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Every day we watch the frosty tree line drop lower and lower down the mountains… burr. On Tuesday morning we woke to the first snow fall of the year, and Dyl and I did the snowfall scramble… running around the yard picking up tools, and hoses and all of the little bits we lost under a blanket of 6 feet snow last year. The snow was gone by 2 pm but it was a good kick in the ass to get ready for more of the same.

We have been spending lots of time getting the yurt ready, and not a lot of time doing the 10 million other pre winter tasks that need to be done still like: winterizing the chicken coop, getting the rest of the wood in, covering and stowing materials and tools, seeding out the hillside, winterizing the cars and my motorbike, bla bla bla the list is so very long, but each day we tackle what we can, and try not to the let the rest overwhelm us!

The yurt is amazing! What a peaceful and wonderous space! And it is so much roomier than I had imagined. It’s 1/2 the size of our home, so It should swallow up my art supplies and be a warm space for future guests.

We had a trial fire today in the new to us wood stove installed in the yurt we tested out positions for the pipe and ensured the stove was up to the task… and indeed it got toasty warm and looks nice and safe. Once the final essential detail is in place: the roof window cap,  I will move in my creative life. We were hoping to have a family sleep over in the yurt tonight.. but that was maybe just a little optimistic.

The yurt will sleep 4+ and accommodate Ursula (my loom, and her giant footprint). We have designed a really usable space maximizing every inch utilizing recycled and unique materials throughout. My favorite part is the “tuning fork tree” which will eventually be a ladder as well as the primary support for the nearly completed and oh so cozy 1/4 round loft sleeping space. The repurposed tongue and groove floor boards will double as the ceiling to my studio space that can be easily hidden away behind curtains when we have guests, leaving a futon sofa bed, bar table and wood stove for our visitors to enjoy. I can’t wait to stretch out into this lovely round space.. and get artsy…

Oh and on that artsy note.. I learned how to weave a willow basket this weekend! I took a wonderful class at the threads guild, and left with the feeling that I had reconnected with some ancient skill from somewhere deep within my DNA. Basket making was like weaving on the loom in so many ways, but so much more primitive feeling and tactile. My basket as you can see is a rainbow of wild crafted willow suckers in shades of purple, rose, amber and browns, it’s a hearty size too: I put 5 dozen eggs in it with room for another 5 dozen no problem! I am now looking forward to collecting grape vines from the yard and making another basket soon (before I forget what to do).

Our egg production is on the rise these days as our new little birdies are starting to produce. We are steadily getting 10 eggs a day, 3 of which are tiny little banty eggs; 2 of which are deep pale green. We have eggs of all shades of brown, with and without speckles, as well as pale blue and now those tiny deep green ones too. It’s like an easter egg hunt each day! Soon all the “blackies” will be laying blue eggs each day too which will take us up to 16+ eggs a day… Good thing organic heritage eggs are such a great commodity out here, and our dozens are quiet fetching if I do say so myself. The chooks have also been so happy as they are foraging the rows crops and doing a great job cleaning up parts of the garden. Oh and our little baby chick (whom Mia has named Winner) is getting so big, and defiantly has her fathers fathered feet. I think she must be the work of one of the Beetles and Elvis( of course), loving brought into this world and under wing of Madonna.. She is destine to be a star too (or maybe just a spoiled addict, who might be more aptly named Paris, only time will tell)

Miss Mia was Cleopatra for Halloween and we took in two nights of fireworks, bonfires, and haunted houses which was lots of fun. This really is a great community to be a kid in, I think so often how lucky she is to be growing up here,soaking up all of these amazing and practical skills and participating in so many unique classes and workshops, learning life skills and caring for livestock. It’s all pretty wonderful. Her latest lesson here is learning how to drive the quad, and she is doing remarkably good at it! (I guess she takes after her mom). Meanwhile I got a lesson in cheese making by my favourite “milk maid” girlfriend. We made beautiful rounds of goat feta, mmm more on that topic at eating with SOLE.

Once the yurt is settled and looking pretty I will snap some more pictures to share.. until then we will try to stay warm and keep plugging away at the to-do’s.

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