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Homeless? Life After a House Fire.

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Re: Homeless? Life After a House Fire.

Postby rj5156 » Mon Mar 13, 2017 10:37 am

Smoky has figured out that we make spot. We have created a monster. Now she begs and harasses us to make spot for her to play with...
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Re: Homeless? Life After a House Fire.

Postby rj5156 » Mon Mar 13, 2017 10:38 am

Our herb wine experiment did not work as planned. Looks like we should have added the sugar in small amounts over time. Been doing some research. Need to know how much sugar and alcohol we do have. (Already checked the pH and we are well in the safe range.) We can get the alcohol percentage with what we have. Sugar level was a bit more of a challenge. Found help here:

https://www.education.com/science-fair/ ... r-in-soda/

Close is good enough for this. Once we know what we have I may join one of the wine making sites and ask questions. No point in doing that until we have all the info.

We tried adding a yeast culture and putting it back in the airlocked jugs. Nope. Might do better running a second primary ferment? (Dump it in a bucket add yeast and throw a towel over it so it can get air.)

Hmmm. At some point starting over will be the sensible answer. Don't think we are there yet?

May try a small batch with the ginger bug and see what it does. The wine tests about right for a strong beer now. We were going for a higher alcohol percentage so we can do an extract of the same medicinal herbs the wine was made with and do some comparative analysis testing on the results.

The question being can we make shelf-stable medicinal herb extracts that have a comparable quantity of the medicinal plant constituents to commercial products. Be a lower alcohol percentage than commercial alcohol based extracts and I wonder if that mattters in the end product.

Note that it is also entirely possible that the antifungal chemicals in the herbs are just killing the yeast. We knew this going into it. Another round or two of experiments will sort this out if we fail to progress with this one.
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Re: Homeless? Life After a House Fire.

Postby handyman777 » Mon Mar 13, 2017 11:55 am

Just a thought:::on your drilling and tapping--I use crisco (cheap and goes a long way), not cutting oil or tapping fluid, not as messy works great and extends the life of the tap. Drilling - koolmist deluded w/water just enough so your parts don't rust. As I'm sure you know---I start the tap in reverse in the hole so it finds center and then put it forward and tap the hole, also I counter sink or chamfer the hole (first before I tap) so the tap can find home and there is no burr when the tap comes out.
If I have many holes to do I use a cordless drill and a chamfering tool to do this-You can get these in high speed steel or carbide $$$ which works good on stainless.
Who ever is doing the welding, Nice Work, It looks real neat and professional.
just my 2 cents.
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Re: Homeless? Life After a House Fire.

Postby rj5156 » Mon Mar 13, 2017 8:53 pm

I really appreciate the tips Handyman! We are just a couple fabricators who did not have sense enough to say no to this. It went remarkably well but the next one will go much better using your suggestions. Thank you.

Hubby is the welder. I can do it but not like that!
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Re: Homeless? Life After a House Fire.

Postby rj5156 » Mon Mar 13, 2017 8:56 pm

Solid modeling, 3D drawing, the latest generation of computer aided drawing is here to stay. Link gives an overview and more. The applications range from personal to architectural, gaming and virtual reality, industrial, mechanical, artistic and much more I am sure. It is free to start and even develop some level of real proficiency. Worth a look at job markets and projected growth in various fields but these are skills that have value in the job market.

Very good review of types of programs on the site linked below, what each does best and many are free especially at the beginner level. Lot of free tutorials out there too. If you are looking for a job change it might be for you? Even if you can take a course someplace a solid background going in that door means a lot more education for your money. Start simple. Build on that. Most folks can do this if taken one step at a time. Here's the link:

https://www.matterhackers.com/articles/finding-the-right-3d-modeling-software-for-you

A field trip through conventional CAD drawing at some point would be a good idea for anyone who finds interest in this. I would be downloading at least basic free versions if I had kids of any age and making a game of learning to use it.

Not my area of interest or expertise, just sharing about jobs I am seeing people doing.
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Re: Homeless? Life After a House Fire.

