
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Recent posts by Mick Fisch

I personally like the weight of a fairly heavy quilts, but some people don't.  

I would say don't overlook the value of the sheets, which really trap a lot of heat close to your body.  A flannel sheet thickness liner in a sleeping bad makes a big difference in warmth (an extra 10 or 15 degrees lower).

Second idea, fill a 2 liter soda bottle with very warm water and throw it down by your feet.  If you are really chilled, another by your belly or thighs.  It'll still be warmer than you in the morning.  (NOTE!!! DON'T USE BOILING WATER.  IF IT'S TOO HOT, THE PLASTIC SOFTENS AND LID COMES OFF.  ask me how I know.)

As noted above, the sheets and blankets need to hang over the side of the bed some to keep the cold from creeping in at the edges.  I like oversized for that reason.

sleeping alone isn't as warm, although you need to be able to keep your partner from stealing your covers.

Wool works best if it's damp, but not against the skin, for comfort.  If you plan to were socks to bed, make sure to change them just before bed because the ones you've been wearing all day are a little damp and will make your feet cold.  Long johns of some sort (polypropylene, while not quite wool grade, are cheaper and more easily available and will warm even if a little damp. cotton won't.
9 months ago
I live in southeast Idaho, Cache Valley.  

I bought the 2 acres behind my house from a neighbor last winter.  He's a rancher in his 90's, but as he phrases it "is getting a little wobbly" so his wife is getting him to sell off some of his property.  

This summer I am planning on planting a mixed orchard/ woodlot with drip irrigation and a grey water system with mulberries, osage orange, black locust and maybe some green ash for the woodlot.  (osage orange every few feet around the outside to try to keep the deer out after they grow up).  

Grafting some good fruiting varieties on some of the mulberries and mixing them with the fruit trees (apple, plum, peach, apricot, goumi berry, goji berry, seaberry) in the fruiting section.  fruit trees are expensive and I'm not rich, so I am grafting rootstock for many of these trees.

Hazels in their own area.  

Depending on deer pressure I may coppice or pollard.

It's going to be an interesting experiment.  I am 67, so I may not even live to see this come to full fruition, but someone will.  Part of my goal is to have a place where my kids and grandkids can come and eat fruit of the bush or tree as they wish.  I got to do this some as a child and it just seemed so heavenly and freeing I want to pass that on.

I welcome any suggestions and/or gentle critiques.
9 months ago
I "rolled" a rib once (it shifted out of position).  Hurt like hell!  After a few days I went to the chiropracter.  He put it back in position and I was much better pretty quick and fine the next morning.

A note about chiropractors and drs.  Not all are created equal.  You know what they call the guy who graduated at the bottom of his class, barely squeeked through?  They call him Dr, just like the smartest guy.
10 months ago
Look into gathering rain off your roof and from gray water systems.  Should be able to produce more water from these things than your yard area needs.
10 months ago

What did your coldest winter days get to, Mick, C or F, I am bilingual? What temps did the cold parts of your house sit at during the coldest OD temps? What were the heated kitchen temps?

I was a kid and I don't think we had a thermometer in the house, but I'm guessing most of the house was in the 30's to 40's (F) most of the winter.  It was enough to make you hands ache after a while.  The kitchen was probably in the 70's (F), it was comfortable and warm.  there was an attached living room but it was cold enough that we didn't use it.  We dressed warm, wore heavy pajamas and sometimes wore sleeping hats to bed.

My mom was surprised how cold the houses were in Germany (she was from Arizona and Southern California, although we had lived in South Dakota also).  She was really surprised at the short sleeves and shorts in what seemed to her freezing weather.  

It seemed like all of the german kids had red chapped cheeks.  One of the neighbors said it was from leaning over the stove warming up on cold mornings.

An interesting side note was that we accidently broke the plaster on the wall one time and the insulation was bright yellow straw, no clay slip or anything.
11 months ago
In the old days houses were much smaller, so less to heat.  

A long robe and thick wool socks are wonderful in a cold house.  A 2 liter soda bottle full of warm water in your lap when setting helps.

When I was a kid we lived in Germany for several years.  The only heat was in the kitchen.  It made for closeness, because everyone was always in the kitchen.  Our water heater was coal fired and we fired it up for bathing, which warmed the bathroom for a bath.  The rest of the house was unheated.  Most of us kids doubled up in beds and hot water bottles or warm  bricks or rocks were loved.  

The secret is heavier clothing.  Wool is great.  If it's itchy, get something between your skin and the wool.  Heavy socks.  My wife and girls have complained that womens clothing is just too thin (and have terrible, tiny, useless pockets).  
11 months ago
Terry Pratchett is one of my favorite authors, but few hit a hometown every time.  A couple of books of his I particularly liked were "The Wee Free Men" and it's follow on, "A Hat Full of Sky".  At the end of each he presents, as part of the solution a really good concepts.
11 months ago
My favorite series right now are the "Master and Commander" series by Patrick O'brian (about 20 books) and the Dresden Files by Jim Butcher.  The master and commander series is great, tracing the career of a fictitious british naval captain through the napoleonic wars.  The battles are authentic, most of the events are descriptions of real battles, but not all fought by the same captains.  The Dresden Files is good, but it's getting a little predictable.  It's about the only wizard in the phone book (do they even have phone books anymore?) in Chicago.  The enemies keep getting bigger, the stakes keep going up as well as the number of characters.  The wizard battles trolls, vampires, etc in modern Chicago and most people assume he's a charlatan.
11 months ago
As far as a wool mattress goes, I had a roommate once from Uraguay who was telling me his grandparents used wool in their mattresses and that once a year they took out the wool and washed it.

My own grandma told me that when she was young they used strawtics.  Whatever you grew, once a year you emptied out your tic and stuffed it with new straw.  She said it was really thick and glorious to sleep on right after you stuffed it, but by the next fall (harvest) it was thin, flat and hard.  I think I would have set some straw aside to stuff my tick every month or two.  Of course, I've been spoiled.
1 year ago
I'm in newly established in southeast Idaho and trying to convert a 1/2 acre pasture to garden.  I'm having trouble with bind weed (which is a new challenge to me.  I am looking for organic or better solutions to dealing with the bindweed.

I've rototilled (twice at 90 degrees to each other) and that helped initially.

Currently my strategy is hoing it down every few days, figuring the roots will eventually run out of energy if I keep cutting it back.  Not sure how long that will take.  I read it can send roots down to 16 feet.  It's persistent.  I tried a heavy straw mulch.  It loved mulch!  I think it's due to the additional moisture that mulch leaves in the soil.

I'm also trying to water only where my plants are, hoping the hot dry days will discourage it.  Lack of water seems to slow down the bindweeed.

Any suggestions would be welcome.