Tereza Okava

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since Jun 07, 2018
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dog rabbit urban cooking writing homestead ungarbage
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Tereza Okava currently moderates these forums:
I cook for fun, write for money, garden for food, and knit for therapy.
South of Capricorn
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Recent posts by Tereza Okava

I often find that writing out the problem makes it easier to see. Whether that's in an email to a friend, or just typing it all out. It sounds like a good plan, and acupuncture will always be there!
17 hours ago
@Max, i don't know what your weather is like or whether you sowed seeds or planted starts, but Nancy said something relevant- they needed an early start. My seeds took such a long time to come up that I assumed they were duds. Don't give up on yours if the seeds take a while.
3 days ago
aha!! I grew this a few years ago when my mother in law gave me seeds for bitter melon and this came up instead!

When I asked my reliable sources (the old ladies in my neighborhood who have gardens) everyone remembered eating them as a kid in the country and nobody had seen one in years. I was happy to share them.
In my garden they are ripe just about at the time when my cucumbers poop out, so I use them raw as cucumbers in salads, etc. I stir fried them a few times as well (if you search "crow's beak vegetable" you find that in Bhutan they're called this and often used this way-- in Vietnam, there is another plant with this same name and YMMV, but it looks like they are cooked the same way). They inevitably produce WAY more than I can eat/use/share, so the rabbits get them. Rabbits love the vines/foliage, btw.
They are resistant to everything in my garden- especially the powdery mildew that kills the cukes.

(also they can be invasive. i think i pulled them out for a few years before they stopped coming back.)
3 days ago

Carol Morgan wrote:could you post the process for this soap please? You say you made it by Cold-process, but also say you keep a tub of it by the sink? I thought cold-process soaps are hard bars ?

Hey there Carol. (if you're on desktop you can use the quote button, if you're on mobile maybe someone else can chime in).

So the process is almost exactly the same as for this soap recipe that someone else posted above-- https://www.motherearthnews.com/homesteading-and-livestock/lets-make-some-soap-a-recipe-for-a-simple-lye-soap , but our quantities are 5L oil (usually post-fry or rancid oil, nasty stuff, nothing pretty-- strained first), 1L liquid lye, 1L water. With that quantity of lye I don't think I need to heat anything, but it's been a while. I can't get pure lye flakes here, only drain cleaner that has other stuff in it, but I can get liquid lye from a chemical supply store so I use that.

And yes, it makes a hard soap that needs to set. If you're going to use it at the sink it's going to get wet and melt, so our solution is to pour some of the batch into plastic ice cream tubs to keep down mess. It's still hard soap (unlike the wetter yogurt soap described above).

I've tried scenting it with EO and other things but I think you must need bigger quantities than I'm willing to spend on soapmaking because it never works (one time I tried swirls of new coffee powder in it, which was interesting). It doesn't smell bad on its own, and while it is brutal on grease this soap is okay on my hands, I keep some outside for post-garden cleanup.
4 days ago
we've done these calculations here recently- matches are made here in our city using reforested wood, packaged in paper, that works for me.
(old matchmaking used white phosphorus, which was horribly toxic, modern process uses red phosphorus)
1 week ago

John C Daley wrote:Tereza, hand filling barrels seems time consuming.
Can you connect the barrels with a pipe?

Alas, the water in the front comes off an awning and there's no way to attach a gutter without it looking like an absolute Rube Goldberg apparatus. Luckily it only takes a good rainfall or two (180 L barrel) and I've got some willing volunteers. :-)
1 week ago
I've got a low tech system with barrels connected to my gutters in the back of the house and barrels in the front of the house that need to be manually filled from buckets when it rains. The water is used for watering plants, washing hands after gardening, rinsing garden stuff, occasionally animal drinking water. All barrels are either tightly closed or sealed with screens to keep mosquitoes (major problem here) out. Cost me little and works great.
1 week ago
I don't think it makes you a bad person- I think it really depends on the circumstances, I know people who spent $$$$$$ to keep a dog alive way past when it was clearly suffering too much, I don't think spending necessarily reflects your love or your quality as a pet owner.

A relevant question might be- after the MCL surgery, would you be able to keep him on rest for however many months it would be? Realistically? Because not healing right means you wasted money AND he`s still in pain. Another might be for the vet: can you do an x-ray and determine whether the surgery is a realistic option considering hips?
1 week ago
I'm sorry to hear it, Elle. You've had a lot of animal drama and heaven knows don't need any more.
My Nacho has hip dysplasia and we only found out about it when he was 10 and suddenly hurting. He was a mutt off the street and it never even crossed my mind that he might have it. Even without the advanced age, he had a bad time with anesthesia a few years ago when he had a tumor removed and the vet has said he wouldn't anesthetize him again. He is taking pain meds now (and will for the rest of his life) and we've cut our long walks back, added some things to his diet, and he's almost back to normal. But when the pain meds don't work anymore I'm going to let him go, I'm not going to let this boy suffer.
That said- MCL surgery is a lot easier than hip dysplasia surgery. Then again, it seems like your dog has both, maybe. The dog thing is really hard.

(to ride off the post above: he takes (human) Lyrica. On cold days or when he's limping the doc has told me to supplement with an OTC that is not available in the US, I don't think (dypirone?). We've had to adjust the meds a few times but now it's easy sailing, aside from the fact I need to give him a pill twice a day and there is no more leaving him if I need to go somewhere overnight.)
1 week ago