The Walden Effect: Homesteading Year 5. Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Homestead Blog


Homesteading Tags

Recent Comments

Blog Archive

User Pages


About Us

Submission guidelines


Homesteading and Simple Living Comments

Comments in the moderation queue: 4

View the most recent comments below. To join in the discussion (or see a comment thread in order), click on the title of a comment, then follow the directions on the subsequent page to add a comment of your own.

The white plastic might let more light through than the black plastic, giving the weeds enough light to photosynthesize.

Also the white plastic reflects much more of the visible light, while the black plastic absorbs visible light and emits it as heat. Therefore I would suspect that the temperature under the black plastic will get significantly higher.

Comment by Roland_Smith Sat Aug 19 18:01:30 2017
New beekeeper here trying to decide how to manage my two hives. I have read a lot on beekeeping and sugar dusting and if I am correct, then your treatment day should have had little effect on total populations of mites in the hive. It takes several days of treatment to have much of an effect according to what I have read. My question is, how did this hive do after this treatment? Did they thrive, survive, or die?
Comment by Rodney Fri Aug 18 12:39:18 2017
You have got to put this on Facebook! Hilarious!!
Comment by Jayne Fri Aug 18 09:07:13 2017

I remember the first time I heard the word optimist. Come to think of it, it also was the first time I heard the word pessimist too. I must have been in the 8th grade, or younger. I am slow with vocab words, so 8th might seem sluggish but I think that is when it was. Anyway, I was walking in the cemetery with my sister, walking the dogs, and my sister who happened to tell me I was the big word starting with O was Anna Hess. She then told me she was the P word.

Maybe it's just optimistic thinking, but I think the ideas I developed around optimism since then have been pretty important. Specifically, I think optimism is a word created by people like introvert or extrovert, like Democrat or Republican, like good or bad, or like feminine or masculine. I think it is important to think about the fact that all of these things exist in each of us on a continuum.

When I had a terrible trauma at age 24 or thereabouts, my response was some of these same ideas that ring of pessimism. But I've had other bad things happen and I dusted myself off and made lemon pie.

I think you are this way too. I know a bit of your story, and I think one of the huge negative events I recall you experienced was the vulnerable problem of being excommunicated from the United States by the Watson fellowship, and then having your younger sister become terribly ill with her first mental breakdown.

Maybe you think you responded in a Pessimistic way. But I see optimism in your actions. You camped around all over the place in Europe! A single woman alone, you stayed among tourists, vagrants, relatives, and as a person who needs a lot of restorative alone time, (introverted tendencies) you showed that you are a rock star above all else. Then what did you do? You got on a plane and kept going. You didn't fly home like I would have done if my goldfish was sick at home. You wanted to. But you brushed yourself off, and flew to the Southern Hemisphere to finish your year. In that year you did so much creative flourishing. You filled at least 5 notebooks with sketches and stories about botanical evolution. Wow. Talk about lemon pie. But also, and most important to me, you called your United States family, asked if it would be safe to take your younger sister (me) to Costa Rica on a leg of the trip, and I got to go make some (sometimes literal) pie there too.

Sorry for rambling a bit. My succinct point? You are not an optimist or a pessimist and though I am so glad for you reading this book and getting things out of it, I think it is important you use more expansive self defining language. You are a young woman who sometimes has optimistic tendencies, and other times your pessimistic response abounds. Sure you are learning to be more optimistic more often. But I think it is a meaningful point I am making here that there are shades of gray in most things, and it helps to think of ourselves as mixed beings.

Thank you for reading.

Comment by Maggie Fri Aug 18 06:05:59 2017
What did the snail say while riding on the turtle's back? ...... "Wheeee!"
Comment by Rhonda from Baddeck Thu Aug 17 19:19:35 2017
Your marble filled water bowl is amazing. I will use it with baby rabbits to avoid drowning as they learn to lap from a bowl. It would also be good for baby chicks.
Comment by Rabbit Rescue Thu Aug 17 19:08:53 2017

As an engineer it is often my moral duty to be a pessimist. To think "what could possibly go wrong", in order to try and prevent such events. We call this Failure Mode and Effect Analysis. This is especially important if lives are at stake. But we grade failure modes by a combination of three properties; how bad the effect would be, what the chance is that the failure occurs and whether there is a mechanism to prevent (control) it.

This has however taught me to think about degrees of control/influence, and to appreciate the traditional and modern variant of the Stoic philosophy.

We have varying degrees of control or influence over the events in our life. I would state that I only have to think/worry about (possible) events in proportion to the amount of control that I have over them. (For the ancient Stoics control was a yes/no question, these days we recognize that it's more of a continuum.)

