Thekla McDaniels

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since Aug 23, 2011
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

no one has mentioned getost, not even me.  You cook the water out of the whey.  You have to stir it a lot, and then when it is kind of thick in consistency, to get rid of the graininess, beat or whip it.  It has a sweet flavor, I guess you are concentrated the sugars...

"Deborah Niemann" includes the recipe and method in her book:  Raising Goats Naturally.

Currently, I am feeding the bottle baby goats whey.
1 week ago
Just popped onto the thread to say the book is well worth having!  Mine came in the mail a short time ago, and I am inspired enough to have bought a pound of flax seed at the grocery store to begin a landrace for my region.

2 weeks ago
Well, I'll be interested in hearing where to get worms. All I know is they eat mulberry leaves, and mulberry trees are great multi-tasking permie trees,  fast growing, and tolerate cold winter temperatures and if you choose fruiting varieties, you get fruit, too.

One question that popped in to my mind is thatthe "fruitless mulberry" so widely available is a male tree, so, if you get a fruiting tree, will you need to make sure there is a pollinator tree within range.

Anyway, I am going to watch this thread to see if I too could be a silk farmer.
2 weeks ago
I think I have a misconception about "synthetic", I thought synthetic referred to petroleum derived fibers like polyester, nylon, orlon, lots of them....  when it comes to rayon, it is made of wood or cellulose from bamboo, or pine trees.  They do split the cellulose into small units, then reform it into strands... but it is more like cotton than like a petroleum based fiber.

As for the dryer balls, I had some from local llamas,but gave them to my son for Christmas.  They were wonderful,did not smell like animal, softened things up, I did not notice the sound,but that might be where in the house the laundry is located.

Then I made some out of dog hair (Komondor)to replace the ones I liked so well I gave them away.  The dog fiber was kind of matted, I teased it apart some, pulled the plant material out and wrapped layer after layer, then did as described above with the nylon stocking.

They work fine, they smell doggy when moist,but I think that will fade. The clothes dried with them do not take up the dog smell.  
3 weeks ago
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 month 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.
2 months 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.
2 months 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
2 months 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
2 months ago