echo minarosa

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since May 22, 2018
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Recent posts by echo minarosa

Pearl Sutton wrote:Expanding on the lights and visibility for older folks thoughts:
If you want to do it as a gift, I'd suggest the gift they open is a box of daylight LED's, and a certificate promising to change the lighting in the house. I have yet to see one set of daylight bulbs not convince people how much difference it makes. Be sure to mention they are cheaper to run!  

As soon as reliable LED daylight bulbs became available, we made the switch. It is a huge difference. Better still, we did it a couple of years ago when our state did energy audits and gave reimbursements when their recommendations were implemented. Alas, that no longer exists in the state but others still have opportunities.
2 days ago
We aren't in a rush for the mattress. Getting info to make the correct choice is difficult. We expect to purchase one but I am getting to the point where I think seeing a Bigfoot riding a unicorn will happen before I get to usable information on hospital mattresses.

It's one of a number of efforts on the future horizon. I pick them up from time to time. We are patient. With that patience comes opportunity as well. We are doing pretty well prepping for what may come. The likelihood of injury and sickness just increases with time.

I forgot to mention that those of you who moved outlets to 18" from the floor are brilliant. That isn't anything I'd ever considered until the minute I read your comments and those comments tracked immediately. I am definitely adding that to the planning list. In the end, most or all of the mods may not be needed. If it doesn't benefit us, it may benefit someone who comes along later. My brother thinks it is morbid to plan for death (wills), sickness, and even emergencies. This last year has softened his stance a wee bit.

2 days ago
Even with mammal feeding, not all situations are the same. If the feedings are healthy, diverse options, then I don't see any issues. Even in bear feeding experiments, most scat shows a majority of wild forage.

On the bird side, if you regularly clean feeders in order to keep down disease, and provide diverse healthy options, I can't see that as a bad thing. You still see them forage. Also, humans have mangled habitat. I add numerous water sources, box options, and plant with insects in mind. If you're a gardener who places importance on having birds, then you're a caterpillar gardener...or you should be.

I run 6-7 hummingbird sugar solution feeders as well. But I have also planted with them and other pollinators in mind. Anecdotally, while hummingbirds use these feeders, they spend the majority of time on the plantings all over the lot.

But there are clearly times when feeding is detrimental. Look no further than public feeding spots for ducks and geese. People usually bring junk food...bread to feed them. You almost never see grains, fish parts, etc (depending on what your recipient is). One place in my area is between 5 restaurants and people bring out their doggy bags for the ducks and geese. All they get is inappropriate food all the time. The birds are there in such huge numbers and in such a small area that diseases quickly spread and they get large population buildups which then crash. The diseases like avian botulism are horrible ways to die. People mean well but don't understand the implications of their actions.

Anyway, boiled down, it is perfectly acceptable to provide habitat factors for wildlife...clean and healthy foods, sanitary conditions (including regular and rigorous cleaning schedules) fresh water (renewed frequently), gardening for habitat structure and for the production of additional resources, nesting or sheltering structures both natural & artificial, and building your knowledge of the species you get are key. And some of the same decisions you make for birds are those you'd make for mammals, insect pollinators, butterflies, etc. If you keep building in layers of habitat complexity, you'll see a biotic response. But also don't be surprised when that includes predators. My yard and its feeders are hunted by red-tailed hawks, Cooper's hawks, and especially sharp-shinned hawks daily. I hate it when some birds are taken as I'd love to see them preferentially take European starlings and house sparrows but it doesn't work that way. Two years ago when a sharpie died in the yard in the middle of winter, it was subsequently food for one or more of the opossum regulars.

Anyway, the fact that we are seeing the responses at by many species and at various trophic levels along with the regular appearances of new species are signs that the rewilding part of our plan is working. 4.5 years ago everything was lawn and a jungle of non-native invasive vines. No, it feeds a variety of animals...human and non-human.

3 days ago

Hester Winterbourne wrote:House martins are a great example.  Surely before there were houses there would have been huge areas of the country where there were simply no nest sites for them.

