POST 15 (DAY 21, Monday 2020.08.31)
Good Morning~! The diet regimen and platform leveling have certainly improved my quality of life.. the past few days, I've challenged myself to slowly jog to the Willow Bank for 3-5 minutes to warm up and stimulate my lymphatic and cardiovascular flow.. FPH plot is a somewhat hilly terrain, so even just walking around helps with strengthening.. Last night on my way to bed, I heard in my heart "hills are good".. that spun my next thought to "everything is uphill for children".. I feel that babies come into the world breathing.. breathing is usually their only skill.. and yet, by the time humans are older, often their breathing is shallow and weak.. currently my breathing is shallow, weak, and unsteady.. when I was practicing yoga, my breath was deep, strong and focused.. I'd like to get back to that.. realistically, and fortunately, I can practice my breathing technique even as I write this entry.. =D
POST 15 (DAY 21, Monday 2020.08.31)
THE WORK: AM--Tree harvest--usually this consists of felling, de-limbing, and peeling timber.. Today was randomly drizzly, so we worked in the cold/wet.. my hands got stiff, my toes were soaked, and my shoulders were damp.. not the best condition for this kind of activity for me, but the rest of the team seemed okay for the most part.. ahh to be young again--when core temp was almost always stable and warm.. (at some point in my massage career, I mentally disconnected my ability to raise my core temp at will because I was sweating too much for my own comfort while giving massages.. I am hoping to regain this ability through some breathing exercises I will develop during my time here.. more to come on that later..)
PM--Patio Stone Floor.. So since I was working alone today, I decided to do a rough mathematical estimate of hourly progress when working alone.. its about 1-1.25 square feet of stone laid per hour.. I like to think that this goes fast when working with a partner--however, this observation was based on a "feeling" of time passing rather than actual time passing.. basically most work here feels funner with a partner.. that's not to say that working alone can't also be fun--there are times when either option can be appropriate..
DINNER: Curry rice usually does not make me feel full for some reason.. maybe its the spices.. this has been true about me ever since childhood.. when my mother made me curry rice, i would eat 2-3 helpings easily before feeling full.. Thanks, mom.. thanks Clayton.. for feeding this hungry boy.. =D
FEELS: Today I feel normal.. The Heavy has pretty much gone away.. I'm practicing letting go.. of control, basically.. control of social situations and other peoples' possible perceptions of me.. I call it the practice of IDGAF.. some people do it naturally or overtly.. I wish to do it as a monk might.. being in the present prevents worries about the future or the past from clouding clarity.. "don't sweat the small stuff.. and by the way, its all small stuff".. Actually a fellow boot said it this way, "don't try to compensate" for a social mistake that I think I may have made.. just carry on with my life as I normally would and without giving any special attention to the possible faux pas.. oh, how my mind wants to focus in on minor details and possible errors.. that voice that says "what if s/he thinks THIS about me or THAT about me.. etc.." so egoic and unimportant.. stepping outside of that monologue makes me wonder--where does it even come from? that voice in my head that revels in placing blame or causing a guilty feeling.. let's let that go.. and simply not give a fork about anything but the present.. breath..
I guess today has been about breathing.. even while working in the drizzle.. I was trying to boost my core temp by breathing hard and deep.. it kind of worked, but I couldn't really tell if I'm being honest..
PHOTOS: went outside after my after-work break to take some shots around the FPH.. mostly caught some nature-y things.. enjoy~! =D
POST 16 (DAY 22, Tuesday 2020.09.01)
THE WORK: AM--Hay bale unloading.. quite messy (haha, my semi-OCD/germophobia being tested!).. I must mention that this warmed my core temp right away.. more than any other task I've partaken in at WL thus far.. now I have a go-to for getting my sweat on~!.. afterwards--Saw Mill Training (pic below).. Though willing, I admit, I was not very excited about working with the saw mill.. afterwards--I was looking at the neatly stacked lumber and felt a feeeling.. Using my stopwatch, I timed Martha (today's saw mill partner) to 1 minute and 2 seconds for 1 board (12ftx1inx4in).. 20 boards per layer of stack.. so roughly just under a half hour per layer of 1x4's.. the part I enjoyed most about using the mill was the slow, meditative walk.. it takes 20 seconds to walk forward 12 feet, then 40 seconds to walk backwards 12 feet.. with each step, I felt my body's misalignment and yoga-stepped it with deep breaths.. after 20 of those, I needed a water break.. then tapped in Martha.. while my partner was milling, I stacked the freshly cut boards--AND THAT was my favorite part (that's the picture).. its just so satisfying to see the cross-sections of the knotted wood lined up, as if in a time-lapse sequence of several years seen side by side..
