Eric Hanson

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since May 03, 2017
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Southern Illinois
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Recent posts by Eric Hanson


It’s not impossible that what is being called black locust around here is in fact a different species, but whatever we have has a dark bark and 3 inch long wicked sharp and incredibly strong thorns.  When they scratch, they seem to irritate and leave behind welts on the skin unlike a rose thorn.

It is very hard and grows quickly, almost weed-like.  Those who burn it say it burns slow, long and hot so it does make a good firewood.

I would send a picture but presently I have no suitable examples.

Maybe this helps explain the difference between our experiences.

7 minutes ago

The picture of your plot on your latest post makes things much more clear.  What a beautiful patch of land!  I now understand the placement of your various planned features much better now with that picture.

Have your plans changed at all?  I realize you have been busy, I was just wondering if your work has in any way affected your thoughts for the future of your land.

Also, do you have any ideas about your future tractor?  Are you thinking of buying new or used?  Do you have a brand in mind?  Especially, what implements do you think you will need?  One implement I find to be “required” is a front end loader,  it just had so many uses it is hard to know where to start.  It moves earth, clears snow (may or may not apply to you), generally serves as a sort of power wheel barrow and the list never ends.  I plan to get a grapple for mine for dealing with unruly invasive brush.  I am certain that you can come up with uses of your own.  Please don’t take anything I say as any automatic necessity, I just have a fascination with small and medium sized tractors and am curious as to how you plan to use yours.

Best of luck,

19 minutes ago

Sorry it took me so long to get back to you.  The fact that you still have a couple of cigarettes left says to me that you are really reducing your tobacco consumption.  This is a really positive development.  With just a little luck you will never finish off that pack, leaving just a little as a reminder of something you conquered and left behind.  

You mentioned some gum and lozenges.  If these work for you then you have a potentially powerful tool at your disposal.  For what it’s worth, I think that the gum is vastly more healthy than smoke from combustible cigarettes.  If the gum can help you wean yourself off the cigarettes, then I think this is a perfectly viable alternative and a great way to beat the addiction.

On my the other hand, the fact that you have drastically reduced your nicotine consumption speaks to your drive to beat not only cigarettes, but nicotine consumption altogether.  As I have said before, good job for getting as far as you have.

At any rate, great progress and keep at it.  You have made impressive leaps and always know that you have people rooting for you.

Keep at it,

45 minutes ago

From your previous post I believe that either today is your last day of having cigarettes or your first day without.  How are you doing?  I thought I would drop a post here just to encourage you to keep at it and know that there are people out here who are rooting for you.  If you ever need the additional encouragement, know that some is only a post away.

Good luck and keep at it.  You can and will make it.

1 day ago

I think that BL is one of those plants that are either highly advantageous or highly troublesome depending on ones goals and objectives.  Around me, BL (Southern Illinois, zone 6b) grows like mad. I find it all over my property.  For my purposes, BL is a terrible nuisance, mainly because of its wicked thorns.  I have a small tractor and I have had to do several tire repairs due to BL thorns poking through my tires.  To be clear, this was a diesel tractor with R4 industrial tires and not a riding mower, so in my case, I have no use for BL and wish it did not grow on my property.

On the other hand, I have a neighbor who loves BL for its strength as a building material and as a source of excellent firewood.  To boot, as a building material, the wood just will not rot like most other woods.  If you want to eventually harvest the BL wood, then this could be a great option.  But if you are planning on working near it, beware the highly aggressive thorns.

If it were me just looking for a tree to reclaim an empty patch of ground, I would personally think seriously about finding a hickory species to plant.  It grows fairly fast on questionable ground and produces an extremely strong, resilient wood that burns slow, hot and long.  If I just wanted to get trees growing and let them grow indefinitely, I would not plant a mono culture and instead look at planting a variety of trees, each with its own purpose.

I apologize if I made this issue more rather than less confusing complicated, but best of luck on your project and please keep us updated.

1 day ago

Hang in there.  Quitting an addiction is a process and not an event.  You will have good days and extremely challenging days.  It sounds like you are on the right track by seriously reducing your tobacco consumption.  I am sure you have been bombarded with information about the patch and gum and such.  These can be great tools, but you have to do what is best for you.  No addiction is ever going to just release you from its grip so you have to fight it every day.  I know you are just in the beginning stages, but going from 20 cigarettes to just 3 per day is a pretty good leap.  Congratulations for making it that far and keep working on reducing that amount even further.  You will eventually make it.

Best of luck and if you ever need a shoulder to lean on, please do not hesitate to ask.

Congratulations and good luck,

4 days ago

I have not used drip tape, but I have had great success with drip lines from dripworks.  They have both pressure compensating and non pressure compensating lines that are easy to install, durable and water very consistently and evenly.  I also live in an area with dense clay that can turn brick hard with inconsistent summer rainfall.  I highly recommend dripworks.

Hope this helps,


Do the meds help at all?  Sorry to hear about your daughter as well.  Allergies used to make me miserable for 6 weeks starting at about the last half of August and all of September.  It was ragweed season.  Sadly, at that time the only medication that helped at all was benadryl.  Benadryl indeed eliminated my symptoms but made me so tired I was essentially a non-functional human being for the duration of the pill's action.  For me it was a tough choice whether to take the benadryl or not.  On the one hand I could eliminate my symptoms but become a zombie for about 6 hours or I could take nothing and be a sneezing, itching mess.  In either case I was not much of a use to anyone during this time.  I essentially don't remember my first 6 weeks of school on account of either being distracted by sneezing and itching or being zombified by benadryl.  For me, the nasal corticosteroids and zyrtec have meant that my allergy season is effectively gone.

I really wish your family the best of luck.  I say this as someone who has suffered the misery of hay fever each year.

Best of Luck

1 month ago

I have suffered extreme fall allergies most of my life so I can sympathize with your husband’s suffering.  Two pharmacological developments in the late ‘90s radically changed my life for the fall allergy season.  The first was non- sedating antihistamines.  The second was nasal corticosteroids.

In my experience, the most effective of the non sedating antihistamines is Zyrtec (now a generic).  It will complete stop my allergy symptoms in their tracks.  The nasal corticosteroids take a couple days to work but once they do, the allergy symptoms just don’t come at all.

I am not certain if you are looking for pharmaceutical options, but these have been absolute Godsends for me.  I used to be a sneezing wreck for the first 6 weeks of each school year.  Since I discovered this one-two knockout punch, I effectively have not had allergies since 1998.  Again, I have no idea your thoughts on medicine, but these are cheap and over-the-counter medications.

I hope this is helpful and I hope your husband feels better.  I know how miserable allergies can make your life.

1 month ago

The more I think about this, the more intrigued I become.  At the moment I am not certain where I would place this so I will have to give it some thought.  For your project, I really think you should photograph this in order to document your progress.  Perhaps use this thread as a sort of archive of our joint progress.

1 month ago