John and Christy!

Christy Penney

 Before embarking on this incredible journey with John, I had been working in the professional theater world for the past ten years as a carpenter/welder/prop builder in both New York and Seattle. Projects that rank among my favorite include a deer antler chandelier, a jet pack, an eighteen foot weeping willow tree, and a remote controlled rat that bled when smashed. Even after all of that fun,  I am thrilled to take a step away and transfer these skills into a sustainable future.
 My skills were not directly transferable since most of my work in the theater was more sculpture than structure, so learning to build structures that are permanent and permitted has been challenging and really really fun.  As we start on the house I am looking forward to learning even more ( since the house is easily 4 times as complicated as anything we have done yet).  Even more than the actual building of the house, I am excited about all of the systems we are putting in place, such as solar power and water catchment.  John is always devising a new scheme for these things and it lends a new excitement every day.  Life around here is certainly never dull!
 On a much less serious note, I love to hula hoop, roller skate, and make puppets.  I also love food. All food. So bring on your suggestions for all of this organic produce we are going to have! 


christy@mellishfieldswest.com

John Delp  



Prior to marrying Christy, moving into a yurt and deciding to build a homestead from scratch, I spent my time living in Seattle, dually employed in the lucrative fields of roving chef and gigging musician.  40 gallons of sauce?  No problem!  Playing snare drum in a striped jumpsuit on top of a double decker bus with a radical brass band?  Just another day at the office!

Do these skills transfer well into construction and homesteading?  Not one bit.  Until three years ago I hadn't touched a power tool since making a three-legged, wobbly cutting board in the sixth grade.  I must also admit to having killed a chia pet from neglect in more recent history.  Luckily, I enjoy learning new skills.

With the aid of Christy's considerable expertise, a whole bunch of reading and even more trial-and-error, I'm starting to feel like I'm getting the hang of things!  While not green, my thumb is no longer black, and I've found myself casually throwing around terms like "kerf", "king stud", "triangulate" and "sure, I'll rip that on the table saw".

It's a lot easier to pour yourself into a project when you really care about it.  I feel strongly about living a more ecologically responsible life, learning to be more self sufficient and never eating a store-bought tomato ever again.  I feel even more strongly about doing all of this with Christy.  Here we go!

john@mellishfieldswest.com