Prospero Año & Horse Power
I’m writing this from our cozy <unfinished> strawbale house, where the temperature is 65 degrees at 7:30 PM even though its 9 degrees outside and we haven’t had fire in the stove since 10:AM. Its been colder than usual the last few weeks – a jet stream is apparently hanging out over the area and temperatures have ranged from somewhere below zero when we wake up to just below freezing at the warmest part of the day. We’ve been staying nice and warm though, thanks to our thick walls and all the socks we got for Christmas! We’ve gotten some snow, and Mona is glad because snow cones are one of her favorite foods.
So far, the new year is prosperous for us. Several months back, we sold my city car and with the money we bought a late-90′s Toyota pick-up for me, which has been a much better vehicle for mountain living. With the leftover cash, we drove to Telluride, CO and bought an ’84 Chevy pick-up with a snowplow attached to the front. The guy we bought it from called the truck “Rhonda,” but we renamed her “PhoeBe.”
You have to start Phoebe with a screwdriver and I doubt she’d pass any emissions test, but she sure can plow. Currently it is the only operational plow vehicle on the mountain, so Jeff has become pretty popular. I decided he should call his business “Let’s Get Plowed!” Pretty funny. He mainly does it by donation for gas money <she’s a heavy drinker, afterall>; and in addition to cash he’s also gotten paid in plum jam, canned pears, and lots of good karma with the neighbors.
I’ve been working with a crew of women doing the alis finish on a new construction house. Alis is kind of a cross between paint and plaster. Its made out of clay, sand, wheat paste, and a variety of decorative additives like pigments, straw, and mica. I really enjoy the work and the beautiful end result, even though it was kind of hard to lift my arms after the first couple of days. The woman leading the crew is named Carole Crews, and I did a natural plaster workshop with her last summer in preparation for doing the finish plaster on our own house. If you want to learn more about natural building finishes, check out her website at carolecrews.com.
Its a good thing so much prosperity is flowing our way because over the last several months I have developed a deep obsession with horses that doesn’t seem to be going away. I’ve been taking lessons weekly, and the plan is to get my own horse next fall. <which means Jeff needs to build a Barn between now and then .. > Yee haw!!!