The themes that emerged our of this Full Moon Evening zoom gathering were “love of natural building & gardening”, “self-care & healing”, “gratitude for friends”. We were inspired by each other, as we shared our stories of “what’s alive in us”, “what’s inspiring us”. There was a lot of synchronicity within our stories, and an appreciation of our time of connecting.
This blog contains notes on what was shared & links to numerous websites we value.
These are a few of the Chat Links ~ see more below!
Natural Building Materials: https://www.greenbuildingsupply.com/
Mushroom Insulation & other carbon reducing building materials: https://carbonleadershipforum.org/transformative-materials/
Notes from Participants:
|What’s alive in you?||What’s inspiring you?|
|Robin||Breath, sense of humility and awe for what has been created at the strawbale studio||I’ve known Deanne since before her time with the strawbale studio. I remember it when it was only holes! Watching everything move along, and remembering all the times spent there. Remembering the in-person full moon potlucks. CSA farm in Columbiaville, MI. Deanne and Robin would go around vegetables and natural building. Since selling the farm and moving to VT, I can now participate in the oldest CSA in the country (Intervale). All-season CSA delicious vegetables. Now I live a condo-life. Living on the 3rd floor and watching other people shovel the snow. When we left our farm in 2019 to move to a 2-bedroom condo. And now I can find anything in under five minutes. No worries! It simplified our life. I live near 2 of my 4 kids. I’ll soon be an active grandpa. After retiring as a nurse, I started at a residential care facility. Stay up with the ups. Linden and Cedar|
|Yvonne||I’m in CA. Thinking about Michigan. Curiosity is alive in me! About natural building. Where will I end up? What’s next? Joy and happiness on account of being surrounded by wonderful beings and community. Creativity! Gratefulness for health and beauty!||Build a creatives retreat for artists (and for myself and at least one of my children). I’ve been investigating natural builds and perhaps strawbale. I’d like to come visit. There is some building going north of me in LA. How do I do this? What is it that I want to do? I’m downsizing to simplify life as I move. Thinking about retiring early.|
|Danielle||2.5 year–old and a baby within! Been a part of a cob-house builds in the past. Wants to learn about community! Michigan vs. Arizona. Lived on a reservation in Arizona, where I learned cob building. Living with the earth and taking care of each other rather than pillaging the earth. In Arizona now.|
|Mary||200 acres halfway between Detroit and Toronto. Forest school that started 5 years ago. The Simpson & Snider farm could be an outdoor school for this forest school. Regenerative grazing with a Silva pasture plan: permaculture alleys of shade and sun for the grazers.|
|Ross||Ontario. 1.5 hours East of Detroit. Excitement to join the Full Moon party. We’re finally able to make it. Love for the video and the cob homes. What is it about that construction that makes one feel so good?|
|Kim||Last year was hard to make the noise of life stop. Struggling with meditation. Someone (a Buddhist?) that Deanne knows specializes in self-care. Kim is a substitute teacher in a rather rough district. Her 6th year and she was very attached, her purpose has been waning. She has reached the point that the purpose for her being there has passed. Blessed over the holidays with a sickness. Couldn’t really get out of bed for 12 days. It slowed my mind down, which helped with meditation. Kim is a stick person rather than a carrot person. Sometimes she needs some bad things to happen to cause change in her life. (She was literally hit in the face in October). This year is going to be self-care rather than care of others. This is her 60th year, her golden year. Reconnect with the gentler part of life. She’s over being used and abused. I’m grandma-old! I can’t be hit in the face any more. Just because I’m accustomed to it doesn’t mean I have to perpetuate it.||I’ve always enjoyed mushrooms. There’s a family who grows (in a warehouse) and sells them. They make tinctures too. One of my goals this year is to eat a mushroom a day. I’ve been getting a mushroom (about the size of a small mushroom) a day. There are certain blue zones in the world, where people live to be a healthy 100 or so. I would like to be as well as I possibly can be at that age. Overworking, not eating, not sleeping, overindulging will take a toll on your body. A non-processed diet with fish, only a little bit a week. A gentle shift toward planning meals. I would like to have some consistency in those types of meals. Self-care process. TUrning off the TV while I’m eating. If you eat while you’re distracted, it affects the way it’s absorbed. Chew it to liquid. Cat is one year cancer free. Have breakfast with the cat. Eating is a mindful process.|
