Thursday, December 31, 2009
Hauoli Makahiki Hou every one. Healthy and Happy Times be yours in this new year. Thank you for visiting, thanks for your comments, your email, your support and the inspiration we get by continuing to show up for the another day on Mother Earth. Let's treat her well this year, how about that!
Blessings and Aloha,
Mokihana and Pete
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Given the condition of our lives at the end of 2007 and the beginning of 2008, the structure or boundaries given by the celestial skyscape became a treasure chest of coping skills a source of adjusting without losing the essential best of selves. We learned to use the 'ole nights as a time to double-check our choices for building materials/slow down our pace to make sure we weren't setting ourselves up to shoot ourselves in the foot/re-connect our emotional committments/note the gifts/grieve the losses and relax. Throughout the life of our blogging here on VardoForTwo and the flock of other blogs I maintain, the 'ole days and nights are times for no new posts. Instead, I visit other sites, do writing of another kind, turn more inside and see how I'm doing keeping my promises (to myself and to any others).
Today I visited one of my recent favorite bloggers Donna Cunningham, continuing to mine the treasure of information this teacher, astrology and writer has amassed in her 40 years of service. There is plenty there at Skywriter, and today I found this:
"Using the moon sign to your advantage" This article confirmed the feelings, and the energy I have to communicate. Gemini governs communication. Yesterday this same sense of needing to write (two good long posts, a very meaningful phone conversation with my counselor) and now there's still plenty of writing primed to spill onto the blog and a new story is ready to continue.
In yesterday's posts I thread a common theme, a pet theme for me for many years: adjusting rather than adapting. In my experiences of moving into and out of new environments for more than forty years, it's a great place to be when a gal gets that she can still remain a tropical wahine at heart, and just layer up with long underwear when the temperatures dip into the teens. Or, as my experiences with the challenges of living with MCS teach me that my physical condition is caused by low (and large) levels of toxic chemicals and require ADJUSTMENTS not ADAPTATION it is so helpful to enlist every source available and affordable to me. Astrology is one of those sources. Combining our established routine of observing and being in sync with the Moon energy during the 'ole cycles with being in sync with the daily moon signs is a next step, a next adjustment and coping skill that just might get me in the flow.
Donna Cunningham's article (with the link above) ends with this paragraph:
... People sometimes wonder how I get so much accomplished and yet work so little. One way that happens is that for all the years I’ve been involved with astrology, I’ve consciously worked with the energies of the current Moon sign rather than try to force my work into rigid agendas and to do lists. When I flow with the Moon, the work flows.
Click here to listen to Ella Fitzgerald singing BLUE MOON ... classy!
Click here to read the story of Jacki who will marry on the BLUE MOON ... precious and empowered by love!
Flowing, classy, precious and empowered what a wonderful wish for the BLUE MOON.
Love to you all, aloha nui loa kakou,
Mokihana and Pete
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Mahina is becoming fuller and brighter every evening, and is nearly as present during the day as she is when the sky is absent of the sun. It will be a full moon on New Year's Eve, and a Blue Moon to boot. That means December and the year 2009 cycles around with a lot of potential. Life from the vardo continues to teach Pete and me to appreciate what is important. The internal work we must do to keep aware of the successes in our wee life is fueled by the energy I receive because I tune to the energy of the moon. Second hand light is different from the brightness of the Sun and yet without it I would miss the nurturing messages that are needed to steady myself from the glaring differences that are a life based on this Economy of Wee. It is important to document the truth of the challenges and the victories of life reassembled by exposure to chemicals. Bloggers are having an incredibly powerful influence of what I'm calling 'second hand light' ... transparency of truth is showing itself everywhere. I take to the word and write a variety blogs because there are so many ways to tell our story. In October of 2008, Susie Collins' author and editor of The Canary Report contributed an article for Blog Action Day. I've clipped excerpts from Susie's article to frame the reality of thousands who live with the everyday challenges of life with Multiple Chemical Sensitivities. From that article, Collins' wrote:
The aim is to raise awareness and trigger a global discussion. Blog Action Day 08’s topic is POVERTY. Here is my contribution.
Coping with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity is a challenge on every front in a person’s life. It impacts employment, housing, social activity, personal relationships, personal care, eating habits, exercise, recreation, and leisure. Health care becomes confusing and disorienting because medical doctors do not recognize MCS and therefore do not know how to help. To add insult to injury, some MDs believe MCS is psychosomatic, and either dismiss complaints or send the patient off to the shrink...
But a cure for MCS is most likely going to be elusive. After all, MCS is not a disease or allergy, it’s a reaction to low level poisoning from toxic chemicals...
So you can see how MCS can catapult a person into poverty. When forced to leave employment because the air is too toxic to breathe, there is no paycheck...And a life on that edge can very quickly spiral into poverty...
This is why too many people with MCS are sleeping in cars or in aluminum trailers in a friend’s back yard. Many who can’t find safe housing or employment hunker down, strip down, go zen, go without, and struggle to adapt to the newfound state of limited resources. This is the world of poverty, and if anyone with MCS thinks this scenario isn’t a heartbeat away, they are fooling themselves. There is no safety net for people with a health condition not recognized by the government or mainstream medical community...
The Canary Report was one of the first places I turned when Pete and I arrived in Seattle after our months of living on the road, in our car. Through the early connection with the growing community of MCSers I learned more about this condition that had changed our lives. Since that initial cyber-connection, The Canary Report has become broader and bigger with an active voice as well as a safe place for seekers of information, comfort and a collective sense of being supported. And VardoForTwo both the blog and our tiny home teach us how important it is to make friends with time and make time for the moon. As Mahina grows in her illumination with the double-whammy of the Blue Moon I'd like to leave a few of the things we do as a result of "strip(ping down, go(ing) zen, and go(ing) without" not as a form of adaptation to a new version of our former way of being in the world. Instead, the Time of Wee has given us valuable insight and preparation for a future coming up very soon when stripping down, going zen and going without will be THE way.
Here are two things we do on a common day or night from VardoForTwo.
Oil-swishing or oil-pulling and baking soda brushing.