Postby rj5156 » Thu Apr 06, 2017 10:44 am

Still fighting my way along with technology. We had to get new phones. Brian chose an iPhone. Great for what he needs. I am not as thrilled but we need to be able to sync our devices so I am working with it. Got a tablet for total portability. Made me a lot of work. Got a decent image editor installed on the tablet. Got most of our devices talking and sharing. Need to set up a network yet but at least we are limping along with that.

Had to download a SEPARATE image resizer because none of the editing programs for android seem to do that. I gave in and am downloading the photobucket app now.

I am exhausted with ever more aggressive and offensive ads. I am ready to pay for photobucket ad free but I would like to know if it will be ad free across platforms. Do I have to pay for ad free in the android app AND the website? Might be willing to do that if it is not outrageous?

Desperately need a mini usb (male) to standard usb (female) adaptor and I really want usb to stereo jacks too. Or else I need a bluetooth keyboard and speaker set? I get overwhelmed. I know exactly what I want to do but finding what I need to get there from here wears me out.

At any rate I hope to be totally portable and posting from the comfort of a hammock in the shade, or anyplace else I want to go, as soon as the 26 MEGABYTE download finishes for photobucket. If I can get it here. May have to go to a high speed connection to get it? Time will tell. I am patient.

Edit to add:
Have to download the app to EACH device of course. Sigh. I cannot create a new album from the app either. Ack! At least I CAN just do the ad free deal once though, looks like. Tried that. It failed of course... Wait and see before I try it again.

I may find technology frustrating but I LOVE IT once I get it set up! Think I can make a picture post now? Got a good one to try.
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Re: Homeless? Life After a House Fire.

Postby rj5156 » Thu Apr 06, 2017 10:54 am

I found purple deadnettle (Lamium purpureum) listed on Richter's Herbs recently. Noticed yesterday the plant is no longer offered by Richter’s, no doubt because it is classified as an invasive in much of the US. We have plenty in our yard and it is feeding the bees nicely. It is one of the earliest blooming wildflowers and I wonder if spraying it as a weed is killing bees…

People brought the plant here because it was eaten and used as medicine. A poorly referenced article appears to be citing info about a varient species that has white blooms rather than purple. Credits it with usefulness for treating allergies, inflammation, arthritis, rheumatism, viral, fungal and and bacterial infections, relieving pain and chronic inflammatory conditions. And we call this invasive?!

https://theasummerdeer.wordpress.com/20 ... ad-nettle/

It is classified as invasive in much of the US though.

http://www.invasiveplantatlas.org/subject.html?sub=3408

Found some “lookalike” plants and they appear to be related. More about that later.

http://identifythatplant.com/three-easi ... ng-plants/

Naturally I pursued the issue relentlessly. Found studies using Lamium album that verified pretty much what the poorly cited article said about Lamium Purpureum.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3847403/

And clarified the relationship of the two plants in question. I am comfortable that our varient can be used interchangeably with the white-flowered one. Be harvesting it when it dries out.

Lamium album or Lamium purpureum var. album

https://plantsam.com/lamium-purpureum-2/

Since I do not know when to quit and plants in a given family usually have similar properties I kept going with those lookalikes plants. The other lookalikes are also edible and have some similar uses. All are members of the same family, Lamiaceae.

Henbit.
Lamium amplexicaule L. Mint family (Lamiaceae)
Recipes given here.

http://www.survivallandusa.com/Lamium-A ... dible.html

Creeping Charlie.
Glechoma hederacea L. Mint family (Lamiaceae)

https://altnature.com/gallery/groundivy.htm

The blossom structure and growth habit of all the plants discussed here reminded me of our friend Prunella Vulgaris / Healall so I looked that up too. Sure enough, it is another plant in the Laminacea family. I found that Healall is being studied as medicine to treat herpes, AIDS, and cancer, in addition to having similar uses as the plants listed above. This supports traditional uses for treating viral and bacterial infections and leads me to wonder if the related species share these properties more than is realized.

Prunella vulgaris L. subsp. lanceolata Mint family (Lamiaceae)

https://altnature.com/gallery/healall.htm

All this represents a world I can get lost in. Makes me want to culture and incubate petri dishes of nasty bacteria and compare what happens to it when extracts of all the plants listed here are poured on it. The practical side of me says if I have some infection I could culture it and test the humble and unappreciated invasive plants as cures for what ails me.

