Farm life and Semi-ER

Where are you and where are you going?
horsewoman
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Re: Farm life and Semi-ER

Post by horsewoman »

Our rooster died yesterday, RIP old fellow. 2 more chickens left. We will not continue keeping birds since we do not eat meat and have given up on eggs pretty much. Not because we are going vegan, but when you don't kill your birds you'll end up with a flock of old hens that don't lay eggs. So I learned to cook without eggs, and after a while, the taste became simply too much. Egg is all I taste if some are in dishes or baked goods.
It will be strange to be without chickens since we got the first ones immediately after buying the farm. On the other hand, we had always problems with rats, because of the chicken feed. So if the last two are gone, that's it.

A friend gave me a basket of nashi pears, very delicious! They look like apples and are super juicy. I saved some seeds to try to grow such a tree. My gardener husband was really happy since this was the first time in history that I showed an actual interest in fruit trees (we have really a lot of fruit trees, mostly with fruit that does not really taste well! Or is wormy...). He instantly offered to buy such a tree for me, but in the spirit of the ERE principles, I want to try to grow our own from the seeds! Or get an offshoot of my friends tree, in case there are some.

I've started to re-read the ERE book, I'm curious if I understand some things better on the second go.

steveo73
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Re: Farm life and Semi-ER

Post by steveo73 »

horsewoman wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 8:25 am
The "will I have enough in old age" question is rattling in my head around as well
This is a big question that I think we all need to be careful with but maybe not too careful or we will be working forever.
horsewoman wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 8:25 am
I agree with @7w5 who wrote in G+Js journal that offing oneself is preferable to be a nursing case. I've been thinking about that ever since I lost my grandma to cancer when I was a teenager. She suffered horribly and was in so much pain until she could finally die. Some time later I've had a few years with some serious substance abuse going on in my life, which familiarized me with a score of interesting chemicals. I made it out of this phase unharmed, thankfully, but one thought is stuck in my head ever since - it would be great to have a stash of heroin or something like that handy when one is really old, to go out in a blaze before it gets really bad. I realize that this is shocking or macabre to a lot of people, but for me it is very comforting to have a pain-free way out.
My dad was a doctor (now retired) and my mum a nurse (very recently retired). My grandma (on my mums side) suffered terribly through multiple strokes during her end of life phase. I remember going to see her and I think she was so happy (but it could be sad) to see me that she was crying. She couldn't talk though and her body was all twisted due to the strokes. Mum and dad do not want to be resuscitated if they are at their end of life and regularly state this to us.

As for nursing homes a lot of people end up there and it's often not that bad. It's a big ask to take care of dying people. I would love to care for my parents though.

When it comes to opiates being used to end your life I agree with you. I think my Auntie took too many sleeping tablets to help her on her way.

horsewoman
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Re: Farm life and Semi-ER

Post by horsewoman »

steveo73 wrote:
Sun Oct 27, 2019 11:40 pm
Thanks for reading and sharing your story! I think it is important to think about these things and to prepare at least a little. I need to write down a patient's provision and encourage my aging parents and in-laws to do so as well. With all these machines a dying body can be attached to it is important to draw some lines to avoid unnecessary suffering for all involved.

I'm taking a rather despondent view at the moment I suppose because the last few weeks have been pretty exhausting. A couple very close to us had a stillborn baby, with only a few weeks to the due date. Seeing someone you care about carrying a tiny coffin to a grave is really heartbreaking. Added to that I had to put some serious overtime in at work (not quite FT, but it sure felt like it) and lots of dates with my band. Which in itself is great, but being a happy bouncy singer on stage right after a baby's funeral is not easy. There is also a lot of awkwardness around such a situation, one never knows if one keeps the right amount of closeness or distance to the grieving parents.

All this is making me feel stretched thin and it reminds me of the time when I was working full-time. There is never an unscheduled moment and I'm rushing from task to task. This does a number on me mentally, I need lots of downtime to be in a good place. My reflux is flaring up again and I'm often anxious. A good reminder to keep expenses down to keep the part-time lifestyle going. At any event I have used up all my (limited) extroversion in the last three weeks, today I'm talking only to my family and spend time with my animals.