PM--Patio stone floor with Kevin and Hannah. working with two or three seems to go faster than working alone.. especially when each partner is open to voicing their opinion/concern in a thoughtful tone.. probably one of these guys' best attributes! its their last day with us this season.. tomorrow they leave to sail onward toward their homesteading dreams.. I wish them all the best.. and will miss 'em much.. =D Thanks for all you did while you were here (yes, I saw you doing awesome stuff)..
DINNER: TACO TUESDAY~! Mouth-watering, eye-rolling, gleeful-grinning good.. After a day of good-hard work, its truly a refreshing meal.. so good I forget to take pictures.. today Josiah made some fresh fermented hot sauce--bright red, almost radiating with love--you gotta see it to believe it.. if you're into that sort of thing, come on out to Permies.. we make fresh hot sauce, talk about homesteading, and permaculture.. all the time~! =D
I want to keep writing.. alas, its bed time.. so, until tomorrow~!
POST 17 (DAY 23, Wednesday, 2020.09.02)
This morning, our friends Kevin and Hannah went on their way.. it was bittersweet indeed.. the work day just didn't feel the same without them.. They left us with a goodies bag: a Fresh Pineapple, 5 chocolatey bars, and 2 cheeses.. such luxury adorns the beautiful, diligent, and kind permies of WL.. Its my fourth week here.. I'm still new here, so I probably have the freshest perspective of the group today.. there have been much influx of amazing humans as well as somewhat heartbreaking departures.. This community seems to attract the kind of people who take joy in contributing, serving, and helping.. We sat today, the "core group" (semi-long term to lifers), at the dining table and talked about delicious fantasy dishes we could later make, WHILE eating a delicious southwestern-ish bean soup.. are permies foodies?.. perhaps.. or perhaps just enjoyers of general deliciousness, since permaculture is a balanced palate of flavors..?
THE WORK: AM--log peeling/timber harvest, for the wofatigreenhouseproject.. I'd like to take a moment to thank each of the contributors (you know who you are) of the project as well and the harvest of the logs specifically.. this is a task that can easily be under-credited.. just as good food takes time, good timber takes time.. life is given by the tree when it is felled.. also, time and energy are given to select, fell, de-limb, and peel each and every tree.. a Sustainable pace is the key to this particular act of doing.. Jen alone has harvested over a few hundred trees--perhaps over a thousand trees even.. So each structure with a round-wood timber framing has someone's actual time and energy poured graciously into each log.. sure the structure is nice--and yet, I see them differently, now that I have had the honor and privilege of contributing to the harvest of these majestic beings called "TREES".. =D .. I think my favorite thing about log-peeling is that it's outdoors mediation.. the seemingly mundane task of moving a peeler back and forth to chip/strip away at the bark and cambium is a chance to MOVE MY HIPS~!.. also, if there's someone nearby to talk to, its basically like a tea-party.. just let the thoughts flow, connect with someone as I listen to their thoughts flow, and stand in appreciation of nature's grace..
PM--stone patio floor.. no partners today.. just me, the rocks and a Sustainable pace.. Today I did about 1.5 sqft per hour.. the rocks just seemed to fit together nicely, without much effort to search through the varying selection.. also, the cats didn't interrupt me as much.. thought I must say, when a kitten offers to cuddle with me on a hot patio for a quick petting, its somehow as refreshing as a sip of cool water.. (just my take though!).. the first phase (large rectangular area of patio) of the stone flooring is about 65% done.. I imagine the part that will take slightly longer are the edge areas, because they involve matching 4 corners of a stone, vs 1-2 corners of a stone at a time.. I'm up for the challenge!.. After phase 1 is done, phase 2 is building out the stone floor to touch the hugels, and phase 3 is building out the other side to touch the hill behind FPH..