One of the first things to go when your income and your savings are done, is health care insurance and dental care period. Early in the year, we chose food and gas money over health insurance. When I had my last dental check-up with a dentist who was mcs-sensitive and responsive, I was able to pay for the teeth cleaning and initial exam, got sick from the x-ray and from the estimate for the work she out-lined. There is no way for us to pay for the replacement work or the bridges she recommended. Instead, almost ten months ago I began swishing with organic sunflower oil as a way to cleanse the bacteria from my teeth, mouth and gums. I was brushing with unscented coconut oil soap until a couple months ago, when I became sensitized to the soap. So now, I use a very diluted water brushing with baking soda. My NAET practitioner recommended this as an alternative to the dental work I could not afford.
I swish with oil first thing in the morning and last thing at night. The theory and concept for the swishing is here ... I continue to do it because it calms the sensitivities in my teeth, draws the bacteria from my mouth and offers me an alternative I can afford. It's something I can do, doesn't harm me and that matters to my sense of taking care of myself. There may come a time when more needs to be done to care for my teeth. That's not now.
Clothes and shoes
The clothes I own fits in a wire basket under the futon or on the walking stick I use for a clothes hanger in the corner of the vardo. Pete has a wire basket too plus the basement in our friends' home where he keeps his 'for work' clothes purposely separate from the safe haven of our vardo. A pile of five sweaters has just come into Pete's life ... recycled into his life from our friend Doug. The sweaters will need to be washed and aired clear. They have a minimal scent to them, so that is promising news.
I wash my clothes in the shower. The laundry in our friends' home isn't safe for me, so I spend a couple hours two or three times a week hand washing with hot filtered water and baking soda. It's meditative, really good exercise and becomes a routine: when I'm down to one change of clothes, it's time to wash. Drying my wet clothes takes two days, so that's where the planning is essential. Dryers don't work for me. Pete can use the washer up stairs. He dries his clothes on a large metal rack claimed from the old Bon Marche before it became Macy's Department Store. Tonight, a box came for us. It was a gift from my son. The Wonder Washer, a hand washer that I will be able to use to go from shower washing to pressure washing. No electricity just churning and then hand wringing the wet clothes.
We each own a pair of boots. My New Balance boots are trustworthy and serve me well after five years. Pete has a new pair of boots and two muck- abouts that keep him going. It's not a lot, it's just enough.
Safety nets for folks living with MCS are hard won. Friends and family are tested to their limits to offer what we truly need. With our VardoForTwo the comfort and assurance of a separate space is a valuable reality. Our friends here in the Mill Town are making the adjustments to their daily life while continuing to use chemicals and fragrances. We adjust. We do not adapt to the choices because that would not be a boundary it would be losing the seed of myself that must remain true to my needs. That is a big challenge ... seeing that adjusting is different from adapting. I have written about that many times and continue to see the value of making adjustments without adapting. Like frogs who estivate to weather a change in climate, the frog does not become something else, the frog draws into itself and allows the body temperature to function until the climate changes back.
With each new encampment Pete and I learn a little or a lot about what it takes to live with others. We learn that this Time of Wee is as much about riding the wave ahead of the collective, pioneering in a fashion. We are living in the light of the moon with less stuff than most, and more challenges than the majority for now. The coming time of Pluto's occupany in the constellation of Capricorn will test more of the collective to live with Wee. Stripping down and going zen or going without are not bad practices. In fact, with practice they will become to way more of Earth's people will need to live to shift with the cosmic gears.
Can you relate to the need to estivate or zen down?
Click here to read a piece called "Sense your place."
Sunday, December 27, 2009
Saturday, December 26, 2009
Do you offer yourself as the present of presence? Are you given that same present?
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
The newest 'Ole Cycle of the Moon begins today and lasts for four days. This is a time of review and finishing what has been done, tidying up and weeding through the active days since the last 'Ole Cycle. With Christmas Day part of this cycle of the 'Ole Moon, I thought I'd leave the lyrics to one of my most favorite Caroles in Hawaiian and English. In Hawaiian, this mele is a lullaby to me, and something to sing with a large group on Christmas Eve while holding single candles under an Island sky.
From our vardo we send wishes of peace and joy to all our friends, family and readers.
Po la`i e, po kamaha`o,
Ka makuahine aloha e
Me ke keiki hemolele e
Moe me ka maluhia lani
Moe me ka maluhia lani
Peaceful night, wonderful night,
The beloved mother
With the holy child
Sleep in heavenly peace.
Sleep in heavenly peace.
Monday, December 21, 2009
Saturday, December 19, 2009
I will tell you truthfully I have never like jackhammers. Until now. It's one more of those things that go into my 'never say never' bucket. I know it's a simple and one time experience that doesn't count for a 'cure'. For now, the visualization is making room for new belief systems and supporting that Vitamin B 12 and Deproloft (Vit D and serotonin) plan at work for my well-being. From an astrological stand-point, I have major Capricorn working throughout my chart and my life (I have Moon in Capricorn, Capricorn was on the rise when I was born and Pluto is in Capricorn for another 13 yrs.). The article below begins with this:
"With Pluto’s recent entry into the sign Capricorn, some of that sign’s most incapacitating qualities have rapidly taken over mass consciousness. Many of us are focusing on fear and repetitive negative thoughts, anticipating the worst, and holding tight to rigid, crystallized strategies that may have worked over the years but won’t serve us in the current crisis. People with important placements in Capricorn (the Sun, Moon, or Ascendant in that sign or several planets there) seem to be feeling it most acutely. Fear and negativity are highly contagious, and so those who live or work with–or especially for–Capricornians are absorbing their anxiety like second hand smoke..."
CLICK HERE for DONNA CUNNINGHAM'S article "The Ultraviolet Jackhammer ... a tool for demolishing negative beliefs"
Thursday, December 17, 2009
One of the best things about living in Everett, isn't the Kimberley Clarke paper mill. One of the best things about living in Everett is the SNO-ISLE FOOD COOP, just a couple dozen blocks south on this street of encampment. On a good day Pete is able to ride his bike with his back pack and pick up some goodies there at the Coop. On most days, I'm working on keeping clear and clean from the possible and probable chemical warfare from the peeps and the streets. Still, the proximity of this long standing and successful people-owned food cooperative is a very, very good thing for this town and this county.
We're keeping the holiday thing low-key, with gifts recycled treasured and i'm thinking about how to have a sidewalk solstice cider party for the neighbors around here. I've got two glass jugs of organic apple juice, cinnamon sticks and ...
