I have been at Twin Oaks for five months now. The days have turned colder, and quieter since we don't have a visitor group in December, and there are less guests this time of year.
We all bundle up, build up the wood stoves, and eat our meals inside, except on the rare, slightly warm days that we still have.
We eat lots of greens; kale, spinach, lettuce, and many other Asian greens we grow in the greenhouse. We're also eating lots of potatoes and sweet potatoes, and the turnips and radishes are coming in. I spend one day a week now working in the greenhouse, and harvesting greens and leeks from outside.
My full member vote is coming up in a month, which involves writing my six month letter about my experience here so far.
I'm excited about living at Twin Oaks, and I am learning so much. Sometimes I wonder if Twin Oaks is too comfortable for me, and perhaps a more primitive, off the grid community will be in my future, but I don't think I am ready for that yet, and want to continue gaining lots of skills involving sustainability and simplicity. I also feel like I can continue to strive toward a lifestyle that fits with my ideals while still living here.
Plants seem to be my passion, whether they are wild, cultivated, or medicinal. I just joined the full garden crew, which means I made a full time commitment to the garden. I have also made a part time commitment to the Seed Growing business. I am excited to work in both gardens, and it has been incredibly interesting to me to learn how the techniques of growing plants for seed is so different than growing plants for food. I continue to learn about wild and medicinal plants in my free time, drawing them, and studying them.
I have been working in Unicorn School, and doing primaries with a few children. Unicorn school is the daily homeschooling and childcare program that happens here. It's new for me to work with kids in this structured setting, but I really like it, and I am learning a lot about relating with children. I also enjoy doing the unstructured primaries, which involve just hanging out with a kid for a couple hours, and doing pretty much whatever. I am excited to continue getting to know the kids at Twin Oaks.
I have been doing some work with LEF (Living Energy Farm) a nearby off the grid community that is forming, and have enjoyed that too. I haven't been as active with LEF as I wanted to be. I get so caught up in my work here sometimes.
I also cook dinner with Bridget once a week, sew in the pillow shop and the fabric studio, and do community laundry.
I plan on working in the Alt Orchard, pruning fruit trees this winter. I pruned apple trees last winter at East Wind, and I want to keep learning about pruning.
I love working. It keeps me feeling balanced and fulfilled. I have been making sure not to overwork myself though, which means setting aside a night once a week for myself, and doing yoga and jogging, hooping, and taking walks throughout the week.
I attend parties every now and then, but I definitely have a limit on my social energy. Sometimes I feel shy and introverted, so I take alone time, but sometimes I just want to socialize. I have made a few close friends, and quite a few friends and acquaintances. I entered into a new romantic relationship with good intentions, but it turned out to be much messier than I had expected. However, I have learned a lot about myself and my relationships from the experience. It's so interesting how different relationships are when you live with all the people you're close with.
The monthly allowance has been about $80, and I haven't overspent. I have spent it on health related things, actually, which will be covered by the insurance at my six months.
One more month until my full member vote. The future is unknown. The weeks seem to pass quickly...