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Bella's Adventures at Wheaton Labs!

 
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I should really start by saying my adventures at Wheaton Labs started about 5 years ago when I came here with my mom for a RMH workshop. We came a couple of months early to make a work-trade for the workshop. I was 17 at the time, and I had a blast learning and growing here. One of my favorite things to do was work with the excavators, though I did many things.



This next video needs some explanation. Here's the description I posted on YouTube:

Bella doesn't like to be recorded, so I sneakily set my phone to record behind my dirty dinner plate. Jenn pulled away my plate for a better view. Thankfully, Bella didn't notice until after these two songs! Rebecca is Bella's mom on harmony and kazoo.

Apologies to Erica for getting only *that* part of her in the video! That's what happens when trying to be sneaky!

The "beer club" mug was a sample mug for the size/kind used for permies mugs. We're sitting at a picnic table built by Justin, one of the gappers.

This is in between the base camp house and detached garage/office at wheaton labs. Oliver, our kitchen commander, was cruising past / to and from our back up pantry in the garage for bananas foster dessert supplies.

Good company, good food and sweet music. Now, there's a nice evening if you ask me!





I am very excited to be back at it again! Here are some pics and vids from my visit before I moved here, about a month ago. :)
This was the very first tree I've ever felled! I used an electric chainsaw and a timber tool.

Working on the berm shed with Jen and Dave



A cool mushroom I found on one of the hugelkulture berms!

Snowy times, making bacon and a Dutch baby with Lee Jenkins in the Rocket Oven!



I got to drive the tractor for the first time the other day!




Yesterday we were planting black walnuts and pecans. Here I am with some walnuts. :)







 
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Awesome pics and videos, Bella!  Looks like you are having fun!
 
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Hi Bella. I am glad to read about all boots at Wheaton Labs (and all around that). Jen wrote in her own thread that now you sort of live with her in Allerton Abbey. How is life there?
 
Bella May
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Inge, it's been amazing living with Jen, honestly! We get along so well that we just have a blast most days, laughing and having fun. In the past few days Josiah has also been staying up at the Abbey with us, and that has been amazingly fun as well. The three of us are definitely kindred spirits, and it's great to spend quality time with such amazing people. Not to mention, the Abbey is so cool! I've been staying in one of the bunks, and it's very warm and cozy. I'm interested to see how well the ATI test goes over the Winter, for sure. Now that I've been cooking on the rocket cooktop every day, it's been heating up the space a lot better (as well as having three bodies in the Abbey), so I guess we'll see.
Here you can see how red-hot I got the rocket stove cooktop the other day! (Didn't quite mean to, and if you can see it there, my toast is almost burning in the farthest corner of the cooktop. *facepalm*) This is the hottest I've ever seen it running, for sure, but there was still no smoke coming out of the chimney!


I've enjoyed cooking with the rocket stove cooktop every day, and I know Jen and Josiah sure appreciate my love to cook! Plus, I believe Jen is loving being able to hear me sing every day. I currently have three of my instruments up at the Abbey, so I play them in the evenings and early mornings after breakfast. Sometime soon, I might post a video of me singing while sitting on the lovely 'Bee Seated' RMH cushion that Tyler Ludens sent to us! That is, if I can get Josiah to help me record the video, but he's been very busy lately in his free time, trying to help construct a counter for our new sink in the Abbey! Very exciting!

What a beautiful full moon we had here! I just had to catch a photo of it.

My car also got stuck in the mud up on Allerton Avenue last weekend. I guess we'll see how it does in the snow this Winter, or if we might have to switch cars to Jen's truck to get up to the Abbey. So far we've been riding in mine, just for ease, but it won't be so easy anymore if I keep getting stuck!


I found some weird white fungus growing up on the Lab, and I'm not quite sure what it is, but it looks to be killing the moss wherever it grows! I thought it was interesting, so I caught some pics of it.


I got to use Fred's awesome seed planter that he welded up to plant some cherries and apricots earlier this week!

