Sunday, November 30, 2008

DREAM Coming True Week 5

Fog surrounds us this morning. Rain wet sidewalks reflect the edge of grass coated with dew so heavy the blades droop waiting for the sun to dry them up like a warm, fresh towel. VARDOFORTWO is wrapped up tight in her plastic tarps, Pete's cleaning up last night's late dinner dishes. A new day has already begun and another week has passed. For what am I appreciative, and how will I spend the dream money I have attracted this week?

For those of you who have visited VARDOFORTWO before and know that I post an on-going weekly series called DREAM Coming True here's a report of manifesting: In Week 1 I began with $100 to spend on something that made my heart happy. I envisioned spending that money on a pair of beautiful silver earrings handcrafted by Northwest artisans. When I envisioned and stated the dream I did not yet have a clear image of the earrings. As days passed the dream started to attract more form until I saw a specific full moon silver disc. Ah, mahealani (full moon) silver earrings. My heart had begun to talk to my mind and turned my mouth into a smile. Soon after I could see those beautiful discs hanging from my Buddha-like earlobes with my mouth turned into a smile. Well yes, I was happy to be wearing those beautiful earrings.

On November 16, Pete and I drove north to La Conner, Washington one of our favorite towns in Washington. It was my birthday and my wish for a wonderful day included time spent in La Conner. I knew those earrings were waiting for me in La Conner. They were. Silver circles surround jade and jasper stone with a disc of solid silver pounded and stamped with a design from the Tuareg tribe of Africa. The Tuareg are a nomadic tribe of Northwest Africa who make and trade their jewelry as a way to live in the world. In a store I'd never been into before the $100 dream came true, with plenty of resources to pay for the gas to get us there plus enough to buy two cookies to boot!

(If you look closely at that smiling face in the picture you'll see the glimmer of silver peeking through my hair ... it's that dream come true)

To those who are visiting for the first time, the challenge to consistently practice the Law of Attraction came from Akemi Gaines my friend and teacher. In a nutshell the challenge asks that I do three things each week to attract joy and abundance into my life.

1. Clearly envision, and state in a positive way, a dream I wish to manifest. The use of 'dream money' is a symbol of resources, and I started with $100 real dollars that I put into a treasure box.

2. I make a list of 10 items for which I am appreciative. (See late week-ends Dream Coming True Post to read the difference between 'appreciation' and 'gratitude')

3. I write a weekly post that becomes the first ACTION step in making a vision real.

So, this week ...


Dream Coming True Week 5: I have $1,600 to spend on paying for a beautiful curved copper roof for VARDOFORTWO.

The 10 things for which I am appreciative are:

1. I appreciate live piano music.


2. I appreciate the sound of my son's voice.


3. I appreciate my willingness to remain teachable.


4. I appreciate the freedom of aging.


5. I appreciate the taste of homemade apple pie. (thank you Turtle Woman!!!!)


6. I appreciate late night heart to heart talks.


7. I appreciate wind shield wipers that work when it's raining.


8. I appreciate favorite films I can replay as often as I like.


9. I appreciate a hot soak in a tub. (am I repeating this one? oh well, it's still true)


10. I appreciate Pete. (yes, I am repeating this one!)

Okay, I tag you. For a wonderful Christmas present for your own dear self that 'costs' you the price of three steps, try the DREAM COMING TRUE CHALLENGE.


Done it? How is it going?

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Blog Break

We took a break today! Breakfast from the hotplate and toaster oven, a ferry ride, visiting a long-time friend with my son, CKB and his girlfriend Leimomi. They're here from O`ahu for a very quick Thanksgiving break so we were out playing today. We'll be back with a DREAM COME TRUE post tomorrow.

A hui hou, Mokihana and Pete

Friday, November 28, 2008

Spreading the word and building community


There's a great string of commentary going on about VARDFORTWO over at The Canary Report. Susie writes:


"One our flock, Mokihana, has an article written about her amazing digs in Coming
Unmoored
, a blog dedicated to the small home movement, responsible financial
stewardship, and living greener. Mokihana, originally from Hawaii, now lives
in Washington state and is building a “vardo” or tiny, safe home on a trailer
bed so she can move when necessary to protect her health..."

Mahalo to Susie Collins for her skills, resources, network of followers, and especially her generous heart. Like a true 'coconut wireless' the word is really starting to spread. Click to read Susie's whole story then read the comments from other Canaries, and add your voice to the chirping going on over there.

Our vision for a community of tiny homes is the grand dream. The dream calls to others of like vision, courage, resources and a willingness to intentionally re-invent. Building "Intentional Community" is a lot of work and building one which meets the needs of individuals with multiple chemical sensitivities is an opportunity to transform the limits of the illness. We have two friends in Tahuya, Washington who have begun to intentionally make changes to their lives to include us. It's a lot of back-and-forth, give-and-take. When we began talking about sharing space and resources we did it with the best of intentions and an open heart, stated up front that it was not our intention to change them into people they were not...does that make sense? We'll introduce them sometime soon, and share the steps we're taking to begin building community.

Your dreams, your needs, your examples and your comments for a gentle on the Earth, safe for Canary lifestyle can make a difference. The first poll we posted here is pau (finished). The question was: "What are your feelings about tiny homes?" Eleven votes were cast. Here are the results:

2=I'm fascinated, in a good way

4=I'm curious, and envision living in one.

5=I'm living in one, or intend to build one/have one built for me

How do you feel about a tiny home community? Have you any experience with Intentional Community?




Documentation

A couple weeks ago I wrote about the "Pesticide Sensitive Individual Application" process. Canaries like me with multiple chemical sensitivities have a process that though not perfect, informs the state of Washington that I am medically diagnosed with a condition that warrants special attention. Once the application is received, The Department of Agriculture's Pesticide Management Department will let me know BEFORE any commercial applicator of pesticides is sprayed/applied next to me. In brief, once a year, a pesticide sensitive individual can complete the "Pesticide Sensitive Individual Application" including his or her name, address, phone number along with the name, address, phone and signature of a licensed medical physician.

Then, the name, phone number and address of the neighbors adjacent to the Canary's property must be included to make this application effective. For me the process of going up to neighbors to introduce myself, inform them of my needs and ask for their understanding and their personal information was the most difficult part. That step of self-responsibility is probably my biggest challenge. Part of living with MCS is the confusion that comes when I'm moving through the physical symptoms of an exposure: brain fog, fear, weakness. With time and support I have learned to comfort myself through these symptoms. This compassion is one of the miracles of life. It works, but it cannot be rushed. Fortunately, I had given myself enough time to get through the symptoms -- yes, like threading the eye of a needle with older eyes, and there on the other side was my courage and the support of a partner who would do almost anything for me. Except he would not do those neighbor visits without my involvment. Pete and I did one neighbor together. It was a significant accomplishment! I asked Pete if he would go to the neighbors who use the laundry dryer sheets without me. That would be a risk not worth taking. He did.