Regarding money, were still on track with our 55% savings rate. I wrote it before but it strikes me every month how important it is to keep track of expenses and to be pretty detailed about it. We used to blow 400-500 € a month on stuff that was mostly superfluous. These days our "shopping" category is down to 200, some months 250 €. In this category, I put all spending that is not food, medicine or animal-related, like clothes, gifts, recreational spending, restaurants, travel... There is still room for improvement, but I have noticed that I have put back on the shelf or not ordered some things because I imagined having to type the figure into my spreadsheet. Meet my accountability buddy, the spreadsheet :)

horsewoman
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Re: Farm life and Semi-ER

Post by horsewoman »

Almost every day for the last 15 years I have been scraping tons of horse poop from the ground. It was fun to streamline the process, to find the most efficient tools and develop the least arduous routes around the paddocks. But since these systems are up and working I now need very little brain space for this extremely scintillating job :) I have listened to countless "Perry Rhodan" audio books in the last few years, an old school Sci-Fi series my dad hooked me up with in my teens. Time well spent! But today I noticed that lately I haven't been listening much to audio books, instead I'm using the monotonous work to turn over things in my mind which I read here in this forum. Very nice!

This was today's topic of my musings:
jacob wrote:
Wed Apr 10, 2019 4:09 pm
However, what I think we have in common is that we want to make the world better by finding a way to live it by personal example as opposed to the conventional way of trying to protest-march, raise awareness, or get politicians to regulate whatever we disagree with. IOW, we prefer creating to protesting. Voting with our feet.
This struck me as very apt to the way I try to live my life. People often tell me "you HAVE to go into politics!" because I'm outspoken, and can speak freely and coherently in front of large audiences. While I'd love to incorporate public speaking into my web of goals somehow, politics hold no appeal at all to me. Protests and demonstrations freak me out because of the noise and the huge amount of people. I'd rather go about my life trying to make my family's footprint as small as possible. To make our personal small universe a better place, which will hopefully produce some ripples. It is very heartening to see how large these ripples can possibly be. Like this:
jacob wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 7:50 am
PS: Promoting home cooking cf. eating takeout shouldn't be underestimated wrt cancer risk.
The ripples I was able to produce were of course not so large, but it is nice to observe them nevertheless. If my daughter steps into adulthood with the firm believe that there is another way than becoming a wage slave, I'm content.

7Wannabe5
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Re: Farm life and Semi-ER

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

I hear you on the politics. On the occasions I have found myself somewhat sucked into the process it was much like when late-night show host Stephen Colbert (ENTP) was pretending like he was running for president and some people actually took him seriously. This also used to happen to me during business meetings during my brief career in corporate mid-management and during high school math classes. Any time I have had too much coffee and nobody else is raising their hand to offer a solution, I am likely to volunteer something just to keep things lively. Serious downside being that this behavior often leads to assignment of authority/responsibility over some hare-brain project or idea-train I came up with out of nowhere followed by wallow in guilt vortex when I lack follow-through energy and others are depending on me. I believe this is why ENTPs are highly likely to suffer from fear of success.

horsewoman
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Re: Farm life and Semi-ER

Post by horsewoman »

bigato wrote:
Sat Nov 02, 2019 1:46 pm
What a coincidence, my father also had a pile of these same sci-fi series books lying around.
Now this is funny! It is a German series, I had no idea that it is around so far away...
7Wannabe5 wrote:
Sat Nov 02, 2019 5:50 am
Any time I have had too much coffee and nobody else is raising their hand to offer a solution, I am likely to volunteer something just to keep things lively.
LOL, I almost snorted my coffee on the keyboard reading this. This is so me, and exactly what I meant in the other thread about my mouth being faster than my brain. Feelings of regret afterwards aplenty. I'm usually good when it comes to learning from mistakes, only in this situations my disruptive urges are stronger than any instincts of self preservation.

