Jan 2011

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I feel like it is time for an update, however there really isn’t that much to share, as everything is on paper these days… Reading and planning, research and drafting. We are working on designing the passive solar shower house and a potential weekend workshop on how to build a passive solar water heater with a cob rocket stove back up. Our plan is to incorporate our horse feeder “cool pool” into the system to allow for a steamy soak in a rocket tub. We also have started to site in our new future access road. I am designing the interior workings of my Yarn Yurt and fiber house get away. Dyaln is playing with lots of treehouse ideas and we are also close to finalizing our chicken / worm / rabbit green house, which will be passive solar and earth bermed. These projects along with finishing the shop roof are on our must do lists for the summer.

We sure have had to learn the hard (and COLD) way, the in’s and outs of wood heat. Finally on Friday we gave in and bought a new bigger badder chain saw after two horrible sled loads of wet-ish mill scraps of firewood we dragged uphill nearly to our deaths. I guess it inspired and excited Dyl to have a new tool because he busted out into the uphill bush and ripped down three really large really dry dead standing trees, which have changed our lives. We finally have coals in the morning and are waking up almost warm… not freezing anyways. I found myself thinking in the wee hours of the morning “it must be –20 outside, when in fact it is closer to –3 outside and our tin can trailer just feels like and ice cave. Well hopefully those days are behind us, and we now have a great big stack of dry wood, and I can’t tell you how good that feels.

We are up to 8-11 eggs a day right now, and our collection is wonderful and varied. We have 1-2 greeny blue eggs, along with some dark jumbo (often double yokers), some medium brown ones which are speckled, and a handful of tiny light brown pullets for our newest layers. Having all of these lovely different Heritage breeds has been so fun.

We have taken to snowshoeing our back woods whenever we can.. just escaping to the silent wonder of the snow drenched woods. Its a wonderful thing to do with an afternoon. Yesterday on such an adventure we finally finished flagging off the south side of our property line which is exciting because some times we’d get out back.. and find our selves wondering if we are still on our land or not.. there is just so much of it! We have also been flagging dead standing tree’s for firewood which we will not fall behind on again, in addition to the large amount of building trees and unique oddities… like the mammoth burl we found yesterday! How exciting to have both a wood lathe and a jumbo burl waiting for a creative project!

I thought I would snap some pictures of our book shelves which may give you an idea the volume of info we are both trying to absorb about gardening, greenhouse building, alternative building methods, passive solar designs, medicinal herbs, the flora and fauna of our backwoods, raising livestock, etc, etc, etc…

Also we are so excited to be Aunty Shauna, Uncle Dylan and Cousin Mia now! Dayna and Matt had a sweet baby girl last week: Zoe Elizabeth, We can’t wait to meet her!

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