Lori Whit

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since Jul 22, 2017
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Recent posts by Lori Whit

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.
1 year ago
These are so beautiful!  Thank you for sharing!    I feel inspired.
1 year 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 like...it 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 help...it 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.
1 year 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!)
1 year 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.)

1 year 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.
1 year 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.    
1 year 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.
1 year ago
There, I think I fixed it.  :-)  I get mine on Amazon, https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00L3F9OB2, but thought people might prefer a link to the actual website.
2 years ago

A few years ago I had to deal with these over and over, with a great deal of pain, run down health, and medical expense to treat them.  Often treatment required more than one round of antibiotics.  Even repeated infections, to which some people seem to be prone (for any or no reason), mean a fresh doctor visit each time.  I often needed painkillers for the intense pain, as well.  Though this is rarely considered a serious medical issue, infections can spread and kill you if ignored.  

I learned that basic biology means women are more prone to them than men.  That some women are particularly vulnerable to them, and that older people are at risk of repeated infections as well.  None of this seemed particularly urgent or of great importance to the medical profession, but it sure was a hellish situation for me!  Or anyone else dealing with these things.

Things that helped:

Probiotics to build up my system.  I found this one (Pearls YB) http://www.pearlsprobiotics.com/Products/Probiotic-Pearls-Women-s particularly helpful, as it is gentle but targeted particularly towards the female system and UT health.  After dealing with repeated infections and getting extremely run down, I was very glad to find a product that helped me, and I took several pearls a day for months, until my system seemed strong enough that I didn't need to.  I may have gone overboard, but overdosing was impossible, while living in terror of yet another doctor visit and more agony was really impacting my quality of life.  I can say without a doubt, these pearls helped.  Today I don't need to take them because my biology has been built up a lot, and it seems to not even be an issue.  But I definitely recommend them for any woman dealing with UTI vulnerabilities.  A pearl of prevention is worth a pound of cure (not to mention the expense, pain, and antibiotics!).

I've taken other probiotics that I believe helped as well, such as Gut Shot, which generally built up my health; and good overall nutrition and not being malnourished in any particular nutrient seem to be important or helpful as well.  https://www.farmhouseculture.com/gut-shots  (I'm sure there are lots of overall good probiotics, and I've tried a lot of them!  I honestly think the more the merrier because different companies use different strains.  Also someday maybe I'll learn to make my own probiotic foods, but I haven't yet.)

A natural health practitioner gave me some advice that really helped in more emergency (aka not so much preventative or health building, but a situation where it feels like you might be coming down with a UTI and are hoping against hope that you won't have to go to the doctor).  That advice was to take some baking soda in water several times a day to adjust your body's PH and make it less "friendly" for a possible infection.  

The second advice she gave was to skip the cranberry juice (which I had chugged for years to very little avail) and go straight for for the D-Mannose, a concentrated form of the beneficial ingredients in cranberries, to prevent/heal UTI issues before they got to a point of desperation.  https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000HCMK90

Obviously if you need medical care, go to a doctor.  Take the antibiotics if you have to.  But anything that can reduce the expense of medical bills, or having to take harsh antibiotics over and over again, is very worth pursuing!

Eventually my body healed and built up to the point where I rarely need to use any of these things, but I keep them in mind, just in case.  And I do feel that they were very close to lifesaving for me!  It felt like my health was spiraling lower each time—back to the doctor every few months for more and more treatment, a revolving door of pain and seemingly causeless UTI issues that kept coming back.

2 years ago