Daniel With His Supergirl Crew
Fire Darn Close But Holding
As most of you know, we try to post more original essays that inspire and inform, than we do announcements and news… but with so many concerned letters coming in about the nearby wildfire, it has felt necessary to write additional updates. This is the second year in a row that fire has threatened our restored riparian sanctuary and backwoods school, coming within 7 miles west of us last June, and now only 4 miles away.
Yesterday the winds kicked up again, fanning the flames, though fortunately blowing then towards the southwest and away from us. The latest infrared map show over 3 miles of spread on the southern perimeter in the direction of the Gila Cliff Dwellings. That’s further than than the norther spur is from us, covered in a single night, though we also have a deliberately burned out buffer now between us and the fire’s edge that will impede its progress if the winds were to shift our way again.
It would cost nearly $5k to purchase the foil wrap to protect the lower guest cabins, so that remains out of reach, but a few more fire fund donations have come in and will be gratefully applied to the construction of a trailer for the water pump and our small contributions to Daniel for all his faithful and able help. Thank you everyone who has helped. The sprinklers are installed and the pipes are being buried, and at least our crucial home and office space is very likely safe from this or future fires that may come. Hurrah for that!
We’ve had trouble answering emails and sending out attachments this week, after getting punished yet again with severely reduced download speeds for having exceeded the satellite internet company’s miserly limits. Sorry if we haven’t gotten back to you about something. There is a faster program with the same company but it requires we order a new dish and find an installer who will come all the way out here. As soon as we get caught up from the magazine release and other deadlines, our dear ally Nick will be helping Kiva get the faster system ordered. The internet is obviously what makes it possible for us to affect and help the world from here in our fantastically remote wilderness, making it a huge blessing even with all its drawbacks. I well remember when I typed everything I wrote on a manual typewriter and all changes were done with white-out, carting the pages to town for snail-mailing to the magazines I wrote for, struggling to answer my readers with the hand written postcards that were the Twitter of the day. We dislike many of the effects of computer culture from vicarious Facebook living and armchair avatars to the ways in which we are monitored, marketed to and controlled. But oh how we appreciate being able to type on these laptops while surrounded by calving elk and circled by hawks, able to impact this society and assist many of you.
These Mac laptops we use are truly extraordinary, being worked 10 to 16 hours of every day with almost never a problem, not only emails but responses to students, creating and writing for Plant Healer Magazine, submissions to other magazines, and our books. Loba uses a Mac to progress every day on her cookbook, Kiva manages Facebook as well as cranks out new work on her PowerBook, and I have just now used mine to complete the layout of The Medicine Bear novel for printing in a week or so. Daniel installed a DC power cord in the outdoor garden “oasis”, and now we only need a router to be able to sit out there under the veranda and write instead of having to be indoors!
Daniel is always coming up with some way to make things better around here, and it seems to give him great pleasure to do so. He has also been enjoying his “supergirl” crew of young WOOF volunteers, as much as they’ve been enjoying his hands-on instruction. It’s great to hear Dan, Mattie and Gina laughing as they continue completing the sprinkler plumbing, gathering and removing the dangerous brush piles around the land, and chopping wood for the stoves. Dan was especially proud of them framing the roof over the horno mud oven by themselves on a day when he was gone, showing what they’d learned and proving their oomph and mettle. And Loba has found them to be a delightful presence in the canyon.
Upcoming blogs will include posts on traditional horno construction and use, composting latrine construction, excerpts from my novel The Medicine Bear due to start shipping by July (orders now being accepted at www.TheMedicineBear.com), and new and classic essays on healing, awareness, deep living and purpose. As always, we hope you’ll find the posts useful, not so much entertaining as inspiring, empowering and instigating… time out of our lives, given specially to you.
Categories: Announcements & Updates