Sometimes you see pessimistic people worry about possible events that originate outside of their sphere of influence. In the Stoic tradition, while you have to deal with such events, there is no sense in worrying worry over them.

Comment by Roland_Smith Thu Aug 17 16:25:01 2017

I'm the eternal optimist. I force myself to be that because the other guy deep down inside isn't! Here are a couple of smiles for you:

Red Green says the pessimists are more accurate, but the optimists live longer....

The optimist says, "This is life as good as it can get!" The pessimist is afraid he is probably right....



Comment by Tim Inman Thu Aug 17 09:53:47 2017
My Mom's voice, and my Granny's and my Aunts', echo in my head and heart, "you can do this". Lucky me, everything is a learning experience that I expect to gain something from, even if it doesn't turn out the way I want it to, and it usually doesn't. Without rigid expectation, I discover all kinds of interesting things that are only offered through "failure". To err is human. Mea Culpa :)
Comment by Maggie Turner Thu Aug 17 07:47:23 2017
We want Law'n'order!!
Comment by Peter Thu Aug 17 04:01:19 2017
Roland --- Good question! I think the author of the book would argue that the human experience is all filtered through our beliefs, so trying to be a true realist is probably an unattainable goal. However, tomorrow's post will hit that topic a little deeper and prove that you're on the right track in certain aspects.
Comment by anna Wed Aug 16 19:09:16 2017
And what about realists?
Comment by Roland_Smith Wed Aug 16 16:22:07 2017

Did you think it was worth the drive?

Got any photos to share?

Comment by mark Wed Aug 16 15:11:00 2017

Adrianne - I was tagged early on by one of my teachers in middle school for being "The Eternal Optimist" before I even realized I leaned that way. I have no idea how in the 8th grade I may have exhibited my being an optimist??
I love the story Anna is sharing here and can relate back through my own thought processes in that I generally believe any setback is temporary and whether I caused it or not - I can either fix it or move on, pushing it aside as it will not matter in the end. Your comment regarding age so far has eluded me in that I still believe I am young and have "time" I have even asked myself, "will I always feel like this even when I am 80?" Party on!

Comment by Jayne Wed Aug 16 10:11:27 2017

My experiences with optimism vs pessimism have shown me that sometimes I escape from reality by "putting on the extra sweater of pessimism" (or, in a lighter vein, taking along an umbrella, to "keep it from raining")--so then also can discard the too-confining shell of pessimism, to be optimistic, just because I am not, that moment, pessimistic. Being realistic, on the other hand, takes into account physical and economic limitations I know I cannot really change.

Being open to change doesn't always mean one is optimistic, though. Sometimes being open to change means accepting and being honest, and then figuring out a new way, which, I guess, is an optimist's strategy. I guess being pessimistic is more disturbing and confining in certain stages of a person's life.

Comment by adrianne Wed Aug 16 08:24:10 2017
Neat! Ill be keeping an eye out for that!
Comment by Nicole Tue Aug 15 19:26:15 2017

Last time I had the opportunity to go see a total eclipse I had to drive through Belgium and into France (about five hours). Going there wasn't too bad; lots of people went there in the days before.

But after the event, everybody wanted to go home. The road home was one big traffic jam.

So you might want to consider staying a day.

Comment by Roland_Smith Tue Aug 15 16:36:38 2017

I am thinking about getting some goats to clean my fence line. Many questions. Can you use the milk from a goat who cleans a fence line and eats poison ivy? Do you tie the goats to the fence line, or is that impossible? If you can't tie them, how to you get them to stay on the fence line and not eat all the pasture? Cindy

Comment by Cindy Diveglia Tue Aug 15 15:24:39 2017
I forgot to ask - will you close the old blog and start a new one, once you move? Or will you just continue blogging from here.
Comment by Chris Mon Aug 14 23:20:17 2017
The old place is looking good. Great teamwork guys. I hope you continue to enjoy the new venture. It's great to clean up. When we thought we were going to sell, and started to clean up, we realised we like the old place too much to leave. But at least we can get our cars to the street, and access civilisation.
Comment by Chris Mon Aug 14 23:17:57 2017
We have found that porches in multiple locations are preferable, as the sun moves during the day. Our largest porch is on the east side of the house which is great for sitting at in the evening. However, we also have worked on other sitting areas for drinking coffee in the morning where the sun makes the east porch too intense. However, there are some cool mornings in the spring, fall and winter when sitting in the sun on the south porch in the morning is a good thing.
Comment by Tisha Mon Aug 14 22:15:35 2017
I don't think the climate between Dungannon VA and Athens OH is going to be that drastically different. It's not like you are moving to the arctic tundra or anything! You are going from 36.9 to 39.
Comment by Eric Mon Aug 14 17:08:09 2017
Ohio is a cooler climate and a south porch may be more appropriate up there.
Comment by wewally Mon Aug 14 12:49:52 2017
As the saying goes, "a change is as good as a rest". So glad this change of pace is feeling a bit vacation-ish and that you're getting to write so much!
Comment by Rae Mon Aug 14 10:46:26 2017

This is were people building a second system/project/house have the tendency to try and fix everything that is wrong with the first system/project/house.