horsewoman
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Re: Farm life and Semi-ER

Post by horsewoman »

Please allow me a moment of motherly pride. Yesterday my 11yo daughter went grocery shopping on her own for the first time. This is probably not a great feat for urban kids, but as the next store is 7 km off she has not much opportunity to go there without me driving.
So yesterday I had a doctor's appointment in the small town next to us, where a grocery store is within walking distance to the doctors' office. I dropped her off, armed with a short shopping list, two cloth bags, and some cash. She managed to find all the items and was waiting at the car when I got out of the office. I'm happy to report that she chose without any instructions to do so the store brand items. I asked her what her motivation to do so was and she said "I looked at the price tags and those were cheaper. Did you know that all the cheap items are at the bottom of the shelf?"
This frugal mom is very happy :)

jacob
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Re: Farm life and Semi-ER

Post by jacob »

Cool! Lots of kids, especially in the US, don't get to that stage until they're 23 or so :-P

Next maybe let her plan/buy/make dinner and go through the entire process on her own some time. We had cooking classes in school in grades 6-7 (IIRC) but ingredients were always supplied. (Ditto when helping out at home.) It would have been nice to experience the entire process before moving out and while I did all those individually, I never experienced them together in a way that connected the dots.

horsewoman
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Re: Farm life and Semi-ER

Post by horsewoman »

bigato wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 4:45 pm
In Japan they have this whole culture about letting the kids loose on the world on their own for the first time when they are something like 8. They even make whole tv shows about this, you can find this stuff on youtube hahaha
I will SO not tell her that! She would love to have a YouTube Channel of her own, which of course I won't allow at this age. She'd "vlog" the hell out of this!
jacob wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 2:56 pm
Next maybe let her plan/buy/make dinner and go through the entire process on her own some time. We had cooking classes in school in grades 6-7 (IIRC) but ingredients were always supplied. (Ditto when helping out at home.) It would have been nice to experience the entire process before moving out and while I did all those individually, I never experienced them together in a way that connected the dots.
She already requested that next time the shopping list should be longer. When it comes to baking, she already does her own planning. I'm totally useless in this regard but she likes to bake and she notes down what she needs on our general shopping list. But you are right, the next logical step would be for her to help meal plan, go shopping and help with cooking. The thing is, I need to tread carefully in this regard because of her Asperger's/ADHD issues. She gets overwhelmed easily with plans and executive functions in general. It is hard to get her to retry things she "failed" at once. Baby steps! But this makes small victories like this even sweeter, seeing that she CAN do it.

horsewoman
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Re: Farm life and Semi-ER

Post by horsewoman »

mooretrees wrote:
Fri Oct 18, 2019 5:56 pm
Do people do the web of goals and not talk about it? I still don't have a solid idea of how to pursue this.
Today I noticed, perhaps not an example of a web of goals, but of some cogs that worked together nicely. It is not very lofty, I'm afraid, but for what it's worth, I'll type it out! :)

I'm having a head cold at the moment, so naturally, I need plenty of handkerchiefs. I could buy some but since I'm not up to real work I'm having some extra time on my hands for some gentle work.
In my fabric storage, I keep a box of old t-shirts (slightly holey or with stains) for various projects.
I used to run a small tailor's shop, so I'm in possession of a professional electric cutting machine (paid for by the proceeds of the shop), which makes cutting fabric a breeze.
I cut up two old white shirts, which are very soft from being washed so often (way softer than paper tissues!), this takes around 3 minutes and produces a nice stack of handkerchiefs, which I can use and wash with my rags on a hot circle to reuse. Since it is jersey fabric, no need for hemming the edges.

The used handkerchiefs go into a small laundry net to dry. It hangs out of the way in my kitchen close to the laundry bag so I won't forget it on laundry day.

