Slow and Steady

Posted January 30th, 2007

Hey there readers. This week we have been settling down and cozying up next to the wood stove. The winter chill has finally taken hold and as I type the gardeners are doing their best to frost-proof the gardens. So if you are coming soon be sure to bring some warm gear and a blanket or sleeping bag.

We have been doing some more clearing out at the Mystic Oak and some finishing touches for Tom’s writing studio. Murray and Matt have also been bustling around the Hostel putting the new electrics in order. This is a first step toward implementing as much energy reduction as possible at the hostel. One way you folks could help is by donating LED dimmer light bulbs for our screen porch, or any energy efficient bulbs and/or appliances.

As always thanks for checking in and tune in next week to see what happens…

Lots 'a News

Posted January 24th, 2007

At the beginning of last week, right after the last update, the Hostel had welcomed two new residents. Two sweet baby male goats had been born to Brown Sugar. They were quick to walk and are already playing with us. The goats have been moved once again, to continue clearing out a space behind the garden for the Cob Garden Structure we have been planning for a while.

Out at the Mystic Oak, the trees are cleared, and Miss Louise’s Porch has been relocated to take in a stunning view of Live Oak. Her porch has been revamped and repaired and now it will almost seem as if Miss Louise can sit out behind the grand tree and wave at all the Hostelers coming down the entrance road. We would like to once again thank everyone for the endless and diligent work. After this weekend all that will be left is the clean-up.

The February Sweat was much enjoyed by its attendees, as were the folloing days workshops on Fermantation. Our guests this weekend had a great time learning a bit about living fermentations you can keep in your household to increase your vitality and health. Kombucha, Kim-Chi, and even your Sourdough, are great ways to introduce living life to your system in a localized and sustainable fashion. To learn more you will have to keep an eye out for the next time we teach about Hostel Fermentation.

The Hostel crew took an outing this Sunday to teach our Canadian guests, and our resident Swede a thing or two about American Football. What better way to do so than at a bar for the Superbowl? Of course having Yoey and Crisp around, two Chicago natives, led us to root for the Bears, but despite the loss we had a great time. And yes Anneli does know what a touchdown is now.

Keep an eye out for future updates ya’ll

May the Forest be with you,

The Hostel Staff

Forest News

Posted January 24th, 2007

Hello all, this week has been filled with old friends and big improvements. This week we have had many Hostel family members stopping in and even Dirt an old manager rolled through. Many of the Old School Hostelers have been out at the Mystic Oak this week. The Mystic Oak, a large and beautiful Oak Tree where Tom had almost built the Hostel, had been light blocked by the invasive Loblolly Pine Tree. So Dirt, Crisp, Yoey, Matt, Luke, Adam and many others have been turning the invaders into usable lumber while allowing light to finally break through and feed our sacred tree. Speaking of tree’s we would like to thank Tree for the time he dedicated to us this last week. Tom’s new ceiling is installed and looks wonderful.

In the animal news, our goats have returned. Brown Sugar is 4 months pregnant and due next month while her sister Goatrude is due in 4 to 5 months.

Luke has been working on cutting some Red Maple Logs for our incoming Mushroom Spores, including Shitaki, two kinds of Oyster, Miataki, Chicken of the woods and Lion’s Mane.

We hope to see you all soon, and may the forest be with you

The Hostel Team

Upcoming Events

We are listing our Retreat Weekends so you can start making plans now to join us. We book up to a month in advance. We are also looking for guest speakers and instructors to join us on these weekends. Please contact the Hostel if you are interested in doing a workshop.

Spiritual Retreat March 30th, 31st and April 1st

Artist Retreat May 25th, 26th and 27th

Birthday Retreat July 6th 7th and 8th

Mind Body and Spirit August 31st, September 1st and 2nd

Hostel News

Posted January 23rd, 2007

Hello all, this week has been filled with old friends and big improvements. This week we have had many Hostel family members stopping in and even Dirt an old manager rolled through. Many of the Old School Hostelers have been out at the Mystic Oak this week. The Mystic Oak, a large and beautiful Oak Tree where Tom had almost built the Hostel, had been light blocked by the invasive Loblolly Pine Tree. So Dirt, Crisp, Yoey, Matt, Luke, Adam and many others have been turning the invaders into usable lumber while allowing light to finally break through and feed our sacred tree. Speaking of tree’s we would like to thank Tree for the time he dedicated to us this last week. Tom’s new ceiling is installed and looks wonderful.

In the animal news, our goats have returned. Brown Sugar is 4 months pregnant and due next month while her sister Goatrude is due in 4 to 5 months.

Luke has been working on cutting some Red Maple Logs for our incoming Mushroom Spores, including Shitaki, two kinds of Oyster, Miataki, Chicken of the woods and Lion’s Mane.

We hope to see you all soon, and may the forest be with you

The Hostel Team

Upcoming Events

We are listing our Retreat Weekends so you can start making plans now to join us. We book up to a month in advance. We are also looking for guest speakers and instructors to join us on these weekends. Please contact the Hostel if you are interested in doing a workshop.

