Kathleen Sanderson

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since Feb 28, 2009
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Recent posts by Kathleen Sanderson

We once knew a family who raised Newfoundlands - if I remember correctly, they had eight of the big dogs when we knew them, in all three colors (black, brown, and Landseer).  The lady collected huge quantities of hair when they blew their coats in the spring, and used it to make hats, mittens, and scarves, which she sold.  Quantity was about the same as the same number of good wool sheep would produce, so she had quite a lot of fiber to work with.  

I like the suet feeder full of fiber for the birds -- next time my Great Pyrenees sheds, I may do that.  Usually I just let the wind take it; I'm sure birds still get most of it, but we could watch them collect it with the suet feeder set-up.
10 hours ago
I was made aware of small beer today (in a story set around 1820); the old-fashioned kind was very low in alcohol and often quite thick, almost like a porridge.  That sounds like something the hobbits would make, and drink.  (Not sure I would -- beer smells so bad to me that I've never even tasted it.)

For a snack, I could see a bit of sliced cold meat, some mustard or horseradish, cheese, fresh homemade bread dripping with butter, an apple (or a couple of plums, or whatever fruit was in season), and maybe some of that small beer, or maybe, in haying season, something like switchel.  
2 weeks ago
Yes!  That's exactly what I was looking for -- just needed the right search term!

I vaguely remember having one of those when I was in my mid-teens (would have been very early 1970's).  I doubt I wore it more than once or twice; I suspect the only reason I had it was because it was what Mom and Grandma were still wearing.  But I think the cups would eliminate the visible shelf that is a problem with most of the historical corsets, for someone who wanted to wear one with modern clothing.  And it seems like the whole contraption would provide better support for someone who was very active and wanted to minimize jiggling.
3 weeks ago
And actually ON the topic of corsets, LOL!  Has anyone seen a pattern for the combination bra/corset that ladies used to wear -- like my mother and grandmother's generation, probably?  I just did a brief search and couldn't find anything.
3 weeks ago
It looks like you are making great progress, and finding workarounds for the problems which inevitably crop up!

On keeping food cold in the warm months, anyone who lives in the far North with a long winter cold season has the option of building an ice house.  The walls need to be thick and extremely well insulated (sawdust was traditional, in a one-foot-thick wall).  Building down into the ground two or three feet (or more) will help, too.  During reliably cold weather, either harvest ice blocks and store them buried in a thick layer of sawdust in the ice house (you will want a couple of feet of sawdust on top of the ice before the weather warms up).  Or, during a good cold snap, fill the ice house a couple of feet deep with water.  Leave the door open until it freezes solid, then cover with the sawdust.  

An ice house won't keep things frozen solid all summer, but it will (in short-summer climates) act as a refrigerator all summer.  Burying packages of food in the sawdust next to the ice will help.  The ice will gradually melt and run off into the ground, but by the time it's all gone, the weather should be getting cold again and you can start over.  

In warmer climates, people used spring houses for the same purpose, usually with a trough for cold water to run through, where they could set containers of milk and other food in the water to keep it cold.  There would be shelves on the walls for food that needed to be cool but not quite as cold, like eggs.
3 weeks ago
Just a comment on the Indian tanning with brains and then smoking -- it does work.  Does a beautiful job, in fact (I've not done it myself, but we lived in a part of the Interior of Alaska for years where the local Athabaskan people still do this kind of work).  However.  It also smells, and the smell NEVER comes out.  Just so you know.  (That was how we identified locally tanned items vs. commercially tanned -- the sniff test.)  It's not necessarily a bad smell, per se, and if you are used to it, it's not really objectionable, but it is smoky and it is noticeable.  It's probably fine for rugs and boots; it's not so good for items that are going to be close to someone's face, unless they don't mind the smell.
3 weeks ago
This post was inspired by the thread on corsets, after several people said that wearing one helped their bad back problems.

I've suffered from back pain, sometimes disabling, my entire adult life (I'm now 66).  A lot of it is cramped muscles, but I also get 'pops' and my back 'going out,' both of which are caused by what the doctor told me is mild arthritis in my back.  The arthritis may be mild, but the pain sure as heck isn't.  A few months ago, mostly out of desperation, I started on the carnivore diet.  I've been on it off and on ever since.  What I've noticed is that when I'm sticking to it, I do not get the back popping and going out kinds of pain, and the muscle cramping pain is reduced.  When I go off of it, the popping and going out immediately returns.  That's a rather strong inducement to staying ON the carnivore diet, LOL!  It makes sense, because arthritis is caused by inflammation, and an all-meat (plus eggs) diet is the least inflammatory diet out there.  That is, in fact, the reason I decided to try it in the first place.  I was having so much muscle pain that I could hardly function -- and being non-functioning, when I have a handicapped daughter to care for in the house and chickens, goats, dogs and a cat outside, is simply not an option.  I was dubious about just eating meat, but within a couple of days, the muscle pain was down to where I could live with it.  And it wasn't long before I noticed that my back was hurting a lot less, too.

So, by all means wear a corset rather than a bra!  But if you are having a lot of back pain, please consider changing your diet, too.  I'm finding that I do pretty well on mostly meat with some non-starchy vegetables, so I don't necessarily have to be totally carnivore.  Dairy is a problem (and here I am, with dairy goats and raising a Jersey heifer).  Butter is okay, but I really have to limit the milk/cream/cheese consumption.  And sugar and starchy foods are completely out.  
3 weeks ago
I do live in Kentucky now, but spent 12 years in central NH, and before that lived in the Interior of Alaska.  We always cut our wood in the winter, snow or not, and sometimes at thirty below zero!  Especially when we were in Alaska, we simply didn't have time to cut it during the summer (seasonal jobs -- we were off work in the winter).
1 month ago
I just bought the rocket oven package (video and plans).  We'll probably build one outdoors first, but I would like to also have one in the house, especially if it would help heat the house in the winter.  I would not want one as my only cooking appliance in the house, but as long as electricity is available, that's not an issue.  If things get to where we no longer have electricity for cooking, then we'll do our warm-weather cooking outside.  (South-central Kentucky, with hot, humid summers.)

I also have the plans for the Walker, but am not sure about building one of those in this old wood-floored house because of the weight.  I think we could make the rocket oven work, as long as it's safe for indoor use.  

A few years back, Travis Johnson comments on some negatives, and one of the things he said was that cutting wood takes time that could be better spent gardening and etc.  But cutting firewood ought to be a winter chore, done when the garden is put to bed.  There are several homestead jobs that are best done in winter -- pruning the fruit trees is one (except for the size-limiting pruning, which should be done in mid-summer), and getting your firewood is another.  
1 month ago