Josephine Howland

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since Dec 08, 2015
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I am an old crone of a witch, with a degree in Fashion, living in the middle of the forest with a husband, two dogs and a cat. We try to grow our own food, can, freeze and dehydrate for winter eating. Both of us are now disabled, so with his lung trouble making it impossible to raise chickens and livestock, and last year I broke my hand, we have had a rough couple of years. We have 13 acres which I would love to see more food growing on.
White Mountains of New Hampshire zone 5
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Recent posts by Josephine Howland

Do you notice gas with other food? You might want to try a low FodMap diet. (Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides, And Polyols). It avoids any food that ferments in your body. You first do an elimination diet of avoiding all high fodmap foods, then gradually add food back into your diet, one food at a time to see what causes you distress. If your gas is very smelly...avoid onions at all costs. I try to avoid all high fodmap foods but can't always. Even apples, pears, and stone fruit are high fodmap. We all know things like broccoli and cabbage cause gas, but seriously who doesn't love broccoli? I take a generic beano, a dairy aid (generic Lactaid), and a gluten aid, as well as maximum strength gas x (again, generic) Because I cheat and eat some high fodmap food including beans, I still get gas, but, by avoiding onions they aren't smelly for the most part. Yes, I could clear a room before this!
1 month ago
We also have to be aware that we have some endangered New England Cottontail Rabbits on our property. I haven't seen anything but hares, but a neighbor said that there is a particular stand of something in my back forest that is home to many of them. He wants to make sure the area is protected. We have 13 acres, mostly forest, and don't plan on doing anything out there. It was nice of him to let me know. He owns and lives just over the border to our town, but just bought the 17 acres that go from his land into my town and up to my property line.
1 month ago
I wonder if the blinking red lights I used to keep bears out of the chicken coop would work against rabbits? The brand I bought was from Nite Guard, but I see that there are other companies selling them now as well. They are solar-powered and blink red lights to look like there is already a predator there. They were $20 for two when bought them, but that was years ago. You'd have to mount them to a stake. Perhaps place a few around your gardens. They won't blink during the day so they're not intrusive.
1 month ago
I agree that it would be most helpful if you knew what kind of pine it is. If it's a classic White Pine let me know. I live in a white pine and balsam fir forest and have thousands of pines and firs. I could probably find a way to send you a sapling (although it's probably illegal to mail plants out of state). I live in the White Mountains of NH. I also have a lot of Tamarack trees. I think they are also called American larch. They are unusual because they lose their needles in the winter. They make ideal trees to plant on your south side as they will provide shade in the Summer, but as they drop their needles in the winter they allow the Winter sun to warm your home. All of these trees self sow at an amazing rate. Grey Birch is also a fast grower.
3 months ago
I've also read that the various designs in Irish knit sweaters were used to identify families. This was so if a fisherman's body was found at sea or washed up on shore they could identify the family the person belonged to.
4 months ago
Bruce, that was certainly a traumatic event. If you feel you need more help, can I recommend EMDR trauma therapy, Eye movement desensitization response? I truly help me in dealing with trauma that had me paralyzed from fear and unable to work for 6 years.  I spent 6 years barely getting off the couch, not getting dressed, leaving the house much at all. This therapy was a huge game-changer for me. Please seek professional help if you think you need it. You were very brave to try to save the other driver, not take care of yourself. I hope that the driver that hit that car has been charged.
8 months ago
I have severe insomnia. I need to use a CPAP even though mine has been recalled so I'm waiting for a new one. I take Trazadone, I sometimes take Xanax (it's for my anxiety panic attacks, but it helps if I really can't sleep), Even with the CPAP I wake up several times during the night. I also have nightmares, but they have lessened since I had EMDR therapy for trauma. I also can not have a clock on my side of the bed. I am what I call a clock checker. I wake up thinking I must have slept for hours, no maybe 20 minutes. I fall back to sleep thinking again for hours, nope only 3 minutes. The trazodone is a big help. I also take a muscle relaxer a night now too. I also just got a pacemaker because not only do I have AFib, but my heart was pausing, so it's like a bunch of mini heart attacks. It's no wonder I have trouble sleeping. Please have her see a medical doctor. Sometimes western meds are the only thing that will help.
8 months ago
Shannon, we currently use one of our back bedrooms as our "pantry." I did buy a huge shed from a closed garden center that I will probably use for the canning supplies. It came full of her unsold garden supplies which I have been selling off. Even with selling almost $5,000 worth of goods, it is still over 1/2 full! I need to empty it before I can move it off the trailer it came on and lower it down to ground level. It's 13 x 32 so truly huge. Because her husband is an electrician it is wired with lights, plugs, and an exhaust fan. I just have to plug it in with a strong extension cord. I'm going to put right next to an electrical plug I had installed on my power post.  
10 months ago
I love the root cellars shown here. A couple not far from us built an earthbag spring house that they also use for cold storage. That was practice for building their earthbag dome home. Our water table is also very high here, sometimes above ground eek! We are on flat land at the base of the mountains so we would need to build it above ground and then berm over it. A lot of work that I'm not strong enough to do. I would love to have somewhere out of the house to store canned goods and all the canning supplies that you really don't need every day. Shannon, I love the inside of your root cellar and noted that you store your pressure canner there. That makes so much sense to me. All those empty canning jars are also a pain to store.
10 months ago
I work in a shoe store (Crocs, comfortable, clean off with a hose, and they float), Anyway, we have a system of rolling shelves so we can store the maximum amount of shoes in an orderly fashion in a limited backroom. They are hung off the metal shelving by style, color, and size. They are on rails so they can be moved easily. Even after I returned from getting a pacemaker (I took a week off) I could move them just using my right arm as I had restrictive use of my left arm for a bit. Bonus that Crocs weigh pretty much nothing so even this old lady can handle them with ease. Plus they give you free shoes regularly. This is my retirement job so I only work part-time.
11 months ago