What else goes into good homemade hot apple cider?
This post started out because we are putting together some Northwest treats for my son and his girlfriend. A jar of small batch made organic peanut butter called CB's PB (cool since my son's initials and small kid time nickname is 'CB) seems to call for some homemade jam or jelly to go with that. Our tiny kitchen setup doesn't make for jam making, so I thought ... 'CO-OP'.
While looking for homemade jam at the local coop I found this very cool link to a contest (already complete with winners!) for "my local coop ROCKS videos" The First Place video is very fun and filled with a great message. Click on the link and enjoy the bounty of a central Wisconsin winner. And, rather than buying jam off the shelf my friend Lois (from just outside my vardo window) called while I was finishing up this post. I asked her "Where would I find some local or homemade jams we could send to CB?" "Hmmm... wanna send him some of Christina's canned preserves? She puts all this stuff up every year what's she gonna do with it all!" So, the gift fairies are making magic with black berry jam to go with local organic peanut butter. Small delights, local treasures.
Things are lightening up, reaching out for help, surrendering to the reality of life as Human and peanut butter and jam sandwich makings for someone ya love.
And do tell me what you add to apple juice to make tasty hot apple cider, in the comments. Thanks!
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Winter Solstice is less than 7 nights away. Our journey as old ones living from the dandelion colored wheelie home will find us welcoming the promise of longer days and shorter nights ... more light in this tiny nest with muted light. Coming through the darkness I am grateful for the truth of connection with people and matters that are of value. An email from a sister MCSer told me of her courageous air travel to be with her dear aging mother. Her first trip, a long one, a toxic and fright inducing plane ride was as expected difficult, exhausting and debilitating and she was without doubt doing the absolute best thing by being with her parent. A first visit in 8 years. There is courage and focus of right intent. Powerful medicine.
JOTS our tamed wild White Center kitty of one year past is becoming tamed and lulled by the warmth of an upholstered office chair and a warm place to eat, drink and be inside. She has never liked cold (do any cats?) and cold and wet together are conditions she would soon dismiss from her domain. It has been six weeks here in the Mill Town, and the wildness in the kitty and we needs to be remembered. In kitty's case, after hours of sleeping on the upholstered commuter chair Pete lifted her totally relaxed black rug of a self up and ooshed her out the door. By the time I had cleaned up the bowls from our delicious stew of tasty chicken and beet greens, wrapped what was left of the done to perfection winter squash I too was ready for a bit of the wildness that this town offers. I can be in the basement kitchenette for no longer than an hour at a time before I feel the need for outside. I imagine and remember the clear and oxygen thick nights back on the ledge, and step out into the night that is Everett. It's been raining and that has cleared the air of some of the mill smell. Rounding the side of the house, I stepped between the tiny balcony on our friends' home and the lanky ledge that divides the two tightly built view lots. As if both JOTS and I were back in the dark nights walking the path on the Ledge, the black streak of feline movement was familiar. She sprang from beneath the balcony and took the lead. She always likes to lead while on the trail. Wildness not so completely lost to the pampered times on an upholstered chair.
Wildness is resilient and her roots run deep. Thank the gods! Here is a wonderful link I discovered after a visit to Julie Genser's place Planet Thrive. The link introduced me to a wonderful herbal wise woman, and the post was about DANDELION. I thoroughly enjoyed the writing and the reminder of one of our most favorite of wild flowers. I have snipped a small bit of this beautifully written characterization of the wild and beautiful DANDELION, click on the link above to read the entire article. What a wonderful talisman of wildness to take into the week of the darkest nights just before the promise of more light to come. From Medicine Woman Kiva Rose:
...In many ways, Dandelion is the very definition of insistent wildness, of life that survives and thrives anywhere, anytime, anyhow. Perpetually persecuted, it still adapts to nearly any climate, seeds itself in concrete, rock crevices, chemical-laden yards, vacant lots, and even in a sprinkle of earth and rock tossed atop a slab of metal. Dandelion is persistence, joy in the face of adversity and bliss even while broken-hearted. Dandelion is also sunshine with teeth, for her very name is from the French Dent de lion, meaning teeth of the lion."Are you a dandelion lover?
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
In the dear well of goodness there is a light that shares itself with all. The likelihood of that light being shared between a human egg and sperm is as unlikely as balancing a single grain of raw rice on the head of a needle ... or so I've heard tell when I have listened to stories told by old wizen grandmothers answering a child's questions.
My own life is closing in on the tale end of a human's existence now and when one lives with a dark night of the soul, or worse even, a string of dark nights the end seems a blessing with the pressure to keep that precarious balance. There is no doubt a transcendent quality within the soul that draws the mortal angst toward the light. Challenged as so many women, men and children are on the Planet with illness and imbalances concocted by ill-placed motivations and an addiction to hording, Sensitives such as I seek to use Art as a vehicle ... a way to ride through the daunting losses. When Art is not enough, loving support from compassionate and skilled guides, healers and loved ones shore me while my inner fire is re-kindled. For that assistance I offer this story as a thank you.
My Art is story, and Wood Crafting the Tale is a piece of other-worldly telling for me to heal my way through the losses and grief of living with MCS. The Art speaks of voices unspoken yet more powerful than utterance; cosmic connection that is the thread of soul's food and the Everlasting; Nature's beauty and her unquestionably enduring quality. Though I never consciously planned the final installment to coincide with the release of a calendar of nearly naked women telling their truth after MCS; never planned to share the final installment of my healing fairy tale as a tonic for my very real and painful bout of depression and suicidal angst this is what is happening.
In time for the new moon that rises tomorrow morning (Wednesday, December 16th) I share the final installment of Wood Crafting the tale here at VardoForTwo where the story began in the Spring of 2009 when a golden wagon rolled onto a ledge in the woods. Through the sharing I embrace the dark and light of mortal existence balanced with the grounded NATURE of life from the Ever.
And now the final installment of WOOD CRAFTING the Tale
Written by Mokihana Calizar
Please enjoy the tale for your own pleasure,
but do not reprint it or copy it for any other purpose without permission from the author.