Today, November 28th the application is completed, stamped and being delivered PRIORITY MAIL, so it will get to Olympia, Washington in time for the December 1st deadline. Our neighbors were amiable and understanding, and another lesson in finding the courage to do the things that must be done has been learned. In a perfect world perhaps a registry of pesticide sensitive individuals would be unnecessary because pesticides would be no more, and the acknowledgment that every sentient being is sensitive to pesticides would rule. There is that vision and to that end, we of the Canary-MCS Tribe must keep finding our voice, and do what it takes to fill out the documentation that will give form to that vision.

What do you think about this? Ever have a similar experience?

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Fish and Poi Thanksgiving



We shopped for our Thanksgiving feast yesterday. Uwajimaya is our favorite place to get a hit of shopping that’s almost like being back home. This landmark store is part of the wonderful neighborhood that is China Town and the International District of downtown Seattle. Food – fresh, packaged, cooked/fried/roasted/baked/broiled is on offer in this warehouse size establishment. The sounds, voices and faces make this shopping fun. I always travel with my mask when I shop never knowing what smells might trigger a sensitivity. Some stores are just a ‘no-go’ fortunately Uwajimaya is not one of them. It’s not far from the Kitchenette, and just enough of a jaunt to get us out of house. At least once a month we break the routine of Co-op shopping and find the foods that warm the soul: long rice, Chinese long beans, fresh mochi with black beans, kabocha tempura and of course, poi.

We went looking for kalo, taro root. The big root vegetable is the original Hawaiian soul food, the embodiment of ancestral beginnings and the food from which comes pa`i `ai … poi. Pete loves to steam chunks of peeled kalo like potatoes and would eat it at least once a week if not more. When we got there the kalo was LARGE but already starting to mold not a good way for the precious root to be eaten. Around the corner bags of TARO BRAND Poi filled the shelves. I shouted, “There’s poi!” “That would be fun.” Pete was glad to here it. If the poi is fresh, I simply open the plastic bag, pour a scant maybe quarter cup of filtered water to the poi, squeeze the poi a little and turn the mixture inside out into a waiting bowl. We eat the poi thick rather than runny. Freshly cleaned, bright rock fish caught my eye. I chose two fillets. Cut into thick chunks, steamed with chopped Chinese parsley, sliced white onions and a sprinkle of wakame (dried sea weed) and grated ginger, and the simple and delicious dish is ready. Organic broccoli, carrots and cauliflower also steamed and our feast is complete. I did buy a can of organic pumpkin pie filling from the Co-op thinking I might experiment with something that could bake in our toaster oven … the concoction hasn’t come to me yet. So, we’ll see.

We send you a hearty blessing and give thanks to you, our visitors who may be celebrating a Thanksgiving meal today, or celebrating simply because it’s another day to give thanks.


Mokihana and Pete

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Morning Sun


I awake each morning early enough to greet the sun rise. The sliding glass door of our converted kitchenette faces east allowing for a quick assessment of what the day may bring, sunny day or cloudy day. I honor the sun for the light of the day and worship it for the warmth it brings to my life. For my whole life I have soaked up the heat of the sun thinking it may be possible to store it up for future use only to repeat the process each new day. Obsessive by choice.

I like to measure this time of year with the coming of the winter solstice. Knowing that sunny days will be growing longer once again, gives me hope that the transition from Hawaii to the NW be will one of joy and warm days. Our present life in the kitchenette is good practice for our future life in the Vardo. We do all of the cooking outside on the hotplate and toaster oven. Our access to the bathroom includes a brisk walk outside. In Hawaii we had a wooden furo, like a hot tub, for outside soaking and we will either build one or find a tub and get creative filling it with hot water. Moving back in the spring did help to acclimate by the time winter arrived, however one of the most used pronouncements everyday has been “It’s cold out there”, more of an acknowledgement than being judgmental about it.

For all the doubts and fears I had about adjusting to a colder climate again, having some warm sunny days has renewed my faith in sharing a portion of my indoor life with the outside life, a necessary part of Vardo living.
Pete

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

EA


EA

1. n. Sovereignty, rule, independence.

2. n. Life, air, breath, respiration; fumes ; breeze, spirit.

3. vi. To rise, go up, raise, become erect.

4. vi. To smell. Also ╩╗ea.


Sometimes a post just can't wait to be written, the words string themselves together waiting for me to start up the laptop, and my fingers simply unleash. Other days a post seems to need life breathed into it to come alive, or needs a revision even after it's posted. (Like this one). Today I woke to find a message from my Hamakua friend, Susie. She had news for me, news I might never have known was there. Auwe, how wonderful is that. Especially when the stories are positive and encouraging. Add to that the value of spreading the word about tiny homes and multiple chemical sensitivities and there is a recipe of EA ... sovereignty, life, spirit, breath. When I sit to write it truly is like 'throwing net' from the shallows off of a sandy Island shore. Like Tata Pacheo, our Kuliouou neighbor who could make the finest of throw nets in his back yard, I come to this keyboard and give it my best
F L I N G. What I get back when I huki (pull in), is a gamble. And yet, when I find email and stories that satisfy my hunger, well I keep flinging.


The picture above is a reminder to me when I lapse into selective recall about life without a home being only about suffering. I look at that picture above and know we were on O`ahu for many reasons. Pete took this picture at Kaimana Beach in Waikiki, at my son's uniki (graduation) from Lomi Lomi classes. In his hand he carries our family pohaku ku`i poi (poi pounder), a gift, a passing of a legacy from mother to son to believe nurturing is important. EA, EA.






Monday, November 24, 2008

Building the Vardo: Roof Layering/Preparing for the Copper Roof

Building VARDOFORTWO is a project that challenges Pete's history as a builder. What used to work, isn't right for an MCS safe home. My needs for safety and the lack of information and materials would spin a lesser woman off the edge (okay, it does this woman on many days).
The choices we made for the insulation and layering are examples of making the best choices possible and then turning to the Old Gods to do for us what we can't do for ourselves.
The photo below shows Pete trimming the TuTuff vapor barrier. What you can't see is the thin skin of birch plywood that covers the insulation layer. If there was another choice we would have used it. We used solid white oak to stay clear of plywood throughout the construction. What was needed up on the roof was solid flexibility.
That birch layer is flexible and will give the copper roof a solid foundation upon which to rest.

These two photos move through the 'next layer' of roofing and insulating the VARDOFORTWO.

