2020-11 NOVEMBER REPORT & Photos

2020-11 NOVEMBER REPORT & Photos 1920 2560 Strawbale Studio


November. 2021 was a beautiful month of transition of fall to winter.  Levi & Shane were on-site, and contributed to getting things done, and enjoying crafting and meals in the Strawbale Studio by the woodstove.

Highlights of the Month included:  Decommissioning the Compost Furnace, which created a very rich garden area!  Several New Garden beds were created using local natural materials as “sheet mulch / lazagna gardening”.

It was a great time for fermenting, of all sorts, and researching ideas and technologies…with a focus on “sustainable & renewable” life.

Details below include projects, guests, donations, crafts and more.



11/30/2020 November Full MOON ZOOM & Blogpost. No Jack.


  • Angela – Worktrade: Clear New Biochar Area. Clearing & beauty – Cedar Cabin.
  • Shane Norris & Levi: Trailer space & utilities rental, plus15 hours/week worktrade.
  • Firewood splitting, refilling  wood stations. Shane.
  • Shopping for food. Planning Schedule with Deanne.  Shane.
  • Moss off of Strawbale Studio Roof ! Thanks Levi !!
  • Clear area North of Strawbale Studio of bittersweet vines. Levi!
  • Clear Compost Furnace area West of Strawbale Studio.  BIG Thanks Shane!
  • Decomission the Compost Furnace: take out piping ! Shane !!
  • Patch Earth Oven cracks and Beauty around the Earth Oven. Levi & Shane.
  • Repair garden hoses: buy parts, and install. Shane.
  • Bonfire making, beauty in SBS. Levi.








11/8-10/2020    Angela Holmes Overnight. Cleared BioChar area. Beauty Cedar Cabin.
11/9/2020         Emily Stardust Breczinski visit, walk to Bog Bench, talk. Spanish/Shane.
11/9//2020        Nancy Rossi & Kevin visit & Tour.  Home school at SBS in 2007 NVC
We connected around NVC /Youth/Nature
11/13-14/2020   Chad, Lexi & baby Earth Oven Pizza/Bonfire, overnight & bonfire breakfast.
Connections between Shane, Levi and Chad/Lexi.Overnight -Cedar Cabin, Scrambled eggs/ foraged brunch bonfire11/14/2020 Patricia from Potluck gets her wooden spoons, bonfire. tour, walk.
11/16/2020       Gene Vilenni – visit and help design Cedar Cabin.

Previous month. Patricia picks up spoons from potluck, Tom creates Stone Kiva, and removes boulders for landscaping.


  • Emily Stardust – help sort recycle along lane.
  • Chad & Lexi – wine and Lemon Balm Tincture !
  • Shane Norris – made & gifted a hand whisk broom he made at MI Folk School !
  • Norma, Neighbor, donation of food she canned from her garden !!
  • Gas Station Angel: A woman hands me $20 to pay for my gas.
  • Emily Stardust – help sort recycle along lane.
  • Chad & Lexi – wine and Lemon Balm Tincture 11/13/2020
    Shane Norris – made & gifted a hand whisk broom he made at MI Folk School !


11/1- 31/2020 $300. Shane & Levi Rental for Trailer & utilities + 60 hr Worktrade
11/13/2020 $40 Chad & Lexi Rental for overnight stay in the Cedar Cabin.


11/15 & 29/2020 $165. Tiny House Van Conversion: Deanne did insulation & art tiles with Laurie on her project.
$100 for art work: Taiko Drum Logo Design for Ronna Fisher. Completed in December.

CONSULTATIONS by Deanne (Probono)

11/ 8/2020 Eric Detroit Greenhouse – response to photos of Earth Plastering. Photos.
11/3/2020 Laurie Pinkletons Tiny House Van Conversion, phone consultation 2 hrs.
11/15/2020 Sarah Addae Tiny Hut. 1 hr zoom consultation on SB Foundation & framing

    • Waldorf Teacher, who visited SBS with her class several years ago – is building a shed-roof, strawbale structure to collect water for a pond she will construct. Considerations: load bearing, cob cap, winter protection.

10-29/2020 Stephanie Henry – Earth Oven / Urban Sustainability Ed Center . Conversation.

