Dawn Hoff

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since Jun 30, 2013
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Andalucía, Spain
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Recent posts by Dawn Hoff

To us it was pretty simple...

We were using something like €750/month running a generator (living off grid w. husband who works full time online... from home). Our closest neighbour went on grid and payed €12.000 for the line into their house - and they were only 50m from the closest line, we are more like 200-300m from there... and we would have to get the line across someone else's land, which means a building permit would be necessary... so it was solar or running the genny.

6 kWh solar + batteries = €18.000 (plus a shed to put the batteries in and renting an excavator for a day to have terraces dug for the panels to sit on). If the batteries only last 10 years that is 1800 pr. year (plus maybe running the genny 3x pr. year)


€750x12/year = €9000/year

And we have much more freedom to do what we want with this system (much more power), than we did with the generator. And that is not included if the energy prices rise (which they will), and not included numerous repairs on the genny and the times the mechanic gave up on it and we had to buy a new one... (more than once in 4 years) = €500 every.single.time. Edit: I love using the wood burning oven so much - but I dare not use it in the summer, so I aprechiate having a regular oven for those times

We don't use the oven on a rainy day, we don't do laundry on a rainy day. We have 2 propane burners for a rainy day (and 2 induction for the rest of the year). We have a wood-fired oven for a rainy day - plus a propane barbecue which can also be used as an oven, plus a haybox for slow cooking. We live in the south of Spain and have 300 days of sun/year.

Hopefully in 10 years there will be better and cheaper batteries on the market.
1 month ago
I think you could do it with terracotta pipes? Like ollas, just pipes instead...
1 month ago
Hi y'all
We are looking for a first flush diverter for our rainwater harvesting system.

When we first moved up here to our homestead we were both very eager to make everything ourselves, and also the - mainly Australian - systems that we found online cost an arm and a leg and didn't fit our European drains... Now I can find a lot of systems that fit the European drains, but they are all in the US and I would prefer if  I didn't have to pay toll on top of the price (also because paying toll when importing as a private person is a hassle...). So 5 years ago we built our own - see attached image. It kind of worked, for one winter - then the brutal sun in Southern Spain destroyed the black rubber at the top.

So we are looking for a new diverter, and we are willing to pay for it - because frankly we have actually payed quite a lot for what we have now, which doesn't work. We would very much prefer to have one that fit our drains though. We would also prefer one that people have experience with and knows works (we don't want to repeat our compost toilet experience). And we would prefer one that can handle the sun in a mediterranean climate. And we would prefer one that doesn't cost an arm and a leg.

Is that doable?

Can anyone help us?

1 month ago

R Jay wrote:

Kathleen Sanderson wrote:
I know some people consider this to be 'racist' but studies of intelligence have shown some pretty low average IQ scores from the African nations.  I don't know what all factors into that (IQ scores of American Blacks are also lower than average, on a modern American diet), but I do wonder if we might want to do more research before adopting their diet wholesale.  (We have contacts in Kenya, and there -- and probably in other African nations -- the diet for poor people seems to be mostly starches, corn, cassava, yams, rice, etc.  So that undoubtedly has some effect on the overall scores.)

I find it interesting that diet is used as a possible intelligence indicator.   In the 19th century, they measured the sizes of skulls.

In the 19th century, the British used craniometry to justify policies toward the Irish and black Africans,
whom the British considered to be inferior races.

Irish skulls were said to have the shape of Cro-Magnon men and were compared to those of apes, proof of their inferiority.
Black Africans were compared to the same standard.

Also,in France, Paul Broca demonstrated that women are  inferior to men because of their smaller crania.
He argued against higher education for women because their puny brains couldn't handle the demands.

In the 20th century, the Nazis used craniometry to distinguish Aryans from non-Aryans.

There seems to be more of a correlation of higher IQ between {any} children who live in "good" neighborhoods who go
to "good" schools where teachers actually teach; and the IQ of those children who live in "bad" neighborhoods who go to schools
to be warehoused for 8 hours to keep them off the streets.

The IQ is very much a cultural measurement which measures some qualities that are appreciated and encouraged in our westerm culture. But even saying that - most of the "science" into IQ and "race" have only measured African Americans and extrapolated that "evidence" to applied to Africans, since they are supposedly that same "race" (yes "race" bc. there aren't any, we belong to the human race). Problem is that there is a strong case for claiming that African Americans are mixed "race - the racist laws under Jim Crow would make anyone black if they had just 1/8 or less "negro blood" in their veins (e.g.. Obama is considered black even though he is just as much white as he is black and grew up in a white culture), and the culture and abuse that African Americans have suffered in the US have generated a collective trauma that still plays out in families - and then the fact that more African Americans eat a poorer diet and go to inner city schools skews the picture entirely.

