January 2005

The new building update is that we're still waiting on the final architectural plans before we can get the building permit. At this point, since we're into the middle of winter, there won't be any construction before the spring. We still plan to organize some volunteer labor through internships, workdays, and workshops. For those of you who haven't heard, we're going to be building a new residence which will feature many aspects of green building, including strawbale, cob, natural plasters, natural paint, a masonry stove, passive solar heating, solar water heating, solar electricity, and rooftop water catchment. Our architect, Sigi Koko, will be leading some workshops during the building process for those who want to get hands-on education in these techniques. Stay tuned if you're interested in getting involved -- we'll be sending announcements out on our email list or you can use the form to get on our new building workshop list. A few people have expressed interest in living in one of the downstairs apartments, but so far only one is solidly spoken for (let us know if you're interested in the other one).

The news of comings and goings is that Betsy and Christopher have both left in search of warmer climates. Betsy will be going to be with family in Alabama, and Christopher has gone to spend the winter in Florida. Christopher will be back in the spring - his plan is to alternate between Northern and Southern homes as the weather changes. Betsy plans to be back in the Spring to visit us from time-to-time. Also, John is continuing his provisional membership, which will be finished in February. And we've got a new intern named Ted starting this month. We have a couple more interns lined up to start in the spring.

Our current mill renovation project is the windows -- we did two sample windows to see which style we liked better. Mike did one window using a wooden replacement window, and Bob and Karen did another by refurbishing the existing window, replacing rotting wood, and adding weather-proofing improvements. We decided that we'd like to do some more of the refurbishing technique on the downstairs windows once the weather gets warmer.

At our last community retreat we talked about organizing various fun and/or educational activities that we can share with the greater community. Music was one theme that got a lot of support, but also events that foster deeper connection were suggested. So we started up an events committee that will be organizing some of these things. Karen is also geared up to do some Permaculture education real soon. So keep an eye out for some exciting workshops, retreats, support-circles, and classes coming up in the near future.