Shelela and Shenia … She the little and the small
Our story draws closer to its destiny, dear ones. The journey broad, the telling savory, the lessons wrapped in filigree and sennit, bundled in cedar boughs and hidden on bits of driftwood from islands far south of the high mountains. The tale cannot be finished without knowing more about my own dear birthing, and that of my twin Shelela. If ever you will need the nectar of the place to taste the truth, it will be here as I braid the final hank into place. Have you kept the kettle hot for tea? If you have neglected the small ritual it would be a fine time to raise yourself to the burner and bring the spring water to a boil. A story always tastes the nectar of the place with tea.
We must return to the beginning and listen as my own dear mother and father consider the choice Kaimalama Noa has made.
Shemaladia of Osprey listened as her mate to be recounted Kaimalama’s disclosure. Both my parents were full-size Grey Wood Crafters. To see them now, their heights would surprise mortals for they were Giant in your vocabulary. Perhaps as large as twelve feet from ground to head feathers, Shemaladia and Freeilll were among the last of the Giants with coil of stardust and bird nearer fairy than human in spite of their size. My mother waited for my father’s final word, looked deeply with her eyes closed and sought any unspoken thought that might linger in his telling. When she found none there Shemaladia asked, “Are these mortals long in coming? Will it be within our cycles they be here on The Planet?” Freeilll Noa felt certain the mortals would come only when his name and that of Shemaladia of Osprey were as fairy tales or make-believe. “Do you see the lesson in our mating as a birth-place for our future coveys, a warming of a different sort to prepare our twins for change?” My father simply nodded, affirming Shemaladia’s intuition. “Kaimalama has opened a channel to the Ever of the future through his choice. What has been is reassembling, and though you and I have enjoyed the Grace of Grey and crossed the Cosmos with our gifts there comes a time for loving the small, birthing the value of reserve and it continues with our mating. We have been asked to value a concentrated version of ourselves, leaving behind that which no longer serves, embracing all that will likely flourish forward. My brother’s choice will reveal the nature of small when nurtured. He has lived one hundred cycles with a secret kept. Hording polyps, fish and the moving winds examples of secrecy and a grace ill-founded.”
Shemaladia of Osprey remembered the moment she first saw Freeilll Noa. “What will our twins be like from our mating?” She had thought that then, and now she knew the answer was “different.” The lid of stars that poured stardust from the constellation of The Big Dipper would open within three moon rising. Time was still on the side of destiny. My mother had received many gifts of gratitude and thanks over her long life. Souls lost and found often gifted Shemaladia with tokens of their appreciation. Thinking of her pouch of brocade that held those gifts my mother conned in my father’s direction, “I believe a clue has been with me all these many cycles. A gift from a sister lost to herself gave me a circle of silver with stone of pink quartz. The ring was too small for my claw. Pink quartz is for the healing heart, perhaps the perfect size for reassembling the size of a Wood Crafter’s egg.”
In the end the ring crafted of silver with stone of pink quartz was indeed the perfect size for twin eggs birthed by Freeilll Noa and his mate Shemaladia of Osprey. The lid of stars poured their stardust as it had for times back into memory, and as it has been for all those times, mates of destiny embraced their dance of bliss. One of those paired is said to have embraced with a small circle of silver held tight between their breasts. The ring of silver split between my mother and father. Each half was absorbed into their hearts creating two halves the size of perfectly reassembled eggs, twin girls named Shenia and Shelela Wood. In the scheme of destiny we were the first of the covey to be She the Little. My mother and father viewed the future knowing the new race called Mortals would grow with the spell of hording in their coil. Like my uncle the spell would be like a mask unconsciously worn unexpectedly risky business. My parents chose to value the small concentrated good that had until that point lived grand, large, and Giant. We sustain our Grace through that choice and look from our coveys and warrens at the mortals who are called Sensitives and Spell-binders and watch for one woman in particular who has memory of kin and kind. That mortal carriers the gift of Fantasy … a willingness to forget all and then, she will make room for us to join in. From the Ledge near the Pond of Ever a woman fitting that description has moved herself and her mate into a wee wheeled home. The fairies are keeping close watch on things on the Ledge, and warming on a branch is a pair of violet eggs the size of a mortal woman’s earrings.
This story is braided complete for the while. Mortal destiny lies tentatively on the balance between grand and small. Sensitive kin with dreams falling down around them are the clue to a reassembled beginning. Will the race who has been spell-bound by greed begin anew, release what no longer serves the original Creators’ song and step gently back where the nectar of place is sipped, shared and for goodness sake, never horded? Cross your fingers and make room in your dreams for fairies and Gypsy Frog kings to join in. Until the next wind gathers the dust of story ~ be gentle with your stepping and kind in your encounters.
Sunday, December 13, 2009
New Moon in Sagittarius arriving Wednesday, December 16, at 4:02am (PST).
CAUTION: If you're looking for an up-beat read, this ain't it!
If you have been reading my posts and the comments recently the dark night of the soul has been my reality. Astrologically Neptune the planet of illusion/delusion, fantasies has been strongly affecting my ability to act (Mars). It's not easy for me to translate the astrology of things, and yet, I keep trying to make sense of the losses and grief that pile up around and inside me. It's not pretty, it's not politically correct nor is it socially acceptable to mourn in the open. Wailing is totally a shunner and god friends and family just don't know what to do, or just can't know what to do when the grief of loss after loss keeps happening. As in, what do you say to someone you have known who is homeless or walking around with an illness that you really can't see? Oh, the mask that might be an indicator. I've had a thought recently that MCS Multiple Chemical Sensitivities is the Alcoholism of the Twentieth Century. Before folks like Bill and Lois W. began collecting and gathering the wisdom of the 12 Steps and serving coffee at meetings for the alcohol sensitive ... drunks were drunks were drunks. There was no understanding or support for the illness. There were no steps and traditions to recovery.
Since I have been in the rooms where the Steps and Traditions are spoken and the practices encouraged and supported, I'm a humbled believer and recovering family member affected by alcoholic sensitivities. Research and connections between alcoholism and MCS aren't something I know as 'science'. The knowing is coming from some other place call it intuition or a Neptune affliction based on delusion. What I recognize is the similarities between the despair and extended dark nights of the soul that overwhelm me as the same grief I have felt when the affects of alcohol were as plain as that troupe of elephants parked in the living room. Am I the elephant in the living room (or the Vardo, or the one behind the mask) ignored because people just don't 'get' it; or just can't/don't know what to say or do to recognize the grief and loss ? The path to recovery with MCS is similar though different. I know of at least one other MCSer who is both recovery alcoholic and MCSer. Whether there are others I only wonder about that now.
