Nans Thomassey, intern

Nans Thomassey, intern

Jay, Annie, Nans with the llamas and Rosie on a trek for Nans’ birthday, age 23



THANKS FOR NOTHING MONTH                                  January 19, 2012            7:20 AM

59 F indoors (burr)   23 F outdoors Bad weather is coming


Prepare to be inspired.  If you think the youth of this country are going to hell in a hand basket (as my grandmother used to love to say) then read on…

As I went through some early intern photos this morning I could hardly believe how much has changed here since our intern program began in 2007.  This month has given me quite a bit of time to think about the intern program, and the amazing people who have walked down the lane into our hearts, and left their mark. 

Some of them were WWOOFERS (, some of them came through high schools or university programs, and some just came because they wanted to learn more about sustainable living.  Some paid to be here, while others received scholarships.

We’ve been inspired by their work ethic, and the emotion they feel when they dream up and then create their projects.  Blue Rock Station would not be the place it is today without their work, their devotion and their energy. 

Our first intern was Elyse Perruchon who has gone off to work towards creating an urban homestead near Cleveland and during the day she’s an environmental consultant for an international firm.

Nans Thomassey, who is doing the THANKS FOR NOTHING MONTH with us in The Rhone-Alps, joined us in early spring the next year.  He designed and built the Llama Lounge, plus named the “Happy Nest”, and created the design for the Firefly – the basic building design we’ve used for the cottages.  READ MORE:  (! and you can ask Google to translate the page or just look at the photos)

And the interns kept coming to us (37 in all), bringing a passion for sustainable living that just needed a place to gain roots.  I sometimes think that Jay and I might not have continued to this point in our business if it weren’t for some of our interns. 

When someone came in the night and killed Michele, our llama, interns like Elyse and Nans showed up to give us perspective.  When I was depressed after her death, some of them showed up to push me to take care of myself. 

Sometimes on holidays, or my birthday they re-appear to share time together, or to surprise us.  Some of them visit regularly throughout the year, or we visit them.

Mostly the interns have inspired us by going on to work on sustainability in their daily lives. 

All of this reflection today has made me wonder about this summer’s interns.  Persa Zula is our first student in the new Fellowship Program.  She has been here several times so I know it will be a great summer just because we get to work with her. 

The University of Dayton ETHOS club (engineers working towards sustainability) will be here a few times to build a bio-fuel station.  That will be great fun too since they are usually an intelligent group of folks who are really thinking about the future.

But it is the unknown that intrigues me.  The interns that will come from far off places who will bring their talents, their experiences and their dreams. 

By next year at this time I won’t remember the hard work, or how tired we’ll all be.  I will eventually forget how much effort it took to make the projects come to life, to build a time line, to get their dreams into reality.  One thing I never forget is the hole in my heart when some of them go up the lane and back into the world beyond the gate.

What I look forward to as the winter finally turns to spring is how it will feel at the end of the summer when we’ve reached our goal of living together in peace, cooking great food, eating together, learning together, creating solutions, and moving forward.




Biscuits and Jam

Scrambled Eggs



Potato Soup




Cheese Quesadilla