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Josephine Howland

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since Dec 08, 2015
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bee books cat dog fiber arts forest garden homestead hugelkultur solar ungarbage
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

I have one of the multi-function whistles with a compass etc. It works great. My 3 & 4 year old granddaughters usually grab just a small plastic whistle that hangs by the front door. They also love an old stethoscope, and a pair of binoculars. I would avoid adding anything knife like that could be considered a weapon if she is in school, I'm sure there are rules about that. When she is older, I'd give her and everyone on your gift giving list, a credit card multi-tool. I've carried one for the last 30+ years, and it has had been life saver. Seriously, the newer ones have a small oval shaped hole that fits exactly on my husbands oxygen tanks to turn it open & closed. Mine finally broke after almost 30 years, so when I ordered a replacement, I got one for several family members. It has a small knife, bottle opener, toothpick, tweezers, compass, ruler, and flat head screwdriver.
1 week ago
I agree with all the suggestion, Bryant, ay I have a back hoe on my tractor as well? I just found this site today called Chipdrop, It meets you up with arborist in your area who are seeking places to drop off wood chips. They will also drop some logs if you check that block.  I would like some wood chips for paths and help with filling in some low areas, What ever logs they drop can be added to a huglebed. I signed up, but they don't have any arborists in my area yet. We will have to wait and see. They have some youtube videos expanding who wouldn't want them, and who would want them. Things like possible debris mixed in, etc.
3 weeks ago
I love old tools and grab them at yard sales regularly. I am constantly amazed what people throw out. I have found several metal tool boxes, and several still have tools in them! I have tools that were my parents, great uncle, and great grandfather. I recently purchased a 14 x 32 shed from a neighboring closed garden center. It came full of her stock for me to sell to pay back for the shed. Most of it is new product, some old, and some old, new stock. The Old-new refers to some WWII medical supplies. Somewhere she got her hands on a few crates that were meant to go to a field hospital. All white enamel, bed pans, urinals, waste pots etc. They could be used as planters and vases, I suppose. Some items are really nice like old apple picking basket.
1 month ago
This past fall and into winter, has been a very micey (new word?) time for every one here in our area of NH. One neighbor caught 6 just in her car! I had them in my car, and in my pantry. We've lost count of how many we've trapped and the cat has caught. One way I found one is in an old wine jug in the pantry. The mouse must have fallen In then just died inside. I thinking about putting something yummy inside to get more to fall in, maybe that peanut oil is an idea. My daughter, who lives in an old farm house in Maine,  said she stopped counting at 40 this fall. I think it was a sign of what a snowy winter we were getting.
1 month ago

Forrest Little wrote:Hi Josephine,

Regarding health stuff. Please disregard any of this if its outside your worldview, simply my shotgun approach I share with everyone who mentions health. Wanted to make sure you were aware of, a great source for diy megavitamin therapy including high doses of vitamin c; fasting with Dr Jason Fung, a Canadian kidney specialist curing people's insulin resistance with intermittent and continuous fasting;, source for electromagnetic grounding info, anti-inflamatory practice; and ketogenic diet, specifically the book Primal Body Primal Mind, all about the importance of dietary fat from animals and the risks associated with sugar. Also Psych-K, brain hemisphere synchronization, similar to the effect of prayer or meditation. I mention these whenever anyone brings up health stuff. I totally get it if any of that might be outside of your worldview, but if any of that happens to be useful I wanted to share, as health is my other main interest.

Thank you again for your message.



Dear Forrest Thank you for your health resources. My husband's illness is rather rare. Some how the nerve to his diaphragm has been severed. The diaphragm is paralyzed up, so his right lung can't inflate. Therefore, it fills with gunk, and because of years of hacking the gunk up, the opening of the lung to the trachea is collapsing. We went to Boston to see the Worlds best Thoracic surgeons, who have invented a stent that is inserted into the trachea to hold it open. Unfortunately, when they tried to insert the stent, it could not reach far enough into his lung opening to reach where his is collapsing. Adding to the fact that his mother was a chain smoker, his lungs are damaged beyond repair. We do grow a lot of our own food, and cook from scratch, eating lots of veggies, etc. But this is more of a physical damage, then just  healthy lifestyle living.

1 month ago
Dear Forrest,

Just wondering, since we are living in a single wide Mobile home (which I planned to be temporary, but now seems permanent) do you think we could attach a round or dome home to the mobile home. Being a single wide it really needs a bit more room. There is one area that is meant to be the living room and dining room, and it's just too small. We also need more pantry room. At the moment, our back bedroom is being use as pantry, freezer space, storage for all the canning supplies. It's taking up space that could be used as a bedroom (since I'm a serial adopter we have 14 grandchildren, without me ever giving birth). Plus my husband is deathly ill. Four years ago a doctor only gave him about a year to live. So it will most likely come a time when I will need to get a roommate to help with expenses.  Or have grandchildren   stay with me in the summer to help with chores.  I bought a shed 32 x 14, on a mobile home trailer, that I thought we could attach to the house, but my husband and others seem to thing that it's an impossible task. My nine year old grandson agrees with me at least.

1 month ago
I find hummingbirds love our rhododendrons. We have two planted near our front door. On a few summer days, when our door was left open, We've had hummingbirds fly right in the house. It's like they just wanted to say Hi, then turn around and fly back out.
1 month ago
I love your work! It has been a dream of mine since I was a teenager to build a round or dome home. Life, and aging got in the way. Keep up posting on your experiences, it gives light to those of us not as skilled as you.
1 month ago
Just a couple of comments on posts. Nicole, about cutting trees near buildings. My EX insisted on cutting a couple of tall pine near the original camp on this property. As he was preparing to cut, I was standing at a distance, but I noticed that he had left the two "Anderson" crank out windows in our bedroom open. I called stop, waved stop, he didn't hear me, or ignored me. The first tree came down, taking both windows with it. I just shook my head.
As for recovering from homesteading injuries, After my ice slipping, ankle destroying fall, I thought I would need to use a cane for the rest of my days. I was lucky that there was an old motel not too far from me, that had a bit of a gym in the basement, which they allowed locals to join in a monthly fee basis. It took time, but by using their treadmills almost daily for a few months, I am happy to say that I can walk without a cane or other assistive devices. I do however, on ice days, use a spike ended hiking pole, better safe than sorry.
1 month ago
All I can say is: beware of ice! I slipped on ice while carrying a bale of hay. I now have a titanium plate, one large bolt, and 5 screws holding my ankle together.
1 month ago