I have a therapy appointment scheduled in a few hours. For more than a year I have had a trusted and compassionate connection to a human being who holds my hand and my soul as I work through loss and grief. Her fees were accommodating to start with consideration for the illness (of which she also lives), and when my ability to pay shrank, her fees slide accordingly. Like an alcoholic thinking she can just 'cut back' I have tried to cut back on the support because frankly there's little cash left to pay for them. I called her this morning and said there was enough to pay for the sessions I've already had, and I needed to schedule another. She has been following and reading the blog and said, "I'm glad you're calling after reading how suicidal you've been."
Astrologer Julie Dembloski has a post on her blog today about the potency of the New Moon coming up this week. (the bold letters are my add) It was this post and those emboldened thoughts that shoved me into finally making that call to my therapist. The price of a soul lost to the potential of his or her inner value and outer contribution to life on the Planet can't be measured by the weights and measurements of a collective that can't speak my language, or walk in my shoes. Although I have made connections with others who live with the affects of EI (environmental illness) and value the compassion and support that I get there in my virtual communities. My Scorpio Sun with heavy Pluto affecting me, needs to go to the privacy of a trusted confidant and counselor. I pay my way (that's Leo pride, maybe) to "sort usable energies, facts, knowledge."
"... Considering all factors, this is a New Moon of potentials; the biggest challenge is to take the seed energies and sort usable energies, facts, knowledge, inspiration, images and visions, from delusions, fantasies, and responses seated in old hurts. One way to stay grounded (and thus make best use of these potentials) is to earth ourselves through the sign energy of Earth’s current position, in Gemini. This suggests we can bounce ideas off others, discuss, network, and fact-check, in order to see what’s truly feasible, and what may be a little too pie-in-the-sky."
What keeps you going through a dark night of the soul?
Saturday, December 12, 2009
The Calendar is out! 15 women are part of this 2010 calendar The Naked Truth About MCS. The calendar and the article about its release are available online from The Canary Report. All proceeds go to the Environmental Working Group, a non-profit organization involved and educating the collective consciousness with the truth about the every day chemicals, the industries that concoct, market and hold us hostage/addicted to the synthetic world of "products", and the governmental process and politics that fuel the cycle of greed and toxicity.
The photo above is me Ms November... Wahine Toa (warrior woman) taken at the back of VardoForTwo while Pete and I lived on the beautiful oxygen-rich Ledge in the woods. I chose to face the camera as I wish I could face the world: STANDING proudly encamped in a pesticide free zone with the phases of the moon and the radiance of a full spectrum sun. I hold my o'o, the walking stick to remind me of the need to be sustained by nature ... holding on for all I'm worth and using that stick as a weapon if the need arises. Around my neck is a lei of tiny shells a gift from my son on my 60th birthday, linking me to the salt water that is me. The golden wagon safe haven built with due diligence and tears is our singularly safe space. Chemicals surround that wagon on wheels 24/7, awareness and transformed choices based on the knowledge that saner, healthier choices are possible remain minimal.
Here's a project that shouts the naked truth. Thanks to Susie Collins and the women who contributed their versions of MCS truth, check it out and tell your friends, families, your congress men, your congress women, your mayor, your neighbors, the managers at your local co-op, your local drug store! MCS is real, alive and closer to you than you think.
P.S. Ruby my magical laptop made posting this photo possible. Thanks, Ruby!!
Thursday, December 10, 2009
We knew this was going to happen when we pulled into town a month ago. So much has happened in 4 weeks, the home project was just a hazy reality. Until now. I explained to the owner and the contractor about my sensitivities (there was a low level of engagement) and we reached an understanding: we would pull out before any heavy dismantling took place. Pete fired up the old beast, Bernadette and fumes flying and exhaust bellowing, our Kolea Nani was prepped for moving. Short or long haul, moving the tiny home takes a great store of energy. We were up before sunrise and finally resettled on the side yard between our friends' home and their neighbor on the opposite side of the home-to-be-moved sometime after 1 in the afternoon.
Dunnage has been sawed and stacked under the four corners of our vardo, the little steps are re-anchored, the builder's foil has been peeled off the inside of the windows and our wee home is back to its sweet comfortable self, again. Pete carried JOTS out of the warm basement to reorient our sweetie pie kitty to the vardo's new location. It's times like this when we have moved and resettled that drive the reality of our unique life home to me our dear heart. Throughout the MCS whirl that we know, this variation on a safe life is some thing else. Though others live in RV's few live in a space as small as ours. Our friend Leslie (another Leslie) is the other tiny home dwellers like us and Daisy O is building her safe haven. We are newbies, new to what it takes to incorporate the information that becomes more and more available to those of us who live with environmental illness and chemical sensitivities. There is a plethora of information and it takes time, health and support to try the solutions, wearing them to see if they 'fit', and then trying again when the body-mind-spirit shifts to be different.
Tonight's thoughts come with that spark of inspiration to be positive about the future. Seated here at Ruby's keys, warm from the heat of the Radiant Electrical Heater I have moments (fleeting as they are) of being completely mid-center and at peace. "This is exactly what I would love to be. This is exactly what I would love to be doing." There might be an observation that moving from one spot to another is less than a perfect life activity. And yet, it's that ability to move when your neighbor is doing major disruption that gives a less than 80 square home a major reason to be positive about the future.
What we do to make our life what we would love it to be involves integrating information:
- life is changeable
- others choices aren't mine to control
- my choices are mine
- getting as much information as possible helps (gather, glean, communicate)
- managing a small space is our reality
- knowing what I can do is my business
- being positive about the future is my choice
- practice, practice, practice (action, gratitude, appreciation)
There is a way of being
Beside the whirl you see
‘Tis open to the looking
For those who pause to be.
Tho smaller than the other
Make no mistake
The world you take as true
Reflects another still.