The second photo from the top: INSULATION. We chose to use recycled denim batting. The denim is dusty to work with. Pete ended up using a respirator to install it. Although it is far less damaging to work with than fiberglass batting it is denim and denim is processed using chemicals and pesticides are used to grow cotton that is not organic. I have been treated and cleared for the denim insulation by my NAET practitioner. The insulation rests on a layer of DENNY FOIL to keep the denim particles contained, and another layer of TUTUFF covers it.
WHEWWWWW!!!
It is one of those choices that came with lots of back and forth movement --we chose foam insulation very early on in the building, but found that was too toxic for us. The off-gassing potential was always there, but we thought we had no better option. When I did the "put a piece of it into a glass jar, close it off for a day, and carefully take a sniff the result was undeniable: NOT THIS!"
I searched again, and found an eco-friendly and safe for me option in WOOL BATTING. This is a great option. Wool is an incredible insulator, tolerable by many of the MCS tribe and if your source can reasonably ship it too you it would be worth exploring. The shipping experience for us turned very negative and costly in more ways than money, and we let the wool option go.


We've come a long way, baby

Good morning. Sunshine's casting shadows through the glass door in the kitchenette, the heater warms this cozy nook of a home and as I peck away on the keys an Alaska Airlines jet, and yet another one flies past from left to right. I'm not in Kailua any more aunty. No, we've come a long way baby.

We got a wonderful email this morning from Carol one of the dozen or so folks who was part of Jay Shafer's first Tiny Home Workshops. She'd just learned about VARDOFORTWO, and spent a little time visiting the blog. The joy she gets from seeing the curved roof of our tiny home in the making connects me to those days at Ocean Song, the retreat center where we dared to believe and conceive of something wonderful. We were in the company of others who came with a spark of something bigger than themselves; inspiration, curiosity, adventure...

That picture above is one of the only photos I took during the months of living in the Subaru. From the warmth of the kitchenette I peek through that window, smile at the peace sticker our friend Nancy designed, and see the reflection of the tall tree--the one in the Kailua library parking lot? Maybe, we can't really remember. What does come to me without thinking is not so much the details of that part of the journey. What does come to me is the sense of knowing how far along we have come.

Creating and sharing VARDOFORTWO was a watery vision when we set up the Subaru for sleeping each night, and yet it was the beginning of something that has taken on shape, form and focus. Thanks for visiting and being part of this journey. There is more to come and we intent to make today a great day.



Sunday, November 23, 2008

Dream Coming True: Week 4 APPRECIATION VS. GRATITUDE

When I started this series of posts called Dream Coming True my inspiration came from reading other people's experiences with attracting abundance into their lives. Akemi Gaines and Jenny Mannion serve as examples of people who create lives of abundance and innovation, and I refer to them often on this blog. Thanks to Akemi I was inspired to take on the challenge of posting a weekly commitment to making dreams come true in a simple yet structured fashion. Jenny Mannion created a treasure of healing resources when she envisioned and birthed the writing project "Heroes of Healing." I visit "Heroes of Healing" often to refresh my self and remember who I truly am. This morning as I prepared to write this post I listened again to the hero of healing who inspires me to recognize the subtle and powerful vibrational difference between APPRECIATION and GRATITUDE. That hero is Abraham, a messenger who speaks through Esther Hicks.


In essence, the hook (the thing that caught my attention and my heart) of difference between using the word, and the vibration of appreciation vs. gratitude came when I heard "Appreciation and love are exactly the same...when you use the word Gratitude you are often looking at a struggle you have over-come...still messing with that vibration (of struggle) a little bit." Building VARDOFORTWO is a dream I value, a rocket fueled with AHI, the fire of transformation. My choice to make lists of appreciation rather than gratitude is inspired by my desire to keep VARDOFORTWO pointed down stream ... in the flow, with the flow. It takes practice for me to appreciate rather than be grateful, 'the struggle' habit is an old one and it shows up often as I live through toxic exposures. It's okay, here I am at the keyboard and VARDOFORTWO, with me and Pete in it are pointing down stream. I'm in the vacinity of hope and can sniff the things for which I am appreciative. Go to Abraham-Esther Hicks for a dose of humor and their take on APPRECIATION.



For now, I have some dream money to spend and a list of things for which I am appreciative.



WEEK FOUR: Dream Coming True



This week I have: $800 to spend on a box full of phone cards that I give away


  1. to friends here in the Pacific Northwest who can't afford to call me because I have an (808) phone number

  2. annonymously at the Salvadorean bakery to folks who need to call home

  3. at the homeless shelter just because

The 10 THINGS FOR WHICH I AM APPRECIATIVE


1. I appreciate smiles from people I don't know.


2. I appreciate libraries.


3. I appreciate the smell of hot apple cider.


4. I appreciate soaking in the tub.


5. I appreciate generous listening.


6. I appreciate the sound of the shore rocks tumbling in the tide.


7. I appreciate the feel of my comfy robe.


8. I appreciate clean, warm sheets.


9. I appreciate a comforting doll.


10. I appreciate Pete.




Saturday, November 22, 2008

Pete's List

Remember Summer (Mokihana photo)
Aloha, the time has come for Pete to contribute to the VardoForTwo, something I have been planning on doing for quite a while. Until now I have always chose to head outside and work on building the Vardo. Maybe with the advent of cold and rainy days, the desire is to be inside, cozy and warm telling my stories. How true considering this is the first winter in fourteen years without the surrounding comfort of tropical breezes and sunny days of Hawaii, which can be a story for another rainy day.

Today I would like to add to the 100 Things Challenge. My list of everything in my possession, most of which I am willing to share, goes something like this:

1 Wedding Ring
2 Composition books
1 Folding TV tray
1 Scale
1 Nylon Food Cooler Carrying Bag
6 Books
1 Chinese Checker Game
1 Deck of Playing Cards
3 Coolers and Ice Packs
2 Yoga Mats
4 Yoga Blocks
2 Yoga Belts
1 Small Box of Mementos; letters, pictures and treasures
2 End Tables
2 Lamps
1 String Christmas tree Lights
1 Slant Board
1 Clothes Iron
2 Pair Shoes
1 Pair Slippers
4 Pair Jeans
8 Shirts
1 Coat
2 Hats
1 Scarf
1 Pair Gloves
2 Sets Long Underwear
4 Pair Socks
3 Shorts
1 Pair Glasses
1 Wallet
1 Check Book
1 Cell Phone and Charger
1 Food Dehydrator
1 Juicer
1 Nylon Bag for making Milk
8 Planting Trays
1 Gallon Glass Jar of Sunflower Seeds
1 Gallon Glass Jar of Wheat Grass Seeds
1 Gallon Glass Jar of Buckwheat Seeds
1 Dozen Quart Jars
1 Box of Hand Tools Old and New
6 Power Tools; Drills and Saws

So far it totals close to 100 favorites, necessities, plenty of what I take for granted, this being the first time I counted most everything. As Mokihana mentioned, a lot of our stuff has found new homes over the years and considering that together we have at least 200 things we are on our way to knowing what will be close to us in the Vardo and what will either tag along with us or find a new home. Thanks for the visit.
A Hui Hou. Pete

Friday, November 21, 2008

Building the Vardo: Roof Preparation; Wall/Framing Details

ROOF PREPARATION:
The picture above shows the roof completely sided with the white oak tongue and groove.
The siding will be the ceiling in the house. The outside of the siding(the side you see from above) will be milk-painted and waxed to seal it from the weather. In later building steps
a 'next layer' of weatherizing will take place, to include insulation and a top-skin to receive the copper roof.

