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Lori Whit

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since Jul 22, 2017
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Recent posts by Lori Whit

When you wash her you could rinse her with a mix of water and diatomaceous earth so when it dries there's a tiny bit in her fur to kill any of the fleas that get on her, but hopefully wouldn't get in her nose.  
2 years ago
Thank you so much for the book rec, Daniel!!  I'm more south of you and at least in this area, the township can be pretty harsh with certain issues, and seemingly a bit arbitrary or unfair.  There's no real way to challenge them about certain things and I won't say more as this is a public forum--details wouldn't be good to post.  And anyway I don't know everything, so perhaps most residents are perfectly happy with the township's actions in certain ways.

I might be able to share some pictures but they won't be as pretty as what you guys are posting, especially in this season.    

Kali - from what I see online and read about, it seems like certain places have a very different view about growing food than others, and messy landscaping, etc.  My impression is that California is a very live-and-let-live in many areas when it comes to food, wild areas, etc.  Maybe that's because of people who have come before, or a different culture / attitude, etc.  I couldn't say for sure.  

Though PA is still pretty heavily forested, something like 58%, and we have the highest rural population out of any state just because there's so much area that counts as rural and so many people that live here all told (unless that's changed recently), it seems to me there's a pretty strict lawn culture both in the law and in people's minds.  I've never cared about having a neat lawn, I'd rather grow lots of wild things and trees and "weeds" (pollinator food), etc.  But it appears I have to comply more than I was complying.    I do hope to see changes in the way people view landscapes and stop seeing monoculture lawns as the be all and end all of Good Home Ownership, and Not Being Poor/Lazy.

Frankly I think some folks don't realize how good we have it.  This is a great climate even with everything that's been going on in the world.  We don't have a lot of forest fires, hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, or terrible droughts.  It's just kind of a nice climate.  Lots of people are moving into this area lately, and there's so much building going on.  It worries me that the roads aren't being maintained to the level they're being used, but there's hope that will improve.  Most of all, I hope we don't see the massive deforestation that could easily change all the good things about this area.  Deforested places get terrible droughts and floods a lot faster (there's science to it but basically, trees are awesome).  And the earthquakes could get here, too, if the fracking spreads.  Anyway right now, there are certainly issues in PA, but it's still a really beautiful place to live, and I feel fortunate to be here.

I would really like to see a bigger organic and local movement, and less of a lawn culture, fairer local governance, etc.  But once again, I think there are good signs this could be happening.
4 years ago
These are so beautiful!  Thank you for sharing!    I feel inspired.
4 years ago

Travis Johnson wrote:The interesting thing about money is, it is 100% backwards of what people think. Everyone tries to save, save, save to get more money, and they scrimp, screw people over, and do the nastiest things for cash, but that is not how a person gets money...

You get money by giving it away!

You do not just run around and throw it out to anyone, but if people are in need, you give them money, and you know, you are richly rewarded.

Katie and I have learned this the hard way, and while it seems so logical to save money for the lean times, to get money in the lean times is to give money away when you got some extra. We have done this so many times, it no longer scares us to be without money. When we need it, somehow, some way, it will be there.

But it is not a flippant attitude, like, "Oh, we'll get money when we need it." It is not like that at all, it is looking around and seeing where the need is when we do have extra money, and giving it to people who need it more than us.

You have to experience it, to really appreciate it, but try it...give money away, and see how quickly it returns back to you when you are up against it.

You know, I believe this.   There have been times in my life where I've been generous as I was able to be.  Frankly from the outside there probably looks like there should be no way I could have my own home at this point.  I was completely off the job market for about ten years due to health reasons... but somehow when the time was right, things worked out for me to have a job I could do from home, and save a lot of money, and get a home where I have cleaner, fresher air, and can plant some fruit trees.  It's a dream come true.  I do think some of it comes down to luck with having family support in ill health, as well as avoiding debt, but a lot of it just feels came to me at the right time.  I really don't think it's just that I was so clever.  The right house, the right offer, the right real estate agent, the right all came together for me.  I wasn't in a position to do ANY home makeover stuff...and I mean anything, not even painting...and the house I got needed literally nothing done to it.  It met a couple of other requirements that were really important for me for health reasons.  So...yeah.  I know very well this doesn't happen to everyone.  I really have always tried to give money to those in need when I possibly could, to the point where some would say I was being really dumb, I wasn't in that good of a place myself...but somehow things have really worked out well for me.  Luck, blessing, kindness returned...whatever it all is, I'm very grateful.  I hope I can remember to live that way in future especially, instead of being afraid about money.
4 years ago
Thanks for the answers and ideas about saving and earning money on that money.  :-)

I lived at home till I could (sort of) afford my small house.  I hope to have the rest of it paid off in 5 years.  (I've lived here for two already and it's taking longer than I thought it would to pay it off, because of expenses and income variability.)  I realize I'm very fortunate, & I should be able to live here much cheaper than I could rent anywhere near my family.  I have some savings, an IRA that is not very big right now, and a small, older vehicle.  I want to focus on getting the house paid off, but I'd also like to learn about investing at some point.  I'm not bad with money, but sometimes it's a little bit scary.  I've had panic attacks over money more than I like to think about--about doing taxes, earnings/spending, setting up sinking funds / retirement, etc.  

