November 2005

The new building project is making good progress. The framing is almost complete and the roof is expected to be finished by Thanksgiving. You can watch the progress by looking at pictures in our Photo Gallery. Our four summer interns (Mike, Avi, Jason, and Roxanna) have left now, along with Christopher (who goes to Florida for the winter), leaving Michael and Bob working on the project with our Fall intern Branden and a neighbor named Brian. At this point it looks like the natural building workshops that we're planning will happen in the spring. That's when they'll be starting to work with strawbales, cob, natural and earthen plasters, etc. If you're on our natural building email list you'll be contacted on a regular basis with construction and workshop updates.

The big news around Heathcote these days is in the arena of education. Dana is starting a homeschooling program based on the "Open Classroom" model. Four of the six Heathcote children are involved, and she's looking for other homeschooled children in the area to participate. Please email us if that sounds interesting to you. Also, Karen is starting to get involved with Gaia University and hopes to open a Mid-Atlantic center in the near future. She and Dana just came back from a training event at "The Farm" and are pretty excited about the opportunity. Again, contact us if you'd like more information.

Meanwhile, we're still having a few events leading into the end of the year. Our November house concert will be our last one for a while - we're going to take a break from it for six months or so and then re-evaluate whether to start them up again. Our series of Spiritual Retreats have ended as well, after having a very successful turnout and being well enjoyed by all who participated. If we get enough requests maybe we'll plan some more once the weather gets warm again. The World Music Drumming and DanceFree's continue though, and we're having a really fun time with all the music and activity being generated by them.

Work continues on the mill renovation. Karen and Bob are working on reconstructing the windows, and they've had a couple of work days to get more people involved in the project. The wood siding replacement got started in the spring, but was put on hold while most of our available labor goes into the new building project.