Pre-painting to neutralize.

The decision to use white oak came with knowing we would need to neutralize the tannins (the natural resinous smell) of the wood. Both sides of the siding need to be milk painted to do this neutralizing. (See post "Learn by doing")

Building VARDOFORTWO as an MCS safe home involves attention to detail and conscious choices every step along the way. The cost of a simplified and safe home means it takes more time and a willingness on both our sides to be respectful as we learn what works, and what doesn't. We are building a sustainable lifestyle in a teeny home to be. In so many ways this is contrary to the old American Dream. VARDOFORTWO is probably smaller than a lot of walk-in closets. We aren't building big, we are dreaming big and dreaming innovation.

Take our poll (see it on the left side-bar). Metal Flashing Detail: each of the vardo walls and the two wheel wells are trimmed and fitted with metal to keep the vardo sealed from weather and outside environmental smells. The flashing also secures the framing to the trailer.

Wall/Framing Details: The wind shear bracing is complete on all three walls --back, and two side walls. The four windows have been framed.
The back wall siding is up, and the first of two coats of milk paint is in the works.
At the left edge you can see the TuTuff moisture barrier that enfolds the entire frame. The underside of the siding I'm painting is already 'pre-painted' to neutralize the tannins.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The 100 THINGS Challenge

Photo credit: Mokihana Calizar



We live in a kitchenette, and are building VARDOFORTWO on a 12 foot trailer. There are two of us, and yes we'll both be living in a space that is less than 80 square feet. How will we do it? Good question. Today begins the newest cycle of productivity and forward movement. The three day `ole cycle is over ... and the longest night (the Winter Solstice, Dec 21st) is a month away. It may be a wierd time to consider writing this post, and then again it's probably the best of times to keep my attention on loving the minimalist life we do have. Living with multiple chemical sensitivities makes shopping and purchasing anything an exercise in discernment to say the least. Buying things that won't make me sick is part of the every day. Learning what things are important is the golden ring, the take-away, the blessing.




Pete and I have moved fourteen times in fourteen years. If you've read our twin blog samandsally, you know the fictional flight of the two dears in that story. With very few modifications, Sam and Sal are Us. Each time we moved, stuff was left behind. Each time we moved the emotions involved were multiple/complex/stressful. In zen fashion each move set the stage for answering the question: 'HOW MUCH IS ENOUGH?' Recalling the moves I smile as think of the pieces of furniture that now live with my brother and sister-in-law in Waimanalo; I wonder who is playing my old conga drum in Hilo; does that little boy in Manoa Valley sit on our favorite tiny chair?; does the bamboo and crane screen give Collette joy? I stop myself here and look around the kitchenette ... a few of our favorite things still travel with us and that is the purpose for today's post, the 100 THINGS CHALLENGE.



What are the 100 things I need to live in VARDOFORTWO? If you're up for the challenge, and would like to have some 'minimalist fun' here's a place to start:


1. Take INVENTORY. With a note pad and a pencil and walk through your stuff. If you have lots of stuff, you might want to start one room at a time.


2. MUST HAVES. List all the things you feel you must have. At this point numbering them is up to you. If it scares you, yikes!! to see that the numbers pass '100' don't worry this is your list and no one's watching.


3. GIVE AWAYS. List the things you know you don't need or don't want any more. Clear a place for these things. WHAT A PERFECT TIME TO sort through things that might be great recycled presents.


4. BORDERLINE STUFF. This is the list of 'I can't decides.'



Here's the beginning of my LIST OF 100 THINGS:

(I see this list is a winter list)


1. Austin Air Filter

2. Heater

3. socks

4. socks

5. socks

6. long underwear

7. long underwear

8. long underwear

9. tee shirt

10. tee shirt

11. winter coat

12. warm pants

13. warm pants

14. turtle neck

15. turtle neck

16. turtle neck

17. nebulizer

18. glutithione

19. eye drops

20. sweater

21. sweater

22. warm hat

23. warm hat

24. tea pot

25. favorite mug

26. sweat shirt

27. crockpot

28. toaster oven

29. stove top burner

30. futon altar (my bed)

31. sheet set

32. sheet set

33. silk comforter

34. soup bowl

35. soup bowl

36. soup bowl

37. soup bowl

38. silverware for 4 (it's my list right?)

39. chopping knife

40. chopping board

41. glasses for 4

42. Vitamix

43. waffle iron

44. toothbrush

45. Tropical Traditions Organic Soap

46. baking soda

47. I Can Breathe Masks

48. laptop

49. cotton throw rugs

50. portable c.d. player

51. rechargeable batteries

52. battery charger

53. digital camera

54. hair brush

55. reading lamp

56. reverse osmosis water system

57. bath towels

58. cellphone

59. warm gloves

60. moon calendar

61. meditation tapes

62. prescription sunglasses

63. flashlight

64. comfy robe

65. cloth napkins

66. pillow


Pause ... this is my start. I'm giving myself the month to do this. That'll take me right up to the Winter Solstice on December 21st. If you'd like to join in, let me know how it goes, and we'll see where this takes us.


Here are two links to The 100 THINGS CHALLENGE for inspiration or just for fun:



















Wednesday, November 19, 2008

ALTERNATIVE TO TOXIC DRYER SHEETS

THIS SUGGESTION IS JUST IN...on an `ole pau day when projects begun are reviewed. This post may be just what you're looking for, and it's definitely something we've been praying for. Being willing and able to educate and offer alternatives is an important part of living with the effects of multiple chemical sensitivities. We want to be able to offer an alternative to our neighbor who uses those toxic dryer sheets. Working behind the scenes I found two comments waiting to be moderated. We received a A very brief YET POSSIBLY WONDERFUL comment and suggestion for an alternative: WOOL DRYER BALLS! (See previous post on DRYER SHEET AND FABRIC SOFTENERS ARE LETHAL).


