Adventures in Permaculture: Day 5

Another restless night on the futon.  I even had someone take the frame out from under the futon mattress.  Apparently I am just universally unable to sleep on futons – at least the old, thin mattresses.  When one hip succumbed to excruciating pain, I switched to the other one.  This continued every few hours throughout the night.


I took a nice, hot shower today.  I really like the shower setup – it’s quite lovely.  There is one building that houses three commercial composting toilets and two showers.  Each composting toilet has it’s own small room with a cold-water-only sink.  The composting toilets have fans that likely run on electric.  The shower rooms have three separate spaces – you walk into a little room with sink, counter and mirror.  Then the next little space has a curtain that separates it from the first part.  There is a bench and towel racks.  Then you step into the shower.  There are windows in each section and deep window sills.  The floors are radiant heat, although they just turned them on today.  I’m looking forward to enjoying a warm floor for my next shower!

I’d like to build a scaled-down version of this in my back yard.  I’d love to have an outdoor shower where the water was heated by the sun and then mixed with cold water from my hose (so I didn’t burn myself).  And I’d also love to have a composting toilet system. However, I don’t want to use a commercial one.  I’d like to do a simpler bucket and barrel system with a separate treatment for urine, which is an amazing fertilizer when mixed with water.  I could really transform the health of my soil this way.  I need to research a local source of peat or sawdust.

More great conversations with fellow students and a fun sing-along.  More instruction by Larry Korn.

At 1:30, I left the course site and walked the few blocks to my rental car.  I hopped in and headed to Portland.  It’s a 2-hour drive, during which I listened to some great radio stations.  Heard “Same as it ever was” by Talking Heads, which is one of the songs we were singing this morning.  Saw a Sherwin Williams truck that showed paint dripping down over Planet Earth with the slogan “Paint the earth.”  I don’t even know what to think about that.

Using my trusty Blackberry’s GPS, I found my destination with little problem.  I paid $4 to park and then walked over to Davis Street Tavern, the venue for tonight’s Moxie Mixer for the Portland Chapter!

One of the best parts of this trip was the opportunity to meet my fabulous Portland Chapter hostesses, Julia and Christy.  We had arranged to arrive at the venue early so we could eat dinner.   I got there even earlier than that, so I sat at the bar with my laptop to do a few things.  I definitely did NOT have a locally brewed beer while I sat there.  That would be wrong.

Julia arrived shortly thereafter, and we found a table.  Christy arrived as well, and we got some food.  I talked to them a bit about my plans for Moxie and told them how much their enthusiasm motivated me.

Women started arriving for the mixer, so we headed up to a very cool balcony space where they hold them.

As expected, it was a fabulous group of women.  I really enjoyed getting to meet them all and tell them a little bit about how Women With Moxie started.  Julia and Christy are fabulous hostesses and everyone seems to connect with them.

I wish I had been less tired and more open to going out afterward, but I was beat.  Julia very graciously offered me her spare room, which allowed me to drive home in daylight the next morning instead of darkness.  (I also didn’t want to wake up my bunkmates by coming in late.)  I followed Julia to her house, where I met her husband and cats.  Both were very pleasant!

We talked a bit in the living room, but I was ready for bed by 10:00.  I slept in their basement guest room, which is not nearly as dreary as it sounds!  In fact, the bed was gloriously comfortable.  It was very hard to get up because I was snuggled in so nicely.  I got a fantastic night of sleep and woke up feeling very refreshed.


  • Elsie – you were such a lovely house guest! You’re welcome to come up for another night while you are here in Oregon. 🙂

  • You’re so sweet, Julia. I truly wish that were a possibility! Hopefully I’ll be back on the west coast another time, and I will take you up on that offer.

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