Thekla McDaniels

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since Aug 23, 2011
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Thekla McDaniels currently moderates these forums:
Thekla has been studying soil life and the process of soil development since 1965, also, the then new idea that fossil fuels were a limited resource.  She currently farms 2 1/2 acres of what used to be fine grained blowing desert sand but is now 4 inch deep soil, and counting!
Grand Valley of Colorado's Western Slope
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Recent posts by Thekla McDaniels

Hello Pomegranate enthusiasts!

I still have my seedling, now about 4 or 5 years old.  I have moved and moved, and brought just one seedling along.  Now I have settleed, and am at 6000 feet.  In unpacking, I found the pomegranate seeds others donated to my project years ago.  I have enough to share, and think that's a better uyse for them thean letting them age in storage.

I am interested in trading, rooted cuttings or seeds.  What have you pomegranate people got?

PM me, OK?
1 week ago
I get a daily email from "Pocket".  It's free.  They send me links to several journal articles a day.  Tech news, climate change, banking news, forgiveness programs for student loans, political issues  They are from major publications:  Atlntic, the economist, the new york times, the new yorker, I don't know wha.  I have a 'liberal' or 'progressive' ointof view, and they don't send me articles that make me roll my eyes.

And a magazine fromthe UK called the Economist, gives news of the world region by region, as well as covering the broad scope of news, plus book reviews.  A friend of mine subscribes, and I get her copies after she is done.  That also does not leave me full of rancor and disgust at the barrage of noise from the usual suspects, braggarts and simpletons that think shouting louder is a communication style.
1 month ago
It says I posted 9 minutes ago.  those 9 minutes I have been trying to PM Raven and MRJ, but can't seem to make it work.  I tried the search function and the member listing,
It may be my old computer, or the slow internet here in this small community where we are all "huddled around the campfire"

Anyway, if anyone PM'd me, I'd surely get it, and perhaps tomorrow I will be able to make PM work for me

1 month ago
You can write ME a letter.

I sent one to Christian,no answer yet.  Got a letter from Ally, wrote back.  
But I am not swamped with too many pen pals.

Raven, I'll PM you my address, in case you don't  have enough people to write to yet,

I'd wait to let you PM me,but I am done with internet for the day.
1 month ago
sounds like a tough situation for you Nicole.  Then add in the chrons, and everything is more complicated.  My heart goes out to you and other mothers in this kind of tough situation.

I listen to a fair amount of gut health podcasts, and a bell is ringing in my mind,something about chron's.I'll see whether anything comes to me.

The chair situation to assist in weaning seems like something to remember.  And on that topic, I remembered something else about weaning, when a person decides to:  if it's possible, then don't go cold turkey, just cut out one feeding at a time.  To quit the pre nap nursing, I would take my daughter for a bike ride.  An alternative activity instead of the familiar was helpful.

Back to Chron's, do you have any Weston A Price resources available?  

I will ask the people I know about WAP and Chron's.  It's definitely worth preventing, (and healing or decreasing)

Good luck
1 month ago
Newborn and infant care:

I had the baby in bed with me at night, we learned to nurse without waking or getting up.  Doubled up cotton diapers with a wool layer over contained the urine, my bed smelled fresh, no worries over that.  And their skin did not develop a rash (the wool breathes).  I never rolled on her, or smothered her.  I believed that unless drunk or stoned, it was unlikely I would like on something of that size, that would surely struggle or make some kind of noise, it was unlikely that I would not wake up.   I was very attuned to my newborns, and think most mothers are likely to be as well.  The focusing question was how would the most people in the household get the most sleep.  Sleeping together was what worked for us.  As a single parent, how much rest I got was VERY important.

Before I lost my partner, he said and did some things that seemed preposterous to me.  One, he thought we should leave a light on, because the baby would be afraid of the dark...  But, after all, it was dark in utero, so why should she be afraid of darkness.  Also, though this partner and I made love while I was pregnant, he was scandalized at the idea that we might do that once the baby was outside of my body and in bed with us.  Where do you think she was when we were making love before, I asked him.  We did not split up til I was pregnant with the second child, which allowed me the chance to experience trying to parent with a partner who had totally different ideas.  Though I would have welcomed another partner in to my life, I remained single.  And one of the benefits of that was that once I had identified an unsatisfactory situation-condition, and figured out what I thought would be a constructive response, I did not have to try to convince anyone else, nor did I have to deal with anyone undermining me.  The sole responsibility was lonely at times, and I would have enjoyed someone to share the funny amusing and tender moments, as well as the huge responsibility that raising children is, but that's not how it played out in my life.