I have never heard of them, so I checked them out. It seems wool dryer balls are a product that can be purchased, but these may be chemically laden as well. A bit more exploration led me here to HOW TO MAKE DO, a site for making home-made felted wool dryer balls, and other things, too. The directions for the wool dryer balls are clear, and include pictures each step of the way.

http://howtomakedo.net/154/make-your-own-wool-dryer-balls



We have a great little yarn shop that's on the way to our favorite Co-op and beach walking trail. I'll be heading there (to the yarn shop, Co-op and beach) today! We'll go through the process of making these wool yarn balls and give you an up-date after we make and use our first batch of WOOL YARN BALLS. If you decide to make these wool dryer balls or have made and used them give us a shout.

Thanks Christina, for the tip. For those of the MCS tribe who handle wool this could be an excellent new tool, and what a wonderful choice for any one wishing to decrease the toxic load period! I mua

Monday, November 17, 2008

'OLE DAYS

Today is 'Ole Kukahi.


"'Ole Ku Kahi, 'Ole Ku Lua, 'Ole Pau(Twenty-first to twenty-third nights)
First, second and last `Ole nights. This is a time that is not recommended for planting or fishing. It is windy and tides will run high. Farmers use this time for weeding. `Ole pau and 'Ole kukahi are the kapu periods of the akua Kanaloa and Kaloa and offering are made with pule(prayer)." -from the website
Hunt N Fish Maui .

I have just taken the tour of the website Hunt N Fish Maui. And wish to acknowledge the the creator of Hunt N Fish Maui, Wes Carbonell and his family. Mahalo nui loa! I surfed the internet seeking information, a way to understand and explain to myself the traditional wisdom Hawaii and the HAWAIIAN MOON CALENDAR. You see although I am a makua o`o (elder in training) and in some eyes, a kupuna (elder) because of my age and experiences I have much to re-discover and learn about traditional wisdom. The regular attention to the phases of the moon and her affect on all else, is wisdom I learn now because I was not taught, or perhaps was not open to learning in times past. The information, stories and pictures found on Wes Carbonell's website are living examples of a family who has remained connected to traditional wisdom in real-time/real-life. I see the children in this ohana and see the wisdom pass from one to the other.

Today is the first of three `ole days. We introduced the `ole days as a time to rest, restore and weed the things we have begun here on VARDOFORTWO. This is one of the ways I commit to practicing what I learn. It's so tempting to keeping going full steam ahead, all the time, with no pause. Auwe, the fisherfolk and makaainana (people of the land) knew better. Okay...Before starting new projects on the blog or on the vardo there is plenty to clean-up, review and make right before i mua (going forward). We will be working behind the scenes, to remain pono (in harmony) with our intention to build a place of hope, innovation and appreciation.

A hui hou, see you in three days, Mokihana and Pete

Sunday, November 16, 2008

I'm going to have a really great day!

It's my birthday. 61 yrs young and I'm going to have a really great day. I've done my TAP OF THE MORNING with Brad Yates to begin today in a positive way, my first birthday gift of the day. Bit foggy outside, but the kettle's hot and my favorite mug is ready for tea et.al. My Uncle Bill greets every one he meets on any given day saying, "Happy Birthday." When I first got that greeting I asked him 'How come?" He told me "The Chinese believe everyday is the beginning of your life. We're Chinese. " Where ever you are, 'HAPPY BIRTHDAY' It's gonna be a really great day.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

PROGRESS ON THE VARDO




The sun is back. We mixed more milk paint to touch up the windows,
finish the second coat on the trim for the rear corners of VARDOFORTWO,
and cover the wheel wells.
She's really gett'n dressed up. We'll be ready for Christmas (in side or not)
Whatduyathink?

Dream Coming True WEEK 3


Aloha. It's still morning here in the Pacific Northwest and I'm on my second cup of tea with coconut milk and honey. Deliciously simple and always appreciated. I looked forward to writing this post for days skipping, as in delightfully moving through the things, people, experiences for which there is appreciation. Time passes so quickly and without stopping to collect all that skipping I could very easily SKIP IT as in 'miss out.'

This series of writing posts about my DREAM COMING TRUE challenges me to attract the best dreams possible. So, as I prepared to write I filled my faithful Salvation Army treasure of a mug with hot water, dunked the tea bag and let it begin to seep. I thought to myself, "If you leave it you will be drawn into the search and then ...cold tea." Well half true, this cup is lukewarm and YES I was drawn into a marvelous morning find. I will add that find to my "List of 10 things I appreciate".


DREAM COMING TRUE Week 3


This week my original $100 dream money has grown to $400 (each week I write a Dream Coming True post my money doubles.)


This week I spend my $400 on: a day trip to Victoria, B.C. to enjoy high tea at the Empress Hotel with Pete.

My "List of 10 Things I appreciate" this week are:


1. I appreciate serendipity. (This link should get you to BRAD YATES, The Wizard of EFT. He was my marvelous morning find, re-introduced to a process forgotten, and a style that is light and joyful.)


2. I appreciate clean air to breathe.


3. I appreciate baking soda.


4. I appreciate migration.


5. I appreciate the ocean.


6. I appreciate the growth and visitors to our twin blogs http://www.vardofortwo.blogspot.com/ and http://www.samandsally-vardofortwo.blogspot.com/. MAHALO NUI LOA KAKOUA! (thank you so much)


7. I appreciate friendships that endure.


8. I appreciate my keen senses.


9. I appreciate laughter.


10 I appreciate Pete.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Building the Vardo: Wiring for electricity, anchoring details, "builder guys", roof prep

Electrical outlets: We are wired for electricity; the outside box pictured below will allow us to 'hook-up' as an RV and/or attached to a main house when we share space and electricity with family and friends.
As a special MCS note, there will be two outlet inside the VARDOFORTWO. They are purposely wired as far away from the sleeping space at the opposite wall. We will use an infrared electric heater and an Austin Healthmate Jr air purifier. Lights will be minimal and magical. Tiny fairy lights (yup, white Christmas lights) will rim the ceiling and one or two small lamps ought to give as enough gentle light otherwise.
The picture above shows the anchoring details used to
bolt the cross members in the roof; also the string and tie approach to checking angles and cinching uprights as Pete put the roof together.
The builder guys: Pete and Max (our window maker) with JOTS who must be in heaven there in his arms.
The roof framing is pau. If you look closely you'll see the hurricane clips that secure the roof to the upright framing. The first glimpse of our front porch starts to show up.
There she is all framed up.
And, the Old Gods have added their blessings to the building of VARDOFORTWO.
See the Ki (ti leaves) at the corner? Each of the four trailer corners wears a group of three ti leaves. Good luck and acknowledgment: we are part of it all. Mahalo

Building the Vardo Framing the walls and roof

The two side walls and the cross pieces for the roof are in place.
Because we are using white oak all the framing is screwed together (rather than nailed). White oak is a very hard wood.
The strings you see dangling from the up-rights are Pete's plumb lines of sorts. A way for him to 'eye-ball' the angles of the walls.
The pictures below show the progress up to the point you see in the top picture.
Second wall framing is going up. It's summer and Pete's in his favorite 'work clothes.'
The framing began with one wall.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Malama pono ... Take care of yourself

Moon Rise November

I am back from Dr. Buscher's office. The thirty minute drive from White Center to Redmond means I get on I-5, head east on H-520 and cross the watery expanse of Lake Washington. If given options I choose to avoid freeways. Weather and traffic conditions were good so I was at my 12:30 appointment just in time. Well, it would have been just in time if 12:30 was the right apointment time. Auwe (alas) I was actually an hour late. On any other day Dr. B would have been at lunch. Funny how the gremlins of time play with us humans, and one of the things that happens with MCS is, a defragmentation takes place and details float (to somewhere) after an exposure.