-a Maker’s Rhyme
An Archer’s sun warmed the insides of the golden wagon. A good cleaning just one rise past made for a clear view of every tiny place where Mondra tucked her unfinished winter projects. Never one to waste the glory of a wintry sun, the tinkress was out for a meandering collect of treasures when I stopped for a wee visit. The two black-eyed fish hung on her front door. The message was obvious to all her friends and not so obvious to those folk who were yet to know Mondra the Wee. I had already spent a good bit of glory raking in the last of tree fall from the neighboring oaks, lucky to have gleaned a half-hand of acorns from the greedy squirrels. So, rather than sniff her trail I pulled out my bundle of knitting and sat to wait upon my friend and basked in the late rays of the Archer’s sun. The click-clicketty-click of my needles has always been my favorite company.
The roar of automobile wheels bore the cold air, the smoke from the mill drifted south in the direction of the valley. It would be a congested sky tonight with the mix of wood burnt by the settlers and the making of paper from the mill just below Mondra’s wagon. I noted the condition and pulled at the hank of the silky yarn, blinking slowly I drew deeply of the air sorting through the emissions. Click-clicketty-click the needles moved a constant rhythm. Periwinkle silk yarn fashioned the final row of the exquisite mittens. Intricate colors woven into a pattern of oak leaf and acorns were Solstice givings. Just shy of two weeks before the promise of more light,
“Orb’s near to setting. I suspect Mondra will have her arms filled with collections.”
Where's this tale going? I'd love to include your imagination in this tale ... leave a comment if you have a bit to add to Mondra's goings-on.
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
We are back to ask Ruby to once again aide me in the compositions of word whirls and translations. Ruby, is our laptop long-provider of those steps and leaps from flitting thought to virtual page, and cyber-connections. For those of you who noticed, yes, the 'ole cycle that follows the Full Moon(s) is a three (and not a 4) day and night phase. Pete corrected my miss yesterday, so here we are ready to be productive after three days of restoration, rest, reconsiderations, recouping.
I had fun during the 'ole days, a very fitting way to rest and restore for a constant thinker like this old dear. In spite of the frigid temp outside I have been taking walks around our Everett city encampment. Bundled in my characteristic ball-shaped wrap, it's my round brown eyes and glasses that remain uncovered. My hand-made fleece scrap scarf serves me well when a sniff tells me dryer sheets! If I take myself into the frigid area after the sun's had a chance to warm things, the wood smoke is minimal and I enjoy the luxury of outdoor movement.
New to our side-bar are a few 'Earth Sourcery' links I enjoyed during the 'ole nights and days. These new virtual spaces include an Ecologicalartist and two new astrology blogs. Both the art forms fuel the need for gentle and creative forms of being with 'Aina (all the nourishes) with protocols and processes that require commitment. In our growing understanding of the Economy Wee, life from the golden wagon VardoForTwo happens inside a very small space while being with the great bigness of Earth.
I'd also like to highlight two links that collaborate with the whole picture of being responsible, doing good, staying connected. War and Homelessness ... is happening in more places than ever. Both human conditions sadden and anger me in alternating moments. My heart breaks. Women to Women International is a new to VardoForTwo link. Real Change News Seattle is not a new link, but the story that's featured in this week's Real Change News is a good example of doing good closer to home.
Women to Women International
Helping women in war-torn countries rebuild their lives is the mission of Women to Women International. Similar to programs like Kiva, the concept of personalized giving makes Women to Women good work. More than a million men, women and children in the Middle Eastern Countries alone have been killed in the name and activity of war. I heard a song yesterday that says it all for me. The lyrics were, "I ain't gonna study war no more..."
Those of us who live daily lives of environmental refugees know a fraction of the despair and horror of life with military occupation and bombs. I know the emptiness of loss and sickeness that fills my being when I am exposed to the chemicals of 'normal American life'. Re-building lives is the common solution I share with the women (and men and children) who are living with the effects of war.
Real Change News Seattle
This article about a local partnership of good work, appears in the Seattle weekly newspaper focused on the issues of real life homelessness and activism/support in the largest Northwest city closest to our vardo encampment.
Constuction Co. Offers Winter weather gear. Here's a snip from that article. Click on the link to read the entire article.
"Ten years ago, Patti Dunn and Michael Grabham realized they had cooked too much food for their Thanksgiving dinner. They were living in the Eastlake area, and knew of two homeless men who sometimes slept nearby. They brought out the extra comestibles to these gentlemen. As the cold weather had already set in, the men also asked if they had any spare socks or bags to give as well. Patti and Michael saw the need for a new yearly routine...If you're in the Seattle area and would like to contribute, click HERE to find out how to help out.
To finish up, you might like reading and being reminded of the freedom we each have. This from gypsy Woman.
What has fueled your inner fire, and inspired you during the three 'ole days and nights just passed?
Sunday, December 6, 2009
A hui hou,
Mokihana and Pete
Saturday, December 5, 2009
Pete and I drove and drove north to spend time with a dear friend, and also browse three of our favorite thrift stores. Though the venture into a thrift store can be a MCSers nightmare if you're unprepared (i need a hat to tuck my hair up tightly, a coat that can be aired out, and a scarf/mask) these three stores have been low-level blitz makers and often give us pleasant and affordable shopping. Gratefully, the journey north was a glorious winter getaway and Pete has a new winter jacket that will need de-stinking (airing, milk and baking soda soaking and time). We were on the look-out for creative and tolerable materials for shelving in our porch pods to be. We found a motley mix of stainless steel and an older painted and off-gassed mug rack that just might work out.
Anacortes, Wa is a wind magnet of a town that sits at the tip of Puget Sound's northern edges. The ferry for the San Juan Islands and Victoria, B.C. leaves from this beautiful little town. The wind was magnetic today, blowing cold (for the Northwest), crisp and clear air. We were bundled with everything we own that is warm, with our thrifty treasures we headed for the deli to meet our friend. This is the same friend who offered us the cottage in Olympia for the winter that we couldn't move into because of the gas stove. It's been two years since we last saw each other.
Meeting friends face-to-face is a treat that becomes more and more difficult when you live with MCS. Tonight the friends we live with are having a dinner party before going to a holiday musical event in a nearby theatre. The laughter, the voices and the socializing is what I miss. The fragrances and sprays that cover their dear bodies is what I don't miss. The reunion we enjoyed this afternoon is what I focus on and appreciate in a big way. I was able to sit and enjoy a sandwich and share a platter of salads with Pete while we chatted, caught up on the goings on in our lives, and for the first time our friend saw pictures of our wheeled home.
"You guys have really done it! You're making a whole way of life."
"Yup, I'd say we are."