Plus, oh man. I can't even begin to describe how freaking cute the kittens are!! If I weren't allergic to them, I would probably live with a kitten in each pocket!

Here's Jaqi feeding Gert and the kittens

And of course, the obligatory adorable kitty cuddle puddle!

Too much cuteness! I'm going to go into cuteness overload! :D
 
Inge Leonora-den Ouden
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Bella. Thank you for your reply and your photos. I follow you (the people living there) and your activities like I am reading a book, or watching a series. I don't think it will ever be possible for me to visit Wheaton Labs, but I feel a little like I am there and I know you. The more someone posts on Permies, the more I 'get to know' him or her.
I know you are a wonderfull singer (and playing your guitar). I hope Josiah will make that video of you singing, sooner or later.
I think you can use more pillows there to sit on. Maybe there is still some space in the box I will send you all (a 'care package' for everyone there all together). Then there will be a pillow to sit on in it too. Or only the pillow case, which you can fill yourself with whatever material you have.  
 
Bella May
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I wanted to show Tyler Ludens that the 'Bee Seated' cushion is being used and loved! Josiah took this video today of me singing "Down Today" by Jonathan Coulton, while sitting on the lovely cushion.

Inge, more pillows would be lovely! Or even a pillowcase to fill ourselves. Anything we receive is greatly appreciated! :) For me personally, I find myself sitting in weird places and playing music a lot, so that works out great!
 
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Love it :)  You have such a beautiful voice.  Very uplifting.  And the ukulele reminds me somewhat of "Happy" / Walk off the Earth.  Lovely and thank you.
 
Bella May
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Exciting times up at Allerton Abbey this last weekend! Josiah whipped up a counter stand to hold the sink we just recently got for the Abbey, so that now we can actually use it! Plus, he put together a wood box to go underneath our little fridge (that we mostly just use as a food storage box, seeing as we don't often turn it on), so that we can have wood inside for running the rocket cooktop, instead of having to make multiple trips from the wood racks outside every day. Josiah is awesome and very much appreciated!!
I tried to take some photos before the sink was built, and during the construction, so that you can all see it.


Here is Josiah screwing the legs onto the main frame.


Here it is, mostly put together.


Leveling it on our semi-level cob floor, seeing as we forgot to bring a level up to the Abbey with us, while Jen crotchets another dish rag in the background.

Putting the sink into place for the final time after it was all screwed together.


I absolutely love how excited Jen looks in the background to finally be getting a sink!

And a pic of the lovely wood box under our chest fridge.

Plus, we've been taking apart the bunks to rebuild them in a better design for usability of space. We really didn't need 3 bunks in the Abbey anymore, so the bunks could be taken out and built in another configuration. Here is a pic of the removed bottom bunk, and the janky ladder I now use to get into the top bunk at night. Hopefully we can get this fixed tonight so that I'm not almost falling out of bed in the mornings, just trying to get onto the ladder!

Plus, some pretty pics of the clouds this morning!





 
Inge Leonora-den Ouden
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Hi Bella. Of course different people have different ways ... I would not have removed that bunk bed. Even if you did't use it as a bed, it still was usefull. You could step on it, instead of on that 'ladder', you could put pillows on it and sit on it and it looked like a nice shelf.
 
Bella May
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Inge Leonora-den Ouden wrote:Hi Bella. Of course different people have different ways ... I would not have removed that bunk bed. Even if you did't use it as a bed, it still was usefull. You could step on it, instead of on that 'ladder', you could put pillows on it and sit on it and it looked like a nice shelf.



We aren't going to leave it as is, Inge. The plan, so far, is to build another bunk below the top one, just in alignment with the top bunk instead of off to the side. That will give us much more usable space to build shelves next to the bunks, instead of having that space below and beside the bunks mainly unusable. It will all work out, it's just a work in progress for the moment! Josiah did also fix my ladder last night, so it's much better and a lot easier to use now.
 
The permaculture playing cards make great stocking stuffers: http://richsoil.com/cards
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