Martha and Hannah have mentioned that the patio floor (just outside the FPH) is looking and feeling much nicer than before..
There was a wwoofer here who dedicated her attention to finishing one corner of the rectangular area, and I've decided to call it "Sarah's Corner".. There's a patch near the center that Jen worked on which I've dubbed "Jen's Nation".. (the other areas remain nameless for now)..
Today is breezy, overcast, warm (not hot), with a few minutes of light rain.. pretty nice.. This past Saturday was almost perfect weather because it was like today, but even cooler!
I think i'm getting used to the difference between here and the very temperate climate of my previous home of 10 years (seattle area).. I remember feeling "in love" when I first experienced Seattle's climate.. The critic in me thinks this is the honeymoon stage of being in new surroundings.. the optimist in me says, "enjoy it one day at a time, homie.. this is just one bite of the buffet.." AND I LOVE BUFFETS!
Tonight's dinner is curry and rice, by Clayton. I had a heaping helping.. Now, I feel full but also great.. my favorite aspect of curry cuisine! =D
THE WORK: (of course, we must mention the work!) This morning I learned how Shingles are placed on Purlins, and optimization of the placement of Purlins before optimizing the placement of Shingles--in order to make the work flow smoothly, accurately, and for best functionality of the roof as a whole.. I don't know about you, but THIS gets me very excited!
Something else exciting happened in the later part of the morning: the organizing of the shop is now officially under my scope of honorary duties.. I say "honorary" because it's a role I've been practicing for almost my whole life.. Of course, its not that glamorous.. of course, its probably going to be frustrating.. but by golly for some crazy reason, if organizing hardware doesn't light up this firefly in the dark..
Afternoon shift was patio stone flooring (pic below).. The left side is 90% complete, and the right side is 0%.. so about 45% of the first phase is done (the next phase is building out to the hugel culture which is not pictured in this photo).. at this rate, phase 1 will be complete by the end of my first month here, or possibly sooner.. Of course much of the stone-laying is done by the other volunteers who decide to help with the project.. a gift of time and energy for which I am gratefully elated to accept.. =D This stone-laying is actually another source of joy for me.. at the end of the work-day, I sit on a handmade wooden bench next to the floor and observe the progress.. slow.. steady.. satisfying.. I suppose most nourishing things progress this way..
my body is tired, and my soul is fed..
currently I sleep on a slight decline (w/my toes slightly higher than my head).. its flat, but not level.. it makes me realize how much i took for granted any/all level sleeping surfaces.. I keep putting off the task of leveling my tent pad until "tomorrow".. my self-given deadline to fix the level is day 14.. after all, its for my own benefit and wellness to sleep w/o stressing my cardiovascular system for 8 hours a day.. being good to self must be another lesson for me to learn during my time here..
ps. I know its not CAT-urday, but here's a few vids of kittens doing kitten-things, while I was trying to sit and meditate on the bench.. such distracting-ly fascinating creatures..
Today was a bit rough for me.. Physically, my entire body has been sore for a few days.. Emotionally/Spiritually, perhaps I have been neglecting my rejuvenating rituals, such as singing or taking photos (which is why I've been posting more photos, in an effort to kind of force me into the ritual via sheer structure of my day).. After waking up, I knew I had to let someone know that I may be needing some time for myself to recuperate.. Early on (first or second day at WL), Jennifer and Josiah let me know that this kind of "mini vacay" time or "rejuvenation" time is totally okay.. And just knowing that makes me feel valued as a person.. I'm here to add value at my capacity, for the long haul.. Not everyone has muscles like Ahh-nold, or speed like Keanu.. Whenever I feel pressured to perform outside of my natural capacity, I've learned that its best to announce that I'm actually an 82 year-old grandma in a younger looking male's body.. and usually that does the trick in help others understand my capacity.. It wasn't always this way..
There was a time when I had more physical energy--in my teens and 20's!.. and i may once more have it again.. its just not today..
