Lori Whit

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since Jul 22, 2017
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Recent posts by Lori Whit

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.
4 months 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 timeā€”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.

4 months ago
Like it or not, large swaths of the world have been designed intentionally or not for men.  IIRC, there was even a study recently that showed women sustained more harm in car crashes because cars were literally designed for "the default" aka men.  Ideally, car designs for crashes would protect all humans equally, taking into design different sizes and varieties of humans.

Designs considering the needs of men but not women were more likely to be a blind spot than intentional exclusion, but the results are the same: women think things aren't for them, because they're designed in a way that's difficult to use, or made for more upper body strength, different body shade and sizing, etc.  

Humans need tools for survival.  There's no reason not to consider the sorts of tools that different people find most useful.  These days, people find ways to engineer items for people with physical disabilities, and more women are becoming engineers, so I hope that tools and techniques will continue to become more broadly useful to people.  In the meantime, we have to be thoughtful, pragmatic, and sometimes, find workarounds.

Another part of human survival--community.  The comments about working together, barter, etc., these have always helped humans survive.  Historically, most people have always needed communities and to pool our abilities, rather than survive as a bunch of separated loners.  Villages, extended families, towns, cities--all sorts of interconnections.  Now we have the internet, too!  :-)

At the end of the day--figuring out what needs done, and how to do it--that's very human.  There often is more than one way to accomplish something, and permaculture especially teaches us to think of different solutions to problems.  
5 months ago
Women sometimes have specific health issues that can be expensive and debilitating.  I'm thinking of things like menstrual pain, and "lady infections," two things that have caused me a lot of pain over the years.  There are things that can help in prevention and better health, as I've learned, and I would love to have a thread that focuses on things we've learned that help us, as women dealing with or preventing health issues.  (It would be cool if there was a thread for men on health issues that affect them, but I have no experience to offer there!)

So I'm starting this thread in the spirit of crowdsourcing.  I'd like to share some things that have helped me, which might inspire you if you're dealing with any of these issues.  And I hope other women will share things they've found helpful.  

My main focus is largely on natural things--herbs, supplements, probiotics.  These aren't all free or even cheap, but they can be much better alternative than constant doctors visits or just trying to live with the pain.  I don't currently grow any of my own herbs, or make my own probiotics, but that would be a wonderful sustainable permaculture skill to learn.

I hope this is within the bounds of this area of the forum and will be useful to some, and that I'll learn things as well, if any of you feel so inclined to share.  
5 months ago
This is so amazing and beautiful!  Thank you for sharing the pictures. :)
5 months ago

Peter VanDerWal wrote:In addition to using a mortgage to buy a home, there is an interesting thing called a "reverse equity load", when I first heard about these I thought it was a scam.  They typically have incredibly high interest.  However, since you generally never pay back the loan, the interest rate doesn't matter.  Normally the bank gets your house when you die,  but my mom got one that includes term life insurance (paid for out of the equity loan) that will pay off the entire loan when she dies, so us kids still get the farm (term used loosely, it's only 20 acres).

So even though she didn't have any retirement savings, she is living comfortably off the equity of her home.

Sounds like she may have gotten a deal.  I hope so.

The devil is often in the details.  Apparently some people have issues with reverse mortgages with banks taking the house if the person with the reverse mortgage goes into the hospital for more than a certain number of days, or checks into a nursing home.  Sometimes hospitalizations or extra care need to happen for older people for more than a few days without it being the end.  An illness or surgery, for instance.  It would be a bad time to lose what might be your main financial asset.  It would be a very bad time not have a home to go back to.
5 months ago
I will go on the record saying I'm a woman who didn't learn a lot of the "man chores" growing up, and I have some physical health challenges that mean I can't do a lot of heavy lifting and intense physical labor.  Finding ways to do what needs to be done in ways that work for me (or perhaps finding ways to barter) are extremely important to me.  

I agree that women farmers of all ages and backgrounds all around the world are amazing and strong.  But there are some people (sometimes women) who need to learn how to do things they weren't taught, or were even taught that they couldn't do--and people with physical challenges who need other ways of approaching work.