There are some pieces of fabric leftovers too small for handkerchiefs, so I cut them up in smaller squares to use in the laundry room.
We got a second-hand frontloading washer recently for 30 EUROS, and while it works very well I have some issues with dirt and animal hair getting stuck on the underside of the glass window and in the plastic seal.
So far I've had a roll of toilet paper in the laundry room to wipe it off, but I'll replace it with a container of the small cotton pieces. The fabric would have been thrown out anyway so I save the disposable toilet paper.

Like I said, not very lofty but here you are. If I did not have the electric cutting machine cutting up shirts would be a little bit bothersome. I do no longer earn money with my tailor's shop but I have all the great tools still at my disposal, and now I use them to work for my self.
The issues with the used washer are a little bit annoying, but considering how much money it saved me compared to a new machine, I'll gladly cut up some old shirts to wipe the glass clean after each circle. It takes 30 seconds.

At the moment I'm re-reading the part of the ERE book with the salaryman/businessman/working man/renaissance man. This got me thinking while cutting fabric, I suppose. It has zero appeal to me to work long hours to accumulate enough wealth for ERE, so I probably need to work harder on the other end. I have to say it makes me sad that all these little things a renaissance woman might do for herself will earn me ridicule in today's society. Just imagine telling a stressed-out salaryman that you spend part of your day cutting up shirts for handkerchiefs, or old paper for writing notes... Which closes the circle in regard to the disconnect @moretress mentioned in one of her posts.

mooretrees
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Re: Farm life and Semi-ER

Post by mooretrees »

Nice job on the hankies. My son has recently discovered the fun of throwing the toilet paper roll and watching it roll away. Needless to say we've gone through tp much too fast recently! Now we store it up hight where he can't get it.....

I like your stories, and what a great job with your daughter! Proud mama indeed. I bet she was pleased with herself, it's fun to play at being an adult.

We were able to make an owl costume from old t-shirts for Halloween. It was okay, we started too late and sorta phoned in the mask. But he had fun and we are starting the tradition of making costumes.
More stories about your life please! I would love to work part-time and so hearing your sweet set up is a good reminder to strive for it.

7Wannabe5
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Re: Farm life and Semi-ER

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

At the moment I'm re-reading the part of the ERE book with the salaryman/businessman/working man/renaissance man. This got me thinking while cutting fabric, I suppose. It has zero appeal to me to work long hours to accumulate enough wealth for ERE, so I probably need to work harder on the other end. I have to say it makes me sad that all these little things a renaissance woman might do for herself will earn me ridicule in today's society. Just imagine telling a stressed-out salaryman that you spend part of your day cutting up shirts for handkerchiefs, or old paper for writing notes...
This is very much in alignment with some thoughts I have recently been developing from the other end. Unfortunately, what I mean by "the other end" is that I have previously found myself dwelling relatively content in something resembling your current space/structure/web and then experienced slow or sudden crash. The thought I was having is that if you are an ENTP, you are likely already pretty close to being a Renaissance Man, with the obvious caveat of scornful description often wielded against our type which is "Jack of All Trades, Master of None." So, when we "crash" or "collapse" it isn't in a big obvious manner, like a failed broker jumping off the roof of the exchange or the salary man with 4 kids made redundant after 30 years with the same company.

It's more like when you are running to catch the bus on the way to an exciting opportunity while simultaneously hunting around in your big bag of tricks for an umbrella, and you make it to the stop in the nick of time, but the elastic on your underpants, which you have been meaning to replace for some time, chooses that very moment to give out, and they fall to your ankles, and you find yourself down on the pavement with scraped, bloody knees, breathing in the fumes of the bus as it pulls away and down the road, leaving you bare hind and behind.