Today, I made it my mission to take heed to Paul's advice of knowing when to stop myself.. He told me a story of an amazing, capable gentleman who essentially burned-out after finishing a major project, because work-time and rest-time were not quite balanced.. Paul expressed to me how that kind of thing is okay for the short run, but ultimately would like to see people finish the marathon at WL (paraphrasing).. Knowing this made me feel safe, because I plan to grow old(er) at WL.. besides, these knock-kneed legs of mine were never much for sprinting anyway..
Even though today was a bit rough, on a personal level, I can honestly say that the company I'm with, and the values we share makes every minute of work worthwhile.. I'm grateful for this place from the bottom of my heart.. its hard to genuinely imagine being back in City Life.. Don't get me wrong--this isn't for everyone.. but if you're into this sort of thing, I encourage you to come on out and visit us at WL.. I'd be delighted to meet you and hear about your experiences that led you on your path, and how permies has interested a small part of your journey..
This morning, I peeled a log in a forest.. then helped load 16 peeled logs onto a tractor trailer, then helped unload those logs.. at lunch sitting down and staring off pondering why I felt stressed/overwhelmed..
This afternoon, I helped build a "bun warmer" in the berm shed with Uncle Mud and team-members (other boots/volunteers).. I would like to mention that Team-Mud was kicking butt working together and getting things done.. We started off by placing/setting the barrel-sized U-shaped tubing in a pre-dug U-shaped trench to level, moving dirt back into the surrounds, and building the ceramic-brick J-tube, in time to test the beautiful monster "bun warmer" in less than 4 hours.. sure the final touches are still needed, but it works! The team made major progress today with this project and I'm so proud to be a part of a community that steps in and steps it up.. I'm just trying to keep up with my company.. and that's an encouraging thought in and of itself..
Today, I leveled my tent platform.. can't wait to try it tonight! There's such a good feeling associated with making one's own bed.. in this case, of course, the dirt floor topped with fine sawdust.. well, sawdust and deer scat pebbles.. its okay, the scat is dry and soft-ish.. Maybe they'll feel like little massage balls on my back? In any case, my bed is made and LEVEL.. if this doesn't help with my general fatigue, I'll have to start a cardio/calisthenics regimen..
Dinner was Red Lentil Soup and White Rice with Cardamom Rice Pudding for dessert, a la Jen.. it was mighty nom.. perhaps the vegan diet is just my thing~!
This paragraph is a rant.. I felt it again today.. The Heavy.. yesterday was much heavier but today, when I recognized it, I just observed.. trying really hard not to take it personal.. my mind wants to find blame/fault for something or anything.. so it makes up a story about what I must have done "wrong" to make someone else seem unhappy or moody.. thinking back to my childhood makes me realize it began there, and has remained in me even until now.. this "Heavy" feeling of guilt drives my mind to carry on a fictional story that places blame on me.. It hasn't felt this heavy in a very long time.. I believe the simplified lifestyle has amplified my sensitivity to its influence.. the voice feels as intense as shouting in anger.. but IS IT TRUE? do others REALLY ACTUALLY think about me in negative ways? or might they have so much going on in their own lives that the importance of a "resolution" is outrageously disproportionate? Well.. that's my rant.. I just write things that are on my mind at the end of the day (kind of like I would in a journal)..
On a brighter note, here are a few more pictures.. After my last post with all the donation pictures, it turns out there's another big item that I forgot to mention.. a 2-Piece Trailer.. Also, some pictures of/from Base Camp..
POST 11 (DAY 17, 2020.08.27, Thursday)
Today I'm skipping my usual-since-i've-been-here breakfast, and reverting back to the eating regimen I had developed while I was in the City, trying to refine my thinking clarity.. Here's my theory behind how I developed the regimen and what it actually is.. Start with WHAT: BREAKFAST IS LATER around 10-11am (possibly a late lunch) of ANYTHING I feel like eating and as much quantity--I made up a word to combine Breakfast/Lunch, called "Brunch".. pretty sure no one else has thought it up yet.. ;) DINNER IS EARLY around 4pm, preferably consisting of a MEDIUM density and quantity..
