Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Link to an article in the Honolulu Advertiser about the planting cycles of the moon below:
A hui hou (until next time).
Sunday, March 29, 2009
It has been a beautiful sunny Sunday. Pete's out at the Green Festival at Seattle Center, I've been to the West Seattle Farmer's Market to get my last (at least for now) slabs of frozen salmon from our favorite fishermen, chatted with some of the wonderful farmers and vendors who have made living in the city such fun, and then had time to get in a few hours of stenciling before the sunny front yard turned shady and cool.
Here's the result so far...three small ferns and a momma...it was fun to be milk painting in the sunshine! The days are getting much longer, the birds are so happy to find a new scatter of millet on the sidewalk and I'm glad Jots is asleep and not rousting them from their feast.
One week till hitch-up ...
Saturday, March 28, 2009
Our long time favorite sun, moon and stars blanket that I have had for more than fifteen years is now our throw rug. The green edge in the picture is a foldable slantboard I've had for many years, it will be our couch ...it's old foam, and we'll see how I respond to it as a vardo couch.
The front door is in. The window glass, glass pineapple door knob, latch, trim and stenciling still need to be done ... but what a nice thing to see the door and be able to walk through it.
It's a nasty sort of damp day. And yet, we have been INSIDE together in a tile wiped and vacuumed VARDOFORTWO. You know the sensation of drinking hot tea with honey on a cold day ... well being together in there was pretty close to that delicious first sip of hot tea.
Closer, ever closer.
Friday, March 27, 2009
What is gone is gone.
A year ago is the past ... we have lived in our car, learned we could, even when to look at the dear Forrester, Pete and I am amazed that he and I could pretzel ourselves on an air mattress for months ... The blessing of being in our 'Scout' the Forrester is the resourcefulness that comes to be with you! Three Bags Full of Resources. Today, on my Week 21 of posts to make A DREAM COME TRUE I salute the THREE BAGS FULL OF RESOURCES that my darling man Pete and I have found (within and from the Gods).
This week of dream coming true #21 I appreciate these things and people:
1. I appreciate the many uses for ribbons and rope.
2. I appreciate the many uses for paper bags.
3. I appreciate the many uses for baking soda.
4. I appreciate the dark.
5. I appreciate unlikely friendships.
6. I appreciate a good car.
7. I appreciate being able to walk down the beach.
8. I appreciate nostalgic old tunes ... "Old Cape Cod."
9. I appreciate cashiers in the neighborhood PCC.
10. I appreciate Pete.
Readers, Visitors and Friends ~ Cheers and Aloha
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Inside the cord for the fairy lights and tools work from one of two electrical outlets that will serve us inside VARDOFORTWO. It's progress. Yippee!! Thank you, thank you.
Monday, March 23, 2009
In so many ways I live a life of symbolism and am challenged to navigate the concrete world. Perhaps the greatest opportunities for us come from knowing how much I value the symbolism and make everyday rituals present everywhere I turn. Today has been a mixed bag of tricks I knew I'd need a few naps ... so, I've been napping and tinkering with a few of my favorite everyday rituals. Every where we have lived, on each island in the Pacific where we have made a home, including the inside of our faithful "Scout" the Subaru I have brought my understanding of Feng Shui to clear, bless and balance with respect, the places we make our home. The inside of VARDOFORTWO fits easily into the eight-sided shape of the traditional Bagua. To keep things simple I focus on two "corners" as I start to be inside: 1) the left-hand corner and the center of the home. The left-hand corner is the prosperity or wealth corner. It is the corner that when in harmony, will attract all that 'abundance' means to us. 2) the center of our home is the health or true center of all ... the balancing point... and we need that. It is said that if some area of your life is out of balance, and you're not quite sure where that imbalance is, harmonize and pay attention to the middle.
The crystal seems to be reflecting beautiful light there ... happy, happy !
