Laurel Finch

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since Jan 19, 2015
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Recent posts by Laurel Finch

Timothy Norton wrote:Fellow fella who is part of the spectrum.

We keep running into each other---we have to stop meeting like this!  People are beginning to talk...

We however tend to teach in one specific way and anyone who doesn't learn in that way are 'different'.

Yes, the whole world has been set up this way since the industrial revolution.  They line us up in rows in school, so we'll be used to cubicles at work.  Be obedient.  I think that, in olden times,  we might have been better off if  our autistic problems were not in the severe range.   Before the industrial revolution, people were farmers or craftsmen, often working at home or out of small shops.  A lot of times, they lived in or above their shops.  I think, in a lot of ways, they had more autonomy.  At least, once you got past your apprenticeship.  

I however have only so much social battery before I start needing to become a recluse and just regenerate my batteries before the next thing occurs. I am pretty good at learning to gauge this and minimizing my own feelings that start turning into grumpiness.

Yes!  Same here!  There are times when I actually like to interact with friends, (usually after being forced into it, ha ha) but only in limited doses.  I need a lot of regen time afterwards. I need quiet and calm surroundings.  I find my happiest moments are usually alone, with my birds, dogs, and garden.   The best job I ever had was when I was working at the aquarium, taking care of the seals, dolphins and penguins.  I was basically on my own, the only schedule being feeding times.  And I love email and message boards like this, because I can think out my answers and take time to think about what others say.  And I can go over and over an answer someone gives me, which is so helpful for someone with such a poor memory.  

3 months ago
Wow, great question!  

I agree with most of the people who have already answered: no, it's pretty much an evolutionary dead end.  And I'm so pleased to see that so many of us are on the spectrum, as people like to say.  I am, too.  And I recognize several names on here who are people who have helped me in the past, people I have taken a liking to.  Interesting, no?  Like calls to like, I guess.

I was self diagnosed with Asperger's, and got an official diagnosis about 15 years ago.  And yeah, it did make me feel better about myself.  That, and finding out that i have Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome.  Oddly enough, the 2 seem to go together quite often.  

I'm super smart, 134 IQ, which is close to genius.   I did well in school, because I liked taking tests and was good at it.  And yet, I never did well in life.  I live at poverty level on disability due to severe panic attacks and depression, which took me out of the game in my mid 30's.  Even before that, I was never able to work a full time, "real" job.  Never been able to support myself.  I'll be 64 in April.

Even tho I'm so "smart", my memory is shit, and always has been.  I'm never gonna be able to tell if I'm senile because I already can't remember anything.  I guess I'll know when I start putting my shoes in the fridge.  It's why I always had trouble spelling.  Memorization was always very difficult for me.  The reason I had straight A's was because I actually understood what I was learning, rather than just using rote memory.   I'm like a computer with super processing and speed, and 50 KB of memory.

I can remember feeling different at a very early age, in first grade.  I could tell the other kids just didn't see or feel things like I did.  I knew I was smarter.  I went to Catholic school in the early 60's, and it was very rigid.  I had problems with that.  I distinctly remember praying every night to god to make me normal and stupid like everyone else.  I suffered from terrible anxiety, to the point where I couldn't eat breakfast until I was in high school.  I just wanted to be normal.

I found out in my 40's that I was also faceblind, which apparently goes along with autism a lot.  It was a real ah-ha! moment.  I finally understood a major cause of why I was so anxious at school.  I couldn't tell people apart!  And Catholic school with the nuns all wearing veils and habits?  It was a nightmare.  I was terrified when my mother would leave me off at school.  I never went on school trips until 4th or 5th grade, because I was terrified of getting lost.  By "lost", I mean not being able to recognize my teacher or chaperone.  Growing up smoothed thing out a bit, but it's still tough.  Of all my handicaps, I would say the faceblindness is probably the worst.  Imagine living in  world of strangers, all the time.  The sad thing is, I never knew this was abnormal, so I blamed myself.  I thought I wasn't trying hard enough to memorize faces.  I didn't know that normal people don't HAVE to memorize faces.  It just come naturally.

Same with the EDS and Asperger's.  I was always down on myself for being a jerk, for being lazy.  I was always getting reprimanded for it, for not working hard enough.   Now I know I was working twice as hard as everyone else just to survive, to just stay upright.  EDS causes laxness in ligaments and tendons.  Connective tissue is weak.   In normal people, exercise is partially passive.  You move a muscle by your will, and it snaps back with the help of tendons.  Mine are like stretched out rubber bands, so my muscles have to work much harder, essentially doing all the work.  No wonder I was always exhausted.  Add to that all the psychological stuff, and, well...

So no, I don't think it's a step in evolution.  It's too exhausting.  And severe autism would have been a death sentence in prior times.  I have a theory that autism is nothing new.  I think that all those legends of babies being taken by the fairies was really autism rearing it's ugly head at a certain age.  And being "taken by the fairies" was a pretty good justification for leaving your substitute, weird fairy child out in the woods to be exposed.

My mother was 40 when I was born, which was quite old back in 1960 to have a baby.  She was also sick at the time with gallbladder, and didn't know it.  She said she threw up through the whole pregnancy, which would tie in with what someone else here said about it being caused by nutritional deficiency in the mother.  

It's not something I would wish on anyone.  At least, anyone I like.  And oh yeah, no kids here.  I'm so glad I had the inner knowledge to know raising kids was not something I was capable of.

