Friends of the Strawbale Studio attended the zoom from Finland, Vermont, Upstate New York as well as from this region! What a delight to share in this way.
Jack, from Vermont, co-host of the zoom, shared a precious video of his elementary French class dancing!
Below are Resources shared by the group, Themes, and notes from people sharing “What’s Alive in me, What’s Inspiring me!”
It’s life and death and life again. It’s all Life. Some of the elders shared their awareness of returning to dust.
Mindfulness and Meditation,
What’s alive in you?
What’s inspiring you?
Barbara from Vermont,
Field Faculty for Deanne during her Social Ecology Masters Program from Goddard college.
I have been trying to come to this meeting for six months. The Strawbale Studio video is beautiful. It is the fruition of the goal of Deanne’s master’s thesis at Goddard. I am humbled by what I see in that Strawbale Studio.
The buildings that I have been a part of have usually been made of more commercial materials rather than indigenous materials.
I’m 74 now. My husband is 78. He’s going through his second round of cancer treatment. I recently had surgery that has left me with numbness and pain. I am using meditation to reflect on the pain and more importantly feel my body. Meditation: imagine your body dying and becoming dust. It was a nice feeling. Tomorrow I’m going to see an acupuncturist for the pain, but the pain seems to be getting better with every day.
Minna Zooming in from Finland at 3a to 5am her time (GMT+2)
After spending a month with Deanne a few years ago, she spent some time with the Finnish heritage institute.
Last time she and Deanne met up, Minna was interested in using biochar to remedy problems with mold in an old family barn (c. 1500s). Since 2019, I graduated with a degree in natural building.
Lived with the same man since 2007, but there have been some issues in communication. (70 years old)
Played a natural wind instrument (19th century clarinet) at a friend’s birthday party. The singer of the band had had some wishes to have a saxophone player. Jazz Therapists. Every Monday I’ve been there. The singer is offering me a great connection.
It seems that this new singer is offering a new relationship (65 years old). Minna is trying to be honest with both. 40,000 euros for the family house. Give a new image and meaning to an old building. Renovating the old house with natural materials.
A few days ago, I gave the scientific equipment to…
Making earth plasters and earth plasters with biochar. 1-3 months to tear away old materials so that the only timber left. Plaster.
I am interested to renovate that old house with natural plaster and interior walls. The insulation will be wood chips and clay.
Last September I got a 300L mixer to mix very fine wood chips (sawdust?) and clay pudding. Laid out in big plastic sheets to dry over a couple of days and bagged up in paper bags.. Clay and sawdust to use that mixture for insulation under the floors.
Those techniques (along with professional help to learn to use presser gun to put the plaster in the ceiling) 8m x 24m. Earth building materials and local cultural materials to get more done. Mostly whenever we have timber in the rooms, I will
Window renovating too. There is still so much left to do. I have applied for 3 years funding but not enough time to finish the project, but only 1 year or so. It is a community project, and I can do it without extra money.
I will share how to build instruments with local seasonal materials. Harvest reed for reed pipes and others. Willow bark pipe instruments traditionally used to attract birds (for hunting). Overtone flutes and stinger hole flutes. In the midsummer time, there is also birch bark and the whole summer is a great time to harvest.
Crater plantain for playing the Finnish national hymn and common house plants. That technique uses a 1-2.5” singing leaf. It is magical and you can eat it after you have played it. You can also store it in glass containers if you go to have a show. At the end of the summer, you can harvest a rye pipe clarinet.
September and October you can use a tube-like plant (very fragile) a 19th century. In October it’s the traditional time to make horn instruments.
How to arrange courses and cultural events in community style so that I can share that responsibility. Plant art! The goal is to shape communications and shape how to be in contact between people and nature.
An opossum is back in my yard! A momma opossum was here a few years ago. Opossums kill rats, and I’m so thrilled to have it back. I named her Hazel! Life is back in the yard.
I had cancer last year.
I drop dry ice in rat holes to humanely put the rats to sleep.
A couple weeks ago (around Feb 8). I wake up early and look out my window. For several days there was a morning star (a rare sighting for me). The only star visible in the sky. Sweet honey sings about the morning star: For each child that’s born a morning star sings to the universe
I’ve started pouring libations in the morning, and it’s brought back so many memories from the past. The libations are from this visionary activist. Coffee, tea, etc. for the beloved dead, for those whose names are not mentioned, for those whose names are lost, for those whose poems…, we the living salute you. How do we become that being that causes all life to thrive. Help me know my role.
