Monthly Archives: January 2017

Fire Dynamics ! Round Pole & Earth Oven Workshop

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January 18 & 29, 2017

This elemental class started with a hand-on exploration of the evolution of fire usage, and how fire works. We FIRED IT UP … moving from a bonfire to reflective bricks, to a chimney and a Rumford Fireplace …to a metal woodstove.  Then we warmed water on a Rocket Stove Outdoor Cooker, which demonstrated the dynamics of the combustion unit of the Rocket Stove Mass Heater in the pole barn which heats a bench. Firing up the heated bench was a highlight and shear pleasure to sit on !    A joy to be Fire-making all day long !

The workshop included a class on the principles of rocket stoves and the brick mockup construction of the Rocket Stove combustion unit.  The earthen materials used on a Rocket Stove were demonstrated: cob (without straw), finish earth plaster, and earthen mortar for the bricks.

Sunday we learned the basics of Earth Oven design, and made a small model of an earth oven first stages: laying the brick floor, removable sand mold for the oven dome, then shaping the oven mass over the sand mold with “oven mud”. The weekend culminated in making pizza in the Sun Earth Oven ! Yum.    

Students: Chrystal, storyteller from Detroit, Tim & Emily from the South Bend, Indiana area. Tim works with kids and permaculture, Emily – a counselor for immigrants. Kelly,  musician, works with disabled adults. Angela from Detroit, organic gardener & community spirited. 

Categories: Classes, Earth Oven, local materials, Rocket Stove, Uncategorized

Thatching & Reed Collection workshop

Jan 14 & 15, 2017  

What a fun and intensive weekend.  With Deanne,as instructor, now the whole crew of Gene, Sonnie, Alex, Kelly and Jacob & Jenny !know the basics of reed harvesting and thatching a small roof !

Sonnie is a Danish carpenter, Kelly and Alex are from Detroit and make music, Gene works with youth and loves woodworking. He is making windows and a door for the Kids Cottage.  Jacob from West Bloomfield is very involved with ecological activities. Jenny  is a journalist who has taken a Permaculture Design Course.  What a crew 🙂  What a weaving of souls.

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Sonnie stayed on a few days … she build a bench for the main house, and we re-ridged the thatching on the east gable end of the Kids Cottage.  We used the Oak and Oat method. She learned how tobsplit a log and create a “Crows’ Tree”, the Oak X that holds down the oat straw.

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Compassionate Communication


Here are a few of my favorite ways to learn about a way of thinking and communicating called NVC which stands for Non-violent Communication.  This process, developed over the last 50 years by Marshall Rosenberg, is being evolved by many folks and is sometimes called  “compassionate communication”, “communication that connects” and “effective communication”.
Communication connects all life together, from the ecological to the social & political worlds. I believe this kind of communication is one of the most important skills we can learn.
         Enjoy the practice, the challenge, the outcomes !   Warmly, Deanne

We Practice To

•Be more compassionate with ourselves and others by increasing our awareness of our feelings and needs

•Distinguish our actual observations from our story about what happened

•Translate our judgmental thoughts into the underlying feelings and needs

•Listen empathically

•Receive “hard to hear” statements without taking it personally

•Make Requests

•Support our own values while honoring the needs of others

•Connect with a sense of aliveness and appreciation

Image result for nonviolent communication Words are windows, or they’re walls,

They sentence us, or set us free.

When I speak and when I hear,

Let the love light shine through me. –Ruth Bebermeyer

VIDEO 11 min. By Brian Johnson summarizing the book “Nonviolent Communication~ The Language of Life” by Marshall Rosenberg

Does blame contribute to violence? 
This audio with powerpoint images is a 1 hour webinar with 
Francois Beausoleil of the Blame Free State Institute.  The first 3 minutes are an introduction.  Hang in there, it’s good. It also covers the basics of NVC.   February 7, 2017

  • NVC BASICS AUDIO  These videos are where I started learning about NVC – on a blackberry.  Marshall Rosenberg shares his journey with creating this language of the heart, language that connects. It’s one of my favorite way to learn non-violent communication. Maybe you would like to try the first 15 minutes, or the first segment and find out what you think.

Image result for nonviolent communication0:00:34 SESSION #1 Introduction
1:00:54 SESSION #2 Applying NVC
2:08:44 SESSION #3 Honesty
3:12:44 SESSION #4 Empathy part one
4:20:42 SESSION #5 Relationships
5:18:34 SESSION #6 Authority
6:14:06 SESSION #7 Empathy part two
7:10:35 SESSION #8 Social Change
8:00:18 SESSION #9 Sincere Gratitude

VIDEO: Marshal Rosenberg demonstrates Non-Violent Communication 11 min.  Quite engaging and revealing.

VIDEO: Marshal Rosenberg, This thing called Love.

10 Tips for Effective Communication – great article summarizing techniques

Transforming Anger to Compassionate Connection. Awesome article.
Worth the read.  See if you agree with these ideas.  
Free Download of Book: What’s Making You Angry? by Shari Klein and Neill Gibson

Image result for nonviolent communicationCauses of Anger – Audio by Marshall Rosenberg

Creating a Life-Serving Situation Within Oneself: Marshall Rosenberg:

Experiencing Needs as a Gift: Marshall Rosenberg audio
There is a section that is special to me from 20:00 to 40:00 min

Parenting with Nonviolent Communication (NVC)NVC Academy108,221 views

 NVC on Honesty. Youtube   Jeff Brown. 

Nonviolent Communication with Jeff Brown Maharishi University 

How do I give critical feedback without sounding mean?

Thriving as an NVC Trainer: Jeff Brown

nvc honesty jeff brown Q and A

Restorative Circles Training Jeff Brown

FULL – Nonviolent Communication Workshop – Marshall Rosenberg 

The article below isn’t NVC, but it has some interesting information.  NVC would say, anger is the Light on the Dashboard, saying “some need is not being met”.
How to Use Anger Productively: 10 Steps (with Pictures) – wikiHow

Not NVC, but an article from a Zen magazine.
How to Transform Anger into Connection: 10 Tips for Peaceful Words …

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