Straw bale workshop and Tires

Hello everyone! I hope you aren’t battling allergies like I am. LOL. I love the spring weather but I don’t love having the itchy throat and eyes and waking up and sneezing 100 times in a row. 😂

We went to a straw bale workshop a couple of weeks ago. Overall I would say it was great and we learned a lot. However it was a little crowded and a bit chaotic.
Bill and Athena Steen have been putting on this workshop for about 30 years now and I doubt that I have to worry about them reading this, but I guess I expected or hoped it would be a little more organized. I’m still very glad we did it, don’t get me wrong. It’s just that we are the type of people who like organization. 😄

We arrived around five in the afternoon and set up a tent. We met people as they arrived. That evening we all gathered in the living room and went around the room and individually introduced ourselves. There were 16 people in all. We went to bed that night and I swear I did not sleep a wink. It was really cold and windy and I had accidentally left my earplugs in the car. The next day I saw Athena and I mentioned to her that I had been cold at night. She said there’s a little house down the road and it doesn’t have plumbing yet but you are welcome to stay in it. It is one of the straw bale structures that is on their property. We took our stuff and slept in the loft on a futon cushion that was up there.
There was no heat but because it was a straw bale building, it was totally warm inside. I slept a lot better the next two nights there. I am very grateful to Athena for letting us stay in that building.
The first day we were there we had to start assembling bales for a temporary structure. They assemble and then take it down again to be reused. It was crowded and I had no idea what to do. The straw particles and straw dust was flying everywhere. Face protection is a definite must.
On the second day we met a couple who had already built their own straw bale house. Chad and Tiffany. It turns out they live about 30 minutes from us and they also said that they would like to help us when we build our house. I hope they really mean it because we will take them up on that. LOL We exchanged numbers and they invited us to dinner for next week.

On the last day of the workshop we helped a young couple who are in the process of building their house out of straw bale. They were working on adding earthen plaster to the inside and outside. Athena showed us how to make big batches of the earth plaster (clay, sand, straw and water). I never really understood how to plaster it onto the walls correctly or was able to do it well. Brian had the same problem. I just felt like there were so many people jumping in and doing it and there was really no room. So I just stood back and watched. I feel like people probably thought I was lazy or something but I really just didn’t know what to do. I need someone to tell me what to do. That’s just me. I need someone to tell me what they’re doing and explain to me what you’re doing while you’re doing it. It was strange. I didn’t like that last day much at all. But I did see some wild turkeys running around and we saw lots of deer.

Since we have been back we have been workin on getting tires into the big cracks on our land. Some of it is past our property but will eventually meet our land. I hope this will work. It is a lot of WORK! It’s a great workout though!

Brian and I also built a raised bed garden. It is still empty at this moment because I am waiting until I learn a little bit more about planting. I don’t want to plant a bunch of stuff and then have it die. We put a cover over the top with chicken wire so animals won’t be able to get to it. We are making a video of that as well.

Hopefully we can get to 1000 subscribers on YouTube soon.
We are close with 900 at this time. I’m not sure if people know we hope to make money from YouTube eventually. We can only achieve that by having people watching.
Doug? Are you watching our videos? Lol. We have to have 1000 subscribers and at least 4000 hours of watch time in order to get paid for ads on YouTube. The amount we will be paid will be very little but at least it is something. We don’t have jobs so every penny counts. LOL

For May we have a trip planned for Pennsylvania where Brian’s family live. We haven’t been back in about 10 years. Looking forward to that.

Hopefully we can visit Texas in September to visit my family. We haven’t been in a while. I miss them terribly plus my Dad is 85. I want to see him while he’s still around.

In July we will attend another strawbale workshop. Until then we got plenty to keep us busy! Thanks y’all!

6 thoughts on “Straw bale workshop and Tires

  1. Workshop people need to come to your place to help you get started with the muddling. Then you can continue on yourselves. Do they offer private tutoring?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pam, Brian,
    I’m so glad I got to do the workshop with you. Last day was particularly tricky with not much one-on-one tutoring on the plastering. Inviting Bill and Athena out to do some one on one tutoring sounds like a great idea. Also, Please reach out when you have a build “schedule” in place and make sure the group knows when you will be baling and plastering. I will work to make sure I am available to help out.


  3. It’s always interesting reading your blog. You should include a link to your YouTube site, or at least a key search word, I always forget how to get to it. -DR


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