Karen Donnachaidh

garden master
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since Sep 09, 2015
Karen likes ...
books dog fish food preservation forest garden hugelkultur hunting solar trees
Virginia (zone 7)
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Recent posts by Karen Donnachaidh

How lucky (special) you are! Those are gorgeous!!! I've been zooming in on the picture to notice every detail and they are perfect. The colors are so lovely and could accent any decor. (I'd probably not be able to use them, afraid I'd damage them some way.) A beautiful gift from a genuinely kind soul for sure.
A friend of mine has a deal with some of our local restaurants, where he picks up their kitchen knives on a scheduled basis, takes them home to sharpen by hand and returns them. He is very detailed in his work and makes sure they're just so before returning them.

To properly sharpen a chainsaw chain is also a useful service.
4 days ago
Hi Justin. Welcome to Permies! I'm liking the sound of your future plans. I hope you'll be posting updates here often.
6 days ago
Green! When I see the first hint of soft green foliage on trees in the Spring...I shake the winter blues and I feel alive again. It makes me happy, because "with forty shades of green, it's hard to be blue." 🌳
1 week ago
I hope I can successfully lead you through the process. I'm going to attempt to use a screenshot so that, hopefully, you'll be able to see the link as it needs to be written. Let's try this.

Click on "My Profile" in the dashboard at the top of any page.
Click on "General Information About Yourself".
You'll see the text box to add your signature there.

I see this is written in your signature line presently:
Let's make it an active link.

Your kitten story reminded me of another example of me not knowing what the next "crisis" will look like in order to prepare.

In 2012, I called my husband at work to tell him about the dog that showed up at our house. I had called the phone number on the collar and left a message. In the meantime, I put the dog in our own dog's pen that's attached to one of our barns while our dog ran free outside. My husband said since he wasn't too busy he would just come home. He had only been in the house a few minutes when the tornado hit. The tornado flattened two of our barns, including the one with the lost dog in it. Our dog was outside and my husband told me I couldn't open the door to see if I could get her in at that point.

After it was safe to go outside, I found our shaken dog to be okay. We went to the barn and, once we figured out where the dog box should be, we dug out the lost dog and she was fine.

I thought the (mini)crisis of the day was to get a dog back to it's home. I was calling it's owners, making it comfortable, feeding it and how was I to know I had placed it in a dangerous place? I couldn't have.
2 weeks ago
Nicole, I think you were (are still) faced with some daunting challenges and you used the resources and knowledge you had available at the time to get you and your family through. Maybe you feel as if you just barely survived or could have done things differently, but I think what you have managed to do is commendable. You took care of the important things and other less important things got less attention. That's what you have to do, prioritize. You can't do it all, no one can. I don't think any amount of preparing would have all details covered. You just scale back and get through. Then, you can build back up until the next crisis, which will come - life's a cycle of ups and downs until the end.

You mention "the reality of homesteading" and you seem to suggest that your life's routine has become such that your focus is no longer on the "end of the world", "zombie apocalypse", "what if" scenarios, but now mostly focused on just striving to survive daily with looming health issues, raising a family and maintaining a home. I think a lot about the "crisis" I'll be faced with all too soon. We all will, in some way.

The "end of the world" as a societal collapse may never happen in my lifetime. There's no guarantee of that. What is more likely the guaranteed "crisis" I'll have to face is "self-collapse"; either, as old-age approaches or battling disease. I should be more focused right now on prepping for how I will manage to grow enough food to preserve for the upcoming year and, hopefully, repeat for a few more years after that; also, to maintain a house that's 140 years old already and is very high maintenance; and, to live on little or no money, because you're less likely to be employed or employable after a certain point; all while dealing with physical and mental decline that is only going to get worse as I age. There are already some things I am struggling with. I don't have as much energy, strength or stamina to get done all that I need to. I find that I am now more prone to strained muscles, general soreness and bruising. I am getting more and more forgetful. I can't see as well anymore. I should go to the doctor about this and that, but I can't afford to, so I deal with it the best I can. I thought it was just yesterday that I was 20 and invincible. Time goes so fast and the time to have started preparing for sunset years was back when preparing was the last thing on my mind.

At this point in my life, I still can grow, forage, hunt, catch enough food to eat. I have a strong survival sense (foregoing the legal and moral aspects when necessary to rely on cunning strategies) that enables me to get things I need in order to get by. In the past, I have been extremely poor and I have been homeless, in which both cases require you to sharpen your survival skills. The most important tool in my survival toolbox is knowledge, by far.

I know of many people that are far less fortunate than I in terms of money and material things. I am very blessed to have what I have now. I know of some too that have lots of money and no survival skills. I think I know which has real value.

But, where will I be and what will my life look like when mental decline has faded my once trusted knowledge and weakness has taken my physical abilities? How can I maintain enough self-sufficiency and self-reliance during "self-collapse" to survive? My husband, being older than I, may be in worse shape than myself and may rely on me for care. Maybe I should be so lucky that the zombies will take us both.
2 weeks ago
Watch where you're stepping!
"Landmines" placed strategically
By my sweet doggy.

She can't use toilet
Therefore, I must get used to
Jumping over piles.
2 weeks ago
Thank you so much!
Looks good Ludi. Is your dad's place in the same planting zone as yours? I've never heard of prostrate rosemary, wonder if i can grow that in zone 7. How tall would you say it gets? Less than 8 inches?
3 weeks ago