Money is an emotional thing as well, not just a math problem, and it's scary to think of failing at it.  I think I do all the basic things (like staying out of consumer debt), but there are plenty of areas where I still find myself confused at times.  I have a variable income so that makes budgeting a challenge and I feel it's important to have some savings because of that.  Also with my health there are certain corners I just can't cut.  Some folks can do a really bare bones grocery budget but that's not a place I'm at right now.  

I feel like I'm in a very good place considering, but that doesn't mean I always feel comfortable.  I wish money wasn't a frightening topic for me.  Even when I learn all I can, sometimes it just feels too hard, too confusing, too out of reach.  And I definitely feel like there is one set of rules for regular people, one set of rules for the powerful or extremely clever / techy folks.

I feel like if I could conquer the feelings around money, I'd be much better at it all, but as it is, I'm going a step at a time and doing small things right, hopefully getting better at bigger things.  :-)  I don't use apps, but I write down my bills and I'm trying to keep track of extra expenses every month, too.  (Vitamins, clothing, home goods, whatever I have to spend.)  I'm not even trying to budget my groceries right now, though.  That seems to be slightly beyond me at the moment.  I'm trying to stick with cash, but if I find something that's a good deal to stock up on, I will chose to do that, rather than obsess over strict numbers.  Just where I'm at with my health right now, I feel like eating healthy is more important than a strict budget.  Some people seem to be able to be pretty hard on their bodies nutritionally to save some money, and other folks are producing enough of their own food they can save a ton of money, but I'm not in either camp right now.  I really can't cut too many corners there.

(Again I know this thread isn't about me, but I wanted to share...  Also I'm really disappointed that 2,500 wouldn't earn 100 a month!  That sounded like a pretty great return, ha ha!)
4 years ago

Jennifer Richardson wrote:
One is a financial independence framework based on very low, very concrete expenses. Say that I allocate myself $100 a month for food. That means that if I can save $2,500 and get a 4% return on it, I never have to work to buy that food month’s again (Note: multiply this by 12 months and never have to work to buy any food ever again). That helps with the discipline to save (small, concrete goal, easier to reach), and the discipline not to spend $800 a month on food (which I could do so, so easily), which would require saving $20,000 instead of $2,500.

I'm sorry to intrude, but is this hypothetical?  Is there actually a way to invest if you gather that $2,500 that you can take out $100 every month (if that's the earning you get) and use it, without decreasing your capital investment?  I don't know what sort of fund that would be.  

An investment that I could build up to and someday use to pay for my groceries would be a worthy goal for me, but only if I actually could get that extra money out every single month, and have access to the whole account if I needed to for an emergency.  (I'm sorry if this has already been covered in the thread!  I'm still reading through.)

4 years ago
Kostas, I haven't been active on the forum for some time, but I check your thread off and on anyway.  I just wanted to say what an encouragement you are, and how much I'm learning from studying this thread.  It was really hard for me to believe there was any chance of reforesting when I first started reading your thread, although of course I hoped you would succeed.  Now I see it differently and I think there's no chance you'll fail because you keep taking steps to learn, to plant, to continue the work.  Thank you so much.
4 years ago
Just an update on my projects.  I now have 16 fruit trees on my property, several berry bushes and shrubs, and a patch of asparagus settling in.  Things haven't gone quite as I wanted, but I've learned a lot and this year I got an amazing crop of pears!  My trees are all pretty happy and flourishing.  

A really challenging thing happened this year.  The township ordered me to cut down a lot of things or face massive fines.  So my backyard forest became once again a more strictly maintained orchard project.  I still have grass.  I haven't been able to do all that I wanted, but there's actually a lot going on anyway.

I feed my trees mulch, and Bloom City's liquid salmon fertilizer (from ground up salmon waste).  That's what's working for me right now.  Sometimes the perfect is the enemy of just getting something done, and I've had to accept that.  Also that I don't live in a rural enough area to do everything I want.  

Recently my parents offered to let me plant a little backyard forest at the end of their property, so I will be enjoying that project, as I work out the right balance of permaculture, wild areas, and food trees.  It's a fun challenge and I should have some leeway there as long as I maintain pathways.  It's exciting for me, a wonderful opportunity--more to learn!  More to plant!  

I feel like I've learned so much in the last few years.  It hasn't always been easy, but I'm really glad I'm on this journey.  I've become especially mindful of balance in the ecosystem, planting for birds and bees as well as people, and that's something I want to carry with me whatever else I do in life.    
4 years ago
Thanks for the like on my post!  :)  It was a reminder about this.  I was able to send another small grocery shipment (salmon + walnuts) this month.  My understanding from what I've read in books, seen in documentaries, etc, is that it many times healthy protein is not easily available to people who live on the reservations, not like there should be.  Obviously sending food through the mail isn't permaculture, doesn't address land rights issues, etc., but it's what I can do this month.
4 years ago
There, I think I fixed it.  :-)  I get mine on Amazon,, but thought people might prefer a link to the actual website.
5 years ago