We are great fans of leaving MESSAGES FOR THE WATER we drink. See the photo below: Today I wrote out a new message for our water, perfect reminder for me when I start feeling allergic to my own DNA ... ie. holding on to thoughts and body messages that are no longer good for me. That new message is on the freshly filled water in the kitchen. I'm drinking that as soon as I'm pau with this post:)
The photo above is one of the "tether our camels" sort of practices. I use powered milk and baking soda to wash and rewash fabric that I get from thrift shops that need to be de-stinked of smells, and use those two simple products for all our clothes washing these days. Learning how to live without buying a lot of off-the-shelf cleaning products is both a MCSmart tether our camel practice and a wise way to use our resources. Before I cut and stitch the fabric (pictured on the VERY TOP) everything goes through the milk and soda washing routine. We do so appreciate the many, many days and nights of having this very good washing machine. We have had other days when washing everything we owned by hand in a bucket was our choice (and it worked with some practice).
Sunday, March 22, 2009
As any experienced traveler will tell you, even though investing in this market can be hard work and requires ample amounts of energy, its by far the safest personal investment you could ever make.
Part of the incredible nature of the internet is its access to the voices I imaged ... and then find by linking from site to site. The quote above comes from a post called "Safer than houses" written by Jean-Jacques N. author of the blog The Gypsy Cafe, a new site on our Life Savers and Safety Nets link. There are modern day nomads and gypsies wandering Earth in wondrous fashion, and that brings a smile to my face.
In the past couple of days I have received phone calls from two friends I have been out of touch with for awhile. "It's a good thing you still have this phone number," my old college chum said before we hung up. I told her that the old cellphone number may be no longer when we head to the woods. She remains undeterred and just asked to know the lan phone number of the 'mother-ship' that will be our anchor in the woods. The other friend who called this weekend has a name and attitude as bright as light itself. She never knows where she'll find me when she calls, and that doesn't stop her from calling. Both friends simply called to reconnect, get updates on our life, and give same to me. They don't question or judge our choices. They simply support us for the path we walk and know the risk of a gypsy style life is learned with each new stretch of the archer's bow at a new target. Paulo Coelho an old favorite philosopher and world investment fan would call both these friends 'allies.' Paul Coelho is another new addition to our Life Savers and Safety Nets. Personal investment ... I appreciate that.
Friday, March 20, 2009
Today I come to the keyboard and keep the dream, of a transformative life, alive with appreciation for these 10 people and things:
1. I appreciate new growth.
2. I appreciate my old hips.
3. I appreciate my old friends.
4. I appreciate our new home in the making.
5. I appreciate balance when it comes.
6. I appreciate a new recipe that works!
7. I appreciate surrender.
8. I appreciate a good laugh.
9. I appreciate our digital camera.
10. I appreciate Pete.
I appreciate these things today. Hope grows. Innovation comes when I make room for it by taking time to be calm in the busy-ness.
Hurrah for the day of balance ... Spring Equinox! Mokihana
Thursday, March 19, 2009
These yellow cotton curtains will come with us into VARDOFORTWO ... it helps me to see the piecing of the tank with these curtains ... Once Pete is pau with the piecing, we paint the ceiling, wash the stainless of the oil lubricant they put on the steel sheets (using the dish soap we use ... PLANET Uncolored & Unscented is the brand and varieyt), and then I'll be trimming and stitching up the yellow cotton curtains to fit the four windows. Old colored flannel sheets, a treasured quilt and favorite fabrics we have used 'safely' for months/years will become wall coverings and fabric panels.
IMAGINATION is the landscape of tomorrow's yet to be.
Our life as builders of a multiple chemical sensible
wee home on a trailer is all about
being open to imagine something yet to be.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
The time has come to measure the the progress of finishing the Vardo and moving to our treasured spot in the woods. Yeah! Fresh Air Abounds. The closest coal fired electric plant to the West of us would be in China, by design. The Timeless part is; there are only a few days left to finish and prepare to move. Might have to make time to make a list.
Make a list, finish the stainless wall, sew the fabric panels that will give us warmth and color, paint the ceiling, hang the dutch door, make the bed frame, pack up the stuff, check the ferry schedule and return the borrowed movies to the Library. This is enough items to inflate the bubble of time well into the future where the necessity of having a list in no longer needed to measure.