In Europe you can meet many many Nigerians at Technical Universities - and they are super smart, and do very well at these schools. In fact the only place I see this racial bias playing out in Europe is in the UK, and even there is it not even close to how it looks in the US (but all over Europe you can see the same picture play out in Arabian families for many of the same reasons - and it was the Arabians who invented math and brought it to Europe). So no - there is no scientific proof that Africans have a lower IQ than other "races.

Saying that I do believe that the nutrition a child receives in infancy very much does affect the development of the brain - including IQ and motor skills, and breast milk is very high in cholesterol. But it also has the highest content of lactose of any mamal, so it would seem that nature believes that sugar is in some way necessary for the developing brain.
5 months ago

Nicole Alderman wrote:

My husband has Crohn's. To keep in remission, he's on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (the diet that GAPS is based off of) and as such he avoids all starches and any sugars that aren't honey or fruit/vegetable. Those sugars and starches (as well as soy and vegetable oils) feed the bad bacteria in his colon, which leads his body to attack his colon, creating ulcers and fistulas, as well as body-wide ailments like ulcer/sores on his feet, uveitis in his eyes, debilitating arthritis, fatigue, and diarrhea.

Sometimes, when one has an already compromised gut, avoiding all the things that can feed bacteria is a good thing, especially for a while so that the gut can heal and more probiotic/prebiotic foods can be introduced. I have limited internet, so I haven't been able to watch Matt's videos, but I read in this thread that he had gut issues before going to an all-meat diet.

But, my husband--before he was diagnosed with Crohn's--also used to try a lot of paleo/primal diets. He ate just potatoes for weeks (the "Potato Hack"), and also ate zero carb for a while. I don't know if this constant change in diet (with the resulting die-off of both good and bad bacteria) contributed to his Crohn's occurring. With him, there were a lot of other factors that probably influenced his Crohn's more, such as living on a diet of mostly sugar and starch and processed foods as a child, being on multiple courses of antibiotics (a few of those times, his dad gave him antibiotics from the fish store, because they couldn't afford a doctor), and having a family history of gut problems. But, I can't rule out that sudden changes to very restricted diets might contribute to things like Crohn's. I personally wouldn't go to an all-meat diet unless things were really bad in my gut, for fear of killing off both good and bad bacteria. But, for some, an all-meat diet might just be the ticket to healing. If SCD ceases to be enough for my husband's gut health, we might just try an all-meat diet.

I agree that cutting out certain fibres etc. might be very good for you for a while. And I am not at all convinced that we need any carbohydrates... But I have heard some functional medicine practitioners say that eg. the SCD/GAPs diet should be a short term intervention to heal your gut, but if you continue for a very long time it might lead to SIBO bc. Some of the bacteria in your colon begin to travel up the digestive system in search of food. But what will then happen if they find nothing further up the digestive trackt? Will.they then die off completely? And is that a good thing? The body is a complex system, and that means that we are all very sensistive to the initial conditions and our results and needs can vary immesely. I certainly do not have THE answer - don't even think there is one. But it is an  immensely interesting subject.
5 months ago
I have heard of the zero carb diet in ancestral forums before, and while I have considered it as a fast I am still a little sceptical

One of my concerns us the gut biome- the results from the current science says that the more variety we have in our diets, the more variety we have in our biome, and the research seems to suggest that the more variety we have in our biome the healthier we are... another concern I have is the activation of the mTor pathways, which is activated by an overabundance of protein - and the mTor pathways seem strongly linked to cancer. But maybe if you eat 80% animal fats you aren't actually eating that much more protein compared to what I am currently consuming... and if you are zero carbs then maybe there is nothing to feed the cancer-cells...

Wrt. Ancestral diets - there are a wide variety of them across the globe. Some nearly 100% carnivorous (but none are actually 100%), some are nearly 100% vegetarian (but none are 100% that either). It seems like the longest living people on this planet currently eat a lot of veggies. I personally eat very very few carbs - mostly limited to tomatoes and peppers, maybe some berries once in a while, but ALOT of veggies - more than many vegetarians I know. That is how I feel best I think - but as I have never actually been zero carb I cannot say. I haven't been vegetarian for more than a few days straight - but since I am allergic to nuts and legumes that does not seem like a viable option for me - and honestly I am not convinced that it is all that healthy either (lacto/ovo/pescetarian on the other hand I believe is immensely healthy - if you tolerate dairy and eggs).