Another magical day at WL.. I called my City friend John today after my evening shower.. we've been best buds since sophomore year high school back in California (LA/Orange county area).. we've had our bouts of pride, where we'd fight and not talk for a while.. and we've had our periods of hanging out several times per week to enjoy each others' company and shared interests (like cars, poker, video games, eating mexican food, movies and walking around the malls).. Funny enough, he brought up a topic that I had been writing about--letting go of ego.. John's example was regarding a climbing peg that was seemingly flipped 180 degrees from where it might have been set (he's into rock climbing).. he said that instead of being upset about things not being the way I expect them to be, its often simpler to accept things as they are.. then in most cases, a resolution is found without frustration.. I love that my friend and I can be a thousand miles apart on this planet, and still be on a similar wavelength.. isn't that crazy?.. I guess not really, because so many permies-enthusiasts are from all over the world..
Pics.. there are from my iPhone today.. I'm realizing that my daily time budget is pretty tight, so until I get the hang of a schedule I can design for myself, some things will be inconsistent (today iphone pics, tomorrow dslr pics? something like that for example.. willow bank once/day, tomorrow twice? tmi? regularity is important at my age).. I've been jogging up and down the hills around FPH to get around a little faster.. eating breakfast with rice, eggs and veggies seems to help with the energy supply.. I'm done babbling.. enjoy the pics~! (Someone landed the dismount on their butt, BUT someone else helped them to stand again.. isn’t that nice? I heart permies people.)
POST 18 (DAY 24, Thursday, 2020.09.03)
Dear Permies-Forum Fam,
Thank you for being here at the forums and interacting with me via technology.. whenever I see your "likes" or apples or pies, I feel so encouraged to know there's a community of folks who access this beautiful platform that Paul and the Permies.com Staff have created and maintain.. It makes me feel connected to my purpose, my work and my sense of belonging in this spaceship called Earth.. I was raised in The City for most of my life and just never really felt like I belonged there.. Not sure why--I guess some people are meant to live in the city and others are not.. As hard as I tried to adapt to the ways of living and the unwritten rules that everyone else seemed to understand, I was the weirdo, the outsider, the alien.. I know that they say everyone is a "weirdo", but some are good at hiding their true weirdness.. but its different.. Until I got to WL, I did not know.. Instead of wondering why I even came to Earth, I now have a hope that the small amount of skills that I've gained [from The City no less!], are of actual use.. you see, the job market and the few connections that I had while living in The City would consider my skill set of little value.. here at WL, I get to leverage my self-taught photography skills, and my organizational skills, without concern for how much money it will bring into my pocket.. oh, money--that's a whole other topic of discussion, I suppose.. I'm so grateful to be here, with the team of fellow permaculture enthusiasts and to be connected to you all on the Forums.. Thank you, again for just being here.. I hope to meet you in person someday, and work with you on some project, and have a conversation.. =D
THE WORK: AM--Timber harvest--finished peeling one of the final logs for the WofatiGreenhouse.. then learned how to use the electric auger to dig a 10" wide hole, 4 feet into the ground to set in the posts.. Seeded some Sorrel in a couple hugel beds.. took some photos, hung out with bumble bees, honey bees, grasshoppers and a cat named Gretyl.. with the subtle smell of a warming RMH in the air, at the Allerton Abbey.. many pics of flowers today..
PM--2 hour podcast with the core group of Boots and Paul.. reviewing, discussing, and tailoring "The Abyss".. a list of to-do tasks for the near and further future.. and then 2 hours of non-podcast discussion.. There are many items on the list and we as a group have such a diversity of skills and interests.. I'm so excited to see WL flourish as this collective stewardship ensemble continues its journey.. we are physically here, and all the supporters of the permaculture endeavor are here in spirit.. I believe in us..
DINNER: a light snack I made consisting of almond butter spread on top of a rice cake with organic cacao powder sprinkled on top.. (its basically like nutella minus the sugar).. plus a sprout protein shake.. decided to go light on the dinner tonight because I hear my body asking for lighter dinners..
SLEEP: no more vivid dreams, but I do feel sore in the mornings, like I need 4-8 more hours to fully recover.. will keep monitoring this.. my wellness is top priority, and has been for a few years now.. I have developed chronic back/joint pain/stiffness, and respiratory sensitivity, over the past 18 or so years of working too far beyond my capacity and/or limits because I was denying my wellness for the sake of earning money.. anyway, this Saturday, I plan to sleep for some additional time beyond my normal 7-8 hours..
PICS: lots of flowers from the Abbey.. some wildlife.. captured by my iPhone 5 SE (ancient by today's standards right?).. Josiah and Scott working in the foundation of the WGH with the auger.. Sorrel seeds.. enjoy! =D