Onto the HOW: the experimenting of leaving out certain types of foods from my diet/regimen (by the way, please understand that "diet" is defined by me as a design of intake rather than a limit of intake, so when I refer to "diet" i'm not saying i simply eat water or starve myself of calories; what i mean by "diet" is "design"; and we all have the power to design our lifestyle to some degree, including the food intake portion).. BEEF FOG opened the door for me on trying to play with what foods affect my mental clarity.. I'd eat a beef dish for dinner, then the following morning feel groggy getting out of bed and unsure of how to approach my day.. for many folks, this is about the time they reach for that caffeine.. but since I don't drink caffeine, I thought I'd try a beef-less dinner--and BOOM! The following morning, I feel up and ready for the day.. I got excited to try minor changes here and there.. and of course there were times I'd forget about the beef-less dinner and wake up foggy again the next day.. or days when I simply could not say no to the delicious looking Broccoli Beef from Yang's Wok Restaurant.. I tried the vegan diet for a day, or a few days, and just played around with and took note of how foods made me feel.. this journey is what led me to where I found a nice clarity-to-satisfaction ratio.. a mostly vegan diet from 10am-4pm.. in between, or when hungry, I can snack on light things like almonds or even chips, or a peanut butter sandwich.. oh, and I also cut out sugar (apparently its a type of poison.. another topic for another day).. let me be clear that no one has a whip to my back about how strict I am with this diet regimen.. I DESIGNED IT, and it makes me feel good about life.. I've felt the benefits and over few years time have grown quite fond of being good to self..
I'd also like to dedicate this post to thanking the permies community.. The support I receive on a daily basis is simply phenomenal.. I feel safe and valued.. safe enough to raise any concern I may have no matter how "petty" my inner voice may suggest it is.. this is extremely important to me because of the feeling of "belonging".. perhaps a topic for another post! THANK YOU Paul, THANK YOU Team here at the WL,. THANK YOU support staff whom I have not met yet in person.. THANK YOU Supporters of the Permies community as a whole! You are shining stars in my world.. =D <3
Who's Kevin Mink? I dunno.. Do you know Kevin Mink? Yea, he's super cool, works hard, plays hard, and overall genuine guy--I got to work with him at Wheaton Labs. Here's a tiny interview..
Thanks for sharing your time and energy and humor with us at WL.. We'll for sure miss ya when you leave next week.. but until then, here's to more fun times.. and hopefully your next visit won't be too far away.. best wishes to you and your homesteading endeavors.. (he's leaving next week, but I just like to be prepared sooner than later.. its my style)..
Oh and in the background, the rest of the team at WL is cooking stir fry together while jamming out to a hip hop sound track, after a beautiful day of working in the summer sun.. As Kevin said, the people and connections here that are made...
THE WORK: Morning shift for me was patio stone floor with natural rock.. Hannah helped me, bc I was feeling a little sore/weak, and the work just seemed like fun.. what a terrific addition to the culture here at WL.. The perspective of feeling blessed is one I can find every single day here.. She played a little roller derby, as I found out today, so teamwork probably is old hat.. I do find a common thread in people with sports/athletics background of adapting to focused efforts.. for what its worth, both Kevin and Hannah are my tribes people.. I wish they didn't have to go, but they do have a dream to homestead possibly in a different part of the country.. so, I wish mostly that their dreams come true for them in unexpected and fantastic ways! =D
Evening shift for me was timber harvesting BIG LOGS for the greenhouse! I usually put love into my work, and to know that its a contribution to what the backers are excited about as well as to the betterment of our home (called Earth) is such an amazing feeling.. I have no words to describe it other than AMAZING..
Hi Dez / Shane. I discovered your thread today (through the daily-ish) and read all of it. Thank you very much for showing some insight in the thoughts and emotions of a 'boot'!
Are you sleeping better now the tent is level? As far as I know that's the most important: being level when you sleep.
"Also, just as you want men to do to you, do the same way to them" (Luke 6:31)