Jin+Guice
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Re: Farm life and Semi-ER

Post by Jin+Guice »

When turning clothes into handkerchiefs and/ or rags, does it matter what kind of fabric the clothes are made out of? Is there any fabric that's advisable not to turn into rags?

horsewoman
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Re: Farm life and Semi-ER

Post by horsewoman »

Jin+Guice wrote:
Thu Nov 07, 2019 10:13 am
When turning clothes into handkerchiefs and/ or rags, does it matter what kind of fabric the clothes are made out of? Is there any fabric that's advisable not to turn into rags?
Yes, there are differences. Woven fabrics like cotton, terry cloth (--> towels) or linen will fray if not hemmed. Knitted fabric like jersey ( --> T-shirts) will not. It really depends on what you will use the rag for. Terry cloth cleans better on surfaces than the jersey, so I will take the extra time to hem the cloth. Plus, I don't want messy/fraying rags in my kitchen and hemming them makes them look nicer. Cotton works well for tea towels. I use nicer fabric like old cotton bed sheets and hem them. Old, thin t-shirts are soft so they are very nice to use on skin.
For my husband's workshop I cut up everything else without hemming because he usually throws them away after use (oil and dirt).

ETA: OMG how much thought can one give to rags anyway? No wonder so many people think I'm weird. But I've found that with this "old knowledge" or rather things our grandparents did every day one needs to dig deep to make it sustainable. If you have no idea what fabric to use for which purpose using a paper towel will always win for convenience. With rags you need a system, but once it works its kinda beautiful :)

horsewoman
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Re: Farm life and Semi-ER

Post by horsewoman »

mooretrees wrote:
Thu Nov 07, 2019 8:14 am
I'm glad my stories have some value for you. I feel you on the disconnect so it is really pleasing to be amongst like-minded people, even if it is only online!

Good job on the homemade Halloween costume! You need to start them early so they know nothing else ;) My daughter went as a "Día de los Muertos" skeleton, wearing an old 80ies black/red cocktail dress with a tulle underskirt and the traditional skull make-up. We spent 3 € for some greasepaint, that's all. I like to keep some vintage fancy dresses on hand for dressing up - those are the upsides of a large house!

horsewoman
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Re: Farm life and Semi-ER

Post by horsewoman »

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Thu Nov 07, 2019 8:30 am
The thought I was having is that if you are an ENTP, you are likely already pretty close to being a Renaissance Man, with the obvious caveat of scornful description often wielded against our type which is "Jack of All Trades, Master of None."
Actually I have always tried to reclaim that term "Jack of All Trades, Master of None" positively. In German this is called a "Tausendsassa", which is an epithet I give myself proudly. I struggled with this until I came across the "Puttylike" website, which really opened my eyes that not being an expert at something can be a very fruitful way of life, if one adopts a healthy attitude towards it.
7Wannabe5 wrote:
Thu Nov 07, 2019 8:30 am
It's more like when you are running to catch the bus on the way to an exciting opportunity while simultaneously hunting around in your big bag of tricks for an umbrella, and you make it to the stop in the nick of time, but the elastic on your underpants, which you have been meaning to replace for some time, chooses that very moment to give out, and they fall to your ankles, and you find yourself down on the pavement with scraped, bloody knees, breathing in the fumes of the bus as it pulls away and down the road, leaving you bare hind and behind.
Had to ponder this for a while... Thanks for the warning, it is always good to regularly check if there is enough slack in the system.
I've had a similar traumatic experience like the one you described in your journal (with your sister) when I was 16. My mother and her then BF pulled a series of almost unbelievable dumb stunts, which left a lot in shambles - figuratively and literally. This taught me some lessons early in life that I need to look out for myself first and foremost. Like with the oxygen mask in planes.

So I've been very careful to protect my money and interests even from my "nearest and dearest". I also have some safety strategies in place to make sure I'll never be without a home or without an emergency fund (I have a set amount of money which I consider ZERO, an iron-clad emergency fund, so to say). Plus a few contingency plans in case of my husband dying or divorcing me. While I cannot be sure that those plans will hold up should one of these things come to pass, I feel better for having them.

