Notes from Windward: #66

Jannel's Update for June 16

      Well hello!

Making friends with the sheep


      It's about time I wrote a post, seeing as how I've been calling Windward home for the past week or so. Admittedly, it was an adjustment; I arrived rather disoriented and exhausted, having just finished finals and hopped on a plane. However, I've finally moved into my lovely little cab-over in the woods and am settling into the more relaxed Windward routine - group walks at nine in the morning, a large wholesome meal at noon, and a workday that doesn't really begin until mid-afternoon and basically involves laboring on various projects with friends, which makes it seem a lot less like work than an enjoyable activity.

Helping Virgil and Jillian apply siding to Vermadise's north entrance


      Actually, I'm beginning to realize that a sustainable lifestyle completely revolves around work being made enjoyable, or at the very least, bearable…just one of the many lessons I am sure I will learn during my stay here.

      So far I've helped drill holes in, and string wire through, lots of fence posts for the new sheep loafing pen, helped with construction of Vermidise, Windward's premier worm paradise, weeded various soon-to-be gardens, have begun installing foam insulation in the roof of the yurt with the most recently arrived intern, Emily, and will soon oversee care of the rabbits once we've installed their cages in Vermidise, not to mention assisted with kitchen duties and generally soaked up all of the information I possibly could these past few days.

Jannel drilling half-inch holes through a railroad tie


       It's almost hard to keep up with all of the activity; there's at least 15 or 20 projects in the works, and yeah, a lot to learn. It's become glaringly obvious that while a college education (especially a liberal arts education) may provide with you with lots of knowledge, or as they say, the ability "to learn how to learn," it does not provide you with you hands-on practical skills.

       I realized this when I was struggling to hit a nail into a piece of wood, and again when I at first couldn't tell the difference between a weed and a raspberry bush, and again in the kitchen when I began to consider how many foods I had purchased in the grocery store having absolutely no idea what sorts of processes went into their making.

       It's refreshing to take the time to sit back, break things down, and figure out how to start from stage one…more rewarding too. Even as I write, Virgil and Jillian are busying themselves brewing beer from scratch. Ha, just another typical evening.

Virgil bottling a run of homebrewed beer


      Well, I'm off to do a little research on Californian and New Zealand rabbits in order to get a better idea of what kind of care they are going to need after they arrive next week. Just yesterday we drove into town and picked up baby guinea fowl, and I've already fallen in love with the little chicks, just like I fell in love with the sheep, and the ducks, and all of the lizards running around, and even the ridiculous wild peacocks, ha. There is definitely no shortage of animal entertainment.

Take 'er easy,


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