Virtual Tour: Summertime!

Hi All! Many of you have been asking how we are doing this season, so I thought I’d share another tour, this time of our summertime set-up.  We’ve moved outside and are all so thankful for the infinite space that Mother Nature provides compared to the 198 sq ft this winter in the bus.  Whew!

So, this is our set-up as we get ready to start building the main home in the next month.  For more details about that endeavor, please check out our campaign here:

http://www.gofundme.com/bluebirdhillhomestead

We hope to see you on the land soon!
Blessings,
The Huebner’s

We live here now!

After a VERY. LONG. WINTER. and an intense transition this spring, we are so excited to say that we finally live here on the land!  As of June, we’ve been living here at our camp, sinking in with the daily rhythms of outdoor living with three kiddos.  We actually really love it.  It’s true, many folks think we are nuts.  We know we are, and that’s OK.  This is awesome.  Sure it’s a pain that we need to haul all our water from over at my parents’ barn, and yes, the ticks were a drag this spring…but it has been so nice to wake up with the birds and walk over to our kitchen in the tipi to cook our fresh eggs over the fire each morning.  And the girls are so much happier outside.  Slightly less bickering than normal.  😉

We of course still have many challenges, including raising the funds to pay for all the permits necessary for our home and business (more than $5000!) and the big question of where we will live this winter.  This colder weather recently has kicked in squirrel instincts, and we are sorting through our options to be prepared for the snow to fly.  We really could live in the tipi this winter if needed, but we’d rather have a more insulated option.  Our plans for natural building are relatively affordable, but the hoops to jump through for the permits are daunting.  All I can say is we are doing our best to dance with the challenges, and move at a steady pace towards our dreams.  We really are so thankful to even have the opportunity to live here and be the stewards of this sweet land.  Anyhoo…

Since I know some of you are curious how our life looks now…here’s a few photos of our new home:

Our entrance!

Our entrance!

The carport

The carport

Inside the carport, the tent is up on a raised plywood floor

Inside the carport, the tent is up on a raised plywood floor

The gardens!

The gardens!

The kitchen inside the tipi

The kitchen inside the tipi

The girls caught some sunnies at Perch Lake and we fried em up!

The dining/lounging area

Sunset glow

Sunset glow

Scarlet and her golden glow

Scarlet and her golden glow

The "fridge". A galvanized trash can buried in the earth.

The “fridge”. A galvanized trash can buried in the earth.

My ideal wash station. Notice the height is perfect for the girls helping.

My ideal wash station. Notice the height is perfect for the girls helping.

Jonathan has also been hard at work on the coop

Jonathan has also been hard at work on the coop.

A roofline that matches the slope of the land

A roof-line that matches the slope of the land

Finished just enough to move the chickens over!

We’ve been busy with our Earth Artists Kids Camp this week, and I will post some of the amazing photos soon.  For now, know we are well.  I hope you all are, too!

Many Blessings,

Heidi

Quickening Moon

Did you see the stunning moon last night? February’s Full Moon is called the Quickening Moon, for the term that is used when a pregnant mother first feels the movement of her baby in her belly. It’s that time of year when our dreams for the coming season start to emerge and take on a life of their own.

It’s also the time of year when we feel crazy because we are dying to push through the frozen ground and sprout into the light of spring, but we still need to germinate fully in the dark moist soil.

Oh, I am so looking forward to spring this year!

Down to the wire, a miracle occurs

Hi Friends,

Most of you know that this Friday was the deadline for us to pay for the 6 acres of land where we are creating Bluebird Hill Homestead.  Well, a miracle occurred last Wednesday.  A friend and colleague of ours gave us a cashier’s check for $39,000, which we promptly delivered to the lawyer who delivered it to the banker who is sealing the deal.  The land is paid for!  Our friend has generously agreed to give us this loan, on the miraculous terms that we have 2 years before we start paying it back.  This creates the space we need to build some infrastructure and get Bluebird Hill Homestead up and running.  It is such an ideal situation for us.  We are beyond thankful.  Honestly, we are probably still in shock!  Wow!  It’s really happening.  And so we march on…

Our next goal is finding a grant or loan for $15,000 so we can put in a well and build a barn.  Please let us know if you have any insight on this, or know anyone that would like to see our business plan!  We’d love to break ground yet this fall before the grounds freezes.  Yes, this would be a miracle.  And we are becoming believers.

And now for some more exciting news…

With all the uncertainty about the land until last Wednesday, we had been holding onto the money we raised in our Indiegogo campaign in case we needed to use the amount as a down payment for a loan.  Now that the land is handled, that freed us up to take action on an amazing 20′ tipi we found on Craigslist.  We are so excited!  Jonathan and the girls picked it up Sunday and we set it up as the sun was setting.  In our excitement, we skipped over a few details about proper set up for now so please forgive the slightly wonky pictures.  We’ll have plenty of time to perfect it!