Sunday, March 15, 2009
A hui hou(until we meet again), Mokihana
Saturday, March 14, 2009
The dried ti leaf dangles below the trailer ... prayer flag
The laua`e makes me smile ... sweet island ferns travel with us
Dried hydrangea ... last year's blossoms ... we started this journey that year.
Friday, March 13, 2009
We are not young in the body.
Oh well, there is more.
We are not old enough in spirit.
Oh well, we'll see.
Drawn to the light of a big orange moon.
Our body, our spirit
Slipped on a splinter between
Door jam and Ethers.
"Oh look," the on-lookers giggled.
"They are not old.
They are not young.
Yet they are."
Last night was one of those nights when the bottom falls out and the desire to dream my way out of a tight spot lead to the crack in between hard reality and the other. Fortunately, my faith in the other is strong and here I am able and willing to come to the keys with appreciation.
Here's my list of 10 people and things for which I give thanks, and appreciation this week:
1. I appreciate wanderers.
2. I appreciate artists.
3. I appreciate people who live with MCS.
4. I appreciate the woods.
5. I appreciate clear air.
6. I appreciate friends who "have my back."
7. I appreciate shadows.
8. I appreciate the movie STARDUST. (there's a beautiful gypsy caravan in it ... it's Swamp oopps...that would be DITCH Water Sal's)
9. I appreciate peaceful times.
10. I appreciate Pete all the time. xxooxx
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Pete and I fell in love with the idea of a solid dirt home scultpted by hand and situated on the earth to live with the curve of Earth's position to the universe. Today, I have rekindled my love affair with this book and the philosophy
"To feel more human and less mechanized, you can choose to live in a home that refects cosmic cycles. Your house can reveal and display the procession of Sun and Moon across the sky and the movements of the planets." - page 57 of The Hand-Sculpted House.
Our choice to build a vardo comes from that desire to live with the cosmic cycles. The challenges of learning to live with environmental exposures led us away from cob and toward the wee home on wheels. The Romani (the Gypsy) traveled and with their sense of their place on Earth. As we get to the point where the floor, walls and door complete the structure of VARDOFORTWO, and we get ready to position the wee home, I am reminded that we will begin with a placement of door in the northeast, windows open to the east and west. It will be time and observation that will put us in sync with the cycles. We will need to notice the sky, the direction of the wind, and the movement of the sun.
Part of the flexibility of the vardo is its relative portability. We can start in one position, and with some effort, it is possible to turn the position of the door and the windows after we have been with the place for a cycle. If you are considering building your own home there are shelves filled with books for ideas. Since recent sensitivities have limited my comfort with new books, I am so appreciative of the time with this old favorite. Here is one more quotation that fell open at my feet as I sat in my 'reading place' (on the toilet of course). From the section on DOORS came this:
...They have some real advantages, thermally and socially. The half-door offers the benefits of a door and a window. Working by an open window is a joy...With a standard door wide open in cool wether, warm air leaves through the top ... and of course must be replaced by cold air ... Result? Cold feet, warm head, a good recipe for a bad mood. The half-door breaks that flow, leaving floor-level air largely undisturbed, but offering refreshing coolness at head level." - from page 225, 226 from The Hand Sculpted HouseMy dream includes building a cob wall near VARDOFORTWO, expanding the inside to include the outside. We'll see~ Linda wrote this note in our book when we were together in Yachats:
"For Mokihana and Pete, May you find your dream land and may this book be useful in Hand Sculpting your dream homES. I would love to help you in ways that I can."
The Cob Cottage
PO BOX 123
Cottage Grove Or 97424
And, so the dream lives.
What do you think about cob homes and living with the curve?
P.S. Here's a new link to the love of cob. I LOVE COB!
Any experiences with or without sealant over grout? Love to hear from you.
Thanks, Pete the floor is beautiful.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
BUILDING THE VARDO: Lasagne style flooring
Building a home by hand takes time, lots of time. I read a description from Jim Toplin's website about building a customized wagon (vardo) and there was a WARNING to it. Saying in essence that building such a wagon took Toplin, a master wood craftsman 2,000 hours to construct. We didn't get the message in time ... oh wait, we did know it would take time and energy and did it ANYWAY. We had motivation. Back in November, 2008 Susie Collins from The Canary Report posted this story "Tiny home is safe alternative for woman with MCS." Another 1000 hours later, and we are still at it.
