Gail Vance

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since Aug 10, 2015
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Recent posts by Gail Vance

My bag full of crazy - named Kartoeffel by my equally crazy German husband. Kartoeffel = Potato
6 months ago
Got what I thought would be my 4th German Shepherd from a kill shelter. His time was almost up. Specifically wanted a GSD because I've trained several  and am now in need of companion, protector,helper and figured that equaled GSD. Shelter proclaimed him black GSD.

Had his DNA tested and one 'helpful' vet told me after learning his mix "Ma'am, what you got there is a bag full of crazy". He's Siberian Husky (about half),  Belgian Malinois (about a third), GSD 15%  and the rest wolf.
6 months ago
I am not an archivist, but my parents were antiques dealers. I would stay away from plywood as the glues used could out gas and damage the leather. I have a piece of my grandmother's silk embroidery mounted on archival board in a metal frame air gapped below the glass. Best I could afford at the time.
My advice- you might find an archivist at a nearby college or university, not only in a library but in an anthropology, paleontology, archeology, or museum studies department. Any course of study that likes "old stuff" . Often the management or conservation is similar across materials.

Checking in with some antique dealers may also prove useful. Some will definitely try to buy them, but others will be glad to share what they know about keeping them safe.
1 year ago
I'm so excited. Thanks Yuri and permies!
4 years ago
Being a rabid gardener with various handicaps, I am always on the lookout for a tool that: 1. I can use, as my muscles are rather weak 2. doesn't require an odd stance to accomplish its task 3. is not too heavy 4. doesn't cost a small fortune.
This Fokin looks like I have some control over the weight by the choice of handle, since it is sharp on all sides, I can swing in whatever direction happens to be working that day...Hooray!
Now, if I don't win one, how expensive are they?
I'm on a fixed disability income of >$700 usd a month. I have been using a Collinear Hoe with 7" Replaceable Blade for over 15 years or more and am on my 4th blade. This is the hoe that Eliot Coleman recommended.When I bought it it was $40 or so, that was almost 20 years ago + four blades @ $18 each = about $6 a year. Not bad, but it doesn't have the oomph that the Fokin looks like
it has. One good whack against a rock and the collinear blade is never the same. If you are not familiar with the collinear, look at Johnny's seeds. Collinear hoe

Anyone else use a collinear and can compare it to a Fokin?
4 years ago
There is a mail order company that is owned/run by women because they had the same problem. I am sure they have 'other than leather' gloves, although I know they have leather too. I have also picked up some of their gloves on closeout at Ross, if you have one nearby. Otherwise, check at <>.
5 years ago
I live here in WNC, don't have a large enough piece of property to call a homestead, but it slopes down to a creek fairly steeply. Some advantages: WNC get A LOT (esp in Trans. Cty) of rain and slopes drain better with our clay-ey soil, we are at the mercy of late frosts and cold air rolls downhill leaving tender plants at the top of the slope relatively unscathed, depending on the orientation of the slope more light is available for longer. So, all is not bad.... also lots of good cardio walking up and down
Some good friends are homesteading on an insanely steep piece of property here in Trans Cty. It has taken a couple of years, but they have terraced quite a bit of their land, all by hand, using only what was there to use. Take a look.
Another advantage to our area, folks are quite nice and do not hesitate to pitch in when needed, so don't think of it as going it alone, think of it as helping others (and learning new things in return) who will in turn help you with those projects that need more hands.
Good luck.
7 years ago
I have read (although never tried) that using vodka for all/part of the water makes a very flaky crust. Has anyone tried this?
7 years ago
Wool dryer balls are great, but seem to be pricey for what they are-just wads of felted (read-shrunken, abused) wool. I hunted in the thrift stores for an undyed 100% wool sweater. Brought it home and unraveled it. No need to be too compulsive, just try and keep the yarn strands as long as possibly. Wind the yarn up in balls-tightly- and then stuff them in an old nylon stocking or net veggie bag. Tie it tightly around each ball that is in the bag so that each one is encased separately. Now you can do this in the washer (the agitation helps too) or in a pot on the stove. Hot water (in the washer) or boiling on the stove. Then into the dryer on hot. Let them bang around in there until dry. Take a look. Can you still see individual yarn? Do it all one more time. It can also help if you have a felting tool to go over the outsied of each ball a little.
7 years ago
A little to add on the thread of darning. One tool that makes it easier, especially on a curved area of clothing (think heel of sock or elbow) is a darning egg. O have an old wooden one of my mother's that also has what looks like a handle, but is intended to put in the finger of a glove to keep from darning it closed. There are also fancy old antique ones in glass, stone etc. Once, when I couldn't find my egg, I used a croquet ball.
7 years ago