Here are a few shots of our fun:

The “Helpers”

Setting sun and the fire pit

Jonathan, Maya, and the tipi poles

The setting sun

Heidi and the spot for the tipi

The poles and canvas cover. The brown on the cover is from the fire smoke.

The “Helper”

The first 3 poles to form the tri-pod.

Wow

Notice Jonathan checking the instructions on his phone to see what to do next. 🙂

Teamwork

See how haphazard those poles look? Yeah. It’s not supposed to look like that.

Stepping out the distance between poles.  20 feet.

The cover, tied to the last pole.

Pulling the cover around the poles.

Final adjustments as the light fades.

Hard to see, but a flock of geese flying straight overhead.

The view the next day!

In the beautiful morning sun!

We are so lucky to have found a used tipi on Craigslist, as this saved us well over $1000, probably $2000!  So with the rest of the Indiegogo campaign funds, we went ahead and got a driveway permit and had the culvert delivered so we can build a driveway from “Old E East” and have access to the land for our classes.  Our street address is 456 Old E East.  How cool is that?

We also had the serendipitous opportunity to invest in 30 hens that are just old enough to start laying!  We have chickens again!!   Here’s Jonathan putting together a temporary coop by stacking straw bales like legos.  We used two old sliding glass doors for windows to let the warm sun in and allow us to have a viewing window.

Reinforcing the bales with some stakes harvested from the land.

The tall windows leaning onto the garage behind Jonathan go into the big opening there in the strawbale wall.

The “Helper”

Weeee! 30 hens in the back of the van!

Home. Inside the coop. Notice how light it is in there with the two big windows!

Happy girls!

So the house of straw isn’t exactly predator proof, and we’ve got plenty of predators out here…raccoon, fox, coyote, opposum, weasel…so we’ve got a solar powered electric poultry fence around the whole area.  So far, so good.  We haven’t had any eggs yet, as they are adjusting to their new home and the days are much shorter now.  We won’t be running any electricity into the coop because of the fire hazard of exposed straw everywhere, so we won’t add any supplemental light to encourage more egg laying.  We can add some cayenne pepper to their feed to encourage laying, but we may just have to wait a couple months until the days get longer again.  It is such a pleasure to have chickens again!  They are so beautiful and really friendly.  We got them from a 13 year old boy who had raised 65 chicks this spring and just wanted to pare down his flock for the winter.  They have obviously been well loved.

With the little bit left from the fundraising campaign, we are working on an architectural design for the strawbale barn/classroom that we would love to start on this fall.  According to zoning, the building plans need to be engineered, so we are working with an awesome architect, Lucas Alm, to create the needed plans.  It’s slow on our end, as we scrounge together the money for this.

So yeah, we are moving forward!  Our Wednesday nature mentoring classes are really developing into something amazing.  We will be starting an after school program and Saturday morning classes in the next few weeks as well.  And we are really excited to bring our tipi on the road to the local elementary school for their annual Bazaar.  We will be hosting Fairy House Building on Saturday, November 10th, from 10am-3pm on the front lawn of the Houlton Elementary School.  (This is the school I went to!)  We are donating all the materials and our time, and the proceeds go to the school.  We are really looking forward to it!

And finally, I’d like to share about something else I’ve been working on.  I’ve been quite shy about it for several years, but it has become more and more obvious that my playing small is serving no one.  What good is to have a gift and not share it?  So, I’m just gonna bust it wide open and declare that “Yes! I do shamanic healing work, and I am now available for booking!”  I’ve had the amazing opportunity to start sharing office space in downtown Hudson with my friend and colleague Heidi Metro.  She has been so gracious mentoring me in starting a healing practice.  So without further ado, please check out my page here about what I do!  You can even book an appointment online!  It is a work in progress, as is everything in our life, and if I waited until I had it all “Perfect” I would never share it at all.  So please check it out and share it with anyone you think might be interested.  Look forward to more content soon with details about what shamanic healing is, what to expect in a session, etc.

Thanks again, everyone, for all your support through this!  Hope to see you out on the land sometime soon!

Love, Heidi

Frost

Hi Friends,

Tonight the forecast warns of the first frost of fall out here.  We helped my mom harvest the last of the cucumbers, peppers, squash and melons.  We built a big tent blanket around the tomato plants, hoping there will be another few weeks of warm weather after this light frost to ripen all those green fruit still on the vine.  I guess we’ll see in the morning what all survived.

Our Indiegogo fundraising campaign ended on Friday night at midnight and we successfully raised $2,190!  It is less than our original goal, but a generous amount to move forward on a classroom structure for winter.  We are so thankful for everyone’s contribution, and for the ability to take the next steps for Bluebird Hill Homestead.

As the weather gets colder, I am feeling my squirrel instincts kicking in.  We moved back in early May, and with the hubbub of getting settled and creating the framework for Bluebird Hill Homestead, we chose to not plant a garden this year.  Well, my mom did give us 30 left over tomato plants and a row of space in her garden to plant them.  We’ve been so busy though that I can’t take any credit for the fact that they have produced an amazing amount of delicious tomatoes this year.  I paid them no attention and they produced food for my family.  My mom has been canning tomatoes for several decades, along with all sorts of other food preservation, and I finally sat down to help her with it this year with the intention to actually learn something.  It was good fun peeling the skin off the scalded fruit.  The smell of stewing tomatoes is definitely a sign of fall around here.

