for me today: biking around town to work & errands. neutralizing a stinky lye bath i had been using for deer hides so i can dump it safely & start a new batch. sorting some dried wild tea herbs for safe storage.
well, as i wait for the next round of hides to be done in the bucking solution, i’ve finally managed to put the finishing touches on my felted wool shoes that i made back in the fall. i had cut slits down the top (vamp), and they slipped onto my feet well & stayed on well, but the top edge was a bit too open - when i walked (& especially ran) on sandy or gravel trails, i got a lot of debris coming in.
so i cut out some scrap felt straps, sewed them on, fixed up some antler toggles, and made myself a nice snug closure across the front of each one. now they stay appropriately ‘closed’ without feeling at all tight or constricting. & they’re extra cute.
Those are awesome!
Awesome booties. Know a lady here going to help me spin my dogs wool and knit something this winter. For me today. Wood stove again, chopping a little wood. Last night filtered a couple more gallons from a beautiful creek on my drive back home, and where I’m hoping to stop again when water level goes down to catch some crayfish.
still waiting on that bucking solution. it’s taking longer than i want might have to strengthen it up some.
on a related note, i opened my pandora’s box of hides that i shipped down here when we left the interior. it’s full of mostly folded & dried sections of moose hide, but also had a crumpled up, fleshed & grained sheep skin that had soaked in stale urine for weeks (long since dried) and a wet salted goat skin, which is what i was actually after.
the moose hide portions had about a pound of river silt in them still, some of which came out onto the floor as i went through everything. i likely won’t get to any of the moose hide until fall, since it’ll require a full twelve hour day of softening (with help) and i’m just too unlikely to have that during the summer.
but i’m hoping to get this last goat skin tanned into nice soft buckskin here in the next few weeks - it’ll be the third (and last) hide needed for a goat-buckskin shirt i want to make. the other two were tanned with fish eggs, though, and i don’t have any here at the moment… i may have to hunt around and see if anyone in town has any frozen fish eggs. they did such an awesome job making super soft hides on the other two.
got the goat hide soaking after a good long rinse to remove the salt & loosen it back up. will have to do some scraping later today before putting it into the bucking solution, as it still has some twitch muscles on the flesh side.
today will probably be pretty standard. i’ll be using cloth wipes, brushing my teeth with a section of licorice root, probably wearing my handmade wool shoes, and making a fresh trash-can’s worth of bucking solution for my last two dried deer hides that i soaked in water the other day. i put them into my older solution, but i feel like it could use refreshing. i took solomon seal root tincture for my foot, as i pulled a tendon a week and a half ago while ‘barefoot running’ in my wool shoes, and it’s still a bit stubborn, as i’ve been walking 6-9 miles most days at work lately & so it hasn’t gotten any rest. i made the tincture myself, and still remember the feel of those knobbly roots between my fingers.
i know there are arguments against ‘lifestyle change’ as a delusion that i’m making a difference. i don’t fucking care, i’m still going to do all the little day to day things i can to live my life the way i want. yes, i know changing our lightbulbs and switching off the water while we brush our teeth isn’t going to save the world. but i also know, now, from a decade of experience how vastly different my life is when i’m holding tight to my ideals and letting them permeate my routines. i feel like an utter piece of consuming shit when i just go about like a normal american, using disposable things all the time, wiping my ass with virgin forest, throwing plastic around like it falls from the sky instead of being exploded out of stolen native lands and leakily-piped across our entire continent.
i don’t expect my stick-toothbrush, or cloth wipes, or adorable handmade shoes, to save the world. but they’re saving me. they keep me sane enough to keep pushing, they comfort me enough to keep me focused on my passions, and they are a constant reminder of the world i want to live in, the world i want our children to have some far-off glimpse of. not only that, most of my ‘rewilded’ routines are infinitely better for my health, and so keep me stronger, sharper, more emotionally stable, and happier as i fumble my way through the fucked up maze of civilization trying to decide on my wisest course.
I’m not living primitively at all right now. But I’ve been tending my moms garden, fishing everyday- for a hopes for meal, tending the chickens, exercising OUTSIDE/ foraging red and black raspberries roadside- can’t believe I belonged to a gym in Oregon- and yesterday I oh so ferally acquired a PA hunting license and possibly two doe tags to lay up meat for winter for myself and dog and my mother and her husband and probably some other family members as well, where I’ll be hunting 3 seasons, archery with recurve and then rifle and black powder season
This is my first year as a part time forager. I’ve been picking wild blackberries since the beginning of July—noticing as the season draws to a close, I’m looking at new foraging opportunities—wild grapes, walnuts, rose hips—even considering acorns. Making the switch from food source to food source feels very primal. That’s feral for me today.