3 months ago
Yes, they will use them!  They'll also use a ramp.  Just make sure it has enough cleats.  I glue bamboo skewers in between the cleats on my ramp that came with the rabbit hutch.  They are such fun little birds.  People raise them in horrible conditions, and then say they are stupid and suicidal.  They're not either of those things.
3 months ago

May Lotito wrote:Plants burning and soft growth indicate that the compost is too rich in nitrogen. But before you make other changes, can you tell us some more details? For example, how does the compost look like? Is it still coarse in texture? Do you plant straight in it? Sometimes if the lignocellulose is not broken down enough and the product has too much air space, plant roots can dry up quickly in a hot or windy day. And the wilting may be confused with fertilizer burn.

Hi May,
I think I was wrong about the burning.  I just looked up nitrogen burn, and the pics were different from what I saw.  I think the plant got wind-burn, because my backyard is like a wind tunnel in the spring, and the leaves were just coming out on my grape.   See pic below.

Since the shavings weren't broken down much, I just topdressed.  Put about an inch over the whole back yard.  It looked like good, rich, black earth with shavings in it.
3 months ago

Timothy Norton wrote:We are starting to thaw where I am at, allegedly I should be seeing some 50F in about a week!

Wow, in Feb???  I'm surprised.  Weather sure has changed in 40 years!

I'm surprised, it sounds like you are doing what you need to do. I have been stirring a pile of chicken bedding and I can see the manure dissipating a bit faster than all of the shavings. I also have some fungal action going on but my pile is just a pile on the ground tucked in a out of sight corner. You could always add your household scraps to that pile if you wanted too but it shouldn't be burning your plants.

I had fungal action, too.  Even had mushrooms growing in there!  I'm guessing it was burning---maybe just rank growth?  Is there a picture of what nitrogen burn looks like?

3 months ago

Anne Miller wrote:I would suggest adding green material to equal the other amount.

There is a formula here on the forum.  I could not find the post I was looking for though this might help:

Abraham said, The right proportion depends on what you are going to grow. For veggies, 5% black, 45% green, 50% brown is a good start. You will notice that the final compost is more brown coloured than black if you use these proportions.

Green is vegetable scraps and fresh leaves?
Brown is the hemp and shavings?
Black is the poop?
3 months ago

Timothy Norton wrote:If you are experiencing compost that is burning plants, that means it is not ready to be applied. You probably still have some hot semi-compost on your hands!

What is your composting process? Are you turning it regularly?

Hey Tim!

I was putting it in one of those black plastic bell-shaped composting bins, watering and turning regularly.  Which was very hard to do because of the design of the thing.  The poop was completely broken down with no smell, but the shavings weren't.  

How are things up in the frozen north?
3 months ago
Hi all,
I have a lot of waste from my quail and chickens that I compost.  It's mostly poop and hemp  and shavings.  Even after composting for 6 months, it can burn some plants, and it can also cause soft growth that gets attacked by aphids.  I'm thinking it probably needs to be balanced out in some way with something like bone meal?  Any ideas as to what can be added to it so it's not just a huge shot of nitrogen?
3 months ago

Aaron Yarbrough wrote:

Hi Laurel,

I've reverted back to the quadrant rotational idea. I wonder if there are any heavy feeder plants that would appreciate the high nitrogen content.

I would think maybe something leafy?  

Do you have them yet?  Just be prepared for a LOT of poop.  I've never seen an animal that poops as much as a quail.  So, depending on how many you have, and how big the space is, they will cover the area with poop in a fairly short time.  You will probably need to add some kind of dry matter on top, or even more soil.

I know for the first 2 years I had them, I would clean out the whole pen twice a year and then compost it for 6 months (it doesn't freeze here).  I spread it all over my yard, which is pretty much just sand, since I'm right at the beach. Everything grew like crazy, but I did have some problems with soft growth, which got attacked by aphids.  And that was after it was composted.  I'm thinking it may need to be balanced out with something like bone meal?  I don't know enough about chemistry to figure it out.  Maybe I should post this on the composting forum?  Anyway, I watch this permaculture guy Stephan-some Polish name on YT, and he had a whole episode about what attracts certain pests.  And soft growth from too much nitrogen was one thing!  He's really interesting; I always wondered why I have no earthworms, but lots of ants.  It's because my soil is so sandy.  

I love the way I can integrate the quail into the garden, and make it a somewhat closed loop.  To me, this is fascinating stuff.  That's why no one wants to talk to me... sigh.
3 months ago

Laurel Finch wrote:Hi all,
I'm going to cross-post this on a few other forums, too.  I have a lot of questions about putting quail on a deep litter system.  Here's the deal: I raise quail in small numbers as pets and for eggs.  But quail are messy and smelly, and each half-pound quail makes about 10 pounds of really stinky poop a day.  They also don't roost, so the poop is scattered all over and they walk in it and it stinks and draws flies.  Oh, and did I mention  that it stinks?

What I'd like to do is buy or build some kind of wire pen, and set it on top of a wooden box with no bottom.  Then fill it with shavings, and start a deep litter system.  It would have a small "coop" area for egg laying, but not a chicken type coop.  I usually use cardboard boxes with holes cut in the sides.  This way, I can compost them when they get icky.  This would be outside, on the ground.  It would be covered on top, to keep out rain.

Update, for anyone interested.

I went ahead and built the box and pen, and filled it with hemp, biochar, and some of the native soil, with a layer of pure hemp on top.   I inoculated it with IMO and LAB, ala the Korean Natural method.   It's taken a while, but it's working well!  I've had a few setbacks, mostly due to rain getting in and making it wet.  I think I've got that mostly solved, altho it's hard to keep it from happening with all the rain we've been having.  There's no smell unless it gets wet.  I use a hand fork and rake it up every week or so, and add a new layer of hemp on top maybe once a month.  I'm pretty happy with it, altho it's more work then everyone said it would be.  But what isn't?

Here's a pic of my setup:
3 months ago