Often with huge cost overruns and disappointment as a result. So choose the things you want to fix carefully.

My experience with housing is you have to live in it for a while to see what really needs fixing.

Comment by Roland_Smith Mon Aug 14 08:59:04 2017
I love this picture!
Comment by kayla Sun Aug 13 23:03:22 2017
Fantastic photo! And great info behind it!
Comment by Jayne Sun Aug 13 08:41:39 2017

I can tell you are not a "native" of SW VA, my inlaws would call it "Gravels" as in plural! Used in a sentance "We had more gravels put on the road..."

Then there is that other southwest VA expression I had a problem figuring out when I met my Wise county inlaws. "I don't care to.." I thought it meant that someone did NOT wish to do what you just asked them to do. No, in fact, it means the TOTALLY OPPOSITE!

Does Marks Ohio family have any sayings or such that you had to figure out Anna?

Comment by Eric Sun Aug 13 08:34:35 2017

I'll bet you never realized how much stuff you had accumulated during the time you have lived in the trailer! I am working through getting rid of stuff that I have had for years and never looked at. Your fire looks like a good thing to do.

Love to you both.

Comment by Sheila Fri Aug 11 21:09:30 2017
Thanks for all the details. I'm sure Movinf Day will be here before you know it!
Comment by Jennifer Thu Aug 10 20:29:29 2017
Are you donating the Kubota to goodwill and where can I pick it up?
Comment by Eric Thu Aug 10 18:01:18 2017

Mid-September--THAT SOON?? But what will you be living in--a tent?

And are you going to get another trailer, or are you planning to build?

Comment by Jennifer Quinn Thu Aug 10 16:11:34 2017
Are you storing your things until the new place is ready or is this something we eager followers have to stay tuned for? You are inspiring me, I want to move now!
Comment by Eric Wed Aug 9 19:52:39 2017

So how many plants have you potted up so far? And how are you two doing the move? Renting a truck, hauling bit by bit, or leaving most behind? We're moving to Oregon in a coupe of weeks. Like you, we bought before we sold, so we have time to return to our old home for a second trip to get things if they don't fit in the rental truck the first time. I have a very small garden this year, so not much to pot up. In fact, I'm only taking a few herbs, a handful of annuals, 3 blackberries, and some purple phormium. And even so, I gotta make a plan for how they will travel. Maybe in the moving truck?

Comment by Jennifer Wed Aug 9 09:44:51 2017
I spent hours weeding the family garden as a child. When I would return home as an adult. I noticed how weedy the garden had become, yea, to the point dad just ran a push lawn mower down between the rows...I somehow began to suspect that perhaps, juuuuuuust perhaps, the weeding had more to do with keeping us out of trouble than vegetable production!
Comment by Eric Tue Aug 8 17:24:40 2017

How does it handle large rocks?

@Trevor: Their FAQ mentions "carbide", which I assume to mean tungsten carbide. Looking at the drill bits they seem like the usual construction of tungsten carbide pieces soldered onto the steel. That should be hard enough to drill most rocks.

But you're holding the drilling pipe by hand. So the amount of torque that the air motor kan deliver to the drill is limited. And in general air tools rely more in high revs than high torque. Which is why it is so important to have the drill hole filled with water; you need it to keep de drill cool.

According to their FAQ, they claim 0.5-2" per hour in hard rock (as opposed to 5-30' per hour in sand).

So the answer to your answer is "slowly". :-)

Comment by Roland_Smith Tue Aug 8 13:15:11 2017
I'm very interested in hearing more about how it works.
Comment by Anonymous Tue Aug 8 06:10:42 2017

When I moved from my home in Germantown, I put almost all my positions in storage as I was going to live with an elderly woman. After she died, I lived with a friend for a little over a year. When I moved to where I am now, I found that I had to make many trips to Goodwill to get rid of what I did not need or want. Congratulations on doing the sorting before the actual move.

Love you both!

Comment by Sheila Mon Aug 7 21:52:00 2017
They have a rock bit that might go through most rock depending on how much depth you are drilling through.
Comment by mark Mon Aug 7 15:24:55 2017
That would probably work if you're absolutely sure the water is close to the surface. My well is 350 feet deep through rock and clay, so something like this would definitely not work.
Comment by Nayan Mon Aug 7 14:57:46 2017