Sunday, June 23, 2019

Lovely June Workday

It's going to be getting hot here soon, but today was overcast and fairly cool .... a great day to be outside working at Elderberry.  We had two visitors today - Su-Min and Ayn - and they both helped with some weeding chores.  The big project today was staining our new mailbox structure, so we had several helpers working on that.  In addition, we had folks cleaning the hive, splitting kindling, and repairing an old barn.
.   Mike and Chuck staining the structure that houses
our mailboxes, golf cart (named Zelda) and bikes

We have many old buildings at Elderberry, so we are staining our newer buildings to match the
heritage buildings on the site - metal roofs and aged siding.

Just as I was walking by with the camera, Mike managed to drop his whole
paintbrush into the bucket of pain!
Jon and Joyce were also on the staining crew
Mary and Ross worked on repairs to an old log barn where we
store our 4-wheeler (named Zeke).  Joyce stopped by to ask if help was needed
and was put to work pulling nails!

Ross hard at work on the barn

In working on the barn and mailbox structure we used untreated pine from a local sawmill, and saved all
the scraps for firewood.  Richard is using a froe to split the scraps for kindling for our common house wood stove.

Meg heads up the kitchen committee and was hard at work cleaning today

Joan heads up the common house committee and was doing the type of cleaning I never do at my own house!

Ayn is a new associate member and spent much of the day weeding

Su-Min was also visiting today - Lucy kept our visitors busy !

Sadly, we had to cut a huge red oak tree on the property this past week, because it was dying. 
Cecil and Vonda are loading up some of the wood from the tree to split for firewood. 
We were also left with a good-sized pile of mulch.  Before the tree was cut
we held a little ceremony to thank it, and also to express gratitude for all of the trees on our property.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Annual Talent Show!

Our Annual Talent Show was held this past weekend, and what fun we had!  We started with a potluck at noon and had so many attendees (about 40) that we had to dig up extra chairs!  We had 17 acts - that was record-breaking.  Margery was our MC for the afternoon and guided us along gracefully.  Michael started us off with group percussion and a welcome chant, and Margery got us all dancing. We were treated to songs, poems, stories, games and more!

Full House!

The pre-show potluck - great food
Vonda, Dale and Lorri coming in for the potluck

Phil and Ellen, signing up on the show board

Jim sharing a poem - The Road Less Traveled - by heart yet!

Stewart and Ross singing Fields of Athenry

Becky sharing an excerpt from her novel -
She left us in suspense!

Ross shared two songs that he wrote

Margery shared some of her talents with paper and glue

Phil and Ellen both shared essays - they are both master essay writers!

Jack taught us a lot about Rubik's Cube
(and solved it, but not as quickly as he expected to!)
Jack did a funny poem, and a sweet song to his kids
(who pestered him while singing)

Jim read an excerpt from his newest non-fiction
book about the history of the Outer Banks

I had to put in several photos of the Common Gardeners, who sang
Diggin Dock Until My Dying Day (to Otis Redding's  Sittin on the Dock of the Bay)
and I Want to Dig By Hand (to the Beatles  I Want to Hold Your Hand)
This was amazing and hilarious!

Vonda shared that her and Cecil's talents were in the house they just completed
at Elderberry!!  It is a work of art, and they got the occupancy permit this week.
Vonda brought champagne for everyone to help celebrate, and gave house tours

Stewart did a beautiful rendition of Moon River

Karen share some inspiring thoughts from a performance she and
Stewart recently attended

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Rebuildling a Bridge

Beginning to place the new boards over the improved stringers

The Elderberry and Potluck Farm communities share a beautiful 12 acre piece of property that we call Bella Vista, named for the high-point of the property, where there is a lovely 180-degree view of the surrounding hills, and not a house or road in sight.  We have a trail to the top, but there is a spring that crosses the trail, and the spring had created a big wet bog that was not easily crossable by our 4-wheeler (Zeke) or tractor.  We use the vehicles to drive up to watch the sunset, and to keep the area mowed.  So a few years ago we put in a culvert and fashioned a bridge, using old lumber that had been stored in the Potluck Farm barns. Well, that lumber was truly too old to use, and in a couple of years, the boards broke with the weight of the tractor.  So this past winter, after the hurricanes, we held many fun workdays to cut 8' logs out of white oak trees that the hurricanes gave us, drag the logs out of the woods with the 4-wheeler, load them onto a trailer with the tractor, bring them to Jim Dykes' sawmill (Jim is a member of Potluck Farm), mill the logs into boards, take the boards up to Bella Vista, and install them (over improved stringers, also from white oak).  The job took all winter, but we finished it yesterday (except for trimming the sides of the bridge)!!  Now we can once again drive up for sunsets!
Lucy, Ross, Karolyn, Jon and Mary getting the stringers ready. 
On this same workday, Richard and Jim D were milling logs into boards.

Lucy, Mary, Richard, Jim D and Jim S placing the new boards

Once the boards were in place we starting drilling

Everyone had to bring a drill, because we had to drill holes first
(this is REALLY solid 2" white oak planks)
and then drill in the screws

Ross, Richard and Jim drilling away

Jim D, Richard and Lucy - love that they are all in the same position!!

Cathy taking photos with Riley and Rosie (who were not working one bit)

Driving across the new bridge on Zeke

Views at Bella Vista

This is the sunset and moonrise at the same moment at Bella Vista  -
one photo looking west and one looking east -
the advantage of a 180 degree vista!