    • Chicago area, here, Chris McC, Small Farm bill, Politics, Urban Homestead as Sustainability Center.! Phone conversation re helping with an earth oven at some point.

11/29/2020 Sam Wagner re Natural Building as a profession. (Took SBS classes) + Timberframing in Ireland, Boat Building in Maine +.









  • Cedar Cabin Air B & B project. WT
    • Designing process: Deanne & Shane. Graph paper design. Moving furniture.
  • Winter Greenhouse: More plants from East River Farm, sage, parsley, rosemary, plantain. DB
  • Compost Furnace Strawbale Studio Garden – created by….
  • Decommissioning the Compost Furnace Pile – now “compost”.
    • Oxford Plumbing folks removed proply glycol antifreeze.
    • Shane clears the area, removing brush and bushes.
    • Shane temoves piping & takes Pex tubing / fences to field, (DB helps)
  • North Garden Phase 3, add strawbale / urine, Maitake mushroom, more leaves and manure.
  • Van Conversion to Tiny House – DB assists Laurie Pinkleton. Off-site.
  • Mid Meadow Garden Completion:
    • Horse Manure from local Horse ranch. Thanks Shane.
    • Bagged Leaves harvested from Oxford. Thanks Shane !
    • More Garlic planted in Mid Meadow DB
    • Old Garden Garlic bed watered, weeded. 11/10/2020 DB
  • Strawbale Studio Solar System restoration. By Thomas J Reinke – (refered by Norma Abbot) Phase 1 Evaluation, ordering parts, Organizational folder with solar diagram.
  • Wood Processing for Firewood & Carving.
    • Clear SBS Thatched A Frame woodshed & fill with wood.
    • Harvest dead oak branches for hot wood stove fires.
    • Black cherry harvested on N for carving.
  • Beautify Strawbale Studio area: ( is this October or Nov) Oct I think.
    • Open out North of Strawbale Studio – Levi cleared out Bittersweet + !
    • Compost Furnace area: Bittersweet and other plants and trees. Shane cleared !
    • Biomass from trimmings are carried to the new BioChar burning area.
  • Biochar processing area. New area is cleared by Angela. Wood to site by Shane & Levi.
  • Beautify the Earth Oven Area. Shane & Deanne
    • Rake site, Dig out and save dirt. Remove all items and sort.
    • Move and re-attach the staging table. Stack bricks to support the table.
    • Move the future braces. Retie the Extension Roof tarp.
    • Some wood goes to “firewood” pile to be cut and split. Move out all scrap wood.
  • Reed Tipi – move reed bundles from Open Pole Barn to outside Tipi. DB & Shane/


  • Fruit Scrap Apple Vinegar continued & 2nd pressing also from Shane & Levi’s apple butter.
  • Shiitake Log Processing ~ productivity marked on logs, & logs stored on a palette in the woods.
  • Maitake Mushroom double Extraction with Shane. Tincture & Decoction. Drying and saute/ freeze.
  • Fermented Hot Peppers From East River Farm hot peppers, carrots & garlic. DB/Shane.
  • Fermented Kraut:-Chi Green Cabbage, Purple beets,+ salt, caroway and dill seeds DB
  • Scoby Hotel is refreshed: strain out yeast and refeed with sugar water & previous Kombucha 11/27
  • Previous Tinctures are labeled, recorded on a list, and stored in the hall pantry.


  • Fabulous Meals and crafts by the woodstove in the Strawbale Studio. Tamale, Egg Fu Young
  • Earth Oven Pizza – Earth Oven fire, dough & sauce Shane. Lexi & Chad, baby & dog around bonfire !
  • Crafting
    • Woodcarving – Harvest black cherry trees. Make Spoon, Honey Wand and Spreader Knife.
    • Spinning/ Knitting hats ~ Shane creates a hat for Levi and himself. Wool from Lake Orion Yarn Shop.
  • Education/ Research
    • Shane attends a 2-day Broom Class at the MI Folk School, Ann Arbor, MI. 11/14-15/2020
    • Peaceful Ways Forward
      • NVC Week 18 on Beliefs. With Shane.
      • Compassion Course Webinar with Angela & Shane (last few minutes) 11/9/2020
      • Politics & Polarity
      • Inspiration and Hope
      • Dalai Lamma – outline and some of the audio book.
      • Dian Killian NVC work.
      • Parenting Compassion class – research.
      • Karen Armstrong video re History of God
      • Karen Armstrong – youtube video on Ways Forward.
    • Renewable Energy Research
      • Research Eneloop rechargeable batteries,
      • Research Lithium Battery Chainsaw and Mower
    • Activism
      • Theives Oil Spray for Covid- call about wanting natural ingredients only.
      • Solar Energy Cap by Michigan – contact Deb Rowe, send in a comment.
  • Travel & Exploration
    • Shane and Levi. Trip to Grand Rapids to visit family & vote. 11/2-4/2020