Congratulations on finding something that suits you and seems to heal your health issues. I will give your podcast a listen one of these days.
5 months ago
I have so many times in my life experienced sitting in a living room with one of those little fat bellied ovens - and it was so warm that.people ended up sitting in t-shirts even with a snow-storm outside. Next morning the oven is out and the house is freezing cold. In those Sweedish houses with the old masonry heaters, the heater would still be warm in the morning, but you would have to litteraly hug it to feel the heat. The new modern ovens that I have seen in Denmark does burn the exhaust AFAIK, but only on max heat - which has the same problem as the old fat bellied ovens - the room almost gets too warm to be in. And they still let most of the heat out through the chimney... The ovens I have seen here in Spain are almost all a complete waste of wood... mostly there for the ambience. Guess people in the Nordic countries have had to make more efficient ovens, otherwise they could spend all summer collecting wood and not have time to grow food... (I have actually met some homesteaders where the husband spent all summer collecting wood and the wife would grow food... very inefficient).

I have never experienced a RMH, but intuitively it maLes sense. I am an engineer too - and I don't understand how and engineer can fail to understand that industry standards are not the same as the laws of physics....

Wrt. how they look - I personally prefer a sort of a conservative minimalist look in my house, and most RMHs that I have seen are much too hippue for my taste. But there are pkenty of conservative looking RMH pictures out there - this one esp. Comes to mind, not much hippue feel about this one: http://www.flickriver.com/photos/onyone/4149423745/
6 months ago
Wrt. the medical industry. I used to work there, and slowly lost my faith in much of what is done there... worked for an insulin producer, one of the worlds largest, and  I saw dollar-signs in their eyes when they talked about the diabetes epidemic. Worked for a producer of anti-depressants, who behind closed doors admitted that they had no idea how their drugs worked in children - all the while their drugs are pushed on more and more children, and that cannabis and psychedelic were probably not the reason people people became psychotic, but more a question of self-medication prior to diagnosis... I have become more and more alternative over the years, but still remain a sceptic.

I do believe that people seek alternative solutions, because the conventional system is failing them. Cancer is a disease that the conventional system still hasn't cracked the code of. But I would still - if I was ever to get cancer - be scared of going the alternative way 100%. Steve Jobs did, and he died from a cancer that is generally considered curable... many people have done so, and died. Many people go the conventional way and die too - but I do believe that the conventional way has a better success rate. If I was diagnosed with incurable cancer - as my father in law was - I would not do chemo therapy. I do believe that it cut months of his life and made his last months insufferable. But if there was a chance of survival, I would take it - and combine it with cannabis and diet and herbs etc. etc.

But first and foremost - I will try to focus on not getting it.
6 months ago
I haven't had cancer, fortunately - but I have been going deep down a rabbit whole about the ketogenic diet and fasting recently, and come up-on some very exiting research.

Dr. Walter Longo has some really exiting results with his "Fasting Mimicking diet", which has been clinically tested on cancer patients - and it appears that the fasting in combination with chemo is extremely effective in knocking out the cancer cells, and in protecting the healthy cells from the toxic effects of chemo. I have an acquaintance who is currently in chemo, and her Doctors are really impressed by how well she is doing - not just wrt. killing of the cancer, but esp. wrt. side-effects: the deeper in ketosis she is prior to chemo, the less side effects she has. It seems like the ketone bodies have a neuro protective effect.  Most kinds of cancer feed on sugars - they use this fact in diagnosis, so it is well established scientifically. If you starve the body of sugars, the cancer cells can't survive. Also the fasting starves the body of protein for a while, which kicks it into autophagy - which is the mechanism with which the body eats itself. Not only will people loose fat, which in itself can reduce the risk of cancer, but they also loose protein. But as opposed to what is commonly believed, this protein is generally not muscle (except if you are already underweight), but most often it is old cells that are already dying, or possibly mutating - ie. this can be cancer cells, or the plaques and tangles found in Alzheimer, or the loose skin you get when you loose weight. It is really very interesting - I myself have noticed that as I fast i get less wrinkles and less loose skin on my body - not more, which is usually what occurs in people who loose weight. So I actually look younger now than I did a year ago. Dr. Ronda Patrick (she has an amazing YouTube channel for anyone who wants to geek out on this) has done a study on how people look and the length of their telomeres - the protective region on the ends of your chromosomes. What she found was the the way you look corresponds very well to how long your telomeres - and previous studies have shown, that the length of your telomeres are indicative of your risk of cancer. To get back to Walter Longo - he believes that if everybody would fast for 7 days every years, we could get rid of cancer. I'm not sure if that is a bit too optimistic - but I do believe that it would reduce the incidences significantly.

The cool thing about both keto and fasting - is that it can be done regardless of wether you are vegan or paleo. Fasting can even be done while you continue to eat a SAD diet when not fasting... though I wouldn't recommend it...

I am all for botanicals - I think they are extremely healthy, but I do think that the most important thing we can do is to not eat all.the.time - give the body some time to clean up once in a while.
6 months ago