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:
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 first 3 poles to form the tri-pod.
Notice Jonathan checking the instructions on his phone to see what to do next. 🙂
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.
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!
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!