As Labor Day approaches, Dan and I realize we’re running out of summer to get things done. I was starting to feel like we’re behind the 8-Ball so… we did some planning. There are three big things we need to finish before winter: Adding the final mass to the Rocket Mass Heater, Building a wood shed, and Cutting wood for the Rocket Mass Heater. Simple as ABC…
But, like anything here at the Harn, it’s not so simple. In order to build a wood shed, we need to move the wood and pallets that are in the place where we want to put the shed. In order to get that wood out of there, we need to re-set the wood pallets in the garage where we stored wood last year… but which were cocked slightly when we added our garage door opener this spring. In order to re-set these pallets, we need to move a bunch of stuff in the garage to have room to re-set them. In order to move stuff out of the garage, we have to move stuff out of the hightop (our extra garage). You see where this is going… We also need to cut down some trees where the wood shed will go and then remove stumps from the area. So, there’s that too.
But we have at least created a list of things to get done, noting which things need to be done before other things, and hopefully we’ll start to chug along on checking off items on our list and be ready for winter this year. But first, we were going to enjoy Labor Day Weekend.
Friday, we met friends from Alex, Jon and Rita, for a quick bite of dinner before heading to the Bonnie Raitt, Indigo Girls, and Annie Humphrey show. I was SO EXCITED! Dan loves Bonnie (and I do too) but I was most pumped to meet the Indigo Girls. Not only are they part of the reason we ended up here at the Harn in Minnesota, but they also founded Honor the Earth with Winona LaDuke. How did they factor in our decision on this location? Well, I loved their song Ghost which has a line in it…
…And the Mississippi’s mighty
But it starts in Minnesota
At a place that you could walk across
With five steps down. ~ Ghost, Indigo Girls
When we visited Itasca State Park and the Headwaters of the Mississippi years ago, I was hooked on this area and we eventually found our little piece of land just north of there.
On arrival to the concert, we got our tickets and back stage passes – first time ever for backstage for both of us. We found Annie’s bus right away and headed over. Cedar (her daughter) was there and so was my good buddy Anne Dunn (her momma)!!! I didn’t expect to find Anne so I was tickled… so happy to see her that we spent a while catching up. Zayne was there too (Annie’s grandson) and we were regaled with stories of his super hero cave on the bus. Annie has an awesome cool bus. Here we are standing in front of Zayne’s cave.
I was super pumped to hear Annie perform as, at the Duluth show where we first saw her play, we only got a few songs from her. As I hoped, she played some songs from the new album The Beast and the Garden.
We got a copy at the show and got it signed. She is a powerful singer and she started the benefit concert off right with some commentary about the importance of fighting pipelines and protecting the rights of the Indigenous.
The whole show was a wonderful event for Honor the Earth. Every performer encouraged the Water Protectors and emphasized the importance of resisting the pipeline. The Indigo Girls ROCKED – didn’t realize what rockers they were having never seen them in concert. But they kicked it up a notch and then Bonnie Raitt closed the show with an amazing performance. This woman is one of the best guitar players around, her slide is sexy and strong, and she’s still got it at 67 years old. She looks great, rocks the show, and is a sassy activist! An amazing performance by all three groups.
Backstage was really well done. There is a small cabin area with a deck, heater, fireplace and seating behind the Bluestem Amphitheater where the crowd awaited the arrival of our stars. Winona LaDuke and Keri Pickett were hanging out so we already had celebrities among us.
Dan and I were able to get our Stop Line 3 shirts signed by the Honor the Earth founders: Winona, Emily and Amy. We also met some interesting people and spent some time talking with friend and fellow Water Protector Andrew. He’s been a real supporter of Winona the last few weeks and it makes us feel good to know he’s a strong protector for her and she’s a good Elder for him. The whole concert adventure was a real blessing.
Good friends from Indiana, Steph and Steve, made the long drive up to the Harn for the weekend and we wanted to show them everything! Of course, we knew they’d get a feel for Harn Living but we really wanted to give them a big taste so we made a little game for them to pick out the things we’d spend time doing on their short visit. As you can see, we rigged the game a bit…
Actually, we let them pick the things they wanted to do and we ended up sleeping in (after being up until almost 4 AM that first night) and then touring the Harn grounds and heading to Bemidji to see Babe and Paul. A stop at Bemidji Brewing for lunch and some beers made everyone happy and then we stopped at Coffee Pot Landing and the Mississippi Headwaters before heading home for some dinner and a bonfire. Rain Monday kept things low key but made for a great day of game playing.
And… this week our work starts again in earnest. Dan has already moved the wood into the garage from the wood shed location so we’re started on that process of getting the wood shed in place. I’ll be moving chives and flowers at the East side of the Harn so we can add foam insulation to push out the frost line. We’ll fix the corner of the Harn we found last year where we’d forgotten to put the metal corner trim on when we added the screen door for the porch – that was a lot of cold air seepage! Soon we’ll fill that area with foam and add a better cover for it. And we’ll get started on the wood cutting and cob building to assure out stove is ready to heat us this year. I think we need to harvest some potatoes in there sometime too, and maybe some spaghetti squash, but we’ll see what this week brings as it unfolds.
Hope you are all ready for winter once it arrives!
Photo credits: Beast and the Garden Album – Annie Humphrey Music FB Page & Winter is Coming – Pinterest