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A work in progress….


I promised pictures of the new home that David and I are attempting to buy so here they are. Yesterday we had the inspection, and a few things need work, but nothing David can’t handle himself. Gosh, it sure pays to have a knowledge of plumbing, electrical work, gardening, building, etc…  when you are looking at older property. The cost of repairs or adding new outbuildings etc is only a matter of materials with David doing the work. I am so grateful of his gifts as we discuss the inspection report and what this “as is” property needs to be in great shape.
So far, things look promising, but man, are we jumping through hoops for the bank (not unusual considering the economic issues today).
Anyway, here are a few images. I’ll take you through a tour. Because there were work trucks outside of the home, I didn’t get a good shot of the actual house from the front. But you will get the idea….. the picture above gives you an idea of what you come up to after driving the initial oak lined lane. This leads to what will be our “Chakra garden, an area we plan to divide into 7 primary spots to sit and reflect, each one designed with yard art & plants to represent the 7 chakras.

A garden awaiting creation……

Big iron gates lead in from several directions. Inviting, and artistic……

The front of the house welcomes visitors with a portico that has a zen feel…. I love the big rocks, ferns and areas where we will put a buddha fountain…
 

There is an atrium outside our bedroom covered by this privacy wall. And everyone, my mother, David, the former owner etc.. has stood outside and said, “Um… you can get rid or cover that design if you want…. it’s pretty silly….. ” Meanwhile, I’m thinking, “Get rid of the crazy moon man smoking his weed ? You have to be kidding. He’s my favorite part!” OK, the hippy in me has to be honest.. I love the tiled funky design of the moon man. It’s a conversation piece if nothing else! I’m thinking it just needs a landscape light so it shows up at night too.


Next to the house, we hope to dig out a big pond… perhaps some koi…. definitely some floating lotus or other blooming plants…. and a waterfall!!!! Can’t skip that.

All the Doors and details of the house are handmade by a craftsmen…. the doors, stair railings, hoods, door handles etc are unique with stain glass windows, handmade blacksmith handles, etc… A local blacksmith made the grate for the fireplace, hooks for coats and railings too.

Walking in the front door, I feel like, “Ah… home…..”

 
Most of the indoor living will take place in this great room – and yes, that is a hole in the wall that is open to the master bedroom. Um…… must behave or put some kind of artistic glasswork in the hold, I’m thinking…..  I adore the off center, fireplace hand done iron work, and great natural light and huge beams in the ceiling….


It took me 54 years and three kitchen remodels where the one thing I wanted most and begged for (but was unable to have since it wasnt’ something my partner considered important  to at long last finally have a kitchen that has two full sized ovens! I am crazy excited. This kitchen also has a wine cooler, a nice oversized fridge, creative storage by way of uniquely designed cupboards, and a trash compactor…. I love the shelves around the windows for growing herbs… really everything is great but the stove is unusual. It is magnetic, so I have to cook on cast iron or special copper bottomed pots. David and I have to get rid of our great cookery to be able to use that stove. That will take some adjustment….. but how fun to have a cooks kitchen.
 
It amazes me that this casual kitchen, while not an expensive, top of the line kitchen, feels so special. David always says life doesn’t have to be so be so hard, filled with drama or conflict. Ya just gotta trust and learn to swim downstream with the current rather than fighting it all the time. Then life gives you what you want most… I’m learning that from him… remarkable how that one approach to living changes everything….
Happiness is natural and easy.

The bedroom master has wood floors and beams, and lovely papered walls that is like raw hay – nice closets and a fascinating bathroom that is like a hallway leading to the biggest shower I ever saw. It has two shower heads. I guess I am suppose to challenge David to a shower war!


Neva was complaining ab out the 20 minute drive to this house from our current house, until she saw her room… another master, it is big and opens to a private bathroom and a closet the size of her room now wit all these classy built ins for shoes, clothes and drawers. I’m jealous, but when she goes to college I’ll invade and take over! We have a third bedroom with another bathroom within, but is is small and doesn’t merit a pix. Still, nice to have for when my son or future grandchildren visit…. David’s son just might grace us with a visit too and he has children that I have no doubt would love to play with some chickens or explore a treehouse… 




The kitchen opens to a lovely screened deck. It features a hottub, covered area and a cool zen fountain…. the walkway you see leads around the inner deck, but leads as well to the yoga center which I’ll show next.
 