Yesterday's post triggered the post traumatic stress symptoms of reliving a life-threatening experience. The body-mind and spirit cannot distinguish between past threat and present. I suspected as I wrote yesterday that might happen, and it did. Thankfully I recognized the feelings of grief that come from these traumas, and called in my support team. My therapist is available to me by phone, our appointments for the past several months take place via cellphone. They are LIFESAVING. Without this kind and nurturing connection the grief of re-visited trauma would lie in wait and trip me up a good one when I am already vulnerable. There was no scheduled appointment yesterday, I just called. She was there, and had a minute. My conversation with "K" defused the sadness and switched on the light of care that is essential. "So, you are taking very good care of yourself today," is one thing "K" shared with me. I sat looking out at the roaring sea at Alkai Beach and let her assurances pat me on the back and empty some of the grief that is inevitable with MCS. **


Dr. David Buscher has the face of a character out of one of those endearing tales where neat and tidy hair never enters the page (if you're reading), or screen (if your're watching). I was surprised when I first set eyes on him, and chuckled inside when I saw him today. We haven't seen each other for more than a year. "Mokihana," he said rounding the corner of his office beyond, "I wondered whether you'd left Hawaii." Dr. B is the man who 'officially' diagnosed me with Multiple Chemical Sensitivities, said the illness would change my life. Today we caught up, in a brief yet essential session. My purpose for this appointment was to get the signature of a physician licensed in Washington to complete The Pesticides Registry document. I was an hour late and yet we were both in that office at 12:30. As I talked he scribbled on his blank sheet of paper, nodding and giving me that facial language that is inimitably Dr. B. I felt assured again that as much as possible I was caring for myself and playing this game with all the cards I held. "Thanks for stopping by today," he said after I get his signature and he updated my chart.

It's important to know I can take care of myself, and even more important for a Scorpio Sun/Capricorn Moon woman like myself, to know when to call in the reserves.



Malama pono ... take care of yourself.

**I have attached a link to CIIN (Chemical Injury Information Network's website. This resource was where I first found my therapist's ad for counseling that addresses the issues of grief and MCS. This non-profit group is an advocacy and education enterprise, staffed by people with MCS for people with MCS. You'll need to join/become a member, but a member simply means making a very reasonable yearly donation.

KOLEA

Kolea

Kolea aku, kolea mai

Golden Plover

Golden Plover goes away

Golden Plover comes (back)


These simple and familiar to Island listeners lyric is poetry from a beautiful Hawaiian mele.

The Kolea is one of Earth's long distance travelers, a migrator who spends spring and summer in the tundra of Alaska nesting and making babies but journeys south in November to feed and feast on Hawaiian island bugs and worms.

Scientists have documented Kolea's cross-Pacific migration to be a history of ions. Island story remembers Kolea as a member of family.

'This guy was at lunch.'
That was the message I got from my son attached were three pictures of this recent long-distant traveler, fresh from his nearly 3,000 mile, non-stop flight from the tundra.

Kolea are our totem animal, perhaps to my Hawaiian spirit he is my adopted 'aumakua a guardian to the nature of me that loves and needs to venture.

Life is full of adventure. Challenges? Sure there are plenty.

Where does the courage and compass to fly such distances live?

Instinct. Stardust.
We would love to hear where you find courage, and the compass to live your life?



Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Pesticide Sensitive Individuals

In 1992, the Washington State legislature passed a law which allows pesticide sensitive individuals to submit information to the department, be placed upon a registry, and be contacted by the applicator prior to a pesticide application to a landscape or right-of-way which is adjacent to their principal place of residence.

Here is the link to the Washington State Department of Agriculture (sorry, I forgot to put it here earlier)http://agr.wa.gov/PestFert/Pesticides/SensitivityRegistry.htm

  1. The deadline for completing and filing this application is DECEMBER 1st, 2008.

  2. Your application must include the signature of physcian licensed in the State of Washington.

  3. The names, addresses and phone numbers of your adjacent neighbors will need to be part of the application.


I am in the process of completing this application, even though our "principal place of residence" may, and in reality will change. Our mobile hermitage the VARDOFORTWO stretches the context of the "principal place of residence" coda, and yet I'm here to tell you this law is a step in the positive direction. And I am so thankful to know I can take the steps to be informed before any pesticides are applied.

One of the major reasons for our life as fugitives from a chemically dangerous world is PESTICIDE USE AND MISUSE. One of the last places we attempted to rent on O`ahu was a beautiful two-bedroom cottage in Ka`aawa, on the North Shore. This is difficult to write. It brings up post traumatic memories of the event that led to us fleeing the rental. But, it is one of those memories that fuels my motivation to share and learn from experience.

Three days after moving into the Ka`awa cottage, we woke to see the city road maintenance truck driving up the small rural road that fronts the neighborhood. The wind was blowing at a steady gust, a young man stood on the rear bumper of a spray truck. Without forewarning, the pristine warmth of an early morning sunrise was dumped with Roundup as the tank of liquid was sprayed along the roadside within a foot of our driveway. Survival mode activity kicked in: I sealed all the windows, put on my carbon filter mask. My mind raced through the emergency check-list in my head for the things I knew I must take with me. I had thirty minutes before the Roundup would seep into the louvered windows and make me sick. Further details of this Ka`aawa episodes aren't important, and I admit to write and recall more will make me sick.

We began a life living in the car parked in driveways, front lawns and beach parks after this experience, so completing an application such as this is a major change in the right direction. There was very little response to all my phone calls and letters written to the mayor of Honolulu, council people and legislators. The laws and rights to safety as they relate to the community with Environmental Illnesses and Multiple Chemical Sensitivites are scant. Disability Laws still fall short of including MCS as a consistent and bonifided 'condition' for services and recognition. Making changes to the System while dealing with the physical trauma of a pesticide exposure is difficult at best.