Other than the accidentally successful tomatoes this year, I don’t have much food to harvest for my family for winter.  This year we are harvesting new friends, new inspiration, and the knowing that we are Home.  All this will feed us this winter while we gather around the fire to share stories.  We hope to share some stories with you soon, in the warm embrace of the structure we are about to create…

Stay tuned!

Blessings,
Heidi

From the Couch

Well, we are just over a week into our Indiegogo campaign and we’ve already raised $815!  A big thank you to everyone who has contributed so far!

Karen Kasel, Jennifer Rogers, Samantha Cass, Jean Wennerlyn Johnson, Barbara Morgan, Kristina Darnell, Jody Slocum, Heidi Metro, Mindy Ranney, and all you anonymous folks!  You rock!

We’ve still got 3 weeks and a long way to go to reach our goal, so here is the direct link to the campaign, in case you haven’t seen it yet:

http://www.indiegogo.com/bluebirdhillhomestead?a=957358

And another huge thank you to Allison Kuznia for putting together the beautiful Bluebird Hill Homestead video.  You can find more of her amazing photography here:

www.allisonkuzniaphotography.com

So, I am writing this from the couch today, as I am healing from a small surgery I had earlier this week to remove a cyst.  Yes, scheduling a surgery a few days after starting a fundraising campaign, not the greatest idea.  I naively thought it would be a piece of cake, and I’d be back to myself after a day or two of rest, back to my emails and getting our project up and running.

Well, yeah, it didn’t quite work out like that.  The anesthetic alone took a couple days to fully wear off, and man those narcotic pain meds, wow! they are intense.  I can see how people get addicted to those…”pain, what pain?  I don’t feel anything.”  Today is day 4 and I am still laid out on the couch.  Thankfully, I am feeling much more in my body now that I’ve stopped taking those meds.  Some comfrey (thank you, Lisa) and an ice pack, that’s all I need now.

Through the initial frustration and impatience with myself, and eventual acceptance of the much needed rest, I have been reminded of a few things about myself and my family.  First of all, we are all a little insane.  I’ve been still long enough now to witness from the couch several dance party/dress up/play dough/screaming fit/art class progressions.  The girls move from one activity to another like a herd of mosquitoes.  One moment I’ll be overcome with pride to watch them working together creating a play dough masterpiece, the next moment they are screaming bloody murder about who took the dealy-bob.  Before I can muster up the energy to roll over and say, “Hey, can you do a trade?  Find a way to work it out,” they already have.  They’ve moved on to figuring out who is going to be the dance class teacher for their next show.  What a bunch of nut jobs!

And I love them.  Maybe the narcotics haven’t fully worn off, but they are so amazing!  This is the meat of our inspiration.  This is why we are working so hard to create Bluebird Hill Homestead.  We are all amazing, including you.  We all deserve the space to play and be ourselves, and follow our passions.

We have had a few people ask us what we mean by nature connection and why it is important.  We’ll answer this more fully in another post, but for now let me just start with this:  When you look around the world today and you see all that is happening, does it feel good to you?  Our perspective is that there isn’t actually anything wrong with the world, there are just some things missing that would make the difference in having life work for everyone.  One of those things is connection.  Connection to each other and the natural world.  We don’t have any answers.  Just questions, like any mentor.  And the passion to provide an authentic space for people to explore their own connections.  That’s where the answers will come.

I hope you all are well.

Blessings, Heidi

A little update…

Hi Friends!

Wow!  We have been back in Wisconsin for three months now, and we have been busy getting settled and creating a plan for our future.  If you followed our blog from Kauai, you have heard about some of our dreams here for the land on the east end of my parents’ property.  We are raising funds to buy the 6 acres of land by the trees, to build a homestead and nature mentoring venue.  We hosted our first children’s class on the land last Friday, a Fairy House Building Class.  It was great fun!  Jonathan and I are busy finalizing our business plan so we can move forward finding some financing for the land and initial infrastructure.  We also have plans to launch an Indiegogo campaign in the next week or so.  It’s been a bit of a whirlwind, moving back from Kauai and getting the girls settled into a new routine.  We are so thankful to have the support of our parents as we navigate this new chapter.  When the dust of the whirlwind occasionally settles, we are reminded again and again of what inspires us most in life and why we are doing all of this in the first place.  It was so beautiful to see the kids playing on the land last week.  The oaks are so happy to hear their laughter and feel their sweetness.  Magic really is possible, and it’s happening all around us.

I’ve got to run now, but I’ll be updating in more detail and more often now that I’ve figured out this WordPress blog thing.

Thank you all for your support through all these transitions!

Love,
Heidi