Our friend was scent free and asked mid-way through lunch, "Give me feedback about me."
"I can't smell anything," I said.
By the time we'd finished lunch the smell from a customer's perfume was my cue to head for the door. Pete was heading to the counter for a chocolate chip cookie, my friend and I got oatmeal raisin.
I am able to enjoy many pieces and parts of life that some MCSers cannot. I recognize the difference, just as I recognize the differences between the party goers who spray and scent themselves. The winter day did clear the air for me today and time with a friend with no scents and lots of sense is a gift of no small measure.
One of my MCS blogging friends, Leslie from the Oko Box has written a couple posts about winter time hobbies to keep the mind from becoming veg-like. It was good to think about those sorts of inside things; and then I also began to wonder about ways to create social wish-lists and dream makings, too. Once a year near the holidays the Seattle MCS support group gathers for a Holiday Party. We went to one last year, and yippee, this year's party is coming up. A fragrance and chemical free party with (no-new) gift-exchanging, chatting, laughter and food is such a fun happening.
How do you create a social structure that supports you?
Friday, December 4, 2009
My dad drove a beauty second-hand station wagon in those days, a navy blue Nash Rambler. In every way it was the perfect car for a two-kid family like ours. There was the back seat that flipped down so we could watch the movies at the Waialae Drive-In ... gone today of course and in its place a storage unit builder. We rented space there in our wanderings and yes I thought of those old Drive-In days. The old Nash took us around the old Pali Road to Kailua to be with our cousins who had a big pool and the sandy access beach. Our cousins, these are our people. Another set of cousins (10 of 'em) lived in the same valley as we ... I remember the Saturday morning cookie baking routine that took place in their house. Like a well-greased kitchen baking cookies for 10 kids once a week seemed like such a different world to me.
The small kid times lay a foundation of connection that served us well for most our lives. Once inseparable during the early years, the difference between us grew and the complexities of our parents' kuleana foibles, short-comings and illnesses widened the gaps. The subject of 'these are our people' is something Pete brought up last night. He'd been thinking about this for a couple days, remembering the weeks we spend camped on our cousins' lawn in Lanikai on O`ahu's Windward side. Forty years later, I was spending days and nights with one of those cousins who had been my kid-time foundation. The six foot six inch giant of a cousin keeps a home with his partner of decades, his youngest daughter and a six year old granddaughter. When we were new to the lawn there in Lanikai, the neighbors would walk within inches of our Subaru camp/home. Behind the yellow Hawaiian print curtains that created a fragile yet real privacy screen for our sleeping quarters, Pete and I established our temporary place. The neighbors were very accepting of us. Most met our gaze when we rolled out from behind the curtain still sleepy from our night in the car. One morning, "C" greeted us with her cup of hot tea as we woke from the night of sleep. Her neighbors were walking past at the same time. "Hi, how ya' doing she said to the neighbors as they walked." The neighbors stopped to chat. My cousin as I recall never skipped a beat as the neighbors looked from her to us. "Oh, these are our people," she said. We were their people, and we felt cared for.
The Mohist, the followers of Mozi of 5th Century B.C. China were more interested in doing good
than being good.
Who are your people, and who considers you their people?
Thursday, December 3, 2009
A tiny home and a reassembling life brings you back to basics. We learn with each of our moves about what to throw, what to keep and how to keep what we have. Folks who live in small spaces either come with a working reality of a zen-centered approach to stuff, or learn the face-to-face reality of living with less space. When we lived on the Ledge, friends offered us a place to park ourselves and our new home in an idyllic setting. We arrived with more stuff than we could keep within our vardo. A rented pick-up truck and our 'Scout' the Subaru carried the chattels of our minimizing life. We have been travellers for more than a decade. Each of our moves (prior to the on-set of severe MCS) included the sorting of what would come with or be left with friends, family or folks we might never meet. We began building VardoForTwo from the space of a basement kitchenette with the abundant outside cooking space and a space room that became a storage space and place for Pete to keep his work-and-building clothes. Life on the Ledge allowed us to remember how to breathe deeply after a long spell of survival only life. It was a beautiful feeling, and we did bliss out from the blessing of oxygen-rich air, an electrical outlet that fed our needs, friends who were willing to share and learn about our new needs. Spring and Summer allowed us to set up outdoor cooking space beneath the huge canopy of Tall Ones.
In retrospect, we would have used the last month on the Ledge to do what we are doing now ... enclosing the porch to give us covered cooking space, storage for our kitty apartment, and a separate place to house a composting toilet. Progress is not however, a constantly forward moving motion. Parked here in Everett, I hear Pete cutting the grooves into the oak siding for the pods and know he has used the sunny days two past, to cut and measure the studs for the porch pods. There are reasons for things that happen. Perhaps the timing on the Ledge permitted us to be here with our friends during the November of passings.
We slept our first night in the golden wagon nine months ago and we have made progress with learning and implementing living a Wee ECO-nomy. We have not gotten to the point of life with 100 items, what we are learning is the practice of living with what's precious, tolerable and necessary. Though life in small spaces weaves a common thread for all who live it, living with MCS adds a dimension of considerations that really draw on that most vital of characteristics: imagination. I'm thinking of all those men, women and children who endlessly draw on imagination to come up with recipes to feed a family of four with what ever is in your frig/cupboard/cooler; men who go to all and any length to get that food into the frig, children who grew up sooner than later because they had to and still had time to make play out of bottle caps, whittled kindling and lengths of string. In the company of those who have gone before and who also do it now, Pete and I imagine the way we can use the abundant 2 feet x 30 inches of pod space on either side of our Dutch front door.
Four things frame in the choices we make when deciding what to throw, what to keep and how to care for the things we keep:
- Is it Precious ? I look around our wee home and see a small, old Japanese silk hanging that belonged to my Aunty Lily. A small tear and a worn spot are like memory landmarks. Kwan Yin sits on one of two tiny wooden tables. A wooden spear hangs from a length of yellow fabric ... I remember when my son carved it and wrapped the finely chiseled tip with cotton thread with fly-tying skills he was fine-tuning as a boy.
- Is it MCS- tolerated ? Inside VardoForTwo well worn, old cotton sheets cover the organic cotton/wool/silk bedding that restores and comforts us day and night. The stark stainless steel walls are inert, not very pretty admittedly. Our baking soda and water washed clothes are stored in wire baskets on the tile floor under the futon. The Radiant Electric Heater and Austin Air Filter keep our home warm and freed from dust, invading smells.