I'm sorry you had to go through this with your sister, I imagine there are few things more traumatizing than a beloved family member turning against you in a violent manner. It's been almost 25 years but I still call up in detail the image of broken furniture and glass when I close my eyes. I've sworn to myself that my child will never witness such a scene as long as she lives with me.

horsewoman
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Re: Farm life and Semi-ER

Post by horsewoman »

On a happier note - I have scored a small frugal victory. As I have mentioned before my daughter is on the autism spectrum, which comes with a whole host of sensory issues. Buying shoes has been a nightmare for years. She can not tolerate the stiffness of new shoes and finding used shoes she can wear is kind of a hassle becuase she needs to try them on. This makes Craigslist cumbersome because I would need to drive around a lot.
My MIL forwarded me a newspaper announcement of a used shoe bazaar close by. We got three pairs of shoes for my daughter and one pair for me for 17 €. Such a relief to know that she'll have shoes for the next few months, winter boots, boots and sneakers. Summers are OK because she'll go barefoot most of the time or wear flip-flops, but every autumn it is the same old... I need to pay better attention to this kind of bazaars or flea markets. Usually I avoid them (we have too much stuff as it is) but in this case it's a golden opportunity!

7Wannabe5
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Re: Farm life and Semi-ER

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

@horsewoman:

Sounds like you are a much quicker learner than me. One reason I have been a bit stuck in swamp of self-pity lately is the event with my sister was not the first, second or even 4th time I've had to deal with a similar traumatic event. It's like I can't move forward until I figure out why I am a magnet for being the designated driver for complete melt downs.

Buying used shoes is definitely one of the things I get grief for from not so frugal folk, but I think the fact that they are already a bit broken in is a plus.

horsewoman
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Re: Farm life and Semi-ER

Post by horsewoman »

@7w5 How fast I learn largely depends on how deep I get burned. I forgive and forget pretty easily, but while I will give most people second and third chances I will put up save guards. To use P&P traits - I guess I can understand the Mr. Darcy and Wickham situation from Mr. Darcy's viewpoint. He tried to see the good in Wickham and felt responsible for him (another trait I share with Darcy, I feel responsible for everything, too!) until it was made painfully clear to him that there is no good in Wickham. I'm pretty sure however he received Lydia and her dear George at Pemberly 10 years later, while putting his servants up to monitor his every move :)
But since I forget minor infractions pretty easily there is also some "Lizzy philosophy": "Think only of the past as its remembrance gives you pleasure". Like with everything in this strange brain of mine, conflictive forces are at work :)

Maybe your cuddly personality makes people think that they can run roughshod over you? In your writing you come across as the nice, approachable substitute teacher who does not like conflict very much. Someone who people feel comfortable to open up to.
I don't like conflict either but for some reason a lot of people are slightly afraid of me. In my former band (all female) I was very seldom approached by the unavoidable weirdos who latch on to the artist, it was always one or another of my band mates. I guess my vibe is more "Victorian governess in a nobleman's residence" :) At least I have been asked a few times if I have a side business as a dominatrix - which I think hilarious!

7Wannabe5
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Re: Farm life and Semi-ER

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

I should write more on my own journal. The fact that I do indeed project a cuddly, approachable presence is unrelated to the fact that there are several people with serious mental illness in my immediate family and I have been in intimate relationship with several men with serious mental illness. It may have to do with the fact that I "normalized" a good deal of "crazy" growing up because my mother is mentally ill (bi-polar 2.)

On more cheerful note, I think developing a dominatrix skill set could prove very helpful in certain situations, kind of like knowing how to perform basic first aid or becoming lifeguard certified. One novel I really enjoyed ,"Children are Diamonds" by Edward Hoaglund featured an unattractive, middle-aged, frumpy female character who managed to enlist the assistance of the very attractive younger male protagonist in her efforts to rescue some orphans by whipping out some unexpected dominatrix skills. Also, an ENTP male friend of mine is married to a sex worker and one of her friends who is a professional dominatrix was able to solicit the help of several of her clients in fixing up a big old house she bought in the city. So, I say "Go for it!" ;) :lol:

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