I'm glad to find tools that help me, like the small hand tool, the hori hori, which makes small scale hand digging much easier.  Little things like this, experience, and encouragement can make this sort of work more accessible for lots of people.

So I am not offended by the post but encouraged that others learn ways around any limits perceived or otherwise.
5 months ago
Thank you for posting this article.  I found it enlightening and disturbing.

Jocelyn Campbell wrote:I wonder if part of the loss of the diversity is because peaches have shorter lives than some other trees. Someone here, off the cuff, thought they live about 35 years, though several online sources report 10 to 20 years, or even only 12 years as the life for most peach trees.

This guy talks about pruning shortening the lifespan of peach trees by a lot, meaning to about ten years or thereabouts.  He has a peach tree growing from seed that looks big and healthy, and he's not pruning it; it would be interesting to see how a naturally grown peach tree looks in a couple of decades, and if this system keeps it alive significantly longer.

I'm interested in growing a peach from seed and seeing if it survives for a longer time and with less care.  That might be an option in future, but it isn't now.  Right now I have a dwarf peach tree, and a super dwarf peach tree.
5 months ago
Rabbits seem like they could be a sustainable source of meat.  Chickens, as well.  I'm reading some interesting different takes on meat production that by no means concur that it's destroying the world's food (or at least, that it doesn't need to).  Grain fed meat is certainly problematic, but pastured animals are both healthier and tastier, and frankly live better lives.  Joel Salatin and others make some convincing arguments.

The bottom line in most discussions of this nature is that there is NO one-size (one climate) solution to feeding people.  Areas of the world are so different.  Most of the problems with feeding people seem to be related to using land in ways that deplete it (whether that's animals, vegetables, or grains), and bad governance and bottlenecks of supply (i.e. big companies, middlemen, etc., behaving like vampires on the food supply and squeezing producers and consumers at both ends).  

It seems to me that the best way to feed the world is to learn how to build soil, to grow or farm or ranch sustainably, in whatever works in your climate, and to build a localized, resilient food system where ever possible.  

I'm currently reading Tending the Wild: Native American Knowledge and the Management of California's Natural Resources, by M. Kat Anderson, which is very eye-opening.  Native cultures had developed ways to work with the land and let it, or help it, renew rather than stripping it for foods.  Colonizers saw only through the lens of agriculture (plowing, ranching, etc) and didn't see what was being done to manage the land, or acknowledge that actually, the abundance wasn't an accident, it was all part of the ethos and traditions of the people living there, and their very real and active land management choices.

Sustainability is possible when we can learn from permaculture, native management techniques, and our own lives, and be open to what the land can offer in different climates.

There are places in the world where it is completely unreasonable to expect the native populations to switch to vegetarian diets.  That's not how they've survived in their landscape for centuries, and it would not be sustainable on their land, or affordable to fly in all the vegetables outsiders might think they should switch to.

Diversity is a strength in the natural world, and I think the more we can dive into what works sustainably in different cultures and climates when it comes to feeding people, and the more localized the food supply, the better all of our chances.

I will say that, intellectually, I'd love to be able to afford meat that's raised humanely and without chemical poisons, and raising rabbits or chickens seems like a way to do that...I think I probably couldn't do it.  I tend to get attached to animals very easily and I would probably just end up with a lot of pets!  I would, however, love to be able to support local farmers who get into any of this, and I hope that happens someday in my area.  As it is, I currently can't eat most meats most of the time because of how it reacts in my body.  I think there are solutions to this other than vegetarianism, but pragmatism means I'm close to vegetarian lately.

5 months ago
In terms of planting trees, the pesky squirrels put many of us to shame!  So many little trees have popped up in my backyard this year.  I'm trying to take the ones from places where they can't possibly grow and make myself a kind of hedgerow forest at the back of the property where they can bring much-needed shade.

This year I will be planting two chestnut trees.  I've also ordered some chestnut seeds which I will be planting in the local forests.  I consider this a sacred duty.  I live in an area where the chestnut blight and poor management destroyed a lot of the diversity in the forests.  By planting seeds, trees will survive in some areas and mature, hopefully without human harassment, and grow big enough to offer chestnuts.  Then the squirrels will be able to continue the work, long after I'm gone.
5 months ago