- Is it Necessary? ... We have recently added a small radio into our wee life inside. Off-gassed and aired for months while we lived on the Ledge, I am soothed and comforted by the sounds of music, the language of French Canadian radio. When your life is reassembled and less becomes your more, the comfort of sounds from that small electrical unit is such abundance. I am grateful and appreciative every day that I am able to enjoy this pleasure, knowing others with MCS and Electro-magnetic sensitivities might not be able to tolerate a radio inside their safe haven. "Ruby" our 10 year old Sony laptop is our passport to the World. Ahh ... what places and people we meet because of "Ruby." Sometimes, shopping on-line is the only way to find things without being compromised in a store that just stinks us out.
- How to care for the things we keep? A helpful article was sited on Susie Collins' The Canary Report the other day. It's a very thorough run-down on the gazillion ways a person can use baking soda. Here's the link for that article in its entirety. It's a perfect example of Einstein's belief that 'imagination is more important than knowledge.' Well, perhaps at this stage of human evolution, an article describing the many gentle, earth-saving, money-saving ways to use baking soda is an example of remembering something once commonly known. Baking soda washing is what I do to keep my hair, teeth, body, clothes, sink, coffee/tea cup clean. Pete and I also use organic lemons (which are a bit pricey since no lemons grow in Washington) as a final rinse for our white and salt-and-pepper locks. We smell good and fresh after a hot shower and shampoo, too. The article linked above describes clearly and with pictures multiple ways baking soda (and vinegar) can replace the purchased cleaning products found in every house, apartment and RV throughout Planet Earth.
So, if you're wondering what to give your favorite MCS friends ... maybe baking soda?
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Astrological Mid-wifery: Uranus is moving direct ... clues for forward movement from the icy planet on an icy morning
Jack Frost and his family are visiting the Pacific Northwest. The single red rose we have smiled at since our arrival is crisp from the freeze ... beautiful still. An ice cake an inch thick, formed on the top of the kitty's water bowl with a decoration of tiny ice trees in a row. Cold air from the North will stick around for several days. Clear skies save for the plumes of sulfur-rich paper mill smoke. Tucked onto the futon with "Ruby" (i have finally named my old lap-top) Mukilteo and Whidbey Island are clear vantage points from the vardo window. JOTS has grow plump and thick-coated during the weeks since our wee home began the road travels from the Ledge. The frost is not her favorite experience so I know she is relishing the pile of warm clothes that is her inside-the-basement cozy spot.
The month of November has been a heavy one. Plenty of endings and passing, lives have passed from the physical to the spirit. Four people ... family members of our friends' who share this Everett with us ... died in November. Our vardo attaches to the energy of the big house, one after another the deaths affected us. Grief is grief, even with the intent to 'take it easy' this emotion is physical and will require expression and avenue of release. Living with multiple chemical sensitivities during this time of grief and passings has been challenging. Practicing setting and maintaining workable physical and emotional boundaries is a daily attempt ... our friends know we love them and must also remain distanced. We are fragile beings at the core of it all, and that is not a weak descriptive I think. Caring for that fragile part of us makes for such strength. We were blessed with days of time with my son who was here for the Thanksgiving holiday. Heart-warming chats with him to learn of his life back on the Island, hearing how he is navigating and shifting at 37 years; hanging out with him eating left-over turkey sandwiches and hot vegetable soup; receiving healing lomi lomi work to break the frozen muscles of toxics and stress.
Focus on the icy planet: Uranus
December began with the planet Uranus going direct after its retrograde. The influence of the icy planet, seventh planet from the Sun, going direct with the full moon (December 1/2, 2009) feels a welcomed relief. I've been studying the charts during the past week and Uranus lit up as a possible clue to my on-going sorting habit as it relates to my life. These posts with the "Astrological Mid-wifery"tags are part of my passionate view of cosmos as reliable translator and one of my classrooms of choice. I'm a student of the art, using it more and more to aid me with these late life births. I celebrated my 62nd birthday in mid-November so I could officially or unofficially be called an old gal. Uranus and the outer planets have lots to say about the way I work, live, play or struggle with these later years.
Here are a few of the tidbits that are inspiring, encouraging, offering me clues to completing the life climb/journey and make the most of the seen and unseen dunnage on offer.
- Uranus was in retrograde when I was born. Uranus was in your sixth house at the time of birth.
My mind at work: An MCS marker?
- Uranus trine Sun: Hungry for change End of June 2008 until beginning of February 2010
Sometimes it is very upsetting to make fundamental changes in your life. But at other times you feel that change is creative and exciting, and this is one of those times. You are eager for change and hope it will lead you to a life that is more exciting, interesting and alive. You look to new ideas and new experiences for insights that will make your life more real. Consequently this is an excellent time to begin studying disciplines that will allow you to develop and grow as a human being.
My mind at work and mid-wifery in action: This transit began during the summer of building our wee house. In all ways from belief about what home and house means, how we relate to friends, family and strangers, how we make our way in the way, and how we braid, cobble and express ourselves began to change. "Eager for change and hope ..." is what fueled our choice to leave behind the home that had been our souls' dream (we thought). Six months of living on the road, in a car and on the 'run' led us into the influence of Uranus (planet of change, innovation and sudden transformation) upon my Scorpion Sun. This planetary trine continues through the winter ... we will need this influence to balance us especially now that life will require the human collective to live lean, smart and focused.
- Neptune trine Uranus: Enlightening experience End of February 2009 until mid December 2010: This influence will expose you to ways of looking at the world that are quite different from any you have known before.
- Uranus square Uranus: On a pivot Mid April 2009 until mid March 2010: This influence signifies the changes that take place as you approach old age… You must realize that the richness of your life does not come only from your achievements in the outer world of business and society, but also from what you know and understand about life
This post has wandered through a full day. Completing it in the darkness of a cold night, it has been a day of resting, working, walking and putting together a curry stew that ought to be ripe for eating in the very near while. Our friend Doug brought a lovely wreath of greens to our encampment. Pete and I hung it on the back of the wee golden wagon. I hope we are able to get a picture of that on the blog this winter season, it looks like home ... and that, is a nice feeling.