Pregnant, I was convinced the fetus I carried was conscious and intelligent.  This made me consider her from a different point of view than many other parents I knew at the time.  I was curious about who she was, what she had come to share with me.  Second child was very different from the first.  My curiosity served me well, because again I was curious what his nature would be...

I put a newborn in a front pack with the babe facing me so we could have face time.  These days there are all kinds of wraps and packs to carry the baby.  I've seen some where the baby faces forward, and there does come a time when the baby wants to look the same way as the adult carrying the pack is looking, but in the early days, gazing in to each others faces is part of maturation and socialization of their brains (IMO, and some research too).

Months later, (when the baby has been holding her own head up for some time, has developed enough physical strength to crawl, roll over), I put the baby in a back pack, and I could feel her standing up to peer over my shoulder.  It kept her safe and engaged and we shared the activity..

Individuals are different, we know this about adults, and babies are born with character of their own.  What works one may not be remotely possible for another.  

Transition to food, and weaning:
I believed that breast milk was the best food for my child for at least the first 6-8months, complete and perfect nutrition easy and convenient nd cheap, too, between then and a year she transitioned to solid food.  The day came when the baby was watching me eat something, paying close attention.  I gave her a bit and she held it in her mouth, moved it around, swallowed it, wanted another "bite".  That was the beginning of weaning.  I did not nurse for longer than about 14 months.  This also was my decision.  I know there are people who nurse 4 and 5 year olds, but not me.  A lot of people seem to think the child will decide to quit.  I know a woman who nursed her 4 year old daughter, though she resented the child, and complained at great length about it.  Surely a child can feel a parent's resentment, and is capable of using that as a way of making a parent feel guilty.  I thought it would be better for the mother to end the nursing, as it was not a matter of nutrition, and it was not contributing to a close relationship.

One story about this pair.... I was sitting and talking to my friend at their house, seated at the dining table.  The nursing 4 year old began to shout "NURSE!!!" in a demanding tone.  I was shocked, but kept my playful spirit.  After several demands to nurse, I said to the child, "I'm a nurse, Suzie, what can I help you with?".  The child gave me a dirty look and went to amuse herself in another room.  Then the mother began to complain about this child who would not wean herself.

That friendship did not last much longer.

I really am enjoying looking back and remembering all these wonderful times and experiences, and appreciate the opportunity to share.  Thank you
1 month ago

I considered myself to be a benevolent dictator.  I carried all the responsibility, for everything.  I was convinced that things were going to be my way.  I was very indulgent and affectionate. I enjoyed every minute of their young lives with me, but I did not ask their permission for things..... "we're going to have to leave now" was not followed with "OK?".  

We went fun places, but when it was time to go, long before they were done enjoying the activity, I would tell them it was time to leave.  If they fussed, pleaded to stay longer, I would say in a kind and happy voice, and with loving smile on my face:  "Show me you want to do this again"

We could have stayed at the pool longer, but I needed to get started  making dinner...  We could have stayed and I could have ordered a pizza, or driven them to taco bell or some other fast food place,but, that's a slippery slope. The food I prepared for us was more nutritious, less toxic, less expensive.  If I spent more money on junk or fast or pre-prepared food, I would have to earn more money, meant more time away from them,more exposure to junk mainstream culture, you get the idea. I was the responsible party and I had to go by my values.  I think somewhere a long the line, I learned to say:  "I did not ask you to like it, I asked/told you to do it"

The thing is, since I did not waffle,say no,then change to yes, then they did not push the limits.  They were not whiners or complainers.  Other adults enjoyed their company, and they have become competent adults.

We did plenty of fun things... trips to the beach,the tide pools, the forest.  We went camping, we traveled.  A rich life full of cooperation, laughter and good times.

I won't say I never made mistakes, never was unreasonable,never felt bad about how I had played a situation.  But I was the adult, and I had to fulfill that role the best I could.