Life calls. Much to do so I lay it aside. And there are so many really cool things to build! But I think about it...

What a document about an herbal medicinal should look like.

http://www.friendsofthewildflowergarden ... alall.html

A nice breakdown of what plant names mean

http://www.anbg.gov.au/chah/avh/help/names/
Lamiaceae


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Re: Homeless? Life After a House Fire.

Postby rj5156 » Thu Apr 06, 2017 10:58 am

Woot! We are up and running again - from ANYPLACE that has internet access!!! And I can FINALLY call my Mother with our new Verizon phone service. Life is good:)
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Re: Homeless? Life After a House Fire.

Postby rj5156 » Thu Apr 06, 2017 2:01 pm

I am now deep in the world of Android. Sigh. Had to find all new programs for text and photo editing and the iPhone is all proprietary of course so it is all new times two. Got spell check again though! There are some dangers in auto correct but here's hoping it helps.

Testing my photo resizing here. Got a very nice build series to share!


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Re: Homeless? Life After a House Fire.

Postby rj5156 » Thu Apr 06, 2017 2:04 pm

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Re: Homeless? Life After a House Fire.

Postby rj5156 » Thu Apr 06, 2017 2:05 pm

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Well I have mangled the order some. I am fairly frustrated with the entire process being new. Call it progress and move on I think.
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Re: Homeless? Life After a House Fire.

Postby rj5156 » Thu Apr 06, 2017 2:14 pm

Oh yeah. The photo series shows building a lift arm for an inspection station. Honestly it is like making parts for anything. Parts is parts if they go on an old car, farm equipment or a new build. They go past so fast and we may or may not even see it all together. I do well to know what color it is or will be but have been asking on some stuff so I could tell you what it is!

Looks like I can get all this figured out. Bear with me, think it is worth all the frustration? I can carry ya'll around in my pocket now, how cool is that!?
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Re: Homeless? Life After a House Fire.

Postby rj5156 » Thu Apr 06, 2017 3:06 pm

640 x 480 resolution fails. As does the resizing program that only offers preset sizes. Trying again.


Storing herbs. Dry herbs keep a very long time when stored properly. Using a light vacuum to improve shelf life. We have been buying herbs and spices at the Mexican grocery, looking them up and trying them. We just search anything we do not recognize and find a wealth of information online. So far they are all good!

Some are clearly medicinal herbs and we have been looking those up too. I am trying to find books for reference of course. Pretty discouraging, especially hard to find books about medicinal herbs and even books about cooking herbs are not impressing me much.

Like starting over. When I was in my early teens I was buying all the books I could find about medicinal and edible uses of our native plants and they were sure few and far between. I was fortunate because my folks loved to read. They actually took us to bookstores, had a library card and took us regularly to use it, and ordered those little magazInes with listings of books for sale by mail order.

It was slim pickings though. Just wasn’t much out there. I hand printed every nugget I found into my native wildflower identification book and searched for years to find useful and edible wild plants.

This lifelong quest lured me to college when I was in my 30s. I devoured books I found in their library - and there were not many. I cross-referenced them with my wildflower identification book and hand printed more info into it. I ordered my own copies of every book on the topic that was useful to me.

As the internet took form and started to grow I found more reference books about plants as medicine with the scientific studies and chemical information I sought. I majored in science in hopes of a career in pharmacy because our medicine DOES come from plants and we were wiping out plants to make medicine. I took botany and a wildflower identification course so I could be SURE I had the right plant before I ate it.

I studied German too because they were leading the world in plant medicine research and their medicines have to prove out more effective than the plants they came from or they just use the plants. Medicine is available to all who need it in Germany too, not just those who can afford exorbitant costs, with those in most need left to die as we do in America.

I hoped to immigrate to Germany and was well on my way when Dad asked me if I would like to work with him. He offered to build a sheet metal shop if I would work it and the rest is history of course. We built and worked the shop together and I planted my medicinal herbs in the yard.