There are organizations and blog sites that identify and track the laws, studies and changes to the way chemicals are manufactured, marketed and applied. I've listed a few links that have served us in the past and links I have recently discovered:

Beyond Pesticides http://www.beyondpesticides.com/

MCS America http://www.mcs-america.org/

The Canary Report http://www.thecanaryreport.com/

Chemical Injury Information Networkhttp://www.ciin.org/


What is important today is if you're a Washington State resident and are sensitive to pesticides, this registry process is a major tool to have in your corner. It doesn't exist in all states in America and it should be. For now I'm getting on the registry and when VARDOFORTWO moves, I'll let the State of Washington Department of Pesticide Management know where I am.


Many thanks to my friends in the MCS support group here in Seattle for sharing this pesticide registry information with me. You serve such a vital function, and I appreciate all of you very much.



Be well, Mokihana

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Welcome and thanks for visiting

(Aloha Living Bento ... plate lunch special & a feast of thanks for you!)

The new MAP LOCATOR on our blogs tells us you are visiting from places as close to us as Bellevue, Wa. and as far away as places like Lima, Peru and The Netherlands. It makes my heart happy to see the purple heart out there on the Islands, knowing eh...Hawaii is in the house. Yipppee. We are SO EXCITED to know you're finding VARDOFORTWO and twin blog SAMANDSALLY.


Thank you all very much. We hope something we're doing here adds to your journey, and look forward to any and all comments you have as we continue to build the vardo. Hope grows with attention and appreciation. We appreciate all of you.


Mahalo nui loa kakou, Mokihana and Pete

FIRST WINTER




The rains are back, so plans for mixing paint to do trim and touch-up will have to wait. Weather forecasts say maybe Thursday and Friday will be a clear day. So ... we adjust. We arrived in Seattle in early May of this year (2008), needing a stretch of time to level off from life on the road and on the run. The seasons have changed and today we approach our first winter on the continent in fifteen years. Building VARDOFORTWO is a huge dream made up of a billion tiny details. We don't exactly fly by the seats of our pants, and yet a precise plan doesn't work for us.


Knowing what IS important is essential, and though it's been fifteen years since either of us have lived with a winter that is not Hawaiian we have collective wisdom that gets us where we need to be.




PETE'S IN...that's one of the most important things about building. Get the walls and the roof up before the rains (and whatever else) come. The picture in this post gives you a glimpse at the inside of VARDOFORTWO.

  • If you look closely you'll see the beautiful arch in the roof.

  • Notice the WHITE 'walls' behind Pete? This is the vapor barrier, we use a product called TUTUFF.

  • Diagonal steel braces(see them against the vapor barrier?) are nailed in to provide insurance against wind sheer when we move VARDOFORTWO, and also gives the home stability when we are 'parked.'
  • The vardo is a one room home, no walls will separate the bed(room) from the rest of the space. Like many traditional designs our vardo will have a raised platform at the back of the house, where our Soaring Heart Natural Bed (eco wool and organic cotton futon) will be. The futon will remain open (not folded during the day). A safe sleep on a comforting bed is A PRIMARY NEED. We're building around that need.

  • The kitchen and bathroom will be either: outside or shared with the family/friends who share their stationary home and facilities.



  • The process of sharing space, learning how to communicate and collaborate, and the simplified style of being together in the VARDOFORTWO is a story in the making. We have two friends who are working with us to be that family who share their land and their lives. These are special people you'll get to know as VARDOFORTWO grows.


For now, enjoy the first peek INSIDE our tiny home in the making. And as Pete said as I snapped his picture this morning, "Welcome to my world."


Monday, November 10, 2008

PROGRESS ON THE VARDO: Windows trimmed & waxed



The sun is out, and the wind is blowing in from the south. After almost a week of rain in different degrees, Pete's been working without any tarp tenting. The two side walls of VARDOFOR TWO are completely sided, painted and waxed.

The pictures included in this post give you a look at the two different sized windows, dressed up in their Torii (Japanese style entry gateway). We love curves and love the two different sized windows on each side wall.(one small, one tall)Everything we do is a free-hand expression of something we see in our minds. The size and curves Pete shapes onto templates and then we play at the look of things, over and over until we both agree, "I like it! FUNKY." Funky is what we've been for most of our life together and the description seems to follow wherever and whatever we do. It began clear to Pete (quicker than it did to me) that buying plans for building the vardo wouldn't work for us.
IF YOU GO BACK TO THE POST ON NOVEMBER 8th YOU'LL SEE HOW THE PAPER WINDOW TEMPLATES TRANSLATED TO THE WINDOWS HERE.

Like the rest of the woodwork throughout the vardo, the windows and the window trim are made from solid white oak. The finishing: Homestead House Milk Paints that we either bought and used right out of the bag or in the case of the walls I fiddled with a combination of 'Ochre' and 'Straight Yellow' to get the golden yellow you see in the pictures. The red is 'Voyaguer'.
The side walls three coats of hand-rubbed Beeswax Finish. This finish is very silky, and easy to apply. It gets glossy when there's plenty enough. Pete's working in a second coat of beeswax to the trim.

The picture of the single window below shows the extra work Pete did to caulk(Safecoat) and seal the windows before trimming them out.

WHAT'S NEXT:

1. Finishing up the wall trim under the roof over-hang.

2. Preparing for the roof that is scheduled to be here late this week.

3. Shoring up the inside beams before the roof is in place.

4. Everything INSIDE .....

5. Waiting for the front Dutch Door

6. Painting the facia (the roof trim pieces on all four sides of the roof)
Throughout this week's posts I'll give you more pictures of the Building of the VARDOFORTWO, catching you up with things like: insulation-what we used and why; why we chose the windows we chose, vapor barriers, and the structural and support details that Pete has tended to. It's a grand project and lots of loving work.







Sunday, November 9, 2008

Whoops! This just in

Before a walk, here's a link to Susie Collins' (Editor of The Canary Report) letter to President Elect Obama. Least I forget why we're here building VardoForTwo.
http://www.thecanaryreport.org/2008/11/08/a-letter-to-president-elect-obama/#comment-1364

EASY START SUNDAY

One of my favorite things is a cup of hot tea and honey. When there was very little, there was tea and honey. Now the journey continues, there is more and here I am writing from the edge of my Futon Altar in the company of a cup of Decaf Earl Gray with coconut milk and honey. Pete's up and at 'em, cleaning the car of all the beautiful red Japanese maple leaves that have decorated "Scout."
We're heading out for a morning in West Seattle to walk, buy a jug of our favorite apple cider and get our fresh salmon fix from the cool guys at the West Seattle Farmer's Market. This market maybe one of those that ends in November? Anyway, some fresh air (which does come with the generous rains) and movement will do me good. My man the tall one gets a workout climbing up and down those ladders, it's me who needs to get out to move.