OFFICE work for Strawbale Studio

  • Transfer & organize pictures from Iphone to desktop, and Sept or so to Google photo album.
  • Listserve maintenance. Add requested names .Check back + add about 15 more. Delete bounces.
  • Post October Blog to website.
  • UNFI Food Buying Club order and pickup.
  • DTE Electrical Service. Call re Online account irregularities. See Report gdoc.
  • NEW REZ MORTGAGE set up 3 month Forbearance. Nov, Dec, Jan.
  • Delete 100+ phone messages and pictures to allow new messages to be le


    • Slippers – sheepskin, and also sheepskin boot liners.
    • UNFI rye, chocolate, salmon burgers, thieves oil, fish oil.
    • Rechargeable Eneloop AAA batteries. Including research online.

Renew & Regeneration:

  • Daily stretching in Bed & Recording of Dreams.
  • Morning walks to the Meadow for sunrise.
  • Morning singing & keyboard. Womans Peace song.
  • Classical Music (Lois: The Lark Ascending, WKAR 9 am)
  • Weekly Yoga class with Alan on Fridays
  • Monthly Cyber Tipi with Robin Mallor
  • Monthly Carolyn McDade Gaia Gathering. 11/14/2020 O Beautiful Gaia – Fluidity.
  • DB O Beautiful Gaia art poster shown, accompanied with harp music.


  • Baruch Simon email re election and family update. Db sends pics. 11/12/2020
  • Bert Urbani – re Lincoln skit and harvesting fall stalks.
  • Lois Robbins: Deck Visit with Verna. 11/8/2020
  • Judy Kling I call 2x/week.
  • Cousin Cathy 11/12/2020 contact re Thanksgiving. 11/14/2020
  • Gene re Cedar Cabin. Update on Covid and Jacob.
  • Robin Mallor – check in. bought a new thermometer.
  • Sooz – health check in
  • Lauri re mushrooms
  • Nichole Bauman – check in
  • Joel Atkinson – check in.
  • Marge Glasser. Talk 2 x.
  • Family on Thanksgiving
    • Mike, Robin, Sunny, Dustin, Alex**, Rich* text
    • Judy and Harold together. No hearing aid. Talk.
  • Ronna, Gerry, Eileen, DB zoom
  • Fay Hanson – Thanksgiving meal at her place and a walk ! 11/28/20
  • Dawn Holtz – postcard received and sent
  • Ianto Evans – postcard received and sent
  • Norma Neighbor – recycle,canned good, solar & wind, quilts
  • Sherry Vanderputty – Bohemia, family trauma, sweet potatoe, new apartment/woods.
  • Sam Wagner – call, connect. He is growing into a natural builder. Support him. 🙂
  • SBS call: Sandra Klark – discussion of elders, strawbale and community.
    • Will attend Full Moon Potluck, listserve, and further conversation.

Nature Connection:

  • Outside, Greenhouse, collect wood. Projects.

DB Health:

  • Front abscess tooth. Using Plantain.
  • 11/5/2020 start vitamins from Lauri Pinkelton for strong immune system.Vit D3, zinc p, NAC, + fish oil, womans 55+ multi vitamin,
  • Beginning: Loose b. 11/14/2020 B: soft, formed, floating. ok.


  • Reflection on “my husband”, kindness, “What are you doing?” D’et
  • L: bonfire to s and group: “you’re misquoting”.
  • Working on issue of “using x words to hurt people. Angry/x/ punish people.
  • Kindness: small to large. In each interaction I value kindness.
  • Peace Wave: at bonfire with Angela, Shane & Levi.
  • What is this? (Attack: People who devote their life to protecting the natural environment. )