Today Pete's inside working on the tile floor. The pictures above are the story beneath those tiles, the many hours of work to layer materials like lasagne to create a safer than plywood subfloor. There is a plethora of information available if a person has the time and brain-power to sort through everything. I researched everything from Debra Lynne Dadd's MCS Building Forum and, emailed our MCS safe builder friend, Leslie Lawrence, went to other blogs and in the end came up with a decision laced generously with prayer.
(from bottom to top in the pictures above)
1. Galvanized metal sheets to protect the vardo from road wear and moisture while stationary.
2. Additional oak cross pieces screwed in horizontally (left to right) to hold denim insulation. Yes, we finally decided to go with the denim. Each cross piece was also notched and routed to hold the metal bars that would go over the denim.
3. Denny Foil, foil vapor barrier was layered over the denim to seal any dust or smell from the denim as it off-gasses.
4. Lengths of steel cut especially to fit over the oak cross pieces were screwed fast. These were Pete's choice as a plywood substitute. Even though some sources said exterior plywood might be okay to use for our MCS-safe home, we decided not to use it. Laying the steel in this tight pattern was Pete's idea to create a web of strength.
5. More Denny Foil covers all the wood, steel and insulation.
These 5 lasagne layering steps prepared Pete to get closer to the tiling ... See that in the next post.
These are a few of the reasons I appreciate Pete, everyday. Mokihana
Monday, March 9, 2009
"The chemicals in fabric softeners are pungent and strong smelling -- so strong that they require the use of these heavy fragrances (think 50 times as much fragrance) just to cover up the smells. Furthermore, synthetic fabrics, which are the reason fabric softeners were created in the first place, do not smell good either when heated in a dryer or heated by our bodies ... hence the need for even more hefty fragrances. In other words, remove all the added fragrance that endears people to fabric softeners and -- like the cliché wolf in sheep's clothing -- the real smells of the chemical-laced fabric softener and the synthetic fabrics they were designed around may prompt people to shoot their laundry machines and be done with it."
- A excerpt from a post from GLOBAL HEALTH CENTER FORUM
(unfortunately no longer available on-line)
I had to re-post this excerpt after going to my email and finding an Google-added advertisement surrounding my mail encouraging people to use Bounce ... the stinkiest sheet of them all, everywhere, 'freshen' your car ... there's a whole website for this insanity!
There's no link to that website.
"No, no, no, Nannette!"
What would Swami Beyondananda say about dryer sheets?
Turtle, Jane Dog and I went to the spot that has been designed the Vardo Place. It was a chilly day, with morning temperature of 27 degrees. I brought a quilt along to the Vardo Place and Turtle and Jane Dog wrapped themselves on it as I brought the offerings of place to the women's ritual: 4 special tokens for the 4 directions ... three shells from my Island home and a fourth shell from the shores of Alkai Beach where I walk nearly every day. The trees and the land need to be introduced to the places that come with me. Turtle and Jane Dog live on and with these trees everyday, walk this land many times a day. I came to represent the newcomers.
We three women listened and asked permission. There were no objections, and Jane and Turtle were also told that Jots the Kitty would come with us ... she stayed home but her name needed to be included in the story. Turtle was thrilled to hear Jots was coming along, and Jane just needed to know in advance ... she doesn't like surprises. With the rituals completed, the two men who were inside the big house talking basketball, could get to the next part: bringing out some tools and agreeing on logistics. The vardo will be tucked into a spot just off the driveway overlooking a beautiful meadow and pond. The porch of the vardo will probably face north east. A clearing in front of the porch is our envisioned shared garden spot. Our compost pile (which we'll bring along) will find a home in that garden. Only a couple small trees, one fir and a madrona, needed to be transplanted to make room for the vardo. Stakes were laid to measure the 12 foot length and 7 feet of vardo width. Beautiful smooth stones from the land now outline the shape of VARDOFORTWO.
Turtle baked delicious lemon tea cookies, and brought them to the woods while warm. Yummy.