Easy start to Sunday. Glad for that. How are you starting your Sunday?
A hui hou, Mokihana

Saturday, November 8, 2008

DREAM COMING TRUE EDITION 2


Last Saturday I began a series of posts called "Dream Coming True." With the inspiration I found on Akemi Gaines' website Yes to Me, I began this abundance and wealth attracting exercise. (Check out last week's post to see the beginnings of this project...again, I know there's a way to link to an old post. When I get it, you will, too.)


Once a week I make a post that does 3 things:

1. I state in clear and positive language my intention to spend DREAM MONEY on something that makes my heart happy. My intention will be as clear and specific as possible. Every week I do a DREAM COMING TRUE post my original $100 doubles.



2. Each week I make a list of "10 things I appreciate". Things, people, gifts all count here. This "appreciation list" is not so different from "gratitude lists" ... although there is a subtle and powerful difference that I am testing out.



3. Each week I take the time to write this post I am commiting to action, and doing more than 'thinking' about how I'd spend my abundance. At least that how I see this DREAM COMING TRUE.

WEEK 2 Dream Coming True: $200 of Dream Money

This week I spend my Dream Money on a pair of beautiful warm boots that are free from strong smelling off-gassing, or easily aired for use this winter.
10 things I appreciate this week are:

1. MCS bloggers, including me. (click on this link to THE CANARY REPORT for an incredible resource!)


2. My writing skills.


3. NAET treatments.


4. Hawaiian music.


5. Electricity.


6. Hot tea and honey.


7. Ole days.


8. Unscented soaps.


9. Long underwear.


10. Pete.












About BUILDING THE VARDO The First Days



Please stay with me as I learn to navigate and use the tools of Blog Land. I know there's a way to create a slide show of our progress...but, I'm not there yet. For today, the 6 pictures in the previous post are the first days of building.


FROM LEFT TO RIGHT (top row)

1. The trailer arrives. It's an IRON EAGLE single axle 12 foot trailer with a break-away braking system, made in Oregon. Pete chose it because after a year of looking because it has a load capacity that will give us approximately 3,500 lbs of actual vardo weight; and a single axle will allow us more maneuverability when we need to git!
2. Foundational Studs: All solid white oak, fastened mainly with screws. White oak is very hard, so nails break or don't penetrate. At this point of our building we used a low-voc clear sealant to protect the oak. Pete eventually began getting head aches from using the finish, so in the weeks to come we both decided 'green was not enough'. We would later find HomesteadHouse milk paint and use it to seal the framing.
Second Row
3. Another view of the foundational studs. This time you can see if you look closely, that Pete has put in foam insulation in between the studs. THIS INSULATION WILL BE REMOVED BEFORE WE FINISH THE FINAL FLOORING. This do and undo process is a reality of building for my MCS needs. We do the best we can, and then when we find that we have made a mistake (FORTUNATELY) we stop, re-think and find another solution that is better. In this case I found that when I 'sniff tested' that foam insulation, after being muscled tested weeks prior, the foam just about knocked me off my feet.
4. THE SHEET METAL UNDER-BELLY should have been pictured earlier, before the studs were in place. Oh well, we've learning ... The sheet metal under-belly is screwed to the frame of the trailer and silicone caulked to keep road gooze from coming into the vardo. The insulation that we will put in (to replace the foam) will rest on top of it.
Third Row
5. A VISIT to Jay Shafer's Tumbleweed Tiny House in the middle of our first days of building the Vardo. Jay was on a road trip along the W. Coast gathering momentum for the Tiny House Revolution. We saw him at Habitat for Humanity in Seattle.
6. PAPER WINDOW Templates. Everything we did in the construction of VardoForTwo began in our imagination, and then went to paper templates. This picture is what happens when you use brown craftspaper and DennyFoil to make a concept more real.
Little by little we will add more BUILDING THE VARDO photos and descriptions, and then ... a slide show will happen.

Building the Vardo THE FIRST DAYS


























Hover over the images for descriptions of what you see.

NEW LINK to a LifeSaver and Safety Net

The Masked Avenger ... a fitting name for this writer and sister MCSer, this author and blogger is someone I discovered (and forgot about until yesterday) while living from the Subaru. Public libraries were a place of refuge for us when few public places were safe from smells from hell. And, even some libraries are either musty and moldy or too new with formaldyhde off-casing carpets etc. etc. STILL, PUBLIC LIBRARIES are one of this country's finest example of infrastructure and services that truly serve the masses.



This site is an excellent source of practical advice/direction/connections for those living with Multiple Chemical Sensitivities and Environmental Illness. The Masked Avenger has a sense of humor. Her recent post about "The Rotational Diet" is funny, while offering an option for dealing with the food sensitivities that often are at the base of one's ability to regularly detoxify the body from the environment which cannot be controlled; ie. someone else's choices.



She doesn't post often, but her archives are rich. Read her list of posts and click where you find an issue of importance or interest. Her resources and research are very useful, too. I highly recommend this blog, and obviously Google does too, since her site comes up first when you search "multiple chemical sensitivities blog."

Friday, November 7, 2008

Back at it


Aloha,


I'm back on the page. The four days of Ole were full of cleaning and clearing and reviewing what has already begun:




1. Since it's been raining and raining, little outside vardo work could be done so Pete (who always keeps a great construction site) gathered scraps, restacked the oak siding, and reinforced the ropes that hold tarps over the vardo.


2. On one of the four days when a bit of sunshine warmed things up, Pete rubbed in a second coat of beeswax finish to the two side walls.


3. He also caulked all the exterior open seams, around the corners, windows and the roof (using AFM SAFECOAT Caulk ... a low voc, water-based caulk; more tolerable for MCS tribe; it does have its limitation, but we have opted again on the side of 'less petroleum-based products')


Our goal with the caulk is two fold: keep the vardo as water tight as possible so the siding doesn't buckle; and, keep the outside smells like wood smoke from seeping into the vardo.


4. Yesterday we worked inside the apartment, cleaning up the rooms that store the tools, paperwork, powered milk-paints, and supplies. Even with the very minimal life we live stuff stacks up. So, on Ole Pau (the fourth night of the ole cycle) it felt good to touch everything we have, decide what to do with each, and put it where we can find it again.


5. Rest and Recoup. The exposure to the dryer sheets left me weakened. As I posted earlier those dryer sheets are lethal. My weekly visit to Chulan Chiang my NAET practitioner identified my PITUATARY GLAND (in the middle of my forehead) was over-burdened. We worked on clearing and reinforcing that part of the brain.


6. Behind the scenes connections: I have made connection with Rae Enslin and Jay Shafer both of these folk are inspirational and instrumental in our building VardoForTwo. Rae has linked us to her site, and Jay's blog now makes comments about our vardo. Thank you Rae and Jay.