|Peggy Sooz||I have time! I’ve spent so much of my life busy with school, full-time work, and family. Now I’m being. I’ve started pouring libations to see who answers. Many memories and many ancestors coming to me. Soupy Sales (Detroit area) a book about him: Soupy Sales and the Detroit Experience. A silly gentle soul that was important to my childhood. The universe nudges you. A late-life change. I’m almost 78, and I’ve think I’ve been through these before. I came through a cancer scare this past summer because everything ended up turning out very well. Paul Stamitz the mushroom guy. Mushrooms are great at keeping the cancer away. Tea with 6-8 different mushrooms in it. Things that need to come out of my body are coming out of my body. My son lives with me with his dog, and that has been a blessing. A little kitten, Bigeera, came up to her son on a walk. Bigeera is the eighth cat in the house. I got to do the Soupy shovel with Soupy Sales.||I’m inspired by all of you. I really look forward to all of you. Interesting and progressive bunch of folks. Jubilant Jo inspires me. The last few years of my life have been very different. I decided to leave a community I’ve been a part of for 35 years just a year or two before the lockdown. What’s keeping me really inspired: interviews (Three Sisters), people planting trees. I’m doing more memoir-writing, not in any kind of pressure or regimented way. I’m trying to put things together and also to be open to new ways of living. I’ve decided that I’m pretty joyful about the way things are going for me.|
|Peterson||Some very strong seasons in my life. A month, few weeks, one week at a time. In the last ten days, I’ve had some of the best days I’ve had in a really long time. Super joyful and lots of gratitude. Joy nearly to the point of tears. It sometimes doesn’t seem real that we can have a home and prioritize health. It used to be that my life was controlled by work, and now I live to live. I take care of myself in the morning: exercise and writing. Societal injustice and optimistic poetry and prose. A few months of writing lots of music. A buddy from the past and he were creating music. Bout of activism turned into American Rescue Plan infrastructure spending. 20 million dollars toward EPA grants toward air monitoring. I’m one of the few people spear-heading this new plan. Reflecting on Martin Luther King’s legacy. Equality and humility and lifting up those whose lives are a whirlwind. If you have time to fight for them, you must. Be motivated by something that is not purely for me. Choice has changed very much. Every moment is a new choice. Healthiest I’ve ever been. Longest I’ve ever been out of the hospital with my digestive disease.||In the last couple years, I have had a newfound reverence for the past and for ancestry. Kim, I hope my mother wouldn’t mind me sharing this: there came a point when she got hit in the face with a chair. She left and she had a complete let-go and revival in her life. I was immediately inspired by that thought. Her name happens to be Kim too.
Building- we’ve been doing a van build and this business. Recently, I looked into somebody who’s working with a machine that shapes bricks. I was looking into building a breezeway with these bricks or with reclaimed bricks. I’ve been doing a little bit of electrical with our van. Detecting microplastics: there are always ways to be more thoughtful toward the earth. Every load of laundry releases plastic fibers.
Working with clay: crystal and silica exposure. Air quality work in the aforementioned community.
My relationship with my life has been really great!
Grant for Advanced Community Monitoring: designed for cities or areas affected by COVID. For community air monitoring.
|Brittany||The newness of the new year. The last two years have blended into one long endless year of change. For the new year, there were many things that I wanted to change. I’m off to a good start and an old start. Yoga, turning on music and dancing around the house. Everything has been coming through strange in the past few years. I have the hope and promise of a new year an a fresh start. I’m trying to journal and write every day, even if it’s just a couple of sentences. My mind gets very sticky, so I’m trying to get things out, so that I can clear my mind. She and Peterson started a business last year. Trying to free myself up to dedicate more of myself to this project. There’s freedom in self-employment. Freedom to make business choices for ourselves. Sooz had me reflecting for a moment on some things, including my health and my diet. I also have a history with breast cancer. I had a diagnosis back in the summer of 2019, and I am now cancer free. Through that I learned about foraging, medicinal mushrooms, etc. It’s become a hobby for me. I’m adding to my repertoire of medicinal local plants. Let nature and food be my medicine.||Planning and journaling and scheduling my days. Planning your gardens. I always get to April or May and then I haphazardly plant some seedlings. A few raised beds! A garden again in the backyard! Buy my seeds ahead of time. At my previous job, I worked for an energy-efficiency non-profit. My friend from there is building a strawbale build just this fall uptownstrawhouse