But there were far more natural habitat options before humans started dropping as many logs as they could and especially taking out dead trees, trees with "faults", etc.
3 days ago

Jay Angler wrote:OK, seriously jealous here. Since it sounds as if you don't need it as a bed right now, consider that if you remove and carefully store the mattress, put a piece of plywood on top of the frame, you now have an easily raised and lowered work surface for cutting out fabric for sewing, or any other project where having an adjustable height work surface would help your back and shoulders! I read about it in a book a friend had and I think the concept is brilliant.

We do not need it currently. We are preparing for probable future needs. While the bed was new, there was no mattress and we have yet to buy one. What you're suggesting was partially being considered for at least a storage surface while not needed. I like the work surface idea though. Thanks! BTW, do you remember what book that was?

Side note, if anyone is considering hospital beds as prep, hospital mattresses are not standard full sized mattresses. The difference seems to be 2-3 inches less in width for hospital sized mattresses.That means fewer options for mattresses. I have been unsuccessful in finding any detailed mattress comparisons and many of the manufacturers do not take consumer calls...Drive Medical being one. Their phone system is infuriating and the online chat was not helpful due to lack of usable info for making decisions. That said, if you sleep hot (I do) I have read in the past that the newer foam mattresses make sleep even hotter. There are mattress options with air bladders but that just seems like more to go wrong and unlikely to last. Some people have recommended a mattress topper. Several are about 3-4" high. I wonder if a 2-3" mattress topper on a hospital mattress makes using twin sized sheets possible? A Twin XL I think is the same length as a hospital bed sized mattress. As difficult as it is to get usable information, you'd think manufacturers would be more forthcoming on the customer service side of things. I even called all the local medical suppliers and got precious little info. C'est la vie!
3 days ago
What a terrific thread. I thought we were some of the few weirdos looking at the potential for future issues surrounding injury, illness, or aging.

Lorrine Anderson wrote, "IF I had an inkling of what was coming, I likely could have got everything used, refurbished or on sale. So, it might be worth keeping these mobility aids in mind, picking them up when cheap or free... "

This is exactly why we are preparing now. I wish I could say we have been able to address as much as Lorinne earlier in this thread. However, we live in a 130 year old Victorian house that was originally built without plumbing It was added a few years later. All doorways are not the same size. Electricity was added after it was built as well.

S Greyzoll wrote, "The great thing about planning ahead for possible obstacles is that they also prepare you for plain old aging as well. "

Being invincible doesn't seem like it was that long ago. ;)

My SO works at a cancer center and we've seen entire lives change in a half-hour visit. Believing that you prepare BEFORE you have a need runs deep thanks to my late grandparents who weathered the great depression. First aid is a good example. If we do it right, we are prepared for problems but on the other hand, hope we will never use any of it. I also operate on the old adage, "One is none and two is one."

So, little by little we are reading up on caregiver sites, and trying to lay in stuff like shower chairs, a walker or two, etc. About a month or so ago we got a hospital bed from a friend. It was brand new, still in packaging. We are thrilled. It wasn't that long ago that I'd find how much we are thrilled about that to be odd. We got a brand new in box shower transfer bench for $5 a few weeks ago. Where's that dancing emoji?

Unfortunately, the house has stairs everywhere. We are somewhat concerned and maybe one day when we can afford deck rebuilds, we can address partially.

We added additional CO and smoke monitors while wholesale replacing those that came with the house. We stocked a large fleet of fire extinguishers as well.

I go through the Wilderness First Aid certification every three years as well as keeping up my First Aid/CPR/AED. I plan on going through the Red Cross series whenever Covid subsides.

We replaced toilet seats with the no-slam variety both for easy use, but also because someone dropped the older/heavier lid and it broke the bowl of a toilet.

We put in anchored shower grab bars not only in all bathrooms but also on each side of the cellar steps, and I'm considering whether we should do more.