Today it feels like I am 12 again, searching for information that is not readily available. I have found a few useful things. An overview of traditional medicinal herbs used in Mexico on a grocery site lacks the chemical and scientific information I REALLY want but it is a good start and I think I will print it since I cannot find it to buy:

http://www.mexgrocer.com/home-remedies.html#

I also found a historic document on the topic has been reprinted. I want the hardback of course but it is out of stock and the review of the paperback is better:

https://www.amazon.com/Materia-Medica-Mexicana-Mexican-Medicinal/dp/1332021980

I am sure my Plants for a Future database will be much help. I bought the database on CD and paid the business rate to support the project but the info is free online. We also bought several books about edible landscaping and such from them and are very pleased with the works. Here is a link to their search page:

http://www.pfaf.org/user/plantsearch.aspx

What I have learned over the years is that no single work is going to answer all my questions and some of the work always has to be done the hard way, using multiple resources and combining the information into a useful field document. I do have wildflower and medicinal herbs identification books for every region of the US and hope to find some of the plants listed there.

Just getting the Latin names for South American traditional plants in English may be something of a challenge but at least it should be possible. I have a collection of herbal reference materials that puts any library I have ever visited to shame and some of it is only available in digital form. I may print it out but getting the plants growing in our yard is a much higher priority at the moment. May still get lucky and find what I want in print?

Most South American herbs will grow as annuals here. Many Chinese herbs are quite happy in our climate. I am come to realize this is a journey, not a destination. We strive to EAT the herbs in nutritious, delicious food dishes. We keep adding to our diet

We are working to find better ways to store and preserve herb medicines, this is what the wine business is all about. I still hope to live long enough to do some studies with comparative chemical analysis of preservation methods, soil bacteria and plant symbiosis, hydroponic growing on a small scale and perhaps selective breeding methods to improve medicinal qualities.

Brian is surprisingly knowledgeable about all levels of the concepts and has contributed much beyond just supporting my strange interests. He is my fellow food adventurer too. Lot of folks say “Eww! I’m not eating THAT!” Brian says “I’ve never tried that, we’d better get some!”

Edit to add: Found a more comprehensive listing of cooking herbs and uses:

http://www.mexconnect.com/articles/2187-a-culinary-guide-to-mexican-herbs-las-hierbas-de-cocina

Here we go!

https://www.amazon.com/Mexican-Kitchen-Garden-Ethnic-Hardcover/dp/B011W9GZBA



Left to right, top to bottom, like reading a book:

Tamarind, Hibiscus, Cuachalalate, Santa Leaves, Avocado Leaves, Gordolobo, Linden Flower, Arnica, Estafiate, Seven Blossoms, Rose Buds, Epazote, Boldo, Allspice, Guaje Beans.

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Sealed in the usual manner. Only pulled 8-12 inches of Mercury on the small jars though.

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Re: Homeless? Life After a House Fire.

Postby rj5156 » Thu Apr 06, 2017 5:31 pm

Got photo editing / resizing going on everything maybe. Photobucket app is good. Think it might already be worth the ongoing nuisance and cussing.

What's up at our house.


Mullein. Dried flowers traditionally infused in oil, later strained. Oil used for ear problems. Flower head dried and used for coughs.

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Mystery plant from last year. Gotta be a daisy

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Spring Beauty. Native wildflower. Root tubers are edible but it would be a lot of work to get many! We work around the native volunteers.

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French Sorrel. Tastes like sour clover. Used as lemon juice. Also the main ingredient in a famous french soup.

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Re: Homeless? Life After a House Fire.

Postby rj5156 » Thu Apr 06, 2017 5:56 pm

Cilantro volunteering in a bucket. Actually got four buckets but I only took a picture of one. Might get enough to try stuff with it! May toss seeds out in places we will use for other things later. Cilantro is done by the time it is warm enough for tomatoes and peppers. Found a related plant that is heat loving. Think I'll order seeds and see how it does. Said to taste like amped up cilantro. Sounds good to me!

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Wild Mint. Dug it up in the woods and planted it in a bucket last year. Just in case. Mint can get out of hand fast. Keeping it in pots stops that for us. Limits harvests too but we are fine with that trade-off.

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Catnip. It is in the sedum bed. Needs to move!

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Oregano in a tub.

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