I remember one time I did something I did not think was constructive in response to my 4 y o son's behavior.  (Don't imagine anything remotely resembling child abuse here).  I shouted at him after a long trying bout of him pushing my buttons.  He is bright,reads others was amusing himself by trying to get a reaction out of me.  That is normal behavior for a child.  He got a reaction, I shouted at him and sent him to his room.  Then I sat at the table with my head on my folded arms, feeling what a terrible person I was.  I was convinced that the behavior that I had let get to me would continue, that much to my shame, I had made the behavior more likely to re-occur, I thought he was going to do that FOREVER... I was having a difficult day, as is apparent.  But suddenly, I thought, if that behavior is going to return because of MY misguided response, then I was going to get another chance.  My relief was huge, and I thought:  "Well then if I am going to get another chance, then I better plan NOW how to respond, so that next time I'll have a better plan"

Of course you'll do your best, of course you will care a lot, and of course, even though you are always doing your best, you are going to fall short sometimes.  These can be times that get your attention, help you see an issue clearly, and trigger you to rethink, make a new plan.

Raising children is a challenge that teaches us things we would otherwise never have learned.  Be honest with yourself, and kind with yourself.  Don't be afraid the kids won't love you if you don't do what they want. They will define love itself in reference to their relationship with their mother/ primary carer.  

I am really enjoying remembering and writing my experiences and opinions for this thread.  Thanks  
1 month ago

Eric Hanson wrote:Hugo,

I too am fascinated by all things fungal.  Perhaps too fascinated.  I am in the middle of a long term project to break down a bunch of wood chips by using wine cap mushrooms.  I am also interested in eventually adding in an array of healthy microbes to ultimately turn my 12” thick bed of wood chips into a very fine mushroom compost with the appropriate bacteria to boot.


Hi Eric, are the wine caps the same as king stropharia?  I bought some king strophria mycelium to inoculate 3 loads of fresh chips I was lucky enough to have delivered last fall.  I had read that it's best to inoculate with the desired organism ASAP.

It has been a fun project.  I live at 6000 feet elevation, and we're having a cold and snowy winter.  Elaine Ingham says the fasted rate of decomposition occurs under the snow....  I have taken the temperature inside the pile with my long stem compost thermometer.  It has remained steady at 40 degrees, same as my compost pile.

I'll be taking some of the inoculated chips up to my summer place (8000 feet) and spreading it under a small grove of oaks (shady) and near a spring (humidfication), but there is no easy watering system there and we are on a south facing slope, and it can get warm in the summer.

I chose king stropharia because they may fruit under "marginal "conditions.  They are said to have broad temperature and humidity tolerances.

I have no experience with King Stropharia, it's all dreams and conjecture, or to sound more scientific formulating and testing hypotheses.  I wonder, since you are growing (what I think is) the same organism, if you can educate me on them.

1 month ago
chicken broth with onions herbs etc, then again for bone broth.  I use the pressure canner to seal and make ready for storing

use the meat in enchiladas , or feed to house pets or compost pile
1 month ago
With the first baby, when she was 3 days old, the midwife visited me at home.  I was worried about whether or not I should pick her up when she cried.  A lot in those days about whether or not to pick up a crying baby, and what you might be "teaching " them....

I asked the midwife, she asked me two questions: did I WANT to pick her up, and did I have anything else I needed to do.  That was a relief to know; that I could make the decision based on those considerations.  From that I extrapolated that the baby needed to fit into MY life.  That's not greedy or self centered, that's how things need to be.  The baby is depending on ME to take care of the business of life, and it might not always be convenient to HER but I was going to get to her ASAP, and crying a bit was no big deal.

Years later, I realized that this is how a baby learns patience.  By waiting.  And what did I think?  Considering the skills she would gather along the way, did I want the first time she faced disappointment to be when she did not get the job, did not get into a class she wanted in college, etc etc etc.  Likewise getting angry.   There are plenty of destructive ways to communicate and express anger, but there are plenty of viable ways, and again, if I never was angry in her presence, then how would she know that anger is a normal part of human experience, and how would she know what  and how when she experienced anger and or frustration.
1 month ago