Slabs of salmon and Washington potatoes and carrots all from the West Seattle Farmer's Market was our Sunday meal. A feast of appreciation. The journey continues, with building a community in the foothills of the Olympic Peninsula. The trees, some of them two hundred years old, survivors of the clear-cutters make such clean pure oxygen. After a day in the woods my oxygen-starved cells were plumped, and we're excited!
We're back in the city with plenty to do before hitch-up time later this month.
Cheers! Mokihana and Pete
Saturday, March 7, 2009
Here is a small excerpt from the chapter, "She who watches"
"The experiences of the Poisonous Apple Illness serve as daily markers for Sensitives like Sam and Sal. The Earth has called upon the Sensitives to keep track of all the choices that harm."
Friday, March 6, 2009
I had a long, delicious talk-story with my brother today. The first one we've had all year. We are two years apart and have been very close in times past, then grew apart as life paths move that way. Now, as we are miles apart once again, we are seeing the 'reasons' for closeness again. "Consistent or consistently inconsistent?" Which is it? We laughed at that because without having to go into the blah, blah, blahs of a lifetime, we saw the humor of trying to make some one something they aren't.
Nearly sunset, Friday and the Dream is still coming true.
The 10 things I appreciate today are:
1. I appreciate my brother...chuckles and smiles ~~
2. I appreciate Debra Lynn Dadd.
3. I appreciate beaches.
4. I appreciate bulk bins of grains, beans and spices.
5. I appreciate Emmy Lou Harris' smokey voice.
6. I appreciate full circles.
7. I appreciate coming through the eye of needles.
8. I appreciate good comics.
9. I appreciate toasted millet.
10. I appreciate Pete.
All of these all good! Hot damn. Hope you have a list of good things to celebrate today.
Thursday, March 5, 2009
Earlier today, Elsa P. my favorite astrologer and storyteller had such a great post on "shoring things in our lives" during the long passage (2008-2023) of the planet Pluto through the sign of Capricorn. There's always lot of discussion going on, and the comments are worth reading on this post as well. Click on the link above and read the whole post and the comments ... great food for thought. The spaceship Earth is in for a lot of shifting and re-positioning. I asked permission to bring her post over to VARDOFORTWO to share with all of you. Building VARDOFORTWO is all about transformation, and you can't transform something that's not there to begin with. So here are a few timely tips Elsa P has to share:
"The Moon in Cancer opposes Pluto in Capricorn and security fears kick up big time. Defining the answers to these questions will quell them:Sustainable living will mean Pete and I need to clearly define the answers to these questions. Pete and I will be talking about these questions together and then, we need to talk these questions through with our friends Turtle and Pellet who will share their land with us vardo folks. Life and collaboration from a wee home attached by an extension cord, is part of our definitions.
Who am I? _____________________
Who is my family/clan?___________________
Who is my partner? ______________________
(personal and career partners)
What is my role in society? _________________
Nail those down and you’re going to have few problems over the next 10 years or so."
How well are your 4 corners shored up, how do you define the answers to these questions?
Have a good night. Aloha and Cheers, Mokihana
(See the drips running over the edge?)
Pete's already inside tapping in wall insulation and the stainless steel panels for the walls.
The tiny fairy lights will be our major lighting source ...
Pete's in there working with the lights on.
It's a metal roof
24 gauge sheet metal, with Kymar 500 paint (baked in).
Assembled using a technique traditional metal workers would recognize as 'the only way to do it'
with smooth cleated seams and crimped edges.
Thank you Joe Neal, Pres. of VSM Contractors
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Today's Swami Beyondananda Wakeup Laughing Bit ... (you can find them everyday by going to "The Humor Stick" over on my other blog Makua O`o (www.makuaoo.blogspot.com) ABOUT 'FUNKY JUNKY' is just too funny ... I'm laughing at myself, talk about mending my nets!
Turn da funk inta function
leave da junk at da junction.
- Swami Beyondananda
* This "mending my nets" analogy comes from the regular practice fisherfolk would do during the `ole days when the ocean conditions called for no fishing. To prepare for the days and nights when fishing was excellent, the nets would need to be in excellent repair.