|Jubilant Jo||Hello to all. I was a little bit late. I’m still figuring out how to do two things at once. I’m very good at reading and eating at once. Today, I measured between 8-10 inches with my yardstick. A heavy, wet snow that settled after it fell. Some places in NY had 20 inches. My chickens are now in the lean-to that we recently completed. The chickens reacted very well. They’re still laying eggs despite the cold and the change of scenery, but they don’t like to put their feet in the snow. I sprinkle grain and loose straw for them to explore. With all of the ice, I didn’t think it worth the risk to go out for my usual walk around the land. Outside of Fort Plain, halfway between Albany and Utica on the Southside of the Mohawk river.||Oyster mushroom kit for Christmas. Temp., light, and so forth needs to be figured out. Years ago, I learned about how today is the first day of the rest of my life. I can pick and choose those things that encourage and sustain me. I don’t need to be held back by my past. Long ago, I decided to dance at my 100th birthday party. I need to keep myself agile and healthy. I don’t want to drop dead the day after either, so I’m planning some things for after that too. The rats and chickens destroyed the stuff upstairs, it combined with the snow, which falls down in drops on my head. I’m trying to find some things to fill up the cracks and flooring up in the loft. I have to do something to keep me out of mischief. Silicon and cork plywood.|
|Eric||I’m inspired by all of you! One of the workshops we teach is with milk paint. Air quality! I’ve been inspired by this mushroom stuff. Eric loves to do weird things with straw. How do we combine straw and mycelium as a building material? Oyster mushrooms under my bed. Some property in central Minnesota. Using pink oyster and blue oyster (mainly because of the band). Insulation so healthy you can eat it.|
|Deanne||There were shootings in the area here at the beginning of December. I had it on my mind to connect the school with restorative justice. I looked into it for a while. It turns out that Oxford school had been doing it for three years before the shooting. Oh sh*t! Here’s something that we really want to see: different ways of dealing with violence. 4 high school students were killed. An intern came in January 5th. Both of them decided to test, but had a hard time testing right after the holidays. Her COVID test came back positive. 10 or 11 days later and no symptoms. We’ve stayed both quarantined and isolated within the house. Every little sensation I have, I’m wondering is something’s going on. I don’t even know if the test was right. In any case, I’ve had no symptoms in the past 10 or 11 days. Mushrooms and music. More music in my life! Sooz and Brittany connection. 30lbs of Maitake from Shane and Levi. A new kitty here in the household acting like a baby who tries to eat everything. The new kitty’s name is Laonita.||When we started, I had only ever worked with cob, and I had never worked with strawbale. Have fun, meet people, and it’s very do-able. There’s also the foundation and the frame and the roof! It’s valuable to appreciate every bite of food. Be present with the food. I really like to talk about the food while we’re eating, so I don’t miss the food.
The no-o-sphere. Brain Swim. There are a series of videos about it. As humans, we are creating a level of reality based on our mind, inventions, creativity, etc. Brian Swim (spiritual, connection with earth and science). I had a dream last night that I started a presentation exploring the idea of human creativity and the arts. When did you human creativity get going? It fits this phrase: the future is the world’s biggest art project that we’re all co-creating together, whether we know it or not. We also have the possibility of settling in in harmony. Understand each other and the planet. Is that not the goal of all of us?
Winternship, curious mind, someone interested in building this spring.
|Jack||Love and gratitude to be with friends in Vermont. Scare. That one of us might have covid. We are keepng in a pod. I Love thinking about cob and bricks. I’ve talked to bricks. I wonder what would my life be like to go down the path of building with cob/ natural building. It was a fantasy. Life took me in the path of teaching thus far. I’m Inspired by hearing others talk about their morning rituals. I’d like to write and walk more. Pouring libations and see who answers. Turn off electric and see what happens.
|Graphine, similar to biochar. Biographine! Ouija Board, Jack shows an image of an evening connection with the board to see what would happen. “Since then I’ve felt like my empty nest is less empty.”|
Chat Links on natural building, environment & more.
Human creativity on the planet.
Buddhist teacher, video on “ease and trust”.
Mushroom Insulation & other carbon reducing building materials.
Natural Building Books illustrated by Deanne
– Hand Sculpted House, Cobbers Companion, The Natural Plaster Book.
Mary & Ross:
We have to go now but we will try to come back next month!! Love from Canada.
Brittany & Peterson:
Their new environmental quality company:
Air Quality Grant
Strawbale Construction in Minneapolis
some inspiring online: visionary activist, mythical masculine, treesisters, marginalia, pat
McCabe, lots of native/indigenous sites, org consumers,
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