Now, the home is just for us, but an important part of making this plan affordable is that we will be using this property for yoga training, retreats and other business pursuits, such as farm to table health dinners, writing and journaling classes, etc…. Rather than expand my business again in the strip mall, we will go this new direction – a nice balance of combining our dream for living off the grid a bit and building business that we love and enjoy and can perhaps keep in semi retirement someday too, all rolled into one creative project. This building is behind the house – we will call it the yoga center. Love how it is made with refurbished materials – the windows once belonged to an old schoolhouse.


The reception area is all wood and perfectly designed for offices. It will feature a yoga, writing, and organic living library (getting huge now) and a couch  to relax. We will also have some of the organic products on display hear like natural soaps, essential oils, yoga materials etc…
A second room features space for an art journaling center, and this has a fridge and freezer, and space for other creative materials for art classes or whatnot. This leads to a seperate fenced area that we will use for a huge fire pit and outdoor yoga practice.


A big beautiful studio space seems as if it was build for yoga training. With natural light, warm wood walls a towering ceiling, all it needs is perhaps a new wood floor. Inspirational! It will old a good twenty yogis, and perhaps can be used for other sorts of classes too. Love it!



Storage awaits all the stuff we can’t put elsewhere, including tables and chair for events and writing classes etc… and the yoga center leads to another fenced area of it’s own. All secluded and private so there are no distractions other than the sound of birds.


(I suppose our firepit will be right where that rotted stump is…) This back area opens to another fence that leads to a creek down in a ravine. We have two acres beyond the creek but it will be some time until we will be in a financial and time position to clear and use that wild area. But, we are thinking we will build a suspension bridge over the creek and make some housing there – either yurts or small cabins when we are ready to expand to make this retreat offer overnight lodging too. I said to David, “Isn’t building a suspension bridge going to be complicated and expensive”…. but he said, “Um.. I’m an engineer. That is what engineers do… and it won’t cost much at all, just some cable, wood, a weekend of sweat…” Amazing. 

A short walk from the yoga center is the barn (big grin on my face, as you can imagine.) It has electricity and water, and is just perfect in every way for a hobbyist farmer….. We plan to put a workshop for David in the large closed-in space and will probably expand it eventually to be even bigger. I still have a tack room, and three stalls and covered areas for whatever else we might want to do there… The barn opens to two pasters. One is lit, which would be great for an outdoor evening riding ring, but I’m not wanting horses on this small a piece of land…. Instead we are looking into building a labyrinth there that can be lit up at night. The other paster might house a pet… a mini donkey or alpaca perhaps? But not until my work life is organized and running smoothly. The first order of business will be making this retreat center a place of healing and learning.
 



If you can imagine it, picture tables with linens and china and dozens of flame lit torches for a special farm to table dinner event. (And a wedding ya know…) We are not a farm, but we will be growing tons of ayurveda herbs and we will feature lectures and classes on organic eating and health and wellness and the area farms will provide the actual food we don’t grow, so I am convinced I can expand the yoga offerings to include this kind of retreat….. Fun!

The grounds feature long lanes of oaks where we will hang hammocks, porch swings etc… areas for journaling and meditating everywhere. I am not going to show you another big open area (this is simply taking too long to download all the pix) but to the left corner of this lane will be our Indian medicine wheel garden, herbs and citrus. It amazes me that the property has water everywhere to support  these ideas!

I have more pictures, but no time and this is enough to give you the basic feel of the place. For now, I must go get my daughter from school then head into work for a yoga teacher graduation ceremony. 
I feel so lucky to have a partner that shares my vision and willingness to work crazy hard for a dream. 
All I need is a direction and I found one…. I found several in fact….
Wish us luck…….

Crazy how long I spent posting this today on the off chance that my daughter someday will check in curious about how my life is unfolding. In case she does let me just say this, “I love you, Denver.”

About Ginny East Shaddock

Director of Heartwood Retreat Center, Ginny is also a writer. This is her personal blog with essay form writing about life and reflection. My entries are often lengthy and random, because I'm not here to promote or sell anything. I'm not expecting followers - just find this format a good place to think with the pen.

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