It is amazing for all the people who show up in spirit in your life. It enriches my life. In my life and in my dreams, people are coming forth.
A new book: Hospicing Modernity, Facing Humanities Wrongs and the Implications for Social Activism.
Indigenous woman now professor at British Columbia University. Allow a broken system to die, and provide palliative care during the process.
Every Thursday, we go over 2 chapters and discuss. A very important book, and I felt invited to be a part of it.
(no video today)
8-10 inches of firm Snow. When it was sunny today, the chickens went out (which they usually avoid). They hovered around the South side of my barn for warmth and thoroughly enjoyed the snow.
A pleasant day to work outside in the barn.
Still Working a lot with the alternatives to violence project. Because of the pandemic, Alternatives to Violence has been barred from having workshops in the prisons.
Having fun finding eggs because the hens like to find new places to lay them. Fortunately, she followed the hen to the new (and difficult to reach) location
Tracks of predators, but I have lost no chickens yet.
The 12 year old boy next door works about an hour here each. He learns things, and he can help when I cannot do things on my own.
When I first moved here, I had a couple families with teenagers who would help out.
A couple of cold drafts in my room from the ceiling overhead (just 2x8s as ceiling for the room and floor for the loft). I added silicone coated paper and quarter-inch cork. It was a storage space, but it would take a lot of time to get things from up there down the ladder.
Jo read a few poems:that she wrote about her relationship with nature.
Passing trees while driving, seeing a road-kill deer that became her winter food.
Ah, life and death and life again.
Making bread! A project: making my own bread for the last six weeks. 60 degrees and a rainstorm coming tonight. All the windows and doors are open.
In winter, it can be easy to forget that outside has a smell. This time of year, I have trouble feeling lethargic. I work from home for my local university (on my computer on Zoom all day). I’ve been making a lot of efforts to see other people outside of the house.
I have been continuing with my meditation practice. Do meditations separately rather than over the phone to avoid more media time, and it’s hard to keep myself accountable. My friend is a Buddhist.
Various little projects:
Experimenting to make all my own bread. Naan bread is best. Nearly finished A double batch before the rest of it molded. Preservatives in the bread I buy from the store.
Plumbing workshop for women. Columbus garden center. Two ladies who host workshops out of their home. Carpentry and electricity workshop. They’re fantastic! Curiosity is rewarded! Teesa hosts chicken-keeping workshops, intro to container gardening, whittling projects, garden art, etc. Inexpensive, and there’s nothing else like it with such a wonderful atmosphere. I’m hoping to participate in more.
Wood carving / whittling. Faces carved into staff. I would like to get deeper into carpentry but tools are expensive. Japanese saw like the one that Deanne has
Compost bin going for about 3 months
Little projects that carry me through the winter
Small story. Clare and Jack were both individual interns. Barbara was an inspiration back when did my master’s project at Goddard.
Windows in my life by barbara. Page after page of a picture of a window and a paragraph. An MIT thesis of windows (mostly drawings)! The focus on the visual and the emotional impacts of space and communicating it through art and words.
Elderness: body and life. How long will I be good for? When I have a connection like this with someone else, how great it is to communicate! New growth experience that has a lot of unknowns; groping around. It’s pretty interesting. Looking into the the idea of death. If I’m all about connecting to life, that has totally got to do with death. How natural that is! Really embracing my life-deathness is embracing life.
I get it! Without this (death), it’s really important. That brings up emotion, and that’s worth looking into. I’m doing a 30-day evening yoga challenge.
Wintertime! A thought I have about winter: we lose heat, light, color, and smell. We lose major things. Why do I feel so good? Oh, the sun is finally out!
I’m trying to crank out programming. Workshops Fri, Sat, Sun. Tours too! I have 0 people signed up.
Winternship intern created a frame using round pole techniques that Deanne showed her.
Mask cover attaches to mask with a slip so that the ear elastic goes through the slip
Made a wooden whittled spreader/scraper this week
Created a Finger meditation Labyrinth made during sculpting workshop made from earth
Made little frog for transitions and change. They all come from the same mold… they’re relatives with their own personality.
Jack can send people from Kenyon to visit Eric Douglas and Deanne.
Vinegar pickle red onions
Received a note from Clare when Clare stayed in the Cedar Cabin.
Won’t really be able to speak tonight because JoJo is sleepy.