Spiritual Retreat March 30th, 31st and April 1st

Artist Retreat May 25th, 26th and 27th

Birthday Retreat July 6th 7th and 8th

Mind Body and Spirit August 31st, September 1st and 2nd

A Busy Start to 2007

Posted January 17th, 2007

Wow have we been busy around here folks. So far this year we are off to an exciting start. After the new year rolled in we had two devoted and very appreciated staff members take off. Carol and Kara, we would all like to thank you both for all that you gave the hostel and we wish you the best in all your future endeavors.

On the third we had our monthly full moon sweat lodge, led by Tom. All of those that entered stayed in all four rounds, and when it was over all of them smiled and glowed, remarking on what a wonderful Sweat it was. Then the nights passed with apples to Apples and Mafia games.

During the next week Matt and Ethan, spent their time installing a beautiful tile counter top in the kitchen. It highlights the compost bucket and offers a marble granite. Then we had a green workshop weekend over the long Martin Luther King Jr Weekend. It was a blast. Ethan, led a Friday evening meditation and then started each day with a morning activation. Ethan Biber, who has studied Chi Gong, had been with is for two weeks. We thank him for his guidance and help around the hostel as he he has now left for India to study with a master.

We also had the non-profit group, Southface join us for the Green Weekend Workshop event and two members of their group, Chris Theil and Abe Kruger, led some phenomonal lectures and discussions on green building practices that can be used in the average home. There was also a solar workshop, in which Jeremy demonstrated an easy to make solar oven and Murray presented the current Hostel’s solar water pump, a Green Art workship in which Mike Joe and Mikey made art from nature sanz Andy Goldsworthy, Matt guided us through our greywater system and Ken and Luke did a wonderful job showing us the sustainable kitchen.

In this Hostel journalist’s opinion though the highlight was watching an Inconvenient Truth Sunday night projected onto a screen in the front yard.

Since this past weekend, Murray and Matt have replaced the aged Hostel electric system with a newer and more efficient model, and our friend Tree has returned to put a new ceiling in at Tom’s treehouse.

Once again folks sorry for the update delay, but we have been having way too much fun lately.

Tune in next week…

The Hostel Team

Essie Mae

Posted January 13th, 2007

I was saddened to learn of Essie Mae’s death. She has moved on to that great juke joint up in heaven. The juker provided a world of memories for all of us, memories that will live on forever. She served up many a Miller High Life for us and always had that twinkle in her eye as if she understood the great mysteries of life.

She kept that paddle behind the bar and had been known to take it out and use it on anyone who misbehaved. I remember the time Rob got skunked in a pool game, and as tradition requires, dropped his pants and ran around the table. That brought Essie Mae from behind the bar with the paddle. I have visions of Mildred sitting at a table with Louise laughing and talking and then wildly dancing to “Strokin” by Clarence Carter. Robert would be sitting by the stove. Ricky always sat in the background until one night he broke out and almost set the dance floor on fire with his wild dancing. Ida would drop a few quarters in the juke box then set the standard for whipping the most hostellers in pool than anyone else. The Honey Dripple was a place that will always be in the back of my mind with a smile.

So I raise a Miller’s right now to toast a wonderful lady that held the admiration of people who came there from countries all over the world. Essie Mae, I guess you and Louise are up there laughing and talking about old times. I hope that when the Maker calls me, I can be up there with y’all, having a blast! Here’s to you, Good Lady!!!!!!!!!!!

Tom

Happy New Year

Posted January 2nd, 2007

Hello hostelers. Sorry for the update delay but we have of course been celebrating the winter holidays. We have practiced customs from Sweden, as well as the US, thanks to our very own Anneli showing us Lucia and Glogg.

On the morning of the 23rd we awoke to a sweet smelling kitchen of the best Gary Lee’s Pork, Eggs, Fried Gritz, Bacon, Biscuits, and natural local sugar cane syrup. Tom had come by to cook us a traditional southern breakfast, and explained that this was what he ate on his grandfather’s farm growing up.

The next day our Christmas was celebrated on it’s eve, at Tom’s house. The feast was bountiful, garnished with the Hostel’s veggies, the conversation was merry, and we even went caroling.

Christmas day at the hostel was a relaxed afternoon next to the wood stove, but soon after, the growth became exponential at each night’s circle. maxing out on a very funfilled New Years.

Old Hostel Friends and New Hostel friends gathered, the laughter was plentiful and the memories are treasured. We celebrated by having dance parties in the kitchen, and swing dancing in the common room. Using the only public Hostel time piece we started our countdown around fifteen minutes before the new year. Soon after as the rain was beating down around us we ourselves danced and drummed. We sang our songs and we celebrated. One such traveler from South America told me he felt like he did when he had last celebrated with his family, ten years ago.

Happy New Year everyone. In other Hostel news, Woodchip returned making hand-held candles with several hostelers on the afternoon of the first. Later that night Keith Hudson, a costume make up artist here, taught us how to paint faces while giving out some free face paintings. Thank you Woodchip and Keith for kicking off the New Years workshops.

We also would like to tell you that we have recieved our first sizable donation as a non-profit organization, and we are very thankful to our first contributor. Its always an exciting time at the Hostel, whether we are celebrating or bringing in our harvest, and we hope to see you all soon.

The Hostel Staff