On the future list is one of those toilet support things that looks like a walker made stationary and allows support while accessing or leaving the toilet.

That all terrain 'rollator' mentioned by Lorrine sounds like a winner as well. We had a friend who lost mobility at 88. He affixed longer handles on his tools and modified his garden to have wider paths so he could garden from a wheelchair.

We had not considered forearm crutches previously. They just seemed more unstable than underarm crutches. Lorrine's experience has us thinking about them.

S Greyzoll's post about presumptive MS and garden preps tracks like our friend above and just further supports us in our planning to tweak as much as possible here in preparation but still hoping it isn't needed.

Jennie Little's mention of changing door knobs to lever type makes sense to me. But, we're trying to keep the historical aspect to our house as well. Will have to consider.

Further, her mention of the
AARP Home Fit guide was terrific. I grabbed all the PDFs to help with our planning. Thanks for that. BTW, the link to those PDFs is:

Peter Ellis mentioned weight. John F Dean also commented. I was on the right path and am very active. But I have made some dumb choices in the last several months and gained 25-30 lbs. I need to address that.

We've also concentrated on getting rid of hazards. No lawn or house furniture with glass table tops. We see them everywhere for cheap. It took knowing just one person with numerous stitches for us to rule them out. We are gradually replacing all drawer and cabinet pulls with rounded pulls rather than anything with a point or sharpness that could create injury.

I do often wonder about ham radio. It's a lot of equipment and licensing as I remember.

Anne Miller wrote, "I recently suddenly turned to say something to the dog.  I lost my balance and fell into the gravel.  Dear hubby could not help me up and I could not put my weight onto my knees because the gravel dug into my knees.  DH said he was going to call 911.  I said no, just hand me a towel.  With the towel under my knees, I was able to get up."

"A towel is just about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can carry. " - Douglas Adams

4 days ago
I've seen some mention to using a bokashi culture to aid in digesting compost piles. Most recently, I watched this video:

and decided it's worth a shot. Note - I don't turn compost. I do it in a place that can't be automated and there is just so much that my time is spent elsewhere. compost takes a while.

Anyway, the backbone of my compost is leaves. I get a LOT and most of it comes within a few weeks...faster than I can source greens to layer/add. Anyway, I guess what I'm trying to mask is has anyone made these starters? Have you used them on compost rather than normal bokashi buckets? Since the starter is to generate larger Lactobacillus cultures, wouldn't it be helpful to add some plain yogurt to kick-start the process?

Thoughts? Derivations? Suggestions?

2 weeks ago
It seems like the perfect tool though...trash used in a variety of handy ways. However, the issues with paper/cardboard items and chemicals are real and complicated. This link should be enough of a starting point to go down the rabbit hole:

So it isn't simply glues and absolutely not just wood pulp. The FDA in the US addressed 3 chems in wide use for things like pizza boxes. That only scratches the surface. Look on the bottom of a LOT of produce boxes. Many contain warnings regarding reuse. I agree with someone way back on this thread that cardboard shouldn't need these things.

We all make our own decisions of acceptability but I'm expending far too much effort and time to build long-term resources here to not consider the precautionary principle. I don't use paper in the compost. Usually what does come onto property as a result of shipping and/or transport leaves just as quickly. Almost anything could be used for something else or in new ways. I guess I'm trying to say I try not to let "can be doing" override "should be doing". I'm already dealing with decades of coal burning and don't feel like I need to be trading current legacy issues for future potential ones. YMMV.

3 weeks ago

Four of the six stems I received did well. The other two died.  All were the same size when planted. We had an extremely wet year early in season and mainly drought for the last two months. Until we got about a quarter inch of rain a few days ago, we had 0.03 inches in 7+ weeks!. I did water the containers.

The sun is lower on the horizon now and the low temps here are high 40s to mid 50s (F) and the leaves have started to yellow a bit. To overwinter, do y'all cut them back before bringing pots inside or just take cuttings?

3 weeks ago